The ‘P’ Word! 

I’m sure we’ve all been there. Sitting there looking at a book and all that information just becomes a blur.

Before you know it, you’re deep into facebook looking at videos of dogs in swimming pools. Procrastination. Bad for your future, your saviour in the present.

It’s safe to say that my life as a student has been consumed by procrastination, my revision has been obliterated by literally anything else, once I just sat there looking at the window watching rain drops race down (a common sight in England). 

As the new year came around and I’d say down to think about what joys behold me in 2017 – it hit me – two exams in the middle of January, terrible for everyone in my boat, but it gets worse for me, my first exam is the morning after my birthday! So then the pre exam stress began in the back of my mind and now looking forward to my birthday is now out of the question. 

Yesterday I sat down to begin my revision for the first time, how best do I learn how to create a balance sheet off the top of my head? I asked myself. (if anyone reading this is an accountant, help would be greatly appreciated)

I rooted for the ‘do it loads and it’ll stick’ method, like what successfully got me through my driving theory test. So I got a template provided by my tutor and set to work. Safe to say it’s not the most enriching subject at the best of times, so eventually I stopped copying it out and did what is probably the worst of all types of procrastination – eating. Not only do you get no work done, but you also feel like what Jabba the Hut may feel like afterwards. 

I then thought that hundreds upon thousands will be in my boat, so I spent more time writing this post.

Anyone else in my position? How do you combat procrastination? Please comment below! 

Happy 2017. 

Tom 

Will China become the football superpower it wants to be? 

By the way, as I’m English, when I mention football, I mean the one with a round ball.

As Chelsea’s Oscar is rumoured to be the subject of a bid of more than £50 million, will this huge investment result in China becoming the a leading footballing nation by 2050 as president Xi is targeting? 

Over the past few decades, China has thrown billions upon billions at most sectors of its economy as well as FDI (Foreign Direct Investments) around the world, a tactic which so far, has worked for them. China is now the worlds second biggest economy – but will such a tactic be effective in the totally unique football economy? 

President Xi is aiming for China to host and win a World Cup by 2050, the hosting part seems realistic as FIFA’s thirst for football to have an even bigger marketplace will surely reach the one that involves around 1/7th of the worlds population. 

How does he want to do this? Xi wants to create 20,000 schools that specialise in teaching and coaching football by 2020 to produce the first generation of top Chinese football talent.

A strong league is becoming more and more important for a country to win the most watched sporting event on the planet and the CSL (Chinese Super League) is making huge strides to make the league stronger by investing in top talent from around the world. A stronger league standard means young Chinese players learn more and should develop to be a better standard. 


The above graphic (from mailman) shows the significant investment made by CSL clubs, the majority made in the past year, a year which CSL clubs have really pushed for top transfers. So how do they stop it becoming like the English Premier League with too many foreign players stopping young English players moving into the first team? China has created a a quota – only 5 foreign players in any one club and only 4 are allowed on the pitch per team at the same time. The Chinese Football Association must also really underrate Chinese goalkeepers too – no foreign goalkeepers are allowed in the league. 

With some of China’s richest men like the owner of Alibaba wading into their football, the investment looks as if it’s there to stay. What might be the worst thing to happen to the development, however if President Xi, who is a massive football fan, loses his position then a new President may put football down the priority list. 

Film Review – Suicide Squad, Not as good as marketing suggested? 

They say that one of the most important things about a ‘goodie v baddie’ film is how strong the villain character is. One of the greatest examples of this is Heath Ledger’s magnificent performance as Batman’s rival ‘The Joker’ in The Dark Knight (2008).

Suicide Squad, set in the same DC Comics universe as Batman, has the ingredients of a great original comic book film with the role reversal of the traditional ‘baddies’ fighting for the good of the World. However who they’re facing has no real charisma or unpredictability that the best villains carry. In fact the witch that was the main antagonist had similar motives to King Kahmunrah in Night of the Museum 2. In saying that it’s very hard to match such a performance as Ledger’s and ‘Enchantress’ in this movie has some pretty damning consequences for the world and the scene at the tube station is pretty shocking from a human point of view.

In terms of casting the film certainly appealed to all kinds of demographics. Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn inspired many young women and teenage girls to change from the usual hallowe’en dress of a cat or mouse whilst also attracting their male partners and Will Smith manages to attract, well, everyone. The cast alone probably caused the majority of fans to watch, helped by their heavy amounts of social media posts as the release date drew nearer.

Certainly the best part of Suicide Squad is the relationships between the squad itself, with constant bickering and questioning why they’re doing what they’re doing whilst being kept in check by soldier Rick Flag, before watching the film the thing I was most interested in was how they were kept in check.

Overall Sucide Squad is a film that is an easy watch for a rainy day however it doesn’t stand out against the recent load of comic book films and therefore I’ll give it a 3/5. 

Skiing – The Most Underrated Holiday

Most British people want to escape the cold weather in their holidays and they tend to head straight for the warmer climates, but there is a growing demand to head for the slopes. I’m luckily enough to have been skiing multiple times and am confident going down most runs.

To many people of my age, it just isn’t a holiday that matches the wild times of a Malia or an Ibiza, or a week on the Canaries for those who like to relax, but Skiing offers a bit of everything.

A day of skiing consists of mostly a fairly early wake up time (not always my cup of tea) and heading straight out onto the slopes for a lesson (beginners must have lessons) or just off to roam for yourself. The sport itself is exhilarating, gliding down a mountain with the freshest or air into your face is sometimes as close to flying without actually doing it. On the slopes are a host of mountain bars where a crisp pint goes right down the throat or hot chocolate (usually topped with whipped cream and marshmallows) warms your inside. Finally, once your day is over, you eat a meal that is normally prepared to perfection and then what would interest people of my age begins. The ‘apres ski’ can actually come before your meal, before you even come off the slopes (Nederhutte in Obergurgl, Austria is a great example) but in the evening, the mountain visitors young and old gather and party the day away, with live music being a particular highlight for me. For those wanting to relax, most hotels provide afternoon tea and have spa facilities to unwind, i can safely say it all feel 10 times more relaxing after a day of skiing.

Sure, as you begin, you will fall many times but it is a great life lesson of failure only comes if you quit, otherwise you just learn, so if you stick at it then skiing becomes a part of life that nothing else matches.  The quality of your skiing is very dependant on the weather, as sometimes temperatures of -10 celsius doesn’t make it enjoyable, however if you catch a beautifully sunny day, then i promise you that there aren’t many better views than you get in the mountains.

img_0053If you get the chance to go – go. Many people who haven’t been so excited to go, and have gone and the reviews have always been great. After all, when snow comes to us, everyones impartial to a little snowball fight, right?

Stuff to do in London, on a student budget Volume 1 

London has it all in terms on things to do, but as a student, price is a key element to what you can actually do (unless you’re prepared to max out your overdraft). So what can you do that’s cheap but still great? 

The London night economy has been on a downslope as years have gone by, a possible reason for this is the price of a drink in Central London, in my freshers week our organised nights out were all in the Piccadilly area, which is great is you’re a banker or professional footballer. But as a student, £8 for a single mixer was simply too much, so you must look elsewhere.

The introduction of night tube should improve London nightlife as the night bus isn’t an attractive prospect for many, this has opened up chances of better, more affordable nights out. One of the top places is the quirky Camden Town, drinks, however, are still pricey compared to most other places in the UK, but much better than Piccadilly, along with this, the actual clubs reflect the area in their quirkiness, from the ball pits to extravagant themed nights, it seems more ‘studenty’ than the institutions in Central. What’s more is it’s close to Kings Cross on the tube and also on the Northern Line which is soon to be the next night tube line. 

My best nights out have been in Camden and for sure my bank account didn’t take that much of a beating, just be prepared for anything when you get there.

Tom 

2016 – Strangest Year Ever?

The opening VT of this years ‘Im a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here’ consisted of Ant and Dec basically saying the traumas they put this year’s ‘Celebrities’ through are more normal than the year 2016.

Step back into 12 months ago – David Cameron was PM, England seemed to be coming along nicely in football terms and were going into the Euro’s as dark horses whilst part of the together EU. A whole host of incredibly talented people were still with us, and we were still questioning whether Donald Trump was just some insane practical joke. 2016, it seemed, was quite promising. But the small matter of the reported £3 million to one of Brexit, Trump and Leicester later, our world is a very different animal.

January alone should’ve been ample warning. Within four days the UK had lost two of its most coveted stars in David Bowie and Alan Rickman. Music icon Prince also passed followed by one of the most influential men in modern times in Muhammad Ali. As each person left us the World seemed to feel simply emptier. As i’ve seen multiple times on social media ‘someone protect Sir David Attenborough’, and thank the lord he is still here.

The stunning Planet Earth 2 is some of the best television I have ever seen. For a student on a very low budget I can safely say it makes the TV license worth paying, somebody please let me know of anything more tense than that baby Iguana scene! The work those camera crews go through to show the natural wonders of our world seem to repay some faith in the human race as we sure needed it from somewhere.

Lets hope for a better end to the year than the start!