Category Archives: Family

Rough Shudder

I won 3 mini bottles of wine for reciting pi to 52 decimal places. Geekiest thing I've ever done?
I won 3 mini bottles of wine for reciting pi to 52 decimal places. Geekiest thing I’ve ever done?

The last month has been an interesting one. Certainly a lot has happened over Easter that has got me thinking about my long-term career prospects and even short-term goals.

To start with, the University has started an ‘Operational Review’ seemingly in an attempt to stifle research efforts and reduce the student experience all in the name of short-term cost-savings. My two cents is that the university should be investing in better marketing to entice new undergraduate students to Surrey instead of the other top universities with with we now compete due to increased entry requirements. But what do I know, every time students are ‘spoken down to’ regarding the changes, dumbing down information with meaningless metaphors and simply saying ‘don’t worry your little heads about it, let the adults work it out’. Frankly, it’s pathetic.

The food at vegfest this year was really good. I'm still not convinced about the whole "meat-free meat" thing though.
The food at vegfest this year was really good. I’m still not convinced about the whole “meat-free meat” thing though.

Moving on to something more exciting and positive, Emily and I went on a boating weekend in March. Just the two of us in the fresh midlands countryside gave us time to relax and get away from all the stress of operational reviews, thesis reports and conference deadlines. Life in the slow lane for 48 hours. It was bliss. To say I’m looking forward to this summer’s marathon boat trip to Bristol would be an understatement.

Back to PhD life again, and it was time for my thesis review at the end of March. This is a new report you have to write for your 2-year milestone. It caused much argument and debate between my supervisor and I for a good many weeks, resulting in a stale-mate where neither of us are happy with the outcome. I’m still unsure about what to do about this, but thankfully the head of department has been very helpful in moving things along, albeit with me still carrying more than a teaspoon full of scepticism. Alas.

carrying these back from the Boat Race on packed public transport was totally worth it.
Carrying these back from the Boat Race on packed public transport was totally worth it.

I’ve been taking more of an interest in my personal fitness again. Stuart and I are still going climbing on a weekly basis and hoping to transcend to new heights by taking our skills outdoors very soon. I’ve been keenly going to weekly Roller Derby sessions, and went to cheer on the girls team in a game in Coventry a few weeks back.

By far my biggest achievement recently has been playing in my first Roller Derby game! It was a men’s rookie game made up of guys from various teams around the country. Playing with people I’d never met before in front of a crowd (containing my parents!) could be described as being “thown in at the deep end”, but Emily had made me a sign saying “BRING THE POWER” and I managed to score 14 points for my team! It was a great learning experience and I’m now eagerly awaiting my next chance to play.

If that wasn’t enough fitness news, I’m attempting Tough Mudder on Saturday. I say attempting because it’s a 12-mile military-style obstacle course and I’ve done next to no training. Should be a laugh. I might die.

 

BEDA: Mumisms

mum·i·sm [muhm-iz-uhm]
Noun
A word or phase used by my mother that closely resembles an actual word or phase, typically technical in nature, but is in fact a humours reflection on modern life. I love my mother to bits, and these are too brilliant not to share.
“I went home at the weekend and heard this stonking mumism”

In·ter·webs [in-ter-webs]
Noun
More commonly known as the internet. While now adopted as a common mispronunciation, it was first used by my mother as early as 2003.
“I’ve just got my email on the interwebs”

My·face [mahy-feys]
Noun
Pertaining to social networks and social networking.
“now I’m on the interweb you can come on myface anytime” – My Mum, 2013 (when joining Facebook)

E·tube [ee-tyoob]
Noun
An on-line video portal where videos are shared amongst its users across the interwebs.
“what’s the best video on etube?”

The web·site [thuh web-sahyt]
Noun
A place where everything can be found.
“can you just check on the website?”, “I saw it on the website”

Lam·bor·ge·nie [lam-bawr-jee-nee]
Noun
A fast car.
“He’s so rich, he just bought a lamborgenie”

In·ter·face [in-ter-feys]
Noun
Referring to YouTube. I was confused as well.
“I saw it on the interface”

Two Cin·e·ma Seat [too sin-uh-muh seet]
Noun
A Northern Irish indie rock band more commonly known as Two Door Cinema Club.
“I love that album you got me for Christmas by two cinema seat”

De·face [dih-feys]
Verb
To remove, or “un-friend”, someone from Facebook.
“Once we’re friends can I deface them?”

 

I will be keeping the BEDA posts coming long into May. Maybe it should be called BAFT (Blog All the F-ing Time)… Until next time x

Family Christmas Meal in Balloch

The family tradition is to have Christmas dinner together, as most families, but we have it at the start of December. In Scotland. That way we don’t have to spend actual Christmas together. It does make sense… or so I’ve been conditioned to believe.

Dinner is served

On Sunday my parents came round for Xmas dinner cooked by my housemates and I. Complete with turkey and all the trimmings, mulled wine, champagne, Christmas pudding and charades…

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Bring on Christmas!

  • Happiness. 8.5 out of 10
  • Tiredness. 2 out of 5
  • Workload. 8 out of 10
  • Last Meal. Mississippi mud pie 
  • Song of the day. Parachute – She Is Love
  • Thought for the day. If you don’t have any shadows, you’re not standing in the light
  • What I’m Doing Now. Still procrastinating.

Acting Debut & The FUTURE!

I’ve been part of the University of Surrey’s Student Television Station since it began a few years ago, but I’ve always focused on the technical aspects such as filming and editing… but this week, in a bizarre role-reversal between Mike and I, I presented and he edited. So I present to you my first (who knows their may be more…) foray into news presenting…

Charles Gray uncovers plans for the old bookshop to become a strip club after it’s refurbishment… or at least it should according to one student. In a MADTV EXCLUSIVE we tell you what is actually to become of our once loved book shop.

In other news, that I haven’t presented to camera, I went to London last weekend and saw some mates from way back when in Sixth form. Brought together with our love for Nando’s free whole chicken, we sat, gobbled and gobbed for hours. It’s always interesting to stay in touch and see what all your old friends have achieved with their lives. Ben, who has already graduated from an Accounting degree, has found himself working in the Pensions department at Wandsworth Council… I wonder where I’ll be in a years time? Back at Sony? Another broadcast company? McDonalds? the street? Like recycling, the possibilities are endless…

But that’s a while away yet, what about the immediate future? Well I’m off to W-hey-mouth this weekend to see the lovely Charlotte :D After that?

  • 4th December. My parents come to Guildford for Christmas dinner cooked by my housemates and I.
  • 15th December. Going to see Matthew Bourne’s Nutcraker in London!
  • 22nd December. The usual trick for Christmas commences… up to my sisters in Chesterfield for the festivities and prevailing jokes.
  • 29th December. The usual trick for New Year… Jake and I hit up London for a ‘small’ party with friends while the parents are away…
  • January. Exams, coursework, projects… back to normality, for my last year at University!!!

Some of you may have heard that I made a new years resolution for 2011 to not buy any chocolate for the whole year, and those people will also know how impossible this challenge should prove to be… well I’m still at it, but the going is getting tough with just 6 weeks to go! I started the year with a chocolate stash (below) to get me through, but this week that stash was depleted to zero. So now, as Boyzone once said, the going gets tough…

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  • Happiness. 8 out of 10
  • Tiredness. 1 out of 5
  • Workload. 6.5 out of 10
  • Last Meal. A hobnob
  • Song of the day. Ed Sheeran – The A Team
  • Thought for the day. I thought love was only true in fairy-tales, meant for someone else but not for me…
  • What I’m Doing Now. Packing for the weekend

She’ll Be Coming Round The Mountain

It’s on it’s way… I’m just a bit pre-occupied with this moving house, travelling around Switzerland and Italy, birthday party, and boating malarkey.

But not to worry, I’m only off to Scotland on Thursday, back off to Switzerland next Monday and then in Sheffield the following weekend… And then I move into my NEW house :)

So, yea, just ambling around…

switzerland

^ Switzerland

italy

^ Italy

father

^ Father

mother

^ Mother

boating

^ Boating

  • Happiness. 9 out of 10
  • Tiredness. 5 out of 5
  • Free Time. 0 out of 5
  • Last Meal. Tuna pasta
  • Song of the day. Johnny ‘Guitar’ Watson – Gangster of Love
  • Thought for the day. …it’s beating twice as strong
  • What I’m Doing Now. Packing. The story of my life.