kelzadiddle: (Caution! Zombies Ahead! Roadsign)
Hello everyone! Just letting you all know that I made it to Ireland safe and well. The ferry didn't sink, I wasn't killed en route to Stranraer and I have thus far avoided being killed by bandits and ninjas.

So why have I neglected my journal for yet another week? The answer, my friends, is simple.

One, welcome week and commuting have both kept me exceptionally busy and two, I'm rather lazy. But you all know that already!

What I have been doing, however, is writing daily letters to Jason. They're basically accounts of what I've been up to each day, plus a crapload of waffling about how much I miss him and all the rest.

I'll post them up here for you all to read (the ones I've written, anyway) - though they're personal, this journal has always been rather personal in nature anyway and there's nothing in the letters that is too private. Plus, missing Jason - and indeed everyone back home - is all part of the university experience for me.

I hope everyone's doing fantastically, and I promise I'll get my act together soon! I'd hate to graduate after three years and have no record in my journal of the epic adventures between now and then!

Letters to Jason: The First Day in Ireland

  • Sep. 16th, 2011 at 9:40 PM
kelzadiddle: (keep calm and read Wodehouse)
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 16, 2011
09:40PM
HOME IN IRELAND, KELZA'S AND SHANNON'S ROOM

Dear Jason,

Well, what can I write? Since you've phoned already, you know about my day. Nice lie-in, daytime telly, no free time as Shannon and Sophie are talking to me nearly all the time, probably still giddy that I'm here.

There's still a weekend to go but I'm nervous about going to university. Very, very nervous. The whole registration faff hasn't helped my anxiety any as I have this strange and horrible feeling that I won't get to start my course and all of this - the effort, the gap year and the pain of being away from you - will all be for nothing.

But enough of the red tape faffery... )

Letters to Jason: Moving to Ireland

  • Sep. 15th, 2011 at 7:35 PM
kelzadiddle: (UFO Club Poster 1)
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 15, 2011
07:35PM
STRANRAER, ABOARD THE STENA LINE HSS

Dear Jason,

Your mum was right! Tea and coffee is now no longer free on ferries. These are sad days indeed; darker, in fact, than the tea I can now no londer afford to immerse myself in.

Chances are you'll phone when I'm still on board - or back on the road. There's been a lot of 'on-roading' today; five hours of it, in fact, if you ignore the two-hour business sojourn to Manchester.

Why have I felt the bizarre need to write 'sojourn' in these letters? I almost wrote it yesterday and I have no recollection why.

Sojourn. Ha. Aha. Hahaha... ehem.

Anyway... )

----------------------

Fun fact about Stranraer: the town's branch of New Look is right next to a police station. Any Scottish chavettes (nedettes) who fancied their chances during the UK riots in August wouldn't have had far to go. This was a thought of mine as we drove through the town!
kelzadiddle: (Write Like a Mofo)
Dammit, Semagic! It isn't letting me post :(

Hello ElJay! I haven't been updating because I am currently very very busy with all this moving stuff. When I haven't been packing, I've been writing letters to Jason - many many letters with all the detail of this journal. When I haven't been writing letters...

Well, I've been procrastinating, mainly, or sleeping. Glorious sleeping. Ehem.

Moving morning is today! I'm expecting my stepdad to come and pick me up in about an hour's time, so I have to keep this brief while I get everything sorted out. Depending on the crossing I take on the ferry, I'll take either 'The Timeshare Presentation of Death' to work on (shorter crossing) or 'The Great Couch Happening of '69' (if we take the really long one that's about seven or eight hours).

Watch and be amazed as I'm too busy being excited by all the travelling to actually write anything. As for the moving itself, I'll be sure to write you an account of the adventures afterwards. Huzzah!

A Door Closed and Two Goodbyes

  • Sep. 12th, 2011 at 5:08 PM
kelzadiddle: (Kevin Ayers Still Life With Guitar)
I've been back from town about half an hour - maybe more, I'm not too sure. After my illness on Thursday/Friday I decided to go in and tie up a few loose ends, submit stories that were done but not submitted, gather up my things and say a last goodbye to the colleagues.

First, though, I met Jason at half eight this morning so we could get some breakfast before I went to work. Well - it was 8:40. He'd accepted a lift off his stepmum who was driving the kids to school, only the kids' school is near Asda, which is actually further away from where we'd agreed to meet than his house. He only realised when he'd been dropped off. Oops!

So I'd been sat waiting in Victoria Square for about half an hour when he arrived... )

The Worst Possible Day to Be Ill. Ever.

  • Sep. 11th, 2011 at 10:15 AM
kelzadiddle: (keep calm and read Wodehouse)
These past few days have been crazy. My lack of updating has been due to 1) sickness and 2) busyness. I started feeling ill Thursday night and could hardly get any sleep - by Friday morning, it was a full-blown migraine; one of those where the pain's so bad it makes you feel sick in the stomach. So I couldn't keep anything down - including water and ibuprofen, both crucial to my recovery - and I couldn't move without a wave of nausea sending me running to the bathroom.

The thing is, I chose the worst possible day to be so ill... )
kelzadiddle: (UFO Club Poster 1)
I haven't journalled much these past few days because I've been extremely busy. I've finally started packing, which, as predicted, will take days and create a whole load of mess, and I've been trying to figure out a good travel plan well in advance of going to university. This morning I plan to phone QUB over the aforementioned registration identification faff. Then there's been work, my attempts to spend as much time with Jason as possible before we both go away (he's in Exeter now; more on that in a separate entry)... so yes, I've been quite busy.

So far I've figured out a good travel plan for my first month or so. Northern Ireland has something called an iLink card - a funny top-up style travel pass which allows you free monthly travel for £70 on your chosen route. I put £70 on the card, basically, and it allows me unlimited travel between Portadown and Gt Victoria Street Station in Belfast, which is only 12 minutes or so from the English building on QUB's campus.

£70 a month is just about what I'm paying now in weekly passes, and if you think about it, it's better value for money. Here, I'm paying £68 a month for essentially two fifteen minute journeys a day - that's 30 minutes of daily travel. Portadown to Gt Victoria Street is about 45 minutes.

I'm still in the process of packing all my stuff, like I said earlier on. Up to now I've packed all my CDs except for my 'Keys to Ascension' boxset by Yes - which has the most flimsy packaging known to man. I'm not sure where to stick that where it won't get damaged. I've filled one of my two hold-alls up with clothes, and I haven't even started packing books and novels yet. I'll be leaving a few changes of clothes out so I have something to wear between now and moving, and I'll probably leave the novels until later so I'll have something to work on. Then there's my guitar - gotta find the carry case for it. It's under my bed somewhere.

Until recently, I was neglecting in my list of things to pack one of the most crucial things I'll need over there: documentation. Letters from UCAS and the university, proof of qualifications, certificates, bank statements and utility bills (if applicable) proving your previous address, birth certificate, photo ID. I may not have a driver's licence or passport, but I have all these other things. If they turn me away for not meeting their requirements I might just slap that lot down and say 'believe me now?'. I will get into that university and get my degree!

As for work, it's been lighter recently on the piling-on of stuff. Andy's just giving me a few little or simple things to do - council press releases, fillers, church news. It's very much back to square one but these things are crucial for the paper, to take up little bits of unsightly space and advertise upcoming events across the borough. I just need to soldier on through the stories I have remaining, get all fillers and church news done, caption any outstanding photos and drink tea like an absolute mofo.

Word from Mum now suggests that it could be September 13, 14 or 15 that I go. Geoffrey, my stepdad, is over on business for these days. That's plenty of time to get packed up (as in get everything packed so Geoffrey can pick stuff up on later journeys), finish my workload at the Star and have another weekend with Jason. As well as sign on again.

I miss Jason so much. He's only been gone a day and it's difficult already. He was telling me on Sunday night how the day before (when he'd stayed over at mine) it had suddenly hit him how much he was going to miss me. I had that realisation a good few weeks ago, and it's been hard living with it in England, let alone during the actual reality of being away. I just hope it doesn't hurt him too much, and that the contact we maintain makes things a little easier.

The Green Dress and the Emerald Isle

  • Sep. 4th, 2011 at 3:02 PM
kelzadiddle: (Louis Comfort Tiffany 2 White Flowers)
I went to a film preview today with my beloved Sianiany Whale - 'The Green Dress', which I'm reviewing for work, was written by Pam Taylor (Chatterbox Productions) and directed by Warrington-based Dreamcatcher Films' Carl Brandwood and Peter Axford, who also doubled as cameraman.

The film was good - I shall post my thoughts on it later - and it was brilliant being able to spend time with Sian, who also helped me out a bit with my work; suggesting questions I could ask Pam and Carl when they weren't too busy! Alas, I had barely any time to talk to them, but I got their numbers so come tomorrow I'll give them a ring and get some quotes for my article. Hooray!

Sian said that we'll have to have another get-together before I head off to Ireland, and I agree. I only have about two weeks left of life in England (still a crazy thought) and I'll be leaving behind everything I know for three years of university, so I need to catch up with as many people as possible before I go. Once I've moved, it'll be a full term before I have the chance to see everybody again.

While we're on the subject of Ireland, I need to phone Queen's University Belfast. Apparently, to complete registration, I need either a valid driver's licence or a passport to prove my identity - but I don't have either, nor can I afford them. But the Queen's Welcome and Registration site says 'Original photographic proof of identification such as passport or driver’s licence' - 'such as' implying that these are only examples of what could be appropriate.

I have my birth certificate, which is under the Craigavon registry, and I have my CitizenCard - a government-issued form of photo ID which carries the PASS logo and allows the owner on most domestic flights, amongst other things... but I need to get in touch with the registration people tomorrow morning to see if there's any way to register without a driver's licence or passport. If not, can I still start my studies?
kelzadiddle: (Write Like a Mofo)
Wow, is it really almost ten o'clock? How bizarre. It feels like I've only just got in. Mind you, I was quite late this morning as I had to nip to the post office beforehand to get a postal order filled out.

The post office is the last possible place you want to be in the morning, seriously. Full of people getting their benefits, paying bills, posting letters and parcels they really shouldn't have left until the last minute... and over half of them seem to be in their pyjamas, for some odd reason.

So yes, I took a not-so-brief detour to the post office while Jason was walking me to work. I was hoping that he couldn't ask me what the postal order was for, because then I'd have to lie. Then, as we were in The Queue That Never Seems to Get Smaller...

"So, what's this postal order for?" he asked.

Bugger, I thought, then devised a quick fib. "Oh, just a vinyl I saw advertised in Record Collector - 'Animals' by Pink Floyd." I hoped to god that I hadn't shown him the copy of 'Animals' I already have, and then added a touch of authenticity by ranting about how, had I known about postal orders ages ago, that copy of 'In the Land of Grey and Pink' by Caravan advertised in the February issue would have been mine.

Why fib to Jason about the nature of this postal order, you ask? I shall tell you...

The truth is... )

Time to Start Thinking About Moving...

  • Jul. 6th, 2011 at 8:04 AM
kelzadiddle: (Write Like a Mofo)
I've just been having a gander at the Stena Line and P&O sites, as it's time that I start seriously considering my move to Ireland. If I go by ferry, then I can take all my stuff and have a better time of settling in when I get there. If I've spent too decadently this year and a ferry is subsequently too expensive, then it's EasyJet and selective packing, as well as a massive essentials shop when I get there.

Thankfully, it's not looking like this will be a problem. Both Stena Line and P&O are offering returns for two passengers in a car for less than £210, which is under a month's pay for me (I get paid every fortnight). So if I can just stay the bloody hell away from my bank account for a couple of months, get some of these bus tickets refunded at last and sort out the coach tickets to Cambridge so I can pay Holly's Dad the £28 that I owe for the hotel, it'll all be snazzy and wonderful!

Another thing I've been considering for a little while is how to keep minions in England updated with my day-to-day conquests in Ireland. There are people who I want to keep informed with my shenanigans who don't really read or aren't massively aware of my journal. Mainly Dad, Sian, Laura, Jason and maybe Holly - I'm not sure how often she reads.

Originally I was just thinking about Jason, as he doesn't have an Internet connection in his house. I was going to print off the week's journal entries and post them to him. But then, this morning, the idea expanded to include other people. I could have a little mailing list thing going on!

Ya haaarrrr, me hearties!

  • Jan. 9th, 2011 at 10:40 PM
kelzadiddle: (UFO Club Poster 1)
Blimey. All my posts of late have been Twitter posts. You know what? I'm not sure I like it, having all my tweets posted automatically onto here. Not because I don't like you all seeing my tweets - quite the opposite - it's because this is supposed to be a journal, dammit, not a Twitter feed. So I think I'm going to go ahead and disable Twittinesis. Those of you who would like to continue reading my tweets, you'll find me on the Twitterverse under the wonderfully obscure name of @SirKelsalot. I can usually be found slaying malware or going on about how much better the world is with sandwiches in it.

I've had a thoroughly uneventful start to the New Year. Apart from the partial eclipse faffery the other day, not a lot has gone on. I've been working away at my voluntary job and I had an interview in St. Helens which gave me an excuse to raid the record shop before going home. I haven't written much, I've drawn a bit. I've listened to music, bathed, slept a lot, had one or two weird dreams - just the usual, really.

I seriously, desperately need to get off my arse and start my novels up again. I miss them terribly.

Another thing I need to do is start saving. The last thing I want is to reach September and find that poof! I have no money, I'm still in England and term starts in three days!

Tomorrow is the very first day of my Prince's Trust adventure. We're gonna be tripping over mountains, gallivanting about and painting things... for the community! And I'm very excited for it, I must admit. Not just for the experiences I'm sure to have, but to see what a positive impact my team will have. According to The Prince's Trust website, the 12-week programme involves...
  • Spending a week away at a residential activity centre
  • Undertaking a project based in their local community
  • Completing a work placement
  • Participating in a team challenge, involving caring for others
  • Staging a team presentation, during which they recount their experiences
The residential sounds awesome. That kind of thing is right up my street. From what I've seen, it involves a lot of teamwork to help the group bond, outdoorsy stuff like mountain walks... if you know me well, you know that I absolutely adore mountain walks. The community project and work placement sounds pretty exciting, as well, and I can see how it can be valuable - gaining important skills, along with a sense of how good it feels to give something back to the community. I'm really looking forward to the team challenge, caring for others. when I did my interview, Tim showed me a video, and seeing how the team spoiled a group of the elderly was really touching - I nearly cried.

As for the presentation bit - well, we all know what a geek I am for presentations.

I should probably talk a little about my projects. I have a title for the second novel in 'The Chronicles of Stan' - it will be called 'Tea-Time With Vikings'. I find it appropriately silly and irrelevant, and shall have great fun making it a believable part of the story. Zurie and I have also decided to collaborate on something; a graphic novel called 'The Ballad of Haymarket Platform Zero'. This one will be in the works for a while as we've both got a lot going on (being busy writists and all, we spend far too much time being witty), but I assure you all it will be awesome. When it finally arrives, that is.

I've started a sketchbook for 'The Ballad of Haymarket Platform Zero', so as time progresses you'll be seeing many images and scans being uploaded. It depends on how fast I work.
kelzadiddle: (Louis Comfort Tiffany Photoshopped)
I have made like a genius and made a whole bunch of Amazon orders... mere days before Christmas. Consequently, my inbox has been quiet these past few days, save for the odd bit of spam e-mail here and there. The only e-mail from Amazon is one that begins with 'due to the adverse weather conditions...' yadda yadda. You can pretty much write the rest yourself.

Where have I been, this past week or so? Well, I was stranded in Lowton for the first three days, Due to the Adverse Weather Conditions. The rest of it I've spent working at the shop, watching Bleach, attempting to write... and generally doing anything but writing on here.

So here I am. Back. With a vengeance? No. More like with a slightly sore stomach.

It's under the cut because I'm a horrible person who likes making your f'list shorter... )

Right, people! Now that I'm done waffling about myself, what can I do for you lot this Christmas? Would you like to see some artwork up here (as it's been literally years since I've done anything worth posting)? Would you like to see more writing being posted, perhaps? Tales of my musical conquests? Anything else? Harass me. You have my permission.

My Second Bedtime of the Night.

  • Aug. 5th, 2010 at 11:13 PM
kelzadiddle: (Kevin Ayers Still Life With Guitar)
Sian and I, after much texting, have agreed that the issue of my return to Ireland is a subject that requires much time and thought. It certainly isn't something to be taken lightly. Anyway, I really am off to bed now. Honest. I really am.

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