The Sea of Stars

Water-stained pages, pebbles and traces of stardust

Friending Policy
Friendship - mars-mellow
Hello, everyone!

I don't mind people friending me, but if you do friend me, leave a comment on this entry introducing yourself, who you are, and why you'd like to be my friend. It's disconcerting to have friend messages pop up and not know where you come from. And if I don't friend you back immediately, don't be offended. I like to take my time getting to know people. If you friend me without posting this entry, I won't friend you back. Too many of these leads to friends-only journals and while I understand the idea, I want to try and avoid that policy for the moment.

January Summary
Long Day - bellasinfonia

  • I managed to lose weight over Christmas somehow. I think it's because I eat less processed food at my parents and I do more walking. Must try and up my physical activity in Gloucester.

  • Spent New Year's Eve at my friends' new house in Twickenham. They moved in late last year but New Year's Eve was the first time they'd had people round. My friend invited loads of people but in the end, only seven of us were there. That was fine with me but I felt sad for her. They have a rooftop terrace so at midnight, we went up and watched about 10 different fireworks displays from the terrace in a 360 degree surround experience! Amazing. She said I was always welcome to drop in but I've heard too many horror stories from her twin about going to stay with her and then being told that someone else is staying or that they are away for me to really feel like I can just turn up whenever I want. Plus it's over two hours away and a long drive down the motorway.

  • I watched 13th, which was really eye-opening and saddening. Recommended!

  • I gave blood for the first time in nearly 10 years. Mainly because whenever I've tried to book in an appointment, I can't get it for the time I want (the blood donation centre is always fully booked) or they cancel it because they don't have enough staff. It's a lot more hi-tech now - they have rollercoaster-esque blue chairs that swing back to the correct angle and a machine that rocks the blood bag until it's done. They also give you a card which has exercises for you to do while giving blood to maintain your blood pressure so you don't feel dizzy and weak after giving blood. And the exercises actually worked! Last time I gave blood, I had a horrible attack of dizziness afterwards and I barely made it to the bus station. This time, I was fine and only had a small attack of dizziness hours later, when I was at home and could sit down.

  • I had to take my car to Halford's because the back box came off and it sounded like a motorbike. This wasn't a problem except it took over five hours for them to call me about it. -_- Then I had to get a taxi to Halford's before they closed to pick it up. At least it cost me less than £100.


Books and Films of 2016
Working Girl - bellasinfonia
A list of all the books I read in 2016. Bold means that it was a library book. NF means it was non-fiction.

The End – Ian Kershaw (nf)
A Corner of Paradise – Brian Thompson (nf)
Baba Yaga Laid An Egg - Dubravka Ugrešić
Nightbird – Alice Hoffmann
Blackout – Sarah Hepola (nf)
Lila – Marilynne Robinson
The Shepherd’s Life – James Rebanks (nf)
Home – Marilynne Robinson
The Wonderful Adventures of Mrs Seacole in Many Lands – Mary Seacole (nf)
Dragons in the Water – Madeleine L’Engle
Damage – Josephine Hart
The Runaways – Elizabeth Gouge
Thunder on the Right – Mary Stewart
This Rough Magic – Mary Stewart
The Apple Tart of Hope – Sarah Moore Fitzgerald
Half Wild – Sally Green
Picture Me Gone – Meg Rosoff
Stormy Petrel – Mary Stewart
The Accursed – Joyce Carol Oates
Needful Things – Stephen King
Beneath a Meth Moon – Jacqueline Woodson
The Night Villa – Carol Goodman
Library of Souls – Ransom Riggs
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
The Glass Castle – Jeannette Walls (nf)
Half Lost – Sally Green
An Episode of Sparrows – Rumer Godden
The Secret Rooms – Catherine Bailey (nf)
Deathless – Catherynne M.Valente
The White Road – Edmund de Waal (nf)
Nuclear Time – Oli Smith
Lost & Found: Tales From Battersea (nf)
An Angel at My Table – Janet Frame (nf)
Mythago Wood – Robert Holdstock
Mr Norris Changes Trains – Christopher Isherwood
Goodbye to Berlin – Christopher Isherwood
Wildflower – Drew Barrymore (nf)
Yes Please – Amy Poehler (nf)
A House Like A Lotus – Madeleine L’Engle
Boneland – Alan Garner
A Woman In Berlin – Anonymous (nf)
M Train – Patti Smith (nf)
Ritual – David Pinner (inspired The Wicker Man)
Bedsit Disco Queen – Tracey Thorn (nf)
Spectacles – Sue Perkins (nf)
Towards Another Summer – Jane Frame
Lockwood & Co: The Screaming Staircase – Jonathan Stroud
She’s Not Invisible – Marcus Sedgwick
Delusions of Gender – Cordelia Fine (nf)
The Waking Dark – Robin Wasserman
The Yellow Room – Jess Vance
Christopher and his Kind – Christopher Isherwood (nf)
The Song of Achilles – Madeline Miller
The Spirit Level: Why More Equal Societies Almost Always Do Better – Pickett & Wilkinson (nf)
Lockwood & Co: The Whispering Skull – Jonathan Stroud
Naked at the Albert Hall – Tracey Thorn (nf)
Meadowland – John Lewis-Stempel (nf)
Paris – Julian Green (nf)
The Shepherd’s Crown – Terry Pratchett
The Old Man and Me – Elaine Dundy
Slade House – David Mitchell
Joyland – Stephen King
The Cuckoo’s Calling – Robert Galbraith
The Silkworm – Robert Galbraith
The Silver Dark Sea – Susan Fletcher
I’m Not With The Band: A Writer’s Life Lost in Music – Sylvia Patterson (nf)
The Raven Boys – Maggie Stiefvater
Career of Evil – Robert Galbraith
The Dream Thieves – Maggie Stiefvater
Blue Lily, Lily Blue – Maggie Stiefvater
The Gap of Time – Jeanette Winterson
The Scorpio Races – Maggie Stiefvater
Reef – Romesh Gunesekera
Jane of Lantern Hill – L.M. Montgomery
The Harvest Man – Alex Grecian
Lost and Gone Forever – Alex Grecian
The Raven King – Maggie Stiefvater
Doctor Sleep – Stephen King
More Than This – Patrick Ness
An Acceptable Time – Madeleine L’Engle

As you can see, I read a lot of library books this year. They finally relaxed the rule at work that said we couldn't read when nothing was going on. We can now read books/magazines or do craft while we're on calls, to keep our minds going. Kindles aren't allowed as they are electronic devices. This annoys a lot of people but as I don't have one, I don't care. :D

A list of all the films I saw in 2016. Bold means it was rented (either via my cable provider or ITunes), italic means I saw it at the cinema, plain means it was on TV.

Black Mass
Bridge of Spies
Sunset Song
In The Heart of the Sea
The Hateful Eight
The Danish Girl


The Diary of a Teenage Girl

Dad’s Army
A Bigger Splash

Johnny English Reborn
The Man Who Knew Infinity
High Rise
Eddie the Eagle

Our Little Sister
Captain America: Civil War
The Jungle Book
I Saw the Light
Miles Ahead
Love & Friendship

Pride & Prejudice and Zombies
The Nice Guys
Learning to Drive
When Marnie Was There
Independence Day: Resurgence
The Secret Life of Pets

Ghostbusters 2016
Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie
Jason Bourne
Cemetery of Splendour

Batman vs Superman
Star Trek Beyond
Finding Dory
Valley of Love
Hamlet 1921
The Wicker Man
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children
Eight Days A Week: The Touring Years
Hunt for the Wilderpeople
Kubo and the Two Strings
The Magnificent Seven

21 Cloverfield Lane

My Scientology Movie
Jack Reacher: Never Go Back
I, Daniel Blake

X-Men: Apocalypse
Doctor Strange
Ethel and Ernest

The Curse of Frankenstein
Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them
Red Tails
A Street Cat Named Bob
Rogue One

Miracle on 34th Street

To All My American Friends
Working Girl - bellasinfonia


Grief - holo_daxy
I'm so sad. I feel sick and frustrated that old people have been allowed to vote us out of an organisation when they're not the ones who'll have to deal with the consequences. I don't want to go to work and have to deal with people gloating over leaving when it's the last thing we should be doing. Most of all, I want a recount. Seriously considering leaving this country.

Return of the Wanderer
Fly Away - iconomicon
Just got back from a week in Cyprus with the family, which was lovely but had very limited internet access so will be catching up on entries and commenting today and tomorrow. Aside from a three hour delay on the outward flight(!) due to poor weather conditions and then debris on the runway (caused by an Airbus CRACKING THE TARMAC according to Twitter), we all had a good time. Madeleine behaved so well, honestly could not have asked for more from her, she was so sunny and happy despite the change in time zone and the heat. I don't think my sister will suggest going there in June again, haha.

It's springtime
Spring - luna_ann
I have been sick on and off since my last entry so I'm sorry to have been absent. D&V, plus fever, plus hot and cold rushes. Joy! This has also interrupted my gym sessions because if I can barely manage going to work, I'm not going to the gym. Back on track now and hoping to stay there. Getting sick so often is frustrating because I couldn't plan for anything. Overtime? Nope. A meal out with friends? Nope. Cinema? Only if I take a whole box of tissues and prayed my throat didn't get too dry (which is how I saw Zootropolis aka Zootopia and The Jungle Book). I loved them both by the way.

I've also seen Civil War, I Saw The Light and Miles Ahead, feel free to ask my opinion.

Recently rediscovered the album Tiger Bay by Saint Etienne. Originally released in 1994 (*sob*), the version I have is the 1996 re-issue, which I bought in 2004. The re-issue includes the band's biggest commercial hit He's On The Phone. The song embedded below perfectly captures springtime for me.


Long Day - bellasinfonia
I started shivering and aching yesterday which meant I had to miss work today. I'm annoyed mainly because I'd signed up for some good overtime which I now won't be able to cover. I'm also missing Deadpool, which is less irritating but still frustrating. If you need me, I'll be huddled under blankets with hot water bottles.

January 2016: sucking to the last
Grief - holo_daxy
So not only do we lose David Bowie, Alan Rickman, Glenn Frey and Dale Griffin, we've now lost Terry Wogan. Goodbye January 2016, you really sucked and you will not be missed.

Books of 2015
Bookworm - smercy
In Praise of Older Women – Stephen Vinzinczey
Broken Homes – Ben Aaronovitch
Marina – Carlos Ruiz Zafon
From a Distance – Raffaella Barker
Singled Out – Virginia Nicholson
Findings – Kathleen Jamie (nf)
Half Bad – Sally Green
The Silver Star – Jeannette Walls
A Song for Ella Gray – David Almond
Bone Jack – Sara Crowe
The Year of the Rat – Clare Furniss
We Were Liars – E. Lockhart
Foxglove Summer – Ben Aaronovitch
The Prince’s Boy – Paul Bailey
The Lost Books of the Odyssey – Zachary Mason
Dust’n’Bones – Chris Mould
The Mercy of Thin Air – Romlyn Domingue
The Old Ways – Robert Macfarlane (nf)
Meet the Austins – Madeleine L’Engle
The Moon At Night – Madeleine L’Engle
Twenty-Four Days of Christmas – Madeleine L’Engle
And Both Were Young – Madeleine L’Engle
A Ring of Endless Light – Madeleine L’Engle
The Green Road Into The Trees – Hugh Thompson (nf)
Girl Friday – Jane Green
Summer Falls and Other Stories – Amelia Williams
Five Children on the Western Front – Kate Saunders
The Wolf Princess – Cathryn Constable
H is for Hawk – Helen Macdonald
Twilight – William Gay
Instrumental – James Rhodes (nf)
The Arm of the Starfish – Madeleine L’Engle
Mr Mac and Me – Esther Freud
Lucky Us – Amy Bloom
Trigger Warning – Neil Gaiman
Absolute Pandemonium – Brian Blessed (nf)

(bold = book from the library and nf = non-fiction) I read a lot more this year than last year, probably due to the fact it wasn't half as stressful (despite becoming an aunt for the first time).

The Theory of Everything
The Imitation Game

All This Mayhem
Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

My Old Lady
Big Eyes

The Eichmann Show
Big Hero 6
Shaun the Sheep Movie

The Book of Life
Penguins of Madagascar
Jupiter Ascending
Kingsman: The Secret Service
Maxine Peake as Hamlet

Love Is Strange
Still Alice

Lost River

The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
The Legend of Princess Kaguya
Far From The Madding Crowd

Cobain: Montage of Heck
Avengers: Age of Ultron
Mad Max: Fury Road

Testament of Youth
Pitch Perfect
Jurassic World
Mr Holmes
Terminator Genisys
Inside Out
Song of the Sea
The Ecstasy of Wilko Johnson

Woman in Gold
The Water Diviner
Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation
The Man from UNCLE
45 Years

John Wick
The Martian
Danny Collins

Crimson Peak
The Lobster
Mockingjay Part II
The Lady in the Van
Star Wars: The Force Awakens

(bold = rented from TV or ITunes, italic = seen in cinema, no style means I saw it on the TV)


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