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July 03, 2006

End of Warwick Questionnaire

Writing about web page /bjkeates/entry/end_of_year/

Writing about an entry you don't have permission to view

I haven’t blogged in a very long time, so thought I would using Ben’s useful format.

Best day: There are so many options for this one, but I’d have to say that each year my favourite days have been in week 10, either the Chaplaincy Ball or the Gala Concert/results day, although playing in We Will Rock You would come very close to usurping that this year…

Worst day: Any day a relationship has ended hasn’t been nice and I felt pretty down at the end of first term this year too but I don’t think there’s ever been a really bad day in all my time here…

Best decision: Saying yes to organizing a big band for Hannah which became RBB and spawned TUB.

Worst mistake: Not being on an exec after my second year and not ever going for conductor auditions (though I couldn’t really when I was the only drummer). I somehow convinced myself that I should be concentrating more on my degree…

Craziest on–campus antic: Stealing a giant bunny’s head in my first year, dragging Alicia backwards through a hedge, having an aftershock in my mouth for a few minutes and not being able to feel my teeth the next day… There are more…

Favourite place on campus: Rococos/pool area of the Union for providing a fantastic place to have a cuppa and a chat with Geoff and others.

Most painful experience: Leaving :–(

Favourite lecturers: Colin Sparrow was always very good as was Dave Wood, but my favourite would probably be John Jones teaching Algebraic Topology in my third year.

Worst lecturer: A few spring to mind, Applied Analysis chap and David Mond, but after work I’ve always managed to work out what they’ve been on about so they couldn’t have been that bad! Perhaps if they’d made some subjects a bit more interesting…

Biggest waste of time: My attempts to try to get fit while still eating 1–2 curries a week!

Most valuable use of time: Playing in MTW shows and helping people learn percussion, really enjoyed both of those.

Shortest time between beginning an assignment and handing it in: 1 hour– that foyer in Gibbett Hill was priceless in my first year.

Average time spent awake during a one–hour lecture: I don’t normally fall to sleep in lectures, but I am always 5–10 minutes late so 45–50 mins. I have walked out of a couple after a heavy night the night before too…

Number of Pub Jogs completed: Just the one I think in my first year.

Number of times drunk: Erm, lots…

Number of exams sat: Around 30–35.

Number of times expelled from Students Union: 0

Cars crashed: 0. I don’t own a car though and just drive my mum’s slightly pink one in the brief times I’m in Southampton.

Cars owned: None, though it’ll probably be one by the end of the Summer.

Friends for life: Lots of people who I’ve met over the last 4 years hopefully, I’ll have to make sure I keep the effort in to keep in touch.

Best Friends: Every year at uni I’ve been close to different people, in my first year I was probably closest to Heather, in my second to Louise, last year to Tim Snowball and obviously this year it’s Geoff.

Girlfriends: A few, managed to break the 2 month thing once but it ended after 6 months instead. I’m a rubbish boyfriend :–)

Well, that’s that then. A summary of my life at Warwick in 1.5 A4 sides… Time to go and start looking for housing for next year!


May 26, 2006

The end has come…

And that's it! I've finished my degree! 4 years of rehearsals, concerts and musicals has let me become a master of mathematics (if all the exams have gone like I think they have).

It's quite strange this year though: normally finishing exams gives a feeling of a burden being lifted, but as this year each day I've done a couple of hours work at most except for the odd day, I haven't really had a burden to be lifted!

Now I just need to work out what to fill up my time with: procrastination is only fun when you have something to avoid!


April 21, 2006

Revision done…

= zero

Drum kits set up = 1

Probability of failing two exams next week = high

Happy though :-)

The kit

April 19, 2006

And it continues

Today I decided to wait eagerly at home for the exciting delivery of my new drum kit, which I had been told was arriving at 1ish. This has meant that I've been working in the front room, jumping at any sound, being petrified when something is put through our letterbox and having a minor heart attack every time I hear a car door slam outside…

Anyhow, I thought I'd better try to stop all this jumpiness as it wasn't really going to help me get a good grade in groups tomorrow, so I decided to call UPS at 3 to check the progress of my kit.

"What's your order number? And how can I help you?"
"It's blahblahblah. I'm just wanting to know the expected time for delivery of my package today."
"One second, I'll just check… It says here your package was delivered at 11.45 this morning to someone called Sam."
"... what …"
"Yeah, definitely, it was delivered to a block called Sam, he signed the slip at 11.45"
"... what …"
"One second I'll just call the dispatch people"
[Nice, relaxing jazz music plays, just about stopping me from going into the foetal position, rocking slowly and crying. At this point I also check all over the house to make sure I definitely hadn't signed for the kit]
"Hello again"
"... hello …"
"The item has been returned to the sender"

Right, so with a new lead and feeling slightly better for thinking that I hadn't signed for the drum kit myself, I called soundcontrol where I had bought the kit from where I learnt of the problems they'd been having…

Firstly, when sending the kit down to Southampton from the Birmingham branch that had it in stock they only sent 2 of the 3 boxes. This meant that, to save time the Birmingham branch decided to send the 3rd one to me directly (the package I missed yesterday). This would have been fine, except that the people up in Birmingham had also sold the brain of the kit, the module that produces all of the sounds, but had forgotten about it so were about to send me lots of lovely pads that I could hit to my hearts content, but nothing to make any sounds… Anyhow, so the lovely Southampton people then asked for UPS to return the 3rd package to them (where it was signed for by an assistant named Sam) which they will keep now until the new brain arrives tomorrow.

So it should arrive on Friday.



April 18, 2006

The drum kit…

Arrived back in Coventry today, was just eating my lunch before going to campus to revise when I heard a noise outside of something revving off… It was the UPS van with my brand new drum kit still in it due to our doorbell being faulty :-(

Ah well, it means I'll do more work for the first of my finals I guess, handy as it's in less than 2 days …


April 12, 2006

Good, but somehow empty

Hi all,

After weeks of thought and deliberation, I finally ordered myself an electric drum kit today, a Roland TD20. This is an amazing piece of kit, cutting edge technology and all that, feels exactly like a real drum kit to play and means I finally have volume control! However, after buying it I'm feeling quite strange. I think this is because it's the most expensive thing I've ever purchased by quite some margin, and that I'm spending money I'm yet to earn, something I have never really done before (except with my student loan, but that doesn't really count!).

It's going to be absolutely awesome to play with in the various ensembles I'm in though, and very useful for its main use of letting me continue playing next year in whichever small flat I end up living in, so I'm pretty sure it'll be worth it in the end.

I hope this was the right decision…


P.S. This is the kit, but in black instead of white, and with a double bass drum pedal instead of single :-)
Roland TD20

March 28, 2006

As everyone else has done it

When I woke up to my alarm at 9 this morning, I thought I'd set myself two tasks for the day:

1) Get at least half way through representation theory notes
2) Use up all my tesco vouchers

I then fell back to sleep.

After waking up at 12 I was still reasonably optimistic of completing these. However, as these things generally turn out, I actually just failed miserably, not starting work until after 5, and being 4p short on bananas to use the voucher (I did manage to use the other 5 though, as difficult as it was to force myself to buy donuts… Hrm).

So, to make sure I completed something today, I thought I'd do my first proper blog entry for a month and a bit, and since I'm not feeling particularly original, here goes on yet another quiz thing:

Played Spin the Bottle?: Yes
Played Poker with money: Yes. I really, really shouldn't though. Especially when I'm being fed alcohol at the same time
Gone swimming in a white T-shirt: Don't think so…
Been tickled so hard you couldn't talk: Yes
Liked someone but never told them: Yes. But I'm not the most subtle person in the world, so they might have worked it out anyway…
Gone camping: Yes. Love it. I'd highly recommend camping on top of a Welsh mountain with a couple of bottles of wine and some good friends.
Had a crush on your brother's friend: Yeah. Show-biz girls are often quite nice…
Walked in the rain without an umbrella: Yes. Not sure if I've ever walked in the rain with an umbrella actually…
Told a joke that nobody thought was funny: Yes. Very common.
Been in a talent show: Yes. Played Mission Impossible in a clarinet duet. Came fourth, Craig David won (bastard!)
Started laughing at someone's bedtime: Yes
Worn something your mom didn't approve of: Erm, dunno, don't think so
Been to a nude beach: No. Have been in a pedalo and gone round to see one though :-)
Drunk Jack Daniels: Yes
Cursed in a church: Yes
Been called a slut for kissing someone: Probably…
Burnt yourself with a curling iron/straightner: Nope
Wanted to be a police officer: No
Dumped someone: Well…
Been hit on by someone too old: Very scarily once, when I was playing in a concert at an over-65s meet-and-sing thing. Very, very scary…
Wanted to be a model: No
Bought lottery tickets: No
Made out in a car: Yes
Wanted something you couldn't have: Yes. Like a £4500 electric drum kit. Or a fulfilling job that won't make me sell my soul
Had sex on the beach: No
Had the drink sex on the beach: Yes
Seen someone shoplift: No
Hung up on someone: Nope. However: Been hung up on someone: yes
Yelled at your pet: No, I'm not really a yelling kinda guy
Bought a thong when the cashier was a guy: No
Tried to strip when drunk: No, except before getting in my bed to sleep…
Gotten seasick: Yes, though was a very long time ago
Had a stalker: Hrm, kinda, but not really a proper one
Played a prank on somone that had them really scared: No
Been embarassed by one of your family: Yes. Not sure if I would be now though, either because I'm more mature now or I'm just getting used to it…
Felt bad about eating meat: No
Protested: Yup, anti-war march for Iraq was last time
Been to an island: Yes
Been in love: Nope. Don't think I'd know if I was either
Eaten just because you were bored: Yes. Just as Lu said, it's my downfall (bloody donuts!)
Looked at something everybody thought was ugly and said 'aww': No. I rarely say aww. Aaay, yes. Aww, no.
Screamed in a library: No. Random question…
Made out with a stranger: Could they really be called a stranger if you were making out with them? If you had just met them earlier that night and hadn't really talked would that make them a stranger? Then yes. Otherwise no
Been Dumped: Yup, once. First ever girlfriend…
Wished a part of you was different: Yes
Asked a guy to dance: Yes, of course!
Been asked out by a really hot guy: Well, Geoff asked me along to the end of term party, so yes
Laughed so hard you cried: Yes
Went up to a complete stranger and started talking: Yes, when I was drunk
Been sunburned: Yes
Kicked a guy in the nuts for being a pervert: Not that I can remember
Threw up in school: Yes. Used to be really squeamish at the sight of hearts still pumping inside opened up bodies.
Received an anonymous love letter: Two valentines cards this year. I think they might not class as love letters and more as nice gestures though…
Had to wear something you hated: Yes, hate wearing suits with ties, so every interview and perhaps for every day for the rest of my life. sigh
Been to a luau: No
Saw your ex and wanted to kick his ass: Nope. Not sure I can say the same for exes who saw me
Cursed in front of your parents: Yes
Been in a commercial on tv: No
Watched a movie that made you miss your ex: Does a song from a movie count? The theme tune from the Beach still reminds me of my first girlfriend
Been out of the country: Yes
Been honked at by some guy when you were walking down the sidewalk: Yup, just yesterday. He then shouted "get a haircut" out the window before making an extremely rude sign…
Went to a party where you were the only sober one: Yes, driving duties
Went on a diet: No
Been lost out to sea: No
Cheated on your bf: No, nor on a girlfriend
Been cheated on: Not to the best of my knowledge
Tanned topless: Yes
Been attacked by seagulls: No
Been searched in an airport: No
Broke someone's heart: No idea. Hope not
Sung in the shower: Yes
Bought something way too expensive: Yes. My crappy mp3 player. It's rubbish
Done something really stupid that you still laugh about: Yup. Very, very common…
Been walked in on when you were dressing: Yes
Ran out of a movie theatre because you were too scared of the movie: No. Had to run out to be sick though, see squeamishness above…
Been kicked out of the mall: Yes. Not proud of it, and it wasn't me, honest
Been mean to someone then instantly wanted to take it back: Yes, never meant to but quite often I don't think about what I'm about to say before it comes out
Been given a detention on the worst day that you could get one: No. Been given detention: no. I was a good boy once…
Done something stupid when you were drunk: Yes, many many times. Got some good stories from it though…
Fell off your roof: Nope
Pretended you were scared so you could cuddle up with someone: No
Had a deer jump in front of your car:* No
Threatened someone with a water gun: Many times

Right, well that was a good time waste :-) Sorry if you managed to get this far, I didn't really say anything interesting. Perhaps I should have put a disclaimer warning of that at the start… Hrm… And look, you're still reading even though I'm still waffling, shame on you for your procrastinating! I'll stop typing now…


Edit: Made legible with some bold

March 20, 2006

Italy Tour…

… it was great.

Avoiding work now so pictures have been uploaded. Enjoy!


February 07, 2006

Drama on Bridlington Avenue

The drama going on at my home in Southampton yesterday was approaching Neighbours for nail-biting tension and human life in the raw!

Briefly, a burgular broke in while my parents were out. He sneaked over the back gate, lobbed a stone wrapped in sheets which were on the line through a window, leant in, cut himself (we think) but managed to force the rather pathetic window lock on the other window, and entered. He made his way to the bedroom where he found my Mum's decoy not-so-cherished jewelry, my Dad's empty lap top case, a pile of credit card looking cards including blood donor, Southampton cycling campaign, discount card for the Sports and social club and other fascinating but not so valuable items. A passport was seen but not taken.

Meanwhile a sharp-eyed neighbour opposite was putting her baby to sleep in the front room. She spotted the intruder and rang my next-door neighbour before calling 999. 2 Policemen came, staked out the place front and back, and called for back up with more bobbies and a dog. They caught the unfortunate burgar! Wow…

Of course, when my parents came home they couldn't actually get in as it was a crime scene, but our non-valuables have now been returned safely, and a dangerous criminal is off the streets!

Hurray for next door neighbours!


P.S. Top B was fun last night – perhaps I should do that more frequently. Oh, and thanks to Geoff/Lu for getting my precious Sennheisers back to me!

February 02, 2006

You call that a knife?

…this is a knife.

Well, my brother's project of the moment is online here now if anyone wants to have a watch of it.

Oh, and jogging while drunk is not recommended, especially if you can't slow down while going down a hill.

January 20, 2006

Interviews, projects and general silliness

As some of you may know, this week was my official "week of interviews". On Wednesday I travelled for a total of 5 hours for a 30 minute interview with Nationwide, which I was basically treating as a practice for later ones. It went extremely well, the woman who I spoke to was very nice, and I'm going to get another hotel stay out of it on the 21st Feb for the final round.

To be close for my IBM interview I went up to London last night to stay with my brother. It was really good catching up with him, including finding out that the programme series he researched over the summer ("Penis Envy") is being shown Mon-Weds week 5 on channel 4 in the evenings. I'm not sure if he's told my parents he's done this yet, it features a special on the depressed man with the world's biggest member and one on John Bobbit (the guy who had his penis chopped off and thrown out the window). The project he's working on at the moment (my brother, not Mr Bobbit) is "This Is A Knife" and should be available to view online soon at www.channel4.com/thisisaknife. He's producer/director for it, so it's a bit more of his work…

Anyway, on to the interview. I got up this morning, got to the office at 8:30, waited round until 9:30, had a quick introduction to the day and then started the group exercise. This is where it all started to go horribly, horribly wrong. In my group of 4, there was one guy who was pretty bright, one who was quite nice, and one who was the most annoying guy in the world. Ever. Every time anyone came up with a suggestion he just shot them down, and put his own way across and refused to change. As we were supposed to work as a team and had a tight deadline, we ended up having to do it his way, and got nowhere. I made more suggestions and they kept on getting knocked down. I of course should probably must take some of the blame for not being assertive enough to get my ideas across, and not helping him more while I felt we were going in circles, but it's nice to blame someone else :-).

The rest of the morning went pretty well, with aptitude tests and some very nice cups of tea. When it got to them announcing who was staying for interviews I was feeling a bit more optimistic, but they only asked 1 of the 8 of us to stay. Basically, anyone in my group failed at the group stage and generally on one of the tests, and 3 out of the 4 others failed the numeracy tests. I'm pretty pleased that I was one of the only two who passed all the aptitude tests, and it's not the end of the world that I didn't get the job, but I'm still not too happy. I should have been more assertive in the group exercise…

Ah well.

Anyhow, that was my week. Typical that I get through without much pain on the job I'm not too fussed about, and fail miserably at the one I want. It's just the way the cookie crumbles I guess.

Just needed to write that down to clear my head. Just one more thing to get out of my system now:

Arse, shite, bugger, feck, grr.

Much better.

January 15, 2006

New tactics

The realisation hit me earlier this week that I really needed to start doing some serious work for my project since it's got to be bloody long and I've only done the very easy bits so far.

To help with this, I've found some surefire ways of making me work now:

  • If I work I get to listen to music at this amazing site recommended to me by Joe Davison. You have to pretend to be American, but it then lets you build a list of some of your favourite music which it makes a radio station around. Pure genius.
  • If I don't work the only music I'm allowed to listen to is Fire In Your Heart on loop, the cheesiest piece in the world (hard work) which I performed with MTW on Friday.
  • I have an interview with IBM on Friday, and I think the subject of my project might be asked about, so I really should know something about it by then.
  • I'm working with Laura and she's doing a lot more than me so I end up feeling very, very guilty!

Right, I'd best go and do some work now as listening to Fire In Your Heart 5 times while checking e-mails and writing this has almost been enough to make me slit my wrists…


January 07, 2006

Work avoidance…

…is going well today, though I have slipped a bit and done some research for my project.

Other things I've done:

  • Watched this: link
  • Researched for my IBM interview a week Monday
  • Written thank you letters

Time to start being productive…

January 02, 2006


Hello all who read this,

Well, it's been a fun few weeks. I've done (approximately) 5 minutes work in the 4 and a half weeks I've had off, I've bought some clothes that don't say Warwick on them for pretty much the first time in 4 years, I've got a double bass drum pedal (wooo!), and I've had a bloody good time! The double bass drum pedal is pretty wicked, but bloody difficult to play. I might actually have to practice when I get back to uni…

One of the highlights was seeing one of my best friends from home's new flat in London. He is my official fashion guru and often attempts to make me have £70 hair-cuts or do other silly things like join a gym, but this time I managed to get him to show me where to shop in Oxford Street on a student's budget, though he insisted on showing me how to tuck a shirt in properly. I never knew it was such a science!

Probably the biggest highlight of my holiday though was having the final annual New Year's Eve party at my house, finishing a tradition which started when I was at college. It was really good to catch up with friends, some of whom I hadn't seen since the same time the year before, especially the ones who I didn't have contact details for who had just turned up hoping there would be a party here! I'm going to put a few pictures up when I find my camera cable, including one of the most lethal drink I've ever drunk (balsamic vinegar stuff that was 45% when it was bought – 25 years ago on my parents' honeymoon!). The house is still in one piece too, which is always a relief, not like the year when a friend fell over and put his foot through our brand new oven's door for example…

I'm back in Warwick on Tuesday, and will probably be on campus at some point to play with my double bass drum pedal some more!

Right, I'd best get some sleep, I wasn't asleep until around 6 last night and got woken up at 9 when one of my friends had to leave for the railway station.

Adios, and have a happy new year!


PS This is my new pedal, mine's an ex-demo version of this: link

December 19, 2005


Well, I'm back in Southampton now, and am keeping myself busy so as to have a good excuse to not work. So far I have:

  • Played in a friend's concert. If he had told me beforehand how many organ recitals there were I may not have done though!

  • Attempted to go for a quiet drink and catchup with a friend, but ended up bumping in to a few other musos in the pub and did the quiz with them. I don't think I've ever come last before, but at least we got our fee back!

  • Drunk really dodgy beer, the only beer that could be found in my house, which had been sitting with the spirits for at least 10 years too many looking at the layers of dust on it (and the best before date!). I drank it as I guessed that it would just have got stronger, which probably happened considering how rough I felt Sunday morning, though that could just have been the bacteria that had grown in it.

  • Played squash against a sporty friend who had hardly ever played before. He was almost better than me by the last game…

  • Gone shopping for Christmas presents and found out quickly that I should have completed it at least a month ago… Anyone know where you can buy large plastic crisp bowls or a nice hanging wooden thing for a garden? I'm stumped!

Right, time to, erm, find more things to do to waste my time!


P.S. Didn't get in to Mars, I'll find out why on Wednesday but think it's probably something to do with the final interview I had with them… Ah well, IBM is still my first choice anyway.

December 15, 2005

Interviews, phones, producers and chocolate

Hi all,

Well, life has been very productive since I last blogged. I've done no work (of course), but I have:

  • Got my phone back (hooray!)
  • Had 2 more days at assessment centres in Slough where they fed me lots of chocolate, put me up in a hotel and gave some evil interviews
  • Been to London and seen the Producers (good show, let down by the two leads), gone on the London Eye and seen my brother for the first time in around 6 months.

It's always interesting seeing Tim as he changes job too often for me to keep up, though everytime I see him he's one step closer to his ultimate goal of directing films. This time he's gone from being a researcher for a firm that is making a series about penis envy (don't ask…) to being a producer/director for Channel 4, working on a daily podcast that will be bought out sometime in the new year if the pilots continue to impress. I've seen a couple and they're pretty good; if any of you want to see one I have them on my computer.

Right, I'd best go and do my chores before heading back to Southampton tomorrow,


December 08, 2005

Genius headline

Whilst in the process of avoiding work (a favourite hobby of mine), I saw this headline on the BBC News website:

Virgin lands in hot water over fondling angels



P.S. It was relating to this article

December 07, 2005

All better

Follow-up to An interesting day… from The Drunk Drummer

A nice girl called Anna found my phone on the tube and is sending it to me, so all is better, and I feel slightly stupid now.

Good good,


December 06, 2005

An interesting day…

(If you don't have much time, skip to the end, important stuff there!)

As some of you may have known, I was doing an interview in Slough for Mars today, which didn't go too badly.

It's just everything else that's been $%@&#*!

  • Firstly the TWM buses didn't turn up so I had to jump in a taxi to make it on time for the train…
  • That turned out to be over an hour late, so I had to go via London instead which meant I had to…
  • Change my ticket but the not-so-helpful man's machine wasn't working, but this was OK as…
  • The London train was also very delayed, which would have been OK except…
  • On the underground a poor woman fell down the escalator, which meant there was no way down and that I almost missed the last train to…
  • Slough. What a dump.

Anyhow, the interview went OK except for the odd dodgy moment and I think I did alright in the psycometric tests, so I was in a pretty happy mood until on the tube on the way home, when I realised that I'd been pick-pocketed and my phone had been nicked. Bugger.

Well, I've now cancelled my phone and since I'm coming up to the end of my contract anyway it's not too bad, I'll just have to go phone shopping tomorrow instead of working on my project.

The real problem will be phone numbers though: I haven't backed up my phone's memory since last Christmas (whoops), so if anyone has given me their number or changed number since then please e-mail me with it!

Thanks a lot, and I hope you had a better day than me,


Edit: All better now, see above

December 02, 2005

What can cheer me up…

Finding out that I'm getting a double bass drum pedal for Christmas! I can finally do a hard-rock version of the Floral Dance!