Friday, 22 July 2011

responding to the knit signal - somalia appeal

do you have a newborn or know of a friend's baby that you'd like to buy one of these hats for?

UPDATE - only one left! the coral and lemon one. get in touch before you miss it! 

they have been knitted in 100% fairtrade organic cotton (debbie bliss eco baby) and they can be machine washed at 40 degrees. the size is approximately 0-3 months. the colours (which are slightly distorted here are lemon yellow, coral and grey).

so, here's what you do. if you'd like to buy one, just head to the MSF website and donate whatever you can afford to Médecins Sans Frontières MSF (Doctors Without Borders) Somalia appeal. then contact me to tell me you've done so, tell me which hat you would like (only one per order) and give me your address so i can post it to you (i will post anywhere in the world).


photos from the MSF website. i am donating these knitted these hats in response to the knit signal that was raised by MSF/p/hop

 i look forward to receiving your order. first come first served.

Thursday, 7 July 2011

after the storm


for the past month this collage has been very apt - looking ahead to the dark clouds that were the harder bits of my PhD, still to come. earlier this week i was in that storm, experiencing the most hideous struggles with my writing, where everything seemed unmanageable and where i felt almost ready to give up on it. but i grappled with the existing literature and my empirical data, i rose to the challenge and i have emerged so much stronger on the other side. i know the process of this thesis is such that there will still be bleak times to come, that i will once again feel overwhelmed by the work i still have to do. but i wanted to harness this positivity, to capture it in this blog post. i was listening to mumford and sons this morning and the song 'after the storm' seems just right for today - 'get over your hill and see what you'll find there'. i'm over my hill and, well, life (full of all its possibilities) is looking pretty darn peachy to me.

Wednesday, 6 July 2011


when i started the process of writing up my empirical data i promised myself some treats along the way. with my holiday to italy fast approaching, i have been extremely careful about what i eat and have virtually cut out alcohol so champagne and cake are not a great option.

as i mentioned in my previous post, i have a birthday coming up and so decided to buy myself a generous present. i have considered knitting a throw on and off for years and i might one day start some sort of patchwork blanket to be completed over a decade but, for now, i would rather spend A LOT less money on a machine-knitted throw than splash cash on wool to make my own. why oh why does yarn have to be so expensive?

anyway, i have just ordered the above throw and, since i have been working on the chapter from hell, would feel i deserved it even if i didn't have a birthday coming up.

but the best treat imaginable is having some time off to spend with friends who will be visiting next week from cyprus. CANNOT wait.

photo of lara (with her baby thalis) taken by her sister clio.
throw available from here.

Sunday, 3 July 2011


although writing has been tough this weekend - partly because it's tough generally and partly because it's tough working at the weekend - i have felt really inspired for much of it.

it just sort of crept up on me, this desire to improve my photography and enjoy my digital SLR to its full potential. my favourite blogs are the ones with beautiful photos and i often scroll to the images and don't read the text.

i absolutely love my iPhone and have taken thousands of photos on it including the one above at winchester cathedral which i think is my favourite (iPhone) photo to date. it was taken using the hipstamatic app - remember that?? i love, love, love the instagram app (you can find me @nancyflowers) but i have always enjoyed using my SLR and now DSLR and am excited about learning new techniques and also learning how to edit them to get *exactly* what i'm looking for.

i turn 34 in six weeks (gulp) and although i'm sure i will keep it extremely low key this year, it hasn't stopped me thinking about a wish list. a sewing machine is right up there but it would just sit unused until i finish my PhD whereas photography goodies can be put straight to good use. so, i'm going to add photoshop software, upgrading to a flickr pro account and a new lens to my list. but the main thing i'll wish for is a sunny day.

hmm, this post is a little word heavy given that it's about photography. here are two of my favourite portrait shots (which is what i most want to focus on with a new lens).

top - maia, aged about 4 here.
bottom - me and efthymia (one of my dearest friends from cyprus)

Friday, 1 July 2011


if you know me in real life or follow me on twitter (or both), you will know i've been getting increasingly fed up with my PhD. not surprising as this stage is well-known to be the toughest but today i feel particularly overwhelmed. it just keeps getting harder - more academically challenging and the sheer scale does not seem to diminish.

but this photo makes me feel a little calmer. i love the colours and it was one of my favourite adventures. aroon and i were in morocco and i can't remember where this is but we were on our way to the sahara.

i am so, so ready for more adventures and first stop will be italy in september when i won't have finished but when i will have done enough writing to feel celebratory.

the trips i have planned for when i submit a polished draft to my supervisors, for when i formally submit, for when i sit my viva and for when i receive the official 'Dr' title - oh goodness, there is so much fun ahead.