A spoon, a fiver, and a picture of Bill Nighy

There’s a well loved and much used phrase that goes “you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone” sometimes with the addition of “the truth is you did know - you just never thought you’d lose it”. In a few weeks’ time I’ll be moving to university, and this is a phrase that’s been playing around my head; not in relation to myself, no, I’m well aware I’m leaving my friends, family, mostly reliable WiFi and 11" CRT TV with built in VHS player behind. It’s more about my parents.

The title of this post relates to the “well done on your results/getting into uni” presents they gave me. For some reason my mum was possessed to get a free Kellogg’s spoon engraved with “Mentioned” on it which explains that as best as possible, but the picture of Bill Nighy is a little less obvious. Well, it’s a snap of him, copied and pasted from Google via Paint, in Love Actually as a rockstar. I’m doing a music journalism and broadcasting course, so, so far, so good. However, my rents stuck this on a card they made after they heard my results, ten minutes before leaving to walk the dog so they wouldn’t be home when I got back from college.
This last-minute aspect draws me to the second half of the terrible cliche; did they really think I wasn’t going to uni? Whichever way, they’ve suddenly been hit with me disappearing and have begun acting a little odd. An example - last Saturday I got punched in the jaw and nose in town. The jaw pain didn’t materialise till the next morning, and I figured I’d either be glued to an ice pack or popping paracetamol all day so the rents would eventually ask. A buoyantly delivered, “hey so I got punched in the jaw last night”, that would’ve once been greeted with, “you shall never see the light of Derby nightlife again”, was instead welcomed by laughter. I feel like a very small child, every strange whim cherished, like my first steps or first bottle of wine to myself.
However you look at it, after a stressful, panicked, and hectic run up to leaving college, an exhilarating few months of holidays, odd experiences, little sleep, strange drinks, new cities, exciting prospects, making friends and connections, and generally having a haywire blast, the time for organisation, structured plans, job hunting, and deadlines is back. It’s another transitionary period of firsts and lasts, and maybe I won’t appreciate what I have till it’s gone, but I can't help thinking this is possibly the best summer I've had. And to think I was terrified of turning 18.


  1. "odd experiences, little sleep, strange drinks," if this doesn't continue for the next 3 years, you're doing Uni wrong


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