Category Archives: Summer

That was quick!

I have a house for when I start my PhD! After only a few short days of looking for houses around Guildford Will, Anna and I have found the perfect abode! Let me show you round…

It’s a 3-bedroom place, all the rooms are big enough for double beds, the kitchen is modern and it has a dishwasher! Luxury R’ Us! It’s not far away from my house with the girls last year, except a bit nearer university if anything. Same local pub though :D

I’m snatching up one of the biggest rooms, and since the place is unfurnished I can’t wait to put my stamp on the room and make it mine! Geeky posters and computer parts everywhere!

It’s so exciting to finally have a place sorted, it means I can really get my head straight about how the next few months before my PhD starts are going to play out, and it looks pretty awesome!

  • 26th May. First exam
  • 1st June. Last exam ever
  • 11th June. Project Viva, and the end of university
  • 15th June. Big party
  • 17th June. Boat trip with housemates
  • 25th June. Start summer job at Sony
  • 8th July. Move out of my current house :(
  • 17th July. Graduate
  • 20th July. Graduation Ball
  • 25th July. AMERICA!
  • 15th August. Move in to new place :)
  • 1st October. Start PhD at University of Surrey

And with producing the Fresher’s videos for the student television station and designing a new website for my local church I don’t think I’ll be bored! I can’t wait!

  • Happiness. 7 out of 10
  • Tiredness. 1 out of 5
  • Workload. 7 out of 10 (lots of revision)
  • Last Meal. Good ol’ fish and chips
  • Song of the day. Lenny Kravitz – Fly Away
  • Thought for the day. The meaning of life is to give life a meaning.
  • What I’m Doing Now. In disbelief that I’ll have to leave this house in 7 weeks time… I might cry.

New Kindlings

As I always seem to be saying on this blog, new and exciting things are afoot. Lots is happening at the moment, and I don’t just mean revision for my final exams… although I probably should.

No, there is lots to look forward to once this university madness is over. I’m currently in the process of looking for a new abode in Guildford for the coming year, since I seem to be sticking around thanks to my new found PhD position :D I’m hoping to live with Will, my current and ex-housemate, and Anna, my current housemates girlfriend. It’s complicated, ok, but it’s going to be awesome! 3-bedroom places are not all the rage, but there are some out there and we plan to find somewhere to call our own! But we haven’t found anywhere yet, there are a few viewings going on this week though so I’ll keep you informed if anything drastic happens. I promise this time.

What else? Well we’ve been testing the limits of our housemate Mike’s stupidity…

For those of you who don’t know, the Cinnamon challenge is where one attempts to swallow a tablespoon of cinnamon. It’s as simple as that…

If you like that there’s a few more here :D

I’ve also been keeping up my involvement in the student television station, recently put in charge of producing the fresher videos for the new students starting in September. Now isn’t that a shift? Just a few years ago I was the unknowing fresher…

I’d love to go into more detail about some of these things, but it will all be eeked out of me eventually.

Lots of plans, lots of ambition, lots of revision to do…

  • Happiness. 7 out of 10
  • Tiredness. 1 out of 5
  • Workload. 7 out of 10 (revision time!)
  • Last Meal. Chilli without the chilli 
  • Song of the day. Stevie Wonder – Superstition
  • Thought for the day. House times are exciting!
  • What I’m Doing Now. Putting off sleep…

Pause for thought

Hello again! My heart is still beating, and I have lots of news you might be interested to hear, but first an explanation.

Since I last wrote here almost 2 months (wow, I’m ashamed of myself), I have been very busy. Busy, you say? What on earth could be more important than writing in your favourite place on the internet? You better have a damn good excuse. Well…

tickled

I’ve been going to a local piano bar quite a lot with the ginger one in this photo. It’s a very civilised place with live music and cocktails.

banana and choc ice milkshake

Experimenting with banana and choc ice milkshakes.

singing

Doing some terrible singing at the aforementioned piano bar.

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Covering our kitchen in highlighter fluid and UV ink. The reason behind this will become clear… you just have to be patient.

treasure

Been on a treasure hunt around Weymouth.

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Gone Ape!

So that’s what I’ve been up to! When I haven’t been doing all of those fun things I’ve been working on coursework and my final project – which I finished today! Hence the post :)

So coursework in and final report written, now is a good time to note that there’s only precious few weeks left of my university life before heading out into the world of work… or is it?

I have kind of been keeping some big news from you since the last post 2 months ago, and it’s kind of what the last post was about. When I wrote the last post I was deep in thought about what to do once I graduate, because I’d been given a choice: Work for Sony, or be sponsored by Sony to do a PhD. And I changed my mind. I’ll never know if it was the right choice, but I’m so happy that I’ve decided to do a PhD.

I don’t want to dwell on what the PhD is on right now, that will come in a future post, but needless to say that it is really exciting and I can’t wait to start! My PhD course is 3.5 years long and it’s at the University of Surrey still, starting in October. I’m being sponsored and getting paid tax-free, so it’s not going to get me into any more debt! I do want to go into depth about why I decided to do a PhD, because I found it a hard decision and I want to be able to help other people who might have to make that decision in the future.

This isn’t the end of my links with Sony, in fact it’s only just the beginning. Sony have a big input in my research during the PhD, but I’m also working there over the summer with the team I was in last year. Hopefully the ties can continue because they are amazing people!

So… life turned on it’s head and I don’t really know what to say. This blog will be getting a major overhaul in the late half of this year, to capture more of my personal and professional life as it develops… hopefully!

I feel like my life is going from strength to strength, just got to get through these exams first and then I have a long summer of work, America and a new home to look forward to! I’ll reveal all, just bear with me! And thanks for sticking round this far! As a thank you here’s the link to the rest of the Pound for Food videos I produced with my housemates recently, they are seriously funny: http://bit.ly/poundforfood.

  • Happiness. 7 out of 10
  • Tiredness. 1 out of 5
  • Workload. 5 out of 10 (revision time!)
  • Last Meal. Spaghetti Bolognaise
  • Song of the day. Jason Mraz – Everything is Sound
  • Thought for the day. Dissertation done! Boom! 
  • What I’m Doing Now. Sleep! Then starting revision tomorrow… All will be over in only 5.5 weeks!!!

More Than Words

So I’ll start in the same way I seem to have started lots of my posts recently, and that is by saying how lame I am for not posting more often recently, but I really am busy!

Just 6 weeks I will have finished my placement at Sony, moved into my new house and started my epic 1 month backpacking tour of Europe. I’m making provisions to make sure that this blog gets updated regularly during the trip :)

But that’s all to come… a couple of weeks ago we went to Edinburgh for some jolly japes (and to celebrate Julie’s 21st, but whatever :P)

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^ Castle times

whisky

^ One down. 2,999 to go…

conquered

^ Conquered

You can find the full set on Facebook :)

  • Happiness. 9 out of 10
  • Tiredness. 1 out of 5 – I’m staying with Viv this week and Anne’s bed is the most comfortable bed I’ve ever slept in!
  • Free Time. 1 out of 5 – Final report joy :)
  • Last Meal. Black bean curry with noodles
  • Song of the day. Kate Voegele – Top Of The World
  • Thought for the day. Making bad chemistry jokes because the good ones Argon.
  • What I’m Doing Now. Moving into a house tomorrow!

September: The Best Moment

September was a rollercoaster of a month. I experienced some real highs and lows: from my awesome birthday party to one of my friends from secondary school dying. The latter really has a long ripple and I still feel hit by a wave occasionally when people say things or when I hear certain songs. Needless to say i’m sure it’s something that will get better with time as my mind gets used to the idea of never seeing him again, but until then I feel there’s more “waves” to come…

As for crowning the best moment of September, it has to be the hardest month to decide so far by a donkey’s mile!

Wembley arena is up there… I went to see the live final of Must Be The Music, a Sky1 talent competition much like X-Factor to find the best up-and-coming music act in the country. It was a bleeding brilliant evening and I can’t stress enough how awesome it is to be at a live recording with over 10,000 other people, the atmosphere was just immense!

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^ Just some of the crowd…

It’s weird to think that only a week later I was at Arsenal with 60,000 football fans watching West Brom kick some emirates ass 3-2.

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^ Just some of the crowd :)

So yea, getting my face out there :D

September can’t go a mention without Amsterdam! The business trip to end all business trips, and on my birthday! OK, so we didn’t go into the town centre, but we got to see some pretty cool tech including glassless 3D TV’s, 3D cameras, 3D rigs, a 152” plasma TV and a 16K projector (that’s 256 times higher resolution than HDTV… it was pretty savage).

But the best moment of September was, of course, my highly anticipated 21st birthday party in Guildford. Even after dragging my 21st over 2 nights out in London, a surprise party, a lunch, Amsterdam and a night out in Guildford I can safely say the house party was the best!

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^ Just some of the crowd :P

What the phrase “good times” was made for.

So there you have it folks, and not even a mention of the night out at the Guildford piano bar or seeing Spamalot at the theatre! September truly was a great month :D

So, dare I speculate as to October? I’m guessing this month will be full of MADTV, working overtime, a trip home, hopefully Thorpe Park, my sisters birthday and I feel I’m forgetting something… oh yea… going to Switzerland!

Toodles x

Mind The Gap!

Firstly, I apologise. For the long gap between posts. I will say that I have been busy, work has geared up in preparation for my imminent trip to Switzerland (only a few weeks away now!) and home life has been dominated by those familiar letters… MADTV.

Since my last post campus has been populated with this years cohort of fresh faces and naïve freshers. Moving in weekend was great fun, albeit very busy, and that’s for 2 reasons:

1. I was filming Lottie, a fresher who won a recent MADTV competition to star in a short series of videos about freshers. It’s been a joy to film so far, and the first video has had over 400 views already, which ces’t incrediblé!

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^ Georges filming freshers moving in!

2. I went to Arsenal! Sony had a few tickets spare in their corporate box, so I thought why not!?!

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^ The view! Shame Arsenal lost 3-2, but it was a great game!

What an experience. And my first football match too! Couldn’t have asked for more :)

After that we went out in town and things got a little messy… good times :D

That brings us to last week which really was all about MADTV. Editing pretty much every evening after work (and that’s when after work was about 8pm since I’ve started doing overtime for the project). MADTV has had some brilliant publicity this year (see the video going out on Thursday that was shown to over 2,000 freshers in 4 days…!)

I took the day off on friday to help MADTV tackle freshers fayre, and we got over 160 sign-ups!!! It’s going to be an exciting year :D

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^ Katherine and I at the Fayre

So after all that excitement I still feel on top of everything. I think I’m finally in a routine with work and I’m not feeling tired anymore during the day which is a good sign.

The house is going well, although I think the girls are getting annoyed that it sometimes takes me a week to do my washing up! My priorities may not always be in the right order…

I’ve been to a few parties and making sure I get the odd spot of climbing in too :P

  • Happiness. 7 out of 10
  • Tiredness. 3 out of 5
  • Free Time. 0.5 out of 5 (basically none, but I don’t feel stressed or pressured too much with the things I have to do)
  • Last Meal. Not tuna pasta! Fish and chips :P Although I made a mean chicken katsu curry at the weekend!
  • Song of the day. Nelly – Just A Dream
  • Thought for the day. The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams
  • What I’m Doing Now. Focusing on editing the second fresher diary, and looking forward to the madtv meeting on wednesday, and my madtv project progressing, and work tomorrow…

I can count to 21!

The last few days have been phenomenal! In fact, the last two months have been crazy and I’m sure you can tell by the fact that I haven’t been writing on this blog much that I’ve been very busy.

Despite all the 21st Birthday celebrations last week (which I assure you I will get round to explaining, with annotations, in a later post) life has kept me busy!

I’ve felt over-whelmed recently by the sheer amount of things I have to do both at home and at work. Work is going amazingly, but sometimes I find it difficult to concentrate because of everything else that is happening. I’m hoping that once university starts everything will find a rhythm, but right now it doesn’t stop.

Anne, Will and Viv have all been staying over the house in the last 2 weeks (coming and going), and it’s been great to see them. I just find that with so many people in the house, so much to think about and so much going on that I am losing my personal space. I’m one of these people, once I arrive home, I need to just sit in my room and think. Perform some mindless task like cooking or washing or Facebook just to relax, for an hour. I don’t mind if I have to rush out somewhere or do something as long as I know about it. I think I’m just struggling with coming home and having so much happening in the house that I feel needs my attention. It’s like work again when all I need is rest.

The last few weeks I’ve found myself getting very few hours sleep and consequently using travelling time between work and home as a perfect time to get an extra 20 minutes kip. Why have I been loosing so much sleep? I’m a worrier. There’s no doubt about it. I worry about everything. And recently there’s been a lot on my mind:

  • Work. I have reports to write and things to research, and I find it hard to switch off.
  • MADTV. Lots of Fresher’s events and programs coming up… but MADTV has also been my saviour as I’ve started working on a new projected (titled REDRUM) that I love spending time on and I’ve been using as a big relief from everything.
  • Friends. One of my friends from home recently died quite suddenly and it was a big shock to the system. It had me in quite a daze for a number of days and it’s only after his memorial last Friday that I’ve started to push it to the back of my mind.
  • House. People staying over, keeping everything tidy, paying bills and fixing things. I rearranged my room at the weekend and I think it’s much better now… pictures coming soon!
  • Logistics. Getting things organised for parties, going to London, a trip to Amsterdam and generally travelling places a lot. Takes a lot of planning. In this regard I got a new phone for my birthday and it’s helped me check train times on the go and keep up to date with emails while travelling so I have more time for other things.

Life is mad. I think when I found out my friend died it was like the last straw and I took a lot of things that were happening around me at the time quite personally. I still feel like I need some time to sort my life out and decide what I’m trying to do. I’ve found since I started placement that I’m a different person, but I don’t know that new person yet.

For example, every Monday I find myself having tuna pasta for dinner. It’s not a planned thing, but every Monday I get home and can’t be bothered to cook. And on more than one occasion I’ve gone straight to bed when I got home (like today).

I’ve had a brilliant time celebrating my birthday, and it couldn’t have come at a better time. I really needed that to relax and enjoy life a little. But I’m also glad it’s over so I can focus on getting into a routine. I’ve been working at Sony for 12 weeks now, it’s about time I figured out how to live the life I need to with Sony at the centre, rather than still having a full life as if I was still only have 20 hours of lectures a week. I don’t get to choose when I work anymore, and I have to get used to it! Something I didn’t realise would be this challenging and certainly not something I thought I’d struggle with.

Until next time… Charles x

  • Happiness. 6 out of 10
  • Tiredness. 4 out of 5
  • Free Time. -1 out of 5
  • Last Meal. Peperoni pizza (not tuna pasta, couldn’t even be bothered to cook that today!)
  • Song of the day. Newton Faulkner – Dream Catch Me
  • Thought for the day. I have been a fool
  • What I’m Doing Now. Really wanting to go to bed, but glad to have that off my chest :)