Monday, 30 September 2013

First proper lectures

First proper uni lectures today, woo! Imagine my face though when I pull out my brand new pad of paper, fresh for it's first years worth of writing, a vessel for all my accumulated knowledge for my tertiary education. Open up the pad, and I bought plain rather than lined paper. My notes will have to be floating indefinitely in a sea of white and absence of lines.

Mark failed massively in our second lecture. They pulled the whole 'Read all the instructions test' where they give you a set of tasks to do but the last instruction tells you to do none of the above. We had a good laugh. I had a good laugh.

Now we've been tasked with making a short presentation on a certain TV series, my group gets to pick between F.R.I.E.N.D.S. or The Big Bang Theory. At the moment I hope the consensuses is with the former. Just had to chase my other two group members down on facebook, looks like it'll be fun to work with new people.  

Sunday, 29 September 2013

Big Sunday Shop

Hit Sainsbury's hard this morning. Got up nice and early to go do our massive food shop for the week. Custard creams, bacon, cereal. Everything a student could possibly live on. Coming back home we found a CEX shop, basically a great place to get second hand games and movies. Browsing the aisles we managed to find this little gem that we have been desperate to re-watch. Price didn't hurt either.

Just look at Ewan's face, how could you say no?
After burning a schnitzel we hit the beach to watch the waves roll in during the twilight hours, a picturesque and calming scene that took my mind of the cold I think I've caught; or 'freashers flu' many call it. Just finished my first bit of Uni reading material that sparked a heated debate between Mark and myself about the genre of 'Teen TV.' It was surprisingly intellectual but then we got sleepy and wanted to go to bed. Which is what I wanna do now because I slept awfully last night. Got up at midnight for a snack but there was nothing in though house to eat at the time. 

Saturday, 28 September 2013

Ramen cooking!

Went out to the exact same club last night, except this time it was a Friday! So it was naturally quite busy, imagine my face though when we discovered a 'disco' room where they only played 80's-00's songs in a non-remix way! Boogied in there a bit and at 3am we thought it was time to call it a night. Strangest part of that evening was when we all sat down in a booth a little bit before closing, it was one of those surreal, 3rd-person moments where I was looking in on myself and questioning my actions. I could see all those people on the dance floor, barely wriggling their bodies in a way that could just about pass as dancing, and I just thought to myself: 'Do we all look this atrocious when we dance?'

Flash forward to this evening and it's my turn to cook dinner. So I took full advantage of the Chinese supermarket we have around the corner, buying everything I needed for a basic ramen. There was a fleeting moment between chopping vegetables, stirring 3 pans and laying the table I thought that I may have bitten off more than I could chew; they made it look so easy in the video! But it turned out just fine, I added WAY too much chilli sachets though so we were all crying with spice and begging for glasses of milk, but otherwise it wasn't bad for a first try. 

Friday, 27 September 2013


Me and Jamie were still both in our PJ's by 2pm today. We needed to grab some shopping though so we eventually mustered up the effort to face the world and hit Lidl. Coming home with a bag of shopping a song from The Lion King got stuck in my head and we had a little sing song walking down our road. Jamie suddenly got in the mood to watch Hercules so we rustled up a quick lunch, threw some limes into our beers and had a little watch. Nice little day in, but tomorrow has already been planned out for us, we will be playing pool in Poole!

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Scary Scottish

Went to a UV (ultra violet) rave last night. I learnt a few things while I was there. Most prominent of which being that I am certainly not the clubbing type, although being there did land me and Jamie a unique opportunity. We got invited out to a 'mad house party' by a Scottish girl who bumped into me near the dance floor. After splitting a cab back to her house though we discovered that the house party part was fabricated, instead of thumping music, alcohol, glow sticks and the other stuff you would associate with house parties there were just 2 of her roommates sat in the dark on their phones. Got invited to play cards though and they were genuinely nice people, so nice that we have now been invited to a genuine house party on Saturday. Walking back home with Jamie at 5am, all we could do was laugh at eachother.    

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Musical Monday

Got up nice and early to watch Funny Face. The first thing that struck me about it was, once again, how absolutely gorgeous Audrey Hepburn was. Aside from one or two dance scenes however, the film was sadly just ok. It would have been fine if it had come out before Singin' in the Rain (as it's by the same director) and that's what hurt me so much. Singin' in the Rain still feels fresh and fun, 5 years later I expected the director to top himself, but instead he played it very safe. 

In fact, I saw two musicals today, this one I am ashamed to admit to seeing. I succumbed to peer pressure for the movie night and slapped on High School Musical. And it was baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaad. The viewing experience was saved, in part, by some of the 'acting talent' that unfolded before our eyes but otherwise it was pretty trashy.   

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Last Supper (out)

We kept to ourselves today besides going out to Wagamama for a little treat. Probably will be the last time we eat out in the next few years so I savored every last bite, including some parts of everyone else's meal. Asides from that, today was rather unremarkable, we are getting ready for our first course specific welcoming lecture thing. After a short wrestle with the online timetable I think we are all sorted anyway - just need to verify what room we need to be in now.

The fifth housemate

A while ago I confided a nightmare to my friends. It was about a day working at Eddie Catz, but everything looked a little different. I dreamed that there were numerous dangling lines of drying tea-towles and the room was thick with the stench of washing detergent.  To make things much worse, the moistness of the towels were palpable, even in my dream. Plus, every time I needed to serve a customer, I needed to pass through a line of these awful towels.

A lot of you may be laughing right now at the ridiculous nature of this nightmare, but it has a deep-seeded past from my childhood. When I was much younger, I didn't have a whole lot to do on Saturdays. If I wasn't playing on my N64, I would complain to Mum that I was bored, and if her suggestions for amusement were not substantial, bored is how I would remain. Saturdays were also laundry days and somehow the smell of the washing powder just made the day slow to a crawl. Even to this day, the smell reminds me of feelings of monotony and discomfort.

Imagine my pain when I see our banisters lined with moist laundry and that familiar smell piercing my nostrils. I was in a grump for most of the morning. I didn't want to talk or be in the same room as anyone else and just wanted to be left alone. That is, until I met Napoleon.

There he is!

I saw him in G&T's. The moment we locked eyes, I knew it was fate. His previous owner didn't take very good care of him though as his snout was all torn and messy. But we all saw potential in the young pig, so we snatched him up and took him home with us. We are taking real good care of him too, Mark and Lucy got out the old needle and thread to make him whole again.

'Pig surgeon Mark' is on the case.
We have taken a real shine to him, even dubbing him the 5th housemate. But we let him off paying rent. Because he's a doorstop.

That is genuine love in Mark's eyes


Saturday, 21 September 2013

Washing is my least favourite chore

Usually, I am an early riser. Never up later than 9. I often just feel like I could be doing something much more productive with my morning hours than lounging around in bed. That said, today I woke up at 10in the morning and managed top accomplish nothing until the early afternoon. and I use the term 'accomplish' quite loosely. Setting up the Gamecube was the highlight of today, shortly followed by self motivating myself to try Viewtiful Joe on super hard difficulty one more time. This is a thing I usually attempt once a year with little success and this time was no different. One day though.

Actually, that's a little bit of a lie. The biggest accomplishment of today was learning how to use this bad boy:

Have you ever seen the beginning of '2001: A Space Odyssey'? The bit with chimps fiddling with bits of bone and rock before they fashion tools of destruction and potentially creation? Well, that was what me and Mark looked like trying to figure out how this thing functions; it was like learning to pilot a spaceship. 

We later hosted a dinner for 6 at our house, believing that toad in the hole would be the perfect sharing meal. While the division of the dish was fine, the actual cooking was somewhat flawed. Even with me and Mark supervising the meal we discovered one of two things after our batter didn't quite cook through.

1. We are rubbish cooks.
2. Our oven temperature gauge lies.

I know the old saying about a builder blaming his tools, but in this case, we seriously believe that we chiefs are not entirely to blame. What resulted was a fairly gloopy batter numbed by glasses of affordable wine.

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Messy evening

Late nights past few days. One of them was a delightful drinking session with Mario Bros, I even made up some whipped cream for some Irish coffees! Last night on the other hand, was what many people my age would refer to as 'messy.' The less said about last night the better.

Mark and I are all Uni'd up as of today. We got our student cards and even went to a lecture on the library as a learning resource. I want an hour of my life back.

These babies, were classy.

Monday, 16 September 2013

I'm turning into a housewife

I found myself in a strange position today after watching Man on Wire. I felt the shallow loneliness that I associate with housewives or pets as I waited for someone to come home today. I had the whole morning and early afternoon to myself and I just had a rare urge to go outside and do some shopping to quell the emptiness inside of me. Charity shops are indeed rather affordable I rediscovered as I left the highstreet with a stripy blue jumper that makes me look like a smurf version of Dennis the Menace and left me reeking of mothballs.

Picking up Jamie from the bus stop was the highlight since he brought me my birthday present... A mead horn!

Insert picture of you and housemate making obscene faces here
So we split an ale into them for the whole medevil feel just as we decided to make a Spanish omlette. The great thing about this dish is that it uses up all the left-overs we had left. Onions, peas, sweetcorn, potato, ham, pepper... all that good stuff, mix it up with some eggs and you are golden. Well, that is at least until you try folding the damn thing. Moment after pulverizing the golden treat Lucy declared it a Frittata!

I tried so hard to make pudding for everyone too! I spotted a coffee angel delight recipe in a cookbook my gran gave me and I really wanted to give it a go. Results were... underwhelming and I ended up eating everyone's portions as the consistency was ironically, inconsistent. Tasted a bit like the mascarpone top on a tiramisu, albeit a rather naff one.     

Cooking and Cleaning

We like bakeries. We like them even more when they are inside Lidl. Picking up a very affordable loaf of bread while it was still warm was a genuine pleasure. In fact, our lunch was awesome; same couldn't be said about dinner though. Lucy and I decided early on that we wanted macaroni cheese for dinner, however, due to a lack of macaroni and our inability to make a competent white sauce it ended up being more 'penne wallpaper paste.' We happily shook the whole thing off as a funny learning experience.

Spent a nice long time cleaning the kitchen properly today too. Reorganised  the cupboards and fridges, throwing out any straggling jars of marmalade etc. We even got a visit from our good friend Beth! So after watching The Little Girl Who Lives Down The Lane we walked her home to learn the route. Unfortunately, we took the most abstract route possible but got there in the end.     

Saturday, 14 September 2013

Train, Ales and Fajitas

Me and Lucy are very tired from a lot of good traveling. Yesterday afternoon we got on a train back home to Newbury to celebrate Chris' Birthday in style. He looked like he had a nice evening and we all did too! Got to sleep in my old bed again and felt a serious case of deja vu waking up in my old room on a Saturday morning, panicked I suddenly thought I needed to get up and go to work at Eddie Catz; I had never been more relieved to get a chance to sleep in.

And in early September tradition, me, Dad and even Louis went on down to the Real Ale festival in Newbury to sample some very fine beers. I typically go for the more citrousy beers on offer, but i was oddly enticed by one described with having hints of 'Burnt toast and coffee.' And it wasn't half bad! Trained it back to Bournemouth today and brainstormed what to have for dinner - we ultimately settled on fajitas. The actual cooking went horrendously badly at first. I filled the pan up with too much oil so the everything was spitting lava, our onions made us cry more than The Green Mile and we accidentally bought some spinach tortillas in Lidl? Much of been those calming yellow lights they use in there, couldn't determine what looked green or not. That said though, they turned out great and really hit the spot.

After tow days of, what feels like years of traveling, we are getting a very early one tonight in preparation for a very lazy Sunday.  

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Daytime TV movies

Quiet little day today. Noticed that A Matter of Life and Death was on TV and I accidentally watched all of it. Going shopping was also enlightening. We discovered an large quantity of cool little charity shops, good place to get some very cheap clothes it seems. Very tired at the moment, but Jamie is somehow roping me into watching BASEketball; no idea about how good this is going to turn out.

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Happy Birthday... ME! 2013

Birthday shenanigans occurred yesterday, a whole lot of them. Firstly, I got up pretty early, standard for Birthday Theo. I get very restless within 24 hours of my big day because I'm so excited! Went down into the living room to see this haul on the sofa.

oooooh yes
So as you can imagine, I was very eager to just tear into that pile. But I took myself aside and said "Look mate, you're 20 now, you can wait until your friends are up to open your presents." So I waited a few hours for Jamie to eventually get up, Judge Judy kept me entertained for most of my morning. Treated ourselves to a very nice lunch of a home-made meatball subs!

Yummy yummy
 And then we saw a fox napping in the garden!

The ginger blob behind the patio furniture!
 And later on a few friends came down from Newbury to say Happy Birthday and take me to Wetherspoons for dinner and some pints. Jamie and Lucy had to leave us there though in order to grab some more cash but never met back up with us; after a few more drinks though I admittedly failed to notice their absence.

 It wasn't until we got home I noticed something different about our house through the door window... like the candle lit trail into the living room, the strange bloke with a beaky cane and the ominous music that sounded like a mystical quest would begin. This may sound like the alcohol was talking but I assure you this really happened.

A few months back we found a copy of 'Raven: the DVD Adventure' in a charity shop for a quid. Jokingly we decided to make a drinking game out of it after a dry run that was just hilarious due to the atrocious quality of the game. For anyone who is unaware, Raven was a childrens TV game show on CBBC, it featured a Scottish man ferrying along adventurers from one test to the next. Here's a promo featuring the host.

So you can imagine my delighted, confused, (and somewhat inebriated) surprise when I found this in my living room.

Jamie Creed ladies and gentleman
So we played a proper round of the crappy DVD game and it was glorious. We found out the hard way that in the Raven DVD drinking game, there are no winners. But we had a hell of an evening.

The spread
 Special thanks to everybody who was there or who wished me a happy birthday, it was a pleasure to spend the occasion with my dearest friends after 20 long years.

Monday, 9 September 2013

Bournmouth house, a small tour

I had a lovely morning to myself today - turns out that my friends really are not early risers. It was a big day yesterday in fairness, but I was indeed up 3 hours earlier than the others. As promised, I have taken a few photos of the house, these will hopefully bestow confidence in my readers that we are not entirely living in squalor, at least not yet.

Classic living room, nice little TV rig too.

Creative workspace. Me, Mark and Jamie will be happily stationed in this room for many, many hours in the following years

And finally my room! The sink is a great asset, like being in a hotel! 
 So there we go with the brief tour around the house. A recurring thought that continuously pops into my head is that as of tomorrow, I will no longer be a teenager. Not that I will feel very different, I never went through the stereotypical 'troubled teen' phase. Either it's gonna catch up with me or I will just have an extended midlife crisis.

Sunday, 8 September 2013

Moving in!

I have never been the type for 'going to town' at night. Usually it means night clubs and naff dancing and expensive alcohol, a combination of things I typically like to disassociate myself with. But as last night was, what we perceived to be, our last night in Newbury we decided to hit town like a sledgehammer and go all out. Admittedly, it probably was not the brightest idea to stay out until 4am either since I still had a wee bit left to pack, but I got it all sorted in the nick of time.

And yes, the big news today is that we have all moved into our house for university! Everyone is all unpacked and happy and we're already adapting to student budgeting, by buying the absolute cheapest of everything possible in Lidl. £1.98 for 12 loo rolls - sounds like a done deal to us! Best of all, we have got our 'creative workspace' up and running. Mark, Jamie and myself all have desks and computers in a single room and it's perfect for collaboration on media projects. I'll take some pictures tomorrow of the set-up and the house in general. In the meantime however, here's to a good 3 years in Bournemouth! 

Friday, 6 September 2013

A farewell to paws

I found myself in a strange situation today while making pasta at work. The pan we use to cook in is stained at the bottom quite badly, so much so that it has some weird texture at the bottom which is impossible to clean off. While I was cleaning out said pan I was reminded of an anecdote which I promptly told my co-worker about my first time cleaning it.

It was my trial shift, before I even had the job and I had never worked in a kitchen before so I wanted to make a strong first impression. I stuck to what I knew that day: washing up. When handed the pan I noticed the nasty bits and bobs stuck to the bottom which I naively thought I could clean. 5 solid minutes of scrubbing later, the pan had only improved slightly. Crushed and resigned I turned to the people I was trying to impress and shamefully said that I couldn't clean the pan. Their response was laughter. 'That old thing has never been so clean! Well done!'

What made telling this story so strange didn't occur to me until I had finished telling it - it was about my trial shift. I was telling a story about my first ever shift, with a sense of weary nostalgia, just one hour away from the end of my final day at Eddie Catz.

After saying my goodbyes and returning home I was hit by that familiar hollow feeling and I didn't feel like doing much at all except eat ice cream. It's just a little sad to think that after 18 months, I have finished there. Although I agreed to work there again over Christmas between term time, I couldn't help but feel sentimental over the small things. Things like, never using the coffee machine again, never get to clean the dishwasher or see the wonderful people again.

Sadness aside, I think this has opened up a lot of, what is essentially, free time that I can put to good use back into Cafe Studios. 

Thursday, 5 September 2013

Clerks revisited

Left work early on my penultimate day -glorious weather and back to school time meant that we had no more than 3 people in at any one time. I wouldn't be surprised if we didn't get a single food order after I left and that is unheard of. I did get the chance to polish the inside of the slides so they were 'slide-ier.' My favourite part of that job was holding myself in a contorted position halfway down the spiraling tube so my body was no bigger than a bedside table - while pressing for dear life so as not to slide down before I was finished.

Just watched Clerks with Louis, which is one of my all time favourite films, but it seems oddly more relevant now that I'm a little older; and just before my last day of work as a cafe assistant. Possibly because I can identify myself with Dante in several ways, the most obvious being, for better or for worse, not liking change after getting comfortable. But by going to university I will be stepping out of my comfort zone, but you know what? That's ok with me. Gotta do a few things in life that scare you.  

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Sad cake

Cutting up some birthday cake at work and I got a little bit sad. I haven't eaten a piece of cake in a very long time I thought to myself. And this cake I was cutting up was really something special. They went for the whole Minecraft thing with blocks and characters that stood up, it was entirely green and looked delicious (although I over-heard someone saying that the icing was pear flavoured? Guess they couldn't find the green food colouring?)

But a small thought made me twinkle on the inside - in one week's time, it'll be my birthday! Then I can eat all the cake I want!

Monday, 2 September 2013


Day to myself! The best way I could have spent it would have been with Dan and Louis playing various multiplayer games and watching a master whiskey blender at work on youtube. And thats exactly what I did. Things got a little bit intense when Dan and I decided to try and 100% Guacamelee by getting all the super hard luchador pieces - we post-poned the effort with only one bit left to collect after we realized we spent 3 hours trying.

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Training the new peeps

Training new people is quite exhausting as it turns out. It's crazy to think that I was once really very incompetent at what I did in the cafe because every job has so gradually become second nature to me. But I only have to listen to what I'm saying while I'm instructing to imagine what the other person is thinking - so many rules about what colours of chopping board to use, how many nuggets to give out, how to fold down sandwich bag flaps. Almost felt sorry for the girl I was training, it was enough information to make someone's head explode.  

Simultaneously over and under-whelmed by the concept of me having a day off tomorrow. On the one hand, I would really like a break, but I have nothing I want to 'start' doing as I know I will be moving out in less than a week now. It's that transitional period where you don't want to do very much at all...