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Matthew Chapman
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Posts from 01st Jun 2004 to 30th Jun 2004.
Anger. Pure Anger.
   at 20:02 on Sat 26th June 2004
Back in Southampton, where my main PC lives, I have a text file. And in that text file is a list of all the things I've wanted to write about on my blog but not had time for. Since it'll be a few days until I'm back, I want to get this off my chest now...

I shant mention any names in this for obvious reasons, but through a very short grape vine I've heard the following story...

There is a couple, they have two children; A daughter whose age I don't remember and a son who is 8 years old. The son suffers from autism and learning difficulties. If you're not familiar with the effects this has on the families who support such children, you may not understand where my anger is coming from.

This couple have been going through marital problems due to the pressure their son has had on the family. It was deemed that the wife would have a week away from it all, a holiday by herself.

The family had been having respite help (where their son would go into care) for a few days every month. But Social Services recently stopped that help telling them that there was NO respite available anywhere in the county.

So one day whilst the man's wife was away, sister of this man had come round to hell cope with his son. His son attacked the sister, causing severe bruising to her. His Dad managed to get, eventually, his son off and then had to tell his sister to go home because she wasn't helping.

Minutes later, he hears a faint call of "Dad, help! Dad!" from his daughters bedroom. Dad walks in to see his son strangling his daughter (to death). She was visibly blue. So he tried to prise his son off and save her. He wasn't able to and was standing watching her daughter struggle for breath.

He eventually "lost it" and smacked his son. There is - and has never been - any bruising from this incident. Anyhow, his father finally got his son off and he managed to calm him down. Straight after this, the Dad called Social Services (again) to complaint (yet again) that they NEED their respite back again. That they just cannot cope. He explained the situation to Social Services admitting that he has lost it and hit his son to prevent his daughters death.

Social Services, on this phone call, admitted it was their fault for removing the respite. They managed to find respite that day and told the Dad that their help was to be reinstated and that Social Services apologised.

Which is all well and good, until his Dad answered the door on the Monday morning to find two police men sent by Social Services, with a warrant for his arrest for child abuse. He was locked in a cell at the police station and was told that unless he took a caution, thus admitting his child abuse, he would remain locked there.

He needed to get back to his daughter to look after her, so could do nothing but admit responsibility and take the caution.

He has, in the past, worked as a volunteer for charity and promoting help and care for children with learning disabilities. He has earned thousands and tousands of pounds for charity. But now he has a criminal record for child abuse and people will turn their noses up at him.

I just cannot believe Social Services. They are so fucking inept and haven't a single clue about anything to do with social services. It's a farce....

It makes me feel sick. I have an ever growing disgust for Social Services. I really do. I was speechless when I was told.

And I bet you if he hadn't have smacked his kid, we'd be reading, in the local press, an article with the headline "Father neglects daughter to her death".

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by Matt at 20:13 on 26th Jun 2004
Oh, and he can't be sure he'll ever get custody of his son ever again. (He's been taken into care).

by KK at 00:55 on 27th Jun 2004
I can understand why the police questioned the father, because initially they wouldn't have known what took place, but after being told exactly what happened I really don't see why they had to give him a criminal record for child abuse.

The police don't seem capable of catching the real criminals, but the second you hit someone in self defence or drive at 70mph when the overhead motorway signs say 50 [even though the road is empty and conditions are perfect], you will be charged with assault or pulled over for speeding.

by Matt at 09:49 on 28th Jun 2004
The thing is, the police DID know. Social Services informed them and explained the situation. And that was AFTER Social Services had apologised to the father and said that they were at fault and admitted liability for the incident!

Home Sweet Home
   at 19:14 on Tue 22nd June 2004
There's something about the sea air. After a hectic few months at Uni, followed by a couple of weeks of fantastic travelling, it's hit me. I'm just absolutely shattered at the moment. So I've had lots of lazing around reading and, in part, thinking.

For Fathers Day on Sunday, the whole family went out for a carvery meal. For those that have no idea why I put the world "whole" in italics, my sister moved away from home about two years ago now. Things were my own personal hell at A-Level with problems in the family. So it struck me, rather upsettingly, that I had only seen her about six or seven times in the two years since she moved out. It's a feeling I can't well describe, but it's not a particularly nice one.

Other than that though, I'm having a great time. It's so nice to finally be able to wind down. Yay for the sea, sand, beach hut and Adnams beer.

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by KK at 14:47 on 25th Jun 2004
As you can see we've been reading your web logs for some time now, Mr Chapman. It seems that you have been living two lives...

In one life youíre Matthew J Chapman, student at the respectable University of Southampton; you have an NUS number, you pay your tuition fees and you help your housemates do their coursework...

The other life is lived in Southwold, where you dress in outrageously bright shirts and are guilty of virtually every fashion based crime we have a law for...

by Matt at 21:21 on 25th Jun 2004
rofl. Made me laugh out loud. All except that Southampton Uni isn't affliated with the NUS, therefore I don't have an NUS number... how about I give you the finger and you give me my pint.

by KK at 01:06 on 26th Jun 2004
Next time you're in the area (Hitchin/Reading) I'll buy you one :p

Imho the NUS membership is worth it for the 20% off you get at Pizza Hut alone :o)

There and Back Again...
   at 22:08 on Fri 18th June 2004

So last week I was up in Sheffield to see a most wonderful old friend from Hitchin, Catie. I was there for the breifest of visits, but I had a fantastic time. Apart from being entertained with a BBQ, a trip to Chatsworth House and wine night, I was also introduced to the wonders of Terry Pratchett in his book Men at Arms.

I was dubious at first, when reading it, but after adjusting to his humorous and jumpy style, I thoroughly enjoyed it. So much so that whilst I was in...


...I purchased three more of the Discworld novels.

I was in Birmingam from Saturday to the following Friday. For the most part, I was staying with Tamsin. It was so nice to have someone to hug'n'kiss, and I really really liked being in her company.

On Tuesday, we went to Alton Towers. Tamsin was absolutely adamant she wouldn't be going on Oblivion. However, after much pestering and carrying (Whilst kicking and screaming) she ended up riding it twice.

Also, I met Jenni. It was nice to see her again since I don't think we've met since last Summer. We didn't really have much time to catch up, since Tamsin and I were with some of Tamsins friends, but it was still so lovely to see Jenni again.

So all in all, Alton Towers was a great day out. Returning back to Tamsins, though, the two of us were absolutely shattered.

I spent some of the rest of the time with housemate Chris and his family, which was also very nice. Chris and I did 6 games of bowling on Thursday, in fact. My arms are still sore from the wear and tear on my muscles!

Anyway, whittering on about what I've done is really quite boring... I think I've babbled enough to mark down in my "diary" what I've been up to without boring people too much.

I think I'll get an early night to catch up on the lack of sleep caused by going "straight to sleep" during the majority of nights this week.

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by Mac at 09:20 on 19th Jun 2004
Hooray, you're alive! Sounds like an exciting few days. I bet you can guess what I've been doing with myself - yep, juggling and playing computer games. Life is good :D

by Clare at 10:27 on 19th Jun 2004
Yay indeed to your aliveness! And also to your general happiness - I'm really pleased. :) It does sound like you've had a great time!

All's good with me, had a pleasant time in Devon and am now having fun back in Soton. Oh, and IBM offered me Extreme Blue after all! I start full time work a week Monday - argh! :)

by Noctu at 23:30 on 20th Jun 2004
"Straight to sleep?"


by Matt at 19:06 on 22nd Jun 2004
Clare, congratulations. Sounds great. I wonder whether you'll be able to get back to Southampton for a drink sometime next week. I'm back on Wednesday.

And Tom. You naughty, suggestive boy. Tsk. :)

by Clare at 20:37 on 22nd Jun 2004
It's not far from Winchester to Soton... I'm in London a week Saturday, but should be in Soton on Sunday 4th at least! (Quick - to the pub!)

Enjoy the chilledness of home :)

A Early-Summers Evening
   at 22:53 on Mon 7th June 2004
This evening, after I suggested, Big Richard, Andrew, Julian and Little Richard went to three pubs to have a meal out to end the year.

During the evening we were having many deep conversations on different contreversial topics. I really enjoyed the evening. But for a moment, at the Flemming Arms, my mood changed.

I walked into the toilets to relieve my bladder, when some random gentlemen I had smiled at earlier followed me in. It turns out that he just wanted to talk.

I have no idea why it happened, but we ended up talking about life, and the experiences one MUST have in life. He was 60 and enquired about what I was doing and where I was going in life. From the age conversation, we ended up talking about travelling. I brought up a couple of things about my trip to South Africa. He was talking about one of his friends who'd been in ZA during the apartheid. He asked if I had come across any anger or predudice whilst I was there.

I proceeded to explain about how Laura got her hangbag and contents stolen by some of the black guys from a rough area. But what he said back to me really made me think. I don't remember his phrasing, but I came away deep in thought about how I've become acostomed to thinking about the bad in everything first. I'm always quick to recall the bad and not quick enough to think of the good.

He gave me a "lecture" about life, and experience. It would be boring for me to repeat the things he said to me here, but the way he phrased things and the points he made really affected me.

But what I wanted to basically mention was that when I sat back down after talking to this man, the conversations we were having without our student group seemed to lack any meaning. The things we were so worried about and arguing over really don't matter. Not in the big picture.

Perhaps life is just there to be enjoyed. To be honest, I'm becoming tired of deep though all the time I'm awake. I think I'll just be happy to end up not regretting missing any experiences I've ever dreamed of.

So here's to a wonderful three days in Sheffield with Catie and friends. See you soon.

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by Mac at 00:45 on 16th Jun 2004
*poke poke*

Post-exam Times
   at 20:03 on Sun 6th June 2004
It's been wonderful to have nothing to do. I don't think I'm even quite used to the whole idea yet, but I can see myself soon complaining of boredom. But I'll rant about that another day.

What I wanted to do today was just add a little section to my site, things you might not know about me. I wrote it as and when I could think of things over the exam period. And I have to admit, it was a much better idea then that it seems now. But it was written, so I may as well post it....

See the about me link on the navigation menu. I'll add/amend it when I have the motivation to do something better with it.

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Adventurous Matt
   at 07:43 on Fri 4th June 2004
So it's here. Finally. The day of the last exam. I'm vaguely prepared and feeling good. It's Ten Past Eight in the morning and I've already had a huge sasuage, mash and peas meal! I've planned ahead.

At precisely 11:30, I want you all to think of me... Stepping out of my last exam for the summer, into the sun, placing sunglasses on my head, taking a proud, excited, brisk walk to the bar. Music playing in my mind, spirits running high, with a big smile on my face. Ready to welcome the next three weeks of relaxation with open arms. Sheffield, Birmingham, Southwold, Hitchin. It's going to be great! Wow.

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Forty Two
   at 09:30 on Thu 3rd June 2004
Bear with me, I realise this is a long post, but it means something to me. It's something I feel strongly about and it's rare I have the courage to write about things like this.

I've just been talking on IRC to a few people about life. We were talking about the vicious cycle of "Born, learn, earn, die". I say it's pointless, I
don't believe there is a purpose to existence as a whole. Before I sound too depressive, I want to say that I do love life. I couldn't live without so many special things we have in life; Family, Friends, Music, Sex, Alcohol, Food, etc.

In this conversation, I was basically saying that my life, despite really enjoying it, is pointless because when I die that's it, it's gone. I'm not even slightly convinced by an after life, so therefore, I believe that the day I die, everything I am, everything I have been, everything I could have been is all destroyed. My soul dies. Fin.

But one of the people I was chatting too said "But you do things for others". Which I totally agree with. I would rather see my friends and family happy than myself. I'll go out of my way to help someone if they're in need. I enjoy making people laugh and I thrive off good friendships. So, yeah, we can all have an effect on other people. We can live on in their memories. But I respond to that with the question; What happens when they die. Everything you did for them is lost. There isn't anything to show for it, so was there any point in doing it in the first place?

So someone else brings up the idea that the effect you have on people is remembered through the generations. Photos, writing, music etc all let that person live on. Again, I totally agree. It's wonderful to hear music by the likes of Mozart, or The Beatles, for example. But surely, eventually, everything is lost. Music score is lost, stories of experiences become exaggerated tales, memories become faded and false. So someone said this effect is inevitable, you can't stop people and the things they do being forgotten.

But my feelings are all about this question "why?". Why should I put all this effort into life when eventually it wouldn't have mattered if I ever existed? Why should I make sure I go out of my way to make my friends/family happy, why should I make a difference, why should I want to never be forgotten?!

I fear that people will misinterpret me... I do want to do all the above. Making people happy is one of the biggest priorities for me, but I just don't understand the "why?" behind it. In the grand scheme of things, I know that when I die, when they are dead, all I did for them is lost. So as I've said before, what's the purpose behind doing it?

It's all recursive, it's never ending and it goes on forever. The "why"s get one level deeper with every question. Noone has ever come across an end to that question. There are so many answers to the question "why?". For all we know there might not be overall answer to the big question "why?".

I've had this sort of conversation many times, but I've begun to realise and begun to make sense of some things I want to understand. Everyone has their own meaning to life, their own purpose. Some people are happy making an excuse of religion for their meaning. Some people say the answer is to simply to reproduce. Some people say that it's about them, that their purpose is to enjoy their life. Some go one level deeper and say itís about making sure you do something for friends/family. And then some say its about making a difference that gets carried through the generations.

So I've begun to think that, as I mentioned earlier, everyone has his or her own purpose and meaning. Everyone is happy with a different level of "why". I'm troubled with how I feel about life. I don't see any point in the grand scheme of things. Perhaps this is because I've not managed to find out which "why?" I'm happy with. I know for certain I've not delved deep enough into the infinite levels of "why?".

Maybe I'm trying to hard to give myself reason and explain why I'm here. I can cope with life, I plan to do so many exciting things with my own, but that doesnít mean I see a purpose in it. I don't want to settle for any religious reasoning or any personal beliefs that I've encountered in my life. I'm just not happy with anyoneís answer to "why?" that Iíve ever heard. And I hope I'm not egotistic for it, I mean not to be.

I just wish I could comprehend more than this mind lets me. It angers me that humans have a cognitive limit. Why can't we think further, why can't we think more than recursive. The "why?" I'm striving to reach is the one that encapsulates this entire infinitely recursive system. But I know I can't do that.

Religion probably provides one of the most common levels at which people are happy to accept life. It is this convenient encapsulating entity that can be used as an excuse for anything humans can't comprehend. But my argument is that there must, surely, by definition of most "Gods", be something behind that entity itself? It's that "Why?" I want to get at.

I guess that in the end, if I didn't care so much, I'd become complacent and loose interest in it all. I'm certainly interested in where life is going and I can't wait for it to take place. But what do I think from here? Is this teenage angst coming late? Is this a mid life crisis too early? Am I thinking normally or am I just insane?

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by Mac at 11:49 on 03rd Jun 2004
Long ago I decided that I was never going to have an answer to the big old why question, so I decided to stop trying to answer it. Read Sophie's World.
I have, however, decided that it is a pretty good idea to live your life with the intention of coming up with as many good stories to tell your grandchildren as possible.

by Clare at 16:59 on 03rd Jun 2004
Ooh, philosophical and stuff. Yeah, I've never found/figured out a convincing answer to the big old 'Why?'. It *would* be good if we had better cognitive abilities.

I guess all we're left with is to keep doing the things that make us happy. Which is what you're doing, so good. :)

Oh, and I think everyone goes through phases of thinking on stuff like this. So, sadly, you're still sane. :)

by Matt at 18:05 on 03rd Jun 2004
Thank you for your comforting words. :-)

by tamsin at 00:56 on 05th Jun 2004
if you think about the bigger picture of our universe it is impossible by our limited knowledge to even make sense of the fact that we/anything exists in the first place. you cant get something from nothing and even if there was nothing before us nothingness surely has to be something? i dont even want to think about it anymore so im just gonna keep going with the theory that we're not really here at all!

by Matt at 15:15 on 05th Jun 2004
I like that. We're not really here. Hehe. Trouble is, now that exams are over, I've no energy for all this thinking, I just need a couple of days to chill out. Oh... and you best <i>really</i> be there next weekend. :P

Harry Potter / Frustration
   at 22:38 on Wed 2nd June 2004
It wasn't a fantastic film. The actors are much better in this film than the previous two, and the directing was far superior. Basically its the best of the three so far, but the book is much better. I'll probably download a copy of the film but I wouldn't buy it and I wouldn't go and see it again.

I'm going through one of my mood swing stages. One hour I'm feeling great, things are going well, but all it takes is a few minutes and I'm in a crap mood and really demotivated and apathetic again.

For example, at the moment, as you can tell from my summary of Prisoner of Azkaban, I can't be arsed with much. I'm tired, stressed and disapointed about this mornings exam.

But just earlier, I was having a great time. I've won a round of pitch and putt down by the river next to last years halls. I've had a couple of games of pool, and I've been into town. I bought a set of juggling balls on impulse from Mac and others influence.

Two more days, yet I can't be bothered. This academic work is far more than non-students appreciate. I'm totally burnt out and I'm going to need all three months to recouperate before even attempting the final year of my course. Christ, and I have to work most of the summer, too.

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by Mac at 23:01 on 02nd Jun 2004
You bought juggling balls! Woooo! Put them by your keyboard and you'll be juggling in no time, trust me :) Apparently the first years call me, Sina, and Luke Juggler 1, 2, and 3. Heh...

by Mac at 23:03 on 02nd Jun 2004
Oh yes, and HCI is/was toss, and I'm sick of all this too. I can't wait for Friday...

by Simon at 01:14 on 03rd Jun 2004
I didn't know you had a site! Woo Whoo now I dooO!

by Doden Gek at 02:02 on 03rd Jun 2004
The film did a fine job of getting the main storeline in, along with some nice visual effects. It's over 2 hours long already yet manages to keep the events flowing. I think adding in more from the book would make the film drag and take away what makes the books special.

by Matt at 09:34 on 03rd Jun 2004
Doden, I have to agree. The flow of the film is rather impressive. It most certainly didn't seem like I was sat there for that long. The subset of the book they used for the film, was indeed appropriate and well selected.

To the others, yes... 1 more day. 25 hours time from this post and I'll be writing the last bits of my final question. 26 hours time, pint in hand.