The day I met Jo Whiley

Radio 1 came to Northampton today, in the shape of Jo Whiley and her crew and staged an intimate gig at the Picturedrome just up the road from here, featuring Athlete. Me and Dave went along to get tickets from Market Square where they were giving them out beforehand and I ended up on the radio talking to Jo.

Me and Jo

Athlete’s performance was top-notch – possibly the best gig I’ve ever been to, in fact. Tomorrow I’m off to Virgin to buy a copy of Tourist. This is what music is all about!

Jo and Athlete on-stage

Settling back in

I ended the great journey as I began it, on a National Express coach. This time I was travelling back from Heathrow, but the driver was the same one who had taken me there six weeks ago. He remembered me from that early morning journey, and politely told me that he thought the Big Pink Gay Hat From Thailand – which I was carrying with me under one arm – looked silly. But I think it looks cool.

I’ve been back for four days now and the mixed feelings I had initially about being back are slowly giving way to a determination to find a job and somewhere to live as quickly as possible. So today I got up at 7am (which actually turned out to be 6am thanks to the sad demise of British Summer Time last night) and finished off my CV ready to send to somebody. Anybody, actually.

Apologies to anyone I haven’t seen or been in touch with since getting back, it’s all been a bit hectic.


It had to be done really, didn’t it?

Me in front of Sydney Opera House

Tomorrow morning I fly up to Cairns and the hot and wet conditions in Northern Queensland – very different from Sydney at the moment, which continues to creep into Spring.

More blog (and email) updates to follow, I promise!

Five hours

Been up since 7. Mostly packed, will do rest tomorrow. Leaving Waterloo at noon tomorrow for Paris, requiring me to leave Northampton at 8. Another early start, yay.

Planet Afterlife died today when the work computer finally got turned off. Sorry everyone – perhaps someone else can host it until my return in October?

Off to bed now for five hours sleep. I haven’t felt this tired for a long time.

Five days to go

Apparently a lot of people round the office are slightly confused over how I’m still here. Their confusion may be justified, given that we had leaving drinks on Friday (Mmmm, £2 cocktails).

Very glad I went down to London this weekend, even if we didn’t make it to Big Gay Out until gone 5pm on the Saturday. Highlights included wandering around Westminster at three in the morning, double G&Ts and general good company.

The journey back to Leamington last night proved rather interesting however, when First Great Western held us outside the station for twenty minutes while we waited for some platform space to become free. This would have been fine, had it not been for the fact that the platform space was being taken up by our connecting train, which incidentally was the last northbound train from Oxford that evening. Thankfully they paid for taxis for us all to get to our destinations (the taxi driver was very nice, unlike the train company steward organising them, who I nearly ended up in an argument with), so at least I got home in the end, even if I did miss Big Brother.

Inter-railing starts on Sunday, woot!

Big vs. Small

I’ve been thinking lately about what kind of company I want to end up working for when my time at Warwick is over. In particular, the question of whether I should be applying for big corporate graduate programmes right now, or whether I whould just land in London in the autumn and find a job with a smaller company has been bothering me. Are there more opportunities for me in a multinational IT consulting firm, or in a smaller firm where I’m more likely to find something that I’m actually passionate about?

At the moment, I’m leaning towards the latter. This is good, because apparently small is the new big for organisations, at least according to Seth Godwin. Now if only I could remember where I’ve heard of him before.

In other news, I’m almost certainly not running on Sunday. The doctor thinks I may have splintered the bone in my left leg and warned me off doing anything too streunous with it for a little while. I guess that rules out 10km runs, eh?

Beautiful Day

I felt pretty crap last night, largely due to a combination of sitting in front of computers for too long, disagreements with housemate #2 who is refusing to pay her share of the council tax bill and the fact that my leg injury still hasn’t gone away and is threatening to stop me running on Sunday.

Today is better. Kerrang were playing U2’s Beautiful Day as I drove onto campus in the morning sun. I have been productive too, having logged a Blogbuilder bug about Planet failing to parse Giles’s and Milly’s blogs due to the weird characters that it puts in the RSS markup for some reason. I think I may go to the gym later. But no running 🙁

Welcome to Planet Afterlife, Tal! That’s one less broken RSS feed to deal with, yay!

Lazing on a Sunday afternoon

Sometimes I really hate shift working, but sometimes I really like it. Today, it is a good thing. Today has been a great Sunday.

Don’t get me wrong – the government haven’t suddenly swapped Thursday and Sunday over in some kind of attempt to improve the NHS figures or something (ooh, how political), but I have been off work both yesterday and today so it’s almost like the weekend for me.

So today has mostly been spent recovering from yesterday’s gym-based activities, which has been much easier to deal with than my usual alcohol-induced Sunday hangovers. There has been much drinking of water, catching up on sleep and watching of the wonder that is the O.C, but less pain and slightly less bruising. Is the whole Sunday thing making more sense now?

And of course one of the benefits of it not actually being a Sunday in the Real World(TM) is that you can still have bouts of productiveness in between all the laziness. So I’ve phoned up the glazing people to remind me when they’re coming to repair the front door of my mother’s house, phoned the lady next door to make sure she’ll be able to let them in, and even taken the car to Warwick and back for a service.

I have a strange feeling I’ll remember today, but just as one of those days you remember for no particular reason, other than as a reminder that life can occasionally be good. Other people I’ve talked to today may remember it for different reasons either good or bad, and some would probably rather forget it ever happened at all. But for me it’s been good.

Tomorrow may not be so good, as I’m about to do one of the worst things you can do on a Sunday (at least when you don’t have the benefit of being off work the next day), namely Sunday clubbing. But I’ll deal with that tomorrow.

Listening to: Moby – 18 – quite loudly and with all the windows open.
Appreciating: Having my car cleaned for free. Yay!
Blatantly stealing this style from: M, via Laurie.

My most political blog post ever

I must say that the general election rather passed me by this time. Mostly due to my own lameness I ended up not able to vote, and mostly due to us not having a TV licence and me wanting to catch up with the episodes of Desperate Housewives that I’ve missed recently I didn’t watch it on TV either.

Then this morning I woke up late and completely forgot that there’d been a general election the day before, my brain obviously having prioritised the act of rushing around in an attempt to not be too late for work above such things.

It wasn’t until I was driving out of Leamington that I turned the radio on, having finally got fed up of listening to Confide In Me, which had been in the CD player since Monday night. They were reading out the news on Radio 1, saying something about Howard congratulating Blair on the result.

The words were scarily reminiscent of last year’s presidential election, reminding me of Kerry’s speech conceding defeat to Bush. But this time it was a relief to hear those words and be reassured that this country at least had not ended up in the hands of a bunch of neo-cons. Although everyone expected Labour to win a third term, in the days leading up to poll day I couldn’t help but fear what might happen if things were to somehow go wrong.

But although there were no shocks this morning, checking the results this evening on BBC News yielded a few nasty surprises. Particularly the gains made by the Conservatives in the West Midlands, with James Plaskitt struggling to hold onto Warwick & Leamington with a majority of only 306 and the Tories gaining Kenilworth & Rugby (and half of campus along with it) from Labour.

Still, the Lib Dems took Solihull from the Tories, the Conservative vote at home took a nose dive after the previous Conservative candidate ran as an independent and Jim Cunningham kept hold of Coventry South for Labour. So I guess it’s not all bad.

Next time an election comes round though, somebody please remind me to get up off my arse and make sure I’m registered to vote. If today’s taught me anything, it’s about the fragility of electoral majorities, and the effects it has when things do change.

Yup, next time I’ll definitely be making sure I exercise my constitutional right to vote. Brown for PM! Or maybe I’ll go for Lib Dem, if Labour continue to piss me off over the next few years… We’ll see.

Kill me now

I never thought I’d say this, but today I found myself in agreement with one of UKIP’s policies. Perhaps leaving the EU in order to avoid having to implement the Computer Implemented Inventions Directive in the UK is a little extreme, but I guess it’s one way to avoid software patents.