Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Tigers, Giraffes and complex linguistic problems

Today, Oli from Bath University sent me this link, with the quote "thought this would be right up your street".

Why we are renaming Tiger Bread to Giraffe Bread

It was up my street it turns out, but for all the wrong reasons. The article concerned talks about my favourite type of bread, 'Tiger Bread'.

My love of Tiger Bread is fairly vocal, as I have been known to refer to it as 'awesome bread' and make verbal attacks on those who eat regular bread. I often wonder why all bread is not tiger bread, I mean, it is superior in every way. The tough and slighty crumbly crust on the outside with that lovely rice paste flavour, coupled with a soft and aerated centre makes any sandwich a thousand times better.

The article stems from a letter from a small girl who asked why it was called Tiger Bread, when the pattern on the bread more similar to Giraffe skin. A valid point I suppose. However, I personally think it spoils tradition a bit. Here is a brief history lesson on tiger bread.

The name 'tiger bread' appears to originate from the Netherlands where they have called it 'tijgerbrood' since the 1970s. I personally would class it as a traditional name, given it is 40 years old.

The term 'Tiger bread' is in fact a linguistics phenomenon known as a 'misnomer' A misnomer is a term that suggests an interpretation of something that we know to be untrue. In the most usual case, it is an older name for something that continues to be used. Misnomers exist all around us, and the vast majority of us use them all the time without realising.

  • The 'Mince Pie' used to be made of minced meat and about 10 other ingredients, and had religious connotations during the christmas period. We all know there is no 'mince' in a modern day mince pie, but we still call them mince pies.
  • An obvious one is pencil 'lead'. We all know that nowadays they contain graphite, because lead was found to be poisonous. We still refer to the 'lead' in your pencil though.
  • We still call Steamrollers by that name, regardless of the method of propulsion- which is obviously usually petrol.
  • We still talk about 'dialling' numbers, despite the fact none of us have old rotary dial phones anymore...
  • All video games and computer programs still use the term 'loading', even though that was a term used back when programs were a system of punched holes in a piece of paper that got 'loaded' into a hopper...
I could literally go on for more that I know of, but I think I have made my point. If people started telling me that I wasn't allowed to 'iron' my clothes because irons aren't made of iron, or that I had to 'press' the numbers into my phone, I'd be annoyed.

The name TIGER bread gives you thoughts of strong, powerful bread that is cool and awesome, with a combination of stealth, speed, and a primal attractiveness.

On the contrary, the name GIRAFFE bread suggests that although it is a good example of evolution, it is flimsy, often has circulation problems and has been known to break its legs by mistake if it falls down.

I mean, look how they sleep! How stupid is that.

Sigh... at least it is only Sainburys that have changed the name. I know tiger bread looks more like giraffe skin, but I personally hope it doesn't catch on for old times sake. I'm glad I can still get my Tiger Bread from ASDA for the time being!

Warhammer pokes its head out from under the Carpet

It has been a long time since I was involved with Warhammer and the likes of Games Workshop, but recently I have started a fresh sketchbook devoted just to that sort of stuff. Last week I had a thought when a friend of mine said to me, "Games Workshop would seriously miss out if they never hired you as an artist, sculptor or designer"

I was quite flattered, but it got me thinking. What if- now hear me out here- I took an internship as an apprentice model designer at Games Workshop after this degree, instead of jumping straight into teaching in a school? I mean, as long as I'm earning money, I have all my remaining years to teach. I think it might be nice to pursue something I'm considered talented at, and something that I enjoy on a very nerdy level beforehand.

Here is the sculpture I knocked together which prompted the aforementioned quote from my friend.

So there you are, a rudimentary Warhammer 40k Ork bust made in clay in about an hour.

Another little project I have started in light of recent developments is a new sketchbook. I figured if I am going to present a portfolio of designs and sketches to my future employer, I need some... well... designs and sketches. So to start off this new book, I drew some Eldar Guardians (using a reference) with a cool backdrop. Quite ambitious to start off with, but I'm happy with it.

Next sketch should be fleshing out this Tyranid Hormagaunt, once I get around to it.

Who knows, I'll either be glad of spending my down time drawing if I follow through this idea, or at least I'll have some cool pictures to show if I don't. Stay tuned!

A Picture of Pitchers

The other day, Big G came over to grab empty bottles for his home brew operation he had on the go. His original plan was to then walk to James' house and watch Hercules- but by the time we realised it was half 10, that idea went out the window. Sorry James!

We ended up going down to the Sibly bar to play table tennis. On the way down, it surfaced that neither Big G or Ryan had really ever had a whole pint of Guinness. Upon realising this, we decided to buy some pints to enjoy.

The barman at the time was Tom Bonello, and as we ordered our Guinnesses he was delighted, as Sibly bar sells next to no Guinness and he missed the fun of pouring them. After drinking those, we were content but not satisfied. So we decided to do something that has never before been seen in Sibly hall since it was built in the 60s. We ordered 'pitchers' of Guinness.

I know right? If Guinness is a meal in a glass, then this is a feast! We another pitcher each after drinking that one, and we were done for the night. I have noticed that since I came here I have instigated a number of events that have apparently never happened in Sibly Hall before. Once again- take a mental note that this building was constructed in the 60s, so all these things have not happened in a span of about 50 years worth of students...

  1. The first recorded instance of the Piano being moved into the main bar for a music event
  2. The first cask of ale ever bought in by student suggestion
  3. The first pint of real ale consumed
  4. The first 'Guinness Pitcher' ever ordered at the bar
  5. The most Guinness sold in one evening excluding St. Patrick's day
I think we can agree that's quite a cool list.

Sunday, 29 January 2012

Fairly Drastic Hair Cut

Oh yes, I decided to cut my hair back to short again. To be honest it was a mixture of fancying a change, and the fact that I made sort of a hash of dying my hair blue.

What happened was this: At one point I had purple hair, with about inch long blonde roots coming through. I figured that was going to be as good a time as any to change my hair to blue. Alas, I was sadly mistaken. You see, in order to get the purple out of my hair, I bleached it. This changed the purple to a light pink, and the blonde roots to a white.

What I didn't realise was the way the blue dye works. It turns out, dye of that particular type does not take to bleached hair, because it has 'nothing to hold on to'. I'm not entirely sure of the exact science behind it, but that is a fact. The blue dye took nicely to the pink parts of my hair, because there was 'something for it to hold on to', but not to the roots. It looked alright for a while though.

However, no matter how many times I tried to dye my roots blue, they only lasted a day or so. Eventually, my hair was starting to look weird, so I decided to start from scratch again and grow a new head of hair to turn blue properly. I dyed it a fairly harmless natural brown colour that is fairly close to my own, and so I guess we'll start from there and work back to the length I had before.

Hooray for not bothering with hassle!

Poor Old Ball.

Yesterday, we lost an old reliable friend. He was with us since the start of this academic year, and has provided us with much entertainment and plenty of laughs. A true Siblyan at heart, he always was there for us when it looks like there was nothing going on, always helping us to improve. We knew he could never last forever, but we dwelt not on his demise and enjoyed his remaining time with us.

It is a sad day, when we say goodbye to my trusty table tennis ball. He finally cracked when I hit a decent slam return.

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Oh Hang it all!! ...Fiendish Chain!

Yesterday night, I watched the Sword in the Stone again, you know, the old Disney movie. A disturbing thought we had whilst watching the film was this though: by, the time we are all in our 50s and 60s, that film will be over 100 years old.

Anyway, that old film is still just as funny today as it was when in was made in the 60s, evidently as I feel I should write about it. The first thing we picked up on was their clever use of medieval curse word replacements. Obviously lots of stuff happens where the character in the real world would say "shit!" or something, but they dance around it because the film is directed at children. But some of the replacement words are just incredible and make it even more funny. Two in particular are "Hang it all!" and "Dash it all!". Those get put to great and extensive use when Merlin fumbles something.

There is some fantastic 'tom and jerry' style exaggerations of accidents too, this one specifically gets me every time.

What happens to Merlin's beard is hilarious, and it is my personal opinion that he should style it that way for good. Alas, he smooths it out.

I'm not sure how his beard does that after getting it stuck, I'm sure if I pulled my hair and let it go it wouldn't turn into an afro... For this one I shall put the incredible trick of the beard down to the fact Merlin is a wizard. However! Someone who is not a wizard, but still exhibits facial hair sorcery is, SIR PELLINORE.

Pellinore's moustache literally makes this film for me, and he is considered a bit of a cult hero in this film. (according to people's comments on YouTube) Some people claim to only watch this film because Pellinore and his tash are in it.

Clearly we are missing a trick here, as in Medieval times, people had the ability to shake wine out of their moustaches until it is completely dry. I'll assume its like one of those long forgotten skills that have just died out over the generations. Also perhaps not many people have moustaches anymore, and news from London is normally delivered via the internet. Maybe people just wised up and were more careful with their wine, so didn't need this amazing skill anymore.

Sigh, I suppose we'll never know.

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Now I remember why I never beat this game

Yesterday night I started playing Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee again. I thought to myself as I pressed the on button  on the playstation 1, "I wonder why I never completed this game or got very far".

After an hour of playing I was soon reminded. It is ridiculous. It says 11+, but at the age of 11, I couldn't get past the first 2 levels. At the age of 20, I can't get past the first 2 levels.

Actually, I tell a lie. I CAN get past the first two levels, but without saving half of the Mudokons. Have I lost you here? Don't worry, The opening cutscene will explain.

After seeing this, I sometimes doubt whether it should have been an 11+ at all, its still pretty disturbing. Anyway, the idea is, you go through the game and try and rescue as many of your own kind as you can. Some are really easy to rescue, some are really really hard. Half of them are hidden in secret areas! In total there are 99 workers to save. If you save 50 or more, your life gets saved at the very end of the game. If you save 49 or less, you get destroyed in a meat grinder at the end of the game- because the rest of the Mudokons decided not to risk saving you.

I have been playing for 2 hours and have only rescued 18. I had to use a walkthrough to get to some as well, and I hate using walkthroughs. This is a special case though, because the actions are so specific I could be here for weeks just trying to work something out.

Friday, 20 January 2012

What do you mean you are playing with the Wombats?

Yeah, its true. Don't ask me how, but Beat Magnets have secured a place playing at the official aftershow party for famous band "The Wombats" in Brixton, London. Our new bass player Pearce seems to be endlessly resourceful when it comes to contacts and stuff and so here we are on the brink of stardom without even playing a gig yet!

Here's proof, our name is on the tickets!

When I said "our name is on the tickets", our Drummer smithy took them off me saying, "no we aren't, we can't be!" We were. He just went OH MY GOD and we all got excited. Stay tuned Magnets fans!

Flying Rats

Karys recently posted about what she is up to in terms of art, and it was really cool so I'll follow suit. My style of art is nothing like the art of Karys, but I think its alright anyway. My current project I have gives me a bit of free reign, so I took it as an opportunity to use my favourite medium, biro and pencil combined. I started looking pigeons to start with, and eventually developed it into a surrealist study into the relationship between pigeons and rats. 

People always say that pigeons are just feathered rats, so I thought I would play on that for my first set of biro and pencil studies. Here's what I have so far. 

The (East) Wall of Stuff

I always like to decorate my room with objects. Be they posters, trinkets or photographs, I make an effort to make my room as unique (and awesome) as possible. And so I thought it would be a good idea to record it/ show you guys what it looks like. I shall begin with a tour of the Eastern wall of my room.

Ok, so there it is. So lets have the tour!
  1. Sonic Poster: Its an obvious one really, you can't miss it. This is the very first poster I ever bought for my room. I actually bought this at the poster sale when I used to be a student of Bath University, and it can be seen in the background of some of the videos I made while I was there. It is a bit of an old faithful to me.
  2. "Drunk in Torbay" Postcard: Directly below the Sonic poster on the left is a postcard with a blurry picture of Torquay seafront on in and the caption 'Drunk in Torbay'. I got this on my last day of work at wetherspoons and it came out of the blue as a present from the one and only Colin Bache.
  3. Old Speckled Hen Crate: To the left of the postcard is the front ripped from a crate of Old Speckled Hen, which is a pretty good canned ale. This comes from the time where my house played the game "drunk driving" using Crash Team Racing. Of course, given the fact that the game requires you to finish a can during EVERY race, you expect to consume a few crates. 
  4. Twilight Princess Poster: This poster is from Lee back home. He always jokes about it not being visible in photos/ videos of my room, assuming I may have taken it down. Well, I haven't- because there it is. Twilight Princess is (so far) my favourite Zelda game to date.
  5. Thankyou card from Children: Below the Zelda poster on the left is a blue card from all the children at Coombe Pafford School that I worked with over the Summer. Not only did that place provide me with the necessary teaching time as criteria for entry to my course, I do miss those kids because they were hilarious and brilliant to work with.
  6. Recent photo of the family (directly below children's card)
  7. Hobgoblin Crate: (central below the zelda poster) I bought this crate in Morrison's during the year I was off from University. I thought to myself if I ever made it back to any University, it would be good to go on the wall. And so, I did make it, and there it is!
  8. Port Crate!: (below and left of the hobgoblin crate) Now there is a funny story behind this one. I personally never realised you could buy a 'crate' of port until very recently, and even now I'm not entirely sure where it came from. However I can assure you that Ryan and myself have almost certainly consumed at least enough port to fill a crate of 6 bottles. I found it in the recycling in the kitchen, and took a knife to it to steal the front off the crate!
  9. Biere de Luxe "Stubbys" Crate: Below and to the right of the hobgoblin crate is a crate of stubbys. Wow, what can I say about stubbys. You can get a box of 20 stubbys in Asda for 6 pounds. Because it is so cheap, it earns the title of the 'everyman beer' and is an ideal choice for poor students. They don't taste amazing, but if you drink enough of them, you will be definitely 'on your way'. According to James Strutt, Biere de Luxe is French for "Beer of Luxury". Oh, the irony.
  10. Human Pyramid photo: To the right of the hobgoblin crate is a photo of a group of us back in Sixth form doing a human pyramid, with me on the top. On close inspection, the lineup appears to be Tom Wood, Jimmy Langmead and Sam Stafford on the bottom row, Alan O'Brien and James Wade on the second row and then me.
  11. 2 photos from back home: To the right of the Zelda poster is 2 photos from back home in landscape format. The one on the left is me, wade and alan on the boat in our suits for year 13 prom. Alan's hair is ridiculously large, wade is wearing a red top hat, and I look disgusted at something. So not your conventional prom photo. The one on the right is a fairly old family photo.
  12. Cymru (Wales) fake rugby shirt: This is the red shirt on the wall. After befriending Ryan of Wales, I decided to accompany him to a Welsh rugby game in a bar in town. I don't own a rugby shirt so I just drew one on an old red long sleeve. This was a ridiculous day, because we went out and got wasted the night before and the Rugby world cup worked in New Zealand's time zone. This meant the kickoff was at something stupid like 7am. As you can guess, we didn't sleep, and continued to drink at the bar to wait for the kick off... After the game, I fell asleep in the bar and then went home! Curiously, it was then that I realised I was so drunk I had not even come out in shoes and walked the majority of the way home in my socks.
  13. Li'l Elf hat: Next to the Wales shirt is an Elf hat that I wore for most of Christmas. I bought it from Matt in my house for part of his "elf hat business" he set up as part of his business management degree. This year I declared christmas to be the 1st of december and so annoyed James Wade by wearing it to practice so early :) 
  14. Mario Galaxy poster: Above the wales shirt is Mario Galaxy 2 in poster form. Curiously, I haven't actually played number 2, but I heard it was good and got the poster free in a magazine anyway while I was at Bath Uni.
  15. Miscellaneous Beer mats: (to the right of the mario poster) I took these from the first ever trip to the local pub "Maiden's". I wish their ale selection was better. I haven't really been back since.
  16. White Keyboard shirt: We dressed up as 'our own superheroes' for a night here at Reading, and I just created one that was like... Piano-y... I had face paint and a cape and stuff, but it wasn't all that eventful.
  17. Fire Safety notice: To the right of the keyboard shirt is the fire safety rules. Annoyingly, for legal and insurance reasons I'm not allowed to take it down.
  18. Zelda Painting: Top right, there is a painting of Link from Wind Waker I did in the christmas holidays during my first term at Bath. I think its pretty awesome.
So there you are, the east wall of stuff.

Sunday, 8 January 2012

This isn't a fork

Everyone has their things that really wind them up. I personally have a fair number of 'pet peeves' as they are known. I mean to begin with I cannot stand poor spelling, listening to teenage girls (like 15 and below) talk about things on the bus, excessive makeup like loads of that foundation stuff, poor manners... I could go on, but this would just go on forever and it wouldn't be fun for anyone.

A relative newcomer to my list of hates, is forks. Or no actually, forks are fine. Its the things that pretend to be forks that are in question. Ages ago, I watched an episode of 'The Big Bang Theory'. I don't think I need to explain what that show is.

 Anyway, in one scene, Leonard says something like "can you pass me that fork?"
To which Sheldon replies, "that is not a fork, that is a trident. A fork has FOUR tines, not three."

And you know what, he was right. Since he said that, I have become increasingly frustrated with all these tridents that people keep giving me to eat with. I know its petty, but I can't unrealise what has been realised.

What I like the most about forks is the word 'tine'. A lot of people call it a prong, but tine is the real word and sounds a lot better. I know there has to be a word for every part of every thing, but I am just glad that tine works so well. Definitely up there with my favourite words. (such as moot, and egregious) 

The rest of the fork world have got it right, across the board! For example:

The standard, metal, dinner fork.

This is a very common fork, and often the one which usually gets replaced with a trident in the home. Note: 4 tines. I think we can agree that 4 is a fork, 3 is a trident, and 2 or 1 is just a skewer or something. I wouldn't eat with just 2 tines, thats half the fun gone.

The plastic, disposable fork. Once again, 4 tines, even though its cheap and you can throw it away.

The spork! What a fantastic piece of cutlery. And because it is half spoon half fork (not half trident) even IT has 4 tines.

I tell you another thing, even the gardening department have got the right number of tines for their 'pitchfork'. Fun fact: the word fork is derivation from the Latin 'furca', which literally means pitchfork.

And finally, look at this. This is the bastard that winds me up. The 3 tined fork. Oh wait no, its not, is it. It just doesn't look right and it feels weird to eat with. For forks sake. Or for tridents sake or whatever.

Saturday, 7 January 2012

"BANBNA" comes comfortably third

Yesterday was pretty interesting, I attended my first session of 'secret training' with South Devon AC. From what I can gather, this group usually includes the likes of Dent and Mac (amongst a few others) and is mostly based around building up one's pace and speed training. We went through what I can only describe as a 'gruelling' 4 x 1000m session against the clock.

I personally don't mind 1000m reps. But when I have James Dent breathing down my neck for 990m it becomes a slightly different story. After the third repetition, I said to Mac:

"Here's a good metaphor for you- you know those new seasoning bags which have like chicken and seasoning in, the ones where you have to shake them up? My entire abdomen feels like one of those."

After the 4th repetition, I added:

"...remember the metaphor from before? Now there are some stones in the bag too."

 But hey ho, you put in what you get out. Despite Dent's collar bone injury (as a result of taking off a sweater too vigorously) he still put me well through my paces. Hopefully I gave him a rabbit to chase too. So yeah, good training session.


In the evening I went to Anna's house to catch up with some of my old friends. We played various Wii games, need I mention the appearance of 'Just Dance 3'... It appeared to be one of those games which would either sink or swim for me. At first everyone wanted to play, but nobody wanted to go first. After the first tentative few games it all got competitive and hilarious! My personal favourite was 'This is Halloween', where I got to play the part of a pumpkin.

The next game we decided to play was something called "Family Party". Needless to say by both the title and cover, this game looked to be absolute horse shit.

However, we made it fun. At the beginning we had the option of writing our names and choosing our characters.
To add a modicum of fun and unpredictability, we banned the use of any corrections on spelling mistakes to the names. As you know, it is difficult to type a name on a screen with a pointer from the Wii remote. And so, we ended up with the following character names.


and my personal favourite,


Well this game was essentially a series of mini games with somewhat basic controlling methods. Often the games were strikingly similar to games that have appeared on 'Takeshi's Castle', so you get the idea.

One of the more amusing aspects of the game was the character choices. As the name suggests, it is a family game. So of course, you have the option to be a dad, mum, boy girl, grandpa, grandma etc... Once again my personal favourite was BANBNA, as it was amusing to see a grandpa doing well on an obstacle course. Although for some members of the group, the only obstacle seemed to be their inability to understand the controls... (anna.... fiona... to an extent also, me...)

As a result, when sharing BANBNA between me and anna, we came comfortably third out of four on most occasions. And besides, who knew trying to cut a fake log could be so exhilarating.

Finally, we (tried) to play Sonic and Mario at the Olympic games. First of all, I was both bothered and disturbed that it was possible at all for Mario (a fat italian plumber) to beat Sonic the hedgehog (quoted in his TV series theme song as being 'the fastest thing alive') in a test of speed- I'll just make that point and leave it.

Anyway, we got on with the tournament. But after 8 rounds of Archery, 1 race, and 8 rounds of 'clay pigeon shooting' we soon tired of the concept. In Anna's words, "...clay pigeon shooting is 'wank'".

I can only agree.

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

My Appearance on BBC Radio Devon

Well today was certainly an interesting day. Today, I sang live on the BBC for Radio Devon as a solo artist!

The day started off for me at 6:30am. I deliberately had no breakfast to keep my throat clear for singing later, and paid for it all the way until lunch time, but it did work so it was worth it.

I have found in the past that the main culprits for spoiling a perfectly good voice for singing are things like milk, bread, (too much) beer, and a dark horse: water. People have always said drink plenty of water, but I think sometimes people overthink it and drink too much cold water to prepare, but it just freezes your voice and you can't sing any load notes.

I poked my head out the door at 6:45 and it was blowing an absolute gale and pouring with rain. What a wonderful start to the day, I thought. So after swiftly wolfing doing my breakfast of air, I exited the building to head to the bus stop. I caught the X80 bus in the wind and rain all the way through to plymouth, which is where the Radio Station is based.

I had originally intended to play my new game on the Nintendo DS, Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks, on the bus. However, I soon realised this was going to be impossible, as the sheer force of the wind and weather was giving the driver a lot of trouble when we were going at speed. It felt like we were just being being pummelled in a destruction derby on the motorway.

The game itself gives you the option of marking your quest map with the stylus to aid you in remembering things like which stairs lead where, where not to go, where you have already been, and where the chests are. What you see below on the left is a screenshot of how useful that can be. On the right, what it was like trying to do that on the bus...

Aside from that, I got to BBC Radio Devon and settled down nicely. We had a few mad minutes of errors and technical hitches, (mostly things that should have been simple but turned out that they weren't) but amazingly the producer and JG kept the listeners blissfully unaware. One such surprising error was the toll the weather seemed to be taking on the poor old Radio Devon building...

If only I had got a picture or something. While the engineer was trying to fix a technical problem with the producers computer, we heard what sounded like someone emptying a bucket of water in the next room.. We peered through the door, and the ceiling in the adjacent room was literally pouring with water. This is basically what it looked like.

The producer was like 'That better not be a toilet', but (fortunately?!) it turned out that the rain was coming in. Fair play to them though, maintenance was on the case in about 10 seconds.

After all that, the weather died down and the whole show went smoothly, including my live performances (I hope/ think). Everyone at Radio Devon seemed pretty cool and I look forward to seeing them again.

Monday, 2 January 2012

Introducing Beat Magnets

As I mentioned before, I was fully intending on staying in a band with James and G. And so, after much searching, we ended up with a bass player and a drummer so we could form a band again and rock people's socks. Only having had a few practices so far, we are already sounding pretty good and also already have our first gig booked in Reading.
Allow me to introduce first of all, Pearce (right):

Pearce has been in a bunch of bands before and has a great knowledge of the good places to play in Reading. His list of contacts seems endless and he was a massive help in finding us a place to practice and organising the first gig. Oh yeah, and he plays bass pretty awesome too.

Our new drummer is James 'Smithy' Smith.

Hailing from Slough, he shows the commitment of driving in to practice each time. He brings a whole new sound to the band and is an all round cool guy and enthusiastic player!

As for the name, 'Beat Magnets'... well there was a large debate as to what to call the band. We had to choose something that we all like and eventually settled on it. It is pretty catchy and sounds nice and bandy. So to round this post off, here is us, practicing the RATP favourite, (which we are carrying into the new band) STOMP!

So watch out Reading... here we come!

Sunday, 1 January 2012

JD is reborn... as himself

When I first started this blog nearly 4 years ago, I always knew and hoped it would become a lookthrough of my life. It is weird to think that I was only a 17 year old back then, and now this year I celebrate my 21st birthday.

Anyway, followers of this blog will know that the last post was me signing off for the last time in my house in Devon, greatly anticipating my journey into the world of university again. Well, I thought it might be interesting to see how many of my short and long term goals that I wrote down have actually panned out.

Continue Running as my chosen sport: Yes, and No. Although it took me a few weeks, I did join Reading Road Runners, and it was great. However, I soon injured my knee in a track session. Unfortunately, even though I waited long enough for it to heal, it just hasn't quite gone away. I want to run, but its hard when your knee aches. Hopefully it will go away and I can get back to how I want.

Actually finish the course: Well so far, so good. I'm still there! I have met great friends on my course and it has been a blast. Sometimes challenging, but nothing I can't handle- this course is right up my street in terms of what I want to do in life. Now I can't wait to get into the classroom!

I'd like to meet a nice girl. I say no more: ... ... Meet a nice girl? Sure, I have met a bunch. A lot of them are lovely, but my heart hasn't been in it and it just didn't feel how I wanted it to. I began to think I was being too picky, but as a wise man once said, 'you can't help how you feel'. But.... there is this one incredible girl who makes me feel like I never have before. Will it ever work out? No. So that wise man can go f*** himself.

Join the Real Ale Society: Yes, I did that. There are some really cool people there, and I had a great time homebrewing with them just before christmas. Can't wait to drink it when I go back! I even have an Ale society sweater with my name on it!

Keep Juggling: I can still juggle, but it has taken a back seat with everything else going on. I think I should make more of an effort to show up to juggling practice in future, maybe I'll meet some cool people there.

Organise my underwear and socks better than last year: ... As I am typing this, I am wearing odd socks and have been for the vast majority of first term.

Possibly start a quote board: No, I didn't do that in the end. But we do have a 'chunder chart' and a wall of boobs from one of the lads magazines... I had no part in that one.

Continue to be a musician in every way: YES. A million times yes. I'll explain the new band later, but I still play the accordion and I am determined to finally crack playing funk piano. Stuff like this...