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Posts Tagged ‘nature’

Personally, I have always found the question ‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’ one of the most difficult questions to answer. My passions and interests vary. Like blowing bubbles, I have so many different ideas of what I’d like to do with my time that I simply cannot focus on one alone. I have heard that not knowing at all is worse, I feel like I am no better off than someone who has absolutely no clue; after all, how different are we really?

Growing up I was taken with Ancient Egypt. The myths, the gods, the stories, the magic. All wonderfully intoxicating for a young girl with a vivid imagination. I took to the PC game Pharaoh like a duck to water, having my favourite goddess; Bast, goddess of the home and fertility. But after a long while, I lost the drive for it. Where can I really go in terms of a career? I’d be stuck in a museum for the rest of my life, almost as if becoming wooden and part of the sculptures there. That wasn’t for me. After a lot of um-ing and ah-ing, I gave up pursuing a career properly in any field.

There are several reasons to this. Firstly, I have never done things by the book. If there was a way to make it hard for myself, I’d take the more complicated route (more on this later). Secondly, I watched my dad progress all my life. His career was huge. He worked his way up from the very bottom to the very top. But he travelled a lot, missed a couple birthdays and Christmases. That, of course, is no excuse for me to disregard a successful career (especially since I am in no hurry to start a family myself), but it is a reason. Lastly, I have never been able to pin point exactly what I wanted to do. My strengths lie in talking to people, engaging with their interests, and of course  retail fits that description down to a tee. Do I enjoy it? I have a great little part time job with Osprey London at the moment. Yes, I enjoy this job, but not retail overall.

But I must have some inclination of what I want to do with my life… right? For now, yes. Roughly eight years ago, my family and I went on our last big holiday before my brother went to University. Here, we were introduced to an activity my dad had loved for years; Scuba-diving. I was quite anxious, all that gear looked very intimidating and let’s not forget I am a rather petite girl, even now. My brother and I were to go through our PADI Discover scuba-diving lesson, my first real taste of what my dad was always so passionate about. I had done snorkelling and indeed found it incredibly fun (though I always get water in my snorkel!). The experience of scuba diving was immense. With all the gear on, I was lowered into the water. The diving instructor took the top of my BCD and said we’d just go for a snorkel like paddle around the lake. Only one slight problem; I was enjoying myself way too much. I began kicking down, following this curious little fish I had never seen before, under the decking where the rest of my family were waiting. I swam what I believed to be at a slow and steady pace. I kept feeling little sharp pulls at the BCD but didn’t think much of it. I don’t remember stopping the session, but I do remember how the instructor laughed, along with my family. Apparently I was so entranced by the new world I had been introduced to, that the poor instructor, who had no BCD on of his own as he was only holding the top of mine, was trying desperately to keep his head above water as I swam happily along. And fast.


I always pictured it to be something like that!

Unfortunately for me, I was unable to progress to my PADI Open Water as my ears wouldn’t pop on the day. Despite that being the only time I had ever experienced scuba-diving, it has been one of the most vivid memories of mine to date. I never thought about it as a career, and truly I couldn’t do something like that 24/7… surely. I continued my education, and thought I could pursue a career in writing, in particular script writing. I found it came very naturally to me, and my confidence grew. But in the background, something was lingering that I couldn’t quite place my finger on. Then the BBC released the incredible documentary series the Blue Planet. Underwater videography. Of course! It all fell into place! I caught myself saying, ‘Even if the shot is only three seconds long, I would love to one day be able to be part of something like this and say with pride ‘I shot that!” But I was studying BA Creative Writing. Sure I studied Media Studies at A Level, but not Biology.

And that is why, after much soul searching, I am going to attempt to make a difference. I’m taking my education into my own hands. Currently I am enquiring at colleges all over the UK about a foundation course in Marine Ecology and Conservation. I don’t just want to dive, I want to make a difference. Even if all I do is raise awareness for a small ecosystem, even if I cut the netting and free a turtle or seal, even if all I do is help grow coral, I’ll have made a difference to one life on this planet. To collect data, to research the affects of global warming, over-fishing, and to dive at the same time, it would truly be the most fantastic thing I can think of doing with my life.

Sure I studied the wrong subjects, sure I went to uni and studied the wrong degree, but like I said before, I never make it easy for myself. I may be turning 25 and have no proper career to my name yet, but it is never too late to change your stripes, to change your luck, to take control and show those who may say ‘You’ll never get a career out of that!’ that yes, yes I can. I’ll show you, but most importantly I’ll show myself.

If you can’t think of anything you want to do with your life, don’t worry. There are people who live their whole lives not knowing what to do, but the most important thing is that you are happy. Yes I work part time, but I work with some of the best people I have ever met. Yes, I made bad decisions in my past, but that’s not where I am living; I live in the now, thinking of the future, changing the stars so I can have the future I deserve.

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Yesterday we were all going to go to the Gloucester Victorian Market, an fun family friendly annual event that showcases local goodies such as jams, paintings, cheese, mulled wine, an old fashioned carousel, actors dressed in Dickensian attire, and a sea of other stalls. I remember going last year and how much I loved seeing all the top hats (can we bring those back?). Due to the rain and flooding all over the UK in the past few days now, we hadn’t gone earlier. Sunday morning swung round and we decided, rather spur of the moment, that we would go to a local cattery and have a look at rescue cats. After all, what is a ship without a ship’s cat?

My parents had planned on getting a cat about six months ago, getting all the little bits like scratching posts, toys, bedding blankets, the works. But with only two of them running the business, they just didn’t have time to go look properly. But boy did we look on Sunday! With the directions to the shop instead of the cattery, it was thanks to mum’s eagle eye to spot the banner for the cattery! We pulled in and were greeted by a big pig, Elvis. He was so friendly, running over like a dog being reunited with a lost owner. Then we noticed all the mud, and how everyone was wrapped up warmly, with wellies. It wasn’t until we got in there I found out that the place had been flooded!

Thanks to the hard working volunteers who battled the floods all throughout the night to make sure the cats and kittens were safe, all the cats had a new temporary home in a big shed. Cages upon cages of adorable furry creatures all huddled together, blankets everywhere to keep them warm; it was an amazing effort to see them all safe. We let them know that we weren’t like normal people, we’re here for an older cat, not for a kitten. Of course other customers were there all looking at kittens and Joe couldn’t help but want them all! We first met Molly, a beautiful black cat with a pink tuft on her underside. Perhaps her previous owner wanted a pink cat, but the idea of dyeing a cat’s fur… probably best I don’t get angry. Then we were introduced to two handsome tabby cats, Gizzo and Nubby.

Well mum couldn’t stop stroking them. She was absolutely in love with Gizzo (left). I think she was with him a good half hour. Dad then got to have a look and they just fell in love. After a while we noticed how these two interacted with each other and learned more about their background. These two were on death row in Ireland but the charity saved them. Coming all the way from Ireland to Gloucester, then later on in their lives being almost flooded by the British weather, we dubbed them ‘Brothers in Arms’. If we wanted one, we felt we had to take the other. They were so close to each other, snuggling and licking, it would have broken our hearts to break these two apart. And just like that we decided these were the cats for us.

Being in a whole new environment with people they don’t know, in a big livingroom to poke around, they went into hiding. When we had Smokey in Ellon, Aberdeenshire over ten years ago, he too went into hiding for a few days so we know it’s completely normal. I would do the same if I were a cat! I move the food and drinks bowls to just where they are hiding so they can just chill and not have to come out of hiding to eat and drink. In little baby steps we’ll see these two come out of their shells and laze about on the sofa rather than under it!

The ship does feel more complete with these two around, and when my parents are away, I won’t feel so lonely! Maybe one day they’ll be happy enough to give me a few snuggles too.

 

 

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