too much of a good thing?

I went out to the union bar again last night. Brandies is it’s name, and I must admit it’s not at all like how I had always imagined bars. I thought they were small, crowded places, carpeted in red with mahogany furnishings. To be sure, a small part of brandies is like this: the bar itself is indeed mahogany and equipped with the quintessential pull-taps, but away from the bar, the room opens up into a huge hall, suitable for dancing. There is a stage, and two pool tables in one corner.

As a person who, back home, spends evenings in his room on a p.c, I have decided that its high time I experience what I call ‘bar culture’. Brandies is just round the corner from where I now live and, as I don’t fancy the prospect of sitting alone in my room of an evening, it seems I can just walk to brandies for an evenings entertainment. It isn’t so much the alcohol – for I never drink more than 2 pints – as the people whom I meet there. It seems a good place to make friends. Why then do I feel so guilty about it? Why is my brain getting so puritanical on me. Argh. I sound like my mum.

Anyway, last night I met this bloke. I had got there early, after tea, and the place was nearly empty. About eightish I got chatting to a mature student – a family man waiting for his rugby-playing wife. We chatted about all sorts of things: he was a decent, helpful guy, unafraid to call me names. I decided to tell him about my current PA problem, and he said he might be a possible candidate. He sounded well-suitable, but I thought it prudent to proceed through official lines, so I asked him to look for the add in the local press. It will probably come to nothing, but at least I have yet another cool new friend.

nuke the bastards

I was curious. I just found a link to the video of the beheading of Armstrong. As a student of history, I’m familiar with state beheadings. They’re usually swift affairs with a well-swung axe or guillotine, but this was beyond words. Whatever respect anyone had for these insurgents – these cowards who can no longer be called human – is gone. If I didn’t know it would jeopardise the life of Kenneth bigley, and probably the lives of innocent Iraqis, I would urge the total annihilation of these scum. I’m usually anti-capital punishment, but I want these people dead.

It’s Official – uni rules!

I feel about a g’zillion times better about things this morning, and this is largely due to the events of last night. After my carers had left after tea, at about 7.30, I decided to go over to the university bar. I thought this was a risky business, going out alone, and I felt rather vulnerable – this is why I thought I needed a PA to do such things.

I told you I was a wuss, didn’t I?

Anyway, I got to the bar in tact, and the first thing I notice was that they were setting up for a disco in there, and as such there were two or three security guys in case of trouble at said disco. “aha” thinks I, “a person off authority, whom I can trust. I’ll ask him to get me a beer”. I did, and a while later I was sitting at a table at the edge of the dance floor, a beer in front of me. Smeg, that tasted good!

At one stage, though, one of the security guys asked me if I had a ticket. I hadn’t, so I paid him the £3, which was cool because everyone else had to go back outside to buy tickets. I could stay sat on my arse! Hahaha

Pretty soon I got chatting to a few people. We were talking about what we were studying, whether I was going to dance (I told them about Glasgow), and although there was a typical “what is your condition” question, it was pretty cool. I think strangers get used to me pretty quickly, and within ten minutes we were chatting naturally. I think they were surprised to see me up on the dance floor though.

About half an hour later, the room was getting crowded, and a bit dangerous for wobbly old me. In the corner, there was a security man, standing on a chair, watching for trouble. I sat myself next to him, tugged his leg, and asked for another beer. He got my money, and soon returned with beer, straw and change. I asked him to put it on a nearby table, and got chatting to those around me. I must admit, I saw some very provocatively-clad girls there! Ahem.

I got talking to one girl from Portugal, also doing film, and the rest of the evening was spent just chatting, watching the proceedings, and sipping beer. The disco ended at about 11, and I asked my new friends if they would mind walking me home, as I was still a bit concerned about walking out alone. They did, and after we had said goodnight I was able to put myself to bed ok, making sure the lightwriter was on charge.

Thus, although I reckon I still need a PA, now I know that I can go out myself, the need doesn’t seem as urgent as before. I think I’m going to enjoy university.


all entries 2003-2018

hats it! the past two nings i’ve onnly had 1 hour of care from social servives for my tea, and other than that i’ve been stuck in my room, not daring to venture out. well, thats it – i’m going to try to go to the bar on my own. if my experiences in berlin and swettenham arre anything to go by, people are nearly always willing to help if i request it. not sure about going out alone after dark, but fortune favours the bravee.

Unversity tempests

The demons of last night are gone
For last night, I cried;
Something I could not do even when Andy died.

Strange, how the morning’s watery sun casts new light

On new room, new bed
On this brave new world I thought I didn’t like.
But the new morning brings hope;
And a rational mind
To chase away the Caliban.

True, dad shouldn’t have come to check on me,
It set me bursting into a storm of tears, homesick already. But now I have this place to explore
New people to meet. Friends to make.
The tempest has calmed, and I am ready to sail.

helm, take us out.

well, this is it. Today’s the day I head for uni. we’re heading for alsager in just under an hour in order to set my room up etc. I’ll be sleeping at home tonight, but today’s the day we set everything up. Don’t know when I’lll be able to blog again, but I intend to blog from uni.

It feels as if this is the beginning of a great adventure: a ship finally about to leave its moorings for the high seas. the bags have been packed. the decks are clearr. all hands prepare to weigh anchor. take us out!


I just watched the film Ghandi with dad. It’s a truly excellent film. I just want to say how much I’m in awe of this softly-spoken man, and how much I admire his methods of non-violent protest. I wanted to see it partly because I like Richard Attenborough’s work, and partly because I wanted to try to use the British Raj as a frame of comparison for what the Americans are doing in Iraq. In this era of the war on terror, where I feel neither the terrorists nor the Americans are in the right, we could do with a “great soul” like his around.

Often, I refer to the current state of affairs as a war of vengeance for 9/11, and I am reminded of Ghandi’s words: “an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind”

I’m getting scared

Let me start this entry with a confession: I don’t like staying away from home. I’m a complete wimp about it. I like being with my parents and my brothers, safe at home, with my room, and my bed. It is for this reason that when my parents wanted me to try staying a night or two a week at school, age 14, I cried my eyes out.

Never mind that there were kids half my age who stayed all week, something about Resi made me want my mummy.

See! I’m a complete wuss!

Why oh why am I now, age 21, starting t feel the same feelings of apprehension about university? I’ve been through this with myself again and again: if I don’t leave home now, when will I do it? Do I want to be the only 50 year old still living with his parents? No. therefore this is something I must do, for both mine and my parent’s sanity. To be sure, part of me is looking forward to it: more freedom than ever before, cool people to talk to, bars etc.

And yet there’s that old familiar tingle in my stomach which tells me to stay in bed and hope the problem will go away. What if I don’t find out where lectures are? What if I forget something? What if I’ve missed something I’m supposed to know? All these things are now going through my head, and I’m not sure what to do. Frankly, I’m scared.

I’m also scared that I’ll bottle it, and ask to be taken home. That must not happen – leaving home starts now, or it never will. As much as I worry about the big, wide world, I really do not want to say home all my life, never to see thhings like the amason or the great barrier reef. I cannot – I must not – be a wuss all my life.

cool quote

“He who joyfully marches to music rank and file, has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would surely suffice. This disgrace to civilization should be done away with at once. Heroism at command, how violently I hate all this, how despicable and ignoble war is;

I would rather be torn to shreds than be a part of so base an action. It is my conviction that killing under the cloak of war is nothing but an act of murder.” – albert einshien