Thursday, 31 December 2015

Roundup: 2015 Style

Well, hello there stranger. It's been far too long.

So where did I leave off?


Ah, yes! All those concerts.

All I have to say on that front is that Van McCann is a God, and the moshpits were absolutely mental! I was honestly not expecting that much energy from one crowd in response to a catalogue of songs from a single album; and yet despite the inevitability of the setlist, the performance was incredible!

*insert super awesome, mind blowing photo here*

This post had initially been intended to be a roundup of 2015, reminiscent of last year's best bits, (which I quite enjoyed re-reading actually) however there was a slight hitch. A rather annoying, frustrating, infuriating, life-destroying technical hitch.

Yep, you guessed it. The iPhone 4s inherited from my mum, after three years of enduring drowning by coffee, a trip down the stairs and multiple other attempts on its life, finally decided to pack in.

Now, unlike some of my peers, my life ended with the phone's not for the fact that I was unable to send text messages but rather due to the reminders, notes and photographs that were lost with the inability of the device to turn itself back on.

I know what you must be thinking... "Gio, why didn't you back it up before it was too late? And what about iCloud?"

Well, it would appear that 2015 was not a good year for me regarding tech. My suspicions were confirmed when my version of iTunes completely refused to play ball, the software not even booting correctly to allow for a backup to be made, when the life began fading from my phone.

It was all a matter of time. And when I needed you most, iTunes, you failed me.

So what was this all-important data? I hear you ask. Well, to begin with we have all the glorious photos and videos etched into my mind from those incredible concerts, now unable to relive themselves through the brilliance of modern-day technology. But more importantly, unable to be shared to my blog and Instagram page.

But here's the big one.

The previous NYE I vowed to live by the phrase "happiness is not a destination, but a way of life" by creating a 'Happy Jar.' Now, with everything being very busy, as per, this metaphysical 'jar' transformed into one of a more virtual nature.

Do you see where this is going yet? Well, if not, all will be revealed shortly,

On my smartphone I had a compilation of random snippets from all sorts of moments this year that have made me happy. I did this so that I could copy them all out onto individual pieces of paper and and stuff them into a jar, emptying it and relieving the best bits this evening. At least, that's what was intended.

I had at least one item for each day of the year... Right up until November 22nd, that is.


Or maybe 'typical' is a better description of my (mis)fortune. I can only hope I will be able to salvage whatever I can get my hands on (once the laptop's been sorted) as my internal memory is already suffering the punishment of age. There will be next to no hope once I reach Mum's age! ... sorry Mummy!Xxxxx (but it is true, js)

So anyway, now that my master plan's been messed with, I thought I'd leave you with something else to end this year with.

Leading on from my most recent, albeit slightly dated, post,

I now in fact have three offers to read physics at university (from Bath, Durham and Exeter) and have two further decisions pending. I have also yet to kill a cyclist whilst sitting in the driver's seat, which is pretty good going considering my practical test is fast approaching.

What of Oxford? Well, I wouldn't say I nailed the entrance exam (far from it) however it would appear that I performed satisfactorily enough.

My reasoning? By some miracle I made it to interview at Lincoln and Oriel College. It was, however, one of the strangest events I've ever experienced - one I will certainly never forget.

The interviews (yes, plural!) themselves were utterly terrifying. I had three in total. And I'm fairly certain there were numerous other hidden tests, such as special table manners and obtaining entrance to the JCR by means of a door that was deceptively... deceptive!

Fortunately I fared better as the three-day residential stay progressed, and it was good fun getting to know some of the other applicants. I was however, severely underprepared for the onslaught of academically grilling questions and complete lack of discussion of any sort.

I kid you not, the second set of interviewers started asking me the first question before I'd even sat down, and absolutely no introductions were made. One of them did however remind me of Sir David Attenborough, so that was slightly reassuring for some strange reason.

It was intense, and I was very glad for when the time came to make the half-marathon train journey home. (Marathon being the one completed for my Exeter interview). I did see a few friendly faces in the form of my cousins both beforehand on the Monday, and afterwards on the Wednesday, but I cannot describe how nice it was to collapse onto my own bed late on the Wednesday evening.

Despite having all these options open to me, I am however slightly uncertain about what I'm going to do after my final year in sixth form. For many reasons, I don't feel ready to leave home for uni yet. For one, I have yet to master the ways of my Mum's essential survival basics - cooking and washing! It could be a disaster!

But on a more serious note, for much the same reason I was unable to compete in that actual half-marathon, haven't been training and feel generally crap, leaving home before it's resolved may not be such a great idea. I felt absolutely terrible for leaving James to run the race on his own, however he finished the 13 miles in a very respectable 1h47, if I remember correctly.

Some further scans have now been scheduled in order to shed some more light on what's going on, so I can only hope that the new year brings a new bout of good health and fortune. If not, I can only hope that any subsequent anaesthetic dreams are as great as my previous one. The caption that follows, taken from my IG, says it all:

When you come round and realise you're not actually headlining Reading festival, and don't own an American Deluxe Telecaster 😭😂

That ^^ photo
I certainly don't own an American Deluxe Telecaster, much to my despair, however I have recently blown nearly £900 on a PRS Custom 24 30th Anniversary Edition electric guitar coupled with a VOX Valvetronix VT40+ modelling amp which has a plethora of different models, effects, presets and the secret ability to pump out an overdrive power of 60W. The neighbours love it. Trust me!

My beautiful guitar!

It's strange, but I almost feel as though I've lived my life multiple times over this year. It's certainly not been easy, but the changes - for better or for worse - have given me the opportunity to learn so much about myself and the identify the things most important to me as a young adult. But most significant of all, I have a much clearer idea of the way I want my life to turn out to be.

Here's to an excellent 2016, and to a post in which I'm able to recall the numerous stories I've wanted to share with you. At least a few on them are vaguely funny, I promise!


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