Tag Archives: personal

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!

Stages of Happiness

I know there are seven stages of grief, but are there equivalent stages of happiness?

Fog on the Thames, september 2018When I first moved to Oxford, it felt like golden bubbles rising in my chest; a happiness that swallowed everything when it exploded, and I could always feel it simmering.

Then an Autumn; partly being on some medication that made everything dark, but partly also everything settling – the knowledge that yes, I was here, and I hadn’t screwed it up immediately – so everything could grow, and settle; but I was also aware of how shallow my roots were, and how small my branches. I was growing, but not yet rooted.

And now?

I feel grey. Disassociated. Not caring, unable to process; I’m putting down roots, seeing just how far they are spreading, but the earth over them feels so shallow. It’s all going to be taken away again, and I’m just waiting for that to happen. Waiting for the hand to lift me out and tell me that I have to start again somewhere else; waiting for the earth around me to scorch. Waiting for another start and another set of memories to live with.

I feel resigned to loss, although I’m not sure anyone ever gets totally used to it; so many things have moved or changed or gone in the last few years that I think it’s all caught up, and I don’t have any expectation of longevity.

But then I don’t think anyone really can, either; everything always changes. So it also seems normal.

Anyway.

I hope there is a next stage of happiness – acceptance? The blending of sheer joy with the cut that says everything does end, and move on, and change. The sweet scent and bitter taste of a memory, because it will only happen once. The knowledge that this is only a life lived once, and we can only live the best one we can.

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)