Why I’m queuing up at Midnight for a book

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‘Hogwarts will always be here to welcome you home’

It’s no secret that I love books, I put release dates in my diary, I stay up way later than I should and always have a stack of books that are on my to be read pile. I’ve queued up for signings, met some of my favourite authors and collected like crazy, now I order subscription boxes too. BUT I have never been to a midnight release, you see very few books warrant it but this isn’t just some book, this is Harry Potter, someone who means as much to me as some real people.

I grew up reading these books, although back in 2001 I was a little late to the game because I was told Harry Potter was ‘for boys’ at some point (what rubbish) but it didn’t take long before I read the books and was hooked. By the time Order of the Phoenix came out when I was nine I begged my Mum to take me to get the book the morning it was released and then again with Half Blood Prince and finally with Deathly Hallows. I was only 11 when the final book was released (10 years ago!!) so I’d never gone to the midnight releases, but got there super early the next day.

There’s something about Harry that brings people together, that gave me comfort every summer when I read the books over and over, when I watched the films and felt the magic in front of my eyes and have a collection that spans more than 10 years now. I was lucky enough to visit The Wizarding World in Orlando when it first opened and then, later the Studio Tour in the UK. This is more than a set of books, this is the first fan obsession I found on my own and fell in love with.

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People have asked me why I would stay up until midnight just to pick up a book, but it’s more than that. There is a whole community of Potterheads who, from my experience, are the most loyal, kind and intelligent people I have ever spoken to. We talk, we debate and we welcome people from all walks of life. Hermione taught girls like me that we’re allowed to be smart and that it’s cool to be who we are instead of being like everyone else. Lupin hiding that he is a werewolf is linked to attitudes towards AIDs in the 1980s. The treatment of Muggle Borns by Voldemort and his followers is reminiscent of the treatment of Jews in world war two. There’s endless links to myths and legends as well as brilliant plot. Is it perfect? No, no book is but it meant something to so many people, and it still does. We’re seeing a day we thought would never come and although I’m slightly nervous about the plot, we get to see Harry 19 years later.

And that is just the start of why I’m queuing at midnight tonight.

 

The Start of the Next Chapter

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Hello, hello, hello!

This week has been so incredibly busy it’s unbelieveable, I intended to write this blog last night but I got back from work and just needed to curl up and sleep. Yesterday I had my first day in my new office as Marketing Executive (read about getting the job here). It still hasn’t really sunk in that I have a real title in a company, so bizarre. Now, I’m not going to try and explain all that Exonar does because there’s a lot and I’m still learning, but we are a small company working in the IT world and basically being the good guys. So, there were a lot of introductions, setting up, taking information, learning etc. My brain felt a little fried at the end of the day but mostly I was just so excited and I can’t wait to get back when I start in the office full time next week.

Back to the crazy week I’ve had. I spent Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday practicing with the boys for Basingstoke Live next month. This has meant getting up earlier than normal, getting back after and doing some of the starter work for my new job, falling into bed and doing it all again the next day. Thursday I had to have my last meeting as a Social Media Coordinator (!!), which made me feel really emotional. While I’m so stupidly excited about my new job everythings changing again and I do feel a little anxious, but I’m told that’s normal.

Now I’m sitting in my Star Wars PJs with Ali asleep in the next room and I just have a huge smile on my face. I’ve just come back from hanging out with some great friends and I just feel good. Of course I’m anxious and slightly terrified about the changes in my life but at the same time I’m going into a job that I’m really excited about with a team of people who just seem friendly, I think I’m going to fit in just fine. There’s a lot going on and I feel like my head is spinning a little but knowing that I’m going back to my home town with my family around me and that will be nice while I’m starting out again. The best part though? I get to start a new chapter of my life with my best friend with me.

 

Christmas and Boxing Day Haul

After a lot of issues with WordPress trying to upload these pictures to my website I can finally write about my gigantic haul over Christmas and Boxing Day ( it’s like Black Friday sales for my US readers).

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I was up at 4am and then 5am on Christmas morning and it was so worth it! I have been so lucky this year with gifts from all of my family with just some of them.

  • Chocolate, lots of chocolate
  • Hair Curlers (so excited for these and they work a treat).
  • Lots of little presents from my sister candles, a handmade mug, chocolates, more chocolates, a chocolate and cookies mug and other things.
  • Money which was used in the sales (more on that later).
  • Strong Looks Better Naked by Khloe Kardashian, #GirlBoss by Sophia Amoruso and Why Not Me by Mindy Kaling
  • Star Wars cookie mix and cutters, candy sticks, 2016 annual and calendar (you’d think I liked Star Wars or something)
  • Pug Slippers, socks and knickers in my stocking
  • Models Own Nail Varnish
  • The Trial of Captain America
  • Jack Wills Set
  • Harry Potter Travel Mug
  • Fox Screen Cleaner and Fox toy
  • Hot Water Bottle
  • New Umbrella
  • Dressing Gown
  • Harry Potter Hogwarts Library and a George Foreman Grill
  • Cosmopolitan subscription

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And of course I was treated to Pops too! I now have a good section of the Avengers, Batman, Cinderella and Olaf from Frozen. I wrote on Christmas Day how grateful I felt. I was honestly overwhelmed by all the gifts that I’d received I know how lucky I am.

Early on Boxing Day morning I headed off with my Sister, Mum and Nanna. We always get up stupidly early to get to Next and Lush and this year my sister and I did get a good haul!

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Revolution Blush and Highlighter set – £3.99 in Superdrug. IMG_6023

Wildlife cup and straw £3.00 and R2D2 keychain £4.00 both from Accessorize. IMG_6024

Lush Rose Jam Shower Gel, Snow Fairy set, Bear set (x6 bath bears) and Lord of Misrule Shower Gel. All Lush was 50% off.IMG_6020

Yankee Candles, also 50% off in Boots. Large candle £9.99 and medium candle £7.99. The last forever, which is why they’re not cheap! Very excited to use these in the flat even when it’s not Christmas!

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Two pairs of long shorts (£10 ech) and black decorated leggings (around £15) from Next. I also picked up some lovely nail varnishes for £2 each.

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Lush bath balls l-r. Cinders (x2), Magic Wand, Dashing Santa, Yogg Nogg, The Magic of Christmas , Fun play stuffs, Peeping Santa, Star Dust, Holly Golightly (very glittery),  Candy Mountain.

As you can see this is a pretty huge haul! I’m so thankful for everything I received and the money which meant I could buy myself some treats in the sales too!

What did you guys get for christmas? I’d love to hear in the comments below!

 

Turning 21 – What a birthday!

I’m writing this on what is the last night I am celebrating turning 21! It’s been a great few weeks, kicking off with my trip to Amsterdam earlier this month with the girls, followed by a celebration with my Dad’s side of the family Tuesday, seeing Lucy and my baby girl Lexi in the day on Wednesday and my Little Mermaid themed party with my Mum’s side of the family in the afternoon evening.

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Thursday was pretty average for birthday week with band practice and waiting up with Ali to see in my 21st birthday and finally getting my Ron Pop figure! I woke up to hugs, a load of Facebook messages and texts, to get ready for my Mum coming. I always need to see my parents on my birthday, it’s like you know they’re responsible for me being in the world at all so it’s only right that I see them. For my first present I received a special hardback anniversary edition of To Kill a Mockingbird, one of my favourite books.

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We headed into town for some shopping and of course a cocktail, where I also got a free shot for my birthday! After I had to go and get my fox onesie I’d had my eyes on for a week so that I could spend my hangover day in style… I knew I’d have a messy night out, before being met by Ali….with more Pops! Dumbledore and Snape!! I was also met by Joe later with a copy of Y the last man (you should totally check it out) and an incredible colouring book. I really couldn’t wait to meet up with Dad and Summer too 🙂

When they finally got here after my sister was let out of school I was met with this beauty..

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Yup, this was handmade by my sister as my birthday cake. I got some amazing presents, a Pandora ring I’ve wanted for ages, a new Dolphin charm, mug, wine glass (for vodka, obviously) and I got taken out to dinner with my family, Ali and Joe came along too (with Kermit). I love my family so much and just being with them on my birthday was so special and I think we have a new family picture too!

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I’ve had cards from so many people too, including Eleanor and Maisha in New Zealand! My family, Ali’s family, friends, nearly 100 messages on Facebook and then I got a huge surprise when I went to the pub. I couldn’t believe that over 20 people turned up to celebrate with me, friends from all across my life and I was so overwhelmed by it all. I even got more gifts! A Voldemort Pop from Ben and Abbie, a Jessica Rabbit Pop from Laura (because she looks like me!), a lovely quote to go on my wall and earrings from Dani, a book of positive quotes from Aline and Lush stuff from Amy and Peter. I think you can tell from my smile in the pictures how happy I was.

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And those are just some of the pictures! I just felt so loved all day and it’s something I’ll cherish forever. I also felt loved when Ali took me home and put me in my fox onesie before letting me sleep off the mound of drinks that people had bought me! Luckily for me I also woke up with only a slight headache. Win!

Today was the last part of my celebrations as Ali’s Sister, Mum, her boyfriend came for lunch, bringing with them more presents. From Ali’s Mum and her boyfriend I received a MAC ‘look in a box’ with a lipstick, lip gloss and liner and from Ali’s sister a beautiful copy of Alice in Wonderland, a beautiful novel I’ve never had the chance to read.

I’m a little sad that it’s all over now but I have this overwhelming love and feeling of awe at how many people took time out of their day to say happy birthday, send a message, see me or anything else. Thank you to each and every one of you, I think this has to have been the best birthday ever. Who knows what this year is going to bring but I really, really hope this is the start of another great chapter, oh and to top it off I now have over 1000 Twitter followers, another goal accomplished!

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Me, now 21. 

I’m off to Amsterdam!

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When you’re reading this I will be boarding a coach for an 11 hour journey to Amsterdam through the night, tomorrow morning I will be seeing the beautiful sights with two of my best friends. I’m beyond excited to finally be going on a girls holiday and also absolutely terrified after I had to miss out on the trip to Prague because of my fracture, I’ve never been out of the country without my family or Ali before.

I’m looking forward to falling in love with the beauty and culture. We have a list of museums to visit, things to see, a visit to Hard Rock Cafe and there’s a certain surprise that the girls have planned, I have no idea! It’s also going to be rather amusing to go to the sex museum that’s not far from our hotel.

Fear not my faithful followers I won’t be leaving you with nothing! I’ve got a few posts lined up for this week like this months book haul, my piece for suicide prevention day and a book review. Although if you want to see what I’m up to you can follow me on Instagram as I’m sure I’ll be posting up some of mine, Amy and Dani’s adventures follow me on @chloemetz_.

Catch you all at the end of the week! 🙂

Paid Internships Exist! Starting my job as a Social Media Coordinator

We all know the problem with finding a job right? To get the job you need experience, to get experience you need a job. Now I know like the rest of the student population it can be ridiculously hard finding any kind of work experience/ internships. Today I was lucky enough to start mine!

Before getting super into social media I thought about going into teaching or magazine journalism. Now most of the time you need to ‘volunteer’ in schools so I did that under a scheme which luckily made sure I got a bursary payment as I was promoting the university. As for magazines, I am get to find a paid internship that are above minimum wage (seriously try travelling into central London and living on minimum wage while looking good enough to work at a magazine, nope, not happening). So I’ve always been a little cynical about becoming an intern, it’s something that more well off people seemed to be able to do, not people like me. Not any more!
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Ready to start this morning, trying out my new lipstick too! 

I applied for the position because firstly, it was paid, secondly, it’s something I’m interested in and thirdly I thought I might as well. I felt like I had a good build up and some experience that would get me an interview, but did I think I’d get it? No. I really didn’t. Although the interview went well I hadn’t had a proper sit down interview for a few years (they’ve all been group interviews for my last few jobs) and there were some questions to make me think. I left and tried to put it out of my mind, knowing that I would know by the end of the day. Then I got an email saying it would be at least another day, maybe more. At this point my spine was still making me sleep almost all the time so I didn’t think too much but the longer it got, the more I thought I hadn’t gotten it. So imagine my surprise when I got the email offering me the job and it would pay a little under what I’m earning as a Student Ambassador.

It was decided I’d start after going to Athens, fine by me seemed like aaaaaagggggeeeeesss away. Nope. Today rolled around and I had everything ready, woke up early, played with the hamsters but I was SO nervous. I couldn’t remember what medication I’d taken and didn’t want to take it again so I was flapping about that. I ended up going with just paracetamol for my back (in hindsight a BAD, BAD idea.) I was worrying, what would people think of my brace? Could I really do this job when I only have 400 followers? I was so nervous/ daydreaming once I got on the bus I nearly missed my stop altogether.

I shouldn’t have worried, I was very well looked after. I was introduced to everyone in the office, a lot of people happened to recognise me from the KU Talent Awards. I’m slowly learning peoples names but I think it will take me a while. I’ve been set up with a staff account, I’ll be getting a staff ID card and can use the canteen…god I’m such a dork. Everything was gone through slowly and my new boss is fab, she’s open to ideas as long as I have reasoning! I’ll also be able to meet some of the fab guest speakers we have coming up (beyond excited).

So I’ve really landed myself a great opportunity, doing something I love. I will still be a Student Ambassador and International Ambassador too! This is just something that is more specific to a career path if I decide that I want a break from academics. I can’t wait to tell you all about it!

I wrote a post a while ago about being brave. This is it. If there aren’t any opportunities for what you want to do then go make some. Start a blog about your interests, do research just because and don’t give up. I never, ever thought I could be an intern and be paid a decent amount, whilst being treated like one of the team. People think that I just get given these opportunities sometimes but, I really don’t I work very hard and stay connected with people, it works!

I hope you all enjoyed reading today ( I know it’s been a long one!) and if you have any questions let me know below!

Athens bound!

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We are in Athens!!! I’m writing to all of you after hardly any sleep, so keep that in mind while you’re reading! At 1am my family and I were headed to Gatwick Airport to meet Ali (who’d had to come straight from work bless him). Ever since I was little I’ve loved the trip to the airport, watching the lights on the motorway, the darkness, everything.

I found Ali in the airport with his Mum and her partner Andy, who had dozed off waiting for us. And so I was dropped off in my wheelchair and after goodbyes I just had to sit and wait until bag drop. Excited didn’t even cover it I was going on HOLIDAY! Plus it’s the first time I have been abroad with Ali alone, something I’ve wanted to do for years. London being London meant the special assistance lane at security was closed. So I had to wait while people worked out the best way to check my wheelchair and push me through (they didn’t have enough staff). People were generally nice, although the woman searching my chair was chatting to me a lot, her daughter rides and what had happened to me was ‘one of her worst nightmares’ but as she said it’s just something that can happen to riders. She was surprisingly cheery for 4am, but then again so was I.

Then it was on to the shopping, I already had ideas of what I wanted to buy in Duty free and it was made even more fun by Ali now running with me through the airport. We zoomed around World of Duty Free, Ali teasing by going straight past what I wanted to look at before pulling me back. I must have looked slightly mad laughing so hard. We soon found the MAC counter…I might have treated myself.

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Well, they were discounted…how could I resist my first MAC make up

Everything then went really quickly, then we were on the plane ready to GO! It was only 6am though…so I dozed quite a few times and the flight was ok although Ali and I were both ready for a nap. Athens Airport was completely different to Gatwick.  I was met off of the plane and taken straight through, our bag was the 5th on the belt and we were personally put into a taxi by a lovely man.

The hotel is cute and right on the shopping street (uh oh) and tomorrow we’ll be taking a slow walk around to get used to the place and find the British Council before my first class in the evening…eek! Right now though I need to go and get some food before crashing and finally getting a full nights sleep before class tomorrow!