Thursday, 31 August 2017

Mature student meetup, Year 2, meetup 1

Since I've been at university I have been attending the meetups for mature students, despite missing those that occurred before my first term began. I am now fairly well known at them and I enjoy meeting up with fellow mature students.

Today was the first mature student meetup of the 2017-2018 academic year. This meetup was so incoming mature students could make new friends from both existing mature students and others that would be coming to university this year; it was also so the regulars could see each other again. As far I knew, there was only one new student there; however, if there were other new students there I didn't meet them because most of my conversing while there was with her. Not a problem, of course, as it's always good to meet a new person!

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

"Adam Ruins Everything Corrects ITSELF!"

A few times, I have posted links to chips of the show Adam Ruins Everything, which is a both an educational and comedic show that busts modern falsehoods. In many ways, it is similar to Mythbusters and Penn and Teller: Bullshit! in doing so. Here is a clip from a recent episode, in which it addressed claims of providing incorrect information to viewers:

I agree - admitting to errors and learning from them increases someone's credibility. Claiming that you're 100% is far more likely to lead people to believe that you're often wrong.

Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Apple tree and Chinese candy

In my mother's and brother's backyard is an extremely prolific apple tree; it has been producing apples at an incredible rate - to the point where Mum and my brother had too many apples and had to give some away. As such, when I went over to my grandparents' house today to do some gardening and other work for them, I brought with me a huge bag of apples for them. On the bright side, with all these apples we have fresh fruit for the time being!

While I was at my grandparents', however, they had something for me: A bag of Chinese candy. One of my cousins and his girlfriend were recently in Hong Kong and they brought back with them a load of candy from there. They gave a lot of it to my grandparents; however, it was too much for my grandparents and so they gave the excess candy for me to share with Mum and my brother.

Excess apples, excess Chinese candies - what fun!

Monday, 28 August 2017

The return of the key

I awakened early this morning to head over to my accommodation, where I finished off the last of the housework. It took me about two hours to complete the cleaning work and then after that, I visited the security office to return my house/room key.

And with that, today was the day that fully marked the end of my first year at university. I'm off campus and no longer have access to my accommodation - at least not until the latter half of next month. I have a small reprieve before return.

Sunday, 27 August 2017

Another move completed

All done, another move completed. I spent the day packing my remaining items and then carrying them by hand; it took me five trips to carry nearly everything over to my mother's house and as a result, I am now exhausted and looknig forward to going to bed. I'll be up early tomorrow to finish tidying my accommodation and to then hand in the key.

For the next few weeks, I'll be living with family again.

Saturday, 26 August 2017

Last night here, back in a few weeks

Tonight will be my last night in my student accommodation until the 2017/2018 academic year starts for universities in the second half of next month. While I hand in the keys on Monday, I'll be going to my brother's and mother's house tomorrow; most of my stuff is at theirs but there are a few things I have here and I'll be carrying them my hand. It'll be good exercise because it'll take a few trips to take them all!

This will be my first time living with family again since I started university last year.

Friday, 25 August 2017

EU applications for British citizenship

Since the European Union referendum here in the United Kingdom last summer, EU immigrant applications for British citizenship have skyrocketed:

This is to ensure they are allowed to stay here, assuming the EU-UK negotiations don't protect their right to stay. Ever since the referendum, I have been concerned at what will happen to the 3,000,000 EU immigrants who live here. None of them wanted to be in the situation where they could end up having to leave the UK through no fault of their own; topics like this were barely, if at all, discussed during the referendum campaign.

Thursday, 24 August 2017

Beating the bus - from Gamston!

To pick up some food items that I wasn't able to purchase at Clifton Morrison's, I took a long walk and then rode a bus to Gamston Morrison's, as that store is larger and contains a greater selection. I spent fifteen or so minutes in the store and then returned to the bus stop; however, the next bus was in 25 minutes and I had no desire to wait.

As such, I walked to West Bridgford from Gamston Morrison's; at a point during this walk, I saw, going in the direction of Gamston, the bus that that I would have taken had I waited. Some twenty or so minutes later, once I had nearly reached the stops bound for Clifton, that bus appeared again. I beat it by a minute.

While I only saved myself a minute of time, which was negated anyway by my having to wait for the Clifton-bound buses, walking from Gamston to West Bridgford was still beneficial, in my view, because the exercise performed while doing so was preferable and better for me than waiting around for nearly half an hour.

Wednesday, 23 August 2017

"How College Loans Got So Evil"- a clip from 'Adam Ruins Everything'

I watched this on YouTube within the past hour or so:

I had wondered the American student loan debt was so bad. What we have here in the United Kingdom isn't as bad; although the debt is hardly a good thing, on current rules, you only start paying it back when you reach a certain income.

Before this evening, I most recently posted about Adam Ruins Everything here.

Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Theme tune to the 'Good Ending' of "Oddworld: Abe's Exoddus"

This is an excellent piece of music from the theme tune to the 'Good Ending' of Oddworld: Abe's Exoddus:

The first twenty seconds of deep sadness as the clip shows the Mudokons who are still trapped and enslaved, then the melody changes and the remaining thirty seconds signify Abe and his fellow Mudokon's determination to find their missing brethren. It truly is fantastic game music.

The 'Good Ending' is achieved when the player saves 150 - or half - the Mudokons in the game. If the player fails to save at least this many, Abe is executed. Save the Mudokons!

Monday, 21 August 2017

Tinned fish and salad

I've become hooked on a dish that I should have eaten more at the beginning of my university year: Tinned fish and salad. Last night, I had two bags of salad and some tinned tuna, which I combined and also mixed with Worcestershire sauce. The result? A super tasty meal that's also easy to prepare and healthful for me, as well as cheap.

People often complain that salad is bland on its own and so they add salad dressing to it; the trouble is, salad dressing is fattening because of its sugar content. Fish and Worcestershire sauce have little to no sugar or artificial sweeteners in them and are thus better for a person than salad dressing.

This evening, I had tinned mackerel with salad and Worcestershire sauce. I can lose weight with this!

Sunday, 20 August 2017

Holme Pierrepont August 2017 (2)

While I last visited there under two weeks ago, I went to Holme Pierrepont this afternoon. I specifically wanted to test out the 11C bus, which runs on Sundays to the water sports centre. The bus stops just outside the park, at the entrance where my grandfather, father, brother and I walked into it back in December 2010.

This was a better visit to Holme Pierrepont compared to the previous. There were more people around and I had zero feelings of loneliness. Since I got that first visit since Dad's death out of the way, the second was much easier. I walked around the main water once before taking the 11C back to the city centre.

Saturday, 19 August 2017

The cleaning week

For my last week at my accommodation for this contract, I'll be helping to clean the house. Fortunately, since only two people have lived here for the past month, it's not that dirty. Besides vacuuming and kitchen work, the main cleaning that needs to be done is the bathtub as it is draining slowly; I'll be on that tomorrow, as I'll be going out in the morning to purchase some drain cleaner.

It's funny to think that as of tomorrow, I'll only have a week left here before I'll be at my mother's and brother's house, only to be back in less than a month.

Friday, 18 August 2017

Accommodation move-out 2017, Phase 1

Phase 1 of my move out is complete. The vast majority of my belongings are now at my mother's and brother's house; my East of England uncle and one of my cousins came to transport my stuff for me. Now, at my accommodation I have few of my belongings left here; mostly clothes, some kitchen items and last-minute miscellany.

All that's left here can be carried by hand back to my mother's and brother's place. It might take me two or three runs to take it all but I'll do'll be great exercise!

Thursday, 17 August 2017

Finding from packing

I'm still in the process of packing and will continue to work through the night until I'm either tired or there's not much left to pack. While I've been packing, I came across a few items I thought had gone missing; in this case, clothing.

While searching through my wardrobe, I discovered a 'new' blue shirt that I had completely forgotten about, as it was buried under socks and other clothing. I call it 'new' because I've barely worn it. There are a few other items of clothing that were buring alongisde it; I'll have to ensure these are hung up in the wardrobe when I'm back in my accommodation, rather than waiting on the shelves.

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Swinging crane fly

A crane fly got itself caught in a web this evening. This wasn't noteworthy by itself, as the spiders here often catch crane flies, but what made this catch funny was that the end of the web the crane fly was caught in wasn't attached to anything; as a result, the crane fly swung on the web as though it were a pendulum.

Fortunately for the crane fly, the spider who built the web was nowhere to be found. I used the time to cut the web and free the crane fly, who promptly started buzzing around the nearest light source. The crane fly will be safe provided that it doesn't fly into another web.

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

To obtain an extra box redux

Good news! I was able to obtain not one but three new boxes for my temporary move out of my accommodation. My grandparents had some spare suitcases that they have kindly given to me. My belongings here will take up less room at my mother's house as a result, in addition to being easier to transport.

One of my uncles will be coming on Friday to help me move the majority of my items but I'll still be in my accommodation until next weekend.

Monday, 14 August 2017

To obtain an extra box

This afternoon, I re-assembled the cardboard boxes I brought with me when I moved into my current accommodation; however, as I have since acquired a few more belonings, I need an extra box. First, I shall contact my mother and brother to see if they have a box to spare but if not, I'll look at a place in the city centre for one.

Ideally, I hope my mother has one. I don't particularly want to waste valuable time packing on searching for one more box. I don't have that much more stuff but it's enough to need another place it pack it in.

Sunday, 13 August 2017

Just say no to Nazis

As a result of the recent neo-Nazi protect in Virginia, there have been people saying that perhaps Nazis need to be reasoned with, talked to...given a platform to present their views so that they can be debated and refuted. Treated with respect!

Just, two...problems with that - we already know what Nazi views are and they've already been refuted. Need proof? Look up World War II and Nazi Germany; for anyone who wants to hear Nazis "give their side of the story", those two subjects will provide all the information needed.

Saturday, 12 August 2017

Gardening then packing

I spent the day at my grandparents' house to complete another batch of garden work for them; the next time I do any work for them, however, won't be until the week after next, for this next week I shall be packing up my belongings in my accommodation in preparation for my temporary move to my mother and brother's house.

Since I left my parents' house in August 2014, this stretch from September 2016 - August 2017 has been longest time living in one place, given that I've not been travelling anywhere during the breaks.

Friday, 11 August 2017

Holme Pierrepont August 2017

For the first time in years - likely the first time since I wrote this post - I visited the water sports centre at Holme Pierrepont. I recently learnt that the 11 bus travels through West Bridgford to a stop a short walk from the centre and the 11C travels directly to the centre, albeit only on Sundays and bank holiday Mondays.

This became my strangest visit to Holme Pierrepont. In the past, I went with family - the last time I went with my grandfather but another common person I went there with was Dad. Evidently, Dad is no longer around to go to Holme Pierrepont with but not only that but there were hardly any people about; it felt quite lonely being without company and with few other people around.

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Bakewell August 2017

I visited Bakewell for the first time since July of last year except that on this occasion, a friend came with me. I invited said friend to come with me after he'd been fascinated by my first Bakewell trip when I told him about it.

In Bakewell, we walked around, walked to some of the surrounding paths, climbed one of the small mountains and walked by the river for several hours before returning to Derby and then no Nottingham. This was a much better trip to Bakewell compared to my one last year, where I only spent an hour there, of which half of spent finding a toilet and the other half finding how to return to Derby.

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

"Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee"

Some nineteen or twenty years ago, Dad downloaded the demo for Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee (full version released in September 1997). While Dad's reasons for downloading the game are unknown, it nevertheless became a popular game within the family and with some of our friends. The plot of Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee involved a worker (Abe) saving his people from the corporation at which they worked, as it was going to turn them into food:

We soon bought the full version of the game as well as its sequel, Oddworld: Abe's Exoddus. While there have been more sequels and also a remake of Oddysee, called Oddworld: New 'n' Tasty!, we never pursued any of them because they went back to gaming consoles and we used the PC. Still, the two Oddworld games we have have provided countless hours of fun and run on our modern computers.

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Festival of Learning certificate

A few months ago, I was nominated for a Festival of Learning award, in the category for mature students. A few weeks ago, I was informed that I had not won the award but would be receiving a certificate of achievement instead and that it would be sent to Central.

This afternoon, I paid a short visit to Central (actually, it's now officially the Maid Marian Way campus of Nottingham College) to pick up this certificate. I had a short conversation with one of the receptionists - the one I've known since when she worked at the West Bridgford campus - and then I left.

I expect this to be the last of my accreditations from the Access era. That was academic year 2015-16 and now we're headed for 2017-18; I think I was fortunate to have even have been nominated for Central's internal award over a year ago - to still be receiving any sort of certificate at all this late is staggering.

Monday, 7 August 2017

"The Love I Lost (Moulton Remix)" - Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes

A song I've been listening to quite a bit recently has been this one:

It's the Moulton Remix of "The Love I Lost" by Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes. I remember the original version that was briefly played in the film The Last Days of Disco as well as was listening to the 1990s version by Sybil.

Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes released the original "The Lost I Lost" in 1973, from their second studio album, Black & Blue.

Sunday, 6 August 2017

Back from Cambridge

My bus back from Cambridge was via National Express, which set off from there at 1:15 this morning. The return to Nottingham took two and a half hours and once I arrived here, I walked back to Clifton. I walked back via a well-lit route, which was mostly deserted; until I made it to Clifton, much of the traffic consisted of taxis.

What an amazing 48 hours it was, from when I left on Friday to when I returned this morning. It was an honour to attend my friend's wedding and I wish her and her new husband all the best.

Saturday, 5 August 2017

Married friend

My friend is a married woman! The ceremony took place between 2:00 and 3:00pm, followed by a brief interlude before the main meal. After that, the day has been spent partying and talking to various new people.

Other than a rainstorm this morning, the day has been a gigantic success and I wish the happy new couple all the best.

Friday, 4 August 2017

At the hotel in Cambridge

I'm here, I'm in Cambridge, in my hotel and checked in. I arrived here awhile ago and will now be doing some exploring; I need to find the venue for my friend's wedding tomorrow, as well as the bus stops for when I return to Nottingham. After that, I'll have to look for a Tesco or someplace similar to purchase something for my dinner tonight; I didn't bother with a hotel meal because it was expensive.

Thursday, 3 August 2017

To Cambridge

Tomorrow, for the first time in many years, I'll be in Cambridge. I'll be down there to attend on Saturday the wedding of the friend of mine with whom I went to the Carrie Underwood concerts. She invited me last year and finally, the day is nearly here.

I'll be travelling down on the 19 bus from Nottingham to Peterborough and then a bus from Peterborough to Cambridge. From what I can tell, this will involve five hours of bus riding, which will be easy enough. I'll be staying in a hotel on Friday, be active all day Saturday and then travelling back via National Express on a bus that leaves Cambridge at 1:15am on Sunday.

I have not attended a proper wedding for 21 years, unless the reception party I attended last month is counted. For this wedding, however, I'll be there from start until the finish.

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Preparing for a temporary move out

I now have less than a month left on my accommodation's contract. As such, I am in the process of packing my belongings for a temporary move to my mother and brother's house, where I'll be for under a month before moving back into my university accommodation again.

It will be a weird "move" since it will be so short but it's necessary since I can't stay in the accommodation for a whole year at a time. Maybe for Year 3 I will look elsewhere, depending on my circumstances at the time.

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Liveland History: 1st August 2014

Three years ago, I helped my oldest younger cousin move from one accommodation in Lincoln to another:

That was her second of three residences in Lincoln and took place before her second year began. I met some of her then-housemates but only briefly.

This took place during the week of my first visit to Central College Nottingham's Maid Marian Way campus, where I'd be for the subsequent two years; I was interviewed about which Pre-Access course I wanted and I met a future classmate in the session.