To my North,
gusts of gales rousing my hair to life,
sun setting as I run in a continuous loop,
face striped in purple paint.
To my East,
dim light flickering from the outside,
rows of authors waiting patiently
to be opened, discovered.
To my South,
a place of laughter, animated chatter and
best memories over potatoes in
any imaginable form.
To my West,
the fountain stands proud, the heart of campus,
not to be caught on the wrong side
in the wild wind.
The warm sand tickled in between my toes. I inhaled a long breath of fresh sea air. It felt cleansing to me. Looking around I chose to sit near to the sea edge so my toes would get wet every so often by a fresh wave. Reaching into my bag I pulled out my towel, sunglasses and my book ready to be transformed to another world. The familiar sound of seagulls and the faint smell of salt filled the air. This is where I felt at my calmest. The sea glistened from the glimmer of the sunshine above. It stretched out for miles, as far as the eye could see. It was such a powerful thought to think how vast it was compared to how small each individual human being is. Sometimes I just sat here all day and watched the sea and dozed in between chapters of the latest book I was reading. When I was little my Grandmother used to take me into the sea, and hand in hand we would jump over waves. We used to come to the beach every summer, build sandcastles and put little flags in the tops of them. Some of my best memories are at the seaside. At night we would walk along the edge of the beach, sandals in one hand. My mother would have to hose our feet before we dared step indoors. Smiling to myself I watched a couple with two small children. The mother was trying to teach them how to make sandcastles but they kept emptying the bucket before turning it upside down. The sea was fairly peaceful today, the waves were calming and untroubled. It is such a vast contrast to how to see can be in the winter months when the storms arise. It becomes violent and angry, water gushing in all directions. The waves become rough and uneasy. Each one growing taller then crashing back down into another wave. The rain and wind contributing to this sudden transformation. Then when this is all over it becomes calm again, as if nothing ever happened. For now I thought, I best enjoy the serenity. I wondered what wildlife would be hiding from us right now, jellyfish perhaps, sea lions, various types of fish? There was nothing overly harmful in these waters, no sharks or anything which was why so many people swam here. The lifeguards were on duty every time I came here but they never really had to tend to anybody for anything. I had gotten to know them pretty well. There was Emily who was my age, she had long blonde hair plaited into two neat braids to keep the hair out of her eyes. Her skin was tanned and freckly from being out here most days. She approached me with her usual friendly smile. “Hey Cat”, looking up from my book I offered her a space on my towel. “There’s meant to be a storm brewing for tonight”, she said with her eyes focused on the sea. “Really?” I hadn’t seen that one coming. Usually the clouds are dark and heavy, looming over the whole community. “Yeah, we’re going to start warning people in a few hours or so, so I thought I’d come over to let you know”. And with that she got up ready to tell some children off for throwing pebbles up in the air to catch. I wondered if I should stay and watch the storm from the cliff edge, but decided that would be way too dangerous. Gathering up my things I remembered I had to get back, after all there was a wedding to plan. On second thoughts, maybe I’ll stay here for a little while longer.
His black leather shoes squeaked as he got out of his old car. They were brand new just the week before. Approaching his dreaded place of work, he left out a heart felt sigh. Another day. The dim flicker of lights from outside shone through the many windows on the side of the library. Although it looked prison like, he still wore a bow tie to match his brown suede jacket with beige patches on the elbows. Pushing his tortoise shell glasses further up his nose, the doors opened automatically in front of him. Before him were walls full of the likes of Byron, Shakespeare and Wordsworth. He was surrounded by literary greatness. “Good morning Pat”, he chirped to the sour face receptionist. As always she slowly peered up from her newspaper, ignored him then went back to reading. But this did not affect him because he knew a secret that nobody else did. And the secret was this, in his leather briefcase was a sealed letter. The importance of this letter was indescribable. It would determine his entire existence. Boring library assistant or best selling author. The manuscript of his novel had been sent to many publishers – twenty nine in fact, all of whom bared the burden of rejection. This is it he thought as he unbuckled the latch and retrieved the letter. His hands were shaking, trembling as his wrinkled fingers delicately tore through the crisp white envelope. Dear Mr Mann it read. We are delighted to write to you and ask you if you would like to meet with us in regard to the discussion of the publication of your manuscript titled, ‘Igore’s Journey’. A wide grin spread across his face, tears welled up behind his glasses. His dreams were about to come true. This is the moment he had been waiting thirty long years for. This one letter. The many years of rejection and the several letters of nos all seemed to disappear from his mind instantaneously. He was going to be a writer and nobody could stop him.
Scott Johnson is a second year student, studying International Relations at Loughborough University. He plays Basketball for the 3rds and 4ths (playing BUCS and local league).
1) How long have you been playing basketball for?
I’ve been playing it since i was about five or six so for fifteen years. I first started playing it because I saw Space Jam with Bugs Bunny and Michael Jordan and I thought that it looked fun. So then my dad looked up local junior teams and I went to train at one every Saturday for three hours.
2) What is it like to compete for Loughborough University?
It’s great. The good things for me personally are that it is a higher level than what I have played, so feels like I’m really improving as it’s a challenge.
3) What has your season been like?
It has been personally good. I have had some bad games but feel like I am getting better. As a team we have won six in a row now so I’m pleased.
4) Which position do you play?
I play in a position called centre. I guess it is comparable in Netball to GS or GK.
5) Have you got any big games coming up?
The 3s season in BUCS has finished so I am playing in the 4s now. We are still in the cup and in a few weeks we play the Leicester police team.
6) What is a training week like for you?
We have two slots in SDW per week, one two hour training on Wednesdays then normally a match or two hour training on Fridays. But we can book court time personally as well.
7) What is your favourite thing about playing Basketball?
I feel like it is an incredibly tough sport, as it’s very physical and athletic as well as needing good skills. When I play well I feel like I have acheived something and really pushed myself.
8) Do you have anyone in Basketball who inspires you?
My brother played well here (at Loughborough University) for three years and has gone on to play at a high level in London so he inspires me. It is easy to be inspired by people at Loughborough as well who have really improved.
9) Do you wish to continue to play at a high level after university?
Well I know for sure that I will continue to play, as playing here has only made me love it more. I hope to but it all depends on how much I develop.
Zen Lee is a second year student studying Economics at Loughborough University. He started kickboxing just under three years ago, and is now three times Ecka National Kickboxing Champion, 2013 University National Kickboxing champion, and 2014 British Champion.
1) What motivates you?
Training motivates me, I love training. I love the stretching, the kicking, the combinations you learn, the atmosphere, and the people. That’s what motivates me.
2) How often do you train?
I train three times a week with two hour sessions. Occasionally I do extra training in my room or with my friend.
3) Do you have a particular focus in training?
I mainly focussing on improving my kicking, and my fitness, those two are my main focuses when I train.
4) So you have a special diet you follow?
Not really, because I only thought of kickboxing as a hobby, I didn’t really take it seriously. But now that I’ve got a chance of achieving something big I will start eating healthier.
5) What is it like coaching?
Interesting because I’ve had students walk through the door who have never done anything physical in their life and others who have trained longer than I have, so I’ve had to find that balance that keeps everyone going to that next level without others feeling left behind. It really shows me how much I think I know against how much I actually know.
6) Do you have any advice for people wanting to get into kick boxing?
Just get involved as it’s so rewarding both physical and mentally.
7) What is it like competing for Loughborough University?
It’s exciting, being team captain I’ve always got to lead by example, and I’ve being doing a good job of that so far.
8) What is your favourite thing about the fight nights?
My favourite thing is not knowing the outcome.
9) Have you any competitions coming up?
I’ve got the university championship in three weeks, and a few others but the big one is the Europeans in Spain where I’ll be fighting for GB. Because I won the British championship, I got invited to the GB squad sessions
10) Are you excited?
Yeah I’ve been looking forward to it since I heard about it a few months ago.
11) What is training with GB like?
It starts next week, but I’m sure it’s going to be intense.
Thank you Zen, and best of luck in your competitions!