Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Where worlds meet

Today, I took a neighbour to hospital, where she will be for a few days. Another neighbour later took some old wood to the local tip for me. I wonder how it would be if there were more of us? In fact, there are just three houses on my street which are occupied all year round. Students live in the other nineteen. This is not a complaint. I like the quiet summer interlude and the extended seasonal break at the end of the year. At Easter, more students tend to stay in Lenton, but there is still a noticable change.

These rambling thoughts have, as you may have guessed, been prompted by the fact that last weekend saw the return of thousands of students and the beginning of a new academic year on Monday just gone. For some, this will be a calamity, a time when worlds collide. For me, it is a time when worlds can meet or, at least, come close enough to exchange a nod or even an 'excuse me'.

The buses are full again and the roads are much busier. Life has gone up a notch and there are queues in the supermarket. On a couple of occasions, I have been roused, albeit momentarily, from my sleep in the early hours by boisterous voices along the Promenade. This is an observation of fact and not a complaint. In truth I like the change, perhaps a feeling fueled by the knowledge that in twelve weeks time it will all become quiet again. One of the students I spoke to is American and speaks with the same accent as a Black American friend of mine. I was even able to name the town both came from. I hope to write more about this after I have introduced them to one another.

Of course some students can be a pain in the arse, but can't we all? Overall though, it's welcome back time and a change of world for us permanent Lenton folk as well as those who come among us for thirty weeks of the year.

St Monica's Roman Catholic high school in Prestwich, Greater Manchester, has banned its girls from being given the cervical cancer vaccination on its premises, health chiefs confirmed this afternoon.

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