About Me

Larbert, Scotland, United Kingdom

Friday, September 28, 2007


I forgot something in the past month. With all the chaos, excitement, painting, interviews and such like, I forgot to pay my VISA bill. My Internet VISA card gets paid by Direct Debit, but my other one doesn't. If you have a student VISA card (limit £500) then you get a text to remind you when to pay, but on the (supposedly) grown up VISA card you don't, so I forgot to pay and get hit with a £12 late payment charge, and interest payments as well as a nice phone call from the bank asking me if I intend to pay at all this month (I imagine that had I said 'No', then i would have been hit with even more charges!). They are also going to send me a letter about paying that VISA by Direct Debit. They won't do text messages on 'adult' VISA accounts because apparently "Computer says No"...........

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Clothes shopping

Today I went clothes shopping, not so much out of choice, as out of necessity. Because my Mum has stolen my clothes.....ok, that's a bit harsh so maybe I should explain.

A couple of weeks ago, before my Progress interview, I went home for a week, and mum suggested I leave some dirty clothes, she would wash them, and bring them up when she and dad came to help with the painting of my flat.

However, she forgot! the next member of the family to be going cross border is my sister who is home this weekend, and will hopefully meet me next week sometime to give me my clothes.

It hasn't been too bad the past 2 weeks when i have been mostly at home and could wash every other day, but being away for most of this coming weekend, I felt I needed more clothes to able to last til then, so today after I left Butcher boy, I went to BHS to buy some cheap T-shirts (including a black one for tech-ing in) and otehr essentials. I saw a great (£10) Wacky races mug shot Tshirt as well, so got that and very quickly had spent £40... oh well, I need some new clothes anyway!

Catch the pigeon, catch the pigeon....

Ok, so the title is an homage to wacky races (more on them later), but today i was meeting butcher Boy for lunch and was a little early, so I sat in George 'red' Square waiting on a bench and a pigeon flew past and well defecated on my jumper......urgh! I was very not happy (and cold after I took the jumper off) , anyway Butcher Boy and I then took a wander to find lunch and everywhere was busy (it being lunchtime), we ended up in KFC, where the service was shocking and the chips were minging. He said his Zinger burger was not good. I have to say that my crispy strips were rather nice though!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

DVD excitement

The problem with a visit to Borders is that you notice all the DVD prices then come home and try to find them all on the 'net cheaper. Then you realise that if you can get it for £8.99 not £16.99, you have saved £8. Then it hist you that it still costs £8.99 than you wanted to spend. Ho Hum...

Anyway here is my exciting list of DVD's I want at the moment. If you want to buy me one, please let me know!

Going to see what is there

On Thursday night, I was passing through Glasgow Central station, heading from towards Boots (the only chemist open late night (ie after 7pm), when I saw that there was a train to Neilston in 5 minutes. I have been to many places around Glasgow by train due to Uni etc, but never Neilston. It's on a weird sticky out bit of rail that goes to the middle of the Renfrewshire countryside then stops.

So I went to the ticket machine and discovered I could do the return journey for £2.20. A bargain was to be had it seemed. So I caught the train out and back and wrote a couple of cards and made a to do list in my diary and such like on the way.

Once we got clear of the Southside of Glasgow, we went into the suburbs (posh bits) like Giffnock, then across through country parks and open areas with lakes, until we got to Neilston. Coming back was a bit the same but almost dark. It only took about 30 minutes each way, but I felt like I had gone much further.

I then managed to waste a further hour of my evening in Borders, looking round at all they had to offer and making a mental note of their Student offer - 20% off all full price books, DVDs, CDs and paperchase from 3rd-5th October.

Absence makes.....

I might not be blog posting much this coming week as I am over in Edinburgh a fair bit with one thing and another. On the other hand if I get a quiet bit and something worthy of apost has happened, I'll let you all know.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Do I look like 118, 118?

I also had a random morning. Maxi, one of Butcher Boy and the Tattooed drinkers friends wanted their number. So he found their bebo, linked to my bebo page, found my msn address, added me and asked for their numbers... all before 10am. I wasn't keen on just randomly giving out their numbers so called Butcher Boy, who by the sounds of him then, had a rather good night at Chris' birthday bash at Fury Murry's yesterday.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Depressing Times

I just read the Evening Times online (for free) and am now thoroughly depressed. The top few stories were:
  • 1 in3 shops sell cigarettes to kids.
  • Man convicted of raping a 14 year old in a park.
  • Man faces jail for urinating on dying woman.
  • Police hunt man for raping 9 year old girl.
  • Charity forced to close in cash crisis.
  • Hospital patients at risk due to broken lifts.
  • Thai plane crash deaths rise.
  • Northern Rock slides again.
  • Gran tackles armed robbers at Tesco.
It's just so much bad news at the moment.....

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Postman Pat....

Due to the random post strikes around here recently, the post came be very haphazard. For example, having had none on Monday or yesterday, today I had a veritable mountain. some of which was quite interesting
  • A cheque from the BMA charitable trust towards my tuition fees this year for Uni
  • A new shiny nectar card to replace the old one
  • A nice letter from my new power company asking for my meter reading and telling me how many points I will earn for my Tesco Clubcard.
  • A letter offering me a loan
  • One from ING Direct asking me to open a savings account with them. the only issue being that I already have one.
  • A nice letter from the University telling me that I don't start until the 20 something of October as I passed SSM2 last year.
Mind that could be all my post until Monday now....

Monday holidays

This Monday was a Monday holiday... in Edinburgh, which meant that the primary groups which feed into DIME were having their over-night mini-residentials at Scoughall, near North Berwick. last year we hadn't enough people to do all the tidying up on the Sunday, so, since Uni is still on holiday, I offered to go through and help tidy up and do the cleaning etc. I got the train through to Edinburgh, then blundered round trying to find the North Berwick train because non of the information screens at Waverley were working, and the announcements were incomprehensible.

Upon leaving the station, I wandered along until accosted by an Arnold Clark minibus with Finn and the activity groups in it. They were off to do Abseiling at North Berwick Law (funny how the kids think abseiling involves water...but then again most of them had never heard of it before). Whilst the activities of the morning continued apace, I cleaned the toilets and swept floors, tidied kit away and such like, until we were ready to leave about 4pm.

North Berwick is like Edinburgh's seaside, in many ways and as students it was where we used to go if we wanted to go somewhere that wasn't Edinburgh, but was close by (40 minutes on the train). We had BBQ's, fish & chips and even played frisbee on the beach at 2am one memorable February Sunday night.

It is also a bit of coast I have walked quite often, and even cycled along from North Berwick to Scoughall, when it was getting a lick of paint in advance of the 50th anniversary of camps on the site, back in 2003.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Painting part 2

Well that is the weekend of painting finished. The results are much better than my mock-ups (thankfully) and the colours do seem to go well together.

I finally got all the stuff moved back in tonight. So now it looks cleaner fresher and has elss marks on the wall. Only 2 and a half rooms to go in the next 12 months.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007


After 3 years in my flat, and in an effort to rejuvenate the place a bit to go with my new lease of life in Uni, I have decided to decorate my flat. my Mum & Dad are coming up to help (well dad to do the fiddly bits as he maintains that corners are very complex.

For a laugh, I took some photos of my flat and traced over the walls then coloured them the colour they will be when painted - you can see the results below. the issue is trying to get a computer colour that matches the paint. Anyway 2 walls will be "Natural Hessian" (cream), the ones in the 'bay' by the window will be "Lemon Tropics" (kinda yellow), and the wall in the kitchen will be "Roasted Red" - a kinda terracotta colour. If the yellow and Hessian look ok together, then we may carry then through into the hallway and bedroom in months to come. The ceiling and sloping walls will be white to reflect light back into the room (or so my mum says).

An invitation.....

I am really happy today (for many reasons)...but also because I got a surprise Wedding invitation. The wedding isn't a surprise, but the invitation is. This keeps up my record of a wedding every summer since 2003, and more importantly is great, because 2 people I know a bit have invited m along. I appreciate that I could be just the slightest bit hyper tonight and that is why I am quite so happy about the invitation, but........even so it's still nice to go to a wedding.

Terms and Conditions apply

As mentioned below/above, they have let me back into do Year 3, but on a few conditions!
  • I do not have to do the SSM's (so term runs from end of October to mid-May)
  • I do not have to do another Junior elective (so i have all next summer off)
  • I do have to do the OSCE in May, but it will be formative
  • No one is sure whether I have to do the coursework, but if I do, it will be formative.
  • I only get one chance at the Year 3 written exam, next May.
  • I have to meet regularly with my Adviser through the year
  • I have to go and see the Effective Learning Adviser for advice.
None of which is too bad.

The Verdict

This morning was my interview with the Progress Committee. Despite having been awake half the night and then feeling very nauseous this morning, I made it into Uni ok, where it seemed to be about 20,000 C. I can't remember much of the interview, but anyway as I was getting off the Subway, I got a phone call to say my decision letter was waiting. I did toy with going home first, but thought "What the heck" and headed back into the West End to get it. On the way I bumped into Dave the Hat, who wished me luck.

All in all the result was good and I am allowed to repeat 3rd year, subject to a few conditions (which I will explain in another post).

I popped up to my old work to let a few of the guys there know. Little Miss P looked really happy at the news. The Butcher Boy was just about awake, but said he wasn't doing coffee for another hour at least, so I headed home and met him for lunch in George Square instead. We then went for coffee in starbuclks and it hurled it down with rain...so glad we chose to sit-in.

Monday, September 10, 2007

A day in the Park

I spent Saturday in Strathclyde park (as I did the same Saturday last year), working on the tearfund "Running the race" event and the follow up event "Praise in the park". The race warm up looked quite energetic enough for me, but then again by the time the race started, I had been on site since 7.30am (and up since 5.15am), and it was by then 11am.

As last year we had 4 bands on over the afternoon, and then the get out. Now while the stage may not look that big, by the time it has all been packed away, it fills and articulated truck trailer!
Due to some fast work, we were finished just as it got dark about 10pm, and I made it home by 11, having only seen one glassing on the train back to Glasgow, which wasn't bad considering Scotland were playing Football at Hampden, and there was Proms in the Park at Glasgow Green. Even 2 days on I am a wee bit sore still!

Weighty matters

I have been planning to lose weight over the summer, and I think I am making some progress. Having done a SSM in Obesity and its' management in Year 2, I am all too aware that a diet alone doesn't lead to weight loss in the long term but to weight yo-yoing which is worse for your long term health.

In order to work out whether my combination of eating less fat and doing more exercise is working, I today bought some scales and discovered some amusing features:
  • Eating lunch put on 0.01 stones (how you divide a stone into decimals is beyond me sinc eit is normally 14 lbs or 16oz each...)
  • Washing my face seemed to lose 0.02 stones
  • Depending on whether you put your feet together or apart alters your weight.
Anyway, since I measured my weight at mum and Dad's two weeks ago, I seem to have lost half a stone (most of it last Saturday I think). I haven;t set a target as such, so those of you who see me often can tell me when I get down to a weight which looks ok!

Friday, September 7, 2007

Home Sweet Home

I am sat typing this while bouncing along at 125mph on my way back from Newcastle to home.

This has led to some confusion, with Mum and Dad referring to North Shields as ‘home’ and me referring to my flat as ‘home’. I guess in different senses we are both right. North Shields maybe where I am from, was born and grew up, and is where Mum and Dad are and where my sister will get married.

But my flat feels like my home – it is my space with my stuff and has stuff where I want it, and stuff I want – powerful shower, my books, my clothes etc….

Anyway this got me thinking about how I feel about North Shields. It’s a town on the banks of the River Tyne, just up from the mouth of the river, technically the boundary into Tynemouth (the village at the river mouth) is about 150yards from mum & dad’s, across a sports field. It used to have a huge fishing port, light industry and of course shipbuilding and servicing. Now we are left with an outlet shopping centre, retail parks and a few fishing boats, and most people commute up to Newcastle or other bits of the Tyne & wear conurbation for work. In that way, Newcastle is more like Glasgow than Edinburgh ever will be, maybe this is why I liked Edinburgh so much – it was so different to back home.

The best bit about North Shields is technically not in North Shields, but runs from Tynemouth to Whitley Bay – the next town up the coast, and location of many ‘hotels’ and caravans where in years past, Scottish people went for holidays. Now it is a weekend drinking resort.

Anyway, the best feature is the North Sea, and the beaches. I always like to go down to the coast when I am home. It’s not at all peaceful, but the crashing waves and the way that

as the tide comes in, it erases all the traces of what has happened on the beach since the last tide. Furthermore, to confuse matters, although I went to primary school in North Shields, my GCSE's were done in Cullercoats and A-levels in Whitley Bay - so a progressive movement up the east coast to Edinburgh seemed obvious....

Looking out the window, as the train now pulls out of Berwick, I can seethe same azure blue sea, and the lovely blue sky, and fields of corn or grain looking all nice and yellow. It really is the kind of day that you would love to spend just sat on the beach, as it is quite warm……..anyone want to sit on the beach all afternoon?

Apologies to those of you who are still living in North Tyneside, fo0r painting such a nice rosy picture of the dog’s toilet (beach) and drink fuelled violence (Whitley bay at night) and depressing town centre (North Shields); but sometimes I guess, you can take the boy out of North Shields, but you can’t take North Shields out the boy.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007


I have been putting this post off, because it makes me look bad..... I had all day today to do 2 jobs, then I was going to head to Rev tonight with butcher boy, sarah, chris, michael etc (That tattooed drinker stupidly agreed to do a nightshift).

However due to the new laptop I have failed to complete the second task and it is now 11.47pm.... I could just complete it by midnight but have done not much else all day. Well I did do stuff, just not the two earmarked tasks.........

Tomorrow I have 2 tasks to do:
1. Deliver a DVD to Edinburgh
2. Make my way to Mum & Dad's

Hopefully I can manage these without procrastination.

New shinyness

Today my excitement happened, my new laptop arrived. The old one has been dying for months. It was a DELL and the laptop air intake was underneath and fills with duct meaning it overheats etc. Anyway, it was also almost 4 years old, slow, full of junk and not shiny anymore.

So now I am the proud owner of a lenovo (IBM) titanium framed thinkpad. It doesn't have the looks of Butcher Boy's Vaio, nor the geek chic of an iBook, but its nice new and has many handy features, like wifi, bluetooth and a battery that last more than 5 minutes. It also has fingerprint recognition, so I can logon by drawing my finger over the sensor........

Sunday, September 2, 2007

A small note

To those of you who have emailed me or commented about my appearance before the Progress Committee and my presenting my case to be allowed to repeat the year.

On the advice of my Uni tutor, I'm not going to say anymore about this hearing until after it happens, as you never know who reads blogs!

Good nights

As a welcome back, I met up with Butcher Boy and the tattooed Drinker (fresh from Ayr) tonight for a quiet drink, and to catch up on the scandal rumour gossip and intrigue that has happened in the past fortnight. Sadly there were none, so we resorted to cheap gags and low jibes at each other. Still it passed a couple of hours!


This morning I was woken at 7.15 by the world's most distorted PA system (it was totally uninteligable) broadcasting high pitched squeeks for about 10 minutes. hen the runners arrived, and it was absolute chaos for most of the morning - difficult to get out the street etc.

New advert

The new advert to stop people jumping the lights at level crossings:

Back in the big city

Well I'm back in my flat. It is funny how a week away can make even simple things look totally different. Firstly the hall was covered in post from Banks, magazines, Unions, BMA, Power companies (more on that later), Student loans and my P45 form being an OSCE model in June. I have to say that my heart skipped a beat when I saw another University of XX franked envelope!!

Then I discovered that i hadn't set the dishwasher off before leaving and thus had to do that as it was awful inside. I had however remembered to shut the fridge and freezer doors and turn the power off to other things (but not the fridge and freezer!)

My week away was a strange time - a time of contemplation, thinking, reflection and some relaxation - as much as you can have when with your parents and dragged out to various places to stop you 'moping'....ok activity is good, but sleeping would also have been nice!

We walked the coast, along rivers and went by Train to Settle, from Carlisle...it was fairly scenic... I also drafted my written statement to the Progress Committee (of which more later) and saw my sister who was down fleetingly for wedding planning. This allowed me to hitch a lift back as far as Linlithgow with her, before catching the train back home, and arriving just in time to discover that tomorrow morning is the Fresh n Lo 13mile race and it starts outside my flat - what fun! The last 2 years i have been working in East Lothian this weekend of the year and managed to miss the race!