Posts Tagged ‘Glasgow University’

I’ve got a confession to make

I should have spoken about this years ago. It’s been weighing on my mind and it’s time to finally just say it.

When I was 19, I went to university in Glasgow for a year. I was one of those excitable students who joined every club and society going and spent many evenings practising strange sports or discussing books no-one had heard of. I was a member of the Ultimate Frisbee club, the Glasgow University Skydive Club, etc etc etc.

Oddly enough, though, I wasn’t that close to the three girls I lived with. In between all the societies and fun, I was quite studious so didn’t invite interaction when I was in the flat because I was mostly in my room, writing essays and what have you. This confession hinges on that fact.

Now I don’t remember exactly how it went but I was cooking something in a saucepan one evening when no-one else was home and didn’t have a lid so I looked into the big drawer where two of the other girls kept their stuff together. Bingo! They had a lid! I whipped it off, put it on my pan and proceeded to make dinner. Afterwards, I washed up the saucepan and lid and must have forgotten it wasn’t mine and put it away in my drawer.

When the two girls who shared the big drawer next went to cook something in a saucepan, they obviously noticed the missing lid. There was a big hunt for the lid and if they ever looked in my cupboard, they will have just seen my saucepan and a lid and not realised it was their lid.

I didn’t realise any of this was going on (because I was busy being antisocial, remember?) and had long forgotten about the lid. About a week later, I heard them talking about it but it had gone too far by that point. It had turned into an apartment-block-wide search for the lid and conspiracy theories abounded. Because of my antisocialness, I also didn’t feel relaxed and friendly enough to go, “O, I’m so sorry. That was me last week. Here you go, have it back. My bad!”

So I listened to them talk about The Missing Lid and went, “Hmm, yeh. That is wierd. Where can it be?” All the while The Missing Lid burned a hole in my cupboard and I dreaded being found out.

All that week, I listened at my door until I finally found a moment when they were all out. I scurried into the kitchen, took the lid from my pan and put it back in it’s rightful place in their drawer.

A few nights later, the next time they were using a saucepan, they discovered the lid and were astounded. How had it found it’s way back in to the drawer? As no-one else apart from us four could get in the flat, and we all appeared to be as confused as anyone by the returned lid, there was only one other person with access to the flats. In each block, there was one student representative, who was there for emergencies, etc, and had keys to all the flats. His name was Anand.

It had to be Anand. It had to be. There was no other explanation. None.

By total coincidence, a few days later, the cleaner must have left the hoover in the end cupboard in our flat then come and got it a few days later. Because the girls had checked the end cupboard when looking for The Missing Lid and seen the hoover, then went to cupboard for something else a few days later and noticed it had gone, they concluded it was the same person who had stolen, then replaced, The Missing Lid.

This coincidence saved me. It looked like the work of Anand yet again – sneaking in without a trace and simply taking or replacing things to confuse us. Or, we concluded, to use for himself. He borrowed the saucepan lid to make his dinner and then hoovered up after making a bit of a mess.

This went on for the whole year. They’d joke about Anand. If someone left a book or their cutlery out in the kitchen, we’d say “Oo, you’d better put that away in case Anand comes round tonight to borrow them!”

And I played along. I laughed and joked and made up a few of my own. In fact, considering I have lots of memories of being alone in my room writing essays or studying, joking about the Anand thing is one of the few memories I have of actually coming out of my room to socialise with the other girls.

But it was all lies, readers! All lies! It was me! I took the lid! Me! It was my fault! I took the lid and put it in my cupboard by accident and then it was too late! It wasn’t Anand. Poor Anand was just a good guy doing his student rep thing.

I’ve carried that secret with me for 9 years and never told a soul.

It was time.

An afternoon of distraction and Pi

Yesterday, whilst heading out of the house, earphones in and audiobook playing, I had plans to go for a long walk as I was at a good bit in Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World. I’d get an hour or two of listening in and it would be great. I also really love walking when it’s cold. I love the crispness of the fresh air and how the river looks in the bright sunshine. I had a fabulous afternoon ahead.

Then Danda called, five minutes into my walk.

“Do you fancy going to see a film?” he asked.

“Alright,” said I, my dedication to my original plan immediately disappeared. “Life of Pi is on and someone told me it’s really good.”

As we approached the cinema and were asked for the small fee of a million pounds (or thereabouts) for the pleasure of seeing the film, Danda said…..

“So the film probably won’t be that interesting. The Life of Pi? It’s simple, isn’t it? You make it, you put it in the oven, you bake it, you take it out, you eat it.”

Ah Danda, ever the witty one.

And actually, the film is really good. I read the book when I was a student at Glasgow University briefly. I then read another book by Yann Martel, called Self, as I was doing a module on my English Literature course called ‘The Self.’ I always remember that module because my friend Jamie and I thought it was hilarious to call it ‘The Shelf.’

Anyway, I’d loved the book of Life of Pi. I even referenced it in essays that were about completely different things, as much as possible. I loved the section about how he trained Richard Parker. I loved the episode with the flying fish. And I loved the funny meerkats on the island.

I was really glad the film was so good because it was just how I would want it to be, had I thought about how to make a film out of such a fabulous book.

If you don’t know the basic premise, it is this – Indian zoo keeper and family decide to move to America, they are taking the animals with them on a boat, the boat sinks, one boy and a handful of the animals survive on a lifeboat. What’s not to love?! Go and see it if you get a chance.

And now I am off for a walk and to listen to Brave New World. I wonder what will distract me today?