Guilty Pleasures…

We all have them, right? Although I’m always wondering why pleasures have to be ‘guilty’ – is that some sort of Catholic guilt thing that has seeped into our language?

My guilty little pleasures tend to be the brink of disaster ones, like going online shopping, adding things to the basket, then at the last minute deleting it all because I can’t afford it. Maybe it’s a bit like window shopping and doesn’t really do you any harm unless you actually go thru with it and buy all the goodies in the basket. I used to be a serious shopaholic when I was at Uni the first time around; perhaps because I didn’t go out a lot doing those things that eat into a students bank account (clubbing, drinking and so on). So I guess I had a bit of cash to spare. At the moment I am paying month installments of the Open University course off – it’s £81 a month so doesn’t leave me with that much spare cash. I’m also saving up to sort out my Graduate overdraft which needs to be paid off a bit in September.

I also LOVE chocolate and have a huge sweet tooth. However, I tend to have periods where I don’t go near chocolate and then one day gorge myself, then get fed up of it then go another long period without eating any. I’m not fond of hard boiled sweets or gummy sweets, just chocolate, for the main part. Particularly chocolate that has nuts in it – like peanuts, brazil nuts or Cadbury’s Fruit and Nut, Green and Blacks Hazlenut and Raisin or Lindt Almond and Raisin (I think). When I was a teenager, my chocolate of choice was a Snickers. I don’t like chocolate that has liqueur, and I prefer milk chocolate to very dark chocolate, although Green and Black’s Milk Chocolate is rather heavenly (enough dark and enough milk).

Another thing is books. I have a huge book want list. On Amazon, my wish list is about 10 pages long :O I constantly get really excited about new books coming out – I’m a sci fi and fantasy fangirl so basically there is always the next book of a series being released. So again, it is a case of temptation – even though I have a few books in my bookcase that need to be read before I buy any other books. I think I get worried that the books I want will go out of stock if I don’t buy them now or soon, or something. I also love the smell of new books – its sort of like sawdust or freshly baked bread. But the good news about wanting books is that you can get them cheaply somewhere if you look hard enough. So they can be bought without eating too far into the bank balance.

I also have a desire for notebooks and stationery. I love fountain pens, and like to look at very beautiful ones on internet websites. I use a Parker Frontier fountain pen which is a pale iridescent lilac with silver metal, and a fine nib. I always use black ink, and not the washable kind. I find that washable ink tends not to last that long, it sort of fades sometimes. Anyway, when I was younger I also used to get excited about stationery, notebooks and pens, and used to go into Paperchase and covet everything. Maybe it’s a writer’s thing – like the tools of your trade is paper and ink, not to mention anything else that gets placed around your desk to make your workspace look brighter. Moleskine notebooks are my present crush – the paper is so smooth and also not too thin or too thick. The notebooks lie flat open when open, so you don’t get that annoying thing of having to force the notebook spine to lie flat when writing.

Another little secret I have is some very strange comfort movies – either romance or 80’s cheese. I quite like silly fantasy films like Willow, Labyrinth, Beetlejuice, Legend and Ghostbusters. I’m sure there are more dubious ones somewhere. I have memories of staying up when I was younger and watching Schwarznegger, Stallone or even (I might throw up a bit) Van Damme 80’s action movies. It was just comforting to know that even though there was a lot of blood and violence, the good guy would eventually win. I rather like martial arts films, and liked them even before the vogue for World Cinema or Asian Cinema. I recommend watching Kung Fu Hustle (very funny and spoof-like) and Battle Royale 1 and 2 (violent but has a curious appeal).

I’ve never really thought about it, but I think in some ways I’m probably a bit on the geek side with my preferences. It’s not that I’m obsessed with stuff like The X Files, Smallville or Heroes, or even with Back to the Future and Indiana Jones, but more that I find I get adrenaline rushes from watching action stuff, and that Sci Fi and Fantasy books are interesting in their variety (Anne Rice, Stephenie Meyer, Neil Gaiman, Steven King – all very different). It is sort of comforting to know that good, for the most part, generally triumphs over evil. Maybe I have some sort of complex there, I don’t know. It’s pure escapism, anyway.

I handed in my life writing assignment on Thursday night, and I’m glad to be done with it – it was much harder than I thought it would be. It’s trying to get a hold on the senses you used in that memory, and having to make some things up or research stuff then put it into a narrative that is interesting. It’s much more like fiction writing than you would think, anyway.

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