Monday, 28 February 2011

other people's words (again, again)

Whilst trawling the internet today, I came across this quotation---and I knew I wanted to share it. It is long, but it is beautiful.

"Date a girl who reads. Date a girl who spends her money on books instead of clothes. She has problems with closet space because she has too many books. Date a girl who has a list of books she wants to read, who has had a library card since she was twelve.

Find a girl who reads. You’ll know that she does because she will always have an unread book in her bag.She’s the one lovingly looking over the shelves in the bookstore, the one who quietly cries out when she finds the book she wants. You see the weird chick sniffing the pages of an old book in a second hand book shop? That’s the reader. They can never resist smelling the pages, especially when they are yellow.

She’s the girl reading while waiting in that coffee shop down the street. If you take a peek at her mug, the non-dairy creamer is floating on top because she’s kind of engrossed already. Lost in a world of the author’s making. Sit down. She might give you a glare, as most girls who read do not like to be interrupted. Ask her if she likes the book.

Buy her another cup of coffee.

Let her know what you really think of Murakami. See if she got through the first chapter of Fellowship. Understand that if she says she understood James Joyce’s Ulysses she’s just saying that to sound intelligent. Ask her if she loves Alice or she would like to be Alice.

It’s easy to date a girl who reads. Give her books for her birthday, for Christmas and for anniversaries. Give her the gift of words, in poetry, in song. Give her Neruda, Pound, Sexton, Cummings. Let her know that you understand that words are love. Understand that she knows the difference between books and reality but by god, she’s going to try to make her life a little like her favorite book. It will never be your fault if she does.

She has to give it a shot somehow.

Lie to her. If she understands syntax, she will understand your need to lie. Behind words are other things: motivation, value, nuance, dialogue. It will not be the end of the world.

Fail her. Because a girl who reads knows that failure always leads up to the climax. Because girls who understand that all things will come to end. That you can always write a sequel. That you can begin again and again and still be the hero. That life is meant to have a villain or two.

Why be frightened of everything that you are not? Girls who read understand that people, like characters, develop. Except in the Twilight series.

If you find a girl who reads, keep her close. When you find her up at 2 AM clutching a book to her chest and weeping, make her a cup of tea and hold her. You may lose her for a couple of hours but she will always come back to you. She’ll talk as if the characters in the book are real, because for a while, they always are.

You will propose on a hot air balloon. Or during a rock concert. Or very casually next time she’s sick. Over Skype.

You will smile so hard you will wonder why your heart hasn’t burst and bled out all over your chest yet. You will write the story of your lives, have kids with strange names and even stranger tastes. She will introduce your children to the Cat in the Hat and Aslan, maybe in the same day. You will walk the winters of your old age together and she will recite Keats under her breath while you shake the snow off your boots.

Date a girl who reads because you deserve it. You deserve a girl who can give you the most colorful life imaginable. If you can only give her monotony, and stale hours and half-baked proposals, then you’re better off alone. If you want the world and the worlds beyond it, date a girl who reads.

Or better yet, date a girl who writes." ~ Rosemary Urquico

Sunday, 27 February 2011


Sunday evenings are always the days I really, really understand why I am still living at home. A Sunday roast---followed by fruit crumble, really really good fruit crumble---is one of the best essay distractions around. I sometimes feel sorry for my future-children, though. I will never be able to perfect a roast like my mum can.

Nor will I ever get over the hilarity of power-cuts---especially when your father is using a walking-frame, you are puppy-sitting and the only really useful thing you can find in the dark is a glow-stick.


But the essay is done.

Saturday, 26 February 2011

everything will be okay

"It will all be okay in the end. If it's not okay, it's not the end."

(Found via SwissMiss).

this is what...

...a little light procrastination looks like: beautiful dresses I will never afford.

But my, isn't it beautiful?

(Found at Kate Spade).

(Essay count so far? 97 words. But a whole heap of research).

on other people's words

"I’m better when I’m writing and I’m more considered and I’m more humane. You’re trying to write about other people. You’re not always thinking about yourself. In life, people are egotistical, vain, they’ve got things they need to do or want to do, or ambitions. When you write, if you’re doing it well, you give up a lot of that. Negative capability, supposedly, is what it’s called. And when it goes well, that’s what it feels like. To let go of all your striving, all your sense of self, and kind of let the world in…It’s very hard to be a really genuinely selfish and terrible person and write generous and interesting prose. It doesn’t happen that often." ~ Zadie Smith.

I love her, by the way---even though a lot of people sometimes don't think she is writing about anything at all. But she is---she is writing about people and their beauty---in all their different forms.

Friday, 25 February 2011


He is the only one I want to hear "it will be okay" from. I want to hear it every day for the rest of my life. And every day I hope that I will be lucky enough to---I hope I have been good enough to deserve it.

friday finds...

Today ended with me bumping into someone I have not seen for a very long time and with a few too many garbled sentences. And yet it was comfortable and it was refreshing (refreshing to see he has grown up well) and it made a boring afternoon a little bit better.

Here are some things I think worth sharing. (Although it's been quite a week of that...)

Some alternative movie posters which I think are very, very clever.

I have been thinking a lot about him lately, and I think this is an interesting way for him to be re-invented.

Was Nabokov right about butterflies?

What a lovely idea!

I am so sad that I only just uncovered this. I wish I could have taken part.

What are you doing this weekend?

I am writing an essay---although "trying" is probably a better verb to describe my attempts.* Staying in will also give me a chance to spend time with family---with my brother (and girlfriend, and puppy) who I did not get to see last weekend and my dad who is slowly recovering---it is wonderful to have him home!

Whatever you are doing, I hope it's lovely.

*My inability to turn off my wireless will probably result in a few more posts over Saturday and Sunday---I hope you don't mind.

a wall of the imagination

I would like this on one of my walls.

You know, on that wall that doesn't-quite-and-probably-won't-for-a-while exist yet?

Just saying.

on fear (just fear)

I sometimes think I should stop reading the news. It causes the fears I already have to enlarge and mutate. There is no worldly reassurance in the media---then, no confidence. But isn't the idea of shutting down and of censoring just as scary? It breeds the superficial, the insular, the confined. And in the most basic of senses, those are the very things this world is fighting against.

Thursday, 24 February 2011


I am supposed to be getting ready for a lecture---but I stumbled across this ring wanted to share its cuteness.

(Courtesy of Modcloth).

I hope you have a lovely day!

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

italiano, by someone else's lens

By chance I stumbled across these beautiful, beautiful shots taken with a Diana Mini.

And it's funny, because Italy is place I have been dreaming about a lot lately.

I will go there.


I often wish I had been brave enough to study abroad---but I wasn't, and I am not convinced I ever will be.


These are my new favourite snacks.


I caved and bought that dress---the one with the sailboats and the too short a hem.

Tuesday, 22 February 2011


With thinking about the future, I sometimes try and visualise the house I am one day going to buy. (Or rent.) I like to think it will have walls covered in things like this.

(All found at this Etsy shop)

Especially that cameo one.

timing out

I roughly get to this time of year and almost long for the summer-time. And here I really do emphasise the almost. Because as much as I long for much sunnier, grassier days, I also long for essays* and exams to have been undertaken and marked already, lulled into the excitement, then the freshness, of a new academic year. But at the very same time, I long for time to go slowly---as soon as those things are here, I am yearning for the next little pack of events and seasons, for the next adventures and the next breath of tasks. I guess this is what they call wishing your life away and I am guilty of it, every-time. But it isn't that, not really---it isn't so much as wishing as it is to looking forward---it is quietly anticipating the next few challenges.

This dress makes me think of summer-time.

(Courtesy of Topshop).

*I have an essay to write for next Wednesday and I cannot find its source or spark anywhere---I suppose it is that, more than the dress, that got me thinking.

Monday, 21 February 2011

on resolutions

I will kiss my dad on the cheek more, like I did as I entered and exited his hospital room today. I will do this for the next few days and then keep doing it. Hospital beds and IVs and iodine should not be the only things to open up hearts like they do.

I will exercise more and eat better, not just to maintain weight and to tone, but to feel healthier.

I will write more notes and read more diligently. I will keep to deadlines and to tasks and not use the internet as a sorry distraction. I will be a better student. I will pursue better the things that interest me---and sometimes those that don't.

And perhaps, just perhaps, I will stop saying "I will" and will actually, you know, do.

Saturday, 19 February 2011

library envy

This photograph of Nigella Lawson's house-library is outstanding.

...a girl can dream, right?

(Courtesy of The NeoTraditionalist)

where for art thou?

I am an absolute sucker for book related accessories. (I bought a Penguin Books water bottle the other day).

Needless to say, I think I have fallen in love with Kate Spade's Romeo and Juliet clutch.

(Found at Kate Spade).

Friday, 18 February 2011

to realise

Today I realised how much I am learning to love my Friday afternoon seminar. It is with a rarely occurring tutor---one that asks if we enjoyed the book before we communally rip it apart. (Today, today it was Jane Eyre---and just so you know, my high opinion of it still stands and my heart still skips a beat at the end, at the moment of hands finding hands).

And today I also realised that the train I missed and the infuriation I felt at a friend's clumsy organisation filtered out as soon as I saw her. Because she is that special to me---even if it isn't mutual and doesn't always feel like we are a part of eachother's lives (despite living thirty minutes away from eachother---and that's walking distance). She is an actress---and she sports the very same passion I was talking about the other day---and it sometimes feels like I am not completely sure what face she is wearing---the one of independence or fear or nonchalance. But d'you know what? She is wonderful. And determined. And creative. And because of these things, she is one of the very few people I have ever, ever felt safe enough to run a big, scary writing project past---one that she still remembers and asks about and makes me feel a little silly about not having worked on. I could not have been happier, today, when she told me that she feels like she is happy, creatively---and I see it. I was with her for an hour and a half and I saw its change---I saw the passion, and then the resolve that she has made to fulfil it. She will, my beautiful, beautiful friend, will be an actress. And she should, you know. I realised that as frustrated as I do get at her---at our inability to arrange meetings that actually work, at our too-often-too-sporadic texts, at the fleeting, fleeting presence---I realise that I haven't ever stopped loving her and that time after time after time when these things have gotten in our way, I always cling onto the hope that we haven't yet fallen out of eachother's lives---even if it is a thought I don't properly acknowledge. I hope we never do.

night at the museum

Arnold took this picture many, many weeks ago when we were in London.

We spent the night after actually inside the museum, gawping at statues and grabbing dinner in their posh cafeteria.

I was so tired so frequently on that trip---partly why I am quite the nightmare traveller, something I need to change (and quickly)---but I do miss it. Arnold is by far the best companion to go to places with. And I hope, more than anything, that I get to spend the rest of my life doing just that with him.

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

kingdom for a horse

I have spent the last two nights at the theatre, and, I have loved it.

It isn't always the talent that I relish most about seeing a theatre company perform---although its existence is always, always valued. It isn't the way they hold their bodies and their persona's so tightly, or the way they bounce language---off the stage, off the audience, off themselves. It isn't even their raw ability to invoke emotion---the way they can have people cower in fear or laugh raucously at their (sometimes improvised) jokes.

It's their passion. It's the way I believe in their absolute devotion to what they do. It's sitting in a room watching a group of people caress their love. And it is a beautiful thing, to be able to watch it. And to listen it. And to live it---to know that these people are blessed enough and talented enough and determined enough to stand up every night and be their absolute dream. And I guess I really, really like witnessing things like that because of the hope it illuminates. The little avenue it opens in people's hearts that somehow, some way, they can be as inspired and as talented and (sometimes) as lucky to do that.

(And to credit them, because they should be credited, Propeller are an amazingly talented company. Tonight they changed a lot about the way I think about Shakespeare---and for that, I am grateful).

oh, it is love!*

Valentine's Day was a picnic, a walk and a pretending-to-be-grown-up dinner.**

But do you know what else?

It was also wonderful.

*Oh, it is love! It gets stuck in my head far too often.

**We don't cook proper meals, really---I guess that comes from living separately in our parents' houses. But really, pancakes and bacon for dinner (followed by maple-marinaded sausages) has never tasted so good.

Saturday, 12 February 2011

on vintage

I whole-heartedly believe that buying vintage saves the planet---even just a little bit.

Friday, 11 February 2011

friday finds

I cannot work out the pace of weeks; I cannot work out if in removing certain things from my days, they are getting longer or shorter...

...does anyone else have this weird, tilting feeling, during the week? As though you are racing yourself to a finish line, or a goal, that doesn't really exist? Two day rest-breaks in a marathon of life.

I like to read Stephen Fry's Twitter feed, especially when he posts pictures like this. What a cool alumni of people!

Few things have stunned me more than these photographs of Iceland.

What a good idea!

Interesting article about what deems a book a classic/the idea of personal classics.

A necklace that I have more than fallen in love with.

I hope you have a lovely weekend.

I will be reading A Comedy Of Errors - before seeing it, live, next week - and then trying to make sense of it. If Shakespeare has taught me anything, it is how wide the chasm between reading and understanding dilates...

And on Monday it will hopefully, hopefully be time for a little Valentine's Day date! (Even though I don't really believe in it - a statement which seems to be such a cliché in itself nowadays - I don't think I will ever, ever give up the opportunity to spend time with my love).

reading lives

The other day this lovely, lovely lady named me as being one of several bloggers she deemed the most stylish. (There was an image, too, but for some reason technology is completely and utterly failing me right now). It was a nice day and I am grateful. It is so good to know that your words---even if you are not expecting them to, even if you don't, as you write, know who you are declaring them to---are being read and empathised with in some way.

The idea, anyway, is that in being recognised by someone else, you declare seven facts about yourself and then flag up the blogs you, yourself, particularly favour. (You're supposed to nominate fifteen blogs, apparently, but because I like to even up the numbers, I am going to do seven of each, instead).


Me, in numbers.

1. Although I have lived in England for most of my life, I was originally born in Canada. It explains my love of winter, my sometimes off-pronunciation and my penchant for maple syrup.

2. Quite often, I still talk to a bear---mostly when I have had a bad day and often when I can't sleep and Arnold isn't with me. And because of the truth that is in this image, I am perfectly, perfectly okay with it. His name is Benjamin. He is a good little guy with a super heroic heart.

3. I had a fear of holes as a child.

4. My favourite flavour is mint.

5. I obsess over things. Worries and fears, mostly. But a lot of the time, it is also with sheer amazement at people's talent and wisdom.

6. Where I can, I like to collect first-editions of my favourite books or books by my favourite authors. And then refuse to lend them to people---unless they are as like-mindedly anal about book spines or creased corners.

7. Sometimes I like to recite movie lines. My favourites to say are "Do they have large talons?" and "Can you bring me my chapstick?" from Napoleon Dynamite. It doesn't get old.


And here are seven of the lives I read most about.

*Le Love isn't a personal blog, as such, but a collection of people's love-stories. Only they're not really love-stories, they are more like heart-aches. The negatives far outweigh the positive, happily-ever-after love-stories that so many of us aim for. But do you know what? It makes me appreciate love that much more. It makes me yearn for the happily-ever-after, and, I'm sure, will make me treasure it more, right through 'til the end.

february's bakes

The bake sale a couple of weeks ago was deemed a success, thankfully. As a result, we had another little one today.

Red Velvet Cupcakes are pretty much all the rage right now---although I confess to preferring Cookies'n'Cream when I had one from Harrods---so I thought I'd try making some.

They're kind of seasonal, too, which is a bonus.

Another recipe down.

Wednesday, 9 February 2011


"I cannot express it; but surely you and every body have a notion that there is, or should be, an existence of yours beyond you. What were the use of my creation if I were entirely contained here? My great miseries in this world have been Heathcliff's miseries, and I watched and felt each from the beginning; my great thought in living is himself. If all else perished and he remained, I should still continue to be; and if all else remained, and he were annihilated, the universe would turn into a mighty stranger. I should not seem a part of it. My love for Linton is like the foliage in the woods. Time will change it, I'm well aware, as winter changes the trees. My love for Heathcliff resembles the eternal rocks beneath - a source of little visible delight, but necessary. I am Heathcliff - he's always, always in my mind - not as a pleasure any more than I am always a pleasure to myself - but as my own being. So don't talk of our separation again." Wuthering Heights, Emily Bronte.

Stumbling across passages like this reminds me why I read at all.

Because it articulates, more eloquently than I ever, ever can, the things I am afraid of---especially those entangled within love.

And is it a little weird that of all the characters I have ever read, I identify most with Cathy, the crazy woman?...

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

beetle, beatle

Arnold's penchant for The Beatles has clearly rubbed off on me.

I cannot stop thinking about this song---even though it is a song which makes me a little teary eyed and a little too reflective. Dwelling, almost.

What are the songs which make you reflect the most?

on fear (and love)

I stumbled across this lovely photograph of the Obama's a few seconds ago. (Source here). I suppose I wanted to share it for a lot of reasons.

I guess it is because I have spent a lot of time this weekend thinking about family. And about marriage. And about what, at the age of twenty-one, it really means to me.

My greatest hope is that I will one day find out---but only through acting it out myself, only through being a wife, being a mother, being a part of a little family of my own.

But that is a long way off---really, a very a long way off. And I am okay with that. But it doesn't mean I will stop praying (in the own little way I have---with wishes and deeds and offering nature a little helping hand) for the things that foreground it. For the things that, right now, are troubling or worrying or casting the tiniest little doubts across the horizon. You see, for all the things I have been worrying about lately*, there is the highest of chances that they will pan out alright---and if they do, I will consider myself the luckiest, the most blessed---but there is, underlying, the tiniest chance that they just might not. I guess it is that chance, that lesser chance, that is making life feel a little harder, a little scarier, and a lot less relaxed. Because even though the moment, the moment that I feel it all depends on---though probably doesn't---is a long way off---months, in fact---I feel like I am waiting, just in case.

But I am hoping everything really will be okay. Because the thing I am hoping for is truly worth it---something, in fact, that I believe will shape and change and better the world. (I have never believed in anything so whole-heartedly; I have never wanted to devote myself so much to one thing).

Please, world?

*I am sorry so many of my posts have been made up of worry---and I am sorry, too, to be quite so cryptic. I guess I am still not ready to reveal everything about myself just yet. One day, maybe.

Friday, 4 February 2011


I have been pretty slow this week. And I guess you could say that my gut-feelings on Sunday pretty much fore-told how the rest of my week panned out---how it has been a week of needing reassurance and conversation and a hug. But I hope that is all. I hope my gut-feelings on everything else simply don't---because if it did, if every little and every big worry actualised itself, life could lead to a lot of tragedy.

How do you prevent yourself from (often unnecessarily) worrying?

Next week will be sunnier.