Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Still smiling

So not much has changed since I posted last, other than my smiling muscles getting a through work out. They did get a bit of a rest last night when I got back from work and saw my book and flashcard pack had arrived. How on earth does anyone remember that much stuff? I don’t think I’ve ever seen a book with that much tiny writing crammed into it. Do I really have to learn it all? The flashcards weren’t much better either to be honest. Even just the first one had bits I’d never heard of before, like an acromion, or a cubital fossa. And I thought the first card of the pack would be easy. Hmm, I was planning on learning a couple a day on my lunch breaks at work to give myself a bit of a head start and I guess it’s just been a while since I had to learn anything by rote. Never mind, it will happen and it will be worth it (and hopefully it will make more sense once I get to doing a bit more about it).

The rest of last week was spent by me wandering round in a fuzzy, grinning daze, getting congratulated by people and thinking I should probably be a bit more productive at work. I still can’t quite believe it’s true. I keep waiting for Peninsula to send me a letter apologising for getting it wrong, they didn’t mean to offer me a place at all. I want to firm it, but I can’t until all my offers come in. I could withdraw from Notts, but after such an awesome interview, I really want the confirmation from them that I did well at it too, and for them to give me an offer. Each time I’ve applied I’ve only ever gotten one offer, and I really feel this cycle went much better and I’m much better prepared mentally for it. Part of me feels bad that I might be taking an offer from someone else, but they do over-offer for those that decline and I believe they have a waiting list for those that don’t quite make it.

The weekend brought congratulatory surprise flowers from mr (spoilt bean :) I was really excited when the door bell went because I thought it might have been my textbooks, but they were just as good), a shopping trip to buy Easter eggs (how did it get to be Easter already), a new pencil skirt in the Next half price sale (bargin and I have to be a smart [Dr] bean from now on) and an awesome pair of purple tights (no reason why smart tights can’t be slightly interesting in lieu of the stripy socks I would be wearing if I wasn’t wearing tights). I had gone to have a look in Waterstones at textbooks, but all the interesting ones like Tortora, Moore and Daley and Kumar and Clarke were cellophane wrapped, which wasn’t useful. Although I did find a new one to add to the want list – a book of mnemonics, which I will find really useful. So glad I have a birthday between now and the start of term.

On Sunday I drove to Street to see mr compete in the Royal Navy Masters Swimming Competition. He used to swim a lot when he was little, but gave it up and hasn’t trained properly since. It was great to see him, and it was so lovely and warm sat in the stands by the pool. It was funny to see all the other clubs bright, peppy and raring to race, and Sandhurst lying around sleeping, taking the opportunity wherever they can. He didn’t win any medals, but he did come close with a couple of fourths, and only being a second or so out. He enjoyed himself and had a good result with the Sandhurst 8 competing at Head of the River in London the day before, beating the RAF and coming second to Army, but pulling up massively from 235 place to 163 (out of about 350-400). He’s got his regiment selection boards this week, so I have my fingers crossed for him. He hasn’t done as many interviews as me, so I have no idea what his technique is like but I’m sure he’ll do fine.

Thanks for your lovely congrats messages on NMM, TSR and this blog, it’s lovely of you, and I really am so happy. More from me later, back to work now…

Thursday, 25 March 2010

Can This Week Get Any Better?

I had my Nottingham interview Tuesday. I thought it went really well. It seemed to be much better organised than the St George’s one, the interviewers were all really nice and there was only really one question that flummoxed me but I managed to cobble together a response eventually. It was also nice to see three of the people that had been at the Peninsula interview again. Dare I say it, but that interview was actually fun? I have never had 6 minutes go by so quickly. The main question came with several follow up questions, so it really felt like a proper mini interview and let me really show my strengths, opinions, think on my feet and have a proper probing conversation with them. All in all, apart from Derby being so grey and miserable after such a sunny day for the PMS interview, I had a really good time.

So a group of us took a taxi back to the station and we bid each other farewell and good luck, I sat waiting for the train and rang mum to let her know how I got on. While I was on the phone she checked Track – nothing. Never mind, I thought, maybe tomorrow. I got on the train and after about 15 minutes I had a call from Mum. She said “Hello Dr Bean”. I was quite confused, I knew Track was blank, and I just thought she was being a bit presumptive about Notts. I was wrong. Peninsula offered me a place!!! EEEEeeeeeee!!!! Since I was on a train I knew I couldn’t really scream, but then totally out of my control my eyes started leaking and I was crying all over the place. I don’t normally cry, especially not with happiness, so I felt a bit of a ninny crying on a train and was getting some very odd looks. Apparently Mum had checked again just before she logged off the computer (can you see Track obsession runs in the family?) and had seen the golden words Peninsula – Conditional. I was loon grinning for the whole ride home, and actually have been since I found out, and expect I will be for quite some time. After ringing round friends and family and sharing the good news, I didn’t quite know what to do with myself. What with all the unspent adrenaline from my interview and now this good news, what I really wanted to do was jump up and down, but that’s a bit hard to do on a train. The girl opposite me offered me a celebratory cookie, which was nice, but not quite the same somehow. Of course, the person I really wanted to tell was Mr, but I can’t because he is still in France, but he’s going to be so excited.

So yesterday at work I got to tell lots of people and re-live it all again – suffice to say I didn’t get a lot of work done, I was simply too excited. Mum sent me a link to a stethoscope I want – it’s purple!! And I bought my first textbooks after scoping the threads to see what would be useful – Oxford Handbook of Clinical Medicine and Grey’s Anatomy Flashcards so I can start learning bits before I go.

We had a meeting with the head of Employee Benefits, the division of JLT Group I work for, who told us about our financial position at the end of the last year and improvements we need to make moving forwards. Imagine my surprise when our Consultant Client Manager told the EB heads that one of the changes we’ve made to improve systems is by having the retirement tracker. Hi, that’s me. *Shock* You shouldn’t say things like that in front of such important people, what I do can’t possibly be that important, right? This is just a holiday job for me. 0_0

Anyway, it also bonus work at time which has traditionally been a time where everyone gets individual short meetings with their manager and told that they haven’t got a bonus this year, and from the murmurings I’d heard about people who’ve already had theirs, this year wasn’t any different. In the big boss’ eyes, he pays us to work hard so he shouldn’t have to reward us for doing our jobs. When my manager called me in, I was expecting the same, so I was very, very surprised when he told me I was getting a pay rise and £250 bonus this month for working hard. That will certainly pay for some textbooks :) I actually didn’t think this week could get any better but, when I got back to my desk there was an email saying we’re having a dress down day this Friday, and a reminder that I’m going to see Mitch Benn on Friday evening. I don’t know what I did to deserve a week like this, but I am so happy, it’s amazing. Please don’t let something happen to bring me back to earth with a bump for a while.

Monday, 22 March 2010

Fret Fret Fret

So, another week of fretting, surprise, surprise. I am soo tired this morning. Last night was the worst night’s sleep I’ve had in ages. I seem to have gone back to thinking that I’m not good enough to be a Dr, why did I want to do it again and maybe I should just stick with what I know as a Project Officer. I was also a little dismayed to see that I had forgotten a whole week of March. I thought this week would be the last week, so the PMS decisions would be given out by Friday, but there’s still most of next week in March as well. Rubbish. It doesn’t help that mr is going to France for this week and so won’t be around to help calm the fretting bean. Also, what with his leave weekends and the train strikes, it’s looking like we won’t be able to see each other for another 5 weeks. There’s no one on my bank of desks this week, I’m sure no one will notice if I just curl up under the desk and go to sleep for a while.

I’ve been having really strange dreams this week. I normally start sleep walking when I’m nervous, so it doesn’t surprise me. One night I dreamt my boss had died suddenly at work the day before. I woke up crying and I was so upset, I really thought it had happened. He comes in later than me, so I was trying to work out how I could tell if it had actually happened or if it was only a dream, as obviously no one was going to be talking about it. The next night I was trying to work out how to send loaf cakes, cupcakes and flapjack to mr at Sandhurst. Then last night I had a letter from Peninsula saying I had scored 35 points at my interview and they were offering me a place. The extra points that had decided it had come from the rifle shooting round of the interview, but could I please not bring my rifle with me to Uni. I haven’t done any rifle shooting for a very very long time, so I’m not sure where that one came from. Silly bean.

Last week went very quickly indeed. We had a dress down day and bacon baps on Wednesday for St Patrick’s day fundraising for charity. Mufti days are actually just as exciting as they were when you were in school, it’s silly. Although for me it’s more that I get to wear jeans and a hoody and be warm and comfy at work for once. Everyone’s much happier at work when it’s dress down and there’s a proper Friday feeling in the office. Which therefore makes it very confusing it not being a Friday 0_o

When it actually came to Friday I totally did not have the Friday feeling (although we did have popcorn Friday on my team, which helped a bit as the guy that does it makes the best popcorn in the world, salty and sweet, mmmmm). I got asked to do a rush job fixing and updating a report to make it fancier. This took all day and meant I didn’t get anything done that I was expecting, although the geek in me does enjoy playing with formulae and spreadsheets on projects like this. The admin manager I did the report for was so pleased he asked me to email it to the other admin managers to show them how clever ‘he’ is in sorting out this report, so I am fully expecting emails saying that’s good, can you do it for my team too please. When I came in today though, I was pleasantly surprised to find he had copied me in on an email to my boss telling him what a good job I had done. Bean mutters a humble apology for thinking bad thoughts about said admin manager.

The weekend was spent organising bits for Notts, shopping and playing tennis and baseball on the Wii. I am determined to beat mr next time he’s down. I’m nearly a pro at tennis with 702 points. Bean on a mission.

That’s all from me for now. Tomorrow Bean’s going up North! (I am from Devon, there is no Midlands, it is merely a myth. The North starts above Bristol – Geography according to bean.) Have a good week and good luck to all the other Notts GEMers.

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Calm Before the Storm?

Last week I noticed a deep sense of calm in me. I was smiley happy all week from a combination of small things: the fact my shoes click when I walk in the office (when I was little I couldn’t wait to be grown up and wear shoes with heels that clicked like Mummy’s shoes, and now I do :) ), I bought a new cardigan from Topshop the weekend before and it has a waterfall front which swishes nicely when I walk and I had a quiet week where I got to solve a lot of people’s small IT issues as it’s like a little win for me each time. They normally aren’t very difficult problems, but I like helping and they have such a big smile when I’ve fixed them.

I found myself switching between thinking ‘Of course I’ll get in, why wouldn’t I get in, my interview went well’, to ‘Well, what will be will be, I can’t change it now, I probably haven’t gotten in because I should have said this and this, but that’s alright because I probably wouldn’t be any good at being a Dr anyway.’ I noticed on New Media Medicine that someone interviewed the day after me had an offer, but she was an undergrad, so it didn’t stress me that much.

It was also an odd week because mr (my bf) was off on exercise all week from Monday to Monday evening and incommunicado. It made me feel like I was kind of on hold all week, wondering what he was up to, hoping he wasn’t too tired and watching the phone in case I had a call to say he’d been pulled off injured. I find it quite strange going from functioning fine on your own to suddenly realising that you care this much for another person that isn’t family and it seems to have snuck up on you without warning.

The weekend went quietly, just like the week really. I got my car insurance sorted and saved £100 by adding Mum as a secondary driver. Score 1 for me :) We went for a nice pub lunch for Mother’s Day, she loved the chocolates I got her for her present and I got some nice lentil and pasta soup made for lunches. Buying lentils is actually quite difficult, believe it or not. Having never tried them before, I thought I’d be brave, but this led to me spending a good 10 minutes with a packet of green lentils in one hand and a packet of lentilles vertes in the other and trying to work out what the difference was between them and wondering if I was just being silly or if the world had conspired on a big joke without telling me. I was actually looking for brown lentils, which are not green lentils or even foreign green lentils. I found out after Sainsbury’s in their wisdom store the brown lentils in the world food section, not with the pulses and other lentils…obviously o_0 But I still don’t know the difference between green lentils and lentilles vertes. I did have a slight geeky moment when describing the only discernable difference between the two to a girl I give a lift to work was that green lentils are smooth and lentilles vertes are like Mendel’s wrinkled peas. *Hangs head in shame, spot the Biologist?*

The start of this week couldn’t be more different. I feel calm, but I think my body is just fretting at a really deep level. I keep waking up every two hours when I’m asleep, all the traffic in the world is on the roads when I’m trying to get to work, so the 15 minute trip is taking me 45 minutes, people at work keep stopping me to ask if I’ve heard anything, my Notts interview is next week, I’m very light on work which leaves me sitting doing nothing while people prepare stuff for me (I hate not being busy) and mr keeps falling asleep on the phone when I’m talking to him (makes me feel mean, like I’m keeping him up) – all in all, this makes for a stressed bean. Peninsula decisions soon perhaps? I really really hope so. I read Internal Optimists blog and I wanna do that!!! There’s a little bean in my head jumping up and down and pouting and stamping her feet because she wants to know now and wants to be reading textbooks and journals and learning interesting things and poking people, now. Arrgh! Patience is so overrated. Pretty please Peninsula?

Monday, 8 March 2010


Last week at work went really quickly. Partly because I was looking forward to my interview (perhaps looking forward to is the wrong word, more anticipating the interview) and my boyfriend coming down for the weekend and partly because of a photo frame on my desk.. For Valentine’s Day my boyfriend gave me a digital photo frame and filled it with photos of us, him and my Facebook photos. It was lovely of him, because I really like photos - my screensaver usually cycles through all my photos on my laptop at home, but also because the photos change every 30 seconds, time seems to go by very quickly.

Before I knew it, it was Thursday and interview time. I had to get there for 8.15 for an interview that wasn’t until 10.30 so they could register me and go through my documents. The girl sat next to me whilst being registered hadn’t got the form signed by her GP and hadn’t bought all the ID forms she was asked for. It really amazes me sometimes, how this is possible. We’ve had these documents for months, plenty of time to assemble what was required. If you can’t follow simple instructions with plenty of time to complete them, it doesn’t reflect well on you, surely, and it wastes the Medical School’s time, the very people you are trying to impress. I know that it probably won’t make any difference, but when it’s this competitive, I really wish it did sometimes. Sorry, rant over.

Everyone was registered by about 8.30, so we had plenty of time to sit and chat. The other candidates all seemed really nice and friendly, though most were older than me A presentation at 9 told us that lots of people had dropped out, so the two days of grad interviews had been cut to just this one and some people had had their interview times bumped up. There were 42 of us interviewed throughout the day. I don’t know how many grad places there are – they said a proportionate amount to those who applied – and I don’t know if anyone was interviewed at Plymouth. I was first up after that, and taken to a room to choose my ethical scenario of a choice of three and answer the questionnaire. After 30 minutes I was taken to the interview room where a panel of four made up of clinical people and professional laypeople asked 9 questions based on the ethical scenario, and then standard questions on situations I’ve been in and how it makes me feel. I don’t want to put too much information about the interview because this is the internet, but get in touch if you’d like more info. I did have a bit of a eureka moment when they asked me a question I’d had when I did the PMCD interview in my first round of applications and I finally understood it this time. We went on the tour, most of which I’ve seen before as it was part of a work experience course I did run at the Postgrad research side of Peninsula, but it was nice to see the accommodation and chat to some students and other candidates. It was a beautiful sunny day and nice to be out of the office for a change. All in all, I think it went quite well, she says, tentatively. Then again, I always think it went quite well, and it doesn’t normally get me anywhere. But no, this time, I didn’t stumble on any questions, I had a big smile, I gave honest answers, demonstrating what they are looking for, I made them laugh, that has to be a good sign, right? Ah well, we’ll see. They said a panel is getting together mid March and all decisions given out by the end of March. Finger crossed!!

I had a lovely afternoon off after that, watched some Lost and did some tidying ready for my boyfriend to come in the evening. He stayed until Sunday afternoon, and apart from being a bit bored when I went to work (he did ask again if he could come in with me Friday morning!) we had a really nice time. We did some shopping for Mother’s Day presents, had the best steak in the world (according to bean!) at Harry’s Grill, I beat him at Wii canoeing and Wii fit and he beat me at Wii tennis, he rubbed my back and fixed my silly back ache (5 layers at work from now on) and we went to see Alice in Wonderland at the cinema. It was a lovely, relaxing, fun weekend, and I loved seeing him before and having him to come back to after work. He’s on exercise now so I won’t be able to speak to him for a whole week, which is rubbish. Saturday morning post bought the interview pack from Nottingham, so the next set of stressing can begin.

One thing I did find from the interview that was interesting is that we were told to apply for a student fees loan anyway, even though the Student Loan Company says it doesn’t give them for second degrees, because they actually don’t mind giving them to grads on a degree leading to a professional career, I guess because they are guaranteed to get their money back fairly soon. This means that a 5 year course will def be possible to fund, even if it means the amount of debt I come out with might actually make me cry, it’s do-able. Plus one for Peninsula. I’ll leave it there for now, since this is quite long with all the interview stuffs. Hope you have a good week, please feel free to comment, and very excited to have my first follower! :)

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

A quiet week with an exciting end

So last week was a nice and quiet one at work, which was good. Oh, and I won our weekly Thursday lunchtime game of cards, which was awesome :) It got crazily busy December/January time as I was trying to get around 80 data analysis reports done to an external deadline, whilst trying to find people to confirm I should do them and then check them once I’d done them. Since then, I don’t take the quiet weeks for granted anymore! I work for a pension’s administration company. It wouldn’t be my first choice, but with the job market as it is, I shouldn’t complain.

I started here in the summer between college and uni as a temp sorting and filing paperwork. Luckily they liked me and have taken me back every Christmas, Easter and Summer since then, and every time I come back I do harder things. When I told them I would have a whole year free, they extended my contract, promoted me and moved me from the Direct client facing team to the Business Support Team. Here I do a lot more technical bits like calculations, constructing spreadsheets to perform certain tasks, training people in Excel and Word, reporting, data analysis general computer troubleshooting and formatting things. It’s a lot of problem solving, which I love and although I’m part of a team I’m left to my own devices to get on with my work flow most of the time, which I also like. I guess I do really like my job, especially now I’m not bottom rung and filing all the time! :p It’s a nice office with really nice people, the majority of which are grads who fell into the job because there was nothing else at the time. This means there’s quite a high turnover of people but everyone is really friendly. On my team especially we do have a laugh. They are quite a competitive bunch and there’s normally some sort of a quiz going on: What happened on this day in… kinda thing. It has shown me that I don’t want to work in an office forever and I do really miss biology. Another thing about this place is that it is always so cold! I know I’m a cold person normally, but I have to be wearing four layers at all times to be warm here, it’s ridiculous. In fact, it was so cold in here last week the muscles in my back tensed up and were really painful. They are still a bit tight now but they are getting better.

Like I mentioned before, my boyfriend is in the army and is going through Sandhurst at the moment. He had a hard week last week with a big test so we met in Salisbury last weekend to give him something to look forward to. Salisbury is almost half way between us, a little closer to him than me and it’s the second time we’ve done this now. I drove up on the Saturday, we went out for a lovely meal in the evening at Charter 1227 which I cannot recommend highly enough – the chef there is a genius and I have honestly never tasted food as good. Actually that place is the reason I chose Salisbury to go back to instead of somewhere closer to me.  The waitress lady remembered us from last time, just over a month ago, which was amazing.  We stayed the night in the Grasmere Hotel which overlooks the river Avon and is so pretty.  When we came back from our meal we bought a business card to give the hotel manager as he's never heard of the place before.  He was so pleased, he gave us a free glass of wine each and invited us to sit and chat with him and his friends who were out celebrating their son's birthday.  It was really nice, particularly since I'm quite shy, so wouldn't normally have said yes to sitting with a bunch of strangers for an hour, but actually, we had a really good time.  I am trying to come out of my shell a bit more.  I can do it when I have to, like when I'm instructoring, so I know Doctoring won't be a problem, I'm just trying to make it more me all the time.  The next day we went to Wilton Shopping Village Sunday and then to the Victoria and Albert Pub for Sunday lunch before driving home. Well the pub was lovely, a really nice, proper country pub, but Wilton Shopping village…. Lol, well, perhaps if we were about 50 in our tweed and wool and comfy shoes with a lovely big country house it would be alright, but it wasn’t really for us!

He’s actually coming down to see me this weekend as he has a long weekend of leave before a big exercise the week after. We spent so much time together at uni, I really miss him when he's not here and I know what with the army and me hopefully going back to uni it's going to be ages until we can be back together like that again.  Hopefully if we can last that sort of time apart, we should be able to get through anything, but we'll see.  He should be getting here Thursday after my interview which will be nice and staying until Sunday afternoon. I’m still trying to work out things to do with him, especially while I’m at work Friday. I think he thinks he’ll be able to come in and sit with me, he doesn’t really get office life! At least he’ll be able to give my back another rub and sort these silly muscles out! Thanks so much for your comments, they’re really useful, and it’s nice to know people are actually reading. Back to the ethics revision, bye!!

Monday, 1 March 2010

UCAS History

I did the International Baccalaureate instead of A levels, so when I was offered a place at University of Southampton for Med with 36 points and 666 at higher, my 32 with 644 at higher (4 ½ A’s at A level equivalent) didn’t get me very far. It did however, get me into a Biomedical Science Degree at Southampton Uni, which I absolutely loved (apart from neuroscience – very interesting but I appear to be rubbish at it, plants and molecular which are just dull and complicated and filled with three letter abbreviations for everything!) Here I learnt I could cook, I learnt to row, I made some great friends and I met my boyfriend. All was going well until the start of my final year, when I developed asthma so had to stop rowing and then anaemia, so my body tried to stop me doing everything – moving, concentrating and remembering, which is not conducive to revising for finals, or indeed sitting them. I had to take time out of my dissertation research but carried on battling to lectures. The uni had told me that they would apply a sickness policy to me, unfortunately, due to their anonymity policy, this didn’t help me in the slightest. Once again, I missed my offer of a place at the University of Leicester, but this time by a measly 3%.

So now here we are at round three. I revised and took the GAMSAT, and amazingly passed which was surprising considering I don’t really do well in exams and I have no background in Physics at all (I dropped it in year 9). This got me three interviews at St George’s 4yr, Nottingham 4yr and Peninsula 5yr. I found out last week I didn’t pass the interview for St George’s which is a shame because that was my first choice, but there we go, two left. I have the other two interviews coming up this month, and I honestly cannot pick between the two. Peninsula is close to home, a nicer program, has better facilities and I’d get to watch my god daughter grow up and see my family more often. On the other hand, it’s more expensive as I wouldn’t get a fee loan and I’d have to move every two years. Nottingham is a grad entry program, so a shorter course, I get a fee loan, it’s a nice friendly place but I’d be far from home and based at Derby away from the main uni and student-y goings on. I’m hoping actually going to the two places for interview will help me decide, and then again there is the distinct possibility that I will only get the one offer (if any) and so my decision will be made for me. I guess really, I’m going to enjoy wherever I end up going as it’s the course that I want to do and if the area’s really *that* bad I can just throw myself into my studies. Oooo, I just hate the waiting though! I submitted my application in October, which was ages ago. I went through all the stressiness of waiting to find out if my GAMSAT was good enough, then waiting to see if I’d get any interviews, then waiting to hear the results of my St George’s interview and the waiting’s getting kinda old now nice admissions people, yeah? Unconditional offers please! I’m a nice person, I’d work hard for you, do I really need to be interviewed? Aww, I wish, sadly, it’s not to be. Peninsula interview this is Thursday so I’m boning up on my ethical arguments and terminology. Fingers crossed for me!


Hi. Over the last couple of months I’ve been reading some blogs and it’s kinda given me the blogging bug. I’ve always been one of those people who start a diary as a New Year’s resolution and then get bored and stop by about February. Hopefully this one will last a little longer!

The reason I’ve been looking for blogs is to get an insider’s view on medical school. See, I’m one of those crazy people who has decided to put themselves through the hell that is UCAS apply to med schools: the stressing, the obsessively checking track, the over analysing every sentence of my personal statement and answers to interview questions and terrorising the postman for thick letters only please, no thin ones. It turns nice, normal, ordinary people into crazy, twitching, paranoid, ones – not fun. To make matters worse, this is the third time I’m putting myself through it. You might very well think that I should have learnt my lesson by now, but no, I’m a glutton for punishment. All it has taught me is that yes, medicine is what I want to do and that hopefully it will all be worth it in the end.

I’m back living at home with my parents and my cat for the time being, working in an office for a pension’s administration company. I’m a Project Officer, so I make spreadsheets, analyse data for problems and make reports. It’s not terribly exciting, but it is nice to have a wage. The people I work with are great, and I’ve been here for three years now working in my holidays from Uni. It also satisfies the geek in me that likes playing with spreadsheets and problem solving.

I have a Laser Radial which I don’t sail nearly as often as I’d like to/should. I am also a sailing instructor for Juniors, which is great fun. At uni I was looking for a challenge and to learn a new skill so I started rowing as I am hopeless at all land sports (can’t run, can’t throw, can’t catch). That was awesome and I loved it so much I joined my local rowing club and we are currently the novice women’s 4 WEARA champions, which means I have shiny stuff with my name on it :) Considering I’ve always been rubbish at sports, this is a big deal to me. My goal is to lose my novice status by the end of the year, which means I need to win two more races.

I knit in the evenings in front of the telly curled up on the sofa. It started because I needed to do something creative for my IB, and so I got my Mum to teach me and I made a patchwork blanket with her and my aunts to take to uni with me. I made a few scarves, a load of baby jumpers for my cousins’ kids and some stripy socks for Christmas presents this year. I am a firm believer that you should never wear boring pants and socks. If I’m having a rubbish day I only need to take my shoes off and see my brightly coloured stripy socks and I smile, as does everyone else who sees me padding round the place in my socks. Try it someday; I defy you not to smile :)

I’m not the best writer, but I’d like to think I have good sense of humour, which I hope comes through in my writing. If there’s any comments you have to help me improve, or if you’d just like to drop me a message to say hi I’d love to hear from you. By the way, bean is a nickname my boyfriend gave me that seemed to stick.