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Goodbye to The Careers Group. Hello Durham.

15 Apr

My (unusually tidy) desk at The Careers Group

Goodbye desk

Today I sadly said goodbye to my wonderful colleagues at The Careers Group. It has been a busy month since I gave my notice, and it is all still sinking in. I am writing this on my usual Friday evening train up to Durham, and I think a piece of me is still expecting to get on the usual train back on Monday. My team has been my family and I will miss them all so much.

I started at The Careers Group in August 2008. Just two days before I impulsively went on a first date with a man in my hometown Durham City, little expecting that it would work out long distance, and never imagining that two years later we would get engaged. But I still lived in London, and he still lived in Durham. One of us had to move, and with both of us working in universities and facing a tight job market, when I saw this temporary position of Information Co-ordinator come up at Durham University Careers, Employability and Enterprise Centre, I jumped at the opportunity.

So here I am, on my way to my new home and my new job and it feels like the start of a whole new phase in my life. I will definitely carry on with the web 2.0 in my new role, and I am excited to learn about a new careers service, a new student body, and new colleagues. And I will keep on blogging throughout!

If you are interested, The Careers Group is currently recruiting for a Head of Content and Information, closing date Monday 18th April. The role is focussed on digital content, and careers service experience is not required at all – they are looking for a new perspective. It all sounds very intriguing to me… hope they recruit a blogger/Twitterer!


Thank you, Phoenix

18 Jan

Just noticed today that my blog was mentioned in AGCAS Phoenix magazine in Lloyd Williams‘ web watch. A big thank you to whoever nominated/suggested me, it made my day!

So hello to anyone new who has come to have a look. It is fair to say I don’t update frequently enough. I would promise to do better this year, as I am not studying with the OU this term (my main excuse previously), but I am replacing that with wedding planning for September this year. I know promises of improved blogging are always broken as soon as they are made, so instead I will promise to be as sporadic and unpredictable as ever. But be assured that until I say otherwise, there will always be another post on the way, someday…

I do actually have one jotted down on a piece of paper somewhere, if I could only find it, so perhaps it will be sooner rather than later…

I really am being a bad blogger…

17 May

I’m not even going to point out when I last posted. Part of the problem is that I do like to use blog posts to chew out an idea, and take some time over it, which means I never post often enough, and my posts are sometimes too long. I know. But I have been up to some things lately, which are at least worth a mention:

  • I started my Open University Certificate in Web Applications Development in January. Partly to consolidate and build on my day-to-day work, partly just for fun. I knew from previous students feedback that the course takes more time than you would expect for 10-point modules. Last term wasn’t too bad because it was HTML and CSS which is familiar to me. This term? Nightmare so far. Lots to read, and daily Javascript lessons, which is now where most of my spare time goes.
  • At work this last month I have been spending more time on library admin – we’re preparing for a Matrix assessment – and polishing up our MediaWiki intranet site. I have learned a lot, experimented a lot with widgets and extensions (and PHP eep), but as it is all password protected I’m not sure there is much I can post about on the blog. Maybe I’ll post a list of the extensions I use and recommend.
    Teddy bear models one of my earliest creations - a baby hat that   looks like a tomato

    I made this

    Bet you can’t wait!

  • My crochet addiction continues. Sometimes it is just nice to turn off the computer and craft.Of course, then I discovered Ravelry – yes even knitters have their own social network – so that is now one more place to lose time… And if you did check out my Ravelry profile just then, you’ll see an attached blog that hasn’t even been started. I was pleased with myself for installing it, but now I need to write the thing. Which is another classic bad blogger mistake – if you don’t have time for one blog, don’t start another!

Will write again soon.

Reading habits (meme)

5 Oct

Fairy cakes! Sprinkles!

I saw this meme on Damyanti’s blog so I thought I’d join in as a bit of an ‘about me’.

Do you snack while you read? If so, favourite reading snack?

Probably not usually snack, but definitely drink many lots tea. Won’t say no to cake.

Do you tend to mark your books as you read, or does the idea of writing in books horrify you?

My GCSE handiwork

My GCSE handiwork

Writing in books I own is acceptable, but I don’t usually do it. I think the only books I write in are philosophy books and language learning books. The idea of writing in library books horrifies me – I think it is really selfish. I know some people say they find it useful to see what others thought, but personally I find it distracting, especially if the scribbler is just dumb.

How do you keep your place while reading a book? Bookmark? Dog-ears? Laying the book flat open?

I will use any old bit of paper to mark my place. On occasion have been known to use my credit card, but that tends to lead rapidly to credit card loss and distress. I don’t like laying the book down open unless it is well worn-in, but I can’t help worry about spine damage. I usually only dog-ear bits I like, rather than use it for keeping my place.

Fiction, Non-fiction or both?

Both. At the same time. I always have a mixed bunch on the go and pick up what suits my mood.

Hard copy or audiobooks?

Hard copy always. I only listened to audiobooks as a child, on long car journeys, feeling carsick. High point – Kenneth Williams doing the Wind in the Willows. Low point – the Famous Five.

Are you a person who tends to read to the end of chapters, or are you able to put a book down at any point?

I prefer to stop at the end of the chapter but if the writer works too hard at leaving the reader hanging and pushing on into the next chapter I will give in and stop in the middle.

If you come across an unfamiliar work, do you stop to look it up right away?

No, why interrupt the flow?

What are you currently reading?

It is a holder. For things.

It is a holder. For things.

At the moment I have Dannie Abse “The presence”, Barack Obama “The audacity of hope” and Vann “Saint Thomas Aquinas” slowly on the go, but I am spending more time on crochet – my latest hobby.

What is the last book you bought?

“But is it art?” Cynthia Freeland

Are you the type of person that only reads one book at a time or can you read more than one at a time?

Lots on the go.

Do you have a favourite time of day and/or place to read?

I like to read at lunchtimes in the park and at night in bed. Will also read on the train on my long weekend journeys.

Do you prefer series books or stand alone books?

Never thought about the distinction. If I read a stand alone book I like, I tend to read back over their other works, so that feels like a series too.

Is there a specific book or author that you find yourself recommending over and over?

“Fup” by Jim Dodge is a big favourite of mine. Full of character and originality (and quite a quick read). I also often recommend “Feet in the clouds” by Richard Askwith, for anyone who has ever got into running. My current favourite recommendation is “Bad science” by Ben Goldacre – a real eye-opener and impeccably written.

How do you organise your books? (By genre, title, authors last name etc)?

Primarily I organise by genre, then I will organise within that genre usually by associations. So in the history section I will group books on the seventeenth century, then put one that spans a couple of centuries phasing into the next period. Or within fiction I might put the thrillers together, and the classics together, with a classic thriller between. It makes sense to me and just feels right. Fortunately I claimed sole organising rights quite early into moving in with my friend – she originally shelved the books by height and colour, ye gods!