Friday, 30 December 2011

The Penultimate Day of the Year!

Hello everyone! I'm feeling in a cheery mood thanks to some wonderful plans to spend NYE with all my closest friends. I just can wait to dress up and drink up!
Christmas day was a lot more festive than I thought it would be, when the morning actually came I realised that all the annoyances I'd suffered up until then really didn't matter. After all, the day is meant to be about family.
Myself and my father went to my grandmother's house, most of my immediate family was there and 4 out of 5 of my nephews and nieces. The day went well, there was lots to eat and we had a good laugh. It's not really something I can blog about because it'll be the same as everyone else's Christmas; screaming children, copious amounts of alcohol and bad cracker jokes.

How do you make a jacket last?
Make the trousers first!

My big night out is tomorrow, I've had my hair cut and have a lovely new top to wear. Life is good!

Saturday, 24 December 2011

It's a Crappy Christmas

It's Christmas Eve and all holiday cheer has officially drained from me, it all started about 3 days ago when a one sided argument with my mother (basically I answered the phone and listened for 10 minutes) ended up in my Christmas plans being cancelled. But, oh well right?
Then a mix up with my phone contract prompted an early withdrawal from the bank of Christmas money leaving not very much at all.
Surely that's enough right? No mother and dwindling present funds? Well it's not enough for Northern Rail who didn't show up this morning, meaning I missed my theory test and the £31 I'd already paid for it.
So, now I'm questioning whether to even get out of bed tomorrow, I'm seriously worried a piano will fall from a large building and squash me.

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Inventions that Would Change the World (kinda)

1) Bobby pins with enough grip to actually stay in your hair instead of falling out during the day leaving you with annoying bits falling across your face all the time.
2) Non-stick pans that nothing can stick to, even when you're baking bread and there's that bit in the middle that always sticks and takes about an hour of soaking to remove.
3) Cars that beep when you hit 30/40/50/60mph so you don't accidentally speed. I never thought that keeping under 30 would be such a problem.
4) Mirrors that don't steam up, I know this one will take some meddling with the laws of physics but dammit if we can fly we can do anything!
5) Kettles that boil in under 30 seconds. Just because on a morning I'm so dying for a hot drink that it feels like torture waiting to hear the glorious 'click' of my kettle

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

What Ever Happened to...

Today's blog is about, as you may have guessed, things that we used to do but now just don't. With advances in technology people are finding new, easier ways to do things. Just think back ten years; our computers took up half the desk, you couldn't use the house phone and the internet at the same time, you taped a show or missed it and hair straighteners had just been invented (hallelujah).

That's some piece of tec
Gone are the days of actually cooking, I read in Thursday's Metro that 4/10 people my age watch Come Dine With Me and Jamie Oliver cooking shows while eating microwave meals. Then there's me, who recently started baking her own bagels (thanks to Rachel Allen) and watches Delia Smith on an evening.
And buying music! Downloading is so quick I don't think you really appreciate it as much trudging into town, waiting in line then battling with the cellophane wrapped around the CD. Back before we had the download option music was more treasured. On the other hand how much do you really treasure Now 59?
But there's one thing I'll never let go of and that's spending real time with my friends. It's so easy just to send an e-mail, text or facebook message instead of telling someone something face to face. Sometimes I can go a few months without actually seeing my best friend, but having regular contact with her over the phone instead. So I make sure to clear a day, make us some treats, pop open some bubbly and have a good gossip.

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Joy to the World it's December 1st!

It's December 1st and officially the start of my Christmas cheer! Only 15 more days until I break up from college, though my time off will be a study fest seeing as my exams are only a month away. I've changed my Twitter page ( theme to a Christmassy gingerbread people love fest and my baking cupboard has been stocked up with mixed spice and sultanas in preparation for making a Christmas cake.
Home Alone 2 is waiting for my on my Sky Plus box and my Bridget Jones Diary DVD has been dusted off ready for this weekend.
All in all I feel pretty darn merry.

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Tis (not) the Season!

It's coming up to that time of year again, the sleigh bells are a ringing, the carollers are a singing and there's advertisements for overpriced gadgets everywhere. Each year I receive the same signs that Christmas is just around the corner, here are my top 5:

1) The Coca-cola ad
2) Christmas songs on the music channels
3) Home Alone
4) Hearing someone say "happy Christmas"
5) Christmas lights being switched on in town

But wait! Christmas isn't just around the corner, in fact it's another six whole weeks away. It's still November, I haven't bought my Christmas cards yet, I haven't eaten mince pies or started singing "Silent Night" when I'm doing the washing up. Yet all of my top five Christmas signs have already shown up, it's mid-November for Christ's sake (pun not intended).
Christmas is a time of year we all enjoy, but part of the wonder of it is that it only comes around once a year. I think starting the celebrations too early ruins it, the signs become meaningless. Unfortunately the thing about signs is you can't control them, I can put off the mince pies and Mariah Carey songs all I want but I can't control what Leeds City Council does.
Maybe I'm just being a grinch, but to me Christmas cheer will never start before December 1st.

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

I Just Want a JOB!

As you may have guessed by my post title I am still unemployed. Everyday I receive rejection, or at least I think I do because 90% of places don't even tell me I haven't been successful, I just have assume I haven't. It's like every job I apply for is one of those weird relationships where you're more than friends but less than a couple and eventually you "end it" by fazing out Just me?
I've had three interviews since being made redundant (that phrase makes me feel like an outdated 90's computer) in July but zero success. It's not that I don't interview well, 2/3 of those interviews I got down to the last two but the competition is so fierce I sometimes think I've lost before I've even tried.
Still, I don't give up easily, and if I'm going to keep wearing £45 moisturiser I need to get a better source of income than checking for change under my couch.
"Spare some change?"

South Park doesn't really tie into this blog post but, hey, this is my blog, and if you don't like it you can just suck my balls.

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Our Laid Back Culture

Have you ever noticed how laid back people are today? I mean this literally. The amount of chairs I have to adjust when I use a library computer or get in my brother's car. I mean honestly, are you driving or taking a nap?!
There wouldn't be such an obesity crisis if people weren't lying back on the couch, shoveling crisps into their mouths and watching the latest mind numbing crap on TV. Not that there's any thing wrong with vegging out on the couch now and then, just, like with many things, moderation is key.
With the recession hitting us all it's no real surprise that we're choosing movie night in over disco night out (though we probably haven't been to a "disco" since we were tweens) and, let's face it, with the price war between supermarkets it's very easy to pick up a pizza and a tub of ice cream for less than a fiver. While I have read many articles about all those dreaded calories in alcohol I would like to point out that clubs are lively places. I never wake up 3lbs heavier from a wine binge because I've usually burnt it off in the form of 'shaking that thang' and repressing memories of 'shaking that thang'.
I recently heard on the news that the key to tackling obesity is to eat well and exercise. Shocking.
What I don't understand is how anyone can still not know this? People shouldn't need a million and one government schemes to help them lose weight. Yes, I do agree that children should receive an education on food and healthy living, and yes of course if someone goes to their doctors for help they should receive a diet plan etc, but really a line should be drawn. People have got free will in this country, if they want to eat chips every night let them! But stop lecturing the country like we're all a bunch of toddlers who can't understand why fruit gums aren't a healthy snack ("but mommy, fruit gums!).

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Great Britain in the Early Hours

The cold Autumn mornings have begun, gone are the blissful days of summer where I could lie in bed until my heart's content (about 9am). Now I face getting up in the dark, cold abyss of  October. The fact that I get up before the sun does just proves that human beings were not designed to get up so darn early.

Now that I've moaned a bit I can fill you all in on the cheerier aspects of my life *huzzah*
My little brother, Marty, is as cute as ever. I took him to the cinema last weekend to see Kung Fu Panda 2. I had forgotten how exciting the cinema is for a child, he was laughing and cheering along with the characters and every joke on screen ended with scores of laughter from everyone around us. Even I had a chuckle or two. As far as children's films go it was pretty decent, we're going to see Mr Popper's Penguins this Sunday which I think will be good because I love Jim Carrey films.
The best part about having a younger sibling, especially so much younger (Marty's 5), is you can still enjoy all the stuff from your own childhood but with the safety net of "oh it's just for my brother really". It works in my favour for seeing all the latest kids films, but I do get forced into playing unholy amounts of Jenga so it's only fair.

Thursday, 22 September 2011

So Many Passwords, So Little Brain Space

I attend college five days a week, I often work weekends and when I find myself with some free time I just like to crash out on the sofa. So when I find myself in the mood to go on the internet I do not want to be barraged by websites nagging for my password. Gone are the days of having the same password for your e-mail and Bebo account, it's too unsafe thanks to all the sad people out there who might read all my junk mail and post crap to my Twitter. Now I have a different password for my facebook, twitter, Blogger, G-mail, Hotmail, Youtube and, of course, online banking. I won't even go into my online shopping accounts unless absolutely necessary, it's too much hassle.
You might be wondering how I deal with this, or you might be mentally telling me to just deal with it and shut up, my solution is to change any password I don't remember. At first this worked out nicely, I had a few differant passwords that I swapped around from time to time. Then I added a few more, then I added some numbers to previous password options and now I'm stuck in this massive web of passwords and numbers and every time I turn on my computer I feel like I'm sat in an exam. And I fail everytime.

This was going to be a picture of a spider
caught in its own web, but that was
too creepy looking

Saturday, 10 September 2011

New College, New Start

So induction week is over and there is no turning back, I am officially no longer a student of Leeds Tec. I now belong to Park Lane, with its perky colour scheme and mandatory enrichment programme. That's if I don't get killed walking there in the next two years (there's five ridiculously busy roads to cross).
I'll admit that I'm not exactly loving the place yet, but I don't start my classes until Monday so I'm trying not to judge. I'm keen to check out the gym facilities since I have a few gaps in my timetable that will need filling, I might even join a sports team this year if they have something that doesn't involve contact or a ball. So I guess that rules out everything but running. Perfect.
There's quite a few pieces of man candy walking around the corridors in the college "I'm here to help" tee-shirts. I can't decide whether it's a coincidence that all the attractive people that applied happened to be the best at giving out leaflets and directions, or whether it's a new tactic for getting people to enjoy college but either way it's awesome. Not that I'm one of those girls who'll push aside her law homework to stare at men's backsides.
Buns of steel
One great thing about Park Lane though is that there is a Costa actually inside the college which means I won't have to face the elements to get myself a cup of jo. They even gave us some voucher booklets we can use in the canteen which included a free coffee.
All in all the place seems okay, and I'm still seeing my friends from Tec at lunchtime as they're only five minutes away. This will just be another chapter in my life and it's up to me how it's written.

Sunday, 4 September 2011

City vs Countryside

Having moved to England two years ago from rural Ireland there's been a massive change in my life, people here are completely different to the ones I grew up with. Maybe this entry will be a bit biased because my heart will always belong to the country I was raised in.
The main difference between the two places is the sheer volume of people we have here in England, to me it just seems packed. But the thing is even though I have way more neighbours here I don't know any of them. In Ireland you could cough as you left the house and by the time you reached the shop someone would be asking you how your cold is. To outsiders this concept seems pretty daunting, but really it's a great support network because the people stick with each other through thick and thin. A wedding is a great event, the whole village go down to either attend the church service or celebrate the occasion in the pub, and when there is a funeral everyone pays their respects and shares the great moments and stories they had with the deceased.
Of course the perk of living in a more crowded area is having everything so available. There are buses running up and down all the estates and into the city, all at regular intervals. There is a great selection of supermarkets battling to give you the lowest price as well as bargain shops and markets where you can find things even cheaper. I love shopping in Leeds City Centre because there are so many shops to choose from and an abundance of trendy coffee shops to stop at. However, Milltown only had four buses per day, that's two going into Galway City and two coming back. The train service was practically non existent, in fact I've only been on it once for a school tour to Dublin zoo when I was 11. There are no Starbucks, Costas, Cafe Neros, Cafe Ritazzas or Pret a Mangers although we do have O'Briens but let's face it that is just not enough!

The thing I miss the most though is the great feeling you get from talking to someone you've known all your life, the person you  say "Remember back in 5th class when..." to and they'll reply with an equally heart warming shared memory. It's something that you just can't replace and no matter how many good friends I gain here there's nothing like laughing about that one teacher you had that was just mad...

Sunday, 21 August 2011

The Pros of Being a Social Hermit

For the past 4 months I've been carefully squireling away my money to get myself driving lessons. This has obviously meant I've had to stop going to the pub, going out on a Saturday night and major cut backs to my fancy coffee fund (which, incidentally, used to consume 25% of my wage).
Lovely, but £3.50? Really?
Now I'm not living in doom and gloom, I still buy my nice smelling candles, the odd hair product and, of course, coffee but I've found by not going out as much I don't end up spending money on hairspray and high heels as well as the £20 of drinks I usually consume. Besides from the money I save here are the top 3 things I've discovered about staying in.

1) This is probably the most obvious, no hangover. Plus since I do my weekly shop on a Sunday no painful trips to the supermarket trying to keep within running distance of the loo in case of a revenge attack from the previous night's Sambuca (this has never happened but it's my number 1 hangover fear).

2) I love playing Xbox but find it hard to make time for it between college, work and going out. Now I've got more spare time I'm kicking ass on LA Noire nightly. It means I can bring up my dwindling gamer score (we bought the new Xbox in September but I never swapped my profiles over so I just started from scratch again) and gives me something to talk about when I'm with my gamer friends. In fact a few weeks ago I treated myself to a night out and ended up talking about Minecraft for 45 minutes, that's how cool I have become.

3) I can indulge my inner health freak. Since my money saving kick I've become the queen of pill popping, though these pills are the type you find in H&B's, not the crack den down the road. Not to mention all the healthy snacks I now have time to bake, I love experimenting with different recipes and adding my own kick.
I've also taken up an old hobby of mine; yoga. I'm not as bendable as a pipe cleaner yet, just knocking out ten poses before I go to bed but it is REALLY hard work. I'm stretching muscles I forgot I had but are now screaming "REMEMBER ME!" as I force myself into Warrior II.

So there you go, I hope this leaves you feeling like there is hope for you if you ever need to cut back and that all good things in life don't reside in a shopping centre.

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

My life in the last month

So, I know I haven't posted in a while...but who's really reading this anyway? Since I last posted I've been to Benidorm (woo), finished my first year of college and become unemployed. Now my days are filled with, well, nothing and I couldn't hate it more.
I once read an article saying that the unemployment rate in 16-25 year old people is at the highest on record, like it's our faults. Well I am very sorry but I've handed out 75 copies of my CV in person as well as on-line applications and I've heard diddly-squat back.
But, there's no point moaning about it here. That's what friends are for.

I've noticed lately that there's a lot of moths around, and that we're having quite a few mini rain showers. It begs the question, how do the moths survive the rain? Their wings are mainly dust. Think about it.

Monday, 30 May 2011

5 things that make me happy

1) Coffee houses; some people find it frivolous to spend £3 on a cup of coffee, but every Starbucks I enter is like a house of calm in the middle of chaos.  The chairs are comfortable, the d├ęcor is classy and the soothing music adds to the general relaxation I feel just entering the building. Plus, they make the best coffee in the world.
2) Fresh laundry; there is nothing better than just washed sheets straight off the line. It's the only reason I like the sun as being of the Celtic complexion I find all sunlight poisonous.
3) Rain; Some people hate it, but personally I love it when the heavens open and pour down on me. Now obviously I don't like being drenched when it's windy, cold and I'm waiting for a train that just happens to choose that moment to be delayed, but when it's bright outside and I have time on my hands walking around in the rain can be really relaxing. It makes everything smell so fresh and natural, I just love the rain pelting down on me and reminding me how great nature can be when you stop to enjoy it.
4) The smell of freshly baked bread; I love this so much that at least once a week I bake a loaf of bread just to have the smell of it in the house. I like the bread too obviously, but the smell of home baking really makes a house feel like a home to me.
5) Comedy shows; I basically have a limit of how much doom and gloom I can take each day. This is why I read the newspaper in the morning when I'm barely awake and the true horror of Britain can be easily forgotten by the time I have my afternoon coffee. After a stressful day I couldn't imagine sitting down to watch something serious, I'd honestly have to blow my brains out after a week.
That is if I wouldn't end up on an endless rush hour train journey.

Friday, 27 May 2011

Hell, thy name is public transport

To all you atheists out there who believe that when we're dead we become worm food I beg you to take a train before 9am. One journey during morning rush hour will scare you out of your wicked ways and into the arms of your nearest priest as, believe me, you will quickly realise that public transport is God's way of telling us "hell is real, here's a sliver of it to prove it". 
Stepping into that over crowded carriage the first thing you will notice is the distinct lack of personal space. You push through to find your own segment of floor, hands appear from nowhere, souls that have been trapped here long before you got on crying out at the discomfort of it all, oh the hands appear from nowhere begging for mercy and don't be surprised if some stray into your 'personal space'. Groping is what got them into hell in the first place.
Even though you can see frost on the outside of the windows inside the train is like being stood on the sun. You loosen the scarf that you so needed when you left the house this morning. There's no room to move so taking off your coat would be impossible. You stand there, hot and sweaty, pretending to use your mobile when really you're counting how long you have left until you can go down a litre of ice water. Having worked out the remaining time you decide to visit a social networking site, maybe tweet to warn your followers of what really happens at this time of morning, but oh no. There's no signal in hell. Deflated you return your mobile to your pocket and concentrate on your journey.
Another station and another group of people join your moving torture, with them they bring more unpleasantness, you're poked and jabbed until you give up your space and squash down the aisle. The floor beneath has begun moving and your balance is off. You narrowly avoid landing on that man's lap and find yourself squashed behind a business man who's at least two foot taller than you. Forgot the B.O. you heard about, you are faced with something much worse; the stench of too much generic label deodorant. The fumes reach up your nose and proceed to scratch out your throat. You choke trying to find a new air source, but alas the person behind you has forgotten to take their considerate pill this morning and you can't move an inch.
Then, after what seems like a lifetime, your prayers are answered. The train pulls into the station and after the deafening screech of the wheels against the track you are free. Free to join a Church and take driving lessons to avoid ever doing that again.

Monday, 23 May 2011

Rain, wind and 1000 word reports

Another Monday, another week started and another load of coursework landed in-front of me today. To anybody reading this who'll be starting a college course next year; they're not saying it for fun, you really do have to do all that work. There's no magical coursework fairy.

One of my favourite college pass times is watching old  cartoons with my college friends, there's nothing better than group nostalgia to lighten a Monday afternoon. Re-watching episodes of Courage the Cowardly Dog and Goosebumps really shows how low the censorship was back then. It's like they all sat around in the ideas office wondering how they could scare the crap out of kids, and it worked! Hell I felt scared just reading those Goosebumps books!
While I'm talking about this, what was going on with CatDog? I mean seriously, how much dope do you have to smoke before you come up with THAT as an idea pitch for a cartoon? Speaking of pot head cartoon writers, the new Family Guy cartoons are pretty decent. Less flair than the original series, but that's to be expected. However, the new series of The Cleveland Show is coming along nicely. In fact I'm enjoying it so much I've actually series linked it on my Sky Plus box. I might as go for the MacFarlane ha trick here and mention some good old American Dad, probably my favourite of the three.

So there you go, one blog entry in and I've already revealed that I never truly grew up because all my favourite shows are mainly cartoons. Got a problem with that? Well you can just suck my balls.

Saturday, 21 May 2011

A warm mug of welcome to you!

Hello! Welcome here to my blog, get yourself comfortable because you're about to indulge in some (hopefully) quality literacy.

Thanks for taking the time to check in, I'll post more soon.

F. Hurley