How many times a day do you say sorry? Once? Five times? More?
Perhaps ‘sorry’ is verbal padding, part of the way you string sentences together. It can, as writer Sloane Crosley observes, be ‘an entry point to basic affirmative sentences’. For an excessive apologiser, even simple questions or requests are accompanied by that short yet weighty word.
‘At last we’ve arrived at the season in which we are all given license to be unremarkable.’
This piece on why autumn is boring and great resonated with me.
November has been pleasantly familiar. Bright, crisp and suddenly dark.
In this age of email overload, it may seem odd – even ridiculous – to invite more updates to your inbox.
But carefully picked newsletters deliver convenient and curated writing, podcasts and articles that you might not otherwise find. I’ve discovered that I prefer subscribing to scrolling through Twitter.
October brought grey skies that turned pink at dinner time. Crunching leaves. Meals shared with family.
It meant catching up with friends over mugs of tea after too many months, and smiling at thoughtful cards. Enjoying the scent of candles and the sweetness of the last bite of birthday cake. Anticipating what’s next.
I’ve shared five benefits of being a part-time postgraduate student with Times Higher Education. You can take a look at the article here.
Thanks for reading!
Last September I shared 23 Things I’ve Learned by 23. Now approaching my 24th birthday, I’ve put together another list. I’m all for lifelong learning.
Here we go:
1. You can’t and don’t need to do everything. Prioritise your commitments.
2. Qualities can be more important than qualifications.
3. Social contact can help you live longer. Make sure to ‘build your village’.
4. What a stranger at a train station thinks of you really doesn’t matter.
If Richard Curtis adapted my experience of this month into a romantic comedy, it could be called One Wedding and a Funeral. It would feature plenty of love, laughter and tears, without puffy dresses or patterned waistcoats.
September has brought another milestone – going back to school. I recently started the second year of my MA. This looks set to be the last autumn I spend balancing professional work and academic work (and blogging and…). I’m keen to get stuck in and appreciate the experience. Please remind me of that when I’m in the library two hours from home and it’s dark outside.
“Things are both fine and not. Beginnings and endings are happening side by side. Life is messy and important and joyous and heartbreaking.”
These words from Meg Fee sum up August for me. This month, grey days stretched into sunny evenings with people I love. I worked, rested, then became ill and played less than I would have liked to. I visited the Peak District with work friends, appreciating slow, shared meals and a break from screens.
Earlier this week I travelled home from London after a good working day. My train wasn’t at its usual platform, so I walked to the other side of the station. After queueing for a while, the person in front of me couldn’t get their ticket to go through the barrier. I smiled, let them pass and tried my ticket. It wouldn’t work either. Attempting to walk to the open barrier and ticket attendant, I turned to the woman behind me, gave an (admittedly quiet) apology and moved across.
As I passed, she said loudly, “Some people have no class. Oh look, my ticket is working fine”.
I don’t retaliate in such circumstances. In the moment I thought the best thing to do was keep my head down. The woman continued: “She should have been taught some manners”.