Jamboree Blog!

I have decided to make a Jamboree Blog…

Just click here to visit: Ben Bowen’s 21st World Scout Jamboree Blog

Take a look! All posts will eventually be imported here!


What’s up?

Well time for a post, seeing as they will be sparse over the summer.

After visiting the two universities, we had a Spiritual Awareness day at Schoolon Monday 11th July.

This involved have talks from various religions in the morning and then a  Question and Answer session in the afternoon.

I went to Judaism, Bahai Faith and Buddhism. The Bahai Faith interested me the most, as it is a modern religion, and is a combination of other religions. It seemed pretty cool.

I went canoeing on the Wednesday at Sale Water park, we canoed around the lake, and then did a small rapids section on the River Mersey, next time we go, we’ll be doing a proper stint on the lake.

Driving Test  – I failed my driving test for the first time today, after a confrontation with a bus.  Stupid bus!

I got a job, as a pot washer a my Dad’s restaurant, £5.35 and a share of the tips ain’t bad. £30/40 a night.


I leave for the Jamboree on Thursday morning, for two weeks – will hopefully post while I am away as they have internet access. Look out for lots of short posts!

Then I am back in Manchester for a day, then off on holiday to South Wales, then back for 3 days and off to Scotland for a week! 🙂

In the last two days I have visited two universities, an open day at Aberystwyth University (Aber for short), and a taster day at Lancaster University.

I’ll start off talking about Aber:

Well we (myself and Dad), got up nice and earlier in order to get there in a decent time. In the end it took 3 hours, and we got there shortly after 11.

I had specifically come to Aber to look at the Countryside Management degrees, as well of course the university itself. So we first headed over to the Institute of Rural Science facility, just outside the main Penglais campus.

We had a tour of this smaller campus, then grabbed ourself some food from the refectory. We then listened to a presentation on the Countryside management degree courses, this was informative and gave me a feel for the courses.

We then headed down to the Penglais Campus, about 3/4 mile away. We missed the guided tour by a few minutes so fashioned our own, and had a look around at the buildings etc.

I will talk about what I thought about Aber in a few moments, but first after we had a look around the town itself, and went down to the sea front. Aber is very small and made up of a complicated structure of one way streets! Although it is rather stundenty, with over half the population being students.

Aber university itself was built in the 1960’s and you can tell, it is rather dated and needs some considerable redevelopment. It is also very secluded and isolated, and is a long way from anything, although it does have the sea.

Overall I feel I liked the course, and would like to study it, however did not take to the university itself. It is probably just a little to isolated and small.

And on the way home which also took 3 hours; I was listening to KT Tunstall – Suddenly I see. With the lyrics:-

Suddenly I see,
This is what I want to be,
Suddenly I see,
Why the hell this means so much to me…

Unfortunately for me, I could not see why it meant so much to me..

Onto the Lancaster University Science and Technology Taster day.

Another early start, needing to be in college for the coach by 8am.

We arrived about 10am, and had a coffee and biscuits followed by a guided tour of the campus. Lancaster is a collegiate university, with people being members of colleges. However all the facilities are shared.

We then chose two subjects to have a ‘taster’ of – I chose communications science and physics.

Communications science first, this involved playing around with flash making ball bounce, and some very basic action script. Not very challenging, and I have always said I don’t wan to do an IT directly related job as a profession, more a hobby. However it was fun, and allowed me to check my email. The lecturer was obviously passionate, but I don’t believe he had the experience.

We then had a free buffet lunch, which was surprisingly nice and there was lots of food.

Onto the physics, this was also a very informative presentation; first looking at super cooled temperature and experiments at this temperature. This involved some experiments with liquid nitrogen – which are always good fun. We then had a guided tour of the physics department and got to see the Helium 3, processing plant, an NMR machine and lots more – including astro and medical physics.

We then returned for a talk on particle physics, and specifically the LHC (Large Hadron Collidor) and Atlas in particular, the largest detector in the LHC. This was good fun and informative.

The campus is also from the 60’s/70’s and is a few miles outside Lancaster itself. It is currently undergoing major redevelopment, with a brand new management suite, brand new accommodation (en suite) and all the rest following shortly. And a new sports centre being build next year. The campus itself is more compact than Aber, and not on a hill!

Overall, I don’t think I took to the courses this time, and could not see myself doing them. However, I did like the university, as it is similar to Aber in size, but less isolated and closer to home. I could certainly see myself attending a university like Lancaster. It is just a pity they do not offer Countryside Management.

One final note,

Alan Johnson was released today after 114 days of captivity, this is excellent news and I am very happy. 🙂 So off comes my plea for help, and I wish Alan the best for the future! 🙂

Having fun, playing with some basic flash – making balls bounce around the screen! 🙂

Moving on to some Action Script later on, which will be some procress!

Blog full posts about this and yesterday later!

Beech Road Festival

Yesterday I attended the Beech Road festival, and you guessed it on Beech Road, Chorlton.

My Dad’s restaurant (Thai Spice) is on Beech road and they were having a store.

The weather was a bit iffy,and rain was expected, so my Dad had the clever idea of buying a very large gazebo, which when I arrived they were just getting it out of the bag.

We struggled with putting it up for 15 minutes but eventually managed it. And it turned out to be the perfect width! Exactly the length of the restaurant front, and exactly the width of the pavement.

The restaurant with gazebo

The restaurant with gazebo.

It did rain later in the day and people ran towards it for shelter, we even debated charging them… 😉

The restaurant did extremely well, and were easily the busiest stall on the street. We were selling high quality food, for reasonable prices (max. £3 per plate), and a reasonable size portion.

We did have a few problems, first we ran out of paper plates, so had to buy some more – selling Woolworths, Chorlton out of stock. And later on we ran out of forks and spoons, so again sold Woolworths out! Also the wind played havoc occasionally on the gazebo and there were some pretty tense moments. And the gazebo had some faulty vents in the roof, which we will need to fix, they occasionally got full of water!

The weather was mad all day, brilliant sun shine one minute, then pouring with rain – this is England! Anyway the few thousand people that attended had great fun, and according to the lady that organises the festival, Thai Spice’s food was the talk of the street.

We eventually ran out of food at 4.30pm, and there was still a steady stream of customers!

More photos:
Serving the food
Serving the food

Melon art!
Melon Art

The whole experience was great fun, and I look forward to it again! And it only makes me more decisive on starting my own business.

On that subject, I visit Aberystwyth university tomorrow to have a look at Countryside Management, and then Lancaster Uni on Wednesday for some physics lectures.

I am still undecided on whether to go to university, and if so what to study, or to start up my own business. A choice I will have to make very soon. 🙂

Well last time I posted it was June 8th, now it’s the 28th.

We are 20 days later, a new prime minister, and lots has happened.

I’ll start from the start, which is a sensible place to start, and try and include a much detail as possible, could be a long post!

Didsbury Festival – 9th June

The Scouts have a stall every year, so as always I volunteered my assistance, and had some great fun. We also upped the rice of the burgers by 50p, no one complained and we made a load more money!

Thai Spice Opening

This was very successful, and lots of people attended and ate some great food, I didn’t stay for long as I was whisked away to the Lakes for a weeks sailing…

Also do check out the website as I made it!


This was great fun, and a real chance to relax after my exams. I have spent a week on my Grandparent’s yatch every year since I was 10.

I went up on the Sunday, when the weather was wonderful, so we turned the boat (a 33′ Benetau yatch, on Windemere) around, to lap in the evening rays.

On Monday morning, my grandma left for Manchester again, as she could not stay the whole week. And myself and Richard took the boat to the South Lake, there was no wind but lots of sunshine, so we didn’t mind! Richard had come aground with the boat earlier in the year and was keen to investigate what it was, so we did some clever manoeuvres to try and locate what it was, while in the process of trying to work this out, we hit another rock, and we never did find what Richard originally hit. Although we reckoned that a new danger bouy had been added.

So we motored back, for some tea and went to see Pirates of the Caribbean 3, which was alright and I enjoyed it. And I now know how to capsize a boat – run from side to side!

The jetty the boat is moored at is located next to a marina, which has a shop, so on Sunday evening I explored how to get there by boat (dinghy), and went everyday to buy our supplies – chocolate!

Tuesday woke to grey skies and rain, we took the boat out again and this time there was more wind, so we went to the North Lake, and had a nice sail, practising some man overboard exercises with fenders a long the way. We anchored for lunch, and then sailed home again.

Wednesday, yet another wet day. However I had an idea – if I bought some sunglasses – I needed some anyway, maybe the sun would come out. So I went into the Shop, asked for a weather forecast, however they needed help with their website so I fixed that – aren’t I nice, and then bought some £30 floatable sunglasses, at least I got a chocolate bar thrown in free!

We then motored to the Lake Side hotel/restaurant, in the South lake, to have an overally priced slow lunch, and then visited the Aquariam. We then had a nice sail, in the rain – the sun never came out, back home…

Grandma came back to the boat on Wednesday evening.

Thursday came, and we did some cleaning around the boat, as well as popping into Windemere, for some supplies and a coffee, followed by a nice drive to Coniston, and back along the other side of the lake, to catch the car ferry back over.

We then returned to Manchester, to be home by 6, after a great few days, and not looking forward to the UCAS day on Friday.

I am now also looking into getting my Day Skipper course completed next summer.


This was pretty rubbish to be honest, it consisted of a talk from a university admissions tutor, about the UCAS application system and the personal statement. We then spent the rest of the day with our tutors drafting this up.

As I am undecided between opening my own Smoothie/Juice bar chain, or a conservation management degree, I wrote one any way. Which apparently was a very good draft!

Driving Theory Test

I took my theory test on the 18th June, and passed! I had hammered it the day before and was getting solid passes, and I was very happy to pass. I now have my practical test on 23rd July. If I don’t pass first time, I will have to pay for more lessons and test, and I cannot afford it, so it’ll have to wait!

I had a driving lesson today, and was meant to have a mock test with another instructor, however he called in sick, and no one else was available. So I now have it on Monday. I did all the manoeuvres perfectly today, and didn’t stall once! I was very pleased.

Mum’s Birthday

I brought my mum a canvas print of this photo, from Feel Creative as mentioned in previous blogs. It is now proudly hung, in our hall! It looks amazing and the quality is great! And if you follow the link above you get 10% off!

Jamboree Camp

Over last weekend I went on yet another Jamboree Camp – at least the last one before the Jambo! We did some conservation work, and not a lot else. I also got into an argument over taking my chair to the camp – basically I took a chair as I would occasionally like to sit on something more comfortable than a bench! However Mike was having none of it, and said that I could only use it if I were definitely taking it to the Jamboree – so of course I sad I was, which I am not. And I got to sit on the chair!

Millennium Volunteers

I have now completed 200 hours voluntary services since signing up to MV last October! I am very pleased, and now just have to send it off!

Physics – Eco School Project

I am currently involved in an Eco School project, at college to try and make our school a bit more environmentally friendly. This is good fun, and we are looking at everything from energy, water and waste. For instance last week I worked out the school uses 7 million litres of water, just for toilets per year!

I’ll keep you updated! We have a meeting tomorrow.

Explorers and Cubs

We need new members and new leaders in Explorers, both our current leaders are leaving by the end of the month, so we need some new ones! Explorers is still good fun at the moment, and is going well!

Last week in Cubs, I ran a disability awareness evening, this was great fun, and the cubs responded to it exceptionally well. A success all round!

A new prime minister

Well on Wednesday 27th June, we had no prime minister for 68 minutes! What could’ve gone wrong. Well the BBC summed it up!

Tony Blair resigned as Prime Minister, and Gordon Brown accepted the opportunity to form a government and become Prime Minister. I am unsure about Mr. Brown, he seems more serious than Blair, but I really don’t know. I guess we’ll just wait and see.

Meanwhile Tony Blair has become Middle East peace envoy on behalf of the EU, US, UN and Russia. Probably not the most suitable job for him, given his past history. Any way what are your thoughts?

I think that is all for now, a very long post! I’ll finish with some links:


OK, time to post! My exams are now over and I have a week off before returning to college. So let’s reflect on the past couple of weeks!

Over the May bank holiday weekend, I went to Greater Manchester East’s Centenary Camp. This was good fun with over 2500 Scouts camping and 1000 day visitors. I went for the Friday evening, Saturday and Sunday. It was good fun and we managed to break the world record for the amount of people tossing a pancake for 30 seconds. What a load of tossers!

The camp was a bit cubby/scouty but it was all right!

Then I had half-term, this was full of revision apart from Wednesday evening where we had a successful BBQ at Explorers. This week I have had 5 exams so it was all revision. On Wednesday we went to the park and had a good kick around, and Yesterday I was at Cubs as per usual.

I have just been to Feel Creative’s Studio in Didsbury to have one of my photos produced on canvas. It’ll be ready next Friday, so I’ll take some photos of it, and right a review post. The staff are friendly and efficient. Also if you follow this link you get 10% off your purchase! No doubt they will be looking at my site, as they seemed pretty twigged on, and my email address I gave had the URL in.

Tomorrow is the Didsbury Festival, and as usual the Scouts are having their BBQ stall, it’ll be a long fun day of helping, and generally smelling like smoke – wind always blows in the wrong direction! Well I have nothing else to do!

On Sunday my Dad’s restaurant is opening and he is holding an opening party! Take a look at the site as I designed it.

And in the evening I am off to the Lakes for 4 days of sailing til Thursday, this will be good fun and an opportunity to relax! Then back in college next Friday for a UCAS day…

That is all for now, and I’ll finish with some links: