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Viking Longboat Races

Peel Viking Longboat RacesToday I visited the annual Viking Longboat Races in Peel, having not been for many years - in fact I'm not sure if I've ever been before at all. I've added a few photos to my new Peel Viking Longboat Races gallery. The weather wasn't the best for the event, though I did manage to escape before the rain set in!

I was also hoping to visit the World Tin Bath Championships in Castletown which was also taking place today, but I resorted to plan B - a warm drink - when the weather set in. Maybe next year.

MacFormat early back issues

MacFormat Issue 12Since I started being a Mac lover in primary school, I began buying MacFormat religiously every month to keep up with what was happening. I finally stopped buying the magazines in my last year of high school and since then they've been sitting quietly on a shelf. Now that I'm hoping to go back to university it seems like a good time to clear out things like this that I don't need any more, so I'm advertising them all (about 75 issues) on eBay, hoping to find them a good home.

If you're interested in my early back issues, take a look at the first lot of 10 issues of MacFormat (August 1993 - May 1994) on eBay. There will be more to come...

Graduation and television

On Tuesday I attended my graduation ceremony and officially became a graduate of UMIST with the degree of BSc (Hons) in Computing and Geography with Industrial Experience at the level 2:i. If you're not sure how the UK classification system works, the order from highest to lowest is 1, 2:i, 2:ii, 3, pass. There are some photos from the day with me dressed up in robes and mortar board, though I look a little sunburnt in most so I'm not a big fan. At some point I'll upload a copy of one of the photos to the site.

On a separate note, this Sunday sees the first of a six-part wartime drama - called Island at War - to be shown on UK television. The series was filmed in the Isle of Man last year and I was lucky enough to be an extra in one of the episodes (though admittedly I'm not sure which one!). The first episode will be screened at 9pm on ITV.

Tynwald Day today

Tynwald Hill before the procession arriveFlower5th of July in the Isle of Man is a local bank holiday known as Tynwald Day. On this day each year the Parliament of the Isle of Man (Tynwald) congregate on Tynwald Hill in St Johns to read out the laws that have been passed over the past year - read both in English and Manx.

This year is the first year I have attended the ceremony in years but I did manage to get out and take some photos of the ceremony to put into a new Tynwald Day gallery. Coming home I also passed by Niarbyl and took a few more photos for the Manx Nature gallery.

Canadian photos uploaded

Woman talking to bird in the markets, TorontoCN Tower from below, TorontoI have finally got around to preparing some of my photos from my trip to Canada the other week, and have now managed to upload them all to my photo galleries. From the CN Tower in Toronto to the Parliament buildings in Ottawa, there are a variety of photos. There are still more to be uploaded, including some of the Trooping the Colour ceremony in Ottawa and also a furry friend we met along the way...

I have also been out for another walk today and taken some more close-up photos of heather, gorse and dandelions which I have added to the Manx Nature gallery.

Back in the Isle of Man

After my final term in Manchester I have now moved back to the Isle of Man for the summer before working out what I'll be doing for the following year (having still not heard from UCL about the Masters degree I'm hoping to do).

Pine needles in South Barrule plantationFox Glove in South Barrule plantationSince being back I have been for a wander into the woods to take some close-up photos of the nature around me here in the Island. I have created a Manx Nature gallery to show off some of the pine trees and fox gloves that are out at the moment and also some of the dafodils, gorse and heather which were around at Easter time this year.

On another note, I got a 2:i classification for my degree, which I am very pleased about - and I now have the letters BSc to put after my name if I wish.

All over the place

Today I get my final year results and degree classification hopefully. Whilst I am a little nervous about it, it certainly will be a relief to find out how well I've done over the past four years at university!

CanadaSince my last exam almost 3 weeks ago I have been on a short holiday to Canada to visit a good friend of mine from my year working in London - giving me the opportunity to explore Toronto and Ottawa. Whilst in Toronto I got the chance to ascend the CN Tower, the tallest building in the world, to take advantage of the great views over the city. In Ottawa, there was a Trooping the Colours ceremony taking place, coincidentally on the same day as the London ceremony of the same name to celebrate the Queen's official birthday (which I went to last year). Whilst I was away I took quite a few photos, some of which will be going into my galleries very soon...

Royal AscotAfter coming back from Canada and trying to readjust my sleeping patterns I travelled down to London to visit Royal Ascot for the final day of this years race meeting. Despite backing all the wrong horses I still had a great time although didn't manage to get any good photos of the event to share.

After the racing I went back to London to watch the third Harry Potter movie, which I did like, though I have to admit I didn't like as much as the first too - it seemed to get a little silly at times.

After getting my results, I'll be starting to pack up all of my stuff here in Manchester ready to move back to the Isle of Man for the summer in a weeks time. I'm really looking forward to spending some time back there, relaxing a little after what's been quite a busy year.

Last minute knowledge absorption

NewsweekFocusWith less than 9 hours until my last exam - called somewhat vaguely a 'General Paper' - I've been reading a number of magazines to try and get my mind working again ready to answer two essay questions in the morning. The questions are generally very open ended, with a couple of past ones that spring to mind being 'The world is not enough. Discuss.' and 'Location, location, location. Discuss'. These do actually tie in quite well to the content of the course as a whole and particularly this years module on Geographic Information Systems (GIS).

Coming back to Manchester on Tuesday I bought Focus and Newsweek magazines to help give me some examples to use in the exams. They both looked interesting on the outside and also proved to have a wealth of interesting stories inside, along with many which may be useful for tomorrows exam - especially in Newsweek, like Making the ultimate map and A future with nowhere to hide?. Having read both of these magazines for the first time and enjoyed them both thoroughly, I think I may just have to buy these more regularly!

On another note, I found out today that I've been granted funding from the Isle of Man Government for the masters I'm hoping to do next year - all I need to do now is wait to hear back from UCL about the course application...

A busy weekend in London

This weekend I was down in London, taking a break after three exams last week - before I have to sit the final exam of my degree this Friday.

New City ArchitectureWhilst it was a nice break, it wasn't exactly relaxing, as London never is. It did mean though, that I got to visit an exhibition that I'd read about a week or so ago - called New City Architecture, it is an exhibition about 21 of the the City of London's newest buildings. The exhibition was fascinating, especially after living in London for a year, seeing some of the buildings growing over the time I was there (like the 'gherkin' which I travelled past each morning on the way to work).

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of AzkabanLater on Sunday I went to see the crowds screaming for the European Premier of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban in Leicester Square, although were unfortunately too far back in the crowd to see any of the cast going in to the cinema (other than on the big screens which they had set up for the evening). The Day After TomorrowThe film has had some great reviews, and is said to be the best of the three made so far. Unfortunately it was only released yesterday and has been sold out so far, so I haven't yet been able to see it. Soon, hopefully...

Instead of seeing Harry Potter, I did get to see The Day After Tomorrow, which also turned out to be a great film. It's all about a world in which the climate suddenly takes a turn for the worse, caused by the growing fossil fuel usage and the global warming it creates. Whilst a little cheesy and slightly unbelievable in some places (to say the least) it certainly does make you think, and it's a great watch at the same time.

Exams around the corner...

With exams just a week away I'm busily studying, but eagerly awaiting the pending summer months. The warm weather is starting to make an appearance, with Manchester seeing a string of summer days over the past week - not the best weather to be stuck inside revising! With the weather being so nice, I've taken the opportunity to walk into university and back most days, which is a nice change than sitting on a crowded old bus (and often faster).

UCLI have today applied to study for an MSc in Geographic Information Science at UCL for a year. It will be a little while before I find out if I've been successful in getting a place (and funding), but I'm hoping for the best. The course builds on some of the modules I've already done but goes into much more detail in the area of GIS, which is the area I have found most interesting within the course.

When I've finished my course here in Manchester, I want to go away on holiday... I've got a few ideas of where I want to go, and think this would be a great opportunity to visit friends in places of the world I've never been before. And that hopefully means free accommodation too, which is always a plus.

By the way... Some time after exams I promise to give this site a bit of an overhaul, because a lot of the information is out of date (and badly spelt in some places, as people have pointed out!).

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