25 Fun Facts About Me

25 Fun Facts About Me!

Today I have leveled up to 25 (!!), yep I’ve been on this planet for a quarter of the century now and while there is a mild panic that I am now closer to 30 than 20, I’m hoping this will be a good year. So, for tonight’s post I thought I’d let you in on 25 fun facts about me you might not know!

  • I once had a meal with Trevor McDonald as part of a uni event, we bonded over how much we enjoyed George Ezra’s music.
  • I have had 9 hamsters in my life Lampie, Hamski, Noodle, Wickett have all passed on to the rainbow bridge and currently I have BB, Artoo, Wompa, Nymeria and Ghost with Ali.
  • Speaking of, I met Ali at 13 years old, I’ve been a little bit in love with him ever since.
  • I didn’t realise I loved academics until much later for my GCSE options I chose Music, Art, Drama and Textiles – I wanted to take dance but it wouldn’t fit with my schedule (also my knees were buggered).
  • I have Hypermobility meaning my joints are super bendy – I still can’t do the splits though. 🤔
  • I would rather read than do almost anything else.
  • I don’t drink coffee.
  • Pop-punk is one of my favourite genres and Ali makes playlists for us full of awesome new stuff.
  • When I was a kid I dreamed of being in musicals on the West End stage… then I found rock music.
  • I didn’t have a Tequila shot until my 24th birthday…I wish I hadn’t.
  • If I had one moment to go back in time I’d go and watch Queen live at Wembley.
  • I have a BA in English Literature and while I was studying it was my ambition to get a PhD and become a lecturer.
  • I was in bands from the age of 16 to 21 as a vocalist.
  • My aim for every year is to read 100 books.
  • My first concert was in 1999, I saw the Spice Girls at Earls Court in London.
  • I love vintage fashion, 1950s style dresses are my favourite.
  • I once met Carrie Fisher, I was so excited she had her dog Gary with her that I said hello to Gary first. 🙈
  • I am desperate to have my own dog, it’s the first thing I’m going to sort out when we have a house. Thankfully, I have my lovely Lottie at my parents house and a load of dogs at Ali’s mum’s house so I’m covered.
  • My Myers Briggs result is an INFJ – most people are surprised I’m an introvert.
  • My Netflix account ‘watched’ list is a mix of stand up comedy, true crime documentaries and comedy tv shows I’ve seen a million times before.
  • I think the 80s was the best time for films, I’m also really keen on music from the time. Basically, I would have loved to have grown up in the 80s.
  • My big life ambition is to write a book.
  • It took me 5 attempts to pass my driving test.
  • My family are super into Disney. I grew up watching Disney films on repeat, have been to Disneyland Paris 6 times, Orlando 3 time and I’m going again for my honeymoon.
  • Being 25 makes me feel nervous, it feels a little bit too grown up for me!

And that’s 25! What are some interesting facts about you? Let me know in the comments below! 👇

Books I Read In August 2019!

And we are back on a roll people! August saw me read 10 books – that is totally down to all the wonderful books I picked up at YALC being on my now pretty full shelves. I got through 10 (!!) books this month and I’m super pleased. Here they are in their full glory.

First up I finished the audiobook of Eat, Drink, Run – How I Got Fit Without Going Too Mad by Bryony Gordon. I’ve really enjoyed Bryony’s other books looking at her life with mental illness. You can read all my thoughts in my review here. This is a 5 star read for me.

Next up was another YALC read – The Disconnect by Keren David is a short book that centers around a group of teenagers asked to give up their phones for 6 weeks in the name of research and a cash prize. This was a gifted book and more to come! I gave with 4 stars.

Next up was Birthday by Meredith Russo, I’ve been looking forward to this, I loved Meredith’s previous book If I Was Your Girl so this was highly anticipated. This was an incredible read, so incredibly well written and such an emotional read. I would definitely recommend, a 5 star read from me.

The Truth About Alice is by Jennifer Mathieu who also wrote the amazing Moxie, which was my reason for picking this novel up. This tackles the impact of rumours and slut shaming and it’s another strong book by Mathieu. I gave this 4 stars, a strong read.

I received an ARC from the publisher of American Royals by Katherine McGee and wow, wow, wow! American royalty, a bit of scandal? I adored this book and gave it 4.5 stars – you can read my full review here.

Next up way another YALC purchase, I know I hit it hard in August. This novel was set in post WW2 Germany and looks at the secrets left behind after an international war. I learnt a lot from this novel and highly recommend it – you can read my full review here.

I picked up Can Everyone Please Calm Down? A Guide to 21st Century Sexuality by comedian Mae Martin and it was an interesting and informative read probably aimed at teenage readers but I gave it 4 stars and would recommend.

I was sent an ARC of Aphrodite Made Me Do It by Trista Mateer, a poetry collection that had some promise but overall wasn’t for me. That said I would you like to read more to get a better opinion.

My last 2 books were both audiobooks and thank goodness because I was a so busy with work I barely had the option to pick up a physical book! First up was The Good Immigrant edited by Nikesh Shukla – I wanted to read this a while back and finally got to it, this was worth the wait. Listening to these stories of what it means to be a BAME person in UK today was something I think everyone should read/listen to. A 4.5 star read for me.

My final read of the month was another audiobook, this time narrated by Carrie Hope Fletcher who’s voice I love! The Flat Share blew me away, it’s not something I would normally pick up but I was intrigued by the premise. Tiffy and Leon share a bed but they have never met. I couldn’t stop listening and absolutely adored it. I won’t spoil the plot but I was trying not to cry happy tears at the end.

A super strong month in terms of reading, more so at the beginning but I’ll take it. I read some excellent books and while September might not have as many reads I hope that I get to some good ones!

Book Review: The Stolen Ones - Vanessa Curtis

Book Review: The Stolen Ones – Vanessa Curtis

My name is Inge. I am sixteen. I live in Munich. Food is rationed, though the war ended years ago. My boyfriend is Jewish. My parents would not approve, so I hide this from them. I think they are hiding something from me, too. Letters arrive on my birthday, but they are not addressed to me. They are for a girl named Kasia. This is her story.

After picking this up at YALC I thought I knew what this book would be about and I was pleasantly proved wrong while reading The Stolen One. This has a lot of twists and turns throughout which I didn’t expect – it’s kind of part historical fiction, part mystery. Different, but I like it.

What stood out for me about this book is that it focused on the wider Nazi horrors and what they did to a large number of communities as well as the Jewish population. A lot of WW2 and post war fiction focuses on the Holocaust – and rightfully so! But, it means that I haven’t read much about others who were impacted by the Nazi regime.

I really liked Inge, I found her to be intelligent and headstrong but also realistic for a 16 year old who’s surrounded by secrets. It shows both the good and bad in people and that just because a war ends, doesn’t mean that things go back to normal. There is a lot of confusion, hurt and pain after such an event.

The relationships Inge have are vital to the plot and it was clear there was both planning and care that went into writing them. At times I felt the her conflict and confusion. The novel did a great job of capturing that age where you realise the adults around you are humans with their own flaws, thoughts and feelings that might not match yours.

I do wish that the book had been longer, I felt that there could have been even more to the novel and get into some more depth – I can’t pinpoint where I would have liked it because it would be a massive spoiler!

Last but not least, I learned a great deal from this book about parts of the war I knew nothing about and after reading I definitely want to do some of my own research. This was so well told – I really want to have a read of other novels by Vanessa Curtis at some point.

I gave this 4 stars, I thought this book was interesting and there were quite a few twists that I didn’t see coming which was really appreciated. If you enjoy fiction about WW2 this will be a good read for you even though it is set after the end of the war. I’d really love to know more about what happens to the characters after the end of the novel as well which is a sign they were well written.

I'm not where I thought I would be - are you_

I’m Not Where I Thought I Would Be – Are You?

Next week I’m going to be 25 years old and while it might not be a landmark birthday (although my next one will be 30 *shudder*) it has made me think quite a lot about where I am, where I want to be and what I’m doing. I don’t think I’m alone in saying that my life looks very different to what I thought it would be like when I was a child/teenager.

So I thought why not have a look at those expectations

I thought I would…have bought a house.

*laughs, laughs, cries* I don’t know anyone my age who went to university and can afford a house. The only people I know are those who have been working since they were 18 and saving hard. I’m happy for my friends who have their own houses, I’m also jealous. I am a long way off of owning a home so for now, renting it is.

I thought I would…be married.

25 is aaaaaaaaagggeeeee away and so grown up right? Haha. So I thought. Although, on my 25th birthday I’ll be a little over a year away from getting married! So I guess this one was close.

I thought I’d have…at least one child

My Mum was 21 when I was born, my Dad was 22 so for me I thought this was a great time to have a baby. In 1994 it wasn’t such a bad idea but both of my parents left school at 16 and worked quite soon after.

So, I assumed I’d also have my own rugrat in my early 20s. But instead I packed up my life went to university and spent my 21st birthday in a Wetherspoons with a bunch of friends and was carried home by Ali and my friend Lex.

There was a little while where I doubted whether I’d be good at being a parent, whether it was something I really, really wanted. After a few issues and a little scare something might be wrong (thankfully it’s all fine) I know I want children but I’m not in a rush.

I thought I would…be working for someone.

From being a little kid to my early twenties I had a LOT of ideas about what I would do with my life. There was a musical theatre actress, singer, teacher, Dr of Literature, Marketeer. It kept changing so, that’s one thing I didn’t have a solid idea for.

But I was never one of those people who thought that I would go off and build my own business, my own empire – now that’s the dream. It just didn’t seem like something I could do but at this point in time I don’t know how I could do anything else. Funny how time changes things.

Looking at all of these, I think that I definitely based what I thought my life would look like based on my parents – I mean didn’t most of us look at a grown up in our lives and go that’s what my life will be like or that’s who I want to be. But, even though the gap between me and my parents is 20 years, the world has changed so much. I can’t get a 100% mortgage, we’re fighting more for jobs and having children later.

So while I’m nowhere near where I thought I would be at 25, I’m not unhappy. I have a flat I’m renting, a fiancé I adore, my own freelance job and beautiful hamster babies. It might be a little different but it’s still pretty good.

Are any of you nodding along with any of these? What did you think you’d be doing at 25? Let me know in the comments below. 👇

Feeling Politically Homeless

You *might* have noticed that the UK is going through it with politics at the moment. Now, it’s been over 3 years since it was voted that we would leave the European Union. Personally, it’s not something I voted for but I had to accept that it was going to happen.

In those 3 years we’ve seen, to put it bluntly, a shit show. 3 Prime Ministers, a load of resignations, a rise in hate crime and a wave of anxiety about the future of the country that I’m in. Brexit has caused a horrible divide or maybe it just highlighted it.

What it has left in its wake is a load of people who feel politically homeless. In the repeated calls for a general election I genuinely didn’t know who I would vote for. I look at the political parties of the UK right now and not one of them makes me have hope. That’s a pretty scary thought.

In the past I have voted Labour, I felt that they were the major party I could support. Now, I don’t know – while Jeremy Corbyn when he became party leader seemed different and I was hopeful I’m done. I don’t know him personally but politically I’m not impressed and he needs to go.

Looking into alternatives none of them quite sit right with me either. While Green has views similar to mine I don’t know if they could run the country and I don’t trust the Liberal Democrats after they helped triple tuition fees.

What I do know is that this country needs change. It needs leadership that is invested in LISTENING, not just shouting and trying to be the loudest voice. Boris Johnson doesn’t seem to understand this concept.

I truly hope in my lifetime we will see a revolution and a return to working together rather than tearing each other apart. Right now, as I watch parliament debate and try to score cheap points at each other with jibes and cheers I am frustrated. We need to fix this country before it breaks to a point where we cannot repair it.

I guess I’m writing with an open heart here. Is this the most eloquent post

Book Review: American Royals – Katharine McGee

“HRH Princess Samantha has always been a royal rebel. She’s the spare not the heir, so no one minds too much who she dates or how hard she parties.

It helps that her sister, Princess Beatrice, is literally perfect. She’s demure, sweet and beautiful, and she knows that the crown always comes first – no matter what her heart might really want.

But they’re not the only ones with their eye on the throne. Daphne Deighton might be ‘newly noble’ but she won Prince Jefferson’s heart once, and she’ll do anything to get back into the court’s favour – and his bed.

If only she knew that her competition was a common nobody – plain little Nina Gonzalez, the daughter of the king’s secretary.

Together these four young women must navigate the drama, gossip, scheming and sizzling romance of the most glorious court in the world. There’s everything to play for – but there can only be one queen.”

Wow, welcome to your next fun royal read. This year I’ve really found myself loving books about fictional royalty and this has been a great addition. Set in an alternative United States, the Washington family have been ruling for generations Princess Beatrice is next in line with worries about heart vs head, Princess Samantha, on the other hand, can’t live up to her older sister and future Queen. Royal life is pretty complicated when you’re young.

Each of the women that narrated the novel has their own quirks and viewpoints. Personally, I loved Nina and Sam the most and found them the easiest to relate to. That said, I had a real soft spot for Beatrice because her life was set out for her – she reminded me a lot of depictions of a young Queen Elizabeth II and what it must have been like for her. The only character I could not stand (and I’m pretty sure that’s intentional) was Daphne but I kind of loved to hate her too.

There were points that I feel we’re very similar to The Crown and tales of the royalty we have here in the UK. While I can’t go into too much detail without getting into spoiler territory I could kind of work out bits and pieces of the novel ahead of time. While I completely get it – there isn’t a royal family in the US to base this on, it was a sticking point for me.

I would love for Jefferson’s point of view to be included in a later book – as the only male heir I wanted to know his thoughts, his motivations. We only see him through the eyes of his sisters, ex-girlfriend and love interest and I definitely think it would add to the narrative of the story.

I gave this 4 stars, for a while I was set on 3.5 for a while but the last few chapters cemented a higher rating for me and we end on a cliff-hanger and I need to know what happens next. Who will clean up the mess of the American royal family? Who will end up with who? I need to know and I will definitely be pre-ordering a copy of the second book in the series…even though the first hasn’t come out yet. Definitely a recommended read!

Book Review: Eat, Drink, Run How I Got Fit Without Going Too Mad – Bryony Gordon

Bryony Gordon was not a runner. A loafer, a dawdler, a drinker, a smoker, yes. A runner, no. In April 2017, less than a year after she had weighed herself at over 16 stone but stepped off the scales and started training anyway, Bryony Gordon ran all 26 and 3/4 miles of the London Marathon.

If you’re friends with me on Goodreads you’ll know that I’ve adored every book I have read by Bryony Gordon – she’s funny, intelligent and just gets it. Although, this is the one I took longest to pick up. It was about running, something I can’t stand at all – would I really enjoy it? Read on friend, but I think you’ll work out pretty early on what the answer is.

One of the things I like most about Bryony is that she doesn’t take herself too seriously. She knows how to laugh at herself and it’s a relief, you feel like you can laugh along too. Calling Prince Harry Hazza? Classic Bryony. Signing up the London Marathon without knowing how long it was? I laughed a lot while reading this and I think most people will.

This is more than a story of just running a marathon, it’s about battling your mental health, finding comfort in others and not giving up. Bryony started something called Mental Health Mates (more about it here) where a bunch of ‘mad’ people could have a get together and walk which is a bloody brilliant idea.

Again, Bryony covers another section of her life and health with unflinching honesty. She talks about the toll that writing Mad Girl had on her mental health and how walking and running gave her a little bit of sanity. Also, if you’re a fan of her other books, there are plenty of Harry’s brilliant reactions to Bryony’s shenanigans too.

If you’re worried this will be a prechy and self righteous book about the power of exercise, don’t be. Yes, Bryony found a love for running but she doesn’t try and force it on the reader at all, she simply writes about the joy and the many challenges she faced.

I found this to be funny, relatable and because of that I gave it 5 stars. Another excellent and honest book by Bryony – she truly is a wonderful human and I can’t wait to see what she gets up to next. Also, I listened to this as an audiobook and can highly recommend!