Chin Up

So feeling a bit down on myself cos I was ill for the last couple of days so couldn’t go to my great work experience job. Out of all the things I do during the week this is my favourite (apart from coffee with bff!) thing to do.

I learn so much there & the other members of staff are so kind and give me such good advice, with regards writing better copy, what to look for, how to use things etc.

Next week I will be healthy if it kills me!



Alan The Cat

Today I have submitted my first story to a newspaper.  I have written a story called Alan the cat.  Its’s about a cat called Alan! it is only short about 600 words, its funny and from the point of view of a snobby cat called Alan who has a rival for his neighbour Tina’s affections.

I am hoping that the editor of the East Anglian Daily Times  Liz Nice will publish in the  Pets Corner feature in the Evening Star our local daily newspaper.

When we visited the offices of the EADT a few weeks ago Liz Nice took us around the paper and gave us a tour.  She also spent time answering questions about journalism and the newspaper.  She said that if we wanted to we could submit stories for her to include in the newspaper feature.  So I thought why not!

I wrote a story while having a break from studying. It was very short, I read it to Paul who laughed at it and said it was good.  This was a few days ago, but I hadn’t forgotten about it, and this afternoon I wrote a few more lines and edited it.

Now it has been submitted, I haven’t had any feedback, lets hope she sees it, I am sure she gets so many emails.  Anyway it is out of my hands, so lets wait and see.  In the meantime I have written over 3,000 words for my dissertation, although many of them will be scrapped I think at least 1,000 will be usable.  Brilliant.



Thinking about Christmas time today, I realise that I have a really good Christmas calendar.  I have a Christmas meal to look forward to with my fathers side of the family.  Secret santa has been organised by my lovely step-mum, and we are only allowed to spend a pound.  Goodness knows what I will buy for the four people I have been chosen to get gifts for, but a cheeky visit to the Pound Shop is needed!

Christmas part time at work on the 18th December, a Bollywood themed party has been organised by T&M’s social committee.  After last nights Quiz Night success I think the Christmas Party is going to be a really good night out.

Christmas day my two lovely children will be joining us for dinner, and I have also included by best friend Janet and her lovely son Josh and his girlfriend Chloe.  We are going to make it a Christmas dinner to remember (I hope!), with all the trimmings and plenty of extras.  I am going to start getting the menu sorted out very soon.

So all in all this Christmas time seems to be a busy one and an exciting one, with family and friends to enjoy it with.


Follow on from Dissertation 1/6

Had my first proper meeting with Antonella yesterday and it was very positive.  She had asked me to pull out quotes from the novel and begin to closely analyse the passages.

I received lots of ‘goods’ and ‘excellent’ which from Antonella is great, she does not hand out praise willynilly so I know that i must be getting there.  This dissertation has dragged on and I can’t wait to get it written.

Thanks Antonella for your time and the next time I see you I will have some good stuff written!!


Quiz Night at T&M

Had a great night last night at work.  The social committee organised a great quiz night, with lots of teams joining in.  My team consisted of Ollie, Natalie, Claire, Vicki and Me.  I was asked by Claire and Natalie, and Gemma who didn’t make it!

The questions were really good, there was something for everyone, my worst round was the anagrams, I know hardly any of those.  BASIC something I learnt at school but what does it mean?

But I did do well on questions about football, and space, and James Bond!

We came 5th out of 16 teams which I have to say I am very proud of, we all contributed, we all did well and the main thing of all was we had a really good time.

Thanks Team & thanks T&M for hosting it, and the wonderful social committee.


Wayne Savage

What a great talk from the EADT feature writer Wayne Savage.  He came to talk to us at uni today in our professional writing module.   Wayne has been a former journalist, crime reporter, editor and sub-editor.  He has so much knowledge about journalism, he is well known in Ipswich circles and has been in the business for over 20years.  He is now the entertainment feature writer at EADT and Evening Star, local newspapers in Suffolk.

Wayne’s message was to try everything, we are telling stories, trying to connect with people.  There was much valuable advice given and he is a funny guy who had many anecdotes from his many years as a journalist.

Wayne discussed Twitter, @WhatsOnWayne and other social media topics, and one was is Facebook and Twitter a good way to draw readers in to eventually buy the newspaper.

Wayne has offered for us to do some reviewing for him, so I will be emailing him, offering my time.  Another great opportunity.

Thanks Wayne, a great talk.

Dissertation 1/6

My dissertation is coming up, and it is time to start writing it.  I am going to closely analyse Catch-22 a 1960s novel by Joseph Heller.  The novel is a story about a bombardier in the USArmy during World War 2; but the real subject of the novel is American society and the new modern world of capitalism, elitism, and war.

By viewing the novel as a social commentary I will be finding the examples in the text of where Heller means something other than the vehicle of the novel, WW2.

I am seeing my supervisor Antonella tomorrow at 4pm.  I have 2 hours between class and seeing her to look again at the text, find the passages I want to concentrate on.

The most important thing for me to remember right now is – don’t get lost in theorists but stick to the text, show I can understand the theory/and argument, I am trying to express.

T&M Article

I wrote an article recently, and it went live today!  Top 10 Greenhouses was written over 2 weeks.  I worked on it while on my work experience and I have to say I am so pleased with it.  This is not the first thing I have had published online but this one is one I am really happy with.

Another part of the work experience I have been doing is to write new copy for the headings of different categories of plants on the website.  The top of the page on T&M’s website has a few lines of text, saying what the plant is and where it can go, Agapanthus Plants is one such example of this.

I have to say that the work experience I have gained for T&M is just fantastic.  There is no other way to express it.

Thank you T&M.

Last Few Months of University

Today I have a meeting with Antonella my university personal tutor.  She is also my supervisor for my dissertation.  But for today I am seeing her about how I am getting on at uni.

After all my classmates graduated last month, I have had to come to terms with the fact that I have not yet graduated.  The beginning of this year was a time of illness.  This is why I did not get to graduate with my friends.  It has taken time for me to get back into uni, I have not found it easy or enjoyable.

I miss Trudy, Jules, Stacy, Helen, Charlotte, Natasha and all the others who I got to know over the 3 years we spent together.  They have all moved on and I am still here.  I am sure you can tell I have felt quite sorry for myself!

Now I am full steam ahead, when I started uni I didn’t do an English degree for anyone else but me.  Now I have to get that attitude back and continue doing what I have been for 3 years.  I only have a few modules left, and I will be a graduate of UCS.  And I cannot wait, I am so proud of the fact I haven’t given up, thrown in the towel.  I have picked myself up, discussed it with friends such as The Young Gardener who I work with and consider a good friend.  She helped me to come to terms with the issues I had and move on from the sadness and disappointment I suffered from not getting to graduate.

So now I am going in to Uni, working on my dissertation, and working on completing the modules so I can put on my cap and gown and rejoice from the fact I am tenacious and strong!




5th Day at T&M Work Experience

After 5 days going to the office, I have to say I am becoming more comfortable.  I did not do anything new today, but had the chance to practice things I had already done.

Re-writing copy that is old and needs updating is a challenge, but it is good practice taking older information and rewording it.  Using more up to date language, up to date terms that sound more in tune with what customers want, what is good for the website and Google.

These things all matter, and to make sure the company I work for continues to operate it is important to get it right.  Selling is the important things, making the product look good is key to making customers want it.

Last weeks copy has gone up on the website, T&M Cherry Trees is one of the items I wrote.  The copy is at the top.

T&M Agapanthus Plants is another piece I wrote last week.  It is rewarding to see copy I have written up on the website.