Gah, it’s been manic. Here’s why:
1) Silly season becomes serious season
In the world of journalism and universities (my job kinda straddles both) August is supposed to be ‘silly season’, where nothing much happens and you can glide through the days, working on the stuff you haven’t had time for during the other 11 months of the year. Not so this year, in either respect. Work has been crazy busy with not a second to spare, lots of projects starting or finishing and lots of deadlines to be met. And LOTS of emails. I mean, who actually did any work before email was invented? We’ve also been hearing about the goings on in Libya, the endless ins and outs of the phone hacking scandal and about the riots in London, Birmingham and oop north (and in MK where watermelons were the weapon of choice – hardcore youths or what?) which turned silly season into a very serious season.
2) Mastering a Masters
I’m starting an MA in Online Journalism with Birmingham City University in September. This is the first mention of this on my blog but it won’t be the last and I’ve been planning an offshoot of Robyn’s Nest to pour my MA ramblings into. So keep an eye out for Journo Nest, coming soon. Why am I doing it? Because it’s time for the next challenge; I’ve realised journalism will always be my passion and I want to turn the online skills I’ve learned through trial and error into something more tangible and useful to my future career, whatever that may be. Plus there’s so much cool stuff happening out there in online journalism and I want to be part of it. Oh, and I don’t have a degree – which has never been a problem for me but warrants a whole separate blog post – and I’d quite like to boast some letters after my name, just for the craic. And so, registering, references, getting accepted – I have a scholarship! – and sorting my pre-course reading list, attempted timetable, doing plenty of online research and applying to blog elsewhere (as a project for my MA) has kept me pretty darn busy.
3) Hell yeah, I have a social life
My social life has been busy too. Given that the MA is likely to wipe away a lot of my social activity, I’m cramming it in now. So that’s meant trips to the shire to see friends and family and catch up with newly engaged friends; a trip to Liverpool to see my mate’s pregnancy bump for the first time; arranging another mate’s hen weekend which is approaching quicker than I dare to think about; hosting friends and their children (which serves as a reminder that I’m not quite ready to trade lie ins for screaming babies just yet); catching up with the in-laws at barbecues, dinners and tours of our new house; brunch with my Leicester buddies and their children who squeal every time Ralphie draws near and the puzzlement on his face because most people melt at the site of him; the last of the summer season of netball matches and the odd training session; dinner with the MK posse to celebrate some fabulous news, and a Mexican-themed Come Dine With Me, MK style, which takes place this weekend at Chez Robyn. Hmmm, not sure I have time to grow a curly moustache by then.
4) Growing a plan
Me and hubbles wanted to set some milestones and try and suss out our five-year plan. So many of my friends have one of these (cripes, does that mean we’re all growing up? At last!) and we kinda felt left out. We actually have no idea what we want in the next five years (apart from being filthy rich and living in bliss in a spacious Manhattan apartment with huge roof garden for Ralphie) other than we’d like to re-turf the garden, grow vegetables, dig a nice border and fill it with shrubs. So, no idea what the future holds for us but if that doesn’t look rosy the garden certainly will do.
I spend a lot of time with Ralphie. He gets a 6am walkies, I dash from work to do the lunch time shift and he gets one most evenings too. It’s not for my love of walking, it’s for love of Ralphie. I’d feel guilty if I didn’t walk him, one of the things he loves most. He gets ridiculously excited just if I go to the cupboard where his lead’s kept or if I slip my shoes on. He’s had a sore paw of late too and not been his usual perky, bouncy self. I can only describe it as a pink slug attached to the top of his paw which he’s obsessed with licking. Antibiotics have been prescribed but it’s reminded me and hubbles how protective we are of him and how we’d do anything to make him happy and comfortable. No wonder we’re not ready for kids – Ralphie has our full focus at the mo. I do love that little bow wow.
6) Stoopid chores
It seems to be the time of year when I need an eye test; car needs a service and MOT; savings accounts need setting up; the boiler needs checking; I need to restock my make-up bag, ongoing battle with scummy ex landlord involving lots of letter writing; and I could do with registering at the doctors sooner rather than later. And loads of other trivial stuff which mounts up and means free time is never all that free. Oh, and HSBC have gone and made it nigh on impossible to access my bank account online unless I want to carry a small calculator around with me. Grrr. I feel a strongly worded letter coming on.
So, apols for the lameness of this blog post; much more meaty stuff is to come, I promise.