Friday, 20 December 2013

Meet My Dogs!


Today I thought I would introduce two boys that are very important to me, they offer me comfort when my day isn't exactly going great, we go for long walks in the countryside and, most importantly, they give the best cuddles.

Meet my gorgeous doggys!

First we have Ben an English Springer Spaniel. His birthday is actually on New Years day (makes it easy to remember!) and in 2014 he is going to be 7. We actually got him from a rescue center when he was 10 months old as a companion for Harry.

We got Harry a few years earlier from the same center. He is a Black Labrador and he is 10, although when we got him he was only 2, it is hard to believe we have had him 8 years!

Being at University I relish my time with them when I get home by going for walks with them whenever I can (Although I write that from the comfort of the sofa with the rain pouring down outside!).

I am not sure Harry really understands how a camera works,
he was determined to sniff it all the time.

Recently they have both had to visit the vet A LOT! It started with Harry who had to have all of his teeth, bar 2, removed. As a puppy we are told he was sick a lot and the vet says that is what has caused his teeth to rot (delightful!)! Just as Harry was recovering from his operation Ben started to deteriorate. In March, when we had all that snow, he managed to fall of a snow drift and, although the vet couldn't work out what was wrong with him, he was not his normal run-about-y self but with the help of some anti-inflationary he got a bit better but has never been completely back to normal. In November however he started showing signs of a lot of pain :(. After many trips to the vet, in which he refused to tell the vet what was wrong, we still don't know what is wrong but with a medicine cabinet bigger than ours he is a lot happier now :).

As you can see he is now back to pulling silly faces again!

I am so glad they are both much happier now, they provide me so much joy I would hate to be without them!

P.s. I would like to say that I did clean the floor (Yes, a young person doing housework because I am weird like that!) 10 minutes before I took these photo's but, after being outside, they managed to make it dirty again within minutes!

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

My Christmas Decorations From the Past!


Since my last post I have returned home for Christmas, which means I got to put up another Christmas tree! That makes me very very happy :D

Each year when we get the box of decorations out, years of memories tumble out along with it. It is full of so many decorations, some that me or my brother made at school and some which are even older than me. 

As you can see little Izzy was quite the artist! It has glitter and sequins so in my opinion it is a master piece. I recon I probably made this when I was about 5 so I am actually quite proud of it!

This card might not seem very special but this is a card from my Grandparents who have now both passed away, so it is quite special to me.

Everyone has those items that are incredibly important to them but are just a piece of rubbish to everyone else, and this is one of those.

This decoration has been on our tree every year since I was born, it is actually older than me!

On the other hand this is the first decoration I remember buying and I always made a point of putting it on top of the TV. Sadly these days with the invention of flat screen TV's it now has to reside on the table it sits on.

Finally we have this expertly created angel for the top of the tree. During our primary school years my Brother and I made many of these tree toppers but sadly this is the only one that is still in one peice. This year when I opened the box I found many angel faces and doily dresses, it was like an angel grave yard.

Well, that is two Christmas posts in a row, can you tell I like it? To add to the Christmas spirit I also made two Christmasy videos on my YouTube Channel:

My 10 Favourite Things About Christmas

The Christmas Tag

Hope you are enjoying the build up to Christmas as much as I am.

Merry Christmas!!

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

STUDENT LIFE: It's Christmas!


Now that it’s December it is officially acceptable to be excited about Christmas. I admit, I have been excited about it since the start of November but it is now acceptable to do so in PUBLIC! :P

So on the 1st December I decided to get into the Christmas spirit and put up the decorations and make some mince pies, two things that as essential at this time of year. As I am a student and therefore don’t have a big budget and wont be here to enjoy it for very long, I kept it very simple but I am very happy with the results.

Before I go on I must inform you that Christmas music is compulsory for these activities!

We had a Christmas tree from last year so that saved me a lot of money, last year I had housemates that were keen to join in, but this year only one wanted to be involved L. We also had lights from last year so I simply bought some tinsel and some baubles.

I got the tinsel from Tesco for 55p for FOUR METRES
which I thought was a bargain!
And the baubles were from the same place for £1.50. You have to be careful because a lot of packs of baubles don’t come with the string to hang them from so you have to buy it separately but these one came with them attached with saved time and money.

To decorate the rest of the room I reverted back to my childhood with snowflakes and paper chains. My housemate who was helping me had never made either of them before so it was nice to show her things that I had done so much as a child.

For the snowflakes I bought a pad of plan paper for 80p from Wilkinson’s and there is still most of the pad left. To make them you simply cut the paper into a square and fold it along the diagonals 3 times. Then you can cut any shapes you want into the paper as long as you don’t cut all the way down the folded edges. Then when you unfold the paper you get a beautiful snow flake! 

For the paper chain I got a pad of coloured paper from the same place for 80p and again there is still a lot left. To make a paper chain just cut the paper into strips and glue the ends to make a loop intertwining the next loop with the previous one. Then hang it on the wall, simple.

I finished of the festivities by making some mince pies. The fact my housemates managed to eat all twelve in less that 24 hours tells me they must have tasted ok!

Hope you are getting into the Christmas spirit too. I would love to hear about your Christmas traditions!


Saturday, 9 November 2013

My love of the Countryside

Until I was 18 I had always lived in a rural area, always near fields and forests. It is somewhere I always feel at home and somewhere I can happily sit for hours.

When I was 18 I moved away for University into a city and although having everything on my door step is fantastic I always look forward to go home during the holidays and enjoying the green open spaces. It is easy to take the countryside for granted so spending half the year in a city make every trip home feel really special.

I know some people who are intimidated by the open space and lack of people in the countryside but that is the part I love the most. I spent a lot of my teenage years in the outdoors with the Scouts, whether it be camping, hiking  or one of the many other activities we did, that was where I was most happy.

That is why today I thought I would share some picture I took of the Isle of Man, my home and very favourite place.


Thursday, 7 November 2013

NaNoWriMo 2013 | Helpful Websites | Day 7

It’s hard to believe that we are already 7 days into November and after that dodgy start to NaNoWriMo I managed to get back on track for a few days at least.

After getting absolutely soaking wet walking home from my lectures all I really wanted to do was huddle inside all evening so I thought I would be the perfect time so sit down and get lots written. Sadly though I only managed just over 500 words yesterday. I just couldn’t focus, for the past few weeks I have been working flat out trying to get assignments, writing blogs and planning and filming videos. Sometimes I wish I was one of those people who could work flat out for months on end sadly I am not.

I now have three days to get back on track before I am back to lectures on Monday morning so I am hoping to pull it off along with the 2 assignments I have due in next week!

Today I thought I would share with you some websites that have really helped me out so far:
  1.          Write or Die – This is a website which allows you to set a word count aim and a time to write for and then every time you stop writing it plays a really irritating/loud sound until you start writing again. It helps you focus on the task in hand and allows writing to flow without the stop and start of distractions. With this tool I am able to write 2000 in about an hour and a half so I definitely find it useful!

  1.  2.    Coffitivity – This website is amazing. It plays the background noise of a coffee shop, which may sound basic to you but I find that silence can be difficult to work in as I get distracted by objects in my room because my brain gets bored! I have tried working with music on in the background but then I just start singing along and it distracts me. So this is the perfect medium, it drowns out silence, and also the noise of my housemate, but it’s distracting because it is just back ground noise.

Ok so now I have written about those tools it is probably best to go and use them, I am going to go and write now, With my slackness yesterday today is the day I will pass 10 000 words and I am also planning on catching up again over the weekend so wish me luck!

Hope your novel is going well! Good Luck!


Monday, 4 November 2013

STUDENT ADVICE: Graduate Schemes

As someone who is graduating in June, I will soon need to find myself a proper full time job but, as it is still months away, I thought I would be fine for a while yet. Turns out I was very wrong. One of the best way to enter the world of work is via a graduate scheme especially for a course like mine but I recently found out that you have to apply for most of them before Christmas!

I was very lucky that one of my lecturers made us all aware of that otherwise I would of found myself in April surprised that all of them had closed long ago. This is why I decided to write this post, so that I could make people aware of this!

You can do graduate schemes in all sorts of things like management, marketing, accounting and engineering. They provide you will a great way of entering a new profession straight from university as they give you training you while you work, they understand that you won’t be perfect when you arrive because they work with graduates every year.

Also if you are in you 2nd year at university I have noticed that a lot of the internships are open as well so if you are thinking of taking a placement year you might want to get on it quickly too.

I am speaking form the point of you of an engineering student looking for a job, this may relate to you, it might not but it is worth checking it out so that you don’t miss the boat.

Good Luck!


Saturday, 2 November 2013

NaNoWriMo 2013 | From bad to much much better | Day 2

So it is currently day 2 of NaNoWriMo and today is going well but sadly the same can't be said for yesterday...

So I started the day after 4 and a half hours sleep with friends asleep on my floor. Three of my friends who graduated last year came back to stay for Halloween and as I hadn't seen them for 5 months there was no way I was going to say no! Safe to say by the time they had all left at 4pm I was not in a fit stat to write.  I cobbled together 500 words but it was soon evident that I was not going to write anything worth keep so I gave in and went to bed.

Today, however, has been really rather productive. I got up with much more energy and sat down and wrote 1000 words in 40 minutes, the words came on the most case easily and so after a small break to re-hydrate and give my writing brain a quick rest I was back to it and wrote did the same again!

So now I have 2000 words and am feel much better about the whole thing. Just another 48,000 word to go!

I am of to write some more now so I can get back on schedule and make the 3334 word count but before I do that I thought I would share with you a really night reciepe for those cold writing evenings. It's the perfect leave in the oven dish, it only takes a few ingredients and doesn't take long to prepare, then you can get on with writing while it bakes in the oven.

Potato and Onion Bake topped with Crispy Bacon

  1. Arrange sliced Potatoes and onions in a oven dish in alternate layers seasoning each layer with black pepper.
  2. Add chicken stock up to about half way through the potato/onion layers then back in the oven on a medium heat for about 45 minutes.
  3. Finally add slice of bacon to the top and bake for a further 15 minutes to allow them to go crispy.
I do this dish all the time, no need to weigh out ingredient just choose a dish that suits the number you are feeding (and there appetites) and fill it up.

Hope your writing is going well!


Thursday, 31 October 2013

NaNoWriMo 2013

Tomorrow is the big day, the day that will start one of the busiest months I have ever had, NaNoWriMo begins! If you have stumbled upon this blog and have no idea what I am going on about NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month. Every November people of the Internet are challenged to write a 50,000 word novel in a single month (and not even one with 31 days in it either!).

 As I am currently in my final year at University and have a dissertation to write this is probably a stupid thing to do but on the other hand next year I have to get a proper job so that won’t be a good time to do it either! This may be my first attempt at it but there is no way I will be using that as an excuse to fail.

To add to my already busy month I thought I would add more pressure on myself and also write blogs and make video blogs to chart my progress so here is my November Schedule:

Monday: NaNo Blog
Tuesday: NaNo Vlog - YouTube
Wednesday: No content but super long writing day!
Thursday: NaNo Blog
Friday: NaNo Vlog - YouTube
Saturday: Lifestyle/ Student advice Blog Post
Sunday: Weekly Video (Non-NaNo) – Youtube

So that means there will be plenty on stuff for you to read and watch if you so wish. To keep track of when I upload content you can:

Follow me on Twitter:
Subscribe to my YouTube channel:
Follow this blog on BlogLovin:

If you are taking part I wish you the best of luck!


Monday, 28 October 2013

A Windy Sunday!

So it’s Sunday and at 9am there was beautiful blue skies, so I thought I would go for a lovely little walk. At 9:05am it felt more like I was in the northern most part of Scotland than south Wales. I was having a lovely walk along the prom when suddenly the wind was blowing my hair into my face and the rain was stinging my skin. Safe to say I got VERY wet. I just had to share some of the best pictures, even though they are not exactly flattering!

When I came to Wales for University I was promised dreadful weather, yet since arriving here over two years ago the weather has been nothing but tropical compared to home on the Isle of Man. It’s a small Island in the Irish Sea, and that being so it can get very windy and wet so nothing south Wales can throw at me can shock me at all. Saying that the weather I experienced this morning actually came close to what you might expect in the Isle of Man on one of our calmer days.

On this nice morning walk I found myself drenched with an umbrella with closer resemblance to a bunch of flimsy metal rods than something that would keep me dry. I also found myself being blown all over the place, although I was only actually blown over twice which isn’t even trying compared to home.


So this leads me to now, sitting at my laptop writing this blog in PJ bottoms. My trousers got so wet and all my clothes are in the wash so it was my only option. Normally I hate wearing PJ’s in the day time so I have to admit I have put fresh ones on because then they almost feel like clothes! I have to say though, they are more comfy for a day at home than jeans, so I can see why people do it.

Good luck in the storm!

Monday, 14 October 2013

Animal Socks!

There is something about have pictures of animals on my feet that makes me a little bit over excited! Whenever I look at my feet it makes me smile, they are just so cute.

Up until about a month ago I only wore black socks, they are cheap and easy to pair, but during my trip to London (hyperlink it) all my socks got so wet that I had to buy more or I would have had to endure soaking wet feet all weekend (one of the worst things ever!). I couldn’t find any of my normal black socks and, as I was in a rush, I picked up a pair with owls on, a pair with dogs on and a pair with koalas on purely because they were on offer, well that and because they were very cute of course!

These socks were three pairs for £4 which I think is quite a good deal. Since then I have also bought some from Tesco which are even cheaper at two pairs for £2.

So over all a low price for a product that brings me so much joy.

Buying those socks was a brilliant decision, they made a wet weekend much happier because not only did I now have dry feet but I also had animals on them. A cute picture never fails to put a smile on my face.

 As you are reading this just imagine me writing this whilst taking regular breaks to just stare at my own feet because that is exactly what I have been doing!


Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Lists, Lists and More Lists!

Hello, my name’s Izzy and I am a listaholic! I have never had a productive day that hasn’t involved one. There is something about a series of words stacked on top of each other that helps me actually achieve stuff in my day. My brain is such a jumble of different thoughts and ideas that in order to remember what I need to do a list is accentual. My days without such a tool normally involve me randomly bumbling between different things that I never actually finish. The number of times I have found myself lying on the ground trying to work out what I should be doing with my life is ridiculous.

I make lists for everything, obviously the normal ones like shopping lists, to do lists and lists of chocolate bars I need to try but I also find myself making lists of strange pets I want to own or types of notepads that I enjoy. The most worrying thing I have found myself doing is writing a list of lists. For one day I might have several lists of things to do from my cleaning list to my Uni work list. All of these lists go onto the day’s main list so that I know what lists I need to complete that day. Ok now I sound mental! I would like to back that up by saying that I don’t do it all the time, just on the days I need to be really productive.

I may have made this sound like a strange hobby for sad people but list making is an amazingly useful tool. It allows you to have a clear plan of what you need to achieve. The satisfaction I feel when I can tick off an item on a list is massive motivation for me to get that thing done. Even writing this blog is contained within a list and so I am currently typing away so I can get that magical tick (as well as for the enjoyment of it too of course)!

I would love to know that I am not the only one in the world with this obsession so if you share my love of lists please comment below so I don’t feel quite as silly!

Happy list making


Saturday, 5 October 2013

Books for Free!

Imagine walking into a shop full of books and them all being completely free. How would you feel if this actually existed? IT ACTUALLY EXISTS! Honestly there is a shop on the high-street which gives books away for free. To be honest I think it is actually my idea of heaven, I was so excited when I found it!

Healthy Planet have a shop in the city I live in and their sole purpose on the high-street is to give books away for free. Although I have been in there once before it had only just opened so it only had a few books. Today when I went in though, I was full of books, bookshelves and boxes groaning with them. I spent half an hour just browsing all the shelves and I will tell you about the books I chose in a minute but first how on earth can they give books away for free?

The aim of this shop is to reduce the amount of books going to landfill by encouraging people to donate them. This allows other people to enjoy the books as well and also benefits the environment by reducing landfill. So it’s a win win situation really! Each person is allowed to take three books for free, the limit is put on to ensure it is fair for everyone. They do not ask for any money for the books but there is a collection tin on the counter to raise money for the upkeep I imagine. You are also encouraged to bring your old books in, in order to keep the system going.

As I said I ended up spending quite a while in there browsing but in the end I chose two books, both of which I am very excited to read.

First of all I picked up Call the Midwife by Jennifer Worth. I adore the TV series, it is just fantastic! It is about a group of midwifes based in a nunnery in 1950’s London and it tells the story of Jenny the author of the book. The first series was based on this book, her autobiography, and so after enjoying the programme so much I knew I had to read it!

The second book I picked up is The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck. Now I have to admit I have no idea what it is about but after reading Of Mice and Men at school and falling in love with it I am really looking forward to reading another novel by Steinbeck.

After spending so long in that shop and getting two books I am so excited about reading I couldn’t leave without giving a donation (it was my own choice I might add, I wasn’t even asked for one!). I am such a big fan of Healthy Planet and I urge you all to give it a go. They have 36 shops throughout the UK so if you live in the UK there is a good chance there is one near you so keep an eye out!

Here is there website if you want to check them out:


Thursday, 3 October 2013

STUDENT ADVICE: Dealing with Homesickenss


During my time at university I have struggled with homesickness A LOT! This is not really the side of being a student you hear about much so most people end up going to university with the idea that is it all happy times. I made a YouTube video the other day about it and how it is totally normal, which you can watch here:

In this post I want to tell you about some of the methods I have used to combat home sickness myself in the hope that you will also find them useful:

  1. DO THINGS - When you are feeling down it is very easy to just sit in your room and feel sorry for you self but that is not going to make you feel any better. By going into the outside world, perhaps meeting up with some friends, it will help you forget about missing home and perhaps make you enjoy your time at University a bit more. Strangely, I always find food shopping good because it calms me down and gets me out into the world.                                                                                                                                                                   
  2. PHONE HOME - When I say phone home I don't mean spend all day on the phone to your mum or your friend. What I mean is perhaps phone them once a day (or twice if it is really bad) and they can encourage you and make you feel better.Talking to someone familiar whilst being at University will make you realise you are not completely alone in this place, there is always someone at the end of a phone.                                                                                                                                                                          
  3. VISIT HOME - Again this is something to do in moderation but if you are feeling really down, go home for a weekend, not long enough to get settled there again but long enough to spend time with family/friends. In my first term I visited relatives every other week so that I would also have time to get used to being at university and now I only visit them a couple of times a term. It calms you down enough to be ready for a new start the next week but make sure you don't go home too often or you will never get comfortable in your new place. Also if you are really struggling, schedule it so you can look at the calender and see that in say 8 days time you are going home again.                                                                                                                                                                  
  4. JOIN CLUBS - All universities have clubs and the bigger the university the more they have, so find a club that interests you and join it. You will find like minded people and get to do something you enjoy which will distract you from missing home and make university more enjoyable.                                                                                                                  
  5. TALK TO PEOPLE - You will be surprised how many people feel exactly the same as you. So many of my friends felt exactly the same as I did and I found by talking to them I didn't feel as odd because I realised it was normal. I also spoke to my cousin who felt the same way as me about university while she was there and she helped me get through my first year. She made me realise that if see could finish her degree feeling like this so could I!
I hope these tips help if you ever feel homesick at all and even if you don't get homesick it they are still good things to do to make university an enjoyable experience. 

Enjoy you time away from home because over the summer you will be back to getting annoyed with your parents nagging again :P


Monday, 30 September 2013

The Final First Day

Today I started a new year of University for the final time. The likelihood is that I will never have the first day of a year of education ever again. It’s a weird and terrifying situation to be in.

Every time I am in the final year of a stage in my education I seem to be told the same thing “this year is the most important year of your academic life” and I suppose this one is. How I do this year will affect whether or not I pass my degree and therefore what job I get in the future. It affects how much money I will earn and therefore what house I live in and also my future family’s lives. Ok I am just scaring myself now…

It’s weird to think that this time next year I will (hopefully) have a full time job and be earning money! I am not really looking forward to the working part but I am looking forward to the money and also not having assignments and exams. The structure my life has taken for the last 16 years will be gone. No longer will September mean a new academic year and I will have said goodbye to lessons Monday to Friday. I am going to have to be one of those proper adults!

Next year will see me experience a completely new start and, although I am looking forward to it a lot, I am also terrified! The money will be a welcome addition to my empty student bank account but were that money will come from I currently have no idea!

Wish me luck!



Sunday, 29 September 2013

Settling In


I have been back at university now for 4 days and during that time I have been really busy making my new room my own. I mentioned in my last post that I was going back to the same house as last year and I have but this year I have had a room upgrade. Three of my housemates have moved out so before the new residents got a chance, I claimed the biggest available room! This year I am going to get three times as much exercise as last year, instead of it only being one step from my bed to my laptop it is now three!!

The first thing I had to do when I got to my new room was to rearrange the room completely. I spent a lot of time in this room last year because we would all watch TV in here with its previous resident so it was important to me that it was my own room and I wasn’t just sleeping in hers. Another reason for the change is that everyone has different requirements for the room, while she had a big desk for all her design work for university I am more focused on the fact I can now have a good view of the TV from my chair…

I am really happy with the way it looks now and with some posters and pictures of friends and family the room was completely transformed into my own. 

Posters and pictures really make your room feel homely because they display parts of you. From your favourite TV programme to you little brother, all of it means the room is full of your personality so I think it is a must for all students and to be honest everyone else too. Although when you have your own house you can make holes in the walls so you can use fancy things like photo frames!

I would love to hear about ways you make your room/house homely so please let me know so we can all share your tips.



Wednesday, 25 September 2013

STUDENT ADVICE: Packing for University

So the time has come again to pack up my life into suitcases yet again and move back to university for the third and final time. Where did the time go, two years ago I was on the same boat I am currently writing this post on about to embark on living alone for the first time. I know everyone says it, but looking back now I can’t believe that first day was two years ago, even writing that now makes me feel weird. Since that first time I have packed my life up and moved on 5 occasions and yet I still forget stuff. I am sure this occasion isn’t going to be any different (update: I am now on the train and have just realised I have forgotten my sleeping bag grrrr!). 

Yesterday morning I laid two suitcases out on my bed and began packing all my clothes into them, well I say clothes, I only have enough clothes, shoes and bags to fill one suitcase, the other is filled with books and a my wash bag, hairdryer extra, but mostly books. I love my books and they always cause trouble when I am trying to pack, look at my giving book human traits. With all this moving round I do I should probably get them all on my Kindle app but I just love the physical books too much. Anyway that is another blog post.

I make it sound like I did it all in one go when in fact I didn’t finish packing until 9pm last night, I get very easily distracted you see. I can’t stay doing the same thing very long before I get bored and do something else for a bit. Like with this blog post, I am currently sat on the boat on my way to Heysham but I probably won’t finish it until I get to my house in Swansea a good 11 hours from now. Although my clothes were packed very quickly, as I said I have very few, I soon got distracted by the many other jobs I had to complete; editing a video, ironing, washing up and of course the things I didn’t have to do like browsing YouTube, Twitter and Facebook (or what I like to call research). I can’t help but think I would have been a lot more productive before such things as YouTube but then I have to remind myself that I would have easily found something else to distract me, probably knitting or something. I mean look at me I started writing a post about packing for university and ended up writing a paragraph on procrastination, is that not the height of irony?

How did you fit all your things into two suitcases you may ask? Well the answer is I didn’t. Being in my third year and living in the same house as last year (different room but same house) means that a lot of my stuff is still there; my pots and pans, bedding and more of my books. I am also lucky in the fact I don’t have many clothes and shoes so that cuts down on space needed a lot. I know some of my friends take 3 suitcases purely of clothes and some of them even have two complete wardrobes.

If you are about to start university I have some packing tips for you:
1.       Don’t buy too much before you go – buy things when your there, especially if you have limited space.
2.       Use space bags! They are amazing, I have used them to protect my bedding over the summer. They suck all the air out to save space and they also stop everything getting damp.
3.       If you haven’t used it for a year you probably won’t use it so don’t take it with you. It will only take up valuable space in your room you could use for lying in when you really can’t face doing that assignment due in tomorrow.

If you are returning to university:
1.       If you have chance, leave your stuff in your next year’s accommodation before you leave for summer. Ok, it’s probably a bit late for that now but a tip to remember for next time.
2.       Remember what you actually used last year and only take that, it will only clog up your room!
3.       Share with housemates, there are some things, particularly kitchen equipment, that you can get away with sharing. As long as you are friends and won’t argue (too much) share stuff, saves space and money.

As I have to travel so far (and over water) I am probably more limited in how much stuff I can transport than you but these tips will still be beneficial to you so that you can fit everything in the car and also in your room when you get there. Remember you have to fit all this stuff in it when you get there!

Right I must go unpack all this stuff now (I told you I would get distracted I am now in my room in Swansea!)

Bye x

Friday, 20 September 2013

Monopoly Run | Day 4 - Radio 1 Stopped Me Puking!

For the third morning in a row I was awake before 7am and after a night around the campfire, this morning was particularly difficult. This time though it was for something much less exciting, it was time to go home. Normally going on the boat really doesn’t bother me but this time I was defiantly not looking forward to it. Over the weekend we had a number of phone call from the ferry company each time giving us a different sailing time, all with the aim of missing the force 8 gale due to set in on the Irish sea. The boat we were due to sail on is called the Manannan which is named after the celtic sea god which once ruled over the Isle of Man. The Manannan isn’t great in rough sea and hence it doesn’t run in the winter! It was built to sail in the tranquil waters of Tasmania and not a force 8 gale on the Irish Sea!

As the boat time was changing so much we decided to leave first thing so we could be in Liverpool for whenever the boat finally left. Thankfully the train journey was fantastic, probable one of the best I have had (and I’ve had LOADS). We had a table seat between the two of us (the others were flying again, cheats!) and for most of the journey the carriage was quite empty.

We arrived in Liverpool about midday and as the time of the boat currently stood at 6pm, I met up with my friend who it at uni there. We spent a lovely afternoon in a pub, it was so nice to have a hot meal inside after a weekend camping and luckily Tom and Laura got on well due to their shared love of coffee. Many cups of coffee later (for them, I stuck to the pepsi) it was time to head to the ferry terminal with the hope that we would get back to the island that night.
When we got to the docks the Mersey (the mouth of a river not even the proper sea) was so choppy it was actually rocking the massive pontoon which held the check-in desks and departure longue! It wasn’t looking good for a smooth crossing. It was time to say goodbye to Laura and go down to the departure longue and await our fate…

At 6pm we finally departed, sick bags already very thoroughly distributed around the boat. The captains announcement was straight to the point, told us the first 30 minutes while we were in the Mersey and the last 30 minutes in the shelter of the Isle of Man would be bearable but the 2 hours in the middle were not going to be pleasant. We were told not to get out of our seats if we could help it to prevent feeling ill yet people all around us we getting up to get huge plates of food from the café. Safe to say we all saw that food again later in the journey.

In general I don’t get sea sick but the sound of others being sick makes me feel awful and that is what I dreaded most. This is when I decided the only way to survive this was to curl up, close my eyes and listen to the radio with the hope that blocking my senses would help. The station I chose was radio 1 for the request show, I listen to this show quite a bit, I find the presenters funny and I was hoping it would distract me from the sound of vomit all around me.

I had been prepared for an unpleasant journey but I was not prepared for what we got. You know that feeling you get after going on a stomach-dropping rollercoaster, well know imagine that for 2 hours straight. It’s ok for a few minutes but when it happens constantly for 2 hours causing waves to go over the top of the ship we are sat, it really isn’t pleasant. Thank god for Dan and Phil and there music in my ears for those 2 hours or I am really not sure I would have made it across with the contents of my stomach still inside me and this is coming from someone who has not been sick since the age of 5 (no, not even from alcohol). Sadly the one thing the radio could not block out was the horrendous smell of sick. The BBC really need to sort out smell-radio!

When we FINALLY got to the Isle of Man and the passengers with cars went down to the vehicle decks there was a massive commotion when they discovered that two of the cars, one being a poshe, had crashed into each our the sea had been so coppy! As I walked through the ship to get off I counted FIVE passengers being comforted by staff I think they all had panic attacks because of the state of the sea. I know none of it was the ferry companies fault and they did a great job of making the crossing as comfortable as possible.

So I was home, feeling slightly ill and had a bag full of soaking wet clothes but I had an amazing weekend and I would do it all again, although next time if the weather could be slightly nicer that would be great thanks!

If you want to hear more about my trip to London and the monopoly run keep an eye on my YouTube channel, I will be uploading a video or two to that soon. You can subscribe through the link below and it will tell you when they are uploaded:


Thursday, 19 September 2013

Monopoly Run | Day 3 - The Run Itself!

The day had arrived, the day that Scout Network Ellan Vannin were going to take on the Monopoly run. When I woke up my alarm wasn’t going off so I assumed I still had some time before I had to get up but when I looked at my phone I was horrified to find it was in fact 45 minutes AFTER my alarm should have woken me up. I had been so paranoid about getting up on time that I slept with my phone right by my head but in doing that I had ended up sleeping on top of it suffocating the alarm. So then began 15 minutes of manically getting ready, luckily I am able to do it fast due to years of camping with the scouts.

Today was a special day for another reason, it was Tom’s 19th Birthday. I have known Tom for 9 years and although he is only 18 months younger than me, I have always thought of him as young. The thought of that little 10 year old I met all that time ago being old enough to leave school made me feel old. It shows how the significance of an age gap changes as you get older.

At 7:22am we were off. First stop was the train station and onto London Paddington and into the capital. We were the 2nd team to set off but luckily it was judged on the time we took rather than the first team back. In order to complete the challenge we needed to take a photograph with at least one team member at each point on the monopoly board and every photograph had to contain a laminated sign that we had been given by the organisers. This was to prevent us splitting up or using a photograph taken on a previous day.

As we saw it there seemed to be two tactics for the day; either find the nearest tube station to the road we wanted and simply hop on and off the tube all day, or group the roads together and do some walking. This is where our secret weapon came in. One member of our group, Andy, new London very well, with that and the fact scouts had defiantly prepared us all for walking we went for the not-as-many-tube-rides-more-walking method this would save us time going up and down stairs, waiting at platforms and navigating the tube network. I must admit though towards the end of the day as we got more and more tired the tube became our preferred method of transport.

As well as the points of the monopoly board we also had challenges to complete and a list of our things to find such as the counters used to play with; dog, hat, boat etc, and free parking, jail etc. For the challenges creativity was encouraged so our aim was to get pictures and videos which were as unusual as possible. To provide more incentive for this there was a prize for the best picture. The photograph we entered was one we took very early on in the day. Lissy had bought us all traffic cone hats (don’t ask me why but they were cool!) so when we found a row of traffic cones we knew what we had to do.

The day started quite slowly as we did all the outer points but this gave us the perfect chance to work on some of the challenges

Visiting Platform 9 ¾

Visiting Baden-Powell House

Free Parking

By the end of the day though we were getting photographs left right and centre. I have to say one of the highlights for me was visiting Buckingham palace, Horse Guard’s Parade and the Houses of Parliament because they are all incredibly beautiful.

Northumberland Avenue

Finding a Solider – House Guards Parade

After an incredibly tiring but enjoyable day we made it back to the campsite in 13 hours and 29 minutes. The winning team was the team to complete all the points on the monopoly board in the quickest time and there was separate prize for the challenges. As we attempted all the challenges (the only team to do so!) as well as the basic board we took twice the time of the winners but we still managed to come third out of 8! We all so picked up the prize for most points in the challenges and best picture, leaving few prizes for the other teams, woops! I’m not sure we will be invited back….

I am incredibly proud of Scout Network Ellan Vannin, we worked very hard had an amazing day and most importantly won loads of medals! Well Done Team!

The Final day of my adventure in London will be posted tomorrow. Be prepared for the traumatic story of our journey home! Also I will be posting a video or two about this adventure to my YouTube channel so if you want to watch that subscribe to my channel so you can be told when it is unloaded  by clicking the link below: