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30 April 2013

Summer Ball

James, Me, Holly, Hazel & Rich
Last Thursday was the Biology Society Summer Ball, we've never been to a formal dance while we've been at Uni so we all promised to go to this one, since its our last year. It came a little bit earlier in the semester than I thought it would be, so Mum had to post me my dress, shoes and jewellery (thanks Mum!). Hazel came over to ours a couple of hours early to get ready, but getting ready really doesn't take us that long so we pretty much just listened to The Eagles and drank Amaretto.

When we arrived we were handed a complimentary Mojito (never a bad thing), found a table and had our pictures taken. I skipped lunch because I knew I'd be eating loads in the evening, so my stomach appreciated the food being served pretty soon after we arrived. We somehow managed to pick the table that got served first (bonus!) and we also seemed to have far more table wine than anyone else. Definitely wasn't complaining. The food was amazing and I was full by the second course. I don't like throwing food away though, so obviously I had to eat the other two courses as well...

We spent the rest of the night drinking wine and dancing. It was such a good night and I'm so glad we went. I took my camera, but it was one of those nights where it didn't really occur to me to use it that much, so I'm really glad we had some 'proper' pictures taken. R thinks we look like the cast from a dodgy US murder-mystery sitcom. I can sort of see it. These guys are my favourites. I may be looking forward to finishing Uni, but I know I'll really miss them.

22 April 2013

Monday Motivation: Who do you want to be?


It is estimated by the Oxford dictionary that there are approximately 3/4 of a million words in the English language. I find it truly amazing that out of all of the possible combinations, an inconceivably huge number of combinations, one of those combinations can come into you life and speak straight to your soul. It can be a quote, a song, a poem, part of a conversation you overhear or a flippant remark. It can be anything.

A 1:55 in this video Arnold Schwarznegger says "ask yourselves who do you want to be? Not what, but who?"

And it really struck a chord with me. It may seem like such a painfully obvious statement, but its a question I forget to ask myself. Constantly. But it shouldn't be, we should never stop asking ourselves who we want to be, and answering that question doesn't have to mean that we don't like who we are. It doesn't mean that we need to have a list of things that we want to change, or that we need to become somebody else. It just means that we're recognising that we're a work in progress, that there's always ways for us to grow. It means that we recognise that we can be better in ways that are meaningful and extend beyond job descriptions and inconsequential social labels.

What I am doesn't matter. But who I am? That is everything.

Watch the video. Soak it up. And tell me, who are you?

21 April 2013

The MP3 experiment

I didn't take my 'big' camera so I had to make do with my phone. This park is unbelievably gorgeous in the sun.
Earlier this week (Tuesday) Hazel, Rich, Holly, Owen, Wenhui and I took part in the Weston Park MP3 Experiment. It was organised by the Union but inspired by the Improv Everywhere events. We had to sign up a couple of days before were emailed 24 hours in advance with a link to an MP3 track to download. We were meant to sync our phones/watches/whatever to the clock on the Union website said (I forgot) so that everyone could press 'play' at the same time. We got there a little early and spent a good 5 minutes trying to figure out who else was taking part and why we'd been asked to wear particular colours. We were also asked to bring an umbrella, a pen, a banana and a plastic bag. I still have no idea why we needed a pen, an umbrella and a plastic bag...

So 6pm rolled round and we pressed play, some crazy music came on & we started being given instructions by a super creepy mechanical voice (named Dave). Wenhui and I were sharing headphones and we didn't realise that I'd pressed play about 10 seconds after everyone else... until everyone else froze and we were still attempting to walk backwards without walking into anyone. Oops. The whole thing last about half an hour and it was such a laugh. It didn't take long before people who weren't involved figured out that something was going on, but there were some hilarious looks of confusion to start with. At the end of it all, everyone taking part met on the concourse and there was a BBQ and music etc. It absolutely made my day when they played "I knew you were trouble" and everyone made the goat noise. So. Funny. Have you seen the goat remix? Its hilarious.

We spent the rest of the evening in the pub that overlooks the lake, where I consumed the most horrifically disgusting pizza I have ever come across. On the flip side, the bar staff had absolutely no idea what they were doing so when Hazel went to get us drinks she managed to get us 2 pints of cider for £2. Bargain. The free chocolate fudge cake I was given when I complained didn't hurt either...

It was so nice to just get out of the house, away from my desk and just hang out in the sun. More evenings like this please!

19 April 2013

Recent thoughts about blogging

Untitled
This picture has absolutely nothing to do with this post. But isn't it gorgeous? 

Recently I haven't been blogging very much, and I've really missed it. I know a lot of the stuff I write on here is just silly little bits and pieces, but I really do love keeping a record of my life like this and it bugs me a little bit when I get out of the habit. Mainly I haven't been blogging because I've been spending so. much. time. at my computer already. I know people get bored of students 'whining' but I'm finding this semester so, so stressful and I seem to have a never-ending list of work to do. When I decide to call it a night the last thing I feel like doing is opening up blogger and writing yet more words. Its sort of paradoxical really because I end up even more stressed because I'm not doing the things that I usually do to chill out. It's a problem.

I've also been feeling a little bit disillusioned about the whole blogging community as of late, which all came to a bit of a head last Sunday during the #lbloggers chat. Annie was hosting and she had some brilliant topics, but somehow people ended up discussing blogging 'rules' and what you 'should' and 'shouldn't' do (in their opinion) if you wanted your blog to be read... Erm, what? Isn't the whole point of a lifestyle blog that its about your life, about you, a space that's yours. Some of the points being made were completely ridiculous & it just made me really, really sad. Especially comments along the lines of "I won't read a blog if I can't see pictures of someone's face". Sorry? Do we judge the merit of someone's writing on their physical appearance? I understand that a picture might make some people feel like they 'know' you a little bit better, but some people (myself included) just aren't comfortable with their mug being plastered all over their blogs. Does this mean what we write is any less interesting? That our opinions are any less valid? It shouldn't.

Another point that made me pretty mad was that of 'FAQ' pages. Come on guys, really? I can understand having an 'FAQ' page if you write about/do something (for a living, as a hobby etc) that people generally ask questions about, and I don't have a problem with that. A lot of FAQ pages just seem so contrived (to me anyway), I mean seriously, have that many people genuinely taken time out of their day to ask you how long you and your significant other have been together. Really? Or is it more of a 'things I think people should know about me because I think they're interesting' page. Which is fine, I actually kind of like that type of post - but don't make out that people ask you that frequently because they probably don't.

This wasn't really intended to turn into a rant about blogging, but obviously I needed to get this out here. Bess wrote a far more eloquent post on this, which I thoroughly recommend if you've ever thought this way about blogging (or just read her blog in general, you won't regret it).

13 April 2013

a heart like summer


Me? I'm a sunshine girl. I mean, don't get me wrong, there's a powerful beauty in the transition from summer to autumn, and there's magic in hot chocolates & blankets in deepest December. I love all of the seasons. But my heart? My heart belongs to fluffy clouds and endless skies. To warm rain and bare feet. To long, light evenings and dinner eaten in the garden. To evening walks and being woken by sunlight streaming though the window. To the kind of warmth that only comes from the sun heating your bones and the simple pleasure of a cold glass of water. To lying on the grass, feeling like the sky goes on forever and eating breakfast right at the end of the garden because that's where the sun hits first.

These shots were taken last Saturday, on my last evening at home. Mum, Kev and I took Zak for a walk & I got lost when I stopped to take a few pictures. I guessed that they'd walked mine & Kev's normal running route so I took off with my camera to catch up with them. Turns out they'd gone back for me, so I spent 15 minutes running round the woods hugging my camera so it didn't get damaged. Good exercise but I probably looked a bit mental ;) The sun was out, and it was late(ish) and it just felt like summer was well and truly on its way. It made me happy in a way I haven't felt for a long time, and I realised just how much this seemingly endless winter had got to me.

10 April 2013

Life lately: a mini checklist

Last ever Easter break? check plus 
A week spent hanging out with Mum? check plus 
Internal flights booked for Costa Rica? check plus 
Last train journey back to Uni? check plus
Exam? check plus
Last ever geography essay handed in? check plus
Last piece of degree work started? check plus
Last ever 'first lecture of the module'? check plus 
First Zumba class in a long time? check plus 
Massive to-do list written? check plus 
Running shoes dusted off? check plus

Ready to be back in blogland? check plus 

02 April 2013

Moments squared III


1&2// Dog snuggles on the sofa 
3// Hot chocolate and snow 
4// I wish I was a dog sometimes, y'know? Such an easy life...
5// Brunch with Mum & Kev at the new John Lewis home. I could easily just move into that place...
6// Favourite tree 
7// Easter baskets made for the kids at my Mum's school 
8// Revision time. Boo :(
9// So sunny in London today! 

Haven't been spending that much time on the internet the past couple of weeks. Its been a nice break. Looking forward to getting this exam over and done with and spending an afternoon catching up on my blog reader - its a bit full! 

Took a trip up to London today to meet up with a few of the people that are travelling out to Costa Rica at the same time as me in the summer. We had lunch at TGI's (always a good call) and spent a couple of hours wandering around Covent Garden. I was really nervous that we weren't going to get on, but it was so relaxed and easy going & I'm really looking forward to going. So excited! 

Hope you're all good!! 
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