I’m All Over The Place, so here’s a snapshot.

By | RL | 2 Comments

It’s been quiet over here lately, I know. It’s ironic, because while I’d love this lull to be a true reflection of my life, it’s not. My life right now is packed to the brim, full and overflowing with ALL OF THE THINGS!

I’m sad that Rarg has taken a backseat at the moment, I have all of these posts in draft states, full up editorial calendars with adventures that I’ve taken… like I moved in with Zee, did I tell you? No? I guess it won’t hurt to say that we actually moved in together back in JUNE, and it’s now November? Mm. I did mean to get all caught up on posts (I managed to get a post out about moving, backdated till October…), but life has literally picked me up and thrown all the things at me. There are a million things, and catching up on all the things that happened between June and now seems like an impossible task.

So, in the interest of having less pressure on myself and just to go with it, here is where I am at. Posts like this are the only way there’s ever going to be any update, so yeah.

Tuesday Labs.

It’s a company I started with Bunny. A very very small, boutique digital company that works with start ups to provide digital solutions. That’s very market-y (we’re still finding our values and mission statements, so I’m constantly up to my eyes in marketing-speak) but really what we do is design and make apps. Pretty apps, with lovely user experiences. We’ve had a handful of clients so far, and we’ve made a few prototypes and a lovely app or two. I’m learning a ridiculous amount about what goes on with a business. Proposals, and agreements and statements of work and organising processes and check points and where the value is…

Being a small business owner is HARD WORK, you guys! Speaking of apps…

Markt.

There is a blog post coming at some point about this, but long story short, Bunny and I built an app for ourselves before we started with anyone else. It’s called Markt, and it’s about discovering markets (farmers markets, street food markets, art, antiques, crafts markets….) in London. The app part went well, and has been well received.

You know what hasn’t been so easy? The marketing of the app. We’ve slowed down due to client work, and also it’s clearly the wrong season to be promoting it (oh hey 4:30pm sunsets and the dead cold of winter). We’ll get to it.

If you’re interested you can check it out at marktapp.co.uk. If you’re inclined to, I’d really appreciate it if you were to share it, too. Spreading the word, and all that.

Self Portraits/Outfit Posts/Pictures of MY FACE

I’m also trying to be intentional with taking some down time. Like I said in a past post, I joined this flickr group for photos. This months one is perspective and IT’S SO HARD. I’ve been trying my hand at self portraits… which by the way, is SO HARD. How do you people who do outfit posts always look so comfortable and normal? I get why everyone always looks down now, because where else are you meant to look? Making eye contact with the camera is awkwaaard. Problem is now I have a kajillion photos of me looking at my boots, or wistfully out into the distance. No similing, serious face. Cause staring off bridges is serious business. It’s weird, but I’m trying. Also, plastering photos of my face so you all remember what I look like (that and I’m obviously a bit narcissistic).

So yes, that’s where I am. It’s been a hard few months and now we’re diving into winter, I’m struggling to fit it all in, there’s pressure to organise all the things. Where am I spending Christmas (probably with Duke, my old flatmate) and New Years (snowboarding? Ireland?) and when am I going to get Christmas Decorations and a tree to start traditions with Zee? And I’m working on a client app all this month to get out before Christmas in 3 weeks (WHAT?!) and just… oh. All of the things. Stressed. Stressssed. I’m stressed.

You can see why Rarg is quiet. I like the idea that some facet of my life is calm and serene. Quiet. Peaceful. I guess that’s my blog.

How have you guys been?

Music good for chilling the fuck out

By | RL | No Comments

I feel like I’ve just had this massive brainwave! Because I’ve agreed to so many projects I feel like every time I sit down to do stuff I’m about to run a full court press on my to-do list. THINGS! I WILL DO ALL OF YOU! Seriously. I’m stressed and I haven’t even started any work yet.

That’s not the brainwave. It’s that I’ve discovered that Spotify has radios.

I listen to music while I work, and while I run and when I’m walking anywhere. It’s become such a habit now that I can’t work if I don’t have *something* playing in the background. I typically use Spotify, and for the last forever have been creating monthly playlists of tunes. I’m sure this is a thing everyone does, really. We’re all so very 21st century, as Frank would say.

Okay, that Spotify has radio/playlists are not really the brainwave I had either. Except that they’ve totally surfaced new music that I’d never ever listen to. Like classical music. Whhhaaaat. I’ve never listened to classical ever, except that Spotify has these playlists designed to calm you down, help you relax and chill the fuck out.

I listened to Bach this morning, and for the first time in ages felt cool as a cucumber when approaching my to do list. There’s a whole playlist called ‘Classical Essentials’ that has some fairly epic and lovely symphonies.

Here is my brainwave: urgent, fast pumping music that I like to dance around my living room to, or set my pace as I’m walking through London streets is not helpful when I’m working. And turns out, stress levels is something I can totally control with some perspective and calming tunes.

Mind blown with some basic common sense.

So, me and Yo-You Ma with our dude Bach are getting to be quite tight. I never would have thought it, but it’s such a nice way to get in the ‘I’m working now’ zone.

What do you guys listen to while you’re working?

The List: Number 61 – Pay off my student loan

By | RL | 8 Comments

My student loan balance is NZD$0.00. I can’t even talk about how amazing this, how for the first time since I entered Tertiary Education twenty years ago I’m debt free.

So here’s the thing. Education is EXPENSIVE. My student loan all up was $62,640.13, not including interest. What the hell. Do you know what that got me? A four year Bachelor of Science in CompSci. I also did minors in Psych and Philosophy, because originally I was going to do a double and get a Bachelor of Arts too. Right up till I learnt it would take me an extra year or two of study. It was also a bit of an identity crisis in the form of half a Post Grad Diploma in Early Childcare Education. Academically, rocked it, lots of As. However working with kids is not everything its cracked up to be (it’s really HARD), and outside the lovely Maori Medium centre my first practicum was held in, I couldn’t handle the bitchy politics that is kindergartens run by the NZ Government. I quit four days into my second practicum.

Now? Now I don’t really use the knowledge that I gained with that fancy degree. I use it more like a badge in a job application. It says hey, I know you have a checkbox on your candidate criteria for a university education and you can check that box. Now that that’s out of the way, let’s talk about what relevant skills I have. My degree doesn’t get me jobs, my experience does that. It was $62k for a tick in a box.

I’d expected to be paying off that loan for the next ten years, whittling it down month by month. Because I’m overseas, it wasn’t interest free. I was very very aware of that – interest was accrued daily, and it was INSANE. I paid $12,624.37 in interest on top of my loan. Woah buddy. Still, I had a plan and I mostly stuck to it, sending almost $750 home a month to pay it off. It was a tricky time though, because interest could be anywhere between $300 – $400 a month. It felt like a ridiculous amount, that half my payment was going towards keeping the interest at bay and barely touching the capital. Whelp. Still, a little is better than none, so I kept at it. I had a plan, the numbers were going down, and eventually I’d get there.

What I didn’t count on was my folks having a little bit of a windfall. I never expected my folks to pay for my tertiary education, I always assumed it was on my shoulders and I’d take care of it. So, when my Dad told me over Skype that they had decided to make a payment on my behalf I got all choked up. It was gracious and unexpected and I cried. It was enough to pay off the bulk of my loan and I transferred the last $900 across yesterday.

And now, I’m debt free. Loan balance $0.00.

Woah, buddy.

Flickr Photo Challenge – October

By | nubbed, RL | No Comments

My camera sits on the ledge between the kitchen and the dining room so I can grab it easily. Buuutttt I almost never pick it up. Sad face. I rarely make time for shooting for the sake of shooting, it’s always to capture a moment or for a blog post… never just because. Never just for the joy of it.

A friend of mine set up a Flickr group for a monthly challenge and I joined. I’m keen for anything that encourages me to pick it up and shoot. Makes me think about composition and settings and things like that. It’s been tricky so far, I have to remember that I’ve committed to this months challenge and make myself get out there and take shots. Octobers theme was architecture. Here’s the shot I put up.

Good old Waterloo Clock.

I took a million more, though. Here are some of the others I considered…

I realised that I almost always take landscape shots, because I like the way it looks if I blog the images. That’s a bit stupid, really. I tried to make myself take portrait shots, but turns out I picked a landscape one anyway. Ah well.

Do any of you have the same problem I do with regularly picking up your camera?

Halloween + Pumpkin Carving

By | RL | 6 Comments

I never celebrated Halloween in New Zealand. As a child it was explained to me as an American thing that we don’t support in NZ. (I always felt like I was missing out. Halloween in the media always looks so FUN).

However in London, Halloween has always been one of those things that’s okay to try out. Every year I’ve been here Duke and I have carved pumpkins. Since I moved out of that flat (sad face – such a great flat) I’ve been trying to share these almost traditions up with Zee. So this year I bought two pumpkins and a £2 pumpkin carving kit and Zee and I went at it.

Carving pumpkins feels like a nice in between celebration. Bonus, it’s pretty fun.

Happy Halloween, you guys :)