Friday, 31 August 2012

Goodbye August

This month I've:

-turned twenty two 

-been ID'd (and vaguely flattered by it) *facepalm*

-flipped over the TGWTG fourth year anniversary event. Seriously, check it out: it's awesome. It has evil robots and everything. 

-nearly ended up homeless in Newcastle on bank holiday Friday, due to a problem with the trains and all the youth hostels being full. Fortunately I have good friends and managed to find a couch to sleep on.

My MRes starts soon and I'm as scared and excited as I was in 2009, packing to leave for university. At least this time I know my way around and have some really wonderful people waiting for me.

Wish me luck. 

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Scattered Impressions of London 2012 Olympics

So the Olympics are over.

As someone who has loathed team sport since about 1994, I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this year's Olympics. Maybe it was Danny Boyle's stunning opening ceremony. Everything from setting it inside the song Jerusalem to forging the Olympic rings was inspired, especially considering most people had been expecting us to fall far short of the Bejing ceremony. Maybe it was the fact that we excelled at something for once or that this year I was more invested in the atheletes because I was watching the little human interest segments. Maybe it's because after my own graduation I appreciate acheivement not just as a personal thing but as something that affects a whole family:  I think I was more keen for my parents to be at my graduation than I was. Them seeing me there was the point. So the emotional dramas seemed a lot closer to home this year.

I didn't think the closing ceremony could top the opening one and it didn't but I think it was about equal. There was a different atmosphere, far more wind down than warm up and I found it very interesting.

Anyway, as I'm still frantically trying to sort things out for next year, I'm going to end this with a list of my favourite things from the Olympics:

1) The two unknown female rowers who won gold when they weren't expecting to get into the medals and who were completely shellshocked during the interview. My favourite quote of London 2012 may be: "We won the Olympics!"

2) Jessica Ennis crying tears of sheer joy on the winners podium.

3) An athelete (I forget whic one) thanking all the people cheering at home... about twenty seconds after I'd told my mum and brother to 'be quiet: they can't hear you.'

4) The fifteen year old newcomer from Lithuania who completely sledgehammered the competition.

5) The way everyone fell in love with Mo Farrah.

6) And Tom Daley.

7) Princes William and Harry being interviewed together as brothers. Not an athletics thing; I just think it's nice the press remembers they're still brothers after the Royal Wedding (I have to capitalize it or they'll revoke my British license and then I won't be allowed to wear bowler hats).

8) The heavily pregnant torchbearer.

9) The judo womens silver medalist mouthing 'I love you, Mum,' into the air to her late mother.

10) Jade Jones. Just Jade Jones.*

11) The opening and closing ceremonies. Of course.

12) Watching Brazil beat Korea live in Manchester. Mostly for the mexican wave that lasted about five laps of the stadium. And my mum being one of two people in the entire stadium to support Korea (apparently they had better kits).

Weirdly even typing some of that is making me weirdly emotional although I'm pretty sure my uneasy truce with team sports is now over. The thing that made the Olympics for me this year was the hundreds and hundreds of personal stories.

Normal service will be resumed shortly.

*I used to do Tae Kwon Do and it is the only sport I have ever really loved. Even if it wasn't I suspect seeing the British champion win by about fifteen points to one would have made me deeply happy.

Sunday, 12 August 2012

Things I Learnt at the Olympics

Like a lot of people, I went kind of crazy posting about the Olympics opening ceremony.  I actually got invested this year, mostly because the opening ceremony was so unexpectedly fantastic (I was expecting it to be behind the times because...well we're Britain). Needless to say it blew my mind. And that's before we started winning. (For a small country like Britain, third place behind two major super powers *is* winning. Plus we beat long-time rivals France and Australia so...)

Here's a small selection of some of my thoughts on the farmers, dancing nurses and the man who gave away the internet.

@Kate_T_Taylor: #ThingsILearntAtTheOlympics Hospital is a scary place. Especially if Sir Danny Boyle designed it. #OlympicOpeningCeremony

@Kate_T_Taylor: #ThingsILearntAtTheOlympics Suffragettes make me tear up #EarlyCareerAspirations #ThatBoatSailedAWhileAgo

@Kate_T_Taylor: #ThingsILearntAtTheOlympics Mary Poppins is our cavalry #OrShouldThatBeAirForce

@Kate_T_Taylor: #ThingsILearntAtTheOlympics I take back everything I ever said about Daniel Craig being too serious as James Bond #ParchutingWithTheQueen

@Kate_T_Taylor: #ThingsILearntAtTheOlympics Monarchy is the way to go.

@Kate_T_Taylor: #ThingsILearntAtTheOlympics There are a LOT more countries in the world than I had previously thought.

@Kate_T_Taylor: #ThingsILearntAtTheOlympics "Does Richard Branson own them yet?" #TheVirginIslands #CommentaryByMyMum

@Kate_T_Taylor: #ThingsILearntAtTheOlympics All the flags in the world ever.

There were a lot more than that but most of them were hysterical 'OMFG LOOK AT THE CAULDRON!!!' kind of things and a blizzard of retweets I didn't want to reproduce without being sure of the Twitter ettiquette (Twettiquette?)

I'll put a proper retrospective post up on Wednesday after I've watched the closing ceremony but I wanted to put something Olympics-related up on the day.

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Gone Writin'

I'm taking a couple of weeks off updating this blog to focus on my novel, which is actually moving forwards for the first time in months. My picture of the trilogy overall is becoming a lot clearer: I'm getting a better idea of the key relationship which is going to generate a lot of the conflict, the things that will tear my heroine apart, the things that will keep her going... Things like that. Important things.

I also have to deal with a few real life demands like ensuring I have food and housing next year. I've been having recurring dreams about being still stuck packing to leave my last house (which was crazy stressful) so I think it's time to lock myself away and deal with that until it's done.

Enjoy the Olympics.

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Phrases I'm Trying To Start

You know those things you say that you wish other people would too? Well these are mine. Feel free to leave yours in the comments below.

"Who stamped on [your/her/his] goldfish?" The alternative to 'who pissed on your chips' that's so ridiculously horrible you can't help but laugh. It's also less soggy sounding.

"Clam bake" Like a sausage fest but y'know, with women. Mostly used to describe my own fiction when I forget to put male characters in.

#FeministRage Sometimes someone says something so offensive you couldn't even list everything that was wrong with it, let alone fit it into 140 characters. Happily #FeministRage lets everyone know you're pissed off without eating up your word limit.

#MorriganDisapproves What's worse than some randomer off Twitter disagreeing with you? The disapproval of a fictional apostate of course. Not only does she have the confidence necessary to wear a flimsy scarf as a shirt (and you need confidence for a really withering put down), she can also drain the life force of people who disagree with her.

#LearnToSpell Like the above but meant to combat bad spelling/grammar instead of misogyny.
Fifty Shades of Greyjoy Basically it's what would have happened if Esgred was who she said she was. It's cute because Theon thinks he's Christian Grey.*
It might also look something like this:

*Admittedly Fifty Shades of Greyjoy becomes less funny when you know about the stuff that goes down with the Boltons.

** Or possibly funnier, if you're a socipath.