Notes on House Keeping

Posted on Saturday 28th October 2006 at 00:00
Wow, have I really not posted since Thursday!? Doesn't time fly when you are having fun, or failing that really busy? Actually I've been a bit of both these last two days, which for a student isn't a bad thing at all. In that time I've had several ideas for blog entries, too many in fact to write as full individual posts, so I'm going to compress those that I can remember into one bite size chunk.

The first thing that struck me on Friday was how extremely quiet the roads were, despite the fact that I was running a few minutes late and should have been penalised with a massive tail back. Those who were reading last week will remember how I described being stuck in traffic for ages and enjoyed listening to the radio in the car. This week that didn't happen at all. For a start the usual breakfast show presenters weren't on and they had a stand in who wasn't really in a position to replicate the amusing conversations that usually make up the show as he was all by himself. And as I mentioned there was no traffic to speak of.

This freaked me out so much that by the time I got up to uni I was convinced that there must have been a bomb scare nearby or something and the roads had been closed, only due to some terrible administrative cock up no one had told me. Later in the day I was reminded that it was half term and so no school run would have been there to slow things down, but at the time I was seriously worried. Luckily for me, when I got to uni I found loads of cars; an entire car park full of them in fact. Well, that isn't strictly true. The car park didn't have any space for new cars but it wasn't even close to full, as I discovered to my extreme annoyance as I crawled between the rows of parked cars and found that at least half of them had parked so badly that they were taking up enough space for at least two cars each.

This really gets my back up as (the way I see it) parking is not only really, really easy, it is also one of the most fundamental parts of driving, and without which no one should be allowed a licence. However, it seems that due to some pretty poor instructors and some even poorer test centre car parks, at least half of all learner drivers are not taught how to reverse bay park competently, despite the fact that the highway code states this is the only way you are allowed to park in a bay. Not forwards. Backwards. There is a very good reason for this: imagine you are in a car park and your car is half sticking out of a bay with two cars parked on either side. The end of the car inside the bay has very little manoeuvrability because of the cars on either side and the end outside of the bay has lots as there are no cars there. If you are trying to drive in forwards, which end are the steering wheels on? That's right, the end where they are no use because there isn't any space to move! If you are going in backwards, which end are they on? Right again, the end with all the room in the world, which means it is much easier to manoeuvre the car into the space neatly and quickly. If you go in forwards you will never have the room to straighten up, and that is why you end up taking up two spaces and that is why I ended up reverse parking into a space so tight that I couldn't actually open the doors, not even a crack. In the end I had to go to another car park, all because of other people being stupid. Still, it will serve them right next week when they all get clamped for parking illegally *evil grin*

I had a gap of two hours between my lectures after lunch which I spent rushing off a Frequently Asked Questions page for the website. It can be found using the link at the top of this page and contains the answers to some of the questions I figured you might have. If you've got anymore please email me and I'll get back to you as soon as I can.

In the afternoon I had the best lecture I've had all year. Firstly a woman from careers development came in and told us that if we enquire now we could get a decent job with a starting salary of '30k a year, which was all the encouragement I needed, having previously been led to believe I was doing well if I could get '16,000 a year. Secondly we had a one off lecture with a bloke who was everything a lecturer should be. The class had been quite talkative during the careers talk, but when that ended he just stood there silently and the room went dead within 5 seconds. I half expected everyone to rise and chant 'Good Afternoon, Mr. Lecturer', like in some re-enactment of a Victorian school, from the days when students were respectful and polite.

He then went on to give an incredibly well delivered lecture on a subject that should have been fairly boring but which was made to be interesting, thought provoking and enlightening, even though it was last thing on a Friday. I have to say it is probably the first lecture in that module in which I've actually leant something. Really made my day.

In the evening I went to the cinema with the intention of seeing The Departed. Sadly for me it was very much sold out, as was the cinema car park, the entrance to which had actually been closed off to stop any more cars trying to get in there. Another car park was found and another film selected, this time being The Guardian, which I'd seen trailers for and which was not at all disappointing. My 27th cinema visit of 2006.

Today's excitement came in the form of an unexpected house inspection by the landlords, put forward by a week as they were in town to deal with another property. This required several hours of manic tidying up before they arrived, but was well worth it, as by the time they got to us, everyone was in a very good mood indeed, not least because we were living in a nice looking house for once. We've been told our new freezer will arrive on Tuesday, allowing us to have one between two, rather than one between 4, as we are doing at the moment. I've also been promised a new desk chair, as my present one only rises about a foot off the ground and sitting on it is very uncomfortable.

There is currently a box on my screen. I'm not sure where it has come from or why, but it looks like the shadowing you get on the right side and bottom of any announcement box anywhere in Windows, except without the announcement box inside. It has been here for a few hours now, looking rather lost, but doesn't appear to be linked to any pages or applications and I can't interact with it using the mouse. It is most odd I'm sure you'll agree. I think I'll call him Fred .... or Bernard. Actually, that sounds better; Bernard the box it shall be.

My leg appears to be going numb despite the fact that I'm not sitting on it. Perhaps this means I should go ...

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