Taking an Unplanned Timeout

It’s time for a little reflection. Recently my blogging has been slacking and in many ways I’m annoyed with myself that I’ve let it slide slightly. I think a blog is such a good way to show people what you’re about on a regular basis, so it’s something I will not let slide too far.

However, in a way I’m glad I’ve been absent for a few weeks because the reason for it is… I’ve finally been relaxing! The run-up to Christmas was manic; an essay and a 20-minute film in close succession, as well as planning a photography exhibition. So when Christmas finally showed up, I completely switched off and spent the next two and a bit weeks doing very little.

Anyone who knows me well will understand that I am very often incapable of not working, much less relaxing. After being questioned on what it is I do during down time, I realised all I did was do a different kind of work. You know, spice things up a bit.

So I think the fact that I relaxed so much over the Christmas break is something of a miracle. I don’t know why it happened during this particular holiday – normally I give myself a project if there’s nothing to do for uni – but this time the chill was real. And I think it did me good.

Of course, when I drove back up and was faced with the prospect of two assignments due in just over a month, all the familiar stress came flooding back and work began promptly the next morning. Although, during those days at home it felt great just vegging on the sofa. I’ve never watched so many films as I did over Christmas this year. Normally this kind of behaviour would have shocked the diligent student that thrives on hard work, but the temporary chill version of me embraced Christmas and all it had to offer.

There are many people who tell me I stress out too much. I only stress because what I do means a lot to me, and if I know I’ve worked hard on something I can rest easy knowing I’ve done all I can. I’m a worker bee; that’s what I do in this hive of life. But at the same time I know that even worker bees can work too hard. So to spend this time relaxing has probably done me a lot of good. Now I can go back to the hectic lifestyle I obviously love and thrive on. Back to work!

Down on the Farm!

I’d always planned on doing volunteer work when I came to uni. It was just something I thought would add something to the whole experience.

So, when the University of Cumbria Students’ Union posted about volunteering at Wetheriggs Animal Sanctuary, I leapt at the chance. I’d be able to spend time with animals and be doing something worthwhile at the same time – a winning combination for me.

Making New Friends
Making New Friends

It certainly wasn’t glamorous work, but it was work that needed doing, and I feel proud to have helped out a small association for the day.


My duty consisted of cleaning out the bird enclosures. I spent some quality time with ducks, chickens and quail, most of which had been badly injured and rescued by the charity. Wetheriggs runs a rehoming service, and even while we were there a couple came and adopted a group of chickens, so I know all the birds will eventually go to new homes.


The sanctuary also kept larger animals out in the paddocks. An array of sheep, horse, goat and alpaca came to greet us as we were taken on a tour of the grounds. There was even a rather ruffled group of turkeys who didn’t hesitate in making themselves heard.

The Face of an Angel
The Face of an Angel

It was a really enjoyable day and I got to meet a lot of new people from the Lancaster campus of the university. We were given stylish canary yellow volunteer shirts and I wore mine with pride as I shovelled up dirty sawdust. A good day’s work!

Cheesy grin
Cheesy grin

Please go and visit the sanctuary’s website, they’re doing so much good work!