Tag: Books

Hello June & goodbye 35

It was my birthday at the end of May. I’m 36 now which feels kinda weird. I still feel like I am in my 20’s most of the time (and it turns out most people don’t really know what a 30-something looks like and underestimate my ages by a good few years)

I managed to stretch my birthday celebrations to over a week thanks to all the lovely people I know and them offering various plans for me and them to celebrate.

First of all I went to see Slow Club play at the Warwick Art Centre. On the day of my birthday I had to work but my colleagues gave me a lovely bunch of tulips, a bag full of vegan chocolate and sweets and some lush bath bombs. The following day I went with J over to Birmingham to do a book binding workshop at the Birmingham Printmakers space in Digbeth followed by food at café soya.

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Here’s a couple of pics I took of the beautiful graffiti around Digbeth.

The workshop took us through the whole process of making an A5 codex bound book including sewing the headbands which was so fiddly but something I think I would have really struggled to pick up from a video or written instructions.

imageHere’s a rough and ready picture of my half assembled book half way through sewing my headbands.

It’s the busiest time of year at work and I’m feeling a little like I’m avoiding being online too much as a result. It’s been pretty draining being on social media lately with all the talk about the upcoming European Union vote, the awful event that happened in Orlando and coverage of the Stanford rape case all taking up a lot of space on my feeds. It’s so important to talk about these things and I feel really strongly about all of these things but it’s also useful for me to be able to step away when it all feels too much.

I’ve been hanging out on Pinterest a little more lately. Pinning ideas for organising myself/my space/my time, craft and yarn projects and other bits that catch my fancy. I have also been burying myself in books and at the end of May zipped by my goal number of reads for the year that I’d set.

Sometimes I wonder if I should push this blog a little more, write more regularly and structure my content. It can feel a bit lonely writing into the void (although I know a few of my friends do regularly read this – hi!)

I’m pretty excited about how the rest of this year is looking – two trips abroad (Luxembourg in September and Tokyo in October) a few gigs and new albums coming out, the opportunity to do something a little different from my day to day stuff at work and…

…well, I’ll figure out the other stuff when exams are over (& I have had more sleep)


To finish this post off, here’s a picture of my 36 year old face complete with the new dress that I just brought and kitten necklace.

Tiny things Tuesday #41

I’m missing writing on here. I’m missing writing in general. I’m jotting down snippets of pieces for zines in a note file on my phone but I don’t have a laptop at home to properly sit and bash things out on and as much as I thought I could do without one, I think maybe I can’t.

Anyway, I have taken the opportunity while J is out at the gym to use his laptop and write one of these posts.

Here’s this week’s things;

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1. This week has already been tiring as I’ve been helping to prepare for award ceremonies at work in the latter part of this week. I’d promised myself a proper, long, relaxing bath this evening after spending 2 days hunched in a chair, sorting through piles of paperwork. Here’s me relaxing with don’t look at me face mask from Lush (the irony of that name and picture combo is not lost on me). I look like a smurph but it did make my skin feel good.

2. I’ve been watching a lot of Gilmore Girls recentry. I treated myself to the first few seasons on DVD second hand and its been great cozy January watching for me. I’m dreaming of drinking coffee and eating pancakes at Luke’s diner.

3. Speaking of cozy January activities – Joe brought me the set of the Moomin stories. I can’t wait to read them under blankets.

4. I spent Friday night and Saturday day in Birmingham with J. Friday marked 5 years of us officially seeing each other. On our first date, we went to the Urban Coffee Company in Birmingham so we dropped in there again to reminisce. I tried a coconut latte for the first time too and it was pretty tasty. I don’t know what I was expecting but it was coconutty without being overwhelming and sweet enough that I didn’t need sugar or syrup in my coffee.

Till next time…

Tiny things Tuesday #39

I think I may finally be starting to shake of this cold/cough that I feel like I have had for months. Plus, I’m going to see The Spook School this week so things are looking up

Here’s this weeks things;

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1. I came home from work last night and felt full of energy so I made a vegan chilli (which I enjoyed this evening) as well as this spicy coconut and butternut squash soup. I like making soup but I do find that I tend to stick to my old favourites. This is one of those. For anyone that fancies the look of this – my vague method is as follows;

  • Cut a medium size butternut squash in half, scoop out the seeds and roast it in the oven until it’s soft and squishy.
  • Leave the squash to cool slightly and fry a chopped medium onion in some oil until it’s soft. If you feel like it, add in some garlic too.
  • Once the onions are cooked, stir in 1-2 tablespoons of Thai curry paste depending on how spicy you like it. I have used green and red types before. The one I picked up from Tesco this week is vegan friendly and doesn’t have any fish in it. It’s probably better to add less at this point and then add more after the final stage if you want more of a kick
  • Scoop out the cooked squash flesh and add that into the pan and give it a mix around
  • Empty in a whole can of coconut milk and stir well to mix all the flavours together
  • Simmer for 5-10 mins and then use a hand blender to (carefully) blitz your soup

Last night I decided to be fancy and I roasted the squash seeds that I had set aside and sprinkled these on top of the soup before serving. I’m not entirely sure it worked as they quite chewy but it looked good!

2. I read this book this week. I’d wanted to read it for a while but the shipping had always worked out super expensive where ever I saw it online until I realised I could get it as an ebook. Without going into too many details, it was both a happy and sad story. After reading “A little Life”, I thought this would be a softer and gentler read and in some ways it was but…oh, that ending. I’m glad I finally got to read it though.

Right, I have another Japanese speaking assessment tomorrow, so I’d better carry on revising.

Till next time…

Tiny things Tuesday #38

Ah, I can’t believe this is only the second one of these that I’ve written in November. It’s been a month full of germs, blankets and hibernating for me. For this post my photos really reach a new low because it’s pretty dark in here and I’m feeling wahy to lazy to try and get good shots of these things. Sorry, but not really because who really gives a crap about the quality of pics on here. No-one.

Here’s this weeks things

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1. New boots! I finally decided it was time to stop shelling out for new boots every winter that would fall apart by spring and reverted back to my 13 year old self and brought these beautiful vegan purple Doc Martens (they were in the sale too as an added bonus). You can’t see on the photo but they are 14 hole ones. I’ve just ordered some ribbon laces to pretty them up with. It’s taken me a few weeks of wearing them at home to ease them up a bit but I’m now ready to unleash them into the world.

2. A little life – I got this absolute brick of a book out of the library on Friday after hearing a few friends rave about it. I knew it was going to be a bit of a tough emotional journey but I don’t think I quite expected it to be this tough. That said, it was beautifully written and something I have been thinking about on and off since I finished it. It did feel like a perfect winter book to curl up with. I have a feeling parts of this story are going to keep coming back to me. I also really enjoyed finding this instagram inspired by the book that the author and another person maintains.

3. One of the advantages of not having a next gen console is that I can pick up very playable and engrossing games for under a tenner (or in a lot of cases, under £5) I’m currently playing Fallout 3 as seemingly the rest of the world is playing the newly released 4th game. It feels like such good value because I’ll get 30+ hours of entertainment out of this game so it’s defintely helping me to save some cash! I’m finding it a pretty relaxing way to spend time when I get home from work, wandering around the post apolcalyptic wasteland, scavenging for items and fighting other dwellers.

4. New vegan friendly snack alert! Found these in Sainsburys tonight in the Christmas section. They taste just like I remember tangy toms crisps tasting like from when I was a kid. Have had to stop myself eating the whole bag as I have a takeaway being delivered soon (ah pay day luxury!)

and on a final note, I stumbled across Kimya Dawson’s beautiful cover of “Game Shows touch our lives” on the Tallahassee turns ten album. If it wont play on that website, you can hear it here as well.

Till next time…

Tiny things Tuesday #32

It’s a busy week at work, so I feel somewhat flustered and like my attention is being pulled in a lot of different directions at the moment. I have been attempting to have a relaxing evening tonight but I still have too many things catching my attention and not enough time!

I’ve had a pretty good first week of September. I went to see my Mum and Nan back in Essex. It was nice to spend some quiet time there and to also drive my Mum’s car (I passed my test when I was 17 but I barely drive these days so it was good to remind myself that I still can)

Here’s this weeks things (only a small one tonight)

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1. This time next week I will be in Barcelona (and most likely without wi-fi access so there almost certainly wont be a TTT) I’m in holiday countdown mode at the moment and I’m enjoying planning, researching and making notes in a specially bought notebook. I’m by nature, a planner – it makes me feel organised and secure to have lists of places I want to visit, directions and other useful details jotted down. Plus, I feel like it adds to my excitement about the trip to spend time looking up where to go and what to do. I spent some time with my Mum at the weekend and she showed me photos from her trip there too. I’ve found so many exciting looking places to visit as well as a lot of vegan or vegan friendly places. I also did some of my planning while enjoying my first pumpkin spice latte of the season.

2. I have started collecting the hardback books of the Moomin stories. I only have 2 so far but there are an absolute joy to read. Wonderful stories that makes me think of bright clear skies, escapism and adventure and colourful, charming illustrations. So far I have Finn Family Moomintroll and The Moomins and the Great Flood. The pnly problem is that the latter seems to be the only one published by Sort of publishers whereas the others in the series are published by Puffin books. I do like to have series of books that match but I guess this cant be helped.

Till next time… (just maybe a week later than usual)

Tiny things Tuesday #30

It’s been quite a nice, chilled out week. I managed to swim twice last week and to attend a yoga class. I finally feel like I am finally starting to get a little bit of energy back after being laid up for months with no energy, aches and pains from having a vitamin D deficiency.

An exciting thing that happened was I discovered my comp zine ‘rebel, rebel’ had been featured on the Zines Facebook page.

Here’s this week list;

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1. I got my first early bird box through today. I haven’t tried any of the snacks yet as I am saving them for work tomorrow but they look pretty good. I like the idea of the box giving you snacks & tea, as well as art on the box and introduction to new music via their weekly email. Apparently you can get a free box (as can I!) by going to www.earlybird.fm and entering my share code which is chili-3407.

2. As I may have mentioned before, I collect copies of Alice in Wonderland. I tend to seek out copies with different illustrations to most famous ones by John Tenniel. Only last week I became aware that Tove Jansson (creator of the Moomins) had illustrated it as well. My copy arrived today and it’s beautiful.

3. Me and Joe started filling out this book on the first of August. Although we live together, we don’t always spend that much time together during the week, so it’s been fun to spend a little bit of time filling this out and reading what the other person has written. The questions are pretty varied and there is space for two people to complete it each day for 3 years.

4. On Sunday night I was feeling a bit frazzled from a combination of that back to work feeling and various notifications appearing on various devices. Whatever I looked at on my phone, my attention kept skipping on to the next thing and it was making me feel quite anxious. I decided to shut down technology-wise for the night and spent a good hour or so playing with my ukulele and trying to work out how to play a few new songs. It was really relaxing and enjoyable and I need to remind myself sometimes how much I benefit for taking a break from the endless scrolling through updates and to focus on myself and shrink my world down to just the room I am in.

Till next time…

Tiny things Tuesday #26

So Indietracks is over and I have a slight case of post-festival blues. I eased myself back into the working week today but I have Friday off so it’ll be a nice short week for me.

I’ll write a proper post about Indietracks soon but for tonight, here’s this weeks things;

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1. I found this cider in Tesco at the weekend. I love coconut and lime flavours but I wasn’t 100% how they’d work together but this was a perfect drink to have after we’d put the tent up on Friday.

2. I have been watching Pretty Little Liars on Netflix for the last few weeks. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I started it but the stories have really suckered me in. I like how all of the main characters are pretty empathetic and have more than one dimension to them.

3. I made this ink stamp a few weeks ago. I’m really pleased with it – specially as it was my first attempt. I used a Lino cutting tool and this soft cut print block which seems to work really well for ink stamping. I drew out my design in pencil (remembering to reverse it) and then just got on with the cutting.

4. I started reading this book at the weekend. So far I am really enjoying it. It starts chatting the history of twee from just after the war. It’s giving me a lot to think about as well as a list of books, movies and films to check out. Nothing like reading a book that inspires you to look at other things.

Till next time…

Tiny things Tuesday #24

I had a lovely evening out chatting with a friend I hadn’t seen for a while , drinking Rose lemonade and eating chips. We got soaked walking across the city to get a lift home but it didn’t really matter because it wasn’t cold.

I’m almost ready for bed but before I go, here’s todays list

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1. My outfit felt a little plain today (all black, I blame a lack of laundry organisation!) so I decided to wear this necklace to bring a bit of colour and fun to my work clothes. This oversize pencil pendent was a gift from a friend and was made by Tatty Devine. I’ve never seen anyone else with one, so I love it even more!

2. Not so long ago, I used to skate for the Coventry City Derby Dolls. A variety of circumstances lead to me leaving (and I’m still not 100% sure I’m truly done)A lot of it was to do with my health which is something I’m really focussed on improving at the moment but it takes time and being battered around on skates wont help right now. Anyway, someone has made a taxonomy of roller derby names and mine made it on there! Yup, I was known as Amperslammed (number 2007) when I skated for the dolls.

3. It only took me 6 months but I finally settled on “colourful” as my word of the year. I made this little graphic to remind myself of it. Having more colour in my life feels “right” and energising for me.

4. This is my current pile of books to read as well as some copies of Flow magazine that I want to look at again. I tidied our bedroom at the weekend and it feel so nice to come home to a clean room. Having this little pile gives me an easy glance at what I have waiting for me and reminds me that it’s not true when I find myself thinking I have nothing to read and want to buy new books.

Till next time…

Tiny things Tuesday #19

There was no post last week for reasons I will explain in my next post (the short version – I’ve been really busy) I missed writing in here though. I have lots of ideas for things to write about and changes I would like to make to this website but I lack the time to properly sit down and do them.

Here’s this weeks list;

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1. Ready Player One – this book was recommended to me by stall mate at NWZF – Emily (who writes D&D virgin) I’m absolutely loving this so far. It’s been a while since I felt so engrossed in a book and I’m reading on the bus and at lunchtimes to squeeze in any extra time I can.

2. Brooches – In the last year especially I seem to have a growing collection of brooches that I wear on my coats/cardigans/jackets. I’ve been enjoying how much these brighten up my mostly plain clothes and add a focus point to some outfits. My favorite one is this little guinea pig dude who was made by Inki Designs. Also pictured is the glittery lips brooch from February’s Lucky dip club.

3. My Stay Home Club top just arrive and I’m already wearing it. I love the design and it fits ok (despite it being my most hated “one size fits all” style) This is pretty much my motto at the moment. I’m living my days at work just looking forward to getting home.

4. I just got an order of zines from Fight Boredom distro in Canada*. With these, my haul from NWZF and all the books I got for my birthday, I am going to be set for a while. I’m feeling so fired up about zines at the moment so having loads to read, is really giving me energy, inspiration and strength.

& now, back to my book.

Till next time…

* the website is actually offline at the moment, hence no link.