A Holiday

I’ve spent a week with my best friend down London Town. Well, not precisely London, but close enough. I went into the city for a day and thoroughly knackered myself after fitting in a list of sights as long as my arm.

I don’t get to see her very often, so we seized the opportunity and did… normal stuff. The kind of things best friends do. We wandered round shops, ate lots of food and watched more DVDs than I thought possible. We found her a wedding dress and me a bridesmaid dress. We danced to Beyonce (maybe that’s just us…). At the weekend, my visit overlapped her fiancee’s visit (who’s one of my other best friends, conveniently) so we got to hang out together for a day. Go have a look at her (very pretty) blog - she got a new layout recently and it’s lovely! Plus she posts more than I do and she’s far more entertaining.

After a lovely holiday, my pleasant bubble was rudely burst when I had a wisdom tooth out this morning. It didn’t hurt, thanks to anaesthetic, but there was… a lot of blood. And I didn’t realise how much I was shaking until I had to sign my name on a form afterwards and had to concentrate far more than is usually necessary! So I’ve been sitting around looking through my photos from the week and taking it easy. My impending move to Sweden is drawing ever closer and if I think about it too much I start to feel sick…

I’ve Been Tagged

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The Rules:
- Each nominee should answer the 11 questions by the tagger.
- Choose bloggers with under 200 followers to pass the award to and link them in your post.

- Create 11 new questions for the chosen bloggers.
- Go to their page and tell them about their nomination.

- No tag backs

 

Except for the slight problem of my not having anyone to tag after this, this seemed like quite good fun. Mostly because I was tagged by my best friend at Crumpets And Tea (http://crumpetsandteauk.blogspot.com), who writes a lot more than I do and is far more interesting. So I’m afraid I’m copping out and only answering her questions.


Holly’s questions:

1) PC or Mac?

PC. Macs don’t like me. While things admittedly go wrong with my PCs a lot, at least I know what’s gone wrong and what to do about it! Macs just stare insolently and refuse to help.


2) If you could only buy your clothes from one shop, which would it be?

That depends on whether I’m guaranteed money to be able to buy exclusively from one shop! I wear a lot from Dorothy Perkins so that would probably be my first pick. Failing that, I’m far too practical to go for anything other than M&S…


3) What is the one piece of advice you value most?

My dad told me to always look for something you enjoy in anything you do, even if you hate it. Find one thing that interests you or that you like and the rest becomes easier.


4) Why did you start your blog?

A blog can be many things. For a lot of people it’s a convenient place to keep a diary, of their lives or interests. It’s a way to share information perhaps with far-flung friends or family, it’s a way to remember moments in your life, it’s a way to share information. It could also be interactive, a way to meet new people.

Now, I keep a personal diary in which I write and make an account of every day. So really, I have no need of a blog for that purpose. I use this blog as a sort of light version of essay writing. Things I want to say that are too long for Twitter. Opinions I feel the need to express that I don’t really see the point in keeping to myself. I don’t particularly care if people in general read it or not but it makes it a lot easier to send my friend something I’ve written when I can just link them to a blog post instead of getting out a notebook and physically forcing them to read it – particularly when some people are very far away and I’d have no other means of sharing my opinions (the impetus of my argument would rather deflate after three days of postage). They’re not real essays I write, of course – but the topics are often less frivolous than many blogs, so I don’t feel it entirely qualifies as a lifestyle or interest blog. It’s simply a place I put things when I feel the urge to vent over a particular issue – both good venting and bad venting. Sometimes I read an article or watch a programme or attend an event and I’ve got so much to say in my head that I just have to put it all down in writing. Once I’ve done that, saving it into a distant folder on my hard drive seems a bit pointless, since a lot of it is stuff I’d want to tell people anyway (it’s handy when I know I’m not in the right mood to express myself, say approaching bedtime… and I know the main bulk of what I’d have to say can be found in a blog post. Having a bit of time to think about my wording makes a lot of stuff much easier to read and understand, which is why I prefer a more essay-writing approach than a spur-of-the-moment discussion. I’m not particularly good at debating so I like to have my thoughts laid out clearly without the stress of having someone talk back!), so up it goes.

5) If you were to describe yourself as a pair of shoes, what would they look like?
Flat (for running away from muggers) with laces (so they don’t come off) and probably a bizarre colour or pattern.
6) What’s your favourite TV show or movie?
If I said anything other than Doctor Who here I think my friends would think I was ill.
Film-wise, I’ve got several. Lord of the Rings is up there and if I started listing the rest we’d be here all day…
7) Summer or Winter?
Winter. Always winter. I do sometimes long for warmth and sunshine but I’ve always preferred cold weather and heatwaves like the one we’ve had recently are just painful!
8) If you could speak another language fluently, what would it be?
Swedish. My current state of affairs dictate that anything else would be pretty useless… if it wasn’t that then something widely-spoken that could be helpful wherever I went in the world, like French or Spanish.
9) Harry Potter or Twilight?
Harry Potter. I don’t actually mind Twilight but Harry Potter has better writing, better characters, better stories, better… well, it’s just better.

10) If you could have an unlimited supply of one food item forever, what would it be?
Probably cheese.

11) What is it about your best friend that you love most?

It was at this point that I realised why my best friend had tagged me in this thing :P
There are far too many things so I’ll go with an example:
When I’ve been dancing wildly around my bathroom I can tell her about it and she’ll inform me she was doing the same thing (I should point out we live about 300 miles apart).

"I think Disney picked up on the scariness of fairy tales as something which appeals to both children and adults."

 
Couldn’t agree more. I don’t understand why it seems to be the general perception of Disney films to be twee and cutesy (Disney CHANNEL stuff is a whole different ball game). Watch the classic Disney films and a lot of them are SCARY. It’s something I’m pleased to see hasn’t been dropped from newer Disney films such as Tangled and The Princess And The Frog. They’re scary but not for the sake of being scary. I hate horror films but I don’t mind scary parts in normal films - and any self-respecting Doctor Who fan will tell you ‘the scarier the better’! The important thing Disney shows is that there are bad things in life but good always triumphs over evil.
I have no patience for people (a lot of them seem to be mothers) who see Disney Princesses as some outdated, subservient aspiration for girls. Ok, there’s the odd one who doesn’t do much but in general they’ve got all the qualities you’d want as a person.
Look at Cinderella - forced to work for her family and abused, yet she was still kind to everyone. Look at Tiana - she worked hard to get her own restaurant and never lost sight of her goal. Look at Mulan - she fought for what was right and ignored the risk to herself. I won’t keep listing them because there a bazillion things I could say (maybe I’ll do another post about it. And one about Barbie, I support Barbie!) but anyone who thinks Disney princesses aren’t worth bothering about are, in my opinion, willfully ignorant. Disney rocks and so do their girls.
(As should be evident, this is entirely about classic Disney. The animated fairy tales and the like. Not the Disney Channel monstrosities we’re saddled with nowadays.)

Playing Like A Girl

I read an article today asking if it’s offensive to say “play like a girl” or “throw like a girl”.

Oh for pity’s sake. NO IT’S NOT. Apparently Bradley Wiggins ‘caused controversy’ when he said he descended like a girl in the Giro. So what???

If we all spent a little less time arguing over political correctness and actually encouraged people to TRY playing sport or throwing things, regardless of how they do, we’d all be in much better shape.

And in case you’re wondering, I’m terrible at any sports involving upper body strength. I throw like a girl.

"Thanks to Microsoft Word, I no longer think first then write. I do it the stupid way - I write first then think (if needed) later."

-Lucy Kellaway in an article for the BBC (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-23509153)

I read something similar in an article about how the Russian government is buying typewriters to stop leaks. An author was interviewed about why he uses a typewriter and he said something like “On a computer, I can write ‘she wore a red dress’ then go ‘wait, red’s not great, maybe purple or blue…’. When I use a typewriter I have to think ‘what colour is her dress?’”

I find that too. Typing on a computer is almost too easy - too easy to make mistakes, too easy to correct them. When I hold a pen and a notebook I think so much more about what I’m going to say.

A good antidote to the ease of typing is something like Very Short Story on Twitter - https://twitter.com/VeryShortStory.

She’s on the ball. A full women’s Tour is not going to happen overnight - getting a foothold is the important thing right now. Once the race is in place, the coverage is there and the interest is higher, then it can be expanded more easily. We’re far more likely to see a full women’s Tour when there’s been a successful grounding. It’s good to hear a range of suggestions from different riders, as well, so it won’t be one of these blind “give us everything at once or it’s not worth it” campaigns.

Go Laura!

The Civil Wars

New album is streaming here (still can’t seem to get hyperlinks working within these posts…)

http://www.theguardian.com/music/musicblog/2013/jul/30/the-civil-wars-album-stream

It’s a beaut.

"Every nation seems to create a mass participation event for men of a certain age, which involves canvas and flasks. For the British it’s fishing. In France it’s Le Tour."

— Ned Boulting, How I Won The Yellow Jumper

I followed the link to this video via the team’s Twitter. I already knew the result and had celebrated.


…And I STILL sat on the edge of my seat, biting my nails and willing him on. THAT is quality bike racing!

Tags: tdp2013

"…In the end, we’re not solving world hunger, we’re just a bunch of skinny, crazy guys trying to get across a finish line first."

— Tyler Hamilton, The Secret Race