Shoes make the Man

So I’ve confided in a few people that I’m applying for this awesome job (actually two now) that is everything I want; where I want, doing what I want and with nice people. I already have some classy special occasion shoes or “interview shoes” but I don’t have day to day wear’n’tear shoes that I’d want to show on my first day/week.

Continue reading Shoes make the Man

25 Random Things

It’s doing the rounds and I’ve finally given in; these circulars are silly but they’re also fun to review after a year or so, plus it helps you to get to know me a little better if you’ve merely popped by my blog rather than being an avid reader.


Rules: Once you’ve been tagged, you are supposed to write a note with 25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about you. At the end, choose 25 people to be tagged. You have to tag the person who tagged you. If I tagged you, it’s because I want to know more about you.

  1. I used to be a pretty good amateur dancer.
  2. And I purposely did a worse job of hiding being a Scout than one as a child.
  3. I started dancing because it was better than sitting on the sidelines whilst my sister did it for 3 hours each Saturday.
  4. I eventually went to competitions and won enough trophies to fill 3 shoeboxes.
  5. I still do the odd bit of dance in Scout/Guide Gang Shows.
  6. Before I was in a Gang Show I was in a Theatre Group for a year.
  7. Funnily enough my Secondary school aptitude test listed my top 2 careers as: 1) Actor, 2) Naval Architect.
  8. I have never pursued acting as a career although the skills section of my resume would be quite broad.
  9. I’m not an Architect either, although I like to think the creativity of acting + precision of architecture = Graphic Design.
  10. Scouting is still a major influence in my Life.
  11. I got my first real taste of confidence in myself at 18, and I owe it to one person.
  12. Oneday I hope to thoroughly convey the scope of my gratitude.
  13. Whilst I am very grateful to my teachers I think I could’ve learnt more at School if I had been educated using a different teaching method.
  14. Despite this, most of my grades were ‘B’ or better but I got at least one of every letter E-A*.
  15. Quote: “Smart enough to act stupid”.
  16. I will not let my children go to Sixth form, they will go to College, and University will be optional.
  17. Despite having 2 gap years I didn’t have enough life experience to choose a degree that would led to a career I would enjoy.
  18. But if I hadn’t gone I wouldn’t know what I enjoy (Drawing/Design).
  19. I believe I have designer skills equal to a 2nd year design student, despite having having a job as one.
  20. I’m very critical of myself and don’t take praise well if I don’t believe it first.
  21. Hence my natural instinct is to undersell myself.
  22. My New Year’s Resolutions tend to be to spend the year exploring a different personality trait, if I like the result I try to make it stick, if I don’t, I shrug it off with something else the following year.
  23. Socially I’m a Switch, I can be the Leader of a group or a member.
  24. Likewise I can have two minds about something, and alternate views in an argument sometimes confusing the responder!
  25. This means that I sometimes take the opposite role for daft propositions which makes me look dopey but lets me explore the root of someone else’s conclusion which is great for familiarity and I find fun.

Whilst this list is 25 items long I’ve actually told you more than 25 pieces of random information about myself and where possible connected them (however obscurely) to the preceding one. Don’t forget to ping back!

Snow Day

In an unprecedented move Skadi, the Snowshoe, the Norse Goddess of Winter (and Hunting) has laid down 12cm (5 inches) of snow in the area, in particular about 15cm (8 inches) on my car. This has resulted in me having all my Work done for my Job today but not being able, or needed, to go in for more. So I’ve started the day doing all the little itty bitty tasks that could be done any time but more important things take president. This Snow day is extra or bonus time, which means that I can get my holey cow ideas done without negating anything else. As such I’ve published a Bucket List which I’m going to update from time to time when I achieve something, and quite likely post about it too!

I’m sure you’ve all kept yourselves amused as well today and I’d be interested to know how you’ve made use of your time.

Heres the article from BBC News covering todays weather

Happy New Year!

Two Thousand and eight has been a long slog, or at least it seemed long, perhaps because its the first year in the last 3 where I haven’t had a summer ‘holiday’. EuroJam happened in 2005, GlosCamp was 2006 and the Scouting Centenary and Jamboree in 2007.

There is one advantage to not having time off, I’ve kept myself productive enhancing my design skills, I’m certainly a lot more confident in Photoshop although I do produce a lot more junk which I inevitably ends up on here, luckily here is a playground and not a portfolio. I’ve also switched some jobs to InDesign and Illustrator, but I’m nowhere near as confident as I would want to be for a Design firm, but then I’m assuming that my colleagues there are naturals compared to the proficient individuals at my current place (then again I don’t get enough time to do my best work so presumably they don’t either…)

Speaking of portfolios, I’ve overdue to publish one about now, I’ve got some pretty snazzy pieces that I’m happy to show-off, and aslong as I’m willing to publish them in a professional capacity that’s all that matters really.

Real life play, I’ve watched less movies, 151 to be exact, 20 less than 2007. Still it sounds like a lot, almost 3 a week! But I’ve been out to see at least 20 of those at the cinema on social occasions so they don’t really count :p

I’ve never really been one for resolutions, I suppose I could watch less movies, and I want to watch more independent ones, just because the stories tend to be better. Luckily at the end of 2008 I was introduced to a quaint little joint in Northampton which I can keep an eye on. I suppose I could find some fellow Northants Bloggers and do meetups, actually yes, that’s my resolution, I’m going to be a more social blogger. I’m going to make it to at least one WordCamp before the end of 2009!

Job

With a little patience and luck I’ve managed to get a job as a Graphic Designer at a small Graphic Design and Printing business in Milton Keynes. I didn’t expect to get onto the first rung of my career ladder quickly, sure I enjoy designing on my computer but compared to Josh Rhode, Radim Malinic, Nicholas Ainley I really have a lot to learn.

During Primary school I surprised my teachers by keep my drawings proportions correct, I wasn’t particularly great with the colouring (who is at 6-7 years old?) but the shapes were accurate enough to warrant my own display board and a certificate. During Middle school I drew less and less, I could draw cartoons/comics as well as some of the kids but my real-life sketches were top notch if I say so myself. 😉 I seemed to stop drawing entirely in secondary school, I didn’t take art as a G.C.S.E. which stopped me doing the A-level.

Then it wasn’t for 3 years later when I joined the Student Union Magazine that I got back into creativity. I started with some very basic and crude page layout and progressed with the help of the inhouse designer Adrian and Kal, who would eventually takeover as Editor in Chief.

Since then I’ve had more and more things to do, mostly revolving work in Scouting circles like Go Jamboree, SSAGO and their Events. So really to get a job designing on what I consider to be a very limited portfolio I’m extremely pleased to have a job where I will surely learn from my colleagues what I’m doing wrong or what I can do better.

Monday

The second day without our Team Leader, all content that could go up went up by 2pm, so started on finishing the File and Directory view for the SSAGO Resources section. There are still a few bugs but I’ll tidy them up tomorrow if we finish as early again.

Having spent all this time listening to Dave and Simon battle with the server to keep their ad hoc CMS working and coding the resource viewer its got me thinking about using my new freetime post Jamboree to ‘make’ my own, it’ll have everything all my current sites have plus I’ll be able to easily refine it rather than having to learn everyone elses work first. Plus if its good enough I could offer to lend it to GGUK for their Jamboree in 2010 which if I managed to get the honour would be pretty awesome.

Anyway, thats a long term project such as the guy who wrote a novel on his mobile phone so don’t expect much on this for a while.

Left early for dinner, almost didn’t have anyone to sit with, not for being late but for being early! Luckily I managed to spy Beck and we had a pleasant conversation about sectioning of Girlguiding and Scouting and how Scouting chose to be all inclusive and GGUK do not. I wonder whether 12% of the people at the GGUK Jamboree will be Scouts? Thats the percentage of Guides in the UK Contingent to the World Scout Jamboree. Can’t really complain too much I’m in GGUK after all, Unit Leader, yay!

After dinner bumped into Jess, I’ve seen her alot around the Jamboree much more than Mary which is good I suppose because these days if Mary is around me to much I might just explode, that and Jess encourages the child in me which helps with the unwinding each evening.

Jess had with her Lucy, someone named after the Lucy in Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.

After a extremely long wait for the Badminton court, we managed to get a few games in before the pub quiz. Now I’ve been to a few pub quizes in my time and I’ve never had one as hard as this, name the “longest rivers in these continents”, “name the currency in these countries”, “what country hosted the Jamboree in which year?” the one we actually did best in was “name that flag” that was our only 100% round, although we scored bonus points for our tinfoil B-P hat. Our team was a bit of a mismatch, Jess, Lucy, me, some random guy called James, Andy (later), Amanda and 2 other people I don’t know by name, still! One was John, I think :S

After the Quiz Jess and I had a little rumble with our lightsabers and Lucy recorded it, what can I say? We were high on Irn-Bru!