How is it October already? I have the horrible feeling that September wasn’t exactly a productive month, but I woke up this morning feeling motivated to begin something new.
As you may or may not have read on this blog previously, I dropped out of university and I’m basically trying to find my feet. I hate being out of education, I love learning, learning is something that I cherish a great deal.
Taking that into account, I’m considering enrolling on an English Literature course with the Open University. This may not seem that bigger deal but for me to give university another go and hope that I will gain a degree that will change my career direction- I see it as a huge deal!
I guess September time I have been researching as much as I can about the course and the way I will study it, you may already know but with OU you study at home and can take up to 8 years to complete a degree. Ideally I would like to be a full time student and gain my degree within 3 years but I do have an option to change this. I have spoken to a friend of mine who has just begun her OU experience and I’m hoping they will keep me updated with how they’re getting on, and if I decide to go ahead with enrolling on the course I will start around February time of 2015.
I’m excited to step out onto this new path and embrace the knowledge of brilliant writers, classical and modern- particularly Charles Dickens!
Anyway enough with the dull, October is a bit of a busy month ahead. This weekend I’m visiting my best friend Mollie at her university for a few days and I’ve been looking forward to it for a long while now. With my friends being a uni all the time I’m not socialising as much as I would like to, so a trip to Eastbourne is on the cards and I can’t wait to have a bit of fun and a change of scenery 🙂
A couple of gigs are coming up too, both in the same week ah! I’ll be seeing Jake Bugg for the second time and George Ezra for the first- very excited for them both! I LOVE going to gigs, especially in London. Sadly they’re my last gigs for 2014, I’ve been very lucky this year to have attended a fair few that have all been so memorable. I hope you’re enjoying my visual aids in this post haha ;D
Thinking back to feeling creative and such this morning, I have this idea of creating a second YouTube channel where I can help those of you with GCSE/A Level revision. I know not all of you will be from the UK and therefore take this qualifications but it might aid you also with the exams that you are obligated to take.
It was just a thought, something else for me to keep myself occupied. I would be able to help you with Geography specifically as this is the subject I most enjoyed back in high school. If any of you think this would help you with upcoming exams then let me know, it would be great to help you 🙂
Books I’m hoping to read this month are going to be read on my Kindle, this is because I have a free subscription to borrow books with Kindle Unlimted. This is available for a free month which afterwards you have the choice of cancelling or paying £7.99 a month to continue this offer.
So here’s a list of the books I hope to read this month:
Introducing her first crime novel, J.K Rowling writing under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith. Meet Detective Cormoran Strike! After losing his leg to a land mine in Afghanistan, Strike is barely scraping by as a private investigator. Down to one client and creditors calling, a broken relationship and living in his office. All seems bleak until John Bristow walks through the door seeking for Strike’s help to investigate a supermodel’s suicide.
I don’t think I could praise this book enough, again perhaps a biased opinion because of my love for Rowling but she truly is a sensational writer.
A day of woes and somehow I ended up buying myself a Kindle, it was a spontaneous purchase and proudly I can say I actually like it- a lot!
Despite the rash decision I have found myself reading more frequently and for a longer period of time. I tend to read in the evening before I go to sleep because I like to enjoy a book in solitude so I can concentrate and fully appreciate the book, with my Kindle I can turn my lights out and adjust the light settings on it and settle down to read. Not only this, its also incredibly handy to just balance it against my pillow and read until sleep takes over. Lately I’ve found myself reading til’ 1am, perhaps not such a good idea but I was so into reading the book (The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith aka J.K Rowling) I ended up finishing it.
Sure its easier to pick up a book because you simply press a button and its on the device and I can carry it around because its ridiculously light- I mean what’s not to love about it?
I wouldn’t say I’m completely converted to the Kindle, I still enjoy picking up physical books and I’ve decided that I will carry on buying them in a kind of a system I’ve thought of myself and perhaps others do this too. If I want a physical book it will either be of a) an author I already own books by b) a classic (mainly because they have the cutest covers and c) they could be given to me or I don’t have my Kindle on me and I need to purchase the book straight away!
So to conclude I am a very happy Kindle owner but I will still support my local book stores because there is nothing more wonderful than the smell and feel of new/old books!
As you may or may not be aware, I attended Summer in the City 2014 and so I feel like sharing with you all my experience of my time there and some advice to share with you if you’re thinking of going to the event in the future 🙂
I want to be honest as possible with this blog post, I don’t want it to put you off and I’m not slating the event at all because if you’ve been on my twitter or instagram recently you will know I had an amazing time- anyhow!
There is a lot of queuing at Summer in the City (SitC), now you may be thinking…”well dur of course there’s queues, I’ve already heard about the queues cor I know what queues are, idiot!”.
What I mean by this is even just to get into the event it is absolute mayhem, my friend Becky and I queued for about two and a half hours to get into the venue. I’ve been in longer queues, but it wasn’t a normal kind of queue where there’s a couple of people beside you- oh no there’s a massive group of you in this chubby queue waiting to get in and as you can imagine it takes an awful lot of time to ensure not everyone rushes in and that its done in an orderly manner for safety reasons obviously!
Again with queues, without sounding dramatic- they are kind of make or break shall we say. If you don’t get there early, the less chance you have of meeting your favourite YouTuber’s. I mean some crazy dedicated fans were there at 4am, personally I couldn’t do that unless I stayed in a hotel overnight. I think this was mainly due to SitC’s ticketing system with the meet and greets. So let’s just say me and Becky weren’t so prepared as we thought we were!
If you’re not bothered necessarily about the meet ups then you shouldn’t have any worries with watching panels- not as that extreme anyway!
A bit of important information for you, despite what people may hear in the queue about no food or drink is to be taken in- that’s rubbish. Just don’t take in alcohol because obviously it will get confiscated, otherwise water, fizzy drinks and snacks you are definitely aloud with you so don’t listen to the silly people telling you that you can’t because that is untrue!
When you get into Alexandra Palace you were given a goodie-bag and a schedule for the day.
Sadly we missed Dan and Phil (who are also Radio 1 presenters) because of the tickets being given out earlier than expected, so we decided just to chill around main stage and watch some of the singers and try and capture some photos of Dan and Phil and also Jack and Dean from afar! We weren’t surprised about not getting to meet Dan and Phil but we didn’t let it spoil our day, we knew it would be slim. So advice to those of you who would like to meet Dan and Phil there, you need to join the 4am gang!
Ben was incredibly sweet and greeted you with a big hug and asked how you were and just took his time with you. As you can obviously see above, Ben took two selfies of us on my phone which was awesome!
Top tip: Ben tends to prefer meeting viewers informally so he is often wandering around, so even if you’re not a big fan of Ben just go and say hi because he is such a lovely guy who gives amazing hugs! 🙂 Saying that this goes for any YouTubers you may see just chilling around the venue, just go and say hi- they don’t bite!
I do wish more YouTubers could do more informal meet ups, but its completely understandable for bigger YouTubers like Zoella, Alfie, Marcus, Dan and Phil, Tyler Oakley etc to not do these because they would get mobbed!
My next great encounter of the day was buying an Emma Blackery “I like her she has girl balls” t-shirts, to my surprise Emma was actually on her stall selling them to everyone. I spotted her Dad, Mike originally and Becky looked at me and was like “yeah Emma’s there too”, so obviously I definitely had to get a t-shirt now!
Emma is a very down to earth person, despite what some people may think. She’s just as funny off screen as she is on, very friendly and appreciative of everyone buying her merchandise too!
Here we have below my sneaky picture of Emma and t-shirt which was 104 of 500 that she had made- very lucky to have one and its incredibly comfy and cool to wear!
Me and Becky felt that the space difference between meet and greets and panels were stupidly close together, so if we went to one we certainly wouldn’t make it to another just in time unfortunately. So we didn’t manage to go to any panels, which when I look back was a bit of a shame.
So again my advice would be to check out a mix of panels and meet and greets if you can, take a chance!
However I can tell you now, despite you not really doing much you get very tired and I mean very tired! I definitely put this down to all the queuing and waiting around because it is so draining.
The last part of our afternoon was queuing for the meetup of Emma Blackery and Luke Cutforth, but again (after a few hours of queuing may I add!) we got cut off. It was gutting and annoying because we wasted all that time queuing but that was our own choice.
I’m making this sound awfully boring, its really not! You meet all kinds of people in the queues and crowds and around main stage and other venue rooms, so don’t think that you won’t get talking to others because you do naturally (even if it is because you’re moaning about the queues haha).
Whilst we were queuing for Emma and Luke, none other than my favourite YouTuber Louis Cole came into the room and formed his own informal meet up like Ben Cook did! So immediately after the disappointment of being cut off from Emma and Luke’s queue we joined Louis’.
This picture is slightly terrible on my part but do you know what this was the best moment ever! Meeting your favourite YouTuber is something that I think is incredibly special.
Just like Ben, Louis had time for everyone. Despite his long queue he took his time with everyone and made sure he didn’t disappoint and as you can tell from my face he certainly didn’t!
He greeted me with a big hug, asked how I was and if I had a nice day and we just stood there talking for a good 3 minutes and it was simply lovely. Even now I’m still in shock and disbelief that I actually met Louis, he is so genuine and lovely. Not surprisingly he is just as chilled in person as he appears to be in his daily vlogs!
After our little chat we took three selfies on my phone and I went in for another hug- purely because I may never meet Louis again (although I hope this is not the case) and because he is a great height for hugging 😀
Personally if you want to meet any YouTuber it is by luck and patience that you do so, they are busy people and you need to respect that they can’t drop everything and please everyone. They’re doing them formal meet and greets for around 2-3 hours, and I can’t imagine how exhausting it must be to keep a smile on their face and ensure they don’t disappoint anyone.
Overall my tips are to expect an awful lot of queuing, some disappointments with meet and greet queues, but importantly just enjoy your time there and think that this is an experience that not many people get to enjoy!
Make some new friends and if you get the chance to meet any YouTuber, take it and you might find they’re even more awesome than you expected!
I hope this in some way gave you a rough idea of what SitC is like, and was in some way helpful perhaps? I had a great time and someday I will go back, just not every year I don’t think haha!
This novel tells the story of Lincoln who works at a newspaper office as a night shift worker who monitors internal emails within the company, and so when emails get flagged he has to read and notify the sender to inform them of any inappropriate language used within their messages.
From this he gets to know two girls, Beth and Jennifer and from reading their mail he soon falls in love with them…
Lincoln is very much the kind of cute nerdy loner guy who is looking to settle down and build a life of his own instead of living at home with his mother feeding him up with her gourmet meals! Don’t be mistaken though, despite him still living with his mum he is definitely boyfriend material..especially as he’s attending the gym every day (I wonder why that could be- hehe!).
If you adore Eleanor & Park and Fangirl, again you will adore this novel just as much!
Again I fell in love with the main character Lincoln who is incredibly sweet, and made me very emotional throughout the book with his romantic adorableness. If anything I blame Rowell for my high expectations of men!
So obviously I gave this book a 5 star rating on Goodreads, it is simply a quirky, funny, cliche cute, romantic, emotional, feel good book that every girl needs to read.
Rainbow Rowell makes me want to be a character in her world, although you may think of her writing to be cliche- cliche can be very welcoming during the summer months to give you them positive vibes and general happiness that this month gives you!
I don’t have much else to comment on this novel other than you should read it because its beautifully written and its a book I could read again and again.
Kill Order is the prequel to The Maze Runner series by the wonderful James Dashner.
Kill Order takes place thirteen years previously to the initial series- before Thomas and the Glade and more importantly before WICKED was created. New characters, Mark and Alec as well as a group of teenagers are fighting to survive the aftermath of the Sun Flares that struck Earth.
One day a Berg flies over them and begins to shoot darts that have been filled with the deadly disease- The Flare Virus..
Mark and Alec as well as some other survivors, hunt down the Berg to search for answers as to why these outsiders are infecting innocent people with the virus, whilst the world is already caught up in utter devastation. Throughout the journey they witness how the Flare Virus is affecting its victims, from excruciating pain in the head to unusual hallucinations. Along on this journey they rescue a girl named Deedee who surprisingly seems to be immune to the virus, and so the mystery begins…
To begin with I found this book quite hard going, I feel this is because I was so used to all the characters from the previous books to the series to understand what’s going on. I needed to temporarily forget about those characters until I could start piecing together what was happening.
James Dashner is the master of making you feel that you’re involved in his book too, at times I felt like I was the one running from the Berg and the one with the most painful headache imaginable. Furthermore, Dashner is a natural at providing non-stop action throughout the book. He brings to light the desperation of people who are in need of help and how this grief and despair is put upon them by those who don’t see them as human beings but merely guinea pigs in an experiment to benefit them.
This book makes readers discover the curiosity as to why WICKED was born and why it was good. It is the creation of the Flare Virus and where we learn who the characters are that played the vital role of protecting those around them.
Of course those who have read the series, know what the end outcome is. A topic such as this where the world is being destroyed by its inhabitants, there shouldn’t be a happy ending but she shear hope that there may be a way to save humanity really gets your heart thumping, making you want to cross your fingers and toes for them all to survive.
That’s what I love most about Dashner’s writing, its realistic- not everything has a happy ending.
So now sadly I have ended this series, the story will stay with me and I feel that I could read this series again and again- I am intrigued to see what James Dashner has planned next!
We left the Scorch Trials where Thomas was left alone in a room without colour. While kept in this secluded prison, all he can think of is revenge and even when he may die and is constantly concerned as to the whereabouts of his friends, thinking he may be the only Glader left.
The Maze Runner series will stay with me for a long time, I don’t see how I could forget an epic series like this. This trilogy is one in a million and I couldn’t recommend it enough, it will leave you speechless and perhaps reborn into treasuring each and every day.
I’m excited to be reading the prequel to this trilogy, ‘Kill Order’ and discussing my thoughts on it with you all, I can’t see how Mr. Dashner could disappoint!
My hometown isn’t regarded as the best place to live but with views like this, I’m not complaining! This was taken a few nights ago, when I met up with my friend Mollie for a walk along the beach for a catch up.
This is what I love about my hometown, the sea. I only have to walk for ten minutes and the deep blue is in front of me and it’s the best place to go during summer especially.
I can’t think of anything better than having a day on the beach other than watching the sunset.
I don’t think I could live anywhere away from a beach, its the fresh air and the sound of the waves crashing against the breakwaters- so peaceful.
Most people prefer a golden sandy beach, but personally I’m not a fan of it between my toes! So its a bonus that the beach where I live is a stony one.
I can see me spending a lot of time on the beach this summer with friends, family and even just on my own for a walk to clear my head and for some exercise. Its evenings like this where I really appreciate how lucky I am to be living in such a naturally beautiful place, I just wish more people in this world could feel like this about where they live.