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

Feel free to ignore this

Jack and I went to see the new Star Trek on Sunday. It was good, very go go go. All in all, I think my favourite character is Bones because he does his job and gets on with what he's supposed to do and everything but he literally complains about it the entire time and I relate to that on a spiritual level.

I had a point with this blog post. It was going to go somewhere, I'm sure of it.

Me saying that I'd been to the cinema can't have been the only thing I wanted to say.

Surely not.

Well, this is embarrassing.

Okay, well, in other news, my parents went away for a few days and the only present they brought back for me was the tea-bags from their hotel room. Fancy tea-bags, but still. I was shocked and appalled, too.

I genuinely can't remember what my purpose was with this so I'll leave it there for now. I'm sure it'll come to me at some point.

Song of the Day: Together by The Raconteurs (You want everything to be just like/ The stories that you read but never write)

A jumbled mess of thoughts

It's been a month of radio silence so I'm just going to sort of ramble incoherently for a bit, don't mind me.

I feel like 2016 is some sort of cosmic joke, and if there's a parallel universe then it must be having the best year ever where something wonderful is happening every single day just to balance out the insanity that is this year in this universe. Every time I think it can't possibly get any worse, something else happens and it's exhausting.

You know how when you were at school, and sometimes if your class had been a bit noisy or some people had been acting up or whatever, and the teacher used to tell you all off as a collective instead of singling out the troublemakers? So you'd know that you personally can't really be in trouble because you didn't do anything, but the teacher's mad and you feel guilty anyway? That's sort of how I feel about Brexit.

The sun is finally out in England but I hate it already. I really love the idea of summer, but when it actually arrives, I can't cope with it. It's too hot. I never last for too long outside, I managed about an hour yesterday before retreating indoors for a cold shower. I can't help it, I just crave the cold and darkness, like the strange little hermit I am. I grew up in Saudi Arabia, this shouldn't be happening to me. Although in fairness, we had air-conditioning in Saudi, whereas here there is no escape and the heat just encompasses everything. It's like being in a hot bath you can't get out of. I hate it. Also I'm terrible at keeping myself hydrated so that probably doesn't help (I should really work on that).

Last week, Jack went to hunt down some ice cream, and he shouted to me, "What are these things in the freezer?"
Unable to see through walls, I called back, "What things?"
"The things that look like muffins."
"The muffins, you mean?"
There was a silence before his head popped back around the corner. "Alright, Sarcasmo," he said. He calls me that a lot. I answer a lot of Jack's questions with sarcasm and eye-rolls.
"I wasn't even being sarcastic. They are literally muffins. That's why they look like muffins."
You see, sometimes Jack asks really obvious questions and I have to remind myself that I'm actually quite fond of him.

But anyway, my parents are back from their holiday, we're having a BBQ later and I'm going to drink a shandy whilst driving everyone bonkers with my complaints about how hot it is.

Song of the Day: Leave A Trace by CHVRCHES (You talk far too much for someone so unkind/ I will wipe the salt off of my skin and I'll admit that I got it wrong/ And there is grey between the lines)

Currently Reading: Passenger by Alexandra Bracken

Watch where you're going

A bird crashed into my bedroom window yesterday evening. I know this because there's a distinct imprint on the glass. I can clearly make out a wing and a fat body and a head. Personally, I hope it was a pigeon. Whatever it was, it looks like it hurt.

I'm glad I wasn't in the room at the time because it would have scared the bejeezus out of me. It probably happened while I was downstairs watching The Prince of Egypt and weeping into my Ben & Jerry's (it's a very emotional movie). After I saw the evidence I checked outside to see if I had a dead bird on the patio, but there was nothing there, so I assume the daft creature still lives.

It made me think of  a really old Alan Davies stand-up. He did a bit about his cats and there's a really funny bit involving a pigeon. I tracked it down on Youtube. You're welcome.

Song of the Day: Please Please Please by Shout Out Louds (It's getting darker and I know this time wasn't meant for us/ So won't you please, please, please come back to me)

Just keep swimming

I don't know about everyone else, but I'm currently feeling very anxious and uneasy about the current state of the world. During the last week, practically every day has been a bad news day, filled with events that I just can't wrap my head around. It's times like these when it really is incredibly easy to just lose all faith in humanity, at least if you've been paying attention.

But here's the thing: you have to go through life believing that people, in general and at heart, are inherently good. You have to. Because otherwise, what's the point in anything?


If you don't like what's going on in the real world, dive into an imaginary one instead! That's what I've been doing. I think I said on here way back at the start of the year that I was aiming to read 30 books in 2016. I set it up as an official goal on Goodreads so it was easier for me to keep track of how I was doing, and I actually started off really well. It didn't take me long to get ahead of schedule and I was feeling incredibly chuffed with myself. It didn't last, however, and I ended up in a gigantic reading slump and didn't even go on Goodreads for the longest time. When I finally did log back in it informed me that I was 5 books behind schedule, and I was like, "Whatever, Goodreads, I don't need this kind of negativity in my life," and promptly logged back out again.

For my birthday (I'm 27 now. I'm not all that psyched about it), Jack got me - among other things - 3 comic books. Or graphic novels, whatever you want to call them (I don't care). I read all of these in one day which took me to just 2 books behind schedule. Then I finally finished I Am The Messenger by Markus Zusak, which is fantastic, and then I read The Rest Of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness which I bought with some birthday money. I think my dad might have recommended it to me. He definitely recommended something by Patrick Ness. Either way, I really enjoyed it. But my point is that I am now back on track according to Goodreads! Hallelujah.

I'm currently making my way through the Grisha trilogy by Leigh Bardugo (I'm on book 2) which I initially had no interest in reading, but they were only 99p each on Kindle and I'm a sucker for a bargain, because I am my mother's daughter. I'm actually enjoying them more than I thought I would, although Six of Crows is much, much better. I read very quickly when I'm in the right mood for it, and lately I've been in the right mood, so I'm going to ride the wave while it lasts and see how far ahead of schedule I can get, which will be handy for when I inevitably fall into another slump.

Chins up, everyone. Stay safe.

Song of the Day: Midway by Bad Bad Hats (Midway between the end and the start/ I cried like a baby, I tore you apart)

When Emma met Jophie

I met Joe on my very first day of university back in September 2007. We lived on the same floor of the same halls of residence. I walked into the kitchen and there he was, drinking a beer already (or at least I think he was - in my memory there's definitely a bottle in his hand). He was funny and friendly (still is) and I liked him immediately.

Sophie, I didn't meet until the second semester. I was out on the town with my flatmates, and my friend Lydia had come with us. We were about to leave whatever bar or pub we were in and head to Pier Pressure (a club) when Lydia said she was going to head back because of the early morning lecture, which I had already decided I wasn't going to attend. Disappointed to lose Lydia's company, I pleaded with her to come with us, and she looked me dead in the eye with the air of a seasoned negotiator and said, "Okay then, Emma. If you come with me to the lecture at 9am tomorrow morning, I'll go to Pier with you." I agreed easily, satisfied that I had managed to get my own way and not worrying about my side of the bargain because that was a problem for future-me. I couldn't even get out of it either, as Lydia came by bright and early to personally escort me to my fate. So there I was, hungover, tired and irritable, being led into a lecture about medieval Germany or something by an annoyingly chipper Lydia, and she introduced me to Sophie, the friendliest person I have ever met.

As it happened, Sophie already knew Joe as they had some of the same classes, and to say that she was rather fond of him is putting it mildly. I'm not sure when exactly it came up that I not only knew Joe, but I lived with him - regardless, it was a happy coincidence, and Sophie and I gradually began to see more and more of each other as the year progressed.

I had a few people over to my house during the summer holidays for my birthday, Sophie and Joe included, and I can still remember standing in the kitchen in the morning making pancakes (or attempting to - I seem to recall some disagreements over how many eggs go in pancake batter), while Sophie, never one to hold back, gushed to me about Joe.

That was eight years ago. And on Saturday, I got to watch them get married.

There was a moment later on in the night, when I was on the dance floor surrounded by people I had gone to university with, and the band started to play Don't Stop Believin' by Journey, a song synonymous with our old Student Union, and it was like being hit by wave after wave of nostalgia. Dancing around in a big circle, singing our hearts out at the top of our lungs, and it was so bittersweet because uni feels like it was a lifetime ago, but at the same time it feels like it could have been last week. We were dancing to Journey at the union, then we blinked and we were dancing to Journey at Joe and Sophie's wedding. Time, man. It flies.

So this post is for Joe and Sophie. I've known them separately, and I've known them together, and I've never seen either as happy as they were on Saturday. I wish them all the love in the world.

Song of the Day: When You Were Young by The Killers (And sometimes you close your eyes and see the place where you used to live/ When you were young)

Wasps are stupid, but also terrifying

It's getting towards summer now, which means at night time my windows are likely to be open. This also means that every once in a while, I will be awoken early in the morning by the buzzing sound of a very disgruntled wasp that has managed to fly through the window and can't figure out how to get back out.

Eventually, they always seem to sort it out and escape, but until they do, I can't really open the curtains. Because wasps aren't like bees. Bees are round and fuzzy and in general, less inclined to sting you. They're just trying to pollinate flowers and make honey. (Save the bees.) Wasps, on the other hand, are driven by hatred and incandescent rage. And when they get trapped, they become incensed. So when the idiotic creatures have managed to get themselves caught in between my curtains and my bedroom window, I can't even try and help by opening the windows wider because that involves opening the curtains. And if I do that, then a tiny, buzzing ball of pure fury will suddenly be directed at me

When this happens I pretty much live in fear until the buzzing stops, then I have to hope that it has found the window and escaped and isn't just lulling me into a false sense of security. So yeah. I'm not a fan of wasps. They're like the geese of the insect world. (I hate geese, I cannot stress this enough.)

Song of the Day: I'm a little ashamed of this (let's call it a guilty pleasure song) but 80s Mercedes by Maren Morris was on some random Spotify playlist and I can't get it out of my head.

I'm aliiiiiive!

I've long given up feeling like I have to apologise whenever I'm absent from this blog for an extended period of time - it is what it is, and I know that it's here for me to return to whenever I see fit. Usually when I want to talk about books or music or something cool I found on the internet.

My friend Sophie had her hen-do a couple of weekends ago and we went to Alton Towers, which was fun, but it did reaffirm the fact that I am not a roller-coaster person, as much as I'd like to be. The last time I was there I did go on Oblivion and decided never again, but the Smiler wasn't there last time. I took one look at it and said "nope." Which was a good thing, really, because Soph said it was, and I quote, "vomit-inducing."

Park aside, we got to stay in the most adorable little lodges, ate tapas (and drank copious amounts of sangria) at a local pub where we were served by the friendliest staff I have ever come across, and got to have afternoon tea the following day at the Alton Towers hotel. There was also a spa trip but I forgot my swimming costume, it didn't even occur to me to take it, I'm not sure why. This is clearly a very 'me' thing to do because when I was telling my mum about it afterwards, she said "Oh Emma" in a very mum-like way. I didn't mean to. But anyway, in lieu of the spa, I went back into the park with a couple of others and had a wander around and went to the aquarium. And anyone who knows me knows that I love a good aquarium. What a lovely weekend, can't wait for the wedding now.

On Saturday, it was my brother's 30th birthday, which I'm struggling to get my head around. He's in America, so I didn't get to see him, but I did post this picture on his Facebook wall, just so he knows I care, and to remind him of the days when he was nice to me and not annoying me from thousands of miles away. (It should be noted that I don't actually know how many miles away he is. I was going to say millions, but that seems excessive. It feels far, anyhow.)

So yeah, Saturday was James's birthday. But that is not all it was. Saturday was also Eurovision day, that wonderfully weird event that comes but once a year.

Eurovision is incredibly difficult to describe to the uninitiated. I think it's the kind of thing you have to experience to understand. I have a sort of morbid fascination with Eurovision - I never really mean to watch it, but somehow I nearly always end up doing just that. It's like a trainwreck, I just can't look away. Although I will say that this year was relatively tame on the whole, compared to previous years.

I felt a bit bad for the British boys, who ended up coming third from last (I think? Can't quite remember), when their song was actually objectively one of the better ones. But I suppose it's par for the course and we never do all that well. It's all good fun and I hope they didn't take it to heart.

My personal favourite was the entry from France, it was super catchy and I'm disappointed he didn't win.

C'est la vie.

Currently reading: I Am The Messenger by Markus Zusak. Loving it so far.

Song of the Day: Australia by The Shins (You'll be damned to pining through the windowpanes/ You know you'd trade your life for any ordinary Joe/ Well do it now or grow old/ Your nightmares only need a year or two to unfold)

Easter things

So. We had Easter, which was nice. 

Someone knocked Jack's wing-mirror off his car when it was parked outside my house on Good Friday, which wasn't so nice.

And also my mum left the back door open for a few hours to 'let some fresh air in', and later that evening she discovered a frog squatting in the corner, unable to get back out as the door had since been shut. So we set it free and I think we all learned a valuable lesson about doors, and how creatures can get inside if they're left open unattended.

Jack and I went for a bank holiday walk on Monday and as the park was utterly deserted we decided to go on the swings for a bit, and it did not take long for us to start to feel sick. I think that's when you know you're not a child anymore, when you can't even go on the swings without feeling queasy. It's a bit depressing really.

All in all, a nice few days. Food and family. Win-win.

Song of the Day: You by Coasts (We're starting to pick up speed/ Scattered across the sky/ 'Cause you make me feel/ Like I'm holding on to something real)

What can I say?

Another day, another city rocked with terrorist attacks. In the wake of what's happened in Turkey recently, and now Brussels as well, there comes a point when you just don't know what to say anymore. It's easier to just not watch the news or listen to the radio. But then you forget that there's literally always something happening somewhere.

I was going to write about something else today, but I've completely lost my train of thought. Derailed. 

So on an entirely unrelated note, go and watch the history of Japan video on YouTube. I've watched it so many times in the last week that it's starting to get embarrassing.

Song of the Day: Float On by Modest Mouse (Alright already, we'll all float on/ Okay, don't worry we'll all float on/ Even if things get heavy, we'll all float on, alright)

Wish You Were Here

Have you ever really loved a song but then forgotten that it existed? And then you rediscover it years later and it's like, "Ah, yes, I remember you," and you can't quite remember why you ever stopped listening to it in the first place. I love it when that happens; it's like hearing songs for the first time again. This is my latest rediscovery. 

Incubus, man. What a great band. Terrible music video though.

Currently reading: Still all the things I was reading last time (don't judge me), but last week I did read All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven and I couldn't stop thinking about it for days. I was in bits about it. 10/10 would recommend (fair warning - it's incredibly upsetting)

Excuse me while I get all mushy for a minute...

So according to Ghostbusters II the world is going to end tomorrow, on Valentine's Day 2016. Which would be a bit of a bummer in all honesty. So just in case it does, here's a gross blog post about why Jack is the greatest (but don't tell him I said that).

1. His favourite song is Wuthering Heights by Kate Bush and for some reason I find that so endearing.

2. Anytime he gets me a card (birthdays, Christmas, valentine's) it always has a dinosaur on it. It began one Valentine's Day when he hated all the cards he found so got me one with a dinosaur on it instead, and it's become a tradition and I love it. Dinosaurs are cool.

3. He calls my feet 'little trotters' in a funny voice.

4. He talks in his sleep sometimes and it's hilarious; he will have entire conversations with me and not remember a thing in the morning.

5. He never takes anything personally. Sometimes I have days when I just want to be alone, even on a day I would normally see him, so I'll send him a message saying so, and it's never an issue. He understands that it's not a slight against him, it's about me, and I don't have to feel guilty about it on top of whatever else I might be feeling. It's incredibly reassuring.

6. He asks me for book/music recommendations (and actually listens to them) which makes me feel like my opinion is valued.

7. He never belittles me for being passionate about things that I enjoy, specifically fictional characters because I'm a nerd. It's nice to be able to talk to someone about those kinds of things.

8. He's funny which is obviously a plus, but he also thinks that I'm funny (I like to be the funniest in the room, always). Making him laugh is one of my favourite things to do.

9. He doesn't judge me when I dance embarrassingly around the kitchen, he just smiles at me affectionately.

10. There are a lot of things I'm unsure of, but the one thing I do know is that I have the ability to brighten his day. That despite the fact that I'm a grumpy, anti-social recluse, Jack will come round to my house and be happy just to be in my presence, and I like knowing that I can do for him what he does for me. I don't think I deserve him, but I'm glad he's here all the same.

Sorry if this made you want to vomit. I was feeling unusually affectionate. It has passed now, I'm back to my usual disdainful self.

Song of the Day: You're So Great by Blur ('Cause I feel the light in the night and in the day/ And I feel the light when the sky's just mud and grey/ And I feel the light when you tell me it's okay/ 'Cause you're so great and I love you)


I hope nobody forgot about Pancake Day yesterday. I nearly did, but Jack text me on Monday night to remind me (we take pancakes very seriously around here). It wasn't even on my calendar though, can you believe that? Ash Wednesday was noted down, but no Pancake Day. It didn't even say Shrove Tuesday. I was outraged; how else am I supposed to remember?

But anyway, the crisis was averted because at least Jack was on the ball, and yesterday he sent a text from work checking that we had everything we needed topping wise, and we had the following exchange:

He showed up with one of those squeezy ready made lemon juice things anyway, and when I held it up at him and raised my eyebrows he just shot me a look and said, "Just in case." Pretty sure he thinks I'm some sort of lemon nazi now. I was right though - we only used one.

The long and short of it though, is that I really, really love pancakes. So much so that I might make them again this weekend. (Although when I say "I", what I mean is that I will make Jack make them for me - he's the resident pancake maker. I squeeze the lemons and offer moral support. It's a tough job but someone's got to do it.)

Song of the Day: Like Kids by Suede (Oh, we hold it all in our fist/ Like kids, like savages/ And we'll run in the playground/ If you'll just stay with me)

Currently reading: Still The Ship of Magic but I accidentally stalled on it because I forgot to charge my kindle so started re-reading Harry Potter from the beginning so I'm trying to read both. It's not going well.

A book update that nobody asked for

I really like it when the 1st of the month lands on a Monday. It makes calendars look neater, for starters, but it's not just that. It makes it easier to keep track somehow. I don't know, I can't really explain it very well. And this one has fallen in February, which means that next month will start on a Monday, too.

Well, it would have done, if 2016 didn't happen to be a bloody leap year. Thanks for ruining what would have been a perfect calendar month, 29th February, I hope you're really pleased with yourself.

But in all seriousness, I couldn't be happier to see the back of January. It's just been really rubbish, hasn't it? It's been a really weird month. But February will be good. Valentine's Day is soon, I'll be off to London to see Cirque du Soleil shortly after that, not to mention that the King of all days - Pancake Day - is in February.

In other news, I'm doing fairly well with my book challenge, all things considered. I've read 4/30 books, which according to Goodreads means I'm 2 books ahead of schedule.

I had a tiny bit of a set back because after reading The Handmaid's Tale, because I read Carry On by Rainbow Rowell, and it gave me the biggest book hangover I have ever had. I loved it. So much so that I had to re-read it, because I needed to get it out of my system. And then I re-read it again because I have literally no self-control. There are actually a couple of glaring continuity errors in it (nothing that takes away from the plot, but they were still noticeable - well, maybe they were only so noticeable to me because I read it so many times), which would normally irritate the hell out of me, but I just loved the story and the characters so much that I couldn't make myself care. Also I think I've found one of my now all time favourite characters ever in Baz Pitch - a gay vampire magician who is secretly in love with his roommate/mortal enemy. But yeah, I recommend it. I'm a sucker for a good love story, and this is a great one, but that's not all it is.

So anyway, after that, I started to read Dreams and Shadows by C. Robert Cargill that I knew nothing about but Jack got me it for Christmas and it has a beautiful cover. I found it incredibly difficult to get into, so much so that after struggling through three or four chapters I put it down and haven't picked it up again. After a few days passed and I realised I still wasn't ready to dive back in, I moved onto something else instead.

I had some money left on an Amazon gift-voucher and used it to get Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo on my kindle. I haven't read Leigh Bardugo's Grisha trilogy, and I had heard really mixed things about it and didn't really want to, but I had heard nothing but good things about Six of Crows. I had resisted getting it because I knew it was set in the same world as her other books and I didn't know whether I needed to read them or not first. But it's about a heist, and I love a heist, so I caved and picked it up. I really, really enjoyed it. The characterisation was good, and I didn't think I was missing out having not read the Grisha trilogy first (which is good because I'm still not arsed about reading them). The only thing is that I made the mistake of thinking that this was a standalone book, but it's not, it's the first in a series. Just for once, I'd like a cohesive ending. Just once. But never mind, the sequel's out in September.

After finishing Six of Crows, I found that I still had no desire to try and get back into Dreams and Shadows yet, so I started another book I've had on my kindle for a while - Ship of Magic by Robin Hobb. I'm not that far into it but I think I'm enjoying it so far. There's pirates involved which is always a bonus. Only thing is that it's 800-odd pages long so it might take me a while.

Fingers crossed I'll eventually get back into Dreams and Shadows as well - I do want to finish it. But that's actually a good piece of advice I think - if you're struggling to read something and it's making you not want to read at all, read something else instead. Even if it's just re-reading something you've already read.

Song of the Day: Death With Dignity by Sufjan Stevens (Amethyst and flowers on the table/ Is it real or a fable?/ Well, I suppose a friend is a friend/ And we all know how this will end) 


Eleven days into January, I currently have 3 empty pages in my diary and I feel so betrayed by Bridget Jones who made it look so easy. I could just fill in the pages and pretend I wrote them on the right days, but that would be cheating, and besides, I've just told everyone about it.

2016 has been weird so far, but there's things to look forward to. A trip to London, a Hen-do, a wedding, and that takes me right up to June. Other than that, there's things to be cautiously optimistic about as well.

But for now, David Bowie died yesterday and I'm so very sad about that.

A New Challenge

The other day I logged into my Goodreads account for the first time in about 3 years. I like that you can keep track of everything you've read (provided you remember to update it) on there, but I find the interface really annoying to use, and the whole site still feels kind of buggy to me. Regardless, I've set myself a goal of trying to read 30 books this year, which I'm pretty sure I can do. I might have even done it last year, but I'm not sure because I didn't keep track. I've made a good start though, I'm already one and a half books down. I haven't picked specific books because I know that won't work for me, it will actually just make me want to read less if I feel obliged to read something specific. So I'll read anything I want, and recommendations are welcome as always.

Reading's fun, guys.

Song of the Day: Wish You Were Here by Pink Floyd (How I wish, how I wish you were here/ We're just two lost souls swimming in a fish bowl year after year)

Currently reading: The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood, which is good but I'm finding it so unsettling.


Christmas came and went too quickly, as it always does, but at least it was fun while it lasted. Santa put some booze in my stocking this year, because he obviously knows that I'm a grown-up now. 

New Years Eve was as uneventful as it always is. There always seems to be so much pressure to go out and do something to mark the occasion but I can never be bothered anymore; everywhere's always too expensive and I'd prefer to be in bed at a reasonable hour anyway (god, I'm so boring). As a special New Years treat, Jack decided to give me his cold, so I've spent the last couple of days feeling absolutely rotten and hiding under every blanket I own. I took the Christmas decorations down yesterday morning (because I'd been awake since 4am and needed something to do) and didn't even feel sad about it like I usually do because I was feeling so poorly. So all in all, 2016 isn't off to the best start. But then again we're only four days in so it's a bit early to judge it as a whole.

I'm not making any resolutions this year, because let's face it - I never, ever, ever stick to them. Ever. So why bother? I did pick up a pretty diary from Smiths which I'm going to try and write something in every day, even if it's as little as a sentence. So far, so good, but who knows how long I'll be able to stick to that?

But anyway, I hope everyone enjoyed their holidays and the shock of returning to reality hasn't been too jarring. Here's to the new year, and hoping it's better than the last.

Song of the Day: Sometimes It's A Bitch by Stevie Nicks (Sometimes the picture just ain't what it seems/ You get what you want but it's not what you need/Sometimes it's a bitch, sometimes it's a breeze) 

Currently reading: An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

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