London 2

Lonely London. Sorry for the clickbait subtitle, I guess this blog series isn’t going to be as frequent as I thought, I haven’t even started uni yet but I’m already pushed for time. The reason this blog post is named Lonely London relates to my conversations back home. The last time I blogged I had just moved in and had an Earnest Hemingway approach to North Greenwich which I don’t see anymore, partly because it’s not a stranger to me anymore.

Although I haven’t attempted this experiment, I’m pretty sure that if I wait in North Greenwich for an hour I will see someone I know, and I guess that’s why I’m happy. London living is still a new concept for me but I guess it’s that fact that keeps me going in the friendship department. In the last post I mentioned my big ego popularity situation in Nottingham and the fact that I am a few steps closer to achieving this in North Greenwich (I’d love to say London but at the moment it seems impossible) is giving me a huge boost.

Since I have moved, I have eaten a lot of pasta (all cooked at midday to avoid an awkward cooking situation with my landlady who is possibly the most lovely and easy going woman in the city), a lot of thin sandwiches and rip off Aldi Krave. I have also hopped on a lot of busses (I’ve spent almost 20 pounds on bus travel already, yet almost nothing on food). I have been using my bike but for some places you just need to take the bus, especially if the person you are meeting is bikeless.

I’ve chatted to a few people on my course (as I had a two hour enrolment que yesterday to make conversation) however so far I have made two friends that I think will be important in my London adventure. I won’t name them (yet, let me know if you would like to be named if you read this) but one is a talented cinematographer (and also filmmaker in general) thats a whizz with a black magic and a table tennis bat but is shit at putting up fairy lights (he also has a crazy automobile related industry secret that you could see in a future film I’ll work on). The other is a northern traveler that seems more bothered about packing his day with adventure than actually keeping to his schedule but shares the same stupid sense of humour (again related to something else I’ll have to blog about soon).

It’s my induction day tomorrow so I guess I’ll meet a bunch of people then too, hopefully some more likeminded individuals but I imagine I will end up complaining about it the whole time and bonding with people through that, I’ve been told it’s an egg hunt. I’m 9,000 in debt and my first activity is an egg hunt, great start. Hopefully the eggs are metaphors for new friends.

In terms of activities completed so far (I have been here a week so I must have done something), I have done my first mild supermarket shop, been to pretty much everywhere in East London, had an amazing conversation in Greenwich Park (google the view it’s just amazing), seen some incredible vehicles and been to my first university dorm room piss up (a messy evening where we played beer pong, some awful card drinking game and then argued with some bouncers because they wanted to charge us twelve pounds to get into what looked like more of a refuse facility than a club). I have also got in touch with a London based rapper about making some visuals so hopefully I can become the grime video guy for London as well as Nottingham (only joking).

Nevertheless! Sorry for not being as active with the blogging as I had hoped. I will still be blogging as regularly as possible to lessen the “are you lonely yet” messages from my family. The grammar may not be perfect and I’m sorry for that, I just write how I talk, the constant brackets are my usual side comments (imagine Harry Hill turning to that side camera when he cracks a gag) and as for any other errors my essays are better trust me (after I’ve sent them to my teacher mother for a proof read, thanks for that D* D  D).

Ending on a positive note and to answer my granddads daily Facebook question:
Happiness level 8.5/10.

London 1

I have been blogging since I first got my hands on a laptop, before video making, filmmaking and whatever venture I’m specialising in this week. Today marked a new beginning for myself. This month has been a pretty wild one for a lot of fellow 18 year olds, leaving home for university (or in my case an overprotective but great mother/friend and grandparents who are the real parents).

Becoming a Londoner. Although I have fallen in Love with Ravensbourne (the uni I’ll be attending in about a week or so), I have always been set on living in London so for me this move was a definite bucket list tick off at some stage of my life, it just happens to be the first big one. If I hate it, I’ll be glad I moved to the big city and learned how I like to live, I hate the idea of wondering.

Friends and family will tell you that I have loved the the idea of London since I was young, close family and friends would by me London mugs and pen pots as easy presents (only joking I love that shit). I also have a big tube map in my ‘now old’ room and Oxford Street and Piccadilly Circus signs above my bed, the fuss might be because all my favourite films are set there and the aesthetic is so British like, they all speak good English unlike Nottingham folk (sorry ducks) and the underground was always the coolest thing in my opinion. The tube is not going to be a part of my daily routine though, yet… The red London busses will be however.

My other choice of commuting will be the bicycle after my grandad probably spent more time and money on it than a new bike would do. It’s a two and a half mile ride to uni, meaning I’ll either turn up looking like a greasy squashed pizza every morning (I’m not the fittest) or I’ll literally be a pizza on the road.

Today I had a two and a half hour drive down to London with the grandparents (thanks for taking the day off work ‘mum’). When finally arriving to my new home (a cosy room in a neat small house with a lovely lady named Vivienne) I felt excited, like I was free, no longer in the picturesque jail cell that is Barnstone and free to go anywhere (within zones one and three). A surprising highlight of the day was visiting a huge Sainsburys nearby (my new local) and I couldn’t shut up about how I couldn’t believe it was the same price as Nottingham and not extortionate fees for the same food. Maybe I was distracting myself from my inner nerves, I was scared, and when they left, I did feel a chill. The meal deal is three pounds though!!! Thats my breakfasts lunches and dinners sorted!!!

After enjoying my own company in my room for a few hours (it was surprisingly peaceful as I was unpacking and watching American Dad) and meeting Vivienne and her temporary loft room mate who I haven’t had a full conversation with yet, he must of been tired after coming home late. I decided despite my mum and granddads advice not to ride the bike yet to take it the uni and try out a route I planned myself. I arranged to meet up with a new peer but unfortunately he had a last minute situation and couldn’t come! I wasn’t angry, I’d shit myself if I lost a wallet on a London bus. I cycled past scape on the way (the main uni accommodation which I cannot afford) and saw a load of people playing my favourite sport with some beers. I wanted to barge in an take a table tennis bat and show them how Nottingham plays the game but unfortunately I don’t know anyone there yet to sneak me in and can’t just break in to introduce myself.

At half past eight in the evening, I was standing in front of the 02 arena, the only tickets I was and am carrying is the three year journey tickets to the place next door. The all nighter lights of Canary Wharf’s twenty four hour stock market and the groups of friends heading to see an expensive concert together made me feel vulnerable for a big bloke. I couldn’t help but think and miss my situation in Nottingham, where I would tweet “anyone in town” and ten minutes later I’d be grabbing a coffee with a friend, I can’t yet do that here, and I’m not lonely, but ready to not be. I know that once I make friends and meet other Londoners for other reasons I’ll be able to do the same, but on a much bigger scale.

Biking up hill back to the house was hell, and in the cold dark by myself. I came back and made beans on crumpets (a new speciality of mine, it goes don’t panic) and sat on my bed to see tens of notifications from friends back in Nottingham, sadly mainly goodbyes. Not sure if they know I have a Christmas break and a four month summer.

Tomorrow I’m meeting a couple of people including a college friend and it will be the beginning of my London networking scheme but for now it’s time to have my first nights sleep as a Londoner.

Giving Blood

I just gave blood in Bingham for the first time today. Giving blood is a really kind thing to do, I’m not saying I’m a kind person, but I am ‘kind’ of an idiot if that counts. Awful joke, nevertheless, it can save a life, and although I feel terrible (I will get into that), I am still glad I have done it. All the stuff I’m about to tell you should not put you off giving blood, it was just my experience, everyone there seemed chilled (except for the moron that is me), plus you get biscuits at the end and who doesn’t like biscuits.

I felt comfortable as I entered the donation room as I used to play badminton and have PE lessons there, my taxi driver mother was with me for the brief sign in period as she couldn’t give blood due to having her nose pierced. As soon as you have registered you have to tick a page full of boxes about your health and sexual experiences. I’ve never felt like such a virgin in all my life. You enter a booth after a short wait and they prick your finger to test if your blood is suitable for donation, that was all fine. Can I just mention that the NHS people working there were so nice, I mean it is their job and everything but if someone complained to me about something I’d ave em.

I sat down at the chair, and closed my eyes as the nurse pressured my arm and inserted the needle. Although I don’t like looking at needles on TV and don’t enjoy the experience, I’m cool with it, it’s not bad but it’s not great. As soon as the extraction began, I began to feel sick and lightheaded, both of the symptoms that the nurse told me was a sign that you are not up for giving blood, I blamed it on the nerves and sat there for five minutes doing nothing. The average person gives around a pint of blood in ten minutes, I gave it in five, the fastest that particular nurse had seen anyone give blood. My blood cells obviously hate me. The nurse took the needle out of me and let me sit their for a few seconds before asking me some questions. Did you feel sick or lightheaded? I still do as I’m typing this, one hour after giving blood.

As soon as I told the nurse she realised that I was as pale as Marilyn Manson. I looked like Cassandra, that terrifying skin thing from Dr Who. They pulled a screen behind me and told me to breathe and update them on how I was feeling, that worked well, but I still felt wobbly walking to the biscuit table, thinking about the blood leaving my body. They poured me a glass of water and unpacked a black safety bed/stretcher. In the end, I didn’t need to use it, but that being their made me feel worse as I knew that the Nurses thought I wasn’t right. Whilst stuffing my face full of biscuits I asked my mum a few random generic questions to take my mind of the experience. What’s for tea then? As many as you can get, pointing to the biscuits. My mum is mental.

Nevertheless, I’d still recommend giving blood as it can save a life. Although my experience wasn’t the most fun, you are taken care of and feel good in a way that you have probably kept someone alive. I’m booked in again for the 27th September 2015, join me if you want.

Yours sincerely, the fastest blood donor in Bingham.