About Me

Larbert, Scotland, United Kingdom

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Saturday, April 26, 2008

It came.......

Yipeee.......in the pile of post that Mum gave me at the funeral is my full driving licence in all its pink shininess. I suppose I should get the address changed to my Glasgow one, but since I don;t see Mum & Dad moving soon I'm not sure that I have to.

Now just to get a car - in some ways I want the end of may to come very soon so I can get one, but on the other hand I want the exams to still be a long way away.

Highlight of the week.

On Tuesday I was sat doing some revision as the afternoon sunshine fell upon my desk and obliterated anything on the computer screen. I got a text from Phil saying he was bored. The conversation went on until I suggested he come to Glasgow for coffee. Phil being impulsive and having a disabled card allowing free train travel thought this was a fantastic idea, and he came through.

I met him at the station at 5.30 (I was late due to reading the next chapter of my book in the adjacent WHSmith Reading Library). We wandered to my flat, where Phil expressed his approval of the lift, and that my flat was cleaner than he thought it would be since I am a student! Hrumpf!

We then went round to my local restaurant which although an italian restaurant has mostly eastern european staff and also makes rather good steaks and burgers. I was stuffed after only a starter and main course....(garlic and rosemary foccacia to start and a plain burger (with what looked like a whole salad stuffed in the bun as well with fries and I had a couple of Phil's side of Oion rings) and had no room for dessert sadly. Phil said he had room but would sacrifice the calories as I had Uni work to be getting on with. Phil also insisted on paying which was very kind of him.

I put him on the 9pm train then wandered home to study.

I thing when i get my car I hope I shall be as random and just pop to see people because I can - my friends may hope this is not teh case though.


It has been a very busy past week, so I'm going to do a few little updates which I wrote at the time but didn't upload yet.

My grandad's funeral at the crematoria yesterday was very nice. It was the first time I had been to a humanist funeral, and apart from some humourous comments about where you found a humanist minister from, the whole thing was very composed. I missed some of the more usual bits of a funeral, and there was no singing just some organ music......

This was then followed by a 9 hour trek back from Birmingham to Glasgow via Newcastle and Stirling. It was long... and my knees hurt......and I was shattered when I got home - the first time in months I just fell into bed and fell straight asleep.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Please help me, readers!

You may notice that my last post had a couple of interesting comments from an author who wants to quote a bit of a blog post from last year.

I'm not sure...would any of the regular readers care to comment / offer advice?

I've underlined points you've mentioned (for me to address) .. if you scroll down, you'll see I've numbered them; as an example, for you to see and ok - I've posted the intended reference here as an example for you to see -

- to be cited at the end of the book in Acknowledgements/Bibliography - as a full reference to the actual page in which I found the initial comments on smoking - In the text, I would probably only use the name of the Blog - Adventure, mistakes and successes; in varying proportions with your pseudonym, dr-dyb

**If there is a specific way in which you would prefer to have the referencing done - it shall be done - you have the right to remain anonymous and I welcome any suggestions you make, as I want you to be happy with what we do.

With the dr-dyb.blogspot.com/2007/10/smoking.html in the back of the book -comments from you, taken from the blog, would be not be easily identified - however, to have any validity, I need to reference the comments in some manner, but you, of course, maintain anonymity in regard to your actual name.

In the post in question, I said:
"Unlike many Med students, I am not a zealot about smoking - for starters, I would have had few friends in high school, sixth form, scouts, Uni or work if I hadn't frequented with those who smoked. As long as they know the risks, I honest;y fail to see the problem. After all drinking, eating and not exercising are more likely to kill you, and anyway sick people = more work in the future - I call it 'security of employment'. I have never smoked and don't see the attraction of it, and never want to smoke, but as long as my friends realise the damage they are causing, I don't feel the need to endanger my friendship with them by going on about the issue..."
I still hold with the general premise of my post, that Smoking is bad, but not the worst thing you can do to yourself, and that as long as people are aware of the risks, it is not the ‘bogeyman’ that many medical professionals see it as. For politicians, smoking is a much easier target than exercise, alcohol, or illegal drugs, because all they do is boost tax and restrict sales (by age, economic factors etc) in order to claim to be ‘doing something’. These same measures are not adopted with respect to alcohol, which arguably causes greater damage on society.

I'm just not sure about being published.....any opinions?

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Stretchy days

Today has been one of those elastic days.

This morning time was flying an nothing was getting done, but as the day has gone on, someone has stretched the day and allowed me to get more done in the afternoon. It has also been nice and sunny and warm (though I;m not sure that matters when you are indoors all day - except for making the computer screen impossible to see between 4pm & 5pm, which aided my productivity).

I have managed to thoroughly revise 2 PBL's today and am about to start on a 3rd, though I may not finish it until tomorrow. I have also managed a load of washing, to clean the kitchen, re-shelve all the book, sort the pile of Uni work that needed filing, write two letters, fill in my student support finance form, and photocopy it, clean the bathroom and hoover the flat.

However I did forget to eat and I am now starving!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The great mp3 guide to life

1.) Put your music player on shuffle.
2.) Press forward for each question.
3.) Use the song title as the answer to the question.

No cheating!

- What does next year have in store for me?
No woman no cry, Fugees & Ziggy Marley

- What's my love life like?
May the Horse be with you - Reliant K

- What do I say when life gets hard?
Break Up to Make Up - The Chi-lites

- What Do you think upon waking up?
When I found You - Britney Spears

- What song will I dance to at my wedding?
Love Gives & Love Takes - The Corrs

- What do you want as a career?
Sunday, bloody Sunday - U2

- Favourite place?
January Friend - Goo Goo Dolls

- What do you think of your parents?
Born to Make You Happy - Britney Spears

- What's your Pornstar name?
To Have and Not to Hold - Madonna

- Where would you go on a first date?
Waiting For The World To End - MXPX

- Drug of choice?
Feelin' Good - The Pussycat Dolls

- Describe yourself:
The Gray Havens (LOTR soundtrack) - London Oratory Scholars

- The song that best describes my school principal?
Whole Lotta Nothing - S Club 7

- What is my state of mind like at the moment?
The More You Ignore Me, The Closer I Get - Morrisey

- How will I die?
The Riverboat Song - Ocean Colour Scene


Monday, April 14, 2008

Fishy goings on

You may remember that my sister wanted Goldfish in bowls as the table centres for the reception. Well I had hired Butcher Boy to be the one who organised this. All was going well until we found that:
  • most pet shops would only sell us 5 fish maximum
  • they demanded name and address
  • they will only sell you 2 without a water sample
  • one fish shop had fin rot
Thus Friday morning involved Butcher Boy in a high speed chase across Lanarkshire & Cumbria with 66 litres of treated water, collecting fish as he went, before arriving at the hotel to be faced with 11 bowls and 24kg of gravel and 90 minutes to make it all happen. He did, and earned my Mum's praise!

Testing driving conditions

In the second theme of the past week, driving has featured quite highly.

Last Thursday was my driving test, as you might remember I managed to fail the first time, but apart from that I only had 5 minor faults. This time I was more nervous and aware of the mistakes I had made in the final couple of lessons. We set off, and pulled round a corner to start the corner reverse manouvre, when i noticed that a silver Peugeot 307 had pulled in, but not parked, before the junction, but directly behind me. I watched it for a minute before deciding that he was stopped enough for me to carry out the manouvre. I did the reverse around the corner ok, then started up the hill. The car was then following me again. I got near the top, when the examiner asked me to pull over to the side, let the car past and then start again. I pulled over, and the car pulled in behind me again, about 25 yards behind. It may no effort to pull past, so upon instruction, I pulled out again and carried on my driving.

The examiner had me pull in another couple of times, but each time the car stayed behind me. It was starting to un-nerve me a bit and I made a few stupid mistakes (like a hill start with the car in Neutral!). We came out onto Great Western Road, where there are 3 lanes, and the car still kept following me, until eventually the examiner made eye contact with the driver and gestured to him (I have no idea what the gesture was!). We then carried on with the test and I was sure that my minors whilst the car was 'dogging' me would mean that I had failed, but I carried on and we went on a new route, up through Drumchapel.

When we got back to the test centre, I was amazed to hear the examiner say "You passed", and when he handed me the sheet, I had only scored 7 minor faults.

Then on Saturday morning after the wedding, my sister threw her car keys at me, and when I managed to catch them, told me I was now on her insurance, and I'd be taking her car to Mum & Dad's from Newcastle airport. Her car has always been her pride & joy (well maybe not now she has a husband?), and I was surprised she'd let me drive it, as I had assuemed that dad would be going to pick it up later in the day.

I took Mum with me, because the only route I could remember home from the airport involved going down the A1 and through the middle of Newcastle - not something I wanted to do! Fortunately they had parked the car in a nice open bit of the car park and I managed to get out without clipping the alloys on the curbs. However i then discovered the menace that is parking barriers - park to far away and you end up falling out the window in your attempt to get the ticket into the machine.

The trip home was slower than normal, but without incident, and I even got to break the Highway Code intentionally by parking wheel up' on the curb outside Mum & Dad's.

I then spent the trip back to Glasgow using the NXEC wifi to look for a car..... even though it will be after exams before I get one.

Wedding fun

This past week has been absolute mayhem... so I think my posts will have to be thematic not chronological.

The wedding went off really rather well - they were actually married, and no real arguements on the day. The service was as expected, very nice and lots of good singing. My sister was there on time and looked lovely (well the best she can!) My usher duties were more complex than I though, as we had a mini seating plan to ensure that the families were at the front, and then friends behind. This worked well, but did mean that those unused to such ideas (our side) kept trying to sit anywhere, where as her husbands family who are onto their 4th family wedding in 4 months were more prepared for the seating process.
We then headed through the horrendous traffic jams that seem to be plaguing North Tyneside, up to the hotel for the reception. Every time I tried to get near any of the nibbles, I was called for a photograph, outside where it was a touch chilly, but not too wet thankfully, so by the time we were let in for the meal I was starving.
I was on a table near the top (which surprised me) and with various relatives. The meal was lovely, just like the taster one had been. The roast beef was very tasty and came with lots of gravy, yorkshires and carrots. The chocolate pudding with raspberries in the middle was fantastic and yummy. My description of it as a chocolate goo pudding may not be technically the best though.

Then we came onto speeches, which seemed to go on for a long time, although they both got off relatively lightly when it came to tell stories about them and their growing up. My dad managed to hold the line between being honest about my sister and not painting her out to be perfect. Thankfully several of his stories had been spiked by Mum....
The evening was a mix of party games - with that many small children (and grown up children) there wasn't much alternative - and a slide show of embarrassing pictures of the two of them. I featured in a few pictures of my sister, including one suggesting I used her head as a drum kit. This got a laugh from everyone, until I heard my sister shouting out "You lot think they're joking!"

The day ended very well with the family and friends sitting round drinking cups of tea after the bride and groom had retired to their room. Then when the parents went to bed, my cousin, cousin in law and I sat round keeping the barman working until about 2am. This is the problem with family events, you see each other so rarely that there always seems so much to catch up.

The Saturday morning was nice and relaxed, where we all had breakfast, then while some of the people with kids went to use the swimming pool, the rest busied ourselves decanting the wedding paraphenalia into the cars to go home.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

The top 5 in the charts

I saw these and they amused, and not much else has so far this week, so here goes.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Earlly morning visitors

0926 - phone rings, it's Mum "We're about 2 minutes away, can you put the kettle on"; Me "eh, uh oh, you what?"

Thus my early morning visit from my parents (well early for a sunday). Sadly my other grandfather had passed away yesterday evening in hospital. His surgery had gone very well, but his bladder wasn't emptying properly, and thus he was being kept in on a catheter. Last night it seems he collapsed - I know worn out wasn't a medical diagnosis, but it is the most likely cause.

He was cheery til the last, enjoying the hospital food, telling the rest of us what to do, and making jokes about not being here forever. Thus it seems he hardly suffered at all.

So Wedding this week, and funeral the week after most likely, as in Birmingham, where he lived, morning funerals are reserved for Muslims and can only be booked at 24hr notice. The rest of the population wait up to 3 weeks for the funeral.

Wedding stress

Weddings are stressful, it seems, for everyone except the couple. They just have to show up and look happy.

The rest of the family on the other hand are stressed and running round in circles trying to make sure it all goes to plan, or if not that, at least goes!

Stresses about changes to who is doing what - due to illness etc; changes in numbers coming; changes in timings of rehearsals etc.

My own issues relate mainly to fish. I am responsible for organising the table centres - a glass bowl with 2 goldfish and some white gravel in it. Oh and some water. Not just any water though, but treated water, and at room temperature. Thus Butcher Boy and I are involved in this project of logistics which is testing my production manager skills.

The gravel was late in being ordered, and should arrive on Wednesday for a Friday wedding - tight, but........

My second issues is just over family dynamics and how people will get on. In this case I'm more worried for Mum who tends to let such things worry her, and this will mean she won't enjoy the day, won;t sleep before hand and won;t eat properly.

Thankfully a week today they'll be on honeymoon in the sun, I'll be back up here, and then only have exams to stress over.