Thursday, 31 July 2003

Hi guys. Just got back from a very pleasant evening at Ruth's, and having seen off Shinwa (well played btw) at Flash penalty shootouts, I am here to tell you about said evening. I hope you enjoy the fruits of my labours. If not, I suppose I will have wasted your time. Either way - score!

So yes, after a hearty meal of faggots, mushy peas and chips (though I don't really go in for mushy peas, the sight of them clogging up the freezer was starting to get to me) we set off for Ruth's, listening to Jeeves and the Feudal Spirit as we went along. Nicholas had not heard of Jeeves and Wooster, or of Wodehouse, but he seemed to enjoy it, and we chuckled along merrily, and I suspect he may determined the source of certain peculiarities of recent Markan speech.

We played a couple of games of Jenga, and I knocked it down both times because I suck. However, at Scrabble I did rather well. This is unusual despite my knowledge of many things verbal because I never do get the right letters whereas this time I was richly supplied with individual high-scoring letters and a splendid supporting cast of nouns. We had some good words, inherently I mean, not score-wise. Here are some of the highlights.
  • Hyenas

  • Slake

  • Brio

  • Feign

It was all very pleasant, and the conversation very amiable and natural and it was great. And then we drove home, listening to more Jeeves and Wooster.
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Of course; it's so simple!
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Wahoo! There's a new version of OctaMED out, OctaMED being the tracker I used to make music with many years ago on my amiga. I bought the PC version a while back, only the playback skipped something chronic, which is a bit of a bind when you're trying to listen back to what you've done. However, as I'm a registered user, I am entitled to download all 2.62MB (Marvel at the efficient coding!) of the new version which works on computers made of string, such as mine, for free! Perhaps I will start making music again. Unfortunately, I'm too lazy to do my own sampling; I might have to buy some CDs to get in the swing of things again. And I can play the guitar now too. Whee!
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Play a daft game and get in a prize draw for a watch or something!!!!
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Doctor Who passes from I to Withnail - from one of my "neighbors in meatspace". Not quite sure about that. Oh well, it'll be interesting to see. By a startling co-incidence I was watching Doctor Who - The Pertwee Years only the other night. It's not half so good as Doctor Who - Cybermen - The Early Years presented by that impostor Colin Baker.
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Just a post to point you over to Nick's blog, who has recently had a dream every bit as bizarre and engaging as one of Phil's. I also note that said cove can drive me round from the 15th! Topping!
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I am bewildered by the continuing, apparently welcome, online presence of Nihil Obstat. To save you the few seconds it would take to work it out, this guy has a blog which has the sole purpose of taking the piss out of various errors (spelling, syntax, typography) in other blogs by Catholics. And when they come under scutiny, it's an event, like "Wow! I'm on Nihil Obstat!" rather than the more intelligible "Have they nothing better to do with their time?" Bizarre. And yes, I know that I've been known to take it upon myself to do the same thing, so none of that thank you. At least it's never been systematic.
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Two more letters from the Jobcentre. One to say that I am getting JSA and one to say that they can tax me on it. I guess that makes sense, though it seems a little odd. I was getting some bread, and the local paper, when I came across The Morning Star. Has anyone heard of it? It says it's the daily paper of the left. It is bizarre and gratifying to think that such a thing is ditributed by my local Balfour's in the midst of Toryland.
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Wednesday, 30 July 2003

I'm not signing onto MSN very much these days, but I was very gratified today to find myself chatting to Phil, John, Rosie and James Dean in swift succession, pleasany online company all. It is my opinion that popular music is in fine fettle currently; Beyonce's single was quite good, I'm loving 'Rhythm Bandits by Junior Senior, possibly even more than 'Everybody' and I rather like Hot Hot Heat's 'No, Not Now'. Very pleasant musical climate.
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Myeerrrh... must... crush... capitalism...
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This might've been fun. She was always going on about the bible.
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Huh. It seems I only have one GCSE certificate to my name. I wonder if I should look into getting all of them. On the other hand, it seems a trifle unnecessary when I have my A-levels and degree certificate to hand. What does everyone think, just ignore it and get on with my life?
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Have I ever mentioned that when you type "Camberley" into a Siemens c35e with predictive text on, you get "Cancerkey"?
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Found a six month job at Exeter County Hall to apply for, closing date Friday. Best get cracking.
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Two letters. Firstly, an annoyance:
We cannot pay you an allowance from 25 July 2003. This is because:

    you are working for 16 hours or more a week.

And an acknowledgement of my existence from LCD Publishing:
Dear Mr Dobson,

Thank you for your recent application for the post of office junior.

We would like to thank you for your interest in the company and will contact you in the near future should you be selected for interview.

The JSA thing was a false alarm. Just an old letter. Should have thought of that really. Think I'll read some more Exodus. The Israelites have just got outside Egypt.
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Tuesday, 29 July 2003

I am reading too many things:

  • Exodus

  • Stevenson, J. A New Eusebius.

  • Lewis, C.S. Miracles.

  • Eusebius. Ecclesiastical History.

  • Austen, Jane. Emma.

* * *

In the evening I cooked a bit of chicken, played a bit of Virtua Fighter 4, losing quite badly for the most part I might add, and then went to bed and read more of Emma. I found one of my tapes that had been missing for quite some time in Dad's pile, so I listened to that - Marx brothers' stuff.
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James has accused me, on Shinwa Andy's blog, of showing off. I am stung to the very core, or thereabouts.
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Oh dear, oh dear. I know it's ephemeral, but the lead singer of Kosheen should definitely have a rethink hair-wise if Ri:se is anything to go by :/ Last night, just before going to bed, I caught most of Ruby Wax's Jim Carrey interview. It was... interesting. He mentioned something about being able to do miracles and then proceeded to mess up, in a particularly expensive hotel room that they kept going on about, that trick where you extract a table-cloth with rapidity.

Better hang the washing out.
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Monday, 28 July 2003

I tried to fix Will's template but I couldn't. Blogger turned all my angle brackets into escape sequences, which I thought was jolly rude of it.
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Something of an evening of childhood. Firstly I made Nick and myself angel delight, and secondly we played Space Crusade on a whim. Dashed hard game it is. I think I did rather well, but it's quite hard to kill a dreadnought that has a plasma gun, assault-cannon and bolters with a lone marine commander with a heavy bolter. And if you don't know what I'm talking about, you can rest assured that it is very accurate.
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Gordon's alive! Radiohead's new song is... a song! I'd almost say it was catchy :O Huzzah! I'm tidying the house currently on my own with three sets of speakers broadcasting Chris Moyles through the house. t's quite good. The kitchen looks pretty awesome now.
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Peanuts is wicked-awesome too:
LUCY Schroeder, now that you and me are through, I'm returning all the gifts I was going to give you.
SCHROEDER Thank you.
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Sunday, 27 July 2003

After church, and before Neil went back to Exeter, he treated Nick and myself to luch at the Windlebrook in Bagshot. It was good. I had a roasted pepper tart and a good quantity of coke. I wish Nicholas could drive.

We, myself, Ruth and Nick, went to the Thatched Cottage music quiz yesterday. This quiz itself was good, and we nearly won it, but the atmosphere was not pleasant. I'm not averse to a bit of smoke, but the place seemed full of the stuff which wasn't very good. And the music was at club volume, rather than conversation volume, so my throat's a bit sore now, which is one of the more reliable indicators of an unsatifactory night out for myself. Nicholas is musch less a fan of smoke than myself, and upon bemoaning the fact that his hair wopuld probably stink in the morning, w resolved to drive back with the windows fully open. Not sure what good it did, but it had the fringe benfit that whever you pass a car, it makes a satisfactory whooshing noise.
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Y'all ready for this? Well the worship went pretty well today allowing for what might have happened. I don't really understand the difficulty, perhaps I am just more musical than I might be, but steady tempos and confident entries just seem to be anathema to our congregation, even where the song is particularly trad and well known. As I say though, it went pretty well. I dragged my FX box in as I was on my own. A little light phasing and chorus never hurt anybody. At the end I was asked, as though I knew much about music, what would be the best way for a violinist (that doesn't seem like the right word - if it is, it's an ugly one), the enquirer's own flesh and blood, to practise hymns. It's be quite exciting to have three instrumentalists playing. As far as I can recall, such a thing has only been known at Christmas since I've been there.
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Saturday, 26 July 2003

Neil and Nicholas are in the front room. Neil has got his GBA out and is playing Pokemon Sapphire. Nicholas has got his GBA out and is playing Pokemon Ruby

* * *

Well, after a while we got playing Bomberman Tournament, which was much more fun for me at least. As I'm so wicked awesome at Bomberman, Neil not particularly, and the computer player not responsive to malice, Nicholas had it in for me, but that's the way multiplayers work. I love multiplayer games; it's just odd that in this day and age a console is practically required. If you can be bothered with such things, a PC usually supports one joystick, which sucks big-style. On the amiga you had two ports standard, which could be either mouse or joystick. Plus, they just slotted in and worked which is a kind of Plug-and-play feature worth commenting on rather than being ashamed of. Anyway, I rock.

After a while it dawned on me that I had no news on whether or not Shirley was going to sing tomorrow, though she had been asked. I texted Dad at New Wine to find out. "No." quoth he textually and then phoned me five times to tell me that he had a bad signal and couldn't hear me. I would definitely have stopped after the third attempt. Inbetween these I sorted things out, and the upshot of it was that I went round to Shirley and Stuart's and practised the songs there. It went passably and then I was offered cheese on toast, which I hadn't actually had for a while, so I concurred. There was some white stuff on it that I was very curious about. Celery salt apparently. I've never heard of such a thing! Very exciting. How does one make salt from celery? The mind boggles.

When I got back, ended up watching one of those chart shows. I believe it was the best-selling singles of all time to commemorate 50 years of the hit parade chart. And then bed.
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James' blog "is full of one-sided 'Catholic Propaganda' for want of a better phrase." Well, not exactly full. I rather expect he'd be quite pleased to think that his blog was actually full of one-sided 'Catholic Propaganda' for want of a better phrase.

* * *

I just thought, that's a sidebar link right there. I only sort of have a sidebar link because I haven't praised James' blog online at any point. I'm on a fake webring though.
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A very worthwhile thing to blog. Except it's not a blog. Hmm.
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A most relaxing morning. I gather I didn't mention yesterday that Mum and Dad are away for a week. Well they are, to New Wine, in a field in Bath somewhere I think. The practical upshot of this is, that when I stay in bed on Saturday morning, no-one comes to check up on my state of repose and availability to do random tasks. So I've only just got up. I think I shall have a relaxing day, though I must practise the hymns for tomorrow. I'm on my own a bit :/
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Friday, 25 July 2003

I can be a regular spendthrift sometimes. Upon coming out of the Jobcentre in the drizzle, I made my way to the BBC shop and bought some Hancock's Half Hour and Jeeves and Wooster. The Hancock was almost a reasonable expense, but the Wodehouse? I shouldn't be spending that much money. Before you ask, I don't want to say precisly how much it was.

* * *

What's all this? The blogger interface has gone all squiggly. Well never mind. Big Brother's over and Cameron won, which I was rather pleased with. I thought to myself, "I wonder what Graham Norton makes of it; He's bit of a BB afficianado":
The bible-reading, teetotal virgin will be celebrating tonight! God knows how - belt a few children, shoot a few queers.

I knew there was a reason I never watched his show. Besides which, I gather he was backing Cameron a while back (I wasn't watching though). Well I dunno.
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Thursday, 24 July 2003

Will it never die?
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Blog of the century #1 Phil Younger

This is a very good blog. I don't think Phil thinks it is, but it is - chock-full of exciting dream sequences, low-key arguments, adventures and misadventures with numerous young women many of whom are apparently called Sian, and full of misplaced self-doubt. It's great. And bonus points for updating regularly. Much better than Gavin's blog :-D And he's a Catholic too! Sometimes I think that Catholics write all the best web-sites, and that I may as well never read any by someone of any other religious persuasion X-) (just wetting myself with emoticon-pleasure there)
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I've been unoffered the work. Drat. Now I shall have to go to the Jobcentre again and I've also spent money I don't have. On the plus side, now I'm on 2search's books, it should mean they're more likely to contact me about work.
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Hello. Just got back from sorting some things in town. Dad's computer seems to be running in safe mode, which looks very bizarre with his new larger monitor. Nyeh. Anyway, first I popped into the Jobcentre to say I was working and would they mind terribly not giving me any more money? Then paid a cheque in - fuel costs for visiting Adrian and Emma which Mum and Dad are kindly paying. I finally got round to getting...

Dad just wandered in to tell me what he thinks is up with his computer.

...

2search just phoned me to tell me that I gave the wrong phone number for a reference. 717 rather than 707.

...a tie to go with my red shirt. I've lost a few ties somewhere. I have no idea where they are. I also got around to getting a belt. I had to go into 2search to give them my details and fill in forms and things. The one hunted-looking woman who was in there also gave me a maths test and spelling test to do. I did most of the maths bit in my head, as I thought I was supposed to, but I was meant to use a calculator as it turned out. Gratifiyingly, I only made a few mistakes when I checked back. All the...

2search just phoned me to say that my referee wasn't in anyway. Dad said would I mind running Norton when I finish? Finish this blog entry?

...agencies I seem to go to these days (office work, but not exciting office work) seem to be entirely populated by young blonde women. These were very helpful, possibly too helpful near the end. On the way back I went ot MVC and got Beck, One Foot in the Grave, Grooverider, Mysteries of Funk and Orbital's Back to Mine which as far as I could make out is just music that Orbital like inc. P.J. Harvey, "Kamikaze" and Jethro Tull, "Living in the Past".

A scone and then home.
And here I am.
Better run Norton.
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Wednesday, 23 July 2003

Just listening to Zane Lowe's new show on R1, wherein I discover that Thomas Middleton has traded dead-renaissance-playwright status, for living-remixer status, in addition to the following, fabulous lyric:
When I lost my teeth,
I gained a friend.
I believe I like Mr. Lowe, despite his MTV associations. He's loud, enthusiastic, and Antipodean, and therefore is somewhat more engaging to the listen to than the, surely lovely, Steve Lamacq, who seems to have naffed off, presumably to R2.
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Dan is approximately 45 miles to the east of me, Phil, 204 miles northwest. Hello Dan, hello Phil! I think I'll sit here and meditate upon whatever the purpose of all this might be... Or maybe I'll find some other gratuitous meta-content applications. Take, for example Friend of a Friend. It seems like an innovative new way to give your e-mail address to spammers to me.
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I just got offered some temping work. Wahey! It's distinctly unglamorous, apparently consisting of sorting piles of paper and putting them into envelopes, but I don't care. I only hope that the company I mailed today doesn't want to interview me in Exeter in the next few weeks. I shall have to tell the Jobcentre I've found work now - fortunately I was going to have to go in anyway.
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And it also allows me to find this relevant article on the BBC's alleged anti-war/anti-government bias.

In other news, mail arrives for one:
St Martin
St Martins Vicarage
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Via the media of and www.streetmap.co.uk, "check out my neighbors in meatspace." I rather expect they meant metaspace. Neighbors is, I fear, intentional.

That's pretty cool. I might put it in my template.
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Tuesday, 22 July 2003

Re:covered is a good programme. Today they had Mel C on. She seems like a nice person. In any case her cover was a Stevie Wonder song, and it was good. Next on the television agenda was Brian Sewell (sp?) in The Naked Pilgrim. I didn't see the first episode, so perhaps they gave the rationale for the name there, but Brian was conspicuously not naked. The idea is that he's sort of doing a pilgrimage to Santiago, and sort of is right. He's got a car, for one thing. But he's an enthusiastic sort of chap, and it was fairly engaging to see what he got up to, which in one instance was going out on a fishing boat to catch a fish, a tradition for pilgrims I understand, sneering at the weather, and then rethcing over the side about five minutes later. All interestingly enunciated in any case.

In the evening, Nick, Ruth, Mark Dungay and I went to the Monkey Puzzle pub quiz. We came second by one point, as the questions weren't too taxing, but there were about six teams joint first. For anyone else who doesn't know, James Herriot isn't actually called James Herriot. I'm not up to much these days, but Mark asked if Nick and I were up for a bit of gay clubbing, as Gary has apparently roped him and Miles into it. One of the most inadequate excuses in the world follows - they didn't go last time because "they'd got some videos out from Blockbuster". I think I'll just leave Mark and Miles to it, but it's not inconceivable that I'll go.
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Enthusiasm waned slightly upon discovering that it's sort of like writing out your CV again, only using real sentences and avoiding repeating what's already on one's CV...
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I'm writing a covering letter for a job in Exeter. It's quite exciting. And then I shall write different covering letters for other jobs.
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I just watched a documentary called Did Jesus Die? I still think he did. At the traditionally agreed time I mean. This was a programme devoted to suggesting everything except the Christian claim, BBC Four it was. It is the most obvious thing in the world that, in the current climate, a programme on the opposite tack will never be screened, even at 2200 on a peripheral BBC channel. And well it might not be. I am not familiar with the precise details of the BBCs remit, but I certainly know that, in the BBC, bias is not to be admitted, sacred or profane. And already I'm protesting too much, because I seem to be saying that agnosticism rules the airwaves. Well I'm not. My point is that the commissioning of bland, habitual and self-reflexive Christian telly like Songs of Praise effectively waives our rights, admitted rights, to answer such programmes. Every second of minority interest TV should take that minority outwards and into the majority. If grown-up Christian telly is being pushed to the margins, and obviously it is, has been for decades then the answer is not to cling to comfortable things but make every second of exposure count.

Also caught a few seconds of Ruby Wax. Right, joking apart; who exactly is Liza Minelli? She doesn't seem famous...
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Monday, 21 July 2003

Things to remember:
  • Badminton: Nick, John

  • Lock up church on Sunday

  • Drop off Dad and go to pub tomorrow
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G'bye John's blog.
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One of Dad's friends from uni came round today. Graham his name is. When he came Dad was having a meeting in the garden, so I put my entertaining hat on and had a chat with him, and he seemed very agreeable. He said he was at Lancaster (Dad was too). I said I knew some people at Lancaster and had been to their library. He mentioned Morecambe. I bought a harmonica there once, in the key of F. He said that he studied French and Russian. I said that I knew two people studying French and Russian. He mentioned that he was unemployed. "Ditto", quoth I. He mentioned that someone he knew did a course in journalism at Brighton. I said I knew somebody in Brighton. As a cumulative body of instances of contact between our two lives, it was flipping ridiculous, yet also defiantly credible. Bizarre.
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Golly; I've been invited to a wedding. That doesn't usually happen. It's just me as well, not my family, which is absolutely unprecedented.
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I was just trying out the electro-acoustic in my room, where my electric works perfectly. I strum the electric. Noise, and I use the word advisedly, is produced. I plug the acoustic in. No noise. The battery is in, the volumes is up, the strings are still on it. No noise. So I hitch alift to a music shop in College Town with Dad. I say "This guitar dun't work." He plugs it in. It works. Whether or not it works now it's back at ours, it will be a bit of a disappointment. It doesn't do to have a guitar that sometimes works.
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From The Camberley News, which I was unsuccessfully looking for work in:
Re-inventing the Metro

LEARNT to drive ina Metro? [...] Well the company has remembered there is a huge market for a small, economical and distinctly unglamorous cars - and launched the CityRover.
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Sunday, 20 July 2003

Mutter, mutter, complain, grumble &c. Some things that would make life more pleasant at church:
  • A mixing desk

  • A drummer + kit

  • A longer practise

  • Greater proximity of microphones to mouths

  • Some kind of rota for singers

  • The moon on a stick

Someone to definitely lead might be good too. The church's (or possibly my - I never quite worked it out) electro-acoustic decided to be dodgy today, so I had to cart my electric round after a bit of fiddling. I wasn't playing too well today either, and it got generally pear-shaped near the end. Bah.

* * *

After dinner, I decided to investigate the church's sound system. Every time Alan plugs his keyboard into the wall it distorts horribly, and I thought that I might be able to fix it just by changing various output levels. No such luck. Maybe it's the speakers themselves. The whole sound system is about 30 years old now, so if something isn't integrally wrong with it, I'd be surprised. It also means that no-one has a clue how it works. They just turn it on and hope. I expect it needs looking at, but I also expect that that's not the kind of expense to be borne currently.

I read from about the halfway point of Isaiah to the end yesterday., and then scoured Dad's bookshelf for books on sin, as I think I'm holding myself back from God, but there didn't seem to be any. Closest I found was When I am weak, but I expect that it's more general approach will be more helpful anyway.

And then I watched Carrie for the first time. I liked the direction; I wonder who it was... Oh right, Brian was it? Fair enough. Ugh, he did Mission to Mars. Well, in this film he done good anyway. The bit where you know the bucket is going to come down is just horrible. Carrie's mum was a particularly flat character, but plenty sinister. Naturally , there must be psychopathic, self-hating and deluded Christian mothers, but I couldn't believe in Piper Laurie, yet I could believe in Sissy's performance, and she could like throw knives and make things catch fire with her mind and stuff. Funny how things turn out. Bonus points for the most disgusting and evil looking icon of Christ that I've ever seen. It was scarier than most of the film put together. The bit that really got me was at the end. I wasn't expecting that at all, though it did strike me as odd that someone would write "CARRIE WHITE BURNS IN HELL" when pretty much everyone who might have known died...
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Saturday, 19 July 2003

I was going to do my ironing today, as my clothes have finally run the tortuous gauntlet that is our house's laundry system. It was in no way aided by the mechanical failing of our new washing machine, nor by the mechanical failings of our iron, which starting billowing smoke and dripping some brown, nasty liquid when I turned it on. Another day perhaps. I practised songs for church instead. Mum had selected two songs with a diminished chord in. I bet they were both Kendrick. I read some more of Isaiah and of Emma too.

We had an invite to tea today, and I think I would not be off the mark if I said that it was from Nigel and Jenny, and that their children are Jesse and Aimee. It was a bit unorganised; Nigel was nipping upstairs at various intervals to do plastering, but it was all good. A very friendly bunch. Their children are a handful though. We discussed various sibling rivalries, such as Dad, eye-for-an-eye stylee, hitting his sister with a baking tray, one of Jenny's brothers chasing t'other with a javelin in his underwear, and Jenny throwing scissors at on of them. They missed, but hung in the wall c.f. Robin Hood: Princo of Thieves. Jenny is South African, and they've lived over there for a bit. Medical differences in South Africa: They apparently deworm their children every six months as a matter of course, yet they apparently do not experience any trouble with nits. We had South African food and South African beer, and it was all very good.

Now I'm going to watch what's left of the Shakespeare documentary, and watch Macbeth, starring Gandalf and Queen Victoria on BBC Four.
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Friday, 18 July 2003

Well, I'm still looking for work, so the first thing I did this morning was to phone the agencies I had registered with to check if they had any jobs. They didn't. I looked in the paper to see if they had any temporary jobs. They did not. I looked on www.fish4.co.uk to see if they had temporary jobs. They did not. So I went to the Jobcentre, and they said they'd give me £43 for two weeks. While I was in town I checked my balance, and was gratified to find that I have enough real money to pay for my first term'sa rent, which is something like £750. Good news. Nick and I had gone to town together, splitting up to do our respective things. By a happy co-incidence, we seemd to finish at the same time. Thus it was that I snuck up behind Nicholas and tapped him on the shoulder, having stealthily matched his footsteps. Perhaps I could get work as a ninja.

When we got back, we found an answerphone message saying that Mum and Dad were to be back in about two hours, so we set about doing the washing up - dating from Sunday. It was icky, and I had a little go at radiating disapproval. Whilst doing the washing up we had an argument in recitative. I can't remeber what it was about, but it doesn't really matter.

In the evening we all played countdown whist, which was a game we played at the house once, Ella washere I think, but it didn't go well, because no-one was bothering to pay attention. We paid attention, and it was fun, though it did go on longer than I would have liked.
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Thursday, 17 July 2003

Nothing of any interest to me happened today.
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Wednesday, 16 July 2003

I've been blogging fairly regularly, but now I have a backlog of a few days. I hope this doesn't take too long... Nick informs me that they're repeating Knightmare on Challenge TV, so I might take a a break around then... Golly.
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I got up at about 0730 to go to Birks. Prior to signing the contract for my place next year, I arranged accomodation for graduation in Birks, but I thought I'd rather crash. However, I wasn't going to throw away a paid-for breakfast, so I didn't. It also meant that I got the complimentary toiletries. Met Emma and one of her parents, and of one of her friends who also had a parent on the way to breakfast, so I ate with them. I went back to my room to change, but there's not much to do when you're dressed up for a graduation and you've got quarter of an hour to go, so I sat in the car, and read more Austen. It was a stuffy day, and the windows had just steamed up nicely, despite a window being open, when Fr. Paul came out and noticed me and said hello. I think he went off to Crediton then.

The ceremony itself was everything I had been expecting, which is to say it was a bit like a protracted school assembly. The honorary degree guy was an Asian theatre director who said that the East India Company was very exciting and adventurous, and that's what it's going to be like for all us adventurous graduates. Chaps have to remove and replace their mortar-boards. onstage whereas non-chaps get to leave it on; not fair. Then I met up with Mum and Dad in the Great Hall car park for more photos, and then I went on to the official photos, which took longer. Met a few peopl, including Mary, and smiley Beth and then wandered back Duryardward to drive home. The Micra has a sticker in the back which says "Thank God for Jesus", which isn't the most witty thing I've ever seen. I wonder how you might improve on the concept... "Christian: How's my driving?" was as far as I got. The journey home also afforded me an opportunity to listen to most of Mark and Lard and Chris Moyles on the way backl, which is good. And I've decided, based in the Moyles interview, that while I am in no danger of buying any Daniel Bedingfield records, I do like him. He wants locking up, but he seems like a very nice chap. Very enthusiastic. He also improvved (sp? - who can say?) a drum and bass version of "Don't worry be happy", which is a definite plus point. He's really good at the human beatbox stuff; I wish him well. Now I am at home and can finally stop all this blogging.
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Tuesday, 15 July 2003

Set off for Exeter today. I have put in my reminder-type--unpublished-blog-entry-thing to mention the journey. There was nothing distinctive about it; it was a good journey. Jolly hot though. I parked at St. David's to use the toilets, but I really needed a drink, and I had no money about me, so I went to 5 Cowley Bridge road to say "Hello, can I have a drink?", parking at the chaplaincy, which was a little odd. Luke and Norris were in, and later Stella also, who had been doing laundry. Luke didn't really know what was happening. He ddn't know that we could collect robes today, so after informing him, we walked up and did so.

Then I went off to Loyes to meet up with Neil, then Mum and Dad for a meal. I hadn't really thought this through, but we went to Pizza Hut, as, if anywhere was going to be booked up, it wouldn't be Pizza Hut, although I really like their food. Their Merlot was agreeable too, though there were bits of cork in it. Mum and Dad had the idea of my going round to friends of theirs who I don't think I'd met (David and Tina I think) to take pre-emptive photos of me in sartor that can only be described as daft. They have a back garden you see. This we did, and then we went our separate ways via some convoluted arrangement of cars. It resulted in my being back at 5 Cowley Bridge Road anyway, where myself, Luke, Stella, and Stella's boyfriend Derek watched a '98 Jet Li film called Fist of Legend which was pretty good.
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Monday, 14 July 2003

Adrian's directions to get to the park, so far as I recall them, were as follows. Walk down Wilmslow Road for about quarter of an hour and it'll be on your left, only I went the wrong way. I still found a park, after more like half an hour, and spent a little while there reading Isaiah whilst having the moisture removed from my body. It's not usually very convenient to read outside and today was no excpetion. My thin bible pages couldn't wait to flip over and confuse me, so I sauntered back to the flat, where I read Emma and became aware of an ache in the headal region.

When Adrian got back he had a crossword he'd done some clues on, but I wasn't much help. I might have got one but I wasn't sure. No matter though, because today was Tae Kwon Do day. Emma, Rosy (with a y this time) and I went to meet Caroline and thenwent along to Tae Kwon Do. It was rather good. If I was in a position to, I would go to the beginner session that the teacher guy mentioned upon noting that I was bobbins at Tae Kwon Do. As I say though, it was enjoyable, although it was swelteringly hot, and we were dripping sweat in about five minutes. I have a souvenir of the event in the form of two blisters on my big toes. After that, a swift drink in the Four in Hand.
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Good morning. As it's a weekday, Emma's gone to work, and Ade's gone to the university, so I'm entertaining myself until 1700, or thereabouts. Therefore, I'm off to read "The vision of Emma, which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah" and Isaiah: A novel in three volumes. By the author of "Pride and Prejudice", in the park, both of which would presumably do well as entries in the New Statesman readers' competition. Bit of internetting first though. I suspect I won't be able to after I set out tomorrow.
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Sunday, 13 July 2003

Went to church this morning. Emmanuel Church it was, a C of E place, and this morning they had a few bpatisms. The congregation had trouble saying
All Amen
after the actual baptism for some reason. Sort of trad. evangelical, if you know what I mean - "Father God I wonder" and all that jazz. Phat 80s Xian beats with guitar hymns - bhoy! Their finance guy had a bit at the end about giving by standing order, which is apparently (i do apologise) the order of the day at this place; they didn't have an offertory hymn and I couldn't find a donation box thingy.

Ate out again, at the Golden Lion, with James, Adrian and Emma's housemate last year, who had come along to see a concert in the evening. And then we sat in the park for a bit, intermittently throwing grass at each other.

* * *

Bit of Tekken 3 after that, and I didn't do too badly, but not amazingly. In the evning we went to The Drop Inn for "Melissa's Pub Quiz". Melissa was mad for it - she had a floppy hat and set questions about Manchester, which we didn't do very well on at all. It was a self-consciously Mancunian pub. The music all seemed to be from the acid days. No Ninjas between 2:00 and 5:00 a.m. came fourth, which we thought was okay, considering the questions about Manchester 'n' all.

On the approach to bedtime, Adrian and I watched a bit of The Royle Family, which is quality.
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Saturday, 12 July 2003

I slept in the front room. They have a timer for their hot water which ticks quite relentlessly, but I didn't bother turning it off, because I knew I'd get to sleep pretty easily. When I woke up this morning, I heard snoring. That was slighly odd, because there was no-one else in the room. It sounded kinda like it was coming from the fireplace. I worked out eventually that it was the timer as well. It really does sound a lot like someone snoring, gently but consistently. We don't know what we're doing today yet, but we've already had porridge, so it's shaping up nicely.


* * *

We headed for the peak district in the end, towards Castleton, but we'd all been there before and Adrian suggested we go to Buxton, so we did. We stopped for lunch at a pub on the outskirts, which was good, but I didn't really want to be eating out. It was looking to be a bit of a let-down, as the roads to the town centre were blocked, but we ascertained that this was because there was a carnival on, which was rather unexpected, so we parked a bit outside and walked in. The carnival was a bit strange. There were rather a lot of people by the road, more than I would have expected. There were floats with random people in them, the local clubs and so forth half-heartedly dancing, which I suppose was to be expected, but occasionally, a superfluous-looking vehicle (one of the type that carries volatile liquids - what are they called?) would slowly drive by without a hint of explanantion. And there were men dressed as, get this, ladies; not men at all! There were also about a million girls in flowing, nasty-looking (to my mind) pearly-type dresses, sitting in, or on, cars being a [beautiful] spectacle. There were a good many water-pistols, and whistles and things. People threw money, ostensibly to donate to whatever the people on the floats were collecting for, and it usually ended up being grabbed by small children from the street.

After that, we wandered around for a bit and didn't do too much. I bought a pear and it was quite good. Emma gazed longingly into a travel agents' window and we had a little look around a record shop. No beefheart, but a goodly quantity of Zappa. However, we found a little bookshop which availed me, for the princely sum of £1.99, How to Solve a Crossword. This means that I now have some idea of how cryptic crosswords work. Quite exciting. Adrian and I are a bit keen to have a go at one now, whereas Emma is by turns bewildered and contemptuous of the whole affair, especially the puns.

After getting back to Manchester, we lazed for a little while, and the watched Hulk at a cinema. Ang Lee was the wrong person for the job, but they (I'd assume it's a man, but I know not) did have some good ideas. Byb far the worst thing about the film is the laboured attempt to make it seem scientific, and psychologically compelling. It spends a long, tedious time detailing the ridiculous premise in order to get us to suspend our disbelief, but my disbelief went to sleep a long time before it finished. After a while though, it got okay, and accelerated into reasonably engaging territory. Had they axed the first hour of it,m it would have been a watchable film. In this manner it resembles Star Wars II: Attack of the Clones.
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Yesterday: I ran into a lot of traffic jams and roadworks, so I got into Manchester later than I would have liked. On the way I passed by another Mere - I suppose it's a fairly common name. Means lake or something doesn't it? Another sign was for "Historic Warwick", which is a very nice thing to say aloud to oneself on an extended car journey. A mild tongue twister too.

Had a quick omlette at Adrian and Emma's before we (inc. Rosie) went out to meet some of the Tae Kwon Do society at a pub to go on to a comedy club. This was very good. I wish I had gone to some of those comedy nights in the JP that Andy went to for ages and didn't mention. They started playing some female-biased cheese at the end of the comedy, and I was tired (Emma wasn't) so we headed home after a little while.
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Friday, 11 July 2003

SB: Starbucks. How may I help you.
Ben: Hi. Is there a really big Rubik's Cube outside?
SB: There sure is.
Ben: Thanks. Bye.
If any one site is going to turn my blog into a collection of arbitrary links, that site will surely be www.funjunkie.co.uk. Ages ago, I mentioned Zora Suleman, and that one entry has apparently provided the majority of my search engine referrals. Funjunkie noticed exactly the same thing that I noticed.
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A tale in <blockquote>s, as far as I can work it out.

An entry in Phil's blog:
I was going to have a thought for the day...

But I'm not. Dave did point out yesterday that I needed a thought for the day. Being as I am a member of St. Blogs, I think this is a good idea. I've been a bit lacking on thoughts in my blog.
A further entry:
Whilst Dave was reading about Britney Spears virginity (or lack thereof), it was talking about the True Love Waits movement. So, being the bored and inquisitive chap that I am, I had a look at their website.
To which I commented:
Did you have any thoughts about it? That's the kind of thing that might liven up such an entry.
And then Phil writes:
Thanks to Mr Dobson


For pointing out that I need more insight on my blog. I'm well aware of this, but a lack of time prevents me from having insight. This is not strictly true, but is a cut down version of what I was writing before I accidently deleted it all. Someone labelled Mark's comments as 'extremely rude', which is an interesting interpretation.


I'm 'extremely rude' apparently. I despair, I really, really do.

Actually Phil, I'm pretty okay with whatever level of depth you want to go into on your blog, only, as you said that you wanted to be more insightful already, I thought it was odd that you didn't actually post up an opinion about the site. Your blog's fine by me.
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This morning I went into town because my phone battery I bought the other day was wrong. It was okay though; they had the right one in.

So I went to my Jobseeker's interview and it seems to have gone okay. In fact, somewhat bizarrely, I'm claiming for this week and I'm not even round. All I have to do is look at jobcentreplus a couple of times. This is on my Jobseeker's aggreement slip:
What you can expect from us
You can expect us to
  • wear a name badge
I can appreciate that this might be helpful, but it's a little underwhelming. I struggled against a smirk when I read that. They should probably have started with something more dramatic, like "You can expect us to pawn our personal belongings to cater for your whims."

And then I got back and started to pack.
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Thursday, 10 July 2003

Phew, what a scorcher. The sun has waxed wroth, and now wroth has a lustrous sheen. Kindly send death threats for that to my Exeter address. Anyway, hugely-poor jokes aside, I'm ratehr surprised that I got anything done today. However, I've got my forms and stuff in order, managed to send Phil his promised link-cable (second-class) and sent my new CV to Personnel Selection. Am in the mood for a hugely inactive evening. Bit of Big Brother maybe. I'm really behind on that.
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Ohhhhhh. Dan mentioned that he was reading Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy and, after a spell on the internet, I know what he's talking about now. Apparently, and this is merely passing on what I've heard, Philip Pullman is someone who hates the Narnia series so much that he had to write a trilogy of books in opposition to it. Interesting. I've been hearing for a while now from Christians that someone was going to redo the Narnia series in some form, minus the explicitly Christian bits. Two possibilities occur; a) that these Narnia remake things which I hear about are the result of a misunderstanding, and they really refer to Pullman's anti-Narnia, whatever that's called or b) there will be, in relatively short order, a little pop-cultural theological showdown. Pullman's trilogy is, I hear, to be turned into a screenplay by Stoppard. I like Tom Stoppard. Gosh. In any case, I hope I can borrow the books off Dan at some point.
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My word, but don't I look rough this morning. Just as well I'm not going anywhere important.

Well I went out to see The Matrix: Reloaded last night and it wasn't really very good. Also, the cheap cinemas at Camberley and Aldershot are closing down, so we (Ruth, Nick and I) went to Bracknell instead. For £6.25, I was mightily disappointed. At the end of the last film, Neo was wiping the floor with the agents, and everyone was wondering how they could make the fight scenes in the next film be any good. This they achieved by ignoring continuity - clever. I also wonder why, if he can stop bullets by holding his hands up, he can't stop hand-to-hand attacks in the same way. What is more dynamic about a person's limbs than about a bullet? Oh, and they talked a lot of sh*t interspersed with bits you were meant to be listening to so that you knew what was going on. What was going on didn't sound very interesting. I wonder about this prophecy too. Who prophesied it? Where did it come from? If everyone was so happy about the prophecy (everything's going to be fine - just hang on) why did they even need it? Bah.
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Wednesday, 9 July 2003

Because I have a small room, paperwork build up pretty easily. Thus it was that I spent half an hour this morning organising myself a bit. Then I went to mass at Ss. Peter & Paul. Found Dad looking down a manhole cover outside St. Martin's, ad thus putting his glasses in peril. I asked if he wanted anything doing in church, which he didn't exactly answer, but I found myself doing a spot (literally) of weeding in the garden. Then I circled some jobs to investigate in the local papers, but I haven't phoned them yet. I'm a bit worried about this Jobseeker's interview on Friday. I think Dad thinks I'm being silly.

I downloaded the works of Clement, Irenaeus, Ignatius, and Justin Martyr available at www.earlychristianwritings.com and read some of them, and a bi of Isaiah, and also the original Eusebius. I should be well supplied with gnostic context for The Matrix: Reloaded now.
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Tuesday, 8 July 2003

More New Eusebius; on the Novatianist schism. It seems the chap set himself up as a rival pope. There was a disagreement as to whether serious sins (In the Decian persecution many professors went to eat food sacrificed to idols) could be confessed. Novatian thought idolatry unpardonable. So he set up his own church, and for a while there was another church, kinda like the Pius X chaps now, I guess. Except after a few centuries the Novatianists were declared orthodox, yet schismatic. It's all a bit confusing. They packed in in the seventh century ultimately.

I phoned Vicki to see how she was doing, and had a chat with her whilst drinking gin and tonic, which is something I do only whilst at home. Perhaps I should talk about the conversation, but it was slightly all over the place. If you were that interested you'd phone me. I shall phone Rosie at some point too, only I'm going out to see The Matrix: Reloaded this evening (Wednesday - bit slack) with Ruth.

Then I watched Fawlty Towers. It was good, but was a bit confused, because I thought I'd seen that episode already. Not getting very far with Emma; it's all this church history I'm reading.
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It is a strange thing for someone to bemoan their eternal bachelorhood to me, of all people, and yet it happens. Odd.
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Today I've been filling in the forms that the man at the Jobcentre gave me to fill in before my interview. All very tedious stuff. This I did until Mum got back from Tesco's where she had just done the shopping. She said that there was a notice up advertising for - ahem - checkout operators, so Nick and I went down to Tesco's, waited in a queue for a bit, and found out that there were no application forms. Every little helps.

Back to the forms. At one point it asks for details of your nearest post-office, in case they need to get money to you in a hurry. Anywya, I had to go round the corner to ask their address. To my mind, a form that's completion depends upon one's going out of doors is a form that is flawed. On the way back from that I ran into a kid. I knew he was a pupil of Cordwalles Shool by his garb. "Hello," says he, "I know you from somewhere... church, the guitar playing kid." Having settled this matter, which was confusing me also, we went our separate ways. However, I am disturbed by the notion that this person in miniature might think of me as a kid. I suppose it's possible that I misheard him. I must remember to bring some money to church next week, for upon meeting him the first time, he got a little sponsorship for a walk that he was doing. Precocious, I think, is the word; saving the presence of his mother, he was apparently going to dob on Alan, our keyboard player, for falling asleep during Dad's sermon. One to watch, and forseeably lock up. Naturally, I jest
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Monday, 7 July 2003

My room is now sorted. I put it all away, or in the bin. I decided to have my guitar in my room too, so that I can blast it through my expensive (for me) amp, but it's a bit squashed. I shall see how it goes. I kept on finding random things and seeing if Nicholas wanted them, like a copy of The Communist Manifesto that I had printed out from Project Gutenberg, and Freud's essay on the uncanny (unheimlich?). I was always rather disappointed with The Communist Manifesto; it's not very good. I'm not clever enough to read Das Kapital though; I tried that once.

I ran out of steam from thereon in, and I thought that I should perhaps read my bible. I haven't for a while; finished Job a bit ago, and then got into Narnia. I think I must be about to start on the major prophetss, but for some unfathomable reason I feel like skipping to Jeremiah, rather than reading Isaiah, so perhaps I shall. What I actually ended up reading was more of A New Eusebius, which was interesting - Clement of Alexandria and Origen. They're a somewhat confusing pair. I think it was Clement who called Christians to be perfect gnostics. Such statements as these understandably make everyone a bit suspicious, but they have their advocates as well. Clement, I think, was dropped off the list of saints a bit later becasue the pope thought he was dodgy. They were very into their philosophy, so everything's a bit strange and speculative.

My parents were good enough to take me out for a meal last night, which was very good. There doesn't seem to be much to say about it, but I think I might say what I had.
  • Wexford-style mushrooms with stilton

  • Layered squash, goat's cheese and vegetable pie

  • Summer pudding with custard
Had we been able to get the wine we wanted, I would be able to tell you what it was, but they were out and we had some manner of Qualitatswein which was rather good.

The Summer really started for me when I picked up Emma last night and started reading it. It would be a wonderful thing to have read all the books I own by the end of the summer. A for Austen.
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A small mystery solved. I just saw the opening credits for My Parents are Aliens. It seems that the fake alien parents did not kill and eat their real parents after all; they found them in an orphanage. Simple really.
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Dad dropped me off in town and I paid in a cheque for him. Then I went to the Jobcentre and arranged an appointment for Friday. The chap took some details and gave me a pack full of forms to fill in. He asked me if I was Nigel Dobson's brother; close. On Friday, I shall try to look as though I was kicked out of university after a disagreement re. The Phantom Menace. Phone battery next. I needed a new one, as it keeps dying mid-conversation. I had ordered one, at a cost of £25, to 5 Kingdom Mews, but I don't live there anymore, so thats more money down the drain. This kind of thing always happens to me. Gavin had the same trouble. If you're reading this Gavin, I'd still appreciate you sending my mail on if you, by any chance, get hold of it. My parents have the same phone, so maybe they can have it as a spare. I mananged to get a battery in town though. I thought I would have a quick look in the Rock Box, though resolved to spend less than £5. I emerged with "Pin" (Yeah Yeah Yeahs, £2.99) and "In a Room" (Dodgy, £0.50), althought I was sorely tempted by Lounge against the Machine a compilation of lounge settings of alternative standards.

Naturally, I'm back now. Dad found a Marks and Spencer jumper (Cardigan? I'm not actually sure how one defines a cardigan) in our car and was asking how it might have come there. Do you have a clothing defecit Mino? That might be it.
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Good morning. Going to town today, to try and sort out some things. Gavin, can you put some comments on your blog, post-haste? I think you have made a good start as blogs go, for what it's worth. Very good.
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Sunday, 6 July 2003

Well, I guess I'll be needing to update my template again. I think I might put Mr. Shinwa on as well; He likes links he does.
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Hi guys. There's a big ol' house fly on the monitor. Not much to tell today. Went to church and played, as per. Not as per, Dad said that I had got my degree, so there was a fair bit of congratulating going one. It was not remotely like The Graduate by Charles Webb.

I have now read the Chronicles of Narnia, and jolly good they are too. I remembered most of the ones that were on TV. Did they do all of them? I don't remember The Magician's Nephew, The Last Battleor The Horse and his Boy being onscreen, but I think Neil must have, in the mists of time, got speaking book versions out from Sheffield library, for I remembered some parts. Sheffield library had a papier mache dragon and a god selection of Asterix books.
This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD
- Ezekiel somewhere near the beginning

Lewis' version of heaven in The Last Battle sounds good enough, but naturally the real deal is meant to be better. It's this kind of thing that can cheer a chap up.

I unpacked a bit today. The stereo came first, naturally. Nick was a bit bored I think. He offered to help me unpack, but its a small room, and not really practical to interfere with me in an orderly mood, so we played games instead. That's on his blog. G'night.
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Hmm. I'm still getting hits from saruman and hera, but as far as I know, everyone who reads my blog has left Exeter. I wonder who it is.
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Saturday, 5 July 2003

What an idiotic thing to suddenly feel sad about. On my shelf at home now are both extant series of Spaced. Far more than the house mix, which is of course excellent, Spaced to me now represents the psychic residue of two years of living with the wonderful people with whom I have been living. I don't think I'll be able to watch it for quite a while without feeling extremely down. For the greater part of two years, I could put on one of two videos and you could rely upon someone or other, usually Andy, Paul or James or all of them, to park themselves on the ergonomic delights that were our uni chairs and watch it with me. Now I am at home, and if I put it on, Casualty or something will start. I think for the sake of my sanity I should consider destroying the tapes, buying them on DVD and only watching them again when I can afford a DVD player, which may well be at least a year from now. How ridiculous.
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This morning, as I say, Paul left. He texted me and Andy to say byeeeeee, so I rushed downstairs, half-expecting to determine that he had left a few minutes ago, but fortunately he was still there. Paul is not living with me next year. I like Paul; it's going to be strange not living with him next year. Even stranger, Andy won't be here. Naturally he left too, albeit rather later. The But he'll visit, so I guess that's okay. cleaners had said we were to be out by ten. They wandered round treating us like children and generally getting in our way. Next year is going to bewilder me. Then there was only Gavin and I. I said goodbye to Gavin and left him in Exeter, to move to his new place for the summer.

The drive home was okay, 'cept for one thing - Mere. I hate Mere. It is a twee little village that sits off the A303 at the midpoint (dinner-time) of my journey home by car and that has phantom services. This is the second time the curse of Mere has caused me discomfort. It lures you away from the A303 with promises of food and rest to a T-junction which has no directions for such a thing. Then you head for Mere, as is logical, drive through the middle of it thinking "This is a fairly pretty but utterly boring village which bears no resemblance to what I actually wanted." and miss the absurd turning back to the A303, drive up some relatively steep narrow roads, the U-turn and curse the day of your birth. I hate Mere.

Now I am back, and my room is filled with stuff. I think I shall read The Silver Chair. I suppose I didn't get around to mentioning that I finished Prince Caspian and Voyage of the Dawn Treader.
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Well, I did leave my computer assembled. It's not much trouble. It means that I can blog that Paul has just left, having managed to fit all his stuff in his car. James' Dad wanted to wake James up so I suggested phoning him, but our phones (such as they are) have been shut off. How incredibly tight-arsed of Keycom. No blog 'til Brooklyn Camberley.
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Friday, 4 July 2003

Well Mino said goodbye, and then I dropped him and his stuff off at his new place. It's all very strange. No-one seems to be in; perhaps Paul is. I think Andy's gone off for a meal with his Dad. I'll see how James and his Dad are doing in the Artful.

* * *

They were doing quite well, I gather. James' dad is a very amicable chap, and he also bought me two scotches, which may well have been doubles. So we just chatted for a while about various things. The history of the James v. Andy prank wars was a major feature. Joe also turned up, having been on his own in his flat and having read that I was going to the pub. He was leaving early the next morning, so that was probably the last I'll see of Joe. It's good to know that people still have blogs though. When we got back from the pub, we complained about how rubbish TV is. Paul had left some pancake batter out, which was clearly not going to be used, so we had some pancakes. James replenished the batter using up my eggs, which made my fry up not as good the next day. And then to bed.
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Packed till midday, and now I can't be bothered. Fortunately it was lunchtime, and everyone else was quite keen to stop packing too. A collective dinner again for them. Nice. I had been considering whether or not to smash my acoustic guitar to bits against the wall. Andy reminded me of the possibility, so I did. That was quite fun. I wish I'd left the strings on for it though. I suppose I was intending to fix it at the time, but it would not have been economically viable. Then I made the best joke in the world. I saw that Paul had a hand-whisk on top of his cupboard.

ME I suppose you don't need that; you've got an electric whisk.
PAUL Do you want a whisk?"
ME That's a whisk I'm not willing to take.

Andy hit me on the head with a wad of paper. It was ever thus.
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Packing. Better get on with it. Before that I e-mailed my grandparents, phoned my other Nan and also one of my aunts. aunties. my mum's sister. Aunt isn't a very nice word. Not as bad as spinster (she's not one btw).
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Thursday, 3 July 2003

I was getting ready to go to campus to get my results when Gavin texted me to congratulate me on my result. News to me it was. I phoned him up and he said I'd got a first. Golly. I was going up to campus to see Karen in any case and get my breakdown (Stop - hammer time) so I thought I'd see if Gavin had misread it - it didn't seem beyond the bounds of possibility, but Gavin read it with startling precision, so that's jolly nice. So, feeling all chuffed, I spoke to Karen. It was basically just a bit of an ego-stroke really; she said she really enjoyed my work, and that I came at things from interesting angles, and that if I ever felt the appeal of academia again to give her a bell. A pleasant addition to a pleasant day.

* * *

Not a great deal happened after that during the day. I just hung around as usual. We watched a good deal of television though. Channel 4 News was terrible; what are they playing at? John leff this morning and I didn't blog it - goodbye John. He's upset about James' animation, angry actually he says. Hmm. I might let my nationstate drift into oblivion now - it was a Scandinavian Liberal Paradise last time I checked, and that's a good way to go out. Also, though the idea of it is pretty cool, there is no way I'm going to bother managing my virtual team, the Rum Chaps, so I guess I'll let that go too. It's a great deal more important to try and keep this blog running until the end of the summer. And then, who knows?

In the evening we went round to Joe's and drank some beer. It was sort of like being in the pub, only it was Joe's room. It was good. He should leave his leftover beer as a window-ledge present for th next occupant I think.
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Benny Benassi (www.Benny Benassi.com) has been ivolved with a coupleof new tracks that I rather like. I kind of like that Tomk/craft "Loneliness" one, which he did a remix of, but Benny Benassi presents the Biz "Satisfaction" is the daddy. I wonder if he will fade into obscurity? He certainly deserves to less than Fatboy Slim. Can't work out the appeal there really...
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Yesterday, James spread flour over the front room. Naturally, it was still there this morning. Anyway, I was walking through it barefoot,and it reminded me of gymnastics. That is all.
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Wednesday, 2 July 2003

Songbird sweet and sour Jane, and music is my aeroplane. Someone better slap Flea.

Today was a day of orderliness, at least to begin with - I tidied the kitchen a bit, washed up most of the washing up and then tidied my room.

I think most people must have got their results today, because everyone was asking me whether I had, but I'm getting mine tomorrow. I can't work out when tomorrow though. I'll try going up at midday.

I didn't know whether to leave on Friday or Saturday, but Mino assisted my choice by asking me whether I wouldn't mind transporting his Italian possessions from hither to thither. A helpful use of the car, huzzah! John is leaving Exeter tomorrow. It hadn't sunk in, and it still hasn't really. James said it'll probably be like, in a week or so, we'll think "I quite fancy going to the pub with John and Joe" and we won't be able to,and that's very bad. I think Andy not being here will be the absolute strangest and not good thing. I rather gatehr that he will visit Exeter a fair bit though; I think he has shedloads of friends who are still here. John was returning a book of mine (It's jolly good) and he thought, as did we, that we should do something on his last evning in Exeter. Pub it is.

I said something about my stolen cushions (they were going to be thrown out) and James said we should move them to Cowley Bridge Road. As I had a bike to take over, and some forms, and we didn't know where there was to park over there, James and I went over, parked in the chaplaincy car park and did things. Adam had gone home already, so I stashed my bike and cushions up there. Then we just stayed in Adam's room, James, myself, Norris, Luke and another chap who I will probably never see again, which makes it less of an issue whether I know his name or not. I noticed Chris Moyles was on, so we left.

We had an ecumenical BBQ to go to before going to the pub. It was alright. Neither James or I thought we had our money's worth. At one point a guy loudly recommended "www.sologuitar" Little Mark kept trying to invent jokes of the formulaic kind. He started with the question and wondered what the answer would be, like this poser: "Why did Mr. T cross the road?" Naturally all such questions can be answered with reference to the original joke. I wonder why that joke even took off actually... It was the last Wednesday mass before next year so I thought we should probably go. We rushed to John's house to say we might be a little late, but he was in the middle of eating dinner anyway. Then we rushed to chaplaincy. And there was a mass going down. LT has started painting her car with eccentricity.

After that we did go to the pub. Paul came as well, but Joe and Jenny were off clubbing. We started talking about the reformation. James said that Elizabeth brought in the new religion. I maintained that it was Henry, because making himself the head of the church seemed fairly innovative to me. James and I both knew that Henry didn't change much practice though. Anyway, I'm right. The Artful is under new management. We then went to John's roof,but I think James has probably blogged all that, and I'm running out of interest in this entry.
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Tuesday, 1 July 2003

I awoke at about 0510. Sheesh. I had another dream. I can't remember much of it, but I think it was the tail-end of a party that Mum and Dad had thrown. They had distributed, like the Easter Bunny, presents in the garden, and one guy hadn't found his shower curtain yet, but I helped him locate it under a hedge, and so all was well. Happily, the documents for the Xantia had arrived. I went to campus and found myself there too early. I had skipped breakfast, wanting to get this over and done with so I could relax again, but the prosepct of a half hour wait with an empty stomach was not appealing, so I had a styrofoam cup of tea and a muffin beforehand. Now all is well, but I want to go back to bed. This I should do after e-mailing my CV to indifferent temping agencies.
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I didn't blog yesterday firstly because I wanted to get on with going to town, then because I wanted to get on with coming back to Exeter and then when I got back I was realy tired and couldn't be bothered. Here we go then-

Went to town as soon as possible after making myself presentable. I asked about temporary vacancies in local government and they said they were advertised in the local papers, so I shall watch out when I get back. Then I just did the rounds in terms of temporary agencies. I'm going to e-mail my CV to three of them today. They're pretty much full in terms of students so they didn't bother with a hard-copy. I was expecting this. I didn't feel disappointed until Dad suggested that I should. Bah. Anyway, it wasn't all bad; I went to one place that didn't want anyone without office experience (to wit, me) but they directed me to a place that didn't complain about being full up with students and even gave me a couple of typing tests. Theysaid Iwas abity below average on the number one, but that I "did well" on the alphanumeric one. I wasn't convinced, but here's what mynew pieces of paper say:
Numeric - Form 1 (UK) Test
[...]
  Gross key strokes per hour  4788
Alphanumeric - Form 1 (UK) Test
[...]
  Gross key strokes per hour  6912
So there you are. I went home and cooked dinner for Dad and Nick; used Mino's recipe, but I didn't put enough basil in.

So then I drove back in the Xantia, which wasn't a great deal of fun. As soon as I thought I'd really better take a break, the places in which one takes breaks seemed to vanish. I headed for the M5 too early I think, and even when I came off that, I ended up coming the long, wrong way into Exeter where you end up near Belmont. It was about 1730, so I caught all the outbound traffic. I then had to go to Loyes' to get my key off Neil and deliver his mail. I had issues driving in. Neil said he was in the laundry room. I didn't know where the laundry room was, predictably enough. When I got home, I found that the insurance documents hadn't arrived, and therefore I couldn't get a parking permit for the Xantia, at which point I despaired greatly. James was playing Sanity's Requiem (note the orthodox use of the possessive apostrophe) so I had a chat with Andy in his room. It was a bit dark; the conversation I mean. He also said that I looked absolutely "shagged out", I think his words were. Then bought some Bodingtons, burnt some toast and put beans on it, retreated into my room and read Prince Caspian.

n.p. Joy Division "Isolation"
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