January 2008 Archives

The very latest in Extreme Sports?

The other week my double divan here gave up the ghost and so my landlord bought me a replacement (which is considerably more comfortable and has more storage under it).

When my housemates saw the scrap parts of the old bed, its small wheels and iminent trip to the tip, a thought occurred - we live on a steep hill. There can only be one purpose for the remaining bed.

Bed Racing.

Last night, a race was had between the two halves of the divan I hear; one of my housemates has demolished his two front teeth and most of the bottom of his face after playing chicken with the wall at the bottom, and I'm reliably informed that a randomer who joined in may have broken his ankle. If he did and he ever reads this, I'm sorry you got hurt!

However the other 6 who had a go escaped unscathed - could this be the beginning of a new sport?

I think not somehow.

About a week ago I got a frantic phone call from my housemate saying she'd adopted a hamster - consequently everyone fell in love with "Henrietta", but she didn't like the name it came with and we've since been trying to settle on a name for it - the three that have stuck have been Alfie, Hettie and another one I'm not going to repeat on here.

After an evening sitting and fussing the small ball of fluff I realised just how much I have been missing having something to care for and love of my own - Alfie-Hettie D. reminded me of my old Flash (the most friendly and lovable rat you have ever come to know) - so Kev and I went on a Quest to find a pet I could keep with ease but still have something to love.

And then it happened.

As the pet shop worker in the adoption section tipped a fat, abandoned ginger lump out of its obviously cosy bed I knew I wanted it - Kev to my left practically jumping up and down beside me showed he wanted it too. And those little black eyes just asked for a better life, so we had to take her home.

She chewed her way out of the container on the way home so we had to make her exercise ball up hastily - she chewed that a bit too but not in the time it took to visit Tesco, buy a cage and some bedding and come home.

So there you have it. Allowed or not, I now own Biscuit the Ginger Hamster - and I'm going to do all I can to provide a better and more loving life for her than she ever had before being abandoned in Llandudno.

Back into the Swing of Things.

After New Year's we drove Ceri back over to Derby, picked up my kite kit (and put it into my nice shiney new black and blue PKD drybag, it's so good that I colour - co-ordinate) and headed back on over to Bangor.

My return saw two new major purchases - I finally paid for the 7.5m Combat so now I own most of a set - the majority of the set I will ever use, and I bought a drysuit from eBay - a 2 year old crewsaver drysuit, it's hardly had any use out of it and was a bargain at a mere £58 + postage.

Revision and kiting pretty much filled up the majority of January - we went to Black Rock Sands for a session, the wind being inexistent to start with but picking up around lunch time to a fairly steady 12mph.

Kev caught a cold off Sam just after New Years, now wandering about with barely a limp, so his scheduled op to remove his loose screws (yes I found his loose screws funny too) was cancelled so he stayed south for longer, meaning when my exams were finally over I returned north with him to compete in the SPKA races on the 27th and had the chance to try out my new suit.

I'm now back and into Semester 2 with some of the most boring modules you could ever imagine - Soils and Contamination (soily pollution), Ecosystems and the Environment (soil and air pollution) and Earth and Ocean Observation (which consists of pretty much just marine acoustics and their acompanying formulae).

I am scheduled for going on the RV Prince Madog on Friday and Monday this week and next - weather permitting that is; so far the forecast is for gales on Friday.

Saturday will hopefully see some very chilly WSYC racing - I will be mostly taking my dive thermals for underneath that shiny suit of mine!

Returning to Bangor also made me say goodbye once again to the unforgetable Owyn - the very fat and growing rapidly goldfish residing in mum's tank. I really wish I could keep pet's here!

New Year’s Antics

For our New Year's celebrations, we picked up Sam and Ceri and drove over to Ally's flat in Edinburgh for "a most splendid gathering of peoples" as Ally so daintily put it.

Kev, Sam, Ceri, Mabster, Miriam, Ally, Angus, Dave, Lou and Wee Andy (along with occasional visits from Ally's absinthe steeped housemate) attended and there was much tomfoolery with the boards, unicycles and other miscelleneous objects. Sam and Ally played the guitar and serenaded us the whole evening even after a bit to drink and had us all in fits of hysterics - they both have a talent for making random lyrics fit various tunes and it made for some fantastic duets.

Closer to midnight we all a-wandered up to Arthur's Seat - some of us stopped half way up and the more intrepid of us continued to the top - needless to say I was not one of the latter!

As midnight struck 7 lots of fireworks went off across the city - one of which was set off from the bottom of Arthur's Seat, and those of us remaining on the lower peak had one of the best views of them in the whole of Edinburgh, I would be willing to bet on it - while the panoramic view gave us a cityscape erupting in colour, the main feature was the fireworks exploding at eye level in front of us. The atmosphere was amazing and you could hear the whole city cheering and singing in the new year.

Late on New Years Day we surfaced and managed to source some food to last us through the rest of the stay in an Indian supplies shop. Kev, Ceri and I bumped into Mabster and Miri in a cafe and had a proper breakfast whereas the others went back to the flat to chill out.

The day after New Years we went to St Andrew's but it was blowing a hoolie - Angus, Dave and as far as I know Ally had fun but it was a bit too wet and wild for my non-waterproofed self!

A great weekend was had in the end and I really look forward to the next time we're all together.


This Christmas saw me returning home for a brief stint of family visiting and a little work before heading on up to Kev's - Kev's last consultants appointment resulted in him being allowed to begin to weight bear but I'll let him tell you all about that if he gets around to it.

 When the day came to fly I woke up to a horrid sense of de ja vous - freezing fog, just like the day I flew last year, had enveloped Derbyshire and a result of which was that all the flights from East Midlands were delayed - some of which were cancelled. I got to Kev about an hour and a half later than planned but at least I got there!

It was so cold up at Kev's compared to Bangor - Bangor had seen one half decent frost whereas by the time I got to Scotland several nights of non-defrosting had left the whole area wrapped in blankets of icy spines. The pond in the garden was solid with ice and everything looked as though it had snowed. But it hadn't!

 Closer to the 25th we went south to spend Christmas with Kev and his family down in Staithes, Yorkshire.

We stayed in some nicely refurbished army barracks and although there were a few heating issues they were otherwise lovely and very spacious.

Christmas day was lovely - I had a sack from Santa full of lovely little gifts (thank you Santa) and some lovely presents from my friends and family.

We went fossil hunting (well, I went fossil hunting mostly but when we went to Robin Hood's Bay Kev joined in too, finding some much nicer fossils than I could manage to find), crabbing, dog walking and generally visiting around the area's beaches and between us Kev and I managed to take some really good photos.

All in all I had a really wonderful Christmas and I'm so grateful for Tom and Jane looking after me the way they did!

Happy New Year!

Well, I've been here there and everywhere since I last posted at the end of Semester 1 - now I have a lot of posts to catch up with all the things happening!

 Happy new year to everyone and all the best for 2008.