Yet another week of the O.W.Ls has passed, and it hasn’t been an easy one.
Ancient Runes Arithmancy Defence Against the Dark Arts History of Magic Transfiguration
Ancient Runes – Heart Rune: Read a book with a heart on the cover or in the book/series titleHeartstopper: Volume Two by Alice Oseman Arithmancy – Magical qualities of number 2 (balance/opposites): Read a book outside your favourite genreThe Black Unicorn by Audre Lorde Astronomy – Night Classes: Read the majority of this book when it’s dark outsideAssassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb
- Care of Magical Creatures – Hippogriffs: Read a book with a creature with a beak on the cover
- Charms – Lumos Maxima: Read a book with a white cover
Defence Against the Dark Arts – Grindylows: Read a book set at sea/the coastThe Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo
- Divination – Third Eye: Assign numbers to your TBR and use a random number generator to pick your read
- Herbology – Mimbulus Mimbletonia: Read a book with a title that starts with an M
History of Magic – Witch Hunts: Read a book featuring witches/wizardsTruthwitch by Susan Dennard Muggle Studies – Read a book from the perspective of a muggle (Contemporary)Heartstopper: Volume Three by Alice Oseman Potions – Shrinking Solution: Read a book under 150 pagesA Little Light Mischief by Cat Sebastian Transfiguration – Animagus Lecture: Read a book/series that includes shapeshiftingEtiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger; narrated by Moira Quirk
As you can see above, I decided to count The Language of Thorns for my DADA O.W.L instead of Care of Magical Creatures; the final story in the collection, When Water Sang Fire, is set in and by the sea, so it fits!
I also ended up picking up Etiquette & Espionage, which has been sitting on my bookshelf for around seven years, for Transfiguration because I want to challenge myself to read more of the physical books on my shelves during quarantine, and means I have all the subjects I need for the Librarian career. I ended up listening to most of this book via audiobook, though, which was really fun, and is the only way I would have got through this book.
On Wednesday morning, my lovely, lovely 82-year-old grandma, Edna, passed away after testing positive for the coronavirus.
She’s been unwell and in and out of hospital a few times this year, and after her dementia diagnosis several years ago her health has gradually been going downhill, but her passing was sudden and heartbreaking. I’m going to miss her so much. I never got to see her as much as I would have liked in recent years – after uni I’ve lived in south Wales and Gloucestershire, while my grandma was born and raised in Newcastle – but I’m desperately going to miss ringing her and always being greeted with an enthusiastic: ‘Oh, hello darling!’
She had a hard life, and she didn’t deserve it to come to an end this way. I don’t think she ever owned anything that wasn’t secondhand, and she raised my dad and my auntie alone when she was suddenly widowed at 30-years-old. I firmly believe my granddad, Richard, was waiting for her on the other side, and they’ve been reunited at last.
I’ll always remember her as she was in my childhood, with her nails always painted red or pink, with lipstick to match, and a pearl necklace. I’ll remember the ‘click-clack’ of her knitting needles before the arthritis in her hands got too bad, and the woollen clothes for my doll that I was told were from Mrs. Claus but I knew were Grandma’s work because they smelled of cigarette smoke.
I’ll remember her big hugs and kisses, the electric blanket she used to let me borrow when I slept over at her house, and how she always let me watch The Swan Princess on repeat because I didn’t have it on VHS.
So goodbye, Grandma, and sleep tight. I miss you already, and will love you always.
And lastly, a huge thank you to the NHS and all of our essential workers – and a special thank you to the nurse who sat with my grandma in her final hours so she wasn’t on her own. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate that kindness, for sitting with her when I couldn’t.
Please, please, please stay at home and practice social distancing. My grandma hadn’t left her home for weeks, but she’s still become one of the victims of this pandemic. You never know what you might spread by accident. Please, if you can, stay at home.