A Quartet of Complaint.

The current state of my desk.

Good evening folks. My my, it has been a while hasn’t it?

For once I intend not to bore you with politics or perplex you with the wonders of my theological musings but instead, just want to have a little bit of a chat to you, let you know what’s going on and all; don’t you miss those days when I’d write random garbage on my blog? I know I do. So whilst I’m sat here with my eyes streaming, sinuses pounding and nose red from the constant skin-to-tissue contact it’s had today, let me fill you in.

First and foremost let me talk about the most pressing matter on my mind at the moment: I’m ill. Last week it was conjunctivitis kindly provided by my 8-week old kitten (more on that later) and this week, it’s either a constant allergic reaction to said feline, or an horrendous bout of man flu; knowing me it’s probably neither and I’m merely exaggerating a little sniffle and a light cough, but you all know how I like to dabble with hyperbole, so indulge me please?

Secondly I must stress to you that it is only four weeks until I finish my degree…four weeks! Where has the time gone? I can remember clearly, being dropped off at 2 Lang House, The Grange in September 2010 busting with excitement at the prospect of the unknown thrills and adventures that awaited me in the then coming three years. Now I’m sat, surrounded by theology and philosophy text books listening to Prince and checking the time, wondering why on Earth I ever decided to embark on this degree. No, perhaps that’s unfair. Everyone knows I love my course, just the stress of having 11,000 words left to write before I can embark on life’s next big trip can be slightly overwhelming at times. Never mind eh? The bottle of Australian Shiraz in the kitchen will keep me sane.


Section three – a discussion of why I never want children. Unfortunately that isn’t the title of one of the sections from my dissertation; I’m sure if it was it’d be a lot more entertaining for you to read than the current topic (an analysis of John Hick’s Christology for those of you who were curious). Having said that I could probably write a dissertation on why I never want children, but for now I could easily sum that statement up with one word: Finley. Oh, sorry. I haven’t introduced you to Finley have I? Finley is my new feline companion and in the last two weeks that I’ve had the pleasure of having him, has cost me more in vets bills than I spend on champagne in Vudu for someone’s leaving do/birthday/general desire to see Clarke waste his money. Firstly it was conjunctivitis which as mentioned earlier, was kindly passed on to yours truly, then it was what the vet decided to call ‘cat flu’, which I think is professional jargon for ‘let’s try and fleece this student out of some more money by making up an illness that doesn’t really exist’ disease. Along with both of those ailments, my poor kitty has been inflicted with the poops. Oh trust me, it gets worse. Walking into your flat and being met with a) the smell of poo b) the sight of poo in your cat’s litter tray and c) the sight of your cat dragging its arse along your laminate floor in an attempt to wipe it, is not exactly the best way to round off a lecture on atonement theory and salvation. But he’s on the mend (I hope, with every digit crossed) so hopefully I won’t have to keep living like I have newborn in the house: spending ridiculous amounts of money and clearing up shit, only to be met, not with ‘thank you’s or offers of a meal out to demonstrate appreciation, but constant cries for attention and/or food.

Last on the list of my rants should be a little more exciting, however the stress it’s providing me with is no fun at all. So unfortunately I was told a few months ago that there was no funding available for my Masters or PhD study, and that if I wanted to study further after this year, I’d more than likely have to fund myself. Not a problem for the children of Bruce Wayne, but for someone as modest in wealth as me the issue is slightly more pressing. So I’ve been forced into a gap year. Oooh, a gap year I hear you say? That’s right. And I intend to move to the glorious city of Edinburgh, a city that, for those of you who have known me long enough will know, has always held a special wee place in my heart. So I’ve applied for numerous teaching assistant jobs within the Scottish capital, but so far not so good. I’m trying to stay optimistic but with my current mindset it’s a little tricky. In addition to trying to find a job I also have the wonders of attempting to find a lovely little place for me and kitty to live; in two months I’ll be asked kindly to vacate my current abode so that the next batch of lucky students can take residence, and as of yet (short of moving back to Scarborough or Harrogate or Leeds or wherever else I claim I’m from in Yorkshire), I have nowhere to live. How sad.

So what’s amazing is that I’ve just typed near enough 1,000 words on nothing of value, significance or use. Although I hope you’ve enjoyed some of what I’ve written this evening. It’s been nice to write again but about stuff that isn’t as heavy as attempting to justify the invasion of Iraq, or trying to justify the existence of God in light of evil and suffering in the world. Next time I write will probably be after the 24th May when I can finally say that I’ve finished university and I’m sailing my way to becoming Mr Clarke Roberts BA (Hons).

Until then, stay safe and keep yourselves busy. I know I most probably won’t.


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