Posted in Musings

Afternoon Tea (June)

I went to York again this month. For a bit longer this time, and it was lovely. It always is. I love going there and visiting everyone and the pups and bun. I didn’t get to see Fen this time, but I will next time because I miss them! We’re going to do crafty things surrounded by pups. It’s a thing and we will be doing it.

I’ve been sorting out the house a bit too, there’s a lot to do because we’ve lived here for nineteen years and there’s a bit of an accumulation of crap. It happens in every house, but my parents have been living alone here for the last little while, and there hasn’t been much time for them to sort anything out. So I’ve been trying to do it. I’m making some progress but it gets boring! Maybe I should be some kind of organisation person, because I always want to organise other people’s stuff, but of course not my own! Maybe that’s just because I’m super nosy…

I’ve been reading loads aswell, getting through that TBR pile at a fair old whack now. It’s good because I had a few books that I hadn’t got around to reading, so I’ve made my way through those and now I’m onto the goodies that I found in my mum’s bookcases! One of the books that I read recently that I want to mention in Norwegian Wood, by Haruki Murakami. I really thought it was good. I don’t know if ‘enjoyed’ is the right word, considering the subject matter, but I actually found it a very soothing book. It deals with mental illness and suicidal themes, but it’s almost comforting to know that I’m not alone, and that although you’re hurt, sometimes it’s okay that you’re moving on. A word of warning though, it is VERY sad and raw at times, so if you’re feeling sad and raw it may not be so soothing, read with caution. It’s written beautifully though, so it’s well worth a read if you think you’re up to it.

At the start of the month I began a yoga challenge to fundraise for the M.E Association. They’re my charity this year, so I’m planning on doing quite a few fundraising events over the rest of the year. So the current one is this yoga challenge, which is for me to do thirty minutes of yoga every single day for three months. It got a bit easier when I got a new yoga mat that wasn’t just a cheap eBay one! It’s purple too, which is cool because not only is it my favourite colour, it is also the colour of the M.E. Association! If you’re interested in learning more about M.E, and the Association and what they do to help people click here to follow the link to my fundraising page where I’ve collected some useful information for you.

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Posted in Musings

Afternoon Tea (May)

Since I last wrote, it was my birthday and I had a lovely day with my mum when she visited me, and then the day after I saw Ash and she got me my birthday cake, (which I ended up eating the whole thing myself because she didn’t stay for a slice haha!) It was a nice birthday. I’ve had a bit of a reading slump lately, which is a bit irritating, but I know that I’ll get back to it. I have a pile of books that I want to get to soon and they’re staring at me from my shelves so I shall just have to get over that slump and get to reading them soon!

I went to visit Alex in York for three days and it was lovely. He gets three days off a week and so I visited him then and it was lovely. We saw Fen, and met Keelan and Matt for drinks. It was really nice. I got lots of puppy cuddles and a few bunny snuggles and it was so so nice. Fen is a little rainbow of kindness and I love them so much, and it was so nice to have a drink with Keelan and Matt and actually talk instead of getting rat-arsed and dancing in Warehouse! It was a really lovely three days and I can’t wait to go back again and see Alex. (and my friends!)

Pretty much right after I got back from York it was time to move back home to my hometown. I’m done with uni now and so I’m back home, and trying to figure out what that means for a lot of aspects of life. It’s weird, and it’s an adjustment, but I’m getting there. My routine is completely disrupted and that’s not a great thing for my mental health, so that’s hard, but I’ll get it back on track. It can be tough, which actually isn’t something that gets talked about a lot. What happens when you come back from uni without a degree and no job prospects? You move back in with your parents and have to adjust to a different routine and a completely different lifestyle. I don’t nip to the shops to buy bagels at nine at night anymore, and I don’t cook at eleven, I have no room to do yoga, (which I will when I tidy enough room in the back room…) even my supermarket is different here. I can’t just message Ash and plan an impromptu trip to town for a walk and some lunch (we still didn’t get cake) because she lives nearly two hours away and definitely out of budget. It can be lonely. But. I have my little bread loaf of a rabbit here, and he’s cuddlier than he’s ever been. I have my bedroom that I love, and there’s a pool here that I can go to. So it’s not all doom and gloom! And I’ll be back in Preston in a few days to see Naomi for her book reading in the Waterstones there. I’ll be writing more about that after it happens, so I won’t go on about it too much! And I’ll be back in York soon too. I have things to look forward to, and that is always a good thing!

Right, I’m off for some bunny cuddles. (and maybe to tidy some yoga space, but really, reading and bunny cuddles!)

 

Posted in Book Club, Musings

Diversity on your Bookshelf.

Recently I have been thinking and I’ve found that people don’t seem to have a lot of diversity on the bookshelves, including myself. Is it that there aren’t enough books out there that portray LGBTQ+ characters, or POC characters? Probably not. There may well be less of them though, and for some reason they’re just not making their way into our homes. We could blame the advertising and marketing teams for these books, but I don’t know about you but I don’t really rely on advertising to find books that I want to read.

So where do we find books that we want to read? And how do we make sure that we’re not just living in an echo chamber when it comes to the books that we pick up?

By the time that we’re adults, we know what kind of books we like and tend to gravitate towards the things that we have always liked before. That means, judging books by the typical covers that get used in our choice of genre, going to a specific area/ shelf in the library or bookshop, making friends with people who have read the same books as us so that we can talk about them. But doesn’t that mean that we’re only ever seeing books that we know that we will like? At first glance that may seem like the ideal situation. Why would we want to see books that we won’t like? There are so many books in the bookshop, we don’t want to look at each and every one of them just to find one that we like. However, if we’re only ever looking at the books that we know we’ll like, or are the same type of book we’ve read before, then we’re not going to see all the wonderful things that are out there.

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Posted in Musings

73 Questions

We’ve had a few new people follow the blog recently, so I thought I would do the 73 Questions tag so that you could get to know me a bit better! I stole the idea from Sophie so please do head over to her blog and see how she answered these questions!

What’s the best thing that happened to you this month? I started to get my health in order.

What is something you’re tired of? Being tired.

What is something that recently moved you? Season 2 Episode 15 How to Get Away with Murder.

If you could teach one subject in school what would it be? Sex ed. It’s too important to keep fucking up like they do at the moment. (I’d obviously have to learn more first of course)

What’s your favourite beverage? Tea, obviously!

What’s your favourite cocktail? Long Island Ice Tea

What is your favourite birthday cake? My mum’s chocolate mudcake, but only if it’s slightly undercooked and sunken in the middle. 

What is one thing you still have from your childhood? I’ve had my Teddy since I was born. My brother picked him out for me.

What is your favourite movie? I have no idea. My favourite TV show at the moment is ‘How to Get Away with Murder’ though.

What is something you can’t do? Cuddle my bunny right now. He’s back at my parents house and I wish he was here for snuggles and so that I could annoy him by nomming his ears.

What is one habit you wish you could break? Picking my skin. I’m not as bad as I used to be, but I’d like to stop altogther if I can. 

What makes you laugh no matter what? The IT Crowd. (Obviously the english one; it does not translate well to america in the slightest)

What does creativity mean to you? Finding some way to express yourself. Whether that be knitting a blanket in your favourite colours, writing a story, growing plants, playing with makeup, whatever.

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Posted in Assorted Beverages With Alys, Musings

Afternoon Tea (April)

Since I wrote last month I actually used up the ink in a few pens. Woo! Enthralling stuff. Such a life I lead. Is it just me that loves stationery? It’s always a nice feeling using a fresh notebook or a nice new pen. I know that it’s not just me, I know it, but it does still make me feel a bit weird when I actually get a little teensy thrill out of new stationery. Chalk it up to being a bit of a word nerd.

One thing that I’ve been enjoying more lately is spending more time with Ash. She often turns up in these blog posts, she’s great. It’s nice to have a friend that I can spend a lot of time with and not get too tired. We go for coffee and just have a chat which is nice. I can have coffee now. With the medication that I’m on I don’t get the caffeine jitters after only one cup of coffee, so that’s a positive thing.

I always seem to write about what I’ve been watching on Netflix in these, so I’m just going to roll with it and make it a thing. This month I have been watching Riverdale. I know that I’m a bit late on that one, but I was a bit concerned that it would just be one of those annoying teen shows. I actually thought it was pretty good, the first season is better than the second one so far, but season two hasn’t finished yet so I can’t judge it too harshly till it’s over. I like it though, some of the characters that we’re supposed to like are a bit stupid *cough-Archie-cough* but a lot of that is that the characters are teenagers, they’re allowed to be stupid and flawed, most teenagers can be stupid at times. It’s good characterisation regardless of whether the character is annoying to me personally or not. Jughead and Betty are my favourites though, I like that they

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Posted in Musings

Afternoon Tea (March)

A lot happened in the last month. Or rather, not a lot, but some big stuff I suppose. Alex visited for a week, my mum came up for a day, I left university and I got some medication for my anxiety and depression. So that’s some pretty big stuff. Today’s tea is caffeine free Yorkshire tea. It’s the best in the afternoon and the evening because it stops me from staying up all night.

After struggling with my mental health for, pretty much my entire life, it was really starting to mess with my life. It’s pretty much the only reason that I’ve left university, but, that was the right decision because now I can concentrate on getting better and not putting a time limit on that. It sucks, because now I’m in a lot of debt and I have a four year gap on my CV without any degree to show for it, but I’ve learned a lot anyway, and it’s always been more important to look after myself. Education is important, but it’s a bit useless if you can’t even leave the house, so ultimately, my health is more important. Alex visited for a week last month and that was lovely. It was a bit rocky at the start of the week, but then he helped me get to the doctor and I was prescribed some medication that has helped so much. My anxiety has abated so much, and I think the depression is a bit better. It’s nice. It’s nice to not have to worry so much, it’s quieter inside my head now, and it’s good.

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Posted in Musings

Afternoon Tea. (February)

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Today the tea that I am drinking is ‘Cherry Rum’ from the Mystery Teahouse in Preston. If anyone’s nearby, I definitely recommend this magical place. I’ve loved it for a few years, but haven’t been for a long while. Ash and I met up the other day and went for lunch because we hadn’t been and because it’s amazing. They do SO many teas, they have an entire wall of them and you can of course drink them in the shop, and also buy them to take home. And so, alongside my vegan wrap with side salad, I had cherry rum tea and just had to buy some for my flat. Anyway, it was lovely meeting up with Ash and doing something calm and good that involved food. Especially as we both love the tea house so much and hadn’t been in so long. I think we’ll do it more. (We didn’t get cake while we were there, so we HAVE to go back…)

I’ve been meditating more lately, I’ve found that it’s helpful for my insomnia. I have an app called Stop, Breathe, and Think which I’ve been using. It has a few great guided meditations, and then you can buy a few more if you want (although you’re not prompted too) I like it, and it’s become a part of my bedtime routine. I want to meditate more in the mornings too, so maybe if I get on with that, maybe I’ll let you know how that goes in my next Afternoon Tea post. It’s part of my whole thing that I’ve been doing lately where I’ve been concentrating on being healthy. I’ve been doing one thing every day that is good for my mental health- sometimes they’re quite challenging, and sometimes more relaxing- and I’ve been doing exercises *most* days because I’ve been feeling very lethargic and wanting to get fit. It’s making me feel more positive too, I can feel myself getting stronger, and of course the happy hormones can’t hurt. It’s nice to be working on myself in a positive way, rather than doing it because of negativity.

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Posted in Musings

Afternoon Tea.

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So here we are again, sitting down with a brew and ready for a catch up. I have determined recently to start drinking some of my ridiculous stash of teas, and so my beverage of choice for this afternoon is caramel tea. It’s been raining so much here over the last few weeks. It’s been cold too, I don’t know if that’s because I’ve got used to the milder weather here and now I’m starting to acclimate, or whether it actually has been colder this winter, but I have felt cold. I’ve spent most of my time wrapped in a blanket and wearing fluffy Miffy pyjamas and reading. It’s been quite nice! That’s not to say that I haven’t been doing other stuff too. I’ve been enjoying going to the pub a couple of times with my friends. It’s weird not seeing them as much as we used to because we don’t live in the same house any more, but it’s also been quite nice to not always be around them because I feel like we get on a bit better now. We have to make time to see each other, so when we do we appreciate it a bit more. That’s what I think anyway. I’m looking forward to raiding Tim’s library for graphic novels. I borrowed Snotgirl vol.1 from him the other day and really liked it, so I’m going to make more of an effort to get around to my graphic novels TBR list. There’s quite a few books on there so I’m going to try and work through some of the ones that I can borrow from Tim in the next few months. I’ve been reading a lot of new books in general, or rather, books that have been sitting on my shelves patiently waiting for me to get around to them for a while. So far this year nothing I have read has been a re-read, which feels quite refreshing. That may change soon though, as I managed to get a full set of the (original covers) Harry Potter books from a second hand book shop- next to my piercing shop- recently. (I also got a piercing…) So I may be reading those soon. Having said that, I haven’t quite decided as I do still have some unread books on my shelves and I’ve been enjoying reading new things. We shall have to wait and see which way my reading whims take us.

keep reading to find out about my book club’s first meeting…

Posted in Musings

Spilling the Tea?

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This year we are ending the Assorted Beverages with Alys series. I’m bored of the ridiculously long name, and the struggle to think of different drinks that I drink. It will be replaced with something that will be almost the exact same content, but with a different name. The whole idea behind the original thing was that it would be as though we were sitting down for a chat and a cup of tea (or whatever it was that I was drinking when I wrote it) so maybe it will be just called Tea Time with Alys. Or Spill the Tea? What do you think? Spill the tea isn’t really a phrase used in the UK, and although it seems an appropriate phrase, I’m not sure as everything I’ve read about it seems to suggest that it’s used in the context of gossip and bitching about people, rather than just having a chat. Anyone who is in the US, lemme know! This is the first one, so if I’ve decided on a series title by the time this is published, you will know it, but if I haven’t then you can let me know what you think it should be called.

I moved back to uni yesterday and it was lovely to walk through the door to a tidy flat, thank you to past me, who cleaned up before she left. Of course, it’s a mess now, because I am SO lazy about unpacking suitcases, so it’s just open on the floor waiting for me to want the things inside it and the motivation to unpack. On the plus side, only one of my plants died in the last two weeks, and I was expecting it to already as it wasn’t doing too well before I left anyway. So that’s definitely a plus. Most of them are actually doing really well and I’m so happy. I know that it sounds a bit silly to say that my plants make me happy, but it’s true. It’s good to have other living things around, especially as I’m not allowed to have any pets in my flat. (The mouse that lives in the walls doesn’t really count as a pet, no matter how much I’d love for it to be my little friend.)

I suppose we should talk about new year’s resolutions.

keep reading!