Sunday, 28 July 2013

/30/ - Leaving Oxford

I moved out of my house in East Oxford this week, but only realized on the last day that I failed all year to take any photographs, so I snapped some quick shots on my phone of the bare room. I rearranged it this way about two hours before taking the photos, having had the furniture in a completely different configuration all year long, so it’s doubly unfaithful! But I think it’s important, or at least fun, to have photographs of every place you live, so that one day you can sit down and look at all the places you’ve been.


I haven’t loved this room: the size is deceptive, and I often felt more cramped than in my tiny space back home; I had some serious damp issues for most of the year; the bed was more springs than mattress; and the aged, “vintage” furniture was a stiff and splintery nightmare. During the most hectic parts of term, it was strewn with clothes and papers, and there were weeks where it seemed I only came home to sleep. My bike tracked in mud and rain and streaks of oil, and I know I have had my fair share of furry old cups of tea forgotten on a mantelpiece or on a stack of books.

And yet, it’s the first time that I ever lived away from home properly in my own place – not lodging, not as an au pair, not in college accommodation, but in my own place, shared with seven other students. We let the kitchen and the bathrooms get too an embarrassing stage of grime before teaming together and cleaning the house all at once in a storm of Mr Muscle and elbow grease. I made midnight pasta after getting back from a party, consoled a friend with a bottle of wine, holed myself up in my room and my bed for days when I felt rubbish, watching The West Wing and eating chocolate, spent hours in front of my desk, pounding out an essay to hit a deadline, tried on outfits in front of my mirror, and used the room as a sanctuary all of my own to catch a breath and find my head.

Now on to the next adventure.


Sunday, 21 July 2013

/29/ - Go to Town

On the last day of my Exon internship, I had a typically odd task, one which characterises the varied and creative role I had on the project. Pushed last-minute for a final article, I came up with the idea of writing about a current exhibition in Oxford. While the Oxford Museum of Natural History is closed for refurbishment, the management has come up with an innovative way of keeping the public engaged with the museum. They’ve installed a dozen of their most interesting items in the collection in places around town. In most cases, they linked the installation to the place it was installed, such as a dodo in the Ashmolean museum (which largely houses collections of artefacts from long-dead civilisations); a bank vole in a bank; CS Lewis’ white rabbit in a library; and a penguin outside a fishmonger.

Dodo 2  RabbitVole 2 Penguin

After writing the article, I grabbed the camera and made my way around Oxford, snapping photos of the exhibits and the town. There was a foreign foods market and even though I’m currently doing a detox (never done one before but it’s actually kind of fun), I couldn’t resist the Turkish Delight. 

IMG_0741IMG_0746  IMG_0757


Sunday, 14 July 2013

/28/ - Switzerland

I have some exciting news: a couple of weeks ago, I went to an interview in College for an internship, and I got it! The internship is at an organization called the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), which is wonderful since I’ve long been a bit of an eco-warrior – albeit, quite a low-key one – and I hope I’ll learn lots more about the environmental issues facing us as a species and a planet. Self-appointed stewards of the Earth’s resources that we are, it’s vital that we treat the delicate balance of human and natural life with the same respect and attention that we give to the financial market, and geopolitical conflict. Lecture over, I’m thrilled!

I’ll be based in the Marine and Polar Programme in Switzerland! On Saturday the 10th of August, I’m leaving for beautiful, sunny Geneva. For four weeks, I’ll be lodging in a pretty Swiss village, cycling to work and hopefully travelling around the country on weekends. I’ve already got a shortlist of things I want to see, one of which is a spectacular Baroque Library. And remember how I mentioned that Shawnee and I were planning a little trip in September? She’ll be flying out to join me the day after my internship ends, and we’ll travel around Switzerland for a week, seeing mountains and lakes, eating chocolate and cheese, and generally chilling out in the cleanest, safest, and best organized country in (possibly) the world.


Sunday, 7 July 2013

/27/ New Glasses

Not much new this week, except that I have three new pairs of glasses! I’ve had this old plum-coloured pair for a few years, and as they were starting to lose their appeal (and some paint), I decided it was time for a change. I scored three new pairs of sexy specs.

The first pair is by Karen Millen and is a twist on your standard hipster frames. I didn’t think I would find any thick, dark, wide glasses that would look good on me, but this pair, thanks to the grey-mottled animal print of the plastic frames, actually kind of works. I think these are a bit more casual, and less sexy, but I think they’re playful and student-y so it’s all fine by me.

Feel free to follow me on instagram.

Secondly, I got a sweet pair in a similar shape to my old ones, with thin gold frames around the lenses and pretty arms which are partly tortoiseshell, and partly a colourful, chevron-y geometric pattern that reminds me a lot of Missoni. Even the buckle-esque detailing where the lenses meets the arms caught my eye. I think of these as my “mullet”: business in the front, with the sleek, simple, unobtrusive lenses; and part in the back, with gold, colour, pattern and tortoiseshell.

Please excuse crappy phone photos:


The third and final pair is a pair of sunglasses. I have a pair of Ray-Bans which I love. They look cool, they look good, and they were free – no kidding, I found them on the street in Iceland and nabbed them straight away. However, truth be told, I’ve hardly ever worn them because they’re not prescription and contact lenses don’t really agree with me… So with a heavy heart, I’m tucking them away and replacing them with this pair of similar sunnies. I think they look great, and you have no idea how wonderful it is to finally be able to comfortably see in the summer!

Also, spoiler, I got my hair cut!

20130810_172934 20130826_181556(0) 1 

So there you go, my little makeover.