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World Mental Health Day; When I realised I couldn’t do absolutely everything.

You know those people who seem to accomplish an inordinate amount of tasks in the space of a week? How on earth do they do it?

I’m well aware that social media is a constructed reality – I preach that to my students often enough – but I keep finding myself bemused and not a little awestruck by the people who seem to manage to work full days, exercise, prep food for the week ahead, read endless books, listen to podcasts etc etc…all the while I’m staring at my day wondering how on earth I can possibly squeeze more out of it. As my 30th birthday approaches, it feels like such a milestone and I keep wondering ‘have I done enough?’, ‘have I accomplished enough?’, ‘am I really getting enough out of my day?’.

Continue reading “World Mental Health Day; When I realised I couldn’t do absolutely everything.”

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Geekery, general

Dad’s Army: My Top Ten Episodes

I’ve written on this blog before about just how much I love Dad’s Army (and various other classic comedies), but this new post is really for two reasons. Firstly, it was prompted by the Royal Mail’s new set of Dad’s Army stamps to celebrate the show’s 50th anniversary: each member of the platoon as well as their old adversary Mr Hodges is represented, along with a key catchphrase. I think it’s a lovely way to commemorate a show which has so much become part of our comedy culture.

Continue reading “Dad’s Army: My Top Ten Episodes”

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My Favourite Things: Classic British Sitcoms

I have a seriously British sense of humour: dry, sarcastic and occasionally more than a little silly. Consequently, I don’t click with a lot contemporary comedy shows, especially American ones. I love stand-up comedy and go to shows whenever I generally can, but what I love to watch more than practically anything else are classic British sitcoms.

Whatever else you can say about the British, my God we can make terrifically funny shows! So many of them are timeless; decades old and yet still pertinent and still hilarious. In fact, of the top five shows I’ve chosen to highlight, three were made before I was born. What makes them so special though is that they never lose their impact. I’ve seen them all dozens of times and yet each episode can still make me laugh – and that is what I think the hallmark of the best comedy is.

Continue reading “My Favourite Things: Classic British Sitcoms”

Geekery, general, History

The Napoleonic Wars: My Reading Recs

The Napoleonic period is one of the most fascinating in history. It was a time when truly ‘great’ characters changed the face of Europe forever: when a British, Spanish and Portuguese force under an Irish general in the name of the German king of Britain fought a French, Polish and German force under the command of a low-born Coriscan who through the merit of his own genius had been proclaimed Emperor of the French. In addition to being a an absolute knot of nationalities and political finagling, it laid the foundations of our modern world.

I’ve been accruing books of every variety about this period since I was in my early teens and as my love of the period shows no sign of diminishing, I thought I would collate my top recommendations for Napoleonic reads for anyone looking to learn more about the period. Continue reading “The Napoleonic Wars: My Reading Recs”

Book Review, general

Book Review: Women & Power by Mary Beard (and why everyone needs to be reading it)

Read this book.

Seriously, no what gender, age or political orientation you are; read this book.

It seems almost unbelievable that someone could so perfectly encapsulate the problems faced by women both historically and today in 2018 in just over one hundred pages, but this is what the inestimable Mary Beard has done.

Continue reading “Book Review: Women & Power by Mary Beard (and why everyone needs to be reading it)”

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2017 Roundup: These are a few of my favourite things…

2017 has been a pretty busy year for me: we bought a house and my lecturing load has been pretty mad. It has meant that I’ve not managed nearly enough reading as I’d liked, but hopefully 2018 will be different on that front.

Still, I have managed to fit in some really good books, film and TV this year and here is a very succinct summary of a few of the things I’ve most enjoyed:

Continue reading “2017 Roundup: These are a few of my favourite things…”

Book Review, general, History

Historical Fiction – My Top Recommendations

Historical fiction is one of my go-to genres and makes up an enormous amount of my book collection. Indeed, when I offered to loan some books to a colleague earlier this year and discussed her preferences, I realised that I could probably count on one hand the books I own set after 1950 (and if I were to discount Agatha Christie, 1900 would be a more accurate benchmark).

Continue reading “Historical Fiction – My Top Recommendations”

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Determined to master this blogging malarkey…

So, here we are, my third attempt at blogging in a decade!

Recently, while doing a bit of life pondering, I came to the not-very-cheerful realisation that I will soon be 29 and, as such, about to enter the last year of my twenties. They have gone by tremendously fast an I’m determined to make this last year count.

Consequently, it is my aim to cease being a procrastinator of olympic calibre and start catching up on all the things I’ve always wanted or meant to do before now. I’ve started violin lessons and I am absolutely adamant that I’m going to sustain a blog for at least a year. I’ve tried twice before but lost momentum on both occasions. Not this time, I hope.

Here I will be logging reviews of the various books and films I get through in the course of the next year, my various ramblings about history – expect a considerable amount of fangirling over Napoleon and posts about Richard III – and a hearty helping of geek culture.

Let’s see how well I stick at it!

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