Tuesday, 21 August 2007


I am at present sitting in my brother’s Paris flat with some strange people from the reception giving it a check before he leaves. Unfortunately for me I cannot understand what they are saying, but from their tone of voice I assume they are diagnosing someone with a terminal illness (“It is very sad” the man says, “He only has five months left.” “Oui, the parasite will chew through his brain, and then his face will finally implode on itself,” replied the other receptionist.). But for now I will go back to where I left off last time, and explain how it happened for me to be in Paris, and the hullaballuhas that led to this.

The Marchwood Village fete was very entertaining, despite the fact that someone said something very derogatory about my state of mind, owing to my attire. There are photos of me dressed up as a monk on facebook, so if you are my friend on there you may view them and then laugh at the hilarity of it all. When we dressed the shop for the Harry Potter day, we also dressed up as the Weasley twins; which was equally embarrassing, though the small children seemed to find us amusing. Evidence of this may be found also on facebook.

I have had some temporary jobs, which has mostly been packing the newspaper supplements into the Hampshire Chronicle and the Basingstoke Gazette. It isn’t bad, but it is mind-numbing and tiring, when standing up for six hours. It was not as bad as the washing up I had top do at the Dibden Golf-course. The other people there may have assumed I was a mute, but anyone who knows me well could easily explode that theory.

My parents went away for two weeks leaving the house to us. We did not have any wild parties that were posted on MySpace, causing the all the delinquent youth of the surrounding country to descend on our small New-Forest cottage. We did have some friends round and we also had a picnic. The picnic was a very pleasant, I baked some scones (which one irksome and persistent pony seemed to enjoy).

Then we went camping at Soul Survivor (a youth Christian camp). The weather was wet, the ground was muddy and the wind was cold, but I really enjoyed it. My spiritual life was definitely deepened and it its well worth going to (this year was my fifth time of going).

I will finish the journey to Paris when (and if) my brother stops nagging me. He was saying that I have been hogging the computer, while I distinctly remember cleaning his toilet while he was on MSN. Mmmm… someone’s story doesn’t add up. But I am a forgiving brother, which is lucky for him, seeing as I’m cooking his dinner tonight.

Friday, 22 June 2007

Sinks, CVs and Harry Potter

Stephen has a job. I haven’t. I’m writing letters at the moment to various businesses, and hoping that my application to ASDA is rejected. Call me snob, but I don’t want to work there. However, I do believe that once I get a job my parents won’t be able to manage. Yesterday for instance, somehow (i.e. by my dad) the cream had been spilt in the fridge, and I was the one that had to clean it up. When my dad goes on courses in some far-flung city, like Birmingham, I’m his home-based personal assistant. He phone me up with a number of tasks and errands, from sending e-mails to finding people’s/ schools’ telephone numbers. I’m also the handy man. The sink broke yesterday and I was the one that had to fix it. I also had to replace a printer cartridge and now I have a black hand.

On a better note, the Marchwood Village Fair is soon, and it’s a Medieval theme, and if I’m not working (which at this rate, I won’t be) I may be dressing up and helping. Also, July 21st Harry Potter is out, and the shops of Hythe are turning themselves into Diagon Ally, and I’m helping to decorate one. It should be really fun!

Now I have to finish tidying my room and fixing the sink, so until next-time!

Thursday, 21 June 2007

Lost Lake

I just read an article on the BBC website that I found reasonably funny. I thought that I was bad when it came to losing things, but Chile has lost an entire lake. Park rangers patrolled the area in March and it was perfectly fine, but come May, and the lake had completely vanished. All that was left was blocks of ice that had been floating on top.

One theory is that an earthquake opened up a fissure and the lake drained away. However, as drastic as this seems to the local wildlife, it must be noted that this lake wasn't even there thirty years ago, and that region's landscape is in constant change.

So Long, Farewell, A bientot

My brother has left for la Ville-lumière, Paris, leaving me with my parents in miserable Southampton. You are quite possibly confused, thinking "But he lives in Aberystwyth, why now Southampton?" Well, I'm a student, and Southampton is where my parents live, but seeing as mostly my friends read this (occasionally) they'd know that.

So I moved into my flat at Aberystwyth, and it’s all nice. All except Mily (my flatmate) is turning it pink, so I will have a bachelor bedroom rather than a bachelor pad. If all else fails I will strategically place crabs all around the flat, seeing as it is one of her deepest phobias. That’ll teach ‘er. After a few days I left for home, and had quite a pleasant (7 hour) train journey, but it was by no means remarkable. I got on, sat down, got off- and that’s about it. No enraged drunks wielding knives or women going into labour I’m afraid.

The first Friday I was back I went to see Spiderman 3 with Jo. I thought it was quite good, after everyone saying how it was a disappointment. I suppose the fact I had received negative press about it went for its favour, as I did not have high expectations. Also, I’m never one to agree with the mob. Not much happened between then and my brother’s awaited arrival (except the church BBQ, which involved a strange dog-lady). So Tuesday my brother graced us with his presence, however, as he has a job in Paris (at McDonald’s, I can’t scoff, at least he has one), so could only stay for a week. On Friday we went to see another film, with Jo and Katy: The Fantastic Four. Stone-the-crows! it was awful. Okay, not that bad, but mediocre at best.

Oh, I nearly missed out the trip to Poole. We went to Poole to meet up with Kaylee, and that was an enjoyable thorough-fair! We looked at Poole pottery, caught up with each other’s gossip, and went to a sweet shop (though the Turkish delights were disappointing). We dined, as always, at a Wetherspoons. I also brought a HUGE complete works of Shakespeare, from The Works, and want to by the Colan-Doyle one as well.

Saturday we went to The Fisherman’s Rest in Lymington. It is renowned for its brilliant food, but its service can be a bit bi-polar. When we came in we had to wait at the bar for 10 minutes, without even being acknowledged with a “We’ll be with you in a moment.” Then the miserable barman didn’t give my dad a full pint (which in his books deserves instant dismissal, but he was in his 50s so probably the manager). The waitresses were very friendly, and the starter went without a hitch. Then we came to the fated main course. Oh, poor, woeful fated main. Sorry, just hyping up a banal restaurant faux pas story. I had ordered venison, and it wasn’t until the rest of my family had been served their meals did they realise they had run out of venison and not cooked me my meal. But the waitress was profusely apologetic and I asked for a pork dish, that my mum had, and that was out within 5 minutes- what’s more, it was delicious and free! Yes, I saved £14! I was, however the only one to have dessert (cheesecake as usual).

Sunday was Father’s Day. We cooked him fried breakfast, and then a cream-tea for the evening. My grandparents joined us for the evening soiree. I cooked a chocolate cake, scones and cheese scones with a red onion relish. All of which (even if I do say so myself) were practically perfect in every way. Before you go on about modesty- false modesty is just hypocrisy.

Tuesday, Stephen abandoned, forsook, and left me. Not that I begrudge him living in beautiful, vibrant Paris, while I’m stuck here.

Today, I went to the Post Office, and met Margaret from down the road. She’s a lovely old dear that we buy our eggs from, and she plies us with a boundless supply of rhubarb. So I walked back with her, and found out she’s been living in the area all her life, and moved into the farm where she lives in 1954. So there you go, some random social history. By the way, Stephen, the speculation to whether her name is actually Margaret is over because someone had a chat with her, calling her that name.

So that’s a basic overview since I last wrote. However, I expect that now I’m home I’ll probably write a few more entries than I usually do.

Friday, 1 June 2007

Finally! A post!

My brother has been pestering me to write an update. So begrudgingly I have. It’s not really done begrudgingly but we try to use every opportunity we get to make the other feel guilty for somehow putting us out. Like the fact that he has been stealing all my songs on my ipod (the one you're listening to now). Twins eh? They just have to have exactly what the other one has: ipod tunes, birthdays, genes. What about those horrendous twins on big brother? (“It’s pink! I love it!”) At least we don’t actually try to be exactly the same like they do.

Today my bedroom is a fire hazard, not due to mess, per se- well my room is a mess- but due to the suitcases and boxes that have replaced any habitable space. I’m moving out tomorrow and into my new flat. Then I will be going home soon!

Where to start with all the other things I’ve been up to in the last few weeks. Exams, they went quite well, I think they went as well as they could have done, really. This bank holiday weekend (just gone) was the Church Weekend Away…at home. Paradoxical, I know. Sunday was meant to be a picnic on the beach but the bad weather meant it was in the church hall. I baked scones for everybody (Joel tried to have two but I set him straight); a huge baguette with basil, tomatoes, roasted peppers and feta; and a potato salad, with Philadelphia cheese, lemon juice, and the left over basil. Just an unnecessary list aimed to make you salivate. Cruel, aren’t I?

Monday was the trip to Chester. Most the students chose to go to Chester Zoo, and we noted that most the Secondary School teenagers avoided that option as it was ‘uncool’. However, students no longer care so we opted to relive our childhood. It was quite fun, and I have decided I want a pet parrot (perhaps finally intelligent conversations!), but that wont be for another few years yet- owing to their expense and the fact my new flat is a pet-free zone.

This week I have been lazy, occasionally interrupting my inactivity to pack, eat or bake cupcakes with bright green icing. My student pastor and the ladies who came to inspect our flat were all quite impressed with them.


Sunday, 29 April 2007

Pyrrhic victories and a Sea-Side Soiree

Wow! What a hullaballuha that was! However, you have no idea what I am talking about. I had lost my password for this blog, and was unsure as to which email account I had used to set it up. Somehow in the process of discovering my password I had managed to create a new blog, with the exact name as this one, and was confused as to why I could not find my previous post. Luckily I finally located it and the world is at rights again.

My brother also has started a blog, but with the exact same template as mine. So out of protest I changed mine. It’s a bit of a pyrrhic victory seeing as the colours of my blog have no effect on the world what-so-ever and I rather liked my blog as it was.

Onto the sea-side soiree. My friend Mily and I arranged a rather perfect barbeque on the beach. The only thing that wasn’t perfect was the guest-list. I made these stunningly beautiful kebabs, of chicken, courgettes, peppers, and topped with a bit of caramelised orange. They were so beautiful they made me want to cry (okay, they looked nice but that’s a bit over-the-top). I had brought burgers, cheese slices, slices of tomatoes, diced onions and everything to have an enjoyable evening. But in all honesty, I didn’t really enjoy it, and nor did Mily. I felt totally subservient to the people that came, because all the interaction there was consisted of me handing food to other people. Some people were extremely demanding and made a joke about me being paid to be a butler next year. Then after they were satiated they just watched Mily and I as we tidied up. Basically after we had done our job we were just completely superfluous and unnecessary. Mily was pretty much totally ignored which was even worse for her. There were some people that restored my faith in humanity, but again the efforts were pyrrhic too. So we decided to go back to hers and watch a couple of movies, which cheered us up (the booze helped as well). So I staggered- well I was more exhausted than drunk- in at 4 am.

But as Mily and I reflected, yesterday was just another day and we probably won’t even remember it by the end of University.

Friday, 23 March 2007

Books and Big Brother, 12/3/07

This post covers quite a few weeks so it should really be called The Weeks that Were– but that sounds like some 1970s trashy romance that middle-aged women read while on a plane travelling to the Maldives.

As you sit reading this you may take comfort in the fact that you have aided me in postponing a Sophoclean ordeal. Not because it involves children having children by their parents or the downfall of entire families in one tragic swoop, but merely I have to write an essay on Antigone. I find reading the Classic texts a Herculean task in itself, let alone writing two thousand words on the theme of contrasts in the first play of the Theban trilogy. I’m quite behind on my texts in all three modules, but luckily for me I have near-perfected the art of ‘blagging’ my way through a seminar. Talking about unfinished books, today the BBC published a list of top ten fiction and non-fiction books that are most likely to be left unfinished by Britons. In the fiction category includes, to little surprise, War and Peace, Crime and Punishment, Captain Corelli’s Mandolin and, possibly more surprisingly, the fourth Harry Potter. The non-fiction entries are more baffling though. I can understand why Jade Goody’s book, creatively named Jade: My Autobiography, is left unread but it’s anyone’s guess to why people bought it in the first place. In my top ten list would be The Way of the World, Vurt, and anything pre-a.d. 500. So going back to the weeks that were: and quite a lot has happened.

This will begin with the family visit. I’ve made it sound like an ominous troupe of stalwart in-laws invading this pleasant little seaside town, but it wasn’t. It was a thoroughly enjoyable, albeit a somewhat muddy, affair. My parents and Stephen arrived on Friday 23rd February (yes, that long ago) and the weekend included a trip to Devil’s Bridge and the surrounding waterfalls; a meal at Shilam, an Indian restaurant; visits to The Orangery; and going to St. Mike’s. The muddy bit was on the afternoon of Sunday 25th. I planned a walk up Pen Dinas, a hill which I’ve previous walked, and previously the paths had been dry. However, in advising that walking shoes where unnecessary I had not considered the recent meteorological behaviour within Aberystwyth’s environs. The terrain proved treacherous, and what I mean by treacherous is very, very, slippery. However, we survived and were back in time for St. Mike’s evening service. Monday I got up early and waved my family off, filled with mixed emotions: sadness and relief.

The following Friday, a meal at Wetherspoons was followed by a couple of drinks and deserts at The Orangery, as there was a latin/gypsy band, mostly playing tunes from the film Chocolat. On Saturday I went out to Wetherspoons again, with Jane, and then went to Scholars. Saturday was a marking point in my life, as I went to my first ever night-club. I had avoided them because I assumed they would be filled with crazed-drunken people and the floors would be sticky due to years of spilt drinks and stomach fluids. That night my assumptions were confirmed.

Fast-forward to the next weekend, and the last section of my update. On Friday (now being 9th March) I went to Caffi Blue Creek, after my afternoon lecture, with Jenny and Mily. After being there for about three hours I went to CU, with Mily, then re-joined Jenny and went to Scholars. We then went to 24-hour Spar for nibbles and sat on the jetty and chatted. Saturday we went to an under-25 Christian event, ‘Breathe’, which I really liked but it wasn’t the cup of tea of some of my friends. After that I went for another sea-side jolly with Becca, Rachel, Rachel, Abi and Mily. We were standing on the sea front when Mily thought it would be a good idea to say ‘It isn’t that rough tonight’. Within thirty seconds a large wave hit the sea wall throwing spray metres into the air soaking me and Mily. That will teach us for standing to close to the edge (and before you cry ‘Be careful else you’ll get swept out!’ there is a barrier, and if it was that choppy the wind would keep us from walking anywhere, let alone into the foaming deep).

To conclude, the overall moral of the update is: don’t read books if they’re by Russians or Big Brother contestants. That was the week that was.