Falling Forward: A Girl & Her Lists

30 Day BC – Day 21 : The Book That Made You Look At Life In A Different Way

Posted by in 30 Day Challenges, Books, Projects

Tuesdays With Morrie helped me to be more tolerant, I think. The Diving Bell & The Butterflymade me more grateful for the little things we take for granted. (Cliché, but true!).  The Raw Shark Texts, The Unbearable Lightness of Being  and The End Of Mr. Y opened my mind more to science and philosophy, always welcome and always fun, if a little difficult to get my head around sometimes.

There are so many books that have shaped and moulded my personality and knowledge. Books written by foreign authors like Haruki Murakami and Augusten Burroughs that give me insights into what living in a different country might be like.

It’s one of the main reasons I love reading, I think. To be able to gain knowledge, learn new words and expressions, to understand things in a different or better way. I’m such a knowledge geek, but hey. At least it’s better than being a Star Wars fan, right?*

I don’t read a lot of non fiction books – although I’ll read Bill Bryson and some autobiographical stuff. I think I should try and change that. There’s a whole world of information out there just begging to be learnt. Anyone want to give me any good recommendations of what to start with first?

 

 

 

*I jest, I jest! You can love Star Wars all you want. Just don’t expect me too ;)
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It’s My Birthday

Posted by in A Little Conversation

I’m in Portugal right now so I’ve scheduled this to run whilst we’re away. Hopefully we’re enjoying it and I’m not too sunburnt.

It’s my birthday today, huzzah! I always feel odd about my birthday, it’s not something I really look forward to. When I was a kid it was a reason for my mum to bake a fancy cake. Her Cadbury button Hedgehog cake was second to none and the year she made a swimming pool with little swimmers I was suitable gobsmacked. Presents were great and when I was old enough my parents starting taking us out to restaurants for a special meal which is how I developed my love of raw steak. Thank you, dad. I’m forever in your debt.

Then I got a bit older and birthdays were non eventful affairs. Falling at the end of June when everyone was sick of school but we hadn’t quite broken up yet, I didn’t have a huge amount of friends and rarely did much. One year we went to the cinema to watch Batman and Robin. In hindsight, this was a low point but at the time it seemed quite fun, heh.

I stopped celebrating my birthday at all for a couple of years. A quiet meal out or a quiet meal in – mostly with my family or a boyfriend. I didn’t relish trying to corral large groups of people (I wasn’t ever entirely sure I’d get them to agree to attend for a start). Two years ago was a spectacularly failure where I managed to achieve a group of five people that barely had any connection to each other at all. All lovely in their own right but difficult to create a party from. Oh, and my card got declined at the start of the night which didn’t really kick things off.

Last year I decided I was going to ignore my birthday and hijacked someone else’s birthday event instead. That worked out fairly well and Q and I actually got together for real in the small hours of the morning so that was a pretty good result in my eyes. (I was drunk, crying and almost falling off a wall, and he was panicking slightly probably!) Perhaps not the most solid of starts but we’ve made it through okay and here we are today, engaged and sickeningly happy. Sorry ;) Barring any major disasters we’ll be on a beach as you read this probably, enjoying our anniversary and quietly toasting my 28 years.

I actually threw a party last weekend and although I panicked about attendance and the weather all week it was fabulous. I think I’m finally at a point where I have good people around me, people who are happy and willing to make a bit of effort to travel, even tho Cardiff is far away from Cornwall and from London. I’ve met a good bunch of people in Cardiff too, people I’m proud to call friends. I’m not sure when it happened but I’m thankful all the same.

 So maybe the birthday malaise has lifted for good. Next year we’ll be getting married and Q will be turning 30, both big events in our lives. The year after I’ll be turning 30, something I’m infinitely less looking forward to but we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it. I’ll tell you something though; If I have the same friends around me then as I do now then it’ll be absolutely nothing to worry about :)

Introducing…

Posted by in A Little Conversation

A few of my friend have started up some new blogs recently and I’ve discovered some new-to-me blogs that have been around for a while so I thought I’d give you a heads up in case you fancied something new to read. These all, obviously, come highly recommended ;)

First up, Ellie (or Patchworkbunny as she’s more usually known on ze internet) has started a blog about her voracious reading. If you think my reading habits are crazy you should meet Ellie, she puts my monthly totals to shame.

Second is Jules with the wonderful Velo-City. Jules is convinced that cycling doesn’t have to mean unfashionable clothes and dull bikes and I’m starting to come around to her way of thinking. A delightful read, even if you’re like me and the only wheels you have access to belong to your fella’s car.

Next up is Hayley from Ceriselle. Weirdly, Hayley and I actually have a mutual friend in common that we didn’t meet through each other. The internet is a small place, non? Her blog is a nice mix of fashion and lifestyle topics and always makes for a good read.

I met Lou through twitter and then met her in real life through a #cdfblogs (that’s Cardiff Blogs to the uninitiated) even in May. She’s a really lovely lady, and although beauty bloggers aren’t usually my thing (I’m too lazy for a beauty routine!) I’ve found a few good tips on Lou Lou Muses, which is always nice! Perfect if you like all things beauty.

If you’re more into F1 than Benefit then this next one if for you. Q and a team have put together Dodgy Knees and Dirty Balls (yes, you may snigger) – a collaborative sports blog written by fans of all sports. It shouldn’t really be my cup of tea (the closest I get to sports is ice-skating and trampolining) but actually some of the posts are lighthearted and amusing so don’t let the fact that it’s about balls and dirt (*snigger*) put you off ;) It launched today which means it’s still got that new blog smell, mm. Go and show them some love, hrm?

Next time I’ll tell you about Liz and Scott’s blog (if they ever launch it ;) ) and a few others that I’ve found and added to my ever expanding feedreader. Now I just need to find time to read them all…

30 Day BC – Day 22 : A Book You Wish Was Real Life

Posted by in 30 Day Challenges, Books, Projects

Q and I are flying out to Portugal today to celebrate my birthday and our Anniversary on Monday. (Yes, we got together on my birthday. This way he always remembers ;) ). I’ve scheduled a few posts to run whilst we’re away so that you don’t miss me too much. I know, I know. I’m thoughtful like that…

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Er, Harry Potter? Any of the X-Men comics? Anything that can make it alright for me to be a massive geek is absolutely fine by me.

I’d love it if Susie’s version of Heaven from The Lovely Bones could exist, but I don’t think I’d want the rest of the book to be reality. I’d love to live in the Dark Tower series for a while but I’m not sure I could cope with their world for too long.

It would probably also be fun to live in Jasper Fforde’s BookWorld – getting to jump between books and hang out with literary fiction would be fine by me.

Like I said. Massive geek. You’re not going to tell anyone, right?

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Friday Thanks

Posted by in Friday Thanks, Projects

Dear Waitrose,

Thank you for making gluten free cookies that don’t taste terrible. It’s nice to find a treat that I can actually eat without feeling guilty. Keep up the good cookie work.

cookie

Love Sarah

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See other Friday Thanks here or visit the original inspiration for the project here.

 

Film Round Up

Posted by in Projects

We’re six months through the year and that means I’m halfway through my book and film challenges. I write about my books every month but I haven’t been doing the same for the films so I thought I’d write a round of up of the good, the bad and the god damn unwatchable.

Statistics
Films watched: 77
New Films watched: 59
Films watched at the cinema: 33Both Q and I have an unlimited card for Cineworld and we live right next door to the Cardiff Cineworld so it’s not surprising that we’ve managed to rack up 33 films in six months. We pay £15.99 a month which is £95.94 so far. If we’d paid full price (£7.70 per ticket) we’d have paid £254.10 which is more than the card costs for a whole year so we’re definitely getting our monies worth, which is always nice. Score!

 

Favourite Films So Far
* It’s Kind Of A Funny Story. A quirky, limited release, slightly heart breaking story about a kid who checks himself into a psychiatric ward. As a bonus the soundtrack is also really good.
* Blue Valentine. Certainly not a happy film but Michelle Williams and Ryan Gosling play the characters so well.
* The Blind Side. I was expecting this to be trash but actually it was really good. Well done on finally acting properly, Sandra.
* Akeelah & The Bee. A film about spelling bees. Actually pretty good although Laurence Fishburne is a bit heavy handed.
* The Way. I cried about four times during this film. A really heartwrenching, emotional story.
* Senna. I liked this a lot which was surprising, given that I only went along to keep Q company. I remember Senna dying when I was a kid so it was really interesting to learn more about the man behind the tragedy and I thought it was extremely well made. I can’t imagine it’ll be out at the cinema for much longer so see it sooner rather than later.
* X-Men: First Class. I loved this so much I saw it twice. Oh yeah.

Films I Wish I’d Never Seen
* The Ghost. Ewan Mcgregor basically dicking about. Yawn.
* Bounty Hunter. Jennifer Aniston isn’t hot enough in this to really make it worth watching and Gerard Butler is insanely dull. Avoid!
* Julie & Julia. Meryl Streep’s accent in this made Q want to cry. Plus Amy Adams was surprisingly irritating.
* Your Highness. I really liked Pineapple Express so I was hoping with the same director Your Highness would at least be funny but it fell flat for me.
* Something Borrowed. Trite, full of characters that were completely unlikeable. It could have been good, but it wasn’t. Yawn.
* Unknown. Utter. Rubbish.

Weirdest Films
Norwegian Wood was pretty weird. I can’t imagine the book is any less so, tho.  I’m still not sure about Bunny & The Bull. It was…funny, certainly. But definitely odd.  My Neighbour Totoro was great and I genuinely loved the film but anything that has a cat bus in it has to go into the weird category, sorry. Lars & The Real Girl saw Ryan Gosling playing a lonely bachelor who orders a life-like doll and asks his community to accept her. Quirky, but surprisingly tender. Worth watching.

If You Only Watch One…
Make it Submarine. This film was an incredibly funny, sometimes cringe worthy, enjoyable piece of cinema. Richard Ayode’s directoral debut is set in Wales and was tipped to be the hottest ticket of the year. It’s a story of love, uncertainty and ninjas. What’s not to love?

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30 Day BC – Day 20 : The Saddest Or Most Emotive Book You Have Read

Posted by in 30 Day Challenges, Books, Projects

The Time Traveller’s Wife definitely comes under this category. I’m pretty sure I’ve cried every time I’ve read it, because it’s full of emotion and I’m a complete sucker for a love story. (A lot of my favourite books are coming under so many of these categories that I feel like I’m repeating myself. Clearly I need to read more diverse books, heh).

I haven’t read it for quite a while but I’m going to throw in Watership Down. The film scared me when I was a kid and the book was even more heartbreaking. Those poor rabbits…

Thinking about it, I don’t think I actually read a lot of sad books. Certainly not the chick-lit sad books or the ‘childhood trauma’ stories that seem to saturate the book aisles of the supermarkets. I read A Child Called IT by Dave Pelzer and the follow on books but there are so many of them now I can imagine (sadly, I suppose) that the stories start to blend into one.

I’m not entirely sure I’m missing out by skipping this genre but there are probably a few gems that I’d enjoy if I could sift through the detritus to get to them. Any recommendations?

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The Life List

Posted by in A Little Conversation, My Life In Lists

I love to live my life via lists. Paper lists, to do lists, notebooks with scribbled instructions. I have post it notes covered in bullet pointed items and enough apps on my phone to organise my entire life. I like lists.

So it’s no big surprise, really, that I jumped into the Life List idea with both feet. Maggiewas the original life lister for me – her spirit and her tenacity are a constant source of inspiration.

I wrote it in January – slowly adding a few items here and there until all of a sudden I’d amassed a list of 123 things I’d like to do before I go. Crazy. I’ve set up a page for my list and will be posting about items as I complete them.

I honestly didn’t realise how much happier doing this would make me. It’s given me a reason to focus on the joyous, on the good, on the fun. We spend a lot of time doing things for money or doing things out of obligation. It’s wonderful to have a constant reminder of the things we can do just to make us feel good.

If you create your own list or want any help or inspiration give me a shout – I’d be happy to talk it over with you.

30 Day BC – Day 19 : The Most Romantic Book You Have Ever Read

Posted by in 30 Day Challenges, Books, Projects

The Time Traveler’s Wife, obviously. There is something spine tingling about the way that the love story of Henry and Clare unfolds across the pages. Every time I think about this book I just want to read it again. I can imagine The Notebook is also pretty romantic (if it’s anything like the film) but I haven’t read it so I can’t really judge.

I don’t really tend to read epic romance stories, especially the “classics” like Jane Eyre and Pride & Prejudice. I don’t know why, I love romance as much as the next girl (luckily for me Q is quite romantic, heh) but I never seem to pick up books that portray it.

Does anyone have any recommendations on things I’m missing out on?

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Grace In Big Things

Posted by in Grace In Small Things, Projects

I’m all for the Grace In Small Things – those little moments that keep you going. A beautifully sunny morning, a letter in the post or a perfectly ripe banana. It’s good to acknowledge those little things that make you happy, good to look for them in the fog of 9-5, Monday to Friday living.

But sometimes it’s about the grace the big things. the friends that drove 200 miles for your birthday party. People you’ve only really met twice going above and beyond and embracing the odd requests to wear yellow and bring yellow food because they know it makes you happy and your happiness is important to them. Just being important to someone, in general. Younger friends respecting your opinions, asking for advice. People that buy you pop-tarts because they know that trying all 27 flavours is on your Life List. Ex boyfriends that bring you cupcakes and an overwhelming engagement gift because your happiness as an individual is something that still means something to them.

This weekend was overwhelming and life affirming and so much fun. (& so yellow).

It only reconfirms to me how lucky I am to have such incredibly amazing friends. Old friends, new friends, Internet friends. I’m also lucky enough to have an incredible fiancé that embraces all these people like they were his own. Beautiful, special amazing people. And I’m really, really grateful. They are the big things. They are my grace.

So this is just a small thank-you, for the big things. Thank you for being who you are, and for giving me the grace to love who I am. You mean the world to me.

(<3)