Wednesday, September 13, 2006

The Class of 2006

Well hello my lovely's! Yesterday was my graduation, the HLSS Class of 2006, and yes I have the hoody with my name printed in like size 4 font on the back of it. So I'll be brief...

Went in 2 cars because I had to be there early to collect robes etc, so mom, dad and tom got to the Grand Theatre at 10am, and Richard was kind enough to come with me at 8.45am (I was late). I must say he was looking fitty fine considering he was ill.

Robes are a bitch. They are heavy, and they slide back, which is why my robes look dodgy in every picture! The actual ceremony was really cool. I was expecting for it to last about 3hours, and for it to be very boring but I really enjoyed it. It started off with a procession of erm, chancellors and tutors etc, it felt very edwardian! It also felt very Hogwarts, everybody walking around in different coloured robes! Jonathan Coe the writer, and Benjamin Zefaniah (sp?) were given honorary doctrines/degrees type thing. Benjamin's speech was really ace. He is a rastafarian poet, and is good friends with Nelson Mandella! Anyway, he was a funny guy and that put me at ease. Before that started though, I was seated for like 45minutes. They gave me a graduation booklet, and after finally finding my name, it had two stars by it (** lol). And I looked it up, and it meant I had been awarded the Film Studies school subject prize for the highest overall achievement over the course! I didn't even know, and I was thinking, 'shit, do I have to go up twice?' It was nerve wracking enough, because if you get a first you have to go up on your own, whereas if you get a 2:1, 2:2 or a 3rd, you go up in twos or threes. So after the shock of that, I was trying to work the order out with the woman next to me who was hard of hearing. She had the sign language interpretor person on the stage for the ceremony. It turned out to be alphabetical, with about 40 people's names in between us in the booklet - obviously not everybody wants to go to the ceremony!

So my name was called, and I kind of stopped at the bottom of the stairs cus he had to read out my name, degree, and prize. But it was fine, I didn't know where Mom, Dad, Tom and Richard were sitting, so as I walked up the stairs on the stage, I looked up to the 2nd and 3rd tiers, only to remember later they were on the same level as me! What a tard. They took photos of you shaking the hand of the vice chancellor - and when we went to collect and buy it later, I was the only person who wasn't smiling. I was about to say something - so I have an elongated chin, and you can even see where the end of my nose is bent, talking like it does!! GUTTED!

So after the ceremony, I thanked the film tutors who were there, and after talking to some people, we headed back to campus and took photos (see below this blog). Poor Richard had become bag carrier at this point bless him. Mom was trying to sort out my disastrous robes, something was very wrong with them as you can see. We went to queue up for the photo (long queue), and we had a family photo, which is really nice. Not so keen on the photo of me (not the witch one, the 2nd one)...

Me and Rich then returned my robes while mom dad and tom headed for the carpark. We met up with them, and went for a drink at Penn Cottage. I've always wanted to go there, so it seemed like as good a time as any. After that, headed home. I went to work then because it was meant to be a drink/speech type thing to celebrate the new store and all the hard work everyone has done. But I turned up at 4pm, and ppl were having to stay til 8pm cus it wasn't finished lol. So Adrian, the manager gave me a tenner, and 2 other ppl went to Spoons for a drink. Apparently they'd all gone to Pizza Hut for lunch, and cus we missed out... Ppl kept turning up and going to the store to pinch a tenner lol. Left at 5.40pm, had tea, and then went to the Wolves v Derby game with Mom, Dad and Tom. Wolves lost one nil. And we were sat in the middle of these swearing men. Honestly, if I hear the words "F***ing W***ers" again it will be too soon! After the match we headed to my mom and dad's friends pub in Gornal. I was so shattered by this point it hurt, but still.

So to sum up, I was dreading the day, but it actually turned out surprisingly good! I had a really, really great day. And if you're wondering what the prize was, it was £50 of Waterstones vouchers (I feel bad for receiving goods from the rival of Smiths, but also good lol).

Take care,

The Graduate xxx

Batman! Posted by Picasa

If only Mom was looking at the camera.. Posted by Picasa

The people I love standing tall Posted by Picasa

Windswept, and I'm still not as tall as Richard even in my boots and hat! Powell and Bissell :) Posted by Picasa

Amy, Charlie and Layla and me being American! Posted by Picasa

Me walking across the stage at the Grand... 2 steps away from an awful witchy-chin photo :( Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

A 4 Year Journey

It's Tuesday 8th August 2006, 9.55pm. I've just got in from my last journey with Lady Vivian Pippa Mavis Bissell, aka Viv. The grey vauxhall corsa that has been my car since my 17th birthday.

I decided to go on a random drive, just me, viv and the music. I turned it up really loud (chav loud, but I don't have bass so I'm ok lol), and sang my heart out! I wonder how many hours I have sung in my car. It probably totals into days, maybe even weeks! But we've been through so many good, bad, and everything in between times. Viv was my safety net. As different songs were playing, I was thinking over the past, and all the different emotions Viv has witnessed. For example, the cranberries ode to my family first bought a smile when it came on. I remember it as a college joke, and I can see Alison's face laughing at me when I sang "my mother..." at Ste's house, but then when the song got into the verses, it reminded me of sadder times, and I thought about how many times I've cried in Viv - quite a few! From going to University of Wolverhampton's open day, to saying goodbye to Richard before I left for the University of Gloucestershire (lot's of university's lol). And then when Michelle Branch's everywhere came on, I thought about all the happy times - North Piddle wychy road trip with Paul, Darwin Lake - sheila and shawn in particular lol. Driving to Mertha Titville with Richard, or maybe that should be driving back lol. Driving to King Ed's for the first time, driving back from King Ed's for the first time. The many trips to Cheltenham with mom - the different cd's we'd make. Michael Jackson would be a Cheltenham cd. I always remember singing so loud that we both laughed so hard to Dusty Springfield's you don't have to say you love me... "believe me, believe me, I can't help but love you!" So many many memories!

I passed my driving test in Viv, and I shall be forever grateful. What a first car to have, so reliable!

I bid you farewell my beautiful baby. I will miss you,

Your Owner xxx

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Yeah maybe it does lol Posted by Picasa

I know it's sidewards, but does it get funnier than that? Posted by Picasa

"Hey now, you're an allstar..." Posted by Picasa

The lads had a turn, getting us girls off the mic! Posted by Picasa

Somebody stop us lol Posted by Picasa

Me and Jen suffering from Rich and Ste's singing (see previous photo) lol Posted by Picasa

Ah, they've been friends forever Posted by Picasa

Rich and Jen smiling for the frame! Posted by Picasa

He's loving 24! Posted by Picasa

Rich opening the group card Posted by Picasa

Alison, Jen and me singing. Can't remember what song, but still. I'm making some bizarre hand gesture. And I just realised that neither of us girls were drinking alcohol - BRAVE! Posted by Picasa

Rich and the cod smiling away :) Posted by Picasa

Singing 'summer lovin' or whatever that song is from Grease - 1st up. I took it for the team lol Posted by Picasa

Paul eating a chilli - you can't beat Arun lol Posted by Picasa

Our nicest photo in ages lol Posted by Picasa

Me and Jen on the bus - yeah we sang lol Posted by Picasa

Parkes and Rach - excellently placed to avoid the sun that plagued us! Posted by Picasa

Me and Rich in his garden before setting out to Pad Thai Posted by Picasa

Sunday, June 11, 2006


I'm really not doing so well with the bloggage. But to be fair I've been quite busy, so that is my excuse. The last week has been filled with stuff that I am going to report, however boring it is for you to read! Yeah, I love my blog too lol.

So monday I worked in the afternoon. In the aid of money (I have none, and it's quite worrying!) I took a week of afternoon shifts on the front till. Now I have nothing against the front till, I've always liked being on any till. And downstairs you get a chair to sit on, so 3 hours on my ass and getting paid for it sounds pretty good! But (their is always a but) as I'm on the front tills like once every 6 months lol, I always have to re-learn the lottery machine. Me and the lottery machine have a dislike for each other, well we did, no I love it lol. So anyway, that was incredibly boring with all of the 20 customers I had to serve. I did the unwritten rule of admiring magazines lol. I had an interview/chat thing to prepare for the following day, so I didn't go to mystery movie monday, which after learning it was a new film, The Omen, it pissed me off a little! Also went on a 'dummy run' to legal tv so I knew where to go the next day. Tip: don't use the rac one anymore or the aa, they suck. Oh also spoke to Black Country Richard and he said Black Country Tourism were very impressed, and the lady their might be contacting us to make a documentary for her...

Tuesday was by far my busiest day of the week. I was up early to shower etc and I made my way to legal tv in aston. I took my cv (they liked the way it was set out), and the dvd of the documentary which they had already received off Richard (uni richard). The guy was really impressed, so it was a matter of when can I start? I'm ahead of myself here, I feel I should explain. On seeing the doc, they offered Richard a 6month internship, unpaid of course. He is doing a teaching course in september, so he couldn't do it anyway with a mortgage. He is doing a few days a week for a month though. So the good thing about going to meet them was that I could negotiate, should they offer me work experience. Since finishing uni I've jumped into the money situation straight away, and am so aware that I have to support myself now. So I wanted 3 days a week, so I could work 3 or 4 days at Smiths. And I got it, so that's cool. The woman Sandra, showed me around and I met the floor manager and a few other ppl. They are unsure where they are going to put me. At first Iwas going to be put with a producer, but she wanted someone 5 days a week to work the autocue. Then I spoke to an assistant producer, and when I told him I was only going to be there 3 days a week, he thought he might have to put me somewhere else because the show he is working on is going live 5 days a week next week or something. I start week beginning 19th June, and so it's pretty much up to me how long I stay for. The owner said their might be a possibility of a job after 4-6weeks so we'll see. All I know is that now I'll have Dialogue Media, McGuires/BBC and Legal TV on my cv which sounds great to me! Then from there I went home for dinner, and then straight out to work my afternoon shift where I got even more bored! And straight from work I had a subway (eat it in Viv lol) and headed straight to Moseley for the 1st production meeting of the TV short thing. That was quite scary, but I'm learning and I have to keep that in my head to help me cope with my nerves (because in case you for some reason don't know, I'm a very nervous person!). I got back at 9pm, told mom all about the meeting, and then went to Rich's til about 11.15pm, and instead of going straight to sleep, I put friends on as I do most nights lol and fell asleep to it.

Wednesday - I worked a double shift. The front till, and I managed to write some more notes to Hensy (it helps pass time), become better acquainted with lotto and maybe read some of a magazine. I was really bored, and not in as good a mood as I usually am for my wednesday evening shift. I knew that tasting the rainbow would help, so I bought mine and Rachel's new tradition of skittles to help us through. I also bought a surprise in the form of jelly tots (aka 'totten') lol. Also made our traditional phone call downstairs to front till to Gavin, from Charlotte. Then headed to pub, myself, father stephen, arun, and richard went so it was quite a little gathering. We did win a fiver on the quiz machine - yeah bet u all wish you came now lol.

Thursday - I've read quite a few books since I've finished uni, so I believe my day started in the conservatory, with my feet out, occasionally looking out at the reservoir, and reading. Got slightly involved in the casting for short, by searching and finding a suitable actor for one of the character roles and passing on contact details. Then I went to work in the afternoon. I decided to surprise Richard and pick him up from Cradley station cus my shift finished around about the same time he usually gets to the station. I needn't have rushed cus his train was late late late and I ended up waiting for half an hour lol. The things you do for love eh? Was meant to be meeting up with Hayley and some work ppl for a little reunion, but Hayley wasn't replying to the father, and on saturday we found out she had changed her number, poor girl must have thought we'd been ignoring her. Ooh I also bought Glamour magazine for the free flippy floppies.

Friday - What did i do friday? Well I know I went to work. Ah yes, was pubben at die vine because it was bloody hot! Thing was, I went in a strappy top, and 3/4 length sporty looking trousers, but it got cold quickly and so I put my jacket on that has stripes down the side, and ended up looking like a right chav!

Sat - worked 9-1.30 on my beloved books. And had a shift with Hensy so that was rather ace. Rich met me from work for alift back as he'd just had hair cut (looks very fine) and would miss the match if I didn't come to his aid lol. Got home 1.50pm, and watched match. Read after the match. Rich came over on evening, we attempted to get the parasol up so it would offer shade to the sun loungers, but that just wasn't happening! Ended up reading the the conservatory, then watched doctor who, then went back outside cus it wasa bit cooler then. Planned to watch a film but couldn't decide which one, eventually put 5th element on but talked the whole way through it. Looked crap anyway though lol (joke - I wouldn't diss the Bruce lol. I hate the word diss lol).

Sunday (today) - thought about going to the park, and thought I would have to go to Makro to buy water and stuff for the TV shoot tomorrow, but it turns out I don't, and their is a final pre-production meeting in Moseley again at 7pm. Alicod wanted me to arrange something too, which is no out the window, not for u guys but for me lol. Tis a bit shit cus I feel like I don't see you lot anymore. I know everybody is busy but still. All in the name of getting a nice cv, and getting experience, and getting a poorly paid job I suppose lol. Just found out the first shoot tomorrow is on the phsyics roof at Brum uni. The second day is at the sports centre at Brum uni. It's going to be a long 12hour working day tomorrow - I am a sloth, how will I cope lol?

Well I best be off, few things to do. Ooh I finished 'Girls In Pants' today (not what you think Paul), it's the 3rd book in the series. The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants film was adapted from the 1st book. Bloody good so it was!

Anyway, hope you all have a good day. Sorry if I bored you with my diary-like blog lol.

Catherine Helen of the Bissell's
Ps - Paul what was that site again? I deleted my inbox, and plus I read ur msg in the middle of the night... I forget... sloth... x

Friday, June 02, 2006

I'm a runner!

It has really been too long since my last update, and now that my days are filled with time lol I should really use it!

Well I've finished university, am doing more shifts at Smiths and I've also got some work experience going on. I am a runner for the TV Drama Short 'On The Edge' - the first of 2 productions in the project between McGuires, South Birmingham College and the BBC. I went to the first meeting last night and it was really cool. Really daunting being in a room with BBC producers/directors/editors. I feel like I'm in safe hands so its really ace, it's like my first break! I also have 2 mentors, one who was in Cannes last week, and one who is currently a producer on Doctors, and was Head of Development at BBC Scotland where he worked on Monarch of the Glen! Oh Archie! He's also worked on EastEnders. So I'm meeting a lot of people, and its just good to be involved, feels like I'm actually doing something to get to that career point. I mean career, a career... you know what I mean.

Uni Richard was offered a 6 month media internship at a Birmingham production company, but he isn't taking it because he starts his teaching course in September. He's told me to apply, so I've sent an e-mail with a few questions, but it was unpaid he said. Unless it was something like 3/4 days a week, so I could work the rest of the week, I just couldn't support myself financially. Welcome to the world of shit lol. I'll keep you updated on that though.

Good news on the Yaris front! No I can't afford one yet (when, when when???), but I got my dad to call my cousin-in-law who is an independent car dealer person lol, and he can get me a 5 door yaris for 3-3.5K which is just way cheaper than online! He said to my dad he could probably get £1000 for my car because it hasn't done much mileage, but I think £500 tops lol. It's quite a state!

So that's really all I have to say! I hope everybody is well, and congratulations on finishing exams etc.

Catherine x

Monday, May 15, 2006

End of an era... almost

Hey, it's been a month I think since my last blog so I thought, in the name of bloggage, I would update. I had a surreal moment about a week ago. Everything is culminating in leaving university - what's next etc, and I came across this document I wrote for the careers service at King Ed's. It speaks for itself really, and I doubt they used it lol, but you can read it urself:

I can remember the journey vividly. Well, just the one part. We were about half a mile from what was to be my new home, in Cheltenham. My dad pulled over. He was crying. My mom was crying. My brother was crying; and of course, I was crying…

Welcome to university people!

You’re probably sick of people telling you about what great experiences are ahead of you. It’s best if you just agree, because basically you have the chance to go to university. Whatever your decision, it’s not the end of the world - it’s the start of it!

I left King Ed’s just last year (2003), and perhaps the best advice I can give you about university is that not everything goes according to plan. My first choice uni was Gloucestershire, and I got in from my exam results. Over the summer, my mom and I made quite a few visits to Cheltenham so we could imagine what the next few years were going to be like; for me, well I’d be living there, and for mom, well she’d have to come and visit me! I guess looking back, these visits created high expectations of what I thought university life would be like. We all have expectations, and unfortunately sometimes reality overshadows them. So after the ordeal of saying goodbye to my family (and saying goodbye to the dog before that!), I went into the kitchen, where the other 7 people from my floor had gathered. I’ll be honest, the introductions were awkward, but we were all in the same boat so to speak. I did feel out of my depth, and I hated the thought of being away from my family for a long time. I wanted to be alone (not the start I had hoped for!) so I sat in my room and started panicking. I really couldn’t think why I wanted to move away from home in the first place! It is often an assumption that when you finish college and go to university you move away. When choosing which uni to go to, I never even thought about going to a local university. I thought that if I stayed at home I’d be missing out on the experience of what university is meant to be. Funny what you find in hindsight…

So, after 4 days I left, and went back home. I know what you’re thinking. Something along the lines of “What, after 4 days?!!” or “You should have given it longer, it takes time to get used to living somewhere new!” That’s all true, but I knew I had made a mistake. Living away from home is not for everybody, and it wasn’t for me. I figured that there is no point in living away and being unhappy when I could be living at home and happy!

The next port of call was Birmingham University. I’d been put on a waiting list for Media, Culture and Society. It was a mixture of communication studies and sociology, my best subjects at college, and most of my college friends studied there too so it seemed perfect! I think you know what’s coming…

I hated the course. The course had no practical elements, and because I didn’t enjoy the work it seemed so much harder. It was mid November when I started having doubts that I was doing the wrong course. I visited the careers centre, and they were a great help. They discussed other options with me, such as doing a HND, as they are more practical. At that time, I wasn’t sure that I wanted to continue with higher education. But then I put it in context: a degree or a job. Degree please!

I had 5 essays to hand in just before the semester finished for the Christmas break. That took my mind off things, and I thought buckling down and concentrating on my work was the best path to take. But over the Christmas break, which was a month long, I had a lot of time to think about where I was heading. It made no sense to be studying for a degree that not only I didn’t enjoy; but also because it would lead me into an area that I wouldn’t be interested in. I really wanted to study film and further my interest in communication studies, so the degree at Birmingham would leave me with no real experience or expertise in the area that I wanted to specialise in. I had made some good friends at Birmingham, but I had to cut my losses.

And here I am, still living at home and studying at Wolverhampton University. My quest to find a course that I enjoy is complete. I’m studying for a BA (Hons) in Media Communication with Film Studies. Perfect! So whatever your decisions are regarding university, just remember that if things don’t work out, it’s not the end of the world. Don’t be afraid to pursue different paths, even if that means going to 3 universities within 6 months! It’s all about being happy!

Catherine Bissell

I just thought it was weird when I came across this, because I have all but reached the end of uni. I'm guessing in a year I could write another called 'Welcome to unemployment' lol. I have one exam tomorrow, which I should be revising for now. I can, however, tell you that "Kieslowski's use of significant objects in characterization is consistent throughout his work..." (Dobson, 1999). Now I know that's interesting stuff for you... Seriously though, this film is amazing. A real piece of art. It's on Three Colours Blue, part of a famous trilogy based on the colours of the french flag. The meaning of the colours come from the French Revolution (has everybody just heard Paul's ears stand to attention lol - oh how he loves history!), liberty (blue), equality (white) and fraternity (red). The intertextuality between the texts is really something. It's not often I'm amazed by a film, or a trilogy, but the director really really captures his vision if that makes sense. It's one of those films that's made me think 'this is why I love film studies...' I really want to write about the Corinthians passage, but if anyone is planning to watch it based on my love for it lol, it'll spoil the impact so I won't.

So what else? I didn't hear from channel 4, which was a really nice feeling lol. It's what I expected, but it still sucks all the same. I applied for a job at Film Birmingham last week, doubt I'll hear from them either. I guess the biggest prospect I have at the moment is sending out the documentary... which they won't watch... and won't employ me for lol. I'm gonna have to get a job/experience in the mean time. Temping? Any old job? Door to door sales woman?? Lol. Good job I have Smiths to keep me going!

Well I should go and revise...

Love to the world,

Catsy-crystal-face (it's a work thing lol)

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Doctor Who

As the title suggests, I've just watched the first episode of the new series of Doctor Who - and yes, it was good! I can't wait to see the rest. The only annoying thing is that because I work 4-7 (I had the day off today), I usually don't get home til 7.20 at the earliest, so I'll miss the first 5mins or so... not good! I'll have to get the customers out before closing. Do a five-minute warning or something lol. My whole family were looking forward to it. Apart from football, I think it's the only programme we all purposely sit down and watch together. It's that good people! We watched Dr.Who Confidential on BBC 3 after, its the behind-the-scenes thing. And I couldn't help but imagine being part of the production crew...

Talking of video, the er, video is finished lol. Yep, finished! No we just have to write an essay on it. I'm really pleased with it, I just hope the grade matches my happiness lol. Maybe you guys will get to watch it, I dunno. I don't think I could take criticism like the dudley zoo one - oh yeah, I have memories! Anyway it's loads better than that, it's so much tighter and cleaner. I might just have to go watch it! It's a really nice feeling watching something you've created. Everybody can relate to that. And I love that feeling. Even though we didn't get to use proper music like the last one, the music still suits I reckon. The montages in dudley zoo video still move me so they do. "Hello World" to shots of animals looking inquisitively into the camera - IT MOVES ME STILL! THE EMOTION. I love love love the idea of being able to put people on the brink of a certain emotion... faggots and peas lol. Oh my God, 'Hello World' just came on - on my RANDOM playlist of all 7gigs of my music - is that a sign or what??!!

I'll be filling in my channel 4 application this weekend. At the moment I'm doing an essay though. Yep, it's 8.58pm on a saturday night and I'm trying to write an essay. I dunno what's happened this semester, because I seem unable to write them. They take so long. I try and discipline myself, but it doesn't work anymore. I can quite happily sit at the computer, knowing I'm wasting time, and not touch the word document. Kinda like this blog lol. Only 3 essays to go though, and then I'm done with them!! FOREVER!! Unless I get a job that involves essay writing... god no. Ooh, you know when you press 'next blog,' well I came across this on some random blog, copied it and pasted, I like it:

When things go wrong as they sometimes will;
When the road you're trudging seems all uphill;
When the funds are low, and the debts are high
And you want to smile, but have to sigh;
When care is pressing you down a bit-
Rest if you must, but do not quit.

Success is failure turned inside out;
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt;
And you can never tell how close you are
It may be near when it seems so far;
So stick to the fight when you're hardest hit-
It's when things go wrong that you must not quit.

"Don't Quit," Author Unknown

Tis cool so it is! Right, I really must go and write about China (see Paul's blog can't put it off any longer... although I'm trying... even now... please.... damn.

Loving the essays,
Catherine x