ness talks about life

adventures

My life has settled into a routine and let me say: I accept.

However, just because it’s routine doesn’t mean there isn’t time for going on adventures. (Unless, of course, we have another lockdown due to the Plague.)

REREAD DOPE BOOKS

… you … thought I *WOULDN’T* put books in a ‘go on adventures’ list?

I reread the Silver Branch and I adored it. Some things don’t hold up from your childhood and should never be revisited lest they be found to have feet of clay. (Just go with me on this analogy.) However, other things? Absolutely should be revisited on a regular basis.

The Silver Branch by Rosemary Sutcliff is 100% one of these. I loved it.

SUPPORT THE ARTS

*the arts*

I went to see The Play That Goes Wrong and giggled/cackled/chortled/guffawed the whole way through.

(I should probably assure you that this was a comedy.)

After the highs of this dizzying experience, I went back to watch Merlin: A Ballet.

My dear pals, comrades, and chums – I forgot that it wasn’t a comedy and when the two dancers (they were gods, apparently, and the parents of Merlin) glided on stage with a slight squeaking of dance shoes – I was *this* close to giggling.

And then I remembered. And attempted to embrace the drama and the art that was being performed in front of me.

There were some really quite wonderful dances – when Morgan Le Feye enchants Uther, and a Lady Of The Lake sequence – however, I was mildly confused, mistook Arthur for Uther and Uther’s dad for Uther and it was only made clear when I googled it.

I’m not certain ballet is for me and I might not quite be able to follow the story (there was the Tide Kingdom and the Solar Kingdom and the baby could be Arthur. Possibly.) but I’m glad I gave it a go. David Suchet: Poirot And More was my cup of tea. In fact, it was exactly my cup of tea and it was a high I may never, ever come down from.

I’ve been watching him portray Poirot practically my entire life and let me tell you, seeing him in person, talking about how he played Poirot and his career and ‘oh, let’s just do some epic speeches and make you feel things from Shakespeare’ MOVED me.

100% would recommend.

GO TO MUSEUMS AND/OR THE INTERNATIONAL SPACE CENTRE

my future. FOR SURE.

I kept on telling everyone ‘oh yes, I’m going to the International Space Centre’.

DISCLAIMER: I was not going to the International Space Centre.

I was going to the National Space Centre. In England. We don’t have a huge space thingy (a technical term that I definitely learnt there) here, however, we’ve had some astronauts.

(Wait. It’s ‘space program’. I meant ‘we don’t have a huge space program.’ There we go. We got there in the end.)

It was fun. Jim Kirk wasn’t there which was a terribly tragic disappointment that I’ve yet to recover from.

There was a milkshake in the flavour of ‘blue goo’. This was an accurate description of its taste. It also turned my tongue blue. This is the future of humanity.

HAUNT A GRAVEYARD

It makes you think of your mortality. We have only so much time on this earth; they remind you of those who are gone and to treasure those who are here.

Graveyards are quiet, sombre places – and yet, they are tranquil. You can look at the names engraved on headstones and wonder who these people were, what kind of lives they lived, what their stories were.

STAR GAZE (AT NIGHT)

Notice I clarified it with ‘at night’. You’re welcome. I’m very detail orientated. Look – take a flask of tea with you. Go where there’s minimal light pollution – or just go and lie down on a lawn, any lawn. Preferably, yours. Stare at the stars. Think about life. All those other folks who have watched the same stars. That sort of thing. Also – maybe take a blanket too.

You don’t have to think deep thoughts – you can just look up and be lost in the wonder of it all. And when it gets cold, go back inside, wrap up in a blanket, and enjoy a hot drink. You’ve earned it.

photo by ioana motoc on Pexels.com
ness talks about life

what to do: a follow up to a life crisis

I know, I know, I’m sure everyone has been burning with an intense desire to know exactly what profound thoughts have been rattling around my head and also – of course – which work sector I ended up gracing with my superb skills.

I have a job. And it will come as a complete shocker that it is not one of the three professions I listed in a previous blog post. Gee. Life is surprising. But working on an offshore oil rig – apparently – was a touch too far. As was being an astronaut (though I am working on that, I’ll have you know) and a saturation diver. Life is also cruel like that.

My brother and I were exchanging genial insults the other day – and then he said to me:

I hope space DISAPPEARS so that you can NEVER be an astronaut.

I’ve never been more proud of him. It’s a level of pettiness I can only aspire to achieve. (I shan’t transcribe the conversation that led up to the above quote, but please do me a favour and imagine that I was marvellously witty.)

However, I digress. I’m writing this because it feels as though I have embarked upon what – in certain circles – is known as:

A NEW SEASON OF LIFE

*throws confetti, accidentally pollutes the environment and chokes one (1) rodent, a rainbow appears in the sky and hits the last migrating goose*

No, I’m not getting married. I, I’ll have you know, am clearly going to be a spinster until I’m a withered husk of bones and wrinkles. You’re welcome, world.

Neither am I – as the scriptures say – ‘with child’. See the above reason. I’m not ready for motherhood. My guppies – George Harrison, Ringo Starr, Neil, Paisley and the deceased Nebuchadnezzar, John, and Paul -would agree.

It’s amazing what making a life change does to you. Being able to quit a job that was growing steadily more pressured, and finding a new one that is far less pressured? It has been such a blessing.

And then, there is of course the life crisis I underwent whilst sitting in the hairdresser’s having my hair dyed partially grey. (The life crisis had nothing to do with the colour, I’ll have you know.) I sat there and was still and so withdrawn into myself it was strange that life was still happening around me; hair was being cut, nails done, and conversations were being had.

I sat and stared at myself in the mirror and thought so hard it was surprising I didn’t ruin my three brain cells. I walked into the hairdresser’s a youngish woman with grey hair tips, brown roots, and a vague life plan.

I left with brown roots shot through with grey and an Idea that was boggling me with the simplicity of it. (Don’t ever limit yourself, by the way. There is more to you than you know/remember.) It wasn’t a book/blog related thing – which, perhaps, is one of the reasons I was so stunned.

So, that’s that. Exciting times. Uncertain too, but isn’t it always the case? (For the love of Pete, if you want to maintain your sanity don’t spend too long on the news or social media.)

this is the ‘moon’. you may recognise it. my camera is truly brilliant.

We hopped in the car the other night – drove into the countryside to crane our heads back and look at the stars. The moon shone so brightly that it almost obscured all other night-sky lights. It shone on the water; made it magical and yet so much more. This was real; an everyday extraordinary sight that added flavour to life.

I didn’t bring a flask of tea with me – an oversight; make sure you have a clean flask with you if you venture out on an autumnal evening.

Anyway, the point – the whole point – of this post is to say: life goes on. What is now isn’t forever. Have a look round – you can do more than you think.

And if you don’t necessarily succeed? Hey, who cares! Sometimes it’s the trying that matters. It’s the journey that enriches. The refusal to stagnate. The decision to keep your eyes open to possibilities and the desire to look for the wonder of it all.

So keep going. You’ve got this.

ness talks about life

what to do: life crisis edition

In June, I quit my job. It wasn’t to write full time. If the last month is anything to go by, that would be a truly terrible idea.

(It appears that I can write best by having something called ‘a structure’. Ew. Take it back.)

I did take some time to complete the publishing of A Most Irregular Prophecy which was useful. Immediately afterwards, I was bitten by a writing bug – the symptoms of which were: has ideas, cannot write. Entirely useless. Utterly vile.

And this month, I’ve been caught in the midst of a job hunt. I’m weighing up my options. Here are a few that are definitely on the table …

AN OFFSHORE OIL RIG

I have watched precisely (1) movie and read (1) romance book that is either set on an oil rig that explodes or has a main character who works on one. That being said, I really think I absorbed enough crucial information to know that I could most definitely be brilliant in this line of work.

Would I worry about its potential detrimental affect on the environment? Yes. Do I have the upper body strength of a limp noodle? Also – yes. Do you see these answers?! So positive. My future is bright.

#goals

SATURATION DIVING

I’ve watched a documentary about this (Last Breath on Netflix). Boom. Sorted. I’d be fine. One hundred percent. I’d be a thriving diplodocus.

(Would I be terrified? Yes. Would I get over this fear? Yes! Do I have any experience with diving? … No. Is the documentary about a close brush with death? Yes. Yes, it is.)

(Also – mild digression – it’s a very interesting documentary. I’d highly recommend it.)

ASTRONAUT

I was contemplating offering my services as an astronaut when I saw that the UK Government had this on their website regarding a potential career:

THE CHEEK!

How appalling. Haven’t they learned to beam yet? One would expect to be able to beam home from space for the weekends. Disgusting. The state of the world.

I’m reconsidering. Seriously reconsidering. Yes, yes, I am. I will refuse to complete my (multiple) PhDs that I am most definitely doing. In astrophysics. And … astrology. No. Wait. Astronomy. That’s the one.

(I read a book about eclipses once and also enjoy staring at the night sky, valiantly discerning the difference between airplanes and stars. I feel as though this qualifies me for a great many fields.)


It is quite fortunate, I think, that I love to read books – through their pages, you can live a thousand lives and walk in many different shoes. In the meantime, the job hunt continues. Next up? A job on an Ocean Liner. Massive boats that have nice big names. Like The Ginormous. The Colossal. Or … the Titanic? Ah yes. That could work. Lovely ring to it.

ness rambles, ness talks about life

things, they be happening

I don’t know if this is a me thing or if this is an everybody thing but- say it’s a Saturday and I’ve got a friend coming at 2 o’clock – can I be productive in the hours leading up to the Fateful Meeting? Do I get things done? Do I fill every minute with 60 seconds worth of distance run? Do I not only seize the day, but seize the hour! The minute! The second!

Ha.

Hahahahahahaha.

No. The answer is no. I browse the internet. I surf. I dawdle. I while away the hours, my brain consumed with the upcoming time when Things Will Happen. I am incapacitated. I am held in stasis. I cannot function.

In short, I have Something Happening that day and nothing else will happen until that something has happened.

I suppose the answer is a change of mindset. Being aware of the problem is surely half way to solving it, isn’t it? Anyway, I digress:

On the subject of Things Happening …

THINGS THAT HAVE HAPPENED:

  • I walked some of Hadrian’s Wall. It was a perfect hoot. I am now a weathered outdoorswoman.
Artist’s impression of me, weathered outdoorswoman / Photo by Sebastian Voortman on Pexels.com
  • I slept in a tent for three nights and let me tell you, I was a Princess and the entire ground was made of peas that first night. I tossed and turned and was as anxious as a YA heroine caught up in love triangle.
  • Nebuchadnezzar AKA the guppy whose name I could never spell – is dead. Deceased. No more. It’s pretty horrible and I’m quite upset. Also: I can’t find his body.
  • I have the proofs for a Most Irregular Prophecy and have held my book child in my hands.

THINGS HAPPENING SOON:

  • A Suffragist Abroad AKA A Most Irregular Prophecy is having a cover reveal and POSSIBLY A RELEASE DATE??? (I AM EXCITEMENT) (I always have to double check that spelling as I live in horror and dread of accidentally writing: ‘I am excrement’)
  • Our Intrepid Heroine is having a facelift AKA a cover reveal.
i just like this gif
  • I’m going through some personal life changes which are … exciting and yet also terrifying.
  • An existential post-quarter-life-crisis will probably loom. (Pop that in your diary.)
  • But mainly: bookish things should be happening
  • I’ve ordered a new pair of reading glasses

happy reading!

ness rambles, ness talks about life

beam me up, scotty, energize, and punch it: star trek

It’s got to the point where I mutter ‘damn it, Jim!’ under my breath on a regular basis. Yes – that’s right, I have found Star Trek: The Original Series and it has been a blast.

I’ve reached the end of Season Two with one more to go and there are movies afterwards with the same cast and one of them has a whale that they have to time travel with? To save the universe?

i’m here for it

DEM CHARACTERS ‘THO

I love the seriousness that Shatner displays with every line. He could be talking to a man dressed in a lizard costume, enacting some illogical behaviour by lighting a pretend bomb, or speaking to a screen but boy, the man treats every line like a Shakespearian discourse.

(Needless to say, I am here for it.)

It is just … I appreciate it, okay? The sheer dedication! It’s got that zaniness of Batman 1960s but sort of toned down but very much not and oh it’s also in space. I adore it.

Also Spock. He’s the bee’s knees with a witheringly scathing eyebrow and the most logical brain. And I just like the dynamic of the crew.

THE STORYLINES

Some of the plots are, for all the seeming goofiness of the show, quite deep. They gave me some vibes from that Doctor Who episode where the Doctor (the one with the eyebrows) is trying to persuade people not to commit genocide and gives a brilliant speech that I may have found to be incredibly moving.

There’s this underlying theme on humanity – what does it mean to be human? To have empathy? Compassion? To make the right choices?

And then you have the Tribble episode.

what a unit of an episode

Fluffy art’n’craft balls that reproduce at an alarming rate. I just … this is the content that I subscribe to. Let’s be serious but also let me have low stakes, high comedy episodes scattered throughout a series.

And then, too, you have episodes where it’s all Twelve Angry Men and by that I mean they are literally on the bridge the entire time, speaking to the viewscreen the entire episode. Again though – I’ll allow it, because I like the characters. Do I think that the writers might have been on a different plane of existence to the rest of us? Yes. Is it entertaining? Oh heck yeah.

I love how diverse it was for the time it aired. Occasionally I roll my eyes so hard I sprain something when ‘de sexism’ appears. (And boy does it appear.) (Damn it, Jim!)

MISC

  • The woman’s uniform must have felt a bit draughty, eh?
  • The food is colourful squares and I’m not sure to be envious or disgusted
  • McCoy has the perfect ‘exasperated with Spock’ face
  • The decorations! The set design! My gosh! I love it. I feel like some set designers were passionate geometry enthusiasts and others looked at every garish colour and said yes, I accept

And lastly – the Original Series has a mere paltry three seasons. BUT THERE IS SO MUCH MORE TO STAR TREK. I’m taking it one episode at a time but just searching Netflix for ‘Star Trek’ brings up so many results with so many seasons. So many. So many.

damn it, jim!