Saturday, 31 December 2016

Top Games of 2016

With the countdown to 2017 looming, I thought it was apt to do a countdown of my own and sound off some of the best games that came out this year. It's going to be a 'Top 8' this time as it has been a remarkably busy year for me, with my dissertation, grad film, graduation and first real job in industry. When you line it all up like that, it certainly sounds impressive anyway!

Without further ado, here's the list!

8: Overcooked



Of all the games I've played this year, this one caused the most shouting - and with good reason. Overcooked is basically Gordan Ramsey Simulator 2016 as you and up to four friends are put in charge of a very heated restaurant. You will shove one another and bark out orders and it can be absolute chaos if someone tries to do too many things (like me). But when it all goes right and your teamwork pays off, it can be remarkably rewarding.


7: Superhot

 

Fresh shooting game when time and bullets only move when you do. Genius. The game's mechanics turn the game into more of a violent game of chess, which I dig. While I don't need much of an excuse for shooting a bunch of dudes in slow-mo, I really appreciated the game's story which does a good job of propelling you through the brief campaign. Simply put, “it's the most innovative shooter I've played in years” (play the game to get the reference!).

6: Battlefield 1





Bullets, mustard gas and trenches, Battlefield 1 spits on the people who thought that a WW1 setting could never make for a compelling shooter. Online play consists of up to 64 people playing simultaneously and, when games go well, you really do feel like you're in the middle of a merciless conflict. Above all else, the game's tone is praiseworthy, treating WW1 with a lot of respect that I did not expect from a game series that inspires the ironic MLG community. A lot better than I was expecting this one to be, and that’s always a nice surprise.



5: Firewatch





Who knew that a game about being a fire warden for a national park could make for such a cerebral character study? While you are in this truly beautiful environment, you will feel very alone at times and your only means of contact is to another woman on a walkie-talkie. This dynamic makes for a psychological treat. While the ending doesn't quite hit the mark it wants to, the journey is expertly written and almost feels like a moving graphic novel at times. It will keep you second guessing yourself at every turn and I love that.

4: The Witcher 3:Blood & Wine





The base game of Witcher 3 is a very tough act to follow, but without even breaking a sweat, the developers pushed out what is possibly the biggest piece of DLC for any game ever. Vampires and banquets go hand in hand, creating a spectacular and surprisingly humorous, adventure. Special credit is due to CDPR for ending the entire 100+ hour game in a way that is wholly satisfying and sure to please anyone who has even spent a few moments in Geralt's boots.


3: Inside





Every time I think of this one, I like it more and more. It plays out as a minimalist adventure, starting you off as a little boy running through the woods. He can jump and grab and that’s about it. However, it's the way that the dystopian world makes you feel so desperately vulnerable - everything is threatening and you are constantly being hunted by someone or something. It's a minimalist and incredibly fluid puzzle platformer that ties every action back to the game's world and tone. It's rare to see a game do that so consistently.


2: DOOM





Doom can be summed up in one word: visceral. Everything, from dismembering hell spawn to pulling the trigger on the super shotgun just feels so damn good. While I gave kudos to Super Hot for being an innovative shooter, Doom is just straight up old-school. Your health doesn't regenerate and it smartly encourages you to keep moving and keep killing to maintain your resources so you are ready for the next bloody encounter. You can tell this game was made with high regard for the 90's and, call me nostalgic, but sometimes I want to go down a polished, blood-soaked version of memory lane.


1: Overwatch





Undoubtedly the game I played the most this year, Blizzard's hero based shooter just works on every conceivable level. Multiple heroes with unique play styles, a healthy pool of maps and really responsive gameplay constantly inspires you to be your best. This is the gold standard of online shooters. I have played this dozens of times with friends and strangers and we are all inclined to work together to achieve a common goal. More often than not you'll find yourself screaming down a microphone because your team landed a nail biting victory. With even more free content coming in 2017, it's going to be a game that just keeps on giving.


Nothing left to do than wish you readers a Happy New Year and a very easy going New Years Day! I'm probably going to be spending it playing Overwatch!

Friday, 30 December 2016

Back in Flat

Louis and I were dropped back in Bristol by our folks, but not before we all went out for a final family lunch at a little fish restaurant. Now I've been reunited with Rebecca and our cosy flat, I'm gonna start tidying it up for our mini New Years party - it'll be the perfect excuse to eat all of our popcorn anyways!

Thursday, 29 December 2016

Back to World of Warcraft

Louis and I had a real old school day and played a bit of World of Warcraft. Its odd how we keep coming back to this game over the years, while Louis doesn't believe that nostalgia is a good thing, its quite clearly the main reason he plays it. We get a bit of a kick doing some silly roleplaying too alongside critiquing the design choices of the actual game - all good fun for two man children.

Wednesday, 28 December 2016

On Call Devout

Checked my work email religiously throughout the day just in case I was needed to jump into action at work, so far thee has been no contact. That's not to say I haven't been proactive, I've spent a fair bit of time building up a presentation on some of Rubber's long term clients and sourcing some nice stats to go alongside it all. I'll be continuing with that tomorrow no doubt, but in the evening I was lucky enough to catch up with Jamie and play some games with him Don't get to see him too often and its always a pleasure to see his face. Probably won't see him again until the new year now, guess thats what happens when you are both such busy people.

Christmas Su-Beer 2016

Journeyed back form the land of Orpington, just in time of four Christmas Smash Brothers event. We attempted a new style of tournament play called 'Swiss' and it worked out really well. Previously we always had people in the sidelines who were a bit bored since there was a lot of waiting around - up to an hour in some cases. Tonight though, there was never more than 5 minutes downtime and peoe got to play against lots of other people which was great. I walked out with the trophy once again but honestly, I just enjoy the opportunity to catch up with all the old peeps from my childhood to play a game we all love.

Monday, 26 December 2016

Boxing Day 2016

Boxing Day went by so fast, spent most of it sat in my grandparents front room once again and relaxing by the fire while chatting and reading. We deigned to go on a Winter's walk and I spent the whole time wishing I bought a jacket with me. Warmed up in time to watch The Lady in the Van which was a cosy film, perfectly suited for a Boxing Day viewing. Always been an armchair fan of Alan Benett, and this film has encouraged me to take a better look at his other works.

Sunday, 25 December 2016

Merry Christmas 2016!

Had a little bit of a Christmas lie-in this morning, which was a very relaxing way to start the day. Came down for the classic morning ham and grapefruit before opening presents.

Shortly afterwards we drove down to Kent to my uncle's house and celebrated the rest of the day with the extended family. And its been really nice too, mostly just chatting and catching up with a smattering of games to stoke the competitive spirit.

Scored a few extra graphic novels alongside plenty of foodie bits and some extra kitchenware for the flat. Louis surprised me with a copy of Metal Gear Solid 5.

Again, it was nice to see people receiving
our gifts, spent thrbpast few weeks fretting about what to get people, but everyone seemed genuenly very pleased with their bits.

About to tuck into bed now, I'm full of turkey, beer, wine, whiskey and port, so I guess that means it has been a very successful Christmas Day. Merry Christmas to all, I hope everyone had a smashing Christmas!

Saturday, 24 December 2016

Christmas Eve 2016!

Once again, the Durrant family hosted our annual Christmas Eve party. Louis and I helped out with the food and other bits in between games of World of Warcraft and Smash Bros, and before we knew it, the guests started pouring in. It was great to see Jamie and Daniel again after missing them the other week when they were down in Bristol, I always feel I have legit good chats with those guys whenever we bump into each other.

Of course, it wouldn't be Christmas eve without a bit of Smash Bros in the attic, so the younger guests and I gathered upstairs for some boozy, but hype games. Louis and I emerged somewhat victorious once again, I said it a she ago, but it wouldn't be Christmas Eve until I saw a disgruntled Harper.

Hope everyone has a very merry Christmas tomorrow and an around great day once again.

Friday, 23 December 2016

Christmas Casino

Back in Newbury with Rebecca and all the presents I need to give away this year. It was an amazing feeling walking back from lunch knowing that my Christmas shopping was finally sorted for this year and I think I've done OK this time round. Just sat in with my family watching the festive classic Casino Royale, just about got to the chest paddle scene too. Gonna help prep for our Christmas Eve party tomorrow and tidy up my bedroom incase some Christmas Smash Bros takes place.

Thursday, 22 December 2016

Bye Bye Office

Officially said goodbye to the office and most of my coworkers today as everyone opted to work from home tomorrow, so I'll be doing that too for the first time ever as well. Headed out to the pub for one last beer with my colleges which was nice and then started thinking about what I could pack for going back home tomorrow.

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Resident Evil 7 Demo

Had Mark and Lucy over for a Christmas get together before we all dispersed for the holidays. I took Mark aside to play the demo for Resident Evil 7 and it was way scarier than we both anticipated. Felt like living Japanese horror film that prodded in all the creepiest ways.

Revenge of the Christmas Party

Took myself away for my office's Christmas party. I must say, the gift I gave away from secret Santa went down a bit better than I was expecting, and the gift I got was spot on: a Nerf gun! All of us got back quite late last night, and that was reflected in the 'grogginess' at work today, everyone wasn't feeling their freshest.

Rebecca and I exchanged each other presents earlier tonight and she was blown away with how thoughtful my gifts to her were (think I did alright basically!) We had our own mini Christmas celebration by getting ur first ever take-away as a flat, hopefully the first of many. 

Sunday, 18 December 2016

The Christmas Burger

Couldn't be bother to make a proper roast this Sunday, and with Christmas around the corner, I decided to rustle up a Christmas burger for dinner tonight. Picture this: Toasted sesame seed bun with a base layer of sage and onion stuffing, atop that, a plump burger paddy, seasoned beautifully with salt and pepper. And to finish it off, a layer of melted Camembert topped with cranberry sauce. I snagged a picture of it, but it didn't come out great because my hands were a bit messy from eating them, so here's a Simpson's rendition of a bit of classic food porn!

Saturday, 17 December 2016

Gearing up for Xmas

Went out into Bristol Town Centre to continue my Christmas shopping. Just about got my secret Santa sorted and one or two other bits, but I still have a fair amount to grab. Met up with Pearless along the way and ultimate he came back to our gaff and we cooked dinner for him and his girlfriend, ended up being a fairly chill evening.

Going to be utilizing my slopey day tomorrow to create a real frankenfood: A Christmas burger! Watch this space to see the results.

Friday, 16 December 2016

Chilli Beef Pizza

Since it was Friday, my boss invited us all out for a quick drink at the pub, who was I to say no? Got a beer down me very quickly before we all had to disperse and walking home I noticed that I was getting quote ripsy, probably because I hadn't had much to eat beforehand so it went to my head quite fast. In my boundless wisdom, I decided that what I really wanted for dinner was an Asda pizza. As I approached the counter I reeled off all the toppings I wanted, and again, since it was Friday, I opted for the chilli beef.

Now I had assumed this would be a tikka level of spicyness in the beef, but boy was I wrong. Took one bite and I was sweating something fierce. Got flashbacks to the pizza I had in Slovakia many years ago that was crazy hot. This was nowhere near the same ballpark, but I was regretting my decision just moments after my first bite.

Rebecca came home shortly after and I treated ua both to a Bailey's hot chocolate which has made us both very sleepy...

International Tea Day

Sat in for one of works official 2017 'game plan' meetings. While I couldn't add a whole lot to the discussion, the chats and the end points were all really interesting and I think we are heading in a very healthy direction. I've been tasked with writing up some beta versions of the new PowerPoint's in our 'New Buisness' decks and, so far, I think I'm doing an OK job at that.

Took a swig of tea, seeing as it was international Tea Day. I'm really not a big fan of the stuff, and I confirmed my lack of love for it further today. Dah well, least I gave it a shot.

Thursday, 15 December 2016

Playing Games Like the Good Old Days

Finally got around to doing a bit of Christmas shopping today. As I leave it fairly late each year, my presents will be effectively sponsored by Amazon Prime. Gonna have to brainstorm some other ideas for people tomorrow though and get them ordered in soon.

Came back home to a quiet flat since Rebecca is spending a night with friends down in Bournemouth. Having the whole pad to myself is lush and I'm really looking forward to starfishing in the bed. Played a lot of OverWatch tonight with Louis and co and that was genuinely lovely. Now that he and his mates are coming off for Christmas we all have time to play games together again and that reminds me of the good old days.

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Humble Stoph

Popped round to Mark and Lucy's this eve for a game of Cosmic Encounter while watching parts of the Royal Variety Show. Had a really nice dinner there too! Mark insisted that he messed up the cheese sauce for the pasta bake, but I thought it was cracking, humble kid that Stoph.

Roped in Louis to help me out a bit on designing a document for work. While what I did wasn't naff, it could have done with some sprucing up - will try to tackle that one further tomorrow.

Monday, 12 December 2016

Ebay Success

My bosses were really pleased with how well the EBay AT-ACT video we launched last week was doing. Its been one of the best opening videos for them all year and it really been a great way to sign off the year.

Rebecca is going to be going away on Wednesday back to Bournemouth for a bit which means I'm gonna be home alone for a the first time ever in my new flat. Gonna eat ice cream, and watch scary movies and do all the cool things like that.

Sunday, 11 December 2016

Charity Gala

Went on a neat little shoot last night in Andover, filming a charity drive and auction. Crazy nice venue, we were basically inside a stately home of sorts and the residents were apparently super cool with hosting events there. I was on sound, of course, and I got an opportunity to test drive my new 1/4 inch cable so I could plug myself into various sound desk. It was super useful when I needed to get simultaneous coverage of the live band and audience members singing along as separate tracks.

Since we got back at 2am, today was an easy one. Rebecca and I took a tour up Bristol's North Street to check out some of the independent food chains and other cool stuff. Ended up getting a late lunch out at Bagel Boy before coming home to watch Home Alone. I haven't seen it in years but Rebecca was is a big fan so I re-watched it with her to get us both into the festive mood.

Friday, 9 December 2016

Ebay Star Wars

Slept like a baby last night, and thankfully the cold has gotten a lot better. Still have a tickley throat, but its not sitting in the head as much today. Which is just as well, because the office was in full swing after the launch of our latest film for eBay.

We basically teamed up with a renowned YouTuber called Colin Furze who's forte is building massive things in his back garden. So we got him to build a Star Wars AT-AT and give it away to a big fan of his, check the video here:


And you can see his extended build video of it here:


Thursday, 8 December 2016

The Worst Cold

I felt it coming on yesterday, but its now official: I have an early December cold. And as a result, I had one of the worst nights sleep I think I've ever had last night. Work up repeatedly in the right as my brain was just felt 'busy' all night. It was strange, I couldn't actually formulate a coherent thought as my head was just pumping out literal static - so bizarre. Ended up getting out of bed at 4am just to walk around the kitchen for a bit in the dark. The cold didn't help at all as that really restricted my breathing.

Work today was also fun because of my illness. Basically, I was forced to pop to the loo every half an hour to blow my nose again. I get really bunged up so I thought it was only polite to spare my co-workers the trumpeting noise of me clearing my nose, but it was embarrassing to continuously be popping out to the loo. Generally, I just felt like I was being run over by a bus in slow motion. Knackered now, and I'm hoping tonight will be kinder to me.

Just want to say, bless Rebecca. She provided several great tablets to take throughout the day that really kept the worst of it at bay. Today would have been significantly worse if not for them.

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Office Pub Quiz

Got to do a little bit of prop running, headed over to Paperchase to grab some boxes for a small short film that we're doing on Friday. Nice little break outside of the office anyhow, even got to instruct a random bloke towards a bank in town centre, he was genuenly impressed by the fact that I could go on google maps to find d the closest one to him; bless him.

Just got back from our office evening out at the pub with an impromptu pub quiz. We got separated into two teams, and while we were unquestionably the weaker team we still had a blast altogether.

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Emails, On Their Marks

Prepped one more parcel for delivery at work today, this time it was only going within the UK though so nothing too exciting. Our office is about to become ground zero for emailing in the next two days a we will be seeding our latest video to potential news outlets and websites. Basically, we want the video and story to get as much coverage as possible, so we ask about 50 websites if they will feature us, this next one is genuinely very news worthy so it should be snapped up.


Rebecca was out most of the night at an unofficial Christmas party so I fended for myself at home. Cooked what may be the finest omelette I've made to date (I finally learnt the value of salt and pepper) and tucked into a night of unadulterated video games. twas bliss.

Monday, 5 December 2016

FedEx Continued

Got to deal with all the mailing joys of FedEx once more, but this time in reverse! The thing we shipped off to the US a few weeks ago needs to come back home to us now, so I had to schedule a courier to pick something up from LA to send it back over here. I didn't want anything to be messed up in the post so I spent a long time researching what I was doing before committing to anything, ended up making 3 separate phone calls to different FedEx staff members before I finally felt happy enough that I was actually doing the right thing.

As a result, I did a bit of production assistanting that would have made Mark proud. Sent off the invoices to our friends in the states alongside a home-made document instructing them on how to fill out certain forms, and I supplied them with super condensed fact sheets if anything needed writing down; in theory, its fool proof. But I guess I'll find out tomorrow if it all went to plan.

Sunday, 4 December 2016

Loch Fyne

To celebrate Rebecca's Nan's Birthday we ate out at Loch Fyne. never been there before, and from growing up not liking fish, at first I thought I'd have trouble finding something I'd like. Then the tuna steak burger presented itself. 'When In Rome' I thought, and I had no regrets.

Back home now after a smooth ride home, already hoping that Monday will go easy on me, but I already have a good feeling about next week.

Saturday, 3 December 2016

Drinking at the Movies

Yesterday Rebecca very proudly showed me her newly purchased copy of Drinking at the Movies, a graphic novel that looked right up my alley. I'm a little ashamed to admit that I have already finished the book before Rebecca had even started it, but it was a really easy read with a constantly light hearted tone. Think a hipster, NYC version of Persepolis and you'll be in the right ballpark.

Took a swing back to Rebecca's homestead of Twickenham this weekend and we are celebrating her Nan's 90th Birthday. Its great to be with her family once again and so far its been really chill, looking forward to tomorrow's party/dinner already.

Friday, 2 December 2016

Getting The Creative Juices

Finished up what has been the most difficult brief at work yet. Been struggling with it for the entire week after generally failing to come up with legit good ideas. Fortunately, I've come out of that process with a bit of hindsight, I have a better idea on how I can get the creative juices flowing better as it all comes down to pacing and structure as I work, eager to hit Monday with a vengence.

Louis and Rachel came round for a curry and movie, Planes, Trains and Automobiles to be exact. Say it every time so I won't bore you, but what a film. Always enjoy watching it with Louis as I think we see a little bit of our own relationship within the characters and it really starts to get me in the holiday mood.

Thursday, 1 December 2016

VR in the Workplace

Work splashed out and bought a 360 degree camera and I was put in charge of testing it out. Basically, it was a boys with toys session, especially since I had a VR headset to pair it with as well. Spent a good while pouring through the instructions and testing out VR with a Samsung phone, and left with quite a good impression of it. Took a 360 photo as well which feels really weird to view in VR as it makes everything feel so much bigger. Of course, the headset I was wearing also had a pair of googly eyes stuck on the front, my co-workers had a good laugh at my expense since I looked lke a bit of a ninny... Wish I had those photos.

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Christmas, a Little Early


Rebecca and I put our Christmas tree up earlier this evening alongside the festive songs of Mark Kozelek. And we didn't skimp on the Ikea mushroom decorations that Mum bought for us either, as odd as they are, they sit nicely with the rest of the tree. After being disappointed with the range of advent calendars Asda had in yesterday, Rebecca went on a successful mission to get some really pukka Dairy Milk ones for us each to crack into tomorrow. Christmas is coming quicker it seems, but I think I'm just about ready to take it head on.

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Fishcake Frenzy

Struggled a bit at work today, had one of those session of brainstorming that just went round and round in circles while never really landing on a winning idea. I'll stick at it again tomorrow and hopefully hit a home run then. Tonight I made fishcakes, another new(ish) meal that I haven't really cooked in a very long time, not since first year I believe. When you are forming/cooking them, they look vile and awfully unappetizing, but after a bit of heat is applied to it, they turn delicious in moments.

Monday, 28 November 2016

Halloumi Love

Being so close to work really is marvelous. I got to swing back home today to get a cheeky game of Battlefield 1 in during my lunch break and it was a jolly good time! Tried something a little bit healthier for dinner tonight with falafel and halloumi pittas and I can easily see myself eating that many times again in the future. Never actually cooked halloumi for myself before either but I decided to be a total bloke and disregard any instructions and just go for it in the frying pan - came out perfect and mouth watering. Left a few bits for my sandwiches tomorrow too...

Sunday, 27 November 2016

Fairy Lights of Doom

Chill Sundays are exactly what everyone needs. Ate up a few rounds of the loaf of bread that comes from Louis' girlfriend's bakery and that stuff is just incredible, had it with butter and then with scrambled eggs for an ultimate lunch combo. Rebecca and I mostly goofed around today while trying to put up fairy lights in the bedroom. At first we had this grandiose concept for them, which involved ceiling attachments and command strips, but that fell through very quickly. No matter though, as we have opted to simply wrap it around the bed-frame for now - it gives off a very inoffensive glow for late night Reddit surfing.

Saturday, 26 November 2016

Housewarming Party!

Took a spin back into Broadmead to check out Bristol's Christmas market this afternoon and it was bustling and beautiful. Couldn't resist getting a pork roll with stuffing and apple sauce alongside a hot chocolate with a shot of Baileys as a tasty alternative to mulled wine. We later hosed our housewarming get-together with a small group of friends and had a really lovely evening. We were mostly playing games of Secret Hitler, and with a group of 10, the game really did sing. More than ever, I feel like I've moved in now and i can't wait to see what the future holds.

Popworks Part Deux

Had a stellar day at work as we were all still on the high form a few days ago from our latest project going through so freely. In fact, we even got office beers after 5pm, and I was given a complimentary Nerf gun! Probably my best day ever in other words.

Rebecca invited a bunch of her old uni mates round across this weekend so we cooked for them and went out for drinks/cocktails. First night out in Bristol since moving in too and it was actually pretty dang fun!

In other news, part 2 of the Popworks film finally went live, and I get a near-star role in this one! Check out the ad below and look out for m just after the halfway point.

Thursday, 24 November 2016

Greenlights Ahead

Bunch of videos at work got green-lit today so we were all really chuffed with ourselves. Our big Christmas push video is finally going smoothly and that has provided a lot of relief in the office, so much so that my boss want to go out to lunch tomorrow to celebrate; who am I to say no?

Did a bit of entertaining this evening too, as an old uni friend came over to pick up some of my kit but we decided to make an evening of it. So I cooked him and Rebecca dinner and we all played games and watched The Apprentice together. First time we've actually done something like that in our home, and we all genuinely had a really nice, quiet evening.

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Adult Lego

Once again, I went to IKEA, but this time with Rebecca to hopefully do one last push for bits to fill up the house with. Ended up getting some swanky new cushions, a laundry bin and a shoe rack, all of which have been placed neatly around our rooms and they have given our space a bit more of a cosy edge.

I also got to do some more adult lego by assembling Rebecca's new desk chair. She insists that hers is better, but I beg to differ as my reclining action is on point. Deep down though, I know shes jealous of my chair.

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Speedy Brief

First thing I do at work is check my emails, and since I'm still quite new, I seldom get anything of interest. Today though, my boss wanted me and a collegue to step it up a notch and prepare a powerpoint for a client in only a handful of hours before presenting at 2pm. We knock something up and handed it over to our boss who was really happy with what we made and felt really confident leading it with our pitch. The call came a little late with the client, which was fine, but then he completely shot down all of our ideas and instead spouted off a few of his own that, from our point of view, really missed the mark with what they were trying to communicate. Which is s shame, because I think we had something really interesting to play with in our brief. Ah well, can't win them all.

Monday, 21 November 2016

Feel Good Rain

By golly, it was a wet one today. Strolled into work without an umbrella and got thoroughly drenched in the process. Oddly enough however, I was really grumpy when I left home but I felt better and better the more soggy I became; it was actually quite cathartic.

At lunch, I had to go and return a bit of kit to Mark and optimistically headed back out in the pouring rain in hopes of getting some more of that 'feel good rain.' Mother Nature had some different plans however. It looked borderline apocolipyic walking through the park and I eventually got so drenched that every inch of me was miserably damp. Mark was kind enough to lend me a brolly for the walk home so that kept me safe from the downpour. Returning to the office, I noticed my socks and feet were really wet and that made me uncomfortable for the rest of the day, making me grumpy once more.

Funny how the rain can make un-grumpy, then back to callous once again.

Sunday, 20 November 2016

The Tweasers and the Drain

Had my all day pyjama session today and I couldn't be happier. Finished up a few of my ongoing games before doing a handful of jobs around the house. The most demanding of which being unclogging the bathroom sink. The previous tennants left an ungodly amount of hair down there and it was up to me and my trusty tweasers to tackle the blockage. Generally speaking, I don't have much of a vomit reflex when it comes to gross things, but this job put me pretty close to the edge. There really was more than just hair down there and it was just grim.

About 5 hours later my appitite returned so Rebs and I prepped a Sunday roast, minus the stuffing because I forgot how long that takes to cook. We pulled it off too, had a huge portion and I'm about to sleep all that meat and gravy off.

Saturday, 19 November 2016

London Loos

Finally writing this blog on my own PC again after having to write it on my phone over the past week. We have wi-fi in our place and it's doing us good so far!

Got back from London after a traveling day of hell. Woke up at 5:30 in order to catch my train into Central London, it occurred to me in my early morning state of sleepiness that I may have actually woken up too early, but I would have time to spare and get a breakfast McDonalds. I was beginning to romanticize the thought of a lonely, early fast food binge, but that very daydream ensured that I missed my train as it switched platform at the last minute. Got in on time though, so all was ok for the filming.

Leaving London was also a big faff. As it turns out, there is no-where in the London Victoria area that has a toilet where you don't need to pay to do your business. I wandered around for longer than I'd care to admit to find a free loo, but ultimately had to go into a pub and casually use theirs. Did the old trick where you pull out your phone and look around anxiously, as if looking for a friend, when I entered so no-one would assume that I was commandeering the toilet as a non-paying customer. Maybe I over think things a bit though...

(Actual day of filming was really great, the bits around it however, were a bit poo.)

Got back safe and sound in the end, ready to enjoy my Sunday of pure, deserved laziness.

Friday, 18 November 2016

Mega Bus Friday

The Mega Bus, Clapham Junction and a bus were all in store for me this evening as I once again found myself in the capital. I'm doing a sound recording job for a Uni friend and it feels like it's going to be a really fun shoot. I'm staying over night at Rebecca's parents house which has be immeasurably useful actually, otherwise I would have had to catch the 'stupid o'clock' express to London. Still got an early one tomorrow, but its much more manageable now that I'm tucked up in Rebecca's house.

Thursday, 17 November 2016

Office War

Since my work are doing a job that indirectly involved a bunch of nerf guns, its my pleasure to report that a fight broke out in the office just before closing. I merely stood back and observed as the other had a blast with them, I felt like the parent who over watches their noisy kids. Not to say I felt above it though, of course I'm gonna bring mine in tomorrow and see what they think.

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

FedEx Faff

Never had to ship something to America before, and after today I never want to do it again. For work I had to shoot something over to LA in an almost 'next day' time frame so the heat was already on. Managed to wrap up the product rather nicely into one my old graphics card boxes and decided to go through FedEx for postage. I will say their customer service was very plesent, but the actual process was about 18 steps too many. Having never truly dealt with customs paperwork or the like, I was in a bit of a pickle. Ended up calling them after my online order went though, but didn't and they scheduled a courier over to grab it. The guy turned up in record time, which would have been great if I actually had more than 15 minutes to locate the invoice documents and fill out 3 copies of them. Bless the courier, he elected to wait until I had just about filled all the necessary fields. So after much toil, the package was picked up and is en route to sunny LA.

Probablybthe most stressful thing I'd had to do a Rubber, so when I got home I had to do some major de-stress therapy. Luckily, I was making a salad and the large and incredible sharp kitchen knife Dad got us as a housewarming gift came in handy. I was reading through the manual earlier and it seriously bigs up the blade, basically saying it was machined by romans, and passed down by prestigious people from eons long past.

Joking aside though, chopping cucumber with it was a near-religious experience so I'll be very dedicated to keeping good care of it.

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Vox Pop Central

Small change of pace at the office, this afternoon I was put on film making duty by doing vox pop interviews around Bristol. We asked a bunch of people about their opinions on big brands and their abilities to do social good. I was then put onto an edit job to chop it all down and make it flow neatly - already got the rough cut sorted and I'm doing the final touches tomorrow. Certainly cool to work somewhere that you're always doing something different.

Monday, 14 November 2016

Electric Hobs

Cooked my first ever meal in my new home using an electric hob, which was an interesting experience. Gotta get used to more gradual changes in heat and learn what all the increments on the dial mean as they have all rubbed off. I surmounted the learning curve though and prepped a very nice curry for din-dins. I think it warmed Rebecca up something fierce as she started to nod off after eating, just as GoldenEye was starting on ITV4 too! Guess I'll just have to rewatch it some other time.

Sunday, 13 November 2016

Unpacking Day in Bristol

After nearly a month of waiting, Rebecca and I have finally moved into our new flat properly. I got back to Bristol early this morning to unpack and I only just finished putting all the bits away at 7pm this evening. In between it all Mum and Dad took me out to IKEA to get some essentials and a new desk + chair, and after assembling them both I have to say that they are absultly brilliant.

In fact, the whole flat is excellent and I'm already feeling settled.

Saturday, 12 November 2016

Eye in the Sky

Packing was the primary objective today and I did that with flying colours. Just about crammed everything into a set of bags and cases now, though I'm a little surprise with just how little I seem to be bringing along. As long as I have my computer I'm a happy bunny is the gist of it.

After all the reshuffling, I sat down with my folks to watch Eye in the Sky, a military drone film that was surprisingly investing. The film initially got my attention because it was the last film that Alan Rickman ever starred in, and while he didn't get the biggest role, but he definitely got the best lines.

It does take a little while to spout out the premise and backstory, but after the first 20 minutes, its hard to take your mind away from what happening and the ante is always being raised - and in my book, that's the hallmark of good action.

I was legitimately surprised with how good the film turned out to be, so if you are looking for a army based thriller, then I would highly recommend. And while it does work on a more cerebral and political level, its hard not to viscerally enjoy this one with friends too. 

Friday, 11 November 2016

Moving Into Bristol!

As of midday, Rebecca and I officially are renting a small flat in Bristol! I ran there during my lunch break so I could meet our letting agent and sign all the final bits of paperwork. Got a better chance to look round the place this evening and even with barely any furniture, I can already see it turning into a cosy haunt. I'm back in Newbury tonight and tomorrow to pack up my last few bits and pieces, and I'll be settled in fully in the next 48 hours, can't wait to chill out in our new home!

Thursday, 10 November 2016

Lunch Fun 'N Games

It was such a chill day at the office that we all just played a board game during our lunch break. The game was called Sunken Treasure, and while it was totally made for 8 year olds, its was a blast to play! Finished up another PowerPoint pitch before heading back to Louis' for the last time. Rebs and I have packed up all our belongings and we are at long last ready to move into our new flat tomorrow morning. Really, really excited to settle in.

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Graduation Video

Work was unusually quiet today, mostly because I was the only one from Rubber Republic in the office for most of the day. Got to mutter to myself a lot because no one was sat next to me, but as a result, time really dragged this afternoon, and I had to make all my coffee myself! Travesty.

I also found out that my graduation ceremony was put online in all its glory so here's a link!
Props to the guy ahead of me who took the selfie, I included that part in the video as well in case no-one believed me.

And just to really date this blog post for the following years, today was the day the world found out that Donald Trump was elected as President, guess we will all see how that goes...

Tuesday, 8 November 2016

The Graduate

Returned once again to Bournemouth to reunite with my fellow course mates for our graduation ceremony. Going into the event, I had no idea what was in store, putting on the gown and cap was an interesting experience, I thought I looked like a lemon, until I saw that everyone else was in the same boat as me.

The event was really well handled really well. It took a little while until it was time for them to call my name, but it was amazing to graduate alongside the friend I'd made from TV Production. Just before I got to pick up my degree, the guy in front of me decided that he wanted a selfie with the chancellor on his disposable camera - that was by far the most amusing thing that happened during the ceremony.


Rebecca and I are currently train-bound back to Bristol, its going to be a weird feeling going back into work tomorrow, but at least I can go ahead in life saying that I am a graduate of Bournemouth University.

Monday, 7 November 2016

To be Graduate

Tucked up in bed once again in Newbury. Louis and I got the train down after work to our hometown, and what trip down memory lane would be complete without a trip back to our friendly neighbourhood burger place? So after our Rios Burger, we went back to see Mum and Dad while getting ready for my Graduation. We are all headed to Bournemouth tomorrow so I can put on the gown and finally get my £27K piece of paper! Next time I post here, I will officially be a graduate!

Sunday, 6 November 2016

Tokaido

Rebecca had an absolute beast of a day at work, so I did my dardnest boyfriend duty to male sure it was as painless for her as possible. We organised a lunch date at 5 Guys which was expectedly excellent. I love buying burgers and seeing how they assemble them and how the stuff is all cooked - gives me tips on how to make my own. So after that huge lunch, I went back to Louis' for a board game bonza, aged my first ever game of Tokaido and won by a single point! Beginners luck I guess.

Just walked back down to get Rebecca and now we are tucked into bed. My eyes are heavy and I'm feeling apprehensive about embracing Monday tomorrow... Gotta be done though.

Saturday, 5 November 2016

Fireworks on a Bridge

Tidied our stuff out of Mark and Lucy's house as we prepared for our second act of sofa surfing, this time at Louis house! Got to his early this afternoon and just hung out with Louis for a bit, which is always nice. After dinner, all of his housemates and I went out to see some of Bristol's various firework displays from the suspension bridge. Never been on the bridge before, but it was an amazing view across the river, and at night it was gorgeous.

One step closer to our big move now, Rebecca and I are really pumped to move into our new home and now that it's less than a week away, it is slowly becoming a reality.

Friday, 4 November 2016

Friday Food Sesh

Friday is all about the free food at work. Got in and was offered the usual bacon sandwich for Friday early birds, that's the expected food. After lunch I bought back a bag of cookies for everyone while some others came back from lunch with a whole bag of chicken wings! Couldn't pass those up. Few hours later, our PM headed out to the shops to get some beers for the last hour of work, its truely a great Friday when you leave work with a full tummy.

Thursday, 3 November 2016

In House Projects

Got assigned on a new job at Rubber. Basically, whenever the company gets some downtime they like to work in some in-house projects that flaunts their tone of voice. They have a few promising ones lined up and I was tasked with doing a little bit of research/thinking on how to bring them to life which is actually a nice change of pace. Got back just in time for Rebecca's renowned garlic-mushrooms pasta, with a side of The Apprentice. Lovely evening.

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Tea Rap

Whacked out some of my best and funniest ideas at work today for a brief. One of the was centred around the 'Bro Sub-culture' while another revolved around the use of mobile phones in the cinema. Wrote them both up and presented them to the team and got some positive reception. They did say that they may not be ideal for our client, but they might be able to rework them slightly to pitch to an entirely new client. So I guess that's a good thing.  

Never got a chance to promote this at the time, but we also made a 'tea rap' for Yorkshire Tea. While I wasn't really involved in the making of this, it's still a very cool advert that I'm proud to say that we made. If you like tea, give it a watch:


Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Try to be a bit Spooky

After failing to get into the Halloween spirit yesterday, Rebecca and I decided to try our hand and do something faintly spooky together. Rebecca had never seen The Nightmare Before Christmas so I took it upon myself to educate her and we both had a blast. For dinner I made my classic burgers with a scary twist... Since they were scary good! Think I've nailed the homemade burger now, I ought to stretch my culinary wings a bit now.

Monday, 31 October 2016

Happy Halloween 2016!

Didn't really get the chance to properly celebrate Halloween this year because I was quite busy and tired after last weekend festivities. That said, I did get to do a little internal dance when my new graphics card finally landed on the doorstep. I rushed home to install it and it did not dissapoint - really excited to try out pretty much everything again on it. I got the remastered Resident Evil game too so I'm looking forward being terrified of giant spiders. But for now, I'm getting a comparatively early night so I can fully recharge for the week ahead.

Sunday, 30 October 2016

London Comic Con Day 3

The day is finally here for the world premiere of The Darkest Dawn. Day started out with Mark and I filling bags of popcorn while assembling everything we needed for the screening to go smoothly. I was asked to do a bit of 'crowd theater' before the film. Basically, I pretended that I was a zombie amidst the audience and freaked out before a group of army men actors tackeled me to the floor. A great bit of fun, though I hadn't been so out of breath in a long time.

Film went down really well, and after that we got the cast to do some poster signings. I got mine done with everyone who came along, and some even attached a nice message which was lovely to read.

But after that, we begun to pull down our stand. It has been crazy ride at Comic Con, in some ways it felt like it wsd never going to end, but as we tore down our booth I think its fair to say that everyone was feeling a little sentimental. Back to Rubber tomorrow though!

Saturday, 29 October 2016

London Comic Con Day 2

Back at it again in Comic Con, this time I was put on photo taking full time in our booth and we got a staggering amount of people mucking in. We got a Cookie Monster, Zombie Stormtrooper, bunch of Deadpools and a very special Joker Deadmaus. But hands down, the mist surprising find was an old coursemate I bumped into who likes to dress as Dr Who. Lovely to see him again before graduation!

Our world premiere of The Darkest Dawn is tomorrow and we are hoping for a huge turnout, and based on the number of fliers we sent out, I reckon we will see a healthy crowd.

Friday, 28 October 2016

London Comic Con Day 1

First day back at Comic Con and we hit it like a sledgehammer. Went in and did the final touches to the stand and it looks decidedly peng. We got some decent traffic overall too, loads of happy people showing interest in the film and flaunting all their cosplay outfits. The USP for our stand is a photo opportunity for people to be in our film poster. So they look a bit like this:



I'm looking decidedly unbad-ass here, but we have actually had a load of people jump in as Storm Troopers, Captain Jack Sparrow and Godzilla.

Mulled over buying some of the swag on sale too, if I see something small that I like I might just have to treat myself; I'll just have to see how tomorrow goes!

The Darkest Dawn

Mark and I shared abroad trip in his rented van to London. I'm down there at the moment tobhelp out with Wildseed's Comic Con stand, but today I was setting up for the first ever public screening on Hungerford 2, The Darkest Dawn. And I finally gotbqbchabce to check out the film that we all spent nearly 2 collective years making. And it didn't turn out half bad!

Perhaps the best aspect of the evening was seeing all the old cast and crew again without having to put gory makeup on people or during long filming days. Instead we just had a beer and reminisced about the old times and rekindled old friendship. And in my book, you can't really spend an evening doing anything better.

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Work Confirmed!

Got confirmation from my work that I would be staying on with them! Really very pleased with that news as I won't be scrbling around this week looking for more work. Instead I'll be going up to London with Mark tomorrow to set up Wildseed's stand for Comic Con and then go see the premier of The Darkest Dawn, the film I helped make nearly 2 years ago now. I'll make sure to take plenty of good snaps this weekend to post here.

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Kathmandu

Went out for dinner with people from the office tonight. Well, technically not people from Rubber Republic, but with the sister company who we share a floor with in our office block and it was absolutely lovely. We went out to Kathmandu, a Nepalese curry place which was a unanimously good find, everyone had a great meal and conversation was non-stop from everyone. A handful of us later went back to a cocktail bar for a beer/one last drink and the chatting continued there. At first it was a little strange being with the lot I don't normally see at work very much, as a general rule, the are much older than me, in the 35+ territory, but that didn't matter. We all just got on, had a drink and talked about hobbies, films and other things. For most of my post-uni time I had always been worried about the concept of begin old and how the glory days had passed me by, but being around that lot, I realised, the best was yet to come. 

Monday, 24 October 2016

Chatty Day

Atypical Monday morning it that, it wasn't actually very busy. Usually we all come in after the weekend with several emails and a bunch of job to do. This time round though, there was maybe a few odd jobs, but that was it. As a result, the office was a bit more chatty and I would say that w all bonded even more in doing so. In fact, I even put myself down for a office dinner out tomorrow - I'll be letting you all know what I think of Katmandu after I've eaten there!

Mark and I finished up our number 1 thing to accomplish before Halloween: Beat Overwatch's Junkenstein's Revenge on hard difficulty. Over the past week we spent many, many hours honing our skills and the stars finally aligned this evening. So much so that we made it look easy. A great victory!

Sunday, 23 October 2016

Porky Sunday

Lazy Sunday at its finest. Just stayed in, ate a nice breakfast and played games with Mark. Popped out briefly to Tesco to get grub for dinner too - I made my infamous salad alongside Mark and Lucy's pulled pork and that went in strong as a pseudo Sunday Roast. Ready to face Monday now.

Saturday, 22 October 2016

I am Batman

A Saturday morning wouldn't be complete without a bacon sandwich followed by a 3 hour long film about the trial of WW2 war criminals. The Judgement at Nuremberg was an excellent film that really grabbed my attention quickly, packed with some incredible performances and subtly effective camera work that keeps you hooked throughout. Loved it from start to finish.

Following that, I went back to the PlayStation VR booth with Rebecca to try out some more games. This time... I was Batman.


Yes, those are Batman shaped headphones. While not as interactive as my London Heist experience, this Batman thing was pretty cool for one reason: you got to go down a lift in the game. On paper, it sounds ropey, but around halfway, you defend into the Batcave in first person via an elevator and it genuenly feels like you are going down in a lift. Perhaps my feet didn't quite believe what my brain was seeing so it made me feel uneasy (in a good way) and that effect was very, very cool.

After that Mark and I had old-school bro time by playing a very long stint of Don't Starve Together. Somehow, we ended up playing it for a little over 4 hours, and after we both lost our save, we decided to throw in the towel.

All in all, it was the kind if Saturday I used to have when I was much younger, chilling with games for hours on end, but with the company of friends. The weekends with long gaming sessions were always the best.

Friday, 21 October 2016

PlayStation VR

Had just about the greatest lunch break I think I've ever had today. I toddled along to the pop-up PlayStation VR shop in Cabot Circus with a very impromptu Mark. We only had a little bit of time on our lunch so we signed up for a single game, and it was all we could talk about after we finished.

Now, Mark and I had never really used a proper VR headset before in this capacity. We both opted to play the 'London Heist' game / experience which was effectilvly a driving and shooting game. I plugged in first, after they strapped the headset onto me and gave me a pair of headphone I was totally in the world if the game. It was bizarre, I'd seen footage of people in VR before but I never expected it to be just as good as it was.

I'll pop a video of what I saw down below just so its easier to  visualise - its got a bit of naughty language in it.



The game, as mentioned was a shooting game. You are riding shotgun with a Guy Richie inspired London mafia bald bloke, and as crazy as it sounds, you are really there. While strapped into this carseat you can fidget around with the glove box, the radio and cola cans inside the car, all just by reaching out and grabbing them. The effect never got old, and before I knew it I was handed an submachine gun and asked to now down a bunch of Russian motorcyclists by literally point and shooting.

I got this snap of Mark in the booth, he loved it just as much as I did and it was a lot of fun watching him experience the same thing I did.


It was so good that I'm actually excited to go back and play some more just thinking about it. Good thing Rebecca's work is right next door to it...

Thursday, 20 October 2016

Nintendo Switch

Woke up to the most beautiful post on Reddit that I've seen for a long time: 'Nintendo to announce their new console at 3pm today.' Feels like I've been waiting my whole life for this announcement, and no one expected it so suddenly. The wait felt eternal at work today, watching the clock tick down was a mighty task, but I was not disappointed:


Premise is super cool and has got me stoked for more things Nintendo. As if the new Zelda wasn't already enough, now I am reveling in the thought of playing it wherever I go! So far, the news has lived up to the hype and frankly, it's what we've all been waiting for across the past 3 years.

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Oh, Hello VR

Head a mini creative streak at work this morning so I was able to churn out some relatively good ideas for our latest brief. Same good news passed over to my lunch break as I discovered that Cabot Circus are doing a 4 day only shop just for experiencing PlayStation VR. Sign me up! Rebecca and I also tried to set up an extra bank account for our bills we'll be getting once we move into our new flat. We have to go back in tomorrow as they didn't have any other bookings for us today so that's a faff.Back at the flat this evening, we all tucked into the semi-finals of bake-off which were pretty dang tense. Rebecca and I are taking bets on who we reckon will be winning the show, but my estimations may be shifting after tonight's display...

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Booking Holiday

Walked in with Rebecca to work on this decidedly cold morning. The temperature is slowly dropping all around, to the point where my hands almost went numb while reading g in the park today. I booked a few days off for holiday today with work as I have my graduation coming up alongside Wildseed's premiere of Hungerford 2 next weekend. Looking forward to seeing the final film and all my old plastic guns in action.

Monday, 17 October 2016

Too Many Cooks

Finished up yet another presentation this morning for another client, I was a busy bee this morning, responding to emails and catching up with a colleague who just came back from Texas. During my lunch I almost finished up my book but the rain was a big deterrent. I ended up sitting under a brolly in the park just so I could squeeze in a few more chapters of my book. Mark, Rebecca and I also finished Overcooked, it was a long journey, but I'm proud to say that our teamwork saw us through. The last level was perhaps a bit of an anticlimax, as it wasn't anywhere near as challenging as some of the earlier stages, but we all felt like accomplished cooks by the end of our adventure. 

Sunday, 16 October 2016

My Scientology Movie

Spent most of the day in Mark and Lucy's flat, cooking awesome breakfasts and catching up on some TV. My weekend had mostly been building up to watching Louis Theroux's new doc: My Scientology Movie' which was expectedly entertaining, while factually unsurprising.

A lot of the joy comes from Theroux himself, he keeps the tone light even during tense moments by documentary standards. It was genuinely fascinating to see the film crew being stalked at times and understanding the intensity of the regimes practised by higher ups of the Church. But, the film lacked something and its hard to put my finger on what. Perhaps it was the fact that a lot of what was shown now nearly confirms our suspicions surrounding the topic rather than opening up brand new avenues to explore. Which is a shame, because the ride was well paced and highly enjoyable overall and I'd recommend it for those reasons alone.

I'm aware of another, more conventional doc called 'Going Clear' in the same subject. It sounds like the next thing I'll be watching as a companion piece to this film.

Saturday, 15 October 2016

My Time in Zamosc

While I totally had the opportunity to have a lie-in this morn, I really, really wanted to play some Overwatch. So while Rebecca got up for work, I powered up my PC for some early day video gaming, just like my Saturdays of yore. Felt good to revel in zero commitments on a weekend again.

So after a bit of playing, I headed into Cabot Circus to spend my lunch with Rebecca and admire her new shop. Once I was back home, I bashed out a quick write-up for my time in Poland for the Twin Town newsletter. I'll post it below actually in case anyone is interested in having a read:



It turns out, I didn't know very much about Poland before going to visit last Sumner with the Youth for Europe crowd. I had played the immensely popular Witcher 3 and seen a handful of Polish films, but going there I still expected to find a place where the vodka flowed like water, the people dressed in Communist era clothing and where the cold would chill you to the bone. After spending just over a week in Zamosc however, I didn't experience any of that.

Well, maybe the vodka bit was a little true.

My first impressions of the actual town was based on a very lofty looking brochure I was given a few years ago which depicted the market square as Poland's version of Bruges. When I physically arrived in the old town of Zamosc, it was pretty hard to not be impressed by the medieval style buildings and vast town hall. Cafes lined the main square, beckoning with their affordable beer and even cheaper ice-cream. The town itself exists within an old fortress, remnants of its walls and bastions were beautifully overgrown and made exploring an inviting task. Within the old town we got a chance to do a scavenger hunt, organised by the youths, visit an arsenal museum of old weapons and we even got the offer to attend Sunday Mass in their church.

Group shot of the gang after a hearty hike


We collectively stayed in dormitories inside small school a few minutes walk from the town centre. Every meal was catered for inside the school's canteen and its safe to say that most of discovered a new-found appreciation for soup and dumplings. Most nights were spent here too, sometimes there would be quiet evenings were different countries would show off new card games to other, while more merry evening consisted of party music and hilarious group dancing. It was worth staying up late every night just to see what would happen.

Everyday we went out to do an activity and there was an impressive variety to them. Paint balling and a high ropes course were perfect for those who wanted to do something really active. On other days we simply went for a walk in the countryside or went kayaking along a surprisingly chill river. Truly, there was something for everyone to enjoy.

Ropes Course in Zamosc

Perhaps the most memorable part of our visit was the Majdanek Concentration Camp. It was genuinely harrowing to see the gas chambers and the prisoner's bunk beds, and the exhibits themselves were tastefully presented and encourage personal reflection. Amidst all of it however, I was extremely humbled by the thought that even though I went around with people from several other countries and cultures, we were all deeply moved and shared the same experience while walking through the camp.

The day before we left Zamosc, we were brought into a large hotel kitchen and told to cook a dish that represented your country as a farewell celebration meal. Naturally our English team went in strong with a sheppards pie and a healthy smattering of scones with tea. And while our pie looked a bit bland and measly compared to the Spain's spicey tapas, or Italy's carbonara, I couldn't believe how many positive comments our dish got.

Final evenings are always bitter-sweet affairs and we danced the night away to mark the occasion as shots of vodka were passed round. Walking back to the accommodation, several people vowed to not sleep that night so they could spend just a little more time with one-another. 

One of my favourite snaps of all of us
 
It was strange to think that two years prior, none of us knew about Zamosc until a handful of young people came along to Feltre in 2014. Now they are an indispensable part of the Youth for Europe family and a group I very much hope to see more of in the future.

Friday, 14 October 2016

Another Day, Another Brief

Rounded off my last working day by tying up a bunch of loose ends. Finished up another brief and prepped a Keynote on it. Once again, my bosses seem generally quite pleased with the stuff I'm churning out for them and I have a good feeling about this one I've nearly finished on. Now that the week is done I'm really looking forward to my zero commitment day tomorrow, I intend on doing very little in general and I might even watch a film if I get the chance.

Thursday, 13 October 2016

Like... Whaaaaaat?

Has a peculiar experience at work today. Typically, if I'm researching a new brief I ingest a whole lot of YouTube videos on the brand. And if you watch a lot of YouTube videos, you going to see a handful of those annoying ads that you can only skip after watching five seconds of them. What a surprise it was then, to see my face on one of those un-skippable ads:

Poor quality cuz I had to whip my phone out
It was just really bizarre, for something that usually causes minor grief became a huge moment for my day. I just couldn't believe I was featured so prominently but its a super cool thing. 

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

London Pitch

Talk about cutting it fine. I arrived at the train station at 8 for an 8:30 train, eager beaver I know, my boss rocks up at 8:25 and we hadn't even bought the tickets yet. Genuinely ran all the way through the station just so we could catch this train, and we only just made it. In London though, our pitch went down very positively, the client really liked our ideas and I was under the impression that they would get back to us to offer us a working deal - fingers crossed on that one! It was just cool to see my PowerPoint being shown off to fancy London folk, good effort all round!

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Office Treats

A small gift turned up for everyone at the office today. The folks we made the popcorn advert for sent over a batch of cupcakes and they looked gorgeous! We all took a look at them and a bunch of the girls in the office continuously hovered around the cakes until someone broke the seal and ate one; glad I got first pick in other words.

Decorated cake decorating my desk
Found out I'm London bound tomorrow to help my boss deliver a pitch to a big company. I finished constructing the Keynote this afternoon and I pretty chuffed that it's going to be shown to some pretty high-up people. As long as I'm back before Bake-Off then I'll be pleased.

Monday, 10 October 2016

I'm a Sell Out

Got a message from an old course-mate asking me if I had starred in a popcorn advert. Waited my whole life to answer that question with a beaming yes.


Astute viewers may notice that I make a cameo appearance in this advert, I was working on it a little while back as a runner and I think the end result came out rather well. I know there is a second ad on its way that I have an even bigger role in, hopefully it doesn't make me a sell out.

Saturday, 8 October 2016

The Great House Hunt Has...

If my life was as good as this everyday, then I just wouldn't know what to do with myself.

Rebecca and I had two house viewings this morning, the first was for our designated 'dream flat' and the second was just something we were interested in. When we got to 'dream flat' we were really surprised with how it exceeded our expectations, instantly we could see ourselves living there, cooking meals and having social evenings. We put an offer in as quickly as we could and crossed our fingers - we would hear from them at 4pm. Second house was decidedly naff and just not for us on any level, and for the same price as the other one, it was a big no-go.

After the viewing, we went out for lunch with Rebecca's parents who were visiting. Midway through our food, Rebecca's phone rang with the good news: the landlord for 'dream flat' had accepted us! Rebecca and I are officially moving into a cosy spot in Bristol!

The news came as I was dashing over to a runner's job for the BBC which I did for the rest of the afternoon/evening. I did a bit of production assitant-ing and was put on sound too. Was great to get back in the saddle and do something like that again, especially after such good news.

I'll be going to bed tonight planning about furniture arrangements and all the other wonderful things come with owning your own place.

Friday, 7 October 2016

Another House Viewing

Took a whirl slightly outside of Bristol to a yard full of props leftover from the popcorn shoot a few weeks ago. So I did some liftin' and shiftin' for a bit and then headed to another house viewing, this time in the definition of prime location: the centre of town. Unfortunately, that's where the positives ended. Cons included: a bathroom bigger than the bedroom, a home labelled as 'partially furnished' and there being just a small bedside table, and then, the biggest red flag, there was no oven, rather a microwave embedded into the counter to look like an oven. It's a no from me.

Took Philpott out to dinner with Rebecca after a long days work, we took a spin to an Italian place down the road and had a very, very good pizza. The service was very good too as we were greeted and waited by a very friendly chap who you could have a little chin wag with in between courses, we all left with full bellies and smiles on our faces. 

Thursday, 6 October 2016

Bristol Bike-man

Sat up in my office in relative solitude. Very few people were in today so I properly managed to get a fair bit of work done. I bumped into Miles on the way to work though which was really plesent. At first I heard someone calling my name, and I thought 'I don't know anyone in Bristol, who could be calling me?' And in the distance, Miles came trundling along on his bike with a big grin on his face - the chance encounter really brightened up my morn.

Back at Mark's pad we all shared a Bagel Boy over a game of Cosmic Encounter which I lost again. The bitter lose was dampened by the new series of The Apprentice, which is off to a flying start, already can't wait for the next episode.

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Happy 6th Birthday Blog!

Once again, I write down those immortal words: 'Good Lord, has it really been ___ years?' In this case, it's six. Half a dozen years I've been doing this now and again I must thank anyone and eveeryone who has stuck with me along the way, effectively living my life alongside me. And now that I think about it, It's been over 1/4 of my life that I have been writing this blog. Damn, that puts it in perspective.

But enough about numbers and facts, I'd just like to say that it's still been great writing this on a (near) daily basis. And I know that my dedicated viewer base is pretty tiny, but I find some comfort in the knowledge that my ramblings are not going totally unread. It's because of you lovely, lovely readers that I keep going and I am so very grateful to you all and to anyone who has even read a single post.

Thank you for reading! 

As a quick life update: I had my first ever house viewing today! But sadly, the place I saw was a total no-go on account of the fact that the living room, kitchen, study and bedroom were all technically the same room. Rebecca has found a few other really nice looking pads though so we are hoping to hop on those sometime soon.

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

The Great House Hunt

Rebecca and I thought we had found the perfect place to rent out this morning. Mark very kindly shot over a home on Zoopla that looked perfect, it had it all, a second bedroom, a nice living room and an oddly low rent price. 'Something had to be wrong with it' we thought, as it seemed far too good to be true. Sadly, our expectations were true, that flat had been mislabeled online and was double the monthly rent price than what was listed online. So the great house hunt continues after that major, disheartening episode. I've still got my chin up though, I know we will find something soon enough.

Monday, 3 October 2016

How to be Creative

Took an unexpected spin out to a Vietnamese sandwich place with my boss today for lunch. We chatted loosely about my time at Rubber and then about how I could work on being more creative in general - not to say I'm not creative but rather how to harness the literal creative juices. It was a good lunch, and I headed back into the office with a big boost in confidence.

Sunday, 2 October 2016

Gig in London

The recent lack of blogging was brought to you by a rather busy weekend for me. Firstly, I tripped up to London for a very brief excursion to a pub where Jamie's new band was playing. We coached down at 5:30pm to get to London at 8:20, we left only a few hours later and I was tucked in bed at 3am this morning. Knackering, but it was good to see Jamie again, and it was cool to support his new band.

Sunday was mostly spent recovering and sleeping in. Rebecca and I did take an experimental route to Bristol's 'Mirror Maze' - a tiny piece of art in the university campus. While we made a day out of it, we probably hovered around it for three minutes before we got a little bored. But, we walked past a street food market, and our nostrils were tantalized by the small of home-made tacos.

Lastly, we caught up with Louis Theroux's Jimmy Savile documentaries. We saw his initial one form 2000 and then moved up to tonight's modern take on the events. While I had never really involved myself in conversations around the allegations previously, it's clear now having seen both docs, how devastating Jimmy's life had been on so many people. Both docs were really good viewings.

Friday, 30 September 2016

A Night of Board Games

Hooked up with Louis and Rachel this evening for a board game night - a little bit retro, but board games are really coming back in fashion recently. Started out with a classic game of Cosmic Encounter which I lost once again, perhaps I need to re-evaluate my strategy and play-style, but its a game I just enjoy to play, even when I'm losing. Secret Hitler was our next game, an experimental one Mark picked up online a few months ago. The premise is similar to Mafia or Werewolves, in that roles are passed around and you secretly have to forward your own team's agenda without giving away your identity. It started off a bit rocky, none of us had played it before and we didn't understand the nuance to the game. But by the firth round, we were doubting and pointing fingers as if we were in a kangaroo court. Defo excited to play that one again. 

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Pokemon GO While you Work

Walking to work has been reinvigorated by the addition of Pokemon GO. Rebecca and I strolled into work together, catching Pokemon and hatching eggs as a cute, social activity. Also, since she is doing a lot better than I am, I'm trying to catch up with her in the long run, turtle and the hare style! Once again, office was quiet but we got a lot done. I got to proof read our submission request for an advertising convention which was pretty cool since the grammar checks needed doing super fast, I got it done in no time at all. Came back home to Bake-Off and chill, right now though I am already looking forward to tomorrow as Louis is apparently going to be gracing us with his presence for a board game night.

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Market for Houses

Coffee was very much my friend today. After yesterday's late night session I was admittedly a bit groggy once I got into the office. I think I hid that fact quite well and just kept my head down and cracked on. I was in a small conference call with another future client today too, begun brainstorming potential avenues for filming on that one, everyday is something new at Rubber and they really are keeping me busy.

Rebecca went to look at some potential houses to rent this morn, its still early days for us on that front, but its good to get a yardstick on what will suit us best. She though they were both a solid 3 stars, but we could do better!

Tapas and Beer

Attended a few meetings and just knuckled down with work on this very dreary Monday. Got invited out to a leavers drinks session after work at a really cool pub just outside the office. Leavers drinks quickly turned into leavers tapas and it was bloody gorgeous. Slightly drunk, and homeward bound, I decided to call Mark to see if he was home. Instead he was still at the office moving furniture so I opted to help him out. Back home now and knackered from the festivities, but really glad I headed out with the Rubber crew.

Sunday, 25 September 2016

Final Studenty Thing

Rebecca and I had a fun old jaunt to Bournemouth and back, and to Federica no less. It was weird being back in the old gaff again, it was weirder to think that it didn't smell of men either. We went back for a party there last night with the new tennants and did studenty  things for one last time. This morning we ate a Weather spoons breakfast, had a light lunch in Newbury and then got Atomic Burger in Bristol. Basically a mini food tour of the South.

Both camped out again in Brizzle and ready to face the Monday.

Friday, 23 September 2016

Chill Office

Really chilled out Friday office vibe today. We rounded up a few of the jobs for this week and just relegated them to jobs for Monday now. Took myself out to lunch at St. Nicks with another co-worker as we collectively had a hankering for pulled pork and Grillstock was happy to fill that hole. Following that, I had a really nice creative session with another worker I hadn't really spent much time with and we got on really well. The vibe was so chill, that communal beers were even cracked out the fridge! Cheers to the weekend!

Thursday, 22 September 2016

Netflix's The Little Prince

Tucked into The Little Prince with Rebecca, Mark and Lucy. I set aside any reservations I had with it not living up to the book long before I sat myself down in front of the screen, but I was still surprised with its overall quality. The sentiment and tone is almost spot on, and the 'real life' narrative that wraps around the original story was genuinely well constructed. The animation style that accompanies the 'Little Prince' parts was a clear highlight, and it's a shame we didn't see a bit more of it.There is also one extended sequence towards the end, which I won't spoil, that borderline derails the pace of the film and plays out like a dream sequence at best, and fan fiction at its worst. It felt really out of place and really against the rest of the vibe of the film, and again, while the message of the sequence was ultimately ok, they could have done it in a far more concise way.

Overall though, I liked this one more than I expected to. Still won't be trumping the book, but it's a valiant effort to bring the story to a new generation. Hell, it might even prompt more people to read the book, and that can only be a good thing.

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Phone-Less

I surrendered my phone to the office as a prop for tomorrow's shoot - thing is, I'm not going on that shoot so I will effectively be phone less for a little while. Funnily enough, I didn't expect this to be a bother at all, but it was a little bit of a hindrance when I tried to meet up with Rebecca after work. We normally meet outside a Tesco on Broadmead before walking home at around 6:30, but she wasn't there at that time. Being the romantic type, I went to go meet her at work but she wasn't there either. After 45 minutes of double-checking/waiting in various spots, I walked home to find her there, chilling on the sofa. Without stating the obvious, phones really do help in the communication department, especially when there has been no pre-disscussed plan B offered for meeting up. 

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

One Thing Or?

Day of tough love at work. Was put on a few scripting job where I was under the impression that I was only meant to be tweaking what had already been written. So I spent most of the day writing up re-drafts only to be later told that they effectively wanted whole new scripts from the ground up created. Ultimately, that will obviously be the best thing to do, but there was perhaps a slight miscommunication at some point. Ah well, gonna go in and try to smash it tomorrow.

Monday, 19 September 2016

Monday Beer

Felt a little strange being back in the office today.Hadn't actually been in there since last Wednesday but it felt very natural once I got back into my big red chair and bashed out a few more ideas. I was taken out to lunch by the rest of the crew for someones Birthday meal, went for some pretty dang tasty pizza nearby and I even got a half-pint of beer with my meal - just what you need on a Monday afternoon.

I had a mini 'ah-ha' moment while writing up a draft script for one of our pitches so I sent it over to my boss and I'm waiting for his approval. It's probably the best bit of actual creative work I've done at work so far so we'll see what happens.

Celebrated Rebecca's first day too - she came out of work with a big smile on her face and an employee handbook. So far she seems to be digging it, despite the fact that her legs ache. It only gets easier for her from now on.

Sunday, 18 September 2016

Overcooked

Rebecca has officially joined me in Bristol as her first day working in Foyles is tomorrow. Her folks drove her down and we went out for lunch together before saying a heartfelt farewell. I think she's very eager to make a good first impression and I think she's planned out her morning routine for tomorrow so she gets there with a bit of time to spare. Along with Mark and Lucy, we sampled Overcooked one of the co-op game I got for my Birthday. It simulates the hectic nature of the food industry and demands teamwork for success. The banter got a bit heated towards the end of our session though as the levels quickly ramped up in difficulty, one level set on a pirate ship in particular should be used for CIA torture rather than a friendly bonding exercise. But we have accepted each-others skills now, and Mark asks that we play a 'zen' version of the game which exists without the shouting. I was just tring to channel my inner-Ramsay, but I can see why it could have been a bit manic in our virtual kitchen.