Friday, 17 September 2010

Logic finds a job

Ok so I wrote about how a few intersting things had happened in my last post, and the best has to finding a job for Logic to do.

I'm currently using my logic as a 'fitness filofax' recording runs, routes, exercise as well as plans for workouts, events etc.

Photo's and details to follow at the weekend.
In the meantime if your interested in the reason behind my new found fitness motivation and what I'm doing, you can check out

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Fabric filofax disaster averted

Apologies for the significant absence of blog posts lately... You wait for something interesting to write about and then 3 turn up at once.

So today I toddled off into Uni with my filo in my bag, insulated mug of tea in hand. On the way back I'd finished my tea and stashed the mug in my bag with filo. Big mistake!
The orange print of the company logo on my freebie thermos had rubbed onto the fabric of Filo! Horrid orange blur on the front cover, over my little song birds!
Filo was starting to get a little tatty around the ages but I couldn't have this...
Resourceful student thinking set in and I tentatively pulled up a Johnson's make up remover face wipe... With some gentle prelimminary dabs to see what might happen, and then a bit of cautious rubbing I removed most of the orange.
You can still see a faded orange shade on the white bits, but no where near as bad as it was!

So fabric filofax fans, Johnson's face wipes are one to remember!

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Filofax update.

Soooo it's been a hectic week!
Moved out of one house at Uni, and into another, had to go back to clean the old one, including the carpets, and had to resit an exam to keep me in Vet School.
Luckily my filo kept me sane and organised and severly reduced stress by giving me a list of cleaning jobs, times cleaning equipment was rented and needed to be returned, memory jogging notes, and of course essential exam details from our online system. - Very handy for the paranoid student who NEEDS to check when and where the exam is, about 10 times a day for the 3 days prior to the exam.

I did find a grey Urban mini, A5 graphics in red and black in TK maxx recently at hugely reduced prices - so have a look if you're after a new filo. I personally resisted. (student budget and bigger plans)

I've also changed my opinion of the Butterfly. It's no longer my dream filo. I saw both the pewter and the red in Paperchase in Nottingham and it's just missing something.... The detailing and the way the butterflies are done looks quite different in real life to the product photo's on FIlofax UK website. Hmmmm Finsbury perhaps.

So for the plans:
I still need to find a job for Logic, and with a trip to London on the cards, a visit to the Filofax shop might just give the inspiration I need.... Although I am currently trying to resist the charms of the aqua and purple finsbury.....
I also want to try using more colour, but I really don't want to use one of the four colour bic roller balls. A trip to paperchase and a cute slim pencil case maybe in order....

And that's about all for now folks!

Thursday, 5 August 2010

Millican field test

What better place to test my new pack 'Dave' than the area of the Lake District I call 'Millican country' Rosthwaite, Castle Crag, Grange Fell, High Spy, etc. The place where Millican Dalton lived seemed like a fitting field!

Out and about with Dave I noticed a few things:

1. Shoulder straps are very comfy. They don't contour to my body like my old tog24 pack, but it isn't a problem and it's a nicer pack to wear.

2. Despite the hip belt's appearance it's also comfy, easy to adjust on the move, and the 'tails' have handy clips to stow them out of your way

3. The interior side pocket was actually made to an OS map perfectly

4. The exterior side pockets will fit a Wainwright in them, with the last hole on the first popper.

5. The organic cotton is robust, and pretty weather proof in it'self without the cover on!

6. The pack may seem heavy when picked up, compared to some but I didn't notice it on the hill. And at least this bag is built to last!

Now my absoloute favourite thing about Dave is the side pocket opening into the interior. It's just so flipping handy! I place my Nikon in it's lowe pro holster, open on the floor of the pack, facing the side pocket, with a lens case alongside if I want. I tramp about safe in the knowledge that my camera is warm and snug in my pack, when suddenly I see a shot. (The sheep photo I posted earlier) I whip off one shoulder strap, slide Dave round my body undo the zip and 'Voila!' camera in hand!

The same scenario could be applied to other situations - sudden need for a hat or fleece or waterproof or..... you get the picture. It's pretty much as versatile as your packing!

So initial field tests are excellent. I'll have to get out for some more adventures soon, and upload a few pics of Dave as a camera pack!
I've also created a flickr group for 'Millicanites' if you're interested wander over to:

Sunday, 1 August 2010

Butterfly Dreams

Have you seen the Butterfly?
If I could have bought any filofax it would have been this one. Suits my personality down to the ground, and just a little more mature with a touch more class than the Songbird.
It's gorgeous, available in pocket or personal, red or pewter, with a lovely butterfly motif over the leather.
It's also gorgeously out of my student price range with the personal retailing at £73.

Now the fresco could be a low cost alternative to the Songbird....

And some finances sheets might help me budget towards a Butterfly....

A girl can dream... or rather plan!

Filofax family

Well Filo has easily integrated into my daily life, a now much more organised life. So I thought who better to share the joy with than my immediate family.

Now we all know that Mum's teach us the most important things in life.
My Mum is amazing, and I love her to pieces, but being organised has never been high on her agenda. Which is odd, being as she runs all the paperwork for our family's tourism business with 18 holiday lets to sort!
So whilst we shopped in that large chain of stationary store named after the metal fixative for paper, I tempted my Mum into purchasing a pocket sized Indie, on sale.
It's taken quite a bit to get her to actually write in it though! She finally has and I think she quite likes it.
She has a diary week to 2 pages, which she mostly uses to record what classes she's been to at the gym, to make sure she gets her money's worth every month.
There's also some notes on the vocabulary she's learning in her taekwondo classes in one section, scribbled shopping lists on the notepad in the back corner and a page of ideas for my Dad's birthday.
Interestingly, shopping lists take her some persuading to write, and then actually take with her, and I've found it impossible to persuade her to plan meals like I do at Uni in the interests of saving money. The address pages are also conspicuously empty.

Next up was my younger sister. She's 20, studying Sport Science at Loughborough University, only 9 miles from the Vet School campus, is amazing at gymnastics, and one of the kindest people you could ever meet.
So I found and gave her one of the old Metropol style, Breast Cancer editions of a pocket, still with the stickers, and additional info sheets. It's smooth cover is pink, so I had to get her a matching pink filofax pen of course, even the note sheets, ruler and tabs inside it are pink!
She loves it and unlike my Mum has been chomping at the bit to get writing in it, but has had to wait until July 26th to do so (thats when the diary refill I got for starts). She was so excited she even bounced downstairs and asked me "Do you know what today is?" I had been out calving a cow until midnight so a little dazed and confused I just gave her a blank look. "Filofax day!" she declared happily.
I'm not sure how she's using it now, but I helped her set up her sections with to do sheets, addresses and notes. If she gives me a peak I'll let you know!

I found a similar post on Philofaxy, asking readers if their partners also use a filofax.

So that's the females in my family all converted. So what about my Dad? Well I remember he had an old red leather filo in pocket size when I was very little (~6) when he was running his own building company. It was his indispensable guide to phone numbers addresses and a record of what work had been completed every day, as well as hours worked by each man on the job. I can also remember it had a hard life and did die a death eventually, to be replaced by a more robust Kendal. What has happened to this filo since my family moved into tourism I don't know.
I think I might try and float the idea with him running up to Christmas...
It'd be a great gift for a man who want's 'Practical presents'!

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Grange Fell photo

I love this photo it's one of my better shots, where I actually thought about the composition!

Sunday, 25 July 2010

Filo tweaks

Just a quick filofax update this one.
I've tweaked my set up a little so that to-do's are section one and diary wt2p is section 2. This makes it easier to write in the diary pages, and access my to do list. Such a simple change but very helpful!
I've also added photos cut from National Geographics to the front of most sections, trying to match the main colour of the photo to the section tab for niceness. So blue tab = sperm whales, green tab = new forest ponies. These are only bluetacked on the the tabs whilst I decide if I like the order!

Thats all for now really. We're plodding along nicely.

Though I am tempted by the dodo pad academic inserts.... and Logic still needs a job.
I'm thinking of making him an 'outdoors' organiser. For fell walks, gear, nature stuff, adventures, and that sort of thing, but I haven't taken the plunge with it yet...

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Super vets

So it's the summer after my third year and I'm out seeing practice.
This current place is my second placement this summer and it's amazing.
The vets are kind, and considerate, frequently going above and beyond the call of duty, without really ever mentioning it. The nurses are friendly and compassionate. Everyone very genuinely cares very deeply for the animals under their care, and strives to do the very best the can, all the time, every time.
It's the sort of place where if your dog goes in for some dental work, and they notice his claws are over grown, they'll trim them, but not charge you. The sort of place where if you're cat has to stay in some one will always make sure they get plenty of cuddles, and a brush everyday.
They're also very kind and happy to teach me, giving me every possible opportunity safely (today I was guided through a cat castration, and assisted on two big ops on cows to correct twisted stomachs.) quite frankly it's the best supervision and guidance I've ever had. I guess they've been doing it a long time.
But with an upcoming programme on BBC1 tomorrow night, which ahead of time seems likely to be quite unbalanced and sensationalist, I just wanted to put it out there that some vet practices really are fantastic, and often you don't even realise it.
Please don't tar us all with the same brush.

Sunday, 18 July 2010

Dave Millican

Yesterday I went to the Cumberland show.
Mostly to look at cattle and sheep breeds, take some photos with my shiny new Nikon D5000 (Aren't fathers brilliant!) and pretend that it was 'veterinary work'.
And so I pottered about, meeting and catching up with friends, human and animal.

But then a stall caught my eye. Millican.
Full of beautiful vintage bags, that inspired their own contemporary classics. Looking around the stall I couldn't help but think that if Indianna Jones was looking for a pack, he'd have one of these.

Now anyone who knows me is familiar with what my family affectionately call my 'bag fetish'. Since I was tiny I've been looking for the perfect bag. So of course I had to look around the stall!
I ended up chatting to Nicky and her Mum who have been up and running with Millican for around a year now.

Millican is named after Millican Dalston - quite a well known figure in Cumbria who in 1897 quit the rat race in London to live in a cave in Cumbria. Well actually he stayed in huts and camped in home made tents for a bit first and then moved into his cave on Castle crag.
Millican is remembered for his eccentricity, intelligence, and humour. Outside the wall of his cave he carved the words "
Don't waste words, jump to conclusions" but my favourite quote is "You can't feel lonely with nature as your companion.". In fact I'm so interested I've ordered a biography on this 'gentleman of the hills.'

Anyway Nicky and her husband Jorit met whilst back-packing in South America, and once they came home, got jobs, and got sick of jobs, they decided bravely to embark on their own business. For them, a brand name isn't just a name, their location, philosophy and approach to business shares much with Millican Dalston. And in my opinion they are better for it.
Now one year down the line and they must be so proud!
They are as sustainable as possible - the cotton is organic and the wool for their cooler bags comes from a local farm in Cumbria who have a flock of Herdwicks. Millican pay a fair price for the wool, to help the farm with the costs of shearing (As in it would normally cost you a whole lot more to shear your sheep than you get back on the fleeces.)
I love this, a Cumbrian business, based in Keswick, supporting other local people and being supported by them too.
The range of bags are fantastic. Day pack with a zip down the middle? Check. Modern Gladstone? Check. Waist packs, wash rolls, Messenger bags? Check check check.
And all the bags are named after Nicky and Jorit's friends.

So the new friend I went home with?
Dave is named after a sheep farmer, and is a roomy back pack with some very nifty design features.
The fastenings are some rather nice press studs - suitably robust and simple to survive life with me I think! The top has a drawstring opening, and there's a useful pocket at the back for phone/ipods or for walkers I reckon your gps would still get signal stuffed in here.
On the front is a organiser pocket - and on either side there are side pockets. Now this is where it gets clever.
Each side has a robust 'small' side pocket which also has a well behind it to fit a drinks bottle (they also make stainless steel bottles on 0.5l and 0.8l sizes) But there are larger pockets behind even these. One side opens up to reveal another organiser pocket - helpfully with a pouch designed to fit OS maps in!
The other zips around to give entry into the interior of the pack.
I think this is brilliant because:
You can unpack stuff from the bottom with out messing it up.
You can stick a dslr holster in the bottom and still have the quick but secure access you see on some lowe pro bags without your pack screaming 'mug me!'
You can stash and retrieve files / folders/ laptop quickly and easily on the go.
And the zips are all protected by a rain guard.
Inside Dave there's a pouch for paper work / water bladder, with a port to the back of the bag in the top.
Dave also has adjustable and removable sternum straps (perfect for the more vertically challenged ladies like myself), straps for people who walk with poles (I intend to adapt them for use with a tripod) and a built in waterproof cover that stashes away in the bottom nice and tidy, but also helping pad the bottom of the bag, for people who like me, sling a pack down and then cringe as they remember they're beloved laptop has also just bounced onto the ground. There's an extra handle on the front panel and adjustable and removable waist straps too.
The cotton canvas has also been weather proofed, and the leather on the backs is vegetable dyed.

Can you see now why I couldn't resist? Add to that the superb guarantee and a discount voucher for a later purchase and even the most staunch stall admirer was reaching into their pocket.
And rightly so.

If you want to talk to some practical, friendly, ethical, people on the end of customer relations, you want to talk to Millican.
If you want a bag that will age slowly and gracefully (I suspect much more so than I will), a bag that is as at home in Marrakesh as London, and a bag that has been produced locally, sustainably and ethically you want a Millican.

The weather today is just too questionable for a someone relatively new to hill side navigation, so instead I dug out Alfred Wainwright's Northern Fells to have a look at Castle Crag. It seems like a fun idea to take Dave to see Millican's Cave!
In fact I can see many adventures ahead of Dave and I.
I think Dave might just be the last day pack I ever buy. He might just be 'the one'.
Adaptable to vet school, traveling, camera carrying, fell walking, and all the adventures in between, I couldn't ask for more.

So check them out. You won't regret it.

Above: My old gladstone, a recycled canvas army kit bag that was a gift from my father, with Dave his contemporary new companion.

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Filo finds a friend!

A recent post on Philofaxy asking readers about their multiple filofaxes got me thinking.
I have Filo my songbird personal, and also a Botanical pocket that went round Australia with me, and was my first filofax.
But hiding at the back of Filo is a blue Filofax plastic wallet that I had stashed in a stationary drawer. But where did it come from?

I had vague memories of a black filofax at sometime. So I did what all Philophaxers would. I went hunting. Boxes in the cupboards, wardrobes, and under the bed. Actually I got a bit distracted organising and re-organising on the way, but hey it's one more job off the 'to-do list'!
Then I ventured into the garage - which is full of shelves of boxes of, for want of a better word, junk. Too many to organise today. But peeking and poking around, inside one of them I found......
A filofax!A black Logic zipped organiser in Personal size to be exact.
He's barely been used. (Definitely a he this FF) Red White and Blue subject tabs, to do pages, world map, whited ruled and quadrille paper, addresses.... and noticeably no plastic wallet so 'logically'... It's elementary my dear Watson! (sorry couldn't resist!)

So now Filo has a friend, Logic. Now then this opens up a world of opportunity.
What shall I do with logic?
He could be a larger travel FF, and the zip around and pocket on the outside back cover might be very handy for just this.He could be a record of nature notes for my local patch - alphabetised species list, diary and sketches could all be implemented.
Reading through the Philofaxy comments he could do so many things! Whatever use I find for him though I think he has a definite 'business' feel to him, rather than the cheery friendly vibes that emanate from Filo.
At least till I decide I've got some free refills for Filo, so she knows I still love her.
I hope she doesn't get jealous!

Sunday, 4 July 2010

Getting to know you, getting to feel free and easy...

So my Personal Songbird Filo has been following me around for the last 3 weeks, and I thought I'd write up about how we're getting on.

It's taking a little while to really get to know each other. We hit it off straight away in our first week together at University, with the diary pages being useful for reminders as I revised for some exams, and the to do pages immediately making themselves useful.

Week 2 together saw me start a placement working with a vet close to home so the diary pages became a sort of mini journal of notable events during the day. I can't really include pictures of week 2 notes because I've written farm and animal names so sorry but it's client confidentiality!
It was after it became obvious that Filo wasn't keen on having her diary pages beyond Jan 2011 that I think we started to get cozy during week 2, mostly reading the Philofaxy blog together over a cup of tea:
We shared vet contacts in the address section - it's much handier to have all of these with the diary, and I even trusted Filo to look after my debit card so it's always to hand.

Week 3 has zipped past with my Filo gently but insistently reminding me to send my rent, and that I was going to see Cirque du Soleil on Thursday, as well as continuing to be a little journal of my placement. Filo also helpfully and instantly provided me with a pen, note paper, and proved herself to be trustworthy with my debit card when I had to call Apple to get a new MBP charger after mine died.
It's during this last week that we've really started to bond. I have added a goals section - writing a bucket list and starting my 101 goals in 1001 days list, and a list of books to read this summer.
The colourful pages included have become home to a sort of 'creative' section, where I've jotted a few quotes that I've come across, and ideas for little projects. This is a sort of commonplace book section inspired by GeorgieR on Flickr:
and Silver_Elixir:
After reading Gala Darling ( together, we've realised there is much more potential and week 4 hopefully will see a few more additions and modifications especially at the front. Eventually I hope opening my filo will be as much fun for me as it must be for NHgrrl! (

So this is how Filo looks now:
Filo seems to be telling me she wants some photo/picture/sketch additions to the section dividers, and I think that's only fair given all the work she's put into our relationship so far!

What more can I say? I've not looked back since my Moleskine developed a terminal case of "Planner fail" (see Plannerisms blog : and we seem to be getting along nicely.

PS: Don't tell me it's not normal to have a relationship with my filofax. I know. I can't help it.

Saturday, 19 June 2010

My life, but organised.

I started to use my first filofax this week.
I'm a third year vet student and as the work load and commitments have increased, I've been kinda disorganised for the last term. Last year a friend gave me a botanicals mini filo to take backpacking round Australia and it was great. So I dug it out, ratched through it decided it wasn't quite right and then hit google.
I found the philofaxy blog (
, and inspired headed out on a hunt for a Personal size filo.
My mum bought a songbird cover design filo for me, as a gift for graduation this summer.
It's amazing.
I have a year planner for clinical rotations next year, week to 2 pages for the rest of this year, to do lists, notes on whatever I need and somethings I don't (eg a wishlist for fishing books) and contacts for placements, vet school, friends whenever I need it.
I've even joined a flickr group and added some photo's!

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Doris the Duck

I'm currently nursing Doris. A juvenile male duck (my younger sister named him).
You can see photo's telling the story on my flickr at:

PS I'm a vet student, so don't worry too much!

Sunday, 28 March 2010


About me:
1. Female, 21. English.
2. Always has a swiss army knife just in case. But prefers Leatherman's.
3. Likes taking photo's.
4. Likes animals.
5. Gave 10" of my hair to a charity to make wigs for kids undergoing chemotherapy.
6. Backpacked the east coast of Australia, stayed on a station, skydived, visited Uluru. Tourist.
7. Collects fossils, stamps, hard rock cafe badges, books, beanie babies, old fishing books,
8. Old head on young shoulders, but young at heart
9. Loves Landrovers.

About Ephemera:
"Documents created specifically for a transitory purpose."
"Ephemera is transitory written and printed matter not intended to be retained or preserved. The word derives from the Greek, meaning things ..."