weekly wednesday blogging challenge

How I Feel about Staycations

This week’s Weekly Wednesday Blogging Challenge question is How I Feel about Staycations

Honestly, I love them!

I’m specifically talking about staycations where it’s spent at home, rather than holidaying in the same country. However, we could also argue that all my trips to Devon to be with Li are technically staycations, even if I’m working during the week. My agoraphobic ass doesn’t have to leave the house unless I really want to. I like my house, it’s safe, all my things are here and even better there are no other people (except Li).

I get to sleep in my own bed. I can spend my time chilling and doing the things I enjoy doing – I can catch up on some TV or movies that I want to watch, I can read, I can game, I can write. If I want to go out, I can do it at my own pace and schedule.

I would like to do more trips within the country or abroad but honestly, with the cost of living right now, I can’t really afford to do anything more than a weekend away – and I’d rather keep those for when I toddle off somewhere random (or just up to Glasgow) to see Raintown.

So yes, a staycation at home, with nothing to do and no plans and I can just properly relax is wonderful. There’s plenty of places to go to for day/mini-breaks if I want but mostly spending chill time alone or with Li is definitely where it’s at.

top ten tuesday

Mainstream Authors That I Still Haven’t Read

Firstly, I want to apologise for disappearing for another couple of weeks – I went back to work at the beginning of the month after having been off for the best part of 2 months with a slipped disk and a torn tendon in my hip. That adjustment to going back to work has been exhausting – combination of reducing painkillers so I’m capable of working and having to use my brain etc etc.  But the physio is finally starting to work, I’m getting some of my mobility back, I can now walk about a quarter of mile without needing to sit down and hopefully I should be going home at the end of the month! (I’ve been at my partners since July because of these issues!)

And now we move on to the regularly scheduled posting

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish and is now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. Each week a new theme is suggested for bloggers to participate in. Create your own Top Ten list that fits that topic – putting your unique spin on it if you want. Everyone is welcome to join but please link back to The Artsy Reader Girl in your own Top Ten Tuesday post.

This week’s topic is Top Ten Mainstream Popular Authors that I Still Have Not Read
I don’t pay a huge amount of attention to who is or isn’t ‘mainstream’ or popular, but based on things that everyone seems to talk about, and last years Goodreads Choice Awards:

Colleen Hoover
Richard Osman
Sally Rooney

I’ve tried reading all three of these. I got about a page and a bit into one of their books, and promptly took them back to the library. Just not a writing style that worked for me

Emily Henry
Emily St John Mantel
RF Kuang

They’re on the TBR, I just haven’t quite to them yet, but I want to!

Rebecca Yarros
Brandon Sanderson

I’m just not that into fantasy and they don’t appeal to me

Travis Baldree
Tamsyn Muir

I’ve hyped Gideon The Ninth and Legends & Lattes up so much in my mind that I’m scared to start and not like them

How about you – are there mainstream/popular authors that you’re not reading?

weekly wednesday blogging challenge

Three Fun Facts About Myself

This week’s Weekly Wednesday Blogging Challenge is one that I actually really struggled with, and ended up asking Li for some help to answer. That tricky topic? Three Fun Facts About Myself

I tend to over-think this topic – what’s fun? what’s interesting? what have I shared to death?

1) I could read and write before I started nursery school.
I don’t remember not being able to read, or learning to read. I have been told the story of I used to spend most of the time in the nursery in the book corner reading. I remember my dad taking me to the library every Saturday morning.

2) I met my fiancée Li through fanfiction
I found her SG-1 fic on AO3 in October 2020, started reading and leaving comments as you do. Then looked her up on social media and a couple of months later, found the confidence (and this is very out of the norm for me) to message her… that was December 2020 and we haven’t stopped talking since!

3) Li says I have to say how I can always predict who’s going home on competition shows
I never used to watch any of them, but with Li I watch Masterchef, Bake Off, and many many more. It’s competence porn combined with people sharing the thing they love which is always happy making. But yes, I can always say who’s going home. Even when I say I don’t know… I can still say it just a beat before the judges do!
(I honestly think it’s basic pattern recognition, but Li loves this mundane super power of mine)

What’s a fun fact about you that you feel comfortable sharing?

sunday post

Sunday Post #4

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted at the @ Caffeinated Reviewer. It’s a chance to share news~ A post to recap the past week on your blog and showcase books and things we have received. Share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead

Life
It has been a very busy – but very fun – week.

Wednesday, as I mentioned earlier, Li and I went to Exeter for the day. We went to the museum, Yo! Sushi, Waterstones, and Build-A-Bear.

Thursday I had my ADHD assessment – they said they had ‘no problems’ in diagnosing me and that some of my scores were ‘off the chart’.

I followed this up with a free taster massage at a place in town because my shoulder’s been aggravating me. It feels like there’s a huge knot and it’s resting on a nerve, making my fingers go tingly – definitely feels muscular. I went for the taster session because I’ve never had a massage before and I’m generally not a fan of people touching me, but I was in so much discomfort that I was willing to get it done. It was heavenly, I could move my neck and arm without things going crack, and I’ve already signed up for a full hours massage after payday.

Today is Li’s birthday, she’s streaming some Stardew this morning and we have a lazy afternoon planned.

Blogging
I have posted catch-up posts on Weekly Wednesday Blogging Challenge and Book Blogger Hop so I am now up to date on both of those – and hoping to stay on top of them, at least for a couple of weeks. I even managed a Stacking The Shelves yesterday.

This coming week I am aiming to stay on top of the Top Ten Tuesday, Weekly Wednesday, WWW Wednesday, and Book Blogger Hop. I also want to post some drive-by book reviews – I’ve read 25 books this year and have written nothing about any of them. I don’t know if I’ll do all 25, or just the 5 I finished in April.

Depending on how time-consuming work and study are, I would also really like to write a post about my thoughts on ‘classics’.

Cooking
I always cook more when I’m at Li’s and this week has been no exception! My meal plan runs Saturday through Thursday, so thinking back to last weekend:
Saturday – Sweet & sticky chicken noodles
Sunday – Honey & mustard sausage traybake
Monday – Cheesy tomato risotto
Tuesday – Mango chicken couscous

I really want to get my food blog back up and running again, so I can share recipes and ramble excitedly about food!

Reading
This week I have finished The Queen Of Nothing and Diddly Squat: A Year On The Farm.

I have also been reading From Memory to Written Record: England 1066 – 1307, The Hanging Tree, The Night Watch, and Skandar & The Unicorn Thief.

I’m about 85% through Skandar so should finish that this week and the next one is due out at the end of the month

Studying
I am now 87% of the way through my module which is a little bit terrifying! There are only 6 weeks left until my End of Module Assignment is due.

I’ve just finished a unit of work on Childhood in Ancient Rome which was actually really tough because there was a whole section on infanticide and exposing children.

Next week’s work is on mass entertainment in Roman life – gladiatorial shows, chariot races, and plays, and the social aspects of them: which social groups attended the shows, where they sat, and how they reacted to what they saw

My next assignment is due on the 27th of April and is 1300 words arguing either for or against the statement Ultimately it was wealth that determined social status in ancient Rome

Watching
Masterchef came back this week which makes me very happy. Star Trek: Picard continues to be fucking fantastic. It’s been a very disjointed week so there hasn’t been a whole lot of TV watched to be honest, other than a couple of Midsomer Murders while working.

Next week I’m hoping to catch up on a couple of shows – Carnival Row, Grace, School Spirits, Spencer Sisters, and A Town Called Malice. I’m 4 or 5 episodes behind on each so that shouldn’t take too long. There’s also the last Celebrity Bake Off and this week’s episodes of Race Across The World & Masterchef and the Picard finale!

book blogger hop

Book Blogger Hop Catch-up

And next, we catch up on The Book Blogger Hop which was originally created by Jennifer from Crazy-For-Books in March 2010 and ended on December 31, 2012. With Jennifer’s permission, Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer relaunched the meme on February 15, 2013. Check out the hop here!

Each week the hop will start on a Friday and end on Thursday. There will be a weekly prompt featuring a book-related question. The hop’s purpose is to give bloggers a chance to follow other blogs, learn about new books, befriend other bloggers, and receive new followers to their own blogs.

Are books a must-have in your home? and ABSO-FUCKING-LUTELY. I cannot imagine living without books. It’s pretty much the only reason I haven’t already moved in with Li, is because there’s no room in her flat for my books.

My bookshelves take up half the wall space in my living room, 5 of them. I have another one in my bedroom. And a good 3 or 4 piles of books that don’t fit on the shelves – I do keep meaning to get another two for my bedroom, I just never seem to quite get round to it!

I’d always intended on making my spare bedroom a library/study room but that never happened and since Li and I are planning on moving in together in the next 18ish months, I’m not really sure if it’s worth doing.

What apps/websites do you use to make your social media posts? My blog runs on WordPress, and it automatically crossposts to Twitter. I used to use Twitter a lot but all the changes lately are just about making it about as difficult to use as Facebook. What the hell is wrong with a ‘show me all the posts from all the people I follow – and nothing else – in chronological order? This is why I still use Dreamwidth because it can do that!

I have a instagram as well but I’m still trying to figure out how I want to use it, the types of posts I’m making etc. And again, there’s the frustrations of how the algorithim decides what it wants to show me.

As I’m writing this, I wonder if there are chrome add-ons that can do these for both Twitter and Instagram so that’s going on my list!

Do you spend your lunchtime reading? At home, I don’t actually. It would be far too easy for me to lose track of time, get sucked into the book and forget to actually go back to the working portion of the afternoon. And yes, that’s even with an alarm set because if I’m reading, I might not actually hear it.

When I’m at the office though, I generally do. I’m not as able to hyperfocus on reading because there’s constant movement of people, so I’m still more aware of my surroundings and can actually go back to the working bit of the afternoon

What is your go-to website to check out book reviews? Honestly, I pay very little attention to book reviews on places like Goodreads or Amazon. I pay a little bit of attention on storygraph to things like mood, pacing and characters but it pretty much boils down to not caring what people I don’t know thing of a book.

If a friend who knows what I enjoy, or a person in the book community who has similar tastes/approaches to me, recommends something then I care what they think. But generic book reviews on the interest are of absolutely no consequence to me.

weekly wednesday blogging challenge · www wednesday

My 2023 Goals and What Are You Reading Wednesday

This week’s Weekly Wednesday Blogging Challenge asks my goals for 2023

Reading-wise, my goals are
Read 50 books
Complete A-Z reading challenge
Clear one pile of the physical TBR
Try to only read 3-6 books at a time
Finish Bill Bryson bibliography

Non-reading goals include
Blog 3x a week
Pass my current university module
Play all the Super Mario games in order
Watch more TV
Fall back in love with fandom
Do the shit I love and have fun doing it

Next up we have WWW Wednesday which asks
What are you currently reading?
Olivie Blake – The Atlas Six
Frederick Joseph – The Black Friend: On Being a Better White Person
Jenny Kane – Midsummer Dreams at Mill Grange
Rainbow Rowell – Fangirl

What did you recently finish reading?
CS Lewis – The Magician’s Nephew
QI Elves – Funny You Should Ask
Alison Weir – Richard III & The Princes In The Tower

What do you think you’ll read next?
Peter Ackroyd – History Of England: Foundation
Marian Keyes – Rachel’s Holiday
CS Lewis – The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe
Madeline Miller – Song Of Achilles

sunday post

The Sunday Post: No spoons or fucks to be found

It has been a week y’all and I am completely done. I’m not planning on doing anything more strenuous today than walking between the kitchen and living room to get food/drinks etc.

So.

Monday at work I was dealing with the fallout of people not processing my Key Engineering Supplier invoices while I was doing Big Project Work. And it was one of those days where I processed… a LOT of invoices. One of the reasons I work slow and steady 90% of the time is that when the shit hits the fan like this, I have the oomph to post like 60 invoices in a day.

I also had a therapy appointment, we’re almost at the end of our sessions and we’re starting to work now on my Staying Well Plan. It’s not as scary as I thought it would to be coming to the end and not having Jeanett’s support which obviously is the entire POINT of therapy.

Tuesday I had a day off work because of a dentist appointment. I knew I had to have a filling and I knew I’d be no use to anyone after it was done. Except… it wasn’t just a filling. It was two fillings AND taking the first mould. I was not expecting that. I was very very glad the diazepam had kicked in before she took the mould because that was overwhelming and horrible. And my dentist was doing a new thing which REALLY helped. She’d be like ‘I need to do [XYZ] and it’s going to take me to the count of 10’, and then she would count out loud to 10. So there was this fixed end point to the current torture and then I could take a break. AND she lets me get up out of the chair and stim which is amazing!

Wednesday I continued plowing through invoices, but also had my introductory phonecall with my new tutor. She seems nice enough, specialises in Roman literature and we had a good chat about how she can support me with my ‘additional needs’, how best for her to communicate with me etc so that was really good.

And then yesterday I had my seasonal COVID booster jab. I was very very anxious about that. It’s at the local football ground and last year was… not good. The parking was very confusing, there was way too many people and I had a complete panic attack/meltdown which neither they or I knew how to handle.

This year I decided to walk – it was just over a mile – because that would ease the parking panic. Plus I sometimes find that walking, the repetitive motion of it, as long as my knees are behaving, is quite calming. So, headphones on and down the road I went. And there was no-one there. One person in front of me, two old people who were glaring at me behind me, and I was in and out in like 10 minutes.
I was actually really glad I walked in the end, I had so much adrenalin built up, and then it was almost anticlimatic so walking home again was a good use for that. Then I crashed, napped, and ordered myself a naughty KFC.

I get to do it all over again next week with my flu jab, so that’s going to be fun

Woke up this morning to the news that I won £89 on the Lottery last night. Treated myself to The Novel Companion which restocked in the week but I didn’t have the budget for. Very excited
I’d initially wanted next years Always Fully Booked planner but when I looked closer at the weekly planning pages, the layout wouldn’t work for the style of planning that’s currently working for me and it wasn’t worth getting just for the reading journal bits. So yes, I’m thrilled!

School also technically started again yesterday, but pretty much my only contribution to that was to tidy up my desk. It looks pretty awesome mind:


This week’s unit is mostly introductory work – information about the module, how the module is studied, links to the pronunciation guide and the study website. I’ve been chatting in the forums already and will probably spend a couple of hours on the intro stuff this afternoon.

Other than that, as long as I catch up on the dishes and read a chapter or so of A Brief History of Ancient Greece, then I’ll be happy.

Here’s to a better next week!

book blogger hop

Book Blogger Hop: Finding New Books

The Book Blogger Hop was originally created by Jennifer from Crazy-For-Books in March 2010 and ended on December 31, 2012. With Jennifer’s permission, Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer relaunched the meme on February 15, 2013. Check out the hop here!

Each week the hop will start on a Friday and end on Thursday. There will be a weekly prompt featuring a book related question. The hop’s purpose is to give bloggers a chance to follow other blogs, learn about new books, befriend other bloggers, and receive new followers to your own blog.

The Question of the week is: Is it difficult to find new books in local bookstores?

The small town I live in doesn’t have a bookstore.
The Tesco Express on the retail park has a book section but I’ve only just started being able to go there again, and it’s literally in and out to get my groceries as quickly as possible – not quite up to just browsing yet.
There’s a Waterstones, a WH Smith, and a The Works in the mall in the next town over but to be honest, I avoided malls like the plague even before… well… the plague.

I tend to buy a lot of books secondhand. There are a LOT of charity shops in town, and they’ve all got book sections in. There used to be an incredible second-hand bookshop in the market – it was filled to the brim with bookshelves chock-a-block, and piles and piles and piles of books EVERYWHERE. You could ask him if he had a certain book, and if he had it, he would know exactly where to find it

So yes, I buy a lot of books second-hand. I use my library and the libby app a lot. And for any actually new books I want, I order them from Amazon because it’s really my only source for them. I do miss a good mooch around a bookstore though.

sunday post

Thank you

I just want to say a huge thank you to everyone who donated towards helping cover the cost of getting Eliot’s brakes and my teeth sorted. Not going to lie, I sat here and cried. The cost of his repairs is sorted and I have about a third of the cost of my dental treatment covered so the costs are not going to completely wipe out my savings and credit which is incredible to know.

Y’all are AMAZING, THANK YOU SO MUCH

Eliot booked in for new rear brake pads and disks on Friday morning. And I have dentist appointments booked in September, October and November to continue my treatment.

So yeah, it’s been a hell of a week with all that happening: Dentist, the start of my autism referral and being booked in for a screening appointment, I actually made it not only into Tesco but did a real, in-person shop for the first time in a couple of years, Eliot’s brakes crunching, money worries… I’m hoping for a quieter week coming up, so that I’ve got the mental energy to read, play games -do anything, if I’m being honest. My brain is all fuzzy static. This heatwave isn’t helping. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love these temperatures but it’s the humidity that is fucking killing me. It is currently 32c (89.6F) which is glorious but it’s also like 40% humidity. Today is supposed to be the last day and we’ve got thunderstorms forecast. I do love a good thunderstorm.

For a reading update I am currently:
76% of Anne Rice – Interview With The Vampire
71% of Mira Grant – Symbiont
18% of Peter Ackroyd – History Of England: Foundation

I am also planning on starting:
Natalie J Case – Thanátou
Kerry O Ferris – Stargazing
Matt Haig – The Dead Fathers Club

And, like I said, hoping for a much better week ahead!

weekly wednesday blogging challenge · www wednesday

Weird Real Life Events and What I’m Reading Wednesday

Li and I are still both sacked out sick on the couch, watching nature documentaries on iplayer and napping. She’s sorting out embroidery thread, I’m tidying up my new website and reading – although I’m not entirely sure how much brain I have for doing it!

This week’s Weekly Wednesday Blogging Challenge topic is A real-life event that no one would believe and it has me wracking my brains. Li says the way we met counts – like, what are the chances of commenting on someone’s fanfic, starting a conversation, falling for her, and discovering she lives about half an hour from where I grew up?

But my favourite happening is a ghost encounter that happened at the Winchester Mystery House in San Jose. So my friend Natalie (who is a witch and a bit of a medium) and I were doing the second of our two tours of the place that day, we were standing with our backs against a wall listening to the tour guide tell us about how the house was built to confuse the spirits… and I just said to Natalie ‘There’s someone standing behind us, isn’t there?’ which she confirmed. You could tell the moment that spirit could tell we knew they were there, and they ended up following us for the entire hour and a half of the tour – which they spent pulling my jeans down. Now, these were skinny-fit jeans, I’d been wearing them all morning with no issues, and we’d done one of the tours already with my jeans staying firmly in place. And when the tour finished and we left the house? My jeans stayed up for the rest of the day. There was definitely someone tugging them down – no sense of malice, just mischief and playfulness.

WWW Wednesday
What are you currently reading? Mary Beard – Pompeii, Bill Bryson – Troublesome Words, Joanna Hickson – First of the Tudors
What did you recently finish reading? Mary Beard – Civilisations and I DNFed Quadrivium by John Martineau
What do you think you’ll read next? Holly Black – Tithe or Mira Grant – Parasite