10th November 2007 - Prologue - Small Beginnings
This is sort of a website prologue, since I'm writing it before my website is up and running but it seemed a good place to start. My diary has begun on the day after my Frontier phone interview. It went with flying colours, so let's hope the rest of my plan will go as well!
If you visit Heaton in Newcastle Upon Tyne, and go past a tennis court sign advertising prices for alduts and juniors1, you will stumble upon Heaton Park 2. It's a wonderful place and I've been up there today, planting trees and bulbs for an Autumn Watch Tree Party. There weren't many people participating but I enjoyed it immensely; there was a tremendous feeling of community spirit and it was one of those times where I truly felt alive3. If you have never been to a Tree Party before, I strongly recommend helping out on one; it is ever so fun!
The only sad thing I heard was that sometimes idiots come along and vandalise the poor young trees. The trees that tend to get picked on are the ones with stakes tied to them because they stand out. We didn't put any stakes on our trees because of this, but also because I was told they didn't actually need them. Let's hope our lovely trees stay vandal free!
Now I must be off to work on my website and to go to a Birthday party. There should be some pictures of the day coming at some time when I they are sent to me, so stay tuned!
1. Yes it does actually say that.
2. In my case literally; thanks goes out to the stray rock amongst the autumn leaves. The rock is currently up for the "most literal creation of the phrase 'stumbled upon'" award.
3. Feeling alive when you are actually alive is always a good thing. If you feel alive when you are dead though I suggest you contact your doctor.
15th November 2007 - Lift off in 5...
Well I found my Frontier congratulations/ application update in my email box on the 12th, and now I've discovered another email today, which contains more information and conditions of participation in it. I have two weeks from now to accept my place on the trip. Just a few more questions I would like to ask them and then it should be all systems go!
As for Frontier themselves, I haven't done conservation with this organisation before, however they do sound promising. You can rest assured that I'll keep in touch with you to let you know how everything goes, especially for the people who donate money or are interested in participating in similar conservation activities!
Oops, it's now the 16th; goodnight my friends!
22nd November 2007 - Lift off restarted, waiting for pizza
I discovered another email on the 20th, which contained more information and conditions of participation in...Wait, haven't we heard this before? Our survey says yes; this is the email with the correct student price for the trip on it, because somehow someone got muddled up and put the normal price on the email! Still, no harm done; when I contacted Frontier to inform them of the error, they soon replied that they would amend the offer letter, and so here we are again... I have two weeks from the 20th to accept my place on the trip1.
1. I hope it will go better than paying the deposit if I decide to go - Frontier's online payment system has broken, and so I'd have to pay via one of their other methods instead. I wonder if I jinxed it by writing "letís hope the rest of my plan will go as well" in my first diary entry?.. Nah.
27th November 2007 - 4... aka In search of orange
... And not the fruit. A girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do; find fund-raising gear. For my first load of fund raising gear I have been searching for clothes in lots of crazy colours1. I almost found some perfect orange trousers in my local Red Cross charity shop at the weekend but unfortunately they were too small. In the end I went to a local non-charity shop and bought clothes for massive prices such as 50p and £1.
As for the Red Cross shop, I was walking past it today on my quest for a bus when I noticed a bright orange choker in the window. Unfortunately the shop was open between the time I was at work, and the time I was at work, so my wonderful boyfriend went in and bought it for me, then I paid him back when I came home from work. The choker is a little worse for wear and some beads have fallen off but it should do the trick, nothing a little tying up can't fix, as long as it serves me for fund-raising. A charity has gained some money so I can help a good cause so all sounds good. I'll try and get some photos of my gear when I actually go fund-raising but now is not the time; it is almost midnight2!
1. sunset orange, bright orange, pale orange, orange orange - lots of orange, you get the picture.
2. The reason why it's so late is because my housemates and I saw a stage production of Terry Pratchett's book Maskerade after work. It was a nice, different way to relaxing after a hard day; I haven't read the book but I probably will now! It seemed like some strange fate; I'd fancied going to a stage production like I used to do when I was younger and voila, we noticed advertisements of Maskerade around the place.
29th November 2007 - The Good, the Bad and the Funny
I was offered a free stall at a Christmas fair to sell my crafts a few days ago. Great, I thought, I can use one of the days off I have saved to make some extra cards and jewellery and other things for the stall, then use another day to actually sell my goodies to raise money for my trip. I was going to have a competition too and all sorts of things; ideas were flying around my head so fast last night that I found it hard to stay asleep. It would have been good - however, I was in for a disappointment. Unfortunately a deadline at work is looming so I can't have the time off because of how busy we are at the moment. I am sad1 but I understand why they don't want me to have the time off. Work is an obligation, and I knew it would be busy at times when I entered the job - itís just a shame the chance of a stall had to fall on a string of busy work days.
Bad news over. On a (hopefully) good note, I got to chat to my tutor today whilst he was doing a placement visit2 for my friend and I3. As if by Magic the subject of my conservation trip cropped up - what I'm planning to do in the time between finishing my placement and starting uni again - and my tutor mentioned that he may know someone that could help me4. We can only cross our fingers and hope.
As for the funny; I finally have some Heaton Park Tree Party photos that someone took, to show you! Be amazed and astounded at how my face is always naturally obscured! That and all the blurred faces5!
|Say trees! In case you're wondering, I'm one of the ones with half a bush hiding my face. If I had stood on my head my combats would have disguised me completely but then again I wouldn't have tried it; that area was very boggy and one dog walker got a shoe yanked off her foot by the mud. In the Heaton Park tree planting area, not even your shoes are safe! If you look closely you can see some of the young trees we planted; most of the trees we planted like the wetter areas.|
|I'm not sure what I was doing in this photo but it must obviously be very important.|
|Lots of busy tree planters including me in action! You may or may not see the pixel-thin skinny line I am holding onto that is a tree. The thing in my other hand is a spade. One day the little tree might turn into a giant!|
1. You know, re-reading that paragraph has just given me the strangest feeling of déjà vu, and I honestly haven't the faintest idea why. No, really, I can't pinpoint what exactly it is... I think Iíll leave this footnote in because it sounds freaky.
2. I'm on a year in industry, at least I hope it'll be a year because my current contract doesn't last that long. It is a real job disguised as a placement job so I could make it count with the placement office; however it's only temporary, so it lacks the word "year" that most placements have tacked on in front of it. Instead it wears glasses and a fake nose and moustache in an attempt to blend in with the normal placements, and has the feeling of something very powerful, but a bit short. I'm hoping to find stilts for it sometime soon, so it'll extend more towards the correct timescale that a year placement usually takes.
3. My friend's placement is a real placement; we both got positions within the same company. Although the guys in the company are friendly, it's cool to have a uni friend get a job in the same place at the same time, because then you know someone from the beginning.
4. It was amazing how the stream of conversation naturally flowed to that. Hooray for good friends and good luck!
5. I don't know how many of the people mind their and their kiddies' faces being plastered on the WWW, which is why they are hiding, although most are too small to see anyway. Hopefully some faces will appear when I get their permission but I don't want to show them until then. The ones that don't want their faces shown or I can't contact will keep their blurriness.