My mother visited London in her work capacity, and that meant that she took a day out to see us, and that meant that yesterday we went into London. I always enjoy going in there. It is so massive a place, and the familiar landmarks in the skyline make me feel happy. But my mother likes to tease me, unfortunately.

The funny thing is that since she moved to her house near Coventry, she’s reverted slightly to her native accent. She never had much of an accent when I grew up, and I wondered why sometimes. My grandfather did have an accent, but none of his kids did. Perhaps it’s because they spent their teens and young adulthood here in the south, and maybe they didn’t want to stand out. The only one to speak Yorkshire is my uncle in Scotland. But he never moved south, and headed north instead. But now there’s a definite Yorkshire thing in her accent.

It was an enjoyable day, yesterday, and we were intensely interrogated about university. When Mark and mum gets going with the science things, the jargon can get thick and inscrutable. I think that is why they really like each other. It also means that sometimes I feel a bit excluded, like they have some area where I’m not welcomed. Like they have a relationship quite apart from me.

Mark once asked why I wasn’t keen on science stuff when my mother was, and I didn’t have a good answer. Why did I pursue arts and language instead of maths and that? I’m not sure. I’m not bad at maths, at least at what level I’ve learned. Maybe it’s a teenage rebellion thing that we’re supposed to have? Maybe, deep down, I don’t want to become like either of my parents.

I’m much more moralistic than my mother, because she can say the most awful things for a laugh. Like, once, we were sitting at a café table in France or somewhere, and in a crowded small street she elbows my side and loudly complements the backside of some bloke, and ask if I agree. The cliché that a hole should open in the ground is true, sometimes.

Yesterday when we were studying postcards, which we were going to buy and maybe send to people, we got into a playful war of words. She finished with ‘well you’re the one that likes it up your bum’. There were half a dozen shocked people around us. Hole, me in it, zip the hole closed. Yeah. My mother likes to torment me like that, and what does that say about her?

Mark nearly soiled his shirt because he was drinking a fizzy drink at the time. Unfortunately the love of my life sided with her, and laughed after he had swallowed properly. Bastard. The lesson here is not to get into a discussion with my mother. She will do anything to win.

I like my school. I really do. It is definitely growing on me, but it still leaves me confused at times. Particularly when I get lost in strange hallways, which still happen sometimes. I suppose that in years time I will know the place like the back of my hand, but I’m not there yet.

I thought that my teachers back in college were demanding, but it was nothing compared to what they want of us here. I’m composing my first paper, which will be handed in two weeks from now. I have a compendium an inch thick about the paper.

I am going to do my damnedest not to get a paper covered in red this time. But I can’t decide if that is because I want to impress these people with “my brilliance” or because I want to do well academically. Aye, there’s the rub. How much of Colin is really a chameleon with social ambitions, rather than academic ambition?

Maybe I’m actually Shakespeare’s Polonius, who keeps telling Laertes to be true to himself, but never act on his own advice. This inconsistency is what eventually leads to his death, rather than the misfortune of hiding behind Queen Gertrude’s curtain. I do not know myself, I think.