Thursday, 29 December 2011

2011: A brief look back

So we're at the end of 2011. Wow. I don't know about you, but this year has absolutely flown by for me.

Did August happen? Did we get August? I remember summer happening in May and June when it was ridiculously hot, but I don't remember much about August.

Going through month-by-month and looking at what I've done wouldn't work, simply because I really don't remember what I did. Maybe I did some amazing stuff over the course of the year, but as most people know, my memory really isn't that great for a couple of reasons. So, inspired by a thread on UKFF about Personal Highlights (a thread about personal low points a few months ago resulted in some borderline criminal revelations from some members, some utterly disgusting stories and some things that my mind can never unsee), I'm going to scribble down some of the main things that I can remember.

Some of the points are quite trivial in the grand scheme of things, but I'd like to think I've got some good points. So...here we go.

Finally going to a Grand Prix

I've been an F1 fan for the vast majority of my 20 years on this planet, but before this year, I'd never gone to an F1 race simply because I've not had the money, and F1 really isn't that cheap a sport to attend. Regardless, there was a bit of luck and there was the opportunity to do something pretty awesome, so I got a ticket to Silverstone. The weather may have been rather suspect on Friday and Saturday (including one of the most sudden downpours of rain I can recall happening to me), but the entire weekend was amazing. Hearing the engines firing up on Friday morning while I was sat in one of the grandstands with my brother drinking coffee and then watching the cars all drive past sent shivers down my spine. Without a doubt, that's probably one of the best weekends of my life to date. There have been other fantastic moments (even during this year), but they all happened during week days.

Of course, I was then back at Silverstone just a month later for the Renault World Series weekend. Slightly different weekend (and a hell of a lot cheaper...well, the tickets were free after all!) but it was a great chance to see some young racing drivers honing their craft, and looking at the grid now, quite a few of the guys I saw that weekend will be in F1 next year. If we're keeping tabs, those drivers are Jean-Eric Vergne, Charles Pic, Daniel Ricciardo (though he was already racing for HRT by this point too) and Robert Wickens (though he'll be in a reserve driver role) So in that respect, it's pretty cool.

I don't know whether I'll get back there next year...I wouldn't count on it, but I might try and get to a European race, or check out another WSR weekend somewhere in Europe. Perhaps I'll head over to Germany and check out the N├╝rburgring!

As a side note, but staying with sport, it was also a good year for cricket. I made it to the first day of the Championship with Nick Foy to see the mighty Lancashire kicking arse at Aigburth. And kick arse they did. Lancashire bowled Sussex out for 243 on the first day and still had time to make inroads into that score before the close of play. They went on to win that game by an innings and it set them up for an outstanding title victory in September.

Living in Leeds had another advantage as I spent quite a bit of time from May at Headingley watching the cricket there. Yorkshire's season...well, it sucked. Of the 5 games I saw (3 T20s, a CB40 and one day of a county game), they lost or went on to lose all five. So I'm waiting for the day next season when I get to witness a White Rose win. As long as it doesn't happen in the T20 when they're playing Lancashire, I won't mind.

Music

I've always been a musical guy, whether it's the dozen years or so I've spent playing flute or the last 5 or 6 that I've spent involved in samba drumming. The last year's been all about the drumming, especially with Honeydrum. I've had the opportunity to do some really cool gigs this year in some really nice locations in Leeds and Yorkshire, and they brought me into my own as a musician. Plus, I never realised I could multi-task by drumming and singing at the same time. Turns out I can, and it's not a disaster, so that's always good to know. I'm by no means a good singer, but I can just about hold it together and no one has ever told me that I sound terrible, so I must be doing something right, right?

It's been strange not really getting much chance to play with Beatlife, but I've had a few chances to take a couple of sessions at for Beatlife when I have been home and able to make it to the Tuesday night session. So it just gave me a chance to try out some stuff from Honeydrum and hear it being played by a different group, and also see how easily I can teach a group a completely new rhythm. I had maybe two or three chances to do this over the year, but each time I did it, I felt pretty good about myself and people seemed to like them and thanked me. It's something that doesn't seem so significant, but getting that chance to prove myself has been something I've really enjoyed being able to do this year. If you'd asked me to do this last year, I wouldn't have even considered it for a second.

Friends, and life in general

I'm a much happier person at the end of this year than I was last year. I feel much more settled in life, and since my life is mainly at Leeds, that's what it all comes down to. I suppose it's time for some lovely revelations. It just wouldn't be the end of the year without some revelations and heartbreak.

Last year, I wasn't really feeling that I was enjoying my course that much, questioning whether I really did want to be studying German, and there were points when I felt like I had no real friends and was...well, a bit lonely. It's one of the secrets I've carried with me over the past 12 months and I've only talked about this with one or two people...and even then, that's only been in the last month or two.

I think what surprised me most has been in the last week or two when talking to school friends about uni and whatnot. Where I've just casually mentioned that I think I'm doing well, I'm pretty happy and things are much better than they were a year ago, they've pointed out how they thought I was a bit glum and down. Maybe I'm not so good at hiding it...

So, I'll end the blog, and the year with something that is nothing short of emotionally disgusting.

To all of my friends, whether those that I've known for years, or those that I've only really started to get to know over the last few months, thank you. I've grown and developed as a person over the last 12 months, and you've helped to shape me into who I am, and the person that I'll continue to be.

Whether I'm that guy who starts dancing at random times, bursts into song when no one else does at a Stammtisch (or anywhere else for that matter), acts like a 6 and a half year old because it's fun and it beats doing work, someone to have a serious conversation or being that shoulder to cry on, I am who I am because of you. Without you guys, I wouldn't be who I am. Life would be a different ride, but I doubt I'd enjoy it anywhere near as much as I'm enjoying this one.

I may not tell you how much I appreciate our friendship, but I do. Thank you.

Thursday, 22 December 2011

The Berlin Chronicles: Part II

So...here we are for Part II of Berlin. It actually works out quite nicely as it was a four day trip, and so using my amazing A-Level in Maths, I know I can split the trip into two entries of two days. Those years of differentiation, calculus and integration weren’t wasted aft-...oh, wait a minute. They were.

Wednesday was a day spent taking it VERY easy indeed. I didn’t really sleep that much on what was pretty early Wednesday morning by the time we got back to the hostel and settled down to get to sleep. I don’t remember if anyone set an alarm, but I think I was up by about half 8 or 9. Take out my unusual sleeping habits of waking up at pretty regular intervals, and I got about 2 hours of sleep. That’s really not enough sleep for me, as we found out a bit later in the day.
We went off to East Side Gallery to see that part of the Berlin Wall, and it was really something to be able to walk along that section of wall and look at some of the artwork that people have drawn on there. Some of it is really amazing and inspirational stuff, and I’ve definitely got my favourites. It’s crazy to think that just over 20 years ago, there was a gigantic wall going around Berlin that divided a city in two. Of course, as we all know, the world (and Germany) has progressed at an astounding rate in this time to become the place that it is today. For that, we thank you David Hasselhoff.

Once we’d finished that walk along the wall, we managed to find a really nice bakery place in Alexander Platz for lunch. It was ridiculously well priced too which makes things even better and I was able to stuff my face with some bread, a sandwich, a doughnut and a milkshake for just under 5 Euros. Tell me that isn’t fantastic. Then by this point, the severe lack of sleep had caught up with me. Hessie suggested a sneaky nap to the group (which sounded like my idea of heaven), so we headed back to the hostel. There was then a fairly large change of mind among people, but despite virtually everyone else going off to have a look around the cathedral, I managed to catch up on snooze-time.

After I was woken (I vaguely recall having a mini-freak out when being woken. Thank you) we headed down to the cathedral to find the rest of the group and then went for a wander around another Christmas market. And it’s here that I found the surprise of the trip: a five piece band playing a variety of music. And these guys blew me away...probably because I was craving some music and they covered all bases. There was stuff by Beach Boys, there was Little Richard, there was Christmas music...they had it all. So it’s probably no surprise to read that I was dancing around and we ended up sitting in the tent with a drink and listening to these guys for about an hour or so. It really was a pretty cool way to spend part of the evening.

Once we got back to the hostel, things because...well, they became more childish. We spent the night sat downstairs while a good chunk of the group went to check out a club in Berlin. Most of us were just too tired and not really feeling the need to go out, and we had a good time anyway. There was a German copy of Cosmo magazine which inspired me to start my own mini catwalk, even though no else joined in (shame on you guys, shame on you!) and we even got to hear our horoscopes. Turns out the last week or so was pretty good for me in terms of “Lust und Erotik”. Then again, this was the same for the other 5 of us who got to find out what our horoscope had in store for us.

And then it got really childish. REALLY childish (though what would you expect from me?). I’m going to claim credit for the idea as well, even though I’m not 100% sure it *was* my idea. Once we went upstairs to go to bed, I shared the idea with Hessie and threw my mattress onto the floor and then grabbed hers and did the same. The mattress party was born. I’m going to say it’s a good thing that we were in a room of people who don’t always have to be the most mature people and therefore, they were open to our idea of just sleeping on the floor on our mattresses. Again, there are photos of this amazing event on Facebook somewhere should you want to see images of me and combinations of people lying on the floor (including one taken just after I was hit in my *ahem* gentleman parts with an elbow).

It was Kenny’s birthday on Thursday though, so we started her birthday with the most fun way possible: a bed time story from Tom! It wasn’t my finest rendition of Once Upon a Time, but it was definitely a special version as it was turned into a musical version featuring all of your favourite songs such as “My robot broke and then the warranty expired!”

Aah, that really was good fun. We were childish, we were immature, but it was good fun (even if I did stay up until about 3am again). It’s amazing how you can be tired one minute and then go upstairs and suddenly find another burst of energy to be on it for the next three hours or so. I was pretty impressed at that, though some of the conversation got REALLY bizarre by about 2am.
So we get to Thursday...the last day of the trip (well, the last full day). We finally got round to checking out the DDR Museum which was really cool. There were plenty of interesting things to look at and read. I can now say I’ve sat in a Trabi (even if it was just in a museum) and we created the not-so ideal Socialist Tom. Any futuristic historical version of myself that has me wearing a top hat, a suit, long hair and carrying flowers and theatre tickets is the sort of the Tom that I would want to be in the past or future.

Looking at it now, the trip just wouldn’t have been complete without ice skating. Even though I haven’t ice skated for a couple of years, it was really good fun and I remembered how to not fall over on the ice while continuing to move. Santa was there too! He wasn’t skating though and once we got off the ice, we went over to get a picture with the big guy. Being the genius that he is, he positioned us to get as many landmarks into the photo as is possible. I’m not sure which camera that’s on, but once it’s uploaded (if it isn’t already), I’m looking forward to seeing it again.

And so that brings an end to the trip of Berlin. The journey back was fairly eventful as Amanda wasn’t feeling too well (she’s thankfully much better now, yay!) but I managed to catch a little bit of sleep on the plane, and I don’t think anyone was in the mood for being awake on the coach back, especially at the time we were travelling back up to Leeds. We beat the sun back, though I did stay up to watch it from my bedroom before I headed off to sleep early on Friday morning.
Berlin shoots to some of the best moments of my time in uni at the moment. Obviously, having never been to Berlin before the trip, it was always going to be a good trip. Getting to spend it with some of my closest friends made the trip so much better though, and I can’t think of a better group of people to have spent it with.

So to you guys and girls, thank you for a fun week! I know I wish I could have stuck around for a few more days as I was really enjoying myself and being back in the UK just isn’t the same...still, it just gives an excuse to head back in the near future.

With that, have a safe and pleasant Christmas (and Chanukah). Love and happiness to you all.

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

The Berlin Chronicles: Part I

As we know, I was in Berlin last week. And needless to say, I was pretty psyched about it. Prior to the trip, I hadn't been to Germany's capital. I'd done some travelling around Nordrhein-Westfalen but that was about it for German adventures. So it was a trip that I was looking forward to, and the opportunity to spend a couple of days in a different country with my friends at the end of semester was pretty much all I could ask for.

Before we went off to Berlin, there was a bit of evening excitement for Adventsonntag. Realistically, this was just an excuse to eat a lot of German biscuits and cake before flying. Though really, I don't think I need much of an excuse to eat a lot of cake and biscuits. It's rather my thing. Good fun though, and I even got to wear a nice Christmas hat and display my affinity for elf culture by alternating between happy and sad elf.

I'm pretty indifferent to flying really. I've not flown that often in my life and I think that the two flights were maybe my fourth and fifth times on a plane. So that's really not so often. There are people in life who love being on planes and there are some who really dislike it, but I really couldn't care. It could just be that by the time I was flying for this trip, I was so sleepy that I just wanted to grab a bit of sleep, but it's easy enough to just continue talking to friends or stick in the iPod and doze off for a while.

Once we got to Berlin, it was a pretty good day. The weather through the entire week was pretty good with the exception of some rain on Wednesday afternoon/evening and pretty strong winds throughout. Compared to England at the moment though, Germany definitely won in the weather stakes. Well done!

I think everyone who was there would agree that the rooms were pretty awesome. They were BIG. There were 8 beds in our room and a lot of floor space to prance around and get up to other childish antics (as I'll get to in the next entry). My room mates in the hostel are also some of my favourite people in the world, which definitely helped. Admittedly, it was a bit strange sharing a room with 6 girls (yes, I said six) but it was hilarious and I don't think I could have picked a better bunch of people to have shared with. We spent part of Monday night dancing around the room to some rather terribly excellent boyband music which just wouldn't happen with other people.

Monday was a fairly relaxed day once we got to Berlin really. We had time to kill before we could get into the rooms, so we went for a quick wander down the road and stopped off for some lunch since we were all pretty hungry after not really eating all morning. And it was here that the hunt for the waffles began. Kenny and Susan split a waffle which was apparently rather scrummy, and after that, there was the frequent talk of waffles among the group and the idea of starting a waffle tour to discover the best coffee shop in Berlin. Sadly, that will have to wait for another visit!

Once we got into the room, I think we took an hour or so to sleep. Well, that was the plan. I think we slept for the best part of two hours (though no one really seemed to mind since we were collectively destroyed). It was such a nice sleep too...I thought my bed was pretty comfortable, though as it turns out, it wasn't as comfortable as other beds in the room!

In the evening, we all went for a group meal which was really nice. It also gave me a good opportunity to speak to some of the first years, since I've really not said much to any of them this year. They're a pretty cool bunch though which is really good to know. And the food! Oh, the food. I'd forgotten just how marvellous a proper German meal was. Definitely going to have to start getting more food in next semester. I tell you something, I'm going to end up getting fat when I'm away next year if I eat as much as I think I probably could. Not that that would be a major problem though, my mum commented earlier on how I've continued to lose weight.

Tuesday was a really interesting day too. We were up relatively early (well, I'd like to think it was early) and we managed to get plenty of stuff done. Of course, this means that we were able to start the day with the awesomeness that is a German breakfast. Oh, I'd forgotten how simply fantastic a breakfast of bread, cheese and salami was, and it goes a bit further when it's helped down with plenty of apple and orange. I don't really have breakfast that often, but if I could bring myself to make sure I constantly had this sort of stuff in my fridge, I'd probably be going for this as a way to kick things off most days.

Anyway, once we got out into the streets, our group went for a nice wander. As you'd expect, it was all new to me and it was quite cool to recognise street and area names like Unter den Linden, Karl-Liebknecht-Stra├če (though that's where we were staying, so I'd already spotted this one to be honest) and Potsdamer Platz. We went and had a look at plenty of cultural stuff around the city including the Brandenburg Gate, and the Jewish Memorial . So I got plenty of photos of these things, as did everyone else with us. If you don't believe me, just look at the hundreds and hundreds of photos that were put on Facebook over the last few days by people on the trip. I'm thinking I could well have been tagged in about a hundred photos myself. Considering I tend to not take many photos, or being in photos that often, that's a pretty big thing for me.

It really was good to explore Berlin though, and once the sun went down, we went for a wander around Potsdamer Platz and got to see the awesomeness of life size Lego statues. These. Were. Amazing. As someone who is sometimes mistaken for a six and a half year old child, this was brilliant to see a gigantic Lego snowman, bear and Santa's sleigh complete with some reindeer. As a 20 year old, it was probably even more fantastic. This was possibly my highlight of the day, and I think the only thing that matches it would be the walk back to the hostel after we'd had dinner. Given the choice of hopping on the U-Bahn or trekking back, I think we made the right decision. Seeing the Brandenburg Gate at night with the gigantic Christmas tree lit up just in front of it was something to behold.

What better way is there to conclude a Tuesday in Berlin than with a bar crawl though? I know what you're thinking, a bar crawl isn't really my ideal vision for a night out since there's that rather large stumbling block regarding the fact that I don't drink. Still, when you're with some really good friends, you've got a chance to just do nothing but hang out and relax for the night and you're wandering around some bars in Berlin playing some fairly good music (especially for dancing), then what more could you want?!

I had a really fun night, proving that it's possible to enjoy yourself on a bar crawl despite not drinking. I'll assume everyone else did too, though there were some shenanigans that are best suited to the category of "What happens in Berlin, stays in Berlin." They will not be spoken of by me. The night ended in a fun way though as I got to swap beds for a reason that I'm not totally sure of. All I know is that the mattress on Hessie's bunk bed was far more comfortable than the one I had, so I was clearly the winner in this location change. Success!!

I'll leave it there and do the remainder of the trip and some after thoughts within the next day or two, though I'll have already written it by the time you read this. Call it building suspense or something...it'll add to the excitement when you find out what happened on Wednesday and Thursday. ;)

Take it easy, thanks for reading. If you don't read Part II, or I do forget to post it, Merry Christmas.

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Time for a catch up

It's been quite a while since I last blogged, and while it's been mainly for what I would hope are reasons, it's no excuse to have neglected this page.

It's been an eye-opening month though. A lot has happened since I last typed something into here, and the vast majority of it has been positive. Fear not, I'm not entering some weird Brody Stevens mad man phase and being all about #positivity #positiveenergy and #positivethinking. I'm going to guess that the reference is lost on...pretty much everyone. Such is life.

Thinking about it though, I can't really think of anything negative that's gone on. Sure, life is far from perfect, but perfection is something I strive to never achieve. If we find perfection, where do we go from there? In this semi carefree life that I try to lead, it's much easier to put the bad things to one side and leave them there.

So...what have I actually been doing with my time? As you'd expect (and for any fellow students reading), it's not too difficult to figure out that the majority of time has been spent working.

Work seems to dominate far more time than it did last year. Could that be because I was able to dedicate Wednesday-Saturday on homework each week last year? This time around, I've only got Fridays to work all day and I'm pulling more late nighters than I'd probably like. The last month has been one of essays, presentations and posters...and with the exception of Linguistics (let's just not go there...), I think I've been doing alright.

It's most likely helped by the fact that it's been group work for these presentations and posters. So to those people who have put up with me over the last few weeks, I thank you. Hopefully our marks reflect the amount of work we put in...

In one of the more bizarre moves I've made, I said farewell (for now) to my ponytail and that scraggley ginger mess I tried to call a beard. For those who haven't yet seen it, imagine the 90s boyband hair...and you'll have some idea of how it looks. It has allowed me to buy hair gel though. That's something I've not done for a long time.

The beard is most likely going to do a Terry Funk and make a comeback before people have had a chance to miss it. It could well be because I was asked to grow it for the German Theatre Project we're doing...but I'm going to maintain that it's because I'm far too lazy to shave regularly.

Of course, it's now the end of semester, which means that Christmas is just around the corner...which means that Berlin is just a few days away. Never been there before (which seems criminal for a German student) but I'm looking forward to it. It should be a cracking little adventure. I definitely need to start Christmas shopping. My UKFF Secret Santa deserves a nice present so I'll have to pick that up tomorrow. And of course, I need to buy appropriate gifts for family. You'd think it would get easier with time...but it never does. Andrew's still just as difficult, Emma wants a t-shirt from bloody Germany ...my mum already owns most cookbooks worth having and my Dad...

I did go to Preston to see PCW over the weekend. They're probably my favourite UK promotion at the moment (especially since DPW shut up shop earlier in the month) and they've provided me with some great entertainment at recent shows. I think I just love them because I got to get a photo with Nigel McGuinness on his retirement tour. He even commented on how old school my t-shirt was (it's one of his ROH tops from 2006/7). So that was quite simply excellent.

I wonder whether it'll snow this Christmas (or during the break)...probably will. It's getting rather cold these days but it just keeps raining! It's also incredibly windy. I'm writing this in The Treehouse at uni and the doors keep blowing open. Very strange...

So it seems that while I've been busy, I've not actually been that busy. That's a rather sombre thought to end this entry with. We can't end things on a downer though, so I'll leave you with this. It's Thursday evening and I don't have any classes tomorrow. In the words of Noddy Holder: It's CHHHRRRRIIIIISSSTTMMMAASSS!

Monday, 7 November 2011

Stand up and shout!

I write this from what seems like a totally unusual location. I say that because I've not been back here for about 2 months when I last packed by bags and headed back to Leeds to prepare for the start of university. That's right folks, I've come home.

Of course, this has only really happened because we've got a reading week for the course. It's something that I'm so grateful for though. We may have only had six weeks of teaching, but I was starting to feel a little bit frazzled from everything, and being able to take a day or two to relax will help ease the way through to the end of semester. It won't be a completely work-free week obviously, as I've got two assignments due in for next week which will need to be done at some point over the next few days (and I'm hoping to get my translation done today to be honest), then there's always reading and preparation to do for next week's seminars.

Currently though, I'm in the middle of one of the most enjoyable streaks of nights I've quite possibly ever had. That's probably why I'm writing something on here.

On Friday night, we had the fireworks on Woodhouse Moor. As you'd expect, the fireworks and bonfire were pretty cool. Sadly, we weren't drumming because the conditions in the park weren't ideal for playing outside, and with lots of potential slippery hazards waiting to catch someone out and send them flying, I can see why the call was made. On the plus side though, it meant I was able to spend the night with some friends instead. Playing for the fireworks last year was pretty cool, but it means you're not really paying attention to what's going on in the sky because you're concentrating on playing and keeping it together. It was really cool to hang out with people and watch the fireworks go off instead.

Saturday was karaoke. If you've ever been in, or near a karaoke bar with me, then you'll know I love it. There was only a small group of us who went to karaoke, but it was still a great night out. Despite what some people were saying, I'm not actually a great singer by any stretch of the imagination. I can just about hold my own, but I'd like to think I put in so much energy when I'm performing (because at the end of the day, that's what it is...you're performing), that I can mask my vocal flaws and put on a great song for people.

Everyone did pretty well though, and we all seemed to have fun. There are photos and videos galore on my Facebook page for people to flick through if that interests you. Sadly, there isn't much footage of the Grease MegaMEGAmix that I did with Hessie. We made Travolta and Newton-John look flimsy! Like I say, lots of energy, holding our own and having a great laugh. That...that's what it's about.

Then last night, one of the nights that I've been looking forward for a LONG time. Fozzy's first ever show in Leeds at The Well. The doors may have opened over an hour late, and gig might have not finished until about 11.15pm, but it was a really great gig. I didn't catch the name of the first support band, but they weren't great. I think the next band were called Versus, and they were pretty good. They were something a little bit different from the other bands on offer, but they had a good sound and some interesting songs. Actually, Emma bought their EP since she liked them so much, so I'll be able to say something better about them when I get to listen to it.

The main support were Jettblack, and they were awesome. Crawley said that it was like seeing Spinal Tap live, and I agree with that. The band looked as though they'd stepped straight out of the mid 1980s glam-rock/metal scene and onto the stage, and they were really good. I mean, REALLY good. I might have to track down their album (and in fact, I am). Go and check out some of their stuff on YouTube. Go! Go!!!

Are you back? I certainly hope so. You'd be missing the best part of the blog. Fozzy!!! It must have been about 10pm when Fozzy stepped on stage and they started their set, but it was really good. It's technically the farewell leg of their Let The Madness Begin tour, and I was at the LTMB tour last year in Manchester, so the song list was pretty similar, but they mixed it around and gave it a completely different feel. I know Jericho was saying that the new bassist felt like the missing link, and I agree with that now. The gig really was one of the best that I've seen.

I'm a bit of a mark for Chris Jericho, but I think it's pretty understandable really. Whether he's in a wrestling ring or on stage, he's awesome. I think his two careers go well together...for me, he's right up there as one of the best front men in a band that you could want. He's charismatic, he's energetic, he's a decent singer and he engages with the crowd. We may have been chanting Y2J when they came on stage, but by the end of the first song, those chants were solely for Fozzy.

Once again, if you've not heard anything by Fozzy, check it out. Hopefully you won't be disappointed.

Then tonight and tomorrow I'm going to the WWE tapings in Liverpool (which is a convenient reason to come home!). Yay! I'm not sure I've got much left in the voice to get really excited, but having the chance to see Bert River, CM Punk and many other top guys will be something. It seems really strange, I've never been to a WWE show. I've done the other major American companies and I've seen my fair share of things from the UK, but I've never been to a WWE show. Madness. That changes tonight, and they're TV tapings, so I'll be a very small part of history. No idea what to expect, and the preview for tonight isn't up yet. Either way, it'll be awesome...and I've finally got my CM Punk t-shirt.

That's enough from me. Check out some of the music I've talked about, they're awesome bands. Enjoy your week.

WWWYKI

Friday, 28 October 2011

Tragedy strikes when you least expect it...feelings of a motorsport fan

I'm a pretty big fan of motorsport. I've written about it on this blog a few times about my love for Formula 1, and the sport in general.

"Even aside from Formula 1, I love watching motorsport. This year, I've found myself branching out and watching different categories to explore different racing. I finally started watching Indycar and NASCAR from Stateside (and I definitely prefer Indycar), GP2 and GP3 from the F1 support races, British F3, British Touring Cars, Le Mans (both the 24 hour race and the Intercontinental Series) and then bits of Formula Renault (including the World Series events)."

So there we go. I love the sport, and if I can find it on TV (or online) I'll watch it.

Sometimes though, there are moments in life that make you question the things you love, why you love them and how you can continue to do so. Without a doubt, this week has been one of those.

For anyone unaware, two weeks ago, we had the Indycar finale in Las Vegas. As part of the attractions, the organisers had set up a $5million challenge for Dan Wheldon to start at the back of the grid and try to come through the field to win the race. If he did that, he'd split the $5million with an Indycar fan who had entered their details in a competition.

Plenty of people who know far better than me have plenty to say about the Las Vegas track, mainly saying that it was far too dangerous to race Indycars on, and that having them driving flat-out for the entire lap and being able to run 3 wide would end in disaster. They were right, but I suspect none of them could foresee what actually happened.

In a few seconds of absolute horror, some 12 cars were involved in an accident after two cars made contact. Driving so closely behind each other, the drivers behind found themselves in an impossible position and facing an accident. Some drivers were lucky in that they made light contact, others weren't so lucky and found themselves being catapulted through the air. Pippa Mann, JR Hildebrand and Will Power were all sent to hospital with varying degrees of injury as a result of the crash while Wheldon tragically lost his life.

Watching it live at the time, there was no question that the accident was one of the scariest accidents I've ever seen in my life. In Formula 1, you never really see such levels of destruction, and that's mainly because cars aren't racing in such close proximity. It's safe to say that I never want to watch that accident again in my life though. Knowing the consequences of the incident and the fact that a great driver lost his life, I can't watch it again.

The two hours waiting for news on Wheldon's injury were some of the most difficult pieces of television to watch. Obviously, they didn't want to show replays of the accident because of its severity, and not many drivers were wanting to give interviews. Both in the USA and on British television, both teams of presenters did an exceptional job for which they have to be commended, and even when the news broke that Wheldon had passed away, they kept it together. The five lap tribute was something that I was unsure about at the time, but watching it, it was the right thing to do. The sound of bagpipes playing Amazing Grace was enough to make me cry during this, and it really was a sad occasion. I don't think I've ever seen racing cars look sad while they're going around the track, but these Dallaras certainly didn't look happy, and it wasn't the nicest way for them to end their time in Indycar before moving onto the new chassis, which has been named in Wheldon's honour.

Then, this Sunday the motorsport world was stunned again by the death of Marco Simoncelli. I can't say I've been an avid viewer of MotoGP this year since the races have been largely processional (and Rossi hasn't really been that strong on the Ducati). When I have watched races though, Simoncelli has been one of the most exciting racers in the field. His wild, curly hair made him stand out in the field and his racing was some of the finest seen in a long time. Perhaps he would have made it to the top and dominated MotoGP for several years, but he was definitely on his way to becoming one of the top names in the sport.

Simoncelli's accident could have perhaps been avoided had he not been so determined to save himself from falling in the middle of the corner, but he was a racer. He fell, and Rossi and Edwards were unfortunately behind him and virtually powerless to avoid making contact. I've not seen the accident since it occurred, and once again, I don't think it's something I want to see in the near future.

To have one death is tragic, but to have two top racers die within a week of each other...there aren't really words to describe it. It's a dark cloud over the motorsport industry, and it highlights how important safety is. No matter how safe you try and make a sport, there is always the risk of injury or death. That's why when you go to most events, it'll say on the ticket "Motorsport can be dangerous"

I'll leave it on this note. The Indycar commentator, Marty Reid, signed off from the broadcast on that Sunday evening with this: "Many people ask me why I always sign off 'Til we meet again'. It's because goodbye is always so final. Goodbye Dan Wheldon" Goodbye Marco Simoncelli

Sunday, 16 October 2011

It's been a while...

I've really let this blog slide over the past month or two. I've gone from writing at least once a week to struggling to make it a fortnightly thing. To be honest though, I've been keeping myself pretty busy, and at times it feels as though I'm struggling to make any free time for myself as it is without managing to scribble something on here.

The last two weeks have been pretty busy weeks though. The workload at university is slowly starting to increase and I've been finding myself caught out a few times in forgetting how much time I need to dedicate to doing work on my own time to make sure I'm getting everything done. I'll slip back into a more natural routine and get completely on top of everything, but I've definitely had a couple of late nights finishing off bits of work that I really shouldn't have left until the last minute. Four months off is a hell of a long time, and it's really easy to get into a routine of switching your brain off relatively early in the night and relaxing. You definitely can't do it at uni though!

I'm definitely keeping myself pretty busy. I'm not complaining though, it's much better to have something to do with my time instead of watching something bizarre on YouTube, reading the weirdo thread on UKFF or thinking about how to get a moment with Bert River at the TV tapings next month with Crawley and Hamling. Like I say though, there are definitely plenty of things on my plate at the moment to keep me busy.

HD1C has started off pretty well in the union (despite a small screw-up on my part regarding a change of room/date), and we've got a good base of new members. Over the next few weeks, hopefully we can build up to become a solid little group and go from strength to strength. There's an Austrian girl who has joined, which means that I'll hopefully get a little chance to speak some German during rehearsals as well...which is always good!

On the German note, I somehow found myself talking to Mandy after the Core lecture on Tuesday and telling her I was interested in being involved in the Theatre project...and most likely would be interested in acting too. Really...I have no idea how I ended up saying that, and now I'm staring at an audition on Tuesday for one of the roles in the play. I wasn't aware I could act. I suspect I can't, and we'll all find that out relatively shortly to everyone's amusement. Still, it'll be interesting.

As I said in my last blog at the start of the month, I'm in my final few weeks of teenage life. I'd like to think I've managed to do pretty much everything that I would have like to have done during my teenage years...well, what I can remember of them. A hazy memory will be my one main memory of teenage life.

I've regressed quite a lot though and become a small child at various points. Over the last few weeks, I've made a fort in the living room using cushions, curtains and beanbags, I've thought of having gigantic games of hide-and-seek around the university campus (I've not forgotten about this idea...it WILL happen!), had an imaginary friend come round for the evening and I've played several pranks and tricks on my flatmates.

Of course, I realise that if I didn't spend so much time in my fort or being a 5 year old in general, I wouldn't be sat up at midnight finishing off some homework for the next day at uni or having to get up nice and early to make sure I've got all of my reading done.

Where would be the fun in that though?

That's the note I'll leave things on for now. Yes, things might be quite busy at times and I might end up pulling a few late nights to get everything done, but the fun is still there. We just need to realise it's there, take it and enjoy that moment of childishness.

"Never underestimate the importance of having fun". ~ Randy Pausch (The Last Lecture)

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Pinch, punch, first of the month

Yes, I am recycling titles. That's not due to a lack of imagination, it's due to my having to distribute my imagination more carefully since starting back at university. Either way, the title still works. It's October now, though you definitely wouldn't think it looking outside! We're enjoying a bit of an Indian Summer at the moment, and the last week has been absolutely glorious. At times, almost unbelievably hot, but glorious nonetheless. The walk to uni has been really enjoyable, and I'm definitely making the most of it because when it's grey, raining and cold, the walk through the park is going to be grim.

It's been a good first week back though, and I can feel myself getting back into the swing of things when it comes to focusing and getting down to work. Which is why after I finish writing this blog, I plan on spending the rest of today doing homework and getting all of my preparation done for the coming week. Having now had a full week of all of my classes, I think I've made the right decisions for me when it comes to module choice. There are some really interesting things coming up over the year at various points in my modules and I'll get a chance to explore some things I've not really looked at in too much depth before.

When it comes to my comedy writing, I've probably not written as much as I would have liked over the last few weeks, but I'm starting to shape together some of the ideas I've written and mould them together. I broke my earphones for my iPod earlier in the week, so the walks to uni have been quieter than usual (and I've got a huge backlog of podcasts to get through). As a result of it though, I've been having ideas springing into my head, so as well as having some straight routine ideas for material, I've started playing around with some sketch ideas. I joined the Comedy Society which should be really useful for this, and hopefully over the course of the year, I'll get the chance to expand on some of the ideas that I've come up with, and maybe even get some writing done with other people. The society have had some ideas for starting an improv group and a night for new material, and with both of those being pretty interesting for me, I'd like to think there's some chance for progress for me in that department.

Anyone who knows me fairly well knows I've been having problems with my knee (well, both knees...but mainly my left) over the last year or so. A year's a long time to carry an injury, especially when you can't remember what caused it in the first place. I gave in to the now-constant pain and saw a doctor to try and figure out what was going on down there. Knees are fairly tricky things to sort out because there's only so much that can be done without going into major levels. Sadly, I won't be getting a brand new knee any time soon (which is a shame as I really wanted some pogo springs), but I will be getting sent for a few weeks of physio to try and see if that helps. It probably should.

To be honest, I think the knee would have been fine if I hadn't slightly overdone it during the past two weeks. At the Headphone Disco (which was a really awesome night) I twisted the knee a few times and took a few knocks. At the time, I brushed those concerns to one side as I was busy enjoying the night and dancing like a bit of a fool, which we all know is what I do best. Then during the week, I was on a languages night out and took another couple of knocks to the knee which were enough for me to call quits on the night and hobble home.

I just realised that I'm now in my final month of teenage life. That's a rather scary thought...the next time the calendar page turns over, I'll be 20. 20 is at a stage where I have to start to think about being "grown up" (I think). I don't really know, I've not been 20 before. Maybe I'll be able to just continue being the same person I am and maintain my excellent level of (im)maturity. If I've got just a month left of teenager-ness, let's make it a good month!

Enjoy the rest of your day/weekend/week (delete as applicable depending on when you read this). While the sun is shining, let's enjoy it. It's a beautiful day.

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

It's good to be back

I'm trying out some different things on here, and while the shift back into university life is taking a bit out of me and meaning I'm probably not posting on here as often as I'd like, I can still find some time to scribble thoughts on the world. I'll be honest, I've had the intention of updating the blog for a few days now, but considering I've not actually started the uni work, I'm still pretty run off my feet.

Like I say though, I'm trying some stuff out, so this is a blog of two halves. Bear with me. It might get spliced into two separate entries spread over tonight and tomorrow. (In fact, this is going to be a two-parter. The other side of this will be up tomorrow since it's a completely different topic to this.)

Since I've got back to Leeds, I've been a pretty busy chap. There's been lots of preparation for the start of a new term with HD1C and the two Freshers Fairs that we did on Friday and Tuesday. Both of the fairs were great fun to do, and there are lots of positives that we can take from them. For example, there were a lot of people who expressed interest (to varying degrees) in joining HD1C, and we filled up quite a lot of contact sheets with names, email address and numbers. On top of that, I was able to talk to people from a couple of other societies and get to know them a little bit, and there was definitely some networking going on where hopefully it might lead to some potential collaborations between ourselves and different societies within the uni.

Without a doubt though, they were two busy days. There's been a lot of printing, copying, cutting and planning for those two days with the required changes to our union webpage, changes in membership and creating some funky flyers to give out to people. I think on Friday I ran half way around the uni trying to find the right people I need to sort out my failed attempts at playing around with printer settings. Thankfully, the receipt I have shows that a nice chap called Mark was able to help me and do my printing again as well as chopping the flyers into size. Excellent!

Between those two days, I headed over to Sheffield for a few days to catch up with the old friends, Sophie, KP and Alex. I also had a chance to catch up with newer friends, namely Sophie's housemates. For some unknown reason, they seem to like me (or at the very least, they're very nice and kind to me when I'm around). Either way, I'm glad because I like them too. I definitely think they've got a nicer house than I do here...they've got a definitely "family" feel in that place, and it's something that lacks a bit here. It's nothing against the house (apart from a semi-useless landlord who doesn't really seem keen to sort out problems) or the people, it's just that we are still essentially in a flat. Maybe that's just me...

We danced and fooled around, we went out and when we all got back from our nights out, there was still good conversation to be had. Saarah stayed up with me until well after 4am and we talked about some pretty interesting things. Strange how deep conversation can often come during the early hours. Does that say something about people? Maybe...I'd like to think so. I'm not quite sure *what* it says though. Either way, that conversation was probably far more productive than the writing that I started doing.

The trip was cut a bit short since I needed to hop back to Leeds to have a prep/admin meeting before Tuesday's Freshers Fair, but the train ride gave me a nice chance to write some things down.

My writing's definitely coming along. I've had two or three different strands of ideas that I've fleshed out a bit, so much so that I'd say I've almost got that initial 5 minutes of material that I'd want to have. I'm still adding little bits into it, then I'll start tweaking it before I take it into a public platform (and no doubt bomb horrendously to begin with, as I imagine most people do) and go through the process of changing things based on reactions I get. In some respects, I'm really looking forward to getting to that stage, since it takes things to a completely different level. The plan is to try and check out a couple of different comedy nights around Leeds (of which there are plenty), mainly because I love watching comedy and I love to see what different people talk about, maybe do some sneaky undercover work on looking at how people deliver and then head to a couple of open mic nights and give it a go myself.

Today was a pretty good day though. We had the intro meetings for German, and it made me realise just how much I'd missed being in uni and seeing everyone. It was great to catch up with friends and I'm looking forward to starting back on Monday. Sadly, I'm not really expecting to be eased back into work...I might have a bit of a shock to the system come the end of next week and a completely different opinion.

For now though, I'm looking forward to it. And I'll be looking forward to it with a smile.

Sunday, 11 September 2011

What makes me tick: Part 1 - F1

I get a bit of stick among some friends for being a fan of motorsport, with Formula 1 being one thing in life that can get me to drop virtually anything so I can sit down and watch it. A lot of it is just banter and saying that it's boring because they go around in circles and not a lot happens during races.

So in a new little side-track on this blog, I thought I'd start a little series of things detailing what makes me tick. It's nothing complex...I take the important things in my life and write about how they're influential and how they've helped make me who I am. I have a few ideas for what I can write about, but this is the one that I had to start with.

I'm a sucker for motorsport. I always have been, and I think I always will be. If it has an engine and wheels, I'm interested, and it seems to be a case that every weekend, there's a race somewhere in the world that I can find. On the rare occasions that I can't find anything, there are endless hours of races on Youtube and streaming websites where I can watch F1 from years gone by. My first race was the 1995 Canadian GP (won by Jean Alesi), and it completely captivated me. My first full season was in 1996, and I've watched every single season since then...so I'm now in my 16th year of watching Formula 1. In 16 years, I've missed maybe four races live. There's only one race that I've never seen in full during that time: the 2006 Hungarian Grand Prix.

There's something magical about the piercing sound of a screaming engine, whether it's an old V10 engine of the 90s or early 2000s or one of the modern V8s. It's sent shivers down my spine since I was a little boy. I've only attended one race, this year's British GP but even on a cold Friday morning as first practice started, hearing the engines firing up got me excited. Watching the cars fly through Becketts as rain began to fall, the rooster tails of spray flying off the rear of the car as the cars dance through the corner is something to behold. Watching them on race day as they race to be quicker, better than everyone else out there is something I won't forget.

I'm interested in everything about the sport. I love reading about how a team has brought a new part to a race and what they hope it will do. Every year, I go through the sporting and technical regulations and make sure I keep up to date on rules. I'd like to think I'm pretty up to date with my knowledge and could answer most questions about the sport, but give me something from within the last 10 years or so, and I could definitely answer.

Perhaps what catches my interest the most is the delicate combination of driver and machine. A truly great driver can take a car to the edge of its limits and balance it to be the fastest man out there, and a car can do the same to a driver. Watching a driver on the edge, flirting with danger and death is captivating to me, and to me, nothing can beat it for exhilaration. Take someone like Ayrton Senna for example. He was a man who could keep a car on the limit of grip, his hands and feet permanently dancing around the cockpit to keep the car on the track. I wrote a blog entry about Senna after I watched the documentary about his life a bit earlier in the year (which you can read again here: )

This is Senna doing a qualifying lap of Monaco where he's absolutely on the limit. Monaco isn't a place where you can make mistakes, because you'll end up in the barriers. Somehow, Senna managed to get a car around the streets far quicker than anyone else. Amazing.

The man I've followed closest in F1 is Michael Schumacher. He's the most successful driver in the sport and he has to be considered as one of the greats. He may have been ruthless and done whatever it took to win, but I was drawn to this over the years. There would be races where he could do a 20 lap stint at a pace that no one could cope with, he raised the standard of F1 drivers to a new level, particularly in the area of fitness. For me, he revolutionised the sport and built one of the most successful teams in the sport to create an era of dominance.

Even aside from Formula 1, I love watching motorsport. This year, I've found myself branching out and watching different categories to explore different racing. I finally started watching Indycar and NASCAR from Stateside (and I definitely prefer Indycar), GP2 and GP3 from the F1 support races, British F3, British Touring Cars, Le Mans (both the 24 hour race and the Intercontinental Series) and then bits of Formula Renault (including the World Series events). All in all, I think that's more than enough motorsport to keep me occupied.

Formula One, and motorsport in general, isn't something that everyone 'gets'. But on the face of it, F1 is one of the most watched sports in the world, and I think I'm right in saying that it's the most watched annual sporting event (527 million people watched last season). Only the Olympic Games and the FIFA World Cup gets more viewers. That's pretty impressive.

This year has been one of the more exciting seasons. Admittedly, this is because the FIA introduced new rules to help overtaking, and there is a degree of artificialness to them, but it has helped raise the profile of the sport, and more people are watching than ever before. The racing is still there, the drama is still there and there's still a great fighting spirit.

That...that is what I love about it. That's what makes me tick.

Friday, 9 September 2011

Headaches and hotshotting around

I'll start off by being completely honest with you, I've not had the most exciting of weeks since I last wrote. It has been a week now and I think it's important to write on here at least once a week (simply for the output I get from doing this). So please, lower your expectations for the next few minutes. There won't be any stories about me chasing dragons or finding a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Sorry...I'll be back on the dragon hunt for next time though.

I have spent a large chunk of the last week with what has either been one gigantic headache, or a series of headaches that always seem to be in the same place and bugging me constantly. After I had that little incident with a go-kart just before my 18th, I'd like to think that I've become moderately competent at dealing with headaches in my own way. A lot of it is the usual stuff, I'll drink some water, use either one of those cool strip patch things which seem to work or an ice pack on my head and ease up for a bit. If that doesn't work, I go to sleep for a bit. Sleep may not be a solution to the headaches, but it does a good job of holding it at bay for a while.

I say that stuff worked, but a mixture of that and spending about a month feeling rather groggy did mess up Year 12 a little bit. For most of that month, I would be going to school and then coming home and sleeping because I was having horrid migranes that were slowing me down to a complete crawl during the day. A lot of it probably could have been prevented (at least to some extent) if I'd stuck around in hospital after the incident, but I'm a bit of a stubborn fool when I want to be.

That headache stuff has held me back a bit when it comes to seeing friends since I've missed one or two things because I've fallen asleep or felt like garbage. That's not really such a good thing when people are heading back to uni this weekend (myself included) and I probably won't see school friends until December at the earliest. Such is life.

I'm looking forward to getting back to Leeds though, even if it is just for a few days since I'm sprinting back home for Crawley's birthday next week. I might be slightly insane for doing that, but I can't really complain since it's my choice to yo-yo around for the next week. There are a few things to do while I'm back in Leeds for those few days though which need to be done and it's strange to think that we're so close to actually starting the second year of uni. There's another blog in that which I'll probably get up either over the weekend or early next week.

The rest of today is a mix of watching F1 practice, maybe some vintage F1 online (can you see a theme here?), packing up and then (if it doesn't rain) I think I'll go for a wander. Wandering always seems pretty good for my creativity, so I should find something good springing into my mind for writing. What a life.

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Pinch, punch, first of the month

Holy night sky Batman, where has the year gone? The summer is officially drawing to an end and the nights are drawing in. I was at the pub a few nights ago and this did cross my mind. It must have been maybe 8.30 and it was already getting pretty dark. Just a month ago (if that), 8.30 was maybe sunset and you'd get a splendid evening sky as the sun went down behind the horizon for another day.

September is the month where everything will start to get back to normal again though. I can't really speak for anyone else, but it feels as if the last few months have merged into one gigantic ball of time. It's not quite wibbley-wobbley-timey-wimey stuff, but it's still one big chunk of time. Since I finished my last exam in May, I've pretty much been a free man. Not to say I've wasted the last 3 months. Not by a long shot. I'd like to think that they've proven to be a rather productive three months. I don't have anything like a happy shiny bank balance to prove that, but I've got some good memories of this summer and some hopes and aspirations to carry forward through the next twelve months.

I guess it's just because schools are starting again. My mum had her first day back at work today which was...well, probably not a lot of fun. But to me, the start of September has always been the start of another year, which is true in the academic sense of things. Yet we don't start uni until virtually the last week of the month. Which gives me three weeks to get back in the swing of things and make sure I haven't lost any ground (who knows, I might have gained something). Conversation among friends has been about what we'll do before everyone scurries back to their university and we're not all back together until Christmas.

Christmas is coming though. I don't want to seem like one of those weirdos who celebrates the decorations going up in department stores at a ridiculously early stage, but it is definitely coming. September will come and go before we know it, and then October will come. Before you know it, I'm no longer a teenager and we're in full swing in the run-up towards Christmas. I don't know about you, but that's pretty scary stuff. Where does the year go?!

We're all rushing through life at a frantic pace, more so now than ever before. Weeks blend into months and months into years. Before you've even had a chance to sit by the fire and watch the snow fall (maybe a bit of Sinatra if you want to go there), the flowers are in blossom again and we're back at summer.

Which is why I'm glad I did nothing of great importance today. I went to the park with two of my closest friends and we did nothing. We sat by the boating lake, watched the world go by for a bit and then went and sat on the grass and just talked among ourselves. Something Sophie said really rang home to me. In 10 or 15 years when we've all moved on in our lives, maybe we've got families as well, there's always that hope that we'll still be in close contact with each other. We might not see each other all of the time, but we'll meet when we can and it'll be just like it is now.

The value of close friendship shouldn't ever be lost among people.

Go outside tomorrow and sniff the flowers. I promise you, it's a beautiful day to be alive.

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Now for something a little bit different.

An email I received from a comedian recently said that to improve as a person and a writer, it's important to write every day if possible. Write in chunks, maybe aim for an hour a day and see what you get. Once you get used to this and putting a story across, you'll see that you've developed exponentially. For me, I'm doing that and then eventually the joke writing will come to me. I have moments of humour, and these often come from me acting...well, my usual self. So if I can take those moments, get them on paper and then make observations about life and what I see into amusing observations, I can fill my spare time quite happily.

So as you can guess, I've been writing a fair bit since the last post on here. Sometimes if I write something that seems worthy, I'll put it in here too. I'm thinking of this as being supplemental to my writing though. They're all saved away on my laptop in individual files, and I've been focusing on telling a story with each piece of writing. For some reason, I've been looking back at events in my life. I mean, they're all significant to some extent, but I figured that the easiest thing for me to write about and put across are things from my life. I can write about the colour of the sky or why we never seem to get much sunshine any more, but that's a different level of depth. It probably seems quite shallow and I can look rather egotistical.

I suppose everyone has an ego to some extent though, it's just a case of how we showcase it. Some people have a brilliant knack of being able to approach members of the opposite sex and talk to them with confidence, some know they're a genius and don't mind who knows it. There are hundreds of other ways of displaying your ego...I chose two relatively poor examples sadly, simply because my brain failed me. I like to feed my ego by writing a blog and coming back to it a few days later and seeing how many views it got, or posting stuff on Twitter and conversing with the world. It doesn't really help me too much, I seem permanently stuck on around 85 followers. Still, since I got rid of most of the robots, I like to think there are 85 people who see some of my bizarre thoughts occasionally and either go "Huh, that's interesting" or go "What an idiot. UNFOLLOW!" I'm in a bubble, and until it pops, I'll float around.

On a completely different note, I've stumbled across 8 Bit remixes of songs after someone did a version of the music for Joe Rogan's podcast (one of my favourite podcasts which I can't recommend highly enough) and I'm listening to a stack of them. As I said on Facebook and Twitter (there I go with the media whoring again...) if I put them on my iPod, life becomes one great big Super Mario game, and I can't think of anything more amusing and fun to pass the time.

I think it was the last time that I was in Sheffield when I managed to get Sophie onto Twitter. She doesn't seem to use it much, but her account popped up for some reason so I thought I'd ask her if she still used Twitter. Seemingly she does as she replied to let me know that she did, but only to stalk since no one is interested in what she has to say. Being me, I replied with "No one is interested in what I have to say, yet I still tweet...and blog.."

I suspect this is fairly true. I don't like to think about it though...it makes me sad.

Monday, 22 August 2011

Still not sleeping, but life's too short!

Evening people out there in Blogger World, I hope the world finds you with a smile on your face and some glorious weather finally giving us a slice of summer that we've been waiting patiently for.

This weekend, I was at Silverstone once again with my brother and Dad, this time for the Renault World Series meeting. The tickets for the actual weekend are free (which is a brilliant concept by Renault and ensures packed grandstands) and there's plenty to do. Overall, there were 10 races over the two days across five different categories: FR3.5, FR2.0 Euro, FR2.0 UK, Megane Trophy and Clio Cup. If there are any motorsport fans out there, they'll recognise the FR2.0 UK and Clio Cup rounds from the BTCC coverage on ITV4, but it's still a strange experience to watch people racing what are essentially glorified family cars around a race track. For what they are, they're still pretty quick and along with the Meganes, they provided some top action with plenty of overtaking.

The weather held off for pretty much the entire weekend barring some rain on Saturday night and a light shower early on Sunday morning, but even that wasn't enough to prevent the 2.0 UK guys from going out and racing on slicks. There are definitely some top names in there like Alex Lynn, who won both UK rounds on Sunday as well as winning the first 2.0 Europe round and finishing second in the second race. All in all, a pretty top weekend for that guy! If he keeps up with that, his career can go far and he could well find himself moving up the categories in years to come.

Though the racing action was pretty good throughout the weekend, I can't say the same for sleeping over the weekend. Unlike the GP weekend, I had some sleeping mats so I wasn't using the earth as my mattress, but my sleeping pattern was completely destroyed. Even though we were going to bed around 11pm each night, I found myself unable to get to sleep for at least an hour on all three nights, and then waking up a couple of times in the night...each time finding myself struggling to nod off again. There were a couple of times during Sunday where I was ready to fall asleep, and I'm pretty tired now...but surprisingly, I resisted the temptation to go for a nap earlier in the day and should hopefully sleep pretty well tonight.

The actual campsite, Silverstone Woodlands, was a really great site and far superior to the site I stayed in for the British Grand Prix in July. Now, I imagine that the fact that there were far less people staying at Woodlands for this weekend than the GP makes a difference, but the actual facilities were so much better. As a simple example, the showers at Woodlands are electrically powered, so there's hot water. That's the biggest thing: I had hot water to get a shower. The pub on site was brilliantly named (The Petrol Head) and offered relatively cheap drinks as well as the food van having possibly the greatest burgers known to motorsport fans. All in all, it was a pretty awesome weekend and I'll get the photos up onto Facebook within the next day or so. I'll hopefully get back to Silverstone next year and check out a couple of other events and maybe...just maybe, see some other circuits around the country. Of course, I'm looking at using the year abroad with uni as an opportunity to see a European race, either in Germany itself or going off to somewhere like Spa or Monza.

Now, on a slightly different note and a completely new idea, I know I've been writing a fair bit recently. However, I'd like to think that I've got good enough reasoning for doing that. I've been looking at some new ventures in the last couple of weeks and doing a bit of email sending because of this, and I think I'm getting some good ideas and tips from it. Now, you're probably thinking "Stop being so cryptic and stupid, either share your 'venture' or shut up." So I will...my long-term plan is to write a short set of stand-up material. I'm not planning or hoping to become big, but if I can write a short set and then start to edit that and perfect it over a matter of time, I'll feel I've accomplished something there. This isn't something that I'm going to be doing overnight though, and it'll probably take me a while to get there. But that's something for me to work on, and by writing for a good length of time each day (don't worry, I'm only posting on here every few days) I might eventually reach that line.

Anyway, we'll see how far that progresses with time. I'l keep writing each day, simply because it's something that I enjoy doing anyway.

"If you're stuck in your life and there is something YOU want to do, commit! That's the first step. Look at it and figure out what you have to do to make it possible and it WILL happen!"

Enjoy your week people, feel free to leave a comment at the bottom of this blog or on the Facebook link. Stay safe people and have a great couple of days.

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Never try and outsmart your body...it'll never work.

A super-special short entry for my own benefit tonight. I went out earlier this evening to catch up with Hessie since she's in Leeds too. It's nice to get out and see some other people, talk about random stuff (and yes, it was random. Sushi pet shop should help clarify the level of bizarreness) and grab a drink.

Once we finished up, the words "early night" came up. I was feeling pretty tired from my irregular pattern and love of going to bed at 2am, waking up an hour or two later and repeating that through the night...and an early night sounded like heaven. So, I got sneaky and went to bed at about 10. I know...I'm not a very awesome person for going to bed at 10pm on a Saturday night. But I'm tired, and early nights aren't really my thing.

If I went to bed at 10pm, why am I writing this at 11:55? Seems I can't outsmart my body clock. My internal clock decided it was nap time and I could sleep for about an hour and a half and then woke me up feeling as fresh as a daisy. There's no particular reason...unless I hate myself. Which would be strange, since I'd think you have to be aware of your own self-hate to actually have such an emotion.

I'll do some writing for an hour or so and then go back to bed. If I sleep, I sleep. If I don't, I'll probably just bang my head against the wall until I 'sleep'.

Either way, I'm going back to sleep.

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Lack of sleep and non-drying clothes don't make for a happy Thomas

Things have been pretty crazy since I last posted on here. I don't even need to go into detail about what happened, since we all saw it on the news (or first hand if you're really unlucky). A lot of crazy things happened and there's been millions of pounds of damage and stolen goods...but for what? I spent most of Monday night gripped to Sky News (I hate to admit it, but BBC were poor with their live coverage while Sky had one crazy guy filming reports on his iPhone and trying to interview looters as they go about their...well, looting), and a similar thing can be said for Tuesday night too. Who can forget the idiotic girl who, when asked what she was doing out, said "Getting my taxes".

It was pretty sad to see the riots spread across the country, and obviously I'm most saddened about things happening in Liverpool, especially since I've got friends who live in the areas where trouble was being caused. Thankfully, it looks like most of the trouble is behind us now and the country can pick itself back up, start to put the wrongs right and look to the future again.

I finally got my posters up on my wall last night after having had them rolled up on the floor since I moved in. The walls were looking a bit empty and I missed looking at the posters. However, they decided that they didn't really want to stay on the wall, despite fresh blu-tac (well, white). On the plus, this meant that Amy Pond fell on top of my at 5am this morning, and I'd never complain about that, but the posters on the other side of the room fell too. And they made a considerable amount of noise in doing so.

They certainly didn't help with my night of sleep...and I probably spent as much time awake as I did asleep. I woke at about 3.30 and felt wonderfully awake; ready and raring to go with an early start to optimise productivity for the day. Then I saw the time, and for some reason, I just couldn't get back to sleep. Eventually, I had to take the unusual route of sticking the iPod back on for a bit...and I drifted off for a short time.

"A short time." Give it another hour or so, and I was awake again and going through the same routine. This time, I was kept awake by the bathroom door banging shut, opening itself and closing again. I know why that happened, because I left the window open in there. So after getting bored of listening to that for a while, I had to get up and close that...then lie there for another hour or so before getting back to sleep again.

My sleeping pattern hasn't been great for the last few years, but it tends to alternate between waking up once or twice in the night and getting back to sleep pretty quickly and then waking up pretty much every hour and being awake for a while. So while I'm in bed until 11am or so, I'm not asleep constantly until 11am. I can maybe cut out a third of my time spent in bed from being asleep.

I tried to wash some clothes yesterday. Not a big deal, right? Wrong. In the house/flat, there are two washer/dryers, one on each floor. Yet realistically, we've got two washers. The dryer doesn't work, and I tried every single function that included "drying" my clothes to try and get them to dry, but nothing really worked. They got hot, yes...but hot doesn't necessarily mean dry. So they're now all hanging in my bathroom with the window open to try and get the breeze to help the drying process which is why the bathroom door kept slamming. Oh, that's another point. My door still hasn't been fixed. The actual handle isn't attached to the door and we're still waiting for the landlord to come and do something about that and a couple of other problems in the house too. Thankfully, I can still shut it since I've developed a makeshift handle to just close the door over and shut it.

Anyway, that's quite enough from me. I'm off to educate myself further about the world of comedy. I finally saw a full Bill Hicks stand up set, and he was one incredibly funny guy. If you haven't heard of him, do yourself a favour and check some of his stuff out on YouTube.

Friday, 5 August 2011

Back to Leeds and (hopefully) to more productivity

This will only be a short entry since it's pretty late and I'm probably heading to bed once I finish typing this. Chances are I'll be back with a longer entry at some point over the weekend or on Monday.

I'm back in Leeds for a short while. Well, until I decide to go back home, which will be sometime before the 18th of August. So I'm looking at just under two weeks here, but those plans can change based on my level of interest and amusement. I came back up here for a few reasons, mainly because I'd left all of my books in my room and felt I needed to do some work and also because I wanted to FINALLY start reading Chris Jericho's first autobiography, get the rest of the DVDs that I'd left behind (most of which are wrasslin' boxsets which Emma keeps bugging me) and get a bit of a break.

It's strange how having lived independently on my own for the last year, I love being at home, but I do like having my own space and being able to get away. Of course, it means I've got to make ALL of my meals (though it means there aren't any arguments about what to have, unless I start arguing with myself. In which case, I really have gone insane and I'm beyond all help) but that's fine by me. I've got plenty of food here anyway, so that's not a major concern.

So I've come to Leeds with good intentions and the aim of doing some work and sorting things out, but the key is actually making sure I do these things and don't spend my time sat around doing nothing. I'm not a major fan of that anyway, I feel I need to try and do something productive with my time to make it worthwhile, otherwise I may as well be sat at home doing nothing...

I'm feeling a bit limited with my movement though, so that might well play a factor. I did a good job of messing my right knee playing cricket last weekend and that hasn't healed over properly. But my left leg is the main concern now, and it is something of a concern. Something happened to it on Tuesday when I was at the pub and it caused more pain than I've experienced with it...and it even meant I was unable to be the stubborn fool I love to be and accept a lift home rather than walking. Before then, it's never really been anything more than a bit of a nuisance, but it actually started to be a problem and I've found myself hobbling around almost constantly...which surely isn't good. So if it doesn't start to feel a bit better when I head back home, I'll look into getting that checked after I return from Silverstone.

With that, it's gone 1am. The decision now isn't so simple...do I watch Torchwood from earlier in the evening, go straight to bed or catch up with Deathsquad podcasts?

Torchwood and co can wait until morning...podcasts and sleep are needed. Good night world.

Sunday, 31 July 2011

Sporting antics and form filling

Once again, there's been over a week since I last posted. Currently, I'm writing this while watch the post-race forum from the Hungarian Grand Prix, and taking in what was a fantastic grand prix. Of course, it comes off of the back of an announcement at the start of the weekend that Formula One coverage would be split between BBC and Sky as of 2012 with Sky Sports showing every single practice, qualifying and race session during the season and BBC showing 10 races live and 10 as extended highlights.

I made some of my thoughts on Friday morning, and won't repeat them again. In short, the deal is done and people have no choice but to accept it really. There's a chance that the sport will lose casual fans, and I'll be fascinated to see what viewing figures will be like on Sky after BBC have pulled in record figures over the last few years. I'm lucky to the extent that my house in Leeds has Sky Sports, so I can still watch races live when they're on Sky. When I'm not there, I'll have other ways of watching races (which I won't say on here in case someone uses it as evidence against me in the future) before I head to Germany and probably get to experience RTL's coverage.

Anyway, I've had a good week. I've played some cricket, and made my debut in the great game of village cricket. I won't be getting a call from the ECB anytime soon though as I was out for a second ball duck. I did save a four in the field though, and the bowlers were fantastic as we won the match by a considerable margin. As a bit of a memento of the day, I managed to scrape my knee while saving that four and keep watching my knee with amusement as it tries to heal up. It's a fairly well sized scrape, but it's one that I wear with some pride.

I'll keep plugging away at my batting and try to learn how to play spin, as I've never really been that good at dealing with it, as well as getting a bit of footwork in. I know it's something that will take time and I do need to just work at it whenever I get the chance to. If I can get that sorted, then if I play again, I'll hopefully be able to play a shot or two and maybe even score a run. That's my first aim!

I'm heading back to Leeds at some point during the week too. That's a certainty now since I've got plans up in Yorkshire for next weekend. It's just a matter of when...I'm in town tomorrow night for Emilio's birthday and I've seemingly got plans on Tuesday to catch up with some other friends, so I guess I'll go up on Wednesday or Thursday. I need to double check whether Ben or Rob will be there when I get back so I can actually get into my flat, otherwise I'll have to borrow Rachel's keys...which serves her right for leaving mine there when she came home herself. ;) I don't know how many of my friends will be around in Leeds within the next week or two. If anyone *is* around, let me know.

Tomorrow night should be a good laugh though. There's a solid plan to do some karaoke and this can only lead to a gigantic love-fest...most probably between Crawley and Hamling. I don't think anyone attending will object to this though, and maybe...just maybe, we can drag Emilio into doing a song. I can't see why not, it's for his birthday so I'm sure there's a rule somewhere that he needs to give us a song.

One thing I definitely need to sort out before I go back to Leeds is my passport application. I've filled in the form online, and now have the paper version sat downstairs with all of my details printed into it. I just need to sign it where I need to sign and find someone who can counter-sign for me. Once that's done, I can send it off with the payment (ouch) and hopefully have a passport. Still, at least I won't have much of an issue next time I need to use it. When I had my old passport, I very nearly didn't get past passport control in Oslo as they refused to believe the short haired, chubby faced 13 year old in the picture was me. I think this was made slightly worse by the fact that I was the last in the group to go through, so everyone else was stood on the other side of the counter, already legally in Norway I guess, and I had to explain this to the chap myself. Eek!

Tomorrow is August, which just seems crazy to me. We'll be seven months through the year, and the year seems to have just flown by. It makes me wonder what I actually do with my life...but I guess that's why I have this. I can keep track of what I do with my time, which is probably useful since my memory sucks when it comes to things like this.

Summer is hiding away somewhere. When it appears, make the most of it! When it doesn't, find an alternative way to make the most of this time!

Friday, 22 July 2011

Controversy creates cash...so why am I staring at pennies?

It seems that the last blog that I posted caused a bit of controversy among my brother's friends. He linked the blog to his Facebook page so his friends could see it, and they didn't really like it. So they rambled and ranted at us for an hour or two while I sat back and giggled to myself at how stupid the world can be. In the end, they learnt to take life a bit less seriously and the need to take a joke. I learnt to be careful in regards to where people link my blog.

Saying that, my blog exploded with views. I hit over 100 views in one day, most of which were on that post (which has been removed...for now) so that's pretty cool. All they did was manage to make my blog look a bit more popular, and that's fine by me. Like I say though, the blog isn't on here but the actual tweets are still in my Twitter timeline somewhere.

I joined Google+ earlier in the week, and it's a bit strange over there. I'm sure it's a great idea and once more people start to join, it'll pick up and there'll be more things going on over there. That's just it though, at the moment, there are very few people over there that I know so there's only so much I can do. I'll link this on there and see what happens. Might grab a new reader or something, and if so, hey! Thanks for checking it out.

My ignorance/reluctance to seek medical advice has taken another step this week. My left knee has been causing me problems for around a year, and I've done nothing about it. Well, I've probably not helped it a lot by walking pretty much everywhere in Leeds, but I've definitely not had it looked at. In the last few days, it's become a bit more messed up to the point where it hurts pretty much every day almost constantly and I don't know what's causing it. I'm at the point where I know I should probably go and see a doctor about it, but I don't know what they'll be able to do about it, and I figure their time can be better used. At a guess, they'd tell me to take some painkillers or something, and that won't work for me. Maybe my knee will just fall off. That way, a sore knee is the least of my problems.

I've started to have a lot more sleep recently, and it's strangely linked to becoming slightly less active than I have been. I need to correct that last bit and get out on my bike a lot more. This weekend is a bit busy, but I'll be getting back on the bike on Monday and I'll hit the roads for a while or try the loop line, though that'll be busy since schools have finished for summer now. I've been in a strange sleeping pattern where I've found myself going to bed at maybe 12.30/1am, but then not being able to get to sleep until 2.30 or something. In some respects, it's good because I'm getting a chance to catch up on podcasts that I've fallen behind on, but it also means that after the usual waking up in the night, I find myself starting the day at 11am...and I don't really like that.

Tomorrow and Sunday are early starts though since I'm off to Southport for the Air Show. I've never been up to that, and it sounds pretty fun. I'll be playing with Beatlife in the last gig of the summer (unless a surprise crops up somewhere) and we're meeting at 9.30 each morning. So it looks like I'll be getting on a train in Liverpool city centre at about 8am to get there and be able to walk to the place in time. So...my alarm clock is set for 6.45am, and hopefully that'll give me time to get up, shower and catch a bus into town. If not, I'm screwed. Still, it should be a lot of fun. I'll probably take my camera and snap happy as well, so there'll be photos of this.

As things stand, I'm not sure when I'm going back to Leeds. I keep postponing my return up there for various reasons, but I'll either go up for a couple of days next week and come back on Sunday, or I'll wait and go back up at the start of August and hang around up there for two weeks or something until I head off to Silverstone for the Renault World Series event. I'm looking forward to getting back up there though...I didn't really adapt to the house since I was only there for two nights.

Feels like I've typed quite a lot in a short space of time...I quite fancy another cup of tea and a slice of cake before I head off to bed in a bit to try and grab a sensible amount of sleep.

Enjoy your weekend people.

Friday, 15 July 2011

Silverstone and Samba makes for a happy Thomas

It feels like a long time since I sat down here to write anything. Turns out it's actually been 10 days, which I guess is a relatively long time when I've been posting something on here at least once or twice a week really. And of course, after the cock-up last time, this is my 50th entry. Somewhere, someone has let off a celebratory balloon for this momentous occasion.

What have I been doing since the last time of writing? Well, as you'll know from that entry, I was at the British Grand Prix last weekend and I can comfortably say that it was right up there as one of the best weekends of my life. Yes, the weather was a bit suspicious at times and it was pretty cold at times, but I didn't care about that. I wasn't even bothered or even the slightest bit grumpy about waking up at a ridiculous time to be at the track not long after 6am on Friday and Saturday so I could grab a good spot to start watching the action from for the day.

When 9am rolled around on Friday morning and I heard the screaming sound of the engine from an F1 car for the first time, I won't lie...I had goosebumps. I was sitting at Becketts, so I was able to watch the cars come into the new Loop section, into Aintree and down the Wellington Straight and then a bit later in the lap as they came from Copse towards Maggots and Becketts before going down Hangar Straight. So in terms of seeing as much of a lap as possible, that was the best place to watch. Watching the cars all file around on their installation laps was pretty cool, and I was already being super geeky and paying close attention to the sound of the cars off-throttle to hear what the blown diffusers sounded like.

The rain got pretty heavy at times, and I think it probably peaked on Friday afternoon when I was sat in an uncovered grandstand and proceeded to get absolutely soaked. I'd go so far as to say that with the exception of maybe one or two sessions, pretty much every single session of racing over the three days was affected by rain in some way. It got pretty cold though. I slept fully dressed because I wasn't a big fan of the weather in the evening...and I wasn't exactly sleeping in paradise either. I thought I was too cool to take a sleeping mat and ended up effectively sleeping on the ground...and it wasn't that comfortable. So in getting up at 6am or so, and going to bed at anytime from 11 to midnight, I was waking up a couple of times in the night and probably getting around 4 or 5 hours of sleep.

As I say, fantastic weekend and if I can, I'll definitely look at going again next year. I'm headed back to Silverstone next month though for the Renault World Series, which should be another great event. I'm not completely sure why they give the tickets away for free, but they do. It's a great promotional tool though, they seem to pull in relatively large crowds for their events, obviously not to the scale of F1 (where they had around 315,000 over the three days which was a record!) but to the point where there are good sized crowds and the guys aren't racing to a load of empty grandstands. Anyone interested in attending that can find tickets from the World Series website. If you're a fan of motorsport, I'd recommend it.

On Tuesday, I did a bit of teaching at Beatlife which was pretty awesome. I've done a session previously, but this one definitely went better, namely because I had some time to prepare and consequently, I was able to go into it knowing what I wanted to do. So I went over what I'd done with the guys previously (and to their credit, they remembered most of it despite being a month or two ago) and then showed them something new. I wasn't really surprised at the fact that they picked the rhythm up pretty quickly...it wasn't that I gave them something simple to do, but the fact that the Elm Hall group have a brilliant habit of learning really quickly and being able to nail things in a short space of time. For that, I salute you all. That's why I love being able to be a part of that group.

Finally, I played Monopoly last night. That's not such a huge thing, but I hadn't played Monopoly since I was a small child, and seemed to recall it being a gigantic snooze-fest where no one ever wins and it just causes arguments. I didn't win. I finished second...but I learnt a fair bit about the game. And for some reason, I want to play again. I seem to recall a friend mentioning that there's a Leeds University edition of the game, so I might have to buy that at some point, purely for the novelty of it. I learn from my mistakes, and I'd like to think that I'm one step closer to being a better man under the inspirational guidance of Chris Crawley and James Hamling.

I won't leave you on another 10 day gap until the next entry. As a final note, I've now passed 1000 views. It's not a gigantic thing, but I can see that some of my entries have had a good readership (which means that others haven't really been read, but I've written a couple of crap entries further back). To anyone and everyone who has read, thanks for taking that time.

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Moving house is the most fun you can have without tearing your hair out

EDIT: Seems Blogger screwed up by telling me I already had 49 entries before I started writing this. Turns out this is entry #49. Looks like the cake, dancing girls and balloons are back on for entry 50!

With more build-up than a TNA PPV, it's the big 50th entry of my blog!

I was planning to make my 50th entry a big spectacle with cake, dancing girls, balloons and loads of joyful memories. But then I've just not quite got round to that, so I'll either write it up tomorrow or it can wait until next week. For now, this is a bit of short blog.

Like a lot of people in Leeds, or students in general really, I moved into my new house over the weekend. Moving is certainly an experience I still don't really enjoy, and it makes me realise juts how much crap I own. I own a LOT of crap, but I packed it all up into some boxes and moved it a couple of miles to the other side of Leeds. Now, I live a little bit closer to university, I should be closer to friends to go and visit, and it's in a much more student-central area. So far, I quite like the house. Well, it's more of a flat really...we've got the top two floors in a house and there's another flat underneath us (though I don't know who lives there since they're yet to move in).

Either way, it's a nice house, we've got a good sized living room to chill out in and my bedroom is pretty big. It's probably the biggest bedroom on the bottom floor (the joys of moving in early) and it's got a good view of the cricket ground. The one thing that I've found a bit weird so far is having a double bed. I'm used to only having a single, so having that much space in bed seems really unusual for me so far...especially since I curl up and don't really use all of the space in my bed at home anyway.

Of course, I'm now back at home for a little bit. On Thursday, I'm heading off to Silverstone for the British Grand Prix. I can't see this not being an incredibly awesome weekend, and I can't think of a better way to spend this weekend than being at an old airfield in Northamptonshire watching some of the finest racing drivers in the world doing what they do best. It's made even better since the weather forecast at the moment is completely unpredictable. A lot of people are saying we'll get rain, but there's mixed reports on which days we'll get rain. I think the best way of knowing what the weather is like will be to look at the sky. If I'm getting wet, it's raining.

It's a pretty busy week too. I need to put the tent up tomorrow so I know what I'm doing, and get a haircut too. Nothing too drastic, it just needs tidying up a bit and probably taking back to shoulder length. Thursday, I'll be travelling to Silverstone and trying to make some new friends there at the campsite. Friday to Sunday I'll be enjoying the Grand Prix weekend with everything going on before travelling back on Monday. Somewhere in between all of this, I need to do a little bit of planning too since I've been asked to do some teaching next week at Beatlife. I've got a really vague idea as to what I'll be doing, but I definitely need to sit down and plan something.

That's all from me for tonight guys and gals. Enjoy the rest of your week!

Thursday, 30 June 2011

A nap is fine, but it screws with your mind (or at the very least, your body clock)

It's currently 4.26am, the sun is just about to start rising over Leeds (a quick glance to Google suggests sunrise is at 4.38 today, which is rather splendid) and I'm still awake. Why am I still awake?

To be honest, I'm not quite sure. Well, I am sure...it's because I spent a good chunk of my evening asleep. Despite having done very little during my day, I was feeling incredibly tired and felt like I needed a little nap. Of course, a little nap actually turned into a total of about 2 hours asleep, which really isn't good. I'd done so little yesterday that the highlight was being on Skype to Andrew for about two hours, just following him around in his day. I even got to go in the fridge and the oven. Turns out the light does go off in the fridge when you shut the door. Now that little mystery is solved, the world can sleep easier while I sit up writing this.

But usually when I have a sleep like that during the evening, I don't have too many difficulties getting to sleep at night. Today (I'm going to get really confused as to whether today is today, or if it's yesterday. I suppose I'm still thinking on Wednesday, so today is technically tomorrow. It's all a bit much to understand at 4.30...) is a strange one though. Since waking up, I've felt incredibly active and rather full of energy. Again though, I've not actually done a lot with this time apart from taking down photos and posters from my wall. Then again, I guess there's only so much you can do at 11.30pm when you're in the flat on your own...

I have managed to watch the entire second series of Peep Show though. The early episodes are pretty awesome, and there's some great characters and stories in it. At least one moment in each episode where I had to either pause the episode or go back because I was chucking so hard at something in it. Who could forget Super Hans telling the world that crack really is quite moreish?

Thursday doesn't really need to be a very productive day. Josh is leaving this morning, so I'll be back to being in the flat on my own. I'll just clean up the kitchen and start to throw things out that aren't needed anymore. Suppose I should actually start to pack up myself since I move house at the weekend. Bloody hell...that's a bit scary. It only feels like a short time ago I was writing my first blog entry on here about how my life was in a series of boxes and I was about to move here.

Oh, how times change...much like the seasons, or the rising and falling of the sun. Speaking of which, sunrise is officially two minutes away. I'll go and have a look, see if anything magical or mystical happens. Keep sleeping world, I'll join you eventually.

Don't forget to leave a comment of some sorts at the bottom of this, or on the Facebook page (facebook.com/tkayll) or on my Twitter account (@thomaskayll)