I’m not really sure how to begin this post…after a rather long blogging hiatus since July 2015. I write as if that has been a long time, but it certainly doesn’t feel like it. Right now I sit at my desk in Portsmouth of all places just weeks away from completing my first year at University. I vividly remember writing my first post here with a mix of nerves and excitement, not really sure whether it was a good idea to share what actually goes on between my ears for the reading pleasure of complete strangers. It hasn’t come back to bite me yet, therefore I shall continue! The official JoshBlogs reboot begins now (imagine cheering with trumpets sounding and confetti, celebration vibes).
So let me fill you in where we left off from last year.
A mere eight days after my last post on July 12th, three of my best pals and I began the craziest adventure of our lives so far, bar none. Having been dropped off at Liverpool Street station at the butt crack of dawn on July 20th, we began our journey cluelessly negotiating our way to Paris for the first leg of our twenty-three day inter-rail trip. Fair to say we didn’t have the smoothest of starts, having left equipped with shamefully bad map reading skills and general sense of direction. All those GCSE orienteering PE classes had amounted to nothing. A simple plan to navigate our way to the Arc de Triumph (which to achieve we simply had to turn right out of our hostel and walk thirty minutes in a straight line) manifested into an six hour walking tour of the Paris backstreets, most of it in the wrong direction relative to our destination. Evidently, four cooks with minimal French sign reading skills and without Google maps was enough throw our broth off the heat before we’d had our first taste of European tourist landmarks (I know I’ve been out the blogging game a while, but plenty more obscure metaphors where that came from).
I cannot sing the praises of inter-railing enough to anyone who has three weeks to spare in summer to discover the world, explore different cultures and have an unforgettable time with their pals. Just prepare for all the jealous looks from friends and relatives, whilst you spend fifteen minutes reminiscing about an in-joke from Budapest where you had to ‘be there’ to find it funny. We still use our Europe memes a year on and I can’t see them getting old! I documented every step of our adventure in my diary as we travelled east across the continent, so look out for a series of Squad Europe entries appearing on this blog very soon!
Three of the team looking thoughtful as we take a break in Zagreb. Ian’s behind the camera.
Fast forward to September 12th and I’m pushing a shopping trolly with all of my worldly possessions down the hospital ward-esc halls to my new home, flat 2-4 at Portsmouth University. I missed the B- grade in Biology (pree this meme https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D96dilWtFtU for exactly how I felt coming out of that exam) but my B’s in Sociology and History managed to wing me into a four year psychology degree. I was incredibly nervous about moving away from home. Leaving a fridge which magically restocked when it got low, with food that I didn’t have to worry about budgeting for. Where hot meals appeared before me whenever I chose to stop watching vlogs and playing PS4 all day. Yes it was mostly (completely) the fear of living off sub-standard cooking skills and slowly destroying my arteries with takeout food and pasta.
However, I came armed with a student cook book and the motivation to win student friends using the power of good grub. I quickly established myself as flat chef with my signature saucy coconut curries, sizzling stir fries and Mexican fajita dishes. Much alliteration, very blog. Oh did I mention I also became a vegetarian and semi-vegan? Alongside supporting Labour under Corbyn, signing petitions for everything under the sun and subscribing to the fashion trend of wearing clothes slightly too big for you, I have successful achieved the tree-hugging liberal student stereotype. Debate me.
Of course I can’t not mention freshers. The liver destroying ceremony of initiation where boys who got tipsy drinking fruity ciders when they were fifteen, become men sinking jäger bombs and double vodka mixers until closing time in the early hours of the morning…every day. Well, at least until your guilty conscious recognises that £9k is funding an expensive drinking habit unless you actually do some work. To be honest it all blurs into one big booze up, but thank lord for Snapchat stories!
When Lethal Bizzle came to our uni for halloween; the last official night of freshers. I’m just underneath the arm of white glove to the centre right of the picture throwing up a peace sign.
Uni life has brought some great highs and some difficult lows. But it’s been totally worth it. The course has been interesting, if not at times a little frustrating with the lack of assignments and workload (yes you did hear me right). Nevertheless, I’ve loved getting stuck in with various research reports, and have just handed in an essay on the psychological models gambling, the product of just over a months worth of work which I am incredibly proud of. Although the job is not over yet with three exams coming up in May to revise for. At the same time my eyes are on the prize, with a long summer break in sunny Cornwall and many other exciting plans for summer!
There is plenty more I have to tell you which I couldn’t squeeze into this here post. If you enjoyed this quick summary of what I’ve been up to stick around for regular updates and the Squad Europe travel diaries, the first of which will be ready for the coming weekend.
Have a great week people.
I’m still making monthly playlists and you can find the March one here:
I’ve also started my own podcast! Come hang out with me and my pals for a chat here: