Benjamin Eskola

I Ate’nt Dead


I haven’t blogged in nearly a month now, and haven’t had much to say in longer, so this post may end up being a bit long. Bear with me, or don’t—up to you.

Seth and I moved out of our respective houses at the end of June and into a shared house; Ed moved in a bit later, and Dan moved in at the end of July, after getting a job as a Java programmer (for which he has received the appropriate mockery, since a few months ago he vowed never to touch Java again once his dissertation was done with).

I got a temp job working the night shift at FirstInfo, the company that does the customer services for all First Group companies (Great Western, Capital Connect, TransPennine Express, Devon & Cornwall Buses, etc.). Most of the time I was doing Quality Assurance, making sure that the temps downstairs weren’t sending out too many letters that make the company look (even more) incompetent. It didn’t help that a lot of the time, the problems we were fixing were created by the system, not the people, and that in other cases we were being told different things to them (I was extremely impressed by one guy, who on my last night—and his, coincidentally, except I was choosing to stop working there—demonstrated such incompetence that his supervisor actually came up to our floor to complain about and avoid him; we’d sent back some of his letters three or four times without him actually bothering to fix them).

Lisa’s been down for the last few weeks, and since I’ve not been working this week we’ve had a chance to do stuff. On Tuesday, we went down to the Eden Project, which I thoroughly recommend as something to make you think about environmentally-friendly ways of doing things—from toilets flushed using collected rainwater and hand driers that use 80% less energy than conventional ones by creating a narrower jet of high-pressure air, to surfboards made out of balsawood and plant-based resin that are indistinguishable from a normal surfboard but completely biodegradable.

On Thursday night we (Rich, Chrissey, Dan, Seth, Lisa, and I) went to the Ganges for a curry, to celebrate my 21st birthday (my birthday was actually the 25th, but everyone’s been busy or away, so it got put off). Lisa gave me a copy of The Hobbit, Blackadder Back And Forth on DVD, and a tribute to AC/DC called Back In Baroque: the entirety of the Back In Black album performed by a string quartet. Rich gave me Mott The Hoople’s greatest hits, which I haven’t yet had a chance to listen to. It was a good evening; it was a shame that Dan had work in the morning and Lisa and I had to catch an early bus, else it might have gone on longer.

Yesterday (Friday) Lisa and I went up to Bodmin Moor; the original plan was to get the bus to Minions, then either walk up Caradon or up to Cheesewring. We missed the only bus to Minions by about 30 seconds, though, so we got the bus to Pensilva instead and walked up Caradon, down the other side to Minions, then back down towards Darite to catch the bus back. (An explanation: the bus route is from Liskeard to Callington; the usual route is St. Cleer–Higher Tremar–Darite–Crow’s Nest-Pensilva, but once per day it goes St. Cleer–Minions–Upton Cross–Pensilva. Getting off at Minions means you’re right in the middle of the two hills, whereas Pensilva is the far side of Caradon from Minions.)

Unfortunately, I forgot my camera, so I didn’t get any photos; it’s a shame, since from the top of the hill we could see from Fowey (or further) along the coast to Plymouth, then north to what I think was the northeastern corner of Dartmoor and beyond (I could certainly see well north of the TV mast near Princetown).

Over the next few weeks: I’m hoping to get up to Sunderland for a few days or a week, wander around Bodmin Moor and the coast near Plymouth some more, get a job (I’ve applied for a part-time position at a Spar…) and start uni again (enrolment is the third week of September).