“Part of the Architecture”

The sound of an organ woken from slumber
trickles out into the cold October night.
“Come on in, hear my tales,” it whispers,
as the streetlights catch on the Poor men’s Bible,
and the pitter patter of impatient feet echoes through the empty aisle.

The tales are of sneakers that blink with every step
and dress shoes that carry the weight of embraces that will never be.
Candle wax and sacred dust,
the footsteps of the faithful,
bake sale pies and sleepovers in the altar ring.

As life moves in circles,
as the village lives and dies;
as teeth fall out and love notes are hidden under the pews
we all come to learn that
God may not be resting in these walls,
but all of our stories are.

-Andrea

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Here’s to the future, to all we are and to all we’ll come to be – UoW Graduation 2018

Goals are a funny thing. Sometimes you set goals because you know you should, sometimes you set goals because it would be fun to try, and sometimes you set goals you’re not all that sure about.

Graduating didn’t really feel like a goal as I went into my first year of a BA in creative writing at the University of Winchester. It was too far away, not really relevant yet, the focus was on getting through day to day. When first-year came around, there were too many forms to fill out, too many notebooks to organise, too many hot chocolates to drink and assignments to write, to even think about the finish line; the handshake at the end of three years. September 12th 2015 saw too many nooks and crannies in the library, too many secret passageways in the main building, too many streets I had yet to wander down, to even have space for the hats and the gowns we would all don to celebrate these achievements of ours.
Then days became weeks, and semesters came and went.
I started to know Winchester as my city. Walking around its streets felt right, and just like that, with the challenges and the experiences uni life brought with it, graduating started to feel like a goal; one I knew I’d work hard to reach.

On Friday the 19th of October 2018, Winchester Cathedral was filled with the sound of high heels clacking against old stone floors, suit sleeves crinkled by nervous palms and grad gowns that kept falling down jittery shoulders. On Friday 19th of October, I graduated. The cathedral was bursting with excited graduands and uni staff in fancy clothing, with music, speeches and flowers, everything to celebrate three years of hard work. It was wonderful. I reached my goal, I finished my BA.

I have been trying to sit down and properly put into words what I’ve been feeling since then, but I’m struggling with finding the right ones (hence, one of the reasons why this blog has been very quiet for a while).
So for now, I figured I’d show you some pictures – just of us throwing our hats in the air and all in all looking rather fancy in our (too large) gowns. The words need a little more time, the enormity of the fact that my time at uni in Winchester has now officially come to an end hasn’t really hit me yet.
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What a day and what a ceremony.
Here’s to the future, to all we are and to all we’ll come to be. We are all just getting started.

Hope you have a wonderful day,
-Andrea

(A very Little Piece of) Winchester

Andrea Wold Johansen, B1
The Winchester Book Shop; Three floors of second-hand books to get lost in.
Andrea Wold Johansen, B2
You can’t not follow that sign, can you.

Andrea WOld Johansen, B3Andrea Wold Johansen, B4

Andrea Wold Johansen, C1
“Halls” to get lost in, behind the Winchester Cathedral.

Andrea Wold Johansen, C2

Andrea Wold Johansen, C3
The sun set on the Winchester Cathedral, an evening in early spring, is something everyone should experience at some point.
Andrea Wold Johansen, G1
St Giles Hill; where you go to escape the city.

Andrea Wold Johansen, G2

Andrea Wold Johansen, G3
Where walkways, trees and winding ivy go hand in hand.
Andrea Wold Johansen, I1
The Itchen Way, that can take you all the way to Southampton (if you’ve got good shoes and a packed lunch).

Andrea Wold Johansen, I2

Andrea Wold Johansen, S1
The Hospital of St Cross; a quiet place tucked in by the Winchester Water Meadows

Andrea Wold Johansen, S2

Andrea Wold Johansen, S3
The last functioning Alms House in England, St Cross still stands.
Andrea Wold Johansen, S4
With old hallways, halls, kitchens and wonderful gardens, and a great view of St Catherine’s Hill.
Andrea Wold Johansen, T1
Cream tea at Cafe Winchester. The best one there is.

 

-Andrea