Tag Archives: nerdy

186, 187, 188, 189, 190…

Photo from urbancashmereblog.com


If you asked me if I wanted to sit down and write out a list of numbers from one to one hundred and ninety, the answer would be no. I mean, of course it would be no. What sane person wants to sit down and write out a list of numbers?

If, however, you asked me if I wanted to sit down with a brand new extra-large Orchid Purple Moleskine journal with dotted paper and an internal storage pocket and number the pages ready to start a proper bullet journal, then the answer would be oh my God, yes, give me my fineliners and get out of the way!

I hadn’t come across the idea of a bullet journal before, but a work colleague started one and shared a Buzzfeed article about it on Facebook. Once I did a bit of research I decided to start a practice one, just to see if I could do it. A week in and I’m hooked!

Bullet journaling is all about keeping track of your life in a simple format.It keeps a record of the past, tracks the present and helps organise the future. I have tried to use apps to help me do this, but I haven’t found one that does everything I want. Plus, there’s the added bonus that a journal will never run out of battery, unlike my iPad or iPhone.

It’s easy to customise and make your own. A simple Google search will show you examples of insanely beautiful journals, created by true artistic talents. Lots of amazing calligraphy, pretty doodles and washi tape all over the place! Mine…well, let’s just say that mine won’t look like that! I’m no artist, to put it mildly, and I’m not a particularly visual person. I have ordered a stencil from Etsy to help pretty mine up, but that will be the extent of it, I think.



This video, from the creator of the bullet journal, explains it better than I can.

I’m making a conscious effort not to include my day job in the journal. This is to plan my writing, my personal goals and my outside work life. I’m trying to claw back some work/life balance, and I hope that the bullet journal will help me do that.

So far, I’ve got the weekly planner set up although I’m trialing a few different layouts to see which ones I like. I have a future log for events I know will be happening  – birthdays, the car MOT, etc – and a monthly tracking list for events that need to get done at some point – perhaps this month, perhaps not, depending on circumstances. I’m tracking some of my habits, both bad and good, and I’m making lists of things I want to remember. I have a list of books that aren’t out yet that I want to read, because I’m tired of missing release dates. I used to really be into music, but since I’ve stopped listening to fanmixes I’ve stopped discovering new artists that I like. I’m going to keep track of songs that I come across that I like, so I can find albums by the artist. I have a list of recipes I want to try, and I’m going to try and work my Slimming World planning into it as well, as losing weight is a constant (unreached!) goal of mine. I’m trying to make one bullet every day about something I’m grateful for, although I’m not sure if I should do that in a separate log or include it in my daily one.

At some point, I’ll use the journal to plan books too, although I’m going to have to think about how to do that so it’s practical and useful.

I’m pinning whatever I can find about bullet journals on Pintrest and printing out helpful free things that other journalers are kind enough to produce. If anybody has any ideas or tips, send them my way!



I’ve really got into podcasts in the last year or so. You know, once I figured out what they were and everything.

Pre-recorded radio shows available to download on a range of topics? Yes please!

My absolute favourite? So hard to pick just one, but I think the one I got most excited about updating, and the one I got the most upset about when it finished was The Thrilling Adventure Hour. A weekly podcast containing three short radio plays in the style of the ones from the 40s? All comedies? Many famous guest voices? Yes please! My favourite was Sparks Nevada, Marshal on Mars, probably because Nathan Fillion often guested on it and they had to explain to him the concept of a space western… There were many other plays, all spoofing various genres – campy 60s sci-fi with Captain Laserbeam, Dr Who-style time travel with the very camp The Cross-Time Adventures Of Colonel Tick-Tock (with his trick clock!), Depression-era hobo travel Down In Moonshine Holler as a millionaire turns hobo to find his one true love, the hobo princess, a sort of supernatural Nick and Nora in Beyond Belief.

It’s finished now, but all the episodes are available through iTunes and other podcatchers and they occasionally update with new bonus material. It was through The Thrilling Adventure Hour that I found We Got This With Mark and Hal, two members of the Thrilling cast who debate stupid arguments every week so we don’t have to. Ever needed to know if it’s OK to put ketchup on a burger?  Which Christmas movie is the best? The ultimate question – which is better, Star Wars or Star Trek? Now, I must admit, I don’t always agree with their decisions. For better or worse, they’re very US-centric but they are amusing and Mark Gagliardi has a very sexy voice. So, there’s that.

I’ve always considered myself half a historian, as my degree was split between history and English literature. I listen to a few different history podcasts on different ends of the spectrum. On one end is Stuff You Missed In History Class. Two non-historians research and deliver a 30 minute podcast on as aspect of world history that often isn’t covered in school – again, the US curriculum as the podcast is American. They often pick interesting topics that I haven’t heard of, but sometimes you do get some badly recorded interviews with curators of textile museums, so pick your download carefully, I suppose. On the other end of that scale is Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History, a podcast that updates every few months and produces hours and hours of careful analysis of different historical topics. Dan Carlin is no trained historian either, but you can’t deny that he puts his work in. I skipped his First World War series, as I’ve studied that a lot and there’s not a lot there that isn’t familiar to me, but his series on the Greeks and Persians had me fascinated as I’ve never learned any Classical history. Definitely one for a long drive somewhere. In the middle is the History Extra podcast, updated fortnightly and accompanying the BBC History magazine. The production values can be a bit low when they’ve recorded on location, and the editor of the magazine is completely the wrong choice to narrate the links as he has the most adenoidal voice ever, but the power of the BBC name does get them a lot of access to interesting historical sites and they’ve taken to allowing historians to interview other historians.

I’m a massive A Song of Ice and Fire nerd, so I’ve got a couple of podcasts about both the book series and the tv series. I’m having to grit my teeth with one of them – History of Westeros should be everything my nerdy little heart is desperate for, in-depth analysis of the background world of the books. Unfortunately, the early episodes, the interesting ones, are very difficult to listen to due to the horrific sound quality. They improved their quality with their later episodes, but their main host often comes across as smug. His sidelined female co-host also has the most annoying laugh I’ve ever heard. I’ve suffered through them because they were the only podcast I could find that wanted to discuss the history of Westeros, but my patience is really limited with them these days. Radio Westeros has much better production values and hosts who are far less grating, but they don’t delve into the history nearly as much.

Serial and Page 94: A Private Eye Podcast both look at topical news issues, Serial in a long-term, in depth way and Page 94 in a much shorter way. No Such Thing As A Fish is a weekly podcast from the QI Elves, who talk about what Quite Interesting facts they’ve dug up this week. Always funny and informative, I really recommend this podcast. You Must Remember This  is a weekly well-researched look at the first hundred years of cinematic history, even if the host’s voice lands too far into languorous sex-kitten territory on occasion.  Welcome To Night Vale is a podcast legend at this point, an extended story of a strange little desert town where literal five headed dragons run for mayor, the Old Lady Who Lives In Your House watches your every move and if you’re very lucky you’ll get a scientist with perfect, perfect hair for your very own. Weird and atmospheric, it updates twice a month.

My latest find is the adorable Can I Pet Your Dog?, which is simply two dog nerds sitting and rhapsodising about the dogs they’ve met that week. As I too am a massive dog nerd but cannot have a dog because of my long working hours, this is a blissful excursion into a life I wish I had. The voice of their producer is a little off-putting, but the enthusiasm of the two hosts is infectious.

Anybody got any recommendations? I’m always on the look-out for a new podcast!



I’m such a nerd – and I love it!

I’m a Trekkie, a Pot-Head and a WingNut and I wear those labels proudly. They represent three different sets of  stories that I’ve loved for a long time and I’ll happily chat for hours about any of them. I’m a Browncoat, too, and I’ve been a Slayerette. I’m an Adventurekateer and a Whovian and if there was a name for fans of Paddington bear, I’d be one of those too. He has a very unnerving stare, you know.

What do Game of Thrones fans call themselves? I ask because I’ve been reading the books since they were first published and I watch the TV show with an excitement that borders of the ridiculous. I’ve never dabbled in the fandom though, until recently. I think it’s because I’m not sure which fandom I want to be in; there is a significant difference between the books and the TV show. I’ve been listening to a few podcasts about the books, and it’s made me fascinated by the backstory that George RR Martin, the Great Glacier himself, has created for his vast fantasy world. It’s irritating that the one podcast I can find that specifically talks about the history of Westeros has a host that I can’t stand, and even more irritating that my favourite book-related podcast is actually going on hiatus during the new TV season and joining the irritating host on his podcast, but I suppose I’ll have to grit my teeth and bear it.

Just like I know what house I’d be Sorted into at Hogwarts (not Gryffindor, sadly) I’m pretty sure which House I’d be a member of in the books. Or, at least, I know which House I’d like to be associated with.

In reality I’d probably be a peasant who dies of some horrible illness or is murdered by a rampaging army during the War of the Five Kings. Of all the places to live in Westeros, I think Dorne is the best. It’s semi-indpendent from King’s Landing, in no little amount due to the actions of the Rhoynish warrior queen Nymeria, who brought her people to Dorne, married its prince and ruled it after his death. It has better weather and wine than the rest of Westeros, women seem to be more highly respected there (probably because of Nymeria’s influence) and the men seem to be unreasonably attractive. RIP Prince Oberyn, His Royal Hotness. I like the motto of House Martell is Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken, which is my favourite of all the mottos.

So, Dorne it is. The next time I see a shirt on Tee Fury with the Martell motto on it, I’m buying it to wear during my rewatch of the show or re-read of the books.

I still don’t know what fans of the book or show call themselves, though. Anybody know?