Good Things

+ First things first, to get this one out of the way: I have a job! A real one, that involves me getting up on a morning and going into an office and doing things that are somewhat more productive than serving beer and washing pots. So you don’t have to listen to me moaning on about looking for jobs! I have also jumped ship from my parent’s house and have my own room in a house in Manchester. So copy me in on the next Manchester blogger’s meetup or whatever it is that you city-dwellers like to do.

+ I started another blog – yeah, yeah, bear with me – for my creative writing attempts. You can find it here, if you are so inclined: A Blanket of Noise. I have let it slip by the wayside in a rather tragic fashion since starting work but I am hoping to get cracking with it again soon,

+ I have a new winter coat. Yes that is worthy of a good things post – if you’re questioning the premise right now it’s time to go read something else. It was thirteen English pounds from Oxfam and it’s grey and supposedly it is a woman’s coat but somehow it fits my broad shoulders perfectly, and is really quite long even though I’m pretty tall, so. If you’ve known me for a while now then you will know that I can develop very strong and potentially inappropriate feelings about a nice coat, so be glad all you’re getting is a few pictures and that I haven’t written a book about it. 1-IMG_0413

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+ This is just shameless bragging now but… I won a competition for £100 of vouchers to spend at Yo Sushi! The competition said they were to spend at The Trafford Centre, but the vouchers themselves say they can be redeemed anywhere, so I’ll have to decide whether to do as I’m told or not. SO MUCH FREE SUSHI. Happy days.

+ Tell me about the good things happening in your life :)

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Good Thing #1: A few weeks ago I got a copy of The Borrower by Rebecca Makkai from Waterstones, and yesterday I received a free copy of Down the Rabbit Hole by Juan Pablo Villalobos from And Other Stories. (I will point out that I was sent these books after entering competitions. People don’t just send me free things all the time. More’s the pity.)

Good Thing #2: I kept spotting these weird wooden saint bracelets in shops but every time I considered buying one, I thought ‘it costs about six quid and looks like charity shop junk, no way’. In the end I found one not even at a charity shop, but at my friend’s house when I was helping her pack up some stuff to move house. So she gave it to me for free.

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Good Thing #3: My flights to Bratislava are booked for the 1st September. Due to awkward timing and train fare fiascos I will be arriving at the airport a mere 6 hours and 40 minutes before the time of the flight. This, however, may actually be a good thing because I don’t mind sitting, reading, snacking, napping and people watching for a few hours. In what other situation do you get to sit and do nothing except leisurely read for that many hours? Even on a day off, I’d feel guilty for sitting for six hours straight without doing anything productive (whatever that means). So bring it on.

Good Thing #4: Speaking of which, I am so excited to work a 40 hour week and then get weekends off. Weekends off are almost unheard of at the moment. Even though I currently work less than 30 hours at my waitressing job, I’m actually looking forward to working more hours and then getting the weekends off. Two days with which to do whatever I please! This is so awesome I won’t even mind that I’m not getting paid.

Good Thing #5: I’m not so much of an Olympics type of person. I’ve never been very sporty or interested in sport. All I remember of Olympics coverage as a child was wondering why I couldn’t watch anything else. (This was back in the days when there were only five channels, and we often only had four because Channel 5 didn’t work very well.) But I’ve felt that I ought to pay a bit more attention this year, what with it being in my country and all, and I have to say that it’s fantastic how well Team GB are doing (and, more importantly, how well Team Yorkshire are doing). I’m glad that although in August last year, we were being represented by rioters who burned down their own cities, this year we are being represented by dedicated and inspirational athletes.

Good Thing #6: Last but (hopefully) not least, I would like some guest posts from you clever, witty, gorgeous people. I expect that I’m going to be pretty busy this month and the next, and blogging is unfortunately one of the first things I forget about when I’m clashed. However I would like to keep this little blog ticking over, and this feels like the perfect time to give other people the opportunity to take over. Comment, tweet me or email me (whatemilydidnext@gmail.com) if you’re interested!

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Two nights in a row I have gone to sleep feeling as though I may turn into a block of ice at any given moment, and two mornings in a row I have woken up feeling scratchy-throated and sniffly-nosed. In an attempt to not be a maungy ill person, here are some good things that don’t involve a tickly cough.

  1. My new favourite breakfast. I don’t know where this breakfast has been all my life, or why I have yet to photograph its stunning beauty. Step one: chop some vegetables of your choice. My choice is some combination of courgette, mushroom, red onion and pepper. Chop some bacon (optional – but gooooooooood). Heat some oil in a small saucepan and throw everything in. Step two: crack two eggs into a bowl and whisk them with some milk – butter, cream, cream cheese all optional but again, very good. Step three: when the vegetables and bacon are nearly ready, turn the heat down and tip the egg into the pan. Stir it around inside the pan to scramble it. Step four: serve on the bread of your choice (an English muffin) and smother with Frank’s Red Hot Sauce. The sauce isn’t necessary but you’d be pretty foolish to miss it out.
  2. Volunteering. I know, I’m turning into one of those people who won’t shut up about all the volunteer work they’re doing. As well as other responsibilities, I’m helping out as part of the Communications team at Brimham Rocks. It’s a truly wonderful place and I’m very excited to get to work on all manner of things including their website, social media presence, events and promotions. I also love volunteering because it gives me an excuse to eat six biscuits and drink two cups of coffee in 3 hours.
  3. The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood. I am loving this book. As per a Twitter suggestion by MJ I decided to download it to my Kindle. I’m so excited to be reading Atwood again; I’ve read a few of her other novels and I don’t know why I’ve spent so many years not reading anything else by her.

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A few weekends ago I went to a beer festival and won all manner of weird and wonderful things on a tombola, including (but not limited to) a cat toy (as seen above, attached to my wrist), a door handle and a stack of magazines with titles such as ‘Coin Collector’s Weekly’. I also found a wheat beer that I fell head over heels in love with and now I can’t remember what it was called other than ‘weissbier’ which isn’t particularly helpful.

Tell me about all the good things that are happening in your life!

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A lot of these are food. I love me some food. FEAST 003

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1. An amazing feast I made for myself on an incredibly lazy afternoon. One wrap, half spread with broad bean, asparagus & mint hummus, the other with garlic & spring onion Philadelphia, celery, apple, banana, peanut butter. I also had a dark chocolate Kit Kat and some Rubicon watermelon juice on the side.

2. Wooly socks, fluffy slippers, space heater. Bring it on, winter, I’m ready for you.

3. While driving back from Chester, I forced Rich to stop at a services which wasn’t very far from his house in order to buy myself a gingerbread latte from Costa. Starbucks can do one. In my opinion, it’s all about Costa, and while I would rather it be all about the tiramisu latte, which has not yet appeared, I can settle for gingerbread.

4. After receiving an email from Chiquitos telling me about their amazing lunch menu, I felt very sad about living in the middle of nowhere and not being able to head out to eat all the carby, greasy, cheesy, spicy delicious goodness. I had to make my own. One tortilla, grilled and cut up, homemade salsa, broad bean asparagus & mint hummus, creme fraiche, cheese. Not in any the same as from a restaurant but pretty tasty.

5. Misfits is back! Misfits is back! Misfits is back! Despite the fact that I missed it on Sunday night because I was at Rich’s, and had to watch the repeat, and am going to miss it again tomorrow night due to celebrating a friend’s birthday, I actually love this programme. Very rarely do I get quite so genuinely excited about anything on telly. I experienced something akin to butterflies in my stomach for the first few minutes of the first episode.

6. A non-pictorial good thing is that I’ve made some sensible decisions about my near future (sensible being a plan other than ‘move to New Zealand and be a dairy farmer!’) and I think that I would like to move out of my parent’s house, and away from Wensleydale, in the new year. As the job market has, surprise surprise, not changed since the last time I moaned about job hunting, chances are that I might have to work more than one part-time job, or take temporary contracts and hope for the best. I don’t want to say too much at the moment but hopefully next year I will have exciting things to blog about :)

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1. Pretty clothes! 2. Falafel and bombay mix is the food combination of winners 3. A heart shaped log! 4. Don’t you wish photos still came in packets like this? So much cooler than just uploading them to your laptop 5. Home-made butternut squash soup and crumpets, perfect for soothing this stinking cold I have at the moment 6. One wall in my bedroom, I ♥ polar bears!

Tell me your good things!

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+ How I Met Your Mother is BACK! (On American tv, so clearly being in England I have not been able to watch it. Of course. Ahemmm.) A lot of people judge me for liking it so much (it’s exactly the same as Friends, it’s so cheesy, it uses canned laughter etc etc) and to them I say pftthh. If something makes me laugh I don’t tend to analyse it any further, I just laugh and then watch another episode. And then another. And then another…

+ I got this card for my birthday* and recently rediscovered it. SO CUTE. If it doesn’t make you giggle, you may not be human.

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+ The job hunt is looking up! I don’t want to discuss anything in great detail on here because I’ve included my blog on my cv, but I’m feeling a lot happier about it than I was.

+ I’ve turned into a complete loser and have been SCRAPBOOKING. Not very well, I might add, but scrapbooking nonetheless. I have one for my Italian adventures (one two three four) and one that’s just full of pictures, poems, train tickets, leaflets and bits and pieces that make me happy.

+ The new Facebook layout will barely load on my dire internet connection, which is inspiring me to check Facebook less often, which in turn is making me more productive (if only slightly). I’m going to call this a good thing. (It’s also making me spend a lot more time on eBay looking for vintage jumpers, which is both a good and bad thing.)

* I got this card off my parents for my birthday. Because I picked it up in the shop and said, “ooh, I wonder who has a birthday coming up and would like this” and handed it to them. Not very subtle but definitely very effective.

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+ I have a new phone! The reviews of it are pretty terrible but it’s a step up from the one I had, which cost me £10 from Asda and heats up to the point of burning my ear if I have a conversation that lasts for more than a few minutes. I will now be able to tweet while I’m out and about.

+ Getting my 5-a-day is delicious.

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+ I spent my Saturday afternoon applying for a very exciting job and reading the Guardian supplements, while sitting in bed drinking a cup of tea. Pretending to be a grown-up is fun. It was also wonderful that my dire internet connection allowed me to remain connected for long enough to complete the application… on the fifth try #countrygirlproblems

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Priorities. I have them.

+ Canopies and Drapes by Emmy the Great. My head hurts, I wish I’d never woke up / I feel worse than when S Club 7 broke up

+ I’m going to see One Day on Wednesday. I still have issues with Anne Hathaway playing a girl from Leeds, and I’ve heard it’s way more mushy and romantic than the novel, but I feel like I pretty much have to see it after I raved about the book so much. The friend I’m going to see it with only read the book because I practically forced it into her suitcase when she went on holiday. Even if the film continues to bother me, having a film&food date with one of my best mates is definitely A Good Thing.

  • Tell me some good things!

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+ Tesco Finest giant cous cous with puy lentils and chipotle chillis. This doesn’t need an explanation, it is just a very good thing. I’ve been eating it spooned over a simple salad with some chunks of Wensleydale cheese and crusty bread. My spin on healthy eating just has to include bread and cheese. Sorry I’m not sorry.

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+ I’m 20 books away from reaching my total of 50 books for my Reading Challenge. It sounds like a lot but I have made a list of all the books I want to read and I am pretty excited about getting through them all.

+ I’m in love with charity shops again. 3 shirts and 2 books for under £20? Yes please.

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+ I’m going to apply for my dream job (one of my dream jobs, whatever) and even though I probably won’t get it, the fact that there are jobs out there that make me excited is definitely a step in the right direction. I’m still really jealous of everyone who is going back to school, but I think I made the right decision in not doing an MA. I think.

+ I’m on a roll with writing. Short stories, blog posts, letters, articles, a diary- you name it, I’m writing it. At least I know I made the right decision in my degree and career plans.

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  • It’s my 21st birthday on the 15th of the month. Next weekend I’m having a little get together with some of my faves (Holly, Becci, Rich, Kerry, Tom, Biddy, Becky, that’s you guys!) Plans include a meal out, a few beers, maybe some kind of country escapades including a castle or a waterfall or something.
  • I’ve been reading the Guardian Weekend magazine Summer fiction special. Maybe not very light ‘summer reading’ but very good nonetheless.
  • I fly to Rome on the 16th to start my little cultural holiday. Even though booking airport transfers for the way back is proving to be a complete pain in the arse, I’m incredibly excited nonetheless. I might just have to stay there. That won’t bother me too much. My enthusiasm is manifested in my tumblr, where I have reblogged approximately one million Italy-related pictures.
  • I’ve managed to select three items of clothing that I would like to get rid of, two of which I have been hanging onto for literally years – about five years, in fact. I’m aware that a dress, a shirt and a cardigan isn’t going to make much of a dent in the amount of crap I have amassed and need to unamass, but… baby steps.
  • I bought 7 cans of cream soda for 23p each. I think that is all that needs to be said.

  • When’s your birthday & do you have any plans?
  • What have you been reading?
  • What are your good things?

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+ Buying a scrapbook. There’s nothing in yet but it’s beautiful and will soon be filled with beautiful things.

+ Wasabi peas. I bought some on a whim from Tesco and they’re pretty tasty. When I ate the first one it was so spicy I thought I was going to cry, but the spice lasts for about 2 seconds and then gives way to a slightly sweet deliciousness. Nice as snacks, great on salads.

+ My holiday to Italy next month. I’m getting very excited and have made a ridiculously long lists of things I want to see and do. I want churches, gardens, wine, ancient ruins, opera, coffee, Shakespeare plays, pizza, markets, gelato and maybe even a gondola ride. Figuring out what to pack is a bit of a pain because we’re there for 10 days and we’re travelling from place to place, but I would happily wear a sack to wander round Italy at the height of summer.

Oh yes, Grom. Oh yes oh yes oh yes.

+ Seeing the boyfriend a week earlier than expected :)

+ Gilmore Girls. Don’t hate. Guilty pleasure.

+ Running on the treadmill for the first time in… well, far too long. Granted it was only for 20 minutes but it felt good!