EVERYTHING IS NAFF (blogwise)

Hi, guys. You might notice I haven’t posted anything ‘proper’ in a while. You might also notice that my theme has changed. A bit like a wonky haircut, we can all see it’s not looking it’s best, but eventually it’ll grow into something worth looking at again. I’m working on it.

See, my drive for blogging has almost completely dried up. I’ve got plenty of ideas stored up, but they haven’t made it to the actual Internet yet. I haven’t followed any new blogs for a while either and I know I’ve been rubbish on the networking front. Bleh.

All of that’s going to change. In the near future, I’m going to look into finding a nice new theme and sort out my online presence. I’ve been talking to my lovely friend Sarah (diaryofateachaholic.com) about giving my blog a proper revamp, but considering I’m a bit backwards on scary things like Coding and Self-Hosting and Scheduling Posts (gasp), it might take a while.

Be patient with me. I’m working on it!

Until next time,

Emma x

Music as a Coping Strategy (help)

Just a quick one to inject your earbuds with a part of the playlist I’m compiling which I’d like to call ‘The Soundtrack To A Tedious Afternoon Of Applying For Jobs.’ I’ve just finished the second out of six application forms I set myself as a goal to complete this afternoon. If you reduce your fractions, that’s kind of like finishing 1/3 which sounds a lot more promising and a lot less soul crushing.

ANYWAY, here are a few chilled-out Tuesday afternoon music recommendations. You’re welcome.

1. Where The Sky Hangs – Passion Pit

For anyone that would rather be on a bike ride, picnic or just out enjoying their summer, but is happy to settle for sitting at their laptop and sort of swaying instead.

2. Ties – Years and Years

For the person who could be on a train on the way to a festival or holiday, but should be on a train doing the commute into work. Either way, for listening to while staring out the window at the rolling countryside. Also quite effective for pumping yourself up to finish off that covering letter.

3. Watercolour – Pendulum

For the person who wasn’t quite pumped enough by Years and Years, has their speakers on loud and is ready to get shit done.

4. Conrad – Ben Howard

For the smug, satisfied individual who’s sent off all their applications for the day, is feeling accomplished and is rewarding themselves with some down time, possibly some fresh bedding and a book, or the person who half-heartedly attempted to get things done but gave up and decided to treat themselves instead.

5. Bet On It – Zac Efron

For the poor person who has lost all hope and is yearning for simpler times. Sometimes you just need a pep talk, and where better to find it than in one of 2007’s greatest cinematic masterpieces? Right? (…)

Any music suggestions to get me/us (if you’re in the same boat) through this weird transition phase of Becoming Adults would be greatly appreciated!

Until next time,

Emma x

July 2015: where are we at?

For someone whose life has come to a bit of a standstill, I’ve got an awful lot going on at the moment.

I’m back from Reading, where I’d been busy graduating and Ascot-ing and I was very grateful for the break. Graduating wasn’t nearly as scary as I thought it might be, and I actually really enjoyed it – so much so that I felt a bit sad handing my robes and mortarboard back at the end of the day. I didn’t fall on stage, I didn’t cry and neither did my family, so all potential embarrassing crises were averted. Here’s a couple of the best photos I managed to get of the day!

   

Lovely stuff. So I’m a graduate now. All still a bit surreal, but I’m sure it’ll sink in at some point.

Now on to the harder part. I’ve refrained from talking about this here because I hate to cast any shadow on my usual happy self, and it in an odd way also seems a bit like an invasion of privacy, so I won’t say much. It’s as simple as this – my dad has cancer, and while I thought I’d been okay wrapping my head around the whole thing actually moving back in with my parents and brother has made everything seem so much more real. It’s hard.

Other than that, I’m just on a job hunt for a temporary solution to my lack of funds and spending my nights doing nothing in particular (except watch a lot of shitty gameshows, which I’m enjoying far too much. Pointless and Catchphrase are my current favourites.) It’s nice for the moment but I’m sure it’ll get tedious soon. I’m aware this post doesn’t really have a specific point to it, nor a proper structure, but that’s fine – we’re just having a bit of a catch up, right?

I could easily sit here all night listening to Ben Howard and feeling peaceful, but I should probably drag myself to bed. I’m keeping up the ‘post every other day’ schedule surprisingly well so far, for me. I’d be proud of myself, if I wasn’t essentially just wittering on.

Until next time,

Emma x

In which I create a tenuous link between my life and Breaking Bad

This post is going to take a similar structure to that episode of Breaking Bad from season 3, aptly titled ‘Fly’, in which Walt and Jesse spend the entire hour chasing a fly around their meth lab because they’re afraid it’ll contaminate the batch of drugs they’re cooking.

*spoiler alert* there’s literally nothing else to the episode. If I’m remembering rightly they don’t even manage to catch it. That really was an hour of my life I’ll never get back.

Anyway, this post is very much like that episode, because there is a spider with the longest legs I’ve ever seen on a spider and it’s been having a whale of a time dangling down from the ceiling and hanging out around my bedroom windowsill, which happens to be right by my pillow. It is gone 1am and my parents, brother, and possibly my cat are all soundly asleep. The world is asleep and I’m sat up on my bed (because being in it with the covers around me seems far too vulnerable, should it decide to just descend onto me) intently watching a spider.

You may be wondering why I haven’t just whacked it with a book and called it a night. I’m not one of these people who feels remorse in killing insects, although perhaps maybe I should – that being said, as much as I’m not their biggest fan I’m happy to keep the bees alive. Bees are doing their thing and spiders are little shits who are out to stop everyone else having a good time. The reason I haven’t killed this one yet is because it’s nestled in the corner of the ceiling, which is irritatingly difficult to get a book or a cup into.

If I tried to kill it, and missed, I don’t think I’d ever sleep in my bedroom again.

In the whole time it took me to write this post, the spider hasn’t actually moved from it’s little corner which is both calming and incredibly frustrating. If you don’t hear from me in the next few days assume this spider has crawled on my face or even just touched any part of my body and I’ve dried out on the spot. Even typing that just made me shiver. (edit: you know when you see something with creepy legs and it makes you itch on practically every part of your body? That’s me right now. I just threw off my jumper and pulled out a clump of hair in blind panic)

I’m off to Google search why most people have an instinctive fear of spiders and then maybe work up the courage to show the fucker who’s boss.

Until next time,

Emma x

Reasons Why I’m Happy To Be Home

My resolution this summer is to post11715888_10206773719838804_2090711773_n here at least every other day, starting now. Some days you’ll get garbage, other days you might actually get something of note. Today, though, we’re talking about my lovely hometown. Last Saturday I moved out of my uni accomodation, in turn waving goodbye to my Reading residancy probably forever. I have this strange fixation on preserving Reading as ‘the place I was a student’, and I don’t want to ruin my memories of it by moving back there post-graduation and potentially having a rubbish time without the student lifestyle and all my friends.

It was sad. Didn’t cry, still haven’t – there’s a lot worse going on in my life at the moment and, perhaps annoyingly, I’m nothing if not very good at putting things into perspective.

After all the commotion of moving out, I’m now back home for the foreseeable. Until I can land on my feet money-and-jobwise, I’m in almost exactly the same position I was 3 years ago, except now I have a 2:1 in Philosophy and a whole new host of lifelong memories and friends to boot. It’s a bit disheartening though, I must admit, to not know which direction I’m heading in next (since the prehistoric year of 1999 when I started school).

But, seeing as I’m a positive cheery soul, I’ve been compiling a mental list of Reasons Why I’m Happy To Be Home…

  • The w11651191_10206773706358467_276062231_nater here is nicer. Bit of a weird reason, but back in Reading I didn’t really like drinking the water without adding squash because apparently I’m 5 years old. Here, it’s so good. Can’t even describe how good. I’m looking forward to being hydrated as hell.
  • The scenery! I’m fortunate enough to live in a proper storybook town. I went for a walk up the hills on Monday (see left – admittedly some filter, but loooook at it) with a friend and it was incredible. I love looking down on the town and pointing out my house, friend’s houses and my schools. It never gets old. Reading town was a bit drab in terms of scenery, although the uni campus filled the nature-shaped void that appeared when I first moved there. Even the campus doesn’t compare, though!
  • My home friends. I’m really looking forward to spending more time with the people I only get to see for half of the year and have more boozy nights in Spoons and Ollie’s as is tradition!
  • (Temporarily) living out of the bank of Mum and Dad. Selfish, I know, and I’d much rather have my full independance, but to not have to think about energy bills or when to schedule my next Asda delivery at least for a little while is pretty good. Especially as we’re still in the ‘it’s a novelty to have me home’ stage, so my Mum is offering to buy me whatever my little heart desires from the supermarket whenever she goes.
  • HAVIN11270152_10206773706318466_121014067_nG A LITTLE ANIMAL TO PESTER EVERY DAY OH MY GOD SHE’S SO FURRY AND INDIFFERENT AND I LOVE HER

I’m sure in the next couple of weeks I’ll be itching to be back living away from home again, but for now I’m keeping positive. I hope if any of you have just finished uni (or just until October) that you got the results you were hoping for and that everything is peachy your end!

Until next time,

Emma x

Summer Reading (and an iPhone)

Now that my exams have finished and I’ve got a potentiallyPhoto 21-05-2015 09 12 27 infinite stretch of time before me until I’m able to land a graduate job, I can finally get back to reading things that aren’t philosophy related in some shape or form.

Also, I got an iPhone on Tuesday, so from now on my posts will be brought to you with photos that don’t look like forgotten CCTV footage (shout out to my little Samsung who tried his absolute hardest for two years and will be missed dearly. Sort of.)

So, yes. Books! I treated myself to a trip to Waterstone’s yesterday to pick up something new. Throughout the morning I also bought dusters, polish, floor wipes and hair bands, so I figured I deserved something extra that isn’t incredibly dull to blog about. I spent about 45 minutes perusing the shelves, ready to spend a good twenty quid on an armful of books before I eventually found the newest Marian Keyes on half price.

Photo 21-05-2015 09 14 58The Woman Who Stole My Life by Marian Keyes 

I’m not going to lie, it was the half price that drew me to this one (it was 4 quid instead of 8, in case you’re wondering), but I’ve read a couple of Marian’s books before and I absolutely love them. Do you ever get the feeling a book is just really cosy? Does that make sense? That’s how I feel when I’m reading a Marian Keyes. Her characters and stories are hilariously witty, really heartfelt and just all-round lovely. So, cosy. The Woman Who Stole My Life follows Stella, a married Dublin mum who’s just trying to do a good deed when she collides with a Range Rover and meets a handsome man who (I assume) is going to turn her life upside down. I can’t wait to read this, and I’ll let you know what I think when I’m done!

However, I’ve got a couple of other books on the go at the moment (whoops) so it’ll have to wait for a while.

Photo 21-05-2015 09 15 10Us by David Nicholls

I’ve made a piss poor attempt to read this, if we’re being honest. I received the hardback as a Christmas present and, after reading The Understudy in just over a day (I never actually reviewed that but I posted about it on my Instagram here if you want to have a little nose at the comments) thought I’d be zipping through this. I was v wrong. Apparently, life gets in the way a lot when you’re a finalist at university, and nearly 5 months later I’m barely a third in. It’s been with me to laundrettes, on train journeys and in spare moments when I’ve been trying to avoid my responsibilities. Us is the story of Douglas, a scientist; Connie, his artist wife and their son Albie. Connie announces one night that she doesn’t want to be with Douglas anymore – only a slight problem considering they’ve got a family holiday booked before Albie heads off to uni, which will take them all over Europe. Throughout the trip more details of Connie and Douglas’ relationship is revealed, and Douglas as a narrator has had me laughing out loud in public in some parts. It’s a really good book, I promise, and I hope I’ll get back into it sometime soon.

Photo 21-05-2015 09 14 52The Brightest Star In The Sky by Marian Keyes

Finally, here’s the book I’m properly reading at the moment. Excuse the coffee stains all over the cover, beggars can’t be choosers when they’re buying their books from charity shops. As I’ve said before, I love Marian Keyes, and this one’s been with me all this year as a book I Really Must Read. I took ‘Is Anybody Out There?’ on holiday to Spain last September and finished all 600-and-something pages of it by the pool in two days. It was so good. I’m getting really into this one too; won’t say anymore at the moment because I don’t really know much. But this is the current read.

There are plenty of other books I’m hoping to read over the summer – Look Who’s Back by Timur Vermes looks absolutely brilliant, so I’ll be buying that next (I’ll let Amazon do the talking for this one. Click here to have a look.)

What are your summer reads for 2015?

Until next time,

Emma x

Post-Degree Babble

As a half-arsed attempt at returning to blogging, I’m back. Nat, this one’s for you.

Yesterday I had the pleasure of trudging across campus in the torrential rain – wearing sandals, because your feet need to breathe, man, come rain or shine – and sitting an exam I only felt half prepared for. Somehow, all knowledge of how to correctly write a philosophy essay went entirely AWOL and I was left a bit shivering and shit in an exam hall full of like-minded shivery shit people. Basically, I’ve finished my degree but I’m not very happy about it. Pathetic fallacy, if you ever did find it.

I’m now a free woman. I’m not out drinking, like I possibly should be, but I’d rather be having laptop time and drinking green apple vodka and cherry squash anyway. Call me old-fashioned. (????? which grandma is drinking shitty cocktails and if so can someone get her some help)

I’ve also neglected to mention that I’m turning 21 in a fortnight. Twenty one! I’m a real adult, in all countries of the world. I’ll still be ‘challenge 25’d at Waitrose when I’m buying my rosé but I’m sure I’ll cope. I did a real adulty thing today. I cleaned a kitchen from top to bottom (sort of) and actually enjoyed it. Rewarded myself with a trip to town in which I bought make up wipes, a new mascara (cucumber extracts; v nice, thanks Rimmel) and dithered in Carphone Warehouse for a bit before leaving for a half-price frappuchino from Starbucks. All in all, a successful day. But yes, I’m never prepared for the 30th of May when my birthday rolls around and I’ve never got anything planned. I know 21 is a big age; I know I’m meant to be on top of things and be demanding that people give me all their time/money/attention in bigger-than-usual amounts. I also know that I’m absolutely useless at planning anything so I’ve managed to rustle up some loose plans which I’m sure will come to fruition and be absolutely fine.

This post was written with the aid of Smirnoff Green Apple which although did not sponsor me in any way is actually a very nice drink, if you like your cherry squash slightly stickier than normal. It’s good though. (Still sticky, but good. Really good.)

Talk again soon when there’s more going on and I’m not giving you what is essentially word vomit.

Until next time,

Emma x