Friday, 29 August 2014

Lakes 2014: The "Movie"

Turns out a PhD is a cruel mistress, hence the lack of updates.

As I'm meant to be reading a 42-year-old paper on metaethics right now, I shan't stick around too long, but for now at least - here's a video from mine and Sam's holiday in the Lakes last month.

If you enjoyed that, I'm serialising stories and photos from the trip over at Bitches Love Hills on Sundays (or as close to Sundays as my work schedule will allow). I've already published day 1 and the first part of day 2. You may be glad to hear: they're mostly photos.

At some point I'll probably do a post or two about the trip on here as well. But until then, I ought to get some work done.



Sunday, 24 August 2014

Sunday Linkage - Week 7

I spend more time than I ought to on the web, some good ought to come of it; so here's some links to stuff I've read over the last week that are worth sharing... 

This guy's 373-day productivity streak is pretty impressive.

So The Mary Sue is pretty awesome: highlights include:
*Mo’ Neopoints, Mo’ Problems: How That Website We Liked As Kids Became An Economist’s Nightmare
*An Artistic Critique of Milo Manara and Greg Land’s Controversial Spider-Woman Covers - Look at the gallery all the way through, it is brilliant and hilarious.
*Watch Fantastic Breasts And Where To Find Them, A Beautiful Slam Poem Defending Potterotica - now I'm not into fan fiction, never mind erotic fan fiction (though I'm not judging anyone who is), but this poem does more than defend Potterotica, but also snaps back at the porn industry and objectification of women. I was not expecting it, and it's now one of my favourite quick-watches.

This made me feel so much better about the fact that I've ended up choosing to move back to my home county (though I am still a bit ambitious, to be fair) - Unambitious Loser With Happy, Fulfilling Life Still Lives In Hometown

I bought Sam this game for getting through his resits in one piece... and now I'm concerned I'll never sleep again.

I ought to get training and in shape ready for the snake-fighting portion of my thesis defense in a few years' time! (Seriously, this is the funniest thing I've seen all month).

This is very, very long. But if you have some down time, it's well worth the read - The Spy Who Loved Me: An undercover surveillance operation that went too far.

And finally: 
Some for the hill-walkers!

This insect repellent roll-on looks pretty sound - and what's more, it's apparently DEET free! (DEET being the nasty stuff in repellents that melts plastic. Gah.)

In case you missed it: Terry Abraham wrote a really good piece on the impact of the Three Peaks on Wasdale and Scafell Pike.

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Sunday Linkage - Week 6

I spend more time than I ought to on the web, some good ought to come of it; so here's some links to stuff I've read over the last week that are worth sharing... (Bumper edition this week! Is it obvious I have a deadline coming up?)

This novelist's tips on working everyday is something to keep in mind for my own work

I seriously want to try to make this: the 1-minute coffee cake... On that note, the same lady has a whole bunch of one-serving recipes on her blog. I feel I need to get my bake-on (I blame GBBO for this new-found enthusiasm).

Speaking of recipes, Briar Rose's White Chocolate Millionaire's Shortbread looks amazing.

Kat Williams reminds us that we need to Live Our Own Truth.

12 of the best "Humans of New York" Posts. Gorgeous stuff.

I don't know how the Laughing Medusa blog managed to stay off my radar for so long - this is awesome! Top posts (from just the last few weeks!) include: Navigating Sadness, 20 Things To Do with Your Instagram Photos, and 50 Simple Steps for Cultivating Self-Love.

This was a bit of a brilliant read -- Obese? I'm a Fat Girl in a Thin Girl's World

This post on things to keep on mind, whether or not you're going to uni, is pretty sound. I'm considering writing something similar, now.

In a month where A-level, GCSE, and (in some unis) resit results are released, this post on not letting your failures define you is very bloody important.

Absolutely loved Nubby Twiglet's post about her unexpected house guest.

This was brilliant:  What I Instagrammed Vs What Was Really Happening 

Excuse me, waiter? There's some feels in my Oatmeal...

While my heart still belongs to the gorgeous green campuses of my alma mater (google Roehampton University if you're curious about the why), this amazing video (with a drone cameraman(!)) shows that my current academic home is absolutely stunning in its own right as well...

Friday, 15 August 2014

It Doesn't Have To Be Perfect

I've been abusing a photo app. Sorry.

Big desks are important. Their importance cannot be understated. I cannot work well without a big desk.

Only... that's bullshit. 

I wrote the best piece of work in my life (and in the history of my course) on a double bed covered in textbooks and papers (I had a very small desk at the time). 

Having a designated workspace is important - and I do agree with this - but that doesn't change the fact that I still wrote those life-changing 11,952 words sat on the same bed where I also slept, sat with friends while we gossiped, and caught up with Coronation Street over lunch when I'd missed it the night before. 

Being emotionally "all there" is important. And again, I can't pretend that it isn't, but I wrote that dissertation while going through a break up and battling depression. I wrote my most recent literature review draft (which both of my supervisors liked) while acting like a professional misery-guts earlier in the year.

I often get in my own head about stuff like hiking equipment: do I have the right trousers? Is my shirt made of decent enough material? Can't forget my amazing hiking boots! - Now while the boots one IS very important (scree kills), and while it's nice to walk in comfort and without feeling too soggy (hill-walking newbies: avoid jeans - especially if it might rain!), the fact of the matter still remains...

The first hill I ever wandered up? 
I wore a random T-shirt, a hoody with holes in, black skinny jeans, and a pair of zip-up (i.e. not waterproof) military-style boots from Internacionale which had no tread

And I still made it up and down with no real issues beyond getting scared of crossing the stream (I cannot handle streams). While that may have had something to do with the fact I was being looked after by someone experienced at this sort of thing, and while I wouldn't do that again (I like being dry. And alive.), nonetheless - I walked up the highest hill in the Peak District in inappropriate kit and I still got to the top.

I wrote my MA dissertation without an adequate desk, designated workspace, or cheerful, can-do attitude - and I still got the best grade ever.

It doesn't have to be perfect. Things don't have to be just so.

Now, I'm happy, I have a massive desk, and my own study. And I'm sat here writing this blog post when I'm meant to be working on my thesis.

It's not about desks, designated spaces, proper kit*, or even really about happiness - it's about Just Getting On With It.

Now with that in mind, I'd better Just Get On With this chapter.


*Ok, I will concede that that one is actually more than a little important. DO NOT CLIMB A PROPER HILL WITHOUT GOOD KIT (though I'll concede you can get away with fell running shoes rather than boots, but still: always err on the side of caution). Respect the mountain. Hills kill. Etc.

Monday, 11 August 2014


Inspired by this post (ok, with the questions slightly stolen), I thought I'd give you a brief catch up, especially as things are still a little hectic right now.

Reading: I've just finished re-reading The Truth by Terry Pratchett, and have just started re-reading Monstrous Regiment (also by Pratchett). I have a few non-Discworld books queued up on the Kindle (such as this and this)

Watching: While my best friend Sadie was over, we started watching the first season of Masters of Sex (oo-er) after it came highly recommended. We devoured nine episodes in one day! In a similar vein, I started watching American Horror Story: Asylum towards the end of last month as something to watch on the bike. That's another thing I devoured half a series of in just a day, I'm looking forward to getting back to it later today. And finally, I have to mention something that'll be on many people's "to watch" list: The Great British Bake Off!. *Inserts comment about "soggy bottoms"*

Eating: As Sadie was over, all bets were off food-wise (though I did manage to be healthy at least once). Though we have had some delightful culinary adventures: Sam's signature pasta sauce (oh my days), the newly-renovated Fancie in Sheffield (jury's still out on that one), Red Hot World Buffet in Manchester (standard), Almost Famous in Liverpool (I definitely want to take Sam to the Manchester branch now), Tamper Coffee in Sheffield, and The Cavendish in Sheffield. Bloody hell. I might have to do a food post at some point...

Drinking: Waay too much Coca Cola. Yikes. Also, I had my first iced caramel mocchiato from the Starbucks in Sheffield station... yeah, that stuff was bitter.

Using: The hell out of our newly-installed internet. Is this the best moment after moving into a new place? Because if feels like it should at least be up there.

Recently: Drinking, eating, shopping, gossiping, talking relationships and weddings, play-fighting, wearing ridiculous sunglasses and glorious, crazy hair accessories.... It's been a hell of a week.

Wearing: This top. Quite a lot. This was a classic case of trying something on for a laugh, it turning out it's comfy AND looks awesome, ending up wearing it way too much. I never thought I'd wear a crop top - especially before I get to my goal waist, but this is surprisingly flattering. And was only a fiver. A+, Primark!

Listening: While Sadie was over, we listened to a surprising amount of 90s pop and cheese. Poor Sam.

Trying: To catch up on all the work I should have been doing while I was having adventures (oops).

Purchased: Sooo many hair things. A ridiculous amount, in fact. Watch this space.

Working: On understanding treatment orders and drug regulation. Oh dear.

Enjoying: Living in a beautiful flat, in a brilliant city, with the best person I've ever met. To put it another way: A week and a half in and I'm not exactly hating living with Sam.

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Sunday Linkage - Week 5

First of all, can we appreciate this photo of Britain's Favourite View that I took from the front passenger seat, out of the back window as Sam was driving to Eskdale last month. Because I'm rather happy with it.
Ok. To business....

I spend more time than I ought to on the web, some good ought to come of it; so here's some links of stuff I've read over the last week that was worth sharing...

I've been quiet on the blog this week (though not so much on Instagram) because my best friend from uni has been visiting (more on that later). But alas, she's just got on the coach back down south, so I'll be without her for what feels like another eternity until our next visit. With her departure from the steel city, this post on maintaining long distance friendships seems relevant (though we seem to have managed ok so far).

Well. I've found my dream home-from-home.

This comic strip made me ridiculously happy.

I'm pretty obsessed with corgis at the best of times (fortunately, so is Sam), so these photos from a meet up of 150 of the breed pretty much made my Thursday

On that note - this photoshoot of a couple and their Jack Russell is beyond amazing.

6 ways to turn free work into paid work. (This might prove useful to creative types... but I'm mainly linking to it for the first 2 sentences.)

I'm super late to the party on this one, but A Beautiful Mess' 5 Tips for Bloggers post was pretty decent.

Back to the grindstone this afternoon - so this post on working from home and keeping your personal life is pretty well-timed.

This video of 'Phonics covering Lana Del Rey's Video Games is pretty lovely.

Sunday, 3 August 2014

The New Flat: Getting There

Sam and I moved into our gorgeous new flat on Friday. I'm still on cloud 9 about the whole thing.

As of today, we're all unpacked, but we're still waiting on things like bookcases and bins(!) and so while we're waiting on the postman for exciting things like Sam's new gaming keyboard (boys) and my Glitterati box (Yep. I caved), we're also waiting on a delivery of 4 (count'em) bins, extra coat hangers, and a bath mat.

But even with waiting on these, I'm still hopelessly in love with our new flat.

We're still putting a whole bunch of finishing touches to the place (like bins), so I don't exactly want to do a big photo post just yet, but it's probably safe to excitedly show off a quick few.

 Houndstooth bedding! (Pretty much the only one on which Sam and I agreed!)

 Our primary wardrobe (which is actually the smaller of the two, but this one's attached to our bedroom)

Also, can we appreciate the fact that both wardrobes have windows?!

 Hopelessly in love with my new desk (though I'll have to give up my study while Sadie's over (more on that tomorrow) - but she's worth it)

The floor: nature's bookcase.

Full room photos sometime soon. Until then, I might have to post something interesting(!), like maybe some holiday snaps? The unboxing of my first Glitterati box? Debriefs of mine and Sadie's adventures?

We'll see.



Sunday Linkage - Week 4

I spend more time than I ought to on the web, some good ought to come of it; so here's some links of stuff I've read over the last week that was worth sharing...

I'm not really the crafty sort, but I'm tempted to try to make this DIY Glitter Mason Jar (maybe while Sadie's over!)

The 6 Danger Stages of writing a book or blog (I really ought to consider an editorial calender...)

How To Do 10 Things (at least slightly) Better

I moved to Sheffield this week! Just in time to find out which of the city's pubs is "mathematically best"(!)

The bloke who created the Valyrian and Dothraki languages in Game of Thrones talks linguistics and about being a conlanger.

Sam got me to sit and watch a bunch of Weird Al music videos this week. In addition to the fact that I've had Tacky in my head pretty much since - and that Sam keeps humming Foil - I'm especially happy I can listen to a famous certain catchy tune without having to listen to lyrics condoning rape...  (plus, my inner grammar nerd loves the new lyrics as well.)