The Shoehorn Review

The Shoehorn Review

Never mind reaching for the feather duster to clear away the cobwebs, it’s more likely that I need to bust out some WD40 to crank up the internal gears of the keyboard.

person using typewriter

It’s been a while! Over four months, apparently (WordPress helpfully pointed out my lack of writing achievement a few days ago. But at the time, consuming mince pies was more of a priority).

And I can’t say I have much of an excuse for my absence, except an acute case of ‘Couldnotbebothereditis‘. It’s fair to say I’ve experienced one of my most intense terms at school since qualifying, which has left me drained at times. However, I’ve still managed to do other things, just that picking up the lappy hasn’t floated my boat.

So, I thought I would do a quick round-up of what I’ve been up to since August – because I suspect you’re all falling over yourselves to know… ๐Ÿ˜‰ Also commonly known as ‘shoehorning a post in before the end of the year‘!

So, since our trip to Scotland (the last post) I have:

Tucked a lizard up in bed…
Yes, the last week of August, Jorah of House Greyscale decided it was time for his annual sleep and hid away until two days before Christmas. Last year, he woke up on Christmas Eve – I’m sure he’s worried he’ll miss out on a present! It’s like I have a part-time pet!!

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Locked a claustrophobic woman in a small room…
Which sounds even meaner when the woman in question happens to be my mum! But she agreed to it, so it was fine. Her first escape room adventure, trapped, in the dark, with sinister dolls and 60 minutes to get out. And she loved it…plus proved to be very good at solving the clues. Better than us in fact!

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Been shown up by an athletic toddler…
Sam and I finally tried out snowboarding. That’s hard, isn’t it? Spending three hours on the slopes (I use that term loosely, as we never made it off training run!), both feet strapped to a piece of wood and trying to stay upright as two-year olds whizz past you like they landed straight onto skis the minute they popped out the womb! Worst part was having to sit down, remove board, trudge back to the top, re-attach board, try to tell your brain you CAN DO THIS! And start again… Really good fun, despite being unable to move for the rest of the half term holiday.

I did have a video, but in his wisdom, Sam filmed my descent in slow motion. Even sped up (and with epic music for added effect), it looks like I’m stationary! So you only get photos.

Dressed up as a banshee…
You know, because…Halloween! And I work in a primary school, so I think dressing up is part of my contract. It should be, if it isn’t!

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Entertained my brain with..
A lot of TV shows (Chilling Adventures of Sabrina and Haunting of Hill House some of my faves), theatre and a weird adaptation of Dracula (you should know by now that I love supernatural stuff) and quite a bit of YouTube. We’ve been championing the cause for PewDiePie to stay top of the most subscribed list and surprisingly, ended up feeling quite sorry for Jake Paul after watching Shane Dawson’s documentary. Go figure…

Unlike the past two years, I haven’t done a round up of all the films we’ve watched in 2018 – down on previous viewings, by the time we see Into the Spider-verse tomorrow, we’ll have seen 42 altogether. Highlights for me have been A Quiet Place and Bird Box – both similar yet satisfyingly different.

Watched lots of pretty lights…
Hull’s City of Culture legacy brought us a dazzling installation of lights and moving stories, which I will do a post about, once I’ve emptied the camera.

A sock. Almost. But just the one. Remember at the beginning of the year when I said I wanted to take up the craft? Yeah, one ‘scarf’ and a dodgy looking foot cover is all I’ve achieved. But I can now follow patterns, kind of, so I’ll keep going!

Walked in the air…
With The Snowman. A Christmas week outing to our Gothic Minster, to see the animated film on the big screen, with a live, classical orchestra. All very festive and very nostalgic – as if it’s 40 years old now. I still remember it first being shown on the TV and how unique it seemed, to have the book brought to life!

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But enough of myself: I also wanted to address things I’ve missed in some of your lives. My inbox was full of posts I intended to read, saving them up for a day when I had half an hour spare and catch up. But, for the most part, that never happened. It seems I’ve just not felt too bloggy at all – or any type of social media to be honest.

And for that, I’m sorry, as I do miss chatting with you all and finding out what’s been going on in your lives – but I’ve been keeping an eye on things from a distance. Which could either sound maternal and caring or incredibly creepy. Take it whichever way you wish!

Anywho, while I’ve been AWOL, James and Mrs. Proclaims have created a child! Belated congrats on the birth of your daughter ๐Ÿ™‚ Somehow, James has still managed to complete his 24 days of film / advent countdown and an alternative Queen’s Speech, in between feeds and changes. Well done sir!

Patrick, I see, is still diligently writing excellent micro-stories and ramping up his Game of Thrones’ posts (which continue to get more and more deserved attention), as we loom ever closer to the Last Ever Season *sobs*. And on top of that, his wife got a part in a film! Way to go Team Sponaugle!

Clare reached a milestone birthday, a few days before Christmas but her age is only a fraction of the amount of geocaches she still manages to hunt down, whilst trekking up and down mountains. Her bucket-type list of things she would still like to achieve tired me out just thinking of the fitness required! Happy Birthday and keep it up (so I can live vicariously through your adventures!)

Lucy packed up shop and moved away from her beloved Cambridge. I’m not sure she, or her family, has ever owned a shop, but I have a strong feeling that it would be a hat shop, with complimentary biscuits and cheese, if she did! Despite moving house being cited as one of the three most stressful events in life, Lucy still managed to release two books recently – Old College Diaries (the collective works of the Portergirl tales) and Who Shot Tony Blair? I’m currently reading the third Portergirl book (Sinister Dexter) and I’m a big fan of the series.

Sue also published some of her writing, contributing to an anthology titled ‘The Rabbit Hole’, a collection of weirdness, by all accounts, which I look forward to reading. But Sue always seems to have many plates spinning and as well as her longer fiction, she has decided the time is right to release her picture book to world. Loads of luck to you in finding the publisher it deserves!

And finally, Birthday Twin Steve continues to make me feel old by reminding us all of the songs that turn 20 / 30 years old in 2019. How old IS Sharleen Spiteri of Texas? (51, thanks Wikipedia…) But seriously, half of these artists will forever be the age they were when I first heard the song. So thanks Steve for the memory trip, even if it does make me wonder how I’ve squandered the last 20 years!

Which just leaves me to say, as we reach the end of another year, a huge thank you to everyone who has visited my small area of the blogging universe in 2018. I hope that 2019 is a good year for you and you celebrate its arrival in a way that you enjoy – whether that’s dancing on tables or hiding under a blanket until it’s all over!

I’ll see you when I’m back – not yet extinct, just dormant… ๐Ÿ˜‰

IMAGE CREDITS: My own and Pexels.

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16 thoughts on “The Shoehorn Review

  1. Hey stranger! Glad you’re ok and having lots of fun.
    Blogging is very hard work. I’ve just logged in as I’m thinking about blogging. A post normally appears about two months after I start thinking about it. Creative genius is not something that can be rushed though… ha!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha, I understand completely! Non-bloggers just donโ€™t appreciate the effort required to think of interesting titles, let alone actual content! Hope you had a fab birthday and Christmas ๐Ÿ˜


  2. I saw your email notice and thought, “Yay! Haylee’s back!” and then saved it for a bit of post-holiday uninterrupted leisure time. It’s aways a treat to read your posts.

    I’ve experienced a similar time of blogging doldrums, although, as you were so very kind to note, I have been doing rather a lot of writing, rewriting, editing, and revising. Three members of my family gifted me with a Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators membership and have promised to renew it in perpetuity. I hope it will help me join a critique circle or two and lend credibility to my publishing pursuits.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Sue! So nice to hear from you, pleased you are well. What a thoughtful gift – as you say, hopefully it will also be helpful to you. Fingers crossed! ๐Ÿคž๐Ÿผ

      Iโ€™m in the process of creating a blog post… and when I say โ€˜in the process ofโ€™, I mean thinking about actually starting it! If I get one done, at least I can say blogged in 2019!! Seriously though, Iโ€™d like to put in more effort than last year but Iโ€™ll not make any promises. At some point, I will return to my sci-fi tale and get it finished. Maybe…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I hope you do get back to your sci-fi! I’m still working up to a regular schedule of posting — even if it’s only once every week or two. Short stories (particularly for contests), children’s books, and query letters have taken over. The most unexpected was an upcoming interactive story app’s purchase of one (with a commitment for two more) that I’m now developing as a kind of choose-your-own-adventure on steroids. I’m even illustrating it. May the New Year keep us all healthy enough to pursue creative endeavors that bring us personal — and maybe even financial — satisfaction!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Good to hear from you again Haylee! You’ve had an eventful year. I have also come down with the same affliction. I think I managed 4 or 5 posts this year. But it is that time for resolutions, and I’ve promised myself to get back into it for 2019. I’ll check back in 365 days to see how we both did.๐Ÿ˜ Happy New Year!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I feel I may still be in the same boat Iโ€™m currently floating in! But good to hear from you too Michelle – I had noticed my inbox was low on updates from you. Pleased you want to get back to it, Iโ€™ve always enjoyed your images. All the best to you for 2019!!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Hello stranger, welcome back. You sound like you’ve been having way too much fun to be blogging. Happy New Year and perhaps we may see you in the Spring? ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha, I like your thinking – get hibernation out the way first! I imagine it will be very sporadic for a while (if not forever) with posts, but like I said, just dormant, not extinct! Happy New Year to you and yours too – enjoy!

      Liked by 1 person

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