Archive for April, 2007

Sometimes you have to lose before you can win.

April 29th, 2007 4 comments

This last week has been pretty wierd. Monday saw one of the lowest points in my life and today I am one of the happiest people on the planet. I have met someone really special and I think the circle has finally worked itself out, I think that everything is finally falling into place.

I’ve been thinking about today’s blog title for some time and have even penned a few drafts to go with the title. However, I never really found the right words to make the most of what I think is a really poetic line. That is until today. I think I am finally starting to understand a lot of what has been said to me over the past four or five years, a lot of lights have been switched back on at the end of a lot of tunnels. I think that I have rounded that corner in life where you finally move past being a teenager and start thinking like a real, grown-up adult. This may sound strange to some of you as I am a twenty-two year old who occasionally comes across as even older. To those of you know me in some depth will probably understand what I am saying a little better. I have lived a good life, I have seen a lot of things and been to many places. This occasionally makes me a litte world weary, even at this age! I don’t think that this is a true reflection of my age. There is a difference between having grown up in the way I am talking about it and the image that those around you see.

I am now thinking in terms of responsibilities, of how to make sure I get the most of this life in order to best enjoy the rest of my life.

I’m not naive enough to suggest that this is an overnight process, I think that this is the start of the transition. Something that will take time. I am glad it is happening though. As much as I enjoyed the last few years, I want more from my life than hangovers and dodgy memories. More than beer trophies and debts.

Liz came back to Leeds last night and we went out with Chris and B to the last day of the ale festival at the Old Bar. It was a really nice evening, even though too much beer was consumed! Claire joined us for a bit, but I get the impression she felt a bit out of place. To be honest, I don’t blame her for that – B and Liz are old school friends so even Chris and I felt out of place at times!

So, as my title says “Sometimes you have to lose before you win.” This makes more sense to me today than at any other time. I am not sure whether I will still feel this way tomorrow, but for today, it works.


April 28th, 2007 4 comments

Thursday saw the start of the Old Bar’s Festivale. Liz, Michelle, and I headed down to sample the wares and take part in the quiz. They were running sixteen cask ales and four cask ciders, a real treat of proper drinking! They were also running a variety of games and promotions. I won two Black Sheep T-Shirts!! It was unfortunate that most of the circle had coursework deadlines so couldn’t be there.

Headed back to mine afterwards and watched Silent Hill with Liz, it is a really bizarre film. I don’t really understand it, so of anyone out there would like to comment on the story line then please freel free! Fell asleep about 4am.

Went for lunch on Friday with Liz and Michelle then dropped Liz off at the station before meeting up with Claire in the Old Bar. I have not spent much quality time with Claire in ages for one reason and another. She has had dissertation and practical work to finih, then spent three weeks in Japan! It was really good just sitting down and having a few drinks with her again!

We were joined for a bit by Graeme and Sarann before they headed off to finish their coursework. Maths Chris popped by and had a drink or two before heading to bed!

We eventually joined up with a crowd about 9pm, Matt, kat, Sarann, Michelle, Kieran, Heather, Worfolk and a few others – turned into a really good old fashioned piss up at the Ale Festival. Time flew by and before we knew it we were all quite drunk and getting kicked out!

Fun in the Sun

April 26th, 2007 No comments

I had nothing formal on yesterday, a few bits and bats that needed sorting out but nothing pressing and essential. I like these kind of days, they can turn out quite well sometimes. It did!

I was woken up with a message from Chris, suggesting The Library for lunch. Not our usual haunt, but I quite like it in there. With two hours to kill I set about sorting out some admin. Got some emails sent off, confirmed a few bits and sorted out about a weeks worth of post.

Midday rolled round so I headed down to the pub where Chris and I were joined by Sarann and Michelle. Was quite a chilled lunch, although I was dismayed that they are changing their menu – seems to be a trend amongst food places in Leeds. They are changing their burgers and adding more variety apparently.

Following lunch, I headed over to Essentials to get the paper and then headed down to the cricket. I am a season ticket holder at Yorkshire County Cricket Club and this was the first home game of the season. Caught most of the first day of Yorks vs Durham – got there just after the lunch interval and stuck around until about 5.30pm. Yorks had a really good day, Durham won the toss and elected to bat and were 117-3 at lunch. They were eventually bowled out for 247. Abdul Rashid taking five wickets in a glorious spell of slow bowling.

The evening was spent watching the second Champions League semi-final in a packed out Old Bar. Chelsea snuck the result, winning 1-0 at home to a really good Joe Cole tap in following a Drogba run. I think Liverpool should edge the game at Anfield, so this could get interesting. I really hope Man Utd hold off AC Milan next Wednesday and we get an all-English final!

You need love like I do don’t you?

April 26th, 2007 4 comments

I have mentioned my friend Liz a few times recently and i am going to mention her a whole lot more. As I have said, she came to visit on Monday and we talked. A lot. This talk led to me realising that there was more to our relationship than first met the eye. At least the potential for more was there.

Over the past few days we have talked lots about what was said and whether we really meant it. I think things have come to a head now as I think I have fallen in love with her, well as much as you can at such early stages of a relationship. One of the qustions she asked me on Monday was whether I would ever marry her. Normally I do not encourage marriage, my own parents got divorced when I was young and I have never really been enamoured by the whole idea. But, when Liz asked me it didn’t seem like such a ridiculous idea. I actually could see me spending most, if not all, of the rest of my life with her!

Today, she and her boyfriend split up. I think i may have somethign to do with it. I would never have asked her to leave him, thats just not fair, but I am a little bit glad that they did. Although, the whole event has left Liz really upset and I don’t know how to deal with it. I really want to spend as much time as possible with her, I want to see where these feelings will lead. I have got really high hopes for it all. How long do I leave it though? I feel bad diving straight in, but I really do want to be with her.

Liz is coming to Leeds again tomorrow, I can’t wait. I have missed her so much, even though it has been just over 24 hours since I last saw her! That’s how much she means to me. I hope that we will work out, I hope that she will accept me so soon after she has left her boyfriend.

I am really excited at the moment and nobody else is really sharing it with me. I have been burnt before and most people are worried about me jumping in with both feet. I would normally heed their advice and take things cautiously. In this case, however, I think they are wrong. Liz is an amazing person. She makes me smile and laugh and live. I want to live because of her. I owe her my life and so much more. The key thing is, I want to give it to her, I want to share my life with her. I really hope she sees it the same way.

So if you see me in the next few days with a massive, uncharacteristic smile on my face……you know why!

Politics, religion and Rooney.

April 24th, 2007 1 comment

Lizzie’s train was at 10.40am. I woke up at 10.30. Liz had to be back in Lincoln for 2pm and had missed the last train to get her there in time. This meant a 150 mile round trip to Lincoln and back whilst a little hungover. Not that I minded, seeing Liz was well worth the effort. in fact I am missing her already.

On my return I met up with B and went to an RNA Tumour Virus lecture, which was remarkably interesting seeing as I understood very little of what was being said. You have to respect a lecturer that opens their lecture with “How can I get my wife to agree to let me watch the Man Utd game tonight?”

I had an A-Soc meeting at 6pm, so seeing as it was just before 5 when B and I got out of lecture we decided on pub. I’m glad we went, there have been some undercurrents of tension building up recently of which I was totally unaware. Speaking to b got a lot of that sorted out I think.

Todays A-Soc meeting was our EGM to elect soem new committee members and fiddle with the constitution a little. I am now officially the secretary of A-Soc, an executive committee position (ie a position of power). The constitutional changes were also to the benefit of the society, watering down some of the president’s dictatorial powers and giving the exec committee and normal committee a lot more say and decision making powers.

Due to a booking mess-up, we only could meet for an hour so we ended up in the Old Bar to finish off. B and I stayed to watch the football – Man Utd vs AC Milan.

It was a cracking game, 3-2 to Man U, Rooney in the 93rd minute! Now if Man Utd don’t lose at the San Siro next week then we will be guarenteed an English Winner of the Champions League. the other semi-final is Chelsea vs Liverpool.

Like the phoenix from the flames.

April 24th, 2007 5 comments

They say that tomorrow is a brand new day and I have now realised how true that can be. This time yesterday was about the lowest point in my life so far, the closest I’ve ever been to doing something rather silly and irreversible. Today, however, I am happy. Seriously, I am happy.

My friend Liz came across from Lincoln last night because she was worried about me. She missed work and put her life on hold for me. I don’t think I will ever be able to thank her for that as it was this act of unquestioning friendship and kindness that made me realise a lot about myself and what was going on in my life.

I picked liz up from the station at about 7ish and the pair of us headed to Michelle’s for dinner, picking B up on the way. It was a really nice dinner, the company was good – my housemates for next year in one place plus one of my closest friends. The stresses and strains of the past few weeks were obvious on all our faces and it was with that in mind that we decided on a bit of upmarket socialising around some of the bars in town. Chris, Michelle, B, Liz and myself headed over to the Union to start, then went via Bourbon, Vodka Revolution, Sports Cafe then when first B, then Chris bailed we headed over to Bondi. It was a really chilled night. I recommend both Vodka Revolution and Sports Cafe for a night out. We had an amzing cocktail in Vodka Revolution and the prices were not that scary. Sports Cafe do pithcers of cocktail for a tenner, with a minimum of seven shots of alcohol! Plus VK drinks are £1.50. Plenty of pool tables too.

Michelle, Liz and I ended up in Bondi about 12.30 so were on a mission to get through out ten pounds worth of alcohol in the hour and half of bar we had left. They played a good mixture of music and we had a great time.

We headed home about 2.30, dropeed Michelle off then headed back to mine. Liz is a great person, we must have talked for about three hours! She knows exactly what to say to make someone feel better about themselves. I have never felt so loved and cared for ever. Liz, you are the best friend a man can have! I am going to miss you now you have gone home.

The ultimate conclusion for the night, however, was how much I really have to live for. There are many people out there who care for me far more than I ever gave them credit for. Thank you, all of you. You know who you are.

Lizzie is coming to town

April 23rd, 2007 1 comment

Lizzie is coming to visit! Thought I would share this with everyone. We haven’t seen each other since New Year and she lives all the way in Lincoln so we rarely catch up. She is my insomnia buddy.

She is coming to Leeds tonight to visit for a day or so. W00t

Cancelled Shows

April 22nd, 2007 5 comments

I have been watching a show called Jake 2.0 recently. It is about a NSA tech support who gets accidentally infected with nanobots/nanites. These nanobots give Jake superhuman strength, sight, hearing etc as well as the ability to interface directly with computers. It is a really good show. The characters are excellent and the storylines involving. It was cancelled after one series!

There are many other quality shows that were cancelled prematurely, Firefly and Enterprise for example.

I hate the fact that broadcasting and production agencies never give a show a chance. One bad week in the ratings and *chop* goes the axe. I would rather see quality television with poor ratings than Big Brother anyday!

Wendy House

April 22nd, 2007 7 comments

“Norm, don’t be afraid of the cows.”

The wonderfully profound words that come out of the mouths of drunk people. If you haven’t figured it out yet, we all went out for Wendy House last night. Quite a crowd in the end actually. Definitely one of the best attended Wendy’s in recent times.

The party kicked off for some of us at B and Chris’s house. The hosts, Cara, Michelle and I set about getting nice and merry ready for the night ahead. An interesting pre-Wendy debate where none of the Christians in the room could actually remember the Ten Commandments!

We set off for Wendy at about 10.30pm, which was fairly early really. Well I thought so until I realised that Michelle already needed carrying! B, Michelle and I slowly wandered up to the union where we were accosted by a group of Italians wanting us to join their BBQ. Unfortunately, the rest of the gang were already waiting for us at the pub so we had to decline. We met up with Sarann, Kat, Claire, Moz, Verity, Worfolk etc in the Old Bar. Sarann was wearing cool boots with buckle things on, I knew I was drunk because I thought it would be fun to unbuckle them!

We got to Wendy about 11.30 and it promised to be a great night. The drink was flowing and the dancing was as crazy as normal. Sarann kept losing things though. First it was part of her camera then an eyeliner and then people! Worfolk was the first to capitulate, having pretty much been awake for seven days it wasn’t that surprising. Me and B were next, not by choice mind. B was wasted.

Anyway, that was that. After a brief adventure into the ladies loo to fetch B we went home.

Sorry guys.

And I’m done!

April 21st, 2007 2 comments


What a week! Rationalist Week has been an unbelievable success, a success far beyond even our most optimistic expectations. We were hoping for maybe one or two members and a few people coming into the tent. Instead we filled a membership book, raised the awareness of the society to the point that we are pretty much the talk of the union at the moment, we also managed to be full pretty much every day. Early indications suggest we were attracting a hundred people a day with about a 50% return rate in terms of people coming back over and over. The debates were in depth and relavent most of the time and the effort that most of the A-Soc membership put in was phenominal.

A massive thanks to the crew: Chris (El Presidente) for pretty much organising and funding the event singlehandedly; Claire for her constant cheerfulness – even in the face of adversity – and total support; Paul for his input, which although contraversial at times really sparked debate; Moz, for the tents and his help with really getting people involved and active in the discussions; Rich, for his enthusiasm and desire to be involved; finally, every person over the week who sat down and spoke to us, those who got involved and those who gave us the feedback we need to ensure that next year is even better! We couln’t have done it without you!

So a run-down of the events.

Monday was ok, quiet for the most part, but we did get some interest and learned a lot very quickly about what we could and couldn’t do. The talks attracted a few people, but by far and away this was our worst day in terms of turn out.

Tuesday saw a massive pick up in attendence. The word was getting out. We were attracting a real mix of people. A lot of atheists popped in to talk and see where and what we stood for. We attracted a lot of Christians – a theme that continued throughout the week – who wanted to ask us many things. The debates were starting to heat up and the biscuiots were starting to disappear. Unfortunately, we had to cope for a second day without a generator. The evening talk from Chris was not well attended, we got about six people. We needed to push these evening events, they were our flagship after all.

Wednesday was our best day to date. We were full for the first time, we had standing room only and quite a few people were! The discussion was getting deeper and the feedback we were getting was very very positive. We also had a new generator! Things were going well. Mike Lake, the guest speaker from Derby Secularists, spoke at the evening event. This was slightly better attended than Tuesday, but still a disappointing turnout. The talk was excellent. He really knew his stuff on why ideas should always be open to ridicule, mockery and insult. I recommend you watch the video when it becomes available.

Thursday continued in the same vein as Wednesday, we were swamped all day. The work was really starting to pay off now. Thursday night saw the much anticipated debate with the CU. Chris and I had been preparing all day and were as up for this as anything. The debate was amazing, great arguments were put forward by both sides on the motion “this house believes there is enough evidence that Jesus was the son of god.” Felicity, the Debate Soc president, chaired the debate and was simply brilliant. She kept everything running smoothly and even managed to control unwanted outbursts from the audience. A-Soc lost the vote on the motion unsurprisingly – the CU had brought a contingent of about 100 people! The turnout was great, it was really overwhelming to see a full lecture theatre! The feedback we got in the pub afterwards suggested that we had won the argument as well!

Friday, the final day, was relatively quiet in the morning. This gave us a good chance to reflect on the week and start to put together some findings. Business picked up in the afternoon and we started to really see the benefit of having week long events, The continuity and depth of the debate was really evident by now. I think we were really effecting people and, more improtantly, effecting change. A couple of trips to Tesco later and we were ready for our final event – the all night debate.

We were dead until about midnight when it really kicked off. We probably had twenty people in the tent at any one time. We got through 40 cups of tea, uncountable cold drinks and 160 hotdogs! The event was a massive success! We really made a difference. Thanks to those of you that stayed up to 4am to help out. We couldn’t have pulled this night off without you.

Rich, Chris and I then set about dismantling everything, tidying up and storing all the equipment. It was a good time, we really noticed the bond that had grown after a week together. it got to 9am before Chris and I finally finished.

Now I could sleep!