A Week In The Life: Part 2

Ooh, look at me actually sticking to a blogging-resolution for a second week running!

First of all – massive congratulations to the new Mr and Mrs Buchberger! My dear friend Monica got married this week in a gorgeous fairytale German castle – I wish I could have been there but finances couldn’t stretch to it, sadly. It looks like they had an amazing day and I wish them the greatest of happily ever afters.

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Me and Monica in the German sunshine a year ago

Right, onto my life. Well… not a lot has gone on this week, to be honest.

Teddy and I are turning into a right pair of creatures of habit. Same pattern of baby groups, coffees (for me, not Ted, though he has a good go at getting the cup out of my hand), and tearing round the house on a mission to get every single cupboard bare by the end of the week (Ted, not me).

This past week marked the end of Camp NaNoWriMo for 2017. And, um, I failed.

I know.¬†I failed a NaNoWriMo. First time for everything, I suppose. I’m not counting November 2016 – I never started. Bit busy having a baby on November 1st, you see. I was determined to make up for it by doing Camp, which I very rarely do. I thought “Oh, this’ll be fine. Ted naps. He sleeps through the night. Plenty of time to do some writing.”

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Look at that shameful stats graph.

I could make plenty of excuses. I’m not inspired while Ted’s asleep. I went back to work and that took a lot out of me. I have to use the time while Ted’s sleeping to clean the house and do other things.

All valid-ish, I suppose.

But in reality, I was just too lazy. When Ted’s asleep – like when I do most of my blogging, I wrote most of this post in my local Starbucks – I want to chill out. I started writing a new book; I was too lazy to put the effort into properly establishing the characters. I went back to an old one; I was too lazy to get back into my main character’s head and sort out her problems. I tried another old one; I was too lazy to deal with the two main characters and their romantic entanglements and unrequited love situation.

I only managed 15,494 words in the end. I’ve never dipped below the 50,000 word mark before, even in 2011 when I wrote over 10,000 words in about four hours on the last night.

Maybe by the time proper NaNoWriMo comes around in November I’ll be a bit more disciplined. Though I’m not going to count on it; we’re in Disneyland Paris for the first three days, for Ted’s birthday. Not exactly a NaNoWriMo-friendly environment!

Anyway, in other news, Ted turned nine months old – I’ve done a whole blog post about his various triumphs and increasing big-boy-ness. He really is speeding towards toddlerhood; he even did some standing unsupported the other day. Admittedly, he didn’t know he was doing it – he was very distracted by some singing at the Waterstones baby group. But I was very proud anyway.

He’s been doing a bit more ‘walking’, too. He’s been walking while holding things for ages, pretty much since he started crawling at about six months old. He used to like holding out his hands so I’d grab them, and he’d toddle along towards me. But since he decided he’s a fully independent grown-up baby, he’s refused to do that. If it wasn’t his precious VTech walker, he wouldn’t walk across the floor, only holding onto the sofa or shelves (or the wall, or the door, or a table…) but this week we hit some kind of breakthrough. He’ll walk holding my hands, or Kev’s hands… as long as he’s going away from us. Which leads to a very inelegant shuffle from me as he powers along on his little legs.

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Here’s a picture of my wonderfully daft child playing with a spoon and a candle. Because apparently they make the most beautiful music together. I would like to point out I did not give him either of those objects. Niffler.

Other than that… I shall freely admit that the high point of my week was Game of Thrones. Yes, every week I get up at two o’clock in the morning and watch it ‘live’, as it were – streamed at the same time as in the US at any rate. Don’t worry, I’m not going to start spoiling things all over the place, considering it’s literally just started its normal-time stream here in the UK but… wow. Just wow. It’s not really a Game of Thrones spoiler to say that there’s a battle scene, but it was a¬†bloody immense battle scene. And one of my favourite characters (hint: not Robson) had a major part in it.

Oh, it was glorious.

Usually the big awe-inspiring moments of Game of Thrones tend to come in the penultimate episode of each season, with the last episode reserved for mopping up. I can’t wait to see what those episodes hold this season, if¬†that was only episode four.

Anyway, that was my not-so-exciting week. Hopefully this coming week will be a bit more lively – we’ve got a few things planned, including – drumroll, please – Ted’s nine month check-up with the health visitor! Told you it was going to be thrilling. I bet you’re all on the edge of your seats.

NYE: Nerdvana

Most bloggers I’ve seen over the past few days have been doing emotional retrospectives¬†of 2015 and even more emotional plans¬†for 2016. Nope. Boring. As I have somehow, miraculously found myself not at work today, I have decided to make the most of this New Year’s Eve. Am I going to a house party? To a club? Am I going to get wasted out of my mind and be on the Daily Mail website tomorrow morning, puking in a gutter?

No.

I am doing my own personal fandom challenge. How many of my favourite fandoms can I possibly fit into one day? I dare myself to engage with as many different fandoms as humanly possible in the space of 24 hours.

Challenge  accepted.

0900wake up
I am wearing Harry Potter pyjamas. I have a Harry Potter tattoo on one leg. When I get dressed, I put on Harry Potter earrings. If this isn’t engaging with the Harry Potter fandom, I don’t know what is.

1020 –¬†bus to town

Just in case the pyjama-tattoo-earrings triumvirate isn’t enough to count, I read through the last four chapters of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows while I’m on the bus.

1130Star Wars: The Force Awakens

By some miracle I’ve managed to not see any spoilers for this film, despite it having come out two¬†weeks ago. I don’t know if this is a tribute to my own ability to bury my head in the sand, or the fact that news sources and fansites have got a lot more sensitive to spoilers these days. Either way – this film is amazing. Absolutely incredible. Everything I could have wanted. Shocking in places (thanks to the lack of spoilers), beautifully predictable in others. Rey is the feminist hero I’ve wanted to see in the cinema for a long time, and I feel vaguely hopeful for the future of sci fi and film in general.

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Just look at that face

I leave the cinema covered in crisp crumbs (Walkers Sensations are on offer in Tesco, just FYI) but very happy.

1500 –¬†Star Trek: Into Darkness

Back home, and it’s time for another spacey science fiction fandom. I’m not an original Star Trek fan – I only started watching it after the 2009 reboot, purely because of my massive crush on Karl Urban. I found myself absolutely loving it. In fact, when I saw the trailer for Star Trek: Beyond in the cinema earlier, I nearly shrieked with excitement. Maybe this means I’m not a ‘true’ fan, but you know… I’m having this one. I love this film; not as much as the 2009 film, but almost. It has its problems (sexismsexismsexism) but I love it anyway.

And I still have a crush on Karl Urban. Mmm, Doctor McCoy.

1615 –¬†cup of tea and colouring break

Time for another fandom! While things are getting a bit hairy over there in Star Trek, Benedict Cumberbatch causing havoc all over the show… why not have a little bit of entertainment from my Game of Thrones colouring book. I’ve even put my Game of Thrones jumper on for the occasion (it says You Know Nothing, Jon Snow on it – Christmas present from my mum who has only just found out it’s not referring to the newsreader).

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I am, after all, a Targaryen

1725 –¬†Lord of the Rings: Return of the King

I get the feeling this might get switched off when my husband comes home from work and wants to watch something we haven’t seen 9000 times before, so I’m just skipping through to my favourite parts. They mostly feature the big battle scenes, and anything to do with Rohan – big surprise there (that pesky Karl Urban crush is rearing its head again). My goodness, √Čomer’s armour is beautiful.

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Can’t for the life of me work out why Gamling’s giving such an epic side-eye. √Čomer’s speech was very rousing.

Although Harry Potter is the fandom I seem to represent the most (by way of tattoo, jewellery, clothes etc) I probably actually have just as much love for Tolkien. I am the proud owner of Lord of the Rings Trivial Pursuit and am so far unbeaten (yes, I did find other actual people to play it with me – rude). Maybe that will be a New Year’s resolution for me; get a Tolkien-related tattoo to go with my Potter one. This particular film actually played a big part in my very first date with my husband, making it all the more special (though to be fair, the relationship with Lord of the Rings predates¬†the one with the husband by quite a long time).

2030¬†–¬†Lego Jurassic World

After a brief dinner of Eggs Benedict, it’s time for another fandom! Finishing the night with a little bit of Jurassic World, via the medium of pixellated Lego on the PS4. My husband and I are just the coolest two people on the planet.

Now the year is properly drawing to a close, people everywhere are merrily pouring themselves their fifth drink of the night (or more) and revving up for some firework-based revelry. I am making a cup of tea and settling down to watch a couple of episodes of 30 Rock before midnight, when my husband and I can conceivably go to bed without feeling like we have a collective age of 903.

Fandoms Achieved: Harry Potter, Star Wars, Star Trek, Game of Thrones, Lord of the Rings, Jurassic Park.

A grand total of six fandoms properly engaged with in one day. Technically seven, if you count Lego as a separate fandom of its own. I’m counting that as a win. This is my nirvana.

Nerdvana.

Happy New Year! 

A Bit About Me

It seems to be traditional that every time you start a new blog, you have a little chat about who you are, where you come from, all that kind of babbling. Like you’re being auditioned for some kind of really in-depth dating website, which requires the equivalent of an Oscars speech before you can talk to anyone. It doesn’t matter if you’ve done it 92 times before because you’ve started 92 blogs before (39 of which were linked to on the same Twitter you’re using now), but there you go.

This is me.

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Rather obviously me, as this picture is probably currently both in my sidebar and on my Twitter profile.

I’m Jess, and I’m 24. I grew up in Guernsey, in the Channel Islands, with my mum. I now live in Manchester with my lovely fianc√©, Kev, and our somewhat dimwitted cat, Sandor Clegane. I went to university in Durham and just about scraped a degree in Modern Languages. By day, I’m a barista in a coffee/sandwich shop, but I call myself a writer. My first novel will be coming out with December House whenever I get round to finishing it, and I’ve got some flash fiction in a collection on Amazon.

That’s the facts, when it’s all laid out in bare-bones form.

If you want to know the real me – well, I suppose that’s a bit more difficult to put down on paper. I’m a metalhead, having once been a bit of a metal groupie, and I love bands like Nightwish, Sonata Arctica, Within Temptation, Amoral and Amaranthe – but I also obsess about the Eurovision Song Contest every year and I can often be found dancing like a maniac to Lady Gaga in Poptastic. I freely call myself a literary nerd, and I’m still obsessed with Harry Potter: to the point that I have a Deathly Hallows tattoo and the words “Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home” can still bring me to tears. The ‘A Song of Ice and Fire’ series, and of course the Game of Thrones TV series, are currently taking over a lot of my life. I play a lot of The Sims 3, probably more than is healthy.

I consider myself an ardent feminist, to the point I regularly have to be dragged out of the kitchen at work where I’ve been ranting to my coworkers about something I’ve read. I still quite happily call myself a feminist even though my dream in life is to sit on my arse all day, writing books and occasionally popping out children. I’m counting down the days until me and Kev’s wedding (August 10th!) and I’m broody to the point of eyeing up prams when they’re pushed into my shop and wondering where I could get one.

Me and Kev, HP Studios

Me and Kev, indulging my Harry Potter obsession

I suffer from misophonia and a ridiculous phobia of balloons, and couldn’t live without ASMR videos. If you were to cut me open, I’d probably bleed espresso – and if you pronounce it eXpresso, I’m likely to knee you in the privates. I will pounce on a rogue apostrophe like my cat on a loose piece of wallpaper, something my fianc√© and I delight in having in common (the grammar-fiendism, not the wallpaper-attacking).

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Sandor Clegane the cat, demonstrating his wallpaper-attacking skill while trying to reach the ceiling.

That’s me in a nutshell, and in this blog you’ll probably find me rattling on about all of the above at some point. I like to think I’m not quite as rambly and disjointed as I used to be last time I was a ‘blogger’, but we’ll probably find it’s the exact opposite.