Thursday, 2 December 2010

Det er aldri dårlig vær, bare dårlig klær

Yes, I'm referring to the weather! As I'm partly Norwegian and have lived in the country for a combined total of 4 winters now, it baffles me the weird and almost pathetic panic that Britain goes into whenever more than 2cms of snow is on the ground, granted some areas of Britain really are having a bad winter, and Hull itself is almost close to Oslo's snow level but the weather itself isn't bad here (I can't speak on behalf of the rest of Britain) but you have people complaining about Snow levels and the fact that it's the worst weather ever. PLEASE STOP! it's snow! it's solidified water! It won't kill you and if you're worried about the weather, buy a blanket to sleep in, or buy a proper jacket and proper shoes to keep your feet dry and your body warm. There is no such thing as bad weather just inadequate clothing as they say in Norway.  It is a god to honest truth that the weather in Norway gets pretty shit and that's even in Oslo, the south side of Norway, I've been up to Karasjok in the Finnmark region of Norway (that's near, if not in, the Arctic circle) during Easter and it was minus five degrees centigrade and there was a Blizzard but not one of them, nor I, at 8yrs old, complained of the weather because we were wearing the correct clothing.  It doesn't hurt to prepare for winters like this because they seem to be coming more frequently now, last year caused this much havoc and the year before it was a little less problematic, so the chances are it'll be the same next year too.  Now I've had my rant about the inadequateness of British winter behaviour, I can get on to the good stuff.  I built an igloo that fits 5 people and a chair (to rest stuff on) in, albeit we had to kneel to fit in and it was quite cosy but it was very fun indeed.  It took the whole group of us 7 hours to finish, however I only joined for 5 hours of work as I wasn't aware of the plan until 2 hours into the program. It was a lot of work and very cold as I had no clothes in England for the job and the pair I borrowed from my pal James were wet to begin with but I got on with my job of shovelling snow from the gardens around me and compacting and cementing the "bricks" into place.  We had a great time of it and I suggest anyone who reads this and feels the need to team-build or just to blow of steam, build an igloo, the triumphant feeling afterwards is pretty amazing and its a good, fun and entertaining exercise.  It was my first time building an Igloo, however, I had built snow-holes in Norway before in order to keep warm and rest in, which was a fun activity but very solo effort.  Building the igloo made me feel like a child again but also adult-like too as we had to work hard to make sure the bricks didn't melt or break and fall off and on to us as we were inside the igloo.  It was a great day and I ended up being glad the University, as it is today, was shut-down because of the snow.

Sunday, 14 November 2010

"He only threw one punch in nine minutes..."

Audley Harrison, you're a let down!
The first proper fight I have ever watched and it's over in the third round with only one punch thrown by the "Challenger" Audley "A-Force" Harrison.  David "Hayemaker" Haye was everything you expected and the fight really was one-sided from the first bell.  David Haye admitted after the fight that the only reason he hadn't TKO'd Harrison earlier was because he and his family and friends had put a bet on a KO in the third round.  Even though in boxing there is a lot of chat and "banter", you could tell that Haye meant what he'd said, he really could have knocked Harrison out in the first round if he really wanted to. There was absolutely no fight in Harrison and whether he knew that when he got in the ring or whether he'd honestly been planning on dragging a boring sparring session out with Haye and then slugging him in the 7th or 8th round as I'd cheekily put a bet on to play devil's advocate.  The fight was so dull for the majority of it and the excitement was short-lived with the ref stepping in a bit prematurely to end Harrison's humiliation.  The best fight of that night was George Groves vs Kenny Anderson, the latter, a ginger Scottish, hard-man, looked the more likely to end Groves' unbeaten run at 22 but Groves, a ginger pasty, Englishman, turned it on its head in the 6th round and knocked Anderson out.  That game despite being the Under-card to Haye vs Harrison was twice as exciting as the actual bout itself.  Another fight that had the opportunity to thrill was Manny Pacquiao (sorry for the spelling)  vs Marguito (again sorry for the spellings) but unfortunately we hadn't recorded it, but "Pacman" won that fight on points after telling the ref to finish the fight because he didn't want to cause permanent damage "that's not what boxing is about"! what a gentleman! ... well I guess he is a Congressman!

Well my first full foray into boxing was interesting, exciting and fully entertaining, but unfortunately the fight itself, wasn't what it should have been. Look forward to watching Haye vs the Klitschko brothers.

Friday, 12 November 2010

Let's get ready to rumble!

It's fight night!!!... well tomorrow anyway, it's the fight of the year, the Best of Enemies as Sky Sports is calling it.  No.. no Mourinho and Rafa are not fighting.  It's David Haye, the Hayemaker, vs Audley Harrison, his former friend now "Enemy".  Why these two became enemies makes no sense, not even after reading Lenox Lewis' comments on the alleged sparring incident that broke their friendship up.

Anyway, the fight is tomorrow, and as a lot of you who know me well know, I'm not the biggest boxing fan, it can be tedious but there is something about this fight that has got me gripped and so I am going to a mate's to watch it with K.F.C and Beer... good combo I'd say. As a relative novice to the boxing arena and the only boxer I have ever paid much attention to fight-wise has been Haye, I'd kind of like him to win but Audley Harrison looks a lot stronger and I think he may have gotten one over Haye in the "bullying" stage of the build-up to the actual fight. 

Away from the fight, something I will come back to, to give my opinions of the live match after it has happened, I wish to discuss, well nothing in particular.  It's been a bit of a busy half-month since I last posted on here, with the company, still unofficially named, and with work and catching up with old friends.  Take for instance last night! Possibly one of the funnest nights I have had all semester and it was the least active with not a lot occurring, yet still hilarious and enjoyable.  I had been planning on having an early night and doing some light University work, preparation for tutorials and lectures etc but ended up going out with my Housemate Sarah to meet a friend of ours, an ex-Loughborough student working in Hull, who was gonna move in with us but due to complications had to go elsewhere.  Anyway we met him and his new housemates at Weatherspoons down the road from us and had a drink there before going to check his new place out and listen to his very good music collection and drink his Polish beer (not bad! but prefer their vodka).  We came back home and had a chat before I left to my room to do some work to find a message from an old friend of mine from Belgium. 

Now this is where the night became one of those epic, yet bizarre nights.  My friend from Belgium goes to University in Boston, America.  We had an international Skype drink up together, her with some Jameson and me with some shit Rum which tasted more like whiskey.  My friend is the coolest and best-friend ever! no matter what time we call each other on Skype we're always online for ages and constantly chatting gibberish to each other, barely making sense to each other but somehow knowing exactly what the other said.  we spent hours catching-up on each others lives, we gossiped and we laughed at somethings we (mainly myself) had done in the past (Aerosmith).  We then had a three-way Skype date with another friend from Belgium who was also in America for this year. I hadn't spoken to her either for a long time and it was great to catch-up with the pair of them and just be silly for once.  We chatted away until 05.30ish a.m. GMT which kind of ruined today's plans of being productive, but for the opportunity of having that conversation with both of them it was more than worth it. 

Apart from that great Skype call, not a lot has happened since I last wrote on here.  The company social was a blast and we all got very, unprofessionally drunk which of course was great! and the pictures that followed were just as great.   Rugby has been going the same, training only to find out the matches have been cancelled which is very frustrating as I really, really want to get on to the pitch and play!  However, all in all October was a good month and November has been going well too.

Thursday, 28 October 2010

Well, "Project X", formally Raw Britannia, may have finally found its new brand name for the website that is purely for Unsigned Artists (as opposed to the other brand name for all the other media activities we're taking on now) and that name may well be *it may be, I'm not quite sure on that one yet* and the person who has come up with such an amazing, potential, brand name? ...

Still not guessed who? It was me! Yes I was lucky enough to have created a potential name for the brand. The "word" MuHu came to me at the time because we'd been discussing ways of getting a name for the brand and that a lot of good brands had used "made-up words" instead of existing words e.g. NIVEA.  Some of these "made-up words" were the mixing of two words/names/places e.t.c to make a brand name up. 
             So I was thinking that we're going to be showing Unsigned Music in Hull and was trying to get all of those words into one word. However UnMusull didn't sound too great in my head, and after the disaster of Banana Vinyl with some of the other Production team, I decided to drop the idea of unsigned as un doesn't make for an inspiring prefix.  So I was left with Muhull, Musull, Mussll, Husic (not too bad) and finally I came to the idea of MuHu.  It seemed that it was not a completely idiotic idea for a brand name and has been seriously considered at least by the Producer and hopefully others.  The only downside is that it might already be a website's name but maybe we'll be able to buy the domain name off them.  MuHu will also stand for something else other than Music in Hull as we don't want to be stuck to one geographically position as we do want to eventually expand so I think it may now stand for Music Hub (much more sensible as Music in Hull technically should be MuiHu.. not as great).

Hopefully this will be the new name for the brand but if not I'm sure it will be something just as catchy and simple (rather than over-elaborate and confusing) that people can understand and enjoy.  However, this doesn't mean everything is hunky-dory, alas we still need to technically recruit rolling students for the positions like runner and 3rd choice camera-man e.t.c and all of the Production team are being interviewed on either Friday (like me) or Tuesday in order to explain what "Job" they'd like to perform for the Company and also their choice of name for the brand if they have an idea (I will suggest both and also because I love them both equally).  I would like to keep going on my position as Set List Co-Ordinator (I entitled the role myself, sounds good, no?) but I'd also like to ask if I can try out the role of Presenter, the role I originally wished to take when we were interviewed by Alan and Darren for Raw Britannia, I just hope our current Presenter doesn't reject the idea. 

Either way I am looking forward to the meeting with our Producer and Marketing Officer (I think that's her title, not sure) and getting a brief time to tell them what I think my Set List Co-Ordinator gig should entail.  

Monday, 25 October 2010

It's coming to that time of year again

It's the last week of October and Hallowe'en is fast approaching as is the end of Semester One and yet the work is not flowing.  Dissertation has been put on hold, only one essay has been set as of yet and tutorials only just begun last week, it's about to get much more difficult and a lot more stressful.  The perfect time to go on a sobering adventure of giving up alcohol and chocolate for a month. Not the best of times a lot of people may argue to give up on such pleasures, but, the two things that distract me the most apart from the internet which I can't get away from anyway as I need it to do work, watch videos and lectures for my dissertation and to stay in contact with my friends and importantly family abroad. 

It may seem a bit unnecessary to some people to give such things up for a month, but the challenge is key to me avoiding nights like the Rugby League Social.  A night that was very fun and enjoyable but once again stepped over the line through peer-drinking (not peer-pressured drinking but drinking with mates who have a different attitude to drinking than you), and I found myself the next day not remembering how I got home but knowing I had got home safely. Therefore to avoid more nights like that, cut-down on drinking and lose some weight too (it's always a bonus), I've given up on alcohol for a month, in preparation for Exam period, dissertation writing and Lent. As for the chocolate that's to see if I can give it up the same way I've given up sweets which has been for four months now. 

Anyway away from the odd topic of my fastings... Onto "Project X" again, tomorrow I have a meeting with Rachael, the producer, and I'm sure the rest of the teams, marketing and technical, to discuss further developments and hopefully to start officially moving forward i.e. a name!  [I still want to have Banana Vinyl as the name for the Show and its website, but I believe Rachael and my friend Steve (Artist Liaison Manager) have permanently shot that dream down].  I am really looking forward to getting fully involved in this project both on the Production Team and also with my original job, my very, lazy job, of Booking and Stage Manger as it was entitled by Alan during Raw Britannia's tenure. 

       Onto new and more personal excitements I now have dates in which I will be seeing two of my closest friends, first week of november will be a happy week for me as not only will I potentially get to see my best mate Ricardo, Drummer of the Blonde (free bit of publicity for you mate haha) but I will most certainly get to see my first year of University Buddy and good pal, Russ who is coming down from Preston for the day or weekend and I can't wait to have some good old banter with the pair of them!! 

Any who, off I go to get on with some tutorial work for Histories of Punishment and some reading for the subject too.

Saturday, 16 October 2010


As I sit listening to the Fray's two albums on Spotify and after reading a co-worker's blog on the demise of our Unsigned Music Programme, Raw Britannia, I began to feel the need to add some more diversity to my Blog, rather than just the mindless ramblings of a third year criminology and sociology student.

Raw Britannia is no more. Full Stop.

At least the Raw Britannia that I and all the other crew members that with me have resigned from Executive Producer's television show idea.  I don't completely understand all the technical details, as I've written before my job at RB was as an Artist Liason and as "Booking and Stage Manager", I prefer Set-list dude, fancy and inappropriate titles are silly and mis-leading.  However, the RB show may be cancelled at Hull Uni (we still believe the Exec Producer's may continue with it somewhere else, but it may well fail) but on the positive note, we, the Hull Uni crew, have a new direction, one that has been cutely re-named for now as "Project X" by my co-worker.  I myself am looking forward to this as we may well be given some good backing by Hull Uni but more than anything it will be our thing, we will be the bosses and we've all been bumped up to production team (personal triumph for me).  I am looking forward to the next team-meeting on Tuesday although it shall be a brief meeting for me as I will have to rush off to rugby pretty sharp-ish.

Other things aside from RB and "Project-X", is to mention the Hull fair and the ISA party last night.  It's depressing to say but both have lost their touch.  The Fair, maybe just Hull's or maybe all fairs, have lost their appeal, no longer do I want to spend a shed load of money on Rides that last a minute and make me dizzy or buy lots and lots of candy apples, candy floss and other types of sweets, including Brandy Snaps.  I did go on three rides a severe decrease from my first year when I went on about 12 and spent about £20, this year including food, I only spent £11.  The rides I went on were fun albeit the ghost train for a quid was more dangerous than scary, low ceilings that had I been half a foot taller would have decapitated me.  One ride however, was worth it's £3, it was an hexagon ride that had 8 seats back to back on each pod that then was lifted 50ft in the air and rotated.  To make matters worse, apart from the fact that I am afraid of heights, was that you were not seated but held up by a metal bar between your legs and handles to hold onto (and of course the usual harness).  Definitely a ride worth it's money.

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

The Night Listener

Here I am again, writing on my blog. It's been a fortnight since my last update and a lot has happened and at the same time nothing has happened. Classes have finally started and I'm three quarters through my second week, although according to the muck-up on the Social Sciences calendar this is actually week 11. Confused? You will be after this.
                                                  My modules for semester one are as follows;  Tuesday 09:15a.m.- 11:05a.m Histories of Punishment (a rather invigorating account of the history of punishments in England and the UK since 1750s and how they have evolved, a module in my field of information) after that I get to breathe and do Raw Britannia work for two hours before another two hours of my favourite named course "Evil".  This module has been my most anticipated and yet may well have been the biggest let-down so far, but more of that later.  The third lectured module this semester, (My dissertation is my fourth but has no lectures 'cept for the occasional "info & help" lecture), is Problems of Youth.  Again not a particularly invigorating module like evil but much more in my wheelhouse than last years modules.

                    The reason that I was anxious to get back to University intellectually was for the debates we might have in the "Evil" module and yet so far, the pupils have been so silent (myself included) a few of us will speak up but it's always the same people: A blonde girl, another male Student and Myself.  The other reason it seems to have been a let-down is that we are doing it as an almost Philosophical module and trying to link it to criminology and although that's great for debating (although so far no debates) it makes it horrible for trying to envisage reading and taking an exam and an essay on.  So far in this module we have looked at the Theodicy of Evil, The Evil Genius and G_d and the Devil.  I did try to stir some trouble, so some seeds etc..  but even my comment that G_d in the story of Adam and the Apple couldn't stir any trouble.  Don't get me wrong I enjoyed the small and almost silent gasps of the row behind as the Lecturer seemed shocked that I could suggest this but she didn't stay shocked for long either.  It seems that although the lecture material and the lecturer (at times) can be intellectually stimulating but the seminars are thoroughly dull.  We even watched a 20 minute snippet of the Matrix to discuss the Evil Genius but the technology thwarted the lecturer just like in the film we were trying to watch.  So after almost an hour of trying to watch a 20 minute sequence, we only had 5 minutes to discuss.

                     The title of this week's Blog, is the name of a Robin Williams film that I will be watching on I-Player soon after finishing this.  There is a line in it at the beginning that I loved, "As a storyteller I've spent many years looting my life for fiction.  Like a magpie I tend to steal the shiny stuff and discard the rest. The Facts can always be altered when you're telling a story".  This week has been an interesting week so far, Jarand and I went to see the new horror film Devil.  We'd intended on seeing Resident Evil: 3D but had to settle for Devil, which turned out to be a good film in the end and had a perfect correlation to my "Evil" module, it had an unseen malevolent being that causes pain, anguish and distress to those stuck in the elevator of a Lawyers' building.  The film had good twists and turns but in order to be truly scary it needed more action, more emphasis on the claustrophobia of being trapped in an elevator and less of the Christianity bullshit.  Last night, was another eventful outing with Jarand, Sarah and her English friends to Welly, the evening's music was rather painfully loud and screamo.  Although there was some Paramore and some Alexisonfire being played.  Later on in the night we moved from the upstairs room to the downstairs room to dance along to Pop-punk music.  It was a good night and the sort of nights that I have missed around Hull for sometime now.  Jarand and I then got some take-away, I only got something small, Jarand as always burger, chicken and chips.  We then sat up all night chatting til about 4 a.m. It was a good end to the beginning of what is shaping up to be a good week.

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

It's A Wonderful Life...

... And it looks set to continue that way for at least another fortnight.  As I write this at 9 minutes to midnight on a Tuesday night, I finally can say that the third year of this university course looks like it could be a real good year.  27 Lambert Street has finally been filled and Mathew and Jarand are settled in too.  I haven't really had much time to spend meeting Mathew but from the time that I have spent with him, he seems like a great guy.  As for Jarand, our resident BFG, I have known him for a year already and it is great to have him in the house.  Today Jarand, Sarah and I went into University to witness the spectacle formally known as Freshers' "Fayre" now renamed Welcome Week.  An odd occurrence this "Welcome Week" it's an attack on all the senses as there is loud music being blared out of big speakers in a huge Marquee where as the smell of candy, beer/wine/smoothies and mud which is getting looser and squelchier as hundreds of freshers, second years and final years trying to get all the good and "needed" vouchers and freebies (the cheaper prices for Dominoes, the free sweets, the cupcakes and any cheap entry to clubs)  whereas desperately trying to avoid the leaflets on cheap insurance or Navy recruitment.  There are always bright colours all over the tent and as you go through the tent, hustling and bustling your way through the congregated mass of students and volunteers trying to get to each other, or in my case away from most of them as all I wanted was a Yellow Card to make nights at Piper and Haworth Arms cheaper and more fun and anything to do with a Gym or new and interesting bars.

As the three of us passed through the marquee and inside the Student Union, I realised that once again I had succumbed to another stereotypical social identity and that despite being a University Student I was no different then the rest of the mind-numbed drones that also followed the path through the Marquee to the courtyard in front of the Student Union... or maybe that's a bit harsh, maybe we're all happily following a social trend that spreads across the whole country and which benefits US the Students and not the companies handing out Vouchers.  After our tour of the Welcome Week, Jarand and I split from Sarah to go meet my "Problem"  of Youth Lecturer and Tutorial leader Charlie Cooper, who must be one of the nicest Lecturers I have met since joining Hull, he let me in to see him despite being in a meeting with another scholar and then discussed the whole course with me before trying to photocopy an article (failing only because the photocopier had run out of paper) and printed out a copy of the Module Documents a week before anyone else would get them.  As I sat in his office waiting for him to return from the printer room, I scanned his books and was surprised by the miniature library of not only Sociological on youth, crime and deviance but also on How to achieve a Ph.D. and other interestingly bizarre texts for someone of his age and scholarly stature, but also reassuring that if he used books like that, it's OK for the rest of us too.

Side note: After meeting Charlie Cooper and collecting the vital information off of him I also checked my timetable for this year.  Nothing on a Monday and nothing on a Thursday, so Socials with the League boys are still ok! but unfortunately Piper on a Monday is not looking so good.

Looking back on the title, it looks set to continue outside of the home and university work but also on the sports field too.  On Sunday I met up with the Rugby League lads to have some beers at Haworth before having lunch at the Gardeners Arms and then head up to the Lawns with some more beer, (Amaretto in one lads case), to recruit freshers at the Lawns Halls and show them that we're a bunch of blokes who take ourselves lightly and will look out for each other.  We had already recruited one new member in a French Exchange student called Cedric, and the one thing I love about my League team mates is how open and friendly they are to newcomers.  Cedric fell into place as if he'd been there all the time, and, so did I.  Having spent most of last term pre-occupied with other people and other activities, mainly Partying and Watching Super-size VS Super-skinny with Jarand at 3 a.m.  However, this year, I will stick to my Mantra of "It'll be different this year, I'll try harder" and I will go to every training despite the added distance and I will go to as many socials as I can afford both time wise and work wise although I may skip some like the next on Wednesday because I haven't managed to get the demanded outfit for the theme (School girls on a beach).

Tomorrow, or rather Today as it'll will be when this is finished, I will be attending the Hull University Athletics Union Fair to help the Rugby League recruit even more freshers and watch as more teams and Societies try to get both me and other unwilling students to join their respective teams and societies.  However I believe it is time to finish writing on here and rest before a potentially long day of recruitment. 

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

... and the term hasn't even begun yet.

Well this is my first attempt at anything like this, it's true. I've never kept a diary and I'm terrible at recording things normally but I'm really interested in perhaps one day working for a newspaper so I'm going to put my hand to blogging.

So far I've been back in Hull for almost two weeks now, and I finally have a second housemate out of the eventual four that will accompany me in the house.  We have Emily and Sarah now, with Sarah being the latest arrival at the house.  She is a final year student I believe and is from Germany but that has been all I have been able to find out so far.  Emily is a girl from England, she is a cheerleader for the American Football Team at Hull University, and has been a good friend since we met.  We went out to Piper last night after having a few drinks at her friends' house. 

So far nothing has occurred in Hull to really write about, as we're still half a week away from Freshers week and so there are not a lot of students around at the moment.  However saying this on Thursday I will be going into the University to meet my Dissertation Supervisor, Majid Yar, and discuss the dissertation topic that I have chosen and also the Titular Question of the piece: How does Informative media (for example News Channels) differ in its portrayal of criminals to that of Entertainment Media (specifically the TV show Bones) and how those portrayals are viewed by the General Public.  Yes, I agree, I may have shot myself in the foot with this one as I have been told already by the admins in the Social Sciences department that this is not the usual style of Dissertation topic that most people go for (i.e. Race and Crime or Gender and Crime) but he did say that maybe it will work in my favour as this may excite the examiners more than Race and Crime dissertation would do.  Let's cross our fingers and hope I haven't shot myself in the foot too early and I'll keep updating on how it is going.

One last thing to mention is my involvement in Hull University's Raw Britannia, a Television show idea that films raw, talented bands from around the UK and interviews them in a bid to widen people's tastes to new and arriving bands. I work in the form of Stage Manager and Booking Manager but my job really entails me chasing bands for their Spec List, a list of everything that they are bringing and that they will need from us at the studio, it's not glamorous but I've enjoyed it for the half a year that I've been doing it so far.  We're going on a two-month filming stop at the moment in order to learn new skills and to train new members in areas that the final year students are doing in order to continue the "franchise" so to speak.