Sunday, 28 December 2014

Packing for Belgium

Just finished watching the highly under-rated Porco Rosso with my girlfriend and now I'm just packing up for New Year in Belgium. Got everything more or less sussed as well, just a few more clothes need to go in a bag along with all the devices I'm juicing up for the trip. Plus I'm trying to come up with some real corkers for '20 questions' for the journey. Also Smints. 'Cus Smints are crunk.

I will be attempting to post while I'm out there, posts won't be too extensive but I'll try to keep updating. Hope there's some internet out there!

Friday, 26 December 2014

Back for Boxing Day

When I first said I didn't like McMuffins everyone thought I was crazy. Those people have clearly never had a real breakfast muffin in their life and luckily that's exactly what I woke up to on my Boxing Day. We got back home in the late afternoon and discovered that our house was freezing so booting up the fire was our first priority, I didn't dare go upstairs for a good half-hour in-case I froze.

Glad I did make it upstairs later though as Louis and I finally got a chance to finish off Telltales Walking Dead Season 2. While as a whole the season wasn't as strong as the first, it was a very tough act to follow and its final episode ended a lot stronger than I expected it to. They always manage to squeeze out one decision you are forced to make that you genuinely have to think about for a moment and then act on it, no matter how painful the consequence. That is certainly the games core strength and that makes it way more interesting than most games I've played.

Thursday, 25 December 2014

Merry Christmas 2014!

Merry Christmas!

Had a little bit of a lie-in this Christmas morning, typically I am up well before 7am but I was feeling old and generous this year and let Louis sleep in for a little bit. We awoke to our typical cola-boiled gammon and a fried egg for breakfast and then dived right into the presents.

Highlights included my Luigi Amiibo from Louis, I was surprised with how nice the actual figurine was, he will look very nice on my desk. A power-bank (or battery brick) for longer journeys and a nifty little blender for all my iced coffee needs.

Travelled down to our cousins house for our Christmas roast along with several Christmas games. We started with an odd 'call my bluff' kind of thing where each family member wrote a mystery fact about themselves and everyone ad to guess who said what. I came 2nd! Then we did the 'Fish Whacking Relay' which involves wafting a paper fish across the hallway in teams. We came 1st! The family games somehow culminated in a game of 'Festive Beer Pong' where I learnt that Louis has terrible hand-eye co-ordination which maybe, just maybe, cost us the game. It was a hell of a lot of fun though!

Here's hoping that everyone had a really awesome and a Merry Christmas. This probably marks the last time I can wear my brilliant Christmas jumper until next year, I've received so many good comments for it so I will definitely be cracking it out next year.

Once again, Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Christmas Eve 2014

Louis and I were in full swing helping out with preparation of our annual Christmas Eve party. I hopefully managed to make good on last years promise to help out when in reality I was about 10 hours too late to assist with anything, today however, we were doing everything we could to ensure this party was a winner.

And it really was! All the snacky bit I prepared earlier like the pigs in blankets went down a treat (I didn't even get one since they were so popular). We even managed to weasel in a brief Smash Bros tournament which resulted in possibly the most satisfying victory I have ever received. Louis and I are a total dream team and finally managed to win against the tyrants that are the Harper Brothers.

But now I'm kicking back in bed, mentally preparing myself for potentially another restless Christmas sleep since I am admittedly quite excited. Louis agreed to wake up at 8 so that when I'll set my alarm. A few years ago we would have been waking up much, much earlier than that just to fell the magic of a Christmas morning. Hopefully I'll be able to capture a small glimpse of that again this year.

Gingerbread House

No-one in the Durrant household has made a gingerbread house before... until today. Mum pitched it to Louis and I as the 'centerpiece of our Christmas Eve party'. Since Louis' girlfriend recently made a gingerbread house we treated him as the expect but he was no-where to be seen for the decorating and construction. Right after all the warm, doughy, straight-from-the-oven gingerbread was gone so was he. Mum and I were left to squidge gummy bears and jelly beans onto the walls and roof and cement it all together with icing - a feat much more difficult than it needed to be since Mum chose a oddly ambitious design for the house.

It's currently being propped up by some eggs in the kitchen ready for the guest to comment on it tomorrow, moments before they smash into it to get their delicious gingerbread.

Monday, 22 December 2014

Quotes and Sources

I do love it when I encounter an absolute goldmine of quotes for my next essay! The Walking Dead is my next topic of dissection as I look at how it's become a cross-platform phenomenon. This means I get to discuss the great comics, the pretty good TV show and the jaw-dropping video game series with some academic merit.

Pro tip for writing essays - if you have a passion for something you tend to write about it much better than something you couldn't give a monkey's about. Thank goodness we got to choose our own case study!

Prink Perks?

After having a really naff night sleep I awoke to a even naffer bedroom. Louis and his mates left quite a lot of trash around the place. This is where pirate rules would have become king: If alcohol goes unclaimed for 24 hours on your property, it legally becomes yours. Sadly, Louis' friends all remembered to either drink everything or take it home with them; no prink perks today.

We tidied everything up and eventually settled into the all time best Christmas film the isn't A Christmas Story... Die Hard. I always notice or hear something else to love about this movie each time I see it and the action never gets old. While there are plenty of good action films, Die Hard surpasses the competition through excellent characters. In the first 8 shots of the movie sets up so much about John McClane: He's a cop, doesn't fly often and has a sense of humour. I often use Die Hard as a yard-stick for people's film tastes in a similar, albeit less elitist manner to how Tarantino uses Rio Bravo. If someone doesn't like Die Hard they effectively say that they hate what the core of what films are all about: escapist fun.

Saturday, 20 December 2014

Smashing Prinks

Getting very excited to use our chimney this year. We got all the wood ready and I again learned how to make those knotted bits of newspaper which makes the best ever kindling. Just getting prepare to snuggle up into the living room and watch a good Christmas film. Most probably Die Hard or Bad Santa, either are Durrant tradition.

Just finished up hosting Louis' pre-drink (or 'prinks') along with our own team Smash Bros tournament. However, since there was an odd number of us the group collectively decided that I should play by myself against two people at once. I very, very nearly won too, but Louis pulled off a Duck Hunt Duo combo with a Mr Incredible Mii. Got wrecked.

Friday, 19 December 2014

Mario Magic

Ploughing through Season two of TellTale's Walking Dead with Louis. Just finished the penultimate episode and I am very, very eager to see the finale.

As previously mentioned, my next Nerve Media article has been posted here! This time I looked at what makes the games of Mario so appealing and why he's such a lasting and impactful character.

Watch Revival

Now that I've got my watch strap fixed I'm disappointing that more people haven't asked me for the time. I'm strutting around at home with my (what feels like brand new) watch slowly getting used to wearing a little hunk of metal on my wrist again, kinda like it actually.

Louis and I had an brilliant little bonding session again over Smash Brothers. We decided to go online as a team against a pair of strangers for a few rounds, once or twice we got whipped, but when we won a game, the amount of high fives and screaming could rival any fraternity party. We also got around to decorating the Christmas tree after Mum threatened to do it herself and break Durrant tradition. Tree looks good though, it's admittedly a bit smaller this year which made it a tad tougher to space out the decorations but it does really tie the room together.  

Thursday, 18 December 2014

Gaming Involves Waiting

More presents were purchased today along with a neat little trip down memory lane to my old 6th form. Louis and I popped in to drop off some books Louis won but needed to buy himself with a voucher from the school to give to the teachers so they could give them to him (I feel stupid just writing that but that's exactly how the school does this each year.) I just came out of possibly the worst Dota 2 experience ever as it took us wel over an hour just to get into a game as our friends had connection issues which were just unexplainable and unsolvable. In the end we got in some ransomers and I proceeded to play very poorly and everyone quit after one game since it was past midnight then. I was actually really pumped for a nice gaming evening with friends but it turned into a flight delay of an experience where I then got to sit next to the screaming baby.  

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

The Smash Brothers

Brief trip to Brizzle this morning to pick up Louis and see his accommodations which was actually pretty damn swanky in places. Of course, no journey to Bristol is complete without popping into Ikea, at least in Mum's eyes. Buying furniture and eating meatballs is slowly becoming a Durrant tradition it seems, I'm certainly not complaining though. Especially if there's meatballs involved.

Got a chance to show off the new Smash Bros game to Louis when we got back. In return he introduced me to this really interesting documentary series on Youtube called The Smash Brothers which is all about the competitive scene around my favourite fighting game. On the surface it actually sounded pretty naff, as much as I love video games, they really are not portrayed as neatly or as professionally as many people would like. However, King of Kong proved that it can be done well and The Smash Brothers genuinely proved to be a really fun and interesting watch. Especially some of the later portions which deal with the players themselves and what motivates them to play the game.

It's all available on Youtube if you want to see it. The first episode is here and is just 20 minutes long and it was pretty hard to stop watching more once I started. It is rough around the edges, but it shows a real understanding of what makes an engaging documentary.


Monday, 15 December 2014

Xmas Present Shopping is Hard

I never thought that the internet at home would be worse than the one in my uni let. I'm writing this on a word document first so I can copy and paste it into Blogger. Then I'll inch closer and closer to the wi-fi box until all is good.

Rounded up a bit of my Christmas shopping this year, I ticked Dad off the list which is brilliant since he is notoriously difficult to buy for. Hope he's a fan. In-between that I've been adding the finishing touches to my next Nerve Media article about Mario and started a draft lift for my top 10 games of the year which is always fun to make and write about, stay tuned for those a bit later on.

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Gogglebox

Another Breaking Bad day for Mark, Jamie and myself. We loaded ourselves up with all the various snacky bits from One Stop and binged on junk food and Netflix. No regrets. Mark has just entered season 5 and things are once again heating up, I'm pretty sure he'll make these viewing sessions quite regular now that I'm back in town for a bit.

My parents also persuaded me to watch a little bit of the newest TV sensation Gogglebox which I have very mixed feelings about. Intrinsically, it is the same kind of entertainment as watching a Youtube 'Let's Play' video as they line up several personalities and make them watch some recent telly, we see their responses to what they watch. Commercially, the show has hit a  home run, as have internet 'Let's Play' videos so someone at Channel 4 really understand that niche very well. I however, typically abstain from watching those kind of shows, even online ones (unless there is some genuinely interesting personalities behind it). The charm of Gogglebox is totally reliant on it's on-screen personalities which are all everyday brits; this is also where the show fails to capture my interest. I only care about other peoples opinions about topics if I am responsive to their authority on what they are discussing.

Simply put, I don't actually care, or find it interesting to watch two hairdressers discuss the X-Factor voting decisions. Especially if their personalities and actions come across as forced due to the presence of the camera (again, I think this is something the producers cottoned onto very early and is why a lot of people like watching it). But with me, spotting a contrived moment on the show just shattered my immersion further and reminded me of exactly what I was watching, which lead to me questioning my decision to watch the show in the first place.

Saturday, 13 December 2014

Chilly in Newbury

Packed up all my stuff in the neatest manner I've ever done ready to venture back home today. My girlfriend's parents were very kind enough to bring me back home since it was only a slight detour for them, and they were treated Dad's first (and hopefully not last) batch of pistachio cookies. I forgot just how cold it is back in Newbury but I think my hot water bottle will keep me nice and cosy throughout the night. My Christmas holidays have officially started now!

Back-to-back Xmas Dinners

My social calender exploded recently with a series of spur-of-the-moment house parties and Christmas dinners. My own house jumped one very nice meal on me the day before it happened along with secret santa, I got three pairs of xmas themed socks which I was genuinely really pleased with despite the common cliche of people not enjoying socks for presents.

Last night I was at my girlfriends house for an incredibly manic dinner as it was mostly reliant on the Asda order arriving on time, naturally it was hours late so everything was rushed. I even went over to another course mate's house just to prepared pigs in blankets and stuffing for this dinner to run it back over to the main house. Fortunately, the dinner was delicious and very almost 'home' quality.

Big ol' meal!


After quaffing that dinner down we all headed to what was officially the last TV group party before the xmas break-up tore us apart. And it was really quaint since no-one was drinking exclusively to get drunk so everyone had a really nice and chill time. We also had someone going around with the same Fuji 'Polaroid style' camera that Lucy had to take some pictures that make everything look vintage and old fashioned. This was undoubtedly helped by the fact everyone is wearing hideous, yet timeless jumpers.

Rocking very hard with my other TV Studio group

Another smaller one next to next years potential housemates



Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Wet Run

Stressful day in the studio today doing our drama. At every turn we had some technical difficulties holding us up and since I was PA I was very eager to get the ball rolling nearly all the time since the number of rehearsals make or break a studio day. Luckily, once again we came out clean and our final product actually looked quite good - my other peers were also surprised with just how well it turned out.

Returning home I knew I had to chop up some music files after volunteering to help out on a xmas studio show tomorrow and I had to prep a mini pitch for our original TV show (Take Me to Hell). In between all of this, my old running course-mate wanted to go on another 7K run... in the middle of possibly the coldest, wettest and windiest night I've ever seen in Bournemouth. Oddly enough I wasn't too knackered at the end of it and by golly, the shower afterwards was glorious!

Just in case anyone wanted to marvel and drool over another piece of Louis' brilliant artwork, he actually knocked out a really sweet poster for our pitch tomorrow:

I'd watch it!


Rest in Pieces

Finding a good mug is incredibly difficult. It takes many years to find that perfect vessel for your hot beverage but for a very long time I had this mug in my life. It was red (my favourite colour) and established my character quickly. It also felt damn good to drink out of. That mug departed from this world after a badly placed yawn and stretch combo that sent it hurtling to the ground. No longer will it bring coffee to my lips or bring a smile to my face as I ask myself: 'Which mug shall I use today?'

I am reminded of an anecdote I will never live down, despite being too young to even remember it, yet I still feel remarkably guilt for my actions. Apparently one night when I was around 3-4 years old I was being especially moody and just generally being rather grumpy and bad-tempered. In an effort to cheer me up Dad ran and got one of his childhood treasures: an egg cup in the shape of an owl. He showed it to me with great fondness and knew that it probably would lift my spirits. As soon as he passed it into my hands I hurled it to the ground in a fit of rage; it shattered instantly.

I would give anything to turn back time to prevent it from being smashed as I know that even today, I would love to know what that egg cup looked like.

Farewell to my most faithful of coffee companions after I scooped him back together again.

Sunday, 7 December 2014

Bro Time at Last

For the first time in ages I played some games with Louis and his friends. This was actually really cool since we haven't spoken much over the past few weeks, let alone played any games so that was a ton of fun. Naturally, we played some more Dota 2 which I am terrible at, especially after the 2 month hiatus. Getting some really high hopes for Christmas time now since It'll be a chance for the bros to get back together.

Plus, in our one time segment called 'Awesome news that makes me a kid again' we have the brand new Grim Fandango Remastered game-play trailer. Very, very excited for this one even though I've played the game over a dozen times, this new version could be the definitive one; especially after you see 'dem shadows.'


Saturday, 6 December 2014

Double House Party

Attended two house parties over the past evenings and on both occasions people sought me out to tell me how cool I was. To which I always reply: 'You haven't met my brother yet.' Genuenly though I was saying to my girlfriend last night about how much I liked the people on my course right now, everyone just gets along and has a really good time - there is a real sense of teamwork with a lot of the projects we do together and I couldn't imagine a better group of people to be doing TV production with.


Thursday, 4 December 2014

Socks in the Winters

Over the past week I have been having some really, really ropey nights sleep. I'm talking about spending the better part of an hour trying to fall asleep each night, an issue I haven't really been having for many years and my current bed is actually quite comfy. Nailed the problem last night though as apparently sleeping with socks on really does the trick. Guess I'm just getting a bit tall for my duvet now and I just need some extra protection form the chilly outside.

Finally got around to doing my weekly shop today and even managed to pick up a bottle of advocaat! My girlfriend also donated a mince pie to me after I helped her write her Breaking Bad essay. Eating and drinking something deliciously Christmassy just helped me get right into the mood of the holidays. It was about this time last year I was doing exactly the same thing, ah nostalgia. 

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Take Me to Hell

By golly we were productive today. Our TV studio session went well and not well at the same time. We were doing our video game student lead project which was actually a ton of fun despite not quite being able to do some very fancy technical stuff which would have looked really nice but that is often the way. We also had a big panic moment at the start of our broadcast as the stopwatch managed to malfunction horrendously which threw us all off a bit. Some serious winging ensued but our final product looked brilliant despite the pandemonium in the gallery.

Immediately following that a coursemate and I got on with our 'homework,' to create a one-pager for a new series. Ultimately we settled on an idea we were all really pleased with, I'll see if I can set the scene here:

'Unsatisfied with being the head-honco of the most terrifying biker gang the world had ever know Malcolm wanted to rule hell. Quite literally. After personally sabotaging his own death-defying bike stunt Malcolm came face to face with the Grim Reaper for processing and to finally embrace his chance to get to hell to take on it's ruler. But due to a bureaucratic error in the records of the deceased, Malcolm was not sent to the land of sin and Brimstone in Hell, but rather Hull (after an unfortunate typo).

Doomed to roam the land of the living as a ghost, he enlists the help of the only person who can communicate with him from beyond the grave. And she still can't tie her own shoes. Maisey would do anything for a friend, as any 6 year old schoolgirl would, and this ghost was the only person who would give her the time of day. Mostly because Malcolm knew he could manipulate her daily actions into doing evil misdeeds which would ultimately make the Grim Reaper realise his grave error of keeping Malcolm where he doesn't belong.

Will Malcolm reach the warm embraces of Hell or will he begin to care too much about this little girl who thinks the world of him to even qualify for the position? After all, purgatory ain't so bad...'    

Think Sixth Sense meets Despicable Me and you'll be in the right ballpark of tone. We are calling it 'Take me to Hell' and we are pitching it to the group next week.

In other news I got the results from my 'Food Porn' essay back and I received a really positive 72% which means I got a first so I am dead chuffed.

Monday, 1 December 2014

Early Presents

University printers again proved to be a little bit of an issue. I jumped in early for some first-thing prints of scrips and additional pieces, ended up printing 121 pages and £4 worth of stuff ready to bring it all in and save the day. Turns out our lecturer made some last minute changes to our scripts and printed his own copies, rendering mine useless... bit of a shame that.

Otherwise I had a busy old day being a production assistant for our first ever studio drama. Effectively we recorded something in the same style as a soap opera and I called and cued all the shots for the director, just had to keep my eyes on the numbers and keep my voice loud all the time. I think I did an ok job too! Subsequently I did the final touches to our video game studio show tomorrow which everyone is quite excited about it seems.

Quite seriously dabbling about going in my new xmas jumper which was an early Christmas present from my girlfriend and it is quite possibly the coolest item of clothing I have ever owned ever. I popped round her house to pick it up and give her one of her presents, which was a pair of thermal socks which she was thrilled with. Good start to the present buying scene, hope I can keep it up!

Sunday, 30 November 2014

Happy 21st Jam!

Another early one, this time I even bumped into some lads staggering back from a night out. It was worth it though to see Jamie and the others again, we had a few rounds on Smash Brosbefore heading again to Nandos for some grub. I think Jamie had a pretty nice time with all of us actually as he noticeably found it difficult to stop smiling all day. We even went to his new place of work which was incredible, the recording studio especially. He was showing off all the technical gear and instruments including a piano that could play any CD and compress the keys according to the notes played on the song. The thing probably coast more than my flesh on the black market but it was amazing.

Meet The Parents

Crack of dawn film shoot. Quite literally I've forgotten how dark the morning can be if you get up early. We headed to Boscombe to record the pilot episode of a webseries I co-wrote with a uni coursemate. Although we had met our two main actors (which we were informed were quite rude and eccentric) nothing could quite prepare me for our actor Paul. He genuinely came in to say hello with one hand covering his manhood. Immediately afterwards he attempted to wrap a towel around himself, got a bit distracted and then poked the banana bread he baked the night before. Sadly he forgot to cover it...

Crashing on the sofa back home was heaven and I crammed in another hour of Smash Bros before getting ready to meet my girlfriend's parents for the first time. She made them out to be really hard to manage but her worries were exaggerated as they were lovely people. After a nice meal at Pizza Express we headed to a Weatherspoons for 'one more drink'. I think I did quite well at introducing myself to them and I got a very earty handshake from Rebecca's Dad at the end of the evening.

Next morning I will be waking up even earlier to head home very briefly for Jamie's Birthday, can't wait to see his face again.

Friday, 28 November 2014

Smash Bros

This is the day I've been waiting for. The release of Super Smash Bros for Wii U brought back many, many good memories of playing games with Daniel and Louis while on holiday. Even more so it reminded me of our 30 hour gaming session Daniel and I did back in 2008 which seems like only yesterday now. Waking up this morning I had some exceptionally good feeling swirling around in my head while my eye twinkled with nostalgia. My Amazon order was inbound and it felt like I'd been waiting my whole life for this moment...

'We regret to inform you that your orer has been delayed until December 19th'

All those humble feelings were instantly shattered by a single email. Immediately cancelled my Amazon order and had to grab the bus into the town centre to pick up my copy from HMV instead which was quite an inconvenience. Fortunately when I put that disc into my console all the nice feelings came rushing back. The game is an absolute blast to play and no-doubt I'll be smashing for years to come. Just need to share this moment with Daniel and the entire Smash Bros experience will be complete.

Waiting on my Inbox

Some minor risk assessment woes again today. Bright and early was the time I got up in order to fill it out ready for a sign off. I was desperately eager to get it all approved and sorted today as that would have saved me a journey back into uni tomorrow, literally only just got a positive response from my tutor. Luckily its all good to go, but I have to leave my humble abode to literally drop off some bits of paper while I could be doing more important things. Like staring at the mailbox waiting for my copy of Smash Bros to arrive.

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Movie Knowledge Pays Off

On fire in our lecture today. Our tutor put up several tag-lines and log-lines of many different films like 'His story will touch you, even though he can't' and things like that. I was able to name every single one while the rest of the group we in a small silence. Clearly I impressed our tutor as well as he turned and said. 'Wow, you're good! I want you on my quiz team!'

So after my small uni victory I headed into town to pick up my latest Nerf gun which was the star of our video segment for our next TV show. We did the whole, two people play a game and the loser gets shot with Nerf darts. Our director wanted them to play Forza 4, a driving game which clutch control and other driving knick-knacks which served up some comedy.

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Long Winded Mini-Essay

Total break day today which was well needed as I had a 400 word mini essay to complete. Sat in the living room and worked on it at a rather leisurely pace as my housemates watched 4 episodes of the over-rated, American Horror Story. I typically find it hard to concentrate without some degree of quiet as my brain is easily distracted, as a result, I have only just finished that mini essay...

Productiveness did however extend to the general emailing of uni TV technicians, asking them about our video game show. Basically we are doing it all about new releases and since the next Smash Bros is coming out this Friday we wondered if we could get the guests to play the game live on camera and comment on their experience during and after playing. Apparently we can also patch hrough the gameplay to our vision mixer so he can put the game on the programme and the fullscreen. It's this kind of ambition that gets you points on our course.

Monday, 24 November 2014

VT Nightmare

Every single of our student mini TV projects I seem to fluff up in some way. 'VT op' was my job today and after all that work yesterday editing the clip together I thought the pain would be over, turns out I was dead wrong. Came to play on of the bits in our rehearsal and our sound guy declared that we had no audio. He was right as our actor spoke nothing happened so I had to make an emergency trip to the 4th floor again to re-export the files only to have them still have no sound. After a lot of fiddling we came out on top though and the end product looked quite good.

I'm producing the next one the coming Tuesday, talking to my director we finally settled on video games as our topic - really pumped to film it now!

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Super Hat Squad

Our next TV studio show is all about Harry Potter so we decided to film some cutaways to insert into the show for the sake of variety. I was elected to be 'VT' so that put me in charge of the filming and editing of these little snippits. Naturally on the one day I had plenty of responsibilities, I overslept.

It was ok though as everyone else was enjoying a chilled out Sunday evening and I still managed to be somewhat early. One of my coursemates gave me a where and a when to meet alongside a very special requirement:

'Wear a hat cos we are all wearing hats lol'

So once I arrived I made up the numbers for a four man team of hat wearing awesomeness. Once we got them all in the can it was off to the edit suite where madness and slow editing proceeded. It dawned on me that I hadn't really touched any editing software since I did my 'Bed' video about 10 months ago so I was rusty but just about managed to scrape something good together.

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Big Bacon Sandwich

House was no where near as messy as I anticipated this morning which was a nice surprise. Everyone helped to clean it up as well so it was a nice group effort that only took about 20 minutes, very manageable. Cooked breakfast for my girlfriend and myself this morning, and I accidentally gave her the short end of the stick. I promised bacon sandwiches yet only had 3 slices of bread (2 of which were the naff endy bits) So I trade her one slice of bacon for the additional slice. I got the 'fold over slice' in other words. However, Lidl apparently lied with the amount of bacon slices provided as it got an additional rasher! Four slices of bacon to one bit of bread was a good ratio, I told Rebecca it was literally like taking a bite out of a pig when I had a munch.

Library Dash

Manic paperwork day yesterday, and it wasn't even me doing it. I elected to help out a fellow course mate fill out his one to sort out our assessed studio piece. We ended up sticking around the library waiting two hours for an email, once it eventually came through we dash like mad men for the printer as we only had three minutes to hand it in!

Rushing aside, I've had a chill day this Friday, mostly preparing the home for our house party and playing through X-COM: Enemy Unknown which is majorly stressful. Currently trying to bed down while chart music is blaring, my closed door might as well be made of air.

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Cold Pizza

Despite the collective of universe of young people telling me that cold pizza is an amazing breakfast I would have to heartily disagree. Pizza should be served hot with a light and doughy base, when you take your first bite of cold pizza the chill of the tomato sauce is enough to freeze you to the bone and the crust becomes even more undesirable than it already is. If it was such a brilliant way to start the morning they would sell pre-chilled pizzas in supermarkets and hotels would serve them in their morning buffet. They don't because it's awful.

Despite all this I am also very guilty of going back to it again and again. It's the breakfast I love to hate and another one of those things in life that you have to keep reminding yourself of just how bad it can really be. You ever sit near a desk fan and slowly inch your finger towards the spinning blades? You know it will hurt but you are curious about how much it will hurt. It's the same lunacy with cold pizza. We have to keep eating it just to remember why we shouldn't.

Dropped a bit of a silent clanger later on today as I turned of to do some voice recording for a film noir style monologue. I spent all afternoon watching Humphrey Bogart scenes so I could really nail his speech style and patterns. When I arrived however, I was simply asked to do the recording as they forgot to mention that an actor was brought in to speak the lines. At least I'll always have Paris.

Later on I toddled over to the universities Video Game Society. When I first arrived I successfully got my arse handed to me at Mario Kart but later earned their trust by being a consistent threat to the better players. I will certainly go again and with the new Smash Bros coming out soon I will try and get a lot of time in down there.

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Magic Show Result

Woke up a lot earlier than I'm used to in order to get some last minute prop hunting. Specifically a fake bouquet for our magician's guest star to do the whole 'oh look at these flowers up my sleeve' trick. It was well worth it in the end since our end product turned out really well. Our main presenter pulled it out the bag and brought much more enthusiasm than we expected and our lecturer and marker seemed quite happy with what we produced. I am now going for a well deserved sleep now. 

Monday, 17 November 2014

Animal (Shakey) Handler

Turns out that I am quite nervous on camera. While presenting another uni groups children's show about pets you could quite clearly see my hands shaking whenever there was a close up of them. Aside from that however, their show went off without a hitch. We had plenty of rehearsals in the morning so I was fully prepared for delivering my lines and pretending to be a young and enthusiastic kids presenter. And I think I really impressed everybody since I got a special mention in the after show evaluation and everyone was just so appreciative of me when the show wrapped.

The lecturer literally said afterward 'I'm not sure if that is one of the best pieces of work I've seen in the past 2 years.' No pressure for my show tomorrow then...

Best part of all though. The show was all about hedgehogs! They even got some animal care folks to come in and show off their hedgehog to us. This is one of the proudest moments of my life.

My spiky co-star!

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Best Cereal Ever?

The greatest breakfast cereal of all-time ever has only two flaws. You can only buy it in Sainsbury's and the box size is rather small. However, arguably these little set backs almost make the raspberry and yogurt crisp cereal even more of a treat. Seeing as it has been a very long and hard working week for me previously, I decided to splash out a bit and indulge in some goodness. Nothing can quite describe how excited I am to wake up tomorrow morning just to eat the stuff.

Of course, this was how I got side-tracked from my actual shopping objective which was to make some more, prettier magic wallet. You know its art shows how they always present some nifty variations of colour and design for the thing they just made? Well tonight, it was my job to do just that in preparation for our show on Tuesday.

Despite getting some glue on my hands the end product was a lot better than I anticipated:





Already got some very positive feedback from my peers so I am in their good books.

Mission Objective

Mission objective: tidy room. Status: failed

'Pancake and movie day' sounded like a much better excuse for getting out of bed. Started it off nice and easy with the, relatively modern western: Tombstone, yet another movie that makes me question why Val Kilmer isn't still big in the industry. The characters were very well done here and the look of the time was very well captured. I did find my mind wandering throughout the film however so it didn't grab my interest consistently but it had a few good moments so it is worth a look.

Mr Smith Goes to Washington was much more impressive. James Stewart really never disappoints, he is so personable in this role especially that you find yourself rooting for him all the way through to the end. A really enjoyable film about the underdog that is surprisingly relevant today.

Friday, 14 November 2014

Clutter and Clean

Just been rocking the newest Mario Kart DLC tracks, got to experience them all for the first time ever over at my girlfriends house where Karting with her housemates is quickly becoming a regular occurrence. Returned home just in time for a massive tidy session for the house, vacuum came out and everything, tomorrow will be my own bedroom tidy up since it is looking pretty cluttered in every corner.

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Interstellar

Yes, finally I had the chance to go out and see Christopher Nolan's new film Interstellar. Should you believe all the hype and praise this film is getting? Only way you can find that out for yourself is to go out and see it, although if you are anything like me then you will agree that it is strongly over-rated.

Several of the action scenes were incredibly well done and the overall look of the film was absolutely spectacular. Props naturally go out to the performances as they were all pretty solid and engaging despite the lengthy run time. That said, it was during the final act of the film that it started to show some flabbiness in terms of narrative as 'clever' and 'convenient to the plot' became a tad jumbled. As a result the final moments lacked any real punch as the immersion was starting to become shallow, especially after several key moments from the start were undermined.

For better and for worse, this is Nolan's 2001. It didn't work for me personally but it will certainly do it for a lot of viewers. And hey, it has one of the best movie robots in a long time so it certainly has that going for it.

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Double Essay?!

Regardless of having the weight of the essay off my mind I had horrendous trouble sleeping last night; possibly the transitional period to the zen stage. I also had to hand it my final peice twice after forgetting to add the word count at the end of my first one, a quick dash back to the printer soon sorted that though.

Now I am just kicking back at home and enjoying my one free night, drinking an ale and having a bakewell tart. Balance has been restored.

Paperwork + Essay Done

Well, I finished my essay much earlier in the evening than I expected. Still technically in the 'morning' end of the spectrum, but only barely. Life will be lived to its absolute fullest starting tomorrow onwards since I never have to write about food porn or Marks and Spencer ever again.

I'm also somewhat shattered after doing a rehearsal day for our kids magic show, in hindsight everything went actually quite well but we still have a long way to go. At least everyone really liked the paperwork I did, I went out of my way to staple it and everything.

Monday, 10 November 2014

Highstreet Times 2

Mission objective: buy stuff in the highstreet. Put on some nice clothes and headed outside with a massive headache to buy some bits and pieces for our TV show tomorrow. Once I got home I just realized all the things I forgot to buy, so I headed back into town and treated myself to some painkillers for the headache. I also stumbled upon a rather nice notebook for a very reasonable price. I'm going to try and leave it in my coat at all times now just in-case I need it, although one of my biggest confessions is that I am the type of person who buys notebooks and never uses them.

Sunday, 9 November 2014

The Raid 2

Just 500 more words to go! The finishing line is well in sight now and there is just so much to live for! Games to play and films to watch are piling up and nothing but fun is lurking around the corner. Amidst all the work I managed to get just one more film in, one I've been waiting a long while to see and I was not dissapointed. The Raid 2 kicked my ass over its two and a half hour run-time, building on all the fight scenes from the original the action is just excellent. Sadly it's pacing is somewhat damaged by its inclusion of a developed story - this is possibly the only film ever I would criticize  for having too much dialogue and story as it just got in the was of the action. As a result I think the first film is superior as it's a much more pure and concentrated experience, that said the sequel is one of the best action films I've seen in a long while.   

Friday, 7 November 2014

A bit like...

Got dangerously addicted to Adult Swims most recent cartoon show Rick and Morty last night. Its like Family Guy meets Futurama meets Adventure Time and it's brilliant. Also free on Adult Swim's website which is always cool. Luckily however our internet has been really acting up and chugging so that let me get on with my essay before I got too carried away. Doubled what I got though so I've done quite well. I even squeezed a film in, Richard Ayoade's newest feature The Double.

Definite inspirations from Brazil, Moon and even Fight Club were found here and for the most-part it was very engaging and intriguing. The ending was quite weak however as it felt like it just floated towards its conclusion. Sometimes it isn't all about the destination though as several moments were inspired and Jesse Eisenburg's performance as both Simon James and James Simon was brilliant to see especially when both occupied the screen. Even though they wear the same clothes its the subtle body language that gives away who is who, much like Nicholas Cage's performance as both Kaufmans in Adaptation.

However, if you want a better film that deals with issues of spiritual duel identity then check out The Double Life of Véronique.

Phew... lotta comparisons today.

 

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Rage Against the Machine

Had a bit of a naff first experience using the uni printers. After approaching the machinery I attempted to push the buttons myself, asking for help would have made me look like a chump I figured. Sadly I did have to ask for help and apparently I didn't have enough credit on my account. I assumed the uni gave us £5 printing credit since enrollment after hearing that in a seminar, turns out I misheard; instead I had 5p. In my mind, this was going on:

There's a damn good reason this scene hit so close to home every time I use a printer

Good progress has been made on the essay. I set myself a goal of 500-600 words and ended up today with 700, nothing to really boast about but I am feeling like there is a lot more to be said and I am actually enjoying this one a fair bit. I am surprised by my own insights in the realm of food porn and that can only be a good thing.

Wins! Wins Everywhere!

HRRHHGGG

HRRRGGNGN

HROOOWWOANNAN

If I were writing this blog twenty minutes earlier, this is what it would have looked like.

Nintendo just announced the long awaited remake of Zelda: Majora's Mask for the 3DS a few hours ago and I am already buzzing. This really is a big one, I sincerely doubted they would release this since I don't predict it selling very well since it has a fairly niche audience. Guess the 'Big-N' finally gave into peer pressure. This was not the only win of the day.

Prior to that my day was met with overall success, my floor plan was done well on time, I got a bit of gaming in and rounded up quotes for my essay; which at first was very slow. It turns out that 'food porn' just ain't very academic, as a result there are next to no books or writings on it, the best one I could find for a long time was locked by the website for $22. No way I'm paying that! SO I got a bit sneaky and googled it and someone posted it in all it's glory. I gain twelve more quotes from that one source - Christmas came early.  

Reading all about food porn actually made me quite hungry, and after having just cleaned my food cupboard to find flour and a cobweb I thought it was time I indulged in my first evening take-away since starting uni. Burgers really are my go-to and the one down the road from us reminded me strongly of Rio's back home so I thought I could give it a shot - and it were pretty good! Despite the bun being a tad crumbly I was partially to blame for that since I asked half-pounder burger, it could barely contain it! 4/5, would eat again.

And if you are feeling a little hungry, maybe not for food but for content to watch on online I would check out Wildseed's Youtube channels. That's right. That was a plural. There are now a dedicated channel to 'sci-fi' and 'comedy'. There's even a cracking trailer for both channels done by Mark (narrated too in his sultry voice).

I personally prefer the comedy channel trailer since it includes two project I was a runner on: Supercreeps and The Marijana Method.


Be sure to check out both channels! I know I'm a little biased, but I was genuinely shocked with how good some of this stuff it shaping up.

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Knuckle Down

Slowly getting to the point where I need to do some serious knuckling down. Just ploughed through a fair few bits and bobs for our studio pack which included the ever enjoyable risk assessment. With that part-way under my belt I also caught up on The Apprentice and managed to really mess up making an omelet for myself. Turned my back on it for two seconds and the whole thing just stuck to the pan, ended up scraping the mold off some of my bread for toasting and had a bizarre cheese and bacon scramble on toast. Could have been a lot worse!

Monday, 3 November 2014

Disaster Weather

A portion of today was spent ducking the bad weather we've been having recently. Didn't really help that I watched The Day After Tomorrow earlier on and now all I can hear is a very intense rainstorm beating on the window of my girlfriends house. Scary stuff, can't remember the last time I saw lightning. Psyching myself up for what will be a relatively busy week for me in terms of writing and paperwork for uni. Essay writing ho!

Sunday, 2 November 2014

Alton Towers Weekend

Returned after a long weekend retreat to Alton Towers with the usual suspects. Enter newcomer to the roller coaster scene: Louis Durrant! A boy who never before went on a serious ride but is not a grizzled veteran. We started lightly on the ride Air, while waiting in line he just kinda swore a lot to psyche himself up. As soon as he got on the ride though he just gave this running commentary on all of his emotions and what the ride was doing, I was in floods of tears just laughing at his reaction to it all.

Later on we hit the new ride Smiler which may now be my favourite ever ride. It had everything and more, clearly made with a clear love of roller coasters. Louis joined me on that one too and his face afterwards was just amazing. Back home now, safe in Bournemouth after the long, long ride back. It was a cracking weekend though and really glad that my bro came along.

Saturday, 1 November 2014

Happy Halloween 2014

Revisited Fredierca road for the first time in a little while to get some costumes out the attic. It felt so peculiar knocking on the door of what used to be my home. Stepping through though it was clear that it was not mine as it had a very foreign feel despite and odd similarity, as I went out the front door I did sniff the scent of Jamie's old room.

Went out for a very unusual Halloween night, at first I made some vodka jelly and a pumpkin for my housemates which was great. Briefly after that my girlfriend and I were shunted to a course-mates house for some additional drinks before heading over to a house party. Fifteen minutes into the party the residents literally just turned the lights off and basically said 'get out.' An hour later and I am still baffled by this attitude, but I went along with it regardless.

I am having a flash-back to last years Halloween spent with Jamie at our local haunt: The Buffalo. While sipping whiskey we listened to open-mic poetry about the season of Halloween and stayed til closing. That is a very fond memory of mine which will undoubtedly stick with me for years to come while celebrating this holiday. 

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Pumpkins and Food

Last ever seminar on media and food was un-ironically supplemented with some snacks which went down a treat. Mostly we discussed essays and theories relating to food so overall it was a really chill way to start a morning, especially after trudging through the rain to get there. My girlfriend called me up a bit later asking if I could carve a pumpkin for her housemate. Now as some of you may know, I love to carve me a pumpkin, it is easily one of my favourite things to do this time of year, plus I recently bought a carving kit which I was very eager to put to good use. Never actually carved one from scratch though as Mum used to prize herself on making the lids but all things considered mine came out quite well! In hindsight I should have gotten a photo but I'm headed over there tomorrow for a Nerf war so I'll try to get a snap then.

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Animal Man?

I was called in a few days ago to assist the filming of another groups project in the TV studio as a presenter on a kids show. Their theme was about pets alongside arts and crafts, two realms I have little to no experience in. Regardless I did manage to pull off a 'how to make a bird feeder' segment alright and next time I get to handle a hedgehog! Very excited about that!

Also my latest article got published online again. If you like video games and moderately interested in feminism in pop cultre then it might be a good read for you.

Monday, 27 October 2014

Look like Death

Felt like absolute death while I was walking in, and oddly enough, that payed off really nicely today. While walking in I bumped into a coursemate and housemate of my girlfriend who noticed I looked awful and offered to appear on our TV show this morning. This was immeasurably helpful since we had zero contributors for the show. A bit before we broadcast another one of our guests dropped out last minute so we called up my girlfriend to see if she was available. She was. We rejoiced since our show went from most probable train wreck to something salvageable.

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Leicester Square Premiere

Back from my long weekend down in London and the screening of our war film 'The Journal'. While I went along to show my support, it was really great to see all our hard work and effort finally paying off with a premiere at Leicester Square in a pretty swish venue. Just got home tonight after spending a very long time in London traffic and my homecoming felt comparable to the final scenes of Planes, Trains and Automobiles. I've had a terrific weekend but I sure am glad to be home once again.

Friday, 24 October 2014

Mailman

Eagerly awaited the postman this morning. In his little satchel I was expecting my navy waistcoat for the film premiere of The Journal I'll be attending tomorrow, my burgundy shirt for my Halloween costume, a pumpkin carving kit and most importantly, Bayonetta 1&2. Must have spent a good half an hour on the Youtube channel for Bizarre ER just to kill time but since it's arrival I have just been hooked solid. In the downtime I also tried on both my shirt and waistcoat and they fit like a dream. Mailman delivered in more ways than one today. 

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Creative Rush

Had another one of my patented Dr Frankenstein moments last night. Well technically this morning. I promised my girlfriend (also my editor) that I would have her next article by yesterday. Feeling somewhat guilty I stayed up past midnight to finish it. It came out really well but I didn't want to stop there, I needed a picture to go with the words. I combed Google images for a copyright free picture I could use and ended up wanting to make my own.

I got my two photos and started editing on paint. Never a good idea. Ended up downloading a free, trial version of Photoshop and reminded myself how to use it in order to make something perfect. I was laughing like a madman when I finished as it got around to 2:30 before I finally got to bed but I didn't care. I had a creative rush!

This rush continued throughout the following morning as we nailed an idea for our next studio show for kids; we are doing a magic show and I am pumped for it. I even had a great brainstorming session this evening with my mate Simon, together we made an excellent team and came up with 3 entire episodes for our webseries in just over an hour. New record for me! 

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

'Bring on the Pomegranate!'

TV studio came around swiftly this morning, rudely waking me from a very pleasant dream. Glad that our three weeks of planning finally got put into fruition though, especially our work on sound. Mum even came down to star in the show since we struggled to find any other contestants willing to turn up (in fairness she was more of a plan B than a plan Z) but her appearance was hugely appreciated by all. Despite a few hiccups we managed to pull it all out the bag. In one instance our presenter gave away the answer to the blindfold taste test question literally saying:

'You will be handed a bowl with a food in it and by taste alone you must tell us what it is.'
*turns to camera*
'Bring on the pomegranate!'

Blimey, we were in stitches over that one.

Mum took me out to a nice Italian restaurant after the show and I had a really pukka pizza, as much as I love Lidl's frozen ones, this was on another level for a student. Now I am unwinding a little bit with our 'Home, Homework Club' where we collectively get on with our uni stuff in our living room while listening to 2000's hip-hop songs.

Also, the new Wildseed blog post has been put up, written by yours truly. Check it!

Monday, 20 October 2014

Food Porn

Rolled out of bed to do some work. Which is seriously unlike me actually and I am still in disbelief I actually did that. Before breakfast, before coffee, before even putting on a shirt I was hard at work splicing clips which could be deemed as 'food porn' together for my seminar on Wednesday. Editing on Windows Movie Maker did make me internally vomit a little bit but for my basic purposes it got the job done.

Shopping came next after I poured out my cereal to find no milk in the house. Weary and hungry I walked to Lidl for nourishment and even treated myself to a muffin and a cheap bottle of Amaretto which is quickly becoming a favourite liqueur of mine. Currently writing my student mag article which is coming very slowly since she is such a prevalent figure and it very difficult to not sound too opinionated about her. People who defend her are often seen as naive and people who criticize are deemed misogynistic. The woes of amateur journalism.

Also please check out yesterdays blog post, I did write one but apparently forgot to hit the little 'Publish' button!  

Comedy all round

 An afternoon comedy writing session with a course-mate and a film evening were the two parts of my day that I was looking forward to. Both got cancelled though since both parties were ill so my day plan was shattered. At least I got a chance to catch up on my writing, I did a small article for Wildseed on some tips for being a production runner (naturally I shall link it here as soon as Stoph puts it up) and begun my second mini-feature article for Nerve magazine about a very influential feminist in video games - stay tuned for that one.

Just got a phonecall from some chums who want me to star in their comedy sketch about mind readers in a news agents. I am playing the shop owner so I've just googled what they typically wear and have thrown together a small outfit to try and look the part.    

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Uncharitable

Rounded up all of my video game gear, squeezed it into my rucksack and headed to my girlfriends house. Mario Kart has become a fast favourite in what is now effectively my second home, all her housemates are slowly accepting me as one of their own. I also had a brief trek back into our highstreet to try and take care of a little business by finding volunteers to star in our assessed quiz show. Charity shops were an obvious choice, but out of the 11 we visited 11 said no. Drowned out my sorrows with some Waitrose tiramisu - so good...  

Friday, 17 October 2014

PvZ

My roam around charity shops got cancelled so instead I spent the day with my girlfriend. As un-romantic as this sounds we did have a nice lunch in Subway as she mentioned to me recently about her sudden craving for a customizable sandwich. I then introduced her to Plants vs Zombies where she proceeded to blitz through half the game in a single sitting. I've always said that one was addictive.

Later on I was invited to a course-mates house party. I felt really privileged to receive the invite as I was one of the few to be asked to attend. And again I tried my best to arrive as fashionably late as time permits without seeming rude and once again I was the first one to attend. Fortunately the host shared my hatred for being fashionably late so I was in the clear, we then drank while watching horrendous music videos from the past.

Roller Disco

Went on down to the club this evening but not for a typical night out. Some other Bournemouth students and myself were asked to record a promotional event there, again for Mint hairdressers. They really splashed out for a massive ad campaign by hosting a roller-disco event in our local converted church nightclub. Best part was, since we arrived 2 hours before opening, we got to try out our skills with some rollerskates for free. Naturally, I was atrocious but it was jolly good fun. Filming itself went just fine, I was bought along as hired help for the camera people since we went in pairs so no-one would gang up on anyone with a camera. I got a little chance to record shots being poured and 80's dressed teenagers run up a spiral staircase; especially pleased with that last one. 

Thursday, 16 October 2014

2 Films, 2 Disappointments

After darting into uni to learn about 'the dark side of food,' which basically boiled down to watching clips from Hannibal and The Fly I came home to watch two admittedly disappointing movies. Traffic was first up, for a film about America's war on drugs and the Mexican cartels I thought I was in for a real treat. Instead I was presented with a long winded and occasionally irksome movie, especially in regard to its gimmicky colouring and shakey camera. Fundamentally I think the film is actually quite dated despite its release only 14 years ago. Breaking Bad has really spoiled a generation of viewers with is portrayal of Traffic's themes but it a much more interesting manner. Which was a shame because I really wanted to like Traffic but an hour in all I could think about was when it would end.

I also hosted an Evil Dead film night with the neighbours to finally get around to seeing the remake of my beloved horror classic. It would be more fair to consider this an adaptation of the original rather than a remake, and while the collection of shotguns and chainsaws were present, it only had a fragment of the heart of the classic. But it was clearly made for a more modern horror audience since the gore and bloodshed was pretty intense but there was certainly a bigger effort made to gross-out viewers rather than properly scare them.

Disappointments

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Return of the Net

Ah... Feels so good to be using a keyboard again! I can actually write things with some speed and punch now. Blimey, our house needed internet to survive. Without Netflix we didn't have much to watch or do so tonight we binged on Planet Earth and Peep Show while having a nice quiet night in which is just what I've been needing recently. Left quite late to pick up my girlfriend from town so she wouldn't have to walk back alone in the dark or pay for a taxi fare and we had a really nice time making fun of all the drunk people during our hike back to Winton.

Monday, 13 October 2014

3G once again

Back in the TV studio to work my typical sound magic. I got paired with a really fun guy this time around so it was a real pleasure to work with him, especially over a 9 hour day.

Sunday, 12 October 2014

3G part 2

Discoved that or house internet has died so I'm having to blog with my phone for the second time - internet will return on tuesday. Just did some prop buying today and got my first ever Sharpie! Mark would be proud.

Saturday, 11 October 2014

Demo = Pre-Order

Turned on my Wii-U for my weekly check of the E-Shop to discover a little slice of heaven through the Bayonetta 2 demo. Even though it was only 20 minutes long it kicked some major ass, like, a lot more than I even possibly expect. Immediate pre-order.

Most of my evening was spent with my head housemate who was trying to coax Freddie out of his bed despite my protests since he was technically sleeping. At the first smell of my dinner though he came running out so everyone was happy. He's currently running around in his little wheel and has apparently been out and cuddled while I was away at Weatherspoons, he's officially the 7th housemate. Which is good because we needed another guy in the house.

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Random ain't my Word

As much as I hate to use the word since it's recent association with emo teenage girls, my day has been random. But in the best possible way. Bright and early I attended my first Media and Food seminar which I actually really enjoyed. I took more notes in that single session than I have the entire rest of the year, oddly interesting and easily applicable to any essay! A group meeting followed which I expected to take 30 minutes but instead I over ran for 4 hours. That final hour was hella-productive though.

Our next TV Studio session we have tasked ourselves in creating a TV quiz show which we based around crosswords. Naturally we needed a big sparkly quiz show board type thing so I opted to stick around and print off and glue down 97 individual letter to construct this holyness:






We are all proud of this. It's like our little baby.

Speaking of babies, we now have a hampster in our home. Ran on down to Pets at Home with another housemate who was spearheading the operation and found a cute little fella to take home with us. His name is Freddie to the girls but I call him Franklyn Von Strauss.

Franklyn Von Strauss, Esquire
Luckily he's a fair few feet away from my room so I doubt he will keep me up at night, but he will be sure to greet me after I stumble back from a coursemates Birthday party later this evening.

And as one additional little treat, my article has now been added to the student magazine website! Give it a looksie here.

Phew, lot happened in one day!




Bad Throats and Good Food

Popped into our local coffee shop to meet my girlfriend who is feeling a bit under the weather. Recently she's been comparing her voice to a man, in reality she just sounds a bit grizzled. Best thing for her we decided was a cuppa brew. Ultimatly that wasn't enough so I made her a hot chocolate topped with vanilla ice-cream and I think that did the trick. That and Lemsip, always Lemsip.

Just finished asking around about moving media theory unit, seems that Adaptation is all booked up, however there is still a slot left in 'Media and Food.' I am mighty tempted to take that as my option since last weeks homework was to watch British Bake-off. Should be fun!

Monday, 6 October 2014

Nerve

Made it back into Bournemouth in record time, with 30 minutes to spare at home before wandering into uni. Faced again with a mini TV studio session in prep for some of our next projects, I tried my hand at being a PA or time-keeper. I was super psyched to try this role out because I am generally quite good with watches and time in general. It was going rather well until they wanted me to do the autoque as well. Basically rendered me useless at two jobs so I felt twice as humiliated when everything fell apart on my behalf.

On the plus side I finished up writing my student magazine article, I'll be posting a link to where you can read it after it's been uploaded to the Nerve website. Hopefully I can worm my way into being a regular on there.

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Happy 4th Birthday to 'The Blog!'

So after spending a lovely day with the usual suspects for Chris' belated Birthday and having a massive Nando's I have wound up once again at my keyboard and by golly-goodness, is it that time of year again? Four years of blogging? Four years since I wrote that fateful post that would change the course of my evening plans for eternity. Well, it really isn't as epic as I make it out to be but I still think it's rather cool. Fun Fact: this blog is only a few months younger than David Cameron term as Prime Minister so far. I'm not even very political and that fact impresses me!

Seriously however, it is an absolute pleasure to write a quick post before my bedtime nearly every night. It's become a small part of my routine alongside with brushing my teeth and frankly I just plain enjoy doing it. And if reading a single post has ever made you chuckle then I can rest easy knowing that I made someone's day a little bit brighter. At the end of the day, that's what I love doing in life.

Thanks everyone for reading over the years, I hope I'm still fun(ish) to read about, my life isn't admittedly the most interesting but for long-time readers, it's almost like you've been living it with me.

Here's to another year of blogging!


Saturday, 4 October 2014

To-be Journalist

Coffee mornings are odd things. Typically I need a cup of coffee at home before I am ready enough to walk outside in order to socialise and get more coffee. Nevertheless I walked for the first time in months through the rain to get into town for a Twin Town coffee morning to which very few people attended. Right now I'm working on my first article for the university magazine, I unofficially signed myself up to write a gaming column for their website. I reckon this will be really good for me since I always kinda fancied being an unprofessional games journalist... even though its currently trendy to treat games journalists like absolute crap due to the rift between gamer and writer. But hey! That's an article for the future. 

Friday, 3 October 2014

A Real Meal

Made it back home to Newbury after tagging along with one of my new housemates so that saved me a train fare and a long journey to and from the station with a big old suitcase. Dinner was also the first real meal I had all day since breakfast consisted of 4 fried eggs and lunch was a bowl of ice cream with some biscuits crumbled in for some crunch; this is probably a sign that I need to go and do some shopping when I get back.

Now if you excuse me, I have some more BoJack Horseman to watch...

Argyle Problems

Brought the argyle jumper out of retirement today which garnered an interesting reaction from my coursemates. One of them probed me for being a golf enthusiast to which I replied: no. I have only been on a driving range. The same person then got really pumped at the idea of going to a local driving range as a kind of team bonding exercise - I think he was only half joking... Doubt I'll even be any good at it since it's been about 9 years since I last went, and another 3 since I at least did crazy golf.

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Open Mind

I generally consider myself to be a pretty open minded guy. I've been brought up to try and find the good in most things and give stuff a try before knocking it and with the exception of a forced outing to a local activity camp I have enjoyed everything I mustered the courage to go to.

With that said, I really had to drag myself out to go into town for a coursemate's Birthday party. At first I was exceptionally reluctant to go, memories of sticky floors, sweaty rooms and smokey ques filled my mind like a balloon. I'd not been into a club since going back to uni (which startled a few people on my course) but I thought I could give it one more try last night (again, I'm an open minded guy).

And of course, I had a really good time. The people I were with were a lot of fun despite me only meeting them a few hours beforehand. I even had a nice chat with the Birthday boy who was really genuinely happy I turned up to celebrate with him and in turn that made my evening feel worthwhile.

Crashed into bed and rolled out for uni today. Still brimming with optimism from last night I went in to tackle my new unit specific seminar entitled 'Media and Conflict.' It wasn't my first choice of unit but I figured I could go along for it and try it out (once more, I am open minded).

And you know what, I absolutely hated those two hours. The prospect of writing an essay on how the Iraq War was covered by the media makes me want to french kiss a shotgun. I'm currently drafting an email requesting a transfer since I really am just not going to find the enthusiasm to enjoy or do well in the essay, here's hoping that it all goes well. 

Monday, 29 September 2014

Sofa Slumber

Over the course of last week our landlords have been in constant contact with us about arranging a date to finally meet us. How lucky that it was also the day the Jamie would be asleep on our sofa. Their visiting hours were between 9am and 1pm so I woke up early to greet them if they arrived ahead of schedule, I was also conscious how how loudly Jamie was snoring and how they would react to someone staying the night on their sofa.

One of the things I genuinely despise doing is waking people up. Try as I might, I cannot bring myself to eject people from their slumber of whatever dream they may be having. I left Jamie a generous 2 hours before creeping down and making breakfast quietly, but loud enough to gently wake him. Despite all that effort, the Landlords never even turned up so I could have just left him on our sofa for a few more hours.

After Jamie left and I was making my dinner someone rung our doorbell, I was the first to respond to a gentleman from the charity Breakthrough. I signed up with them for a very small monthly fee to try and do my bit.

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Jam Back in Bournemouth

Spending the weekend with my old housemate Jamie so we returned to his old stomping grounds at Wagamama for a very nice meal with mate rates. Then we hit up his old favourite coffee shop where we were treated to a free cuppa brew each. Been nice to catch up with him as well, plus we are finally seeing through our arrangement to watch The Wire together. 2 Episodes down and I think we are about to continue.

Saturday, 27 September 2014

Olive Ordeal

Very nice second day back as we learnt how to use our new cameras which are a vast improvement over our first year gear. Getting to use sound mixers for the first time as well which I am super psyched about since I am seriously considering applying for sound as one of my two specialties for this term. What was really neat though was the fact that I could walk home from uni with a handful of my coursemates who now all live in town as opposed to a bus ride away, had a chin-wag while walking home which made me really look forward to the coming year.

Home for lunch and dinner though, stumbled making myself a custom pizza later on today though. Typically I buy margaritas and then add further topics depending on my mood, tonight I had a fever and the only prescription was olives. While I tanked Sandman 5 I was day-dreaming about how tasty olives would be on my pizza, so imagine my horror when I pulled the jar out the cupboard to discover the tightest lid.

What's a man to do? Twist? No. Moist tea-towel twist? Still not happening. Ended up Googleing 'difficult to open jars' and scoffed at 12/13ths of the suggestions. In an act of desperation I attempted their light the rim on fire tactic in vain only to pry the lid with a spoon. Victory never tasted to briney.

Scoffing down that pizza while playing through the emotional bit of Final Fantasy 7 was a pleasure which was multiplied when I got a message from a coursemate asking for assistance in the speedy chilling of iced coffee after following my recipe. I packed some ice and my cocktail shaker and ran a few streets away - anything for a fellow coffee lover! In five minutes I chilled their drink with my mixer and went home again, almost felt like a superhero responding to crime, heck it would have been criminal if they drunk their iced coffee WARM!

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Going in for year 2

2nd year started off in a similar fashion to my first, with a selection of slow presentations which actually got me quite pumped for the coming year. We have a few essays to get on with once we properly start which I am kinda looking forward to but easily the most inviting prospect is being able to work with my peers again to make something special.

Otherwise I have become re-absorbed in Final Fantasy 7, going for replay number four which will hopefully be my most complete and perfect run yet. Need to trounce Jamie and his stupid Golden Chocobo!

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Under the Sea

Prevailing theme of today has been water life for two reasons. After making my best batch of pancakes yet, me and my new housemates crashed down to watch Blue Planet to learn about fish and stuff. We quickly switched over to Planet Earth and were blown away with just how incredible the everything was about it. I've only seen the first episode and I am already hungry for more.

Me and my girlfriend also completed Octodad: Dadlist Catch a game where you play as an octopus attempting to blend into the human world. The gimmick lies exclusively in it's controls which are intentionally unwieldy, I mean you are playing as a limp octopus. I controlled the left arms and legs while my girlfriend honoured the right hand side and it was a blast to play due to it's oddly good story. This one might just make it's way into my top ten games of this year.

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Slowly a Home

Run number two of 2014 went surprisingly well. Despite the fact that my legs feel about as fragile as a frozen soap bubble I managed to do another 4.75K run along the same route, and I surprised to find that I did it a whole 2 minutes faster. My running buddy absolutely sprinted ahead of me for a majority of our run since he had his tunes blaring into his ears. His face was crimson when I saw him at the finish line though as he prefers the whole sprinting, stopping and starting tactic which isn't for me. Spent the remained of the day huddled up in our newly organised living room. We had a big shimmy of our furniture, of course being the only man in the house my natural skill was invaluable. Repair man also came to sort out our shower, washing machine and mysterious plug socket. It's all starting to settle into being a home now.

Monday, 22 September 2014

Double Pizza

The usual suspects all came down o Bournemouth yesterday to see me and my new home. I hadn't seen Dan and Lucy in a long time either so it was nice to see them. Although I inadvertently managed to break one of my moral codes I learnt off Jamie. Or rather, learning from the mistakes of Jamie. I vowed to never order take-away pizza to cover two separate meals in the same day.

Lord knows I tried to fight it. Lunch yesterday was an easy choice for pizza, it was quick and easy so all was good. Dinner however was a mini-disaster regarding BBQs. (Again, It's like all the BBQs I go to now are cursed) I went out with my girlfriend's housemates and it was one of their Birthdays so we decided to cook on the beach. Coals didn't light, pizza was plan B. I was hungry and sometimes you can forget some parts of your moral code when you are reduced to a hungry animal.

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Run of my Life

The prospect of doing exercise today was a factor which kept me hugging my covers and in hidnsight, a small part of me wishes I just stayed there. I have not done any serious exercise since coming to uni last year, running was my previous sport and I was compelled to get back into the swing of it. Fortunately a course-mate of mine was interested in starting, typically he does a lot of cycling (a lot of cycling) but I was happy to talk him through it and be his running buddy.

Route was agreed. Bournemouth Pier to Boscombe Pier. I figured it would be an easy run since it was all flat, had good scenery and shouldn't have been too far, I reckoned about 2-3 kilometers. So we went the distance and I was starting to sweat but I was impressed with how well I did considering since abstaining from sports for a good while. We arrived back comfortably and my jaw dropped when I checked my running app, the total distance was 5K, an excellent distance for a first run. I told my buddy and he paused for a bit before saying. 'Wanna go again?'

Half hesitant and half bursting with adrenaline from our accomplishment I took him up on the offer and instantly regretted taking the first step of round 2. Everything went wrong, I was purely out of energy and had to walk after the halfway point as he stormed ahead. He's never even been running before! Walking back home, my everything begun to ache and I was sweating like hell. Getting home was worse as someone turned on the heating to test if it was working and forgot to turn it off; it was cranked to 26 degrees and I was boiling.

Returned with a burning desire to make and eat the henchest salad conceived by man. It wasn't even a 'lets be healthy thing' I just wanted something fresh and moist. Emergency Lidl shop for ingredients. Lettuce, tomato, cucumber, mozzarella, breaded chicken and ceaser dressing. Threw it all into a mixing bowl and ate it from the same container. No regret, just re-fueling.

One thing is certain though, despite my initial reluctance to leave my bed, I am sure to sleep very wel tonight.

Friday, 19 September 2014

Fashionably Late

I attended an interesting BBQ yesterday. As many of my friends will testify, the notion of being 'fashionably late' occasionally sickens me since I am a rather punctual person. I figure if someone has gone to the effort to host a BBQ or party then they will be wanting people to arrive on time so they can make the most of the time they personally allotted for seeing their friends. I hate it when people turn up late for any of my social functions as a bitter and cynical part of me exclaims 'This is how much people value your time/company.' Yesterday more than ever I totally regret not being fashionably late however as I arrived bang on the specified time for our outside lunch and subsequently spent a very awkward hour and a half alone with the host. Shame how it's often the fun situations people often want to purposely be late for.    

Returned home to bump into our head houesmate who crept in last night. I was walking back to play some Mario Kart while holding onto the sloppiest toastie of my career and was a bit startled to see her in our living room. Beginning to settle in a fair bit now though now that more and more people have started to arrive, the three of us had a spag-bol and literally as I am typing this I remembered that we didn't eat any of the garlic bread I bought especially. Maybe next time!

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Happy 19th Louis!

Big old Happy Birthday shout-out to my bro Louis who apparently is having a really good time settling in at uni. I sent him a Facebook message asking what he though of my present (which I put a lot of time and effort into thinking about) and he simply replied:

'What present?'

Turns out Mum forgot to pack my gift to him into his uni moving hamper... guess it's in the mail now. I found this out while waiting to meet some course mates at Bournemouth town centre. I was waiting for 45 minutes under the big hot air balloon they have only to get a call saying they wanted to meet in Boscombe (the next residential area over) instead. It was a fair old walk along the beach to get to them, the Boscombe pier was a literal speck in the distance during my trek but we met up for some drinks and discussed some future projects. Later on we begun watching some of the footage from our war film. We singled out the final 'emotional scene' and just started putting different movie soundtracks over the top, ranging from Chicken Run to Jurassic Park

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Eggs are Great

Who knew that one little egg could change my morning? Gave pancakes another shot and they came out even worse than yesterday's batch, I ended up binning the whole mixture to start again with BBC Good Food's recipe which called for an additional egg over my older recipe. Praise be that it worked. I was genuinely getting worried that I had eternally lost the pancake knack.

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

The Wire

My girlfriend bought me one of those really pukka pancake frying pans yesterday which I heartily intended to put to great use this morning. Turns out I am desperately out of practice at making pancakes though. I made four and one of which had to go in the bin because I didn't cook it thoroughly enough but with a bit of lemon and sugar I could stomach it.

The Wire drew to a close for me this evening with one of the most solid endings to a TV series I've even seen. I can still remember the first sequence from the first episode I saw and just knowing that I would be in for a really good time. At no point did the show loose momentum or steam, it was just full blown excellence from beginning to end. If anything, I'm a little sad its all over. Need to find something new to watch now...

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Gaffa Washer

Been living in my new house for a little while now so I figured today would be a good day to do my first proper batch of laundry. While I've used our washing machine before it still baffles me more than the vastness of space. You set it for a wash but every other step you need to re-start it to issue it's next command. So between washing and spinning/draining you need to turn it off and on again manually. Pain right? Next step was more fun though. Hanging it up!

We have no washing line or anything similar in our garden, although we have a singular airer which is on the small side. Guess it's time to make my own washing line! Turns out all you need it some twine and some gaffa tape.





Hoisted between a pipe and an obscure metal rod in the garden I think I did quite well. Something we can all use too. Quite enjoyed it as a little project - there's really nothing you can't do with gaffa tape!

Friday, 12 September 2014

Health Potion

Slowly getting the hang of the whole hair-cutting conversation lark. I maintained it for a good 3 and a half minutes, and they were pretty solid. I noticed he ha a new dog called Charlie Bronson, although it was just a puppy (4 months old) this thing was bigger than a lawn mower; destined to be a fighter.

Despite my cold forcing me into a perpetual state of generally feeling shattered I took myself to our neighbours house after they promised me a big bowl of hot chicken soup. Perfect for sickness busting. Handed me a bowl and it looked beautiful, potato, chicken and sweetcorn in a piping hot broth. It was almost like someone handed me one of those magical potions from a fairytale, destined to re-invigorate my soul and give me the courage to defeat the dragon. Took a greedy munch out of a chunk of potato, moment's later my eyes were filled with tears. Turns out our chief is a big fan of ginger and holy hell, that stuff burns raw. Felt like a million dollars after finishing the rest but I just really feel like I need sleep again. Keeping my energy up best I can! 

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Polish Dumplings

I think I'm slowly developing a cold as of 11:34am today. A sore throat is coming along very softly and is beginning to really hinder the enjoyment of my evening. In an attempt to feed the cold I prepared some rice along with some interesting sounding Polish dumpling Lidl were selling this week only. I couldn't believe how bad they tasted though, instead of like delicious beef and flavour every one tasted like those stuffed pasta things which was a massive let down. What was good today was reading through some of Jamie's graphic novels and drawing closer to the final episodes of The Wire. Only 3 more left to go so I might just binge on them all tomorrow.

21st Birthday!

For all those who are worrying about turning 21. Don't be.

Woke up at the crack of dawn to open up my cards and presents. Sadly, the pair of jeans I received were a little bit too small for me but we have just about sorted them all out. Tagged with them was a classic Italian coffee/espresso maker which I took immediate advantage of, a triple espresso was brewed within minutes and I felt like I could see through time after drinking it.

In the evening the neighbours turned up again with a cake and booze (just like the first time I met them) I was treated to a shared cocktail pitcher at out local rock bar and came home to meet up with Mark, Jenny, Jamie and Chris where a few more gifts were showered onto me. The complete Sandman is now pleasantly in my hands along with a few other graphic novels I need to work through. This probably marks one of the first ever Birthdays I didn't get a video game as a present... Might have to buy myself one to make up for it...

Had another cracking Birthday, not quite too sure what trials and tribulations my age will throw at me, but hopefully with uni starting again soon it can only be positive stuff.

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Pre-Birthday Mooch

Back home to good old Bournemouth. The editor of the film drove me back early this morning. About halfway through the journey we both suddenly realised how badly we needed to use a service station, he really had to use the bathroom and I was desperate for a morning cup of coffee. Once our vital needs were tended to we slid back around early afternoon and I've just generally been mooching ever since.

Trying to kill time more than anything, again I am excited for my Birthday. I'm writing this 40 minutes until it's technically the 10th but on principle I won't open my presents/cards until I wake up in the morning. Never woken up in a house alone on my Birthday before though, wonder what that will feel like?

Monday, 8 September 2014

Road and Drink

Hit the road again after a very successful day of filming yesterday. We all stayed in a travel lodge and for whatever reason everyone in my room forgot to set an alarm. Thankfully someone else came along and woke us up 30 minutes before the kick-out time. We crammed once again into our seven-seater car with me at the very back while my knees were pressed up against the chair and my torso but we all had a safe and relativly easy journey. Until we passed the M1 where people where traffic was still bad after a bomb scare at Luton Airport.  

Also did two fun things with reguards to food today!

1: Managed to exchange a fully loaded 'Bean Card' over at McDonalds for a free cup of coffee. It tasted like victory.

2: I tried one of the new green bottles of cola branded 'Coke Life.' And I was actually quite impressed with it. While not quite as good at the classic red top one, it tastes a million times better than that ghastly 'Diet' or 'Zero' stuff. If you're looking for a nice alternative to cola without wanting too many calories without overly compromising flavour, then life is for you.

Equipment Scare

Arrived safely in London for the final few days of filming our war film. I'm staying a few nights with the director at the moment. Hired out all the camera equipment for everything a few days ago and the guy assured me I would get an email confirmation that everything had been processed. 2 weeks later and still no email. Rung them up and they said everything was fine and all will be well - the equipment will be with us in the morning. It had better be, we paid extra for early delivery.

I was woken up at 9am by a text message. A text message of doom, destruction and pain:

'Your equipment will not be delivered today'

I had a mini heart attack. Months of planning, down the drain because of some silly postage error. The entire weekend of filming would be ruined and I knew I would have let the whole team down. I got dressed and ready to make one of the angriest phone calls of my life, went into the living room to tell our director the bad news. He's right there just unpacking all the camera stuff.

Apparently it got delivered moments before the text was sent so wires must have crossed somewhere.

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Feng Shui

Got to see my girlfriends new uni-let house today and it is very shiny. I went over to help her and a friend move some stuff around, her friend is quite big on feng shui so we oriented his furniture according to some of his spiritual preferences. Although we had to compromise the whole 'your head needs to face north' gubbins as his head would have to poke out of his hallway for that to work. I stuck around to keep them company while their internet got sorted out. What should have been a ten minute job quickly turned into a 2 hour mess as the guy who turned up and tried his very best to do everything in a speedy manner but just couldn't get through to his own customer support. No one picked up the phone for him on the other end.

Got back home to make a batch of iced coffee which is chilling in the fridge and start prepping for journeying to London for the final leg of our WW1 film 'The Journal.' I'm planning on making a badass mix CD to take for the driving since I became well known as 'DJ Durrant' on previous car trips. Let the good times roll!