Occurrances with the Orbital

The past week or so has involved a lot of deadlines, wrapping up, and occurrences related to the magazine of Royal Holloway’s Student Union: The Orbital.

First thing was the #votebecause aerial photo, taking place on Friday 20th March. This is part of the university’s #votebecause campaign, encouraging us to vote in the upcoming General Election. I won’t say too much more because my involvement with the photo was particularly because the Deputy Editor of the Orbital wanted a journalist to cover the event. I wanted to be there anyway, but I was really excited to be heading over with my notebook and pen to write my first article that had been specifically asked to be written by an editor. And I know that sentence was incredibly badly phrased for someone who is involved in student journalism. Also the title, which the eagle eyed among you will have noticed has been changed! Anyway, said article was published on Tuesday and is here: http://theorbital.co.uk/votebecause/

Which brings me to the second, more significant occurrence. I am, as of last Tuesday, next year’s Deputy Opinion Editor for The Orbital. I am on the Board for a student magazine. Spontaneously. I hadn’t particularly planned on running in the election – I’d been considering it but earlier that day had almost conclusively talked myself out of running for any board position. However, the elections ran and they reached the post of Deputy Opinion Editor and no-one nominated themselves. They passed on to other roles and then went through the unfilled roles again. My flatmate Corrie had already gained the role of Sports and Societies Editor so I thought, actually, maybe I should go for something – and why not a role related to the section I currently write for? So I wrote a speech that consisted of literally 5 words (obviously I elaborated these points!) and ran, admittedly unopposed, for Deputy Opinion Editor, and was officially elected. I am so excited to be working with the whole board, especially the Opinion Editor, and being able to have an influence on the magazine (rather than vaguely criticising it from the outside).

Other things that happened in the past week or so: starting work (I think a blog on that is required), my birthday (first one away from home but still had a thoroughly lovely time), drinks with the flat at the Writer’s Showcase evening (pity we couldn’t hear a lot of the pieces but nice to catch up with flatmates and their significant others), I mentioned essay submissions, and I think that’s about it.

Oh, actually, I also fell over yesterday, falling off a kerb in the forest into a flowerbed. I was wearing tights so I had primary school style holey tights covered in blood. In terms of injury, I’m fine, just a couple of grazes on my left knee, but I’m not keen on dressing it because of the pain of taking the plaster substitute off!

Anyway, that’s my Orbital/life update!


Perception is key

I’ve reblogged a post from this blog previously, it is written by a flatmate of a friend. I don’t usually reblog but I can really relate to what’s being said about perception – I do this, and sentiments of this sort were also shared last night at CU, which was really affecting too. Do have a read!


Dvorak Symphony No. 8

This is a recording of one of my favourite symphonies ever. I fell in love with it in my second year in BHJYO (Brighton and Hove Junior Youth Orchestra) when we played a concert with all three of the city’s youth orchestras and the BHYP (Brighton and Hove Youth Philharmonia) played a couple of movements (I think the 2nd and 4th movements).

I largely forgot this until three years later, when I was in my second year in BHYP, as a first violin, and we got our turn to play this symphony. It’s just so beautiful, especially filling the churches in which we performed it.

Now I have a feeling that it is in current BHYP repetoire but have no way of confirming this (until I return home and check the programme for the concert that I saw at Christmas in which this season’s symphonies were played!). I was reminded about it again today when it was mentioned by someone in orchestra, and I would fully take up the opportunity to play it again if it arose.

Those Russians know how to create some weird and wonderful music. And on that subject, anyone in the Egham area should come to the Russian Spectacular concert tomorrow by the Royal Holloway Symphony Orchestra, in the Windsor Auditorium on campus. We will be serenading you with Pictures at an Exhibition by Mussorgsky; Shostakovich’s Cello Concerto no.1; and Russian Easter Overture by Rimsky Korsakov. Free for students and £11 for anyone else.


“Go to bed, you don’t have to stay up”

The title of this post is a paraphrase of what my flatmate said to me about an hour or so ago. They had been out and one (I’d say even both) of them had drunk a little too much. My door was open as I had just returned from CU Dinner With Friends so I went out to see if I could help, and they said “no, no, just go to bed”. But I wanted a glass of water anyway so went with them to the kitchen.

Of the three of us I was the only one with bread so I ended up making toast (or defrosted bread) for them and chatting, mainly about what had happened in the night and life in general. Water was also present in abundance. And then I assisted in releasing the female flatmate from her jumpsuit (how did you even put it on it looks like a palaver for one person!), which was useful seeing as the other flatmate who went out was male.

But initially they did say “no, you didn’t need to have stayed up”. Well, firstly I didn’t. Thursdays have swiftly become the new Fridays on campus and with loud music eminating from various places nearby it’s more productive to stay up than wrestle with the fact you’ve been in bed for ages and can’t sleep. Also I tend to work better in the evenings. But I stayed up to help because I wanted to. Because I didn’t want there to be any awkwardness when she can’t get out of her dress. Because I wanted to be a listening ear, and quite frankly I love hearing stories. Because I know being sober I definitely had the most authoritative position, and I hope I diffused any tensions between the drunken female and the male who just wanted to sleep.

And a note to those who were involved: DON’T BE SORRY! I hope I looked after you well!


CRY ECG Heart Screening (Part 2)

I just had my ECG. I’m now back in the waiting area while the doctor checks my results. Stress reduced somewhat, I mean I was still struggling to relax but we chatted about my previous ECG and the first class train I took there.

UPDATE: I just saw the doctor, he said that there are no issues with my heart muscle. But it was worth going just in case!

12 young people die suddenly each week from undiagnosed cardiac conditions. Cardiac Risk in the Young is a charity trying to combat this and you can find out more at http://www.c-r-y.org.uk/. An ECG costs £35 apparently and they are providing them free of charge to all. I would strongly recommend if you are on campus today to head down to the SU – they are more than likely to be able to fit you in.


CRY ECG Heart Screening

I am currently sitting in the Student Union bar waiting for a ECG screening. Don’t panic, I’m not worried about my heart, but the SU have organised free screening for students through the charity CRY (Cardiac Risk in the Young). Also I should say they are not actually doing screenings in the bar, it’s just the closest place to get some free water!

Anyway I have moved to the main hall to wait, and I am a little nervous. The last time I had an ECG was at my pre-op back in August 2012 and I remember it was the least stressful bit of the day. However I am finding it so hard to relax right now! I know that it is painless and will be valuable to just check there is nothing wrong but I guess waiting is the hard thing!

My flatmate has SVT and I have seen her after an episode feeling really wiped out, even though normally she is completely fine. So I do urge you to take opportunities like this to just check there is nothing wrong. Now I just need to calm down!!