Revisiting my 2014 Goals

Ticked off
- Complete and be happy with my dissertation: dissertation is done and dusted! I'm pretty happy with it- which is a big thing for me. I'm my own biggest critic and so far I've only found one really annoying mistake which just so happens to be in the last sentence in my conclusion. Typical, really! 

- Start a blog: pretty self explanatory, finally tied the knot in August this year and Nomad Notebook was born. There's a lot to do, including a new header and theme but apart from that i'm pretty content with it. I'm just finding it a little difficult to reach out to more people but I'm sure it'll just take a bit of time. I'm now in that awkward stage of do I/don't I start promoting my posts on my personal social media accounts. Maybe soon!

- Visit London: we visited London in October to see some of my friends from university. I met up with one of my closest friends, Zoe, for drinks at John Salt and then some other friends for a meal at La Tasca.

Parliament of the UK
Visit Edinburgh: Me and Mr. Nomad did a road trip around Scotland, including a visit to Edinburgh and we loved it! Although I think I prefer the actual Scottish countryside to Edinburgh.

Clear out the old house and sort through my childhood belongings: my dad's house was full of my childhood things and I've managed to now clear all of that out.

- Take Mr. Nomad to France: I took Mr Nomad to France this July. France has been a big part of my life so it was great taking him to where I've spent much of my childhood and introducing him to friends.

- Hunt for the Loch Ness Monster: technically we didn't as we didn't go that far North, but as listed above we visited many lochs in Scotland on our roadtrip and got close to Loch Ness.

- Earn my Masters Degree: after much waiting and many heart palpitations every time I get a email notification from uni, I finally have my results for my masters degree in which I achieved a pass with distinction! So happy.

Walk some of Hadrians Wall: we did this on the way back from the Scotland roadtrip and on the way to visit my sister who's just started at Durham University.

Hadrians Wall
- Go on more walks and hikes: We've done walks in the Lake District, Whitby, Scarborough, Robin Hood's Bay, Falling Foss, Brimham Rocks, Scotland and North Wales.

- Go to a maze: we visited York Maze which was this year in the shape of Yorkshire's famous faces

- Visit The Forbidden Corner: we visited the Forbidden Corner for my sister's birthday.

- Get my hair cut at least twice: I managed to sneak a cheeky hair cut in before we moved so I've had it cut twice this year which is pretty good going for me! 

Take the camera out more: we've definitely made a big effort to use the camera more, especially since moving to Australia.

Settlement Cove Lagoon, Redcliffe
- Get a new suitcase ready to move: Mr. Nomad's parents bought me an amazing orange Atlantic suitcase.

- Give away some of our furniture when we move hose: we sold and gave away 80% of our stuff when we moved out.

- Raise some money for charity: I raised some money for Comic Relief through work this year, and we ended up donating much of our stuff to charity before we moved.

- Reconnect with old friends: It's been really difficult moving around so much and keeping in contact with everyone. I moved for my first BA hons degree to Leicester where I met lots of friends who are from the South. I then moved to York so seeing these friends was near impossible with both uni and work commitments. I managed to see them twice- once in London and another time just before I left for an early Christmas get together. I then had a dinner evening at my house with my secondary school friends just before I left too.

Goals I haven't managed to achieve
- Move house: we've kind of achieved this. We've moved from our lovely little flat in York back home with my mum whilst the final things were put in place for our big move to Australia. We have now moved to Australia but we're currently living with my uncle. We're hoping to move out in the New Year into our own place.

- Start running: I've dabbled, and I've failed. Basically a combination of time and winter approaching. I can feel all the fitnuts shaking their heads at me. Now we're in Australia i'm determined to get fit and healthy again. I've already been eating a lot better, just need to work on the fitness in the New Year. Hopefully when things have stabilised a bit I'll be able to join a gym and get started on this.

- Take Mr. Nomad on a surprise trip: no excuse for this one really. Must do!

- Decrease my body fat percentage: i've lost a little weight, but nothing to shout home about.

- Sell my car: this is currently happening. Luckily my Dad is doing this for me and there's someone viewing the car today.

- Find 100 geocaches: we sadly haven't found nearly as many as 100. It's my bad really as Mr. Nomad is always a keen bean to find them. 

Overall I don't think I've done too badly! Look out on my goals page for my 2015 goals which I will be changing in the New Year.

What are your goals for 2015?

My 5 Favorite Christmas Traditions

Whilst I’m not religious, I've always loved Christmas and with it the traditions that everyone has. There’s something nostalgic and special about seeing adults act like children when surrounded by snow, the UK’s inability to deal with the winter weather conditions and the insistence that me and Mr Nomad still getting excited to open our stockings. I thought I’d share a few of my Christmas traditions with you, and would love to know what your traditions are!

1. TV
I’m definitely not one to watch a tonne of TV around Christmas (and I've noticed since moving to Australia there is a severe lack of Christmas related programmes!), but I have a few childhood favourites that I love to watch every year. I still have the VHS of all these but unfortunately don’t have a video player anymore so I've found links to ones on Youtube instead if you’re interested in watching them!

Father Christmas- my favourite of all of my Christmas programmes. It’s really funny, and honestly who doesn't like Raymond Briggs?

Old Bear­- there was something so comforting about old bear. I think I loved this programme too as one of my nicknames as a child was little bear. There was actually three episodes I loved; The Dolls House Christmas, Jolly Snow and The Winter Picnic.

Wallace and Gromit- the wrong trouser­s (sorry can't find a link!). Believe it or not this actually used to scare me when I was younger but I still loved it! All the Wallace and Gromit films are great though, especially A Close Shave.

Taleof Gloucester- A massive classic, and one which I've come to appreciate even more as I've grown up. It's quite a sad story, but has a heartwarming ending. 

The Snowman- another Raymond Briggs and probably his most famous, it always has me on the verge of tears when the snowman melted leaving his carrot nose, hat and scarf on the floor.

2. The Wreath
I’ve always loved putting the Christmas wreath up on the front door. My mum used to really enjoy doing this and putting up decorations on the banister which made me automatically love it- seeing my mum getting festive made me even more excited for Christmas, so this was something we did together. The one we used to have was wooden and plaited, and we used to decorate it with ivy leaves from the hedge outside and apple decorations with a robin to finish it off. It was always nice to come home and see this on the front door.
3. Getting up early
This is the one day of the year that I still don’t mind getting up early on. Me and my sister used to get up around 5am and had to watch TV and wait for my mum and dad to get up (there was an agreed time- normally  around 9am) before we could open our stockings downstairs. This gave both my mum and dad a chance to wake up and have breakfast before we opened them- although we were encouraged to bring them cups of tea in bed to lure them downstairs! I remember me and my sister daring each other to open the door to the dining room (where the stockings were), but neither of us would as we wanted it to be a surprise and knew my mum might hear us if we did. The build up to this was excruciating, and I remember us watching all sorts of TV programmes we hated as there was nothing else on at that time- notably The Hoobs (awful show!). Time used to feel like it would go so slow, and by the time we were actually allowed to open our stockings we were really tired!

4. Sledging and snow days
Living in the North of England had its benefits growing up- the snow meant there was quite a few days we didn’t have to go to school due to it causing havoc with our under-prepared transport systems and the heating (although my secondary school were particularly stingy on snow days!). The anticipation of listening to your school being named on the local radio station was unbearable, and the feeling when your school name got read out and we knew we could go sledging all day instead of being at school was amazing.

5. Traditional presents
Every family seems to have things they always got for Christmas. I know many of my friends used to get oranges in their stocking from father Christmas. For us- we always got flannels and soap (!?). Somehow Christmas couldn't be the same if we didn't get them every year though. Also, our stockings were actual skin colour tights rather than the modern stockings you see these days. Did anyone else have stockings made of tights?

What are your favourite Christmas traditions? If you don’t celebrate Christmas, what is/was your favourite winter traditions?Id love to know!

Sexism in the Media: boobs aren't news

(Photo Credit)
Whilst you'd think the media in the UK were pretty ahead of the game in terms of equality, there is one massive issue that I've been passionate about challenging. When I first told Mr. Nomad (he's fresh from Australia), he was pretty shocked. Our best selling newspaper The Sun, features topless 'glamour' models on page 3 of their newspaper, daily. There's even a movement No More Page 3 dedicated to the removal of this newspaper feature.

Now let me paint a scene. Up until a month ago, I was working in a pretty high end supermarket. One shift was at 6am on a Saturday morning, and the first job I had was sorting out the newspapers and putting all the inserts in. One of these of course, was The Sun. Let me tell you, I used to dread it every week. At 6am the last thing I waned to see was pages upon pages of topless females waiting for drooling customers to gaze over the images. However, what was worse was that I felt so uncomfortable serving customers who bought The Sun and similar newspapers and magazines (The Star, FHM etc). It made me uncomfortable; uncomfortable knowing that the person buying the newspaper was supporting and being implicit in regarding topless women in a newspaper as news. The Co-op (another British retailer) has gone part of the way to actually doing something; banning magazines with 'overtly sexual images' on, giving the publishers the option of delivering the magazines in pre-sealed modesty bags or the Co-op not selling them at all. Whilst I find this quite amusing (I mean, how embarrassing is it that people actually PAY to buy magazines that are disguised in paper bags?). But it's not enough. 

Aside from the fact that in the store I was working in these magazines were displayed and sold, what I found incredibly worrying was the kind of people that were buying these things. I'm talking grown parents with children, and honestly it made me feel a little sick. I found it really difficult to make a bond with any of these customers who, especially on a Saturday morning, were particularly friendly. One in particular was so nice to me but he'd buy The Sun and The Star every week and I just couldn't really see past it. What does leaving a newspaper around and exposing children to page 3 teach them? That women are to be valued and judged based on their bodys, and that conversation based on rating women on their body is okay? Something is seriously wrong here. Boobs surely aren't news?

Of course, papers and magazines like this still exist because of a much deeper misogyny that exists within British society, and all societies in general (I've noticed since moving to Australia that there isn't main tabloid newspapers featuring nude women, but still there are a vast array of 'lad mags'- this name makes me quiver- at eye level of children in retail outlets). Why is this an acceptable norm? I certainly don't want my potential children thinking it's normal or acceptable. If equality existed, this issue would be a no-brainer. Scrap page 3 and get rid of magazines exposing nude bodies to the eyes of children who have had no say in seeing them on a magazine rack. 

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What's your opinion on nudity in newspapers?