Tales From The Kingdoms

Summer’s here, and I haven’t read a book so beautifully illustrated in a long time!


Love my gran- she wanted to send us a good luck with results/exams/essays/dissertation card each, and then panicked that she got the wrong address, so she sent us another pair of cards:


So we now have double the granny luck. Bless her, she even picked different ones so that we wouldn’t have 2 of the same cards!

still embarrassed about The Camping Incident

This might be a repost but it’s been 7 YEARS and I’m still thinking about this all: 


I had posted before about something equally as embarrassing, hereafter referred to as scaring the postman, (which I’m also still not over), hence the other embarrassing flashback.

The last time I went camping with my mum and sister, we upgraded a little and rented a camper van. We were staying in a field in the middle of nowhere which was usually popular for camping but was empty when we arrived. Because it was actually the middle of nowhere, when it got dark, it got really dark; no street lamps or houses or anything. What was all trees and fields and quaint British prettiness became all sinister and dark and what is making that sound, meaning that running from the camper van to the little bathroom block in the dark was not so fun, and when I had to go in the middle of the night, I sprinted there and back as quickly as possible without stopping on the way.
Mum had already hissed at me to keep it down in case any other camping people arrived during the night, so after hurtling back to the camper I very gently just rattle rattle rattled the door handle so they’d know to let me in.

No answer. I carefully tried again, squuueeeaaaking the door handle.

Still nothing. I scurried around the other side to call in, and since it was the middle of the night and I didn’t know if anyone else had arrived and was sleeping nearby, I just did a very small “hellLLOOOooooOOOoo!” through the window. Nothing.

I waited for a few minutes, and then, getting quite annoyed, I ran back round to the other side and scraped my fingernails very gently down that window, making a “sSScccCCCreeeEEccHHH” sound, (to considerately see whether my sister was awake), with an impatient “I know you’re in there!”

That’s when I realised it wasn’t our van.

Because it was so dark, I had spooked myself when I ran to the bathroom (naturally), got confused, and came out of the wrong side of the block, where the only other camper van in the whole field had been parked out of sight of us.

These poor people had been woken in the middle of the night, in the pitch black woods out in nowhere, by somebody softly rattle rattling on the door handle, followed by a scurrying round the van and an unknown voice whispering “HHheeellLLOOOooooOOOoo…” through the window. They had huddled, holding their breath, waiting for any further noises, listening to the wind in the trees of this deserted place, and had then heard a “scccCCCreeeEEccHHH” of fingernails down the opposite window and the unknown voice menacingly declaring “I know you’re in there…“.

This was followed by a small “squee!” sound (me realising my mistake) and a pat pat pat of retreating feet.

As if their night couldn’t get any worse, my mum and sister made the same mistake.

These poor people, if they’d actually managed to get back to sleep, were woken several times during the course of the night by a rattle rattle rattle, and little “hellooooooooo…”s and “let me innnn”s through the window, courtesy of mum & sister.

If you’re thinking, perhaps they slept through it, maybe they didn’t hear us, perhaps we didn’t scare them at all: the next morning as we drove away they were watching us go through a crack in their curtains.

I can just picture it: “Martin! Look! Those weirdos are finally  leaving!”




All I’m waiting for now is my *official results*…


So, the third year of uni is over!! I was concentrating so hard on essays and stuff that I kind of forgot that it would be over afterwards; it hasn’t really hit me yet. And I’m still in a sort of state of nervous exhaustion, so I’ve made an agreement with all of the outside world: they can’t expect anything of me until I’ve had about three months to recover, and at that time they can resume with their cruel “so what next” questions; but until then, I don’t have to be a fully formed human and will eat and sleep and do nothing because my brain has gone on holiday.

And I’m so tired that I can’t string fully-formed sentences together, but we did it! Me and Kieran have finished our undergraduate work!




Tales From The Kingdoms

Most beautiful birthday present


Been waiting for this one for months. I saw it at Christmas with all the other shiny, glittery, gifty ones in Waterstones, looking all beautiful and mysterious, and was planning to come back and look at it, at which point it immediately vanished, never to be seen in any Waterstones. There was always one copy apparently floating around all the shops but I couldn’t find it until Kieran magically tracked it down and voila, it’s so beautiful

The Amazon blurb:

Snow White, Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty – stories you love, and that we all think we know . . .
. . . but what about the secrets hidden within them? Why would a prince fall in love with a woman in a coffin? Why would a queen try so hard to poison her step-daughter? And what is a fairy Godmother’s real motivation?
Turn the page, and discover these classic fairy stories, told the way they always should have been . . .


Cannot wait


(almost) end of third year

My third year of uni is almost done


I’ve got just one more essay to do before third year is over, so naturally instead of getting that done I’ve made a pile of all* my third year books, shocked moomin for scale:


*all except for Code of the Woosters which was claimed by the under-the-couch void, and by the time I’d mounted a rescue mission for it, it couldn’t be put on top because the pile, because as you can probably tell:


my jenga skills are not on point and the book mountain was on the point of crushing us all (shocked moomin included)

death by dissertation

There’s been radio silence on the blog front because it’s been DISSERTATION DEADLINES


It was getting a bit panicky when the deadline was due in a week and the only information my brain would voluntarily give me was the lyrics to ‘take on me’ BUUUT it’s finally done! The biggest thing I’ve ever written at uni, plus they get bound up all nicely like little books:


and I’m so tired but it’s done! and I can sleep


as you can probably tell by this post, my brain’s not making a whole lotta sense right now. But, if anybody’s trying to get something done this week, here:

It’s actually kinda helpful.

Code of the Woosters

As of today I’ve just finished The Code of the Woosters:


& I’m recommending it to everybody & anybody who reads this! I can’t remember the last time I properly laughed out loud at a book; probably something like Bridget Jones (or, even further back, Angus, Thongs & Perfect Snogging– judge all you want, I defy anybody to read that and not laugh) but this was one of those. It was on my course list and I’d vaguely heard good stuff about it, but seriously, if you’re stuck for something to read at the moment, read this. Bear in mind that you’ve got to kind of ease into the vernacular- it’s like a whole other language. Pretend you’ve got to blend in at the poshest event you’ve ever been to and that should work; maybe practice with a few jolly good sport old chap and what, what? in your head before you read and you should be good to go.
If you’ve read anything else on here you’ve probably picked up on a bit of Jane-Austen-obession-themes, and oh look, here I go again managing to bring her into it one of the things I love about Jane Austen is the way people talk in her novels (I do have a point, I promise). In their day it would have been normal, maybe some of it was even slang to them and they lamented it the same way people complain about slang now-a-days, but one part of the quintessential cosiness of reading a Jane Austen book is their language. It’s emotive of the whole Austen-reading-experience. This book The Code of the Woosters is like that, in that you should read it if you want to remember the things the English language can do. I remember reading something ages ago when Facebook was getting bigger and bigger, about what a shame the like button was, because it took all the different reactions and emotions and the words that would have expressed them and limited it to the word like. People were worried that language would become more and more simplified and we’d use less and less of those beautiful words. It’s kinda like:


But in this book, even restricted to the particular language of one time period, the language does remarkable things and makes you remember the way it can run rings around itself and somersault over the reader’s head.
One review of it by Marian Keyes said it was nice because ‘nothing bad ever happens in P.G. Wodehouse land. Or even if it does, it’s always sorted out by the end of the book. For as long as [you’re] immersed in a P. G. Wodehouse book, it’s possible to keep the real world at bay and live in a far, far nicer, funnier one where happy endings are the order of the day‘. So, even if you’re not interested in the language, if you can feel yourself simply getting weary with all the bad stuff you see on the news or scrolling through Facebook, read this book, where the worst  thing that can happen is he might have to ‘oscillate the bean’ when hungover. Translation: move your head when hungover.
Read and enjoy!