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by SS at 7:57 pm on Tuesday 27th July

Familiarity, they say, breeds boredom. One of the previous TDA riders who I spoke to mentioned that it was a good idea to take some time off after the Tour in order to reflect over the fact that you've just traversed an entire continent. My plans worked out so that I had one final summer, a final period of 'nothingness', reminescent of the summers of my teens years (from the age of 16 I've been working every summer). I wondered how this would go down, whether it would be the productive playground I've always dreamt about, while studying or interning - experimenting with my computer or riding my bike lots. However, after the initial momentum of returning home had subsided, nothing really happened. Home is familiar and hence boring.

Somehow the days seemed to be filled with apparently meaningless tasks and my attempts to kill the lazy man within (sometimes it's hard to get motivated just to leave the house) are failing. My 'ToDo' list hasn't shrunk much and I'm rapidly running out of time. Life at home is lonely - many of my friends are either now wrapped up with work or are travelling, others are just impossible to get hold of. Our attempts at finding a flat in Central London is frustrating - both budget constraints and indecisiveness regarding location make it impossible to settle. In addition, being unable to coordinate with all members makes it tougher still, especially when you run the risk of making an unpopular decision.

I suppose my idea of utopia would involve some kind of shared consciousness where communication with other entities (or people) would be instantaneous and irrevocable. Knowledge would be uniformly shared or available when needed. One of my role models at school, a fellow (but far cleverer) Computer Scientist, always used to say something like 'you'll never get anything done depending on other people'. A true enough statement but with the contraints of finite time and resources, a team is a worthy asset if you aspire to anything great.

I despair too for the beginning of my 'career' in just a few weeks time. Does this seem like the beginning of the end? Oh yes. Meeting with my friends who've already started work is always fun (of course) but sometimes you can see through all the superficial conversation. I've met just one former classmate who seemed truly excited by the work he does. These are not your average graduates working 9 to 5 either, they have prestigious positions at well paying institutions. That leads to me to wonder where I'll end up next - I've always been aware that this was probably only a temporary position. I enjoyed the work and the people are great but there's just a handful of possible teams where I'd like to be placed. Regardless, it's the next step and I will try hard to keep the exciteable inner geek alive.

The summer is looking up now, so it's not all bad. The BBC Proms are on my calendar and my first mountain bike race for over a year (which could be disastrous). More of my flatmates will reachable to help the search for accommodation. Previously uncontactable friends have suddenly reappeared on the North London social radar. Some of the TDAers will be in London this weekend too. Until the singularity arrives and we become one superior consciousness, Facebook, email, text messages and the occasional terribly-awkward phone call with have to suffice.

(Written on my way back home from Kenya. My fifth and penultimate visit to the motherland this year.)

1 comment posted so far
Jonathan Lin wrote at 7:46 pm on Mon 18th Oct -
I'm contemplating attempting the full tour for 2012.

I hope you find that what you were looking for - and hope to join you as a TDA rider.

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"Our thoughts define our reality." - Anon.