Illness, Deadlines and Inverness!

Hey everyone. It’s been a busy, stressful few weeks, which hasn’t been helped by me falling ill a couple of weeks ago and feeling terrible for ages. At first it was just a cold which wouldn’t have affected me too badly (I get a lot of colds, so I’m pretty used to them by now), but then I developed a bad cough and sore throat, and a recurrent ear infection made an unwelcome visit and everything just went south. I’m feeling on the up now though (at least my cold is gone and I can semi hear again, even if my cough is still here) so hopefully things will just get better from here. At the very least, I should be back on full form by Christmas. Also, it’s December so I can officially say YAY CHRISTMAS IS COMING and none of you can hate me for it!

I also had coursework to complete for every subject (an essay for linguistics, a lit review for psychology and an essay AND a report for human skeleton). They were all due within weeks of each other, and me feeling lousy definitely did not speed up the writing process. BUT they’re all done now (at last, finally, hoorah) so now I can have a small break before my exams start. I’ve decided to celebrate by going to…


Inverness is a Highland-y place in Scotland (quite a bit further north than Ed). I’ve never been and I’m REALLY excited. I’m going with a friend of mine, we’re staying in a local B&B, and we plan to visit the zoo/Highland Park ¬†near there that’s connected to Edinburgh zoo. The rest of the weekend we haven’t quite decided yet. We’re leaving today (Friday) and returning on Monday. I don’t yet know whether there is wifi where we’re staying, but if so you will hopefully get an update of each day (complete with PICTURES). Fingers crossed, eh?

Well anyway, I hope you’ve all had a better start to the winter than I have, and I hope you have a great weekend! Let me know if you plan on going anywhere fun this December. See you soon!


Uni Notes Pages

You may have noticed that I’ve deleted the Uni Notes page for Statistics from my blog. I thought of the idea to type up my uni notes quite late this year, and as a result I didn’t keep on top of it. I’m planning on starting this idea afresh as soon as I start my second year of uni this September, so I can keep on top of it and hopefully it’ll be a useful revision tool for myself and maybe some of you. My degree is in Psychology and Linguistics which is why those pages are still up (along with the Textbooks page), ready for use, but I don’t know whether I’ll still be accessing the Statistics course next year so I deleted it. I may create it again if it turns out that I do it. I may also put up a page on my outside course (the course I’ll only do during my second year) but that depends on what I decide to do. Hopefully this makes sense, and I’m excited to be starting this project up in a couple of months!

(Again, I won’t be posting any lecture slides or copying any information directly from them as they are the property of the university and not myself. Any quotes I make will be credited to wherever I got them from. Anything else I post here will be in my own words from my own notes, and primarily for my own benefit although I will be very happy if it helps or interests anyone else as well)

The Weeks that Pass Quick

I’ve been back home in Staffordshire for a week now, and it seems like there’s been a whirlwind of activity even though I haven’t done very much at all.  I’ve been catching up with friends and spending time with my parents (and my dogs). It’s hard to believe I’ve finished the first year of uni. 3 more to go!!

Much as I’m happy to be back here, I really do miss Edinburgh and the people I left there. I’m so looking forward to moving into my new flat with my new flatmates. This will be my first “real” flat, and the second year of independence. 

So I just wanted to give you all a quick update – I got home safely, and I have more book and food reviews lined up for you, as well as a couple of easy recipes. You’ll be hearing plenty from me over the summer – and hopefully no more of these long gaps!! Until tomorrow xx

Happy Easter Everyone!!!

So, I finally got home today after a LONG train ride (and a pretty long wait at the station to catch my second train). It’s been a taxing and very tiring day, but I got home at around 6pm. Although I do love it in Edinburgh (and I already kinda miss it) I’m glad I’m back – and very happy to seen my family. My dogs were waiting by the gate when I got home. This post is very short (I’ll do a longer one tomorrow when I can think straight) but I just wanted to wish you all a (belated) happy Easter! Did you spend your Easter with your family or your friends? Are you visiting anyone, or are you going on holiday for a week or two? Are you guys happy to have a break from studying, or do you work and so don’t really have a holiday? Let me know in the comments.

See you soon guys!

Life Updates, Coming Up Soon and Baking Treats!

What can I say? It’s been a while guys (understatement of the year there) but I’ve been been pretty busy and stressed. No. Scratch that. I’ve been VERY busy and stressed. This post will be a small one to let you know that I’m still here, I’m still blogging and hopefully I’ll be blogging A LOT more after this. I’ve got a lot of ideas for posts that are pretty much done and dusted so they’ll be up over the next week or so. But first, a quick life update.

I had my final three assignments due within a week of each other, and I started one of them (the longest one, go figure) really late so I was scrambling to get everything done. It sucked, and I’m NEVER leaving work that late again. It’s just not worth the hassle. But I finally did get everything done, I got a good result in my Linguistics (no word on the other two yet) which means I now just have to concentrate on revising for my exams. I have one in April and two in May. On the bright side, my last exam is 14th May and I don’t leave halls until the 31st May so I’m planning to do a few day/weekend trips to explore Scotland a little! It’ll be great fun, and a lovely way to get to know my new home more. 

In other news, we’ve finally found a flat for next year! We started looking late January and I was getting incredibly stressed about it because none of us could decide on one and I was convinced I’d be homeless next year! But we finally found it. The perfect flat. Okay, okay, it’s not perfect by a long shot but it has all of our requirements and we’re all happy with it. And we got it! We actually have somewhere to live next year. I’m so glad we got it sorted before we went home for Easter, and it’s just another weight off my mind with exams coming up.

I will be spending Easter alone this year. I left it too late to book train tickets so the only ones I could get that were a reasonable price were after Easter Sunday. But no matter. I’m going to an Easter service and then out to lunch with a friend so I won’t be TRULY alone. Like my birthday, this Easter will be the first I’m spending away from my family, which sucks but hey, I’m growing up. I’ll be okay. 

Finally, I’ve joined Camp NaNoWriMo this April. I’m hoping to get all my character sheets, a plan and plot outline and a good few chapters of my novel done this month. The people in my cabin seem nice, if a little quiet (but hopefully that’ll change now that camp has actually started). If any of you are on NaNo, feel free to friend me – A J Maslin.

Well, I think that’s just about everything with me! Now I’ll do a little list of posts I have waiting in the works: reviews of Romeo and Juliet, and A Streetcar Named Desire (yes, I still haven’t done these but they are top of my list so look out for them soon); multiple book reviews (I’ve finished three books that I need to review, and I’m hoping to finish four more before I go home for Easter); a reading and writing challenges update (I didn’t do one for March but I’ll definitely be doing one early this month, probably within the next few days); and more of my revision pages (I’m getting down to revising properly now and these pages help me and, hopefully, some of you too). That’s all I can think of now, but I’m sure I’ve left some stuff out. Keep an eye out for some cool stuff over the next month!

And last but not least, I thought I’d share with you a couple of bits of baking I did yesterday, courtesy of my cookbook A Girl Called Jack by Jack Monroe. It’s a really good book, and I encourage you foodies to pick it up if you like lovely food on a budget. I made the Vegan Banana Bread and the Cabbage Griddle Scones with natural yoghurt and Brie, and they were both delicious! Definitely making them again. I doubled the banana bread recipe to fill my tin, as we don’t have a loaf tin and I had a lot of very ripe bananas. 



Well that’s it for now, but I promise you won’t have to wait as long for the next post! See you soon.

EUSA Footlights Production of RENT

This weekend, to cheer my friend up after she lost her job and to cheer me up after my money woes (in hindsight, show tickets probably weren’t the greatest thing to spend ¬£30 on) we went to see the Edinburgh Uni production of Rent. And it was FANTASTIC!

For those who haven’t seen Rent, it’s about a group of bohemian artist type people who live in one of the large run down buildings in New York at the turn of the millennia. There’s Mark, an aspiring film maker who tries to document the suffering of himself and his friends; Roger, a musician with a LOT of baggage wanting to write one great song; Mimi, a drug addicted exotic dancer; Benny, who used to live in these “slums” as well until he married a rich girl and was lifted out; Maureen, Mark’s ex-girlfriend who dumped him and is now with another woman; Joanne, a lawyer and Maureen’s girlfriend; Collins, a guy who went to MIT but nowadays can barely scrape together enough money grading papers; and Angel, a drag queen who pushes the group out of self pity (for a while at least).

Now, I’ve seen the film of Rent and loved it. I haven’t managed to see the original play yet though, but boy am I glad I went to see the EUSA version. For those of you unfamiliar with the University of Edinburgh, there are quite a few different theatre societies. Footlights is the most “professional” of them all, and you can tell how seriously they take it. The acting from all involved was stunning, and they were all such good singers! The actors really got into the parts well. And Mark was just SO AMAZING AND CUTE! I loved them all, but special mention to the guy who played Collins – his voice was beautiful and perfect for the role.

The run is finished now and I’m sorry to anybody who didn’t get to see it (no, really), but I just thought I’d make a post to let you know what I’ve done recently (I know, I know, I haven’t posted in a while). While I probably couldn’t really afford it, looking back, I’m so glad I went to see Rent. It cheered me up no end, especially singing along to Seasons of Love (really how can you not?).

I hope you all had a lovely weekend and have a lovely week! It won’t be as long for my next post, promise!

New Project!

Hey everyone! I’m really excited to tell you about my new project! As some of you may know, I’m a first year university student, studying Psychology and Linguistics. I thought a really good way for me to revise would be to type up my notes and post them on a page right here on my blog! This blog is about my life and everything in it and, naturally, my degree is a BIG part of my life. These posts will be about the topics I am studying in Psychology and in Linguistics this semester, both my written up notes from lectures and any notes I’ve made from textbooks or recommended reading.

Obviously I can’t put the actual lecture slides here, but I think writing up like this will help consolidate my understanding of all my topics in time for my final first year exams this May AND hopefully will help some of you guys too. So if you’re in your first year like me and think these notes will be helpful (or if you just have an interest in psych or linguistics and want to know what it’s about) then click onto my University Notes page. The first topics will be up soon!

Thanks for all your support guys and remember, if you do read the notes and have any constructive criticism – what worked for you studying, arranging my notes in a different way, anything at all – PLEASE comment and let me know. Speak soon!