HobbyHarri











{September 27, 2013}   What’s Your Beef?

Having spent a lifetime in the educational system and half a lifetime pathetically rallying against it, I am finally out — dropped out, in fact, for a year of doing whatever the myriadic wants of my frustrated and greedy inner child dictate. This was the ideal I had planned before I realised just how frustrated and greedy this little brat is.

I am a hobbyist. I have too many interests to manage, and none of them strong enough to say what it is I actually want to do with my life, which at almost 21 is starting to worry me. Having lost love in the worlds of drawing, acting, and now writing too, my current ‘love’ is with videomaking, but nothing’s being made because I have videomaker’s block. I’ve started drawing daily to stimulate some creativity, but now what little I have is geared towards my drawings. I try every day to do something worthwhile, to follow some creative dream or another, but in the end, nothing happens. I’ve done nothing for my first month of freedom, and yet in my mind and body and my athiest’s soul I feel as though I have been working heartlessly for months. And now I’m ill because I ate 2 year old beef.

Let me tell you the story of the beef.

A few days ago, a friend of mine undertook a quest of the modern age — to reclaim our communal freezer from the Great Frost, and to salvage any lost treasures within. After 2 days of thawing and the unpleasant job of awkward cleaning (including mopping up unknown animal blood), he discovered just one item, one proud reward. A human baby sized hunk of vacuum-packed beef. After a long slow cook resulting in dog food scented slices in a sweaty brown puddle, I eventually decided to set aside my suspicions of the ‘Best Before’ year date-lacking beef baby, and help him devour the great haul. Needless to say, I got ill and he got the squirts.

2 years ago, I left home for the first time to study at University. It was an adventure — new territory, new prospects, new people and a new me. I’d found belonging in my month-old daily-updated blog, I’d found friends whose dreams and ideals actually matched my own, and I was on a course that would inform and support me in my vague dreams of being a great scriptwriter. I was so proud, so hopeful, and so looking forward to the future.

In my second year, I got ill. Something about the course and its requirements just didn’t sit well with me, and my body started to revolt against it. The stress of writing so many essays that I didn’t care about and having to back up every single ‘original’ thought with whichever dead theorist thought of it first was utterly disabling. I lost all my time, my peace of mind, and my joy. I lost myself.

When my year out is up, I will return to the educational system, albeit in a much less heart-numbing arena. I’ll be replacing essays with hands-on practice, and set questions with open-ended video-making projects. Maybe it’ll work out. And maybe videomaking will be the first hobby I loved that I didn’t fall out of love with. Maybe it’ll be another plate of suspicious beef. All I know is I’m drawing again, and I’m writing again, and soon I’ll be making videos again. I’m going to stop being ill, and I’m going to love my life again, and it’s going to show in everything I do.

Just you watch.

H x

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{July 26, 2012}   Oh God I Did It Again

It’s exactly one month and about 2 days since my last post. One friggin’ month! Ugh. So as I have so eloquently shown, anti-procrastination techniques are not very useful. I’d also like to take this moment to say that spot treatments don’t work either, seriously, none of them. In fact the best result I’ve had so far in fighting acne involved squeezing a bag of oats on my face. Explain that dermatology (how can it be a science?!).

Well, despite no blogs, cool stuff has actually happened, so here’s the short & short of it all:

1) I passed the exam I failed. You heard me. So however that happened, it means I no longer have to spend my holiday revising & then retaking that exam. Babooshka.

2) I acted in a short film – an end of year project for a nearby film college. Rediscovered the joy of getting involved in these sorts of things and how desperately I want to work in TV or film for a living. That being said I really don’t want to show you it. I’m not ashamed of it or unproud or embarrassed or anything, it’s just… it’s me. Me not being me, and I can’t tell how good I was at doing that, so that’s weird. But seeing as this blog’s all about being open & honest all the time, here it is; http://vimeo.com/44204700

3) My brother’s gone adventuring in South America. He’s filming the inca rally, an 8,000 km charity race from Peru to Guyana. Except it’s not really a race – it’s more like an exploratory adventure with the route as a general guide. Actually, it’s like those Top Gear episodes where they land somewhere foreign & try to get to the destination while steaming through gorgeous scenery, fixing car problems the local way and staying at un-English hotels where they offer guinea-pig on the menu, all with the vague idea that you’re actually competing against the other drivers. Oh yeah, and for charity. You can check it out here; http://theincarally.com/ And all of this he’s done pretty much entirely under his own steam. Wow. To celebrate the awesome, here’s Odin:

 

4) I’ve secured a good flat for next Uni year – the first one I saw turned out to be the only one I needed to see. Great location, good price, at least twice the size as my last place and with the most amazing kitchen I’ve seen outside of TV land. It’s so good, so much better, and mine! I’m gonna be a master baker in no time flat! Wait, that sounded wrong.

And lastly 5) I discovered the funniness that is Tina Fey. 30 Rock has been added to my list of favourite TV shows ever. Super funny lady! Man, those are rare.

And, it looks like I’ll be doing a bit more acting this weekend. More on that later :}

Until next time, ta ta! xox



{June 24, 2012}   Swanning About & Monsters

I’m away again! Visiting grandpa’s for a lawn party of some sort, which is a bit odd. Not a party person, lawn or club variety. My idea of a good party is building a pillow fortress, playing videogames then eating toasted marshmallows before going to sleep in the fortress. Hell, that’d be a perfect party. What the rest of the world thinks of as a good party doesn’t seem very fun to me. Anyway, today I have to swan around looking pretty for as much of the 2 hours as I can handle without going catatonic from the lack of electronic stimuli.

 

I have to admit, this blog is partly to complain hugely about what I’m missing out on – Back in beautiful old Cardiff, my student home from which I’ve been absent only a week, monsters have been unleashed on the streets. The Doctor Who Experience, opening down at the Bay in July did the most incredible promotional stunt yesterday by unleashing the monsters contained within onto the streets of Cardiff. Just one week after I left. My twitter feed was flooded with images of monsters wandering about all my favourite haunts & walking routes – an ood at Cadwalader’s ice cream café, silence in the food courts, a scarecrow by the Millennium Centre… I’m so depressed but so happy that they do things like that. Unhappy thumbs up to them. Still, with Cardiff my home for most of the next 2 years I can hardly complain. I’ll probably be in the DW Experience once a term. Check it out!: http://www.doctorwhoexperience.com/

 

Lastly, I’ve written the next instalment for my Dr Who fanfiction, ‘The Hollow Room’, which is very exciting but I’m refusing to release it until I’ve gone home and drawn an accompanying picture like all the other parts. Oh, I love it like a baby now. Not that I know what that’s like, but say you picked up my pink notebook with all the story notes, I’d probably shout at you and charge.

 

Gotta go look pretty and smile. Tarra. x

 



{June 5, 2012}   So, End of Term…

It’s strange. I keep getting up early to find the whole flat silent. It always tended to be quiet, but now that lectures & exams are done, people have no reason to get up at 8 or 9. It leaves me getting up at 7 or earlier and having several hours of silence, not just in my flat but around the whole courtyard. That’s 3 buildings of apparent emptiness. I keep wondering if I’m the only one here. Whether everyone who was left in my flat went home yesterday, whether I now have the whole flat to myself. I thought that might be a quite freeing thought, but this silence and the cold outside… it just feels off. It’s not quite right. It’s not like my life in student accommodation in Cardiff. It’s something different, and while it does give me, at last, time to read my many books and watch movies and so on, it feels kind of empty. Almost like I have no reason to be doing any of this.

I don’t feel it, but I think I might be lonely. I think what I really want right now is to have people around, if not people to have fun and watch movies with, then at least to be able to hear other students having fun together. Yup, that sounds like loneliness. Still who needs friends when you have a TARDIS MUG. OH YEAH, YOU HEARD ME (modelled here by Iron Man and Thompson).


And what a relief it is! Ahaha, I can’t tell you how good it feels to be free after all that! And what’s even better is knowing what’s coming up. First of which is no more communication module! Brilliant. As nice as some of the topics were and as similar as it was in many ways to my main course, it was in fact everything that I feared my main course could be – an excruciatingly, unnecessarily academic variation on something that should be gloriously fun and interesting to explore – the practical psychology behind media. I mean how much more interesting can you get than a topic that explains how the media, which is everywhere & effects us more than we know, possibly more than anything else, affects our lives – our interests, perspectives, how we interpret the world and people around us, all influenced by this massive machine of media regulated modern culture. All I was afraid of when I started this course was that it would turn out to be too academic and that I’d therefore grow to hate it.  Journalism, Media & Cultural Studies is wonderful. The only troubles I’ve had with it have all been of my own making and will hopefully be gone by the start of next term (procrastination, grr…).

So I’m free!

Ok, I’m not entirely free. I have to come back in August to retake one of my Communication exams, but I’m prepared this time. And anyway, it should be great weather in Cardiff in August. On a side note, look at this awesome:



It’s the 3rd and final term of this academic year. This week I have my last lectures and then I have nearly 2 weeks till my last coursework essay’s due and I have to take my first exam. Then another harder one on the 29th. Hahahahahaaohgodha.

Ok, I’m better now.

All this means is that I’m gonna have the springtime blues through May. The exams mean I get all nervy and excited during daylight and then blank and low at home, BUT GUESS WHAT?

So, I haven’t been on the blog in a long while because of work, or more specifically, me trying to do work, procrastinating magically and then getting tired and upset with myself for not actually ever doing anything. But the other day, I did a blog. And guess what else I’m doing now? WORKING! C’EST UN MIRACLE! Something about the exercise of writing creatively and getting feedback is giving me the power to write academically and NOT PROCRASTINATE! I’M SO SORRY FOR THE CAPS LOCK BUT I’M JUST SO HAPPY.

So I figure, if I keep my day productive, doing fun creative stuff when I can’t or won’t be academic, everything should work out on both fronts. Oh wow. It’s going to be so good. Over the next 2 weeks, I’ll be finishing my essay, revising for the exam, writing blogs and, at last, posting clips on Youtube. I’ll talk about this later, but my Youtube account will be a spin off of this blog, not an addition. Here, I strive to be open & tell the truth and blah-di-blah-blah. On the vlog, I’m just going to be silly and strange and make mini-plays and just have fun. I’ll plot on  that today alongside analysing the covers of two music records according to semiotic theory.

So you know all those people who apparently do everything and are still happy, like have school classes 9-4 then captain the volleyball team and do work experience at the local vets and chocolate shop and are masters of the violin and piano, and just make you go “How the hell can they physically-mentally DO all that?!” Well, maybe they can do all that precisely because they do all that. Maybe so long as you’re actively fulfilling all your wants and needs all the time, that’s what gives you the power to go on and do the stuff you’re more loathe to do. Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps.

So yes, just to say that this area of time that is normally stressful and hard, for me, ain’t so bad this time round. In fact, I’d go so far as to say HELL YEAH!

Love x



{April 30, 2012}   The Hollow Room ~ Part 3

The séance had been going pretty well. The five of them had gathered in an upstairs room, the one that felt the spookiest, and set up their Ouija board. George had done a lot of research into séances beforehand – how to conduct them, their history and scientific explanations – and so he had been allowed to lead. He was the master of ceremonies. He was electric. And she was enjoying it too. At one point, he caught her staring at him, and she blushed and her eyes flicked away, and she was smiling. What confused him about that was that what he was saying at the time was something about body decay after death. Given a moments reflection, he decided that at best she was only affected by him looking at her when she blushed. At worst she could have some kind of love of horror, or the taboo, or that it reminded her of stories about romance between the living and undead. Probably vampires. Yeah, must be. He could easily forgive that.

Encouraged by the creepy setting, their knowledgable conductor’s introduction and their teenage spirit, they began. George asked the empty room whether there was anybody there, and eventually the upturned glass moved under their hands, crossing the board to rest on the word ‘Yes’. The room exploded with disbelieving laughs and incredulous questions. How would they react later when things got really freaky? George was loving it. It was just after they’d learnt the name of this spirit that the glass seemed to jump from the board and they all started to shout. As the shouts began to wane, the girl in trousers screamed. And not long after, as the shouts were dying down again, two strangers broke down the door. The shouts began again, joined by the unknown man, and the pale boy stopped laughing to yelp girlishly. With the initial shock gone, the man’s shout turned into a happy hum.

Lyra stayed out of the room, looking in from beyond the doorway while the Doctor hummed showtunes at a room full of frightened and very confused teenagers.

“So, kids, how are we all today? And who are you?”

                                                                   “WHO ARE YOU?”

The short boy had recovered his baseball bat and now held it trembling towards the Doctor. Lyra had absolutely no intention of going in that room now.

“I’m the Doctor”

“WHAT DOCTOR?”

“…I’m not dangerous, drop the bat, I’m here to help. Please.”

He lowered it slightly. “Who. Are you?”

“I’m the Doctor, this-”

“Doctor What? What’s your NAME?”

“Who are you?”

“We’re paranormal investigators.” Lyra strode into the room, suddenly an image of professionalism and charisma. She gestured casually at her partner who flashed them a paranormal-investigations license and a showman’s grin.

She continued, “I’m Agent K, this is the Doctor. We’re here investigating claims that this house is a potential HOPA, or Hub Of Paranormal Activity.”

“But, no one knows about this place”

“No one except you all, a few locals and us. We’re very good investigators. I don’t suppose you happen to know why this place is so little known?”

Silence for a moment.

“Didn’t think so. Probably best it stay that way. Now our investigations here are strictly confidential so I’m afraid I’m going to ask you all to leave the premises and return to your respective homes.”

The Doctor had broken character a while back to grin happily at Lyra’s patter, and had been enjoying it enough that he had allowed her to do all the talking, but at the last comment he snapped out of it.

“What? No! That’s not true, you can all stay!”

Lyra turned to him and asked sternly, “Are you sure, Doctor?”

“Yes.”

“It could be dangerous.”

“Then let them decide. You’ve done a heck of a job selling it to them – paranormal, Agents K and Doctor, confidential… danger.”

He turned from Lyra and pointed at the girl in the trousers.

“You there! Well, all of you really but you especially – why were you screaming?”

“I wasn’t…” was all that was heard before they all started giving their own, entirely different answers and fighting each other to be heard.

“AaaaaaAAAAAAPAPAPAPAAAAAAAAA!”

Everyone stopped and looked at the Doctor – the professional paranormal investigator who was now standing in the middle of the room, arms raised above his head and yelling “AaPAPAA” to a tune only he knew.

“Now that I have your attention,” He turned to the girl, “what’s your name?”

“Amy.”

“Oh, that’s almost a perfect name. I knew a girl called Amy. Not much scared her really…” He crouched down to talk to her at an even height. “What scared you?”

“Just James doing a stupid prank”

“I was not! It was just you being stupid!”

“What was it Amy?”

“There was someone in the mirror”

He followed her gaze over his shoulder and leapt up to investigate the mirror – a wide, slightly hazy glass with gilded, dusty framing.

“Yeah! Yeah, ha –“

“-Shut up James!”

“You shut it, it –”

“Who did you see, do you remember what they looked like?”

“Yes –“

“–It was that guy!”

Following the pale boy’s outstretched finger, the Doctor turned around to face the opposite wall and jumped a little at the massive painting he had missed. Then he grinned so broad. It was a portrait. A grand old man, decorated in some combination of officer’s finery and school teacher attire, all held together with a scarlet coloured dressing gown. He was clean-shaven, but his face showed the pride of a man with a large moustache. The Doctor leant in to meet the man’s satisfied gaze and laughed happily to himself. Lyra went to his side and asked quietly, “Do you know him Doctor?”

“Oh? Me? Him? No. But that face? Could be anybody’s Grandpa!”

“Not with those clothes, he couldn’t.”

He paused for a moment as he ran a finger down the golden frame. Lyra never knew what to think in these situations. A silent Doctor was an unnerving companion.

“What’s wrong here Lyra? In this house, this house where everything is bleak and rundown, where there’s hardly any furniture, but this right here. It’s gilded. And huge. A pompous old man who cared more about his own appearance and status than having an impressive house? Noooo, those two go together. You wouldn’t live in a house without a kitchen, why would someone like him live in a mansion and not kit it out properly?”

“He might not have been living here. Could be a family heirloom or just something they bought.”

“Oh no Lyra. This man lived here.”

“…How do you know that.”

“Because she saw his ghost in the mirror.”

He winked, and she knew she had to play along for now and ask him questions later.

“So… we can stay?” The short boy had recovered from his earlier confrontation, and now stood before his team with resolve in his eyes.

“YES! You can all stay!”

At which point the door burst open, and a second Doctor ran into the room.

“You’ve all got to go. Get out, now.”

.

<The above is part 3 of a 7-part piece of fanfiction. No copyright infringement is intended>

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Part 1: http://hobbyharri.com/2012/02/27/the-hollow-room-part-1/

Part 2: http://hobbyharri.com/2012/02/28/the-hollow-room-part-2/



{April 20, 2012}   I WILL Be Back

Just a little update to explain my absence and tell you my blog plans for the near future. I’m really quite excited. And nervous.

I’ve got work to do – One essay, 2 exams. On the other hand I have a pretty cushy life and am at home not having to worry about groceries or getting my own tea. I’ve been procrastinating as usual, but I think I’m getting somewhere this time. Yes, I think I will actually have this essay done by the end of the month, instead of just by the deadline on the 16th, that and be totally prepared for my exams. Thankfully, this is my first year in University and I know that the first year doesn’t count towards your degree, besides the fact that you have to pass of course. THANK THE LORD. Which lord? I don’t know… The Doctor? See this is my problem – I’m far too distracted.

So, my plans for the future so you can look forward to it and so I can stop them praying on my mind so much.

1st, I’ll continue and finish my Doctor Who fanfiction story. Had so many ideas surrounding the story that I’ve got 2 series worth of plotlines. Oh dear. Hope I haven’t left people hanging on that cliffhanger for too long. But I PROMISE, that Part 3 will be up within 7 days. Be prepared! Questions will be raised! Stuff’ll happen! And then you’ll probably have to wait again. Such is life.

And sometime, I’ll start a videoblog. Yes subscribers who don’t actually know me, you will see what I look like! In fact you’ll see me before then as I’ll soon be writing up my experience at the Doctor Who Convention, including me in costume. But back to the videoblog. I thought that as I’m using this blog as a way to be honest, open and sharing with the world, I could start up a videoblog alongside in which I basically just lie and lie and be strange, which is in a way actually being quite true to myself. Only thing is that I don’t know if I could make videos involving me being silly or even talking while I’m still in paper-thin-walled student accommodation. I don’t want to come across insane.

Lastly, I will find a way to start sharing my hobbies. I’ve managed to put off anything requiring sound input by the simple fact that musical instruments distort too easily with the computer’s microphone, but I now have a good videocamera which will hopefully solve everything! Expect tutorials, song covers, original tunes and attempts to gather praise or honest criticism from you lovely strangers. But again, all to the mercy of my thin flat walls or ability to film outside.

Gotta go work now. There’s a comedy on TV. xImage



{March 29, 2012}   The TARDIS and The Blue Box

Wow. So little has happened over the last month, except the last 4 days when almost too much happened. It really has been incredible. On Saturday, the Doctor Who convention opened its doors to thousands of fans from all around the globe, and then again on Sunday. I’ll blog about my experiences there later when I’ve gathered more photos, but first let me tell you about the little event they had going on the side. Everyone who bought a ticket to the convention had the opportunity to grab a special free ticket. So on Monday, I handed in an essay, went to a lecture, had lunch with friends, and then at 5:15 I got on a bus to visit the TARDIS. Yes, the TARDIS.

Incredible, huh? I really can’t believe I was there. I was hoping to do a nice big blog about the day, but I don’t think there’s anything I could say that could explain it all better than these photos and my inability to expand on the subject. Oh yes, and my video at the end. The pictures are pretty, but the video will show you what it was like to actually be there. And personally the video is the only thing that makes me go, “I really was there, wasn’t I? Ha!”

It really is the most beautiful place. I wish I could sleep in there. Imagine living in a place like that.

Afterwards we all went to the iconic but lesser-known ‘Blue Box Café’, which you may recognise from Doctor Who Confidential (If you’re reading this Mr Moffat, if cost is a problem in producing more DW Confidential, you can get plenty of free labour from Cardiff. Me for starters. Viva Confidencial!).

And – oh, well you can’t quite see it, but all the lamps out there seemed to have the space-time crack in them.

I’m going to go away and design my own TARDIS set. I should be packing to go home or preparing my next blog on the convention itself, but look at this! Ahah, I’m too excited. One day, I’m telling you, I will be working on this show.

Click>> Tour of the TARDIS



{March 14, 2012}   I Have A Serious Problem

…with procrastination.

It makes me leave work till the very very last minute.

It makes me perfectionistic again

It makes me hate myself

It makes me lie

It makes me stop thinking

It makes me waste days and days of my life

It makes me feel powerless

It makes me stay up till midnight, 2 nights before the 2,500 word essay is due with only around 100 words written, just wanting to sleep and cry.

It makes me depressed – it stops me loving life

And it always happens. There’s a reason why I keep on going on about productivity in these blogs. And that’s because it kills me everytime I end up wasting days trying to work but doing nothing and never knowing why. I’m never so unhappy as when I’m hating myself for doing nothing. In fact, I’m only ever unhappy when I’ve been procrastinating. And everytime, as the academic year goes on, it gets worse and worse until I get to those days where I wonder if I should just give into pity and depression and just let the deadline go by and isolate myself at home in bed.

Everyone has one fundamental flaw. This is mine. I love life so much – I don’t want to waste any of it and I want to do my best. I couldn’t have a more ironic and painful flaw.

Tomorrow I’ll be blitzing the work because the deadline’s suddenly imminently prominent. I’ll work on it all day and most of the night, polish it off in the morning and hand it in just in time. I’ll then score average to high marks, as I always do, because I write well under pressure. So nobody notices.
Maybe then this time… I’ll get a low mark (my marker reads this blog), or  people will try to help me, or will question me when I lie to them about work.
I think I need help. And I need release. I want to change.



et cetera