Looking back.

It’s scary how two months have gone since my last blog post. My initial thoughts were that It has just been an empty kind of two months. It has felt like I’ve just been eating, working and sleeping. The eating and sleeping bits have been great! But I haven’t enjoyed them as much as I could have because of the working bit.

I don’t have much to complain about, I’m just being worked hard at the moment. I want more freedom, I want to know what the day is going to bring and when I will be able to go home. I’m quite fed up of being a student and I’d like a job and to stay in one place for more than two weeks is a dream at the moment. It feels like i’m tip-toeing around trying to please everyone and even pander to their whims just to pass each week. I just can’t be arsed anymore. I feel like maybe I don’t need to prove myself anymore. It’s a nice feeling in a way.

But here are some of the good things I’ve been up to in the past two months!

Dorset

I spent a month around Dorset on some farm placements. I explored Chesil beach before spending the weekend with Rosie and her family. We visited the beautiful Sherborne Castle.

I spent two weeks with two other vet students in Shitterton. It was really nice to get to know the two of them. It was a hard two weeks with tons of work to do but we still managed to have fun and visit a couple of pubs while we were there.

I have also discovered Huel, a meal replacement type thing. It’s now what I have for lunch. It is vegan and supposed to have all the dietary requirements needed. I’m usually and was at first against the idea of it. But actually I bought it in the end to make it easier to travel and not to have to worry about lunch, to be able to monitor how much i’m eating better and i think really, i just wanted some control over what I was eating and in my life in general! It has been a blessing regards lunched. Just three scoops and add some water and i’m good to go. I don’t have to get up early or make sure I get to a shop or buy anything. Just that extra thing to not worry about. Possibly lazy, but I’ll take it.

Utrecht

I visited Utrecht university for another farm placement. It was a very long and tiring and sometimes hard two weeks. But it was fantastic getting to spend a decent amount of time in one European city. It was great to get to know a place. We cycled into the campus every morning and evening and checked out a decent number of pubs.. again.

I love stroopwafels! Ah!

Rosie even managed to come and visit at the weekend and we rented a gorgeously cute little apartment looking over one of the canals. It was lovely. We all checked out the gay bars one night forgetting how bad we are at drinking these days.

We did all the touristy classics going up the tower and going on a boat trip.

 

London

But I was glad to finally get home and chill with the Doggo!

I’m working in central london for three weeks and got to stay with Rosie for nearly two of them which was great fun! One Tuesday evening we bought tickets to a book talk with Ali Smith at Foyles. We’re both big fans of her work and just her in general. She is so grounded and fair and honest and sees the world in such an incredible way.

One evening we watched a documentary about an anorexia clinic in London. Rosie knew of someone who had been into one. It was a hard documentary to watch. But a very thought provoking one. I have had some issues in the past that could have been a lot lot worse and I watched the people in the clinic and wondered why I seemed able to avoid getting as low as they were. Why i seem able to get by by knowing my signs and managing them yet others can’t and suffer so much more.  This will have to be another blog sometime in the future. It just made us think about personality types and how difficult, demanding, intimidating and out of control our world is at the moment.

Glasgow

Rosie went to Glasgow while I still had work in London. She went up for a concert on Saturday evening. I joined her on Friday evening and we had some of the weekend to chill and explore Glasgow together. Rosie knows the place a little from previous work but i had never been. It was a beautiful weekend which probably made it even better, but I loved Glasgow. It has some amazing places and spaces, parks and museums, shops and resturants. We got a hostel looking over a park and it was beautiful. Crisp air with everyone walking around in scarves, lots of doggies, we could see ourselves living there. Maybe one day!

On the evening of the concert we met up just before to grab some dinner. We went to a Southern India restaurant which was delish! Never eaten Southern before, we tried different chapatis and a lamb curry and it was so yum!

I was a bit of a soppy git and bought Rosie some roses and a keyring with out photo on it before the concert. It was a big deal for her and I could tell she was quite nervous. But she was fantastic and pleased with how it went. She definitely underestimates how good she is, but I feel like most people do when they’re trying to get somewhere. It’s hard to know what people expect and want and are looking for… in many careers i think.

After the concert we checked out a couple of gay bars and got ridiculously tipsy and giddy and no drinks whatsoever (cheap dates) and headed back picking up some  Belgian fries on the way home 😛 nommm

In the morning we checked out one of the restaurants Rosie has been too for breakfast and I had a full English which was FULL ON.

Glasgow

London

Back to London. I Stayed at Rosie’s for a couple more days and we had dinner with some of her friends and made mince pies one evening! We were both doing different hours to each other so often we didn’t have much time in the mornings or evenings but I love spending an hour or two just chilling with her or even just talking about our day in bed before one of us falls asleep first.

I’ve got into crosswords and puzzles again, first time since I was a kid! The guys in my placement group have been picking up the newspaper on the train and we’ve been working on them during lunch. It made me want to go back home and finish them with Rosie. We spent a good couple of evenings working on them. We are rubbishly awful at the cryptic ones though!

I had the first Amnesty talk this week too! It wasn’t very well attended but it was really interesting to hear more about what Amnesty does and make some connections. I feel like our group can only get better and stronger as it’s only early days yet. It’s just a shame that I’m not on campus very often and so it is difficult to meet up regularly or get bits done.

Rosie has gone back up to Scotland for more work so I’m currently staying with my grandparents who live in central London too. I’m so lucky to have family in London.

I went to watch Young Marx last night at the Bridge theatre. It is supposed to be one of, if not the newest theatre in London. It was great, a fantastic theatre with leather seats. Different. Doesn’t have the same detail architecture that the older theatres have. But a nice big stage!. The play was great, really funny, definitely recommend. I got a £15 ticket and it was definitely worth it and I could see most of the stage, all of the action anyway!.

The story outline kind of annoyed me though. Marx in the play was an absolute arsehole that used and was awful to his friends, family and supporters and yet he got away with it because he was a genius. I don’t know. Just rung of ‘boys will be boys’ and that’s rubbish. It was funny and lighthearted but not a great message. There was remorse at the end of course. And it was a comedy but just a bit samey really.

You can see a photo of one of the cuties that I helped look after while being in London. It has reminded me of how much I enjoy small animal work. I really do enjoy both small and farm. And I wonder whether I could just do small animal. It would be quite a lot easier than finding somewhere that has both. Would I regret only going into one and not the other though?

 

So yeah! Actually really an amazing couple of months! Haha! I really don’t have anything to complain about. Just haven’t had a massive amount of time to myself to be able to write a blog I guess! I have basically been working and then chilling to recoup for the following day.

Na, yeah I have nothing to complain about in life.

I do feel used by my university and I am fed up of being a student but diddums! I’ll suck it up and keep going. There isn’t really a huge amount left!

Glad I have written this blog. Need to remind myself actually how great things are for me. You so easily get absorbed into the problems of you’re own life and forget how easy you actually have it.

Write again, sooner next time.

Rebecca x

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Bulk Market Dalston 

I was told about a bulk store near Dalston Junction so headed there to have a gander. I’m going away for a couple of weeks so bulking up on some dried fruits, nuts and seeds sounded like a good idea/ excuse / justification.

 

It was raining. I was very wet.

The shop was small but sold a good range of things. Spices (!) Dried fruit, legumes, nuts, seeds, pasta and dried carbs, eggs, fruit and veg. They also had cheeses, washing up liquid and dog food! They had lots of alternative cleaning tools, cutlery and toilet roll! It was great. They generally had a couple choices of each. For example, for nuts they had walnuts and almonds. They also had chocolate buttons and yoghurt covered peanuts. Nom.

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I brought my own containers… Couldn’t find actual containers so made do. Ha lol.

So you weigh your containers when you enter the shop and write the weight on them before you fill them up.

I got dried apricots, raisins and sunflower seeds. I’d seen the copper scrubber online and had been keen to get it so treated myself. It all came to £12 which is a lot but for the amount I got and the shop being quite niche and good quality it’s not terrible. I’d definitely go back.

If I lived closer it would be great for popping in and filling up when needed. Somewhere I can refill my spice rack !

The woman behind the till was really sweet and helpful and was great to talk to her about her plastic free adventures. It’s been re-inspiring to see someone else keen to do their bit.

One person wont change the world but It’s the little things that do add up. If you’re passing by why not pop in? I have realised that I need to live in the world that I want to see. So no plastic and be nice to everyone and eventually maybe the world will all become like that too! 😉 ❤   I can dream

I had a massive cook off a couple of mornings ago. I’m going back to university next week for my next placement and I’m not looking forward to it. Long story, haha. Anyway the way to keep me happy is to make sure I have lots of nice food! So I have prepared some of the dishes to have Buddha bowls for lunch – guacamole, lentils and hummus. And i stewed some fruits to have with cereal or porridge. I finally made something of all the blueberries I froze. I made blueberry compote for porridge or desserts. I made a big batch of butternut soup and an even more massive batch of veggie bolognese. Boom. Happy Rebecca

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Also! I have been big time decluttering since I moved my stuff back home. There isn’t much space so I have donated probably over 50% of my books to local charity shops and same for my clothes and just things I like but never use. I realised that I had a lot of personal t-shirts that you couldn’t really pass on and was a shame to chuck out so I’m going to make this with them..

http://mypoppet.com.au/makes/2013/04/upcycle-style-braided-t-shirt-rug.html

Should be easy right?? 😉

Rebecca x

4 days in Brighton <3

Rosie and I love food. V possibly more than each other lol.. #sorrynotsorry
We needed to get away and inspired by a cycle ride with her family Rosie suggested Brighton: sea, cycling and food. Perfect!

We booked a hostel in town. ‘Home’. Cheap and basic and all we needed. Our room was super clean and really quite cute actually and though a pub it was relatively quiet. Most of the noise was drunk passersby and the pigeon babies living outside our window. .

We arrived early Monday morning and looked for somewhere for brunch!
We usually do some googling for recommendations, get an idea of what’s around but a mooch is equally great. We walked around North Lanes first as this was closest to the hostel. We found three potentials and on returning to the first we found the fourth potential and ate there. It had seating outside which was the sale point as it was an absolutely beautiful day.
We had a mini full veggie English. It was a vegetarian cafe. At Wai Kika Moo Kau

It was really good!

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Pesto on the tomato and garlicky mushrooms. Great bread and sausages.  And potatoes. Felt surprisingly healthy and wholesome and we were bloody full!

We also got a coffee and a banana and peanut butter milkshake. It actually felt quite healthy too! Not thick and made or ice cream but light and delicate. Nomm.

On to the beach via a couple of the cute shops.  We aren’t ones for shopping for things we actually need but we like browsing quirky things!
And books!
Beach! Was busy. Hot bank holiday Monday so no surprise there haha. But it wasn’t too bad. We had a bottle of prosecco that Rosie brought so that helped. 😉

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We spent most of the day there. Stopped for an ice cream. We swam, read and dozed in the sun.  I forgot how much I love swimming in the sea! I think when I was in the sea, by myself and just floating there I realised I was actually on holiday, not working, allowed not to study and I just relaxed and felt so peaceful!

We chose Moshimo a Japanese restaurant recommended for dinner. The website said that they were keen to promote sustainable fishing which is a definite selling point!
They had an outdoor and indoor bit. And we sat outside and it was it was really inventive. Just tables but the seats were benches that all joined up essentially. So that it gave the impression that diners were eating on the ground with their legs crossed!

We didn’t take any photos!

We had. Miso soup, vegetarian and fish sushi. Inc salmon and avocado and the vegetarian had tofu, sundried tomatoes and cucumber which was surprisingly good! The aubergine dengaku was amazing. The miso sauce was rich and creamy and I can’t quite place the flavour. There was definitely some sake in there too

Tuesday!

The hostel had a big bowl of pancake batter to make your own pancakes in the morning which was fun and lots of nutella, so we bought bananas too. Nom. Yeah man

We had a big massive mooch day. Slowly working our way through the cute shops and letting ourselves get lost with the other tourists and locals. Was so nice to forget about life!

I love potatoes.

We found a cafe ‘Joes’ that was renowned for it’s hashes. We had to go.

It was far out of town, up hills in the heat but so so worth it.

We both went for the Spanish hash, I had vegetarian with mushrooms, vege sausage, egg. Rosie had meat which had same + chorizo on it 😛 . And all topped with cheese of course.

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Was soo good! One of the only dishes I’ve seen Rosie not able to finish xD

Dinner was probably our downfall. I had even more potatoes lol. But we really enjoyed this restaurant – The Regency – the last time we were here. And we wanted to try  the mussels.

I hadn’t tried scallops before so we got some to start. In garlic sauce. They’re great! Meaty and a lot less fishy than I expected. And the garlic sauce! nom!

Definitely a carb and heavy overload day. We didn’t deal well with this amount of food lol.

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Wednesday!

Couldn’t cope with pancakes that morning haha, bran flakes were called for.

We were hoping to go cycling but it was pretty miserable all day so we didn’t in the end. We checked out the Pavilion which is absolutely beautiful inside. Definitely worth a look and they had a tiny Jane Austen exhibition at the end which was a bonus.

We just had a super cosy slow day while it rained. Bought a rainbow umbrella and popped to different places that took our fancy. By the time we were hungry which took a while! We were gagging for something healthy and we had passed some vegan cafes a couple of times. We chose Larder because they do health bowls called buddha bowls and their food just sounded perfect!

It was absolutely delicious! I’d love to be able to eat that kind of variety every day. I chose the Buddha bowl, mix n match.  So there was two types if hummus, with cous-cous, bulghar wheat with different flavours. and lentil dhal and yoghurt. And mixed with salad leaves. Rosie got the dhal platter which was amazing. The chutney was soo good!

We then tried to get into choccywoccydodah to get a bit of chocolate but their cafe was totally booked. So we went to a couple of chocolate shops nearby haha. Balanced eating and all that 😉

We picked up some chocolate buttons in montezuma’s (a whole shop of their stuff!!) and then jumped the rainy street to ‘Be chocolate’. They sell hot chocolate as well as your normal chocolate truffles and gifts and slabs of chocolate. Loads of free samples!! And so we decided to get a hot chocolate to share, you can choose dark, milk or white chocolate and with cream or just hot water. Obviously we chose milk chocolate with cream.

And oh my god. It was absolutely soul destroying. It was all you could ever want in a hot chocolate. It was literally melted chocolate in a cup. You know the chocolate fountains you get at parties. it was like we were drinking that. Totally totally beautiful and i was giddy for hours! Definitely recommend that to anyone looking for the perfect hot chocolate! And fair play if you can drink a whole one yourself! bloody hell!

We pretty much headed back to our room and chilled with books and snoozed. The rain had got worse and there was little else we could do that wouldn’t involve eating or drinking and we were so full! Safe to say all we did was pop to a shop and buy hummus and bread that evening .. and some Miso soup for starters too. and ate in our room with tv. Crashed!

Thursday!

The weather looked much more positive. So i got a bike out to rent for the day. Brighton Cycle hire we used and it was only £10 for the whole day! Defo recommend the company. Though we saw that Brighton is bringing in the self service bike hire things that London and other cities have.

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Like my bike? Beautiful! 😉

We cycled to Hove and back and then to the Marina and back. We stopped in a coffee shop ‘ Bake out’ in Hove as it started pouring it down while we cycled. Rosie’s pretty drenched in the photo.  Their food looked and smelled great but we managed to not buy anything as we booked ourselves into ’64 degrees’ for lunch.

eeeee, defo the poshest restaurant that either of us has been to.

This was the menu:

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The vague-ness was very vague.. But the smells coming from the place were mouthwatering. We arrived and got a seat directly in front of the chef. This was really cool, we could sit and watch them create these masterpieces and we could see all the dishes we hadn’t chosen and what they actually looked like. We were recommended to get 4-6 dishes between two of us. The idea was that we would share and try everything .. which we do everytime anyway! We chose 4 and that was perfect.

We went for the Plaice, Gorgonzola, duck leg and Grass is greener. We got given extras like the soda bread with really airy marmite butter! Can’t say I’m a massive fan of marmite normally but it worked so well. Got us very excited for the first dish

The Plaice was so fresh and so beautifully cooked! The main flavours were the ones described in the menu. They balanced each other so well.

I didn’t take any photos of the gorgonzola haha! We started it before I had the chance to remember too. It was super interesting. All basis and sensations covered. Hazlenuts, cheeze, spicey kimchi, raw green apple pieces. It was really cool!

The duck leg. Oh my god. haha . the skin was so crispy and the meat so moist and beautiful. The sweetness of the jam and sourness of the fermented cabbage was soooo good. Running out of descriptive words lol. I just loved how it poked all the sensations and it was teasing all corners of the tastebuds.

The grass is greener was just unbelievable. It was ox-tongue and just fell apart in your mouth. So so perfect. The little ravioli on top had gravy inside it which was great fun. And a great delight to me, I love gravy.

So definitely one of the best lunches I have ever eaten and safe to say we were too full for desserts.. which sounded sooo good too! We ended on a passionfruit sorbet which again was incredible. Everything about the restaurant was great, the staff, the food. It wasn’t a cheap lunch but actually not far off worth what we paid! As a treat x)

We cycled around a bit more after this and did a last little bit of shopping. We stopped on the beach one last time while to rain was at bay and it wasn’t too windy.  Was so nice. So snuggly.  ❤

Before waiting for our train home, we grabbed a tea in one of the coffee shops close by. The flower pot bakery. Really nice place. I love copper and we both agreed that we want our kitchen to look something like this… simple done very well. sharp rustic.

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Eee a whistle stop tour of our little adventure around Brighton! Mostly food obviously!

Totally recommend Brighton if you want a city break that isn’t a huge city, has a beach and doesn’t need to involved an airport!

We love Brighton!

We may have window shopped some estate agents …  😉

Rebecca x

Pages for us

Feeling a little lethargic this morning!

Have now finished reading Pages for her and Pages for you.

I read them the wrong way round but it’s actually worked out perfectly. I read the older story (for her) before finding out the original story of when Anne and Flannery met. (for you)

While reading both books they made me look into my own relationship and some of the past. Anne and Flannery have an age gap. Flannery is 17 while Anne is 28. The gap is more of a mental and experience age gap than actual numbers.

It made me uncomfortable because I got so into it and it reminded me of relationships, especially one that I had when I was about 18. Made me cringe and made me think about the differences and what I thought I wanted and the naivety of me and Flannery. And knowing how the first novel ends after reading the second there’s just so many what could have beens or what have beens and how differently lives could have played out. But actually the end of Pages for her is pretty wonderful and each is in a much greater position.

There was something very delicious about the words in the book. Like I couldn’t be satisfied and kept on reading. There was so much connection and understanding and the words rung like satiety and hunger and devour. It was quite a naked carnal kind of book. Ripped of convention and propriety, honest and truthful, grounded lust and hunger, human raw emotion kind of book.

Signs of a good book I would say.

They could be placed in the LGBT category in a book shop. But what I loved about the books is that the fact that they’re two women hardly ever comes up. More so in the second. It’s not a coming of age book. It’s two people falling in love and a book about their relationship. It was refreshing. The women are probably bisexual, Anne certainly is but again, the word is never mentioned nor discussed. It would be very very easy to replace Anne or Flannery with a male character and the story would still work.

I’m glad I read the second book first, I think I’d be heartbroken to have finished the first without access the second. Ahh. I’m seriously moping.

Rebecca  x

 

 

To the older me 

Rebecca,

Lots of aspects of your life will change in the next few years. You have no idea what you will see, do and where you will end up. But the way you think now feels right and fair but still you have so much to learn and figure out.

Remember that you will never be able to second guess someone else’s story. Before you go to judge and put them into one your ingrained default stereotypes talk to them, learn about them. Realise how similar and different you are.

Remember where you grew up and what you saw. Remember the people you met and the situation.

At the end of each month, ask yourself if you’ve helped anyone, volunteered or donated your time or skills or donated money. If not, why?

Remember how you still want to change the world and still think it’s possible. Remember that you can still be settled and curious and explorative. Remember that if you are not happy with something you can change it.

Remember that you can’t just look out for yourself, you need to be able to see the bigger picture. Not everyone is in your position. Remember to practise being in other people’s shoes.

Remember that the world is not finite and that you simply can’t have everything you want. Compromise is good and healthy.

Remember to do the things you love and inspire it in others. Remember that you don’t have to be pushy or competitive. Grow at your own pace and don’t over do it. Take breaks and analyse.

Remember to be the best person you can be, because then your time will never be wasted.

Rebecca x

Plastic Free Month: 4 days in!

Cor Blimey.

It’s been an odd one!

I’ve not eaten anything naughty at all. literally nothing. I have had a decent amount of gin and cider though.. But that’s been necessary… because of the weather.

Cleaning

I’ve been cleaning my dishes, the table tops and my bathroom with the vinegar, bicarb and hot water concoction. They feel clean, they look clean and doesn’t feel like I’m polishing a turd. But it’s going to take a little more convincing before I would definitely switch. I’ve been making sure to use hot water too, which sometimes I don’t with washing up liquid. It’s probably just that there’s no bubbles and there’s nothing much to see.. making me think that nothing is happening. But I am loving the easiness of it all. I haven’t had to clean anything super gross or difficult yet so we shall see how it stands up to it.

Clothes washing –  I have used Soapnuts for the last couple of years anyway and I really like them. They aren’t great at cleaning the really dirty stuff ( boiler suits, scrub tops … ) however so I usually have a bottle of something else that I use when it’s needed. But for normal clothes they’re great!

Eating

Fruit and veggies sorted! Great! Easy!

I just need more flavour! With my spices hidden away I went in search of fresh ones or dried ones that I can bulk buy. But no luck. All in plastic. I have stuck with pastes in glass jars for the mean time which are good but it feels like cheating.. and I like adding a little extra sometimes which I can’t do! AH! haha. But even some of the pastes had plastic over the lid! I get why it’s done but really! ugh. I was all over the satay peanut sauce but the lid had plastic over it 😦

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So I went to Whole Foods this morning. And the whole place smelled like Bread and cheese. It was cruel.  BUT! I chatted to some of the staff and they’re happy to put meat, cheese, legumes etc into your own tupperware if you bring it along! I didn’t do it today, they had paper bags (some had plastic film in and others didn’t!) so went with those. The peanut butter though ❤

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I bought some tahini and chickpeas to attempt to make some hummus. I sound very middle class. But I cannot go a month without hummus. I’ll keep you updated on the process!

I do love Whole Foods. Some of the food is so ridiculously expensive it’s laughable but it does stock incredible things and I feel that you do get what you pay for.. most of the time. I didn’t buy any fresh stuff here, the market that I go to locally is as good and more likely to be locally produced fruit and vegetables. If it wasn’t for the fact that I remembered that this store has a bulk buy area I wouldn’t have felt the need to go today. There other smaller stores don’t have it. It was just so great to be able to pick up currants, oats, lentils, chickpeas and coffee beans without any packaging. I think it’s definitely worth supporting a shop that has that option and encouraging it in general. It all came to a really reasonable price too! I was pleasantly surprised!

I am missing milk/milk alternatives already and most of my teabags come in some kind of packaging so this is also pretty difficult and sad. I have made oat milk, but it’s not great, fine in porridge but not for drinking as is. Will possibly try more recipes out.

Meanwhile I have just been offered biscuits and chocolate and can’t eat any of it. Think I’ll have an apple.

I’ve also had a bit social life this week! (I know!) It’s been surprisingly easy to drink alcohol. bottles and cans! Boom. I did almost give the barman a heart attack when I burst out asking him to not give me the plastic cup or straw he was reaching for. Poor chap haha, I did explain. However, I also successfully managed to make my companions feel awkward and bad with their plastic cups and straws. Ha. Meh, you can’t have everything. Nice bit of guilt tripping occasionally.

Toiletries

I am loving how simple this is. I literally do not have to make a decision whether to wear or not wear make up. I can’t. End of. I do get the odd spell of dry skin which will be a problem. Might give coconut oil a go..

I have shampoo, conditioner and soap bars from Lush. I really like the shampoo bar, it feels like it’s working and smells really nice and my hair is good! But I can’t get to grips with the conditioner at all. It’s so hard and doesn’t lather at all but it seems to be going onto my hair. I don’t think they do as great a job as some of the bottled shampoos that I use. But I can’t really be surprised by that when you look at the difference in ingredients. The soap bar is great, nothing more to it!

My ‘truthpaste’ and bamboo toothbrush are okay. The paste is pretty bitter and grim but it’s growing on me. The toothbrush is great but softer than I’m used to.

Health wise, I got a blister from my flip-flips the other day and all I could think of was creating an elastic band and tissue gadget. Couldn’t be bothered to try it but it made me realise how drugs and plasters are out too.  Hayfever isn’t too bad at the moment.. and  I’m not surrounded by many cats .. so perfect! #catallergywhere?! #Nothere..

Vet life

It has been impossible to remove plastic from the research that I’m doing this month. My plastic tubes, syringes all plastic and come in plastic packaging. Made to be convenient and sterile but only for one use! Being in practise is just as bad too.

On the whole, everything is going well! haha. Just going to take some time to get used to it. Still finding hints and tips online.  Most people seem to understand what I’m doing and accept it straight up which is great (even if they think i’m weird). When I used to decline things because I was vegan/vegetarian, I always got so much grief in comparison!

All the best,

Rebecca xx

You can see that I’m suffering, please donate 😉

Www.Justgiving.com/rebeccaplasticfree

Veterinary Medicine

I wanted to be a veterinary surgeon from about the age of 14. A bit older than a lot of the students I’m studying with. I wanted to be a field archaeologist up until then. What drew me to both careers was the discovery and logic needed to solve cases. Not knowing what I was going to find and having to go on my knowledge and problem solving ability.

When I realized it was what I wanted to do I worked so much harder at school. I’d always done pretty well, usually in top handful of achievers in school and it carried on until a-levels. But a-levels was a really really tough two years for me. I had a lot going on in and out of school and struggled to stay positive and keep on track. I flunked my first year, spent the summer cramming for resits, got the pieces of myself a bit back together and somewhere I found motivation and determination. None of my teachers believed in what I was doing. Immediately I was fighting a battle but I think it made me fight harder.

I applied to university, but I knew I’d get nowhere on the predicted grades that I had except the gateway course at RVC, London. I’d been planning on my application and interview for essentially years. I remember being 15/16 and looking up how to get into vet school,  I had all the books too.  I remember lying in bed at night and coming up with possible interview questions and how I would answer them.

I applied and got the interview! This stunned my teachers, suddenly they were all over me and asked if i needed help with preparation. I spent so long preparing for my interview, the possible questions, what I thought, what i had learned from all the experience i had had to get and how I wanted to come across.

I look back on my interview now and I’m genuinely so impressed and proud of how I did. My nights imagining the interviewers questions seemed to pay off!  I got a conditional offer a couple of months later. I even then managed to beat my predicted grades by two.

They say getting into vet school is the hard bit. It is indeed very hard. I was lucky in being able to apply for the gateway course. I don’t think the application system is particularly fair, but I’m not going to talk about something I don’t know much about!

The gateway course is essentially for anyone from a less privileged background who is less likely to achieve the high grades and get all the experience needed. You spend an extra year doing Veterinary Bioscience which is a way of trying to build up general science knowledge before moving into the five year VetMed course. It was an extra year but entirely worth it. It was a small group of us so we got to know each other really well, the stuff we learned I was really interested in and I wish I could go back to studying the hours I did then now.!

I did really well in my first year, but saw a steady decline in my grades over the years. I met people and started enjoying more of social life in the first year of the VetMed course. I was also commuting to university every day and living at home. The commute was fine once I was used to it. My third year at university was probably the hardest year. Mentally I was struggling to cope again. The workload and hours was huge and intense. I missed doing other things, being a student and felt really isolated. I have never really been great at the work-life balance. Living at home was beginning to take it’s toll too so things were hard. I did the worst that year regarding grades, I was knackered.

Looking back, those years were hard because there was so little to look forward to. We still had three years of education and I would go months without seeing a living animal. It sounds funny but most of us are in our happiest place around animals. Being in London on a 9-5 course + the hours of studying in the evening, there was nothing to remind us of what we doing there and trying to achieve.

Fourth and fifth year, we moved up to the second campus which is a bit more green. I moved into halls on site. A lot of aspects of my life greatly improved, the lack of commuting gave me more hours, it was more sociable and I got more involved in university stuff. I did resent university a lot though. I still had two and three years ahead of me, still in masses of debt and nothing to show for it. We were starting however to learn about how to actually save and treat and help animals rather than the body systems and physiology.

I put my heart and soul into my last set of exams just before christmas 2016.  It’s such a balancing act knowing how much to do and when to take a break. But I was determined not to stress too much. I kept telling myself that If i was on track to covering all the material, then why stress? It’s definitely expectations and reality that need balancing. I was able to take the odd night off and go to a concert with Rosie or something. Something to totally break away for a few hours, a good sleep and then start fresh in the morning. This absolutely worked. I boosted my grade by 10% from the previous exam. So on that I’m hoping to increase my grades by another 10% at finals. I think my fear is qualifying and literally not knowing enough.

But veterinary is a career where you are always learning and you can’t know everything. .. even if you want to. We’re definitely a group of perfectionists in a job where we will never be perfect. Lose-lose really!

So I have now been at university for five years and am nearing the end of my fourth year of the VetMed course. In a years time I will have sat my final exams and will be waiting to see if I can qualify and graduate as a veterinary surgeon.

The next year consists of usually two week placements in different environments picking up skills and improving knowledge.

When I first started university I hadn’t really thought about the type of animals that I wanted to work with. I liked farm animals but didn’t really know much about farming so I guess I assumed pet animals.

I’m now pretty keen to do a bit of everything when I qualify. I’m hoping to find a truly mixed animal practice somewhere in Britain. Right now, I don’t know if it’s a job that i’ll stick with forever. I can’t wait to have my own clients and regular routine and have emergencies in the middle of the night. The idea of doing a morning of consults before heading out to farm to check on some calves sounds perfect to me.  But there are a huge amount of downsides to being a vet. There is a huge suicide rate amongst us. Probably put simply because we set out to do the best we can but doesn’t always happen and can’t happen.

Meeting Rosie was such a fantastic idea of mine (haha lol) .. We have such different careers and jobs that I’m able to release myself from the veterinary grip and explore elsewhere. I definitely got stuck in the rut of only learning vet related things and not making sure that I had other interests elsewhere. Exercise is absolutely important, even though I’m feeling like a flump today as I haven’t done anything significant in quite a while.  Jumping from air-bnb to hostels doesn’t fill me with the energy to run every evening.  I am pushing myself to read more, and take the odd 30-60mins out to read for fun. I’m trying to learn a bit more French, I’ve started a blog! And i love drawing when the mood takes me too.  With Rosie, i think about new things, meet new people and learn about different worlds. I once assumed my life would be all veterinary.. I’d have a vet husband and vet children and I’d work all hours saving animals. It can’t be done. I will still save animals, still lead a veterinary life but we have to remember to take time out. It’s not plain sailing when suddenly you have a difficult owner on the phone, you’re thirty minutes behind on consults and have a ton of paper work to finish before you leave.

I must say, alcohol has been a close friend to me in these past years and I have no intention of breaking off ties. 😉  Ha. A glass of wine after a couple of long and knackering shifts is one of the most beautiful offerings. not. even. joking.

But actually, this career is an amazing one, I’m really excited to get going. I could end up anywhere. I’ve had endless strange encounters with vets, clients and farmers and i’m sure they’ll continue to happen. I don’t regret at all where I am but it has been difficult. I’m in the stage now where I’m close to being treated like a vet by many and so it’s becoming so much more enjoyable with an end in sight!

You can see by my post how easy it is to get caught up in the negative and difficult times but looking through my pictures and writing this piece has made me realise how amazing my journey so far has been and how amazing it could be. I just have to take the odd step back and think – is this right for me?

Look out for yourself sometimes.

Rebecca x

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