I don’t write poetry. I don’t usually “get” poetry and it’s never been one of my favourite creative methods to both write or read. Can I blame it on school? On having that dreaded poetry anthology thrust upon us all in Year 9, in schools all over the country? Possibly. School certainly didn’t make poetry a fun experience; having to dissect every line, every word almost, constant analysis and notations. We were never really allowed to just read it, enjoy it and make of it what we wanted to – if anything.
You know I love books by now… Everyone knows I love books. They are my calling. My soul-mate. My one true love. I honestly do not know what I would do without books and the incredible stories and lessons then hold within them. I’ve loved books ever since I was little and it was my mum which firmly got me into reading, after she used to read to me of a nighttime, tucked up in her bed when my dad used to work nights. We got through Harry Potter and Narnia and since then, I started reading Jacqueline Wilson books religiously. I’ve never lost my love for books and reading although it has dwindled in places down the line. Like when I was 18 and would much rather be drunk multiple nights a week rather than getting lost in my favorite books!
For people like me who aren’t raking in thousands of pounds each month, it can be incredibly difficult when you want to show someone you care about them when you don’t have the money to spare. I treat my mum, dad and boyfriend on their birthdays and spoil them as much as I physically can without being unreasonable but for the rest of the year, I simply can’t afford to buy things for people on a whim or book tickets to see a show as a surprise or anything like that. It’s a shame but obviously that’s reality for a lot of people – unless you’re Zoella and have all the money in the world to spend on others without being in financial difficulties yourself (no hate towards Zoella here, I admire her greatly as an entrepreneur).
Just to clarify before we get into it, the girl in the photo is me not just some random kid. And look how goddamn cute I was! I came home from a trip away to my boyfriend’s parents house “up norf” and saw this photo sitting in my parents bedroom. First of all, the frame is actually mine so I’m not so happy that my mum stole it but I thought it was cute nevertheless. I was looking at the photo whilst listening to Lea Michele’s version of “Wake Me Up” by Avicii (it’s a beautiful cover, you have to listen!) and all of a sudden I started crying. I know it sounds like I’m making this up but I’m not, genuinely, started to cry. For reals.
I love every aspect of a Disneyland Paris holiday: from the journey on the Eurostar, the hotel, the parades and the character meets. But the rides and attractions also play a huge part of the holiday for me. I’m not a lover of big, big rides so Disneyland is ideal for me because most of the rides aren’t too scary but some are just enough to give you a thrill! I’ve spent many an hour queuing for all the rides at Disneyland Paris so here are some of my favourites.
I simply could not pass up the opportunity to take part in this tag – I love Disney, you love Disney, we all love Disney (okay well maybe not all of us and if you don’t love Disney then seriously, what happened to make you this way?) I pinched the questions from Danielle at Underland to Wonderland who’s post you can find here. Enjoy and feel free to pinch! Oh and apparently this tag was supposed to be done in 5 minutes but I didn’t get that memo so it took me more like 5 days.
Last month saw the start of the brand new series of Paul O’Grady’s, ‘For The Love of Dogs’. I don’t know about you but I absolutely adore that show and haven’t missed a single episode since series 1. Paul O’Grady, fellow dog lover, heads into Battersea Cats and Dogs Home in the UK to give us, the viewers, a little insight into the workings of the rescue centre and also the sometimes very grisly background of some of the poor, unfortunate dogs that walk into the centre every single day. As well as extremely informative and eye-opening, the show can often be heart-wrenching and I’ve been known to
shed a tear sob uncontrollably at a handful of cases Paul has worked with on the show.
I was tagged by the lovely Leanne to take part in this tag, ‘8 Photos of Happiness’. I thought it was such a beautiful and uplifting idea that I had to give it a go. Just 8 photos with a short description of why it was a happy moment. So simple but effective and sometime, photos really do speak a thousand words.
This tag was originally created by Ariel’s Little Corner of the Internet and the intention is simple. Share 8 photos that represent a moment, object, place or feeling that makes you happy. Then tag others to share their own photos! So lo and behold, here are my 8 photos!
Today I’m pleased to bring you another guest post in my ‘Books That Made Me…’ feature and today it’s Kiera’s turn from The Book Cwtch and she’s talking about the books that made her fall in love. Enjoy!
Books That Made Me… Fall in Love
This is the first time I’ve done a guest post for another blogger and I’m so glad it will be for Jenny. She’s been super great helping me with all my questions.
I believe that books that made you fall in love are the books that will stay with you for the rest of your life. I’ve read so many amazing books in my lifetime so picking my favourites was a tricky process. But I’m really happy with the books I’ve chosen as they are the ones that left lasting impressions on me and helped shaped me into the person I am today. Continue reading
For Scarlet, raising two daughters alone means fighting for tomorrow is an everyday battle. Nathan, desperately clinging to a dead-end job and a loveless marriage, survives purely for his little girl, Zoe. Whilst Miranda’s biggest problem is driving her sister home from college with their boyfriends, whilst keeping her new Mini Cooper scratch free.
When news comes of a deadly epidemic, panic seeps into homes all over the world and chaos ensues… Knowing that they can’t outrun the danger, they all head for shelter and security at the same secluded ranch – Red Hill.
When a normal day spins out of control and the world comes crashing to an end, how far will they go to save their loved ones? Would you slow down to help a stranger if you were both running for your lives?
Set against the backdrop of a brilliantly realized apocalyptic world, love somehow finds a way to survive. But what happens when the one you’d die for becomes the one who could destroy you?
I won a signed copy of this book in a giveaway a while back and had not previously heard of it but after reading what it was about I knew it was my kind of book, especially with it being inspired by The Walking Dead – one of my favourite television programmes – I was eager to start reading. Red Hill is set against the backdrop of an apocalyptic world and follows 3 main characters, Scarlet, Nathan and Miranda on their journey to safety and trying to find their loved ones. They all decide to head for the same secluded ranch in the countryside – Red Hill – where they believe they can find shelter and stay safe. All 3 of their journeys overlap along the way and whilst taking cover at Red Hill they begin to seek comfort and assurance with each other and realise that despite the catastrophic events, when the world ends, love can survive.
Watching Zombies and reading about them are very different things. You have to rely on your own imagination to make it scary enough to do it justice and I was a bit worried and curious how it was going to translate as I’ve never read any zombie related books before. But as I said, I am a huge Walking Dead fan so it was easy to put a picture together in my head. I liked the 3 different points of view, Scarlet, Nathan and Miranda. It was interesting and exiting to hear how people with different personalities were dealing with their individual situations. I particularly warmed to Nathan however, with his wife leaving him the very day the deadly epidemic broke out, there was something really touching about a single dad who was previously depressed and in a loveless marriage having to pull everything together to take care of his daughter. At the beginning, they are just 3 normal people trying to make sense of the whole thing and doing whatever they can to keep those closest to them safe but you slowly learn about each of their pasts along the way and how all of the characters who end up at Red Hill ranch are in fact all linked in one way or another. I thought that was a really nice touch to the story because it showed not only that it’s a small world but in the midst of all the devastation, they all share some common ground which I think was the reason they all felt for one another’s situations. I liked that despite everything, the whole story centres around love. Not only the unconditional love you feel for your children or parents but new feelings that rise between two of the characters who had never previously met and probably never would have if it wasn’t for what happened. It shows that love really can be found in darkest times.
I think this book was fantastic at showing the emotions of the characters – if not more than any zombie film/programme I’ve watched. When watching it, you see the actions the characters are taking when they are afraid or determined but you can’t always feel it, and the looks of their faces don’t sometimes register what they are probably feeling inside. This book however painted a very good picture of the state some of these characters got in when they were scared or alone and for me, I could actually feel the sheer panic rising up in me for some of the situation they found themselves in. The only small criticisms I have for this book is firstly, I would have liked some more background information on how the zombie apocalypse came about in the first place. You do find out the general gist of how it started but I would have been interested in hearing the specifics. Secondly, during the first part of the book, before the characters actually reached Red Hill ranch, I had quite a hard time imagining the setting in my head. The towns, roads and highways all seemed like a bit of a blur to me but that may be down to the fact that this book was set in America and whereas I’m in London, we don’t use some of the same terminology.
Zombie apocalypse fans who like The Walking Dead, drama, chaos and a bit of romance thrown in – this one’s for for you. This was a touching yet dramatically devastating story about love, loss and how the human race would cope if the unthinkable happened. The characters showed courage, determination and how in the event of a global tragedy, you would do everything in your power to keep those closest to you safe.
Jamie McGuire is the New York Times bestselling author of Walking Disaster, Beautiful Disaster, and the Providence trilogy. She and her husband, Jeff, live with their children just outside Enid, Oklahoma, with three dogs, six horses, and a cat named Rooster.
You can find Jamie and Red Hill on the links below