A sort of January round-up

So we all thought that 2016 was bad what with Brexit and the American Presidential election and many, many other reasons, but we all hoped that 2017 was going to be better. It's like we all collectively forgot that this was the year that Trump was actually getting sworn in, and thus the worst was yet to come.

So far he's gone after the Affordable Care Act, re-instated a 'global gag order' on abortion that will basically defund organisations like Planned Parenthood (which are so essential), introduced the horrifying travel ban which will undoubtedly lead to more deportations and families being torn apart, he's had climate change pages removed from the Environment Protection Agency website, and that's just to name a few. That's just a drop in the ocean of insanity. Not to mention he's still going on about that bloody wall. Look, you've all seen the headlines, but here's a couple of links if you want a more comprehensible list. 

It's been eleven days, and it's terrifying. This is fascism in action. This is what fascism looks like.

I think it's going to be a very long and very uneasy four years.

But anyway, enough about that. Happy thoughts, happy thoughts.

Near the beginning of January, someone (or some people) broke into our garden shed and took a garden shredder. A pretty hefty thing, too, I'm surprised they thought it was worth the effort. They got into next door's as well and made off with most of their power tools. Which is just such a scummy thing to do, really.

So I rang the police to report it, and at one point the police-lady asked me if I had ever reported a crime before, and I wanted to say, "Why, am I doing it wrong?" but I managed to refrain. Anyway, a few days later I had a phone-call from a friendly neighbourhood policeman who asked if I wanted to sign up to a crime alert email system for the local area. I thought this seemed like a good way to stay informed so I agreed.

It was, in retrospect, a terrible decision. Every time I get an alert and it tells me about burglaries two streets over or cars being stolen off drives really near to where I live I get really paranoid. There's just so much crime. I mean, sure, these crimes would still be happening if I wasn't getting these alerts, but at least I wouldn't know about them. Ignorance really is bliss.

Last year, I aimed to read 30 books and in the end I managed to read 40. I could have read more, too, but I hit my target in August and then slowed down considerably, and re-read a few books instead of just reading new ones. So this year, my aim is to read 40 books, and then maybe I'll read 50 all in all. 

I'm off to a really good start because I finished 6 books this month. According to Goodreads, that puts me at 15% of my goal, 3 books ahead of schedule. Go me.

Favourite book of the month: Vicious by V.E. Schwab

Least favourite book of the month: Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas

It's February tomorrow. I like February. Pancake Day is in February.

Currently reading: The Sandman Volume 4: Season of Mists by Neil Gaiman

Song of the Day: I Found by Amber Run (And I've moved further than I thought I could/ But I missed you more than I thought I would/ And I'll use you as a warning sign/ That if you talk enough sense then you'll lose your mind)

Sleigh bells ring ...

There are few things more irritating than pouring water into the kettle for a cuppa, disappearing for a couple of minutes to do something else while it boils, then coming back and realising you forgot to switch the bloody thing on. So that's what I'm dealing with today. How are you?

Christmas is starting to get into full swing. The tree went up on the 1st, as always. Some of the lights were broken, and I got into a strop about that. Then I couldn't get the tinsel to look right, and I got into a strop about that, too. 'Tis the season. 

(The broken lights got hidden around the back of the tree and the tinsel got sorted eventually. Crisis averted.)

Jack has been in 'Full Festive' mode since mid-November. He's the only person I know who gets even more excited about Christmas than I do, and that's saying quite a lot. He got me a Galaxy chocolate advent calendar and a Yankee Candle advent calendar, as well as a little tealight holder in which to hold the candles. 

Giving people presents is one of Jack's favourite things to do, and he likes me for some reason, so he always ends up getting me loads. This works out really well for me; I love getting presents. He seems really excited about them, which is pretty adorable actually.

Jack asked if I knew what I was going to get for him yet and I told him I was going to make him a mix-CD. I was sort of half joking but then he seemed quite taken with the idea, so whatever, I'm doing it. I've got him a couple of other things, too, so I won't look like the biggest cheapskate in the world.

But anyway. Christmas time is busy. There's a lot to do, and people to see, and plans to make. I'll see you on the other side.

Song of the Day: You're The Storm by The Cardigans ('Cause you're the storm that I believe in/ And all this peace has been deceiving/ I like the sweet life and the silence/ But it's the storm that I believe in)

Currently reading: A Torch Against The Night by Sabaa Tahir

The Happy List

My last blog post was pretty negative and I decided I didn't like that being the most recent thing on here, so here's some happy things instead:

  • An old friend from school sent me flowers and Belgian chocolates because I did her a favour that literally only took up 2 minutes of my time. People are nice.
  • I finally read Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and even though the plot was convoluted and weird, Harry's kid and Malfoy's kid are best friends in it and that fills me with so much joy.
  • As it's getting towards Christmas, Boots seasonal 3 for 2 offer is back, and last week when I was helping Jack find presents for his cousins, he could only find two things that he wanted so I got some slippers for free as they were the cheapest item. They have hedgehogs on them and I love them. (And did I mention they were FREE? Because they were free.)
  • Speaking of Christmas, 'tis the season! It's my favourite time of year! Hooray!
  • I have been drinking a lot of hot chocolate and it's warm and toasty and comforting and, overall, great.
  • Jack bought himself a Nintendo 3DS and he's going to let me play Zelda.
  • We didn't get any trick or treaters again so I have leftover mini chocolate bars that I have been methodically making my way through, which is always the upside of Halloween. (The last time we had any trick or treaters was like 3 years ago or something and my brother was here and we didn't have any treats so James gave them little oranges. We were that house.)
It's always important to remember the nice things.

Song of the Day: Death of a Bachelor by Panic! At The Disco (The death of a bachelor, seems so fitting for/ Happily ever after, how could I ask for more/ A lifetime of laughter at the expense of the death of a bachelor)


I woke up this morning to discover the apocalypse had been ushered in whilst I slept. Oh, good.

Okay, so I don't pretend to know much about politics and all the intricacies and hierarchies and whatnot involved. And I don't like to talk about stuff like this on the internet usually because I don't have the energy to argue with people.

But I have to say something about Trump, because try as I might, I cannot fathom how he has managed to bullshit his way into the Presidency. I'm not saying Hillary Clinton is perfect, but she was qualified. She had bags and bags of political experience, and she was the only logical choice.

There's no question that she should have won.

How on earth has America gone from having Barack Obama as President, to electing a man who was endorsed by the KKK?

Bigotry, misogyny, racism and general intolerance won today. The history books are going to remember 2016 as a political shitstorm, worldwide. First Brexit, now this.

What the fuck is going on?

Song of the Day:

Minor injuries are major inconveniences

If I had made a list of ways I wanted to spend my Sunday, driving Jack to the hospital wouldn't have been high on it. In fact, it probably wouldn't have made the list at all. (He fell over playing football and sprained his wrist. He's fine.)

Jack sent me a text, which I didn't notice until almost an hour after he sent it, asking if I had any wrist braces or bandages at my house. I told him no, but that I could get some. And then I sent another message saying, Also why do you ask? What's happened? The reply I got just said that it was a long story and that he'd explain when he got back.

It wasn't a long story. He fell over and hurt his wrist.

He eventually got back about a million years later and had stopped at Waitrose for some tubing stuff to support his wrist, and then he explained what had happened. 
I said, "Does it hurt?" which was, admittedly, a stupid question. 
And Jack said, "Well, if I keep it perfectly still, it's only a dull pain. When I move it, it's excruciating."
"How did you manage to drive back?"
"With difficulty."
"Do you think we ought to go and get your wrist looked at then?"
"That would probably be best."

So I drove Jack to the hospital. Anticipating a lengthy wait, I took my Kindle with me. Jack didn't have the same forethought. The wait time for minor injuries simply said 'over two hours', which unnerved me.
"That could mean anything," I said. "That could mean two hours, or it could mean, like, 5 hours. We could die here, Jack. We'll never see the sun again."
I am nothing if not dramatic.
Luckily, it seemed to have been a relatively quiet day, as after waiting exactly two hours, Jack's name was called, and he was back out again with a wrist brace and a pamphlet on hand injuries twenty minutes later. I didn't even get to finish my book.

He asked the doctor who saw him about driving, and was told: "If you try driving and it doesn't hurt, then by all means, carry on."
And Jack said, "Yeah, I tried earlier and it was excruciating."
So the doctor said, "I probably wouldn't, then."
Sound advice.

In all seriousness though, I really love the NHS. I know it's not perfect, but it's so nice to be able to go and see someone and get medical advice and treatment and not be charged for it.

Anyway, this morning I watched Jack struggle to put his t-shirt on, and said, "Do you want any help?"
To which he replied solemnly, "This is my life now, Em. I've got to get used to it."
Because Jack is also nothing if not dramatic.

Song of the Day: Deserve This by Circa Waves (Oh why do I deserve this/ I was never good on purpose)

There Are Wrecking Balls Inside Us

'Cause it's okay to be scared sometimes
And brave sometimes
And fail sometimes, sometimes
And it's not possible to lose every time
We have the time, we have the time
What we build could be anything
We can go places we never even thought of

This is pretty much the only song I care about at the moment. 

Things that go bump in the night

It's going to be another one of Those Days. The kind where I'm just going to feel a little off-kilter all day. A bit unsettled.

It's because I didn't really sleep last night. I went to bed just after 11, read my book for a while, then turned off the light to go to sleep, and that's when the dogs started barking (probably at around midnight or so). My next door neighbours have dogs but the barking wasn't coming from their house, it was coming from outside, probably a couple of streets over. And several other dogs joined in, too. This went on for about ten minutes, it was pretty weird. I can only assume that a litter of dalmatian puppies had been stolen and the dogs were taking it upon themselves to uncover the truth instead of leaving it to the useless humans. I mean, that's the only logical explanation.

But anyway, the barking died down and I settled in and tried to fall asleep. This took ages, as it sometimes does, but eventually I sort of drifted off, but then I was plagued by really terrible dreams. And not the kind where there's a lot of weird and fantastical stuff going on and you can tell it's a dream, but the kind where it feels very much real and you're in a place you know and the horrors are things that could feasibly happen in real life. I woke up, suddenly all thoughts of sleep gone from my brain, heard a noise in the house and managed to convince myself that there was someone else there. Which is super fun to imagine when you're home alone in the middle of the night.

Logically, I knew there was no one there, because I remembered shutting all the windows and locking all the doors and I hadn't heard any sounds of a break in, and all I had heard was a creak and houses do creak sometimes. But still, I was unsettled from my bad dream and so it took me a little while to feel normal again. I checked the time and it was only 2am, meaning that at most, I had only slept for about an hour and a half. It took me hours to fall asleep again. Hours of tossing and turning and trying to turn my brain off. 

So today I'm running on limited sleep and it's sort of set the tone for the rest of the day. I'm in a mood.

But it's not all bad because the Great British Bake Off makes a triumphant return tonight so at least I can watch that. Silver linings.

Song of the Day: Backbeat by Dagny (We're borderline, wasting time/ Pick it up and tell me that you love me like you did before)

Currently reading: Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

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