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2004-04-06 - 8:07 p.m.

Today was one of those days when I couldn't concentrate on ANYTHING. It was mainly travel panic because I'm leaving so early tomorrow. I had meant to get a morning's work done and then see to coach tickets, packing and tidying, but when I settled down at an early hour with my book I found I couldn't get to the end of a page without remembering something else I would need to do, or asking myself questions like "where's my passport?" and "will I need the suitcase or shall I just pack a bag?" Eventually I gave up on the book and began some serious tidying to leave my room in a hooverable state for the cleaners; and I'm glad I did, because it's now much more comfortable and organised to come back to, and it's taken me all day! I also managed to get Easter cards written, a birthday present for my little sister bought, and a good deal of washing done.

Sophie came round, as she always does, just as I stopped being busy and settled down for an internet break and an apple. She was off to the library. Nothing like being caught in the act of not working to make me feel guilty!

Sam's visit a little later made me feel a bit better. We compared our dissertation diversion techniques: he reckons he's watched sixteen hours' worth of Friends episodes in the last week. I don't think I want to know how many hours I've spent on the internet, though.

Anyway, with Sophie gone home, and Sam and Xanthe out to eat, and most of my corridor home for Easter, College was deserted this evening, so I decided to indulge in one of my most secret pleasures, the one that I can only indulge in when I'm sure there won't be any visitors to my room. I made myself sardines on toast.

See, sardines are delicious when you're eating them, but not so good when it's someone else eating them and all you have is the smell. The fish odour really is pretty overpowering. So when you're living in student halls, you have to treat sardine-eating as a secret sin. The little blue tin has been tucked away in my cupboard all term, waiting for an opportunity like this. I opened it in the kitchen with many furtive glances over my shoulder, and liberally covered my plate with salad before going back to my room, hiding the culprits underneath. I carefully hid the tin inside the empty salad packet before throwing it away. I shut my door and sat by the window. Secret alimentary pleasures are best with secret aural pleasures: the sexy voice of Dinah Washington oozing innuendo from my stereo accompanied my illicit meal. Bliss.

I then washed up everything I own, gave the kitchen the once-over for lingering clues, put the tea-towel I'd used straight into the wash, chewed gum...and my room still smells! Scented candles would be the answer...

Off to France tomorrow, so alas, the next week of this diary will have to be written offline and added in summary on my return. Still, a week without the internet, under the eagle eyes of my parents, ought to put my dissertation back where it belongs. And I'll be with Tiff for a week, starting early tomorrow morning! Yippee!!


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