Wednesday 27 November 2013

Happy thoughts

Hello! I've not really been paying much attention to my blog lately (sorry blog). I don't really have a reason for it either, other than utter laziness. I have been reading a lot, spending a lot of time hiding under a duvet (it's sooo cold), and playing a surprising amount of board games.

I have also been liking the following things...

1. I'm going on holiday in two weeks! 

Photo: Chris Sorensen
THIS IS SO EXCITING. After waiting what feels like an absolute age, my Sri Lanka trip is almost here and I just can't wait! We've planned out our (rough) route around the island and will get the chance to do a little bit of everything - including a visit to an elephant orphanage (amazing). 

The weather in Sri Lanka is about 25 degrees higher than that of Edinburgh, so it's going to be super weird going from duffel coats/scarves/hats/gloves/multiple layers of tights to shorts and t-shirts! I reckon I can handle it though.

2. Winter

Photo: Colin Bell Photography

As I'm going to be in tropical climes over Christmas & New Year, I am trying to pack as much WINTER FUN into my time left in town before I go.

On the cards are... a wander around Edinburgh's Christmas markets (plus a go on the Star Flyer - which looks terrifying, but brilliant), a super early fake Christmas dinner with my family, a trip to see the Lion King at the Playhouse (not really Christmassy to be fair, but I love musicals), ice-skating, a Christmas meal out with pals AND at least one occasion of wearing a Santa hat. Achievable.

3. The Edinburgh Experiment

Last week I went along to the Edinburgh Experiment - a night held at Summerhall for Edinburgh Google City Experts. The night was science-themed (my entire life is science-themed, these days) and had gramophone DJs, scientific cocktails, amazing experimental food by Jelly + Gin, and hands-on science demonstrated by my lovely pals from work.

Summerhall is such a brilliant venue - it used to be an old vet school, and it is just SO quirky and cool. This event was held in the Small Animal Hospital, a super atmospheric space which has rows of empty cages, old steel gurneys and cracked tiles. I wouldn't want to be in there alone at night, but it was a cool place to be, gin-in-hand!

Tuesday 12 November 2013

National Novel Writing Month

In general, I am pretty good at making time for the things and people that are important to me. But this has been a weird wee year (perhaps read this if you don't know what I'm talking about) and sometimes it feels a bit exhausting trying to keep up (or even start!) things I had planned.

And so I find myself, half-way through November, realising that I totally forgot to start Nanowrimo this year.

Nanowri-oh. (Sorry. I had to).

I've blogged about it LOADS before, but here's a wee recap in case this is new to you. Nanowrimo is National Novel Writing Month - a writing campaign that challenges people across the world to write 50,000 words in one month (which works out roughly to be a short first draft). It looks like a terrifying amount of words, but they break it down into day-by-day wordcounts, provide graphs and widgets to track your progress, and have forums full of other writers, all sharing stories of success or laughing at the very terrible things they've written.

It isn't about writing a perfect first draft (or even a good first draft). It's just about writing - learning that you can make time for something, even if you honestly think you fill every hour of your day. It's hard work, a bit of an emotional rollercoaster, and leaves you dreaming of your characters, but it's SO satisfying. It's one of my favourite points in the year.

And I forgot.

So what do I do? I know I could (and should!) write all year round, but it's the competitive-we're-all-in-this-together part that I really love, and I find it hard to motivate myself if I don't have a target. If I wanted to join in and catch up, I'd have to write 20,000 words just to be on track with today. I have no plot, no characters, and not much time this week - but I know it'll be worth it if I do.

Hmm. Watch this space.

Friday 1 November 2013

October instagram

Hi November! I love this time of year - it's getting close to winter, and that means cosy winter coats, scarves & gloves. Aaaand I only have six weeks to wait until  fly off to Sri Lanka. So exciting!

October went by in a flash, and I think I embraced halloween more than a 27 year old really should. Still, I had fun!

Instagram username: @eversojuliet
1. I've been trying to work through all the books I haven't yet read in my library, and am doing quite well! Each month I write book reviews of what I've been reading (they are scrappy and not well-written, but I do try!), so you can have a look if you are seeking a new read.

2. Beautiful cabbagey flowers! We've had to keep the house stocked up with fresh flowers as it's on sale, and so I've been working my way through all the types tesco have to offer.

3. Earlier this month I baked a really gory anatomical heart cake, which was SO much fun to do.

4. I've been neglecting painting a bit lately, so it was nice to get some time to pick it up again. Even if I'm knackered after a manic day, it's always worth making time to sit down and paint, it really relaxes me!

5. I'm trying to work on my layering and shadowing with watercolours, and hands are really interesting to paint.

6. The Pleasance Sessions were on this month, and were really brilliant! I went to see Jonnie Common, Miaoux Miaoux and Cairn String Quartet one night, and Three Blind Wolves on another, and it was all SO good. It's a bit strange going to a sit-down gig, but the atmosphere was brilliant, and the theatre looked beautiful.

7. More sketching... this time trying to do something completely different, and not like my usual style. I will draw every week, I will!

8. A couple of my friends held a villains-themed birthday party, which meant I had an actual, real-life excuse to get dressed up! I went as a green-eyed, snakey-haired Medusa, and my friend Muzz went as the terrifying girl from The Ring. It was ace!

9. These are probably my favourite shoes right now, they complete all of my sparkly, leopard print needs! I wore them to a black tie event, which I reckon they are actually totally inappropriate for, but I don't care. I love them so.

10. I was up in Aberdeen for the Arts and Business Awards with work, and we were commended (aka runner up) in both of the categories we were nominated for, which is ace!

11. The Science Festival also had a pop up "Little Workshop of Horrors" at Edinburgh Uni's big Halloween party, which was so much fun! We were demonstrating how to make scabs and blood clots, and all sorts of cool experiments. Science is fun guys!

12. AND I got to dress up like a zombie, so I was in my happy place. Hooray.