Sharky Oven Gloves turns one!

Today is an exciting day, because it’s my Blog Birthday!  (Blogirthday?  Blorthday?  Blirthday?  Who knows…)

One year ago today, I posted my very first post.  A very short one, which was clearly not a sign of things to come, since I think by now we’ve established that being concise really isn’t my strong point.

Sharky Oven Gloves was an idea that I first ran past Kat whilst queuing for Christmas Ball tickets at some stupid time in the early morning in the snow (oh St Andrews, how I miss your crazy ball ticket queuing strategies), and I thought I’d give it a go and see what blogging was like.  I’ll be perfectly honest – I started more or less out of procrastination whilst working on my Dissertation (of Doom).  It was a great way to get away from the frustration of data analysis which was telling me pretty much nothing except that some bycatch observers can’t tell the difference between certain shark and ray species (which is rather soul-destroying when your dissertation is based around observer data).  However, blogging rapidly became a new form of stress relief which conveniently incorporated my usual method of stress relief (cooking and baking).  It was so refreshing and almost relaxing to be able to just write something in a non academic context, and to not have to back-up every single statement with 56 references.  In the year that has passed since starting Sharky Oven Gloves, there have been several important (and not so important) milestones and events:

  • I finally tried making macarons.  The first few tries were rather dubious, but I think I’ve got the hang of it now!  I’ve definitely got the hang of stuffing them with alcohol.
  • I discovered how easy it is to make blueberry gin.  Cue plenty of alcohol infusion ideas (some of which have been carried out, some of which are on the waiting list).
  • I accidentally found out that there’s a World Nutella Day and a World Gin Day.  My life is complete.
  • The tradition of epic animal-themed birthday cakes appears to have been started.  We’ve had seal pupsmeerkats and killer whales.  What will next year bring?  Or will it be a different theme?
  • Blog challenges appeared on my radar and I decided to join in with some of them.  It turns out that it’s a fabulous way to engage with other bloggers and get involved in the community.
  • I finally made crêpes for the first time since an unfortunate incident involving my crêpe pan and some tuna steaks.
  • I went to the St Andrews Farmers’ Market for the first time.  I’d only lived there for three and a half years…
  • I stacked all the odds against myself and still managed to successfully make chartreuse soufflés.  Still not entirely sure how that happened.
  • There was a Royal Wedding which involved some pretty famous St Andrews alumni.  William and Kate – I don’t know if you’ve heard of them?
  • After somehow managing to survive for several months on 4-5 hours of sleep a night (I’m pretty sure that I’m still paying for this), the Dissertation of Doom was handed in.  On time and everything.
  • I graduated.  That’s right.  Sharky Oven Gloves BSc (Hons) if you please (not to sound pompous or anything…).  Oh and did I mention that I graduated with the national treasure that is Sir David Attenborough.  No biggie.
  • After four years of learning valuable life lessons, I moved from my beloved St Andrews down to Edinburgh, which is one of my home towns, but this is the first time I’ve lived here.  It’s only temporary though – I have an announcement regarding that, but I’m waiting until everything is finalised, hopefully soon…

I feel I should have some ground-breaking blogging revelations or something, but I’m afraid that I don’t, and I really don’t feel that I’m established enough as a blogger to venture into the “my tips for blogging” territory.  So I think I’ll leave it there for today (being the super-concise person that I am and all).  Oh except one little thing – I’ve set up a Sharky Oven Gloves facebook page!  And did you notice the little shark fin RSS button up at the top of the left-hand column?  I won’t tell you how long it took me to make it, but it was a long and arduous journey which taught me that I really suck at graphic design.  I’m still tweaking it a little, but please do let me know what you think!  There should be facebook and twitter fins joining it in the next few days, so look out for those…

So on that note, Happy Birthday Sharky Oven Gloves (is it weird to wish your own blog a happy birthday?  Seriously, what’s the protocol on this whole blog birthday thing?), here’s to another year of blogging fun made up of ramblings, recipes and general adventures…

In case you haven’t guessed, the grey blob is supposed to be a shark fin, and not a random rock poking out of the sea as my Mum thought.  The icing was pretty gloopy and uncooperative so it didn’t quite work as well as I’d hoped (clearly).  I’ll aim to work on my shark fins for next year…

Enjoy the rest of your day!


Filed under Ramblings

13 responses to “Sharky Oven Gloves turns one!

  1. Happy first blogiversary, it’s a real milestone. And you’ve achieved loads. Mastering macarons is something I’m quite envious of. Looking forward to your next year of adventures and thanks for being such a splendid participant in We Should Cocoa. Your shark fin, the one at the top of the page, is really good. But I’d prefer not to comment on your rock poking out of the sea 😉

    • Mel

      Thanks Choclette! (Also, I like “blogiversary” – it sounds much better than blirthday/blorthday!) I’m so glad I accidentally happened across We Should Cocoa – it’s been so much fun to take part in, and I’m looking forward to all of the challenges for this coming year… Thanks for the feedback on the shark fin icon! As for the rock/shark fin, very diplomatic… 😀

  2. Lou

    I agree with Choclette – very impressed with shark fin icon thingy.
    Lovely graduation picture too.
    My boys love the Octonauts on TV – have you ever seen them – on CBeebies. They are quite educational about weird and wonderful sea creatures – I’m hoping I can persuade my older son to become a marine biologist so I can live vicariously through him! I didn’t do it as I thought my fear of diving might be a problem but now I wish I had – I would love it! Is that what you studied? Do you have any work now? Lou.

    • Mel

      Thanks Lou! I was lucky with the graduation photo – St Andrews does lend itself rather well as a backdrop!
      I’m afraid that I haven’t heard of Octonauts – I don’t have any younger siblings/nieces/cousins so I haven’t a clue what children’s programmes there are on tv – but the combination of educational and sea creatures sounds great to me!! I’m all for anything that gets kids interested in anything to do with science. My actual degree title is Zoology, but I did pretty much the same modules as for a Marine Biology degree. It is such a fascinating subject which encompasses so much, and there are plenty of options that don’t involve diving, too 🙂 I’ve chosen to go down the academia route, so at the moment I’m in the process of sorting out a Masters degree rather than job-hunting. I don’t know how old he is, but if your son has any questions about marine biology, feel free to get in touch – I’d be happy to help!

      • Lou

        Aw thanks Mel. Adam is only 4 but if he ever does show an interest I’ll send him your way – maybe in 10-15 years time. In the meantime, I’ll do things like making him a killer whale cake to keep his interest. 🙂
        Good luck with getting your Masters sorted out – so exciting.

      • Mel

        Oh, haha, still a little while to go before having to start thinking about careers and university options then…! But do bear it in mind if he shows an interest 🙂 Making sealife-themed cakes in the meantime sounds like an excellent idea though – they’re so much fun!
        Thanks, it’s slow going, but I think I’m getting there…

      • Mel

        Oh and I forgot to say – I watched Octonauts on iplayer earlier. It’s amazing! And the science in the episode I watched (about the dwarf lanternshark) was really good, I was really impressed!

      • Lou

        Can’t believe you watched Octonauts!!! But I am so happy you liked it and the science is fine. I learned all about marine geckos yesterday.

  3. Damn, I was hoping for ground breaking revelations. Happy blog birthday, anyway. Love the fin icon.

  4. Happy (belated) Blogirthday (?)! I think the Meerkat cake was amazing (thank you), possibly my favourite SOG -related adventure. Also, the shark fin icons are awesome! Fact(oid).

    • Mel

      Thanks! I think you might be ever so slightly biased towards the meerkat cake, but I do agree, it was pretty epic! Glad you like the fin icons, they’re why I kept asking you if you were sure you didn’t have any graphic designer friends…

  5. Pingback: Sharky Oven Gloves turns two! | Sharky Oven Gloves

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