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    discussion, feature, life, lifestyle, personal, student

    Learning Basic British Sign Language



    A little bit of a different kind of post today. For the last couple of weeks, I have been attending a Beginners British Sign Language course run by my university. The course is 20 lessons in length, with two-hour classes one night per week. BSL is something which I have wanted to learn for some time now, probably ever since I watched Switched at Birth and was fascinated by this language told completely in hand gestures and facial expressions.

    And then, during the summer when I was working in a local café before going back to uni, I served a deaf couple. They were very understanding, and didn’t expect us to know anything in the way of sign language at all. They wrote down what they wanted to ask us, and were able to make very simple signs and point at things to order. But, this encounter has really stuck with me ever since. All I could actually say to them that they could fully understand was ‘thanks’. That’s it. An entire language, and I can say thanks.

    Read more

    5 Things, lifestyle, list, personal, student

    5 Things: What To Do When It All Gets A Bit Much

    I have had this blog post sitting in my drafts for a while, and this week seemed like the perfect time to pull it back out. There were no words in it, just the title so I could come back to it. Writing this introduction after I have finished writing the rest of the post, I can safely say that one of the things that I can to when it all gets a bit much, is write. So I guess that goes with number 5.

    We are halfway through week 2 of semester 1 of year FOUR of my degree. This is my last year at university, my honours year – also known as the year. This is the year that everything rides on, and every grade counts towards what level of degree I am awarded with at graduation next summer.

    If you have finished a degree yourself, you will know that that is a LOT to think about. It is constantly at the back of my head, and has been all summer, but it is just in the last couple of days that it is has really hit home. I was awake until the small hours on Sunday night stressed out my mind at the pressure of it all. I don’t want my last few years to have been a total waste of my time, and I don’t want to be disappointed with my degree next year when I know I could have done so much better if I had just put the work in.

    A lot of this is probably geared towards university stress, t least in my head it is because that’s what I am stressed about, but you can apply it to your own personal situation.

    Maybe this blog post is just as much for me as it is for you. We can all be little balls of stress together. (Or should I say LOVELY CALM PEOPLE together after we all read this blog post???) Read more

    life, lifestyle, list, personal

    30 Questions To Get To Know Me

    Well that’s a large photo of my mug to start us off, isn’t it.

    HELLO. It has now been nearly a month since I posted on my blog, and like I said on Twitter, it was beginning to feel like the longer the break became, the more stressful it was.

    I am also back at university now and officially a FOURTH YEAR Honours degree student. I honestly can’t believe. Where did the time go?! How can I really be nearly DONE?! The pressure has really been mounting up, especially the past week. I am perhaps even a little bit too overwhelmed. I think the weight and importance of it all has suddenly hit me all at once and now I am like, “SHIT I need to get my act together,” whilst also simultaneously letting Netflix auto-play the next episode of Jane the Virgin.

    This is a post that I had saved in my drafts, nearly complete and ready to go for a rainy day. Well that day is today (although, actually, it isn’t raining). Now that I have come to terms with those first week jitters (almost), I am hoping to get a little bit better with my time management and motivation and get. shit. done. Encouraging words are welcomed!!! Please!!!

    I came across this list of questions while reading a blog last month (sorry I have forgotten who! I will update this if I remember, I knew I should’ve put the link in this post while I was still on the page).

    I have been blogging a few months now, so it must be about time that you knew something about me other than the fact that I quite enjoy a good book and a good glass of pink gin and lemonade. Turns out, there are a few other almost interesting facts about myself. Who knew. Read more

    books, personal, tag

    Bookish This or That Tag

    Hello everyone! I am back today with another tag post (I absolutely loved doing the book blogger tag, Behind the Screen, which you can read here. I have been tagged in quite a few different ones recently so I will slowly be working my way through them in amongst my book reviews and other chatty discussion posts and may be caught up around, oh, say next year sometime.

    A massive thank you to my friend Noly from The Artsy Reader for tagging me in this one! There were some seriously hard choices in there but I struggled through this “torture” tag, as Noly very aptly named it.

    I am also going to cheat and not tag anyone in particular to do this (lol lazy I know, don’t hate me), because I have so many tags to get through that I don’t think I even know that many bloggers!! So, I am taking the easy way out and just saying that if you fancy doing this tag, then help yourself, and leave a link for me to have a read. It’s a good one, even if was so incredibly hard.

    Now, without further ado, here are my answers…

    1. Series or standalone?

    As much as I love standalones for the fact that you get to read book after book and inhale so many stories and worlds, there is nothing better than reading a great book and being able to pick up the next one right away and find out what happens next! I am never ready for my favourite characters’ stories to end.

    2. Magic earned or magic born?

    I’m going to say magic earned (I’m guessing this is like Feyre a la A Court of Thorns and Roses?) because that probably makes for a more exciting story in my eyes! I love seeing how they adapt to this new world and how they bring their own world along with them.

    3. Enemies to lovers or friends to lovers?

    Ooooh enemies to lovers, for sure. All that tension.

    4. Hilarious banter or emotional ruin? 

    Noly – can I copy you and say both???

    5. Love triangle or insta love? 

    Love triangles quite often get on my nerves because there is always either the one person they are quite obviously going to choose, or – worse – they choose the wrong one and I am not happy with the ending. An insta love story can be a little on the corny side but if done well, it goes down a treat!

    6. Keyboard smash names or names start with the same letter?

    I can be quite bad for not remembering who is who if there are loads of characters in a book, so a bunch of keyboard smash names would be a recipe for disaster. As annoying as names all starting with the same letter would be, I would definitely have to choose that one.

    7. Mean parents or dead parents?

    Is it cruel to say dead parents? Mean parents is so hard to read but dead parents might mean happy memories? (Apparently I just stole your answer Noly lol sorry).

    8. Supermodel looks or constantly says how “plain” they are?

    Supermodel looks, because that doesn’t necessarily mean that they boast about it all the time, or really recognise it much themselves. A constant reminder of their “plainness” though is boring and frankly a little annoying.

    9. Face on cover vs. typography on cover?

    That is HARD. I THINK I prefer typography on a book over a face the majority of the time, but it really does depend on the individual cover.

    10. Villain turning a little good or hero turning a little bad?

    No! Don’t give us the disappointment of a hero not staying a true hero! It is much nicer to think everyone has a good side to them.

    11. Best friend dies or love interest dies?

    Oh, god. Do I really have to pick? Um, the best friend? Is that mean? I don’t want my friends to die, I promise!!! But if it’s their one true love they can’t die! But no wait, their best friend in the whole world? ARGH. NO ONE. NO ONE SHOULD DIE.

    12. Awesome writing with a dull plot or amazing plot with murderously bad writing?

    Awesome writing all the way. I would barely get two chapters into a book with bad writing, I can’t stand it. How does it even get published, or past the editing stage?! A dull plot would just mean it wouldn’t be an all round amazing book, but it would be readable at least.

    13. Cliffhanger ending or heartbreaking ending?

    I’d rather have neither but if I have to be absolutely pushed for an answer then I suppose I would have to pick heartbreaking ending because although I may never get over it, I hate the idea of a story unfinished. I don’t want to wonder what happened next. I need to know.

    14. Breaking the spine or dog-earing the pages?

    I really should use a bookmark more often but I usually just end up dog-earing the pages because then at least you can’t see that when it is sitting in your bookcase, whereas you would see a worn spine. It is such a shame if the spine is a pretty one!

    Then again, how good does it look when the spine has been broken so many times and it looks so well-loved? Ok – I am going to say a very unbroken spine (not one or two pesky little lines) and dog-earing the pages as well. Is that allowed? Screw it. My blog, I make the rules.

    15. “Bad boy” trope or “perfect golden boy” trope as love interest. 

    Oh, we all like a bad boy, don’t we.

    And I will leave it at that.

    books, personal, tag

    Behind the Screen – A Book Blogger Tag

    Happy Tuesday! If you live in the UK (particularly Scotland) and enjoy sunny weather, you will have been basking in the heat as much as I have and spending every waking second outside in the garden when you aren’t stuck in your sweaty place of work with a disgusting amount of perspiration leaking from every pore on your body. I even have a ~tan~ in SCOTLAND. Unheard of. If the weather was like this every summer we would never need to spend so much money on holidays to Spain! Mind you, I do still enjoy a proper authentic sangria or two…

    Anyway, I was so happy to get a Twitter notification the other day telling me that I had been tagged in my very first tag. I have already done the writer tag, but I found it and chose to do it myself rather than being tagged by someone, so thank you Adrianna! You can find her blog, For The Love of Books, and read her answers to these questions here.

    The “Behind the Screen” book blogger tag was first created by Amber at Du Livre, who I am so glad to have found now as her reviews are amazing! You should definitely check out her blog, as well as Adrianna’s and the ones I am going to be tagging myself at the bottom of this post (especially my new blogger friend Noly).

    I love tags, and this is a long hearty one at that. They let me ramble to my heart’s content, but you also get to know the person doing the rambling too, so let’s just have at it, eh.


    I have only been blogging for just under two months now, and I am loving it so far. My first review was Eve of Man by Giovanna and Tom Fletcher which I have no doubts you will have at least heard of by now, if not read it yourself. I am so excited for the rest of the trilogy if the first instalment is anything to go by!


    I really wanted somewhere that could let me write more, especially as I am about to start my final year of university studying English Literature, Journalism and Creative Writing. I also know a lot of authors started out as journalists and bloggers and that is exactly where I would like my life to end up. It also meant the ability to connect with people who love books as much as I do and would understand the struggle between choosing whether to organise my bookcase in alphabetical order by author surname or to colour co-ordinate it.


    I’m not necessarily huge on numbers (although I love seeing the follower count rising – such a good feeling knowing that people have found your blog and like it enough to stick around for more) so instead I would like to find ~quality~ readers who it is fun to interact with. I love my blog twitter account for this too. I would also love if my blog provided me with some outside writing opportunities in the future, so hit me up people.


    God, isn’t it TIME CONSUMING. There’s the actual writing process, taking the photos and editing them, not to mention coming up with ideas, designing your blog, promoting yourself on various social media, the list goes on. It’s a good thing it is fun.


    Working with people from the real book world! I was lucky enough to take part in my first cover reveal last month for Katie McGarry’s newest book, and next week I have a review of Alexandra McCann’s New Adult novella Angels Can’t Swim, as well as a short Q&A with her. It feels like quite an accomplishment for a new blogger as I was contacted by her and asked if I wanted to review it. She actually read my blog and wanted me to do an unsolicited review! This might not seem much for established bloggers and probably happens every day for them, but I’m sure you all remember your first review request and how exciting it was.


    I love writing lists (like my 7 Tips for Studying An English Literature or Creative Writing Degree or 8 Of The Best Kindle 99p Bargains) and rambly posts that aren’t about one particular thing. I’m terrible for just writing and writing when it could have been so much shorter – as my university tutors are well aware of when they frequently comment on how ridiculously close to the top margin of the word count I am – but I love the ability to just write as much or as little as I want on any topic. Imagine blog posts had a word limit too?!?! We would all be doomed.


    Ignore how absolutely vile my laptop keyboard is. It needs a scrub, seriously.

    So far I have written every single blog post from the comfort of my office, also known as my bed. I really want to be that person that sits in a coffee shop with their cappuccino and their laptop though so maybe one day (who am I kidding).


    I have just finished reading A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas and it was BREATHTAKING. I thought ACOTAR (book 1) was good, but this was a whole other game entirely. Planning on doing a full review of either the book or the series so far, but for now, you can read my Goodreads review of this book here.


    I very rarely rate a book as one star, but the last book I marked as DNF was Things Liars Say by Sara Ney. I thought it was going to be a nice, easy, light-hearted read but I couldn’t get past the majorly cringe-worthy dialogue to actually enjoy it.


    Love. Forbidden. Breathtaking.


    Hufflepuff all the way.


    Talking of warm sunny weather, I love reading out in the garden lying on a sun lounger or deck chair. In winter, I like to get all wrapped up in my bed under a million covers. Never the couch, for some unknown reason.


    I’m not sure I am quite qualified to give advice yet when I am such a new blogger myself, but I would definitely suggest setting up a twitter account for your blog as the majority of my traffic and new followers have found me through that. It is also great to find other blogs like yours to follow that you would never otherwise know about, and get the chance to interact with people who love your chosen obsession as much as you do!

    Thanks again for tagging me, Adrianna!

    I tag:

    Here are the questions all together to make it easier for you all (it’s a nice hearty, long blog post for when you are really in the mood for a good ramble and some typing):
    • When did you start blogging and what was your first review?
    • Who/what inspired you to start blogging?
    • What is a blog-related goal you have?
    • What is the one thing you wish someone told you about blogging?
    • What is your biggest blog-related accomplishment?
    • What type of posts do you enjoy writing?
    • Where do you usually blog? What is your set-up like?
    • What was your last five star read?
    • What was your last one star read?
    • What are three words that make you pick up a book?
    • What is your Hogwarts house?
    • What is your favourite reading environment?
    • What advice would you give to new bloggers?
    Looking forward to reading your answers girls! If you have done the tag before, feel free to leave a link to it in the comments – I’d love to have a nosy.

    Enjoy the sunshine while it lasts!