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June 25th, 2016

EU referendum @ 07:02 pm

I am so horrified by what has just happened. I feel like part of my identity has been stolen from me and that people just like me (except for the legal technicalities) are not welcome here anymore. There are no words for the deep, deep sense of loss that I feel.
 

January 9th, 2016

2016 resolutions @ 12:49 pm

Money (all basically the same as last year)
Short story: get better with it.

* Live more frugally
* Read the books I've bought and still not read, wear the clothes still unworn, watch the DVDs I haven't watched. Basically: stop wasting money.
* Get some savings. I want to save £200 a month - £100 for my savings, £100 to pay back my family who gave me the money I needed to move to Oxford. The time has come to be a grown up and deal with that situation.


Exercise
Short story: get back to it.

* I want to do couch to 5k to get back into the swing of things and get back into running on a regular basis. I might even enter a 10k race at some point if I get carried away with myself
* I want to get up half an hour earlier during the week to do some morning yoga/pilates
* I'd really like to take some sort of dance class. I've always wanted to learn how to dance. This could be my year.


Social life
Short story: people are awesome and I want to keep them. I accept that my life is not in Oxford so I will try to spend less time here.

* Send people birthday cards on their birthdays.
* Make an effort to call people I don't see often and miss. Catch up on their lives with any degree of regularity (I am a really flaky friend).
* Leave Oxford at least one weekend a month to visit friends and family
* Skype the America girls. Be more in their lives and keep them in mine.
* Amy, Livv and I said we'd do dinner once a month when Livv went on mat leave and so far, we haven't. I'd like to see them both outside of work so I'm going to aim for once a month.



Other stuff
Short story: more of the same.

* Finish my novel.
* Make a patchwork quilt for James for Christmas.

* Do fun crafty things with my friends.
* Eat more vegetables.

* Own less stuff. Buy less stuff. I'm no minimalist by any stretch of the imagination, but I'm such a clutterbug at heart and I'd like to try and curb some of my possession-loving tendancies. A smidge.
* Be more mindful of what I buy and think twice before I do.
* Stop obsessing about my career. Over my Christmas break I realised that I wanted to stay at OUP until I've moved up the career ladder. Staying where I am means when the opportunity arises, I'll be a few steps further up the ladder than I would be if I went elsewhere and had to start at the bottom again. My flatmate and I both want to stay here when our contract renews in October so I won't have that drama in the way. I have a plan to get more editorial work into my life at work, even if it means staying late one evening a week. I want to do it and I want it to be in the literacy team.
* I will try really hard to stop letting work drama bring me down. I better last year when I made an effort to stop thinking of work outside of working hours. I literally have a little voice in my head that tells me to stop when it happens. I set reminders in my phone of things that I need to remember for work so I don't have to think about them. I will try to remember that I am not my job.
* I want to remember and embrace the good things. I will try to update my livejournal at least once a month (otherwise time just passes and I forget so many good things that have happened) and I will try to keep going with my year of happy things on instagram (I'm jude_hoo on instagram if you want to follow me).



I won't go as far as saying that 2016 will be my year of happy. I learnt that lesson the hard way last year, although there were definitely good things in there. I will try really hard in 2016 to work on connecting with the people in my life that I love, to live by my 2016 motto: "Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without", and I will try to better accept the things that I cannot change.
 

January 6th, 2016

2015 resolutions: How that cookie crumbled @ 07:43 pm

Money
Short story: get better with it.

* Stop spending outside my means
* Live more frugally
* Read the books I've bought and still not read, wear the clothes still unworn, watch the DVDs I haven't watched. Basically: stop wasting money.
* Not get so much take away. I am one person. It should not cost me upwards of £70 a week to feed myself.
* Get some savings. Or you know, lots of savings. Yeah, let's aim high. LOTS of savings.

Eh, this was partly a success. Let's not carried away...I tracked everything I spent in 2015 except for £10 mad money each week. It's pretty shocking to see what I spent my money on but at least I know. My unread stack of books got smaller, thanks to charity shops my DVD pile got larger (oops) and I put £50 into my savings account. Small victories.

Exercise
Short story: do some.

* Find an outdoor running route here that I don't hate so I can get my run on again. I miss it.
* Find a way to get pilates/yoga/ballet in my life on a regular basis
* At some point, psych myself up enough that I try out the drop-in beginners adult ballet class in town sometime.
* Aim for balance, aim for fun, aim for general fitness. Good things will follow. I hope.

This was a major fail. Work crushed my spirit, my lack of money and a social life crushed my soul, working out went out the window. I did find a running route, so you know, there's the silver lining.


Social life
Short story: make an effort.

* Send people birthday cards on their birthdays.
* Make an effort to call people I don't see often and miss. Catch up on their lives with any degree of regularity (I am a really flaky friend).
* Have a housewarming party. Hanna and I have already discussed it so we just have to pick a date and invite people and all that jazz.

I actually did send most people birthday cards - hurrah! (I also realise I spent an insane amount of money on gifts last year). I Skyped with my friend Cari in the US and caught up on her life at the end of the year, doing things on weekends meant I saw my girlfriends more. Hanna and I never had a housewarming, but Abby did at the end of the year, and I had an amazing birthday weekend. Win, win, win!


Other stuff
Short story: more of the same.

* Finish my patchwork quilt and my novel. Finish things, generally.
* Read more books, fewer magazines. I bought a few magazines when I moved here and I've still not read them (such a waste of money).
* Do fun crafty things with my friends. I don't know how or when this would come up, but it's a nice goal.
* Own less stuff. Buy less stuff. I'm no minimalist by any stretch of the imagination, but I'm such a clutterbug at heart and I'd like to try and curb some of my possession-loving tendancies. A smidge.
* Be mindful of what I buy and think twice before I do. I know I want a blender and a sewing machine and a multi-region DVD player. I'm mulling on those and waiting until I get paid and see how my money pans out. I'm trying to be a grown-up and wait to buy things I want. Stuff makes me happy, but money in the bank makes me happy too.

Totally finished my patchwork quilt, and started and finished one for Libby. Let's not talk about that novel...I've barely bought magazines though and hit my goodreads goal of 25 books (I read 29) including all 7 million pages of Little Women and a book in French, which I'm very rusty at. I joined a crochet group at work and made new crafty friends there. Skimming over my minimalist dreams...I bought a blender. That I've never used. Oops. I got a sewing machine for my birthday and the multi region DVD player is still on my list for the future. Mindfully. I'll call this one a win too.

Ultimately, I think the best things are normally the simplest. I want people and not things. I want to be healthy, strong, and happy. I know I achieved a lot in 2014, but so much of it felt incredibly hard. I want my 2015 to be a year of happy.

Calling 2015 my year of happy would be a lie. I'd say it was harder than 2014 in that I was depressed and broke and lonely for most of it. But the good bits were good and I made progress in many ways that I wanted to. I made it through and that's enough.
 

January 10th, 2015

2015 resolutions @ 02:42 pm

This panned out pretty well for me last year, so I'm up for it again.

Money
Short story: get better with it.

* Stop spending outside my means
* Live more frugally
* Read the books I've bought and still not read, wear the clothes still unworn, watch the DVDs I haven't watched. Basically: stop wasting money.
* Not get so much take away. I am one person. It should not cost me upwards of £70 a week to feed myself.
* Get some savings. Or you know, lots of savings. Yeah, let's aim high. LOTS of savings.

Exercise
Short story: do some.

* Find an outdoor running route here that I don't hate so I can get my run on again. I miss it.
* Find a way to get pilates/yoga/ballet in my life on a regular basis
* At some point, psych myself up enough that I try out the drop-in beginners adult ballet class in town sometime.
* Aim for balance, aim for fun, aim for general fitness. Good things will follow. I hope.

Social life
Short story: make an effort.

* Send people birthday cards on their birthdays.
* Make an effort to call people I don't see often and miss. Catch up on their lives with any degree of regularity (I am a really flaky friend).
* Have a housewarming party. Hanna and I have already discussed it so we just have to pick a date and invite people and all that jazz.

Other stuff
Short story: more of the same.

* Finish my patchwork quilt and my novel. Finish things, generally.
* Read more books, fewer magazines. I bought a few magazines when I moved here and I've still not read them (such a waste of money).
* Do fun crafty things with my friends. I don't know how or when this would come up, but it's a nice goal.
* Own less stuff. Buy less stuff. I'm no minimalist by any stretch of the imagination, but I'm such a clutterbug at heart and I'd like to try and curb some of my possession-loving tendancies. A smidge.
* Be mindful of what I buy and think twice before I do. I know I want a blender and a sewing machine and a multi-region DVD player. I'm mulling on those and waiting until I get paid and see how my money pans out. I'm trying to be a grown-up and wait to buy things I want. Stuff makes me happy, but money in the bank makes me happy too.

Ultimately, I think the best things are normally the simplest. I want people and not things. I want to be healthy, strong, and happy. I know I achieved a lot in 2014, but so much of it felt incredibly hard. I want my 2015 to be a year of happy.
 

December 28th, 2014

December: Part 2 (Last year's resolutions) @ 08:06 pm

This time last year I made vague resolutions...

I think I actually make resolutions every year, although I usually call them "goals" since it somehow seems like less pressure.  But this year, I've decided just to call them resolutions.

And here they are:

Exercise
Last year I had a bit more balance (rather than in previous years where all I did was running, or weights, or ballet or whatever).  This year, I'm aiming for balance and consistency.  I'm running a 10k again but this time with my friend, Steph.  I should really be able to run a 10k by that point, so I'm planning on running twice a week.

I want to be able to do all the cool poses that come with being awesome at yoga.  Sadly, I've always found yoga super boring, despite wanting to like it.  I'm currently on day 4 of a 30 day yoga challenge and so far I don't hate it.  If it all goes well, I'm planning to repeat the 30 days over and over for the rest of the year.  Progress is inevitable.  One day, I would like to be able to do the splits, and do that thing where you do a handstand and make your legs do cool stuff.  There's probably a legit name for that but I don't know it.  Yet.

I've been swimming roughly once a week since July to fix up my knee.  I only know how to do one stroke, so I'd like to learn another one.  This year, I will buy some swimming goggles and learn how to swim another stroke.  And maybe get one of those swimming cap things so I don't have to do my hair.  I hate doing my hair.

(This would mostly be a fail. This year really threw everything at me and exercise fell by the wayside. I haven't worked out on a regular basis in any form since the summer. I don't really remember what I was doing before then, but I don't think it would have been that great. Next year could be my year - although I did actually get a swimming cap (for free!) and I wasn't smitten. I don't think now owning a swimming cap makes this a success but I did try. Vaguely).

Job/Money
I need both.

I'm going to try and get a job in publishing until the end of January.

From February I'm going to try to get any job.

I feel that I did well last year (until I quit my job) to save money into both general savings and my ISA.  I'd like to do that again, and save even more money.  One day I want to own the roof over my head.  I want my own kitchen and my own bathroom and I'm completely smitten with a grey armchair at Ikea that I have nowhere to put until I have my own place.  Sigh.

(I am going to call this a success. I have a job in publishing. It pays me money. I rent half the roof over my head and some of the time it's watertight. I have my own bathroom and I own the grey armchair from Ikea that I am still smitten with. Yay me!)


Friends and Family
I do a really bad job of keeping up with my parents and brother.  This year, I am aiming to speak to them on an almost weekly basis.  I'm sure they'll think I'm mad but whatever.  I will be more involved in their lives. (I did a bad job at this. Fail.)

My girlfriends from school and I got together almost every month last year for girls dinner.  I love it.  I know we're skipping January but from February we'll be back with girls dinners.  I will try to go to every dinner. (When these happened this year, I was totally on form. Success.)

I'm naturally hermity and like spending time bumming around my house doing nothing.  I will try this year to say yes to at least every other opportunity to socialise, even if I don't want to go.  I will be more sociable. (Uh...I'm not really sure. Can I call it 50/50?)

I will send birthday cards to everyone I know and love on their birthdays.  This includes people I am trying to like, more than I actually do like them.  I will be polite and try really hard to like them. (Things got very pear-shaped towards the end of the year and October basically didn' t happen. But life was pretty messy this year and I'm going to call this basically a success.)

I will try to gossip less.  The amount of gossiping I do has actually caused real problems this year and its stupid and I will do my best not to do it anymore. (Uh...I think I gossip less. And when I do gossip, I do it with love. As far as I know it's been smooth sailing this year so I'm calling it a success.)

Miscellaneous
I will finish things.  I have a habit of getting to about 80% done with things and then stopping.  This year, I will finish my novel and I will finish the 2 quilts that I have in progress.  I might even finish the spare room (*but let's not go crazy here, I probably won't do that one). (You guys, I totally finished one of the quilts! I don't even care that the other one isn't halfway done and I haven't thought of my novel again until a couple of days ago and the spare room is still 80% done. I finished a thing. Success.)

I will craft more with my friends.  It's super fun and everyone loves crafts and tea and chatting with friends.  It's win-win-win.(In a way, I did do this. Occasionally. And very sporadically. It's a mini success.)

I will read more books and less magazines. (Dude. If I won anything this year, it was this. SUCCESS.)

I will try to read 20 books next year.  If I get a job in London this will be easily achievable.  Last year I aimed for 12 books and read 17.  Most of these were during my work placement and internship in London.  I've even won a free book off Goodreads today and Libby, Jess and I have agreed to share our personal libraries because other people's books are always more fun.(Can I say it again - I totally win at this. I even have Goodreads related proof. I read 29 books this year. Heck yes,success.)

I will get a library card.  It is a little bit possible that whilst interning at the agency I half-read a number of books that I want to read the ends of.  I will get a library card to save money and finish the books. (I didn't finish all the half-read books but I did finish some of them. And I did get a library card (*let's not talk about how I then moved to a new county and haven't joined a library there. It still happened.) Success.)

I will try to read all the books I've bought, watch all the DVDS I own and wear all the clothes I've got in my wardrobe.  I will try to clear out more of what I don't use. (I'm gonna plead the fifth on this one.)

I will finally sort out my cabinet that has been a mess since the break in back in April (it is a little bit completely possible that I threw everything back in the cupboard without looking at it and haven't put any semblance of order in there.  It is a complete mess.  I should fix it). (Nailed it. Success.)

I will update my photo albums.  True story: I have 223 photos already labelled on the back, 4 boxes of photo corners, 2 spare albums, and no inclination to put said photos in date order and actually stick them in the albums.  I have some photos that I missed, so I'll have to order those before I put them in albums, but there really is no reason why I can't make what I already have chronological. (This would be another fail. Win some, lose some.)

I will continue to update my LJ in a semi-regular fashion.  I like to remember what I've been up to.  Even if it's super quiet these days, I like it for myself.  I have a terrible memory otherwise. (Until the whole moving to Oxford palaver, I think I did well at this. I'm gonna call this a success since I'm looking at the year as a whole. Anyone on my friends list who reads this will know that in 2014, I tried. I did a few internships, ran out of money, applied for a hundred jobs, got offered two, moved to Oxford, started a new (and rather difficult) new life over there, my aunt unexpectedly died, my best friend's wedding got cancelled, I threw a hen party anyway even after it became a much bigger beast of a weekend than I had ever planned, another friend got married. I've been busy. And you all know about it.)
 

August 15th, 2014

August: Part 2 (What A Year) @ 12:09 pm

When your best friend calls off her wedding just months before the big day, there is no end of awkward stuff that needs to be done.

It's nearly over. The last thing to be done is picking up her wedding dress and my bridesmaids dress and then it is officially all done. I'm going with her.

By the 31st August it is officially over.

In a world of cosmic coincidences, it will also mark one full year since I was officially unemployed having quit my job.

What a year.
 

June 26th, 2014

June: Part 5 (Seeing Stars) @ 11:42 am

Yesterday I went to a book launch. It was the first time I'd been to one and I was pretty excited. So excited that I overestimated travel time and ended up getting there 45 minutes early. So I thought to myself: self, you should find a bench so that you can keep reading your awesome book (I'm currently reading Bone Jack by Sara Crowe and really enjoying it. I like an unpredictable book). Anyway...it turns out that there aren't any public benches in Knightsbridge. Maybe they want to keep the riff-raff from loitering?

So I wandered around in a loop, around a park, down the street, around another park and back again. Slow but not so slowly that I looked directionless. I did my best to make it look intentional.

I was walking around a park and one moment I was all by myself and the next thing I knew my face was little more than an inch from the back of a man's head. He must have crossed the road to the park side of the street and aimed to be in front of me and misjudged it a bit. So I said to myself: self, that was a bit rude of him but he is walking a bit faster than you and it's polite not to say anything or make judgmental noises.

So he was walking in front of me and when he got to about a foot in front of me he turned his head to the side to look at the park and that's when I realised.

It was Graham Norton.

Did you know that Graham Norton is about the same height as me? He always seemed shorter on TV so the people he interviews must be giants. Also, he drives a fancy car. It was really shiny.

He was walking the same direction as me so once I realised who he was I felt a bit like a creepy stalker. You'd all be proud though, I didn't shout "oh my God, it's Graham Norton!" even though I was so tempted to do so. Instead I did the polite thing and texted Hanna and Jess to tell them.

It was exciting times you guys. Way more exciting than the time I saw Rita Ora on the tube. Or the blonde French girl from the Harry Potter movies heading for the Eurostar. Or the time I literally walked into the tall, bald, angry man from Masterchef (FYI: he doesn't do that thing where you both awkwardly move side to side to avoid walking into each other. The guy is built like a rock).
 

April 28th, 2014

April: Part 3 (Unread Books) @ 06:57 pm

Periodically, I like to take stock of how many unread books I have and how many unwatched DVDs. I waste a lot of money. This is especially bad when, like now, I make none.  Bad times.

The last time I made a list of my unread books it was 57 books long.

Luckily, I crossed off a whole bunch (insert me feeling smug right about here).

Today, I made a new updated list. Call it a clean slate, if you will. It is 61 books long. I'm pretty sure that I've also missed off a couple of books. Oops.

I have a lot of reading to do.

On the upside, I made a pile of my unwatched DVDs and it is getting smaller. They aren't necessarily the first ones I'll pick when I'm bored of an evening, but I probably have no more than 10 unwatched DVDs right now. I'm pretty proud of that. It almost feels like saving money (OK, I do know that it's basically just not wasting money. It's basically the same thing, right?)
 

April 21st, 2014

April: Part 2 (Easter) @ 10:30 am

This was the first Easter in a long time that I didn't go to church.  Instead, I:

- slept in
- went out for coffee with my best friend
- hung out at my house with my best friend while she did her nails (did you know, even though I switched bedrooms 5 years ago, she had never seen it? Madness)
- watched Frozen and sang along with my sister
- gone for a run in torrential rain. I am a terrible runner but it was awesome
- ate toad in hole.  I was literally looking forward to it for an entire week
- watched Almost Famous and more Parks and Rec with my sister.  She is my favourite person ever.

Happy Easter everybody!
 

February 3rd, 2014

February: Part 2 (In which I have a minor breakdown) @ 10:41 pm

Today was my first day at the publicity internship.  I'll share some thoughts on that another time.

Tonight, I am applying for a real job that pays money and I want it so bad and I wish I could just slam my hand into the keyboard and have the most amazing covering letter just pop out of it.  Or at least feel a sense of catharsis from the smashing and the goobledegook that appears on screen.

My laptop does not do this sufficiently.

Actually, it does a shockingly poor job of it.
 

January 1st, 2014

January: Resolutions @ 08:03 pm

I think I actually make resolutions every year, although I usually call them "goals" since it somehow seems like less pressure.  But this year, I've decided just to call them resolutions.

And here they are:

Exercise
Last year I had a bit more balance (rather than in previous years where all I did was running, or weights, or ballet or whatever).  This year, I'm aiming for balance and consistency.  I'm running a 10k again but this time with my friend, Steph.  I should really be able to run a 10k by that point, so I'm planning on running twice a week.

I want to be able to do all the cool poses that come with being awesome at yoga.  Sadly, I've always found yoga super boring, despite wanting to like it.  I'm currently on day 4 of a 30 day yoga challenge and so far I don't hate it.  If it all goes well, I'm planning to repeat the 30 days over and over for the rest of the year.  Progress is inevitable.  One day, I would like to be able to do the splits, and do that thing where you do a handstand and make your legs do cool stuff.  There's probably a legit name for that but I don't know it.  Yet.

I've been swimming roughly once a week since July to fix up my knee.  I only know how to do one stroke, so I'd like to learn another one.  This year, I will buy some swimming goggles and learn how to swim another stroke.  And maybe get one of those swimming cap things so I don't have to do my hair.  I hate doing my hair.

Job/Money
I need both.

I'm going to try and get a job in publishing until the end of January.

From February I'm going to try to get any job.

I feel that I did well last year (until I quit my job) to save money into both general savings and my ISA.  I'd like to do that again, and save even more money.  One day I want to own the roof over my head.  I want my own kitchen and my own bathroom and I'm completely smitten with a grey armchair at Ikea that I have nowhere to put until I have my own place.  Sigh.

Friends and Family
I do a really bad job of keeping up with my parents and brother.  This year, I am aiming to speak to them on an almost weekly basis.  I'm sure they'll think I'm mad but whatever.  I will be more involved in their lives.

My girlfriends from school and I got together almost every month last year for girls dinner.  I love it.  I know we're skipping January but from February we'll be back with girls dinners.  I will try to go to every dinner.

I'm naturally hermity and like spending time bumming around my house doing nothing.  I will try this year to say yes to at least every other opportunity to socialise, even if I don't want to go.  I will be more sociable.

I will send birthday cards to everyone I know and love on their birthdays.  This includes people I am trying to like, more than I actually do like them.  I will be polite and try really hard to like them.

I will try to gossip less.  The amount of gossiping I do has actually caused real problems this year and its stupid and I will do my best not to do it anymore.

Miscellaneous
I will finish things.  I have a habit of getting to about 80% done with things and then stopping.  This year, I will finish my novel and I will finish the 2 quilts that I have in progress.  I might even finish the spare room (*but let's not go crazy here, I probably won't do that one).

I will craft more with my friends.  It's super fun and everyone loves crafts and tea and chatting with friends.  It's win-win-win.

I will read more books and less magazines.

I will try to read 20 books next year.  If I get a job in London this will be easily achievable.  Last year I aimed for 12 books and read 17.  Most of these were during my work placement and internship in London.  I've even won a free book off Goodreads today and Libby, Jess and I have agreed to share our personal libraries because other people's books are always more fun.

I will get a library card.  It is a little bit possible that whilst interning at the agency I half-read a number of books that I want to read the ends of.  I will get a library card to save money and finish the books.

I will try to read all the books I've bought, watch all the DVDS I own and wear all the clothes I've got in my wardrobe.  I will try to clear out more of what I don't use.

I will finally sort out my cabinet that has been a mess since the break in back in April (it is a little bit completely possible that I threw everything back in the cupboard without looking at it and haven't put any semblance of order in there.  It is a complete mess.  I should fix it).

I will update my photo albums.  True story: I have 223 photos already labelled on the back, 4 boxes of photo corners, 2 spare albums, and no inclination to put said photos in date order and actually stick them in the albums.  I have some photos that I missed, so I'll have to order those before I put them in albums, but there really is no reason why I can't make what I already have chronological.

I will continue to update my LJ in a semi-regular fashion.  I like to remember what I've been up to.  Even if it's super quiet these days, I like it for myself.  I have a terrible memory otherwise.
 

December 24th, 2013

Merry Christmas! @ 10:57 pm

I am not sure if anyone except me reads this, plus I haven't updated in a while.  It's on my to-do list.

In the meantime, I hope you all (if anyone is still around these days) have a very Merry Christmas with lots of food, family and friends.  And presents.  And Christmas TV.  All the good stuff.

Also, if any of you are on tumblr, I am here: winterswick.tumblr.com.  I basically do nothing but reblog things that make me laugh.  It is, however, proof that I am still alive.
 

November 16th, 2013

November: Part 4 @ 06:04 pm

You guys - I have a doppelganger.

I'm sure of it.

On Tuesday one of the two girls that I share an office with at my internship and I were chatting and she asked me if I had had a meeting with her at some event that I've never actually heard of.  Answer: no.  What I actually thought was, "have you just been waiting for me to ask you the same question for the last fortnight?  How much of a weirdo do you think I am that I wouldn't bring up that we'd met before?"

I accept that I have a generic face.  A lot of people do.  As Jess said earlier this week, on a scale of unfortunate to Angelina Jolie, most of us are in the middle.  An area with vast amounts of generic face.  And as a person of roughly average height with non-descript coloured hair, I accept that I suffer from generic face.  People often think I've met them before and I haven't.  I'm ok with that.

But two days later at her leaving party in the office, another guy who I've never met before shouted across the room "we've met before" (no, we haven't).  He also works in publishing and the two of them both go to a lot of the same events.

So I think that I might have a doppelganger who works in publishing.

Would I know if I ever met her?  At Cat's hen party the other month, a couple of her friends were late and she asked me to look out for them arriving at the spa.  She described them as "short and blonde, and the other one looks just like you."  I can tell you that when I saw "the other one" I wouldn't have described her as looking that much like me.  Unless hair colour is the only thing that you take into consideration.  Her hair was sort of the same colour as mine.

In case anyone is interested in the party, I drank and chatted with people and did my best to look like I was having an amazing time and listened to salacious industry gossip that I didn't really follow (although I did remember the story of a male author who told was hitting on one of the agents, who eventually asked him to stop, to which he replied "you're never going to find a single guy so you may as well start with an involved one and see where that goes."  That particular story didn't involve names so who knows who that is).  I left around eight when I was already rather tipsy and everyone else apparently got thrown out of the building an hour later.  It's probably for the best that I missed that.

Also went to what I thought was going to be the ballet this week, but it turns out that the company name is a misnomer and it was contemporary dance.  With a small company made entirely of men.  Um, hello?  It was awesome.

I've seen so many people recently and it turns out, it's awesome having an actual social life.  I went to a Halloween party at Adam and Chloe's, hung out in Cambridge with my friend Hazel, I've hung out with Jess several times in planned and also unplanned situations (sometimes we catch the same train in the morning which is always nice!  And we went out for tea yesterday in our lunch breaks, which was lovely.  I thoroughly recommend the Buckingham Coffee House if anyone is in the neighbourhood of Buckingham Palace and fancies a cup of tea that doesn't cost the earth) and Steph and I went out for dinner at the pub (who knew they did cocktails?)

In the spirit of a more zen commute home at the end of the day I've started going across London to Blackfriars first instead of to the madness of Kings Cross.  After the nightmare ride home from Kings Cross on Friday, I'm definitely going to stick to Blackfriars.  (Insert every horrible thing about St Albans commuters here.  Wankers).  I mean, not only do I physically get on the first train at Blackfriars, but I get a seat.

Oh, and the view whilst waiting for my train is basically this (I think whoever took this picture is on a different bridge to the station, which is also on a bridge):



That doesn't hurt.
 

November 11th, 2013

November: Part 3 @ 06:20 pm

It's a good thing that I love my internship.  Probably more than a healthy amount.  And that I don't believe in karma*.

It's been 11 working days since it officially started and I've missed one and a half of those days.

I missed the first day due to the St Jude storm which made it impossible to get into London from where I live.  There were literally no trains.  This would have been bad enough just because I missed my first day, which they were super understanding about and all, but really.  Did it have to share my name?  And did the media have to say "patron saint of lost causes" so many times?  Bad omens all around.

Yesterday, I was clearing out my phone inbox.  Generally it is full and I have to delete a bunch of stuff to receive new messages.  Oh phones of yesteryear (anyone else have a phone from 2005?  No?  Just me then).  For whatever reason, I decided to keep the message from my boss at the insurance company that he sent me one Sunday afternoon.  I remember receiving that text.  My inbox was almost completely full so I received the beginning part - right up to "We're screwed" and had to wait until I had space and reception to get the rest of the message - which was about the server dying and thus us not being able to work (hence my boss texting me on a Sunday afternoon).

So I sort of appreciate the cosmic irony of today.  I'm there from 9:30-5:30 every day but everyone else seems to be a bit more lax about it.  It's a pretty chilled out place.  I was one of four people in the office this morning.  The lights were on, but the plug sockets weren't working so none of the computers would work.  At 10:30 a guy came and fixed some fuse somewhere and we had computers.

Except that the server had died in the outage and wouldn't turn back on.  Without the server, I literally had no work.  And the company shares the tech guy with a major investment bank so we're pretty low on the priority list.  I finished reading a book they gave me from the bookshelves on my first (technically, second) day and then went home.  And by home, I mean shopping.  How could I not when Oxford Circus is only a 5 minute walk away?

As a heads up to anyone going to H&M soon - it's like 1993 in there.  Yeesh.  Crop tops and patterned leggings a plenty.

(Also, I only bought a Christmas present for someone else.  And maybe a Starbucks for me.  But only a small one).


* Except for road karma because that is completely a thing.  Fo serious.  Say, for example, you let someone out of tight junction before you turn in - you've done a nice thing, thereby earning road karma.  And one day, road karma will pay you back by giving you a drive where all the traffic lights are green or whatever.  This has proven itself to be true every time I've told someone about it.  Road karma is real.
 

October 1st, 2013

October : Part 1 @ 09:07 pm

Oh my gosh.  I also got a six week internship at a literary agency.  Unpaid (sadly).  But yay!  It's entirely possible that some overly excited clapping and jumping up and down happened.

I am now counting the next two weeks as "holiday" before my two week editorial work experience and my six week internship and come 6th December, I will update my CV and move onto the next stage of finding a job.

As in, one that pays money.  But, you know, so far changing career seems to be going well.
 

July 19th, 2013

July (definitely Part One) @ 07:30 pm

July deserves a better post than this, but um.  I quit my job today.

I don't have another job to go to after my five week notice period is up.  This may have been a bad idea.
 

May 12th, 2013

May @ 06:05 pm

Have had a good couple of weeks in which no violent crime was committed against me and I haven't injured myself in some crazy way.  My pulled muscle has healed (yay!) and since going back to my old running shoes my knee seems to have healed itself too, so that's nice.

In exciting news, my family has been invited to my cousin's wedding!  It's exciting because it's rather unexpected.  It's not that my cousin isn't nice or anything, we just don't seem very...related.  For relatives.  We are actually related, she's one of my closest blood relations outside of my immediate family, but family is complicated and that's just how it is.

On the other side of my family, my great-aunt is having a birthday and her daughter (who I have often referred to as my cousin-aunt, since she is my mother's cousin which makes her...related to me) is arranging a family reunion weekend.  I don't remember the last time my Aunty Mary had a reunion in her honour, my family seems to pick a different relative to have a reunion for every few years.  In the last 5 or so years, these events have normally been funerals, which isn't so much fun.

So, I am excited about both of these things.  Sadly, my Dad is Northern and my Mum is Southern, so on Saturday 15th June we'll be trekking up to Yorkshire for the wedding and the next day going all the way down to Worthing on the South coast for the reunion.  It'll be a bit mad.  Plus I'll have to make an effort to look cute two days in a row and I'm not really sure I am competent enough for that.  Most days I feel that I look ok, which is enough, but to actually look good involves doing things to my hair and face and doing both things well and I'm not usually up for that.  We'll have to see I guess.

Am feeling rather rested after taking a couple of days off work this week.  I'm calling them mental health days since my job was driving me nuts and I had some of the most batshit mental clients imaginable.  Of course, my first day back, the first phone call I got was from a man whom I've refused to answer the phone to for 4 years since he is a nightmare.  I think he's become someone else's problem now for another year, so I got off lucky.

In other news, I've been feeling really inspired to write.  My novel is a lot less pair-shaped, I just need to actually finish it.  And since I've decided to do Nanowrimo again this year, I've been roughly planning out things for that.  It's actually starting to shape up into something workable now, which is really exciting.  Basically, I had a vague idea a while ago, which I expanded out trilogy-style, then decided I didn't really like it that way and shrank it back down again, and now I'm off on a slightly different tangent and starting to collect names and mental pictures of the places and the plot line is coming together.  Nanowrimo goes a whole lot better with a plan, so I'm looking forward to hermiting it up this November!  And finishing off the novel that I've been working on for....the last 4 (ish) years.  Should really get on that....
 

March 20th, 2011

Spring cleaning @ 05:07 pm

 So, it's been a while.  I'm still in my usual rut but am actually trying to find my way out now.  Starting with spring cleaning.  This weekend I have :

- thrown out 35 pairs of shoes
- altered 2 tops to make a cute summer top and a sweater vest
- thrown out all my old showergel sets (gifts) that I would never ever use
- reorganised my boxes of things
- found a home for all my lovely fabric (I'm currently making aprons.  Well, apron at the moment.  But I have the fabric for the next 2, because I WILL finish)
- watched *cough* 5 discs of the oc (season one, because it is the best)
- applied for 5 new jobs
- filed all my papers and bank statements etc
- assembled and cut to size my new blackout blind before realising I cannot fix it to the wall all by myself
- worked out a plan to put up a new picture shelf over my shiny new bed (again, cannot do this myself, but it will be FREE and I am excited for it)
- got all the food the week
- worked out.
 
I feel accomplished(ish).
 
I swept the driveway and cleared the front garden last weekend and my neighbour asked if we were moving!  Apparently, we don't really spring clean at my house.  The driveway does look good.
 
Since I cannot afford to go back to school, I am working on finding other ways to get there and all this sunshine is helping me feel happier and maybe good things really might happen and I will stop wasting all my potential and my life and become an achiever.  Maybe I will even get hobbies (unless working out counts, but I don't think it does).