Fun for Monday: Anything but Books

I found this tag over at Zeezee’s last week (I’m sure I’ve said it before, but Zeezee is the queen of tags and I love her for it, as well as for her awesome self!), and thought it was perfect for my current not-quite-back-in-the-bloggy-game mood. It was created by booktuber ReadorRot.

Let’s get these questions answered!


Name a cartoon that you love

We’re currently working our way through That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime, an anime series which is pretty funny.

I used to love the Animaniacs, and I saw somewhere that they’re making/have made a comeback (?) which could be fun. Anyway, the Pinky and Brain skits were my favourite bit, and their signature lines are probably the next most quoted in our house after “My name is Inigo Montoya…” and anything that Madeleine Kahn has ever uttered on screen.

Pinky and Brain


What is your favourite song right now?

Erm, this is a difficult one. I have a bit of an auditory processing issue, so I don’t naturally put the radio on or have Spotify on my phone or laptop and don’t often find new artists that I like. And I don’t really like to listen to music while doing something else. And when I do do that, I’ll listen to an album repetitively for a loooong time. Thumbs is the music lover in our household and I usually just tag along. For example, he’s a huge Twenty-One Pilots’ fan. As a  result, I like them too, particularly their first album, Vessel, which I’ve been happily listening to for six years so far, (and nope, I haven’t learnt all the words – I’m not great at that either). My favourite track is Holding onto You.


What could you do for hours (that isn’t reading)?

Hand sewing and tidying. Especially, putting books in order and weeding damaged books off the shelves at work – I could do – and have done – that all day and not notice I’d missed lunch.

Hand sewing is something I find really therapeutic, so I nearly always have a project of some sort on the go. I’m happily obsessed with patching and quilting at the moment.

Photo by Susan Q Yin on Unsplash


What is something you love to do that your followers would be surprised by?

I don’t know that it’d be a surprise particularly, but I love to look at/handle/collect interesting stones. I’ve done it ever since I was a child. I don’t have anything but the most basic of geology knowledge to go with this, I just really like to look at interesting stones. I don’t really have a big collection of stones either; I used to have a big jar I kept all my childhood stones in, but I put them in the garden before we moved and only kept a couple of very special ones.

Which I’m going to share with you now because this question has piqued my interest:

Top left: a ‘hag stone’ given to me by my best friend from school. She died a couple of years ago and this is weirdly one of the very few things I still have from her.

Top right: I always think of this one as my very first stone. I remember exactly where I found it, on a rare walk with my brother and both our parents (our Dad’s not really outdoorsy), when I was about six or seven. It’s a piece of slag stone.

Bottom left: This stone was given to me by a lady I met in my first proper job. Having left college, but not yet decided on university, I thought I’d never make any new friends or find anyone who liked the things I liked. She and I swapped stones, and all of hers, including this piece of flint, had a kind of polish to them. It’s lovely and smooth to hold.

Bottom right: This is a devil’s toenail, or Gryphaea, to give it its proper name. For years I thought I’d made these up along with the memory of my grandpa telling me that they were the devil’s toenails. A couple of years ago Thumbs and I were working in his mother’s garden and he called me over to show me this. I was so excited to find out that devil’s toenails were real after all. We’ve found a good handful of them in my mom-in-law’s garden since then too.


What is your favourite, unnecessarily specific thing to learn about?

I tend to go through phases where I’m really interested in a particular subject. When I was about sixteen I taught myself how to knap my own stone tools. I’m not saying I did a great job or anything, I was just very into that for a bit. A few years ago, it was cooking cabbage – I wanted to learn as many different things to do with a cabbage as I could. Right now, I am fascinated by the menopause and just how little solid research has been done about it.

Oh, and I’m trying to learn Sign language too.

Photo by ibuki Tsubo on Unsplash


What is something unusual you know how to do?

I can make books from scratch. You know: constructing the cover, folding and sewing the folios, binding them together, attaching the cover, finishing …? I can do that. Not as well as some people can, but well enough for my purposes.

I made this


Name something you’ve made in the last year (and show us if you can).

I made this bolster cushion for our bed last summer:

I made this too


What is your most recent personal project?

I have just finished shortening and painting up an old tv unit for our living room. Our previous tv unit was a battered little thing that we had from a friend of Thumb’s. I saw this one in a charity shop for £25, but when we got it home it was a couple of inches too long for the space we have. So I cut it down, and then, because it was a bit battered in places, I painted parts of it and changed the handles on the drawer. I’m surprised it turned out as well as it did. Here, take a look:


Tell us something you think about often (maybe while staring out of windows).

Go with me on this one: I often think, isn’t Earth incredible? I walk along a footpath and I’ll see plants working their way up through the tarmac, or between the paving stones, or I’ll see so many different types of plant in the verge as we’re driving along, and it kind of blows my mind. Things are living, living, living, pushing to survive all the time, no matter what we do. Life is so … persistent. Even in people. People can suffer the most horrendous injuries or sicknesses and their bodies still cling to life almost beyond endurance. It’s astounding.


Give us something that’s your favourite, but make it something oddly specific, not like your favourite food, but like your favourite food when you’ve been studying for hours and forgot to eat, or, you know, something like that …

I love to watch people, but my favourite thing about people-watching is seeing how other people physically handle things like their phones, bags and books. Especially their books. There is something beautiful about watching people’s hands anyway, but seeing a book handled, whether carefully or carelessly, gingerly or ungently, is my number one fascination.

Photo by Ashkan Forouzani on Unsplash


Now what about you? Do you like people watching? Do you have any hidden talents? Consider yourself tagged and tell us all your secrets!



  1. Thanks for the shout out! 😀
    Animaniacs was one of my favs too as a kid. I think they already have the new show going on Hulu.
    I think that’s so cool that you know how to make books from scratch, and the stones fascinate me… well, the names of them really fascinate me like the hag stone, which I thought looks like a cool stone ring, and the devil’s toenail. I don’t know why but I find that name funny, devil’s toenail, lol. It’s very interesting though. I didn’t know there were such names for stones. I’m off to google them now.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yay! Animaniacs! 🙌
      I think hag stone is just a general term for a stone with a hole through it. I’ve heard them called fairy stones too, but I like hag stone better. Names are awesome! 😁


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