Storm and Stress

I sincerely hope you’re all up-to-date with my Summer so far. I don’t need to tell you how it went by using clichés like “life-changing”, but I’ve certainly returned with a different perspective.  Not necessarily a good one, mind.  Nevertheless, I’m glad I went. Enough. Other news? My camera had a black mark on the sensor, spoiling some of my photos, so that went to be repaired when I got back.  In case all of my intrepid readership were just about to point that small speck out to me…

I spent a week-end fixing that laptop with the “broken soundcard”.  As it turns out, a small cable on the motherboard had fallen out of its correct socket, and I spent £50 for Disking Godalming to tell me nothing could be done and I bought an external soundcard, after taking it inter-railing with me.  However, the minute I have some spare time when I get back, I can fix it.  I want my money back.  Computer specialists my arse.

No fewer than 96 hours had I been in the UK, I ended up being invited to tea at The Ritz by my family, which was posh.  Nothin’ like some scones and cucumber sandwiches for three hours.  It certainly makes up for budget-pizzas in Belgrade.

Ah, and I went up to London on my own to get a 16Gb white iPhone, something Carphone Warehouse and O2 Guildford have never even heard of.  I then proceeded to screw up putting on the ill-fitting invisibleSHIELD, while my number was transferred a few days later.  Apart from my dirtily rough edges, it’s a great phone do-it-all device.  Apart from the dodgy 3G coverage, the lack of MMS, a built in tasks app and the learning curve on the keyboard.  Actually, the keyboard exceeded my expectations, so I’ll hush my mouth.

My friend Nick Manners’ surprise birthday party went without a hitch, too.  Unless you count him getting paralytically drunk and vomiting on people a hitch.  A good time was had by all, even the comatose.  Racing around the streets of Guildford in my newly-repaired Fifi rounded off another week.  Fifi being my car, and no, I didn’t break it, there was a manufacturer’s fault with the doors.

Seeing as I’m having a bit of a rant (I started this blog on the 14th and it was to be an eloquent, mildy-philosophical piece of web poetry, but now I’m tired and ratty…), I’d like to have a little bit of a go at the NHS.  I had an eye check-up appointment with my lovely doctor at the Royal Surrey County Hospital.  Except, I didn’t see my doctor, because due to some administrative cock-up, she wasn’t allowed to work.  I don’t know.  Anyway, I get told that I need to have my pupils dilated (something that I haven’t had since I was a short-sighted fidgety five year-old.), which is a non-negotiable procedure (good job I didn’t drive to the hospital, wasn’t it?) and I see a stand-offish doctor and another, unintroduced man in my examination room.  What is he doing there?  Why wasn’t he introduced?  I hardly had time to bring this to the attention of my “doctor” (well, I didn’t see any qualifications on the walls…) before my pupils were the size of dinner plates and the fluorescent lights felt as though they were burning into the very centre of my retinae.  Even quicker was my examination, a few more painful lights shining into my eyes and I was told that my prescription had worsened.  By almost two dioptre.  Psh.  He didn’t even do the “Number one…or number two…” bit.  No “red or green?”, no “which line can you read?”.  And my pupils didn’t go down for nearly three days.  First thing Monday morning I went to a reputable Guildford optician, and had my examination re-taken.  This time, only a difference of -0.5.  Well there we bloomin’ go, that’s better.

What else happened?  Er, I went to a “Monster Mash”, I enjoyed the Olympics, my Sky+ box got fixed..?

Oh, wait, yes.  Results day.  That was it. Refreshing the UCAS system ’til 3 in the morning while watching BBC Three late-night crap/comedy gold/crap (delete as applicable).  Well, that didn’t prove very fruitful, as no-one from UCAS seems to actually operate in the small hours of the morning (they haven’t outsourced to a non-GMT place….yet.), so I groggily drove myself to school at about 11 am.  I got an A in English, an A in Drama & Theatre Studies, a B in French and a B in Spanish.  If you’re an Edexcel Drama A2 practical invigilator, I now detest you with a passion, given that my favourite performance piece, for which I had the largest part, garnered a module-crippling C.  Cheers, love.

Anyway, these results mean I comfortably got into RHUL.  Cue lots of enrolment letters and an online ‘campus-connect’ registration. Funky. I’ll meet my fellow captains of industry on 21st September.

In between all the exciting university correspondence, I went to Reading Festival 2008!  My third year at Reading, I saw lots and lots of bands, as to be expected from a music festival….but I also met Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius Pip, The Teenagers (exercising my A-level French) and We Are Scientists.  And made some new [Facebook] friends in the queue.  I’ve already booked for ’09.  I love student credit cards.  Credit crunch? Is that a cereal?  Turns the milk into….debt?  Repossesses your bowl?  Okay, okay, I’ll stop.

You’ll be pleased to hear that I’m off to Cyprus from 3rd-10th September, but hopefully I’ll start blogging more regularly than once a month, or in this case, once every two moths.  These late-night/early-morning sessions don’t seem to be good for much, sitting at home watching TV and rambling on the internet.

Bugger.  I’ve just taken a break from watching the US Open (it starts at 4pm and ends at 4am, coinciding with my new sleeping pattern…) to see Manchester Utd (yay!) get beaten by Zenit St. Petersburg (boo!) in the UEFA Super Cup.  Hear that?  That’s the sound of no-one, apart from me, caring.

I’m preparing for uni at the moment; buying exorbitant amounts of books but not reading them, looking at bed linen and crockery but not buying anything…actually, I’d better get on with some of this.  Time to get the next chapter of my life kick-started.

The first time is the next time
This time is the last time
And this time is the last time
’cause this time I’ll fight.

Ah. I didn’t factor in Freshers’ Week, did I?