I nipped out of the office at lunch time to head over to the shop. The twittersphere detailed a certain Mr Cumberbatch being on the front page of the Telegraph magazine so I picked up a copy (and a half-priced chocolate bar). It was only when I sat down at my desk to peruse the paper while eating my sandwiches that I realised the tweets I read were a few days old and the magazine only comes out on Saturdays. Blonde moment. I read the paper anyway and was suddenly taken back to my A Level Politics days of devouring world news and living off current affairs. Although I never harboured any political ambitions I took two optional courses in Politics in my first year as an undergrad and again became an avid news-watcher.
Once I didn’t have to know exactly what was going on in politics, I fell out of the habit. I am just not a person who can do something half-heartedly. My mum describes me as very ‘black and white’ and I guess I am in some ways. If I like something, I like it a lot. Once I spent some time away from politics I couldn’t get back into it. It took so much time and energy and I have other passions which I feel more strongly about. I’ll still raise my head and sniff curiously when there’s a general election or a public enquiry but I’m definitely not the newshound I once was.
Embarrassingly, I’m now more of a magazine kind of girl. Not celeb mags though *shakes head despairingly* I like fashion, shoes and shameless stories about getting in touch with the ‘inner you’ or how to talk your way out of a bad second date. As such, I am an avid reader of Glamour and Cosmo. I enjoy just kicking back (usually in the bath), turning my brain off for a while and letting the bright colours and energetic journalism wash over me.
The title for this random musing comes from a song of a local band I used to like. I only really went to their gigs because I was dating the bass player but some of their songs were annoyingly catchy and even now, after three years, I find little refrains going round in my head. This song was about an intellectual guy frustrated by his attraction to a seemingly dim-witted girl and his attempts to successfully woo her even though they had nothing in common. My favourite lines were ‘I’m talking Tolstoy while she reads magazines’ and ‘I buy her sweeties, but she’s got diabetes’. And I’m sorry but if you rhyme ‘sweeties’ with ‘diabetes’ you already get a big thumbs up from me. This song seemed to represent how Bass Player viewed our relationship. He took the silly random things I do as symbolic of me not being overly intellectual. We met at uni and he therefore knew how smart I am and the grades I get but somehow kept trying to introduce me to more cultural pursuits, buying me weird Japanese novels, making me watch arty subtitled movies and generally trying to improve me.
The thing is, I know I am intelligent. I’m not trying to blow my own trumpet but I’m comfortable in my cleverness. However, I also know that I’ve only achieved the academic success I’ve had because I work damn hard at it. I worked hard to get into a good grammar school where I worked hard for my GCSEs and A Levels to get into a great university. I got a first class degree with honours, picked up awards, secured funding for my Masters and now stand on the precipice of a fully-funded PhD; all because of the hard work and determination I’ve put into my studies.
The Academic Me is only part of my personality. I can’t be that smart all the time, it would be exhausting. I enjoy my downtime. I love watching murder-based tv shows. I have a pretty unhealthy obsession with Benedict Cumberbatch. I like looking at shoes, buying shoes and judging the shoes of others. It makes me happy when I have brightly coloured nails and matching jewellery. I have a fondness for the guy humour of Seth Rogen and Will Ferrell. And I like to read magazines in the bath.