Cringe

Yesterday, there was a knock on the door and it was the postman (as it often is this time of year) with a package I had to sign for. All fine and dandy apart from the embarrassing outfit that I was wearing, but not a big deal. Today, another package to sign for, and the exact same postman. This wouldn't be an issue for me usually, except that I just so happened to be wearing exactly the same outfit that I had on the day before. Added bonuses today were my hair scraped back into a messy bun, and the end pieces of my glasses jammed into my hair instead of resting on my ears in a haphazard sort of manner. Individually, the items I was wearing were perfectly acceptable, but thrown together as I had, it was just a garish explosion of clashing patterns that I never would have worn out of the house. Don't get me wrong, I was super comfortable, but I hadn't really planned on being seen by anyone, let alone two days in a row. The only reason I had thrown the same clothes on again was because I had a few things to do around the house that I wanted to get out of the way before I had a shower, and didn't see the point in wearing something clean to do them in.

So of course my immediate reaction to opening the door and finding the same postman before me, was to half hide myself behind the door and hope he couldn't remember me. Unfortunately, the first thing he said was, "Hello again, I've got another one for you." Oh dear. He was very polite of course, and didn't mention what a colossal mess I must have looked which was very decent of him.

Please don't judge me, Mr. Postman.

Song of the Day: You're So True by Joseph Arthur (Hope you know you inspire me, you're a flower and I'm a bee, I need you/ All this you do for free, give me hope and I can see you're so true)

Currently reading: Two things - Bridget Jones: Mad About The Boy by Helen Fielding and The Walking Dead: Compendium Two by Robert Kirkman. I am ploughing through my 'to read' list and it's making me really happy.

It has been a day

I ventured into town today to try and see if I could find anything suitable for a couple of family members and it took no more than half an hour for me to completely lose the will to live. It wasn't even that busy, it's just that everyone sort of seems to lose their heads around Christmas time and forgets basic shopping etiquette. People seem to go out of their way to make sure they have blocked an entire aisle, so everyone just waits for them to move or they take the long way round because we're all far too British to say anything. Also, the people who just decide to stand still in shop entrances while pedestrian traffic builds up behind them - why do they do that? I left after an hour with nothing to show for it except some top-coat nail polish which isn't even a gift, it's for me. There were even some shops I meant to go in but didn't because I was so full of rage and had utterly had enough. Ho ho ho, 'tis the season and all that.

Popped into Waitrose on the way home because there were a couple of basic things I needed and I managed to only remember one of them. I was at the tills, looking at my basket, thinking about how I had definitely forgotten something, and it wasn't until I got home that I remembered. Literally as soon as I walked through the door as well. But anyway, I had something to eat and I did the washing up and had a cup of tea, and then I wrote a couple of Christmas cards so I feel marginally better now.

In the spirit of cheering up, here are five songs that never fail to make me smile:

1. Baby I Love Your Way by Big Mountain
2. Wake Up Boo! by The Boo Radleys
3. You & Me Song by The Wannadies
4. Come And Get Your Love by Redbone
5. Shut Up And Dance by Walk The Moon (the link is to the movie dance compilation video because it's way better than the official music video)

There are plenty of other songs that make me smile too, those are just a select few.

Song of the Day: Just A Cloud Away by Pharrell Williams (This rainy day is temporary/ The contrast is why we got 'em/ 'Cause sun shining through is just a cloud away)

Currently Reading: Rivers Of London by Ben Aaronovitch. I really love it so far.



Full-Festive

I'm a Christmas person. I have always been a Christmas person, and anyone who has ever met me would be able to tell you as much. The past couple of years, however, I have been a little more subdued about it than I would normally be. It probably has something to do with working in a pub where Christmas starts much earlier due to festive bookings and so on, and especially when you end up working on Christmas Day some of the enjoyment can be stripped away. However, I don't work at the pub anymore, and this year Jack and I have gone what I like to call 'full-festive'.

We're steadily making our way through the Christmas movies with the fire on and candles and the tree lights making it the coziest we can get it. Mulled cider is currently an important part of our diet and I am listening to festive music almost exclusively. I'm mostly prepared for the big day, I think I only need a couple more things so I've just got wrapping to do now really. 

We thought we'd give some festive booze a go so we went to Ikea the other day to get mason jars and little bottles. Now, I had never been to Ikea before (or if I have, I don't remember it at all), so I was quite looking forward to it, although Jack warned me not to get my hopes up.
I said, "Why not, what's wrong with it?" 
He just shrugged and said, "It's the layout really, it's awful. You'll see."
"It can't be that bad," I scoffed whilst Jack gave a knowing smile. Oh how naive I was.

Ikea, if you haven't had the pleasure, is sort of how I imagine Purgatory to be. You can't go straight to the main shop bit to just get what you want; you have to walk through all the showrooms first, following the arrows around and trying to avoid being run down by people with giant trolleys and/or pushchairs (aka: battering rams). Every time we rounded a corner and I expected to be nearer the end of the showrooms, there was more. Bedrooms, kitchens, dining rooms, miscellaneous furniture, you name it. It was there. And if I was trying to furnish a house perhaps I would have enjoyed the experience more, but all we needed was mason jars and it took fifteen minutes just to get to the general shop bit where they were. As soon as we found them, it was another ordeal to get to the tills. We kept following the signs that said which way the tills were, but every time I expected them to be, y'know, there, they were conspicuously absent. By the time they eventually came into view, it felt like the closer we got to them, the further away they seemed, there were so many obstacles in the way. There were no windows in there either, I couldn't tell how much time had gone by. We could have been in there for weeks for all I knew. I thought I'd never see the light of day again.

But this tale has a happy ending, because we made it out in one piece, and there are currently mason jars full of booze and other stuff infusing away happily in the utility room. I don't know what they'll be like when they're ready, but it's alcohol so I doubt there'll be many complaints.

Song of the Day: Fuselage (It's Starting To Look Like Christmas Once Again) by Centro-Matic


Little bits of joy

There's been quite a few bad-news days recently. So to cheer everyone up (mainly myself though) follow these links instead.

Apparently death metal music attracts great white sharks and if that's not the best sentence you've ever read then you're lying.

There's a dog in Seattle that catches the bus on it's own to get to the dog park. All the bus drivers know him and it's adorable.

Christmas is upon us and that means festive tunes. I Believe In Father Christmas by Greg Lake is probably my personal favourite but for real cheer factor I really like Sleigh Ride as well and Walk off the Earth's version is the best of the bunch (in my humble opinion).

I love the US version of The Office so was naturally distraught when it was taken off Netflix, but anyway this is one of my favourite Dwight moments.

And as if there weren't already enough animal goodness on this list, here's some dogs who have no concept of personal space.

That'll do I think.

Song of the Day: Can't Help Falling In Love With You - twenty one pilots cover. This is I think the only version of this song that I like. I don't know, there's just something about it, and this little video for it is cute. (Take my hand, take my whole life too/ 'Cause I can't help falling in love with you)



Currently reading: Still The Invisible Library but I read a good chunk of it last night so might get it finished today or tomorrow which is good because there's a tonne of books that I want to read at the moment.


I'm a winner

I normally wait until the 1st of December to put up the Christmas decorations, but I caved this year and roped Jack into helping me put them up on Saturday night. There's something about a Christmas tree that really ties a room together. After we had finished, we put on our PJs, had some mulled cider and watched Home Alone with the fire on. It was great.

Yesterday was very productive, despite it being Sunday. I finished NaNoWriMo! Well, I didn't finish my story, but I reached 50,000 words, so technically I'm a winner and I'll take that. Jack had a headache and lay down on the sofa feeling sorry for himself all afternoon so I turned the telly on and had The Little Mermaid on in the background while I wrote. Which probably wasn't the best idea because that movie actually makes me really angry. I hope I'm not alone in thinking this, but Ariel is a moron. I mean, no offense, but she really, really is. Why would you give up being a mermaid (I really wanted to be a mermaid when I was a kid) for some bland, boring prince that you know nothing about? She's not in love with Eric, she's infatuated, and it's borderline creepy. The only one to make any sense in the whole movie is Sebastian - "Ariel, listen to me. The human world ... It's a mess"- and he gets completely ignored. Not to mention that only two of the songs are even any good! Sorry, apparently I have a lot of opinions about The Little Mermaid. You know what you should watch for a much better interpretation of the story, featuring love in its most innocent and pure form instead? Ponyo. I love Ponyo.

I went off on a tangent there, but I think I made some valid points. But I was talking about NaNoWriMo, and how I finished it! Good for me. And a day early, too. I'm pretty chuffed about it. I think now I just need to not look at it for a little while, and then I can finish it, and then I can go back through and edit. I might just rewrite the whole thing, change things around and make it better. But that's getting ahead of myself, so we'll see.

Here's to getting stuff done!

Song of the Day: Don't Think Twice It's Alright by Bob Dylan (I ain't saying you treated me unkind/ You could have done better but I don't mind/ You just kinda wasted my precious time/ But don't think twice, it's alright)

Winter Is Coming

It's really, really cold.

I feel like I'm in that movie The Day After Tomorrow, specifically the bit when the helicopter freezes because it's in the eye of the storm and it crashes and then that one guy survives the crash only to instantly freeze to death. I am that guy. And NO I'm not exaggerating, not even a little.

Should I have put a spoiler alert before that paragraph? Whatever, that movie is like a thousand years old.

The good thing is that I have a little electric fleecy blanket kind of thing that I got for Christmas from my mum and dad last year and it is the cosiest thing. I put it at the end of my bed to warm my feet at night and just bask in happiness with how cosy I am. 

In other news, NaNoWriMo is going really well (she says as she writes this instead). I'm on 38,261 words at the moment with a week to go so I'll reach 50,000 easy. I don't think my story will be finished at that number, but at least I'll have something to show for it. It'll need a lot of work afterwards if I decide I think the idea is good enough to do more with - and I think it is, the basic shell is there at least - but what the experience has shown me so far is that I really can do something when I really set my mind to it. Well, I knew that anyway in theory, but at least I've proven it to myself now.

Little victories. I'll take them when they come.

Okay I'm going to go and get inside every blanket I own now.

Song of the Day: You And I Will Meet Again by Tom Petty (I heard you singing to no one, I saw you dancing all alone/ One day you belonged to me, next day I just wouldn't know/ One day all the rules will bend, and you and I will meet again)

How I like to spend Sundays

As far as Sundays go, yesterday was a pretty good one.

I jolted awake super early and disorientated (perhaps I had been dreaming), and Jack - still asleep mind you - laughed and said, "Yes." He talks in his sleep sometimes. I get a real kick out of it.

Anyway, I went back to sleep and woke up at 10.30am, much more refreshed. Downstairs, Jack made me a cup of tea and then we had pain au chocolats for breakfast (because we're fancy), and after watching Nigella, I went to have a shower and then changed into a fresh pair of pyjama bottoms and an old baggy t-shirt. Sunday is a day of REST, okay? I had no choice.

Back downstairs, I removed my super dark purple nail polish and replaced it with a slightly lighter shade of purple nail polish whilst watching Christmas cooking shows on the Food Network channel. After that, I lit a candle and we watched The Nightmare Before Christmas followed by The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, because they are Christmassy without being overtly Christmassy, if you know what I mean. I don't like to crack out things like Elf or The Grinch until December is upon us. 

We ate leftover lasagna for tea, and then I caught up with Sophie who made me get Whatsapp and introduced me to the 21st Century. We chilled out for a bit before Jack went home, and then I wrote 2,000 words for NaNoWriMo whilst listening to Third Eye Blind (who have reinstated themselves as one of my favourite bands).

Yeah. A good day. I like to remember the good days.

Song of the Day: The Background by Third Eye Blind (The plans I make still have you in them 'cause you come swimming into view/And I'm hanging on your words like I always used to do/ The words they use so lightly I only feel for you/ I only know because I carry you around in the background)

Currently reading: The Invisible Library still. I keep stopping and starting.




Thoughts about Paris

I was going to write a blog post today anyway, an update on how I'm getting on with NaNoWriMo or something, but in light of what happened in Paris last night it didn't feel appropriate somehow to wither on about that. Not today.

It's another day when the world we live in just seems a little (or a lot) more terrifying than it usually is, and my heart just feels heavy and sad in the aftermath of such senseless violence and death. It boggles the mind.

I don't really know what I can really say about it that hasn't already been said.

Stay safe, everyone

X

NaNoWriMo

So November has arrived under a layer of fog, and Halloween came and went without a single trick-or-treater, leaving me with a bag of goodies that I suppose I'll now have to eat (it's a tough job but somebody has to do it).

This year I decided to do NaNoWriMo for the first time (basically trying to write a 50,000 word novel in a month). I've debated doing it for a few years now, ever since I first heard of it, but the timings never quite seemed to work out, or I remembered too late. But a few days before November started, I remembered that it existed and figured 'what the hell' and signed up. I didn't have a plan, I didn't have an outline, all I had was an incredibly vague idea of a particular character, and I decided to just do what I do best - wing it. 

The target is to do 1,667 words per day, and yesterday I managed to do 2,602, so all in all I was pretty chuffed with my start. Today, however, I am sitting pretty on a grand total of zero words. Oh well, the day is not over yet. 

Song of the Day: Everything's Not Lost by Coldplay (When I counted up my demons/Saw there was one for every day/With the good ones on my shoulders/I drove the other ones away)

Super Belated Newquay Photos

I promised they'd be coming, and here they are. Just a few, mind. I don't want to bore anyone too much. They might be the kind of thing only my mum would be interested in (hi mum).

Look, look, it's the hotel from The Witches!








The water must have been freezing; those people were very brave. Also, I managed to get sunburnt on my face despite it being cold enough for me to have to wear a cardigan and a waterproof. So, there's that.

On the way home we went to the Eden Centre which was cool and I have photos from that too. If I don't post them on here, I'll put some on my Flickr stream at some point.

Finally, as a bonus picture, here is me elegantly maneuvering around a puddle with the grace of a mountain goat.

Many thanks to Jack for capturing this moment
Adios.

Song of the day: Hello by Adele (Hello from the outside, at least I can say that I've tried/To tell you I'm sorry for breaking your heart/But it don't matter it clearly doesn't tear you apart anymore) Ohhh man, this song, it just gets to me.

Currently reading: The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman



Little Updates

I had a visitor yesterday.


He kindly stuck around long enough for me to grab my camera and sneak outside to take a couple of pictures, and then when I looked up from my camera display, he had vanished. So long, friend.

In getting my camera to photograph my little fox pal, I finally got around to moving photos onto my laptop, which means a select few of the Newquay ones will be up at some point. There's some great ones, Newquay is beautiful. So watch this space for those. Or don't, whatever. I'm not the boss of you.

I recently read the entire Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy by Laini Taylor and I loved it so much (excellent recommendation, thank you Lydia). Here's some mini extracts (non-spoilery).

  "Where I come from, old man, a soul's as useless as teeth to the dead."
  "Spoken, I think, by one who still remembers what it was like to have one."
   Akiva did remember. His memories were knives, and he was not pleased to have them turned against him. "You should worry about your own soul, not mine."
  "My soul is clean. I've never killed anyone. But you, oh you. Look at your hands."
- Daughter of Smoke and Bone

  "Mercy breeds mercy as slaughter breeds slaughter. We can't expect the world to be better than we make it."
- Days of Blood and Starlight

  The two of them were stoic and stone-faced and ten feet apart, currently not even looking at each other, but Zuzanna had the impression of a pair of magnets pretending not to be magnets.
  Which, you know, only works until it doesn't.
- Dreams of Gods and Monsters

They were right up my street, I really enjoyed them. Also they have what is maybe my new favourite fictional friendship in Karou and Zuzanna, I loved their dynamic.

In other news, I've seen a few new (to me - two of them are actually old) films. I watched Love, Rosie on Netflix which is your standard predictable romance, but fairly enjoyable nonetheless. The other two are both Studio Ghibli ones. Firstly, Laputa Castle in the Sky which is adorable and I really loved. The second one was Grave of the Fireflies which I knew enough about to know that it was going to be sad, but holy hell, it is potentially the most upsetting movie I have ever seen. I sobbed. And I am not known for sobbing.  

Music wise, I have been listening to a lot of soundtracks, namely from Princess Mononoke and Braveheart. But also, Stevie Wonder and Adam Lambert (I can't get Another Lonely Night out of my head.)

Song of the Day: Soul Meets Body by Death Cab for Cutie (And I do believe it's true/That there are roads left in both of our shoes/But if the silence takes you then I hope it takes me too)



Woeful Wednesday

I'm having one of those days.

Dark clouds have gathered in a manner that has me peering out of the window every two minutes, scrutinising the sky with increasing suspicion, just waiting for the rain to fall. It's not supposed to rain; I have checked and re-checked the weather forecast, and when I put my washing out to dry earlier on the sun was shining. But not now. It's going to rain, I can feel it, but my washing isn't quite dry yet so I don't want to bring it in until I absolutely have to. So I'm waiting. Waiting for it to start to rain so that I can say, "I told you so," to no one in particular - to myself, I guess, there's no one else here. I could just get it in now and hang it inside to finish drying, but I know if I do that it won't rain, and I'll wish I had left it alone. It's Sod's law.

It took me ages to get to sleep last night because I had the theme song from Red Dwarf stuck in my head (it's a song I enjoy, but it's not exactly a lullaby), and as a result I woke up in a bad mood with a headache. There was nothing in particular I fancied for breakfast and so I didn't have any, and besides, I wasn't all that hungry. I had to wait in for a delivery which always sets me on edge, I don't know why, and it turned out I needn't have bothered because it ended up fitting through the letterbox anyway.

I'm cold but I don't want to put the heating on, not yet, and I want to make a cup of tea even though I only just had one. I don't know what I'm going to have for my dinner; I don't even know what my options are, I haven't checked the fridge or cupboards. So I'll probably just have whatever requires the least amount of effort because I'm tired and grumpy and seriously considering putting on some pyjamas and giving up this day as a complete and utter write-off.

So yeah, I'm having one of those days. And I'm still waiting on the rain.

Song of the Day: For What It's Worth by The Cardigans (A four letter word got stuck in my head/The dirtiest word that I've ever said/It's making me feel alright)


I'm a grown-up, and grown-ups go to the dentist

I've been meaning to post some of the photos I took in Newquay up here, but truth be told they're still on my camera. I'll get round to it. I will.

In other news, I went to the dentist this morning for my annual check-up. Normally when I go to the dentist all that happens is I sit in a chair, Mr. Dentist asks me if I've had any problems, I say no, he counts my teeth, charges me £18 for the privilege and then sends me on my merry way. Easy.

Today, after counting my teeth Mr. Dentist decided to give them a little extra clean for me and then take an X-ray. He said that he didn't suspect there were any problems but it couldn't hurt to make sure. In all honesty I think he was a bit bored and felt like playing with some of his dentist toys. 

This is the first time ever in my life that I have had anything done at the dentist other than getting my teeth counted, so I know I'm one of those lucky people who doesn't have any dentist horror stories (so far at least, touch wood!). But getting my teeth cleaned was horrible; I hated it. It didn't hurt exactly, it was just incredibly uncomfortable and made my entire head vibrate and the sounds it made were horrendous. Also I did not enjoy having two people (Mr. Dentist and his lovely assistant) looking inside my mouth. I felt like saying, "Look, I know you're only doing your jobs and everything, but can you just sort of piss off?" Of course it's hard to say that with a suction thingymabob in your mouth, but I tried to express the sentiment through my eyes.

Immediately following the torture, it was time for my X-ray. We had the following exchange:

Mr. Dentist - "We'll do your right side first."
Me - "My right or your right?"
Mr. Dentist - "Your right."
Me - "So my right?"
Mr. Dentist - "...yes."
Me - "OK."
Mr. Dentist - tries to put the thingymabob in my mouth and says "Could you relax your tongue for me?"
Me - pushes my tongue into my cheek.
Mr. Dentist - "Relax your tongue."
Me - nods and does no such thing.
Mr. Very Patient Dentist - "No, just relax your tongue."
Me - finally relaxes my tongue.
Mr. Dentist - audible sigh of relief.

After that, I was all finished and got to pay and leave, somewhat traumatised from my ordeal but at least I got my moneys worth this time. In fairness, it can't exactly be a barrel of laughs, being a dentist. I mean, I know they get paid pretty well but god, at what cost?

Currently reading: I cheated and read Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas before I'd finished Ready Player One so I'm back to that now. I think I was disappointed. I enjoyed it but some of the characters seemed a bit out of character compared to the previous books and it made it a bit infuriating to read.

Song of the Day: Grow by Frances


BANK HOLIDAY

So it's bank holiday, it's raining (naturally), and on the Eden channel there are back to back shark documentaries on alllllll day.

In other words, it's pretty much the perfect day.

Tomorrow, Jack and I are off to Newquay for a couple of days and I have spent a ridiculously long time making a roadtrip playlist for the journey. It's mostly stuff I know Jack will enjoy but I may have sneaked some Taylor Swift and Avril Lavigne in there. Maybe. It will be a lovely surprise for him, I'm sure. I'm hoping the weather will hold out but this is England after all so I can't ask for too much. As long as it stays dry I'll be happy. The hotel we're staying at is right next to the one where they filmed The Witches. Jack asked if I wanted to stay there and I said, "Are you crazy? What if the Grand High Witch is there?" He's lucky I'm here to think these things through.

I'll be back when I'm back. Obviously.

Song of the Day: Jump Into The Fog by The Wombats 

Currently reading: Ready Player One. Still. I sort of accidentally haven't picked it up in ages.

It's nice to be looked after

I love having my parents in the same country as me again because it means I never really have to worry about meals - they will always feed me. That's not to say that when they're not here I don't eat, because that would be silly. I just mean that when teatime creeps up on me, I don't have to suddenly decide what to cook, because someone is already doing the cooking for me. 

Yesterday, my parents went to meet friends during the day and so had their 'main-meal' at lunch time, so come the evening they were just going to have something small, leaving me to fend for myself (how selfish of them). But I discovered something new: if I stand in front of the fridge looking sad and pathetic for long enough, my dad will make me cauliflower cheese for my dinner. With chorizo, because I'm fancy.

Don't get me wrong; I'm an adult, I'm perfectly capable of looking after myself. It's just nice when someone else offers.

Also, a few weeks ago when I wrote about wanting to read The Martian, my dad came back from town with a copy of it for me, which is why it's sometimes useful to have parents who read your blog; surprise gifts. I finished it yesterday by they way, and it's really good, I would definitely recommend it. I've never rooted for a character so much in my entire life. Admittedly, it's hard not to root for someone who's been stranded alone on Mars, but still. Next up I'm reading Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, and then after that I think I'm going to start the Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy by Laini Taylor because it was recommended to me by my lovely friend Lydia. Yay, books! 

Song of the Day: Alive by Empire of the Sun

Shut Up and Dance

If you're suffering from the Monday blues, or even if you're not, you must watch this video immediately. It made me SO happy.



Enjoy.

Song of the Day: Shut Up and Dance by Walk The Moon

Letters I will never send

I've been listening to the album Fires by Nerina Pallot a lot lately and for some reason it made me think of things and people that I haven't thought about in years. It's interesting to me that sometimes even though people may only be in your life fleetingly, they can still have an impact on how you see the world, or how you view relationships. Everyone you meet has the ability to help you grow in their own way, I guess. Anyway, I got inspired to write a few letters to people. Some involve wounds that have long since healed, but it felt quite cathartic to write everything down anyway. They're mostly to boys, such is life. I've left out the names on all except one, because these are real people and y'know, privacy. I could have just written these in a diary and left them there for me to read only, but in the end I wanted to put them here. So I'm releasing them into the void.

Dear _____,
I used to think I was in love with you, which is so silly to me now but it's how I felt at the time. Oh to be young and hopelessly naive. You had a girlfriend who went to a different college and so I knew it was utterly useless and one-sided, but you used to flirt with me outrageously. Always giving me hugs and pulling me onto your lap and making me feel like I was special. Looking back at it now, you knew; you must have known how I felt, and yet you toyed with me anyway. You left me dangling on a string, lapping up any attention you threw my way. That was really shitty of you.

Dear _____,
You seemed to come into my life out of nowhere but somehow at just the right time, and I fell head over heels pretty quickly. We weren't together for very long, but you were wonderful and I'm grateful to you for a lot of reasons, mostly how you always treated me with such care. I'm glad that you ended things when you did because I think that if you had left it much later you would have broken my heart. It's been almost nine years, but I still remember you fondly. I wish you well.

Dear _____,
You somewhat misguidedly decided to confess your feelings for me while we were in the cinema with friends watching Happy Feet, and even though I didn't feel the same, you never accused me of putting you in the 'friend-zone' (ugh). Your friendship meant the world to me and I was so worried it would never be the same again, that you wouldn't want to face me. But you never let it get awkward, you just let it go and never treated my friendship as a consolation prize. You easily could have just ignored me for the rest of the year but I'm so glad you didn't - you made that year a bit more bearable for me. Thank you.

Dear _____,
If I could go back in time and not meet someone, it would be you. Your brief presence in my life did absolutely nothing for me and I still don't know what I was thinking. I always knew it would end. I just wish it hadn't started in the first place. 

Dear _____,
I'm so glad that you're one of the people I'm still in contact with. No matter how much time passes between us seeing each other, it is always seamless when we're together. I hope no measure of time changes that. Even though we had that turbulent year and I spent a lot of time angry at you and thinking you were the worst of us, you were actually always the best of us. You still are. I'll see you soon.

Dear _____,
I don't know if you'd even remember this, drunk as you were, but once you ended up on the phone to me while you guys were all out partying and I wasn't, and at first you said you wanted some girl advice, but then you told me that you missed me because I hadn't been around much lately. And then you said that my boyfriend would never love me like you did. You paused, and then you laughed a little, and so I laughed too. But I always wondered if you meant it - alcohol tends to loosen the tongue after all. You never mentioned it again, you'd probably forgotten and so I didn't bring it up. You were one of my best friends, and we don't talk anymore. I hope you're happy.

Dear _____,
I don't even know where to begin. I'm terrible at staying in touch with people who live near me let alone people that live further away and I'm sorry for that. I miss being able to see you all the time and I still think of you as my best friend even though I might not have the right to anymore. Of all the pictures I have in frames, you are in most of them so I think of you everyday and sometimes I miss you so much that it overwhelms me and I want to call you. But I'm in a weird head-space lately and I don't know what I'd say. I do want to see you soon though. I love you.

Dear _____,
You were the first boy I ever really loved, did you know that? It almost seemed like it was fated; you ending up in the room right opposite mine, and from the first time you wrapped your arms around me on the steps outside the student union because we were cold, I knew something amazing was going to happen. And it did. If it wasn't for you, I might not have gone back to university after first year so in some ways I guess I owe getting through my degree to you. But oh, we used to fight. We used to scream at each other and say nasty words and make each other cry and it was so much sometimes that it felt like the world was ending. But we loved each other, didn't we? That used to bring us back together. That used to be enough, until it wasn't anymore. Something changed. I watched the distance grow and grow between us until I just felt empty inside, and I'm so sorry that I left it so long without saying anything. Maybe I thought it would fix itself and I didn't want to worry you. But I think I was just delaying the inevitable; trying to hold onto you for as long as I could, until I couldn't take it anymore. It was selfish of me, I know, to ambush you with it like I did. I still clearly remember you telling me "I feel like I don't know you anymore" and that shattered me. I still wish we could have retained some contact but I understand why it wasn't really possible, I don't know why I ever expected it to be.
 There are days when I miss you so much it makes my heart ache. There are days when I don't think about you at all. 

Dear Jack,
These days, I often don't want to go anywhere or see anyone. Social situations (unless I know about them in advance and can mentally prepare myself) are more likely to make me anxious as I try to avoid or deflect questions about my life with jokes that make it sound like I don't care. (I do care.) But you never make me feel like I have to be anything other than who I am, even if I don't know exactly who that is. I am such a grumpy bugger whilst you are a ray of fucking sunshine and I will always be glad to see you at the end of the day, even though I'm unlikely to ever tell you that to your face. You are an open book, whereas I am decidedly not, but it works. No one has ever been as patient with me as you are and I'm fully aware that I don't make things easy. I'm selfish and erratic and indecisive and sometimes I expect you to be a mind reader. But I've also never laughed with anyone as much as I have laughed with you. Whenever I have bad days and feel like I'm worthless, just having you near makes me feel human again and I'm eternally grateful for that. 
I'm forever yours.

It's a bit warm out

Me: "It's hot today."
Jack: "It might be too hot."

 - a conversation Jack and I have every single time the temperature exceeds 22 degrees (Celsius). 

But yeah, that's my life at the moment. It's too hot, always. Even right now, it's raining but it's still too hot. I can't cope with the heat as well as I used to be able to, which is a bit strange because I used to live in Saudi Arabia (which is a very hot country, in case you were wondering). But then again, the house I lived in there had air-conditioning, as did all the classrooms in my school, and all the shops and supermarkets and so on. There is no air conditioning in my house here. There is no escape. Oh well, at least I can watch Wimbledon safe in the knowledge that at least I'm not as hot as the tennis players are. Silver linings.

My brother James has recently been having debates on Facebook with people who still believe the earth is flat. He told me about this on Friday and it made me irrationally angry. There's plenty of things that you can have plausible conspiracy theories about, but the earth being flat is not one of them. It's basic science. Apparently they think that the satellite pictures and everything have all been doctored. I was thinking about this intermittently and a couple of days ago we were sitting in the garden and I turned to James and said, "How do the flat-earthers explain the seasons then? Or time differences? Or why when it's summer here it's winter in Australia?"
And he said, "They can't."
Oh.

Each to their own, I suppose.

Song of the Day: Saying Goodbye by Every Avenue

Books!

I've recently discovered the Throne of Glass series of books by Sarah J. Maas and I'm obsessed. I'd heard good things and so I downloaded the first one onto my kindle to read after I had finally finished Death Cure and I blitzed through it embarrassingly quickly, so promptly got the next two as well. For some reason I thought it was a trilogy which confused me when I started the third one because I didn't see how it was all going to get wrapped up in one book. Luckily, there is another one but I have to wait until it comes out in September which granted, isn't really that long, but I am very upset about something that has happened to one of the characters and so the waiting is torturous. I need to know how it's all going to pan out.

To fill the void, I'm naturally re-reading them, but after that I'll have to find something new to read I suppose. Sometimes I wish that you could erase books from your memory after you finish them, just so you can discover the worlds inside them again for the first time. Then again that's the nice thing about books; they become familiar, like old friends. And sometimes it's a comfort to know what's going to happen.

I think I might read The Martian by Andy Weir because I saw the trailer for the movie and it looks pretty awesome. Space is cool and everything, but I never, ever want to go there. 

Song of the Day: Leaving California by Maroon 5

Moody Mondays

We've reached June, which is weird because it was Christmas five minutes ago, but whatever. I'll roll with it. I turn 26 in exactly a week. That is harder for me to grasp. I'm still 17, right?

I feel like I've reached the point where I'm no longer particularly excited by my own birthday. Although Jack has mentioned that he has bought me a few gifts which I won't turn my nose up at. I like being given things. I wish I could keep the presents but not have to move past the 18-25 age bracket. I don't know, I think I'm just becoming increasingly aware of my own mortality and that's pretty terrifying, especially when these thoughts only tend to creep up on me in the dead of night. Oh well, who needs sleep anyway?

The trouble with being in your twenties is that you assume you should have your life together by now, because that's what you think is supposed to happen after you graduate. You're supposed to know what to do next, apparently. By my age you should already have your dream job and you should maybe be thinking about Settling Down, because that's what society has drilled into you for as long as you can remember. But here's the dirty little secret that no one ever tells you when you're still in school: no one in their twenties has a fucking clue what they're doing (please pardon my french). Honestly, trying to compare your experiences with those of other people in their mid-twenties is going to accomplish absolutely nothing except make you feel miserable and inadequate. So I'm going to try really, really hard not to do that.

My brother shared this on Facebook the other day and it feels pretty appropriate for my mood today:


I am the worst at adulting.

Song of the Day: Hold My Hand by Jess Glynne, because it makes me happy.

May the Fourth be with you

In honour of Star Wars Day, I'm bringing this back.



It's still my favourite thing.

Speaking of Star Wars, I'm sure by now everyone has seen the trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens and is suitably excited. It was so full of nostalgia and I may have squealed when Han and Chewie rocked up at the end. I can't wait.

Song of the Day: Resolve by the Foo Fighters


Deep Dark Fears (basically a ramble on why I'm afraid of the sea)

I've never really considered myself to have any proper, fully-fledged phobias of anything. Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of things that I'm not particularly fond of, or that make me uneasy. I don't like spiders when they're inside my house (they don't bother me outside); I don't like being in crowds so big that you're constantly being jostled by strangers (this is part of the reason why I've never been to a festival - that and I hate camping and port-a-loo's); I'm not very good on roller-coasters, I have to really build myself up to go on them and even then I usually shut my eyes the entire time because it's not as scary if I can't see what's coming (that being said, I still don't think I'll ever go on Oblivion ever, ever again). However I wouldn't say that any of these are crippling fears, and I wouldn't consider them particularly debilitating to my life. I wouldn't let them stop me from going to a Theme Park or somewhere I know will be very crowded.

The only thing I can think of that I would equate to a genuine fear would be the ocean. The ocean terrifies me, and it's something that has only intensified as I have grown older. I still love the beach and the water, and I will still paddle and swim (if the water visibility is perfect and I'm absolutely sure there is nothing in that area that could kill me). But there is always something in the back of my mind that sets me on edge and stops me from being a hundred percent in the moment. I would never let my guard down in the ocean, and whenever I do go swimming in the sea I am constantly reassessing my surroundings, and where I am in relation to the shore/boat and how long it would take me to get there in a hurry if I needed to. And yes, part of this is my irrational fear that there could be a shark literally anywhere (even places that I have been assured there aren't). It's silly, I know, but Jaws is one of my favourite films and I have an overactive imagination. 

I've been thinking about it and I think I can remember where the root of my fear began. I can't remember how old I was (maybe about 6 or 7), but I think we were in Dubai and my brother and I were playing in the waves. All we were doing was letting them catch us and riding over them, like surfing I guess only without the boards. Some of them were getting quite big and closer together and after I had just gone over one wave, the next one was already starting to break so instead of being able to go over it, I got caught at the bottom and pushed under the water. I was stuck in the momentum of the wave and got caught in the next one too, and it just kept me tumbling round and round, unable to get free. After that one I managed to swim to the surface and I couldn't have been under the water for longer than 30 seconds realistically, probably less, but it felt like ages. Once I'd got my breath back I carried on playing, because when you're a kid, the fun outweighs the fear always. But I think that ever since then I've always had that moment in my mind every time I've been swimming in the sea.

When I was fourteen I was part of a school trip that went to Vietnam. We went on a boat trip and we were allowed to jump off the top into the water. It was actually really high up, and it was starting to get dark so the visibility in the water wasn't great, but there's something about being surrounded by friends that makes you brave, and I did it. Twice. It's funny, the journey down was exhilarating, but after I had plunged into the sea and come up to the surface, it felt quite unnerving to be in that much water. After the second time, two of my friends came towards me on a kayak and one of them, thinking he was oh so hilarious, pointed behind me and said, with a panicked expression, "Look out Emma, a shark!" Deep down inside, I knew he was joking, but by that time I had managed to sufficiently freak myself out. I didn't even bother looking behind me, just swam to their kayak as fast as I could and nearly capsized it climbing on board. It's safe to say that after that I lost my nerve and didn't do it again. I don't think I'd have the nerve to do it now, to be honest.

As much as I don't want to let it stop me from ever enjoying myself (and I won't), I do think that it's appropriate to have a certain amount of fear of the ocean. The ocean isn't our home; we don't live there.  Every time we go in the sea, we are invading the space of the creatures (many of which can easily kill you) that do. The ocean itself is like it's own entity, moving with the waves and currents which can also, incidentally, kill you. I think a lot of people don't fully respect the ocean. But I do. At heart, humans are selfish creatures, but when we're in the vastness of the ocean, we're forced to realise how insignificant we are. Honestly, that's what makes it the most rational fear of all.


Song of the Day: A Song About Love by Jake Bugg


Music & Lyrics

You are not your job
And you are not the clothes you wear
You are the words that leave your mouth
So speak up, speak up loud
 Call Me Ishmael by Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly

I rediscovered Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly this morning and Call Me Ishmael really struck a chord with me for some reason. It's funny, you can hear a song you've heard a hundred times before, and all of a sudden it has a profound effect on you. I suppose it depends where you are in your life. As someone who really pays attention to lyrics, I appreciate when they're actually clever, or mean something. 

In a few weeks I will get time
To realise it's right before my eyes
And I can take it if it's what I want to do
What You Know by Two Door Cinema Club

But no one's yet explained to me exactly what's so great
About slaving 50 years away on something that you hate
About meekly shuffling down the path of mediocrity
Well if that's your road then take it, but it's not the road for me
Photosynthesis by Frank Turner

Evidently there's a theme within the kinds of songs I'm listening to at the moment. I think that's the nice thing about music though; there seems to be songs that can relate to almost any situation. They say things that you can't quite verbalise sometimes. They make you feel things. What a great gift to have. 

Song of the Day: Any of the 3 I've mentioned. Take your pick, they're all great.


New hobbies

I have a headache. Which probably isn't being helped by staring at a computer screen, but hey-ho. Here we are.

February came and went with the blink of an eye as it always does because it is so short, but I find that March seems quite short too. Mostly because by the time your mind processes that it is not February anymore, it has already been March for a good few days. In theory it should be warming up now, but although the nights are getting lighter it feels like we've fallen back into the depths of winter. It reminds me of this comic. After January, winter just becomes a bit of a burden because there's no Christmas to look forward to. Bring on summer, I want to sit outside.

I've started drawing. Although I'm not a jealous person by nature, I have always envied people who seem to be artistically gifted. I've had a change of heart though. Whilst I still think that there are people who have a natural flair for drawing, it actually takes a lot of work and all those people just try a lot harder than the rest of us who say that we're not very good at art. Last week I decided that I wanted to get better at drawing so I just started practicing. I think the coolest thing about sketching is that you start out with some circles and lines on a page but you build them up and they become something, and it's really rewarding when your finished product actually resembles what you wanted it to. It's hard though, and it takes time. Patience is a great virtue, but it's never been one of mine, so it's good for me to start taking more time over things. When I told Jack that I'd started doodling he said, "Are you going to draw me like one of your French girls?" because he is oh so hilarious (I'm assuming everyone will get the reference). So far I've pretty much been drawing some of my favourite cartoon characters, but you've got to start somewhere and it's really fun.

Speaking of cartoons, here's some awesome ones that you should definitely watch if you don't already:
Avatar: The Last Airbender
Avatar: Legend of Korra
Over The Garden Wall
Adventure Time (obviously - everyone knows how much I love it)
Bob's Burgers

Watch them. Thank me later.

Song of the Day: Like I Can by Sam Smith

Currently reading: Death Cure by James Dashner

A list. And pancakes.

I did start writing a belated Valentine's Day post on Monday, but I didn't finish it. It's too late now. It can sit in my drafts until next year. Or forever. Who knows. I couldn't finish it and post it yesterday obviously because yesterday was the most sacred of all the days: Pancake Day. Any day that makes it socially acceptable to eat pancakes for dinner is definitely a winner in my book. 

Anyway, here's a list of some of the things that I find ridiculously overrated. Haters gonna hate, hate, hate...


  1. Pulp Fiction
  2. Actually, Quentin Tarantino films in general.
  3. Nando's
  4. Uptown Funk by Mark Ronson feat. Bruno Mars - it's not even that catchy a song, I don't get the appeal.
  5. Breaking Bad - don't get mad! I don't mind it, I haven't even finished it yet, I'm only on series 2 but honestly I find it kind of slow moving and hard to get into. Maybe it gets better? I'll persevere.
  6. Champagne (sorry Mum)
  7. Looking for Alaska by John Green. Don't get me wrong, I still enjoyed it but I don't quite think it lived up to all of the hype it got. Paper Towns and The Fault in our Stars were much better, in my humble opinion.
  8. Frozen - I actually really like Frozen but holy moly it's so over-hyped and it's everywhere, all the time.
And now, in honor of Pancake Day, a video of someone making pancakes shaped like characters from The Walking Dead, how cool!


Song of the Day: Make Me Smile (Come Up And See Me) by Cockney Rebel & Steve Harley

Currently reading: The Scorch Trials by James Dashner


A very british ramble about weather

The good news is, we made it through January. The bad news is that the weather forecast for the next week looks like it's going to be really, really cold. Sub-zero maybe. I wouldn't mind if any of the snow we've had here actually bothered to stick around for more than an hour at a time. This is about the best we got.


At least it makes a pretty picture. A couple of hours after this was taken you wouldn't have seen any evidence that it had snowed at all. Things like that really annoy me. I think I've spoken about it before, but I like the weather to stay the same all day. If the day starts off miserable and grey and rainy, then I get irrationally angry if the sun comes out in the afternoon. I don't know why. It's not that I don't like change. I love change; I crave it. Just not when it comes to the weather I guess. Where weather is concerned, I like to know where I stand. 

In other news, Jack and I added a new recipe to our repertoire last night. It was a casserole/stew type of thing and it was delicious. I love it when new things turn out well. Also, cooking new meals makes me feel like a grown-up. Go me!

Song of the Day: Be Good by Emily Kinney

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