COFFEE · History & Old Stuff · Holidays · Travel · weather · Zakynthos

In which I am a bit nerdy in museums, talk a lot about coffee and have two autumn equinoxes because one isn’t enough

Hello and happy September! And happy autumn! I adore this time of year, except for a) when it rains literal buckets while you are at the bus stop and b) when you get the dates of the equinox confused. This year I had two equinoxes. Not mad about it.

How has your September been? Mine has been really good actually. On holiday I learnt what a Zombie cocktail is, did actually learn what a paddle board is and how to use one, met some excellent cats and far too many people were nice to me on my birthday. Back in Ye Olde Rain Bucket Country I have mostly been working or waiting for a bus. Or both! I haven’t gotten used to saying ‘King Charles’ yet without immediately following it up with the word ‘spaniel.’ I have also spent approximately 284749 minutes on hold to the doctor, trying to figure out how to finish my degree without two or five organs falling out. Speaking of my degree, can someone please add a few hours onto the day? I’m already doing my uni reading and requiring half an hour to understand one paragraph. I nearly did a creative writing degree. Have I ever told you about that? When I was just thinking, ‘let’s go to uni so adult life goes away for a few years. We’ve done, like, a lot of creative writing already. It won’t be a cake walk but we’ll manage.’ Then I thought, ‘if we’re going to end up in massive debt the degree might as well be extremely hard.’

AND IT IS.

I do have a cafetiere now though. That helps. My flatmates are getting cafetieres too, presumably inspired by how much of a nicer person I am when I’m awake. If I’d been really clever, I’d have taken a photograph of it full of excellent coffee, next to a witchy mug that changes colour when you put hot liquid in it, to show you how fancy I now am. I drank the coffee in order to write this post though, so have instead a photo of a grave marking I saw in a museum in Zante Town:

skull and crossbones grave marker from 1666, in Byzantine Museum of Zakynthos.

Cool huh. I sort of love grave markers and death ritual things. I got to see some Minoan larnakes, which are essentially small coffins, in the Heraklion archaeological museum in Crete when I was there. They’re so intricately decorated and so well made that they are still viewable three thousand-plus years later. We don’t know that much about the Minoan people, but we do know how they looked after their dead. Which I think is quite an important thing to know about a civilisation, because death rituals and practices reflect people’s attitude to life.

Three painted larnakes in the Heraklion Archaeological Museum, Crete.

Getting deep, huh. It’s all the coffee. I’ve got to get ready for Freshers events and also for work, so I will see you in October. I’m going to be a mess, just so you know, when the final Dreamer Trilogy book comes out in a few weeks’ time. I might write about it but more likely I will stare at my ceiling and neglect all other areas of my life for approximately two weeks.

I can’t wait bahaha.

Look after yourselves!

Francesca


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Christmas · December 2014 · Holidays · Indifferent Ignorance · Travel · Zakynthos

TV And Chocolate Central 2014

I just realised that the Indifferent Ignorance Awards, which I thought I posted two days ago, shows up on the site as being posted on the 21st, when I started the draft. I’m going to have to get a grip on this Internet lark in 2015…

I’m quite busy at the moment, which is weird since this time of year is usually TV And Chocolate Central, but I moved on Christmas Eve so it’s more TV And Chocolate Stop Off Points. Speaking of new year, I was very glad to see the end of 2013. I didn’t even get all nostalgic, although parts of the year weren’t completely shit… They just got lost in the parts that were.

2014 has definitely been better, on the whole. I finished school, nobody died, no bands I love ended… In terms of things I actively did, that wasn’t too bad either! Indifferent Ignorance made it to five years and I made a little book for it, I survived three weeks in a foreign country without setting fire to myself once and I started writing without a wrist brace for the first time in three years.

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If I want to keep writing without it I’d better get off my phone and unpack some boxes… So thank you to everyone who’s read, followed and commented the blog this year and happy new year to everyone regardless!

PS I took that photo in Zante on Halloween and don’t know how to do captions on the app. Please don’t steal it, etc., thank you.

Fuckin' Idiots · Holidays · November 2014 · Photogenius · Zakynthos

Once More Unto the Rain and British News Channels

I’ve made it back to England in one piece – not even a in-suitcase breakage – and am remembering the art of removing Wellington boots. Should ‘Wellington’ be capitalised?

I’ve also been re-learning the TV news, which is different from BBC app news insofar as I can exit the app with a flick of my thumb but the scrolling news ribbon on TV keeps me captivated even if I’m so disgusted by the article I want to turn off.

Good move, PR people.

Apparently the big story here has been that David Cameron won’t pay the EU some money, which is interesting having just spent a month in a country which has possibly the best claim out of all of us to not give the EU any cash. It’s also been kind of a bummer coming back to ‘NO MORE IMMIGRANTS’ news stories. Mostly because every time an EU/immigration/foreign people story crops up in politics it gives the tabloid press half a leg to stand on… but also because it’s embarrassing that some British people moan and complain about immigration laws but quite happily a) enjoy EU travel benefits, b) don’t want the jobs that ‘the foreign people are taking when they come to the UK’ and c) love travelling to Europe, love the multiculturalism and fantasise about bringing cute locals home.

Maybe it’s old fashioned, but I feel awkward when people are hypocrites. Anyway, here’s a picture of Zakynthos to make everyone feel better about the rain. I accidentally published it as a post a minute ago… remind me to learn how to use a mobile phone.

Laganas Beach

It’s the post-tourist season beach at Laganas, which some of you may know from the popular BBC3 programme Sun, Sex and Suspicious Parents, due to its popularity with party-going students. I’ve never made it down in the summer (I do not go on holiday to experience England with sun; Laganas is a lot like my local high street including a McDonald’s) but in October it was almost eerily quiet.

History & Old Stuff · October 2014 · Travel · Zakynthos

Oxi Day

Today is Oxi Day in Greece, which literally means ‘no’. It’s the day in 1940 that the Greek prime minister told Mussolini ‘no you cannot invade this country’. It’s celebrated by closing up shop and firing some canons; I think it’s become a general independence day. This is a good article if you want to learn more and read a good story about WWII.

The British don’t have an independence day, mostly because Britain was usually the country other countries wanted independence from, and it’s interesting to wonder what we’d be like as people had we a different history. I mean, we’ve got the thing about annoying the French and we were Roman at one point, but as far as I can remember, the closest we’ve come to being properly taken over in recent years was WWII (I sense a theme) so I suppose the nearest we have is VE Day?

Then again, a lot of people would probably like to say that we’re now being taken over by immigrants. But I’m in a good mood, so I’m not going to get all caps lock-y about that (I mean come on. How ignorant do you have to be to blame all your troubles on asylum seekers? Okay, okay, I’m relaxing).

I’m going to get a coffee in a minute – short walk down a hill! Past some chickens! Borrow wi fi to check Facebook! This is a very metropolitan area. It’s nice to be somewhere quiet though; at home you can nearly always hear traffic and there’s light pollution everywhere so you’re never quite sure if you’re looking at the sunset or smog. There might be another Five Ways to Celebrate post tomorrow, keep an eyeball out!

Holidays · October 2014 · Zakynthos

A Question About Gap Years

It’s raining hard so I’ve sought shelter in a cafe with Greek-dubbed Spongebob on the telly, which is even less sensical than US-English Spongebob.

If/when the rain stops I will go ‘back to work’ ie plotting world domination via Etsy and scratching away at a fan fiction commission. It’s a nice life, even if listening to dogs bark in last night’s storm made me miss Don and Fred, although the hot water sometimes doesn’t work and I’ve eaten out so much that I will need to go for extra Pilates classes when I get back. I was taking to an English lady yesterday who did a couple of gap years between various qualifications and went to Turkey.

Got me thinking: if you guys could take off from your current life situations and go anywhere or do anything, where would you go and what would you do? Say money was no object and your families/pets/jobs were safe and secure?

Someone’s turned the TV to the news. I think it’s either about Ebola or football…

Update: football. Something about the Albania/Serbia match the other day. I think. I think it’s in Albanian. The guy talking looks very intense.

Holidays · October 2014 · Zakynthos

Goats in the Road…

I can see tourists looking at goats. Goats are good, they are very relaxed and like to walk down the road with you.

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Quietly reflecting today about how a) I am never running a contest again, lazy sods and b) it’s almost Halloween, and there is no evidence of it except for an olive tree I saw earlier which was decorated with a pumpkin. It was also decorated with bits of coral, so don’t get your skeleton outfits out.

Speaking of ‘holidays’, I suppose I am on one a bit since I’m sitting in a restaurant roughly 50% of my waking hours and not getting paid. But I am also planning for another one…

CHRISTMAS!

Not celebrating (Jesus, it’s not for months) but regarding my Etsy shop. I’ve been brainstorming, as they say in school, and if things go to plan there will be very cool things there soon. Think physical items, snowflakes.

But not actual snowflakes. Bit fiddly. Quite excited to get back and put my plans into action (and endlessly talk about them here) but then, England does not have goats in the road unless there has been a motorway accident involving a lorry and livestock.

Books · Holidays · Indifferent Ignorance · October 2014 · Photogenius · Zakynthos

Fotoblogging Sort Of

So I promised I’d gloat about how wonderful my office is.

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That is not my office, that is a view of Zante Town, which is very nice to walk around. I’m actually typing this in a restaurant but there are tourists on the next table along so I don’t want to get all YouTubery and photograph everything I can see. Plus I’m paranoid I’ll get followed home by rabid fangirls.

Well, it’s a thought, innit?

Realised this morning that it’s getting close to Halloween, which is not a thing in Greece as far as I can tell. Realised just now that Halloween is Indifferent Ignorance’s fifth birthday… Completely forgot. Awkward. I’ll do more Five Ways to Celebrate soon!

All right back to plotting world domination and wishing I hadn’t worn jeans this morning. Don’t forget to enter the Blood of Olympus contest. Even if you don’t need/want a copy, I would love to read some haikus.

(All Hail) Creation · Art · Books · December 2013 · DISCUSS. · Dogs · Fuckin' Idiots · Government and Politics · Holidays · Indifferent Ignorance · Internet · Lists · Magazines · Pure Insanity · THE WORLD *head in hands* · Zakynthos

Indifferent Ignorance Awards 2013

They aren’t in June 2014!

Book of the Year

This one was tough… A Thousand Splendid Suns, We Need to Talk About Kevin, my John’s Gospel commentary by AM Hunter…

No really, you should compare Hunter to some of the others. Little tip, scholars: when it comes to sentences, less is almost always more. That aside, I think Uncle Rick gets the prize. House of Hades is brilliant and perfect and yes aimed at twelve-year-olds but let’s face it, people, children’s books are usually better than adult ones. Harry Potter, Mog the Forgetful Cat, etc. Oh Uncle Rick, teach me your secrets.

Album of the Year

How I Learned to Stop Giving a Shit and Love Mindless Self Indulgence, by Mindless Self Indulgence. I paid for the album, I listen to the album. It is a piece of genius. That is all.

New Favourite Website of the Year

Hmm. I’ve discovered Vice, a news magazine (although someone online pointed out that its narrative voice is disturbingly similar to that of the Daily Mail, which I must say has put me off a bit), Effing Dykes, a queer blog (and so genuinely not safe for work that I’ve not quite had the courage to devote an entire post to it yet) and Tumblr. Okay so I already knew Tumblr, but I joined because it made it easy to follow nice art. That and a deep desire to infiltrate the world’s bitchiest blogging network from within.

New Favourite Artist of the Year

Viria. Her art is beautiful. Ahhh. Her work is set as my phone and iPad background. The whole Tumblr thing was also induced by Burdge, Andy and Minuiko.

Old Favourite Artist of the Year

Ruby. She made this into an illustrated story for my birthday. The individual pictures are amongst others here (I’m hoarding the finished product but don’t worry we’ve decided if all else fails we’ll write children’s books so you’ll be able to get both our work in one book. Cool, huh?).

Most Family Member-Like Famous Person on Twitter

I actually can’t decide between Uncle Rick the Troll Queen or Uncle Gerard the MCRmy’s Therapist. Genuinely, the jury’s out. Let me know your thoughts (the best Twitter moment was when someone Tweeted Gerard the Russian Mark of Athena cover, on which Percy bears a striking resemblance to G. Aha).

Most Depressing Internet-Based Phenomena

The title’s probably a misnomer because it doesn’t involve idiots talking shit behind the safety of a computer screen (that comes later!). Anyway: those of you into the whole Percy Jackson thing might remember this:

'Putting the Fun Back In Funeral'

I know, it’s incredibly clever. I do others like it. It was inspired by one of Viria’s pieces – the one set as my phone background; I had the idea going up the stairs which was interesting. I originally put text on her drawing. Quite a while after I published the poster, I posted the bootlegged one on Tumblr:

Bootlegging Viria
Drawing by Viria

I wonder which has had the better reception.

Hm.

Indeed.

It’s a good thing I chose an artist I really love or I might have become bitter.

Live Show of the Year

I saw Jesus Christ Superstar, MSI, a ‘revue’ at school in which my friend Sarah was splendid as a 1920s hockey player, my year’s pantomime-which-I-sort-of-helped-write, an actual pantomime, an interview between two of the best children’s authors around today and a poetry reading by the bloke off Homeland and Narcissa Malfoy.. But I think my favourite live band (discounting MCR because it’s MCR) is an ever-changing group of part-time musicians who play in a restaurant I like in Greece. I understand 10% of the lyrics, make eye contact 0.001% of the times I walk past and have been known to sing along to songs that are the Mediterranean’s version of Mindless. But it’s nice, and even if I found a YouTube clip (creepy as I’m there a lot) it wouldn’t quite convey the atmosphere, if you know what I mean.

Insult of the Year

“You’re a doody head.” Enough said.

Happy Moment of the Year

When I remember it’s not June and Donnie’s still here. I like Don and Fred better than I like most things, no offense, and they are my friends. It’s like having human friends but the dynamics are different – humans tend to be more forward about nicking your food. Get a pet, seriously. Unless you are incapable of looking after one due to a) lack of money, space or permission (volunteer somewhere instead), b) lack of time or motivation or c) aversion to pets. You know who you are. Yes, I’m including those of you who get pets because you think it’ll be fun or make you look good. At times, e.g. in a field in December, it will do neither. But then they look up at you, covered in slime, and you think “I love you little dog. Now let’s go home and hope we never have to leave the house again.”

Indifferent Ignorance Commenter of the Year

Jacki, whose wise words you will find if you scroll down a few posts. Getting people to comment on work is like pulling teeth (remind me that I have a piece of work about that to show you), yet is the best way of differentiating readers from spam-bots and ‘glancers’ – people who have a click and a scroll then go somewhere else. But it’s like being the first person to take food from a buffet: no one wants to be that person, though once someone has taken the leap they’re comfortable joining the queue. Weird. Anyway, Jacki comments a lot and for that I am grateful. Please accept this garbled post as a token of my appreciation. Ta.

Indifferent Ignorance Homophobic Dick Award

Maria suggested this category and I love it. Who to choose? Tony Abbot the Australian Prime Minister, who revoked equal marriage rights after people had got married? The guy whose work I heartily abused when Tom Daley came out? The parents of a child I saw a few years ago who had dressed their eight-year-old in a t-shirt with an arrow saying “I think he’s gay!”? People who stopped reading – or stopped their children reading – Heroes of Olympus when they found out about Nico?

Can’t choose, man.

Indifferent Ignorance Ignorant Fuck Award

Matt Forney of I-only-screw-insecure-women-wait-that’s-all-of-them fame infamy arseholery.

Arseholery. Is that a thing? It should be.

His site used to have a thing where sites that had discussed the post were lined underneath and the one I did was there. I guess too many people were discussing the arseholery though because the layout’s changed…

Okay I think that’s everything I said I’d put in. If I’ve forgotten something or someone please let me know.

That’s called asking for a comment, ladies and gents.

I hope 2013 was as happy and safe as everyone wished it to be; if it wasn’t then I wish you happiness and safety for 2014. Even you with the pet you shouldn’t have bought, reading Forney and nodding in agreement.

Maybe not but I’ve been on a lot of cold medicine and perhaps the Christmas spirit of forgiveness is shining through.

Ha ha.

Happy 2014 snowflakes!