Tuesday, 28 June 2011

hello I'm claire this is my life

(mostly what's going to be happening in the next few days)

Not working till Monday and totally Brighton bound. Hooray.

This, plus mountains of summer fruit that tastes good and doesn't make you hefty (see this post for more details), makes Claire feel a little more sprightly. And also apparently refer to herself in the third person. Can't stop now. Okay I'll stop.

I thought I'd tell you a little bit about working in the bookshop. Just to fill you in because my life is JUST THAT INTERESTING. It's so not. The bookshop is great. I love that I am surrounded by new books that look and smell like heaven on earth. Practically bathing in them. I like chatting to the customers, being asked questions and for recommendations, and generally feeling like I'm good at my job. Getting up in the morning is tough every morning though. But I should probably get used to it. 11am starts are only okay when you work nights. And that is so not happening.

I appreciate days off now. Take it from me, you just don't when everyday is a day off. I am enjoying lying in bed reading with a cup of tea knowing that I have the whole day to myself. I can't wait to be in Brighton, chilling with the boy, shopping and eating. Those things were not appreciated in the past. That is sad.

So all in all - things are grand.

It's Gareth's birthday on Thursday. I still have 3 different things to buy him and 61p in my bank account. It's okay though because I have magical powers.

Wish him a Happy Birthday why don't you? He doesn't have many friends of his own.

Right now I need to go pack. Have a lovely evening online people. You're my favourite.

Monday, 27 June 2011

Nothing.

The last few days have been odd. On Saturday I worked all day and on Sunday I slept and bbq'd at a friend's. Today I worked again. I have been so tired. I needed Sunday morning to sleep but had to skip out on church to do so. Bad Claire. I've felt super anxious and insecure, more so than I've felt in ages. I kind of want someone else's life but I can't quite put my finger on why. In a way, that's worse than knowing why everything is shit and freely wallowing in it - in a way. But there we go. I'm fine. Like, I am actually fine, and when you're me you realise that this is just something that happens for about 4 days every 3 months or so. Maybe something else is wrong with my brain. It may as well be. The worst bit about feeling blue is reading. You can't concentrate. You read a page and remain clueless as to what has been said. Very frustrating, particularly for someone with OCD who has been known to read sentences 5 or 6 times making sure they feel 'right'. I'm strange - what of it?

In other news, I am feeling Charlie Simpson's album. And when I say 'feeling' I mean it in the music-is-my-life-dude sense of the word. You know what I'm saying. Definitely not being sarcastic. I don't even know what sarcastic means. No, but I really do like Charlie Simpson's album. More on that next time!

This photo made me feel good inside.

Sunday, 26 June 2011

Pictures when I can't write

I'm not going to write. I will write things that I will regret.

Here are some pictures that are nice.


The photographer's name is Ben Williams and I think he takes really wonderful photos. They are beautiful in their simplicity. I especially like the pictures he takes of his girlfriend. 'Cos I'm a bit of a romantic and I think it's kind of special.

Saturday, 25 June 2011

hippy healthy livin'

I don't eat my 5-a-day, I do eat hobnobs at midnight and exercise generally consists of the walk from bed to sofa.

For a month, I am going to attempt to rectify the horrendous situation I find myself in. I'm going to eat my 5-a-day and I am going to go for at least one run a week. For a whole month. That's only four runs. I think you'll agree that that is doable. I also think I may be the one to let you down. 

This blog has given me the nudge I need to change my lifestyle a little. She's crazy healthy. This lady, whom I love, suffers from depression, but since eating healthier and working out more has seen infinite changes to her state of mind. I could do with a bit of that. She also looks fabulous. And this lady runs like a maniac and looks incredible - seriously yummy mummy.

I'll let you know how I get on. 5 pieces of fruit and veg a day is A LOT.

Excuse me now, there is asparagus to be eaten.

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Pretty Little Liars


Think, mutant child bred of One Tree Hill and Mid Summer Murders. Pretty Little Liars - that's what appears from your television screaming and covered in crap.

I apologise for the unseemly analogy, I don't know where that came from.

A few weeks ago my friend Roz recommended Pretty Little Liars to me being well aware of my affection for anything you view through a screen. That night I set about watching it (I don't waste any time). 10 minutes into the first episode and I was hooked. I have yet to find anything more captivating than pretty people wearing too much lip gloss, sexy male teachers, and a faceless villain mind-f****** said pretty people. Totally awesome. And I don't use the word awesome willy-nilly.

It's the kind of programme where it would be unwise to include too many spoilers in a review. Unless, of course, you hold a certain fetish for death threats. Therefore, I will refrain from doing so and simply inform you of it's greatness. There are so many plot lines interspersed within the main story line - who killed Alison? - you are kept quite literally in the dark (well, not literally, unless it's nighttime and your lights are turned off) for the entire hour long programme. You can be pretty certain that you know nothing, even if you think you know something, it's most likely not to be the case. Wherever you think the story is heading, it's heading anywhere but there. It's that kind of a show. One where you question; how on earth do they plan on ending this satisfactorily whilst keeping the mystery intact and ready for the second season? I'll give you one spoiler. They manage it. Very well indeed.

My personal favourite character is Toby, because he's got the two most desirable characteristics - he is creepy AND hot. The perfect combination bar for a date at nighttime. Jenna, the blind one, is by far the scariest though. When I googled her and was directed to her IMDB page I literally recoiled from my laptop screen. You can, like, see her eyes.


The show is currently on it's second season in the US. I'm watching it in the UK thanks to the wonders of online viewing. I implore you to watch it and love it also. It's totally great.

- A

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Phew I'm tired


Hi! Sorry for my short term absence but I've been a busy bee. I spent the weekend half in London town and half at work. Friday night, Gareth and I went to a comedy night that can only be described as, well, uncomfortable. I won't tell you where it was because that would be mean and I'm not. This time. On Saturday I worked at the bookshop all day, then rushed home, ate dinner, put my glad-rags on, got on the tube, met Gareth in Finsbury Park, went to Bill and Jemma's, had a sit down and a chin wag, got back on the tube, went to a party on a boat on the Thames, went to a club, (what felt like) walked all the way back to Bill and Jemma's (was not happy Claire by this point), slept. On Sunday we spent the morning at B+J's flat and then went back to mine in the afternoon for a roast dinner and a lie down. Gareth returned to Brighton in the evening leaving me with nothing to do except watch the OC from the beginning.

Monday I woke up with terrible girly pains. You know, those ones. I suffer badly, every single effing month. But I had to work so I went in anyway. As the morning wore on they got unbearable though, making me feel faint and nauseous, so I went home feeling rather hormonal. I get anxious about my job, it being my first proper proper one, so I had a bit of a cry and a sleep. In the evening it was the Daisy Goodwin bookshop event so I peeled myself out of bed and enjoyed myself. She was lovely and inspiring and funny. Really pretty too. I haven't read her book because I'm not a massive fan of historical fiction but I'm told it's cracking.

Today I worked my butt off at the bookshop. Got home about quarter past six, Harry was in the sitting room on the X-box preventing me from flopping on the sofa and watching today's Neighbours, and I decided it was really time to move out.

Once I've had enough of spending all my hard earned pennies in Topshop anyhow.

I'm zonked. Even more zonked than I usually am and I'm always zonked.

I want a cat. A kitten preferably. To begin with anyway as that's usually how it works. I also want things to be easy and for me to stop worrying. I want to spend time with people that I love as much as I want and for there to be no obstacles. IS THAT TOO MUCH TO ASK? Apparently. If someone could get me a nice flat, a briefcase of cash and a cute cat I'd give you brownies and rainbows.

Friday, 17 June 2011

Change of plans


I was going to write about The Only Way is Essex today, but then I read someone else's blog post and scrapped that idea. Blogging is for the blogger, mostly, I believe. And when I read something so full of heart it's difficult to discard and write about something somewhat superficial. (There is a place for superficial writing of course, I'm all for it mostly).

You may remember a post a few weeks back about a book I read called Signs of Life, the woman, Natalie Taylor, who wrote the book also writes a blog - a woman after my own heart. Given how monumentally her words effected me, naturally I have begun following her blog. In today's post she revealed this as being the anniversary of her husband Josh's death, you can read it here. Having read the book (I implore you to read it too when it comes out here) I suppose I have something of a back drop to her words today. But I think anyone can read them and gain that undeniable feeling of utter strength and sadness that radiates from her. She's very wise and has become a bit of an inspiration to me. I wanted to point you towards her too, because as much as her story is tragic, she's kind of incredible and seems to have a new understanding of hope and life that I would love to have a little bit of too. (I would not like to switch places with her, however). It's me and Gareth's anniversary today, somewhat paling in comparison, but reading from Natalie didn't make me feel insignificant compared to her story, it made me feel somehow empowered. And like I should get off my butt and appreciate everything.

So that's what I'm going to do for the rest of the day. I'm going to appreciate things. Made somewhat harder by my OCD deciding to rear it's ugly head for a while. Hopefully being appreciative will stop me from dwelling on the crap and spiraling into my own world of germs and fear. Hopefully.

I'd really recommend following Natalie's blog and also her Twitter page, she's a funny lady.

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

moustaches


It's my exam tomorrow morning so I didn't think it entirely wise to spend too much time on a blog post tonight. So instead, you are being treated to a picture of me sporting one of my many moustaches given to me by the one and only Becca Dean. The other half of Clecca. They are like stickers (only furry) and I didn't think a webcam shot a suitable time to break them out properly. Someone have a moustache party. I'll bring the moustaches.

And because I like to spoil you, here is a song I have been lusting after for quite some time now. Remember Busted? Charlie was always my favourite.

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Made in Chelsea is super


The thing I love almost as much as (sometimes more than) I love to read, is watching television. I am a fountain of knowledge when it comes to all things on the box. I've written a few tv-based posts in the past but plan to do them more regularly in future. For your bountiful enjoyment.

I'm going to talk about Made in Chelsea today. Because it's on my mind and there is no better reason than that.

Made in Chelsea - E4's answer to The Only Way is Essex (TOWIE)- follows the lives of Chelsea based socialites who like to talk in funny voices, stare uncomfortably into the middle distance, and drink cocktails.

Upon first viewing, and having previously fallen in love with TOWIE, I was rather scornful of these posh moronic characters with stupid hair. I am pleased to announce, however, I have since fallen, head over heels, into the giant precipice of designer labels and 'yah yah' that is the world of Spencer, Caggie, Olly, Francis and co. Every Monday night (after a jolly good Glee session) I witness the torment of Funda (just one of the many incredible names) as her boyfriend declares his love for another. Hugo's charming boyishness - and curious rabbit teeth - that somehow gets him all the girls, with no strings, and then the same girls again. And of course Olly, with his luscious locks and oscar-winning facial expressions. A recipe for some truly outstanding television viewing.

There's no way I could talk about Made in Chelsea without speaking of my new found love for Caggie Dunlop. She won my heart with her beautiful singing voice and love of denim. Honestly though, she is almost certainly the most likeable character in the show, her only flaw being her undeserved infatuation with Spencer, the worlds most gormless man. And he's got horrid hair. She is my new style crush. Her jumpsuit and messy hair in last night's episode being reason enough. If for nothing else, watch Made in Chelsea for Caggie - even if you insist on muting and purely watching for her outfits of choice.

There is also, of course, no way I could not draw some kind of comparison with The Only Way is Essex. The format is the same, only the accents differ. TOWIE is simply hilarious. While MIC gives off a slightly more excruciating sensation. You let the TOWIE cast get away with it, whereas the MIC you think should really know better. TOWIE is endearing, yet MIC more aesthetically pleasing. There are pros and cons to both. Really, the only way of settling it is to watch both. You owe it to yourselves.

Other names on the show include Cheska, Binky and Fredrick. Ace.

Monday, 13 June 2011

If I had a cat everything would be better

But no, my brother is allergic.

Selfish.

I read a blog called For Me, For You. If you like cats (or nice pictures of food and drink and sunsets) you should read it too. It's like she's taunting me with her cat-ownering (totally not a real word) (could have just said 'owning') abilities. Wendy (the cat) is so cute it's unreasonable.

Look.

Sunday, 12 June 2011

You know when you're having a really nice time and you don't want it to end so much it just ends all the quicker?


You know when you're having a really nice time and you don't want it to end so much it just ends all the quicker? That.

I've had such a lovely birthday week. Food, sleep, books, movies, clothes, friends. Thank you to everyone who has made it so great.

Enough of the mushy stuff though. Now I'm lying in bed and Megavideo has just informed me that I have watched my designated 72 minutes of video and I must wait another 72 minutes until I can finish my episode of Pretty Little Liars (Jenna just got out of a car looking all suspicious). I have eaten silly amounts of food today. You may call it, eating one's feelings. And I'm really tired having woken at 5am this morning with pains in my bladder. Oh and Gareth went home today. Massive sad face.

I've got it sussed though. I am allowing myself this evening to grieve for my wonderful week. I am allowed to sit in my bedroom with a packet of hobnobs and a bucket of tea and write this bollocks. Then tomorrow, I will get up, go for a run (walk) (short walk), and then revise all day long till my brain is so filled with cleverness it wouldn't be possible for me to get much cleverer. I've got my English exam on Thursday and this plays something of a part in my current sadness.

I want the sun to come back so I can get my legs out.

Friday, 10 June 2011

When God Was a Rabbit by Sarah Winman


I read a book. I do that.

This particular book is called When God Was a Rabbit and is by Sarah Winman. It's probably the most relevant book, in terms of current sales, that I've reviewed so far. That's what working in a bookshop does for you.

This was a book that I remained uncertain of till the very last page. It defies your expectations. In fact, the plot holds so much of the unexpected it doesn't really give you a chance to expect anything. For that very reason, however, it is hard to grasp whether you truly are enjoying the book.

Our narrator is a girl named Elly who journeys through her life before our very eyes. She's an odd girl, in the kindest sense of the word, made apparent by her depiction of the world. Huge events come at her (and us) within a sentence or two, with no warning or build up what so ever. Elly's young and eccentric mind dismisses tragedies with hardly a paragraph, not because she doesn't feel them, but because they are to be kept discreet and sacred. Only to be shared wholly with those who deserve it. We, as the reader, are privy to far more than most of her fellow characters. I felt rather honoured.

Sarah Winman is an ingenious writer. Somehow she creates a world within the story. She let's us into her character's heads as if we are living through them. Her turn of phrase is both an easy-read and a complex display of her imagination. She is an exciting author to watch out for.

I will conclude this review by saying just this: When God Was a Rabbit is funny, imaginative and a beautifully sentimental portrayal of the importance of family. Whatever family means. I recommend it.

Thursday, 9 June 2011

I turned 19


It was my birthday yesterday and I had a very excellent day. Thank you to everyone who wished me a Happy  Birthday. Much appreciated. And those that didn't - you're on the list.

I got up early, like a flipping 8 year old. Opened presents and drank tea. I got lots of lovely things. Books, clothes, Jessie J's album, ELLIE GOULDING TICKETS, and the most beautiful crockery you have ever laid eyes on.

Gareth and I went for breakfast at The Waffle House. We mostly ate waffles.

Then we shopped, went to the pub, watched an ace film (Blue Valentine, see it), went out for dinner with the fam, and watched The Apprentice.

Good birthday.

I'm 19 years old now and according to Gareth I should now be able to "wear a pair of pants on my head" and "have a blood test without mother holding my hand". I have since done both. Score. Except the latter one resulted in me almost passing out and the nurse stroking my head and making me liquid sugar otherwise known as 'a cup of tea'.

Monday, 6 June 2011

Round up

I'm sorry for deserting you for a while there. I have been busy with traveling and having no internet.

Friday was our last day in Switzerland and I mostly spent it revising, packing and starting my new book (heavy). I was very disappointed in my appetite over the holiday. Minimal at most. Given there was so much deliciousness around.

Saturday we travelled home. Another 14 odd hours spent in the car with a headache and Busted on my ipod. The two were not related. Upon arrival in Chorleywood we ate pizza, unpacked the car, and then I got myself ready for more traveling the following day. Phew.

Sunday I drove to Brighton, bright and early. Got there about 10.30 and slipped into bed. The flat was the busiest I've ever seen it yesterday. There were like, TEN people present. Madness. Gareth got his hair died (not happy - although more so than I was) and became my girlfriend, and we watched the darts. Well, I didn't.

Today Gareth is at work so I've slept, watched Pretty Little Liars, and done a MOUNTAIN of washing up (that's what happens when there's too many people and not enough of a dishwasher, i.e. no dishwasher). I've read another book and a half since my last book review and so that's probably when you'll hear from me next. Although usually when I say I'm going to do something, the only thing you can be certain of is that that is the one thing I will not be doing.

IT'S MY BIRTHDAY ON WEDNESDAY.

I'm excited. Gareth and I are driving back to mine tomorrow night to celebrate with my family and friends. Although I'm not excited about driving from Brighton to London with Gareth in the car. He does not enjoy my driving technique.

The benefits of having a live in colour technician (Claire Morris)

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Pretty ditties



I thought this was rather a lovely little ditty. You should check out this band.

It's June. The month of my birth. How very thrilling for all. Mostly, in this coming new year of life, I'd like to live more fully and more contentedly. Particularly after reading the book I have just read (not the one I reviewed yesterday, another one. Although that one too). Books have a tendency of making me go all peculiar. In a good way, that's kind of why I like them.

I have literally said nada in an entire paragraph. It's late.

See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Signs of Life by Natalie Taylor


I finished the book I've been banging on about a few days ago. It is called Signs of Life and is by an english teacher/writer named Natalie Taylor. It is autobiographical and taken from her journals beginning the day her husband died. Natalie, at the age of 24, lost her husband to a carve-boarding accident. They had been married just over a year and she was pregnant with their first child.

I am going to struggle to write this post. Purely because there is no way that I could 'review' her story with the justice it deserves. I hesitiate to call this a book review. Sure, I can critique her technique (excellent, by the way) and I can tell you that her sentence structure is second to none, but what it comes down to, what makes this story so good, is that it's real (not just in the obvious sense of the word). And not something, I believe, you can learn.

I don't like books about death because they scare me. I do read them, but they leave me feeling sad and unsettled. Although this book is probably one of the saddest I have ever read, there is something unequivocally hopeful about it. Somehow defiant and stubborn, in the tenderest of ways.

Now, I just wrote another two paragraphs of this post and have since deleted them. I don't feel capable of writing about the intense emotions belonging to somebody else, it feels false and slightly demeaning. If you would like to understand something of what she went through I suggest to read it from her. I read the book in tears of sadness and finished it in tears of happiness. I believe Natalie Taylor to be a completely incredible woman who has inspired me beyond compare. There is no way you could hear her story and not see your life a little differently from then on.

It will be published in the UK very shortly and I cannot recommend it enough. Buy it, read it and love it.

ps. Natalie is @myhouseisamess on Twitter. I'm following her. You should too.