Hello my loves! I hope you’re all faring well and haven’t gone totally stir-crazy in your houses. It’s been about a month since I did my last one of these posts (it’s here if you missed it), but I’m back with an update: I’ve been furloughed. I don’t know if that term is being used outside the UK, so what it basically means is that I no longer go to work, and the governement pays 80% of my usual wage. It’s part of a scheme to stop everybody losing their jobs when their employers can no longer afford to stay open.
In my case, the postal service in the UK has just absolutely fallen apart, so the online store I work for can no longer send out orders. No orders means no money, so I am now at home being payed by the government while we wait for Royal Mail to get their act together. (If you want an idea of how bad it is, we’re a very small business and in one morning we received 45 separate complaints about lost and delayed mail. It’s a nightmare.)
So, I now find myself at home, with nothing to do and nowhere to go, for the entire month of May. It’ll either be fun, or send me insane. I’m hoping it’s the former, not the latter. Just to keep me entertained (and hopefully entertain you, too) I thought I’d do another one of these posts to let you know what I’ve been up to. Without further ado, here are even more ways I’ve been keeping myself occupied during lockdown.
And just in case anyone is feeling a bit down, here’s a picture of my dog sunbathing:
🍋 Crocheted a doll of my favourite Disney Princess 🍋
I absolutely adore Rapunzel, and I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve watched Tangled. So when I went on Etsy and this pattern by GreenFrogCrochet popped up, I knew I needed it. They have patterns for almost all the princesses, and they are absolutely adorable, so if you’re into crochet at all you should defintiely check them out!
🍋 I played Animal Crossing for the first time 🍋
With the entire internet overflowing with New Horizons content right now, I obviously wanted to jump on the bandwagon. Not owning a Nintendo Switch (or wanting to purchase one solely for a game I’ve never played) I decided instead that I would get a copy for a console I already owned. So I ordered a copy of Animal Crossing: New Leaf for my 3DS. It arrived at exactly the same time my best friend purchased a Switch Lite with New Horizons, and after a couple days of photos and messages about all these amazing features my older copy of the game just didn’t have, I was suitably jealous. Soooo, I did what any (non) sensible person would do…
🍋 I bought a Nintendo Switch 🍋
Not just any Switch – the Animal Crossing: New Horizons limited edition console. Getting my hands on this was no mean feat – anyone who’s tried to purchase any type of Switch that isn’t the Lite version recently will know that these things have become like actual gold dust. If you don’t want to pay double the RRP to some profiteering hoarder on eBay, you have to work pretty hard. With the help of a handy dandy website called Stock Informer, I managed to get my hands on one, and thanks to the beauty of Next Day Delivery, I now have an adorable pastel coloured console to whittle away the lockdown hours.
🍋 I read a book in a day 🍋
It has been soooo long since I raced through a book as fast as I did this one. Welcome to a new favourite series of mine, people! I have had the first four books in The Great Library series on my shelf for a couple of years now, but I’ve been too afraid to pick them up. They’re by Rachel Caine, author of another of my favourite series (The Morganville Vampires) and I was too afraid of disappointment. There was no need for me to worry, though – Ink and Bone lived up to everything I loved about Morganville, with a few great new additions. Including: an unique new fantasy world, a new group of diverse core characters, reluctant gay dads, and intense found family vibes. Read my review on Goodreads.
🍋 I baked. A lot. 🍋
Nothing soothes the soul quite like beating up some sugar and butter with a wooden spoon, then adding some other ingredients and being rewarded with warm treats at the end of it. So far I’ve made strawberry pie, custard from scratch (which… did not go well), meringues (with all the egg whites I didn’t use in the custard), healthy blueberry muffins, unhealthy banoffee cake, and I’m planning to make some stuffed red velvet cookies.
🍋 I tried to get back into making fanart 🍋
As I’ve repeatedly pointed out, while this blog is called Scribbles & Stories, it’s 95% stories and only 5% scribbles. In an attempt to change that (and maybe diversify my Etsy store, who knows) I’m turning to bookish fanart. I’ve got a super vivid imagination when it comes to reading – I’m definitely one of those readers who visualises everything. That means I have a pretty clear picture of what I think the characters look like, which sounds like an advantage but usually turns into a hinderance when I can’t quite capture how they look in my head.
🍋 I discovered podcasts 🍋
I’ve only ever listened to one podcast before, and it was a non-fiction, interview style one. (The Art Side of Life, if you’re wondering.) I’ve never listened to a story-based one before, but I’ve been chatting to Veronika from Wordy and Whimsical, and she recommended The Magnus Archives to me. I’m not exactly short of time nowadays, so I decided to give it a go! Aaaand now I’m hooked. It’s a bunch of super atomspheric supernatual horror stories, each told one per episode. I’ve been promised that they link up eventually, so I’m interested to see how that goes!
🍋 I got ready to add some new listings to my Etsy store! 🍋
If you didn’t know, I have a little Etsy store where I sell handmade book sleeves! Since I have an abundance of time at the moment, I’ve been creating and photographing some new designs. I have so much fun staging these photos, does anyone think I should start a bookstagram? I’ve been toying with the idea for a while but I’m unsure. Let me know what you think! And if you’re interested in the sleeves, you can find them on my store.
🍋 What I’ve Been Reading 🍋
I’m still working entirely from my TBR Jar, so all of these books were decided totally at random. It’s working out well for me! Even when I don’t enjoy some of the books I pick out, I’m glad to finally have tried them and, where necessary, gotten them off my shelves to make room for new books I will enjoy.
The Ask and the Answer (Chaos Walking #2) by Patrick Ness
Ah, what a delight. Not in a happy, fluffy way (at all, in the slightest) but in the satisfying, I’ve-just-read-an-excellent-book way. This book had me literally (I really mean literally) sat up on the edge of my seat. I absolutely raced through the last 100 pages. I don’t think I’ve EVER read a story as brilliant as this.
The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon
This was an epic in every sense of the word. The writing was incredible, the relationships between characters were so well crafted, and the world was truly staggering in scale. It has an in-depth history, a rich mythology, and many, many dragons.
An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
Unfortunately I couldn’t bring myself to finish this book, for reasons I’m planning to talk about in a future post. I was really invested in the plot, and the writing was good, but I found it so problematic I couldn’t put up with it. To sum it up briefly: I thought the whole world was really unnecessarily misogynistic, and aside from the multiple casual mentions of rape, it was Elias’s constant sexist thoughts and comments that finally did it for me. Sorry to everyone who loves this series, but I just couldn’t look past it.
Ink and Bone (The Great Library #1) by Rachel Caine
From a tragic disappointment to a roaring success, I finally got around to the first book in my favourite author’s latest series. If you’re wondering why I took so long to get to a series by my favourite author, that would be the crushing fear of disappointment. Turns out my worry was unnecessary and, as mentioned earlier, I devoured this book in a single day. I’m reading the next book Paper and Fire right now, making this the first series I’ve binged in quite a while. If you want to experience a dystopian world based entirely and books and libraries, then please check this out.
Well, this was another fun update! I have to be honest, I’ve quite been enjoying all this free time at home. Obviously the situation right now isn’t ideal, but it can’t be helped, so I’m just making the most of it. I hope this post has given you some ideas (or at least kept you entertained) if you are similarly stuck at home with not much to do!
Do you think I should start a bookstagram? Have you been playing Animal Crossing: New Horizons? Do you want to swap friend codes? Chat with me about everything you’ve been up to in the comments!