Photo of the Week: Musicae

I know, I know, it’s a Thursday, and we can’t destroy the schedule – but I did warn you that I’m not quite back into mind yet. 😉

Plus, I haven’t had much to shoot. But we went into Oxford today, and that city is home to me; and so I get so inspired by being back there, with its gushing architecture and wonderful thrum of life. Sad to say we were a bit touristy today and went to see bits of the university I haven’t yet. Nevertheless, I have to indulge myself sometimes. Of course, I jumped at the chance to see into the University’s famous Bodleian Library (some scenes of Harry Potter were filmed there, but that’s not important. Just thought you ought to know 😉 )


The school (or classification) of Music. Can I hide there? 😀 I loved the artistic look of the door ajar.

TCWT: By the Examples of Books

It’s time for December’s Teens Can Write, Too! blog chain post (and I almost forgot!). This month’s prompt was:

“What works of fiction have taught you by example, and what did they teach you?”

In a way, this is a very difficult and very simple question to answer, and I don’t know how much I’m going to write. Every book or film or piece of fiction has a moral which they show through example, even the most fun of fictions, but in spite of that, only some have really resonated with me.

The Secret Garden (1993) PosterI was watching The Secret Garden this afternoon – on TV for the Christmastime – and it occurred to me that one of the big themes of the book as portrayed in the film is people lie. The adults kept Colin a secret from Mary; Mary kept the garden a secret from Colin until she was sure he wasn’t just a clone in personality of his absent father. Mary asks the maid to keep her presence in Colin’s room a secret from the strict housekeeper (played brilliantly by Dame Maggie Smith). Adults lie, children lie, all the same. They make up these stories – the garden isn’t the secret, in the end – and these elements bleed through to our lives – because, of course, it’s from there that the writers get their inspiration.

But that’s negative, and that’s not the point. What fictions like The Secret Garden – those quaint, unlikely children’s books that stuck around longer than the author ever would have expected – show us by example is that life gets better, regardless of the troubles you get dragged through. You can make your own ending, your own solution and garden in the hate that grows. And if you find that rose, you cling to it with all you have, because happiness is the key.

Agatha Christie’s mysteries taught me, by example, not to trust everything at face value. Sure, I’m clinically hypervigilant at times and have an untrusting streak, but it’s also a great attribute to have for someone who loves and writes mysteries – it keeps me knowing and appreciating that there are more facets to a story than those we first read (a great skill for the writer, I guess). Plus, I love Poirot’s bizarre attention to detail, since it mimics the kind of appreciation to detail that I myself have.

Hercule Suchet is judging your life decisions. 😉


So many books go over the problems one faces in reality but at a higher, more fantastic level. To defeat the evil dragon rider, your mentor has to take the lethal blow and sacrifice his life. So many sequels pull on this idea: a character has faced loss in a previous books, but they brush themselves off, maybe cry a bit, but go back to trying to defeat the evil.

Well, that’s the SFF side of fiction. Contemporaries have taught me the smaller things. Jacqueline Wilson’s books showed me that friendship can be varied, but still as genuine as the innocent friendships made through childhood. And that’s certainly been true IRL. We don’t know what we are going to experience through life – or whom we’re going to encounter. Even the stories in Wilson’s historic books show that friends can come from anywhere, and true friends will stay.

Judging by the stack of recent books I’ve read and written, I’ve learnt something more than a practical magic of living – the art of fighting. Not battle-fighting, and I’m not even referring to the art of fighting for one’s friends. I mean the art of fight scenes. I’m finding writing fight scenes are a lot easier nowadays, so, I’m terms of my own ‘literary’ career, books like the Skulduggery Pleasant series have taught by example.

Also, they’ve taught me that life is painful, but we must keep working towards the ultimate goal of saving the world being good to each other.

The Harry Potter series helped influence young me that having intelligence is not necessarily a bad thing, nor is having only a select crew of true friends. These are great thoughts for a child to have in mind when growing up in such a world full of the idea of popularity and material wants. That brings me nicely around to the film Mean Girls: if anything, that piece of fiction may influence the idea that cliques are fun and fulfilling – but then one must remember that it depends if one is in the right clique (if there is such a thing). It’s all well and good experiencing the fun of the Popular clique when you’re in it, but then, just as Cady comes to find out, if being Popular is at the expense of others, then it’s not worth it.

So, fiction – it can talk about friendship, about love, loss and recovery. It has kind of taught me a lot about the real world, as it’s meant to, really. Whilst we read to get away from real life, we also experience and learn the truth about real life from reading.

Boy, that became more philosophical than I intended. To finish off, I’ll say that Soulless taught me that even the women who are considered outcasts can bag the best of men (or women). Win for us. 😉

Tehe, with that in mind, I’ll leave you.

Do follow the rest of the blog chain. Of course, I always take the later dates, but that shouldn’t stop you from reading from top to bottom. Or, whichever you please.

25th – [free day] <Yulemas, Teen Writers!>>
27th <<You are here>>
30th and
31st – (We’ll announce the topic for next month’s chain.)

Book Blogger Tag

I did a very similar one of these recently, so if you read that, you’ll probably notice repeats, sorry. Nevillegirl tagged me in the Book Blogger tag, so I’m going to answer these questions. 🙂 Thanks!

Which book did you recently not finish?

I don’t tend to not finish books – I’m much more hesitant when starting them instead.

Which book is your guilty pleasure?

All the books [are guilty pleasures]! Actually, my guilty pleasure changes depending on the books of which I’m in the midst, but at the moment it is Moro’s Price by MC Hana. Sci fi, politics and LGBT+ characters.

Which book do you love to hate?

I’m guessing I have to have read the book before I’m allowed to pass proper judgement on it? I’m not a fan of a lot of the popular YA dystopians/sci-fi at the moment, but I’ve not read much of those books themselves.

Actually, I’m gonna cause a lot of frowns here, but I actually find JK Rowling’s style of writing in The Philosopher’s Stone childish, simple and dull. And, yes, I do love to say that to anyone who’ll listen.

Which book would you throw into the sea?

To warrant a book being thrown into the sea, it would have to be so poorly written that I’d deny someone else the chance to read it. Whilst there are many bad books in the world, I don’t think I’d throw any in the sea, hyperbole or not.

PDA00160-JWILSON-loveWhich book have you read the most?

I’ve read Love Lessons by Jacqueline Wilson a fair number of times, so probably that.

Which book would you hate to receive as a present?

Something I’ve already read, perhaps? I think a copy of a book I already have on my shelf would be unfortunate more than a pain because I’d have to meaningless give away a book. Realistically, other books I would not like to receive as a present are those outside of my ‘age’ range. I still have many Middle Grade books on my shelves from when…well, when I was a pre-teen, but I’d hate to receive most MG books now – because of their more simplistic use of language and syntax.

Which book could you not live without?

Hmm, something by Lewis Carroll. I think my life would be a lot drearier if Alice in Wonderland and Alice Through the Looking Glass had never existed.

Which book made you the angriest?

Again, I don’t think any book make me angry. Sure, some characters annoy me – both intentionally and not so much – but I’ve not actually been angry at a plot or a book in itself entirety. Some plots are vile, but this writing is deliberate and, regardless, a good book is a good book.

Book Cover: The Year the Gypsies CameWhich book made you cry the most?

Books rarely make me sob. None of the ones I’ve read recently have elicited that certain reaction. The Year The Gypsies Came (Linzi Glass) was pretty depressing towards the end.

Which book cover do you hate the most?

Out of all of the bookcovers I have read? *Wipes brow* Okay, I’d feel mean to name a single one, but I dislike a lot of self-published covers or romance covers because they are so typical. Some make a point of being a scene from the book – with the couple against a specific or coloured background – but most seem to just be bodies against bodies, which tells me nothing about whether I’m going to enjoy it. Really.


Now for the tags. I’d like to tag:

Lillian M Woodall

Yawatta Hosby

HL Wampler

Tiffanie Lynn

Jo Wu

The Bookcase Tag

Time for one of these bookish posts, considering that I’ve done a creative and a thoughtful, and I’m going to do a reblog tomorrow and a link-up on Friday.


What can you spot? ;)*

Apart from this picture, which is of my makeshift bookshelf under my bed (my ‘portable’ one, too), be prepared for lousy-webcam pics. I’m working on improving this.

The Rules

Answer the following questions about books and then tag five other bloggers**. You can answer the questions any way you want, whether it’s on your blog, in a video, or a combination of the two. Then remember to let whoever tagged you know when your post is up so they can read it.

You can read NevilleGirl’s post, which is where I first saw the tag.

I should say: this is my series bookcase, charged with keeping together the sacredness that are print book series. The sharp-eyed of you who can work through the shoddy photos will see Harry Potter, Jacqueline Wilson book after Jacqueline Wilson book, The Princess Diaries (minus book six, which I sadly lost when I was nine), Sophie Mackenzies, all the Hitchiker’s Guide books (including And Another Thing) and too many Rainbow Magic books than I’d like to admit, amongst others. Judging by this, I used to really like quick reads. Shame on you, Alex.


  1. Is there a book that you really want to read but haven’t because you know that it’ll make you cry?

Not many books actually make me cry, and generally these sorts of things leap on me when I’m not looking/expecting them.

  1. Pick one book that helped introduce you to a new genre.

Mm, I’m going by this bookcase. One of the books I remember reading when I was a child was Harry Potter, but, after that, I moved onto contemporary in a pretty straight-genre way. I certainly didn’t read heavy fantasies like I do these days – any fantasies and they were at least urban/contemporary fantasy or with familiar settings.

Anyway, I certainly never read historical books – I made it clear from a young age that history as a school subject was as dull as black bricks – and yet the entire Lady Grace Mysteries series lies on this bookcase. Nowadays, I have a huge soft spot for historical mysteries (and, uh, have written a couple of my own).

  1. Find a book that you want to reread.

Although I don’t reread a lot (moving on, and all that), this bookcase does well for books that I’d reread. When I am a free person, I’d like to spend time rereading all of the Series of Unfortunate Events, cover to cover, with a mature writer’s eye to spot the references and quirky style. I envy Handler’s post-modernism.

That’ll make me cry, but more from sentiment than anything.

  1. Is there a book series you read but wish that you hadn’t?

That question sounds rather harsh for my liking. I can work with it… I’ve pretty much DNF-ed The 13 Secrets, the last in the 13 Treasures trilogy, but I suspect I outgrew the stories surrounding a teen who can see bad faeries. Conversely, I always felt that the books were a weaker version of The Spiderwick Chronicles (which are not present…begging the dire question: where are they?). Sadly, I think I continued reading out of loyalty.

  1. If your house was burning down and all of your family and pets were safe, which book would you go back inside to save?

Considering that I have the complete works of Shakespeare, Conan Doyle and Carroll in anthologies, I’d be rather stuck. I think probably the last, seeing as I’m partway through various stories. Besides, that hardback is illustrated and a glorious green pattern.

  1. Is there one book on your bookshelf that brings back fond memories?

In one way or another, every cover on this ‘case brings back fond memories. That’s one thing I love about print books – that one forms better memories of that moment when… because the brain is utilising more than one sensory input. On Kindle, reading is scanning a computer screen, and, as such, can be less memorable.

For the question in point, I’ll choose Armed and Magical, the second of the Raine Benares series (another series I need to get back on top of reading – especially after how awesome the Nelson agency is – but the books in print are more difficult to get hold of in the UK) about a half-elven woman with the gift of finding who gets bound to a stone that sucks souls. I remember sitting in my father’s garden on a hammock reading in the sun. Classical English memory gunk.

  1. Find a book that has inspired you the most.

The collection of four Christie plays there proves that mysteries can be done onstage and still have the simplicity and complexity that one adores in her works. I only acquired and read the collection two years ago (I remember because I was studying Theatre Studies at the time anyway, which sent me into the bookshops in search of set text plays), but, as I started out writing stage scripts, I admired Christie’s ability to balance setting and stage direction with the dialogue. I mean, as much as I love Priestly’s stage directions that are almost descriptive prose in themselves, I understand that no modern actor or director really wants to be faced with a block of text describing the exact way to behave. (I could/should write a whole post on this topic).

  1. Do you have any autographed books?

Three books in Caroline Lawrence’s Roman Mysteries Series, The Secrets of Vesuvius, The Sirens of Surrentum, and The Slave-Girl From Jerusalem, which I treasure, since she was an inspiration to twelve-year-old me when she came to our school. (Though I’ve still not read the final book in the series – I keep forgetting to buy it, and time passes…)

I can’t find them at the moment, but I’m pretty sure I have a couple of other autographed books, whether in this ‘case of not. I met enough authors through school that some of the autographs are a tad arbitrary, yet… *shrugs*

Ah, the old ‘Fortune favours the bold’. (I know  The other two inscriptions are the classical Latin of poetry phrases ‘the greatest good’ and ‘ h’

Ah, the old ‘Fortune favours the bold’. The other two inscriptions are the classical Latin of poetry phrases ‘the greatest good’ and ‘ short life’

  1. Find the book that you have owned the longest. 

I’m going by personal ownership here, for I have a couple of secondhand books in this bookcase, in particular translations of Ovid and Virgil texts. But the ones I’ve owned/have been in my possession the longest are probably the Roald Dahl books. I can’t list them all, but we’ve got The Twits, George’s Marvellous Medicine and both Charlie and the… books.

I forgot he wrote so prolifically and in such a quick-read way. I think Esio Trot was always a favourite to read through. Nobody questions the concepts and settings Dahl creates. Nobody raises a single eyebrow at the validity and realism. They just are.


Bottom shelf. From right to left… Rainbow Magic books stacked, topped with Redwall books and a couple of Faerie Wars books. Roald Dahl books x13, Hazel by Julie Hearn, and the Hitchhiker’s Guide ‘Trilogy’.

10. Is there a book by an author that you never imagined you would read or enjoy?

I went to school with Julie Hearn’s niece, and whilst I didn’t know Julie so personally, I got an arc of Hazel through the school. I’d enjoyed another of her books, The Merrybegot, because of its almost magical realism feel (it’s set around the time of witch-hunting), but Hazel is much more traditional pre-war  historical – sent to live on her grandfather’s Caribbean plantation with slaves of colour, Hazel discovers things about her family’s past that will change her perception of the future.

And I thought it was a clever plot, if a little slow to build. You see, another historical that took me by surprise.

*An interesting collection and that most pertaining to my life and tastes at the moment. This also begs the interesting question of whether we are able to surmise what a person is like by their bookcase.

**I suspect that everybody I would tag has already done the tag (I am rather late to the scene), but if you haven’t, feel free to do the tag and link back here. 🙂

Quick Takes Friday – Returning Home, Birthday Cupcakes, and Latin Harry Potter

Feel free to join me and other bloggers at ConversionDiary to share our weeks.

7 quick takes sm1 7 Quick Takes on a plane!!!

Feel free to join me and other bloggers at ConversionDiary to share our weeks.


My first week back home I’ve been hard at work, even if I’ve barely left the house. Mornings unpacking and reorganising all my junk; afternoons spent in the living room. It’s all been about writing and the creativity of first drafts as I work through CampNaNoWriMo.


But I’m not just writing…I’m reading. I’ve almost finished Encante, and I hope to get a review up next week or so. I also spotted Harrius Potter in my books as I was unpacking. You read that correctly: I have the Latin translation of the Philosopher’s Stone. Of course, it is easier to read knowing the general gist than if it were the modern equivalent of unseen Ovid.


These last three/four days, six of my friends have graduated. I am beyond proud of them, but it’s a sad time of change for all of us. It’s true that I cannot complain that I won’t see them again, since I have the people in my own year still; for the leavers, they are parting ways with all of their university chums.


I baked cupcakes today, using a recipe I have meant for lemon cupcakes. Instead, I used my typical vanilla essence to flavour and added in a good dollop of cinnamon. My mother and I have enough cinnamon in this house to garnish an entire army! Because I made them simply for my relatives, I mixed a few with chocolate chips and drizzles my spare red food colouring on the top, for a half-marble effect.



Yesterday was my mother’s birthday. We stayed in, and didn’t really do much, but we had some splendid Taittinger (bubbly) and I watched Back to the Future Part Two. I have a weakness for television running in the background whilst I’m trying to first draft. And, in all fairness, I didn’t think Part Two was as bad as it’s said to be.


I’m going birthday shopping (you might remember that the certain day was two months ago!) with one of my best friends tomorrow, and I am so excited to see her in flesh again after, literally, months. I’d invited her up to see my uni room a couple of times, but she recently got a new job and has been rushed off her feet.


An extract of some of this week’s work on the Steampunk adventure I’ve been writing:

“Splendid!” the captain remarked. “Ten more minutes and we shall depart for the Americas.” He gestured forward the slipshod number of people he called his crew.

Cathy scratched her ear. Most of her didn’t mind this. She watched the brief procession of three civil servants. A middle-aged gentleman with a quiff and the spare screwdriver lodged behind his ear was introduced as engineer Whyte. A lean man with a sharp gaze and kohl-stained designs up his arms was said to be the helmsman, Eddard. Next filed forward the tall, light-haired woman—

Woman? A lady crewman?

“This is Amelia West. She is our cartographer, trained at the royal institute of science, no less.”

“Pleasure to make your acquaintance, Miss West,” Jonathon said with his best alluring smile. 

TCWT: WTCB has a Script and Other Ex-Libris Problems

I guess I started my original writing career as a script-writer. In one of those “where do you think you’re going to be in ten years? Dream job, something you’d like to do, and the probable alternative” (one wonders if this is a healthy thing to ask eleven-year-olds), I listed ‘playwrite’ as one job in the middle category. Yes, I’d always loved making up characters (only child syndrome) and detailing their bizarre adventures on paper (my mind is bizarre), but I’d just finished writing a play about first love and bullying, and it was the first piece of writing I ‘got’, emotionally. Fanfiction about Hopper from Bug’s Life was all well and good (!) and a chapter book about being turned into a doll was fun, but I’d not put as much effort, in terms of feelings (you know), into them until I’d written my script.


It’s the Teens Can Write, Too! blog chain for June! This month’s prompt is

 “What are your thoughts on book-to-movie adaptations? Would you one day want your book made into a movie, or probably not?”

As you might have guessed from my introduction, I’ll be focusing on the latter question of what I’d want When the Clock Broke or Of Jackets and Phones to be like as a movie, and why I am always going to be disappointed. (Spoilers: because I’m a perfectionist!)

Whilst I don’t see anything wrong with screen adaptations in general – after all, I wouldn’t have started reading Harry Potter had 5-year-old me not loved the first film – producers, directors and even set/costume designers have to be careful where they tread. (I’ll take this moment to point out that my knowledge of the industry is skewed to stage, though I have worked on film sets, too – just not as much.)

As others in the chain have rightly pointed out, film is a completely different medium to books, and I’m lucky I have interests in both – especially since my imagination and memory are very photographic, so my stories are effectively movies in my mind before they become paper prose.

Whilst this can prove discordant for some people, I rather like adaptations that have their own spin on a book. Stardust is my all-time favourite film, but whilst the book is nothing when lined up with the cinematography and plot twists of the film, it’s not a bad book. The prose is sparkly, but not in an Edward Cullen kind of way! Neil Gaiman himself said:

“It’s a parallel Earth version of Stardust, which has Robert De Niro and stuff. And I get people who come to the book from having loved the movie who are really disappointed at some of the stuff that isn’t there that Matthew [Vaughn, director/producer] brought.” (Empire Online via Wikipedia)

One only has to look at how popular the BBC Sherlock with Benedict Cumberbatch is to see what a great adaptation can do. As a Brit, that makes me immensely proud, especially this most recent season with CAM (no spoilers here!). They adapted my favourite Brett Holmes episode, but whilst they left some of the characters and details in for us Holmesian snobs, they put their own twist on it to give us entertainment and that surprise/shock value that is so prized in modern fiction.

And that works.

We’ve had some duds, yes. I liked the Series of Unfortunate Events movie – great casting, gorgeous sets (it was on TV over Easter, and, in retrospect, I think one could call the setting Steampunk :D), good script – but it didn’t win hearts because the series is so grandiose, so post-modern and extended, that, in the back of our minds, we readers knew a film was never going to do it justice.

Movies that have been optioned and I’d love to see: YA Irish urban fantasy series Skulduggery Pleasant; NA/Upper YA alternate London/Oxford fantasy The Bone Season; adult fantasy Vicious.

Noticing a trend? I do like to read contemporaries, and I’m currently planning one or two in my head, but they’re not the sort of thing I’m very interested in watching. What I really love to see adapted for viewing is fantasy or off-world stories. I think this may be due to academic interest; from my work experience aged 16 at a local theatre and my subsequent year of Theatre Studies, I developed an interest in not only the acting side of performances, but also the producing side of theatre. Only yesterday did I post about my uni drama society’s 24-hour Musical in which everyone had to lend a hand in creating.

In this way, I love fantasy adaptation for sheer curiosity – how will they make this world? Will they stay true to the book’s costume descriptions or will creative/availability licence be added?

One way I gauge if I’m excited for a film adaptation by whether I react less by fangirling and more by treating the coming film as a professional opportunity – ie. whether I’d jump at the chance to be cast, even as an extra, in the film. I’m very hands on when it comes to projects I love, and this is reflected thus in one of my personae.

This brings me to the clincher of the post: When the Clock Broke’s (WTCB) hypothetical adaptation.

I guess – like most authors – I have given thought towards what I’d like for a movie of mine. No, scrap that uncertain tone. We’re writers here – no room for ‘seems’ or ‘appears’ or guesses. I have given thought to having my stories performed, no question about it. I think it would be a dream to see my work performed – be it on stage or screen. Now the former has its impracticalities, as I found out when, during the aforementioned theatre work experience, I tried turning the first few chapters of WTCB into a stageplay, editing as I did so. Whilst, as I say above about fantasy place-setting, one can use one’s imagination for sets, what if those sets have to be extensive and changing? For a Steampunk and NeoVictorian writer, in particular, one can either go minimalist or all-out Stanislavski-style naturalist. I found that, as I started planning the script from a we-have-to-recreate-this-novel-on-stage point of view, I hit the problem of the first three chapters being in two different locations (now three, if one is counting the taxicab station as an actual place, rather than simply a passing-through area, as I imagined it when that scene was not yet written).

The upside of staging a novel: a balcony. Whenever I write for stage, I imagine a balcony – simply because of how awesome a place that is in terms of transition and road scenes. In the London theatre permanent host to the musical Wicked, the balcony directly above the stage has its own personality and [musical] number.

So: give me a balcony, where I can throw a narrator or drag around characters or use physical levels as symbolism for socioeconomic levels. Yeah, I do that.

That would be cool, but the verdict is that a WTCB adaptation would be royally in the film camp. Of course, I’d want to be on board as much as possible. I know writers get barely any further than a creative consultant, but it would be good to give my suggestions in terms of character as well as costume and décor. In fact, I’d rather that. Although there are those stupid moments where important visual elements are missed, and the fans are allowed to get angry about that, having an actor/actress portray a character doing something said character would never do is the real insult, to both the character and to the reader. And, I guess, to the author, whose spent so long crafting consistency.

I know there are reasons for the inconsistency, but I couldn’t resist this meme.

I guess that’s perhaps why I’d love to act in my own adaptations. I knew, being the wrong age and all (were we to start filming now; considering that it takes years from unagented MS to film, I’d be the right age for Aidelle at that later year), I’d make a terrible Aidelle, but I have found a place for myself as one of the maids…though maybe not the vindictive one who comes back in the third book. 😉 Maybe.

To conclude this bit of my rambling (!), I’d love to help write the script – the words, not the screenplay – and provide my, ahem, wisdom with the NeoVictorian design, and add thoughts for the characterisation as it unfolds.


Of Jackets and Phones, however, is a different kettle of fish (what a bizarre idiom, by the way!). When entertaining thoughts of making my other favourite novel(s) into something-to-be-acted, I can imagine that Agnetha’s mysteries could go any way, as long as the main storyline remains intact. Whilst it probably would be too extensive in content to condense the entire trilogy into one film, I did originally conceive of Agnetha journeying from Oxford to Moscow directly, then through to London for her final third. It helped that I was, at that stage, working with half of the sequel (now 70K ish) and the first book as novella-length.

I may be offending strict-rule bibliophiles here, but OJAP could be cut in so many different ways that I don’t suppose I would much mind if the film lacked certain content. The point is that genre plays a heavy part of my personal decision as to whether I’m likely to enjoy an adaptation of a book (be it mine or another author’s).

Besides, I’m unhelpfully biased when it comes to OJAP: I still think I’d make the best Agnetha – take a couple of years, hence why compounding the trilogy into a film with the heroine as her final age of eighteen. (Though we won’t think about the ages of the actresses playing the reboot St. Trinian’s girls, for who knows how old Annabelle is supposed to be?)

In the end, I admit that I’ll never be entirely satisfied with the result of an adaptation of any of my novels, but I’d still love to be there for the final unveiling of the in-my-head-stuff into the on-the-screen-stuff.

And, if you’re wondering what answer I put when my teacher asked me what I was probably going to be doing aged 21: I put ‘unemployed’. And I hadn’t even factored in university back then!

The rest of this month’s chain. Yeah, I’m last because, you know, life. However, this gives you no excuse not to (have) read the other posts.

5th –

6th –

7th –

8th –

9th –

10th –

11th –

12th –

13th –

14th –

15th –

16th –

17th –

18th –

19th –

20th –

21st –

22nd –

23rd –

24th –

25th –

26th –

27th – <you are here>

28th – – The topic for July’s blog chain will be announced.

From the Log of the Social Sec: Quidditch is Getting Serious

Or: how Quidditch tournaments are actually dangerous


I know I talk a lot about how fun Quidditch is, but, like any sport, it’s not without its injuries.

Rough game, Quidditch.

Brutal, but no one’s died in years. Someone will vanish occasionally, but they’ll turn up in a month or two!

Okay, not that bad, Weaselys, but still…

The Valentine’s Cup definitely had one broken nose (enough to need surgical restructuring) amongst various other severities, losses of consciousness, and possibilities of a broken rib. Dangerous. Being a combination of rugby, amongst other sports, Quidditch is bound to have some tackle injuries as aggressive players advance. Luckily, yesterday’s Whiteknights Annual tournament (for which I hosted and plotted and planned the social, hence the slight radio silence and general lack of inspired posts) at my campus – #BEQUIDDITCH – only led to one extended stoppage of gameplay to call the St. John’s Ambulance team over. And, even then, one of the teams forfeited their win of the game (which would have sent them into the final) as a kind of apology over the injuries caused.

I cannot say what it is exactly about Quidditch that comes with sending people to the floor. I myself have some patterns of bruises from the tackling. One takes the Quaffle, tucks it under one’s arms, but, before one can score, one has to dart around or shove through the defensive chasers. I’ve clung onto an opposing Chaser in Possession, only to be dragged along the grass because neither of us are going to let go.  Physics takes hold and momentum fights gravity. I end up rolling onto the ground: I’ve lost my grip on the Quaffle.

In contrast, I can have the Quaffle, only for opposing Chasers to pounce. I must hug myself over the ball, but face the stranglehold of the others.

I’ll admit it sounds overly-dramatic, but one mustn’t forget that Quidditch isn’t as easy as kicking off from the ground. Then again, Neville Longbottom didn’t take to flying. I myself would find flying via broom in the air disturbing. So every sort and version of the sport has a downside.

Speaking of the brooms… We lose them excessively, too. Brooms break. We lost four brooms yesterday in a variety of matches: three of ours and a guest broom. This is mainly due to the rolling or passing other players. PVC brooms are malleable under alternate pressure.

But these things happen. People get hurt and equipment gets broken. That’s one way of knowing how real Quidditch is.

Brant power activate! Reading v Southampton (who also play in red, hence the black kit) Photo credit: Stacey Thripp

Also, in case you’re wondering: whilst Southampton won the Whiteknights Tournament, the Reading Rocs, my own team, came third, out of the eight competing teams (we had Edinburgh down for the night, which was very exciting)! For this, I am so proud – Southampton, as you can see, were the toughest of competitors, the sneakiest of games, but compared to the >100:10 to them with their Snitch Catch during the British Quidditch Cup in November, we’ve improved so SO much. 50:30 to Southampton, but we caught the Snitch this time and our defence…it was awesome!

Anyway, Social Secretary out. 🙂

Guarding the hoops in the Reading v Southampton game. Photo credit: Matthew Gooch