Sleep Imp

I am the imp of sleep. I have decided that just now. The imp of curling into a ball to sleep. It's so prevalent in my life, that feeling you get when you've eaten a very satisfying meal and need to doze off. Like, there's a large section of my brain dedicated to that, I think. I have a habit of accumulaing a pile of clothes on my bed, which gets pushed to the side a bit and becomes part of the bedding for a while. It's handy, because I then only need to stretch my arm to retrieve a jumper, but I think it possibly makes the bed feel sleepier. Like a hub of not only lying-down materials, but also of multiple layers of comfortable things to swaddle myself in with very little movement. Ah, I'm so sleepy.

I can't believe I was once a child who moaned and cried about having to go to bed. Sleeping is now one of my favourite pastimes, and sometimes I am unable to resist a mid-afternoon nap. I only wish I could paint in my sleep and that it was impossible to have a bad dream. I feel like I am an alchemist turning everything into sleep. I love sleep.

I also love sleep and night time motifs. The moon and the stars and the night sky, pillows and bedsheets, old fashioned stripy nightgowns. It's a very cute theme that I'm sure was very prominent in a lot of the poems and stories I read as a young child. In The Night Kitchen is one of my favourite childhood books and is centred around a dreaming boy travelling through the sky, and a bakery. Of course, there's also Wee Willie Winkie, which leads me to the fascinating world of sleep/bedtime entities. I would like to be one of those entities.

How To Do Hair Things When Your Hair Doesn't Wanna Do Things

Hello. Is your hair like the rebellious teen of your body? Does it constantly slam the door and play rock music very loudly? Does it not realise that what you are trying to do is for its own good? Well, I am also dealing with these kinds of uncontrollable hair issues. Much like any actual human children you might have, you should probably try to approach your hair from a sympathetic direction and give it some agency to make its own decisions. Don't expect to control your hair, just to guide it. Here are some vague attempts I make to control my own satanic hay bale.

The Bun

If you are not too weirded out by the actual shape of your face and the apparent masculine interpretation by society of a skull unsoftened by a floaty river of hair, you can try this fun thing where you shape your hair into a problematic orb. Just scoop all of it into a little planetoid on your head and pray to the gods of symmetry it ends up centred. If not, try again. Don't try to do two of them because you will look like Chun Li from Street Fighter if she was a house elf.

Pros: Associated with pastry, serves as an excuse to be as grumpy as Little My.
Cons: Can often give you a headache or easily unravel.


If you are into hypnotic actions and repetitive strain injury, this could be your thing. There are some fancy plaits out there, but I stick to the three-strand plait and usually do one on each side of my head. Plaits are quite flexible and can be cute or elaborate or bland, but either way they will at least trap some of your hair in a prison that is also made of hair. You can also nicely curl your hair overnight with them, which is cool if minor variation is the main thing keeping you from shaving your head and glaring at everyone in the post office when they dare to glance in your direction.

Pros: One step towards becoming Pippi Longstocking.
Cons: Hard to get to look like all those tutorials on Pinterest.


The height of hairstyling. Also you can blend in with ponies and become part of a cool pony gang.

Pros: Like a pony.
Cons: You are not really a pony.

1960s Pigtails & Anime Pigtails

Pigtails are nice and easy and cute. Place them low to look like you might be about to shoot the newly invented laser at Mick Jagger, or place them high to look like you are about to magically transform into a frilly outfit and blast a demon (still Mick Jagger) with your celestial powers.

Pros: Cute and easy.
Cons: May injure bystanders with sheer cuteness.

That's all I have right now. Good luck.

Diary: Rhythm Inside

I've been thinking about my handwriting lately and wondering if I should neaten it up a bit. I mean, I like it the way it is, but maybe it would be a bit nicer just tidied up a little. I'm not thinking too hard about it. I don't want to over-engineer it. Although part of me would like to have my handwriting mistaken for a font sometimes, but that's pretty unnecessary.

I didn't want to go to sleep much of this week! I like the stuff I wrote about being excited and feeling adventurous. Reading about me being excited makes me more excited. It's an endless loop of excitement (until I get too tired and fall asleep in a patch of golden flowers). I love the feedback loop of being inspired by me being inspired. Thanks, me. No problem, me.

I have also been doing some Eurovision reminiscing, as we excitable Europeans often do once a month, sitting in front of our Eurovision shrines (Belgium 2015 forever). Today I am heading up to Scotland for just over a week, so the next diary post will be a bumper edition in two weeks. Please prepare yourself for double the sleepiness!

Book Review: The Kill Order - James Dashner

★★★☆☆: Dystopia can be dull as dishwater.

[spoiler free]

The Kill Order is the much better written prequel to James Dashner's best-selling young adult dystopian trilogy which begins with The Maze Runner. In it we follow Mark, a teenage boy adjusting to his new life removed from traditional civilisation immediately following the destruction of the outward surface of Earth by sun flares. Where the main series focuses on happenings much further along in the chain of events following the sun flares and their aftermath, The Kill Order deals with the immediate fallout.

The plot in this book is much more concise and well put together than the rest of the series, but sadly Dashner continues in his efforts to explain very little. Dashner's characters also suffer from a total lack of personality, excepting possibly one secondary character, the sarcastic army guy, Alec. It often feels like he should be leading the book. However, even he doesn't have as much depth as I'd like to see. The writing is at least reasonably well paced, but there are lots of action scenes which feel a bit like watching clothes being churned around in a washing machine. There is a strong blandness and emptiness to this entire world and what little explanation we are offered seems like a very basic attempt at constructing a watery motive for a series of mindless, almost random actions. Still, this prequel feels considerably more competent and mature than the other books in the series.

There is potential for some interesting characterisation, but sadly the book actually removes almost all of the characters from most of the story, so we're forced to hear only Mark's boring thoughts, and Mark's boring emotions, and Mark's boring concerns. At least there is some nice exposition via his memories, during which we get to escape from his head a bit, ironically by being further inside it.

Ultimately, the dullness pushes through this book. It does feel much more considered and fleshed out than The Maze Runner, The Scorch Trials, and The Death Cure, but not really enough to make it very enjoyable.

Undertale: Spooky-Cute Adventures With Skeletons

So I've been playing Undertale and it is such a cute and perfect game. There are so many elements I love, such as the obvious Earthbound/Mother influence, the many satirical deconstructions of RPG tropes, the genderlessness of the player, the incredibly rich characterisation of numerous cool characters, and a weird and ever-evolving battle system, off the top of my head.

This is the game I always dreamt of making. The constant mesh of cute stuff with playful humour and cultural references (like two lovable characters named after - and speaking in - the notorious fonts Comic Sans and Papyrus), the very cute pixel art style, and that sense that you never quite know what's coming next due to the cartoonish eccentricity of the game mechanics and narrative. All of that stuff is so what I always pictured as the ideal kind of game that I would love to make in the fictional universe where I can code stuff without bursting my brain. The visual style even reminds me of an old game screen mock-up of mine.

I guess what I love most about Undertale is its creative humour. There's an enemy who is a dog, and every time you pet this dog enemy, its neck gets longer. The sheer amount of variation and depth of personality in both NPCs and enemies is amazing. You can see that so much care must have gone into this game, because there are so many little details that make it incredibly immersive. There is personality pouring out of every wooden sign, and everything is so funny and sweet.

It's also such a visually pleasant game. The colour palettes and shadows and glittering stars are so magical, and the music sets the tone so well for every scenario. Undertale has all the beauty of various cutesy RPGs (e.g. Melon Journey, Very Retrouvaille), all the option choices and bafflement of a complex piece of interactive fiction, and all the sweetness of a cinnamon roll.

Becoming The Sky

I get this feeling sometimes like I know a storm is coming. Like I can feel the clouds coming closer, all dark and electric. It's a certain kind of anticipation. A pure thing. The kind of feeling I get when looking at elaborate salt crystals, because wow, the world did that.

I get this feeling about my life and doing stuff and being stuff in it. I care less and less about what I might be supposed to do, and the less I care about that stuff the more I get to care about writing and drawing and peering through tree branches and the colour of the sky, because a lot of the things we're supposed to need are a trick. A lot of the ideas about what we're supposed to be are a trick.

Realising that everything that matters actually kinda doesn't has brought me to the place where this feeling lives. I'm excited about what I'm doing all the time. It doesn't matter what I do or what I am half as much as it matters that I'm enjoying the whole being alive thing. The recommended path through life can be a trick too, so I'm probably gonna take a route right through the unflattened forest grass. I might get scratched by thorns, but that's fine.

Outfit: Forest Moomins

I am in my autumnal element as the fluffy cardigan lifestyle reaches maximum relevance yet again in the gentle November chill. This is the time when I discover that pairs of shoes are no longer adequately rain resistant and that I can no longer avoid coats. I can also no longer avoid Moomins, not that I would ever really try to. This wonderful Moomin top/jumper hybrid (it's a confusing thickness, so I'm not sure which of these types of clothing it wants to be - that means it can be both) is actually a pyjama top. I'm very glad to be fulfilling one of my sartorial dreams here by wearing pyjamas as outerwear. No-one can stop me.

top & shoes - Primark
cardigan & tights - gifted
skirt - Debenhams

There is a subtle bit of colour coordination going on here with the light pink of my top and the deep purple of my tights. I like to wear tights that are really dark but have a little bit of colour. Burgundy and navy are some good tights colours. I would like to get some mustard ones at some point though.

The comfy look and feel is everything I care about and I pretty much live in a cardigan, but trust me when I say that there are so many variables to a cardigan. There is so much potential nuance. To me, this particular cardigan is the nearest to perfect that I have found so far. It has that perfect thickness that is neither too much nor too little. Just perfect. It has an unassuming and gentle colour that works with anything. It is also a great length - adequately covering without giving the impression that you have looted a tall grandpa.

I also feel like the word 'tuck' is really cosy in itself, which possibly goes some way to explaining my enjoyment of tucking a nice loose top into a skater skirt. I am working my way towards becoming fully elasticated, but until then a good skater skirt will do the job.