Category Archives: Tote


The weeks are flying by! Now into my 6th week at Sony. Now that’s just weird, feels like yesterday I started, but strangely also feels like I’ve been there ages. I got a nick-name today, Chuck. I think I can live with it, certainly better than Nnaoma who’s now called HASH, which stands for Health And Safety Hazard. This all came after he got an email saying he had to book an appointment with the health and safety officer because “the answers he gave to the workstation safety questionnaire require further investigation” hahahaha.

In other news, I worked for the Tote on Saturday at Ascot. It was a very busy day, and not helped by my machine breaking three times during the day! That didn’t help the queues and seemed to anger the technician somewhat. I also had the worst experience getting home after waiting in the cash cage almost an hour to get signed out and then just missing a train at the station… but then some days you’re the pigeon and some days you’re the statue…

On Sunday, the tables turned and I was the statue. I went to London to meet up with none other than long time friend Matthew Mitchell. We hadn’t seen each other for months (since the boat race in fact) and it was great to get up to speed on each other’s goings on :)


I’m really having a great time at the moment, and if there’s anything placement year has taught me so far it’s that I can’t wait to finish my degree and start working!

This weekend I’m going to Devon for Phil’s birthday party, which is going to be immense! Cannot wait for that! Then the weekend after I’m celebrating Heather’s birthday in London; then the week after that is Zoe’s birthday in Southampton. And then… no just kidding! Although I’m hoping to see my sister soon after that :P and then I’m no longer 20 :(

Now you know why I have no time to write in here! Still need to figure out a way of updating this on my commute, that’s a whole hour every day I’m doing nothing! Maybe I need a netbook…

  • Happiness. 9 out of 10
  • Tiredness. 2 out of 5 (but it’s only Monday…)
  • Free Time. I can’t remember what this is…
  • Last Meal. Tuna pasta… standard.
  • Song of the day. George Kranz – Din Daa Daa
  • Thought for the day. Can I wag a half day on Friday?
  • What I’m Doing Now. As usual, wondering why I’m still awake!

PS MAD TV thing!

Allsorts (not the liquorice kind)

A mixed bag of tricks the last few days. First off, work is going ok before you ask… progress is being made on revision and coursework so all is good there (for now…)

Since Wednesday I’ve just been catching up with people as they return to Guildford for the start of term on Monday. On Thursday me and Josh had a fairly epic maths coursework session that turned into quite the chin wag… just like old times. Then in the evening it was the return of Open Mic night, and a good laugh with Charlotte.

Friday evening I went into town with a load of chemistry people, who I’m really glad I’m getting to know a bit more this term. I’m so relaxed with them and really feel like I can be myself, which is really cool considering I really haven’t spent a lot of time with any of them until now, which is a shame.

Then today I worked at Sandown Racecourse for Tote, a long and tiring day, but I had a great guy working next to me called Steve who was good company all day. Unfortunately, odds are I’ll never see him again, but still a really nice and genuine guy.

So that’s it! I know it doesn’t sound amazing, but it’s been a great end to the Easter break! I’m really looking forward to getting lots of work done next week, but also lots more fun. Going to see The King Blues on Tuesday (which is going to be AMAZING!) and then Jake is staying for the weekend, so so much fun to look forward to!

  • Happiness. 8 out of 10
  • Tiredness. 4 out of 5 (tote takes it out of me…)
  • Workload. 10 out of 10
  • Last Meal. Chips, cod and fish fingers (balanced diet :P)
  • Song of the day. Michael Bublé – Haven’t Met You Yet
  • Thought for the day. “Seize the moment, try to freeze it and own it; squeeze it and hold it, cos we consider these minutes golden”
  • What I’m Doing Now. Smiling, but very tired :/

Ants in my kitchen!

Work has been restored as a verb in my dictionary this week after getting a start on most of my revision and coursework. Still lots and lots to do, but at least progress is being slowly made.

Come Friday afternoon it was time to relax, for the weekend had arrived rather suddenly. I went out to a pub in town with some chemists before eating at Wagamamma’s. That is the second time I’ve ever eaten there and I love the food. It’s got such a rich taste and very filling. Once we we’re all noodled out, it was time to be strudeled out (yes, strudeled has been a verb in my dictionary for some time…). So back to my place for dessert and Monopoly. Had a great evening and it was a great way to start the week.

On Saturday I headed home to go to a wedding. It was the wedding of my old babysitter (as one link goes…) and it was such a lovely afternoon. It was the first church wedding I’ve ever attended and it’s such a great experience, I recommend everyone I know to get married as soon as possible :P

Sunday was back working at Tote. Long day taking bets, but still enjoyable nonetheless. I’m working again next Saturday, so trying to make the most of Easter while I can…

Next week is going to be another week of revision and coursework, but it has to be done…

The video from the boat trip at the end of March has subsequently been finished this week:

  • Happiness. 6 out of 10
  • Tiredness. 3 out of 5 (was sleeping on the train :P)
  • Workload. 10 out of 10
  • Last Meal. Sandwiches while at Ascot
  • Song of the day. Daniel Powter – Bad Day
  • Thought for the day. talk less. say more.
  • What I’m Doing Now. Looking at the 4 poems I wrote on the train yesterday without really thinking, and trying to decide what they mean…

Busy doing nothing

Another Saturday working at the Tote. 363 bets taken today, which is twice as much as usual. Certainly makes up for my easy ride last week :) It was a good day in all, largely friendly customers and I balanced at the end of it, which always makes my day.

As for the rest of my week, it’s been one of those ‘busy doing nothing’ kinda weeks…. lots to do, but nothing amazing.

Monday, Tesco day with Josh. I’m loving our weekly shops, so much banter to be had in Tesco at 11:30pm on a Monday. Wonder why no-one else shops at that time?!

Tuesday, Election Question Time. It’s the university Sabbatical Elections next week, and it was time for all the candidates to present their case and have their manifestos ripped to shreds by the student populous. If you have 5 hours to spare, which I know you do, then definitely check out the uncut footage… yours truly filmed the first 2 hours :)

Wednesday, the last of my weekly trips to Sony’s technology temple in Basingstoke, this time for an interview with the R&D department, BPRL.

Thursday was my day for cooking this week. Sheppard’s Pie never tasted so gud, yummeh :P Then it was Phil time! I haven’t had a proper conversation with Phil for weeks, despite seeing him quite often. He came over for help fixing his laptop, since he dropped it and broke the screen. It didn’t take long to fix, but that didn’t stop us staying up until 3am talking. Admittedly I also fixed Anne’s laptop in that time, but just chatting about nothing can never be underestimated :D

Friday, (AKA thank god it’s Sony! Day) was largely spent dossing. Did a bit of this, a bit of that, and caught up on sleep. Oh, and helped Will build his schmexy new computer, very jealous.

Good times. Good times… shame about all the work, but when has that not been the case. At least most of it at the moment is actually quite interesting for a change.

  • Happiness. 8 out of 10
  • Tiredness. 3 out of 5
  • Workload. 8.5 out of 10
  • Last Meal. Ham & Pineapple Pizza
  • Song of the day. Mariah Carey ft Ne-Yo – Angels Cry
  • Thought for the day. If you’re lucky enough to be different from everybody else… Don’t change to be the same.
  • What I’m Doing Now. Getting ready to film MAD TV April Fools script tomorrow.

Somewhere Else

Being in a better frame of mind is all you need to enjoy the side the dice of life land on.

The weekend brought a lot with it, very eventful and exciting. I went out on Friday night and had my first taste of that innocuous substance since the start of February. It was an OK night, but any night out in the union has recently turned into Pandora’s box. Bringing up all sorts of unneeded drama and unhelpful situations. It’s not so much a night out as an obstacle course of emotion that I must successfully navigate without making a bad decision I’ll regret in the morning…

After managing to jump through several hoops on Friday without unintended consequences, it was time to put in a full days work at Tote. For the first time since November. After getting to Newbury (a challenge in itself) and following another Tote employee to find the control room, I signed in. Only to find that I, in fact, didn’t have to work at all, only show another new student how to… win! All in all a good day just chatting and supervising, wish I was paid to do that every day :P

Saturday evening Beth came down to Guildford and went to Pizza Express with a few of my friends. After the meal Beth and I went to Fahrenheit 55, a cool bar in town, and had a great chat. Wish she could stay more often :)

On Sunday Beth tagged along to an event MAD TV was putting on in town. If you’ve never heard of a flash mob before then you are certainly missing out.

Our event went really well, despite only a fraction of the people turning up. It was a great day and we definitely managed to bemuse Guildford’s Sunday shoppers :D

Still haven’t heard anything from SONY, but there is a twist in the tale that you may find very interesting :) I’ll keep you guessing until next time, because I can!

  • Happiness. 8 out of 10
  • Tiredness. 3 out of 5
  • Workload. 8.5 out of 10
  • Last Meal. Free food at culture fair!
  • Song of the day. Razorlight – Somewhere Else
  • Thought for the day. “There are two problems with Sunday morning: Sunday, and morning”
  • What I’m Doing Now. Nothing… about time.

I like March already

Today was definitely a good day :)

I got a phone call at noon saying that I’ve been shortlisted for the SONY placement. I’m going to spend a full day there on Wednesday with one other guy from my course to get a feel for the job with the other engineers and see what I’m like in the workplace. From that they’ll decide who’ll get the job, or if both of us will get it… WOOOO!!

On top of that I got my computer working this evening! I don’t know what I did, but fingers crossed it keeps on going a while longer!

My computer graphics lecture this afternoon was very full of mind-boggling maths, but the lab was cool, so that kinda made up for it!

I’m gearing up for March, looks set to be a brilliant month with lots happening. This week I’m going to parties and Beth (my cousin) is coming down this weekend! I’m also working for the Tote for the next two Saturdays, so that’ll keep me busy!

It was one of those days where nothing was bad news…

  • Happiness. 9 out of 10
  • Tiredness. 2 out of 5
  • Workload. 8 out of 10
  • Last Meal. Pie and chips, as Will put it “the meal of kings…”
  • Song of the day. McFly – 5 Colours In Her Hair
  • Thought for the day. “Mega pack of Shreddies! It is a godsend!”
  • What I’m Doing Now. Looking forward to another day working on the Media Project with Josh tomorrow…

Special Post #23: Top 40 Moments 2009, Part 2

This is part 2 in a mini-series of posts that looks into the best year of my life, two thousand and nine. I’m continuing to look into the best moments.

Make sure you’ve checked out the first part which covers numbers 40 to 31 before you continue reading.

#30: Taking The Adventurous Route Under The M5 On The Boat

Kicking off this 10 is another moment from the boat trip. Becky and I decided to take the alternative route to Merry Hill from Birmingham. It’s another 6 locks, but the canal plays chicken with the M5, which makes for some very arty shots.

#29: Snow Day!

Realising all lectures were cancelled on snow day and joining in a massive snowball fight. One of the best things was just how unexpected and impromptu the whole thing was.

#28: Waves On The River Thames Boat Trip

This was such an amazing day. Seeing all the best sights in London in a very short space of time and from a completely unique view all while fearing for your life! But seriously, it made me realise just how compact London really is.

#27: Drinking Too Much At Jongleurs The Day Before My 20th

A good night of comedy and getting a lot of my friends in one place for the first time. I couldn’t have asked for anything more, except maybe paracetamol in the morning! And the train home was not the best experience thanks to the people sat behind us (people who were there will know what I’m on about!)

#26: Getting Sun Burnt At Wimbledon (And Queuing!)

One of the few times I’ve spent with my mum this year. Such a great thing to do and despite being burnt to high heaven, it was great to watch professional tennis at the best tennis championship in the world!

#25: Royal Ascot With Josh And The Pink Bench Picture

I had such a great week, and I remember coming away from it with a new found respect for checkout staff and people who liaise with the public.

#24: Phil, Julie & I Standing At The Back Of The Boat In The Rain

I don’t know why. I guess you had to be there.

#23: All the dingy fun in Henley

This was comedy beyond belief. Good times like this don’t come along very often, but then they do they can knock you back and make you appreciate just how great your friends are. This was one of those moments.

#22: Phil Almost Falling In At The Lock

As we entered the lock Phil had the job of putting the front rope around the bollard. Phil had had plenty of practice at this, he knew that as the boat crept in I would line him up so he could throw the rope over the bollard.  I’d then put the boat into reverse to stop it, and this would pull the front of the boat away from the side, but because Phil had the rope around the bollard, he could hold the front in.

All was going well, Phil had managed to get the rope around the bollard, but as the boat crept away from the side, he lost the end of the rope. Phil being the man he is doesn’t give up easily, so lent over to get the rope. In this motion, the boat got further away from the side, leaving Phil no option but to jump for the side of the lock. Phil was now precariously positioned hanging from the side of the lock.

Luckily the man on the boat in front had spotted Phil so came running over quickly. But instead of helping Phil out of his predicament, he preceded to grab he dangling rope and help pull the boat back to the side of the lock. Phil’s extreme upper-body strength saved him until I could give him a hand getting up, but let this be a lesson to you – always have large abs!

#21: Seeing My Name In The Credits Of The Fallow Field

Being a Foley Artist for The Fallow Field always seems to skip my mind when I think of things I’ve done this year. It was a great experience and I loved being part of an independent film production.

That concludes the first half of this countdown to my favourite moment of 2009! Come back at 4pm tomorrow to read about queuing, crying and THE END OF THE WORLD!