Unbelievable Luck! (Bet Win)

Okay this post will be a short one, but just wanted to share this with you guys.

The other week I decided to put a very speculative accumulator bet on. For those of you unfamiliar with betting, an accumulator is a bet placed on a series of races, or in this case matches as I bet on football. I bet on the result of 14 matches and for my bet to win each and every one of my predictions would have had to come in, so that’s 14 match results picked correctly, which is obviously extremely unlikely. So there I am, checking my results halfway through and realising that 8 out of the 14 had already came in and 5 more were in play and about to come in. I went through a number of emotions at this point realising I could actually win just short of £8000 (oh yeah I forgot to mention, I put £10 on and the return was £7800) and then began to get extremely nervous. One by one the results came in, however, to my despair, one game was played later than all of the others. At this point 13 out of the 14 had come through and I was shaking like a leaf. The final match was Real Madrid vs Villareal, me of course picking Real Madrid as they are the obvious favorites. Believe me when I say this was the slowest 90 minutes of my life. Waiting for that result to come in was torture. They did indeed dominate the game and win 3-0, but I must have rang both of my parents 4 times each so they could calm me down as I paced back and fourth in my, very dirty, uni room.

So yeah long story short I won just short of £8000, crazy I know. And the best part about it was that it was a free bet I got for signing up, it’s safe to say Betfair were not very happy and were extremely reluctant to give me the money. But that’s gambling for ya.

Keep smiling, Harrison.

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Time Flies

I know it’s a cliche, but time does really fly. It feels like yesterday that I was nervous about transitioning into uni life, but here I am now, with a year under my belt and loving every minute of it.

I genuinely can’t believe that I have finished a year at uni, like how did that happen? (okay I still have one exam left, but still!) And not only that, but I’m actually doing quite well, despite my attendance may suggest. I mean, I haven’t failed anything yet, emphasis on the yet as I just submitted my poetry assignment, and this first year I’m on for at least a 2:1, which is bloody good and far better than I expected. Granted I’m not the perfect uni student, I have been roped into doing a few things I probably shouldn’t have and left whole assignments till the last day etc etc, but in my opinion that’s what uni is about, having fun, you just happen to get a degree out of it at the end. That outlook is more than likely an awful one, however; I just think Uni is far more about growing as a person than getting a qualification, but maybe that’s just my laid back attitude coming into play again.

Anyways, I’m rambling, as usual. If anyone reading this is on the fence about university, I say go for it, you won’t regret it. People look at it like it’s just the degree, but it’s so much more than that. You make friends and have experiences that will stay for life, you discover new passions, finally live independently and most importantly, grow exponentially as a person whilst still holding onto that childish, teenager side who goes clubbing the day before 9am lectures. Obviously it’s not for everyone, but uni, like life, is what you make of it, and in my opinion everyone can make uni the time of their lives if they want to.

But back to the title of this post. One of my favourite quotes is this “The bad news is time flies. The good news is you’re the pilot.” I like to try and live my life by that. Making the most of every opportunity, being the best possible person I can be and having a load of fun along the way.  We’re all on this rollercoaster that is life together, so let’s make the most of it hey. And…

Keep smiling, Harrison

(Soz for going all inspirational, Gandhi style on you there)

Loving Life :)

For some reason these last few weeks I’ve felt super happy, like on top of the world and I have no idea why, but I like it (obviously). Nothing of note has changed in my life, I just feel great. Maybe it’s because I have finally motivated myself to actually start working; whether that be Uni work, attending class or writing blog posts, I have finally pulled the metaphorical finger out and started being productive again. Like this week was my first week at University where I got 100% attendance and, bearing in mind I only have 8 hours a week and this is week 11 (or 12?), that is not something to be proud of. I also just love University in general. It’s not like school where you had groups of people, many of whom were horridly judgmental and just mean, everyone is like minded and therefore pretty much everyone gets along. Living away from home (gotta be careful here because my Mum usually reads my posts) is also amazing, I love being able to go in the kitchen and just sit and talk with my flatmates, who are awesome and somehow cope with my weirdness. The people I’ve met and became acquainted with at Uni are people I will never forget and, luckily for me, many of them live abroad so hopefully I have somewhere to stay when I go travelling, not to use them or anything, haha. In addition to this I’ve actually sorted out my accommodation for next year, super exciting. Whilst I love halls I cannot wait to live in a house, who I am sharing with my 2 awesome friends, I mean the landlord said I can have a pet Tortoise, of course I’m gonna be excited!

So yeah, bit of a random post but life is good at the moment and why not spread some positivity. Oooh one more thing. I got my grade for my Studying Literature module and it was, to my bemusement, an A grade, which I am ecstatic with and it has upped my confidence for the course massively. I hope everyone who reads this is also feeling happy. Keep smiling, Harrison 🙂

Here We Go Again…

Before you read I just want to say this post is probably terrible. I have a lot of opinions regarding this issue but little knowledge, although it is all a big convoluted mess and hard for anyone to get there head around.

So here we go again. Unless you’ve been living under a rock this past week (shout out to my boy Patrick (SpongeBob reference)) then you’ll know that our, supposedly representative, Government have decided that the best option to stop conflict is by… creating more conflict, aka bombing ISIS regiments in Syria. Now, was this a good decision? In my opinion certainly not but, unfortunately, the majority of our MP’s thought British airstrikes contributing to the, already mass, devastation in Syria and the growing number of orphans and refugees could only be a good thing.

I’ve seen a multitude of Facebook posts stating that these bombs will “only kill ISIS radicals”, or something along those lines, as if they will deploy a force field, shielding innocents from the blast and only killing the evil terrorists. It reminds me of the time Britain launched airstrikes against militant groups in Iraq. The same people posted the same Facebook posts, defending our Governments actions and Cameron himself even said there would be “no reports of civilian casualties” following Britain’s operations in Iraq, yet the Iraq Body Count Organisation state that as many as 369 civilians were killed during the raid and this was on a much smaller scale. Heck even President Obama has said there are “unintended consequences” in regards to bombing Syria.

It’s not only the innocent lives that will be lost/ruined that makes this decision so absurd, it’s the Politics behind it. It wasn’t long ago that Cameron was asking MP’s in Parliament to bomb Assad, something that would have assisted ISIS, and now he’s asking us to bomb ISIS, purely due to the fact it’s closer to home now following the Paris attacks, so he knew people would be more inclined to vote for the motion this time around. There is no real outlined plan either, the eradication of ISIS would still leave the country in complete disarray, with Kurdish and rebel forces fighting one another, and both also fighting the President, Assad, who Russia are backing and the UK/USA are against. This civil war would still be happening, even in the fantasy land where ISIS are destroyed by these airstrikes. Bombing Syria will do nothing to eradicate ISIS. If anything it will only make them stronger, giving them more of an incentive to lure in front of other Sunni Muslims to join the fight against the Western World, feeding them the narrative that the Western World have seemingly destroyed their home, just like it did in Iraq, another war we committed to with no real plan, it’s Deja Vu. This is a political fight against terrorism, not a military one and Britain, for whatever reason, seem to be turning a blind eye to ISIS’ source of weapons and finance; Saudi Arabia and Turkey, and whilst ISIS do need to be defeated militarily, allowing the attacks in Paris to force our hand into an already multi-sided Civil War is foolish and probably something ISIS would want as, like I said, it allows them to feed prospective recruits this narrative.

Let us also look at the birth of ISIS. The US/UK invasion of Iraq in 2003 is probably the most significant event that led to ISIS’ creation. This quote from this article sums it up well…                                       “As the invasion sent Iraq tumbling into chaos, religious extremists rushed in, first to fight the American invaders and then to also wage what became a bloody civil war between Iraq’s Sunni minority and Shia majority (the jihadists are Sunni). The US disbanded Iraq’s Sunni-dominated army, now widely seen as a colossal error. Soldiers and officers, unemployed and aggrieved, joined the insurgents in large numbers.”

These militant groups would later be known as ISIS and would create territory in Syria which it would use as a launch platform for a massive invasion of Iraq. We know our intervention in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya has never worked out how we want it to, leading to further complications and further conflict and I don’t see how this is going to be any different. This war on terror is a never ending battle and using the same tactics over and over again will never work, I mean we all know Einstein’s definition of insanity.

I’ve just lost all faith in the world at the moment. If bombing with the risk of killing children is the best solution to a problem then what kind of world is it?

So yeah. Bit of a different post, but something I wanted to say, I’m not even sure if I will make this public yet. Keep smiling (if you can in this world), Harrison.

5d-lennon

Poetry

Poetry. Poetry has slowly but surely become the bane of my existence over these last few months. One of my modules (Creative Writing: Poetry) requires me to write a lot of poetry, obviously, hence the name, and I just can’t do it. Not only do I struggle with writing poetry, but reading it too. I struggle comprehending some of the incredibly vivid imagery poets use to describe such seemingly simple topics, like say love, or death if you’re Edgar Allan Poe. I struggle understanding the structure and syntax and why authors chose such features and the significance these features have in the poem. But I suppose that’s the beauty of poetry, its complexity. Mainstream literature concentrates more so on the novel as the main art form and poetry seems to have declined over the years, at least in the eyes of the mainstream, and now is stereo-typically only written, and read, by the ‘high culture’ in society. But why is Prose so much more appreciated, at least by the majority? I suppose because novels are more relatable to humans in a simpler way and easier to connect to on a basic level. For example; everyone wants to hear a story. A before, middle and end and whilst poetry, in many cases, does tell a story, it presents this story in a far deeper way, hidden behind intricate imagery and language, which is perhaps why people, myself included, struggle to get into poetry initially. However, when you do connect with and understand a poem it is far more powerful than reading a novel. And whilst I started this post addressing poetry in a somewhat negative manner, I would like to finish by saying that poetry is beautiful. The reason my initial apprehension surrounding poetry existed was due to the fact I just didn’t, and couldn’t, understand it. As I have delved more into poetry and it’s multitude of different forms I have learnt to appreciate it more and more, even if I don’t quite understand it at first. So yeah, I don’t really know what the point of this post is, or whether it makes any sense, just wanted to show poetry some appreciation haha.

Keep Smiling, Harrison.

I’M BACK! + Starting University and Stuff.

First things first I would like to apologise. I know I don’t have a huge active following, but still, I have neglected writing a post for so long now and that was never my intention, I’m sorry. I love blogging and want to continue, I’ve just been extremely lazy these last few months but that laziness is no more (I hope). So, what have I been up to I hear you ask? Well a lot has changed during the 3 months I have been absent. I started university, went vegan, faced a brutal rejection (lol), bought a cactus, fought a giant polar bear (lie) and got drunk… a lot. It’s been fun.

So yeah, I am now a student at Bangor University in the North of Wales studying Creative & Professional Writing, and so far I love it! Granted I haven’t attended that many of my lectures and seminars (like I said, I’ve been lazy), but the overall University experience has been amazing. Making new friends, from a variety of places may I add, living independently and away from family, joining new clubs and societies and studying something I, for the most part, thoroughly enjoy have all made my, so far brief, time here in Bangor something I will never forget. It also helps that Bangor in itself is a wonderful place to live, a lot more chilled than Coventry and full of natural beauty. I also feel like I have grown and changed substantially, for the good, I hope, since coming to University. I mean you have to when living alone. For the first time in my life I have to actually be a responsible adult, and with that of course you are going to evolve and adapt.

Ahhh, this feels good, actually writing a blog post. I know it’s not very long or interesting but it feels refreshing getting back on the metaphorical horse that is the blogosphere (I hope I spelt that correctly). But yeah, how have you guys been? Good I hope. I can’t wait to start reading your blogs again, I must have missed so much!

If you got this far then thanks for reading. I will be back sooner rather than later this time. Keep smiling, Harrison.

Teens Tell Their Story (Week 3): YouTube

This is week 3 of the amazing ‘teens tell their story’ project run by the equally amazing Caitlyn & Sherina. I missed week 2, unfortunately, but really enjoyed week 1 (you can read it here) and I’m back to do week 3! As you can tell by the title, this weeks topic is YouTube.

If you’re like me, then YouTube has replaced TV in your life and pretty much all of the video content you consume comes from the online platform, except for Emmerdale, I love Emmerdale. I frickin love YouTube. It allows me to travel the world from my sofa (well…kinda) as well as be entertained on a daily basis. I can’t imagine my life without it, and I realise how sad that sounds,but I don’t care. What’s great about YouTube is, for the most part, it allows for an extremely positive community of people with similar interests to interact. In addition to this, anyone can make a channel and build a fanbase, which is awesome and means the level of creativity on the platform is always impressively high. It is also exceptionally versatile and therefore can satisfy any of your audience needs for example; I watch YouTube to laugh, interact or be informed, in fact most of my education probably comes from YouTube, which is awesome. My favourite YouTubers are mainly travel vloggers, not only do I really enjoy their personality, but watching their videos makes me want to pursue my dream even more, which can only be a good thing. I watch people like Ben Brown, the VagaBrothers and Nadine Sykora religiously for those exact reasons, and I will never get bored of their content. In addition to these YouTubers, others I watch on a daily basis are mainly comedy channels, in particular Onision (controversial I know) and JacksFilms, they are both hilarious.

So yeah that’s my take on this weeks topic, as you can tell, I love YouTube. Let me know if you do too! Please check out the creators of this project above, their blogs really are amazing. And thankyou for reading. Also, I linked the YouTubers for ease of access if you wanted to check them out 🙂

Keep smiling, Harrison.