Monday, December 25, 2006

Brecon Beacons

We visited on Saturday, it was very cold, but very thick frost was beautiful. I love Wales


Mine are riches from thy poverty

From thine innocence, eternity

Mine forgiveness by thy death for me

Child of sorrows for my joy

Enjoy Christmas


Thursday, December 21, 2006

More War in Africa

I've been watching this developing for a few months now, it seemed inevitable sadly

Somalia at war with Ethiopia

No doubt it will be relegated to a small paragraph, hidden under pages dedicated to the plight of the truly needy; those whose Christmas flights are cancelled.

They say never work with children or animals...

I say I'll take on 30 of your worst kids, accompanied by the hound of the baskervilles, and a hungry bear, on condition I don't have a broken computer to contend with...

Friday, I'm off to Cardiff for the weekend, to stay with my girlfriend's parents. Then I'm coming back home for Christmas day. Next weekend the whole family are going to visit my grandparents, which will be nice, as we rarely all get together. We're staying for New Years Eve, although there won't be much partying to be had.

I hope that the few of you who read this drivel have an enjoyable Christmas. And everyone else of course. You might even want to risk interrogation by the Hurt Feelings and Equality police by actually celebrating the real meaning of Christmas.

Just a thought...

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Home Sweet....

So Monday night, I came home, Going back tomorrow for the CU Christmas meal, and my last lecture on Friday.

Haven't been able to work as I planned though...

My laptop keeps having a hissy fit, something to do with the wireless network card, and it freezes randomly. Or simply forgets it's network settings. Or forgets it has a wireless card at all.

This morning, I had to drive over to my sister's, to try to start her car for her. No luck, so I suggested giving her a lift.
That was when I noticed my back tyre was a little flat. A full 20PSI below normal, to be precise. Having driven over 150 miles home on it, I was shocked to say the least. No wonder the handling was bad...

So this all took me 3 hours, by the time I had got back home. I was then in no mood to work. Ho Hum. Should have stayed at uni.

Remember boys and girls, check your tyre pressures, feel like a fool ,since I'm normally the one nagging my sister.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

1 Week

Not much interesting has happened recently
I'm heading home on Friday for Christmas, 3 weeks off.

I only have 4 lectures this week, so nothing to do Tuesday to Thursday, really must work on those assignments tho...

Thursday, November 30, 2006

HMP Hindley

So today myself and 3 girls went on an educational visit to HMP Hindley in Wigan. It was quite an intimidating place to look at from the outside, and everywhere has locked doors, most of the doors have an additional barred door adjacent to it, so chances of getting around without keys are slim.

We had an introduction, then we were shown around one of the (empty) cell blocks, not quite the palaces the Daily Mail make them out to be. We went on a tour of the education department, visiting an art class, a gym, an ICT class, a Business Studies class and an induction assessment, where the inmates are assessed as to their academic abilities.

To say it's different from a school is an understatment, they often learn at a very basic level, but much of it is hands on learning, they run motor mechanic and brick laying courses. The lads we encountered in art and the gym just stared at us (well at the girls!), but in the ICT and Business classes they were in much smaller groups and we were able to see them working and engage with them. They ask a lot of questions and won't give up without an answer. They all have to do classes, but can choose subjects, the idea being to educate them so they can get a job on release, sadly there is around a 65% reoffending rate.

We got to meet Michael Shields, the celebrity within the prison, the difference between him and the other inmates was astounding, he was sat quietly, doing his induction and trying not to be noticed. We did get introduced to him, and from talking to him, he really didn't seem like the type to be there.

P.S at no point during the visit were we searched, we had to put our phones in a locker, and we were supervised going round, but there were a couple of times I could have slipped an inmate a bag of weed whilst the teacher's back was turned.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Do not pass Go, do not collect £200

We received a confirmation tonight for our visit to HMP Hindley, next Thursday, as part of our Education studies. The speaker we had from last Monday has arranged for a group of us to spend the day learning about the education system first hand.

I had better take my tear gas.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

4 More weeks

I spent most of last week at home ill, hence no updates.
Now, with Christmas fast approaching, I'm up to my old tricks, selling unwanted stuff on ebay,
to give me a budget for buying presents.

We had an interesting lecture yesterday, a visiting speaker from a young offenders institute, to tell us all about the education system for the inmates. I'm not sure it's the kind of job I would like to do, the (as yet) unincarcerated youths you encounter in schools are bad enough.
It's good to hear that the education they receive can have a positive impact, they had one lad who went on to study maths at Cambridge apparently.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

1 Down, Many More To Go

Assignments that is. Finished my first and handed it in. 1500 words on SWOT analysis.

Last weekend I was home, drove down Thursday evening,went used car shopping on Friday (for my gf, not for me!), then to Reading on Sat, to do some planning for our holiday at Easter.
Went to St Albans firework display in the evening, as usual it was good but the weather was freezing. The picture is shamelessly stolen from the website of the display organisers, and is actually from 03.

Sunday, we had a family lunch together, which was nice, then I spent half an hour fumbling in the dark, trying to change a friend's car battery, without the proper tools. I did succeed, in case you are wondering.

My visit was topped off by 2 great church services on Sunday, I'm glad I stuck around for the evening service. People were surprised to see me, but most of them managed to feign happiness.

I left at around 10.30, got home at exactly 1.00 - I love driving at night since no-one else seems to and the roads are really empty.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Money again

I've created a spreadsheet detailing all my expenditure since I started at uni, I can't believe how much I spent, mostly without realising. In addition, I have made a budget sheet, for the remaining 8 weeks of the term, and I will use it to see how well I am keeping to the budget. I'm aiming to save some money at the end of the term to put towards a holiday at Easter, more on that later. Thanks to my new found addiction to jam sandwiches/jam on toast, I now have a suitable repository for all my change.

Currently only holds 47p

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Another week gone

I would have put another update before this, but I've been pretty busy.
My girlfriend came to stay for the weekend, which
was very nice. We went shopping in Chester, had lunch by the river etc.

After my lecture on Tuesday, I headed home as it was her birthday. I timed it so I got to her place just before she got back from the bible study, then appeared from out of the shadows clutching a bunch of roses. She was pretty surprised to see me, and very pleased.
Last night we went out to Zizzi's to celebrate with a few others, was good to see people again.
We have a habit of pulling faces etc. when people try to get a photo of us together, this one was no exception.

I've now come back to uni in time for my Thursday afternoon lecture, it was tempting to stay at home for the weekend, but I'd left some work I needed to do behind.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Got back today from a short visit to see my aunt in North Wales, my parents had rented a cottage which had spare rooms, so I went over on Tuesday night, having no lectures on Wednesday. Was nice to see her, it's been about 5 years. Didn't see much of the rest of the family who live round there, only my cousin's daughter and her baby. The picture was taken by my dad in a restaurant in Llandudno.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

The joys of a hall of residence

Had a fire alarm at 1am today. This siren sounded, stopped, sounded again, stopped again, then silence.

Then it started and didn't stop. Alex and I went to investigate, it was going off all around the building, despite the fire safety talk which said each flat was on it's own enclosed circuit.

They also promised us no late night fire drills. In fact they said the alarm would never sound throughout the building

We got to the bottom of the stairs in our block, discovered everyone was evacuating, so I followed suit and Alex went back to get dressed. After 2 mins outside, 2 things were discovered...

It were flippin cold...

....and the other 2 flatmates who were in at the time were still in bed. Asleep.

You see the alarm sounder is outside the main flat front door and unless you're awake you're unlikely to hear it. Great designing.

I went back for a fleece, despite being told never to re-enter a building, and hammered on their doors.

after 15 mins outside in the cold, surrounded by people in dressing gowns and mini skirts, the nice fireman let us all back in.

I feel sorry for those who had to be up early for teaching practice

Monday, October 02, 2006

Money Galore

Just realised it's been more than a week since I updated this.

Had my first week of lectures, went well, nothing too taxing so far.
My grant came through the other day, so I'm on less of a budget now, just have to try not to spend it all in one go.
Haven't had my loan yet as...
well I forgot to tick the box saying I wanted it. This has now been rectified, so I should be even richer soon.

Off to North Wales next week for a couple of days - my family is spending the week visiting an aunt and cousins, so I'm going to pop along between lectures.

Not much else interesting to add.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Just added some pictures of my room, as it stands, not terribly tidy. It's nice as far as uni accom goes, great to have my own bathroom

Friday, September 22, 2006

Unforseen Expense

So much for getting by on £10 this week.

Had a big problem yesterday with my laptop. It seemed to forget that the network card and sound card, amongst others, existed. After trying various things to fix it, I reached for my pile of CDs to find that the XP install disk wasn't there.

So I went home to get it.

Left at about 2, got home by 4.40, not bad going. Picked up the CD from my parents, sorted my laptop, and spent the evening with my girlfriend - she got a bit of a surprise when I called her, was great to see her though, even if it was less than a week since I left.

I stayed overnight at my parents, was originally going to drive back at about 11pm. Didn't feel like my home anymore, felt a bit weird.

But discounting the £38 for petrol and £7 for the M6 toll, I've still only spent about £8

Tuesday, September 19, 2006


Got my timetable yesterday, not starting lectures til Monday, so other than the freshers fair tomorrow, I'm twiddling my thumbs.

Trying to finish my sister's wedding video, turning out to be a bit of a mission.

I withdrew £10 yesterday, trying to make it last at least until the end of the week, as I there's very little I need to buy. Got about £7.98 left, a pint of Pepsi in the union bar last night only cost a quid. Will let you know how much I have by Saturday.

Monday, September 18, 2006

A little bit I forgot to add - went yesterday to a church I had 'researched' before coming away, very friendly people, got invited to lunch, and then to their young people's group after the evening service.

In the evening, one of my flatmates and another from the upstairs flat came with me, they both said it was very welcoming, and seemed keen to go again.

More importantly than the welcome, though, was the teaching. Which was very good, much like my home church, they take a book of the bible and work through it methodically, that way you can't skip the bits that make you feel uncomfortable.

All in all, a good day yesterday, shame I wasn't at home though, they had the Archbishop of Uganda to speak, I'm assured he was good, will have to try and download the recording.
After 2 days without internet access, I was given my password for the uni network today.
Had an introduction to the course today, got given my timetable.
Enrolment takes place this afternoon, and I have a library tour tomorrow, but other than that, I've got nothing to do til Monday.

Must get round to getting some pictures of my room up.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Still not sunk in yet

So today's my last day at home, had a leaving party last night. Thanks to Han for the venue, and for those who came.
Still not really woken up to the fact that tomorrow I'm going to be living elsewhere, going to a new church Sunday, meeting loads of new folk. Really excited by it though.

Going to spend the evening with my girlfriend, going for a meal. Really should start packing clothes at some point.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

The Beginnings

I've created this blog as a means for friends of mine to keep in contact and up to date whilst I am away from home, studying at university. So far, I don't really have much interesting to offer, but hopefully that may change.

I start as a 'fresher' this coming Monday, I'm not quite sure what to make of it yet. Having always lived in the same place, the same house, it's going to be wierd to move to a completely different place with totally new people. And the prospect of getting back into studying after 4 years is intimidating, but also exciting, in a way.