Gareth’s blog

Sunday, August 31, 2003

Social tennis

Today hasn't been the barrel of laughs it could have been, didn't get to play Tennis with Simon this evening either. Everything booked up for "social Tennis" - not entirely sure what this means, I figure every time the ball goes out you stop for coffee and hold a quick WI meeting.

Anyway, at least it was a productive day. Got myself some new trousers in d2 this morning, sorted out the passport photos for Hills Road, although I'm rather perplexed by the way the lower prints look so much darker than the first ones. Since then I've put up photos from my holiday. The events beneath correspond in a vague manner, and hopefully I'll get round to some form of annotation or titles to describe what various photos are of. I did notice though that I missed off seeing the red arrows on my last post. On the way home we were driving down a country lane and they flew over, so a few of the photos are taken whilst going along in the car (apologies for the general blurryness of these photos), and a few by the roadside. I'm particuarly pleased with this shot.

Just watched Only Fools and Horses and The Debt. Concludes tomorrow, and seems reasonably well put together. Not as good as State of Play though, which was really good a few months back.

First day at Hills road tomorrow, and I'm not sure how prepared I am for the maths at all, I'm thinking I've got a lot of catching up to do, but hopefully this will become somewhat clearer tomorrow.

Saturday, August 30, 2003

40th Anniversary of "I have a dream" (MLK)

I'm back from my holiday. I had a really relaxing time, photos to follow within a day or so once I get myself sorted out.

Anyway, before the holiday a thought about the world. This week marks the 40th anniversary of Martin Luther King's "I have a dream" speech (Have a read of a BBC article on the speech and the anniversary here). The number of asylum seekers applying in Britain is dropping (BBC article), which is what the government wants. Surely there is a degree of irony between the issues. Martin Luther King's campaign for equality for all, yet the government tackles asylum by barring people, not by resolving the problem that has forced the people on such a plight...

Anyway, on with the holiday. I stayed in Gothic Cottage, in a small village in West Norfolk. During the week spent a lot of time on walks and visiting various places including the Norfolk Lavender Centre, although the lavender season was finishing so it didn't look too great. Holkham Hall, where I played the piano in the entrance hall. EcoTech, a big electric windmill, from which you can see for miles. Pensthorpe Wildfowl Centre which had a group of really tame ducks, and the water was crystal clear so you could see everything. Felbrigg Hall, which had the tidiest gardens I've ever seen! Spent ages lying in the sun there. Went to Sandringham too, although there wasn't a lot to see in the house the estate was huge, and the church was open. Titchwell Marsh didn't have lots of birds, and it was rather windy, but the beach was very large as the tide went out a very long way. It was a shame so many of the good places for photos didn't allow them, but I'll put up the photos shortly anyway.

Whilst I was on holiday my order from amazon, Eva Cassidy's new album "American Tune" arrived along with Gladiator DVD for Ben's birthday.

Work was reasonably uneventful but I am led to believe that the British public are reaching for a new low, today a customer asking if the fish on the fish counter was raw, followed by a later enquiry to how many grammes there were in a kilo...

Finally, on an entirely related note recordings of Seal's live session on BBC Radio 2 can be listened to here.

Friday, August 22, 2003

Gym was really tiring this morning

Gym was really tiring this morning, especially after swimming so much yesterday. Haven't been up to much today, decided not to go into town as my bike broke, but it's mended now. I've added the photos from Nick's to the photos section, and will get and add the photos from results when I get back from Norfolk. I'm working tomorrow and heading off on Holiday straight afterwards. I'm staying in Boughton, in West Norfolk, and should be back probably late Friday (29th) so I can work on Saturday. Unfortunately this means I miss the first two days of the A2 term, so will start on Monday, which is still two days earlier than the other year twelves!

Thursday, August 21, 2003

August 2003 exam results

Went to the gym last night for an hour and a half, meaning I slept like a log last night. Anyway, went to Will's this morning before going to pickup results and watched "Teachers" which we had missed by being at the gym last night. "What's wrong with C'd and D's? I've built my career on them!"

Picked up results, and got the following:

  • English Literature: A*
  • English Language: B
  • Mathematics: A*
  • Science: A*A*
  • German: A
  • Music: A
  • ICT: A
  • Music: A
  • Latin: D

Which makes 4 A*'s, 4 A's, 1 B and 1 D

Bit of a shame about the Latin, but can't say I expected much more coming out of the exams. James got a C in Latin after doing foundation so in hindsight might have been a better move. I took a few photos, which are now at Nick's so I'll need to pop over some time, I've only got the later set at the moment, but will add the photos when I get them.

After getting my results spent a while standing around finding out how other people got on, which was, on the whole rather well. Simon got the grades he was after, as did Cemal although he got a C in History, and Will a C in Drama which came as a bit of a shock. Claire seemed rather disheartened, but I don't believe any close friends haven't done well enough to go on to what they had planned to do.

I then had to queue for a while to get the A-Level results certificated. As I've decided not to move them across to OCR from Edexcel I figured, as it's free to certificate it would be worthwhile as at least until I do it again on OCR I will officially have an A-Level Maths qualification. Took a while as there were quite a few people who had enquiries, like Simon and Sam O. who had written on their German results sheet that they had sat one of the papers at the foundation level, giving them an A and not an A*, which was a bit of a disappointment as they are both so good at German. Hopefully it's just a mixup with the papers.

We then Cycled out to Nick's. Quite a few people were already there, and a few turned up later. I've got the photos so will add them soon. It was rather cold and lots of people hadn't bought anything to go swimming in, so for the most part it was just Will and I in the pool, although earlier Cemal and Sam K. had joined us. The BBQ was nice, and it was really good to see people again, a few of which I have only seen once or twice since signing off day and the Ball.

I'll go to the gym tomorrow morning, although at the moment I feel rather tired so hopefully I'll have recovered! Not much planned for the rest of the day but I need to sort myself out for the week in Norfolk as Saturday I will be working, and when I get home I'll be off on holiday!

Wednesday, August 20, 2003

Interview at Hills Road

Had my interview with Mr. Bowmer today and sorted out all the maths stuff in the morning. Chris and Dimitri came and we've ended up deciding on doing the further maths over two years, which should make it more relaxed, as I will need to sit all 12 exams again on OCR. The marks I got on Edexcel weren't really good enough, so scrapping all of them.

I then went to the orthodontist who tells me I'll need some teeth taking out and a brace fitting, the teeth will be taken out within a few weeks and then the brace at about November time, followed by a series of other braces for about 18 months. Wasn't all bad though, picked up an alarm clock on the way home with the intention of not repeating the events of this Saturday again, but haven't done much for the rest of the day. I'm off to the gym now with Will.

I've had a look at the Hills Road letters and filled out "reply form B" as Simon said he had. Results out tomorrow!

Tuesday, August 19, 2003

Pushing tin

Watched the rest of "Pushing Tin" this morning, didn't go out anywhere during the day. Played piano for a bit and have now nearly learnt the Toccata bit of the arrangement of Toccata and Fugue I've been writing. Work was reasonably uneventful, although for some reason they had confused my holiday and so I wasn't on the list of meant to be there this evening, but I think I got that sorted. Natasha is working similar hours, and saw her this evening. Hehe has also been offered hours at ASDA and will be training next week. Will had a successful interview, and will hear soon if he got the job and Max has started working at Waitrose too!

Monday, August 18, 2003


Caught some of "Titanic" last night, and still haven't watched the end of "Pushing Tin," but might tomorrow as I haven't got anything planned.

Earlier today I made some caramel bars, using up the condensed milk left over from the fudge I made on Friday and went to see "Pirates of the Caribbean" with Will. I had hoped Nick could come, and perhaps Ben, but it ended up being just Will and I although we saw Cemal on the way to the cinema we didn't manage to catch up with him. The film was very funny, certainly worth going to see!

Also had my gym induction earlier this evening, whilst Simon and Will played Tennis. It went rather well, and will probably join Will and Simon going, but as we are all going on holiday soon I'm not sure how often that will turn out to be.

Sunday, August 17, 2003

Pushing tin

Last night on BBC "Pushing tin" was on, a film Ananova summarises as: When an air traffic controller's limelight is stolen by the arrival of a motorcycle-riding colleague, rivalry pushes him to the brink, sparking adulterous passion and a deadly showdown. Comedy drama from the director of Four Weddings and a Funeral, starring John Cusack, Billy Bob Thornton, Angelina Jolie and Cate Blanchett.

Was rather good, but taped the end as it went on rather late to stay up in order to get up early this morning. I was on Meat and Fish all day today, and 8-5 is a full day with 2 hours setting up and an hour packing away as there is more cleaning to do, the entire meat stand has to be dismantled. Nothing of much note happened, but even on one and a half times normal pay I will have earnt just under £50 for the day.

Saturday, August 16, 2003


I didn't manage to get up on time this morning, my Dad came in and said at 6:30 "Aren't you going to work this morning Gareth?" Oops. I got a lift in, and was there on time though after a panic! Simon came in for his first day later on, and was put on Meat and Fish, not the easiest place to start. He seemed to pick everything up quickly so should be fine. I worked an extra hour at the end, until 5:00 today, and am working again from 8:00 to 5:00 tomorrow, which is a long day but I get double or one and a half times normal pay as it's a Sunday, which is nice!

Yesterday I made some fudge, using 5 bars of chocolate and a can and a half of condensed milk. It's rather rich, but has set and is rather nice. I'll add the recipe to my recipe page soon. In the evening yesterday I went to Simon's. I had an old PII Motherboard lying around, sent to me in exchange for a website I did a few months ago. I didn't have a use for it, but Simon's Dad's old computer died, a few capacitors blew their tops, so I took that round and it worked. His parents had gone away for the weekend, and so his Auntie had come to look after him and his sister. Went to Nandos for dinner and had a half chicken in herb and lemon marinade grilled with grilled corn on the cob and coleslaw. Was really nice, and good to see Simon, Helen, and meet his Auntie again who I saw at Helen's Christening and is really friendly.

After eating we took the bus back to Simon's and played Tennis for an hour which was rather tiring and might have lead to me not getting up, but I don't think my alarm went off, so going to get a new alarm clock or find one that works!

Thursday, August 14, 2003

August 2003 exam results (A-Level)

At just after 11:00 I went into school to pick up my results. I'd assumed that the centre had opened at 11:00, but it had actually been open since 10:00. Anyway, here's what I got:

  • Pure Maths 1: 68/100
  • Pure Maths 2: 65/100
  • Pure Maths 3: 19/100
  • Mechanics 1: 82/100
  • Mechanics 2: 60/100

I've already sat the Mechanics 1 (46/100), Pure Maths 1 (80/100) and Statistics 1 (93/100) exams before, so over the past two years have achieved the following:

  • Pure Maths 1: 80/100
  • Pure Maths 2: 65/100
  • Pure Maths 3: 19/100
  • Mechanics 1: 82/100
  • Mechanics 2: 60/100
  • Statistics 1: 93/100

Meaning on the AS I got 255, giving me an A and overall I got 399, giving me a C. So I'll either resit the A2 modules on Edexcel, or move the AS results across to OCR and sit the A2 modules there.

Earlier this afternoon I went into town and to the station, got a photo done for my Hills Road Sports Centre membership, then went to specsavers to get some swimming goggles. I've reserved a pair, but they want to see my prescription before I can pick them up, so I've got to find a copy. After I played Badminton with Will, which was good fun, if rather tiring, and have booked an induction for the Gym on Monday evening.

Will has got an interview at Tesco's and Simon has his first day this Saturday, which will hopefully be ok as Saturday's are rather busy and not the best time to be trained!

Wednesday, August 13, 2003


I spent the day at Nick's today. Was really good fun, spend most of the time in the pool swimming which was brilliant. Took a few breaks watching "Angel" some "Buffy"-esque vampire drama. Hopefully will do the same again on GCSE results day, a week tomorrow, after the A-Level results. Only thing is I don't know anyone else going to pick up results, everyone seems to be on holiday or didn't finish the exams, so I guess I'll be there by myself.

Will has also decided that I need to go to the gym, which seems like an interesting idea. Simon's response "rofl" probably neatly sums up my reaction. Well, I'll see how far this goes, although I definitely need to apply for membership to the sports centre some time soon.

I've started uploading the photos, so hopefully most of them should appear some time soon. I've also been asked to add more of the full size photos, which will take a while but expect to see it appear gradually.

Only Fools and Horses is on later this evening, which I'll be watching. Not lots planned for later this week, hopefully going to go and see Pirates of the Caribbean sometime later this week, as Will wants to see it and Hehe said it was good too, and I might go and see Terminator 3.

Tuesday, August 12, 2003


Played badminton again with Will yesterday which was good fun, and afterwards went to his and watched Daredevil, where Ben Affleck becomes blind, and then develops super human senses. Rather cool, and the ending suggests there should be a sequel, which would be good.

Last night I was affected by the latest security flaw in windows - Remote Procedure Call (RPC) crashing causing windows to shut down. I've written an article on the issue here, with instructions on how to resolve the problem. I've also uploaded the rest of the site with the new design today apart from the photos section which will take me a while to upload as it's 120MB!

Spooks finished last night, with a cliff hanger ending. The series returns next year though, which sounds cool. I'm working this evening and have to pick up some insoles later today, but for the moment am just waiting for the man to come and fix our boiler. Expect the photos to gradually start appearing soon.

Sunday, August 10, 2003

The Beach

"The Beach" was better than I thought it was going to be, quite good really. I've started work on the rest of the site and converting all the pages from the old design to the new one, but looks like it is going to take a while, unless I can find a way to automate it. Played badminton with Will earlier this afternoon which was great fun. I still haven't a clue how they work out the prices, Will suggested it should come to £3.90, and an extra £1 for racket hire, but it came to £7.90. I made some lemon sorbet, but it hasn't frozen so will have to wait until tomorrow to eat it, which isn't forecast to be as hot. If it's cooled down a bit tomorrow I'll probably go to town, have a look at squash and badminton rackets and prescription swimming goggles, really need to get some! Haven't got anything planned for this evening, just hope it cools down a bit!

Saturday, August 09, 2003

Where's Craig?

Woke up a bit late this morning, which meant I was in a bit of a rush to get to work on time, at 7:00. I was on time though, and spent the day on meat and fish. Not particuarly eventful, lots of sea bass to clean. Craig didn't turn up for his last day, after getting rather drunk last night at his farewell party, meaning there was a big rush in the morning to get everything out, during which I managed to cut my hand, nothing too bad though. Was nice and cool all day being inside the air conditioned building, but has been really hot again today, and set to get hotter tomorrow so the weather forecast says. I'm working on getting the rest of my site up at the moment, doesn't look like it will be as functional as I had hoped, as I can't find an easy work around for PHP includes. Haven't got anything planned for this evening, it's too hot to do much. "The Beach" is on later, which I haven't seen but got quite good reviews, so might watch that.

Friday, August 08, 2003


Met Simon at the tennis courts, which was a nice suprise last night. Will's racket is rather similar to mine, a Wilson, but is orange instead of blue/silver. It's completely different playing tennis under the floodlights, but is certainly nicer than playing during the afternoon as it's been so hot during the day recently. Went into town this morning, although was rather unsuccessful. I was looking for some sandals but no where seems to have any, which is annoying. In the afternoon I played squash with Cemal, this time dislodging one of the balls from the lights and so gaining one instead of loosing two, which was nice. Just seen this over at Ebay, for £3200! Anyway, I'm off to bed now so I can get up early tomorrow.

Thursday, August 07, 2003

Hot again today

It's been hot again today, not as hot as yesterday though, which was nice. I went into town earlier and had a look at various things including squash rackets and balls. I figured after loosing two yesterday it might be an idea to get some for myself, but there weren't any blue spot ones in Robert Sayle, only yellow. I couldn't find any in Gray's and they were rather busy so didn't wait to ask. Rackets range from about £25 up to £180, so I'm not sure if I'll end up getting one. I'm off to play tennis in a few hours, a repeat of Monday. It's really nice and cool later in the evening and is good fun playing under the lights on the court. Will has a new racket too that his parents gave to him after all his work on their new garden recently.

Wednesday, August 06, 2003

Cemal returns

Cemal came back from his two weeks in Turkey a couple of days ago, and yesterday was passing by on his way back from town. He got a really dark tan and had a good time. Booked a squash court and played later in the day. The court was nice and cool in comparison to how hot it has been today, hottest day of the year so far! Unfortunately we managed to loose two balls in the lights at the top of the squash court, which wasn't fun explaining to the man at reception...