Monday, 22 July 2013

Summer Picnic

Hello everyone! Last SATURDAY, we packed up a picnic and headed into the countryside for some food with a view. After Luke piping up about how the setting reminded him a little of The Walking Dead, we got stuck in to the food and I decided to see how quickly I could eat a whole punnet of cherries. It was glorious! With bellies full of food, we hopped in the car and went to my late Grandad's local for a few drinks in the terraced beer garden. It was awesome.  I took a few photographs so I thought I'd share them with you here. The church in the bottom photograph has played a massive part in my family's life. My grandparents married there, my parents married there, us kiddos were christened there and my Grandad was laid to rest there and so on, and so forth. It's pretty bloody special. 

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Friday, 19 July 2013

Book Haul feat. Zadie Smith

My seaside town isn't exactly the hub of vibrant youth activity. We don't really do clubs, nor do we really do shops. At least, not very exciting ones. However, much to my adoration, we do have a really bloody good selection of charity shops! I recently took G and Claire around the circuit and we all ended up hauling some pretty good buys back to the car. I thought I'd give you a run down of the 11 books that I bought, complete with little explanations as to why I picked them from the dusty shelves. Don't say I don't spoil you! I'll expand upon them as and when I read them so keep your eyes peeled, kids. Please let me know what you think of these books in the comments - Have you read them? Did you like them? 

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Sunday, 14 July 2013

Perfect Sunday

last sunday, Mamabear and I made the most of the sunny weather and headed out for the day. Both a little bit hungry and in need of a beer garden, we decided to head for the pub for a good ol' Sunday lunch. The pub was full of ladies in their horse riding gear, so Mama and I started joking about the whereabouts of their horses, suggesting that they'd left them tied up in the car park. It turns out that this actually was the case, and we sat laughing over our drinks at just how typical that really was. After nursing our full tummies, we decided to have a little wander down the country lanes because we are curious so and so's and we really bloody love looking at all the little cottages. After picking out our favourites, and discussing what we'd name them, we headed back home to catch Wimbledon and watch Murray win. All of this was far too much excitement for me so, admittedly, I slumped off for a mid day nap to re-energise. 

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Thursday, 11 July 2013

Book Reviews feat. Jonathan Safran Foer

Hello everyone! I thought it was about time that I reviewed the books that I featured in June's To Be Read pile post. I read Everything is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer, Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro and I also managed to read The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde. With each review, I've given details of the editions that I own before giving a brief overview of my thoughts along with an individual star rating. Aren't I bloody brilliant?! I've got lots of book related posts that I'd quite like to try out so do let me know whether you like the sound of that or not. I don't want to bore people to tears any more than I already do! Please let me know what you thought of these books in the comments below because book discussions are good for your health maybe

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Sunday, 7 July 2013

Country Pubs, Woodland Walks and Cherry Bakewell Gelato

When the weather outside shows even the slightest signs of perking up, us West Country dwellers head straight for the local beer gardens. Safe in the knowledge that there was not to be a cloud in sight, Dad and I decided to take ourselves off for the day with a vague itinerary in mind but, ultimately, intending to let the gentle breeze move us from one place to the next. Livin the dream, eh?!

Firstly, we decided to stop off at The New Inn which is perched right on the end of a little village. If you know me well enough, you'll know that I can't possibly function on a day out if food isn't consumed within at least half an hour of the journey so we decided to order a couple of their burgers and settled down in the beer garden. It was here that we calculated that I passed my second year of university with a 2:1 despite all the horrible illness stuff so, as you can imagine, I was feeling pretty chuffed. We discussed creative ideas and our plans for the future, which was extremely therapeutic because everything gets so muddled in my head sometimes. However, before we got too far into the conversation, a group of dog walkers and their dogs entered the beer garden so my concentration went completely out the window and lovehearts began to form in my pupils. 

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Monday, 1 July 2013

To Be Read Pile

Hello everyone! After posting my first To Be Read pile post last month, I thought it'd be nice to carry on with the feature and show you the books that I will be reading in the month of July. I will be posting reviews for the books I read in June shortly so keep your eyes peeled! I bought the following books with my own cash because, sadly, I don't have someone who is willing to feed my literature addiction. Oh, woe is me! However, saying that, it is my twenty first birthday in TWO DAYS (3rd July) and I have it on good authority that the book fairy has been extremely kind to me this year. Feel free to share your opinions on the following books in the comments below and also leave your book recommendations for me! I would also love to know what you're reading too because I'm nosey inquisitive. Once again, I've only picked two books this month because I'm still in recovery from my surgery and I'm on a shed load of antibiotics that make me want to vom every hour! 

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Like June's 'To Be Read Pile' post, both of these books have been sat patiently on my bookshelf for far too long. The first book on my pile this month is RIVERS OF LONDON BY BEN AARONOVITCH. I think I was first alerted about this book, and the entire trilogy, when Leena from thegirlsawthecomet spoke about it in a video a little while back. I'm not entirely that this is my typical sort of read but I'm willing to at least give it a bloody good go. Can we all just take a minute to appreciate how perfect my second hand copy off of Amazon is...Thanks! 'What is it about?', I hear you wail impatiently....

'My name is Peter Grant, and I used to be a probationary constable in that mighty army for justice known to all right-thinking people as the Metropolitan Police Service, and to everyone else as the Filth. My only concerns in life were how to avoid a transfer to the Case Progression Unit...Then one night I tried to take a witness statement from a man who was already dead but still disturbingly voluble...and that led me to Inspector Nightingale, the last wizard in England....The spirit of riot and rebellion has awakened in the city, and it's falling to me to bring order out of chaos - or to die trying' 

I've already had a little peek through the first chapter of the book and I'm intrigued but also a little concerned. I don't want to be rude, nor do I want to be extremely pessimistic, but I'm not entirely sure I like the tone of the novel. It sort of (and I mean sort of because I've barely read anything just yet)reads as if my Dad had been allowed to write a book....the sort of humour that makes you want to retract into yourself. Obviously, it's very early days so I may just be being a little too harsh but I'll let you know in my full review as to whether I ended up warming to Peter. My second concern is, will I be able to appreciate the novel with very little knowledge of London? I'm pretty sure I will be fine, because I've read literature based in many different parts of the world and it hasn't particularly hindered me, but I'm curious as to whether the novel can reach its full potential for a little yokel like me. Once again, I'll keep you posted! I'm being dubious but I'm also pretty excited because one critic said it was like 'what would happen if Harry Potter grew up and joined the Fuzz'. Interesting! 

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The second book I'm planning on reading this month is the red house by mark haddon. Everyone and their Mother has read The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time so it's pretty peculiar that I haven't really heard much about this novel as of yet. However, I decided to pick it up on a whim when it first came out and its been lingering in my bookshelf ever since. The blurby summarisy bit says the following: 

'After his mother's death, Richard, a newly remarried hospital consultant, decides to build bridges with his estranged sister, inviting Angela and her family for a week in a rented house on the Welsh border....Seven days of shared meals, log fires, card games and wet walks. But in the quiet and the stillness of the valley, ghosts begin to rise up. The parents Richard thought he had. The parents Angela thought she had...The Red House is about the extraordinariness of the ordinary, weaving the words and thoughts of the eight characters together with those fainter, stranger voices - of books and letters and music, of the dead who once inhabited these rooms, of the ageing house itself and the landscape in which it sits.'

I've read the first chapter already and I was pretty hooked and engaged so that's an extremely good sign. I quite like the premise of everyone being cooped up under one roof and I love being able to engage with a range of different characters, rather than just one sole protagonist. I haven't read The Curious Incident for years so I feel quite lucky that I probably won't have anything to compare this book to. I'm not expecting miracles from this book but I am expecting a pleasant read that keeps me engaged throughout. I'll let you know what I think!

There you have it! Do let me know your thoughts on these particular books in the comments section below and share your very own To Be Read pile in the comments too! I'll let you know what I thought of these two books in the near future but for the time being I'm off to make some birthday preparations ♥ 

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