Monday, 30 April 2012

Hi and bye.


Having just finished almost an 8 hour shift of studying I am struggling to type five words a minute. This may be brief. Right now, I'm doing nothing but working, sleeping and eating (boy am I eating). I barely leave the house except for coffee shop trips, alone with my laptop and text books. It comes as no surprise, therefore, that I have nothing much to write about. For this reason I want to apologise in advance for the lack, and sure-to-be due nature, of my blog posts. I have a couple of post ideas for the coming week, but beyond that, let's all together just wish the summer to come quickly. Once these exams are finished, I will be drinking iced coffee, reading in the sunshine - preferably on Brighton beach - and taking my camera out for a spin again. Expect lots of pictures of pizza, icy drinks, and arty shots of rays of sun. I'm absolutely sure you'd expect nothing less. For now, though, I might tell you a bit about what Descartes argues about the existence of God, I probably won't though. I hope you're well, and if you also have exams coming up then GOOD LUCK and CHOCOLATE BISCUITS HELP.

Bye.

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Middle-of-the-week-holiday.


I've missed my friend Becca, our four hour coffees and cinema trips. She has been visiting for a couple of days this week before she heads off to China and so we got some excellent, extended quality time together. Long distance relationships, eh.

We ate only the nicest food, clutched coffee cups whilst we put the world to rights, saw Titanic 3D and had a New Girl marathon will pizza and chocolate and SCHMIDT.

Not only was it lovely to see dearest Becca, but it was nice to treat myself for a day as well. As much as it's imperative that I knuckle down these coming weeks, to be able to do that it is wholly necessary for me to feel good in it too. That 'good', for me, apparently comes from perfect poached eggs and seeing Kate Winslet's nips in 3D.

I dropped Becca at the airport this morning (before casually reversing into a Range Rover like a bell-end) , and so it's back to the books this afternoon. That's okay, too, because I have poached eggs in my belly and the knowledge that Jack and Kate were together again in heaven. Bloody lovely, that.

Monday, 23 April 2012

Instagram whore. (And some news).


 - I can't stop eating.
- I'm in Brighton
- I'm feeling happy

The previous may or may not be related.

About two weeks ago I got the long awaited email saying that I've been offered a place at Brighton university. Excellent news, but slightly tainted by the fact that their stipulation was for me to get an A grade in my Philosophy A Level. With about a month to go, this was a daunting prospect.

I went to see my tutor and she told me that I should just go for it - I'd need to retake the AS from last year (in which I was awarded a D) as well as doing the A2 this summer. This is a crazy ask but I am psyched up to do it. Since that meeting I've been studying like nothing I've ever experienced before (probably about the same amount you do normally), writing to-do lists each night AND organising my life in the form of timetables. I'm like a new woman.

On Friday I had a conversation with the head of English at Brighton university (the leader of the course I'm looking to start) about my situation, how much I want to come and the possibility of my application being reassessed. She was lovely, and the long and short of it is that my offer now depends on my getting a B rather than a A. Score.

It's still going to be a whole lot of hard work, but it just means that the odds of me being able to attend my chosen course in September have greatly increased.

I'm chuffed, and am going to go and do some more reading...

Saturday, 21 April 2012

The one where I made it.


Okay, so, not quite, but this is cool, brace yourselves.

A quote from one of my book reviews has made it onto the back cover of the book in question. Signs of Life by Natalie Taylor is a memoir that I read in uncorrected-proof form back in May last year. This is such an honour, it would have been an honour were it placed on any old book - I mean, come on, it's a frigging book - but I genuinely adored Natalie's story; she changed the way I think and the way in which I live my life. You can't ask for more than that.

So I urge you to buy it. Not only will you get to read my name on ACTUAL PAPER and not just your computer screen, but, far more importantly, you'll get the read and be inspired by the story of a woman who defied the odds, found hope in the face of her little boy, and is completely and utterly hilarious.

Thursday, 19 April 2012

The books.

At any given time I tend to be reading a variety of things. I read cook books as if they were novels, novels as if they were novels, non fiction regularly (especially if written by Caitlin Moran) and acaedemic books begrudgingly. I like words. I really do.


The Hunger Games - Mockingjay.
I'm halfway through. I'm dreading this piece of my life ending.

The Joy the Baker cookbook.
If you don't know (of) Joy the Baker, well more fool you. She's my favourite person on the internet, it's official. Her cookbook is a dreamy collection of butter, sugar and her unmistakable voice and wit.

Caitlin Moran's How To Be A Woman.
Of course I've already read this book, I've already owned it, in fact. But unfortunately my copy went AWOL when I lent it to my boss and then quit my job. Yeah. Dumb move. On the plus side though, it gave me a feasible excuse to buy the paperback version of one of my favourite books of all time. My previous copy was a trade-paperback and I have actual, physical, hateful feelings towards those monstrosities. This copy, the simple, regular paperback copy, is also GREEN, and that's only a plus.

Teach yourself Philosophy.
I'm reading this for studious reasons, but after reading only text books for the past year it is proving almost enjoyable. I'd really recommend it to anyone with an interest in Philosophy and wanting to know a little more. It's extremely approachable and laid out in an easy-to-follow and intelligent manner; the same cannot be said for the majority of Philosophical books. I'm finding my love for Philosophy is making a reappearance.

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Pleasure.


Following on from yesterday's post, I thought I'd talk a little bit about pleasure.

Not that kind... jeez.

That's a whole other blog post.

Yesterday, in the midst of the work and the lessons and the getting-off-of-one's-bottom, I took a long drive with the music loud and made the most of my full up loyalty card from my favourite coffee shop (free Cinnamon square and coffee for me #boom*). Everybody needs a bit of time out and I am a true believer in squeezing as much pleasure from that time out as is feasibly possible. Now pleasure looks different for different people; for me it is a good book and a cup of coffee, for you it may be an episode of 30 Rock (me too) or a walk in the sunshine (yeah, me too). The kind of time out I'm talking about it 'you-time'. In between a meeting and a shift at work, don't try to fit in coffee with a friend, that's for another day. At least once a week, take some time for youself, by yourself. I promise, it's worth it, and it's wholly necessary.


*sometimes I write things like that because I'm being ironic. You know irony? The most pretentious of all English Language devices? We're best friends.

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Back to work.

Returning from a holiday and then having two days extra holiday-at-home time - 'lunching out', shopping (a denim jacket and sandals, if you were or weren't wondering), watching movies and so on  - makes that going back to work feeling quickly evolve from "unpleasant" to "this-hurts-so-bad-my-extremities-are-going-to-fall-off". You know the one. So last night, I was sitting up in bed desperately trying to stay awake, considering using cocktail sticks to prop my eyes open (painful), and watching New Girl episodes on my laptop whilst eating madeleines. I didn't want today to arrive and, in my ignorance, made getting up on said undesired day even more difficult and horrible. Not my finest hour.

But stay with me, there is a message and a point to these words! (Which happens rarely so treasure it.) Today, although started with a slept-through-my-alarm-and-am-late situation, was good. Plans were made and lessons were learnt. It has become apparent that the next two months of my life are going to be filled to the brim with text books and study, and although the idea fills me with some trepidation, the outcome far out ways those negatives. I wouldn't say that work today has been easy or even particularly productive, let's be real, but I'm excited about the future and if a couple of months of hard work means a more fruitful one then a social life will be discarded without a moment's thought. Obviously I'm kidding and will go bat-shit crazy without human beings around me CONSTANTLY because I'm both extrovert and an exhibitionist. But maybe because it's hard for me it'll be all the more rewarding. Or horrible. Either one.

Do you ever write something without a clear train of thought and once finished have absolutely no clue what rubbish you have just spouted? Yeah, that.

Sunday, 15 April 2012

I'M BACK BITCHES


I arrived home at about 9pm last night, tired, hungry and in the mother of all moods. But I'm home. I am drowning myself in my first good cups of tea for two weeks and rejoicing over the FREE INTERNET. (I am physically afraid of how much my phone bill is going to be this month). A very exciting Amazon order was waiting for me upon arrival (more on that soon) and I scarfed down a pizza in record time. Unfortunately I did then have to lie awake half the night listening to it digest, but that is neither here nor there. Gareth is coming to see me today so I've painted my toenails and shaved my legs - who said romance was dead? Normal, regular blogging will resume this week. I'VE MISSED YOU.

I'd just like to thank Ellie Goulding, Michael McIntyre and Joy the Baker for their support in getting me through both journeys to and from Switzerland.

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Easter - an Archie story.


I did a little Easter egg hunt for Archie and Mia on Sunday. Archie was so beside himself with excitement he almost hyperventilated. There were literally times when we had to remind him to breathe. The stories I could tell you about what comes out of that little boy's mouth... (words-wise, nothing disgusting). I'm going to voice record him next time I see him and sell it.

After the egg hunt he disappeared into the bathroom and shut the door. His dad followed him in and asked him what he was doing. He replied: "something private, Daddy". It's always a little ominous when a three year old goes into the bathroom to do "something private", but we allowed him a few minutes of his desired alone time. The next time his dad went in to see him, he was found peering over an extremely full basin, "what are you doing Archie?", "something VERY private, Daddy, and I'm not finished", "what kind of private?"... "I'm washing my tongue". After a few minutes he came out of the bathroom and approached each person sitting in the living room, in turn, explaining to them: "I'm in the bathroom, doing some very private, and I'm NOT FINISHED; I'm washing my tongue". He finally found my mum - his Aunty - and politely asked her: "Aunty Katharine? Do you have any kitchen towel?", "what do you need kitchen towel for Archie?"...

"Sucking".

And that's just one of the many things that child comes out with. Now you will understand a little better why I feel quite so bereft with them having left the chalet.

Our Easter was lovely. We ate chocolate eggs (see my haul above), lunch out, roast lamb for dinner, and played games and watched television (Titanic, obviously) all evening. I'm feeling ready to go home now though, my legs are achy and my phone bill is an ever increasing pile of resentment. We're leaving on Saturday. See you there.

ps. The Hunger Games continues to overwhelm me with its brilliance. Gale or Peeta? Katniss needs to fricking decide.

Friday, 6 April 2012

Switzerland update!


I haven't posted for a WHOLE WEEK due to a mixture of poor internet connection that makes me want to punch myself in the ear, and being all consumed by THE HUNGER GAMES (to be read in a booming voice).

As you are aware, I am in Switzerland skiing with my family. Archie (3) and Mia (1) are literally the best people I've ever met. People, in general, annoy me, but they are ONLY CUTE. I wish all people were small and funny. Skiing is okay; the snow is a bit crappy what with the sun melting it, but it's ski-able and that's the main thing. The views don't hurt either.

My bed in the chalet is the most snuggly place I have ever laid my head (since I was last here), and that along with The Hunger Games trilogy and copious bars of Lindt chocolate within reaching distance are making getting out in the morning (or afternoon) near impossible.

So... The Hunger Games. I am positively enthralled. Obviously. Along with the rest of the population. Even my dad is reading it now that I've finished the first book. I've got to say though - currently halfway through the second book - I'm a Gale fan. My apologies go to the Peeta-obsessed, but Gale is a little sexier, so sue me. I will most definitely be writing more about The Hunger Games in the coming weeks. It would be criminal and, frankly, unnatural not to, so you have that to look forward to *crazed grin*.

I'm having a nice time. I hope I'm finding you all in good health. It's Easter on Sunday - eat a lot of chocolate - that's what Jesus would have wanted.

As a side note: you cannot imagine the amount of effort it took to upload all those pictures. This sodding internet. I apologise for the bad quality and largeness, I gave up on aesthetics about the time I started swearing at this laptop.