Aber, the expo and volunteering.

February 24, 2010

I’m posting later than planned, because that’s the way it usually happens when I’ve been away for a few days. All those fansubs to download, and all those job applications to quickly complete…

The time I spent in Aber was fantastic. Watching the film Aliens + the Korean live action Antique Bakery, playing loads of Pokemon and looking at the house that I’ll (hopefully) end up living in this September are a small selection of the fun things I did while there, but the expo was of course the highlight. I had planned on posting about it here, but other stuff has happened in the last week that also deserves a mention, so I’ll refer anyone who’s interested to a post I made on The Student Room about the event. Attending my first Aberanime screening in almost a year was fun too; all series I’d seen, but they were episodes that deserved rewatching. And it was more the social aspect I was there for, saying hi to old friends and making some new ones. I *think* all of the new committee members hugged me at least once during my stay, which I’ll take as a good sign. 😛

Tuesday was my first day volunteering at Plas Tan y Bwlch. And I ended up going ‘bramble bashing’. Brambles have always annoyed me (except when they’re full of blackberries, then it’s all worth it), but I now hate them with a vengeance. They’re one of those annoying plants that have to be dug up at the roots, or else they’ll keep coming back to life, so I spent all day trying to get them out of the ground and onto the fire. A fire which I was just upwind of… smoky. This random piece of ash blew into my mouth, tasted disgusting, and all I could taste was smoke for the rest of the day. But anyway, I got better at it as the day went on, and I think I successfully bashed ~75% of the ones I encountered. The area I covered was pretty small, but you’d struggle to find any brambles left there (above ground, at least). So I’m quite pleased with myself, considering I thought I’d be rubbish at it.

All this was a bit of a shock to my body though. By the time my lunch break came around, my back + left knee were killing me and I could barely walk. I really needed that hour to rest and recover, though since that day was different and the usual length of the lunch break is 30 minutes, I can’t get too used to it. I showed some signs of adapting after lunch though, as I went out and did the same thing for the same amount of time and still managed to walk out of there at the end of the day. Those aches and pains came back to haunt me today though…

Physical exhaustion aside, I’m surprised at how well I adapted mentally. I’ve spent the last 6 months watching anime or otherwise entertaining myself, all day every day. And all of a sudden I’m outside in the cold bashing brambles. And I just got on with it. I wouldn’t call it fun – there’s plenty of brambles around our house and I’ve not felt the urge to declare war on them – but it wasn’t boring either. So assuming I can keep that mindset going, I should have less problems adapting to the real world than I feared. And so I’ll be going back there tomorrow for more!

The one thing I’m struggling to adapt to, however, is the early starts…


Suddenly, I have things to do!

February 17, 2010

Today marks the beginning of the end of my incredibly lazy life of doing nothing but watching anime and searching for jobs. Tomorrow I’ll be signing on at the job centre as usual, then afterwards I’ll be heading for Aberystwyth again. About twice the length of my usual journey to Porthmadog and back, but it only costs about 60p more. Partly because Red Rover daily tickets are such a good deal, and partly because return tickets to Port are so ridiculously overpriced for some reason…

Upon arriving at Aberystwyth (at 3:30 PM if all goes well), I have no plans for the rest of Wednesday. I’m due to look at a house there early Thursday afternoon, because I can’t really return there to study for an MSc if I don’t have anywhere to live. Then in the early evening, I’m going to my first Aberystwyth Anime Society screening since graduating, which should be a mix of nostalgia and horror, as I look at all the series they’re showing and imagine what I’d have shown instead if I still had power. 😛 The social afterwards should prove a good chance to meet the new members, who I hope to get along with as I don’t want to feel left out during our main event…

…which doesn’t happen on the following morning. Aside from getting an early night, no plans for Friday at all. Then at some unearthly hour on Saturday morning, we’ll head off to catch the train to… Shrewsbury, where we have to get off and catch a bus due to rail maintenance. But this bus will take us to Telford, home of the Midlands MCM Expo! :mrgreen: Where I’ll buy moderate amounts of manga + anime, and no figurines. Because I’m meant to be saving for university. 😦 Meh, even the travel + entry costs are more than I’d usually spend on a weekend out. But it’s the one time since leaving uni that I’ve treated myself, so I’ll spend just enough to maintain balance between my stingy money-hoarding side and my obsessive-otaku side.

So after arriving back in Aber later that night, I’ll stay one more night there before heading back home on Sunday. I’ll then take Monday off to recover. And the day after that will be my first proper day volunteering at Plas Tan y Bwlch (see last Friday’s post if you missed me talk about that). I’ve decided to work Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays there from now on, in an attempt to get back into the habit of waking up early and being of use to somebody. Actually, that last point may be a first for me…

My next post will likely be on Sunday or Monday; with a long weekend like this ahead of me, I should have plenty to talk about when I return. Like all my (very few, very small) purchases.