Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Let's RickRoll Christmas- Pass it on!

Are you sick of the X factor winner getting Christmas number one?
Do you want to feel part of something massive that will make Christmas extra special?
Do you want to show what the power of the internet can do?



Let's get Rick Astley to Christmas number one and give two fingers to the X factor.
It'll be a huge success if we can even get Rick into the top 10 but we really can do it. The facebook group has nearly 50,000 members, join it here!!

Skybet are offering odds of around 26-1 of this happening, this shows a) that they have recognised our attempts to get Rick to number one and think we have a shot
b) we've still got a long way to go and need help, 26-1 isn't great, but the song is about the 5th or 6th favourite to get the number one, so we need support and we need you to help.

a) join the group by clicking on the link above
c) Tell others
d) Copy and paste this blog post onto your blog!


Sunday, 23 November 2008

A sidenote

I actually enjoyed writing that review earlier, though i was insanely tired after getting up at 7am for an MRI scan and felt the effects because my vocabulary was not just shoddy but shitty, if i'm fair.

Still, I've set up a NEW BLOG, SHOCK HORROR, which is devoted to music-y type stuff.

It can be found 

Music, happenings, dr pepper.

Two current addictions that must primarily be addressed. Aren't kitkat chunky peanut butter bars amazing, actually amazing. By far the best chocolate bar on the market. If i had to make a top five of chocolate bars, which obviously i do, i'd do this...

1.Kitkat Peanut Butter
2. Galaxy Caramel 
3. Cadbury's Fruit and Nut
4. Ripple
5. Crunchie

Also, i've got addicted to Dr Pepper. It is the best tasting soft drink there is, it tastes exactly like battenb(u/e)rg cake which i hate, which makes my loving of it all the more spectacular, magical, special. Yesterday i got TWELVE cans of it from Sainsbury's for £3, genius. 

GO AND BUY THE MIGHTY BOOK OF BOOSH. just needed to get that in there. This is really becoming quite the ridiculous blog post.

The main function of this post however is to pander to my journalistic qualities (lack of). I'm going to, for your pleasure, review the album 'Pinkerton' by Weezer.

Pinkerton was released in 1996 to a wave of poor reviews and apathy in respect to the band. It was considered a far more dark and troubled album than their first self titled album that was easy to listen to, fun nerdy rock and generally good natured. The album has been described by the band's lead singer in the following glowing words:

"It's a hideous record... It was such a hugely painful mistake that happened in front of hundreds of thousands of people and continues to happen on a grander and grander scale and just won't go away. It's like getting really drunk at a party and spilling your guts in front of everyone and feeling incredibly great and cathartic about it, and then waking up the next morning and realizing what a complete fool you made of yourself".

So generally, it's not got the easiest ride, but for me it is by far the best album ever released by Weezer and is probably one of the greatest five albums that I have ever listened to. What makes the album so good for me is the fact that it is edgy; some of the lyrics make you cringe, some make you laugh, and some can really make you empathise with the life of the stereotypical American teenager who is unpopular, unloved, unwilling to change, and most people have felt like this at some time so they can understand where Rivers Cuomo (the lead singer is coming from).

Here are the songs from the album, and some comments. Each song is hyperlinked so you can give it a listen. To listen look for the player on the top right of the page and click play.

"Tired of Sex" – 3:01   (just click play on the top right)
 This song is probably the best first song on an album. This is a pretty big statement considering Can't Stand Me Now is the first song on The Libertines and Black Mirror is the first on Neon Bible. The guitar solo is fantastic, Rivers sounds great, there's so much anguish. Yeah, the lyrics are a little pretentious in the sense that are we really supposed to feel pity for a guy that has lots of sex but can't find the 'one', but still, it's fantastic. 10/10

A really heavy Weezer song. What I like about this is that the guitar riffs are so loud and heavy and complicated, the drums are smashing away, but you can still hear the meaning in the lyrics, the high pitched falsetto works really well, but the best bit is that the lead singing and the backing vocals just sound fantastic together but sound like they haven't been over-produced and still sound like garage music. It's not a song with tonnes of meaning though, it's also not the best song on the album by quite a bit. 7.5/10

This song picks off where Getchoo stops, but then the pace slows and the guitar and drum take a back seat. The drums, especially the use of the cymbals are really well thought out. The lyrics are really impressive, the story of people who are together but have no reason to be together apart from wanting to be with someone. The song is a permanent crescendo, the guitars become more screechy as the song progresses, the singing sounds anguished and powerful. It's quite a 'nice' song though, not overly adventurous. 8/10

I know I said this album was a lot darker, but this could very easily have been on the blue album. It's a fantastic song, the lyrics are brilliant, full of fun, energetic stuff. It's catchy, simple but effective, and the guitar riff half way through that leads to a crescendo followed by River's coming in with another verse is one of my favourite moments of the album. 9.5/10

When the piano intro is met with a loud power chord on guitar this song kicks off. It's the story of how Rivers fell in love with a fan from Japan who he never met but always thought about after she sent him a letter. The short's a little disturbing "i wonder what clothes you wear to school/i wonder how you decorate your room/ i wonder how you touch yourself and curse myself for being across the sea" etc... but if you can put that to one have probably the most complete song on the album. It's well structured, the guitar riffs are in no way textbook, the vocals are full of emotion and the end of the song takes a completely new turn and finishs with perhaps the single best minute of a weezer song! 9.5/10

The opening verse is a typical Weezer parody, with Rivers poking a bit of fun at himself. The song starts of slowly, the verse isn't emphatic or particularly inventive, the chorus is a bit heavier, but the guitar is probably more subdued on this song than any of the first five songs on the album. The song does pick up some pace though and it is generally really catchy even if it doesn't have the most inventive lyrics. The solitary guitar solo is all-right, nothing special either, but the interesting thing about this song is that even though there is no single fantastic moment and i've actually been rather critical of some elements of it, if it is considered wholistically, it really does work and provides perhaps the most catchy chorus on the album. 8/10

El Scorcho is a tough song to review. It starts of as a pretty obvious joke, to me it seems like a bit of a take on people who talk ridiculously and act cool. The song is a little bit of a comedy though, Rivers' voice has none of the emotion, it's just taking the piss a bit. However, when the song kicks off and the tempo rises, the whole thing is transformed. The verse meant nothing and was a joke, but the chorus if entirely separated from the rest of the song is probably the most interesting/exciting/emotion-filled of the album. 9/10

An annoying song to be frank. The verse is my favourite verse on the album and the first 45 seconds until the chorus kicks in is fantastic, my problem is the chorus. "I'm dumb she's a lesbian" is when the song just turns a bit shambolic, which is a pity because when the next verse comes in my ears prick up again and the lyrics are brilliant in each verse. 10/10 in parts 4/10 in others, so an average gives us 7/10, but i really think this is the weakest song on the album.

Thank God that this song comes after Pink Triangle. The song is fantastic, complete, lyrically fantastic, powerful and inventive. The guitar is back to it's best on the album, River's lyrics are typically nerdy and Weezerish, the lyrics are just brilliant though "i'm a burning candle/ you're a gentle moth/ teaching me to lick a little bit kinder". Probably my favourite song on the album and I wouldn't change a thing.

Another 'nice' song. It's acoustic, Rivers sings melodically and shows that he's not just a whiney vocalist but actually has a real talent. It's a bit odd because the rest of the album is totally different, but it works well as a final song and is a simple, pleasant way to finish off. 9/10

So that's a quick review of every song on the album. The thing is, not every song scores exceedingly highly, but no album is perfect. What is brilliant though is the general feeling that the album gives off, it forces you into the mind of the band and their lives and is really very personal. The guitar riffs throughout are really under-rated and there's so much about this album that is just pure, honest music and in a world where that doesn't really exist very often it is really welcome.


So...i've seemingly become a pretentious reviewer. Let's see how long this phase of my blogging lasts, i give it one more review ever....

Monday, 10 November 2008

Another way to die, and another few things.

Isn't another way to die a great bond theme? I love it, everyone else hates it, i think it's edgy, unusual, and i like Jack White so it works. 

Bond is great, i don't get why people say it's not as good as casino royale or why they say there is no character development. Ok, Dominic Greene is like a watered down Le Chiffre, and about half the cinema seemed very lost with the plot, but if you pay attention it is amazing, and the turmoil of it all and the darkness of both Craig and Kurylenko is amazing, and Judi Dench does a great job as always. Go see it!

Things with me are good at the minute. I'm being worked hard as always but enjoying myself as well. I had a friend up from London last weekend and it was great, and then I went down and stayed with her in London the next day so that was really fun, it's great to just hang out with someone who understands and knows everything about you already, though it's true that my oxford friends are getting to that stage with me now.

I'm venturing up to Liverpool soon as well to see a really good friend, don't know what to expect of liverpool, on one hand i'm slightly blinded by Boris Johnson's criticisms but i think it'll be great fun, it's a party city.

I'm a bit disappointed in the election in the sense that i though McCain was a lot more competent than people gave him credit for in the debates, and he made some really good arguments about Obama voting yes on energy bills that gave billions to oil companies when McCain vehemently opposed it. At the end of the day though nobody can doubt that McCain wasn't himself in the run up to the election, and it seems the Republican party had too much say in his campaign, i mean Palin was a hardline right-winger that just didn't make sense when you try and run a campaign as a maverick, and you need someone who has at least got the ingenuity to go a few rounds with Biden, and she just couldn't deliver.

Also, towards the end when I realised that regardless of who won the presidency the senate and house would be largely democrat, it made sense for Obama to win, because in an economic crisis to have gridlock is that last thing america needs, as it is witnessing now, and at least Obama will have a mandate. In saying that though, i'm intrigued to see where Obama is going to get all this money to give everyone basic health insurance, i just don't think his sums add up and he has caused so much hope and belief that surely some people are going to be disappointed. 

Ammm....what else.. i'm looking into vac schemes at the minute, i think i'm going to apply for schemes at Linklaters, A&O, Baker and Mckenzie, Slaughter and May, Lovell's and then a smaller firm and an american firm (i know B&M are american based but they don't really act like one).

Yeah, so that's that. My knee is still fooked up, but i've got an MRI scan booked now, though it is when i'm in liverpool so that doesn't really work...ah well. I hope you're fine as well. I wonder who you are though. Well, goodbye. Maybe i'll write a poem soon, i probably won't though because there's no time ever.

Saturday, 25 October 2008


Term has been going great so far. I don't have much time though to get on blogger, but i've been managing time all reet, get to go out a good bit, enjoying myself and still spending enough time on work.

Last night was awful though, first i got in a bad mood because the girl i like had the ex down for a random visit, despite her telling me everything was over with him. It wasn't much fun seeing them drunk and telling me that they were "off to bed now". Felt shit. Then everything got put in perspective when i found out about other things going on in my friends' lives. Such a fucking mess how much pain can happen to some people in their lives. 

I've been in a bad mood all day, i guess it's good in a way that i empathise so much, but it doesn't feel like it now. 


Just needed to get that out somewhere. I'm currently sitting in my room, listening to at the drive in very loudly because it's such fantastic angry music.

On a brighter note, it's the goth or cloth bop tonight, quite aptly i'm going as a goth tonight.


Next post will be nice.

Monday, 6 October 2008

On the brink again

So at 1.40 tomorrow i leave Northern Ireland again to go back to Oxford. It's always something i find amazing that you can be transported from one world to another in a matter of hours, and that right now in Oxford my friends are probably chatting away on my corridor without me. It's all very strange and something i find interesting, it makes a person feel really small.

I've been listening to Weezer so much recently, i'd really recomment getting Pinkerton, it's such a heartfelt album and full of angsty stuff and the lyrics are just fantastic. It's such a pity that Weezer haven't been able to reach the heights of their past, though the Green Album and Red Album have a few good songs, though Make Believe is one of the worst albums i've ever heard, i'm still undecided on Maladroit. 

I've also become pretty obsessed with Heroes recently, it's the sort of show i like, sci-fi, but not ridiculously so, and full of suspense, definitely something i'm glad i've started watching.

As always i'm in two minds about going back to Oxford, i think i'm naturally quite a lazy person, i've enjoyed being at home so much and their is a certain inertia that has built up, i don't feel like being thrust back into a world of work and pressure is something i want right now, but i know it's what is necessary in the long run and i've always had a really determined character so there's no way i would ever give up. I can't wait to see people in Oxford again though.

I feel i've changed a lot this summer, i feel a lot more confident in myself than i did at the start of the summer and feel i'm beginning to work out what sort of a person i am. It's taken me a long time to realise that there is no point trying to please people who you don't really know and that the most important thing is to keep yourself happy while looking out for the people you care about. Hopefully i can realise this semi-philosophy, i have my own tastes, i don't want to pander to others. I hope that people will see me for who i really am in life now whether for the better or worse. 

PS. I'm so disenchanted with the US Presidential Race, i feel proud to be a UK citizen right now (though in a very real sense i consider myself an irish citizen but that's a different story). Both candidates should be ashamed of themselves for the negative politics and the smear campaign they are both running. For Sarah Palin to claim that Barack Obama associates with terrorists because he served on a charity board with quite an undesirable figure is so slimy, and for Obama to bring up a financial scandal that McCain was a minor part of and later claimed that it was the biggest mistake of his life and apologised is just as pathetic. 

There is no morality in a US election, unlike in the UK where negative politics are certainly on the rise but thankfully show no such level as what occurs in the USA. 

Both candidates in the USA are involved in a dispicable campaign and it is so disappointing that neither could take the moral highground and focus solely on positive politics.

Who knows when i'll be posting again, Oxford always seems to really limit my posting. Hopefully i'll be back soon.

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Bright Eyes

I was listening to Bright Eyes today. Instead of revising as much as i should have it inspired me to write only the second poem i'm willing to put up here. I'll attach the other poem at the bottom of this post, the new one is the one on the top. I don't think poetry is something i'm going to keep up so you're all incredibly lucky to have two to read ;-), if only they were somewhat interesting or even decently written i'm sure you'd enjoy them more. They are apocalyptic, and mundane, but i don't mind because it's better to produce something that i find moderately meaningful than something that i think someone else might like..selfish

I'm not a poet, i'm terrible at writing original material but every now and again i give it a go, this poem isn't finished at all and was written really quickly. I haven't thought of a name yet but provisionally i'll give it the name "At the Bottom of Everything".

At the Bottom of Everything

A sense of superiority constantly fills the air,
Disposing of all the other emotions that exist in the room,
Attention focuses, fools' eyes glean, brashness lives supreme.
Sitting in the room,
A child in the body of a woman,
Gives in to the confidence of the deception,
An introverted glance, interest is sought,
When they walk off together I laugh.

Does it ever catch up with them?
Who's the real winner here as no fondness appears?
A desire for attention must be met,
Anarchy and apathy become simple buzzwords,
But they're all I know and frequent.
Confidence is found and mislaid,
But doesn't change who you are,
An introverted glance, no attention sought,
Another emotion persists in the room.

The Idiot (written last year sometime)

Beauty will save the world,
The noble wanderers,
That plunder silently.
Midas whispers.
Quick! Grab as much as you can before it all turns to dust,
Or before you do.

Fight nature, become young again,
Let your wondrous man-made light shine forever,
Care about yourself, you deserve to.
Don’t feel selfish anymore.
Are you lost?

I don’t know where we’re heading,
Anguished and alone.
Close the curtains.
Keep the vultures at bay.
Are you delicate?
Are you beautiful?
I doubt it.

Tuesday, 9 September 2008


Just to let any readers know, I support the McCain/Palin ticket. I can't be bothered to justify it to any real extent right now, but perhaps in the future. I'm not a natural republican by any means, i've supported the Democrats in every election and mid-term that i can remember, but i have a lot of respect for John McCain and he isn't a true republican, imo being one of the most liberal republican candidates ever. I know everyone seems to think Sarah Palin is evil, meh, she seems allreet to me despite the fact she is under investigation for corruption (which she vehemently denies) and that she has a pregnant teenage daughter (which i feel should have no place in any analysis of her but am only mentioning to highlight that it shouldn't serve a place, ironic eh?). 

So before you get swept away in the tide of Obama fever, take a step back and really look at the career of McCain and the policies that he favours compared to those of Obama. It's very easy to simply support Obama because of the fervour of support that he holds at the minute, or alternatively because of the tarnished name of the republican party after the shambolic presidency of GWB, John McCain is a different breed of Republican and is the right man for the job. 

Sunday, 31 August 2008


Firstly a quick update as usual. Life is generally good. I'm still relaxing, listening to lots of music at the minute (the national, pulp, blur, weezer, albert hammond jr are on rotation) and i'm sitting outside in the sun which is miraculous because there honestly hasn't been any sun in Northern Ireland in weeks, most days are either cloudy with rain showers or fog, it's been miserable this summer. The sun is a welcome change, i love the heat and i'm constantly trying to brown up a bit to make up for my lack of italian language skill by at least looking a tiny bit italian lol. (the last sentence is basically not true, i'm not quite that much of a loser.)

My knee is causing me some real trouble these days. I injured it over 2 years ago now and i don't really know what is wrong with it. I've had MRI scans and X-rays, both showing nothing and sometimes i can have 3 or 4 months without any bother at all, i was able to play in 8 football matches last year at oxford competitively with no pain. At the minute it's taken a turn for the worse, some days i find it painful to walk and the idea of running is completely out. I'm starting to get a bit worried because the Oxford football season starts pretty much as soon as i'm back in October. I've been trying my best to keep fit recently, i've done a lot of cycling because it's quite easy on my knee and i've been taking cod liver oil and glucosamine sulphate in a desperate attempt to force my knee to heal. I'm planning to play through the pain barrier whatever happens in October but i'd prefer if it didn't come to that, i'm hoping to do some light jogging this week to see how bad things really are.

September will hopefully be a month of catching up for me. I'm planning to work pretty hard so i don't fail collections when i get back to uni and i've really been quite lazy so far, but i think when my brother and sister go back to school and my friends go back to uni there'll be little else to do except study which though it'll be boring, is pretty damn necessary. I'm looking forward to getting back now though, it'll be cool meeting the fresher's and seeing my friends again. I might try to be a little less private this year though, last year i made loads of friends but i really focussed so hard on my work that i didn't have much time for heading out and though i really love the people i already know well, i didn't get to know some of the year as much as i would have liked.

In the time i've been writing the sun has descended into a multitude of cloud and shows little sign of emerging, meaning that the time for writing is over.. back inside to do some law work and listen to the national!

Tuesday, 12 August 2008

It's been a while again.

Once again neglect has taken over and my attempts to carry on this blog seem ill-fated..but here I am again, to provide another of my many updates which seem to string together an incoherent jumble of what my life is like these days and months.

The first thing to talk about is what i've been doing this summer, mainly because at least then i can fulfill the diary aspect of my blog. This summer has been all about spending time with friends, relaxing and enjoying myself after a pretty tough year workwise at Oxford and i've really had a fantastic time so far. I've seen a few Oxford friends when i went to a wedding in Ipswich and i've been hanging out with friends from home almost every day, culminating in eight of us going to Prague for a week (i'm actually just back today). Prague was fantastic, although there was some infighting amongst the group and some rather strange behaviour but i guess that it's only when you are in close quarters with people that tensions really can boil over. Overall the trip was fantastic and really brought me closer than ever to certain friends and there were so many moments that really enriched my life, mainly esoteric sayings and my simple humour coupled with such fantastic trips as simply sitting in a park after climbing 250 steps just to have a nice view of Prague at night while having a few drinks and laughing, hysterically at times, with my friends.

This paragraph is more strange and needlessly philosphical than the previous one. One thing i always find interesting about people is that a person offers one persona to society in general, one persona to their friends and then their true person to themselves or to a very lucky few people. Some people always seem to be trying to save face, to say that something brilliant is happening in their lives when it really isn't, whereas others are blunt and honest with what is going on with them. I always wonder what the persona i offer to society really is, what do people think about me when i walk past them on the street or in a room? I don't particularly care what people think about me generally but it's an interesting thought to consider what the first impression that you offer to a person before you even speak is. If i was to guess my first impression that i offer i would guess that i seem rather cold which is rather unfortunate but probably accurate! My normal face seems set on a slight frown, which is odd because i'm almost always adequately happy. I'm very rarely clean shaven, which automatically brings with it undertones of shadiness or suspicion and i have both dark hair and dark eyes. To be frank, i'm not the bubbliest or beaming of characters! Sometimes i feel that i should make an effort to offer a more positive persona, because every now and then i feel that i almost stop people from talking to me because of the body language i emit, but then i conclude that i would look ridiculous walking around beaming with a smile on my face, and that i don't want to shave and look spick and span because i like my own style and generally, my demeanour is acceptable to me because i've concluded that i'm not trying to impress strangers and if anybody was to reject me because of a first impression, then that sort of person isn't the sort of person who i'd enjoy spending time with. I'm not sure if what i'm saying is the correct or incorrect approach to life.

The persona you offer to your friends is also an incredibly strange device, whether it is to mask severe unhappiness or to highlight to the world your despondent state in order to provoke a reaction from those closest to you. Almost everybody when they are pissed off shows their emotions, even if it is only subtley, and the reason they do so is that they have a desire to offload their anger to someone else who will understand and agree with them. However, i think that this is only true with anger rather than unhappiness. When you're unhappy you are, in my mind, in one of two states, either you have a desire for people to know that you are unhappy so as to provoke their attention being placed onto you and your problems to be sorted out and i feel that this form of an unhappy persona is mainly for minor grievances. When you are really unhappy is the persona that amazes me the most. When someone is really unhappy, them seem to try their best to offer a completely normal persona, or even one that is slightly happy in order to focus all attention away from themselves and to avoid suspicion of a grievance. I feel that it is this response to an emotion that is the most unhealthy, mainly because it is your close friends that are the only people who you should feel comfortable to be yourself around and if they are really your close friends then they have no desire for you to offer any sort of persona whatsoever.

Attention is a very strange thing. Many people are motivated by it and crave it, and i would be lying if i said i never desired attention. I have been motivated in the past and will be motivated in the future to say or do things in order to provoke a reaction from someone else or to make myself more heard within a group of people and i think almost everyone acts in this way at sometimes or another. I'm not sure what the link between the persona you offer and your position on how much attention you crave really is, but if i was to hazard a guess i would argue that it is the persona that you offer to the public that really defines what level of attention you seek. The people who dress provocatively, who speak loudly when unnecessary and desire approval from those they have never even met who desire the most attention and it is those people who present the brash and attention seeking persona to society. Perhaps i'm a bit too low on the scale of outwardness towards people i don't really know and i'm not sure to what degree that is to do with my body language or my general affront and although i would love to be able to seem more perky or chirpy to those around me i do feel that if i am to fail on the scale of the public persona at least i'm failing by not offering enough rather than offering too much.

I'm really not sure what the point is of this blog post, or what i am trying to achieve by writing it, i've talked a hell of a lot of gibberish but as i'm not seeking the approval of the reader (!) and it makes sense to me, i think i'm happy enough to quit while i'm ahead and stop here, knowing that even if this isn't understood or even read by another person that i can look back on it in 10 years and wonder whether a change in my public persona tomorrow would have either made or broken me.

Deepness or utter bollocks. Probably the latter if i'm honest.

Friday, 13 June 2008

End of Term Wrap-Up

Well i had my last tutorial yesterday and now it's time for the tedious task of packing everything i own into four boxes and getting ready to go home. It's been a great year at Oxford and at no point this year have i had any regrets about coming here, though i'm also extremely excited about getting home!

The main part of this post is to document my trip to Queen's Club in London. I'm a ridiculously massive tennis fan, i play tennis up to 5 times a week and my specialist subject in mastermind would definitely be tennis related. I don't just follow the top 10 players but i've a pretty good grasp of who is on the rise as a player in the top 1000. Unfortunately though there isn't any quality tennis tournaments where i live so being in Oxford allowed me to travel down to London to watcht the first day of qualifying for the ATP tournament at Queen's. I was able to watch players i've been following such as Alex Slabinsky, James Ward and Richard Bloomfield and was able to watch players in the top 50 like Andy Roddick, Lleyton Hewitt, Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic, Richard Gasquet etc practicing on the grass. The trip to Queen's was one of the highlights of this term for me and i had an absolutely amazing time. Here's a couple of my best photos..

Monday, 26 May 2008

Don't look back into the sun (look forward)

Hahaha, my hilariously titled blog post is a reference to a libertines song that you should all go listen to, ah the humour involved in doing this is fantastic.....

Ok, so i've not been on blogger in quite a while now, about 6 weeks since my last blog post which is poor. So first of all an update. I'm in Oxford at the minute, with 3 weeks to go till i can start my summer. The term's been great so far, we had a ball at college which was very swish and like nothing i've been to before, and i've been living it up on the river going punting about 7 times already this term. I've been playing tennis about 4 times a week and have been made the captain of my college seconds team which i'm happy about because just 2 months ago i was trying to make a final attempt to recover from injury and regain some sort of tennis ability so i'm really happy that it's worked out ok.

I'm really excited about getting home though. It's not that i've had a boring time or anything in Oxford, in fact it's been the best term by a long way, but it's just that i'm getting fed up with the routine of reading list, essay, reading list, essay every few days and i'm looking forward to going 4 months without having to do any law ( least a significant amount less...).

I'm trying to work out some plans for the summer though, because every summer i hope that it's going to be the best summer so far and every summer i have to admit has got gradually better since the age of about 12 so hopefully i can keep the trend going! I get back home on the 14 june, and hopefully i can get straight into playing league tennis for my club, the mighty newcastle. I've got a morrissey gig in Cork on the 26th june that i'm really excited about, i've said for the last 2 years that the singer or band i want to see most is morrissey so it'll be fantastic to actually do it. This july i'm going on what is only my second ever family holiday (my parents run a restaurant so the summer is always too busy for them to take time off) to the Alps for 10 days. I've got a wedding in July to go to, one of my friends from Oxford is getting married so i'm really looking forward to that because i've never been to a wedding where i'm not just an accessory to my parents! Then in august, 9 of my friends and i are going to Prague for a week which should be pretty immense. Also, i'm planning a road trip around the perimeter of Ireland which should take about 5 or 6 days and i think one of my friends will be in France for a month so i'm going to visit them for a few days as well.

I'm sure you can tell i'm pretty excited about the summer...

No other news to report really. My law course is going ok. I'm studying tort and contract law this term, which is actually really interesting. After doing roman law and constitutional law which are both a little bit abstract it is good to get on to a couple of subjects that really relate to everyday life. I've been on a few open days to solicitor firms and have finally (i hope) decided that i would prefer to work as a solicitor in london than as a barrister. I don't have to apply for vac schemes till christmas so i'm not going to worry about that just yet, except to say that so far i really like the look of A&O and despite the fact it's a really traditional firm, Slaughter and May. I've been elected the law society president of my college which is cool and should give me a few chances to change the way things are done at the college and make the fresher's experience in October even better so i'm looking forward to that.

In terms of sport, just to finish with, i think that the winner of the djokovic nadal semi final which is bound to happen, will be the winner of the tournament and i don't think that federer has a chance against either player. Football...the champions league final left me totally broken and i've not really come to deal with terry's miss yet but i'll forget about that, it's good to see the back of avram and as much as i'd like jose to return it won't happen and i'd be more than happy to see Frank Rijkaard come in and teach chelsea to play some attacking football. Pity that lewis hamilton won in monaco, i'm a ferrari fan and they completely messed up. Monaco is the sort of race that if you win qualifying you should really win the race and it was a shambles. Looking forward to Euro 08 and the Olympics now, hopefully my summer of adventure and fun will be matched by a hell of a lot of sport as well.

Friday, 11 April 2008


I got a pretty good kick up the arse today to be blunt. Basically i had an argument with a good friend and realised that i'd become a bit of a tool. Instead of just asking the person what was going on i created a whole crazy theory in my mind, got worried about what other people were thinking and acted like a total dick. The only good thing as that i've seen that i was an idiot and the fact that i've noticed it has made me come to a few realisations. The reason i'm writing this up on the blog is that so next time i have an argument with someone, especially a friend, i should remember what happened this time and get a little perspective.

You never know when you're going to need a friend on your side. It's crazy how many times people let their own self pride stop them from admitting to a mistake, especially because if people are your real friends it doesn't matter that you "lose face" to them because they're not going to throw it back in your face.

I know this post doesn't really do much for readers but hopefully having this up on the page will teach me a lesson or two.

Thursday, 3 April 2008

The Prague Spring

I can finally deliver a more interesting post! I'm just back from a trip to Prague with some friends from uni and it was absolutely fantastic. I'm going again in August for a week with school friends and i had such a good trip this time that i'm really very excited about going back in the summer. I spent Sunday-Wednesday in Prague, saw most of the sites and enjoyed the Pilsner Beer.

The city is beautiful, so much to see and the buildings are so unique. The Jewish Quarter is filled with history and the synagogues are amazing, and the Old Town, though becoming progressively tourist led is still fantastic. The Charles Bridge is great to walk across and it brings you to Prague castle which is maybe a little overrated but has brilliant views of the city. Prague is nowhere near as cheap as people make it out to be, compounded by the fact that the GBP's collapse has meant that a pound is only worth 30 Czech Koruna while 6 months ago it was worth 40!

Here's some of my photos

Saturday, 29 March 2008

Law Moderations

Unfortunately my promise of a more exciting next post is destroyed by my previous promise to let you know how my law moderations went. I got the results a couple of days ago and i was really pleased, i got:

Roman Law 66
Constitutional Law 73
Criminal Law 66.

Anything above 70 is a first and i just missed out on getting one with my average of 68.33. I was really pleased with my constit mark though and my tutor has told me that i've won the prize for best constit script out of all the first year lawyers at Oxford which i still haven't really come to terms with!

Law moderations are really important because when lawyers apply for vacation schemes (work experience in the summer of second year) or even for training contracts (pretty much a job offer from a law firm) the only law results that they will have to go on are the law moderations so to do well on them is a massive bonus, and to have won a prize from Slaughter and May for my constit is a big boost because i really want to apply to do a vac scheme there!

Sunday, 16 March 2008

An Update

Right, so i'm home after a hellish term that culminated in 3 weeks of literally living in a library in an attempt to avoid failing my law moderations, i'll let you know how i do when i get the marks but i'm not expecting much from criminal law which was an absolute disaster.

So what is this post about.. basically i'm a bit in limbo at the minute. I don't have a topic for an aggressive argument essay, i was going to bore you with law talk but i've decided against it, mainly because the last thing i want to think about is law at the minute.

I'm planning to get quite big into the tennis again and get heavily back into competition. When i was younger i was a decent player, i only started playing at 10 but by the time i was 16 i had won every junior and senior tournament at my local tennis club. I tried to play on a higher scale, winning the divisional youth league for my club but not doing too well on a more national scale, only winning 1 match in 3 attempts at the ulster championships. Not being able to make a significant step up started to affect my confidence and then i got a knee injury playing football that has taken 2 years to heal and still isn't completely better.

I played tennis for only the 5th time in 2 years a few weeks ago. I've made 4 previous attempts to start playing again but either my knee injury has came back or i've just not kept it up but i've played really regularly in the last few weeks and now i'm home i'm hoping to get back to a good standard. So my tennis targets, i'm hoping to play 3 times a week this easter and then play for college in trinity term. Hopefully by the end of trinity i'll be back to my best, but it'll be tough because i'm having to teach myself all the shots again and things like court position and shot selection are really difficult to just pick up again. In the summer i'd like to get back playing for my club and winning some tournaments again. I'll document my attempts as they happen.

Tomorrow is St Paddy's Day so wherever you are in the world, get hammered.

I'll leave you with a law thought... did you know that the law of private (self) defence allows you to repel using reasonable force any attack, or even if you mistakenly believe an attack to be imminent. However, as there is no test of a reasonable belief of an attack a loophole in the law means that a racist who honestly believes that a black person is about to kill him could murder the innocent man and use the defence of private defence. Nice to know the law is there to support those who really need it.

I'll post again soon, and it'll be more interesting I PROMISE.

Saturday, 23 February 2008

Condemning the Church, A Pragmatic Religious Theory

I am always astounded how many blogs are entirely focused on religious beliefs. Though i disagree with blogs that concentrate entirely on religion i also feel that to completely disregard the topic is myopic. In that vein i feel my blog is lacking without some deep insight into what i week, my thoughts on communism, or not..

The starting point of my belief on religion is that there is a hell of a lot of indoctrination in the world. The Nazi's loved their indoctrination, so did the Communists, but nobody loves it more than the Christians. I mean just look at the traditional Christian system in all it's glory, the church scaremongers, the people listen out of fear and bring their children up to fear God and lead a good life, the proletariat are kept under control while the bourgeoisie live it up downtown in Bentleys knowing that their country is safe. Nothing is more sickening than someone who believes because that is how they have been brought up. The only way that you can truly believe in something is through self-discovery. If you are brought up in the world in a devout religious family then your mind is automatically blinkered to all the possibilities and in order to decide what you believe you must be objective. Therefore the only Christians that i have true respect for are those who have a reason for believing, those who have really thought about God and questioned their beliefs and those who have either felt God's presence themselves or who have examined all the possibilities objectively and come to their own balanced conclusion.

From my introduction you should be able to gather that i have THREE main problems with Christianity. The first is that i dislike the church. I feel that it is possible to believe in God and lead a wholesome life without going to church and i fail to see what the church truly offers. Firstly why on earth are there so many denominations, it is absolutely ridiculous and all that it does is foster a hostile environment between all Christians, never mind the hostile environment that exists between Christianity and other religions. I find the distinctions between the denominations truly laughable as well. Protestants split from the Catholic church because the Catholic church was obsessed with money through such ideas as paying for your sins to be absolved. Even more hilarious is that the only reason that the UK is more Protestant than Catholic is because Henry VIII wasn't satisfied with his lot. Protestants, take a look at the man who brought the religion in to England; it is clear that Christian morals where at the forefront of his mind when he executed Sir Thomas More for having denied the authority of Parliament to make Henry the head of the Church. This emphasises the political nature at the heart of every denomination. I also find it ridiculous that the Presbytarian church can have at it's core the belief that the Pope is the anti-christ, and if that isn't an overtly political and laughable statement i don't know what is. My answer to these issues is to avoid the church like the plague. In my opinion the church has two purposes, 1) it is for people who are not intelligent enough to come to make up their mind on issues themselves, 2) it is for those who are so insecure with their beliefs and themselves that they need a weekly confidence boost. Jesus wanted the church to spread the word of God and teach people of Christianity, all very well in a world where the population is illiterate and not that bright but people nowadays are fully functionable independent human beings who should be left to their own devices. We are autonomous; why should we hear of God second hand through the church when we can search our own souls?

The second problem i have is with people who believe because that is how they've been brought up. I am lucky to have Christian friends who i respect because of the fact that i can see that they have came to the decision themselves. The main question i pose to any Christian on this issue is "what are the chances that you would be a Muslim if you were born in to a Muslim family?" My belief is that the vast majority of Christians in the world are only Christians because of their upbringing and though this is all well and good for concerned parents who don't want their children to go to hell it can also be viewed as the pinnacle of indoctrination; that people have subscribed to your desired way of thinking before they have even been born. For this reason i refuse to accept Christianity until i have come to my own decision on the matter. I'm an Agnostic with Christian sympathies, however i will fully admit that i have not been pro active in searching my soul for God, therefore it would be irrational for me to be Christian.

My third problem is with so called "Bible bashers." I honestly cannot think of a worse thing. It is entirely unnatural to the autonomous lifestyle of human beings for someone to run around desperately trying to convince you of what you should do with your life. Once again i go back to my point about Jesus, namely that it was all very well publicising a relgion in 30 AD, however the entire world knows of the existence of Christianity now and it should be left up to each autonomous member of the human race to decide FOR THEMSELVES whether they want to subscribe to its ideals. For someone to actively seek to "convert" you is so unnatural that it is unhealthy. Only a fickle human can be converted by someone else and this is not a true belief. I am not however saying that people should be so withdrawn from society that they should only listen to themselves and disregard the views of others. By all means i agree that by talking with believers you can unearth some excellent arguments on what the good reasons are for believing in God, however, my argument is with those who actively seek to convert rather than to inform. There are enough fickle people in the world, you shouldn't feel any sense of achievement in changing their minds.

Well my rant is coming to an end but i'd like to address a few other miscellaneous points. Fate...what a load of rubbish. The idea that your life is mapped out for you and that you have nothing to worry about because God will have decided your path, seriously, this is not natural. Any Christian should live their life morally but they should not sit back and wait for something to happen merely because they have been told that God will provide for them. Fortune favours the pro-active and only those who are prepared to go out and take risks will find themselves fulfilled. I'd also like to float the one main idea that stops me becoming a Christian. The power of the church from the 1st century AD to now has grown exponentially (with a slight downwards curve recently). In my opinion the fact that the Church in the 11th century was practicing canonic law on the citizens of the state and in the middle ages the church was in effect more powerful than the state, highlights PERHAPS the true purpose of the church, to control. This belief is that of Karl Marx, that religion is the opium of the people and it is this argument that i find most difficult to disagree with. The rich have always looked to control the poor. I am not trying to advance any Communist propaganda here, i'm not a Communist, but this is merely a fact of life. From the Patricians in Roman times to the Feudal system, power has been a drug for the wealthy. The powerful must have thanked their lucky stars when Christianity came along, with its theories on morality, on respecting the laws of the state, of not killing, stealing, of respecting thy neighbour etc. The bourgeoisie will always fear the proletariat and what binds the proletariat from acting is the fear that the bourgeoisie has imposed on them, that of religion. Though i do not accept that theory as fact, i must admit that from the very limited fields that i have studied in my life so far, that theory fits smack bang in to place.

Anyway, i'll stop here in order for you all to go and prepare your exorcism kits.

Thursday, 21 February 2008

Boxed up creativity

Well I wrote this a few months back, and it's been perching on the right hand side of my blog since then but i've been hesitant to admit authorship, it always feels like you are opening yourself up to ridicule if you do. Anyway, here it is, I still feel it's unfinished despite not making any changes for a month now.

Beauty will save the world,
The noble wanderers,
That plunder silently.
Midas whispers.
Quick! Grab as much as you can before it all turns to dust,
Or before you do.

Fight nature, become young again,
Let your wondrous man-made light shine forever,
Care about yourself, you deserve to.
Don’t feel selfish anymore.
Are you lost?

I don’t know where we’re heading,
Anguished and alone.
Close the curtains.
Keep the vultures at bay.
Are you delicate?
Are you beautiful?
I doubt it.

I took the first line from the novel "the idiot" and developed it from there, ok it's a little bleak but it's basically my belief that beauty is becoming more and more difficult to find in a world ravaged by economic gain. I sound pretentious.

Saturday, 9 February 2008

28 (or more) Days Later

It was surprising to come on blogspot for the first time in a good while and see my view count go up a bit so at least i know i'm preaching to a proverbial choir (or a man and his dog) now. It's been a very busy few weeks back in Oxford, lots of tough work and adjusting to having a social life to having an antisocial life is difficult. Still, i've managed to have alot more fun this term, getting out to the cinema, clubs and pubs significantly more. Also, to give you a hint of my dancing professional ability i'll stick a photo or two on of our last college fancy dress party, i was off the hook, i mean seriously, check out the pose....

I'm also heading home for a few days on the 13th of February so i'm looking forward to that.

OK, in a family guy "here's what grinds my gears" style i'm going to have to make a verbal assault. If anyone can inform me to why people seem to think that the word 'lose' as in, to lose a football match, is spelt loose PLEASE let me know. Don't worry, i know its a pretty petty pet hate but it's a hate nonetheless. Hilariously i tried to explain the distinction to one of my friends and asked him to change his msn so that it has lose instead of loose and he responded curtily "no".

Right, a short post for now and i'll do another when i get back home.

Friday, 4 January 2008

An end has a start

It's coming to the end of my christmas break and to the start of a new term at Oxford, which brings with it dreaded collections. Collections are like mock exams that test whether you've had a really fun Christmas revising hard.... unfortunately i have just had a really fun Christmas. I am looking forward to going back despite the crazy amount of work, it'll be nice to be independent again and know that there's always someone with their door open who is happy to chat. Of course i'm not looking forward to 70 hours of work a week and two 1500 word essays a week culminating in my Moderation exams at the end of term, but you've got to take the bad with the good.
Recently i've got pretty addicted to football manager, i've literally been playing non stop since new year's day. I am the manager of the fantastic Macclesfield Town and so far my team has

-fought off relegation from league two in the first season
-got a safe mid table finish in the second season
-won promotion to league one in the third season
-currently just about fighting off relegation from league one
-got to the 5th round of the FA Cup knocking out Stoke and Southampton

I'm seriously obsessed with this game.

I had a pretty good new years eve as well. Went to my friend's house and a few other friends came over for a pretty small house party involving a few drinking games. It was good craic and a nice way to start the year.

Probably the most important bit of this entry is to say that WE HAD SNOW!!! It's the first time in ages that we've had snow lie so it was pretty cool. Needless to say it's all gone now thanks to the beautiful Northern Irish rain but it was good while it lasted.