Monthly Archives: June 2013

My Bed Is No Longer Just My Bed

For the past few nights I have been accompanied in my bed by someone other than my boyfriend…

I know what you’re thinking and that is wrong!

It has actually been Rosie the dog. I’ve been on my laptop or watching the tellie till late these past few days and I never mind her joining me in bed. I’ve ended up being far too tired – and lazy – to take her downstairs to her bed in the kitchen so she’s slept in my bed with me. Sometimes, she curls in a ball and sleeps under the duvet down by my feet or she’ll lay next to me with her head resting on my arm or nuzzled into my neck. It’s quite cute actually, she loves being really comfy.

Mum tells me that, when I’m out or at work, Rosie will sit on my bed waiting for me. Apparently when I first left for University, Rosie would wait outside my closed bedroom door whining. A few weeks before I returned from my first year at Uni, Mum and Dad brought most of my things home. Mum said that, while they were bringing in boxes and bags of my things, Rosie ran around the car, the garden and the house looking for me.

I do love my Rosie, if only Lucy pretended to miss me at least.




Frogs, Spiders and Other Busy Bees.

Recently, I was visiting my boyfriend and his family. He has a pond in the back garden and we spent hours sat under a blanket watching the frogs, the bees, the spiders, the flies, the fish, the birds. We spent hours just talking about nature sat next to the over-grown pond. Waterlilies and lily pad covered the majority of the water and the black, orange and yellow fish weaved between the pond weed that dominated underwater.  The waterlilies were about a metre high and covered about a metre by metre area of space. Ivy covered all the edges of the pond.

I’d been watching a frog at the opposite side of the pond and it was looking right at me. There was another frog just behind it facing the other way and another closer to us with its head resting on a lily pad. I looked away for a second and the frog had disappeared! I really wanted to know where it had gone, the one facing away and the one by the lily pad were still as stone statues. I stared at the spot where the frog had been waiting for it to come back to the surface. Eventually it did but I didn’t see it resurface. I was looking forward to watching the frogs eat because there were loads of flies and insects flying just above the water. They even went right in front of the frogs but neither of them showed any interest in them at all. Maybe they were full.

Meanwhile, there were three spiders on a web between two waterlily stems, two yellow and one brown. A yellow one was wrestling with the brown one. I thought, I bet he’s looking for a bit of fun and she’s having none of it! The brown spider managed to break free from the tangle of yellow legs and silk web and scurried off the web and into the forest of waterlily.

Then a battle of the best began. The two yellow spiders began fighting in a coil of thin yellow legs. They were fighting for quite some time when one of them surrendered the web and scurried off the one of the supporting waterlilies. The other triumphantly remained on the web for the rest of the night, the loser stayed on the side of a waterlily bud and the brown, supposed female spider, was not seen again.

There were plenty of bees about, we noticed two different types, probably from rival families. There ones which looks the typical black, yellow and fuzzy fur and the others were more brown and fluffy. It was funny watching a bee go right down into a waterlily flower to then realise that there was a bee in there already.

Sitting there among the wild, even if it was only Jack’s back garden,  made me think about the time in the future when I will have my own back garden. I thought about how I would make my garden wildlife friendly, make a pond to harbour generations of frogs and fish, plant a tree for the birds to nest in, plant a bed of flowers for busy bees to feast their eyes upon and lay down lush green grass for my family to sit under the summer Sun.

The Four-legged Family

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Sat in the Sun with the dogs.

Rosie and Lucy are our dogs, they’re both Jack Russells. Rosie is white and brown and has a smooth coat, Lucy has a more coarse grey and white coat. We bought Rosie from a breeder on a farm when she was a puppy. She was the first one we loved and we only had the chance to have her because the people who had previously wanted her had a change of circumstances so we got the one we wanted and she would’ve been the last one!

Rosie is four years old and she’s easily excited, she goes all tail wagging and friendly growling when new people come to the house and she even has a mad five minutes where she runs all around the downstairs rooms skidding around corners across the carpet.

A few years ago we put up an advertisement for a companion for Rosie on a website. It was one of those where you could ask for a dog to be taken off your hands or for a dog to take home, like we did. We got a reply from a lady who had a dog and felt like she couldn’t provide enough care for her anymore. This is how we got Lucy. We took Rosie and visited Lucy at her home to see if they liked each other. They got on really well so we went on with the adoption. We still see Lucy’s old owner. She comes along to the vet with Lucy when we take her and we visit her with both Lucy and Rosie every now and then. Mum sometimes goes for lunch with her and she sends Lucy is quite an old dog; she’s about 14 years old. She mostly sleeps on her cushion in the kitchen and goes out to the toilet when she needs to. Sometimes, she doesn’t come back in and she’ll sleep in the kennel Dad made for hours on end and won’t come in unless you bribe her with biscuits. Lucy sometimes wanders into the living room when we’re all sat in there but she usually just saunters back to her bed in the kitchen.

Rosie meanwhile is always snuggled up on the sofa with you – or on you. She gets really cosy and if you get up she follow you everywhere. Sometimes, before Mum goes to work I’ll hear Rosie squeaking on the other side of my closed bedroom at half seven in the morning. Mum’ll let her in and she’ll bounce up to the bed and she’ll find her way under the duvet and she’ll either snuggle up by my feet or into my stomach. She’s like a little hot water bottle but she can sometimes get in the way when I want to roll over.

So I’m writing this on my laptop and Rosie is snuggled on my crossed legs. She’s laid in a tight ball with her nose under her tail. She looks really cute and comfy and I don’t want to move or disturb her.

Looks like I’ll be sat here a while.

Watch this space.

Albert Einstein

Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.

What Led Me To An Astrophysics Degree?

I suppose the first question you ask someone when they tell you what they’ve chosen to study at university is “Why?”. Why Physics? Why Astrophysics? For me, it really did begin when I was younger.

When I was around eight or nine years old, I was often on my own at school so I spent a lot of time reading. I was reading at a higher level than my peers and began reading a  lot of non-fiction books. My favourite was the Kingfisher Book of Space. It talked about space in history, the Sun and the planets of the Solar System, star birth, evolution and death and about the Universe. I loved this book so much; I must have read it about a hundred times. It still stands on my book shelf in my room.

I loved learning facts about the world. There was a book in my Year 6 class room; the Oxford Children’s Pocket Book of Facts. It had an A-Z list of facts and stats from countries and tribes, to animals and famous historical people. Of course, I loved the parts that were about space and planets. My teacher allowed me to take the book home to read but I ended up forgetting to take it back after I left to go to high school – I still have it now.

I learnt more from my teachers at high school from the astronomy that was included in the curriculum. The high school I attended was more inclined to the expressive arts side of things, like drama, music and art. In Years 8, 9, 10 and 11, I participated in the school drama productions. I really enjoyed taking part in these performances and I made a lot of friends during the rehearsals. I also was given the opportunity to learn to play a music instrument with free lessons and an instrument on loan from the school. I chose to learn the flute and I picked it up really quickly. I really enjoyed painting and drawing at home as much as I did in my art lessons at school so I began to think about a future in Art and Design and my passion for outer space was pushed to the back of my mind for the time being. I also really enjoyed my English classes, especially the creative writing classes. There were some writing competition that went through school and I entered the poem writing ones. I am officially a published poet!

When it got to the point of applying to sixth form college, I oriented my subjects around Art and Design and English Literature from my high school enjoyment of the subjects. There were two colleges to which I applied. One had an all round art course and the other had three different ones which were more focused. I had a knack for maths so the head of the department encouraged me to take maths at A level so I made sure I applied for it as I knew it would become useful. I was accepted by both colleges so I based my decision on which would make the most of my A levels. I found that taking another, different A Level would better aid than two different art courses. So I sent in my acceptance to study Art and Design, English, Maths and (because I was unsure of a fourth) French.

As I was interested in attending University, I was appointed an Aim Higher Mentor, a student from the local university, who researched courses and universities with me and told me about her university experience so far. During our search for art and design courses, we stumbled across an astrophysics course. I immediately became excited about the idea of such a course so after our session I emailed the admissions of my future college about changing A Level French to A Level Physics, which they were happy to do. And, months later, I attended a Business Challenge Summer School at the University of Cambridge where I had the opportunity to speak to one of their admission officers. They told me that I would have a better chance at acceptance if I had a wider knowledge of the sciences. Once I returned I made the biggest decision of my education. It was a decision which would limit my options for my future career and would set me on a path as fixed as a train’s path its tracks. I decided to request to change my beloved art to biology.

Biology was something which I really enjoyed at GCSE level so I was quite happy to study it at A Level. I remember on the day of enrolment at college I was sat across one of the teachers in the crowded main hall discussing my subjects. I asked about changing Art to Biology, but she told me that all biology classes were full and that she wasn’t sure if I would be able to. She sent in the request for me anyways mentioning that some people may change from biology by the time the timetables were published the next day. I went back home thinking that if I was meant to take biology then it would appear on my timetable and if not, I would still be able to follow art if I chose to.

I’ve always had the philosophy that if something is meant to be then it will.

The next day I nervously looked at my timetable and found… biology. I was thrilled. I couldn’t wait to start my A Level courses. The next two years consisted of a lot of hard work learning more and feeding my curiosity. I went to loads of talks and discussions about particle physics and astrophysics hosted at universities and at college. I found them extremely interesting and I loved visiting Jodrell Bank observatory and learning all about radio telescopes. At college, there was an enrichment programme were you could either play sports, learn IT skills or debate all things politics. I chose

When it came to applying to University, I made sure I made my passion and interest known in my personal statement. I was accepted and this is the summer between my first and second year.

My first year of University studying Astrophysics has been amazing, I’ve learnt so many interesting things met some brilliant people and I cannot wait for next year!

So here I am, starting a blog.

So here I am, starting a blog. I’m thinking that I should’ve started one a while back but, better late than never! I’m not exactly sure what I’ll blog about so I’ll just see how this goes and, like a lot of things in life, time could turn it into something awesome!

A frolic through fiction

Looking for all the small magics of the world

Kelly's Rambles

Book reviews and other bookish delights.

Planet Hunters

A Zooniverse Project Blog

Creative Mismatch

An assorted box of chocolates :)


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