Top Ten Tuesday | Fictional Worlds I’d Like To Live In

I couldn’t think of ten book worlds that I’d actually like to live in. There’s a few I’d maybe like to go on holiday to…

I stretched the definition a little to cover all fictional worlds.

Hogwarts – Harry Potter

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Because OBVIOUSLY.

Edil-Amarandh – the Pellinor series

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I mean, things weren’t always great in Edil-Amarandh but I’d LOVE to be a Bard.

Scotland – Outlander

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TECHNICALLY I’m cheating here because 18th century Scotland isn’t fictional. I’m also not entirely sure women were particularly well treated in Scotland during the clan era, although Claire never seems to complain. Regardless, even as someone who grew up in Scotland and spent time in the Highlands, I usually want to fling myself into the TV while I’m watching it.

Yorkshire – Downton Abbey

I am heavy obsessed with Downton Abbey. I have this probably romanticised view of working and living in a big posh Edwardian house that’s almost certainly because of this show. I might as well have been in this world to be honest, when the series ended I cried like I’d lost all my friends.

Kanto – Pokemon

Find me someone who grew up with Gen One Pokemon who doesn’t wish that they were real. Especially after Pokemon Go.

New York – The Great Gatsby

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Also technically not a fictional world, but I can totally see myself in 1920s America drinking champagne in a swimming pool listening to jazz.

I’m not sure I can picture myself as a flapper though. Maybe if I could get away with it in jeans and Vans…

On The Road

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Listening to jazz music and speaking in poetry and driving across the states with my friends sounds like an absolute dream. If I could go back ten years and get rid of my anxiety I’d drop everything and go.

Destiny

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Let’s face it, the world of Destiny actually sucks. Humanity is confined to one city and they’re always under the threat of attack from various space age beasties. I’d really just like to be a Guardian and be immortal, with a gun that shoots light bullets and the ability to throw fire from my hands.

The Famous Five

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If you read these books as a kid and you didn’t dream of running away to a deserted island with a dog and a picnic, you have more restraint than I do. As a kid who spent a lot of the time feeling lonely, all I wanted to do was go on adventures on my bike with my friends in this wild and rolling countryside.

Skyrim

I love dragons. Everyone knows I love dragons. I’d probably end up eaten by a dragon but I want to live in a house made of stone in Whiterun and worship Talos don’t @ me.

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Who’s coming with me? Where would you go? SPEAK WITH ME.

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Loved but Will Never Re-Read

“Loved” isn’t the right word. If I really loved a book I won’t have an issue re-reading it. Here’s ten books that I enjoyed well enough but wouldn’t be upset if they went missing.

Wuthering Heights

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I didn’t dislike Wuthering Heights. I was expecting more gothic-horror-ness than I got out of it, I found the characters so distinctly unlikeable there were only two I liked (fortunately one of them was the primary narrator) and I couldn’t make myself even slightly care about what happened to them. I really must look up some analysis of it because I’m sure I’m being dense about what it all MEANS but for now, I remain underwhelmed.

Game of Thrones

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I’ve read the first book twice, made it to halfway through the second and admitted defeat. Will I go back to it? Probably. High fantasy isn’t usually my jam, but I’m discovering a slight taste for it. Will I read the first book again? Unlikely. Twice was quite enough, thanks. Plus I’ve seen the first series of the TV show. I know the story.

Never Let Me Go

never let me go

I loved this book, but reading it was a very bizarre experience. Not just because it’s got a pretty effed up plot hiding behind the beautiful writing, but because I am ninety-nine percent sure I have read this book twice now. I couldn’t have told you what happened or what was going to happen during the last read-through, but the sense of déjà vu that came with me as I read it was so pervasive that it made the book very surreal.

At least this time I can remember that I’ve read it.

Fangirl

Fangirl

I really liked Fangirl. Anxiety and struggling to find your place in the world at university? Hello. But it was long, and if I’m ever going to read a long book again, it needs to batter me round the head and leave me lodged in between worlds until I don’t know which way is up. As much as I enjoyed it, Fangirl didn’t. Sorry, Rainbow Rowell fans. Please don’t egg my house.

Blackbird

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I bought Blackbird purely on the fact that it’s based in Scotland (Orkney) and I am absolute trash for anything set in Scotland. It was enjoyable enough, but I was expecting more mystery than I ended up getting, and the setting wasn’t enough to catapult me there and keep me.

The Fandom

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One of the most hyped books I’ve seen in the UKYA sphere. It wasn’t a bad book, but it a) had had its flames fanned so much that it couldn’t help but fall a bit flat, and b) wasn’t at all what I was expecting. I find myself turned off more and more by dystopian-future books, and that was what the Fandom turned out to be for me, above all else.

The Hunger Games

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Ditto. Although I promised Sean I’d read them again because he says the second one is incredible and I’ve only read the first, so this might be cheating.

The Loneliest Girl in the Universe

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TLGITU is another case study for not going on the internet, ever. All I heard about before I read it (which, in fairness, took me a long time after I first noticed it and then bought it) was about how SHOCKING the TWIST was, and when you’re reading a book and you know a twist is coming, you inadvertently turn into Poirot. Now that I’ve read it all the way through, I think the impact will probably be even less.

The Cursed Child

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Yes, I didn’t hate this the first time I read it. But I think my brain has rejected it as canon, because I can’t remember much about it. Maybe it’s an absolute belter on the stage, but I remain unconvinced, and I can’t work up the motivation now to have another go.

The Square Root of Summer

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Enjoyable enough. It’s a holiday book: would read it on the plane, but I’m not going to start climbing the walls raving about it. Not for me.

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What’s on your list? What sort of burglars are robbing my house and taking ten specific books? Weigh in!

Top Ten Tuesday: Books That Have Been On My TBR the Longest and I Still Haven’t Read

I feel like I’ve mentioned most of these before, which gives you some idea of how miserably extensive my TBR list is. Maybe I’ll get so sick of myself that I’ll do something about it. Advance!

Wing Jones – Katherine Webb

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The fact that I’m putting this on a TBR list AGAIN brings me skin-crawling shame. I’ve had this since the Edinburgh Book Festival last year and its sprayed edges keep looking at me from the cabinet in the living room. Once I’ve read The Fandom, Wing Jones. I promise.

Six of Crows – Leigh Bardugo

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Bought Six of Crows before going to Florida last year, got about five pages in on the red eye flight home and fell asleep after a gin and a dose of Kalms. I will read it again without any of these factors in the mix and hopefully stay conscious.

The Sun is Also a Star – Nicola Yoon

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This is one of my two longest-standing TBR books. I picked this up with Orangeboy and The Hate U Give, read THUG and then never quite got round to starting the other two. Oops.

Orangeboy – Patrice Lawrence

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See above.

Les Miserables – Victor Hugo AND The Complete Fiction of HP Lovecraft

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Look at the cover of that Lovecraft anthology. Every time I pick it up to read it I end up staring at it instead.

Sean bought me that glorious hardback edition of Les Mis for a birthday present after he saw me eyeing it up. This means it looks really pretty in the bookcase, where it’s been sitting ever since. Multiple people have told me it’s even more of an experience than the musical, so I really have no excuse.

Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte

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I always felt like a horrible English student because I couldn’t stand the “classics”. I found them chronically dry, far too wordy and very difficult to read. In my old age (ha) I’m finding that I too am chronically dry, far too wordy and very difficult to read, and therefore I’m more inclined to give them another go.

Doctor Sax – Jack Kerouac

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I don’t even remember buying this, but I loved On The Road (see last week’s TTT) so I’m assuming that was my motivation. Kerouac is one of my favourite writers, so I know this is going to be good…I just wish I didn’t keep forgetting I actually own it.

Tender Is The Night – F. Scott Fitzgerald

tender is the night

Similarly, I’m fairly sure I bought this because I loved The Great Gatsby, but have not read.

I must stop doing this.

 

Am I Normal Yet? – Holly Bourne

am i normal yet

I’ve never read any Holly Bourne books. Grab your pitchforks. Then chase me into a shop and force me to buy it without being distracted by notebooks and shiny covers. Thanks!

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Is there a support group for people like me? Cause I think I need one.

Being Excellent.

I thought about this post while I was lying on a trolley in the hall of my local leisure centre, with a tube and a tourniquet. The man next to me called it a “civic duty”.

It’s not a duty. You don’t HAVE to give blood. Some people can’t, for reasons medical or arbitrary. But it is a good thing to do, and I can do it.

I’ve become more aware over the past twelve months of my own incredibly fortunate position. I’m white, able-bodied, financially comfortable. I live in Scotland which is a pretty swell place to be at the moment. I own my own house and drive my own car. I was able to walk away from a job that was damaging my mental health without any financial repercussions. I don’t face any discrimination for my religious beliefs or sexuality. Privilege seems to be a dirty word right now, but I’m not too dumb to recognise my own, and the more I do the more I feel like I have to give something back.

Maybe it is a duty, after all.

If you’re in the same position I am, here are some of the things you can do to be an all-round swell human being.

Give blood

I’ve already said that some people are excluded from this, but if you can, you should. It’s painless, they take a TINY bagful and I’ve never seen anybody pass out dramatically in a sports hall. Worst that’ll happen is you’ll be tired and have a slight headache. Go in the evening and then sleep it off. You’ll save a life.

You can learn more here, or here if you’re in Scotland.

Join the organ donor register

This one is EASY. You don’t even have to do anything except fill in a tiny form and then tell your loved ones that you’ve done it. The rest happens after you die. It might actually be the least amount of effort required to do anything ever. I’ve had naps that were more taxing.

You can learn more here.

Donate to your local food bank

Yes, we shouldn’t have food banks. The sad fact is that we do, and people rely on them. a A lot of supermarkets have donation points and when I go shopping, I like to buy two or three things to throw in. Doesn’t have to be food, and trust me, EVERYBODY buys tins. Go for something else. UHT milk. Toiletries like toothpaste and shampoo. Condiments. Tea and coffee. Biscuits.

And actually, while we’re on the subject:

Donate sanitary products to your local food bank.

Surprise! Food banks don’t just give out food. Period poverty is real, people, and take it from me: those are NOT something you can go without. AT ALL. EVER. They’re not a luxury. Please throw some Always in there. Do it for me.

Support small content creators

So YouTube recently (I suspect in response to the Logan Paul shitshow) changed the goalposts for the criteria YouTubers were required to meet in order to monetise their channels. This means that for a lot of smaller content creators,

A lot of people make videos because they’re passionate about what they’re talking about. A lot do it because they love the community and want to be part of it. But for some it is an income source and one that makes a big difference, so to have that suddenly cut off is a big deal.

So whatever your hobby is, be it books, games, competitive llama grooming, whatever it is, I guarantee that there are a bunch of smaller, hobbyist YouTubers making videos purely for the love. Step outside the big guns and look for some of them. You’ll never find a more enthusiastic, unconditional community.

Review something

I don’t mean start a blog and start waxing lyrical about books. Literally take a minute or two to give a book you loved or a game you played for hours or a really cool artist a review on Amazon, or Goodreads, or Etsy. It’s the easiest (and most valuable) way to give something back to a crea

If you have them on Twitter, drop them a note as well telling them! I’m not even an author and every time someone tells me they look forward to reading my posts I get a warm fuzzy feeling that melts my cynical heart.

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What have I missed? What else can I be doing to give something back? Let me know in the comments!

Throwback Top Ten Tuesday: Books I’d Take to a Desert Island

Surprise! I’ve decided that when I’m struggling with a Top Ten Tuesday topic instead of dropping something mediocre (my greatest fear) I’ll go back into the Broke and the Bookish archive and pick a previous topic instead. Won’t find me slacking, no sir.

Since the very first prompt was “Childhood Favourites” and I’m pretty sure I talked about mine not long ago, I’m going for the top ten “Books I’d Take to a Desert Island”. Commence!

On The Road – Jack Kerouac

on the road

If the words in On The Road were a drink, they’d be a good gin, just the right amount of tonic, bit of lime, ice and a sprig of mint. And I’d put my entire face into it forever.

The Singing – Alison Croggon

The Singing

Hello. If we haven’t already met, I’m the one that bangs the Pellinor drum at every opportunity I get.

The Singing is the final book in the series, but it’s my favourite. I finished The Crow on a train and spent some time furiously tagging onto crap WiFi to download The Singing with the last of my student loan money because I couldn’t bear the idea of having to WAIT and go to a BOOKSHOP before I could read it. It was a good decision.

I think I might need a Pellinor anthology just in case.

Radio Silence – Alice Oseman

Radio Silence

Radio Silence is the book I wish I’d had in school, when I was struggling with who I was and who I wanted to be. Plus I want to pick Aled up and put him in my pocket.

Speak – Laurie Halse Anderson

Speak

Laurie Halse Anderson was my introduction to YA, when I was a kid and I read the Wild at Heart series. One of my favourite series when I was younger, and I made A Loud Noise when I realised later – after I’d read Speak – that LHA was the author.

If you haven’t yet read Speak, please read Speak. USYA gets an unfairly bad rap as being Not Realistic and Not Relatable, but Melinda is a character that will get under EVERYONE’S skin regardless of whether you can relate to her trauma or not.

The Outsiders – S.E. Hinton

The Outsiders

The Outsiders is one of my favourite books of all time. Grubby, gritty, written by a teenage girl, I read the whole thing on the plane back from Florida last year. Essential reading for anyone with even the slightest interest in YA as a genre. Stay gold.

The Hobbit – J.R.R. Tolkien

the hobbit

I’ve had the full LOTR set of books for like, EVER, and I’ve never managed to get stuck into them (high fantasy generally tends to not be my thing) so being trapped on a desert island with a finite amount of reading material seems like decent encouragement.

Insomnia – Stephen King

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The Shining is one of two books that has ever actually terrified me (the other is by Joe Hill, King’s son, so go figure) but I love Insomnia. I’m due a reread as I’ve only tackled it once, but it was lingering sinister…ness rather than outright freaky freaky, and it’s long so it’ll be good for afternoons if there’s sharks or something and I can’t go swimming.

The Disaster Artist

the disaster artist

The Room is the pinnacle of cinema. Nothing will ever compare. Second only to the viewing experience is the book about the making of the film by actor Greg Sestero and Tom Bissell.

Never has a book had me in full on tears of mirth like The Disaster Artist. Definitely watch the film first, but if you enjoy trying not to howl on public transport then this is the book for you.

I keep forgetting that there’s a pretty well rated film adaptation and I didn’t catch it at the cinema, so that’s on my list. Oh hi Mark!

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

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As if I’d ever not take a Harry Potter book. If I’m only going to take one, it’s going to be my signed first edition for pure nostalgia. Might be difficult to keep it in good condition on a desert island, though.

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What would you take to a desert island? Why are we on a desert island? Does anyone know how to build a boat? Let me know!

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Books I Meant To Read In 2017 But Didn’t Get To

So this is a bit of a cop out for me. Mainly because my previous Top Ten Tuesday of “Books I’m Planning on Reading Over Winter” sees me knock about…three off the list, namely A Christmas Carol, Blackbird and A Shiver of Snow and Sky.

At the risk of repeating myself, I suggest you go back and read that post. However, to make up numbers, I’ve got another three books that have been glaring at me for months until I want to die from the shame.

Wing Jones – Katherine Webber

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I’ve got a signed copy of Wing Jones that I picked up at the Edinburgh International Book festival this year, because a) I’ve heard literally NOTHING but good things about it, and b) I love signed books and sprayed edges. It’s been “next on my TBR” for so long and I always end up with something else that I want to blog about or want to read for a Twitter chat, but not this year because this year I am actually GOING TO READ IT.

Orangeboy – Patrice Lawrence

orangeboy

I’ve heard SO many good things about Orangeboy. And Patrice Lawrence in general, actually. This one is a book I picked up as part of a mad spree and it’s been sitting in my bookcase for a shamefully long time. I’m going to read it, and them I’m going to buy and read Indigo Donut too.

Babylon Berlin – Volker Kutscher

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I’d never heard of Babylon Berlin until not too long ago. Apparently it’s a major TV series, which shows how on the pulse my finger is. Or isn’t. I’ll hold my hands up and say I wanted to read this for AGES before I even found out what it was about purely because it’s got a really cool title. I’m a marketing team’s dream.

Fortunately it only got cooler when I read the synopsys. Plus the English language version has been released by a Scottish publisher, Sandstone Press all the way up in Dingwall! Marvellous.

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Thus begins my TBR list for 2018. What else should be on it? Hit me!

The world of Yesterday, Tomorrow and Fantasy.

I’m going to Florida with my family next month! Have I told you yet? If not, buckle up: I’m about to get really annoying for the next four weeks.

My sister – who has been at least once a year since 2014 and for whom the word “obsessed” is putting it lightly – doesn’t believe I’m excited, despite the fact that I’ve spent the past three years bawling whenever she’s shown me her photos. When we booked the flights a full twelve months ago she nearly battered me with a spade because I “wasn’t excited enough”.

She spends a lot of time watching review videos, POV videos, Vlogs and stuff. She wants me to do this too, so we can be excited together. I refuse. To quote River Song: spoilers.

I’m not unconvinced Megan moved to England earlier this year to avoid throttling me out of frustration.

So, because I’m pretty sure she won’t let me onto the plane unless I stop saying “I don’t know, everything” whenever she asks me what I’m most excited about, I’ve dug deep into my surface level knowledge of Disney World and picked the five things that have me at MAXIMUM HYPE.

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

I turn 26 right in the middle of the trip. 26 is a horrible number. It’s on the wrong side of 25 and dangerously close to MY LATE TWENTIES. I will no longer fit into the 18-25 age bracket.

Obviously the way I’m going to counter this is by regressing into my ten year old self and bawling my eyes out in a Harry Potter theme park for the day. If my family don’t think I’m going to embarrass them all by running around in Ravenclaw robes with a wand and an owl under my arm then they don’t know me at all. I’M NOT SORRY.

Disney BoardWalk

I’m finding it difficult to look at the entire BoardWalk and not just shout YAAAAAAS whenever I see it. In an ideal world I’d be here most evenings. It looks AMAZING. Arcades, food, a great big lake with boats and a bar that sells eight different varieties of margarita? When can I move in?

I hope there’s mini golf. We love mini golf.

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The Magic Kingdom

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This was my first response when Megan asked me what I was MOST excited about. (I hope I’m more excited than she is in that photo.) She said “yeah, but what about it?”

Like…what do you mean, “what about it”? EXISTING THERE.

But I continue to aggravate her with vague answers, so I looked at the map as much as I could and still be spoiler free and picked the highlights.

  • Main Street, U.S.A. – they do a song and dance when the park opens and then you get to walk right up the middle to the statue of Disney holding Mickey’s hand and Cinderella Castle? SISTER HOLD ME I’M CRYING ALREADY.
  • Thunder Mountain – I HATED rollercoasters or anything vaguely scary as a child. I’m not overly enamoured with them as a bigger child, but I remember crying and freaking out on the walk up to Thunder Mountain – yes, the tamest coaster in all the land – so I’m going to on this one to prove a point.
  • The Peter Pan ride – this was my absolute favourite when I went last time because it was so pretty and chill.
  • Fantastic show – I might be cheating with this because I can’t remember if it’s in the Magic Kingdom or not but whatever, I cry every time Megan plays clips of it and I’m going to cry when we’re there. No regrets.

Epcot

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Epcot is the park that I liked the least when I was there last time. In hindsight I was probably too young to actually appreciate it since it looks cool af now. There’s Future World and fireworks and stuff, but let’s get real: hello World Showcases.

I like food and I like atmosphere. I’m very keen to inhale lots of both. There’s also a Drinking Around The World challenge, which is where you have to have a drink at each of the eleven World Showcase country pavilions in one day, sounds right up my avenue. Will I be able to walk out of the park afterwards? Who knows. I’m not sure if there’s a prize for managing it, but by the time I get there I doubt I’ll care.

Also the Epcot International FOOD AND WINE Festival is on while we’re there and y’know.

these are a fwe of my favourite things

The Disney water parks

For someone who spends so much time indoors and is paler than Casper, nothing makes me happier than brightly coloured alcohol and sun. I’m literally going to drink cocktails and spin through shades of brown faster than a Dulux mixing machine. I’m not one for flumes or being dumped into pools because I’m hopeless and I will drown, so really the rides don’t matter here and Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon are equally going to do it for me. Mainly because they’ve both got those things where you sit in the middle of a rubber ring and float round a river.

Those things are awesome.

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There you go Megan. Happy trip planning. It’s going to be awesome and I hope we’re as stylish this year as we were in 2002.

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Five true things people didn’t tell me about owning a cat (and one lie they did)

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I’ve heard many things about cats in my 20something years on the planet. Aloof, unfriendly, claws, disappearing for days on end, bringing dead presents into the house like every day is Christmas Day.

It might explain why we were always dog people. I grew up playing with my grandparents’ Labradors until, after years of pleading, we got a dog when I was 13. It wasn’t until I got into my twenties and started to hang out with a few cats that my cold cat heart started to melt.

Subsequently, shortly after I finished my undergrad degree, I acquired this:

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(Check out the nick of my stupid face. It was love at first sight for me. I think Stella knew she was doomed to being squished forever. SHE WASN’T WRONG.)

It’s been four years now since I acquired Cloth Cat, and I’ve come to realise that quite a lot of the misconceptions were, frankly, total nonsense. Below are just some of the things that Stella exists to disprove.

Not all cats are divas when it comes to food.

Here is a list of everything I know Stella has eaten in the time I’ve owned her.

  • Wet food
  • Dry food
  • Dog food
  • Grass
  • House plants
  • Cooked chicken I was about to take to work for my lunch
  • Pizza
  • Ham
  • A bit of Rich Tea biscuit
  • Mashed potato
  • String
  • A stray olive
  • Some feathers
  • Her own fur.

Here is a list of things that she’s turned down.

  • A piece of vaguely expensive salmon that I dropped on the floor by mistake and figured I’d put in her dish rather than waste. Because it was vaguely expensive.

It ended up in the bin.

There’s no escaping the hair.

Stella’s adoption certificate lists her as a British Short Hair. “Ah, excellent,” said I when I met her tiny, British Short Haired kitten face. “I won’t have to buy a million lint rollers and hoover five times a week.”

Wasn’t I stupid.

There’s hair on my kitchen utensils, hair on my towels, hair on every available surface. All she has to do with walk within three feet of me and I look like I’m cosplaying Chewbacca. I’m live in a state of constant bafflement as to how she isn’t entirely bald as she seems to be on a one-cat mission to carpet my entire downstairs in shades of ginger and brown.

British Lotsof Short Hair, more like.

Cats aren’t always graceful ancient feline god material

I mean

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For a long time I thought cats slunk about like Si and Am from Lady and the Tramp but without the singing. YouTube did solid work in shattering these expectations but I still wasn’t fully prepared for just how ridiculous cats are. Cue falling out of bedroom windows, jumping out of trees onto garden parasols (the cartoon sliding down into the shrubbery was a particular highlight) and two memorable incidents of jumping behind the bed and getting wedged, feet dangling, between the headboard and the wall and squeaking pathetically until I got up and rescued her.

If cats are ancient gods, I’m pretty sure mine is the equivalent of Mushu from Mulan. But Mushu’s awesome, so it’s OK.

Cats WILL come when you call them

Breaking news! You don’t need a variety of weird cat-friendly noises (you all know them, don’t tell lies) and a bag of biscuits to make a cat appear. You can teach them their name and then they’ll show up (the biscuits do help with this part though). It does however mean I end up channelling Marlon Brando whenever I want to see her.

(Yes, contrary to popular belief, Stella’s last name isn’t Artois. She’s named after Stella Kowalski from A Streetcar Named Desire. Prior to this, she was known as Beyonce in her foster family because she’s got a patch of light hair on one of her toes that looks like a ring. I chose badly re-enacting classic American theatre, however hollering “Beyonce!” in the garden to coax a lazy cat from the bushes would also have been excellent.)

They’ll shred you the moment you even vaguely displease them

Cardinal rule of cats: you pat them very carefully and you stop when you start to get That Vibe: the one that says they might suddenly turn around and rip off your epidermis. Don’t touch them underneath. Ever.

I don’t know if it’s her overall personality or the fact that I was so enamoured with Stella when I first got her that I used to pick her up and squeeze her several times a day, but she’s a teddy bear. She’s quite open to being seized and cuddled at random. All you have to do is think about patting her and she falls over. She’ll roll onto her back and stick all her legs in the air and let you stroke her underneath until you get bored or she falls asleep.

In fact, in four years I can count the number of times she’s taken her claws out on one hand.

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And one lie about cats I believed for a shamefully long time:

Cats won’t love you like a dog would

Every day, when I come in from work, I go into the living room and deliberately make a hell of a lot of noise. Every day, without fail, Stella will come barrelling down the stairs like a sack of bricks with legs, aquaplane (but on fur, not water – furplane?) across the laminate flooring and start decimating the couch out of sheer joy until I go and grab her and throw her over my shoulder.

She sleeps on the bed most nights, sometimes rolled up on the end, sometimes right next to me so I’m spooning her, sometimes across the top of my head on the pillow like an odd little hat.

It’s very unusual for her to not be in the same room as me if I’m in the house. If I’m doing the dishes she’ll be trying to get into the cupboards so she can drop a kilo of hair all over the plates, if I’m in the spare room on the PC she’ll lie under my desk. If I’m in the living room she’s either on the floor in front of the window or on the couch between us.

She’s a ridiculous, dopey, lazy sack of cat who often forgets to put her tongue back in when she’s been licking herself, sees a closed door as an invitation and is currently standing on my keyboard without a care in the world, so I’m writing this with my chin on her back and a mouthful of tail.

And she loves, wholeheartedly and enthusiastically, everyone who comes through the door, without prejudice.

Good day friends!

I had a blog once, back in the day, but it kind of fell apart due to a) my crippling anxiety with regards to writing things and then showing them to other people (fun fact: I’ve suffered from a generalised anxiety disorder for as long as I can remember) and b) feeling like my life was shockingly boring and I had nothing to write about. I plan on fixing the latter by roping my friends in to give me random prompts every once in a while (fun fact: I nearly called the page “Smells Like Team Spirit”). The former I’ll attempt to get over by ripping the plaster off, firing nonsense into the internet and trying to resist the urge to set myself on fire afterwards.

Since I’ve already dropped a couple of facts in, here’s ten of the most interesting facts about me. Some of these will probably come up in the future. Some, like my awful jokes, will probably not.

1.       Most of my friends call me Sticky. I made a throwaway comment once about how nicknames never stuck. Unfortunately, this one has.

2.       I’ve got a big floppy cat called Stella. She hardly ever moves, chews my hair when she’s hungry and fall over when you pay attention to her. I love her.

3.       I have mild megalophobia. Nobody’s ever heard of it but it turns me into a jumpy bag of nerves any time I’m near an airport.

4.       I run (with my friends) our local Magic: the Gathering community. It’s simultaneously the most stressful and most rewarding thing I’ve ever done.

5.       I got engaged two weeks ago. I accidentally found out my fiancé had bought a ring so he got on one knee with a photo of it on his phone in its absence.

6.       R.E.M. have been my favourite band since I was nine. I never saw them live before they called it a day and it haunts me.

7.       My parents found out I could read when my dad had the newspaper sports pages open and I asked him who Colin Montgomery was.

8.       My jokes are so bad that I’ve been removed from buildings for punning.

9.       I’ve seen far too many episodes of Air Crash Investigation for someone who was already a nervous flier.

10.   I learned “London” by William Blake for my Higher English exam and I could still recite it and then sit down and write a pretty hot critical analysis of it nearly a decade later.

Thanks for reading!