Category: Totally random

The one that got under my skin

Some non-book news. I got another tattoo.

This one wasn’t planned months or years in advance like my others. It just happened one day. I found a picture, it resonated with me, I went to my local tattoo studio and got it designed and inked within a few days.

Tattoo by the lovely Simon / @psymanflash at Monsters of Art in West Hampstead.

And then people do that thing and go, “So what does it mean?”

To be honest, at the moment I chose it, it didn’t mean anything. It was a picture I liked.

But while I was waiting for my tattoo appointment, I started thinking about why that picture had resonated with me so strongly that I wanted it under my skin immediately.

I was going through a breakup with someone who spoke of true love and forever, and meant none of it. I’d allowed myself to fall hard for him, and before I knew it I fell flat on my face.

Of course I beat myself up about letting down my guard, showing my feelings, making myself so vulnerable.

Of course I told myself I would never let that happen again.

When I found a picture of a heart-shaped rib cage online, I immediately saw it inked on my forearm. It just felt like it was meant to be there. And the phrase that kept coming back to me was ‘Wearing my heart on my sleeve’.

Because that’s what I do. I’m honest about my feelings and I believe in the best in people. Sure, I’d like to be more cynical and calculating, better at playing games, but that just wouldn’t be me. And I won’t change myself for anyone.

I think this picture came to me at just the right time – and now I wear it under my skin as a permanent reminder.

So yeah, that’s what it means. I’m wearing my heart on my sleeve, and that’s okay.


Telling the story of the Butterfly Girl in a new tattoo

After getting my first ink in the form of my little musical wrist tattoos last year, I couldn’t wait to go a bit bigger, but couldn’t quite decide what would be next. Cherry blossoms up my leg? A tribute to my late grandpa?

One thing I’d been wanting for a while was a lace tattoo, ever since I’d come across Dom Holmes’ stunning lace and pattern work. After turning “something lace” over and over in my mind, walking home from work one day I looked over my shoulder, and it just kind of appeared in front of my eyes: A lace butterfly. And, as if that wasn’t enough of a sign, the fabulous Dom managed to fit me for with an appointment within two months.

butterfly-lace-tattoo-dom-holmesFreshly inked on slightly angry skin. Shiny photos to follow once it’s healed.

The butterfly means a lot to me, even though I wasn’t aware of it for the longest time. Quite a few years ago, my amazing, talented musician friend, the Wood Fairy, wrote a song of the love between two friends, a fairy and a butterfly girl. The song moved me to tears even before I found out that I’m her butterfly girl. For for some reason I had never realised that I tended to surround myself with butterflies – in the form of hair clips, jewellery, prints on t-shirts… But the Fairy spotted it, and so the Butterfly Girl was born.

And if you know me you’ll also know that I’d rather clothe myself in lace than any other fabric, so the combination of the butterfly and the lace was really a bit of a no-brainer – even though it took me more than five years to figure that out.

My butterfly isn’t healed yet, but I can’t help plotting an extension of this tattoo down my back already. It’ll probably feature more lace, and probably apple blossoms as a memorial to grandpa.

And maybe, one day, the butterfly will even get a fairy companion on my back.

Some stuff happened in 2013

I never seem to have enough time to blog about stuff as/when it happens so here’s a summary of things I’ve been meaning to tell you about. Because some awesome shit happened last year.

I finally got those tattoos.


I got to say hello to my favourite band. (And Dad did, too.)

That’s Kamelot by the way. You should check them out.

I had lunch by a glacier.

The Eiger in Switzerland.

Also this photo happened on the way up.

While in Switzerland, I went to Sherlock Town Meiringen and the Reichenbach Falls. This is where it all went down.

Down the falls they went…

Also, I heard a talk by TERRY ACTUAL PRATCHETT.

One word: <3 And I saw an amazing literary event with my favourite actors, my favourite pianist and some of my favourite authors all in the same building. And I actually blogged about this one.

Overall, it was quite a good year for holidays, catching up with my loved ones and for my inner fangirl. 2014 better be fucking awesome to keep up with that.

Farewell 2013

How can this year be over already? I swear it was February, like, two weeks ago.

In the past few days I’ve been seeing people’s new year’s resolutions appearing all over the internet, which reminded me to check on how I did with mine in the past year. Because, what’s the point in having resolutions if they’re forgotten by mid January…

On 31 December 2012 I said that in 2013 I would:

  1. learn to play acoustic and electric guitar
  2. learn a new song on the piano every month
  3. read one book per week
  4. (finally review all the books I read in 2012)
  5. learn to use the DSLR
  6. bake something new once a month
  7. listen to more new and live music


  1. I didn’t. I haven’t even picked up my guitar since February. After picking up piano again at the beginning of the year I decided to get back into classical; and I’ve spent about an hour a day practising that instead. Rather than a cop-out I’ll consider this one a change of focus ;)
  2. Kind of. I didn’t learn new songs as I intended when I wrote this (as in learn to play and sing pop / rock songs I like), but I did learn one song by Richie Sambora (for his cover contest) and eleven classical pieces so, check.
  3. Check. (Goodreads challenge link for the book nerds.)
  4. Check. Check. Check. Check. Check. Check. (I’m way behind on the 2013 reviews though…)
  5. I don’t think “managed to take some decent photos using the auto settings” counts, so, nope :(
  6. Didn’t quite manage the “once a month” bit but I’ve tried quite a few new things. (To be found on the baking blog.)
  7. Live highlights: Kamelot, Sonata Arctica, Morrissey & Marshall, Yundi Li, Jean Muller, Exit Ten. New discoveries: Silent Voices, Seventh Wonder, James Rhodes, Bright Eyes. Re-discoveries: The Civil Wars, Chopin. It’s been a good year for music.

Because the one thing your cat definitely wants is a crochet hat

This made its way into my inbox today.

Cats need food, water, a life without dogs. But what do cats want? Hats. Of course they do – they’re vain, fickle creatures and a hat lends them instant cool.


Crochet cat hats. For the fashion-conscious feline, I suppose.


I have no idea where this delightful snippet of information originally came from, but the crazy cat lady crocheter’s Etsy page lives here.

That strange thing you British play

“I know that astrology isn’t a science,” said Gail. “Of course it isn’t. It’s just an arbitrary set of rules like chess or tennis or – what’s that strange thing you British play?”
“Er, cricket? Self-loathing?”
“Parliamentary democracy. The rules just kind of got there. They don’t make any kind of sense except in terms of themselves.”

Thank you, Douglas Adams! Finally somebody understands how I felt when I had to study British politics.

Mostly Harmless (Hitchhiker’s Guide 5)

A bit of casual sexism

I don’t know how we even ended up talking about boys older men…

The Lady K [swooning]: “That old guy – he’s such a…er what’s the word?! … He’s a man cougar.”

Girl with a Pen: “?!”

The Lady K: “An older woman is called cougar, but there isn’t really a word for man, apart from pervert :D “

Well, as our friend pointed out recently, “Nothing wrong with a bit of casual sexism every once in a while. As long as it’s directed at men.”

But of course we’re not really like that, so we have concluded that ‘sugar granddaddy’ would probably be the appropriate and politically correct term.

Monsieur Plumeus gets hitched

It is the love story of the year. Just a few months after arriving in the universe as we know it, Monsieur Plumeus has already found a lovely bride. Their paths crossed at the grand station of Victoria at 18:05 on a Thursday. Although the lady is rather pale and has not a single feather of purple upon her body, it was love at first tweet. The lovely maiden goes by the name Paulette Prunellie Pascaline (she is French). The Plumeuses got married in great haste beside the tracks on platform 11 and the happy couple instantly left for their honeymoon (on the Eurostar, since the weather wasn’t particularly suited to air travel) and will be enjoying the spring in Paris.

The little Scooby monster

I haven’t put any cats on the internet lately, so let me show you some new images of the Scooby. (The cat formerly known as Hunter, formerly known as Steadman, formerly known as Russell.)

(We’re settled on Scooby now, by the way.)

I may have told you that the Scooby used to be afraid of everything. So afraid, in fact, that he didn’t come out of the wardrobe for the first five weeks we had him. Well, he has certainly settled in now. The Scooby owns the flat, he owns the bed and the sofa, especially the boyfriend’s lap for the entire duration of the weekend (and don’t even think of trying to slide out from under him), he is very talkative (especially from your first stir in bed on a Saturday/Sunday morning to the time you eventually give up, get up and feed him), and he is generally the friendliest, cuddliest little fluffmouse we ever could have hoped for.

He’s also just the right kind of a bit special

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Resolutions: In 2013 I will…

  • learn to play acoustic and electric guitar
  • learn a new song on the piano every month
  • read one book per week
  • (finally review all the books I read in 2012)
  • learn to use the DSLR
  • bake something new once a month
  • listen to more new and live music (suggestions welcome)