Thursday, March 21, 2013


Or is it?

Outside it's raining, grey, cloudy and miserable.

Not a great year so far but certainly a year for change.

I left my job, went on holiday to Rome, moved to Somerset and started a new job.

I am quite excited to have my own flat. To have my own bath and kitchen is a luxury I did not have before.

Now I just need winter to bugger off so I can enjoy the upcoming spring from my balcony.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Goals for 2013

Where did the time go?

Happy New Year, everyone.

It's 2013 and I am thinking about my goals for the coming year.

Last year, I increased my daily prose intake and read many books that were on my to-read list and more besides that I bought throughout the year. This is a good thing taking into account my complaints about barely finishing a book in months.

On the downside, I hardly did any writing. It can be a trial to find the energy to write with a full-time job so that is something I am struggling with. I have also been focusing on my relationship, which consumes my weekends and most of my idle hours.

So for this year, I will strive to write more poetry, work on my novels, try my hand at writing short stories and consider freelancing.

I am quite confused about this freelancing business. When signing up for websites, they mention a variety of writing software I've never heard about before, which probably means they would not accept my application. So how are you supposed to start freelance writing?

Do you take a course? Do you buy said software online? I will ask some fellow creative souls for advice.

If an experienced freelancer is reading this, do not hesitate to drop me a line!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

A Pride and Prejudice Halloween: Mr. Collins gets a fright

Carved pumpkins decorated the roads. Their faces gleamed with evil anticipation at the delicate clergyman as he passed. He did not think much of these country customs that had never reached cities of consequence. In his mind, the Irish and their ancestors had been rather fanciful in their traditions and barbaric in their execution of them.

Mr. Collins paused as a carriage appeared in the distance and rejoiced at the prospect of being momentarily in the presence of that great patroness of his, Lady Catherine the Bourgh. Yet the carriage seemed in most indecent haste and in no humor to slow down for him to exchange the required pleasantries with those within. Instead, the horses nearly trampled the poor fellow and Mr. Collins fall on his backside in the late October mud.

He quickly recovered and stumbled to his feet, casting an eye about him to ensure the spectacle had not been seen. His cheeks flushed with humiliation as he imagined the mortification of being discovered in such an unseemly state, embracing the country lane. Unable to discover a soul about, he dusted off his attire and dabbed his forehead with a handkerchief.

The carriage now disappeared completely, Mr. Collins returned to the house to relay the extraordinary event to Mrs. Collins. Perhaps she had received word from Rosings. As he entered the room, he found his wife engaged in reading a novel of admittedly questionable morality. It was a love story of sorts but Mr. Collins pretended not to see as he always did in such instances.

''My dear!'' the clergyman cried upon approaching her. ''such calamity. A carriage just left Rosings at great speed. Those horses nearly crushed me; they would not make way.''

Again the handkerchief gently caressing his forehead to reduce the perspiration.

Charlotte looked up from her book and beheld the muddy countenance of her husband. ''Ah, yes. Lady Catherine sent us a letter this morning saying she was indisposed and in need of medical attention.''

This speech was delivered with an airy indifference Mr. Collins found shocking. Lady Catherine indisposed! ''Why did you not inform me at once? She will have need of me. My spiritual guidance at such a time...'' he faltered and collapsed onto his knees.

''What if she were to leave this world without being able to speak her mind and confess her sins,'' he whispered and for a moment it looked as though he might cry.

Charlotte sighed, closed her book and helped her husband to his feet. ''They will be back presently with the doctor, I daresay. In the meantime, why don't you help me carve these pumpkins?'' she asked kindly and handed him a large orange pumpkin with an angry expression.

Mr. Collins gave it a disgusted look and pushed it as far away from him as the small table allowed. ''I cannot believe you indulge in these pagan rituals. What would my congregation say if they beheld such a sight. As my wife, you must always remember that your reputation is linked to mine in ways that you cannot comprehend. I am a clergyman, Charlotte. I must not be seen promoting such filth.''

With those words, he left the room and resolved to pout in his study for a while. Mrs. Collins often dreamed she was back in Derbyshire with her dear friends and family. However, since she was unable to leave her husband and rejoin her family, she devised a way to teach him a lesson. Pagan filth, indeed!

That night, when Collins was abed and struggling to fall asleep, he rose and left the bedroom. He had not heard from Lady Catherine, nor received any news regarding her health and situation. He worried it was a serious illness from which she could not convalesce. He imagined her coffin opening up at her funeral and Lady Catherine's ghost climbing out because it had not been put to rest.

In this frame of mind did he step foot in his study when a large pumpkin greeted him. Collins gave a high-pitched shriek. The pumpkin lit up in the dark with lights emitting from its eyes and mouth and on his head it wore one of Lady Catherine's finest hats. It stared at him from his writing table and a shiver moved down his spine. Mr. Collins clung to his candle and hurried to the front parlour. Pumpkins lined the walls and every one of them grinned at him more angrily than the next.

In a moment of despair, Collins slipped outside and escaped to his garden - to safety. But where there had once stood a proud scarecrow in the fields, he could make out the familiar shape of an old woman in elegant dress hanging from a rope suspended from a tree. The gown was a favourite of Lady Catherine and its pale hue glowed evilly in the moonlight.

Collins screamed at the figure and dropped his candle. The dark enveloped him and the only light his eyes could discover belonged to a pumpkin's face. Shivering and afraid, Mr. Collins buried his face in his hands and wished it all to go away.

When Mrs. Collins arose the next morning for breakfast, she found her husband thus. On the ground outside, his hands covering his eyes and whimpering like a beaten dog.

''Whatever are you doing here, my dear?'' Charlotte asked him and prodded his ribs.

He removed his hands from his disheveled face and glanced at the figure that had so distressed him last night. But there he saw the scarecrow, naked and clearly masculine. Lady Catherine the Bourgh's body or dress was nowhere to be found. Nor were the many pumpkins he had seen the previous night present.

''I thought I saw...'' he said and pointed.

''What did you see? It's just the scarecrow.''

He laughed weakly. ''It must've been my mind playing tricks.''

Charlotte smiled innocently. ''If you say so, my dear.''

That was the day Mrs. Collins learned that it was well worth the effort of befriending Lady Catherine's servants and her husband never berated her for carving pumpkins again. Every time he saw one, his mouth twitched and he unexpectedly left the room for some errand.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Jane Austen Variation (Persuasion): Anne Elliot first glimpses Wentworth

Most conversation was drowned out by decidedly merry music. Young couples floated across the dance floor in unison while chaperones looked on, documenting every step of progress with their respective partners. Ones coming out was a game of chess but not everyone knew how to play. Miss Anne Elliot, a young debutante of nineteen, was a newcomer struggling to remember the rules. The girl was well-off but unaccustomed to life in London. She turned hesitantly to Lady Russell.

''I do not feel completely at ease at these social events. Surely, the others and I have nothing in common. Behold how they flock to them,'' she whispered and her eyes rested on a pretty figure.

A girl nearby laughed coquettishly. She stood in the centre of the room surrounded by a number of suitors, readily available to agree with her every statement and ensure her every comfort. The dandies gazed at the object of their affection almost sheepishly.

Lady Russell, adviser and chaperone, fanned Anne's face delicately and gave her an encouraging smile. ''Nonsense, Anne. You possess many qualities many of these women are without. I think it a great thing that you do not attract these scoundrels. Nothing will come of obtaining their favour, believe me. Marriage is not on their mind.''

''If you say so, Lady Russell. I only wish I had some occupation - someone to talk to or dance with.''

Though fond of dancing, Anne much preferred to play the piano, at which she excelled. But no such pleasure could be gained at a ball where music was the one thing not wanting. The social dance that unfolded before her did little to pacify her discomfort. The fact that she had no acquaintance in Town as yet played a large part in her unhappiness.

A flock of soldiers and sailors entered the room and momentarily, all eyes darted to the entrance to calculate their worth. Upon the discovery that they were simple men from the Navy, all fortune hunters lost interest. Anne was not so superficial as to base her opinion on a person's income. What Anne sought in a partner consisted of mainly good sense, a cultivated mind and pleasant manners.

As such, Miss Elliot paid particular attention to the Navy, her mind bubbling with questions relating to their dangerous profession. It was a subject close to her heart as she enjoyed reading about the history and mystery attached to life at sea.

''Don't they look dashing in their uniform?'' Lady Russell surprised her by remarking.
''They certainly do,'' Anne admitted and a blush crept up her cheeks.
''Unfortunately, their fortune is made after the war which is why they are below our notice,'' she said sharply so as not to encourage her young friend.

The gentlemen made their way toward them after exchanging the necessary pleasantries with the host, gesticulating excitedly as they walked. Their countenance seemed somewhat weathered by the years spent at sea but their spirits exceeded those of the gentry present. Anne was struck by their animated discourse and open manners. One gentleman stood out to her due to his tall person, broad shoulders and handsome face. Curly blonde hair framed his face in disarray and his piercing blue eyes spoke to her romantic nature. She could not suppress a smile, much to lady Russel's abhorrence. They were no suitable companions for her Anne.

''I should like to meet them. I daresay they have many stories to tell,'' Anne said in a quiet determination Lady Russel knew could not be gainsaid.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Jane Austen Festival 2012 Promenade

The Jane Austen Festival 2012

As a big Austenite, I felt compelled to attend the Jane Austen Festival last weekend.

Being fairly recently settled in England, this was my first chance to attend and it was a double pleasure for me as I also celebrated my first anniversary with my boyfriend. He is not too keen on (refers to Mr. Darcy as Mr. Arsy) but was more than willing to accompany me.

As such, we adjourned to Bath and took the bus into Town. Having only once previously visited Bath and only for several hours, I had not had the opportunity to explore the delights it had to offer properly.

But this time I came prepared and intended to make good use of my camera to capture the magic that is Jane Austen. I photographed the cathedrals and historic buildings and relished seeing the setting where Persuasion took place up close.

Although I am aware that Pride and Prejudice is the favourite novel of many, Persuasion has always had a special place in my heart. Perhaps because I can identity with the quiet pensive character of Anne. Or perhaps because Rupert Penry Jones was so delicious in the latest adaptation. Most likely it is a mixture of both.

The promenade had already commenced when we arrived in Town so I reached for my camera and proceeded to make a video of the parade for the benefit of my family and friends. Considering my history as a Regency re-enactor, I paid special attention to the historical accuracy of the designs and fabrics and discovered some beautiful creations.

After a short perusal of the shops and the photography required by a setting such as Bath, we arrived at the Jane Austen Fair. A large audience in costume gathered in front of the entrance. We made our way inside and saw a throng of Regency ladies and gents ascending the staircase in all their finery. Beholding this remarkable sight, I nearly felt out of place in my little red dress and black tights. 

Awaiting us was a hall of unexpected splendour; large, sparkling chandeliers, a lovely little balcony and a ceiling of period perfection as you were like to encounter in a National Trust manor. There were stalls where one could purchase gorgeous hand-made hats of historical design, hair pieces for those suffering from straight hair and Jane Austen varation and sequel books.

Determined to purchase a souvenir of sorts, I set out to find myself an affordable present. Unfortunately, many things I desired to buy were rather expensive, such as the beautiful hats on display. But then I happened upon the book stalls. These names were familiar to me as being authors of Pride and Prejudice variations or sequels. However, I have never read any of them so I was unsure which one to buy. Then I changed upon Abigail Reynold's stall and it was decided. Though I can claim no acquaintance with this lady or her work, her name has been long since been among my friends on Facebook.

I chose a random book whose cover appealed to me and I applied to Mrs. Reynolds for an autograph, which she happily bestowed. In that moment, I felt myself quite fortunate, not to mention rich in happiness. Since returning from Bath, I have started reading this work of fiction and find it rather delightful. It has provided me with many ideas regarding my own literary work and I look forward to writing again, which I have admittedly neglected of late in favour of reading (which is never a bad thing).

Hopefully, these pages will therefore soon be filled with my own literary efforts. I can make no promises, mind.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012


My Muse went missing sometime ago hence my absence from these hallowed halls.

However, today she was spotted fleeing the graceful arms of society's latest dandy and after a short excursion to the high street was swiftly apprehended on the corner of McDonald's. It seems my Muse felt a sudden craving for a McFlurry. As Muses do.

It has now been returned to me covered in vanilla ice cream so I'll give her a proper washing before I put her back to work.

Many thanks to my mysterious benefactor. You shall have your reward.

Yours sincerely,

The Scribbles on the Wall

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Easter and More

They say it's always bad weather for Easter and this year certainly didn't disappoint.

After some precious weeks of radiant sunshine that almost fooled me into believing spring and even summer was near, the temperatures plummeted and impregnable clouds drifted across the luminous sun.

Why? When the world celebrates Easter and a few days off the humbug of work do the weather gods conspire against us?

Tis very sad.

I have the week off. It is of course enjoyable to sleep till 10, have a lazy morning and hide from the world if I so wish it. But had it been a glorious sunny week, I would've been filled with energy to go out and explore, camera in hand. Not that I'm complaining.

It's still better than the drudgeries of the work week. Now I'm off for a brief walk into town.  I will conjure up some sunshine somehow.

Though it will probably solely exist in my mind. Being a writer has advantages. We have an abundance of imagination.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

First Glimpses of Spring

Winter is coming, a book I'm reading warns. But it seems winter did not come at all. When I leave work at 4.30pm, the sky is painted in tints of blue, damask and violet - only the faintest of hints of the coming night. A few rays of sunshine peek between the clouds. I should have bought sunglasses.

A familiar scene contrary to what we were told to expect. ''It will be another harsh winter filled with stormy weather and snow,'' the forecast read.

I look outside. The trees sway in the breeze, their leaves dancing like the skirt of a Hawaian dancer in greens and dirty browns. There is a lacking of white and frost and cold as characterized by last year's Big Freeze.

The fields are grassy green and drowsy flowers stand tip-toe purple in the mossy seas. Flowers with a predeliction to hibernate this early in the year yawn and shake their petals, still cloaked in rain drops.

We decide on a walk on a lazy Sunday afternoon. Spring rain drizzles from the sky as a gentle reminder that winter is no season to venture outside. We arm ourselves with umbrellas and determination. We struggle through the muddy roads and soldier on. A few stray hairs stick against our brow. 

Snowdrops wave as we pass them by. There is no need for gloves or scarves. The wind is fresh but not too cold and as we arrive back at our door, our cheeks are rosy from our excursion but agreeably so.

Spring is creeping closer. The robin told me so.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Book review: Arabella by Georgette Heyer

I just finished reading my first book of 2012 as per my New Year's Resolutions to up my daily dose of prose.

Last month, I finally read my first novel by Georgette Heyer (Sylvester) and although it took me a while to get into it, it ended up being a rather enjoyable read.

It inspired me to pick up my copy of Arabella and give it a go. I found it charming from the beginning as we were introduced to Arabella Tallant, who would go to London for her first season.

The heroine is described as very beautiful, which usually bores me as I prefer other virtues, but she is a well-rounded character as flawed as most of us. Mr. Beaumaris makes for a thrilling hero as the toast of Society, who wore a dandelion in his button hole for three days just to start a hype for laughs. I liked that the hero questioned the heroine's regard for him as they both suspected the other to be merely ''amusing themselves''.

Although I've never been much of a dog person I have to admit that Ullyses stole the show for me. Heyer created in him a pet with as much personality as our protagonists and I found his adoration for Mr. Beaumaris utterly delightful. On the other hand, I skipped the scenes with Jemmy, a climbing boy Arabella rescued from the evil clutches of a chimney sweeper.

The novel is filled with fun, multi-layered characters and have ensured that I will be reading my other Heyer books and purchasing more in the near future.

4/5 stars

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

New Year's Literary Resolutions 2012

Here we go again. Last year's resolutions weren't quite as successful as I would've liked.

Though I did finish my first book, entered a writing competition and got a bit more serious about my writing, I hardly wrote a word the last few months of the year.

Bad form, as Captain Hook would say.

So, now that I've moved house and got a bit more room (and an actual chair to sit on when scribbling typing away) I'm hoping to get back into my writing.

I will also do a bit more reading. I read maybe two or three books last year. Ouch. Now that I've been reunited with my to-read books (thanks to my aunt and uncle who brought them to England last month), I will compose a reading list for 2012.

Reading List 2012:

Jane Austen - Emma, Mansfield Park and Sense and Sensibility.
Georgette Heyer - Arabella, The Black Moth
Edith Wharton - The Age of Innocence
Gail Carriger - Changeless, Blameless, Heartless, Timeless
Emily Brontë - Wuthering Heights
George RR Martin - A Clash of Kings, A Storm of Swords, A Feast for Crows, A Dance with Dragons

If I manage to read all of the above books or even exceed my expectations, I will be a very happy camper.

I will also continue work on my own Jane Austen-style regency romance, my steampunk novel and write some poetry.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

2011 Overview

With the year 2011 almost at an end it should be safe to make an overview. I will also start thinking about my New Year's Resolutions for 2012!

LOVED ITS in 2011

So, what entertainment did we have this year? Oh, lots and lots! We had some great new shows.

TV Series:

Game of Thrones. My favourite by far. Great storytelling, exciting characters and good acting.
Downton Abbey. Very rich history and some unexpected turns.
Once Upon a Time. Fairytales and pretty costumes. A chick favourite.
Suburgatory. Silly, short and humorous.
Supernatural. Still a fantastic show. A perfect blend of fantasy, comedy and a dollop of horror.
Terra Nova: Dinosaurs and sci-fi in one. Every episode feels like an experience. Spielberg was involved.
The Secret Circle: A great show about witches for teens and grown-ups alike.
True Blood: Another favourite of mine. Great season. We saw a new side to our resident evil vamp.


Sherlock Holmes: Games of Shadows. Just saw it and loved it. Very cleverly done.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2: Great ending to a franchise. Exciting and satisfying.
The King's Speech: Period drama doesn't have to be dull. Top-notch acting.
Never Let Me Go: I cried. A lot. A film that's complex, multi-layered and very dramatic.
Senna: Not just a documentary. A thrilling look into the dangerous world of Formula 1.
X-Men First Class: Interesting back story and great action scenes.
Black Swan: Frankly, it's very creepy but still well worth a watch. Not sure I can sit through it again though.


LMFAO: Quirky, fun and catchy pop. Sexy and you know it.
Katy Perry: Many cute, catchy tracks from Miss Perry this year.
Maroon 5: They made everyone want to Move like Jagger.
Cee Lo Green: Most inappropriately titled hit of the last decade? And no, ''forget you'' doesn't flow at all.
Rihanna: Some good songs but don't like her slutty stage outfits.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Christmas Silliness in Shops

I made a similar post about Easter items in Dublin shops. Well, another holiday, another hometown.

This time, I noticed some mental Christmas stuff cluttering our stores in Bournemouth. Do we need any of it? Doubtful.

Will we buy any of it? Probably. The bra looks pretty good but itchy. For this first edition, we're going tot take a look at Primark and Accessorize.

Primark crimes against Christmas

A Santa suit, really? Because that is obviously a flattering look. 

Accessorize tells you what to put in your Christmas tree this year. A squirrel wearing a hat.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Squirrel Nutkin

It's no secret I'm mad about squirrels. I have stuffed animals, pictures, bookmarks and mugs.

Of course, nothing beats the real deal.

I just love it when I'm strolling through the park minding my own business when suddenly grey tail sweeps past. The sight of those black, beady eyes and fluffy ears melts my heart.

Yes, the two male gangsta wannabes ruined the moment when one of them exclaimed: ''I f*cking hate squirrels!''

I had to suppress the inclination to dump a barrel of nuts over his head. How can anyone hate them? They're so innocent and adorable - the way they dive into the leaves to powder their nose with dirt. Awwwr!

So I spent some time following various squirrels around with my camera. I tried to disguise myself as a tree but somehow, they saw right through me and made their escape.

Nevertheless, I managed to get some good shots in the end.