Archive for August, 2009

Freshers’ Weakness

August 30, 2009

My birthday was brilliant 😀 Spent a wonderful couple of days with Thi, generally chilled out…

samsung_s5600_white…and got myself some new technology! The phone’s like a budget i-Phone equivalent really, but still a huge step up from my old one, and I’m a sucker for useless features that I can mess around with for a week and then never use again, which it has plenty of, so I’m happy 😉

On the downside, the scratches on my hand still haven’t healed properly, and the itching has progressed to a deep throbbing. Thankfully, if I concentrate I can mentally push it down to a place where I can ignore it, but it gets worse and harder to ignore whenever I go outside. Amber asked what the deal was with the police over on the DM campus last week, and I wish I knew, but no-one seems to have a clue except for the police themselves who just tell me, with expressionless stares, to go home whenever I ask them what’s been going on. Very dull.

See, it’s supposed to be ‘Fresher’s Week’ at the moment, when all the new students are starting uni, but it seems to be an unnervingly low-key event this year. All the bars are closing around nine every night, the few people who are milling around the streets are keeping their eyes down, walking fast and not stopping to talk, and  I’ve noticed a lot of flower bouquets scattered around campus, which is unusual to say the least – with DeMontfort it’s usually litter and empty beer-bottles!

Something’s definitely amiss…

Advertisements

It’s My Birthday

August 26, 2009

And I’ll hide if I want to!

23 today, woop! And it’s going to be an awesome day. There won’t be any entries ’till Saturday though, so until then, play amongst yourselves! 🙂

A Tale of Two Uni’s

August 25, 2009

Typing this entry out one-handed, so it might be a bit shaky. Why? Read on…

Here in Leicester there are two universities; The University of Leicester (which I went to) and DeMontfort University. The latter used to be a polytechnic and was upgraded to uni status, so there’s a healthy mock/hate rivalry between the two.

The house I live in is deep, deep inside enemy territory; with the DM campus itself only five minutes down the road, the surrounding area consists almost entirely of DeMontfort students, so whenever the inter-uni events start and the ‘Leicester Uni is scum’ posters start going up in the windows of surrounding houses, it always feels prudent to keep one’s head down. I’ll leave the ‘your dad works for my dad’ chants to the people attending the rugby matches.

Anyhow, the nearest cash point to the house is outside their student union, so every now and again an expedition into the belly of the beast has to be made. Today was one such day.

Or evening, to be precise. The DeMontfort campus is not a pretty sight once the sun sets, and the ‘Demon’ part of its name begins to come into effect. Rabbles of students emerge from the murkier corners, perhaps even dragging themselves out of the cracks in the pavement itself, to roam the streets outside their student union.

In the midst of this horde is the cash machine.

As I paced towards it however, something caught my eye. Sitting on the concrete steps that lead up to the union was a blonde girl, hunched over, with a puddle of nasty looking vomit upon the ground in front of her.

Lovely, I thought, having skirted past, and keyed in my pin-number. Ten pounds.

As I waited for the growling machine to produce my grocery money, I cast another look at the girl. She was mumbling to herself, and did look in a bit of a bad way. I folded the note, shoved it and my card into my pocket, and went over.

“Are you alright?” I asked.

No response. Her head hung low so I couldn’t make eye-contact, instead having to make do with staring at the poorly-dyed roots of her hair. I reached down to pat her on the shoulder and ask if she had any friends nearby.

The girl snarled angrily, swatting my hand away, and I felt a sharp scratch across the palm of my hand. Shocked, I took a step back and noticed, to my disgust, that her long, fake nails were caked with reddish vomit.

Well; that was enough of that. Maybe she could tell that I was not one of ‘her kind’, so to speak. In any case, I wasn’t about to risk getting clawed at again so, unsettled, I left her to it and came back home. Next time I’m definitely going to the cash machine in town.

And those damn scratches are really starting to itch.

Grimmsgate In Decline

August 23, 2009

Found a copy of our local newsletter kicking around the street outside this afternoon when I was leaving for a run. Hmm. Scanned in the front page so you can see just how bad things are getting around here:

Grimmsgate Gazette Scan

Wondering

August 22, 2009

Thi (Liv) has been singing in York Minster Cathedral today, back in my home city… very, very cool. It’s crazy how the last time I knew her she was organising and performing in college shows, and now she’s touring round Europe singing in places like Notre Dame. But then, what else would you expect from such a spectacularly amazing person?

Precisely.

(Oh I know, I’ve fallen head over heels and then some… here’s hoping I can be spectacular enough for her. But enough with the ‘proper’ blogging! What is this, romance confessionals? I do apologise 😉 )

Venturing out this morning, the house across the cul-de-sac’s front door looks a tad worse-for-wear, and someone (more than likely yesterday’s impromptu karaoke star) must’ve forgotten their keys, as the downstairs bathroom window-pane looks as if someone tried to force it open.

Hmm, or maybe there are burglars in the area, which is a worrying thought. There were a load of police officers around a few weeks back asking if I’d seen suspicious types hanging around, as someone had smashed number six’s kitchen window in and tried to fumble around for whatever they could reach. Fortunately, whoever it was must have been disturbed as nothing was actually taken.

Thinking back, I have to say I was impressed by such a large police turnout for a mere broken window, though we did get a leaflet through the door not long afterwards about the force wanting an ‘increased community presence’ and all that. The lower Grimmsgate area is no longer the quiet, peaceful place it was when I first arrived here four years ago, that’s for sure…

Pavement Pavarotti

August 22, 2009

Taking me ages to get to sleep tonight.

And seeing as I’ve been awake, I’ve been treated to the sounds of someone crashing and stumbling about the cul-de-sac outside. Alas – one of the downsides of living near two universities – the guy must have been fresh from the Zanzibar club or Student Union bar, as much to my dismay, for the last hour or so he’s also been trying to sing. At least, I think that’s the overall effect he was aiming for, but sadly for him and my sleepless self, his peace-shattering ditty only managed one note. Over and over again, drawn out tunelessly… some trance choon, no doubt. Even ‘Summer of 69’ or that Baywatch song would have been preferable to the monotonous droning. Anyway, thankfully it has tailed off now, around 3.20 am, so let’s see if I can get some shuteye!

Advanced Banks & Battles

August 19, 2009

Greetings from my usual blogging station back in Leicester! It’s great to be back at Farndale central, though the last couple of days have been pretty action-packed, fighting off the ambush party of letters, bills and PGCE forms that were awaiting me as soon as I stepped through the front door.

The most tricksy of these battles was getting my bank overdraft upgraded back to a student account.

‘Okay’, you’d shrug, ‘doesn’t sound too bad.’

Well, I was told that the decision of whether or not my account would be changed back was at the discretion of the Graduate Account manager, and that I’d “have to go to her, and persuade her to have any hope of getting one”…

I don’t know about you, but that’s the kind of thing I’d expect to hear from an RPG character, not a high street bank! I’ll go and rescue little Timmy from the Goblins, and then you promise you’ll give me the Hallowed Ring of Paintstripping? Okay, deal.

Anyway, stronger and more terrible forces than Natwest bank have crumbled before my honed battle tactic of crazed grinning and waving around pieces of paper, so after half an hour or so (and a tactical retreat back home to pick up a necessary quest item [proof of term dates]), I’d selected the right conversation options and levelled up my bank account, emerging victorious, and a little bit wealthier, into the afternoon sunshine.

In unrelated news, really excited about how the Fifthwind Newsletter’s coming along over at the forums. The header graphic I came up with fits nicely, and there’s a goldmine of great articles just waiting to be slammed in there. As I said to Ken the other day, I’m useless at actually writing about writing, as my thought process usually boils down to ‘Err, just y’know, write it,’ so it’s great to see people articulating great advice, and finding novel (hoho!) ways to do it. It’s stirred the hive into activity a bit too, which is always good.

On a final note, I found out yesterday that the nice chap at the local shop, who sells the ‘Ashoka’ Indian ready meals that have been my staple lunchtime / breakfast meal for years,  has been absolutely ripping me off! They’re a mere 56 pence at Tesco, you bastard!

New Entry

August 18, 2009

New entry later today, I promise. Just being a lazy bum!

Reunion

August 16, 2009

Wow. It was… wow.

Ehh… I really wasn’t quite prepared for it to be so incredible. By the end of the night my sides were aching, my heart was aching, my cheek muscles were strained from laughing… three years of silence had never happened. It’s crazy. Awesome crazy.

What are we getting ourselves into? I don’t know, but if the past is anything to judge, it’s going to be a rollercoaster.

Just a quick entry today as it’s Grandad’s birthday celebration, and I’ve been given the not insignificant task of cooking a roast dinner for the first time. Be glad you’re not eating with us tonight 😉

Nest In Peace

August 13, 2009

Sadly, the hatchlings did not make it through the night.

😦

.

Chicken sandwiches for lunch then! Om nom nom.