{December 15, 2011}   This Blog Is Chocolate Powered

Well it’s nearly 1:00am now. I’ll pulling an accidental all-nighter. All my fault really – I got distracted by an RPG game… Next thing I know it’s 5 hours later and I’ve eaten everything in the house and my work’s still not done. It’s ok though, because I ate the last of the chocolate, so I’d be staying up anyway. Might as well push it a little further and get some things sorted.


I’m pretty much packed for home. Just my computer left to pack once I’ve finished all my errands & handed in my work. And then… I’M GOING HOME. Yes, my 1st term at University is finally coming to a close, and, much as I adore Cardiff I FUCKING HATE IT and it’s crazy weather – I got beaten up by a hail storm a couple of days ago and my legs STILL hurt! And all this constant work and quoting too many people because we get lower grades if our work’s all original… I do it injustice. I’m raging because I’m homesick and I just can’t wait to be sitting in the living room with a fire going, with the family, and the cat, brother making s’mores, watching The Simpsons or Boston Legal or the Royal Variety Show which was on yestereve on ITV and featured acts from Penn & Teller and Tim Minchin. It feels weird not being the one to set it up to record. And I want to be able to play my guitar louder and sing without worrying about people hearing me practice, particularly when my voice is a little off. And to be drinking tea all through the day. And Mackies ice cream with chocolate bits. And hugs and silly randomness, and home-cooked food…


My only worry about staying up now is that, with no food in the house & me expending energy with all this thinking & plotting (for the work, not for getting home), I’ll be getting hungry earlier. I don’t care if the little Tesco’s open 24/7, I’m not going outside in the freezing cold, crazy weather during the night.

I think I may need to go to bed soon, simply for the sake of hibernation till I can get food. All I have is gum from Lidl, 5 packs of teabags and a bottle of soy sauce… If paracetamol can get rid of aches & pains, can it get rid of hunger pangs?


Will forget about it. I’m just going to do whatever I can now without getting any serious mental blocks and then I’m going to lie down until I finally drift off. I may be going home today, but it’s a long day, and I need to be prepared.


Sometimes the idea of this being a place in which I force myself to be totally honest & include all I can… makes me quite uncomfortable. I was going to say it’s the English ‘stiff-upper-lip’ thing, but it’s really more like Spock, pretending that that emotion does not exist. I’ve said more personally revealing things before, but this all feels much more personal in some way… When in doubt, do what you can which makes you uncomfortable! This post is a long one, but if you’re interested in hypnosis or the psychosis of a wannabe-hobbyist-magician or student, then this should be quite worth it. There’s also a basic outline for creating hypnosis scripts about 1/2 the way through.



On Wednesday I met with friends for lunch. We probably should have been with the rest of the University, protesting the pension cuts, but I knew too little to be an effective protester anyway. Oddly, my friends got their meals within the estimated 1-hour wait time (very crowded due to people away from jobs, “protesting”) – very elaborate, pork belly steaks and hot pots – while I had to wait the full hour for my beef in a bread roll with chips. Food is my weakness. As soon as I bit in they were forgiven for the crazy waiting time. Ah. Sorry – re-imagining the meal.


Afterwards, I went back with my friend to her place for a good ol’ sleepover. She’s Finnish, so naturally we watched an episode of Conan. We had a laugh about the milkshake shop with shakes named after people (“I’ll have a regular Dave” “Who ordered the large Alan?”. Alan is very tasty by the way). Then I did something unusual. I was worried that if I share it’ll belittle the experience and make it less special. But my instinct here is to share absolutely… I want my life to be an open book. My instincts are telling me to share my life. I wish you could hear me say this, because on the screen I think it’s reading very ‘love me because of my humility!’ That’s not me. Edit: My friend approves of my sharing. Awesome.


Me and my friend sat down on the sofa, and I spent a couple of minutes hypnotising her. DISCLAIMER: Hypnosis in real life is not “look into my eyes – and now you’re under my spell! Mwahaha!” It’s more like controlling the mental state of another so that they’re more receptive to ideas such as positive affirmations or eating an onion for the enjoyment of paying spectators. But in the case that I used it, it’s entirely the former. It’s a state which is created by the subject being both open to the idea, relaxed, and trusting in the hypnotist. You may trust someone like Derren Brown as a hypnotist because you know he’s very good at it and very experienced. In my case, I’m trusted for our friendship, my positive intent and my good character (that’s about as close as I get to bragging right there). Also I’m told I have a good voice for it. What she didn’t know was that rather than spending some time before attempting to remember the basis of the script that I’d read this morning in my new book on cold-reading, I was making one up. I feel really bad for lying, but it had a great effect that I hope outweighs the fact that I lied to someone who placed so much trust in me.



I started by explaining the hypnosis myths as myths – it’s not mind-control, it’s actually about trust and willingness and ability to relax, etc. As a hypnotist, you absolutely must create some feeling of power, confidence, experience and/or trust. The more you have, the more powerful & effective your sessions will be. So if you’re a beginner, you may need to lie and pretend you’re already awesome, or be slightly more honest and explain how you’ve studied it a lot (I have) and you have a professional-made script (LIE) and that you think they’d find it interesting and beneficial (she did). Then I began;

1) Prepping to get her into the right state. This included some relaxation and awareness instructions (in particular the importance of focusing on my voice & what I say), and to keep it up throughout, a short breathing exercise that I repeated throughout the session. All with eyes closed of course.

2) Once in an open state, I used positive affirmations, all around the theme of luck and general optimism, repeating the idea of ‘good things coming to you, and you accepting them fully’. As I did this, I quietly removed from my bag a pre-wrapped package with the words “Hello, I’m a good thing. Nice to meet you!” written on the front, and placed it on the sofa.

3) Once I’d given all the messages I’d set out to, I started to bring her gently out of the hypnotic state. A positive ending is just as important as a positive start. It should be like waking up from a very pleasant dream, say where you saved the world AND held hands with someone you love & admire. You need to bring them back to reality gently, so that they’re alert and ready to get on with things, but also keep all of those feelings and affirmations acquired in the session all muddling around. A good way to do this is combine the ideas within a visual metaphor. For example, I said to imagine a staircase, and that with every step down, she’d get closer and closer to being alert and awake, and to generic good things that were guaranteed to come into her life.

Then, she ‘woke up’, gave me a testimonial that I should have recorded, and noticed the present.



A few days ago she said she’d love to have a pair of new, red leather gloves with a circular hole at the wrist with a band around. I decided I couldn’t live without gloves in this freezing cold, so I went looking for new ones and found the perfect pair – just as she’d described except with a heart-shaped hole. Perfect for me too. I bought 2 & wrapped one up for her. I’m not a fan of birthdays. And I only like Christmas because it brings the family together. Don’t get me wrong – LOVE piles of presents with chocolate and a big roast by a log fire and a Christmas tree and so on… But I really dislike the whole idea of buying presents for someone because it’s a certain day. In that sense I’ve abandoned Christmas and birthdays. Instead, friends and family can expect to get no presents on ‘special’ days, but to get gifts and displays of affection on apparently random dates, any time of year. Isn’t that much better? I don’t want to show affection because it’s the day that I’m expected to. I want to show affection because I have affection that I want to share.


Anyway, I wanted to share what the experience of being a hypnotist was like. I don’t think that I’ve ever read about the hypnotist’s experience. Maybe I’m offering something unique. Cool.

It is very strange. For however many minutes, someone is paying full attention to everything that you’re saying and the way you say it. They are putting their full trust in you. When I was coming up with the initial idea I was trying to come up with a sneaky comedy routine in which I could use the ‘eyes-closed’ format to steal some food from my friend’s plate. This was very quickly abandoned, as I identified food-theivery as the most heinous of betrayals one can do to a friend. When I saw the gloves, the trick became a treat. With that in mind, I cannot emphasise enough how bizarre it was to see evidence of someone putting all their trust in me. As someone with a bit of a prankster/magician’s mindset, it is just incredible to be able to see how strong the trust is, and then reward it. As a magician, you do reward with entertainment, but underlying it all is that fact that you’re lying to do so. With hypnosis… it’s pure.


I still want to pursue magic as my main hobby, but I sure as heck am gonna keep up with this hypnosis malarky.


I need to go eat now.


Today is November 23rd, and it’s my birthday. Temporarily. You see, last Friday, one of my friends was very ill, so I spent the day with my family instead. Now that I’m back and she’s better and we have no work due immanently, we designated this Wednesday to be my fake birthday. I spent an hour looking up magic tricks that I could feasably do over a lunch table, but when I got to the American diner and we got our food… it’s easy to forget these things when your stomach’s screaming ‘Mercy!’ and your tongue’s singing ‘Gimme gimme food, gimme gimme food, gimme gimme.’ Our portions weren’t even that big, but I’m still stuffed now (5 hours later, though I did eat more, though I also missed breakfast, though I did eat some popcorn later). I think I was the only one who was amazed that they had a salt and pepper shaker, plus a giant SUGAR shaker. My friends thought I was eating salt. If I were a true magician I would have kept my mouth shut and just poured a load into my mint-chocolate milkshake. I broke that illusion instantly, but they were still weirded out a little by my adding the sugar to my milkshake.

One of my friends gave me a lovely present – a blue & silver bracelet with a ring, a heart and a key on it. She said that she remembered that I like keys, and she saw me wearing a blue sweater that she liked & thought it would go well with it. Sitting here in my flat I can see the sweater, but at the time I couldn’t remember it. I think it’s bad policy to look confused when someone’s just given you a present. There was a table in the way, so hand hugs were in order. She also gave me minty chocolates. OM. I just ate one. They’re perfect. Possibly even better than After Eights, because these have a praline centre with little crispy mint chunks. Advertisement Break!: Thorntons’ Mint Batons. Because you want them. Mmm-mm!

Then to the cinema for the new Tintin movie. Already convinced of it’s brilliance by the cast (Andy Serkis, Daniel Craig, Simon Pegg, Nick Frost and Jamie Bell, but I don’t know who he is), the writers (Steven Moffat, king of Doctor Who, and Edgar Wright, king of general geeky awesome-crafting) and the director (Mr Spielberg), I was not prepared to be let down. And I wasn’t. The graphics were beautiful and constantly awe-insiping. That I did not expect. Nor did I expect just how good Craig would be at voicing the villain, or Pegg & Frost’s overly English accents, or the violence levels (Tintin had a gun in hand very early on in the film, not many children’s heroes use guns at all, unless shooting at inhuman monsters, usually with laser guns). And you know what? The balance between cartoon and real life that seems so strange in the trailers, is perfect. From the moment Tintin first stands up, I’m already lost in it all. When’s it on DVD? Can we see extras? I want to see Daniel getting pissed off about having to wear a leotard with a camera helmet. Andy must be quite used to those things by now – he was in one for Planet of the Apes, right? Must see that movie sometime too.


And the magic? Well, that film was magic enough for one day, don’t you think?







You’re right not to be satisfied with that answer. While we were waiting to be let into the right cinema screen, I did one short card trick for my friend. I felt nerves in my hands, but I must be a lot better now, because they weren’t shaking this time. I think that’s a first for me! It was only one trick, but I’m proud of it. It’s a variation of the typical ‘Is this your card?’ routine that I invented myself. After maybe two months of being proud of its uniqueness, I bought a little book of Tommy Cooper jokes and tricks and found my routine. It’s half crushing, and half inspiring. I guess it shows I’m on the right track, huh?


Night x

{November 1, 2011}   Mysteries and Experiences

It’s been mad. Just mad.


This secret event I went to over the weekend was a great leap in an unknown direction. I had a rather lonely, half pleasant, half food-poisoned 13 hour coach journey across and around the country before arriving in beautiful, harsh Edinburgh. My god the architecture… I managed a chat with a friend who’s placed there for University before a nice comfortable nap in my cheap little hotel – the Edinburgh House Hotel. I was going to leave it nameless, but then I remembered that it has several bad reviews online that are entirely unjustified. It’s a lovely little place with rooms like you’d expect to see in holiday cabins in American TV shows, plus a TV with freeview, a GIANT kettle with plenty tea and a sizeable ensuite. And despite what they say, very comfortable, soft, silky beds. And quite cheap.


After that, I met with my mystery accomplice to eat a hurried sandwich supper before rushing to the Secret Event, dressed in our Halloween finery and masks for anonymity. While I’m unable to divulge the specifics, I can say that we were treated to a gallery of ghosts, we threw paper at our host, we contacted a dead musician, and our host killed a girl in Satan’s name while we all laughed. I may be lying, but I haven’t lied to you so far. Incidentaly, my accomplice managed to nab a ghost in the lobby before it got away. It seems it was a happy spirit.

Afterwards we retreated to the cosy cabin of a room and watched the 2nd of Derren Brown’s new series, The Experiments. Such a joy to watch something LIVE after 6 weeks of Youtube, iPlayer and DVDs. Not to mention a very impressive, creepy show. After being disturbed by Derren, we flicked over to a new QI and decided we were too drowsy to continue watching. If only Stephen Fry read bedtime stories.


The next day, I absolutely couldn’t face the coach back, so I took the train back home – to REAL home. I spent the day with my lovely family and was treated to home-cooked foods and gifts from abroad including a box of Turkish Delight. And finally, in the morning I was straight back ‘home’ to Cardiff. Wow. 3 countries in as many days. I still don’t believe it happened.




The lessons I’ve learnt:

1) When travelling, stick to safe foods. Never have fish, even if it’s from a shop you know and trust.

2) Travelling on your own is fine. It’s something I know I can do, and can actually quite enjoy if not chucking up. But company makes it so much better. If something happens to go wrong, you not only have someone to help put it right, but someone to raise your spirits and stop you from feeling lonely and drained.

3) When planning ahead, don’t just think about all the practical things like tickets, money, accommodation, etc. Keep in mind the entertainment and social aspects. I forgot that I had a friend in Edinburgh. How dare I. I was lucky I was able to get in contact at such short notice.

4) Always prepare for every eventuality, especially where money is concerned. I didn’t expect to get that ill. And I didn’t expect I’d get that lonely either. So I didn’t expect I would be so adamantly against taking the coach back after prepaying for it, and so didn’t pack my railcard, increasing my ticket from £80 to £120. In the words of my mystery accomplice, “We could have flown to America!”

5) There is a strong link in me between the feeling of loneliness and the experience of an empty stomach.

My plans for yesterday died after spraining my ankle and becoming house-bound for the day, but today, everything happened.


Thankfully, my foot was better in the morning, so the unusual plan I had for the day went ahead – going to a rugby match with a friend. I don’t watch sport, ever. I don’t watch it or play it – I’m just not a sports person. Technically I didn’t go to a proper match, as we went to the Millennium Stadium along with many others to watch the game on a big screen transmitted from Australia. But it was good enough for me. We saw a lot of red dragons, daffodil heads and cute kids waving flags at each other, dancing and generally enjoying themselves without the aid of the match. We watched the game, learnt the rules, cheered at the goals, “-Oogh!”-ed at the injuries (plenty of blood there) and generally got carried away with it. That and chatting with a very talkative new friend of ours about methods of swearing, and other intellectual topics. I was surprised by how entertaining it was, but mostly it was the comradery that made it so enjoyable – chatting and cheering and complaining about a certain player being unable to get tries and waving and clapping and not leaving when half the stadium did when it reached time and so looked like Wales couldn’t possibly win, and standing to applaud when they finished the game with a successful try. They lost, but there was a little victory within that. I’ve agreed to go to another game with them tomorrow. Who’d have thought it? Me going to sports games…


What happened afterwards is a little hazy – as is the way with extended inactivity. We went to a market and had full English breakfasts fried up on the spot, then we went to a café and spent maybe 3 hours having tea, hot chocolate and coffee, and generally relaxing and enjoying the music. From there we explored the victorian arcades a little, tried some perry, found a cosy pub, and then went to the Students’ Union pub and had tea. Simply put, besides walking, talking, eating, drinking and sitting in comfy seats, we did nothing for about 6 hours.


At 6, things picked up again as we went to celebrate another friend’s Birthday from several days ago. This apparently meant to him that we would all eat vast amounts of sushi and he would pay for all of it. Sushi is expensive. Now entirely stuffed to the gills with, well, fish gills, we thought we’d spend the rest of the day at the cinema, again paid for by him. The nutter. Of course I then found room for more and bagged myself a bag of popcorn alongside. The birthday boy fell asleep towards the end, but the film wasn’t wasted on us overall. I think I’ll review it on Monday. Right now I’m quite tired, and I just want to close my eyes. It’s been a very long day and I’m not used to spending such a long time being social.


Tomorrow, there’s a ‘Silent Disco’. This is where , instead of a disco full of “pumping tunes” and “super-bass”, you have a quiet room full of people listening and dancing to the music that they hear through their headphones. You’re supplied with a special set with 1 or more music channels, so you can dance to the same music as your friends, but also choose to a certain extent what it is you listen to. If you don’t like the music, switch to another channel. If you want a break from the noise or want to hear you friends when they talk to you, simply take off the headphones. Surely this is the perfect scenario for crowded-noisy-area-haters like me? I’ll soon find out.


Sleep well. I will. xox

Do I go out for food or eat what I’ve got?

I have Miso soup – should I buy noodles to eat with it? And veggies?

I have peanut butter & bread – but I’ve had that twice in the past 3 days – is that healthy?

If I go out how far will I have to go to find what I want? I want to eat now.

What do I want anyway?

I have to go out sometime to buy the Die Hard Trilogy that the store set aside for me.

I have chocolate.

I could eat chocolate.

Then I’d have an energy boost and stave off the hunger a little while longer, so I could buy the movie & a proper meal.

If I go out now I’ll need to buy for supper as well. That’ll take longer.

I want to keep the chocolate till I need an emotional pick-me-up or general comforting.

I could have some peanut butter. I could have a half sandwich.

I kind of want pasta bolognese but I don’t have plate. Would a bowl work just as well?

My feet are kind of sore. If I go I should wear trainers, not boots. How far is it to the dvd shop?


F*** it, I’m having soup.

{September 3, 2011}   The Joy Of Pickle

The productivity today is the kind that puts other days to shame. Woke energised, happy to leave my comfy warm bed, went downstairs & sorted out everything! I’ve sorted things with Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs and filed about a wardrobe’s worth of papers, books & folders from school, haaa..

I’ve got the same hunger pangs as yesterday, but I guess this time it’s brain food. I had hoped to make it a day for magic trick learning, but after all that I’m plastered to my guitar & paying intense attention to the TV. HUgely looking forward to Doctor Who in an hour in which there are monsters under the bed for real. I Love Doctor Who, that’s one of the fundamental things you need to know about me – I will work for that show some day somehow. I will.

Mmm, Cornichons… that’s the 3rd thing I’m doing now, eating mini-pickles straight from the jar, very vinegary, could hardly be happier right now – wait, Bowie music on the tele! Ah, happiness! Shit, out of gherkins, must hunt/gather.

Well, perhaps if I get more sorting out of the way today while I’m still in the mood then I can have all of tomorrow to focus on either hobbying or blogging about preparing for Uni… I may do both.

{September 2, 2011}   Booster!

Well today was my dad’s birthday so we had cake after breakfast & a soundtrack of the Kinks to the morning – great, simple, pleasant day. My neck was fixed in the night & I dreamt of adventuring & saving everyone in the dream hotel who gets sucked into this scary parallel world at the end of each day. Why? Well while sorting through my room I found this old rabbit doll that I don’t ever remember having. He looks pretty grumpy in a sinister way, so I named him Frank (from Donnie Darko, love trippy weird films like that).

Ma & Dad had a spa day after lunch & bro left for Amsterdam (and to think we’re at the poor end of the rich kid spectrum – the hell do they do on a normal Friday?), so I had the house to myself for about 5 hours. I spent the time getting back into doing exercises again. I don’t know what I’m going to do when I’m living in Uni… all the constant inputs from everywhere & everyone will mean I’ll never get that bored to care about the future of my body. I’ve taken some photos to make a before & after and made a note to try to do exercises every day for the next 3 weeks so I’m in shape for trying out bunches of athletic societies at Cardiff.

Still, it is incredible what proper exercise does for your energy. I knew it was good, but I’d forgotten just how good it was – I’ve been racing around the house all day & getting little jobs done, quick shower, juggling session, more tidying, lots of singing, and my appetite’s exploded and I’m telling you; if you’re not a permanently lanky kid, you have no idea just how satisfying it is to find yourself eating much more than you normally do. Not to mention I Love food.

Oh, & I drove Ma mad this morn by finding her chosen card once and then making sure it appeared at every possible moment in the most improbable places. Very hard to describe but it’s very fun & surprisingly impressive. Oddly though I got tired of it before she did. Apparently she “misses” having the 9 of Hearts appear under her plate or on the door or where ever, constantly. I thought It’d piss her off. I’m not sure I want to keep doing these sorts of things now – I don’t want her to miss me too much. It was hard enough when bro left for Uni, but this time there isn’t another child at home. I want her to be proud, not heart-aching.

Next week me & Ma are hoping to go day-tripping in London, maybe find Davenport’s magic shop, maybe get into a TV audience if we can. I adore behind-the-scenes stuff, plus I could learn a thing or two. I’ll be involved in TV making one day – it’s my one true ambition – I just don’t know in what way…

et cetera