Today my hands were blue with cold and I wore a heavy winter scarf for the journey to work. Seasons are not real.
I’ve always been pretty good at fading into the background – I have a face that manages to be both politely vaguely familiar and completely unmemorable. It suits my wallflower tendencies. It’s also something that comes in handy on trains where, I’ve discovered, if I don’t move to get my ticket when the ticket inspector comes by, they assume they’ve ticketed me before and don’t bother me. (I am not avoiding buying train tickets – I have a month pass that doesn’t need stamping.) Now, though, I wonder if they’ve seen me often enough that they do recognise me, and know that I’ll have a pass and it’s not worth asking me. A train regular. Can’t decide if I like the idea of being invisible or often visible better. Continue reading
The problem with this blog, I’m discovering as I get more and more lax about updating, is that the longer I put off writing anything for it the more there’s a jumble of things to write about. And then I can’t find a solid topic for a post – or even any kind of hub for the mess to revolve around – and it becomes bitty and a rubbish read, and that puts me off writing, and the cycle perpetuates.
I haven’t slept properly for the past four nights and, since I can’t pin the blame on caffeine, stress or much else, I’ve decided that part of the problem might be lack of decent exercise.
The Thursday after the Great North Run, I took myself off up to Scotland for four days alone. I stayed at an incredibly romantic and quite fancy shepherd’s hut (and completely recommend the place). No electricity, so when night started to fall, that was bedtime. After the first day, if I wanted a fire I needed to chop wood; if I wanted water, I had to fetch it from the next field over and slightly up a hill. Point being that even making a cup of tea involved some measure of effort. And I decided, in between reading a lot and writing a bit, to go walking. I bought a map of the area with trails marked on it, and went for a short explore on Thursday evening, and for longer walks on my own (six miles and ten miles each on Friday and Saturday. Sunday was a lazy day involving cake and a dog-sitting for the lovely people I met there).
Three weeks of silence, so here’s a story. It was written very quickly over lunchtime last Friday, as is fitting for the Faber Academy weekly #quickfic challenge. The winner gets a batch of Faber books; second place story goes up on the Faber Academy site with the winning story. Third place isn’t really a place but does, it turns out, get you a nice email from one of the Faber Academy folks letting you know that you very nearly almost scraped in, and that next time you might nudge it. Good enough for me. Below is a screenshot of the picture prompt from the Faber Academy site, and my words. It’s worth heading to the site and reading back through all the winners. A pleasant way to spend some time.
Well, the eclipse in all its cloudy, non-glory has been and gone. The world is still standing. The moon did not (as I sort of briefly fantasised) get comfy in that spot right in front of the sun, so there’s no kind of UK-based, winter-forever, the-shadow-has-fallen apocalypse going on. (Yes, I know there’s a load of scientific reasons why that wouldn’t happen, but for a little while it was more exciting in my head than the reality of an entirely grey sky and twitter making jokes.) So I guess I’ve got no excuse but to sit and write a slightly overdue blog entry. Continue reading
All right, let’s take a breather from endless witterings about new jobs and moving, and go back to something lit-based. News, folks – there’s always* news! (*sometimes.) And, what the hell, today I’ll combine it with something of a review. Yes, it’ll be one of those rare occasions where I focus on something marginally relating to the name of this blog. Speaking of which, the title of this entry is a reach and I know, but work with me.
I have never relied on the kindness of strangers, but this week the kindness of strangers was what kept me and my parents going. I tried to make a joke just then, but that’s a bit beyond me at the moment. It’s been a tough one. Continue reading
It’s lunchtime on a Wednesday, and as I write this I’m sat in the tiny bit of shade at the edge of the gloriously sunny courtyard of Somerset House. The fountains are splashing away and drowning out any conversations I might have been distracted by. It’s lovely. It feels like being on holiday.*
*When I post this, I will actually be doing it from home, mind. After work. Continue reading