Mind Goblins

Here are some drawings from my phone. They are me and I am them. You know, I think some of the best blog posts are the ones that feel like I've scooped up a bit of myself and put it on the internet. Sorry if you had a bit of a weird visceral image there. I mean, blogging kinda fundamentally feels like I am putting a part of myself into each post, but some posts just feel more intrinsically like they are me. Like they are a genuine bowl of electronic impulses I plucked from my brain and placed here, like Dumbledore with his memory thingy (Google tells me what I'm thinking of is a Pensieve). I guess these drawings feel like little mind goblins. Scuttling around in there. Poking things. Juggling shapes. Telling me to listen to Rick Astley on repeat.

I'm not sure what I'm talking about, but I just feel like they represent me so well. Do you ever look at pictures of yourself and think that whilst they look like you, they don't really LOOK like you? Like they don't really convey you properly? It's a physical recording of you, but it's like looking at a version of you with no brain. Something is missing. I get that sometimes. I mean, I know pictures of me usually do look like me, but looking at myself from the outside is so different from looking at myself from the inside. It's like that thing about how people prefer mirror images of themselves because they're using to seeing themselves in the mirror, so unflipped images look off. These drawings, and other things I put here, sometimes feel like they are more me than pictures of me.

Now I'm gonna get all philosophical and talk about a cool and weird and large thing. We know that we are made up of our bodies and minds and thoughts and choices and experiences, etc. Our selves are made up of, most obviously, our physical bodies (including the brain, and thus - thoughts), but also our environment. Our culture and existence in a specific time and place shapes us. Our past shapes us. Our childhood acquisition of a large amount of Kinder Eggs shapes us. We know that, although we might not think about it too much. But also, it's interesting to think about how we define ourselves. Your 'self' could be defined to include every person you've heard of, or place you've been, or dog you've stroked. It's influenced by lots of things, so it makes some sense to say that it is, itself, constructed of an amalgamation of almost everything that exists. This is holistic philosophy and I love it a lot. We are part of everything and in a way you could say that everything is a part of us, also. Like that thing science folks love to say about how we're all made of stardust. It's true and very cool.

"The cosmos is also within us. We're made of star stuff. We are a way for the cosmos to know itself." - Carl Sagan

So I guess in a way when I draw dumb stuff on my phone (or when I draw in general) it's a way to create myself. I am making myself. Moulding myself. It feels so strongly me, in terms of my identity. Maybe even more me than the way I do awkward Chandler Bing smiling when I smile with my teeth (not always, but definitely sometimes - and I'm not criticising myself here because I kinda like it), or my particular brand of bad dancing, or even my love for Def Leppard.

I don't know, but anyway, here I am. Here are the drawings. Here I am. :-)

Apps used: Kids Doodle & Jot It Down!

The Smell Of Rain

It's raining really hard outside as I write this. I'm all alone in Elliot's house with 2 dogs, a cat, and a starling. The stiff back door is open, because apparently I'm strong enough to open it, but not to shut it. Today I joined Vine, Snapchat, and Phhhoto (@mothcub on all of them). So far I think Phhhoto is really cool, I unexpectedly love Vine a lot, and Snapchat isn't really seeming very interesting. It's been fun parading around the house for something to take photos and videos of. I mostly settled for stuff involving me or Dodo (the cat). Here's a vine to illustrate what I'm talking about:

Whilst that's been extremely distracting, it is not what I want to write a blog post about (although I know I have a lot of things to say about all of my fun time on social media). It's been raining for hours and I can hear the rain thundering against the walls and all. It's such an immense and yet soothing sound. I know British people are obsessed with complaining about the weather, and I get that rain is annoying to be in because of the whole moisture aspect, but I kinda love rain. It makes a good smell and sound, and being touched by the rain or the air it's cooled down makes me feel really conscious and alive. Cold water gives my brain some clarity. It also reminds me of camping and mountains and things, so I guess there's a nostalgia and fondness associated. When it rains after a really warm period, it sort of feels like coming home. My body knows its natural environment is in a big jumper.

I sort of wish I could actually be the rain, all cold and pelting down and covering everything, but actually I'm a bit scared of heights so it probably wouldn't be very nice. Do you know what I mean though? I wish I could leave my body and be a sequence of raindrops.

Diary: Felt Tips Are Not The Boss Of Me

I am really into drawing stick figures at the moment, apparently. They are very easy to make look sarcastic or gormless, both elements that I end up needing to convey on most diary pages. I've also decided to stop caring if my felt tips leak through my diary pages, because life is too short for this specific kind of acute worry. I am okay with letting things bleed a bit. It seems a bit intrinsically wrong, but I think I ought to try not to let it bother me. Pens and paper thickness shouldn't control me. I control them, and they can shut their faces. Besides, I can always stick paper over the top if there's been a really severe pen bleed.

I have been a bit more colourful this week, which is very pleasing to me. Partly this is because there are some new pens available to me, courtesy of my mum's sudden interest in buying a colouring book (which I have slightly stolen). Colouring books are pretty great. They're a good and fun activity. Although I do tend to get distracted by a need to draw my own stuff instead of just colouring, but there's definitely a place for it. Especially if the picture you're colouring in is of two lady pirates or a bunch of cheeky cats on an island.

I Make Mistakes

Perceptions are really weird, like, the key to doing all number of things is your perceptions and feelings and actions all as a sequence. It's annoying how wrong things happen automatically when deep down in your brain you know the correct thoughts and feelings and behaviours but your hormones are getting in the way of that. I don't want to get into specifics because this is about a lot of things across a big chunk of life lived, but it's weird and kinda gross to look back on past mistakes and ideas and things and to see exactly what the sensible option would have been, because my perception isn't clouded for those memories. Like when I was 10 and cried because I was only given a tiny bit part in the school play. It didn't matter, and it also didn't matter that I was upset. It was fine to be upset. All of it was fine. And yet I remember how much that hurt.

me attacking my grandfather as a youth

I've been thinking about past and memories. All of the sad and negative moments, all sparkling like shards of glass left after an accident. In the past, I held mistakes really close to my heart and always felt awful for them, sometimes even tiny ones. I'm a lot easier on myself now, but sometimes I still struggle to stop myself from clinging on to things I've done wrong. I used to pretty obsessively believe and fear that I was harming people by, well, existing. I spent so much energy worrying about it and feeling like every single thing I did was wrong. I can't tell you when this started, because I can't remember anything about a time before it was a thing, but I can tell you that I improved in bursts and stretches largely between the ages of 15 and 19. After that I was much, much better, but remnants were still there, and are still there (still decreasing bit by bit by bit).

me being absolutely THE WORST at Twister

Of course, I still made mistakes during and after that time, and I still found myself struggling to accept the reality of things that had happened because I wasn't always able to control/influence/alter my perception of and response to them and view things logically. And it's okay if I'm not completely mentally healthy all the time, because that's an inevitable part of being a person, but I am a lot better these days and I can see that mistakes and problems don't have to condemn me to total punishment. I am trying to encourage myself to be more and more rational and understanding with myself, because everyone screws up. If I can recognise a mistake, that is enough. I'm not going to let my feelings hold me hostage. I am a complex person, not the fairy tale expectation being written over in my brain. Who needs a fairy tale like that when you can have real life, and the smell of petrichor, and the creases in your duvet, and that particular frown you made on first seeing this year's UK Eurovision entry?

Making Videos About Forests

I'm busy wearing summer dresses and small cardigans and walking through the trees and thinking about ways to become a tree one day. It seems good, to be a tree. For a while now I've been making these videos of sequences of pictures taken across my days. I sank into this cute little style after some wandering video experimentation. I found making YouTube videos a bit confusing and weird at first, but I ended up with these videos and it was like putting on a comfy old jumper that fits you just right.

One of my favourite things about them is that they are, sort of, in essence, photo albums. Big, flickering, moving photo albums, where each image comes in a sequence. They're made more than just static images by the sense of movement and sound and story, but they still work as images alone. I could take any frame away and it would be a special one. That's a big part of it. It feels like there is a secret nestled in the videos, because they fly by so fast, but I can also stop and look through each frame and know that there's a big web of memory and sense in my head for every picture.

Elliot and I went on one of our walks through the forest, and I just wanted to extract some of the still images from this video, because it's one I like most. The feeling is just right.

Animal Crossing Journal #21: Hello Gladys

Last time in Boy it was all about the penguins. Well, I'm sad to say that Puck the lazy penguin has moved out of town, so now we are down to 2 penguins again. There is, however, a new bird in town. An ostrich in fact. I'll introduce you to her in a moment.

First though, here's a cool action shot of Toto leaping majestically from a hole in the ground. He's getting tougher every day.

There was a bug-catching contest - the first one in a while - and I won! I've gotten a few gold and silver trophies by now, but never a bronze. I'd like to get the whole set. Here's hoping I can come third next time. Look at how disappointed Alfonso looks. Poor alligator.

Mac has given me a delightful new nickname. It's based on the fact that I have a face that looks like a butt. Mac tells it like it is. It's not just the bee stings, but they don't help.

Berry has got herself a snazzy new basement. I think she's dumping random things in there at the moment, but she seems to have stumbled into a nice colour scheme regardless.

I am admired daily by all of these animals for my stunning beauty and charisma.

I am the number one bug fan.

I found Lucky wandering around Main Street and to be quite honest, the emotions caught me a little bit. I want him to move back here, but I don't want to say goodbye to anyone else. Why can't I have all the animals? I WANT ALL OF THEM

So let's talk about our new resident. She decided to move in almost exactly where Puck's house was. That was quite a bit of luck! She's just a tiny bit further back, but conveniently on top of the old square of dirt left behind.

She was camping here when Puck moved away, so I convinced her to move here. She's really cute. I mean, everyone's really cute, but she is really cute.

Lastly, here's me hanging out at Gwen's house. I like her décor at the moment. Some nice flowers, a cool gyroid, and that dessert case. My mouth is watering. Gwen, I am pouring all of these cakes into a bag and I'm taking them with me. You can't stop me, I'm the mayor.


There are lots of beautiful and cool locations in Final Fantasy worlds I'd love to visit. One of my favourite things about the series is the wonderful little places you get to travel to and learn the history of and all that good stuff. There's so much depth to the towns and villages and cities and military bases and train lines of the world of Final Fantasy number 8 in particular, and I spent a lot of time as a kid dreaming of being there. When I was about 10 years old I even wrote FF8 fanfic for my creative writing. The story was about being washed up on the beach near Balamb and having to decide whether to go back home to my real life or to stay in the game world and live alongside everyone there. I totally chose to stay in the game world. I wish I still had that story (complete with drawings of the characters alongside the story).

Today I wanted to focus on the gentle, isolated village of Winhill, which I have personally visited, as you can see. It's a quiet and pleasant town with beautiful fields and flowers and pretty wooden houses. Unfortunately, the place suffers from an infestation of dangerous monsters, but people seem to get by okay. It's a fairly insular place as it sits on an isolated peninsula, and I guess the monsters make it difficult to go too far, but despite its problems it's a sweet little village.

It even has a spooky and impressive mansion up at the town square, and some casually ignored history. The whole place has a bit of a death and mourning theme and feel to it, so it's a bit melancholy, but all the natural beauty kinda makes it a pleasant setting for fixating upon mortality, in a way. The people of Winhill have death on their minds for various reasons, but life goes on here, and it's so humble and lovely. I really like it here.

Japan Candy Box Giveaway (Closed)

Following my Japan Candy Box review and my previous Blippo giveaway and review, I'm teaming up once again with Blippo & Japan Candy Box to bring you the chance to win the next box of Japanese sweets for yourself! Enter with your email address below by the 14th of August to be in with a shot. Entry is open worldwide, and your prize will differ from the picture shown below. Good luck!

✶✵ The giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to the winner, Felipe! (●`・(エ)・´●) ノ* ✵✶

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Fitting Room Focus: Bacon & Spaghetti

So it's been a good while since I've done a fitting room post now, and I've missed it! So I popped back into ye olde H&M and checked out their modern 2015 summery business. Fitting rooms are very good opportunities for me to live vicariously through strapless dresses that I would never usually wear, because I like my arms to be safely held in sleeves. Maybe my arms are lonely and need a gentle cotton touch? I certainly feel the heat a lot more in the sun if I go uncovered, so that contributes. I prefer to have all over coverage from a light fabric than naked skin getting all those sun rays!

top - £7.99 (£4 in the sale), shorts - £14.99
Anyway so I found this t-shirt covered in snacky things - bacon, ice cream, fizzy drinks. Very bright and fun, although if I'm honest I'd prefer a more salad oriented top, with rocket leaves and slices of boiled egg and Leerdammer or something. Yum yum! I also found these shorts with a very early 2000s lace up crotch situation. I used to have some black flared trousers with a similar thing going on back when I was about 13. Good fashion choices! I kinda looked like I was walking on funnels. I am a small person with small legs, so flares look kinda exaggerated on me, and you know, flares already look exaggerated, because they're flares.

dress - £12.99 (£5 in the sale)
Next up I found this cute dress with a cool kind of kaleidoscopic pattern in a nice blue and black with little bits of pink. Very cute and comfy. I don't have much to say about it, but it's very airy and pleasant to wear.

dress - £3.99
I also found a bunch of super cheap spaghetti strap dresses. I opted for the nice light blue colourway and I love how this feels to wear in the heat. It's so simple and cute and it kinda looks like sleepwear, which I enjoy. I kinda really really want this even if I just sleep in it because it is very cute, but I also feel too nude in it? But not really? I don't know. I just love how tiny and simple it is, and I really like spaghetti straps for some reason. Teeny tiny straps.

Japan Candy Box Review

*This post contains gifted products & affiliate links*

After my Blippo goodies review I was also asked to try out the June 2015 edition of Japan Candy Box. This is one of two monthly subscription boxes Blippo do (the other one being the Kawaii Box). So thank you to Blippo for sending me this delightful selection of sweeties!

Here's the leaflet which tells me what's inside:

1. Kabaya Fish/Frog Gummies

So I will go through each item one by one. This is the first item, the Kabaya Fish/Frog Gummies. This is one of my favourite things included in the box. It's a nice hefty size, the gummy designs are cute (egg → tadpole → frog), and the gummy itself is good quality and tasty! The packet is also resealable like a sandwich bag, which I thought was a nice touch.

Look at that cute little frog!

2. Popin' Cookin' Neri Candy Land DIY Kit

This is a craft project and sweet combined. You're supposed to mould your sweet stuff into whatever shape you like and become an incredible sculptural food artist to rival Heston Blumenthal. It's quite a fun and cute idea, but I found it pretty difficult to make something non-nightmarish.

This is the opened kit. You get some instructions and suggestions, coloured blocks, a bunch of little moulds, a little packet of hundreds and thousands, and a wooden stick.

This is my creation. I guess this is how Frankenstein must have felt.

3. Pokémon Pikachu Pretzels

A much easier snack to deal with, these are pretty much Pikachu branded Pocky sticks. They're pretty delicious. They have a nice chocolate topping, and the Pikachu packaging is a cute novelty.

I especially like all the Pikachus printed on this plastic. Hi pals!

4. Meiji Petit Bubblegum

This stuff tastes pretty nice. It has a good fresh grape flavour.

I love the packaging on this. I can relate to these bubble gum bubbles. Each one of them is me. They are all me.

5. Puccho Mixed Fruit Chewy Candy

This is, as it says, fruity chewy stuff. I don't have much to say about this, but I like the little square-headed characters drawn on the individual wrappers.

6. Marukawa Fusen Bubble Gum

This is the tiniest box ever, with 4 cute little spheres of strawberry bubble gum inside. The strawberry taste is nice, and I bet a borrower could build something good out of this box.

7. Yaokin Sour Paper Candy

Look at those happy little cola bottles! This is a strip of cola flavoured chewy stuff. The sour taste is just right.

8. Dorayaki Japanese Hotcake

This is one of my favourite items in the box. A delicious, soft pancake with chocolate filling. It's so good. I want 5 more immediately.

9. Meiji Kotsubu Chocolates

These are just like Smarties, but the chocolate is a little bit richer, so they taste like luxurious Smarties.

I really like this packaging as well. The back of the box teaches an English word - pencil (enpitsu in Japanese).

10. Lotte Koala March Biscuits

These were another favourite. They are biscuits with a chocolate filling, with koala designs on the front. The biscuit to chocolate ratio is just right, and they're nice and light.

This koala has a very stylish hat. I'm sure I have seen this koala on the cover of many fashion magazines.

I think my favourite item overall was probably the doriyaki, but I liked the whole selection and the variety of everything. Check out my unboxing video below, and don't forget to enter the giveaway over here!