Sunday, 29 July 2012

The Toothbrush Dilemma

I've reached that stage in life where the slightest of changes in my everyday living means a lot. I have stumbled upon such a moment recently, and I reckon it could be a game-changer.

I've started using an electric toothbrush, a distinct move away from my previous usage of the bog-standard, manual Colgate variety that used to clean my teeth in strict, regimented but excellent fashion. 

"Why did you make such a daring change if you were so happy with your old-fashioned device?" 

Well, I was shopping with my Mum in Waitrose a few months ago and I noticed a Spiderman toothbrush. It was electric. It was new. It was exciting. Best of all, it was cheap. As my old toothbrush was dying a slow and painful death, a new one was required. So my Mum gladly brought me this childish toothbrush, much to my giddy excitement.
When we returned home, I noticed that I had a few spare toothbrushes and seeing as Spidey needed some batteries, I decided to put it away and let it hold tight until its long-awaited teeth cleaning debut. 

A couple of days ago, my Mum took Spidey out of the cupboard as she noticed that the bristles on my toothbrush were wearing out. I opened the packet and tried to open the compartment where the batteries go, yet it was quite the struggle. I observed the back of the packet and to my surprise and idiocy, I noticed that it didn't need batteries. 

After overcoming this difficulty, I put the recommended pea-sized portion of toothpaste onto the head, not my head, and pushed the 'On' button. I let the electric head do its work and clean my teeth to the best of its ability. 

Spidey has done a good job so far, but I can't help but keep thinking that it will break. I also find that Spidey is doing as admirable a job as a regular toothbrush could, but Spidey is much cooler. I honestly don't know what my next toothbrush will be, and that excites and scares me in equal measures. 

As I said, this truly is a game-changing dilemma in my life. 

Follow me on Twitter @Alex_Harris1991

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

The Gym

One of my passions in life is sport. Now, I've always been into sport, I used to play football all the time, I competed in athletics for my school and I've tried my hand at tennis. Hell, I've even played ultimate frisbee.

However, I've always had a slight fear of the gym and that is the main reason why I've never really gone to the gym on a regular basis. 

You get two types of the people in the gym. You have the, how to put this, slightly rotund people who are looking to lose weight and then you have the meatheads who dominate the weights section. 

I don't fit into either of these groups. I'm pretty skinny but I'm also fairly healthy and fit. So I go to the gym simply to put on weight and to gain some muscle. Sadly that means that I would have to train with these meatheads, but these people seem to be lacking in the gym that I attend. 

You see, I go to The Gym. It is literally called The Gym. 

"Witty!" You remark upon hearing this ingenious name. 

I quite like it though and it means that I can actually say "I am going to the The Gym!" like a proud, gym-going bunny. 

I've been going to the gym now for three weeks and I seem to be making progress as I'm lifting heavier, I'm feeling stronger and best of all I've realised that it's a fun hobby. 

If you are reading this now, go to your local gym as I'm sure you'll have a good time. 

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

The Cider Festival Challenge

I write this blog post with slight trepidation. You see, I fear that you will maybe read this and thus consider me an alcoholic. However, that is a tag that I would happily dispute as I know myself that I don't wake up craving a drink. It hasn't quite reached that level yet.

Now, I love cider. It is my favourite alcoholic drink and nothing beats a nice pint of cider on a hot summer day. Sadly, we've been lacking those hot summer days in the United Kingdom of late but I've still be drinking cider.

Why? Well, unless you live under a rock then you might just know that Wetherspoons has a cider festival on at all its pubs.
On the first day of the festival, I headed down to my local Wetherspoons pub with a few friends and fellow cider drinkers to sup on fine apple based alcoholic liquid. Upon arrival, I picked up the leaflet with the range of ciders on sale during the 18 day festival.

During the 18 days, there will be 16 different ciders on sale. After reading the leaflet, a challenge, an idea, a dream formed in my head.

I announced to my friends, "We should try to get through all 16 ciders before the festival finishes!" My idea wasn't quite met with the enthusiastic response I was hoping for but my friends were game.

It is now a week in to the festival and so far I have had around half of the ciders. I started off with the berry based ciders and they were surprisingly delicious despite my friends mocking me for starting off with the weakest and fruitiest ones. I have discovered that the Sheppy's cider on tap has proved the most delicious yet the Devon Ginger cider was sadly a massive disappointment.

I will keep you informed of my progress. Wish me luck!

Follow me on Twitter @Alex_Harris1991

Monday, 9 July 2012

The Graduation

One of the biggest life milestones is arguably your graduation from university. Last week, I hit this very milestone.

It was a very melancholic day, however. It was the last time that I will really ever visit Reading, it was arguably the last time that I would see a few people whilst for my best friends that I have made from university, this represented the end of an era.

If I am being honest, I was pretty anxious about the day. This covered four reasons. One, I didn't know what to expect. Two, I didn't want to be the idiot who fell over when receiving their certificate. Three, I didn't quite like the fact that this represented the death-knell being sounded on my university experience. Four, I didn't want to look like an idiot in the robes.

However, it was a fantastic day. The sun was shining, I enjoyed putting on the fancy robes that I was given, it was great to see friends, teachers and families whilst it was just a proud moment for my parent's to see me graduate.

Oh, and I didn't fall over which was a relief.

Monday, 2 July 2012

The Writing Rant

Hello blog friends.

I am sad to report some bad news that I've just received via the brilliant medium of electronic mail. I've been unsuccessful in my quest to win this years The Sun Column Idol competition. Naturally I am disappointed that I was rejected but in a field of thousands of writers, it was understandable.

Whilst trawling through my e-mails, I also enjoy surfing the internet.

I opened up Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and the two forums that I frequent. This time though my little surf opened my eyes to something that I have always considered yet batted away.

I hate people who write in a pretentious way using complex sentence structures and words that have clearly been discovered through extensive use of a thesaurus. When reading what these people write, it is a struggle and it drains from the entertainment factor that should occur through reading.

I enjoy the story and the simplicity behind the story. That is why my two favourite authors are Danny Wallace and Bret Easton Ellis. They tell fantastic stories and through simple, fun language and styles.

The one golden rule that I now have for my writing which I have developed since starting this blog, undertaking the final year of my degree and now undertaking a journalism postgraduate course is that I should keep my writing as simple as possible and to tell the story in a way which the median/mean/mode reader will enjoy.

The story should be told, it shouldn't be diluted and forced.

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