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Opportunity’s Fool

24 Jun

The last few weeks have been a whirlwind of good times and goodbyes, the frantic last minute attempt to do everything, see everyone, to experience the things that had been put off until “next time” over the last three years. That “next time” has become now, as putting it off ’till later becomes never.

I made it to the Lake District, to the beautiful Grasmere, as a post-dissertation treat and to see a good friend who had moved there. Here life was picturesque and perfect for her, I was overjoyed to find that she had forged a happy life there, and am determined to go back to that very lovely part of the country. Below are a selection of photos I took from the visit and of a walk up to Easedarn Tarn.Image

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Not only is University ending for me, but I’m moving 300 miles south. Something I’m even more apprehensive about is that this move is back to the parental nest, a place I inherently love, yet have let go of. To move back is potentially more daunting than the move to University, yet for a very different reason. Studying thrusts so many opportunities into your path, and staying at an institution away from home is a safe expanse to try out this thing called ‘growing up’. However, bringing all this back to rules and rooms I’ve outgrown is asking for trouble. And now experiences aren’t going to be offered on a plate. They’re going to have to be sought and bought, and they’re going to have to play second fiddle to the search for a career and my place in the working world. So what’s next? A holiday to Barcelona, a summer job, potentially(/hopefully) a few interviews and then a very open few months. By the end of 2014 I anticipate I will begin my ‘career’ and I’m hoping to have found my feet, at least to some extent.

Finally, this is a picture I took at my Graduation Ball, the sun setting on an exciting, varied University life. It definitely feels like an end of an era, but I’ve had a really good run here and I’ll miss it terribly.

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Fowl Play

23 Jun

Apologies, Apologies, this blog has once again been woefully neglected! As ever, life caught up with me and this blog got sidelined a little (a lot) but I’m back with the full force of summer upon me and as such I intend to blog more and less randomly.

With that said, I’m going to get the past out of my system and I’m going to start out with an entirely random (if much more lighthearted) post, a post about birds.

I go to a University with an intense amount of waterfowl, so many in fact that in this season you can’t move 10 metres before encountering a rather angry bird. I don’t know if you’ve ever encountered a situation like this, but if you haven’t I assure you that goose fear is not irrational. These *evil* creatures attack at the slightest offence (such as walking past them) and you’ll see countless students walking completely out of their way to avoid them and desperately trying to not to make eye contact, which is difficult when a 2ft tall goose is trying to initiate a staring contest.

Canadian Geese plus spawn...

Canadian Geese plus spawn…

The only upside to this chaos, is babies…babies everywhere. Whilst geese may have dinosaur-like offspring, I’ve yet to come across a duckling that hasn’t brought forth a girly squeal from my lips. A few weeks back I almost became the adoptive mother to twelve ducklings scared away by the sound of a car, running to huddle at my feet before their real mother angrily quacked them away. My brief thoughts of becoming a parent to ducklings and all the fun we could have together shattered very swiftly.

Black Swans, same height as my EYES when standing...

Black Swans, same height as my EYES when standing…

Tonight on the way to a birthday party I once again envisioned this future…forget cat lady, I think I may end up as a duck lady…Despite the fact I was majorly late, and despite the fact I was hanging around, looking fairly dodgy, on a bridge, I couldn’t help but follow the plight of a poor little baby bird (a coot I believe…) squeaking away on the open lake. It was only until I saw an adult bird (which I really hope was its parent or, failing that, a bird with my own inclination to adoption within different species) that I did depart it but it was begrudgingly and I still feel pretty awful about leaving it out there without knowing it actually was safe. Maybe this is a sign of my emotional state, maybe about my empathetic nature or maybe I’m too far gone after a horrific term of exams and stress that I can’t think straight anymore. This post is definitely proof of one of them and I sincerely hope its not the latter – in which case I apologise profusely for my mental state.

The worrying part is, at this rate, it is not hard to picture a future of wrapping up any children of my own in cotton wool and bubble wrap and never letting them leave my sight, at least not until they can swim (a lá baby bird) and fight off foxes and ravens.

Over the past few years I’ve become heavily acquainted with birds, if this post doesn’t already prove that, and it is this time of year that at once fills me with dread and also makes my insides feel all warm and fuzzy…and broody. I’m already despairing about moving back home for the summer where the wildlife consists off pissed-off pigeons and violent seagulls with asbos.

So, words from the wise… run away from charging geese, stick around near ducklings (and particularly those who are trying to emancipate themselves or are looking like they are particularly in trouble) and at the end of the day, if you ever think this deep knowledge of the lives of birds is worrying, just think, there’s definitely a pub quiz question out there where it’ll come into use. And that’ll be me getting out more too.

Something’s Changed

20 Jan

I have been very fortunate in my life that by the age of 21 years, I have never lost a significant member of my family. Of course there have been pets, and not to disregard them, but yesterday my Grandad passed away at the age of 75.

I’m not sure what is the correct way to deal with this, and being 300 miles from home and amidst a busy University term doesn’t exactly lend itself to making the situation easier. We were close, closer when I was younger and when I saw him everyday. It was quick, a shock and unexpected for all. I’m emotionally struggling and clearly need time to breathe, release and accept the situation. I can’t help feeling like the outside world is reflecting my emotions.

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18/01/13 – taken by myself.

The world that was is now shrouded underneath impenetrable ice and heavy snow. I know it is the world that will be again; the trees and plants still live underneath, they just can’t be as they were right now. Sometimes the harsh reality knocks them down, sometimes it wipes them out, but almost always they merely hibernate and come back fighting in the spring. Until the sun is warmer they won’t be completely free of the elements weighing them down and, like them, I know I am a hibernation away from returning to the life I knew, although it will be one which will have altered significantly. In literature they call this connection between emotions and the weather ‘pathetic fallacy’ and in literature we are taught to make these connections, so perhaps I’m going a little mad or perhaps I need some time away from the books. Perhaps, instead, I should embrace this connection and when the snow melts and the ground thaws, I should take that as my cue to continue with the life I know he had hoped I would lead.