Where'd I Leave It Wednesday

Where’d I leave It Wednesday – Garden In My Bedroom

Happy Wednesday bookish people! It is that time again where I tell you about one of my experiences that may or may not be funny. Today I’m doing something a bit different, usually I just write out the story but one of the modules on my University course was Creative Non-fiction where I wrote a few pieces about my experiences. This story is about how my cane picks up leaves. I hope you enjoy it!

I have more leaves gathered in my bedroom than there are in the park that is just beyond my front door. I’m not a collector in any way. Well, I am when it comes to books and pin badges, but definitely not leaves. They sit on my purple carpet, crinkling in agony when I walk over them. Most of them are torn. Flakes of brown and orange strewn around the floor. A friend of mine asked me if I’d spilt a box of Cornflakes and not picked them up. I told her it wasn’t but at that time we were already running late and I couldn’t explain that actually it was the corpses of leaves. I’m not sure that is any less weird.

They get impaled on my cane, like meat on a skewer. I can walk along the street just fine. Well, it’s a different matter entirely when I come across a pile of leaves. By the time I get home there are so many of them, twirling around my cane like orange pole dancers, I barely notice them anymore. They have become part of my room; it would be strange to get rid of them now. “You should hoover them up” I’ve been told by many people before. I can’t bring myself to do it. The leaf that is still green got stuck to the bottom of the cane when I walked through a particularly deep puddle of leaves. It got dragged with me for miles and now it lives on my bedroom floor. The least I can do is provide good hospitality. It’s not as bad as it sounds. My carpet isn’t completely filled with leaves, I leave most of them outside the house when I shake off the cane in the same way as you would an umbrella after closing it.

Picking up leaves isn’t the only thing that happens when I use my cane outside. I usually find that there are two different types of people that notice me on the street. There are the ones who ignore the cane and continue to walk towards me; I enjoy the look of surprise on their face when I don’t move either. Their shoulder will bump into mine; it will be knocked backwards but my legs will remain strong, unmoving in the slippery pavements. They all do the same thing. They turn, mouths open and begin to say “look where you’re going” but they stop when they notice that I’m Visually Impaired. The irony of it always amuses me.

Then there is the second group of people, the ‘helpful’ ones. If a person offers me help and I need it then I will be thankful for the assistance. However, some people don’t ask before ‘helping’. I must have an expression that screams help me. The one I remember most vividly was on a cold day, it must have been Autumn because the air was cold and the metal of my cane had been turning my fingers red as I held onto it tightly. The leaves had already begun falling. They were cutting into my skin like cat’s claws on a scratching post, climbing up my boots higher and higher. I was stood at a crossing, waiting for the man to turn from red to green as I usually do. I can’t tell when there is a space to cross between cars so I wait for the green man. There is a cone on the bottom of the Pelican crossing control panel where I press the button. If I put my finger on it and wait when it turns green the cone spins. It’s useful for sunny days when I can’t see the colours of the man.

Anyway, returning to the strange incident I remember. I was stood there waiting, rolling the ball on the bottom of my cane over the bumps by the edge of the road, when I felt a hand on my arm. It pulled gently and I moved with it. My feet stumbling over each other past the pavement on the other side and across another crossing, then another and then another all at once. I didn’t have the chance to look at who was pulling on me until they stopped walking and let go. I caught my breath while looking at them. It was a lady, if I had to guess she was probably around sixty years old, and she was smiling at me. I knew I had to be polite so I said thank you and watched her walk away down the street. She was only trying to be nice is what I told myself as I slowly moved back to the crossing that the lady had just walked me across. If she had given me a chance to talk, I would have been able to tell her that I had only wanted to get across the first crossing and not the three subsequent ones.

Things like this happen to me more frequently than I would like to admit. Once I reached the street that I had originally intended I looked down at my feet. There, lounging peacefully were clumps of leaves. They were red and orange and yellow. I shook my feet forcefully. Most of the leaves spun away, dancing across the paving stones without partners. Some lay at my feet, as lifeless as if I had killed them. They were submerged in puddles of water, reflecting the colours like a spilt paint box. Curling, closing themselves up into small orange cylinders, like orange Wotsits drowning in the puddles underneath my feet. Of course, they didn’t all extract themselves from me. I carried stowaways under my boots, which I didn’t realise until I reached my house. I carefully peeled them from my soles and let them drift to the purple carpet. Becoming part of the garden in my bedroom.

That’s the end of today’s story, let me know if you liked this style or not and whether you like this style or what I usually write more!

Book Tags

The Bookshelf Tag

Happy Friday bookish people! I hope everyone has nice days planned for themselves, I have some work to do for a University assignment and a transcript to write but I might be able to squeeze some reading in later. It’s been almost a week since I’ve had chance to read anything and I’m feeling the effects.

Today’s post is the Bookshelf Tag! I had a really good time answering the questions in this tag, it made me look at my bookshelf for a looong time.

  1. Describe your bookshelf and where you got it from?
    well, my room is small, like really really small. There’s enough room for my chest of drawers, my bed and a tiny walking space. That’s it. Literally my wardrobe is in the hallway so there’s no room for a bookshelf in my room. My Dad built shelves all around the walls of my room so that’s where my books are – and of course in my new book cart I got yesterday for my birthday!
  2. How do you organise your books?
    Okay, here’s something about me – I love organising, anything lists, books, documents, EVERYTHING so I change how I organise my books all the time. Currently they are split into two halves – books I’ve read in alphabetical order then moves into books I haven’t read in alphabetical order. I don’t know how long it will stay like this…
  3. What’s the longest book on your shelf?
    With 984 pages it has to be Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J Maas which I actually have two copies of

4. What’s the shortest book on your shelf?
It’s actually a book that I’m borrowing from my partner, and I have had it for many months, called The Oubliette (I think? I might even have the title wrong! oh dear…) it has under 300 pages.

5. Is there a book that you received as a birthday gift?
Well, yesterday being my birthday (I now have to remember I’m 22) so I got a few books there: I hope you’re listening by Tom Ryan, Cosy Crime Short Stories, Detective Short Stories, the Caraval Collectors Edition, the Throne Of Glass Collectors Edition, Paris by Starlight and All the Tides of Fate by Adalyn Grace. I’m very excited for all of them.

6. Is there a book from a friend on your shelf?
My friend got me Paris by Starlight for me for my birthday so I guess that counts, otherwise I actually don’t think there is. There’s lots of books that were recommended to me by my friends but none they actually got me.

7. The most expensive book on your shelf?
I have a beautiful version of Les Miserables by Victor Hugo with gold page edges and it’s so nice I don’t let anyone touch it. I’m not sure exactly how much it cost but I think it was about £50…

8. The last book you read on your shelf?
Ooh this was What A Way To Go by Julia Forster and I must say I did not enjoy this book very much at all.

9. Do you have a complete series?
Yes, many, but the one in particular that is coming to mind is the Stalking Jack the Ripper series by Kerri maniscalco. I LOVE this series, I’m pretty sure it’s always going to be one of my favourite series’ and also one of my top OTPs.

10. What’s the newest addition to your shelf?
The Caraval Collectors Edition. It took me ages to put it on my shelf because I didn’t want to let go of it, I love it so much. It has a chapter in Julian’s POV and it’s all I’ve ever wanted.

11. The oldest book on your shelf?
That would be Robinson Crusoe but the less said about that the better.

12. What’s a book you’d hate to let out of your sight?
All of them. If you take my books then you’re honestly risking your life.

13. Most beat up book?
I’m actually not sure, there’s an awful crack down the spine (and in my heart!) of my copy of The Cruel Prince by Holly Black.

14. Most pristine book?
All the ones I haven’t read yet, and there are many many books I haven’t read yet on my shelves…

15. A book that doesn’t belong to you?
A Deal With the Elf King by Elise Kova, it’s actually my mum’s but she keeps it on my shelf.

16. A book that is your favourite colour?
Well, my favourite colour is forest green so.. ooh the Strange Case of the Alchemists Daughter by Theodora Goss is really close to my favourite colour!

17. A book that’s been on your shelf the longest and you still haven’t read it?
Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen. I even did a module about Austen on my University course and still didn’t read it.

18. Any signed books?
I have many signed books. Where I live it’s very difficult to just go and get books signed so whenever a book I want has a signed edition to buy I’ll always choose the signed one if I can.

That’s it for today’s tag! I hope you all enjoyed it! My next post is going to be some book reviews so come back for them if you’re interested.

Uncategorized

The Kitten Escapades Part 1

Happy Sunday bookish people! I hope everyone’s weekend has been lovely. Today my story is going to be one of the (many!) things that our kitten has done – he’s a crazy ball of fluff, very curious and very mischievous. He knows what things he shouldn’t do he just does them anyway. So, I’m probably going to turn this into a series, that’s why this is part one, because he’s almost definitely going to be doing naughty things for a while yet.

We got him, I say ‘we’ – he’s my Sister’s kitten but he loves me more, in October of 2020. My Sister’s friend had a cat called Luna who had four kittens (Trigger, Rusty, Opal and Shadow) three boys and one girl. Then unfortunately Luna was hit by a car and the kittens were left motherless. My Sister and her friend then hand reared the four kittens and one of them became very attached to my Sister and we got to keep him! Now we have a black and white kitten called Shadow. He’s afraid of everything and he likes to wake up at nighttime and play with his toys that have bells on them.

So, last week I was in the bath, and it was warm and relaxing and lovely. except for the slight breeze coming through the door that has to be left ajar. Shadow doesn’t like being shut out of rooms, he cries and cries at the door if you do. He especially doesn’t like being shut out of the bathroom because he likes to curl up on the purple flower mat that we have in there. If it ever goes really quiet in the house we would probably find him asleep there on the bathroom mat. So that’s why we have to keep the bathroom door open if any of us are in the bath – well, actually my Mum and I are the only ones who keep it open because we can’t resist the cute little kitten.

I’m in the bath, the door is open, and in comes Shadow. I could hear him purring but I couldn’t see him from where I was so I assumed he was just getting comfortable and then he would go to sleep. This is not what he did. It went very quiet and again I assumed he was asleep and I’d just have to be careful not to stand on him when I got out of the bath. So I’m washing my hair and for some reason I do this with my eyes closed, don’t ask me why because honestly I have no idea. Then all of a sudden I open my eyes and a black and white blur shoots over the edge of the bath. The front half of it starts to land on the edge next to me. But then it slips. And suddenly there’s a kitten in my bath. He does not like water and as soon as he hit the water he was already trying to get out, unfortunately for him there was something in his way from doing that. My leg, it was my leg in the way because he had fallen on it and now he was scratching it in his rush to get out. He did manage to get out. I screamed, he meowed, everyone downstairs heard and he showered me in water droplets and cat hair when he was firmly on the bathroom mat again. I might start closing the door from now on…

That’s it for this story! I hope everyone enjoyed it! I’m going to be posting some book reviews today as well so come back to read those if you are interested. Also, the kittens in the picture are not mine, I wasn’t able to post a photo of my kitten for safety reason but there are going to be photos on my instagram @the_blind_scribe if you want to see him!

Book Reviews

Book Review: Peter Swanson’s Rules For Perfect Murders

I have recently finished reading Rules for Perfect Murders by Peter Swanson and I really enjoyed it, in this book review I will give star ratings for four categories and write a little about each of these. I will try to keep it as spoiler free as possible. I hope you all enjoy reading my book review!

This is a cleverly plotted, fast paced, whodunnit full of twists and secrets. It focuses on a man called Malcolm Kershaw who works at a bookstore that specializes in selling mystery/thriller books. Then he becomes involved in a murder investigation. This novel contains elements of the great Golden Age era of crime fiction like Agatha Christie yet still manages to make itself unique in both it’s premise and structure. The reader follows the POV of Malcolm, following both the present and the secrets of his past that slowly emerge throughout the novel.

Plot:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This novel is an entertaining plot that kept me guessing from the very beginning. It was well thought out and from the technical point of view every scene led into the next in a brilliant and clever way. The secrets were hinted at and clues were sprinkled throughout leading to a (in my opinion) satisfying ending. I am usually pretty good at managing to guess the ending before it happens but with this novel I had no chance, the story swept me up and so many theories were spinning around my head. That is one of the reasons I gave this novel 4 stars for plot.

Characters:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

As for characters there are a lot of them, but the main ones are Malcolm Kershaw, his two bookstore employees, FBI Agent Gwen Mulvoy, his old friend Marty Kingship and married couple Brian and Tess Murray. Although each of the characters had very defined personalities from each other for me it felt like they were lacking in some way. Malcolm, was not a very likeable character I didn’t particularly have strong feelings for or against him but I was still engaged in his story. The two bookstore employees I feel could have been developed further, they are distinct and personally I felt they were likeable – the only two characters who I felt were likeable in this novel – but they weren’t that interesting. I would have liked to have seen more of Agent Gwen Mulvey, she features more in the first half than the second half and I felt her character could have been explored better. The other three characters I didn’t find to be all that likeable either but again they were well thought out and had an impact on the story.

Dialogue and writing:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I became invested in the novel because of the dialogue in the very first scene. It helped to heighten tension when it was needed and it helped lighten the tone when the novel needed balance as well. The dialogue, or lack of from some characters, provided personality and created an image of the characters for me. The writing style was easy to navigate, it flowed well in my opinion and it didn’t feel forced in any way. That was one of the main reasons I enjoyed the novel, usually I am a fan of character driven novels rather than plot driven novels but because of Swanson’s writing style and the engaging dialogue I found myself enjoying the read.

Overall:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

So, overall I rated this novel four stars because even though I wasn’t invested in the characters I truly couldn’t put the book down, I had to know how it ended. If you enjoy novels where you aren’t sure who you can trust then I would recommend Rules For Perfect Murders by Peter Swanson. (One note I will make is that if you want to read The Red House Mystery by A A Milne, Malice Aforethought by Anthony Berkeley Cox, The A B C Murders by Agatha Christie, Double Indemnity by James M. Cain, Strangers On A Train by Patricia Highsmith, The Drowner by John D MacDonald, Deathtrap by Ira Levin or The Secret History by Donna Tartt I would recommend reading them first because Malcolm is fond of giving spoilers to these books).

Synopsis/Blurb:
Years ago Malcolm Kershaw wrote a list of his ‘Eight Favourite Murders’ for his Old Devils mystery bookshop blog. Among others it included those from Agatha Christie’s The A.B.C Murders, Patricia Highsmith’s Strangers On A Train and Donna Tartt’s The Secret History.
Now just before Christmas, Malcolm finds himself at the heart of an investigation – as an FBI Agent believes someone may be re-enacting each of the murders on his list.