Matt Gemmell

TOLL is available now!

An action-thriller novel — book 2 in the KESTREL series.

★★★★★ — Amazon

Slightly Fantastic

general, personal & university 5 min read

Apparently my readers (including, but not limited to, Colin) are clamouring for me to make a new post, so here’s a slightly overdue general update on what’s been going on in my life lately.

Brief summary: everything’s going pretty well, I’d have to say. Categorised detail follows below.


Work proceeds as usual. Matt & Julie’s Coffee Buddy System has to be done for next Monday (29th Nov), which should be fine. The IR4 assessed exercise deadline is also that day. Another entirely pointless waste-of-time DBIT4 essay for Friday of next week, plus project work to be getting on with. Busy as usual.


Lauren and I watched Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure the other night (cheers to Steve for the DVD), 10 Things I Hate About You on Sunday night, and the remake of The Manchurian Candidate at the cinema last night. All good, particularly Bill and Ted, of course.


The Glasgow city Christmas tree-lighting and fireworks ceremony was held on Sunday evening in George Square, and Lauren and I went along. Despite the fairly constant light rain, it was appropriately cheesy and enjoyable. Not sure whether I enjoyed it more than the much smaller-scale but also cosier fireworks show we previously attended, but it was pretty good nonetheless. Fireworks displays are just meant to be watched with a beautiful girl in your arms. That’s my opinion.


Fellow sheercore hero Chris held a party at his flat on Saturday night, and naturally Lauren and I attended. There was music (they actually had a deck set up in the hall; decent), gerbils, much alcohol, computer hardware, flashlights, Derek in a suit jacket, and an extremely comfortable new couch from Ikea. Even the notorious E-wing was in attendance, as were Iain and Cat, Steve, Colin, Lynz, Neil, Disco Stu, Dave and Claire, a small army of Geordies, and indeed others. Gregor turned up later on, as did the police, briefly. All in all, another decent night from the big chap, and I’d just like to offer a note of thanks for how unprecedentedly clean the flat was this time. Nice work.

Your Sinclair

How well I remember buying the last ever issue of Your Sinclair (issue 93), way back in 1993. I dearly loved that magazine. Quirky and funny to the last, and with perhaps the most lovable (and constantly changing) editorial staff of any mag I’ve read. Well, I was browsing videogames magazines in Virgin over the weekend, and picked up issue 9 of Retro Gamer. You probably can’t fully appreciate my intense joy when I saw that bundled with it was a new issue (number 94) of Your Sinclair!

If you’re a fellow spec-chum who never really recovered from the closing of the YS Shed, nip out and grab a copy of Retro Gamer 9 without any further delay. YS94 is a short issue indeed, but it’s a wonderful thing to see. And by the way, I still have an original “YS: It’s Crap! (In a funky, skillo sort of way)” pin-badge. So there.


Yesterday marked one month since Lauren and I got together. We celebrated by going to the now-legendary Frankie & Benny’s for dinner, then the aforementioned cinema trip, and we’re also going to see The Darkness at the SECC on Friday night.

Things are going extremely well for us one month on; we’re looking forward to our 2nd month together, and hopefully a fair few after that. We’re both incredibly happy right now, and we’re still getting on just as well and just as effortlessly as before we got together. We’re in that great beginning stage where everything is very intense, and we’re unquestionably the most loved-up couple around.

The thing is, I don’t think it’s just a beginning stage; something is very fundamentally right about this. There’s usually a fragility about the start of a relationship, and that’s just not present here. We’re exactly the same people we were before we got together, right down to the banter and other social interplay between us. We’ve gained much more, but the core dynamic is fully intact, and that’s a rare and powerful thing.

All of the events of the Summer and the early part of this semester weren’t particularly easy for either of us, but looking back I genuinely wouldn’t change anything, and not just because we’re together now. Everything that happened gave us the chance to become very close friends, and to get to know each other for who we actually are, without the pressure of Starting A Relationship. I’ve cared about Lauren for quite a while now, and I had the chance to really spend a lot of time evaluating that, and figuring out whether getting together with her was what I really wanted. Having thought about it long and hard from a position of being free to do so, I knew what I wanted, and I’m really lucky to have got it.

I also think that she would agree with me about not regretting the overall path of events up to this point. She had the chance to get to know me as a friend, and to slowly begin to become close to me without worrying about a more complex situation unfolding around us. Much later, after plenty more goings-on in both our lives, we both knew that we wanted to try this, and for the right reasons.

I do still get those inevitable moments where I realise yet again that I’m actually with her now, and momentarily question the reality of it. I guess you do that for the first while, particularly if you’ve wanted to be with the person for some time. I can see that she’s happy; more happy than she’s been in a long time. I try my best to treat her as well as I can, but more importantly to let her know that it’s the person she actually is that I’m attracted to, with no need for any pretences or filtering or such. I can see she’s completely comfortable with me, and that she trusts me with the responsibility of not hurting her, and of bringing something positive into her life. And, I can see that I’m actually managing to do that. That makes me feel better about myself than I think I ever have before - and as my friends here will testify, that’s really saying something!

In summary, I’m very happy right now. I feel energised about my degree course, my friends, and even moreso about myself. I feel like I’ve really achieved something in being able to make Lauren happy these past weeks, and I’m excited and a little dazed at the prospects of The Future. I’m content and optimistic about my life, and it’s due to how well things are going for us. Whatever happens in the future, right now that’s all good.

I guess you never know when it’s the right time to admit to yourself how you really feel about someone, much less when to admit it to that person; it can be a dangerous thing if the other person doesn’t feel the same way. I believe, though, that the truth is more important than the risk involved in telling it. Thankfully, the gamble sometimes pays off far beyond your expectations if the other person does feel the same way, and I’m not sure that it can actually ever be “too soon” for the truth. I’m in love with Lauren, and that feels pretty damn ace.

On that decidedly upbeat note, I’ll sign off for now. Until next time: stay classy, San Diego.