Free time, Travels

Karaoke, caravans & deep-fried butter balls.

For those of you who don’t know, although I go to university in Portsmouth and live in Oxford when I’m at home, my whole family is actually from Scotland. I was born there too although I lost my accent a long time ago!

Unfortunately, I normally only get to see my family twice a year and, because the festive period is so busy, my immediately family and I had to squeeze a Christmastime visit into two days. Cue eight hours travelling up the M6, squeezed into a modest Renault, stopping only for a horrible service station lunch of some description (and the same on the way back).

It’s all worth it though when we finally get to see our family. I’ve always got on so well with my aunties, uncles, cousins and grandparents and it really does make you appreciate the people you have in your life. I’ve always envied those whose grandparents live down the road!

I suppose I should explain the title of this post:

1. There was karaoke. A lot of it. For some reason my Mum and her sister love singing but I’m pretty sure there’s no chance they’ll be on The X Factor any time soon! Funnily enough it turns out I was the best out of the lot of us (something I’m sure my housemates who have heard me singing in the shower would be disagree with).

2. One of the best things that happened to me the whole trip was talking to my Grandad about the caravan him and my Gran used to own. We went there with them on holiday once  and randomly one evening he started talking to me about the trip, which happened over a decade ago. It really meant a lot to me as my Grandad has very quickly gone from being a very loud, outspoken man to a quiet, subdued one in the past year or so, and it’s lovely to hear him recall a memory that he’s particularly fond of, from so long ago.

3. Deep-fried butter balls. WHO WOULD INVENT SUCH A THING?! Well, my Uncle informed me that somebody, in keeping with the Scottish tradition of deep-frying, well, anything, has “invented” this delicacy. As you’ve probably guessed, it consists of butter, soaked in Irn-Bru and deep-fried in an Irn-Bru batter. Now I love Irn-Bru (I think it’s in my genes…) but this is just disgusting!

Anyway, it was a brilliant trip and, although it was a bit emotional saying goodbye, I’m so happy we got to go.

Free time, Uncategorized

Merry Christmas

Once home from Uni, I went straight into a panto with my singing group, they performed Alice in Wonderland beautifully! It was so much fun to help out backstage and fantastic to watch! Singing the Christmas songs and handing out mince pies to the public really gets you into the christmas spirit, however panto takes alot of time and I have been wrapping presents for a week! It makes you wonder if it’s all worth it for one day but then you think about the true meaning of Christmas. I don’t mean the religion side of it, Im talking about giving to people we love and spending time with all the family. 

Christmas at my house is quite small in terms of people but we always go overboard with presents. I would say my family are givers not recievers. I love buying the best present for someone and seeing their reaction. But this is my first Christmas being in uni and it’s strange how you adapt to each location. I was talking to one of my best friends, Frances last night about the difference between home and uni life, she said how they were two different worlds that never intertwine. I miss my uni friends when at home but miss my home friends when at uni, but just think how popular that makes me, hehe.

Anyway it’s christmas! Time to spend with my family and eat too much food, get a little drunk and merry and enjoy every moment in life.

Merry Christmas one and all!!

Free time, The city, Travels

Sandwiches, books and hand cream

The other day I went to Southampton on the train with a good friend, Lee, to do a bit of Christmas shopping.

It was an enjoyable day, although a bit chilly. We took shelter from the arctic conditions in a pub for a much needed mid-afternoon break. A pint and a Reggae Reggae chicken and bacon triple sandwich was well received!

I think we both could have spent hours flicking through the books in Waterstones, although a look of  horror crossed Lee’s face when I started trying out the hand-cream samples during our escapade into the BodyShop – what? it was free!, FREE!

Oh yes, and we did get some shopping done. Well, a bit, anyway! I’m just off to Commerical Road today, in good old Porty, to get a few final things.

I hope you’re enjoying the festive time too!



Free time, Nightlife, The city

Red Jumpsuit Apparatus

Once the coursework is done and out of the way, it’s time to relax 🙂

On thursday night my housemate Claudia and I went to the Wedgewood Rooms to see one of my all-time favourite bands – Red Jumpsuit Apparatus (check them out >here<). The night didn’t start very well – it was cold and it was raining; definitely not the ideal conditions to walk to Albert Road all the way from Fratton.

Anyway… The opening act was a UK band called Failsafe and I have to say, they were really good! If I wasn’t broke, I would have definitely gotten their album at the end of the night. They warmed the crowd up in time for Hawthorne Heights to come on. I remember I kept hearing about them when I was at school as my friends listened to them, but I never knew their music. Now that I’ve actually checked them out,  I know  that they sound so much better live!

However, none of these bands were what I was there for…

Red Jumpsuit Apparatus. I must have been in Year 9 or 10 when I first heard of them and I loved them since day 1! I never thought I’d be able to see them live, so when I heard they were coming to Portsmouth I knew I had to be there 🙂

I was expecting a lot from the performance and, let me tell you, I was not disappointed! The opened with one of my favourite songs, and from then on it was only getting better and better. Definitely the best performance of the night and, oh my! The energy! Both from the band and the crowd! Surely, it was one of the best nights in Portsmouth so far 🙂

Here are some photos I took:


By the way, that voluntary post at Salisbury Hospital – I got it! 🙂

And to finish off, type “let it snow” into Google 😉

Course, Free time, Music

We Are The People

I know it’s already a few years old, but I found this song by Australian band Empire of the Sun strangely topical for me, as I was recently part of a group presentation about the treatment of indigenous peoples in Brazil and Guatemala.

It’s a really catchy song, and I’m impressed with the video. The song and video seem to go really well together – it seems like a semi-historical dream world.

Please enjoy,  We Are The People by Empire of the Sun  (click link to go to video).

Free time, Freerunning

End of 2011 video.

End of 2011 video.

A couple of my friends made a video of themselves training towards the end of this year. Basically, the two of them are really into freerunning/Parkour and you don’t realise how hard they train and practice until you watch videos like this. Check it out – you might see them running around Portsmouth yourself one day.

Make sure you click on the link in blue above titled “End of 2011 video” to watch it!

Also, I’d advise you to stop the video around 5:00 before it descends into bloopers and the really weird sense of humour that some of my friends’ friends seem to have!