Tag Archives: Life

A Few Of My Favourite Things

So this is my first blog in relation to the Daily Post Challenge, let’s face it, I don’t blog very often anyway! Life just seems to get in the way….. Not to mention the fact that it would take longer for my laptop to load up than it would to actually write the post………

I thought it was an interesting choice of topic – one that could be interpreted in a number of ways. As per the hints in the post I tried to think of material possessions that were important to me. Would I run back into a burning building to save them? Or at least turn and grab them before I ran OUT of the burning building?!

I couldn’t think of any. I don’t have anything of sentimental value. I have a lot of STUFF don’t get me wrong, (I’m a shopper and I like new things), but nothing that is overly expensive or that has been passed down generation to generation.

♦ Just to clarify, of course I would make sure Boyfriend and any pets were safe!! ♦

So I tried to think outside of the box. What do I have that makes me feel happy? What’s my favourite way to spend an evening? And it came to me – the thing I love the most is my old, scruffy knitted blanket that I bought from an Oxfam stall at Leeds Festival in 2002 because I was FREEZING!!

You know the type, lots of mis-matched squares, all knitted by different people in one of the charity’s drives for something to sell at a festival. It cost me £5 and it improved the festival sleeping experience more than I could possibly even attempt to explain!

I love curling up under that blanket when it’s cold and dark outside, when the wind is howling and the rain splattering against the window, while I drink a hot, sugary cup of coffee and read my book (or my Kindle in these new technologically advanced days). That is what I look forward to when I know winter is on its way. That and my knitting of course!

But there is something exceptionally satisfying and comforting about being safely tucked up inside and knowing you don’t have to go outside again for a long while.

Amazingly, it’s 26°C outside as I write this………….. And still I sit and day-dream about my blanket!

as requested 🙂

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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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My Norfolk Broads

As a resident of East Anglia I know that along with many other people I often take this amazing National Park right here on my doorstep, for granted. Other times however, I realise just how lucky I am to live slap bang in the middle of it! As an area it holds inspiration for many, including Arthur Ransome (best known as the author of Swallows and Amazons) who set his novel Coot Club here.

The Broads were formed through the extraction of peat and subsequent flooding, and are now the largest nationally protected wetlands in the United Kingdom. They are also a huge tourist attraction with over 100 miles of navigable waterways, several nature reserves and countless paths suitable for walking and cycling. No doubt wherever you turn you’ll spot several ‘twitchers’ excitedly watching the diverse array of birds to be found here. Can you spot the elusive Bittern or hear it’s booming cry that resembles the sound made when you blow across the top of a milk bottle?

This collection of channels, rivers and lakes sits mainly in Norfolk but spreads into parts of Suffolk. It is an area of great scientific interest managed by The Broads Authority, who regularly update their webpage with any urgent environmental news for the general public to be aware of. Of particular concern at the moment is the discovery of a non-native vicious shrimp in Cambridgeshire, Dikerogammarus villosus, that is feared may be transferred into the Norfolk Broads, and the spread of pennywort. Please do get in touch with the Broads Authority immediately if you spot either of these!

Check out the Broads Outdoor Festival running until the 15th May! As a National Park the Broads rely on visitors and tourists to help maintain it and the surrounding villages and businesses. It is a prime location for families on holiday and conservation volunteers alike.

In the meantime, here are a few pictures I’ve taken on recent visits. Enjoy!

References and Further Information:

The Broads Authority

NorfolkBroads.com

VisitNorfolk.co.uk

ArthurRansome.org

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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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