Monday, 30 August 2010

Words to Live By #106

Image thanks to stacy

"The measure of life, after all, is not it’s duration but it’s donation."
Corrie Ten Boom

Saturday, 28 August 2010

The Saturday Salute 28.08.10

Image thanks to noe

Considering my impending big adventure, I appreciated these tips on Overcoming Fear from Think Simple Now.

"Overcoming fear doesn’t happen instantly or automatically. It is the result of deliberate intention, and conscious action towards doing things that scares you."

Why the learning experience is greater than end results from The University Blog. Amen to that!

Dani of Positively Present shares 27 Lessons on her 27th year.

You can now get a clothes swap pack from Labour Behind the Label.


And, on that note, I'll love ya and leave ya!

Friday, 27 August 2010

Making Memories

For my friend Hannah's birthday I treated her to a very lovely pottery painting afternoon where we captured her baby Amy Grace's footprints on a sweet heart plate and mug. It was perhaps the cutest thing ever to paint a little baby foot and stamp it on to crockery.

We also took a trip down memory lane with a coke float in Bristol's famed Rocotillos.

Monday, 23 August 2010

Words to Live By #105

Image thanks to jane rahman

"Don't be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment."
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Saturday, 21 August 2010

The Saturday Salute 21.08.10

Image thanks to yvette

Hey pretty pickles! How the hell are you all?

I'm moving to Spain in 10 days. 10 days. I have somewhere to stay for the first five nights, I know I need to go to the International Office of the University to get enrolled, but, other than that, I've got nothing. I'm leaping into the abyss. I know I'll be running around like crazy the first week: finding out where I need to be when term officially starts on the 6th of September, opeing a bank account, getting to know the city and, of course, finding somewhere to live! Luckily, I'm going with another girl from my university who is fluent in Spanish, which should help to make it all less, well, terrifying.

I'm hoping this will all make excellent fodder for some articles that will really take me back to where I started with the blog: the inside scoop on being a student.

But it's Saturday, you want the links! And who am I to disappoint?

Hope you're all enjoying a swell weekend. Oh, and in case you were wondering, I am working on my next podcast and should have it out in the world some time next week!

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

To Norwich and Back Again

Just some snaps of my aunts amazing house, ram-packed with vintage paraphernalia and surrounded by a beautiful, wild garden. The dress I'm wearing happens to be my own vintage find, a little Laura Ashley number from the 80's, along with my much adored new satchel.

I was back just in time for the Bristol Balloon Fiesta which, although a bit muddy, was quite the spectacle in the evening!

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

The Art of Making Big Decisions

Image thanks to katie

It’s always around this time of year that many of us, particularly in the arena of academia, are mulling over some pretty tough choices. In fact, I don’t know about you, but sometimes I feel like I am being constantly bombarded with options, pathways, and opportunities that require a ‘yes’ or a ‘no’ to confirm my fate. Often, it seems that there’s no going back once these decisions are made, and I’m not going to beat around the bush, this is tough. Heck, sometimes life is tough.

But decisions, when used wisely, are like the jangling keys to your future; they move you from door to door, experience to experience; they are progress. Decisions, despite their difficulty, are exciting; they are like registering at the grand department store of life and picking all the sparkling wares you want to see in your life one day. They are like Christmas crackers, and the sooner you pull them, the sooner you get the prize (or possibly the bad joke – but that’s all part of it).

Enjoy the Risk

A certain amount of risk is inevitable in life, but when making life-altering choices, risk is a frightening concept. However, committed, considered risk is far apart from spinning a roulette wheel and seeing where the ball drops. I don’t think there is anything risky about taking a chance on yourself, far from it; I actually think that not taking these chances to see yourself flourish, is the riskier option. I sure don’t want to place my bet on a ‘safe’ office job, or the equivalent.

History is littered with people who have made risky decisions that have led to success, whether that was a financial risk, a risk on their reputation, or the risk simply of being laughed back out the door... This is healthy; this is the thrill of the game. What gave these people the bravery to put themselves on the line is perhaps that they accepted, long before taking their respective plunges, that failure might actually be okay, and that it would be the regret of not trying that would be unbearable. Either that or they wouldn’t let failure be an option.

The long and short of it is: if you don’t truly believe in your ability to achieve, work on that first before you take any risk, because it is self-belief that will see you through. Making a decision half-heartedly is worse than not making the decision at all, because if you can’t give it your all you’re unlikely to get it.

Put Pen to Paper

When making decisions, if you are not committing a few things to paper then you are doing yourself a great injustice. Call me a geek (“You’re a geek”) but I often find myself writing miniature ‘Life Plans’ when a bulb of inspiration goes off about my future. I scribble dates, where I am, what my surroundings are like, details of the work I’m doing, the money I could be making... In short, as much detail as possible. I usually cover about one to two sides of A4 lined paper with this – but yours might be a brainstorm, bullet points, a few cryptic doodles on a post-it note... (okay, maybe not that last one).

And there you have it: one potential fate, staring you in the face. Is it pretty? Is it exciting? Sometimes it is, sometimes it isn’t, but it’s there. If I put mine aside and return to it in a few days or weeks, I try to examine how I feel: eager? Blissful? Or, maybe, disheartened?

This is truly invaluable. It’s like a transcript of a conversation with yourself; there in hard copy to review when in doubt. Writing pulls ideas out of the subconscious, I honestly believe it does; ideas and truths that you would struggle to access any other way. When you have access to your deepest, most authentic voice in this way, you might just find that, in true Disney movie style, your conscience can be your guide.

Is that it? Simples?

Perhaps not. What happens when you have to choose between two, three, four (or even more) potentially great paths? What if you’re over-inspired by life? That’s how I sometimes feel. In this case, decisions become limitations, and no one takes to that word kindly.

The fact is, if you’re a creative type, you have to reign yourself in sometimes, or you risk burnout. You must embrace that the more ideas you have, the more potential for a successful one, rather than seeing your dynamic creativity as a desperate commitment to see every single idea through. Success is the ability to see one fantastic idea in a hundred good ideas; to be exclusive about which choices to channel your creative energies into, because you only have so much to go around.

And even if you do find, down the line, that maybe you made the wrong decision...

A Decision is Not Necessarily a Conclusion

Life is not a one way street: right turns, left turns, U-turns, and just parking up for a while are all accepted in the highway code of existence. You may come under criticism, but, ultimately, no one’s going to tow you off the road.

Think about it, and then decide.

Are you struggling with how to make big decisions? Is there one major decision in particular that is haunting you? Have you taken risks in the past with the choices you've made? Tell us your stories!

Monday, 16 August 2010

Words to Live By #104

Image thanks to whatmegsaid

“We all need to look into the dark side of our nature - that's where the energy is, the passion. People are afraid of that because it holds pieces of us we're busy denying.”
Sue Grafton

Speaking of busy... I have been, very. So much so that I forgot my little blog's 2nd Birthday two days ago (ah!) After making such a hoo-ha of it last year it seems criminal to have let it pass by unnoticed... but, alas, c'est la vie! I'd just like to say *clearing of throat and twang of cutlery against glass* a genuine, heartfelt, big and juicy thank you to everyone who reads, comments, hangs in the shadows, buys this stuff, and this, and makes this project worthwhile every day :)

A 'real' post tomorrow, I pwomise.

Monday, 9 August 2010

Words to Live By #103

Image thanks to hillary

"The purpose of life is a life of purpose."
Robert Byrne

Saturday, 7 August 2010

The Saturday Salute 07.08.10

Image thanks to marina

So, I'm currently in the city of Norwich staying with my great grandma, enjoying Scrabble, G&T's in the afternoon, and lots of dog-eared black and white photographs. Keeping this blog has really made me realise how rarely I keep still. I seem to hop about all over the place and I never really realised that about myself. Unfortunately, this makes for very sporadic posting, but I hope you've enjoyed my pictures this week.

Here's some weekend entertainment for you:

Diane Birch sings What is Love. Oh yes. 

I've been reading about the macrobiotic diet from a certain Hip and Healthy Chick and I'm loving the core principles of chewing your food well and opting for wholegrains. I'd really recommend the book as it is laugh out loud funny and totally readable.

How did it take me this long to discover Soule Mama?

Do your panties have a purpose?

I quite agree.

Goodnight sweethearts.

Friday, 6 August 2010

Bristol Harbour Festival 2010, Part Two

World beats, boats, face paints and frolics.