I really want a new iPad Pro.

I have wanted one for approximately two weeks now.

I was studying for my second year university exams, and myself and my boyfriend Andy were talking about how it would be great if there was a device that we could take proper notes on for university. We realised that Apple had a iPad Pro with the Apple Pencil. Not only that, but there was a new version just out with new features.

I love handwritten note taking, and I love technology. So combining the two sounded perfect.

However, the price is a definite drawback. It would cost around £950 for the iPad, Pencil, iPad case and apps in order for me to get my best usage out of this device. Do I really need to spend this when I already have a perfectly sound MacBook Air?

I have managed to convince myself that this is worth the money. Mostly because I love new devices, especially Apple devices, but also because I struggled last year to keep up with my note-taking. I didn’t help myself by falling behind in the first month as I was moving into my house during the first month of second year. I couldn’t simply just skip what I had missed either, because I stupidly bought one of those notebooks from Paperchase that you couldn’t rip out the pages from, so in my mind, the notes would be out of order if I just carried on from where we got up to.

This caused problems, as I was playing catch up from the very beginning. Not to mention I like my notes to be neat and tidy and colourful, meaning I had to copy out everything perfectly. I was finding that I was struggling to concentrate to what my lecturers were saying and copy down the relevant notes at the same time, as I was constantly too slow to keep up and therefore lost track of the information.

I began to realise that this wasn’t working as a solution. Not only was I not listening in lectures, I also wasn’t getting all my notes down. So I began to take down my notes when I was not in lectures, i.e in my own time. Myself and Andy started to stay late after lectures to make our notes. But this was very time consuming and when we lived two hours away from university it meant that we were getting back very late in the evening.

This method did not work either, as I was not listening in lectures because I wasn’t taking notes. This was so frustrating!! No wonder I found revising for my exams difficult – I hadn’t really learned the content in the first place as I struggled for so long to find my best way of learning.

I know I learn best when I take notes first and foremost. I know that I have to team this with completing my tutorial questions every week. Then, when the revision period rolls around, I have to make sure to complete all the past papers there are available. This is a good learning sequence for me, and it is almost foolproof.

I have therefore come to the conclusion that I think an iPad Pro would help me greatly when it comes to learning and revision. I think it will keep me motivated to take notes for my course. I also think that it will speed up my note-taking once I get the hang of it. It would also be lighter than my laptop – meaning my back would not be as sore every day.

It is seemingly a win-win situation! Apart from the price.

Will this piece of tech really solve my note-taking issues? I must have watched every single unboxing video, review video and demonstration video on YouTube concerning the iPad Pro and the Apple Pencil. I have used it in the Apple Store. How will I ever know if it is for me without buying the damn thing? It would be an expensive mistake if I didn’t like it!

Thank you for reading my inner turmoil…

I will go back to being entitled and spoilt in silence now.



Update: My Brother

I posted a fair few months ago now about my woes and worries about my younger brother going through his first set of exams.

He has now received his results, and they are outstanding. I am so proud of him.

It just goes to show that no matter how bad you think you may have performed and how little you know, you probably haven’t done as bad as you think. Your brain will automatically remember the shitty things first, even if 95% of the experience was good. Typical.

(I will have to apply this logic to my own exams, as I am currently thinking I have failed at least one of them.)



A Cold

I’ve been ill now for 48 hours. I’ve got a cold. It sucks giant balls.

Whenever I am ill, I am always pathetic at dealing with it. I will lie on my sofa feeling sorry for myself for 98% of the time, and the other 2% is toilet breaks.

I don’t get ill very often, but whenever I do, it is usually because I have been stressed or worrying about something, and my body responds by lowering my immune system. Hooray.

I’ve just had university exams, in August. Actually, resits, but not resits. They were the resit exams, but I never sat the originals in May because of family bereavement (more on that another time).

I would not recommend leaving exams until August if you can help it, as I have felt rubbish having to drag out pretending to revise for three extra months. Not to mention my friends have been finished with their learning for the year mid May.

Anyway, because I left all my revision until the night before my exams, naturally my stress levels have been higher than usual (and they are usually high… my normal heart rate is 90bpm) this means that a shitty virus thinks it’s ok to climb on inside. It is not okay.



being a sister can be hard work sometimes


noun: hindsight
  1. understanding of a situation or event only after it has happened or developed.
    with hindsight, I should never have gone”

Hindsight is useful. I can use hindsight to help myself make certain decisions, i.e. learning from my mistakes. Disclaimer: this does not always make the decisions easier.

I came to Cumbria to visit my family this weekend. It has been lovely. This time, I didn’t spend all my time seeing my friends that live here, I didn’t go out in the evenings. Weekends are far too short, especially as this semester I am in uni all day on a Friday. I travel back to Bolton this evening.

My brother Ewan is sitting his GCSEs in the summer. He is very stressed about them, especially English. That is similar to how I was when I took them. I remember getting my first ever C in an exam at 16, in English Language. Luckily, in taking the exam in January, I could resit it in the summer. When I did, I got an A.

With Ewan, these exams are affecting his mood drastically, amongst other personal problems. He is more low than I have ever seen him. Luckily, our mum and dad know and are assisting him in finding help. He has had a couple of doctors appointments already. In time hopefully they will help him and he will recover. Unfortunately, one of the symptoms of depression is lack of motivation and drive to do work. This is bad news for his potential exam grades.

Earlier today, he was doing his homework at the kitchen table. A science past paper. He is good at science. He had his laptop open next to him, and I realised he had the mark scheme displayed. He was cheating, by copying the answers down that he hadn’t been able to get. As I have gone through 2 sets of big exams before, I had also done this previously. However, I know that it is no way to retain the knowledge and learn, as my grades suffered when trying to learn like this. His teachers will also not be aware of the fact that he will need help with these questions. They will think he knows what he is doing. He is very bright, and answers questions in class. They will not think twice about him struggling. This worries me. I tried to help him answer a question that he did not get. He rejected my help, saying he didn’t have enough time to finish the paper let alone listen to me trying to help him.

I know that this is the wrong way for him to think. But what can I do about it? The longer I stand there telling him off for not doing his homework properly, the less he is likely to accept my help. The less motivated he will feel to complete his homework. It is so hard trying to give advice to others when you know you are right and they are wrong, when they don’t understand and they don’t see your reasoning. It is very difficult, when I care a lot about him, to let him struggle on his own. Is it worth me risking him getting lower grades just to teach him that in life he must make his own decisions and mistakes?


Yes, it is. This is what I must do.

Our mistakes are what make us human. They shape our personality. They are what differentiate our lives. In letting Ewan make his own decisions, I am letting him keep hold of his freedom to live.

In hindsight, he may wish he listened to me. But if I forced him to listen to me, I would regret it for a long time.

Life is too short to live in the past. To constantly look back in hindsight. We are not meant to be perfect.

We’re only human, after all.


While I was typing this, I was listening to Rag’n’Bone Man: Human (the album).

Photo: courtesy of Andy Haycock
Subject: my brother, Ewan, on the bank of the Thames, April 2016