Sunday, 31 July 2016

Bloggers Blog Party - June 2016

June 2016's Secret Life of Bloggers Blog Party post.

Saturday 4th June: My grandfather and I stopped off at a garden centre on the way back to Nottingham after he'd picked me up from my mother's house. He needed some small plant pots.

Sunday 5th June: This fresh asphalt was placed in my grandparents' town during the half-term break; it was so fresh, in fact, that the "new road smell" was present, more so since it was a hot day.

Thursday 9th June: The Keighton Auditorium, where a handful of my fellow students and I went to see Eddie Izzard giving his pro-EU talk at the University of Nottingham.

Saturday 11th June: This is a major bus stop in the town of Keyworth, near a set of small stores. Further down route, as the bus loops through the town, there is another set of small stores and another major bus stop.

Thursday 16th June: One of my friends at college discovered this pop-up book about the human reproductive system, which both of us found fascinating. My family used to joke about such a book but I didn't think one actually existed!

Saturday 18th June: The Rushcliffe Mainline as it was passing through Bingham on this beautiful and sunny late morning/early afternoon. This bus picked me up a couple of minutes later.

Thursday 23rd June: My grandparents' window cleaner passed me this note in the morning so that they'd know he'd been around to clean. They've had the same window cleaner for at least the past six years; I remember him from when my family and I moved back to the United Kingdom and I've spoken to him a handful of times since I've been at college, as well as made him coffee - hot, two sugars!

On the evening of this day, this was the state of the sky as I was on the way to the polling booth. I wasn't sure whether to take it as an omen of the coming result or to accept it as a mere beautiful sky.

Saturday 25th June: This mural in Hucknall appeared to materialise out of nowhere; it's near to where the construction has taken place so I wondered if it was a new addition due to all that.

Monday 27th June: Here comes a pigeon! I travelled on Indigo to Long Eaton after college, where this pigeon participated in a high-speed landing. The reason I was able to photograph it was because it flew as I took the picture, not because I was aiming for the pigeon.

Wednesday 29th June: My buses were being slightly re-directed, for part of the street their stops are located was blocked off due to roadworks and they had to drive up the main road and around to circumvent said block.

Saturday, 30 July 2016

Hillary Clinton's acceptance speech at the 2016 Democratic National Convention

Two days ago, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton accepted her party's nomination for president. As such, she became the first female nominee for a major party in the United States. There have been female candidates for the past few elections but they've been those from minor parties or independents.

Clinton's speech followed a similar pattern to the other speeches I've watched in that she focused on her personal history, her relationship with her husband, the strength of her people, rejecting her opponent's negativity and heaping praise upon Bernie Sanders. To comment on some highlights:

"On Tuesday night, I was so happy to see that my Explainer-in-Chief is still on the job. I'm also grateful to the rest of my family and the friends of a lifetime. To all of you whose hard work brought us here tonight. And to those of you who joined our campaign this week.  And what a remarkable week it's been."

A good start, I thought; giving thanks to her supporters and campaigners, and to her family and friends. Granted, I supported Barack Obama in 2008 and Bernie Sanders this year but I do acknowledge that it has been a long road for Clinton to make it to this point.

"We heard the man from Hope, Bill Clinton. And the man of Hope, Barack Obama. America is stronger because of President Obama's leadership, and I'm better because of his friendship."

While I'm sure Clinton was being fully genuine with this, it will be important for her to win the Obama Coalition for her to secure the presidency. Noting where Obama has aided her will go a long way towards ensuring those voters are there for her on Election Day.

"And I want to thank Bernie Sanders. Bernie, your campaign inspired millions of Americans, particularly the young people who threw their hearts and souls into our primary.  You've put economic and social justice issues front and center, where they belong."

Speaking of winning over voters, a magnanimous approach towards her former primary opponent is extremely wise. Sanders' supporters should be heartened that the good Senator himself was able to have such a huge influence on the party platform, which Clinton noted they both helped to write. As Clinton will also need a high youth turnout to ensure her victory, noting their support of Sanders is a smart move.

"But just look at the strengths we bring as Americans to meet these challenges. We have the most dynamic and diverse people in the world. We have the most tolerant and generous young people we've ever had. We have the most powerful military. The most innovative entrepreneurs. The most enduring values."

This paragraph alone is far more positive than anything than Clinton's general election stated in his speech. Rather than talking about America as though the nation is ripped apart and under constant attack, Clinton discussed the country's strengths. This is something she'll need to emphasize in the upcoming debates nearer to Election Day.

"This is what I mean. None of us can raise a family, build a business, heal a community or lift a country totally alone."

This is kind of what Obama meant in his "You didn't build that" speech from the 2012 campaign trail. No one person can build anything alone; they might be the driving force behind a change but they need the help of others to make it work.

"My grandfather worked in the same Scranton lace mill for 50 years. Because he believed that if he gave everything he had, his children would have a better life than he did. And he was right."

Many Americans nowadays feel as though the notion of the "American Dream" is little more than that - a dream. This is a clever use of Clinton's family history to remind people that maybe - just maybe - it's more than that.

"So we gathered facts. We built a coalition. And our work helped convince Congress to ensure access to education for all students with disabilities."

I only learned this past week about the work Clinton has done for disabled students, as well as learned more about the healthcare program she acquired for the nation's children. Such accomplishments of hers are often overlooked, as many people seem to be more interested in her errors.

"Happy for boys and men, too – because when any barrier falls in America, for anyone, it clears the way for everyone.  When there are no ceilings, the sky's the limit.  So let's keep going, until every one of the 161 million women and girls across America has the opportunity she deserves."

Again, Clinton is the first female major party nominee; should she go on to win the election, she will deserve as inspiration for women across the globe, whether you like her or not. Note her hinting here that if women are allowed to flourish, men are helped, too.

"That's why we need to appoint Supreme Court justices who will get money out of politics and expand voting rights, not restrict them. And if necessary we'll pass a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United!"

Nice mention of a key Sanders point there - overturning Citizens United, as well as highlighting the need to elect Clinton so that she can appoint sensible people to the Supreme Court, which is perhaps the most important reason to elect her. Her opponent is almost certain to appoint people who will strike down crucial civil rights rulings, such as those that protect the rights of women, voters and the LGBT community.

"Now, you didn't hear any of this from Donald Trump at his convention.   He spoke for 70-odd minutes – and I do mean odd.  And he offered zero solutions.
But we already know he doesn't believe these things.  No wonder he doesn't like talking about his plans. You might have noticed, I love talking about mine."

Her opponent's speech was indeed devoid of any specific plans for how he would improve America. Much of it was fearmongering and the misguided belief that the US should adopt some sort of siege mentality.

"Bernie Sanders and I will work together to make college tuition-free for the middle class and debt-free for all!   We will also liberate millions of people who already have student debt."

Another piece of meat for Sanders' supporters but also a very important issue to address. Student debt is a serious problem in the US and in some other developed nations, such as the United Kingdom. I hope that Clinton and her administration follow through with this and are able to erase student debt.

"I'm proud that we put a lid on Iran's nuclear program without firing a single shot[...]" 

This is the Iran deal I wrote about last July, the one that has indeed scaled back Iran's nuclear program and put the country in a stronger position now that it's agreed to cooperate and because some of the sanctions placed on it have been lifted. Iran is no longer considered a "top threat" in the Middle East; in fact, Iran could now be useful at dealing with other problems in the Middle East.

"Yes, the world is watching what we do. Yes, America's destiny is ours to choose. So let's be stronger together, my fellow Americans. Let’s look to the future with courage and confidence. Let’s build a better tomorrow for our beloved children and our beloved country. And when we do, America will be greater than ever."

An overall positive note on which to end the speech but I do agree with Clinton that the world is indeed watching. Many people I've spoken to here are baffled that her opponent has made it as far as he has in the election and many fear the consequences if he wins. What happens in America affects the world as a whole, given the country's huge global influence.

When Clinton ended her speech, Katy Perry's "Firework" and Sara Bareilles' "Brave" played, which seemed like appropriate songs on which to conclude. On the whole, I was pleased with Clinton's acceptance.

The transcript of Clinton's speech can be found on the Los Angeles Times.

Friday, 29 July 2016

DNC 2016 finale

I have just finished watching Hillary Clinton's acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention from yesterday. I had intended to write about the speech tonight but I won't have the time to; as such, I will use the extra time tomorrow to write a longer piece than usual about it.

Thursday, 28 July 2016

Barack Obama at the 2016 Democratic National Convention

I watched the speech that President Barack Obama gave yesterday at the Democratic National Convention. Once again, it was a speech I was happy with but I was also pleased to see a return of the President Obama we knew and loved in 2008 and 2012 - with his no-nonsense yet unifying speeches filled with hope rather than fear.

Obama was wise to remind his audiences of the achievements he and his administration have made since taking office, such as the pursuit of greater environmental protection, marriage equality and dealing with Iran's nuclear program via the use of diplomacy. These are promises he made back in 2008 and, in one way or another he has delivered; Hillary Clinton is expected to carry on with Obama's legacy and the case is being made that if Americans are happy with such progress, they should vote for her. Like Bill Clinton in his speech, Obama was sure to note Hillary's achievements, such as the healthcare program she helped bring about for children.

His speech was a stark contrast to that made by the Republican nominee, whose speech was designed to instill fear. Obama's focus on what all Americans have in common with each other and the rest of world was a welcome change from all the hatred that's constantly in the media. Yes, people might be of different ethnicities, sexualities and religions but at the end of the day they're all still Americans and all still people;

And finally, I thought it was absolutely wonderful when Obama tied together the important of supporting downballot races in with Bernie Sanders. A brief mention of the persistence of Sanders' supporters along with telling the crowd to "feel the Bern" was an excellent way of strengthening party unity. A Hillary Clinton presidency will be trapped if she is left with a Republican-controlled House and Senate; as President Obama himself said, "Don't boo, vote."

The transcript of his speech can be found on the Los Angeles Times.

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

"Cupid's Chokehold" - Gym Class Heroes featuring Patrick Stump

Here is another song from 2006:

It's "Cupid's Chokehold" by the Gym Class Heroes featuring Patrick Stump from Fall Out Boy. There are two versions of the song, one of which was released in 2005 from the Gym Class Heroes' album The Papercut Chronicles but the more notable version, with Stump, was released in late 2006 and is from As Cruel as School Children. The song was popular in the first few months of so of 2007.

I can't remember what my exact opinions of "Cupid's Chokehold" were. I remember liking it when 2007 came around but I'm unsure if I originally wasn't keen on the song. Regardless, I still like it now.

Did you spot the then-unknown person in the music video?

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Bernie Sanders at the 2016 Democratic National Convention

This evening, I watched the speech that 2016 presidential candidate and Senator Bernie Sanders gave yesterday at the Democratic National Convention. Granted, I am a Sanders supporter and am biased in his favor but yes, I thought he gave a great speech.

Sanders received some criticism for making the initial part of his speech about him but to be honest, I think it was necessary for him to thank his supporters, both because of his genuine appreciation for them and because he needs to bring them on board to back Hillary Clinton. He was also able to tie in his campaign's achievements with what Clinton and Democratic Party itself now both support thanks to him and his supporters, such as creating a living wage, a new Glass-Steagall Act and greater healthcare for all Americans.

The most chilling part of Sanders' speech was when he mentioned the Supreme Court. As he said, Clinton nominees would protect the rights of women (especially their reproductive rights), minorities and voters, among other groups; by contrast, the nominees that Donald Trump would likely nominate would strike down rulings that protect these groups and others.

It was noted that Sanders' supporters in the audience booed every time Clinton's name was mentioned but I don't know if I was being inobservant because all I heard was them booing whenever Trump's name or the Republicans were mentioned. Clinton herself seemed to draw applause from the whole audience.

Yes, I'm happy with Sanders' speech. It was mostly positive but it also warned people about the serious dangers the nation faces if it elects Trump as its president. I now look forward to hearing the speech that Hillary Clinton herself will give on Thursday.

Monday, 25 July 2016

Fort Myers shooting

There has been another high-profile shooting in America, again taking place at a nightclub in Florida, in Fort Myers:

How many of these shootings will the nation have to many more people have to die...before anyone does anything about the shooting crisis that is happening in the United States?

Sunday, 24 July 2016

Asked to buy in the store

A few hours ago, during a pause in my walk while outside a grocery store, I was approached by two teenage boys. One of them asked me if I would go into the stop for him; I asked why and he said "to get something for [him]". I flat out told him no and he said okay and walked off with his friend.

By "something", it was obvious to me that he wanted me to buy him alcohol and/or cigarettes. I only very rarely buy alcohol for myself, and that's usually in a social setting, and anything to do with smoking I do not buy at all, and in both cases I certainly would not buy them for someone underage. Somebody else might do it for him but no, I wouldn't. My only possible regret is perhaps not warning them of the dangers of what they were doing but perhaps that wasn't my place - I don't know.

There is, of course, the remote chance he wanted me to buy contraception for him, as he might have been too embarrassed to have bought condoms himself, but I seriously doubt that was the case.

Saturday, 23 July 2016

"No, you're the racist/sexist/homophobe!"

Over the past few months, possibly longer, I've observed a particularly noteworthy and troubling deflection tactic when calling someone out for their bigotry. It goes like this:

1. Person A says something bigoted; for an example, they've been racist.
2. Person B argues that Person A has been racist and explains why, then says Person A should take back their comment and apologise.
3. Person A declares that they're not racist and that Person B is the "real racist" because Person B, by speaking up, is assuming that the ethnic group in the discussion cannot defend themselves and that they never asked Person B for help, anyway.

As a result, Person B ends up going on the defensive, so even though Person A makes the racist comment, Person B walks away as the "real racist".

It's a completely nonsense defence and it's abhorrent that it's advanced as much as it has. Speaking up for a particular person or group does not imply you think said person or group cannot speak up for themselves; provided that your motives are genuine and you're defending them because you're a decent human being, you've done nothing wrong and it doesn't demean them. You're just an extra voice and someone who has come to them in a time of need; if anything, we should be encouraging each other to help more rather than let the naysayers and trolls dominate the discussion.

Oh, and "they never asked for your help" is nonsense, too - you can still lend a helping hand even if someone doesn't ask and they can always decline your offer.

Friday, 22 July 2016

Donald Trump's RNC speech

I watched presidential candidate Donald Trump's speech at the Republican National Convention. Needless to say, I thought the speech was mostly fearmongering with vague statements about how he'd address crime and immigration. Even if I weren't already against his candidacy in the first place, the speech would not have convinced me to support him.

The oddest part of Trump's speech was when he mentioned about protecting - to quote him - the "LGBTQ" community from attacks (albeit from foreigners), which earned him applause as did when he noted that the crowd applauded him for his LGBTQ comments. To my knowledge, he is the first Republican candidate to mention the term "LGBTQ" at the RNC; his comment is in conflict with the current party platform, which is notoriously anti-LGBTQ, but as it's unknown what Trump's policies truly are, it's difficult to tell if he is sincere.

I am looking forward to the speeches by Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders at the Democratic National Convention. I'm hoping that they'll primarily focus on the positives of Clinton and the party platform rather than on Trump's negatives, mainly because as we've learned, people don't always listen to warnings - they need to be told why something else is a good thing.

Thursday, 21 July 2016

Gaining steam

Since I've been back in Northamptonshire, I have walked every day (including the day I returned) but since Monday, I have walked to the neighbouring town and back, which is about a five-mile walk in total. I have completed the walk every time but it exhausts me more than it has done previously; however, I am slowly regaining my steam to endure medium-length and long walks again. I'm bringing 3-4 bottles of water with me on each occasion, as I need the hydration, not just to restore my fitness but also to counter the heat and humidity.

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

"Cool for the Summer" - Demo Lovato

This song popped into my head this evening:

It's "Cool for the Summer" by Demi Lovato. The song was common for a time on the radio a year ago but it seemed to disappear once it came off the charts, which was unfortunate. "Cool for the Summer" is a single from Confident, Lovato fifth studio album.

I have written about Lovato before; she appeared in this post of mine from July 2014, in which I discussed her collaboration with The Vamps. I suspect "Cool for the Summer" came to me today because it's hot and a cool down is needed!

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Under the heat

Over this summer, my aim is to walk at least 10-15 miles per week; since I returned to Northamptonshire, I have already walked about 12 miles in total. Despite my weight gain, I can still complete five-mile (and uphill) walks around here without being exhausted; however, what is hampering me is the current extreme heat here. My brother estimated that it's about 85 degrees Fahrenheit during the hottest part of the day - and bear in mind most houses don't have air conditioning.

On the bright side, the more intense walk means that my exercise is that bit harder, which in turn helps me to lose weight that bit faster.

Monday, 18 July 2016

To lose some weight

Over the past academic year, I didn't exercise anywhere near as much as I did during the preceding one. As a result, I have put on weight - a significant amount of weight; however, this issue is not irreversible and is easily fixed. Walk more! I became lazy when I rode the bus so much with my pass but that was because I wanted to obtain the best value possible out of my pass while I possessed it. When I am at university, should I obtain another bus pass, I should endeavour to fit in each day about minutes of walking to ensure I keep off the extra weight.

Today, I completed a five-mile walk, which involved walking to the nearest town and back again. Given that it's hot here at the moment, the walk was fairly intense.

Sunday, 17 July 2016

Summer break 2016

As of this afternoon, I am back in Northamptonshire for the summer break. I will be back in Nottingham full time again in September to start university but for this summer, I will be helping Mum and my brother pack up the house for a move while at the same time sorting out what I need for university. I should receive my diploma for Access within the coming weeks; I already have my results, I just need the diploma - it's not like my GCSEs in which I was waiting for months to receive them.

Saturday, 16 July 2016

College concludes

And with that, my time as a student at Central College Nottingham has come to an end. The past two years have flown by - but what do I have to show for it? Well, two years ago I was a person without any sort of qualifications and a surplus of feelings about being underconfident. Now, I have GCSEs, in early August I will officially receive my Access diploma and I am a much more confident and more social person than I used to be.

I fully enjoyed Pre-Access, during which I acquired my GCSEs, but Access has been awesome and my efforts to make the most of it have been a massive success. Having a big yet close-knit class has been a huge amount of fun and being the class rep - or "class president", as my classmates referred to me as - increased my enjoyment of my course. Being able to take part in meetings about the school and meeting other class reps added to the experience. In Pre-Access I only knew two people from another class; this year, numerous students from other classes became my friends.

Besides students in other classes, I achieved a high degree of familiarity amongst many members of the staff. Purely by being in college so much and taking part in several activities, such as heavily using the library, class repping and even raising some more money for charity, I became a highly visible student; long before college ended I was constantly being greeted by staff, even if we'd never had any prior contact. Having so much recognition from staff and other students strongly contributed to Central feeling like another home for me. It's the one place outside family - and outside Wikipedia - in which I've truly felt I belong and I've achieved so much there.

I shall not take total credit for all my achievements, though. For one, I am grateful for my grandparents giving me the opportunity to stay with them to attend college; their willingness made this all possible in the first place. I've also been fortunate to have diligent teachers and amazing classmates, as well as received help from other vital denizens of the college, such as the librarians and the receptionists. Where I am now in life is because of their support and that of countless others. And let's not forget that Mum and my brother have been cheering me on, too, no matter what.

The only downside is that Dad saw hardly any of my progression over the last two years. Granted, he observed me start my journey but he wasn't able to be there the whole way through and beyond. There's so much I want to tell him but I can't.

Central is one of the most positive experiences of my life so far. I am saddened that the day I would have to leave has been and gone but I will forever credit the place for everything it has given me. I am a stronger and more confident person than I was two years ago thanks to it. University now awaits.

Friday, 15 July 2016

The final college term ends

Today marked the end of the third term of my college's academic year and the absolute end of my course. I am fully finished with college; I'll have a more comprehensive post up tomorrow but this evening, I wanted to note that my two-year college journey is complete.

Thursday, 14 July 2016

"Counting Stars" - OneRepublic

In 2013, this song became OneRepublic's most successful single:

It's "Counting Stars" from Native, the band's third studio album. The band had been quiet for a few years and then this hit appeared out of nowhere, replacing "Apologize" as their most successful single. I've recently re-discovered the song and thought it was worth giving it a mention.

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

CollegeHumor's early internet commenter videos

I came across these two ancient CollegeHumor videos, both of which were released nearly nine years ago and parody Internet commenters:

Internet commenters have changed little in nine years, although most CollegeHumor videos often feature in their comments sections people trolling about how funnier the channel was years ago compared to now.

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Another blocked ear (redux)

To update about last night's blocked ear, my grandfather water syringed a significant portion of the wax out of my left ear. As such, I can hear properly again, to the point where the hearing in that ear is super-sensitive at the moment. There's still a bit of wax left in the ear and we're also going to clear out the right one, as that needs cleaning, too. At least I can hear properly again!

Monday, 11 July 2016

Another blocked ear

Back in early 2013, both of my ears were blocked with wax and I had heavy difficulty hearing. For the past week, my left ear has been blocked, which has once again given me trouble hearing. I have been addressing the issue with eardrops but I had to deal with the Experience Day and other events while only having partial hearing. I still did it all, though; I backed out of nothing because of the problem and I hope to have it all cleared soon.

Sunday, 10 July 2016

Week from the walk

A week ago, I had completed my first walk to Hucknall in over a year and it exhausted me, due to my being out of practice with long walks. My left foot was extremely sore afterwards, which meant I was hobbling around; however, in the time since that walk, I have recovered from any pain and exhaustion it induced. Part of what I intend to do in the summer is catch up on exercise.

Saturday, 9 July 2016

EU referendum youth turnout

Ever since the referendum on the United Kingdom's membership within the European Union, many young people have been furious, as they feel that their future has been ruined by those who perceive to have benefited from the UK's presence within the EU yet voted to leave it. However, other groups have hit back, saying that the youth have no right to complain because about a third of eligible voters between the ages of 18-24 participated.

There is evidence that the turnout in that group was much higher - close to two-thirds:

I hope this is the case. It would stink if concerns of the youth were forever shut down on the basis that they "didn't vote" when it turns out that they, in fact, did. It might be a lower turnout than other groups but at least it would be majority of them who participated in the referendum.

Friday, 8 July 2016

Spread some positivity

Tell someone you love them, say thank you for a job well done, offer to help out with something. Whatever you choose to do, do something that spread some positivity around. Less than favourable news is a constant but it's been especially worse recently; let's make the world a better place, no matter how small the gesture. Yes, you can do something; being there for someone is something.

Thursday, 7 July 2016

The Experience Day

Today, my college held its Experience Day. The Experience Day was an open event in which the public could come an visit the college to learn about what the place has to offer. If people so desired, they could also apply for courses on the spot. As I'm a Student Ambassador, this is the sort of event that I could provide assistance to.

I acted as a guide in that I was positioned between the corridors intersecting reception, the library and a set of stairs down to the gym. I would help direct groups to the library and once they'd finished attending a presentation in there, I would then point them down towards the gym, where course information was located. I also acted as a sort of greeter and as someone people could approach for certain advice; even some staff from other campuses asked me for help and staff native to my campus praised my performance.

The recorded figure for public attendance to the day was from 250-300, to possibly a little higher than that. Overall, today was a highly successful day for my college.

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Temporary Stop

I saw this bus stop in Hucknall the other day on my walk there:

A new bus stop...Temporary Stop! It's evidently been brought on by the maintenance that has been occurring along parts of the main road through the town. It was weird seeing a timetable that was almost hugging the ground rather than positioned at chest or eye level.

Tuesday, 5 July 2016

"M.I.L.F. $" - Fergie

Fergie's back!

It's "M.I.L.F. $" and it has been released as the lead single from her upcoming second studio album, Double Dutchess. At last! Fergie is finally releasing a new album! I've been looking forward to a new Fergie album since she released The Dutchess ten years ago. I have not been following music at all since last September but this is one release that I'm definitely excited about. Fergie is awesome!

Funnily enough, it was about this time five years ago when I wrote that it was about this time ten (then five) years ago that Fergie released her first single from her first album.

Monday, 4 July 2016

July 4th, 2016

It's the 4th of July, which means it's America's birthday. Happy birthday, America! You're now 240 years old! Don't look a day over 190, although that could be because no new states have been admitted since 1959. Still, looking great for the mid-200s!

Sunday, 3 July 2016

A new Hucknall walk

For the first time in over a year, I walked to Hucknall from my grandparents' house. Given that lately I haven't exercised as much as I should have done, I decided a new Hucknall walk was in order. I completed it and made it to Hucknall's northernmost bus stop; however, the walk took far longer than it ever has done in the past and it has exhausted me. I am not as fit as I was last year.

To my pleasant surprise, one of my classmates drove past me as I was in Hucknall; he called to me and waved. It was good to see him and good to have gone for a massive walk, even if it has tired me.

Saturday, 2 July 2016


Today, I rode, from Derby bus station after a ride on Indigo, the Sixes 6.1 to Bakewell, a town in Derbyshire. Here is a picture overlooking the town:

My visit to Bakewell was short, as it was carnival day and the town was packed; not only that but the bus route was blocked after I arrived. For a while I was concerned that I wouldn't have been able to have returned to my bus interchange in Derby; fortunately, the Sixes 6.1 returned and I was able to leave Bakewell. I will visit there again on another day, when I won't be worrying about carnivals.

The Sixes 6.1 is a fun bus route because not only did it feature plenty of beautiful scenery, it also travelled through Matlock and Matlock Bath, the latter of which I visited in 2012 and 2013.

Friday, 1 July 2016

Lindsay Lohan and Philip Hollobone

Lindsay Lohan has been invited by Philip Hollobone, the MP for Kettering, to come to Northamptonshire:

As results were coming in for the recent referendum, Lohan wrote a tweet that was taken as dissing Kettering. She has since apologised and appears to have accepted Hollobone's invitation. It should be interesting if Lohan does attend the event she's been invited to - it's not far from where my mother and brother live.