Sunday, November 12


Having recently been asked why it was that I had not yet written a new blog article I decided to write one today. However, shortly after starting I learnt of the tragic news of four British servicemen being killed in Iraq, today of all days. I am in no mood to be funny, nor witty. I shall write another blog soon, about the textbook filled blur that is my life.

But not today.

Instead, here are the lyrics to a song, written by Harvey Andrews, based on an incident that occurred in 1971 involving Sergeant Michael Willets. Some people forget that Remembrance Sunday is not just for those that fought in the World Wars, but also in all conflicts British Servicemen have had to fight in. Though the song is around 30 years old and therefore based on Northern Ireland I think the principles remain the same.

In a station in the city a British soldier stood
Talking to the people there if the people would
Some just stared in hatred, and others turned in pain
And the lonely British soldier wished he was back home again

Come join the British Army! said the posters in his town
See the world and have your fun come serve before the Crown
The jobs were hard to come by and he could not face the dole
So he took his country's shilling and enlisted on the roll

For there was no fear of fighting, the Empire long was lost
Just ten years in the army getting paid for being bossed
Then leave a man experienced a man who's made the grade
A medal and a pension some mem'ries and a trade

Then came the call for Ireland as the call had come before
Another bloody chapter in an endless civil war
The priests they stood on both sides the priests they stood behind
Another fight in Jesus's name the blind against the blind

The soldier stood between them between the whistling stones
And then the broken bottles that led to broken bones
The petrol bombs that burnt his hands the nails that pierced his skin
And wished that he had stayed at home surrounded by his kin

The station filled with people the soldier soon was bored
But better in the station than where the people warred
The room filled up with mothers with daughters and with sons
Who stared with itchy fingers at the soldier and his gun

A yell of fear a screech of brakes the shattering of glass
The window of the station broke to let the package pass
A scream came from the mothers as they ran towards the door
Dragging their children crying from the bomb upon the floor

The soldier stood and could not move his gun he could not use
He knew the bomb had seconds and not minutes on the fuse
He could not run and pick it up and throw it in the street
There were far too many people there too many running feet

Take cover! yelled the soldier, Take cover for your lives
And the Irishmen threw down their young and stood before their wives
They turned towards the soldier their eyes alive with fear
For God's sake save our children or they'll end their short lives here

The soldier moved towards the bomb his stomach like a stone
Why was this his battle God why was he alone
He lay down on the package and he murmured one farewell
To those at home in England to those he loved so well

He saw the sights of summer felt the wind upon his brow
The young girls in the city parks how precious were they now
The soaring of the swallow the beauty of the swan
The music of the turning world so soon would it be gone

A muffled soft explosion and the room began to quake
The soldier blown across the floor his blood a crimson lake
There was no time to cry or shout there was no time to moan
And they turned their children's faces from the blood and from the bones

The crowd outside soon gathered and the ambulances came
To carry off the body of a pawn lost in the game
And the crowd they clapped and cheered and they sang their rebel song
One soldier less to interfere where he did not belong

And will the children growing up learn at their mothers' knees
The story of the soldier who bought their liberty
Who used his youthful body as a means towards an end
Who gave his life to those who called him murderer not friend

Tuesday, October 17

Time has flown rather quickly here since my arrival. A month has passed. In some ways it feels no more than 5 minutes, in other ways it feels like a lifetime. The weeks are flying passed, and yet I can not remember (remember is not strictly the correct word) what it was like to not be here. I have learned more about myself in this past month than I have in the past three years.

I have learnt no more about myself than I imagine anyone else leaving home to attend University does. I have had to learn to be entirely self-sufficient. To be honest it is not as hard as I thought it would be. But what it shows is just how amazingly adaptable people are, you send them miles away from home with people they don't know, and everyone seems to be getting along fine.

On one point I am very proud of myself. I am starting to understand everyone's accents. A rather large proportion of students appear to come from Leicester or Yorkshire and their surrounding areas. Only one of my flatmates is a southener like myself, and it does cause us much amusement that we consider ourselves to be the only ones talking 'proper'. In fact I have only met a handful of people that speak the Queen's English (jokingly - of course I mean that don't speak with a regional accent) like myself.

This weekend four of my five housemates went home. Most of them only live within about an hour to an hour and a half's traveling time. My Southener housemate has stayed, and like me, does not intend to return home until Christmas. We have made the sacrifice of moving 200 miles away from home. However, I do get mixed emotions when I am walking back to my apartment on a late Friday afternoon to see fellow students greeting their parents and being taken away by them. On the one hand, I miss my parents, I haven't seen them for a month and very possibly will not see them until Christmas. On the other hand I feel emboldened by the fact that I am in this for the long haul and do not need to go running back to mummy and daddy because I cannot cope.

I find it rather hard to come up with a topic to write about for my blogs, I know they are meant to be about law, but my law learning is still in its infancy and would be of no interest to anyone as of yet. I too find it hard to give an account of what it is like to be a student, you just have to experience it yourself. One thing you have to learn to do is take the rough with the smooth and just enjoy yourself. For instance I was awoken at 3 o'clock (and 4 o'clock last Wednesday, by the same people I might add) this morning by the lads across the hall (one of whom is studying law). A bit of a bummer one might think, but they are so much fun that you just have to go with it and enjoy yourself. Similarly, yesterday I and my Southener flatmate wasted an afternoon as she and I went tie and shirt-hunting. Not my favorite way to spend an afternoon, but tomorrow night it is a school themed disco hosted by Bodger and Badger, and now our entire apartment has matching ties.

I do so hope they do not bring mashed potato.

Saturday, October 7


Last week my flatmates and I were walking back to our court when we were stopped and asked directions to the high-street from a middle aged couple with a daughter that appeared to be around our age. Once they had walked on we were slightly confused as to why a student showing her parents around would not know where the highstreet is located (bearing in mind it contains the majority of the bars and kebab houses). We then began giving a little more attention to the people that we were passing; lot's of middle aged couples with children around our age holding bundles of information. Being the clever students that we are we realised that there must be an open day going on for prospective students.

Indeed, upon looking more closely at the large yellow signs dotted around the place (that's not as ignorant as it sounds, the posters and signs change almost daily) we saw that an apartment had been opened up for them to look at (the freshers were still in it mind you). Being students we know to never pass up a free opportunity to do anything and went to the apartment.
[We passed a window on the way with a sign saying 'Please donate food as we are starving - No cans - we don't have a can opener']
Putting on our best 'we've never been to Lincoln before and we're so in awe of everthing' face we went up to the top floor and had a look around the apartment. It was at this time that we stopped pretending to put the face on and it became genuine. En suite, balconies, matching kitchen furniture. This was living. Of course we should have seen it coming, the university would only show off it's best apartments so as not to put people off.

We were at a friends the other night who lives off campus. There is a whole complex built for second and third years with cheap apartments, that also contains some freshers.

No balcony.

But this was nicely balanced out by their having en suite, bedrooms big enough to have about 5 people on the floor (though I would not suggest sleeping on it - I'm sure I've given an account of that before....). But what really tops it off is the sofas in their kitchen and the flatscreen T.v with free free-view and skysports.

Back at our ground floor apartment with one shower between 6 of us, and cold taps that randomly run out warm (not too nice when you turn it on for a lovely class of refreshingly cold water) I couldn't help but feel slightly bitter about the whole thing. After all the people off campus were only paying two pounds more than us a week, I spent more than that last night in an eat off at the local Charcoal Grill. However all my jealousy subsided when I looked out of my window and saw the Cathedral lit up against the night sky.

It was about this time that a late night tour-boat decided to come by my window full of gawping passengers (I could spit in the river from my room if I was so inclined, it is very close) and reaffirm the loathing I hold for my apartment...

Thursday, October 5


Whoever used the computer to organise my timetable must have set it to 'kill'.

It being the second week (Fresher's week not counting as a proper week) this week is my first proper week (as you can't have seminars without having had a lecture to have a topic to discuss). I had thought that it was fairly easy-going, I get both Mondays and Wednesdays off, it breaks the week up nicely. The smile fell off my face somewhat when I realised this meant that I would be fitting in the week's worth of seminars (save one) in one day. So from 9 o'clock this morning until 2 o'clock this afternoon I have been constantly lost, having only had my lectures in rather large areas that are easy to find, working out where the seminar rooms (which are much smaller and therefore much more easily hidden from view) were located was a minor problem. My mood was not improved when I returned to the apartment and one of my flatmates said "I don't get how lectures and seminar things work'. Apparently if you're doing a Tech/Design course it's all rather easy going.

I attended the first meeting of the internal moot competition and was not a little surprised to see that only around 15 people had bothered to turn up. After all I was only there to make myself look good later on my CV, I'm not a fan of public speaking, but know that there are some things that you might not want to do that have to be done. I had a look around at the faces of those who were in the room and noted internally to myself how very old some of them appeared. After accidently over-hearing a piece of their conversations it transpired that they are in fact law graduates at the University studying for an LLM. There are therefore to be a handfull of first years to be competing against students who have had at least 3 years of Law study, and the moot takes place in less than a month.

I've started to learn some basics of Law, mostly contract so far. I could, for instance, bore you all with my understanding of Partridge v Crittendon and why the judgement in Grainger and Son v Gough is so relevant to it, but I wont. If however (as I assume many of those that read this blog are) you are aware of the facts of Partridge v Crittendon, I wonder if you are as bemused as I am as to why the counsel for prosecution chose to prosecute for that particular section of The Protection of Birds Act 1957 and not one of the other two, both of which Partridge would most definitely have been found guilty of. The case of Barry v Heathcote Ball & Co did cause me some amusement when I read the outcome.

Today we had a rather brief introduction into the general aspects of law. One part that stuck with me in particular was that of the U.K's membership in the European Union. I have never studied law before and have never given as much attention to politics as perhaps I should have (I can name the leaders of all the main parties and those that they replaced, something that the majority of my seminar peers where unable to manage). It was news to me therefore, to be informed that articles produced by the european union have precedence over legislation produced by parliament. I cannot recall the cases or relevant statutes, but we were told of Spanish fishing vessels fishing U.K waters and flying the Union Flag. Parliament introduced an act so that 75% of all profits made had to be given to the U.K if you were fishing under false colours. An EU article, however, existed (or was brought into existence shortly thereafter) which said that citizens of the EU have the right to work in any other country of the EU and therefore overruled the act of parliament and would allow Spanish finishing vessels to sail under U.K colours. The fact that this also means that as a U.K citizen I could take my retirement pension in Spain, using the same acts, was of little comfort and did very little to hold back the blood that I thought I might throw up out of shear rage that our parliamentary system could be so undermined.

Anyway, that's enough Law, there is more to the life of a Law Student than studying law. On Tuesday night, my flatmate, a friend from across the hall and I went to the local TA centre. We reasoned that the TA would be a lovely part-time job, bringing in some extra money and keeping you fit. It didn't quite go to plan when we were told to come back around December when they are to start their next and last recruitment cycle. I have it on good authority that most TA units do not run like this and I am to harrass them over the phone until they concede, or try to join another unit. To that end I have been taking rather charming runs by the canal to get into the shape that a reasonable person would expect a 19 year old male to be. I'm yet to slip in to the canal, though I haven't been today and it is raining, so it is only a matter of time...

P.s I have the terrible feeling that the armed forces careers advisor is holding a meeting at the campus today that I have missed

Tuesday, September 26

Proper Law Lectures

I had three hours of lectures today. Legal skills and process, Contract, and Law of Business Organisations. I'm not normally one to complain but anyone not doing single honours doesn't have to do Law of Business Organisations, which I found thoroughly mind numbing. Luckily however my boredom with the subject matter was counterbalanced against the fact that our lecturer is what can only be described as a nutbar.

I was not fortunate enough to sit at the side of the lecture theatre today so instead I had to contend myself with trying not to headbutt the 'desk' (one of those little fold out desks attached to lecture seats just big enough to fit your pad of paper on) as I began to slowly nod my head forwards and suddenly jerk back sitting upright again.

Now that, for three of my modules at least, we have had our first lectures it is time to start preparing for next week's seminars. I have had a look at the mild assignments we have to do and was thoroughly pleased to note that the questions to answer had very little to do with the information given in the lectures. Saying that I am thoroughly pleased might seem to be sarcastic, but in actual fact it is a good thing that I am going to have to spend several hours deciding what type of offence I think has been committed in certain cases, especially as I have no criminal or tort law knowledge whatsoever (we don't even cover them this year). I am glad because, as our lecturers have been only too kind to point out, if we do not learn how to do our own research and get these skills now, one day we will give bad advice to clients, and we will get sued for negligence. I could quite happily do an extra bit of study than lose my house.

That's all for now. Though I would like to send a message to the Cathedral Canal tour company; Your constant going passed of my bedroom window fully laden with passengers of a less than young disposition all wielding cameras whilst I am only half dressed is a practise I'd rather you avoided. Some sort of fog horn attached to your boat so that I might know that it's time to close my curtains would help...

Friday, September 22

Where to begin?

Fresher's week has been possibly one of the most exciting weeks of my life. Ralph Little playing air guitar with a lightsaber on stage at our SU last night was definitely a highlight. It's not all been fun and games however, I've had a few introductory lectures here and there, one this morning that I very nearly didn't get up for, thanks to staying until 2.30 am watching the aforementioned Mr Little and then sitting with my flatmates out in the cold watching one of the apartment courts being evacuated becuase their fire alarm was going off.

Lectures have been quite boring so far, becuase we haven't been learning any law as of yet. I have learnt however, that if I sit mid-way up on the far right of the lecture theatre I can lean against the wall and try to take power naps to nurse my hangover. Tomorrow we are to be shown a demonstration moot put on by some former students which I am looking forward to.

I signed up to the Law Society, where I was given a coupon for discount coffee which is quite handy as I've been drinking nothing but coffee since I arrived on Sunday. After my two hour lecture today on the four main areas of law that I would be learning this year (Legal Skills and process, Contract law, Public Law, law of business organisations) I thought it might be fun to go and buy the two text books that each subject required. I'm now down 170 pounds, but the statute books are coming in pretty handy as a makeshift door-stop.

I shouldn't have been so suprised but after our introductory seminar we were given a small assignment for the next day. It seemed quite easy though I did manage to get most of the questions wrong, though I am putting that down to not having ever studied any law whatsoever. We had some questions in a lecture to discuss amongst ourselves, that I actually got right, becuase I'd been paying attention in the seminars. All the money is worth it, I am learning.

We were informed that we will have to do four to six hours preparation after each lecture for it's corresponding seminar. It sounds worse than it really is, but it works out to about a 9 to 5 week. Which isn't strictly a problem as my evenings and weekends will be free. I don't know if anyone reading this will have seen Lincoln this year but they have built the SU (the biggest in England apparently, it has 3 bars and a nightclub - the biggest dance floor I've seen (one comic who was doing a gig on tuesday commented that the designer had simply decided to "build the biggest fecking bar in the world") directly opposite the the library. I also have to pass two bars to get to my lectures which I find slightly daunting, knowing that it is only my will power and my desire not to become a hobo that will keep me walking past.

There's been no love interests thus far and anyone who remembers a young law student stumbling along with with a young lady holding a loud conversation about the properties of high-heels is a liar.

I'm sure there will be much more to write about. Especially as I have a three day weekend fast approaching.

Edited to add - This blog was actually written yesterday but the site seems to be having problems with posting, so this entry is appearing twice but the copy should hopefully be removed by the system soon.

I have since been to the moot, which though interesting was rather boring at the same time, and it seemed like an awful lot of effort went into putting it on. A little too much work if you ask me. Of course, being someone that knows the right time to do something even when you really don't want to, I have signed up for the mooting society (I've already signed up for the law society). We'll be practising moots, holding mooting competitions with prizes and if your team wins you get to go for national moots. I'm not really looking that forward to it, but it should help develop my skills, and we have an assessed moot to do later in the semestar so it should help a lot.

Friday, September 15

The day that I leave is fast approaching. Since my last blog entry I have bought everything that I need, and sorted every form and detail. I know exactly where I'm going, when I am to arrive and where to head for with my shiny new key; everything. Only one thing remains to be done.


I've been putting it off for days, every new item of clothing or dish-cloth has been piled upon the last item that I bought, until as has occurred, half my bedroom is hidden behind the mess. With so much stuff to fit in such a small amount of room in the car I'm having to make some pretty tough decisions; Rubik's cube or Hacy-sac, Chris Rock Dvd or an extra pair of underpants. What with novelty bedsheets and 5 boxes of single serving breakfast cereals I may be close to having a nervous breakdown. There are of course some more serious issues such as if I try to take six pairs of trainers I don't think I'll have space for my guitar.

Being frightfully lazy I wont discover the answer to all these riddles until I try to cram it all in the car early on Sunday morning, when no doubt it shall be raining heavily.

Thankfully the most important item has found a place among the boxes; teabags. I do hope one of my flatmates brings milk...

Monday, September 4

I've not written a blog before, nor an online journal (which I suppose this will be).

I am not yet a Law Student, I begin my course at Law School (at a Uk University, being British myself) in a matter of weeks. I have decided to write a blog as a diary for myself and so that anyone who follows the same path can see what awaits them and no doubt avoid mistakes and pitfalls that I myself may fall in to.

So, at the present I have nothing of value to write as I have only set the blog up now to avoid having to do it at the start of term when I have about a million other things to deal with. Not that I wont make another blog entry or two before I leave. I will for instance have to undergo the joyous task of packing and the life altering decisions of whether to bring my own fabric softener.

I studied for my A-Levels at a Grammar school where I took a healthy dose of daily science lessons combined with more science lessons to create rather too much science for any one person to reasonably be forced to cope with. After two years of this I took a gap year and decided that I wanted to get as far away from the sciences as possible. I then hit upon the idea of Law, not because my parents are Lawyers (mainly because they are not) but because I'm too stupid to complete a degree in Medicine and too soulless to join the clergy.

Having seen the size of textbooks on Law I am seriously considering bringing my all-in-one edition of Tolkien's Lord of The Rings, as a bit of light reading.