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My first post as a WOMAN IN HER LATE 20s which is fine, obviously, I'm totally a proper person and not freaking out over this.
We were going to troll over to St Fagan's open air museum because everyone has told me 'OMG Katie how you shall love this place etc', and also, when I went to Big Pit last year it was GREAT and possibly the best museum I've been to, so I assume all museums in Wales are equally good. Sadly, however, it did verily rain for most of the morning and my mum suggested it would be less than fun to troll round an open air museum given the inclement conditions. This was fine. I still wished to frolic in Wales, so we trolled over to Hay on Wye to look at the millions of bookshops WITHOUT the unbenefit of a billion Guardian readers treading on us and complaining about the lack of WiFi.
We ate at Oscar's Bistro, where they were most generous with their salad:
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IT WAS DELICIOUS. Then we spent some time in Booth's Bookshop:
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I could have quite happily spent the day there, I think. I was quite restrained and only bought one book, which I think is admirable. I thought I wouldn't be interested in bookshops as much now that I go to Barter Books most weekends, but no, I still love them, and the ones in Hay are especially fun because they are often over several floors, and there are hidden bits all over the place. Perhaps I shall run a bookshop, although not for profit obviously because that is Capitalism.
I managed to fit in a fair bit to my extended weekend at home, which is good. I saw little Edward and little Nerys on Sunday and we enjoying experiencing cocktails, along with the thriving metropolis of Hereford on a Sunday evening. I'm hopping on a train back to Alnwick this afternoon but shall not be sorrowful, as I'll be back the weekend after next to frolic for Easter, even if the price of train tickets sends my hair grey (that, and my great age). I might go and sit in the garden before then and see if my friends the cats appear.

Ahhh it is good to be home. I'm in danger of completing my transformation into little Rhian, I've discovered. I was sat in the garden, 'helping' my mum plant flowers by sitting next to her chatting, while drinking tea. Then a couple of cats from next door came to visit! Instead of bidding them a cordial good afternoon as I'd have done before, I stroked them for ages and one of them (a female cat, quite possibly by the name of Julian – no, really, one of the cats next door has indeed been named after my dad) bumped her little head against my knee lots and lots.
Capture

SUCH A LITTLE PUDDING

I don't think I could ever own cats because I grew up vegetarian, and the idea of buying meat or fish, even if not for me, feels wrong, but maybe I could visit them and they would be affectionate and awwwwww such cute.
Apart from going AWWWWW I've been mostly hiding from my family, exploring town (which seems to have changed LOADS in 4 months) and feeling short, since all five of my younger siblings are taller than me, which seems unfair. PIZZA IS SOON.

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I know I'm not exactly renowned for NOT being as soft as cotton wool if not softer, but even I'm surprised by how much a little cat over in Sweden has tugged on my supposedly ice-cold heartstrings. I'd never properly been able to relate to pet bereavement before, and here's me getting sad about a much-loved member of that family over the water who I keep obsessively visiting. He passed away yesterday, and at first I thought the miserable feeling in my stomach was because I felt so sad for Little Rhian, which I do very much, but even as a non-cat-person, I too will miss little Custard. Even though he terrified me when I met him back in May because he ran around so very much and so very quickly, I developed quite a fondness for him. I'd never so much as picked up a cat before but by the end of that week in May, I was fairly cool with Custard deciding to sit on me as I sat on the toilet. I didn't even flinch too much when he kept trying to grab my face, and when I woke up at around 3am during my visit in December to find Custard sleeping on top of me, I was only a BIT frightened.
I know that he's not in pain anymore, and now the uncertainty's gone, I can maybe stop obsessively checking my phone for updates and needing to leave the office to have 'a bit of a moment'. Poor small Swedefriends. It is a horrible thing to go through.

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Me and a content-looking Custard back in May, once he'd stopped dashing round the house, popping up in unexpected places to troll me, and decided to start carving out a place in my affections.
I have been trying to keep my mind occupied with gardening (obviously, and easier now that the evenings are lighter), online law courses (an attempt to turn me into GoodTranslator) and Goat Simulator. The latter is probably not a sensible way of spending my time – in fact, it's the stupidest computer game I've ever played. You're a goat, and you get to run round and smash things. You can attach yourself to a jetpack. Blow stuff up. Kidnap humans by sticking them to your tongue and running round with them. I sometimes think that in life, literally ALL YOU CAN DO is play a computer game where you pretend to be a goat and create havoc. It doesn't make much sense, but then, loads of things don't make sense.

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I think one of my priorities in this whole 'learning to drive' thing is to arrange my face so it doesn't look as terrified, because while amusing for my instructor, I think it will worry other drives if they see someone with my lunatic face behind the wheel. For example, today we went on the country roads outside town and got to use FOURTH GEAR!! Keep in mind that my default face is slightly worried-looking (AS WELL IT MIGHT, I HAVE A DISABILITY DON'T YOU KNOW). This is what happens.

face
It was fun though, zooming (OK I KNOW THAT 50MPH IS NOT THE FASTEST SPEED EVER ATTAINED BY MAN) along the country roads. I think I liked it because there were no other cars about.
The ungodly agony in my stupid wisdom tooth has abated slightly although the lockjaw still remains, which makes me eating cake an even more tragic sight that normal, as I have to crumble the cake into little parcels I can post between my teeth. The gum feels less swollen though, so maybe I'll unhinge my jaw in time for BIRTHDAY CAKE NEXT WEEK. O wow it is my last Monday of being 25. Probably the 26 year-old Katie will see Mondays as a fresh and exciting opportunity and not as a mini version of Ragnarök. I don't think I've been further south than York since Christmas, although the old memory might be fading (to be expected at my age), and I'm experiencing great confusion on a number of matters. Like what to call the meal you eat in the evening. Before I went to school it was tea, because my mother was determined to bring her children up Scousely despite living in southern realms. But when I went to school I had to say dinner because people got very confused by the concept of 'eating tea'. It then remained dinner until I moved here, where nearly everyone calls it tea (even in Sheffield I'm pretty sure it was a 50/50 split thus no reason for me to change). But now people look at me like I regularly hunt pheasants if I call it dinner, so I must re-revert. It's like the whole tig/tag debacle again. How will I cope back in the Midlands, which is quite a confused area culturally and linguistically speaking anyway? OK I am probably worrying about this too much, it is just because I spend 40% of my time thinking about sociolinguistics (10% about the futility of all my efforts and life itself, 30% about cake, 20% about coffee and what would happen if I ever ran out).
Aims for next month include GOING TO A GIN BAR and perhaps also drinking more absinthe. I AM FINE, I WILL NOT DO THIS WHEN DRIVING. In May I'm hoping to troll down to That London and visit EPIC VIKING EXHIBITION. Then it is June when I get to troll Sweden for TWO WHOLE WEEKS, REJOICE.

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