Funny Sign

When I was out shopping, I came across this sign. Naturally, I had to buy it.

nice-normal-family

It now hangs in our hallway as you come into our flat. My friend loves it so much I had to go and buy her one as well, and I’ll be sending it to Sweden in a box with English chocolates and other treats.

Beautiful Views

The landscape in the south of England is nothing like back home. I miss the forests and lakes, but at the same time I have to admit that it’s quite beautiful down here. There are still a lot of areas for me to explore (I’m saving the Jurassic Coast for when my mom comes to visit, for example), but I’ve seen some nice places so far.

When out for a drive along the coast, I had to stop the car and take a picture, because I just loved the way the sunlight was coming through the clouds.

We also went down to an area called Hengistbury Head, which was absolutely beautiful. The coast back home is very different to here. Both are beautiful in their own way, of course.

hengistbury-head

The best intentions

I always have the best intentions, thinking that I will be better and update more regularly. Then I went back to work on Monday after two weeks off – and all my good intentions went out the window. I’m enjoying my new job, but it is so mentally draining, that most days I come home and just crash. Which means I don’t really get anything done during the weeks, blogging or otherwise.

Every day after work, I think to myself that today, today I will try to stay awake so I can actually do something. But after a little while I just can’t keep my eyes open.

Me, after work.

Me, after work.

I just need to manage another six more weeks before my next school holiday.  (Yes, I’m keeping count!) That one is “only” a week, and after that it’s another six weeks before the end of the summer term. My contract ends at that point, and I have had no indication of if they will offer me an extension or anything. Fingers crossed that they will, but if not, I’ll just have to go back to job hunting.

Still trying to slowly edit and proofread my first book, but I’m worried that it’s not good enough in general. That maybe the story is too boring. That the writing is awful. Anything that can be wrong, basically. It’s difficult to be the judge when you’re the person who wrote it, and by extension love all the characters and know the story in detail.

Other than that, no news really. All I do is sleep and work, it seems!

Title Help!

Right, so I need help to come up with a title for my first book. I originally had it down as “As He Likes It”, but with erotica being so popular these days, I’m worried people would think a title like that is from that genre (which it is not).

It’s a historical romance, set in the regency era. It’s the first book in a series of four; The Howertys. (I came up with that name when I was a teenager, yes – that’s when I started the very, very first draft… I wonder if perhaps I should come up with a better surname for them.) Each book is about one of the Howerty sibling. They all have names from Shakespeare’s writings (because their mom loved Shakespeare), and so I want the books’ titles to be plays on Shakespearean titles.

The stories aren’t based on the stories in Shakespeare’s plays, it’s just the titles, really. Because… Well, it amuses me.

I do like the “As He Likes It” title, (based of course on “As You Like It”), so I think I might keep it and using it for the fourth book in the series (when hopefully people already know what they’re getting into since they can see what the previous books in the series are like).

That does leave me short one title though!

Book 1: ???
Book 2: Taming of the Rake (The Taming of the Shrew)
Book 3: Winter’s Kiss (The Winter’s Tale)
Book 4: As He Likes It (As You Like It)

I was thinking something along the lines of “Once Upon a Midsummer Night” (A Midsummer Night’s Dream). Originally I thought “A Midsummer Night’s Kiss”, but then I’d have two titles with the word “kiss” in them, and I’m not sure I like that.

Opinions, please! I need them!

Also, if you can come up with anything – feel free to share! To help, here’s a list of Shakespeare’s plays (the ones with titles that aren’t just a name or two!):

The Tempest
Two Gentlemen of Verona
The Merry Wives of Windsor
Measure for Measure
The Comedy of Errors
Much Ado About Nothing
Love’s Labour’s Lost
A Midsummer Night’s Dream
The Merchant of Venice
As You Like It
The Taming of the Shrew
All’s Well That Ends Well
Twelfth Night
The Winter’s Tale
The Two Noble Kinsmen

Random Thoughts on Blogging

There are days when I really wish I had chosen a more generic name for my blog, like “Em Writes” or something. The current title was just one of those “oh that’s a funny name”-thoughts, and then I went for it. It doesn’t really mean anything, and I’m not exactly a Carpe Diem kind of person.

Even if I did change domain (again), I don’t even know what I’d like.

I guess it doesn’t really matter what my blog name is anyway, since I mainly use it as a personal diary! I love having my memories stored somewhere, I only wish I was better at remembering to write.

Some days I think I’d like to separate the blog into two; one for my personal stuff (which should maybe be more protected?) and one for more generic stuff/writing things. But also never sure if it’s worth the hassle.

I think I can safely say that my Spellbound blog is gone though. I still own the domain, but I don’t really see myself writing about World of Warcraft again. I just don’t play enough these days to really have something to write about.

So, at this point it’s either just keeping this one as it is. Or keeping this for my personal stuff and having a separate one for writing, without all the personal bits. Choices, choices…

Friends

I’ve been in the UK for five months now, and while I’m very happy to finally be living with the boyfriend – I’m also sometimes a bit sad.

Firstly, I miss my family. Especially the little ones that I used to live with. I’ve gone from seeing them every other week to seeing them like twice a year, with the odd Skype call here and there in between. It’s not an easy adjustment to make.

I also miss friends. That was partly a problem in Sweden too, since all but one of my friends live in the Netherlands (and one in Australia). Locally, I only ever had one friend. I hung out with my brother a lot (the one I lived with), and I miss having someone to do stuff with. As long as I didn’t try to drag him along to a chick-flick, my brother was pretty much always up for a visit to the cinema, or going out for a meal. Even shopping I could generally count on him to come for (as long as it wasn’t IKEA, since that’s his most despised store.. He doesn’t mind the stuff you buy, he just hates the physical store).

My local friend and I didn’t meet up that often, but we used to chat on the phone a fair bit. When we did meet up it was usually for take-out and a couple of horror movies. We both enjoy terrible horror movies, but generally not enough to watch one alone (no matter how bad they are).

Here, I’m feeling rather isolated. The friends we hang out with sometimes are the boyfriend’s friends. And while they’re all very nice, they’re still mainly his friends. I’ve hung out a couple of times with one of the other girlfriends in the group, and she’s really nice – but because she’s been around for a long time, she already has a lot of friends.

Which is often the problem when you move to a new place as an adult. Most people meet their friends in school, and while you can still meet a few at work – I think you seldom find very close friends later in life. (Correct me if I’m wrong, this could just be my interpretation.)

I did meet a good friend back in the Netherlands at work. We just clicked. Her weird matched my weird, you know? It’s difficult to keep in touch when in different countries though, and so these days we mostly check each other’s Facebook statuses. We had some good times back in the day though, didn’t we Erin?

This is equally applicable to friends, I think!

This is equally applicable to friends, I think!

 

The people I work with at school are all very nice, but no one’s made any signs of wanting to hang out outside of work (and I’m too shy to ask myself). Maybe it will get better later, but for the time being – it does make me feel a bit alone.

Which is weird in a way, because I’m not an overly social person, and I’m quite happy not to go out and do stuff most of the time. I think I’m just missing the option to call someone up and ask them if they’d like to go see a movie/go shopping. And I miss having someone to talk to.

Storm Katie

During the Easter weekend storm Katie swept in through the UK, and definitely in through our garden. The winds were so strong that they actually wrecked the brick wall/fencing on one side of our garden. It’s going to take quite a bit to fix, and we’ve not even been able to clean it up properly yet, since some of the bits of brick are still intact and too heavy to move.

Not exactly what we had in mind when we said we wanted to sort out our garden this spring…

storm

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For comparison, below is a photo of what the garden used to look like – with a view of that wall/fence. While the photo below is from before we bought the flat, and we don’t have the two boxes with green lids, it gives an idea. Basically, all of the fence/brick wall right of the grey shed is gone.

2

Fortunately, it seems to be possible to get most of it done on insurance. Still, a lot of work ahead…

Oops! I did it again…

And yet again it’s been absolutely ages since I wrote something here. I’ve been wanting to, but I’ve just been absolutely exhausted from working. At 30 hours a week I’m working more than I have managed for several years, and it’s definitely taking its toll on my energy levels. I know that 30 hours a week isn’t even a lot for a regular person, but you have to remember that I’ve not managed more than 20 a week for the past years, so it’s a huge number for me.

It’s a tiring job for sure. My class consists of young people in their final two terms, so they’re all 18-19 years old. All of them have some form of autism, as well as a multitude of other cognitive disabilities (and some physical ones). Several of them are non-verbal. The job is like none I have ever had before. (Obviously, since I’ve been working in an office all of my life!)

For the most part I enjoy the job, but it is definitely draining work. I’m also a bit weary of a few of our students since they are known to lash out, and you’re always at risk of getting hit, having your hair pulled etc.

The advantage to working in a school is that you finish fairly early (15.35 most days, when I don’t have training of some sort), and you have all of the school holidays. Sadly, the pay is quite bad, but the holidays might make up for it. For example, I had a week off after my first week and a half, since it was mid-term. Spring term is coming to an end at Easter, which means we have two weeks off before the summer term starts.

My contract is only until the end of the summer term (20 July), so I will give it until then to see how I’m enjoying it. I also, of course, don’t know if they will offer me a new contract after that either, so will have to see what the school says as well.

Other than that, I’ve had the cold from hell for the past two weeks. I guess it might be from working in a school, where there’s always germs and viruses flying around. Still, this was one of the worst colds I’ve had in some time. My voice is still not back to normal after two weeks, but at least the coughing has subsided now.

That’s all for this time. I will try to get better at writing again, even if just for my own sake – since I like having a record of what I’ve been up to.

First Two Days

I’ve done my first two days at my new job, and it’s definitely different from anything I have ever done before. The class I’ve been put in as a TA is a class with young people who have autism, and sometimes a few other special needs as well. At the moment I still feel somewhat lost, since I have no experience with this type of work, and I don’t know anyone yet or how best to deal with situations.

I’m sure it will get easier as I get more experience. Eventually I should stop feeling quite so useless!

So far, I actually only got to do one day with “my” class though, since they were a bit short on staff today – so they actually put me in another class for the day! It was interesting to see what a different class with different special needs looked like.

There are so many impressions and so many new people and things to learn at this point, that at the end of the day I am completely shattered.

This weekend will probably consist mainly of me sleeping.

Me, coming home from work..

Me, coming home from work..