Saturday, 31 December 2011

2011 Recap

A recap of what's happened in the life of Izzy in 2011...


  • Did 4 exams and passed them all and got halfway-decent grades, even though I was convinced I'd fail them all
  • Went on an epic walk with Steve, Sam and Mike from Porthleven to the The Lizard
  • Broke up with Chris
  • Did the PTA (Patient Transport Attendant) course with SJA

(I genuinely can't find any pictures from February, really don't know how I managed to take no pictures for a whole month :\ )

  • Found my house for third year
  • Gave blood for the first time
  • Passed my PTA assessment


  • Had a picnic on Pendennis Point with Steve, Mike and Sam
  • Managed to get myself more work experience... for September 2012 :\


  • Went to Cyprus
  • Came home and spent the rest of the Easter break writing my Cyprus report, doing a bit of revision for exams that I ended up not sitting and generally feeling crap without having a clue why or what was to come...

  • Got glandular fever just as I got back to Cornwall after the Easter break and spent over a week in bed
  • Had to postpone my exams until August
  • Missed working at Helston Flora Day with SJA which I'd been looking forward to for a whole year :(
  • Went to Devon for a few days (when I was sure I was completely recovered) and visited Clovelly, one of my favourite places


  • Worked at Royal Cornwall Show for 4 days with St John Ambulance
  • Gave blood for the second time and ended up looking like a drug addict who was doing it wrong


  • Decided my travels next summer will be a trip round Europe (although not sure what's happening with that now :( )
  • Did 2 weeks work experience at the Swan Sanctuary

  • Had the annual long summer stay in Devon and spent nearly all of it with my head in textbooks
  • Went back to Cornwall a month earlier than usual and did my exams
  • Went on a lovely weekend away with Steve


  • Applied for a grant to take part in a cetacean research project - while I didn't get a place, I made the short list and got a really nice book from New Scientist in return
  • Lost the internet in my uni house
  • In a week and a half did almost a full-time work week for St John Ambulance(35 hours) covering the Fresher's parties and Fresher's Fayre

  • Still had no internet in my uni house
  • Turned 21
  • Did a street collection in Falmouth with LINKS and raised just under £400 :)

  • Eventually got the internet back, 11 weeks after we lost it
  • Did my first ever craft fair
  • Started my third year research project (equivalent to a dissertation)

  • Spent most of my time in the aviary doing my research project
  • Came home for Christmas feeling so happy that I didn't have to revise for January exams!
  • Got prepared for my trip to South Africa just after New Year

2011 was a strange year, filled with a lot of really awful times and a lot of shed tears, but it was also filled with a lot of good times and I think, while I'm not completely happy and where I want to be in my life, I'm a great deal happier now than I was last year.
My Five Things Fridays post from yesterday talks about 5 of my hopes for 2012. Overall I hope that I'll go even further to being completely happy with myself and my life in 2012, and I hope that there are lots more good times ahead.

Happy new year everyone :)

Friday, 30 December 2011

Five Things Fridays: Five hopes for the new year

I've decided that, in order to get a more regular posting schedule, to do a series of posts called Five Things Fridays. I've got my first five things today, then another 2 posts queued for while I'm away in South Africa, then hopefully I'll keep it up after that :)

So, without further ado, here are my first five things:

Five hopes for the new year

1.  I hope to get a good degree classification.
For my subject, that means a high 2:1 or a First. I’ve worked so hard and I’ll be gutted if I don’t do well. All will be revealed in June/July...

2.  I hope to get a good job. Obviously this ties in with number 1, and if I don’t achieve number 1 then number 2 isn’t likely to happen either, or at least not in the near future and I’ll have to work a lot harder for it. What sort of job would I like? That’s a tough one... I’ve changed my mind so many times over the past 5 years, I’ve gone from the “when I grow up I want to be a vet” phase which lasted for pretty much all of my childhood, to “I’ll never manage 5+ years of uni so being a vet isn’t an option, I’ll just be a zookeeper or something instead”, to where I am now, which is “maybe I should go back to uni and train to be a paramedic...”. I’m not going to even really start seriously looking for a job until September though, so it’ll be a while before we see if this one happens!

3. I hope to  Travel more.
I’ve always wanted to travel but have never been able to, so now that I’m an “adult” I’m going to make sure I change this! I’m starting off the new year by going to South Africa (excitedddddd!), but I don’t want that to be the only place I go all year. I’m still hoping to be able to go on my trip round Europe this summer, but at the moment it’s not looking terribly likely as if I want to go I’ll have to go by myself, and I’d be terrified of doing so as I’ve only left the country on school/uni trips before where everything has been organised for me and I’ve been with a big group of people. I might break myself in to the whole lone traveller thing by taking a trip up to Scotland when exams are over – I can visit family and see the pandas at Edinburgh Zoo :)

4. I hope to keep my relationship going. I keep thinking about what's going to happen to my relationship with Steve after we graduate... do we move in together? If so, where - his home area or mine? Or somewhere completely different? What about if he goes abroad - do I go with him? What about me getting a job? When do I have to decide all this stuff? Arghhhh! I'm keeping everything crossed that we work something out, I'd quite like to keep this one :)

5. I hope to make some new friends.

Seems like a fairly simple one, but for some reason I've really struggled to make friends at uni (and probably at college too, seeing as I don't really have any friends from college that I still keep in touch with other than the occasional bit of small talk). I don't know why I've had such trouble, I've tried being polite and friendly and all that kind of stuff, but I don't want to be too friendly and come across as a complete weirdo haha, but now I don't know if it's because I haven't been friendly enough. But I haven't been horrible or anything, so how come everyone else has managed to form solid friendships and I haven't? Even people who joined the course last year when I thought all the friendship groups had been made have made more friends and become more integrated than I have. What am I doing wrong?! I feel like I'm about 4 years old again and my only worry in the world is not making any friends on my first day of school haha. Here's hoping that this will all change in 2012 and I'll make some lifelong friends :)

The strange week between Christmas and New Year, plus a ramble about whatever takes my fancy tonight

I've always found the week between Christmas and New Year to be a pretty strange and awkward one - either nothing at all to do or, as is the case this week, far too much to do. Most years I've found myself with not a lot to do (other than revision for January exams every Christmas since year 10), because I dread going to the shops because they're always crammed with people and rude, pushy-shovey sales shoppers drive me mental, and there seems no point doing much else when I could just laze around in front of the TV (actually that sounds like the story of my entire life, hah). I also feel like I'm just waiting for New Year to be over and done with so I can get back into the swing of normal life. I don't even make a big deal out of New Year so I don't really know why I feel like that haha. But it feels like once the clock strikes midnight the craziness of the Christmas season dies down and I can get out of the not-quite-normal and slightly stressful feeling that is Christmas in my house back into my normal life comfort zone.

This year is slightly different, because (as I might have mentioned before but I can't remember for certain) a couple of days after New Year I'm off to South Africa for 2 weeks with uni. It's made this week between Christmas and New Year even stranger than usual, because I'm filling time before I go because I don't want to plan to do anything big, and I'm trying to make sure I've got everything and that I'm organised, but because it's the strange week between Christmas and New Year I feel like my head's all muddled and organisation is an impossible task at the moment. Hopefully I'm speaking some sort of sense and someone else can understand what I'm talking about!

I think I'm mostly sorted for South Africa - I've got my camera and loads of memory cards because I'm hoping to take loads of pictures and videos, I've got my mammal and bird field guides to identify some of the animals we see, I've got my binoculars to spot the animals, and I've got my walking medicine cabinet. I've got more than is on the kit list but no doubt I'll still forget something and have to buy it in the airport for about 4 times the price it should be!

I'm really quite nervous about going... we're there for 2 whole weeks, and even though I've "known" the people on my course for 2 and a half years now I still don't really know anyone very well as I don't have any good friends on my course, so I'll be spending all that time with relative strangers :\. I'm hoping I like the food, as 2 weeks with dodgy food will be awful (in Cyprus we ate the same food - some kind of meat (probably pork or beef), chips and salad - every day, and we were only there for a week but by the last couple of days we were crying out for some variation in our diet so much that the person who owned the site where we were staying had to go out and get us some rice before we all started feeling really ill). And I'm hoping that "cabin fever" doesn't set in and everyone starts arguing - it happened in Honduras which was the same length of time, and it happened in Cyprus slightly too (but that I think was due to one person who likes to cause an argument because she's a nasty little piece of work. So glad I'm not sharing a tent with her, I would genuinely want to kill myself if I was, that's how angry she makes me). I've gone off on a tangent now haha. I'm really hoping the trip is better than I'm expecting it to be - I'm sure the trip and what we're doing will be really cool, it's just the people I'm worried about I think. Only 4 days to go...

To get myself out of the downer mood I've been in this evening I decided to watch some videos on youtube. Steve and I were talking about pyjamas and it reminded me of a song from Singing Kettle (if you've never seen it, it's an awesome Scottish kids TV show where they sing songs and do crazy actions) called something like No Pyjamas On - the one bit of the chorus I remember goes something like "No pyjamas on, no pyajamas on. How can he sleep at night with no pyjamas on?". So I wanted to watch this, but youtube has failed me and it's not on there :(. So instead I watched a couple of episodes from the Singing Kettle videos I used to have and watched to death as a child.
I had these 2 episodes on my videos, so watching them has taken me right back to the beginning of the 90's when I was a wee lass :P. And I'm surprised that I can still remember a lot of the words!

As a little end note, I've been looking for some new blogs to read and all I seem to be able to come across is "mommy blogs" or fashion and make up blogs, none of which are the kind of thing I want to read - I've got a few of each that I already read, but the content is pretty much the same on most of them so I don't want to be following loads of them, plus they're not exactly geared to my interests as I'm not a mum, I'm not into fashion as such and the only makeup I really ever wear is mascara. Sooooo I'm looking for recommendations of blogs - general life blogs, possibly ones with a slight craft orientation, but I'm not looking for blogs entirely made up of craft tutorials either... If anyone actually reads this and has any suggestions, whether it be your own blog or someone elses, then please leave a comment, I don't bite and would love to have some new blogs to read :)

Friday, 23 December 2011

Obligatory Christmas post

Our Christmas tree at home

I really haven't got into the Christmas spirit this year, and I don't know why. 
When I went to see the Christmas lights being switched on in Falmouth at the beginning of December I felt really Christmassy and I couldn't wait for the big day, but as the month has gone on my Christmas spirit has all but died and I don't know if I'm looking forward to the day at all any more. Bah humbug.
Christmas lights in Falmouth

It's Christmas Eve Eve today, 2 days until the big C, so here's hoping the next 2 days will be enough to rustle up some Christmassy feelings in me so I'm actually looking forward to the day.

My brother's coming home today, so I'll be internetless until after Christmas has been and gone. So, to anyone reading this, merry Christmas :)

Monday, 19 December 2011

Christmas baking

I spent this afternoon baking with my mum. She gave me instructions while I did all the hard work! We made mince pies and shortbread - I've never made mince pies before and I've made shortbread loads of times.

The mince pies turned out really really well - for a first go they look pretty neat and they almost look like they were bought in a shop, but they taste much better :P

I've got to include a photo of the shortbread as it's soooo tasty too...
Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to go and have some mince pies and get in the Christmas mood :)

(on an entirely different note, this is my 50th post! Woohoo!)

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Home for Christmas

I've left Cornwall and I'm back in the homeland for the next few weeks before heading off to South Africa in January!

Christmas and New Year this year are going to be really strange as it'll be the first time in probably 6 years that I haven't had to revise for January exams over the Christmas break. I went shopping today and was standing waiting for a bus just before 4pm wishing the bus would hurry up because I'd been out far too long and needed to get home and do some work... then I realised I actually didn't need to rush home and felt like a bit of a fool. The last term's been so busy that my brain is stuck in "must do work" mode!

My first full day at home was spent moseying round the shops and eyeing up the new Hobbycraft that's just opened in town. Sooooo much stuff I wanted to buy, shame I don't have limitless money (and shame it's fairly expensive...). I did get some cute little cross stitch kits though that I'll be making up when I've got some free time over the holidays. Guilt free crafting FTW!

So what have I got planned for the holidays?

- My brother's coming home on Friday (Christmas Eve Eve!), and he'll be staying until the day after Boxing Day
- Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day which will probably involve way too much eating and being incredibly lazy, but hey, it's Christmas, I'm allowed.
-  Packing for South Africa and trying to make sure all of my stuff fits in my bag - probably going to be a major challenge...
- Flying out to South Africa on the 3rd of January for 2 weeks in the sun... I can't wait!
- Back to reality and starting my last ever term of education!! Not going to lie, I'm more than a little bit excited that I've only got about 4 months until I'm finished.

I'm off to spend my evening curled up in bed watching TV and reading a book now that I can do so without worrying that I should be doing something else!

Oh, and I've updated my list of 101 things in 1001 days. 15 down, 86 to go!

Thursday, 15 December 2011

My 21st birthday

A couple of months ago (yeah, that's how far behind I am with blogging!) I turned 21.
I didn't go all out like a lot of people do for their 21sts,  I decided to just have a quiet day then og out for a meal with some friends in the evening.

A few photos from the day...

A really sweet hamper that arrived in the post from my mum, containing a bottle of rosé, some chocolates and a delicious chocolate cake.
The cake from my hamper which I may or may not have eaten all by myself...
Balloooooons in the restaurant.

Tasty food. I took this with the 'food' setting on my new camera that I got for my birthday. I didn't even know cameras had food settings, you can even change the colour tone of the picture depending on the tone of your food haha.

More cake.

Even more cake. Om nom nom.

I had a really good day, and it was nice to be able to relax and not worry about having to do all the million and one other things I've had to do since I got back to uni in mid-August.
My main present was a nice fancy camera with a good zoom - when I went to Cyprus I was disappointed that the camera I had at the time didn't have a big enough zoom to take pictures of the animals that were further away, so a camera got added to the top of my wish list so I can get some amazing pictures on my upcoming trip to South Africa!

It's strange thinking I'm 21 now and "in my twenties", and there's officially no way I can get away with being classed as a child for anything any more :(. I definitely don't feel like a proper "grown up" yet though!

Sunday, 4 December 2011

My first craft fair!

Last weekend I did my very first craft fair!

The Market House in St Austell was hosting the MAKE Christmas Fair, and I had a table which I shared with my friend Lizzy. Even though we shared it was pretty expensive (£15 for each of us) so I was really worried that I wouldn’t sell anything and I would’ve just wasted a load of money.

Before the fair I got busy making lots of bits and pieces to sell – I ended up taking necklaces, earrings, coasters and bowls made from recycled magazines, rings, covered notebooks, a reversible tote bag and lavender bag.

Steve came up with me and helped me set up. I was really glad I had an extra pair of strong hands to help me carry my stuff! :P. He stayed for the first hour or so but then I think he got a bit bored and felt out of place being the only young guy in amongst a bunch of women haha.

The day started off pretty slowly – a steady stream of people were coming in and most of them looked at my stuff, but most of them just carried on walking past, not really looking interested at all. A few people stopped at my stall long enough to have a closer look, and I got quite a few compliments on my necklaces, but no one looked like they were going to buy anything. Lizzy made the first 2 sales, both before 1pm (the halfway point of the fair), and I was feeling slightly disheartened at this point as obviously no one thought my stuff was good enough to buy.

A couple of young girls came over and looked at my stuff for quite a while, then disappeared, then came back and asked how much a necklace was before disappearing again. As the hall was freezing I decided to nip out and grab a hot chocolate, and by the time I came back I had made a sale! Trust me to miss my first ever sale haha. But I was really pleased, and felt that the day’s target had been met.

The next target became selling 2 items, which I did just half an hour later when someone came and bought a set of 4 of my coasters, bringing the day’s total to £12.50. So the next target became covering the cost of the table...

Later on that afternoon I sold an individual coaster, bringing me to £14.50, just 50p short of my target! Luckily I managed to sell a bowl and a ring before the end of the fair, bringing my grand total to £21. So not only did I sell something and cover the cost of my table, I even managed to make a profit. Mega chuffed right there.

Some photos from the day:

I had a really good day (obviously made a lot better by the fact I made a profit haha) and definitely want to do another fair. Maybe not the same one if the price stayed the same, but I’d definitely do another cheaper one. It’s also spurred me on to take the plunge and become self employed so I can open an Etsy shop and start selling properly, which is something I’ve been wanting to do for quite a long time but have felt completely daunted by. If anyone reads this... do you think I should go for it? And the question I’ve been stuck on for a long time... what should I call my shop?

(Also as I didn't sell loads I have a lot of this stuff left over, so if you see anything you'd like to buy then let me know :P)

Friday, 2 December 2011

The end of the saga of getting internet

So, what’s happened in the saga of the internet at Bodmon Cottage (as named by my housemates, I don’t quite understand...) since my last post?

TalkTalk sent another engineer round who turned up and said that he couldn’t put the phone line in as the scaffolding wasn’t down yet. This was the problem 5 weeks beforehand, and it was sorted when the landlord said we could just put the phoneline on the corner of the house next door and run it across to our, which happened 2 weeks before. The phone line was in, we had the modem, we just needed them to make the phone line work... except they couldn’t because there was no dial tone and apparently there was a fault underneath the telegraph pole that they needed to send someone else out to fix. They said someone would be round on Saturday, but they didn’t know if it would be the next Saturday coming or the Saturday that had just been. Nightmare.

I went to Devon the weekend after this happened, and decided I’d had enough so gave in and bought a wireless internet dongle to use while I was there and when I got home. Except the absolutely typical thing happened, and I got home on Sunday afternoon only for someone to come round on Monday evening and make the internet work. Slightly annoying after I’d just paid £30 for the dongle, but hey ho.

So, exactly 11 weeks after we lost internet, we got it again. I never would have imagined how much it would impact my life, through little things having to plan my life around when I could get internet so I could send emails or make sure I’d downloaded all the papers I needed for lectures. And as sad as it sounds, after I’d watched through all my DVDs and endless episodes of Monty Python and read a couple of books I started getting slightly bored of not being able to relax and browse the internet in the evenings.

But now everything’s back to normal, and I’m so glad because it makes everything so much easier, and if I’d been stuck with no internet next term would have been a nightmare!

I've got a lot more posts planned soon - I miss having the freedom of being able to post when I want so I'm going to try and make up for that!