Sunday, 15 November 2015

Going home


Last weekend I went home for the first time since I started university around two months ago. It’s not too long, however I found that I had already become so accustomed to living in Cardiff that travelling back home almost felt the opposite, I was leaving my home and visiting somewhere I used to live.
The primary reason for returning was to go out drinking for a friends’ 21st but I also had a thing or two I needed to do back at my house.
As was walking out of the station the first feeling of not being ‘home’ came to me. My parents picked me up and I headed home and I sorted out some letters and made some food in between then and heading back into town to drink. As I was walking the streets, despite the simplicity of my city I had to take a second to remind myself of the layout.

I had a good night out, catching up with some friends, getting to know someone from a group of friends who I hadn’t really got to know back in the day and ended up to my surprise making out with said person.
I had a long lie in on Saturday (something I’ve been pretty used to doing multiple times a week since I started uni) then spent most of the rest of the day sat at my desk soldering cables to finish off my guitar pedalboard.
Before heading back on Sunday I caught up with a friend and chilled at his house.



The finished pedalboard

It was a quite relaxed weekend, not just because I didn’t get on with any uni work, but also because I got away from my uni friends.
While I get on with them very well, I’ve found so far that in between uni work and my social life and domestic things such as cooking, it can be hard to find time to yourself and I’ve found that even when I’m relaxing by myself I still watch out to see if my flatmates want to talk or ask me a question. In short, I never get a chance to feel alone, which is definitely a good thing, but at times it feels nice to be entirely alone, with nothing and nobody to worry about.

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Freshers week

Today is the last day of freshers week for me. I've been at uni for two weeks now and been loving every second of it (except the hangovers!)
I've done a fair bit in those two weeks, most of which has been drink..in large excess. I suppose it's not the best idea, but hey, it's one of those things you don't get another chance to do for a long while, if ever again (unless you go to uni early for freshers in the second & third year).
I've kept a list of what i've consumed over the last two weeks or so, and surprisingly i'm fairly certain it's close to 100% accurate, despite how shitfaced i've got some nights.



My substance abuse diary:
Nights drunk: 8 
Times chundered: 1

Captain Morgans: 1L 1 shot 
Desperadoes: 13
Thatchers: 5
J├Ąger bombs: 10
Diserrano: 500ml
Double Gin and tonic: 5
Double Malibu & coke: 1
Crabbies: 1
Doombar: 3 
Strongbow: 1
Vodka shots: 8
Hooch: 4
Beer: 1
Sourz: 2


Funnily enough, that one time I threw up was after a free bar at a gig venue where first year music students were playing and hanging out, and I had proceeded to head back to the flat after that and continue to drink copious amounts. The next day unsurprisingly I wasn't feeling too great, but well enough to attend class. Mid lecture I found that suddenly I was sweating heavily, and my vision was going a little, then I felt a bit of bile build up. Something was wrong, but I hoped it would pass, however soon enough I threw up in my mouth and made my way out of the room as fast as possible, however as I reached the second door into the corridor, seconds came up, so I had no choice but to spew.
What a way to end the first week of lectures! I'm certainly thinking of reining my reckless drinking in now that proper lessons are starting.

Drinking & partying aside, these two weeks of uni have been incredible so far. My flat is pretty nice, plenty of space in my own room to store my things, a reasonable bathroom and the communal kitchen is sweet enough, although if we all decide we want to cook at once, if we're lucky two of us can cook at the same time, though partially I blame that on my cooking sometimes, i've found I sometimes make quite complex meals.









I share the flat with four other people, one third year German exchange student, a girl from Ireland, a girl from Woking and a Welsh guy, who lives about a 20 minute train journey from Cardiff, who funnily enough is the most homesick of all of us. They are all a really nice bunch, and I find that we all gel so well together despite not so many shared interests. It's quite cool having such a diverse culture difference between only five people, which has already had an effect on us, with us picking up little parts of each others accents.
So far i've met some nice people outside of the flat too and our flat seems to have build up a group of friends with a couple of others in the building which is nice. 

My course so far seems pretty awesome, the content that we will be studying is looking good, and there are plenty of different people that I will be studying with. It's great to be able to meet many different types of people interested in sound, gear, alternative music and all sorts of things that I wouldn't usually find others interested in. Aside from their interests, there are so many types of people studying, ranging from people that have come from college like me, up to a 31 year old who grew tired of working an IT job and scraping time together to work in his studio.

So all in all, things can't be better right now, I am loving life. That said, i've been a little emotionally unstable at times, but it's hard to get used to being away from home and away from my friends, despite them being only a text or facebook message away. Either way, in time I guess us as a flat will feel much more comfortable around each other when it comes to more sensitive things.

One of the main different things i've noticed about being here compared to home is time management. Even without much work to be done yet, i've already been so busy and including a bit of time to chill out and have lie ins..i've had much less time to doss about and waste time on things such as computer gaming.
Speaking of being busy, right now I should probably help my flatmates prepare things for fajitas that we are making tonight!

Monday, 14 September 2015

Summertime pub work & the future

Picture a hot sunny day, with not a cloud in the sky, bees buzzing and people with hay fever cursing the days existence.
Think of what you could be doing on such a day, going for a walk, heading off to the coast, relaxing in your garden with a cold drink..endless ways of spending a glorious day.

Instead, I've been spending the best part of my summer holidays working at a local pub. Not the most exciting activity for most of my days. I finished working there about two weeks ago, giving me about two weeks to prepare for uni.
Looking back upon the job, it hasn't actually been too bad. I won't deny that some days after a late finish from a stressful shift i've hated my job, but in the end, those times are only temporary and the next day you've already half forgotten about it.

One of the positive things about that job was that it was so dynamic. On any day I could come into work and see things in the sink that need washing, and five minutes after starting that, I could either be called to prepare vegetables and other ingredients, tidy up some parts of the restaurant, start making starters (Sandwiches, Baked potatoes etc.) ..there is always a job of some kind that needs doing. I liked this as often you'd never be stuck doing a certain task for hours on end, which helped prevent work from becoming tedious..however the downside of this is on a busy day, I would be taking food out to many customers, and at times being asked to do tasks multiple people which would occasionally mean that I temporarily forgot what I was helping a customer with. Towards the end of my time at the pub, this drove me up the wall at some points, because the mistakes I made due to having so many things that needed urgently doing, including customer service, it just made me feel like I was being shit at my job.
On this subject, working at the pub was at times a real exercise in stress management, with situations like that popping up occasionally, maintaining a good face for customers and keeping yourself from lashing out at co-workers. That said, almost all of the people working there, me including had times where we just lost it and went a little bit stir crazy. Any time that would happen, we all understood it wasn't out of aggression, just stress and it didn't change our social standing with the person (not including a few twats that worked there for a while).
Aside from working with stress, the job was also good for learning to prioritize tasks and multitask, which will always be an occurrence in almost any job.

In the end, whether I enjoyed the job or not is kind of irrelevant..I means it's called work for a reason isn't it? I earned a fair bit of money over the summer (I worked hard for it!) and it was just a good experience to have had.

But enough about the summer..that's over and so is my holiday very soon. I will be moving to university of South Wales (Cardiff) tomorrow, to study Audio Engineering. The holiday has passed so quickly, and now i'm half rushing to get everything packed to move out of home. I've had a reasonable clue of what to sort out, but I haven't really sorted that much till about a week ago, with some help from my dad when it came to things I didn't think to sort out.
Aside from my large bedroom and my local friends, one of the main things i'll be missing is going to be my car. It's expensive to keep my car at uni and frankly i'm not really going to have much use for it, aside from the occasional gig in Bristol and getting back and forth from home.

I can't really say anything else other than bring on the future and the next chapter!

Monday, 15 June 2015

The end of a chapter

Bar one lesson on tomorrow and an exam on Tuesday, I am finished with college entirely. I've done two exams so far and on I Thursday I wrapped up my work for my BTEC music course. It was a strange thing, to say goodbye to classmates that i've spent the last one and a half years working with, with the full knowledge that this may be the last time I see some of them. Of course, as it is with anything, many people you naturally lose contact with and in the end most friends become people of the past in time, however it just felt so odd. I walked out of the room with a pretty certain DD (Distinction Distinction, equal to two A grades? at A level) which I am very pleased about, as it not only makes me almost entirely certain I will be going to university in September, but also I did better than I expected I would. My two other exams went fairly well, one being an Electronics exam and the other a Creative Writing one. The Electronics one went surprisingly well, as I really was not very prepared for it at all. I wouldn't say I didn't try, but the in the end, the subject isn't for me, and i'll try revise for Tuesdays exam for a C grade. The Creative Writing exam went quite well, and seeing as the marks I got in my coursework should hopefully just about be enough for an A grade, i'm pretty certain that i'll at least get a C grade (which I need one of for my university entry requirements).

These last two years at Brockenhurst really have been great. While there have been some parts that haven't been so enjoyable, such as anything to do with Electronics, some of the endless essays we had to do in music and of course how disorganized the college is sometimes, i've got a fair few good things to say about the place. To compare it to the year I studied at a 6th form school, I found college was everything and more than I expected from what other people told me. Some of the main differences I noted particularly was the diversity of the students there, which of course is most likely due to the difference in numbers of  students. Another thing, that I found is quite a lot of teachers are so much more laid back and teach in a totally different way, and your relationship with them as a teacher I find is so much more on an even playing field, instead of having a big social divide between you both.
In the two years I have been there, I found myself in two entirely different social situations. The first being when I arrived at the college. Through old friends of mine, I got to know a group of second yar students and for that year, most if not all breaks I would spend my time with them up in the top of the Cafe. Given that they were second year students, they of course left when  I began my second year, which left me in a not quite as easy social situation. Most of us kept in contact, and in a sense we are still a group, occasionally meeting up for drinks or a party.
The second year was totally different. I spent my time roaming around between different areas and different groups of people which I somehow didn't find quite as satisfying, as I didn't quite feel like I had a 'home base'. With the extra work that I had this year, and my decreased work ethic from the previous year, sometimes I  spend a fair bit of my spare time working, or at least attempting to get work done in the library.
In the end, college works socially just like it does academically: you get what you put into it..or can just get lucky.

Studying Creative Writing was pretty enjoyable, while I feel our class in the first year was a little disjointed and mismatched, the group of people we had in the 2nd year was great. Throughout both years, Alex, our teacher was a laugh, being supportive and a decent teacher while also being pretty relaxed about work and at times being a slightly immature twat with few moral boundaries,who seemed to just bond with students so well.
Which brings me on to the more memorable quotes from this years classes, some from our class members and others from Alex himself.
Without giving any context behind anything said, here goes.


"I think Picasso was just a bit shit at drawing"

"It was when I asked Archie what he was going to do for his birthday; he said have a really big wank"

"Boobs cause fights"

"Ebola is a myth"

"I remember this time last year when someone sniffed nachos"

"Hands for boobs or boobs for hands?"

"You can live without legs & arms"

"All gingers are nazis"

"It's only gay if you have a boner"

"Or we could watch the film with the flying ham"

"This must be really difficult if you've got parkinsons"

"It's like if viagra was a person"

"If you're going make it rapey, at least make it funny"

"I'd shag her once and leave her probably"

"What? Cum on the face?"

"Why am I being called sweet pussy slut?"

"I'm now hungry and I want to die"

"Only hipsters have birthdays"

"Apparently the blowhole feels like a vagina"

"She's one of my favourite lesbians"

"Blobs have penises and feelings"

"You don't suck yourself off while writing a review"

"You're the most sexist feminist I know"

"I look like darth sidious but swag"

"But she also moved like a turkey"

"Flatpack gas chamber"

"It's full of pikeys and people waiting to die"

"If a kid made that for me I would smack them in the face "

"That's the first time she's given me a cake this year, usually she just gives me a handjob"

"He's also fucked one of every animal like Noah"

"She looks like she's in prison and they've put makeup on her to make people feel better when they 
rape her"

"I'm shit at poetry but I love your asshole"

"Why would a fridge be metaphor for arsehole? Because you open it and food comes out"

"Let's not 'fuck it' just yet.." "Henry won't have a problem with that"
;

Ah..we were such a...unique..class. I'm going to miss it.

Electronics I can't really be bothered to talk about, which pretty much sums up my attitude towards the work a lot of the time. I got to know some nice people in the class, and some of the basic principals we learned could prove useful, but I can't really say i'm going to often be in a situation thinking "I'm glad I studied Electronics when I was younger!".

Our music class was had a huge variety of different people, with differing music tastes, instruments that they played and of course personalities. At first we jarred with each other quite a lot, forming our own small circles depending on what sort of people we got on with, but as time passed, our class started to integrate with each other more and we found we shared more in common than we thought. Throughout the first year a couple of people dropped out along the way, which in most cases, you could see it coming a mile off from the attitude the people had. In the second year we really started to get on well with each other, being a little more than just classmates that we would see in college daily. In the end, we didn't see much of each other outside of college, often sticking to our own small groups in that situation, however it doesn't take away my sense of the 'unit' that we seemed to be by the end of our course.

After Tuesday, i'm not quite done as at some point i'm going to head in and finish off an original song I wrote, as I still need to record the drums, which my music tech teacher is kindly helping me out by playing for me.
I suppose after that...it's it, another chapter of my life to be relegated to my more often that not rather useless memory. 

Sunday, 26 April 2015

Late night ramblings

Wow, it's been quite a while since I've even thought about doing an update to this blog..but as usual the idea has come to me at the stupidest of times. It's just a little past midnight and I've been sat in bed browsing forums on my phone for the past hour, after deciding to cut my losses for the day and get an early nights sleep for once..fat chance..
Now in my time of boredom I turn to writing here, mostly out of guilt having abandoned this blog for a while.
Yet I don't even know what I want to bloody write about..I'll probably just do the usual thing of talking about what I've been up to over the last couple of months.

I found out that my first exam is on the 8th of June, which despite the fact it's only 7 or so weeks, seems years away. Then again, I'm going to need the time. Aside from the fact I'm unbelievably lazy when it comes to revision, I know fucking zilch about most stuff in my two electronics exams... For the past few months our classes have been focused on coursework, so it's pretty easy to forget it all (no? Well at least I find it that way, probably cause the subject bores me to death) 
But yeah, so simply I know fuck all having forgotten most things, and I gotta relearn a lot of it. I'm most likely gonna look back at this like I look back at GCSEs "ahh chickenshit mate, they're easy", which frankly is probably right if I actually put enough work into subjects I disliked.

What am I even trying to get at? ...damned if I know..I think..I'm just talking shit about exams soon, I'm a lazy fucker, help, cry me a fucking river.. Something along those lines?

So..if my time hasn't been spent doing college work (often, I'm not THAT bad!....kidding) what have I been doing?
Gaming has seen a rise in time spent lately, I've blasted my way through a good amount Fallout 2 on a whim, started playing much more CS:GO and of  course chucking away many hours raiding with my guild on WoW. 

Over the Easter holiday I had a great skiing holiday in the the alps in France..now why didn't I write about that...instead of going on about electronics and my blackhole like timesink that is my PC gaming hobby.. 

I should probably just get some sleep. Writing at this minute seems just a little bit futile..plus I need sleep to try squeeze at least a tiny little nugget (don't ask me why I chose that word there, it just..fit) of work out of me before I waste another 4 hours on WoW in the evening.




Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Driving!

I passed my practical driving test on Tuesday. It was my second time round, as I failed my first test a couple of weeks before it, mostly because of two stupid mistakes that I made, one being on a roundabout.
To digress, the roundabouts around Salisbury are so much more complex than any other roundabout in cities & towns the size of Salisbury or even bigger. I feel learning to drive around the Salisbury area is good because of this, as it can help understand more complex roads. It is also quite nice as a lot of the areas are quite slow driving areas, which helps keep your driving slow and steady.
When I first failed I was quite disheartened, because in general the drive was quite good, and if I had not got too anxious and stressed out, I wouldn't have made those stupid errors.
This time, I definitely learned my lesson, keeping calm right from the word go. I think it helped infinitely with the test, stopping me from rushing giving my ample time to plan things up ahead.

I went for my first independent drive tonight, out to my Judo club. I am reasonably happy driving at night and I had done the drive many times before with my dad, yet as I set off, I started to feel slightly on edge. The drive went fine other than a hill start that I stalled at because I was hurriedly attempting to skip a track on my ipod while the lights were red.
The physical exercise helped me chill out, and after I had finished, I was much more relaxed on the drive back.

Over all i'm pretty happy about this, as I should be. Finally, freedom to go where I want when I want, which will be great for some days at college where I have to wait ages to catch a bus that takes about an hour and a half to get home, whereas I can drive back in half an hour.
The downsides are people wanting lifts (which i'll be happy to do if they repay me in some way, or if taking their diversion benefits me), and i'll still have the issues of going drinking, which means i'll likely still be using buses some of the time. I suppose at least there are buses home at 12 o'clock on Fridays and Saturdays, could be worse...

Saturday, 21 February 2015

Freeform poetry

The distant event, waiting to be homeward bound.
Sauntering about the towering trees of green & grey.
A curious mind, worrying of endless possibilities.
Stupid thoughts, actual reality.
The planned exit strategy, an escape. Leaving them behind without warning.
Silence, ignored by the adjacent seat; a volumous breathless dismissal.
Fading whispy amber strings slipping into the evening.
Unobservance, confusion, confounding events.
Instability? Stupidity.
Future anylisis, a dumb offspring concience.
Ignorance is bliss.
Ignorance is stupid.
Always learn, think forward.
Never look back.

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Conditional offers

At the moment, i've got conditional offers from 3/4 of the universities i've applied to. All the grades needed seem perfectly achievable, with 320 Ucas points being the highest needed so far.

I'm pleased so far, as i've received an offer from one of my top choices, Cardiff. The offers from Bristol and Portsmouth I will consider, however for a while i've been feeling that either Cardiff or Liverpool are my top choices.
I've yet to hear from Liverpool, but should I not be accepted there, it won't be the end of the world.

I'm going to need to really work hard in the coming months. My Electronics teacher mentioned just before Christmas that we have 17 weeks left of college, not counting holiday weeks which account for another 5 or so. Still, it is not long, and with the current work load i've got, it's not great.

I'm currently way behind on writing a maximum 4000 word story for Creative Writing (Which i'm currently procrastinating from working on), and after this is finished I need to write a commentary on it, talking about my influences, styles of writing that I used, devices and other such things.

Alongside this i've got a lot of work to do on revising and generally keeping on top of Electronics work for the exams. This isn't too hard, but frankly a lot of the time I just don't give two shits about it, so convincing myself to get on with revision can be tricky sometimes, I often focus my college work efforts 100% on Music and Creative Writing, totally ignoring Electronics.
On the positive side, this is the only subject I study that I dislike, many people I know either studied or study many subjects they really don't like, but continued them purely for grades, just like I am with Electronics.

My Music BTEC is fairly relaxed for most parts. I can easily keep up with deadlines we're set, even if i've lost the "get work done as soon as it's handed to you" work ethic I had last year.
I say mostly, because one practical assignment that is coming up very soon, in three weeks, has been sprung upon us.
Each of us in the class has to compose an original song of some sort, and perform it on our main instruments. However the issue is with things like this, we often have a bottleneck on certain players, namely drummers and bass players, as our class is mostly comprised of guitar players.
Over the Christmas holidays, our teacher told us to get a basic song written, which most of us have done. However when he set us our 3-4 week deadline to perform them, he has not taken in to account practice time whatsoever. Many of us still are still not entirely finished composing, I for example have sorted out my part, and almost finished the bass lines, however still need to write lyrics and also need to jam with a drummer so they can write the drum lines. I'm finding this hard as i've written a tricky song, with odd time signatures, so getting others to learn the bass lines and drum grooves is proving hard. I could blame myself for making it so complicated, however I had no clue we'd get such a short deadline
However even others with very plain simple songs still need do practice more, and write lyrics too. I expect even if they get it all sorted and practiced, they will only just be ready, or even be a bit underprepared and put on a sub-par performance.
The thing that really fucks me off is that this exact same thing happened last year. We had to play a selection of three cover songs, and we were steadily working on it, practicing with one another, however then he also gave us a deadline that really did not give us enough time at all.

Anyway, enough of my complaints and procrastination..i've work to be getting on with...