Tag Archives: happythings

5 Happy Things: May 2019

What’s going on in May?

1. Birthday

The Duchess of Sassytown socksI AM OFFICIALLY THE DUCHESS OF SASSYTOWN.

And I got cake. NOM.

I hate having fuss made for birthdays – or Christmas, or any event for that matter – and so birthdays are always something of an ordeal before people get to know me. However, this year was great! I made cake (excellent for diverting attention, and also feeding people) and had a chilled evening in with my partner.

And I had excellent presents – socks! Computer games! No books, thankfully. I already have more than enough books.

(I know, I know, but seriously. I have 30 on my slush pile at work and at least 20 here and I know I always need more but… one of the perils of working in publishing is that you get swamped with books!)

2. Easter eggs!

Yes, it’s a month late…but I did an Easter Egg hunt for my partner, and they just found the last one! It made me laugh a lot. They were all hidden in plain sight, as it were…but it’s obviously a corner they don’t look in too often!

3. Normality

I’m typing this while sitting on the floor, my back against the sofa. My partner’s playing something random, snowy and involving dying of hunger (if you’re not eaten by wolves first…it sounds quite tense.) I’ve got a favourite playlist on, my notebook by my knees, a teacup on the table. It all feels so comforting and quite and normal; like sinking into a warm duvet, and being able to breathe out for the first time in a while.

I’m very much hoping that it leads to some more writing; the ideas are there, but they just haven’t been coming out! Here’s hoping…

4. Speaking of writing…

My Dresden Files fanfic is still rumbling on; it’s actually nearly done with the final story, which is one of my favourites, and I really enjoyed writing. I’m going to leave it all up on Wattpad when it’s done, but the first story (The Envoy) is here, and the current one (Rogue Wizard) is here if you feel you need something extra to read!

5.Sunshine and buttercups

Sunshine on a field of buttercups

5 Happy Things: Some Stats

I’ve been doing 5 Happy Things for two years now!

The idea originally came from my friend at Pastry & Purls, and I’ve done 19 posts over the two years; I missed July, September & November 2017, and February 2018…and that’s it! Some were double month posts, but otherwise – two straight years!

I definitely have trends for the things that make me happy…Happy Things graphs

My “other” includes dating, dancing, hot tubs, house-hunting, Christmas decorating, my Grandma, tidying and languages…

I’ve also noticed, though, that I do ‘big’ posts about a lot of the things that make me happy; crafts, or books, or writing. So I think those areas would be likely to bulk up even more if I looked at wider trends.

5 Happy Things has been a really fun thing to do – and I think it’s good for me, too, as every month it at least makes me think about what I’ve been doing, and what things have made me happy. It extends further than just the one post, too, as I’ll try to collect things during the month; taking pictures of the cats or baking or my walks, or thinking of things that I could add. It’s definitely a mindfulness thing that’s added to my happiness, and it’s also been fun!

5 Happy Things: April 2019

April April April April. Happy things!

1.Books, manuscripts and amazing stories!

Specifically – that moment when you come out of a story and don’t even realise you’ve been sucked so deep into it; when you’re looking around, blinking, wondering which world you’re in…

(Yes, I am trying to convince work to buy it!)

2.Oxford

Otter and I went to a lecture at the National History Museum – which was good, if a little alien for me; microbiology is not my field! I already love the Ashmolean late nights, and have just started looking at what else I can do; I unfortunately missed a talk by Emily Wilson at Blackwells, but we have a couple of other events lined up already…

It’s also been great exploring Oxford itself – we took the cut-through next to the Lamb&Flag, which Otter hadn’t been through before. It’s great fun to find the little nook and crannies, or be introduced to the good places to sit above the High Street, or find where does the best milkshake (G&Ds, by the way).

3.Carcassonne

Carcassonne app loading screenI’ve got the app for Android, and have been playing with my partner, and also with friends. It’s been fun to stretch my wings with it – for the past year it’s been an off-and-on game with the games group at work, and they’ve been playing for so long that they know all the tricks! But – they’re also incredibly supportive, if only in the name of helping you so that you can screw over another player…

And it’s very satisfying to see that translate into game knowledge when I’m teaching someone else, and also seeing them win!

Re. the app, I am mostly liking it; the graphics are nice, you can turn expansions on and off, and the interface shows moves and possibilities very nicely (eg. it shows your fields!) The major frustration is how slow the AI is. I’ve had points where I’ve been doing something else in addition to playing the game, which doesn’t make for a snappy session! But overall, mostly a positive experience.

4.”Hello, Murder Phone? Please hold, your furry black nightmare will be with you shortly.”

Jodie looking surprised

“Prrrrrrrrrrrtt? Prrrrrrrrrrt?”

“MEEEAW.”

Jinglejinglejinglejingle THUD.

“Hey, kitties. Having fun?”

Via Joel.

Ps. go check out the Campaign Trail podcast! The Campaign Trail is a Dungeons and Dragons podcast where the quest is to win a general election! Join our team of fantastical adventurers as they head to marginal constituencies and face puzzles, monsters, intrigue and maybe even a dungeon and a dragon. Exit polls. Sorcery. Economic policy. Ancient curses. It’s like no other D&D game you’ve ever heard.

5.There’s no such thing as too many books, just not enough shelf space

Woman putting a book on stacked shelvesWe’re currently trying to work out how many bookshelves are needed to fit my partner’s current book collection into their flat…

I mean, obviously more are needed, but it’s good to get the current books in for a start.

And I have had to reassure them several times that they don’t have too many books, just not enough shelves!

(Image unfortunately via Tumblr so I can’t find a source)

5 Happy Things: March 2019

I’m trying to ignore the world, mostly; I’ve done what I can and, despite there being so much hate around, I’m focusing on making the world a tiny bit better. What’s making me happy in March 2019?

1. Comics

Nathan W. Pyle‘s aliens and Catana Comics are making me laugh so much at the moment.

2. Reading

You know when you start reading something, and just – YES. THIS. Wait, I have to stop for real life? No. Nope. I’m staying in this world. GO AWAY, I’M READING.

And it’s a work book, too, so I might be able to buy it. EEEEEEEH.  (I love my job!)

Other books, too; I’ve been re-reading The Long Way To A Small Angry Planet; re-reading The Goblin Emperor – ALSO DID I TELL YOU GUYS THAT WE GOT IT? We’re republishing it in the UK with a much nicer cover (sorry to the original designer, but that original one is awful) and OMG I LOVE IT SO MUCH. I think I’ve read it nine times now. GO AND BUY IT. It is so pretty!

I’m also working through my TBR stack – currently reading The Court of Broken Knives and This Savage Song, amongst others. Books rock!

3. Chocolate

Otter discovered that there’s a shop in Oxford that sells Tony’s Chocolonely and it’s just the most amazing thing. Up until now it’s only been sold in the Netherlands (oh noes, trips to Amsterdam – who needs to come back with weed in your suitcase when you could bring chocolate?) but I am now planning a trip over to the Covered Market. It doesn’t look like they do all the flavours, which means I’ll still have to go to Amsterdam, but hey ho.

4. The red kite

The red kite has been floating around; from the front window, there’s a view over the hill and down into the valley, and it seems to be a favourite hunting spot. It’s been really fun spotting it almost every day – during the storm when it wasn’t even having to flap, just hovering valiantly in the wind and being blown all over the place; on sunny, calm days when it’s just soaring with the thermals; on those misty still days when it disturbs every eddy of fog. I love the gentle movements of the tail-feathers that send it whirling in a tight circle, and the easy tilt to the wings that send it climbing.

5.Improving Me

Kate with glasses (not mine!)I’m still having days where I’m struggling – I always will – but I’m still trying to take two steps forward for every step back. I’ve seen a doctor about something small that’s been bothering me for years. I’m looking into brushing up my music theory; I’ve picked up my piano music and started playing the piano again – and I’m singing again! I’m making a determined effort to get through my TBR pile. I’m taking more selfies. I’m getting together cards and making an effort to be more in contact with friends that I don’t see as often as I’d like. I’m trying to do something useful with my time instead of going on Reddit; I’m sewing, or reading, or thinking about writing. I’m trying to be more present in my every day life; I’m trying to be kinder, and helpful, and listen more.

And even when I have bad days, I’m accepting them as they come – and as long as I can do one useful thing, one thing that improves me or someone else around me, then I’m considering that a win.

(PS. I haven’t got glasses – I was just messing around with my partner’s!)

5 Happy Things: February 2019

I’m still getting whacked by anxiety (a combination of suddenly shifting sands on something I thought was more settled, a problem that’s rumbling onwards and I just want sorted, and my brain being an arse) – so I’m going to do happy things because they make me happy!

via GIPHY

1.Blues dancing

I’ve been learning bits of blues with my partner, and oh my goodness is it hard! I used to dance as a child – modern, ballet, tap – but learning to dance with someone else is so hard! That said…I’m getting better, and it’s so much fun. It’s taking me a little while to relax each time and we’re still struggling to put together a reliable playlist, but it’s really fun to do.

2.Ducks on the river

I get to stop and watch the ducks on the lake or the river on my walks to and from work, and they’re always entertaining. Sometimes it’s the swans attempting to fall asleep (gracefully, despite being blown around in circles) and constantly being disturbed by the moorhens; sometimes it’s the Canadian geese flying in on their daily commute;  sometimes it’s the ducks, quacking around in circles; and sometimes it’s just a bunch of geese who have Opinions about Things and want to tell each other VERY LOUDLY.

(Geese are still gits.)

3.Friends

It’s my colleague asking, very seriously, “So how are your weasels today?” It’s one of my best friends sending chocolate, yaoi or a snippet of her latest writing. It’s spending an hour sitting in the V&A with someone I miss dearly and don’t see often enough, just catching up. It’s my gaming group asking how I am, even briefly, before we get into the serious business of trying to thwart the purchase of coffee and then ensure that the boat is full so it can’t be traded. It’s getting a coffee from a friend halfway across the world, a tweet from an old colleague in another city or a silly cat gif from a friend across the room. I am ever grateful to have such wonderful people in my life.

4.Cats

via GIPHY
So, we’ve got two methods of getting the cats to come – as, I suspect, have all cat owners. The first is a deliberate one; we use a whistle. It usually means they get a treat, so they do come…eventually.

The second is to open a packet that may, conceivably, possibly, contain cheese. However, as it’s Schrodinger’s Packet of Cheese, they have to be there at your feet to ensure that it does contain cheese until it is discovered that it does not, in fact, contain acceptable cheese.

(Unacceptable substitutes include lettuce, spinach, mozzerella, pasta, rice and cereal. Also unacceptable is not actually giving said cat any of said cheese once it has been ascertained that the packet does, in fact, contain acceptable cheese.)

Yowling of course makes the entire process go faster, and reminds the human that they are starving and never get fed and therefore that packet had better contain cheese!

Of course, if the packet doesn’t contain cheese, they never wanted any anyway and what do you mean they were yowling? No. Not us. We’re far too dignified to beg for cheese.

Cats are weird.

5.Flowers

A vase of daffodils on a striped table

Snowdrops in the woodland, blossom on the tree outside my back door, and daffodils in a chipped mug. Spring’s coming!