What’s your vice? My vices are painting my nails (somewhat messily at times), finding comfort in the bubbles of a diet coke and hoarding lotions and potions of all sorts on my make up counter. I guess I could open a spa and teahouse from my room, there’s enough soap and varieties of herbal tea in here to last a lifetime (…or at least a couple of years).

I’m not doing anything wildly exciting at the moment, just preparing for exams. Hence the pictures of nails on my blog instead of wild tales of adventure and discovery. However, it’s still possible to find delight in little things. This morning I went to the library at ridiculous o’clock in the morning (around five am) with a pal, and then we watched the sun rise whilst sat on a gnarled tree in a nearby wood. We didn’t have a camera, but imagine if you will, two students surrounded by bluebells and library books scattered across a carpet of greenery…

We walked back through the Botanic Gardens, stopping en route by a large pond near the Psychology building to look at baby tadpoles wriggling in the shallows. It was such a lovely start to the day…

Starry Night Nails

The colours of the Durham sky fading from day into night have been really beautiful recently – a mix of navy blue shades. As a student, it is sometimes easy to forget your surroundings and take them for granted. However, a week ago I was walking home to college down Kingsgate Bridge when I paused to look over my shoulder and saw the cathedral bathed in golden lamplight against an ethereal blue sky. I had to stop and take a photo. Durham Cathedral was voted the nation’s best loved building in 2001 and has since been used as a backdrop for scenes from the Harry Potter films. It is not difficult to see why it is such a convincing setting for a story of magic and wizardry.


The colours of the sky reminded me of one of my favourite paintings – Vincent Van Gogh’s ‘The Starry Night’. It is a painting that I studied during my art lessons in school , I remember being entranced by the rich use of colour and swirling brushstrokes. In October 2011, my Aunt and Uncle took me to visit the Auberge in Auvers-sur-Oise where Van Gogh spent the last of his days – it proved to be an extremely interesting visit and certainly rejuvenated my love for the brilliant paintings of the troubled Van Gogh.

It was with this colour scheme in mind that I repainted my chipped nail varnish with swirls of blue and purple glitter and flecks of gold. Here’s to you, Van Gogh!