Category: Diary

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‘Making a Murder’ & ‘Red Handed’

I watched the Netfix series ‘Making a Murderer’ recently. For anyone who hasn’t watched it, it’s like listening to the This American Life podcast ‘Serial’ over countless montages of the junkyard from hit nineties TV show ‘Scrapheap Challenge’. I hope that has helped clear things up. Now on with the...

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Why the King’s Cross – Stories From the Underground

“The Baron’s Court his Seven Sisters Wapping in a ditch in the Royal Park,” said Victoria, “And now the King’s Cross.” “Who’s ditch?” I asked. “Shoreditch” Victoria said but I told her it wasn’t. “It’s by Devon’s Road it must be his ditch. Now tell me why the King’s Cross?”...

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Tibet – Our Journey to Everest Basecamp

Let me begin by warning you that this blog post is going to be largely about toilets. Our story is, after all, about five blokes travelling through rural Tibet, five blokes ill-experienced in the delicate art of the squat toilet and five blokes who were living on a largely yak...

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Day 12 (Atlantic Voyage)

‘Digger’s Ramblings’: Written by Brook Driver and David West After twelve days of being ordered to pull in and let go of lines (ropes), I’ve almost reached my destination – Antigua! Though Mark, another Antigua bound passenger, has informed me that I will only have a measly four days ashore...

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Day 10 (Atlantic Voyage)

The cockpit had just about dried out after the rain storms of the night before. A string had been tied between the backstays and from it hung all the wet weather gear, sodden jackets and long dungaree type trousers, swaying from side to side as the boat rolled around in...

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Day 6 (Atlantic Voyage)

If there were no land on the planet and just endless ocean, and you were on a boat with no navigational gizmos, and all you had was a mobile phone with the phone number of another person, who’s on another boat somewhere else on the planet. Using only this phone,...

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Day 4 (Atlantic Voyage)

‘Captain West’ – Written by Brook driver and David West Last night the storm was blowing far too many big knots it was absolutely mental… for some people. The boat was in desperate need… desperate for a Master (and a Commander) to take charge of this old girl. Suddenly the...

Marcel and a Mahi Mahi! 1,400

Day 3 (Atlantic Voyage)

As Giles aptly described, small things can become alarmingly interesting after a number of days at sea. A bird, for instance, sparked lively, Attenborough-esq debate between Digger and I as we tried to identify its species from its distinctive features. After exhausting the only seabird option we knew (a seagull)...

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Day 1 (Atlantic Voyage)

Today we set off on our voyage across the Atlantic, boat fully stocked with food and water, and the crew eager for the 2,800 miles of open water between us and the Caribbean. Much of the crew met each other for the first time last night and over a beer...

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Brush and Floss

My dentist, either as a well thought out subliminal message, or because he knows no other reality, has decorated his office to resemble the insides of a giant, well kept mouth. He’s painted the walls the blanched pink colour of gums and lined them with equally spaced posters of teeth,...

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Slept Like a Baby

[dropcap]I[/dropcap] walked the length of the Yorkshire Dales the other week with four friends. It was 82 miles and we completed it in a leisurely six days. Of all of them day 3 was the hardest. We didn’t have much food, it rained and we got lost, meaning we ended...

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U-S-A! U-S-A!

People often ask what the biggest difference is between being here and being back in Leeds and I never really have an answer. I usually just say that the two are incomparable but, being in a reflective mood, as my time here coming to an end, I am going to...

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Medium Haircuts

I am going to miss the barber shop here for sure. It’s an old man and an old woman and it’s luck of the draw which one you get. Digger and I will wander down and flip a coin to see who’s going first, fully aware that one of us...

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Songs or Praise

So pretty much every day outside the Russell House (the student union) the university sets up speakers and employs a big, enthusiastic, black DJ who pumps out chart music… for literally no reason! I wouldn’t care really if my apartment wasn’t on the other side of the road and Katy...

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Panama City Beach

Having come in at 8th on the NY Daily News ‘Trashiest Places to go on Spring Break’ we knew we were in for a treat heading to Panama City Beach. It didn’t disappoint, in fact as a friend pointed out, it made similar European destinations like Malia look as tranquil...

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The Female Hugh Grant

Sophie Somervail, another English student who previously featured on this blog, was recently reprimanded for having a pre drinks at her flat. The harmless gathering was busted by the police and she was made to attend a conduct meeting and face a potential fine. She recounts the experience:                 ——————————————————————————...

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The Prank

What else could we do to amuse ourselves on the 8 hour drive down to Panama city beach but make up a steadily escalating lie to the girls in the other car? It started innocuously enough with Digger telling one of them that we had messed up our car rental...

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Crossing the Road

Everyone knows that sense of intrepid pride when you cross the road on a red light and no one else dares to do so. Or when you make your move and others follow your lead, the rest of the waiting walkers scurrying to catch up with you like you were...

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The Hunchback of Where?

In general I am rarely taken aback by American pronunciation or spelling of words. I recon its because I’m dyslexic and thus pretty much fully at the dictate of my trusty spell checker who, though we are very well acquainted, I have never asked where he’s from. We all know...

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Waffles and Thunderstorms

You know that you are road-tripping in America when you make a turn following the satnav and it tells you to “continue straight for 320 miles!” You know that you are road-tripping in the American South when, like the star that guided Joseph and Mary to Bethlehem, you can always see a...

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Big Daddy Barack

My old roommate was a staunch republican so after the election night we made this photo, of us two and our gloating message, his desktop background. He got the message alright… that he lives with two serious dyslexics.    #Business  Originally from ‘A Brits Eye View of South Carolina‘: http://diggersatusc.tumblr.com

U.S. Senator Strom Thurmond Turns 100 1,173

Strom Thurmond

Digger has been going to the gym every single day since coming to USC . It’s a serious commitment on his behalf and I have been very encouraging. However I haven’t noticed any change in his physique! It was really a mystery. Thinking maybe his weight training was suffering from...

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Small Coke

Even us two dyslexics can recognise that the small coke that digger got at the cinema and then took four days to finish has got to be bad for you. It was the size of a penguin! Its only redeeming quality was that his right bicep had a serious strain...

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Black Friday

A good ol’ southern girl sat next to me in class the other week and polite conversation ensued. She asked me, “what did you think of Black Friday?” and I was keen to answer. “It’s so stupid!” I said, “I can’t believe how big it was! it was even big...

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Gonna Miss America

Columbia airport is so small and southern that it has white rocking chairs in the waiting areas. When we arrived all those months ago a lovely old local man with a Sims-2 default white beard was waiting to pick us up. He was part of a volunteer service laid on...

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Oxymorons

Early September:    Yaniss was trying hard not to laugh at his new friend Diggers gullibility. Being well accustomed to it I continued with the joke unfazed, “yeah if you are studying at oxford but you are a moron then you are an oxymoron, that’s where the word comes from.”...

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A Frogs Eye View of South Carolina

I think the legal term for why our French friends went to jail would be ‘excessive drunken frolicking.’ A mostly innocuous walk back from the bars ended in arrests when one of them pressed an emergency button, which are positioned around campus and immediately contact the police, to tell them...

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Brooklyn Night Bazaar

When David stumbled up to the chalk board the hipsters didn’t know what hit them. With his quivering dyslexic hand he wrote ‘Diggers’ to be next in line at winner stays on pool and the rest is history. People with names like Tarquin, Alexia and Lulu Noodel, scrolled in curly...

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Santa Con.

We are currently in New York City and yesterday there was a giant Santa themed bar crawl through town. It is named SantaCon and, though one Mr. Claus claimed it was in aid of the victims of Hurricane Sandy, we found out was happening in 37 countries and has in...

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First Semester

I was told by someone that instead of mocking I should try my best to sell this University on our blog. I said, “that’s an even harder task than the poor guy who had to attract the class of ‘08 to come to Hogwarts!” Now that was a hard sell to prospective...

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Thanksgiving Floats

The Diggers got to experience thanksgiving in true American style this week as we were graciously hosted by a friends family in Maryland. The Hakos’ brought out the good cutlery as plates were piled high with pumpkin pie and garlic mashed potatoes, stuffing and cranberry sauce. His dad expertly carved...

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The State Fair

The State Fair Digger and I met the parents of a friend of ours who had recently visited England. We naturally asked what they thought and were surprised by the answer, “It was great,” they said, “apart from the food.” We were momentarily taken aback. That was until the dad...

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Chicken, Rugby and Gays

An over intrusive University form got me thinking of how South Carolinians deal with sex and sexuality. The form asked me when I started being sexually active? with which sex? and most crudely whether I did oral, vaginal or anal sex. The comparison between this form and the kind of...

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The Eggplant Incident

Westy said ‘Eggplant’ yesterday. I said what have you got in the cupboard and he said, “oh nothing, just a few onions and an Eggplant.” Maybe with hindsight I shouldn’t have reacted so harshly. He is dyslexic after all and relatively new to cooking, but he has just been pushing...

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Crazy Menu Warning

It was a sad sight watching Digger West get asked for his ID when ordering a hamburger. Ground beef is deemed too dangerous and yet they wouldn’t bat an eyelid if every Big Mac meal deal came with a complimentary revolver…     Originally from ‘A Brits Eye View of...

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The World’s Gone Mad

This week, that encompassed both my 22nd birthday and the eleven year anniversary of 9/11, I am sure will go down in history. Though I do not think that the 49-6 victory of the mighty Gamecocks over UAB will be the reason, it could be argued that it was one...

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The Townville Shaggers

‘Class,’ in America is different to back home. Big lectures replaced by smaller seminars with regular tests and homework’s. Walking into the first few was scary, not knowing whether there was a weird American thing about where you sat. Whether sitting in the front corner, or the third row from...

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Ridiculous packaging

An unnamed, unsupervised adult was rushed to hospital at 23:00 last Monday for reportedly eating ‘all natural fruit snacks’ whilst standing up. Can’t say he wasn’t warned. Originally from ‘A Brits Eye View of South Carolina‘: http://diggersatusc.tumblr.com

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Cajun chickens

Ignoring the gospel of Ronan Keating, who once proclaimed, ‘when the going gets tough, the tough get going,’ this week I surrendered my vegetarianism in the face of it being “just too goddamn hard.” An excuse that other non violent protesters (you know, Ghandi and that..) would definitely, probably… unlikely...

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Pussy Pie Johnson

A scared looking Digger knocked at my door yesterday with a wild look in his eyes. He shouted, “Brook! Its Pussy Pie Johnson out there!” at me and stumbled in.After a few deep breaths and a sit down I was able to gleam exactly what this anguished, fearful nonsense meant....

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Jonny Foreigner

We have spent a lot of time hanging out with international students who, even if they can barely understand us, are more familiar with our humour than most here. It is not hard to spot a foreigner, they will be walking for a start, the concept of not having a...

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Milk For One

The two diggers walked to the store to buy food yesterday and had an appalling experience. We wandered round the aisles checking out the strange array of items and deciding our preference on tinned sweetcorn, whether we thought we were whole kernal kind of guys or if we would enjoy...

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Police: Freshman had 5 guns in dorm

What was billed to us international students as: “The International House at Maxcy College is an on-campus residential community designed to bring American students and international students together in a unique living arrangement” Making front page on the first day… #nogunslikedavidsguns Originally from ‘A Brits Eye View of South Carolina‘:...

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Colin, The Saddest Man in SC

The bald man that stood alone at the bar, moist eyes flicking desperately from group to group, had little to no idea that within the hour he would be the most popular man in the thirty yard radius. This was Colin, the saddest man in South Carolina. Introducing yourself to...

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Digger and the Mormon

 First impressions are always key, and the limp, wet kipper handshakes that Digger’s roommates gave us were far from promising. The fact that one of their desks was adorned with a gold framed photo of a wounded, half dead jesus and they looked at us with those creamy, virgin faces...

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Watching the Premiership – 28th February 2010

‘When two elephants meet, it is only the grass that suffers.’ Last week I wrote about the big game of Primary 5&6 verses Primary 7. As it happens, though it was undoubtedly overshadowed by this preceding spectacle, there was another big football match that day between Arsenal and Liverpool. Due...

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A Local Derby in Wairaka – 25th February 2010

Basic machinery, in fact not at all basic, no doubt the result of a forward thinker and years of hard work and refinement, yet so taken for granted now that it seems basic. What were we before it? If I was to ask how to keep meat fresh, naturally you...

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Kits from Rockslane – 20th February 2010

The kits are also part of the gift from Rocks Lane. We have 10 white jerseys for the older kids and 8 blue jerseys for the younger ones which I am yet to reveal. I brought the kits to the game last Friday and the reaction was more wide eyed...

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Football – 16th February 2010

What is a football? When we say it an immediate image I’m sure comes to mind but what defines a football? If we break it down then for it to be a ball all it needs to be is spherical. We would say that it would have to be made...

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First Impressions of the School – 10th February 2010

Wanyange Primary School consists of four long buildings built in a rectangle. The walls of these buildings were once charmingly painted a baby blue to waist height and to the ceiling a creamy yellow. Now though every wall is a shade of red brown, the same inescapably African red brown...