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Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Autumn Is My Favourite

Autumn Is My Favourite
Tuesday, 7 November 2017
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I find it difficult to imagine that anyone's favourite month could be anything other than Autumn. For starters it's that nice in between weather where it's cold enough to wear jumpers and scarves and boots but warm enough to go out an walk among the crisp leaves. Plus you've got so many other things to look forward to. In my life that's mainly Christmas themed drinks in Costa and Starbucks but I can't go through these months without pumpkin carving, Halloween themed food (and clothing), mulled cider mmm, bonfires, fireworks. Because Autumn so nicely blends into Christmas some people think I get way too festive way too early.. I mean as soon as November 1st hits us I want to go to Christmas markets, wear patterned jumpers, eat and drink all the new Christmas themed foods in all the shops.. It's a little obsessive and I may have a problem. But what makes me feel better about the whole thing is that I know that 99% of people are as excited as I am around this season and if everyone's a little insane then that's the definition of normal.

So because of that, I want to share with you a few of my favourite Autumn things:

As I mentioned earlier.. the famous coffee shop Christmas menu. The themed drinks have only been out for 3 days and I have been every single day since. Seriously, if I continue until Christmas like this with an average of £3 a cup, that will leave a huge £159 hole in my bank account. Please send help around day 10. I have tried all the drinks on the menus from Christmas past so my favourites and the ones you need to get your mittens on are the Black Forest Hot Chocolate from Costa and the Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks of course. If you're a little obsessed like I am you'll also know Costa have removed the Orange Hot Chocolate from this years menu so RIP.

Bonfire night is one of those weird ones, if you heard tons of loud bangs in June you'd be worried about who's being shot at, especially now it seems to be a regular occurrence. But in November, there's something slightly oddly charming at standing around in a field looking at some explosives making pretty patterns in the sky to the music of Ed Sheeran. Nevertheless it's one of my favourite nights, providing you wrap up warm and grab yourself a hot spiced cider, a cheap burger and a toffee apple from the 14 year old running the food stall.  

Some of you may feel the same as me but have you ever thought about that weird time in between Halloween and Christmas. Once you get past bonfire night you've got at least a month of people complaining its too early for Christmas, then another month of the same people panicking because Christmas is suddenly next week. Every year, we know it's coming, but the majority of us don't do our shopping until it's truly necessary or until the day comes where we announce how Christmassy we feel - which I announce on November 1st like I said haha. I love these two months, everyday something more Christmassy happens and I just feel like the world can't get more Christmas in it.. until the next day.

During these weird in between days I've got my birthday. I love birthdays, whether its my own or someone else's. Every year I plan stuff to do and see, considering I have quite a demanding course it's nice to have something to look forward to. This year I'll be 21, which means I am officially adulting - albeit not very well. Some things I can do it come the 19th November as a 21 year old: drink in America (of course), get a pilots license, adopt a child.. and that's about it unless I'm going to gamble in Iowa, get married in Mississippi and sell Marijuana in Colorado.

I'm going to miss Autumn when it goes but at least we all know it'll be back next year after a few months of vague summer.
Happy Autumn!
Em x

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Monday, 18 September 2017

A Big Announcement

A Big Announcement
Monday, 18 September 2017
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Before the holidays I made a post about my summer goals.. Check it out here. I had one major goal this summer and its been ongoing for a while.. drumroll...

I actually passed my driving test.. It was shock to us all. After being 17 for almost 4 years now and a few attempts at trying to learn to drive I finally bit the bullet. I passed on my first attempt and with only one minor, which I honestly thought I'd never do! The hours lesson I had before my test was horrific, I was convinced I would fail, but turns out the examiner was super nice and friendly and obviously thought I could drive. Here's a few tips from the light at the other side of the learning tunnel:

1. Have a short lesson before the test: now this isn't everyone's preference but like I said it was horrific and that let me get all my bad driving and stress out the way so I could be the best on the actual thing.. Worked for me anyway.


2. Take a mock driving test: if the instructor doesn't mention it, let them know you'd like to do one. It helps to understand what will happen during the test and also how they mark it. It's a bit like learning the mark  scheme for an exam at school.


3. If you're not confident, make sure you pretend you are: the only way the examiner will pass you is if they think you can drive without causing an accident.. and if you look like a flustered mess who doesn't know what they're doing then they won't pass you. You may feel like that inside but don't let it show!

4. Be super friendly and nice to your examiner: because come on.. if they don't like you from the start they are less likely to pass you in my opinion. Come at them with a smile even if they look terrifying.

5. Watch some driving videos on YouTube: World Driving UK is a great channel, there's lots of videos that explain manoeuvres and other driving aspects in more detail than maybe my lessons would go into. There's even some mock driving tests on there which help because you'll remember what they did wrong (and hopefully you won't do it either).

6. And finally, think 'what does the examiner expect me to do': this is useful when coming up to a junction or roundabout or cyclist etc. usually the answer is mirrors, signal, manoeuvre, that'll be stuck in your head for the rest of eternity.

I honestly never thought I was going to pass and as I won't be getting a car till later this year after uni (no cars needed in London ha) I will need to go out and practice some more to remind myself how to drive.. But at least it's out of the way now and I can finally get one of those glorious pink licenses..

Happy driving!
Em x

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Sunday, 10 September 2017

A Week in a Yurt: Woolacombe

A Week in a Yurt: Woolacombe
Sunday, 10 September 2017
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Every year I try to find new places to stay during the short summer holidays. Rather than your average hotel room I really like these odd accommodations, like the tipi we stayed in last summer.. This year by using airbnb I found a gorgeous yurt in Woolacombe, 5 minutes walk from the beach and complete with a pond (and boat). I've never been to North Devon before so it was a nice change to be by the beach for once, I usually prefer camping in the woods. 

We managed to take quite a few photos, so here's just a small collection to give you a glimpse. Enjoy!


Inside the yurt including board games, dvds and a log burner


The pond in which I managed to not fall in the entire time!

Browsing those tourist information leaflets like a true middle aged mum.
Ilfracombe

Barricane Beach Cafe - famous for their beach side Sri Lankan Curry


Day trip to Lundy Island



View from the top of the Lynton and Lynmouth funicular
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Em x



Wednesday, 9 August 2017

How To Survive Nursing School

How To Survive Nursing School
Wednesday, 9 August 2017
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Second year is over and as relieved as I am, I'm not going to pretend I know everything about what nursing school is and has in store for anyone who plans on going through it - which is much less now the government have taken away our bursaries..But, I can impart some tips on how to survive, of which I will be using all of them in my final year..

One
Prepare yourself in all senses of the term. It's going to be tough, prepare mentally, know that you will find some things hard and this isn't an easy course to take, make sure everyone around you knows you may be running around pulling your hair out at some points of the year.. Prepare yourself in theory, get ahead of the game, read some books related to nursing before you start, get set with biology or calculations if you're particularly bad at them. These will stand you high up in class and on placement and will make your life easier in the long run.

Two
When you start your first term of your first year don't worry if you feel overwhelmed, it gets easier believe me. I remember thinking 'but how do we know what to do' in response to fixing a patient problem, but now it's all second nature and the more you learn the more it all fits together in the end - especially by year 2.. In the same way, don't be scared to ask questions if you don't understand or you do feel overwhelmed - everyone loves a student who actually asks questions and looks interested rather than one who glances at her phone every 5 minutes and nods along to all the nurse is saying.
Three
Since half of your time will be spent at university and half in placements, make sure you try to do all the work set for your theory, because in reality the stuff your learning in uni isn't useless information.. you can actually put the theory into practice throughout the year. Try not to get behind on work, this is sometimes inevitable and you will end up with so much to do at one time just because that's how your lecturers decided to do it, but don't stress, make a list of everything and prioritise.
Four
Ask why. This is extremely important when on placement and I do this a lot in order to get more detail and information from nurses, doctors and whoever I'm with to understand what's happening. They're have been multiple occasions when people say 'to put it simply' or 'you won't understand the details' to me, and I have then told them to tell me in whatever way they usually tell someone - most times it's a doctor and trying to 'put it simply' just infuriates me because nurses are intelligent and can understand complex things..

Five

Smile. Possibly one of the most basic skills in history. If you don't smile people will think you're a moody grump, so even if you are on you're third night shift in a row and feel like death, you can still force a smile out for patients, parents and staff who may also be having a bad day..

Six
Be organised, plan your years, your days and even your hours if you're on wards knowing what you need to get done each hour is incredibly helpful. Being organised is among the most important skills a nurse can have - I mean without a plan patients wouldn't get medication, they wouldn't even be discharged so yes very important.

Seven

Sleep and get enough rest, a tired nurse or student doesn't make anyone's lives easier and now since there are less nurses, students unfortunately need to be on the ball and take some responsibilities of a qualified nurse - which is not how it should be but that's what the reality is. Be prepared to lose some sleep though, switching from exams to assignments to 12 hour shifts and days to nights throughout three years means your sleeping pattern may be a little off for a while - just like a qualified nurse though.

Eight

Involve yourself in university life or any nursing related activities to make yourself stand out. If you're going for a job at a certain hospital and there's 5 applicants all with Nursing degrees, do you pick the ones with just the degree or the one who was a student representative, part of the nursing society and also volunteers. Obviously that person may be a complete shambles as a nurse and that's what the interview is for, but on paper you look more employable.. so get involved if you can.

Nine

Enjoy it. Because soon you'll be qualified and learning more and more until you're that matron you were once terrified of..

Thanks for reading! 

Em x

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Sunday, 25 June 2017

A Year in 35mm

A Year in 35mm
Sunday, 25 June 2017
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Over the past year myself and Tom have been on a lot of adventures and have taken a lot and I mean a lot of photos. More recently we have had the photos from his 35mm camera developed. If you don't know what a 35mm is and you're not a camera nut, basically its an old school photographic film camera that as you'll see here, takes some pretty cool photos. The photos span from London to Cheltenham to Brighton to Sussex and beyond, literally wherever we went throughout the past year. As its the first roll of film to be developed, they'll be plenty more of these coming over the next year as well.

So, here's a compilation of my favourite photos from this set, enjoy!...















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Em x
Friday, 23 June 2017

My Summer Goals

My Summer Goals
Friday, 23 June 2017
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Welcome to Summer everyone, it's officially here for all of 3 days. The sun has finally started to come out in the UK, and in London we've been having temperatures up to 33°C - so as you can imagine like any self respecting British person does I have been complaining about the heat. OK, so luckily its cooling down a bit now and I guarantee by the time my last 4 weeks at uni are up we'll be back to rain and clouds. Enjoy the sun whilst you can and don't turn into a tomato (just to clarify, you are not too cool for suncream.. and yes, you do burn)
So this week as I continue to be jealous of those already on holidays I tend to think more about what I want to do this summer - which is mostly just doing nothing but I have some other ideas too. 

Number one on the top of my list is something I have procrastinated, hated and tried a couple of times to start again. That thing is driving. Lets face it, I am rubbish and I don't like it, but I've re-passed my theory test last week and booked lessons and my practical test for the summer so it looks like this is it now - fingers crossed ha. As it gets closer to graduation next year I started to realise I am definitely going to need a car if I'm going to get a job and I'm not staying in London. So, there was the decision to hit the nail on the head and just do it even if I don't like it and I will be bad - possibly the record to most times someone has stalled? Broom broom..

Number two is to earn and save as much money as possible - self explanatory really. I'm a poor student who lives in London and is about to pay for driving lessons, I need money. 

Number three of course is to blog more, by the end of July I will have much more time to sit and write and do other stuff, so even though its been a bit lacking the last couple of months there are exciting things to come and I have a lot planned for this!

Number four is to restart my couch to 5K app, its a great app if you ever want to get into running. For me personally on my bucket list is running a 5K (and then half marathon and marathon). The reason for doing this in summer is so I can focus on it and have time - whereas at uni there is virtually no time for this. We'll see how it goes..

Number five would have to be a compilation of all the other stuff I get up to during the summer. This usually includes but is not limited to: bonfires with friends, BBQs, nights out - both big and small, pub crawls, camping, more camping, hiking, sunbathing, holidaying and a lot of general relaxing before I begin dissertation, final placement and then finding a job...

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Em x
Monday, 12 June 2017

Isle of Man: Travelling Chronicles

Isle of Man: Travelling Chronicles
Monday, 12 June 2017
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During May I was absent for 2 weeks because I had been away from London and in the Isle of Man. That's a small island in the middle of the Irish Sea if you didn't know - do not confuse with the Isle of Wight. I wasn't shipwrecked or banished don't worry, I actually chose to go there for an elective placement in the hospital. I also didn't spin a globe around and go to the first place my finger landed on - I was born here and have family so yes, a holiday disguised as a placement was the perfect plan. 

I elected to have my placement in the Neonatal Unit of the hospital, (these are newborn babies), and as you can imagine such a small island does not have many ill babies that are serious enough to be in hospital but are not serious enough to be transferred across to the amazing medical services in Liverpool. So, there was  total of zero babies my first week so I got to see lots of other pretty cool things including my first C-Section - which is insane by the way. Overall, a fab experience and I couldn't have wished for anything else.

Working in the hospital was great even if a little quiet, but as I was on holiday as well I decided to enjoy it while I could. Here's a compilation of what I got up to..



The Isle of Man has beaches everywhere, so obviously many trips to the beach including ice creams and a lot of wind (being in the middle of the Irish Sea wreaks havoc on your hair). From the North of the island to the South all the beaches are different - sandy, shelly, rocky, seaweed filled, some just plain dangerous with cliff edges and hard slate to comfort your fall.

I mean there are beaches in Britain but these are just better and there's one for each of your moods. I don't tend to go to the beach too often in the UK unless I'm on holiday, I'm more of a forest and trees kinda outdoor person, so the tons of beaches in the IOM felt like a good change. 





Something that myself and my parents always do when we visit the Isle of Man is take the electric mountain railway up to the top of the mountain. It doesn't sound too scary until you realise that the train is 100 years old and the track is on the side of some steep cliffs. There's something inside me that always thinks we are of course going to plummet to the ground - but come on, the train has been going up and down that mountain for a 100 years and so irrational thoughts are not necessary. You can also take horse trams up and down the Promenade in Douglas, however much to our disappoint the horses were taken ill by a virus so we had to scrap that plan until next year. Personally I love the horses because they're called human names like Andrew, Phillip and Charles - maybe they're royals who knows.



One of my favourite places in the entire world is on this island, and that is Glen Maye - there's a waterfall, forest, river, an abundance of rocks and pebbles and finally a gorgeous opening that leads to a secluded beach. We spent this years trip searching for whale vomit, bear with me - it's actually worth a ton of money apparently. Unfortunately we were not lucky enough to be rich, but we still have time ha. That's it for the IOM until next year when we return to go the TT - most dangerous motorbike racing the world, bring on June 2018.

Thanks for reading!

Em xx

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Saturday, 10 June 2017

Sunny Saturday in Kew Gardens

Sunny Saturday in Kew Gardens
Saturday, 10 June 2017
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Recently as my schedule has been Monday to Friday rather than the usual 12 hour shift I've had the weekends to relax and explore. Mainly relax but since the weather has finally come back to being sunny after multiple rainy days obviously going outside is the only option. This weekend was time to visit Kew Gardens, it's gorgeous don't get me wrong but because it's so expensive to get in you have to pick your day (and season) carefully. 

Kew Gardens is a botanical garden which has some of the most amazing and diverse collections of flowers, plants and trees (with the odd animal). It's got tons of greenhouses that are HOT in summer and I mean I started to walk up the stairs of the greenhouse and had to backtrack - heat rises and in a greenhouse its like being in an actual oven. I learnt my lesson and we walked up to the treetop walkway instead, apart from being unfit and stairs being dreadful it was worth it of course for views of trees and it's just trees - does what it says on the tin. As well as that there's lakes, ducks, geese, lizards.. and various other attractions. The one thing I would warn you about is if unless you want to pay £7 for a sandwich - definitely take your own cute picnic. Here's a look at some of the pictures from this super hot day in London:










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Em x
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