Sunday, 29 June 2014

Sunday Linkage - Week 1

A new feature! Woo!

Well, I do spend more time than I ought to on the web, some good ought to come of it, so here's some links I've enjoyed over the last week...

Hope you've enjoyed these; the next one will probably be a little longer to make up for being up a mountain instead of surfing the web in mid-July.

For links and pics in between - you can always find me on Twitter and Instagram.

*I might make this a separate post/section in the future if people are interested enough... we'll see how we go.

Saturday, 28 June 2014

Working From Home: Fantasy Schedule

34 days to go before Sam and I get the keys to our new flat in Sheffield. 35 until we actually move in.

Unsurprisingly, I'm getting rather excited.

So from August I'll be living in Sheffield, studying at Manchester, and - from October - working part time in Leeds. It's a good thing I quite like train journeys!

The part time job in Leeds is very part time - we're talking 20 hours a year - so that's not going to be much of an issue, and getting to Manchester in the week is pretty cheap if you book in advance and are happy to be a bit flexible with your hours. I have an office at my uni, so I'll want to be popping over fairly regularly (I'm aiming for 2-3 days a week). That still leaves two or three working days at home each week.

And that got me thinking - because if there's anything I like thinking about, it's what living in the Sheffield flat will be like.

So I've ended up constructing a very specific image of what a "typical" (read: total fantasy) day working from home might look like...

6:30am: Wake up, have breakfast
7am - 8:30: Go on exercise bike
8:30 - 9:15: Shower, dressed, healthy snack, hair and make up. Lay out books, notepads, and laptop on work table (whether that's in the dining room or the spare room that day)
9:30 - 10am: Walk down to Fancie and pick up a coffee to take away
10am - 6pm: Work! (with 30 minutes for lunch)
6pm - late: Annoy Sam, eat dinner, and relax.

How much of "work" will actually turn out to be mindless web-surfing/Netflix marathoning remains to be seen. But I feel this is a decent little plan.

Thursday, 26 June 2014

My Style: 6 Key Items

A couple of the blogs I read now (1,2) have been talking about defining their style through just 5 key items from their wardrobe.

Thing is, I wasn't entirely 100% on whether I even have a style - but then I remembered back to when I did things other than procrastinate on my thesis, and maybe I do... But I'm going to do 6. Because collages are harder with 5...

1. High-Waisted Shorts.
In addition to leading lads to sing a certain Queen song at me (not even kidding), breaking my fall a lot, and apparently keeping diabetes at bay (!), having a big butt is ace because it means that shorts and pencil skirts invariably look magnificent.

To be honest, high-waisted stuff can be problematic: I have a small waist with big(ish) hips and a (definitely) big butt, so getting stuff like this that fits is a hell of an effort. But for some reason these have never steered me wrong. Summer or winter.

2. Converse or Converse-esque shoes

Preferably in black or oxblood. That's important. But yeah, these are beyond comfortable, no fuss involved, and go well with around 90% of my outfits. Awesome stuff.

3. My "Yellow" Dress

I'm obsessed with this dress. As with many of the items that have meant a lot to me over the years (like converse-style heels; I kid you not), I tried this on as a joke on a day out in Leeds with my best friend last year. It's also got sentimental value: I wore it out the next evening to go drinking... which was when I met Sam!

It's called 'the "yellow" dress' rather than 'the yellow dress' because Sam insists that it's not yellow, whereas I insist that it is. And I'm clearly right.

Here it is in action alongside two of my closest friends (the one on the left insisted I try it on).

4. My Sheer Shirt

I love this. Hell at the moment I live in this. I can't believe I've had it nearly 2 years. I bought it in September 2012 while picking up pieces for my new job as an ethics tutor and wore it on my very first day. Since then it's made appearances at work, on days out, and when out on the town. And I love it so.

Bonus: shorts are pictured too. Huzzah!

5. My Parka

This was my birthday present from the wonderful Sam, the reasoning behind it being:

  1. It's getting cold, and I had no decent/warm coat,
  2. It's stylish as hell, and vitally
  3. I was about to move to Manchester and Sam thought it important that I fit in ;)
I love this. I haven't worn it for a while with the weather improving and I can't get used to not being wrapped up in it (I almost reached for it this morning on the way out to the gym!)

As my mate said on seeing it: "Sunnnshheeiiine!"

6. My Satchel(s)

I'm a perpetual student. In career terms (I've been in higher education since 2007...), in bad habit terms, and apparently in style terms. But the last one isn't necessarily a bad thing. 

Pictured is my new satchel - but it's still being broken in at the moment, and it's a little inflexible, so I'm still spending quite a lot of time with my little oxblood one as well.

Bonus: pencil skirts, body-con dresses, front-zip hoodies, skinny jeans, band shirts, giant jumpers. Especially the last one.

What are your style staples?


Thursday, 19 June 2014

Anyone Misplace Their Manager?

Just out shopping for snacks for tonight when suddenly…

And we definitely did not then go to great lengths to hide him completely in a row of crisps for unsuspecting shoppers. 
Definitely not.

Anyway, here's to England hopefully not losing tonight! We have crisps, marshmallows (?), and cider, which means that even Sam doesn't feel too put out about being made to watch the match. Here's hoping it'll be a good'un.

En-gur-land, En-gur-land, En-gur- etc....

Saturday, 14 June 2014

The Procrastination Continues

As I mentioned earlier this week, things are a little unusual at the moment: I've spent a lot of time to-ing and fro-ing between Sam's place in Sheffield and my Grandma's a few villages outside of Rotherham... So it has basically felt as though I've gone back in time to when I was still waiting to start my PhD - only with the added guilt of not getting enough done.

I have managed to crack the spine of this book, but all in all there's been a lot more adventuring and procrastination in the meantime. So here's some of what's been happening since my last post, for the curious...


A spot of shopping and errand-running in the morning, including getting my fringe cut (my last trim was in March!), procrastination in the day time, then off to my Dad's favourite Chinese restaurant with him, my stepmum, my brother Harry, and Grandma.


On Wednesday, I walked the Mam Tor circuit with my mam (harhar). The weather was perfect for it, and while I impressed myself by showing that my fitness has dramatically increased since the last time I did the route in March, Mum really stole the show: it's incredible to think that she was in intensive care at the start of the year.
(Stay posted for the write up on BLH!)


I felt a little lazy on the journey back home from the Peaks on Wednesday evening, and so got off the bus 14 miles early to crash at Sam's, so I spent the morning travelling back to Grandma's to pick up my things and kill some time by baking some brownies (from scratch!) as a treat for Sam to celebrate him finishing his final exam that afternoon.

I was going to document the baking process... I took this one then spent the rest of the time covered in all sorts and afraid to touch my camera.


Yesterday was a nice and chilled out affair: a lie-in followed by dinner out at the Harlequin in Sheffield (which was beyond filling), then when Sam's friend arrived (they're having a lads' weekend) we headed out for a drink or two, which led to me excitedly commandeering a swing in a park near to the flat.


Today has been a lazy day overall, with Sam and his friend preparing to get lairy and then shot (with BBs) this weekend, I left them to it and headed back to Grandma's with my laptop, textbooks, and presents for Dad for tomorrow. But not before Sam had taken this. Maximum boyfriend points.

Tonight I have big, exciting plans involving the stationary bike, a textbook on mental health law, and watching the England match in my pyjamas. Dream big.

How's your week turned out?


Monday, 9 June 2014

The Art of Procrastination

On Wednesday I had my first meeting with my supervisors (5 months into my PhD). I was convinced they were going to tell me that everything I had done was wrong, that the way I'd been planning and drafting my literature review was wrong and that I needed to do everything over again. So in true Roxy form, I spent the morning drinking coffee, taking selfies, and doing anything else I could think of to distract myself before I headed over to my department.

It's a good thing I'm getting a haircut tomorrow.

Turns out that I'm on the right track, PhD-wise, and I've been given a short list of things to do before my next meeting a few days before I head over to the Lakes. One of those things is to get a handle on the legal basics ready for writing up the law section of this chapter. The word "eek" doesn't even come close. So I've loaded up on books from the library to try and get my head around this... emphasis on try.

I spent the rest of Wednesday with one of my cohort colleagues who was over for her first meeting as well. So after coffee, me going to the gym while she had her meeting, we then hit the shops. The Cotswold Outdoor near me is shutting down, so I got an amazing pair of Haglofs trousers from there for half price (swoon), and then we headed over to the Trafford Centre for a browse and a meal at one of the best burger places around.


And when we got back, I hurriedly jumped into the shower, got changed and headed over to the the club where the Rock Soc was having their end-of-year formal. So Wednesday was pretty exhausting (though I feel I should get points for doing a 22-hour day).

Thursday was spent at the gym, the office, and in the library. By the way, the library? Terrifying. The orange section of the Manchester uni looks like a set from a horror film. And on Friday I had a couple of hours at the gym followed by frantic packing and then speeding off to Sheffield to make a fuss of Sam after his penultimate exam.

Dinner on Friday was pulled pork and burger at the Cavendish Sheffield. Awesome.

We spent a lot of the weekend in shops: Sam had a project on the go that he needed eqipment for, meanwhile I just wanted to avoid cracking the spines on those law books. So instead I wandered around the shops. Though it wasn't all for naught: I got some stuff for the flat (53 days to go!) and some Father's Day presents. I also picked up my first ever purchase from Lush, oo-er...

On Sunday, we had nothing planned and Sam didn't fancy a sofa day and so naturally that automatically marked the day as one for studying... and so suddenly I couldn't do any work until I had a brand new notebook to put it in. Funny that.

So random shopping trip in the sun, followed by a mandatory post-sun nap, and suddenly it was late in the day, too late for law reading at any rate.

Queen of procrastination. That's me.

And today I'm back home-home for a few days to give Sam the chance not to be sucked in by my procrastinating ways. Apparently he's managed 3 hours of revision... I've eaten an apple and argued with my brother. Though in my defense, I haven't seen him, my dad, or my stepmum for 2 months, nor my grandma for one.

Tomorrow is the haircut (you saw that fringe), and in the evening a family meal out, so maybe I'll get something done then.


One day, books.


Sunday, 1 June 2014

Gratitude Dude


Day 31: Gratitude.

I'm a little bit late with the final post of the May challenge, but I'm here now any rate.

Thanks to the teachings of blogstresses like Gala and Kimber, I'm well aware of the good that regular stock-takes of the good stuff in life can do. Back in the day, I used to keep my own gratitude journal (well, kind of, it was a list of anything and everything that had made me smile that day) but as I like to read over them again later, they became a no-go as exes tended to be mentioned alongside adventures, successes and food. So maybe the trick would be to start keeping these lists again... and maybe just not reading them if things go tits up with the Yeti (touch wood; cling to wood).

So I might as well start today. Good a time as any.

To adapt from my things that make me happy list...

Namely, 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), on-point eye liner, That popping candy/jellybean thing that Cadbury’s make, sour Skittles, biscuits, Fancie Sheffield, Five Guys, fruit ciders, Amaretto, good pubs, hot showers, good hair days, dark brown hair dye that comes out black, visits home, 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, exploring new places, exploring places I thought I knew, 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, tidy and colour-coded diaries, coffee, water coolers in the common room, sunny days that aren’t too hot, the sound of rain when I can stay home, flower crowns, cohort conferences, cinema trips, countdowns to adventures, glitter, decent pens, nice notebooks, good blogs and webcomics, the last minute or two waiting on the platform at Oxford Rd for the train to Sheffield…

I could go on. But I won't. 

What are you grateful for?