Saturday, 28 November 2015

One Lovely November // award and interview.

“Was it a vision, or a waking dream? 
Fled is that music:—do I wake or sleep?"

I started my morning with these words of Keats', from the absolutely beautiful poem Ode to a Nightingale. With the rain drumming down on my grey window it can be easy to be melancholy in November, but I've got so much to be thankful for this month. I hope you've all had lovely Novembers, and are ready for 2015's last celebration next month!

Eons ago I received the One Lovely Blog Award from some lovely friends: Marian @ Ivory Clouds; Seana @ The Totally Insane Writer; and Lauren @ Always Me. (At least, I think I got it from Lauren, though so many light years have passed since I couldn't swear it.)

You guys know the drill: seven facts, nominate fifteen others (though I can tell you right now that ain't happening), generally spread love and peace in the blogosphere.

Shall we begin?

[NB: All images are taken from Pinterest. I do not claim ownership of any of these images.]

Telemark, Norway:
Telemark, Norway

You were here | Observando:

1. I've been given an interview at the University of Oxford.

I am ecstatic.

Unlike Cambridge, Oxford only interview about half their applicants. They only take one in five, so the chances of my getting in are slimmer than Victoria Beckham (wow, what a simile ... ), but to get an interview has made me so so happy. Even if I don't get a place, I still know that I was in the top half of candidates!

And I get to go to Oxford, by myself, for four days; missing school, staying in the college, the whole she-bang. It is, I hope, going to be highly enjoyable.

Art by Jenny Keith-Hughes:

Nordicana - Grace Helmer:

Am I nervous about the interview? Yes, of course, but also excited. When else will I get the chance to talk about BOOKS to a hugely clever academic who hopefully loves Fitzgerald/Keats/Shakespeare as much as I do?!



2. This is one of my favourite songs at the moment (I can only find this ballet-ish video, sorry) and on Wednesday, after I'd received my email from Oxford and was too keyed up to sleep, the first line inspired me to make my (first ever!) bucket list. So far it doesn't have one hundred things (I think I'm on fifty-six). They include: get dreads; see Paris; design a tattoo for someone; go to India; fill a proper illustrative journal, rather than just Pinning heaps of them.

how painful is this life //:

Mysteriously Hovering Houses drawing by Angie Hoffmeister / iphigen

3. I have a massive love for Calvin and Hobbes.

by Bill Watterson // “Calvin: You can't just turn on creativity like a faucet. You have to be in the right mood.  Hobbes: What mood is that?  Calvin: Last-minute panic.”:
Calvin and Hobbes QUOTE OF THE DAY (DA): The truth is, most of us discover where we are heading when we arrive." -- Calvin/Bill Watterson:

4. Some films I really want to see: Mockingjay Part 2; (new) Cinderella; The Breakfast Club; Submarine.

"Animal Spirits: Swan" Media: Pencil and watercolor on illustration board Size: 8" x 10" inches Year: 2013 Love Union Divination Grace Elegance Purity Beauty Ability to see into the future Dreams ........ This original illustration by artist Patricia Ariel is part of the series of small artworks nam...:



5. I have desperate dreams of excellent red lippie game, but it just never ever works. Basically, I'm terrible at being a girl: walking in heels, make-up-type things, you name it, I am awful.

Katt Frank:

Vernazza, Cinque Terre, Italy:
Vernazza, Cinque Terre, Italy
6. Contrary to social norms, I refuse to be excited about Christmas until December 1st. So, for the next three days, I will continue to enjoy November for itself!


Fyodor Dostoyevsky:

7. I hate time travel. I don't watch Doctor Who, because it just never makes sense and I hate trying to work it out. My least favourite of the Harry Potters is The Prisoner of Azkaban, because, when you think about it, a lot of the Time Turner stuff is very shaky. I will never, ever, ever write a book that has anything to do with time travel. Ever.

25 beautiful photos that will make you want to visit Madrid, Spain ~ Travel And See The World:
Madrid (a place on my new bucket list, incidentally)


Nominees (obviously not fifteen but yeah)

Valar Morghulis, Valar Dohaeris - Game of Thrones:


I absolutely loved Oxford when I went. The buildings, the streets, the bicycles propped up against just about any corner; abuzz but also relaxed. It was really inspiring to me. I probably had my mouth gaping open the whole time like an idiot. It was beautiful:

Have a great weekend!


  1. Can I just say I love the way you write? I mean, your intro is just an intro, but the words! They're so beautiful and have this quiet, peaceful sort of feel, that I adore so much. It's like a chill, rainy morning accompanied by a favorite blanket and a book of fairytales. It just transports you to beautiful places.

    OH MY GOODNESS! I am so excited for you! An interview at Oxford. Getting to talk books with an academic! Aaaah! That's the best thing ever! You'll do wonderfully. :D And a whole four days in Oxford? Heavenly.

    Calvin and Hobbes for life! *high fives*

    Mockingjay 2 is amazing, and just wow. I cried. A lot. (Victor Frankenstein is also really good. Vastly different from the book, but good nonetheless. I like the take on Igor, very different from the norm.)

    "I'm terrible at being a girl"-- totally relate! I want to try the red lip thing, but I'm not that brave. "Me in heels" spells "disaster" by some grammatical miracle. I do not wear white because it won't be white for long. And my hair is in a constant state chaos. I could never be a fairytale princess; I'd do better as Robin Hood's daughter or something other unruly figure.

    December 1st isn't that bad of a time to start Christmas celebrations. I usually don't get excited about Christmas until it's already over? The wintry feels don't hit me until the new year. It's really strange. . .

    WHAT!? No time travel? I LOVE time travel. I mean, it's got to be done right. Doctor Who's isn't too shabby, especially since it's not supposed to be taken too seriously. You not supposed to think about time travel too much. It's one of those things that you've just got to believe. It's half logical and science and the other half is the magic of pure belief (like fairies in Peter Pan). Writing-wise though, I think I have one series on the back burning with a parallel universe, and another pending idea that has just a touch of time travel. (Does this mean you don't like the movie Inception?)

    Love all the pictures! Especially the fox and the birds, and the Oxford one, the trees, and the Oxford one.

    1. I read this comment on my phone on Sunday night, in the car on the way home from church, and I have to admit I almost started crying in the dark back seat. That is like the best compliment I have ever had!!!

      Gosh. I'm getting a bit emotional!

      Thank you!! I have booked my train for Saturday, and I have planned the books I'm going to take, and I'm going to go round the lovely shops, and ... gah! I'm so excited!

      ~high fives resoundingly~

      I'm seeing it on Friday night, I'm so excited! I'm also desperate to see Frankenstein, just because I love James Macavoy an incredible amount.

      I have had occasional red lip success in the past, but the last time was a disaster. Ugh. I looked like a vampire, or rather some terrible Halloween vampire costume. Not good at all.

      But, yes, no to fairytale princesses! I feel the need to quote from TCATT (because it's totally not egocentric to quote, um, yourself). So Mel has done Corrie's make up and hair for the St Hesta's Day ball:

      Should this be my princess moment? When I, the heroine, step out transformed? Dowdy Corrie gone, styled away, the fairy godmother’s magic done and the audience’s gasp as they realise that here she is, she was there all along, secretly beautiful? Should I smile with my painted lips, all my wildest dreams of beauty realised? Corrie, by the way, is short for Corisande, the christening gift of a mother with delusions of grandeur. She long ago lost the battle to make me use it. But should I put it on, now, like a stylish dress? It is a princess name, a name for the romantic lead. I could adopt it, a glittering title for St Hesta’s Day and the night of my life.
      This is not what happens.
      Mel has put my hair up and applied some make-up. She hasn’t given me a new face, or a new skin. I am still myself. Our eyes meet in the mirror, and her pretty face is full of one question: Do you like it?
      A smile breaks out. “I love it,” I say, because I do.
      I am not a heroine, waiting to be claimed, and I will not sit with folded hands and rosepetal skin in a shining tower while a knight climbs up for me. I am a woman, I am the star of my own tale, and I am not silent.

      I do get new year feels. My fave time of year is the week between Christmas and New Year. Perfect for reading fantasy novels in bed all day, with no stress and lots of tea and Christmas chocolate!

      NO TIME TRAVEL! Doctor Who I cannot deal with. I'm OK with what you might call major time travel -- going back centuries, for example -- and parallel universes are fine, but it's when people mess around with the details of their own life that I just can't handle it.

      Thank you! (Not that I can take any credit at all ... all from Pinterest, my friend!)

  2. Congrats on getting an interview at Oxford, Emily!

    I hope you like those movies - I've seen all of them except Submarine which sounds good. Mockingjay pt 2 is a pretty faithful adaptation of the book and I liked the new Cinderella more than I expected. The Breakfast Club is a classic!

    Time travel is one of my favorite things, especially if done well. Doctor Who and Prisoner of Azkaban are a couple of my favorites! Does this mean you don't like Back to the Future?!

    I can totally relate to the girly stuff. I can do heels fairly well (guess I have good balance), but forget makeup. I've never enjoyed wearing it, which probably has something to do with the fact that I have very sensitive skin. Makes it very difficult to find something that I can actually put on my face without having some sort of reaction.

    I feel you with Christmas. I can't start getting into the holiday spirit until after Thanksgiving, so right about now. This year the Christmas music began the day after Halloween, far too early!

    Congrats again!

    1. Thank you! I'm here right now -- I had two interviews this morning and I've another tomorrow!

      I saw Mockingjay last week which I loved!

      Ha, I can seem I'm pretty unpopular in my opinion! I've not seen BttF, though I would like to.

      Ha, my balance is atrocious so heels are a disaster. Make-up is fine at a basic level (foundation, concealer, mascara I can handle) but above that I'm lost! That sucks about your skin. But there are lots of products for sensitive skin, I guess they're more expensive though :(

      That is so early! I'm totally in the spirit now though! Yesterday afternoon I sat in my college room (I'm staying in Oxford currently) whilst carols from the chapels drifted in the window. Amazing!

  3. *gasp* Congrats on the Oxford interview!!! I hope that goes exceedingly well for you. ^_^

    Ah, good ol' Calvin and Hobbes. XD You must watch Cinderella, yes--it instantly became one of my "happy place" movies, something that just puts me in a glowing mood.

    But time travel is so fuuuuuun! XD I can see why you don't enjoy it, though. It always makes my head spin. I haven't watched Doctor Who, nor read/watched Harry Potter; but I have really enjoyed the time travel aspect of The Dreamhouse Kings series by Robert Liparulo. Creepy old house, ever-changing rooms that lead to different time periods, and the main character boys' mission to rescue their kidnapped mom. If you ever decide to test the time travel waters again, I'd highly recommend those books. ;)

    Thanks so much for the tag! I was trying to come up with something to post yesterday, and discovered you'd nominated me. Perfect timing! I had fun with it.

    1. Thank you! It was today, I thiiink it went OK but I've got another tomorrow!

      The kings of my heart! I really want to see Cinderella!

      OK, those books do sound interesting! I don't mind travel to different periods, it's just within a character's own life that messes me up. Oh, but you MUST read Harry! Best books ever! (Not even exaggerating, my very favourites!)

  4. Congrats on the interview! So exciting! Also I'm so with you on being not excited about Christmas till December 1st. XD MOCKINGJAY PART 2 IS SO GOOD! YOU MUST SEE IT!


    2. YESSSSSS!

      I'd also like to ask you something. I'm having a blogging project going on where I will be interviewing people from around the world for reference for writers so characters from different countries can be written accurately. Since you're English I'd absolutely love to have you on the project. Would you be interested in that?

    3. Would love to, sounds great!

    4. Fantastic! Email me at and I'll send you the details! Thank you so much!

  5. Congratulations on the interview!!! I'm sure you'll do amazing and awesome and incredible and .

    Loved the pictures, too, (isn't Pintrest awesome?) and your answers. I disagree with the time travel thing, though. The more it hurts my head the better it is for me, but I think that's just me being weird :) And you MUST see both Mockingly pt 2 and Cinderella. LOVED THEM BOTH!!

    Thanks for nominating me!!!

    1. Thank you Victoria! <3

      Pinterest is amazing, yes! Ha, no one agrees with me RE time travel! I think I'll have to suffer on alone ;) Enjoyed Mockingjay sooo much!

      You're welcome, I'll be by soon!


Thanks for commenting! :)