July Updates: Writing Goals & Back September!

July Updates:

Hey everyone, I hope you’re all well πŸ™‚

July was very hot and very windy, with birthdays to celebrate, pizzas to make, and takeaway to eat. I didn’t get as much writing done as I wanted to, but I figure easing myself back into writing with a few hours a week is better than rushing back to loads of hours and burning out again.

Anyway, here’s what happened in the writing cave last month!

July Writing Cave Updates


I reviewed Shadow and Bone in July, and plan to review the book Six of Crows in September. I’m still not done with my review of my MA in Creative Writing either, which is proving tricky to write. I’m hoping I’ll have the perspective to write a balanced review by the end of the year though, and I’m also thinking of writing the occasional short story again.

I’m taking a break from blogging in August to focus on writing, drawing and enjoying the sun. The hotter it gets the harder it is to use my laptop, which overheats massively, and since most UK houses don’t have aircon I need to use the computer less to avoid melting!


In July my goal was to focus on writing for 6 hours a week. In the first week of July I managed 3 hours, as for the first eleven days of the month I had minor cold symptoms, a bit of a cough, ran a little hotter than usual and was exhausted for no real reason.

In week 2 I looked at some of my writing files but I don’t think I managed more than an hour. For week three I adjusted my goal to 3 hours a week, and managed 11 hours, including falling down the Pinterest rabbit hole looking for inspiration for Blaise/Leo from The Frozen Rose and sketching Blaise.

Very Rough Sketch of Blaise from The Frozen Rose
Very Rough Sketch of Blaise from The Frozen Rose

In the last week of July I wrote for an hour. After our second trip to the arcade since Covid restrictions ended, I caught an awful cold that left me too exhausted to write. Unlike whatever I had earlier in July though, this time I was physically exhausted but mentally raring to go. I can’t stop thinking about my projects, and when I’m well again I’m sure I’ll write!

Brightly lit amusement arcades with air hockey, machines to win tickets and gambling machines.
It was amazing to go out and have fun again, after a year of staying inside. I have no idea how I got a clear shot with no people in it, it was super busy!

The hardest part of a 6 hour a week goal was not beating myself up if I failed to meet it. It was also tricky to adjust to counting writing time by hours, not words. Not counting words meant I struggled to feel like I was making any progress, but it felt way less stressful so I’m going to stick with it.

All in all, 16/24 hours of writing in July. Goals for August? 3 hours a week. I’m setting my goal low, in the hope I can exceed it, but low enough that I shouldn’t miss a week!


I read Six of Crows in July and plan to review it in September. Crooked Kingdom is next, probably quickly as Crows had a bit of a cliff-hanger. Normally I hate cliff-hangers, but in this case I wasn’t too bothered. A lot of the main plot was resolved, and I’d already bought Crooked Kingdom!


My partner’s birthday present, Jelly Beans, arrived in a big box, which Merlin has taken for his own:

Merlin, aginger and white cat, making himself comfy in an Amazon Box
Merlin in an Amazon Box. Boxes are his favourite thing ever!

He’s also learned how to turn on his interactive toy by pressing the button at the top. Good to help keep him amused, bad if we leave it lying around at night!

Discount Store Problems:

The problem with discount stores, like the one where my partner works, is they have nice things in for a few months, like dairy free cheese, dairy free ice cream, or chocolate fudge syrup to add to hot drinks, but after that the stock vanishes and reappears in a supermarket for double the cost. I now need these things, because they’re so delicious, but can’t justify paying twice as much!

Bottle of Barista Chocolate Fudge Syrup
I’m addicted to Barista Chocolate Fudge Syrup. In Tea. I used the last of my Christmas money on 5 bottles direct from the company website in the end, with a voucher I found!

Beach & Other stuff:

I was cycling along the seafront the other day at sunrise when I spotted a seal near the shore. If you look closely, you can see him between the waves. I love living near the sea!

Seal swimming in the sea and seagull flying above it
The picture didn’t come out well, but that’s a seal, swimming in the bay at our beach!

I’ve also decided to unsubscribe from emails that teach me things I’m not ready for, like marketing. I can’t action the advice yet, and by the time I publish things will likely change. I need less pressure, less clutter, and more focus on what’s important right now, like my first drafts.

Truthfully? I don’t want to treat writing like a business anyway. I want it to be fun, to write stories without worry over trends or marketability. If my stories sell, great, if not, I told a story I loved and had fun doing it. I think my MA made me lose sight of that, as the focus was on making things ‘publishable.’ Time to move on from that mentality and finish a draft of the stories close to my heart.

scales divider copy

Thanks for Reading!

How was your July? Do you have any interesting wildlife where you live? Hate discount stores and their temporary bargains?

Chat in the Comments, and I’ll be back in September!


  1. I love that last paragraph! It is right to the point! ” I want it to be fun, to write stories without worry over trends or marketability.”

    I read a couple more books last month. My favourite was The Stars Wait Not by Anne Wheeler. What I loved most about it is kind of a spoiler (from the latter half of the book), but it is one of my favourite books despite being Sci-Fi, a genre I don’t really like. For a while, I was re-reading a bunch of it. If you’re one of those people who like to know the spoilers, I’ll tell. I bought one book after having someone partially spoil it for me… πŸ™‚

    I also finished the draft for one of my Works-In-Progress (still needs a lot of copy-editing), but I also started another so I still have four … and I really need to do more work on getting Sorceress of the Dryads ready for publication.

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  2. Interesting that your MA focused on “publishable.” I would have thought it’d focus on intellectual artsy stuff. Then again, I don’t know anyone IRL with an MA in writing, so I wouldn’t really know. Yes, I see the seal, how cool!

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    • Yeah, my MA had a lot of focus on being a professional writer, making money, and being publishable was one of the marking criteria. I’ve heard other MA courses approach it differently though, and some even focus on helping you finish an entire novel. In hindsight maybe one of those courses would’ve been better, but ah well πŸ™‚ Hopefully next time I can get a better picture of the seal, if he returns!


  3. Hi Louise! Take your time with your review of your MA. I support you.
    Your art is awesome! I like your sketch! How big are the biggest flames that Blaise can make? Glad you got to go to the arcades and have fun! I’m sorry to hear about your cold and I hope you feel all better soon! And I know what you mean by beating oneself up – I do the same 😦 But you do what you can and all progress counts. I support you.
    Crooked Kingdom is the 2nd book in the SoC duology, right? And haha, glad Merlin enjoys the box! He’s adorable and I’m glad he’s enjoying the toy too.

    Yikes. Not good how the products show up in the supermarket at double the price. I wonder if that will change. I see the seal and I think it’s so cool how you live by the sea! I’m also glad that you’re focusing on what’s important and not stressing about marketability. The most important thing is that you’re happy with what you write. All the best. πŸ™‚ Looking forward to your September post! Take care of yourself :).

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    • I guess with my MA I’m finding it hard as I don’t like writing negative reviews, but I know people thinking about doing an MA would find my perspective valuable. Plus it wasn’t all bad, and some of the things I found negative would probably appeal to others.

      Thanks πŸ™‚ Blaise has ice powers, but they do kinda look like flames! (His name is like a huge contradiction xD) The arcades were great, well worth getting sick over. I’m feeling a little better, but not well enough to cycle yet, which is frustrating as the weather is awesome right now! I’m sure you do what you can too, and I support you too πŸ™‚ I find chatting about my characters and stories makes me want to write them more.

      I think companies use discount stores as a kind of advertisement for their products before they appear in bigger stores to test the market and get people interested, so I doubt much will change. Good strategy from a business point of view, but sucks for those of us on a budget!

      Even the word marketing/marketability makes me cringe, and it’s so nice to choose to ignore it πŸ™‚ Here’s to being happy with what we write, whenever we get the time/motivation to write it πŸ˜€ Take care too!

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      • That’s understandable. I don’t like leaving negative reviews either. I’m sure your post will provide some excellent insight. And I’m sure it will be helpful too. I support you.

        Haha that’s cool! Has anyone ever told him that his powers are different than his names? Do you think you caught the cold at the arcade? I hope you feel all better soon! Is it expected to stay nice and warm for a while?
        Thank you! Same here! Drawing them and discussing them inspires me to write more for/about my characters.

        That makes sense. Def hard for those on budget. What are the most famous discount stores in the UK?

        Yes!! Most important thing is that you’re happy with what you write πŸ™‚ Go Louise! :].

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        • Thanks πŸ™‚ You’ve inspired me to write a scene where Leo comments on Blaise’s name and powers when they meet!

          For sure, the arcade was super busy, there were children everywhere, and I suspect I got it from one of them. I went for a bike ride yesterday anyway, and although I was slower than usual I was mostly okay. Hopefully that means I’m getting better. Last August was very hot, so I expect the nice weather to last πŸ™‚

          We have Home Bargains, B&M, and Poundland (where everything is Β£1). Does the U.S have discount stores?

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          • You’re welcome! I’m honored! I was wondering if you may please share the scene with me? No worries if not- all good πŸ™‚ I’m just happy that I inspired you! πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

            Oh wow. Yeah kids often get sick and spread germs a lot. Which games did you play in the arcade? I’m glad you were able to ride and that you were okay. That seems to be a good sign! I hope you feel all better soon! Have you been drinking tea too?

            Yes, the U.S. does have some discount stores. I’ve seen stores called “Dollar Store” and 99 cents store (not sure if they’re still around), Dollar Tree, Family Dollar, etc. It’s where everything is $1 or less, just like how Poundland has everything at 1 pound :). There’s a Japanese store in the U.S. called Daiso that sells products very cheaply too. I heard Costco is considered a discount store too. Have you seen a Costco in the UK? I know they opened up some stores in different countries πŸ™‚ :).

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            • I haven’t written it yet, still recovering from this awful cold, but if/when I do maybe I can email it to you? πŸ™‚ Feel free to do the same if you write anything you want to share πŸ™‚

              We played 2P nudgers mostly, where you put the coins in and they pile up and nudge prizes closer to the edge. We won so many prizes πŸ˜€ Thanks, I’ve been cycling, despite not feeling 100%, but still not completely well. I’m hoping the exercise will help though. I’ve been drinking far too much tea!

              I’d love to visit an american discount store to compare to UK ones. Ours are very random with toys, games, food and cooking utensils. There are Costco in bigger cities but none near me, and you have to be a member. Daiso looks cool, they have a UK website with lots of Japanese foods on πŸ™‚

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              • Sure, that sounds good! Before you do, may you please provide me the trigger warnings for it?
                And that sounds good! Will do πŸ™‚ Thank you!

                Interesting! I don’t think I’ve played that before. What do you do to nudge the prizes? That’s awesome! What kinds of prizes are there? I hope you feel better soon. How is your recovery going? WHat kinds of tea are you drinking?

                That’s cool! It’s similar here. I’ve seen toys, utensils, party decorations, and school supplies. Snacks too. Sounds like the discount stores are similar in the UK? How much does Costco membership cost in UK?
                Nice, I’m curious if there is a Daiso in the UK :). πŸ™‚

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                • Will do, there shouldn’t be any trigger warnings as it’ll be a pretty innocent scene πŸ™‚ Still not written it, or anything this month, with the exception of one hour of scribbling. I’m so behind on my goals, but since I’ve not been well I’ll let it slide.

                  The coins slide down a chute, pile up, and nudge other coins towards the edge of the machine. The prizes are piled on top of the coins, so as the coins move the prizes do too. It’s pretty fun πŸ™‚ There are mugs, sweets, and stuffed toys: I got Toothless from HTTYD! I’m hopefully nearly better, but symptoms keep going and coming back, annoyingly! I usually just drink basic tea, as flavoured ones taste weird to me.

                  Yeah sounds really similar. No idea how much Costco membership is, as I’ve never looked into it. We have something called Makro here, which seems similar, and membership is free but only if you own a business I think. I don’t think there’s a physical Daiso store near me, but could be in bigger cities. Sometimes living at the edge of nowhere sucks πŸ™‚

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                  • That’s cool! I look forward to reading it! But no rush, it’s okay. Take your time. πŸ™‚ When did you create Leo and Blaise?

                    Interesting! I don’t think I’ve seen a game like that in arcades in the U.S. πŸ™‚ How long have you played it? Those gifts sound so neat! I’m sorry to hear that the symptoms come back. I hope you feel all better soon. Don’t scare people with loud sneezes now (kidding lol, I remember you told me your sneezes are quiet, right?)
                    Cool – do you like green tea?

                    Cool. Marko sounds pretty similar to Costco. They allow those with business accounts to go in Costco one hour before opening in the states. Hopefully you can go to a Daiso when you visit a bigger city next time. I’m sure there are some nice benefits to living in a smaller town though, no? πŸ™‚ (like quieter streets)? πŸ™‚

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                    • Leo and Blaise were created last summer, based on a fanfic I wrote a few years ago, so they’re based on Barry and Len a lot πŸ™‚

                      We must’ve been at the arcades for a few hours lol. U.S arcades look pretty awesome from what I’ve seen on Youtube. My sneezes have been pretty loud with this cold, Merlin hates it πŸ˜› I don’t think I’ve ever tried green tea.

                      There’s a Daiso in London, so if we’re ever up that way again I’ll try and find it πŸ™‚ Yeah smaller towns are quieter, which is especially good in a pandemic. Our trains, buses, shops etc are rarely crowded, nothing like London tubes πŸ™‚ Less to do though, which can suck a little!

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  4. Chocolate syrup and tea. Hmmm, sounds…. different.
    Six of crows was a good read, but not so much crooked kingdom. But mostly, it was the ending of the duology I didn’t like.
    Well, I’ve been so long away from the blogosphere, I suppose I’ll be seeing your thoughts on the duology soon.
    Hope you are enjoying your break.

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    • Yeah, I thought chocolate syrup would be odd in tea, but it’s really good πŸ™‚

      I saw a spoiler of Crooked Kingdom, which suggests I may not like it as much, but we’ll see.

      I’m enjoying my break so much I’m thinking of extending it, sometimes a break is necessary to refill the creative well I think!

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  5. Rad! Were Leo and Blasie based off a Prison Break or Flash fanfic? πŸ™‚ So cool.

    Haha nice! Do you like the 80s arcade games too? (And Street Fighter as well?) Yeah, I like the arcades in the U.S. though I probably get too into the Terminator game lol. Aww, bless you! The cold must be pretty bad then since you mentioned that it’s making you sneeze loudly. How are you feeling this week? Are you feeling better?
    Do you like black tea?

    Cool! I hope you enjoy Daiso when you visit London next time. I guess there is a trade off to everything. Are there double decker buses in your area too? Take care, my friend, and I hope you feel better soon.

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    • Flash fanfic, based on Flash and Arrow, although I’ve changed pretty much everything except the basic plot πŸ™‚

      My brother is really into 80’s arcade games but there’s nowhere we can play them that I know of. I’m feeling better this week, still have a bit of a runny nose but I think that’s allergies! Nah I prefer tea with milk, although it has to be Soy milk.

      Yeah, I’d like to visit London again, although it’ll be a while I think. We have a mix of double and single decker buses, local ones are single, ones that go outside our town are double. Hope you’re doing well πŸ™‚

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      • That’s great! How long was the story?

        Wow. I wonder why the arcade doesn’t have the classic games. Are there any ones from the 90s or 2000s, like Street Fighter? (Or any ones with aliens?) I’m glad to hear that you’re feeling better and that it might be allergies now. I hope you feel all better soon and wish you all the best! Did your loud sneezes scare Merlin? XD

        I too hope to visit London again. Interesting how they use single for local trips and double for trips out of town. How long do those trips take?
        I’m doing well, thank you, my friend. How are you feeling? Hope you’re doing well in spite of the allergies.

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        • 70000 words, give or take a few. It’s the only long story I’ve ever finished.

          Nah our arcades are all full of modern stuff now. Yeah Merlin hates sudden loud noises, poor thing, especially if it startles him out of sleeping!

          I think it’s about an hour to the nearest city by bus, but it makes lots of stops at small villages so takes ages. I much prefer to drive or take the train.

          I’m doing okay, probably taking a much longer break from blogging to focus on stories, but everything’s good πŸ™‚

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          • That’s cool. A great accomplishment. πŸ™‚ Not everyone finishes a long story and it’s awesome that you did. I’m proud of you :).

            Aw, I guess there’s no demand for retro games? Are there any modern action ones?
            Aww poor Merlin! At least you’re feeling better now, so no more loud sneezes, right? All the best, my friend.

            Yeah that sounds like buses in the U.S. – they take forever too. I too prefer the train. πŸ™‚ I forget – did you try the trains when you visited the U.S.?

            Glad you’re doing well :). Sending you much support. :).

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            • Thanks πŸ™‚ And nope, not much demand for retro at all nowadays. We have a lot of modern shooting games, but I don’t really play those. Mario Kart is a popular one too!

              Yeah, no more sneezing, and plenty of bike rides too πŸ™‚

              The only trains we took in the U.S were in the New York subway system. I spotted a rat down there, which was pretty awesome xD I imagine cross country trains would be better though? Although given how big America is it’d probably take a long time to get anywhere!

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              • That is quite different than the U.S. lol Do you like Mario Kart? Which genre would you say are the types of games that you like most?

                I’m glad to hear that! Sounds like you’re feeling much better? πŸ™‚ How’s biking going?

                Haha a lot of people would hate seeing a rat. But it’s cool that you got to see a rat πŸ™‚ Yeah, a cross country train might be better, but a subway is more efficient at getting people intracity better. But yeah, it takes a long time for a train to go to various locations in the country. The DC-NYC one is not bad though – it takes 3.5 hours and it takes about the same length to drive.

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                • I prefer Mario Kart on console as arcades is really expensive. I like games which are hard to learn and a challenge best, I get bored if something is too easy. In general JRPG’s are probably my favourite though for the story aspect.

                  Biking is good, and because the weather’s not great it’s quieter too πŸ™‚

                  We used to have pet rats, so I think they’re cute lol. That’s pretty good! Our trains are usually slower than driving, and more expensive, so less people use them. Bad for the environment, but people won’t be encouraged to use public transport unless its convenient.

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                  • That’s understandable πŸ™‚ I didn’t know there were JRPGs at the arcades (then again, pretty much all of the arcades I’ve been to have mostly retro and action games, particularly ones where you shoot aliens or cyborgs lol). Are there any Godzilla games at the arcades in your area? That’s cool that there are JRPGs and that you enjoy them πŸ™‚

                    Awesome! Is it rainy? (Curious b/c you said the weather’s not great). Glad it’s quieter! As much as I love summer, I wish we had some rain here in California (we’ve had fires for most of the summer, if not all of it).

                    Aww! That’s so cool! How many rats did you have? That’s interesting – many trains within the cities are slow here and they take forever, so people in most cities, except for maybe NYC and probably San Francisco, usually drive. How are the trains that go between cities? I wonder if they’re like the Amtrak here. :).

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                    • Ah the JRPG’s aren’t at arcades, I play those at home πŸ™‚ I think I’ve seen Godzilla, although House of the Dead is the most common one I think. And Dance Mat machines!

                      It’s been the weirdest August, very windy, a little bit of rain, and colder than usual. Hopefully you get some rain soon, and no one was seriously hurt in the fires!

                      We had 8 rats at one point, over two cages πŸ™‚ Very clever animals and very sweet! One outlived two sets of cage mates, she was so healthy! Where I live the trains are so bad between towns and cities. Sometimes the train gets delayed for ages because sheep wander onto the tracks ^_^”

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  6. That’s cool. You played House of the Dead earlier this summer, right? Is Dance Mat like DDR?

    Wow that is very strange. Here, it’s sunny and hot. And it’d be unusual to see any rain. But I certainly hope there will be some. Is it typically hot and sunny where you are in August? And unfortunately, a lot of people have lost their homes in these fires :(. I can only hope they are put out soon.

    Wow that’s cool πŸ™‚ What’s the coolest thing you’ve seen the rats do? She sounds so cool. How long did she live?
    Wow! I didn’t know they had to stop for sheep. I guess they don’t travel very fast then. lol. Here, it would take a long time for a train to stop, so any sheep that steps in front of a track would likely be doomed unless it ran past the track quickly.

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    • Nah, I don’t usually play House of the Dead or other games, just look at them. Yeah Dance Mat is exactly like DDR πŸ™‚

      It’s weird, usually August is hot and September is rainy, but this year it seems to be the other way around! So sad 😦 I hope the fires were dealt with!

      Rats can do assault courses and jump through hoops, if you bribe them with food! She lived nearly 5 years, which is pretty old for a rat πŸ™‚

      We’re a little bit rural, and trains cross through farmer’s fields, so they have to be a bit slower for livestock, to cross bridges for rivers etc πŸ™‚

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      • That’s neat. Is it harder than DDR? πŸ™‚

        Wow. That’s strange. Is it expected to stay hot and dry all month? Unfortunately, the fires are continuing.
        It may take a while for them to be extinguished, especially since no rain is expected for a long time. 😦 I hope there are no wildfire problems in the UK.

        Haha that’s neat. I guess they must like mazes then. That’s intriguing. Do they only live about 3 years usually?

        That makes sense. πŸ™‚ Are there a lot of pigs too?

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        • I find all dance mats hard, same with guitar hero, but I have very little coordination xD

          We’re heading for a heatwave apparently, but yesterday there was a bit of rain and thunder, so who knows? That’s sad about the fires, we rarely have issues with wildfires partly because our weather is so unpredictable and heatwaves don’t last long before it rains again.

          Rats love mazes πŸ™‚ Yeah, 2-3 years is an average lifespan, so 5 is really good! We mostly have sheep around here, pigs are more in the midlands and I rarely see them unless I drive further.

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          • Haha they are hard. I don’t have much coordination either – and I can’t catch beats well lol. Are you able to catch the beats of the songs well?

            Wow, sounds like the weather changes often. Does it rain heavily in summer in your area typically?

            Nice. Did you build mazes for your mice? 5 is def good :).
            lol that’s cool. Have people used the sheep to chew on grass by the sides of roads? I’ve seen that being done here for grass – especially dry grass – in various parts of publicly owned spaces.

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            • I’m much better with my arms than feet, we have a VR headset and I can play beatsaber pretty well and love music πŸ™‚

              We sometimes have maybe a week or two of sun at most followed by torrential rain and thunderstorms. Usually it’s a few days of sun, a few dull days, then more sun, very varied πŸ™‚

              Nah, our rats preferred cuddles to mazes xD I don’t think I’ve seen sheep used for that here, how cool! We have council workers to cut the grass at the side of roads when it gets too long πŸ™‚

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              • I didn’t know you could use your arms. That’s cool! How do you use your arms for the dancing games? πŸ™‚

                Wow,t hat’s a big mix of weather. Has it always been like that? I’m more of a fan of stable weather…but with how there have been fires here, I think my state can use the rain (just not the lightning XD)

                lol aw that makes sense! Were they pretty affectionate?
                Aww yeah, the sheep are good for land maintenance. But, I can see why council workers would be used too (and why they may oppose using sheep as that could lead to some job loss).

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                • The VR has handheld controllers which are used to track movement, so you can hit the notes in time with the song πŸ™‚

                  England is always a little crazy with weather. September has been very hot this year and windy too. Good weather for my trip out of town earlier this week to visit my sister though πŸ™‚ Hope you get some rain soon!

                  Yeah rats are really affectionate, lots of people are scared of them, but I think they’re awesome πŸ™‚

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                  • That’s great, Louise! πŸ™‚ Are there buttons you need to push too on the controllers?

                    Interesting. So is there a variety of weather all year long in England?
                    Glad there was good weather for your trip – how was your trip, my friend? πŸ™‚ I hope so too for the fire-prone areas and hope the mountains will get snow (that’s where much of the water comes from for the state).

                    Awww yeah I’m not sure why people are scared of them. I like how they look and think they’re adorable.

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                    • There are buttons on the controllers but you don’t need to push them to hit the notes (I thought you did at first and got confused xD)

                      Yeah, our winters are cold usually but sometimes sunny days sometimes snow. Yesterday morning it rained very hard and was very windy, then sunny all afternoon!

                      It was a good trip, but also stressful as I was driving long distances and spending lots of time around people. I’m pretty introverted so needed plenty of time to myself to recharge afterwards πŸ™‚ Do you get a lot of snow in winter? It’s very rare here!

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  7. XD I’d be confused too :). I’m used to pushing buttons on controllers. Did the VR feel really realistic?

    How cold does it get in winter? Here it gets at the lowest, around 30 degrees Fahrenheit, which is -1.11 C. But, generally it can get closer to 10 C, so not too bad. No snow though, but when there is hail, some people get excited because it looks like snow XD. Do you get hail? And wow the weather changes a lot in your area. Reminds me of Austin, Texas; I was there in 2017 and one day it was rainy in the AM (and there was a tornado warning), but in the afternoon, it was sunny and warm lol.

    Aww I’m glad you had a good trip, but am sorry that it was long and stressful too. While I can speak with some people a lot, I’d feel uncomfortable if I had to speak with a large amount of people and I’d need to recharge too. Hope you’re feeling better :).

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    • Same xD And it’s so weirdly realistic! The roller-coaster simulation makes me feel sicker than an actual roller-coaster and I tried the Spiderman Far from Home Demo yesterday which gave me so much vertigo I had to take the headset off πŸ˜›

      I think -3/-4 is the worst we’ve had, but usually 5 C in winter, or around about that. 10 C sounds lovely for winter, we’re nearly having those temperatures now, it was 12 C yesterday! We get random hailstorms in the middle of spring sometimes, it’s so weird! That Texas weather sounds like ours, I always imagined Texas to be sunny all the time. At least we don’t get tornados though!

      Thanks πŸ™‚ I’m feeling better now, had to take a few days where I just chilled and didn’t talk to anyone, but it helped!

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      • lol whoa. So it looks and feels like you’re actually going through the game? That’s intriguing. But sounds like it’s too intense. Are you feeling better now? πŸ™‚

        -4 is pretty cold! Is it usually 12C in fall? Hailstorms in the middle of spring?? Whoa! Sounds like it gets both cold and warm in the spring in the UK.
        Yeah Texas has all kinds of weather. It had snow earlier this year. And, it has sunshine, but also rain too- as well as tornadoes sometimes. Glad you don’t get tornadoes.

        Glad it helped! πŸ™‚ How’s Merlin?

        Liked by 1 person

        • Yup, it’s so realistic, as if you’re swinging over rooftops xD I felt better almost instantly as I didn’t keep the headset on long this time. I remember one time I tried a roller-coaster simulator though and I felt sick for hours afterwards! It’s weird how VR messes with the brain πŸ™‚

          Yeah 12-15C is pretty normal this time of year so we’re used to it. It felt colder today though! Snow in Texas? Wow, never would expect that! Tornadoes sound terrifying though 😦

          Merlin’s good thanks, little bit crazy now the weather is colder as he runs around more to keep warmer I think πŸ˜›

          Liked by 1 person

          • Whoa both the SPider Man and roller coaster one seem way too realistic lol. I think I’d feel sick too if I did both. How much does the VR set cost? Sounds fun but a bit too much sensory overload haha.

            That’s cool. Yeah I think it was about 12C when I went to London now that I think about it. How cold was it on the day you commented? Have you been getting some rain this month as well?
            Yeah Texas also had a snowstorm that knocked out power earlier this winter. But they normally don’t get that much snow. So yeah, that storm was horrible. Tornadoes can definitely be quite scary. I remember feeling scared when I was in Texas because of a tornado warning in a city about 1.5 hours away. Thankfully, it didn’t come, but that was a bit scary.

            Haha does he always do that when it’s cold? :).

            Liked by 1 person

            • The VR was about Β£250 I think, but we had lots of free Amazon vouchers from doing surveys so cheaper than that πŸ™‚ It is fun, but yup, sensory overload is terrible on any game where you do more than stand still, at least for me!

              I think it was about 10C that day, it was as low as 7C today though, and very chilly! It’s been raining plenty and very windy too, so no bike rides for me at the moment. Tornadoes sound terrifying, I’m glad we don’t get anything like that here. Stay safe and hopefully the weather doesn’t get too extreme over winter πŸ™‚

              Yeah Merlin’s always a little crazier when it’s cold πŸ˜€

              Liked by 1 person

              • That’s cool! I guess games like that require you to move a lot? One thing I’m worried about is not just sensory overload, but not being able to see where I’m going and tripping and falling over while wearing a VR set LOL

                That is definitely on the chillier side. I hope you’re able to find a way to stay warm. I forget – do you like to run sometimes (when it’s not raining)? Yeah tornadoes are scary. I’m glad you don’t have to deal with them either. Thankfully, the worst that happens in my area is just a lot of rain (I don’t live in a flood-prone area thankfully). Are there any floods in your area? You too – stay safe and hopefully the weather doesn’t get too bad in our areas.

                Haha I guess he doesn’t like staying still with a blanket wrapped around him? :).

                Liked by 1 person

                • Haha, well luckily most of the games have a movement system based on using the controller joysticks rather than your legs, or I would fall over far too much πŸ˜€ We’re thinking of, if they ever become cheap enough, getting an omnidirectional treadmill though, so we can move around too!

                  I used to run, but it seemed to mess up my knees and ankles more than help so I stopped. Cycling is much easier exercise, but as the weather’s been terrible I haven’t been out much this week. Our town can sometimes flood, along the coast especially. I remember one time our town centre was a meter deep in water, because it’s right next to the harbour! Luckily we live far enough away to avoid the flooding though, and I’m glad you don’t get floods.

                  He sometimes sleeps under a blanket in my office, but most of the time he sits in boxes xD

                  Liked by 1 person

                  • Haha πŸ™‚ But is it easy to trip over things (as I imagine one can get really into things and walk to the side or walk in front and bump into something lol)? That treadmill sounds cool. Do you play the VR games often?

                    That’s understandable. It can take a toll on knees. Is the weather going to clear up anytime soon? Yikes. I’m glad you live far enough to where you won’t have to worry about your home being flooded. I forget, do you like walking?

                    lol I wonder why cats love boxes so much πŸ™‚

                    Liked by 1 person

                    • Yeah it’s easy to trip, so I try to make sure the floor is clear when I play. I’ve accidently hit the door before though, when I forgot to shut it πŸ˜› I’ve been playing VR a lot lately as Beat Saber is a good replacement for exercise when the weather’s too bad to cycle πŸ™‚

                      It’s hard to tell, earlier in the week it was raining, but now it’s sunny again so I’m trying to make the most of it whilst it lasts πŸ™‚ We’ve been walking more lately as we got back into Pokemon Go xD Do you like walking?

                      It seems to be a universal cat trait πŸ˜› I think they like somewhere safe to curl up and sleep πŸ™‚


  8. Haha ouch! I hope it wasn’t too painful when you hit the door. Be careful. That’s so cool. Does each game cost a lot of money too?

    Awesome! Hope it lasts a while. How’s walking going? Do you plan to cycle now that it’s sunny? Hope you’re having fun with Pokemon Go too :). I like walking. I walk nearly daily. πŸ™‚ I try to walk at least 45 minutes, but some days I only walk 30. How long do you walk?

    Haha that’s cool. Makes sense. And boxes provide the perfect space for them, no?

    Liked by 1 person

    • My wrist hurt for a few days but it got better πŸ™‚ The games are fairly cheap, although some of them there really isn’t much to them, and some are way more expensive.

      Thanks, we had barely any good days last week after all but I got out today (cycling) and yesterday (walking). Glad you enjoy walking πŸ™‚ 30 mins is a good amount, we usually do an hour but slowly and maybe once a week.

      Yeah boxes are perfect, he loves it when couriers arrive with parcels xD

      Liked by 1 person

      • Aw glad it got better! I hope you didn’t hit the door too hard.
        Wow how much do they usually cost?

        You’re welcome :). I’m glad you got to cycle. How was the weather today? Hope it gets better this week. That’s awesome :). You can cycle a long time if the weather’s good, correct?

        Hahaha does he give joyful purrs when he sees someone with a big box? :). πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

        • Between free and Β£60 I think, although the VR is my partner’s so he paid for it and all the games we have πŸ™‚

          I’ve been out twice this week, which was great, although I think I’ll give it a miss today as it’s cold and windy. I usually bike for the same amount of time along the same route, but if the weather’s better I stop by the sea a lot longer to listen to the sound of the waves πŸ˜€

          He runs up to the box and nuzzles it, which is super cute πŸ™‚

          Liked by 1 person

          • Not bad! πŸ™‚ Is he a big gamer too? πŸ™‚

            Awesome :). How loud are the waves? πŸ˜€ I hope you had fun on the times you’ve been out this week! πŸ™‚

            That is adorable! Has he ever tried to fit in a tiny box before? Haha :).
            I have a question on a somewhat unrelated issue – are cats scared of phones? I’m curious because I saw a cat outside a neighbor’s yard once and I reached for my phone to take a picture, but the cat got so scared and ran off (it was as if they thought I was reaching for a knife or something when I was just reaching for a phone).

            Liked by 1 person

            • Yup, it’s why we get on so well πŸ™‚ Although we like some different games, like he’s really into Minecraft.

              The waves can be really loud on windy days, it’s nice to listen to πŸ™‚ Thanks, I hope you enjoy your walks too πŸ™‚

              When he was a kitten he could squeeze into the tiniest boxes. He still tries to get into small boxes which is funny to watch! I think some cats might not like phones, as the ones I see outside are often wary and run away at the first sight of humans who aren’t ‘their’ humans, but Merlin just poses cutely when I get the phone camera out xD

              Liked by 1 person

              • Aww that’s great!! πŸ™‚ Do you like Minecraft too? I’m happy for you both πŸ™‚

                Thank you! That’s cool that you get to listen to waves. Do you see a lot of wildlife as well?

                Haha aww that’s adorable. Has he gotten stuck in a small box? Lol good point. I guess some cats are afraid of other humans? That’s adorable how Merlin poses when you get your phone out. Maybe he is a model LOL. Does he get along with other humans (other than you and your partner? :)) :).

                Liked by 1 person

                • Thanks, an nah I find Minecraft a bit boring after a while, how about you, have you ever played it?

                  The only wildlife I see on bike rides are seagulls and sometimes there are seals in the sea πŸ™‚

                  Nah he doesn’t get stuck in boxes thankfully. Cats are usually wary of strangers to protect themselves. Merlin likes my mum, and others he’s familiar with, but new people he’s wary of, unless that person has a cat too in which case he seems to sense it and be friendly towards them πŸ™‚

                  Liked by 1 person

                  • I have not. What is it like :)?

                    That’s cool! Do you take pictures of them? πŸ™‚

                    Glad he doesn’t lol. That’s understandable. I wonder if that’s an evolutionary trait. Does Merlin demand pets from your mom? My sister’s cat definitely asked for pets often lol. And that makes sense. He sounds like a pretty chill and friendly cat :). πŸ™‚

                    Liked by 1 person

                    • It’s lots of digging and building and exploring. Apparently there’s an actual goal but I’ve never done that because I get distracted exploring or building and then get bored xD

                      I got a picture of the seal before, but it was far away so a bit blurry. I probably have seagull pictures on my phone somewhere too: Those are very friendly and come very close to people πŸ™‚

                      Merlin tolerates petting from mum, but he doesn’t stick around long usually. Your sister’s cat sounds awesome πŸ™‚ Merlin often only wants petting when I’m busy, at the moment whenever I sit down for my writing session he jumps on my lap xD

                      Liked by 1 person

  9. Hahaha I think I’d probably get distracted building and then get bored too. I’d probably want more action in a game.
    I remember getting bored playing Sims XD

    Nice! I hope they don’t poop too often though. The seagulls here can poop a lot lol. Have you gotten close to a seagull?

    Interesting! So he doesn’t ask to be pet again after a bit? I remember my sister’s cat constantly wanting pets from me. I recall eating breakfast once and petting her cat. Her cat then swatted my hand away after a few minutes, so I went back to eating. But, a couple minutes later, her cat would come back and want pets again XD. They’re so moody LOL. And haha does Merlin get annoyed when you don’t pet him when you’re busy? :).

    Liked by 1 person

    • I remember playing the Sims too, I started a household and within no time at all my Sim burned her house down and died. I’m terrible at those types of games πŸ˜› Action games make me pay more attention I think!

      Walking through our town centre you do have to watch out for incoming seagull poop xD When I worked in a warehouse shipping orders we used to leave the large roller door open in summer and a seagull wandered in once. We had to chase it and try to pick it up to get it back outside, was a real close encounter πŸ˜›

      Yeah cats do that, Merlin is often wanting pets, then changing his mind. He totally gets annoyed if I don’t pay him attention too! He stands on the keyboard or in front of the monitor so I can’t do anything else until he’s happy πŸ˜›

      Liked by 1 person

      • LOL What? I didn’t know a Sim could burn their house down. I remember thinking that it could be like an action game, and my Sim was being a troll lol. XD I got bored lol. But yeah, action games keep me more engaged. I guess you like action games much more? lol πŸ™‚

        XD Do you usually have to look up at the sky to make sure you avoid it?
        lol oh wow, how did you and your colleagues get it out?

        I wonder why cats change their mind so much. And I guess Merlin doesn’t listen if you tell him to get off the keyboard? And what if you were to pick up and take him off the keyboard? lol. But I guess it works better to just pet him instead :).

        Liked by 1 person

        • Yeah Sims can burn the house down xD It’s such an impossibly hard game without cheats! Yeah action games can be fun, we play zombie games mostly, although city building games too when I want to relax more πŸ™‚

          I try and stay under awnings or other cover when there are too many seagulls around. My colleague kept chickens so she picked up the seagull eventually and carried it outside πŸ˜€

          Trying to move Merlin makes it worse, yesterday he typed loads of random stuff all over my story πŸ˜› Sometimes if I pet him he jumps off the keyboard and onto my lap, but he sits on my arms so I have to stop writing to pet him!

          Liked by 1 person

          • LOL How did you do that in the game? Yeah it sounds rough. I think my character slapped another character lol.
            That is rad! Which zombie game do you like most?

            That’s a good idea! πŸ™‚ Did the seagull struggle to break free while she picked it up?

            lol Does Merlin scratch people when they try to move him? And haha he wants to write his own story. j/k πŸ™‚
            Haha aww he definitely wants a ton of attention :). He’s cute.

            Liked by 1 person

            • I forgot to put fire extinguishers in the SIMs house, and to raise my sim’s cooking skill, so she was cooking dinner and things went out of control lol. We’ve been playing 7 days to die on Steam, it’s early access but it’s a really good zombie survival game πŸ™‚

              Nah, the seagull was calm once she picked it up, she’s pretty good with animals, but it did try to peck a bit!

              Nah he’s really good and lets me pick him up. If he doesn’t want to move, like if he knows he has to go to the vets, he goes boneless when I try to get him and he’s so hard to pick up xD I bet he’d write a great story about all the cats who invade our garden πŸ˜›
              He’s an adorable ball of fluff!

              Liked by 1 person

              • Hahaha that sounds fun and frustrating with SIMs. Did the fire department come over and put it out in the game? And did your SIM get in trouble? haha. Nice. Does it take a long time to play or is it a fairly quick game?

                lol well I’m glad she’s great with animals πŸ™‚ Have you gotten other animals like parrots (that show up at work)?

                Lol that makes it hard. I wonder how he knows when you’re taking him to the vet. (And when you are just simply picking him up so that you can use the computer). And LOL yes, in the stories, I bet he’ll write about how cats are the best too, no? lol
                He’s awesome πŸ™‚ And cute.

                Liked by 1 person

                • Yeah it can be a frustrating game. The fire department came, but because I forgot to put up smoke alarms they showed up too late to save my SIM! 7 Days can take as long as you want it to, because it’s an ongoing survival game. There’s a hoard of zombies every 7 days, so you can finish day 7 if you want or carry on πŸ™‚

                  Nah, I don’t think we have wild parrots here, only a few people even have them as pets. We used to have birds of prey visit our garden though πŸ™‚

                  If Merlin sees his carry case, he knows he has to go out of the house, so that’s how he tells πŸ˜› He was helping me wrap presents yesterday by hiding inside the gift bags πŸ˜› Hope you have an awesome holiday season πŸ™‚

                  Liked by 1 person

                  • Wow lol. So SIMS can actually die too? Yikes.
                    Haha that’s awesome. Sounds like a fun game. πŸ™‚

                    Interesting. Have you seen parakeets around? That’s cool that there are birds of prey. I like hawks. Do you like falcons and hawks?

                    Haha aw and carry case usually means vet, so I can imagine he’d be upset lol.
                    Lol that’s so cute! Does he like to hide in bags often? I hope you have a wonderful holiday, my friend. Take care.

                    Liked by 1 person

                    • Yeah unless you’re using cheats SIMs can die, even of old age, but using cheats is way more fun πŸ˜›

                      Nah I’ve only seen parakeets in a zoo I think. The bird of prey we had visit was a Kestral, it had blue feathering on its head and my mum used to feed it xD Falcons and Hawks are cool too though!

                      Yup lol, he knows when he has vets and hates it, so when we take him to visit mum he’s also scared of the case πŸ˜› He loves hiding in bags as much as boxes, I got some good pictures πŸ™‚ Thanks, I had a good holiday and got my book, how about you?

                      Liked by 1 person

  10. Haha cheats can make any game more fun! What types of cheats do you use? Can sims get into fights? lol

    Kestrels sound awesome πŸ™‚ What did your mom feed them? And yeah I think I’ve seen more parrots on YouTube than I have in real life. They’re adorable and intriguing. But, I don’t think I’d want to have one as they can get very loud, demand a ton of attention (possibly more than cats and dogs?), and can live very long lives (some can live as long as humans), etc.

    Lol does he feel more relieved when he sees your mum and not the vet? Do you plan to share the pics on here? πŸ™‚
    Which book did you get? My holiday was good. I spent it watching basketball games and the show Arcane :).

    Liked by 1 person

    • The infinite money cheat is the best one, and no aging, which makes SIMS live forever πŸ™‚ They can get into fights often!

      Kestrals are cool πŸ™‚ Mum fed them chicken. Parrots are really pretty colours, but yeah I think they’d be too noisy for me too! I didn’t know parrots live a long time, that’s awesome, but yes, lots of commitment!

      Yeah he’s always relieved to see mum, he likes sleeping on her bed xD I may share pics if I ever get back into blogging, the break’s been nice though! I got the Loki book I mentioned before πŸ™‚ Glad you had a good holiday, is that Arcane League of Legends? I’ve been meaning to see that!

      Liked by 1 person

      • That is awesome! πŸ™‚ It seems pretty realistic then. I guess characters can get bad injuries from fighting then too? The no aging cheat sounds neat – it must be interesting to see them go through decades of life while looking the same.

        Nice πŸ™‚ Do kestrals still visit your mom? I agree – parrots look amazing but are too noisy. They also are not domesticated per say (they still have many wild instincts), unlike dogs and cats. Yep- I heard cockatiels can live 20 years in captivity and that cockatoos can live 80 years or more. Definitely a huge commitment and probably an intergenerational one as well.

        Aw lol that’s cute. Does your mum let Merlin sleep on her bed often? That sounds good. I’m glad you’re having a nice break – do you plan to return to blogging early this year?
        Nice – did your mum get you the Loki book? And yes – Arcane is based off League of Legends. It is very good, but there are some character deaths (won’t say who as that’s a spoiler, but wanted to let you know so that you’ll be prepared).

        Liked by 1 person

        • Yup, although much less realistic with cheats πŸ™‚ I like the no aging cheat because then my characters don’t die πŸ˜›

          She occasionally has a kestral still, although more seagulls nowadays! 80 years is a huge amount of time! Definitely an intergenerational commitment unless you get them very young. She doesn’t mind Merlin sleeping on her bed πŸ™‚ He doesn’t get to do it at home because my partner is allergic xD

          I’ve toyed with a few blog ideas, but nothing set in stone yet. I’ll probably not have a schedule when I return as that’s too much pressure and my posts will be more rambling, diary like, than structured I think πŸ™‚ (except reviews which will be a bit more ordered)

          My partner’s mum got me the Loki book πŸ˜€ Ah, if there are main character deaths in Arcane I may not watch it, I hate getting attached only for characters to die!

          Liked by 1 person

          • Haha that is fun. Do any of the computer characters ever talk about how your characters do not age? πŸ™‚

            Wow. I wonder why there are seagulls?
            Yeah for sure, I do hope that the bird owner’s kids will take good care of the cockatoo after the original owner passes away. And haha that’s great. Does Merlin sleep for hours on her bed?
            And lol that’s understandable. Are you allergic to any animals?

            That’s cool. Best to go at your own pace and not pressure oneself. πŸ™‚ I love your posts btw πŸ™‚ and they rock.

            Aw is she a big Marvel fan?
            Hard to say, it’s more of an ensemble cast, so I don’t know if I’d consider those who died to be main characters or major side characters. Do you get saddened by major side characters’ deaths?

            Liked by 1 person

            • Nah, the Sims don’t notice non-aging characters πŸ™‚

              Seagulls go wherever there’s food, and mum feeds the birds leftovers πŸ˜› Merlin prefers sleeping on sofas, usually where he has a good view of both the door and the window πŸ™‚ I’m not allergic to animals, but I can’t have milk. How about you?

              Yeah, I figure going at my own pace is better for my health, more relaxing πŸ™‚ Thanks, hopefully I’ll come back to blogging one day, but not until I get back into a writing routine. It’s hard at the moment because I keep wanting to read instead of write!

              They watch the Marvel films but I don’t think they are huge fans like I am! It depends how much I like that major side character. There’s one major side character death from Fullmetal Alchemist that still makes me really sad, and one minor even 😦 But other major side character or even main character deaths I can accept if I don’t like the character much anyway!

              Liked by 1 person

              • Haha funny how they don’t notice that their friend or spouse never ages LOL

                That’s cool haha. I bet she gets lots of seagulls often :).
                Do cats like being in places where they can watch everything? Does Merlin also like staring at birds outside? I’m not allergic to animals either – I was told that as a kid, I was allergic to cats, but I’ve pet cats and dogs with no problem. So, I don’t think I have allergies to animals. I might have a minor allergy to milk as drinking regular milk does make my stomach ache (not ice cream though lol), but I don’t really have allergies, unless you count the hay fever that most people have. I envy those that don’t haha.

                I’m really glad you’re going to go at your own pace πŸ™‚ Glad you’re putting your health first. πŸ™‚
                That’s understandable. Last year, I wanted to draw instead of write. So, I drew a lot, but wrote very little haha. How many books are you aiming to read? πŸ™‚ I hope you have fun, friend.

                That’s cool :). Did you end up seeing No Way Home? And awww…yeah I mean, Arcane is really good, but it does have a significant number of character deaths. So you may not want to watch it OR watch it really slow so that it doesn’t take as much of a toll on you. Do what’s best for your well being. I support you.

                Liked by 1 person

                • Yeah Merlin loves watching birds, he chatters very cutely at them πŸ˜€ I used to have that same issue with milk, but for me it got worse to the point I had to give it up 😦 Thankfully there are some very good dairy free ice creams πŸ˜€

                  Glad you got lots of drawing done πŸ˜€ I think maybe I need to write and post blog posts as soon as I think of them, or write stories when the ideas strike, as if I think of ideas, write them down, and leave them for later they never get done. Maybe I’m one of these people who need to do things right away! I keep reading fanfiction at the moment xD I did start Crooked Kingdom (the sequel to Six of Crows) but it’s kinda slow going with long chapters. With how distracted I am lately I’ll consider it an achievement to read three books in the next six months πŸ™‚

                  Nah we decided against the cinema in the end because I realised No Way Home is 2hr30 and I didn’t fancy sitting in an enclosed space with strangers for that long, no matter how quiet it can be off peak. Waiting for Netflix/DVD release πŸ™‚ I’ll probably give Arcane a miss then! I still haven’t watched How to Train Your Dragon 3 because the ending sounded too sad xD

                  Liked by 1 person

                  • Aww that’s adorable :). He doesn’t try to hunt them then? Glad there are some good dairy free ice creams. I like lactose free milk as I’m able to drink it without any issues.

                    :] Thanks Lol like you, I have to do things when the ideas come or else I forget to. Do you plan to blog in February then, perhaps? πŸ™‚ Haha no worries. Is Crooked Kingdom also a slow-paced book (in addition to long chapters?)
                    That’s understandable. Better to be safe, my friend. I think it’ll be on Netflix first, right? And that’s understandable. I’m glad you’re doing what’s best for your mental health. :).


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