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I feel I've been neglecting you all....
Way too many private posts.... Not that I mind writing them, I just feel that I'm depriving people of details of my life. Perhaps I'll go through some earlier ones, and de-private them (the ones where I still had to be sneaking around, which are pretty tame), and give you the links.

But for now, you'll have to make do with this - the second in my installment of posts giving you what you want:

Trip to Ireland
Biology Field Trip
First Days at Uni
Michael Mullen
The James Pose

The Biology Field Trip

Right, where to begin...

Well, my description before was "Leaping from Cliffs, Busting Locks, Wacky Wheels, Rocky Shores". So I guess we can start there.... I shall try to cover all those things, although not necessarily in that order.

The first thing, I guess, would be a bit of background on the situation. A week away in Cornwall, studying marine biology and ecology, as part of our coursework. This was back when I was speaking to Karen online, so I took my laptop with me so that I could write things which I could later copy onto my main computer, and send her. I think I managed to write one message to her, in the end. Heh...

So anyhow, we get on the coach, and everybody is like "Hey, Webley has a laptop". They thought it kinda sad at first, until Oliver and myself started playing Two Player Wacky Wheels on it - then they all wanted a go. Ha, losers. Anyway, so yes, we spent much of the journey down there playing computer games. We stopped just short of our destination, to go piss about on some mud flats - studying the biology of them, and basically trying not to sink in. Well, I failed that one - one mud covered shoe, thank you so very much. We then had to study the wildlife, but I just arsed about as per usual, as did Oliver. We got no work done, Trav did it all. Kind of him, but then, he wanted to use it for his assessment, and we didn't, so that kidna works.

Anyhow, we finally got to the hostel we were to be staying in. In our room, we had myself and Oliver in the bunks on the right as you entered the room. In the left bunks were Phil and Hewer. Then, at the end of the room were Broadway (Andrew) and Trav. Nice little setup. We had a nice sink in there and such. Anyway, during the whole week, I didn't eat a thing bar a gammon steak one evening. I love having a variable metabolism - I managed to survive perfectly OK on no food. The school were baffled as to why there was always one sandwich left over every day, and I never bothered telling them. They'd have only worried.

So, that was the Sunday. That night, we stayed up, playing cards, watching TV, and trying not to get involved in the Strip Jenga game that was going on. People were cheating like hell. Monday was "Rocky Shores" day - ugh. We went to a beach, and had to do all sorts of tripe. My task (which was the best one) was to measure limpets, calculating the width-to-height ratio, and calculating the angle at which they faced the sea. My reasoning was that limpets facing the sea would benefit from being tall and thin, to decrease the force of the sea on them. Those facing sideways would benefit from being flatter, so that the sea just flowed over them. I wasn't sure about the ones that faced backwards.

Anyway, Tuesday comes, and we're stuck doing exactly the same thing. Sucks, really.... It's so boring. I get fed up with measuring, and do a few calculations based on my existing results. I have about 50 limpets measured (which was quite a lot, most people had about 20 tests taken), and worked out some ratios with that. I then filled in the next 100 measurements based on the existing trends. Well, I felt kinda justified doing that, I was bored of measuring - what's the point? Anyway, that night, we hear talk of attacks on people - a few guys with shaving foam bust into Yan's room in the night and shave off his eyebrows, while videotaping the whole incident. Nasty :o)

Wednesday arrives. A sheltered shore this time - i.e., a cove, rather than a shore facing the sea. My hypothesis? "The limpets will be sufficiently sheltered from the harsh conditions of the sea that they won't give a damn what shape they are". Mr Ryder suggests that I reword that a little, which I subsequently do. Pedant ;o)

Anyhow, this day, we really do hardly any work. Nobody gives a shit any more. However, on this day, I hear talk of people coming to our room that night, and getting me. I wasn't happy with that plan at all, and decided to make sure it didn't happen. I phoned my parents at some point, and told them of my concerns, but only as part of a larger discussion about how things were going. Unknown to me, they then phoned Mr Ryder, and told him they were concerned. He then asked Trav to keep an eye on me, and make sure all was good. That evening, when we were all in our dorms, Lisa Henry (the one person from my school who is now at Sussex) came to our room. It was observed (by Oliver, if I recall) that she had a map of the layout of our room, and filled in where everybody was sleeping. Dodgy? I think so....

So, night falls. Oliver and myself know that we are most likely the targets of any attack. Somewhat concerned, the both of us stay awake much of the night. For some reason, Trav wants us to leave the door unlocked. We tell him to fuck off and go back to bed, and he does. Oliver and myself make sure the door stays locked all night. At about 2am, after everybody else is asleep, we hear people running down the corridor outside, spraying Zorro-style "Z"s on the doors of all the rooms. Half an hour later, they're back, and knock on our door. "Trav, open the door, it's us". Hmm, that's odd, why are they calling for Trav? "Trav, open the door, we're here to get Webley". RIGHT, if that's how they want to play it. A bit of knocking later, Trav wakes up. It's practically pitch black in the room, but I see him slowly get up. Using reflexes I never knew I had, I spring to my feet in a split second, give him the most menacing look I've ever given anybody, and tell him "Go back to bed, NOW". He does as I say immediately, which is kinda funny, since if Trav so wished, he could kick my ass. On the other hand, I was not to be messed with on this night.

"Trav, come on, let us in" the whisper comes through the door, louder this time. I go to the door, and proclaim (loudly) "I'm sorry, Trav can't come to the door now. Can I take a message?". Exclamations of "Shit!" come from outside. They come back every 10 minutes or so, trying to get in. Eventually, half our dorm is awake, and many of them want to let them in. Only myself and Oliver want to keep them out (and Broadway slept through the whole thing). Eventually, I hear a key in the lock. WTF? Then I hear more angered cries, since they have the wrong key - they have the key for room 6 instead of 9. They've actually broken into the office downstairs and stolen the key. Right, I'm having none of this. Putting the chair up against the door, and (with Oliver's help) using a length of rope to tie the door closed, I sit there, holding the lock. Eventually, they come back, with the correct key. I feel the lock moving a little, and I suddenly realise that I'm not actually as strong as these people. Oh dear...

However, try as they might, they can't get the lock undone. One of them goes for pliers in order to really force the key to turn. They then try again, and I've had enough of this. As the lock starts moving upward towards the horizontal position (which would mean the door was unlocked), I just brought my elbow down hard on the lock. It moved to the down position again, and stopped moving completely. More cries of "Oh fuck!" from outside. Then a hurried knocking on the door....

"We've broken the key in the lock, let us in!"

Aha! Fuckers, that'll teach you. I go to let them in, but everybody else is suddenly fearful for their safety. I'm not especially worried, I know I've broken the lock on them, but everybody else hides in the sink area of the room (which has a wall partitioning it from the rest of the place). I unlock the door, and outside are a very worried Phil (not our Phil) and Barnes. They come in, put down their can of shaving foam, and immediately start explaining the situation. With our help, we take the lock apart, get the broken piece out of it, and put it back together. Kinda. The door no longer locks. But you can at least fit a key into it.

The pieces of the key were disposed of on a rocky shore, kinda fitting for the field trip, and Phil and Barnes assure us of our safety from everybody for the rest of the field trip, on account of us being "top blokes" for helping them, rather than reporting them. I later find out that the ringleader of the whole thing is Matt (Fletch) Fletcher. Who has never in his life spoken to me, or met me, yet decided I was deserving of being shaved. Nice lad...

Anyhow, after this drama, we're able to relax on the last day. The activity? Sand dunes. We have to do Index of Species Diversity tests on different sand dunes, and work out how the number of species of plants increases or decreases as the age of the dune increases. Boring, you might think. Wrong! See, around the middle of the range of dunes were a few cliffs. Sheer faces of sand, which gradually sloped into bowls. The entireity of our field trip (minus a few girls) lines up along the edge of this cliff.

3... 2... 1... JUMP! Yup, wel all leaped off the cliff as one, and went hurtling to the bottom of it. I'd say it was about a 30 foot drop at least, but because of the gradual sloping, our falls were all broken (although a minor collision between Trav and myself left me with a busted shoulder and him with a bad back for the rest of the trip). We must have jumped off that cliff about 10 times, and off the one on the other side a good few times too (although I only did this one once - it was a lot steeper, higher, and more dangerous). But a great time was had by all.

Anyway, that night, the teachers had a bit of a drink. So did many of the students, who had smuggled beer in. A girls dorm and a guys dorm combined for the night, with everybody getting very drunk. Man, did they get told off in the morning.... Luke tried to offer Mr Ryder a beer, and he was so out of it that he almost accepted it :o)

Anyhow, I think that's about it. There's probably much more I could say, but I'm very conscious of the fact that this is a long post. Wonder if anybody will actually read it.... Bah, you asked for it, some of you, anyway :o)

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Nice to be wanted isn't it? :)

I read it all!
Now where is my prize?

What do I get for reading that highly amusing account of a broken lock?

(No actually, I laughed)

Mwahaha, muchly amusing

And yes, I did read it all

*giggles* I am amused!

I remember reading about the broken key in the door before, and how the door now doesn't work.

And I did read it in it's entirety.

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