Friday, 28 October 2016

Where Have I Been?!?!?!


It's been TIME and oh wow, this feels very strange.

My life has been somewhat of a whirlwind these past few months and so my blog (and pretty much all social media) has been put well and truly on the back burner.

Sorry 'bout that.

Buuuuut turns out I crazy miss it all!

So this is my attempt at getting something out there when I actually have a few minutes spare. In truth I have work I should be doing but I'm pretty darned ill and that's a good enough excuse to not be doing it, right?

Why have I been so busy lately I hear you ask? Well as mentioned in previous posts such as this one I applied to do a PGCE and turns out a university wanted me. I'm as surprised as you are!

So I quit my job of nearly 3 years (best feeling in the world!) and went back to school at the start of September and since then it's been crazy. I'm still unsure if it's a good crazy or not.

Whether this turns out to be the best or not so best choice I've made it's happening and I'm going with it. Wish me luck and I'll keep you updated I have no doubt!

Now when going into teaching, social media is a bit of a land mine so I'm aware that if I really want to keep doing this I'll have to step delicately. Hopefully not much will actually have to change on here but just in case you notice anything a bit different that's what's going on!

x

Friday, 17 June 2016

Going Back to School.


I never thought I'd want to be a teacher, then a friend suggested it to me and got me to go to her school for 2 weeks to experience what it was like.

I have gone back and forth on a lot of career options but none have stuck for any length of time, I couldn't imagine myself doing them every day of my life. All I knew was I wanted to do something in science.
I have a degree in Biology and have always loved science, I like most aspects of it and that's where the main issue arose. I didn't know how to choose one path, stick to it and stay happy with my choice. Then the aforementioned friend pointed out to me that if I taught it I would have to learn and get involved in all areas of science!

Problem solved.

So I went and bought myself a whole heap of new smart clothes [apparently harem pants and crop tops aren't entirely appropriate....] set up two weeks in the school and became "Miss"!

I've been in a real life rut recently [hence no posts for over 2 months ... soz!] and although I was unsure of how this would turn out I really wanted it to go well so that I might finally have direction in my life. Aaaaaand I loved it! The kids were great, the staff were so friendly and the whole atmosphere was amazing.

So what's the next step? Well I've applied for a PGCE in secondary school science (with Biology), have sent off references and once they're done will wait to hear if any of the universities I've applied to will take me on! Oh and obviously the best bit about this whole plan? NEW STATIONARY PEOPLE!

Fingers crossed that it works out..... and that I don't actually absolutely hate it!

x

Friday, 1 April 2016

Buddy Books | Ready Player One by Ernest Cline





In the year 2044, reality is an ugly place. The only time teenage Wade Watts really feels alive is when he's jacked into the virtual utopia known as the  OASIS. Wade's devoted his life to studying the puzzles hidden within this world's digital confines, puzzles that are based on their creator's obsession with the pop culture of decades past and that promise massive power and fortune to whoever can unlock them. When Wade stumbles upon the first clue, he finds himself beset by players willing to kill to take this ultimate prize. The race is on, and if Wade's going to survive, he'll have to win—and confront the real world he's always been so desperate to escape.

Before I start my review of this book it might be of interest to know that Sophie (my buddy book reader) had rather differing opinions on this so we're off to a good and rather split start!

This book is written with many, many references to nerd culture specifically from the 80's and I want to say that if you're concerned you might not really appreciate the references please do not worry! As a female who has never been huge into gaming and was born a decade after the 80's I still LOVED and understood most of the references!

I really enjoyed the story of Ready Player One, the characters were very likable, the writing was enthralling and it has lot's of plot twists that were unexpected and seriously had me wanting more.
There's humour, mystery, nerd culture and some pretty fantastical worlds to be found.

The only negative I would have is that I feel the book didn't need to be as long as it was, on a few occasions while reading I found myself willing it forward and looking for more action. These were mostly in the first half and by the time I reached the half way point I was gripped and it sped along!
I liked Ernest Clines writing style as it was technical in all it's description but without being too jargon heavy so newbies like me can get to grips with all the gaming lingo!
I was interested in reading more from him but haven't heard amazing thing about his other book Armada .... if you've read it let me know what you thought!

Over all I adored this and urge anyone that is slightly inclined to nerdy passions to give it a go - I've already passed it on to my sister.

4.5 on Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/35936088-sara-johnson


The next buddy book for April will be The Dumb House by John Burnside.

x

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Too Many E-books!
















I have a disgusting number of unread books sitting on my kindle (or ipad kindle app) and I need to do something about it.

Unlike my physical books, I don't look at them very often which means I often forget that there's books on there let alone specifically which ones I've purchased.
To force myself to rectify this and actually get through the mountain that lays before me I am setting myself the challenge of reading at least one of my e-books each month.

I'm really hoping that this will get me into the habit of at least looking through my library and actually having some awareness of what I have!

Here's to reading challenges!

Does anyone else have this problem? It can't just be me!

x

Thursday, 10 March 2016

February Favourites



Short and sweet intro because I feel by now these posts don't require much explanation.

- Sweet and spicy noodle soup

I'd never had this flavour before but as soon as I saw it I needed it. Most cup a soups are fairly bog standard but this stood out and spoke to me soul (my soul definitely speaks in the language of food just fyi). It was delicious and I highly recommend.

- Afternoon Tea

I visited my lovely friend and her daughter this month .... well a whole group of us went and as we're now technically adults we decided to do something a little sophisticated and go for afternoon tea.
I always love a good afternoon tea, it's all the sandwiches man! Plus her little girl is the cutest thing I've ever had the joy of looking upon and yes you may say I'm bias but it's still true.



















- The Walking Dead

Yes I am very late to this party but now I'm here and ready to boogie.
A lot of people in my life have insisted I need to get into the series and I knew that I'd love it but for some reason hadn't quite got around to sitting down and watching it.
My Dad recently made me sit down and watch from the start - he has already seen it all but was happy to re-watch with me.
We started this on Saturday evening and on writing this it is Thursday and I am a few episodes into series 4...... yeah that happened. To be fair I've had 2 days off work due to phlegmy illness issues and that is how I've managed to binge it so quickly. I imagine I'll be up to date in the next week.
I won't say anything about it in case of spoilers but I am so in love with Daryl it hurts a little. He is too good for this world and I just want to hold him and keep him safe forever and ever.

- Tenerife

My first holiday of the year happened in February and it was so necessary for my sanity I can't put it into words.
I've never been to Tenerife before and was a little worried it might be really touristy but I was pleasantly surprised by the area we went to.
We also went to a water park and a zoo which I would 100% re-visit both if I were to go back as they were amazing days well spent. FYI they were called Siam Park and Jungle Park.

















x

Friday, 4 March 2016

Buddy Books | The Dark Days Club by Alison Goodman.


15993203


London, April 1812. On the eve of eighteen-year-old Lady Helen Wrexhall’s presentation to the queen, one of her family’s housemaids disappears-and Helen is drawn into the shadows of Regency London. There, she meets Lord Carlston, one of the few who can stop the perpetrators: a cabal of demons infiltrating every level of society. Dare she ask for his help, when his reputation is almost as black as his lingering eyes? And will her intelligence and headstrong curiosity wind up leading them into a death trap?


I mentioned in a post a few days ago that me and my friend have started a book club and we finally named it! As we will be buddy reading all these books it shall hence forth be known as Buddy Books!
This months Buddy Book was The Dark Days Club, here's what I thought -

I really enjoyed this book, it seemed to have been researched amazingly well, both the expectations of society in the 1800's and the geography and understanding of London itself seemed very accurate and honest.

There was lot's of intrigue and unanswered questions as Lady Helen tries to unravel her family's past which left me wanting to find out more. She is relatable in that she is flawed, she doesn't necessarily follow the same beliefs as those around her, she makes mistakes and is unsure as to who she is supposed to be. Having said that she does always want to do what she believes is the right thing not just for herself but for those she cares for.

There were a number of characters I enjoyed reading about and following through their developments as there were surprises for them all. My personal favourites have to be Darcy and Lord Carlston.

The only negative I could say about this book was that it very much felt like the first book in a series. The whole book was build up which isn't necessarily a bad thing but occasionally I found myself wanting a little more action, learning more about Lady Helen's parents and experience the Dark Days Clubs adventures further. I will definitely read the rest of this series though as I can't wait to see what Lady Helen and Lord Carlston get up to next.

Lady Helen is strong, brave and kind. Lord Calrston is dark, mysterious and at times very intense.

There's humour, mystery, 19th century balls and a little bit of swoony romance. What's not to like about that?

I gave it 3 out of 5 stars on goodreads but have a feeling any future books will be higher. Let me know if you've read this and what you thought.

The Buddy Book for March will be Ready Player One by Ernest Cline - please read along with us if you're interested!

x

Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Book Club.

This month me and my friend/life partner Sophie decided to start our own book club - official name to be confirmed.

If you've read any of my other posts you might have come across mentions of Sophie, but if you haven't she is an incredible book blogger and avid book reader. I lived with her at university and we've been fairly inseparable since.

I've always enjoyed reading but never did it regularly so haven't actually read that much. I don't know why I haven't as when I do pick up a book I tend to love it. So in order to try and get into the habit of reading more often we are going to choose one book a month to both read so that we have someone to discuss it with after finishing.

It won't be easy to find some that Sophie has yet to read but I'm sure we'll cope, I will be updating our progress on the blog/maybe YouTube so if you're interested in hearing opinions on books or reading along with us you can! Here's Sophies page so check that too.

The first book on the list for February was The Dark Days Club by Alison Goodman so expect a review shortly.

x

Thursday, 4 February 2016

#TIMETOTALK


This is me trying to be topical....

So today is what the wonderful people at time to change (an anti-stigma campaign set up by mental health charities Mind and Rethink Mental Illness) call Time To Talk Day.
It's all about taking a few minutes to discuss mental illness in the hopes of spreading knowledge, understanding and most importantly support. You can talk to anyone about any aspect of mental health so whether you have experienced issues, know someone that has (you will even if you don't know it yet - maybe today can be a chance to find out a bit more) or just someone that has an interest - get involved.

To do my bit I have chosen to speak to you lovely reader, please feel free to continue the conversation in the comments and/or on social media!

There is still so much stigma surrounding mental illness, I always knew this but it really came to light in my own life when my GP suggested depression might be causing the issues I've been experiencing for quite a few years now - although it's hard to know because my low iron/aneamia have similar symptoms.
The last time I visited my doctor she decided to test my bloods for iron one more time, if I am still low after being on supplements I'm headed to a specialist. If the bloods come back okay then we will look into more emotional/mental issues.
When I spoke about this to my parents one reaction was "Oh great, becoming dependent on happy pills is just what you want." as you can imagine this didn't make me feel great about the whole situation. I found myself not wanting to mention it again and retreating into myself when it came to talking about my appointment. I felt like I was a failure because it had been suggested I might not be coping emotionally without medication and that it was something that was extremely negative and almost something to be ashamed of.
Then I spoke to my cousin who herself has suffered with various mental health issues, she was amazing and it was just what I needed. We had a long chat about what symptoms I had, how they effected me and I think most importantly how I reacted to certain situations. This was when my cousin agreed that we were experiencing very similar things and that there was potential that I could be suffering from a form of depression/anxiety. She then told me she was on anti-depressants and that it's the best thing she's ever done.
This prompted me to do more research into anti-depressants and the implications they may have - I urge everyone to do this even if you won't ever need them. It opened my eyes to how many people only take them short term and it just confirmed what I already knew about the scientific and biological evidence of depression.

 I'm yet to have my follow up so I don't know which path I'll wind up on but just having a small talk with someone that didn't judge or have preconceived ideas of what mental health is or isn't was a breath of fresh air. I'm now confident in knowing that if anti-depressants turn out to be the best option to get me back on the road to good health then that is what I'll do and it's okay. If you have any other health issues you'd seek medical attention and treat it so why should it be different for your mental health?
If it's just my iron and I go to a specialist at least I have gained more of an understanding of various illness's, how they can manifest and possibly how to help.

Let's keep talking about this problem because it's there and will be beyond the 4th of February because and things need to change.

x

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

January Favourites


Holy shit, it's that time again, if you can believe it.
Here's a few things I've been loving this month.

- Bend It Like Beckham the musical
Anyone that knows the tiniest bit about me will be aware of my love for musical theatre and it's definitely a love I share with my friend/wife Sophie.
We both have an appreciation for shows especially when they are performed in London, feel good and based on a film that we adore.
We weren't sure if we'd get tickets to this show when we arrived that day but we were lucky enough to get some half price and we then got upgraded from circle to stall seats ..... absolutely no complaints! If you enjoy going to the theatre I can't praise this production enough, it's colourful, funny and heart-warming. Everything a good show should be and I love it so much.


- Gel nails
For Christmas I bought my sister some diy gel polishes and dryer. When she visited for dinner one evening recently she decided to have a go at mine and my mums and used the colour changing polish!
I decided to buy this one as it looked kind of fabulous - it changes colour with temperature from blue to purple and when you're somewhere in between you end up with what looks like galaxies festooning your nails and who wouldn't want that?
It worked surprisingly well, they changed colour quickly and easily plus as they are gel they didn't chip like the normal stuff.
The only negative I would mention is that it doesn't feel great taking it off, you have to soak you're nails in acetone and scrub a little too. After that my nails were very dry so I would suggest getting nail moisturiser to help too.

- Warner Brothers Studio Tour: The Making Of Harry Potter
Yes it might have been my 4th visit and yes the only difference was that they showed us how they make fake snow and do the invisible foot prints.... so was it worth it?
ABSO-FREAKING-LUTELY!!
Everytime I've gone has been just as magical as the last and I can't think of a single person that wouldn't smile when they walk into Diagon Alley. Oh also evey 5 minutes they make it snow in the courtyard too!

- Hooker boots
These were called such after my Grandad in the past commented on my cousins that were similar... he loved them by the way.
These had been sat in my amazon wishlist for weeks but I finally clicked the buy button and haven't regretted it one tiny bit. They are comfy and what I like to call "power shoes" because when I wear them I feel like I can take on the world.



- Binge by Tyler Oakley
I've been meaning to read this one since I received the pre-order but it just seemed to stay sat on my shelf (I have no bookcase so when I say "shelf" I mean floor by my bed").
Eventually I got round to it, read half and then stopped. I don't know why but I took a break, when I picked it up again I finished it in about 3 sittings. I enjoyed his writing style, the chapters didn't really follow any chronological (or other kind of) order but I quite liked that, it felt more like he was sat with me in a coffee shop regaling stories rather than meticulously planning, writing and editing a book. It was very personal and we are now best friends. Obviously.


x

Monday, 25 January 2016

Now You See Me.

So I looked up some blogging prompts after a bit of a dry spell and one suggestion was"Now you see me" and I know the point was to write a blog post but for some reason this is what I made of it.....
I've never really written anything or released anything to the public like this before but 2016 is about taking risks and doing new things so here it is. Now I shall go run and hide. K thanks bye.


I am weak
I am scarred
I am insecure
I am broken

Now you see me

I should be positive
I should be smart
I should be confident
I should be strong

Now you see me

I want to be optimistic
I want to be creative
I want to be free
I want to be happy

Now you see me

I can be brave
I can be smart
I can be confidant
I can be at peace

Now you see me

I will be passionate
I will be motivated
I will be important
I will become whole

Now I see me.

Friday, 22 January 2016

Death and Losing People We've Never Met.


Last week was a big one in celebrity deaths. Bowie and Alan Rickman being the most discussed.

It's nothing new that people in their thousands take to the internet to show their appreciation and fondness of the famous faces that pass away.
For me I only recently experienced truly being affected by this, being younger most of my heroes are still doing pretty good thankfully but when we lost Robin Williams it did move me. He was a huge part of my childhood and it was very strange to feel loss over someone I'd never met. The same thing happened last week with Alan Rickman and to an extent David Bowie (Labyrinth is easily in my top favourite films of all time!).

But what makes us feel so intensely about these individuals, almost as if they were family?

Well for one they have played a part in our lives even if we haven't in theirs, through film, music and TV. People can be moved by characters they connect with, story lines that relate to them and often just pure talent. When we lose these it can hit hard.
I also think sympathy gets involved, we think about how their friends and family are feeling and how we'd handle losing someone close to us.
Finally it forces us to consider our own mortality especially if these celebs are close to our own age. No one enjoys thinking about the finite time we have so the emotions flow freely when the thought enters our mind. It makes us wonder about our future, what we have done and will do with our lives. Have we done all we wanted? Are we satisfied with our accomplishments? Often sadly the answer is "not yet" and the idea of death wakes us up to that fact that we have limited time to do all the things we want and that's hard to take in and can be upsetting. But truth is we can do these things and a lot of the time it's only us that's stopping ourselves.

This topic always brings up a bit of controversy and many people have opinions on what is an acceptable way to react and this comes down to the fact that everyone grieves and is effected by death in completely different ways.
With the use of social media and the internet allowing us to share our every thought and feeling a lot of people will open up about how big events change them. This opportunity to share can also lead to judgment and negativity. Many will judge anyone that acts in a way that is different to them and now they have the ability to tell that person they're wrong. Which is bullshit.

To whatever extent you choose to show your emotions, it's all good. If you cried on reading that Alan Rickman had passed and chose to post memes or photos to show your appreciation and heartbreak or if you felt nothing and don't really understand why others have reacted so violently, it's all good. Differences in opinion is what makes life exciting.... just don't be a dick about it. Have your own and allow other to have theirs. Acceptance doesn't require understanding.


Final thought - cancer is a fucktard, I ran a race for cancer research last year and if you feel like making a difference please visit here and donate if and what you can.

Be awesome to each other.

x

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

TFT | Cars and Girls by Prefab Sprout.


This song is one that we used to play in the car all the time when I was young. The whole family would sing along and it's just really nostalgic for me. This band will always hold a little place in my heart.

It came on the radio the other day an I had the urge to share it here. Hope you love this 80's classic as much as I do.... oh that hair.

Also if you enjoy this give "King of Rock and Roll" a try, it's just as wonderful.




x

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

December Favourites.


So it's been a while and I'm sorry.
Christmas kind of took it out of me and I feel a bit flat and deflated at the moment so my apologies for that but I am going to try and get back into the swing of actually doing things.

Here is my very belated December favourites!

- Starting Youtube (again!) -
I have done a few YouTube videos in the past but never genuinely liked them. I wrote a whole post on it over here but if you fancy watching them (can't promise how regular they will be) head over to my page.

- Booking Holidays -
In one month I managed to book two holidays for 2016. One with my friends to Tenerife and one with my sister, a cruise round the med, I can't wait as I seriously need to get away soon! Bring on the cocktails.

- AHS Coven -
I've already done a post about this show so of course it was going to be in my favourites. Honestly this show is the best thing I have watched in  a very long time.

- Longleat Light Festival -
This happens every year at Longleat Safari Park, I was lucky enough to go last year and we decided to go again this time around. Longleat is an amazing place to go on a normal day, zoos and wildlife parks are essential for conservation and education but Longleat is a safari park and every single animal has ample space and appears to be cared for in the best possible way. Let's be honest we've all been to zoos that leave us feeling a little sad..... Longleat also has beautiful gardens and a stunning house you can look round.
Each winter Longleat adds a Chinese light show to all this and is really is quite a spectacle. Large, life size animals are glowing all around the grounds as well as flowers that tower over your heads and huge dragons that breath steam. If you get the chance to go I highly recommend it.

- Christmas -
Although a somewhat obvious choice for December it's got to be put in the list!
I love Christmas, it's always been my favourite holiday and although this year it took me a little while to actually feel festive the 4 days over which we celebrated with family were amazing. Being cosy inside  with your loved ones, drinking a little too much and eating your body weight in cheese is always a great way to end the year.

So here's to a adventurous 2016!

x

Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Let's Talk About AHS.


I know I have been quiet here on my blog for a while but my life has just been a little insane - Christmas is a busy time, who knew?

One thing I have found time for is American Horror Story Coven. Me and my friend watched it in 3 sittings and holy mother of goddess is this a show you need to see!

By now there's no way you won't have heard about this series, it's EVERYWHERE and there's a reason for this. I've watched the first season, Murder House, most of season 2, Asylum (which I wasn't quite as fussed by), a few episodes of Freak Show (which seems like it will be amazing but my friend has already watched this one so I may have to catch up on  my own) and now Hotel has begun which I have seen nothing of, but Lady Gaga is in it so you know it's gonna be good.

So far Coven is easily my favourite by a million miles. I think what made me adore Coven is that I was so interested in the characters and this was true of each one, there wasn't a single person that didn't intrigue me.
Plus now I'm utterly obsessed with witches.
It's a bunch of badass ladies with magical powers trying to save their race whilst finding the next supreme which is basically the queen witch. Yeah it's awesome.

You can correctly assume from the title of this series that it's a little gory and scary at times but as someone who doesn't overly like horror films I still think these are wonderful. They are dark but more macabre than scary so you don't have to worry about too many sleepless nights.... although I didn't enjoy the drive home on my own after watching them.....

I don't know why I decided to write about this show but I think it's mainly just to tell as many people as possible to watch it because it is SO worth your time and effort. Not only are the storylines fascinating but because each season follows a new plot with different characters there is no possible chance for you to become bored, or if you aren't getting into one of the seasons as much as the others you can skip it because you won't miss anything for the next one!

Have you seen any of American Horror Story? Which season is your favourite so far?

x

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Colour My World on YouTube.


I have made a few videos in the past for YouTube which really I'm not all that pleased about....
When I watch them back they make me cringe and I realised it's because I wasn't being myself, I was being what I thought YouTube wanted me to be.
Let's be honest those videos aren't what anyone wants! I have privated a couple and was tempted to private them all and effectively start over but then does that totally go against the message of the video I just made?
I think once I've made a few more that I'm happy with I might remove the others but for now they're staying.

But I like making videos and to an extent the point of the video I made is true to this blog as well. Hobbies are for you to enjoy so we should be able to do them without conditions or pressure.

This latest video is just me, natural and true so I actually like this one and hope any future ones follow the same vein.



Feel free to watch/comment/subscribe all opinions welcome!

x