Tag Archives: challenge

Another String to my Bow

Yesterday I attended a crochet workshop at Sew Creative, Wroxham, and I had a BRILLIANT time! Rather happily, I picked up this new skill fairly quickly, and through out the day made a little lavender posy with a rose decoration, and started a Granny Square for which I have today bought more wool to make it into a blanket. A new craft that is easy to transport and will keep me entertained on those old commuter trains.

It’s always nice to add another skill to your repertoire – particularly a creative one, and even if it has not direct relation to your job. I always find that doing things that you enjoy, creating something that is beautiful and that you can be proud of gives you a great feeling of achievement – as though you can conquer the world! If only I wanted to 🙂

What next I wonder??

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A six month gap!

Crumbs, this is my first post in SIX MONTHS, and the first of 2012! This calls for something profound to be said….. Maybe later?

I’d love to say I’ve been out having adventures but I fear the complete opposite is actually true! Boyfriend and I have moved closer to work. In fact, my daily commute has gone from 3 hours to 16 minutes which is quite amazing. We’ve been in our new flat for just over three weeks now and already the time we’ve saved is astonishing. I actually wonder what to do with all this spare time on occasion. Fingers crossed this means I can get back into blog writing. It may still be boring but hopefully it will be more regular!

I’ve acquired a sewing machine as well this year, my Mum upgraded so I have her old one. I can’t wait to get going on some creative projects!

Here are a few I’ve done while I’ve been away:

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I’ve yet to make much progress with the ‘Things to do before I’m 30’ idea, though I have joined up to a local gym with the idea of getting fit and upping my running to hit the (half) marathon head on! What can I say, I’m working on it 🙂

Robert Kennedy
The greatest truth must be recognition that in every man, in every child is the potential for greatness.

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Changing times

So it’s been a while since my last post – too long really! I’ve managed to get my act together and get myself a proper grown up job, complete with the three hours a day commuting time (closer to five hours on the days I’m in the London office). It’s a great position for me, one that combines my qualifications and experience and has potential to go a long way. The only downside is the loss of time – the time I spend sat in the passenger seat of the car could be put to much better use.

Boyfriend and I have come to the decision to move closer to the office to save time and money, and lower those ever-rising stress levels. But it made me think, what am I missing out on? I need an adventure!! And whilst time and money may not permit a year-long excursion around the world, I will be 30 in 21 and a half months. Not the ‘end’ admittedly, but certainly the prospect of being tied down with responsibilities after that time may hamper the adventure prospects.

So then there is the ‘Things to do before I’m 30’ list.

Googling this brings up some interesting results. There are the crazy ‘drink so much you spend the night in A&E’ and even ‘neck a pint of peppermint oil’ (obviously something on everyone’s list); and the ‘start your own business while you can afford to lose everything’ and ‘get on the property ladder’. Nice, but I don’t want to start my own business, and whilst I may get on the property ladder before I’m 30, that is not something I’m going to rush into! I have learnt a new skill (knitting), I have started a club (knitting club), I do write a blog (if badly and rarely!), I have seen a West-End musical (or two), I have left the comfort of a job I knew well to return to university (and right the wrongs I did the first time!!), not to mention frequenting many a shower-free rock festival.

I’d like to set some more achievable goals, ones that will actually mean something to me. Things like: running a marathon; running the complete distance of the Great North Run; clearing as much of my student debt as possible (maybe even all of it!); travel – not for months at a time through South-East Asia – but certainly spend some time exploring Italy, and having climbed Wales tallest mountain I’d love to climb England’s and Scotland’s. Maybe learn another new skill and take a photography course? On a slight tangent, a tattoo would be nice 🙂 Fly in a hot-air balloon!

One article I read suggested living somewhere amazing – even if it’s only for a few months I dream of a high-rise apartment in the centre of London or a glorious cottage in North Wales.

If I manage to complete a photography course and get myself a decent camera, perhaps I cold complete a 365 day photo challenge, ending with the final photo on my 30th birthday! I’m loving the sound of that!

Anyway, it has certainly left me thinking and planning. Who knows, perhaps I will get a proper list made and everything crossed off in the next 21 and a half months!

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Popular Science? June Update

So….. Um….. FAIL so far!

Not that I haven’t been reading you understand, I just haven’t been reading what I set out to read… Other books seemed to jump off the bookcase into my arms, demanding to be read! So, in an effort to convince myself that it’s okay that I read these alternative books I shall justify my time by giving you a short review of each of those I read last month.

Our Tragic Universe – Scarlett Thomas, Canongate, pp425.

Our Tragic Universe

This story revolves around Meg, a writer stuck in an unhappy and disfunctional relationship who sets out to change the path her life is going down.

This book was brilliant. An unimaginative start to the review I realise, but true nevertheless.  How could it not be brilliant? It combines science, knitting and writing – surely a perfect combination for someone like me! That aside, the book is well-written in that once you start reading, you are drawn into the lives of the characters and you don’t want to put the book down. How will Meg deal with her relationship? Will she become the novelist she longs to be? Will she manage to put her problems before her friends for a change?

I loved this book and although the scientific content was slightly overwhelming at times, it is going to be my choice of read when it’s my turn to pick at Book Club! I definitely need to read it again to fully appreciate everything written in this novel. I have previously tried to read another of Thomas’ novels, PopCo, but found it much more difficult to get into than this.

8/10 – a great read that I would recommend to friends, but something that needs to be re-read to fully appreciate the detail.

I Am Legend – Richard Matheson, Gollancz, pp160.

I am Legend - S.F. Masterworks

Written in 1954, I Am Legend has been translated to film three times. The story revolves around Robert Neville, the only human left on Earth as he battles daily with vampires. Every other person on the planet has become a vampire and the book is spread across three years of Neville’s life as he struggles to come to terms with what has happened and research a possible cure.

Wow. This book was dark… Despite being written in 1954 and being set over twenty years later you felt as though it was very relevant to the present. It has been written in a timeless manner, with a subject that although is clearly Science-Fiction, really strikes a chord. The development of both his relationship with the vampires, the vampires relationship with him and the development of the vampiric society is extraordinary yet so close to the real-life relationships humans face today.

9/10 – A very clever book that should be on Book Club lists everywhere. Loses a point only because it made me feel a bit too scared to read it too often!

So there you go, two of the books I read instead of the books I should have read!

I also read this:                                          and I should have read this:

 The Book of Lost Things  The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution

But hey, you can’t have everything I guess! Note to self: Must. Try. Harder!

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Running Shoes

I’m a runner. Well, a part-time jogger to be more precise. I only venture out when it’s nice weather. As in, not too hot, not too cold, not too wet, not windy, snowy or icy. Etc! But over the last couple of months I’ve been averaging around three runs a week, because last Saturday I took part in Cancer Research UK‘s Race For Life. This fantastic women only 5k event takes place at venues all over the country to raise money for Cancer Research. There is such an amazing atmosphere and a sea of pink as thousands of women walk, jog, run and push buggies round the distance. So if you fancy a challenge and want to raise money for such an amazing cause, get involved! I have done, I did and I will do again!

But I have now totally digressed from my train of thought (this is the problem with blogging!), which is actually the point of this blog. Are you following?!

When I was out running tonight, I didn’t take any music with me. So it was 2.5 miles of me, myself and I. Plus a few cars to watch out for. As I was running I realised how much thinking and planning I do. In fact, I was so busy thinking I nearly went the wrong way – I had to turn back and go down the correct road…..

But that case of misdirection prompted me to think about what I was thinking about while I was running. And I discovered that I think about a lot of things! I thought about needing new running shoes; the people who had annoyed me today; the upcoming decision I need to make and associated pros and cons – not to mention planning the next six months around either result of said upcoming decision; whether I was going to get run over because I wasn’t paying attention; ooo what am I thinking about?; will this make a good blog post?; tomorrows dinner; if I found an abandoned puppy where is the nearest vet and how will I get there (possibly weird I’ll admit)?; do I run funnily a la Phoebe in that classic Friends episode; and the next three weeks social/life schedule. Perhaps next time it would be more relaxing to take my iPod with me.

It seems to become a chance for me to organise my life and put plans into place. I love organising and planning. I don’t mind if plans change but I need that security of having a plan and structure in place. This of course, prompted me to wonder what other people think about and so I open the question – what DO you runners think about when you are running?

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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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