Tag Archives: happythings

5 Happy Things: August 2019

August 2019! What’s been happy this month?

1.Meeting People

We had a street party yesterday, and it was a bit scary…but not too scary! Which, for me, is a definite success. I could only manage about 2 hours of talking to people, but I did it, and talked to everyone, and met a tortoise and two cats (ok, yes, and some people.)

And I ate SO MUCH – we’ve got an incredibly international community so everyone brought a national dish (we made scones) and it was so good. I was very very full afterwards! (Pavolva is WIN.)

2.Getting Stuff Done

I’d been putting so much off until After WorldCon, because ARGH planning and stress and it was just easier to delay it. And now it actually is After WorldCon, which means I have to Do All The Things.

And I am getting them done! Or at least planning for them! Which is epic. Admittedly I put so much off that I now have a ridiculous list but still, getting a few big things crossed off is really nice. There is Progress!

3.Amazing Authors!

The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette KowalSo we had Mary Robinette Kowal over to the office before WorldCon, and then Derek Künsken this past week… they were both charming, lovely, signed a whole bunch of books and kept us all entertained with witty stories! I did get to bribe Derek with chocolate and confuse him with slang, along with stealing Mary Robinette for a meeting of the World Dominations & Cake Club when we got to hear the first chapter of her new book, so I am definitely in favour of author visits.

Also, we get to give them lunch, and books. It’s a weird world in publishing sometimes… “hey, you wrote a book for us, do you want all of these – none of which are yours – to read in return?”

But then I suppose we do push books on everyone, so…

4.Aniseed Jellies

My partner and I have had serious debate about the best type of Liquorice Allsort, but I think we’re agreed that it’s aniseed jellies… and I found out a few weeks ago that they come on their own! A friend at work has been supplying me, and it’s the worst.

And the best.


5.A Happy Song

My current dance-around-the-room-while-putting-washing-away song.

5 Happy Things: July 2019

Happy things for July!


We got to put up more bookshelves, and wheeee! I enjoy doing DIY as it’s something practical and constructive and you can see the end result, but bookshelves are a favourite as it means space for more books.

Although, as a friend pointed out, those books are usually already in folorn heaps on the floor, so it’s not really more books. Just relocating those I already have.

But anyhow. It’s the brief hope of additional books that makes it all worthwhile.


Home-made scones (with clotted cream and jam). Mushroom risotto. Salads. Rye bread with poached eggs and spinach. Porridge with berries and honey. Cheeseburger and chips. Katsu curry.

When I’m not doing too well, one of the things that goes is eating: I often feel sick, and it’s hard to eat much – so it’s always a pleasure when I start feeling better, and start wanting food again!

It’s also been a pleasure to find an egg-poacher that works, and get a toaster, and make scones again (yogurt is the key – it replaces buttermilk. I want to try cheese scones with Philadelphia, too…)

3.Terry Pratchett

Otter and I have picked up Soul Music again as an audio (ok, we’re reading it) and I still adore Pratchett so much. I picked up Guards! Guards! again recently as well, and chatted to someone about Thief of Time, and… just so much wit, and humour, and pithy insights.


I’ve been picking up The Beatles, and Cats, and some old favourites from when I was a teenager: REM, Bruce Springsteen, The Pet Shop Boys, Fleetwood Mac, Smash Mouth (for which I entirely blame my colleague David!)


I’m doing more training for my SFEP Professional qualification, and it’s been quite fun to learn things again! (It’s also been very frustrating as it’s an Introduction to Fiction Editing and like, that’s my job, so… but still.)

I’m also still doing Norwegian, which is fun! I’m slowly starting to pick up more vocab and construct sentences, which has been good. My partner’s been laughing at me (mostly when I use a Norwegian noun as an English verb… spieser’ing is totally a word, right?)

Also pondering if there’s anything else I want to learn… still considering more dancing, and thinking about picking up my flute again…

5 Happy Things: June 2019

All of the happy things for June 2019! Except the weather. What happened to the sunshine?! (Well, apart from one brief day. It’s like it decided to remind everyone what we were missing…)

1.Llama llama?

Llama presents - card & notebook A lovely friend has sent me all the llamas! (And a nature-y notebook, which is lined and lovely.)

It’s actually the same friend who sent me the brooch; it’s a bit of an odd friendship, but so far, I think we’re making it work! It’s really nice to get cards in the post anyhow, and I’ve been sending them things too – and now this means I get to choose and send another ridiculous card! How does one improve on llamas? A sloth, maybe?

2.Panic Attacks

Not a happy thing per se; I had one of the worst panic attacks I’ve had for a while this month, set off by what should have been a small stress – but if nothing else, it did show me that I can cope with them! My partner was amazing too, which helped so much. It sucks to have one and I’m so frustrated that after so long of feeling ok, my brain is being dumb… but I know that I can cope.

3.I finished a story!

Actually, I’ve finished all the stories! I’ve uploaded the final installment of The Summer Knight on Wattpad, which means my Dresden Files writing is now done. It starts at The Envoy if you want some quick reading in an urban fantasy universe!


We built a thing! The fences in the garden had blown down a few months back in the bad storm, and I’d deconstructed them (well, the wind did most of it) and stacked the wood… and then had an idea to built a bike shelter out of them to keep the rain (and pigeon poop) off the bikes. So we spent a sunny Saturday out in the garden with a saw and a tape measure and various spiders and woodlice and a lot of screws, and we built a thing! It felt so good to be using those skills again, and to be able to look at something and go “yes, I see the problem, we need MOAR SCREWS” because over-engineering something is always the best solution.

Well, it was either that or duct tape.

And on a side note for a happy thing; being out in the garden. It’s lovely dappled shade and it was beautiful.

5.Llama llama lllama lllllama

I blame Sean at work.

5 Happy Things: May 2019

What’s going on in May?

1. Birthday


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 quiet 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!