Friday, 17 December 2010

It doesn't really feel like Christmas...though that could be because it's still a week away.

It's just over a week to Christmas, and I've been back home for just under a week. It still seems a bit strange to be sat in my own bed and writing a blog entry, since this is something I haven't done since the very first entry that I wrote the night before I went to university. Well, I've made it to the end of the first semester...and I think I've done alright for myself. I won't be going reflective and making comments about how amazing things have been, because I should hope that the other entries have rather covered that.

I'll be brutally honest, it hasn't been the most exciting week in my life. The vast majority of it has been spent at home, though I don't mind that. It's quite nice to just sit around the house and do nothing of great significance or importance, knowing that I can afford to take a few days and relax. On the plus side though, I have managed to complete Call of Duty: Black Ops. As a result, I never need to play that game again, and it can return to my brother's room. I'll be concentrating on F1 2010 once more.

Well, I say I've been relaxing, but I have been working to an extent. Regardless of whether you do or don't know, I have my flute diploma on Wednesday afternoon...and I don't think I've been as nervous for anything else before in my 19 year existence. That might be a lie, and it probably is, though my mind doesn't quite extend to remembering such things these days. I tend to focus all of my brain energies on remembering the important things, such as where I live, which bedroom is mine, trying to figure out how I can make some relatively easy money next semester without resorting to illegal tactics, and what the snare pattern for Batucada is.

Either way, I'm nervous, and it's partially down to how much money this is costing. To do a diploma, it will set you back around £170. That's a hell of a lot of money, so as you can imagine, I'm only getting one shot at this. If I mess up, I mess up. Then, because the exam is on the 22nd, it's ridiculously close to Christmas, so I'll probably spend the rest of the lead up to Christmas in my room huddled in a corner. Still, if that happens, I might get a visit from some festive ghosts. The ghosts of Christmas music past, present and future. Obviously, it'll be a bit of a twisted vision, since I'd imagine the ghosts won't actually be played by dead people. I imagine Christmas music past will be played by Cliff Richard, Christmas present will be played by Simon Cowell and his collection of X Factor number 1 records and Christmas future can be played by an obscure song from the 1980s that Facebook has decided will be appropriate for 2011. In that case, I really hope it's Billy-Ray Cyrus. That's right folks, I'm pulling for Achy Breaky Heart for Christmas number 1 in 2011. You heard it here first.

In a rather delightful festive twist, it's been snowing for the last hour or two. The weather forecast has changed repeated throughout the day, and it'll probably continue to do so as well. Seriously, it must be a great time to be a weatherman. You could say virtually anything and there's a strong chance that it'll either be correct at the moment or be correct at some point within the next few hours. No word of a lie, I've looked at the weather forecast a couple of times within the last hour and a half, and each time it's given a different forecast, both for the next 24 hours and a longer term forecast.

How I long for the weather in I'd also be awake during the cricket. That'd be rather nice. I'm still hoping (perhaps rather blindly) that England can have the Ashes wrapped up and delivered for Christmas...they probably still stand a better chance of doing so than Royal Mail do of delivering everything on time. Andrew (who I've renamed Eskimo Joe) has been waiting for a parcel for getting on two weeks, and Mum had some Christmas presents ordered to be delivered to work a while ago...they didn't come either. So she won't get them until January, which is obviously after Christmas. Great job mail men.

The snow's rather scuppered my plan for tomorrow since my rehearsal with the pianist in Manchester has been cancelled. A rescheduling for Monday has been made...with the weathermen seemingly deciding the forecast based on what they've pulled from a hat (or maybe it's what their Christmas crackers are saying), no one can be sure what the rest of the weekend will bring. As long as the weather is good for Wednesday so I can get to Manchester and back in one piece, I don't mind. I might not be in one piece mentally on the return journey, but it's the physical appearance that counts. Or something like that.

I've been skipping on the quote at the end of a blog entry, and since I don't have my lovely inspirational quote poster behind me, I'll leave you with this one. Until my next entry (which will probably be midweek), enjoy life you crazy people. You only get the one opportunity.

Love is rarer than genius itself. And friendship is rarer than love.
Charles Peguy

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Weather chaos...really? All I see is people having fun.

The vast majority of the country has been covered in some delightful snow over the past week or so. From what I've heard though, there hasn't been that much in Liverpool over the past few days. There certainly wasn't any snow last week when I was at home...though that added a level of awesomeness on the train journey back. Through Liverpool and Manchester, there was no snow, but then as the train got closer to Yorkshire and Leeds, the amount of snow started to increase until I got into Leeds. It was pretty funky.

Of course, since then, we've had a couple of days of it snowing on and off. It's absolutely nothing to other places around the country. Sophie showed me the scene outside her flat in Sheffield yesterday, and it looked as though a car had been effectively buried under the snow. THAT is cool, though I imagine it's highly frustrating for the owner of the car, and it probably doesn't actually do any good for the car.

Yesterday was glorious though. I had to get to uni to do the planning for the podcast assignment, which actually looks really cool. If things go as well as we're hoping with the planning, it could be really good and we should get a really good mark. Result! As I left the flat though, it started to snow. And it didn't really stop until mid-afternoon. It was strange to see how the city almost ground to a halt. I had an epic moment of glory on the way to a quick visit to Tesco with Rachel and her flat. She threw a snowball at me, and I distinctly recall telling her on Monday to not do such a thing, otherwise I wouldn't hesitate in taking her down in the snow. So naturally, I obliged and went to take her down...thinking it'd be a simple trip of some sort. Seems I pretty much picked her up and slammed her to the ground in a sequence that Cain Velasquez would be proud of. Ich fuehle mich so maennlich!!

It's a bit mental though how we get some snow and the country descends into chaos. We had a similar scenario earlier this year, and if this is all down to climate change, surely we should be expecting much more of this sort of thing in the future. So why don't we begin to prepare for this sort of thing? If, in 5 years, we still have a country that stops completely when there's a few inches of snow, this country is in major trouble. I'm not the man to fix the problem, but I'll be more than happy to point the problems out and then sit back and have a sleep while someone else who can do a better job sorts everything out.

It's finally December, and this means that we're just 29 short days away from 2011. That's a bit crazy! What have I done with the other 336 days? I'll definitely be doing some sort of end-of-year blog entry...maybe. I'll have to actually sit down and think of things that I've done with my year though, my mind isn't great at remembering things these days. Oops!

It is December though, and this means that Christmas music is now socially acceptable to listen to. I celebrated this fact by putting a Christmas album onto my iPod bang on midnight. Anything called "We Wish You a Metal Xmas and a Headbanging New Year" must equal win.

Anyone who reads this and is in Leeds, this part is for you. If you're elsewhere in the country, feel free to read it, but I'm shamelessly plugging an event in Leeds.
Honeydrum are having their Christmas party/Winter Feast in the Riley Smith Theatre in Leeds University Union NEXT THURSDAY (9th) from 7-11. There's a couple of hundred tickets available for this, and they're at the amazing price of just £2. Come down and get involved with singing, dancing, drumming, a raffle, food, fun and more. It promises to be an utterly amazing evening. They'll be in the union on Monday (and Tuesday...I think) selling tickets and advertising Honeydrum in general. If you're free, head down and check them out!