Friday, 8 September 2017

What's next?

To answer that - I don't have an answer for anyone yet.  That question is still remaining mysterious to me too.

From a work point of view, I have a job I love even though changes are making it a bit of a roller coaster ride again.  Still no further forward getting the grade side of things permanently though.

From an OU point of view - only one more VERY IMPORTANT step to go - my graduation ceremony on 16th November.  Do I want more study?  I'll admit, there's a very small part of me that hankers after a Masters, just to say that I did it.  But I think it's unlikely to happen, the day job is requiring constant learning, which probably gives me (at times) more than I can take in at one go.  So for at least this year, I can give a definitive answer that no, I am not planning to add to my degree with more formal qualifications.

(Eeek - I have a DEGREE!!  Sorry, every now and then the 'bigness' of that hits me..mostly when I am blogging, bizarrely..)

From a home point of view, we have a family wedding in mid-October when my baby brother gets married (hen do sensibly arranged for this weekend so lots of time in between..).  After that start planning properly for the graduation ceremony and the 'C' word, cos apparently there aren't enough shopping days left to go before it... or so Facebook would tell me if I liked to listen...

From a 'mojo' point of view - hmm, I have a couple of cross stitch projects to finish, a graduation quilt to make (which did get started eventually but is currently on hold due to time-bound stitching), a 'bitsa' quilt to finish, oh and I might fit in some knitting.  I also have a software development project to play with when I feel like I can face a computer outside of the office again.

Trying to learn to be OK without an answer to 'what next?' is difficult for me, I think - this journey has been full of plans for that answer all the way along.  But I shall try and look forward to the unknown 'next', and to make my couch-potato moments productive at least with my craft projects.

From a blog point of view - I will figure it out as I go along, maybe a change of strap-line but I will need to find my own focus before I can share much of it with the world.


Whew - 3 posts in one day.... I had a lot to make up for, what can I say?  Thanks for reading.... :)

That Back To School Feeling

The schools went back this week, and my 'baby' started the comprehensive school!  So smart in his new uniform, and so far seems to be armed with a new positive attitude towards all the changes too.  I'm very proud of the way he's embraced it all.

September normally brings that back to school feeling for me too, the eagerly anticipated course materials dropping through the door just as I drop the child off at school.

So this September start is just WEIRD.  I can't think how else to phrase it.  I've felt such a slump since finishing the last module, like the normal summer slump but much longer lasting.  Without the discipline of the new module to begin, I have to admit to an awful lot of couch-potato moments lately.  I've been working on a cross stitch project with a deadline, which is slowly forcing me back into action, but I have to admit I am still finding it difficult to motivate myself.

I've changed teams at work too, which I have to admit is not helping the confidence levels either.  Might get round to updates on the 'other page' later, but as I am off on leave this week, I am leaving the office at the office and enjoying some time off.

Hopefully I can take some inspiration from Phillip's enthusiasm for the new school life, and kick start my own brain cells again with a bit of PMA.

An apology and an update!

Wow - I knew I had been off my game recently - but I have just realised that I have not posted here since mid - July!!  So my readers are left hanging as to my results... sorry about that folks!

Module results came out and I did much better than I had expected on the 'examinable component' - making the final result a Grade 2 Pass.  For a module that I had no real love for from the early stages, I'm impressed with that.

That also meant that my predictions were true for the overall result of the degree, I'm therefore the proud owner of a Bachelor of Science Honours degree, Upper second class (a 2.1 in real money...).  When I stop and take into account that I did this in my own time, mostly at my own expense, and whilst working and bringing up a family, it occasionally hits me just how big an achievement that actually is.

More in my next post about life after graduating... and the plans for what is next.

Sunday, 16 July 2017

Is there any energy left?

Wow - for some reason I am completely wiped out lately!  No particular reasoning behind it, that just appears to be the way of things.

I'd like to blame the quilt, or the weather, or the child, but none of these things are really to blame. I just feel washed out for no reason at all.

Waiting for the final course results is of course not helping, it's like a 'side order' of stress while hoping for the best!  And of course, it being the last module, I need to pass it in order to finish off the degree.  So I will admit to a small amount of trepidation - I don't think I have done badly enough to fail, but I will still worry till the results are here and gone.

And then I can start to book graduation numbers etc.  Eeek!!

Thursday, 6 July 2017

I love it when a plan comes together

Cue the A-Team music and start recording the montage.


Erm well...not quite.

But finally, I have begun the part of my OU journey that appears to have caused me the most trouble, or at least certainly had as many false starts as any of my modules along the way.

What gave me this much stress?   Deciding upon a plan for my graduation quilt, mentioned in a previous post.

Now, I knew only for certain that there should be frogs... As my reader will know, frogs are where the whole Object Oriented Programming world began for me.  So they hold a special place in my heart when thinking of the journey as a whole.  But how to incorporate the frogs, and what else alongside them?  How to make it significant and meaningful without being twee?  How to not make it into just a frog quilt, but something that told more of the tale?

I looked at frog panels, hmm too froggy.  I looked at frog pictures to quilt as outlines...either too childish or too complex.  Nothing was quite right.

Then, finally, after finishing up the last assignment and vegetation on the couch for (to be fair, quite....) a while, a Facebook group called Quilt As You Go! provided the answer I was looking for.  The idea behind quilt as you go is to break down the process and make smaller quilt panels then join them together to build a bigger quilt.  I'd been wanting another go at the process, so it appealed to me.
So the design is quite simple - strips of material including small amounts of froggy fabric will build up into squares, being quilted to the backing material as they go.  The modular nature of this appeals to me too, just like the OU degree it will have been built up piece by piece, and amount to an overall achievement in the end.  But each piece in itself is an achievement along the way.

So far I have 11 completed squares, the plan is to get to 16, lay things out on the bed and work out what the next part of the plan is.  I completed 17 modules to finish this degree, so a little part of me wants 17 pieces, but that's not a given or guaranteed figure yet.  I'm just enjoying being back at the machine for the first time in ages, with plans that should get me to the end of the quilt before graduation day in November.

More pics to come as I get my head round each stage of the process - and of course only 13 days until the final result(s) are due out too.  Whoopie!!


Friday, 9 June 2017

What lies beyond? A big box of mojo please?

Well, the deadlines have come and gone, the assignment was submitted and the family holiday has been had and returned from.

And to be honest the blogger in me went a little quiet there, not quite sure what to say for myself as I was shellshocked or battle-weary or some such military thing, suffice to say I was knackered after so much intense study I couldn't quite think what to say beyond 'Phew!!' or what to talk about now there wasn't a next module to plan for.

But having had a week off to recover from the holiday, I'm ready to pick up the keyboard again, if only to remind myself how to type before I return to work next week!

So - now for Life Beyond the OU Basket. (or at least as beyond as one can get while awaiting the final results...)

I have to admit to a fair amount of couch-vegetation, such is the way after most assignments to be honest, so this one was no different.

But slowly, gradually, I am beginning to realise that there is actually still a bit of me left at the end of all this.

With the help of my BFF I am planning my graduation quilt which I've talked about in previous posts, where the two biggest hobbies in my arsenal come together.  Not too much about that one just yet, as I think that deserves a post of its own, it's been so long in the thinking...

But it's so exciting to finally feel the mojo returning, to feel that desire to sew and plan and make things.  I have to admit there's been a fair amount of trepidation around it all, I'd lost a lot of confidence in my making skills, having lain dormant for quite some time on a lot of crafts (I've suffered a fair few false starts this year, where I have been poised with ideas and then failed to make them happen, then gone off the idea before I even began.

And if I can get the crafting mojo happening, that may help the Weightwatchers mojo, as I will have other things besides food to occupy my hands and thoughts!!

Saturday, 13 May 2017

The Big Red Button



Eek - it's done!  Having worked my butt/socks off on lots of extra daytime study sessions, the assignment is finally finished, and before my own deadlines too!

It's been safely parcelled up and set to one side, with backup copies made just in case.  Then it will wait a day or two, get passed through one last final common-sense check, and then - the button will be hit, sending it on its merry way to await marking.

It's still all a bit surreal, can't quite put together in my head that it's over - the OU study journey is finished, although there will be a most pleasant journey towards the graduation ceremony still awaiting me after the results.

What's next?

To answer that - I don't have an answer for anyone yet.  That question is still remaining mysterious to me too. From a work point of v...