Them little blue lights on the ceiling are the first thing I see as I open my eyes to the dreary articulations of the driver saying “St Clement’s”. There is always a tonne of people on the Oxford Tube on a Sunday night. I hate every single one of those people.
I schlep my stuff off the bus and wonder back to the Temple, a house of wonder and mystery where I live with the gang. Its about 11:59pm so I’ve missed the tri-wizard tournament – a weekly FIFA battle between Hector, Callum and myself. I shed a tear – I lament the hat-trick Wilfred Bony might have scored for the Ivory Coast.
Mondays, like most days, is a work day. Unsurprisingly then, I go to work. I’ll get to the office about 9ish and check through the important emails from the weekend. I can’t operate before I’ve had my first avocado. I have this one with balsamic vinegar. I spill vinegar on my trackies. I’ll get a suit on and go to meetings. Sometimes they are interesting, often they aren’t. Today I am representing students on a committee about alumni relations. In short, they want us to get rich and give them money. If, as part of an attempt to get rich, we die trying, they hope we will put something in our will. This is understandable because the University genuinely believes it is strapped for cash. It kind of is, but also just announced it raised £2 billion. I play hard to get and say I’ll mentor people and stay in touch.
I have an iPad. At intervals of between 30 and 105 seconds, it pings with an email. 9 times out of 10, it’s an email with no relevance to anybody. No I don’t want translation services, debt collection services or to help you pick up your euro millions jackpot. Sometimes it’s an alert to tell me OUSU is in the news. It’s a nervous wait for the ever-reliably unreliable eduroam to load the email. It’s normally fine – just the Daily Mail saying how bad it is we invited a certain speaker.
I’ll head back to the office and get some work done – writing papers for university committees, speaking to students who want help with stuff, arranging more meetings, another avocado. I’ll listen to some Biggie, Fleetwood Mac, or JME to get me through. Sometimes I’ll be running or attending Uni or OUSU events, other times, I won’t.
My evenings vary greatly. Sometimes, I’ll be meeting common room presidents or going to OUSU council, or seeing some actually normal students who may or may not be my friends. Sometimes I’ll go on an inevitably ill-fated date. (If you can help me find love, please email email@example.com).
However tonight, as happens a few times each week, I am DJing at one of Oxford’s fine night time establishments.
I’m at Cellar painfully early, so much so that everywhere, there are still half-full tinnies of Red Stripe that were being nursed for about two hours before their nurses decided to go home in order to save themselves for the next Cellar night. In the light, it’s not that cool a place. I’ll find the person organising and they’ll be running around worried that their zine is going to crumble if tonight isn’t equalling Bully-level waveyness. They tell me I’m on at some god-forsaken time. I ask what I should play for this impressively edgy night? They say nineties. I wonder if Oxford will ever get over the decade that was the least notable for music except for the wonderful Garage and Acid House stuff that defines modern electronic music. But whenever I drop some Sweet Female Attitude, there is still only about four people who get as excited as they should. Three of those four work behind the bar at Cellar. The requests for Steps, S Club and Five are like daggers through my soul. It’s late and I’ve been worn down over my now 18 hour day. I dance along to ‘Reach’ reluctantly, and the zine makes enough money to get published.
Another early morning and more of the same. When there is an issue that is likely to hit the headlines about Oxford, I meet with a lovely man named Jeremy. He is in charge of the University’s Public Affairs Directorate and his team read the student newspapers religiously. Hello. We normally meet in the mornings.
On weekends, I’ll often go back to Watford to watch the mighty (and now Premier League) Hornets. I’ll have to be reading emails and work things at half time, but it’s ok because I love my job. But I love Watford FC more.
I get the Oxford Tube back to Oxford.