Friday, September 28, 2012


I've been AWOL for two weeks now, and I left no word. I apologize.

So what's going on? Last week I moved from Lagos to Manchester, to start an MA in creative writing. So I've been here, adjusting, battling cold, finding my feet and being inundated with school work already, and my blog has suffered. Sadly.

But by next week I should be able to start posting regularly again. For now, abeg, manage this my paltry, spur-of-the-moment, unedited offering. And thanks to everyone who keeps coming back here to read, including those who read without commenting. Thank you.

I am happy. Happy I chose Manchester over East Anglia. Happy I chose this hall, got this nice flat in this quiet part of Victoria Park. I like the view from the window of my small study bedroom. I like that I don't have to share a bathroom. I still like my flatmates: three girls from Kenya, Indonesia and the UK. The first few days - registering, introductory meetings, almost getting lost - are made of pure adrenalin. I'm grateful that I can be here. Grateful for the tuition fees bursary I never applied for but got. I am happy.

View from bedroom window

It's starting to wear off now, the excitement, the newness of this place. I know a few bus routes and how to get to the city centre. Now, I don't always have to carry a map, peering into it and bumping into people in the cold. I know to carry an umbrella everywhere. I'm learning to dress for the cold. I'm making decisions, like never to buy chicken from Tesco again.

I am lonely. Sometimes. I don't make friends easily. I have my flatmates, but there's an almost obligatory feel to it. Are we friends? I cannot say just yet. There are my course mates, but we are not friends. Not yet, at least.

A few days after I arrived here, I met a friend I'd known from University of Port Harcout. He'd come in only a day after me. He's doing a masters too. We stood there outside his hall where I'd spotted him, two newbies, hugging and laughing, rubbing our palms together for warmth, glad to not have to check our Nigerian English. 

So there is one friend. 

But I get lonely still. Sometimes. And it is cold. And I feel slightly removed from... from before. Slightly unsure. I'm finding it hard to write...

I will try some new things while I'm here; things I couldn't or wouldn't try at home. I'll take trips, learn to swim, maybe learn to ride a bike. I didn't come here for just a degree.

There are some things I don't want to try. But I get lonely. Sometimes. And it is cold. It will get colder. 


  1. I am happy you are happy and i am sure a new chapter of your life has begun. A chapter which begins with international exposure.

  2. *sigh* I'm just glad you're going to have a lot of new experiences.

    1. Yep, there will be plenty of those.

      Hope you're not alarmed, though. I am fine. See :-D

  3. Happy for you. Very much so. Godspeed, divine favour and direction, I pray for you.

    All the best.

    1. Thank you for dropping by, and amen.

      (It's been a long time.)

  4. Congrats Uche... got to read your blog from Honeydame's blog! A couple of suggestions to help alleviate the loneliness: Joining a church may help alleviate your loneliness oh, the church I attended in Manchester- King's church had a vibrant student community and we hung out a lot outside of church.. And a bunch of Nigerians also formed a social group and used to meet at the Nigerian house in fallowfield. Attending the events holding at the fresher's week may also help as well. Apologies for the long winded comment oh but I know how it feels to be in a new tow, away from family and friends- I had to start my course in Manchester early when I came so I was on my own for a week before my flatmates arrived...

    1. Thanks, Gee. And first time commenter, yay! (Thanks, Honeydame.)

      Your suggestions are indeed helpful. Funny enough, I was at King's Church yesterday for the first time and I quite enjoyed it. I haven't decided yet if I'll settle down there, but it looks promising. My classmates are starting to meet more outside of class, so that's something.

      Thanks again, Gee. Your comment makes me feel loved :-)

  5. Hmm..getting an MA in Creative Writing..nice. I want to be like you when I grow!.. I pray your loneliness wears off soon.
    Just curious, why did you choose Manchester over East Anglia? Does it have anything to do with University ratings?.. Just wondering.

    Stumbled on your blog somehow and I'm following.. All the best.

    1. Hi Ay. Thanks for visiting and following. *rings first timers' bell* I'm reading your blog now as well.

      Well, I know East Anglia has the best creative writing program in the UK. But I chose Manchester cos I think it's a better school overall, and their creative writing program is considered second best so that's not bad. Also, Manchester is a city and East Anglia a small town; I preferred a city. And also, my admission offer for East Anglia was conditional, and so when I did the phone interview for Manchester (which made me feel good and at ease, like I was talking to a friend even) I just decided I'd go there. And I haven't had any cause to regret it so far.

    2. I understand. I‘m sure you made a great choice.
      Thanks for stopping by my blog and following..:)

  6. Congratulations! I'm in Manchester from time to time - my sister lives there. Maybe we'll meet if you want. Take care and don't try to push yourself to 'feel' things just yet. Don't analyse. Just soak it all in. That way you don't get that whole 'standing-outside-yourself-looking-in' feeling. OK?

    And dude, it WILL get colder. But an extra duvet. Primark: The student's friend! A hot water bottle is also a good idea. Wear tights under trousers. DO NOT skimp of boots. A good pair can last a good few winters, plus make sure the tread is thick and has teeth for snow.

  7. Ignore all the typos in my previous comment. Be assured, I am flagellating myself right now.

    1. Lol. Typos ignored *seizes flagellating weapon*.

      Yeah, we should meet if you come to Manchester; that would be really nice.

      Oh, the duvet! You should see mine. I went to Primark (student's friend indeed) and got the biggest one I could find. It's two times the size of my bed so it's a bit awkward to make the bed and all. But when I go under... bliss! Our rooms come with these silly heaters that go off every two hours and the occupant has to then put it back on. Before I got said duvet I could not sleep through a night cos the heater would go off and the cold would wake me. But now, I can sleep all night. Sigh.

      I hear you on the boots. I do think I need another strong pair.

      Thanks :-)

  8. hey Uche, that's cool, i hope you settle in well dear and achieve your goal..:)

  9. congratulations Uche. hope you enjoy your time here. the time does fly so if you can, don't procastinate.
    if you can make friends outside of Nigerian folks and learn. that's the diversity of experience isn't it?
    have fun!

    1. I agree, the time does fly; October is ending already.
      Making an effort to go out more, and starting to try some things I've always wanted to. But the course workload is plenty sha... Hopefully I can balance things well and get the best of the academic and non-academic. That's the idea.
      Thanks for stopping by, Ginger.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...