Category Archives: Moments

A Summer in Lost Photographs

Today I want to walk you through some of the amazing times I had over the summer using photographs you haven’t seen before… let us begin…

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Like so many good summer’s this one started with the end of the University year. Tradition is to go down to the lake on campus, have drinks and be merry with friends. The picture tells the rest of the story pretty well.
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Will “drying off” after going on the wettest log flume ever at Drayton Manor theme park. We went there for the day with his sister and my sister because the canal goes right past the entrance! That first boat trip of the summer was amazing and provided much needed time off to relax.
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Will and I being our usual stupid selves on one of the rides!
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This was the summer that started me going to Schism rock club in Woking. The first Friday of every month is a rock/metal night which lots of our friends attend. Great atmosphere!
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The first social organised by the committee of the Postgraduate Society was a Games Night in Wates House pub on campus. To our surprise, over 30 people showed up! It was a great success!
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Ankur and I attended Grad Ball. A bitter sweet affair since it was the last time I’ve seen a lot of my friends who were graduating. But an amazing night, my favourite Grad Ball ever! And I’ve been to 5 now…
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A photo of Ankur and I from a stall making mock movie posters at Grad Ball. Ankur makes a very attractive princess Leia!
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Picnic in Richmond Park! Lots of climbing trees, eating cous-cous and chasing deer. How middle-class of us.
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Boat Trip number 2! Only a weekend this time, but despite the injuries, everyone had a huge laugh! Highlights include eating wild boar sausages, randomly going to a rock club in Wolverhampton and playing the Ukulele for everyone :)
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My 24th birthday was just a massive party! Hiring a room at the local church in London and having 30 friends eat and drink the night away! Here’s one of my presents, very awesome!
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Bristol! The home of ALL THE CIDER! Great catching up with friends and seeing a city I’ve never visited before! I just wish Guildford had this much choice of cider… although maybe it’s for the best.
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The Postgraduate Society stall at Freshers Fayre! We got over 150 sign-ups in one afternoon! The year is going to be big!
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Our first Meet & Greet for new Postgrads took me by surprise when over 30 people showed up! We made it work though, can’t wait for the next one!

So that’s just a small snippet of the last few months, we haven’t even touched on the random nights out to Tickled Ivory, or the Comedy Nights at The Stoke, or the many trips to the cinema, or seeing Jamiroqui live, or trips to Cambridge… the list goes on! It’s been a seriously great summer! And lots to look forward to going into the last few months of the year :)

Stay classy x

Silverstone General Admission Tips

I figured I’d write a blog post about my experience at the British Grand Prix last Sunday, mainly to encourage any of you tittering about whether it’s worth going to see a F1 race live or not to actually go! Believe me when I say it’s 100% worth every penny it costs, hands down no questions asked. Many people will tell you that you’re better off staying at home and watching all the action on the telly, safe from the British climate with a nice commentary and no risk of missing anything. This is simply not true.

While watching a Grand Prix is different to seeing a football or tennis match live, because you can’t see the whole circuit from where you are standing, at Silverstone there are plenty of large screens situated all over which show the same international live feed that Sky and the BBC get. Also there is an FM station you can tune in to that provides live commentary, and if you don’t have an FM radio (like me) the commentary is broadcast over a tannoy system (or you can hire a FM radio on the day).

Like with any sporting event, the atmosphere is really the killer thing you miss when just watching it on the telly, in your boxers, eating Pringles off your chest… or whatever. And there is no atmosphere like going to your home Grand Prix and cheering on all the British drivers with thousands of other people. And there are a fair few British drivers to cheer on in F1 at the moment: Lewis Hamilton, Jenson Button, Paul Di resta and Max Chilton. And that doesn’t even include all the F1 teams based within 50 miles of the Silverstone circuit. You really can’t help but get carried away with the crowd. After Hamilton’s tyre exploded, there was an air of communal disappointment, but then when Hamilton’s car drove past us heading for the pits, we all cheered and spurred him on… and it was fantastic to be a part of that.

Actually going to see an F1 race gets a lot of flack because of how little you will supposedly see, and how loud it is. I contest both of these points. I saw a lot of action on Sunday, from cars running practically side-by-side during an overtake at 150mph, to the safety car, marshals cleaning debris off the track, drivers sauntering back to the pits with broken tyres… All right in front of my eyes. I may be a simple man, but watching Hamilton overtake someone during the lap, and then cheering him on as he went past is just something every British racing fan should do.

Silverstone also has the added bonus of the Red Arrows air show. The Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team take to the sky’s above the track an hour before take off and perform a truly breathtaking 30-minute show that you would usually pay lots of money to see at an air show. Almost a reason to go a of itself.

I had a general admission ticket for the day, which means I wasn’t allowed in the grandstands, but I could go pretty much anywhere else. There are loads of designated areas next to the track for General Admission ticket holders, including at the first corner and Luffield, so don’t think that they’re the rubbish bits either! We opted to sit in an area after Stowe corner before the final chicane into the start/finish straight. I would highly recommend this spot for a few reasons…

We didn’t get to the track until about 9:30am on race day, which by all accounts is later than most people would suggest arriving. This was due to getting the Megabus service from London to Silverstone, which was such a great idea because it avoided the hassle of driving and was very painless and cheap. As lots of other websites suggest, getting to Silverstone at this time means all the really good spots have already gone… Luffield corner didn’t have space to breath by the time we got there. However, the spot after Stowe corner has TONS of space for fans to lay out their camping chairs, with room to stretch your legs, so when we rolled up at 10:30am we had no trouble finding a space to set up shop. So that’s reason #1, there’s lots of space for latecomers.

Secondly, there are three large TV screens in the area, so you’re pretty much guaranteed to see at least one of them to keep you up to date with the action.

Thirdly, there is a great atmosphere among the crowd here. Because it is such a large area, and on a bit of a hill, it’s reminiscent of Henman Hill at Wimbledon in terms of ambiance… so much energy and excitement even before the race!

Lastly, there’s plenty of action around this part of the track! It’s just after the second DRS zone, so you’ll often see cars completing an overtaking move around Stowe, or setting themselves up for another shot along the start-finish straight. It’s also got the entrance to the pits, so you can see drivers diving off into there too.

And if all those reasons weren’t enough to have you convinced, while we were there during the driver’s parade before the race, all the British drivers were interviewed on the grass just next to us! And at the end of the race they open up the track at this spot so fans can head down to the podium to watch the ceremony. Believe me when I say this is where it’s at.

Two things I would suggest anyone to bring with them are camping chairs (you will not be happy without them) and a picnic. Food outlets are very expensive, so enjoy being outdoors and avoid the queues. One thing not to worry about is ear protection, as earplugs are available at the track for free.

If I haven’t made my point clear by now, the take home message is this: If you love F1, go to Silverstone. You will not be disappointed.

You can see a selection of photos I took during the race day here. Video is here.

BEDA: A Poet At Heart

Blog is such a funny sounding word. B-L-O-G. Who’s idea was this?

I feel like we’ve got to know each other over the many years of writing this blog. Over the years I’ve shared a few of my poems on these pages: Leaving, New Sunrise, Every Day, The Moment and Never Too Late. I still write occasionally, when I need to. I find the process just helps me get my head straight, the actual end result is a happy by-product. Every one is very special to me because it reminds me of how I felt at a particular moment in my life, which makes them difficult to show to other people.

Time heals all wounds, and today I want you to read a couple of short poems I wrote back in 2010. Seems like a millennium ago. I was finishing my second year at university, and had a placement lined up at Sony starting in the summer. I had a group of close friends who I couldn’t live without, and I couldn’t be happier.

Time To Smile

The flow of time can be a trial,
But not when I’m with you;
For every time I see you smile,
It makes me smile too.

Little Things

Sunshine on a rainy day
Cut grass and summer dew
The calling birds and morning breeze
Or the moment I hold you

Control My Heart

This head has many secrets
From when we said goodbye
The heart did not control my brain
And the moment passed us by

I don’t know when we’ll meet again
But I hope it can be soon
And maybe then you’ll see the pain
My heart can put me through

Back To Me

Sing back to me,
To the soul of my brittle thoughts,
Clasp the treasure of this moment,
Calm the heartbeat time forgot.

Say back to me,
Let me long deeply in your eyes,
Soft words spoken through your lips,
Catch my mind, see you inside.

Whisper back to me,
Let your breathing count to mine,
Place our warmth together,
Hold me close to lead the blind.

If time could last forever,
And hate and war could stop,
I’d ask you “stand beside me,
And show love time forgot.”

until tomorrow x

Taste the Rainbow

Settling back into the slow life is so comforting knowing that you are doing something for your future, and living the present the best way you know how.

I want to inject a bit of nostalgia into this post, knowing full well that this blog has started to show its receding hairline this year with the lacklustre modicum of posts. As the new year beckons, and lets be honest its already on the horizon, I usually turn the content switch to “past” and start idolizing the perfect moments from the year gone by. And this year will be no different in some respects, but I want to start early because it’s been such an incredible year!

January

My best memories from January lie scattered amongst many weeks spent in Switzerland, as in fact most of my memories from the year. But there’s another theme for January, random lols. If it was Sophizzle offering words of comfort to her triffle on the bus home from Tesco, Frazer and I contemplating the benefits of nipple cups, or Sophie getting a super-low voice over serious Skype discussions about housing… it was a laugh. The best moment however?

Walking around an empty Zurich airport in bare feet. Like the set of a film…

February

Another month filled with Swiss air, but also featuring a couple of trips to London to see Maroon 5, Mr Scruff and Lifehouse. And while going dressed as Sherlock Holmes into Guildford town was the best fun ever, the Lifehouse gig at the Roundhouse has a special place in my heart…

March

Sometimes life hands you fragments of perfection, that second when the world stops and you feel that despite the worries you may have, and the challenges you face, you’ve actually got it pretty good :) One particular Friday afternoon, sat outside Lugano airport in the gorgeous sunshine waiting for a plane back home after another great week at work, and the fragments just seem to fall into place. You know you’re doing the right thing and you should never stop being who you are.

April

The last one for today… April. April. Where do I start… There are two things that stand out about April. One was the house boat trip, possibly the single most hilarious, drink-fuelled, best times of my life – spent on my dad’s narrowboat with my then-future-now-current housemates. Initially a bonding weekend to get to know each other better, but once we’d got the formalities out of the way it was all about having the time of our lives. The week was so good we are still quoting from it now, in fact we have a book of quotes in our living room from that trip that goes some way in recreating some of the hilarity: everything from carnivorous geese to gooches, heart-attack sandwiches to the helm of insobriety. This is undoubtedly not the last you will hear from this trip in the run up to the new year. And as for the second thing about April, that will have to wait :)

I want to finish the post with a few pictures from the start of the year that you hopefully haven’t seen before…

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Even as early as January the temptation to buy chocolate (against my new years resolution!) was staring me in the face… I walked past this particular idol in the Zurich terminal building every Friday on my way back to Heathrow…

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Jake comes to Guildford, and we find the FREE Guildford museum to be worth every penny…

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Doing the speed limit in a Mercedes convertible on the Swiss motorway…

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The sign outside the building next door to our hostel in Amsterdam. It was ideally located for our needs… there was a supermarket and bus stop nearby.

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The boat trip provided lots of time to relax and take it easy, and have cider at every possible moment.

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Charlotte’s birthday party had a “what did you want to be when you were younger” theme… obviously I chose geek.

Next time I promise I will talk about my current housemates and give you a tour of the grounds. I just need to be writing in here when it’s light outside!

Until next time…

Charles x