A seemingly normal man came in to my work the other day, and after the usual chat chat chat he asked that I made him and a colleague a cup of tea. And then he proceeded to say something that shocked and appalled me to my very core.

“Put the milk in first.”





The Claw

Was just trying to play a little game on the claw machine when:





HP love





*!no spoilers!* I promise. I haven’t even read it yet, so I couldn’t even if I wanted to, which I don’t, because book spoiling is just


Anyways. I have been tormenting myself with this book for ages because, being a die-hard hardcore HP fan, like a child who doesn’t want someone else to play with its toys because they might “ruin it” I’ve been ridiculously reluctant to read anything Harry Potter related that’s not solely and purely by JK Rowling, whilst being simultaneously unable to bear the idea of not reading this Potter story and being excluded from it. It’s just that, like most people I’m guessing, Harry Potter was such an integral part of my childhood; I grew up with the books, and was completely absorbed into the wizarding world; I watched the films, saw the last ones at the cinema, and was both delighted at having more Harry Potter things coming out after all the books had been released and highly indignant about all the glaring mistakes- where was the house-elves battle scene? where was Peeves?! Mrs. Weasley so did NOT look scared before kicking Bellatrix’s ass. I was jubilantly happy at the perfectness that was Maggie Smith as McGonagall and Alan Rickman as Snape:

McGonagall and Snape.jpg

And I still feel bitter every time I see this outrage:


and I was unashamedly almost sobbing with happiness when Pottermore came out, sobbing with betrayal when they changed it, and basically broke down completely at this:


Basically, JK Rowling, in the fashion of Tolkien and R.R. Martin, had created one of those worlds that has such depth to it that it defines a generation. And, lets be honest, JK knows it; so whilst some people point out, fairly enough, that the whole script-of-a-play format makes for a difficult read, she knows full well that Harry Potter fans are still experiencing such huge withdrawal symptoms for any new HP hit that she could write a whole book in ancient Greek about Harry yelling through the bathroom door for Ginny to magic him some more loo roll, and we would still be clamouring to read it.

But it was the idea of someone else getting their hands on a fantasy world I loved so much and changing it that was putting me off. Although I know JK was heavily involved in it, I’m still practically cat-hissing at someone else trying to write it too. Basically, the only way I can read this is if I just pretend it’s fan-fiction and that JK can at any moment back out and say “nope, that’s not what happened, let me write an 8th book about what actually went down”. Whilst I acknowledge that Jack Thorne must be a pretty awesome writer and talented and blah blah blah, as you can probably tell, I’m still bitter that it’s not a new JK-HP book. I’m just going to have to read it.

Because, when it comes to HP love, it just lasts:
















book problems

That feeling when you’ve just finished the last book of the trilogy which you’ve had a love/hate relationship with but you kept greedily devouring for the past few weeks because no book gets left behindand no matter how you feel about the writing or the book itself you have to find out what happens, because you just do, and it would drive you nuts if you didn’t, because although it’s not always been the best book ever you’re still invested in the characters and you still need to know what happens to them, but it’s ok because the plot is clearly building towards the final all-out explosion which means no matter what you will finally know what happens, so you’re sneak-reading in lunch breaks, and you rushed to the shop to buy it in hardback despite how expensive it was because ‘why not, it’s the last one’ and it’ll finally be done with- to realise it’s actually not the last one, it’s a series, and maybe you should have actually checked it was a trilogy before becoming this invested and tormenting yourself that it was all going to end in this bookand the infuriating wait is not. Over.


Daily prompt: stubborn

Daily prompt: stubborn

There are about a million incidents that come to mind along with the word “stubborn” (Kieran insists that I’m more stubborn than him…he’s wrong) but at the moment, the most stubborn thing I can think of is this little dollop:  

Otherwise known as Panda. He’s been around for as long as I can remember and is the cleverest dog I know (though obviously I’m biased). Being both clever and a terrier, he’s smart enough to understand whatever is asked of him, and stubborn enough that he takes it entirely upon himself to decide whether or not he’ll do it. His one mission in life is to get his furry butt on the most comfortable seat available, whether or not it’s already taken. Actually, especially if it’s already taken; he considers this a challenge and will wriggle his way between you and whatever you’re sat on, like so:


He’s surprisingly heavy for such a tiny smidge of a dog. Anyways, in his mind the most comfy thing will always be the bed, and whenever you’re about to head upstairs his 6th sense for bedtime kicks in and he glues himself to your heels. The thing with fussy little panda is that he considers himself a little lordling; he can’t just jump up, he has to be invited. And not just any invitation, you can’t simply peel back the duvet and pat the mattress, no; he has to really feel that he’s wanted there before he deigns to jump up. He has to feel you’re working for his attention; no simple “come on, Panda” would suffice for his lordship. And that’s fine for when he’s all clean and fluffy. But there are some evenings when he’s rolled in something, even after he’s washed he’s still a bit stinky, and combined with the fact that his favourite game is “roll the human out of their spot”, you might prefer him to sleep in his (equally if not more comfortable) bed on the floor.

He does not find this acceptable.

Should such an unthinkable thing occur, he will not give in. Ever. He will sit by the bed and stare at you. All night.

You might think this is easy to ignore.

Think again.

Even if you closed your eyes, you could feel his offended, judging glare burning through the back of your eyelids. He shuffles closer, and closer, so that if you open your eyes you’ll be greeted with:

This dog is the definition of stubborn. Those eyes will be waiting, unblinking, until your will finally crumbles and you let the smelly pup up.

Just imagine: you’re trying to get to sleep, and:




makeup fail

Following the whole contouring phase I thought I’d give improving my makeup skills another go, because it’s getting sort of ridiculous now that other people can turn up to lectures, even when it’s raining, looking like sophisticated students ready to tackle anything while I stagger in after them sporting something that should be called ‘the drowned rat look’. I’ve sorta-kinda got the hang of the eyeshadow I like now, but my first attempt, not so much:

I thought maybe I’d start with the eyes/eye-shadowing because the whole contouring business is just on the scarily complicated level where you’d probably have to sell your soul/make a ritualistic sacrifice before you even have the skills to do it. Plus, I actually had nice fancy eye make up (that I had no idea how to use): the Urban Decay Naked 2 Palette, which is gorgeous:


I trawled through YouTube looking for any instructional video with the words “simple” and “quick” and found one with the intriguing promise to help make your eyes get a shimmery smoky kind of look. I was determined.

The video began and ahhh straightaway there was a daunting amount of professional brushes and makeup and a war paint arsenal laid out- plus the tutor, some sort of makeup wizard, already had a perfectly made-up face- how does that make sense. I glanced nervously down at my own pitiful collection of old brushes fished from the bottom of my makeup bag- me and my brushes were not prepared for this- and in that short second looking away from the screen the makeup wizard had already zoomed through at least 3 products. I whacked the volume button furiously- what was she doing???

…I’m using the primer potion…

The what? What?! I don’t have that? I rattled my bag for something that might be the same colour or consistency, fished out an old pot of shimmery something- it looked like it might be a base for something, so on it went, quickly, because AHH she’d already moved onto something else-

…and now I’m going to use a primer potion in this shade…

What? A second one? I didn’t even have one potion, how could she have two? It was almost the same colour, was it really necessary? Is there even that much skin surface area on the eyelid? Well I don’t have that either, so…surreptitiously skipping ahead in the video…

…and now the ‘pistol’ shade in the corner of the eyelid…

Whipping out one of the fancy brushes, turning it so we could all clearly see which brush we should have, she expertly painted the corner of her eye with a subtle dark shade. How am I behind again. Grab one of the 3 Pitiful Brushes, take a minuscule amount of the shadow, make a tiny dab on the corner of my eye- I now look like I’ve been punched in the face. No time to fix it because now she’s blending:

…and this black shade over the top…

Another brush. Damn it. I grab one at random, pick the right black shade, dab it on my eye and-oof. Another punch in the face.

“…now I’m using the shade blackout…

More black- is she mad?! No, she’s adding a beautifully drawn wing-tip thing to the corner of her eye underneath perfect eyebrows. I put an infinitesimal amount of the black eyeshadow on and- I’m now the lead singer of Kiss. Congratulations to me.


What is she doing now?

…my blending brush…putting it below my eyebrow…

I can’t even tell how far behind I am now.

As if to mock me, the makeup wizard now pauses, looks at the camera with her beautiful eyeshadow, and says “you should now be looking like that”.

I look in the mirror. The Kiss singer, who’s clearly just lost a bad bar fight, stares sadly back.

The make-up wizard is not even half done. She’s picked up a black eyeliner pen (more black? why?!) and, a little mad now, I try to follow her: black eyeliner under the eye. It smudges, I’m back to the drowned rat look, my area of expertise but ah– she’s now on a light shade- no time to check which one- and, ignoring the black smudges all over my face (the chin? how?) I desperately pat it on my eye. Mascara- blind myself. False lashes- probably just safer not to try. The makeup wizard is done and I sort of want to cry at how pretty she looks. I’m “done” at the same time, eyes watering, black smudges down my face.

Got my halloween idea sorted at least.

Daily Prompt: Profound

Daily Prompt: Profound

I think a profound moment, where someone gives you a piece of genuine advice, or you experience a moment of great magnitude, is one of those moments in life which resonates in your head as a moment where everything just seems still. For an English Literature student who literally studies words, I seem to spend a lot of time saying “I’m not quite sure how to describe it…” and I was about to write that again, but I think I’ve got an idea in mind of how to describe this. If life in general is just a big flurry of happenings, and the whole of your life’s memories being pictured as one big vivid flood of random details and pictures with no order as to what’s forgotten and what’s not, so that you don’t remember a whole day exactly as it happened: “I was five, that was the day I had this for breakfast and went to the swings with Julia, and then we did this and that…”instead you remember flashes; “Julia wore that bright red jumper, we hung upside down on the swings, she made me laugh…”. So if life is that big flurry, a profound moment is one you remember in its entirety, as a separate event in your life, a single still moment that affected you so, well, profoundly, that it’s put apart from the rest of the flurry. If life, not to use the cliche, but if life is a fast-flowing river, consisting of memory and happenings, a profound moment is a still river pond, where the river slows before it empties out into this silent pond, and stills. A profound moment is this still moonlit pond, set apart from the rush, where the river ripples silently across the length of this profound moment and all is still in your head when you think back to it, until the moment is passed, and it picks up again on the other side, rushing onwards through more happenings and more flashings, to the next profound moment.

Just to ruin highlight the profundity of this post, I’m going to finish and go play Angry Birds.