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A Friday Morning

Posted on Friday 20th October 2006 at 00:00
As suddenly as if a gun had just been fired I snap back into consciousness. My eyes open to the dark room and my ears gradually tune into the source of my rather rude awakening. I haul my sleeping limbs slowly out of bed, stagger slowly and clumsily across my room and press the off button on my mobile phone's alarm clock. Friday morning has begun.

The room is cold and dark and my body is screaming at me to get back into bed. I am about to comply when the all awakening cold air finally seeps through to my brain and I wake up enough to remember that I have uni this morning. By the time I turn towards my wardrobe to acquire my dressing gown I'm already looking forward to the exquisite lie in that is Saturday morning.

The room is dark as I mentioned and the hallway no lighter as I begin my trek upstairs. As I near the top I am greeted by my housemate, already dressed and full of the sort of energy than can only come from having already been up for an hour. She asks in a whisper if she can borrow my milk and I signal my agreement with what my brain claims is roughly 'yea sure, borrow whatever you need? but which my ears tell me is a vague grunting noise that may just have an affirmative overtone.

I enter the bathroom and prepare to shower. I'm still getting used to having the power switch for the shower positioned on the wall outside the bathroom door, but today at least I seem to have remembered to flick it before entering the room. Many an unexpectedly cold shower and annoyance at having to get out to switch it on have seen to that.

The shower water is warm and I spend a quarter of an hour awkwardly washing my tired and complaining body while my brain alternates between complaining and revising my plans for the day. I am unusually awake this morning, despite an inadequate amount of sleep and it is perhaps for this reason that the creative part of my mind has already begun describing what I see in phrases that would be applicable to my blog. I muse briefly on whether or not a t-shirt with the inscription 'I'm blogging this? would be a worthwhile future investment.

The first promises of the predawn light are visible through the misted up window by the time I pull back the shower curtain and shuffle blunderingly to the dry end of the bath, nearly slipping over in the process, to where my towel is waiting. As I dry myself my mind grapples with the difficult decision of whether to open the window now and let some fresh air circulate or whether to wait until I am back in my robe. This verdict is reached on consideration of the solitary provision of the current temperature. There is of course no sense in allowing the outside air through the window in order to clear out the humid swirls of water vapour if they are all that stands between yourself and hypothermia.

The shower complete, I take a moment to administer a customary rinse of the bath with the shower head before leaving the bathroom and returning downstairs to get dressed. The hall light has been switched on by my now departed housemate and the bright, cheerful light helps to dispel the animal desire to return to bed. Instead I dress quickly while listening to GWR FM's Bush and Troy Show, which starts by informing me that I'm going to get soaked on the way to uni this morning. Great.

Breakfast consists of a bowel of my customary breakfast cereal and a glass of cold apple juice from the fridge & pretty much the only thing I am happy to experience cold at this time of day. I notice with some amusement that my milk is untouched, but the milk of another housemate is significantly reduced upon the previous night's level, despite his being away from home.

By the time I am done eating I am already running a few minutes late and am forced to rush through the long and arduous process of readying myself for the day. Fortunately I only need one textbook for today so packing my bag takes less than a minute and I am out of the door bang on 8am.

The car windows are covered in condensation on the outside, a mark of the October nights gradually getting colder and damper than those of the previous month. I have yet to invest in any sort of wiper or scrapper so clearing the side windows and mirrors must be done by hand. From the moment I close the car door behind me the windows are all beginning to mist up and I find myself having to drive blind for the first two or three minutes before the electric heater battles to clear the windscreen. I muse over how long it will take me in the winter to prepare my car for the short run up to uni.

GWR FM are back in my head, courtesy of the car stereo but I have already lost faith in their weather forecasting abilities as I drive off into a beautiful autumn day. I remember a line from You've Got Mail - a film I am quoting on this blog far more often than can be strictly legal & in which Tom Hanks says how he loves New York in the Fall. At the time I remembered having my doubts about how anyone can enjoy autumn while stuck in a city, but now I begin to see what he means.

Before long I am committed to an unusually protracted queue of traffic and have time between stop-starts to enjoy the scenery. All down the length of the steep hill I am crawling down is a stone wall, not yet ancient but mossy none the less and behind it a row of trees of a variety of species. Autumn in this part of the world has been unusually mild this year, a consequence of which being that the leaves that normally switch from the green of summer to the brown and dead of late autumn in a single day are instead taking their time to go through the motions of change. The result is an alluring picture or reds, yellows and oranges of an intensity not often witnessed on these shores.

In the distance are the greeny-purple hills beyond the motorway, slightly masked by the early morning haze and above them a cloudless blue sky. I often wonder how many more times we shall see that sky this year, and at what point it shall finally give in to the dull grey clouds that threaten to hide it away until the spring.

Despite the earlier slip up I am glad of Bush and Troy who seem to put every last ounce of effort into providing quality radio entertainment during the 15 or 20 minutes or so that I spend it the car. It doesn't seem to matter exactly what time I go in to uni each morning, they always seem to know to give it their best.

I look in the rear view mirror and see a couple talking to each other in the car behind. I wonder what they are talking about and where they are going. In the car in front of me the passenger is using the mirror in the sun visor (I believe it is called a vanity mirror) to apply make up. I'm reminded of a story a few weeks ago of a driver being caught doing the same thing while actually driving along. On the radio I hear an advert that is seemingly newer and funnier than the ones I've heard twenty times over already and I smile.

Eventually I arrive at my campus and, followed by the car with the couple in it, drive straight to the nearest car park to the building I want & one of the privileges of getting in at such a time. I find a space just big enough for my car and ease my way in backwards, trying not to stall as the car fights the gravely surface and the angle of the incline.

The car locked up and wing mirrors tucked in I begin my walk through the mild sunshine to my first lecture, passing still more golden trees on my way. I love this time of year perhaps more than any other. It holds all the beauty of a summer morning but without the desperate urgency to transform from dawn to mid morning before anyone is yet out of bed. Now the temperature is cooler and the view yet more beautiful for all those autumn colours.

As I wander in I think of my day ahead. I will first sit in a group discussion about organisational structure before moving like a whirl wind into a two hour lecture on European Union Law. In the middle we shall have a coffee break but I have no change for coffee today owing to a pizza bought on Saturday night for which all my money was dedicated. Still, I shall worry about that problem and all the others of the day as and when they arise.

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