Archives for category: Diary-esq

Well I’ve just worked out that last month I spent over £100 more than I earned.
This is not a good thing, especially as I’m trying to SAVE money to get rid of my overdraft. However, here are some very good reasons why I had to spend so much money:
Due to a mix-up, I had to pay council tax twice, £120 a pop.
I unexpectedly had to pay £100 to get the front headlight of my car replaced.
I shelled out £95 for Capoeira and breakdancing, this will keep me going for the next two months.

Here are some very good reasons I DIDN’T have to spend that much money:
I am now the proud owner of all three series of ‘The fast show’ (£35)
I withdrew £150 in cash (which basically means I spent £150 on going out).
Council Tax sucks

So this month I may have to be super stingy, I’m thinking withdraw £80 at the beginning of the month, then that’s my doing out fund for the entire month. No DVD’s and pretty much no buying of anything I don’t REALLY need. Although I would like to have a guitar lesson and get an electric this coming month…

Thats all really.

In the house, Dave and I agreed to make October the ‘Month of health’. This involves; more exercise, more healthy food, and less alcohol. Less alcohol has been acheived fairly easily by being skint, more exercise has also increased due to being skint.
“How is this?” You may ask.
Well, having no money means that the things I do must either be free, or pre-paid. I have pre-paid for the gym, capoeira twice a week, breakdancing once a week, and World of Warcraft.
Almost all of these are exercise related!

World of Warcraft has taken over a lot of my free time I’ll admit, but that’s to be expected, it is a highly addictive game.

Which beings me to food. I’ve not being doing too badly with healthy food, although I did suffer a bit of a blip yesterday: My intention was to have a chicken kiev with potatoes, carrots and broccoli (very healthy). When I got home I wasn’t really that hungry, so I ended up having a pseudo double turkey cheese burger with beer.

Mmm. It was good but it’s really not so healthy!
Then I spent the evening playing World of Warcraft. (Wednesday is PvP* night anyway). Fortunately I’ve got capoeira tonight, so I don’t feel so bad about it. Two hour killer session too. Which is er… good?

*PvP is Player versus Player mode, in contested areas of the map it is allowed to attack players on ‘the other side’.

I feel that I’ve been neglecting this space (*gestures expansively*) recently. Plans for the re-design are forming, but very very slowly. Again I re-iterate that it’ll probably take a year.
I’ve been quite busy too, capoeira and breakdancing have started up again, although now I’m doing two capoeira classes a week. I’ve also been trying to go to the gym more often too.
So yeah.

Here is a site that I think all car owners should know about: Parts gateway, they will send out a parts request to breakers around the country and you quickly get excellently priced parts listed for you. I’ve had to purchase a headlight cluster for my car, as some fool crunched the front of it while it was parked and then disapeared without leaving any insurance details (the cads!). Fortunately I found one on parts gateway for £55 including postage and packing!!
Which is good, I was expecting more like £150.

I have a feeling this is going to be a bit of a ‘messy’ post, as I’m getting some of the blogging thats been building up in my mind out and cleared.
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That should cheer you up, I would guess that most posts on blogs with a heading like ‘customer service’ are complaining, but the word ‘wow’ should clear that up.

Let me explain what happened to me this morning. In my bag I have some council forms and whatnot that have to be sorted out and sent off. Among them was the form for renewing my parking permit, something that I had forgotten about. It is now three days past the deadline outlined on the letter.

I assumed I’d have to fill in forms again send of proof of ownership, proof of address. ARG! What a mistaka-to-maka.
I phone the council to explain my problem.

‘No problem’ says the cheery woman on the other end of the phone, ‘I’ll just mark on the file that you’ll be sending the form in a bit late’.
I’m almost to shocked to say thanks. The phone rang once before it was picked up, the entire conversation lasted 45 seconds. My blunder has been cleared up in less than a minute and I’m left feeling slightly less sore about the cost of council tax.

Well done to Guildford county council.

I never really got the hang of baths and a long time ago I simply gave up on them. However I’ve been forced to re-address ‘bathing’ as our shower has broken.
One of the main problems I’ve had with baths in the past is that I don’t have the patience to let it fill up to a ‘reasonable’ level. So previous experiences have involved sitting in ankle deep water wondering what all the fuss is about. Yesterday I decided to get round this problem by leaving the bath running and doing a few chores and chatting to my housemates.

Things were already looking much better, the bath filled to a decent level in what seemed to be no time at all. Bubbles everywhere as I had the foresight to get some bubble bath on my way home from work.
I was determined that this bath was going to be different, and I would finally ‘get’ why so many people enjoy them.

I take you back to yesterday evenings events:
I climb in and sit down. The temperature is pleasent, but after about five seconds I can’t help but wonder ‘how does this get me clean?’ I try the usual washing actions but somehow it doesn’t seem like enough. I lie down and ponder for a while. This is quite relaxing and I begin to get an idea of the ‘point’ of baths.
I can’t relax for long though, there’s only one bathroom in the house and I have things to do. With a sigh I reach for the familiarity of the shower gel and wash.
Now I’m clean and the water is murky, I can’t wait to get out.

So after this experience; my opinion of baths?

Well I think they are more for relaxing if you want/have some time for yourself. If you want to get clean, use a shower.

Or buy a sponge.

At the weekend I encountered a spider of hideous size on the landing. This is real world by the way, not World of Warcraft.


It’s not that I’m phobic about spiders or anything, indeed up to a certain size they don’t really both me at all. However as they get bigger I get more and more apprehensive around them.
It could and probably would be argued that fearing spiders in Britain makes no sense, seeing as there are no dangerous one’s around. Even the biggest (that haven’t been imported) are pretty small in the global spider scheme of things. I don’t even have a good fearful childhood memory to justify my fear. Unlike with dogs; my dad got bitten by a dog when I was very small (roughly five if I had to guess).
Anyway, this spider. Huge. I’m talking the size of a grape. With legs that could possibly feel slightly cramped if it were at the bottom of a pint glass. (Well you think of a better way of describing it!)
I took the normal course of action, tried to sweep it up into a dustpan and throw it out the window (if you want to live and thrive and all that). Unfortunately it jumped out of the pan before I got near the window and scuttled behind a chest of draws in Mikes room (who is yet to move in).
I decided that discretion was the better part of valour and left it there, carefully closing the door behind me. It may die of starvation there. Or it may catch some moths.

I hope it catches some moths because they are really annoying. In fact I’m becoming convinced that it’s because of moths that I’ve got a large hold in the elbow of one of my favourite jumpers.
And before you leap to the defence of moths, I know that it’s not the actual moths, but the larvae they lay that eats cloths.

Well it had to happen eventually. Both my writting about it and the actual event itself I suppose.
I have to admit that hearing about the terrorist attacks in London was quite a strange experience for me, at the time it just seemed slightly surreal and that was about it. The reality of the event was not really at that moving for me, people die all the time and harsh as it may sound, I treated this event in the same way that I treat many world problems: Mild indifference.

Then however, a change occured, on my way home from work. Instead of listening my my usual musicall selection I was listening to radio 4. The descriptions of the seemingly smooth operation of the emergency sevices plans for such events stired something in me. A sense of pride I suspect. National pride. At the way the British people coped with the explosions.

That was what moved me, not the horror of the event itself but the reaction to the event by the people involved in the event. This is, I think, the first time that a major historical event has occured and the internet has been a major source of information (for me anyway). Of course there are all the usual news sites and they are pretty much the same as reading the paper or watching the news, only quicker. But add to that the more personal accounts, un-edited and bluntly frank in their accounts, these blog entries were a totally different way off looking at the event.
This is an excellent example, so good infact that I found it through the bbc news website. Reading it you get a brief glimpse into the atmosphere of the blitz, or more specifically ‘the blitz spirit’.
Some excellent quotes from this account (in my opinion) I have coppied here, although I would strongly recommend you read the whole thing yourself.

Silence decended on the carriage apart from people choking and coughing, then someone near me quipped, “Well, at least we got the Olympics!”

I called work, told them my train had exploded and said I was covered in all this black, icky stuff, so I was going home to get a bath. They said, “So we’ll see you around lunchtime, then?” Yeah. Right.


Well I started my new job today, and am currently on my lunch break. I haven’t actually been given any real work to do yet, it’s all been orientation and introductions and whatnot.
Real work will be commencing in the afternoon.

Unfortunately my home computer seems to have kicked the bucket. Annoyingly I think it’s the hard drive controller, which means I won’t be able to fix it. This has pretty much skuppered my idea of continuing my retrospective holiday diary. May still continue it at work though.

Fortunately I managed to back up all my photos before the death, although I think they should still be safe on the hard drive (I hope).
It’ll probably be a long time before I can afford to get a new computer too, so blogging will probably be quite sporadic.

We started off this day by deciding to go to one of the spars. I’d gotten a bit nervous about the whole deal (even though it was my idea) because the guide books seemed to suggest that you couldn’t wear your own trunks, and had to wear a loin cloth type dealie. Fortunately it turned out that you could wear your own thing, and in fact most people did. So we spent about two hours or so relaxing in the hot spar water, alternating between the hot and less-hot pools (38 & 36 degrees C). Tried out the steam room but I found it so hard to breath in there that I quickly left.
Then we rounded off the session with a medical massage. This was very intense and in some cases slightly painful. It was however quite enjoyable apart from the need to go completely naked.
After that we had some lunch at an Italian place (nice pizza) and went shopping. I was trying to find some sandals but decided not to bother, the prices were no cheaper than England and nothing really took my fancy. We then went back to the hotel for a shower to prepare for the evening out
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Seeing as breakfast went on until a lesurely 10am, we didn’t get up until about 9:30. A mistake we quickly decided to never repeat as the selection left was pretty poor.
On this day we decided to visit the castle district of Budapest, a section of the old town that holds a lot of historic and interesting buildings. We wisely decided not to take public transport all the way, not because it’s bad, but because we’d get to see more of the city if we went most of the way on foot. This was a good idea as we saw a few more interesting sights on the way to the castle district. I won’t bore you with a list of all the buildings that we saw, although the Royal Palace was particularly grand. We had an expensive touristy lunch and continued our sight seeing.
In the evening we managed to get a bit off the tourist track and found a very cheap italian restraunt that was amasingly tasty. By this I mean £20 payed for all four of us to have our meals, drinks and tips. The food was so tasty it was ranking in the top five meals of my entire life!
Had a few beers and made our way back to the hotel.