illustrated moment

making sense with words and pictures


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Heatwaves and feet-tanning is a thing

im tanning

I forgot how hot, sticky, sweaty and suffocating the summer can be in London.

I’m the kind of person who craves the warmth of the sun on their skin. As a vegetable grower, the giant-life-giving-burning star in our sky is terribly important to me. When its gloomy and grey, with the standard drizzle of rain, I am the person you will hear moaning about the British weather and wishing for the sun to hurry through the seasons.

I really do love Britain in the summer. Usually it means ice cream cones, parks, sunglasses and a cool drink at hand. Unfortunately, these are not “usual” times. Although the thermometer may not be reading off an intimidating number in comparison to the more tropical lands of the world, anything above 25 degrees Celsius in London puts us at risk of a heatwave.

For my non-British readers 25 degrees Celsius is equal to 77 Fahrenheit – yes, that may not seem much to you – but it has serious consequences for us over here in London.

When the sun puts some effort into shining, London does indeed become a concrete jungle. The humidity soars and sticks to each person like superglue. The once barely tolerable commutes become absolutely impossible as chronic dehydration leaves us even more frustrated than before. The only real advantages of a heatwave in London is that it gives you the perfect reason to whip out all your cute summer gear from the dark corner of your wardrobe. Men in shorts and T-shirts – poor souls, they don’t really have many options, do they? Women go all out with their summer dresses, full of colour and eye-catching patterns. But there’s one thing that you do no matter what gender category you belong to – you throw away those imprisoning socks. The summer is all about feet in flip-flops, sandals and pumps. Needless to say, I had my flip-flops ready at hand months ago, just waiting for the sun’s arrival.

The British are efficient people. A single ray of UV light is enough to provoke a mass migration to the parks in the most revealing outfits – because people must work on their tans! Unfortunately for me, I was bestowed with the skin type that never tans. My holiday picture timeline goes from pasty white to tomato red and then back to pasty white once I’ve shed my skin like a lizard. Although I can’t bear to be under the sun for the tremendous time required in order to become a shade of golden brown, I did try once, but I came back home in blisters!

Yes, I’m the person that comes out in their summer clothes and looks like a vampire through the entire season. But there’s something even more frustrating than that – my feet tan. The only parts of my body which turns a decent brown-ish colour are my feet. Oh and of course, I get a super awesome tan line from the flip-flops I had been wearing – you know, just to really prove the point. It’s so annoying that the healthy glow of sun-kissed skin can only be found on my feet! Darn those genetics.

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Revealing a part of my secret identity

im medical student

Who am I?

Who are you?

Who is anyone?

Big, serious questions which might allow me to get away with sounding super philosophical.

Just as I promised in my previous post, I will be making some sweet revelations on illustrated moment  – such excitement!

Today’s big reveal is: I am NOT Batman. Sigh. However much I try to make it happen, it’s just not happening. Even though I’m fully capable of making an awesome costume with the cape and all – I don’t yet have a couple of the vital skills needed to be the best superhero, such as ultimate fitness, super strength and a couple of billion dollars. I also don’t have the time to be the Dark Knight – during the day I am chained to a university and during the night I am chained to a desk succumbing to the weight of textbooks. My current occupation both day and night is being a medical student – that’s about as far as possible from Batman you could get.

Illustrated moment is my escape. It’s my corner of the internet where I can scribble a quick drawing and then write far too excessively in an effort to coax some love out of you! This blog is personal to me. Through it I have been documenting my smiley ups and my annoying lows, and it has been an odd source of therapy for the crazy within me. And readers like you just make everything 100 times better! That is why you have given me the push to take off my imaginary but seriously amazing mask and reveal a part of my identity. This piece of information will become even more relevant in the next couple of months as I continue to explain each and every single project I am excitedly taking on!

You may think that passing exams and completing the penultimate year at medical school will mean that I get a huge holiday away from everything to do with work – but you and I are both incredibly wrong.

I get about 3 weeks off before I start a work placement in a laboratory, which will extend until the beginning of the new term. The best part of this placement is that it’s voluntary – yet I’m still unsure if I made the right decision by choosing to stay in London instead of flying off to some tropical island surrounded by a coral reef so glorious it probably doesn’t exist. At some point during medical school you are encouraged to explore an area of the field further to see if you would like a career in it – it’s called an Elective.

Now I know I will get carried away with the excitement of unknowingly mixing up colourful test tubes and praying hard that the people I work with don’t suss out that I really don’t know much – but I do want to keep a small record of the couple of months in my life where I get to play around as a lab rat, so I created a much less majestic blog for the experience. If you have any interest in reading about my adventure click here to join in on the nerdy fun.

If you wish to stay tuned on to illustrated moment only there will be no hard feelings – how can that be a thing between virtual friends?

Oh, and I have been making most of the wonderful sun – although I don’t have a healthy tan to show for it – I never tan. Stupid skin type. Stupid genetics.


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I’m excitedly waving hello to you!

im backkk

Hasn’t it been a while?!

Excuse me while I get excited about returning to illustrated moment. After a month long hiatus I am super-duper happy to return to blogging!

So much has happened! So much has changed! So much has stayed the same!

First order of business: exams have been completed and exams have been passed! Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay! So now that a huge weight has been lifted from my shoulders I can get back to all the things which excite and inspire me.

Second order of business: I have a long list of projects I want to kick-start over the next few months, which I will begin sharing with all you lovely people who never fail to show support and love! As you have probably already gathered from my excessive use of exclamation marks, I am in an amazing mood. It’s always invigorating to have new ideas, new visions and new horizons to work towards. It’s only during these times that hard work isn’t tiring. I refuse to give you precious souls a headache by reeling off all the weird and wonderful adventures I will be inviting you to come along with me in this one post. I’ll let the updates trickle in with each post so it’s easier to digest.

Third order of business: the accounts on Twitter and Linkedin have been shut down by yours truly. I have never really been terribly good at social media and I was failing to do the necessary updating and connecting, which is required for such websites to add something of value to the blog. Please hold your horses, the Facebook page will be kept alive for you to like, comment and share all to your heart’s content. However, I have come to the conclusion that I will be personally reaching out to all of you wonderful people who have subscribed and agreed to follow this blog. Details of that will follow shortly! (Excitement *heavy breathing*)

So in conclusion – Hello once again, it is great to be back to regular blogging, I’m super excited about the upcoming projects, I will let you all know shortly about my plans to dominate the world, I will be gently stalking my subscribers/followers really soon by email in a real effort to hear what you have to say – so much better than any social networking platform, right?

*Excitedly waving hello to you*

(wave back?)

(…please?)

(you make me feel like I’m talking to the thin air!)

(Respond, dammit!)


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In the sunny spirit of things!

Hello lovely people!

How are you feeling on this fine Sunday? Is there a spring to your step? Is there a smile on your face?

I sure hope you are feeling super good today, and if you wouldn’t quite define your current mood as such, don’t worry – here’s a big virtual hug from me!

Why on earth are you feeling so chirpy? – you may find yourself asking (irritatedly or curiously) at the screen. Well, there’s no secret that sunshine makes my brain buzz with excitement – and today I woke up to find that the Sun has missed me also and is ready for a big reunion! London doesn’t get much of a Summer, majority of our year is spent battling the prolonged and miserable mixture of Autumn and Winter, so when the Sun does shine we celebrate with all our being!

The arrival of warm weather brings a smile to people’s faces and I am not excluded from this deal. With my windowsill garden growing green and tall, and creative projects lining up for the moment of freedom following exams – I have a spring in my step! The prospect of new activities on the horizon makes me enthusiastic to complete the tasks of today. Although, last weekend was a stew of unproductive guilt and time-wasting, this week has been getting better. I made it on to the trains in the nick of time, I got into the swing of studying even when I really didn’t want to, and I was quite efficient in ticking items off of my serious long to-do list. Yes, I must admit, my body and mind was tired by the end of the week, but after a little bit of rest and quiet with the addition of glorious sunshine, I am in good spirits once again!

I hope you have a wonderful day wherever you choose to spend it! Stay happy, remember to eat plenty of fruit and wash it down with lots of water. Thanks for stopping by to read best friend!


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March jitters

The Northern hemisphere is loving the Sun. It’s so bright, warm and very welcome!

March is a great month – mainly because it marks the end of the cold Winter. However, March can also be the time when students all over the world begin to feel the jitters of stress.

I don’t know why it is that most school systems insist on having the academic year between September and July – but I suspect it is a timeline decided by expert torturers. They expect those poor, vulnerable and eternally hungry students to motivate themselves to leave the comfort of their warm beds to attend classes in the gloomy Winter days, and then expect them to be under voluntary house arrest when the Sun has come out to party in the Summer.

Ergh. That’s just hurtful to my nature.

Although I hate to admit it, March is the time to start the consideration process of settling down to some hardcore revision. My psyche is fine and having a blast during the first 50% of the year, but the moment March comes round, all my internal alarm systems are triggered.

It’s hard to stay motivated when you’re stuck inside, metaphorically chained to a desk and hearing the world outside your window sizzle with the great mood the Spring and Summer months provide us with.

But we must persevere! Soon enough, we will be able to run through the streets with shorts on, ice cream in hand and eventually pass out from heatstroke. Until then, we have to understand the limitations of being students and appreciate that this phase in our lives is only temporary (unless you are philosophically literal, in which case we are eternal students in the school of the Universe – but that’s not what I’m talking about).

I hope the Sun is out where you are, and I hope you will have the opportunity to enjoy it soon. For those of you who are not students/have deadlines in the Summer, well you are extremely lucky, and we envy you…in a really nice, loving, hug-giving kind of way!


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The seeds of Spring

NB: This post is going to get really excited about the momentary Sun the Northern Hemisphere has seen recently. The imminent arrival of Spring is a joyous occasion that will release us Northerners from the chains of a miserable Winter. If you happen to live in the Southern Hemisphere and seeing your Summer time disappear rapidly before your eyes, please try not to hate us too much. After all, you are just now leaving an amazingly warm season behind, which you partied through while we shivered under our blankets.

It’s mid-March. The Sun is attempting to re-enter our lives and it’s bringing warm joy with it!

This Winter definitely felt longer than the year before. It was cold, damp and just miserable, but now that London has seen a few moments of sunshine, hope has filled our hearts.

Oh London, the land of unpredictable, yet often rainy weather. You scare us into carrying our umbrellas wherever we go. However, a single minute’s worth of Sun last week was enough to cause the daffodils to bloom, and the people to strip down into some nifty shorts. How exciting is this? Soon we will be in the summer months, eating ice cream and laying comatose in the patches of green dotted around the city.

I greeted the warm weather by sowing the seeds of the plants I hope to grow this year. As an amateur vegetable gardener, I have eagerly planted some tomatoes, aubergines, peas and lots of chillies. The one downside of living in London? Space – well, the lack of it really. Unless you’re rich (and own an actual garden) or lucky (to own an allotment garden) the chances are that you do you’re ‘farming’ on a truly miniature scale – probably on a window sill. Thou shalt not fret! After all, people pay good money to purchase greenhouses, and here I am, living inside one. My window sills have produced lots of lovely vegetables in the past, so here’s hoping that this year we will see lots and lots of Sun to nurture those tiny seeds of Spring.


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Rain, rain, go away!

The one thing that can be guaranteed in London is an abundance of rain!

Whilst the rest of the world enjoys 4 very distinctive seasons, us Londoners experience a blurring of their boundaries by lots and lots of rain. An umbrella should be your constant companion, even when the weather report is optimistically denying any possibility of rain – because as soon as you forget your umbrella at home…it will rain.

I’m eager for the days to get longer, with more sun and warmth. The days where you don’t have to wear layers and layers of clothing to keep warm like an Eskimo. Ah, the days where you could wear cute shoes and know that they won’t end up muddy and ugly within the next 12 hours.

I’m praying those days come soon, because the cold and wet weather is leaving me far too susceptible to viral infections than I usually like. I also self-diagnosed that I have Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD…so…sad). If, like me, you feel less excited, motivated and inspired when the clouds are plenty and grey, you may have it too. But do not fret! I know the cure – as soon as the sun donates its beautiful rays for longer periods in the day, we will need to invest in some sparkly shoes!