HobbyHarri











{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.

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{October 20, 2011}   Self-Development and Graffiti

I thought that, seeing as the first year at University pretty much doesn’t matter academically, I should really try to talk advantage of all the extra-curricular activities available this year. <WARNING: BORING BIT AHEAD> Yesterday I went to a self-improvement event, looking at networking. We had to make a list of skills and then say what that means in a way that could make you hire-able. So for example; I can speak spanish, which means that I can work with a wider range of clients and work abroad. I think it would really help with CV writing too. <BORING OVER>

Today’s thing was a Graffiti class with the Art Society. We took taxis to another part of Cardiff and spent a couple of hours learning the basics of Graffiti art. After standing in the freezing cold spraying the word “Grapefruit” onto a very long board and getting fuzzy edges in some spots and dripping paint on others and so on, you really appreciate good graffiti more when you see it. It takes a lot of practice to get good at that as an art. That being said, we did a pretty good job on making ‘Grapefruit’ look jazzy. Unfortunately I forgot my camera, so it might be a while before I can get photos of the finished work up. They’re doing a canvas session tomorrow (with free materials), so that’ll be tomorrow’s thing and Friday is the watch-Derren-Brown’s-new-tv-show day, so that’ll be good.

I’ve also been interested in fairy tales recently after watching Anastasia and Thumbelina for the first time since I was a kid, so I’ll be working on those kinds of stories too. I’m particularly interested in the older fairy tales, like where the fairies were called ‘fay’ and weren’t tiny winged people but beings with a normal0sized human appearance that may be demons, who lived in another world, who were mean and powerful, perhaps even psychotic, who are unable to lie but will use wording to confuse and mislead… I love those kind of, uncomfortable fiction. You know the kind of fiction that you’d think twice about calling ‘fantasy’.

Midnight. I’ve watched too many weird Youtube videos today. If anyone’s interested, you can find there an exclusive online clip for Derren Brown’s new series (creepy and interesting), Tim Minchin, Jimmy Carr and Eddie Izzard on ‘The Green Room with Paul Provenza’ (funny and rude) and the newest installation of ‘Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series’ (random ‘lulz’).



{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”.

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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.

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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.



{September 30, 2011}   Performing Nerves

I want to talk for a bit about nerves. I’d like to say ‘specifically the subconscious kind’, but I’m not even sure that that’s getting it right… I’m talking about the nerves that you can’t feel, you can’t understand and you can’t compehend why they’re even there. You didn’t think “Oh, that bit’s so tricky, what if I screw up…” You didn’t feel butterflies in your stomach or your heart beat raise. You didn’t feel or think anything, and you have no reason to be nervous anyway.

And yet it happens. Whether it be because this time you’re recording the guitar piece that you’ve practiced and perfected, or because you’ve hardly performed magic in front of anyone before (no matter how good friends they are and how well you know them and they know you), or for no reason you can discern, it will happen. Your hands shake. They fumble at the chords and picks that, seconds earlier were flowing perfectly as though you’d known them for years. Now it’s like some weird game of tag where you have to plot ahead to get a chance at cornering and grabbing them so that you can hear them squeal in annoyance. Now that simplest of card tricks is something quite extraordinary, but not in the way you’d have liked, as your hands tremor with such a magnitude that everyone laughs nervously. The trick gets done, and all are amazed you could pull off such a feat when your fingers seemed so compelled to grant the cards their freedom. The speech that you were so proud to be giving suddenly becomes something to be nervous about… now that your vocal chords are chattering like novelty plastic teeth.

I hope that somewhere in the world of science, where the most intelligent of people are dedicated to research such topics as what chemicals will reduce the appearance of ageing and how can we make a hotel in space, there is someone trying to figure out what these phantom nerves are, where they come from, and whether practice really is the only cure.

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Prompted by my day of guitar practice. I’ve finally worked out how to play this lovely piece; ‘A Girl, A Boy And A Graveyard’ by Jeremy Messersmith. It’s one of the most beautiful songs I know, so it’s really great to finally have it worked out. Very difficult to play and I certainly can’t sing along with it just yet, but it’s pretty much there. I wish I could share it now, but there’s something about the guitar that makes it very hard to record normally. I think I may need to buy specialised equipment for it because it either comes out very quiet or horribly distorted. Not to mention the phantom nerves!



Ack. 2 weeks today I’ll be settling into Cardiff Uni. I’m feeling a large amount of evil joy at the fact that all the local kids are back in school – we have a small prep school down the road so we can hear their cries from our living room. Keeps my mind off any worries about the immanent future…

I’ve figured that any advice to do with things that need to be done in order to go to, enrol in and settle into University, is not useful advice. Once accepted, from then on in you’ll be guided through all the important & official things and prompted enough that the only advice you need is this: Pay attention and get on with it, but most of all enjoy the holiday and don’t worry about the future. That’s all.

Nonetheless I will keep recording my experiences and feelings through this whole process. I know how important it is for people to know what other people going through the same experiences are feeling. Knowing that other people are scared too, even if for a little while and even if they’re hiding it very, very well. That’s one of the wonderful things about blogging – I’m free to be perfectly honest and express myself, to tell potentially the world or no one how I feel and what I think, and to not care either way. I mean I hope so much that someone, somewhere will read something I write, and it’ll be just what they needed to hear, that it’ll help them somehow. At the same time, I don’t really care if no one ever reads these, because I’m just so happy to have this outlet where I’m being honest and true to myself. For me, I don’t think there’s anything more fulfilling.

Oh yes, that’s the other piece of advice Freshers need to know: everyone’s going to be nervous, scared and homesick. If you think someone’s not,  they’re good at hiding it (and you’re better at hiding it than you realise too). If anything, the more confident, energetic and totally un-insecure they seem, the more fragile they feel inside. To be honest (cos I can, ha!), I don’t believe this. I should. At the very least to some extent. I just can’t get to grips with the idea that other people, particularly the ‘popular kids’, are the same on the inside as I am. It’s an outsider mentality that I need to break, I’m sure it’s very irrational but then I’ve never known anything else, so..

We had a trip to the Morgan car factory today – very interesting but my love of things consice made it a little harder to endure. I’ll upload a couple of pics tomorrow, and if you’re lucky a short video clip showing off those beautiful cars, yes I’ll advertise tomorrow. And big bro made us s’mores for pudding :}

I think I’ll sleep well tonight. Sleep tight. xoo



et cetera