Monthly Archives: April 2011

A Right Royal Affair

Wow, what a day it was!

There I was, up early to watch full coverage on the BBC (who pulled in a massive 19 million viewers – good work Auntie!!), having left Boyfriend in bed due to his lower levels of interest in the whole occasion.

Okay, so I have to admit, one reason for the early start was to finish my knitting:

Yes, the Queen needed a face. I’d already struggled to stay awake the night before to finish her dress as I couldn’t quite bring myself to leave the Queen naked overnight…….

But we were successful, and by the time Kate left her hotel the scene was as follows:

The Queen could see! She even had a hat and was accompanied by her faithful hound. As an aside, the Queen has kept corgis since receiving her first one as a child, which she named Susan.

I cannot recommend this book enough….and it was the source for the corgi fact!

Knit Your Own Royal Wedding

Image from Amazon.co.uk

It was a gift from Boyfriends mother a few weeks ago and has provided hours of entertainment!

Anyway, I digress. A friend joined me and Boyfriend to watch the celebrations, so I had prepared tea (from a royal blue teapot of course) and cupcakes. As the said friend was driving, we toasted the happy couple with ginger ale! Not quite champers but it did the trick.

  

Occasions like these prompt many questions about the validity of the monarchy and whether such extravagant displays are a waste of funds. I can see the concern, we already owe huge amounts of money as a nation that it seems frivolous to spend so much both from public funds as well as on a personal level. I can’t imagine there are many who haven’t purchased some memento of the day, even if it’s just a pull-out from a newspaper they may not usually buy.

I personally, though not a royal fanatic, love the royal family and what they represent to the United Kingdom. To me, they are an integral part of our history, a symbol of power and leadership, a part of what makes Britain great. Yes, they could have married in a small private ceremony but I’m glad they wowed the crowds and thrilled the audiences with such a dignified and glamorous display. It was a day of fun and celebration and a respite of relief from all the bad things that happen every day. It was a global talking point that bought people together for a few hours. I have no doubt that William will make a fine monarch for this country in years to come.

Well done to the brave people who camped out, some for days just to catch a glimpse of the royal couple, to share in their day and to show their support!

I hope that however you celebrated, or didn’t, you enjoyed the day off and shared it with friends and family.

Finally, a huge congratulations to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge – it was a magnificent day and I truly wish you all the best!

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Popular Science?

As a scientist, or at least someone who is trying to become a scientist, there are several tomes on my bookcase that would be found under the category ‘Popular Science’ in any good bookshop.

I was reading an article in The Independent yesterday about books that attempt to capture and explain great scientific questions and ideas into slim novels accessible to the average reader in the general public. It also said how these books largely remain unread.

It hit me with great clarity that I have several of these aforementioned books sat on my bookcases with their pages as yet unturned! Admittedly some of them I bought because I thought I should, but the majority were bought with the best of intentions. To read and be astounded at the vision of their authors; to understand those great scientific concepts; and to fill my brain with knowledge.

Many were started and put down due to outside distractions. Others have just been sat, waiting patiently and passed by for a read less demanding.

But this will be the case no more! In a challenge to myself, I will read these items of Popular Science, all the way through, and I WILL learn something! 🙂

So watch this space for discussion, reviews and my thoughts on just how accessible they really are.

Wish me luck! In the meantime, please feel free to tell me which books you think of as popular science and more importantly, how you got on with reading them!

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Crossroads

I’ve reached a point in my life where I don’t know what to do next for the best. There are a few options open to me – some more lucrative than others, some more career-based than others; and others that are just way more convenient!

The main crux of the dilemma is this: do I take a relatively well-paid but possibly not relevant job, clear a vast proportion of the debt acquired from my studies and be of more help with the household bills (thank you Boyfriend x) or continue with the smaller, minimum wage jobs that will give me relevant experience and opportunities to ‘try-out’ different career paths so I don’t make mistakes further down the track.

Image: The Salvation Army

There is always the option to return to university and do a PhD, an idea I’m very keen on. But with the increase in tuition fees in many universities, how will that affect the amount of funding a student can secure? On a personal level, is it time to stop studying and think about the possibilities of buying a house with Boyfriend? A PhD may set that idea back by several years. Boyfriend currently works an hour and a half’s drive from our flat (yes, that is three hours driving EVERY DAY) – is it selfish to continue to lean on him and make him do all the hard work or it is sensible in the long run? It’s not as though I’d be swanning around going out to lunch everyday but there’s no guarantee I won’t be having this same job/money/career dilemma in four years time. And that is a long time to commit to if you have doubts. Not to mention his dreams and ideas for life. He deserves as much support from me as I’ve had from him.

I’ve been very fortunate that I’ve had an amazing support network throughout my life so far, particularly over the last few years when I’ve been working hard to correct mistakes I made when I was younger. Perhaps it is this experience that is making me think long and hard about what to do next – I’m hesitant to just jump in without thinking ahead five years or so. But this hesitance may cause me to miss out on great opportunities and chances because I’m too scared to try in case I fail or it’s the wrong pathway.

I’m sure I’m not the only one out there who struggles with these decisions. I must say, talking it over with people helps. Sometimes, anyway! Often they throw in another option that hadn’t even occurred to me! Lists help too. But then I will write a list for just about anything!

I don’t know yet what I will do, or the best path for me to take. What I do know is that making the right decision is hard, making the wrong decision is harder, but that every decision will give you new experiences and opportunities.

Don’t be scared – things will work out in the end.

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Things I like :-)

Just to follow on from my earlier post, I thought I’d continue the introduction by telling you about a few things I like. Plus it gives me the chance to work out how to post photos, videos and links!

I like environmental science. After a bit of a false start, I’m back up and running and working out what to do with my career. More to come on future science-based life dilemmas I’m sure! Because of this, I love walking around the Norfolk Broads and other nature reserves. It took a while (be honest, how many teenagers enjoyed going out on long walks with their parents over spending time with their friends?) but now I’m so appreciative of what is right on our doorstep.


Image: Authors own, © April 2011

Whether the science has influenced my need for organisation or my organising requirements suited the logic behind science I don’t know. What I do know is that I write huge amounts of lists! Without these lists I’d be a nervous wreck. So to keep my life on track I have a Filofax:

Metropol Personal Organiser  (A5)

Image from Filofax

I love to knit! Randomly, this particular hobby helped me get my latest science job as it stood out on my CV and my ability to sew comes in useful.

Image from Beginnersknitting.com

I’m one of those people that get over-excited and start all sorts of projects without necessarily finishing what’s already started…. So I have many things underway! I love to make smaller items, so clothes and toys for babies (and me!). Two top designers that I love are Rebecca Danger and Anna Hrachovec who also happen to write great, readable knitting blogs!

Boyfriend plays in a band. So, by default, I like them! However, it works out well thats I do actually love them! Go have a listen, and if you like what you hear, check out their tour dates and ‘like’ them on Facebook!

Image © Tracey Edwards Photography 2010

Here’s a video of them as well – I like to make it easy for you! There won’t be too much more about them from now on I promise 🙂

As you could probably tell from my knitting ‘blurb’ earlier on, I’m quite crafty and I love to bake cupcakes (yum). But I think that’ll do for now!

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The First Post!

Well hi there y’all!

Firstly, apologies – this is the first blog I’ve ever had, so if it’s a bit slow going please bear with me. Hopefully I’ll improve as time moves on….!

So I’ll take this opportunity to write a bit about me and my life, and why I signed up to WordPress. Without giving too much away, I live in East Anglia with Boyfriend (of four years next month, woohoo!) who is a budding rock ‘n’ roll star with a daytime alter-ego working in insurance. I am a scientist. Or at least I’m working on it! I try and balance my minimum-wage-but-quite-interesting-and-useful-in-the-long-run job with Boyfriends three-hours travelling a day, 9-5 job and Rock Star commitments. 40% of the time I fail, but 60% of the time I succeed and by gum, is that a relief.

Needless to say, this leaves me with a fair amount of time on my own, which is generally filled with knitting. I also have a penchant for baking cupcakes. Unfortunately, Boyfriend doesn’t really like sponge so I have to eat most of them myself. Well, it would be a waste to throw them away wouldn’t it?

The idea behind this blog is that it is a partially a diary of my life and feelings, whilst also being a place to discuss issues of relevance. Admittedly mainly relevance to ME but also hopefully also to anyone who happens to read it and wants to comment.

Well thats all for now folks. I’ll be back soon with that Difficult Second Post!

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