Thursday, 26 July 2012

Allotment Peppers

Bought as plantlings, grown in my bedroom away from slugs and then planted in the greenhouse on my second allotment when they started to flower. Doing pretty well! They are small plants, more like shrubs, but they all have loads of fruits or flowers on. Woooooo!

At least *something* is growing this year...

Monday, 23 July 2012

Vanilla Cheesecake Indulgence

On Friday, I fancied cake. Something rich and melty and sugary. I think the pictures here speak for themselves.

Yummy Yummy In My Tummy!

Saturday, 21 July 2012


I bought a ukulele today.

He is called Stanley.

Why have I bought a uke? Well, one of my aims for this year was to learn to play an instrument. I don't have a musical bone in my body, I can't read music and I have rubbish hand-eye co-ordination. However, I'm quite fond of a challenge! I was going to buy a bass geetar, but I spent the money...


Thursday, 19 July 2012


I started in my role as a Natural Science Volunteer today! I am based at the Museum Collection Centre (MCC) in Birmingham and am working on behalf of the Museums Trust. My work will involve carrying out condition reports, accessioning objects into the collection, taking photographs and generally bringing the catalogues up to date, with a view to setting up a new display at Thinktank in a few years time.

As a NatSciVol, I am mainly working with birds and mammals - taxidermied animals as well as skins, pelts, bones, and today, a piece of whale baleen! Already it has become such a varied place to work.

Today we had a more hands on tutorial and had a go at entering some details into the database, and started to use the paper records in order to determine what is already recorded and what isn't. Lukas and I had to examine skulls and jaw bones for certain pieces of information, enter these into the system, and then take measurements and photos of the specimen. It is not a job that can be rushed! Some pieces are very fragile, and it's not often you get given a skull from a dolphin as a gift..

I am due to work two days a week for the next three months, so I am planning on blogging at the end of each week. Here are some pics from today:

You can also keep up to date with the volunteering here.

Tuesday, 10 July 2012


I bought a new diary today, an academic one, to follow on from my current diary. It’s quite nice. Splashed out I did, £7 from Paperchase in Selfridges. It’s a hardback, and has a week to view. I’ve started filling it in. I love filling in new diaries and calendars! Makes me feel good about having stuff to do. 

I’m writing a blog about this because of a few things:

· I’m now in my fifth week of paid employment. Where has the time gone?!
· I will be starting my Natural Science Volunteer Placement NEXT WEEK.
· I’m seeing Blink 182 the week after!

I’ve also jotted in some things that I’d like to do – and one of these is starting Tai Chi. I saw a link on twitter, and had a mooch around the website, and yesterday I emailed them about prices. £4 a class isn’t too bad! So hopefully this Friday, but probably next Friday (when I’ve been paid), I will be starting Tai Chi!

I had another crap day at work – I cried a little bit today – but I’m putting it down to tiredness from getting up at 5:30am 5 days in a row after a crap night’s sleep (note to self, go to bed earlier). I need to start eating better too – I am currently living off cereal, toast and bananas. And chocolate cake, biscuits and crisps. Need to get a proper eating routine going, and then I’ll hopefully have the drive to go swimming before I go volunteering.

Despite job woes, I still very much feel like my life is getting sorted. Slowly, one by one, bit by bit, things are falling in to place. My mind is rested, I have some income, I have work experience, I have time to blog, to write, to draw. I have time to go for walks and the energy to appreciate what I see and do. I feel completely different to how I felt at the start of the year. I can see an end to this and I know it’s all going to be fine.
One step at a time.

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

In which I talk about leaving university; realisations; hopes and dreams and life direction.

Today I was sitting in a popular chain brand coffee shop with my friend Atom.
Today I realised that everything is going to be fine.

For the past two days or so, I’ve been pondering quitting my job. Y’know, the new one I only started two weeks ago. And then I talk some sense into myself. It’s a job. It’s regular work. It’s a regular, if fluctuating, pay check. It’s stability. It’s better than being on the dole. And so I have talked myself into staying put. Quitting now is just an insane, non-sensical idea, so I shall not dwell on it anymore. It’s an ok job – not amazing but I can do it, and I can do it well. The people are friendly, it’s local enough for me to walk if I have to, it’s close to the river and canal and parks and thus a good location for finding places to visit & blog. Good job is good. I even like the 5:45am alarms. ETA - after todays shift I'm considering quitting again! Need to get into the right frame of mind for it and carry on.

A couple of weeks ago, I had an interview, at the Museum Collection Centre in Birmingham, for a part time volunteering role as a Natural Science Volunteer. The role involves helping to catalogue the bird collection, and maybe some of the mammals. It will involve deciphering and rewriting the original cards that came with the specimens and logging it all on a database. It will involve helping out on the MCC open day in August. It may involve working at Thinktank. It may lead to a job in the museum. The point is, one of my aims for this study break from uni was to get work experience, and today I got the phone call to say I had been selected to do this! Things are on the up. Everything is going to be alright.

One of three aims for this year looks to be sorted. The next two, getting healthy and getting fit, are hit and miss. Getting healthy is currently in the form of counselling, and if I’m honest, I have no idea if it’s ‘working’ or not. I don’t feel as though I’m getting anything out of it. I don’t feel like I’m going to have an epiphany of a breakthrough with it anytime soon. I’ve had 4 out of a potential 15 sessions, so I’m nearly halfway through my course. It leaves me mentally exhausted, when I get home I don’t have the energy to talk to my mom about what happened, and I don’t have the energy to do anything really. I must admit, after the session, the walk back to the train station often feels good. I strut in a very confident way, a ‘yeahhhh, fuckyouworld’ kinda strut. It feels good. I missed my last session; I was really angry for some reason, everything was pissing me off, so I didn’t go. And then over the weekend I started to think about quitting. Is there much point to it if I feel worse after? Will I ever get to a stage of ‘yeah! Its working!’ or will that never come? I’ve never done this before, and I’ve had some bad experience with counsellors before – it took a lot of persuading from the GP and my mother before I agreed to do this. I have decided to give it another go, a new start, try again. Give it a few more sessions and see where I am and how I feel.

Getting fit is just massively not happening right now. My knees are going back to their seizing up ways, and I really need to start pilates again. I have found a local tai chi class, so I’m going to look into starting that too. I walk a lot, and I’m still going up the allotment, but it just doesn’t feel the same. Pilates is the only thing I’ve ever done that seems to help my knees. I need/would like to get back into an eating plan, as I don’t seem to have much energy these days and my naps have gone from one hour, to three hours. I know I’m not eating well. I know I neglect myself when I’m depressed. I need to change this.

In terms of university, I can’t wait to go back. I’m due to return in January, and I’m fairly sure I’m ready. I’ve realised that what I want in this life is a career in science, it’s all I’ve wanted, and I know I’m capable. Sure, I took three years out before deciding to go to uni, and I spent those three years doing further training and working. Those three years taught me A LOT about myself, my wants and my life. It was in those three years that I first realised I was more capable than I thought, that I could do anything I put my mind to, that I could be the best, that I could achieve my dreams. So I’ve had a few setbacks on the way, my first year was diabolical and my second year, well, I have yet to finish it. So it hasn’t gone as smoothly as I planned and hoped and perhaps wished, but the point is I’m getting there, under my own steam, at times when I’m ready. I know I can and will get this degree, and I know I can and will get a first. I just won’t be doing it the conventional way.

For the most part, I’m happy with the route my life has taken. I’ve chopped and changed, I’ve umm-ed and ahh-ed over all sorts of trivial matters, I’ve regretted lots of shit, I’ve done lots of shit, I’ve drunk my fair share of vodka, I’ve had fun, and now I’ve reached a stage where I’m sure what I want.

What I want is a geology degree. And I’ll get there, but in my own time.

I just have this overwhelming feeling that everything is going to be fine.

L x