Friday, 30 May 2014


Day 30, Friday: Best advice you've received lately.

I'm terrible about asking for advice about anything other than boy stuff (because I'm hopeless in that department - the price for being with your first fella for over half a decade) - and since stuff with Sam continues to be awesome, then I've not had to seek out any pearls of wisdom in that area.

So I guess the best advice I've had lately came somewhat unsolicited from the man himself last week - 
Stand tall where you can, don't over-think things, and know that I'm here if you need me.
That'd be way more romantic if it wasn't about scrambling. Still lovely, though.

Thursday, 29 May 2014

Catch Up: Photo Walk in the Peaks

Day 11, Sunday:  Go for a photo walk.  (It’s a walk where you take lots of great photos and share them.)

This doubles up as a teaser for when I finally get round to updating Bitches Love Hills.

Anyhow, this is when Sam and I wandered up Grindsbrook Clough in the Peak District for the third time (well, his second) - this was the route of my first ever hike over two years ago, and this was the first time I've done it in decent weather.



Day 29, Thursday: What have you said ‘yes’ to today?

Well today is my first full day back in Manchester, so there's not really been an awful lot to say "yes" to. But on a positive note, there's not been a lot to say "no" to either.

Pictured: not Manchester. Just to add confusion.

So today I suppose I've said "yes" to...

  • Getting up at 6:30am
  • Going to the gym
  • Spending an hour on the cross-trainer when I'd felt like finishing before I'd even got to it.
  • Coffee with "flying saucer" sponge bites - not the healthiest post-workout snack, admittedly
  • Trying out Lidl for my weekly shop for the first time (not too impressed, but got some decent deals nonetheless)
  • Buying bread costing 50% more than I usually pay. Treat yo' self.
  • A big hearty bowl of chicken and veg soup (even if I am now entering a food coma as a result)
  • Working from home; abusing Rainy Mood

I've said "no" then to working at the office (bad Roxy), to having a lie-in, and to taking it easy at the gym (although, I also said "no" to going for a run, by the same token).

And I'm saying "maybe" to heading out to the pub tonight with the Rock Soc. We'll see.

This was a bit of a short one; I'll see what else I can rustle up later on (time permitting).

Wednesday, 28 May 2014


Day 28, Wednesday: Family.  What do you love? What crazy genetics do you have in common?  Fave photo?

I love 

....boozy get-togethers with either branch of the family...
(These were at the same pub, but were totally different branches of the family (plus Sam, for the latter party...))
...Walks with Dad and my brother Harry...

...Hanging out at Grandmas drinking coffee and putting the world to rights...
I know I've posted this photo already this week, but I love it so
...Exploring with my mum....

Mum's camera is beyond broken, but it makes for some interesting effects
...Plus any time spent with my cousin/best friend
He looks like a tiny statesman...

Genetic similarities?

Well, I've got the Wootton build with the Carter waist and chest - which basically means I've got a big butt, a small waist, decent rib cage and a relatively small bust. Which sounds a bit crappy, but apparently I really do suit it well.

I also have the Carter nose, which I've given up on dealing with, and my mother's hooded eyes. Also, though there's nothing else I can put my finger on specifically, I also apparently look a lot like one of my maternal cousins (no, not the statesman lad).

Fave photo?

Always this amazing one of me and my Dad from last year.

He hates it.
I'm going to get it framed.

After all, what are families for?

37 days

Is is obvious I'm listening to Rainy Mood?

I have had an awful day, but rather than wallowing, I've decided to do what I do best: make a list.

Stuff to get done over the next 37 days...

  • Make a list of what we/I need to get before the Lakes
  • Get a hair trim
  • Buy what I can in time for the Lakes
  • Dye hair (sooner rather than later)
  • Write Literature Review
  • Get underway on Philosophical Background and (possibly) Legal Background sections
  • Go to the gym as much as possible
  • Also: walk, hike, and bike as much as possible 
  • (But avoid injury!)
  • Find some places in Manchester I want to explore for when Sam comes over later this month - it's his last visit to Manchester before I move away, after all.
  • Visit the family
  • Spend some time in the law school office (I've been a bit haphazard re: working at my desk of late (I blame the pyjama aspect of working from home)).
  • Keep up with this whole blogging thing.

Tuesday, 27 May 2014


Day 27, Tuesday: Share a project you’ve been working on.

Well really, beyond my PhD there's not a lot to say.

I guess operation Be Less Rubbish by July is something: basically I'm trying to get three-quarters of my first year report (basically the introduction to my thesis) drafted by July, and I'm trying to achieve some level of fitness (however basic) by then as well.

Basically, I want to be in tip-top condition by the time we get back to here:

A Day In The Life

Day 17: A day in the life.  Photo journal your day today.

Ok, so this is a little late coming (along with day 11's photo walk, which will be along this week). Anyhoo, here's how yesterday went down...

Here's a not-so-pretty start: me in half-makeup (I still have unblended eye-cream on there) with wet hair.

The way I start everyday.

I've kept this small for the sake of those with a nervous disposition.

You're welcome.

The Yeti, on the other hand, looks far better than I first thing in the morning.

We were ready at this point to go off and out to Sheffield city centre to pick up some bits.

En route, we unexpectedly encountered some kind of fete...

[Fete photos courtesy of Sam's phone - mine was full and I'd not thought to bring my camera]

While we were out, Sam got some practical items while I got sun cream and flower crowns (which are clearly very important to have in the hills). There'll be a photo of me in the larger one at some point. Indeed if you follow me on Instagram or Twitter you will have already seen it. But for now, here's an unnecessarily 'artsy' shot of my new crowns and my beloved lip gloss...

Back at the boy's flat it was time to get on with some work. I have a self-imposed deadline for the first draft of my literature review for my thesis, and Sam has a few exams coming up.

So Sam cracked on and spent the afternoon working hard.
Meanwhile I emptied my suitcase and got out the research notes, books and papers that I'd brought with me...

And then spent most of the afternoon trying to guess who's going to kill Tina in Corrie (no spoilers, please, I still haven't watched Monday's episode (I'm saving it for the gym))

Then more pestering and distracting Sam in between his trips to the kitchen to sort our dinner

Not pictured: we ate a yummy pizza while finally watching Frozen (I've been wanting to see that since it was at the cinema).

Then we cuddled up to watch Modern Family in bed before going to sleep.

And that was our day.


I'd originally decided to do this about Sunday's visit to my Grandma... but forgot I was supposed to be taking photos half way through.

So here's a few from Sunday, too:

This photo makes me so happy :)

After a nervy few minutes listening on Radio 5 over the internet on my old notebook - (which, incidentally, died when I started to write my MA dissertation (just like my first laptop did for my BA dissertation). TIMING.) - Rotherham finally won the match on penalties.
Promoted to the Championship, baby! 

Guest Post: The Yeti on Airsoft

Day 26, Monday: Invite someone to guest post for you.

Who else would I ask but the lovely Yeti? Even though that meant waiting ages for him to finish murdering zombies before he got a wiggle on and wrote a post. So with no further ado....

So. Apparently, I have to do this guest post dealy. I'm a bit short on ideas, so prepare for gratuitous waffling.

 I really am trying to think of something to talk about. Honestly. It just looks like you may have to settle for me waffling about one of my hobbies I'm allowed to do when not being a mountaineer's pack mule.

You may have seen, in a few of the photos, a hairy chap. In some of those involving hills, you may have noticed he's wearing camouflage clothing. Well, that's me and this is why I often wear it.


The camouflage gear comes from me running around woodlands and derelict buildings with other (supposed) adults firing toy guns at each other all day pretending to be soldiers. Now, before you worry to much, it is all done on private property with all safety and security measures taken care of, and is completely legal.

When I get chance (allowed to, if I promise not to come back in more than one piece), there's not much I would rather do on a weekend than gather a bunch of my friends and head to an airsoft site for a day's worth of games. From fast-paced capture the flag games to longer, much more tactical objective based assaults, it's a great way to get some exercise of both body and mind (as long as you don't mind the risk of a few welts and bruises).

Plus, it lets the 5 year old child who used to play soldiers get out and have some fun too!

Sunday, 25 May 2014

A list for the week ahead

Day 25, Sunday: A list for the week ahead.Holy crap I've caught up!

I wouldn't say that I have a trying week ahead, but it's certainly going to be one of graft, student-level poverty, and some moping.

Still, being out of money and without my Yorkshire lovelies mean that I'll be in a better position (i.e. will have little choice but) to throw myself into operation: Be Less Rubbish by July

So, echoing back to my first post for this 'blog everyday' thing, here's what's on my to-do list for this week...

*Finish up those posts on which I'm behind, and keep on top of upcoming posts
*Do a proper update for my hiking blog
*Go to the gym everyday from Tuesday
*Finish the first draft of my thesis literature review
*And the second
*Send the latter to my supervisors for the meeting in June
*Make a list of what I need for the Lakes (for when I get paid)
*Make an effort to go to Rock Soc (I'm skint but I've not seen anyone for about 7 weeks(!))
*Start research for my first paper (eek!)
*Start researching hills for the Lakes holiday

Saturday, 24 May 2014

Catch Up: Dinner, Goat Simulator, Britpop Sam, and Short Soppiness

Catching up. For a change.

Day 21: What’s on your plate?

I've been eating a depressing amount of pasta of late due to my flatmates breaking the oven. Still, not complaining too loudly: tomato and basil sauce is awesome

What I wish was on my plate is probably something from Fancie...


Day 22: Share a video clip that you are loving at the moment.

Bonus: from the update preview...

Alas, I couldn't get the video to embed - but click *here* to go to the relevant page.

Day 23: Write a post about a particularly good or controversial comment someone left you.

People don't really leave comments on my posts, so I can't think of a decent enough story to tell you.
So instead, here's a photo from this afternoon of Sam looking like he should be in a 90s Britpop band...

You'll probably see this again soon. I love it too much.

Day 24: If you could have 3 people to dinner tonight, who would you invite?

(1) Sam
(2) Grandma
(3) Dad

Basically the one person I can't be without and the two people I miss most right now (good thing I'm going home soon-ish!)

Til tomorrow, then


Friday, 23 May 2014

Catch Up: What Makes me Happy?

Daddy Tomato jumps on Tomato Jr who is trailing behind and shouts "Ketchup!"
(I just wanted a new way of indicating I'm still playing catch-up....)

Day 17: A day in the life.  Photo journal your day today.

Watch this space [link to follow]

Day 18: 10 things that make you happy.

(1) Spending time with Sam (I'm a soppy bugger, I know)

(2) Getting to the top of a hill - especially if it's one that's taken a lot of graft

(3) Being inspired to work - and being productive: whether it's managing to hammer out hundreds of words in one sitting, noticing a connection between theories I'd never noticed before, or getting overexcited in the library and taking out 7 books more than I meant to.

(4) Spending time with my friends

(5) And my family.

(6) When it's sunny, but not too hot (16c is about the sweet spot). Instant joy.

(7) Videos and photos of corgis. I have a problem.

(8) Planning adventures - especially those that might actually happen before my thirties

(9) Going out to amazing restaurants and eating amazing food (however much my wallet and waist hate me for it)

(10) The general and continued existence of: Sam, my friends, my family, my course mates, my degree, pandas, corgis, raccoons, The Lake District, The Peak District, Snowdonia, Norway, Sheffield, London, Spain, Vera Wang: Princess Night, Bourgois Rouge Velvet (in Peach Club), That popping candy/jellybean thing that Cadbury's make, sour Skittles, Fancie Sheffield, Five Guys, fruit ciders, good pubs, hot showers, good hair days, dark brown hair dye that comes out black, Oasis and Arctic Monkeys on repeat, black metal, Ulver, Code, playlists with music from the 80s, pyjamas, bright yellow dresses with weird prints, red wigs, high heels, daft video games, daft card games, good TV, amazing films, awful films, Pratchett books, radio shows starring Michael Sandel, applied philosophy sections in the library, old buildings, green spaces, cherry blossom, empty train carriages with no reservations...

I need to stop now, while I'm still able to do so.

Day 19: Dream job?

No idea in real terms, but I guess the closest thing to ideal would be being an academic: I love reading about philosophy and bioethics, I love writing about it, talking about it, and teaching it. So it makes a lot of sense to try to go down that route.
Although I'm very aware that it's not all that likely to go well for me, it's still worth a try.

Day 20: Who inspires you?

No one specifically. But I have a lot of time for people with a tremendous work ethic.
To make up for the lack of a good answer, here's my Dad's dog Lola (who he describes as being a "breeze block with legs"), right before she tried to eat my camera:

Til next time


Thursday, 22 May 2014

Catch Up: Moran Quote & Blogroll

Catching Up. Again.

I worked really bloody hard on these, so enjoy them.

Day 15: Create or share a poster, card or artwork that shares a message that inspires you.

Please excuse the vanity in using myself in this, but yeah.

Day 16, Friday: Tell us about 5 blogs that you love reading regularly.

Here goes:
This has been my favourite blog for a few years now. While I can't always get on board with some of the stuff (esepcially anything to do with magic), she's just an instantly likeable character. She's stylish, unapologetic, and an inspiration that you can go through some nasty mental stuff and come through the other side with a flourish as subtle as a glitter cannon. Plus her radical self love movement was pretty instrumental in helping me to get the courage to leave a pretty nasty relationship when I was younger.

2. The Tumblr Tri-Factor: Cult of Kimber, Dear Coquette, and Banknote
I've had a Tumblr for five years now and while in its heyday it was a pretty ace place to waste an afternoon, it seems to be a little lacklustre these days. I've met amazing friends on there: gig buddies, an ex that's now a close friend, and loads of people who I'd love to have in my life if only they lived a little closer. People now have either left or gone quiet so it's not what it was, but there are still a few blogs worth sticking around the dash for...
*Kimber is a no-nonsense beekeeper who will educate you on racism and power structures alongside posts on make up, DIY projects and hot men.
*Coquette is the undisputed queen of snarky (but spot on) advice. It's worth looking through her archives: some of her truths have helped me snap out of some of my more ridiculous funks.
*Banknote is a young-ish lass living in my home city. She's pretty, funny, and posts fantastic stuff. There's not many personal blogs that I look forward to reading, but hers is one.

Hardly ever updated these days, but the undisputed jewel in the crown of comic blogs. My best friend got me the book for Christmas and I still haven't finished it because I'm petrified of having nothing more to read. Allie's style is casual, daft, funny, and above all still rather clever. And her posts on her battle with depression will make you laugh and cry, and will strike a chord with anyone who has been through (or is still going through) the same. Any update of this blog is cause for a massive celebration due to both the quality and the rarity - though in between, you could always enjoy the archive.

If I'm honest, I don't really read these posts in their entirety unless time is on my side (which it rarely is). But this blog is amazing for heart-breakingly beautiful photos of, and from, mountains in the UK. I was introduced to it by the guy who got me into fell walking who instructed me to use it for Lakes inspiration before mine and Sam's first holiday together last year. The only problem with this site is it makes me want to spend my life wandering up and down hills rather than doing any of the myriad of things I'm supposed to be doing.

aka. The blog that gives my boyfriend a heart attack every time he sees me reading it. But I'm not fussed about getting married any time soon (I've not long recovered from being engaged the first time), but I love the voyeurism of watching someone's wedding - finding out why they chose the styles and themes that they did, and it's lovely to see couples who celebrate their love their way. Also, Kat's non-wedding posts - on blogging, on travel, on running a business, and on her life - are great to read as well.

In Which I Reveal I Don't Work Well In Call Centres

Always with the catching up

There will be another post along later today, til then:

Day 14: Share a funny story or picture.

Last year I briefly (very briefly) worked on the phones for a major energy company. This particular company had its main call centre in Cape Town, with more than twice the number of call-takers as in the Yorkshire branches. Obviously, last year was when Nelson Mandela sadly died, so in addition to the usual annual increase in calls as we went into winter, we now had to cope with getting Cape Town's calls as well while they had their week of mourning. 

One afternoon, I got stuck on the phone for a torturous two hours with a man who was complaining about something that the company couldn't do anything about (and that wasn't even remotely our fault). At about the one hour forty-five mark, he also started complaining about the wait for calls. Basically already at breaking point, my politeness reserves already exhausted, I apologised for this and explained the situation with South Africa. 

"I had to wait twenty minutes because Nelson Mandela's died? Well I've not heard that excuse before!"

"Well, with respect, sir, he hasn't died before."

Yep. I couldn't resist (and I'm surprised I didn't get the sack for that). I left about 2 days later. My friends still work there - they are better women than I (I would definitely have been sacked by now).