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Strange Events

Hello Again,

Well I've done some things for the first time this week. On Monday, I went climbing with the Mountaineering Club. We went to an indoor wall at the University of Surrey in Guildford. It was a good evening and I enjoyed the new challenge. I would like to go again in the near future. It was tiring though, I never thought I would perspire so much just climbing.On Tuesday, we celebrated our Mountaineering Christmas doo at a local Indian restaurant. This was the first time I'd been to an Indian so I didn't know what to expect. I had a Prawn Korma which was very nice although a little bland. I think I would try something a little more adventurous next time. Tonight, I completed my Christmas shopping in Reading. I didn't have a clue what to get my Dad but in the end I settled on the Rome box set. I also bought the Local Hero soundtrack by Mark Knopfler as little gift for myself.

On leaving Reading town centre, I was stopped by a guy asking for money to get back to Blackburn. He spun me a yarn about being in a cross race relationship and getting a girl pregnant and being disowned by his family. I felt sympathy for him (if it was true) but what could I do? I can't be giving money to random strangers of which I know nothing of their motives when I'm a lowly student. I also can't be doing with the issue of inter-racial marriage at nine O' clock on a Thursday evening. On Saturday, I'm working. Tomorrow is the Christmas event at the union, where Chas and Dave are headlining.

I think that is about all for now. The German Society is coming along but we're still in the very early stages. I have two committee members.

Well I must go.

Clearing The Air

Hello Again,

Well I had an excellent weekend in London with Leanne. We managed to do Greenwich and some of the Imperial War Museum (it is huge!). The latter impressed me immensely and I shall definitely be returning to do the exhibitions we didn't have time for. I also purchased a book in the museum shop about Hitler's women. I bought it because it was written by Guido Knopp, an important writer and television historian of contemporary Vergangenheitsbewaltigung. He is also somewhat controversial in academic and cultural circles. Talking about facing up to the past, Tony Blair has opened up a debate on these shores by making an apology to the African countries for Britain's role in the slave trade. The fall out could be interesting. Other highlights of the weekend included considerable drinking time both in the house and in whether spoons and dancing on Leanne's roof.

I had words with the flatmates last night. I think it was the right time to say something and I think they took it on board. I think relations should improve now. I think it was important to say something at an early stage to stop it escalating further and causing more carnage when I finally reached my limit (it would have happened at some point). I don't think I said anything that was uncalled for and only one of the flatmates seemed upset by what was said. I think at first she thought I was directing it at her but I was making a general point to everyone. However she started me off because she said something that really irked me. Anyway, as one of the girl's from the floor above said to me, at least I've said my piece and they know how the ground lies. This had been on my mind for a few days but I feel better about the situation now.

As for uni today, I've had one lecture. I missed my seminar but I spent an hour studying the content so I should be OK and plus most of it was easy as it was Economics. I finished by german homework for no reason because our lecturer's ill and I tried to do my law tutorial (albeit a day late) but it's been taken off the website. It has no weight anyway but I should make sure I do the next one by December 10th. I'm just about to start an essay on a German film we saw last week.

At the weekend, I'm not sure what's happening. I don't know if I'm working or not. If I'm not working then I shall go somewhere, maybe West Wycombe, but we shall see.

I think that's all I need to say for the moment.

Bye!

Tensions

Hello Again

There are tensions in the house and relationships with the people on my floor are being affected by people who don't even live on our floor. I seem to be the subject of some sort of vendetta which started out as a bit of a joke but is now getting rather personal and serious. The other night, they scrawled obscenities on my door in non permanent marker. I was not impressed and although it was easy to clean off I thought it time to have words. However, words were not exchanged but this evening, things have escalated again. I had just come in and I left my keys on the table and went out to the loo. Whilst I was in the loo, I heard the two non residents of the floor come running down the corridor laughing like hyenas. When I came back to the room, the door was locked. They'd obviously been in and taken the keys and locked the door. I waited a while before I challenged them and they flatly denied it and pretended to take offence. Then the other flatmates started defending them saying that I was making unreasonable accusations. This went on for around half an hour in which time one of the non residents went to make noodles. She would have had ample time to plant the keys in the toilet where I found them. Hey presto, when I returned to the room the light was on I simply wouldn't have locked the door. I am not stupid and I know what I'm doing. I didn't take the keys with me and I didn't lock the door had they fallen, I would have heard them fall. They are out to sabotage my current good relationship with other members of the floor and I feel that I have lost some credibility with them even though I know exactly what happened. The next stunt is going to get a heated reception and words are going to fly. The way I feel at present, it better not be later tonight because I am already bubbling with rage. I can take I joke but recent events have become very pointed and directed at me specifically. If this continues then I shall have to take action.

I am away this weekend which in light of the current climate on the floor is a good thing. I am going to see Leanne in London. It should be a good weekend. We have much to catch upon. There is the added bonus of a trip to Greewich. This is somewhere I have never been but always wanted to go. The Cutty Sark should be interesting too. I can envisage many references to piracy and the sea. especially as were visiting the national maritime museum as well.

I have more or less finished my essays. I need to make one last point and form a bibliography. I shall write again soon.

Good night!

I've Seen It All.......And More Besides!

Well I'm back readers!

My trip to Germany was very enjoyable and very worthwhile and I got the opportunity to work on my German which is all important and I even got understood (albeit after some time) when explaining the intricacies of rugby league and the geography of most of Yorkshire. Whilst there, I visited Kassel on three separate days to different attractions. The shopping there is comparable to that of Manchester but the population is comparable to that of St Helens. I think you can draw your own conclusions, but then it does have a university and therefore it has to be lively enough to attract students as they are of paramount importance to the economy of any university town or city the world over. In comparison St Helens has St Helens College, which attracts students from as far afield as Thatto Heath and Toll Bar. Enough said! Anyway I got lots of retail therapy in and took advantage of the favourable prices. I find Germany very cheap nowadays. I think reunification has had a part to play in this as it has caused the economic problems of recent years. My main outlays were on DVDs and literature but I also bought a jumper for the winter months in H&M (I must be turning into Adam or something). I also visited Frankfurt which is very attractive despite the prejudice and I could easily live there during my year abroad. On Sunday we took a boat trip across the Edersee and that was also very beautiful. In eight days I took almost 200 photos, so it is fair to say that my camera has been well used recently. There is the possibility that we will meet briefly again in August as they want to meet my parents and are prepared to travel to Grafenwöhr to do so.

I think that is plenty about my trip. On returning, the trip back from the airport was somewhat intricate. I had to travel Through Bolton and Wigan en route to St Helens and may the time I reached Rainford some two hours or more had passed. The journey was also littered with numerous irritating fellow passengers;
1. Some blonde wench who must work in a travel agency at the airport who must have spent a good quarter of an hour on her mobile explaining how she nearly got sacked and how her friend should better ring someone for her. She had one of those rather whiny,northern kind of accents, rather like one found in Cheshire or somewhere.

2. Secondly there was a camp middle aged bloke who was in some kind of mid life crisis and was explaining all his worries about moving house whilst bitching about a former partner to all and sundry and the unfortunate listener.

3. To cap it off, there was a plastic scouser on the bus to Rainford in child napper mode and every other thing the little kid had was "gorgeous" or "lovely". Maybe I'm just too intolerant. The station announcer who had a very similar accent to Stone Cold Steve was amusing though (he had the same bored, disinterested tone and was also a Mancunian).

I think I've written enough for now. I must elaborate over my recent results day dreams though. I've had 3 I can remember so far. There was one where I got 4 marks on a General Studies paper, another where I got an A in Economics and another where I got the grades I need. Whether these are good or bad omens, I don't know but it's now just three weeks till the day of reckoning.

I'm going to go now. I shall write again soon. I think I need to elaborate more on my feelings towards Germany but now it's late and my thoughts are muddled.

Tschuß!

Rochdale In The Summer

It's not quite Paris in the spring but then what do you expect? The cooperative movement was founded here though and what else is Rochdale famous for?....err.... Carcraft and mills.

The town also has a rugby team whom we played today. We won in an uninspiring display by 46 points to 38. The defence was poor but we look a lot sharper on attack since Moran came.

Anyway, I never talk much about Rugby in this journal so I'm not about to start now.

This is probably the last time I'll update for a while as I'm going away on Monday for 9 days. It will be interesting to see if Deutschland has changed post world cup. Anyway, at least I can brush up on my conversational skills and it may actually count for something come results time that I've actually spent time in the country of the language I love. Having said that, hopefully I will have the necessary grades and so there will be no need to sell myself into somewhere. I mention this way too much but Monday marks one month till results day. It had to be said! So far, the time's actually passed quite quickly.

I don't think I have much more to say. I need to start packing tonight but it generally doesn't take me long. I also want to bag up my A level work if I get chance. It's literally just sticking it all in a bag and throwing it in a cupboard. I want to keep my German, Economics and Stats stuff accessible anyway because it might be useful for uni.

I guess that's your lot!

Closing Doors

Hello Again

This continues the theme of last night really. I don't know why I feel like this but I'm not saying it's a bad feeling. I just think I need closure on what's gone on before so I can start afresh on a new adventure come September. I went to see my old headmistress from Primary School today. She's retiring. I think she was glad to see me, I'm glad I went. I think I needed to go back one last time whilst there was still some relevance to my time there. Maybe this is strange behaviour, I don't know I'm also feeling the need to throw out old schoolwork. Again, this gives me comfort. I don't know where this is going and I don't want to write reams and reams again. I just think i'm in the process of tying up loose ends and bringing my time in Rainford to a close both mentally and physically (although I may be back in years to come but who can say?) At least if I address my issues now, then it is done and I won't feel like I've left things unfinished. Maybe this is a delayed reaction. I had no strong feelings in May when we left college nor did I during the Leavers' doo. I suppose it is only human to feel something for my hometown at some point. Perhaps as I'm leaving, the time is right. I want to leave and I'm doing it for the right reasons. In fact I've been quite restless the last year or so and I don't think I'll miss it all that much. That doesn't mean I won't forget and it doesn't mean I don't have some beautiful memories of my childhood but it's time to move on in a new place and begin a new lifestyle.

I think I have gone someway to sorting my head out before Uni. However, I won't get complete closure until after Results Day, when I've handed all my textbooks back and "left" college for the final time.

This topic is closed.......for now!

But feel free to comment.

Acquaintances With Galloway

Unfortunately this wasn't George Galloway but the aforementioned region of South West Scotland is very agreeable. I've been up there since Monday. We did four walks and visited Scotland's national book town on our rest day. I purchased a book on Europe since 1870 which looked very interesting and may come in useful for my german course next week as there are modules on 19th and 20th century history. I also picked up a book of extracts from german literature which was printed in 1938! It was a real bargain at just £1. That will give me an excuse to brush up on my German over the holiday. This week I will probably go to Manchester. I need to go shopping somewhere because I have presents and clothes to buy and other things like sunglasses and phonecards. The week after I'm off to Deutschland for nine days and the day I depart marks just a month until results day. I know, I know I should forget about it but it's going to be there at the back of my mind until it's been and gone. I am actually looking forward to late August and early September when I can give people a define answer when they ask where I'm going to study. It's all people seem to ask me these days. Anyway, back to Galloway. It's very lush and more tougher walking country than the borders although probably not as pretty. The midges weren't too bad but I still got multiple bites. That's Scotland for you! I made some headway with my Downfall book although I'm still enough half way through. I hope to finish that this week so I can finish Lord of the Rings at Rene's and maybe start Cold Mountain. I would take Wealth of Nations with me but I think it's a bit deep for a holiday read. I want to try and read it before I go to Uni though. That leaves a generous 70 day window give or take a few days. I bought an Independent up in Scotland. There was an interview with Boris in the education section. I agreed with a lot of what he said. 50% is an unrealistic number of youths to coax into Higher Education and the fees present a natural barrier to this as to achieve 50% requires a decent proportion of the working class as probably only 30% of the population qualify as Middle or Upper class. He was also saying that too many people are taking "softer" subjects like English and Psychology instead of Science and Languages. The effect on higher education is detrimental. Fewer students means fewer departments. Sussex closed its Chemistry Dept. and JMU axed German just last week.

Anyway, I guess that's about all for now. I need to unpack my suitcase in the morning and I might go to church. I should also sort my schoolwork out but due to rugby and work commitments that may have to wait until Monday or Tuesday.

That's All Folks!



That was our "MPC" picture at the leavers' doo. I might put some more on. All this modern technology is rather new to me.

Leavers' Doo - Tissues and Issues

Hello Again

I spent most of this afternoon cooking bacon in a Mother's Union apron well that was an experience. Then I watched England get dumped out of the cup on penalties. The script was written but I thought we'd make the semis this time around. Oh well this is England. What can one expect? Next week I'm going to Galloway with my Dad. We're leaving on Monday and coming back next Sunday in time for the rugby and for me to go to work. It should be good. I haven't been up to that part of the world before. In the time between returning from Scotland and going to Germany, I need to go to Manchester for various presents and summer clothes. I also need to sort out my college stuff and throw out my GCSE books and remove the red eye from my leavers' doo pictures.

That leads on nicely. The leavers' doo was very enjoyable. I got to speak to quite a few staff..... Mr Halewood, Miss Fairclough, Mrs Whittle (Sebastian). I have a lot of pictures some of which are very good. There's an economics photo of myself, Roughley and Chris. We're looking very MPC! I'll upload it on here if I figure out how to! For those who don't know, the MPC is the monetary policy commitee (men in suits working at the bank of England). After the doo at Haydoch which was very stereotypical .....( Ash was late, Sophie had a fit and Chris threw up everywhere),we went to Maximes. We were also blessed with Aimee Hill for the meal that was very profitable food-wise! On the drinks front, I managed 6 pints and a short. It was a very good night and I spent less than I could have. Mr Halewood was telling me how great in the nightlife in Leeds was (his brother went there and slagged off living at home and Edge Hill in the process. At least he has some sense. Dancing in the cage at Maximes was much fun.

I guess that's it for now. I won't be updating until I get back from Scotland so you may have to wait for the pictures.

Cheers.

P.S: Who gives their car a name? ....and how right wing is it to buy a Peugeot after they've just axed a few thousand jobs in the Midlands? Musician also contribute vey little to the economy (unless they make it big). We all know who I'm referring to here. I wonder if they're bright enough to work it out?

Cough! Cough!

The End Of Something

Hello

Well, the exams are over. I think Economics went rather well. Unit 5 went a lot better than it could have done and I am pretty confident that I have achieved a good grade. An A is only around 60-65% going on past grade matrixes. I think that has a lot to do with the ridiculous timings. I think I distributed my time between the questions well though and made the main/ most important points that I wanted to make. Going on my calculation I only require 48% of the UMS marks to get a B so I'm quite confident. My thoughts seem to be in keeping with the general consensus so that is always encouraging. We shall just have to see what results day brings. On the whole I'm fairly pleased with my exams this year. I think I put in enough work to get reasonable and necessary grades. I worked particularly hard on my coursework which was important. I don't feel like I really mucked a paper up this year which is good. Maths was by far the most difficult but that was to be expected. If I have "underperformed" on any paper then it was probably C4 but Maths went pretty much as expected because C3 was better than it could have been. Oh well, at least I won't have to do (pure) maths again. Some arithmetic and aspects of stats for the accountancy modules of the management side of my degree should be easy to deal with. Parametric equations will not be making an appearance there.

I watched the football before. Ukraine won on penalties against Switzerland. I was sticking up for Die Schweiz (naturally as they are the German speaking country) so I was slightly disappointed. I need a shopping trip sometime this week. Tomorrow I'm going to throw some old clothes out and make a start on my reading. Next week I may go away with my Dad for a few days.

I guess that's about all for now. It is at least two hours later than the time at the top of the page. That's because I was pratting about with MSN paint. Oh the fun! I shall probably write again towards the end of the week either just before or shortly after the leavers' doo. That promises to be good fun. I guess that is all. Good luck to Freya and Leanne (and all the others who may read this) with their final exams. Roll on Aug 17th but let's have a good summer beforehand!

Bye!
Hello Dears!

Well I have done my last General Studies paper and now I only have Economics to go. I think it went fairly well. I wasn't really concerned that any particular aspects were that difficult. The first four questions were about voting trends, differences between labour and the conservatives, apathetic youths and media influences. On the essay question, I had the choice of women in politics, the ageing population, should the voting system be altered? and environmental/transport issues. I chose to discuss the ageing population as this had some economic arguments. I think I covered most of the main points and pretty much wrote what I wanted to say. I've just got economics to go now. I'll put in a decent amount of work the next few days and I'm sure I'll be adequately prepared. I think I'm quite comfortable with the vast majority of the Economics syllabus and I'm quite looking foward to finishing now. Whilst I'm on the subject of education, Reading sent me a nice letter this morning telling me what to do on results day etc. I'm really not to bothered whether I end up at Reading or Leeds (they are as good as each other). I just hope I manage to do well enough to get to Reading at least.

I went to see Mr Howker after the exam and ended up helping out in his year 7 class. That was an experience. They are a struggling set 2 but enthusiastic enough (apparently the kids are split academically nowadays and these were the weakest of the weaker half). It's not really languages they study but more european awareness with aspects of PSE and geography. We seemed to be getting something out of it though. I still have a lot of German books/tapes to give back but I'm sure I'll have chance to do all that in September before I go to Uni. I handed my Maths textbook in but I didn't catch Miss Fairclough.

During the Summer I plan to do some more reading. I want to finish The Return of the King and Until the Final Hour and there's other books such as Cold Mountain and The Wealth of Nations I've barely started or not even opened. I also want to by some Economics books off the internet, especially some of Keynes' works. I should also look at my Robin Cook autobiography and read Don Carlos too. If I achieve all that (which is debatable) it will be quite a cultured summer for me. The BB are talking about doing a play or production of some description so I will take some time to put some material towards that. I also want to pick up my Russian again and gather some basic knowledge. I think I need to devote a regular slot to it every couple of days.

Anyway, I think that is about all for now. I need to focus on finishing my exams well.

Keep Safe!