Tuesday, 2 January 2018

The retreat from blogging

At 350 posts, 2017 is the first year since 2011 in which I have not posted every day to Air Nice-to-Livelands, with September 2017 being the first month since May 2011 - the start of my blog - to not feature a full slate.

That lapse last September was by accident but drops in blogging in November (23 posts) and December (24) are almost entirely due to my changing priorities in life, although December's losses can also be attributed to technical difficulties, which have now been resolved. Simply put, blogging every day is no longer feasible - or even desirable.

Since I started college in September 2014, my posts have gradually morphed from multi-paragraph pieces to one-paragraph fillers; attending university exacerbated the change. My wanting to post every day has resulted in a decline of my blog's quality, as it is now littered with these micro-posts, rather than the substantial content from years ago. Even the picture posts are mostly gone - 2017 only contained three posts with pictures that I had photographed.

Air Nice-to-Livelands is not the blog it used to be; however, this isn't the final post - far from it! Rather than continue the micro-posts, I shall simply be reducing the amount I write here. Absences of several days or more will now become commonplace but my hope is that I'll be writing longer posts as a result. As is so often said, "Quality over quantity"; it's time to return to the former.

Sunday, 31 December 2017

A week's disappearance and a year's end

This past week has been the longest stretch of inactivity I've experienced on Air Nice-to-Livelands to date. At the end of Christmas Day, my laptop developed a problem and has been out of action since then, although one of my uncles was able to sort it out over the weekend after I left the device at my grandparents' house.

In addition to my laptop's problems, I've been at my girlfriend's house for the past couple of nights and since I've been busy spending time with her, I've not paid much attention to updating my blog.

And so, 2017 ends. For me, this year has broken major ground in that during it, I completed my first year of university, attended a wedding (two, if you include the reception I went to back in July for the first time since California and I started a relationship. As it stands, I am nearly halfway through my time at university.

Happy New Year, everyone; I hope 2018 brings you all much good luck and success.

Sunday, 24 December 2017

Return to Clifton December 2017

I'm now back in Clifton after spending the past few days at my girlfriend's house. I enjoyed my time there with her and will be back again on the 29th but for the next two days, I shall be at my mother's house, although I'll still be sleeping at my university accommodation. Tomorrow morning, I shall be taking a walk to the city centre and back, provided that I do not oversleep.

Friday, 22 December 2017

Her old college

This afternoon, my girlfriend and I visited where she went to college several years ago. We weren't able to go inside, obviously, as the place was closed and because we are not students there. Still, just being able to see the building and the grounds gave me insight about my girlfriend's personal history with respect to her education; I talk a lot about Central and so it was good to see and hear about her college.

Thursday, 21 December 2017

Christmas preparations 2017

This afternoon, my girlfriend and her mother needed to shop to pick up a few items for the Christmas activities they have planned for the next few days. They had asked if I would come along to help and I said yes but even if they hadn't, I'd have volunteered. I'm happy to help but more than that, it's time spent with them both and it gave more chance for us all to talk, as well as good exercise for me. Overall, a delightful and productive afternoon!

Wednesday, 20 December 2017

Five days in Newark

I shall be spending today until the 24th of December at my girlfriend's house in Newark. She and her mother wanted me over for some of the winter break and so that's where I will be travelling to after we meet up for an event in Nottingham's city centre.

Tuesday, 19 December 2017

The Fosseway Flyer

Travelling to Newark yesterday meant I rode a bus route that I've seen around ever since I started college in Nottingham: The Fosseway Flyer.

The Fosseway Flyer is one of two methods of public transportation that someone can use to travel between Newark and Nottingham. The route goes through much of my old bus route to college before it takes a major road towards Newark and Lincoln. Most of its stops are in Nottingham, Rushcliffe and Newark itself.

The trip takes about 40-50 minutes, depending on traffic and other road conditions. It is also an expensive route, with a cost of £7.20 for a return ticket.

Monday, 18 December 2017

"Star Wars: The Last Jedi"

I travelled to Newark today to watch Star Wars: The Last Jedi with my girlfriend. This marks the first time that my girlfriend and I have been to the cinema together but not the first time we've watched a Star Wars film together. We watched the prequels and Star Wars: The Force Awakens not too long ago because she wanted to catch up on all those films, having seen only the originals.

As for The Last Jedi itself, it's a great film. When it began I was extremely worried it was about to return into a repeat of Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back but I was pleased when that turned out to not be the case. My girlfriend and I highly enjoyed it.

Sunday, 17 December 2017

Only me for now

And just like that, I'm now the only person currently living in my student house! Everyone else has either moved out, gone home for the holidays or is at a partner's house. As for me, I remain. With the exception of a few nights at my girlfriend's house, I shall stay at my student house. There is no need for me to go anywhere else for the time being.

It is odd the house being so...inactive. I'm used to hearing my housemates' various movements. It's so silent here!

Saturday, 16 December 2017

Most (Christmas) shopping done

Nearly all of my Christmas shopping is complete, save for a handful of small items that I shall be purchasing, as well as something extra for Mum. This year, I've had more Christmas shopping to do since I'm now in a relationship but that's okay: It's been good going out to purchase gifts for my girlfriend and her mother.

My girlfriend's birthday is next month and she prefers birthdays to Christmas. While I've bought her some nice items for the holiday season, I have something more special in mind to purchase for her in January.

Friday, 15 December 2017

One other for now

At present, there are only two people living in my house: The Resident Assistant...and me. One moved out awhile ago because he wanted to live with his wife, another left as term ended to return to her family for the break and the other is (presumably) with her boyfriend until her family comes to collect her for the break.

With regards to my Resident Assistant, he will be leaving soon to return to his family for much of the break whereas I'll be here for all the days with the exception of when I'll be staying at my girlfriend's house. As Mum lives a short walk from me, there is no point in me vacating my room.

Once the Resident Assistant leaves, I'll be the only one here until near to the next term.

Thursday, 14 December 2017

End-of-term dinner 2017

My girlfriend, her mother and I attended an end-of-term meal yesterday, which was hosted by NTU's society for mature students (my girlfriend's mother is a student and the reason why my girlfriend and I met in the first place). The meetups usually take place at a pub near to the NTU city campus but this particular meet was held in one next to the city centre.

Besides us, there were some 11 other people, with most of them being the usual attendees of the mature student meetups. Not that that's a problem - they're a fun bunch to be around!

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Senate special election in Alabama, December 2017 (2)

Alabama surprised us!

I was expecting to check the news to find that Alabama had once again done something stupid but no! Alabama rejected a horrible candidate for Senate, albeit narrowly. As such, Doug Jones is the first Democrat to win a Senate election in Alabama for 25 years. Well done, Doug Jones, and well done to the the Alabamans who voted for him!

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Senate special election in Alabama, December 2017

In a few hours or so, Alabama will have decided its next Senator:

The Democrat is Doug Jones, who would be expected to lose in normal circumstances but the Republican, besides being a bigot, is facing claims of sexual assault, rape and child abuse, which have severely hampered his candidacy and the race is close.

The Republican, whose name is Roy Moore, should not be a Senator. He shouldn't even a candidate given the sex crimes allegations that are surrounding him. Unfortunately, Alabama is an extremely backwards state, given its support for the current president, its support for Barry Goldwater in 1964, for being a state that supported segregation and for being an ex-Confederate state. It has a history of backing awful people like Moore.

But, Alabama may surprise us yet. May it be on the right side of history for once and elect Doug Jones as its next Senator.

Monday, 11 December 2017

The housemate departs

This afternoon, I went to visit a former housemate of mine at her room here in Clifton. This particular housemate is from India and was on a Master's course here at Nottingham Trent University; her graduation was a few days ago and tomorrow, she will be returning to India. She will be travelling to London after midnight and her flight back will be in the early afternoon.

I will really miss this housemate of mine. We took several walks together during the summer and became good friends as a result. We shall still be keeping in contact, however, as there are several venues we have open to us to talk but sadly, it will be some time before we see each other again in person. I wish my friend the best and I look forward to when I next see her!