Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Moving Out - The Decision

So I finally made the big decision and with my best friend we have decided to move out and rent a little place of our own. You have no idea how hard it is to find rental properties until you start looking for them. I mean maybe you would have more luck if you were looking in the big towns & cities but when it's deep dark Suffolk affordable rental properties are very few and far between. 

Every place we looked at online was either extortionately expensive or looked like it had last been redecorated about 40 years ago and since then had had a dirty sweaty man rolling about the place who hadn't heard of deodorant or a vacuum cleaner or unfortunately both. Also more money out here just means more bedrooms or more acres not anything more modern, cleaner, sturdy kitchen cabinets or a white bathroom suite!

I'm also blaming Pinterest because this board has given me a totally unrealistic expectation of what my house should look like!

 My perfect house seems to be white with lots of natural light, wood and antique tiles and a kitchen that's the size of a small town. And while I am not completely willing to give up on the dream of a Pinterest worthy house I have to admit that it's probably not going to happen in my first place unless I win the lottery (which I don't even enter!)

We both spent a lot of time on Rightmove & Zoopla. I have no idea how people found houses before the internet but if I had had to sit in an estate agents and view all the pictures of the places I have viewed from the comfort of my bed I think I would have gone on a crazy rampage! 

I think a lot of finding the perfect place is a mixture of luck & compromise. It's seeing the right pictures at the right time. Good properties go so quick around here and properties that look like my Pinterest board are actually non existent. To be honest looking felt a little like a game, it felt unreal but we have found a place and are looking at putting the deposit down.

So yeah I am scared, I'm nervous and I'm really excited but the decision has been made - I'm moving out!!

Friday, 21 November 2014

Open University - Access Module

I started an Open University Access Module in February this year and just got my results back and I'm really pleased to say that I passed. I was one mark off a distinction (one bloomin' mark!!) and I am now looking at starting a degree in English Literature & History in February 2015.

I did the course with the Access to Success route. If you don't have a degree and are earning under £25,000 (well have a household income of less than £25,000) then you can enroll onto the Access to Success course and you get a massive discount on both the Access Module and the first module of your degree. I had been looking at enrolling into a degree for some time, I decided not to go to university for a million different reasons when I finished my A Levels and I regretted it. I wanted a degree, at the moment it's not really for anything career based but more to do with the fact that I want this for me. I want to say I did it and doing the Access course was my first step towards this. If you are considering a degree using the Access to Success route then hopefully I can give you some of the pros and cons in helping you make the big decision...


The massive cost saving - if you can the Access to Success route saves you a shed load of cash. The access module is a tiny £25 in comparison to the usual cost of £625 if you wanted to do the access module without the Access to Success option and the you only have to contribute £1000 to your first module instead of the usual £2632 it would usually cost. You can even get a student loan to finance the £1000 which I am now in the process of applying for. 

Confidence building - Open University learning is done as a mixture of online learning with phone tutorials and course materials supplied and is a pretty unique way of doing a degree. When looking at doing the degree with the Open University I was pretty worried about the way I would get on with this but Access gives you the intro into this style, builds your confidence and skills in online learning at a really low risk stage.

Low Risk - I'm a worrier but with the first module you aren't tied into anything. You don't have to complete the second part of the Access to Success route and if you absolutely hate it well you have only lost £25


For me it was a little too easy at times. You have no minimum requirements to enter the Access module and it is designed a lot for people who struggle with English or English is their second language. A lot of the early stuff was very simple, stuff I had completed at high school and I had already gone past that when I did my A Levels, so sometimes I found it a little bit dull. Also each task had a suggested amount of time that it would take and for me I found this was a massive exaggeration and to start off with I thought I must be doing something wrong! 

Limited topic area- I am looking at doing a degree in History & English Literature but there are only a certain number of Access modules that are designed to cater to a large number of degrees so if you were looking at doing English, Art, Religious Studies, History etc. the Access course I took would be the one for you to do so if you hated History you would still have to do the part on this. I'm not a huge fan of Art and the final essay (and the only part your final grade was based on) was on art which I really had to push myself to complete. 

Self motivation - if you aren't self motivated then an Open University degree isn't for you but then if you aren't self motivated maybe a degree in general isn't really for you.

All in all I would recommend it. It took a lot of time and I found it hard to keep motivated at times especially when work was tough or the subject was not to my taste but I think this has prepared me well for what is to come. Obviously the degree is going to be harder but I'm really glad I completed it. Learning online was completely alien to me and I think if I had to do the more difficult tasks and get my head around this part it would have been much more of a task. I am now in the process of applying for the second part so will let you know how I get on but I'm excited and nervous (and not looking forward to dealing with Student Finance!)

If you have any questions about my experience then drop me a comment and if you are interested in finding out more then visit the website here:  (http://www.open.ac.uk/courses/do-it/access)

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Blogging Hiatus - Why I am Back

It seems I can't stay away from this little space on the internet of mine. It's been nearly five months since I last posted and to be honest I thought I had pretty much given up on the idea of blogging (and if you look through my blog you will find a few posts about coming back!). 

And to be honest there were a million reasons as to why I gave up, I had no idea what to post about, my blog was nowhere near as good as I wanted it to be, it didn't look right, didn't sound right, the pictures were crap, I had blog envy, blog fatigue, every blogger cliche under the sun. The thing is I work too much, watch too much television and I'm pretty boring. I don't have amazing fashion sense, I can't put a full face of makeup on without stressing, I brush my hair like three times a week. I hardly ever cook, I don't make things and I am a tiny bit of a disaster. I spend a lot of time wondering where I am going in life, what the hell am I doing and feeling a little bit alone in this thought. 
Alone is not a fun feeling to have so that is in part why I am sitting here writing this post - my comeback post - hopefully in an effort to make at least one person feel a little less alone in this big crazy world. 

The other reason is I love it here. I love the fact that people I may not know are potentially sitting in their bed in a Sunday night reading my struggles, my advice, my thoughts, my crazy in the same way that I enjoy sharing that little bit of life with the people who's blogs I read. Simple Chronicles of Me had become something that I didn't enjoy anymore. I was spending more time thinking about posts that would get me more readers, page views, followers than writing about things that I found enjoyable. I was trying to get the perfect formula and every post sound a little less like me and became a little bit less enjoyable. 

There's also a tiny bit of the fact that I love the sound of my own voice (in a figurative sense - I actually hate the sound of my own voice, I wish it sounded how it sounds in my head because I sound sophisticated and grown up, in reality I sound high pitched and a little silly I think). 

So here I am back again - for a little bit longer than usual I hope - I have some ideas and I want to get them out onto the page. So stick around please and wish me luck!