Monday, 27 September 2010

Freshers 2

so, after a turbulent few months, I'm back at university again. Last time I was a student at a higher education institution was December last year, and although a LOT has changed since then, it definitely feels good to be back.

I'm all ready and registered, despite a last minute panic on Thursday morning that I didn't have the necessary documents required to enrol and register as an official student (also a prerequisite for receipt of a student loan.) That crisis was quickly averted, however, and the remainder of Freshers Week has been rather pleasant.

I recall the first bout of Freshers, which I experienced at a different university, being completely amazing but quite different. Not only did I experience it from the start, but I also met the girl who I would spend the next thirteen months with, as well as going to various parties, concerts and gatherings. This Freshers I only managed one of those things (I missed the first four days, and unless something bizarre happens I can't imagine entering a relationship with anyone I've met so far!), and the underlying vibe has been quite different.

Perhaps it's because I'm now living in a house with seven of my friends, rather than in halls with, what were in Freshers week, twenty three strangers.

But yes, four housemates and I saw Oceansize on Thursday evening, which was excellent. My first taste of Leeds' famous music scene, and one that left me wanting more. After the concert we went to a local pub wherein a pint of locally brewed ale sets you back only £1.81, a pub to which we returned on Friday for a few drinks with their friends. Saturday night played host to a nearby house party, although I wasn't in a party mood and the first thing anyone said to me there was accusing me of gatecrashing, so I went home for a quiet night in alone.

Today I accompanied two housemates to an ultimate frisbee training session, taking a brief detour to their old hall of residence to use the toilet, and a disused nuclear bunker where we had a brief look around before being threatened by security that we would be arrested if we didn't leave immediately. Slightly extreme considering there were no signs warning against entry, or anything that would suggest being on the plot of land was not allowed.

Nonetheless, we were not arrested, so all was well.

As I type this, I am listening to some banging choonz, and wondering what tomorrow will be like:

Transferring into second year at a new university means I won't know any of the people on the course who already know each other which is slightly daunting, but then again they probably won't be too menacing so it'll probably turn out fine.

Nine months outside academia means my level of knowledge may not be up to scratch, but then again my attitude towards study has definitely improved since first year and I'm more than willing to do the work to catch up so it'll probably turn out fine.

All the experiences and opportunities available to me here may be one of the best things to happen to me, and will teach me skills, introduce me to people, and open doors that may have otherwise have remain shut.

I can't see this could not turn out fine.

Saturday, 18 September 2010

lessons from the continent

people like it if you make them chips

in Australia, chips are chips and crisps are also chips

There are at least three ways to make the cocktail Misdirection
(Misdirection is a cocktail of cherry vodka and Coca Cola)

bars in Budapest don't ID much

cake is more slippery than people think

talking to random strangers isn't as dangerous as people think

skateboarding across the whole of Europe is apparently possible

H&M is really popular in Germany

C&A still exists in Germany

it isn't unusual to mix Cola with beer or wine in Germany / Hungary respectively

trains are a lot cheaper in Eastern Europe

a capital u with an umlaut looks like a smile: Ü

a capital o with an umlaut in the font jokerman looks like an angry person

Thursday, 9 September 2010


Hi all,

My friend and I are currently travelling around Europe, I'm writing this from another friend's apartment in Mannheim, Germany, and all in all we're having a jolly good time.

Unfortunately, though, I'm having a period of blog downtime, and the prospect of writing a post about what we've done so far really isn't an attractive one.

I'm not sure what brought this on. It happens occasionally but usually travelling resets it and restores my inspiration. No sign of that happening this time though.

So I'll leave it at this for now, and hopefully I'll find my muse somewhere in Europe. If this turns out to be the case I'll write a masterpiece of prose describing our travels, but if not I'll probably just end up posting some pretty pictures you can look at.



Wednesday, 8 September 2010

lucha libre pigeons

Several weeks ago, a friend and I sampled the Mexican cuisine of Chilango, a Mexican food chain who had just opened a local branch. We were delighted by the price and quality of the burritos, but were slightly troubled by one inconsistency between the menu and our actual eating experience: the fellow demonstrating how to eat burritos on the menu illustrations was wearing a lucha libre mask (see below) and we weren't.

Luckily, comment cards were available and we were able to express our concern about this discrepancy. That, we thought, was the end of it. Usually (from experience at work) these comment cards end up in the bin, but this time we were wrong! Yesterday I received an email from Oscar, Chilango's music manager, apologising for this inconsistency and offering to compensate by sending a lucha libre mask to my house.


The other part of this post title refers to a pigeon I saw in Leeds, and its retardedness. It was scrounging, and attemtping to break a french fry into palletable amounts by shaking it vigorously, but having no luck. After these futile attempts, it decided to eat the fry whole, then found out that this was a bad idea. it then returned to shaking its head vigorously, this time to avoid choking to death, and proceeded to launch the fry ~2 feet from its throat.

It was more spectacular in real life.