Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Something To Think About...

At a time when its so easy to get swept up in the division, uncertainty and fear that has taken hold of the country, I really think its important to focus on things like unity, working together and positivity. Don't get me I'm far from naive to the challenges the UK is facing at the moment, in fact I've been quite vocal about them to anyone who will listen. I've hardly turned off the news and have read article after article over the last few days. But I won't go in to my own political views at the moment. What I want to say is this: being wrapped up in the negative only brings more of the same. Seeing the good and trying to understand situations and people is always the best route to go down. I’m writing to tell you, not just with regard to Brexit, but in everyday situations, to turn on the light whenever you can. 

For me, this weekend, my mood was completely lifted and faith in people restored by Adele’s performance at Glastonbury. I might come across completely ridiculous or shallow but when I saw it I was reminded that essentially we are all the same, and being united- whether that’s in one song or one in call for fairness and acceptance- is so beautiful compared to being divided. I’ll embed the video below for those of you who haven’t seen it- it is truly breathtaking.

Monday, 13 June 2016

'Is It Just Me?' by Miranda Hart

I've just finished 'Is It Just Me' by Miranda Hart and thought I'd write a little review for anyone who is thinking of giving it a read. I actually got this for Christmas and its been sitting in my 'to read' pile since- reading books is the basis of my degree so I don't get through much personal reading. 

At just over 300 pages, this is no run of the mill joke book, but it made me laugh out loud and I finished it in a couple of days. Essentially, this is a compilation of life's awkward and embarrassing moments. The chapters cover subjects from diet and holidays to pets and weddings. Speaking to her 18-year old self, Miranda revisits her most painfully embarrassing memories with the intention of reassuring her, and us, that they happen to everyone. The frequent back and forth interaction between young and 'big' Miranda did make the book seem a little disjointed, and I think it could have been just as good without 18-year old Miranda's input, but she did offer some insights about how weird today's technology-obsessed population would seem to a teen 20 years ago. 

'Is It Just Me' is fun, light-hearted and has some really amusing illustrations. I very much liked the frequent address of readers and the challenges sprinkled throughout such as speaking affirmations aloud or spontaneously rolly-pollying- wherever you are while reading. There are also periodical checklists- 'Miranda's Amazing Tickbox Game'- where you too can share the elaborate adventures she embarks on. Miranda's wacky take on things is pretty hilarious and the extent of her very British social awkwardness and etiquette hiccups is certainly reassuring. 

I think everyone could relate to this book and it is very light-reading. I think I've been spoiled with really profound literature on my course so I found this book a little too light overall. It might be because I don't read a lot of comedy but I think Miranda's humour comes across better on her TV show (which I would 100% recommend!). I got more out of the book because I have seen the TV show, and read most of it unconsciously in her accent. While I wouldn't reread this or absolutely rave about it, I'd say its still worth a read. 
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Wednesday, 1 June 2016

A Trip to York

Last month my family and I spent a long weekend in York and I couldn’t think of a better way to share the highlights of the trip with you than a very photo heavy post. York isn’t somewhere which would immediately come to my mind as a weekend trip destination- in fact I think my brother randomly suggested we visit after watching Braveheart for the seventeenth time. It isn’t easy finding somewhere which has something for all of us- ‘culture-y stuff’, shopping, sports/ leisure, a nice hotel and good food but I was really pleasantly surprised by what a fantastic time we had.

My favourite touristy thing was the Castle Museum. It covered York’s history ranging from its prisons to toys to wars. Best of all though- there was a recreation of a Victorian street with people dressed as actual Victorian’s who spoke to you and told you about things! I was actually quite taken aback when the girl in her 1890s get-up turned around and told me how fashionable it was to be pale and how gloves were necessary to keep the hands delicate when I was in the tailor’s.

The hotel we stayed in, the Marriott, had big, beautiful grounds and looked onto the racecourse. It was around 30 minutes walk from the town centre but it was a nice area and I like looking at all the houses along the way (is that sad?) There was a tennis court at the bottom of the hotel gardens which was free to book out for an hour. My brother is the only one of us who plays tennis but we all had a go and it was actually really fun- as far as exercise goes anyway. I also loved the swimming pool because I’m a big kid at heart when it comes to being in water. The buffet breakfast was superb- so tasty and lots to choose from (or not choose and eat everything from). 

Talking of food, we had some delicious dinners too (see food photos and drool). I had a pepperoni pizza in Zizzi’s on the second night and on the last night we found an amazing Italian called Lo Spuntino. Sometimes chain Italians just can’t come close to a small independently run ones. The place was compact but the food was delicious and the service was great. 

Compared to my usual holiday spending sprees I actually bought very little in the town centre. I had a notion before we went to have a browse for makeup samples online and I downloaded a couple of vouchers and picked up a few freebies instead. There was a nice mix of high street staple shops like Boots and unique, independent ones. We also visited ‘The Shambles’- an old fashioned street of quirky little shops. It reminded me of the lanes in Brighton.

I found York to be pretty centralised so for only being there three days we crammed so much in. I had an absolutely excellent time and would definitely go back.

Thanks for stopping by and well done if you reached the end of this lengthy post. Be sure to leave me a comment telling me if you’ve ever been to York or any other places you like :) 
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