It’s that time of year already?

The first day of December always makes me think of putting up Christmas decorations. I’d been told as a child that if you did it before today then that would be bad luck (and that you have to take them down by the 5th January) but I’ve never forgotten those words. I actually haven’t decorated my room/desk at work/the house in general but we do have some tinsel and are looking into getting some more decorations since one of the guys is really into Christmas. He has three Christmas jumpers. I think that says it all really.

I started going to the gym about a month ago and decided to go before work so that I wouldn’t have to put up with the crowds after work and so that I would get my workout done and not have to worry about it after work. So far I’ve been sticking to my plan but I’m slowly slacking in terms of how early I get to the gym which means it’s busier when I go. I’m actually looking at following some running blogs if anyone knows of any. A colleague at work runs quite a lot too and she was listing all the new gear she’s bought just for running (which I won’t do because I’m not quite as dedicated as she is nor do I have the money).

Training is officially over (and was about a month ago…) so we’ve all moved onto doing actual things that are going to be useful to the company. I’m actually working on some stuff to be published in a few weeks which has gotten me into some kind of zen mode since I seem to be more content now. There have been times of doubt/boredom but they’ve mostly been few and far between but they are there. I think we’ve all had some element of boredom but I’m hoping as we learn more they’ll give us more work so we want to stay at the end of the year (it’s hinted that they want us to but we don’t have to). I also got a new manager who just came back from maternity leave and although she’s quieter than my last one, she’s no less knowledgeable. I’ve asked her so many questions and it’s so good to have someone who’s just meant to focus on my team (our last one was splitting his time between two teams and doing his normal job on top of that). Our work Christmas meal is a week on Friday too so we’re all looking forward to that to tide us over until the actual holiday which I’m looking forward to!

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2013 becomes 2014

The new year came around and like my family do every year, we stayed up late to watch the fireworks and had toast/bread with cheese and pate. We’ve been doing that since the millennium…when I think the fireworks/tv coverage went on longer than the usual 12.10am and my dad got hungry, so he ate some toast and it’s become a tradition now.

The day itself was spent studying/revising and watching The Adjustment Bureau. It was a pretty good film, my dad even gave it 4.5/5 which is really good. He said the concept had been used before, and bits of it felt like Men in Black (the mind erasing, the guys in suits, no sunglasses though) but it was still good. I liked how he (Matt Damon) learnt how to use the doors, that was really cool. It would probably take awhile to learn where each door goes but once you got the hang of it you could get to places in mere minutes. If you had the hat, of course.

Looking back on 2013, it was probably one of my worst years. It’s possible that it was the worst year so far, but I’m not that old so I don’t know how long that would last.

Yes, some great stuff happened last year, I got to go to Beijing on the Study China Program which was incredible, it was such an amazing experience and I don’t regret going. I regret not doing more revision beforehand…and for taking a 70-50 credit split, that was a bad idea. I also got to spend a week at a bank (no names) and learnt more about banking and met some great people who are going to go far and I hope they stay contacts for the future. I didn’t get the internship after though, and I’ve just about managed to convince myself that I don’t want to do banking anymore, some of the people on the program weren’t people I’d want to work with for the rest of my life.

I’ve also had 5 job rejections (so far), three of which were based on my group work skills and one of them was the final stage so I was really, really annoyed. I had a good rant about that with one of my friends (and an earlier blog post).

So the good things this year? I met some new people, one of whom is becoming a really good friend, really quickly. I also got a car! So that was pretty sweet. I spent a week helping international students move in and made a new friend, who does maths and just gets me. Hopefully I can find a way to do it again next year because I really enjoyed it this year, but maybe I’d want a different role. There’s only so many bags I can handle in one day 😛 I got some great Christmas presents from my sister, who totally gets me and my crazy obsession with Disney at the moment.

Anytime with my friends from school is good, and we spent a lot of time together over summer because friendships do change, and I am starting to notice it more now than ever. If I weigh up the things, yeah, the bad definitely outweigh the good but I’ve had a ton of learning experiences and I need to use those bad ones to make good ones later on in life. 

I have decided this year to do some new things. I’m thinking of doing an abseil in March from the top of the velodrome with RAG (Raise and Give), the sponsorship is only £100 and it looks like fun. I really love abseiling…just jumping from stuff in general. Two of my friends and I are going to start learning how to rock climb in February too, after exams are over so then we can go by ourselves in the future and actually know what we’re doing. I’m also looking for a new orchestra to join, I haven’t been to an orchestra practice in ages and it’d be an interesting way to meet new people and not forget how to play the violin. I can just about still read music and remember where all of the notes are so that should be enough. I also want to swim more this year, do something incredible over summer, potentially make it to 4th kyu (orange belt) in Aikido, learn how to scuba dive, learn how to ice skate, learn parkour…so many things, so little time 😦 My friend from uni has 52 things he wants to do in 52 weeks, but some will be done in less than week or he’ll do a few in one week but as long as he gets them all done he’ll be happy. I can’t even think of 20 things to do, nevermind 52!

So that aside, happy (late) new year and here’s to 2014!

More shopping and…?

We went to a very expensive, western style mall after one of our economics lectures to find the famous ‘food street’ and failed. Not miserably though, as we did discover something we weren’t expecting to find…Image

In general, when we were out and about in Beijing there was a distinct lack of Christmas decorations and being from the UK, most of us forgot the fact that we were there during the Christmas holidays, until we saw this. I reckon because it’s a big, glamorous mall they had this to appeal to foreigners like us (there was a pretty posh hotel there too) and it made us all feel a little bit more like it was Christmas soon. It was even snowing!