07 April 2009



Get ready, because I'm going be a right chatterbox today! I have soooo much to blog about I just don't know where to start and whether I can get it all in one post, well one of a manageable reading size, at least. Although, I am sure, now that I have sat down to blog about it, it's all just gonna shoot right out of my head. But, I'll try.

I rather like compartmentalising things so I think I'll organise it that way.

What about Freebie Friday?!
OK, first off, you may have noticed there was no 'Freebie Friday 'on Friday. I wasn't here and wasn't able to post to my blog. I was in fact, already enjoying a 4-day weekend in Belfast, Ireland, as part of my birthday present from R.

I consider my life revolving around my PhD to be a negative, albeit a realistic, outcome of a PhD. Adding some variety to my monotonous life seemed like a good idea and the best ways of doing so were to take up a new hobby -- we all saw me take up cupcake baking -- or by doing something worthwhile with my time, perhaps something that might enhance my CV. So, cue volunteering!

I wasn't sure exactly what type of volunteering I wanted to do but I started with young people e.g. after school and homework clubs, library volunteering, youth work, that sort of thing but almost no-one got back to me or what I was looking for just didn't materialise. Then, I remembered when I was about 11, I used to be a girl guide. Now, I'm not sure if every knows what a girl guide is; it's basically a girl scout, but I'll let wikipedia explain the finer points. And so, I got my skates on and e-mailed around to get volunteering at the girl guides.

To cut a long story short, I've been doing it for 6 weeks now and I absolutely love it! Most of the girls are lovely and the hour and a half on Wednesday evenings just fly by. Plus, the other adult leaders -- yes, I'm an Adult Leader, in training at least -- are just lovely, roughly the same age as me and we always go for a drink or 2 at a local pub afterwards. Now, as much as the volunteering in itself is fun and beneficial for the girls and myself, what else is in it for me? Well, once I've completed my CRB check, I'll actually be working towards a Leadership Qualification. I've even got a uniform now. Oooh it's all so exciting!

Photography -- another new hobby?
My newly adopted hobbies don't stop at cupcake making or volunteering, oh no! I am now looking to dabble in a little digital photography specifically using SLR (single-lens reflex) technology and cameras. Unfortunately, SLR photography, for a long time, was the sort of technology used by professional photographers and enthusiasts, but it's now beginning to become more widespread, of which websites like Flickr are proof. This means now is the ideal time, financially, to get involved.

However, don't be fooled like I was, it doesn't come cheap. For a good starter kit -- that's a camera body, lens and the essential bits and bobs -- you're looking upwards of £250-300 and some can be more like £500! But, it's got to be worth it right? I don't know about you, but I've seen the calibre of photographs that SLR cameras produce...

...and it makes me green with envy that I don't have one at my disposal. ^_Those are the sort of photos I want to be taking!

So I'm going to get one! Luckily, I know 2 DSLR loving individuals; my brother James and a friend, Sigh-Man, who have given me wonderful advice on purchasing a starter kit and what to think about. I think I've set my eye on a Canon EOS 1000D -- yup, the numbers mean zip to me too -- for around £350 from Argos. Watch this space!

Beni marvellous!
After having so much fun there last year, I am going to the Spanish festival Benicassim in July again this year. I don't think I can fool many of you into thinking I'm a frequent festival go-er but this one, is totally different. There isn't the drizzle, rain, mud and wellies that accompany British festivals. I've already bought and received my ticket, just need to sort my flights out. I haven't decided whether I'll go for the full 9 days camping or just the 4 days festival, or somewhere in between.

Shameless Musical plug
If you like R&B, like artists including Ne-Yo, then this music -- which I am about to shamlessly plug -- should be your sort of thing. A close friend of mine, Ramzi -- visit his MySpace page, listen to his music -- will be releasing his debut album, 'Chapter One' on April 27th, which will be available to buy in HMV or online at Play.com, where you can also pre-order with free delivery. Please check him out!

Last but by no means least...

New Moon
I have finished reading 'Twilight' and it was excellent! I have already started reading the next in the saga; 'New Moon' I definitely recommend you get involved.


Now, I know that was a really long post so I'm sorry if it was too much! It's not often that I have quite that much info to unload on you all at once.


p.s. just for Alex, when I get round to it I shall change my signature just for you, so that it is less 'in your face' because you are right, I am a modest person, after all.
Pictures courtesy of, in order; DeviantArt, VirginiaTech, Flick users: chemapeich, skip0974, R1 User, suseravgårde, golawola, Allen Qu

1 comment:

  1. hallo - I had a similar DSLR dilema, when faced with prospect of parting with upwards of 400 of my hard earned pounds. But alas, after much research and consulting with fellow enthusiasts I settled on the Canon 400D.

    I chose it for a few reasons, probably the main reason being that I bought it here http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=360131508410 (I'm not sure if you can view it or not?) If you can't, basically the saving was somewhere in the region of 250 quid and you got the battery grip, 55mm and telephoto lens - all brand new. In comparison I was almost paying the same for a 1000D body alone, so ebay is worth keeping eye out for!

    That Ebay Argos outlet is immense so keep an eye for it if you havent already bought the 1000, you might find yourself a bargain!