Tuesday, 20 July 2010

How to be like Michael Jackson (Not in terms of having a funfair in your back garden...but healing the world and making it a better place)

(Kudos to you if you know where the title of my blog comes from.)

So yeah, I've been a massive let-down in regards of keeping this blog updated. Sorry about that. But I'm back with a corker, or so I'm told.

So last Saturday, the lovely, lovely Mark Watson set us a challenge. He was off to Portugal for a week's holiday (goodness knows he deserved it) and felt that we needed something to occupy ourselves with. The basic message was that we had to change the world. Not hard, eh?

So with a heavy heart and even heavier tweets (This in reply to this. Oh and then this in reply to this in reply to this in reply to this in reply to this in reply to this in reply to this. Phew.) we waved a virtual goodbye to the Watsons and they went on their merry way.

I can happily confirm that no deaths occurred as a result of either mine or Katie's actions. As far as we're aware, anyway.

Back to my world changing though.

I didn't feel that I could change the world on my own though, so I hastily set up a Facebook group, alerting people to my plans. I worked hard on the 'blurb' for it. Look, who could resist this call to arms?:


Have you ever harboured a desire to change the world? Of course you have. Everybody has. If you haven't, get out right now. Go on, off with you. Much better. People assume that changing the world means that you have to solve world hunger, or find the cure for disease. Finding a way to live forever is a way to change the world. How about world peace? I'm not that ambitious.
The comedian Mark Watson has set the people who read his blog a challenge whilst he's on holiday in Portugal - change the world before he returns on Saturday.
I have a hideously cheery disposition. I reckon that sharing this can make the world a little bit nicer. I can't do this alone though. So this is why I'm coming to you.
Are you free on Friday morning? Yes? Good. Then come to the designated meeting place at the designated time. We're going to spread some happiness. I'm envisaging free hugs and unexpected compliments. If anyone else has any ideas, they're more than welcome. I shall post more details later. If you're interested, let me know. Please invite everyone you know, especially if they can make it to Plymouth on Friday. And if anyone's got any local media contacts...you know what to do


The answer to the "who could resist this call to arms?" question - EVERYONE. Every single person who agreed to be there on Friday bottled it. The people who were most up for it were totally unable to make it because of logistical issues - so thank you to Aislinn, Misha and Katie for just being ace. Please move closer to Plymouth.

This lack of support meant that I had to roll out Plan B. YES. I had anticipated that people might be a bit rubbish (for the record, that's not pessimism, it's forward planning. I'm optimistic. That's what I DO.) and had an idea or two.

So off I went to Poundland. Yes! Everything's £1.

I had the idea that I'd buy some supplies in order to help out my attempt. With £3 worth of products clutched in my teeny tiny hands (honestly, they're very small), I headed to the till and came across the most miserable woman I think I've ever met. Not even in an angry way, she just seemed really, really sad. So we finished the transaction and I said "Have a nice day", just to be met with a frown and a sigh. I hope that her day improved after that, I really do.

So I left Poundland and headed to 'The Gorge' cafe on Royal Parade. It's been a haunt of mine for years and it was rather difficult not to order my usual bacon sandwich. As a recently converted vegetarian, eating bacon would've not been very helpful. So with a pot of tea and Twitter for company, I set up the "World Changing Production Line":

So I had 200 record cards and a pack of 6 highlighters. And no inspiration. So, as per usual, I turned to the wonderful people of Twitter:

TWITTER: What compliments would you like to receive? Please help - you're changing the world. (Also, please RT? Thank you.) x

Some really lovely suggestions came back, mostly about people's appearances. I felt that I needed to have something that was less specific but just as nice. So building on the morning's earlier event, I decided to just wish people a nice day, something that I don't think is done enough in this day and age. So I drank tea and started creating these:

What I ended up with was 80 cards with nice messages on which I planned to hand out randomly to unsuspecting people in Plymouth. Whilst I was scrawling niceties on bits of paper, a couple of women came into the cafe looking confused, with a map which they spread out on the table. I listened in (sheerly for the purposes of possibly helping out, not because I'm a nosey bugger) but realised after a while that I'd have to actually go and talk to them to go and help out.

I got up from my table and sat down in the chair next to the two women, smiled politely and asked where they were trying to get to. Turns out that the place that they were looking for was on the same road as my old secondary school. That's what I'd call a WIN. So with the ladies happy, I went back to finishing my cards.

When I was done, I upped sticks and left a note on the table:

I thought that it was the best way to start. Y'know. I popped all of my cards into my coat pocket for ease of access and went to leave. I stopped myself, walked back on myself and handed the two women one of my cards and rushed out of the cafe.

So I was now out in the big wide world. Or Plymouth City Centre on a Friday morning to be more specific. I suddenly had a crisis of confidence but then thought, "No. I promised Mark that I'd do this. What would he think." I didn't want to disappoint him so pulled myself together and got on with it.

I walked up to the Piazza and scouted out a couple of 'targets' (I dubbed myself the Nice-sassin). The first was a woman sat on a bench smoking. I wandered over to her, clutching a card in my hand, stood in front of her, smiling, and held the card out. She looked up at me and I nodded towards the card. She took it from me and with that I walked off. I didn't see the point of saying anything to her, all my feelings were on the card - it seemed silly.

And that carried on for the next hour. There were a few highlights though. There was a guy outside Specsavers that shouted "THANK YOU! YOU'RE REALLY LOVELY!" after me as I skipped off. And then a girl about my age cried "Cheers" once I'd turned my back. There was another lady who had just finished a sandwich when I gave her a card. I also said to her "I'll pop that in the bin for you if you like..." "What?" "Your sandwich packet. I'll put it in the bin for you if you like." "Oh, thank you. That's really nice of you."

So yeah. That was my attempt at changing the world. If I didn't change it a lot, I'd like to think that I made it a little bit nicer. I'd like to say thanks to everyone who helped me out on the day, you're all brilliant.

Thursday, 1 April 2010

1 Month Down

Hello. I'm in a slightly sad mood tonight, which is not great for an optimist like me. But let's not dwell on that. I don't want to bring the mood of my blog down.

If you're following me on the official TYSIC site, you'll notice that I've actually added a third challenge. If you haven't, you'll hear all about it later on.

So. To the progress. *Everyone mounts horses and rides over the hill towards the actual update*

Everyone dismounted and tied their horses down? Good. Then we shall begin.

Part 1

Tuesday heralded the arrival of another College radio show. It was pretty successful. I say successful - any show where I can play Mumford and Sons and Eagle Eye Cherry is a winner in my eyes. For some reason (I still don't know why) the College decided that we needed to stream a live video feed from the Radio Room to the Common Room. I did feel a bit like I was on 6 Music with their webcam. I'm enjoying all this experience, hopefully we'll get another show next month. I've got my fingers crossed.

Part 2

What I have discovered this week is that everyone is getting some. If they're not getting some currently, they've had some recently. And if they're not getting some currently and hasn't had some recently is being offered some. But I'm not bitter. No way. I've been dishing out a fair few bits of relationship advice to both ladies and blokes this week, which has almost made me glad that I'm not in a relationship at the moment.

Part 3

This is the exciting new bit of the blog. My third challenge is a short term one, which will roll on to become a long term challenge. So. What is said mystery challenge? It's losing weight. Dull, I know but I've been overweight for as long as I can remember. Frankly, I'm fed up of not being able to go into a shop and just pick six or seven items up, buy them and wear them out. So I have set myself a goal of losing between 2 and 4 stone before the 16th of August 2010.

The 4 stone final target is because I'm so flipping short. 4 stone is what I need to get into the 'healthy' weight bit on the BMI chart. And why the 16th of August? Because that'll be my first day at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. I want to be able to climb Arthur's Seat and watch the sunrise without being half dead.

I'm feeling extremely positive about the weight loss, I'm really going to make an effort to lose the weight and then keep it off.
I've cut things like Chocolate (that was tough) and Crisps (also tough) out completely, replacing snacks with apples, pomegranates and oat cakes. I'm not snacking as much as I used to, and I'm making a conscious effort to make sure I eat healthy meals 3 times a day.

Exercise has always been a killer for me. I hate it. I used my asthma as an excuse to get out of things like athletics and running and the dreaded bleep test. "If I don't stop at level 4, my lungs WILL explode". But I've grown up now and have realised that just eating healthily won't shift the pounds.

So I'm making a conscious effort to do more exercise. Today I walked home from College - a journey I'll usually take on the bus. It wasn't much but it was enough to make me feel a little chuffed with myself. My current starting exercise action plan is to walk into and back from College every day and add in long evening walks when possible.

I've never succeeded in dieting before. but then again, I've never had such a positive outlook on life. I've never had such a positive attitude towards my weightloss. And I've never had such a supportive group of people to turn to in times of need. So thanks in advance.

EDIT: That was a bit more rambly than I expected. Kudos if you read it all!

So catch up with me soon, for another installment of the TYSIC blog.

Love to your respective selves.


P.S: If there's anything you want to ask/say, don't be afraid to comment on this blog - I'm not that scary, honest!

Thursday, 25 March 2010

Official Update 04


My latest update goes as follows.

Part 1

Some rather cool stuff came through this week. So, I've been asked to do another radio show for the College radio station on Tuesday. I think it's available online, I'll let you lot know if it is and then you can all have a giggle at just how bad it is. If you've got any suggestions for songs, put them in a comment & I'll see what I can do.

I've also had word that the marketing apprenticeship that I was told about is available. It basically means I'll get paid to do some podcasting, tweeting and facebooking. How's that for a job?!

Part 2

Unsurprisingly, there haven't really been any developments in this area. Although I did discover that my non-existent sex life is a hot topic of debate in my class when I'm not around. I wasn't a happy bunny when I found that out, but hey. I'm the bigger person. I'm over it now.

Fingers crossed that there'll be more exciting stuff next week.

Love to your Mothers.

Thursday, 18 March 2010

Teeny - Tiny Official Update 03. Unofficial Update 04.


I haven't got masses of time to blog properly today, so here is a picture to illustrate my good mood:

Be prepared for a proper update in the next couple of days.

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

I'd like to tell you a secret.

*The entirety of this blog will be written in a whisper. So er...in your head, read it in very hushed tones*

Morning/Afternoon/Evening (Delete greeting as appropriate)

This blog is a little bit odd to write. Because I'm going to tell you something rather secretive. It's something that people I've known for 7 or so years don't even know. This blog is a nice outlet I suppose. It's very relevant to my TYSIC. Particularly the second section. If you've forgotten what that was, scroll back down and read it. Go on, I'll wait here. Off you pop.

*Waits while you scroll down, read the second section of her TYSIC and scroll back up*

Read it? Good. Now, love is a very subjective thing. The OED describes it as:

1. An intense feeling of deep affection
2. A deep romantic or sexual attachment to someone
3. A great interest and pleasure in something
4. A person or thing that one loves
5. (In tennis, squash etc.) A score of zero. Apparently from the phrase play for love (i.e. the love of the game, not for money)

But, love is somehing I've never known. There are obvious exceptions - I love my family, I love chocolate, I love all of the TYSIC-ers to bits and I love to sleep a little bit longer than is strictly necessary.

I've never had the kind of love that's mentioned up there ^^ Definition 2. I've never really had the opportunity. Here's the thing. I turned 19 earlier this year. I have never been kissed. It sounds like something from a film. Hold on...

Joking aside (Yes, there is a film called Never Been Kissed. Trust me - it's rubbish. Don't waste an hour or so watching it.), it's an odd thing. Young people in the press get such a hard time for being promiscuous - don't get me wrong, I've got friends who go out alone to find someone to go home with, I've just never been that way inclined.

I've never been one to let myself go at parties - I'm often too busy worrying about everyone else to have fun. Sometimes I wish that I was the complete opposite but then other times, I'm glad to wake up with the same amount of shoes I left the house with, an unbroken pair of glasses and a clear head.

Perhaps it's a confidence thing, perhaps I'm just a bit strange.

Thank you for indulging me. It's taken me a whole day and half a packet of Farley's Rusks to write this blog.

We shall resume normal TYSIC blgging on Thursday. And there may be some news from Wednesday that impacts massively on it. But as yet...I don't know.

Love you.


P.S. I'll leave you with this quite interesting thing about the idea of soulmates: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soulmate

Thursday, 11 March 2010

The Ten Year Self Improvement Challenge: Update 02

So it is the end of the first official week of the TYSIC. Interestingly, I've had an extremely positive week.

Now, I have a rather cheery disposition anyway but this week...I don't know. Anything that other people would have seen as a bad thing I've seen the positive side of them. Which is good I guess. If you do happen to find yourself shopping at the big Boots in Plymouth, come and say hello. I will be lovely to you.


I'm digressing from the actual point of the blog here. Sorry. Right then.

Part 1

Since my last update, I've been asked to run some mentoring workshops at the local charity I work with. In these workshops, I'll be helping some young people to create radio shows for Freesound FM - a community radio station in Plymouth. Actual proper radio production work. Very exciting. I have to fit it round my trip to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in August, but I'm not worried.

Part 2

Still nothing.

I'm really enjoying reading all of your TYSIC updates, keep up the amazing work you lovely lot. Only 519 weeks to go!

Monday, 8 March 2010

The Ten Year Self Improvement Challenge: Update 01


Welcome to my TYSIC official Blog. For those of you who don't know what the TYSIC is, have a little look HERE.

I loved the idea off this and immediately submitted mine:

Posted by Zoe Fell on February 26, 2010

So. by March 4th, 2020, I will be 29. That sounds absolutely barmy in my head, let alone written down.

I’ve just turned 19 and can’t ride a bike, but I don’t feel that learning to do that is a big enough goal to set. So. I’m going to do a two-parter. A double-header. A menage-a-deux. Ahem.

Part 1: I resolve that by March 4th, 2020 I will have my dream job at a large media company (e.g. the BBC. If it still exists by then of course). This will involve passing my planned University degree and gaining as much work experience as is humanly possible.

Part 2: I resolve that by March 4th, 2020 I will be/ have fallen in love. (A little bit more ambitious, but i am prepared to suffer a fair amount of heartbreak along the way.)

Right. That’s me done. Bring on the TYSIC!


*Snaps Fingers*

OY! Wake up! Lovely. So. This is where I'll be posting a weekly update about my progress. Unless something super exciting happens and I feel implored to tell you abut it immediately.

How far have I got this week then?

PART 1 (I will have my dream job at a large media company)

Specifically in the Radio department. This week was AMAZING for this goal. On Thursday morning, the first official day of the TYSIC, I was asked if I wanted to help run the College Radio station. Run it! Be in charge of it! Obviously, I said yes. If that wasn't good enough news, I was told that in September, a paid podcasting/social media organising apprenticeship was possibly opening up and I was in good stead to be offered it if I applied.

A successful week for that bit then.

PART 2 (I will be/ have fallen in love)

I don't plan to do too much to achieve this goal. I feel that things will just...happen. I'm as bit to busy to be faffing about with blokes right now anyway.

There. Update 01 of many is finished. I do hope you enjoyed it and I also hope that if you haven't already, you'll get involved with the TYSIC. It's an awful lot of fun.

If you've got any questions or suggestions or just want to have a chat, feel free to get in touch.

Have a nice day.