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Keith Tse


  • Writer's pictureKeith Tse

Walk (2)

I like walking. It clears my mind. I also like immersing myself in sceneries (natural and urban), and many past locations have stuck to my mind e.g. the various landmarks in Manchester which I used to frequent when I was living there. I recently recalled one location in particular (not Manchester) which was quite interesting. In Summer 2003, I took part in the Canford Music Summer School. It was a terrific event and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was also the summer after my GCSEs, so I was quite relaxed and I really just wanted to enjoy myself. Canford was also a beautiful school with a wide campus and enormous fields. I took my violin and viola with me (for those who do not know, I am a double strings player and I used to take music quite seriously at school) and participated in the summer school where I was playing in numerous ensembles with musicians of (semi-)professional standard. It was truly an honour to take part, and a steep learning curve too. On the first day, I remember being directed to my residence, which was a room in one of a block of boarding houses that were adjacently packed one against another. I could not figure out which particular building I was supposed to be in, but a gentleman very kindly showed me where to go, and I distinctly remember him telling me to walk a few yards down the drive and it would be the second one on my right. As we all know, a yard in British terms is not a particularly long measure and several yards really do not amount to much distance at all, but I remember those yards very well as I carried my instruments down the driveway and walked towards my room of residence. I followed his advice and found my residence with no problem. I then participated in various music courses offered by the Summer School and played each and every day, by the end of which I would always be exhausted and go to bed fast asleep (though I also remember several drunken revelries at their social events, especially the very last night…!). It was a very enjoyable experience, and a summer to remember. It was a mark of my youth. In Spring 2005, I joined my school’s senior cross-country team. Many people thought that I was mad, but I benefited hugely from those runs which made me healthier and more energetic than ever before. We raced around the country in numerous venues, but I could never figure out where we were, not because I was bad at remembering names but because I would always get very nervous before racing. Before each and every sporting game/competition (or academic performance/exam), I would get into a boxing match with my body and my internal system would go very funny, so much so that I would be pretty much disconnected from the outside world and be very unreceptive to external stimuli. The only thing I recall from those races was pain, but I also remember driving through it all and not giving up till I crossed the finish-line. There was one particular race, however, which reminded me of something, especially as I was closing into the finish-line, I suddenly recognised the drive that I was running on as well as the block of buildings beside it and the cars parked on the sideways, all of which gave me a very intense feeling of deja-vu. I finished the race and was panting my life out of me. I looked around me and realised that I had been racing at Canford School…! It was a remarkable coincidence, and all of sudden I realized where I had all of these surroundings before. It was the Summer School that I had attended two years earlier, and the driveway leading to the finish-line was the very driveway where I had traversed several yards with my musical instruments, and the building that seemed so familiar was the very boarding house where I had stayed for more than a week! It was an amazing feeling re-visiting a place so long forgotten yet so deeply ingrained in my mind that I did even realize that I had already been to this place before. I may go back to Canford (or to the south of England in general) one day, and if so, I look forward to reminiscing about these old places in my youth that I have long forgotten yet have perennially remembered through all these years. Cool. 

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