Invisible Illness

I will gladly admit that I am a little more than just slightly upset in writing moment. Someone close to me just posted online that they have gotten negative comments in the shape of “don’t do that” on the fact that they can go for a walk and share pictures online even though they’re on sick leave from work and have been for nearly 6 months now.

If a doctor has put you on sick leave because you’re not in good enough shape to go to work, then there is a reason for that. YOU may not see it, but a doctor did study medicine for years before even being allowed to look at a patient, and there is a reason that it is the longest lasting program of study in most countries! If a DOCTOR has said that you are not able to work so you should stay home and rest, but live your life as normally as you can, then that’s going to include things such as going for walks and sharing pictures on social media! That’s the normal part! That’s what everyone does these days! Regardless of health and the life you have chosen or not chosen to live!

You don’t actually think that everyone who’s on long term sick leave lies in bed for months on end, do you? You don’t actually think that they would rather be exhausted and in pain than doing the job they love, do you? Because if you do, you’re damn lucky I am sat in a far-away corner of the world typing this on my laptop and not stood in front of you screaming at your face because I don’t think I’d be able to prevent myself from slapping you!

If you’re on sick leave for a week because you have the flu, then fair enough. You’re supposed to be in bed and drink plenty of fluids and rest and recover, because your body is under attack from an outside force, and you should NOT be outside doing everyday stuff and sharing pictures of it. But if you’re on sick leave because your body is attacking itself and there are no medications for it, nothing that can be done, then all you can do is take one day at a time and live life as normally as you can. Something that used to take a couple of hours, like cleaning the house, might now take you a week or two to complete because you have to lie down due to pain and exhaustion. Going for a walk one morning might mean that you’ll be laid on the couch for the rest of that day, and the next day. Going to the store might seem like a terrible chore one week, and something you look forward to doing because it gets you out of the house the next.

Someone who is living with an invisible illness has enough to deal with, being at war with their own body and mind. They do not need you to open your big fat mouth, telling them how they should be living their life according to you, a healthy person, who has no such struggle to deal with.

Sweater DIY

Hello everyone!

I don’t know why I’ve started writing that, I think it’s because I’ve watched a lot of YouTube the past couple of days and everyone always starts off their videos saying some version of that… Anyway, it’s kind of rude to start a post without saying hello, isn’t it? It doesn’t really invite to interaction, when it’s so very article like… Or what do you think?

As I mentioned in my last post, I did a little bit of a DIY project today (Sunday), and it was inspired by this video by Jordan Lipscombe on YouTube:

I am the kind of person who doesn’t really have one set style when it comes to clothing. I wake up wanting to wear skinny jeans and plaid shirts and converse and heavy eye makeup one day and the next day I want flowy dresses and braids and natural makeup and heels. Like Jordan said in this video, it doesn’t matter, just be yourself. And that’s what I try to do. At the end of the video she shows herself cutting a hoodie into a cropped hoodie because that was more her style, and I absolutely love that she did that.

Over the past two years or so I’ve sort of become obsessed with cleaning out my closet. For many many years, as long as I can remember, I have been the kind of person who will only get rid of things if they don’t fit or are worn out/ripped et cetera. But lately I’ve changed into the kind of person who doesn’t want to keep more than what’s absolutely necessary. I’m not talking full on minimalist here, I do own a hell of a lot of stuff, as was proven to me when I went to pack up and move in December, but the way I see it there is no point in keeping things that you don’t use. And I’m not talking about formal wear that you’ll wear to specific occasions only, I have a lot of that myself, but when it comes to normal every-day clothes, I don’t see a reason to keep stuff that you don’t use. Better to donate it to the good-will or salvation army or whatever there is in your area that accepts used clothes that’ll either resell it here or ship it to other countries that need it. And trust me – literally everything can be donated. If you go to a thrift shop, you will see all kinds of clothes including bras, socks, and underwear. I only ever throw away worn out stuff that cannot be repurposed, such as holey socks or underwear that’s been through the washer/dryer weekly for years and no longer resembles anything. But even ripped jeans and t-shirts can be repurposed – here, we have donation boxes that will accept these kinds of materials that’ll be made into cloths or cut up and woven into stuff. My point here is: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.

Okay. Now that that’s out of the way. I’ve been thinking about cleaning out my closet all week. And what I usually do is I get a bag and I just start putting things in it, and then I leave it for a couple of weeks or sometimes longer, and if I don’t miss any of the items in there and I haven’t gone back to get anything out, then I put the bag in a donation box. But there are still some items that I struggle to get rid of… In particular, I have three sweaters that are almost identical – all grey hoodie-material (but without hoods), one has blue flowers on it, another has lace/crochet material on the shoulders and a zipper in the back, the last is just plain grey. And I don’t wear the much because I don’t really like the shape of them… They’re kind of short, loose/wide, a bit 1990s looking really. And I don’t feel like I look nice which makes me not feel comfortable either. So after watching Jordan’s video earlier today, I decided to get out the plain one and attack it with a pair of scissors.

Here is what it looked like before…

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And here is what it looked like on me:

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Not the prettiest sight, right? Please ignore my mirror – I didn’t realize it was dirty until the sun came through my windows but by then it was too late to retake the before-shots with a clean mirror! I also only have that one mirror in my current room, and no full-length mirror, which kinda sucks, but I’m only living here temporarily… Also very difficult to get a flattering angle without getting the sink in the way!

So basically, what I did was cut off all the ends. I cut off he (not so) elastic part at the bottom, as well as the cuffs, and the neckline. The end result looks something like this:

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Excuse the finger! This phone is a lot smaller than I’m used to…

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And again… I’m sorry, you guys! I am not a bad photographer when it comes to scenery and stuff like that, but I am definitely NOT a blog photographer at all – my previous blog was anonymous, and the one before that was basically just documenting my exchange year for people at home to read, so the pictures didn’t matter much. If I do this again in the future, I will make sure to take better pictures, I promise! And yes, I know my jeans are ripped on the inside of my thigh – that’s where all my jeans rip, but my not-ripped ones are currently hang-drying so these were the only ones I had!

So the end-result, then, is a loose sweater with cut-off ends, that is a lot more comfortable to wear, and I think can be styled up, if you know what I mean. What I would probably do is wear this with my not-ripped black jeans and boots; a necklace that’s either a longer chain on the inside of the sweater, or a choker of some kind (which I don’t actually have but I think it could look good with this); and some makeup, let’s say my normal full-face routine, brown/neutral eyeshadow, a bit of liner, and a red lipstick. And I would actually do something about my hair, which I also didn’t do for these pictures – maybe some waves, or a top knot even.

But yeah. Now this sweater is one that I might actually use! We’ll see what I end up doing with the other two… I’ll probably cut off the bottom on the lace one, I don’t know about the one with the blue flowers yet… I also have a pair of sweatpants I want to cut the legs off of, around knee height, or just above the knee, for sweatshorts!

Anyone else into altering the appearance of their clothes? Done anything cool? Let me know! 😀

~ Julie

Code-Switching // My Master’s Thesis Project // Sunday Update & Life

Hello you guys!

It is Sunday afternoon here in Norway, and as some of you may know, Sunday is my “get your shit together” day. That’s when I do laundry, change my bedding, sweep the floors, color my eyebrows (because they are practically invisible otherwise), do facials… All that stuff that I never have time to do throughout the week. And I do this on Sundays because I hardly ever make plans for Sundays, and in Norway all shops are closed on Sundays with the exception of some grocery shops, gas stations, and kiosks. Today I also did a little DIY project, which I plan to write another post on later, not quite sure when that’ll be up, but I did take pictures so it’s definitely coming!

However, I wanted to take just a little bit of time writing about what it is that I actually spend my time doing. Previously, I’ve written about the fact that I am in university and that I am writing my Master’s Thesis this semester. But I haven’t really talked about what I actually write about. The answer, as you probably saw before you started reading this, is in the headline of this post, and it is “code-switching”.

So what exactly is code-switching? It’s something I’ve had to discuss in my literature review, which I am sick and tired of writing, which obviously is why I decided to blog about it instead! The easy, simple, answer, which you will find in introduction text books as well as on Google, is some variation of this:

code-switching

Anyone who is in possession of more than one language has the ability to code-switch, regardless of fluency in the languages involved. I decided to write about this because I am a Norwegian person, who speaks Norwegian, but who also speaks a lot of English, due to a number of reasons: I started learning English in school when I was 6 years old, I have lived in America, I study English at university level, and my significant other is from England. So there is a lot of English going on in my life, and it is undeniable that it affects the way in which I speak and write. Obviously, it is difficult to provide an example of the way I speak, but if you heard me speak Norwegian to my friends you would hear a lot of English words and phrases, and often when I talk to my mom on the phone I struggle to find the words in Norwegian so I end up having to say them in English. But I can provide an example of my written code-switching; this happened earlier today, before my DIY project (“DIY” is also the English here, as it is an initialism (not an acronym, as the letters in an initialism are spelled out instead of pronounced as a word) and I didn’t translate it into Norwegian), in the group chat I have with my two best friends, and you can see that I switch to English towards the end of the message:

jeg-cs

I wonder if any of my not-Norwegian readers can understand the rest of that message… let me know, will you? Hint: If it looks similar to an English word, it is probably that word.

So that’s one example of code-switching. Another can be insertion of words mid-sentence, such as the word “whatever” which many Norwegians use as well. So I’m collecting data of written code-switching (also known as CS for simplicity) from the internet and then I’m going to analyze what kind of CS can be found and what sort of identity function it could have for the person using it. The former because it is an interesting thing to research, and the latter because language and identity have always been closely connected and I didn’t want to have just one research question.

So what is it that’s so fascinating about code-switching? For me, it is the fact that many people see it as language decay, or laziness on behalf of the speaker. Many are under the impression that languages such as Norwegian (and many many others) are being cast aside because English is being favored; if you walk down a street in Norway and look in shop windows you will see “SALE” instead of “SALG” when there is a sale going on; it is used a lot in advertisement, news reports… and one thing that my grandfather reacts to, is sports commentators. He says he doesn’t understand half of what some of them say because of all the foreign words. Which of course is really sad. However, for those of us who grew up learning English in school and watching subtitled TV instead of dubbed TV, for those of us who spent our teenage years on the internet, a majority of which can arguably be said to be in English, English is a part of who we are, and many of us would struggle to go through a day in life without using a single English word at all.

Linguists, however, say that CS is not a sign of languages falling apart or one language taking over, or laziness on behalf of the speaker. Bullock and Toribo (2001) states that:

Those with interests in CS behavior range from poets to neurologists, and from parents to politicians. As should be clear, much is misunderstood about CS and those who engage in it. Thus it falls to linguists and to students of linguistics to unveil the nature of CS – its structural properties, its biological underpinnings, and its social meanings – and to communicate their findings to a broader audience (Bullock & Toribo, 2001).

So that’s basically what I want to do with my thesis. Contribute to the library of research that proves that common misconceptions about CS are wrong. I understand that it can be frustrating to those who do not understand one of the languages involved, but people have to understand that languages are dynamic, they are ever-changing, they will always lose something and gain something else. When I explained this to my grandfather, he told me a story from when he was young, and sports commentators would swear a lot, because that was completely common and nobody cared, but then a swearing ban was imposed on the media (he said, I have not fact-checked this), and they were no longer allowed to. So that was lost. And now the language of commenting has gained words and expressions from other languages. Where it will go from here is impossible to stay, but one thing is sure: languages always change. This, too, shall pass (Persian proverb).

All the research done from the 1970s until now including what I am researching might be great and important for a while, but in 100 years it might not matter at all. Kind of makes me wonder why I’m doing it in the first place. But I had to do something, and there are so many interesting things to do in this world, I just had to choose one. Life goes on. I had to do something to get my degree to move on with life and get a job and a house and pets and a family and then one day I’ll lose my job because I’ve gotten too old and I’ll lose my pets too, hopefully not my family, but you never know. And then one day I will be just another body buried in the ground. But that’s true for everyone. And it doesn’t change the fact that while you are on this Earth you might as well make the most of it and try and contribute with something meaningful; Gandhi said that whatever you do in life will be insignificant, but it’s very important that you do it because nobody else will (and yes, I did get that from “Remember Me”).

~ Julie

No to Snow in February

Anyone who knows me knows that I am not a big fan of snow, or winter, or anything that is cold or wet or icky. I don’t ski. I don’t like to walk on snow, or have snow around me or near me or anything other than visible at the top of far-away mountains. I don’t like snow.

The only time snow is acceptable is for about two weeks surrounding Christmas and New Year. Then, snow can be quite nice, it sort of completes the picture. Sad thing is, we hardly ever have snow around Christmas anymore, it’s mostly in January and February and March. Winter goes on for too long, in my opinion. As soon as we’re done with the first two-three days or January, I feel that the snow should just disappear and we can have a long nice spring and an early summer starting properly in June and lasting through September (which also never happens).

This year’s winter has  been particularly bad. The first bit of snow arrived sometime in November last year. And since then, I feel like I’ve been on a meteorological roller coaster. The temperature has moved up and down between 10 and -10 degrees Celsius, and we’ve had snow and rain and wind and neither and all at  the same time and then it’s warm and everything melts and then it freezes overnight meaning walking outside is practically suicide and then they put out sand and gravel which makes it a little better but then it melts a little bit creating a layer of water on top of the remaining ice which then freezes on top of the sand and gravel which sank through the water and so you look outside and it looks safe but then you fall on your ass as soon as you step off the porch.

So no. Don’t tell me the snow is “pretty” and that it’s so “beautiful” to walk outside because the snow makes everything so bright and nice and BLAH BLAH BLAH. I see slush that ruins my shoes and wet stuff falling from the sky that makes me even more cold than I already am and walking to uni or anywhere in town is a nightmare.

TL;DR I do not like snow and I think it should disappear two days after New Year’s Eve and winter sucks and all the other seasons are just better.

~ Julie

Student Life Update

Yesterday I wrote 1000 words on my thesis – 30.000 words, due on the 15th of May. It’s a rather large project. Unless I write a book, I don’t think I’ll ever write anything this big again (although I do hope I get to write a book someday). But 1000 words, that’s 1/30 of the whole thesis, which technically means I could be done in 30 days, if I write 1000 words every day! Thinking this made me feel really good yesterday.

And then today happened.

I didn’t get up as early as I planned, and I kept turning my alarm off and falling asleep. It was 7.20 by the time I managed to wake myself up, and even later before I got out of bed. Nevertheless – I made it to uni by the same time as  yesterday, even though I had to run for the second bus (I really should start to just walk instead of taking the first bus which does a major detour).

I made a plan for the first two-three hours of the day. But before I could start working I realized that I had to call the phone shop which yesterday I found out closes at 5. So I did that, and talked to two different people. Then I decided to just have a quick look at what’s on the marked, because I’ll be getting my money back and I need to buy a new phone so that I can return my friend’s old iPhone 4s to her. I haven’t decided on a phone yet.

Another student came into the office. I just call it the office because I don’t have a good English word for the Norwegian “lesesal” (which translates to reading hall, or study room, or I don’t even know). It’s a rectangular room with desks along the two long walls, we’re currently 8 people who have our separate desks in here. So I talked to her for a bit. Then a second came and we talked to her. Then I did the second person’s experiment for her thesis. Then a third student came in and we talked to her. The third and the first left, and I’ve now been talking to the second for over half an hour. And I’ve had a cup of coffee and eaten lunch.  It’s nearly 1pm and I’ve not done anything that I was supposed to yet.

And I want to leave at 5pm, because that’s the last bus that takes me almost home a lot faster than other buses. So I have four hours to get shit done. That’s almost as much time as I worked yesterday – I was here for 6 hours and had 1 hour and 45 minutes of break so IT’S DOABLE. Doesn’t mean I will… But today is the kind of day that as long as I get SOMETHING done, I’ll be happy.

I’ve been feeling a headache on the left side of my head most of the day as well. I should probably log  that… I’m keeping a headache log to show my doctor to confirm if I can get migraines…

Life is good!

~ Julie

Photo Sprinkle from England

Hello good people! In Norwegian we have a word we use, “bildedryss” which is like a sprinkle or drizzle of pictures, but I can’t think of a similar word in English… Anyone got any suggestions, leave a comment and let me know! 🙂

I flew to Gatwick on Sunday night, my boyfriend and I spent all of Monday in London (we stayed at Premier Inn Croydon Town Centre, I highly recommend it!), and took the train up to Lincolnshire where he lives on Tuesday. Stayed in Wednesday and Thursday to rest and recover, then we went to Lincoln on Friday. Stayed in on the weekend, and yesterday (Monday) I flew back to Trondheim. I have a few good pictures from Londo and Lincoln, and since someone asked me to share, here they are! Oh and there’s also one of my duty free shopping – my flight was delayed so I did some extra shopping!

Okay so the pictures uploaded in reversed order, but I can’t be bothered to change it now. They’re all cell phone pictures, by the way. I didn’t want to drag my camera around with me.

My duty free shopping from yesterday – my flight got delayed so I had some time!

Tibby and Lucky (two of Matthew’s cats) cuddling ❤

Lincoln Cathedral lit up at night

An old Roman arch in Lincoln

A street musician on top of Lincoln Steep Hill, playing the guitar on the street between Lincoln Cathedral (in the background) and Lincoln Castle (not in the picture). His music was so nice to listen to!

Our breakfast on our Lincoln day – we went to this really cute place called Madame Waffle and had waffles and coffee before we started our day! ❤

Hotel Breakfast (my first plate of several because YUM!) at the Premier Inn East Croydon Town Centre (again: I highly recommend it! It’s right next to the train station, only a short train ride away from the center of London)!

London Eye behind the Household Cavalry Museum next to St. James’s Park and the House Guards Parade 

A superfood salad at Jamie’s Italian restaurant (not the best lunch I’ve had but it looked super healthy!)

We made our way to the most expensive part of the Monopoly board! I don’t know what this park is called, but it’s in Mayfair and we had a lovely time sitting on a bench enjoying the sun!

Had a croissant and coffee at the Natural History Museum! I didn’t take many pictures there but the ones I did didn’t look good – too many people and not many good angles to take pictures from… It was an awesome museum though!

Hope everyone is having a good day!

~ Julie

London Calling…

Very original title, right? I know. I’m just so excited! In less than 5 hours I’ll be airborne and on my way to one of the best cities in the world! I’ll try not to go all Joey Tribbiani on it… Haha! Nah, I didn’t in August so I won’t this time either… But I am excited!

Tomorrow we’re gonna start by getting breakfast somewhere, then we’re going to the Natural History Museum when it opens because we didn’t get a chance to go in there last time, the line was too long and it was too late in the day. After that, I don’t know what we’re going to do actually! We’ve got a couple of places where we want to go for food, and and in the evening we’re going to see Jack Whitehall at the Wembley Arena!

Anyway, I’ve got to go finish packing my last few things, I have to be at the bus stop in 15 minutes because I want to get to the airport early!

Hope everyone is having a great weekend!

~ Julie

A Friday Spent in my Bathrobe

Today is one of those days where I feel like all I’ve done is procrastinate and eat. And procrastinate by eating… I am terrible when it comes to giving myself credit for the things I’ve actually done, because I keep feeling bad about all the things I haven’t done.

  • I’ve eaten breakfast.
  • I’ve put up one painting and moved another so that the three paintings on my wall are equally spaced out.
  • I’ve done two loads of laundry; whites, and a high-temperature one for towels and “unmentionables”.
  • I’ve eaten lunch.
  • I’ve folded the laundry and put all the items where they belong.
  • I’ve walked to the pharmacy and the grocery store and back.
  • I’ve eaten dinner.
  • I started thinking about packing for the trip to England that I leave for on Sunday.
  • I’ve paid two bills.

I guess I feel bad because I haven’t done too much academic work. I’m supposed to be writing my master’s thesis, for crying out loud! I have done something…

  • At one point I had about 20 tabs open when searching for something (a friend had to send me the document in the end).
  • I’ve rearranged some things in my literature review document.
  • I’ve read some parts of a thesis my supervisor told me to read
  • I’ve written about four lines of text, plus another three that need to go in the introduction, not the literature review.

My supervisor thinks finishing the literature review (after receiving feedback on my first draft last week) should take no more than two weeks. Which means I should be done by the time I get back from England and be ready to write the methodology chapter then. I’ve figured out that I need to write down exactly everything that I need to be and be as specific as possible and then break it down into when I plan to do it, otherwise I’m not gonna get anything done.

So I guess I’ve done some things today. I’ve not done literally nothing although that’s the feeling I’m left with a lot of the time. I haven’t done nothing, I just haven’t done enough… Does anyone have any tips on combating that feeling, that I haven’t done enough, and the general anxiety that comes with the feeling? TIA.

~ Julie

Not a Castle, Not on a Hill

I am absolutely in love with the Ed Sheeran song “Castle on the Hill”! If you haven’t heard it, you absolutely need to, so I’m gonna add the music video here:

(I hope this works, I haven’t tried adding videos to this blog yet, only my old ones which were on a different platform.)

Today, my two best friends and I are going on a road-trip. Exciting! We’re going to my home town and the town where I went to high school, to visit my grandparents, pick up a painting, see where I went to school and where I work in the summer, visit my parents and my brother, and then drive back. One of my friends has been to my town and seen and done all of this before, so now she gets to drive and we show everything to the other one! I’m super excited!

My home town is the kind of place that you like a lot better when you haven’t lived there your entire life. I’m guessing most people can relate, especially those who grew up in a small town where everyone knows everyone and rumors spread like wildfire. But now, I am able to appreciate the beauty, to see things in a new way, and I wouldn’t be completely opposed to living there one day, although I’m guessing it wouldn’t be my boyfriend’s first choice, being a Londoner and all! It doesn’t have a castle on a hill, it barely has hills, but there are fields and the ocean and forests not too far away, and wildlife and town life and the city I currently live in is only an hour away.

Anyway. I have some things to do before we leave, so I’ll write more some other time! Hope you all have a good day!

~ Julie

20 Questions // The Book Tag

1. Which book has been on your shelves the longest?

I think that would have to be some sort of fairy tale book from when I was a child. The Harry Potter books were also an early acquirement of mine, although I didn’t buy the books until the 7th came out, because for most of my childhood I read books from the library.

2. What is your current read, your last read and the book you’ll read next?

I’m currently reading “Paris for One and other stories” by Jojo Moyes (the last two books I read were Me Before You and After You). Next up is probably going to be “Mi briljante venninne” (“My Brilliant Friend” but in Norwegian) by Elena Ferrante because I borrowed it from a friend of mine and I don’t like to keep borrowed books for too long. I’m excited to read it because I’ve heard it’s good but it’s also written in nynorsk which is not the standardization I’m used to reading – I usually read bokmål which is slightly different.

3. What book(s) did everyone like and you hated?

I don’t know about everyone because I know a lot of book lovers really hated these books too because the writing isn’t very good, but a lot of people who don’t study literature and prefer to just read books that are enjoyable loved the 50 Shades series, which I absolutely did not like at all.

4. Which book do you keep telling yourself you’ll read, but you probably won’t?

That’s an easy one: Lord of the Rings. I have a book with all three books in it (in Norwegian) which I’ll probably never read because I’ve tried and failed twice, if not three times. I just brought it to a friend’s house because her fiance wants to read it and I’m in no hurry to get it back!

5. Which book are you saving for “retirement”?

I don’t currently have any books that I’m saving for retirement; I’m 24 years old and haven’t thought that far into the future yet!

6. Last page: read it first or wait till the end?

Wait! What’s the point in reading the end before you even know what the story is about?

7. Acknowledgements: waste of ink and paper or interesting aside?

I don’t think it’s a waste of ink, because it can be important for the author to thank people who helped them write this book, but personally I don’t read them if it’s just one long list of names. But sometimes the acknowledgements can be interesting to read!

8. Which book character would you switch places with?

I’ve read a lot of dystopian YA etc, and I don’t really want to switch places with any of the characters there – they’re books that make me glad I don’t live in those societies, you know? Like Hunger Games, The Selection series, Divergent, Maze Runner, Beautiful Creatures… Even Harry Potter goes on this list. And then I’ve read books where the main character falls in someone who dies. Or something else horrible happens. I absolutely love the characters and the stories, but I wouldn’t want to be a character in those stories, you know? I really can’t think of a single character in a book that I would like to switch places with. I guess I have to read more!

9. Do you have a book that reminds you of something specific in your life?

Everything does! The books remind me of where I was when I read them the first time or last time, or what was going on in my life, or what else I was doing. If I have to mention one book specifically, it would be Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, and how I was on a roadtrip vacation with my family, reading in the car, and laughing a lot – Fred and George were particularly funny.

10. Name a book you acquired in some interesting way.

I get most of my books from bookshops or online bookshops. There are only a few that that isn’t the case with… Oh okay, I’v got one. When I went home to my parents this last weekend, my mom had left a copy of “Granateplene” (Traveling with Pomegranates) in my room because she had bought it when she already had it at home and decided she didn’t need two copies so she gave me one! I guess that’s kind of interesting. Another one was back in October last year when I was visiting my boyfriend and someone rang the doorbell and he went to open, and came back in and threw a parcel at me, which turned out to be the illustrated Chamber of Secrets book that he had pre-ordered for me months earlier and I’d completely forgotten about!

11. Have you ever given away a book for a special reason to a special person?

My friends got a “words of …” (love, wisdom, perseverance…) books for their birthdays last fall and each title was something I felt was fitting for that friend so I thought that was a special reason for special persons.

12. Which book has been with you to the most places?

This one is really difficult to answer because I usually save books for when I’m going somewhere, but most physical places would probably be Goblet of Fire as I had it with me on vacation that one summer that I mentioned above.

13. Any “required reading” you hated in high school that wasn’t so bad two years later?

I haven’t actually reread the required reading that I hated in school… One was required twice and it wasn’t so bad the second time around as it was the first time though, that was Of Mice and Men.

14. What is the strangest item you’ve ever found in a book?

A grocery list used as a bookmark (I would assume, as it was in the book).

15. Used or brand new?

Both. I love opening new books, but used books seem to have some sort of soul to them… And they tend to be easier to read because they’ve already been read once before.

16. Have you ever read a Dan Brown?

Yes! I’ve read all the Robert Langdon books, as well as Digital Fortress and Deception Point.

17. Have you ever seen a movie you liked better than the book?

I didn’t hate the 50 Shades movie like I did the books. And maybe Maze Runner – although I audio-booked that one so I’m not sure I got the complete experience of it as I would have if I’d read it as an actual book…

18. A book that NEVER should have been published.

50 Shades and Twilight series. They’re not good writing. Although I suppose they’re guilty pleasures for some. Speaking of Twilight, did anyone else find the reimagined version better than the original first book?

19. Have you ever read a book that’s made you hungry, cookbooks being excluded from this question?

Not that I can think of. Who actually reads cookbooks though?? Oh wait – I can think of one person actually.

20. Who is the person whose book advice you’ll always take?

My mother. But I can’t read only what she recommends because a lot of it is basically the same storyline and she doesn’t read fantasy or anything like that.