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Saturday, June 5

Update On The New Design

This is a quick screenshot of the work in progress on the new design of this blog. I'm ecstatic with how it's turned out so far, especially with how close I've managed to get it to my original design on paper. Hopefully I should finish the rest of it pretty soon.


Let Me Try Once More

Hmm, so I really wasn't in the mood for writing last night. I was writing terribly, so I figured it wasn't worth my effort to produce a poor quality tale of Wednesday night. Today, I feel a lot better, and am more than ready to write properly.

I think I left it (again, too lazy to check) with me going for an interview at the tennis club round the corner from my house. It went very well, and the lady who interviewed me seemed very eager to give me a job. "I'll ring you on Friday", she said.

Has she rang yet (8pm on Friday)? Has she fuck. And neither has the other pub which was supposed to call me back, the bastards. And just when I'd got my hopes up with the thought of finding a job, with the double benefit of earning money and getting my parents off my back. Not that they've been moaning as much as they did last summer. That's probably because I'm here in London, and they're back in Melksham. That distance is too far to be able to nag.

After the brief interview, I stopped at home to change out of my shirt and into a random t-shirt, before heading into Central London to meet a few of my housemates at our student union bar (the Waterfront). I was only planning to go for 3 or 4 drinks at the most, honest!

I was decidedly overdressed too. I still had on my suit trousers and smart black shoes, along with this half-decent t-shirt and a jacket. Everyone else in the bar, or at least 80%, were in the standard student fare of jeans and t-shirts. Ahhh well, I don't mind sticking out like a sore thumb.

A swift 3 or 4 pints, along with a pizza, went down the hatch, and I was feeling pretty damn good already. Somehow I got talked into going to Candybox at Hombre's, which, as I have mentioned here before, is the worst club / club night in the world ever. I hate the music, hate the clientele, hate the decor, hate just about everything about it.

Its redeeming quality, and it is an important one, is that on Wednesdays it is a mere 1 for a vodka / whisky and coke / lemonade. A very important redeeming quality, if I may say so.

Of course, we couldn't go there straight away. We had to get a bus up to Oxford Circus, walk all the fucking way down to Tottenham Court Road to get a flyer for cheap entry to Candybox, and then stop off at a bar on the way back down towards Oxford Circus.

Again, the bar made the trip worthwhile, to some extent. It was the tiniest little place on a side street alley off Oxford St, with everyone standing outside on tiny pavements drinking. There was barely room to stand inside, never mind swing a cat.

Beer wasn't too pricey either, at a mere 2.90 per pint. That's very cheap for Oxford St / Central London. It let itself down, however, with its toilets. They are down some stairs inside, which in fact open up to reveal a larger and more spacious bar area.

The door to the toilets lulls you into a false sense of security, because it looks relatively arty and nice. Inside is the world's worst toilet. Honestly, it is the close relation of that one in Trainspotting. Cramped, stinking and claustrophobic are all adjectives which spring to mind. It was one of those toilets where you hold your breath for the entire time that you are in there, for fear of inahling something particularly noxious and potentially life-threatening. You've all been in one of those, I'm sure.

After that, erm, experience, we headed off to Candybox, stopping off on the way to take a quick photo by an enormous model camel in a random take-away. I've got all the photos on my computer now, so I'll update the PhotoBlog straight after this.

We got to the club, paid the 3 entry fee and headed downstairs, after a brisk frisking by a burly bouncer. I would be surprised if the job requirements for a bouncer's job didn't include the inability to smile. They are such fucking moody cunts.

Anyway, we descended the stairs to the gloriously inept and torturous decor, and were at the bar within seconds. Double vodka-coke? Don't mind if I do.

Repeat ad infinitum, and I'm sure you understand that I was quite, quite drunk. Funny how 5 or 6 beers and then a shitload of vodka does that to you. I still haven't worked out exactly how it does it. I guess more research is required.

It's at this point that memory gets a little hazy. I remember dancing to a couple of songs with a few mates on a near-empty dancefloor, including a Rage Against The Machine song which I don't the name of, and a Chemical Brothers song called 'Life is Sweet'. I only know this because I set a reminder on my phone for the next day to download the song. I think I remember asking Daz what the song was, and then typing it into my phone, but I'm not 100% sure.

It was then a period of more drinking, some more drinking, and standing around at the side of the room with a few mates, chatting about random shit and god knows what.

I remember chatting to this guy I know from law at King's who I hadn't seen / spoken to in a while, which was cool, but for the most part I was there with one of my housemates, Chindle.

It is here that the interesting and quite possibly disturbing part of the tale happened. No, I didn't suddenly have an attack of homosexuality and leap onto Chindle.

Almost the opposite, in fact.

My memory, as I mentioned is very non-helpful regarding this point, and I've had to enlist the aid of Chindle in recollecting exactly what happened. I will refrain from constantly using the word 'apparently', but please apply it to the following paragraph or two.

These two girls came up to myself and Chindle, but I cannot remember exactly why and for what reason they came over exactly. My overriding memory is that the taller of the two girls (I cannot remember what they looked like at all, only their heights) went to Chindle, and the shorter one came to me.

She said something along the lines of "Do you mind if I kiss you?", and being the gentleman that I am, I couldn't turn the lady down. I've no idea how long we were there for, or if Chindle pulled the other one, or anything.

I do remember (although this is possibly my mind playing tricks on me) asking her if I was only a slight distraction for her whilst her friend went after Chindle, and her reply along the lines of "nah, you're well buff."

You know when a girl uses the word 'buff' that they're fairly young... 'Buff' is such a crap word. I fucking hate the word 'buff', even with its positive connotations.

Again, I have no idea what my reply to that was, or even if I made one, as my memory fades out once more. All I can remember about her was that she was very short (5'2 or somewhere round there) and had black here. I've no idea if she herself was 'buff' or anything.

I was told the next day that she was quite young-looking, and was probably about 17 or 18 at the oldest. I've now lost mocking rights towards Al and his 16 (17?)-year-old girlfriend. Chindle did say that she was half-decent-looking, just young-looking too.

I'm going to convince myself that she just looked young for her (true) age, and that she was really 19 or so. The problem herein is the use of the word 'buff'. That destroys completely any idea that she was over the age of 18.

Dammit.

All I know is that I didn't see her again for the rest of the night, not that I'd have been able to recognise her anyway. I was barely recognising my own hands at the end of my arms, let alone anybody else.

I was told the next day that I'd chatted to Pete (a housemate) for a few minutes later in the night, and that he could tell I was very drunk because I practically deafened him by shouting in his ear at very close range. I can't help it, I'm a loud drunk.

As far as I know (my new 'apparently' phrase), I didn't pull again during the evening, although I stand to be corrected if one of my housemates tells me otherwise in the coming days. I wouldn't be able to deny it!

I left at about 2, without the rest of my housemates. Again, no idea why, I must have been tired, or, more likely, out of money.

The weird thing here is that I distinctly remember walking down Oxford Street to the bus stop, and the entire bus journey home, but I don't remember getting in my own front door. It's a little disarming to have an hour of perfect memory in the middle of two hazy areas and gaps.

I remember this bus journey because I bumped into a friend of a housemate on the way to the bus stop. She's cool, and very friendly, but a little up her own ass. Nevertheless, I had someone to talk to on the way home.

We sat upstairs (I think), with a few other friends of hers, and chatted about houses for most of the journey home. It's got to the stage in the academic year where everyone is thinking about where they're going to live next year. Well, everyone except me, because I'll be in halls in Germany.

I can't remember the precise details of the conversation, and I'm pretty certain that I came across as so very drunk, but so be it. I was so very drunk, after all! I'll ask her when she comes to this house party we're having tomorrow, although I reckon I could get very embarrassed when she tells me if and how I disgraced myself verbally.

As I said, I don't remember getting in, but I woke up in my own bed the next day, which is a pretty good result. Admittedly, the waking didn't happen until 1.30 in the afternoon, but I finally got my lie-in that I'd promised myself the day before!

The hangover wasn't too bad, and the shower washed most cobwebs away. My only negative effect was that I ached from head to toe, my legs especially. I still haven't figured out exactly why, because I know that I didn't walk epic distances on Wednesday night, and certainly nowhere near as far as on Friday night. Chancery Lane to Oxford Circus, I fucking tell you!

Thankfully, I wasn't the only person moping all day Thursday. We all felt like shit, and did a grand total of fuck-all in the entire day. Our landlord brought a few people in to look round the house (my housemates have decided to move elsewhere next year, as they can't find enough people to live with by next week), only to find a few of us in the living room, watching Family Guy and generally feeling bleh.

The funniest thing was that Matt was lying on the living room floor, on his dressing gown and wearing only a pair of boxers. We don't call him Beast for nothing, as he is a hairy man, and not exactly appealing to the eye when half-naked! Our landlord's face was a picture. Shock is the name of the emotion, I believe.

The rest of the evening was a washout, interrupted only by my quite fantastical cooking skills. I threw together this amazing Jambalaya, and made enough to feed me tonight too. I do enjoy cooking most of the time, although I also get the can't-be-arsed feeling some days. I call them pasta-and-sauce days, but even then I do something extra with the sauce, so it isn't too boring.

This Jambalaya was fucking brilliant, if I may say so myself. It's a Creole dish, made up of rice, peppers, onion, chicken sausage and sauce. It's really easy to make, but involves a hell of a lot of chopping and prep before the easy cooking bit. I've made it a couple of times recently, and I've been very pleased with the results each time.

It's got a kick to it (that'd be the peppers), which is my favourite element. I love spicy food, from Mexican to Indian to Chinese. Whilst I don't quite make it to the level of a Phall on the menu in an Indian restaurant, I have to throw in a fair bit of hot curry powder whenever I make a sauce out of a jar from the supermarket. Even their hottest sauces aren't quite enough for my tastes.

I guess I must have adjusted through the constant use of curry powder that my Dad has always brought back from his trips abroad at work. He loves ultra-spicy stuff, and the type of curry which I've always called Mild at home are in fact the same level of spiciness as a Medium-Hot in a restaurant / on a supermarket shelf. I found this out on my first visit to a curry house, when I ordered a Korma and found it completely and utterly tasteless. Far too much cream!

But I digress.

Thursday evening was indeed crap and uneventful, as has been today. We watched Henman lose in the tennis, and that's about it, to be honest. Truly, so very, very boring. But Wednesday night was pretty hectic, and tomorrow is going to be mad (England game, house party and a few other things), so that makes up for taking two days off. Well, to my mind it does.

And honestly officer, I thought she was over 18...

*hangs head in shame*

Friday, June 4

Stupid Fucking People

Yes, I'm still up, even though I'm pretty tired. Yes, I'm an idiot for doing this...

I just want to post a screen capture from an email I received today, concerning possible work experience this summer for law students at King's. You know the email isn't going to be worth reading when the first line is as follows:



Ever heard of a spellchecker? And no, it wasn't worth reading.

THat Glorious Feeling Of Being Hungover (Again)

I ended my last post yesterday by saying that I was hunting for jobs in various bars across London. I can't remember (and am too lazy to check) if I mentioned that I'd been invited to an interview that very evening, at a tennis club tha is quite literally 2 minutes walk from my front door.

But yeah, I did have this interview to go to. I figured that I'd better look pretty smart for it, so I threw on a shirt and tie, along with my suit trousers and shiny black shoes. I was going to go the whole hog and wear the suit jacket too, but I don't like it. Plus, it was still really warm outside, so I didn't bother with it.

But, fuck me is that tennis club lavish! I didn't realise quite how big it was, but it has loads of courts in its grounds. The interior is also very plush and swish, with big comfy chairs around the tables, and the kind of huge plaques on the walls that you would expect to see in such a place.


Sorry, I'm struggling to write this. I'm very tired and uninspired, so I will leave this post as it is and write a proper one tomorrow. I'm tired because I was out last night. I will tell all tomorrow. Right now I'm not in the mood, and I'm writing terribly.

Wednesday, June 2

The Epic Job Hunt Begins

Man, finding a job is hard. I haven't had to do it properly for about 2 years, and I'd forgotten just how much legwork (figuratively speaking) you have to do.

I've spent the last few hours on the phone, ringing loads of random pubs and bars all across London, checking to see whether any vacany they'd advertised was still available. I'm not a brilliant person on the phone, I like to get things done with very quickly when I'm not talking face to face, so it was such a pain in the ass to put on the "eager" act every minute or so to a different anonymous voice.

But, I have had a little success. I've got a mini-interview thing this evening at a sports club which is quite literally just around the corner from my house, and I'm also expecting a call back tomorrow from one lady who sounded very willing to give me a job.

Apparently, they're kind of looking for bar staff at the moment, but will be needing some for certain in July and August. She said that I could expect to do quite a few hours in June, and then to "work my socks off" in the July and August. That'll do me, I have no problems with that sort of arrangement.

I remember, back in the summer when I worked at a pub in Melksham, I did a couple of 70+ hour weeks. Admittedly, I was absolutely fucked by the end of them, but I know that I can work very hard and keep going.

I'm one of those people who never really gives in to exhaustion or tiredness in that kind of situation. A job needs doing, so I'll do it. I'm the same when we play football or any other sport: I can keep running and working until the final whistle, when I let the tiredness hit me. I don't feel tired at all, even after 2 hours of a kickabout, so long as we're still going. By the time we get home, and the adrenaline has stopped, I'm fucked, but until that point I can keep going.

At least this summer's job can't be as bad as some of the other stuff I've done, such as being bin man, stacking pots of cream, cleaning vats of cream, and the classic cleaning a cattle feed factory. Those were the days!

The Whole Fucking World Hates Me

At least it seems that way. Possibly it's only my landlord. And he probably doesn't realise the pain he is causing.

I went to bed last night at a stupidly late hour, after more pointless and unstructured browsing on the internet and watching crap TV. Let's put it this way, the sky, as seen from my West-facing window (i.e. away from any potential sunrise), had a distinct blue tinge to it. It wasn't even just a slightly blue wash over the blackness: this was getting towards full on daylight.

No worries, I thought, I'll just give myself a lie-in tommorow / later today. And when I say lie-in, I mean closer to midday for my eventual rise from my bed. Anything in single digits time-wise is pretty early for me.

Of course, this was not to be, as evidenced by my writing here at 10.30.

Firstly, I was woken by a ring on our doorbell. Bearing in mind that I'm 2 flights of stairs up in a 3-storey flat, and it's a real big effort to go answer the door. I laid there for a couple of seconds, hoping that another housemate would go, but 'twas not to be.

A second ring forced me to haul my ass out of bed, throw on a pair of jeans and a t-shirt and head downstairs. Halfway down the second flight of stairs, I heard my landlord's voice on the other side of our front door. His office is just off our entrance hall, before our own front door, and he was welcoming some businessmen of some sort.

Why they couldn't just knock on his door, I shall never know. He always opens the main front door of the property when he's in his office, leaving visitors a choice between his door (with a handy sign) or ours. Hence, no need for ringing the doorbell when he's in his office, which is pretty much every weekday morning.

So that woke me up. No worries, I'll just go back to sleep. Most of my housemates had already left the house, to go to exams and whatnot, so there would be enough quiet to get back to sleep.

Or so I thought.

Within minutes, I heard footfalls up the stairs and across the hallway outside my room. This was accompanied by my landlord's voice calling out "hello", as well as some heavier footsteps behind him.

Once again, I hopped out of bed, threw the clothes back on, and opened the door of my room. By this stage, they'd gone upstairs and had headed out onto the roof terrace. They were discussing some sort of changes to this or another property, in too loud a voice for my liking. But then, I would think they were loud when I was trying to get back to sleep.

I figured that I was now awake for good, no matter how much I didn't want to be. I missed my landlord coming back down, and only saw one of the two surveryors (or whatever) as they came down the stairs. "Thankyou" was his only muttered word to me.

Yeah, cheers, don't worry about coming into my house at this frankly ridiculous hour, uninvited, and talking in a loud voice. Any time mate!

What capped this little escapade off was that my landlord promptly left the front door open (i.e. the one to our part of the property too). I only found this out because a mate of a housemate, who is planning to live here next year in my and a couple of my housemate's absence, suddenly knocked on the open door to my bedroom.

I was a tad surprised, but he quickly explained how the front door was open, so he just came on up. He's here to sign a contract for next year with the landlord, as far as I know. Fair enough, no worries (I keep using that phrase), but now I'm pissed off at my landlord for leaving the fucking front door wide open. There are some very unscrupulous characters in London, my landlord being one of them!

So now it's 10.45, I'm wide awake and pissed off at the fact that I've had less than 6 hours sleep. I get the feeling I could be a little moody later on. And it's all his fault!

Tuesdays Are Buffy Days

And I mean it when I say it.

I was very pleased to find amongst my post this morning Series 7 of Buffy, completing my newly created collection of the whole series of the programme. As a bonus, I also received another cable to connect my phone to my computer, from the same company that I ordered my other one from on eBay.

Seeing as I've only paid for one, I'm not going to complain. Although I'm not exactly sure what I'm going to do with it, because my phone does only have one connection port... Answers on a postcard please.

The rest of my afternoon was spent (shock horror) watching Buffy. Yay for me.

Before today I'd only seen up till about episode 16 out of the 22 in the final series, so it seemed like a good time to finish the series off. Pete joined me for this mini-epic of vampire-slaying-watching, and we barely left the living room for about 4 hours. Yes, we are very sad, but we still rule.

What a great ending too! You get so involved in the storyline if you watch so many episodes in a row, as the various plot threads develop and expand. As I said, I was completely unaware of the eventual end to the whole series, and I didn't have someone to ruin it for me (Mike!).

After all of the build-up of the previous 6 or 7 episodes, I was expecting an anti-climactic end, and to be disappointed. Thankfully, Mr Whedon pulled the cat out of the bag and produced a fantastic climax to a great series.

I can't be arsed to write reams about it here, because I'm tired and want to go to bed. Suffice it to say that there was one incredible episode which was so very, very dark. It was also a hell of a lot gorier than previous episodes, with a neck snapping and the gouging of an eye. Buffy suddenly got very, very dark indeed.

That little lot took up most of my afternoon, and from there it was on to the pub to watch England play Japan. I wish I hadn't bothered. What an incredibly crap game! And I spent more money that I don't really have... I need to find a job.

And now it's 1.45am, and it's time to go to bed.

Tuesday, June 1

Mmmmmm, Designing Websites

Two things to mention on the above title:
Firstly, I've just finished doing the new design for this blog on paper. I'm very pleased that I was able to get my ideas into a visual format, and I'm even happier with the outcome. If I can just translate it into code and graphic form, it will look very good indeed. Unfortunately, it also means a hell of a lot of work in the preparation stage. You'll see why when I get the design finished and up here. The coding itself shouldn't take too long, but it's going to involve a hell of a lot of taking photos and editing them on PaintShopPro.

The second reason why I use this title is because I came quite close yesterday evening to applying for a web design job. Just before we went to the pub (see, another thing that I managed to forget in yesterday's post!), I was on the University of London Careers Service website, hunting for summer jobs.

I thought that I had found my ideal place, working as a trainee web designer / developer for some random company in London. That would suit me just fine for the summer, and even as a career in the long run. I edited my CV, wrote them a cover letter, and was just about to email it to them when I noticed that under the 'Salary' heading in the ad, all they were going to pay was for travel expenses.

Aghast does not even begin to describe my reaction. Not only had I wasted half an hour of valuabe could-have-been-in-the-pub time, I was going to have to pass up this job. I need to work this summer purely for financial reasons. I'm not after experience in a particular field, or even in an interesting field, just a job that is going to pay me enough to pay off my overdraft and to save some money for September.

Expenses was not going to be enough. 'Twas with a heavy heart that I closed the Outlook Express window and went to the pub.

Well, a relatively heavy heart. I was going to the pub, after all.

And so on to today. Seeing as it was / is a Bank Holiday, I've done fuck all. Come to think of it, I haven't even left the house. Shame on me.

One annoying thing, actually. I was playing cm4 for a while this afternoon, just chilling to some tunes and meandering through a few months in the game, when the fucker crashed on me. There was no warning, just a sudden and instant return to the desktop. Of course, I hadn't saved my game, so around 2 hours worth of playing time (probably a little more) was wasted.

That truly was a complete and utter waste of time. Usually at the end of doing something like that, I have something to show for it, such as being further through the game... Not today.

Oh, and another annoying thing. Our house seems to have been invaded by the massed ranks of the common fly population. They seem to congregate in the middle of rooms and swirl around each other. It's very annoying, especially since it is the living room and my bedroom which seem most affected.

And no, before you ask, my room does not smell bad or have stuff festering in it. I am sufficiently houseproud to keep my room very clean and tidy, and I don't even store any food in it. You'd think the flies would raid the kitchen, because there is always a few day-old plates lying around in there.

There is, however, something very satisfying about leaping around a room with a fly swatter in hand, attacking these little black dots as they whizz past. It's so manly to creep up on a fly which is sitting alone on a wall, with a swatter in your hand and a bloodlust in your veins. My personal favourite is to kill them by clapping, because you get the nice little sploodge of blood onto your palms.

That sort of thing keeps me from going out at night and killing cats, which must be a good result. Flies don't count when being humanitarian and benevolent, in the grand scheme of things, to my mind.

So yeah, on that note...

Monday, May 31

One Final Thing (Probably)

Why is it as soon as I hit the "Publish" button that I think of something else to add? Every fucking time, and always after a 1694 word long post (I checked in Word).

My final little thing I wish to mention is that I've decided not to move this blog over to gooneruk.com until I've redesigned the layout. I've got it done in my head, and I'm looking forward to doing the graphics and coding for it.

Anyone who wants an idea as to what it looks like, my rough inspiration has come from the back of an album by The Streets called Original Pirate Material. That's my design basis, and I'm going to add my own little twists to it.

With any luck I'll have it done by the end of the week, if I get my ass into gear and things like finding a job get in the way.

Speaking of which, if any Londoners read this (and I know you do) and know of a vacancy for an office dogsbody over the summer in their workplace, give me a shout. And no, I don't care if I'm sounding at all desperate, mainly because I am pretty desperate!

Relaxation, Rob-Style

It's all about lazy, lazy weekends.

I figured that I was due a lazy weekend, seeing as it's the first one since the end of my exams. The fact that I pretty much took every weekend off during the exam period is neither here nor the. The fact that this is a Bank Holiday, 3-day weekend is a bonus.

It started with complete relaxation yesterday. Well, when I say relaxation, I actually mean being unable to do anything due to an overwhelming and inhibiting hangover. That would be the inevitable consequence of Saturday night.

Shit! That reminds me. I still haven't texted that girl with details of the house party we're having next Saturday. Bollocks. I shall have to do that tomorrow. Or can I risk not doing it, and pray that I don't meet here over the summer at all? Remember, I won't be in any classes next year in London, which is oh-so-convenient. Do I sound particularly nasty here? Ah well.

As I said, Saturday was a bit of a washout. I even turned down an offer of going to the pub for a couple of drinks in the late evening, because I just couldn't cope with the thought of being around any alcohol. Although I was in the pub at lunchtime, which I guess means that the hangover had some sort of delayed effect, and didn't hit me properly until mid-afternoon. Either that, or the smell of beer in that pub triggered it.

Nope, instead of going to the pub that evening, I had the house to myself, and sat down to watch a few episodes from the quite large stack of recently-delivered Buffy DVDs. I managed to fit in 4 before a couple of my housemates got back, which is pretty good going.

Watching the entire series of Buffy (I have Season 7 in the post to me as I type) is one of my relatively minor goals that I have set myself this summer. Another one is (along with Pete, a housemate) to watch all 3 series of Family Guy in one solid sitting. We've worked out that in total there is about 22 hours worth of episodes, and we've set ourselves the challenge of watching all of them in one go. Easy, if a little ass-numbing. And yes, some of your taxes are going towards us being able to do this. Don't you feel used?!

Oh, and I also need to get a job. I have an ever-increasing overdraft to pay off, as well as some money to save before going to Germany in September. I've been hunting on the University of London Careers Service site, and I've found a few which appeal, so I'll be emailing them tomorrow with my somewhat bare CV.

I swear I was talking a few paragraphs ago about how I've had a thoroughly relaxing couple of days, so let's get back on that subject. I ramble too much when I write here.

I think I finished last night, so I'd best mention today. Again, very chilled and uneventful. I managed to read the entire Observer newspaper, including all of the extra sections, which is very good going. There's a hell of a lot of text to read in a Sunday newspaper, which is all the more reason to buy one and waste away your Sunday afternoon.

I had some F1 on the TV (boring procession race, again. Oh for Monaco every week!), and then Henman in the tennis in the French Open (exciting, although the constant use of the word "purgatory" by the commentators started to grate just a little), followed by the end of the golf at Wentworth (what?! Golf is relaxing to watch, even if my housemates don't really appreciate it).

We all mucked in and did a little bit of cleaning around the house, because it was in a real mess, as per usual for a Sunday. I'm not quite sure how this time, because the messiest / slobbiest of my housemates has been away for a couple of days. His presence lives on.

I was finally able to pack away all of my notes and handouts from the year's work, which was very satisfying. If I was a little more confident of achieving good grades from the exams, I would have either thrown them out, or burnt them in a small act of victory and glory, but as it is they are neatly stacked in a pile, waiting to be referenced once more in the August resits.

Oh, and another thing that happened today. I got a phone call around lunchtime from a mate of mine from back home in Melksham. I'd texted a load of them about this party we're having on Saturday, and he was letting me know that at least 6 or 7 of them would be coming up, including a couple of them who I haven't really seen for a year or so. Hopefully, a few others will be coming from various universities across the country, which will be fantastic news. I haven't got drunk with all of them in at least 7 weeks!

I'm looking forward to this house party in a big way. I got so very, very drunk at the last one, and it was an absolutely brilliant atmosphere. Admittedly, the hangover and the missing 50 from my wallet the next day put me on a bit of a downer, but I had a great time at the party itself.

This one could be even more of a heavy drinking session. I don't know exactly what time any of my mates are turning up, although if they are coming by train, it's probably going to be mid-afternoon. Coupled with the fact that there is an England game (the friendly against Iceland) kicking off at 3, it becomes clear that the drinking could start "properly" around 2 in the afternoon.

I would remind you hear that at the last party, I was still drinking at 7 in the morning after starting around 8 the previous evening. Like I said, I was hungover the next day... Same again this time round? I should hope so.

But I'm not an alcoholic. Remember that.

And where did i find myself this evening? Erm, in a pub. Dammit, I just can't keep away from the bastards.

Before that, though I watched the last episode of the little series on Channel 4 about Vincent van Gogh. It's been a very interesting and enlightening documentary, even for someone like me who couldn't really give a monkey's about the art world. The presenter was very, shall we say, eager, but he also gave some great insights into van Gogh's world. Highly recommended if it's ever repeated.

I also managed to catch the repeat (see how my brain works: I use the word "repeated" and it makes me think of something else I watched earlier in the day. I'd be so good at writing a stream of consciousness [and I don't care if using parentheses / comments in this way makes me sound as if I am up my own ass. I like making little comments like this, to myself as much as to any potential reader]) of the last episode of Friends. Isn't it great that she did get off the plane?

Excuse me whilst I go and throw up from all of the sugary goodness that Friends has been dragging out for the last series. Do you know what would have been better? If Rachel didn't come back, leaving Ross a broken man. Ha, that'll teach him!

Anyways, getting back to whatever it was I was on about. Ahh yes, the brief trip to the pub. We know this fantastic little place called The Holly Bush in the back streets of Hampstead, so we popped up there for a quiet beer on this gloriously mellow Sunday evening.

Of course, it was rammed. Nevertheless, the sheer quality of both the beer and the surroundings made up for the lack of elbow room. I was even asked if my name was Jake by this random blonde girl at the bar, because I supposedly looked like a friend of hers. Couldn't have been a particularly good friend if she'd forgotten just what he looked like.

In an ultra-smooth move (OK, so very cheesy and a terrible decision [and yes, I still like using these comments to myself]), I had to ask if Jake was her (direct quote) "astoundingly good-looking friend". Yeah, very smooth. It's a wonder the girls aren't falling over each other to get to me...

She at least humoured me, and it did look like a genuine laugh in response. I am so very good around good-looking women, can't you tell?!

Is self-deprecating humour a sign of hating yourself? Someone with more psychoanalytical knowledge than me, please let me know. I'm pretty good, if I may say so myself, at noticing my own faults and fuck-ups, and I quite enjoy pointing them out to myself too. I can smell the brown leather couch in the counsellor's office already.

And that's about it for the evening. We watched a quick episode of Family Guy (so very, very funny, with a wicked surreal quality) and then a couple of episodes of Jam (so very, very disturbing and scary. The most disturbing element is that you find yourself laughing at something so dark and surreal. Chris Morris is a genius, albeit an insane one).

And now I find myself typing all of this stuff, basking in the gentle breeze coming in through the window, and with Disturbed on in the background, providing musical relief. The perfectly relaxing end to a relaxing weekend.

Now if only I can sort out the rest of the summer to be like this, but with a continual income too, my life would be complete.

Oh, and a girlfriend too, that would be nice to have as well. Here's praying (I was going to write "hoping", but it's reached the stage where nothing less than praying will suffice. A few more weeks and my soul will be up for auction on eBay...).
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