Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Musings from Bath

So. I'm here. I've moved in, and although starting in a new place has its ups and downs I am actually quite enjoying it.

In some ways it is only now that it has hit me how much I miss Oxford and how much I took for granted, but life would be dull if it remained static. Life without formal hall and poncing around in a gown will take some getting used to, as will the fact that 10 minutes walk is no longer a long way. Some things on the other hand I will get used to too easily. Like the dishwasher, the proper kitchen and the TV. Nice.

Bath, like another great city I could name, is not short on hills. I might attempt to join the few who cycle on occasion but in the last couple of days I've had the joy of sussing out the buses. I hate buses, but some things I might just have to get used to. It could be easier said than done though - I found out to my cost yesterday that the X39 express bus stops at the number 14 stop I walked passed and then sailed past the number 14 stop I waited at.

Oh dear, I've started writing bus stories to complement my railway anecdotes. What's more, the above isn't interesting in the slightest (except perhaps to Mugford, for whom I shall resist the urge to delete it).

Fortunately I have decided not to ramble about my visit to the computing services earlier. It was probably only funny because I'd been queuing for so long that my brain had melted. Besides, it's late, and I need to get some sleep.

Tomorrow is course induction day. Time to get to grips with the main reason for being here. It is also time to find out if my eyesight will hold when it comes to reading and lectures, but at least if I get a timetable tomorrow I can set about making appointments with the specialist.

Incidentally I was amazed by the number of comments on my previous post. I wouldn't have had a clue about HMC Schools; I was going to suggest the H (that's "aitch" not "haitch") stood for Haberdashers but just as well I didn't. Sam would have disowned me and that would be that as far as further invites to the East India Club go.

Thank you very much for reading, bye for now.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

wishing that a week had 8 days

I've had a lot to say recently. I have opinions on a lot of things.

I was going to write about the Pope and his comments, about Richard Hammond and why I think that any suggestion of removing Top Gear is proposterous, and how actually I did not go to an HMC school.

However aside from using my time instead to see good friends and prepare for my move tomorrow I have been crippled by my eyesight. Those of you who know me (or who have read my profile) know that I suffer from nystagmus, and for various reasons it is currently causing me problems. I have however been referred to a specialist, which is good news.

Excuses, schmooses, but I'll be back. Maybe not for breakfast but smoke me another kipper if you feel like it anyway.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

In Search of the Stig


TopGearTrack
Originally uploaded by JP1984.

Ladies and Gentlemen, what you see here is part of the famous BBC Top Gear Track.

Being in the vicinity of the airfield on which Top Gear is filmed, Sam and I decided to spend our Sunday afternoon having a bit of a butchers.

There was - unsurprisingly - not a lot to be seen and there was a high level of security in place around the perimeter. At one point we were following a footpath, which was suddenly blocked by an impassable and unmarked gate. Remaining convinced that the path should have continued straight on we resorted to the only available option of turning right . However 100yds on we were bought to an abrupt halt by the resident of a massive house whose land were were evidently on. After concluding that we were ramblers (obviously she didn't see Sam's flip-flops) she escorted us back to the gate and let us through, pointing us in the direction of the path.

The gate is apparently across the path to alleviate a problem she has with deer, but given the views of the Top Gear track afforded from the next section of the footpath I beg to differ.

The next challenge is now to find a way in to the compound itself (legitimately, of course). Given that when I met the producer earlier in the year he gave me his mobile number I might, some might say, have a possible way forward. But should I ring him up I have no idea what I would say, or how I would go about wangling anything. Any ideas?

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Long Lunch

I had a quality day today - I cycled to meet a good friend about half way
between mine and his. I feel quite good after the 17 mile round trip,
though the pie, chips and beer for lunch probably negated some of the
effects.

The pub in which we ate and drank was quite funny. At first glance it
appeared closed, but I did find an open door. The landlady and someone's
granny seemed initially to be the only people inside but once my friend arrived
a couple of cars had appeared in the car park and it developed an element of
life.

The food was delicious (mmmm homemade steak and kidney pie) but I was rather
perturbed to find that they closed the hatch to the kitchen the moment we
placed our order. I'm not dead or ill though, so it could just have been
coincidence.

About half-way through an older guy took over running the place.
Sporadically he would come and clear something from the table, saying "I'm
not trying to rush you" before eventually telling us that the pub was now
shut and that we would have to leave. Helpfully, upon asking where the
toilet was, he also taught me that "when you go through the door over there
you mustn't forget to open it, of course".

Bizarrely, after a walk and an ice-cream, we returned an hour later to
collect our bikes and found that the pub was more populated than before. As
a bloke came out of the door (having opened it first) carrying a pint, the
sounds of the social scene emanating from within made the pub appear the
least closed it had done all day.

Friday, September 15, 2006

I'm looking nice, my shadow's looking nice...

Mmmm new look. I think I'll play around with the new features of Blogger as time progresses...

Thursday, September 14, 2006

The way life should be

Last night Sam very kindly took me out for dinner at the East India Club in London. It was the sort of place where someone even puts your napkin on for you. The food was delicious (I would say 'lush' but I am informed that it is not a classy enough superlative for this occasion), and I enjoyed every minute of it. Little brothers do grow up to have their uses after all.

I'm thinking of upgrading to the new version of Blogspot with its new features.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Time for some controversial debate

Some of you may remember that a while back, in one of my posts, I was somewhat cynical about the new Civil Partnership act.

Far from being 'gay marriage' in everything but name, this act was supposed to bring equality for all. I argued that if this truly was the case then steps should also be taken to improve the situation for other people for whom 'marriage' would be inappropriate; siblings who live together, for example.

I was shot down, but upon viewing this video on the BBC News Page, I developed the smug feeling that I might have been right after all. (If you are unable to view the video, it concerns two sisters who share a house. Even under the Civil Partnerships act if one of them dies the other will be forced to sell up and move to pay the inheritance tax).

It seems that the campaigners for the Act were wrong. It didn't bring 'equality for all', did it?

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Social Stigma

Sam tells me that listening to Virgin Radio makes me "lower middle class".

Note how I didn't even credit him with a link to his blog.

Monday, September 04, 2006

The Coral (Track 4)

Just so that there is no confusion, I should like to state two things,

1) I am not a fan of The Mirror
2) Eddie Izzard would not be my first choice of person to give me relationship advice, should I want it.

However, when I was on a train recently (all the best stories start that way) I picked up a Mirror supplement and read this article. I thought that it was rather interesting; perhaps because I found to my surprise that I identified well with a lot of what he said.

His point about finding it easier to get over someone if one decides to hate them is an interesting one. I guess most people (myself included) can empathise well with that, but at the same time it doesn't seem right. It certainly doesn't sit well with the Christian ethos of forgiveness, which thinking about it logically is a far better option, however hard it can seem.

The second point of his which I liked doesn't really need any expansion.

"All the girls at school liked the boys who didn't pay them any attention. They'd be like, 'Wow, he's nice', and I'd think, 'What the f*** is that?'"

I was chatting to someone about this the other day, and it seems that it's a fact of life that attempting to be a nice guy isn't necessarily a good thing. And some people think that women make sense.

Not that I am bitter or anything...

Moving on, I would like to say hello to John and the others who've left comments via the means of Facebook. I'll respond in due course, but I'll probably do so in the standard blogger way to make it accessible for all.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Wasn't Enzo a character in Sesame Street?

I saw a Ferrari Enzo on the road on Wednesday. Yes, actually being driven on the public road (the A272 to be precise).

Unfortunately, it was yellow.

I think it was Jeremy Clarkson who once said "never go to bed with someone who has a yellow car. Anyone who went in to a showroom and from the vast array of colours available chose yellow is clearly not normal and should be given a wide berth".

I'm not sure how wide a berth I should have given someone who could probably have afforded an entire street of houses with the money they blew on this particular yellow car but as they were going the other way I didn't have much time to ponder it.

Now I am back in civilisation I can now get around to responding to the comments on the last post. Or at least I will eventually once I have done the other things I need to do now. Watch this space.