October 11, 2006

fffwwwaaaanng …............ and relax

the above title is just conveying a certain amount of relief I am currently feeling at being able to take a break from flinging myself about the globe. so to speak.

have just arrived at my aunty Anne’s house in Tauranga (few hours East of Auckland) in New Zealand – said 3 years ago that I would be back – and I am :)

just felt a good time to pull up a pew / put my legs up / get off the road / chill for a while – I’ve had a wonderful time in the USA, Cook Islands, Fiji – and I love being back here in NZ too – just need the break I think.

will also be able to sort out some accomodation in Sydney hopefully, and possibly look into some additional PhD options / after gap year stuff. Also need to do some DVD photo burning.

arrrghhh 2 and a bit months already gone. flown by. shiiiiiiit

still doesnt really feel like I’ve changed yet (just 3 months in NZ did me wonders last time). Maybe I need something tougher – eg Asia? – to do that….

last 4 days I have been feeling decidedly “chippa” about things / life. also am v glad I’ve got rid of my bloody cold. well just about. anyway, I’m happy (like I was in USA, and improvement on Fiji).

still aint “found” anyone yet. a fair few cuties, but you know me – need a couple of weeks at least. unlikely…. (unfortunately I know me too). Would help if I actually knew how to flirt. Seem to have forgotten somehow / never really learnt properly. As it was v aptly put to me last week, the worldwide search for a woman continues….

anyways – shall be writing an email containing stuff/crap/info from last 3 weeks shortly. oh yeh – its my 22nd birthday on saturday. bugger. old.

September 14, 2006

oh herro !

well hello there one and all

am sat in the main town in the Cook Islands – a bit poorly (on antibiotics) – and thought I would revive my blog now its been “graduated”

has been fun here – great weather – I have a nippy wee scooter to bomb around the roads on – and the hostel is basic but really cool. got a bit sunburnt a few days ago when snorkelling – oh well.

anyway – I’m sure my emails are jealousy inducing enough as they are – so won’t put anything more here atm. just having “great fun” trying to extract the files from my MP3 player to burn a backup DVD to send home – none of the computers on the island have the necessary drivers….

Fiji on Saturday for 3 weeks (2 tours) – should be able to drink alcohol by then. Oh yeh – Monday – me and a girl called Jo won a local dance contest – prize – more alcohol…....

Hehehe – the irony….

August 01, 2006

packed and ready to go

well this is unusual – Taylor is on time for something. no last minute panics. no stressing. all chilled. plently of time before an early night to send some emails.

flight early tomorrow down to Cat's – 4 days there including her paaarteh – then off from Heathrow on the 6th. dead exciting. although hasnt hit yet. still feels like a uni holiday…..

July 30, 2006

just a little bit of fun – try it yourself !

ok so I was making some passport photos (about 20) using a digital camera, a light and a white sheet – so that I could print them off and take them round the world during my gap year for all the visas and forms I'll be filling in.

and I got bored. I mean really bored. basically ready to go, hence the work to do always expands to fill the time – correct? having installed 3 velux blinds I was looking for something more fun…..

soooo – I decide wouldnt it be fun to chop my face in half – then produce mirror images of each half and create 2 new Richard Taylors. I really wish I hadnt. Its scary…....

(this comes with a disclaimer – the original photo below is the one I'll be using/taking with me – and its at a very slight tilt – so chopping in half required angled boxes – and so the final mirrored images might be slightly thinner faced to get the perfect overlap. even so…)

passport photo

now if you take MY left hand side of my face – you get:

my left hand side doubled over

and my right you get this result:

my right hand side doubled over

so perhaps ignoring the hair – that's just scary. friggin freaky. and my left side's wishing I hadn done this now…. I like my right side…..

in order, final thoughts on the matter above:
errr me
britain's most wanted
soon to be the face of some designer brand or something

July 17, 2006

yay for graduation and cool friends

well – what a fantastic week !
JUST what i needed too – see everyone again, going out, having a laugh….

so grad week rocked, babyB was visited twice, one night was spent crashed on a Redfern floor after late night 4player Gamecube madness, i pikyed many a lift to and from campus (huge thanks guys), did some serious cycling again, and convinced another person to join me treking in Nepal (now me, my dad, and Dave Frost)

then nifty lift over to Cambridge (Royston in fact), and party preparations aplently, then excellent party thrown by my old housemate (cheers Gianna), never eaten so much!
next day was hangover (gav and i had been drinking for 14 hours) and tidy up, today was wee wonder about the country, before 2 hr delayed train journey….. anyway, am back in edinburgh, all bouncy.

sad to say goodbye to some people (2 espec), but shall be seeing many people again in 2 weeks before i go…. 20 days left….

July 12, 2006

finally all finished

well – weren't that nice. graduation that is. thin disguise for WGA plugs and money–spinning photos etc, but all worth it to celebrate the 4 most excellent years I've had.

best bit was actually seeing everyone on my course & corridor again after 2 weeks in scottish isolation, though this did slightly interfere with my attempt at eating the buffet lunch, I care not. nice to see others' families too.

so with parents in tow, camera in hand, phone in pocket, I ended up watching a day fly by me before I really realised it had started. but it were fun.

mixed feelings i think that quite a few people were covering today too:
happiness that we've all done so well and had such a good time at Warwick, combined with the sadness that sets in when you realise you aint going to see half your course probably for a very long time / if at all again. Although they may not have been your bestest buddies / know your secrets – they are your friends who shared many experiences with you, worked with you, and they're all lovely decent people, who I shall miss having round.

as for the other half and other special peeps – well – its depressing when you know you'll be saying goodbye to your best mates – but at least its going to be in dribs and drabs over the next few weeks, each person on a certain date, so I'll therefore get a chance to say goodbye to each properly / should have some time. Not easy. Lots to say. Tears will mosts likely be shed. They are an amazing bunch (you know who you are), who I've been truly honoured to know. Love you all. Think I've grown too attached – last 2 weeks have been been the start of weaning me off. And I dont like it.

however, as the VC said, looking forward…. Next few days I'm on campus seeing other peoples' graduations, meeting up with people, umpiring a hockey match, some cheeky drinks – and generally having a good time again. yay.
then off with Gav on friday to an old friend's houseparty near cambridge (on the saturday), and home to scotland on monday.

home = gap year organisation = buying lots / spending money. something i am particularly loathe to do atm, since I am convinced I dont have enough before I go travelling as it is. however, sister is back from her South America trip at the end of the month – so shall see her for a few days –then I'm off down south to Cat's 23rd party, before off up and away for 11 months…......

also other news – am looking at PhDs again, because will need one if I'm serious about a career in new energy technologies (or something on those lines). have been speaking to various people – not sure its going to be easy to sort something over 12 months in advance though. not sure I want to do a PhD yet. there be 3 out of 15 people in our course who still havent decided what they want. I be one.

anyway – negative has been bit too highlighted up to this point, so I shall finish by saying WOOOOOOO ! finished degree. and getting excited. 26 days to go…....

July 02, 2006

killing some time…

How many keys are on your keychain?

What curse word do you use the most?
fuck i think. i've fallen into bad habits. although maybe its bloody hell

Do you own an iPod?
not yet – am about to order an mp3 player tho

What time is your alarm clock set for?
its not set to anything atm – tho my body seems to be waking itself up at 2pm everyday

How many suitcases do you own?
a few grips, but nothing solid per say

Do you wear flip–flops even when it's cold outside?
yep and shorts too. hardy scot

Where do you buy your groceries from?
was always tesco at uni, now–a–days the parents occasionally sucker me in to going to our local sainsburys

Would you rather take the picture or be in the picture?
if its pictures of people, then i think i'd prob like to be in it. maybe both – ah timers…

What was the last movie you watched?
Cruel Intentions. damn thats a good film

Do any of your friends have children?

If you won the lottery, what's the first thing you would buy?
not buy as such, but i'd most likely share some of it with my closest friends, and my family

Has anyone ever called you lazy?
almost daily

Do you ever take medication to help you fall asleep faster?
nope – only times i cant get to sleep straight away is when its too hot (easily solved) or when brain is buzzing / too active.

What CD is currently in your CD player?
soundtrack to Troy

Do you prefer regular or chocolate milk?
hmmmm blue full–fat milk

Has anyone told you a secret this week?
not really a secret, but my old headmaster told me something new my mum (an ex–doctor) had said when i was hospitalised with my burst appendix (A–level time) along the lines of "why didnt i spot it earlier, and i'd never forgiven myself if he hadnt made it"

When was the last time someone hit on you?
night before new years eve. the barge pounced.

What did you have for dinner?
meat fondu. just my kinda meal – eat as much as you can

Do you wear hoodies often?
yep – my warwick hockey one

Can you whistle?
out and in. so could go on for eeeeever

Have you ever participated in a protest?
no. although have filled in online thingies against top up fees etc

Who was the last person to call you?
chris, our downstairs neighbour, wanting to play golf

What is your favourite ride at an amusement park?
the one with the largest g–forces

Do you think people talk about you behind your back?
of course – tis only natural. pissed me off something rotten in term1 tho

What post code are you in right now?

Did you watch cartoons as a child?
good god yes. all of them.

How big is your local mall?

How many siblings do you have?
1. and she's merrily skipping her way across South America as we speak. off to be an arty–farty person next year in London

Are you shy around the opposite sex?
yes when i first meet / see them

What is your biggest regret?
not sticking my neck out enough. and missing opportunities

When was the last time you laughed so hard your sides hurt?
probably one of the many times last term when someone (myself included) came up with a tear–inducing "quote". hehehe

What film do you know every line to?
could prob join Gav in his Lord of the Rings recital

Do you own any band t–shirts?
no – but intend to get a ReplicaX one

When was your last plane ride?
i fly all the time – easiest way to get to scotland and back. so end of easter hols would be the answer

How many chairs are at your dining room table?

Do you read for fun?
yeh if the mood strikes me

Can you speak any languages other than English?
somehow scraped an A at French GCSE french. I know about 5 words in Greek and Polish too. So no basically

Do you do your own dishes?
i have been doing my fair share of house–hold chores since i got back

What colour is your bedroom painted?

Have you ever cried in public?
yes. end of the last song on the last night of uni. also outside on the piazza.

Do you have a desktop computer or a laptop?
desktop. ps – NEVER send a PC via Royal Mail – no matter how well packaged.

Which do you make, wishes or plans?
plans. lots of them. tho takes a while for me to actually get round to implementing

Are you always trying to learn new things?
totally – its what i love the most. perhaps why i want to do a PhD now

Do you shower on a daily basis?
always in the morning. sometimes in evening too.

Are you currently wanting any piercings or tattoos?
cant say ever really thought about them

Do you believe that the guy should pay on the first date?
in principle yes. tho suppose it depends. cant say ive ever taken someone out on a date before already going out

Can you skip rocks?
14 is my record

Have you ever been to Jamaica?
nope. shall be dream island hopping soon enough though.

What to snack on at the movie theatres?
either nothing – or full thing of salted popcorn and drink

Who was your favourite teacher?
Dr Brookman. was the guy who got me enthused about maths. Ah the memories of "Fun Maths" class on Fridays

Have you ever dated someone out of your race?

What is the weather like?
damp and cool

Would you ever date someone covered in tattoos?
no probably not

Do you have an online journal?

What was your favourite class in high school?
Biology. had a lovely elderly teacher, who when he had a bike accident, I got to teach his 10year olds class for a term.

Do you enjoy travelling via airplanes?
kinda bores me now

What personality trait is a must–have in your preferred gender?
i personally think there is nothing better than someone who can and isnt afraid to absolutely rip the piss out of me, i.e. intelligent wit

Have you ever been attracted to someone physically unattractive?
straight answer – no. different answer – i can only feel attraction once i know someone properly.

When was the last time you slept on the floor?
hmm last summer when working in the City, when came home from work at midnight and found i had been locked out by the builders. hurrah for under–street wine cellar + portaloo

What is your favourite alcoholic drink?
cointreau + amaretto + lemonade

Does your closest Starbucks have a drive–thru?
as much as that appalls me, i might just have to look out for them in August

Do you like your living arrangement?
err tis home. comfy, free, good food, lots of sleep.
dont really have the choice tho. would rather be back in uni halls really – however.

What is your mother's hometown?
Arasaig – tiny town on the far west coast of Scotland.

How many hours of sleep do you need to function?
i do well on 8. learnt to live with 5 over last summer. am currently getting about 11 :D

Do you eat breakfast daily?
only way that i can function an hour later / rest of day

What was the last thing to scare you?
the sight of the end of uni rushing towards me at the rate of 7days/week
and my lack of self–confidence

Are your days full and fast–paced?
no longer

Did you ever get in trouble for talking in class?
i was an annoying goodie–two–shoes at school. and first year of uni. then travelling changed me for the better.

What is your favourite fruit?
grannie smith apple

Do you pay attention to calories on the back of packages?
no. but the more the merrier i say

How old will you be turning on your next birthday?
22. sigh

Are you picky about spelling and grammar?
yes. hence the proof–reading king. well sorta.

Do you believe in life on other planets?
i'd say there was a fair chance it could exist

Have you ever been to Six Flags?
nope. might be tho.

Who was the last person to piss you off?
my dad – but only cause he was giving me a hard time about my unpacking going v slowly and hence still all over the hall

Do you believe that God has a gender?
if there is one – then id say no gender

What was the last thing you ate?
a bread roll

Do you get along better with the same or opposite sex?
thats a tough one. if you'd asked me 2yrs ago, I'd have said opposite definetly, since all my closest friends were. now–a–days i would probably give the same answer, although its now a lot more even. Indeed a nice thing to have a good mix of friends.

What did you dress up as for your first Halloween?
can't remember my first – parents probably took us round. tho i do tend to go for vampire. also do a mean zombie

How did your parents pick your name?
no idea. although my middle names….
Hugo since that was my uncle (never met him)
Syme since that's a bit of a family tradition / my great–great uncle

Do you like mustard?

What do you tell yourself when times get hard?
hmmm. remind myself of what i have. good health, body, mind etc and an amazing bunch of friends.

Would you ever sky dive?
already have. and intend to again. massive rush. hehe :D

Do you sleep on your side, tummy, or back?
usually my left side

What character from a movie most reminds you of yourself?
given my "deprived childhood" of not watching enough films – i.e. the regular occurence of "nope havent seen it" – cant really say. Maybe John Nash from A Beautiful Mind (but not that extreme obvs)

Have you ever bid for something on ebay?
cant say i ever have

What do you think of Angelina Jolie being pregnant?
erhm – who cares?

Do you enjoy giving hugs?
loads. and recieving. hugs RULE

Would you consider yourself to be fashionable?
clothing–wise: ish. cant say i've ever thought about it too hard

Do you own a digital camera?
a recent pre–gapping birthday prezie, yes

If someone you had no interest in dating expressed interest in dating you, how would you feel?
embarassed and tad awkward / apologetic. cant say that flattered really crossed my mind at the time.

What celebrities have you been compared to?
Tim Henman for a time. quite appropriate really.

Who is your favourite Star Wars character?

Does it annoy you when someone says they'll call but never do?
not really.

What books, if any, have made you cry?
think that a couple have in the past

Do you think you're attractive?

What are you allergic to?

Are you a jealous person?
didnt used to be, was for a bit, now no longer

What's your opinion on sex without emotional commitment?
pretty pointless

Do you ever feel guilty after eating meat?
yeh, guilty that i finished it all (not). give me more!!!!

If you were born the opposite sex, what would your name have been?
either Emma or Elizabeth (my sister's first few names)

now that really did kill some time….......

July 01, 2006

sort of uni–sick

something that a lot of people have said to me / commented on:

i know exactly what all those graduating mean about it currently not feeling different to any other holiday – to me it feels like in a month or so that all my friends and I will be back in Claycroft again having a good time…. hasn't hit me yet uni is over.

then i thought about it properly – and realised it probably won't hit me or sink in until i go off on my gap year (6th august). ah the emotional confusion that will then commence, being home–sick and uni–sick and UK–sick i suppose.

June 26, 2006

In denial

Ok – still hasnt hit me that uni is over now that I'm back home.

I did have a good blub or two during last term and the very end – but that was a more emotional saying goodbye thing / knowing that it was ending etc, not ITS OVER. Just feels like another uni holidays at the moment, and that I'll be back next term seeing my friends soon enough. But thats not the case…..

Perhaps graduation week is slightly blurring the reality that faces me – but graduation I can imagine is just a "final hurrah" and not really spending any quality time together as a group of friends. It'll be too rushed. Bit like the last 4 weeks of term. Grrrr

Wish we hadn't had that data analysis sheet to hand in middle of week 9, as 1% of your degree kinda takes the edge off the enjoyment after exams – knowing there's still a little more to come.

So, back home, awesome food, comfy bed, world cup on tele, sleeping lots etc – all good – but not really what I love (having a good time with my friends). Parents have already got me thinking about what I shall be doing after my gap year – VERY tough question really – given that I'm pretty uncertain about what I even want.

Dream job would be to discover a new source of energy to solve the world's energy crisis (which will prob occur in our lifetimes). However, this route will involve doing a lot of looking into current research and good places – along with a PhD, which I'm not sure I want. Ok, nice to be a student(ish) again I suppose, but its very different, and rather focused / narrow – and I tend to get bored of most things after a while (applys to several other areas in life too…..). Need to find something after my gap year that will continue to challenge me, and change or be broad enough a subject/career/route to keep me interested. Plus there's the added problem that I dont like doing something I'm not good at (e.g. languages) – so starting on a completely new eduational path is not really an option.

Anyway – I have time to think at least. And time to prepare, buy some more gap year stuff, enjoy graduation and a couple of house parties down in England, hopefully see some friends, and make some big life decisions (the scary bit…). Gap year doesnt scare me – can't wait for it to start :D cause it'll be brill. Will come back broke – but sooo worth it.

Gap year will also meet new people – possibly the only thing that's been missing / lacking this final year at uni – not had the opportunity or confidence to really get to know many new people. Going out with various groups of friends and hockey has been awesome, with some fantastic memories – but since the issues in term one I'm still yet to wander up to a complete stranger and strike up a convo – or even go on the pull. Gap year (as I found out from my trip to NZ) will kinda force me to take opportunities – which helps with the confidence.

Who knows, I might even find someone I like…. Ok – I'm not THAT picky – just didn't find "the one" whilst at uni. With only one girlfriend, can't really say I was looking too hard. But then being forward's not me. Just gotta be patient / be happy being single until I find someone I spark with I suppose… And learn to not miss chances (have become rather adept at not realising / being too shy, but looking back afterwards and going "oops"). Anyway….

Apologies for long blog – good to get some stuff out. Over and out

June 24, 2006

one awesome final week

Well – some tears that its over – but wow – what a way to end it. Tomorrow along with the rest of my packing is going to suck.

I truly have an awesome bunch of friends, that I'm going to miss very dearly indeed – one other reason that I'm going to be here for the whole of graduation week. Happy memories from hockey and related tours, from 3 peaks and football, even the odd lecture – as well as many many nights out. Also some surreal and very funny memories this week, from going to a theme park hungover, to jumping into the maths pond, leaping over (into) hedges, and watching others race starkers. Hehe. Student life – ah how I shall miss thee.

Well in summary – my time at Warwick – I've got a First, I've made some amazing friends, played a shed load of hockey, and I'm off on a gap year – I kinda feel like I've achieved basically everything I set out to do when I came here.

Am going to pop into my old school on Tuesday just to say hi to my old teachers etc – will be nice to see how the Academy's got on.

Some things I've learnt about myself and life in my time here:
In the real world, its mostly who you know not what you know
Nothing is more important than having friends around you who you know you can trust and call upon at any time
I'm not a person who can go on the pull / am slow to fancy someone
Regular sport kicks arse for a general feeling of well–being
Money is something that should only be saved to be spent
Weekends feeling alone can be pretty darn boring
Computers are brilliant yet very very time consuming
Sadly, academic success is often simply determined by birth – sometimes even inhumane amounts of effort cant do it
Alcohol is something that should be treated with a certain amount of respect, but with a whopping great slab of enjoyment too
All nighters / lack of sleep are fine during the new day in question – its the day after that sucks
Being right all the time is not something you want to be
Its good to have a cry sometimes
Enthusiasm is infectious
Be yourself

Anyway guys – all the best to those who are leaving, if I know you, it indeed has been an honour – for those who are staying, I envy you and good luck next year. I'm sure I'm going to see plently of people in the next few weeks before I head off travelling…..

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