Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Three Weeks From Twenty One

"I've been here a while, staring at the screen wondering what I'll write..."

Yellowcard lyrics ended my last post before I turned 20, might as well start my look back on the last year with Yellowcard lyrics, and again, they make sense.  I don't know how to put into a blog post what I've gone through in the past year.  But I'm going to give it a try.  So here is what I've learnt in the last 12 months:

1. Life is hard
Ridiculously hard.  There have been so many bumps in the road, and hedges I've fallen into on the long road that is life that I'm not going to describe them all, it would take too much time.  Basically, something major happened in my life in November.  My home was flooded.  That has been the catalyst for a big look back at every decision I've made, every mistake I've made, every wrong thing I've said to someone, every person who has come into my life and changed it.
 There are some things I feel I haven't dealt with in the right way since then, but that is part of life.  There are some things, some emotions that, no matter how hard you try and dismiss them, or subdue them, you have no control over. Sometimes they just... are.
 Not everything will go the way that you want it to go.  You just have to soldier on past all the bad parts that are happening in your life, and concentrate on the good.  This comes onto the second thing I've learnt:

2. How much I care about the people I care about
The answer is a huge amount.  I've had so much support from family and friends since November that it has been overwhelming at times in terms of emotions.  I'm an emotional guy anyway, but I've been pushed over the edge quite a few times.  In fact, when I saw friends the other day, I surprised myself by thanking them for all their support, while nearly crying.  Luckily, I didn't, or that would have been embarrassing! 
 My family as well, as ever, have been a constant source of support.  I honestly don't know what I would do without them.
 It is humbling to know that people are that amazing, and I feel so lucky to know such good people in my life, that I hope to cherish for a long time to come.

So a relatively short post, but one I needed to make. It's helped me release some of the emotions I've built up over the last few months.  I remember some words that my old head of year at school said to me on Leaver's Day in 2009:

"Be Positive"

These are words I've tried to live by for the past 4 years.  I was too negative in school for his liking. Sometimes it's worked, sometimes it hasn't.  But here's a list of things I'm going to be positive about going forward:
  1. Life is getting better for me.
  2. I'm going home soon (hopefully November as of writing).
  3. I have a trip to Iceland coming up, that is going to be incredible. I'm hopefully going to see the Northern Lights with family, something I've wanted to do for the past few years.  I'm super excited for it, and even if I don't see the aurora, I'll still have a good time.
  4. The woman who will be my wife and mother to my kids will show up in my life at some point in time, probably when I least expect her to  I just have to accept it might take a while.
  5. I graduate in the next year and enter the big wide world.  Sure, it might be scary, but I know I'll be OK.  I've got some skills that'll help keep me going for a while, and plenty more to learn yet.
  6. I have great support from friends and family.  Seriously, I love you all.
So to everyone (all one of you) reading this, "Be Positive", life will work out in a good way, it just might take a while to get there.

Here is an image of my favourite animal, an owl, to close my post.
Have a good day :).

Friday, 24 August 2012

Two Weeks From Twenty

Why don't I update this as much as I should?

Because I usually don't have a lot to say, or I forget.
Mainly the latter.


I've been doing a lot of thinking recently.  I turn 20 in 2 weeks, so yeah, that constitutes a reason to start reflecting on what has happened in my life so far.

The answer is a fair bit:
Gaining friends, losing friends, moving, discovery of what interests me, a broken heart, and death to name a few.

A lot of my life has revolved around moving to different places every few years.  When I was younger, I hated doing it.  I didn't want to leave my friends; would I make new friends I kept asking myself?  Now the only thing I don't like about it is picking up and setting down furniture.
 Sure, it does suck leaving friends, especially those whose company I enjoyed.  But over the years, for some friendships, moving has solidified the connection I share with them.

Take my friends in Southampton for example.  When I first left them 6 years ago, I thought I might never see them again.  Such is the life of a then 13 year old.  But over the years, mainly through the rise of social networking, I got back in touch with them.  This helped me decide that I would rather go to college with them, than commute to a Cambridge college where I didn't know anyone at all.  I re-connected with them for 2 years at college, and then proceeded to leave them again to live where I currently am now.  I'm hoping to have a few of them over in a few weeks, which I'm really looking forward to.  The friends of mine I have, and who have kept in contact with me, are ones I will treasure for a long time.

Moving is also one of the reasons I am currently not in a relationship.  That broken heart I mentioned? That, together with the deaths of my Grandma, and Nan, meant I wasn't happy for a while.  Oddly enough, it took the death of my Granddad, and an extraordinary coincidence of my Grandma's ashes being in the place where we lay my Granddad's ashes, a year on, to get me back on my feet.

By the way, holding my Granddad's ashes, which were still warm, scattering them, and having a glass of bubbly, is one of most surrealist moments of my life.  Hasn't been topped in the 3 years since, and I'm not sure if it ever will.  But you never know

Which leads me onto another point: My family, which has always been a constant in my life, particularly my mum, dad and brother, and also my (very large!) extended family.  I feel incredibly lucky that I have such a strong, cohesive family structure, in that we all get along.  I know so many people who don't have the kind of family ties I have, and I find it sad.  I've enjoyed so many great moments with many members of my family, on holidays (New York, Florida, France), to family gatherings and events.

So as I enter my third decade, I look back on these moments, and sometimes feel old, and then I think of Yellowcard (one of my favourite bands), and think about some lyrics in one of their most recent songs:

"They say you don't grow up, you just grow old,"
"It's safe to say I haven't done both,"
"I made mistakes, I know, I know,"
"But here I am alive."

This makes me look forward to what is coming in my life.  The moments of joy, and anguish, that I'll experience.  I say: Bring it.

P.S. Looking back on memories is a key part of a story I'm writing, so I'll update on that at some point.  Stay tuned!

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Final Fantasy

I recently completed Final Fantasy 7 and 8.  Here are my views on them:

This game initially launched me into the Final Fantasy franchise.  It still holds up well 15 years after it was first released.  The storyline is consistently good, as are the characters.  It is also interesting to see Cloud's internal struggles, and how everything fits into place, once the truth is revealed.  Aerith's death still has the same hold as it it did the first time, and Sephiroth is still a douche.  The soundtrack is superb too.  

Overall, it is near the top of my all time favourite games of the franchise.

When I first played it over 10 years ago, I wasn't initially taken by it.  I seem to remember it took me 3 years or so to complete it.  In the years since, I've decided that it is a good game, but not nearly as good as 7, or my favourite in the franchise, 9.  The first half is excellent.  Being a mercenary, but being a student, felt different.  I would have been happy if it had ended at the end of disc 2, with a few alterations of course.

Everything begins falling apart at the beginning of disc 3 though.  The storyline became stupid, and aside from going to Esthar for the first time, it was underwhelming.  In my view, it became too big for its boots.  The soundtrack was good though.

The characters weren't as strong as in 7, but they still had a likeability factor: Squall in part reminds me of myself at times, but I was never that bitter and closed.  Being a (hopeless) romantic, I did like how the love story between Squall and Rinoa developed.  She sometimes reminds me of someone I know.  Zell is quite cool, Irvine is alright, but Selphie and Quistis to me are forgettable.  I never used them unless I had to.

Time to play 9 now, my favourite.

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Mobile World Congress

On Sunday, Mobile World Congress in Barcelona starts.

Well technically it starts on Monday, but several manufacturers have their press conferences on the Sunday, including HTC.

It would be cool to go, but alas, I am in University.  What I will do instead, is use this blog to give opinions on the announcements made, particularly focusing on HTC, because they make my phone, the Sensation, and they have some rebuilding to do in 2012.

I'm pretty sure, in fact, 100% sure, that some quad core phones will be announced, probably by HTC and LG.  What is the point of quad core in a phone?  To run things more smoothly?  They are hardly utilised in computers, so they will be even more useless in a mobile phone.

Oh well.  See you on Sunday.

Thursday, 29 December 2011

At Year's End

Another year been and gone. This year has gone pretty quickly indeed. I wonder what 2012 will bring.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

It's been a while

I hadn't realised until one very boring seminar I had that I hadn't updated this in 18 months.
I have to change that.

So starting from.... now... I'm updating this thing again.
You will hear more from me.  About what is going on in my life, thoughts and stuff.

Because why not?

Saturday, 12 June 2010

The First Time

I decided to create a blog.
Why you may ask?
Cus I saw @Mattyoak's blog (a friend of mine) and decided, yeah, why don't I create one?
So, here I am!

So: Sky+HD is here! to watch glorious football in glorious High Definition

To matters of England v USA:
England to win 2-1. Rooney, King and Bradley to score
Up the English!