My 50th post! And as a present I've been allowed to upgrade to Beta - thank you Blogger!
You see, for ages I have had to word verify to post here. Thanks to Abi, I eventually realised that the reason was because this blog was marked as potential spam (no comments about incomprehensible content please! :-p). I clicked the link to inform Blogger that this was not the case, and I got an email back saying it had checked out fine. Then about a week ago I looked and it turned out that it was marked as spam again (or had always been)! So I clicked the link again and sent an email as well, and this time it worked. Not only was I off the spam list, but I was invited to upgrade to Beta! (This pretty much confirms Abi's idea that I was being denied because of the spam thing.)
So I had a fun break from revision categorising my posts on both blogs and tweaking the templates (although in truth, we are talking minor tweakage here). It made me happy, in the midst of learning about covenants and mortgages in Land Law again. The reason this post wasn't earlier was because of my frantic attempts to look through last term's work and try to understand what it all means. Now that the collections are over though, I can relax and post about my summer. Some highlights (and a lowlight!):
* Abi's birthday. We went bowling with friends from both uni and her school and then we stayed up late watching DVDs on an OHP screen in her living room. If I remember rightly at least one person stayed awake all night, but I was certainly having none of that! Possibly most memorable moment was Gam introducing himself to one of Abi's school friends with the line "Justify your existence!" Sadly, I'm not sure it endeared him to her...
* The Northern and Southern Tours! The Northern Tour embraced Durham and Newcastle, as we stayed with Rich and his mate Dave. We saw Durham then had a night out at the (in)famous BAJA Beach Club in Newcastle, where we were...entertained by Em and Sarah. A fun (if very quick) trip. The Southern Tour was first to Abi's place in London then Em's place near Birmingham. We got guided tours through parts of both cities and tried some local cuisine (okay, Chinese from London and Pizza Hut from Burmingham, but still).
* Youth Hostelling with Andy and Gwen. We headed to Welsh Bicknor to stay for a few nights. The first was in a teepee and the other two were in a room. During the days we did activities like go round a castle, Forest of Dean's Sculpture Trail, Clearwell Caves and a cool maze. We mostly made our own food in the Youth Hostel kitchens, and it was all in all a pleasant time. It was a nice way to remember Andy and Gwen as a couple, since they have now split up :-( (hopefully not due to being driven crazy by us on holiday!).
* Centre Parcs with my family and Abi. We did the same this year as last summer, only at a different CP site. However this time we had the sense to book activities earlier, and as a result we have been able to do both high ropes and crossbow shooting! Both were on the same day and it was raining, which made walking along slippery beams with a harness seem all the more daunting. Also as part of high ropes we had to individually climb up a high wooden pole and leap to a trapeze, which was actually pretty daunting once you were up there... I'm quite proud that I managed it, although I still have no recollection of the moment of truth! Crossbows was excellent. Abi was much more accurate than me although at least I could load them without the instructor's help! :-p. Yet another wonderful holiday this summer.
* Dav's party. Although not to the extent of the massive event last year (his 21st), this one was still memorable. We went go-karting in Aylesbury, and although Abi didn't enjoy it and quietly retired quite quickly, and one of Dav's friends also pulled out to prevent the reoccurance of an old hip injury, the rest of us had fun. In Ian's words, I was "pottering along at 6 miles per hour" and I came last, but it was still fun! That evening it ended up being only me, Abi, Andy and Dav out in Park End for clubbing. Still, it was an excellent night and we all had a good laugh at the expense of Dav's t-shirt which, well, follow the link. Needless to say it brought him far more positive responses from males than females!
* Group filming. A tough one to explain to the unitiated, but I'll have a go! As I have mentioned before, I like writing satirical scripts involving people I know (I have been told by Daniel that I should really call them parody because they have no purpose other than to entertain, but I will probably still use the words interchangeably). After previous endeavours with Southman (starring teachers from my school) and The Matriculatrix (starring some students from Hertford) this summer's effort was Back To The Forum!, a Back To The Future parody involving the remaining regular posters on my school forum. Here is the original script and here is the second draft (with an extra introduction for filming purposes and more on Jimmy which I really should have thought of for the first version!). Anyway it went down well on the forum and Dav and Grum were quick to decide that we needed to get together to film it. So, to cut a long story short, we have started to do so. Dav is the director, Andy the lead photographer, Grum the sound guy and me the writer. Various among us count as producers. We have filmed most of the introduction including a scene with all nine of the principle characters except Ming (whose house we were supposed to arrive at, for which we actually used Dav's). The film may or may not ever come about, given various constraints. But it was still great fun to get all of us together for filming. Thanks guys.
* Talking of writing, I managed to write a short story I had planned for a long time. It is called The Goldens and it in the fantasy genre, like all of my serious stuff. I commenced work on my third book (in a series of five) but only got half to two-thirds of the way through it, possibly due to other projects. I finished the first entirely in a summer and the second took longer, so my feelings are mixed about my progress on it. Never mind though, I will get the series finished one day...
* As for the lowlight of the holiday, that would inevitably be the temp work I performed once again. I've written before about it, and now I can add more jobs to my wonderful temping CV:
I unloaded traffic cones from a lorry and put reflector strips on them.
I loaded leaflets into a machine for packing them in plastic.
At the place where I did labelling last year I put warning labels in safety guards and put studs in each corner.
At the same place I put filters into gas masks.
I did more work at the computer game packing factory as I had two years ago, stripping Game Boy boxes.
The last of these was the same job that I had previously decided was the worst I had ever done, and boy did I feel it. On the second day I had to do the exact same thing the entire day, in the same place, standing up and still. Seven hours, of which a total of two 15 minute breaks. It was bad, very bad. Still, I chose it over the egg packing place and I don't regret that. At least I didn't get sticky this way.
I really, desperately don't want to do this again next summer. I am going to try to make sure I find something better than that without signing away my whole summer, dammit! I just hope that this time I actually remember how bad it is...
Anyway, that's my summer summed up. Now for some fun, go see Ming's new blog entry and the whole of his blog if you haven't before (because he is the king of hilarious blogging). Also check out Weird Al's latest song, because he is as ever brilliant. Now to prepare for a whole new term of law (Labour and EC), and being Secretary of the Oxford Secular Society. The fun never stops!