I'm not really 42
5 Weeks Ago
My PS now says I'm 42. I'm really not: I blame Pastey though I'm pretty sure he blames me.
During the Manchester mini-meet (which was a hoot and a half) I mentioned to Pastey I couldn't edit my PS and I cried when it said I was 26. Pastey did his bit right there in the pub and mentioned what was going on was essentially impossible, which makes me feel pretty proud.
So I'm not 42 - not for another few years at least.
6 Weeks Ago
Facebook is still going fairly mental over Thatcher's death and it's quite interesting to watch it ebb and flow between the left and the right. One point that is being made over and over is that it's not okay to welcome someone's death and it's raised some interesting things for me.
I think it is okay to welcome someone's death, I think there are people out there whose behaviour was so harmful that their deaths can only come as a relief for those who suffered because of them. I'm really stuck on the borderline with Thatcher as to whether I feel that over her - I think I'm mostly coming down on the side of 'no' but it's a close-run thing - but I know with absolute certainty there are people who I will unambiguously be happy to see dead.
Today has been quite interesting as it's almost been a test run for when my dad dies: I now have experience of someone I absolutely hate dying. When my dad goes (assuming he hasn't already - could have for all I know) I'll feel good, I'll feel relieved. I won't be popping champagne or anything, nor dancing on his grave, but I think I'll have a nice drink satisfied the world is a better place because he's no longer in it. I don't think that makes me a bad person and I don't think it's wrong.
Seeing all these people say you shouldn't celebrate death has really had me thinking. I'm not being arrogant or anything, but I can't help but feel they're just wrong and naive. I've wanted to say something but facebook is too public and I'd have made a show of myself. So I'm writing it up here, because I did need to write about it and properly think about what I'm thinking, feeling and writing. Plus you lot are already used to me making a show of myself
The scream of time that lies behind me
Jan 26, 2013
Apologies, this is probably going to strike a lot of people as rather self-indulgent but I've just been hit by one of those 'woah' moments.
Whilst looking for a CD-ROM with some pictures on, I found a CD I forgot I had, a CD a friend made for me on my first trip to his new place. Listening to the CD is bringing back a lot of crystal-clear memories of the trip (all of them good incidentally): I can remember what we did, what I ate (mostly cereal and pizza), I can remember meeting a guy I ended up in a fairly substantial relationship for the first time, I can remember my friend meeting the woman he's still with and I can remember it all as if it was pretty recently.
The thing is, the trip was nearly exactly 9 years ago (9 years on Tuesday to be precise), I was in my first year of Uni and recovering from my first set of Uni exams. It seems bizarre that I can have such clear recollections of an event such a long time ago (even weirder, I've just checked and there's a record of it on here). I still haven't got my head around the idea that I'm nearly 30 and some of my best memories come from a decade ago.
It's also made me realise I've just missed my ten-year dnanniversary: I joined Talk Buffy on 23rd January 2003. Can't remember exactly when my first hootoo post was but it was roughly May/June time that year so I'm coming up on a decade here.
Man I'm getting *old*.
Dec 8, 2012
I've just seen Z's thread asking for Christmas memories, so here's my best/worst/first/last Christmases.
First one I can properly remember is when I was 5 or 6 and being unable to sleep, getting panicked Father Christmas wouldn't visit because I wasn't asleep. My mum ended up running out of patience and being honest with me, making me the first one of my siblings to find out. Found out about the tooth fairy at the same time.
Worst was Christmas 2006 - the last one I spent with my aunt: after graduating from Uni I'd decided to try reconciliation with my mum and older brother and that included spending Christmas together as a family. Bad enough on its own, since the reconciliation was pretty much doomed to fail, but we had the extra problems of my teenage sister being pregnant, me failing the PGCE down in Exeter/Cornwall and being in the middle of breaking up with my boyfriend. Fairly inevitably, on Christmas Eve a row kicked off between myself, my mum and my elder brother. Despite promising not to, my mum had got roaringly drunk (it turns out you can't trust an alcoholic not to drink - who knew?) and starting making nasty comments about my boyfriend and gay folk in general and my elder brother decided to take a swing at me which resulted in him being thrown across the room and into the kitchen (things had changed since the last time he'd tried to knock me about).
End result was I grabbed my stuff, chucked it into my rucksack, swing my leg over my bike and rode from Liverpool to Manchester. Got to the boyfriends (empty - he was with his folks) house just after 1am on Christmas Day, went to bed and didn't resurface until late that evening. That Christmas Eve was the last time I had any contact with my mum or elder brother and the last time I spent Christmas with my family.
Last Christmas was pretty fun: since 2006 I've spent most Christmases on my own, with only a couple of exceptions, but last year was the first time I enjoyed it. Previously I'd gone all out to avoid Christmas because of the bad memories (December in general is/was a bad time for me: I was put into care in December when I was a teenager, a result of my elder brother trying to kill me) and I was always deeply miserable and lonely. Last year I did it differently: I planned ahead and made sure I had some stuff to do. Made my favourite food for Christmas dinner and tried to make it something I enjoyed rather than something I thought I should be doing and it worked.
Best Christmas, without a doubt, was 3 years ago with my two best friends. I'd broken my wrist slipping on ice a few days earlier and they decided I couldn't possibly be alone and had me over. For the first time in my life I had a properly white Christmas, with deep snow all over. We took the dog out for a long walk in the snow, which was wonderful, and then spent the afternoon in the pub playing board games whilst Christmas dinner was being cooked. Then it was dinner, Doctor Who (which sucked that year but you can't have everything) and general merriment. My mate invented a festive cocktail so my memory after dinner is somewhat hazy.
This year I'm off to the foster folks, which will be interesting. Really quite looking forward to it, which isn't something I say about Christmas very often.
Nov 8, 2012
I went to a humanist funeral this afternoon: I generally avoid funerals because I find them quite harrowing and unpleasant but I was asked to support a mate, as it was his best mate being buried and he didn't want to face it alone.
It was a humanist ceremony and for the first time ever, I found myself thinking "This is what I want when I go". There was some lovely soothing stuff about how hurts will heal and how grief is both the proof and the price you pay for real love. The volunteer from the British Humanist Association who was delivering the ceremony then read out a poem which has really stuck with me: it was about reading a headstone on the grave, seeing the date of birth and the date of death and the dash separating them, and looking at what that dash meant, the life it abbreviated. She then talked about the story of this persons dash: she'd chatted the friends and family of the deceased and delivered it as a narrative with some people standing up and giving their own anecdotes.
It sounds quite cheesy, but it was actually really affecting and warm, the volunteer had clearly spent a substantial amount of time talking with the bereaved and knew the story very well: it didn't seem like she was doing something by rote, with just the names changed, as it has felt like at other funerals I've been to. It was really personal and comforting, encouraging people to think good memories of the guy who died.
The atmosphere as it ended was quite telling: it was sombre and there were people crying (naturally) but there was an undertone of laughter and happiness. It helped that it took place in a bright, spacious room and the windows looked out across the river to the hills beyond (I do love living in Yorkshire).
I'm not quite as angrily anti-religion as I used to be, but the humanist nature of the ceremony meant I could relate to it a lot better. It was much more honest: there were no false promises that the dead person 'was in a better place' or mendacious allusions to a merciful god, instead there was honest talk about how the grief would hurt but it would pass and that by holding fast to others, you can keep the darkness at bay.
I barely knew the guy who died - he was an occasional drinking buddy - so maybe it'd be different for a proper mourner but I found it really comforting. For the first time ever, I found a funeral to be helpful.
Nov 6, 2012
So I've already failed NaJoPoMo, which is a touch dispiriting given that we're still in the first week of November. I meant to write something when I got home from the fireworks last night but I got in and fell straight asleep - didn't even make it to bed.
I'm hoping to be up all night, watching the election and reading commentary. It's utterly depressing that this race is even close, Mittens is a dangerous joke and should be a footnote in electoral history: it's a mark of how wretched the Republican field was this time around that he was the best and a mark of how disappointing Obama has been that he's in this fight.
The encouraging news is that it looks like all 4 states with gay marriage on the ballot paper (3 to legalise, one to prevent it being banned) will come out in favour of it. If this happens, it'll be a huge step forwards for gay marriage in the States. I've got my fingers crossed.
Iago NaJoPoMo 4 - doing it wrong
Nov 4, 2012
It's occurred to me that I'm doing pretty much everything wrong this week: I'm supposed to be resting and yet I've taken the bike out every day, I'm supposed to be catching up on my sleep and I'm staying up late and I've bought a computer at the end of the hols rather than the start as would make sense.
Today's bike ride was a beaut, managed to injure myself the day before I return to work. Not badly, just came off and rolled. Ah well, explosion day tomorrow and hopefully it'll pass without the domestic that I had to watch last year.
Iago NaJoPoMo 3 - shiny!
Nov 3, 2012
The Comet administration plus a surprisingly high bank statement caused me to go on a bit of a spending spree today: picked up a new TV and an XBox, both pretty cheaply. Didn't really need the new TV, since the one I currently own (and is older than me) works fine, but the new console works better with it so I thought why not.
I have a vague plan for bribing myself into skipping junk food, using new Xbox games as the lure. It's worked in the past (when I bought DVD boxsets) and usually ends up saving me money so I can justify it pretty easily. Remains to be seen whether I actually have the willpower for it though: if it works, the lack of junk food plus all the cycling should start having a very noticeable effect.
Iago NaJoPoMo 2
Nov 2, 2012
One of the nice things about this week is I'm getting a lot of reading done and some of it is really thought-provoking. Today I came across this:
Ignoring the click-bait title, it's about a guy who no longer feels being gay is an essential part of his identity: he's in a long-term, happy relationship with another bloke and he doesn't feel the need to be public in his sexuality. I don't agree with his sentiments but it's an interesting look at sexuality versus identity.
The history of gay activism is a fascinating one and particularly the schism between the assimilationists, who believed the route to equality was acting like straights, and the liberationists, who rejected the structures of straight society and believed equality would come via activism. One particularly interesting point is that assimilationists postulated an 'end of gay history' when equality and acceptance was achieved and people would become 'post-gay' - no longer needing to define themselves as gay, because being gay becomes an uncontroversial issue. People like the author of the article, and some of my RL friends, make me think we are rapidly approaching that point.
We're not there yet though, and this is where the authors point falls down. Gay people may want to describe themselves as post-gay, but the laws aren't there yet and opponents of gay equality still hold the power to define gay people legally. A post-gay can't fight this: only way to fight it is to accept the label the law gives us and fight on their turf, which is why being gay is an important part of my identity. We're not at the end of gay history yet.
Still, I think the assimilationists got it wrong: even when we reach the end of gay history (and I think with gay marriage we will pretty much be there) we will need gay folk, not just post-gay folk because it doesn't stop. People talk about coming out as if it's one event, whereas the truth is I've lost count of the number of times I'm come out: it's something you have to do time and time again. Same goes for gay history: people will keep on figuring they're gay and some of them will want/need a sense of what that means, a sense of who that makes them. Gay history is fascinating and that needs passing down lest we forget what we've learned and the struggle for gay rights can/will inform the next human rights battle. Gay history may be mostly written but I think bi and trans history is only just hitting its stride.
Although I consider myself an assimilationist and want nothing more than a 'normal' life, I don't think I'll ever be post-gay: I want to be one of those people who keeps gay history going because its lessons and battles need remembering and the kids (and adults - I know blokes who only figured their sexuality out in their thirties/forties) who are only just realising who they are need access to their heritage.
Nov 1, 2012
I'm not off to the best start for the month: I'm really struggling for anything to say. Main reason for this is because I'm on half-term and I've spent the past week utterly devoted to relaxation: the final few weeks of term were horrific so I'm recharging my batteries before I go back on Monday.
This November is going to be interesting: I've got some cool work stuff coming up. Next Wednesday is going to be particularly interesting as I'll be trying a full day on no sleep - I'll be staying up all night for the US election.
So that's post no. 1: I'll try to make the next 29 more interesting/focused/coherent.
Oct 31, 2012
I'm doing NaJoPoMo again this year so if people don't want to be spammed by my musings, you might want to unsubscribe for a month.
Now I need to figure out what I'm going to say.
It's all just a little bit of history repeating
Oct 15, 2012
One of the more amusing bits of my job is when I come across something I did in my previous job. I'm now attending the kind of events I used to run and, when I ran them, I developed quite a reputation for making new stuff rather than using other peoples resources so my work is pretty distinctive. More than once I've complimented people on their presentations, particularly the writing, because I wrote it and a couple of times me (and my students) have had a laugh because folk have copied my presentations so lazily, they've left in the original photos of me.
Last week I had a visitor from my former employer, trying to sell their activity day. One thing they were particularly proud of was the campus scavenger trail as it was pretty unique. (Me) "Oh, you like the scavenger trail?", (Them) "Yeah, it really engages them and gets them around the campus without it being as formal or dry as a campus tour." (Me again) "You're too kind - I wrote it" - this person had no idea.
Today, I had another example. School got an invite to take part in a programme of extra classes held at the university on a Saturday morning. Even though it's mainly aimed at GCSE students and I'm Sixth Form, I was asked to co-ordinate it (because the school is starting to realise if you want something done right, ask me or m'colleague to do it). I laughed, then laughed again, and then laughed some more. And then I said no. This programme had been the bane of my life when I worked for the Uni, like Dr Frankenstein I created a monster and it turned on me.
The Head of Sixth Form pressed me for a reason why (I normally do as I'm asked, she's not used to hearing me say no) and I just got her to call the person who'd sent us the invite and mention my name. The person in question was someone I'd had murder with, mainly over this ing project and her response was basically "No, you might want to pick someone else to do this."
Funny how these things keep on coming back.
What a week!
Oct 6, 2012
I'm now sat at home, stubbornly refusing to move from the sofa. Decided the only time I'm moving is to eat and go to bed: everything else can wait until Monday. After the week I've had I think I've earned it.
It's funny how little things can be so massive when they bring their friends along to play too. Every single thing that's caused me grief this week could be ignored under normal circumstances but they've all hit at once and by yesterday I was just a physical wreck. There was almost an element of morbid curiosity to it: I haven't felt so utterly exhausted since I was at university and it's nice to see how I held up.
First problem was my family staging on of their ever so delightful intrusions into my life. My family flare up as an issue every so often but I've gotten pretty good at building a firewall to protect myself from the worst of their nonsense. Problem is now I've got someone who is making it their mission to remove this firewall: she's trying to do it for the right reasons but isn't taking into account that I *want* the firewall, when I have to deal with my family I find I can't sleep. So this week I've only been eking out a few hours each night. Which is fine, I can handle a week of little sleep, I used to work on summer schools where I'd do 18 hour days on less than 3 hours sleep a night.
Then we had work, and some times work is the gift that keeps on giving. This week was one of those times. On Monday I had the day of the abusive parents, on Tuesday the entire 6th form decided, en masse, to kick off, on Wednesday me and m'colleague had a major event to run: took months to arrange but it went off flawlessly. Thursday it was colleagues turn to annoy me: they'd 'arranged' (in the loosest sense of the word) an event, asking for my help and when said help was provided, instead of gratitude, they were actively rude and their event was an absolute disaster (note to self: never help with an event me or m'colleague haven't had complete control over). Friday, apart from a major head wound and broken arm to deal with, was pretty standard but pretty standard when utterly exhausted isn't good: at one point I had 6 people demanding my attention simultaneously and 3 of them were assistant heads. It doesn't help that the school seems to be the incubator for about half-a-dozen different strains of cold at the moment and I'm getting all of them one after the other.
Still work has always been and will always be a chaotic shower of and I've made my peace with it. Plus it often surprises by being fun, or funny, or making me proud. On Monday I was in hysterics because a parent (who'd previously been perfectly fluent in English) demanded a interpreter to talk to me. During a long and acrimonious meeting, I unthinkingly answered a question she'd asked in Urdu before it'd been translated. The look on her face was priceless as she realised I'd been able to understand the abuse she'd been spouting and the interpreter had been too polite to translate. She quickly made her excuses and left the building. I'm also bizarrely proud of one of the lads who told me off on Friday for giving him the brush-off: he was so polite, so determined and so *right*.
My life has also been unusually busy: on Monday and Tuesday evening I had Urdu class more-or-less straight after work, on Wednesday night I had my counselling, on Thursday I had the aforementioned debacle at work and then yesterday I went to see a poorly friend and do some stuff for him. This all meant that I've been getting up at 5.30, leaving the house before 7am and not getting back until after 10pm on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, and not before 8pm Thursday and yesterday. It's probably for the best I've not seen anyone whilst cycling this week because I'd have happily murdered strangers when I was out in the freezing bitter darkness this week.
All of these combined left me so far beyond tired, I have no words to describe it. At the end of the school day yesterday, my line manager came into my office where I was slumped over a personal statement and commented that I looked exhausted: I think my manic laugh scared her a little and I explained that I was tired on Wednesday, by Friday I wasn't sure how or why I was still standing.
But here's the thing: I was still standing. If I totted up everything I did last week, it'd be an impressive list for a good week, let alone a week where I was so severely impaired. I loved the Urdu classes and I'm clearly making use of them, the event me and m'colleague ran on Wednesday was a huge success and has been complimented as such by everyone involved, my 6th formers were the one bright spot in a ruinous night for the school on Thursday and (most importantly for me) when my friend needed me on Friday I was able to suck it up and be there for him. That's a remarkable set of achievements from a week that, not too long ago, would have seen me either get a sick note or a suspension from work.
So today and tomorrow I'm luxuriating in the sensation of doing absolutely nothing.
Iago's Olympic Adventure
Jul 31, 2012
As you may have seen in another thread, I had tickets to the Olympic womens football today, USA versus North Korea at Old Trafford. I went in with an open mind but I have to say, the standard of football was just awful and the USA are the best womens team in the world. I hate to think how bad the lesser teams are. That said, the match was surprisingly balanced and in the second half in particular North Korea had a number of chances to draw level or even win it.
The atmosphere in the stadium was awesome, even though it was less than half-full with an attendance of just under 30,000. To me that's actually pretty impressive: it was a rainy Tuesday evening and they still got better crowds than many Premiership clubs can muster during midweek. You really heard the crowds (you can also hear me on the TV coverage - bit embarrassing) and there was a very friendly feel to it all with people talking to everyone around them. It was also nice to see Old Trafford without having to endure Man United - it's a spectacular stadium and I had seats right behind one of the goals so an amazing place to take it all in. The Games Makers volunteers were really wonderful - very friendly and helpful and really keen and eager. It really added to the experience and they deserve some special recognition.
Logistically it was easy as pie too: they'd laid on free shuttle buses and ticket holders were allowed to use the Metrolink trams for free. There were swarms of volunteers around the main train and bus stations making crowd control very smooth. The security measures were a bit over the top but nothing too onerous and they weren't as authoritarian as some people are claiming (the chap who gave me my patdown asked what fragrance I was wearing so pretty friendly).
Ow that hurts
Jun 11, 2012
I've finally got my bike Serenity back and in full-working order (a story in itself) and today I started using it. To keep myself motivated to cycle every day I thought I'd keep a record of each/most days rides. I'll apologise in advance, this might be really boring for other people.
So day 1: did what I imagine will be my standard ride until I get some semblance of fitness back, a 2.5 mile trip basically to the end of my road and back and I learned a few lessons.
1) I'm appallingly unfit. It's quite shocking how difficult I found such an easy ride.
2) It's a lot busier at 5.30am than I wanted it to be.
3) I need those padded cycling gloves: Serenity is a great bike and she rides like a dream but the handlebars have always been awful and painful.
4) I should have a cup of tea/juice before I start: going from bed to bike in less than 5 minutes isn't good.
The unfitness is depressing but I know there's only one way to make it better and moping about it really won't help. I know that the fitness will start to develop surprisingly quickly and it's just a case of keeping my morale/determination up whilst I'm waiting (hence this journal).
Any observations/advice gratefully received.
Apr 13, 2012
I've just read that Nicholas Brendon who played Xander on Buffy is 41 today. I'm suddenly feeling awfully old and learning my first crush, the guy who confirmed my sexuality, is 41 makes me want to curse the young and bemoan the all to rapid passage of time.
Now if you'll excuse me I'm off to chase some kids off my lawn whilst waving my walking stick.
Friends and other heavenly bodies
Mar 9, 2012
I've had a pretty rough week: the people I interviewed with last week have been unprofessional and just plain bitchy about telling me I wasn't successful, leaving me hanging on for a week longer than they said and being very rude when I politely asked for news. My hayfever is in the 'go to bed' range and a few people let me down for something I really needed.
Then last night a mate called out of the blue, asking if I wanted to go on a bit of an adventure: he wanted to drive to the darkest spot we could find and see if we could see any aurora because of the large solar flare. So off we go to the North York Moors and Tan Hill, via Grassington. On the ridge between Wharfedale and Wensleydale we stop and there were some of the clearest skies I've ever seen and I got to see the Northern Lights, which is something I've always wanted to see. It was utterly breath-taking and awe-inspiring, stood out in the darkness with more stars than I've ever seen and the ghostly ribbons of the aurora. M'mate pulls out a small telescope and we train it on Jupiter and see the Great Red Spot and then Saturn - another dream.
We get back in the car and carry on to Tan Hill, figuring it's higher and further north so we might get even more of a show. We were wrong: when we got up there a warm front was passing more or less directly overhead, the Inn was closed, the wind was screaming and visibility was less than a couple of metres. And yet that was incredible in its own way: it was like a huge sensory deprivation tank and even though we couldn't see a thing I still had this overwhelming sense of wilderness.
We went home the quick way via the A66/A1 and off to the north could see the lights of Newcastle/Sunderland and Middlesbrough which was pretty cool after all the darkness. Didn't get home until nearly 1am and there's a strong chance I'll fall asleep in work but it was one of the most incredible nights of my life and it came about from the whim of a friend. I'm a lucky chap.
Lessons from the Meet
Feb 18, 2012
Just got back home from the Manchester Meet, shame I didn't have more time there. Here's what I discovered:
There's are a lot of very tall hootooers: normally I'm the tallest person in a room but I doubt I made the top 10 tonight. And that's without egon present.
lil comes with presents.
The Comet Baby has more artistic talent than I do.
Menthol Penguin is blond - for some reason I had him down as a brunette.
Sho really does put the chest into Manchester. And anywhere else she goes.
Pastey is *enormous* and looks remarkably like Dan Hamilton from Holby City http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dan_Hamilton
There will be a fair number of photos of me being harassed by inflatable antipodeans tomorrow.
Font has been taken over by hipsters and doubled the price of my favourite cocktail: the only disappointment of the night.
Everyone was incredibly lovely and I'm lucky to be part of such a group.
Feb 15, 2012
Since I'm applying for jobs at the moment, I'm a lot more cautious about what I write and allow to be posted on my facebook page. I've got my privacy settings as high as they'll go but I still think better safe than sorry.
Yesterday a couple of friends, one a devout Catholic and the other an extremely vocal antitheist, started duking it out over the issue of secularism. Phrases such as 'morally bankrupt' and 'egotistical and amoral' were bandied about and it made me think about how weird facebook is, as well as wondering how to shut these two up whilst remaining friends with them both.
The oddness of facebook is when you see people ripping the stuffing out of each other, as if it was a standard internet, mostly anonymous, venue. I find it a lot harder to have arguments red in tooth and claw on facebook because the people I've got on there are real flesh and blood friends. Harder to compare someone to Hitler when you know they've stood up for you against school bullies.
Also, I have a job interview next week that I'm simultaneously excited about and bricking myself over.
It's official and depressing
Jan 26, 2012
I work in officially the worst 6th form in my city. Whilst the numbers are somewhat off (they really aren't as low as is being reported) even the accurate number would probably still put us at the bottom.
It's probably for the best I've quit drinking.
Another day, another hate crime.
Jan 16, 2012
Apologies all, this is a bit of a moan.
So yet again, I've been on the receiving end of a load of homophobic abuse from one of my students and the school looks set to do bugger all about it. As I was walking (well, limping having badly knocked my foot yesterday) away from work I had a student get right in my face and start screaming some pretty choice language to do with my sexuality.
I could have quite happily ripped the little darlings face off but instead I do the good soldier routine and completely ignore him. Sent an email to the behaviour manager and his response was basically "what do you want us to do about it? It was off school property"
I really don't know why I bother some days.
This the season to be jolly Pt 2
Jan 1, 2012
During NaJoPoMo I wrote an entry about how much I was dreading the festive season (F110512?thread=8284429). Well, bar a day of sleeping tomorrow, it's all over and I thought it'd be worth doing a retrospective.
For the first time in as long as I can remember, I've enjoyed myself for pretty much the whole time. My birthday turned into more a birthday period - over three days I hit up several groups of friends and celebrated with them all. Had a day with a lovely chap to keep me occupied between my birthday and Christmas, as well as playing quite a lot of Skyrim on a mates computer. Christmas was a lot of fun, mostly due to my aunt - every year she assembles a big hamper for me and as well as enough food to keep me fed for a month, she includes a lot of little trinkets and toys. It generally keeps me occupied until mid-afternoon (getting into the thing usually takes an hour as she wraps it up tighter than Fort Knox and scissors are cheating) and a lot of the toys/trinkets need putting together or doing something with. There's always something seemingly a bit random, but has come from something I've said (or ranted about) during this year. This year it was a bird feeder because I said during the summer I enjoyed watching the birds when I felt lousy and the fact she'd remembered that made me melt. Then dinner (Thai curry with sticky saffron rice and a nice rose wine), Doctor Who and bed - bliss.
The week between Christmas and New Years is usually the hardest bit but it's just flown by - more Skyrim (such a good game), then a mate coming up from London for a day and a day volunteering on the railways which was an absolute blast and a day messing about playing board games with some mates. It's all been rather good fun.
I just have to hope next (well, this year I guess) is half as good.
Foreign language films
Dec 29, 2011
Me and a mate were looking for films to watch this weekend when we came across a screening of Mission Impossible 4 dubbed into Hindi in Bradford. I was mildly surprised there's enough of an audience for it in Bradford - it's mostly Punjabi, Urdu and Pushto speakers in the city and not that many Hindi speakers - but otherwise I don't really care.
My mate on the other hand, not normally someone who gets excited about things, was rather incensed as apparently it encourages segregation. His stance was that if a film is available in the native language of the country in question, it should only be allowed to be shown in that language. French language films in the UK are fine, so long as there's no English version available, but an English film dubbed to German and shown in the UK shouldn't be allowed.
So what do folk on here think? Is MI:4 in Hindi a curiosity or an abomination?
The power of a good walk
Dec 18, 2011
I'm currently coming down off a bit of an endorphin high and it feels so good. A mate called me pretty early this morning and basically ordered me to go out for a walk as the conditions were perfect. For once in my life I decided to do as I was told because this guy doesn't normally get this excited and he knows I normally ignore instructions so for him to call it must be pretty good. So I get ready, load up my mp3 player and go.
My word, he wasn't wrong. It was glorious. Beautifully cold, crisp, ice crunching under my boots and ducks going mental because the canal was starting to freeze. Put on some Florence + the Machine as loud as I could and, since I had the towpath to myself, I just let rip and sang and danced. It felt so good.
And now I'm home feeling incredible and not having to feel guilty about having a lazy day because I've just done a decent bit of exercise.
I need more days like these.
What I've done (NaJoPoMo Pt.30!)
Nov 30, 2011
So it occurs to me most of my journal entries have been about broader themes than simply what I've done on a particular day. I need to rectify that so this is just about I've done today:
Had a lie-in - didn't get out of bed until 9.30. That was lovely and much-needed.
Went to the strike demo in Bradford. It was quite cool, there was a good turn-out and a lovely atmosphere. The weather wasn't too bad either
Had a pub lunch with a mate and helped him prep for a job interview tomorrow. I've got everything crossed for him.
Bought a new book. Destiny disrupted and it's a history of the world from an Islamic perspective. Only a couple of chapters in but it's fascinating so far. I had hoped to buy Tom Holland's latest book, which covers the the rise and fall of Byzantium, the rise of Islam and the fall of the Sassanids, but it's been put back to April next year.
Came home and watched the latest Glee. It was great.
Went to my group and talked.
I'm really pleased I've kept up with the whole NaJoPoMo endeavour: I've really enjoyed it and it's been the right amount of challenging. Hope I've not been too boring/annoying/offensive.
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