I am leaving Oxford on Tuesday.
I am sure I will be back to the city in years to come, not least because some of my friends will still be living here. But I won’t be.
My time at Oxford has been full of ups and downs, some of which I discussed in detail previously.
Nevertheless, there is something distinctly bittersweet about packing up and leaving. It all came to an end academically with my graduation on Friday, which consisted of a rather impersonal two hour ceremony in Latin. I did get to wear the fancy hood with a white ermine lining, somehow symbolizing that I had, after all this time, progressed from the uncertain undergraduate status to that of a graduate. I have my 2.i. I can finally leave.
Right now I am in the throes of intensively cleaning my flat, something which is made rather more difficult by the fact my flatmates have both gone home. But I agreed to do it and it will be manageable. The worst jobs (cleaning the cooker hood and unblocking the sink) are already done, so there are some small mercies. But I will nevertheless have to be up early.
I have also got rid of most of my belongings. The entire contents of my kitchen will go in the bin tomorrow, which is a slightly depressing thought. It would be nice to able to take things to foodbanks and charity shops, but without a car that is necessarily a struggle. It is strange to see that everything I now own can be fitted into two rucksacks and two shopping bags. It is a mildly depressing thought, but also a necessity.
I will go Cheltenham to stay with a friend for about a week, who very kindly has offered to let me stay until I fly to Belfast next Monday. We are hoping to get to the Brecon Beacons at the weekend, but that will depend on a number of factors. Tomorrow will be taken up by cleaning, saying goodbye to a friend, and probably a final smoke on my balcony, just for old time’s sake.