Sunday, 24 March 2013

The Land of the Free and Stuff

In a glorious email on my phone screen, I found out yesterday that I have been accepted into Williamette University in Salem, Oregon for a semester next year. Or, once I work out the credit system for the classes at least.

And you know, everything else like accomodation, costs and sorting out how my lovely roommates will ever cope without me...

The more I think about it though, the more I've realised I don't really know all that much about America. So I have decided to try, at least, to find out a bit about Oregon.

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

The Djentleman at Work

Djent: A heavy metal movement. Onomatopoeia for the distinctive high-gain, distorted palm-muted guitar.

I have a few comments to add to this. Generally, it's all pretty heavy. It can get pretty funky. And it usually consists of some really weird song names. "Inside What's Within Behind" for example. That just doesn't make any sense.

Luckily, I live with a man capable of explaining all of this to me. Alasdair Cooper (cue looking at the bar to the right to see the links I've put up already...) is, to put it bluntly, an INSANE GUITARIST.

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

A Game of Words

So it turns out that Game of Thrones is kind of awesome. I'm not ashamed to say that I'm pretty late to jump on the bandwagon. I haven't even finished the first season yet, but I'm completely hooked. It's exciting, well performed, and I can't deny that I'm happy that George R. R. Martin is both a writer and an executive producer on the show...

What really impresses me is the depth and believability of it all. Fantasy can be tricky to get right. You want to write something original without it sounding stupid, but that's more difficult than it sounds. Between Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings, you can feel like everything's been done already.

That's the problem I'm now facing.

For some unfathomable reason (and I have a funny feeling I said this in my New Year post), I've decided to write a novel. Again. I couldn't tell you how many pieces of paper full of pointless scribblings I have in my flat. All them covered in good intentions but none of them really coming to anything. Sometimes I feel like tearing my hair out waiting for mystical inspiration to arrive.

But this week, something momentous happened. I began setting deadlines. I have deadlines that I'm really hoping will improve my productivity. I think what will make them still more effective is the fact that beside each date is a column headed: REWARDS. It almost glitters next to everything else. I've filled it with things like a new DVD, a girlie night in and even a bottle of bubbly when it's all finished. So far I've been doing well - nearly six thousand words over the past two days. It's the first time I've ever written so much, so quickly, which bodes well for the months ahead. 

However, I know that I'm very good at procrastinating. So to try and prevent this, I'm going to tell you my first deadline:

By the 14th of April, I'm aiming to have written the first three chapters. Not edited, just written.

There it is in big letters. I can't take it back now. So I'm hoping that this will prove to be the kick in the pants I need to get me through the next few weeks. 

I'll let you know how the plot thickens...

Saturday, 16 March 2013

The Run Diaries #2

My friend Becca and I have been friends for a very long time. And when you're friends with someone for a long time, you realise just what makes them tick. You also know when it is the best time to duck for cover and pray to God that make it out alive.

Yesterday was one of those days.

I'm pretty certain that if I hadn't made it round to her house for our pre-jog cup of tea she would have torn her lovely boyfriend to shreds. Just before the final blow was struck, I pushed her out the door and made her jog round Glasgow Green with me. We ranted for a bit. She felt better. I still had the use of all my limbs and internal organs. 

So far, I've been sponsored £50, which is really, really great. It really makes a difference. I got my Race for Life pack in the post this morning and on one of the leaflets it explains just what all these sponsors are helping to achieve:

£10 will pay for scientists to examine 300 tumour samples under a microscope.

£50 will pay for 22 thermometers, which are really important for conducting certain experiments.

£94 pays for a woman to go through a clinical trial to improve the survival of breast cancer.

And £120 pays for training a nurse to help support patients over the phone, to give them someone to talk to.

I didn't know any of that before today, and that made me even happier at the £50 you guys have sponsored me so far!

So, here's the link to the JustGiving site, where you can donate online:

Or if that's too much of a faff, then just send me a message or leave a comment, as I have a sponsor sheet now! I'm excited.

Please dig deep, if you can. If every person who had a look at my last post donated just £1, it would double what I've already raised, so it really does help!

Sunday, 10 March 2013

The Run Diaries #1

In preparation for the Race for Life, my friend Becca and I have devised a training routine. We've been jogging 4km round Glasgow Green three times a week, and in an attempt to persuade you to sponsor me, I've decided to document how silly I look and the torture we are putting ourselves through.

I say torture, but we have a ball. We gossip and admire all the dogs walking their people.

But today, it snowed.

This picture alone should prove how desperate I am to be sponsored. I do not look good in trackies. It appears that I have a double chin. On top of that, I look like a chav. 

But we went about our usual routine, despite the snow in our faces and my cold calves. It wasn't until we got to the end of our route that the hailstones started, and let me tell you that brainfreeze is not what you want after a 4km jog. 

In a last bid to gain your sponsorship, I'm going for the sympathy vote. I'm now sitting in my nice warm, cosy flat, with a sore throat from all the cold air, jelly legs and a face like a beetroot. All of this is for Cancer Research UK, and if you're feeling generous here's the link to my online sponsor site:


I've reached 10% of my target £200 so far, so please keep the donations coming in!

Friday, 8 March 2013

3-2-1... Go!

Today marks a momentous occasion. Today, I signed up for the Race for Life 2013. In case you don't know, it's a 5km race that is held every year to raise funds for Cancer Research UK. It's a cause very close to my heart, and I'm ecstatic that my exams don't clash, and I'm able to take part.

I did the Race for Life a couple of years back, and took part in the Inverness event. This year, I'm taking on Glasgow. I've been good, too. I've been sticking to a jogging routine with my friend Becca, and we haven't missed a day since we started last Sunday. I always feel very metropolitan jogging round the Green, surrounded by the dog walkers. It's like the movies.

Only I'm pretty sure no one in the movies finishes their run with a face like a beetroot and legs that feel like sacks of potatoes...

But even when I'm puffing and spluttering, it makes me feel so good to know that ultimately it will all make a difference.  Six years ago I lost my Granny to cancer. It was a truly horrible experience, and one of the best ways, I think, to get past all the hurt is to get your trainers on, top it off with a pair of fairy wings, and get together with a huge crowd of people who want to make as much of a difference as you do.

Since I get a crazy amount of views on this blog, I've decided to use it to try and raise more money. Here's the link to my fundraising page:


But also, something a bit more enticing: I want to hear from you, anyone who reads this, to get ideas as to how to raise as much as possible. My thoughts were to try and document my training shenanigans, possibly some silly get togethers, and hopefully a lot of fun.

It's difficult to express how much this would mean, and it only takes a couple of minutes of your day.

So dig deep and get brainstorming!