Ocean Hope

This month I’m trying out Plastic Free July – part of a wider campaign to reduce consumption of single-use plastic and as a result reduce the amount of plastic getting into our oceans.  Plastic in oceans is everyone’s problem and has huge impact’s on wildlife and ecosystems.  A million single use plastic bottles are bought every MINUTE worldwide,  and plastic is washed up on remote Arctic beaches that rarely see a human soul. 

I took these pictures last week outside the Maritime, Fram, and Kontiki museums in Oslo, Norway.  The Kontiki museum was particularly fascinating as it was Thor Heyerdahl – builder and Captain of the Kontiki – who started the ocean conservation movement after finding washed out oil in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean on a subsequent voyage on Ra II. 

I think the sculpture represents how much we lean on the ocean for so many reasons – fishing, shipping, recreation – but also put a lot of strain on it with pollution.  A lighthouse is designed to lead sailors safely into harbour and around dangerous rocks – perhaps this one will lead us around dangerous levels of pollution and lead us to change course to a healthier ocean. One can only hope. 

Wishing the time away

In less than 24 hours this year’s exams will be over, so it’s a little ridiculous that I am feeling highly unproductive today.

The problem is that there are so many exciting things happening in the next four weeks that I just can’t wait for them to happen!

I’ve spent a lot of today window shopping on the internet. I’ve been looking for a dress to wear next weekend to a 21st and bikinis to take on holiday! And of course the exchange rate of the euro (even though it doesn’t make all that much sense to me), the weather forecast for Preveza (I hope it improves by the time we get there) and of course beautiful pictures of Greek islands.

I really cannot wait.

A question about the local tax liabilities of a maggot rearing shed has brought me back down to earth with a bit of a bump though, so I will just have to try and push the excitement to the back of my mind for just a few hours longer, and get back to the revision!

I will leave you with a photo of my favourite place on earth.

I take no credit for this picture - it isn't mine I found it on Pinterest

I take no credit for this picture – it isn’t mine I found it on Pinterest

Building Surveys, Exams and Plans.

On Sunday packed my car up and drove the three hour trip back to Harper to begin the summer term. We’ve had a few hours of sun in the mornings but nothing compared to the ‘omg it’s so hot and sunny’ comments I’ve seen on twitter over the last few days!

Lectures are back in full swing, finishing the last sections of the course before revision and exams begin. We’ve got three assignments left to hand in, two of which are for Construction and Surveying due in on Monday. I’ve quite enjoyed carrying out a survey of the cricket pavilion and writing a building survey report about it. I’ve gone on site visits with dad, who’s a Chartered Building Surveyor, a few times to do schedules of condition and similar but this is the first time I’ve had to think for myself and write a report, and it’s been interesting. The other is a group assignment which I am project managing. It is really starting to come together, but it looks like there could be a bit of last-minute editing to do as some members of the group haven’t quite finished their sections yet. That just leaves IRM to be handed in on 13th May, so a little while to finalise that now.

I’ve got five exams at the end of May and beginning of June. These are in Rural Geography and Economic, Crop Production, Animal Production, Business and Law. We’ve got pre-seen essays for a couple which I’m aiming to start planning next week once the construction assignments are out of the way, so I can be happy with them and have them in my head in time for the exam. There are now only seven weeks left of first year! 

Today we had a talk from Land Registry about what they do, which I learnt a fair bit from as I wasn’t really aware how much they do and how big a role they play, so that was definitely beneficial. 

I’ll be looking for a bit of work experience over the summer, to gain experience in the field so I’m in  a better position going onto placement in third year, so we’ll see how that goes.

This weekend there’s a camping trip with Harper Outdoor Pursuits Society (HOPS) to Snowdonia, with a walk up Snowdon, which should be really good.The weekend after that I’m going home for my birthday and hopefully (fingers crossed!) the first sailing trip of the season! That’ll make all the hard work anti-fouling worth it!

Maddi x

Here comes the sun

Well, summer has well and truly arrived in the UK this week and it has been almost unbearably hot!

I haven’t been doing much schooling with Oscar since I got back from France (Still need to write the next blog for that), we’ve mainly been hacking and enjoying the sunshine! This is great because we hardly hacked at all before I went away because I was being a wimp, but hacking is what I missed most from riding Ellie, so I was determined to go for lots of hacks over the summer!

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This is Oscar’s column on the board where we write when we ride and what we do, so we know how much the horses have done and when they need a day off

Oscar had a day off on Tuesday as it was so unbearably hot, and then I took him out by myself yesterday while Sheryl had a jumping lesson at Hurston Dressage & Eventing. I haven’t hacked out by myself in months but I needed to at some point and he hadn’t put a foot wrong the last three times I’d taken him out, so hacking it was. Either way, there was no way I was going to go in the school in this heat! We went out around a couple of fields and had a canter – we haven’t cantered out in months either – and Oscar was as good as gold: he really is lazy at heart! The ground around the farm varies massively so although the ground was firm where we were cantering, we also encountered a long stretch of muddy puddles! This meant Oscar’s legs needed a wash when we got back, and I washed off his saddle area too because he had sweated a bit.

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Oscar drying off after his post-hack bath :)

In this weather it’s so hot that I really don’t feel like eating anything at lunchtime. Today I picked some raspberries off the canes in our garden and ate them, and some cherries that mum had bought too :) I’ll go to the yard later, but I’m not going in that school until it cools down a bit! Thankfully the weather is cooler today but I want to make the most the great hacking weather while it’s here. Hopefully the farmer will be able to get the crops in soon and we’ll have acres and acres of stubble to go galloping on! I haven’t really got much to do now – my life has gone from crazy, hectic, revising every second of the day, to lazing around, doing a bit of training with the dog and riding in the afternoons. I can’t start getting stuff ready for uni until my place has been confirmed after results day, which is in three weeks so everything crossed!

We’re going sailing this weekend though! :D About time I think! We were thinking of going in to Bembridge overnight but the tides are all wrong, so that will have to wait. We’ll just have to see where the wind takes us, and show of our sparkling white sails. :)

That’s all for now,

Maddi x

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