by Pat
on Oct 19th, 2011

Hello Again!

Well, this has been quite a couple of weeks. Hello from St Peters House in Brighton!

I sit here in one of Brighton Uni’s many libraries, listening to tunes on my headphones and using my laptop and the Uni net connection to research children in soap product advertising.

This is all part of the first module, where as a group of three we’re having to come up with a whole load of marketing materials for a rather excellent, Sussex-based custom soap company.

It’s been quite a fortnight. I won’t lie: moving back into a full time education mindset has been bloody hard work.

Weekends and evenings are no longer time off, necessary, but then Wednesdays and Thursdays no longer have to be work either. You don’t get spoon fed stuff, you’ve gotta go out and research stuff yourself and work on your own steam. And there’s no easily definable right and wrong thing when it comes to creating a sketchbook full of book, poster, shop and gawd knows what else research sitting next to several design drafts. All annotated to the max, of course.

It’s a world of difference from an IT job, trust me. And it’s been bloody tough to get used to this.

But I think I’m largely there, now (thanks in no small part to support from awesome friends). Two weeks in isn’t bad after 9 years in employment! One thing working full time for years – coupled with actually really wanting this course to be useful – has done is given me a MUCH better working mindset than Uni the first time round. I’m spending a LOT of time on the work and social stuff comes second to it.

So THIS was what I was supposed to do last time? Damn :)

Anyway, aside from all that I’ve been socialising a fair bit – World Zombie Day in London a week ago was incredible fun, plus I’ve been to see comedians Alex Horne, David O’Doherty (just… brilliant!) and Andrew Lawrence, plus Noah and the Whale last night. Oh and a couple (but only a couple, so far) of pub trips of course.

Oh and walking. A lot. Our course is based at City College, which is exactly a mile walk from my flat. I’m walking at least 2 miles a day, and I’m losing weight slowly but surely – which is nice!

Anyway, enough rambling, I’m off back to the flat. Internet next Friday, baby! Ooooh yeeeah!


by Pat
on Oct 7th, 2011

First Week: Done!

Well, I’m tired. It’s been a long week comprising of a mixture of confusion, concern, worrying, excitement, understanding, downloading, uploading, photography, sketching, editing, walking, cutting, laughing, glueing and – surprisingly – not drinking. Gotta love a budget.

I’m not really sure what to tell you other than that there’s a good crowd of people on my course, we get on well and I in spite of initial worries, I’m gonna really enjoy the course.

I could say some more stuff, but to be honest I’m tired so I can’t be assed. Besides I’ve got some sleep to get in before dressing as a zombie and wandering around Leicester Square tomorrow.

Oh yes. That’s how I roll.

Before I go, that “uploading” I mentioned above consisted largely of 200-odd photos from my France holiday! They’re here: BONJOUR!



by Pat
on Oct 3rd, 2011

October Shmoctober

Yeah, you heard me, October. I’m dissing your ability to be autumnunal. Whatcha gonna do?

[Checks the weather]

Damn. Well, thanks for three days of loveliness at least, oh 10th month of the year!

Today I started University, officially.

A relaxed pace 20 minute walk (without getting lost – boom!) got me from my flat to the classroom, tshirt and backpack on my back and shorts on my legs. The morning was spent getting to know people on the course, and doing some creative “Here are some basics about working to instructions vs working to your own brief” tasks.

The first was a “make yourself out of plasticine” task. Mine was not the best thing I’ve ever made. We’ll just leave it at that, but let’s just put it this way: I felt it appropriate to add a sign for him to hold with “Help!” written on it.

The second was a “make a paper airplane” task. Pretty simple, but we had to choose a set of instructions from whichever website we chose and ensure we didn’t just do a basic, standard paper plane. So there were some odd designs in that room. Some flew better than others.

Mine… well, to give you a clue, mine was called “Death Trap” after a few trial runs.

We were told it wasn’t about the results, but that it was a way of showing a few things to us. Which was lucky, really, :)

Anyway, this afternoon saw us wandering around some little art galleries in Brighton, which was really nice (there are some pretty awesome and varied pieces of work in this town!), helped largely by the sunny weather.

Yesterday I had a nice walk along the seafront to the pier, along it, along the beach a bit and through The Lanes in Brighton, all in shorts and t-shirt. It was pretty damn nice. But not quite as impressive as the day before…

Saturday I got up early, headed over to Casa RaiNMatt to watch the rugby, then got on our bikes, got on a train, headed to Chichester and cycled to places called The Witterings.

What are “The Witterings”? Basically, a selection of beachside areas called things like West Wittering and – wait for it – East Wittering.

We went to the west, which looked and felt like a beach area in the Med. Just beautiful. And hot. Very hot. We spent the afternoon there, doing things such as swimming in the sea (on. the. first. of. oct. ob. er.), sunbathing and making sand turtles, starfish, sharks, clams and fish.

There are photos, but I’m not in the pub and I’m not waiting for Oliver RangeTelecoms to let me upload them from home (did I mention I wasn’t online properly yet? ;) ).

An 8 mile cycle back to Chichester and a tasty meal at Smith and Western later, we headed back to Brighton a bit shattered.

All in all, a very good few days.

It was nice to squeeze the last possible bits out of summer.

And now, to knuckle down and start filling up my sketch pad with work for my first module: Visual Communications *.

Toodles for now!


(* No, Carter, this Visual Communications is a different one to our Friday night “Stand at the side of a park in dirty macs and waggle ourselves at tourists” type)

by Pat
on Sep 29th, 2011



Today, I write from a pub down the street from where I live. Why? Because 0kbps does not a blog upload, Orange Telecommunications.

Anyways, whilst sitting here with a pint, catching up on those things I’ve just got used to having around me at the click of a button (want to check the progress of an order without the net? Good luck with that nowadays), I figured I’d write a quick blog.

Yesterday morning I had the proper course introduction for my next year. It seems really interesting, pretty involved and potentially damned hard – but that’s better than it being easy! The group on the course are of various ages, and although everyone was pretty quiet at first they seem like a good bunch. Should be a fun year, I think.

But you know what?

I’ve no idea what the next two years are gonna be like. Right now is a strange kinda limbo.

I still don’t know what it’s going to feel like when it actually gets going. I don’t know how much free time I’ll have, how much studying outside the college hours I’ll need to do, whether I’ll integrate with the other folks, how much I’ll enjoy it or get out of it… it’s all a huge amount of unknowns.

Of course, it’s likely it’ll be very positive (and when I stop to think about it in detail I realise that), but I’m wired to be a negative bugger (Wow, I’d never noticed… – Squage) so I’m a little apprehensive: if you know me well, you’ll be aware that I don’t particularly like unknowns.

After 6 months of waiting, I’m now ready to start.

Bring on Monday.



by Pat
on Sep 26th, 2011

Orange Customer Services Survey

Well, following my “I need some more bandwidth while I wait for Broadband” fiasco with Orange earlier, I was “invited to provide feedback”.

I did, and their thank you rather amused me:

Orange Customer Services Feedback

In related and awful news, I spotted 3 pubs on the way back from town that had free Wi-fi, which means I’m going to be spending much of the next month in pubs.

What a nightmare!


P.S. I enrolled today. I’m now an official student. Boom!

by Pat
on Sep 26th, 2011

0 Days: Phone Rant


So, I book my broadband connection in early September. They tell me a BT engineer can only arrive on the 28th at the earliest. I realise last week that the 28th is an induction/course briefing day. That’s my fault. I should’ve realised this a week before. So I phone this morning.

I’m now getting a phone line installed on the 18th of October. I’ll get broadband by the end of October.

About 6 weeks after moving in.

I’m fuming: largely at myself for leaving phoning PlusNet to rearrange, as I knew this’d happen. I’m also pissed off at BT for their deliberate long lead times, at PlusNet for the unapologetic nature of the call staff and their text message telling me it’ll cost £50 if I have to rearrange again. (£50, f**kin’ hell…)

Til then, I have 500MB a month with Orange.


That’s not really enough.

So… I phone Orange. To paraphrase:

  • Me: “Please can I have some more bandwidth this month?”
  • Them: “Sure! There’s a 500MB package you can have: £5 for 30 days!”
  • “Great, I’ll take that.”
  • “OK, we’ll have to remove your free 500MB add-on to apply it”
  • “Sorry, you’re saying I have to remove the 500MB I get for free, and replace it with an identical add-on for £5?”
  • “Yes”
  • “Is there a way I can have more than 500MB, oh and preferably not pay for what I’m already getting for free?”
  • “Er, we can move you to a different talk plan”
  • “I only want this for a month, and I’m happy with my talk plan. Can you not add an *additional* 500MB onto my account?”
  • “Er… do you have a dongle or another phone you can use?”
  • “No.”
  • “Oh, sorry”
  • “Bye”

Hey, Orange. Orange! Over here… come here… that’s it… now, put your ear to my mouth… go on, it’ll be fine… that’s it… there you go… ok… so… here’s the thing…YOU ARE F***ING TERRIBLE.


I’m off to enroll at Uni. And find some cafes with free WiFi.

Pat [Insert angry animated emoticon thing here]

by Pat
on Sep 23rd, 2011

Sir Spamalot

Every time I go to update a blog post (that’s right, Facebook crew, I write these posts here and Facebook just imports them), I like to see what shit is in my “for approval” comments list.

Here are some from today, with my thoughts attached:

An Ode To Euromillions (basically, a lame poem :) )
I’m out of lgueae here. Too much brain power on display!
Thanks, but what the hell is a lgueae?

Moving Sh*t (a ramble about moving stuff down here)
I am forever idnetbed to you for this information.
So, you’re… you’re some kind of ID Software Network DLL file to me? Actually, you probably are

All Employee Meetings (basically, some doodles)
You have the monopoly on useful information?aren’t monopolies illeagl? ;)
You ask me stupid questions? Nothing is illeagl to my knowledge? [emoticon for punching a computer in the iFace?]

Final Department Meeting (some more doodles)
Cool! That’s a clveer way of looking at it!
Thanks! Oh, also, looking at what?

Milestones and Moaning (basically, “Oh look, there’re this many days to go, oh and broadband is annoying”)
Short, sweet, to the point, FREE-exactly as inrfomation should be!
Actually, I’d love to be able to charge people for reading information-free rants like I occasionally do. Thanks for the idea, “Denisha”!

Why I’m Quitting Work… (A long, rambling blog post)
Short, sweet, to the point, FREE-exactly as information shluod be!
You know, if it weren’t for the mis-spelling in a different word, and the fact that you’re called “Doughboy” this time, I’d think you were the same bot as a moment ago.

And this is my favourite:

Snowboarding! (A blog post from 2007 about learning to snowboard, going on a bungee ball and seeing Kevin Bloody Wilson)
An impressive share, I just given this onto a colleague who was doing a little analysis on this. And he in fact bought me breakfast because I found it for him.. smile. So let me reword that: Thnx for the treat! But yeah Thnkx for spending the time to discuss this, I feel strongly about it and love reading more on this topic. If possible, as you become expertise, would you mind updating your blog with more details? It is highly helpful for me. Big thumb up for this blog post!
No offence, “New Jersey refinancing”, but I think your boss needs to fire you both. But don’t worry, after that I’ll hire you, so long as you become as expertise as me.

Right, I’m off to do some drawing.

I like the way yuo just read this whole post, makes me rethink things! lol!


by Pat
on Sep 23rd, 2011

6 – 3 Days: CATCH UP TIME!

Hello! Ok, I’d forgotten about blogging this week, I’ll admit it.

I’ve now remembered.

Here be a summary of Tuesday to Today!

Tuesday: Dossing

After the “fairly busy” past couple of weeks, I decided to doss about and not do a great deal today. It… was good. :)

Wednesday: Cycling

I decided to get off my lazy ass today, and headed out on my bike for a cycle along the seafront. A couple of hours and countless windswept miles later, I was knackered but happy – man, the coast around here is gorgeous. Cliffs (with cliff-top paths and under-cliff walkways), rocky pools, occasional golden sand patches and the big ol’ waves of the English Channel… awesome.

Oddly, on the way East I was finding things very easy in terms of riding – hell, despite the big waves it seemed the wind wasn’t actually hitting the shore. I was flying along with no wind resistence.

Yep, that’s right. I was cycling with the wind behind me.

Average speed on the way out: 21mph.
Average speed on the way back: 8.5mph.

Hence the “knackered” part :) Still, I now know that the Brighton Marina’s only about a 15 minute cycle ride from home, so cinema visits’ll be nice and easy.

In the evening I popped round to Rai and Matt’s place to say hello and, ahem, sponge off their Internet connection. We also decided to enjoy (well, I say enjoy…) Skyline.

I… wow.

Let’s put it this way, Matt managed found out that LoveFilm supports a 0.5 star rating on a film.

Ker-ist. I wouldn’t watch it again with yours. Whatever that means.

Thursday: Wandering and Funfair

Today my ex-workmate and ex-landlord Henry came down to see me in Brighton (and deliver the ironing board and office chair that didn’t quite make it into my car this weekend), which was great.

We spent the day walking around Brighton city centre, over to the Marina, along the pier and back. We did a fair bit of nattering.

Oh, and eating. Yesterday was an amazing day for great food:

  • On-the-pier donuts
  • Montezuma chocolate buttons
  • Vanilla Smoothie Shake Thing™
  • On-the-pier big fat chips

Hey, I was doing lots of walking.

After that amount of bad food, you’d probably think that going on rides that flung you around would be a bad idea. You’d… be right.

After Henry trundled back to Essex I met up with Rai and Matt at a travelling fun fair, which’d placed itself in that-park-in-Brighton-that-is-between-the-a23-and-a270, yeah-you-know-the-one.

We went on various fun rides (many of which seemed to consist of waiting for them to load the ride for 90% of the total ride time, but hey ho), did some pretty special on-ride dancing, and (if you’re me) started to feel a bit queezy.

Q) What do you do when queezy?
A) Stop going on rides.

Q) What do I do when queezy?
A) Go on a Vortex-from-Thorpe-Park-esque ride that spins you around on the end of a big swinging pendulum. Twice.


The second time in a row on that ride, suddenly my silly dancing was replaced by holding on tight and breathing in and out slowly.

Luckily the ride finished before a donuts/chocolate/vanilla/chip smoothie was spewed out over my co-riders. I even managed to keep it down once off the ride. All those years of travelling hungover pay off, you know.

Also, we went to the Duke of York cinema, which is one of those cinemas Mark Kermode loves (hell, he’s doing a talk on his book there in a couple of weeks).

It’s an independant outfit that takes care in its film projections, shows plenty of lesser-known films alongside the big hits, and occasionally shows some utter classics. Also, you get to sit in sofas and have tea/wine/cake/beer. Yep. It’s an awesome-sounding cinema.

Anyway, we went there to buy tickets to see Terminator tonight. Terminator. TERMINATOR. WITH BEER AND CAKE. Cineworld can kiss my ass. At least until I got there next week with my unlimited pass to watch a few films in a row, of course.

Friday: Drawing, Squee and Terminator

Today I’m gonna be drawing stuff. Tonight, there will be a visit to a pub playing Squee (some kind of electronic bleepy music, I’ve no idea what this is yet) and then heading to the Duke of York to Terminate my face up.

Bring it on!


by Pat
on Sep 19th, 2011

9 – 7 Days: Moving to Brighton

Saturday: Essex

Despite the ludicrous quantity of drinks the night before (thanks for a top afternoon/night everyone who came along :) ), I managed to get up at 8:30 and not feel like dying. I didn’t remember much of Friday post 5pm, but I felt fine. So fine, in fact, that I was back in the pub drinking ciders by 2pm.

Several beers and an awesome curry later, my final night in Essex was done.

Sunday: Essex to Brighton

Sunday. Was. Hard.

Packing the car to the brim with my remaining stuff, carting it down to Brighton, unpacking it and then proceeding to transform my Furniture And Belongings Pile into the actual contents of a flat.

I think I finally stopped the unpacking at 10pm, having started the packing at 10am. Ok, it’s not the craziest, hardest day in the world. But with a mild hangover it’s a total bloody nightmare.

Still, by the end of the day I had a lounge livable in, beds constructed, furniture all laid out and a BluRay playing on the telly. Plenty of unpacked boxes and bags left, but not bad for a day’s work. (A day’s work… hmmm… what is that again?)

Monday (Today): Brighton

My work alarm woke me up at 6:40am, and I fell out of bed thinking “Nnngh, Monday”. My second thought, on opening my eyes, was “Where the hell am I?”. My third, on realising and having a look out of the window, was “Wow. WOW. WOOOH!”

Finally, my forth thought was “Oh man, there’s still lots of unpacking to do.”

To cut a long story short: I’m now fully unpacked and watching Scott Pilgrim whilst typing this. Just need to go out and get some supplies and that’s it! I get to… er…

Actually, woah, what am I gonna do?

[looks out to the sea and remembers where I am]



by Pat
on Sep 16th, 2011


W O O H O O !

That is all.


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