Bookish and Not-So-Bookish Thoughts

  1. Ceilidhs are the best. (For non-UK folk, see this definition of a ceilidh. English people quite often have them for weddings, birthdays, anniversary celebrations, etc., even if they’re not of Scottish/Irish ancestry.) They’re wonderful because you can spend your night dancing, but you don’t have to worry about being “a good dancer” or having a big shakeable Beyoncé booty or anything; you literally follow instructions. And the music is absolutely infectious. My friend and former college organ scholar, Tim, had one last weekend for his 21st and it reminded me that I need to find a Burns Night celebration, either here or in Oxford, to attend in January.
  2. In other friend news, the lovely Esther is having a baby this month (omgomgomg); she and her husband Bojan have just found out it’s a girl (OMGOMGOMG), and I’ve been granted godmotherly rights and privileges with regards to it/her (OMGOMGOMG). Baby showers aren’t really a thing here, but my fellow godmother Aileen organised one anyway, and we spent quite some time trying to whittle their current baby-girl-name list down from 24 to a manageable one or two (or four). It is a delight and a joy to be a godmother-in-waiting, but I am just really hoping that I don’t fail. I think as long as I don’t actually turn the baby into a Satanist, it’s okay?
  3. Here is a list of things that have made me cry recently: the idea of having to phone up my bank. Being unable to execute a key maneouvre in a computer game. Forgetting the PIN to my infrequently used debit card. Writing a constructor for a vector in JavaScript. Having a dream about the complex legal maneouvres required to satisfactorily disburse the contents of a will. (I have no clue.)
  4. Autumn means STATIONERY! Specifically, it means GETTING A NEW PAPER DIARY, because even though Google Calendar is great, I can’t use it for my to-do lists. This year I’m saving money by using one of the (pile of) old hardbacked exercise books in the Chaos’s desk drawers. It’s light blue and college-ruled and I can make my own week-to-view layout, just as I like it. I am thrilled.
  5. If you are not reading Bad Machinery, why not?! It is a webcomic by John Allison about mystery-solving teens at a Yorkshire grammar school. If you’re a fan of Kate Beaton, you’ll love it: Allison draws hilarious faces and does a fine line in witty dialogue in exactly the same way. The mild supernatural flavour to the mysteries plus the spot-on observations about teenaged social behaviour makes it like an addictive Netflix series, only you’re supporting an independent artist by reading. Go on go on go onnnnn. Here, I’ve linked to the very beginning for you.

The main cast of Bad Machinery


11 thoughts on “Bookish and Not-So-Bookish Thoughts

  1. Reuben Thomas says:

    You can support the amazing John Allison with a subscription (he suggests £2/year). Or by buying his amusing T-shirts or the books of his comics. (I am an enthusiastic subscriber!)

  2. New babies are delightful…and that reminds me that it’s been thirteen years since we’ve had one in our family. (My youngest grandson). It might not be that long until one of my twenty-something grandchildren has a baby…but that would make me a GREAT-Gran. Yikes!

    I love notebooks, but I hate to ruin them by writing in them…I have the worst handwriting! lol.


    • I figure, if it’s a day planner, no one will be too fussed by bad handwriting! And hey, being a great-gran just makes you a powerful matriarch – that might be cool…

  3. Stationary! I was actually writing back to someone yesterday and had the sad realisation that I have all this cute and lovely stationary and stickers and stuff for mailing but no one to write to…

    Thanks for the recommendation to that webcomic! I haven’t heard of it but I’ll have to check it out, it sounds interesting 🙂

    • It’s really great. Also, I highly recommend sending people postcards (with or without stickers). Even if you’d ordinarily message or email them. It lifts people’s spirits in the most remarkable way!

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