Tuesday, January 30, 2007

What you gonna do with all that junk?

I have too many possessions, too much clutter, too much crap.

I must change this.

Ebay, Freecycle, and charity shops....... help me!!

Monday, January 29, 2007

You and your friends, in boxes of ten

I think I told you that I'd be invited to go down to Chichester at the weekend, but already had plans here in Thanet, as is always the way.

Well on Thursday night I decided that my time would be better spent going to Chi as I only go down there a few times a year, and I can see my local friends whenever I want, and so at around 11:30am on Saturday I set off on my 135 mile trip to West Sussex. Now Kent isn't really that far from West Sussex, but I live of the most Eastern point, so that's what adds the miles on, but I don't actually mind the drive as it's pretty easy and I get to chill and listen to lots of music.... and stop off and take pictures of cows.

Cows on a hill

I arrived around 2pm and had a little drive around and popped up to the Uni to have a stroll around campus to see if anything had changed. Well a lot of it's changed and they've built some huge halls of residences, and it definitely looks a lot newer than when I was there (amazing what a lick of paint will do.)


I popped up to watch a bit of footy as the Uni team were playing and I saw Sid there, who runs the Sports at the University, and then I popped off at 3:30pm to meet up with Karen who was finishing work, and whose floor I would be kipping on. It was Karen's birthday the other week, and so she, along with Miffy and James who had also had recent birthdays, had decided to have a big meet-up and this was another reason for being in Chichester. The thing is that Karen had kinda forgotten and had a gig at the Wedgewood Rooms in Portsmouth, and had to leave soonsish and wouldn't be back 'til 11ish, and so I headed off on my own down the town to indulge in some nostalgia. I text a few people but they were'nt gonna be around 'til the evening and so I was flying solo, which I didn't actually mind....for a few hours.


I eventually made my way down to Chichester Gate, the end of town entertainment hub, with the generic cinema, Chicago Rock Cafe, Frankie and Benny's, Lloyds Bar, Ten Pin Bowling, etc thing going on, and knowing I had a few hours to spare I went in to watch a film. Obviously my choice of film was completely dependant on the time, and so I watch Babel, a film I knew nothing about except that it had Brad Pitt in it. I came out of the cinema at 8pm on the dot and headed for my rendezvous.

Normally when I've come down I've seen the same old people but this time it was like a reunion as I got to see quite a few people I haven't seen for a long time, most of which were in my year at University or the year below. We had chats, gossiped, and it was nice to catch-up.


We even had a celebrity with us as James had brough his girlfriend Laura (from the Scott Mills Radio 1 show) with him. It must be quite odd meeting new people who may consider that they already know you as they've read a lot about you, heard you talking on the radio, or in this case read your diary. I'm glad to say that she was really nice and has made one of my mates really happy.

After the pub we all went back to Karen and Miffy's house and the highlight of the party was everyone having a go on Singstar, basically Karaoke on the PS2. It got to 3am and it was time for bed.


The next day Karen and myself had a wander around town, went to a bootfair, and then grabbed lunch with Miffy and Rich. Lunch was good, especially after beers. My time in Chi was drawing to an end and so I bid my fairwells and met up with Jamie for a spot of football on the top field at Uni. Sunday football was a bit of an institution at Uni and everyone used to meet up and have a game for a few hours, and it was great fun especially in the summer. I'm glad it's still happening.

At around 4pm I got in my car and headed back for Ramsgate.

You may have realised that I really like Chichester, and if things had worked out differently in life then I may have still been there, but the grass is always greener, and I am content with my brief visits at weekends, as I know that during the week it would be f**king boring!

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Well I just had to laugh, I saw the photograph

Now this is very odd, but ultimately captivating.

This guy took a picture of himself everyday for 6 years, and this video is the result.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Standing in the way of control

I watched Skins last night, not too bad, but it has meant that I've had this tune in my head.

Now the drugs don't work

I don't mean to go all Daily Mail on you, but what's this all about? I'm sure there's no definite answer but surely this isn't the way?

Thursday, January 25, 2007

For good or worse, makes you switch

After being nagged for months I've finally switched over to 'New Blogger'. I didn't want to switch over whilst it was still in beta but now I feel it's safe to switch over. Let's hope it doesn't f**k up.

The muezzin was a' standing on the radiator grille

So it's been cold lately and in the hallway we've had a radiator out of action for the past 9 months. It was corroded at the bottom and had been leaking so I had closed off the inlets to it, drained it, and then left it at that because frankly it wasn't needed for that time.

Now that the weather is very cold, the hallway is not a place to be and not a very nice greeting when it's just as cold inside as it is outside so I decided now was the time to fix it. A small flaw in the plan is that all radiators are a standard size and nothing was the same size as the one I was replacing and so I'd have to muck around with the pipes, and fit in a new section. Oh and I also had to drain the whole heating system too.

I planned to take 2 hours out this morning to sort it out after buying all the stuff I thought I'd need. Well it took a lot longer and in the end I took the whole day off work and took it as holiday.

I had to take up some laminate flooring, the skirting board, and some floorboards in order to get to the pipes.

Well it all works now and the hallway is warm. I've replaced radiators before but never had to muck around with moving piping, and it was actually very easy but only after I'd gone down a few other routes that didn't work. I now know how to replace radiators or even install completely new ones and that's the way of self-learning.

Here's how the hallway looked halfway through...

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Dreams can come true

I had a dream last night that I was looking around a house as it was for sale and realised it was in Chichester, and was in fact my old house. I wanted to buy it but was probably going to rent it out, and it hadn't really changed that much and was still as messy.

One difference was that they had a small cupboard outside with a barrel of beer in it which looked very manky but the guy selling the house thought it was a good feature.

I realised I couldn't really pay for it and was just wasting the guys time, and so I thought whilst I was in Chichester I'd go out for drinks before I headed back to Ramsgate. A few of my friends from Ramsgate were there along with one of my old housemates but no one really wanted to go for drinks.

What a weird mundane dream and the thing is that I can see where all the parts of the dream came from. Coming from chats I've had, TV programmes I've watched, and the fact that I had the chance to go to Chichester this weekend but had to turn it down as I already had plans for here.

Monday, January 22, 2007

We are family

If you look to the right you may see that I've added a new badge. I am now officially a Thanet Blogger and can be found on the Thanet Blog List.

The Isle of Thanet is the area I live in (click here to learn more) and has quite a few bloggers now. It's nice to read about what people think locally instead of just getting the local paper.

As there are a lot of blogs I think I'll be making use of the 'Recent Feeds' page which shows all the recent posts from all the blogs listed, which means I don't have to visit all the individual sites and can simply browse them all in one place and read those that interest me.

Then again maybe I should just stick to the blogs on my blogroll which I've neglected quite a bit lately. I have been reading but not necessarily commenting, so don't think I'm ignoring you.

Friday, January 19, 2007

It's where I find my heaven

Thank f**k it's Friday... I'm shattered, and I've managed to avoid blogging all week.

I think what did me in was Wednesday when I was driving a bus for the Rugby and Football teams at Uni. I'd helped organise several matches against another Campus of the same University, and had also arranged for the day to be very social so they went to pubs and the Union with the opposition. I got back home at 1:30am as I was driving the minibus back from Canterbury, but I didn't really mind as I was doing them a favour and they're a great bunch of lads. It's just been the last 2 days when I've really felt it.

Yesterday I was dropping the Minibus back in Canterbury and had to get a train back to Ramsgate so that I could pick my car up from the garage. Due to severe weather my train was delayed 30 minutes, well actually I caught the train before minewhich was 45 minutes late. I later found out that the train I had wanted to catch was several hours late, and then there had been no more after that! Lucky me.

I actually like severe weather (not the bit where people get killed though), but I like it because it's unpredictable and we have no contol over it. We can usually plan our days to the minute, don't have to take time out to prepare anything, and it's so easy, but as soon as something like this happens then we're lost and all our plans are hampered. Of course if it happened too often I'd get annoyed.

So I picked the car up yesterday and it's running lovely. Just like new. And I've just had a big filling this morning. I was a brave lad though and pretty calm but my jaw is really sore from having my mouth wide open for 20 minutes.

I've been approved for my new credit card (interest free 'til April 2008), and have just signed the papers and sent them back meaning I can transfer my existing balance over from my other card which is only interest free 'til the end of this month. Perfect timing.

Also.. I'm aching quite a bit from football last night. I've got a big lump on my left shin where I took a kick, and I've also lost some skin on my right leg from going tumbling on the astro-turf. I woke up this morning aching, but it's good to feel pain every so often as it reminds me I'm alive. It's better go soon though!

I haven't got any exciting planned for the weekend and am going to try and catch up on some sleep and maybe get round to a spot of decorating. I know I was all go a few weeks ago and was planning things for every weekend, but I think sometimes "In the life of man there are times and there are seasons. There is a time to surf and there is a time to wax your board. And I'm not just talking about surfing."

Monday, January 15, 2007

Declare the pennies on your eyes

Well I've finally been to the dentist. I'd been dreading the worse as I've broken a couple of teeth, but I only need to have a replacement filling for the moment, and have got an appointment for this Friday.

I know that the broken teeth are beyond repair and will have to come out at some stage, but the dentist said that as long as they weren't causing me any pain then he'd leave them in, but if they did start hurting then he'd take them out. I think I'll wait 'til they start hurting and not take the initiative.

So the appointment and the filling cost me £42.50, which is the standard price now for most courses of treatment, and is certainly not too bad a price compared to private costs. By the same token, when I have my broken teeth out it'll cost me another £42.50. At least at this rate I know how much it'll cost, and not get stung by a big bill.

The car's got it's MOT tomorrow, so that's where the big sting will be. I sometimes wonder why I have a car, and then I remember that I'm a lazy shit and it gets me to places very quickly. When I had the old Peugeot 309 and it died on Christmas 2003, I had to get a replacement as I was still living in Chichester and used to come back to Ramsgate quite a few weekends to see my Mum and Grandma, and when I was back they needed lifts everywhere. Now that my Mum has had a hip-replacement, and that my Grandma has passed away, will I still need a car when this one dies?

It's only 10 years old and so should have plenty of life left in her, but further down the line the costs of getting her road-worthy will probably outweigh the actual cost of the car and the benefits it gives. So would I give it up?? I dunno. It seems like a long way away, but if the government makes driving too expensive then I guess I would get rid of the car.

Then again I may be loaded by that time and driving around in a Hummer.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Sometimes you tell the day by the bottle that you drink

Last night we drank all the homebrew. Very nice indeed and it went down very well.

And no gut-rot this morning either.... A success!

Thursday, January 11, 2007

You bring that ass, I'll bring the brew

Last month I started off brewing my own bitter, and now it's ready!! It was actually ready to drink 2 weeks ago, but I've let it settle for longer so that the flavour and quality improves.

I had a wee snifter and it tastes fine, not brilliant, but fine, and it is drinkable which is always good. I actually used some of it for dinner tonight for my Beef and Ale Pie (minus the actual pie.. I just made the filling), along with spuds and veg. It was good and shows the extra uses for the bitter.

I've invited some of the lads around on Saturday so that we can drink the beer (around 38 pints left) an also play a bit of poker.

Now that I know the home brewing works, I've invested in a batch of cider for my next experiment, this time only making 30 litres..... but the cider will be 7.2%!

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Don't need no credit card to ride this train

On the whole getting out of debt thing (which we all want to do) I'm still making progress. For those of you who don't come here often, don't think that this is just a post-New Year backlash, I actually started talking about this in October when I had £2,349.26 on my credit card.

Well since then my total is £1550.65 which means I've paid off £800 in less than 3 months which I'm very happy with. My interest free period on my creditcard runs out at the end of the month so I've just applied for another credit card from HSBC which has interest free balance transfers on it 'til April 2008! Of course I will have my debt paid off by then.

I'm going to transfer the £1500 (if I get approved for the card) and then pay off even more money. In fact I'll be able to pay off even more as I've also been putting away about £100 each month into my savings, and when the end of debt is quite near, I'll pay the last large amount in one go.

It all sounds good doesn't it? Hopefully there won't be too many surprises along the way, although the car needs an MOT in the next few weeks, which won't be good news.

Monday, January 08, 2007

The winner takes it all.

Where were you when it happened?

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Open the door, get on the floor, everybody walk the dinosaur.

On Friday Night I wasn't going to go out for long as I was getting up early on Saturday for my trip to London, but instead I got drunk went to quite a few pubs and ended up at the casino! Don't worry I didn't lose any money and came out even.

I got up at 8:45am on Saturday morning at headed off to London Victoria station on the 10am train. I was in London at 11:45am, and after a spot of lucnh was in the Natural History Museum. I was maybe a bit ambitious to think I'd only be in there for a couple of hours finally emerged from the museum at 4:30pm and even then I had to skim over a few of the areas.

I was back on the train at 5pm and back home by 7pm. Phew I was tired, and Saturday night was just spent around the local.

I took plenty of photos and also got a few videos so check them out below.

All in all a nice day out!

Click the pictures to see the whole collection in flickr.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

For suddenly, I saw you there. And through foggy London town, the sun was shining everywhere

This weekend I am going to go to the Natural History Museum in London, and entry is free (always nice), although I may check out the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition which will cost me a little extra. I could go to the Victoria & Albert Museum too, but it's not my main priority.

I will be going by myself and I'm not going to invite anyone either!

So the plan is...
Leave at 10:00am, get to london Victoria at 11:45am, jump on the tube to South Kensington, and visit the Natural History Museum. I've checked and they're completely fine with taking photographs, so I'll be in my element. Then after that I'll pop out and see what I can grab for lunch and have a nose around the area, and then if my head isn't about to explode I'll visit the V&A museum.

Trains back to Ramsgate are every half-hour from Victoria Station, so I don't have to keep a strict eye on the time.

Does it sound good?? If anyone has any tips to give or more good pointers of places to go in the vicinity then just give me a comment.

It's amazing to think that I can just jump on a train and be there in less than 2 hours, which is nothing really. I shouldn't really take these opportunities for granted. It needs minimal planning and I could do this type of thing quite a lot. Easy.

That's all for now as I'd better get back to some work now.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Can you squeeze me into an empty page of your diary

Well surprise surprise it's already that time of year when my mood has dropped. New year is not really a time for looking forward, but more a time for looking back on the past year, and realising that nothing has really changed and I have not developed. I can't really look forward when I've got something like that hanging around my neck.

I can look back on the past 2 years and nothing has really changed (well not positively). Don't get me wrong, I haven't got a lot to complain about and I am happy in my job and am doing okay for money but it's my personal life that needs work on. I need some more personal development and I need to be more adventurous, and I think I need to get out and away more. I'm not talking about going to different bars or getting a new hobby, but instead I need to culturally develop myself.

I stay in Thanet all the time, and usually moan that I don't have anytime, when infact I can really do whatever I want at the weekends. I don't make New Year's Resolutions, as they are always destined to fail but I do want to get away each weekend. I intend to jump on the train and visit more places starting with London. I want to do touristy things, visit museums, see the sights, take photos, and then jump on the train and back again.

I am going stale and need this cultural injection.

I usually won't go and do these things by myself, and will usually try and get frinds to come along to anything I organise, but I think I will have to this by myself. I enjoy being social but I also enjoy having my space. I know it may sound like a contradiction of going to somewhere like London and wanting to be by myself but it isn't.

Crazy thinking eh?

Jamie T - Calm Down Dearest

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

I'm a joker, I'm a smoker

A bit of news slipped by a few days ago that the legal smoking age in England and Wales was to rise from 16 to 18 years in October 2007. (read the BBC article here). This will go hand in hand with the public smoking ban (April in Wales, July in England).

I made a little 'woo hoo' noise when I read about it as I really do think smoking is vile and that people are ignorant to carry on doing it, but I know that I'm being a little harsh with that last comment as I could apply the same rationale to drinking alcohol or excessive eating. I still liked the 'woo hoo' though.

I see a lot of teenagers smoking, some of them not even actually teenagers yet, and hopefully this will mean that they will find it harder to buy cigarettes and start smoking. It's all too easy to buy cigarettes when underage, hell I even tried smoking when I was 15 but for only 2 weeks due to peer-pressure and I stopped once I realised how disgusting it was. I can see the appeal for youngsters though who still see it as 'cool'. Little do they know.

The 16 year old limit is not reinforced, so the question is if the 18 year old limit be enforced? I don't think it will but it will deter younger smokers, although those 16 year olds will still buy cigarettes but it will put off the 13, 14, and 15 year olds (hopefully).

Someone brought up the point yesterday that 16 year olds who have started smoking completely legally will be in a funny situation when it comes to October as they will have to stop smoking otherwise they'll be breaking the law, and will have to wait until they are 18. Weird eh?

If we lived in a utopian society then smoking would be completely banned, but then so would drinking, and so would sweets and any foods with excessive fat, sugar, or salt. It just isn't going to happen as there's too much invested in it. Once people are adults then they should be allowed to make their own choices as long as what they choose doesn't have an adverse effect on others.

Roll on the Smoking ban!!

And don't forget the joker!

For my birthday I got a copy of comedian Peter Kay's autobiography "The Sound of Laughter", but I only got around to reading it over the New Year period and I'm not usually one for autobiographies, especially when it's from people who you can argue are only just starting their lives such as footballers and B-list celebs. Mostly I see them as a cynical way to make extra money and cash in on what could be a very shortlived time in the limelight, but I have to say that I enjoyed Peter Kay's.

I've got 2 of his live shows already on DVD (Live at the Top of the Tower & Live at the Bolton Albert Halls) and I can see that his writing style is very much like his performing style with a selection of stories that many will recognise from his stand-up. You do come away feeling you know a bit more about him, but he really doesn't reveal anything grand, and the autobiography ends with him winning North-West Comedian of the Year 1996, and so there's lots more material that I'm sure many would like to know more about such as his TV work.

I probably wouldn't go out and buy it but if you do like his work then try and get hold of a copy and have a read.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Turn me around and take me back to the start

Last night was New Year's Eve in case you hadn't noticed and this is usually accompanied by me and my friends going out in fancy dress, getting drunk, and generally having a good time, and this year was no different. Order of the day was 'Clockwork Orange' for the guys and 'Pirates' for the girls, and I think we all looked good, and in total there were around 18 or so of us who made our way over to Broadstairs.

(Us boys before we went out)

Last night was a Guinness night for me, and I probably had about 8 pints with a horrible pint of Stella Artois to end the night with. I've actually gone off lager lately and have been enjoying my ales and stouts, and I think it's got something to do with the weather, and it's hard to describe but they are more 'warm', 'honest', and 'filling' as opposed to the lager wich seems to have absolutely no character this time of year. Anyway back to New Year's Eve.

The evening went very well and I think everyone enjoyed themselves. We started off at the Bradstowe Mill, then went to the Prince Albert, then the Old Crowne, and we eventually saw in New Year at The Rose, and then to The Dolphin for that horrible Stella. We missed the last train home and then had to wait ages for a taxi, eventually getting home around 3am, and certainly the fancy dress was easier to remove than it was 2 years ago when I was covered in brown body paint when we all dressed up as Mr T. I can't believe that I woke up at 8:30am when I'm sure I could've done with the extra sleep.

It's strange that New Year no longer holds the same feelings for me as it used to and it seems to be the same for everyone around here. It's just really another day isn't it? The same holds true for Birthdays and Christmas. Is this what happens when you get older?

I was taking pictures last night with Chris' camera and so I'll get hold of some photos later and post them here and hopefuly they give me a few extra hints to what else happened last night!

Have a nice Bank Holiday people!

(p.s. I took this one when I got home.... I was drunk)