I turned 22 last week. The day absolutely poured with rain, but it was beautiful and perfect. I spent it with my best friend (who made me choc-chip pancakes for breakfast). I ate sushi for dinner. I bought a yellow skirt with little blue and white houses on it. I spent the day in my favourite city in world.
I find it difficult sometimes to believe that I really live here, that I’m studying my Master’s in Literature and Writing, that I’m getting paid for writing work, that I’m an English teacher to tiny cuties, that I’m healthy, and optimistic and full of so much happiness. I am so lucky, and feel such overwhelming gratitude to the people in my life who have supported me and to myself for working my butt off to be here.
Here is the week of my twenty-second birthday.
This video took an entire week on its own to edit. I worked on it every day, in between teaching shifts, and I’m exhausted but I’m so proud of it. I hope you like it too ~
It’s already halfway through February and I am only just now creating my 2018 reading list … that’s pretty indicative of how quickly this past month and a half have gone.
Last year I really enjoyed documenting my reading on this blog so I have decided that I will do it again this year. Here is my 2018 reading list: all of the bookish things I have read in 2018 (also, I should mention that I’m including my favourite short stories and essays. Not all of them. Just the ones I love and want to remember).
I will continually update this list as the year progresses ~
Books/essays/stories that have been read before will be marked with *
- A Picture of Dorian Gray—Oscar Wilde
- The Miracle of Mindfulness—Thich Nhat Hanh
- A Gathering of Shadows—V.E. Schwab
- A Conjuring of Light—V.E. Schwab
- A Room of One’s Own—Virginia Woolf*
- The Deep—Anthony Doerr
- Peter and Wendy—J.M. Barrie
- Children’s Fantasy Literature—Farah Mendlesohn
- The Cambridge Companion to Fantasy Literature—Farah Mendlesohn
- The Bad Beginning—Lemony Snicket
- The Deep—Anthony Doerr*
- Quest of Her own: Essays on the Female Hero in Modern Fantasy—Lori M. Campbell
- ‘Where’s Mama?’ The Construction of the Feminine in The Hobbit—William H. Green
- Women of Ice and Fire: Gender, Game of Thrones and Multiple Media Engagements—Anne Gjelsvik and Rikke Schubart
- On Fairy-Stories—J.R.R Tolkien
- Tolkien and Modernism—Patchen Mortimer
- ‘The Web of Story’ Structuralism in Tolkien’s On Fairy Stories—Derek Shank
- The Laugh of the Medusa—Hélène Cixous
- ‘Because I’m a girl, I suppose!’: Gender Lines and Narrative Perspective in Harry Potter—Melanie J Cordova
- Harry Potter and the Heritage of Gender—Eliza T Dresang
- Women in Game of Thrones: Power, Conformity and Resistance—Valerie Estelle Frankel
- Undoing Gender—Judith Butler
- Fairies, Mermaids, Mothers, and Princesses: Sexual Difference and gender Roles in Peter Pan—Heather E Shipley
- Howl’s Moving Castle—Diana Wynne Jones
- The Invention of Angela Carter—Edmund Gordon
- The Bloody Chamber—Angela Carter
- Children of the Blood and Bone—Tomi Adeyemi
- The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart—Holly Ringland
- Killing Commedatore—Haruki Murakami
I’m from Adelaide. The very first time I saw snow, it was at the beginning of 2017. My boyfriend and I were sitting on a flight between Seoul and Sapporo, and, as we were coming into New Chitose Airport, we were flabbergasted by what we saw though those rounded windows. The ground was covered in a strange white-grey blanket, with the tops of tiny trees and gates and rivers scattered across it. We wondered: was it a lake reflecting the clouds? Did Hokkaido just go through some heinous flooding we hadn’t seen on the news? It took us stupidly long to realise to obvious: it was snow.
So, when the snow began to fall on Tokyo a few weeks ago, I was awed. To have snow falling in these tiny, billowing flakes outside my window—to be able to see that happening, right from the warmth of my writing desk—was absolutely remarkable.
I love snow, though I know that it’s simply a novelty for me. I know that it’s inconvenient and hazardous and soaks my shoes and hurts my toes as I walk to work, but there’s something so enchanting about the purity of it and the way that a person can go to sleep, having walked home on hard ground, and wake up the next day to soft, crunching whiteness covering everything.
The night it happened, we went walking through a park that’s not too far from our apartment. I dove into an untouched patch and made my first snow angel. It was surreal. I felt such innate excitement and wonder, and every worry I had that day dissolved; nothing terrible could happen in a world that snowed this beautifully. For this was magic, manifesting in the only way it can for mere mortals who read fantasy stories rather than live them.
I adored the snow. But spring comes for us at a terrifying rate and soon it will be warm again. The blossoms will come out and the coats folded away. The snow has melted now and I miss it. It came and went so fleetingly, it might have never happened at all.
The first morning of autumn galloped through the vale, rolled over the hills and tumbled onto the towns and villages that sat scattered in the valley. Dragging its chilly winds behind itself, the new season murdered any trace of summer that had been left upon the air. With a great gust, it flung the yellowing leaves over the vale, the crisp confetti finding even the almond orchard, hidden at the edge of the valley, and the witches dozing inside. Elsie woke first. Read More
I’ve made no secret that autumn is, by far, my most favourite season. It comes, I think, with being an autumn baby (… in the Southern Hemisphere. Here I’m a spring baby, which feels odd and wrong so I’m retaining association with Australian seasons).
There’s something beautiful and magical about nature at this time of year. Tyler and I decided to make the most of the lovely weather and went to to the lovely Shinjuku Gyoen Garden. This was the first time I had been and, safe to say, I loved it. I want to go back with a sketch book and a picnic blanket and never leave.
Here are some pictures from the day:
I’ve been taking a bit of a break from the internet over the last couple of weeks and I thought I would write a post about why.
At the end of October I was so determined to get back into a routine and post regular content to YouTube but, unfortunately, I fell ill. Working 6 days a week definitely took its toll on me–I ended up with a terrible cold and subsequent chest infection. Worst of all, I also lost my voice. Funnily enough, being a children’s English teacher (a job which involves a copious amount of singing) makes being sick even more difficult; I basically had to push through the sickness, even though I couldn’t speak loudly and couldn’t hold a tune. Read More
It has now been three months since my partner and I left Adelaide to move to Japan.
It’s weird to even consider because it feels as if we have been here much longer, but it also feels as if we got here a few weeks ago. So much has happened in that time. I’m now on my second job. We’re in our second apartment. We’ve gotten used to paying our bills and navigating day-to-day life in a city where we speak the language only well enough to order McDonald’s fluently (and, even then, if the worker speaks too quickly, I slip up every now and then).
I never expected to feel home sick. Truthfully, I don’t. But I do miss certain things.
My childhood was one of hand-me-downs, and mud-stains, and air so clean you could have swam though its beauty. Summers sweltering heatwaves and drought, and warm rain swelling at the bottom of molten metal water tanks. The winters whispered frost, squelching boots and shivering limbs under infinite layers of woollen blankets. Fingers turned numb with the chill that bored into every crevice, cell, and plane of grass. Weaving in and out of it all were only the sounds of the dairy cows, singing their songs amongst the spray of gum trees swaying their leaves in defiance of the breeze.
I graduated my Bachelor’s degree!! Woo ~
It has been a LONG three years. But, at the same time, a scarily short three years. A lot has happened since I entered my first lecture hall at eighteen. I’ve grown and learned so much. I’ve traveled. I’ve finished projects. And I’ve faced a lot of difficult things that have (I hope) only made me a better person.
I’m quite proud of myself for sticking with my undergrad — even thought it was in a field that wasn’t naturally my forte. And even though I’ve faced a lot of challenges that could have easily lead to me stopping or giving up. I’ve gained a lot from my time at university and I’m incredibly grateful to everyone who gave me help and support throughout the last three years.
Now onto my Master’s!