Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Ghosts & Ghouls.

It's that time of year once again, Halloween u...
Halloween ushers in the best holiday of the Holiday season! Taken at La Mesa Oktoberfest in 2007 . (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
What with Halloween coming up, ghost & ghouls, witches & wizards and other such scaring beings seem to be everywhere, and quite sadly, along with everyone else I know I'll land up buying into it too....

Me and the flatmates already seem to have our Halloween night plan sorted - most impressively, that the main event isn't going to be alcohol - a night in with cr*ppy Halloween style food and tons of horrific horror movies - any suggestions? But the most important we are definitely carving a family of pumpkins. (Hopefully no one manages to slice themselves because I don't want to be visiting the minor injury unit. Again.)

In all honesty, we're all a tiny bit too broke (most of us anyway - the odd one seems to be able to afford to go out 5 times this week!)  to be able to afford the ticket for the big night out, as well as the costume. AND I had such a good costume planned this year :(


Jack-o-lantern
Jack-o-lantern (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
But Halloween is definitely the perfect time of the year for ghost stories, folk lore and urban legends (which incidently isn't a bad film...) and my flatmates definitely love their chance to scare each other silly...

More often than not, once they get started, they scare each other silly and make it impossible to stop. This was only made worse by the fact we were convinced that our halls last year were haunted. There was unexplainable noises as well as shadows that appeared to move. Not cool when you were alone in the flat.

And we don't let this change a thing. We just carry on scaring each other. and I know that Thursday night will be no different....



In slightly not connected news, see my take on students & technology just here!




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Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Organisation.

English: Department of Business Management, Un...
University of Calcutta;Department of Business Management  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I'm one of those people who likes to pretend I'm organised - The truth is, I'm organised for a week or so, then I let it slide... (but lets not tell the BF that.... I tell him I'm always organised with my deadlines and diary!)  so when it was pointed out that we were supposed to have begun applying for our placements next year (Or as the University like to call it, 'The year in Industry', making it sound so much posh-er) I had one thought...

Placements. Sh*t.

Placement Deadlines Rapidly Approaching. Double Sh*t.

I've never missed a deadline for assignments since being at university because to be honest, I refuse to be docked marks due to being late. And if I have to work through the night to get it done, then I will. (Besides, this normally means that I have a McDonalds breakfast when it opens as motivation!)


I know I need to get organised, but in all honesty I'm not sure quite what position I want to have, or where I want to be in 30 years (except for a good career, being married to the man of my dreams & potentially with kids) and that's what makes applying most difficult.


Business & Finance placements all have a lot of competition, and so it will take work to get where I want to be.I'd love to work in an international known company but I distinctly lack contacts to get into these bigger companies and I know that this is one of my biggest weaknesses. But I am determined not to let this defeat me.

University is my springboard into the business world. And with the amount I am paying means I will use it as much as I can to achieve my goals.
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Monday, 28 October 2013

Ramblings of another

@MrAlexWard & Me before a night out...
At university, the most important skill you must have is the ability to balance your time effectively. Getting the right amount of time to schedule your morning nap, and then your afternoon lie down is an important talent to get right.

In all seriousness, the skill of balancing your academic work with life in general still makes the laziness inside of me weep. As you might've gathered, today this is not the Ginger haired writer whom you all usually log onto your variety of devices to read the amorous ramblings. My name is Alex Ward, I just happen to live with Miss Drury. We happen to share the second floor of this lovely house we call home, my room is obviously the best in the house with all the posters of Charles Chaplin and whatnot.

As I write this, Portsmouth as well as the rest of the United Kingdom is about to hit by the biggest storm in a generation. The previous being the famous 'hurricane' of 1987, which was famously denied by BBC weather reporters the day before as a false report and chaos ensued. I asked my father about it, in relation to the reports for this oncoming storm to which I got the reply "I don't know, I slept through it". Story of my life, that. 

University is meant to be a passage into adult life through rigorous studying and academia, however you could argue more time is spent considering what you are going to have for dinner than amount of concentration given in lectures. I however, actually enjoy what I study. I do politics, and I mean that in more ways than one. I do politics here at the University, and as well as in general life. I am a member of the conservative party here, and I help run the Conservative Future branch at Portsmouth Uni as well as helping the LGBT Society. Yes, I admit all this is a lot of extra work on top of my academic nonsense but its all optional. When it comes to essay writing, my inspiration in life sums it up perfectly; 
 
“An original idea. That can't be too hard. The library must be full of them.” Stephen Fry
 
to start an essay is possibly the single most painful experience on earth, not even childbirth can compare to the pain a politics student feels when sitting alone at a computer at half 3 in the morning not having a clue on how to start a sodding essay. But, why can't I sit down at reasonable hours in the day and do work? To do it early, get the panic and creative juices flowing at noon is impossible for me. My time is spent deciding what to have for dinner, how many hours I'll have sleep if I fall asleep at that exact moment. 

This blog post today is entirely irrelevant in nature to the nature of this blog, and in all honest the motivation to write this has been somewhat lacking. Another plan with good intentions, completed the night before the deadline. You were all meant to be reading this masterpiece last Monday, but due to an accident at work I was ill in bed after hitting my head at work, to which led to many days with Migraines and a trip to the Minor Injury unit at Fratton with Kat.  (We had such a lovely taxi driver...)

Well, I have hit the wall with this little morsel of wordage. Yes, that is a word. I hope you have enjoyed this guest post by myself, and yes you can request to Kat to never allow me to write on this blog again. Banish me into the Internet wilderness and never to be heard of again, unless you follow me on twitter. In that case, your loss.

Kind Regards,
Alex Ward

Twitter - @MrAlexWard
Instagram - MrAlexWard
mralexward.tumblr.com 

Thursday, 24 October 2013

A thousand words....

photo.JPG

Today's Post is less about the word I have to say but more about this pictures - because as they say, A pictures says a thousand words.

Last night we went to watch the sunset - by we, I mean my and the BF seeing as we're hopeless romantics and it was a seriously sweet thing to do - and it was beautiful...

It made me think and happened to remind me; that there are things out there that we take for granted, much like the beauty of the sunset and that we, as people, worry to much about the little things.

So todays picture is there to remind me (and anyone else who agrees) not to sweat the small stuff....




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Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Posters & Presentations

Last week, I was set a piece of work where I had to complete a poster presentation on the job I wanted to do when I leave University. Most people who know me know I have no idea what I want to do when I leave university so it was only natural that my first thought was; 'oh f*ck'. I have 2 and half years at least until I get to the point when I have to grow up and get into the big wide world....

I figured I'd use a tried and tested method of picking a job - choosing the first on the list - which was all well and good until I realised that the first job was a 'Human Resources Officer'. Not exactly the most glamorous job in the world.

It's taken me a few days to even motivate myself to start the work - that's one of my weaknesses - and I have finally finished! It's taken countless chocolates, threats of violence from the BF, and a hell of a lot of fizzy drink...

Now we just have to hope that I don't get too nervous on the day and that I can ace this Presentation.
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Monday, 21 October 2013

I'm spoilt by my flatmates...

English: The main reading romm of Graz Univers...
English: The main reading romm of Graz University . Picture taken and uploaded by Dr. Marcus Gossler. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) I'd be more inclined to go if it looked like this!
Last week was one of those hectic weeks where I didn't get the chance to sit down and just breathe - there was deadlines, group presentations, a trip to the Minor Injury Unit (Not for me!) and then work at the weekend....

I always try to be one of those people who try to be organised and make sure that all of my work hits the submission deadlines. I may not be the model student when you look at me going to lectures - but I am getting better this year! - but I do make sure that I'm never late with work, even if it means I have to work through the night to get it done...

I have an upcoming deadline for a group presentation where I have to stand in front of a group of 20 and present which is something that I'm definitely not good at - I get unbelievably nervous! - and so Thursday night my group decided that we were going to meet in the library, which I normally avoid, and get the work done in one go. Only issue is the flatmates decided they were going to McDonalds when my meeting was scheduled...

Small internal dilemma: Go to my group meeting like I know I should. or Go to McDonalds and feed my absolutely starving stomach.

My sense of morals won and off I trekked to the library for what landed up being a two hour session about how boards of directors are made up how this affects the way that companies make profits - not the most interesting topic of all time I must admit....

Work done, I headed home figuring I deserved a takeaway for all that hard work..... But when I got in, I found a McDonalds meal for my dinner with the Salad taken out because they know that anything green/leafy I'm not going to eat...

My day was made, and quite sadly, that made my week.

Definitely love my flatmates!
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Thursday, 17 October 2013

#TBT - My first night at univeristy.

Well its Throwback Thursday and I figured today we'd go back in time and visit the day that I first moved out of home and into my student house.

It's safe to say I was terrified and was more bothered about leaving that my parents - I'm one of those people that doesn't deal well with change. Besides I guess my parents knew that I'd be back at the weekend for work and that they hadn't quite managed to get to get rid of me just yet. (They still haven't to be fair...)

I packed up the car, complete with every single member of the family that wanted to come say goodbye - that was pretty much everyone unfortunately - and we hit the road... There's me a jumble of nerves - I'm one of those people who gets incredibly nervous when I meet new people...

We arrived and mum and dad basically abandoned me with all my stuff and told me that if I needed them they had an hour response time and that they'd definitely want  cup of coffee.... It was the hour thing that worried me.....

Spent the day mooching about and trying to get my bearings in the new place... slowly I got used to it all. And then I heard my flatmates come home and it took me right back to square one.

They all still laugh that the first time they met me.  I shook so hard that the water slopped out of the mug that I was holding... very very embarrassing.

Looking at back it's laughable but at the time it was horrific.

Now, they can't get me to shut up. I'm loud, annoying and totally run the house with a steel fist...
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Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Can you see me?

Optician's window display
Optician's window display (Photo credit: Marvin (PA))
I've been getting these headaches in the evenings when I've done a fair bit of blogging/working/'social networking'/catching up on TV and so I figured it may be time to visit the optician and see whether or not I needed glasses - I really don't want headaches every time I have a list of things as long as my arm that needs doing!

Thought today would be as good-er (great English there, I know...) day as ever to get it sorted after my lectures. This morning I woke up to hear the rain hammering down at the window and reckoned the walk to the lecture was going to be pretty dire - which incidentally it was. Had the lecture from hell (It wasn't quite that bad but it was far far far too early in the morning...) and then went on to the lovely people at the local opticians who proceeded to give me an appointment for a few hours late.

Cue a lovely lunch out and a good excuse to at least window shop - It actually became me hunting for one of the travel bowls for cereal (If you know what I mean and where definitely does them, I'd be grateful for the direction....), me and the BF pratting about in Wilkinson's, much to the un-amusement of the staff and the BF's long suffering mother (It was all his fault FMIL!) and me trying to work out Christmas presents for 'the kids'. Which an old lady overheard and proceeded to tell me I'd probably get everything for my kids and spoil them. I don't even have kids!

Optician appointment comes and I sit down with the BF to fill in my details with the glasses-man.

"Are you a Mrs..?" Insert me giving him a look "..or a Miss?"

Apparently I now look like I'm married with kids. I'm a 19 year old student! To be fair the guy did look all embarrassed when we set him straight, but still...

All in all, I've been told I don't need the glasses - thank god, I can't afford them! - I just need to a. do less work on the computer. or b. take more breaks from reading off a screen. (Win/Win either way if you ask me!
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Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Blog Your Heart Out

First up, a huge thank you to Emma (from http://dessertsanddecoupage.co.uk/) for thinking that my blog is worth getting people to look at. As a new (fairly new anyway) blogger it's always nice to know that people out there actually read your posts and its even better when people leave comments (hint, hint!)

Thank you for all of my flatmates for putting up with me talking about blogging non-stop and for waking them up early when I have a particular idea to use them as a sounding board - I'll try let you guys lie in undisturbed a little more.

Thank you to so many more people (some of whom I mention below) you know who you are!

So with out further ado, onto the Blog Your Heart Out award

Blog Your Heart Out Logo
The rules are simple - You answer the following 5 questions then nominate 5 other blogger you think get too little attention....

What/ who encouraged you to start blogging?
A rather lazy day with the bf discussing ways to keep my mind active over the summer gave me the idea of beginning of blog. Huge amounts of support from the FMIL made the idea more concrete - she even helped me get all the little gadgets on my page - Thank you!

How did you choose what topic(s) to blog about?
Seeing as all I do in life is work and go to university, I figured I'd write about the subject that a fair few people can relate to... working through university. There's lots of students out there and I hope that somehow reading my blog will make their life a little bit easier if they struggle... (Big aspirations there then!)

What is something that most people don’t know about you?
Can kind of speak French and Spanish - well enough to chat up waiters (sorry BF) and order drinks, definitely the important things in life...

What 3 words describe your style?
Slightly, mad ramblings....

What do you like to do when your not blogging?
Read, Sleep (lots and lots) and spend time with all my loved ones :P

Below are my 5 nominations for the award. (Drumroll please!)
Alys & Meg over at http://ratatouillefood.wordpress.com/
Jessica over at http://www.mymentalhell.blogspot.co.uk/
Afra over at http://www.madmumof7.com/
Miss M over at http://mebookshelfandi.co.uk/
Karen over at http://themadhouseofcatsandbabies.com/

Thankyou everyone.

Follow me on bloglovin' http://www.bloglovin.com/blog/10320883 or tweet me on twitter @drurykat :)


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Friday, 11 October 2013

Student Lock-in

Student loans are the most amount of money that a person of 18/19 will have probably ever received in one chunk in their life (Well I'm assuming so, I certainly was never lucky enough to randomly be handed that sort of money....) and it's safe to say that in the first year, students tend to go a little wild about how they spend it - I'm talking huge speaker systems, games consoles and a whole new wardrobe being some of the ways I've seen them be spent...

I am continually scrimping and saving in any way possible and that's not just because I'm a student. The older I get the more there seems to be paid; rent & bills, food, my car (my pride and joy! Will not have a repeat of what happened to the last one... read about that here), and more generally student-y type stuff, like paper, pens and the occasional drink - which it really is, I'm getting far too middle-aged for the hangover I get when I drink the smallest drink...

Last night, I was in town having a window-shop when we realised it was the Student Lock-in and tons of the big names were selling their stock with huge discounts for anyone registered as a student. Brilliant!

Safe to say I've definitely started my Christmas shopping because of this! Might as well buy it now than wait for a month and have to pay way more.... and we got freebies, even better! I'm now the proud owner of more facemasks than you can shake a stick at and a handmade sea salt bath bomb from lush - which I managed to make all by myself! (That's Sunday night's relaxation after work sorted!) and some discount-y type stuff from Blue Inc.

Have a good weekend Bloggers :)



Thursday, 10 October 2013

21 - Vegas Baby.

Well, finally I can actually write about all the planning I've done in the last few weeks without the risk of certain people actually reading my blog and coming across what I have been claiming as 'classified information'.

We had our first 21st Birthday with our group of 11 and so to me, it meant big celebrations.

This particular flatmate has always wanted to go to Vegas and being on such tight budgets (I'd love to have shipped the lot of them away for the weekend in SinCity) I figured we'd do the next best thing and bring Vegas to them.... in the form of a house party.

Birthday girl leaves for a dinner at LochFyne - Went for date night with the other half and it was amazing! Read about it here - and the madness begins, blowing up balloons, dressing the room and generally getting ourselves all dressed up. Because of course, Vegas means shirts, ties and cocktails dresses - or at least some variation.











Presents on the table - It's so hard to come up with ideas for 21st birthday presents.... so we landed up choosing 21 little presents and boxing them together. Well the 21, and a ukulele. Which I think could get very old very quickly... - and casino all equipped with chips (see above) all we had to do was wait for the birthday girl to come home. And we waited. And we waited. (Us British, we're good at waiting, that and queuing)

She was greeted at the door by a fellow housemate dressed as a waiter with a glass of fizz (Always important for the Vegas thing!) and voila! the party could begin.

Very good night, all in all. And miraculously this morning I wasn't met by people passed out in the hallway, drink spilt everywhere and a messy kitchen, which is what I figured it'd be...


Birthday Cakes for the Birthday Girl -
The icing on the cake.... ;)








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Tuesday, 8 October 2013

The stupid side of Uni.

The combination of drinking, late nights and peer pressure tends to lead to stupid things being done - much to the amusement of everyone in else who just watch on and encourages the stupid-ness. It's the sort of thing that you look back on in the years to come.

Below are the best bits from our year to date....

1. Playing cricket in the hallway - I confess, this was one of those late night escapade, involving a rolling pin as a bat and a rubber egg as the ball. Good game especially when one of the boys got caught between the legs full pelt (insert evil laugh here!). All in all a very very funny night.

2. The falling off fthe podium incident - Now this sounds like something that comes with a night where there was a lot of alcohol, but I can assure you there wasn't that much... Picture the scene. Busy club, large group enter club and spy the podium on the far side of the dancefloor. After a fair amount of dancing/pushing/grooving (delete as appropriate) the group have managed to commandeer the podium.  Girl from group decides that she needs a drink and sits down on the side of the podium for what she hopes is a sparkling dismount and only realises it isn't when her feet hit the floor and slide out from underneath her. She lands up sprawled out. Apparently the floor was further away on one side of the podium. Whoops! Very big bruises like this take forever to disappear.

3.The story of the student that threw up (Weak stomachs, stop reading here...) - Although not everyone I hangout with is gay (who incidentally are fabulousss) the lure of the gaybar is often to much for the poor students as they offer drinks for £1.50. On one particular night, one flatmate (who I won't name but seems rather proud of this story) was putting on her pj's after a heavy night when she 'had the overwhelming urge to be sick'. She found herself faced with two options; option one being sick in her bedroom, option 2 being run partially naked to the toilet and hope she didn't get caught. Deciding that option 2 was the better idea, she shot out of the room, stumbled down the corridor, the tripped over the threshold of the bathroom and hit head on the hard ceramic toilet. Flatmates found her hunched over the toilet, a*se hanging out throwing up her guts. Classy. And the pounding headache the next day reminded her what had happened.

4.Various food fights. - Now that we don't have parents to make sure that we behave all of the time, the best way to solve disputes is by throwing things. The list includes; Chips, pots & pans, plastic utensils, BBQ sauce, shampoo, foot spray, fake tan and condoms full of water. Looking back its a minor miracle that we managed to keep the flat clean enough to pass the health and hygiene checks and not lose our deposit....

And to round us off....

5. Dressing up for nights out - The best nights are generally themed (although we have pretty good night out - read about that here) and when we all get involved this is when the memories are made. Below is a photo of everyone at an 'actionman vs barbie' pub crawl. Such a good night.

Monday, 7 October 2013

Living life with a difference

I'm no stranger to having to adapt life to live with various conditions, (Some people call them disabilities but that's just so negative and some people are already negative enough without having to make things worse...) various people I love and cherish have different things that the medical people would call wrong.

One of these people with the biggest impact on my life is my LittleSister (she's not as little as that makes it sound, there's only just over 2 years between us) She suffers - again, suffers in the loosest sense of the word - from coeliac disease, a condition that means that foods containing wheat/gluten cause an immune reaction which can cause damage to the lining of the small intestine. (Read more about it from the professionals here - they know more about the technical bit than me...) So for her, bread, cake and pasta are definitely off the menu, along with some sauces, chocolates (That's the bit I'd struggle with) and most takeaways.

For mum this often meant cooking one and a half dinners a night. An example? Gluten free spaghetti Bolognese (the meat and the saucy bit), gluten free spaghetti and then general spaghetti. Either way, LittleSister was never left out. Any cooking we did as kids, and even now in my case (Check out my baking by clicking here) was the same as any other kids, just altered to use gluten free flour. For the ultimate sponge cake just add half a teaspoon of baking powder to the recipe and Voila!

Thing is, I've never ever let this life-altering 'problem' affect her. She always does what she wants, has all the confidence in the world - annoying so, especially when I don't have anywhere near as much! - and lives a normal life. Her trick is to take each day as it comes and try any new product that she can actually have. This means that she's managed to find gluten-free fresh bread from the supermarket (a miracle in itself, especially as its practically the same as our bread.), takeaway courtesy of Dominos Pizza and has even been to Venice for a short break and eaten Italian pasta (something, I admit, I never thought she'd be able to do!)

The worse thing is, England doesn't seem to be the best place for a variety of gluten free foods. This year in Spain we had a major break though with fastfood and coeliac. We managed to find a McDonalds that sold Gluten-free BigMac Meals, complete with gluten free roll and wedges. Something we never thought would be possible. (Looked fairly good too - see below...)





It always seems to me that the people who moan the most about life, have the least to moan about in comparison. Just remember some people have it way worse out there....

Mad Mum of 7 - Living It Large

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Friday, 4 October 2013

Ouch.

Well this week has been great.(see some of the adventures here) up until yesterday when everything completely went t*ts up and my back pain started up again...

It's something I've had the misfortune to suffer from time to time for about a year and generally it feels a little like I've been kicked in the back by a giraffe. Repeatedly.  Generally I can cope with it during the day, it's just night time that I struggle with. I'm one of those people who needs a lot sleep.

Fortunately this flare up happened when the BF had the week off so I'm able to take things fairly easy (Thank god. V. grateful for the all the running around he's done in the last day or so) I get looked after morning, noon & night. (Only disadvantage is he spends time telling me about the many conditions and disorders I could possibly have.... not cool.)

Hopefully with a little bit of rest, will sort it, but for now my life is one endless cycle of ice packs, heat packs and painkillers....


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Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Date night.

Date Night with my other half.
If you're attempting to avoid soppy-ness in blog posts, avoid reading this....

Now being a LDR (Long distance relationship for those of you that aren't a hundred percent sure...) is not the easiest thing, my BF is up to 3 hours away if something goes wrong and I need him. There are times when it feels impossible, but on the flipside there are times when it is one of the best things.

Because of the distance, we try to value the time we have together and make the most of it by creating as many memories as we can. This week he had the week off so as usual we tried to fill it with as much randomness as possible around my lectures (Apparently my lectures are important, who'd have thought?) We've paddled in the sea at midnight - It was unbelievable cold, but very very funny - he's announced to a shop assistant I'm expecting (It's alright I'm really not...) and we've been on our Date Night.

We tend to try and go on a date night regularly, good chance for us to dress up, enjoy fine food and just have a chance to spend time together where I know we're not going to be interrupted (I love my flatmates, but I live in a student house and it's always madness with stuff going on.) The way it works is I pick the style of food, the BF picks the time and the place (I have the easier end of the stick here...)

The place chosen was Loch Fyne and all I can say is it was amazing. From the food(I wish I'd taken a photo of each course), to the service to the bottle of wine we polished off. All in all it was a perfectly romantic night.

Only thing now is, how is the BF going to top this next date night? More importantly how am I going to top that this week? Any suggestions would be great!






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Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Dear Grandad.


The Heart
The Heart (Photo credit: petalouda62)
Today's blog is in memory of my Grandad. A great man, who's being was taken by the cruel disease, Alzheimer's.

Grandad,

There are many thing I wish that maybe I had had the chance to say, or this things I wish we could have done. I wish I had had more patience with you when you became difficult (although I did become very good at having the same conversation with you in cycles for several hours.)

You'd be getting worse since your first stroke when I was tiny. That and a heart bypass and the Alzheimer's, you were pretty much fighting a lot.

Although we knew you would eventually get to the point where you wouldn't know who we were, I didn't expect you to leave us so soon. Hell, when I got told you were in hospital I just thought it was one of those things (yet another stroke that you'd come back from, or a daft accident...)

I know that every stroke you had made you worse but you always seemed so chilled and although sometimes you found it difficult when you couldn't remember something, you never let it stop you. It was one of the most heart breaking things when I was told you'd asked what was wrong with you... although I tried to hold onto the fact that maybe you never remembered.

I miss you Grandad.


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