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 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 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 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.



{February 13, 2012}   Catching Up & Valentine’s

My world has been lagging a bit recently – but no more! *Superhero pose*

 

I’m training myself to have more energy and drive during the days by gradually setting my alarm earlier & earlier. I’m only getting up at 8:30 at the moment, but it shouldn’t be too long before I’m back into my school routine of getting up at 6 and doing yoga or something for an hour before going about being generally proactive. If you find yourself feeling like you’re on a low ebb on a daily basis, try this (at least the alarm part) –  it really works wonders for me.

Also, I thought I was getting ill, so I took the ultimate precaution and stayed in bed pretty much all day on Saturday eating 12 of my 5-a-day. Sorted. My skin has a healthy glow besides the tired eyes & unexplainable spots (maybe if I ate more fruit…).

And Uni work? Well thankfully there’s not much yet – coursework begins later, but we do have lecture & seminar work, which has been a bit of an uphill struggle this time. In journalism, we’re learning how to deconstruct media to see how everything is designed to manipulate people into buying the product. I love it – practical psychology. But I’m really struggling to get the terminology right and analyse media properly, which is tiring because analysis is the sort of thing I really want to do well in and usually would… Wanting and trying but not succeeding is such a depressing experience. But I’m gonna get through it! Yeah!

 

Anyway, I noticed that I haven’t done a lot of writing recently (besides the blog) despite the fact that I want to write screenplays and books for a living. I think I’ll design a writing exercise for next week. Something like I have to write a short story next week and post it on the blog… I make no promise, but I will definitely have a proper writing project on the go.

 

 

Valentine’s day is rolling round tomorrow, so I’ll let my friends have their… fun, and I’m going to spend my day at the place I love – bonny Cardiff Bay! I’d bring my guitar but I’m sure it’s still to cold to sit & play, so my notebook & my thermos of tea will be my companions. Maybe I’ll have an early night too, just in case one of my flatmates & their love want to… have their fun. Whatever, I think it’s going to be a lovely day for me. Cafés, tea, lovely snacks, a notebook and some scenic beauty – what more could I ask for?

 

A house there I suppose. And lots of money. And a job with Doctor Who – Oo! Can I help with a new series of Doctor Who Confidential? Yeah, those are the unreasonable extras I’d ask for.



{February 9, 2012}   Mysteries

There’s a few mysteries that’ve been on my mind lately.

 

1

First is a rather pressing but boring one – the Curious Incident of the Drunks in the Night Time. A couple of nights back I was lying in bed, having a wander through the Google-sphere. Outside, there was a gradual crescendo of looping songs from a large group of young, pissed students. When they finally reached our courtyard, the sounds only decayed and renewed whenever they forgot what they were singing or someone reminded them. Sounded like the girls in the group had come to visit someone in particular. I hope so, otherwise they were shouting friendly obscenities at strangers’ windows. Eventually they gave that up and I could hear metallic-plastic thumps and rattles with girly laughter – the men picking fights with the trash dumpsters, egged on by their potential bedmates. You can probably tell I’m not a fan of this form of entertainment. It does seem my writing gets more upper-class the less content I am with the world around me. Anyway, what followed was a hushed activity – by sound they seemed to move closer, but downwards from me. Knowing the only two routes that way and judging by the sudden conspiratorial murmuring, I searched for my headphones. Unfortunately I couldn’t find them, so I had to get a coat & go outside to wait for the fire alarm to stop blaring.

 

Today we all received letters explaining the severity of the matter – how it’s not just antisocial but against the law and so on. The problem is, if no one owns up, everyone in the block will have to split the cost of the damaged equipment. I don’t want this. Now, I have hopes that they’ll make the mistake of drunkenly attacking our fire alarm again so I could sneakily take photos of them, or that at least one will remember what happened and own up. Unfortunately, I have HIGH bets that this won’t happen. I mean besides the natural ‘people won’t own up to antisocial behaviour to lessen the majority’s issues when they can get away with it’ and the fact that people, drunk or not, tend not to attack fire alarm systems, let alone the same one twice.

 

The facts that the girls were visiting someone they knew, they were rude, they then egged on the boys to have a whack at the dumpsters, before finally activating the fire alarm in this block and disappearing, not to return… They don’t live in this block, but the person they were targeting does – with their verbal jabs not having any or any significant impact, they decided to get to the target another way – first by a bit of noise, possibly intending to tip one of the dumpsters over to create noise, mess & annoyance, possibly thinking it could wake their target up or at least annoy them in the morning (drunk logic is never perfect). They then thought of setting off the fire alarm – the ultimate annoyance, after which they fled the scene. They don’t live here, so they won’t even have had the letters or threats of everyone being charged. In fact, with these motives, they’ve had a double victory. There’s nothing I can do but keep my camera handy & hope.

 

 

 

2

The ending to Series 2 of the BBC’s ‘Sherlock’. I just rewatched the Sherlock finale with my friend – her first time seeing it. Noticed far too many things that were odd. Now I have loads of evidence picking at my head, loads of theories. I’m going to force it all to rest because I’m sure that whatever the solution is it won’t be entirely contained in the evidence provided – there’ll be lots of things we just had no way of knowing beforehand. Plus the only theories that fit so far aren’t very dramatically satisfying. But who knows, maybe they’re only dramatically satisfying once they’ve been dramatised. Either way, I have absolute faith in the writers, and I don’t want to spoil my epic surprise much more than I have already. I will write a list of all the suspicious things though… but this blog won’t see it at least until the reveal is aired. I don’t want to risk helping the army of spoiler monkeys out there who are actually trying to work it out, & then to spoil it for the rest of us. Even though I’m sure that they won’t be able to :}

3

Not really a mystery as such, at least not one that needs solving. There’s an unknown graffiti artist around my area that has a very pleasant signature piece. Most numpties that get ahold of spray paint just write things, like their name or something stupid like that (who the hell writes their name at the scene of a crime?). But this one is good. Not only is it an actual picture, but it’s a simple, well-done and smile inducing picture. All of these cropped up in quick succession and I haven’t seen any new ones since. All of them in monochrome except the most recent one. But they’re so nice, I can’t see why anyone would object to having them dotted around the neighbourhood (unless they were on their house or place of business – the reason why one’s been painted over already). Anyway, here’s a couple:

As you can see from the surroundings, it makes a nice change from both the bleak concrete walls and the typical scrawls and edgy bubble writing you tend to see everywhere.



{February 2, 2012}   -EEEOOOUUUREEEOOOUUUR-

I don’t know about other Universities, or even other campuses, but our campus has a sneaky way of encouraging students to leave the Uni residences, both on a temporary and permanent basis. Fire alarms are constants. Even after a whole semester here, people are still occasionally forgetting to cook properly. I hope it’s because of alcohol. Drinking is the only excuse for burning your food after a whole semester, and there’s no excuse for drinking, really… That doesn’t make sense on paper, but it does in my head. I should think that through.

Anyway, despite all this, every week an official visits each house and turns on the alarm for a couple of seconds to make sure it works all right. When you’re sitting inside, quite content and lazy, and you start to hear the loud, 2 second klaxons going off around the courtyard, getting slowly closer… personally, it makes me suddenly want to get out. It’ll only be 2 seconds when it finally comes round, but that doesn’t matter. Even if I’m in the building when the alarm goes off, I’ll still be urging myself to just get out. It’s a primal impulse. If it wasn’t so cold I’d be quite glad for it actually – I’d’ve gone for a nice long walk to the Bay, had ice cream & tea & done some doodles & sketches, and walked back again. It’s good that I got out today anyway, even if it was just to the same café to make notes about what I’d like to do over the weekend. But even if this stuff is good for me, I don’t want these weekly alarms. Not even for 2 seconds. Next year, it’ll be quiet.

 

Spent most of the day watching old Disney films. It’s very strange watching them after so long – all the bits that I remember vividly, and the bits that I don’t remember at all but now seem so important – if other people didn’t go on about it I definitely wouldn’t have remembered Bambi’s Ma dying. It’s not that sad, people. Anyway, I’m going to be watching plenty more, so I’ll say more in a later blog. Going to curl up with a thermos of tea & play my Attorney game. Sounds boring to you, but ha ha to you who dismisses the Ace Attorney series, because they are some of the best games I’ve ever played.



et cetera