I won't lie, I'm definitely struggling to keep up with my Month in Numbers but I'm determined to see the year out (marking 7 years of numerical-life-documenting) before setting it gently to one side. (I may cry ...)
And it's not just my own regular feature I'm struggling to carry on with ... I've also let the Summertime Photography Scavenger Hunt slide and, as September arrived, I would usually join in with Shimelle's Learn Something New Everyday project too ... but I can't seem to get going with that either.
I'm trying not to read too much into all of this (even though it's giving me a few pangs) as it just feels like another in a long line of shifts in focus I've had over the last year. And it's not like I'm not being creative any more ... I'm just not yet sharing everything I've been up to. When I've got something properly share-worthy to tell ... I'll be telling you. I swear. You won't be able to shut me up.
And now ... before I postpone this for another week ... to the numbers ...
100 people, 1 novelist, 1 basement:
It's the 3rd author event I've attended this year and I'm not sure I'll ever get tired of hearing from people who've gone through the entire process from having a tiny idea and then nurturing it into a papery object that other people can hold in their hands. They make it all seem 'possible'.
We even sat in the front row, which came in useful as there was no stage, so if we'd had to sit further back I'm not sure we'd have been able to see her amid the other warm bodies in the stifling basement.
And I say 'we' because, for once, I didn't go alone. I met up with Dawn of the lovely Book and Brew blog (Book and Brew. You can imagine why I felt she and I might get along.)
We met up in a slightly hipstery cafe - like bloggers are legally meant to do and we both took photos of the Jessie Burton window displays. For important Instagramming purposes. (I'm @withjuliekirk Dawn is @bookandbrew2719).
And, unlike the last time I met up with someone in 'real life' who I'd befriended online (which I wrote all about, in graphic, bodily detail last month in a post all about periods) nothing surprising happened to me in the toilets ... unless you count this ...
My 5th dachshund of the month:
Last month, in my crafty work life - I was commissioned by a magazine to work on 4 dachshund-themed items. Dog-phobic me. Not that I was afraid of paper and card dogs .. it was just a strange task to write up the text having to say nice things about man's best friend! But hey, I'm a professional .. and even I can see that they're cute dogs, so I finished it and sent it all off.
Then, inside the Tyneside Cinema cafe, where I'd met Dawn, I went to the loo only to be greeted by this chap:
Now, while my crafting work's still fresh in my mind:
250 greeting cards, 10 gift bags, 13 gift tags: (BTW: for a few minutes after taking this photo I couldn't find the biscuits which I knew I'd put down in the mess somewhere ... #spottheRichTea)
they're available in my Etsy shop)
And speaking of Etsy ...
I reached over the 600 mark in my happy customer Etsy feedback!
I ask for feedback from my customers because I personally read feedback before ordering from a new seller as it's a useful barometer of quality and trustworthiness. So when I receive feedback (which you can read here) it really makes my day knowing that not only was that customer happy with their product and service but that future customers will now see those kind words and go on to trust me with their money and expectations. If you've ever left feedback for my shop or any independent seller, on Etsy or any other platform, then you've done a good thing - thank you!
Over 200 pairs of shoes from over 2000 years:
No, that's not what I bought last month, although you'd be forgiven for thinking ... it was actually the contents of the latest high-profile fashion-history exhibition at the Bowes Museum:
Shoes: Pleasure & Pain exhibition was, as you might imagine, an absolute dream of a day out for a shoe-lover like me. I didn't take any photos inside - I wasn't sure it was allowed - but it's just as well as I'd have wanted to take sooooooo many that I might have missed absorbing the actual items in front of me. If you want to catch the exhibition it's at Bowes (County Durham) until 9th October before touring internationally. Check out more from the exhibition, including the thousands of red shoelaces dangling from the ceiling (which I couldn't stop looking at!!!) here.
After visiting the exhibition we walked into Barnard Castle right past a sign outside a church hall which read:
"Charity Book Sale. All Books 50p"
So we turned around promptly and spent a long while browsing the entire room filled with tables covered in boxes of books:
(You could call it an anniversary gift ... as August 19th marked one year since I saw Benedict Cumberbatch play Hamlet. But you'd probably forgotten about that because I've never mentioned it since ... )
After finding those bookish gems my treasure-seeking good fortune continued ...
I discovered 2 vintage floral pillowcases, still in their original packaging, in a charity shop for just £2.99!
And, while we were shopping, we also spotted ... 1 cast member of Game of Thrones. Or at least we're 99.9% certain it was Gwendoline Christie, strolling past us which sounds incredibly unlikely ... but she's a striking woman, and not easily mistaken. We didn't bother her ... we just took great pleasure in seeing the almighty Brienne of Tarth window shopping in a little market town!
And finally ...
I watched the Jake Gyllenhall film 'Demoliton' twice in 48 hours:
When I told James that it was worth watching (my amazing review "His wife dies then he smashes stuff up" clearly won him over) he watched it too ... and I sat in on it again because: Jake Gyllenhaal.
If you too fancy ... well if you fancy Jake Gyllenhaal then it's a no brainer, but it's also for you if you fancy watching a good film, with an unusual love/grief story. And, like me, you may be able to use it to win around someone who wouldn't normally choose an emotional / human interest type movie as they can enjoy:
- all that smashing up of stuff (it made me cringe ... so much destruction!!)
- while you are left to enjoy - I know I should write something like "the great script" here ... but I just keep thinking about the scene where he's crying in the bathroom. Naked.
I hope September's treating you kindly ... mine's OK so far but I'm not sure about that chill in the air. I don't approve.