Friday 1 April 2016

My Month in Numbers 2016: March

Hello hello.

I try never to explain my blogging schedule here - no "I'm sorry I haven't posted in so long" posts from me because, who cares? But I'm going to explain today purely because I can't be bothered to change the intro to make it make sense.

And so ... I started this post yesterday but didn't get around to finishing it because I was out at my book club and for the 2nd time this month, my neck's gone [well not 'gone' like when you push a Sindy doll's head right down and she ends up looking startled, you know what I mean] but 'gone' as in: hurts. So ... here's yesterday's post today.

< End of explanation that no one cares about. >


That was frost this morning you know; on the roof of our extension. I saw it while I was cleaning my teeth. [From this window, if you're wondering]. Grey white and cold-looking. And it told me that, unlike what I'd thought before going to bed, when I'd planned what to wear today, I would actually still need to put on my winter coat today. And so I have.

In fact ... I was still wearing it as I began typing this. [It was chilly on campus this morning.]

So, that's today covered, but how about I fill you in on the remainder of this one and only 'March 2016' ... how about you settle in [with or without your coat on, I'm not fussy] and 'll share my month ... in numbers*.

*[My Month in Numbers is a summary of the month's events where I - and anyone else who fancies it - hangs their every day stories on the peg of statistics. For more details on how you can do this visit here.]

I printed 590 photos. 
Naturally, this isn't something that happens every day but - in this digital age - getting photos of all your special events and holidays is no longer something we* even do every season. Or every year.

Or even every few years.

I'm sorry? What's that you're saying? I can't hear you over the din of all the scrapbookers yelling "Huh. Speak for yourself. I still print photos!!!" I know, I know ... and you're doing sterling memory-keeping work and future generations of historians [and current professional printing companies] will no doubt worship you for it. But you're the exception. [Now there's a title for your next layout.]

I didn't even print photos professionally when I was scrapbooking, let alone since I stopped so it took something pretty momentous to get me sitting all day at my laptop, juggling two external hard-drives selecting which photos -from thousands - I should upload and send to print. The momentous thing was my Dad's birthday.

Like mine this year his was a 'special' birthday; in the way that, again like me, if anyone had sprung anything vaguely 'special' on him he wouldn't have been thrilled.  So what to buy him? How to celebrate?

Then someone posted an offer on Facebook where you could get photos printed at a reduced cost [yes, since you ask, it was a scrapbooker] and it set me thinking.  I thought about all those photos of holidays, special occasions, loved ones, days out and favourite scenery that my parents have taken but which - unlike the photos of mine and my sister's birth until the dawn of digital cameras - have remained in limbo, on a computer drive, rarely to be flipped through and reminisced over.

And that's when I decided to secretly copy hundreds of my Dad's photos from his computer while he was out [clearly I've missed my calling as a spy]. Then my sister and I also looked through our own files for photos that told other stories, then I sorted them all out, renamed them all with the dates they were taken, and picked the best to upload to an online printing service. A total which came near to 400. [I almost needed a winch to pick them up when I collected them in store the following day].

Inspired by the idea I also sat and uploaded an additional 200 photos of mine and James's photos covering the last two year and had those printed too. Just another 12 or so years left to catch up on ...

On the afternoon of Dad's birthday we sat and leafed through them all together. As if it was 1989:
All of which turned out better than the evening before where we'd gone all out to for a birthday meal where, despite having booked well in advance we waited 90 minutes to be served our food, and at least two of the dishes ordered were sold out [which might not have been so bad if they weren't both for the same person. Let's just say she wasn't amused.] 

I won't say where, but, needless to say, we won't be rushing back in hurry. The saving grace of the evening [apart, of course, from all celebrating together, of course I thought of that first. Of course ...] was that, as it was a special occasion, I at least I had an excuse to wear that jacket:
[I revealed all about the jacket of which the fur may be fake but the 'now I'm 40 identity crisis' is real in last month's number round up here.]  

I enjoyed wearing it even if my look was somewhere between a Bronte sister and a Jim Henson puppet. 

And while we're on the subject of Brontes and dark clothing ...

In the year of the 200th anniversary of Charlotte Bronte's birth ...
I attended another fun evening hosted by The History Wardrobe, this time it was 'Gothic For Girls': 
The talk - complete with period fashion items to illustrate - is a tour through the history of black clothing and the rise of the Gothic novel. The beautiful reference floor of Middlesbrough library was a splendid backdrop to the dark and dramatic fashion history: 
The talk starts with the original definition of 'Goth' way back in the 3rd Century .... us right up to the present day, with Lucy Adlington ending on the treatment of the 'Goth' subculture in recent years bringing back memories of being called a Goth at school. Which I wasn't.

But then I think maybe anyone without a bubble perm and a flammable shell suit got called that in 1990. Or maybe it was the bat earrings I wore on a non-uniform day once...

Either way ... people's opinions on my clothes has never changed the way I choose to dress. Not then. Not now. [I refer the jury to Exhibit B: the silky black faux fur coat above].

While we're lurking in the shadows with fashion and novels that go bump in the night  ...

We spent approximately 4 hours in Whitby. In the dark. 
We'd actually gone for a very light, bright and cheerful purpose ... Alun Cochrane's  stand-up comedy show:
And - it's only fair to say - that he lived up to his side of the bargain entirely; it was a great evening of laughing, inside in a tiny venue with around 90 complete strangers.

It's just ... things had already been a bit brooding when we tried to kill some time after tea but before the venue opened.

[BTW yes, tea was fish and chips. That's just the law when you're in Whitby. Someone I know once had a hot-dog when we took him there and, quite frankly I've never thought the same of him since].

For a start it was cold. For another start it was dark. Which, as an adult I can perfectly cope with ... in the sky. But across the sea? Along the harbour? That was another story.
I don't like deep water at the best of times but all all that black, moody sea really made my post-fish and chips stomach turn. And then there were the spooky  black moors on the drive home ... is it any wonder that ...

That night I had 2 full-blown nightmares with a side-serving of weirdness and panic.
I'll spare you the details but there were faces, and blood, and sharp implements. It's like I said on Facebook the following day:

"20 March at 12:04
Last night I went to a comedy gig where I laughed lots but then came home and promptly had 2 nightmares, one weird dream and in between couldn't close my eyes without seeing/thinking scary things (including thinking someone was going to break in and kill us both with a crossbow!). Am thinking maybe next week I'll go and see a horror film to maybe induce some nice light-hearted dreaming."

Is it any wonder that I turned to colour?

I compiled 17 rainbow colour-ways of new-style 'Interesting Bits' kits:
They're in the shop now if you fancy a browse.

In other number news:
  • I started working on 50 collages [to keep up-to-date with that project follow @thecopyandpasteproject on Instagram]
  • I posted 32 mini March moments to Instagram - I love micro-blogging over there, do stop by and catch up over there - @withjuliekirk - if you're around.
  • I watched 27 back-to-back episodes of Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, an online show where ... erm ... comedians get in cars and go for coffee with Jerry Seinfeld. I shouldn't need to tell you how good it is; the "27 back-to-back episodes#2 bit was a clue.
  • Approximately 26 years after we first watched it on VHS holed up in my bedroom and 29 years after it was first released [yes, it is- and indeed you are - that old]  I cashed in a birthday voucher offer from my sister to watch The Lost Boys together. Unlike us ... the film hasn't dated. But then that's vampires for you. 
  • I read 6 books all of which you can find linked to via my reading record Pinterest board
If I was like Oprah [well, that sentence could go anywhere, couldn't it?] if I was like Oprah, where she buys everyone the same gift for Christmas because it's so great, then I would buy you all a copy of Naomi Wolf's part memoir, part biography of her father, part instruction book for living a fulfilling, creative and contented life: The Treehouse, because it's a seriously life-enhancing read.  

But I'm not Oprah so you'll have to buy it for yourself [or borrow it from a library like I did].


So ... that was my March: 
  • A complete and utter month-long Gothic-fest. All black clothes, dark water, hanging out in Dracula's town ... at night ... and all those pretty vampires. 
  • All adrift with a sea of paper ... and, well actual sea
  • And all fur coat and no ... neck.
If you ever want to join in with your own #MonthinNumbers .... go for it, then let me know so I can swing by. 

Whatever April brings I hope it includes us, you and I [well, the nice, normal ones amongst you anyway] bumping into each other online somewhere. Either here, on Twitter or Instagram.

See you sooner or later. 



  1. I get emails from Uncle Dave that start "below is the email I started yesterday, then I decided I had the flu and got into bed instead of sending it.." Sorry about the neck thing. Not nice.

    You always find the best clothes to look at! I thought about you at the Museum the other day, when I picked up but didn't buy "Fashion from The Titanic". I bet you would have made me buy it. I'm going back for it.

    Hope April treats you well

  2. Hope the neck is soon recovered, and I'm pleased it's not just me that once tried pushing Sindy's head down to see what she'd look like. I also pierced her ears with pins so she could wear earrings, she never even flinched!
    I love getting photos printed, there's no point having hundreds on your computer that no one looks at is there? I've also started making Photobooks from Photobox whenever we go on holiday - it's a great way of getting dozens of photos actually printed out in one project. And if my hard drive ever crashes, I've still got my photos to look at.
    I've joined in again this month - see, I told you I'd be back didn't I?

  3. I do love these month in number posts, no matter when you start them! Hope your neck is feeling so much better ...

  4. Oh, that neck thingy does not sound nice at all :(. How are you now? Hoping you'll be right as rain (how on earth did we ever come up with that expression?) very soon. It hasn't dented your ability to tell a whole series of lively and interesting stories - I much enjoyed the thought of you in bat earrings. Your Dad must have been delighted with the photos - what a splendid thing to have done. And a pre-loved copy of The Treehouse is on its way to me as I type!

    1. It's a lot better than it was but I still think there's an underlying issue with a muscle/tendon - thank you for asking.

      And you've actually ordered the book on my recommendation? The power might go to my head ... I'm feeling a fraction of Oprah-like influence right now! ;-)

  5. Hi Julie, I'm not surprised your blogging has not been a priority what with the photo-fest et all - it sounds like you've been way too busy doing lots of other stuff (life I believe they call it!!). I don't believe you just had your 40th birthday (many happy returns!) as you could easily pass for much, much younger. I remember my 40th being just short of awful. I was just dreading it and was feeling most unlike myself, just grumpy and upset - I thought it might be the start of "The Change"!!! To top it off, while we round at my mum's for my little celebratory tea party, Millie, who was only 2 at the time managed to get her hand, which was full of cake and being waved under my mum's Cairn terrier's nose, bitten by said dog! So that was the end of that celebration, which I was in no mood for anyway, as we spent what felt like the rest of the day in A & E waiting to have a very small wound treated... My mood didn't lighten in the following days, in fact it turned into full blown black cloud with nausea and then the penny dropped... One pregnancy test later - lo and behold - I was finally pregnant again!!! Hooray!!! Thus the reason as to why I was feeling rubbish. Indeed it was my hormones but not "The Change" - just "A Temporary Change"! So, it turned out a "Not Too Bad 40th" after all! Lol!
    I hope you're neck is doing ok. I could recommend a really great chiropractor my other half swears by but Dundee is maybe a bit too far for a half hour visit!
    Take care!! x

  6. Hi Julie, I finally managed to get My Monthly Numbers post up after several years of trying. Thanks again for all your encouragement a few months ago. I think my numbers pale in comparison with yours, some of which are truly amazing. Thanks for the book recommendation which I'm off to check out.


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