Monday, 26 August 2013

Is it a sign?...

... if so of what??

I took the bus to the university today. I would blame the weather (it did look rather bleak) but then again I live in Scotland.. If I was really bothered about an unexpected shower I would NEVER cycle. The truth is that I was simply too lazy.
But sometimes a bus journey can be really rewarding. I normally make myself a flask of coffee and bring along a nice book or a new podcast. I also play my favourite game of 'guess-my-life' - where I make up a life story of interesting people that get on or off the bus.
Anyway, So I was on this bus, when I saw it: The Sign.

It was not a sign that advertised anything in particular. The particularness (a word needed in the english language I feel) of this sign was the fact that I had NEVER seen it before. Now, this specific bus route is one that I have been on at least 5 times a week, for at least 30 weeks of the year, for at least 7 years.
1050 times. At. Least.
And never before had I seen it.

It was standing halfway out into a field, attempting to advertise the advantages of parking your car at the park-and-ride and take the bus into the city centre instead of driving. It was old, partially obscured by some bushes and falling apart. All I could think when I saw it was:
How sad.
This poor sign is old, fragile and threatened to be completely obscured by a patch of unruly spruce. Yet it is still here. Still on this earth, in Scotland, halfway out in a field just outside of Edinburgh.

It made me think.
I thought of how many of these signs there must be all over the world. All representing failed businesses, old streets, empty restaurants and forgotten dreams. Still here when their message is long gone and hopelessly outdated.
I thought of the people in the world with a similar fate. Perhaps all our lives are destined to end like this. Forgotten, unnoticeable and with a peeling facade. Screaming out a hopelessly outdated message and advertising old unnecessary ideas.
I thought of how, in a society where new innovations are being stacked upon each other at an alarming rate, this will happen for my generation faster than any other.

I will soon be outdated. Soon forgotten. Soon almost covered by dense undergrowth...

Then I reached my stop. And thank fuck for that. Was nearly getting a bit depressed there. Not good.
But it DID remind me to get a new razor.

//  Tee  --  Loves the feeling of the wind in her leg hairs on the bicycle. But sometimes treats her man to a shaved leg. or two.

Friday, 2 August 2013

Getting Physical

Professor Stevenson walked up through the corridor towards his office. He was in a foul mood after a long and restless night. The physics department was still deserted. As this was the first day back for the undergraduate students after the summer break, he was sure the department would be very busy very soon. The sun was just creeping over the horizon, throwing long shadows over the worn floors. He crossed over to his office door, wondering if he would be lucky today. He tried to open it. No. He tried again, concentrating hard. Nothing happened. He sighed. He walked back along the corridor towards the library, with the aim to pass some time before the rest of the staff would arrive and perhapsgive him a hand.

He didn't like the new person he had been forced to share an office with. In fact, he couldn't remember ever having voted through the absurd suggestion of sharing offices with each other in the first place. Ridiculous. What was happening to the physics department?! Professor Stevenson was going to give the University Committee hell at the next meeting. But until then he was confined to one half of his own office, with the new faculty member taking up more space than was needed. A Dr O'Donnell. He had no idea what she could possibly know about ultrafast lasers, being so incredibly young, but apparently this one was one of the latest stars. He wished she would at least look at him. But instead she was obviously mocking him by carelessly resting her feet on her desk and reviewing a research paper whilst picking her nose, as if he wasn't even there! Outrageous. He made a symbolically loud sigh. She looked up at him. He smiled, but she just shrugged her shoulders and looked away.

He was on his way to the library. The morning had been unproductive, mainly disturbed by the arrogance of his new colleague. He loved the library. It made him feel at piece. He could collect his thoughts, and also secretly look up all his old research publications, dreaming his way back to more productive times. He could stay in the library for days at the time.

He had to rush to make it back to the lecture theatre on time. He loved the first lecture for the new batch of physics students. Their innocent faces, still eager to learn and willing to study - not yet seduced by the cheap beer in the student union bar and the freedom of living away from your parents. The students were already on their way in through the door when he arrived. He had to squeeze past a young boy to get in. The boy suddenly shrieked for no reason and Professor Stevenson had to give him an angry look. What nonsense. He walked up towards the podium. But Dr O'Donnell was already standing there. He was confused. Did she want to speak to him perhaps? Maybe apologise for her strange behaviour towards him?

'Welcome to your very first lecture as physics students. My name is Dr O'Donnell, and as many of you might have heard I will be teaching your Mechanics Course this term, as I am taking over after the untimely death of Professor Stevenson earlier in the spring…'

He tried to understand. But he couldn't. He walked back out of the lecture theatre, along the corridor, slowly walking towards to the library. He needed to think. The University committee was going to get hell for this.