Geeking by In July & August

Just Geeking By in July & August

It has been a crazy few months and I had no intention of doing a double Geeking By segment again, although considering how these two months blurred into one it does seem very fitting! I will be returning to the regular format of once a month in September, but for now, time to cast my mind back to July.

 

Holidays

Most of July was spent in London and Dorset. We headed down to London for a few days and the to Dorset (which I wrote about in my photo blog!) and then back to London to rest before we headed home. It was out first time flying since Chris was diagnosed with his heart condition so it was pretty scary. There’s no reason he can’t fly, we have just been avoiding it because using airports are more of a hassle, super stressful and taxing on our bodies. We prefer to use the train even though it’s a longer journey because you’re sitting down for it. An airport journey is almost just as long because you have to get there so early to get through security and so on. This time I firmly put my foot down and said that we were getting mobility for both of us. It wasn’t an easy decision, and it felt super weird being wheeled about the airport but it was the right one. Especially as the day before our first flight I had a migraine all day and slept terribly so I had zero energy. I’m hoping to write up a blog post about the full experience so I won’t ramble too much more about it.

We were back home for nine days before we were off again! I was happy to let our first holiday be a work free trip, however, I totally didn’t forsee the troubles I would have with such a short gap between trips. Even though we didn’t really need to unpack or even wash clothes (my mum had gotten pretty much everything washed and dried in London; one benefit of a heatwave) I just felt like I had so much to do and couldn’t settle at all. I got absolutely no blog work done at all during that time which set me back a lot. It didn’t help that our holidays completely clashed with the new World of Warcraft expansion coming out and the pre-events, so we were fitting those in as well.

 

Chris and I at the Family 60th Birthday Party in Harrogate

 

Once we actually got going our second holiday was fantastic. We were down in Harrogate (north England) visiting Chris’ family who I’ve only met once several years ago. We get on so well with them and we definitely will not be leaving it so long for a second visit this time. We were down for a 60th Birthday and stayed for a long weekend. We had an absolute blast catching up with everyone and meeting new members of the family, or those we’d kept in touch with on Facebook but yet to meet in person.

 

Health

My health has been a bit all over the place. For the holidays it was fantastic. We were both feeling great and we were active; and yes, I know that if you keep active you stay active. It wasn’t even that we came back and stopped being active that was the issue, because we didn’t! It was a few weeks after when PMT rearer it’s ugly mush 🙁 I have no idea what is going on with my cycle. I’ve been discussing changing my pill with my doctor because it’s been going a bit bananas for a while now but we wanted to focus on getting the right balance with the migraine medication and anti-depressants. The last time we spoke we were just putting the finish touches to one of those so I should be able to change the pill now. I’ve had problems with upping the latest dose of my migraine tablet, although I think that was due to me having such a bad cycle and PMT and also taking it at the wrong time. I’ve changed when I’ve been taking it the last few days and that seems to be working much better for me. It’s not making me feel as drowsy so hopefully that has fixed the problem. ((Health Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash ))

 

Health Update

 

Mindfulness

I started a new mindfulness course as soon as got back from Dorset and other than a huge admin hiccup that almost saw me kicked off the course before it even began (and thus stressed me out!) it’s been going great. It’s week 7 next Tuesday and I’ve only missed one session guys!! That’s like a miracle for me. I have been pushing myself hard, sometimes a bit too hard as I found out a few weeks ago. I didn’t know at the time that I’d picked up stomach flu though so the day after was a massive bust day for me. My body was totally like ‘WHAT DID YOU DO?!’. A few days later when I realised that it wasn’t an IBS flare up it all became clear, which was a bit of a relief because it meant I hadn’t gone backwards (something I was worried about). I’m still have a few fatigue bust days which is why I missed one session and this week I had another one of out the blue. The topic for the week was something was going to be really important for me personally so I rearranged to go the next day. It was nerve racking going with a different group – especially as another admin/communication mess up made it stressful again – but I was right and it was a super important session for me. By the end of it I felt so much better.

 

 

This is the first time I’ve gotten this far in the course and I’m into new territory now, learning new things. There are three weeks left now and then one follow up session in December. It was initially scary to think that I would one day finish the course, however, I am ready to do so now. I feel that I have all the tools I need to go out and live mindfully on my own. I’m now putting it into practise without even realising it. The biggest test was last weeks homework in which we had to go unguided for the first time, something that has always scared me. I was surprised at how easily I did it. I’ve now been mixing unguided mindfulness with steaming (sticking your head over a bowl of hot water and covering yourself with a towel) which has the bonus of making both activities so much easier. I have always hated steaming despite how good it is for my rhinitis, hay fever and migraines. I get congested a lot and steaming is the best course of action but I’ve never been good at sitting still doing nothing, let alone with a bowl of of hot water beneath my face. So I decided one day to give it a try with an unguided mindfulness practise and I think I managed about 10-15 minutes! I don’t time it, I just go with the flow and do however long feels right and when I’m ready to stop I count 10 breath cycles (in 1, out 1, in 2, out 2, and so on). It’s been helping my physical and mental health as well as doing my skin some good to boot! ((Mindfulness Photo by Andrew Bui on Unsplash ))

 

Gaming

Well, naturally I’ve been playing Battle for Azeroth the new World of Warcraft expansion. I started levelling my priest with Chris and we took our time exploring and completing each zone. We’re now completed all of the Alliance zones and we’re working on the questlines left over such as Jaina’s questline and the War effort one in Zandalar. So far I’m really enjoying it, but still getting a feel for everything so just a brief update on that just now. I’m about to start levelling my druid and I think I’m going to have a few characters in Tiragarde Sound just outside Boralus so I can start herbing and mining for other professions. Apparently it’s pretty good for XP too so they will probably get a good chunk of levelling done too!

 

Dino in Zuldazar in the Battle for Azeroth Expansion

 

I’ve been playing two mobile games as well; Merge Dragons and Hogwarts Mystery. I started playing Merge Dragons in the airport and became hooked on it. It’s sort of a merging came like Bejewelled and Candy Crush but in a world building setting. So instead of a flat board you have a whole camp but to build it up you have to merge 3+ of each items. To discover the next level of an item you combine three lesser items, and you then keep building lesser items into bigger and bigger items. Some of the items are buildings, while some are trees, plants and mines. You also have your dragons who gather resources for you and once again you combine three eggs to make one dragon and three little dragons into a bigger dragon. I’m really enjoying it and they have regular events as well which are great fun too! Here is a screenshot of my camp to give you an idea of what the game looks like:

May Camp in Merge Dragons Mobile Game

 

Hogwarts Mystery is the Harry Potter game that came out months ago and a lot of people played it for a bit then stopped because they were put off by the energy cap. I stuck with it and it’s become a firm favourite of mine because the story has become really good. I really have to know what happens next. I recently completed the quests to become a prefect and an animagnus! The fact that they have put them in as timed events so if you fail then that’s that, you’ve failed to become them, and I think that’s a really good idea. Of course you can easily complete it by buying gems to ensure you win, or restart the game to get those achievements, but for me it personally adds a sense of achievement to the game. Sure there’s thousands of other players who have achieved it too but I had to actually work for it. I didn’t buy any gems, and it is perfectly possible to do without gems. I used some to finish my prefect quest only because my tablet started to play up and eventually broke during the questline so I kept losing progress. I also just got enough gems saved up to buy my first pet!

 

Hogwarts Mystery Game - Animagnus Quest Complete!

 

And of course, just as I’m working on this blog post and talking happily about all this I managed to wipe my entire game save… /sigh In short it was due to a bug with the game wanting you to constantly reconnect with facebook – which you have to do in order to play the game – and when you do so it asks you to save over the current ‘blank’ game. I hit the wrong one and just wiped my entire game save. So I’m now hoping that the customer services team can roll me back. A quick google shows that they have done that for people and I think me buying my cat or starting the new year will probably be a good point for that. So cross your fingers for me!

 

Over to You!

So how was your summer? Mine ended up being a lot more eventful than I planned! Did you go anywhere nice? Have any surprise trips?

What are your plans for September? Anyone starting a new course or school? I’m planning to get back into the swing of things with blogging and then it’s time to tackle that dissertation once and for all!

 

 

5 Holiday Traditions [5 Fandom Friday]

5 Fandom Friday - Holiday traditions

New Bauble Each Year

After hearing others talking about this one I decided I wanted to start it from next year; then we realised we got a new one last year in our stockings and Chris’ mum got us one this year too! So that tradition is officially started!

 

One Present on Christmas Eve

This is a tradition that we’ve both had separately since we were kids, so of course we’re keeping it as a couple! You get to pick one, just one, present from under the tree to open. It’s not as easy as it sounds! As a couple we do have an additional rule; the other person is allowed to veto one or two presents if they’re extra special surprises.

 

Star Wars Cinema Trip

This is brand new from last year, and is most likely going to happen this year. As Chris has been ill and in hospital we haven’t been able to go see it, so we’re going to see it when we’re down in London for New Years. Last year we went with my dad, and we’re doing the same this year. Since there’s many more Star Wars movies to come (WOOT!) I can see this becoming a yearly tradition.

 

Stealing Meat from the Carving Board

This is my personal one which I have been doing since I was a kid, and have subsequently done every time there’s a roast being carved. It started at Christmas though when we had big family gatherings at my nan and grandad’s house and while the adults served the food up, we kids would do little jobs like take stuff to the table. I’m not sure if it was my dad or my grandad – or both 😛 – who started it, but they’d sneak me bits of meat as they cut the roasts.

 

Pigs in Blankets

When I was a teenager my grandad decided to add something new to our Christmas dinner; pigs in blankets. He’d seen it somewhere, tv, newspaper, I don’t know but he was doing it and enlisted me to help. It is one of my fondest memories of my grandad before he died when I was 17, and I try to make pigs in blankets every Christmas. Sometimes not from scratch/by hand as he did, but we have them each year and not just because they taste awesome.

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Holiday Wish List

Holiday Wishes

I’ve taken part in this awesome community a few times now. It’s called Holiday Wishes and it’s a place to post a wish list of various things and random people take the time to make you smile. The rules are below, followed by my own wish list. If you have one please leave a comment with it so I can see if I can make your wishes come true!

 

STEP ONE

  • Make a post (public, friends-locked, filtered… whatever you’re comfortable with) to your LJ. The post should contain your list of ten holiday wishes. The wishes can be anything at all, from simple and fandom-related (“I’d love a Snape/Hermione icon that’s just for me”) to medium (“I wish for _____ on DVD”) to really big (“All I want for Christmas is a new car/computer/house/TV”). The important thing is to make sure these wishes are things you really, truly want.
  • If you wish for real life things (not fics or icons), make sure you include some sort of contact info in your post, whether it’s your address or just your email address where Santa (or one of his elves) can get in touch with you. Your home address is not required!
  • Make sure you post some version of these guidelines in your LJ so that the holiday joy will spread.

STEP TWO

  • Surf around your friends list (or friendsfriends, or just random journals) to see who has posted their list. And now, here’s the important part…
  • If you see a wish you can grant, and it’s in your heart to do so, make someone’s wish come true. Sometimes one person’s trash is another’s treasure, and if you have a leather jacket you don’t want or a gift certificate you won’t use – or even know where you could get someone’s dream purebred Basset Hound for free – do it.
  • You needn’t spend money on these wishes unless you want to. The point isn’t to put people out, it’s to provide everyone a chance to be someone else’s holiday elf – to spread the joy. Gifts can be made anonymously or not – it’s your call. There are no guarantees with this project, and no strings attached. Just… wish, and it might come true. Give and you might receive. You’ll have the joy of knowing you made someone’s holiday special.

The List

2015 has been full of ups and downs and has now left me with glandular fever as a fun end of year present. So yes, I am feeling sorry for myself 😀 This wish list is a mixture of things and honestly, anything would be appreciated. I’m just looking for things to make me smile while I grit my teeth and work through the lovely fun pain and fatigue.

1. Make me something! 🙂 Graphics wise I’d love new icons or wallpapers (Star Wars, World of Warcraft, Doctor Who, Supernatural and animals would be top of the list), or if you’re so inclined new buttons or layouts for my poor neglected websites. Or if you’re a writer I’d love someone to make a story surrounding my main World of Warcraft character. And artists, again I’d love some art of my main World of Warcraft character Kaelea (I love pixel art, I’m not a huge fan of anime but I do like chibi’s). Anything made will be credited and plugged the hell out of, I appreciate creative genius a lot.

2. Send me something – Cards, letters, postcards or items such as keyrings, nail varnishes and magnets which I collect. Anything would be great.

3. Books – Ebooks, second hand books, any that are listed on my to read list here. Suggestions for free ebooks or sites that track them are also appreciated. While I normally love book suggestions I am going to ask not to recieve them – as you can see my to read list is massive and I really don’t need help making it even longer 😛

4. Anything from my amazon wish list – the list can be found here.

5. Library stuff –  I’m a library and information studies student and I’d love to hear about anything library related from your area. This helps me learn more and expand my knowledge of librarymanship.

6. Followers! I like meeting new people and in the new year I hope to be more active blogging (follow me on bloglovin?) and on social networks/sites such as deviant art. Sadly due to health and uni work I can’t always promise to update my LJ or comment regularly, but you’re welcome to add me here too.I also launched my professional/public twitter and would love to meet new people, especially anyone working/with an interest in library studies or fellow spoonies/invisible illness sufferers. Or just geeks in general 😀

7. Show me your pets! I love animals and photos of animals, especially ridiculously cute ones always put a smile on my face.

8. Speaking of pets…. I am an avid pet collector in World of Warcraft. On the off chance you play in the EU realms and have some pets spare that I need, I’d love to give them a new home 🙂

9. Do you have a website or a blog? Join my websites – I run two website cliques (Fighting Everyday and Bookworms) and several website listings – Star Wars sites, Any Sites, Video Game sites, Supernatural & Fantasy sites.

10. And finally; if you know someone who suffers from an illness or a disability, mental or physical, take the time to send them a message or ask how they are doing. Maybe they won’t want to talk, but just knowing that someone cares enough to think to ask/check can make a world of difference.

10 years ago I was preparing for my first degree

Uni Updates

… and now I’m preparing to go into the final year of my second degree. Since my last entry I’ve completed my exams, gotten the results, been on two holidays (Tenerife and then Norfolk) and moved house! My exam were results could have been better and definitely reflected the amount of classes I missed, but they could have been worse. I passed and no resits so I am heading into my final year – and I am beyond relieved to be doing the creative writing dissertation rather than the “normal” dissertation. I have absolutely no clue where I’d even start with that.

 

I’ve already had my classes confirmed and will be studying these alongside the creative writing dissertation; Children’s Literature, Popular Victorian Literature and Science Fiction (wooo!). I’ve not got the reading lists yet but I have started some prep reading which so far includes H.G Wells’ Time Machine and The Beetle by Richard Marsh.

 

I start back at Uni around 20th September, and in mid-August I’ll be back volunteering at the high school for one day a week. I’m also working on the university campus again this summer as a Frontline Assistant for registration and enrolment (the same job I did last year) and I’m currently in the middle of the training for it. It’s great to see some familar faces from last year and meet some awesome new people too, so really looking forward to it again.

 

Our new flat is awesome and we just moved the cats into it, and I’m happy to say they are settling in absolutely fantastic. They are loving the space and it’s great to have them around again, rather than poor George being stuck downstairs away from us (our desks were in the same room as the bed, which he likes to pee on…). In two weeks they’ll be able to go out in the gardens (both front and back are fairly large) and they’ll have a blast. There’s a tree at the end of the garden as well which I know they’ll be climbing when they’ve settled in. There are dogs on either side of us though so they’re going to need to get used to that, but it’s a good thing as we’re planning to get a dog in the future so this gets them used to it.

 

This is just a quick entry to update you all about stuff, more updates coming soon and maybe a topic or two of discussions.