Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Day Seven: We Made It!

Hello, Beautiful Reader! Here we are at Day Seven! Yes, I actually managed to do it. Seven days of blogtastic blogification metaphorically signed, sealed and delivered. In fact, I was so determined to post on my blog today that I am actually writing this while getting ready for work, so there's all kinds of cleansing, toning and moisturising going on as I type. Actually, I'm not even wearing my glasses right now, so hopefully this isn't all complete gobbledygook!

As you can tell, I'm feeling pretty pleased with myself for getting to the end of this week. Now, all I have to do is keep it up and this will be a nice, regular, blog that will go from strength-to-strength until I take over the world! Mwah ha ha!

Oh, dear, I've said too much. Ignore that last part.

So, what message do I want to leave you with? Well, there are two things I want to say before the end of this week and the resumption of a more laid back blogging style:

1) Zombies are awesome.

2) Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. And now I'm off to eat some.

Monday, 27 May 2013

Day Six: Apocalypse Cow

Day Six, Beautiful Reader! We're almost there!

So, I thought seeing as this week of bloggery seems to have developed a bit of an animal theme, that today I would combine my love of our mammalian cousins, with my love of the undead and review Apocalypse Cow, by Michael Logan.

The plot involves an unlikely group attempting to smuggle the truth out of Britain when an epidemic of zombiism (that's totally a word, right?) starts spreading through the four-legged population of the country. There's sneezing, hungry, randy animals all over the place, and an evil government agent trying to kill them, and if that wasn't enough, they are a ragtag bunch of losers.

It's a funny story, definitely going for the splatterpunk end of the genre, which I love in films, but I'm not sure works quite so well on the page.It's a really visual book, but the description of cows in an abattoir coming back to life and going on a rampage would probably be more effective on the screen.

Having said that, I did come to care about the characters and wanted them to have happy endings all round.

Apocalypse Cow was joint winner of the inaugural Terry Pratchett Anywhere But Here, Anywhen But Now Prize, so it may be that the vast majority of people will absolutely love it, but I thought this book was lacking a certain x factor.

Maybe the problem is that I really wanted it to be amazing, and instead it was just good.

So, give it a try, but don't expect too much.

I'm giving it six and a half skulls out of ten.

Sunday, 26 May 2013

Day Five: The Notorious Puss Brothers

As promised... KITTENS!

Just over three weeks ago I left work and discovered a text from my dad saying that him and mum had bought three kittens and that I could name one of them. So, may I formally introduce the blogosphere to Jago Cooper (the creamy, gingery one at the front), Robert 'Fitz' Fitzpatrick (the tabby), and George Romero (the black and white one). Guess which one I named. Yep. King of the Zombies.

They are currently asleep on the sofa after a hard day of conducting a wild rumpuss around the house, an activity that they take very seriously.

Jago is the most out-going and the most likely to be found climbing up your leg for a cuddle.

Fitz has a very serious little face and is usually the first to try something new, like climbing on top of the bannister, and pooing in the plant pot.

Romero always looks a bit startled because of his white whiskers and likes to throw out some jazz hands and do a little dance every now and then.

This is the awesome castle that mum made for them out of a crate of wine. It's actually been given an extra storey since this picture was taken and the kittens all love running through it, hiding under it, wrestling around it.

There you go. One final picture of the fluffy things eating and rumpetting.

Kittens rock!

Saturday, 25 May 2013

Day Four: Tales from the Front Line of the Moth War

Now, my original plan was that todays blog would follow the logical progression of yesterdays pet theme and be all about the kittens, but then something really gross happened, and I feel the need to share so as to exorcise the painful memory.

We have a little moth problem in our house. That is to say, we have a problem with there being lots of little moths. Although I am generally against the unnecessary murder of any creature, those moths are hateful shits that want to eat my lovely cardigans, so this is war. Still, seeing as I'm not altogether that keen on having even evil moth blood on my hands, I'm a bit rubbish at killing them. 

That is the background of this horrifying tale.

I had just popped into the bathroom to powder my noise, and there, sitting on the wall, plotting new and terrible means of munching on my favourite woolens  was a moth. For the purposes of this story, let's call him Grendle. I knew what I had to do; I didn't hesitate; I squashed the little bastard.

I turned around, reflecting on how ninja like I had been, only to find another moth, let's call her Grendle's Mother, flying right into my face, to exact terrible vengeance. I stepped back in a less than dignified manner, but she was set on what turned out to be a suicide mission. Grendle's Mother flew under my glasses and RIGHT INTO MY EYE! I couldn't help it, I blinked and she was squashed by the super-ninja force of my eyelid.

Obviously then I had to whip of my glasses and attempt to remove Grendle's Mother's corpse from my eyeball. Moths are fragile creatures and she didn't all come out in one go, which led, moments later, to me leaving the bathroom and asking my mum whether I had dead moth on my face, which was a sentence I had never expected to say.

Tomorrow, kittens.

Friday, 24 May 2013

Day Three: Thomas Sexton Hardcastle

Just as the sun sets in the evening and rises in the morning, so was it inevitable that at some point, this blog would turn to the subject of my room-mate, my furry side-kick, my hamster, Thomas Sexton Hardcastle.

I adopted him from Pets at Home in Brentford. They couldn't sell him because he had problems with his teeth when he was little, well littler. This tale of woe twanged my heartstrings. I couldn't resist this tiny white ball of fur, asleep in the corner of his cage. The name he came with was Tommy, and that's still what he's known as to his friends. The Sexton Hardcastle bit is one of the wrestler Edge's earlier in-ring personas and as I'd just finished reading his biography when I went hamster shopping, that was the name I really wanted for my new hamstery chum.

Tommy enjoys peanuts, meditating and going for long runs on his wheel or in his ball. He loves the heart-shaped treats I got him for Valentines Day in a soppy moment, and has a slight taste for human flesh.He dislikes the little round green bits in his food, other than that he's a fairly laid back little chap.

And on the night of a full moon, just like tonight, he transforms into a tiny werewolf.

One of the above facts may not be true.

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Day Two: A Story What I Wrote.

The Good News: My hair is not the colour of wotsits, but pleasingly close to the natural chestnut brown I was vaguely aiming for. Those must have been some funky plums they were basing that dye on.

The Bad News: My head hurts. Boo to head-aches, but at least I've stopped feeling like I'm going to puke.

Anyway, to keep the typing down to a minimum I thought I would share a little story that I recently wrote. It failed to win the 24 Hours Flash Fiction Competition from the London Sci-fi Festival, but I still quite like it. It's only 1000 words, so won't take you long and I hope you enjoy it.

Left Again

            Sara awoke with a start. Her heart was beating hard as if she had just run a marathon.
            “What the fuck was all that about?” She muttered as she wiped the sleep from her eyes. She vaguely felt that there was something important that she was meant to remember. She rolled on to her side and looked at the DRM 3000. Her sister had brought the dream recording machine for her as a birthday present, but so far Sara had only set it up. There was a thin sheet full of censors under her pillow, attached by wires to a small device on her bedside table, about the same size as her digital radio. Sara sat up and pulled it over to her. The display on the front offered a number of options. She could replay any of her dreams from the night before, look back at an archive, or access the dreams other people put online. Sara couldn’t think of anything worse than letting the whole world in on the workings of her subconscious mind. Sure, some of her dreams were funny, or just boring, but what about the ones born from her anxieties, or from her deepest fantasies? Still, she couldn’t help browsing through the online database. It didn’t take her long to realise that there were a lot of people in the world who didn’t share her sense of propriety. There was everything from boring dreams about the weekly shopping to ones marked XXX requiring a proof of age to view.
            Then Sara noticed something odd. A lot of the dreams had similar titles, the words “Left Again” were cropping up repeatedly.
            “That’s weird,” Sara muttered, and then yawned, shaking her head. The clock showed 6.30am. Her alarm would go off in half an hour. If she watched the dream, maybe she could get it out of her head and at least doze for a while before she had to face the day.
            Sara returned to the home page. The dreams were arranged in order of strength, from odd fragments, to things that seemed like something from the movies. She selected the clearest dream, and pressed play.

            Sara was at her work desk, typing things onto her computer, just as she would on any normal day, but something was different, something felt wrong. Then she noticed a button on the edge of her keyboard, a dark red button just to the right of the “Q”. Sara ran her finger over it and realised that it was soft and warm. It felt more like flesh than plastic.
            “When I tell you, and not a moment before, press that button.”
            The voice made her jump. It had come from right behind her, close enough that she could feel the breath of the speaker behind her neck.
            “Do not turn around.” The voice was deep and unfamiliar. “Just do what I say. When the time comes, turn left, and left again. Let me know if you understand.”
            Sara nodded, tried to speak, but could only whisper, “Yes.” The breath on her neck was so cold it made her shiver. She didn’t want to see who was talking, didn’t want to see the person who could make her feel so afraid with so few words.
            “Good. Now, press the button, Sara, and remember.”
            Sara reached across the keyboard, pressed slowly on the button, and as she did so warm blood oozed up and over her fingertip.

            Sara placed the DRM 3000 back on the bedside table and took a deep breath. She wished she hadn’t looked at the dream as there was no way she was going to get back to sleep now. She stood up, and shook out her limbs before wandering into the bathroom. She stared at herself in the mirror.
            “It’s just a dream, Sara, pull yourself together.”
            She walked into the shower, allowing the hot water to wash away the memory of that cold breath, and decided to treat herself. She would go out for breakfast. She was never awake early enough to do that, and now she had plenty of time to cheer herself up with a plateful of bacon and eggs.

            It was cold outside, colder than she would have hoped for a May morning. Sara saw a bus at her stop and ran to get on it. Once seated she started rummaging through her bag, feeling that maybe she had forgotten something. A few minutes later she was satisfied that she had her wallet, keys and phone and sat back to stare out of the window. It was only then that Sara realised she had got onto the wrong bus, and in the short time she had been travelling, had completely lost any idea of where she was.
            “Shit,” she muttered under her breath, ringing the bell and hurling herself off the bus at the next possible stop. She looked up and down the road. How could she be this lost, this close to home? She took a deep breath and told herself to chill out. She couldn’t be that far from her usual route, she’d just walk back the way the bus had come and she’d surely find something familiar soon.
            The road reached a T-junction and she turned left, certain that was the way she had come.
            “Turn left and left again.”
            The words scratched at the back of her mind. There was an alley right there, on the left, and somehow she couldn’t help herself from walking down it. It was cold and dark, and Sara couldn’t really fathom what she was doing.
            “It was only a dream, woman, pull yourself together.”
            Just as she said these words, Sara reached the end of the alley and laughed at herself. She was back on her road, but before she could step into the sunlight she felt a hand, cold and strong, clasp around her neck and a now familiar voice whispered in her ear.
            “It is never just a dream.”

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Day One: Bringing Sexy Back

Okay, so I have realised that there is a distinct danger of this blog turning into something where I very occasionally post something about how guilty I feel about not posting on it more often and promise to try harder in the future. Now, that doesn't sound super-fun to me, and I'm assuming it doesn't to you either, Beautiful Reader.

So, I am taking the bull by the horns and am going to have a week long blog-fest, starting right now! Look! Here it is!

Basically I was being driven across Dartmoor last week by my lovely Sister-in-law and was telling her about Julie & Julia. If you haven't seen it, I highly suggest checking it out, because even though nothing explodes and there isn't even one zombie in it, I found it quite inspirational. Julie has a crappy job, but loves cooking and so decides to write a blog based on cooking one recipe from Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking a day, which takes over a year. The film combines her story with that of Julia herself, learning to cook and writing the book itself. It is one of many things that made me want to stop talking about blogging and actually do it. While telling this story I realised I hadn't blogged for weeks, and that I needed to do something about that asap. I needed to apply myself and get into better habits.

And here we are.

So, look forward to a week of blogtastic bloggery, possibly quite random, but hopefully always entertaining.

Oh, and before I go I feel like I need to paint you a picture of what I look like while I write this...

I'm in the process of dying my hair, so I'm dressed in my incredibly old secondary school PE t-shirt and paint-splattered jogging bottoms (super-hot). To add to this stylish garb, my hair is covered in goo that promises to turn it into something called 'plum pashion' (sexy) but when it went on was more the colour of wotsits (less sexy). So, basically I'm looking at my best and it's a shame you can't see me :)

Until tomorrow, my lovelies