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!

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Paella Pals

Kick started the day the old fashioned way with an episode of The Wire. Well and truly, the show has become a part of my morning routine, I don't feel like doing anything until I have seen my morning episode. Afterwards though the neighbours called up again and helped me out with my big shop in Lidl where we bought everything minus some tea-towels. I'll have to scrounge for some of them tomorrow while the drying piles up on the rack.

Most of my afternoon was spent in Sprinkles (the ice-cream shop) and Bournemouth beach which was lovely to see again. Just came back to make some paella as a shared thing, we supplied the chicken and the washing up while our neighbours cooked it for us which was an excellent trade in my opinion... especially as it basically meant quick food for me!


Seems like I only really did two things today. Packing and Mario Kart. Woek up to do a frenzy of packing and prepping for my big move before heading over to the Harper's house to play some games including the one true kart racer. Promptly got my arse handed to me but had a lot of fun otherwise and it was a really nice way to spend the morning before shipping out into my new home.

Arrived to start unpacking, I was pleased to discover that although I inherited the 'small room' it was actually a lot bigger than I predicted and is very livable. Met up with the first of my new housemates who is apparently a stellar cook, she proved this by making some oven chips from a new potato moments prior; we will get on very well. Just about settled in and started eating dinner when we heard a knock on the door. It was the neighbours who we had never met before and they were just looking for some people to hang out with, they bought cake and cider and we gave them some Mario Kart. It was totally bizarre how it came about to invite perfect strangers into our home but we a re glad we did because we became fast friends over video games and alcohol.