Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Journalism work

Please note that this blog is now officially closed but I will be leaving it up for people to access.
I will be posting a link soon for my new website/blog when it's ready.

In the meantime, if you are interested in my journalism here is a link to my articles on Positive News:

Please get in touch via twitter - @Nicola_Slawson. I'd love to hear from you. 



Tuesday, 31 December 2013

The 365th blog of the year.


I did it!
(Sort of....)

 My new years resolution was to blog every single day of the year. It's fair to say I have bent those words these last few weeks and can now say I posted a blog every single day of the year. It's not quite perfect but then what is? I'm still so proud of my achievement, particularly the first 6 months. Not only did I actually post on the actual day (that is aside from I think two instances of dodgy wifi where I posted the next day - one in Poland and one in Salamanca.) but most of the time I actually posted real blogs with my thoughts, observations, and hopefully some interesting facts. It's such a wonderful thing to look back on. My last 6 months in Bilbao all captured on this blog. That's definitely something to be proud of and to cherish.

The last 6 months have been more tough. Firstly, I lost a lot of motivation during my three months in my hometown because there is only so much you can write on a travel blog about a fairly small corner of England. Secondly, in the latter three months, I have been insanely busy here in London and have been been concentrating my writing efforts on actual articles for an actual newspaper. There's only so much a girl can do but it is sad that I wasn't able to stick to the plan of viewing London from a travellers point of view and blogging accordingly. On the plus side, it means I've settled in faster than I ever thought possible which is a nice feeling after three years of upheaval. Exciting-amazing-wonderful-terrifying-in-a-good-way upheaval. This blog was such a brilliant outlet for my passion for writing but now I feel like I've outgrown it. Now, my passion for writing is being channelled into my developing career in journalism just as I originally intended when I started to blog every day.

So now the crazy challenge is over. A friend of mine text me to ask what I would do when I posted the final blog. I guess I would feel more like I accomplished something if I hadn't cheated so much in the last three weeks. Regular readers will have noticed many of the blogs were published in batches rather than the actual day. But I'm glad I took the time to backtrack otherwise I would have felt like I'd wasted all the hard work earlier in the year. I would like to thank every single person who read or followed this blog, especially those who blogged about what I was doing on their own blogs (Andy, Angie, Bryony, Toby, Sammy and Kelly) or those like my amazing friend Nisi who read every single blog I posted. I think there are probably more out there who have lurked and maybe not been so public about it... but thank you so much and sorry for the last few months.

My aim for 2014 is to move to Wordpress and develop a professional online portfolio with a new blog charting my progress as a journalist. I think that it's fitting to end this blog on a high and finishing my 365 blog challenge is certainly that.

Here's to this blog for getting me where I am to today and here's to bigger and better things in 2014!

Monday, 30 December 2013

A Christmas holiday spent mostly knitting...

Blog 364/365

Apart from two pub outings, two trips to town, one walk and Christmas day in Nottingham, I have spent the entire of my break (10 days!) in my parents home, hibernating. Some lovely friends have visited and my parents have been off some of the days but mostly I've been cuddled up with my cat knitting or crocheting or reading or baking or watching films. It's been bliss. I feel so relaxed. My head feels clear and I'm feeling optimistic that I can resolve my financial woes and hopefully in turn my living situation will improve meaning I'll feel less stressed back in London. It's amazing what a few days of doing very little can do for you...

Here are the fruits of my "labour":

Sunday, 29 December 2013

A lovely walk in Attingham Park

Blog 362/365

One of my favourite things to do when I go home is to go for a nice walk with my great friend, Gemma and her dogs (well sometimes just the one dog as Donny is blind and finds busy places stressful.) Today we opted for a walk in the Deer Park at Attingham Park, a stately home on the outskirts of Shrewsbury. It'd been years since I'd visited so I totally forgot that as a National Trust property, they charge you £5 to go in (yes even just for a walk!) I'd come out with my phone and a key so I had to charm the lady into letting me in, which she did. I then went back later and paid up thereby winning myself some good karma I think. Anyway, the park is lovely and we managed to spot a herd of Stags, which was very cool. Boycie enjoyed it too of course. But still, a fiver is a bit much just for a walk!

Saturday, 28 December 2013

Optimum Joy

Blog 361/365

I have now visited Shrewsbury's newest cafe twice in my short break home. On Christmas Eve, I met a dear friend, Katie and we enjoyed a chickpea stew and a comfy sofa. Today, I took my parents and we had coffee and cake. It's a lovely little place with friendly staff and treatment rooms upstairs for all sorts of alternative therapies. I was also pleased to see Ruby Wax's book on sale next to others on mindfulness. Highly recommended if you're in Shropshire and enjoy vegetarian food.

Friday, 27 December 2013

Spotted in Shrewsbury, a Positive News basket


Look what I spotted in a little shop on Wyle Cop, Shrewsbury!

I'm going to look for instructions online as these could come in handy at the Hub and a great way to use old copies of the paper.

Thursday, 26 December 2013

The lights of Houghton

Day 359/365

Last night on our way back from Nottingham, we passed through Houghton, a village on the Staffordshire/Shropshire border. Every year people in the village decorate the outside of their houses with hundreds of Christmas lights to raise money for charity. Some get way more into it than others as this picture demonstrates: