Showing posts from March, 2007

...and breathe

I handed in this term's major project today, which I am quite pleased with. You would have thought that it would be a cause for celebration, especially having worked on it solidly for 14 hours yestarday, but it's more a case of 'two down, four to go', and the mountain I still have to climb is quite high.

I know that I've been really bad recently at answering my phone/responding to texts and all the rest of it, for which I apologise. Please don't take it personally.

On the positive side, I did really enjoy the Case-Study I have just handed in (once I got in to it), and I am off tomorrow for a week of living the simple life on Iona with a group from the Chaplaincy. I need the break and I am really looking forward to it.

See you when I return.

Part Two from the Columnsphere

You’ll be pleased to know that – for the purposes of this column at least – I have disembarked from the train. Instead, I have headed for our aesthetically challenged campus, and I have made a few observations. For example, there is definitely a correlation between going in to the Computer Science department and the number of people with long hair and beards that one is likely to see.
I had been wondering why the powers that be in the library have deemed it necessary to cover up the 'Issues' and 'Returns' sign with a banner displaying 'Books In' and 'Books Out'. This is a University, after all; why should we need things to be dumbed down? But then I realised that I was clearly being optimistic as I ascended the stairs and opened a door marked 'No Mobile Phones' only to find someone talking in to one.
Before you get bogged down in the talk of the library and Computer Science and brand me a geek let’s head across to the Parade Bar (of which I am…

power to the people

Originally uploaded by JP1984.
I was walking through Bath the other day and up ahead of me I saw a crowd of hippies waving placards and heard the sound of cheering and car horns. Before I started to wonder why these people had nothing better to do with their Saturday morning my mind was occupied with wondering what they were demonstrating about. If this was Newbury, the theme would have been the bypass (and rare snails) and the protestors would have been up trees. If this was Oxford, it would be about animal rights and I’d be in danger of being branded a murderer. In London, on the other hand the crowd would be formed of people who cannot understand why the rest of us mere mortals haven’t understood the simplicity behind world peace, and think that the rest of the world would be kind enough to disarm themselves should we ask nicely.

But this is the Westcountry, and as I drew closer I learned that their goal was in fact to ‘save Churchill House’. Compared to the other buildi…

on being Dave Gorman

Following my usual tradition of posting like buses ("you wait ages and then they all come at once") I was surprised to log on the other day and find that I had apparently sent myself a 'Friend Request' on Facebook.

Except of course that I hadn't. It was instead someone who is fortunate enough to share my name.

So, now I have one 'friend' with the same name as me. Perhaps I should take a leaf out of Dave Gorman's book and find a few more, before writing a book about my escapdes. The thing is however, Dave's book (Are You Dave Gorman?) was written in the pre-Facebook era when finding someone of the same name involved calls to strangers in the phone book, sandwich boards, specially printed T-Shirts and trips to Israel. I may be wrong, but I'm not sure that sitting in front of the computer searching Facebook would make for quite as interesting reading.

Catch-Up Splurge

Time, it seems, is at a premium at the moment, with deadlines fast approaching. However, I have had to go to Cheltenham today (for an eye appointment; I was not on a cheeky trip to the races) and I am enjoying the breathing space offered by my return journey. It's the first opportunity I've had in a while to make some sounds in the blogosphere, and so here are some random musings about life in recent days.

I think I shall begin by commenting on the "efficiency" of the local council. As a student, I am exempt from the pleasure of paying council tax, but the council have had issues keeping their records up to date for my previous house. I hope it's all sorted now, but I've been through a spate of being contacted by my last landlady as she tries to chase up information the council already have. The pattern has been as follows. The council write to her, asking for information about her tenant (me) in the period concerned. She lets me know that the council n…

JP's Corner of the Columnsphere

I LIKE travelling by train, on the whole.
Should I get bored with watching the
world go by I am usually able to use the
time productively; writing a newspaper
column, for example.
There’s no shortage of material here,
either. Currently, I feel that the woman
across the aisle who has been sporadically
bursting in to ‘song’ deserves a mention,
and I find it a bit odd that the bloke
opposite me has just donned a cycle
helmet. I don’t know about you, but
I’m quite a fan of people watching (not
in a stalker-type way, fear not) and the
train is a good place to indulge in this
particular past-time.
When I think about it, the notion that
I can sit in close proximity to so many
people, possibly even for a few hours
of my life, and not interact with them
really is quite strange. It’s as though
there is some an unwritten rule that
no matter how extroverted, you must
become entirely absorbed in your own
personal space upon boarding a train.
Every good rule has its exceptions of
course, especially if the train grinds to a

mafia murders in the Abbey (and other things)

Waking up at 4.30am and slowly realising that I was in Bath Abbey was for me on a par with the time I woke up at 4.30am and slowly realised that I was at Stansted Airport, on the way to Sweden.For the day.Fear not, however, I was not drunk, and I did know why I was there (in both cases).
Friday night was the termly student prayer vigil in the Abbey, and it was a quality time.After a couple of rounds of Mafia - in which the answer to the question "is he double bluffing or just very stupid?' was the latter - we watched a short video and broke off to spend time praying.Prayer 'pods' (complete with fairy lights!) had been set up at different points around the Abbey and it was great to have the opportunity just to reflect and focus on God, before reconvening as a group.
Eventually it was time to set up camp (I found that kneelers made a good matress) and have some kip.Despite waking briefly at 4.30 I slept well, to be woken at about 7 by some dulcet operatic tones.I enjoyed …