Top 5 Things You Would Recommend to People

Latimer musing over her Top 5's (kawaii artwork inspired by Miss Wah)
Latimer musing over her Top 5’s (kawaii artwork inspired by Miss Wah)

Latimer: Another one of the Top 5 posts! This time, things you’d recommend to people!

This is a modified version of a series that comes from the archive of the ‘Top 5 Wednesday’ Tag. This Tag was started by Lainey on Goodreads; here’s the link if you want to check it out: Lainey!

This is a complete list of everyone partaking in the Tag if you want to check them out.

1. Adventure Time (cartoon)

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Our OC fangirls Pebble and Piccadilly are also discovering the wonders of Adventure Time!!
Our OC fangirls Pebble and Piccadilly are also discovering the wonders of Adventure Time!!

I never really understood what Adventure Time was, or why it was so popular. Now I get it. The Bravest Warriors on Cartoon Hangover was my gateway drug to Adventure Time. They were both created by Pendleton Ward (excellent name) and the guy has the most amazing, random sense of humour.

The great thing about Adventure Time is you don’t really have to understand what’s going on, you just jump in. It’s just a cartoon about a boy (Finn) and his best bud (Jake), and all the adventures they go on, filled with strange hilarious characters.

If you want to laugh, watch it!

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2. BubzBeauty (YouTube)

I like watching the beauty videos on YouTube. They give you some cool ideas for facials and make-up etc. I like Bubz videos; she’s a very cheerful person, very down to earth with some cool ideas. I particularly liked her video on simple nail art and orange facials – come on that’s excellent!

My attempt!
My attempt!

3. Smodcast (podcast/comedy)

Latimer love's Smodcast
Latimer love’s Smodcast

I got into listening to Smodcast (Kevin Smith and Scott Mosier’s podcast) via Tell Em Steve Dave, another excellent podcast run by Kevin’s childhood friends, Bryan and Walt, and recent friend Brian (also known as Q). Smodcast is such a good podcast (so is Tell Em Steve Dave) – these guys always put a smile on my face! Love them.

4. Loot Crate (loot!)

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I’ve always loved the sound of Loot Crate – monthly gift boxes filled with geek and gamer goodies – but I couldn’t get them in Ireland, so I admired them from afar for a year or so. Luckily, recently they started shipping to Ireland! So, this month I’m finally getting a Loot Crate (yeah!) – I think I’m going to love it, the past crates seem pretty amazing. 

5. Kindle (reading)

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I’m totally addicted to my Kindle now; so very addicted. It’s a fantastic way to carry all your books with you on holidays. And, in the current world of ‘I need everything now, now, now!’ – the instant delivery of a book whenever you want, well, it’s amazing.

I would have loved a Kindle when I was young – I remember how painful it was to wait for books to come into the shop – or having to search for the book, or getting it ordered in specially.

Ah, the waiting game, it’s a dying game now.

What are your top 5 recommendations at the moment?

Thinking about Who

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Latimer: I used to be a pretty big Doctor Who fan back in the David Tennant days. I really loved the show. I loved Rose and the 10th Doctor’s relationship.

I watched religiously up until Rose left; I was heartbroken, I cried (seriously cried).

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For me, for a time, Doctor Who was the best show ever. After Rose left, I hung on for a while, with Martha and Donna; then when Rose returned for a while, I was right in the thick of it again.

When David Tennant left, I bowed out of Doctor Who.

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I didn’t want you to go either!

I didn’t really understand what it meant before, but everyone has ‘their’ Doctor. When the new guy comes, you kind of get repealed, thinking ‘that’s not him, it’s not him!’, and you get annoyed when the show goes on and forgets ‘your’ doctor, and you have to leave to heal and get over the loss of a friend.

You find yourself watching the show from the side-lines and you start to get further and further away, until you’re just not watching anymore.

Then you pop back for the anniversary special. You pop back because of old friends, because of your Doctor.

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I have nothing against Matt Smith, or Amy Pond, or Clara; they just weren’t mine.

I found myself popping back out of curiosity, for the new Doctor’s appearance this weekend. And, I really felt for the 11th Doctor’s generation of Whovians.

The whole first episode was about coming to terms with the new Doctor, who is older and Scottish. I didn’t understand why they picked such an older actor, but I assumed they had their reasons. I didn’t feel strongly about the decision, just curious to why they’d shifted so much.

The first episode seemed to be all about making Clara feel bad for not liking the new Doctor because he was older. And it felt a bit like Clara was representing the audience in a sense. But last time, I couldn’t jump on board with Matt Smith, because he wasn’t my Doctor (regardless of his youth and attractiveness).

But well, Capaldi seems like he’ll be an interesting Doctor, he’s more brooding and intense than the other Doctors seemed to be. It looks like the character is potentially getting darker, which is interesting.

I do still feel sorry for the 11th Doctors followers, because it really does hurt to lose your Doctor. I’m still not back on board, and I’m not sure I ever will be. I still miss the 10th Doctor and Rose 😦

Latimer watches… Shingeki no Kyojin

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Oh holy hell!

Latimer: I’m so behind the times! Like Ridley, I recently started watching Shingeki no Kyojin (Attack on Titan).Being a newbie to the show, I thought it’d be fun to document my initial thoughts as I watched the first 2 episodes!   

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Okay let’s go-go….!!

I just imagine the massive Titan looking over the wall and saying – “Hello dere!” All the Titans have faces that suggest they are about to say; “Hello dere!” instead of eating you. But in all seriousness, hell no would I still be alive in that world – as with zombie apocalypse I’m in the ‘first wave of non-survivors’!

HELLO DERE!
HELLO DERE!

I want one of the weapon rigs! Ah they’d be great – but I know I couldn’t use it properly!

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Well, I know it would all end badly for me!!

They have such a cool opening song!

This world looks very German, style-wise – I think it would be really cool to see this anime dubbed in German!

It really is suicide being a soldier in ‘Attack on Titan’!

Eren (the main character) said living behind the wall is like; “living like livestock for the Titans” – hmm, yup, that about sums it up all right!

Okay so there’s different soldier ‘corps’, with different crests – like Hogwarts houses… err… not really… well sort of; survey corps = Gryffindor (bravery); military police = Slytherin (smart, stay inside, let the Gryffindors do the hard graft :))… and garrison = Hufflepuff (who knows what you really do – who knows?!).

So the survey corps came back after their ‘trip’ (ha, their mini-break!) beyond the wall. There’s a guy with bandages around his mouth, ekk! Lots of soldiers were eaten; oh… one of the commanding officers is handing a bundle back to a crying mother…

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Jaysus… it’s…. an arm?! What…!

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God Eren, I’ve been here in your world 5 minutes and I don’t want to leave the walls (the outside world be damned I tell you, it’s not worth it! Sand and the sea, it’s not that impressive!). Why do you want to go outside Eren, you’re crazy!

Whooh, a big Titan just appeared (looking over the wall… ‘hello dere’)

Oh noo, he destroyed the wall, other Titans are coming in and eating people….. oh it’s on! IT’S ON!

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My immediate thought to describe Titans – “leering grins and naked arses!” I know all you people looked, they are giant naked people (where do your eyes go first?)!

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I love how in animes (this used to happen in Bleach too) there’s always cool-looking baddies (the big Colossal and Armoured Titans in this case; they are the important ones), and then there are the weirdest, oddest, bubble-headed, comical-looking strange ones, that you know the artist was like; “Bored now! Bring on the weird!”

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Hello dere!!
In all seriousness, you'd initially have to laugh if you saw this guy THEN scream and cry and run....
In all seriousness, you’d initially have to laugh if you saw this guy THEN scream and cry and run….

Ah, Eren’s house was crushed by stone from the wall – his mam is stuck under the house!

She told them to run away and save themselves (a Titan is coming!). I’d have asked them to kill me before they ran away – “I’m doing you guys a solid by letting you go; the least you could do is kill me before you run away!” (I don’t want to be eaten by a giant).

I wonder will Eren eventually befriend a Titan and that’ll be the turning point… – Oh holy hell… no he won’t!

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Hannes the soldier – running away from the Titan instead of engaging – I feel you Hannes, you’re a soldier, but you’re afraid. Of course I never would have become a soldier because I’m afraid. Just sayin’

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“Hurry if you don’t want to be eaten…” I never want to hear someone screaming those words at me. Ever.

All those people living in that city are traumatized. The gate’s closed, leaving them behind to die by Titan, that’s horrible. But, well, maybe it’s for the best; like everyone in Game of Thrones… maybe it’s better to go out now, happy one day, eaten the next! I mean the soldiers are happy, then traumatized, then eaten!

Hannes, the soldier, is screaming at Eren that his mother died because he’s weak. In fairness the mother’s not gone because anyone’s weak, she’s gone because a massive man-eating monster ate her!

Eren’s having all these flashbacks of his Dad injecting him with something (he’s been acting the maggot!). I wonder… that dark-haired titan I’ve seen around on pictures and tumblr… is he a genetically engineered titan – from Eren’s DNA?

And… end 🙂

Update: I finished the series, I won’t ruin anything – only to say it’s as good as everyone says it is!

I noticed that… well, a lot of the Titans run… a little like I do…? (the fat, or short ones, not the cool ones) it’s sad, disturbing, but true… I run like a Titan… wow, wow… ah geez…

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And then, Just to say, my favourite character is Jean Kirstein… and I leave you with this epic gif of him fighting a Titan…

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Latimer watches… Death Comes to Pemberly

No, not Denny!! Please not Denny!!
No, not Denny!! Please not Denny!!

‘Death comes to Pemberly… This is the story of how I died… Who am I? I’m Denny… What do you mean ‘Denny who?’? You know… Lydia said my name once – no? Okay, so I told Elizabeth that Wickham wasn’t coming to the Netherfield ball because of a certain person…? Yeah, that Denny!’

Latimer: Okay admission time, I have a major addiction to Pride and Prejudice (P&P).

How can you not have a P&P addiction?
How can you not have a P&P addiction?

Yup…! I also have a minor addiction to Pride and Prejudice variations and sequels.. ahem, yes…

Basically these (variations really) are self-published stories where people use the P&P the storyline but tweek it; for example, say there’s a storm after Darcy proposes to Elizabeth for the first time and he gets stranded at the parsonage and the story just continues onward, with parts changing due to that incident… yup.

The reason I like them, is because I love Darcy and Elizabeth. As long as Darcy and Elizabeth fall in love, then it’s all good.

My love of all things P&P meant I was really happy to see a three-part drama, ‘Death comes to Pemberly’ advertised on BBC over Christmas. It’s a P&P sequel (not quite a variation, but someone’s take on ‘what happened next’). It’s a murder mystery story. We meet the characters six years after P&P. Darcy and Elizabeth are hosting the annual Pemberly ball and Wickham and Lydia (not actually invited) arrive in Pemberly causing all sorts of trouble.

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On the way to Pemberly, Wickham and Corporal Denny (Denny NOoo!) have a fight in the carriage as it clip-clops through Pemberly forest. Denny jumps out of the carriage and angrily storms into the forest, Wickham following after him. Denny is then found dead in the woods with Wickham as the prime suspect.

These were roughly my thoughts on watching the series…

  • Denny… Denny… who… oh yeah, Denny… *ahem, yes of course*
  • Wickham, you are a perpetual arsehole!
  • Lydia… the impossible girl, ha
The Impossible Lydia... see what I did there!
The Impossible Lydia… see what I did there!
  • Why does Elizabeth continue to call Mr Darcy… ‘Darcy’? Not even Mr Darcy, just Darcy… hmm.
  • Is their son, young Fitzwilliam (original) going to speak at all in this? (no not really)
  • Matthew Rhys is a fine Mr Darcy (and a fine Russian spy – when is The American’s starting back?!)
  • Death Comes to Pemberley4497DCEFE63EC75E2FD7BC1CFB56BEMiss Elizabeth doesn’t have very many gowns considering Darcy’s 10,000 a year, what’s going on?
  • Someone online said; “why is Elizabeth wearing a Georgian shoe buckle in her hair?”, now all I can see is a shoe buckle every time she turns around!
  • Out loud I’m saying; “Mr Darcy don’t go being an arsehole again and ruining your relationship with Elizabeth (again)!”; (in my head though: “Mwhaha, yesss, be an arsehole again, hehe… excellent…”)
  • There’s some fan-service, which would have made Austen blush *hehe*
  • Ah, it’s over, what can we watch now?

This was a fun period drama that fills the period drama void!

I love the BBC P&P with Colin Firth (its epic)… but you know *whispering for fear of being attacked by inner fan-girl*… it might now be time for the BBC to make another adaptation of P&P!

There is always room in the world for another …. always!

 

Indie Adventures

Latimer's Web Adventures!
Latimer’s Web Adventures!

Latimer: Somehow I’ve found myself on an indie odyssey through the internet recently, stumbling over people making really amazing art, from conception to end-product. As Ridley and I are indie writers ourselves, it’s always great to see what other indie people are up to around the web!

There are some amazing artists out there, doing really cool innovative things. The invention of Kickstarter also means that more and more people are finding ways of getting their ideas out to bigger audiences. It’s really inspiring and I’ve stumbled across some great finds as I’ve wandered and bounced around the wide-open spaces of web-land!

Here are a few of my new, sparkly treasures!

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Podcast: Welcome To Night Vale (created by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor and voiced by Cecil Baldwin), this really cool podcast about a fictional town somewhere in America, where strange things are happening, almost always… they have hooded figures, mysterious dog parks, vanishing interns… it’s all very random, but brilliantly random!  

Webcomic: Ava’s Demon – oh wow, this webcomic by Michelle Czajkowski, is just fantastic! It is semi-mixed media, in that for each chapter, there are a number of beautiful single panels, and then the very last part of the chapter is a short animation. The story is set in outer-space and on different planets, but it also has this cool fantasy feel to it. It focus’ on a girl called Ava who is possessed by a demon with a mysterious/bloody past.

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The artwork is beautiful and after running this really successful Kickstarted campaign, the artist now has the money to update the comic twice weekly and add lots more fun stuff! (Currently the comic is updated every Thursday! Check it out! It’s great!)

Webcartoon: Bee and PuppyCat, a really cool webcartoon. Bee has been fired and as she walks home, a puppy-cat falls out of the sky. This is so brilliant, hilarious and just… it’s so strange that it draws you in and you are hooked wondering – what on earth is going on?

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The artist and creator of Bee and PuppyCat (Natasha Allegri) works on Adventure Time (she created the female/genderbender version of Finn and Jake – Fionna and Cake!). And Frederator Studios, the indie studio that makes Bee and PuppyCat (and the other shows on the channel), also made Adventure Time (so there are similarities). I’ve never watched Adventure Time, but I feel like I should now!

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Currently Bee and PuppyCat is only one episode, but after a Kickstarter campaign she got enough money to make a series! Not sure when it will be out, but I’ll be subscribing to keep track!

Webcartoon: Bravest Warriors (by Pendleton Ward, creator of Adventure Time), this is also on the same channel (Cartoon Hangover) as Bee and PuppyCat and made by the same people. It’s actually really, really funny. I love the humour in these cartoons, it’s so unbelievably random and quirky!

I can’t wait for the next find! There are some amazing people, doing really cool things out there 🙂

Worrisome Wasps

'I'll get you Latimer!!'
– ‘I’ll get you Latimer!!’

Latimer: As summer draws to an end (NOO :(!), I’m plagued by the last remaining wasps. And I hate wasps!

I mean I really hate them.

But my hate is based on fear, pure fear. If a wasp is in the area I warn people with; ‘Listen, listen guys, there’s a wasp over there, now I might jump up and run away screaming and kicking at the air, but don’t mind me!’ This warning more often than not becomes reality.

I run based on what might happen to me, because, I have never in my life been stung. Well, up until last weekend that is…

I was moving bags of clothes from downstairs to upstairs and I got a sudden pain in my foot and thought initially – ‘argh a splinter’ but then the pain got worse and I lifted my foot and screamed…

- 'Oh JAYSUS!'
– ‘Oh JAYSUS!’

There was a wasp stuck to my foot! Still I am screaming, because now one part of me is thinking, ‘oh no I have to touch it to get it off! NO! I don’t want to touch it!’ and the other part is just shrieking.

Now, my hatred-fear of wasps is complete. It is warranted. I don’t want to be stung. But wasps are angry, vicious creatures (hence the term ‘waspish’). I don’t bat at them, I just run away, because batting them makes them angrier and they come at you!

Sharing my experience resulted in people telling me all sorts of stories about their experiences of wasps.

First there was the boy…

He told me a story about when he was a young carefree lad, he used to play in the bushes at the back of his house – where randomly, mid-way through this wasp story he drops; ‘the bushes were Ian Paisley told me off for being one time’ ha.

The bushes had been cut and piles of leaves had been left on the ground. The young boy got excited and raced over to the piles and started playing. Then a swarm of wasps crawled up his chest out of the pile of leaves (he’d stood on a hive).

- Poor Boy!!
– Poor Boy!!

Naturally he ran shrieking to his mother (covered in wasps). His clothes were ripped off, and a wasp flew out of his underpants. Yep, the wasps got him everywhere.

- ...everywhere...
– …everywhere…

The boy  then tells us how he was staying with a friend once and one morning the friend decides, ‘today will be the one day of the year I will be a real man and cut the hedges’. The friend was then confronted by…

- 'I'm gonna get you bub!'
– ‘I’m gonna get you bub!’

 

- 'And I got ALOT of friends!!'
– ‘And I got ALOT of friends!!’

And he runs into the house screaming; ‘get me vinegar!’ And in front of everyone in the house, the friend starts ripping off his clothes, getting naked and running into the bathroom, still screaming for vinegar. He got stung a lot.

We then hear how the boy and his friends were outside one day, enjoying the sun and having some drinks, when the sky went black as a swarm of bees descended on them; ‘hundreds of thousands, they eclipsed the sun briefly’ he said. They all ran into the house, screaming; ‘CLOSE THE WINDOWS! CLOSE THE WINDOWS!’

- 'Close the window, the boy's getting flashbacks!!'
– ‘Close the window, the boy’s getting flashbacks!!’

Now my story of being stung is so boring! But give me time, I feel like another story is on the horizon for me! The last few weeks I’ve been plagued by wasps; now I’m even more afraid – I’m under-siege!

Summer is a time of joy… and wasps 😦

Couch Potato Daydreams

couch potRidley: There are often things that don’t live up to your imagination, one in particular down through the years (for me) happens to be exercise. I’ve never been sporty, I was the book type, the girl who when given money for her birthday spent it on numerous books, much to the exasperation of my mother who always insisted I needed clothes rather than more books. It’s not that I don’t love the idea of doing a sport, but the theory has always been so much easier than the practice.

Running, in particular, is one I’ve tried and would love to master. Particularly on a beach somewhere hot, I bet that would probably be nice. For two seconds, then I’d like to return to my yellow parasol with a cool iced drink.

I have attempted that ‘couch to 5K’, which was good for the first few weeks, I gradually built up my running time and decreased my walking minutes. ID-10041999As I did it, I  pictured myself as one of those stylish runners, dressed in sleek black three quarter length trousers, a tank top and swishy blonde ponytail, with The Black Eyed Peas, ‘Push It’ urging me on to success. Then I passed a shop window, where my delusions shattered into thousands of sharp shiny shards, and I saw Bridget Jones, well her uglier sister; Ms Tomato-Head herself puffing as she limped by in a baggy t-shirt and tracksuit bottoms that should have been burned centuries ago. Rather than a small perfect droplet of sweat on my graceful neck and the imagined artful swig of an energy drink, the reality is really more flaying arms and claw-like hands grasping for both my tap water in an old coca cola bottle and my iPod as it randomly shuffles onto classical music-can anyone exercise to that?ID-10087963

I really do have an active imagination. Even being on a bike or horse, I have very similar rampant images, where I’ve picture myself as a majestic Tour de France type or dressage rider, in all the flashy gear, where really I just look like a miserable sack of spuds someone’s abandoned on the seat by accident.

sackNow everyone knows that at the moment, it’s too cold (well here in Ireland) to be exercising outside-though I have seen a few mad people attempting it in the cold driving rain *shudder* It may be spring, but it seems Mother Nature hasn’t gotten the memo yet. In my mind, going to the gym is the only option. I’m a serial gym membership buyer, not goer. I never seem to learn my lesson, despite sometimes having some horrific upfront steep membership fees, I always seem to find a gym to join and then never go. The reasons I use to persuade myself that this time will be different always change. It could be a gym which is closer to where I work than the last one, or it could have no pool, or a larger pool, have lots of classes, or better machines or all male instructors. It doesn’t matter, my record has only been ten visits and then the excuses begin-I’m not a morning person I’ll go in the afternoon, I’m so tired after work I’ll go tomorrow, it’s been a few days I need to work up the nerve to go back. Weeks go by and I become convinced that they’ll laugh at me if I return. Then like a bad embarrassing smell, the guilt and the gym membership fee linger on for a bit, as I try to convince myself that I’ll definitely go on Saturday, or Sunday, or next Wednesday, so I don’t cancel it yet! But soon, I realise I need to plug this particular drain on my finances (my book fund is getting low after all). So I trek down to the gym with downcast eyes and with inaudible mumbling I cancel the membership. They give me the once over and just nod with little resistance, I imagine in the back office somewhere there are a few buff gym types passing fiver notes around as they chuckle over their bets of me not lasting longer than a week.ID-10088597

For now, I’ll continue to try to be as healthy as I can be, it’s in my interest after all and I’ll feel better for it, or at least this is what I’ll continue to mutter to the bright orange carrot sticks sitting in my fridge. I’ll leave the gym memberships alone for a bit and one day I will transform into a graceful lyrca-covered princess, or so the little voice in my head reassures me, though perhaps it’s as crazy as I am!

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Sleep vs. Book: the cost of addiction

Latimer: Two nights in a row I’ve been up until 1.30am. And that’s not good when you have to get up at 7am!

I ended up watching episode 2 of Game of Thrones on Tuesday night. It was pretty crap actually- too much talking and gratuitous sex. My flatmate (Orbie) made a very good point about the sex, “why is it never the ones we want to see naked?”

“Fair point,” I said. “Like Robb Stark.”

Orbie nodded, “And Jon Snow- the hottest things in the show.”

Silently, I nodded, this is true, but then I chirped up, “And Jaime Lannister?”

She didn’t reply. Is it just me? I’m going to wait for Ridley to shoot me down on that (I don’t expect her to, but the heart of a woman is a fickle thing. We find beauty in strange places at times and expect others to loudly declare they are sisters in arms with us, when in actuality they look at us with scorn and reproach! But then in turn, we’ll do the same thing when they come forward and admit their guilty pleasure!).

Anyway, so we watched Game of Thrones.

Then, I headed to bed to finish reading Book 2 of the Hunger Games (it wasn’t my intention initially to finish it, but that’s what happened- like a crack addict I OD’d on reading). I stumbled, bleary-eyed to the bathroom at 1am (1 chapter left at this point). As I passed Orbie’s room, the light was on (this was weird). “Hmm,” I thought. Then shrugged, stumbling back to my room to finish gobbling down Book 2.

I woke up the next morning in a hazy half-dream state. I thought I was in the games for a minute, in some weird trippy after-effects of late-night reading. I shook my head and struggled off to make my breakfast. It was a while before Orbie materialised, clawing her way out of her room like a drunk, doped-up koala. She stood blinking in the kitchen, “I’m so tired!” she moaned. “My eyes are burning! I can’t keep them open!”

I nodded, munching my toast. “Hmm, I know what you mean I was up last night reading.” Pause. “What time did you go to bed at?”

“2am!” she cried, using her fingers to hold her eyes open.

“What were you doing?” I inquired. My mind connecting the dots… I wondered….

“Reading.”

“What?” I pressed.

“Hunger Games Book 2!” she said with a sheepish smile, as if I would shoot her down.

“I knew it! Me too,” I squealed.

I told her I’d been up the previous night too. She asked if I had the one’s with the crap, horrible, garish covers (yes).

She scowled, “Those covers make it look like you are reading a kids book about aliens.”

I told her about how Ridley and I had gone to the bookshop after the movie (I’ll set the scene: movie ends, Ridley turns, a knowing smile on her face; “bookshop” she asks, but it’s not really a question. I squeal like a child on too much sugar “YEEY!”- she knows me too well).

Orbie levelled a knowing look at me, “I told you, you would like it” (she had seen the film the previous week and told me, “you’d like it; it’s very good”).

I sigh, “Yeah, yeah, you and Ridley!”

Then, Orbie and I stumbled off our separate ways to work.

I’m saving Book 3 for the weekend. I have it under lock and key. I have to, I need sleep!

My name is Latimer and I’ve been Hunger Games free since 1.30am on Wednesday.