Katie Writes

The Happy List – Plus A Bit of a Catch-Up Too!

Well, hello there! Let’s have a little bit of a catch-up – starting with some of the things that have put a smile on my face recently…

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My iMac got fixed. Kind of. I mean it got wiped and taken back to OS Sierra. (I’m currently writing this blog post on it, so that must be a good sign, right?) After it needed a new hard drive last November, I thought all my problems with it were over but it started acting up a few weeks after I got it back. To cut a long story short, I ran some diagnostic tests on it and they said the hard drive was failing AGAIN. I panicked and booked it into the Apple Store in Manchester immediately. We spent just under two hours sitting not with one, but two Geniuses (the lovely Malcolm and Alex) who were a bit stumped, to be honest.

Wiping it seemed to do the trick. They did say, at almost six years old, it was ‘vintage’, though... The only issue is, I’m missing loads of files and software, and as soon as I installed Lightroom and Photoshop back on here – which I use to edit my blog and Instagram photos with – it really started to struggle again. Anyway, in case you haven’t already fallen asleep – I’ve got a computer to blog with again. For now. We’ll see if it lasts, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed. 

While we’re on the subject of technology, I got a new toy last week – an Amazon Echo Input. (It was only 20 quid!) It’s the new Echo that you plug into an existing speaker, and it turns the speaker into your very own Echo. It’s quite handy to have Alexa in my room with me – granted, that sounds a bit wrong – and it might well make me even lazier, but it is really handy to listen to loads of different radio stations and for setting reminders and alarms and stuff.

An afternoon spent in Manchester

As I’ve just mentioned, we had to drag my iMac (almost literally, because it’s very big and heavy) up to Manchester. I love a good trip to MCR, and I’d hoped to make the best of my visit there by planning to visit one of the coffee shops that I’m yet to venture to that’s been sat on my TripAdvisor wish list thing for ages, but despite the best of intentions, that didn’t actually happen.

I did, in fact, have two coffees, but they were both from chain coffee shops because all of the independents that were within walking distance were shut by the time we left the Apple Store! Oh well, it just means I’ve got another excuse to go back, doesn’t it?

Leafing through a new book

I don’t know why, but whenever I finish a book, I have to have a break from reading – usually for a few weeks – while I decide what I’m going to read next. My reading list is so vast and I’m so indecisive that I can never pick with ease.

After finishing Why Social Media Is Ruining Your Life by Katherine Ormerod a few weeks back (which I’d 10/10 recommend to any fellow Instagram addicts out there) I’ve finally moved on to Little Black Book by Otegha Uwagba, which is proving a gentle and inspiring kick up the backside so far.

Retro racket

If you read my recent playlist, you’ll know that I’ve been listening to a lot of retro tunes lately (even more so than usual) and my Spotify has either been repeating my February playlist or playing whatever 80’s playlist I can find… I swear I was born in the wrong decade…

Making videos again

Back at the start of last month, you’ll have seen that one of my aims for the month was to start making videos again, but not for YouTube. I didn’t really film that much that was noteworthy, BUT I did dig out heaps of old footage that I intended to make into YouTube videos a couple of years ago. When I felt so utterly disheartened about YT as a platform, I just left the footage, half-finished, in Final Cut Pro and moved on and forgot all about it. I stumbled across it the other week, and I’ve edited two videos out of it already, and I think there’s enough for another two. (iMac-permitting, of course.)

I’ve uploaded the first two to Vimeo, and rather imaginatively named them ‘The Lost Videos’. I’ve also written a post, which needs some serious editing down, all about my thoughts on YT. But, it’s been lovely to edit some videos again, which I haven’t done for ages, except for IG Story vids. Expect to see them popping up over here soon!

Stripping back my Stories

If you follow me on Instagram, you might have seen that my Stories from my trip to Manchester were a bit different to usual. Over the past year or so, I’ve been inspired by some fantastic bloggers (namely Carrie from WishWishWish and Onyi from Mossonyi) who film their Stories with their camera and then edit them down afterwards. Influenced by them, I’ve been doing the same with my Stories on either my DSLR or a mirrorless camera.

While I love getting a good bokeh-laden snap or video for my Stories, it’s a bit of a pain in the backside to put so much effort into something that roughly 5-10% of my followers will see that also disappears after 24 hours. (Instagram isn’t my job, after all, and I don’t have the vast number of followers that those talented two do.)

So, I tried something different. I took things back to basics a bit. I documented my day more. I uploaded the Stories pretty much in ‘real time’ instead of batch uploading them at the end of the day. And I predominately used my iPhone camera, instead of a DSLR with a prime lens shooting at the widest aperture possible.

And, do you know what? The Earth didn’t spin off its axis. Some of my followers might’ve thought ‘ooh, what’s up? This is different’ but most of them still watched right through to the end.

I’ve gone into a lot more detail on this in a blog post that’ll be coming up soon, but it was lovely to just put a little less effort in, as bad as that sounds? It was quite refreshing to spend less time on documenting my already busy day. Basically, it was great to leave Instagram as an afterthought, rather than wasting lots of time and energy trying to garner enough pretty ‘content‘.

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What I’ve been watching/reading/listening to lately…

Blog posts I’ve loved:

5 Winter Skincare Saviours – WhatOliviaDid

Falling Behind In The Blogging World: The Impact Of Not Being Part Of The Clique – Media Marmalade

My Favourite Nail Polish Colours – Pretty Little Fawn

Triple Chocolate Nutella Stuffed Muffins – The Lovecats Inc.

5 Products For A Glowing Face and Body – WishWishWish


Green Wing – I’ve been re-watching a lot of what’s probably my favourite ever comedy: Green Wing. (Not heard of it? Don’t worry, you’re in good company. Hardly anyone else knows what I’m banging on about when I mention it.) It’s incredibly surreal and definitely isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but it’s been lovely to watch it again for the first time in ages!

Where can you watch it? All4 and on demand on Gold on SkyGo or over on NOW TV, if you’ve got the Entertainment Package.

This Time With Alan Partridge – Is it embarrassing to admit that every time I’ve washed my hands recently I’ve thought to myself ‘oooh, creamy hands’?

Where can you find it? BBC iPlayer and BBC One on Mondays at 9:30pm.

Line of Duty – The trailer for series 5 has recently been released! BBC Four were repeating series 2 and 3 over a few nights recently, which I’ve been glued to (when I definitely probably should’ve been sleeping) and it’s been great (but tense) to spend those evenings in the company of AC-12.

Want to watch it too? Find the first two series on BBC iPlayer or all four series on Netflix.

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Listening to:

A lot of 80’s bangers on Spotify, Greatest Hits Radio (a pretty new radio station) and podcast-wise:

    • Hashtag Authentic – One of Sara’s latest episodes talks about the interesting process behind writing her new book, which is definitely on my must-buy list.
    • Blossoms Pubcast – They’re hilarious, especially Grandad John
    • Brexitcast – If you aren’t already fed up enough of hearing about the shambles that is Brexit, this podcast is great at explaining things in more detail.
    • I Was There – This 5live podcast retells historic events through the viewpoint of people who were actually there. (For any fellow Journos/news nerds, the episode on how journalists reported the awful news of Princess Diana’s death is a must-listen.)


Enjoyed this post? You might also like: 7 Photography YouTubers You Should Watch Today, 5 Ways To Support Your Favourite Bloggers, or even 5 Little Things I’m Doing To Beat The Winter Blues.