September 02, 2006

Livin' it up in Lux :–D

Woohoo! Not only do I now know where Luxembourg really is… I’ve been there and got the jeans!!

I must confess, I was also in Aachen for a couple of days beforehand – wandering around, trying to see Tokio Hotel (if you don’t know, don’t ask) over a fence, and generally having a crazy time with Erika! But, leider, no photos from that part of the adventure.

Luxembourg was amazing: catching up with a couple of friends who showed me the sights, sounds, and smells of the city and countryside. Check out the photos in my latest and greatest gallery (I won’t even give you a clue as to what it might be called..) and be amazed :-)

Hmm, not the longest blog entry ever – I’m kind of surprised I can still access this and make new entries! – but feel free to comment, or hunt for gossip if you’re a certain cousin of mine… ;-)


Another random test

Your Seduction Style: Au Natural

You rank up there with your seduction skills, though you might not know it.
That’s because you’re a natural at seduction. You don’t realize your power!
The root of your natural seduction power: your innocence and optimism.

You’re the type of person who happily plays around and creates a unique little world.
Little do you know that your personal paradise is so appealing that it sucks people in.
You find joy in everything – so is it any surprise that people find joy in you?

You bring back the inner child in everyone you meet with your sincere and spontaneous ways.
Your childlike (but not childish) behavior also inspires others to care for you.
As a result, those who you befriend and date tend to be incredibly loyal to you.

April 03, 2006

The Last Post

Well, oh loyal reader (or dearly beloved, as Kipling would say), 'tis the end of an era. I am no longer a student at the University of Warwick. Admittedly some of you have been questioning whether I've been a student of anything of late, but now my time is up, my lease expired, my welcome finally outstayed. After nearly 10 years in this hallowed institution, my 7-digit university number existence bites the dust.

So, this blog's for the chop. Not a great loss to human-kind, as my postings here have been sporadic to say the least. And I don't hear many cries of "Oh no! But where will we read Stu's latest news now?!". We shall see, but email and MSN usw. exist for a reason..

Life update

The last few months, like the last few years, have been filled with changing plans, fleeting ideas, and random dreams of the future. The current situation, in convenient bullet-point form, is…

  • stay in Barcelona until the end of June: including such highlights as studying German, maybe visiting some local schools for experience, maybe some work-shadowing at Barcelona zoo (with an emphasis on training dolphins, if possible)...
  • teach the NAGTY summer school @ Warwick (July 23 – Aug 12, if I remember rightly)
  • start a PGCE (Lehramt, 1 year teaching qualification, for those not acronyminously-minded) in September, secondary maths

So there you go, the next half a year of my life reduced to 3 measly points. That's rather depressing…

Ok, dear family, loyal friends, trusted companions, vague acquaintances, and poor unfortunates here by accident, I wish you all much love and happiness… don't shed a tear for the end of my blog.. brighter days will come!!!!

Oh, and I couldn't resist one last quiz thing:

You scored as English. You should be an English major! Your passion lies in writing and expressing yourself creatively, and you hate it when you are inhibited from doing so. Pursue that interest of yours!





























What is your Perfect Major?
created with

March 01, 2006

Parties and Pancakes

This week's crazy, in such a good way! Saturday night out partying till 7am in Barcelona; Tuesday spent preparing costumes (even making bell-bottoms.. you'll never guess what the finished costume was…) and heading off to Sitges for major carnival fun :-) Rolled back to Barcelona around 6am this morning. It was sooooo cool, but the night went by so quickly. Pics will follow soon, I promise!

And now I have to catch up on pancake day – and despite buying the wrong kind of flour ("integral" if that means anything to you), having no scales, measuring jug, or whisk.. I managed to make the best pancakes I've had in the last year…

February 23, 2006

New News

I'm twenty-friggin-eight! Of course, I only worry about these details around birthday time – but when I think about it, everyone in a similar situation to me (ie, enjoying a reasonably leisurely life) is 5 or more years younger than I am! Those friends around my age are mainly in full time work, and wholly in full time stress. People wonder if I'll "grow up", "act my age", and even "get a bloody job!", but the more I see the effects of these things on people, the less appealing they become. Ok, sure the money is going to run out – I'm amazed how well I've made it last so far – and working for a living is almost inevitable (save perhaps a lucky lottery win in the near future!), but I'm going to hold out as long as possible!

Current plan: German and Spanish classes in Barcelona. Actually, German starts this evening, which is quite exciting. Spanish I'm still looking into the cheapest option but should be starting within a week or two. After that, back to Warwick for NAGTY 06 - wouldn't miss that for the world! And then, assuming applications etc go smoothly, it'll be PGCE time for me. I couldn't resist one more year of full-time study :-)

In other news, I finally have my own web domain. Not very exciting, but will soon be my new home on the web.

That's all I think.. will write again if I remember anything else :-)

February 06, 2006

Kein Plan.. or one too many

I'm going to cheat with this entry.. it's going to (hopefully) grow and evolve as I find out more and reflect more about what the hell I'm going to do with myself over the next 12 months.

For those that don't know, my time at Warwick is almost over (nearly a decade after I started.. you can imagine how scary that thought is!). And now I need some good ideas on what to do next… Ideas welcome! Please feel free to contribute here!


I need to get some applications in very soon – think I have to take numeracy and literacy tests too.. must check dates etc and see when I'll be in England. Southampton's an option; probably not Warwick.. I really need to make a clean break from there! Where else?!

International School (teaching maths)

Teaching at an English school somewhere on the continent (probably Germany) is quite appealing.. I get to live in a foreign country, but not the added pressure of needing fluency in the language to work. Pay seems quite generous (I've seen 40.000€/year starting salary).

Only problem is I see teaching as a "one way" option – I mean I have the impression that it's always quite straightforward to get into teaching at any stage in life/career, but moving out of it into something else could be difficult?


Of course I love studying.. why do you think I've been in full-time education for 22 years?! Linguistics or foreign languages / philology (does this word exist in English?! It's filología in Spanish anyway..).

At the Universitat de Barcelona, a degree is 300 credits and the current rate is 9€/credit. This takes about 4 years full time studying. Working part-time (which of course I would have to do) would probably double this time.

Filologia Alemana for example: splits into 2 "cicles" each of 150 credits.

  • 1r cicle: 108 core credits (Llengua Alemanya I-IV; Intro a Literatura I-II; Lingüística i Lingüística Alemanya I-II; Comentari de Textos; Teoria de la Literatura.. totals 144?!), 18 specific options, 12 filologia I options and 12 lliure elecció.
  • 2n cicle: 72 core (Llengua V-VI; Literatura I-IV; History, Culture, Grammar), 42 specifics, 18 filologia II, 18 lliure.

Language Classes
  • 4 weeks intensive German class with the Goethe Institute ~1000€ plus accommodation. Start dates throughout the year.

  • Spanish DELE exams, approx 120€ (level Superior). 40 hour course ~400€

I.T. Career

I think I have the skills and the experience to get into IT. Not sure if I have the motivation though. Perhaps I could do it for a few years to "give it a try" and earn a solid wage and some savings. Then move on into teaching or whatever appeals at the time. Possibility of freelance / short contract work?

February 02, 2006

It's only money…

… but it's disappearing fast!

Too much shopping these days – haircut 19€; CDs 55€; Ikea bed clothes and other house stuff 35€.. looking and feeling good, priceless. There are some things money can't buy; for everything else there's student debt.

Maybe I should get a job like everyone keeps telling me…

January 25, 2006

Out with the old, in with the new

Hmm, so January has less than a week remaining. That's quite a scary thought. Where the hell did it go?! Most of you reading this will probably already know about the stresses, highs and lows of the past couple of weeks.. and for those of you that don't, just consider yourselves fortunate! ;-) I'm eternally grateful to Nico and Petra – two friends here, who put me up (and put up with me) for a few nights each while I was homeless!

So, what's new? Everything! Life is finally going great. I'm well-settled back in Barcelona, and have the motivation to get on with thesis-writing. I promised pictures of my new place, and finally got around to taking some and uploading them now – they're in the Casa Meva gallery. Just a couple of pics of my room and balcony – maybe I'll add the kitchen and my flatmates someday soon! Also one of the "neighbours" might be in order.. c'est à dire the Sagrada Família :-)

Well, don't know what else to say right now.. time for me to get on.. Want to buy a nice big houseplant and then write some more of my 'dictatorship', as my dissertation has been re-christened…!!!

Love y'all – keep in touch!

December 09, 2005

More, more, more!

Just added another bunch of photos to that Barcelona II gallery after the last couple of days' expeditions. Some people ask me about this.. I don't bother cropping, touching up, or in any way messing around with the photos I take… mainly because I haven't got much of a clue how to. The black and white is a setting in my camera that's supposed to be for "scanning" documents! Works quite well though, I think. Oh yeah, I lie.. I did crop the one of my eye reflecting the Sagrada Familia so that it didn't have icky iggly red veins in it!

December 06, 2005

The End of An Era

Hey good people.. well in less than 2 weeks I'm out of here and flying back to England. Rather depressing thought really.

Anyway, today is a public holiday here and the weather is amazing – I wandered round town this morning and took a few more photos… Check out the Barcelona II Gallery!

December 01, 2005

Mango Chicken

Many people complain that I'm such a fussy eater – I always claim it's simple.. nothing from the sea and no cheese. But then they say, so what do you eat? Tonight Matthew, I'm going to make mango chicken.

Most of my meals are based around whatever happens to be on the point of mouldiness in the fridge. Tonight, this happened to be a mango and 3 carrots. For those that want to follow along at home…

Fry a bit of onion until it's soft (not until it's almost black like I did today), then add diced chicken breast. (You hardly need any oil at all.. sorry olive-guzzling Spanish people!) fry gently till it's almost brown, add a squeeze of lemon juice (oh yeah, had some lemons left over from Saturday's cocktiail party!), and then diced mango. Keep frying till the mango's a tiny bit squidgy. A splash of orange juice helped make it a tad more liquidy. Ok, then I got bored and just left all that in the fridge.

Later on, boil some rice and add some carrots and sweetcorn. Fry diced green pepper slowly, until it's a bit soft. Then bring the chicken out of the fridge and dump it in the frying pan. Heat it all up again, adding a bit of white wine (come on, I know you have all these things in student fridges!) to keep it juicy.

Voila. Dinner. Truth is, it didn't have quite as much flavour as I was expecting, so all suggestions welcome!

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