UNIBLOG RETURNS: The First Week Back!

Updated: Oct 4, 2021

Scotland Holiday PT. 1

Scotland Holiday PT. 2

Scotland Holiday PT. 3


(As much as I loved the Scotland holiday, it's so good to be blogging about something new - and a new chapter in my life!)

19/09/2021 - Moving Out Day


I'd wake up at 10am or so, I was due to pick up my keys at 5pm that evening (the latest slot I could book), so I had breakfast, sorted my washing out, sorted the final items in the spare room that had not yet been sorted and packed the car.


Last year I had an excess of things because I was new and thought I needed to customise my room to make it look like home and so I wasn't home sick - this year I did the same, but for a different reason - to leave the house as empty as possible and leave the parents with an easy job as possible.


It being a 2 and a half hour drive to uni, my parents suggested I leave at 1pm or so - and whilst I didn't quite leave at 1pm, I left following a very difficult walk around the house - my last walk around the house - seeing the rooms I had spent growing up for the last 13 years, the dining rooms of many a family meal, the different rooms in which my different stages of gaming took place - My First Amazing World Explorer 2.0, before the computer was then put downstairs, and that's where (after a great number of years) I started my iRacing Career.


My bedroom also being cleared out empty was an incredibly weird thing to see and in some ways it was uncomfortable because I had spent so much time in my bedroom - in fact BedroomS because in the time I was there I took over Felix's old room and he took the other spare bedroom we had (which used to be the study/computer room before it was Felix's bedroom)


Anyway. After a long garden walk reminiscing of good times and old times, I eventually arrived back at the house - As big as my garden may be, it was more the fact I was walking rather slowly which was the reason for the walk's length.


I eventually left my gravel driveway for the final time at 2:37pm. From the time I first used my laptop (in the house) until my last wheel left the driveway, I had spent about 14 Hours inside my house.


14 Hours to say goodbye to 13 years of history, a childhood home, everything I've known and loved about Woking, it was...well, a quick goodbye to say the least.


The drive up to Wolverhampton was just fine - saw a goose farm...which was standard as I've driven past it many a time.


After the standard "they've got it" "noooo, THEY'VE GOTTT IT!" "I thought you had ittt", I eventually got my keys (after a slice of Pizza) and got accustomed to my new room - It was - and still is identical to 009, except it's flipped the other way and I've now got a window facing the inside of the accommodation car-park as opposed to the view of North Road Previously.


I'd load everything into my accommodation and would quickly meet my new accommodation mates for the year - and just like before I had been blessed with three lovely people - different for this year, I'd have a two women and one male in my corridor.


With no food in the fridge, and it getting a little late, I decided to head to a McDonalds for a very quick and easy meal.


I'd return not too long after, get my pyjamas on and go to bed.


20/09/2021


7:59am. Normality.

8:00am. It Ends. House Number 19 on St Marthas Avenue in Woking, Surrey no longer remains ours. I'm not there. I've paid my tributes and now in Wolverhampton, I have bigger fish to fry - blogs that are over a week old, a fridge that needs to be filled, Welcome Week to sort, a vaccine that needs to be inserted and now my headset that I left in Harlow. It's a bit hectic, but one by one, I slowly get through the list, starting with the blog that I crack on with throughout the week, around that I fit the other tasks

To start off, I went to my local amazon locker to pick up some fuses Will bought me, next door to this was the university Post Office where I'd see if my coat had arrived - it had not (arrived on Tuesday 21st).


21/09/2021


UniBlog's First Anniversary! WOO! 1 Year, 52 Weeks and 365 Days of Blogging and I'm still going! Here's to the next year...let's look back at my very first UniBlog...maybe you can see the difference in the level of writing?


The Very First UniBlog


Unfortunately, between still writing the Scotland Blog, me going from Scotland - My house to Uni then onward to Harlow, I wasn't able to give it the recognition it needed or deserved, but I've addressed it now (albeit 6 days late), given it four lines of love, recognition and commemoration all should be happy.


As stated before, the 21st would also see me head down to Harlow to get my headset from the same place my rig is stored.


Due to it being a three hour drive down there, I didn't exactly want to drive all the way down to Essex, only to pick up the headset and then just drive all the way back up to Wolverhampton again, so, I asked if I could stay the night, and as I'm family (according to them) they gave the thumbs up.


In doing so my rig came downstairs and after one AI Race at Bathurst and a practice session with Tom Wallace, I installed Teardown onto my desktop (bought it on laptop first to see what exactly it was, didn't get full experience on a mousepad) - so I sort of got hooked onto Teardown which is basically everything I love about a game all wrapped into one - more on that in a second.


I'd stay in Harlow until the next day at about midday.

Unfortunately, in this time my new course leader added an announcement to Canvas.


The problem with this was the fact that I had been checking my other university app (My.WLV) pretty much daily/weekly and still got no notification or message to say there was an update - so when I did check Canvas, I was a little surprised to see two notifications/announcements.


Fortunately the first one was more of a "Welcome back to Uni!" whilst the second was a little more of a "it was great seeing you at the induction day" - Welcome Week during 2020 being more of an online affair with different "Zoom" and "Microsoft Teams" ordeal - I thought 2021 would be the same.


No matter, the announcement/notification said that he was looking forward to seeing the rest of us next week (after the notification/announcement), so I'm sure everything will work out just fine (future Robin here: It Was.)


What I love about Teardown


Not 6 paragraphs earlier, I mentioned a game called "Teardown" - well, here's a RATHER in depth views at it. I don't know what pushed me over the edge to buy it on the 12th September, but I did - and I'm very glad I did because it was one of the best purchases I've ever made.


Looking at my search history, I was looking at some videos such as "Cars VS Buildings: Teardown" - this MAY have had an influence.


In the beginning, I was a little disappointed that I could only do the "campaign" mode - but this was quickly overcome by the fact that the campaign was very, very good.


Simply put, the objective of Teardown is to collect items before the time runs out.


In slightly more detail, you're the owner of "Löckelle Teardown Services" a local demolition company and after knocking down a historically significant building, you must get rid of all the evidence of your wrongdoing (documents and CCTV files)


This game is a "sandbox" meaning you can go pretty much anywhere in the confines of the map and do pretty much as you please.


As the missions go on, you are introduced to new elements such as alarms and time-limits - here's where the fun part comes in - and the bit I love the most.


At the beginning of every "mission" you'll have a couple of simple tasks like "destroy this house" "destroy this boat" "destroy this vehicle" - then I'll give you a number of objectives to collect/destroy/interact with in one minute.


The fun part here is that you can collect said items in any order you like - and with vehicles dotted around the map, you can use these to make life a little bit easier for yourself - almost creating a shortcut - like digging a hole in the wall or parking a vehicle in a certain location to make for an easier escape.


The beautiful thing about this is that the game raises its hands and quite literally says "it's all down to you" - giving you no inputs or hints - sort of making the achievement of completing the mission all the more rewarding as you had no prompts.


I find this fun because - ready for it, I like planning. I hear you laugh, but I'm being honest - it almost hypes you pulling the first alarm up - like "all the vehicles are in position, all the walls that were in the way are knocked down, I know the route I'm going to take - I've even done a rehearsal of it and then for your plan to work is just the best feeling.


Apologies for the lag, but here's a mission I set up and completed by the skin of my teeth - escaping with less than a second remaining due to a couple of slips under pressure.

The point being that all the walls that were knocked down were me and my idea, the trucks in the water to cross the water quicker, whilst not the smoothest, was my idea and the red truck being in exactly the right position was all done beforehand - this sort of "meticulous planning" to ensure that everything is as easy as possible - because I'm under a LOT of pressure with the countdown is something I get a kick out of - like the planning of which objective to get first, where to position vehicles and which walls to knock down to make life the easiest for me.


The game doesn't usually run that poorly and to me whilst playing it was fine - but with lighting, blocks everywhere to load and a good few vehicles and quick head movements OBS just couldn't keep up (the poor sod)


And that, in a nutshell is Teardown, my new favourite game.


(Vehicles including boats are also fully destructible and will sink, so when you T-Bone a boat and then pin it into the rocks, both boats disintegrate in a super satisfying fashion.


22/09/2021 - Back To Uni!

Whilst down in Harlow myself and my friends sorted:


- My Headset (took it with me back up to Uni)

- Haircut (looked less like a Highland Sheep)

- Game Disks (they said they'd do it online, so I left the games with them...see how that goes) - My Fuse (I now have heated seating and charging in my car! Sweet!)


and with a bit of driving the Land Rover, I also managed to make sure the Landie was OK after some (quite significant) engine repairs were done.


At about midday, I'd set off for Wolverhampton once again, my little visit ending about as quickly as it started.


On my return to Wolverhampton, I'd park up in the city centre in some street-parking (paid, of course - can't go anywhere nowadays without people asking you to pay for parking grumble grumble) and walk to Boots via a very friendly Police Officer - or PCSO (Police Community Support Officer) who pointed me in the right direction.


Yes, I may have been a day late (I remembered "Wednesday" but have no idea for what reason), but there was only one other person waiting in the Post-Vaccine Recovery Area and they (the nurses) were happy to just let me have mine on the day after a few medical questions.


Other than a stop-over at ASDA for my weekly shop, I had a pretty uneventful evening, having a pizza before hitting my bed.


Well, I say uneventful - the ASDA trip was quite chaotic as I experienced my first night as a resident in a football city - despite one way into ASDA being closed, the other entrance/way was open - but even still, it was absolute chaos with people EVERYWHERE. Okay, it was slightly less chaotic than the Duran Duran concert as people stuck to the pavements, but still - it was exciting.


Only on the 27th (writing this blog) has it dawned on me why there was SO many people - it was a famous football club. It was The Wolverhampton Wolves against Tottenham - both teams drawing - so, I guess I'm proud of my little city - bit weird to think I was so close to big names like Harry Kane....and that's about as far as my knowledge goes. I could definitely hear it from the ASDA car-park though!


23/09/2021


On the 23rd, the symptoms hit. Hard. I'd wake up with a headache and little to no energy.


The headache would eventually wear off during the day - I'd only really use my devices once at 3pm and then again at 9pm - likely when the last of the side affects were dissapearing. Also, coincidentally this was the day that my course was running an induction talk conference....funnnnn.

.

Anyway, I'd hit the hay after a non-day at about 4am - of course with sleeping in the middle of the day ruining any sense of normality.


24/09/2021


For once, I have nothing to report. I'd wake up at 10am as normal and crack on with finishing the Scotland Blog, this being the date the second part of three was released.


(For Reference):


Got home late 18th Sept.

PT. 1: Sept 13th

PT. 2: Sept. 24th

PT. 3: Sept. 26th

Given everything else going on at the time, I was absolutely writing and blogging my fingers off their bones - every night that I didn't publish anything was and still is demotivating because it adds another day that I need to blog about - so, stress management I guess.


25/09/2021


Useless iRacing And Motorsport Section


Virtual

Le Mans Virtual 24hr Series @ Monza FT. Wolves Esports - Apparently they are the Esports Team connected to the Football team, not the Uni, but used the Arena Theatre (where I've had and currently have lectures)


In more relevant news, it was the 8th round of the Nurburgring Endurance Championship and Kabort entered a grand total of 0 cars. Phenomenal. Kabort should really leave some grid slots for the rest of the cars!


That said, Tom and spencer did NEC the previous round



In Real Life

BTCC (British Touring Cars) headed to Silverstone - but with NO availability - as nice as this would have been, I would been neck deep in shit & stress.


The F3 Cup headed to Snetterton which was very much out of the way - and since Castle Combe all the way back in June (damn, feels like years ago!), my situation and circumstances have changed and moved - I didn't expect to spend 2 months in Harlow, I didn't see the house being sold by the end of the summer holidays - and now with my most important year to date, I think I need to focus wholly on Multimedia Journalism and Blogging - obviously the former taking priority.


The super news is that they won their championship class - I obviously didn't have anything to do with that, but I tried to report for them but life just got too fast.


Formula One Russian Grand Prix


Finally, it was the Formula One Russian Grand Prix and as one of flatmates (same corridor, not same room) had Sky F1, we watched the Russian Grand Prix and it was an absolute thriller!


Before the race even began, there was massive drama - no Mercedes, Red Bull or Ferrari in the top three...Norris had somehow secured his first ever Formula One Pole Position! What a lad!


In a bizarre turn of events - Norris took Pole, followed by Carlos Sainz (Ferrari) and George Russell (Williams) followed by Hamilton (Mercedes) with Ricciardo in tow rounding out the top 5.


Bottas would start 16th after an engine change with Max Verstappen not too far behind, also with an engine change - he'd be going right from the back of the Grid.


I don't know how, but Norris stayed in control of the race ahead of MUCH superior cars - and I was genuinely shaking with a bag of popcorn in my mouth as I watched the laps tick down...


Other than Mick Schumacher who was dealing with well...standard Haas Issues only one other driver retired - Latifi after receiving damage after a soft visit to the wall...



Had it not been for some INCREDIBLY difficult conditions in the last 5 laps or so, Lando would have got his very first win in Formula One - and if not that, he would have got an incredibly impressive 2nd place...but he pushed for just one lap too long.


The tough call was when - or to even pit at all for intermediate tyres - with less than 5 laps left, at first, the rain looked light, but only just bearable but just as Norris passed the start/finish line, it absolutely bucketed it down - and I could honestly see his thinking - it's only three laps, just limp it around...but even whilst limping around, there was Hamilton to think about and the gap he had - and if it'd pay off - whilst his team did sort of say "Lando, Please come in" - they didn't say "It's gonna get heavier" or be more forceful - such as saying "you're gonna fuck this over for us" - anyway, the poor, innocent inexperienced driver spun, not hitting anything, Hamilton went by and Lando finished 7th - but looking back on it, it's just a "coulda, woulda shoulda" sort of situation.


No matter, it was a THRILL to watch and REALLY got my heart going! I'll certainly be watching the Turkish Grand Prix on the 10th - last years was an absolute CLASSIC with Sergio Perez finishing 2nd in torrential conditions.


Unlike Sochi, Instanbul is very much liked (as a track) in the F1 community - it being wide and flowing really encouraging overtaking.


After this, I'd continue to binge watch People Just Do Nothing before heading off to bed.



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