Look, I’ve always been pretty vocal about vegetarianism. And by vocal I mean I might share a Humane League post about turkeys around Christmas time on Facebook, or awkwardly explain, “Well, ‘cos I love animals,” when interrogated after refusing a bag of Haribos at a school competition. But I did feel very strongly about not eating meat, and about animal rights. It was how I was raised. However, I never really gave veganism a proper thought. Granted, going vegetarian is still an excellent first step, but I think few vegetarians realise the impact of the dairy and egg industry – and that included me. I avoided leather, but that was my bit.
I found this story in an old notebook from around 2015. It ended just before the last paragraph, obviously abandoned, so I finished it off today. I’ve no idea, make of it what you will.
I park in the near-empty car park and make my way across the playground, fists stuffed into my pockets. It’s a cold afternoon, the sky overcast, an archetypal Monday. Just as I reach the door to reception, it’s opened by Alfie’s Literacy and Numeracy teacher, Miss Mercier.
“Can I help you?” she asks, unsmiling. She keeps half her body inside, behind the door.
I tell her that I am here to pick up my son. He’s not very well. She squints at me, as if she’s searching for something that isn’t there. I clarify the name: “I’m here to pick up Alfie. I’m his dad. I know you rang his mum, but she’s actually in Brighton at the moment, so she rang to tell me he’s poorly. His tummy’s a bit sore?”
I stumbled across bullet journaling in November 2016 and was instantly excited to start – I loved the idea, and the community had an ever-growing presence on Instagram which fuelled me with ideas upon ideas upon ideas. However, a year later I came to reflect upon how chaotic my debut bullet journal was given my very rushed beginning, and spent the last week setting up an improved, more mature and slightly less messy bullet journal. I’m still learning, and I still make mistakes, but let’s take a look:
This has probably been the worst year for me in terms of reading – or maybe 2016 was even worse – but I am now making a sincere effort to read more. I really slowed down in 2017, and I regret wasting precious reading time, although I made an effort to pick up the pace towards the end of the year. I’ve omitted a few poetry books, flash fiction collections and plays, and you can see more of my books on Goodreads, but here’s my 2017 book list:
The People in the Trees by Hanya Yanagihara
Ashamedly, had I not been as infatuated with Yanagihara’s second novel, A Little Life, I would probably have never considered picking up The People in the Trees. I bought it only with the assumption that the author of one of the greatest books I’d ever read was not capable of disappointing me, and yet I still neglected reading this book for a stupid amount of time, for very stupid reasons. Firstly, the plot outlined in the blurb (and it really is the entire plot, on the surface) didn’t appeal to me; I had no interest in science or anthropology or scientifically-accurate semi-fictional memoirs despite never having read one before. Secondly, of all things, the footnotes scared me! I was convinced I was not the sort of person to enjoy a novel with footnotes (granted, I didn’t like John Green’s Abundance of Katherines, which is littered with many tongue-in-cheek footnotes, although these were to provide comedy, rather than something as horrifying as the Harvard referencing system), and this novel is full of them, some filling entire pages. Yes: I was very stupid to have put off this novel for so long.
The reason I’m making this post is because I struggled a great deal in the initial stages of creating my Artefact to find any previous Artefacts people had made, or the relevant documents. As part of the June cohort, I have only yet to do my final presentation now, so I thought I’d provide anyone who may be struggling in the future with this with a little insight.
Happening upon this little dark comedy on Channel 4 was purely accidental, but a Happy Little Accident, as Bob Ross would call it. The first twenty-minute episode of this eight-part series was shown on the telly, and then the remaining episodes were uploaded that night on the C4 catch-up app. It’s not totally clear as to why they did this – perhaps it was to promote the app to their younger, ‘hipper’ viewers (i.e. the demographic of TEotFW), or just that the show contains quite a lot of violence, strong language and sexual references – but soon enough this will be popping up on Netflix, like every other show in the world, so maybe it’s time to get used to everything being distributed virtually. It was a pain when I could only read my Dandy comic online. Now it’s the norm.