26 February 2015

This uni gig


I got a date for my diary last week.
The 23rd of May.
The day I finish my degree.

It's a weird thought. I remember when I first arrived in Durham those finalists told me how the time would fly by. I didn't believe them. But here I am, on the downhill slope and my word how it has gone quickly! It feels like yesterday I was packing up to head up North or just a minute ago my friends and I were living together in our little house.
Three years has rushed by in great dollops, those red letter moments characterising the years.

Elise Blaha wrote a post the other day about how she doesn't feel any different the older she gets.
It really resonated with me because I feel just like that.
I remember getting to Durham and looking up at the Third years with respect and admiration. There they were, writing dissertations, applying to jobs, a few of them engaged. At the time I just accepted it. I saw them as the grown ups with nearly three years of university life on their shoulders.

But now I'm there, in the same position and I feel, just like me.
Just like the 'me' who arrived in Durham in 2012. Sure, I have learnt a lot and grown up in many ways but I don't feel like an 'adult'.
And I wonder if I ever will feel like an adult?
Today I took a step back and looked at where I am now. I'm writing possibly the longest piece of work I will ever turn in at university. I have a position on a course next year which will train me for a job. I have a long term boyfriend who is coming to join me here in the next year.
That sounds very grown up.
But I don't feel it. It feels like a game. Like we used to play make believe when we were little.

It makes me smile really.
We look up to those who are that step further down the 'life landmarks' than us and think they know it all. Or I do at least.
Now i'm here, i'm not so sure. And I think that's nice in a way. That we (or maybe just me) are muddling through in our own merry way, acting out this 'adult' thing and really just feeling like 'us'.

So tell me, is it just me or do you not feel like an 'adult' yourself? Does that feeling ever change? Discuss!

23 February 2015

The food market in the car park

"What shall we do this evening" I asked my friends at Dinner.
One of them turned to me, " I've heard there's this food market in a car park" she said. "Shall we go?"
So we did (if a little sceptically!)


It was actually far safer than it sounds and far more fun than any of us expected.
We turned up at the multi-storey car park to find a queue snaking down the street. With increasing excitement we waited. We could smell all sorts of food and were enjoying bopping along to the live music, yet we have no idea what was inside.


A sign on the entrance informed us that this was a 'no cash' zone so we exchanged our money for little pink and green tokens. This made it so fun because you had to decide at the beginning how much to exchange (you could exchange back any unused tokens at the exit). With 5 little tokens clutched in my hand we entered the car park.

At least we think it was a car park because it looked totally different. There were lights everywhere and big banners and fantastic jazz music. It was packed and everyone was queueing for all sorts of food.


All the prices were written in 'tokens' so it was great fun wandering around working out what the best deal was for the amount we had exchanged.
All sorts of foods were on offer from pizza and crepes to ribs, fish and mexican dishes.
My party loved the crepes and the warm donuts with salted caramel sauce.


It was one of those evenings that felt very surreal. It was a spontaneous decision and it turned out to be such a great night.

We have since heard that the food market will become a monthly thing. I don't think my waistline or purse can take it!

17 February 2015

Project life weeks 3 & 4

Sporadic blogging isn't what I would choose but in my final year of uni i'm still working on getting the balance! I miss blogging when I don't do it so am working on finding a pattern that is right for me. 

Project life weeks 3 and 4. Sometimes this project is a chore and sometimes I come into a room and find the boy sitting on my bed with the PL book open on his knee and it is entirely worth it. 

This is how I went about making these pages: 


For week three I had two 'sets' of SLR photos which I wanted to display along with some snapshots of the week. I therefore chose this template because it gave me the option to pop in some 4x6 collages. 

I started with my favourite photos of my PL book, leaving one untouched in a pocket and the other with a small space of journalling underneath. I wanted to include other photos but didn't want to overwhelm the page so made a small four photo collage and a simple sentiment. 

I then turned to my knitting and sewing photos and did a similar thing. A shallow depth of field works really well for adding journalling later and I just directly placed it on top of the photo before putting the picture in the pocket. 


Week four was a slightly different set up because I knew I wanted to include the stories of our trip to London. That meant a lot of text. I tackled this by using some of my favourite photos on their own in with just a small tag and then pairing that with journalling cards with a lot of writing on. 
I also tried to keep the colours fairly neutral, so lots of cream and brown with pops of blue. 


I kept a similar feel for the second page, using large journalling spots alongside smaller photos and a few details. I find keeping the font the same all the way through helps to unify a page. 
I'm always torn with adding lots of text to my pages however I figure that the stories are sometimes more important than the photos. 
For a trip like this I tried to keep my photos and journalling in chronological order so when I come back to look at the page it makes sense as a whole story. 

It's good to have most of January documented now. On to catch up with February! 

9 February 2015

One Photo & Twenty words


We share a name and a love of photography. On a cold Saturday we explored the hills, cameras in tow.
........................................................................................................................................

My challenge for you today. Find one photo and choose up to twenty words to tell its story. Jot it down and link back here. The link will stay open for a week so you have plenty of time to join in! 

7 February 2015

"I love your...." valentines day cards


If you have been here for a while you will know that I don't get super soppy over valentines day.
Over the years though the boy and I have got into the habit of giving cards.
Giving cards to a guy is hard. Especially valentines day cards.
I don't want to go all pretty, nor too mushy, nor too rude.

This year I set about making a template for my own design.
I liked the idea of a printed sentiment with the option to customise so this is what I came up with....


A simple phrase "I love your.." and then space to fill in the blanks. Space to write sappy stuff, or funny stuff or a little bit of cheeky stuff.

I played around with two designs. I used the red design as my card. I printed it on lovely hammered card (and nearly broke the uni printer) and then simply folded it and added my words.


The other design would work great as a greetings card but just as well as a project life card or a sweet note to be found somewhere. I printed this design on plain card and again added my words.


The sentiment "I love your" can be used for anything. I have plans to use this in project life a bit this year on photos of friends as well as the boy. To make this easier I changed my design into a photoshop file so the colour can be changed and it can be layered on top of a photo.


I would love to spread the love a bit this week and offer these designs as jpegs and as a psd. file. If you would like a copy please would you email me at: abigail(dot)beach(at)hotmail(dot)co(dot)uk
and I will happily send them your way. 
Obviously these took a bit of time to make as I used my own handwriting so if you feel like you would like to donate in some way that would be much appreciated, but please don't feel obliged. If you do want to give something to the "Abi fund" I suggest about 50p! Details on how to donate will be sent with the designs. 

2 February 2015

Me on Monday


It was a nothing in the diary sort of weekend. A, let's be spontaneous and got to a food market in a carpark kind of Friday evening ( more to come on that! Spoiler: it was rad and far less dangerous than it sounds!) It was an essay writing, washing doing, email answering, family skyping sort of time.

A climbing up hills weekend. A grabbing the camera and going on a photo walk weekend. A chocolate munching, friends watching, snuggled in the warmth kind of time.
And it was good.

What did your weekend look like?

Today I'm joining with Sian's lovely meme, me on monday 

28 January 2015

London Town

He had a weekend off so we went (reasonably) spontaneous and decided to have a mini break in the city. It was the best decision.


I love London. I love how much there is to see for free.

I love the buzz of the city, the varied choices of places to eat, the old buildings mixed in with the new.

We started off with trafalgar square and the National Portrait Gallery. They had a fab contemporary photography exhibition on. There were so many inspiring photos and so much inspiration to be found.



We then headed towards Liberty. Believe it or not, I have never been there, but it was a treat to be sure.  I spent a happy time stroking the fabric in the haberdashery section and realising I couldn't afford any of it!



In the afternoon we took a trip to Lambeth to see the First World War galleries at the Imperial war museum. There was just so much to see, so much to take in and a lot of emotion to contend with. It is well worth a visit.


I always forget that walking around London is a bit of a workout! I think I got more exercise in one weekend than I have all term.

The next day we headed up to Islington and explored the beautiful shops in that area. Sitting in a cafe munching on croissant and coffee, I decided that this wasn't a bad way to do life. Just a shame the work has to come in somewhere!


Getting away for a weekend was so refreshing. London town, you are pretty lovely.

When I am next in the city I am keen to meet up with a few of you who live there! I would love your inside knowledge about where to eat, visit and explore and of course, a catch up face to face wouldn't go amiss!