Welcome to my world!

The reflections and comments of a resident in Southsea, Portsmouth, England.

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Look after your well-being

The university where I work has just launched its new series of customer service training with a session on ‘The Art of Being Brilliant’ which was run by a man from Derby called Andy Cope.

He suggested that by changing your way of thinking, even one little bit, you will feel differently about your life.

Andy suggested we wake up each morning and be thankful that we don't have a toothache. I know it seems a small step, but by being grateful that my health is good, it makes me feel positive about the rest of my day. It worked!

After that session on being brilliant, I went to a conference about science communication and in one of the discussion sessions, the topic was ‘wellbeing’.

So why did we talk about wellbeing in a science communication conference? Apparently wellbeing is very important in science. Our government takes it very seriously because if the population is well, there will be less cost to healthcare. Healthy people are also happier.

So, if you are interested, the five ways to achieve wellbeing are connecting, being active, taking notice, continuing to learn and giving.

Now, this seems unrelated to what I do, but maybe this is why I love organizing events and attending cultural activities. I guess now I know, it is good for my wellbeing.

I have just finished organising the university’s series of public events and I would encourage people to come along to these events, especially the free ones. People will enjoy getting there, meeting other people and learning new things.

People will also get the chance to give back by giving the speakers comments and feedback on their work. Our scientists and researchers would love to hear how relevant their studies or research projects are to the community and you can tell them at these public events.

So I hope you will go and get involved in cultural activities like singing, visiting a museum, going to a concert or learning a new hobby to make you happy in the coming months and have a healthier life.

This post is as it appears on Portsmouth View, May 2014 edition.

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Spring in the City

In Portsmouth we mark the beginning of Spring with a series of cultural events across the city. 

As we lost an hour to our day, we add a new festival to our calendar. The Lost Hour has proved to be a popular event in the city and long may it continues.

At the moment, students are enjoying their Easter Break and probably thinking about how many chocolate eggs they can eat in one sitting. While there are Easter egg hunts organised in woods and gardens, churches spring into wonderful concert venues.

Florilegium who played at the last Music in the Round concert has their diaries full of concerts, the biggest being the St Matthew's Passion at the Royal Festival Hall. Historically, the church used to be a big patron of music and that is why some of the greatest compositions are of church music.

For me, I'm still hunting for the Golden Egg; the how do we tell the world about the treasure trove of culture we have in Portsmouth?

My hunt, so far has led to a meeting with our Creative Technologies Department at the end of March when they told me about their wonderful project. This might be the Golden Egg.

Students studying Television and Broadcasting have been busy producing a TV programme to promote Portsmouth to the world. Eye on Portsmouth has been created as part of their course, and they are keen to get the local community involved and watching. Take a look the programmes made so far on http://vimeo.com/album/2809004

By joining forces with the local community, the university staff and students can make this project a success. There is so much for everybody to learn; students about the city, and the community about what university life is all about.

If anyone would like to get involved, or has a story to tell, please get in touch. My number is 023 8284 3757 or through Twitter @maricarjagger

In the meantime, Shakespeare's birthday is on 23 April and Christine Berberich from The Centre for Studies in Literature has put together a programme of events to showcase the expertise we have at the university. So look out for the Shakespeare Festival events happening near you.

I’ve also been busy producing the programme of events for the next few months and the list will be made public at the end of April. Look out for it.

This article is as it appeared in the Portsmouth View, April 2014 edition.