Top Ten of Twenty Thirteen

The story of Lofty

When me and Lewis were visiting home from University at the beginning of November, we woke up to find a black cat was hit by a car outside his house and passed away. After asking the houses down their road, we discovered it was stray. Kate and Colin, Lewis’ parents, also informed us that they’d found a dead kitten in their garden the night before, but none of us put two and two together. By the next night, we were back at university, but Kate and Colin heard a very scared little meow whilst they were trying to sleep. After a lot of searching, It turns out the mother cat had somehow got into their loft from the outside and had given birth to two kittens up there. So this little lonely kitten, now named Lofty, had never seen daylight or humans before. Kate and Colin were so caring, and gave him lots of love and food but because they have two golden retrievers and live on a road where quite a few cats have been hit by cars, little lofty now lives at my house, settling in with Bubble, Jimmy and Boots. So we’re all winners, Lofty is now living with three other cats on our farm, and is a very smitten kitten and we now have a fourth cat to add to our cat zoo.

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Birthday Bubble

As my previous post has told you all, I love Bubble as much as I love my entire family. I got him when I was 5 and he’s my absolute world. As far as pets can go, I don’t think I will ever have one that means just as much to me as Bubble does. This year he turned 15 and although that’s old, it’s okay because he’s got at least another 15 years in him, he promised me.

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Unforgettable Florida

This Summer, in June, I was completely spoilt and taken to Florida with the Everett’s as part of Lewis’ 21st birthday present. We got to swim with Dolphins at Discovery Cove, go to Disney Land, Universal, Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, Islands of Adventure, Wet and Wild, Epcot, Amazing Beaches, Massive Shopping Centres and restaurants which served incredible food (in my sort of portions). I will never, ever forget my time in Florida, and will always be grateful for being taken there, and even more grateful for my boyfriend and his family. I’m a very lucky girl.

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Special Sandbanks

 I have been to Sandbanks once a year since birth, with my Parents, Grandparents, Aunties, Uncles, Great Granny, Great Aunty, Brother, Sister and cousins and each year we have the most amazing year. Sandbanks’ is an incredible place to be and has recently been in the news, as explained in my previous post, but to me it’s more about the memories and traditions that my family have there. And our time in Sandbanks, in 2013, was no different.

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Second Year grades

Whilst in Sandbanks this year I got my grades for second year, which I was extremely happy about! I worked my absolute bum off last year and am so happy I did because I received a 2:1 and that’s what I had hoped for.

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Our special Lily

Valentines day is about the people you love, but unfortunately Janurary 14th in 2013 was the day I had to say goodbye to someone I love dearly. My great granny, Gar, sadly passed away at the end of January last year and valentines day was the day of her funeral. Although it was one of the hardest days of my life, it was one of my most truly memorable moments of the year as it was a day to celebrate her life, to send her off in the way she would want and deserved to be and to show her just how much she meant to us all.

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20 years on

As always, I love to celebrate my birthday with my nearest and dearest, and this year was no different. Some of my friends came from just up the road, and others travelled over 5 hours on a train to be there, and that made me extremely happy. I had an amazing night… Bring on my 21st next year though. Everyone keep August 2nd free 😉

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The two L’s

Although me and Lewis spend a lot of time together due to us living in the same student house, we rarely get a moment when it’s just me and him. So London is our little getaway, and this year we’ve been twice and, as always, both times were very special.

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Fingers Crossed

Getting an interview at UEA for a PGCE in KS2 primary is definitely one of my highlights of 2013. If I get a place I will start in September, and will be on the road to where I want to spend the rest of my life. My heart has always been in teaching, and I know it’s the career I’m destined to be in. I’m due to hear back from UEA within the next two weeks so fingers crossed!

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Together Again

When I was at High School I would see my best friends almost every day, but now being at University I know how much I took that for granted. On Christmas Eve this year me and 5 of my oldest, best friends were reunited after about a year and it was like we were never apart.

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I’m grateful for everything 2013 brought to me, and everyone that was a part of it. 2013 was a memorable year for me, and I hope 2014 is just the same! I wish you all a happy and healthy New Year!

Fresh, once more

For some reason I feel like I should apologise, apologise for promising a lot of blog posts over the summer and not writing a single one. But then reality hits me and I remember that I’m not one of those ‘famous bloggers’, with millions of subscribers all over the world and in fact, I’m just a 20 year old who has too much to say and knows where to put a comma, I think?

So where have I been, you ask? Well, I’ve just been so busy, managing 4-day jobs, 1 evening job and caring for my newborn and I just haven’t really had the time to blog. I hope you can all forgive and forget.

If only I really did have an excuse like that… Lets go back to an evening back in August, where I bumped into an old school friend, Ewan, who before conversation had barely begun, told me off for not blogging enough. Blog? Blogging? What’s that? And then it clicked. I’d clearly been enjoying summer too much that I had completely forgotten I had a blog. So thanks Ewan, for not only sparing a few minutes to read my blog every now and then but also for giving me a kick up the arse and getting me back to the keyboard.

Although, I do feel I deserve a little bit of a pat on the back for something. This summer I have been working my absolute bum off with University work and I’m feeling very prepared to begin my final year when I return back to Lincoln. Yet on the other hand, I do not feel ready to go back at all. I mean, how do you prepare yourself for 7 nights of solid drinking after having a summer consisting mainly of nights on the sofa with a handful of cats? Unfortunately, no matter how many Barocca’s I could drink, Pizza’s I could polish off at the end of a night and how much I could pretend I’m on Geordie Shore, I don’t think there’s anything I can do to avoid the next mornings hangover… and the 6 after that. But where’s the fun in thinking of the morning after? This is the last fresher’s of my life, I’m living with my boyfriend and two of my best friends and you only bloody live once! YOBLO. So no excuses, I’m going to make sure I’m out 7/7 nights and am going to make sure it’s the best week of my life to date.

I read something the other day that went:

If you have food in your fridge, clothes on your back, a roof over your head and a place to sleep you are richer than 75% of the world. If you have money in the bank, your wallet, and some spare change you are among the top 8% of the worlds wealthy. If you woke up this morning with more health than illness you are more blessed than the million people who will not survive this week. If you have never experience the danger of battle, the agony of imprisonment or torture, or the horrible pangs of starvation you are luckier than 500% million people alive and suffering. If you can read this message you are more fortunate than 3 billion people in the world who cannot read at all.

So whilst I sit here moaning about an upcoming hangover, praying for one more Pringle to appear in the bottom of the tube I realise just how lucky I really am, (Not just because I ate the whole tube and didn’t have to share.) This summer I’ve treasured every minute I can with my family and my very precious Bubble, I’ve made sure I’ve seen all 4 of my grandparents at least once a fortnight, I’ve got some of the best friends in the whole world, two of which I’ve got back after 4 years and some who I can’t wait to catch up with back at Uni. Lewis and me are as good as ever and I’m very grateful for his family who has made me feel so welcome. I’m healthy, I’m happy and for that, I’m very grateful. I’m going to go back to Uni and hopefully leave this year again with a 2:1, I’m going to dive into fresher’s like its my first one all over again and I’m not going to take anyone or anything for granted.

Look at me, rambling on again pretending to myself that there’s someone the other side of the screen absolutely engrossed. (If anyone is still reading, and remotely interested, top effort.) I promise my next post will be less deep, and more recent than in 4 months time.

I hope all of you have had a lovely summer, take care xxx

Build your own dreams, or someone else will hire you to build theirs

Unfortunately there’s a time in your life where answering, “A princess” to the question, “So what do you want to be when you’re as old as mummy and daddy?” isn’t acceptable.

Whilst I was at sixth form, at the age of 17, I had to decide on what I wanted to study at University and where I was going to pursue it. Coincidentally, at this age I also had absolutely no idea of what career path I wanted to follow. And what was worse, it seemed that everyone else around me had already decided where they were going and what they were doing.

Obviously not everyone wanted to go to University, I mean some people were happy with a job in Topshop for the rest of their life, but where’s the dream in that? For me, University has always been a plan. I felt, and still feel, that 18 was too young to end full time education, but also too young to start full time work. I mean, who wants to be working 9-5 when there’s jäger bombs out there that need drinking?

But what was I going to study at University? 3 years is a long time to stay motivated on just one subject and £9,000 is a huge amount to go in-debt to, to something that you’re unsure about. So I listened to my teachers and my family, who both suggested that as I was uncertain of the career path I wanted to follow, I should take a degree on something I enjoyed and was good at, as it would help me to stay motivated and achieve a high grade. So that’s why I took Fashion Studies.

Of course I’ve had my days, normally once I’ve handed in a deadline, where I’ve absolutely loved it and have wanted to spend the rest of my life working in the Fashion industry. But I’ve had a lot more days where, although I’ve been enjoying what I’m doing and am working hard, I just know I wouldn’t be happy doing it forever.

And about a week ago, a light bulb switched on in my brain, a bulb that had flickered similar thoughts many years ago. I’d decided, well re-decided, that I wanted to be a primary school teacher. I love children, helping others and I’m a little bossy. The hours are perfect, the pay is good and the holidays are very generous. I don’t know what it was that made me suddenly decide or what it was that really put a full stop to any more ideas, but I’m so glad it happened.

Once I’ve finished my third year in Lincoln, I plan to pursue a Postgraduate Certificate in Education Primary Level (PGCE), at the UEA, in September 2014. It is an 8.30am-5.30pm course, 5 days a week, which lasts 38 weeks and includes at least 120 days work based in schools.

After a little research, I discovered that if I continue to get the grades I’ve been getting, (I got a 2:1 for second year, yay), I should still have a chance to get on the course. My degree is just as beneficial for the course as one would be in any other subject, so I have absolutely no regrets. I know that if I were to have done a more academic degree, I wouldn’t have enjoyed it as much, therefore would not have been as motivated.

Life is too hard to do something because it’s the ‘easy option’, and I know this is the perfect job for me. There’s no problem with a well-dressed teacher. I mean, just as Oscar Wilde stated, “You can never be too overdressed or overeducated”.

And I can breathe again

 

“What course do you study at University?”, “Fashion Studies”, “Oh, so you spend 3 years colouring in?”. Fantastic.

I chose to pursue a degree in Fashion studies because I’ve always preferred working practically over academically, have a creative flare and a passion for fashion. Surprisingly enough it isn’t because it was the only course my grades allowed me to study and that they offer a £50 Topshop giftcard to whoever passes. In fact I left High school and Sixth form with 12 A-C GCSE’s and 1 A and 2 B’s at A Level resulting in enough UCAS points to have got on most of the courses at this University.

As a course, BA Fashion studies students are given freedom to work and no limits within what they design, whether it be a simple cotton shift dress, or a clowns outfit made from cellotape and pencil sharpening’s.  But if I want to walk away with at least a pass, there is absolutely no freedom within the amount of work needed to complete.

It grinds my gears when people say that Fashion is a cop out and University is just 3 years of drinking and sleeping. I’m not one to determine what other courses are like, but for me the last 2 years have been the hardest years of my life, and I have never put so much effort into something.

After a large number of all-nighters, tears and tantrums I’ve just ended my second year by handing in 20 sketchbooks/portfolios, over 10,000 words of essays and 4 final garments. And over this summer, I will have all of my Norfolk incestuous toes and fingers crossed, hoping that my hard work pays off when I receive my results, and that I can put to rest the upsetting myth, that us fashionista’s are brainless.

I hope that you’ll have yours crossed too

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Don’t wear skinny jeans to a Chinese buffet

After rolling out of bed at 1pm, I rounded up the troops and then drove to Norwich with Rosie, Toby and my boyfriend, Lewis. We began by going to Hollywood bowl, where I got absolutely destroyed and came a shameful last place. We then took it to the pool table where I, once again, got destroyed… Don’t be rude.

We then made a trip to Riverbank Chinese where I paid £13.99 for an ‘all you can eat’ buffet, yet my mind, the same one that had got me in Riverbank in the first place, convinced me that buying a coke to accompany my buffet would be a waste of money. So whilst I stand at the bar waiting for my tap water I notice a clipboard with the daily pay for each worker and at £6.20 an hour it makes me think. My £13.99 alone had paid for both of the waitresses working during the hour I was there. Where was the money of the other 70 odd diners going? Yet this thought was soon pushed to the side when I made my way back to the table, via 100+ Chinese dishes.

Whilst I tucked into what turned out to be an extremely mediocre, Chinese buffet, eaten from cold plates, surrounded by a lot of over excited, screaming teenagers, about to attend an under 18’s night at Wonderland, I still felt extremely satisfied.

Perhaps it was because I was a student enjoying a break from having to cook and wash up, or maybe it was the freedom I had to eat as much of whatever I liked.

Yet around 6 platefuls each later, flies being unzipped and both siblings taking a trip the toilet to “make some more space”, we couldn’t eat anymore. As usual, the system had beaten us and some very sneaky businessman’s wallet had just got a little heavier. And it’s never until after the meal, when I’m leaving the restaurant, that I decide to weigh up the pros and cons…

Realistically buffets aren’t ‘eat as much as you want’, they’re ‘eat as much as you can’. And for a 19 year old female, the size of an 11 year old, with eyes too big for her stomach, I’m just the sort of victim they want walking through their door.

To us we see a service offering us unlimited, high standard food. To everyone working in the buffet industry we’re a bunch of ignorant fools.

Having more complex dishes in a restaurant requires more ingredients, time, training and organization. Riverbank’s menu offered mainly chicken and prawns, unlike traditional Chinese food, which offers numerous amounts of different meats and fish. And I’m sure that, just like in most other business, produce is brought in bulk resulting in negotiated prices.

Another thing I noticed was the food had already been prepared into dice sized portions, which I had to eat from my tiny plates and tiny bowls, creating very small portions, meaning less waste and less paid workers washing up.

Additionally, almost every time I returned to my seat my glass had been filled up by a waitress of fresh tap water, how kind I thought… Until a few glasses later I’d realised how quickly it was filling me up.

As a result I ate a very average amount of food, for the price of about 10 platefuls. So well done Riverbank, once again you mugged me and my family off… Yet I’m sure I’ll see you again soon

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Putting the original into Aboriginal

Personally I have always felt that ending my education after sixth form, at the young age of 17 was never an option. Although I knew where my passions lied, I was still unsure of the paths I wanted to take in the future. Yet I knew 100% that I did not want to go straight into a 9 till 5 job. My mum has always said to me, “University were the best years of my life”, and my dad always told me that he regretted never going.. And who better to look up to that your parents, right?
So I took the leap, and began my life at the University of Lincoln in September 2011 and hand on my heart it was the best decision I have ever made. Not only have I become independent and strong willed,  I’ve learnt who my true friends are, how to manage a student loan and more importantly how to get up for a 9am lecture after rolling in 5 hours prior.
But more than anything else, I have climbed mountains on my Fashion Studies course. Before starting my degree I’d never had any experience with Fashion, which I found really set me back at the start as there were students on my course who were doing similar repeats of a Fashion course, or had been doing Fashion at college for numerous years. But now looking back at the 2 years, I have already filled 9 sketchbooks with detailed illustrations, designs and working drawings to a set theme, designed and manufactured 3 dresses and 1 shirt and knitted 1 jumper and 1 dress. I have also been fortunate to take part in many competitions including one designing for George at ASDA, learnt how to use illustrator and photoshop towards my designs and exerted a number of presentations of a room of 40+ individuals and lecturers. In addition to this I have written 14,000 words worth of fashion related essays, and have already handed in my dissertation proposal.
Two of my favourite garments are from my aboriginal collection. First shows my dress, created from both cotton silk and coated cotton satin which I printed my own design onto. For this design I decided to create my own pattern block, rather than using a template, as this allowed me to create a very unique garment. I used the swirls from the aboriginal image to emphasise certain areas of the female body in my design. The image here shows my garment before completion, in addition I added length to the dress and an arm with a flared, peplum sleeve. I will post an image once my garment has been returned from marking.
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My second garment is a knitted jumper. In addition to pursuing my aboriginal theme we were asked to add ideas from sportswear into our final design. I looked into the traditional argyle print, commonly used in golf, and by using the accustomed circle from aboriginal art, I created an argyle print of my own which I then incorporated into my punch card. Alternatively changing the second yarn after every 12 rows, created the tricolour fabric. The bottom of my garment was created through hand stitched cable holes, which took me days and days of patience and bacon sandwiches, but has created a very detailed and delicate lace effect. My jumper was finished off with ribs created on the dubiet machine, using my very own secret method. I hope you like my garments, and I’m looking forward to finishing more so that I can share them with you. Take care x
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There’s a first time for everything

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To say I know what I’m doing would be wrong. I feel like i’ve just walked into a party where everyone is already friends and I know no one. As easy as it would be to stand in the corner, with a drink and a nervous smile, that’s too easy. I want to be noticed, but for the right reasons. I want my posts to interest and inspire you, whilst gaining followers that do the same to me.
 I’m Zoe Cole, and I’m 19 years old. I was born in the city of Norwich but that’s about the closest I get to being a ‘city girl’. My family are farmers, my house is a farmhouse in the middle of nowhere, and I’d rather lose a finger than be a vegetarian. I have a very close knit family, my immediate consisting of my beautiful, physiotherapist of a mum, commonly known as a bit of a milf. My father, a grumpy old man, who seems to only be happy once a year (once the harvest’s done).. But deep down he’s the best, and I’ve always been a daddy’s girl. My sister is 17, and as I’m sure many teenage sisters are, we’re best friends one day and enemies the next. My younger brother has just discovered the xbox and masturbation, so I don’t see him much..
I went to Pulham Primary School where I learnt the words to ‘He’s got the whole world in his hands’, at Archbishop Sancroft High School I learnt to avoid teenage boys and began to notice my passion for art and design. Onwards from here I went to Bungay Sixth Form where I discovered alcohol, high heels and the talent I have for textile, and the attraction I had with fashion. Since then I have been studying Fashion studies at the University of Lincoln and am absolutely loving it.
My blog will be a place where I come to when I feel inspired and need a rant. A place where I can share my opinions and my special memories. But mainly a place where I can use big words from the dictionary and pretend I know what I’m doing.
Take care x