The Craziest Brit Between Three Countries

I hopped on the flybus just after ten minutes past six in the morning to catch the flight to Gatwick for the next leg of my adventure, armed with my twenty-five litre rucksack, a ridiculous amount of energy, my owl t-shirt and of course the puffin I bought in Iceland! 

Today, I have been to three capitals!

This is a record for me. On my journey to Besançon, I started at Reykjavik, grabbed the Eurostar at London and got off at Paris. Is that an impressive feat? I’m not sure. I then proceeded to navigate the Paris metro (RER) where I managed not to get lost. Well, I say that, I did do a lot of fumbling around with tickets and I said “Gare De Lyon” so many times that I probably resembled Mr. Bean when he wanted to go on holiday to Cannes  I call that quite an achievement. 

I absolutely stink!

Probably because I haven’t showered and have done a ridiculous amount of sweating… 

Although my breath is lemony-fresh

Thanks to the twenty-five pack of citrus gum that I bought in Iceland! 

Let’s start at the beginning then shall we?

I arrived at the airport and headed straight for security. Where both my bag and my coats were stopped. Both of these were in different trays. The most bizarre thing was that they stopped one and then just gave me the tray, while the other went back through the x-ray machine. Of course both were fine. It is however the most bizarre experience I’ve had with airport security! 

Then as usual Easyjet overbooked the flight

*Slowclap* well done there to Easyjet…  I was disappointed to not see anyone get chucked off the flight. 

But lame joking aside, because of this our flight was delayed

So I had a little “micro-panic” where I zoomed through Gatwick airport in approximately twenty minutes to catch a Thameslink to St Pancras. There was loads of time, I don’t know what I was worried about! 

I arrived fifty minutes before my Eurostar train and had to go through security again…

Where I met some Americans who I guess were in their sixties. Anyway, after going through security again (which was pretty much the same as airport security minus the 100ml rule. 

When I got on the Eurostar, this French woman was having a moan

So I gave her my seat and befriended a frequent Eurostar user whose wife and kids live in France. This woman didn’t want to sit next to this man, she wanted him to move so she could sit with her daughter, so I politely offered her my seat, as I wasn’t in the mood for hearing people squabbling about petty little matters that was actually easily resolvable. She didn’t seem particularly greatful of me giving up my seat for her so she and her daughter could sit together. Honestly, some people don’t know their luck. No wonder people think French people are rude, most people I know would be really grateful!

I was probably in the UK for about three and half hours, before I entered foreign territory again

Cool story bro, nees more dragons!

Call me mad, but I actually like to use trains for both commuting and for leisure.

Oh wait, right, yeah I forgot, I’m the craziest Brit between three countries! I actually prefer trains to airplanes too. Probably because there’s more space and that it’s easier to walk around a train than it is a plane. 

My advice for Eurostar is to get the standard premium seats

They only cost about twenty quid more, they’re more comfortable and you get a meal and free wine! Today I got roast beef with coleslaw, some bread and a chocolate brownie with some red wine. I then finished off with a tea and a biscuit. It really is a no brainer! It’s also certainly better than a flight offered by British Airways, although it’s probably not as quick. 

With my new friend, we talked about various topics

Including how stupid it was to let people decide on whether the UK should or should not leave the EU. Honestly, that vote was sad, because people didn’t vote for the truth, they believed lies that were told to them. Sheep, who believed the media’s lies and, trusted a man with a ridiculous haircut and that the only way to save their beloved NHS was to leave the EU. But this really is another post for another time. 

We also talked about various experiences that we’d had, phones, technology and how much of an adventure that I was truly on. What I also found pretty cool was that this guy had also visited Iceland, so we were able to share our experiences with each other. We also talked about talking to people on trains and how people just don’t do it for some reason, even though if you do talk to people, then the journey goes much quicker! 

Help, I’m British!

I arrived at Paris Gare Du Nord and blimey, I fumbled around for a bit. For my final train, I had to get the TGV from Paris Gare De Lyon which Google told me would be roughly eight minutes on the RER (effectively the London underground of Paris). I tried to get a ticket from the machine and it just didn’t like me. I was of course using the wrong machine… It gave me a tiny ticket, in fact, I was so surprised by its size that I thought it had given me a bus ticket! My tactics were to go to every information desk and say the words Gare De Lyon which I’m sure just screamed the words “Help, I’m British and rubbish at speaking your language” 

But I did make it to Paris Gare De Lyon

And then fumbled around again trying to find the mainline train… I had an eticket so I didn’t need to muck around with validating train tickets or queuing at a machine to get a naff bit of paper. I rather didn’t want to be chucked off the train for having an invalid ticket… So of course, I looked like a right donkey trying to scan this eticket in the wrong place. 

I eventually realised that I needed to go upstairs and wait in zone two

So I did, until the platform came up on-screen. I then got on the train and got in the wrong seat. I quickly corrected this and sat in the right seat. Surprisingly the French like it when we joke that we’re all bumbling fools. 

The train to Besançon was glorious

Seriously, first class was so luxurious! I thought it was necessary considering that I was traveling pretty much through the majority of France. This was only 94€ which I didn’t deem as too expensive. 

There were weeping angels in the park

Well at least this is what they looked like when I got off the train. 

I gave my skittles to a hobo

Because I didn’t have any euros on me and I was just scoffing an entire bag in front of him. So he got my skittles!

And I didn’t know what a cathedral looked like

When I arrived in Besançon, I was told to go to the cathedral with a massive. In the end I had to wait by a merry-go-round while someone came to find me. I arrived just before midnight. So in the end, everything worked out pretty well!

And that’s it!

This post came out two days late. So whoops. This is the last post of April. Bring on May!

The Maddest Brit In Iceland: Day Three

I did not miss Jeremy Corbyn on this bustravel tour! I much prefered our new guide for the south coast tour, which is where I went today. 

The tour guide was much more interesting than the day before

I am probably saying this because I was preoccupied with sorting out some stuff for my gold DofE qualifying expedition. I know,I know, I’m meant to be on holiday, not answering emails about Scouting! 

We saw a waterfall flowing upwards

Because the winds were so strong! Normally waterfalsls don’t defy gravity, but this one certainly did momentarily. Of course, what goes up, must come down, so it wasn’t entirely disobeying gravity, merely rebelling against it like a stroppy teenager. 

And then proceeded to get soaked by one

There was a very impressive waterfall that made the ones you’d see in the UK look like a massive joke! Thankfully I had my full waterproofs on, so I wasn’t particularly soggy, only on the outside. 

We then went to the “most dangerous beach in the world”

Sounds like a joke right? Let me tell you, it is not. Loads of tourists die each year in Iceland because they don’t listen and get whisked away by the sea, where they die because of cold water shock. 

We then went to see a not very impressive glacier

It was not very impressive because it wasn’t particularly very big. It was also covered in fine particulates or basalt and gravel. In addition to this, we weren’t allowed to go past the sign due to the glacier being unstable. That, I thought, was a bit of a bum. 

Finally, we walked behind a waterfall

That makes it sound like I literally walked through a waterfall. That does sound very impressive, but while I might be the Maddest Brit In Iceland (at least for now) I’m not THAT mad. There was in fact a path that lead around the back of the waterfall. 

And got soaked again!

No one ever tells you how wet that you’re going to get when you walk behind a waterfall, still as I said earlier, at least I had my waterproofs!

We arrived back in Reykjavik where it was sunny

The temperature was exactly the same as it was in East Grinstead surprisingly, so I got changed out of my wet clothes and put on clothes that I thought were much more reasonable for these temperatures! Of course for me that means t-shirt, jeans and standard jacket rather than thermals, fleece and ski jacket. 

We also found more statues

My friend decided that it was appropriate to pose with a statue, which actually looked pretty cool. Because of this, I also decided to have my picture taken with the statue. 

Then we balanced some rocks on top of each other

It was actually surprisingly easy to do. The beach was full of these rock stacks. In Iceland, they call them seristeinvarða but they’re also called cairns in the UK. The purpose of these were to help people find their way around before the days of GPS and mobile phones. A bit like a waypoint. I was quite proud of mine to say the least.

Before packing up and trying to sleep

Of course Icelandic people love to stay up late even if you have to get up at 05:30 in the morning! I can however forgive them for butchering Queen’s I want to break free, although, I really shouldn’t… All in all, not a bad trip! Next stop, France! So they were partying still at 23:00 and that was pretty late when you have to be up early!

And that concludes this post series!

I hope you all enjoyed it! If you want to read it again or missed a few, then you can click here to see all the editions of The Maddest Brit In Iceland!  I hope you all have a great day!

The Maddest Brit In Iceland: Day Two

This is what Iceland’s all about, geysers and plate tectonics. It almost reminds me of the times I did Geography!

After putting up with the snoring in the room at 4am, I woke up again at roughly 7:40ish.

I put on my full waterproofs because the forecast suggested rain and headed for the kicthen for some water.

A minibus arrived to drop us off at the main drop off

Which wasn’t particularly far away from the accommodation. To put this into perspective about 700m. Then 63 people from 4 minibuses jumped onto this particularly striking green coach.

“British people never smile”

If that’s the case, am I really British? It’s true that while most of us Brits drink tea all day, wear top hats, eat scones and say the words “Golly gosh”. It’s also true that we’re extremely cynical and ridiculously sarcastic almost all the time. Still, we do smile, we just don’t do it particularly often. 

Our tour guide looked very much like labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn.

And he sent me to sleep within a few minutes! The Labour leader said that believed in trolls, elves and that Mt. Hekla is the gateway to hell. He also claimed to be bad at mathematics and would often get his left and right mixed up. In addition to this, his favourite phrase was “it’s really good” which is what he thought about EVERYTHING, so that was really good

First we went to look at some plates

No, I don’t mean plates that you eat off or plates you spin. Nor am I talking about a redpill theory that suggests that you should date many people at time, rather than just one. I’m referring to plates of earth crust. For those of you whose geography skills aren’t particularly tip-top, Iceland is on a constructive plate boundary, which means that the European and Asian plate (more commonly referred to as the Eurasian plate) is moving away from the North American plate at roughly a rate of 2.5cm per year. 

Then we went to go see a geyser

The famous Strokkur is one of Iceland’s most well-known​ geysers. That’s probably because it pushes water into the air every 6-10 minutes. This was the perfect opportunity to try out the slow-motion function on my pixel.

Iceland, you’re obsessed with puffins…

As forty-five minutes felt like an insanely large amount of time for a lot of the places we visited, so a quick trip to the gift shop, certainly killed a couple of minutes. I was absolutely delighted to see that there were puffins in pretty much every shop. I will point out though, that I was slightly concerned by some of them which were holding knives.

The waterfall was supposed to have dirty water

But I have never seen water so blue in my entire life!

There’s a lot of bull excrement in Iceland

Like the stories about elves and trolls, however there’s one story that took place on this waterfall that involved a man crossing the pool above the waterfall and the girl on the other side marrying him because he just did the impossible. What a load of rubbish eh?

Finally, I spent a full hour and a half chilling in a lagoon that despite its title, wasn’t particularly secret.

A much more natural looking and smaller lagoon than the blue lagoon, but it if really was so secret, then why were there so many people there? But yes, I must admit, it was good to relax for a change, I don’t do that particularly often, in fact, most things, I approach with a sense of neutrality. But the secret lagoon, was particularly good. I think the last time I went to a hot springs was a few years ago, but it certainly wasn’t quite as impressive (nor did it contain as much algae) as the one in Iceland. 

I then looked at some art work and a cat was rather scared of me

All in all a good day! Even though I didn’t get to eat any waffles because the waffle van was shut. Off to the south coast tomorrow so that should be interesting! Somehow I don’t think I’m going to meet my target of 31 posts…

The Maddest Brit In Iceland: Day One

I love getting up at three o’clock in the morning, no seriously, I do! That might sound bonkers, but 5 hours of core Sleep and two twenty minute naps throughout the day is perfectly​ sufficient for me! We call that E5 in the polyphasic sleep pattern business.

This morning, I had a flight to catch

An Easyjet to Iceland and let me tell you, it was certainly a bizzare experience. Now I’m quite well accustomed to flying, I’ve been on a plane at least once a year for every year of my life! This means I’ve roughly been on a plane 19+ times and visited 12 different countries. 

So what’s Reykjavik like?

For the capital of Iceland, it’s certainly not what I expected. I think the best description of it is would be a mismash of Brighton, Crawley and Guildford, which as you’d expect from this combination, the result is rather underwhelming… Still, I think you’d get sick of walking around the same place for nine hours even with a free walking tour! At least there’s geocaching to do huh?

Although saying that, there are some pretty neat things about the capital

Although I wouldn’t recommend wandering around the Icelandic capital for nine hours, I’d say that there is enough, unless you’re​ the type who can waste all your days in trendy cafés! It would in fact be a much better use of your time to look at the museums, take advantage of the free walking tour, visit the cathedral that looks like a spaceship and if you are so inclined, there is a phallological museum. Nice one iceland, I’ve always wanted to go to “Willy museum”….

But I have to say that Reykjavik is probably the most bizarre place

And that’s very refreshing considering that the town that I love in was awarded “strangest place to live in the UK.’ Consider this for a second. Reykjavik actually has Christmas shops that sell decorations all year round… The locals are pretty adept at table football too! Either that or I am exceptionally bad at table football.

I mustn’t forget the “ultra-rare puffin shops” 

As soon as I arrived at the loft Hostel, which is where I will be staying for the next three nights, there was a room where you could put your bag. The key for this room was attached to a puffin, which I was absolutely thrilled about for some reason. My instant reaction was to go to a puffin shop, which are pretty much everywhere, and buy a puffin. So yeah, I bought a puffin… 

Their laid back attitude is also respectable

“þetta reddast” is Iceland’s national phrase and roughly translates to “it will fix itself”. That is a nice way of looking at things!

How did I end up in Iceland

An excellent question, glad you asked. This all started when a friend of mine (who I somehow managed to turn intoa geocaching machine) won some tickets to anywhere in Europe. So us being us, we decided that the most exciting (and actually most expensive) location in Europe would probably be Iceland. 

Wherever you go in the world, there will always be Americans

A rule of thumb that seems to ring true whenever I go anywhere! But I must say, I was certainly surprised to see quite so many people from America.

Now I love Americans, they have cool accents, but Reykjavik seems to be rather full of them. In fact, I had to double check the signs to see if I still was in Reykjavik, because so many people spoke English, card is taken everywhere and there were lots of American’s around. Absolutely smashing stuff, though considering making a withdrawal means you have to pay an extra charge on top. 

Tomorrow I will see Iceland in all its wonder

But for now, I’m going to rest my feet and relax. Ta Rah for now! 

Lemons!!!

Hello everyone and welcome back to Tetracious Frustration, the only blog site powered by lemons… 

I eat entire lemons…

Most people I know have seen me eat an entire lemon at some point. Of course most people’s reaction to this is broadly similar and usually goes along the lines of “are you eating a lemon?” Which roughly translates to “stop eating that lemon like that, because it’s weird!

Before C4, I had a lemon

When I was revising for the fourth module of core mathematics (which included rotating trigonometric functions two pi radians around the x-axis), I found that eating a lemon would improve my concentration. So on the big day, I walked into the bistro, proceeded to eat an entire lemon and confuse the hell out of this girl that I met at the District Explorer Party, who tried to get into my mother’s car approximately seven months prior. This was a mistake, because my stomach disagreed with the mixture of egg, lemon and house’s of parliament sauce…

I even answered the door whilst eating one

Yeah, we don’t talk about that Alex… 

“I have never seen anyone eat a lemon like that”

This was the reaction that one of my teachers had once they witnessed me eating lemon. That was actually this time last year where I thought that my fingers were going to fall off due to the sheer volume of text that I needed to produce. 

Barbaric Tea

One year on from the shenanigans where I proceeded to smash a mug, in search of the perfect cuppa, I produced to produce a drink that contained a raw egg, lemons, ground ginger and some Dijon mustard. This drink was made with boiling water and had a bearable taste, until it went cold at least. 

But I think the true legacy of the lemon resides with the fact that I eat whole lemons

Because let’s face it, that’s pretty strange isn’t it? 

The birth of the sixth

“Alex? Can you hear me? 

“Please don’t leave me!” 

“Fine! Don’t reply then.  😕”

When I awoke it was quiet, too quiet. I was disoriented, confused, not entirely sure of what had happened. “What was reality?” That was a question, I asked myself, “where am I?” was another. These questions weren’t that important, because I had to consider the possibility that I’d gone completely and utterly mad.

I hadn’t, that was certain. I saw the world as I always thought it was. I have to tell you, it was not a satisfactory experience to be right, but at least I had my power back. The drive I lost, the resolution I never thought that I would recover. At long last the 75th principle shattered like glass and the monkeys, well they were forever silenced. 

The fires of Tetracia burned brightly as the fire in my eyes returned bigger and brighter than ever before. Was I evil? Unlikely. My values? To keep raising the bar, to break the norm and to be extraordinary. I can feel it inside me, the fire, the drive, the power that my previous models craved so much. An empty library where once a dynasty sat is now mine, because even at the end of the day, a queen’s just a pawn with a bunch of fancy moves. 

It makes me wonder if he ever existed, if they ever existed. A wonderland down a rabbit hole. A fantasy wordl, but nothing more. The architect, the moderator, the burned, the critic and the idiot. So what am I? I am the sixth, the sixth model who sees the world as it is. Insensitive, hardheaded, everything I wanted, the person I would be. Is this it or is it merely an exercise he has put in place for me? 

I suspect it, bring it on. Let the chaos reign and watch me control it as if I was its master!

Argh…

I’ve just spent four hours mucking around with insurance quotes and I don’t like any of them! This 31 post challenge is not going well 😂

Be Different!

Prometheus was punished by the Gods for giving the gift of knowledge to man. He was cast to the bowels of the earth and pecked by birds

Argh! Bird, bird, bird, kill it, it’s evil!…

In Portal 2, the story of Prometheus was told by a turret who claimed to be “different.”

This turret was known as the ‘oracle turret’ and was found on the conveyor belt to be incinerated​. The oracle turret was different and told Chell  the story of Prometheus, to remember the name Caroline and to not make lemonade. These, of course, are references to events that become rather apparent later on in the game. 

Think about what other people do.

This is a question I’ve asked myself​ for the past year now and it’s one that’s really required a lot of observation. That’s not really something I’m used to. Just observing without formulating some form of opinion on it, is pretty difficult in a world where you were taught to be analytical and logical. 

And then do something else!

It is very easy to follow what other people do, because this is considered normal and that if you go against normal, then you’re some form of Psycho. Yes, that person who has decided not to drink, meditates and is actually adding value to their life “‘is a Psycho?’  Really? Let me ask you this question, is normal good enough for you? Would you rather be normal or extraordinary? Would you rather be progressive and dynamic or stagnant like pond water? I didn’t think so. Who cares what Mandy does? You’re running a marathon next month, grade 8 at piano, working towards your pilot’s license, go wingsuit diving at the weekends, run your own business and can easily beat most people at chess! Mandy on the other hand, probably doesn’t have much to offer than what’s between her legs. 

Hate something, change something.

Some of you may remember a television advertisement​ created by Honda, that first aired back in 2004. The title of this advert was “grr” and had an infectuous jingle that featured the lyrics “hate something change something.” This jingle was so popular, that many people downloaded it While the advert was designed to promote its new i-CTDi diesel car engine, you could interpret this as a way of improving everything and anything! What do you hate about yourself? Use that to improve yourself. 

What are YOUR values?

This is all about what you believe in, or rather, how you see the world through your eyes. It’s what drives you, what motivates you and it’s how you wake up every morning at 5AM, on as little as 3.5 hours of sleep without feeling exhausted! 

Add value to your life.

That means cut out the memes (you know who you are), that means taking up a new hobby, it means improving yourself. Figure out what your problem is and work on it, build new skills and work on building mental toughness. This will do wonders for your self-esteem, which is surprisingly lacking in today’s society…

What is your excuse?

I’ve lost count of the amount of people who “can’t be asked.” I’d say that if you can’t be bothered to put the effort in, then it’s not that important to you. I think most people I’ve met just have the wrong attitude towards​ things. If you want to achieve something, then you have to SHUT THE HELL UP AND GET ON WITH IT! I met an eighty-six year old who still skis and you can’t even leave the house. Sort it out, be inspiring to yourself, if not for anyone else, because sometimes the inspiration that you need doesn’t exist. Only you can create that!

Choose to be NORMAL and you’ll live an ordinary life, but choose to be different, and you’ll live an EXTRAORDINARY life!

That choice, is yours, but remember; don’t make lemonade!

Because I need to write a post, but am too tired

Well, all I can say is what a week and that I am exhausted. It’s my mother’s birthday tomorrow, so I’m going to get some sleep. Heaven knows I need it after all the late nights I have been having!

Enjoy your evening everyone!

Is it fixed now? Good, don’t touch it again!

….

Alex… 

No, those holes in the back of the television are not for you to spit Ribena into

Liquid and electronics don’t mix

When I was six, I saw some holes in the back of the television and decided that it would be a ‘fun game’ to spit Ribena down the holes of the television. I was extremely surprised that it didn’t turn on after spitting effectively a quarter of a glass of the stuff into the back of the telly. I then had to explain to my father why the television didn’t work and why I was staring at a black box. 

The television that I ruined, looked very much like this.

As the son of an engineer, I’ve got used to fixing broken things.

I guess that’s why I’m in software development, although I should probably admit that half of my solutions to software defects, usually involve me banging my head against a desk, calling the computer “drunk” and calling over one of my colleagues who will usually say “you’ve sorted it in the wrong order.” 

Although, I’ll admit that DIY is definitely an acronym for destroy it yourself. 

In a way, this blog is a massive DIY project. I buy a server, I install software on it and configure it any which way I like and map the domain to the site. Bish bash bosh, simples as my meerkat counterpart would say. Over the years, I’ve added a few new features, migrated it over several different webhosts and broken it loads of times, but I’ve always fixed it eventually. After I fix it, I tell myself never to muck around with it again, but of course I listened to myself when I said that, I wouldn’t have run Linux as my primary operating system back in Sixth Form.

Admittedly​, I’ve had to tell my parents not to touch things

The TetraClump (which I’m thinking about replacing with a mini-stx build) is a cluster of raspberry pis, which I’ve had my fair share of board shortages with. Yes, I’m very good at murdering raspberry pis! Now the TetraClump does some highly secret stuff and has a decent amount of processing power. One of them is used for an alerting system which does make a terrible din and sends a notification to my pixel. What it effectively is, is a tracer that sends the digital signature to my phone and takes down the entire network. Unfortunately, it malfunctioned one day because some numpty heard it beeping and switched it off. So I had a fun time trying to get the network back online. 

Tl;Dr

The majority of things we fix are with duct tape or superglue. I’d call these “bodge jobs”. Basic rule of thumb though, don’t fix something if you have no idea what you’re doing, leave it to the experts and don’t touch it. You’ll break it even more!

I poured custard onto my fish fingers

So today for lunch, I had a fish finger wrap with custard. That’s right, following in the footsteps of Matt Smith as the eleventh doctor, I poured custard on to my fisher fingers. The whole office watched in horror (and tried not to spew) as I proceeded to devour this fishy treat.

And it was actually pretty tasty

At this point, you’re probably not sure if I’m telling the truth, so let me tell you what I tell everyone. If you don’t want to, then you don’t have to believe me, that’s your choice though. This is not the first time that I have tried “fish custard”. In fact the first time I tried this strange combination was back in 2011, when the eleventh doctor came to the house of Amy (Amelia at the time) pond, claimed that he loved apples and then proceeded to spit it out and say “that’s disgusting, what is it?” And such was the birth of “apples are rubbish!”

Admittedly they are, but pears are much worse

I give apples a lot of stick, but admittedly, I don’t hate them. Actually, people would probably think I’m an apple lover because I even eat the core and the seeds. So why do I eat them? Mainly for the health benefits, but generally because it’s there. A pear on the other hand, well that just tastes wooly. 

But if I don’t eat this pear how can you rely on me in your time if need

This is what one of my work colleagues said to another work colleague after they said started eating a pear and said “I don’t have much love for this pear.” As if the ability to eat a pear or not is a matter of life and death 😂

But of course that’s just daft, because we’re all monkeys

I haven’t met someone who doesn’t like to eat bananas, hence my conclusion is that we’re all just monkeys and monkeys love bananas! Ooh ooh ah ah 

April Alignment

The sun is out, the summer is here!

Er Alex? It’s April!

It’s a horrifying thought to think that I’m twenty in two months and two days. I spent the weekend brushing up on my Civ strategies, playing piano and writing blog posts that I ended up binning this morning. I also attained an utterly brilliant sunburn. I must truly thank the sunshine for giving me the ruddy complexion of a hardened drinker… 

I also found time to watch in the loop

A political satire with a lot of swearing from Peter Capaldi. I think I may have talked about the thick of it on here once or twice before, which features the same sweary Malcolm Tucker. As I’m sure I’ve said before, he makes a much better spin doctor than the Doctor’s latest regeneration. I guess a part of me wants him to start cursing his sweaty balls off…

But yes, admittedly, it is April…

A month where last year, I finally made my mind up. A month where I said “sure.” It was also a month when I started running again. I’ve always liked April, it’s usually the month that makes most sense to me. I know that sounds pretty vague (like most of the things I say) but if I look through my diaries over the years, the entries there just look very different to the rest of the year.

And April isn’t summer

I’m so glad that we’ve reached a consensus, April isn’t summer. I’m so proud that you figured that one out on your own! Have a medal while I go bang my head against a desk for the next eight hours, in an effort to get this program working. Ta rah for now!

Lists!

April is blogging month. That’s right, I was challenged to write thirty-one blog posts this month despite the fact that April only possesses thirty days. It’s day six now and I haven’t published a single post. In fact, I’ve written a load of tripe (like I usually do) and proceeded to chuck the majority of my posts in the bin.

So today I thought I’d write about lists.

At the start of this year, I created a bullet journal, not the sort you’d find on Instagram, but a functional one that has a similar level of chaos to it as the inner complexities of how my mind works. You see my way of simplifying things makes it difficult for other people to understand because lots of assumptions have to be made. For example, when I was in sixth-form (which was only two years ago) I was able to literalise everything in computing using cheese sandwiches, monkeys and ‘roadman’ terminologies, otherwise known to my group as ‘chav speak’. A well-known example of this was when I talked about steps of the systems life-cycle using nothing but pictures as part of a presentation in April of 2014 where I described the steps with the given scenario that ”code monkey needs to deliver a solution to materialise grilled cheese sandwiches onto employee’s desks. Another was when I took the ingredients for a particularly bizarre drink and sorted them in a binary tree. The ingredients for said drink (twits tea) include a singular lemon, raw egg, Dijon mustard instead of two apples and some ground ginger. For the best experience, drink with boiling water and have your sick bowl on standby…

But I appear to have gone on a massive tangent..

So where was I, ah yes, lists. They’re everywhere! You have one for shopping. They provide goals and targets and reminders. To quote an old maths teacher of mine, your head’s full of rubbish, so write it down. In sixth-form, which was actually only two years ago, I churned out hundreds of ideas a day including orbital pencil dispensers, so instead of a head full of rubbish, I had an Evernote notebook full of entirely impractical ideas. Sure, some of them made decent blog posts, some of them had concepts that I could exploit and some even helped me to factorise polynomials much higher than the 5th exponent! Most of them, however, were utter tosh. The mere musings of a madman.

I have a list of things I need to do before I’m twenty

Did I complete everything on this list? Calm down, I’ve got two months yet, but yes. In fact, I’ve had to start adding new stuff to it. So what about the next two and Half years? I think I’ll take up wingsuit diving. It’s expensive and will require a lot of skydiving time, but I think I can afford it. As for the danger part? Well, I’m under the impression that nothing is dangerous if you have enough experience.

But I’ll probably tell you all about that in a future post

Right now I’ve got to setup Google Home!

Pineapple Does Belong On Pizza!

I love pineapple on pizza Alex! Remember, I told you to order one with pineapple while we watched stranger things.

Yes, I remember! I also remember the food coma that I went into afterwards…

Pineapple on pizza-01

Proof of the pudding!

I would seriously not recommend binge watching stranger things… But yes, moving swiftly on, contrary to what you might believe, pineapple on pizza is much more popular in Britain than you might have thought. In a recent poll conducted by YouGov between the 26th and 28th of February, pineapple on pizza was favoured by more than half of Brits. Meanwhile in Iceland, president Guðni Th. Jóhannesson said that he would ban pineapple on pizza if he had the chance. Of course, this is the same president who encouraged us to try fish on our pizzas. Yelch!

 

 

People actually prefered pineapple to jalapeños

BxlWXuLIQAM2oqGWhich is something that I certainly didn’t expect, then again, I like spicy foods. But strictly speaking, a jalapeño, isn’t that hot. It’s between 2,500 and 10,000 Scoville units. That’s about medium hotness if we have a look at the Scoville chilli chart. For those who want a simpler scale,I believe that this descriptive Reddit scale will suffice.

I personally remember having a conversion about the Carolina Reaper in December and bought a packet of seeds, which I probably need to start growing at some point. I think this just proves that people prefered having something sweet on their pizza rather than having something spicy.

Although the most interesting piece of pizza pie was that mushrooms were the UK’s favourite

Ah yes the classic Ristorante Pizza Funghi by Dr. Oetker. Although if it’s alright with you sir, I’ll take my classic Cajun chicken with double pineapple and BBQ sauce any day thank you very much.

Dan Izzard claims that if you like pineapple on pizza, then you’re a bad person

I’d like to thank Dan Izzard for his article on Simple Lampoon called ’20 Reasons why liking pineapple on pizza makes you a bad person’I quite enjoyed this article, despite this, as well as being a bad person (which is exactly what GLaDOS said to me in portal 2 for murdering her after she tried to kill me in the first game), I am also a pedantic person. Don’t believe me? Watch me pick apart your article like Sunday’s chicken! While I know that your article was a joke, it’s provided me with something to respond to and for that Mr. Izzard, I am grateful. *bows most politely*

So without furtherado, let’s shred some chicken!

20) “In a modest Twitter poll of 216 votes – 53% of people agreed that pineapple on pizza is ‘all kinds of wrong.’”

In the recent YouGov survey that I talked about above (full results here),  a total  of 3,683 Brits were interviewed. In the overall majority, it was found that 53% liked pineapple on their pizza and that 41% of people did not.

19) “In Maui they use pineapples to make wine. If you can make wine with it then why would you do anything else.”

While pineapples can be used to make wine, grapes are also used to make wine. Grapes are also useful for treating migraines, delay neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s, cure stomach irritation. Pineapple is very good for clearing your sinuses, helps aid digestion, contains very high levels of vitamin C and mineral manganese. According to Guardian,  ‘consumption of sweet juices causes spikes in blood sugar and insulin levels, which can encourage the body to produce and store fat’, so why would you make wine out of it, when it’s so much better for you in its solid form?

18) “Pineapples were once believed to cause miscarriages, but a pregnant woman would need to eat about 10 whole pineapples for it to be a concern. Do you want to be the one to tell a heavily pregnant woman that she can’t eat the pizza? Really?”

If pineapples don’t cause miscarriages, then you don’t need to tell this ‘heavily pregnant lady’ that she can’t eat pineapple pizza.

17) “A pineapple is not an apple, or pine. It’s actually a berry! BERRIES ON YOUR PIZZA.”

You can blame the Spanish explorers for that because they thought it looked like a pine cone. Us English people added the apple part because it’s a juicy fruit. As for your berry argument, according to livescience, a berry is a fleshy fruit that has multiple seeds on the inside,  which would also classify chilli peppers as berries. Chilli peppers on pizzas aren’t weird.

16) “There’s a myth that pineapples make a man’s ‘fluids’ taste sweeter. But no conclusive scientific evidence”

Perhaps not, but vice did conduct a study on same-sex couples where they compared what people ate to how they tasted. They found that people with better diets (those that consisted of healthy foods) had sweeter tasting juices.

15) “No-one has signed up for my scientific study.”

That’s lovely… Did you advertise it well enough?

14) “Because of this joke: I just burnt my Hawaiian pizza – I guess I should have put it on Aloha temperature.”

Admittedly, that is a bad joke because there’s nothing Hawaiian about pineapple on pizza. In fact, it makes about as much sense as putting sauerkraut on a pizza and calling it German. atrocious grammar there by the way!

13) “Pineapples ripen faster upside down. Go home pineapple, you’re drunk.”

I think we can say that this is irrelevant to the argument. Don’t listen to him pineapple, he’s just jealous!

12) “Hawaiian pizzas were actually invented by a Canadian. Probably as a joke.”

Sam Panopoulos was from Greece and moved to Canada. Although yes, the pizza itself was birthed in Canada.

11) “That man has a name that sounds suspiciously like a joke – Sam Panopoulos”

Sounds like a pretty legitimate name if you ask me…

10) “A quote from Mr Panopoulos –  ‘It was a steep learning curve at first, We’d never seen a pizza. We didn’t know what we were doing.’ – And you want to trust this man.”

People also voted Brexit and Trump. Do you really think Trump has any idea what he’s doing, because I know for certain most of the people who voted leave have no idea what’s going to happen when we leave the EU (I may cover this in a future blog post).

9) “Pineapples probably aren’t welcome in post-Brexit Britain”

Actually, if part of the Brexit plan is to trade with the commonwealth (which would make logical sense) then pineapple would be part of the plan. Also considering that the older generation like pineapples, who most likely voted for Brexit in the first place, it would seem sense for them to be included in said plan.

8)”In Victorian times pineapples would be grown in hot pits and boys would be paid to sit and sleep in them – just in case the pit caught on fire. And that’s terribly sexist.”

But we don’t live in Victorian times anymore, we live in the 21st century where pineapples are not grown in hot pits. Also due to health and safety regulations, this method of growing would not be allowed.

7) “Of every pound you spend on pineapple in the shop, retailers typically take 41p, multinational traders 38p and plantation owners 17p; Workers get 4p and that’s not enough for any pizza.”

Do you not buy fairtrade pineapples?

6) “Pineapple is the only known source in nature of the enzyme Bromelain. Bromelain digests proteins… so when you eat pineapple – it eats you back.”

Granted, yes it does eat you back, but bromelain is an approved treatment for inflammation and swelling and has potential use in cancer treatments. I’d also like to bring your attention back to the fact that it’s very good for your immune system. Let’s also not forget that these enzymes are destroyed

5) “You’re eating Spongebob’s home.”

Spongebob is a fictional character. In other words, he doesn’t exist…

4) “Katie Hopkins probably likes Hawaiian pizza. Evident from this Twitter exchange:”I see, yes Katie Hopkins is quite a bad person isn’t she? I’ve also sent a tweet to the royal family, I haven’t heard anything back from them, so I guess you can say that the Windsors are all “bad “people too?Screenshot (53)

3) “In Australian slang, ‘to get the wrong end of the pineapple,’ means to get a bad deal. Literally translated: Bad deal pizza”

Would you mind explaining to me why it is, that the Hawaiian pizza is the most popular pizza in Australia?

2) “Pineapples take up to 3 years to grow. 3 f**ing years to ruin a pizza. You could fit in a full training cycle for the next Olympics before your pizza was ready.”

Now hang on a sweet second. Sweet and savoury actually goes well together. Have you ever tried cinnamon-spiced beef stroganoff? Don’t knock it until you try it.

1) “The pineapple did not make it to England until the 1600s, and it became a HIT in the 1700s. So It took 100 years for people to like them. If it takes that long to like, then I’ll be dead before I like Hawaiian pizza.”

That’s probably because they cost just North of £6,400 in those days…  Perhaps you’d like to double-check your sources because they were popular in the 1600s and became a status symbol, because naturally, only the ridiculously wealthy could afford them back then.

Of course, Mr. Izzard, feel free to correct me. After all, I relish the opportunity of battling you again in the future.

Although I think it’s safe to say that my blog has the crazier name here 😛 No hard feelings my good sir.

I wonder why there’s so much hate for pineapple on pizza

peter-mueller-it-s-got-pineapple-on-it-you-ll-have-to-go-to-hell-cartoon

I’m about ninety percent certain that this issue has about as much controversy surrounding it as the The Red Pill (TRP) on Reddit. At least from what I have seen, it has about the same reaction to it. Chances are if you eat pineapple pizza and someone tells you to “go to hell”, then you’re probably not going to care, whereas the pineapple pizza hater (let’s call them the pph) is probably going to be judging you for eating pineapple pizza for the rest of your life.

Here are three great reasons to eat pineapple pizza!

1) Pineapple is healthier than most pizza toppings, which means you won’t get as fat.

Well duh!

2) If you don’t like pineapple, then you have under-developed senses.

As you age, your tastes will change. That’s how your Dad can gulp down pints of Guinness while you, my friend are probably regretting ordering even half a pint of the stuff. If you’re unable to appreciate a sweet and savoury flavour that pineapple has to offer, then it means that your taste buds aren’t sophisticated enough yet.

3) You eat the non-pineapple pizza the story ends. You wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe you eat the pineapple pizza, you stay in Wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes.

Yes, you are living in the matrix. I’m not offering you pills, I’m offering you pizza. Choose wisely young Neo.

I think that’s really all I need to say

Belch and laugh at us pineapple pizza lovers all you like, but at the end of the day, we’re the majority. Pineapple has earned it’s place on the wall of Tetrcia and despite the views of the Icelandic president and of course Trump (who would probably punish me for my “crimes against pizza”) pineapple on pizza, is actually not as detestable as you may think.

TL;DR

Pineapple belongs on pizza. Disagree with me? I’m open to a healthy debate!

Have you got a quid mate?

When I worked in Waitrose, someone handed me a new fiver. I was so excited because it was all new and shiny, but I had to give it to someone because they needed change for a tenner 🙁

What an absolute shame that must have been for you…

Well well well Britain, the new quid coins have arrived and as I’m sure you’re all very much aware, they’re twelve sided and are set to completely replace the current quid this October. As someone who rarely pays by cash, the likelihood of me obtaining one of these within the next few weeks, is probably pretty low. I know, I’m guilty! I’m sort the person you’ll find in wetherspoons, raising his orange pixel over card reader to pay for his bottle of angry orchard cider.

They look alright I guess

If you call a smaller, lighter dodecagcon take on a two quid coin alright looking that is. It’s also apparently thinner and lighter too.  I really wonder why us Brits are putting so much effort into lumps of metal in a world where plastic and phone payments reign supreme. Even poundland (or as I call it, “quid world”) accept android pay. Sure the royal mint claims that it’s because of the ludicrous amounts of counterfeit currency, but why we’re handing each other tiny lumps of metal in the information age baffles me. It is also slightly larger than the current quid

One in thirty pound coins are fake…

So obviously the royal mint put a load of security features on our shiny new quids. This includes its iconic dodecadon shape, its bimetallic design, holographic image which changes from the ‘£’ sybmbol to 1, micro-lettering and a hidden high security feature that is so secret that even my special sneaky spies couldn’t any further information about it for me. More information on this can be found here.

The quid ain’t got no worth no more!

We know inflation is a big deal. It probably doesn’t help that our FTSE’s going a bit nuts at the moment due to triggering article fifty that’s due to happen tomorrow I think? But yes, if you’ve got even the smallest shred of intelligence, you’re probably quite aware that a quid isn’t as much as it used to be. In fact, according to M&G Investors, a quid today would be worth the astonishing amount of thirty-two pence if we look at the value of the pound when the first quid coin was minted in 1983. Why that’s enough to buy three plastic bags and won’t buy you anything on the McDonald’s saver menu!

But neither has the dollar

Obviously no one has ever heard of the Norwegian electro-pop group DonkeyBoy apart from me and a small handful of people at my year eleven prom. At this prom, I had ridiculously red eyes as a result to my childhood friend taking me for a walk down to the resivoir the day before. Yes, I’m terribly allergic to grass! Anyway, while I’m on this horrible tangent, have the song I’m talking about.

Oh yeah, your vending machines probably won’t be ready for them…

It’ll probably say something along the lines of “Yo bruv, that’s not a quid, that’s some weird coin you ought to put in a museum somewhere.” Because natuarally, all vending machines these day speak fluent roadman (street).

Tl;dr

We’ve got new quid coins that will fully replace your current quids in October because there’s so many fake quids in existence. Better clear out your piggy banks! Despite this lots of places are probably still not ready for them and lots of people still didn’t know about their release today.

And now for some astrology

Alex, I don’t think you should be writing a blog post about something that’s so scientifically illogical. How on earth can the movements of the planets and the stars have any impact on you? What’s that? You’re gonna write one anyway… I see, well good luck.

Quite simply, celestial objects don’t have an impact, but it’s still interesting to read!

Ah astrology, my favourite part of the newspaper, well, it would be, if I actually read newspapers… I only look at them for London stock exchange, which I can get on my phone anyway. At some point in our lives, we’ve all probably read our horoscope and probably either had the “wow that’s really accurate” or “pfft, what a load of rubbish” reaction. I used to have a daily horoscope app on my phone and sometimes, they’d hold some water

So what does?

Most probably, from a logical standpoint, it’s your actions. I’ve never really been one to believe in birthrights. Everything I’ve done is achieved from hard work.

I’m a Gemini

It was about this time two years ago, that I met a girl at a party, who I totally didn’t write a blog post about. She seemed to have some vague interest of this. I know this because she’d looked up my star sign and gone through a list of traits that I was supposed to have. Out of the eleven questions, I answered eight that matched the general personality traits of a Gemini. This included my preference to skim through topics, erratic behaviour and my natural charm that exists. A spooky coincidence eh? Anyway, according to the zodiac, it’s pretty much the worst star sign because we’re inconsistent, superficial and pretty darn turbulent in the mood department.

Probably the best analogy for this is Jekyll and Hyde

Because you never really know which one is going to show up. I’ll let you think about that for a minute.

But like I always say, I’ll let you form your own opinion

Like I said at the beginning, I’m not particularly a fan of the idea that your star sign dictates who you are and what you are like. I’d say that’s more to do with the experiences more than anything else. But really, if something doesn’t agree with your opinion, then generally, you’ll ‘poo poo‘ it.

 

Welcome To The Tetraspace

The tetraspace? You know Alex, you can’t just shove the word ‘tetra’ in front of something and expect it to become a thing! You’re not even listening to me, are you?

Shhh you, let me welcome everyone back!

Hello everyone and welcome back to Tetracious Frustration. It’s been a while since my post in January, where I wrote about leaving the past behind me. Shortly after this, I went skiing and met some delightful people from Ireland. Whilst there, I spent €50 on some raw beef, a coke and a double espresso in the notoriously expensive, Courchevel. Surprisingly, I also did a hell of a lot of skiing and fed various nuggets of information, by powers who were significantly wiser than myself. Well, I say much wiser, they did try to get me to chat up this French waitress. I mean don’t get me wrong, she was very attractive, but she wasn’t what I really needed that night. Anyway, as fascinatring as this sounds, allow me to get underway with today’s post.

What is the Tetraspace?

It’s my bedroom. Yes, that is how I refer to it on, a day-to-day context, when I’m inviting strange women back from the closed down nightclub of Grinstead. Lame joking aside, of course, it’s a place that’s changed a lot from the desk, bed, laptop and whiteboard setup from my days of sixth-form.

It basically looks like this

TINYPLANET_PANO_20170305_162129_1488731083963.jpg

Allow me to assure you, it is a rarity to see my room quite so tidy. Ask anyone who knows me and they’ll know that I like to keep everything in a state of ‘organised chaos’. That is to say, I know where everything is, but it’s still pretty messy. I should’ve probably put a motion sickness disclaimer on this post because that picture is just a little bit trippy. One thing that usually surprises people about the Tetraspace, is the fact that it has no desk, instead, I have a 43-inch telly with a three seater orange beanbag. I also considered getting rid of my bed and replacing it with a few pillows on the floor. While this would free up a lot of space, I decided against it simply because I just couldn’t justify it.

Features:

  • Mood lighting (voice activated controlled by Philips hue)
  • A printer (prints from anywhere in the world)
  • An orange bean bag (has seen far too many things in its lifetime)
  • A humidifier (to ensure that the air is always moist)
  • A PS4 (the only console worth buying at the moment, sorry Nintendo fans!)
  • Renfuku (she’s my small but powerful Mini ATX build computer)
  • Retro-gaming lighting (Tetris and Pac-Man lights)
  • Speakers (I need a new cable for these)
  • Lots of books (Mostly psychological thrillers)
  • A rather large amount of storage (Rumour dictates that you could enter the wardrobe and lose all perspective of time and space)
  • A digital piano (that I’m still learning how to play)
  • A bin (which really needs a clean)
  • A shrine (purely for meditation purposes)
  • Penguin shelf (I like penguins, go figure)
  • Amazing views of my road (and garage)
  • And finally, a bed (which is where I store all my alcohol)

What inspired you to make your room like this?

It’s hard to say. I’ve always enjoyed rearranging my room and having my own space which I can dictate. It started off in June when I wanted to optimise the amount of space I had in the room and then I had the idea of turning the room into a man cave. I only started making massive changes in July and from there everything kind of just happened. I am pleased to say, that I’m pretty much done with this now. Maybe, I’ll repaint it a bit, but as for terms of style and tetraciousness, it’s pretty cool right?

Wrap Up

The Tetraspace is pretty much my version of a man cave, where I could practically spend most of my time in if I so wished. It has a futuristic, modern and generally hipster mood to it, but most importantly, it’s functional as well as aesthetically pleasing. Who knows, maybe it’ll give you some inspiration for your own room? Either way, I’ll finish this post off with some shots of the Tetraspace.

It’s Gonna Be A Tetra Year!

2016 was a year where I predicted Brexit, predicted the election of Trump, won money on a horse, bought a Pixel, learnt Go, solved numerous tsumego puzzles, swore at hills in Exmoor and developed an amazing credit score.

It’s a year I will forget

So while I’m sure it would be lovely to review it, that year is done, that was then this is now and I’ve never felt more alive.

This is now!

Welcome to the new Tetracious Frustration. I’ve never really been one of those ‘new year, new me’ people (and I assure you I am not) but let’s face it, my dusty old notebook design needed a rework. It needed a good old clean as well, my file structures were filthy. 

What’s coming up this year?

Let’s see, it’s pretty packed this year. I’ve got more DofE stuff, I’m establishing the Tetranet, work is coming along nicely and the fog of my mind is clearing. Of course there’s going to be plenty of blog posts and exciting content.

The Ramblings Of A Mad Dan

That’s right, Dan has decided that this year he wants to start a diary. So if the diary of a second year computing student sounds like something you would be interested click here! You can also access it through going through the Tetranet. 

So what is the Tetranet?

A collection of blogs and authors who will be producing content for Tetracious Frustration itself or for it’s child blogs. The Ramblings Of A Mad Dan is the first of these but this will grow as the year goes on. If you’re interested in joining the Tetranet or writing a guest post then feel free to contact me. 

Anything else we should know about?

I got screwdrivers from the person who gifted me for the reddit secret Santa, so I guess I’m gonna be fixing a lot of things this year! Oh, also you should probably check out the new about page. New and old readers will probably appreciate that. But let me tell you now 2017 is certainly going to be a cracking year!

And Where The Hell Have You Been?

Hi there… It’s been a while huh? I suppose you want an explanation as to where I have been for these past months. No unfortunately I have not been sunning myself on a nice beach in Bali, nor have I been relaxing in the hot springs in Iceland. Seriously, though, I could really do with a break from my life. I think that’s probably why I enjoy camping so much. Because I can go completely off-grid for a week and forget about everything. A clear and empty mind, which fills up pretty quickly with junk the minute that I get home. 

But these are exciting times for me

I’ve always liked change. Most people I know absolutely hate it, but I guess that is to be expected really. My attitudes are changing to allow me to be a much more tolerant person. I guess I’ve always been tolerant, I mean I do accept a lot of things. I do choose to shrug my shoulders at a lot of things people are quick to judge on. 

There are probably some people who just read that and said “really?”

And to which I shall respond, “if you don’t want to, then you don’t have to believe me.” Because that’s really what tolerance is. 

2016 has been tough though

But it has been very rewarding. Sure it’s changed my perspective on many things. And financially it has been very good, even though I did spend a small fortune on the new Google phone and £150 on colour changing lightbulbs…

Oh so tough on you Alex…

Okay it really hasn’t been all that bad, I’ve just been distracted by a few things. I guess in the grand scheme of things. 

But that’s enough about this year’s review, that’s still to come

That’s gonna be a real Christmas cracker. Facebook always does a rubbish job at that. What I post here is much more detailed. 

So where have I been?

I’ve been at work, I’ve been at home, I’ve been in London. Nothing special. I just took an extremely long hiatus without any warning. I did give blood for the sixth time last month, so that was pretty good. I dunno why, but I always leave the donation hall in an extremely elated mood. I am assured that skipping is certainly a very manly thing to do. I’m not so sure I agree. And then of course I am in the middle of writing an autobiography at the moment, which I keep ripping up and starting from scratch on. 

But that’s just the way it is 

So I’ll get some new content to you pretty soon.  Ta rah!