I’ve just read the 2014 Happy New Year blog post and it made me laugh.
I think I managed to achieve just one of the goals that I set myself this time twelve months ago and that was passing my masters degree.
Weightwatchers – well I joined and I did lose a stone last year but I’ve probably put that back on towards the end of the year with a decrease in exercise and an increase in baked goods for breakfast = no that’s not me below but if I don’t watch myself it might be………..
Buying clothes on payday – I don’t even remember writing that one……haha. Needless to say that it didn’t happen. I’m still happily living in jeans and converse, but after listening to an interview with the uber-cool Mary Anne Hobbs on Womens Hour I am going to embrace the fact that I like feeling comfortable. Hobbs states that she still wears jeans from seventeen years ago because she likes the comfort in them. That’s good enough for super-cool Hobbs then that is good enough for me – I might even get my global hyper-colour t-shirt from the loft and revitalise that.
Therefore for 2015 there shall be no resolutions. Resolutions merely state that there are elements about yourself that you are unhappy with and to be perfectly honest……I’m quite happy in this place that I’ve found myself in.
What about everyone else? Have you made any resolutions?
This month I have gone back in time by three years, as I have purchased a paper moleskin diary in an attempt to get myself more organised.
I’ve been struggling to manage my time and the amount of tasks that I do during the week – and this is not even tasks to do with the day job.
Since beginning high school at the age of twelve I have kept a paper diary. I’ve even still got old diaries hidden away in my cupboards which now and again I’ll have a look at.
Three years ago I decided to embrace technology more, ditch the paper diary and keep everything on my electronic calendar which is on my mobile and on my work Outlook.
It works a treat. Every single appointment for myself, the kids and even the husband are added to the electronic calendar.
I’ve even gone as far as colour coding the various appointments.
It was working a treat until last month I ended up being asked to take on regular online writing, putting together match programmes for my sons sports team, arranging interviews for my weekly radio show and not to mention my own writing deadlines with the radio soap.
A lot of deadlines to remember every week, and I was starting to feel overwhelmed that I couldn’t keep a track on tasks and appointments.
Being organised is one thing that I am really good at in my day job. I can organise as many activities that are thrown my way, multi-task, prioritise and delegate.
Yet in my personal life I always feel like I’m drowning.
So I decided to go back to 2010 and purchase a paper diary so that I could see if it would help me in my aim to organise my private life.
Not that I need much encouraging in purchasing new stationery items. I decided to purchase a small moleskin diary which has the week listed on one side and a lined sheet on the opposite side which I use as a to do list/reminders.
Not to mention the colour-coded stickers.
Amazingly going back to the retro paper based product has worked a treat.
There’s also something really satisfying about crossing off items on a ‘to do list’ as well.
It has also made me realise just how much writing I am actually doing each week.
I may not be making progress on my personal scripts. I am however, writing two scenes per week for my collaborative radio soap, several features for a sports programme per week, online articles and submitting sketches and one-liners for a BBC radio show.
Have you ever ditched paper for paper-less, did it work for you?
My last post about Collaborative Writing was over 14 weeks ago, and I’m happy to report that I’m still part of the writing team for a new radio continuing drama series for a Manchester community radio station.
We started out five months ago as a team of fourteen writers, of all writing ability and over the weeks have now dwindled down to a regular writing team of six.
We have a full cast of characters with their back stories, storylines, real life actors have now been cast to start recording the series in two weeks time and we the writers are all frantically scribbling at an amazing speed to ensure that the scripts are ahead of each recording.
There is finally a name for the radio soap too although not sure if that is being officially launched in the upcoming weeks. Maybe not the best of ideas to publicise it on here in case there is going to be a big PR campaign planned for it in a few weeks time.
It’s great to be part of a writing team. I experienced it as part of my Masters degree in Scriptwriting for the Radio Drama module, but nothing is better than experiencing it in real life.
The best thing about the weekly writers meeting is that we all have our own ideas about how a character should react to a situation etc. However, the collaborative process means that we get to bounce ideas off each other and just having those discussions (sometimes heated) means that what could start off as a good idea can be bounced around and with a few heads getting together can come out as a great idea.
It’s certainly made me think about my future writing and the possibility of trying to find a writing partner to collaborate with.
I’m going to London Screenwriters Festival later in the month so maybe I should be on the look out for a collaborator.
The past seventy-two hours has been consumed with discussions, media and posts about A-level results.
Tip-top advice for any A-level student who need to know what to expect next with their achieved results.
But what about us parents? The world seems to discard the anguish and anticipation of what we go through during the lead up and on the day of that all important Thursday during August.
My Wednesday nights sleep was disturbed several times as I lay awake hoping that my son will pass his exams. A last minute change of university meant that he was holding out for clearing at a local university.
I did advise him back in October 2013 to select one university close to home in case he had a change of heart about moving away. As usual, he didn’t listen to me so was left declining all his places and taking his chances in clearing.
I drove him to Sixth Form at 8.00am on Thursday morning and even before we got through the front door I could feel myself getting emotional. I knew I had to keep it together in case the news wasn’t good. Nothing prepares you for that roller-coaster of emotions, it was more nerve-wracking than two months prior when I was waiting to open my results for my Masters degree.
My son’s results were superb but he was a grade away from his first choice of university course. Being adamant that he would resit I left him with his friends and advised him to not completely disregard other courses or universities in the area.
Later in the day he informs me that his chosen university has an even better course that he is interested in and he has the grades to hopefully be offered a place through clearing.
Being laid-back he decides to wait a day to contact them. This is the part that I struggle with. I’m one of these that will get onto things straight away and not chance anything. He’s eighteen though, it’s his future and his life so I had to bite my tongue and offer support when he needed it.
He was offered a place on the course the next day and I was over the moon. The relief I felt was immense as I struggle with anyone having control over members of my family – and yes I know it’s not really strangers having control, but it felt like it.
Again though as a parent you are just thrust into the support role which you have to learn as you go along. Only being able to do so much and hope that your children make the right choices, work hard and succeed in life.
It’s all about the students, quite rightly so but nobody ever asks the parent how they are holding up throughout the stress and strain of exams. For good parents it affects us too so if you’re a young person going through this too – spare a thought for mum and dad.
Although I received my official MA results back in June, last week was the graduation ceremony to officially celebrate my achievement.
The ceremony was held at The Lowry, Salford Quays on a glorious, hot Thursday afternoon.
I was thrilled to arrive in the robing queue at the same time as members of my graduating cohort so the lengthy queue went by without incident as we caught up with each other from the previous summer.
What made this day extra special for me was the attendance of my loved ones. Sons, husband, parents and father-in-law all braved the blistering heat to watch me walk across the red carpet at The Lowry.
The ceremony began with a band and a singer all associated with the School of Arts and Media at the University.
Speeches were made and thankfully I wasn’t waiting long before we were gathered to begin our queuing to the stage. I’d forgot that they award the highest to lowest educational attainment.
Those receiving their PhD’s were first up, followed by my group of Postgraduates.
I recall being extremely nervous when receiving my undergraduate degree in 2009, but this time I had my family on the front row and I could only see my youngest son’s huge smile when I walked up to the stage steps. How could I be nervous when that beautiful smile was beaming proudly at me?
The ceremony lasted an hour and it was superb from start to finish. I savoured every minute of it, being with my classmates and family under one roof.
Once the ceremony closed I marched my family upstairs to more queues. I wanted a professional portrait with all of them before we finished the day with a lovely meal.
It was the perfect day to mark the end of one of the biggest journeys of my life so far.
From that very first lesson back in September 2011 when I nearly didn’t go back to class after the break because I thought I was in way over my head. The course not only educated me in terms of learning the craft of scriptwriting, it has sparked a real passion in radio drama which I didn’t know was there and has given me the confidence to rise to any challenges that come my way in future.
Thank you University of Salford. Here’s to the next journey.
Yesterday was the fifth year that Mancunians celebrated “Manchester Day”
The day boasts a mile long parade of various community groups, organisations and clubs through the streets of Manchester.
Attended by a record breaking 20,000, the Manchester Day parade was a successful event. A gathering of Mancunians and visitors to the great city for the one day of the year where we can toast our diverse communities and remember how we prevailed during the riots of 2011.
Parading down the streets of Manchester were Read the rest of this entry »