Sunday, 30 January 2011

a headache, a sunday, a sadness

I guess today I am having trouble with the letting things go, letting things be part of my unconscious.

Today it feels like everything needs to be planned, repeated, planned again. Today it feels like the world needs certainty and concrete assurance. Today it feels like there are a few too many gambles to be made, a few too many heart-strings to be shortened in lending out to other people---in the acquaintances made, then broken over time.

But that is just today---Sunday. (And a Sunday kept at home, nursing a headache).

But tomorrow, tomorrow is a different day. And maybe those worries and uncertainties and doubts that baffle will clear tomorrow. Maybe a little embrace and a long walk is all the assurance I need.

a little sum

One plus one equals everything.

This is a sum I am sure to remember for the rest of my life.

*My unconscious typed 'for the rest of my love'. Go figure, Freud, go figure.

Friday, 28 January 2011

tea, anyone?

I am a little bit in love with this teacup and saucer at the moment.

Probably because I am not terribly adept at vintage shopping just yet. So it is nice to see that its maker, PiP Studio, incorporates an air of it into their contemporary porcelain.

january bakes

Yesterday I baked a few of these.

Cheesecake Chocolate Brownies.

They were sold at a bake sale at university today in aid of The Alzheimer's Society.

I like trying new recipes. I like baking to a purpose (although in my eyes, baking at all always has purpose in itself---to learn).

And I guess it sort of fulfils number twenty on my list---do something charitable---and the first new recipe of the (minimum of twelve) I want to try.

Wednesday, 26 January 2011


Sometimes I strain my neck just to see what other people are reading on the bus, on the train, in the library.

I just like to know.

I like to consider it "research".

valentine's cards---a little early

I think these Valentine's Cards are wonderful!

All courtesy of Modcloth.

on health

Today consisted of baked potatoes---one for lunch, one for dinner--- and seeded toast with hazelnut spread.

It involved saying no to the Easter counter in the newsagents and the leftover birthday cake* at home. (But yes, yes please to a little dark, mint chocolate square).

And then there was the chapped hand, cold face, sore lipped walk to the train station, when I could so easily have taken the bus. (I walked past it. Twice).

And maybe, just maybe, my evening will finish off with a little work-out in front of the TV just before bed. (I cannot profess to be good at this. I cannot profess to move my body in the way demanded of me or to complete the rep with the determination it deserves. This is something, I hope, it will teach me---a love, a want, an enjoyment of exercise).

I cannot promise anything to my body---I can only try.

Today was a start---a half-laid, half-etched footprint, really. And please excuse the girliness or the vanity of this. But here provides permanence to my will-power and words to will, to spur, to accelerate onwards.

*My birthday celebrations officially ended last night with a few friends and a bowling alley. I lost, poorly, but it was fun. And, of course, there was cake.

on austen

I am slowly discovering that I am not as much of an Austen fan as I expected---there isn't anything wrong with it at all. I just haven't fallen in love with her, yet, and I am not convinced I will...

But I sure do love this cover of Emma.*

(Image can be found here).

*I have to have it finished by Friday afternoon and I severely, severely underestimated its length. I am such a bad student, sometimes...

Monday, 24 January 2011

the king's speech

This afternoon my love and I went to the cinema. We saw The King's Speech and I am wholeheartedly urging everyone to do the same---especially if you are even the tiniest bit interested in British history---or friendship, for that matter.

So it's plot won't shock you. It isn't a meandering path with an exaggerated or shocking climax---nor does it have innovative special effects...

...but I can pretty much guarantee it will move you.

And isn't that what good art does?*

*No, really. Is it? Thoughts, please!

Friday, 21 January 2011


Sometimes climbing up hills is worth it just to see the clouds a little bit closer.


Sometimes I talk too much.

But you really, really have to get to know me first.

playing, suiting

Sometimes I wish I could rock the playsuit---ones like this, at least.

Courtesy of Topshop.

friday finds...

I have a headache and a cold and an almost-cough (you know, the type of cough that you can feel brimming in your throat---the type of cough that may never actualise but still threatens, every now and again?)

But I have, otherwise, had a good day---with friends and a book I never finished.

And it is Friday, which is even better.

The Guardian argues the importance of humanities degrees---and the problems with cutting them.

Making pictures out of nouns with The Noun Project.

Orwell vs. Huxley, a cartoon.

These are beautiful, beautiful cupcakes.

What are you up to this weekend? I hope it's lovely.

Thursday, 20 January 2011

a few more

Here are few more photographs from my trip to Bath.

It was wonderful to finally see the architecture I had read about in books.

antidote to city nerves?

Because I was a little bit of a nervous wreck in London, my love did everything he could possibly think of to cheer me up.

It included this, one of the best cupcakes I have ever tasted, and a trip to one of London's largest bookshops---I bought The Waves, by Virginia Woolf, if anyone is curious.

I love him.

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

a little bath

My love took these during our post-newyear, pre-birthday holiday to Bath.

We do love sepia.

There will probably be more to come!

have a little tenderness

In a lecture today (on a book I haven't yet read) it was suggested that we read literature only to aid us in reading the rest of the world. I am not sure I entirely agree - I think there is more to it than that, as with any art - but I certainly lean towards the understanding that it may, indeed, help. Because our readings are not merely fictitious---they are, when character-driven, highly sociable. Our feelings of empathy, of sadness---even of boredom---are driven by our reading of people. We meet characters not in their physicality, but most vividly in their mentality---and a connection, sometimes as strong as the bonds we make with friends, is formed.

Perhaps with all the reading I have been doing, it isn't terribly surprising that lately I have also felt myself reading people more acutely. I am seeing, more and more, a tenderness in their faces, in their actions, in the tones of their voice---in the renewed smiles of the love-lorn and the concern of doctors.

Word goes around that you can do little with a literature degree--- but if it is true - if my social and emotive awareness is heightened because of my reading - I am grateful, already. And in the moments that I do not quite get it - in the moments that I hear the wrong things or feel the hinge of pressure closing - I will search for it more.

Tenderness renews.

Monday, 17 January 2011

my birthday list

A couple of weeks ago I made a list of twenty things I am glad I did whilst I was twenty, and, inspired by Elsie's birthday lists, here is the list of things I want to do during my twenty-first year.

1. Visit four new cities
2. Move out
3. Watch Mad Men
4. Make a dress
5. Make a journal for my love
6. Complete a Sketchbook Project (if they run it for 2012---my 2011 attempt remains incomplete)
7. Finish a story
8. Get fit, get healthy*
9. Host a Murder Mystery party
10. Try out - and photograph - twelve new baking recipes
11. Learn calligraphy
12. Learn to knit
13. Three reads: The Golden Notebook, The Hobbit and Lady Chatterley’s Lover
14. Write five reviews for Penguin
15. Write an article - and have it published - in the university paper
16. Go for a bike ride
17. Decorate my doll’s house
18. Have a driving lesson
19. Stop worrying
20. Do something charitable
21. Have an old-fashioned picnic

Of course there are more--- things that will probably come and go, filter in, then out, of my life, but these---these are the ones I have wanted to do for a while. Some are little things; some are much bigger, much wider, much more consuming of my time and of effort.

I hope that during my twenty-first year, you will be here---if you'd like to be, of course. But more than that---more than anything, really---I hope that he is.

*This is something only I will know---in body and in mind. And maybe in the hill I couldn't quite climb in one go during my holiday---maybe that will show my progress, too.


Today I will be sorting through photographs from my trip and finishing off a list of things to do before my next birthday.

I really should get on with it---it's only 364 days away.*

I hope you have had a lovely, lovely weekend.

*Is it ever possible to mention a birthday without seeking a little bit of attention? I wish it was.

Saturday, 8 January 2011

tanning up

Continuing a little with my penchant for dresses (something, I feel, that will never, ever go away).

And to think that I have never really liked tan before now...

Both can be found at Topshop.

Friday, 7 January 2011

friday finds...

This was a week which sped by---too fast.

Nevertheless, here are a few of my internet finds.

I am a little bit in love with this beautiful bed.

What a wonderful, innovative idea!

This is my kind of holiday map.

Censored Huckleberry Finn.

What happens when auto-correct goes wrong.

I hope you have had a lovely week.

Next week, my love and I are going on a little pre-birthday holiday---first to Bath, then to London. I am, predictably, quite nervous (I always get nervous before - and even during - holidays. I think of all the things that could possibly, possibly go wrong. Sometimes I think I might even forget that it's a holiday). I will be taking my vintage suitcase with me and a few too many rolls of camera film...

Have a lovely weekend!

Thursday, 6 January 2011

going to the ballet

I have never read this book, but I sure do like its cover. So now, in post-card form, it adorns my wall. (Along with others, which I would like to scan and post at a later date).

(Image source can be found here).

sophie has a little snail

When I was about seven years old, my mother bought me this book.*

Neither of us expected - probably, only hoped - that this would be the very book to charm me.

Dick King-Smith, who died yesterday, did me a very wonderful favour (as did my mother, of course, who taught me to read)---and I am so, so grateful that he did.

*I am pretty sure one of the main reasons for her buying it was the simple fact that I looked a lot like the girl on the cover. Judging a book by its cover isn't a truly terrible thing, after all.

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

i am going to need

...a third bookshelf. Or a cupboard. And some money.

I have just ordered the next load of books for this semester's work---saving and borrowing and recycling where I can.

With them, though, is a little guilt. Somehow - and I simply don't know how - Mad Men fell into my virtual basket.

What's a girl to do?

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

other people's words

I have said it before but I will say it, quite happily, again.

Sometimes there are moments when only the words of others will do. Only they will comfort us, only they will illuminate aspects of the world we do not ordinarily see.

Today it is this.

"What you still need to know is this: before a dream is realised, the Soul of the World tests everything that was learned along the way. It does this not because it is evil, but so that we can, in addition to realising our dreams, master the lessons we've learned as we've moved toward that dream." Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist.

Let's apply it.

Let's continue to realise, then follow our dreams. Let us reach the end even when the odds don't appear to be thrown in our favour. Because they are, you know.

retrospective reads

These are the books I am glad to have read in 2010.*

Lolita, Vladimir Nabokov.
The Turn Of The Screw, Henry James.
Ghostwalk, Rebecca Stott.
Atonement, Ian McEwan.
House Of Leaves, Mark Z. Danielewski.
Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte.
The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho.
The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald.

...of which I am sure there are more...

I hope 2011 brings a lot more literature.

*And the reasons why are diverse and plentiful----but I haven't included those that I was less than fond of.

Monday, 3 January 2011

happy new year

Happy New Year!

I hope 2011 is treating you well so far--and that it continues to do so.

(I confess that there really is no reason for the picture, only that I found it stored on my camera's memory card).