Monday, 28 July 2014

A Slightly Calmer Afternoon

(In theory)

No sooner had I written that title than we had word that a decent-sized spanner had been thrown into the works for moving day this Friday. Gah.  Fortunately, some frantic googling and facebooking and I'm now reassured that it's all very sortable. Still, always handy to have a reminder not to tempt fate...

So, I've been back from the Lakes for a week and a half now, and back from Shropshire for just shy of a week, and it's all been pretty, well, Go.

When we got back we found out that Sam had got a particularly nasty case of food poisoning (which he's still not completely over even now), so that was a whole thing. Then my Dad told me I was moving to Yorkshire on Thursday, so I traveled back to Manchester to get packing... and then the whole random, last-minute midnight flit happened.

So Wednesday night I was back in Yorkshire with my life in boxes and a chapter to draft for my thesis due today. Throw in doctors appointments, new workout schedules, a night away and family dos, and you're getting an idea of how the last few days have been.

But I've sent off the draft as it is so far, I've got the bear minimum out of my boxes to make life a little easier, and I'm not due back on the bike until this evening (this heat is going to be the death of me...).

For once I might just have time for a slightly calmer afternoon.

Tomorrow will see me starting research into an area of law I don't know anything about, sorting through endless boxes in pursuit of my desk key for going up to Manchester on Wednesday, more bike times, and tidying in excited anticipation for Sam's arrival on Wednesday afternoon (ready for us to move on Friday).

But for now, I think I can have a coffee, a biscuit, and - above all else - a nice sit down.

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Sunday Linkage - Week 3

I spend more time than I ought to on the web, some good ought to come of it; so here's some links of stuff I've read over the last 2 weeks (when I did have internet) that was worth sharing...

Here's a nice long edition to make up for being away for so long!
(Keep in mind, some of these will be old-ish. I've had a lot of catching up to do!)

Zoe London wrote a brilliant piece on music snobbery and an even better one on spontaneity - so inspired now!

As we get older, break ups can get a lot more messy than in the good old days - so here are some questions to ask a friend whose relationship has just ended.

As the Sheffield flat gets closer and closer, I feel I'll need to have this ace article to hand to make sure I don't go completely mad in my dining-room office.

This take on the diversity argument in superhero films fandoms is ace (you need to read all the way through before you tell me off).

This blog about 'Rejected Princesses'" is beyond awesome.

I am alarmingly tempted to get in on Crown and Glory's amazing subscription box... maybe that can be my treat for surviving the First Year Report... (touch wood!)

This woman's reaction to being rejected by her partner solely because of her ageing body is spot. bloody. on.

The new flat's near an Aldi; Sam and his folks swear by the place, and while I've managed to become addicted to their granola and some of their bread while staying with the in-laws, I feel that this list of what to buy (and what not to buy) in the shop will come in handy.

26 Things Feminists are tired of hearing. So much truth. Also, worth reading over for handy links about the gender wage gap.

This short video of Ricky Gervais explaining how he learned to write was actually quite nice.

Friday, 25 July 2014

Midnight Flit

While I love Manchester, I'm not so keen on living there. And I especially wasn't keen on living in Halls.

So when my Dad offered to drive me back to South Yorkshire at the end of this week, allowing me to spend a week at home with my family before I move into mine and Sam's new flat in Sheffield (6 more sleeps til I get my key!), I jumped at the chance.

So on Sunday I found out I'd be moving home on Friday (today).

Then on Monday I found out I'd actually be moving home on Thursday (fair enough).

Then an unexpected phone call came Wednesday lunchtime (before I'd even started packing) - "They want me to work tomorrow, so I'm coming for you tonight."

Panic stations!

So I had a frantic day of packing, organising, cleaning, (which followed) washing, and shopping. Ow.

Now, my life is in boxes and bags, and I'm still nowhere near organised enough to be in the right mood to crack on with my work (not ideal when there's a draft due on Monday!).

But I don't care. I'm home. I'm surrounded by the seemingly endless fields of (semi-) rural South Yorkshire, and, more importantly, by wonderful people.

Sam might (hopefully. Fingers crossed!) be travelling down next week ready to move in at the weekend, and then I really will have all I need.

And, at some point, I might even get some work done. Good times.


Monday, 21 July 2014

Holiday Debrief: A Week and a Half in the Lake District

So it turns out that 10 nights in a tent is hard graft. I think my limit is probably closer to 5 (6 at a push). But nonetheless, the holiday was pretty... um... interesting.

Within the first four days alone we had:
  • Food poisoning
    I think. Actually to this day I still don't know what caused me to spend the 8th classily puking behind the tent.

  • Explosive nosebleeds. 
    And lots of them.

  • Nearly getting stuck on Hardknott Pass
    Doing a hill-start on the steepest road in England because of some moron not understanding the purpose of a passing place was not fun for Sam, nor for me (who has a history of not enjoying that road to begin with).

  • FIRE!!
    Flameless cookboxes are not as they seem (post to follow).

And after that we had:
  • Me habitually throwing soup/noodles everywhere
  • The fact you can't get a decent pasta in the Lakes. Petty, but gods I missed pasta.
  • Purposely going before the summer holidays to avoid school kids... so an entire school appears at the site.
  • Sam coming down with whatever it is he has towards the end of the holiday.
  • Fucking Maryport

But there were loads of awesome things as well...
  • Easy drive up, listening to Alan Partridge
  • Seeing half a dozen hawk jets over the first few days - and a Hercules!
  • Side Pike. Always.
  • Sam winning undisputed best person by looking after me when I was gross and pukey.
  • Splurging at the Herdy shop - I got loads of bits for the new flat.
  • So Mickleden is lovely
  • Discovering the "bunny nursery"
  • Sunset over Blea Tarn
  • Waterhead times
  • Bumping into 4 baby bunnies on the way to the loo at 4am(!)
  • Lingmoor Fell was nice
  • Illgill Head! My highest hill yet! (even though the view was definitely not as expected :p)
  • Ravenglass - Eskdale Railway
  • Cow and Herdy traffic jams
  • Being by the sea, surrounded by beached jellyfishes.
  • The Strands Inn in Nether Wasdale is awesome. Pity we only found out on the last night. 

So while I reckon we'll be saving up for a cottage stay the next time we fancy more than 5 nights in the Lakes, it was still a pretty decent holiday on the whole.

Plus, Sam and I spent 10 nights together, living in a tent, and still don't hate each other. So that's a good thing to take away if nowt else. :p

Now that I'm back and procrastinating both work and packing for the big move to Sheffield, expect many photos from the most beautiful place on Earth. 

I'm sorry/you're welcome.


Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Garden Cat

There's a cat living in the garden at Sam's parents' house. They call her Tinkerbell.

She's a little bit awesome.


Saturday, 12 July 2014

A Night Out in Shrewsbury

The day I arrived into Shrewsbury, Sam suggested that we go drinking with one of his old schoolfriends, who is awesome. I was happy to agree to his suggestion.

What followed was: a couple of ciders (more than enough to make me drunk), wanderings in the rain, laughing at mannequins, games of seeing who could find the most expensive item in the jewellery shop windows, then a 1am visit to McDonald's where the boys a couple of burgers each (!), while I had my first ever frappe - specifically a mocha-frappe. Oo-er.

Here are some of the photos from that night...

This bit of graffiti has been at the famous Yorkshire House a while. I noticed it properly for the first time when I was over for New Year's Eve, and was happy to see that it was still there now.

Best. Mannequins. Ever.


And last but not least: Photo filed under 'I don't remember this'


Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Pick Your Own

On Saturday, after driving to Meole so that Sam could buy himself some new sunglasses in time for going on holiday (to replace the ones he'd lost since the last holiday), Sam suggested that he take me to the Pick-Your-Own farm he'd been to earlier in the week.

"I think you'll like it" he said. He wasn't wrong.

But as wonderfully romantic as a spontaneous trip to go pick our favourite fruits was, it came at a price: the fact that it was a surprise meant that my beloved good camera was left at home.

Fortunately, I still had my trusty phone with me, so I got a few decent shots nonetheless...

It was a lovely way to spend an hour. And Sam has already been told that we'll be going again once we get back to the Lakes.

And this time, I will have my good camera!


Monday, 7 July 2014

Cancel the Milk and Papers

Photo from the last time I went to Western Lakes: 2012(!).

As I daresay I've mentioned a few times up to now - I'm off on holiday (or, to use the technical language "I'm off on mi holibobs").

I've a couple of posts queued for the next two weeks or so, and if you're curious to hear the latest about how our adventures in the Lakes are going, then you can catch me on Instagram, where I may occasionally (i.e. when we have internet) upload a picture. Considering there will be no phone signal for miles from where we'll be living, then this isn't a guarantee, but I daresay I'll upload at least one or two while we're away.

The posts queued are scheduled for the 9th, 12th, and 15th. I won't be able to remind anyone via Twitter, so I might as well mention it now!

I hope you all have an awesome 2 weeks. See you on the other side.


Sunday, 6 July 2014

Sunday Linkage - Week 2

I spend more time than I ought to on the web, some good ought to come of it; so here's some links of stuff I've read over the last week that was worth sharing...

This post on the 80/20 rule of eating healthily is making me feel much more okay about the idea of behaving on a more permanent basis.

6 Things The Most Productive People Do Every Day

Cats are particularly adept at delivering Shakespearean put-downs.

Nubby Twiglett wrote an amazing piece about avoiding the comparison trap.

It took me a while to get round to reading it, but Thesis Whisperer's post on avoiding toxic thinking as you do your PhD is pretty damn important.

Kind of corny, and not something I expect would work for me, but this guy's story about how he used his password to change his life is a little bit lovely nonetheless.

You may have missed: me yammering on about the 6 key pieces in my wardrobe.

This is very very important information: The Best Time To Drink Coffee According to Science.

I haven't been using this anywhere near as much as I ought to, but Duolingo is amazing for learning another language. I'm currently using it to relearn Spanish (which I aced at A-level but have now totally forgotten).

Tweeters' responses to #AskThicke were beyond wonderful.

In Medical Ethics News: You'll have probably heard by now about how the Supreme Court in the US thinks that corporations are people whose rights trump those of actual people and that this was put in sharp focus this week by the Hobby Lobby ruling (ugh).
I've yet to read this properly (bad Roxy), but Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg has written a 35-page dissent against the ruling (from which e-online (!) provided highlights for a quicker read). The point about the precedent set for other religions and healthcare is particularly brilliant. -- Bonus: someone's turned some of the language of the dissent into a song.

Wednesday, 2 July 2014


This morning was good.

After a big cup of coffee and some psyching myself up, I walked to uni for my second supervision meeting. And it went well! I'm still a PhD student!

So once I'd faffed about in my office for a bit getting a few things sorted to take with me to the Lakes (I'm clearly a pro at down time), I realised that I could get to town from uni for free if I went through the Sackville campus. So I did.

Having seen it from the train countless times, it was nice to finally see it up close. I might have to go back one day with my proper camera rather than just the one in my phone.

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Happy July!

It's here! July is here!

I am so happy about this that I'm having to restrain myself from using a gif to express my joy. So instead, have a photo of one of the reasons (reason number one, to be fair) as to why I'm so bloody excited that it's July...

It's this month I finally get to go to the Lake District for the first time in almost a year.

And what's more, I get to go for 10 whole nights! Excited is not the word.

But that's not all that's going on, in addition to work kicking my butt again with a renewed vigour, July is also my last month living in Manchester. So that means when I get back I'll have around a week (maybe less, depending on my Dad's work schedule) to pack all my worldly possessions and get ready to hand the keys in with 5 weeks still on my contract (if you lived in this flat, you'd understand).

In that time as well my mate from Leeds (who is part of a growing number that I don't get to see nearly enough) is supposed to be visiting for an all dayer around the city centre (last time the focus was all too much on Oxford Road).

It's also my cousin Gavin's birthday this month - I have my fingers crossed that we will finally be able to make it to the family BBQ to celebrate (especially as my expat aunt and uncle are over for the first time in 7 years), but we'll have to see on that score.

Anyway, me being me, I ought to think of some goals....

  • Standard monthly goals like try to keep fit (ish) and go outside sometimes should be pretty do-able with the whole being in the mountains for a third of the month thing.

  • Get the legal context section written by the end of the month (and see my legal supervisor before she goes away). Because I hate free time, apparently.

  • Be ready to write philosophical approach section either planned or started by the end of the month (aiming for completion in mid-August).

  • Beat my personal best for hill height (582m).

  • Keep a journal - even a really crappy one - while in the hills.

  • Do some decent touristy things in the Lakes (Ullswater steamers, gingerbread in Grasmere, eat Kendal Mint Cake, go on the Ravenglass-Eskdale Railway, etc.)

  • Go to the beach at least once. I'm not mad keen on the beach (Sand. Ugh) but I kind of want to go to the coast this summer, and July will be the best month to do this with me spending so much of it in Cumbria.

And that's all I can really think of right now, so that will have to do.

So even during a month where I'll be going on my first long holiday in nearly 10 years, spending ages in the midlands visiting the in-laws, getting ready to move back to Yorkshire and in with my boyfriend, and trying to organise seeing friends and family I don't get to see nearly enough - a substantial amount of uni work is still topping my to-do list...

Ah well. Needs must!

How's your July shaping up?