My ear saga

As I'm pretty sure I've already mentioned, I have a blocked ear. I've had it over a week now, and the reason why I haven't done anything about it yet is because it unblocked a couple of times, and then just reblocked again. I got some olive oil drops from the chemist that I was supposed to use for up to week, but they haven't worked. To add to my misery, on Monday I woke up with a cold. You know how you can usually tell if you're going to get a cold, like a bit of a dry throat, maybe a bit of a runny nose? Yeah, I got none of that this time. I went to bed Sunday night feeling absolutely fine (other than my ear), and I woke up the next day sniffling annoyingly with a fully fledged cold. Wonderful, now I'm completely bunged up and incredibly irritable. 

Enough was enough, and I pledged to go to the doctors and get my ear syringed, which I've had done before a couple of years ago, and it is instant relief, just what I need. I set my alarm for 7.50am this morning so that I could ring the doctors as soon as it opened at 8, because if you don't call first thing then you'll be put on hold for the REST OF YOUR LIFE, as doctors surgeries are very busy places. I managed to get an appointment for 10.15, so I was pretty excited to finally get rid of the ringing in my ear.

I got Daf to take me down so I didn't have to wait on my own, and it was a good thing too because I was kept waiting for ages. I could feel myself getting more and more infuriated as people who were coming in after me got seen to before I did. Just before I was about to go up to the receptionist and say, "Hey, I've been waiting way longer than that baby!" my name got called. Finally.

When I got to the doctor's office, she asked me if it would be alright if my appointment was filmed for training purposes or whatever. I wasn't really keen on the idea but I didn't want to be a bitch so I told her that it was fine, and she went over to the corner and switched on the camera that was propped on the table-top. The following exchange went something like this:

Doctor: "So, what do you do, are you a student?"
Me: "Yep, I am indeed a student."
"Oh right, what are you studying?"
My brain: Please don't patronise me by pretending to give a crap about what I study, I have come to the doctors for a medical reason, not for a chat about my degree, however riveting it might be.
"History."
"Wow, are you enjoying it?"
Are you kidding me right now? 
"Yes thanks, not much longer left now though, I'm in my last year."
Oh great, and now I'm engaging you in conversation.
"So you've got exams and stuff then?"
"Just the one."
This is ridiculous.

Eventually, she got around to actually asking me what was wrong with me, so I told her about my blocked ear, that it had been like this over a week now and that I'd had some drops which hadn't done anything. She asked if I had a ringing in my ear, so I said yes. She gave me a quick examination, looked at my throat, felt my glands, and then finally looked in my ears (my original complaint). As I had suspected - and told the doctor - it was wax which was causing the blockage, and she told me there was a couple things that could be done for me. One was to try drops for another week and see if that works, and the other was to syringe it. Obviously, I said I wanted it syringed as the drops I'd had weren't working. I thought she could just syringe it there and then, but no, I had to book a separate appointment with a nurse for this. And in the meantime, I've been prescribed some different drops anyway. 

So basically, a day which was supposed to see the glorious re-instatment of the hearing in my right ear has turned into the beginning of a whole WEEK before I can go and get it syringed.

In short, I'm not best pleased. But this whole saga has reminded me of when I was younger and we went on holiday to Bali. The swimming pool at the hotel had a water feature that was kind of like a mini waterfall which flowed down into the actual pool. I don't remember how old I was, about 8 sounds about right, but anyway, I was clearly an idiot because I stuck my head under it, sideways so that all the rushing water went directly into my ear. Instant ear infection.  

******

Today I'm loving: Nothing, everything SUCKS.

Today I'm hatin': Ears.

Song of the Day: Buzzin' by Mann feat. 50 Cent, not because it's a particularly good song, but purely for the lyrics: 
They come around like honey/'Cause I'm fly like a bee     

Nicknames

In my lifetime, I have been awarded several nicknames, some of which are variations on my name, and some which are purely from the imaginations of my Dad/brother/friends/boyfriend.

In no particular order:
Em
Emmy
Emmington
Emma the Bemma the Queen of the Blues (shortened to Em-Bem)
Chappers
Chapstick
Chappy
S.B (Second Born)
T.B (I'm not telling you what that stands for)
Ogden
Roland
Pink-eye (in year six I had pink frames for my glasses)
Jizz-eye (when I was in 6th form I kept getting conjunctivitis and one of the boys started this charming nick-name)
Velma (from Scooby-Doo)
Dubs
Poops
Poopington 

There's probably a few more but I think that'll do for now. Ogden was fairly prominent at one stage. I think there's a poet called Ogden Nash, and my brother James heard the name somewhere, thought it was really funny and just started calling me Ogden. At first I kind of thought it was funny too, and so I would respond to it (big mistake.) Pretty soon however, it had become old news and I began to tire of humouring James and just wanted my real name back. So I started to ignore James when he called me anything other than my name and figured eventually he would get the point and leave me alone. I remember sitting in my room once, reading a book or whatever the cool kids were doing back then, and James started calling me down for dinner.

"Ogden, teatime! Come and help me set the table!"

Sticking to my new regime, I ignored him. Twenty seconds later:

"Ogggg-dennnnn!"

Again, I did nothing. Sooner or later he'd have to use my real name. Another twenty seconds or so went by and then I heard my Dad's voice booming up the stairs:

"Oi! Ogden!"

Marvellous.


******

Today I'm loving: That it's Monday, and Monday is GLEE DAY!

Today I'm hatin': That I have been attacked by a cold completely out of nowhere. Sneak-attack, not cool.

Song of the Day: Ice Cream by Sarah McLachlan
Your love is better than ice cream/Better than anything else that I've tried

Sunny Saturdays

I was going to go to the library today, but it was sunny out so I made Daf come with me to get a vanilla frappucino and then wander along the seafront. I spent most of the time complaining about how the bastards in Costa trick you into buying the bigger cup sizes, and taking pictures of seagulls/pigeons. Nevertheless, a nice distraction in my day, and the library will still be there tomorrow (boooo).

Quantum of Solace is on right now, which I have on DVD, but somehow it always seems more exciting when it's on live TV. Daniel Craig - what a man. (That's so something Soph would say.)

Here's some photos, hooray!


















  
The pigeon was on its own when I first taking pictures of him, but as I was snapping away more of them kept showing up. I think they were jealous of the attention the original pigeon was getting. There was quite a lot of people about, and Daf said: "Emma, please stop talking to the pigeons." I hadn't even realised I was. 

I also discovered that trying to take pictures of seagulls in the air is really difficult. I was sitting on a bench, looking through my camera lens and following the birds as they flew around, and people kept giving me weird looks because I think they thought I was taking pictures of them, in a weird, creepy way. Oh well.

******

Today I'm loving: My new sunglasses.

Today I'm hatin': That Formula One has started again, and I will no doubt be forced to watch every single race from now until November. Fantastic.

Song of the Day: Black Coffee by All Saints
I wouldn't wanna be anywhere else but here/I wouldn't wanna change anything at all/I wouldn't wanna take everything out on you/Although I know I do/Everytime I fall

Free stuff!

Popped into town today and was given a free nail polish in Superdrug. I was applying it back at the flat to see what it was like when Daf wandered in.

"Painting your nails eh? But that's like something a girl would do!"

Charming.

I'm so bad at applying nail polish anyway so I don't know why I bother. I have a terrible habit of biting my nails so they're not the longest, and I don't exactly have a steady hand so I end up with more on my finger than my actual nail.

Oh the trials and tribulations of being a girl.


******

Today I'm loving: That it was so nice outside that I didn't even need a cardigan. T-shirt weather in March? Awesome.

Today I'm hatin': My ear again. I'm having on-going issues. Bad times.

Song of the Day: I Wouldn't Mind by He Is We
Tell me, everyday I get to wake up to that smile/I wouldn't mind it at all/I wouldn't mind it at all

Striking

At my university, and at a lot of other universities all around the UK (if not all), the lecturers are going to be striking on Thursday because of the cuts being made to their pensions and wages in general. They want the students to support them, because you know, 'united we stand, divided we fall' and all that. I was going to write a post about it, but I've been thinking about it and I've decided that I really don't know what my opinion is on said strikes.

On the one hand, I completely agree that 30% cuts (I think that's right) to their pensions is ridiculously unfair and they have every right to complain about it, and I honestly hope that they do manage to sort this out. 

However, on the other hand, I think it's really inconvenient for students to have their lectures/seminars postponed (or cancelled completely in some cases, I'll bet), when they have limited contact time in the first place, for a strike that in all honesty probably won't do much, if anything, for the cause. Not that strikes never work, because obviously they have done in the past, but in the unfortunate economic climate we're currently living in I just don't think now is the time.

At the moment, there's a Facebook group going around that a lot of people have joined telling everyone to boycott petrol stations on the 6th April (or somewhere around that date) in protest of the extortionate petrol prices (bear with me, I promise I'm going somewhere with this). The idea behind this is that the petrol companies will lose so much money on this day that they'll just have to lower the prices. Of course, the mastermind behind this idea has failed to realise that even if by some miracle, every single driver in the country went along with this and didn't re-fuel on the day, the money the petrol companies would make in the days before and after the 6th in the preparation and aftermath of the boycott would more than make up for any losses incurred. One day wouldn't even be a drop in the ocean for them.

Although I've just gone off on a massive tangent, this is how I feel about the lecturers strike. The few hours they're going to be striking for won't really make a difference, I don't think. Whoever instigated these cuts will be well aware that people affected are going to be unhappy about them, because why wouldn't they? Of course people aren't going to take a 30% cut quietly. What I'm trying to say is that when cuts are made, strikes are probably expected by those who caused them, and so it will be no easy feat to turn the situation around. I hope that a continuous strike doesn't start, with lectures and seminars and the marking of essays stopping indefinitely, because it just seems like a massive slap in the face to the students who are paying to be at university.

Wow, it looks like I do have an opinion on the strike.

I don't want this to sound like I'm not sympathetic to the cause, because I really am, and if I was in their position I'd probably be doing the same thing. I just think that at the moment, in a time where unemployment is high, and cuts are being made left, right and centre, maybe people should just be thankful they actually have jobs and save striking for a better time, or at least continue negotiating non-disruptively. I don't know, it's a tricky subject because there's a lot of lecturers who truly deserve a lot more money than they're actually earning because they go above and beyond to help their students. But a lot of lecturers are...I don't know, I suppose lazy is perhaps the best word for it.

I know this hasn't been a particularly jolly post, but I've been a bit forlorn today because we watched a couple of episodes of Boys from the Blackstuff in my seminar this morning, and it's just so depressing. If you haven't seen any, I'd recommend watching them, but just be aware that it's not exactly a barrel of laughs.

******

Today I'm loving: That my ear popped all on its own, saving me a trip to the doctors.

Today I'm hatin': Nothing at the moment, I have it pretty good right now.

Song of the Day: The Wish by Josh Canova
I'm fine/I'll do it myself like I've done it before/And I won't need anyone's help, I mean anyone's help/But I might not learn how to fix this/Or even change it 

Happy Days

Evenin'. Long time no see. Well, not really.

I had such a good weekend! Lauren and Sam got here just before 8pm on Friday and we got ready to go out whilst drinking wine and vodka (but not at the same time). By the time we left it was getting on for eleven, so after a quick pit-stop at one of the pubs to meet Alice and her friends, we went to Pier Pressure, because that's where the magic happens. A good night was had all round, except for an unfortunate incident with a ridiculously annoying boy who wouldn't leave us alone. Don't worry, Alice made sure he got booted out by the bouncers. 

The next day was absolutely beautiful so we went for a walk along the sea-front and then went for lunch. I took my trusty camera with me and got a few shots of Lauren which I love, I've had a play around with a couple just to get a few quirky effects (because Lauren is quirky).







 The one above has barely been touched, I just warmed up the colour ever so slightly because other than that I thought it was pretty much perfect.




When we got back to my flat we ended up having a bit of a movie day, watching Van Wilder, about half an hour of Willow before we decided that it just wasn't working for us in a slightly hungover state, and then we watched Moulin Rouge, which was so worth it purely for Ewan McGregor singing Your Song

Anyway, now my weekend is over and it's back to work. I've just got a final push at uni and then it's all over - the end seems so near and yet so far away, but at least I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Now that's enough clich├ęs for one day. Until next time, folks.


******

Today I'm loving: That I've already finished my seminar reading for tomorrow.

Today I'm hatin': That my ear is blocked, I really don't want to have to go and get it syringed.

Song of the Day: Re:Stacks by Bon Iver
I keep throwing it down two-hundred at a time/It's hard to find it when you knew it/When your money's gone/And you're drunk as hell

Click here so you can hear it, it's so pretty.

Dream fury

You know when you have dreams that still affect you when you wake up? I had one of those last night.

In the dream, I was back in primary school and my class was going to go on a school trip to Disneyworld. Pretty awesome. Anyway, on the day that we were due to be leaving, my Dad got stuck in traffic taking me into school to meet everyone else and go to the airport. When we finally got there, we were too late and they'd left without us, so I didn't get to go to Disneyworld.

Absolutely gutted. 

It doesn't help that the advert with all the kids getting told they get to go to Disneyworld is on ALL THE TIME. Just rub it in my face why don't you.

So my point here is, someone please take me to Disneyworld? 

In other news, look at this because it's funny:




Today I'm loving: That tomorrow I get to see Lauren AND Sam AND Alice. It's going to be an awesome weekend.

Today I'm hatin': That the essay I handed in Tuesday had the wrong submission date and it's actually not due in until next week. Yet we weren't told this until today, two days after we handed them in. It's a bit late now, stupid History department.

Song of the Day: The Day After Tomorrow by Saybia
Tomorrow/I'll tell it all tomorrow/Or the day after tomorrow/I'm sure I'll tell you then

Follow by email!

For anyone who reads my blog and wants to follow it but you don't have a google account thingy, I've added a *follow by email* gadget which means you just enter your email address and then whenever I update my blog you'll get an email letting you know. At least I think that's how it works. So if you feel so inclined, you can do that. Or not, no pressure. (DO IT NOWWW!)


Incredible

I came across a movie called Sharktopus on iTunes and watched the trailer. I found it on YouTube so that I could share it with you.





It looks hilarious. I have to watch it.

******

Today I'm loving: The internet.
 
Today I'm hatin': That one bit of my hair is inexplicably longer than the rest.

Song of the Day: Catch My Disease by Ben Lee
My head is a box filled with nothing/And that's the way I like it

Bad accents

Daf went out last night for a friends birthday so I had the flat to myself, which is nice because it means I get to watch films or TV programmes that he doesn't normally let me watch. I watched The Edge Of Love about Dylan Thomas and his wife and ex-girlfriend (Sienna Miller and Keira Knightley) because it was on the BBC. I don't know whether I thought it was good or not to be honest, because I was too busy flying into an incandescent rage over Keira Knightley's Welsh accent. I like her as an actress, and Welsh accents are hard to do if you're not Welsh, so I don't blame her, I blame the director. If it is that vitally important to the plot that the accent is Welsh, then hire a Welsh actress, or at least an actress who can convincingly do the accent properly. On the other hand, if you're so set on having Keira Knightley in this role, then do that thing that directors do a lot and make a slight script change so she can speak in her normal voice. Sienna Miller's accent wasn't very good either. I think she was supposed to be Irish, but then I couldn't tell if she was Irish or Welsh.

I've just looked on Wikipedia and apparently Keira's mum wrote the script. I still think my point is valid. Bad accents can ruin films.

Anyway, after that was finished, I flipped through the channels and saw that the 2003 version of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre was about to start on Film4. Daf hates horror films, so I figured I may as well watch it. I got about 5 minutes into it, before anything had really happened, and then decided that this was a terrible idea because I was alone and it was dark, and you can't watch a horror movie with the light on. So then I watched Star Trek instead.

******

Today I'm loving: That there was a fox running around Twickenham stadium before the 6 nations match started.

Today I'm hatin': Essays again, as I have one due on Tuesday and it's going slowly.

Song of the Day: Getting Up With You by The Yeah You's
I didn't wanna get out of bed this morning/But it feels much better/To know I'm getting up with you

Photo edits




























I've been trying to decide what my stance is on editing photos; how much is too much, what's the point in taking a photo if you're just going to change it, etc. But after playing around on picnik.com I've decided that I'm all for it. Sometimes taking photos can be really frustrating when due to certain lighting issues or whatever, the picture you take isn't quite what you see. A month or so ago there was a perfectly red setting sun, and I just couldn't do it justice on my camera, the colouring was all wrong. Yes, my camera is very good and there are lots of settings that you can adjust to suit the situation you are in and get the kind of picture you're after. But when you have a rapidly setting sun, you don't exactly have time to get the manual out - I'm still learning with my camera. I can't wait until I've finished uni and can properly learn all the settings and have a play around, but until then, I'm happy that I can use photo-editing programs to enhance my photos. The photos in this post were all taken by me (except for the ones I am in - the one of me in the hat was taken by my Dad when we were in Australia and it's my favourite photo if me, normally I pull ridiculous faces), and all edited by me. All I've really done with them is adjust the focus or exposure or colour - I didn't want to warp them into something completely unrecognisable from the original. My favourite ones are the bottom two, of the flower and the bird.

******

Today I'm loving: That the new dress I bought online from Miss Selfridge got here today. Yes, I went shopping. I regret nothing.
 
Today I'm hatin': That I have become a slave to Lost. Me and Daf may or may not have watched 6 episodes in a row last night.

Song of the Day: Kill The Director by The Wombats
Carrots help us see much better in the dark/Don't talk to girls, they'll break your heart

I woke up this morning, turned on my laptop and went on the internet to check my emails, and underneath the Google search-bar, it said this:

"Tsunami Alert for New Zealand, the Philippines, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Hawaii, and others. Waves expected over the next few hours, caused by 8.9 earthquake in Japan."

We've had the news on ever since.

It's strange that you go to bed, and you expect everything to be the same the next day. You forget sometimes that the world doesn't go to sleep just because you do.   

A trip down memory lane

I'm going to write a post about Saudi Arabia, because I haven't done that yet and feel like I should.

It's quite hard to write about, because in the past I've found that people just cannot comprehend the fact that I used to live there. If I tell someone I used to live abroad, they look all interested and say, "Oh wow, really, where?", but when you tell them Saudi Arabia, their eyes glaze over, they say something like, "Oh, right", and then maybe politely ask a question or two to feign interest.

My parents are teachers, and when me and James were small, they successfully applied for teaching positions at a British school in Saudi. I was only two years old when we moved out there, and that's where I spent my incredibly happy childhood. We lived on a compound called Green Valley, which had two swimming pools, a corner shop, a restaurant, tennis courts and a park, to name a few. There were a lot of kids around my age, and the beauty of it being a compound was that they were all right on my doorstep. I was never a lonely child.

The school I went to is the same one that my Mum still teaches at. I've been to four different schools overall, and it is definitely the one that I have the best memories from. I loved the school in England where I went to 6th form (for the most part), but I was in Saudi for much longer and so the good times there definitely out-weigh those from other schools. It was a big campus which was shared with an American school. The classes were small, everyone was friendly, the weather was great (although quite humid at times), the teachers knew who you were and what you were like. 

After I had finished year 5 (which would make me 10 years old), we left Saudi and came back to the UK. I think my parents wanted a change, as there are a lot of limitations in Saudi - especially for women. It was strange starting a new school, where no-one knew who I was, and they certainly didn't understand where I came from. A lot of people thought I was American, because I had picked up elements of an American accent whilst in Saudi - a side-effect of having a lot of American friends. I remember sneezing once in class and someone said, "The American sneeze!" and everyone laughed. I was completely bemused - I couldn't hear it. 

The other kids in my class also had trouble accepting that I was British. We had kept our house while we were in Saudi so that we had a base for the summer and Christmas holidays, and it was also convenient to have somewhere to live once we had left Saudi. But when I started my new school and told people where I used to live, they'd look at me in confusion and say, "So...you're Arabic then?" I grew tired of telling people that no, I wasn't Arabic, I was born in England to English parents - in fact, I was probably born in the same hospital that they were. 

People had no concept of what living in Saudi was like - which I can't blame them for. We were in a P.E. lesson when I was still pretty new and someone asked me if I spoke Arabic. Although we had Arabic lessons, I was not particularly advanced and could only say a few basics. One of the boys overheard the conversation and was confused as to how I could go to school in Saudi if I couldn't speak Arabic. When I told him that I went to a British school, he shook his head at me. "You lived in Saudi Arabia but you went to a British school? That makes no sense." It infuriated me. Luckily, once the novelty wore off, people stopped asking me questions about it and I was able to carry on as normal, but it still made me dread meeting new people for a while, if this was what everyone was going to be like.

We ended up going back to Saudi a couple of years later, but I'll save that for another day.

Today I'm loving: This.

 
Today I'm hatin': Charlie Sheen. Just get off the TV already, I don't care that you got sacked.

Song of the Day: From Now On by Nada Surf
I'm such a lucky mess/I just need some rest/Take me along/From now on

Gleek

I wish Glee was on every day, not just Mondays. I love it so much, and even Daf is watching it with me this series, he kind of lost interest in the first season. Although he did say last night while we were watching it: "I wish they didn't sing in Glee." That's kind of the whole point, love.

Anyway, how freakin' adorable is Darren Criss?


Look at that happy face. I wish real life was like Glee, I'd love to be able to burst into song whenever the hell I felt like it.

That's about all I wanted to share with you today...just Darren Criss's face.

Today I'm loving: The awesome mark I got for my essay, and the fact that I get PANCAKES later.

Today I'm hatin': That although Daf managed to put a load of washing on for once in his life, he declined to wash anything of mine.

Song of the Day: What You Know by Two Door Cinema Club (it's on iTunes for 59p, go buy it!)
In a few weeks, I will get time/To realise it's right before my eyes/And I can take it, if it's what I want to do

Money Money Money

I love it when I check my bank balance and I have more money than I thought I did. Whenever I'm at an ATM I always feel a stab of complete and utter terror when I press the *show bank balance on screen* button. I'm not sure why, maybe it's the fear of finding out that my account has been inexplicably emptied. Whatever the reason, I'm always pleasantly surprised. That happened yesterday when I went into town on the chocolate chips mission (see previous post). I hadn't checked my balance in a while so was somewhat apprehensive, but luckily my fears were unwarranted. I don't know why I always get like that though, all I've really spent money on recently is food and series 4 of Lost. You know, the essentials.

The trouble is that the little voice in my head is now screaming at me to buy things. Specifically clothes and jewellery. Even things I wouldn't normally wear, I have this stupid voice saying "Oh em gee, you have to buy this, you NEED this in your life. What's a little self-indulgence every once in a while? BUY BUY BUY!" No, little voice, no I will not. I can't quite help myself from looking around online though. I keep finding myself on the H&M website, and thinking, "Well it's really good value, why not?" I'll tell you why not. Because you always have to create an account with these websites to buy from them, and it's such a hassle. However, in this case I'm quite relieved, because it put me off from buying a bunch of summery tops. I do really want this though:



I love Donald Duck. Yeah, I'm pretty sure I'll be buying this at some point.

Because I'm so utterly useless at life, this morning I managed to not only incorrectly enter my pin-code into my phone 3 times, resulting in my pin getting blocked, but I also managed to wipe the ENTIRE memory of my phone in the process. After a bit of poking around online I managed to find out what my puk code was to unblock my pin and let me back onto my phone, but I was still left without all my pictures, texts and numbers, because I never got around to saving them to my sim card. Mum and Dad, if you're reading this, send me a text telling me who you are because I don't have your numbers.

Today I'm loving: That it is finally Pancake Day tomorrow. Daf makes the best pancakes ever.

Today I'm hatin': The loss of all my numbers, so incredibly annoying.

Song of the Day: This Is The Life by Amy MacDonald
And you're singing the songs/Thinking 'this is the life'/And you wake up in the morning and your head feels twice the size/Where you gonna go, where you gonna go/Where you gonna sleep tonight?

Floor Brownies

I had an absolute mare today.

I wanted to make brownies, and I had most of the ingredients, so I went into town for some unsalted butter and chocolate chips, the only things I was missing. It's a nice, fairly warm, sunny day, and I was wearing a shortish dress over my thick black tights. As soon as I stepped outside, I realised it was a bit more windy than I had anticipated, but nevertheless, I kept on walking. I live up a hill, and it wasn't until I got to the bottom of it that I discovered that it was indeed just windy enough to blow my dress up. Lovely. However, as I have said, I live up a hill, and not even an awkward walk around town holding onto my dress would make me go back up and change. Laziness wins every time. Besides, I wasn't going to take long, right? Wrong.

There are two Spar shops very close to where I live, so I went to the bigger one. They had almonds, dried fruit, glacier cherries, and a few other bits and pieces that you can put in cakes, but no chocolate chips. Also, no unsalted butter. This meant that I had to walk all the way across town to Co-op, where luckily they did have what I needed, but it added about half an hour onto my 'quick' shopping trip, which is quite long when the dress you're wearing isn't particularly wind-friendly.

After about a million years (because I ALWAYS get stuck behind slow walking people who take up the whole pavement), I got back to the flat and started making my brownies. They were supposed to take about half an hour in the oven, so after the half hour had gone I went to see if they were done. The oven in our flat is stupid because it doesn't open down, it opens to the side, like a door. It makes me paranoid whenever I'm getting things out of it because it always starts to close on me and I'm worried about burning myself. So anyway, with my trusty (crap) oven gloves on, I had one hand propping open the door, and the other trying to guide the brownie tin forward to see how much longer they needed. Anyway, I still don't quite know how it happened, but the tin just slid out of the oven and the brownies (which were nowhere near done) plopped out and onto the floor. I sat there, on the floor for a moment, inwardly cursing my life, before running back to the living room.

"Daaaaaaf, you need to come and help me."
"Yeah, in a minute."
"No, you need to come and help me nowwwww."

Daf thought it was hilarious.

"Stop laughing, we need to get it back in the tin so I can put it back in the oven."
"You're still going to cook them?"
"I went out specifically for chocolate chips, I am cooking those brownies."

Daf managed to get the gloopy mess back in the tin, and they successfully cooked, so hopefully they don't taste like floor. I'm so glad we don't have carpet in the kitchen, it would have been a disaster. I took a picture on my phone, it's not the greatest quality but I didn't really have time to whip out the Nikon D90.






Yeah, it looked like cow-pat. Yum.

They'll still taste great.

Today I'm loving: Creme Eggs, I got some from Poundland. Money-saving and delicious.

Today I'm hatin': I think it should be pretty obvious from this post.

Song of the Day: Bad Day by R.E.M
It's been a bad day/Please don't take a picture

Plans

I can't get over how nice the weather is. It's gloriously sunny, not a cloud in the sky, and I'm stuck inside, pretending to write some of my dissertation but actually emailing my Mum and writing this instead. Priorities.

I got my semester one exam results this morning and on the whole I'm pretty pleased. My university has a cascade system where you can see what marks you'd need to get in your last modules in order to get a 2:1 (or a First, or whatever you're aiming for). I was a bit worried that I wouldn't be able to realistically get a 2:1, but thanks to the cascade system I have discovered that a 2:1 is well within my grasps. I feel confident now that I am going to pass my degree and graduate, which (considering I re-took my first year) is an unbelievable feeling. Now it's just up to me whether I get a 2:1 or a 2:2 (I think I'd have to have a bit of a disaster to get any less than that, which is really good news). 

All of this is getting me really excited for summer. I've already made a summer playlist on my iTunes (yes, I'm aware it's March), but the sun has me thinking it's hotter than it is outside. Anyway, it's really not that far off. I don't have any plans for summer yet; I would like to get a job, but I don't know if travelling is on the cards at some point or not. It's all up in the air at the moment, but I like the thought that anything could happen. I know a lot of people who hate the idea of leaving university, but honestly I couldn't be happier that it's coming to an end. Maybe it's because I've been here a year longer than I should have been, I'm not really sure. I just know that I feel really ready to move on and do something else.

What I really want to do is go and live in Australia. I don't mean just go out there for a year or so and travel around, but I mean I want to actually live there, have a house and a job and everything. I spent Christmas 2008 in Sydney with my family, and it was so awesome. It just seems like a much better standard of living, amazing weather, beautiful scenery, all that jazz. I feel like it's somewhere that I could be very happy. The only trouble is that it's a really long way away from family and friends, there's a huge time difference, and I don't really have any money...you know, little problems. I think I could be happy staying in the UK as well though, as long as it was the right location. It'll always be home to me, and I love it. 

I always thought I'd settle in the UK eventually, because I've already lived abroad, and I remember when I left Saudi I was so ready to come back home. But it's been 5 years, nearly 6 (wow, I feel old) since I left Saudi now, and I never thought I'd miss it quite as much as I do. I think it's more the people, and the memories of the times we had that I miss, more than the actual place, but sometimes I do wish I could go back. It wouldn't be the same though; my parents don't live in the same house that they did when I was there, none of my friends are there anymore, and it would just be...different.

The way things are in the UK at the minute make me want to leave, anyway - all the 'doom and gloom', poor job prospects for post-grads - it doesn't sound like a nice place to be at the moment. Maybe I'll win the Euro-millions and then I'll be sorted. 

Perhaps Australia is just a pipe-dream. We'll see. Either way, new things are coming and I can't wait. To show you what a massive nerd I am, this has reminded me of a Lord of the Rings quote which I thought was very apt:

"It's a dangerous business, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no telling where you might get swept off to."

Shut up, I'm really cool! Anyway, here's a photo of me and my brother when we did the Sydney Bridge climb. I think it's my favourite photo of me and James. 




Today I'm loving: That my results have given me back my faith in my ability to pass my degree.

Today I'm hatin': That I still have to actually write my dissertation in order to finish university.

Song of the Day: Roll To Me by Del Amitri
Look around your world pretty baby/Is it everything you hoped it'd be?/The wrong guy, the wrong situation/The right time to roll to me

What an epic waste of time

I can't believe it's March already. It's put me in a slight panic because I know that I'm (near enough) in my final month of classes of university ever. Unless of course I plan on doing a Masters or something next year, but in my frame of mind at the moment, that seems incredibly unlikely. I can't wait to leave education. Not that the job market looks particularly inviting at the moment, but I've just been in the education system for so, so long, and I'm excited for new things, whatever they might be. But anyway, March. That means I only have just over two months before my dissertation is due in. I got my dissertation proposal which I handed in before Christmas back today, and I got 65 (a 2:1), which I'm pleased with because a) it means that generally speaking, I'm on the right track, and b) it's worth 10% of my overall mark. Go me.

I wasn't originally going to do a blog today, but Daf's gone out and I'm bored. It's Tuesday which means there's a lot of CSI on, but I'm trying to do something more productive with my time (stopping short of doing actual work, of course). I saw one those music quizzy things floating around online, where you put your iTunes on random and answer questions with the songs that come up, and so I'm going to do it, and post it on here. Because I am cool, and I like music and quizzes.

INSTRUCTIONS:
1. Put your iPod/iTunes or other music player on shuffle.
2. For each question, press the NEXT button to get your answer.
3. YOU MUST WRITE THAT SONG NAME DOWN NO MATTER HOW SILLY IT SOUNDS!


IF SOMEONE SAYS "IS THIS OKAY" YOU SAY?
Bumcop (Crazy P)

WHAT WOULD BEST DESCRIBE YOUR PERSONALITY
Wake Me Up When September Ends (Green Day)

WHAT DO YOU LIKE IN A GUY/GIRL?
What The World Needs Now Is Love (Jackie DeShannon)

WHAT IS YOUR LIFE'S PURPOSE?
Here Comes The Hotstepper (Ini Kamoze)

WHAT IS YOUR MOTTO?
I Still Remember (Bloc Party)

WHAT DO YOUR FRIENDS THINK OF YOU?
Through With You (Maroon 5)

WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT OFTEN?
Satellite (The Hooters)

WHAT IS 2+2? - what a stupid question
Feels Like Tonight (Daughtry)

WHAT DO YOU THINK OF YOUR BEST FRIEND?
American Dream (Jakatta)

WHAT IS YOUR LIFE STORY?
Who Do You Love Now (Riva featuring Danni Minogue)

WHAT DO YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU GROW UP?
Promises (Take That)

WHAT DO YOU THINK WHEN YOU SEE THE PERSON YOU LIKE?
Cold Shower Tuesdays (Bowling For Soup)

WHAT DO YOUR PARENTS THINK OF YOU?
Everything Changes (Staind)

WHAT WILL YOU DANCE TO AT YOUR WEDDING?
Nothing Compares (Pixie Lott)

WHAT WILL THEY PLAY AT YOUR FUNERAL? - morbid!
Far Away (Nickelback)

WHAT IS YOUR HOBBY/INTEREST?
March Of The Witch Hunters (Wicked soundtrack - hahahahaha)
WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST SECRET?
Rockstar (Everclear)

WHAT DO YOU THINK OF YOUR FRIENDS?
Imagine (Glee cast version)

WHAT'S THE WORST THING THAT COULD HAPPEN?
Remake Me & You (Diana Vickers)

HOW WILL YOU DIE? - morbid!
Broken (Seether featuring Amy Lee)

WHAT IS THE ONE THING YOU REGRET?
Nobody's Fool (Avril Lavigne)

WHAT MAKES YOU LAUGH?
True Love's First Kiss (Shrek soundtrack)

WHAT MAKES YOU CRY?
Rocks (Primal Scream - haha)

WILL YOU EVER GET MARRIED?
I Know Where It's At (All Saints)

WHAT SCARES YOU THE MOST?
Keep Your Eyes Peeled (The Automatic)

DOES ANYONE LIKE YOU?
Jackie Big Tits (The Kooks - this made me laugh a lot, out loud, on my own. Awesome)

IF YOU COULD GO BACK IN TIME, WHAT WOULD YOU CHANGE?
Genie In A Bottle (Christina Aguilera)

WHAT HURTS RIGHT NOW?
Built This Way (Samantha Ronson)

Some of the questions are utterly ridiculous (what is 2+2? really?) but some of the answers did come out pretty funny. But wow, what a waste of time. I feel a bit ashamed of myself.

Today I'm loving: How the days are definitely getting longer, and it's getting warmer, and the weather is beautiful.

Today I'm hatin': Myself, for lowering my blog content to internet circulated quizzes. Apologies.

Song of the Day: Prove You Wrong by He Is We
Give me your heart/I don't want a piece or a part/I want it all/I want you to fall/Just a little bit/Take that leap of faith if you want to/Don't let that broken heart haunt you 
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