Swings and roundabouts

Words can’t describe the week I’ve had (although this blog will attempt to conceptualise what actually happened for your entertainment only); started off like it was the end of the world and ended on such a high and prosperous for the future.

Unlike most weeks, I think I can fully recollect the intricacies of the week with little trouble. I don’t know what has come over me, but I seemingly remember parts of the week where I would think about this very moment. The exact moment when I would write these words.

I’ll preface this blog with the fact that the month of March is going to be the toughest of my university year; incoming deadlines, an exam and a trip to an exotic land all are in store. Time management is crucial, as the deadlines nor the exams will stop at nothing to try and demotivate myself and my friends from achieving our hopes for the end of the first year.

I’m feeling a day-by-day account, should I? As I sip my Evian bottle of water, I realise that these questions are rhetorical and I should stop wasting my own time as well as yours.

Before we start however; I have been engrossing myself in YouTube content regarding studying and planning my life out (which let me tell you is a whole other blog post); this has led to me finding the study help guru whom is Thomas Frank. His YT channel is full of helpful study tips and tricks; although based on American collegiate experiences, the skills and experiences are more than transferrable. From his work I have adopted the well-known study technique; Pomodoro, which is basically a concentrated study session with the aims focused on input rather than that of outcome. There is no goal you are trying to achieve except complete concentration and diligence for 25 mins. If you get distracted, you write it down on a notepad so next time you avoid that similar sort of distraction. It has really helped me. I’m already seeing better quality of work and more concise, detailed notes; in addition, my understanding of the subject knowledge has increased humongously. Anyone who is struggling to start studying, I have recommended it to two friends at uni and they love it too. May as well jump on the bandwagon. Firsts for everyone… *note to self: change this when you get a 2:2*


This was the start of the bad news. I had a tutorial at 11am so I left my house a bit late and missed the Cannon Street service; little did I know that trains that stopped at London Bridge were delayed. So I sat on the London Bridge train between New Cross and London Bridge for 40 minutes. Arrived at London Bridge at 11am and at this point, I really didn’t care. I just took pictures on the Shard and embraced my local environment, before arriving at my tutorial at 11:30. You know your day is going to be good when that happens. The lectures following the tutorial, to say the least, were abysmal. The last lecture I had, there was a video, and this video made me feel so dizzy I had to stop watching. One of my friends I found out, is also possibly interested in journalism. They wrote an article about that lecture, well actually… it was more of a rant. Like these blogs. But it was very entertaining and it brightened up my Monday evening. I hope they pursue their passion, they are very good at writing and it would be a waste to pass up this talent.

Monday was dead dead dead, should’ve just stayed at home to be honest.


I had the day off university today, luckily no train adventures. I’m so lucky I didn’t go in though, there was a ‘bomb scare’ at London Bridge so all services were diverted through Victoria. No thanks. London Bridge is getting a lick of paint and an expansion which is finishing in 2018, in the meanwhile, it is causing the biggest and most inconvenient problems you could ever imagine.

I thought maybe Tuesday would be a better day, on the agenda; a haircut (because I wanted one, not needed one) and a staff meeting. Not much to go wrong, well think again.

The haircut was explicitly requested. A trusted barber who normally does an ace job. I said to him, ‘I would like 2 on the side and HALF AN INCH OFF THE TOP’, he legitimately left half an inch left on the top. The cut looked so fresh on the side but the reminisces of a skinhead on top. A potato with some fluff was quoted by one of my friends.

During the staff meeting I wore a hat to cover the abomination. No-one noticed. At work, I always seem to slip between the crack, under the radar if you will. Sometimes a good thing but it has its negatives too.

Before the meeting, I played some golf with two friends at work. This was the first time in the first 48 hours of the working week where I had started to enjoy myself. It was just pure fun and elation. Missed the times like that and I can’t wait till summer to have more times like that.

The meeting itself, without getting into specificities, was okay but I don’t feel that it was as productive as it could’ve been. That’s all I’ll say on that. There’s more. But the blog is for weekly trivial events and there is a place for things and a place for more sensitive content.


Another day off, do I even go uni? I was glad anyway, means I didn’t have to deal with the trains. All I had was work. Although I didn’t get home till 45 minutes later than closing time, the day was uplifted and improved by having a 2 hour 30 minute Skype call with my best mate. He loves New Zealand and his videos are just top-class. I honestly learn more geography from his videos that I do in some of my lectures. His delivery is what I call ‘childs-play geography’, the stuff you want to know about, without the boring detail and expansion that you get in uni. Having said that, the content at university is exciting, just some parts are mind-numingly tasking.


Interesting day. My friend, who had the interest in journalism, and I went to her advisor to complain about our tutor. That was fun. Just an outpour of emotion. It was like a weight lifted off our shoulders. I just dread now when she marks us lower in everything. Fun fun fun.

Additionally, I decided that some of my lectures are going to be pointless to attend. Being strategic in my ways, my final lecture that left me discombobulated on Monday was being avoided today. Instead, my friend and I decided to go and study for the hour. Or that’s what we thought. We saw the ‘Boris Bikes’ outside Nandos and we had a brainwave. After faking that we knew someone in Nandos, all in an effort to use the toilet, we started the laborious task of getting a bike out. There are so many steps, I thought it was endless. The machine’s touch screen isn’t very responsive either which makes tasks even harder.

Eventually, the difficulty wasn’t getting the bike but it was actually riding it. We both hadn’t ridden a bike in over 2 years. So yes the first stages were treacherous. To say the least. The great thing about Boris Bikes is that they are situated near Cycle Superhighway 2 lanes, where you can only get run over by other cyclists. That might sound stupid. But it very nearly happened. Nearly…

Some highlights from the straight road from Mile End to Cannon Street include when my friend was leading the way and had to navigate round this Mercedes. The front-end, in fairness to my friend was in the CS 2, but this exaggeration that my friend made to go into moving traffic and back out nearly cost the driver of the Mercedes, his number plate and Mercedes badge. Additionally, near the Sainsbury’s in Mile End, which I have discussed before in this blog, my friend thought it would be a good idea to run a red light. He drives a car, which is worrying. I’ll be sure to avoid North London when I’m driving. Finally, he struggled to get going at a traffic light and made me swerve right, into passing bicycle traffic. The German-sounding cyclist shouted, ‘OK!’ and that was that. The biking chronicles did not end there… we had a 24-hour pass.

On the train home, there was a dog and his owner in the gangway when I got on at Lewisham, just reminded me of how people can be so in-sync with their animals. Furthermore, one stop before where I got off, a dirty-looking man rolled up onto the train and sat down and started chanting Irish folk tunes. For those two minutes, I haven’t had to hold in laughter so much. Made my day even better. Finally things were starting to look up.


After a dreadfully-difficult morning lecture and practical session, we needed to blow off some steam. So we (myself, my friend from the day before and three more victims… I mean friends, gotta stop that Dan), cycled from Mile End to the Stratford. It was fun. Overcame some roundabouts, no biggie. It was a good laugh because we all have important deadlines coming up (except one friend, who does a different course so they are different in that regard, bad explanations are allowed).

Just on another note, these blogs seem to take forever to write. I have just been told by one of my friends on a group chat, that there is 10 minutes left of the day. I am determined to get this out before the turn of midnight… it is a weekly blog on a Sunday after all.

With that said, I think this week proves that the hardest times cannot and will not defeat me. I will try hard to always keep my goals in mind and always pursue a positive outlook.

Till Sunday 19th March 2017 @ 23:00

I’m out



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Danial Naqvi

Joint PhD Candidate Business & Management at Manchester & Melbourne| MSc UCL Science, Technology and Society | BA (Hons) QMUL Human Geography |