Sunday, January 30, 2011

Changing Rooms

tolet+mp5Image by MP5_ via FlickrHeaded to Propaganda last night to meet potential house mates for the second year at university. Many people still wonder why I won't be living with my girlfriend, especially as we have proved that we can and where I have built up a strong friendship with her flatmates. I would have liked to but being at university isn't like owning a house together. Having a space here would have many advantages, adding numbers to the group, the additional space and because university work will be more important. Anyway, the girls I met tonight seemed okay, interaction was positive but first impressions are always different when you're on a night out because it's not like people see you at your best, or maybe they do?! They don't have anywhere lined up yet but I'm hoping to live close to my girlfriend and the others. We'll see how everything takes shape over the next few weeks but I have an idea and I'm hoping this aligns with their expectations...
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Friday, January 28, 2011

Fairy Tales of Yesterday

Megabus in Los AngelesImage by LA Wad via FlickrMy son celebrates his birthday next weekend and we headed out for something to eat with my father who travelled up from Hastings. I haven't seen him in a while and it was the first time that he would meet my girlfriend. A lot has changed since the last time we met and he was interested in finding out as much as possible. We don't have the most ideal relationship, rarely speaking much and meeting as regular as once every eighteen months. It's never awkward though as he has a good sense of humour and cares about what's happening in our lives. I should make more effort to be honest but that's the story from both sides. He didn't stay too long but he made an impression and the children are eager to visit him in the summer.

I was just as eager for the evening as my sister was intending to travel to Leeds with us for the weekend. I was under the impression that everything was in place but with thirty minutes to go she decided that she would prefer to stay home. This annoyed me because the reasons she stated were because I wasn't excited enough and that she was worried about travelling all that way. I find that incredible because she's been to other countries and my girlfriends sister regularly makes the journey from London to Leeds on her own. My parents said that it was a lot to expect from her as she's only young, but my girlfriends sister is six years younger. Anyway maybe something can be arranged in future but I'm disappointed with the outcome!

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Thursday, January 27, 2011

Tonight's the Kind of Night

Noah and the WhaleImage by Jason Persse via FlickrI have been fortunate to experience many amazing nights through entering competitions. Tonight it was someone else's turn to savour the moment, fortunately I was still able to attend as I received an invitation from the winner! The competition, hosted by Xfm and Windows® Phone 7, entitled the 'Windows Phone Superfan' to a HTC 7 Mozart®, Noah and the Whale tickets for The Relentless Garage, London performance, five copies of their album and the chance to meet and interview the band! A decent return and I'm grateful for being invited to attend the event and meet them. To be fair I could have passed as the 'Superfan', the curly hair and tight fitting clothes being distinctive, but their style was a grade above mine! The night was great fun and I'm excited to receive a copy of their new album which will be released soon.

Afterwards we travelled to Elephant & Castle for the Skins Tour 2011, I haven't been that impressed with the series and was even less impressed with the event. The place wasn't even close to capacity and I couldn't find the atmosphere anywhere. Several Polska gentlemen added some much needed venom into the mosh pit which provided brief amusement. Decided that it wasn't worth staying until the end and having to catch a night bus home, and promptly headed for the exit. Expected more but can't complain too much, especially after spending the majority of the evening in the company of Noah and the Whale.. L.I.F.E.G.O.E.S.O.N
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Sunday, January 23, 2011

Waiting For A Coach..

InceptionImage by Profound Whatever via FlickrYou're waiting for a coach, a coach that will take you far away. The method we used to guarantee that we didn't miss our rearranged reservation home, was to stay awake all night and decorate our accommodation. Unorthodox but this proved to be effective and very productive, the place required a fresh makeover! We still nearly missed the coach, probably because we were collecting fruit from the market.

I feel like Dom, that's Dom Cobb for anyone that hasn't seen Inception, still recovering from a deep subconscious level (limbo) where I'm losing grip on reality and could be trapped indefinitely! The journey was standard but longer than expected. Eventually arriving home, I met the children and my sister. For the majority of the evening we played video games, later joined by my girlfriend who joined in the entertainment. Really need some new games, especially with Boy's birthday approaching! Any suggestions?!
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Saturday, January 22, 2011


Nike shoes.Image via WikipediaAfter I had finished the media history exam, I was relieved and with a celebratory drink scheduled I anticipated a good night ahead! The only downside was that one of our flat mates intended not to participate in the spectacle. This was primarily because he had an exam the following morning, but with relatively minimal persuasion, he abandon his revision and actually set the pace for the evening! Obviously not content with doing anything by halves! I'm surprised he made it out the door.. The night proved to be a success and we returned home later to continue the entertainment! This lasted the duration and when daylight broke through the curtain, I retired with the intention to take our friend to his exam. There wasn't really much time to sleep but managed to have about an hour before the alarm sounded. I expected everyone to still be awake but when I entered the room there were three people in bed and the person taking the exam was out for the count on the floor!

I called to him several times, some how the response came from another voice in the bed. The alternative was to stand him up and walk him to the car. This worked in practise but once in the lift I realised that he wasn't wearing any shoes, through uncontrollable laughter I managed to get him back inside and fully clothed! After a brief interlude, we were on our way, arriving twenty minutes late for his exam. I headed back to our accommodation and he returned several hours later, having fallen asleep on a bus. I feel more confident about my exam now after this master class but I have a suspicion that this will be the last time he makes an appearance in university for a while. By midday we were all in various recovery positions! Having made earlier arrangements to travel back to London for the week, I underestimated the time and managed to miss the coach home. Nandos cushioned the blow but paying twice wasn't what the budget ordered!! 

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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

P. Sherman, 42 Wallaby Way, Sydney...

Nemo & DoryImage by Travis S. via Flickr
I remembered what it said! I usually forget things, but I remembered it... The last time I took an exam was a very long time ago, many of the people on my course probably hadn't even started primary school. I still find that hard to believe, I suppose I could define that as being a late developer?! I'm not going to deny that I prefer writing essays and group presentations. I know then that achieving a respectable grade is within reach, just down to understanding the objective and providing relevance. Wikipedia and Google do most of the work whilst I reap the rewards and create the bibliography. With exams everything is down to the clock and how you perform on the day! I revised for a reasonable amount of time, writing and rewriting, drawing circles around important information and using the highlighter excessively. The notes resembled a treasure map when I had finished! Going out probably wasn't the right choice the night before exams but I needed a break and I felt I had absorbed the most important details. Once inside the examination room, I became a fish inside a large bowl, forgetting everything and surrounded by people on my course who were busy scribbling away on their exam paper. I think I did okay, but could have done better...
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Sunday, January 16, 2011

Cross Stitch

Mini knittingImage by betsyjean79 via FlickrI had high expectations from ‘Handmade Nation’ which is a monthly day of events inspired by the indie documentary at Nation of Shopkeepers. Lots of arts, crafts and design, all for fun and general guilt free enjoyment were promised. The listing told us to come down and take part in making things or come down and watch and hang and listen to music or whatever took our fancy. 100% fun absolutely guaranteed in the fullest?! 

I couldn't have been more disappointed, I never imagined that knitting was such a judging recreation. I approached the 'fun area' and attempted to interact with the participants, eventually after standing there for several moments I asked about being involved. I was provided with a knitting needle and yarn and told that by the end of the session I would be the male equivilant of the Yarn Harlot. I envisioned being able to create consecutive loops, weaving threads to produce a two-dimensional fabric whilst applying sewn darts, flares, gussets and gores, that follow the body's curvature closely. This wasn't the case, I was sheepish because we had high expectations but were thrown to the wolves! Farewell to the fareground, these rides aren't working anymore...
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Saturday, January 15, 2011

Thin Ice And Hot Water

Shy FXCover of Shy FXFollowing circumstances beyond his control Shy FX sadly cancelled his previous date at The Faversham, Leeds in November last year. However he returned last night and albeit for the queue, we would have surely experienced an amazing night! Instead - because of the before mentioned queue and the capacity of The Faversham - we chose The Terrace Bar, Leeds University Student Union. An alternative to what Leeds Met provide for their students but on a larger scale. Definitely impressed and we're sure to find our way back here soon! Fab Cafe was next on the agenda and here our combined efforts concentrated on consuming sugar more than alcohol, this was due to the amount of sweets available behind the bar?!

The finale was at Bar Red, admittedly it was difficult to work out the male to female ratio here and there were dramatic scenes before the night concluded! We were enjoying the setting when our group attracted unnecessary attention when attempting to contain a disagreement. The situation escalated and after handbags and 'pushing' everyone departed the scene before the final bell! Disappointing scenes but an enjoyable night wasn't to be overshadowed! Today ice skating was the main attraction at the Ice Cube – the UK's largest temporary ice skating rink. The riff raff from the previous night were there, and in larger numbers, but seeing them in the daylight I didn't consider them a threat as they were only a few years older than my children. This meant that I was able to receive coaching on how to skate properly by my girlfriend. The lesson was a huge success, and I feel close to becoming an accomplished ice skater. I'm still not near her level of expertise, her swan dive was both daring and courageous! The only downside was that the skates provided were really uncomfortable, we'll be limping for a week but it was worth it!

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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Cheats Never Prosper

Tooney-BalooneyImage by via Flickr
So far the only member of my family to visit Leeds has been my brother, he brought my children with him last semester for a scenic tour. Today that's set to change as my sister has announced her intention to participate in Carnage at the end of the month which should be good! Also although nothing has been finalised, my brother is also aiming to return to Leeds during half term with the children again which I'm equally excited about! The agenda for tonight was a music quiz at Nation of Shopkeepers, equipped with Shazam which is a music discovery engine and the Internet we felt that we had this one in the bag! Surprisingly this was the first time that any of us had been to the venue, it's very unique and original. On the projection screen an array of clips were shown, people blowing up balloons made the longest lasting impression. Not sure how that fitted in with the theme, very unconventional but also engaging nonetheless! The music quiz went well, but we felt guilty using the Internet and an iPhone application to achieve success. This lead us to the conclusion that we would guess several of the final questions to appear more authentic. When the results were announced, we finished half a point away from securing a prize, with the cliche confirming that cheats never prosper!
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Monday, January 10, 2011

Fly On The Wall

Miley Cyrusbenyupp via Flickr
We had every intention of leaving for Leeds early, but there were several obstacles that prevented our departure. To be fair it made for an entertaining afternoon/evening! Forget Sarah Marshall, I forget keys, the Xbox console and most importantly to visit a petrol station before the car ran out of juice! Thankfully everything occurred without even leaving the postal area which meant that we were rescued with minimal drama.

Running through the streets with my son to meet my father was the most exercise I have had in a while, he still somehow thinks he's faster than me even when he's a fair distance behind?!

We arrived in Leeds around midnight, drained from the journey and retired to bed. After the Christmas break we were desperate for supplies and headed into town with friends to purchase essentials. Quite where a sword and a bad habit from Miley Cyrus found it's way into the shopping bag I don't know! It amazes me how these items are available over the counter. The items announced our return to Leeds and somehow I even managed to 'fall down' the back of the sofa which was an unusual experience! The second semester doesn't start for a few weeks, but there's revision and essays that need to be handed in before then...

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Gone South

CNV00035.JPGImage by katie coleslaw via FlickrI last visited Brighton to attend the Great Escape Festival, last night was only a brief visit but it was for a good reason! My sister's 25th birthday celebration, which started in Bexleyheath and finished in Brighton. The preparation couldn't be faulted as she had planned well, making sure that everyone was at the Wrong'Un on time for the pre-booked coach. The journey South required several stops, with everyone consuming vast quantities of alcohol this was essential or there would have been consequences! The original plan was to attend Oceana but several people were underage so instead Tru was the alternative. It was a decent venue with plenty of space and room to dance! I had a bromance there with one of my sister's friends, I have known him a while and our conversation was entertaining, especially over a fishbowl. Sadly he was removed from the venue before the end of the night but afterwards we all met up outside for the journey home, which wasn't as intense as earlier! It was great to see so many people make an appearance for my sister's birthday and she had a night to remember!
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Friday, January 07, 2011

Here We Go!

Mario Kart 64 features the longest Rainbow Roa...Image via Wikipedia
Spent last night unlocking Mario Kart characters for my children, I needed the practice as well because they're too good! I also wanted them to think that I was kind of a big deal and admire the achievement. They were impressed, mission accomplished! 

For the majority of the evening we enjoyed popcorn and raced around the varied tracks. I increased the difficulty, to add another dimension to the gameplay and introduced online play which was easy to set up through the wireless connection. It only started to go wrong when my son changed into his alter ego, the boy that doesn't like finishing in anything but first place or anyone looking in his direction. I'm guilty of winding him up at times but he does invite the remarks. We later switched to a game that had Billiards available, he was confident but wouldn't listen to instructions and that's when we felt his wrath! That was the end of the videogame session for the evening, although before bed he still managed to spend some time with my brother(s). I wish he wasn't such a bad loser, he reminds me of myself when I was younger so I'm sure he'll grow out of it, or will he...
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Thursday, January 06, 2011

Got Something To Put In You

Leicester Square, London c.1880 looking north ...Image via Wikipedia
There wasn't any real planning behind our journey to London this evening, Camden Town was the intended destination to attend a free gig but instead Soho took centre stage. The objective was to spend some time together and see if anything caught our attention. 

Like magpies we searched for treasures! First was an intriguing gay bar, the venue had fantastic decor but we got the feeling we were distracting the divas and left the scene. Walking through Soho, we found the temptation to browse a sex shop too hard to resist! It was educational, but a lot of information for one night!! There were a range of costumes, toys and other paraphernalia available, I eventually left the scene making sure that everything was still intact. We danced down Regent Street and collected an interesting memento, eventually finding our way to Leicester Square to share cocktails until close! The area is undergoing reconstruction for the Olympics, not sure which event will be taking place there to be honest :) I'm looking forward to the Games and have offered my services should I be required!
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Saturday, January 01, 2011

Old Long Anyone

The morning after the night before, the expected hangover and need for sleep! It wasn't the most memorable celebration but I was pleased to start another year in the company of my girlfriend. Last year we were at a nightclub, the house party although more composed, still had the same outcome with a significant amount of alcohol and food consumed! No pointing fingers..

We didn't last the duration, instead opting to depart in the early hours to reminisce and talk about the future. I can't believe how quickly Christmas and the New Year have passed. It won't be long until we're back at university, before then I want to spend more time with the children and hopefully see some familiar faces! Happy New Year everyone and may your resolutions define you...

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