22:07

Apologies for not posting in a little while!

A quick update on the past few weeks:

  • I finally beat my jet lag
  • There was a heatwave in the UK
  • I attended 3 weddings in 3 weeks
  • My parents visited me in Edinburgh
  • I hung out with a friend from New Jersey who is also called Kim!
  • I went to the doctors then went to work and got sent home because I was too ill (the doctors didn’t prescribe me anything…)
Advertisements

21:38

After a long weekend back in my home town I am safely back in Edinburgh. So did I get a chance to recharge and to rest up before returning to my work life? In a way; yes, but in many other ways; no.

  1. On Friday evening I took the train intending to have a smooth journey home, and to get an early night in before the wedding festivities. However my train was delayed in Newcastle for over two hours so I missed all my connecting trains… The signal failure was due to deliberate vandalism! I was not happy.
  2. After sitting in the station for an extended period of time I eventually made it to York station on a packed train. As I had missed all my connecting trains I had to rush here and there to find trains which would hopefully get me to my home town that day. Luckily I brought a tiny suitcase which I could run with! I ended up in Leeds late into the evening, and reached Sheffield at past midnight.
  3. As it got later and later I realised I would not be getting home that day. The train carriage was filled with drunken revellers on their way home from a night out, and the noise gave me a headache. Trains from Sheffield to Leicester only ran on the hour and I had missed all of those for that day, thus meaning I would have to wait till morning. So frantically using the last of my battery on my phone, I searched for hotels near Sheffield train station so that I could rest up. I found a cheap-ish hotel which was close by and power walked to it. Being alone in a strange city late at night was very scary, especially because I was tired, frustrated and upset.
  4. As I checked into the hotel I could feel my body relaxing a little. There was nothing else I could do about the situation so the least I could do was get some much needed rest in the hotel. The room was really modern and the king-sized bed was super comfortable! The waterfall shower was very soothing and it felt amazing to wash the evening of travel off. I had been reassured by the train conductor that I could use my tickets the next day and not have to pay for new ones, so I slept soundly till morning.
  5. On Saturday morning I woke up feeling refreshed after such a manic evening, and got ready to travel home. The trains to Leicester were much more frequent than the previous night and were much quicker journeys! Within an hour and 15 minutes I was safely back in Leicester and I got picked up by my brother. I was very much relieved to be back and to have the ordeal over with!

I feel like every time I face a hardship I can learn from it. I also thank God that it was not as bad a situation as it could have been. Although I did get upset at the time, I also was able to find a way out and to make the most of a bad event. The night alone in a hotel gave me some time to reflect on my evening, and to realise that I am stronger than I perceive myself. My independence has made me a more well-prepared person, and I can deal with tough situations. Hopefully I can continue to grow and learn through my struggles and to empower myself more from the lessons I receive.

23:06

I recently attended my graduation ceremony!

To finally round off my 4 years of studying in university with a celebration with my classmates, and other fellow university students, was a great and joyous occasion. It felt really good to put on the graduation gown and hood, and to walk around knowing it was an important day for all the people surrounding me.

It was also the university Chancellor’s last graduation ceremony after serving for many years. He gave a moving speech to the 2015 graduates and reiterated many times for us not to waste our lives.

Now that I have officially left the student sphere and entered into working life, I feel a little older and a little wiser. Onwards and upwards!

21:55

Train journeys always give me time to reflect and although travelling makes me physically tired, I am recharged mentally.

After some reflection I came up with a list of things that I truly give thanks for:-

  • Arriving safely in Edinburgh with all my luggage! I have had a train journey in the past where my suitcase was stolen, so it always makes me very paranoid!
  • All my references from university and previous jobs have cleared so I have a fuss-free start to my new job on Monday.
  • Getting a job after my first interview. It has taken a little while to sink in but I know now that it really is a blessing and a fantastic opportunity.
  • My granddad’s bravery in his battle against ill health. He will be undergoing keyhole surgery on Monday but he has not been experiencing any pain, and remains his usual happy self.
  • The short 10 days that I had to relax at home before starting my new job. I caught up with friends and spent precious time with family.
  • This good weather. Sunny days and warm nights!

23:06

Today I went to donate blood and there I met a nurse who was so friendly that I could not help but write a blog post about it.

I try and donate blood every 12 weeks because I feel like I should give to the community in any way I can. Also I feel like if I should ever need a blood transfusion, someone elses’ blood could save me, thus I need to give someone else that same opportunity. I have been giving blood ever since I became eligible to, and I find it quite relaxing to do so.

The nurse that accompanied me during my blood donation was so friendly and pleasant to talk to. She asked me what I studied and the general small talk questions, but took a step further and took a real interest in my degree. She shared information about herself and her own experiences in relation to my field of study, and I found it very interesting to talk to her. We spoke about a certain forensic pathologist based in the Edinburgh area who occasionally gives lectures in the hospital. She kindly wrote me a note with all the information on so I could research it more for myself. She also wished me the best of luck in my studies.

A further thought was that while it was clearly coming to the end of the nurse’s shift, she did not rush through the donation etc but took the time to talk to me. Her genuine interest in what I did as a student was refreshing and it made me feel good. It is not often that people take a deep rooted interest, even my own¬†friends do not, let alone a stranger!

02:37

In 7 months I should be graduating from Edinburgh Napier University with a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) degree in Criminology. Exactly 7 months. My graduation is scheduled to take place on the dates of 7-9th July so today (8th December) marks the 7 months countdown till graduation day.

In 7 months I will be able to say I have completed my 4 years of studies at university and managed to obtain a degree. In 7 months my studying life will be over.

Recently I have found people asking me about my plans for after university. People have asked whether I will stay in Edinburgh, whether I will work in Edinburgh and whether I hope to stay in Edinburgh for the foreseeable future. Every time someone has asked me I always seem to give an unsure answer because it really is not clear where I will be after I graduate. The majority of people I have spoken to have encouraged me to stay and it is beginning to look like the most likely option for me.

Over these 3 and a half years of living in Edinburgh I have grown to love it. I have become acquainted with the busy city life and learned to live in a bustling city although I come from a small former market town. Edinburgh is no longer my second home but my first. Going home for the holidays feels like going away, and returning to Edinburgh feels like coming home. It is a strange feeling to fall in love with a city however I feel like through it I have been able to find myself, and grown into the person I truly am.

00:17

Header change!

Photo was taken in Dunbars Close Garden in Edinburgh; located in Canongate.

Dunbars Close Garden is a series of small gardens laid out in the style of 17th Century gardens and aims to capture the atmosphere of Edinburgh three centuries ago.

I stumbled across this place on one of my exploratory walks around Edinburgh. I originally walked past the sign post pointing into the gardens, but curiosity got the better of me and I turned back and went in. It is fairly hidden away due to its location which makes it somewhat of a gem. A quiet area with benches and seating, the perfect place to get away from the hustle and bustle of Edinburgh.

01:25

I explored Wild West street instead of revising on Friday. Student procrastination at its best!

Background: Wild West was built in 1995/1996 by Michael Faulkner as part of the ambience for a Southwestern style furniture business. Other stalls also were in the area such as ceramists and artists. The whole project took 6 months and the authentic paint effects and signs were courtesy of an employee and his girlfriend who had worked on the construction of Euro Disney.

Present day: The site is no longer used as a store but the street remains relatively intact. Some small workshops and garages use the back part of the site but the main alley or ‘street’ is mostly untouched. However, some of the original special features have been removed or vandalised (such as the saloon doors and shutters), and there is some graffiti in some parts. The area is open to the public to take pictures etc though it is not your typical well-known tourist spot. Many local Edinburgh residents don’t know this Wild West street exists, so I feel privileged to have visited in the time I have lived in Edinburgh.

Though this blog is typically not a picture blog and is focused more on my writing, I feel like if I don’t show what the Wild West street looks like then my writing will have been in vain.

SAM_4384 SAM_4393

Saloon doors used to partly cover the dark mural on the left.