Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Can't you sleep little bear?

Even though I've not written on here for over two weeks, this will (hopefully) be a fairly short entry. Though saying that, I ramble on a lot and often say quite a lot when I'm tired so this could well turn into a longer entry.

There are a few reasons for this...since starting back at university last week, not a lot has happened in my life. I've had a fair bit of work to do already with the last part of the Core Language portfolio and a Phonology essay, which were both due in today, and handed in on time. We'll wait and see as to whether I get a decent score for those, but I certainly hope so. Well, hopefully the Portfolio gets a good mark. I've been pretty consistent with the previous three entries over the year so if that happens for the final part, I can be pretty happy with it.

Also, I'm incredibly tired. I know that some of it is seems that staying up to watch very delayed (2 weeks old) coverage of the ADAC GT Masters on Friday night, UFC on Saturday night and then Raw on Monday night has meant that I haven't gone to bed at sensible times, but I've not been able to sleep anyway. It's not a case that I haven't been tired...I'm tired, I'm just unable to sleep.

This comes and goes really...there'll be times when I can go to bed at a sensible hour and sleep right through, and there are times like I'm having at the moment where I'll find myself awake and unable to sleep, sleeping very little and still waking up in the night. So even on a "non-busy" night when there's no reason for me to be up late, I'm not getting to sleep until after 3 in the morning.

I guess I could probably find a way around this by changing something in my life to try and get a few more hours of sleep, but I don't know what...maybe if I knew WHY I wasn't sleeping, that'd help.

Of course, we're in that crazy and hectic month after the Easter break now where everyone is slightly mad thanks to the impending deadlines of doom. There's very little point in commenting on the workload, since I don't have it as bad as some people (especially those doing joint honours with a lot more essays AND exams to take), but I don't think I've done much moaning (if any) so far, so we'll cross that bridge at a later date.

In what is seemingly become a regular feature with what shall simply be the "ADAC and Austria Update", I now have a start date for my work placement in Austria, which will be 9th July. Of course, this is the day after the British Grand in some respects, I'd quite like Button to pull off a race win so I've got some bragging rights on my first day at work. After that, Vettel can win the rest of them and I'll still be happy, but it'd be a good way to start the year. Obviously, 9th July isn't that far away, and it's really just 10 and a half weeks away. I need to sort out a flight over there, find somewhere to live, sort insurance (though that's now done through the university)...there's still a fair bit to be done before I actually get out there. I've still been translating articles too which is good. I did about half a dozen pieces today on Formel ADAC and some of their drivers ahead of next weekend's races at Zandvoort (for which I'll be doing translations again).

Also, I'm feeling inspiration from people on Twitter within the seemingly ever-growing Deathsquad family and I'm doing some serious consideration into trying out a bit of podcasting before I venture abroad for a year. I'll have to look into getting some equipment for it and whatnot, but maybe that'll happen...I hope so.

There we go...not too long an entry! I'll be back at some point over the next few days with something new to discuss. I won't do one of these weird life update style entries, I'll have something of interest to talk about. Until then though, take care.

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

To future gains and friendships lost

Good morning, good afternoon, good evening and good night. Wherever you are in the world, whatever time of day you're reading this...first of all, thanks for reading it. It's nice to know that I'm not just writing this for my own amusement and that there are people out there reading what I put in here and keeping up with what goes on in my life. Somehow, I suspect the podcast I always wanted to start up will either forever sit in the "To do" list, or it won't start up until after my year abroad. Then again, starting it during my year in Austria could be a really fun experience. I might have to do some serious thinking about that as an idea, because it's something that might be worth looking into and trying to set up. I'm rambling and thinking to myself as I type here, so I'll stop that and drag it back on topic.

Was there a topic? Well, I've written "Easter catch-up" in the title, so I guess I should probably talk about the last few weeks. I've had an interesting few weeks.

I spent the end of March/beginning of April doing some work for adrivo, who are the company I'll be working during my year abroad. We'd discussed the possibility of doing some freelance part-time work doing translations, and this opportunity arose during that weekend as the first weekend of the ADAC Masters series took place in Oschersleben. So over the course of the weekend, I was translating a variety of texts on the ADAC GT Masters (which is essentially the German national championship for GT racing with GT3 models in a Pro-Am championship) and Formel ADAC (which use 145bhp Volkswagen engines and is a feeder series to the German F3 a bit like Formula Renault or FFord in the UK).

Saturday and Sunday were both early starts for me as I was working to the German racing weekend, so I had the first translation of the day sat in my inbox at 8.15am on Sunday morning...and I didn't finish the last piece of the day until 12 hours later. Yes, there was a gap of several hours in the afternoon where I was able to watch the BTCC meeting and play with Maisie and Joseph when they came round to visit, but I worked a not-quite-but-sort-of 12 hour day. I think that was one of the first time I've really been able to bond with Maisie though, so it was definitely a good day...and maybe she doesn't dislike me that much after all! :)

I've done a couple of other bits and pieces for them since then which is good, and it's been useful to see how good my German-English translation skills are. I've had a few terms and phrases that have been a bit strange to me, but I'd like to think that I managed to figure most of them out. I didn't get any complaints about the standard of translation, so hopefully I'm doing something right. If you want to see my work, you can find the articles on the ADAC GT Masters and ADAC Formel Masters websites (though I didn't translate every article that you see on there).

It's given me a good idea of what I'll be doing full time when I move to Austria and hopefully I'll continue to get sent work over the coming weeks. I really enjoyed doing the translation work, and it's given me a reason to start following another racing series!

April 1st was Wrestlemania 28 which was...well, it was a really enjoyable night with friends. Friends, a LOT of food, some bizarre jokes and Wrestlemania is always a good night, and I'll definitely miss out on it next year when I'm not in the UK. I love spending time with those guys though. I owe a lot to luck that I know them at all, and even though circumstances have changed a LOT since I met Crawley, Jon, Foy, Emilio, Hamling (and even you Mark, don't think I've forgotten you!), that change in life probably just made me even better friends with them. Hooray for single-ness!!

That's not been the case with everyone in my life though. Even though I've stayed really good friends with those guys, I've lost contact with a lot of people from school. Maybe it's because Crawley and co aren't people that I've known for years, and I wasn't seeing them virtually every day...I honestly couldn't tell you why. But for some reason, I've seen more than enough people leave my life in the last two years.

Even when we were in school, there was always a discussion I had with some friends that things were going to be different when we all took separate paths and went to universities around the country. People grow and develop as individuals and (obviously) gain new friends, and you can easily lose contact with people after you've spent the last 5 or 6 years in school with them 5 days a week for 6 hours a day. Yet I always knew that I would stay friends with some people...there are people with whom I was always really close and got on well with. We can joke that we'll never be able to get rid of each other, but in some respects, that's true...and it's a really good thing. Even though I was part of a larger group of friends in school, I'm now only close with just a handful of those people.

I'll be completely honest and say that quite a part of that responsibility falls at my feet. Maybe I didn't make the effort to try and keep in contact with some people...maybe we weren't ever that close to begin with. Who knows? Looking back at the last two years though, there are people who have slipped out of my life who I wish I was still close to.

But then...I lost some friends from school and gained new ones at university. Even though there was that horrible period last year when everything seemed like a complete disaster and I was regretting a lot of choices, I've come out of it as a stronger person for it. I'm sure I've written about that in a previous entry so I won't bring that all up again...but let's just say that things got a hell of a lot better and life is pretty good now.

We've gone in two completely different directions on this entry tonight. It started off so well and it's trailed into a look back at life. These things happen though, and life being in a good place now is about as useful a place as any to end a blog entry.

So I'll leave it there. Whatever your relation in life to me, whether you're "just" a Twitter follower who doesn't really know me that well (yet!), someone on Facebook, someone I've drifted away from or someone I'm really close to, thank you. You're all in my life for a reason...let's make the most of that reason and enjoy our time.