Saturday, 19 September 2009

Big Day Tomorrow!!

Image courtesy of

I move to University tomorrow.

I'm so excited about the chance to gain some independance and move out of home, yet I'm going to miss my mum. I'm only going to the local university (which is still a big uni), and moving into Halls of Residence about 10 minutes away, but its a big thing - as I'm sure it is with everyone who moves out of home for the first time.

Its been just me and mum for a long time. My brother and sister moved in with my grandma about 5 years ago. We're very close, and although we argue, I know I can tell her anything. Even when she met her now fiance, we stayed very close.
So to leave her here is going to really upset me. Especially as she seems to be going through a bit of a rocky patch - she tells me I worry too much.

I am still so psyched about going though! I'll be sharing a flat with between 5 and 7 other people. I'll have my own bedroom and shower room, but anything else I will share.
I've got everything I think I'll need, packed it up, and I'll be packing my computer up tonight. I'm sure I have too much stuff, and that I'll have a really small room but I couldn't help going a bit overboard.

I haven't actually seen where I will be moving. I missed the tours of the Halls, and everything I know is from the University website. SO all I know is the exterior of the building as we drive past it on our way into town.

I've been speaking to some of the people who will be living in the same building on Facebook. It's helped me not to be so nervous about moving into a place where I don't know anyone, because they all seem like people I would get on with. For all I know I could have already spoken to my new flatmate(s).

Tomorrow is also my sister's birthday. She wants to go out for lunch and go bowling, but Grandma managed to reign her in to just a birthday dinner at her house. So I have to move in the morning, then go over to grans and give Sis a great birthday (need to buy a card on the way), then come back and unpack and meet everyone - and since there are two days of moving in, I'll probably have more people to meet on the Sunday. It's going to be hectic, but fun.

I'm going to sign off now and head for bed - it's my last night at home, and its already way past time I should be asleep.
If I can manage to get some sleep that is ;)


Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Sad News

On my way into town today I was listening to BBC Radio 4.
This is fairly unusual for me, but mum was driving so she had the choice of radio station, and she likes listening to the news in the morning.
There were two very sad announcements today.

First, Patrick Swayze had passed age 57. I had known he was fighting Pancreatic cancer, but I was very sad to hear this news. I enjoy watching his films, and Dirty Dancing is one of my all time faves - along with Ghost, probably his most well known roles.
His most recent role was in a TV series called The Beast. I never watched this, but I have a friend who adores the show. I was surprised to hear he was working on the series while he was fighting his illness.

Cancer is a truly terrible illness, we don't know nearly enough to be able to fight it easily and effectively as we hope. I have had family affected by this awful disease, friends who have survived and I recently lost someone to cancer myself.
My thoughts and prayers are with Mr Swayze's family, especially his wife Lisa at this time, hoping they will find the strength to carry on, knowing that people all over the world will be thinking of them and praying for them.

The second announcement was that Keith Floyd had died from a heart attack aged 65. He had also been fighting Bowel cancer, but he had good chances of recovery. This was more sad news. I had grown up watching his cooking programs, and though I wasn't partial to his recipes (I'm not a big meat fan - and almost all of his recipes included meat or fish of some sort), I loved his carefree attitude, and the way nothing was measured out or weighed.
He constantly had a glass of wine with him when he was on screen, and I was impressed at the way it seemed he could cook something no matter where he was. Inside, or outside, he would manage to pull some fabulous recipe out and impress all around him.
His career was very impressive. Nearly 35 books and 18 television series, which I still see played fairly often, despite some of the shows being made 20 or so years ago. Just take a look at the list here.
Again, I find myself sending prayers for his family and all those who will miss him.

I'll be back soon, hopefully with a brighter post, but I couldn't let these two deaths pass without commenting.


Friday, 11 September 2009

A candle-less existence...

Image courtesy of
So today, after an email from the university about moving into the Halls of Residence, I decided I would sit down and thoroughly read through all of the rules and regulations and health and safety stuff they say I have to read before I arrive. Normally I'm really bad at reading T&Cs and stuff like that, but I thought I'd be a good student and endure the boredom.
I read the part about having to fill in an itinerary when I get to the flat, so I don't get blamed if anything is missing, and about having to go to a fire safety talk in my first two weeks and the other similar things. Then I read something which shocked me.
I'm not allowed candles! No open flames, so no candles or incense or any of my lovely relaxing stuff.
This is going to seriously hurt. If I can't bake, I light a candle or two. And my room and clothes are constantly smelling like whetever incense I have a fixation on that week (I picked up the habit after getting tired of constantly smelling like a smoker - living with two heavy smokers in the house has its drawbacks). Its my relaxation tool. I have a bath, light a few candles and get the incense out.
I joked with my mum that I'd be coming home for a candle fix....I was sort-of serious though.
She went out and bought me some fake electric candles (its not the same).
Think she's trying to tell me something?

Thursday, 10 September 2009

No H8 on SL

I just wanted to post quickly to share this with anyone who hasn't seen it yet.
NOH8 is a photo project and silent protest at Proposition 8 - the banning of same-sex marriages in California. Even though I do not live in the US, I feel pretty strongly about the campaign, so have taken some pictures and added it to the Flickr Pool.
Please show your support by adding your photos too.

You can find the free kit here. Follow the intructions and snap away.

Love is love, regardless of gender, race or religion.

(Thanks Seven for telling me about this)


Money Troubles

I got my letter from Student Finance this morning. It tells me how much money I can expect to get next year, both loans and any grants/bursaries.
I'd been worrying about this for a long while, because I sent off the application in May, and hadn't heard a thing from them, then I got a dodgy email claiming to be from the student finance company asking me to send information, I was suspicious (there were no customer ref numbers, or anything that is usually on emails from them) so checked it out and figured out it was fake.
So I've been worrying whether I'd get any confirmation before I moved to uni, or even whether they'd received my application form since I never got the usual 'Thanks for your application' letter.

When I woke up to find the letter - and the amounts, I immediately sat down to work out how much I would have after paying for my accomodation and tuition fees. I was so relieved that even the thought of having to live on just under £50 a week (google says thats about 80USD)didn't really phase me. I figured that with no utilities or travel expenses to pay, I could buy my food shopping, and save up for the treats like books or clothes.

I moved on to the rest of my mail with a grin - which soon fell into a frown....2 letters, both from The Bank.

Looking at how much I now owe The Bank (procrastination means it has spiralled out of control) it looks like I'm going to struggle to find £5 a week to live on. Bummer.

With no sign of a job in sight (I've applied everywhere I can think of and apart from one interview which led nowhere, I haven't heard a thing) its looking like my only other option is to let them take further legal action....which I really don't want to do :(

So, even before lunch-time, I'd been so happy I could cry, so depressed I could cry, and now I'm just numb. I wish I could stick my head in the sand and ignore it, but thats what got me into this mess in the first place. I think its time to make an appointment at the bank to see if anything can be arranged.

Don't you just hate money worries?


Celebrity look-alike?

You might have heard of this website before, I know I have, but I thought I'd share anyway, because it can be pretty fun.

Basically you upload a picture of you (or your avatar) and it will compare it to a collection of celebrity photos and tell you who you look most like. Now you do have to register for this, but its just an email address, and you don't get any spam from them.

I uploaded this picture for the celebrity collage:

The best picture would be facing the camera, with no facial piercings, and with any hair kept out of your eyes. No glasses either - it needs to be able to see the contours of your face clearly I guess.
The uploading stage seems to have a few problems, it took 2 tries before it worked for me.
So I uploaded, registered, and was given this:

I'm pretty happy with it - even with Jimmy in there lol. Since it only shows 8 celebs I also had the choice of switching for Jessica Simpson at 67% or Mena Suvari at 66%.
Uma Thurman...not bad :D

I had a go at the Celebrity morph too, but it didn't work too well lol.

Want to give it a go and see what you get?


Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Exploring Bay City

I decided to go exploring today in SL. I have a big list of places to visit, which I'll get around to eventually, but today I decided I would visit Bay City.

 I've been meaning to explore the regions since they opened in May.
The sims were built by the Linden Lab Department of Public Works (or 'Moles') and then sold on to SL residents who built within a theme, which appears to be a 1930s/40s Art Deco style.
I'd asked on the forums where was the best place to start and got some good advice from Marianne McCann. I started in Bay City - Imaginario (where Mari has her store - You know, For Kids ), and wandered slowly through the streets heading East through Bay City - Falconmoon and Bay City - Argos.
I have to say, I was very impressed. I dont think I've seen any of the Moles' builds, or a build where the Lindens and Residents have worked so well together. Everything I saw fit the theme, and it was interesting walking around, seeing the stores which sell such different things, all still fitting together. Even with nobody around, you could tell that it was a community, and not just a place for people to put their stuff.

When I landed in Imaginario, the first thing I saw was a Mole build - an archeaological dig of some sort. It was a fun build, and I took a picture or two, and found my way through the labyrinth.

I wandered further and found a playground, which although nothing was scripted or had sits in there, I did like it, and there was a good view across to Falconmoon.
 I found Mari's store - and her big billboard, and decided to take a souvinir photo of me being a bit of a vandal, sitting on the top of it.

Walking across to Falconmoon, the first thing that struck me was the ginormic Eiffel Tower. I spotted a sign which seemed to say that it was only there temporarily, so I had to climb it just for the view and the picture opportunities.
Across from the Eiffel Tower was a statue of a mole. I'm not sure who he was supposed to be (I dont really keep up) but he seemed like a nice fellow so I took another picture.
By this time I was starting to lag a bit, and was running out of the time I'd given myself for exploring, so I continued on to Argos.
I didn't really see much of this sim as I got sidetracked by this:

Impressive isn't it? It was made by Argos Hawks, and is called the Bay City Ball Machine. the steel balls are lifted up the central spiral and then drop back via a number of different tubes and spinning windmills, creating a very interesting visual effect. It seemed to be all done by physics, and I just sat there for a while watching it do its thing.

My time was up so I decided to head to my home location before logging out - only my home sim was offline, meaning I had to log out where I stood.
So if you're wandering through Bay City - Argos sometime tomorrow and I pop in on your head, half rezzed, sorry - it means I forgot to log in at home again lol.


Monday, 7 September 2009

My Favourite Place in SL

Brenda Connolly kindly sent me a t-shirt for following her blog The Accidental Avatar. I took a picture of me in it at the Forum Cartel Hangout in Allana.
The hangout is a great place to go if you need advice on anything SL-related, or if you just want to hangout in a friendly environment. The people who frequent the place are a very kind and helpful bunch and though they are ever so slightly insane ;) I always end up laughing when I'm there. There are a few cool freebies on the shelves too.
Timing can be hit and miss though with the time-zones and stuff, but if you wait around, someone usually turns up soon.

First Blog Post!

Just to start off, I don't really have any plans for this blog, its not going to be a diary, or a soap box for me to complain about everything. I'm just going to post whatever I feel like and see how it evolves over time. Neither am I going to keep it strictly SL or RL related, just a blend of fun and randomness...

So, with less than 2 weeks until I move out of home for the first time to go to University, I thought it might be fun for me to start my very own blog. I can't wait to meet new people and am excited about the whole university experience. I've just finished a foundation year since I took a couple of years out from school, so I know how a few things already work, but its still going to be a totally new experience for me.

I'll leave it there for now, I don't want my first post to babble to much, really I just wanted to say Hi and Welcome.

Oh, and because pretty soon you'll realise I love posting pictures from Second Life, here's one to kick it off...

Pretty please feel free to leave comments or suggestions. I'd love knowing people will actually read this thing so that I'm not just babbling for no reason lol.