What to blog…

Standard

Hello, me again, and yes so soon! I’m actually procrastinating, I have a deadline at 3pm tomorrow and two of the eight questions to finish, but alas, I just can’t be arsed. Bad, I know, but its Sunday morning, it’s beautifully sunny outside and the last place i want to be is in the library.

I never really know what to blog about. Back when I was working offshore blogging about what life at sea was like, I felt like I had something interesting to say. Now I’m back at university spending the majority of my time in lectures or working on the mountain of coursework I seem to have, I struggle to think of interesting topics, or even make the time. However, when I actually sit down to write, It always flows pretty quickly. I never really know if people will be interested in writing about my studies. I was considering keeping a blog whilst I work on my dissertation, where I should be working on a project with a company. Obviously the actual dissertation wont be discussed due to confidentiality, but the general experience.

I also spend a lot of my free time crocheting ans I never write about that. Probably should. I love to travel, but have little time for it at the moment. Maybe I’ll go back and write about the places I’ve been and any, maybe slightly outdated, recommendations for inter-railing around Europe.

Anyway, I’m not really sure what the point of this post is. An insight to the workings of my Sunday morning procrastination brain. Seeing as it’s 11 and I’m sat in the library and still yet to get on with work, I think I’ll go!

Ex

 

Advertisements

Highlights, 2016!

Standard

So I have just remembered, on the 10th February, that I never finished and uploaded this post! So anyway, i thought, even if its of no interest to anyone else, its a nice reminiscent post that I’ll be able to look back on!

¬†So here we are, very nearly at the end of 2016, where has this last year gone? So much has changed, this time last year I was stressing myself out over handing in my undergraduate dissertation just after this Christmas break. Now, here I am stressing over the three deadlines I have due in January… Okay, so maybe not that much has changed.

I’m now currently studying Energy Engineering rather than Geophysics, still at UEA however, how could I leave my beloved city… I was beyond lucky to have been awarded a full scholarship from the Scottish Power Foundation which has opened so many doors for me and allowed me to meet some wonderful people, maybe I’ll write a post about it sometime…

Anyway, getting to the point, I thought I’d document my highlights of 2016, too look back on in the future;

  1. My first (and only) outdoor climbing trip to the Roaches.

cropped-12821561_10208579782761490_1187238348100194430_n.jpg

I’ve definitely written a post about this previously. After finally submitting my undergraduate dissertation I had the opportunity to spend the weekend climbing with UEA Climbing Club in this beautiful setting!

2. Edinburgh for mine and my sister birthday

So if you’ve never been, I highly recommend going. Ruby and I went and spent several days of ¬†March up in beautiful Edinburgh exploring the castle, climbing to Arthurs seat and relaxing in the birth place of Harry Potter!

3. Post-exam Lake Bled mini break

The day after finishing my final undergraduate exam Matt and I jetted off to Lake Bled, Slovenia for a wonderful few days exploring the stunning landscape, climbing hills and following gorges to waterfalls.

4. Working Offshore

Looking back I always have mixed feelings about working offshore. This year I went back to the company who I worked for for my year in industry and spent two months back out in the North Sea. I enjoy the work and the atmosphere can be fun, however weeks away from loved ones, bad food and confined conditions can get to be a bit too much!

5. Glastonbury

After years of wanting to go, myself and some wonderful people set off to Glastonbury and had an extremely muddy weekend of fun! I can’t wait to go again!

6. Being offered the Scottish Power Scholarship and meeting the King and Queen of Spain.

_MG_0150.jpg

I was so lucky to have been offered a full scholarship from ScottishPower to study my masters at UEA. As they’re part of the larger Spanish company, Ibedrola, the award ceremony was in Madrid and the certificates handed out by the king and queen of spain! Pretty exciting huh!

7. Graduation Day

So this is what the last four years were building up to! I had such a lovely day surrounded my some of my nearest and dearest celebrating our achievements!

8. Whistable and Herne Bay

I’ve already blogged about this, but it deserved another mention. It was lovely to have a short break before starting the manic masters degree!

9.¬†Talking at EEEGR’s Offshore Wind Week

16667989_10211724355333839_536506954_o-copy

Although completely nerve racking, I was lucky enough to have been given the opportunity to talk on behalf of Scottish Power and UEA at offshore wind week!

10. Glasgow with the Scottish Power Scholars and Zozo!

Unfortunately I don’t have too many pictures of this adventure, but the Scottish Power Foundation invited us up to Glasgow for a networking opportunity and the visit they pumped storage hydroelectric plant, which was pretty damn cool! It was lovely to catch up with the other scholars for the fist time since Madrid and also lovely to see Zoe!

So that’s it, my top events of 2016, here’s to 2017 and many more ¬†adventures and hopefully a successful second half of my masters degree!!

Much love. Ex

A weekend away… Herne Bay and Whistable

Standard

This post is only seven weeks late… but hey ho, I’m going to write it anyway for me.

A couple of weeks before I started my MSc back at the University of East Anglia, Matt and I took a short break to Herne Bay to somewhat relax before the work began!

We booked the cutest old fisherman’s hut, The Nook, which was small yet cozy with everything we could possibly need for a weekend. The owner, Eve, was extremely welcoming and thought of everything. We arrived to find a lovely hamper which contained more than enough for breakfast and a very nice bottle of wine (which we drank before I had a chance to take a picture)! If you’re ever that way I highly recommend staying at the Nook, Unless you’re tall… then maybe you wont quite fit inside the cottage…

Matt and I are both keen walkers, so we decided to walk from Herne Bay to Whistable via West Blean, Thornden and Clowes wood, which I highly recommend. It was a beautifully sunny weekend, which definitely helped! Whistable it a really cute little seaside town with lots of interesting little shops and cafes, well worth a visit.

Once we’d cooled down from the long walk and explored Whistable a little, we strolled along the seafront following the Saxon Shore Way back to Herne Bay. We of course stopped for fish and chips along the way (You have to when you’re at the seaside, don’t you!). When we returned to the Nook, I’m pretty sure we both collapsed, so tired we didn’t even manage to finish our glasses of wine!

The following morning, we had to say goodbye to the cozy fisherman’s hut, however, before we left Herne Bay we set out in search for a cooked breakfast! We’d heard about a vegetarian¬† cafe in the town, however after hunting it down we fount it to be closed! We ended up eating at The Pantry, literally around the corner from the Nook!

Once last stop before the journey back to Norwich was Reculver Towers and Roman Fort! A beautiful and interesting little spot, with and exceptionally cheap car park for an English Heritage site! And that was it, our weekend away. Now I’m at the beginning of week six of my masters degree, swamped with work wishing I could be enjoying the weekend back by the seaside. Hence the delayed reminiscing post!

E x

6 Months Later…

Standard

Wow, so my attempt at blogging about my Year in Industry has gone pretty poorly… 6 months have passed since I last wrote about my placement and at that point in time I had only been working with the company a matter of weeks… Well now it‚Äôs almost 7 months into my placement and I have a lot to catch you up on!

So, where to start… When I last blogged, I was only two weeks into my placement. Following that I spent the next month in the office! Well, almost all of it but I’ll get to that next. I must say, I continued to enjoy the company, unlimited tea, wandering around in my socks and of course the work! I started to feel like I had a real grasp of what I was supposed to be doing and loved learning and experiencing what it was like working in a professional environment. Having only ever been a waitress/bar staff it was a bit of a shock to the system, I must say, even now I miss being on my feet and talking all day, probably why I enjoyed the offshore component to my placement more, but again, I’ll get to that later.

Anyway, one of my highlights of the past 6 months has to be the, let’s say interesting, week I spent completing the course in the Standard of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping Basic Safety training course, a legal requirement for anyone planning to work offshore! The week started off with a long drive over to Lowestoft College, before getting lost in the car park, asking someone as equally clueless as me for directions and finally meeting the rest of the group I was about to spend the week with. With the day focused on First Aid training I felt pretty confident, having a good grasp on this from my time with St Johns, so when going over it back at home that evening, I was not aware of how nerve racking the next few days would be!

The majority of the next few days were spent learning to fight fires! Yes, I got to put out fires! After a morning of classroom training we then found ourselves dressed in full fire fighting gear, which I must note, is¬†not¬†designed for 5’4 women (I wish I had a picture of this), and off we went to the fire ground! The first day was quite tame, putting out fires in steel containers with different types of fire extinguishers, I really enjoyed it. Then we learnt to use the hoses and how to put out slightly larger fires.

The second day however, was much more intense!

This was the first time I had ever used breathing¬†apparatus; I must say, I think it was the most challenging part of the course for me. It is such a¬†weird¬†feeling relying on a tank of air you’re¬†carrying on your back to breathe. Eventually I got used to it, but I found it very off-putting at first. We spent the morning in a classroom learning how to put the equipment on, how to activate the mask and the tank and then we were led around the site, up ladders, crawling through small tubes and jogging out in the open. With the tank on your back and a large hard hat on and dressed in the bulky gear, most of these tasks are not easy. I really respect those who do this every day. It was hot, awkward and uncomfortable, but strangely fun after you got used to it!¬†

That afternoon we were thrown into the deep end! Old containers full of¬†obstacles¬†were set up on their¬†site designed to simulate the ship. Within these fires were lit and the containers filled with smoke. In groups of 3, breathing apparatus on and hoses at the ready we had to go into the pitch black and use our newly¬†acquired¬†sweeping techniques (which make you look like¬†you’re doing some very strange unstable dance), navigate around and tackle the fires. At first it was horrible; not being able to see anything, feeling the heat of the fires and being very aware that the only oxygen you have is that coming from the tank on your back. But after the first simulation (I think we did about 3 that day) it started to become strangely enjoyable. You’re very aware that you’re in a controlled situation with the constant support and¬†guidance¬†of the instructors (who I must say were great), and so you start to relax into it and can focus more on the task and less on the fear! Haha.

I will just say, if you’re planning on doing this course/need to do this course, you will smell awful afterwards! It took a good week to get the smell out of my hair! 

Slightly exhausted from the day before, I was pretty glad that the next day was only half a day at Petans, part of which was occupied simply by a multiple choice test. However, once more we donned all our firefighting gear, and into the containers we went. This time they made it a little more challenging with ladders and stairs to compete with but feeling more comfortable with the breathing apparatus and the smoke I was feeling a lot more confident! 

After scrubbing as much of the smokey smell off as possible, we travelled over to Lowestoft for the afternoon (I was not best pleased about this) to listen to a talk on responsibilities. After two and a half days of hand on firefighting there were many sleepy people trying very hard not to drift off! But we all made it through the afternoon and I went home to a very well deserved bath! 

The next day was without a doubt my¬†favourite! Sea Survival in the pool! And no, even though you’re working at sea, you don’t have to be able to swim! Not once have I ever been asked this question (much to my Dad‚Äôs¬†surprise). But I can and I love being in the water so I felt pretty confident about this day.¬†

Until¬†they stood me on a platform above the water looking down at the bottom of the 10m deep pool and told me to jump…¬†

Can’t say I was too happy about that at first! But after a little encouragement from the great group I’d been working with all week I did it (and secretly quite enjoyed it). The day was so fun. It started with classroom training and then we were off.¬†Dressed¬†in our swimmys, overalls¬†(again, they don’t seem to make these for short women) and massive life jackets, one by one, we jumped. Several times¬†in fact; once with all the lights off, which honestly felt like¬†you were falling¬†forever! After learning to flip an overturned life raft and climb into it we¬†simulated a variety of different abandon ship situations, which¬†was¬†in fact¬†great fun! However¬†I¬†don’t imagine this is the case if you have to do it for real! The pool was nowhere near as cold as the North Sea would be! After drying off we had to sit one final multiple choice test and that was it! STCW completed… It was not what I expected it to be at all… not that I really knew what to expect but it was great fun. You really need to throw yourself into it though, don’t sit back. I was pretty scared at the¬†beginning¬†but after a quiet talk with myself I really got into it and ended up loving it! All apart from that smell… I had to throw away a sports bra which just refused to smell of anything but smoke! ¬†¬†

Anyway! I was going to tell you about the rest of my 7 months in this entry, But I’ve pretty much only made it to the end of week 4 and I have 10 weeks of being offshore to write about!

So, until next time!

E x