Free time, what free time

University finished at the end of may, and I got my results recently to find I had passed which is good and I felt I had a lot of free time suddenly. After months of university and blocking out time to do all the work, I now have all these extra time blocks to do something.

I have evenings from 5pm on a Monday, Tuesday and Thursday that used to be filled with time for tutorials, and classes that are now free, a sunday afternoon free that I used for reading and trampolining with the university. In all, I have gained around 20 or so hours each week to do things again.

I’ve taken on more hours at work, just a couple on the end of each day and taken to go swimming after work Tuesday to Friday now. I’ve restarted my trampoline coaching on a Monday night to help out at Billingham Trampoline Club. I passed the exams years ago, and been on the refresher courses but not really used them as never had time.

I’ve now blocked a monday evening out to do that and when uni starts again can still do the tutorial time again after. We have been given the timetable for next years classes already so can prepare time management.

I don’t know if I would have got back to trampoline coaching without the constant contact from the club. I was included in the coaching meetings even though I’d not coached in years and was a part of the running even if not active. But being included made me feel a part and I wanted to help out more. Such a little action on their part really got me to feel for the club.

This extra time, I see it as an opertunity to do things I’ve wanted to do all year but not got around too. I’ve worked on some projects and completed ideas that I never thought I would. I often think up things and they never get past the design stage and live within the piles of paper that grow and duplicate. I often have the same idea about 5 times before its put into a complete action. So far this break, I’ve completed about 5 of them including updating a lot of my Websites.

I’ve taken up reading for leisure, previously I would maybe get through a fiction book maybe once or twice a year, now its been closer to a week per book. I got a kindle with vouchers I got from a program named “Better than Banners” – Years ago, they asked you to put some code on 3 static webpages and they would pay you £5 of amazon vouchers per website and £10 per referral. We of course referred each other and setup lots of websites. Some sites have died and we lost the income but a couple of us still get £5 every month or so from them. We joined in 2006 so thats been a lot of free vouchers. Shame they do not accept new registrations, it would be easy to setup a lot more sites now and gain the vouchers.

Anyhow, I’ve got a kindle with the vouchers I saved up from them and have been reading many books it feels like. I really enjoyed The Hunger Games series and for the next week or so after felt in my dreams I was running around the forests and game lands. I’ve worked through a few books now and look forward to the next ones in their series, but some are not published so I’ll enjoy that when they are.

For the first month after my exams, I wanted to relax. Release myself from all studying and just stop but couldn’t completly – I had my job to do and got on with it. It came to evenings and I felt lost, and empty for a while. I watched a lot of DVDs – I managed over the course of a month to watch the entire series of Firefly (+ movie serenity) and Stargate SG1 and movies along with many other ones that had been on sky. I thought about how people could just sit and watch and it felt like a waste of time although I enjoyed them, at the end of it all, I felt I got nothing worthwhile out of it.

While studying, I felt I got a lot out of many classes, from friendships to education and challenges. I feel I need challenges in life and thats where my projects come in.

So, two months to go before university starts again. Maybe it will soom be time to find books for pre-preparation for the course of the next year – some reading to understand the topics a little ahead of time. It would be good to find the books I require before the rush at the start of the year and while I have some time, to actually read them.

I’ve a few trips planned over the next month or so to see friends and visit London. I am not sure why, but disappearing to London for a few days allows me to totally relax. I think its to do with a totally different life style – I relax anyhow, this time going with more friends. I’ve not got a holiday of going away planned but love seeing people around the country and taking time out from my normal stuff – that in itself is a perfect idea of a holiday.

so… that free time I thought I had. Easy gone, but at the same time, I’ve filled it with things that can be put aside when university starts again. Most things will be put aside, but I am hoping to keep on with the trampolining coaching. After a few more months of experience, I’d like to train for my level 2 qualification in it and see how I go from there.

First year down, several more to go

Last week I got my results for my first year of university. I was pleased to discover I had passed all my exams and the year, no resits for me. It did not give a complete breakdown of my results but the one I enjoyed most (contract law), I got the lowest marks in and the one I disliked the most (legal foundations) I got the best marks in which feels a little strange.

When I did my exams I was not well, I got very anxious and nervous beforehand and was quite ill on the weekend before they started. I had done my revision and had worked throughout the year so was prepared for them. When I sat down to the exams, I read the questions and could see similarities to the many tutorials we had done and felt I could answer the questions which was good.

I sat, I worked through them all and at the end of it, I felt I had done well. Looking at the grades, it looks like I need a much better exam technique. Although I could remember the information, I did not express it as best I could it seems and I need to work on that. My course work however seemed to pull my marks up good – maybe why I passed legal foundations so well as that was all course work.

I’ve always had difficulty when it comes to exams, my mind does not seem best suited to it. Throughout the year, and in course work, I would answer well and get the majority correct but in exams, everything seems to drop.

My parents have suggested that maybe I should look into something like hypnotism or counselling if interested to maybe try and find the root cause and aid learning and expression within exams.

Its an interesting idea, to re-program the mind to aid learning, and something I’ve thought about myself before and read a lot about it online. There seems a lot you can do through meditation and hypnotism to help to give yourself more confidence and help change attitudes.

I know a few people who have used it to remove fears such as spiders, and others to help stop smoking. They have said that it doesn’t seem to change things completely but they are a lot more relaxed in the situation and are a lot less likely to react as they used too.

I start my next year in October. I am looking forward to it again although not so much the amount of reading that will be involved. I hope to get some of the books on kindle, but so far none of my law books have been. I find it very easy to read books on that thing, I make the text quite large and can fly through books and seem to absorb the information.

I used to remember my dreams long enough to…

I used to remember my dreams long enough so that I could write them down, it has been a long time since that has happened. I only remember what feels like small fragments of them now, and they don’t make much sense (not that dreams often do after waking up)

I used my dreams to base up stories that one day I hoped that I could re-write and make into small stories or books to be published or at least shared with other people. I often have such great adventures through my imagination that I want to share it with others.

Last night, all I can remember is getting a new job – a job where I was in a high tech location with lots of security around. I was new so did not have the required passes to get in, but someone found me and got me through security.

I went through to a place with a lot of very large monitors and people quite busy, but also quite socialable too. My team leader wanted me to write, and asked me to create a couple of stories that would demonstrate my writing and descriptive abilities although I could not see how that could help me in that job, I could suddenly remember so many stories from my dreams. I felt conflicted, I could have written so many down and developed them, but also wanted to keep them for myself.

It was very strange, as at that point, I could have wrote so much but then I started to awaken to this world. All I can now remember is that the information was there and available to develop and now, I can not seem to remember or access it. It is really annoying but comforting to know that it is there and maybe, that dream will become a reality and I’ll be able to share my stories one day.

Congratulations, it was a great day

Today (Well saturday 16th) has been an awesome day, I saw a friend I’ve known since 1997 get married and it was an awesome wedding, and party afterwards. I know that I’ve had many drinks and it was a good time without getting to the stage of drunk but seeing many others get there.

The wedding was at St Giles Church in Northampton, its a real church building which I’ve not really been in one of those for a long time. It was a nice church, it felt quite welcoming. The music seemed a little too loud for the amount of people, but otherwise the service was good even with the preacher/guy doing the service going on about Love a lot. At one point it felt a game to count how many times a minute he could say it. The great passage about Love in 1 corinthians 13 was spoken and it was well placed.

The weather didn’t seem to want us to take pictures and was very windy but we got a few all the same before moving to the next venue. There was some pictures taken before the rain started and we all went inside. There didn’t seem to be a lack of drinks, and we were provided with many if we wanted them.

We had a wager (£1 each) for our table, to guess the length of the speeches put together, it was around 14 minutes fifty something, I’d guessed 14 minutes and was closest so won that round. It went towards the drinks for the next round – We got a pitcher of cola and had been given a bottle of vodka – it didn’t last long and was quite nice.

I’ve had invites to stay at peoples houses, and reconnected with friends I’d lost and caught up with many too and even made a few new ones along the way. The day has been awesome, I’ve really enjoyed the friendship and seeing him actually go through with it and wish him and his new wife an awesome life together.

I got some free transport home from my friends aunt who lived in the area, I really appreciated it as was not sure how to get back and was assuming a taxi however my phone had died and I didn’t have a number either so was working on the assumption that it will all work out, and it was great because it did.

I have to say congratulations to them both, and to my friend, you’ve been an amazing friend – you will be an amazing husband to her – Best wishes and God Bless.

And… Thank you for having me be a part of this amazingly special day.

While avoiding revision

I’ve been doing what feels like a lot of revision covering a whole variety of topics for my uni course. I’m glad I started weeks ago, as I’m sure it wouldn’t all just work in the 3 remaining days.

I went outside, and it was raining – it was pouring down in reality but for a few seconds I had to just look up and appreciate the rain coming down upon me. I didn’t know why, but it gave a great joy inside as I stopped, waited and enjoyed the water upon my skin.

I soon remembered how wet I was when I got to the car some 20 metres away from the door. Drenched I went home, but had a great feeling of happyness at the same time. Was it the distraction from revision, or the refreshing feel of the moisture – I don’t know but it was nice all the same.

I’m going to have extra time… I could actually rest?

I’m coming to the end of the first year of my university degree and notice of all the extra time I will have available to me and one thing that came to me was “I can eat more tasty and healthy meals again” – I know that sounds quite a sad thought really but for the past 8 months of university my days tend to start at around 8am and me not getting back into the house until about 9 or 10pm due to being at work, or at university.

The thought that I can eat a mixture of stirfry’s with fresh ingredients again. I can bulk buy the chicken from Makro (About 5kg batches for one person is a bulk purchase) and get the fresh ingredients from the local farm. I like getting the ingredients from there, they often have only picked it in the last few days if not few hours. Really fresh stuff and often not as expensive as the supermarkets. I’ve not gotten there recently due to their opening hours mixed with my hectic time table.

As I stare at the calendar and see after the 16th May that my calendar is looking very empty from about 6pm each day, it seems so strange. My plan would be to have around a month off from all uni stuff and then start the reading for next year – we have already been given the plan of classes but no other information yet… and thankfully not really – not got through the exams yet for this year.

I hope to get a lot of projects completed, one I’ve worked on alongside university that is near completion but I’ve so many ideas and I’ve been writing them down and putting them aside as I know that I can not do them all, and if I start now with them, I’ll never get through the uni work I need to do and I plan to pass this degree. I’ve worked hard this year to get this far – I’m not stopping now just 10 days or so before all exams are complete.

So, I’m sure that free/extra time will be filled with something very quickly but its a nice thought to see a break even if it will vanish quickly. Maybe I’ll get fitter, do some gardening, write a book, actually complete reading non uni books, or just see a lot more friends again. I’m looking forward to the change, it should be fun!

It doesn’t get easier… and Thanks Guys and Gals!

This past university year has been a lot of fun. A great challenge and exams are in a couple of weeks. I’ve passed all assignments so far, and am preparing for the 2 remaining exams.

I have made a lot of new friends through classes and especially in the social side. I’ve been involved with the Gym and Trampolining group a lot this year. It’s something I enjoy I’m not very good at it but enjoy it all the same.

I’ve made a lot of new friends in it, and only realised in the last week or so that many of them are leaving as it is their final year. They will be missed, they included me in their many events, celebrations, and group things even though my schedule is quite hectic and made me feel a true part of the group and encouraged me. I am very thankful for them all.

This past evening, we had a mini awards night where we all got an award necklace with macaroni round some elastic and a badge. Mine was for Quietest member, as I am so quiet unless annoyed, angry or ecsyatically happy (or need to do a presentation) – I’ve always been quiet although when I get talking, I do tend to keep talking.

It was a good night, a dinner at Joe Rigatoni’s in Middlesbrough followed by drinks out. With many of us attempting a game or so of pool. I’ve realised its a very bad idea to play pool when you have a bad back. I’ve regretted it for the pain, but did enjoy it at the same time. Not something I should repeat until my back is better. Its been bad now for just over a week, maybe I should see someone about it – Red Tiger Balm seems to relieve it quite well for a while… I’m just running out of it now.

So… It doesn’t get easier – I’ve had friends from university leave now for many years, and although I try to keep in contact with as many as possible, it does not get easier to say goodbye knowing that they won’t be around for those random points of encouragement, and smiles and laughter or the great advice that they can share in just the way you need to hear it. So, guys and gals – you will be missed and Thanks for all you’ve brought into my life 🙂

Spring Harvest #SH2012 – Awesome

I always enjoy spring harvest, and find it a totally amazing place to be a part of things. I find it difficult to explain in words just how happy it makes me feel but I come out of a night full of happy energy, yet physically tired.

Our days start around 6.15am and end sometime after midnight and closer to 1am. The friendships are truelly awesome and every year I make more new friends and old friendships grow stronger. This year people keep asking if I brought the chilli popcorn – that was last years event, this year its been more of putting my all into everything I go for and its been awesome.

We have had loads of food to eat, very little rest but the other day we got an afternoon off – a whole 3 hours to do with what we wanted. I had a nap (a whole 20 minutes), then met with rest of team and we went to the beach and I made sand angels – the others didn’t seem up to it. I enjoyed it. Then onto the mini fun fair where we went on a swirly ride and the bumper cars – It was a good afternoon ending up with candyfloss eating and then back to the stewards lounge to return to work.

There have been many blessings in the event we are doing. We are covering Jaks which is the venue for 11 to 13’s – Its working with the YFC North East team so I get on with them already. Its the only team I’ve been on where we are included in everything and if we need help, they actually help instead of the typical attitude of “well, its not our job…”

I like the 11 to 13’s teaching, its always crazy and lively – an organised chaos. I think I like the event as I was around 11 years of age when I first became a Christian and believed. I remember understanding the concept and therefore believe these young people can do too.

So many kids have gone for prayer, and many have suprised me with how they speak out but in a positive way. Of course, there are some that are annoying and cause havoc but the majority are there to share and praise God which to watch, it truelly awesome.

Some days are bad, and other days are great!

Thankfully I don’t really seem to have so many bad days nowadays but good days – they are growing and its quite awesome in my thoughts.

On Wednesday night I felt exhausted so went to bed early and was awake thursday after about 11 hours sleep feeling a lot better but not wanting to get up. I went ice skating (not done that in ages) and then on to work for the day followed by some Trampolining, and uni classes and then on out to a hypnotist show at the student union.

I’ve never been to a hypnostist show before that I aware of, we got seats next to the stage so could see everything. People from the audience went up and joined in, I was not one of them. I was thinking – “I could never be hypnotised” – its a point where people need to be willing to accept it.

They did the guided hypnostism on stage and it reminded me a lot of meditation I have done in the past. It was like a guided meditation story and thinking about it, the meditation is like a self hypnotism so maybe I’ve been there several time. I recall listening to the words spoken on stage and feeling inside the peace I get through meditation and then reminding myself not to go there (I don’t want to get publically hypnotised in the crowds). I came to the conclusion that if I was to choose to be involved, I could quite easily be hypnotised – very different to my previous thoughts.

They had people hugging one another as if they were the most comfy pillow, the regular “glasses” illusions, Sounds initiating reactions, the invisible people but seeing the objects moving around, and someone convinced they were a koala bear that went and found the tallest person there, sat and attached them self to them. They looked truelly shocked when awoken.

I am glad I went, and would go again as I enjoyed it and look forward to the next one – apparently it is in freshers week next university year.

I slept really well when I got in, better than I have done in weeks. I awoke with a fuller energy ready for the day and felt really happy all day. So… Some days are bad, but others… they are quite awesome!

Paint Party – Awesome Fun

I’ve had a great weekend so far, I went to a UV Paint party and had a lot of fun. I got totally soaked with paint and now have a white shirt that is technicoloured and have not had that type of fun in a long time. It reminds me of many years ago when I went out in some clubs but instead of saying on the sidelines watching and wondering if I should join in, I was in the middle of it and loved it.

I went out with a few friends, and a group from the Uni Trampolining club. I managed to lose some friends that seemed to split off into other groups and got updated that they had a good time too. Some did not make it to the paint party, I’m glad I did. They are quite messy and crazy but reminded me of times when I went out years ago… there was a lot of the music that I enjoyed from college times.

I was out enjoying the party, but also to celebrate my 33rd Birthday which is on Monday. It was fun and will go to another. Very good idea to wear something you don’t really care about getting covered, and to have a hot shower at the end of the night. It took ages to get the paint off, and still not sure if I got it all as it was UV paint.

I don’t write much now, just do not have much time left. I have been writing my dreams down in the paper journal and one day I would like to convert some into stories. I seem to have many adventures and many dreams seem to continue over many nights so its like a second world sometime and I look forward to sharing it with others too.

I don’t often have a free day, there is always something to do… but I planned for this saturday to be free from everything. I planned to sleep in (and somehow woke up refreshed after 4 hours sleep), caught up on TV, Played games, read a little, and got the washing done and its only 3pm now… It seems odd not to be doing something but kinda refreshing too… hence a little time to write on this thing 🙂