name. Hugo Smith
right now. Second year studying French and Spanish at the University of Cambridge
My parents’ car was royal blue; or at least when it was clean. It was a colour I learned to love as a child. After sports or school I would stand on the corner, covered in mud, blood, chlorine, highlighters, my lunch or whatever other grime the day had brought, and look out for my mother coming round the corner in our little blue Golf. She is the only person I know who ever played Christmas carols in July, or who listened to the second half only of Les Misérables on a loop for quite so many months, but only ever in the car.
My school uniform was royal blue; or at least when it was clean. School never held me. My friends lay elsewhere, my aspirations lay elsewhere and every day when I did up my tie I would think how it was just eight hours till I could go to sports, or go play in the big communal gardens behind my friend’s house. At school I learnt an important lesson, not all your time is your own. And on reflection, that is a very good thing.
The room where I trained was royal blue. My parents first sent me to Tae-Kwon-Do at the age of six because they thought I cried too easily, at a stubbed toe or a stolen crisp, but they didn’t realise how much I’d love it. My coach always made me fold my kit away at the end of the session, because folding your kit shows it respect. After all if you don’t respect your tools you can never hope to become proficient with them. I will always remember training with her every Friday and then how she would torture me with the stretches. And of course, I will always remember the day she kicked me through that royal blue plasterboard wall. I was unhurt.