Posts tagged: Hollyoaks

Sunday 22nd June 2008

Ultraviolet was good but it could have been so much better. It is by the same director who stun the world with Equilibrium. (I saw this movie in rather surreal setting of my university lecture theatre, during an overnight stay back in mid May 2004). I can talk about it freely now, as some long four years have past but preferred not to mention it at all on my blog then in case the hierarchy of the university were reading my blog. My house mate Nav had 24 hour overnight access to the labs inside the Hawthorne Building and we decided to go in one evening, for me to disappear at the precise moment the PhD student came around to check everyone’s pass and get them to sign in. We had a bit of a cat and mouse game to play with security, as the master plan was to go into the main lecture theatre and put the DVD (rented from a shop on Narborough Road) onto the full screen protector. The sound could have been better (it is only decided for speech) but it was great fun!

Ultraviolet is much the same in look and feel but the plot is poor and at times it becomes difficult to follow. The action sequences paired with some fantastic CGI are amazing to watch but at times, too much is happening for your eyes to cope with. Milla Jovovich is perfectly cast as the heroine and gives a good solid performance. It is such a shame that there were no great actors to support her. There are parallels with another movie I saw recently AeonFlux both in terms of narrative and plot. Towards the end though you feel it has all been a blood bath for nothing and I cannot really recall seeing any gun-kata point two zero as promised by the director. Great action, so really would only recommend to the guys out there and make sure you get the Unrated version which features a few extra minutes not shown in the theatrical release.

A mild Saturday, I got up at 9am and after breakfast watched Click and then Football Focus. I then got ready and went to the temple with my family in Slough. We got some food there and then headed back home. As soon as I got home, I picked up my recommended reading list and walked to the bus stop. Caught the 15:17 bus into town and more precisely the new library. I was very impressed. The image of an old, smoking, dusty environment has been replaced with bright green walls, plenty of computer screens and clearly marked book shelves. I took the lift up to the first floor (yes I know, I’m very lazy) and took a look around. There were some self service machines to borrow and return your items. I looked for a few books from my list and in the end had to consult a member of staff. He was extremely helpful, firstly showing me the computer terminal to check for books, then directing me to the ‘Classics’ section. This was were I was going to find the meat of my list. I thanked him for his time and went ahead and picked up my second book. I had already found Catcher In The Rye by J.D. Salinger. I picked up Animal Farm by George Orwell. The book had been featured recently on the television series GREEK (UK viewers will see the episode in a few weeks). So hence I thought I would give it a read, both books are around 200 pages so should not take me that long. I then decided to look at the non-fiction section and picked a book from the musical score section. National Anthems from Around the World. Something to try on the piano perhaps. I then had to get my pin confirmed before trying the self service machines myself. You insert your card, enter you pin and just stack the books in the open shelf and it automatically reads the barcodes and away you go. Receipt printed with due date and I was off. I went to Clinton Cards and then after a short walk around Eden, decided to head home. I was home by 5pm.

Turtle Wax Car Care Pack

My sister, Samantha called me on Saturday afternoon to let me know she had bought me a Turtle Wax cleaning kit. I was annoyed because I have everything I need and all my products need to cleared by Crystal Detail. I assumed she got me one of those Turtle Wax packs which includes sponge, clothes, shampoos and waxes. In fact it was a interior and exterior spray set. Useful but will see what Pav says on MSN tomorrow after reading this. To be honest apart from a quick vacuum, the interior gets little attention from me these days. Unlike in the days of my Punto when I would spend a good half an hour spraying and buffing every piece of trim.

I watched Death Proof after the football. I was extremely disappointed. Sure I had expected a different type of movie, it was a slow start but once it got going I thought it would improve. It did not, in fact it got worse. It was a cult slasher movie with Kurt Russell in one of his bad guy roles with a fantastic cast of female actresses refered to in the opening credits as “The Girls”. The ending was rather pathetic and pointless. The action sequences and general special effects were very good but it was shot like an old movie from the 1960s. I was going to watch Planet Terror straight afterwards but instead decided to chat to a few friends online and then go to sleep.

Back in 1992, I was at my cousin, Anita’s wedding. It was one of the main wedding receptions before the big day over in Gerrards Cross (later that summer). The party took place in Flackwell Heath, a few miles from home. My aunty drove me, my sister and Dad home that evening. I remember when we got in, I put on the TV and watched the climatic race of a movie. Thankfully it was on ITV so with the commercial break came the name of the movie. This was a time before digital television, electronic programme guides and time shift plus one hour channels. I really enjoyed the movie because it starred my childhood hero, Michael J. Fox. It had everything a young eleven year old boy would want in a television movie, a big car chase and the underdog winning in the end (or so I remember). The movie was called High School U.S.A. Obviously I completely forgot about the movie until recently when I was looking at Fox’s filmography on Wikipedia and then took a punt with a search on BT Junkie and believe it or not, there it was. It has taken me several days to download at an average rate of 5kbit/s. I decided to transfer it across to the XBox and watch in the living room on the big screen. A perfect movie for a Sunday afternoon? It wasn’t perhaps perfect but it was very good and enjoyable. Crispin Glover was great and I enjoyed the build up of the story up to the race. The last time I had seen the movie on television (some sixteen years ago!) I had seen it just from the start of the race. Great fun and well worth waiting for and very funny but obviously showed it’s age (twenty five years no less)

I have made an executive decision. To drop Hollyoaks permanently from my viewing radar. I have watched it regularly to the point of the divine over the past three years or so, with many of my posts being inspired by the show. (Here are a few examples from the archives) However, with my new gym regime, I only get to watch four episodes (two on Tuesday and Friday respectively) during the week and never catch the Sunday omnibus edition. However, that is not my main reason for dropping it from my schedule. It is the storylines (which have gone from bizarre to downright ridiculous) no longer appeal plus all my favourite characters have either been killed off or left. There is little to inspire and at the age of twenty-six I feel perhaps I am out of the age bracket the show is looking for.

After two false starts in 2004 and 2005, Nav is back blogging. He was my housemate in my final year at Uni in Leicester. He was studying Masters with my other housemate Paul at De Montfort. He has started a work blog called Foobar Ramblings. Three posts already from the first day but expect a mixture of helpful posts along with techie commentary related to his work. He has moved to Wimbledon from Acton now and we are trying to arrange a weekend to meet up. Most likely when he gets back from holiday in mid July.

Friday 28th September 2007

Today, I forefilled one of my dreams. For sure, a dream perhaps on the third or fourth tier but nevertheless a dream. I drove past the ‘office’ as featured in the opening credits of The Office. As I a big fan of the series, I have often wondered where the site of the external shots of the Slough Trading Estate were from, but it was not until now, some four years since the final Christmas episode was screened that I found out. I had to visit a client around the corner and saw the office block, just as it appears on television, it was a surreal moment.

Now for a bit of girl on girl action. The reason I watch Hollyoaks, is not for the gritty storyline of revenge against Claire Devine. It is for the comic book moments, many of which I am recording and uploaded to YouTube. Jessica Harris, the snobish student down on her luck, played so well by Jennifer Bidall. I will stop boring you and let you just enjoy the clip. Someone obviously has a lot of fun scripting this show, just a shame it will never grow up to fill the boots of Brookside. If you pay close enough addition to the names of sum of the writers that appear at the opening, they appear made up.

My sister gets back from Uni on Sunday. My Dad and youngest sister are going to Sheffield to collect her. It will be the first time since Sunday 17th September 2000 (the day Paula Yates passed on), that everyone is back home. That was the day before I headed to Leicester to start my degree. Since then, both my sisters have been also and one has also completed a Masters. Time flies. It will be very strange experience to find everyone back at home again.

I met Murtaza at my first MJ event back on Sunday 2nd October 2005. We then exchanged the occassional message on MJ News Online. It was only when I found the video to Michael Jackson by The Mitchell Brothers that I realised he was on his way to stardom. He is nolonger on the discussion board, he may have been banned but I cannot be sure. He has a MySpace page. I dropped him a text after seeing the video and he sent me a reply towards the end of August, I just forgot to mention it before. He explained he had in the past week been working on with the Sugababes on their video, playing the role of a chef. That video, would be About You Now. It would not be until I had seen the music video at least a dozen times that I noticed it was him (it is a brief cameo appearance, blink and you too will miss it!)

Downloaded Bionic Woman this evening from uTorrent. I am off to go and watch Michelle Ryan go from Eastend London, to Hollywood TV superstar. Do you not, just love the digital age we live in?

Tuesday 4th September 2007

A quiet weekend at home, nothing really planned. I had a few odd jobs to do in town in the morning, get my haircut, go to the bank. I left just before 9am and was back around 10.30am. Then, very much a coach potato Saturday in front of the television (or rather computer screen). I watched Football Focus and then Soccer Saturday, thanks to Sky Sports News (which is thankfully still broadcasting on Freeview, although I was told it was going to be pulled during the summer). In the afternoon before the football began, I watched The Simpsons Movie. Pav had sent me a care package, one DVD, which I received on Saturday morning. I had not seen the movie and was looking forward to it. My expectations were high, but then again I’m not a big fan of the series and my favourite character is Chief Clancy Wiggum. When the show is on television, be it Channel 4 or Sky One, I will watch it. It does make me laugh. I have most seasons, apart from the most recent three loaded on the XBox, thanks to MightyMouse. I was disappointed. Sure, there were a few good jokes and some funny scenes, but generally it did little to entertain. I think it was aimed at a younger audience, but I wanted to get something out of it. Towards the end it became rather predictable, which is a shame because that was one of the shows plus points, it was always completely unpredictable. I wanted more celebrity cameos, more multi-story plot lines, more emphasis on some of the smaller characters. Considering how long we had waited for a movie to be made, just adds to the feeling of being let down. The series brings together classic moments and lines. I find it difficult to remember anything apart from the ‘spider pig‘ segment but that is more due to it being over played on constant trailers before the movie was released.

One day on MSN a few weeks ago, Pav was telling me about a new spin off series based on the Terminator movies. I explained how disappointed I was in Terminator 3, which I saw on five in November 2004 (blogged on 16th in fact, shown on 14th). Looking through the archives I did not really give a review of the movie because I was just too shocked that it was already having it’s terrestrial network television premiere, having only been released on the big screen, the summer before. While the role of a female terminator was fantastic, it was just a rehash of the second movie with a few bigger special effects. The story was almost non-existent and the ending was pathetic. Such a shame a great franchise had come down to this. The spin off series is hoping to kick start interest in the story, perhaps get a whole new generation interested in the movies and fill up some air time before the fourth movie.

Included in my care package, was the pilot episode. Fantastic is one word I can use to describe the movie. It stays true to the end of the second movie (first sequel) and continues from there on in. I find it hard to believe that Sarah would get herself involved with another man, it just is not her nature. However, that aside, it was great, action packed. The beginning scene was very well done but you could clearly see that as it is a television series the budget is much smaller than a feature film. The highlight for me is Summer Glau, taking a role of Cameron Phillips. She is someone I should already be familiar with, as I have her television series Firefly and movie Serenity, sitting on my shelf, still unopened. I bought the movies back on Friday 12th January but still have not got around to watching it. As I explained at the time of purchase, I want to watch the series first, then watch the movie. I will find time, somewhere.

Yesterday I was in Slough, do not ask why! Two moments occurred which had me thinking, “I must mention that on my blog”. First, I was walking through the town centre and noticed a market stall set up in the pedestrianised area selling watches. Nothing new there. However, I then noticed the sign underneath, “Any wacth £15″. Come on, some one must have learnt how to spell the most basic of words. If your ensure, ask somebody! Then, on the drive home, I was behind a silver BMW X3. Nothing unusual there, of course. However, as we came up to a little puddle, the driver did his best to avoid it! I could not believe it! You buy a mini-SUV and still avoid a little splash of water on the road. These people make me mad. They make my blood boil!

Generally speaking I do not remember my dreams. I drift off sometime before 1am, listening to Anita. No, not a girlfriend, but the BBC Radio Five Live presenter. However for the few nights I have remembered my dreams, they have been extremely vivid and at times enlightening. Last night the dream was split in two halves. The first part I was driving through Reading down streets I had never seen before. I headed up a high incline, which hit something insane line 75%. Then the next part I remember was my car being lodged on the flat roof of a house and group of big burly guys helping lift it down to ground level. I then remember racing down some stairs into a doctor’s surgery reception. The receptionist was non other than Emma Rigby. You may know her better as Hannah from Hollyoaks. Very strange, but the dream continues, I try and arrange an appointment with my GP for some time in mid September. Then in a bit of a daze I woke up. My dream from Saturday evening, also had a Hollyoaks theme and starred Jennifer Biddall, better known as sultry eyed Jess Harris. However, I really think I should stop there before I go to far. All I can say, it is a good thing I cannot remember my dreams. They would make the worse possible topic for my blog. Unless of course you happen to be a Dream Reader!

Wednesday 25th January 2006

Monday this week has been calculated to the worse day of the year. While I can appreciate some of the academic thinking behind this formula, it is a bit lost on me. January, sure is not a great month, but by no means is it all doom and gloom (as the media would make you believe.) I think we just have to be positive and look ahead to what the year has in store, rather than worry about the massive credit card bill from Christmas, the expensive gym membership you signed up for three weeks ago and have only been twice. What is done, cannot be undone, time to move on.

My Dad bought home some football programmes for me in November. Two programmes for the Chelsea versus Charlton Carling Cup match. After putting them on my shelf with the rest of my football or rather Arsenal related memorabilia, I decided it deserved a better home. Yet, it was only last week, that I got the address I needed. There was no point sending just before the Christmas period, only for the package to be delayed with grandma’s wooly jumper to Bradley in Tring. So my Dad sent it on Monday last week and Daniel, finally received on the other side of the world on Saturday and updated his blog on Sunday. Ironically the same day that these two London teams would meet again in the Premiership and manage a draw. Expect him to review the magazine later this week, after the new year celebrations.

There has been a steady buzz surrounding many new programmes on television recently. Many of my friends are hooked on the American drama Lost, while others are intrigued by Invasion, both found screening (now or very soon) over on Channel 4. I have yet to be sucked into the euphoria of this must watch programming. What do the Yanks call it? Oh yeah, water cooler television, programming so good that people meet up by the coffee machine to discuss every aspect of the show in minute detail. To be honest, I just do not have the time to fit in watching another television show. My plate is already full with Eastenders, two weekday episodes of Hollyoaks and a compliment of live Premiership, Champions League and Cup club football with a sprinkling of internationals and Spanish La Liga. Where can I find time to fit in watching another series, which would be at least an hour long. No room I am afraid. After all you are talking to the man, that has a copy of Mysterious Cities Of Gold, which he purchased in December 2003 and still has seen no more than the first episode. DVDs remained sealed in their cellophane packages on my shelf from Christmas 2004. When will I get around to watching these movies? Maybe sometime later this year, who knows? Maybe they will just remain on the shelf to gather more dust. Then perhaps I need to remind the world that I have never seen an episode of Friends or 24.

Talking of Hollyoaks, most people wonder why I watch this teen soap. Eastenders they can forgive me for, but Hollyoaks, is a completely different kettle of fish. I have tried in previous entries to try and explain, how my recent love affair with the residents of Chester began but it is difficult to know where to begin. When the show began in 1995 (yes, eleven years ago) I watched now and again and had a vague idea of storylines and exaggerated plots. My sisters were big fans and watch the weekend repeat religiously. However with constant character changes and lack of continuity in parts they lost their patience. I then had a small spell when I started watching the show again (if extremely brief) when I was at college, but once again I lost the motivation to continue watching. So how have things changed? How have I become the biggest fan of Hollyoaks on the planet (if not the universe!) Well at University, I would fill in the idle early evening gap, with some food and watch the show. Yet it was not until early last year, and my new job (with more friendly hours) enabled me to catch an episode almost as soon as I got through the door. Plus the benefit of E4 to take a first look at the following nights episode, only to then watch it again on Channel 4 on scheduled screening. Now where is all these leading, I hear you cry? Why is Teg just waffling? Well the main reason I love the show is due to the comic book nature of the storylines. Take this intriguing episode screened on this evening. Stick with me here, it is worth it. Right the basic storyline is girl likes girl but girl has boyfriend studying at another University somewhere else in the UK. She decides to end it with her long term boyfriend to be with the new guy. However, to her shock horror instead of receiving her letter labeled “Welcome To Dumbsville”, he arrives at her Halls of Residence, with some exciting news. He has transferred to her University and taken the same course he was studying previously (Architecture). Anyway, we pick up the story at the SU bar. Jessica buys the drinks at the bar. But Mark only has one thing on his mind. Getting his groove on.

Please note the over gracious thumbs up to the DJ and embarrassing reaction on the face of Jessica, the uncontrollable sniggering from the brunette at the bar (far left), while Mark busts a few shapes. Jessica then looks up, with a hint of a smile at the guy she truly wanted to be with. The final spin (with hand clap) is just electric! This was literally Murder On The Dancefloor. Maybe they were trying to do a parody of the successfully Lynx commercial from a few years ago, with that catchy theme music. In any case, is this not more fuel to the fire, that White Men Can’t Dance. (Don’t worry it is just the name of a film!) Personally I think the evidence above speaks for itself but if you really have the stomach for some more cringeworth acts, feel feel free! Catch the omnibus on T4 on Sunday morning if you can, the marathon begins at 9.20am, if you want the background story, but expect to watch the above screencaptured magic moments, at approximately 10.43am (give or take three minutes for the ad breaks). If even after this grand opportunity, you miss the segment, let me know I will upload my video clip, somewhere.

Tuesday 6th December 2005

Arrived home this afternoon, to find two packages marked with my name. One, which I expected. The latest album from a-ha. The second was a surprise. It was a DVD from the guy who had been sitting next to me at the concert on Saturday. I rushed to switch on my computer and put on the DVD to find out what it was. This should not come as a shock. As soon as I get home every evening, I switch on my PC. It is the pure geek within. Back in March 2001, a-ha made their international comeback, with a concert in their hometown of Oslo, Norway. It was released on DVD, but I never got around to buying it. There is no greater feeling than, after a hard day at the office, trying to get over a cold, to hear Take On Me, blaring on the PC, as you change out of your work suit. In fact, this live rendition of their breakthrough single, is the same live version I was playing on my way up to Birmingham on Saturday afternoon. I think I will set Sunday afternoon aside to sit down and listen to Analogue, while I clean up my room, the perfect way to end a quiet lazy weekend, don’t you think?

Hollyoaks have had a late edition shown at 11pm each weeknight this week. This is the third after hours series of episode and perhaps the most compelling storyline with the Chester date rape coming to a head. Will the man behind all these sexual offences finally be caught? Talking into account how bad the police were with the serial murderer, don’t expect any quick results. As the undisputed number one fan of the Channel 4 teen soap, I have been watching each episode religious at 11pm. Although it does slightly affect my viewing diet, as I have already watch the following nights episode on E4 earlier in the evening. People constantly ask me why I watch this soap. While they can understand my undivided love for Eastenders, they raise their eyebrows, when I ask, “Do you watch Hollyoaks?”. It is at times pure comic book and outside of reality that it makes me fall to the floor in laughter. For example, hiring a bar maid, not on her talents at pulling pints but her dreamy good looks. Only in a soap could you get away with tests such as ‘pick up my keys love’ and which chat-up line provides the first slap as a reaction.

I did not really mention it at the time, but I had a slight knock in my car early last month. Just a slight scratch, nothing series and no injuries. The car is currently being repaired, so I have a courtesy car. While I am big fan of Japanese cars, I would like to point out I prefer big Japanese cars. The Mitsubishi Colt, just does not fit me. It is not me at all. Then again, what to you expect from a company, that makes pens, video recorders as well as cars. There has to be a lose link in the change somewhere? Oh, I forgot to mention my number plate. The last three letters are, wait for it. KFC.

My work Christmas do is next week, Tuesday in fact. One of my colleague has been calling it the 70s show, as it has a 1970s theme. While I was frankly disappointed with this ‘bright’ idea and the appalling venue (which should be a hanging offence for the organiser(s)). However, rather than be bitter (and some would say twisted!) I have opted to be a sport and go. Some would consider me to be last minute merchant, which I confess is true. Only organised my costume with the help of eBay this Monday morning. While I had originally thought of hiring a more outrageous costume, it did not feel right. I wanted to look cool and sophisticated and not a complete pratt, filling the part of the company clown. I can leave that to someone else!

Tuesday 13th September 2005

Where were you at 18:56 this evening? Perhaps doing something useful, like driving around your local town looking for a petrol station with juice. Well, while I do not doubt your intentions, you missed a defining moment. Finally, after only following the brief period, I have been crowned, somewhat dubiously (I agree) as the biggest fan of Hollyoaks? (It must be the fact that I watch each episode, twice, but am I excluded for not going for the trice, Sunday omnibus. Has Teg gone mad? No, I have not, I have proof. Maybe, just maybe this is the moment I have been waiting for. The moment my blog takes that giant leap from obscurity to major national prominence.

Look, I will make it easier for you, how about this doctored, Adobe Photoshop approach. That is Jake Dean (or a rather sleepy Kevin Sacre) awaking from a slumber, while on the far right, just in clear shot is a box, labeled, “TEG”. Before I get too narrative, Jake was moving his things in to the flat rented by his wife, Becca. I actually spotted this on E4, on Monday night, while the rest of country was drunk on the euphoria of the Ashes victory against Australia. Listening to Anita Anand on Five Live last night, one listener suggested, The Empire Strikes Back as the title for the DVD compilation for the test match series. Genius!

Right, back to Hollyoaks, which will be mentioned for the last time (this month at least) on my blog. I think they should start another channel, Classic E4 if you will. Here they can show, Hollyoaks from the beginning, classic Brookside, vintage Countdown. It would be a great success and if scheduled well, could prove t be a major hit with the public (particularly my age group!) So come on Channel 4, give us what we’ve been waiting for. Just a downright shame, that this brief moment of fame, will have been missed by everyone. Shame.

Saturday 9th July 2005

The weekend comes around again, but I’m taking the time to relax and have a break. Last weekend was hectic, even by my low social standards, so need to recuperate. My weekend beings the moment I walk through the door on Friday evening, around 6.30pm. I know I have tried recently to describe the feeling inside, but it difficult to put into words. A wait is lifted off your shoulders knowing the next two days are your own. I hate to admit this, but I have started to add Hollyoaks to my soap watching ‘must see’ list. I even have to tune into watch the following days episode on E4 at 7pm (I seriously think I have a problem). At 7.30pm, it was time for some music, so the surround sound volume goes up and we flip around from MTV all the way to Flaunt. I asked my sister for a pen and scribbled down some tracks on the back of an envelope. I was tuned into The Box (449) watching the latest music videos on First Play Friday. The highlight of the music week, this is the only place to see the new videos from the greatest artists and debut tracks. Those of you old enough to remember the 1997 one hit wonder by whitetown called Your Women, featuring a 1920 silent movie video, will perhaps be shocked to discover that it has already been covered. (There should be a ten year curfew on these things in my humble opinion) The man to attempt to rework this classic, is Tyler James. Rework is used as loosely as possible. All he seems to have done is increased the tempo of the backing track and jazzed it up a little. Never mind. I quickly switched over to TOTP to catch the second return of Craig David. The song was vintage CD, but I just feel his style is losing popularity, particularly with girls. Back to Sky, I continued music channel surfing, hoping to catch some more material that I would need to download later. I could the end of a song on Flaunt. The music sound familiar, for I remember hearing in the car last weekend, when tuned into Kiss 100. At the time, I had not been able to catch the name of the track or the artist. This time around I made no mistakes. Para Beats featuring Carmen Reece. Now, if you are going to be pop star, you need an exotic name like that. She could well be a movie star. 😉 What can I say about the song? It is something that you would listen to while driving in your car, on a bright sunny, summer day. The bass line and the vocal come together very well and I look forward to hearing more from this up and coming artist, hoping she does not disappear into the bargin single bin, like so many before her. The single was released in April, so I am surprised that it has taken me so long to discover the track. There was little media exposure, so perhaps the record label have tried to built up interest via this remix on the radio networks.

I have spent most of the afternoon and early evening downloading the best live performances from the Live8 concerts from around the world. A very nice man, from Canada has uploaded 90% of the songs from all shows to this following link. Surprising most of the videos downloading within a few minutes, I expected his server to have fallen over a few times by now. All the videos will be transfered for viewing in full surround sound glory on the XBox later this weekend. Enjoy!

Saturday 2nd April 2005

Yet again, I find myself at the beginning of a brand new, a fresh slate, another month. April brings with it the sweet taste of summer, just around the corner. As the evenings become lighter, I leave work just in time to catch the sunset on yet another day. British Summer Time has is back with us. (Just look at the long legal history.) Or perhaps a quick trip over the fantastic resource that is Wikipedia with a brief history and dates for the how long summer last until 2007. The new month also takes me off the extended hour at work, so I once again finish at 6pm, with a fantastic opportunity to catch up on Hollyoaks. I must clarify this point, I am not a major fan of the Channel 4 soap. Missing episodes at length, is no problem and I can live without it, which is a completely different story from my obsessive behaviour with Eastenders. My weekend routine does not allow me to digest the omnibus, on Sunday mornings, it is just too long and I hate the idea of sitting down and watching television for extended periods of time, particularly on the day of rest when there are much more pressing things to be doing. Therefore my nature is to dip in and out of the soap, with no religious conviction to catch every episode.

The television theme continues with a mixed bag of good and bad news. The Beeb has already commissioned series two of our favourite Time Lord. While I was pleased with this announcement, my personal opinion is has come far too early. The decision was reported on Wednesday 30th March, fours days after the first episode was screened on BBC One. Then while listening to Five Live I heard the news that Chris Eccleston had walked out on the role, fearing of being typecast for the rest of this career. While at work, I noticed a colleague had the Sun newspaper with the headline: “Dr. Who Quits”. While I can fully understand do respect his decision, he should have stayed for a second series. Being typecast is a fear of many big stars and for some whom have fallen prey to the curse, there is little solace. As fans we now have the dilemma of a new doctor being chosen who will not be able to incomparable to Chris. While a new face, will give the second series a new lease of life, whenever it is screened (later this year?) I do not think Eccleston will be no match for whoever comes to attempt to fills his shoes. I will of course keep watching and keep enjoying the journeys through time and space. Just a shame really, because we have been deprived of the man, who in my eyes had the making of the greatest Doctor ever.

On Thursday evening, I finally took some action, I had had enough. For months, but increasingly the past few weeks it had become a nightmare switching on my PC. The root course of this problem casts the finger of blame upon myself. In late July 2002, I made the first major purchase following my first complete month on my placement. A TDK Cyclone CD writer, was installed to replaced a dated TEAC writer manufactured in 1999 with a burn speed of 4. In doing so, I unclipped the power switch from the front fascia and broke the enclosure unit. Although initially I though I had placed my PC into a state disrepair, it was the wrong conclusion. With delicate precision I was able to place the switch back into the enclosure mounted behind the power button. The short term resolution was to switch on my PC and then always reset it, to initiate the boot up. This was not a problem until winter last year. When attempting to switch on my PC, pressing the power button – nothing would happen. It would take several attempts before you hear the ‘click’ of the power switch behind the fascia and the spinning of hard disks and fans as the aging beast comes to life. So on Thursday night my patience finally ran out and I took some drastic action. For the rest, you can admire my handy work for yourself. Perhaps this will keep the machine slightly cooler, but in case this just pushes forward my PC rebuild project. A project that constantly keeps being pushing back, with other more pressing financial commitments always raring their ugly heads.

Wow, my train of thought in this blog posting is amazing. Talking of financial commitments moves us onto the next topic up for discussion. This is a crucial month for me, as I rehabilitate into society. At the end of this month, I begin paying back the debt of my student load to the Student Loans Company. Repaying my debt to society, with an initial 9% deducted from my take home pay, which will be a substantial amount of money, even though I am on a good way for a Computer Scientist graduate. You must remember that you are reading the blog of one the most financially organised people in the world. Every purchased is checked and double checked, every credit card paid off in full at the end of the month, never a penny of interest paid on any purchase ever. Never taking out a loan or any other interest intensive money plan. Even though I got a letter this morning from CitiFinanical offering me a loan from £500 to £10,000. That was immediately destroyed and placed into the recycle bin. So the thought of a massive student loan hanging against me, would make me lose sleep at night, but it has not. Can I tell you why? Well of course you get regular statements from the Glasgow office, explaining the situation of my account and the amount of interest accrued so far. (The interest is marginal and related to inflation. Therefore I pay back exactly what I borrowed taking into account how much the loan would be woth in today’s money.) What are your views on student loans and tuition fees? Well my response perhaps will surprise you. I totally agree with the idea of a loan system and repaying them once you are earning. Although I think the terms of my repayment deal are not as favourable as those that will be offered to the class of 2006 onwards. The days of free education from five to twenty five are gone. The reality is that University has to be funded and the student is one of the pockets to pick, even if that is a mixture of before, after and during their course. Then again, University is not for everyone and the target of 50% of school leavers aiming for Higher Education is unrealistic, particularly in the current climate of the job market. Talking to the Management Account about this very subject at work, this week, he explained that my degree was a ‘waste’ and I have a tendency to agree with him. Little on my course prepared me for the demands of everyday working environment, although I picked up most of these skills in my placement year. In honest reflection the most important skills I learnt were on my placement and apart from a Networking module, little that I learnt in the lecture theatre has any influence on my day to day role on a Support Desk. That then poses the question, what is a Computer Science degree worth?

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