Birthday blues

Hello.
I am stealing an idea from Sophie, because plagerism is the best form of flattery.
It is nearing my birthday, which means that I am now only a year away from leaving my twenties and I’m not ready. Like, when you’re a kid, you can’t imagine anything past the age of twenty, it’s too much into the future but now I’m here and I just can’t deal with it. This is so different to my usual birthday blues, I have birthday blues every year, I think its because I’m naturally very nostalgic and existential, but when it comes to my birthday, I always add a dash of lonliness in there too and get a bit overwhelmed by the enormity of the universe and how insignificant my life is in comparison. So, yeah, birthday blues.

Anyway, Sophie does a post every year where she talks about the things she would like to achieve before her next birthday and considers the things she has achieved from her last birthday.
Now, I’m not one for resolutions, I tend to feel a bit too much pressure when it comes to resolutions and then I don’t end up doing them and feeling like a failure. But my next birthday is a bit of a milestone, so I think I should make more of an effort. And well. I like lists. Here’s a list of things I would like to do before I get to thirty and have to accept the fact that I am a proper grown up. You guys can hold me to this. I’m counting on you.

Before I reach my next birthday I would like…

  • To be fluent in another language
  • To see the Northern Lights
  • To go on a date (I’ve never been on one!)
  • To finish my next novel
  • To publish a novel… (We’ll see how we get on with that)
  • To join a band
  • To finally FINALLY do the thing I’ve been putting off for ten years and get a tattoo

Whether any of these things are doable is another thing entirely, but you know, it’s good to dream!

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Solo adventures in Brighton

What’s this? Is Leah starting a series? No, Leah has just realised that as she is incredibly anti social if she ever wants to go somewhere different, then she is going to have to go there solo. A few months ago I did my first ever solo flying experience to spend a few days in Edinburgh and this month, I decided to spend five hours on a train and standing on various platforms throughout the South of England to spend a few days in perhaps my favourite coastal city, Brighton. Now I have returned as a sun burnt, creatively energised person with a knee injury, who in the past few days managed to accidentally join a Marxist cult, spend a night in the world’s worst hotel and have full on mental breakdown on a beach. So, who wants to hear about it?

On alighting my train and noticing it was a little over cast, I headed straight for the sea front and ended up on my first Leah esque adventure of the day, because let’s be real, my life is nothing but a series of odd events strung together by me telling people about those events.
See, this is where my initiation into the Marxists enters the story.
Imagine the scene, I am fresh off a four hour train journey, I am ready for all that tasty vegan food that Brighton is known for, I am here for a stroll along the beach, a meander through the Lanes. What I am not here for is an awkward situation which results in me accidentally promising to join a political party. We begin with my inability to not document things I think are interesting, for adorning the streets of Brighton where these posters:

Which naturally, I stopped to photograph because idk about where you guys live, but where I am, no one places political propaganda like this around. Yeah we get the posters for the main parties appear around election time, but we don’t get fringe groups like the socialists etc advertising their meetings and while I’d heard of The Socialist newspaper, I hadn’t actually ever seen one. Well, now I have. Naturally, upon stopping to photograph these posters I was approached by a chap with a clipboard who said: “what do you think of Jeremy Corbyn?” While he wasn’t expecting me to respond with: “Think he’s a top lad actually,” I didn’t really expect to then be escorted to a table and asked if I wanted to take part in the local socialist party conference and by extension join their cause. Though if you analysed my political leanings they probably wouldn’t be that far away from the beliefs of the socialist party, I just wanted a trip to the beach. I am however, one of those people who is scared of both confrontation and offending people, so I listened to the socialist vision for much longer than anyone else would have and accepted a badge. Which is how I then got accosted by the Marxists. But more on that later.

Finally free of the shackles of politics, I could make my way to the pier and the wonderful smell of churros, chips and sea salt.

How’s this, it was snowing when I went to Edinburgh and overcast on my arrival in Brighton, I should not pick when I go on holiday!

If you’ve never been to Brighton before, I recommend a trip. Brighton is, even when overcast, a vibrant, exciting and intoxicating city, you can feel the creativity and the enthusiasm of the place in every corner and the the Pier is no exception, it seems to crop up on TV and in film every now and again.There is so much art and wonder along the sea front alone, including this:

The Kissing Wall, it’s supposed to be an exhibition about love, which, given the events of Monday, felt strangely appropriate.

From here, I made my way over to the Lanes, which is basically how I imagine a rabbit warren would look were it inhabited by people. Lots of narrow streets filled with shops ranging from the sublime to the ridiculous and of course, where some of the best food options in the city can be found. If you’ve passed by here before, you’ll know I partake in the dairy free and meat free foods and well, Brighton has some of the best food on the planet that fits the bill, so, with my stomach rumbling and my calm returning after my awkward interrogation by the socialists, I headed into the Lanes intent on either finding Food with Friends, Rootkandi or V Bites. I ended up in V Bites and had my first experience of fake fish and chips, well… I was by the seaside, how could I not?

The sun decided to come out after I’d emerged from the Lanes, so off back along the sea front I went, back past my new friends, the socialists, and up to the clock tower and Churchill Square, which is a big shopping centre, one place in the city I hadn’t been to before. I was still carrying around the badge handed to me by the group of socialists I’d encountered earlier in the day… Mostly because I didn’t really know what else to do with it. It was spotted by a group of Marxists and suddenly I was surrounded. TLDR, I think I may have given them my email address in order to escape. I am now quite concerned that I may show up on a national register somewhere… Is it still frowned upon to be a Marxist? Especially one that hasn’t read any of Marx’s work? Someone needs to let me know.

You might think the adventure into the strange and unusual was over. You would be mistaken. After exploring Churchill Square, the clouds were coming back in and fog was starting to settle. Someone somewhere thought it was a good idea to build a large metal pole with a 360 restaurant thing in it right on the sea front, which allows people to have a bird’s eye view of the area and also allows those on the ground to wonder who on earth thought it needed to be where it was, however, by the time I began combing the front for my hotel, the enormous metal pole was barely visible. Which worried me, what with my ability to get myself into bizarre situations, it was at this point the knee injury occurred. Pebble beach, fog, inherent clumsiness, you know how it is, which is how I ended up limping into one of the weirdest buildings I have ever been into.

There is a moral lesson here, that lesson is if you find a hotel that is £20 cheaper than a Travel Lodge, do not save the £20.
This hotel was weird. Like not even in a quirky oh Brighton way, but in a H H Holmes kind of way. After checking in I was told to head for the stairs and follow the numbers, well if my knee didn’t hurt by this point it sure did by the time I reached my room. This hotel was just endless rickety stair cases and windy corridors, you could hear the foot steps, every word and every breath of its inhabitants, it was almost as though the building itself was creaking and would collapse at any moment. But you know it was just a bed for the night, it was fine. Well… Until I realised that the window in my room was only open because a bit of it was missing. So being a very nervous person who hates confrontation and had already expended all their energy dealing with political activists, it took me several hours of panic before eventually heading down to reception to tell them I’d noticed the window. Which resulted in me being moved to another room down yet more rickety stairs and winding corridors this time to the very front of the hotel immediately opposite an open all hours, well lit Chinese restaurant which had brightly coloured flashing lights illuminating every corner of the room. So my knee and I decided we’d take our chance with the fog for as long as we could.

See the barely visible pole… That is the 360 dining experience thing… not as ugly when you can’t see it though, right?

Eventually though, in pain and armed with a sandwich I returned to the rave room with a renewed sense of creativity, I’ve been working on and struggling with my next book for MONTHS like it feels like a life time ago that I last made any progress with it, but whether it was the sea air or the combination of strange events that had befallen me since my arrival in Brighton I began to make notes. I couldn’t turn those notes into anything coherent though due to the fact that multi coloured lights were flashing away and I could literally hear every conversation going on in the hotel at the exact same time, quite an achievement when you’re deaf in one ear and hadn’t bothered to take your hearing aids on holiday with you. Suffice to say, it was nearly 5 am before utter quiet had fallen and the sun had risen sufficiently to even out the various colours.
So there I was, limping, exhausted and terrified that I’d stumble across UKIP and end up handing over my details to them too, emerging into glorious sunshine the following morning. I took myself to the beach, I found a spot, I sat and I wrote. For two hours. Emerging from an almost trance like state to check my phone only to catch my reflection and realise that yes, I was now tomato coloured. Wonderful. Not only was I tomato coloured, but because it was a Wednesday at 9 am, I was also the only person on the beach. Cue my brain deciding that that was the exact moment to listen to my existential crisis. If you’re going to have an existential crisis, always good to have Brighton beach as your view though, right?

that's more like it, Brighton

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So there we have it, I am sat with a bag of peas on my knee, half a tub of aloe on my face and the fear that I’ll be arrested at any moment for being a political enemy, but my novel is several thousand words longer, my love for Brighton and it’s eccentricities is increased and honestly, I am a bit excited about what new adventures I’ll find myself on.

Solo adventures in Edinburgh

There are lots of things I would like to do in life, travel being one of them, that I don’t do because I’m scared at the idea of doing it alone. Which is kind of stupid really because I spend 99% of my time alone, being an introvert will do that to you. Anyway, I finally bit the bullet and decided if I want to experience new places, I have to face my fears and just go, whether I’m alone or not, because if I wait around for someone to go with me, I’ll never get there. So we’re starting small I guess, by taking a solo trip to Edinburgh, somewhere I have always wanted to go and now my only wish is that I had gone sooner.

Ya’ll know I’m a city girl at heart, there’s something about a city, a vibe that you don’t get out of town and Edinburgh might be one of the most instragrammable places I’ve ever been, even if getting there was a little traumatic. This was the first time I was going somewhere completely new by myself and the first time I was flying alone, flying alone kinda sucks by the way, but I dunno, maybe I’ll do it again. My journey began with being chosen for a random security check at the airport, which honestly was the most inefficient thing I have ever witnessed. Like, I know security is important and as I had nothing that could pose a threat, I didn’t have a problem with them singling me out other than the fact that I am slightly anxious in airports anyway and was about to go in a plane by myself, but I did kind of assume that during the check they would ask to see some ID (they didn’t) or you know, check my pockets (they didn’t). Once that was over though, I could really start to enjoy the experience, which was in equal parts terrifying and liberating. Like, I was in a city by myself, I could do whatever and go wherever I wanted and no one knew where I was at any one time. But anyway, Edinburgh.

Once I’d alighted the plane, I made my way to the front of the airport where I had been told by other visitors that there was a shuttle bus which would take me to the city centre, the air link service does open returns for £7.50 btw if you’re considering a visit and the handy voice over tells you which stops are which, so I stayed on til the last one, which took me to Waverley Bridge, a place I now know is slap bang in the middle of a generic looking high street, a mountain and several very old, exciting looking buildings surrounding it. Honestly, there is nothing more exciting than looking out of a bus window at 8.30 in the morning and seeing a very normal looking British road system with a snow capped mountain in the background. Like seriously, this place is beautiful.

This was the first sight to greet my eyes when stepping off the bus in the heart of Edinburgh, the Scott’s memorial (which it turns out is for Walter Scott and not Scottish people in general, though that would be a nice thought).

Well, I thought to myself glancing from the Whetherspoons to one side of me and this beautiful piece of architecture to the other, this is off to a fabulous start. I couldn’t check into my hotel until 3 p.m. so, naturally I did the next best sensible thing, I looked beyond the memorial towards the castle and thought, I’ll go there first. So, I walked in its general direction for a couple of minutes before consulting google, who decided to abandon me in my hour of need and took me on a fifteen minute detour through Princes Gardens around the place before I found a group of school children to follow. Wait… That wasn’t meant to sound as weird as it did. Take that in the most innocent way possible!

The castle reminded me a bit of the Tower of London, there were lots of little exhibitions and a great view and there were even crown jewels, though much like in London, you aren’t allowed to photograph the jewels there either. If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you’ll know I am a nerd and I love learning, I was actually surprised and ashamed of how much I learned at the castle about Scottish history, like guys, Scotland is part of the United Kingdom and yet, I had been told nothing of Scotland in history lessons at school, I guess I arrogantly assumed that it was all British history. Sorry, Scotland.

After spending several hours soaking up the castle and getting blown into oblivion because once again, my ignorance of Scotland was being proved by the fact that I, someone living in the South of England, thought  to myself, its March, how cold can it be? It was bloody freezing. It was snowing on and off and blowing a gale. But anyway, after taking way too many photos and visiting all the exhibitions, I left the castle grounds to explore the Royal Mile, which is what my previously visiting friends had all raved about and honestly, it is possibly the most beautiful street I’ve ever walked down, seriously Edinburgh, you need to stop with all the things to look at, my eyes can only do so much.

At the other end of the Royal Mile is Holyrood, which had some commotion going on outside because there was a debate of some sort going on inside. Much like the rest of the city, Parliament was a very pretty building, as was the palace over the road and the mini mountain behind it. Can we take a moment to appreciate the fact that I was considering climbing Arthur’s Seat because google told me it was a hill? One thing to take from this trip, google is not always to be trusted. The closer I got to Arthur’s Seat, the less hill like and the more mountainous it became,  I got a little way through the park and thought, nah, you know what, I’m happy just being here.

By this time it was getting fairly late in the afternoon, so back along the Royal Mile I went, debating ticking off something else off my bucket list and getting a tattoo from one of the many shops along the High Street, but my rumbling stomach won out, so instead I headed back to Waverley and across the bridge to Princes Street on the search for a vegan restaurant called Henderson’s I’d found, again on my not so trusted friend, Google. Turns out the place does exist and had a very exciting menu, however, until the evening it didn’t do main meals, only salads and well, it was snowing out and I hadn’t yet eaten, I didn’t want salad. So, a high street chain provided me with lunch instead, which was a shame, but my stomach appreciated it.

By the time I’d eaten it was late afternoon and what can only be described as a blizzard was taking place, so I checked into the hotel for some respite, before going on the hunt for a hat and scarf in one of the many shops along Princes Street. Sadly, it being ‘spring’ not a single woolly item could be found. So, I decided to continue my exploration of the Royal Mile and its side streets in a bid to keep warm, I did find a Writer’s Museum (which doesn’t open on Tuesdays, boo) and perhaps the most exciting thing, the Elephant House, where J K Rowling wrote Harry Potter.

Not being much of a drinker and having been up since 3 a.m., I retired much earlier than I’d have liked and I had to be up fairly early to get back on the bus to head to the airport. Next time, I am planning a much longer trip!

One final thought about Edinburgh, I love you. You’re aesthetically pleasing, you’re friendly af, you have the best atmosphere and I am very sorry I didn’t visit sooner.
Also, the Scots have the best sticker grafetti, seriously:

Brussels: an emotional roadshow

When I booked to go to Brussels to see twenty one pilot’s emotional roadshow, I didn’t know just how emotional a roadshow it would be. I think the best way to think about my recent trip to Brussels is that every cloud has a silver lining. Let me explain.
I was due to leave for Brussels at 10.30 a.m. on Monday morning. At 7 p.m. the Friday evening before, my travel companion told me they were now not coming. Cue two days of panic and stress as I tried to find someone to take their place or, alternatively, tried to make other arrangements. Which as you can imagine, is quite difficult with less than two days notice.
Spoiler alert: everyone carried on with their lives and I went to Brussels.

So, the trip didn’t get off to a particularly good start, this is where the silver lining bit came into play. Yes, this wasn’t the trip I had planned, yes, this was an emotional roadshow in more ways than one, but I do love a city and Brussels was, if nothing else, an interesting place to be.
My adventure began on my first full day in the city, after asking at the hotel reception how to get to Grand Place (the thing Lonely Planet recommended) I hopped on a tram (trams are a bit exciting aren’t they? Don’t see many of them in south England!) and less than 10 minutes later, I was wondering around one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen. Grand Place is essentially a square flanked with the most incredible buildings, I couldn’t possibly capture all of it with my mediocre camera skills, but I did my best!

Grand Place |Brussels

If it was possible, it looked even more amazing as night drew in and the buildings lit up! (Also I accidentally caught a romantic moment during the taking of this photo!)

Grand Place by nigh | Brussels

Exploring Grand Place also led me to find the one thing that absolutely everyone told me I had to see, Belgium’s national treasure, Manneken Pis.

Manneken Pis | Brussels

Yes. England has Big Ben. France has Eiffel Tower. Germany has the Brandenburg Gate. Belgium has a small, urinating child. Not only does this thing exist, but if you, like me, head to the Museum of the City of Brussels which is located in a wonderfully gothic looking building in Grand Place, you’ll discover that sometimes, they dress the statue up in various costumes and you can look at them all on display.
Here are a selection of my faves:
mannekenSo. Many. Costumes.
Literally, this thing has more items of clothing than I do.
Once I’d exhausted the many bantz to be had with Manneken Pis, I partook in a Belgian speciality, the famed waffle (wasn’t overly impressed tbh) and then found my way to the City Sight Seeing Tour bus. I’ve done the hop on hop off bus tours (you know the ones, they’re bright red open top busses) in a couple of different cities around the world and as it transpires that Brussels is very oddly laid out for a capital city, I figured it would be a good way to see some of the sights. Honestly, it was the worst of all the city tours I have ever been on.
In Brussels there are two routes, the first bus took me to some fancy gardens, the atomium (which was a part of a world expo) and looked a bit fancy and to a few other pretty buildings. Only… It didn’t actually stop at any of the places it was supposed to and after we got stuck in traffic and hit the end of tour time, the driver just made us all get off the bus! What an absolute shambles! Didn’t put me off attempting line two the second day, even if it did start half an hour later than advertised leaving me standing in the rain at the bus stop, this one took me to parliament, the EU and the royal palace and gardens. Only, again, it didn’t stop at any of the advertised stops!
Driving past the EU parliament bought back super sad memories of June 24th and realising we’re all screwed, though with the amount of traffic around that place I think I’ve realised why so many of the elected representatives never bothered to turn up to meetings. They’re probably just driving around the place trying to get there.

Whatever I said, whatever I did I didn't mean it, I just want EU back for good

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That evening though was the point of the whole trip, twenty one pilots at Forest National for the emotional roadshow. Now, one cool thing about gigs at Forest National is that they give you free tram tickets to limit the amount of people driving to the venue, which meant not only did I have a free tram ticket to the gig but also instructions of how to get there. Thanks Forest National! However, even if I did have instructions and a free tram ticket, I speak very little French and even less Dutch, so finding how to get to the tram was a bit of a struggle, which led to me approaching two girls wearing top shirts in the train station and asking them for help. Turns out they were Dutch (remember that bit about me not speaking any Dutch?), one of them could speak a bit of English, the other could not, but she could speak a bit of German. Many bants were had as they showed me how to get to Forest National with the three of us conversing in a mixture of English, German and Dutch and a slight tram hitch, but I got there, I got into the venue, I got a good spot and I had a bloody good time.
Firstly, Bry supported (yes, Bry, who I have been watching on YouTube forever!), he was awesome and his album is now on my must own list! Also after spending two days awkwardly trying to understand French, it was so nice to hear a familiar accent! Secondly, the emotional roadshow was just amazing! As lame as it sounds, it was kind of akin to a religious experience. It was so much more theatrical and exuberant than the last tour with Tyler literally disappearing from the stage and reappearing in the crowd seconds later and then dropping to the ground and appearing balancing on a pillar the next moment, the lighting, the staging… Just everything was perfection. I usually get a bit lame and emotional when talking about twenty one pilots so I won’t bore you with it, just know that they are the only band in existence that excites me and makes me want to be alive and create things.
Basically it was amazing and I want to leave you with this:

E m ø t i ø n a l r ø a d s h ø w

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Of course, there were further adventures on my way back to the hotel, mostly because London tubes during peak time have NOTHING on those trams and my fellow gig goers saw a full tram and instead of thinking, wow, I’ll get the next one, all thought, challenge accepted. It wasn’t much better when I got on the tram, I was pressed against a window like a cartoon in a comedic situation. Still I got back in one piece, I survived being let down at the last minute, I survived Brussels and even though it wasn’t the trip I was expecting, it was still kinda lovely. I saw some beautiful buildings I wouldn’t have done otherwise, I experienced a unique city and I got to see an incredibly magical musical performance. I don’t know if I’d visit Brussels again, but I am keen to see more of Belgium and learn more about its culture and history… I’m thinking Bruges or Antwerp, anyone been to either of those places? Thoughts?

To sum up, here are the things I learned from this trip:

  • My French sucks
  • I want to learn all the languages
  • Belgian waffles are over rated (sorry)
  • For a city, there are very few road signs
  • The army appear to hang out in the train stations which really doesn’t make me feel safe!
  • Any city that has a small weeing boy as their thing is a city I want to spend more time in.
  • The Belgian clique are super friendly
  • The coach is the worst way to travel
  • My parents are awesome (though I did already know this)

So, there we go, that was my very emotional Belgian roadshow.

Dans le sac and other examples of my limited French

Why hello there, it always feels like I’ve not updated this thing forever, when actually its only been about nine days. I should get another hobby, one that would make for lots of interesting updates. Anywho, I actually did something fun recently and who else can I tell apart from my corner of the internet?

So, you guys might remember this post from last year when I went to Walt Disney World in Florida, seriously, it was the best fun I’ve ever had. I know there are many problematic things about Disney, like the whole casual racism of the earlier films and the whitewashing of the newer things and all that jazz, I know, I know and I’m not gonna make excuses for it, but honestly, there is nothing quite like the feeling of getting through the ticket barriers and looking up at that castle in front of you. God, its making me a little giddy just thinking about it. What I’m getting at here (as you’ll know if you follow me on Instagram) is that I’ve spent the last few days in Disney, sadly not Florida, but we all know that I love Paris just as much. Anyway, I figured I’d give you the low down on the last few days of Halloween at Disneyland Paris.

untitled-1830

Seriously though look how pretty!

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Isn’t it weird seeing Halloween stuff with bright blue skies?

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So, things from the past few days:

  1. If duolingo tells you that you’re 3% fluent in French, it does not mean that you will understand anything that is said to you. (Though I can quite confidently say dans le sac (not the most useful thing to say), bonjour ca va and je suis froid – that one was useful, it was bloody freezing in Paris the last few days!)
  2. Literally everyone in disney can speak about four languages and it makes me super jealous cos I can speak one fluently, one a bit and I’m 3% fluent in another. I want to be multi-lingual.
  3. Staying at a Disney resort is the best. If I do disney again, I am totes spending the extra to stay on site. Our room was Bambi themed and it was so pretty! Also it meant I got to see this sight every morning:untitled-1789
  4. Being in Europe makes me super sad that 52% of my fellow brits have taken us away from this wonderful continent.
  5. That being said, being in France did make me miss British breakfasts. Seriously, I can’t eat butter laden croissants, which is a massive shame, but I don’t understand the concept of cold meats. Give me cereal, give me jam, give me toast, give me baked beans.
  6. Similarly, why is there egg in literally every packaged sandwich? Any French people read this blog? Let me know!
  7. This year’s trip did not feature Chubby Dan Howell which I am very sad about.
  8. There are however some incredibly attractive Jedi masters working at the Jedi training show. Like hot dayum. The force was strong with those ones.
  9. The fact that Star Tours isnt open yet is the saddest.
  10. Nowhere smells as good as Mainstreet does.
  11. Pirates of the Caribbean is still the best ride. Hands down.
  12. I have post disney depression and I’d quite like to go back again. And again.
  13. Hearing a French person shout Allons-y was the highlight of my life.

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Anyway, there you go, some titbits from my trip to France, though it was a shame not to get to explore the city again (I do love cities), getting to feel like an eight year old again was magical and pretty cool for the first holiday of 2016. (Yes, the year is nearly over and only now am I getting the holiday time in…) I’ll be back in Europe in a couple of weeks for a trip to Belgium, anyone been before? Tell me some cool things to do when I get to Brussells!

Help! I want to read more non fiction.

Why hello there, can you help? I am on a quest to read more non fiction!
So the other day, I was perusing the YouTubes (I do that most days tbh) when I happened upon a video about non fiction books that had changed someone’s life, I read a lot, but I don’t spend that much time reading non fiction, I’m still feeling the burn from university tbh, but I’ve been wanting to get into more non fiction titles for a while now, I like learning, so… I should read more, right?
Anyway, tldr, I watched the video, it was very interesting and gave me some titles to look up next time I’m near the library, but it made me think about the few non fiction titles I have read, which made me think of you. Yes. You. Scared? Don’t be.
Sometimes I post stuff on YouTube, and when I post stuff about books, it generally makes my Twitter notifications do their job with people either talking to me about the books I’ve talked about, or recommending titles based on the books I’ve talked about. So, long story short, I figured I would take my hunt for non fiction onto YouTube and then I figured I would share it here.

So, if you can think of any non fiction titles that you’ve really enjoyed, let me know! And if you want to read any of these, check them out!

June round up

Wow, June, you were a bit shit weren’t you. As if the Orlando shooting and the Jo Cox murder weren’t enough, then my fellow countrymen decided to let fascism win and throw the whole lot of us in the shit. Great huh? I don’t want this to be all doom and gloom, no matter how insignificant any of the nicer things that happened are in comparison, June did have some nice moments. This month I got to have a few days off which I got to spend hanging out with my mum and my bae Amber, this resulted in my first ever sleepover in my new flat, which was super fun! I spent too many hours waiting for a train to see James Bay (who was incredible by the way), the tiny town I work in held its first ever Pride event – if you live in an uncultured rural town, you’ll know how big a deal this is. I also got to hang with my long distance bff and my nephew has started talking which is the cutest thing in the world. I’m just sorry he and my niece have to live in this world, especially the state it is in at the moment.

What I read this month:

27416150 The Force Awakens – Michael Kogge
Thought I’d check out the novelisation of the film to see if there are any clues into who Rey’s parents are and how she ended up being where she was and what her connection to Kylo Ren is. Also I want to know how and why Kylo went darkside. Turns out, this doesn’t really answer those questions.

12649718Me Before You – JoJo Moyes
Everyone tells me how wonderful this book is and you couldn’t escape the movie hype at the beginning of the month. This is only the second JoJo Moyes book I’ve ever read and much like last time, I found her writing to be delightful and engaging, though I did find it to be a bit… problematic… A bit ableist I guess… I’d be interested to see if anyone else has any thoughts on this?

23301770My Heart and Other Black Holes – Jasmine Warga
It feels like this has been on my TBR list forever, its certainly been on my kindle for far too long, so I thought I’d get on with reading it. In fact, it had been on there for so long that I’d completely forgotten what it was about until I added it to my goodreads shelf! There were points when I adored this book, there were points when I was scared this was going to become something from my ‘reasons I hate books about mental health’ hit list, in the end, I kind of loved it.

28915259When we Collided – Emery Lord
I might review this when I can be a bit more coherent about it. Oh how I sobbed through the ending! Though this does feature the most manic of manic pixie dream girls (a trope that does get on my nerves at time), it also featured a beautifully written examination of bipolar disorder, grief, family, teenage romance and well… at its heart, love and life in their many varied forms. It was wonderful. And what an appropriate title!

26889460The Museum of You – Carys Bray
Took me a little while to get into, its an incredibly descriptive story. Its a bittersweet story, based in sadness, but with a curious, hopeful vibe. Stories about families, especially broken ones, are sort of my kryptonite and this is a good book, its just a little bit too heavy on the descriptions sometimes. There isn’t an awful lot left to the imagination. Review here.

Films I watched this month:

You may have noticed if you follow me on twitter, have been keeping up with my Film reviews in 10 tweets or less posts or this video, that I really like films and that I spend a lot of time watching them, so here are all the films (some new, some rewatches) that graced my television this month!

  • Chocolat
    I know Johnny Depp is all kinds of problematic in light of recent things, but it was on, I’ve never seen it. So… I’ve never read the book either, any good?
  • Guardians of the Galaxy
  • The Wolf of Wall Street
    If you have three hours to spare, I thoroughly recommend giving this a watch! Leo is incredible.
  • About Time
    The cutest thing I have ever seen!
  • Pacific Rim
    Now I know that John Boyega is going to be in the sequel!
  • Mulan
  • Iron Man
  • Mama Mia
  • The Boat that Rocked
  • Tomorrow when the war began
    I started reading the series forever ago and never finished it, I have seen the movie before, but I saw it on Netflix and thought I’d revisit it. I need to find the rest of the books and find out what happens!

 

TV I watched this month:

  • Game of Thrones
  • Peaky Blinders
    THE LAST TWO EPISODES THOUGH Like any time T Hardz was on screen was solid gold.
  • Orphan Black
  • Penny Dreadful
    Its on NowTV and my latest binge watch! I’m not entirely sure what the show is about, but I watched three seasons worth of it so it must be good! Is this it? No more?
  • The Last Leg
    The best thing on British TV tbh. I did very much enjoy the fact that Jeremy Corbyn was a guest!
  • Pretty Little Liars
    I was so excited for this to come back!
  • IZombie
    omg so good! Why did no one tell me?

My favourite Instagram posts this month:

More fun with the munchkins

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Popped to my mum’s during a lunch break this month to find she was baby sitting my niece and nephew, so we had fun in the garden for a while!

Sainsbury has vegan own brand ice cream finally something other than vanilla swedish glace!

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Yo, any of you guys lactose intolerant/ vegan? Get yo’selves to Sainsbury cos they got this in Chocolate and Strawberry – its super good! And its nice to have something other than vanilla for a change! Also, its not as expensive as some brand name dairy free ice cream.

Wish this could stay forever #msnpride

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My town held Pride for the first time ever and its legit the first time I have ever felt proud to have a connection to the place.

Was getting jealous of Turbo's progress… So here's Stella @krisskarnage79

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Meet Stella! If you guys follow me on Insta, you’ll know that I was gifted a plant when I moved into my place, I named it Planty (how original right?) Anyway, having been spurred on by my success of keeping Planty alive, I got myself a Strawberry plant (its name is Stella) and I am now awaiting my first batch of berries!

What I did on YouTube this month:

What I loved on YouTube this month:

My faves, twenty one pilots, are on tour right now and I’m so sad that there aren’t UK dates on the emotional road show and I was even more sad about not getting to see the show after they started releasing promo videos for it, like this one and this one! They also released the video for Heathens this month AND I CAN’T ITS SO GOOD. Here’s a Casey Neistat where he not only rode in a Delorean, but also visited Winterfell! He also spent a day at vidcon in disguiseJames Corden hosted the funnest car pool karaoke ever and a new challenge hit YouTube, the Roast Yourself Challenge, so here are my favourite two from Emma Blackery and Luke Cutforth. Another thing I loved this month was Rose and Rosie showing just how to do a #Spon.