First light

#59: Remember yesterday, when you wrote down the first thought you had this morning? Great. Now write a post about it.

No word of a lie, when my alarm woke me up this morning, my first thought was ‘Yay! It’s Friday!’. Now this is extremely unusual as I normally have no idea what day it is but I think because I’ve got next week off, I just have it etched in my memory. I’m looking forward to not having to get up at 6am!

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Comedy of errors

#58: Murphy’s Law says, “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.” Write about a time everything did — fiction encouraged here, too!

This morning. I ran out of cereal, I forgot to put my scarf on before leaving the house (and I’m a person who feels the cold easily, so need as many layers as possible!), my train was cancelled, the next available train was half the size it usually is (so if you suffer from claustrophobia, you would have had a problem) and i’ve just been told that I didn’t make the interview stages for a job writing product descriptions for a fashion outlets website. Even though all this has happened, I still feel surprisingly upbeat as I have next week off for my birthday and I’ll be joining my local gym… super exciting times!

* no fiction necessary

Bonus assignment: do you keep a notebook next to your bed? Good. Tomorrow morning, jot down the first thought you have upon waking, whether or not it’s coherent.

I don’t keep a notepad besides my bed, but I will do tonight!

Happily ever after

#57: “And they lived happily ever after.” Think about this line for a few minutes. Are you living happily ever after? If not, what will it take for you to get there?

Not yet. But I will get there. My happy ever after would consist of having a sturdy and of course thoroughly enjoyable job, living in my own place decorated just how I’d like it to be, having the ability to go out more often with friends to try new cuisines as well as enjoying at least a weeks travel every year (to places such as Borneo, Thailand, Italy etc). Like many other happy ever afters, mine wouldn’t be complete without sharing my life with someone I love. What happens after that would be a bonus!

Cliché

#56: Clichés become clichés for a reason. Tell us about the last time a bird in the hand was worth two in the bush for you.

Before I wrote today’s post, I just had to find out where this saying came from! It is believed that it originated in mediaeval times, where a bird in the hand (a falcon) was an incredibly valuable asset and most certainly worth more than two in the bush (referring to the prey). The meaning behind this therefore is that it is better to have something that is certain than to take a risk to get more, which may result in losing everything.

So with that in mind, I guess the closest thing to it that I have experienced is job hunting. As much as I love my job, unfortunately there is no opportunity for career progression, so spending all of my spare time seeking out a new position has the potential to result in a position not as enjoyable or with as much responsibility. It very much is a gamble in my opinion as you never know if the new job you take will be better than the previous one – although I’m sure it will all work out in the end! I’m a firm believer of good things come to those who wait.

Buffalo nickel

#55: Dig through your couch cushions, your purse, or the floor of your car and look at the year printed on the first coin you find. What were you doing that year?

Since I’m in the office for my lunch break (I know – madness when it’s so sunny outside!), it would look extremely bizarre if I were to begin rummaging around the sofas, which are situated outside in the communal area! However, remembering that I’d only taken £4 out with me for lunch today (working on a budget in London is super tough) and I’d only spent £3 (go me!), I reached into my coat pocket and retrieved a lonely £1 coin, to find that it had the year 1989 on it. The year I was born! What are the chances of that happening?! (FYI – I checked my purse and all of the pound coins I had, were dated from 2000 onwards!) It was fate!

Up until my arrival on the 7th March 1989, I was tucked up cosily in my mums baby bump! Apparently, I wasn’t the easiest to deliver (40 or so hours of agonising labour – not that I can remember) and ended up being a sunroof baby. From then on I was of course a bundle of joy… obviously nothing’s changed 25 years down the line! In all seriousness, I only know what I got up to in the first 10 months of my life thanks to lovely, heart-warming home videos (mostly filmed by my Grandad as I was the first Grandchild… extremely momentous occasion!). I did the usual things you’d expect a baby to do – learnt how to crawl, stand with the support of sturdy objects and say a kookie mixed bag of words i.e. when I’d say ‘lee’ that would signal that I’d finished eating (my parents were never able to work out how this one came about) and a ‘baush’ was a brush. Oh to be carefree…

B+

#54: Write about what you did last weekend as though you’re a music critic reviewing a new album.

If you haven’t heard of Chloe’s new album, The Great Outdoors… what are you waiting for?! It’s packed full of the most beautiful harmonies and lyrics, inspired by incredibly brave global explorers which will take you on the journey of a lifetime, a plethora of quirky yet unique creatures that you’ll meet along the way and of course, not forgetting the whimsicalities that will inevitably keep you young at heart! If you’re looking to mix it up a bit and join the path of discovery, this should be number 1 on your go to list.

*FYI: Last weekend I managed a stand at The Telegraph Outdoor Adventure & Travel Show. For more information and pictures, please check out my post title Proud from the 15th February.

Seconds

#53: Describe the most satisfying meal you’ve ever eaten, in glorious detail.

My first thought was any meal from Las Iguanas, but then I realised the most satisfying meal I’ve ever had, is from our local Indian restaurant, Raj Vogue.

You can always depend on Raj Vogue for every meal to be to the same, perfect standard. My most favourite meal combination is: Lamb Dupiaza, Garlic Rice, Cheese and Garlic Naan, a Poppadom and lots of delicious mango chutney. The greatness about this is that I can only ever eat half, so there’s always plenty for the next day too!

The fact that we only indulge in this meal on special occasions makes it even more satisfying. I plan to treat myself for my birthday in a couple of weeks time… I can’t wait!

Undo

#52: If you could un-invent something, what would it be? Discuss why, potential repercussions, or a possible alternative.

After giving it lots of thought, I’ve decided that I’d undo unpaid internships. After having done one myself for over a year, I now realise – even though short term ones can be incredibly useful – just how wrong they are. These work experience placements have had a lot of coverage in the news recently due to new laws being discussed, which will hopefully prevent situations similar to mine. Don’t get me wrong, I did learn a heck of a lot over that year and am very grateful that the organisation gave me such a sought after opportunity even though I didn’t have qualifications in that industry, but without realising it, after 5-6 months of the internship I was effectively “doing a job” with set duties and hours, so by law was entitled to minimum wage. Not knowing any different combined with the strong desire to stay a part of the team, I kept schtum through fear of losing this privilege. I guess it’s that age-old, never-ending, vicious circle – the fact that you can’t get a job without relevant experience, yet no-one seems to be willing to give you your first work experience placement, especially if you don’t have another job to support yourself financially.

My solution would be to only offer work experience placements for a maximum of two weeks and unless they are purely shadowing and not doing tasks for the company, then they must be paid minimum wage. I know that times are tough at the moment but they’re tough on everyone. If the company needs work to be done then they need to be prepared to pay for it to be done, otherwise the project should be dropped entirely. There’s a thin line between right and wrong when it comes to this, so why risk it?

A plot of earth

#51: You’re given a plot of land and have the financial resources to do what you please. What’s the plan?

Well, it of course all depends on where this plot of land is and how big it is! That said, I’d love to build an animal sanctuary/rehabilitation centre for endangered animals (inspired by the incredible primate sanctuary that is Monkey World). A pretty obvious answer when it comes from someone who works for a National Geographic product, right! But truthfully, something needs to be done about our endangered animals that continue to be poached and evicted from their natural habitats. It’s a shame but I think people don’t realise how serious the situation is – once they’re gone, that’s it!

There’s tonnes of ways you can help save the endangered animals:

EDGE: Evolutionary Distinct & Globally Endangered!

Care 2 petition: signing your names on these is easy and free to do!

Born Free: adopt an animal today for just £2.50 a month (that’s one less coffee a week – easy!)

Nightmares

#50: Describe the last nightmare you remember having. What do you think it meant?

The most recent ones were during The Outdoor Show, although I’m not too sure if they count as a nightmare as they were more weird dreams than anything. So, Nick (Spellman, AnimalMan) knows that I don’t like the tarantulas… but do you remember as a kid cupping your hands together and pretending you had a creepy crawly housed between them? Come on… everyone’s done it! Well, this is sort of what Nick did in my dream, except he DID have the tarantula and I then whacked it out of his hands in fright, sending it flying! My dream then cut to him getting a baby alligator out of a carry case… which he clearly doesn’t have! The next night, the dream was about his burmese python locking it’s jaws around my thigh and refusing to let go – which when I screamed at Nick to get it off, he casually replied ‘sorry, there’s nothing much I can do now that it’s got you!’. I think these dreams were just me worrying about how Nick’s shows would go at the show since I had organised and managed the entire thing.

I guess if we’re talking about scary nightmares, the one that sticks out it my mind (which of course, is keeping with my theme of being completely unrealistic) was when my brother and I were on our way home in the light of day. We turned the corner to see a fully grown male lion at the other end of the road. Before we’d started running, it had spotted us and began leaping in our direction. The most stressful part was the fact that in this dream, my brother couldn’t keep up with me and the lion was gradually closing in. We scrambled up a tree but it was too late. The lion had already grabbed my brother and that is when I woke up in fright. On reflection, I know where the lion came from. I’d been managing and editing Big Cats Alive (the fourth topic from NG Kids Alive), so had been watching tonnes of footage showing lions hunting and killing their prey. When I told my brother about this dream, he casually said ‘don’t worry about me. I wouldn’t need to outrun the lion, I’d just need to outrun you!’. Thanks very much. Stripping it right back to basics though, I think my nightmare stems from my fear of losing my brother and not being able to do anything about it (which I’m hoping is a situation I’d never have to face!).