Half a Year Gone Already

Can you believe it’s July 2016 already?

No 71

I’ve been living in my little house for over six months now! Simultaneously it feels like time has flown by yet like I’ve lived here for a long time. I’ve had quite a few big changes, including starting a new job, and moving into my little house. Both of those things were arranged last year, and they ticked off the two main things on my list of aspirations for the year. Coming out of a time when the media (here’s looking at you, Mailonline) and the general voice of the public seemed to have a downer on young people in general, with a difficult job market and a nigh-unscaleable property ladder, I very quietly set my mind to those two things, and I’m so pleased that I achieved both.

My favourite flowers
My favourite flowers

For 2016 I have the one main goal: to get writing, properly. It’s been easy to get distracted with new house, new job, new kittens, and the new Game of Thrones, but I set my mind to finishing off “My First Book”, shall we vaguely call it. This is a book I’ve had in mind since I was in first year of university, and have dibbed in and out of over the past few years. From about September time last year, I embarked on the not-inconsequential task of pulling together all the random vague chapters and drafting in the remainder, pulling together a sketchy first draft. That came to a close in February of this year, at which point I began the great editing process. As it stands, I’m about halfway through, having cut down on about ten chapters so far, and rejigging a lot of the pacing, action and some of the relationships. So far I am still really enjoying it.

It’s been quite an intense half a year so far, from a horrible start into a gloomy, dark sort of non-summer.

Bursts of colour
Bursts of colour

Things I’ve enjoyed so far

  • Wheel of Time – I finally finished this mega series! I actually cried at the end, and was pleased with its final execution, especially when you consider its original author and instigator, Robert Jordan, died before the last few volumes were to see the light of day. I’ve got the prequel to read yet, so it’s not quite over for me.
  • Game of Thrones – obviously! I got Sky TV just in time for series 6, which has gone beyond the books now. The past couple of years have seen me get back into a fantasy zone, which is great, considering MFB is definitely in the fantasy genre, though quite a different take to WoT, which is straight-up epic fantasy on a far-reaching, dazzling magical scale, and GoT, which is a much more human, visceral approach on it, with a smattering of zombies and soaring dragons flitting here and there.
  • Living in Casa Katy! While paying for everything is a bit annoying, I really like my little house. I have a lovely little corner set up for writing, and my front room is coming together nicely, as is my little garden, which I’m looking forward to working on a bit more once this summer *hopefully* gets underway… will it… ever? Who knows!

Things I’m looking forward to

  • Finishing MFB’s second draft. It’s picking up a bit of momentum in the middle section now, and I’m excited to charge on through, and see how things go. I’m adding structural pieces and frames to tighten things up, and I’m getting a definite buzz.
  • Winds of Winter – who isn’t? And is it ever coming? 2016 might be over and we might not be anywhere. One can dream.
  • My birthday! The mid-point of the year of course brings my little birthday, and without the summer school to distract me, I can look forward to it, though July as a whole is a busy little month anyway. I haven’t any special plans for my birthday as such, though I’m going to the Great Yorkshire Show so that will be exciting.
  • Summer in Casa Katy – I’ve bought some nice cushions for my patio furniture and it’s done nothing but rain since I got them. I would like to get them out of the plastic wrapping sometime, please.
Come back, Mr Sunshine!
Come back, Mr Sunshine!

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My summer garden – an update

This summer so far has been a bit of a funny one – I’m quite sure last year we’d had a good long spell of scorching weather, and I’m sure my tomatoes were much further on than they are this year. I’m praying for a late bit of warmth – extend the season into September. Greenhouse growing isn’t maybe going so well… my tomatoes and cucumbers are doing very well at, ah, growing tall and shooting out lots of leaves; not so well on the setting fruit side of things.

An experiment I did this year involved something I found on Pinterest… growing an avocado bush! Bush? Tree? Plant? It started with the core of an avocado, suspended via cocktail sticks over a glass of water, until it showed a root. I then potted it out and left it in the greenhouse where it would hopefully be warm enough for it. And…voila! An avocado shoot! Pretty impressed.


Another experiment, or maybe aim should I say, of this year was to achieve what I failed to do last year. If you read my last post (see it here) you might have been surprised (as the feedback I got suggested from a few people!) to read about my success… in growing a cauliflower. Just the one! But check it out:

I spy with my little eye…?

IMG_6760Obviously I failed a little with the zoom capacity on my camera here. But there’s my cauli, about ready to eat! Any suggestions on how to serve him and do him justice?

I seem to be doing well with my brassicas this year! Here’s a humongous Savoy cabbage:

IMG_6761Doesn’t quite look like the store-bought variety but I bet he tastes grand. I’ve already had two of my greyhound cabbages – they are delish! Here’s a third one:┬á


I’ve been serving them up a variety of ways: in summer coleslaws (obvs), or fried cabbage and bacon, and yesterday I gently pan-fried some with some grated courgette to accompany my lamb chops I had for tea!

So my garden is going OK outside. Some of my carrots have bolted, maybe because of the confusing weather. Looks like we might have some home-grown potatoes soon!

So all in all, fairly pleased.

How is your garden growing? Are you having better luck with tomatoes than I am?! If you have any pro tips, let me know!


Katy x


Things have changed!

Hello bloggers!

This week has been super busy at work, so I have been a little bit persona non grata, for which I apologise. I managed a Wordless Wednesday and that got lots of likes, so I was very pleased with that. However I’ve also been doing some behind the scenes changes, trying to make my blog look a little more professional, and a little more serious.

The first big changes is this! You may have noticed a new category in my menu bar:

There's a new addition to the blog!
There’s a new addition to the blog!

This is my other blog, a little blue Subaru called Dickie, which I started first out of the two, but onto which I post less regularly. I was finding it hard to work on both blogs, with Dickie being neglected for most of the year except around Easter-May time and the August bank holiday, so I found out how to merge the two, and on my lunch hour last week, combined both of them into one! All my blog posts from a little blue Subaru called Dickie can be found in the above category, and soon enough I’ll get a little busier with updating it, as the trip to Germany gets closer.

For those of you that don’t know, my family aren’t your usual family. None of this ’10 days in Benidorm’ or ‘Monday to Friday in Center Parcs’ – we go on holiday, twice a year, on a P&O ferry, with a car and a truck towing a car on a trailer, and drive to the Nurburgring in Germany. We usually have a long weekend, Mum and Grandad are usually bored out of their wits, Dad tries to teach me how to drive on a track when Porsches are chasing me, and Dad makes a few videos and goes viral on Youtube. Dickie is my car, my blue classic Subaru Impreza, which I’ve had for the past two years, and I blog about our holiday, music, anything to do with cars, and generally that’s it.

I’ve also been playing around with code. I don’t really know what I’m doing with the more technical sides of my blog, but I wanted to have social media icons in my sidebar, so after quite a stressful time messing around with those, I now have five little buttons that *might* direct you straight to my social media pages, or might not!

Now my computer is being extremely slow and making a disconcerting whirring noise. I have about five other blog posts that I’ve drafted up, and an update to do for Minimalist March. It is also Mother’s Day here in the UK so I am cooking a big Sunday roast for Mum and Nana. So much to do!

See you soon fellow bloggers!



A new look!

I’ve changed the look of my blog – have you noticed?

I love this fresh new look for my blog! I hope you like it too!
I love this fresh new look for my blog! I hope you like it too!

Let me know in the comments what you think!

I’ve got a new look on my blog, and a couple of new things I’m trialling. One of these is a new section, ‘Little Storyteller’, where I am going to keep track of my progress on the entry (likely: entries) for the writing competition I’m (somewhat optimistically) entering.

Another thing I am toying with starting are vlog posts. I’ve made a couple of videos today while I’ve been out in my greenhouse and working on my beds. If I can get over how weird and mega-Yorkshire my voice sounds, I might put them up here! What do you think of vlogging? Yay or nay?

I’m hoping to add a few new blog posts to this every week. I’m getting the hang of this WordPress thing now, and have been scrolling the interwebs looking at ideas on how other blogs are run. We’ll see how things go!

Let me know what you think.

Much love, Katy