The start

Ah, my first post!  I feel I should write something witty and insightful, but instead I may just waffle on...

2013 was, for me, a year of reading blogs.  At the beginning of the year I was in the final stages of writing up my PhD thesis (although the 'final stages' lasted until mid-November) and, as I had moved away from the university to live with my boyfriend, I was spending a lot of time by myself, at home, at my desk, writing.  Or trying to write.

A new year's resolution for 2013 was to learn to crochet, and it was through reading a blog that I discovered crochet made sense: the wonderful Attic24 taught me to crochet and introduced me to the big wide colourful informative funny insightful world of blogging.

The more I crocheted, the more blogs I read, and soon I was using blogs as a reward: just write another 500 words, just read two more journal articles, just work on this page of corrections, then I can read two more blog posts.  If one blog post turned out to be shorter than expected, well, that just means I can read one more!

One thing I like about reading blogs (and there are several blogs I have loved so much, I've read my way through their entire archives) is the sense of recording history, the important bits as well as the minutiae of everyday life. I kept a diary religiously as a child and young teenager, but that stopped a decade or so ago, and I think I would like a record, somewhere, of what I've done, books I've read, crochet patterns I might try/have tried/really want to try when I get the right yarn/hook size/time, this that and the other et cetera.  I read somewhere that blogs should have a direction, an aim, objectives, and I'm not sure mine will yet.  But surely that is the beauty, not knowing where things will go?

One thing which will be mentioned time and time again (and is the reason behind my blog's name) is Guiding.  Traditionally, adult leaders in the Brownie section are named after owls, with Brown Owl generally being the owl in charge.  Snowy Owl, Tawny Owl, Barn Owl, Little Owl, these are other traditional and common names.  When I became a Brownie leader, the girls themselves were asked to name me.  The day I was named, I was wearing a big, thick, fluffy scarf, and one Brownie suggested Fluffy Owl.  I loved it immediately, and I've kept it ever since.  I can't imagine being another owl now!  When I moved to my current Brownie unit, I was so pleased that they didn't already have a Fluffy Owl (whilst we're an uncommon breed, there are a few of us around!) and that I could continue being called Fluffy.  I love camp blanket badges and wanted my own original badge for exchanging with other Guiding people - before a friend and I visited Sangam (one of the World Centres) I had a badge made up saying 'Fluffy Owl's Adventures' and this has stuck with me.

Guiding has been, and remains, a big part of my life.  I joined Rainbows, aged 5, and made my way through Brownies, Guides, Rangers (although I left to move to Scouts, as I wanted to spend more time with boys!) and started my Adult Leadership Qualification at 19 when I began university following my gap year.  Since then (I'm in my late twenties now) I've earned my Brownie holiday licence, been a Division Commissioner, been on more Brownie holidays and Guide camps than I can remember, and mentored a number of young women through their leadership qualifications and holiday qualifications.  Guiding has given me so much over the couple of decades I've been involved, and I hope that my Brownies are enjoying Guiding as much as I am.  2014 is the 100th birthday of the Brownie section and there is so much's going to be good!

I think that's enough for a first post! Having spent Christmas with family, tonight I'm spending time with friends.  I'm meeting up with three of my closest friends from childhood for our annual Christmas dinner...same restaurant, same tapas, same sangria!  It is now tradition, and one of my favourite ones.  We all now live in different parts of the country, and our busy schedules mean it is nigh on impossible to have all four of us meet up at any other time during the year, which makes our Christmas meal all the more special.

The three of them well and truly earned their place in the acknowledgements section of my thesis.  As the old Guiding song says:

"Make new friends, but keep the old
One is silver, and the other gold.
A circle's round, it has no end
And that's how long I want to be your friend."


  1. I've just read all your archives! Lovely reading while on holiday in Cornwall!

    1. Ah, thank you! Hope you had a good holiday :-)


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