Book Review | Little Deaths by Emma Flint

Emma Flint - book

For fans of: Netflix’s Amanda Knox Documentary, The Girl on the Train, Gone Girl, Annalise Keating in How to Get Away With Murder


I read this book in one afternoon, only taking minimal snack breaks in between. Unfortunately this does not mean that it was so gripping that I could not put it down but it had more to do with my own personal approach to crime novels. I need to consume and digest them in one go or else I get too scared or too engrossed in them and cannot sleep for several nights. As you might have gathered, I am not the biggest crime fiction reader, but this book caught my eye when I found it in Foyles back in January just after I had binged a couple of True Crime podcasts so I was in the mood for something similar.

If you expect a straight forward crime narrative, this might not be the one for you. Continue reading “Book Review | Little Deaths by Emma Flint”

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When it’s all a bit too much.

I just got back from a MA dissertation talk and frankly I don’t remember a time in my life when I had this much stuff on my To Do list for the foreseeable future. Only having 2 weeks left for me to come up with a topic I want to spend 5 months writing on is not my ideal scenario. On top of that, I am worried about money and my lack thereof, need to write a 2000-5000 word creative piece for next Monday, catch up on the uni workload I missed while I was doing my internship, and am overall obsessing about how to be the best and most productive I can be when it comes to my own personal goals.

As I often feel paralysed because of all these thoughts weighing down on my mind, I have developed some little ways in which I manage to regain some of my mental wellbeing.

  1. Be productive in a different way. Baking always works for me when I feel stuck with other projects, as the process of baking can be a creative substitute to other things you cannot quite finish. There is a immediate result to baking, or cooking for that matter, which can be incredibly satisfying when you’ve spent your day indoors struggling with finding an end note to an essay you’re writing, or have binged a whole season of a Netflix original show and want to conclude your day feeling like you accomplished something. Getting to then eat your accomplishment makes it all even better.
  2. Go grocery shopping. When I feel down and need a little pick me up, I grab one of my many tote bags, get the next bus into town and roam the aisles of my local supermarket. Surrounded by so many potential ingredients for my next meal, I get excited and am more likely to cook something new instead of reverting back to the old pasta, cream and cheese combo every night. Sometimes I leave the shop with just a small thing, but the act of getting out of the house was enough to make me feel more energised.
  3. On the subject of treating yourself to something small, GO BUY YOURSELF SOME FLOWERS. In my book, they never fail to cheer me up. As a bonus, the prospect of flowers in my room also makes me wanna tidy up so that my bedroom looks like a beauty blogger is about to film a Room Tour video.
  4. Keep a diary. For years I’ve been keeping up and struggling to keep up a diary where I jot down my thoughts as regularly as possible. Given I am obsessed with remembering every little thing that ever happened in my life, writing things down helps so I can free the space in my head occupied by all those memories I don’t wanna let go of. Once they’re on the page, I can prioritise thinking about other things.
  5. If you’re creatively stuck, read about people that inspire you, read books that make you happy, watch interviews or talks by actors/activists/youtubers you admire, meet up with a friend who always ends up making you think about things differently, someone you end up discussing the smallest and largest things with, someone that gives you energy. My favourite thing to do, when I feel like nothing’s quite grasping my attention, is to flick through some more artsy independent magazines, or zines. The best place to get them in Brighton is by going to Magazine Brighton on Trafalgar Street, just down from the station. They have a great variety of different topics, art, literature, lifestyle, film, food being the categories I’m most intrigued by. You can see my most recent purchases from there below. I might do a little review on them some other time.

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Romanticised ramblings of a twenty-something, or a love letter to ambition

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As I stand in the little kitchen of an old Victorian factory-turned-office building, scooping the remnants of coffee beans out of the bottom of a cafetière, panic overcomes me. I know now more than ever, that what I want to do in life is talk about books and get people to read them and rush off busy trains holding a cup of hot tea and a paperback under my arm. I want to walk around London at 5.30 in the evening when everyone’s concluding their work day by huddling in front of overcrowded pubs with a pint in their hands or hoping that that one pair of TopShop boots which made them feel like their 10 hour day was worth it really is still in store as they’re making their way to Oxford Circus. I want to feel like I’m part of something.

Arguably, that ‘something’ is a romanticised capitalist fantasy of a twenty-something anyone above 30 will sneer at,  but it’s my fantasy nonetheless. There is an irony in realising what you want to do with your life. On the one hand, there’s the moment you fall in butterfly-inducing electric love with an idea/a career, a ‘Finally, this feels right’ instant when relief sets in because for the first time you know for certain what it is that you want to do.  On the other hand, there’s the fear that shrinks your nails, the voice in the back of your mind, the chorus of many conversations you have with your parents: that you might never get what you want.

The past week I had the chance to dip my feet into publishing. Jumping at the chance to get an insight into the industry, I responded to a tweet advertising an internship place that became available last minute at an independent publishing house in London. A day and an email exchange later, I was rummaging through my closet on the lookout for anything that would qualify  as or slightly resemble ‘smart/casual’, only realising that I had in fact not even a single pair of tights without holes in them. Thankfully, after making the mistake of wearing heels to work on my first day without bringing any backup flats, the office dress code turned out to be more nice jumpers and dark jeans than dresses and blazers.

Suffering from a strong case of impostor syndrome and generally expecting that everyone will eventually get sick of me, I was surprised that I got through my first day without embarrassing myself. (That is if we ignore the fact that I did get stuck between two locked doors at one point waiting for someone to appear to release me, and also had to ask someone random to help me find my way out of the building.)

Anyway, while there are so many little fragments and details I want to note down about this internship so far, tips I’ve picked up, tasks that might make a future employer not just throw away my CV at first glance, free books (!!), what I’m really trying to say here is, for the first time I feel like a path that is presented to me as a possibility doesn’t fill me with dread but makes me want to work so much harder and inspires me.

When I pointed out how excited I was about the fact that I can see the towering tops of the Central London buildings in the distance from my little desk, someone in the office said jokingly: ‘I know, it’s almost like we work in London’. And yes, it was almost like I work in London. And although that desk will be someone else’s in a week, their heart picking up its pace as they are glancing out the window, catching a glimpse of the Gherkin in the grey sky on a foggy day, I got a taste of what it all could be. And that is enough. That is enough for me to try. I want to be more driven, more creative, braver.  I want to try. Because I will never forgive myself if I don’t even allow myself the chance to maybe, possibly get what I want.

Creating a space of my own

I have moved into my flat over a month ago, but as I started work the same time, I have not had much time and energy to properly make my studio my own. The last two days, I got some decorative knick knacks after work, having decided it’s best to gradually find things I like and my flat come together more naturally than setting a tone or style and getting all at once. It seems less forced this way, more me.

Making my way through the North Laine every day on my way to and from work, I have walked past two shops many times, mistakingly assuming they were out of my price range. One of them is Yaba Yard, the other one Oliver Bonas. 

Today I decided to actually cross the treshold and have a look at their products. Both shops sell a range of clothing items, home decor and accessories.

While Oliver Bonas is more on the quirky side, with polka dotted dresses and sticking to the trend with loads of rose gold and brass pieces, Yaba Yard has more of a eco-chic vibe, most of their clothes varying in earth tone colours. They all have a nice selection of candles, but I chose to give soy candles a go as I’ve heard many good things about them.

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Then I got this little photo frame with a cute pattern on it looking a little bit damaged, just like its owner, most days.

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I also got this little tea light holder glass with a copper detail at the bottom so that I won’t burn down my place whenever I light a candle.

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And just as a little luxury, I got this hand wash as I had just run out of my Sainsburys Brand one.

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I highly recommend both of these shops for anyone that is looking for a little accessory for their flat, or has just recently moved. They are very affordable and a lovely range of products. Go and have a look, they’re both just steps away from each other in Bond Street.

Yaba Yard: www.jabayard.com

Oliver Bonas: www.oliverbonas.com

I am still struggling to make my flat a home, but I will keep you updated about it. Step One: Finally get rid of those last few cardboard boxes!

Mind snippets

So here’s what been on my mind in no particular order:

  • I need more work dresses. Where does one get them from? Advice needed.
  • This morning I got a free hot chocolate from Costa because their system update was taking too long and I couldn’t pay by card. Sometimes, little things make your day.
  • I love walking through the North Laine in the morning and then on my way back from work. Our routines have aligned, as I see the shop shutters open, the displays being arranged, the windows being cleaned, while I walk to work, holding onto my hot chocolate for comfort, anticipating to see the shops close later in the day, as it marks the end of my work shift and the rush of being done for the day.
  • I even saw a man water the flower pots hanging from the lamp post. I now know how they do that. I would not have known had I not walked past in the morning. I am probably too excited about this.
  • I am becoming a morning person. Two weekends ago, I was up at 9 am making pancakes and getting orange juice just in time for my boyfriend to wake up.
  • I cannot wait for autumn. Get me the rain boots, hot beverages, chunky scarves and pumpkins.

Summer rain & other stories

Yesterday Facebook reminded me of last summer. A little notification showing past me, posing awkwardly in front of the Sydney harbour Bridge after I had asked a passerby to take a photo of me. Last July I was seeking refuge from Brighton arguably in an exaggerated manner by traveling to the opposite side of the planet. This year, I have made myself a nest in this seaside town, a nest I am not willing to give up any time soon. Last year found me coping with the concept of being alone, and this July I find myself alone again, just in a very different way. I have moved into a new flat, my first time living by myself and so far, I have enjoyed every part of it. I have my own fridge, and kitchen cupboards don’t need to be shared, and I even have a bathtub. If you’re wondering, the only reason why I was able to afford this little flat of mine, is because it is opposite a club. But that, really, is a small price to pay. I quite enjoy the noise at night, it’s comforting, at least to me.

This July has been a mile stone month. I have graduated from university (temporarily), am officially a BA of Arts in English Literature, but have yet to become anything close to being well-read. I have started my first graduate job, and while it is only until October, it definitely feels like a grown up job, much different from anything I have done before. As much as I find it draining to lose a big chunk of my day doing something completely outside of my own personal agenda, I have started to enjoy the little attachments that work entails. I finally have a Friday feeling again, and let me tell you, it is amazing. This is only beaten by pay day, which truly is magical.

Today I had a semi-draining work day, and when I finally left my desk at 5.30, it started pouring down rain. Now there is not a lot I love more than summer rain, and therefore I decided that any efforts to cover up were pointless (as I had left my umbrella at home due to the misleading blue skies this morning) and I just let the rain drench my feet, and curl up that perfectly blow dried hair from the hairdressers two days ago. And as I made my way back to my flat, walking through the North Laine as the shops began to close, a smile formed on my face. Because although I am exhausted from work most days, and summer feels a little less like summer due to the lack of free time, I managed to actually stay in Brighton over the summer. I managed to get a job and a flat, two things I was worrying about a mere month ago, and I am here, I am here, I am here. And it feels so good.

Update: Upgrade?

Hey cats,

I have not made a lot of time for blogging, or really spending time on the internet lately, as the past weeks have been incredibly hectic. But here’s a little run down of what I have done in the past 2 weeks or so:

  • I have had my first job interview and got the job. Yes, beginner’s luck.
  • Moved into my flat that I will be living at all by myself. Ahhh. It all went well on moving day and I am really really happy with it so far. I did not have time to unpack properly yet as I started my job straight away, but it’s slowly coming together. Now I just need to name it. We got prosecco to celebrate.

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  • I have graduated, with cap and gown and awkward unflattering photos.

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  • I have done the meet-the-parents thing with my boyfriend, and let me tell you, it’s much less scary than ‘Meet The Fockers’ made me believe.
  • After planning to have a year off from academia and gaining some work experience for a year, I have now decided to go on to study a Masters at university this coming September after all. Things happen. Risks of tuition fees rising. Undeniably helpful scholarships. And there I am applying to Sussex to read English once again. My course will most likely be in Modern and Contemporary Literature, predominantly American writers if I get the modules I am interested in. Fingers crossed.

Everything is going pretty well, and I’m trying not to let that scare me. I hope you have the best time and thanks for taking the time to read this tiny little fragmentary account of my life.