Sunday 17 November 2013

Sunday Sundries: Where I've Been, and Where I Am Now

GUYS, I'm not dead!
Completely just assuming you're all celebrating about this.

I have also not been NaNoWriMo-ing, but I feel like it was fortunate that I said I was going to be this month so, you know, you didn't worry and all. Did you worry? You shouldn't have been worried. But I apologise all the same, and hey! I'm back! Or that, at least, is the plan. 

I don't even have tons to report from my time away, if I'm honest. Well, I have one MEGA thing to report, but other than that... Work got kind of crazy at the end of last week (and I was still doing NaNoWriMo at that point), then I went to London with Frances on Saturday, and I've been vaguely ill (bit of a cold) for the last week. So, excuses excuses, I know, but all of that happens to be true!

But the mega thing... BLOGGER MEET UP IN LEEDS! So, the Tuesday just gone, at a strange and mythical hour, I met Bex at Kings Cross Station (yes, we geeked out at Harry Potter a bit. Yes, it was awesome.) and we took a stupidly long day trip to Leeds. The train took about two and a half hours, but get this- Bex and I talked the whole time and it felt like it took about twenty minutes, so that was awesome. Tired and disheveled, we valiantly walked through the ticket barriers, and who did our eyes behold? Why, it was Ellie, Hanna and Charlotte, of course!

So, we were all together and it was SO EXCITING because I had totally met Bex and Hanna before, but Ellie and Charlotte! NEW bloggers! Plus, Ellie is my blog wife (which is totally a thing- we got married in the comments on one of my posts once, I think) so that was pretty special and miraculous. Plus, Charlotte is notorious in my brain for being a person on the internet WITHOUT A FACE, so seeing that she had one was preeeeetty cool. 

Anyway. So we were in Leeds! The people were just better than the people down south (i.e. they weren't all dicks), the air was slightly chillier, I was back in Yorkshire and everything was great. We went to have lunch in the Trinity Centre, which is VERY COOL and also I would probably totally live there and stuff. While we were eating, Hanna and Charlotte devised a plan to maximise our book shopping and IT TOTALLY WORKED. We made our way round all the bookshops of Leeds, with minimal fuss, but maximal book buying. It. Was. Awesome. 
Book bloggers in their natural habitat.
You can get a more detailed route of our book shopping from Ellie's post, if you so desire, but suffice to say, we bought a LOT of books (at last count, I believe it was 64. Between FIVE of us. Yeah, you do that maths.) and we talked a lot and just generally it was awesome and fun and the best. I've said it before, and I'll say it every time I meet a new one of you people, but meeting people you know on the internet is kind of the best thing ever- you've laid all the foundations for everything, you already know each other so well, it's just the meeting each other's faces that's the thing. It's at once the most exciting thing, and also kind of no-big-deal, because it's almost like we see each other nearly daily. Just not in person.
And here are our faces all together in one photo! We had to have a coffee (hot chocolate) in Waterstones because OMG exhausted. These ladies know how to book shop.

But anyway, the point is BOOKS! (That is so not the point, but it's what I'm going to talk about next, so there). I know you want to see what I bought, and I want to show you, so this is all working out swimmingly.
TA-DA! So I've just realised that these are really incorrectly in order compared to where/when I bought them, but NEVER MIND. So the top three are Pioneer Woman by Ree Drummond (have you read her blog? I sort of love her blog), Harbour by John Ajvide Lindqvist, and Memento Mori by Muriel Spark. I got these in a 3 for £5 deal in The Works, and really I just wanted Harbour, but then I saw the Pioneer Woman book and was like YEAH, so Memento Mori is a bit of a wildcard. So basically, if anyone wants to tell me that it's fabulous, that would be ok. The next two are Generation of Swine by Hunter S Thompson and Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe by Fannie Flagg, both of which I got at HMV, and both of which I'm pretty excited about- I feel like Alice said Fried Green Tomatoes is really good, and I know that Kayleigh loves Thompson, and I'm excited to read more by him. See, guys? I took ALL of you with me to Leeds!

And then, in Waterstones, I got a teeny bit carried away and sort of bought 4 books. Which I know, I know, isn't that many, but I basically never buy new books, and if I do it's one at a time, so this was like a big deal for me! But I'm pretty pleased with what I got. *clears throat importantly* So, there's World War Z by Max Brooks because Alley apparently reads it ALL THE TIME, so it must be good. And then I got Sons and Lovers by D H Lawrence because Penguin English Libraryyyy, and The Magic Toyshop by Angela Carter because beautiful Virago editiooooon, and, finally, Nos4r2 by Joe Hill because I am fully caving to the Joe Hill peer pressure even if it does put me even further behind at reading Papa King's stuff. Plus, Nos4r2 is apparently a CHRISTMAS horror story, so it'll totally make me feel festive, right? (Probably not.)

So all of that happened, then after our coffee, we headed back to Leeds Station, triumphant but sad to leave each other, excited to read our books, but sad that the day was over (this might have just been me, wouldn't like to speak for everyone!). The Northern lasses got their trains/went to meet their manfriends, and Bex and I decided to get a bit of dinner before our two and a bit hour journey back to London. So we did that, and I got her to pose with all our books
Yeah, those are just the books TWO of us bought. It was mega.
And we leisurely strolled to get our train. Which was delayed. By about an hour. Now, Leeds Station is nice and everything, but there isn't really enough to keep you occupied in it for an hour, but somehow, SOMEHOW we valiantly struggled on, looking in two separate WHSmiths and generally keeping ourselves occupied. One of us might have moaned a bit, but the other one of us might have a one year old child so I think she was ok with it. Probably... But anyway! Finally we left Leeds and its wonders behind, spent another two and a bit hours having a giant chat, and said our goodbyes on the tube (I HATE doing that. So rush-y) and went back to our separate homes. It was magnificent. 

I realise that this post in obnoxiously long already, so I shan't labour any more anythings, but (BUT!) I have promised a tour of my new room, and that, my pretties, is what you shall get, in the form of four pictures. Minimal words, I swear.
Bookcase, recipe books at the end of my bed, mirror. The door to my room is there, and it opens on to the mirror. My hope is that I won't accidentally smash it one day, but the chances are I will.
Bed, glorious bed. Also my IKEA chest of drawers that I BUILT MYSELF and a heater because shit, attics are cold. Not pictured- my laundry basket. Which is pretty full, tbh.
Bookcases of JOYYYY. Except when I was building them, they were bookcases of horror, but NEVER MIND THAT. To the side there are basically all my clothes, on a rail, which I love.
This is my sewing/booze/work table. My library books are on one end, my laptop theoretically lives there, and all my TV DVDs are under it. We can totally pretend that it looks like this all the time, but realistically, I tidied that shit WAY up before I took this. That's how I roll.

See! My room! I'm especially happy I did this because now my room is HELLA tidy and that's just the best. I mean, it'll last for about a day or something, but right now I'm really happy with it! I don't feel like the pictures really do the room justice size-wise, because it's kind of huge. Or at least huge compared to what I'm used to. Typing huge a lot has made me feel really uncomfortable, so I'm going to stop now. Huge.

Now tell me what you've been doing and make your comments so so long, I have MISSED this!


  1. I bet that Other Ellie bullied you into buying those new books right? ;)

    Every time someone visits, I'm tempted to show them my Ikea bed and announce I BUILT THIS MYSELF. I think these things need highlighting sometimes. They don't get get there by magic.

    1. Actually I think other Ellie miiiight have been too busy buying her own books to force me into making any rash decisions! I may or may not have foisted one upon her though... (I definitely did. It was awesome.)

      I would totally look at your ikea bed and nod and look impressed! Things are HARD to build (sometimes. Ikea things tend not to be but I assume that a bed totally is!) For the record, I built all the bookcases AND that mirror myself too. I'm pretty impressive ;)

    2. I was hauling myself very slowly round the non-fiction upstairs I think! SO MUCH TO SEE, SO LITTLE ENERGY LEFT. My battery power was on, like, 5% by this time. "WARNING: Plug into caffeine source now" kind of levels. You totally made me buy the Isaac Marion book though. I thought it was only an e-book and had resigned myself to never reading it, so I was like YAY ZOMBIES!

    3. I totally did make you buy the Marion book. I was like, 'hmm, I could buy this myself, but I'll make Ellie read it first and check that it's good.' So, I was completely self...less? No, wait, that other thing.

  2. That is a LOT of books!! The amount of books that you bought between you is probably more than the number of physical books I own and have in my flat (um, if you don't count manga. Which I don't! And of course I have wayyyy more books that that but they're on my e-reader or in England)
    And yayy, room pictures!! I love your shelf of clothbound classics. It's so pretty! I really want to start collecting them, they're one of the few things that Japanese bookshops with English sections always seem to have a few of (those, Dan Brown books and Twilight).

    I want the pride of building stuff myself! I put together most of the furniture in my house by myself, but my husband always comes and tightens screws etc after I'm finished and robs me of that sense of satisfaction. Ahh, I wish I wasn't such a pathetic weakling.

    1. Oh Japan, you and your lack of space... Hehehe, but awwww, I feel kind of sad for your book lacking home now! Maybe I should send you some books- it is nearly Christmas!

      Aw, I'm so happy you noticed my clothbound shelf! It's a thing I've been wanting for SO LONG (since, like, I got a lot of clothbounds, basically) but but I shared a bookcase with my sister and we shared the bottom shelf cause she has a lot of heavy books that BROKE the first bookcase so I had to have them behind each other on the bottom, but NO MORE! I definitely recommend collecting them, I just feel like they're books you're never going to regret buying cause PRETTY!

      I think you get to have, like, bragging rights for putting the stuff together by yourself, even if your husband did finish them- finishing stuff off isn't the same as building the whole thing! If I'm being honest, both of those tall bookcases are a tiny bit rickety, as in, I'm slightly worried they might one day collapse. But, you know, one day might never come, so never mind! *looks at bookcases worriedly*

  3. Oh, attic rooms are chilly! I had the attic room in a house I lived in at uni and learnt very quickly that layers are the best. As are duvets. Your attic room is way cuter than my attic room was, though. So cute! You weren't lying when you said you had a lot of clothbound classics either - they're so damn pretty. I have tied myself to the Penguin English Library editions however and will one day have them all. ONE DAY!

    For some reason, I am very excited that you bought World War Z, even though I've owned it for months and still haven't read it (story of my life). Also I've never been bothered about Nos4r2 by Joe Hill but for some reason ever since you and Hanna bagged the last copy I have been pre-occupied by a need to own it!

    I totally have an apple and blackberry crumble in the oven that's ready so this ramble is getting cut short BUT it was super wonderful to meet you in real life and show you my secret face and EVERYTHING. Next time, London is going to be the lucky venue, promise :)

    1. CHARLOTTE! ANOTHER BOOK WE MUST ALL READ TOGETHER! World War Z's been on my shelves POSSIBLY since before I even started the blog, so I definitely need to read it soon!

    2. Attic rooms are sooooo cold. Or mine is, anyway. It's fine though, I have a heater! Dude, I have so many Clothbound Classics that I sort of need to stop buying them, because DAMN, I have literally run out of shelf space for them, or at least shelf space where they're all together!

      GUYS let's read World War Z RIGHT NOW, all other books be damned! And also, Charlotte, you SHOULD be very interested in Joe Hill because his dad is aweeeesome (bad reason to like someone, but still.)

      I AM SO HAPPY TO HAVE SEEN YOUR SECRET FACE! Although I guess everyone has seen it now... Oh well! Faaaaace!

  4. I love all the photos and am so jealous that I don't live in the UK :( Great haul of books, and what cute bookshelves to stock them in!

    1. Awwww, I wish you lived here! EVERYONE MOVE TO ENGLAND NOW, OK?!

  5. Blogger catch ups! I'm super jealous, not only of the catch up but all the books! So many books! You guys do meet ups RIGHT.

    Generation of Swine is pretty great. I mean, it's a bunch of articles and stuff, so some is better than others but I love HST's writing so I will give it a big ol' thumbs up.

    Harbour is the only JAL book I'm yet to read, so you'll have to tell me if how it was and if I should get my hands on a copy.

    1. We pretty much know what we all want, and it's always the same thing, so we've got this covered. Also Charlotte and Hanna were THE BOMB at figuring out how to get to all the bookshops in the most efficient way! It was impressive.

      I've only read Fear and Loathing by HST as yet, but I liked that enough to want to read mooooore! Pretty excited (she says, like it won't take about 10 million years to get round to actually reading it).

      I will indeed do that! I totally thought of you when I was buying it, cause I was like 'I liked Let The Right One In fine, but Kayleigh seems to like/read his other stuff, so I'll give it a go!' You were theeeeere in spirit!

  6. OOOH YAAAAY. Where do I start? I think is going to be a bullet points kind of comment, brace yourself...

    1) I totally knew you weren't dead.

    2) My entire household had a cold right now. *stares suspiciously at Laura, who was blatantly lergified but got hugged a lot on Tuesday anyway* DID YOU GIVE ME THE PLAGUE, DUDE?

    3) LEEEEEEDS! Wasn't that an awesome day? Knackering, but awesome! Also, Bex looks like she's ACTUALLY having a religious experience there - and if that isn't the sign of a successful book shopping trip, I don't know what is. I shall call this photo, "The Rapture of the Bibliophile".

    4) "It's at once the most exciting thing, and also kind of no-big-deal, because it's almost like we see each other nearly daily. Just not in person." THIS IS WHAT I KEEP TRYING TO TELL MY MOTHER. I'm like, "seriously, blogging IS social!" You make friends and have Twitter conversations and email and leave comments that turn into MORE conversations, and sometimes there is texting as well. Then when you meet it's just the same but BETTER. In many ways, it's more social than things like "going for a walk... on your own" or "going to the library... on your own." AMIRITE?

    5) THE BOOKS! I have the Pioneer Woman one too, though I think I cadged mine from the shop at some point, hehe. I've j'adored the Hunter Thompson I've read so far (and I have plenty left to go) so... enjoy that one. WORLD WAR Z, yes yes yes, we must read that one soon because I haven't even OPENED my copy yet despite having had it for years. I really want to read something by Joe Hill, so hurry up and tell me if I should find a copy of that one. And I STILL DIDN'T BUY A PEL BOOK! Dammit.

    6) THE NEW ROOM! I love it. It's all studenty and eclectic and fun. Why doesn't my room look like that, Laura? WHY? I think I have to bookmark your post for inspiration when I actually sort my shit out post-bookshop. Look how pretty the PEL spines look together! AND ZOMG THE CLOTHBOUND CLASSICS! Also, that cushion on the bed, is that a comic strip or something? OMFG look at all the Stephen King novels. And a clothes rail... hmmm. I really don't want a huge bulky wardrobe in my room, and I don't have THAT many clothes that need hanging space... yes. Yes, I will bear this in mind. I definitely need a table or desk too, for sitting doing Serious Blogging Things (instead of All The Twitter Playing).

    Yes... yes, Laura, this post has ALL THE GOOD THINGS. And my comment is really long, so I've followed instructions, yes? *sweeps away to finish reading library book and possibly eat this carrot cake that I may or may not have acquired from the coffee shop over the road* :P

    1. ELLIE you have outdone yourself! Hang on, I need a moment to brace myself... Ok, I'm good. REPLYING:

      1) Obvs YOU knew I wasn't dead! You saw me last week!

      2) SHIT! I might have actually given you the plague. Although I more had a cough than an actual cold, so if you're not all particularly coughy then I won't be held responsible for this.

      3) It was SO AWESOME. I was weirdly less tired than I thought I was going to be, but I think that's because I had TOO MUCH CAFFEINE (like seriously, it was a whole lot of caffeine. Like, 3 cokes.) Also my back and shoulders have been hurting the last couple of days which I want to blame Leeds for somehow...

      4) Blogging is absolutely sociable! I mean, nobody actually sees their friends anymore, right? They all just sit around on facebook every night? The internet is the meeting place for our miiiiinds! Although I would never discourage you from taking a walk by yourself, because those are great.

      5) All your opinions and thoughts are correct and I have nothing to add to them. Other than, like, AGREE! Also, just... hold your horses on the PEL books? CHRISTMAS HINT OMG SO NOT A CHRISTMAS HINT.

      6) Thank youuuu for liking my rooooom! I really really like where it's at at the moment, so yeah :) Yours probably doesn't look like mine because you don't have SO MUCH SHIT that you don't know where to put it, and also probably no ikea obsession. I loooove my clothbound and PEL shelves too :). The cushion on my bed has like retro ice creams on it, or ice creams they have now with retro prices (7p for a Twister!) and I love it- it's only from Tesco but it's super cool! And the clothes rail came with the rooom, but it's kind of fucked because I put too much stuff on it... Let that be a lesson to you!

      You really did follow my specific comment orders, so well done!

  7. Yayyyyyy, you're ALIVE!

    I am not going to comment about the epic blogger meet-up much, because of course I am crazy jealous that ya'll live over there and that I'm so far away from everyone and that just sucks. I am super-impressed at the amount of book you guys bought. Damn. And I love the Pioneer Woman cookbook, but be forewarned that there are LOTS of meat-based recipes in there. I don't eat beef or pork, so there weren't a whole ton of lunch or dinner recipes I could try, but I'm pretty sure her chicken pot pie (well, her's might have been turkey, but I use chicken) has secured my honeyman's affections forever. He won't even try it anywhere else now.

    Laura your room looks so pretty! And so book-filled! And it does look a bit larger than I pictured an attic room in my head, so that's awesome! And, you have a BED! Okay that might sound snarky, but I am jealous. We seriously need to buy a bed. Our bedroom right now is just dresses and clothes thrown all over the place and I really want to get a bed and make it a nicer room. *shrug*

    I'm glad you're back!

    1. dresseRs* and clothes. I just woke up like half an hour ago...

    2. I AM alive! It's pretty awesome :)

      Aww, one day we shall meet and it will be miraculous! The Pioneer Woman book I bought is actually the story of how she met her husband, so IT'S OK, I won't be freaked out by the meat! (I assume. Unless this book has a way different tone than I expect it to LOL PENIS JOKE)

      Thank youuuu for calling my room pretty! I like it a whole bunch :) But I don't understand how you don't have a bed! Where do you sleep?!

  8. Yay for your book blogger meetup and I'm glad you picked up WWZ cos IT'S SO GOOD EVERYONE SHOULD JUST READ THIS PLEASEANDTHANKYOU.

    Given how many other books you bought, you should be able to get through this pile in, oh, a year or so.

    Yay for your room which is so pretty. Your bookshelves are so neat and all the books look like they're the same height and it's like something out of a magazine

    1. IF WWZ ISN'T GOOD, I'M BLAMING YOUUUUUU! But I assume it will be because I trust you completely *looks around shiftily*

      I HAVE SO MANY BOOKS IT UPSETS ME BUT ALSO I LOVE IT. Also apparently I'm just going to yell at you a lot. That's not cool, me. I will probably still be reading from this pile for about a million years, though.

      Shit, my books really are kind of the same height, huh? It's sort of unintentional, apart from on the shorter bookcase where I put aside the shorter books cause I was like 'nooo, you won't fit properly' and apparently, that's a strategy that paid off!

  9. I loved all the posts about your book blogger meet up, and I am of course jealous of all your new books!
    Your room is lovely too, all those Penguin Clothbounds look awesome on your shelf.

  10. That photo of Bex is the best photo of anybody I have ever seen anywhere. It's just so perfect... *sheds a tear*

    I do love that picture though.

    Ooh, I forgot that you bought Nos4r2 too. What is it about him and Stephen King using unpronounceable titles? 22.11.63 and now this? How ON EARTH do you ask anybody if they've read that book? I had to copy and paste it just to talk about it here and you CAN'T DO THAT in real life, Laura! :/

    Ohhhhh I want The Magic Toyshop. I have two of Angela Carter's books already though, so I should probably get to them first. Not as pretty as yours though.

    Yup yup. My bedroom is an attic too and right now I have fleece pyjamas, an electric heater and an electric blanket and I'm still cold. Last January I could see MY OWN BREATH, so you have that to look forward to!