Tag Archives: Family

Getting my science on

This year I finally got tickets to go and see Brian and Robin’s Christmas Compendium of Reason after seeing so many tweets and blog posts about it over he last two years. It was amazing and this blog post is really for me to keep a record of all the acts we got to see on the night as I am rubbish at remembering these things. So here goes…

First up was Jack Liebeck’s quartet.

The Public Service Broadcasting who were so different it was good.

They even bought out a dancing astronaut/cosmonaut.

The Brian and Robin did a bit of an introduction to the night and as you can see we had great seats just back in the stalls.

Then we saw Helen Czerski with her pet globe.

Then we had computational biologist Andrew Steele who took us through research spending (I want his powerpoint presenting skills!).

A better photo of Robin and Brian.

Then Festival of the Spoken Nerd and I definitely want to see these guys again!

The we had a great presentation on genealogy by Adam Rutherford.

Followed by a talk from Steve Backshall.

 

Then Chris Lintott went through gravitational waves (I was lost!).

Then the next one I wasn’t sure about from Alice Roberts and Ben Garrod.

Then James Acaster performed his stand up routine.

Then before the break we had more music from Nitin Sawney who has a beautiful voice.

During the break we found that Steve Backshall was now sat in front of us and taking selfies with fans (I did not ask for one).

Then we had more music from the quartet from the beginning and The Hackney Colliery Band.

This was awesome and again I would look to see these guys again.

Sophie Ellis Bexter then joined them on stage.

Then Clifford Slapper and David McAlmont performed and were amazing!

Next was a panel that was most like the podcast I love – The Infinite Monkey Cage – I would have loved more of this, but it was a great show anyway!

The Lucy Cooke came on and really bought the science and comedy together.

The Greg Foot came on for some experiments and this was great fun!

The Ben Goldacre was fantastic and the fastest talker I have ever seen! This was really interesting as well as it was all about the trials that do not get published.

Milton Jones who is famous for his one-liner stand up, which I find funny to begin with, but then it gets old fast. Sorry Milton.

The we got to hear a brief talk about his time in space from Chris Hadfield.

Then the night ended with Duran Duran – who I totally did not have to ask my sister who is 10 years older than me who there were, definitely didn’t happen!

Overall this was a fantastic night and I hope to get tickets for next year!

Having fun fly boarding by being body positive

This was just going to be a straight forward review of my experience, but I went through some body image stuff in the lead up to going fly boarding and after I’d done it. So I thought I would make it a bit of both!

My sister bought me a voucher to go fly boarding for 30 minutes for last Christmas and Birthday and I admit I was putting it off, because of my swim and all the training I needed to do. However she reminded me and I realised it was starting to get near the expiry date and therefore I could not put it off any longer.

Why was a worried? I was freaking out because of my weight and not having done it before. I had also looked on the website and there was a weight limit and since I have not weighed myself since I took the focus off weight and dieting, I had no idea what I actually weighed. I was feeling good about myself and my clothes fitting well, but this was totally out of my comfort zone. I decided to take my own wetsuit as I knew it fit me and it would take away the awkward bit of selecting a wetsuit when you arrive, which is normally some guy looking at you and then looking at a rack of wetsuit – not the most inspiring time in any process. Also my sister had said she had wished she had taken her own wetsuit when she went last year.

So off we went to Big Crazy at the National Diving and Activity Centre in Chepstow. I was nervous, but on arrival the weather was extremely wet and that meant all the spectators were in the cafe and not wandering around the site, so my audience would be small. They guys from Big Crazy were also amazingly nice and encouraging. I was in a group starting at 3pm and I was the only girl (but I think I was the best out of all of us!) and when we were changed and walked down to the jetty I ended up going first – they asked who had the smallest foot size and I was the only girl!

The rest of the experience can be found in my Go Pro videos below!

 

Side note – I now really really want a Go Pro as I would use it swimming and for other things like this!

I had the most amazingly fun time doing this! I honestly can’t believe I was worried! But since then I’ve begun to understand why and it all about how we think about our bodies and what we think other people think. I look back at the videos and see a woman having fun and being really good at fly boarding the first time. I didn’t look at how I looked in the wetsuit until later, when I realised I hadn’t noticed. I was laughing the whole time (some was a nervous laugh as that is what I do) and focused on making the most of being in the water and doing something different.

I came away form the experience with a new appreciation of what my body is capable of. It also showed me some of the areas I need to work on with how I see myself and giving less of a shit about what other people think. It’s always going to be a journey I think, it won’t end, but I hope to get to a place where it doesn’t matter to me. I’m not going to change how society sees larger bodies, but I can keep doing my bit to prove those bodies are capable of anything!

A couple of weeks after this I went to the doctor as I’ve been struggling in circuits class with light headedness and almost fainting a few times. Its very frustrating and I was worried it was something serious. Again I went into that completely expecting the outcome to be told I needed to lose weight, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. The doctor told me I have an athletic resting heart rate and didn’t mention my weight once. We talked about all the endurance swimming I’ve been doing and after testing my heart rates and looking for problems with valves he thinks it’s just that I am not used to the high intensity and I need to start slow and build up so my body can get used to it. It was amazing feeling to come out of the doctors surgery and not feel bad about myself. I know I want to treat myself well and that means dealing with my issues with food by understanding them, not sweeping them under a rug by going on another restriction diet. I am active and strong and want to learn and grow as a person and I need to do that through positive challenges and joy, not punishment!

Life is good and my body is loved and capable of anything!

Wandering around Bristol

I’ve said recently I’ve been restless and not quite feeling where I am living. Don’t get me wrong I do love my house and being near all my friends, but there is something about it that is not quite working for me at the moment. It’s too quiet! I love quiet, but also I want to live a full life and love exploring and where I currently am, doesn’t have the things I want on the doorstep. My sister lives in Bristol and I head that way quite a lot and I keep thinking about maybe, possibly, in the future, moving there…

I don’t know for certain, but a big part of me at the moment want to live in a city. I loved Vancouver, Edinburgh and Cardiff, even if I was just there for short amounts of time. I love how you can walk everywhere (pretty much) and there is usually something new happening or to explore every week (maybe month). There is a sense of life to those places. I get the same feeling in Bristol and with my current job that could work as a place to be…

This last weekend my sister and I were meant to go sailing, but the wind was not in a kind mood and we are fair weather sailors, so we changed plans and went out for a walk around Bristol Harbour. We have done this many times, but as it was heavy showers forecast all day we went out expecting to top for coffee and in places all day, and that we did.

First we went to lunch at a new cafe called Mokoko.  I introduced my sister to flat white and the coffee bean menus even though she took the piss out of me for being so interested in coffee! We had a lovely lunch and I would recommend it as a place to go if you’re in the area.

We then started our walk, got about 500m and it poured down so we went into the M-Shed to learn about the history of Bristol. It’s free and it was interesting, but both of us were annoyed that there was no logical flow to the information and instead it was in themes, which was interesting but confusing!

After that we started on our walk again and go a bit further – to the cafe outside the SS Great Britain to be exact! It had started to rain again and we went for a cuppa. As it decided it was going to carry on for an our we decided to into the SS Great Britain as neither of us had actually been inside ever!

I was quite impressed. I loved the being able to walk around the ship and go below into the dry dock. The dry dock was the best part and I found it much more interesting than the reconstructed interior.

When we got to the deck the sun decided to make an appearance and it was beautiful to see colourful Bristol come to life.

Did you know you can get married on this ship?

Nor us! We were wandering around and suddenly there were lots of smartly dressed people heading into the lower deck which was all set out theatre style. It would make a unique setting that is for sure!

We then carried on our walk around the floating harbour, stopping for another coffee when it decided to pour down again and then headed for an early dinner at Pho. I am now obessed with Vietnamese food! I want to learn how to make Pho and rice paper rolls and have already spied that I can get the ingredients I need from my local shop. It was so fresh and filling, but light and tasty all at the same time.

Just one day in Bristol and I explored new things and went to new cafes and restaurants that just isn’t possible where I currently am. I am so tempted, but at the same time I don’t know whether I want to spend the money on moving. I have only just got to a place financially where I can afford to do the trips I want to do (Hello Japan!) and I really don’t want to give that up. I need to think hard about whether I can do both, but it might need to wait until I progress in work a little further. I’m excited to think about it though. I can start creating the future I want now, but only if I know what the future I want looks like. (I haven’t been reading a leadership book at all!!)

Recent Wanderings… Harry Potter Studio Take 4

My inner geek came out in full force last week with my fourth visit to the Harry Potter Studio Tour. My sister got my ticket as my birthday present as she wanted to go again and get the audio guide and knew I wouldn’t mind us ignoring each other on the way round while we explored!

This trip for me was looking for details I missed on my previous visits.

I loved this Quidditch player suit of armour.

As it is the 15th anniversary of the release of Philosopher’s Stone they brought our the Sorting Hat into the main hall so we got to see it close up (and I loved it’s shadow!).

In the common room there is a portrait of a young Professor McGonagall with a plan cat.

The detail in the proper is amazing and I love this column with the owls.

The phenioxes in Dumbledore’s office fireplace were also noticed this visit.

I always love the potions classroom and got a nice view of the Advanced Potion Making book. It was sad to see Alan Rickman’s costumes this time round knowing he no longer with us, but it also made me appreciate the detail even more on this set.

I don’t think the prophecy orbs were there the last time I visited and looked amazing all lit up in the Ministry of Magic set.

Of course I had to get another view of the kitten plats and especially the one that looks like Merry and Pippin.

I love the books you can spot around the place and I hope they do a full version of Hogwarts A History at some point as I would totally buy it. I love that this is in Hermione’s trolley at Platform 9 and 3/4. 

Another thing I kept spotting this trip was the cauldrons all wrapped up ready for travel. I would love to recieve one in the post (or send one to Ingrid) as a surprise!

There was another one on the Hogwarts Express too!

I am a fan of Luna’s character and I loved the lion headdress she wore in the films. I think it’s because it reminds me of my favourite film The Lion King. 

This visit I also spotted the miniature dragons used in Goblet of Fire!

I also got to see my favourite art piece again. I love this one of Hogsmede as I think it’s subtle and you could love it even if you didn’t know it’s Harry Potter related as it’s just a beautiful scene, but if you do know Harry Potter you would appreciate it even more!

Of I also tried butterbeer again (and HAD to drink my sister’s as she wasn’t a fan) so I now have all three cups they sell it in on my shelf, which makes me very happy. I also got the photo of my and my sister in the Weasley’s flying car, which means I have this photo for everyone I have been with (both my sisters and Ingrid) so it has turned into a bit of a tradition.

I find they do change things up every time I go. Even in six months they have changed how they do the interactive parts and have different things on display. I definitely want to go back to see it in the snow and would go back for special events (at normal cost, not those extortionate dinners they put on!) on occasion. I really hope they add Fantastic Beasts onto the tour once all the films are out as that would be AMAZING!

Christmas Musings

I love this time of year. I love the colder temperatures and the darker nights. I love being able to curl up under blankets with a good book and hot drink. I love wearing layers and long sleeves. I love the build up to Christmas. The festivities and the atmosphere are wonderful.

But I’m not a fan of the big day itself.

Being an introvert and dealing with depression and anxiety means the pressure of Christmas Day itself is no fun at all. This isn’t anyone’s fault, but rather how I feel about the whole thing. I love my family, but spending more than a few hours with them in any one go is enough nowadays. There is so much pressure for everyone to be happy and get along, but at the same time the old judgments and comparisons come out and it hurts. Why we do this to each other I will never know. It means I dread the time and then am on edge, which is no fun. Christmas should be about celebrating being who we are freely and whole with those we love and want to be with.

I plan on doing things my way this year and even if my family think it is selfish I am going to follow through for my own health and happiness. Luckily I live in the same town as my parents and we are all going to their house. I set myself up last year to not be there the whole time. I’m going to the boxing day swim at the lake (even if I don’t swim as I currently full of cold), which means I’ll be out of the way all that morning. I also plan on heading home to watch Doctor Who on Christmas Day evening. I’ve never done that before, but this year I am as I have to go feed the cats and the timing works out really well. I know that will recharge my batteries by stepping away for an hour. It’s about the small things for me that allow me to be myself fully and cope with the pressure of being the ones who love you best, but don’t always know you best, and sometimes won’t allow you to change. It is okay as long as you are true to yourself.

I am extremely jealous of people going away with just their friends or significant others. I would love to go away and explore somewhere new each year. I would love to see and experience other traditions around the world. It is something I am already thinking of doing in the next couple of years. I would like to meet someone to do this with or talk some friends into it (I have one who is keen) so even if I don’t meet someone I’ll still be starting my own tradition.

So this year I want to give people like me hope that it’s okay to be different and not feel like everyone else this time of year. We can make our own traditions and enjoy them by being ourselves in whatever way we can. This year for me it’s the small things, but in the future I am going to create something totally new and that is exciting. Others might consider it selfish, but we only live once and as long as we aren’t hurting anyone we must be true to ourselves.

I found this on The Berry and it made me smile and I know this is exactly what I will be doing when everything feels a bit too much this Christmas.

Merry Christmas Everyone! Enjoy whatever you are doing and know you are not alone. Reach out if you need to. That is the joy of living today and the internet and the communities on here are available all the time whenever you need them.

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