punkheid: (Waves of a fairytale)
Muchacho by Emmanuel Lepage )

ノルウェイの森上、下 by 村上春樹 )

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell )

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell )

Uprooted by Naomi Novik )

Politically Correct Bedtime Stories by James Finn Gardner )

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain )

Pug, l’apprenti ; Milamber, le mage ; Silverthorn by R. E. Feist, translated by Antoine Ribes )

To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis )

(53. I also randomly re-read HBP during the year for an intensely competitive pub quiz in a series of of quizzes with one per book. Our team of two came in third place – I was half grumpy about this and half proud, as we only dropped two points. I didn’t have time for a full 2016 HP Re-read, but I’m planning to start 2017 off right by getting straight to it :D)
punkheid: (Caspian!)
Backwards and Forwards )
punkheid: (Winter woods)
2015 Retrospective, Onwards 2016 )
punkheid: (Autumn woods)
The fact that there's no real internal record of the time you spend asleep used to really freak me out - if I could fall asleep one night and wake up the next morning with no true concept of that time having passed, then I was paranoid that I could wake up one morning and discover that years had gone by in a similar way. Time does seem to be flashing past; it seems only a month ago that I was making New Year resolutions, and it sometimes feels as though I'm just treading water. There haven't (so far) been big events that mark the year as different and new, yet I realised that there are small signs of progress that are just as important - if not more - than the shinier examples of change.

~ I've held down a part-time job, and been promoted
~ I've almost met my goal of saving a six-month buffer/emergency fund
~ I've kept up running in spite of injuries and illnesses and slow progress
~ I've read six books in French and one in Japanese, plus over 40 in English
~ I've spoken in, listened to, and/or read in French and Japanese every week, alternately (except for during the annual Harry Potter re-read :) )
~ I've been to visit my girlfriend's family in America with minimal anxiety, being more myself around them that I've ever been before, less intimidated and worried that they'd disapprove of me
~ I've bought new clothes (including Harry Potter Alliance t-shirts!!)
~ I've listened to new music (really into klezmer at the moment)
~ I've drawn again for the first time in years, experimenting a little with some charcoal that a friend gave me over a year ago, then going back to pencil
~ I've got tickets (as of five minutes ago :D) to see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, despite the fact that the ticket website is a complete mess and it took a bloody hour, grrrrrrr, but also yayyyyyy!
punkheid: (A bookshop by the sea; in the rain)
Happy New Year (when it comes)!!

I'm pretty excited about 2015 right now, sitting on the couch feeling cosy and yet sort of new. I've made a lot of progress this year: I found a job that I quite like, I've been seeing a counsellor and with his help am doing better mentally, I've gone back to some favourite hobbies that had slipped away, and I've kept trying to do the things that I think are important in spite of frequent setbacks. There were many scary times when I was so terrified of things that I thought I couldn't make it, or when I became paralysed or frantic. I'm proud to have made it through that, and I feel good about the coming year, hopeful that I'll keep getting better.

Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real? )

Ginkgo

Oct. 13th, 2014 09:11 pm
punkheid: (Keetee)
So [livejournal.com profile] mellafe demanded proof of my cute cat being cute, which sounds like the perfect excuse for a wee picspam :D

We adopted Ginkgo in February, and she seems to have completely settled in, becoming more and more cuddly. At first, she didn't seem quite convinced about being picked up, but now she'll meow at you until you do, and likes to be carried around the house in your arms. She's incredibly curious, and this way she can see things from on high. Like all cats, she spends around 20 hours a day asleep in various parts of the house, always looking so happy. Her purrs sound like crackling fireworks, and when she falls deeply asleep she gives out little raspy, whispery snores.



She's so fluffyyyyy :) )
punkheid: (Saor Alba)
I wonder how much you guys heard about the Scottish independence referedum in your other corners of the globe, but on the 18th of September, less than two weeks ago (god, it feels as though eons have passed already, somehow), we had the chance here to become an independent country. I am still bitterly, bitterly disappointed that we chose to remain part of the UK (45% voted Yes, Scotland should be an independent country, 55% No, we should not; with the highest voter registration and turnout we've ever seen).

I wasn't campaigning for a Yes vote due to any kind of emotional Scottish nationalism, any Braveheart-inspired idea that Scotland is superior (I haven't even seen it), but because I believe that Scotland, and indeed the rest of Britain, is in a broken state, and must be fixed. The powers of our devolved Scottish parliament are not enough to allow us to fix ourselves - we need radical economic overhaul, but can't control our ecomonic system, so we're stuck in a low-wage, low-productivity economy which prioritises short-term, male-dominated, unethical industries. I campagined for a Yes vote because I believe that Scotland could and should be a shining example of how to run a country - we would have got rid of the nuclear weapons sitting next to our biggest city, we would have written a constitution that enshrined in law the rights of the people, and we would know that our votes would elect who we wanted, rather than being drowned out by the votes of the south of England. (Of course, English voters are entitled to get who they vote for too, but Scotland is not just a region of England, we are a nation, even if we're not a state.) And with central government moving to Scotland, even more local democracy could have been campaigned for, even looked like it was on the cards due to a Scottish government report showing that we have the least local government in Europe and how changing this would benefit us. We could have had land reform booting out absentee landlords and allowing currently desolate communities to own the land around them, use it, and prosper from it, rather than having profits siphoned off to the already-rich. We could have campaigned, with hope of succeeding in the now much smaller pool, for gender equality being part of the constitution, for environmental commitments, for our massive green energy potential to be taken up, for Scotland to no longer take part in Britain's wars but to condemn this attempt to continue the Empire. Most simply, we would have been standing up and saying, Yes, the people who live in Scotland are capable of looking after ourselves, each other, and being a responsible part of the global community.

I feel betrayed by what I see as a statement of a lack of confidence in the Scottish people, and I am determined to prove that this is wrong. I've never read up on an issue so thoroughly before, and I've never before been particularly interested in Scottish politics. I'm so much more informed now, and this is true of many, many people. Although independence was the easiest and quickest way to get the changes that I and the other 1.6 million Yes voters want (and I'm scared, honestly, about our chances with more austerity measures and privatisation now coming our way from the Westminster government), I can't now disengage from Scottish politics. It stuns me to think how, despite being sort of politically aware, I was previously just sitting back and allowing all decisions to be made for me, allowing governments to tell me that this is how it's supposed to be - the people just standing still while the 'experts' fix them. No. It's not going to be like that any more.
punkheid: (A bookshop by the sea; in the rain)
This year I started out with the goal of reading 30 books, which was, in some ways, I think, a bit of a mistake: I don't want one of my main hobbies to become something that I have to feel guilty about not doing. I think this has become clear partially because I've already read 20-something, so the pressure is off a bit, but that's a good lesson for the future.

I've been reviewing the books for a couple of reasons - it started out because I just didn't want to forget them as soon as I'd taken them back to the library, but then I noticed that I also realise their subconscious impact if I'm pushing myself to write something down, so I'm getting more out of them this way.

clarity of mind )
punkheid: (Sunrise through the hills)
It's a bit mind-boggling to realise that I've been living here for five months already o.o This has been an invalubale pause in my life - I've stopped running along while holding together everything with string and masking tape, and instead stopped and let it all fall out of my head, and that's meant that I've been(/am) a bit crazy and not particularly useful to anyone, but I've always had to make a mess before I can tidy properly (and there's nothing wrong with a bit of craziness now and then). I'm trying to spring clean my mind and my lifestyle, because I don't want to just keep distracting myself by reading fanfic while ignoring the fact that there is something within myself which I need to fix, or at least understand.


3rd March: I'm sitting by the open window, looking onto our little ivy-covered courtyard, listening to church bells ringing in the distance, with sunlight filtering in alongside that soft air current that makes you feel as though you could wrap yourself up in it or use it float up onto the rooftops. It's like the stereotypical beginning of a nostalgic French film. This is how I imagined life here.

So, here is the bit about my personal angst (+ optimism!) )

And this is the bit about French food and Christmas-time! )
punkheid: (A bookshop by the sea; in the rain)
It's sooo gooood to be reading again ♥ It's so easy for it to fall by the wayside when you have loads of other things to do, but I've missed just curling up on the couch with an actual, physical book. I want to keep track for a while, of what I've read, what I've liked, in the hopes that it'll keep me in the habit.

Midnight's Children, The God of Small Things, The Summer Without Men, The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox, Polina )

Completely unrelatedly, LJ and Delicious have both just brought out updates that I don't like :/ I feel a bit old and crotchety >.>;
punkheid: (Gingerbread and cinnamon)


Our Christmas tree is maybe two and a half feet tall; it's incredibly endearing :D )

My mum's arriving tonight, kick-starting the Christmassy activities, so just in case I'm not on here for a while: Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Joyful Yule, etc.! ♥
punkheid: (Gingerbread and cinnamon)
You post a list of five small wishes (recommendations for books, fanfic or fanart, playlists to download, recipes, icons, picspams, stories from people's lives...), and, when the lists come out, you grant someone else's small wishes!

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