Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Still busy!

Lots of work getting done! It's nice to be busy, but at the same time, I'm tired out!

Only really started lectures this week - before that I was mostly spending time filling in forms to try to get more money or get the extra modules I wanted. I've done both of those now and it all seems to have gone well, so I'm happy!

The first week of lectures have been ok. Greek is fun, but bloody difficult! The "Introduction to the Greek World" lectures look like they'll be good once it gets going - lots of interesting stuff on there! I'm taking an optional module for "Classics in Popular Culture" which looks like being fairly good fun - not sure why we're getting a lecture on Wonder Woman for that though! And the extra module I chose is about Prehistory to the first farmers - which sounds really interesting! Glad I got to the Archaeology department early for that one!

The halls I'm in are really nice. Starting to get to know people here. Had a hall meeting last night to help people get to know each other, it was nice and informal but it did clash with the LGBT meetup I wanted to go to! I've not really been that social here yet - I've been too tired! Got talking to one of the blokes on our floor in the laundry room last night - he seemed really worried that I hadn't been to any of the fresher's clubbing things. I don't think I missed much by the sound of it!  I'm looking forward to things like the Sci-Fi society and ClasSoc much more!

I havn't really explored Nottingham yet. That's the plan for today - I get Wednesdays off and I've done my homework, so I'm going on an adventure! I've pretty much got the busses sorted out. The ones that come up to the campus are ok, but if I walk to the end of the road there are loads more busses! Invested in a Mango card as well - just a pre-paid travel card you can use any time. Gives me a slight student discount as well. I'm not sure how often I'll need to go into town, but it's nice to have a convenient option for when I do! The idea I can just turn up and a bus will be there in a few minutes still bewilders me! Where I'm from there are only a few busses a day and they're less than reliable! Looking forward to exploring!

Tuesday, 21 September 2010


Busiest day for me so far...

Had to go and complete my registration. I thought this was going to be difficult and take a long time. It didn't. It took a few moments in the sports hall. It took longer to find the way out than it did to actually register...

Went to the Student Services bit to ask a lot of stupid questions - they were all very nice and helpful! I'm mostly sorted out now - just need to make a few phone calls (and figure out how to work the phone!)

Decided to take the campus tour - not as busy as I thought and half of them left part of the way around (why? Odd people!) but the bloke giving the tour was really friendly and useful. Grabbed a very quick sandwich for lunch and made tracks to the next bit...

Had an introduction thing to the Classics department. There's some rather scary people there! Filled in some forms, then went to meet my tutor. Got given some info about extra modules as well - I need to pick at least two more to make up my credits for the year. I'm seriously considering the Prehistory/bronze age ones. Got to get down to the Archaeology department tomorrow and sign up for those. Also signed up to Beginners Greek (yikes!) and Classics in Modern Media (which sounds like fun!)

My feet were hurty after that, so I came back home, had a brief relax and dinner. I'm horribly fussy, but so far the meals have been really good - nothing awful!

Monday, 20 September 2010

Boxy fun!

Something I forgot to post earlier...
When I got to my room, there was a box on the desk. So of course, I opened it!

There's an odd bunch of stuff inside. sweets, fanta, cereal, toothpaste, a tiny bottle of tobasco (?!) something that's wither ginger or garlic, postcards, beer mats, a sim card, a discount card for hotels and a book of coupons for cheap stuff. How odd!

Then there's the free stuff I picked up today:

A water bottle telling me not to "bottle up" my problems, a frisbee with the number for the psychosis early intervention team's number on it (please tell me I'm not the only one who thinks this is odd!), a canvas bag (SO useful!), a chlamydia test - if you return it you get a free cinema ticket (what?), another book of coupons, a leaflet about the Sci-Fi & Fantasy Society (I'm going to join - it's cheap and they seem nice!), a little card about the stop smoking clinic (no use to me - I've never smoked!), a bottle opener keyring (I think?), a small yellow gonk and a wadge of bits of paper about healthcare services. Useful, but boring. 

I'm on a mission now to see how much tat I can accumulate!

Everything free!

Not  bad day today!

Managed find the breakfast place - they didn't ask for my card - just my name and hall. Came back to get my stuff and set out again.

Decided to walk from Jubilee to University Park for my health registration thing. It's not too far at all and I didn't get *too* lost!

Got there and queued up - handed in some forms, filled in others and then got sent through a mad maze of people giving me frisbees. They offered me jabs for meningitis and flu (because I'm asthmatic) for free, so I had some of them and they tested my breathing. I'm supposed to make an appointment at Cripps medical centre to review my asthma medication - I guess I'll need a phone card - more on that in a moment.

Glad I got there when I did - when I got there, the queue was halfway through the hall. When I left, it was right out of the building!

Had a bit of an explore and found the fresher's fair. It was a bit crowded and mad. Had some bloke try to get me to sign up to something with "top name crunk djs". I'm not sure some of those things are even words. I asked if they played any prog at his club and he let me go on my way.

I decided to take the free hopper bus back to Jubilee. It's not too bad - it wasn't too crowded when I got on, but when we got there, there were a LOT of people waiting to go to University Park.  

The telephone here confuses me. I don't have a calling card, because I've not figured out how or where to get them from (there's a leaflet, but I haven't read it) you can't just pick it up and dial - there's  a whole weird ritual just to get a dial tone... I've not needed to call anyone yet, so hopefully I'll figure it out before I have to!

Proper registration tomorrow. Bit scary! Going to get there early again to avoid being in a queue forever! I missed the campus tour today, so I might go on the one tomorrow instead. And after that I might attempt the fresher's fair again - I want to join the sci-fi society!

Sunday, 19 September 2010


No more days!

Moving went pretty well. My mate Dave took me down and we got everything in his car. I really like my room...


More of....




Been for a little wander around - didn't go far because by the time I was unpacked and sorted the internet out it was nearly 9pm. Going to have a proper look around tomorrow. That means an early start. That means I should get some sleep soon!

Saturday, 18 September 2010

Friday, 17 September 2010

2 days?

That can't be right! I'm not ready!

I ended up going into town today, which I didn't really want to have to do because it takes all bloody day. But I needed a few things. I got some rechargeable batteries (always useful and hopefully it'll save some cash in the long run!) and some more passport photos (I heard I'll need some for registration? Either way, it'll save me looking for a photo machine!)

When I got home, I had an unexpected bill to deal with. Took over an hour to explain that I'd cancelled my account and I'd be moving at the weekend. They threatened me with all sorts of charges, legal action, debt collection agencies... At no point did I say I *wouldn't* pay the bill - I just wanted to make sure that was the last one they'd send. I'd hate to pay it and then get *another* one when I'm away and can't deal with it.

So that's taken up a lot of packing time... still going to get sorted in time, but it's a pain! Going to work on the clothes-packing tonight and then sort the boxes of stuff out tomorrow - hopefully followed by an early night for a good move!

Thursday, 16 September 2010

3 Days! Three!

Some thoughts on packing:

-Duvet and pillows take up an impossible amount of room.
-The bags I'm packing them in usually live atop the wardrobe. This means they are full of spiders.
-...and random bits of tat from festivals I forgot I ever went to...
-Despite what people on FaceBook tell me, I will not be taking these spiders with me.
-12 string guitars are bloody massive.
-I need to bring a screwdriver. It's become like a comfort blanket to me - as long as I have my screwdriver, I think I will be ok. It's not sonic (in case you were wondering) but it probably means I'm losing it a bit.
-Despite having nothing to wear half the time, I'm running out of room for my clothes.
-I'm leaving my hairdye at home. It'll only either explode in transit or get lost.
-I AM bringing my stylophone. And my kazoo. I didn't want friends anyway...
-Books! I was wondering which ones I wanted to take. I sort of forgot about the ones I'm going to NEED to take...
-I need to find some way of packing all my makeup that's least likely to result in a mess.
-And how to take my jewellery without it becoming a tangle of madness...

I know it looks like a LOT, but I don't think I'm over-packing. It's just a case of gradually stripping down everything I'm not going to need/use until I've just got the things I need the most. And some guitars... There'll be a photo post about the packing adventure at some point!

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

5 days!

It's really scaring me now! Less than a week and I've still got things to do!

Was at the dentist earlier - I've got awful teeth (like the rest of my family) and still need a fair bit of work. Sticking with my dentist at the moment seems like a bad option - it'd mean frequent trips back there (getting to Sheffield isn't too bad, but the pricey and unreliable excuse for a local bus service means that it'd cost a small fortune as well as limiting the times I can get there for) so I'll have to look up dentists when I get to Notts. Even assuming I can find one (oh yes, I'm an optimist!) how the hell am I going to pay for it?

I went looking into what help I can get for paying for dental treatment and came across the HC1/HC2 forms. I've tried google (mostly totally unrelated stuff or very out of date pages) and TSR (a bit of information to be found there - again, worried that it might be out of date in some cases). To be honest, the information on TSR was more useful... From the sound of it, the forms are a real nightmare - not looking forward to that! The idea that I can afford to get my teeth sorted out does sound good in any case.

Either way, I think I'll apply when I get there, no point sending off for anything in the post at this point - just in case it doesn't turn up in time! Sure I could get it sent on to me, but it's hassle.

As far as I can tell, the HC1 form can help me with my teeth and eye tests (which I'll probably need - my eyesight is slowly getting worse. New glasses tomorrow!) but the HC2 form (which I'm not sure if I'd qualify for...) means free prescriptions (I think...) which would be very useful - when my asthma gets bad the cost of medication can get a bit scary!

Monday, 13 September 2010

6 Days!

And it's my birthday!
Went out on Saturday with my mates - went for a meal, then to the pub for the evening and then back to my mate's house in Darwen. Sunday I went out with the extended family and tonight I'm off out with my Mother and Sister - still not sure where we're going! I'd like to go to Wagamama, but I don't think my sister would like anything there. Second choice would be some pizza place, but my mother can't have wheat - so that's out! I'm sure we'll work it out later...

Had a couple of other offers from people with cars to help me move. I might take one of them up on it - I'm not taking a whole lot, but I'm toying with the idea of getting a mate to help me move during the day, then meeting my Mother and sister later to show them where I'll be living - just to make sure they know it's not some drug-filled slum. My sister is entirely convinced that it will be! Nottingham is the Very Dangerous Crime Capital Of The Whole Wide World!!! Donchaknow! Or so she keeps telling me... I've wandered through Nottingham at night on my own before and so far I haven't been shot, stabbed or had anything worse than a drunk person singing at me a bit (and IIRC, that was in broad daylight...) I've got a vague idea of where the rough areas of town are, but I can't see much reason for me to go to them.

It's getting VERY close... Finally sorted my Uni username and email address. Should really think about packing!

Friday, 10 September 2010

9 Days...

It's getting a bit close!

My room is a bit of a bombsite currently - there are boxes and things to be packed all over the place. All I really need to do is coax the latter into the former, but then I start to play farmville and it all goes a bit funny from there...

Going out for my birthday tomorrow - it's not my birthday until the 13th, but this is the closest Saturday and Saturdays tend to make things easier for people!

Also, I can't get this song out of my head at ALL at the moment:

It's a bit odd and quite distracting when you're trying to remember all the things that you're supposed to be doing! I'm TRYING to plan the next few months in terms of Uni, rather than in terms of which bands I'm off to see.

Thursday, 9 September 2010

10 days - yikes!

I made the fatal mistake of phoning up to get my internet and phone line cut off (I had a separate line in the house - there's still the downstairs line) at the end of the month. Apparently the month ended *yesterday*. Oh well! I'm  borrowing internet from the family, which is ok and it works, but no massive downloads (it's so slow!)

The packing is still very much in the planning stage. I thought I'd got room for everything I wanted to take... Then my Mother (not usually the kind and caring sort) decided to take me clothes shopping for my birthday (which is actually on Monday, but I wasn't going to argue...) and bought me quite a lot of stuff! We went into Primark because we're common as muck and I got a load of pyjamas (I usually sleep in old band shirts and combats that are a bit too worn to be seen outside the house), a bathrobe (I've never actually owned one before!) and some sheets and a throw for my bed (seeing as my dalek duvet cover is for my double bed and would look strange on a single bed!).  She offered to buy me some more clothes as well, but I decided against it - partly because I have enough stuff to cart down there as it is and partly because I didn't want her "You can't have that, those are men's clothes!" argument again.

I've got SO many bits of paper to go through, I'm quite overwhelmed. I seem to get letters from Student Finance on a near-daily basis and they all look exactly the same. I've taken to giving them a quick look over to make sure they're still intending to give me money and then file them away with the rest (that's another thing I'm not looking forward to taking with me!). I've filled in and sent back everything I've found that needs filling in and sending back. I'm totally baffled as to what to do with the insurance thing (it looks like it's all sorted unless I want to pay for the extras?).

I need to get some more passport photos. I just sent two back with my language options form which leaves me with...none. (The first two might have gone towards my Hawkwind passport....) So I guess I'll need at least one more set. I can do that on Wednesday when I go to pick up my new glasses - I need stronger ones so thought it best to get that sorted pre-Uni.

I'm currently going through the One Thing They Didn't Tell You To Pack thread on TSR. Of course, there are a few *terribly* witty folks on there, but some good advice too! At the end of the thread I found the Cleverstudentmoney website as well. It seems to be a pretty new site, but looks very good so far! There's also the Guardian's Student Finance page. It's pretty similar to all the other advice I've been given (Set a budget! Have you considered pasta for every meal? Apple offer student discounts! - Nothing I can actually use, but might be useful to some!)

I've also applied for my NUS Extra card. I've seen divided opinion on these, but it seems to have a lot of discounts that I can see myself using/needing (5% off at Amazon, 10% off at Superdrug, Ticketmaster discounts, 10% off at Staples, Megabus discounts.... ) ok, so they're not massive discounts, but they do look useful!

Monday, 6 September 2010

What to take?

One of the biggest questions I keep running into is "What to take to University?". It's a tricky one. I think a lot of it depends where you plan on staying. I opted for Southwell Hall - it *is* a bit posh! Everything is included (more or less) so even if I totally run out of cash I can eat and use the internet!

There is an "items to bring" list on the Nottingham uni website here. So I had a look:
1. clothes -Obviously!
2. towels - Well, yes...
3. coat hangers - To be honest, I'm glad they pointed this out! Coat hangers never crossed my mind!
4. sticky tack - Of course! Although I heard some places insist you use white tack instead of blue...
5. alarm clock - I use my mobile phone for this...
6. toiletries - Only if you plan on washing, I guess!
7. computer - Oh yes! My laptop will probably be the last thing packed and the first thing unpacked!
8. stationery for course - I'm going to wait until I get there to get this. I get the feeling it'll be cheaper with a student discount!
9. tea, coffee, milk and sugar, chocolate biscuits! - Nope. I don't drink tea or coffee, I don't have any means of keeping milk cold, keeping a bag of sugar around for the sake of it seems strange... I might get some biscuits though.
10. mugs - Again, no. I don't drink hot drinks and the only time I use a mug at the moment is to keep my loose change in. I'll probably bring something to drink out of - just to avoid drinking straight from the tap...
11. passport - I don't have one.
12. driving licence - again...
13. money - I've heard of this stuff...
14. mobile phone - didn't really need to point this out!
15. extension cable - Another thing I wouldn't have thought to have brought - but a good idea!
16. TV licence - No thanks! As far as I know, you don't need one if you just watch iPlayer/4OD on the laptop - which is pretty much what I'm planning to do.
17. portable TV aerial - Nope. See above.
18. extension cable - Another one?!
19. lock if bringing a bike - No bike!
20. bedding – 2 sheets, 2 pillowcases, duvet, duvet cover, pillows - Yep! Bought new bedding some time ago!

TSR has a very useful guide as well. It's split into nice, handy sections so you don't get a whole muddle of stuff that doesn't apply to you...

  • Reading List (I haven't had one yet...)
  • Academic Diary / Wall Planner / Calendar (I've been looking for an Academic Diary and a Wall Planner would be nice!)
  • Relevant Old Text Books and Notes (Nope. I doubt I have anything I can use.)
  • Dictionary (I use google!)
  • Thesaurus (Ditto...)
  • Exam results/certificates (Some Universities use these during your induction.) (I'm not sure I actually have any!)
  • Voice recorder if you have difficulty concentrating in lectures. (No... I don't think I'd get on with using one!)

So far, so good...

  • Hand Towels
  • Bath Towels
  • Flannel
  • Wash Bag
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Mouthwash (all fairly obvious and sensible so far...)
  • Floss
  • Cotton Buds
  • Cotton Pads
  • Make-up Remover
  • Nail Varnish Remover
  • Sanitary Towels/Tampons [For the females among us] - [Or males with nosebleeds] (WHAT? I really hope the gentlemen of TSR know this is a joke... Sometimes I wonder!)
  • Soap
  • Shower Gel
  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Dry Shampoo. Look for brands such as Batiste, or if you're well off, Lee Stafford. (Why? For a festival, it's great, but if you've got a shower, surely you can just wash your hair?)
  • Hair Gel/Wax (surely if you use this, you'd remember it?)
  • Hairspray
  • Body Lotion
  • Body Scrub
  • Razor/Epilator/Hair-Removing Equipment
  • Shaving Cream
  • Anti-Perspirant/Deodorant
  • Body Spray
  • Toilet Roll
  • Air Freshener
  • Bathroom Scales (I couldn't be bothered bringing scales! Seems like a waste of space!)


  • Sheets
  • Duvet/Quilt - Most unis sell these on move-in day, but do check if they are provided, as they sometimes are! (I've checked and they're not - I think I'd still prefer to take my own...)
    • Duvet/Quilt Cover
  • Pillows
    • Pillow Cases
  • Mattress Protector - Not only if you have incontinence issues, but if you have a drunken mishap during the night ;) No drunkenness for me! It's a good idea though - as nice and clean as I'm sure the rooms are, you don't know who's been there before!
  • Blanket / Throw

Decorative Items

  • Posters - Theres usually a stand at your Freshers' Fair (I'd like to pick up some posters... not sure they'd have anything I'd want!)
  • Photos
  • Postcards
  • Rug (Seems a bit heavy/bulky to carry around!)
  • Cushions
  • Beanbag
  • Cuddly Toys (Hehe!)
  • Hot Water Bottle
  • Sleeping Bag (I think they provide a bed....)
  • Inflatable Bed (I'm starting to wonder...)
  • Airbed Pump (Oh dear!)
  • Disco Ball
  • Lava Lamp
  • Plants (What is all this?! Especially the plants... They wouldn't last five minutes!)

I've found a few other lists - I'll post them later! 

13 Days - yikes!

This morning I realised - I should really get back to real life. The last festival I went to was called "Onboard the Craft" and it's an appropriate name - it does feel a bit like I've returned to Earth from somewhere wonderful! I've been horribly lazy recently - far too much partying and not nearly enough getting ready to go to Uni! It has been very nice - made lots of new friends and been able to have proper conversations about which Robert Calvert albums we like best...

I'll stop there. This is not my "prattle about bands I like" blog!

Over the weekend, some envelopes arrived. This scared me a little. Then I realised there were envelopes within envelopes and I wanted to cry a bit. Then my sister told me we were going out for Indian food, and I left it behind in favour of a naan bread the size of a small table. Again, this may not have been the most sensible option! I still havn't sorted out the contents of these envelopes yet - I'll report back when I have!

In the last post, I had a to-do list. I'm fairly happy with how much of it I got done...
-Read the Welcome pack! Well, most of it. Trying to fill in the medical form was a bit of a nightmare - nobody is sure how old my Father was when he died, or the name of the thing that he died of... we're a terrible family really!
-Go through the "What to bring" and "What not to bring" lists. Yes. More about this later...
-Plan my packing. Mostly done. Still need to talk through with my sister and see how much will fit in her car!
-Get my teeth sorted out! I've got an appointment for tomorrow...
-Bank accounts. I decided to go for NatWest in the end. There's a branch on-campus (handy!) and they let me have a tiny overdraft (I want to avoid using it at all if I can help it... Obviously that's going to go out of the window at some point!)

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

18 days...

I had far too much fun at the weekend! Saw a lot of wonderful bands (Hawkwind, Krankschaft, The Starfighters, Here & Now, Tarantism, Tribe of Cro...) and made lots of nice new friends on the Isle of Wight. It was a really nice, relaxing weekend and I did manage to forget all about Uni for a few days!

Got home to find my Welcome Pack has turned up from Nottingham - just about to sit down and start reading through it.

Brushie's to-do list (before the next festival!):
-Read the Welcome pack!
-Go through the "What to bring" and "What not to bring" lists.
-Plan my packing - already talked to my sister about this last night, but we need a trial run to see if it'll all fit in her car! (It should!)
-Get my teeth sorted out! I seem to have lost a filling and it's really annoying me! I'm not holding out much hope of finding a dentist in Nottingham, so I'll probably stick with the one at home!
-Bank accounts. I'm veering towards NatWest. I don't know if I'm a bit late for opening a Student account though?