Monday, 23 September 2013

An Afternoon in Clevedon

Autumn has well and truly hit the west country. Can we all just take a moment to grieve for the beer garden outings, lazy Sundayspicnics and seaside antics of the past summer, please?! They were really bloody great. 

Whilst the autumn does signal the end to our weekend jaunts to the beer gardens, it also signals the beginning of our brisk weekend walks to dust off the seasonal cobwebs. This weekend, we decided to take ourselves off to Clevedon for a couple of hours. Neither of us had been to Clevedon for years, and it only seemed fair to welcome in a new season with a change of scenery. Romantic poetry fangirls, like myself, may be excited to hear that Samuel Taylor Coleridge lived there for a time, and if that isn't your sort of thang, Union J's George Shelley also lived here for a while following a few years living round the corner from me. Clevedon also appeared in ITV's (bit disappointing) drama Broadchurch, as you can see in the photographs below, as well as providing the backdrop for the film adaptations of Never Let Me Go and The Remains of the Day. Phew! 


In the past, I've been extremely guilty of letting my mood be dictated by external issues, such as other people's moods or trivial things such as the weather. If the sky was grey, you could be pretty sure that I would also be grey. If other people were grey, I would also be grey. If my own big black cloud decided to come out, I would also be grey. I think this past summer, in particular, has taught me to really focus on the things that I let influence my own behaviour and black cloud, which in turn has given me the chance to really explore myself as an individual, as well as coincidentally giving me the chance to grow a new outlook on life. 


Clevedon was grey and the gale force winds meant that my bald patch was able to host a matinee performance of Singin' In The Rain on the back of my head but I just didn't care. I still don't care. The Victorian pier was looking beautiful. I got the chance to stomp around on the pebbles in my trusty Clarks boots, courtesy of Vouchercodes, that have been my staple shoe since December of last year. Fatherbear and I created a face made from pebbles. The waves were crashing in on the shore. The breeze was kicking every last bit of hospital uhhh out of my respiratory system. I had the nicest couple of hours. We are all so very guilty of forgetting what is truly important sometimes. I've definitely not cured myself of my depression and anxiety disorder, because I simply never will and it will always be something that I wake up to, but I've done a very good job of telling it to bugger off for a while whilst I enjoy life. For me, it's all about living in the now, not the then. 



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Saturday, 14 September 2013

BFFs, Food and the Seaside

At the end of July, my two best friends from university came down for some much needed team tomfoolery. Last year's adventure involved shopping, eating and sight seeing and it's safe to say that this year's pretty much followed suit! Wouldn't want to spoil a tradition now, would we?! 


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G was the first to arrive so I decided to take her to one of my favourite haunts for a chicken burger, pineapple relish and sweet potato fries. It's safe to say, G had a very big grin on her post-burger face but ideally we needed somewhere to slump for a little while before braving a drive to Cheddar. We stopped off at one of our local beer gardens to bask in the evening sun, and soak up a little bit of alcohol, before going on a little bit of a hunt for Gromit up the top of the Gorge. My favourite part of the evening was when Georgia pointed to a herd of cows and asked if they were fake....Apparently, West Country cows appear far more docile than those found in Georgialand.


The next day young Claire turned up so we headed off for a nostalgic day in sunny Weston-Super-Mare. I used to spend half of my week in Weston as a child, running along the seafront and going for swims at the Tropicana (showing my age now) so it was nice to take the girls there and act like a bit of a tour guide for the day. After demolishing sandwiches, pizza and two buckets of fries with roasted garlic mayo, we decided to grab some gelato and head towards the new pier. If you're wondering, G had pistachio and chocolate with sprinkles, Claire had biscotti and I had Wham bar! I'm really sophisticated, I know. I hadn't been on Weston pier since it burnt down a couple of years ago, and I wasn't very optimistic because the old pier pretty much held my  childhood within its walls but it was actually quite good. Overpriced but good. The girls had fun on the Go Karts and I had fun singing along the the playlist of 80's hits whilst holding all the bags. 



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After exhausting ourselves on the pier, we decided to head down to the beach to see the donkeys and write our names in the sand. Yes, we are 12 years old.  12 year olds that then meandered to the pub for a couple of drinks in the sun. The afternoon was topped off by a trip to the bookstore, in which I frantically wrote a list of all the books I wanted to buy myself, and a ride on the big wheel thing. I was a tourist for the day and I loved it. By the way, please ignore my sunglasses - all my others had broken so I was forced to wheel out this pair that I used to wear on Sunday mornings to hide my hangover.

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The next morning started with a cooked breakfast followed by the annual raiding of the charity shops. I bagged a lot of books, as did Claire, whilst G also managed to find a cosy Topshop cardi and a pair of black courts for work. Not bad. I blogged about my charity shop buys here, in case you were wondering. Sadly, G had to go back in the morning for work but Claire and I decided to make the most of our afternoon with a trip to the pub for a lunch of sweet potato fries followed by a chocolate brownie with ice cream. So nutritious! It's weird to think that just after these amazing few days I was rushed into hospital but I'm so glad I had these memories to hold onto whilst I was in there! 



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Life can be pretty great, eh?! 

If you'd like to scroll through all of my adventures then you can do so. 



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Sunday, 1 September 2013

Book Haul feat. Cormac McCarthy

vivatramp lifestyle blog charity shop finds books uk

The other day I decided to be a little bit brave and pop in to one of the charity shops in town in search of even more books. I know, I'm a menace. You lot, like myself, love a good nose so I thought I'd share the two books that I picked up as well as offering up a few little thoughts on the both of them. I'm just that thoughtful. Please let me know what  you think about the books in the comments below! P.S Hello Moira! Thanks for reading!


vivatramp lifestyle blog charity shop finds books uk to the lighthouse

3 for £2 paperback deal 
PUBLISHER: wordsworth classics
PAGES:196
ISBN:1-85326-091-6

I found this at the back of the book shop in the classics section and instantly pounced on it. The beautiful front cover design and the unbroken spine pretty much sold this copy to me. TO THE LIGHTHOUSe, in an extremely basic sense, is centred around the Ramsey family and their summer visits to the lighthouse. I have a difficult relationship with Woolf. I can never seem to read her work with the same fluidity that I am able to with other novelists. However, I am determined to enjoy this novel wholeheartedly. I'm actually studying this for my Modernism class so I don't really have a choice but to read it! It's not that I don't love the use of stream of consciousness, as well as the numerous other things that Modernism stands for and is characterised by, because I do. I think it's just sometimes difficult to sit down with a novel that smothers its plot and delicious character development in the ordinary and the introspective, even though that too is something I adore.  Bloody hell, I'm confused. If you haven't guessed by now, I love literature that challenges me and sates my desire for learning and for immense feeling. I really hope this novel and I will get along swimmingly. I, of course, will let you know! 


vivatramp lifestyle blog charity shop finds books uk the road

the road by cormac mccarthy
3 FOR £2 PAPERBACK DEAL 
*i have seen the film adaptation
PUBLISHER: picador
PAGES:307
ISBN:0330447548

I may shock you when I tell you that I opted to see the film adaptation prior to reading the book. Shock horror! I've sold out, haven't I?! I'm hoping that it won't ruin my reading experience because I have heard nothing but good things about this book. If you aren't aware, THE ROAD follows a father and son as they navigate a post-apocolyptic world. I was in bits at the film but I'm pretty sure that the book will cut me up into a million more pieces. I've read the first page and I think the tone is pretty much perfect so we'll see how it goes. I think I'll put this quite low down on my 'To Read pile' in order to distance it from the film adaptation so as not to spoil it but I'm looking forward to reading it in a strange oh-god-i'm-going-to-weep way. 

If you'd like to scroll through all of my book blog posts then you can. Or, alternatively, you could just flick through my book hauls instead.

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