29 June 2015

This is what June looked like

June 2015. It will be up there as one of my favourite times. It has been a month of celebration, of results, of beach trips and balls. It has been a time of relaxing in the garden, long walks with friends, soaking up the glorious city and packing up to head home. 
It's been an end of an era month. A time to say goodbye to people who realistically I just don't know when I will see again. It has been a finishing off month, a time to clear out and throw away. It's been a month where I have wondered how I can possibly have that much stuff in my room that needs to be put into storage! 
June has also been a month where the big camera has had a wonderful workout. The more photos I take with it the more I realise I need to get it out more often. 

So here, in no real order, is what June looked like through my camera lens....


Thank you for all your sweet comments about my graduation on the last post. I feel like I travelled my uni adventure with most of you and it is wonderful to celebrate the completion of it with you too. 

25 June 2015

Graduation

On Tuesday I graduated from Durham university. It was an incredibly special day, filled with lots of pomp and circumstance, a good deal of emotion and many many photos!
It was very surreal to be putting my gown and hood on and walking up to the Chancellor to receive my degree after three years. Where has the time gone?!


The day started with the collection of my gown and hood. One of the joys of receiving a BA from Durham is that I get a sizeable quantity of fur (or fluff as I prefer to call it!) on my hood. The hoods are different colours/amounts of fur dependant on what time of degree you are getting. It was great fun trying to spot the most outlandish costume there!


After I collected my robes we managed to capture a few family shots.




And then I headed into the castle, which just happens to be right next to the cathedral. One of the many joys of living and graduating on a world heritage site!


In the castle they lined us up in the order our names would be read out and then got us hyped up for the event. Several mexican waves later we were ready to process into the cathedral. This was one of my favourite moments because it felt so important and momentous with the sight of purple gowns ahead of us and the organ music from the cathedral itself. 


The graduation ceremony itself was long but we were kept on our toes waiting for our names and making sure not to trip up the step in our heels. 
Once we were officially graduated we all processed up the nave of the cathedral and out onto the green where I was met by all my friends, all waving cameras! 


It was quite an emotional time, especially celebrating with course mates who had been through the same work. 


It was also a lovely time to get photos with special lecturers. This lovely man was my dissertation supervisor. He is a real eccentric and such fun to be taught by. 


Before we finished for the day I had to make sure I got some photos by my college. 


And one with a very special man. 


What a day!  I am so thankful for this place, for what I have studied and the support from all sides that I have received whilst I have been here. 

It's been a good one. Now, onto the next chapter! 

15 June 2015

In praise of the public library

One of the joys of having finished my degree is that I can now read what I want when I want.
I read an awful lot in my degree, mostly academic stuff and whilst it was interesting, it wasn't exactly page turning!
Now i've finished I've amassed quite a collection of fiction books to get stuck into from the library.


Ever since I was little I have visited our local library. When we were small we were given a book limit by my mum with the rule that what you took out on your library card, you had to carry home. I've been taking books out of the library ever since, from story books, to non fiction ones to thrillers to romance.

When I first arrived in Durham I made sure I quickly signed up to the public library and still visit it about once a week.

It amazed me as a child and still amazes me now that there are hundreds of thousands of books to be read for free, all obtained just through having a library card. What a wonderful thing to have at our fingertips!


My other reason for loving the library is that it is totally guilt free. I decided a while back that I had no time to try and finish books that I wasn't enjoying. As such, they are just returned and I don't feel guilty about having wasted money buying them.

Library visiting is a habit I got into as a very young child and I hope it continues!

Some books I have been enjoying lately:
The language of Flowers: Beautifully written and such an interesting subject. I learnt so much about the victorian meanings of flowers.
Arthur and George: A fictional book about Arthur Conan Doyle and the real life cases he helped to solve. Again, very cleverly written.
Me before you: This was recommended by so many people and it didn't disappoint. Very easy reading and deeply moving.

So, do you visit the library? Have your read anything recently that you would recommend?

9 June 2015

One photo & Twenty words



A new waffle place has opened. We thought for the interests of public consumption we should go and test it!

........................................................................................................................................

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! 



29 May 2015

Up the tower

There is a funny superstition in Durham.
One that is passed around the students, old to young as they enter this historic university.
"Don't climb the Cathedral Tower before you have finished your degree". For the simple reason that if you do, "you won't get a first".


I don't know if my American friends have the same grading system at university? Here you can get a 3rd, a 2.2, a 2.1 (generally the most common mark and what most people aim for) and the top mark, a first. 

Now don't get me wrong, some students do climb the cathedral tower before they finish, perhaps because they don't want a first anyway, perhaps because they aren't superstitious.
I'm not superstitious at all but for some reason it had never come up to climb the tower before this point. I just don't think it is the 'done' thing! It's funny how these superstitions become tradition, even if you don't believe in them!


Anyway, once I finished my final exams and the boy had come to stay, I declared that now was the time I would climb the cathedral tower.


The boy came with me and it was impressive that he did because a steep 325 step spiral staircase is no mean feat when you have asthma. Ironically he was less out of puff than I was when we reached the top! The staircase was also incredibly narrow so if one person was going down as you came up, the two parties had to press themselves against opposite walls and clamber over each other. It made for quite the experience!

The view from the top was superb. We could see all angles of Durham from the surrounding countryside and we spent a good half hour taking photos and admiring the view as we pointed out different landmarks.


It was such a fun way to celebrate finishing my degree. Superstition or not, i'm glad I waited because it felt like such a fitting end to my academic studies!

23 May 2015

I did a degree


Let the celebrations commence!

18 May 2015

Finishing well

This is my last week of studying for my undergraduate degree.
Last bits of revision, last essays to read over. Last exams.
It doesn't feel five minutes since I was here:

The final push now. Let's finish this well.

If you are inclined to do so I would really appreciate your prayers for my final two big exams on Friday and Saturday morning. Thank you.