sunday post

Sunday Post: The Queue, lots of cooking, and finally finishing something

The Sunday Post is a blog news meme hosted at Caffeinated Reviewer. It’s a chance to share news, recap the past week on your blog, and showcase books and things received.

It has been quite a slow, but also sad week. I haven’t mentioned anything about the death of The Queen here before but the monarchy is a special interest of mine, and while part of me has been enjoying watching history in action (and discovering I know the words to the Proclamation!), I’ve also been mourning for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Part of me wishes I could have gone down to Westminster Hall to pay my respects, but while my agoraphobia is starting to ease, just seeing that many people in one place (and no one wearing a mask) is giving me the heebie-jeebies.

Then there’s The Queue. Yes, there’s an accessibility queue for those of us who are unable to stand in an 18+ hour queue (I sometimes struggle to stand long enough to do the dishes), it’s limited and available slots fill up quite quickly. I have, however, spent the last couple of days utterly fascinated by The Queue from a sociological perspective. I also think it’s one of the most British things we could do to honour our late Monarch, and personally find the number of people going to pay their respects to be incredibly moving.

It’s also been the 7th anniversary of my mum dying this week, so my emotions are all over the place.
For example, last night, I discovered the layout of a 2023 planner I wanted wasn’t going to work for me, and the level of sadness I experienced for that definitely felt out of proportion.

Other than that, I’ve been doing a lot of cooking again this week – which reminds me, I wanted to work on the layout for my cooking blog and properly figure out what I’m going to do with it.
Monday I made us Tomato & Courgette risotto
Tuesday was Crab & Lemon spaghetti with peas
Thursday was Slow Cooker Pork with cheesy mash
Last night we had tuna steak with a citrus rub and garlic butter crushed potatoes
I really love to cook!

I had some lovely Book Mail this week – I bought myself a paperback copy of Peter Ackroyd’s History Of England: Foundation when I realized I didn’t want to give the library their copy back. And I also got myself a signed hardback of Dan Jones’ Essex Boys – which was quite the dilemma, actually! I don’t usually like hardbacks, so I was planning on getting the kindle edition, then buying the paperback when it came out but then WH Smith had the signed hardbacks for £8.49

Speaking of books, I’ve actually managed to finish a handful of books, so there should be another round of mini-reviews coming this week. I’ve finished Anne Rice – Interview With The Vampire and Heidi Swain – Summer At Skylark Farm, and I’m on track to finish Mary Beard – Pompeii, Mira Grant – Chimera, Kate Kinsey – How To Be A Healthy & Happy Submissive AND Stephen Law – Philosophy next week!

I’ve also been listening to a lot of 80s/90s soft rock this week (forever my favourite genre) and I shall leave you with my song of the week which is Def Leppard – Photograph

weekly wednesday blogging challenge · www wednesday

Fanfiction, A Day in the Past, Bookmarks & What I’m Reading

Today we catch up on the Weekly Wednesday Blogging Challenge because I’ve missed a couple of weeks and honestly, there’s a couple of topics there I’m looking forward to rambling about!

Thoughts On Fanfiction which can basically be summed up as I FUCKING LOVE FANFICTION!

So, essentially, I’ve been writing fanfiction since before I knew what it was. As a child, I used to make up (and act out) my own stories about the Famous Five and The Hardy Boys, into my teens The X-Files and Star Trek. Then in my late teens in the late 90s, I came online and discovered fanfiction for Savage Garden, the Vampire Chronicles (yup, got my C&D from Anne Rice, thank you) and Star Wars.

I’ve been involved in online fandom, various different fandoms, ever since. I’ve been in online fandom, reading and writing fanfiction, going to cons, for my entire adult life – and I cannot see that changing anytime soon. Most of my friends I met through fanfiction. I’m writing less fanfiction than I was, mostly because of studying, but I’ve been active in Stargate SG-1 and Stargate: Atlantis since 2013 and still love playing with those characters.

I’ve mentioned before that I met my fiance through her fanfiction. I started commenting on her fics on A03, then we started chatting on Tumblr, firstly about fanfiction, about kink in fanfiction, then kink in real life, there was some awkward flirting going on. But we’ve been together now since January 2021, got engaged in January this year and are working on moving in together and getting Not Married.
All because of a series of Stargate SG-1 fanfic!

I write slash, gen and het and if you’re interested in reading any of my stuff, my AO3 account is BADFAlcon

Where would you spend one day in the past? Explain Argh! Ask a history nerd like the hardest question possible why don’t you?!
OK, so I’d love to like see a dinosaur, visit ancient Greece or Rome or Egypt, see Stonehenge being built, visit the Library at Alexandria, meet Elizabeth I (or numerous other members of the royalty), spend time in Renaissance Italy, listen to discussions during The Enlightenment, see Shakespeare being performed at The Globe… the options are literally endless. There is SO much I would love to experience.

But the one thing I would really love to be able to do would be to travel back to the mid-late 80s, and spend a day with my parents. My dad died in 1993, my mum in 2015 – I knew my mum as an adult, but I was 11 when my dad died and he’d been sick for many years so being able to have a proper conversation with him would be just incredible.

Bookmark, scrap paper or dog-ear? Dog-ear? dog-ear?! Do I look like some kind of fucking heathen to you?!
I have a huge pile of bookmarks… somewhere. And I keep buying new ones. Sometimes I can find them when I need them, and god knows I’ve probably accidentally donated dozens to my local library LOL. So bookmark when I can find them, when I can’t it’ll be anything that’s to hand – receipts, post-it notes, scraps of paper, empty chocolate wrappers. But NEVER dog-ear the pages!

WWW Wednesday
What are you currently reading? Marian Keyes – Lucy Sullivan Is Getting Married, David Attenborough – Adventures Of A Young Naturalist & Peter Ackroyd – History Of England: Foundation
What did you recently finish reading? Mira Grant – Symbiont
What do you think you’ll read next? Natalie J Case – Thanátou

book reviews · life

A Quick Catch Up

So, the news in brief and some reading roundups are

The not-COVID I had at the beginning of the month? Yeah, it turned out to actually be COVID. Li and I were both pretty sick for about 10 days, and completely exhausted for about another week. I still get fatigued pretty quickly but thankfully we were both triple vaxxed and survived in once piece.

I got my module result for this year of my degree – for A112 Cultures I received a distinction. 86%! As you can imagine, I am over the freaking moon. So that’s my first academic year complete, 120 credits. Only another 4 modules to go, starting in October with A229 Exploring The Classical World

I’ve been playing a lot of Stardew Valley, and Star Trek: Timelines. Li managed to bring home a Wii the other day, I rediscovered my Game Boy Advance, and we’ve also set up my old SNES. There has been much retro gaming and it has been wonderful.

Of course, a lot of gaming, a slight complete addiction to Pointless, and introducing Li to the Bridgerton Netflix show has meant I haven’t done a huge amount of reading lately. The bookx I have read recently:

Matt Haig – Reasons To Stay Alive
3/5, memoir, mental health, non-fiction, psychology
Bizarrely, as much as I thoroughly enjoyed the other couple of Haig’s books, this one didn’t gel with me. I found it a little too self-help-y, a little too twee. I didn’t connect with it and felt it bringing me down, rather than uplifting me.

Mary Beard – How Do We Look / The Eye of Faith
4/5, art history, history, non-fiction, philosophy, religion
Very interesting, would have liked it to have gone a little more in-depth in a couple of places but I do love her descriptions of the art and places she’s visited and writes about, and it helps bring it to life for me. Her passion also shines through

Mira Grant – Parasite
5/5, horror, medical, science-fiction, thriller
OMG y’all, I could not put this down. It had been on my TBR for ages, finally got it out of the library and sat and read the whole thing in one afternoon. I was reacting outloud and flailing and squeaking at Li… who picked it up as soon as I finished it, also read it in one sitting – falling asleep at like 1am!

My reserves of Symbiont and Chimera have just come in and oh yes, I will be starting Symbiont tomorrow!

Holly Black – Tithe
3.5/, faeries, paranormal, urban-fantasy, young-adult
This one is very much a case of ‘I liked it, but…’ – I was disappointed, really. It was enjoyable enough but there was something missing. It was a little predictable in places, the characters needed a little more rounding and the pacing was… hmm… uneven. And even though there are more books in the series, I don’t care enough to see if the library even has them.

Melanie Cantor – Life and Other Happy Endings
3/5, chick-lit, family, friends, library, read, romance

Such a weird read, and literally lost starts with every section of the story. So it started off as this great 5-star read about a woman who found out she had 3 months to live and was telling people the things she wanted to tell them etc… only then she wasn’t dying because of a test result mix-up, and she was back to being trodden over… only then she was pregnant and yawn. She was way more interesting when she thought she was dying!

Joanna Hickson – First Of The Tudors
4/5, historical-fiction

We’ve covered my love for all things War Of The Roses, yes? And this was no exception! The story centers around Jasper Tudor, his wardship of young Henry Tudor and his relationship with Margaret Beaufort, and the intricacies of the Yorkists, Lancastrians, Tudors, and Warwick The Kingmaker. I will be checking out more of Hickson’s work – she has other stories set in the time period.

Which brings me on to what I’m currently reading: