HobbyHarri











{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

Advertisements


{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



{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 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.



{January 31, 2012}   University, 2nd Semester

As is always the way, it’s all flown by, but at the same time it feels like I’ve been going to Uni for at least a year now. If it carries on at this rate, by the time I’ve completed my degree I’ll feel like nearly a decade’s past. Despite all this, I still walk into lectures and wonder if I’ve gone to the wrong room. You’d think after 3 months I’d feel some kind of vague familiarity with the mass of unnamed but regularly seen fellow students of journalism, but no. Instead I get the strange, solitary but strongly independent feeling I always get when first joining a group of total strangers. The only difference between now and the first semester is that there’s no first day nerves and no one’s awkwardly trying to befriend their seat-neighbours. Besides all that, it’s just like how I left it.

 

I’m worn out already, mostly from the cold, so I’ve spent a lot of time tucked up warm at home with earl grey, thinking about all the things I want to do. I’ve made lists. And deadlines. I’m working on a spare-time-timetable. Is that strange? It’s probably the effect of the New Year & my resolutions. Also a lot down to the fact that I’m a student living in a vibrant city that I love. Now if only there was a kind of high-paid job I could work towards that involved playing guitar, juggling, drawing and/or any of my other hobbies… I’d be over-loaded with motivation & productivity. I don’t want to be behind a counter.

 

I’m thinking about jobs a bit now because I’ve been looking for my accommodation for next year. I’ve been advised that 1-person flats are the most expensive, closely followed by 2-person flats. It’s only when you get to 3 or higher that you really start to see savings. That and small, not too expensive flats are few, if not non-existent between the Bay & city centre. Basically, I’ve been advised to share with 3 or more people & look for houses further north. But I’m still hoping. Maybe someone in the family will win the lottery or find buried treasure (if anyone, I’m betting it’s my brother – he has the Indiana Jones Factor), or maybe an amazing job will come along that’ll pay well & be creatively stimulating, or maybe I’ll find a perfect flatmate with loads of dosh who’d be willing to split the rent unevenly. And who’s lovely of course. If you’re reading this Mr/Miss Perfect Flatmate, I’d only share if you were interesting and/or lovely & our lives complemented each other enough – I wouldn’t use you for the money. Though we would need some.

 

It’s a bit of a waiting & staying informed game. *Sigh* Still, at least I’m not out “on the lash” every night, wasting money on cute clothes or lying in bed all day. Who knows, maybe if I save enough on my spending I’ll be able to afford a good place? It’ll all work out somehow. Eventually.

 

Off to watch Disney.

 

Sleep tight.



There are few things more intimidating. But of all the things that intimidate me, very few force me to eventually undertake them. Which is why exams are wonderful, wonderful things that I hate. Gotta overcome all my fears at some point, and this one’s making me do just that!

 

University exams however (at least for the 1st semester) are a doddle compared to the last ones I took. I guess the trauma of IB exams made me forget what 1st year exams are like. Very relaxed now. Have 1 more exam tomorrow & then I’m free for a whole week. Oh all the things I have planned… as much as I’d like to say how I’m looking forward to catching up on my reading & visiting the Bay regularly & writing & so forth, let’s face it, right now all I want to catch up on is sleeping time.

 

And if you want to be productive, there is one thing you can do, which I recommend above all else: Set an alarm for a set time (say 7:00), leave it somewhere away from your bed & go to sleep. When the alarm wakes you, get up & turn it off immediately, don’t go back to bed, stay active and keep in your mind whatever you wanted to do today, and as soon as you’re awake enough & have had breakfast, go to it. I’m telling you, there is no better way to be productive than waking up with a purpose and not lying in. When I did that yesterday, I did 5 hours revision almost solidly – I even interrupted my break times because I was so impatient to get back to studying! If you need something doing, if you want to be able to pursue any motive wholeheartedly, do this. It will not fail you. Though, if you do all this and then find Youtube, it’s broken, alright? Relax by doing something else, nothing passive – instead of watching the TV, practice juggling or do some stretches or sketches or reading or something – just stay involved, but change the type of activity so you’re switching between work & play.



{January 17, 2012}   Doctor Who Makes Learning Fun!

I love Cardiff.

 

Exams are stupid.

 

I said last time I’d write about the new Sherlock series & movies, but that’s going to have to wait till the weekend – I’ve arrived back in Cardiff & am preparing for the first exams of my University year on Thursday and Friday. I can’t afford to think about anything else. I tried to concentrate on it all really well today – look! I even made a day planner with The Doctor on it;

But yeah, that failed a little – I found it really hard to stick to it because I was feeling ridiculously restless… like I’d had a sip of coffee AND got stumped by a really interesting brainteaser. When I went out to return my books I went on to a nice café I know – a real haven for piece of mind, despite the volume of the music. And there I had the antidote to a restless temperament – tea, with mint ice-cream.

When I came back I was able to do more revision, but without the routine of a day spent  studying I just struggled too much to keep it going. My flatmates don’t really help. I’m an introvert surrounded by extroverts. I wish I could just live & breathe the purpose of revising for the exams for the next 3 days, without people disturbing me. In this kind of headspace, socialisation is a threat. Next year, I’m going to need a place of my own. Either that or just 1 flatmate who understands me enough to deal with my moods. I’m going to go to bed early and get up early when no one else is up. I’ll have the peace all to myself, and I’ll use it well. And if they get up & start being noisy again, I’ll just have to take my revision to the lovely café. And this time I’ll dismantle the pillow fortress that is my current sleeping arrangement. As unbelievably comfortable it was in the morning, it made for awkward, light sleeping filled with heavy dreams. I’ll be ready & focused tomorrow. And next week, I’ll be in utter bliss…

Night-o.

o



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



et cetera