Slowing Down

I think it’s important every now and then to slow down. I think it’s okay to look at the way you’re spending your time and think about if there’s anything you’d like to change. If you’re not enjoying something right now, and it’s something you’re able to change, it might be worth doing so.

I love writing this blog. It’s given me a space to clear my head, to share my thoughts, and even though I don’t have the biggest follower count I love hearing the messages from friends and readers telling me that something I wrote struck a chord with them or they agreed or it made them think or made them happy. I don’t want to stop writing this blog.

Unfortunately, lately I’ve been feeling a little… stumped. A little short on time. Trying to force out two blog posts a week (which, I know, is a lot less than many other bloggers already write) isn’t working for me right now. I feel like I’m not dedicating the time I want to the things I’m writing because I simply don’t have the time to do so. I think trying to force out more posts is having an overall harmful effect on the quality of my writing. That’s why I’ve decided it’s time to make a change.

As it’s the beginning of a new year, I think it’s the perfect opportunity to mix things up. I’m going to be cutting down for a little while to one blog post a week, and it’s looking like it’s going to be on a Monday. This will give me time to properly dedicate to writing the things I want to discuss, but it also leaves me with more time to focus on my creative writing endeavours. Writing fiction is my passion and it’s fallen by the wayside a little as of late.

I’m by no means giving up on this blog. Rather, taking my break over Christmas made me realise that the more time I give myself to think, the better the quality of my blog will be. It wasn’t the longest or the fanciest post, but my last post on New Year’s Resolutions was absolutely one of my recent pieces that made me the most proud.

With so much coming up in my life over the next month, I definitely think it will be beneficial to my mental wellbeing if I feel a little bit less crowded and rushed and short on time. Cutting my blogging in half opens up a lot of extra hours!

I hope to see an improvement in the pieces I produce over the coming weeks. And this is by no means necessarily a permanent change! But right now, I think it’s the right choice.

Until next time, stay cool!

-K

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New Year’s Resolutions: Tips

Welcome back!

2018 is here at last, and after taking a week off from blogging over the holiday season I’m back and ready to kick off the New Year with a very predictable post about New Year’s resolutions.

While I realise that a post like this might have been more beneficial at the end of 2017, I personally don’t believe “New Year’s resolutions” need to be made by New Years Day to be effective, important or to… well, count. Here are some of the things I try to bear in mind when I decide to partake in the tradition of making these resolutions:

  1. Don’t Take On Too Much

There’s always a temptation to try to change absolutely everything at New Years. Lists of 10 seem nice and round and we might feel the urge to try to make as many resolutions as  can… surely that will make the coming year the best possible one, right? Well, no. At least for me, it’s a no. Starting the year off by taking on too much just seems to set me up for disappointment and guilt. It’s okay to just select one or two things you want to try to achieve – if that. If you don’t want to make New Year’s resolutions, remember that you don’t have to make any at all. It’s entirely down to whatever makes you the most comfortable and whatever you think you’ll benefit from the most.

  1. Avoid Listing Your Flaws

While we should always strive to improve ourselves, resolutions don’t necessarily have to be about “fixing” what you think is wrong with yourself. Resolutions don’t have to be getting rid of bad things, but can be about adopting new good habits or hobbies. For me, forcing myself to focus on the negative aspects of myself alone can be seriously detrimental to my mental health. That being said, I definitely mean avoid focusing on flaws that really aren’t that much of a problem. If you want to make a resolution to be kinder, or not to gossip so much, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. Just make sure that your resolution is helping you to grow in some way if it is something along these lines.

  1. Start Immediately

Try to make your resolutions things that you can put into effect or adopt as soon as possible. I find that if I don’t begin something soon after deciding it, I’ll end up putting it off for way to long. For New Year’s resolutions, I try to start within the first week of January. If it’s something you can start on the first day, even better. One example of this would be working on a project you hope to have completed by the end of the year. Start as you mean to go on, and all that.

  1. …But Don’t Rush Yourself

Remember that your resolutions don’t have to be completed as soon as possible just because they’re started as soon as possible. Take as much time as you need and take satisfaction from every small step you take towards reaching your goal. You’ll learn and grow just as much on the journey (if not more) than you will by reaching the end. Don’t be disheartened if things aren’t completed or you’re not fully into the swing of things by the end of January. Hell, they don’t even have to be finished by the end of the year.

These were just a handful of my own personal tips for making New Year’s resolutions, based on my own personal experiences. Like anything else, they might not work for you. Just take your time, figure out what works for you, and make sure that whatever changes you make are changes that are positive.

To finish off, I’m going to share some of my New Year’s resolutions. I’ve found in the past that sharing my goals on here with you guys helps me stick with them.

  1. Continue my early morning dog-walks.
  2. Complete a full re-draft of A Project.
  3. Acquire a new skill: crocheting.

There are more things I hope to achieve in the next year, but I don’t think listing them all right now will be beneficial. For example, there are cosplays I will definitely be working on, so putting them on this list would be pointless. It’s not something I’ll have to make a conscious effort to do – I have a con in July and they’ll have to be done by then!

What are your tips for making New Year’s resolutions? What resolutions have you made? Do you make any at all?

Until next time, happy new year!

-K

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Christmas Eve Traditions and Plans

This is my last blog post before Christmas! The month has flown by and I feel like I haven’t stopped. I can’t wait for Christmas, but, just as much, I can’t wait for this weekend. I love Christmas Eve maybe even as much as I love Christmas. I love the excitement and anticipation, the gathering of family and the fact that everyone seems so, well, merry.

We might not get all of these things done on Christmas Eve, because we have a tendency to go with the flow, but here are a few things I hope to do this Sunday!

  1. Buffet

Growing up, we went to my nana’s for Christmas dinner, so on Christmas Eve my dad would put together a large party buffet. My cousins would come over and we would have ourselves a little Christmas Eve party. This year, the original plan was for my sister and her partner to come over, to all go and visit my nana together and then come back to my house for the party. Now, since we’re having Christmas dinner at my house this year, the plan seems to have changed to all going to my nana’s together and having the party there. I’m very excited because I know there are some fancy cheeses going, and I love a cheeseboard.

  1. Board games

We are definitely a board games family. We often play scrabble and trivial pursuit, and I know my sister has bought a few new board games for us to play. Growing up I loved playing board games (especially Cluedo, which was and is my favourite) and playing them with a big group is even better… so long as no one cheats. I’m looking forward to the excitement, the (happy) shouting and the healthy dose of competition.

  1. Films

I have put in my request already for the whole family to gather together to watch It’s A Wonderful Life. My sister wasn’t so keen on the idea, but I put my foot down (“I never get to choose the family activity!”). I’ve only actually ever seen it once but it’s such a beautiful story that really emphasises the massive importance of even the smallest lives. I’m absolutely desperate for us all to watch it while the fairy lights twinkle around us.

  1. New pyjamas

This is something that’s definitely going to happen, but I wanted to include it anyway because it’s one of my favourite Christmas Eve traditions. Taking a nice long bath and then putting on brand new, warm, snuggly Christmas pyjamas to wear until most probably early afternoon on Christmas day is one of my favourite traditions and something I know most of my friends partake in. I don’t actually know if this is a universal thing or not, so I would be interested to hear from the rest of you!

What are your favourite Christmas Eve traditions?

Until next time, happy holidays!

-K

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Birthday Un-Wrapped

This weekend was my 23rd birthday! It was a mostly uneventful birthday, but I still had a lovely time. I thought today I would just do a quick round-up of the gifts I received. I don’t have pictures of all of them and I’ve lost the daylight, so I’m going to be super lazy and just use the images I took for Instagram.

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The first gift I received was this Star Wars Crochet set from my sister and her partner. She gave it to me a couple of days before my birthday because I wasn’t going to see her and I’m so excited to learn to make everyone! I’ve already started practicing crocheting in rounds with some wool I already had, but the set comes with enough materials to make a Yoda and a Stormtrooper toy. I’m very excited to learn to make little friends.

My younger sister gave me this Batman Lego Set which I built today. It includes a tiny Batman, Joker, balloon escape kit (for Joker) and an overly complicated bomb. They were all really fun to build (although every piece of Batman was in a different bag so I had to open every single bag to build him, which is why I ended up building the whole set. She also gave me this beautiful copy of Grimm’s Fairy Tales. It’s absolutely gorgeous and has gold-stained edges. I love fairy tales and I’m super excited to read it and have it on my bookshelf. I also got a bag of sweets from her. They’re swizzels, which are my favourite sweets, so I love that.

From my parents I got these adorable raccoon bag and purse set. I needed a bigger handbag because I’ve been using one of my sister’s  because the only handbag I own is tiny, and I love the matching purse. I immediately switched to them. They’re fuzzy and soft and I love them. My parents also got me a new parka coat because I’ve been borrowing my sister’s. I don’t have a photo of that, but it’s warm and I love it.

The stickers (Kirishima and Bakugo from My Hero Academia and Jason Todd from DC comics) are from my partner, as is my Superman necklace. She has a matching Bat symbol necklace. I’m going to wear this every day, and I love the stickers which will definitely be bluetacked up somewhere because I’m way too fickle to permanently decide where to stick them.

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The Kermit the Frog mug is from my partner’s mum, because I don’t have a mug in their house since my last one broke. I absolutely adore it and I can’t wait to have thousands of cups of tea with my BFF (best frog friend).

On top of all these wonderful gifts I also got some chocolates and such and some amazing birthday cards. I know some friends have gifts for me but haven’t had a chance to give them to me yet, so I’m really excited to see what they are!

But now I’m just really excited for Christmas so I can give all of these wonderful people wonderful gifts in return.

What’s your favourite birthday gift that you’ve ever received?

-K

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Enjoying The Cold

Cold weather isn’t great. I understand that for a lot of people it can be not only uncomfortable, but dangerous or harmful. However, I’m lucky enough to live in a house where I can stay warm, and although sometimes the temptation is to moan about how icy it is outside, I thought that today I would talk about three reasons to enjoy or make the most out of the cold, winter weather.

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  1. Winter fashion

I’m not fashionable. I wear the same standard outfit pretty much every single day (jeans, T-shirt and plaid shirt) and just rotate through a handful of each element. The biggest change for me in winter, fashion-wise, is the way I dress to go outside.

I love wearing my beanie, and over summer it was too warm. When the cold weather hit I put off wearing it for a while because I wasn’t sure if it still suited me, but as soon as I put it on I realised that I love being a beanie person. On top of that, I’ve started to wear my grey infinity scarf every single day, and I’ve been stealing my sister’s coats (to be fair, my warm duffel coat is currently covered in hair from my other sister’s malamute and I haven’t had a chance to get the clothes brush at it!) and I love how warm and wintery it feels. I wear my converse to the hospital in the mornings because they’re easy to change out of quickly, but any other time I go out I’ve been wearing a pair of heavy boots. Not the burgundy ones I wore so much last year, but a pair of black ones that I originally borrowed off my partner for a cosplay and liked so much I sort of stole… it’s fine, I’ve given her a bobble hat in return until she eventually takes them back!

Fashion is not my forte, but it’s nice to actually feel good in the way I look and apparently for me that means hiding in layers of winter warmth.

  1. Outside storage

I don’t know if this is weird, but we don’t have much space in our kitchen and we buy bottled water in bulk every so often, and because it’s so cold it means that we can leave the bottles in the space outside the kitchen and they stay cold. Considering how much extra food there is in the kitchen around Christmas, being able to save just a little bit of space makes all the difference! And it’s so much more refreshing to get a nice fresh bottle of cold water than keeping the crate in the house – especially considering we’re trying to keep our house nice and toasty for now!

  1. It’s pretty

I went out into my back garden the other morning because I was peering out and noticed that the frost had settled onto the few roses still clinging to life in our garden. I grabbed my camera, went out in my Kermit pyjamas and dressing gown and snapped a few pictures (see top of post for my favourite!). I’m by no means a good or even decent photographer, but it was too pretty to pass up. Now the frost and snow has passed and it’s rainy again and I’m so glad I took photos when I did.

It’s pretty, and I’m lucky enough that I get a chance to see the beauty in the cold, so I’m definitely going to make the most of it.

By no means an exhaustive list, those are some reasons I’m trying to stay happy in the frosty weather.  What parts of the wintry weather do you enjoy?

Until next time, stay cool.

-K

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A Christmas Outing

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Despite the fact that the snowfall seems to be almost constant in Liverpool, it has not stuck. Sure, patches of grass that don’t get much sunlight still have a spattering of frost, but mostly it’s just been wet and cold. I’m a little disappointed – especially considering the weather is still so bad anyway that I had to miss an appointment this morning. It might as well be snowy. But, nevertheless, I’m enjoying listening to Christmas music and watching it fall.

It’s pretty obvious by now that I love the Christmas season, but it’s not easy. Money is tight and everyone is busy all the time, so it’s hard to actually find the time to squeeze in festive fun. I did manage it this weekend, though. I bought myself a new Christmas jumper (it’s from asda and it has a bell on it) and on Saturday I popped down to Birmingham for the day to meet some friends before Christmas.

Birmingham has been hit badly by the snow, and as we were pulling into the station you could see it getting thicker. Luckily, the city centre itself was free from it and easy to manoeuvre around, and it wasn’t so bad as to affect our trains.

This is the second time that I’ve visited the German market in Birmingham at Christmas. It was far bigger than I remembered. I adore our Christmas markets in Liverpool, but it’s somewhat small. I didn’t know where to put my eyes in Birmingham. The stalls were overflowing with trinkets of metal and wood, candles and lamps, hats and scarves and gloves. The air was full of the smells of hot, delicious food. We treated ourselves to some pretzels (I had a cinnamon and sugar one myself) and wandered around a little in the day time, and then more so at night.

At night, all of the Christmas lights looked amazing. It was absolutely booming with people, but I didn’t mind the crowd so much. I was wrapped up warm and with friends and it was wonderfully festive.

I didn’t manage to take any photos because I wasn’t thinking about getting my phone out, so you’ll just have to trust me when I tell you the market looks beautiful at night.

I know this is a very short post, but I just wanted to take a moment for myself to remember a lovely day. It’s my birthday soon, and it was lovely to actually get to spend time with my friends around it.

Where is your favourite Christmas market? Have you bought anything from a Christmas market this season?

Until next time, happy holidays!

-K

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Christmas Films I Love

Seasons greetings!

It’s dark at 4pm, I’m living in my snood, hat and gloves and the heating bill is sky-rocketing. No number of blankets is too many, no amount of tea is too much and no mince pies is probably a crime. Winter is well and truly here.

Our house is full of fairy lights and tinsel and despite how small it is we somehow have managed to fit five (5) Christmas trees around (one in the living room, one in the porch, a small one in my bedroom and two in my sister’s room). Gifts are already wrapped and waiting and my quest to turn my home into a Christmas grotto is well underway. It is the holiday season, well and truly.

Despite the fact that I’ve yet to see what I believe is a proper Christmas classic on television yet (although Deck the Halls has been on several times), I do believe it is the perfect time to binge watch all of your favourite Christmas films. If you haven’t started yet, I’d suggest popping one on at the earliest opportunity, snuggling up with a blanket and a warm drink and letting yourself feel ferociously festive.

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The films I’m about to list, in no particular order, are not necessarily the best Christmas films, but they are films I enjoy watching at this time of the year. They’re not the best, they’re not the most underrated, and it’s definitely not all of the films I love. They’re just ones I enjoy, and wanted to show a little appreciation for.

  1. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964)

This stop-motion film is my go-to version of the classic reindeer tale. It’s weird, and a little bit creepy at times (my sister and I actually refer to it as “creepy Rudolph”), but I couldn’t imagine Christmas without it. Rudolph isn’t the only misfit you meet throughout this film and there’s a lot more adventuring than in the song we all know. Rudolph and his crew of misfits (that’s where they fit in) travel around the North Pole, venturing to The Island of Misfit Toys and even ending up in the cave of the fearsome Abominable Snow Monster.

At not even an hour long, it’s an easy film to squeeze in whenever you have the chance, and for me, it wouldn’t be Christmas for me without watching it.

  1. Miracle on 34th Street (1994)

I know many people probably prefer the original 1947 version, and I enjoy that as well! But this is the version I always seem to end up watching. It’s heartbreaking at times, but it’s a wonderful story about belief. It doesn’t really matter if Kris Kringle is really Santa Claus, and it isn’t fully explained whether he is or isn’t, and that’s just how I like it.

  1. Dr Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas! (1966)

This was the first Christmas film I watched this year. I also love the Jim Carrey film, which I owned on VHS, but I do love this cartoon version, too. It’s short but still enjoyable; it’s bright and entertaining and I can’t help but to sing along.

Also, on the topic of the Grinch: last week I was on the bus when I overheard a girl on the phone to her father saying she was compared to someone and trying to remember his name. “Who’s that man? No, you know, that man. That man that stole all the presents. The man—oh yeah! The Grinch!

Something about it just made me laugh and has kept me smiling whenever I recall it.

  1. Elf (2003)

I don’t believe I’ve met a single person who doesn’t love Elf. I definitely believe it is one of the absolute best modern Christmas films and has become a Christmas staple for myself and many of my friends. After all, we all have a little bit of Buddy in us, don’t we?

  1. The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)

I mentioned in my last post that I love pretty much every retelling of A Christmas Carol. I’ve seen the films, I’ve seen it in the theatre, I… haven’t read the book yet but I’m changing that this year. However, considering my immense love for The Muppets, this is the version that’s making the list for this post.

I love listening to Gonzo retell this classic, I adore Rizzo’s endless questions as to how Gonzo knows what will happen. I love seeing Kermit as Bob Cratchit and I love Robin as Tiny Tim. I love the songs, I love Michael Caine as Scrooge, I love everything about it. It makes me cry, laugh and grin. I cannot believe I actually managed to see it in the cinema this year! It was wonderful, and it is wonderful, and I love it.

This is by no means a comprehensive list of my favourite Christmas films. There are dozens more, but these are just a handful that I wanted to mention today. Do you love or hate or not care for any of these? What are your favourites? What are your Christmas staples?

Until next time, stay merry!

-K

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Christmas Tag

After a busy weekend, I wasn’t sure what to write my blog post on for today. I’m heading out to the cinema to watch Muppets Christmas Carol in a couple of hours, and I haven’t had a chance to write anything before today (I know, I’m very poorly organised right now). However, I still wanted the first blog post of December to be a festive one. I searched around and found this Christmas Tag on Makeup Savvy, so I thought I’d kick off the festive blogging season with that! I’ll include the questions at the bottom in case anyone would like to join in.

THE CHRISTMAS TAG

  1. What is your favourite Christmas Movie/s?

This is a tough one, because there’s a handful. I love the 1964 version of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, which I watch with my older sister annually (we’re actually going to watch it tomorrow). I love Miracle on 34th Street even though it makes me cry. I love several versions of A Christmas Carol. Since I’m going to see it tonight, and since the Muppets are so special to me, for now I’ll say Muppets Christmas Carol, but honestly there are so many good Christmas films that I really couldn’t narrow it down to just one.

  1. Do you open your presents on Christmas Eve or Christmas morning?

Christmas morning. We used to get up at 7am and all open them together. Now we’re all older, we tend to sleep in a little longer.

  1. Do you have a favourite Christmas memory?

No single memory jumps to mind. I love Christmas every single year. Every Christmas is my favourite.

  1. Favourite festive food?

Growing up I didn’t much care for mince pies, but in the last few years I’ve started to love them. They taste like Christmas.

  1. Favourite Christmas gift?

I don’t have one. If I had to choose, it would probably be the Red Hood figurine my partner gifted to me a couple of years ago. Jason Todd is one of my absolute favourite characters and he’s a beautiful figure.

  1. Favourite Christmas scent?

I like warm scents, so cinnamon scents are some of my favourites. I have a candle that smells like a snuggly sweater, too. I’m not sure what the specific scents are, but I love it and I’ve waited until winter to burn it.

  1. Do you have any Christmas Eve traditions?

My family usually gets together for a buffet because we usually eat Christmas dinner at my grandparents’ house, but we won’t be doing that this year because my dad is cooking our Christmas dinner instead. I think the plan is just to all hang out and watch Christmas films together.

  1. What tops your tree?

Growing up it was an angel with red/bronze curly hair, but in recent years we’ve switched to a star. This year it’s a lovely silver one. I put it on top of the tree this year.

  1. As a kid what was the one (crazy, wild, extravagant) gift you always asked for but never received?

I always wanted a cat and I never got one. Also, a loft conversion so I could have my own bedroom.

  1. What’s the best part about Christmas for you?

People are happy and kind to each other. Everyone is buying things but they’re all for other people. Everything sparkles and shines and people are, for the most part, more willing to open their hearts to others. I just think it’s nice. It’s my favourite time of year.

If you want to do this tag, I’ve included the questions below. Until next time, stay cool!

-K

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[COPY THE QUESTIONS]

  1. What is your favourite Christmas Movie/s?
  2. Do you open your presents on Christmas Eve or Christmas morning?
  3. Do you have a favourite Christmas memory?
  4. Favourite festive food?
  5. Favourite Christmas gift?
  6. Favourite Christmas scent?
  7. Do you have any Christmas Eve traditions?
    8. What tops your tree?
    9. As a kid what was the one (crazy, wild, extravagant) gift you always asked for but never received?
    10. What’s the best part about Christmas for you?

 

 

November Wrap-Up // December Plans

It’s the last day of November!

It’s going to be a short blog post today. I’m not feeling too hot, and I have a lot to do today because I’m going to be away over the weekend. This post is going to double as a November wrap-up post and a December plans post.

Part I: November Wrap-Up

At the start of November, I planned to partake in NaNoWriMo. I’ve won the challenge before, and was looking forward to doing it again. However, after a couple of days I realised I hadn’t done sufficient planning and I was unhappy with forcing myself to write 2,000 words a day when I knew I’d only end up scrapping the work and starting over at a later date. I decided it made more sense to use November for planning and getting to know my characters and their motivations a little better.

All of my shopping this month has been on Christmas presents, so I can’t tell you what I’ve been buying this month (and honestly, I don’t think you would care. I don’t buy interesting things). I am very excited to be unapologetically Christmassy for the whole of December, though. I’m actually going to put up my small Christmas tree in my bedroom today so it’ll be Christmas when I get back from my trip this weekend!

I’ve been binge-watching some old shows, but Peaky Blinders season 4 has begun and I’m loving that so far, too. If you haven’t watched Peaky Blinders and you don’t mind violence in your television, then I would highly recommend it. It’s one of the most well-written and beautifully shot TV shows I’ve watched in a long time.

November hasn’t been the most exciting month. It’s mostly been me preparing for next month. Speaking of which…

Part II: December Plans

There are four Mondays and four Thursdays in December. That means eight blog posts. I had toyed with the idea of partaking in Blogmas but decided not to commit to anything I wasn’t certain I would be able to stick to. I have a lot of plans for blog posts for the holiday season, so I hope you’ll stick with me.

Planned posts include baking adventures, favourite Christmas films and playlists, book reviews and maybe even some creative Christmas pieces. It’s my favourite time of year so I’m all in.

I’m excited to read everyone else’s holiday posts and to learn about everyone’s winter traditions. Are you excited for the holiday season, or dreading it?

Until next time, stay merry!

-K

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pannCREATIVE: Mortified, Archie. Mortified.

It wasn’t a particularly cold day. It was autumn, and it was a little windier than the last few days had been, so I had donned my large blue duffel coat instead of my denim jacket. I felt a little frumpier, but it didn’t matter just to take the dog for a walk – I didn’t care what people around the village thought of my appearance, anyway. I probably wouldn’t even see anyone.

We did our usual lap around the familiar streets. Every time he wanted to stop and sniff we would stop and he would sniff. I tried not to rush him – my podcast was keeping me entertained, and the longer we stayed outside the more I could listen. Like I had predicted, the streets were almost empty at this hour in the morning, so save for the odd car we were mostly alone. We preferred it that way.

To my relief, the rain stayed away, and when we rounded off the main road and onto a side close of houses I reached down and took the slip lead from around his neck. He was good at walking off lead, usually staying near me and if ever he did stray too far ahead he would turn and wait for me to catch up. We would be home in less than three minutes by our usual schedule, and since there were no more roads left to cross I thought he deserved a little more freedom.

He was already getting tired, so he walked a little behind me. He usually did this even if his lead was on at this point in our walk, so I didn’t think much of it. I carried on the ten or so feet to the end of the close and turned around to call him when I realised he had fallen some way behind.

He was sniffing around a gate, so I patted my thigh, called his name and told him to come on. He would normally run up to my side, but today he didn’t. I called him again, and he ignored me, and then I noticed that the gate he was sniffing was open.

“Oh no,” I thought. “I can’t let him wander into people’s gardens. I better go get him.”

I started to walk towards him, and seemingly at the sound of my footsteps he decided to make his move and trotted into the paved garden. I glanced from him to the door of the house, and my heart leapt into my throat.

The front door was open.

This usually would not have bothered me. Like I’ve said, he was usually well behaved, but his ignorance just now had me worried. I sped up, and as I began to jog towards him he followed suit and trotted faster.

I can still see it so clearly.

Seemingly without a care in the world, he leapt through that open door.

With no time to think, I ran in after him. There was a man standing in the hall painting his wall despite the fact that a scruffy black animal had just swanned into his home like he owned the place. I blurted apology after apology to him as I lunged past and grabbed my dog by his collar, stopping him on his way into the poor man’s kitchen.

“I’m sorry!” I told the man, who just smiled at me. “I don’t know why he’s doing this! I’m so sorry! I’m so sorry!”

I threw the dog out into the front garden, still calling countless apologies to the man in the house. He never spoke – just smiled. I slipped the lead back around the dog’s neck and pulled him down the street.

“I am mortified,” I hissed at him. “I am mortified.”

As it turns out, the man in the house had only just moved in. The previous homeowners were friends of my parents, and my dog had been to visit them before. Apparently, that day he’d decided to pop round and visit them by himself.

I don’t walk him off lead when we pass that house any more.