Tales of daily life from a 20-something Student from London.

Friday, 7 September 2012

Irish Smirish

Admitedly, I should have guessed when I walked in that this wasnt the pub I was searching for. Looking for an oneills to watch Ireland kick off their world cup campaign, I consulted google maps, only to be given a crude image that showed me to be far away, then close, then far away again. 

I spotted an irish pub and decided to risk it. Now, as I walked in, the fact they were playing 'let me lick you up and down...' says a lot, but the 5 people in here were giving me evil looks, so this young upstart from the city decided to balls up.

I immediately realised, after asking for a pint of smithwicks and hearing the barmans accent, this was Irish in name only. 

"you lads playing the ireland game?"

"no, why?"

"sorry, i just gathered by the sign"

"oh...no, sorry" 

It took me roughly 5 minutes to see i'd walked through the wrong door into the pub next door, a student bar called varsity. I realised why the barman was staring. Great. 

I finished my carslberg and left. 

Sunday, 2 September 2012

I've been riding on my bike...

I'm not entirely sure why, but I find the topics of most of my more recent posts have been a bit serious. I mean, I know most people who read this either click the link because they've scrolled through their newsfeeds a hundred times and see nothing more than a selection of baby photos (well, not a selection. There's nothing selective about them, they just throw every picture their 2gb SD card can hold on every social media network they can find), some photos of guys and dolls dressed up to the nines holding up a sign in a club advertising the club (seriously, what is that about?), and a tonne of 'funny' photos from a page you liked back in college and can never be bothered to unlike, or have a mild interest in some of my awkward misfortunes, but I do feel the need to vent a few serious bits and pieces on here occasionally. So, to anyone who genuinely does read this every week, I apologise. And get a job, y' deadbeats.

So, I still don't have a job. But, I have applied for plenty of staff-writer jobs. In theory, staff-writer is a relatively simple job. I know writers who have worse grammar than sign writers for a Chinese supermarket, and structure an article like the way 500 Days of Summer plays out. I've applied for writing jobs at all sorts of publications. I applied for a particular job at a monthly motorcycle magazine.

The editor of said magazine should probably be "surprised she hasn't seen me on the Isle of Man before" as I've been "going to the TT since I was as tall as a motorbikes kickstand". I mean, if I get the job, I'll brush up on my motorbike knowledge. I'll learn the difference between a Yamaha and a Suzuki, a gas guzzler and a penny pleaser, and, primarily, how to actually start a motorbike. But then again, she also shouldn't be surprised if I "turn up on some sort of bike" as "cars have the restraint that a motorcycle just doesn't give you, allowing you to really enjoy the road".

It's not because I haven't passed my test. I promise. And I wont be turning up on a Boris Bike....not that that'd matter, as I said bike.


Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Nautical Pub Golf

After the fun that was Pub Fox Hunting, a general consensus was that it shouldn't be our only voyage into the sport-drinking genre. Last weekend, we opted to take our pal Steve on a night he would forget instantly (thanks to the alcohol, not due to it being below par (yes, note the pun)). Dressing in our best nautical clothing, we headed to the fair city to drink beers and drink other things that aren't beers.

The night began in the Kings Arms. A fairly low key pub, the rainbow flag flew lazily in the summer wind outside. However, a quick check on Google Maps review section revealed there was more than met the eye. The Kings Arms was Soho's premier 'Bear' bar, a meeting spot for what was essentially groups of butch homosexual men. 12 lads walking in dressed as pirates and sailors was like throwing a pound of cat nip into the local pet shop and watching the magic unfold. However, thanks to a cheeky 50% discount we wrangled, Guiness' were downed and brandy was shot, a nice addition to the numerous train beers we had on the journey.

Train beers was the case for some, but not all. Phil 'the animal' Hewitt took part in his compulsory 'wine strawpedo challenge' whilst on the family-friendly c2c into London. 7 seconds the time to beat, he came in at a poultry 11, possibly due to the wine being less than £3 and more like paint stripper. By the time we'd left the bear pit, Phil was devastated, leading us on to our next pub, the John Snow (no resemblance to the c4 news megastar). To say it was small was an understatement. At one point, I limboed under the tiny door to the next room, which I imagine looked absurd to the normal revellers. Phil, again struggling to be served, sat in the corner and wallowed for a while, whilst we spoke to some Danish guys. At one point, one Dane had his chair pulled away, and things got a tad icy (there's a joke about iced Danish in there, I'm sure you can figure something out, so get back to me).

As with every golfing holiday, things get hazy at some point. My last memory of the evening was strolling down Oxford street desperate for some sort of food, missing last orders in a sports bar, and having a small ginger lad threaten to punch me. I'm sure I'll remember some more soon, so you'll have to coax it out of me.

2 tonne trouble

Not having a job, although massively frees up seven out of seven days in a week, often limits the amount of money you have coming in to your bank account. It varies from none to very, very little, and is few and far between.

That is why, today, when a cheque popped through the letter box of number 35, I was ecstatic (partly because I really, really need a haircut, it's like a Furby gone wrong right now). The deposit from living in my hell-hole of a uni house has finally arrived back in my mits, all £250...wait...what? £200.67? What mess could I have possibly left that has resulted in me owing £49.33?

"Jack's room was not cleaned at all". Oh...well. Certainly not the case, I spent a good 10 minutes glueing on a broken door handle.

"Furniture not moved". Now we're getting a bit silly. I never said I was an expert at Feng Shui now, did I?

"Desktop not cleaned". You didn't include a coaster.

"Doorbell missing". It played Mary Had A Little Lamb every hour. It's self explanatory why it's not there.

Apparently, cleaning my window cill and frame cost £30. If you know the right guy, you could get a new one and have change. I expect the new one is made from some sort of rich mahogany.

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Running the Gauntlet

The natural progression for a student, or graduate technically, after university is to get straight on the job ladder and earn some of the money that has been much fabled over the past three years. I wouldn't say I took my first tentative step straight away, but now that the kiddies (I can call them that, I'm almost 22 and I have a fancy piece of paper that says I have a degree) are nearing the end of their holidays, I kinda guess I should at least be slightly proactive, if only because it's getting slightly awkward when I turn up to the job centre without the uniform of worn-out Puma tracksuit and Reebok classics (it even feels like the children of the young-mums are giving me a stare).

Last week, I had my first interview, a group interview whittling 18 down to just 7 through a series of gruelling group tasks for a recruitment company in Islington. Now, when I say 'gruelling', I don't say it lightly. The first task involved 'selling' your partner and talking about why they should get the job. After both partners did this, presentation style infront of everyone else, they laid this bombshell on us:

"Now tell us why you should get the job instead of your partner, making note of why you're better"

Oh...oh dear. Poor old Emily, not the most confident of girls, looked up at me with her little eyes, begging me to go easy (Jesus, I'm really trying hard not to make this sound dodgy). I then had 30 seconds of almost ridiculing her infront of everybody else, so much so that, when it came to her turn, she barely had anything to say. This is what guilt feels like.

The next task involved picking a character, alive or dead, real or fictional, and in groups of 4, explaining why you should stay in the metaphorical balloon, and why whoever else should be thrown out. Poor Costas picked Henry the 8th, and the weight card was thrown at him like a ten tonne Tiramisu, legitimately giving him no choice but to throw himself out. I'll be honest, as a group, we may have ganged up on him, but when three people have picked footballers, and one has picked a Tudorian king, it's easy to find common ground.

After these tasks that separate the men from the 'those-who-cant-stick-up-for-themselves', we had the one on one interviews, never something I've struggled with. However...

"Any reason you aren't wearing a tie?" They said, not wearing ties.

"I think it show's I'm relaxed, and confident"

"Are you?"


"...You should wear a tie. You're a smooth customer, but you look cocky"

I felt anything but a smooth customer. But, after the interview, I'd obviously succeeded, as I was told it was good news, and I'd hear from them the next day. I was even told to wear a tie at the briefing day on Friday.

I am currently still unemployed.

My custom clearly needs to be less smooth.

Friday, 10 August 2012

Graduate Gripes

When I first went to university, I thought it was the best decision I'd ever made. I'd leave here with a ticket to a top job, sensible wages, I'd move out within a year, and get ready to start living. If anything, that was how my college sold it to me. Work? Getting a job? What a ridiculous prospect, you need to further your learning. I still feel their pushing of higher education was something to do with them getting alumni in high places, but that's irrelevant now. And in a way, so is the prospect of uni itself.

Not that I didn't enjoy uni as such. I loved it, I met great people, and had great fun. But, almost 3 months after officially finishing, and, by my count, 63 jobs applied for, I've had a grand total of two 'we'll put you on our shortlist', 1 interview, tonnes of 'we had so many applications we weren't able to look at yours and, like more or less every other graduate, no sniff of a 'welcome to the team'. And that's just the jobs I can apply for. There are so many grads nowadays, a lot of employers are finding cheeky ways to sift through candidates that, 10 years ago, would have been close to the top of the pile. 'Minimum 300 UCAS points' needed to apply. That's 3 B's at A-Level, more than a lot of Uni's require you to get accepted onto a course. 'A degree from a top 20 university'. Ok, I get that Oxford is a damn sight better than Sheffield Hallam, but why can I not even apply? Why is my English Degree worth less than an English Degree from say, a university 5 places above? Is it easier? I doubt it. Is the content any different? Well again, I wouldn't imagine so. And yet still, I wouldn't even be given a second glance. I'm left, with a respectable 2:1 from an upper-mid table uni, to apply for jobs that don't exactly seem appealing, despite the fact I've studied for three years to even be able to apply for them. Nowadays, us 2:1 holders are propping up the table.

I don't have any gripe with anyone who's earned a first, as, like I've just said, they earned it, and deserve it. I've got no problem with being second best to a first class honours student at an interview. My problem is, nowadays, I can't even apply to most jobs. I was 0.375 marks into the grade boundary for a 2:1. Had I been just a little bit below, I'd have got a 2:2. Applying for 'graduate' jobs with a 2:2? Forget it. And all those first class students who aren't from a top 20 uni? Well, they're all applying for the jobs that in the past, a 2:1 student would've taken. It's dominoes, and nowhere near as good as the pizza. And so, here I am, on a Friday afternoon, no money, seemingly no prospects, and parents worried about me finding a job and being unhappy, applying for jobs marketed at college leavers. And I ask myself, what was the point?

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Pub Fox Hunting

21st Birthday's are always monumental occasions. People go abroad, go to expensive clubs, eat expensive food, do things they'll regret in the morning, generally go all out. This year it so happened that two of my friends 21st's, Sam Ham and Bean'ed, fell across a single weekend in January. This weekend. Naturally, we decided there was only one way to celebrate this.

Pub Fox Hunting. Essentially a similar concept to Pub Golf (google it), but instead of dressing as golfers, we instead dressed as fox hunters. Well, I say fox hunters...
When the message went out, and we discovered that real fox hunters actually dress a bit like posh circus ringmasters, we took it upon ourselves
to just dress a bit like posh farmers. Only, Phil didn't quite get this:


As you can see Phil, on the left, DID dress like a genuine fox hunter. So there were 11 farmers, and 1 circus ringleader, trapsing around the West End, drinking drinks. The first pub was solely chosen due to the name 'The Intrepid Fox'. A fitting way to start the evening, clearly.

We had found the West End's premier Metal/Goth pub. If I was in plain clothes, I would have stuck out, let alone dressed like Bernard Matthews. After the obligatory shots and bottles, progression was made to a small bar down Tinpan Alley, where the sign for 'happy hour' couldn't go amiss. The place was full of couples enjoying a nice drink, so I take pride in the fact we completely ruined any atmosphere, but probably did give them a talking point. After the barman shook 12 woowoo's for a group of farmers and Zippo the ringleader (a sentence I never expected to utter), the cocktails were downed, and we progressed to the 'ale pub' that we were all dreading. My hazy memory tells me this was the first pub that someone chundered, with Busby eventually finishing the pint at about 24 over par. Not the best effort.

At this point things started to get a little messy. The cider pub left many of us declaring it was, in our tipsy states, 'the coldest thing we've ever drunk', and the barwoman disliked us for asking so many questions about/pining over a small plate of sausage and mash lying on a table. Following this, if anything was needed to push us that bit further, the Guiness pub arrived. People cheekily tried to 'accidentally spill some' and someone else chundered, unfortunately slightly spattering their own shoes. Hungry, we needed food. The first place in sight was a curry house, and to my knowledge, I paid about 15 quid for a beer that I didn't want and definitely didn't need and a small container with a spattering of rice and a bit of Tikka Masala. 12 brave men were slowly reaching the end.

Sadly, or not so, as this was a fairly long entry, this is where the story is left. Partly due to an air of mystery being kept, partly the fact I can't remember much else. If you've never tried pub golf, try it, it's excellent. But do prepare yourself for a hangover like no other. Have a good week everyone.

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Cause whatever I did, whatever I said, I didn't mean it...

Ok. So, roughly five people have complained about the lack of new entries. If I'm honest, I got a little bit tired of it all. But hey, at least it's given me plenty of time to get some material to write some more entries, right?

One big issue that got missed was a trip to the delightful European city of Amsterdam. Which is exactly as seedy as it is portrayed. Not that this is a bad thing, mind. You couldn't walk down a street without being tempted by the 'aromas' of a local coffee house. And the Dutch are very friendly people. Well, most...

"Are you guys English?"
"We sure are"

This could have gone one of two ways. Either he was a big fan of the English, and we were about to be praised and loved, or he was a crazy Dutch national from the Dutch equivalent of Luton.

"Whereabouts you from?"
"OHHH! So, what football team you support?"

Risky territory. What if Millwall had a Dutch division?

"West Ham"
"Oh. Good. At least you aren't Chelsea"

Conversation over. I was ready to get out of there, and away from Amsterdamaged-at-birth.

"Why's that?" my buddy Sam pipes up

Now, what came next can only be described as a bellow. I'm saying this because cap locks doesn't quite cut it.

"BECAUSE I FUCKING HATE CHELSEA!!!" (notice the triple exclamation marks)


Much to our dismay, we had found a couple of new friends, who spent the next hour or so with us, discussing their disdain for Chelsea F.C. and how their Uncle is involved in 'the firm' of a popular London football club, who I cannot remember. If you look through my Amsterdam photos on Facebook, you will see him in a few. I have no need to tell you who he is. I think he's the kind of lad you just notice. For being a bit of a nutter.

As you would imagine, various other mishaps happened on our weekend away, so here are some of the best:

Bean ate 8 hotdogs, each from a different stand, in the space of an afternoon. It became a bit of a joke by number 6, 'the 'dam hotdog crawl '11'. And became a bit of a mess by number 2.

Phil smoked a pipe through his nose. It was really funny. It left him incredibly ill for two days.

Nick slept curled up on the bottom of my bed for a few hours. Then asked to get in. Then had the audacity to moan at me for only being in boxer shorts. He was fully clothed, including coat and shoes.

We accidentally walked into a Dutch national bar after I wrongly assumed it was playing the Liverpool game. We got coaxed into buying numerous beers whilst we got backed into the corner by 10 or so middle aged Dutchmen dancing to 'What's New Pussycat' followed by 'It's Not Unusual' followed by some sort of patriotic Dutch ballad.

Have a top 2012 everyone.

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Walking in a winter wonderland

Autumn Wonderland

So, it's November the 1st. The Christmas lights have just been turned on in Oxford Street. I don't care that we still have almost two months to the big day. I love Christmas, and I don't care how early it is, I might just smash out the songs now.

It's a great time of year. Lots of parties, Christmas shopping in John Lewis, my birthday (not that it affects you that much), and people being really happy. As I write this, my housemate Peter has just burst into an impromptu version of All I Want For Christmas Is You, so it's clearly got to him. Christmas is a time of year that has everything. Romance, happiness, laughs, and even sadness when it's all over. I don't really have a reason for writing about Christmas. I have nowhere to go with it, but I got all seasonal all of a sudden. I'll try and write about something meaningful or funny now.


...I've not really got anything to write about here either. Is my life that depressing at the moment? How incredibly sombre. I could talk to you about going out dressed as Batman (for Halloween, mind). My non-existent love life. My dinner (Thai curry). Oh, wait, got something, you can carry on. I went to Freeze Fest in London this weekend with my pal Marcus. We had a great time and saw bundles of top bands like Everything Everything, Joy Formidable, and Summer Camp. What really stood out though was the amount of arseholes there. Whilst watching The Streets, some guys sitting next to us at the side got up and mad headway for the crowd. They'd been kicking this girls back and throwing stuff at her (oddly, they pulled, which puts 'nice guys finish last' into perspective I imagine) for a while, and being generally not cool. I saw them running back through the crowd towards us and guessed they'd lost something. They had. 

A brand spanking new iPhone 4s sat about a foot away from me. Shit. I could comfortably grab that and live like a king for the term. Spending money for Amsterdam, great presents for Christmas, and Dominos 2-4-Tuesdays for months. I reached over, and picked it up. I saw them frantically looking for something on the ground, and asked if they'd lost something.

"yeah, my new phone!"

"Here you go mate, found it a second ago"

He was gobsmacked.

"You're the most honest man I've ever met. If I was gay I'd marry you!"

"That's fine, I'm not gay myself actually"

I thought about what he said. Am I that honest? I mean, really, the thought of not giving that back to him never crossed my mind. But I'm not honest all the time. Especially with telling people what I really mean, or feel. I guess there's a difference between being good, and being completely honest.

Over and out.

Monday, 24 October 2011

Shark the herald, Angel's sing...

I was half tempted to write about the whole shark business going on in Oz right now. I'm not going to do that now, as I wouldn't want to offend anyone's views on it, as it could be a fairly tense subject. For anyone who doesn't know though, a shark (or sharkS) is killing people who swim too close to it's territory and, wrongly in my eyes, the government want to hunt it down. I'm not going to dwell on it, but I wanted to make my point on the situation that it's wrong to kill regardless (with that you can probably discover my views on the Gaddafi incident, but that's something I am definitely not getting into).

So, the biggest news story of the weekend was Man Utd. getting a hammering. Even people not into football know that's unlikely. I mean, 1-6? That's embarrassing. As much as they aren't my favourite group of people, there are probably one or two United fans reading this, so I won't dwell as such, and instead talk about a certain City player.

Mario Balotelli is a cultural icon. I make it fairly well known that I love the man. The man who gave a grand to a tramp. The man who threw darts at people out of the training ground window. The man who get's, on average, £3000 a month in parking fines. The man who 'mistakenly' drove all the way into a women's prison. And the man who, when seeing a young boy outside the training ground in midweek, took him back to school, confronted his bullies, and shouted at the headteacher for letting the bullying carry on for as long as it did. He certainly is an eccentric. 

During yesterday's derby, he confronted his doubters by displaying a t-shirt under his football jersey that said 'why always me?' I found this hilarious, and woke up today wondering how he would celebrate yesterday's monumental win.  My buddy just told me, prompting this writing, that he drove around Manchester in his Bentley giving any City fan he saw a big ol' high five. There was no reason. But he did it, as he bloody well wanted to.

Sometimes, it's nice to do a Balotelli. To just want to do something, and then follow up this want by just doing it. Fantastic.

On that note, I fancy a beer. I know it's early, but hell, WWMD (what would Mario do)?

Over and out.

Friday, 21 October 2011



Over the past two weeks, I've made a fair few snap decisions. Saying yes to something I would otherwise just say no to. Living with a bit of spontaneity. It's not a bad thing. Not at all. Only, the hangovers I end up with are. Take last week for example. I went to the shop with a hankering for a Muller Light (strawberry, for anyone interested in my yoghurt habits), and ended up coming home with Peter, both of us with a bottle of wine, singing Wherever You Will Go by The Calling, and going out to Indie night, waking up with an absolute stinker of a hangover. And I didn't even get my Muller. Last night was supposed to be an easygoing pub session with my buddy Marcus. Again, x amount of £2 JD and Cokes later, indie night. I'm not saying these are bad things. When you do something as spontaneous as this, you can meet some pretty cool people that you may otherwise have never met. It's nice to be spontaneous, so, as the man on the bus said to Danny Wallace 'say yes more'.


I don't do compliments well. Like, at all. Receiving them, that is. I don't know why this is. I just go blank whenever someone says anything nice. Earlier in the summer, for example, I had a 'The Doors, Waiting for the Sun' T-shirt on. A guy in starbucks obviously approved of my t shirt habits and said 'I like your t-shirt', to which I replied 'ah yeah, thank you, yours is cool too!'. This guy was wearing arguably the most generic red and white chequered shirt in the world. Like, every man and his nan own a similar shirt. To say 'I like it' was like saying 'I commend you for staying with that reliable number', and in truth, probably felt more like an insult, which would explain the incredibly awkward silence this created, so much so that he left (but that might of been because of the queue...I hope it was). The other day, a woman in the refectory told me she liked my glasses. On the spot, I was left with nothing to say but 'I like yours!' Needless to say, she was not one of the bespectacled among us. Bemused. But certainly not bespectacled. 

Over and out.

Saturday, 15 October 2011

It's been too long!

Yeah. Sorry. I know I've been kinda shit at this recently. But hey, let's pretend this isn't the kind of reunion like when you see an ex at a party and things are really awkward. Let's ensure this is one of those 'meet up with an old buddy, end up in a gay bar getting free drinks from a guy who apparently worked one shift there, then all end up in Camden' kinda reunions (I'm looking at you, Tom Hewitt).

Anyway, I hope everyone is having a great time doing whatever they're doing be it uni, work, or dossing around playing Fifa12. But I guess I should tell you an embarrassing story to make your Saturday morning reading of this more interesting, right? 


Recently, I went to meet one of my friends in London and, after a good night getting a bit merry, decided I'd grab the last train home. Coffee in my hand, I sat down on the train at Kings Cross waiting for it to depart. Having had a nightmare a couple weeks back where I ended up in West Horndon due to falling asleep (which regular readers will know about), I was determined to stay awake. Only the woman next to me didn't share that sentiment.

As I neared Hatfield, I did that awkward stand-up to hope she felt me stir and move accordingly. She did not. I coughed, fairly loudly. She was still solid as a proverbial rock, much like Ashford and Simpson's love. What was I going to do? Is it ok to like... poke her? Surely not. The train was slowing and the tension was building. It was now or Welwyn. I stuck out my finger and slowly jabbed her arm and, like a shot, she looked at me and had obviously got up on the wrong side of the seat. The train had stopped.

"Why are you touching me?!?" she shouted.

It was too late. I was already off the train. 

Over and out.

Monday, 26 September 2011

She's Fresh. Exciting (doodoodoodoodoo)

One thing I was not looking forward to on my return to sunny Hatfield was having to get a new student I.D. card. Unlike most student cards, our's are pointless. They have no expiry date therefore most places will not take them. They have practically no use unless you go to the gym, where it acts as an entry card. However, unless you touch it on a small plastic pad at the start of term, your student loan ain't comin' at ya'. So I had to make the trip to get a new one. 

It started ok. I walked into the I.D. office and began queuing. Apparently we get charged £20 for a replacement, but if we say it was stolen, it is free. Therefore, I decided I would simply lie. Fantastic. 

"Yeah, my I.D. card got stolen over the summer" I whimpered (in a manly way)
"Have you got the crime identification number?"


"Erm...no...because...it happened when I was in Belize"

Quite why I chose the small Central American country previously known as British Honduras as my fake holiday destination escapes me. I mean, I couldn't even make up a reason. In fact, the more I think about it, Belize? Really, Jack?

"You were in Belize? And they stole your student card?"
"And my wallet!" I said, holding my wallet. 
"Well, I should charge you, as there isn't any proof..."

Now, as she began to weigh up her options, I should have kept quiet. Maybe she'd just give in and say yes, here's a fresh card. But no. I had to make things worse. I looked at her, dead in the eyes, with a look of pure honesty and said:

"Please, Belize me!"

They say a picture can say 1000 words. The picture of her face said one thing. Pay up.

Over and out.

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Oooooh, something to talk about.

The Only Thing To Fear Is Fear Itself

Whoever said that is totally wrong. This time of year, with someone who has my fear, is petrifying. Everywhere you go, the ground is scattered with potential frights. As you walk the most mundane walk possible, the world becomes a battleground. Your head darts between objects on the ground ensuring there are none of them about. Hugely worrying.

I, like many others, am ranidaphobic. This means I have a fear like no other of frogs and toads. So, let's get all the laughs out now. Yeah, they're nothing to be scared of, but hell, it is what it is. I think that my fear comes from when my Grandad was clearing a bush from our garden that had a frogs nest (yes, frogs nests exist), and he put them all in a bucket. I toddler waddled over and tipped the bucket, causing a torrent of beasts to throw themselves at me, clearly trying to harm me. I can only expect this is what scarred me for life. 

But yeah, the reason this time of year is so bad for it is because wet leaves look a hell of a lot like frogs. Like, a lot. You've probably never realised, but they do. In fact, everything could be a frog in theory. But I'll stop now. I'm making myself paranoid and there's an odd looking candle in the kitchen that I'm not ruling out...

Going Back To My Roots

I have never shyed away from the fact I am a huge geek. If anything, I'd argue I'm proud of it. For geeks, today could be seen as a hugely important day. Gears of War, the series of games that redifined third person shooters and helped launch the Xbox 360 to stardom, is getting its third and final installment today. A game that I played religiously is concluding it's epic story and we finally get to find out what happens to Marcus Fenix and the gang. It's a monumental event.

Honestly? I don't think I give a shit. I woke up this morning, knowing I couldn't afford it, but it really doesn't bother me. What has happened to me?!?!? I couldn't possibly be losing my inner geek, surely? A worrying thought, definitely. I think at some point today, the Super Nintendo or Sega Saturn will have to come out, to try and inject some geek into me. I will keep you posted on the success rates.

Oh and, yeah, for anyone who doesn't know, I'm rolling back to uni on Saturday. I've had a pretty amazing summer, and met some very, very amazing people. I still have like, 3 full days here, so if you wanna hang out, whoever you are, let me know! 

Over and out.

Saturday, 17 September 2011


So, I'm going to be boring again, and try and write something really profound (or at least as profound as possible after a few beers over dinner). I mean, don't get me wrong, I don't have much reason to be profound at the moment, at all, but I read a pretty interesting quote today and it really made me think. Before I tell you what it is though, you need to know that, suprisingly, it came from The Sun.

Apparently, a London Cabbie asked his passengers to write their little nuggets of advice on a clipboard in the back of his cab, that he would later write down in a little book. Celebrities wrote in there, drunks wrote in there (before you start, no, I was not one of said drunks), even children. But sift through all the ramblings and the typos and you may just find one special, profound sequence of words that mean something. 

"Don't mistake existing for living." So, there it is. May not be the bombshell you were expecting, but just think about it for a moment. How many days do you let go by where nothing exciting happens, and you sit around, watching repeats of Come Dine With Me and and drinking low strength orange squash? Not only that but how many of those days, where you simply 'exist', go by where you get the opportunity to do something. Even if it's to go to the pub, sit over the park, or join someone on a little excursion. Whatever it is, it's a whole lot better than sitting around and doing, excuse my French, fuck all. Well, it's living. If you take that opportunity to live, a thousand choices could arise that could lead to a million fun and amazing times. I know it sounds soppy, but maybe whoever wrote that message is right. We all need to live a little. Go out, see someone you haven't seen in a long while, drink one more drink and let the night go on a little longer, whatever else may approach you.

So, I've bored you with that for 5 minutes, but hey, you chose to read it! But can I ask you a favour? After reading all that, just take it in for a minute. When you've done that, practice what that person preached. Live a little. Right now, right this moment, do something you may not otherwise do. For example, tell someone something you'd never otherwise tell them. Text some buddies and find out if they fancy hanging. If it goes wrong, then who cares (I'll personally apologise if that goes wrong though). But if it goes right? That moment, everything might have changed for you. And that's pretty wild. 

Hey, at least it'll give your Saturday evening a bit of excitement!

Over and out.

Friday, 16 September 2011

TGI Friday


As you all know all too well, London attracts a LOT of nutcases, drunkards, and general oddbods. Maybe it's something I do, or say, or they can smell my fear, but I tend to have a lot of them gravitate toward me. Last night was no different. After a perfect evening in London, I got on the tube at Embankment, and curiously, there was just me and another guy in my carriage. He looked a bit haggard and generally shit and was reading a small book. Headphones in blaring some Two Door Cinema Club, I was blissfully unaware that he was talking at me. Emphasis on 'at'. 

When I did eventually realise, I took my headphones out to find the guy performing some sort of religious chant on me. I say that, it was probably just a bible passage, but it was pretty fucking crazy.

"Hey, buddy, come on, not really my thing"
"Open your mind, listen to my tellings"
"Ok, so, thanks for the offer, but really, I'm good"

I would normally have half accepted it, but I'd already seen a guy juggle three lemons and catch one on his neck less than an hour before, so I could not really have seen anything that even got nearly as enthralling. But what was coming next, I could not have expected. 

The man got up at his stop, but, before getting off, touched the book to my head and shouted, and I mean shouted, "CHILD" at the top of his voice. I was incredibly freaked out, but not enough to withstrain me from raising my hand in a masturbatory manner as the train pulled away. I'm open to the concept of religion, but maybe not in the same way as this guy.

e.g. nutter.



Ok, so, that's a fucking anthem. I absolutely adore The Hoosiers, but maybe they have a good point. Sometimes, we all wish things were simple and everything was spelt out right in front of us. And I don't just mean choosing between like, yes and no things. I mean having to choose what to do or say, when to do it, and to do it in the first place. If things were just spelt out, alright, it would be pretty lame, but at least we could just accept that that's what needs to be done, right? 

Whenever I make a decision to man up and say something for example, like everyone else, I'm sure, part of me wishes I'd never said it, and I could carry on blissfully unaware. Sometimes I wish that I chose not to have one more drink, that led me to do or say something I might regret. But I've learnt to accept that choosing a certain decision is exactly that. A decision. Not a mistake. Just a decision. At the time, it may not seem right, but a little bit down the line, it'll all come together, and you'll forget all about it. 

Over and out.

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Sunday Sunday Happy Days.


Ok, can you work out what that's supposed to say? Anyone? Big Issue. The particular spelling above is made famous by the Big Issue seller in Shipley, Leeds, where a friend of mine from uni lives, who swears the seller pronounces it like that, and only says that (at first I questioned whether the seller was in fact a Pokemon, but realised that is doubtful, mainly due to few Pokemon having opposable thumbs, and partly due to their non-existence). 

Yeah, so this is all about the famous Charity Magazine, The Big Issue. Ok, so to start with, I'm quite the fan of the Big Issue. It's worth a flick through, has some ok interviews, and nine times out of ten the sellers are real nice guys and gals. But it only dawned on me today (/thought long and hard as I had nothing else to write about) how I've had some odd experiences with sellers. I mean, a seller in Cambridge once took me all the way to a McDonald's after I bought a magazine off of him. Which on paper seems lovely, but then he guilt tripped me into buying him a burger, which I couldn't really pass up, but also meant I could only afford a Happy Meal, which I was not happy about. 

Last month, when a tad tipsy, I gave the Embankment seller a fiver, and told him to keep the change. Apparently he wasn't a fan of this, so duly gave me two copies of the magazine to subsidise the £2 price point. I don't know what he expected me to do with two, apart from maybe me a crude, pop-up version of the magazine, but I had not the time, nor skill to perform such a task. 

I can also remember a time when I saw a guy body-popping using the magazines as props. It gets even more amazing when I tell you he was white, so the guy obviously had talent. In short though, it's a top magazine, with a top cause. The sellers are exactly that, sellers. It is their job, and not all of them are homeless. It's often used as a way to get hard-up people back on their feet. If you're out and about and you have a spare couple of Queens in your pocket, grab one, as you're doing both the seller, and yourself, a favour (yeah, I know that turned into a bit of a 'force you to buy' thing, but hey, it's a great thing to do!)

Over and out.

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Soppy Joe's

Ok, so this week I had my very first request, which naturally I was very happy about as it meant I didn't have as much work to do. My requestee wanted me to write a blog on the vague topic of 'love'. These are the results.

She loves you, yeah, yeah, yeah.

To begin, I'm going to clarify that when I say love, I don't always mean:


Although I am a bit of a romantic, so that's nice, I sometimes mean:


E.g. when you're absolutely smitten by someone. Love can be a funny thing, although that is pointing out the obvious I'm sure. We've all had that moment where, as soon as you see someone, you are smitten. Their smile, the way they fiddle with their hair, they way they playfully joke around with you, there can be any number of reasons that you want to spend more and more time with them. I don't personally believe in 'love' at first sight, but I do believe, as I mentioned, you can be smitten.

Now don't get me wrong, being smitten, or in love for that matter, with someone and spending times with them is a wonderful thing, but just as it can give you an amazing high, it can throw you back down again, something we've all experienced in our lives. For any number of reasons this can occur. Realisation you aren't as close as you thought, problems from somewhere else, someone meets someone else, or even the dreaded 'friend zone', which worries me even talking about it, in a Voldemort-esque way. 

For me, the film 500 Days of Summer is my personal outlook on the situation. It's great when it's happening, and everything seems rosy, but it can all fall apart. 

But clearly, this negative outlook on love is not exactly one I share. Personally, I'm a bit of a hopeless romantic, who would go to Neath and back if it meant making that special someone happy. I have always shared the outlook that, if someone means a lot to you, you should do whatever means a lot to them. Look at me though, I'm rambling, I'll close this up. Basically, what I'm trying to say is, although love can grab you, spin you around, and throw you in a candy shop, it can just as easy pull you out of that candy shop and throw you straight into a puddle outside.

What you're really looking for, is that special candy shop. The one that locks from the inside, and wants to keep you there, too. And leave you feeling like this, all the time:


Deaf Leppard

I was in Camden yesterday, sitting in Starbucks. In the queue, I accidentally bumped into the guy in front of me, and apologised, to which he didn't turn around. I muttered a bit under my breath, which caused the woman in front of him to turn around. "Sorry", she said, "he's deaf". I immediately felt awful and went and sat down with my coffee, at the table next to the aforementioned couple. I wouldn't say eavesdropping is the right word, but I did have a cheeky listen, and watch in terms of the deaf guy, and it was clear how amazingly in love and close they were. This story may seem pointless, but I thought it really showed the whole 'love has no boundaries thing'.

Anyway, that's enough from me, I'll be back to mildly comical stuff next time.

Over and out.

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

University 'Characters' Part 2

Bit of a bumper student edition coming up. More characters as well as the agony that being on hold to Student Finance creates. Let's start with some characters.

University Characters

The Bookworm

It's your 21st birthday. You've organised a night out that would put the cast of The Hangover to shame. Bar tab, new shirt, private booth, cabs booked. It's going to be wild. 
"Oh, I can't make it, I got an assignment today and I want to get it out of the way."
No matter what the occasion, study comes first, without doubt. Fun is an unneeded part of the uni experience, and will rarely be suffered for the next three years. 

The Casanova/Casanovette

Like a Wolf in the night, the Casanova hunts his prey. The pub. The SU bar. The late night trip to Asda. He is always on the pull. When he finally lures them into his trap, he takes them back to his room, with it's awkwardly thin walls, so that you are ensured to hear every awkward noise, that does not sound unlike an actual wolf. And you are forced to look the pair of them in the eye as they leave the room the next morning. Again... and again.


Student Finance 

At some point in your uni career, you will have called these monsters up for advice or help, only to have them throw it back in your face after you've been on hold for the past 30 minutes, going from 7th in the queue, to 8th, to 5th, then to 19th. You've tried pleading with them, only to have them send you a form that requires you tick one box, sign it, and send it back. I'm ecstatic to say I have one year left of the demons, but what a horrendous year I'm sure it will be. Vodafone should consider adding 'student finance' to their price plans. And for all you non-students, here's what being on hold to them is like: 


Oh and c'moooooooooooon Engerland!!!!

Over and out.

Monday, 5 September 2011

University 'Characters' Part 1

Ok, so being as people are going to be starting uni/returning to it this month, I thought I'll write something about some of the total douches you're bound to meet during your time away from home...

The Phantom Flatmate

There are 6 rooms in your flat. It's two weeks into your first term and you've met 4 of your flatmates. You know someone is in room 6. You hear them stirring, late at night, rooting through the cupboards, listening to their tunes in the early hours when you have a 9am lecture. They never bring buddies back, never seem to cook at sensible times, never leave that room. But you have never seen them. And you never will.

The Borderline Alcoholic 

"Don't be a pussy, come on, let's go!"
It's a Tuesday evening. You have an assignment in for 9am Wednesday. It's drum and bass night, and neither of you enjoy drum and bass. But he is persistent. You both have to go out and get absolutely destroyed, or you will be forever mocked. Forever destined to suffer a night of taking care of your buddy and being his wingman, you swear never to commit to this again as you drag him in at 4am. Wednesday evening comes. 
"I owe you a drink from last night, pal!"

The 'tries real hard to be different' guy

We're not talking indie kids. Or goths. Or even those douchebag chino-wearers who wear snap-backs emblazoned with a basketball team they've never heard of. I mean that guy who wears something or does something that makes him so desperate to be different. The guy who wears a trilby WHEREVER he goes. The guy who eats the weirdest combinations of food just to get a response from flat mates. The fat guy that awkwardly mentions how fat he is, whilst reading through the Domino's menu. You will encounter him and instantly know you never want to be friends with him. 

Over and out.