Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Reading Challenge 2015 - The Raven Boys

WARNING : I will most like talk plot points, so SPOILERS. 

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

This series is my new current obsession. I went into this not expecting too much, as I made the time honoured mistake of judging a book by its cover. The sheer mention of 'true love' made me question whether this was going to be another twilight mistake. However, I'm so pleasantly surprised by this story. I love it.

I have a deep love for witches, psychics, myths, legends and all things magical, and this book does a good job of including those, whilst somehow not over doing it.
The story does focus on the inevitable relationship between Blue and Gansey, yet somehow doesn't make it the main plot interest. There's plenty of other plot points that are far more interesting. The mystery of Noah, possibly one of my favourite characters, and the abusive relationship with Adam and his father had me on the verge of tears.
I just think this book does a great job of making me love these characters. They're all so different and so complex. I'm dying to read the next two to hear more about Ronan's back story. I'm aware that Gansey will eventually sneak his way into Blue's heart and I'm waiting for the confrontation and heart ache of poor Adam, who I guess will be cast aside. It's going to hurt, and I'm going to love it.

Adam is possibly my favourite character, along with Blue. I love Adam's independence and unwillingness to let others have any say over his life. Except of course for the relationship he has with his father, which somehow makes him more human than any of the other characters. His story arc builds till be eventually breaks.
Blue is such a strong person. She's sensible, which I like. I've read so many books where the main protagonist is strong, yet kind of foolish or reckless. Blue seems to be aware of the consequences of her actions, which is refreshing.

I've probably said enough. I ordered the next two in the series and cannot wait for them to arrive. I need my fix!
I had a look to see what I could categorise this under on the list, and I think I'll count it as my book with magic. I want to read the rest but I'm not sure I'll count them in the final total.
Onto the next one!

An update on what I've read so far :

A Trilogy - James Dashner, The Maze Runner series
A Play - Shakespeare, Love Labours Lost
A Book with Magic - Maggie Stiefvater, The Raven Boys

Sunday, 22 February 2015

Simple Sundays - A Favourite Pastime

I've Posted so much today!
I haven't done a Simple Sunday in a while, and today is such a simple sunday that I couldn't pass it up.

I was in London from Wednesday to Friday for work. I don't know about you, but having a few hectic days followed by two completely non hectic days is such a weird experience. I don't really know what to do with myself.

Whilst I was travelling down, I started on one of the next books in my reading challenge list. I'm not sure what made me want to read this book, as at first I was a bit sceptical, but I pulled it out on the train and pretty much had to force myself to stop and get some work done. I've wrote a quick update on it which will be posted soon in the reading challenge tag.

Anyways! I've now finished the book and I've become a little obsessed. I love that feeling of being so into a book series that it sits constantly at the forefront of your mind. I haven't found a book like that in a while so I'm very happy. There's honestly no better feeling. Books can have such power.

True to my habits, I've started sketching the characters. I don't know if anyone else does this, but I tend to build up this image of what certain characters look like then try my darned hardest to project that onto paper. There' something very satisfying about seeing characters slowly take physical form in front of you.
I sat until two this morning doodling away. I'm very happy with them, but I'm not the best at showing people what I draw. I'm still a bit self conscious because I tend to see flaws in everything I do. I've posted one, which you can see above. Im still not great at drawing hands, so I've tried to include this in each of these sketches so I can get my practise in.
I tend to have to tell myself a lot not to be embarrassed by what I create. It's definitely a confidence issue. I have to mentally yell at myself to be brave and upload stuff. Theres a little voice in my head that's scared people will judge or tell me it's not good. Which hey, it might not be.
I draw/paint for myself in the end. Which is why it is so rare for me to upload anything to big ol' internet. The internet can be a scary place, after all.

I know I'm not the only one who suffers this. There's a lot of negativity out there, and I for one just try to avoid that as much as I can. It can make it difficult to want to put ourselves out there and not have our say. Today I'm feeling brave, so I'm embracing that.

I know I've rambled on a bit about something so minor as posting a picture, but it's a topic I'm constantly debating with myself about, and I wanted to say my piece.

hope you're all having a lovely weekend!

Reading Challenge 2015 - Love Labours Lost

Love Labours Lost by William Shakespeare

I've been getting into my Shakespeare a lot recently. I have to thank web adaptations for that, particularly 'Nothing Much to Do' by the Candle Wasters on Youtube. A blog series adaptation of William Shakespeare's 'Much Ado About Nothing'. I read that play not long after binge watching the entire series. When I heard they were doing a second series with the same characters but based loosely on the plot of Love Labours Lost, I had to read it.
The second series by the Candle Wasters will be called Lovely Little Losers, and is hopefully coming out this year! They've been filming this month. First instalment is here, a little christmas teaser.

Vlogs aside, this wasn't my favourite Shakespeare play. I did enjoy parts of it and the humour was quite funny, but in the end it didn't sit with me as well as Much ado About Nothing. I did however like the ending, with the promise that they shall meet again in a year and a day to see if their love was real. That sounds very vague, but I think I prefer the idea that it didn't all come to a rosy end.

Over all it was okay though. I'm more excited about the Candle Wasters version of the play, I seriously cannot wait.
If Shakespeare is your thing, I also recommend watching the theatre version of Much Ado starring David Tennant and Catherine Tate. That version is hilarious. I was honestly laughing so hard watching it. David Tennant is fabulous in it and does great credit to the role.

This scene, anyone?! Tears of laughter.
(photo not mine)

Flaine, France - 25/1/15 - 31/1/15

Last month I was lucky enough to be in France skiing with my family. We also went last year, and it was my first time strapping on the skis. This year, I was so pleased to realise I could still do it! I started off with lessons at the beginning of the week, hoping to pick up where I left off and improve, but by day two had cancelled them. I felt confident enough to carry on and just practice.

However! on the third day, disaster struck. I woke up feeling a little worse for wear.

Went out in the morning and managed to throw myself all over the mountain, but by lunch felt like I was possibly going to faint. I headed back to the chalet and collapsed on the bed, not to be heard of again until a few hours later. When I woke up I was so hot, had bumps all over my arms and a headache. Those symptoms didn't really leave me for the rest of the week. It's quite annoying being on holiday and not being able to enjoy it. I had only mustered up enough energy to try again on the last day, and even then had to bow out by lunch. I think it's quite important when you're skiing to be in control of what you're doing. Being ill tends to take that control away and that's when accidents happen. I'm kind of gutted that I didn't manage to get out that much, but at the same time I enjoyed what time I did.

As apposed to last year, we were in a catered chalet this time. Our chalet hosts name was Joe. He was such a lovely person, and his cakes tasted so much better than mine. His victoria sponge was ridiculous.  

We had two birthdays whilst in Flaine, my mums and my roommate, Maureen. On Thursday Joe spent the morning cutting out a happy birthday template for the cake. Such a sweet thing to do. Note the messy little gluten free muffins for Steve!

Flaine as a resort is beautiful. The valley is so picturesque. I think my favourite part was this little split in the mountains where you can see through to the valley beyond. The trees that lined it were just so nice.

Check out the view from our bedroom window!

The first day we arrived we also got driven around in a snow buggy. This thing doesn't look like much, but the experience was pretty fun. The driver didn't have to slow down on corners and certainly didn't. I was terrified I was going to fall out!

I'm currently doing driving lessons at the moment. At this point I had only had 4, and I was a bit too keen to drive this thing. It would have ended so badly!

As always now is my chance to binge upload some of the photos. I always take too many.

I should probably mention that there were ten of us in total on this holiday. Not all family, but all friends of the family.

An accidental photo taken from the bus window. I just love it how gloomy it looks.

I think the trees were my favourite part of the scenery. The snow just sits on them and contrasts so beautifully. Like a christmas card!

 Before being struck down 'in the pribe of libe!' (anyone else reference Friends when sick?)

 My beautiful mother.

Looking forward to next years trip! Hopefully it won't end so horribly. I'll be sure to take all my vitamins and build up my immune system before I go!

Sunday, 8 February 2015

New Years Photos!

A much delayed selection of photos from my trip up to Inverness for new years! My friend Steven took his big fancy camera with him and took some really nice photos. I meant to post them sooner but totally forgot!

 It was a really fun weekend. We stayed with Louisa and her family and went into town for the bells. The Red Hot Chilli Pipers were playing on the stage and we took an awful disposable camera selfie at midnight! I got the photos back last week and it's so blurry!

Below are some of my iPhone photos too. Lesser quality than Stevens and heavily filtered ;)

 We made an apple pie for New Years day lunch.

Some photos from the Clootie Well.

Sea-salty windswept hair.

So yeah! Sorry for the sheer mass amount of photos in this post. I took so many and just wanted to put them up in a big post. The clootie well and Fairy Glen were really pretty, I couldn't help but take loads of photos.