Welcome Back

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Happy 2018! Hope you are all well.

It’s been a while.

And now we are in a new year and just like that I am back at work and back on the daily grind.

The thing about the Christmas period is that it warps time in this weird way. I’ve been off work a little bit over a week and yet it feels like I have been away for months. This happened as well with working out. I went to Pilates on Friday (which in itself feels like a lifetime ago) and while I was walking to the studio I was trying to remember when I last went because it felt like it had been ages, it had only been a week. My body had just adapted to that Christmas living real quick and my muscles had been given a chance to fully, fully recover and then I went and stretched them all out and worked them in the quietest way possible and my body thanked me for it.

It was a good workout to end the year with in one that for the past few months had included workouts that were pretty much all go, go, go. It wasn’t that that was bad, but my body did enjoy the slightly lower tempo, even though my lats on Saturday were not messing about. It was pleasant though.

Christmas was just spent with the family and we played Trivial Pursuit and I drank a lot of Baileys Chocolate Luxe and ate sooo much food. I pretty much did not stop eating for the whole week until Friday and then I started trying to balance it a little more. I didn’t balance it very much but I started to tip the scales to being balanced more than it had been. It was mainly because I am aware that over the next week I am going to get it back to normal and I didn’t want it to be a whole 180 shock for my body when it happens.

New Year’s was uneventful, mainly because Aunt Flo felt the need to wake me up and then wiped me out until about 4pm. I had a shower and then lay back in bed with my dressing gown and felt sorry for myself whilst watching La La Land (which I liked, but didn’t love, but I can get why there was hype around it). When I finally started feeling a little bit more human I took to tidying up a little. I decluttered my make up bag and organised it a little better. I threw out all old beauty products that I had stocked up before I then overhauled my entire skin care routine (I didn’t even know I had some of the stuff that I found which maybe shows that I have a hoarding problem) thus making them redundant. I cleaned my make up brushes. I felt like I accomplished something and it didn’t take as long as I had feared.

Actually I said it was uneventful mainly because of that, that’s a lie. I never do anything for New Year’s other than sit in my house and watch the fireworks on TV while drinking and for the past couple years eating a massive Indian. That’s it. The day is pretty much just the same as any other for me. Buying into the hype is just stress that I don’t need in my life.

I’ve also spent the last week trying to think about what I want to achieve this year and that post will come shortly as well as some other little reflective pieces about the year that has passed. There are also some books to finish reviewing from last year before I get into this year’s reading challenge, which I have already pretty much set…so that will be the next few days on this blog.

That is pretty much it from me now.

How was your festive period? Have you set any goals for the year yet?

Parentheses count: 3. See you tomorrow!

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Christmas Songs Book Tag

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Yeah, I’m very aware that I kind of just went ghost for the last few days but life exhausted me and so I just took a step back and tried to regroup and I also hit another wall when it came to writing yet another book review so I just decided to stop trying to write it and look at it later.

I’m still not looking at it today, I was going to and then I got tagged in this post and so here we are. With yet another tag post, that I am pretty sure I’ve never done, but honestly cannot remember and didn’t check. Even if I have I guarantee the answers are different now.

1. “You’re a Mean One Mr. Grinch”

Name a villainous character you couldn’t help but love.

Is Malfoy supposed to be a villain? Because I am kinda part of his defence squad (within reason).

2. “All I Want for Christmas is You”

Which book to you most hope to see under your Christmas tree?

For reasons, the main one being that I am running out of places to put books in my house, I have not so much as hinted at any books that I may want, so there most likely won’t be any. Also I can’t even think of a single book that I actually want at the moment.

3. “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer”

Name a character that overcomes major obstacles and learns to believe in themselves.

Spent a while thinking baout this one but 100% Lou from Me Before You – She completely starts to believe in her ablities as a person by the end of the book.

4. “Santa Claus is Coming to Town”

a) Which character do you think would be on the top of the naughty list?

Ummmmmm, I just watched the Ready Player One trailer and so it has put this guy back at the forefront of my mind, Sorrento.

b) Which character do you think would be at the top of the nice list?

Hermione Granger. For no reason other than the fact that I love her and she is my literary everything.

5. “Frosty the Snowman”

Which book just melts your heart.

Real talk, I am pretty much the Ice Queen, it takes a lot to make me feel things when it comes to literature. I honestly cannot think of a single book that melts my heart in anyway…is that bad? I’m racking my brain and coming up short.

6. “Feliz Navidad”

Choose a book that takes place in a country other than your own.

Almost every book I read…seriously there aren’t that many books that I read that are set in London (more specifically the UK, I guess, but I live in a London bubble).

7. “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year”

Which holiday themed book do you use to spread the Christmas joy?

I think I have read one holiday themed book and it was My True Love Gave to Me. So that I guess, because it’s all I have.

8. “Sleigh Ride”

Which fictional character would you choose to spend the holidays with (doesn’t have to be a love interest!)

Ron Weasley. Although I say that tentatively actually, because I’ve just remembered that that family is fucking huge and I do not come from a large family. I don’t know if I could do that…

9. “Baby it’s Cold Outside”

Which book that you didn’t like would you sacrifice to a fire to warm yourself up in the cold?

Moby Dick. Have I even finished that book yet? No, I have not. I will do it one day, but the half that I have read I cannot stand. I mean seriously. It’s also quite long, it would burn for a while too.

10. “Do you hear what I hear”

Which book do you think everyone should read?

We all know where this going right…The Night CircusAmerican Gods or The Book Thief. There, I’ve given you options.

One day I will do a book tag post that doesn’t mention a lot of the usual suspects. I don’t know when that will be, but it will happen…

Parentheses count: 2. See you tomorrow!

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Would You Rather – Christmas Edition

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I’m throwing all caution to the wind now and am just talking about all kinds of festive things.

Today it’s all about would you rather

Would you rather…

Not celebrate Christmas next year? Or not celebrate your birthday next year?
I’m turning 25 next year and I kind of don’t care, which I never really do anyway, I mean it’s gonna be a Monday, I hate being the centre of attention and I can eat cake whenever. All this to say that I wouldn’t want to miss out on living my life in tinsel and putting fairy lights over everything and eating all the fooooodddd. Mini sausages wrapped in bacon? Sign me up.

Never receive another gift from anyone ever again? Or be forced to give everyone in your family an inappropriate gift?

Looks like everyone is getting inappropriate gifts.

Grow a permanent Santa beard? Or Grow permanent reindeer antlers?
Basic bitch me up and give me some reindeer antlers. I’ll find a flower crown to really style it out.

Celebrate Christmas every day of the year? Or never celebrate Christmas ever again?
Oh never again. I get annoyed when Christmas effectively starts in October and then by the time it actually comes around I’m kind of ready for it to be done. If it lasted all year I’d just make like The Grinch and go live in a cave.

Get the presents you wanted for Christmas? Or get $100,000 for Christmas?
Show me the money.

Would you rather be married to Santa Clause or Jack Frost?
Santa, I guess? I dunno…

Never listen to Christmas music ever again? Listen to music every day of your life?
Never again. Like I said before, there is only so much I can take. Some of those Christmas songs are very in your face, not to be trifled with all the time.

Would you rather have to sit on Santa’s lap for an hour in a mall? Or find a mouse in your Christmas stocking every year during the 12 days of Christmas?
Mice. Surely if I know it’s there then dealing with it becomes a piece of piss?

Drink a barrel of eggnog? Drink a barrel of ginger beer?
…Neither…

Become an elf? Or become a reindeer?
Elf. Seems like a more manageable work load.

Only listen to soca/reggae version of Christmas songs? Or only listen Japanese version of Christmas songs?
Give me a reggae version of White Christmas… (I could have had any song there, that was apparently just the first one that came to mind).

Would you rather spend Christmas alone? Or with strangers?
Alone.

And that’s yet another Christmas tag done. I’m gonna try and not do another one of these tomorrow, but who knows whether I will actually be successful in that or not. I sure as hell don’t.

Parentheses count: 1. See you tomorrow!

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The Joy of Christmas Tag

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What up, coming at you with another tag post, and am slowly trickling Christmassy based posts onto this blog. I’ve been feeling weirdly un-Scrooge like this year. Maybe because I just need some festive fun in my life while it all just gets super stressful outside of that. But anyway, back the point, I’m feeling festive, it’s December, this is kind of a version of Blogmas. I saw this over here and now here we are.

I should just say, I’m just talking about books in general. The books I have to read this month are set in stone. I’m just getting excited about all the possibilities that will open up to me once I’ve wrapped this challenge up.

Done rambling, let’s get on with it.

1) Anticipation: The Christmas excitement is real, what book release(s) are you most anticipating?

Ummmmm…I don’t know…I guess The Curses, Laure Eve. Which isn’t happening until around late summer next year I think. I’ve tried to stop thinking about pre-orders because I have a serious problem with them and I’ve bought so many this year that I really shouldn’t have. This one is currently on pre-order, and I’m sure I’ll find loads more to add to the list soon. But for now, it’s that.

2) Christmas Songs & Carols: What book or author can you not help but sing it’s praises?

JK Rowling, obviously. And then also Neil Gaiman, let’s be real I could wax on about American Gods and Neverwhere for actual days.

3) Gingerbread Houses: What book or series has wonderful world building?

The Bone Season, Samantha Shannon has such great world building. It’s drip fed in slowly so it never feels like you’re finding out all this information at once.

4) A Christmas Carol: Favourite classic or one that you want to read

Pride and Prejudice, I’m a cliche what can I say. I want to read some Dickens though. I won’t start with A Christmas Carol, but maybe I’ll end with it…

5) Christmas Sweets: What book would you love to receive for Christmas

There are so many. Maybe the Rebel of the Sands trilogy. Or rather more accurately, the first two before the final one comes out early next year.

6) Candles in the Window: What book gives you that warm fuzzy feeling

The Night Circus, what a surprise that this has come up…the parts that are second person narrative and snapshots into parts of the circus that you’ve usually just read being created. It makes you feel like you’re there. And I love it.

7) Christmas Trees & Decorations: What are some of your favourite book covers?

I am a sucker for a pretty cover. My edition of The Red Queen is a thing of beauty. Then there are so many others. Caraval arrived into my life this week and it’s a beauty.

8) Christmas Joy: What are some of your favourite things about Christmas And/Or some of your favourite Christmas memories?

I am in charge of making the house look all festive, and so that’s my thing. I think the decorations and tree is coming down this week and so that’s where we’re at with that. The process of finding places to put the decorations and sticking tinsel everywhere is pretty therapeutic. And also a sure fire to way to festive.

And there we have it!

Parentheses count: 0. See you tomorrow!

 

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Until 2017

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Happy hump day people! And also, happy my first day of my Christmas holiday and going to see Rogue One day to me!

Now, I am pretty sure the title is giving it away as to what the content of this post is going to be.

It’s my sign off for the year.

I’ve been kind of close to burning out creatively recently and to be honest one of the only reasons that I have been able to maintain regular posting is because I stumbled across prompts that I could bounce off of and actually get something down for. But otherwise, I had sort of burned out creatively speaking. And well, I need to just take a step back from it.

Which is exactly what I am going to do while I enjoy this Christmas break of mine. I think it’s just going to be a good time to not have to worry about looking at a cursor mocking me on a blank screen while I try to figure out what exactly it is I want to say and write. To just spend less time on my computer in general actually. Get some reading done, to do all the eating. Spend time with people. Writing some more words for this bloody novel. Gorging on all of the TV and again get some reading done. I’m just looking forward to not having to think about it all for a little bit and hopefully get some more ideas ready for the new year.

Now, I don’t quite know when I’m gonna come back in the new year yet. I’ve ended up taking the whole first week of January off because I have so many days holiday left to use up and some are being used up then, so I might come back when I go back to work. Or I might come back in the first week of Jan after the bank holiday because I’m going to need something to do. I’m not putting too much pressure on it though. It will happen in that general area of time, when there may or may not be a new look to this blog…

But until then I am signing off for 2016 and with that I wish you a Merry Christmas (if that’s your thing) and a Happy New Year.

And I will see you in 2017!

(Parentheses count: 2)

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Onwards to December

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So we have somehow reached the end of yet another month and are going to tick over into the final month of the year which is largely hard to believe. But then also this year has felt really fucking long so in some ways it isn’t hard to believe. The point is that there are somehow just 31 days left of the year and well on account of the fact that the back end of this month has felt like walking straight into a brick wall that was built in about a minute with no warning  I am going to look at the potential positives for the next month.

What are you looking forward to in December?

The short answer is some actual time off. I’m gonna actually clock in the longest period of time that I’ve had off all year over Christmas. I’ve just been really bad at taking holiday this year, I have next to no desire to just sit around in my house and do nothing for days on end because it reminds me too much of that whole year that I was unemployed and while it’s a bit fun for a while, if only because there is no alarm to wake be up before 8am, it just gets boring and at least if I’m at work there are other people there. So yes, I am looking forward to taking some actual time off.

Christmas food. Basically this is the month where the fact that I just want allll the food allll the time is totally acceptable and in fact in some ways it is openly encouraged. Not gonna lie while I was picking up a couple of things the other night and the words ‘brandy butter’ caught my eye I did get a little bit excited. There is something weirdly satisfying about just sticking brandy butter over everything (within reason) and I don’t usually like brandy. But come December, all over it. Plus mince pies and Christmas pudding and the one time of year that I eat allll the Ferrero Rocher. Oh and roast potatoes. Which yes I do eat at other times during the year, but it’s a rare occurrence and they just taste better at Christmas. Oh, oh, oh and pigs in blankets, something about tiny sausages wrapped in streaky bacon makes me (and my dog) incredibly happy.

Wrapping up even more. So this has definitely already started and twice this week I’ve been slightly caught off guard this week because the temperature has plummeted but I still haven’t quite layered up properly yet. I just love getting to throw on jumpers and living in my trusted leopard print scarf, keeping my hands burrowed in my pockets and seeing my breath in front of me in a cloud of white.

Getting some down time. I honestly do not think I can stress enough how much I am looking forward to turning my alarm off on the evening of the 20th and not having to turn it back on until the 4th January. I crave it. Just lazy days reading (of which I have a lot to do at this stage, there is a part of me that is still determined to finish this reading challenge this year) and writing and sleeping and binge watching and spending time with people that I don’t work with and all that jazz. My entire being needs it right now.

Basically the things that I am looking forward to are rest and food, which is pretty much what I look forward to at weekends but get to do for an extended period of time. With more food, twinkly lights and tinsel. Oh and Christmas jumpers. I love me a Christmas jumper, I own far too many for a person who only wears them for 4 days of the year.

So yeah, that’s my outlook for December.  What about yours?

Parentheses count: 3. See you tomorrow!

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Signing Off

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It is the 22nd December (as I am sure you know) and I am (or will be) halfway through my last day of work for the year (which means I shall be spending the next 15 days sleeping, sleeping, sleeping and eating. My gosh will there be a lot of eating…tis the season). It also means that today is Christmas Eve, Eve, Eve (I have never referred to today as that before in my life, but this is what this year has done to me) and therefore I have reached full on festive mode. The Christmas jumpers will be out in full force from tomorrow until…well I don’t quite know when but for a few days at least and I’m just gonna set up shop curled in a corner of my sofa and reading. As many books as I can.

While I am on the subject of books, that Reading Challenge of mine is probably not going to get completed this year. I have too many massive books left so it’s gonna roll over to next year, because yep I have committed to that already in my head. But having said that there is going to be one last book reviews post coming in the new year. One final book that will be definitely crossed off the list because I am super excited to settle down with it as my Xmas read is My True Love Gave to Me.  Other than that though there are no guarantees.

I’m talking about everything in a dreamlike, slightly definitive way (that’s an oxymoron now that I think about it) because, if the title of this post didn’t give it away, I am signing off for the year. On the blog that is. I’ll still be around on Twitter and Instagram if you wanna witness the weirdness of my brain in 140 characters or less or in picture format. But here I am going on a little holiday to enjoy my time off and let the creativity well fill back up ready for the new year.

I’ll probably share some of my favourite posts from the course of the year in lieu of new posts over on Twitter every day (or at least most days) but there is where my blogging responsibilities ends.

So, all that is left to say is I hope you have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year and I will see you in 2016!

(Parentheses count: 7, hmmmm that’s quite tame for me. Yay.)

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