life anecdotes

Thoughts on… Living Alone

I’ve been living with a flatmate for a year now and it’s going really well. We have different schedules, I work 9-5 during the week and he works from home and stays up super late, so we don’t really see each other that much but it works for us.

Every now and then my flatmate goes away for anything between a few days to a couple of weeks for either work or a holiday. He’s away at the minute and he’s been gone for almost a week and won’t be back for another week and a bit, and anytime he’s away I find myself acting like how I presume I would if I lived alone.

Let me explain. First of all, my flatmate doesn’t cook. Seriously, all he uses is the microwave and the toaster. I’m not exactly an adventurous cook but I do regularly use the oven and/or the hob so that means I use a lot of kitchenware. We have a dishwasher, but my flatmate is the only one who uses it as I’ve previously never lived anywhere that had a dishwasher, so I don’t know how to use the thing. That means I wash all my dishes and pots and pans in the sink – I’m happy to do that as it’s what I’m used to. When it’s the two of us, I wash and dry and put away all the stuff I’ve used straight away. But, when my flatmate’s away I find myself still washing everything up straightaway, but I leave it on the draining board to dry and then it might take me two days to put things back in the cupboard. To be honest I haven’t put the bowl and spoon I have for my cereal each morning away since he’s been gone – it lives on the draining board now.

I find myself doing other odd little things as well like leaving things in the lounge when I’d normally put them straight in my room or walking around the flat in my pyjamas when I’d at least put a hoody on top first.

None of this stuff is particularly bad, and I’m sure he has habits or forgets about certain things when I’ve been away for work or a holiday, but it makes me think that if or when I ever get a place to call my own (#millenialproblems) will I leave stuff to dry on the draining board, or will I want my home to always be neat and tidy? I don’t know.

I know I’d tidy up and make sure all the dishes were away if I ever invited friends over, so why don’t I do that extra step when I’m on my own? Let’s be real, I know the answer to that – laziness. Still, while I’m sharing this flat with my flatmate, I’ll keep all the shared living space clean and tidy, at least when he’s here! I’ll make sure everything’s back to normal the day before he gets back!

Thoughts on… Not Replying to Messages

I am terrible at replying to messages – whether that’s emails, texts, WhatsApp messages, FB messages, any form of messaging contact I am bad at replying. I’m not always sure why I am so bad. Sometimes I see a message, open it and think “must reply to that” but I’m doing something else and forget and next thing I know it is three days (or more) later. Sometimes I don’t even open the message because then I think, the notification will stay there to remind me to read and reply, and in the case of WhatsApp – they won’t know I’ve read it and then am ignoring them/forgotten all about it. Sometimes this prompts me to reply sooner rather than later, other times I end up with dozens of notifications on my phone I’m ignoring.

As I write this post I currently have 104 unread emails staring at me from my phone. These emails are from four accounts; my work email, my blog email, my personal email and my “professional” email aka the one I use when applying for jobs and LinkedIn and such. Many of these emails are notifications from my blog (new followers, comments etc), automated emails from sites like Etsy, AO3 and LinkedIn, and emails about my latest Amazon order. Probably only 10 emails or less are something I need to actively read and reply to – so why aren’t I?

Sometimes I think it could be a kind of anxiety thing (I don’t have anxiety but how I feel about the pressures of emails mounting up does make me feel a bit uneasy) If I don’t open them, I don’t have to deal with it, but then there’s more and more of them and that puts me off opening them even more.

Sometimes I don’t feel like talking to people – this one is probably a bit more of a problem when it comes to emails to my blog-related email account, especially if it’s someone offering me the opportunity to review something. My close friends know I’m generally slow at replying to a text/WhatsApp message and understand that a three-day wait is pretty normal for me, but with other people it doesn’t always work and I must force myself to reply as soon as I get the message otherwise I won’t for ages. I just know what I’m like.

It’s weird because for work, I can reply pretty promptly to an email, or at least within 24 hours if I reply the next day (I refuse to deal with work emails at home) but with personal ones I put it off a bit. Maybe it’s because at work I feel people are relying on me or are waiting for a response before they can do something else but to be honest, anyone who emails me, whether that’s for work, my blog, or personal, are waiting for a response so that’s no real excuse. Maybe it’s because with work I have to reply or there’s a network of people to have a go at me if I don’t, whereas anything to my personal or blog email account, it’s up to me to reply and deal with it – no one’s making me besides my own conscience, and that takes a back seat sometimes.

Really this post is me, trying to put my thoughts in order on why I am so terrible at replying to messages. I don’t think I’ve really succeeded but if you ever email me about my blog, or leave a comment that I take a week to reply to, maybe you can now see why I take so long to respond.

Replying to messages more quickly is something I’m working on. Now, to prove that I’m going to go and whittle down my unread emails – even if it’s marking a lot of them as read!

31 Days of Blogging – Completed

South Bucks-20140131-00791I’ve succeeded in one of my New Year’s resolutions! I have now blogged every single day of January – 31 days of posts from me about whatever interested me that day. I’ve covered films, awards, things that happened to me that day, reviews, theatre, my many DVD’s, TV, and music. During these past 31 days I’ve learnt a lot about myself and also blogging so here’s the main things that I’ve discovered.

I have the time to blog everyday

I do have the time to take half an hour or so out my day to write about something that interests me. At the start of the month I was posting my blogs at about 11:53pm and only just managing to get in there before the day was over but I soon learnt how to manage my time. After the first few days I easily figured out when was the best time for me to blog – sometimes it was early in the morning, others it was the afternoon. It was all down to managing what I’d got on that day, for instance I’d post a blog in the morning if I knew I was going to be out most of the day/evening and was unsure if or when I’d have the time later on that day to get that blog post up. I’ve always been pretty good at managing my time but this has month has definitely helped me perfect that skill.

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The Bechdel Test in Real Life

For some reason (I’m honestly not sure what brought this on) I’ve been thinking about how the Bechdel test relates to my everyday life. The Bechdel test is a simple way to determine how well women are represented in media, whether that’s in books, films or TV shows. The three rules of the Bechdel test are that 1) there are at least two named women that 2) talk to each other 3) about something other than a man.

Now many forms of media fail the Bechdel test but when you think about your everyday conversations – how can media fail such a simple test?!

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Living in a Bubble

When I’m at university I often finding myself living in a bit of a bubble – I’m very much focused on my course and the reading and writing that comes with it and my various jobs around campus. Every now and then I realise that I have no real idea about what’s going on in “the real world”. I just don’t know if there’s been a natural disaster or a political crisis or even what’s going on in my own country whether that’s new policies or what any of the big news stories that are hitting the front page of the newspapers are.

I try and rectify this when I realise how long it’s been since I’ve watched or read the news – usually I realise when Have I Got News For You is on and I realise that I don’t get the jokes because I don’t know what’s been happening in my own country (that being said Have I Got News For You does actually inform me a little bit). I check out the BBC News website and I try and make it a habit to always have that page open when I’m on my laptop. I somehow always seem to know about a celebrity’s latest antics thanks to social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, especially thanks to top trending hashtags. But really, no matter what the world’s media may think, a celebrity doing something incredibly stupid shouldn’t be the most important news story.

I think the main reason I don’t know what’s going on in “the real world” is that at University I don’t have a television – mainly because it would be another way for me to procrastinate. At home we always have the TV on for the six o’clock news so I see what’s happening near enough every day. And then there’s the newspapers my mum takes from work every day she’s in so I can flick through them and get to see what’s going on. At university I don’t buy newspapers – four days of the week out of seven I go nowhere near a shop that actually sells newspapers.

I just feel incredibly bad and selfish when I realise how much I don’t know about “the real world.” I’m a part of this world so I should really pay more of an interest in it.

Gotta Keep Walking

Over the past three days I have had work which entails (amongst other things) giving a tour of my university campus to groups of young students. The age of these students varies with whichever school comes for the day – on Monday they were twelve years old, yesterday they were thirteen, and today they were fifteen.

I enjoy my job, even when the kids are a bit lively and sometimes ask silly questions it’s still a fun way to spend a few hours and I get paid for it.

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Failing at being a comeback Queen

I can never think of witty comebacks when I need them and I’m sure I’m not the only one.

Yesterday I was in the shop on campus buying a bottle of wine to take to a friend’s tomorrow as she’s having a small gathering and she’d cooking us all lunch so thought it would be nice to bring some wine. So I picked up the bottle of wine, was standing in the queue and this cute guy came and joined the queue behind me and said “Bit early for that isn’t?”

My only response was to roll my eyes and say “Don’t judge me.” I hasten to add I was buying this wine at around 2pm so you know, at least it wasn’t still morning but that was all I said. No don’t get me wrong, I didn’t feel as if I needed to justify myself to this guy why I was buying wine but just saying “Don’t judge me” probably made me sound like a bit of an alcoholic.

As soon as I had paid and stepped out of the shop I thought of more witty things I could have said. “Well, it’s five o’clock somewhere!” or “I’m a Masters student – we all get driven to drink.” or “It’s Friday!” or I could have even mentioned the whole sophisticated plan of since my friend’s cooking for me the least I could do is bring a bottle of wine.

But alas, none of these witty comments came to mind at the right time and the cute guy probably thinks I’m an angry alcoholic.

When I was younger I was bullied and could never think of a clever reply to shoot back at the bullies until about three days later and I’d thought about it non-stop. I guess I still haven’t managed to become the Queen of the comeback – though at least now it only takes me a few minutes to realise what a wasted opportunity I had. I guess some people are just better at thinking on their feet than others. My mother for instance is super quick and can banter with the best, I only the other hand either end up stumbling over my words or having a complete blank.