HobbyHarri











I’m happy-tired. Great. Been stress-tired for too long now, but we finally have the family home to just the family for this Christmas break. Now the only reason I’m tired is that I didn’t sleep last night, not till about 5 am anyway. I read a whole book. I really hate insomnia, but that’s a nice thing to have done.

 

Today, we all checked last year’s resolutions & made some new ones. I did pretty darn well! I got into the University I wanted, settled down nicely, gave more time to my hobbies, watched over 100 films and started this blog. Great. My new ones are quite ambitious on the getting-things-done front, probably because of all the Sherlock Holmes media that’s entered my system in the last month (3 books, Guy Ritchie film & new BBC series, all great). Good role-model for ambitious people who can’t help but be lazy.

 

For my Hobbies:

I’ll keep blogging, starting today, 3 times a week, for the whole year unless I have good enough reason to be away.

I’ll generally get better at all my favourite hobbies, especially guitar, juggling, magic tricks and drawing. I’ll get practically well practiced in hypnosis and get myself a proper music practice room for all my guitar & vocal needs. Might buy a ukelele. Hoping to get back into acting now that I’ve learnt to take in compliments – apparently I’m good at acting.

I will read 100 books or stories. I serious doubt I’ll make this one, but who knows… maybe if you reach high you’ll find exactly what you didn’t expect to up there. Worth a shot anyhoo and I’m at 3 already this year. Do video games count as stories? Hmm. Maybe I should count visual novel style games. In which case I’m at 5 already. Bring it on.

I will write one book.

 

 

 

For University:

I will get my work done ASAP. I’ll start work the day it’s set and get it all out of the way at least within the week. No more last minute rushes. I’m abandoning my greatly honed expertise in brinkmanship.

I will be more focussed. I’ll do my best to make sure no day is wasted. There’ll be more of those wonderful days where I wake up, do personally important things for 10 or more of the hours I’m up for, and then a well-earned sleep with a good book and dreams about being admired by celebrities I admire.

I will apply for and hopefully get in to our department’s exchange student programme. If I’m one of the 2 people per year who are successful, I’ll be spending this coming semester of next year in a US IV League University. At some point I’ll also have to decide whether this is what I really want to do (fantastic opportunity, but I worry that certain other opportunities back in Cardiff would then be closed to me…).

I will take advantage of the University. I’ll look into other courses & see whether there’s anything I want to get more informed on – I’d love to know about forensic sciences & criminal pathology, both for my current writing project and for my own morbid curiosity. It’s always good to have reasons other than ‘curiosity’ to go looking at dead people. Also I’ll go to more societies to try out other skills, like ballroom dancing.

 

 

On a personal aside, I’d like to spend more time going to relaxing places and being relaxed. It’s great for writing inspiration and a general feeling of good wellbeing and worth as an individual. Can’t explain why self-worth, but it’s true. Go to a café & spend 30 minutes with one mug of tea, a notepad and a view of people passing by or nature. Appreciation in simply being in a beautiful, moving world makes you feel better just being you, regardless of who you are or what you do if anything. Well would you look at that – I explained it.

 

I just knocked my lampshade off my lamp. For a half second I was all crazy panic & all that, then I remember-realized it was just a fez I’d put over a bare office table lamp to make it less glarey. Plus it gives a nice warm red glow. I better go sleep now. I don’t want another sleepless night, even if it does bring me up the book-reading quota.

 

Good night, and here’s to another full year in which the world doesn’t end but in fact just gets better. Sweet dreams oxo

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{December 9, 2011}   Dear Future Self Of January 2012,

You know as well as I do that learning from your experiences isn’t always good enough. Sometimes you need someone else to remind you to do the right thing, and as is usually the case with us, that someone is ourself. All I have to do is give you the advice now and make sure that you get reminded at the beginning of next University term to read this. Actually, that last’s iCal’s job.

 

There is one, hugely-gugely, important thing that I must tell you and you MUST seriously take-in, despite its seriousness and your current want to continue just blissing your way through Uni life after such a lovely break and meeting all your friends again, but please, you MUST listen. And more than that – you have to really take this in. Really consider it, think it through, and then put it into action at the earliest opportunity.

 

 

Get your work done, you lazy toss.

 

You know it makes sense. Do it now while your mind’s still fresh and mellow, while it’s still non-urgent. Do it now… and it’ll never get you stressed. And you’ll really, truly have all the time you want for everything you love. Your friends are in the same head-space, even if they’re not all going to do it as early as you will, but they’ll understand, if anything they’ll admire you for it! Sure, probably in the ‘You’re crazy’ kind of way, but because it’s also brilliant, that makes it ok. Remember last term? Everything was left to the very last minute – the academic blogs, the essay on political economy, the one on offensive humour… even the research proposals were pushing it. As I write you haven’t completed a single one. They may be short, but you know that’s just another excuse to put it off. Imagine ending the term with no worries about work. Just enjoying the place as much as you can before you leave it again. You could go to the bay again. I can’t even remember when the last time I went was. You could sit down at the plaza and work on your book, or your Doctor Who episode(s). You could go practice your guitar & singing in the music school, or get a part-time job, or refine your juggling or magic or art skills, or learn to do ballroom dancing, you could go to the art society’s events at last. You could do so much without the burden of work to come. You know it makes sense.

 

So get your work done now you lazy bugger.

 

Lots of love,

Harri

 

oxxo



{October 17, 2011}   Back To The Blog!

According to the statistics section of my blog, two people found my blog by using this search: “6 year old kids drawing with teeth and interpretation”.

Huh.

I got curious and decided to try it out myself. I got as far as page 14 on a Google search and gave up. Whoever they were, they must have really cared out finding results to do with “6 year old kids drawing with teeth and interpretation”.

———

Well, my 3 day weekend of no blogging had a lot of success and just a little fail. I did next to nada on Friday and Saturday, just a little writing and my laundry – my first time so I made a big deal out of it. Sunday on the other hand was almost my ideal image of my life at Uni. I got up late for a human, early for a student, and after I had my breakfast I spent the whole day staying strictly to a timetable I wrote over Shredded Wheat & banana slices (in my ideal image there are no timetables). This meant that I spent between 8 and 9 hours of that day actually doing things (in my ideal image someone adores me for this).

 

I worked out that the best way to organise it was to spend 1 hour on mental activities like reading, writing, brainstorming, and 45 minutes on more physical activities, like juggling and guitar, and alternate between the 2 kinds. This way, each new activity is taking a break from the last one. The only problem was that with writing I usually felt like I didn’t want to stop, but then an hour’s a long time to be writing, so it’s probably for the best overall..

 

Now that I’m back on the blog, I’m wondering whether I should keep at doing this daily, or whether I should cut down on my posting. I’ve realised that, with all these hobbies and my increasing workloads, the time I’m given never seems enough. My guitar’s good, but I still can’t do that solo. My writing’s good, but I haven’t finished my fairy tale or those exercises, and I want to do more. I did loads yesterday, even exercise, but I didn’t do any art, or spanish, and I didn’t actually produce anything (nothing I’m willing to share anyway). I think I will cut down the blogging. That way I’ll be able to be more interesting when I post and I’ll get more done. This all may not look like much, but thinking of it during the day, what to write, actually writing it, editing bits, phrasing things properly… it’s an art I’m not yet used to. I think that like all my hobbies, it just needs constant practice. But if practicing this is getting in the way of improving my other hobbies, then I’ll just have to cut it back.

 

Basic summary: I now blog on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

—————-

 

It’s another lovely Cardiff night, but something’s not quite perfect… hold on, I have it…

 

I want a celebrity lullaby

Oh my god I love learning.



{October 13, 2011}   3 Day Weekend!

With my special timetabling skills and luck, I now have a permanently academics free Friday, giving me a 3 day weekend. Praise be to Metatron. Wow, poor Metatron… not even spell-check knows who you are.

 

Anyway, given that I have this time available and I’m finally entirely settled into life at University, I won’t be blogging till Monday – this way I can funnel my (almost) daily writing habit into my story writing and start at some of the projects that I’ve got planned. I think tomorrow I’ll start with some writing exercises (offset with physical exercises), and then get down to the project of my choice in the early evening (I would have said afternoon, but being a student with a day off, my morning will be starting at 12:00). If I get tired of writing, I’ll do my best to keep productive and work on my other hobbies. Perhaps I’ll have something to show on Monday…

 

Right, that’s enough explaining – I’m off to eat cheap chocolate, drink fruity tea and watch ‘Spaceballs’. Night-o!

 

 

Oh yes, and I have an Outnumbered episode to watch on iPlayer.



{October 1, 2011}   Smoke & Mirrors

Today was going to be a magic day. When I’m in the practicing hobbies mode, I tend to allocate individual days to specific hobbies depending on certain things. It tends to go that if I have lots of energy it’ll either be juggling or guitar, and if I’m just mentally alert it’ll be either magic or art. So today was supposed to be for reading up on magic history and/or learning/practicing tricks. I did the shopping (1st time in Lidl – they are darn good you know, great prices but the bread’s solid as Memory Foam), had another walk and supped a mini pot’s worth of Earl Grey while people-watching… all of this helps to get me in the creative-inventive-artistic mood.

Today was going to be a magic day, but then I realised how expensive socks are. That was my one big quest for the shopping day; to buy some more socks so that I wouldn’t have to do my laundry quite so soon. The first place was selling bad socks at a blistering £5 a pair. ALL the other shops had no socks – I got lost in one place for a while, apparently trapped on the bottom floor from which you can only get out using the hidden escalator. I don’t know how to explain this… but personally I find there’s something particularly panicking about being stuck somewhere, surrounded by bland, large lingerie. I guess some part of me remembers that episode of Father Ted a little too vividly. But also I think there is something inherently spooky about a section of a store filled with near-naked faceless mannequins and wispy, weird-shaped clothing that comes in mostly white, some black, and the rest in old-ladies’-stockings-brown. Even La Senza had that problem, extending their colour range only to include the occasional flash of red or purple – and they’re meant to be specialists in that area! It’s like hearing of the greatest magician in the world, and then going to his show and finding that he only does tricks with sponge balls, cards and the chinese linking rings. Mostly I’m left asking why it has such a reputation when all it sells is mundane, boring, and in some cases actually kinda repulsive?

 

Today was going to be a magic day, but all the walking and the searching and the getting lost and the scary bras and scary prices and the cig-smoke smell of the flat I retreated to and the fact that according to BBC iPlayer I can’t watch Doctor Who until tomorrow… I just feel quite glum now. I just want to sleep and get rid of this blue mist and neck-ache and start over again in the morning. I just don’t understand why anyone would smoke anymore. Is it still cool in some places or in some groups? We all know the harm it does now; real permanent, life-shortening damage. And not to mention the cost of the damn stuff. I bet students that party lots and smoke have a lot more trouble with their money. I just don’t understand what could draw people to it, and to stay with it, when we know what it really is now. I just can’t see how you could start, and how you could bare to continue. I wish I was strong enough to confront people about things like this, because if they can’t confront themselves with the reality of what they’re doing to themselves, then maybe what they need is for someone caring to tell them they’re wrong.

 

One interesting thing that I did notice with all that walking was how everyone seemed to be drawn to reflective surfaces. It seemed like just about everyone who passed a reflective surface, be it a mirror or store window, looked in to check themselves. I don’t really understand that personally – is it something vain? Or insecure? I mean I think I’d only do that if I was on the way somewhere important and needed to make sure that I looked smart before I arrived. But with everyone else… they’re just so attached. There’s no conscious need to check, they just see it and for a few seconds they can’t look anywhere else. I like mirrors. I like to see myself in them too. But getting briefly transfixed by myself while I’m out and about? It’s like looking at photos of a friend when you’re spending time with another friend; it’s nice to see, but now is in no way the right time. You can stare into your own eyes and turn about and smarten yourself up, sure. If you want to appreciate the moment though, shouldn’t that be pretty well confined to being on your own, prepping for the day ahead or when you’re bored or getting philosophical about what it means to be you?

 

I guess it was a magic day after all, even if it was a little convoluted.

 

I just don’t understand how anyone could find any magic in their smoke and mirrors. But then again, I’m sure many of them won’t understand how I can see magic in coins and roses.



et cetera