My Life

I’m Off

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I am going on holiday!

Well technically I’ve been on holiday since Friday afternoon, but tomorrow I am actually leaving the country and descending on a Greek island where I shall do almost nothing for a week, which I am very excited for. I haven’t had a do nothing holiday since I was about 16 and went to Spain for a week with my mum. My holidays since then have been quite full of being a tourist with minimal relaxation time and it’s been 3 years since I’ve been on one of those anyway.

So I’m going on holiday. And I am also going to try and go on a little bit of a social media detox. I’m not saying that I am going to go off that completely because I know me and that would be a lie if ever I heard one. But I’ve noticed recently just how much time I spend on social media which I never used to do and so I am going to cut back and try to disconnect as much as possible and just ya know be.

Which I feel also sounds like a massive cliche, but this year has been hard for me so far for a whole bunch of reasons and I’ve just been sort of plowing on through with it all when I really need to do is take a step back and try to reset as much as possible before I get back to my life and stuff.

And in keeping with the fact that I am taking a break I am also going to take an extended leave of absence from this little blog of mine. I’m not too sure how long for yet, but definitely the next two weeks. I might extend it for the whole of August but I will see how it goes come the 13th August. It may be that I just need to settle back into my routine before I get back to blogging, or it may not. I have no way of knowing.

For now though, I’m taking a break from things. I’m gonna spend today packing and picking up any last bits and pieces that I might need that I have somehow forgotten and doing things like finally painting my nails and deep conditioning my hair.

Oh, and also as I am writing this on Sunday before I get back to tackling my Camp Nano word document I don’t actually know what my month end word count it. I do know that I have written over 3,000 words since my last update and my current word count is now 6, 525. So there’s that.

Anywho, parentheses count: 0. And I hope you all have wonderful August’s, see you when I see you!

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Playlists

July Playlist

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It’s the end of the month and so that can only mean one thing. Playlist time. I’ve been listening to the same songs almost all month on repeat with the occasional radio breaks at work.

1) New Rules -Dua Lipa

I have maybe just about reached the point with this song where I have listened to this song so much that I am starting to not like it anymore. But I am not there yet. It’s so good. I love it so much.

2) Sorry Not Sorry – Demi Lovato

Sometimes a song some along that just adds fuel to a fire that was almost burned out. This song was that for me. And it’s really good to have new Demi music.

3) Instruction – Jax Jones, Demi Lovato and Stefflon Don

Speaking of Demi vocals, this song has also been on complete repeat as well. I pretty much listen to it when I’m walking to the station in the morning and when I’m walking to the office (I would go mad if I listened to it for the whole train journey as well). It kind of just makes me feel some kind of way and I love it.

4) Know U Anymore – Bo Talks ft Sarah Hyland

This is such a chill song which was a slight tonic for all the dancey upbeat songs that I always have on repeat. It’s got such a nice vibe to it.

5) Mama – Jonas Blue ft William Singe

I don’t even know at what point I started liking this song. I guess it’s because I hear it about 4 times a day 5 days a week and sometimes songs grow on you with repeat exposure.

6) Feels  – Calvin Harris

This is also a song that has grown on me over time as well. It just has such great summer vibes and is a total bop.

7) Know No Better – Major Lazer

Turns out I love me a Camila Cabello vocal (see also later in this list) and also this is kind of low key my jam, plus ya know it has yet another Quavo rap and who doesn’t need one of them.

8) Woman – Harry Styles

I’ve been listening to this album again over the past week and I liked this song when I got the album in my life but recently I have had a renewed appreciation for it and it’s quickly becoming my new fave.

9) I Have Questions – Camila Cabello

The lyrics of this song are total fire. And the emotion in her voice. I love the way it builds and the vocals on it are incredible I sort of just sat on the rest of the song that wasn’t included at the beginning of the Crying in the Club video and I really shouldn’t have. It gets better. If this is the kind of stuff to expect from her album then I am excited.

10) The Other Side – Ruelle

Come on, I love Ruelle. For whatever reason I sort of didn’t pay this song much attention when I first heard it other than thinking that it was nice. And then all of a sudden I heard it in a totally different light and then just listened to it on a loop. I am so in love with every vocal that she has ever done, but there is something particularly great about the last minute or so of this song. So beautiful.

And on that mellow note, I conclude this month’s playlist.

Parentheses count: 1. See you tomorrow!

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My Life, writing

Camp Nano – The Final Update

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So last week I felt full of hope that I could actually churn out 10,000 words for the month and get it done on time. I honestly felt like on some level that I could achieve that.

At this point on the 27th of the month, I am not so sure anymore.

My word count has not officially changed since last week. That’s mainly because for some unknown reason I have yet to type up everything that I have written up in a notebook so I don’t actually know the true word count. I would guess that it’s around 5,000 words.

And look, realistically speaking I could actually probably reach my word count because the words are in my head. They won’t leave me alone, but for some reason I am lacking all motivation to actually get together and type it up. And so I haven’t. They just sort of exist in my head.

I am going to try and reach my word count. I finish work tomorrow afternoon (hello half day) for two weeks and I am thinking that I am going to just sort of blitz it all that I can. That is my intention at the very least. I am definitely going to get some shit typed up from that damn notebook if I do nothing else.

So the final update is that there has been no real update from last week. I have tried to use this month as a way to kickstart myself to get back to writing and on the one hand it has because I’ve been feeling creative a lot more recently, but also it hasn’t because there is nothing really to show for it right now.

The good thing is that I’m not letting it get me down or anything, I am just taking this as something that has happened and am going to keep on going with it.

It is what it is.

Parentheses count: 1. See you tomorrow!

 

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My Life

I’m a Convert

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Here’s a sentence me of the beginning of last year never thought I would write.

I get the hype around exercise.

At the beginning of every year since I was about 18/19 I always make this vague as hell resolution to start getting a bit more in shape. I never followed through with them, In fact I think that following year I started treating myself the worse I ever have. But then I started noticing that my insomnia was coming back in a massive way half way through last year and my anxiety was the worse it had ever been and I was having far to many breakdowns in office toilets and I needed to do something about it.

And so I did. And here I am aching like it’s nobody’s business and feeling fucking great for it all this time later. I started to take exercise and fitness more seriously around October last year and noticed small benefits. Enough to tide me over at least. And then this year, when I made that vague promise to myself yet again, I upped the ante and did even more with it. I upped my workouts to be more than just 2/3 times a weeks for the most part and it helped. I felt strong and I left a workout feeling accomplished and good and all that other jazz that people bang on about when they make the strong suggestion that you should give exercise a chance to help deal with the other issues.

Don’t get me wrong, it is not a cure all and I had another flare up of my anxiety and insomnia in a big way and I kind of let the forms of exercise that made feel the best fall to the wayside because old habits die hard and it’s not that I slipped completely and felt worse or anything because I did keep up low intensity work outs and they did help with my not feeling like I was totally failing at it and that made things easier.

Like when I finally returned to doing the workouts that made me feel the strongest. Which was this week. And when I say I returned to it, I literally mean that I have 3 relatively high intensity cardio workouts since Saturday. I even found myself impulsively signing up to do a class an hour before it started last night and then borderline crying my way through it (it burned so much, my glutes were on fire, they still are). But I got back to feeling that good vibes feeling afterwards.

There is something incredibly satisfying about it. Feeling myself sweat it all out is actually cathartic as hell. Having to focus solely on what I am doing and trying to push myself further to get past burn and complete all the reps means that I am not focused on whatever else I have been focusing on all day. There’s even something a little bit satisfying when my muscles ache the day after (that doesn’t last long, it’s annoying for it to hurt whenever you sit down).

I do find myself feeling a bit more together and less in my own head and on most occasions it helps me sleep better. I find myself actually sleeping to my alarm and getting pissed off when it wakes me up, because it is actually the thing that wakes me up.  I find that it has actually helped me manage everything a little better and I don’t really know why I just sort of rubbished it for so long as being a thing that would help.

Or rather I do know, but that’s for another day.

For now though I can say that I am a convert to using exercise as a way to keep myself sane.

Who would’ve thunk it?

Parentheses count: 2. See you tomorrow!

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Books

The Books I Shouldn’t Have Bought

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I’m being bookish again because when all else fails I still have books to talk about.

Now I’ve mentioned once or twice that I am on a self imposed book buying ban. There are exceptions to this ban, for example for some reason I have decided that pre-orders don’t count (because you know that is future me’s problem). Actually that is the only exception really.

Except for the two binge book buying sessions I have been on this year, one in April and one in July. And the fact that I intentionally went into Waterstones on Sunday for the sole purpose of buying a book (and it was nearly more than that, but the other book had a dent in the cover and I need to be the only person who damages a book so that was put back where I found it).

The first time it happened in April I blame R almost entirely because she was with me when it happened. (I mean I also do not have a leg to stand on because I was the one who told her to meet me in Waterstones Piccadilly and nor did she actually make me buy anything, but we ended up mooching around the floors (and I think it was all the floors available to us, except the top one) together and well we both have book addictions and so we both left with books we really shouldn’t have bought.) The second time it happened, I was on my own and once I picked up one book I couldn’t stop and there was no one telling me to stop. And so I didn’t and I had a whole other haul of books in a bag that I dare not look in out of fear of all the books that I now own and shouldn’t have bought. This year at least.

And just to really share the shame (not really) here are all the books that I’ve bought this year whilst being on a supposed ‘book buying ban’, which is going well despite these slip ups…which are quite big slip ups because I’m very much a ‘go hard or go home’ kind of person (I’m really not). My general rule for the year is that pre-orders don’t count, regardless of when I made the pre-order (because I’ve done a lot of that this year…) so these are just the books that I currently have in my possession and am pretending that I don’t.

Ready Player One, Ernst Cline – I’m gonna start with the smallest binge. I bought this on Sunday intentionally because I watched the trailer for the film from Comic Con on Saturday night and I saw the Dolorean and some other pop culture references that intrigued me and reminded me that I really wanted to read this book but for whatever reason hadn’t done so yet. And then I just felt sort of compelled to go out and buy it? Why I do not know. The book is still gonna be there when I finish this year’s reading challenge and yet I felt like I needed it in my house so I could just jump straight to it if I get the chance. I don’t understand me either.

London Fields, Martin Amis – This book started the whole problem and is what first prompted me to break the damn ban in the first place. First of all I love Martin Amis and his writing style even though I was introduced to it in my final year at uni and had to analyse the hell out of him. And then secondly, this book is called London Fields. I work in London Fields. I felt compelled to buy it. I don’t even really know what it’s about, so that’s good.

The Girl of Ink and Stars, Kiran Millwood Hargrave  – I think this had just won a Waterstones award when I was there and so it felt a bit like I couldn’t escape it because it was so on display. I mean I’ve heard great things about this book, so that was also a deciding factor. But yeah, it’s omnipresence as I walked around is what really swayed me.

Fight Club, Chuch Palahniuk – Part of me thinks that the reason that I haven’t watched this film yet even though it’s on Netflix is because I haven’t read the book yet. I liked Choke and always wanted to read more Palahniuk but just hadn’t picked any up. Until this day in April. I think it was the only one that I saw of his, but it will do.

Sharp Objects, Gillian Flynn – Give me anything by Gillian Flynn. Although I think with book I now own everything she has written, which I’m not sure what to do with…

A Darker Shade of Magic, V.E Schwab – Does somebody want to explain to me why I thought it would be a good idea to buy the first in yet another book series? Because that is what I did when I bought this. I knew as I stacked into my left hand that it was a bad idea because it was commitment and yet I did it anyway. Because I am a sucker for anything set in my home city.

Shockaholic, Carrie Fisher – So we have now moved onto my latest proper binge. I saw the Princess Leia on the cover, my heart panged a little in upset and then I picked it up and started something.

Postcards from the Edge, Carrie Fisher – I miss her and I want to have all of her work in my possession. This was also the last copy that Waterstones had. It was a sign. Plus the font on the cover is set like the beginning of every Star Wars film ever. I am weak. You can only expect so much of me.

Big Little Lies, Liane Moriarty  – I watched the TV adaptation and loved it. It was so well done and the cast was stellar and the final few scenes were just something spectacular. And unlike my parents who do not see why I need find compelled to read the book I do in fact need to know read the book. The cover is so calming to look at and I cannot wait to delve inside when that eventually happens.

the princess saves herself in this one, amanda lovelace – At some point last year I legit spent ages looking for this book in Waterstones Piccadilly and could. not. do. it. And then just as I was about to turn and pay for the other books that I should not be buying I saw this just nestled in a corner and it felt like I sign that I should snap it up while I still could. And so I did. (I then also had to refrain from picking up another Christina Henry book based on Peter Pan because that felt like a step too far…).

And these are the results of my book buying binges. And just because I’ve realised that my pre-orders haven’t been that bad so far (it’s gonna really hit the fan come September-October time). Now I Rise, Kiersten White, which seemed like a given considering how much I loved And I Darken All that She Can See, Carrie Hope Fletcher,  the opening chapters intrigued me. And finally, I bought a Hufflepuff 20th anniversary special edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone because I am weak and will collect all things Potter related until the end of time.

13 books in 6 months is pretty measured for me I feel. It definitely could have been worse (and yes I am going to keep justifying this to myself like this…).

Parentheses count: 10. See you tomorrow!

 

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Books, Reading Challenge, reviews

2017 Reading Challenge Book 32 – The Hope Family Calendar

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I was so aiming for a perfect week this week and then I got distracted on Wednesday night and pushed Thursday’s post back to 9pm and then I got stuck on a train for 3 hours on Thursday night so that post didn’t get written until Friday and then my hopes and plans were just rained all over and so here we are. I am now aiming for a perfect one this week before I then take a little (and complete) break because I am actually going on a holiday. But more on that in a few days.

But onto the post in question for today. I am coming at you yet another book review because I breezed through this book and well I had a lot of time to kill on Thursday night and was given the chance to finish this book up then. The book is The Hope Family Calendar

I actually forgot that this was signed by the author so when I flicked to opening page and saw that it was nice surprise and it also gave me the kick up the butt that I needed for something else, so that was also nice.

This book is just pretty much borderline the perfect piece of chick lit. It would be the perfect beach read. As it were I read it on trains and it was still just as frothy and perfect as I would like. I really needed something light and breezy after the heaviness (and brilliance) of Nevernight. It’s not a book that tried to reinvent the wheel and to be honest I didn’t need it to.

It was not without it’s faults, in fact I could probably give you a whole list of reasons as to why on some level I actually hated this book. But as it were I didn’t hate this book. It was pleasant. It was passable. Like I said it was exactly what I needed.

The plot is simple. A widower is forced to get his life back on track and be a father to his children after his previously live in mother-in-law goes off to Australia. He fails at first and then rises to the challenge and surprise surprise starts to enjoy being an actual parent to his two daughters, dealing with all the joys that come with having a teenage girl and losing a parent at a young age. It ebbs and flows and deals with the mild horror of maybe realising that you are moving on from a lost spouse. It has love, it has revelations. It has a somewhat happy ending.

It’s literally a rom-com in book form.

Tom was a bit of a nothing character for me. I mean I liked him and on some level I understood where he was coming from, but then also he was somewhat annoying. Maybe it was because from the narrative/reader perspective you could kind of see where things were going with him and you just kind of wanted to tell him to snap out of it. Linda was equally kind of annoying. The way she reacted to things annoyed me. I gotta be honest I didn’t really care about anything she did. I mean again, I understood where she was coming from but like…don’t be so annoying about it?

I found the Tom love story arc kind of lacking. And the Linda one actually, but I think that’s because in the grand scheme of the book so little time is spent within these points of view that as reader you don’t really see where these feelings are coming from and so the story kind of falls flat.

One ‘twist’ I saw coming from a mile away and I saw where the revelation was going to come from as well, but the other caught me slightly off guard which I liked. I always like it when something manages to surprise me when you think you’ve mostly got it figured out.

Look, we all know how I feel about endings. This one kind of fell flat and I don’t know if it’s just because when I finished it I was mighty pissed off with the fact that I was stuck on a train or if because it just wasn’t very satisfying I do not know. But I do know that it kind of felt like everything was wrapped up, but then it also kind of felt like the last few chapters were just sort of pointless because obviously it was going to go the way that it went.

Like I have said, I did like this book. It was pleasant enough. But it is your standard chick lit so if you don’t like that kind of thing I would not recommend it. However if you are looking for the perfect beach read, then this could be it.

3/5 stars

Parentheses count: 2. See you tomorrow!

 

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My Life

Faves Part 4

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So, this is my 700th post on this blog, and it continues to sound crazy every time I think about the fact that I have written that many posts on here. The fact that I’ve committed to it for this long just blows my mind because, I know I’ve said it before, I just didn’t think I’d stick it out. And yet 4 or so years later here I am.

Like I have done in the past when I have reached a milestone post I am collecting a bunch of my faves (5 to be exact) together. Although this time, they are all going to be from my writing page (and then also this one), which you may have noticed has been renamed Scribble, Scribble for reasons that I honestly do not understand. But I’ve done it, and there we go. My 5 current fave things that I have written are:

  1. Vicissitude 4 – I had to choose between all of them and for some reason this one stuck out the most for me.
  2. You Say Me Name – I love this piece so much and I kind of forgot about it until it came up on Timehop. It came at a time when I really needed it to as well, and I loved it for that.
  3. Poison – This was the first thing of mine that was inspired by a Disney film/fairy tale and it is maybe my favourite thing I have ever written. I just really like sticking fairy tales in a slightly more modern setting and I really might start doing it more often.
  4. Emerald – I forgot about this one, until I was looking at it just now. I love this one as well for the same reason as the above. Something about reimagined fairy tales.
  5. Snapshot 34 – I obviously couldn’t do this without including something from this beast. This has come up because it was the one that sparked me doing a whole month of stuff using these characters and it’s mainly because it was the first time that this got away from me.

And those are some of my faves and so concludes my 700th.

Parentheses count: 2. See you on Sunday!

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