Here’s another clutch of entries from my journal. This has been a pretty quiet month, as I’ve been at home on my spring holiday from university for most of it, revising hard for the upcoming exams. But I have enjoyed a little bit of socialising, we had more issues with the kids playing outside our house, and the UK was gripped by footage from our biggest gameshow scandal. So I hope you enjoy!
Thursday April 3, 2003
I went out to a quiz with some old college friends on Tuesday. We did ok (34 out of 60) but it was hard, and I certainly didn’t know many of the answers. Just because I’m at uni doesn’t mean I’m good at general knowledge!
Still, good news on the football front. The Euro 2004 qualifiers have been continuing recently. At the weekend we beat Liechtenstein 2-0, and yesterday we beat Turkey 2-0! We’re currently top of our group, which is good, but there are still some games left to go.
Friday April 4, 2003
I met my best mate in Exeter again today, as he finished college early. We went to Pizza Hut for the ‘All You Can Eat’ offer, and then had some games of ten-pin bowling, which was great fun. In terms of games, I won 3-2 (we booked unlimited bowling, so we could have had more than 5 games if we’d wanted, in a 4-hour slot). In terms of scores, however, he won overall. My highest score was 128, and his highest was 148 (in that game he got a turkey – 3 strikes in a row – which helped!). So that was fun.
Tuesday April 8, 2003
The Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? trial has finally finished – and all three people were found guilty. Judging by what I’ve heard about that edition of the show, that makes sense. They all got fines and suspended sentences. Apparently that episode of the quiz will be shown in a special show presented by Martin Bashir soon. Should be interesting.
Sunday April 13, 2003
We had a policeman around to our house today. Well, a Community Support Officer to be precise. He came about the kids that play outside, because we asked him to.
Anyone who reads this journal regularly may remember that I’ve mentioned them once before. On September 2nd 2002 I wrote about some kids actually apologising after Mum told them off. Have things therefore changed since then? No.
Since then, we’ve cut the trees down in our garden, as we didn’t need them anyway, and we can keep an eye on them better. They still kick the ball against our garden wall sometimes and we tell them off. They kick it against the garden wall of the other house at the top of this cul-de-sac too. But no matter how many times the ball goes into their garden, nobody ever comes out to talk to them. None of the kids live there, so it’s not their property. Whenever a ball comes into their garden, or ours, the kids just hop over the wall and get it. Plus there are more of them that play out there now.
Anyway, they’re not actually committing a criminal offence, so we didn’t want to call the police in. But it is getting annoying, so we called our social worker who referred us to the community police (who we didn’t know we had).
The guy who came was very tall, very polite and very helpful. He can’t force them to go, but as he does the beat in our area, he will come up our road on his rounds. If he sees the kids playing, he’ll have a word with them and see if he can speak to their parents too. That might be enough to get rid of them, but I’m not holding my breath.
He’s also going to look at the park nearby (which I mentioned in my September entry last year). It is private land, apparently, but he’s going to speak to the parks department of the council to see if anything can be done. So we’ll see what happens. My parents were very happy with him. So if anyone else in the UK has problems like that, find out if you have a Community Support Officer to see if they can help.
Apart from that, the London Marathon‘s taking place today. Paula Radcliffe set the women’s world best time in the marathon last year (it was a great year for her all round). But that was clearly not enough, because today she’s smashed her own world record to pieces, finishing in 2 hours, 15 minutes and 25 seconds! So congratulations to her!
Wednesday April 16, 2003
The UK’s in the middle of a heatwave right now. It would normally be the wet month of April, as always seems to happen, but it feels like summer!
I was pleased to see David Jason get a Fellowship at the British Academy TV Awards on Sunday. The Fellowship is the highest honour in British TV, and he certainly deserves it! He’s done many great things – Only Fools And Horses, Open All Hours, A Touch Of Frost and The Darling Buds Of May, to name just a few of his many, many achievements. He’s just a great actor who doesn’t get big-headed about it, and his programmes don’t rely on sex or swearing to work either, so he’s loved by a lot of people.
Saturday April 19, 2003
I hope everyone doesn’t get sick from eating too much chocolate! My aunt’s retired from her job now, so she can relax for this holiday and beyond.
The kids who play outside tried knocking on our windows and running away the other day but we didn’t respond. Plus it was easy to see where they hid. We’ve done a bit of video recording with my camcorder to get their faces, and to prove that they do play outside our house, as it’s very likely we’ll call the Community Support Officer back. I managed to get a shot of them kicking a ball in our garden, which was good. I don’t know if they’ve noticed that we’re recording them, but if they do it hasn’t put them off.
Apparently a trick my Mum’s hairdresser once did was to take a picture of some kids near her house, and they didn’t come back – yet what they didn’t know was that she hadn’t wasted any film as there wasn’t any in the camera! We’ve got an old camera too, so we might try that.
Monday April 21, 2003
Tonight they showed the constantly talked about edition of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? on the TV, along with comments from the crew and witnesses at the show. The TV company, Celador, is pleased at winning the trial of course, so there is an element of bias perhaps. We didn’t get to hear Major Charles Ingram‘s side of the story for instance.
But that doesn’t matter, to be honest. The coughs used to point out the answers were enhanced so that you could hear them better, and from that it certainly looks like Charles Ingram is guilty. He struggled to get up to £8,000, and yet managed to guess his way to £1 million! It was obvious that his general knowledge was poor. It was certainly no better than mine, although I did know the answer to the £1 million question. I just couldn’t answer the ones leading up to it!
He dithered on virtually every question, and read round and round the choices. If he said the right one, there was a cough from Tecwen Whittock, who was accused of helping him. He claims it was an allergy – yet he got in the hot seat next after the fastest finger round and didn’t cough once!
I don’t see how so many coughs could be coincidences, especially given the fact that one even had a whispered “No” after it, when the Major was on the wrong answer! Not only that, but his wife Diana kept looking at Whittock. And Whittock sometimes spoke to the person next to him to confirm an answer. Charles and his wife also had an argument in their dressing room afterwards. Nobody knows what about exactly, but it might be that their plan had gone too far.
I could go on, but it did look extremely odd. If I had been watching that show, as a normal edition, without any sound enhancements, I think I would have been suspicious of him, just like the crew. His behaviour wasn’t normal for a Millionaire contestant. He is going to appeal though, but I don’t fancy his chances.
Thursday April 24, 2003
My revision’s been going fine during this holiday. I’ve read through quite a bit of stuff, and I’m sure some of it has stuck. We’ll soon find out, because I’ve got my exam timetable now. It’s not too bad, all exams are on different days:
- Wednesday 28th May – Management Accounting (14:15-18:00)
- Wednesday 4th June – Audit (09:30-12:38)
- Monday 9th June – Financial Accounting (9:30-13:15)
- Thursday 12th June – Taxation (09:30-13:15)
At least I get some time between each exam, so I can do a little bit of last minute revision if I have to. And because I have a sight problem, I’m allowed 25% extra time (an extra 15 minutes per hour), which is why the exams are quite long. Most of them are 3 hours long, so I get 45 minutes extra. Audit is shorter at about 2 and a half hours, which gives me 38 minutes of extra time. I’m also allowed to use a word processor, which makes it so much easier, and the examiner can actually read my answers then!
Monday April 28, 2003
I’m back at uni again now. With exams coming up, modules are coming to an end, so we’re either learning some last bits of new material or revising. We didn’t have a tutorial today though, only a lecture – although if I’d known the tutorial was cancelled, I’d have come home earlier! Still, next Monday is May Bank Holiday, so I don’t have to go in. The lecture and tutorial from that day have been moved to Wednesday afternoon instead.
The only problem I might face next Tuesday and Wednesday (and again later in the month) are train strikes, about safety rather than pay. I’ve got a bus timetable, although it takes a bit longer than the train. Thank heavens my lessons on those days are in the afternoon.
I bought some DVDs while I was out today. I got The Rise and Fall of Reginald Perrin – Series 2 and Citizen Smith – Series 1 & 2. I’ve never seen Citizen Smith, but it was written by John Sullivan, who did Only Fools and Horses, so it should be good. My parents say its good too.
I’m also going to get GTA: Vice City eventually, but I might leave it until closer to the summer holidays, otherwise I’ll get hooked on it and not concentrate properly on my work! It sounds great though.