Internet, where art thou?

I am currently internetless! Woohoo tech-free for a week. I could lie and say I am aspiring to my Luddite sensibilities however this is really bad timing for so many reasons. Still silver lining and all that…somewhere :)
au revoir

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Book Haul

No here are a few beauties I’ve picked up lately. I say beauties, the Ian Rankin Book sticks out as a bit of an ugly booky duckling next to these buxom hardbacks, but what can you do? They say don’t judge a book by it’s cover, but florescent orange font offends my eye balls. I’ll include the prices in case you’re nosy about that kind of thing, these are all secondhand (I only buy new books if I have a voucher, just too pricey), and from independent shops which I find to be a tad more expensive than charity shops for their books but still not bad and it’s good to support these places.

Brighton Rock

  1. Brighton Rock by Graham Green £4

Now this is a lovely specimen, I mean LOOK at the binding, the gold lettering, the fancy borders, this is not just a book for reading, this is a book to carry around for no particular reason other than it makes you feel special. I had heard of the book and the author, but didn’t know either intimately and it peeked my interest rather. Hence the purchase.

2.When Eight Bells Toll by Alistair Maclean £2.50

The only problem with these kinds of old fashioned hard backs is the lack of blurb, if you don’t know what you’re looking for with these, then you don’t know what you’ve found, for there is no helpful plot nutshelling of the back or inside cover. What to do? M’colleague Elinor’s rule to live by is turn to page 72 (or is it 73?) and read that, if you’re griped it’s great, if not, waste of money. Needless to say I as gripped, so if nothing else I know that at least page 72 is good.

Brighton rock 2 Brighton Rock 3

3. Knots and Crosses by Ian Rankin £4

A tad overpriced in my opinion for such a small and offending looking secondhand paperback, but I keep seeing this fella’s works all over the shop and I’m told they are good, so I wanted to have a go at them from the beginning. We’ll see what I make of it.

4. The Island of Sheep by John Buchan £3.50

Possibly the most uninspiring title for a action romp ever penned, but this is in the same series of the famed ‘The 39 Steps’ which I read a few months ago. I was in a Scotland, I got carried away.

Well that’s the lot, have you been buying books lately?



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The Way It Is

You’d fly me to the moon and back,

On love that lasts and lasts,

I’d fly along quite willingly,

But I really can’t be arsed.


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Snaps from Scotland

Well well, I’ve been away but here I am again and don’t you look lovely. No really, you do, I think you’ve lost weight or something.

My laptop is being paaaaaaaainfuly slow this morning but I’ve managed to scrape together a few pictures from my travels to pretty up the post.

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Stupid Things I’ve Done on the Internet

The internet is a big, bad place at times. We all know this and yet despite all the warnings from childhood, including Horrible Histories, friends and just basic common sense I have still managed to find myself at times with very dubious things appearing on my screen. I’m usually pretty good, by simply not moving from a handful of websites, this works fairly well except for a few hiccups regarding links. Because of something that happened with Youtube the other day I thought I’d share some of my accidental and unfortunate traverses on the internet.

An Adage I Should Try to Remember

An Adage I Should Try to Remember

I might as well start with the most dreadful sounding thing – fanfiction. Two words which together should send alarm bells ringing through the mind and in my defence it did and nor have I read much of the stuff. I was aware of the usual tripe that is fanfiction, but what I read was actually attempting to be a story and not pornography, there was a very funny one about Draco Malfoy being turned into a hamster. And one author who had transplanted the Hobbit into a sort of modern day middle-earth type thing and done an Avengers-Pride and Prejudice crossover which sticks very closely to the original book. These are nicely written, and you know you’re on fairly steady ground with them. The problem we come to is links, never go with the links its a bad, bad plan, which I followed once read about four paragraphs of something and went “Nope, where’s the back button”. Admittedly the small amount that I read was not anything too bad, just very bizarre, it wasn’t worse than the banned story from the Decameron (Day III, Tale 10 – if you’re curious its an early Italian Renaissance book which contains a story which we likened in seminar to the “medieval version of 50 Shades of Grey”). I could see however it was not going to get any better so I left that well alone and decided that it would be better all round that I never venture down that route again.

Now, the feral beast known as Youtube. This one is actually a little worse than the fanfiction. And I haven’t gone searching dubious things on Youtube, I’m not that dumb, but I have ended up clicking on videos that were in the recommended while your playing one thing. So the other day I searched for the cleaning song from Disney’s Sleeping Beauty because I couldn’t get the tune out of my head. What could be possibly more innocent than Sleeping Beauty, and Disney’s version to boot? So I saw another video that was a clip and it was called Sleeping Beauty and it was obviously live action, all that was in the description was a copyright disclaimer, so I had no warning. I thought that it would be something like a clip from one of those Hallmark remake movies that are essentially nutella films. Within about 20 seconds of a 1 minute 30 second clip, I realised this was not the case and two things alerted to me to that. Number 1, what the characters were saying, Number 2, the playing next video was entitled something along the lines of (18+) Sleeping Beauty film. As I read this, what they were saying also clicked together, it had something to do with the girl (who I assumed was Sleeping Beauty) was becoming a prostitute, and I promptly closed down the page. To go from a nice cheesy Hallmark movie to this was a bit of a jump – one  that I was not sufficiently prepared for. I was searching for a Disney song ultimately at what point would I really expect something from an 18 to crop up? I certainly won’t be looking at that particular fairy tale the same way again.

And finally, Facebook. I am not stupid around Facebook, I only accept friend requests from people I have actually spoken to and aside from some bizarre and frankly slightly disturbing images that came up when someones account got hacked, life on Facebook is fine. Admittedly I am not there a lot. I haven’t quite figured out what its for yet. Except for playing Candy Crush when I should have been writing essays, I had to ban myself from it and take it off my phone, the works in about mid-February. But you know how Facebook takes ages to load sometimes, and you just click around the page, I’ve learnt not to do that anymore because I ended accidentally liking one of the recommended things and that kept of filling up my news feed with its bizarre content. For ages I couldn’t figure out where this had come from and how to get it off. It wasn’t bad stuff and it was ages ago and it wasn’t burnt into my memory so I know it wasn’t horrific but it was just stuff I wouldn’t like and I was mostly confused as to how it got there. Just in case I accidentally click on something even worse I resolved never to do that again. Also I’m now very careful when scrolling through Facebook on my phone after accidentally liking a picture of someone who I didn’t know because someone I knew was tagged in it. So many opportunities in social media to look like some creepy stalker person.

So these were my life lessons from the internet. Anyone else have anything like this? Please tell me I am not the only one to do something a little bit stupid on the tinterweb.

au revoir


P.S. Well that was a palava and a half! I have had this post sitting ready now for about four days but I couldn’t log onto to my emails to retrieve the picture until just. Sometimes it honestly makes you wonder if technology is worth it.

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Reorganising the Library

It has been so long since I’ve done proper posts on the blog that I can’t write them anymore without them going to pot. There was actually an entirely different post I wanted to write but I can’t figure out how to write it to make it make sense – as you can see even talking about it has reduced me to utter drivel.

Anyhoo my bedroom is verging on becoming a library, but that’s fine with me – to the point where I am disconcerted when a room doesn’t have a bookshelf in it, its just not natural anyone else with me on this? But earlier this month I was desperately going round my shelves looking for a book which I couldn’t find and just realised exactly how many books I have that I haven’t read and have got lost among the others. And then there are books that belong in series and I want them to all be together mostly so I can have a shelf full of the Discworld books. Though I am a bit annoyed they’ve changed the format of some of the books so they are bigger and look like more respectable books – hmmph! I think I’m going to really need to think about how I’m going to this, I do have quite a few books, so that’s my job for today before I cook my dinner. Fun times.

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Update: I finished the bookshelves and never cooked dinner – I had granola and yogurt at about 1:30am. After three false starts in attempting to actually start reorganising (I kept getting disheartened by the sheer amount of mess on my shelves) and then did my usual of reading bits of books when I wanted a break, in all that prolonged the reorganising to nearly 8 hours. I now have a shelf of books which are my to-be-read lot, a shelf for the books that I want to get rid of, I have five series all together and the piesta resistance I have a whole shelf of Discworld & Co. Now I am organised! And now I shall take over the world!!! Or just make a cup of tea. It does look a little bit odd to me – my book shelves have never looked so neat. I have just realised looking at the pictures that the first shelf above my desk looks no different – it is and it was neatened up considerably but its behind my desk now so I can’t get to much on it so its mostly storing the same books apart from my ones on drawing.

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au revoir


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Weeks 51 & 52 of the Doodles: Take #2

Yes this has been a long time in coming. I apologise but I was reluctant to finish this year firstly because the last drawings are to do with my final days living in Lincoln and it was a brilliant time but incredibly depressing. There is a strong element of melancholy in these, and I had the idea for the final doodle during the final day at about a quarter to midnight sitting in the kitchen pulling out all my kitchen stuff and talking to my housemate who was leaving the same day as me and we were both feeling pretty sorry for ourselves. That was why it was so hard for me to take the sketch from the end of May and turn it into a drawing so I procrastinated until a day I felt absolutely grumpy and mardy with the world. I was also a little grumpy today so I inked and coloured it.

That and the mice and I had an argument – or as I prefer to think about it they went on holiday. For the craft fair while I had an amazing time and was completely euphoric that I managed to sale any of my stock I had drawn 20  pictures of mice in less than 48 hours. I did not want to draw the mice again for a little while. To the point where I created a new character to draw in my book because I had real difficulty with the need to draw but not the want to draw the mice. I do feel rather impressed that I managed to do so many mice in such a short amount of time but I was absolutely knackered by it. However we’re back on speaking terms now, the utterly random ideas are starting to pop about all over the place again – including 3am when I have to get out of bed and find some paper to sketch out the idea I’ve just had before I lose it completely.

Week 51’s Doodles these I did after we went to visit the castle and my very final day in Lincoln.

View at the Top of Steep Hill of the Tourist office and St Peters

View at the Top of Steep Hill of the Tourist office and St Peters

Table Decoration at Slug and Lettuce

Table Decoration at Slug and Lettuce

Week 52 Midge, Sweet and Quaver had to pack up too, Munchies was sulking.


Grumpy Packing (damn you overexposed scanning!)

Grumpy Packing (damn you overexposed scanning!)

There was much packing and much mess and as difficult as it was the first to pack up all of your life and leave home it was just as bad to pack up all of your life and leave uni. In case your wondering Munchies best illustrates my feeling on the matter.

au revoir


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In Pictures: Summer Garden Treats



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Floral Summer Cupcakes

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Organising our First Craft Fair (what we learned)

I think it was last summer, I was sitting in a cafe garden with my Sister in law Anna, we were soaking in the sun, and our pancakes were soaking in the maple syrup, and we were saying wasn’t it a shame I couldn’t get a stall at the local fair with my cakes, and wasn’t it a shame that Anna’s job was a big pile of shit. We thought we should do our own craft fair, why not? Anna’s a crafter, I’m a caker, we both like organising things so whats to stop us? Anna’s Job was stopping her a bit, but low and behold after a few more conversations about how the shitness of that job really was starting to get on her wick, she quit. We looked at each other after that and said “about that craft fair then?”

The first step was to google a few boring legal things, but as ours was to be an indoor affair most of that side was taken care of, and then we had to book the venue- a simple matter in our case of me phoning the lady who does our church hall bookings, and since she is a person who’s true loveliness shines out of her, that was not a difficult task.

Stall holders was our next port of call, and here is where I got the willies. We wanted it to be professional looking, yet relaxed and friendly, if we got in proper jobbing crafters they would be expecting a certain standard of fair, and as it was a first time there was every chance of us cocking up. But if we just got our friends and friends of friends in for our first run the whole thing would be a hoot, but might look a bit amateur (no offence friends).

No need to worry as it turned out, my friends are not just all creative geniuses, they know how to present stalls to make them look chic and delightful, and people who mentioned they had this hobby on the side turned out to be masters of their trade.

But then there was advertising. Advertising advertising advertising. It had been rolling around my mind from the first day in the cafe. I knew it could be the be all and end all of a successful day and we had to be on top of it.

We weren’t.

Posters were made, flyers handed out, facebook advertising paid for and free networking taken advantage of. But the truth is not enough of any of it, I think people need to see adverts two or three or even four times before ‘that looks nice’ turns into ‘I’m definitely going to that’, and this is the trick we missed.

That said, when it all came together on the day (and looked spiffing) we did have a respectable trickle of people, all the stall holders saw cash in their hands and everyone seemed to be having a great time. We also learned a great deal about how we would do it better next time, and that’s exactly what we will do, November is the aim for our next, bigger, better altogether more wonderful and this time christmas themed craft fair.

candels wink's cardsAnna cards

books coasters

cupcakes 2 lemon cake Mice


Many thanks to My friend Winkles who went around and took some pictures for us. Stalls wise we had;cake, soy candles, secondhand books, handmade notebooks, mice paintings (coblogger Elinor’s), vintage clothes, felt animals, oil paintings, pottery, jewelry, cards, a children’s activity and a BBQ.

I made 99 cupcakes (just turned out that way) three lemon loves to sell whole, and a red velvet cake that I cut into 12 slices. I truly loved running my stall and managed to sell all but 4 cupcakes, and I think Anna will agree that on the whole organising this was a blast, and maybe if you live in Birmingham UK you might even drop in on us in November?

Gwen x


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