Entertainment, Life, Lifestyle

It Has Been A Bit Hectic…

So, the last few months or so, I chose not to post. Aside from wondering what to write about, I have also been really busy experiencing life. And by that? I mean working, travelling to Barcelona, seeing friends, and catching up on my reading. And now? Well, I no longer have writers’ block and that means the blog train is on the tracks…and leaving the station. Most importantly, this month has been a good month- it seems that things are looking up! I went on my first girls trip, and my health and fitness are improving hugely, and I finished the book I have been trying to read for months… But, it has been a little hectic. All of this, and I have been working quite a bit too, but I like the chaos. I thrive in it. The chaos helps me focus. I am definitely one of those people who live in organised chaos even though my room is immaculate, and everything has a place. My head is where the organised chaos lives and functions.

We all have our own ways of coping. And I plan to write a thorough blog post about Barcelona, a book review, feeling more myself-looking forward, and seeing the world through optimistic eyes. But for now? I will summarise my last few months and later link the other blogs to this post. Now where to begin?

I know Barcelona!

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BARCELONA

So, my first girls trip. And we chose to go to Barcelona. It was beautiful. Compared to living over here, the buildings have so much more character while us? We have a lot of big tall, rectangular buildings. Truthfully, the different buildings signify the architects and builders who made them- you can see the artistry and hard work that went into designing them. Not just that, Barcelona has so many statues and monuments all over the city, it is everywhere you turn. My favourite parts of the trip included; Sagrada Familia, Barcelona’s Olympic Stadium and trying a huge Spanish Paella with Muscles, Shrimp, and other fish in it. Our eyes were definitely bigger than our stomachs…that is for sure. The hostel was amazingly modern, and I would definitely stay with the chain again and it was nice to have our first official girls trip too. Going through the airport and FLYING for the first time on my own? Well, that was terrifying especially with a fear of heights… I made it though. Airport food? It was meh. I would like airports to stop assuming we all like the same fast food or just want a sandwich because that was especially annoying. I got to see what I wanted, take pictures, and have fun. Overall, it would be nice to go back for longer.

Next!

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Twisted Cedar…

The best kind of reading is a book you just cannot put down. You ever heard of those people who pick up a book and just lose time? I am one of those… On the positive side, if I cannot put it down then I must really enjoy the book but, it also means when you find a good book series you end up having to read them all. Suddenly, it is Sunday night and you have not moved except for the basic functions over the last two days. I found a free eBook on my kindle, and this is the experience I had. Written by C.J. Carmichael, the Twisted Cedar Mysteries set is a page-turner. Once I read one, I knew I needed to buy the other two and I did not see that ending coming. Not one killer but two… And you will never be able to guess who either of them is. Plus, we have a bit of romance and some genuinely nice bonding moments between brother and sister. It is that good a series, I am reading them again. If you have not read them, I suggest you do. They are named Buried, Exposed and Forgotten… I know eerie right?!

Tattoo

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I finally found my next tattoo, or should I say newest body art edition. It has just been finished off at the tattoo shop and I love it. With a lot of friend and family issues over the last few years, the all-seeing eye seemed a fitting edition. Now, I am looking to the future and the past, with positivity in mind. As my readers know, I have two others and am an advocate for people being able to express who they are, in the way they want without judgements. For me, that is my tattoos and for others, it could be piercings or new jewellery. It is all about celebrating you! Or as I love to say sometimes… DO YOU BOO! Because there is not anyone better.

Gym Membership

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I finally got back on the health and fitness horse, so to speak. Yes, I joined the gym. After experiencing injuries, illness, and a busy schedule I decided the best way to get a workout in is the gym. And my gym is amazing. For £17.99, I can get into any free classes and use all the gym equipment including the sauna. Overall, I have been feeling better since getting back to fitness and interlacing my running throughout. And finally, after a fall which resulted in a badly injured foot, some cracked ribs and damaged hand…once my tattoo heals, I will be back at it again. Just so you are clear, AIR CONDITIONING is the best thing ever invented. As a red-head, I overheat easily in the sun and so, indoor exercising is key for me.

That About Sums It Up…

So, this about sums everything up. I have been working a lot and I will not bore you with the details but, it is enjoyable for now. It means I can pay for LUNA…my little Fiat. You know what though? I am happy and positive. For me, that is all you can ask for.

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Entertainment, Life

Head in the Clouds… Actually Books 📚

Anyone who loves to read, loves the world’s in their favourite books. You imagine what it looks like, smells like, and how the characters would be with you- if it was in fact reality. This is the life of a book worm! We can’t help it. These books provide us escapes, adventure, support, love etc. Authors are truly gifted. And the best authors make the world come to life around you. So, we all have our favourite places (fictional world) to visit. Today, my post is about that. My favourite worlds. I just believe that reading is important and the best time to introduce it into a person’s life is when you are a child.

I have a little story. Recently, I was at the doctors and in our waiting room there are books. Yes! It’s good because it encourages a child to read. This little boy picked up a book, asking his mum to help him read. Unfortunately she proceeded to berate him for picking a book up and he sat there upset while his mum played a game on her phone… we could hear the music. As I headed to my own appointment, I couldn’t help but wonder how this would affect him later in life. Would he enjoy reading? Would he grow up with his face in his phone? You see, our behaviour is learned from what we see. And would she complain when he was older that he was to busy on his tech instead of his head in books?

Will he ever have favourite fictional worlds?

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Now, put your reading glasses on because we are about to go on an epic adventure. To begin;

Morganville

Off to Texas we go, with 16-year-old Claire Danvers- a girl with a big brain, big dreams and overprotective parents who sent her to a smaller University till she got ‘older’. With sun shining regularly, she sure had to grow-up fast when you find out the town is owned and run by VAMPIRES…not her parents best decision. This is why you should always research where you attend school.

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I love this world. Rachel Caine is a genius. I bought these books when I needed a new set to read. And now I own them all. What drew me in? That was the complex, beautiful world she constructed. It’s an adrenaline rush for the reader, so imagine living there. I always wonder if I were there, would I be able to survive? Would Claire, Eve, Michael and Shane take me under their wing? Or would I find my own way. Mostly set in Morganville, I can picture the town in my mind- the Founder’s Houses, the university campus, Myrnin’s Lab, Common Grounds etc. And the characters- Amelie and Sam, Oliver, Hannah and Richard…even Monica. Rachel is that good. 

Hogwarts

*Crack* Whew, thank god I haven’t splinched. That would have been messy. I’ve just arrived in Hogsmeade and I’m on my way to the school. Hope Hagrid kept my cuppa warm. Harry and his friends go on many an adventure. From travelling the world in book seven, to fighting in the Ministry of Magic, to the great many battles faced by all the wizarding world. J.K Rowling is amazing. She wrote the first books by hand, and she keeps the world alive today. I don’t have to imagine what this world is like because we all went to Hogwarts when Harry did. 

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This world is my childhood. My mum started reading the books to myself as a kid but, I had no patience and finished reading them all myself. Aside from the constant fear of death, Harry is a pretty well-adapted kid. He has a homicidal, psychopath who craves power constantly trying to kill him, to deal with being raised in an emotionally abusive household, being bullied at school and going from having no sort of family to a huge support system…it is a lot. Especially for an eleven-year-old. I’m surprised he didn’t have a breakdown.

Camp Half-Blood

A killer summer camp anyone? Or maybe the feeling you are constantly being watched and chased by various mythological creatures? If you want that, or experience that then you are probably a demigod with one of your true parentage being a Greek God. Not only that, but you can also attend a Roman camp wherein your parent was probably in his Roman form. Percy, Annabeth and Grover will guide you through this world. And as they meet friends on their way, you’ll get to know them too. 

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This is one of my favourite fictional worlds because I see it being so much fun. In my head, the campers are laughing, forming familial bonds with their half-siblings and planning the next prank. Also, you get to meet Gods! If you are lucky. Although, it has become much better now Percy won the battle of Olympus. It is one huge dysfunctional family from the jealous cousins (Ares) to the scheming Aunts (Hera). You have to love it!

My point is that reading is important. All of these books provide myself with an escape, they enable me to relax and become a part of their world. I go on adventures with Percy, fight vampires with Claire and experience a world of magic with Harry. And everyone should get that feeling. This is what reading provides. Alongside, the ability to comprehend words better and advancing your child’s’ literacy skills. What are you waiting for? Go and find yourself a book now. We all have different tastes. What is your favourite fictional world to visit?

Entertainment

American Gods: Book Review

Normally I’m a pretty fast reader. Ask anyone who knows me. I completed two Game of Thrones books in a weekend, the entire Harry Potter Series over four days and both The Hobbit, and Lord of the Rings within a week and that is a long book. This was only 600+ pages. For me, that is child’s play but, I took my time with this book. Not because I love it more than some of my favourite series, or because I absolutely hated it. I took my time with this book because from the very first page I realised, this book needs to be read slowly, re-read and savoured.

*Disclaimer- the book is completely different to what I have seen of the show*

Firstly, I am going to talk about the overall story, then the characters and finally recommend ten times over that this is a book you should all read.

I did not see the story ending how it did. It was magnificent. With some books, the ending has a twist but then it isn’t explained, or it comes too late in the book instead of building from the beginning, or the twist is so damn predictable you could have written a better ending. And those are the most disappointing kind. I won’t tell you how the book ends because that would ruin the surprise for anyone reading it however, I just had to begin with the ending because as you can see I’m still in a state of shock and awe.

The book begins with Shadow facing a personal tragedy resulting in his early prison release. What the follows is mystery, action, adventure, myths and legends coming to life, a little bit of love, family, betrayal and renewal. And most of the time, these kind of books aren’t good because there are just too many elements however, Neil Gaiman is a magician and has managed to sow these elements together to create a wonderfully, original story wherein you don’t always realise a new clue to the overall mystery has been identified within the story. Furthermore, the characters as there are so many names and descriptions to remember all bring an individual piece of the puzzle with them. Some openly know what bearing their knowledge has whilst others simply trade on it assuming it useless to Shadow.

So, with all those characters I’ll rattle off the few which stuck in my head.

Shadow- We discover the mystery through him, and only when he finally understands a part of the puzzle then so does the audience. Lost and angry, Shadow is the key to the whole picture with obstacles always thrown in his direction whilst grieving for his wife and friend. He is every gods pawn until he realises the true power he holds. Your classic protagonist who is rough around the edges and broken deals with identity issues stemming to his childhood. Overall an amazingly complex character who is great to follow within the story and provides the reader with a relatively normal character to follow the story through.

Wednesday- A man in disguise. A mystery. A scared god who uses Shadow to complete his true plan. However, you constantly get the feeling he is trying to tell Shadow all along who he is and what he needs. Wednesday demonstrates that the biggest conman in the world are the gods within this story, they’ve lost themselves and stooped to the level of humans (a travesty to them) to survive. He just admits this fear. He plays the bad guy trying to be the good guy. Or does he?

Low Key- I never actually got this until the end. A very good ploy by the author to disguise one of the many antagonists in plain sight. Introduced to this character as Shadow’s mentor in prison, the man who helped him cope and gave pearls of wisdom to him, it is hard to understand how I missed his true godly identity. It was smacking over the head the entire time. This is why I love this character because you think someone so minor was just to set up the story but, instead he plays a major role. The author brilliantly hid this character till the perfect time for which he revealed himself cementing the entire con.

This is just a small taste of the book but I recommend you all pick it up and give it a go. Without trying to give too much away, I hope I’ve told you why I love this book. And I’ll say it again; there is shock and awe, the characters are brilliantly written and developed and you never understand the full picture of the book till the end. This is because the author wants it like this to pull in the audience. It is definitely worth the read.

Read it! Read it! Read it! Read it! Read it! Read it! Read it! Read it! Read it! Read it!