Sunday, 1 November 2015

My Month in Numbers 2015: October

Hello hello.

How have we done this? How have we allowed October to sneak past us in the corridor to make an unhindered exit into the chilly air? And without its coat too.

Another month has wended its way by us and, from my window I see nothing but autumn: yellowing leaves, the hills receding into a grey mist and, delightfully, a small murmuration of starlings.
To save your eyes - no, there's no murmuration in this photo, it was taken at a different time! 
 And so ... it's time for another round up of my month ... in numbers.

If you're joining in, just leave a comment and your link and I'll be round to visit your October. 

Just make sure you've got the heating on and plenty of liquids [and, OK, go on then yes, I will have a heavily buttered scone, thank you] because I've not been well you know?

For a while my voice went down 1 octave ... and then it just went. 
Or at least "You've gone down an octave" is how James described it when I woke up with what I'm now grandly calling laryngitis.  

At the time, if you could hear me croaking anything at all, it would be a pathetic whimper about having "a really really sore throat, a cough that's stopping me sleeping and skin which feels like it could vomit from every pore". [Isn't that one of the worst symptoms of colds/viruses? That sandpapered nauseous skin feeling?].

Happily, 10 days and lots of painkillers and water later, I began to feel, and sound, just about my normal self-again; but not before being able to empathise with teenage boys who have no idea what sound will project forth from their voice box at any given time!

Vaguely related side note: While I was ill I watched the rather lovely film 'Beginners' for the 2nd time. 
If you haven't seen it once yet, remedy that soon. It's great and also 'quiet' as James described it [ie: there are no explosions in it.]

Apart from its lead female character also having laryngitis [a coincidence and not the reason I re-watched it!] it also confusingly features Ewan McGregor in a series of rather fetching striped tops

I say 'confusingly' because, he doesn't normally do it for me [don't ask me what 'it' is] but in this film, he does. So maybe it really was down the stripey tops?

Or the stubble? Or the little dog? Or the fact he's an artist? And he's bereaved?

Or all of the above. 

FYI: in the film, as well as a series of rather fetching striped tops he also wears a Sigmund Freud fancy dress costume but, honestly, I'm sure it wasn't that that was doing it for me. It wasn't! Stop trying to psychoanalyse me ... 

While we're on the subject of psychological drama ... and 'actors who do it for Julie' ...

I also watched the CumberHamlet for a 2nd time too.
I went to the NT Live broadcast to my local cinema like I know a few of you were planning to do too after I banged on about it here, there, on my 'With Julie Kirk' Facebook page and everywhere. 

I hardly dare ask? Did you enjoy it?

I'm not too worried though because at least two of the people I swayed into going loved it. One was sitting next to me - so I know how she felt ["It was so dramatic. Brilliant! I understood it!!"] while the other .... well ... I'll let Ify speak for himself as he wrote about his Hamlet experience in his blog post 'Modern Theatre: An Unexpected Rediscovery'. [If you do visit and comment, tell him I sent you!].

And if anything you read changes your mind and you decide you want to catch it you can still check out the NT live Hamlet listings as there are 'encore' performances still to come.

Then, the night after enjoying a new version of a 413 year old play for the 2nd time ...

I photographed neon quotations from 11th Century Manuscripts:
The installation was part of the Don't Be Afraid of the Dark event hosted in Centre Square Middlesbrough. And I shared lots more photos of the event in this post last week.

We went on a twilight tour of the 116 year old venue The Empire:
Opened on 13th of March 1899 as a Music Hall theatre it's now a nightclub and yet, as the guide who showed us around stressed, the fact that it's been in use as an entertainment venue in some form or other, for its entire history, means that it hasn't been demolished or gutted and we can still enjoy it's Victorian splendour today:
And ... frankly ... I'd far rather enjoy it, like we did, on a guided tour at 9pm on a Friday night ... than from 11pm on a Friday night ... when they let the clubbers in!!

My 300 in 30 Days blog-commenting challenge came to an end:
I blogged about that here last week complete with lots of true-to-Month-in-Numbers-style vital statistics! But, if you want the short version:
  • Yes, I did keep it up for 30 days
  • No I didn't reach 300 comments - I fell 30 short.
  • But I did comment on, record in a spreadsheet, save to Pinterest AND add to a Google doc the grand total of 137 individual blogs! 
In other blogging stats:

I wrote 7 blog posts [well, 8 if you count this one!]
2 of my favourites of which were:
I read 4 books:
And started 2 more: Elizabeth Gilbert's Big Magic and Johanna Moran's novel The Wives of Henry Oades

I received 2 deliveries of happy mail [and the promise of 2 more to come!]
The first happy mail package winged its way from the US from a blogger whose has a view of hills which make my own look like a speed-bump on the horizon. Amongst the other lovely treats packaged inside that fabulous floral envelope there was also the latest edition to my collection of stripey pals [which now also includes Ewan McGregor of course.]
The second parcel came unexpectedly from a friend who wanted to share in her latest papery treasure haul.  Likewise the third and fourth were offers from thoughtful people who had blogged some lovely papery things, which I commented on [Of course I did. I was in a commenting frenzy!] and then without any prompting [or begging] from me they both got in touch offering to share their treasure with me. How nice is that?

The best thing about that scenario [beyond the promise of papery delight heading my way] is that the mission statement of my #300in30days challenge was for me to: 'maintain and broaden my blogging network'. And one of those bloggers is someone I have an existing online connection with ... while the other is someone I just recently met on my blogging travels. Seems like my mission succeed!

And now from 2 things I collect [paper and zebras] to another ...

I bought 1 pair of boots ['Just the one?' you say. I know. So restrained.]  And they were cowboy boots at that [the Kings of the boot kingdom]: 
Poor James was only meeting me in town after work so I could help him choose some new glasses but ... when he phoned to say he'd arrived I told him I was in TKMaxx trying boots on.

[For future reference: 'trying boots on in TKMaxx' is an activity you can catch me doing the majority of the time. If you ever need to find me in a hurry, and I'm not at home, it's always worth checking there first.]

"You'll be walking past it anyway, just come in and meet me." I said. So he did.

And, while I bought these by MTNG [oh my goodness... that metal bit on the heels swung it for me]:
... James - who only came in the shop to find me - ended up buying himself 2 pairs of boots. Which came as something of a shock to him:

"Come in and meet me she said! I'm just in here she said! And now look!" he said pointing to the 2 pairs of boots he was now carrying.

Who knew boot-buying could be contagious? Not James.

And finally ...

I bought 1 pair of cosy insoles and 2 hankies ...
... because, [after the Stark family], nothing quite says 'winter is coming' quite like the sudden urge for warm feet and a dry nose!


Thanks for sharing in my October with me:
  • Whether you sent me a parcel ... or posted a parcel for me while I was ill [thanks parents!]
  • Whether you shared one of my posts ... or simply read a post [knowing people read and enjoy is so rewarding].
  • Whether you left a comment here ... or didn't leave a comment here. We've been through that haven't we? And we're cool.
  • Whether you chatted to me via Facebook, tweeted via Twitter, or kept me company in person
  • Whether you tolerated me waking you up in the night coughing ... or you simply tolerated me visiting your corner of Blogdom ... you're a gem. Thanks. 

Don't let November push you around OK? OK. 


p.s: It's November! Which means the Christmas24 channel starts today!! Deck. The. Halls.


  1. Now I KNOW it's the start of winter if Julie has bought some new boots! These combine elegance and sturdiness - great choice. Laughed at James's purchasing almost by accident too. Looking back over your October posts, Julie, no-one would know you had lost your voice - you seem to have very much found it :). Here's to happy visits in November.

    1. You're so perceptive Alexa [I know, that should go without saying, but still ...] I definitely felt a shift in my writing/blogging last month ... it's been a long time coming and was quite the relief!

  2. We don't have any scones but i could offer you a hot buttered (proper butter) crumpet or two? I think you were so pleased about James buying TWO pairs of boots because he couldn't say anything about you buying some more ;)
    Another entertaining post Julie, and I am just glad that you are over the worst of your virus - it was a real humdinger to have lasted that long.
    I may take part in this later today - if I do I shall pop back with a link.

  3. There's a lot to nod my head at in this lovely post. I've had the cold for a couple of weeks but it had now tipped into sinus infection so I'm counting weekend hours til I get to the doctors, and number of paracodol I can stomach, and get the idea.

    And boots! yes! Trying on boots in TK Maxx is an excellent activity and one I would be happy to join you in. You found a fine pair there.

    Binge watching Game of Thrones is about all I'm fit for today. Thanks for the idea :)

    1. Ach - I hope the doctor's offered you something useful. If mine had lasted a few days more I'd have been heading for treatment too. Feel better soon. xx

      And yes - we should definitely go on a boot hunt together!

  4. I feel like I want to make a Venn diagram of us and the stuff we like, only somehow inside out, so there's more overlap and fewer non-matching parts. Ewan McGregor could mostly be in my bit* and TK Maxx would entirely be in yours, along with Christmas24 because even though I don't actually know what it is it sounds troubling. The overlap would include things like Dickens, stripy t-shirts and Googling 'Venn diagram' because you're pretty sure it was named after a person and therefore needs a capital 'V' and god forbid you get that stuff wrong on something as important as a blog comment. (NB. Uncapitalised 'god' because it's a figure of speech and I am a wretched atheist.)

    It's possible I'm going to need quite a big piece of paper and more than one pencil.


    (*Sharing rights negotiable. We might need an 'occasional' overlap and a 'meh' overlap as well. I may also need to step away from the leftover Halloween sweets...)

    1. Christmas24 is a TV channel that you would assign to one of your 9 rings of hell. So I'll happily take that one for the team. BTW I think we *need* to make this diagram.

  5. I did it - I joined in here

  6. I forgot to come back and comment after I saw Hamlet! It was very good and made me realize how ignorant I am of Shakespeare. I think the most memorable part was when my phone went off in the middle of it!! It seems to me that if you set your phone on SILENT it should remain SILENT and not insist on playing random daily alarms you have set and forgotten about. I feel like the silent mode should override alarms that aren't really that important. Anyway, it was ridiculously embarrassing. However, the girl sitting next to me got a giggle out of it because the music that played when that alarm went off was....the Sherlock theme. =)
    PS - I'm glad you're over your laryngitis. I've had it twice in the last few years and it is the WORST!

    1. I was hoping you'd enjoyed it! Thanks for dropping by to put me out of my suspense! I'm thrilled to know someone took me up on my recommendation and had a good night out .... apart from the phone thing. But still ... good ringtone choice!

  7. As I always do - I love your month of numbers! Also love your new boots as well. : )

    I'm so happy that you're feeling better [and am sorry you were sick in the first place.] I think sometimes people pray for me to get laryngitis. Ha! Ha!

  8. Another fab round-up, as always! Love that J ended up buying two pairs of boots!

    1. And no cajoling or convincing went on on my behalf either!

  9. I just wanted to say that I have started reading your blog lately after you commented on mine and I love your site. Funny, smart, interesting... you're a fantastic blogger and I'm adding you to my list of must-read sites :)

    1. That's so nice to hear Katy! Thanks for stopping by to say something like that!

  10. Well, I'm finally back to comment and read again. There was so much to take in, what a wonderful month you had. I'm still impressed with your 300 comments and 137 blogs visited in 30 days (whose counting!) and how lovely that some of these have led to happy mail and new followers.
    As for other things you have done, I would so loved to have done the trail with you. That Music Hall is amazing and I get really excited about places that have history and so much character. If I remember rightly the neon quotation was designed using handwriting done by the child of the artist. That adds an extra element to me... how wonderful to have your handwriting immortalized in that way.
    I hope your boots and insoles are warm and comfy. They will look good in a future fashion post - I look forward to seeing them and perhaps you can persuade James to partner you wearing his! Enjoy Big Magic. It's a book I enjoyed and will dip back into.

  11. Oh, always a pleasure to read your numbers (even a tad late). I would love to see the CumberHamlet in any form but I don't think it is making its way to the US... and since I really need to find boots, maybe I should go shopping with you! Enjoy what is left of November! I just posted my October numbers with an explanation of how I record my numbers :)


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