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Jan. 28th, 2012

bereft

2011

Well Jan is nearly over so it's about time I said good bye to 2011.

2011 was many things.

Unfortunately what I remember most about it is the loss of kitties. Giles was my baby boy for 4 years and I was distraught when we lost him. I truely treat my cats like my children and I was wreaked. Some good things came from his loss, we took in Toothless and Puss, I started volunteering regularly at the rescue. Then we lost Puss, we took in Po. We're now thinking of being cat fosterers for those who need attention. Starting with Toothless' sister Satan. Even the loss of Puss was not all bad, she has a good few months before a death which was quick and painless and likely due to an underlying condition. Despite the good that came of it I don't want to think about what decision I would make if I was ever given the option for it to have not happened. On top of loosing Giles and Puss we also lost Whiskas and Faithful, two of my childhood cats. 2011 was not the year of cat survival. Although it probably was the year that I blossomed into a true crazy cat lady.

Looking back I will also remember 2011 as the year of the road trips and breaks. Inspired by a friend and due to necessity we had to do several long car trips around the country. We had Finland, which was very excellent, a road trip around England seeing ancient sites, a Yuletide roadtrip, Dovedale camp, Oakleaf camp. a festive road trip to see those we love. Not only did we clock up the miles and see great things but I also learnt that I have many people around the country that I can call on. Many friends who will share with me, their home, their food, their knowledge, their companionship and their possessions. Many generous people. 2011 was a year of realising what I have and how lucky I am.

Something very very very good also came of 2011. I learnt to knit, and a little crochet. I learnt to try new things in the kitchen, forage for food and make things I wouldn't have thought of. I baked my first banana bread. It was a year of creativity. Of discovering I can be creative. I am not musical. I am not artistic. I am not poetic. I never thought I would be able to create beautiful things. Now I know I can. Knitting has also been very therapeutic for me. I am encourage to sit on my butt and rest, because I can still be productive. I can focus on something repetitive, something that is immensely calming for me and one of the ways I used to use self harm. 2011 was the year I learnt to craft.

A few other things happened in 2011. I continued my phd, amid self doubts. I had a summer depression, which was unusual. I started prozac, which has been surprisingly helpful. I started monitoring my moods, very informative. I went horse riding again, painful but fun. I finally discovered the reasons for my headaches, sinus troubles. My father decided he'd like to sign my birth certificate and get to know me, shocking and confusing. I rebuilt bridges with a cousin I haven't spoken to in years, somewhat cleansing. I stopped being Acacia's wonderful Aunty Danielle, sobering. I made some damn fine wines, tasty. We grew and harvested our own foods, exciting and rewarding. We made this house more of our home, hard work but well worth it. I'm sure I'll remember other things but those are the main ones. 

I guess looking back at it 2011 was not an awful year. Anyone who has read this journal knows that I have had far far worse. It will always be overshadowed by the loss of Giles, but hopefully, reading here I will be able to remember the good it gave me. And if I can't even do that then maybe I can cherish the new skills I have learnt, and the kitties who have entered my life.

Good bye and thank you 2011. You weren't good, you weren't bad. You were just life, shades of grey.

Jul. 17th, 2011

bereft

The Life and Times of Giles Gibbs-Gordon

Giles Gibbs-Gordon, aka Fatty, didn't live a long life but it was adventurous. His story starts before his birth when two friends of ours, Seb and Sophie took in a stray cat they had been feeding who was getting rather fat. She was pregnant and we were contacted to see if we would want kittens. He was born on the 12th April 2007. Together with Becka we went to visit the mother and her litter a couple of weeks after their birth. Giles was a very quiet kitten at the time and Sophie mentioned he hadn't been pooping, turns out the poor chap had blocked anal glands, which the vet sorted out. He perked up a bit after that. We had selected what would be Giles and Bagheera (Seb or Sophie can you remember the birth names?), whilst Becka chose what would be Chiana and Jayne. I don't remember which day we came and collected them but there was a yowling journey to Manchester and their second home. They spent two Christmas' at this house. We soon found they were very very much people cats, sleeping in which ever room we were in and crying when they couldn't find us. Here we learnt that Giles liked to crawl in small places, stick his nose up Sam's nose and sleep on Sam's chest. We also learnt that they love the water put down for christmas tree and that Giles liked his food. He put on weight at a good pace, not obese though, his paws were huge. It only really showed when he sat and then his bum would sprawl. We also learnt that Giles would never use a litter kwitter but lets not dwell on the smell or stress of that one! We made the decision in this house to allow the cats out. It was one we took a long time off, we lived on a main road with big double decker buses. But we decided that it is better that they have the chance to live their lives to the full rather than be crying (and they already were) to go out all the time. They mostly stuck to being in the back but one time Giles did get stuck on the other side of the road and Sam had to go get him. He was terrified then and actually sprayed Sam as he carried him home. Only time he ever sprayed. It was here that Lis named Bagsy and Giles to be puppies. Bagsy didn't take to it but Giles did. He would play chase with a bouncey ball we got. He'd sit by you waiting for you to throw it, then run after it. He didn't have the returning down though so you had to go pick it up and start again!

We moved to Wigan in 2008 and Giles was able to come into his own here. We had a cat flap and grass. He loved going out so much. He would go out and roll like a horse on the paving. Spreading himself out and really enjoying it. Although he loved curling up with us he really loved the outdoors. We found out here that he was not going to be a mouser, if he developed it anywhere it would have been here, but he never brought anything home.

We weren't in Wigan long and in 2009 came the move to London. He didn't like the move very much but you can't blame him. I think he liked it there. There was no catflap which he didn't like, and my old cats next door were very territorial but he managed to hold his own. Well enough that when we ate my Mums so did he! It was a little shocking the first time we noticed Giles in my mums house happy as larry. I think he trusted that wherever we were was a safe place for him! We lost his sister for a few days when we first moved to London and it did affect him. Even though they fought you could tell he missed her. We let him out for a very short time one night and he walked back and forth around the house sniffing. Bagsy returned that night. He was a very good cat, never needing the vet for anything more than vaccinations but he did get in one fight. One night Bagsy was not looking good at all, limping and scared, we noticed in hindsight that Giles was also in shock. The vet thought it was probably a fight with some foxes as both of them had very damaged claws and paws like they had the dragged across tarmac. We figure that Bagsy picked a fight she couldn't finish and Giles stepped in and sat on the fox. (Have I told it right Sam?). He developed another dog like behaviour here, jumping up. We had an ensuite here and when you came out of the bathroom in your towel he would jump onto the bed and jump up on you. Unfortunately we have no pictures of this but he would stand with his back legs on the bed and his front legs on your chest raising his nose to sniff your face. You would have to stroke him at this point as well. He would do this probably twice and then you were free to dry off and get dressed! He totally owned us. I do have to say he did this more with Sam than he did with me but he was always a Daddy's boy. Or maybe he just liked Sam without lynx. He really didn't like Sam's lynx just the sight of the can in Sam's hand and Giles was out of that room!

London wasn't a long stay either and soon it was the epic trip to Edinburgh, Sept 2010. He didn't like this trip at all, and was out of sorts for a few days afterwards. Possibly sick on the country roads. I do believe he really loved it here though. For a long time he didn't have a cat flap but he became more vocal here. Yowling to be let out, yowling for food (they now got wet food which he loved) and yowling for his toy. Oh boy, his toy. We bought this feather on a stick toy and he was mad for it. He would sit for hours just looking up at the bookshelf where it was kept waiting for us to play with it. Any time you stood up from the sofa he would get up from where he was sleeping and run to it just in case you were getting it down! Here he started doing his jumping up without towels (probably because we no longer had the ensuite). You would just be standing somewhere and suddenly feel this weight against your thigh (over 5kg of weight now!). It meant that you needed to feed, let out or play with him. He made his needs quite clear!

On the 14th of July 2011 I got a call from Sam whilst I was in London. He said he thought Giles had been hit by a car. A neighbour had told our next door neighbour that a tabby cat had been hit by a car and had been taken away by the council. The person said they thought it had a collar. Stevie (our neighbour) told his little girls that Tilly had died, but then Tilly came home. Stevie then came round and told Sam as Giles is also tabby. Sam called me. We hoped that it wasn't him but as it got later and Giles didn't turn up for dinner the hope died. I called the council the next morning hoping to recover Giles' body so that we could have him cremated and keep his ashes. I was told that the council dispose of bodies right away. He was gone from us. However they don't keep any data on the animals they collect other than the call they receive so all they could tell me was that a tabby was picked up in the area. I have to hope that it was quick and that his body was shown the respect that such a wonderful boy deserves.

So that was my handsome boy, from birth to death he was a charming part of my life. I didn't mean for this to be so long, but I wanted to put somewhere our memories of him. Anyone who has been to our house since 2007 knows how central our babies are to us. I love having guests but this is their home and my babies do come first. They are a very central part of our life and I want it to be known that this little boy played such a role. He was here, he lived and he affected those around us. He will be missed and never forgotten.

Here is a link to an album I set up on facebook of pictures of him. 

http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150241408296835.321506.670811834

Dans

Jul. 2nd, 2011

thinking

Updating!

 Wow there is a lot to update you on. Might have to use cuts.

HorseridingCollapse )
HorseridingCollapse )
 
 
So that's everything that's gone on since the last post. What's coming up? Well as I said above there the garden shed and more beds to dig, more plants to plants. There's the hallway floor and skirtings. There's horseriding lessons (yay). I'm also feeling a bit fat and lacking in rhythm. Went to a school friend's wedding just before Finland and my old friends could dance so well. So I'm going to try a Zumba class, it's like keep fit and dancing so hopefully will get me a little bit more intune with music and loose a few pounds at the same time! I'm really hoping it's a bit like the tribal belly dancing I did in Manchester as I really really enjoyed that and haven't been able to find anything similar. I'm also going to try swimming. I really enjoyed swimming in the lake in Finland in the breaks from the sauna and did a lot better than I thought. It would also be a good thing for Sam to do. Hopefully we can try and go one night this week and see if we can keep it up. I'll be a busy girl, PhD, horseriding, Zumba, swimming, gardening and housework. Not to mention I want to learn to knit and to sew, but one (or 5) things at a time hey? Lastly we are making plans for travelling to Essen for the Boardgaming convention this Autumn, really hope it all goes well, although it does mean that I won't be going to Disney. First time since 2003 that I won't visit a Disney in an odd year :-s.
 
Right bed calls. If you've read to the end then I hope you are less bored than you must have been at the start!
 
*hugs*
 
Dans
 
Oh and I got a hair cut, so short it can only tie back in pigtails! But I am finding it isn't too bad curly at this length. Oh and I've managed to get an ice cream maker off freecycle so now that there is lactofree cream in the UK I can try and make my own ice cream! Annnnd I have a new laptop. Mashiro isn't quite dead, she's still ok for surfing, but I am now on Alucard, he's an Acer and he is red and black., that's the important stuff I'm sure. Just like Mashiro being a Dell and being purple and silver. Sam worries about the techincal bits for me :-D
 
 

Apr. 2nd, 2011

playful

The joy of reading

I've started to enjoy reading again. Something that I'm very glad of.

It started with Fire by Kirstin Cashore (a present from the lovely XakliaAeryn for my birthday last year), I really had trouble putting it down and had forgotten reading could be so fun.

I tried to follow it up with the Death Note novel but with the move to Scotland and the end of the MSc that didn't go as well and reading got put aside once again.

Now that I've gotten settled I picked up the DN novel again and carried on from where I had paused. I liked it a lot more that I had expected. I've decided now to try and keep up with the reading. It used to bring me such joy but then life just got in the way and it got pushed to the side of my life.

I've got a variety of books waiting for me, more fiction, some cookery books, Becka got me two lovely books on lost crafts and knowledge which I am sinking my teeth into, and of course there is manga.

I thought that to keep track of the books I've read and to write a little about what I think of them I'd set up a tag and do it here. It's not a review, and it may just be a couple of lines, but it's something nice for me and who knows maybe if you read you'll hear about a book you may like! Manga will be over at Nanashimoriko as always.

Dans
Tags: ,

Jan. 30th, 2011

positive

Helllloooooo 2011

Well I'm a little late to greet you but we said hello at new years so I think I can be forgiven.

After 2010 you've a lot to live to live up to but I'm hoping that this year will be a little less busy than how it started.

So what would I like from you?

A holiday! I would like to go somewhere and relax. So far things are looking fairly positive for a midsummer holiday and as I'm directing my research I'll make damn sure nothing clashes!

To get through my first year review - please please please let them like me enough to keep me going!

To not be laughed out of my first conference. I may not be giving an oral presentation but I really hope that my poster is up to standard and I'm liked there.

To not bring my work home. I think this is going to be one of my hardest things, especially as I now get work email on my phone. This first month with the treatment trial has been hectic and I've needed to do work at home but I'm hoping I can find a balance that lets me relax, enjoy my time with Sam, talk to my friends and do more house stuff.

A vegetable garden. We are working hard on making this happen I'm hoping that my ground in fertile and the weather is sympathetic and then hopefully we will have fruit and veggies!

Oh gods so much of that was work related!

I'd also like to expand my cooking repertoire, and cook something new each week. Again Jan has been hectic and Feb will be too but hopefully after that things will ease off and I'll have more time.

So basically I would like to be an ace PhD student, a wonderful cook and gardener, travel and relax. I don't ask for much hey?

Nah, really 2011, the best thing you can give me is to just keep me going as I am. Any of the above is an added bonus but if I can keep managing my mental health whilst living a decent standard of life I will be giving you thanks daily! As always I know it will be a struggle, we are in SAD time and I'm thankful for the treatment trial keeping me so busy that I barely know what month it is, but there will be hard times and dark days, just let me keep this faith that the sun will rise again and shine his light on me :-D

Dans 
yes!

farewell 2010

 wow 2010 I guess it is high time I said farewell to you. I'm a bit late but it seems like Jan is always a hectic time.

Thank you, thank you and thank you.

This year has seen me surpass my wildest hopes for myself.

I held it together for my masters, there were some hard days and some rough spots but I did it, and I managed 100% attendance and decent grades. When I applied for the masters I wasn't sure I'd even complete the masters, I just wanted to try. And I did it. I am so amazed at what I;ve managed to accomplish considering where I was just a few years ago.

I didn't get the holidays I had my fingers crossed for but I did make it to Ripon and that is enough for me.

I kept the momentum going and applied for jobs and phds. After a lot of low self confidence and doubting I was offered a phd and decided to give it a go. I still think maybe they confused me someone else but I am loving it and they seem happy with my standard of work so let's see how it goes.

Sam and I did buy a house together which went a lot smoother than we could have hoped for. We moved to Scotland and we have been working on it and I've been surprised by how much I enjoy making it ours.

Nothing else has really happened, 2010 saw me very focused on my studies, in somecases to the detriment of my relationships but it's gonna take me a while to balance things.

This year I have learnt that I am capable, I am smart, I am more than my mental health. I think that is what I wanted from it and I am very thankful to have it! 

Dans

And of course I totally missed off several things. I am driving more and a lot more confident with that. I have developed a crazy love for pink and purple, in both clothes and accessories. I tried dieting in a sensible way and managed to loose weight and maintain it. I was diagnosed as being vitamin d deficient which, after a couple injections and being on a course of supplements for life, has helped me sooooo much in my movement. It no longer hurts to walk up stairs or anything. I haven't had a diazepam in over 6months despite the stress of moving and SAD. I was put back on antidepressants (citalopram) as a just in case by my overly cautious Dr (but he spotted the vit d deficiency so I don't mind). So far no side effects (wahey) but I haven't noticed any benefits, it's hard to tell with bipolar though, it's not a sustained down. All in all life is good. Again thank you 2010 for being good to me!

Nov. 3rd, 2010

fly

Yeah I'm pants at updating

 Wow I have actually been pants about posting the house updates! Just got so busy. Ah well it's the though that counts right?

To give a teeny update the upstairs is floored but we decided on new skirtings so it's lacking those. I got frustrated living out of boxes so we unpacked stuffs. We also bought curtains for all rooms other than the dining room but so far its only the spare bedroom that has them up. We bought a dishwasher and a fridge and the kitchen kinda looks ok. Just gotta get a washing machine in then we can do the floor in there and it shall be marginally useable *growls about her kitchen*

As a positive we qualify for free cavity insulation so got that done and we can get loft insulation if we put some vents up there, gotta contact a builder. On the downside the seal is no good on the double glazing in the front bedroom so there's a draft and the front door seems to have a leakage issue as after the rainstorm the other night there was a few small puddles in the hall. We'll get there with the house it'll just take longer than I thought/hoped.

In other news I started at Moredun fine. I have a desk in an office with a bunch of lovely people and I've been reading lots and even got some lab work in doing some ELISAs. I've attended a couple of courses (EndNote, giving presentations and one for a personal license) and I've even done some presenting to some BSc students (it was only a small class though). So that's all going well. I've decided to change method with my reading and try to reading bits on diff topics rather than read each one through before starting the next one. It's been a month and I'm still reading copro Ag. I have to present my planned outline of research in 6 weeks time and there's no way I'd get through the lit in that time. Also have two theses to read *argh*. I got to go to a farm as well and learnt how to get a rectal faecal sample (yep that's probably what you're thinking it is). I also signed up to be student rep for this years new phd students. Before you tell me I take on too much the job is pretty simple. There are no meetings to attend in 1st year and all I have to do is be there for if any of the 7 of us have problems I can take it to the phd organiser unless it's about him. lol

So, so far the PhD is going well. I'm getting much more confident with the driving now that I'm doing it three days a week. I can bay park a doddle and its going well. Apart from my rage at the stupid people who have no idea what they are doing on the road and are doing blooming 40 in the 60 area. Why when you can take that bend perfectly fine at 50 do they feel the need to go at 30 *growls*

Ahem. Yes. It's cold up here. And rainy. And soooo bloody fecking dark it's depressing! I can feel the SAD starting up early this year! 4:30pm should not be that dark yet *Sigh* Ah well I still like it. I'm missing the exercise of public transport though. I need to get walking places, might try going for a lunch time walk if I can stand the cold. Doesn't help that my diet got a lil derailed. The dark is making me comfort eat and there are tea breaks at work which means drinking tea and we have treat wednesdays where someone bakes cakes for everyone in parasitology. Not good for the waist. Have put on nearly 2kgs since I came up here. Kinda depressing when I lost 5kg over summer *sigh*

Nat drove up with the kids for half term. That girl is superwoman I swear. She did the drive by herself. It was good to have them up and it spurred us to get more done in the house, just wish I'd had more time to spend with them. Managed to get the kids and Nat hooked on Inuyasha and got Nat interested Mai Hime. Hopefully they'll be able to come up again some time. Especially as we've made the decision to stay up here for xmas.

Right I've been complaining about how exhausted I've been feeling so best get myself washed and into bed. Now that we are slightly settled I hope I'll be here more and won't have to spam your pages with long updates!

Hope everyone is well *huggles f-list*

Dans

PS I passed my MSc (managing a distinction in my project somehow)! Woohoo. Official declaration of fail, pass or distinction comes out this month but I will more than likely be in the Pass section as I don't think my overall was high enough for a distinction.

Sep. 28th, 2010

DIY

more house ramblings

 Day 3 with pictures

The house chronicles part 2Collapse )

Sep. 27th, 2010

yes!

We have a house!

 Well everything went fine with the house, it is ours, we are in it and all is good.

I've been updating facebook regularly but this morning decided here may be better. I can ramble at length (under a cut) and people can choose if they want to be bored by tales of flooring and kitchens and gardens and what not. So I'll do a quick update of the last two days and then hopefully post each evening. It'll also get me back into the swing of posting again!

House Chronicles part 1Collapse )

Sep. 20th, 2010

blessed

I'm baaaaaccccck!

 Well, it's been a while. 7 months, probably the longest I've gone without posting. But it's also probably been the busiest year of my life so I guess it's understandable. It's certainly been the hardest I've ever worked.

So where have I been? In London doing a masters in Medical Parasitology. It's been soooo much more work than I had been expecting. I was bit naive. I guess I still had visions of undergrad, I wasn't expecting a walk in the park but I was expecting more assignments and less lectures. More time at home. Instead I had lectures/practicals 9-5 5 days a week and assignments and further reading to do on top of all that. After Christmas we had 3 5 week terms in which time we covered 6 modules each with assessments at the end. 2 final exams followed and then the summer project. I did however managed 100% attendance which for me is amazing, got some grades I am very very proud of and made some wonderful friends.

My summer project was a rollercoaster in itself. I had arranged to travel to the Philippines and conduct a study comparing the specificity and sensitivity of the current main diagnostic technique for detecting soil transmitted helminth eggs in human stool against a new technique in areas of high and low prevalence. It would have also looked at the prevalence of 3 helminth infections in school children in the two areas.

I have to say that I've always had a soft spot for helminths and this year has really got me interested in diagnostics. This project was gonna be awesome. I was a bit nervous as it would be so far away from home, and a bit sad as it meant I would have to miss oakleaf but I was really excited about it.

Unfortunately a week before my final exams and 2 weeks before I was due to fly I was informed that it would have to be cancelled as the lab wanted to do other stuff with their time. That had me disappointed and bit mad that they left it so late to tell me. I'd also already written my introduction and spent the last 3-4 months doing my literature search and reading papers. I then had to find a new project with 2 weeks before I was due to start it and catch up on all that lost reading. I ended up with a molecular biology project on schistosomes. Still worms but molecular biology, my worst topic which I don't really understand at all. The lab work was ok but the reading and writing and actually understanding what i was doing was a long nightmare that very nearly put me off research for life. But I managed to do it and hand it in and hopefully it makes enough sense to pass!

On the up side as it was now a UK based project I managed to go to oakleaf. Had a great time. For the first time I got absolutely blind drunk to the point of being sick. Apparently everyone has one year of going off the rails at oakleaf, this one happened to be mine. I had managed 6 years without it so not bad! My sister came to oakleaf finally and that was lovely, she really enjoyed it and I liked being able to share it with her and spend some chill out time with her.

In other news I have spent a lot of time this year trawling job sites and findaphd.com. When I did my undergrad I focused on finishing but not what was going to happen afterwards. That meant I finished and got a job with woolies and kind of forgot about science, then found it really hard to get a job. I was determined not to let that happen this time and so got on the case of planning whilst I was studying. I also needed to know what was happening next as we needed to leave the house we were in by the end of oct latest and we wanted to buy so needed to know in advance where in the country we would be heading.

I applied to a couple of jobs and a few phds that met my interests. I got a phone interview for one with an hours notice which went horribly and I got a face to face interview for another phd. The interview was fun but I really thought I had messed it up. I was very shocked to be offered the position. It's based in Edinburgh, Midlothian to be exact and will be a study looking at the current diagnostic techniques we have for detecting liver fluke in sheep, comparing their ability to predict adult burden and drug efficacy as well as looking into the epidemiology of the disease. It sounds amazing and I am soooo excited about it.

We took a trip up to Edinburgh in the middle of August and looked at about 25 houses, we found one we love and started the process of buying as soon as we got back. We are in a binding contract so if the owners back out now they have to pay a hefty fine so the house is pretty  much ours. We have a move in date of the 24th Sept my PhD starts 1st Oct but they have told me to come in on the 4th and take the weekend to get settled. Our stuff arrives on the 2nd. It's all systems go at the moment. I'm gonna be sad to leave London, and Edinburgh is cold and new but I am so excited about it all.

I also tried to shift some weight again. I started on a slim fast diet (had reached that level of desperation). It worked quiet well surprisingly, 2 200odd calorie shakes, 3 100 calorie snacks and a 600 calorie dinner. However the shake powder had lactose in it, and the snacks and lunch bars were sickly. So I modified it. I made my own snacks (breakfast bars, benecols and fruit) and my own lunches. I stuck to the calorie limits though. I started in June at 84kg and I'm not 79kg. Still obese according to the bmi scale but a big improvement. I stopped it mid august. Well I say stopped. The problem with diets is that people go back to eating the way they had been and of course the weight goes back on. So I modified my diet (not in the weight loss sense but it the sense of my diet is what I eat). I have a 200 calorie breakfast, I have roughly 200 calorie lunch and I have a sensible dinner. I have snack as well during the day. I've also had chineses, and kfc and mc donalds and a bunch of other fattening bad for me dinners and lunches and breakfasts and I'me drinking tea again. I've stopped loosing weight but I haven't put weight on again. I've maintained the loss and I don't feel like I'm dieting even though I'm eating a lot less than I had been. It's just that what I had been eating was sooo much more than my body needed. Once I get moved and settled I'll get stricter about the dinners and snacks and hopefully loose weight again. But it's made a real difference knowing that I can maintain a weight without having to be really strict on what I eat. I enjoy eating and the idea of a life of salads was not appealing. This is so much better.

I really am feeling blessed in life right now. I have an amazing partner who has stood by me, a little neglected, and supported me whilst I've worked at this masters and I love him so very much. I have been gifted with the opportunity to do this PhD at what seems an amazing institute with really nice people. I've found a gem of a house and *touches wood* the process has been relatively smooth and stressless. Someone up there really is looking down and smiling on me at the moment and I'm more thankful than I can put into words and sooo very happy with my life.

Well I best get back to the packing, nearly done. But yes this year I've been quiet but I've completed a masters, arranged to start a PhD, bought a house and arranged a move to the other end of the country, I've been a busy girl!

I hope everyone is well. Once I get settled I'll be reading peoples updates again. I'm looking forward to catching up with people!

*huggles f-list*

Dans

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