Friends

Back in blog

So, not as soon after the last posting as I would have liked but it’s better that the year or so break I took, right?

In true blogtacular tradition of days gone by, I’m writing this on a train coming back from an outing with someone(s) awesome(s?). I was over in Manchester visiting Sarah and Martin. Various circumstances have conspired to ensure that this is the first time we’ve met up since before Xmas. As a result, there was the inevitable exchange of gifts, which is often a cause for anxiety for me… I’m never sure that I’ve bought someone the right thing and there’s always the dread of your gift being totally outshone by the gift that has been got for you, showing you up as totally not understanding the other person as well as they do you.

In the end all was well; I was hella-happy with what I got. There’s a guitar tab book filled with the greatest hits of guitar hero. Finally I’ll be able to look down on people who love the game and say “play a real guitar” and show them how. Surely learning the whole book of songs won’t take me long. The other thing is a weird tower building game where you have to pile up hedgehogs.

read more »

Family Personal

More Pics

More pics added to my ever-growing collection;

I’ve got some from Kit’s birthday. We made a Toblerone and Malteaser cheesecake to celebrate. It was very tasty indeed.


Kit’s Birthday


There are some more that show you how to make a Chinese-style curry sauce and my recreation of chicken katsu curry that you get from Wagamama.

Curry Sauce

Personal Travel

Update

So according to Kit, there are people who look at this and have noticed that it’s been a long time since I’ve added anything. I haven’t really got much to say at the moment, even though it’s been a year and a half. Maybe this will kick start me in to posting a bit more often from now on.

I have however got a bunch of pics added to my picasaweb from the past several months, including some from my recent trip to India:


From India Sight Seeing 2008


More from me coming soon…. I hope.

Unless my laziness kicks in again.

Random

Okonomiyaki

Made some okonomiyaki for dinner last night – for the past week or so actually – and thought I’d share the joy of it with the world. This is an imitation of the “London mix” available from Abeno in London. Contains bacon, cheese and salmon. Toppings are okonomiyaki sauce, japanese mayonnaise and aonori (powdered seaweed) all purchased from the awesome Japan centre on Piccadilly.

Okonomiyaki

I used the recipe here as a guide:

http://www.japan-guide.com/r/e100.html

but roughly halved the amounts of everything to make it a sensible size for on person. Much easier to flip as well, I’d imagine.

I wonder how many nights I’ll have to eat this in a row before I get sick of it? Planning on adding mushrooms to the fray tonight…. how exciting.

Family Friends Games Work

Blog Catchup… Again

Oookay, it’s been a while since the last blogtacular update but I have been kind of busy.

I managed to get all of my moving stuff sorted out and I am now (happily?) settling in at Leeds – both the city and the University. It’s kind of weird living by myself, but my flat is so hella-awesome that it makes up for it.

Quite a few things have happened over the past couple of months, some of them with pics (and videos) to go with them.

There was a SingStar extravaganza at Irina’s place before I left Manchester for good:


SingStar Party


read more »

Random

The Sound of Your Voice

Okay, this is just too cool.

One of my favourit bands, Barenaked Ladies, has made their latest music video using submissions from various YouTube “celebrities” and have posted online for everyone to watch. They even encourage people to host the video on their sites. So I will.

One of my favourite songs off their latest album actually.

Technical

Shiv Kaushal

I am now officially me…. virtually anyway. Feeling bored at 2am, I decided that what I needed in life was my very own domain name. Hence I now have http://www.shivkaushal.co.uk

The trick is to try and get Google to take the bait and start ranking that URL high up in searches for Shiv Kaushal. Hopefully this post , with its subtle use of links, will start the ball rolling!

Anyway, I need sleep!

Family Friends Games Work

Blog Catchup

I think the chances of me actually catching up with past events in proper detail so I’ll just make a short (ish) summary of events from the new year post ’til now so I can get to the good bit. Almost everyone I know already knows it though. Makes it seem kind of pointless in a way…..

Anyway! After the awesome new year celebrations, I was up working with Steve doing my usual server configuration and other bits and pieces. One of the schools was to have a new IT room with the usual complement of 30 PCs and one projector/smart board combination, but the electricians were unable to finish on time, so we were left with not much to do there and had to leave it until a later date. Following that, there was a visit from Martin (alone, initially) and eventually Sarah as well. Always good to spend time with them, even if we did seem to spend a rather large amount of time walking around… We were showing Wolfgang, one of Sarah’s friends, the delights of Manchester. Among these was a space invader that Sarah hadn’t managed to get a good picture of in the past. I had my trusty new phone to hand to catch the moment, and here is the invader in all his (?) glory:


After saying my (internally) tearful goodbyes to Sarah, Martin and Wolfgang and getting absolutely DRENCHED….. TWICE…. I found myself in Blackpool for Kirtika (aka Kitu) birthday celebration as well as a celebration of Lodi. Lots of nice food was on hand and I ended up staying for a couple of days to help out with homework etc. I found myself re-living the experience of teaching Anu fractions, decimals and percentages all those years ago. It was kind of enjoyable but also a bit trying – it’s probably the first time I have made Kitu (and Piku) sit and study and have to fend off their attempts at wriggling out of it. In all honesty, they probably took a lot longer to do the work than they should have and there was far to much giggling (from them) for it a proper study session like the ones I was subjected to. Anyway, I think that they still like me and that they actually learned something new. Not only that, I think that they, Kitu at the very least, were HAPPY that they had learned how to do these things. I felt really very good about myself for a change :) I also got to spend some time around their new (ish) baby brother, Krish. He still cried whenever I went near him, but at least the amount of time it took to happen seemed to be getting longer! There are some pics from the Blackpool happenings here:


I would have stayed longer, but I had to get back to Manchester to get a job application in on time. A few days after that, I got an email saying that I would have an interview (at Leeds university) in just under a weeks time. In the mean time, I had to put that out of my mind since I was preparing for a visit from AK followed by a fancy dress SingStar party at her place…. Oh yes. So I managed to get hold of some slightly tattered blue jeans, a white t-shirt, a leather jacket and some HUUUUGE and hideous sunglasses to go as George Michael. I didn’t manage to get hold of any crucifix ear rings, but I went without shaving for a good few days before the event to make up for it. The party itself was good – SingStar is never bad – there was even sushi to be had…. how cool is that? I managed to pollute/corrupt/subvert many of the people there with White Russian, which was kind of funny. I don’t have any pictures of the party – I was too busy singing to be all trigger happy with my phone – but I will try and get hold of some and get them online.

A couple of days later (23rd of Jan) I was on my way to Leeds for my interview. Not only was this interesting because of the possibility of getting a “real” job, but also because I would be hopefully meeting up with Mitch. Anyway, the interview went quite well… a few tricky questions, but that was to be expected really, but on the whole I felt reasonably happy with the way it had gone. It was a bit odd having lunch with the other people applying for the job, but it was certainly an interesting experience. Anyway… after around 5 hours and 2/3 interviews I was free to relax with Mitch. While we were in the student’s union playing pool (me not sticking out in my suit at all), I got a call offering me the job! So I am now officialy going to Leeds to become “Grid Support Officer” for the NGS service and White Rose Grid. Exciting and kind of scary all at the same time. In case you are wondering exactly what that will entail, you can get a look at the job description here.

Now, I’m in the process of trying to sort out all of the details of moving (bills, new place to stay etc.) and to finish off my thesis. Neither is happening at a rate that is to my satisfaction. Possibly the only plus side to all of this is that it has made me actually start organising my in a more efficient way – I’m using Google Calendar to map out when things should be happening in order to make sure I get as moved as possible to Leeds before I start on the 1st of March. They wanted me to start on the 1st of Feb, but that was just not enough time for me to get myself sorted out…. The extra month might not be enough either! The weeks since finding out and the coming weeks seemed to have filled themselves with events and house hunting stuff to such an extent that the thesis is taking more of a back seat than I would have liked. Although it’s all very stressful, it is exciting. Getting it all down in blog form makes it all seem a bit more… something, not sure what.

At least I’m mostly caught up now. :)

Uncategorized

Happy New Year!

Happy new year!!!!

I know, I know… it’s more than a little bit late, even more so than my Xmas blog. I have been busy with various bits and pieces around the country, I’ll get to in a bit. First though, I am basically going to go on and on about how awesome the Nintendo Wii is.

I was in Blackpool for new year, where the main room of fun had not only a very well stocked bar (lots of white russians for me – yay!) but TWO tellies. One of them was hooked up almost permanently to my PS2 and all of its SingStar goodness and the other was arranged for Vijay’s newly purchased Nintendo Wii. At one point, I was actually playing SingStar and Wii Tennis at the same time, which was a lot harder than I was expecting. The whole Wii experience (Wii Sports, Monkey Ball and Wii Play) was great. Within each game there were bits that didn’t work too well (like the unpredictable golf swings) but the stuff that worked worked amazingly well. Wii Tennis seemed to be one of the most enjoyable games, especially for 4 player hilarity. For some reason, even though you can play the game sitting down everyone would end up standing for it.

Despite the Internet (capital ‘I’, you’ll notice) being full of reports of Wii remotes flying through the air and causing damage to tellies, windows, furniture and people there was none of that apart from when we were a bit cramped and Palu swung his hand into a chair. The point is that not once did any of us drunken, excitable and generally wreckless people manage to even let go of the controllers mid swing, let alone send it flying through the air fast enough to get it lodged in someone’s brain.

Although the Wii experience was Wii-ly, Wii-ly good the whole of new year was made great by the people I was with. Nearly all of my cousins from my Dad’s side that live in England were there and it’s the first time we have all got together without any of the “old folk” around to get in the way and explain to us what they think a good time is. As well as that, there were the star attractions of Blackpool, Kitu and Piku. The whole thing was so much fun and even though we all had free reign and seemingly limitless supplies of alcohol, nobody got wasted and nobody did anything stupid. Probably most amazing was the fact that nothing got broken.

Hopefully this is the beginning of a tradition of sorts where we will all try and get together somewhere or other once a year at the very least. I can’t wait until the day comes where I get to try and organise such a gig… I have been learning how to cook some interesting new things and think I could even handle the vegetarian requirements and make some tasty bits and pieces. If not, I am sure that I’ll get by just making food for myself.

There aren’t any pictures I am going to make publicly available from new year. For some reason (and through persons unknown) all the pictures on my phone from new year are of people sleeping – and I didn’t take any of them. Anyway, such pictures are not usually very flattering so it’s wouldn’t be nice to post them without everyone’s permission. I do have some other snaps that I can put up, but I need to catch up with all the stuff I have missed out on posting so far.

I am sure that my millions of readers are holding their breath in anticipation of my amazing pictures and tales of adventure and intrigue…..

Uncategorized

Belated Christmas Blog

Yay! Christmas came, the geese got fat and I did, in fact, put a penny in an old man’s hat – he was playing some rocking tunes in an underground station.

Sooooooo… I have had a very eventful few weeks, much like everyone else I would imagine. There was the dreaded group meeting, where everyone in the particle physics group stands up for 5 minutes and talks about (i.e. justifies) their existence in the group for the past year. On the evening of the first meeting day (with free lunch – woo hoo!) there was the group xmas dinner. I managed to convince people that going to Revolution (a vodka bar, for the deprived people who don’t know) before the meal itself, and the night got off to a great start. The dinner was at Cafe Istanbul and was awesome. After the meal, we ended up in a club called Mojo. To be honest, it probably wouldn’t have mattered where we ended up – we would still have had an amazing night out. There are, of course, many pictures to be had of the evening, some of which can be found here:

The next day was a bit horrible, not only because of my horrendous headache when I woke up, but also because I had to give my presentation that day. Like most presentation situations, I got overly nervous about it and felt like I messed it up a bit. Even though it was a group of people I know pretty well, it was still an awful experience. The lameness experienced there was very quickly replaced by the awesomeness of having Daniel and Sabrina over for dinner. So quickly that I was only left with 30 minutes to cook up a storm after getting home from the meeting. They didn’t seem to notice it was rushed and even complimented me on my daal. “This daal is fantastic!” Not bad for a boy – not as good as mum makes, but still.

The day after that, I was on my way to London for the xmas period. The whole experience was made all the sweeter by the fact that I knew that the new Zelda game, Twilight Princess, was waiting for me. As if that wasn’t awesome enough (which it was) me and Aradhna managed to cook up a Christmas dinner of sorts which was truly fantabulous. It can be viewed in all its collaged glory by clicking the following thumbnail:

After the “big day” had come and gone, I went out for food, food and food with Sarah (best. day. ever.) including a trip to the Japan Centre, which has a whole floor that sells food and fish we managed to avoid seeing. Looks like we might have to go there again… It’s a tough life. The sushi there was excellent, if a little pricey. I think that Ikkyusan is probably better value overall.

Other than that, I managed to get a much needed new coat. Me and Anu braved the January sales and went hunting and managed to come back with a kill that managed to satisfy me, my sister (she “wouldn’t be embarrassed to be seen with me in it”) and even my mother. Wowza indeed.

After that, it was back up to Manchester to prepare for the trip to Blackpool for New year celebrations….. more on that later. For now I need sleep!