The Insomniac Chronicles

Hi, Hey, Hello!

Something else I have learned over the past week is that there are several posts on here that unintentionally have the same title. In fact two of them fall into the same genre and everything. I accidentally fell into the use of this title, but like, it’s pretty much always applicable to be honest and so here we are.

Clearly I’m talking about sleep again now.

Story time, I got a Fitbit in October 2016 and it has served me well over the years, but well I’m Apple trash and so on Friday I got my hands on an Apple Watch and to be honest I regret nothing. But here’s the thing currently that is proving to be a bit of a learning curve, I just got used to what my Fitbit did for me with great ease. I could track my steps, my calories burned, total distance covered, minutes of exercise, what workouts I did and my water intake all in one handy place. Oh and it also tracked my sleep.

Now it was flawed for sure mainly because it didn’t really indicate quality of sleep. I mean it would tell me that I slept for 5 hours when really all I did was lay there with my eyes closed in the lightest of sleeps for that long, if not longer, I was just very still whilst I did it. But it gave me a general idea. And I kind of liked that. It gave me an indicator of how well I was going to fare for the day because I knew how much sleep I was roughly working with. It meant that a lot of the time I always ended up surprising myself because I found myself surprisingly chipper when all I was running off was 5 hours sleep. I quite enjoyed having that knowledge.

My new toy doesn’t do that for me automatically. And so now I am frantically searching for an app that will help do that for me because I am apparently accustomed to having that knowledge in my brain. I’m not even really asking for it to do much, I just want a general idea of how long I’ve slept for. Since Friday I’ve tried two. One was Pillow, it requires both your phone and your watch to be opened to the app. The time that I used it they didn’t sync together but the app stayed open on my phone and it drained half my battery. It wasn’t a major thing because I could just charge during the day but I don’t charge my phone overnight so it had the potential to be disastrous. I don’t even really know why they didn’t sync together but they didn’t. I’m not about to risk trying it again and draining my battery like that when I need it for an alarm.

So then I tried a second one, Sleep++, which you just need the watch for and I’ve only used it once, but it’s super basic. Not that my Fitbit was super informative or anything, but on first impression it seems to offer the bare minimum info. And also you need to turn it on and off. The turning off part is fine, but the turning on one seems like it might get annoying. Like I’ve said I’ve only used it once so I guess I have to give it a little bit of time before I can make a proper decision on it.

But I am honestly one of those people right now that seems to need to have their sleep tracked for some reason. I’m like researching it and everything trying to figure out the best app for me whether that be on the watch or on my phone. I am just obsessed with analysis of this for some reason.

I say for some reason, I know why it is. I am a bad sleeper. I’ve mentioned this many a time. I’m currently not doing all that badly with it at the moment, but for the most part I’m a bad sleeper. And so I find knowing this information on some level kind of interesting to know. It just makes other areas of my life easier to track, like my mood or my energy levels, and I’ve been tracking it for well over a year now. It’s a habit.

So this was a slightly different Insomniac Chronicles today, mainly just me talking about how I apparently need to be the kind of person who needs to sleep track now. At this point there is very little that I don’t track, but more on that later.

Parentheses count: 1. See you tomorrow!

Main sign off

Find me here:

Twitter Instagram Bloglovin’


Things I’ve Learned

Hi, Hey, Hello!

As I have mentioned a couple of times over the past week (and hopefully have noticed) I have been having a little revamp on the blog. It’s been one of my goals for this year to invest more time in my blog and make it something a little better for me.

It was an investment. It took me pretty much all week and I only really truly appreciated just how much effort I have put into this blog as I was trawling through them all and making featured images with them all whilst making sure that the sign off was consistent (and was put back on) across all the posts.

This thing has been a damn investment, especially over the past 2 and a half years. It’s become my damn solace and a really great way for me to just put words on a page and  somewhere where a lot of the time I end up just putting all my thoughts onto the screen. And I’ve done it a lot.

There are some posts on here that I had totally forgotten about and some of them are super random.

Another thing I discovered, it’s been legit months since I posted something on here that was even remotely creative. For months most of my posts have been banging on about something and I’ve not used the ‘my writing’ category for yonks. That’s something that I kind of want to change. I don’t have any immediate plans to do that or anything just because I am currently focusing on The Thing (that is honestly what the document is currently called), but I am sure that I have something in a notebook somewhere that has not yet made it’s way onto here that I can tidy up and dust that category off for.

Something else I learned, there are some common themes that continue to crop out and have done for year. For example (and on some level I did know this) I have been talking about trying to be more organised for bloody years now. And it has always happened in bursts but then just nothing happens with it and the habit is never formed. It still hasn’t been formed. I’m still just as chaotically organised as I usually am. I haven’t opened that damn diary thing for weeks now, when I went through a stage of sitting down and plotting the week out vaguely on a Sunday. It’s just not something I do. I may just have to make my peace with the fact that it might never be a thing that come naturally to me and stop trying to make it happen. It’s like ‘Fetch’.

My attitude to exercise has been kind of interesting. Given that this year I literally felt the need to add a new category to put all my fitness shit into it was interesting to see how like 2/3 years ago I was pretty averse to it. I mean I also seemed to speak about it in a tone of voice that suggested that I knew I needed to start doing it but was also not actually doing anything about. I found most of that out yesterday afternoon which I found particularly amusing as I made the first steps to upping my weights for the session. I only went up for leg tracks because they are by far the strongest part of my body but it was actually at 15kg (so it went up by a whole 2.5kg…) but it didn’t feel impossible. So that personal journey was interesting to see.

Also the reading challenge thing. That has gotten progressively more ridiculous over the years. In 2015 I bunged a bunch of books together and kept them super short. The one I wrote yesterday was around 1,000 words and I wrote most of it on a train home which amounts to about 30 minutes. I’ve allowed myself to do more with them because there is a part of me that likes that I am vibing with the English graduate in me.

I’ve quite enjoyed it on some level, the whole going down memory lane thing, because there were a lot of posts that I’m quite proud of but had completely forgotten about just because of the sheer volume of posts on here.

I also deleted some posts, just because they didn’t really seem to serve a purpose anymore, although I kind of didn’t really think about the logistics of it. My milestone count is now out because 70 posts just cease to exist, which is no drama, I’ve mostly corrected them the best that I can so that they still make sense in a way without the mention of the milestone. I might also bring the playlists back, not on such a frequent basis but just every now and again. I’ve got one in my drafts actually that has been sitting there for months that I might finally switch to ‘schedule’…

The thing that I have mainly learned from this is that I am actually capable of buckling down when I get home from either work or the gym because I did it with this. I didn’t lost whole evenings somehow because I put some pressure on myself to get this done, and when the blogs started going back I had to super efficient and get them written whilst I was still doing maintenance. And I think I need to apply this more. I’m currently trying to get to 10,000 words on The Thing, which in theory I could have done yesterday but I eased off the accelerator slightly and caught up on some YouTube videos that were just sitting there waiting for me to watch them and I had been so go, go, go that it felt very much needed. But I want to get there by mid week at least if I can.

The ultimate lesson I have taken from this though is that I never want to do it again and so I need to keep on top of this and also, I’ve committed to this now, because there is no damn way that I am going to go through all of them and remove all the images (I’ve done that in the past, but the blog was smaller). It was a mammoth, somewhat crazy, task to take on and I am really looking forward to the fact that I now have the time to do other things. Like right The Thing and also get some more blog posts banked up.

Parentheses count: 6. See you tomorrow!

Main sign off

Find me here:

Twitter Instagram Bloglovin’

2018 Reading Challenge, Book 10 – Postcards from the Edge

Hi, Hey, Hello!

If I was good at maths then I would be able to give some kind of a percentage as to how far into this challenge I am so far. As it is, I’m shit at it. So I have no idea, I know it’s not quite a 6th of the way through the official challenge, but it is a 7th of the way through the unofficial one.

But anyway, back to today’s book in question.

We all know at this point in time that I am low key obsessed with Carrie Fisher and I have devoured two of her autobiographies in mere days and I had kind of just assumed that it would be the case for this as well.

It was not.

This book felt hard to get through. I struggled.

And I don’t even really know what it was about it that I just couldn’t mesh with. But there was something. And from the opening pages I felt like I was a little on the back foot because I just didn’t expect the way that it was told.

The first part was first person narrative, which I am fine with. And then the other two parts were not. In fact for a lot of the beginning of the second part I wasn’t even really sure who was involved in the scene that was before me because no names were mentioned. It was pronouns only. Which was slightly alarming I’ve gotta be hones with you. I mean I settled into it eventually but it took a while and the settling process was a lot of hard work. Then the 3rd part felt a bit more familiar but was still something that I had to get used to in some way.

It meant that the book took slightly longer to get through then I had anticipated it taking. It was a lot denser then it looks at face value coming in at only just over 200 pages.

I also can’t really say that I liked it. It’s what prompted my DNF post the other day, because I did kind of hate it and I could think of nothing worse then trying to make it to the end because it just felt so impossible, but also I needed to know how Suzanne Vale’s story ended. Can’t say I was a fan of it either.

I mean it kind of made sense in a lot of ways, but I dunno. I think I was just disappointed by the whole damn book and the ending was never going to change that, no matter how much I may have wanted it to.

There were some bright sparks to to it all. This book was funny. I actually did laugh out loud multiple times. It was the kind of unexpected laughing from a joke that you don’t really see coming but it just gets you. This book was full of that. It was a bright spark.

I also really loved the first part of this book. I liked it being told from two different first person narratives who are at very different stages of their drug addiction. There’s Suzanne who has very much made her peace with the fact that she needs to be there and is trying her hardest to make sure that she gets the most out of it and then there is Alex who is in denial. I enjoyed (which sounds a bit morbid now that I think about it) his perspective. The way it followed his thought processes and as a reader you could see that he had a problem but then on some other level you could also see that he didn’t understand that he had a problem. I liked that Suzanne could recognise that Alex clearly hadn’t thought had had reached rock bottom even though every one around him believed that he had and then, well Alex reached rock bottom.

I didn’t quite get why Alex was there though and then only sort of briefly mentioned towards the end of the book. As a reader you spend a fair amount of time with him in the first part of the book and then the focus is solely on Suzanne, which I understand because it’s her narrative, but also it seemed a bit odd to only have him mentioned a couple of times at a later date to show that he had made good on the thing that he said he was going to do.

I also liked that this book showed the world post rehab and allowed Suzanne to fall into a sort of depressive state without the drugs and she stayed there for a fair amount of time, but that was then contrasted with the fact that it whilst she in that state and sort of forcing herself to try and get back into society that she actually mets the person that she ends up in a committed relationship come the close of the book.

I liked how complicated, and to be honest messy, Suzanne was. And she was almost unapologetically so, which I enjoyed. I did like seeing her journey through from start to finish on some level. But the way the narrative is told just didn’t mesh well with me at the time, maybe because I was coming off the back of reading a couple of other books that I also didn’t quite get on with and so there was still some sort of hangover from that. I dunno.

It’s not that I hated this book, as I’ve said there are quite a lot of elements that I enjoyed but for the most part I just couldn’t get into the way that I had hoped and expected that I would.

I think yes, for some reason I would actually recommend this book. Maybe I just need to read it at a different time or something, or maybe it’s just one of those books that while not the worst book I’ve ever read, is just not one that I got on with it…

3/5 stars

Parentheses count: 1. See you tomorrow!

Main sign off

Find me here:

Twitter Instagram Bloglovin’


Hi, Hey, Hello!

I’m talking about fitness stuff again, it got its own category this year for a reason.

Anyway, this year I decided that I was going to try and focus wayyyy more on quality of movement then getting more reps in. I will not really compromise on where I get my workout in one because it’s working and two because it makes me work way harder when I have to focus on that 45 minutes (or an hour) and won’t get distracted, so shoutout to Frame for that.

But back to the point, quality over quantity is where I’m at right now. There is no point in doing a shit ton of squats if I’m not doing them properly and if I try to do a lot of reps I just let form go out of the window and that makes it pointless. I have long ass legs, it takes a while for me to get into a proper squat and then push back up, I can’t do that quickly. And so I’ve stopped doing that. And it has made a difference. Same goes for my lunges, I mean come through two 90 degree angles in my legs and glute engagement on the way back up. All this means that in a class environment where people are keeping up with the instructor and I’m doing one squat/lunge for everyone else’s two it makes it really easy to get in my own head and start comparing myself to everyone around me and how I must not be working hard enough.

Except that’s bullshit. I’m 5ft 10 and like I said I’ve got long legs (37 inches) they do not move as quickly as everyone else who are all what would be considered a relatively average height for a woman, and so the best I can do is what works best for me and moving slowly but properly is what works best for me. And it’s something that I am slowly trying to become more content with, moving at my own pace while everyone around me seems to be going a lot quicker.

But I’m not there yet and there is something in my head that is always looking around at the other people in the class wondering what they are doing (and in some cases wondering if they are feeling as much of a burn as I am, I went to barre on Thursday night and for the first time in the year that I have been doing barre my legs reached a shaky point where I almost physically could not hold it up behind me and pulse. The shake was real. As was the burn. I was not alone. Thankfully) and then comparing what I am doing to them.

But I am getting better at ignoring that voice in my head that is basically telling me that I’m shit and that I should quit will I’m so clearly behind. The realisation of this truly became apparent a few weeks back when I was finally getting my ass to a Lift class because my body felt like it was finally up for it again.

And in said class there was a pregnant woman. Who was lifting wayyyyy heavier than me. And there was a part of my brain that was like, ‘well why are you even trying?’ but for the most part I cold shut it up and just be like, ‘well that’s where she’s at with this, and this is where you’re at.’ I had weight trained properly once (maybe twice, I can’t actually remember) this year at that point. I had also not done it for a while over Christmas and all that. I was effectively starting from square one again (I mean not quite, because my weights stayed the same as they were prior to my little break and they felt fine (I talked about here) and overall I knew that I had to be kind to myself.

The revelation that I could actively stop myself from comparing myself to others in that moment felt monumental. I had really shitty mental health year last year where I spent more time beating myself up about almost everything then I did giving myself credit for the things that I managed to deal with quite well. And there is still remnants of that in existence in my brain but because it adapted to everything else to the point where it has now become second nature it’s now apparently decided that it wants to turn on me in other ways.

And well, it hadn’t turned on me when it came to exercise and body image yet (well it had, but again I’ve already been there and done that, I guess with exercise entering the equation I’ve changed the game) and so it is slowly starting to do that.

But here’s the great thing about exercise for me. It’s my time to just fully disconnect and sweat it out. And feel really fucking good about it. I work out for me and all the rest of it is just a bonus (like the muscles, hello baby biceps and abs) and it’s really freeing to go into it with that attitude and to not worry so much about what other people are doing. This is about them. It’s about me.

So it’s really freeing to know that that element of comparison is slowly leaving my life and I’m becoming much more comfortable and confident with who I am as a person.

Parentheses count: 6. See you tomorrow!


Main sign off

Find me here:

Twitter Instagram Bloglovin’

The Did Not Finish

Hi, Hey, Hello!

Here’s the thing about me.

I hate not finishing books.

I think about it this a lot. I have especially thought about it a lot recently as I have read a couple of books that I kind of hated and kind of didn’t want to keep reading them but felt some weird sense of obligation to do so.

I really hate it.

I really hate not knowing how something concludes.

I have a very well documented love/hate relationship with endings. I am very hard to please when it comes to them. It never really feel like a book review in my head until I comment on the ending of it. Whether that is good or bad.

Because I need to know.

I need to have the closure that is given by the author when it comes to the ending. Whether I like it or not. I need to know how the author intended it to end and so I keep reading even though on some level it feels like it might take me forever.

I cannot be without that closure.

It’s the main reason why I am still low key convinced that I am going to finish Moby Dick and why there are always so many books that I didn’t finish whilst I was at uni because they remain unfinished and I hate that.

I mean I also hate Moby Dick but am I going to make a third (and maybe final) attempt to read it? Yes. Yes I am. And I will get to the end of it. My gosh, will I get to the end of it. Even if it takes me an entire year or some shit like that. I will get to the end of it. I need to know how it ends. I need to know.

I just need to know.

I always need to know. I hate not knowing. The unknown means that I create a bunch of other theories and that’s never good. It doesn’t satisfy me in the same way. Because it almost never happens in the way the author wanted and that just doesn’t sit right with me for some reason.

And so I will always try to finish a book.

Even it takes every once of my being to do so. I will almost give my blood to finish a damn book (not quite, that’s dramatic).

I will finish them.

It’s my thing. I kind of hate it, but I don’t hate trawling my way to the end of a book as much as I hate not finishing a book.

I do not DNF books ever.

I just can’t…it’s a problem.

Parentheses count: 2. See you tomorrow!

Main sign off

Find me here:

Twitter Instagram Bloglovin’


Mini Revamp

Hi, Hey, Hello!

So, yeah, I’ve taken a little break from here because I randomly got inspired to kind of have a little bit of a revamp.

The one thing that I have always been really bad at when it comes to this is that there are minimal pictures and images involved. I went through a phase when I had cover images but I hated them and they didn’t look very good and one day I got both bored of doing them and of looking at them knowing that I hated them and so I deleted them.

And had always intended to revisit it but then it just fell very far down the list.

Until the weekend when I read an article about making cover images and then felt inspired to get back into it again. And then when I realised that I wanted to start doing that I kind of realised that I would like consistency across my whole blog and that meant cover images needed to make an appearance across all my posts. All 837 of them.

Which is about as time consuming as it sounds and so I had a shut down and tried to get as much of it done as possible.

I did it page by page but had completely forgotten that two of my pages housed so many posts and so at this moment in time they are not done. However I am getting around to it. Slowly but surely.

The hardest part was choosing a theme for each of the various things that I talk about on here. I wanted uniformity and styles/images and such that felt like they were in keeping with my overall vibe, but I also didn’t want them to all be the same. Then there was the choosing of the fonts, which reminded me that I am hella opinionated when it comes to fonts. It all became a bit of process and I got about halfway through before I started questioning my sanity and wondering why I couldn’t have just made things marginally easier for myself and just gone for uniformity. But as it is I didn’t.

And for the most part I kind of enjoyed it…I mean not really, but also I did.

One of my goals for this year was to invest more time and I guess energy into this blog because I’ve put so much effort into it already, and this felt like a good place to start.

So, the revamp is mostly done, but there is still some work to be done. However I missed writing and so the blog went up before it was fully done so that I could also continue to do the thing that I kind of love the most. Which is write.

Up next, I can sense it in my waters, there will be a layout change. But I’m doing one thing at a time and maybe am gonna do that at a time when I’ve built in a break from here and can actually really think about it…

Parentheses count: 0. See you tomorrow!

Main sign off

Find me here:

Twitter Instagram Bloglovin’

2018 Reading Challenge, Book 9 – All That She Can See

Hi, Hey, Hello!

And here we are with book 9 of the year down. There is a part of me that is aware that by this point last year I had read way more books than the 9 that I currently stand at (I was at 12/13) and for some reason that make that part of me panic because the amount of books that I have to read this year is bigger than last year. But I’m not stressing about that on the whole, one because that’s insane and two because these books are all within my wheelhouse of being able to read them in a week (roughly). Which is what I did with this one (it was 4 days if you want to get technical)

The next book in question is this one.

I mentioned in my original reading challenge post for this year that I wasn’t 100% sure on my opinion on Fletcher’s writing was. And annoyingly I still don’t. But I do feel like I am closer to figuring it out. And it’s not necessarily good.

I like her writing style because it’s easy. I can blitz through so many pages in my half hour journey to and from work with ease and not even really notice that I am doing it. And I like elements of the plot, but for the most part I just wasn’t a fan. Which is slightly annoying as I wanted to like this one. I had higher hopes for it then I did her previous one. And that is where I was let down I guess. I try to go into books with no expectations because that is safer, but I didn’t with this and I was let down.

The first 50/60 pages of this book felt really repetitive. In fact a couple of things were repeated verbatim. And then it got a bit silly when I was supposed to believe that a 24 year old had never had any interaction with the internet, social media and a phone. It just made no sense and from that point onward I carried reading it with an element of skepticism that this is just not going to my cup of tea.

Which was proven further by the whole second half of the book. I am fully aware that this is a magical realism kind of book but the second half of the book seemed like a totally different book the first half. I could deal with a sort of baked goods/cocktails turf war with a  hatred turned love relationship thing. That is not what I got.

Not even close.

I don’t even really know how to describe what the second half of this book was. But it was so random. It felt like it was trying to make a point about feelings and how important they are but it just got a bit too far fetched.

Actually calling it far fetched doesn’t make sense, this is fiction, if you can justify it then it makes sense. But this didn’t feel like that. I get that Chase and Cherry didn’t know anything about there being other people like them and I guess it would make sense for there to be some kind of government for that but this just didn’t make sense. Because there was nothing to suggest that this was coming. With the exception of mentioning Peter at the beginning and linking him to her childhood.

Another issue that I had with this book was that none of the characters felt fully fleshed out. They all fell a bit flat. Chase was a dick but the nuances of that were never explored. I really want an explanation as to how Cherry managed to live such a sheltered life and not know what the Facebook was…I feel like I was supposed to care about the Shura/Peter thing but Shura practically didn’t exist so I didn’t get why I was supposed to care. I had no investment but I didn’t care. He carried a lot of hatred, which made sense but also wasn’t explained. The people of Plymouth (or the small area that they occupied) were all just there. They had the potential to be something but then the book took a turn and nothing really happened. Happy was just ironic but that was it. There was just a lot of underdeveloped characters in a weird clunky plot.

This is the thing that really got me is that the start of this book kind of felt like it was beginning at the end. It felt warm and fuzzy and all that jazz. But it didn’t start at the end. The end felt weird. It felt clunky. Really clunky. I finished it just thinking what the hell. And I get the message that we give our feelings the power over what they do to us but it just felt clunky.

Yeah. That’s where I’m at with this book. I didn’t hate it. But I really did not like it.

2/5 stars

Parentheses count: 4. See you tomorrow!

Main sign off

Find me here:

Twitter Instagram Bloglovin’