April Reading Round Up!

I am SO HAPPY to be able to do this, I’ve never been able to do a reading round up but with Quarantine hounding us all I’ve been keeping myself sane by burying myself in so many wonderful books!

So I’ve managed to read 8 Books this month! Here is what I sunk my teeth into!

The Store / James Patterson

This book is phenomenal, based on what the world would be like if Amazon took over the world that we live in. Although, cleverly, not directly naming the company as Amazon but ‘The Store’. And it would be one terrifying world. I read this book in a day and it was worth every second spent knee deep in this! It was tense and I was hooked throughout. Well worth the read and incredibly well written. The twist at the end is worth the madness, and with that I’ll say no more!

Nought Forever / Malorie Blackman

This book was a short one, I believe less than 100 pages but still brilliant. Having read all of the Noughts and Crosses series twice over, knowing there was a spin off for the memorable character Dan, I just had to know. Especially as it gives you an insight into a specific character in the most recent book released by Malorie Blackman, Crossfire. This book is one to read after Double Cross Book #4 and before Crossfire Book #5

Callum / Malorie Blackman

Another spin off from the Malorie Blackman series Noughts and Crosses! This book is to be read after Book #1 Noughts & Crosses and before Book #2 Knife Edge as it gives an insight into what would have happened had Callum chosen to take a different path. It is another short story, less than 100 pages but really gives you some more insight into the different ways in which the story could have done. I can confirm I definitely prefer the way #1 ended because if it had ended like it did in this small #1.5 in-between book, there would be no book #2.

Fairest / Marissa Meyer

This was another spin off of the Lunar Chronicles series. Book #1 Cinder, Book #2 Scarlett, Book #3 Cress and Book #4 Winter. This story Fairest interjects between book #2 and #3. I actually read this after reading the entire series and I feel I enjoyed it a lot more this way. It was incredible to learn the real reason why Levana is as bitter and full of hate as she is. She’s twisted and this book highlights why, but I still didn’t sympathise for her in any way and I think this is because I read the whole series before I read this. I highly recommend this one after the series but of course definitely read it midway through if you prefer!

Library of Souls / Ransom Riggs

I had been meaning to pick this book up after at LEAST 2 years of starting the first 2 books from the Miss Peregrines School For Peculiar Children. It’s been on my kindle just festering away. I had to give myself a re-cap of book one and two before I could confidently go into book 3 with any idea of what is going on and I am SO glad I did. Another phenomenal book to add to the series. These books just make my imagination run away with itself. I love the idea of the peculiar children, what makes them peculiar, the details of all the loops, the action throughout is endless. At no moment was I bored, and you best believe I’ve bought book #4 and book #5 (I started book 4 recently).

This Is Going To Hurt / Adam Kay

All I have to say is god damn, read this book. Recommended by SO many people this comical and eye-opening look at a Junior Doctor working in the NHS shares his diary exerts from when he was training as a junior doctor. Honestly I have never laughed out loud at a book as much as I did this one. But it also really opens your eyes to what our doctors, nurses, midwifes etc go through on the ward on a daily and regular basis. The way Adam Kay writes makes this book so light hearted and a jolly read, minus the odd harrowing and heartbreaking story, but leaves you feeling a certain way once reading it. Its incredibly relevant, especially right now.

Twas the Night Shift Before Christmas / Adam Kay

Yet another book from Adam Kay much like This Is Going To Hurt except this book is based solely on what happens in the wards on Christmas. How he himself worked Christmas for 6 years straight and yet again the festive madness that unfolds through Christmas after Christmas with the NHS on the wards. Another comedic backlog of diary entries, most happy, some devastating. Another fantastic book.

Recursion / Blake Crouch

After reading Blake Crouch’s Dark Matter the month prior it would be silly not to read his other highly rated book, Recursion. Blake Crouch has a very scientific reading style. Quantum psychics, lots of scientific terms and processes I do no understand. LUCKILY explained in the plot of this book and from it unfolds the most haywire and incredibly tense storyline I have ever dived into. I was so apprehensive as it wasn’t a book I would usually read but man am I glad I did. Anyone into Sci-fi fantasy/fiction should absolutely give this and Dark Matter a go. I rated this book a solid-.

(Read the book, then you’ll understand that last sentence).

#Throwback Sri Lanka 2019 – Our top 20 pictures!

Myself and another one of my best gals Mel went to Sri Lanka in February 2019 with our University and it was an amazing trip that you can read all about here!

So I decided what better way to reminisce, especially during lockdown and everything going on in the world, than our top 10 pictures each from our trip! I pinged Mel a text and she was all down for emailing me those beautiful pictures!

So without further ado, here are my top 10 pictures and below mine are Mels top 10!

My Top 10 Pictures

Mels Top 10 Pictures!

#Throwback Iceland 2018 – Our top 20 pictures!

So one of my nearest and dearest friends Jess and I had the absolute pleasure of going to Iceland in January 2018 together, and what better way the reminisce on these amazing trips in this period of Lockdown with our top favourite pictures from the trip!

I dropped Jess a message and asked if she wanted to send me over her favourite 10 photos of our trip to Iceland and she got back to me sharpish! So the first 10 are Jess’s favourite pictures and then the following 10 are mine!

Enjoy and let me know what your favourite snap is!

Jess’s Top 10 Pictures!

The sun never did fully rise each day giving the sky such a beautiful hue in the morning!

My Top 10 Pictures!

This is
This is a frozen lake in the centre of Reykjavik! Everyone was playing football on it!
I like this one because Jess is slipping over.
Hallgrimskirkja Church
The Perlan museum coffee shop and restaurant.
.
Between two tectonic plates!

So there you have our top 20 pictures! Let me know which one was your favourite!

Sri Lanka Youtube Series – Part 4

This is the final video in the series!

This one was mainly B roll from my phone! So enjoy these final extracts from my trip of the lagoons and other magical Sri Lankan Moments!

Sri Lanka – Final Goodbye’s & Sleeping in Airport’s

So our final meal was back in Colombo at the Coconut Lodge

It was a buffet of more beautiful Sri Lankan foods, curries and rice’s. I believe at this point we were all tired and ready for the trip to come to an end, especially knowing we had a long flight ahead of us that same evening.

We did speech and thanked Martin and his Wife who we had the privilege of leading us through our trip in Kandy and Colombo, Sri Lanka. It definably opened up my love for the subject and job area, and is now firmly what I want to go into as a future career.

Doha Airport

With all this said, eaten, and done we headed back to the Lodge in Colombo once more. Some lucky people in our group had one more day before their flight so they stayed the night, whereas our bus leaving for the airport was at 12am that night.

We relaxed and chilled out at the Lodge on our friend El’s patio reminiscing about the amazing trip we had had and that going home would definitely be a sore subject.

12am rolls around and the same 8 girls we were all together with on the way out we were all on the same flight home. We played uno and cards in the airport before boarding our flight to Doha.

Once we were at Doha all the girls minus myself and Zana left in the airport to do a whistle-stop tour of Doha city. We had a 7 hour layover and I needed to sleep as once we were back in the UK I as driving myself and Mel back to Lincoln from Hertfordshire, so I slept in the airport laydown area, which was quite relaxing!

Thank you so much for following through this HUGE journey through Sri Lanka, Asia. Its only taken me over an entire year to write but the love and memories are strong with this one.

BIG LOVE ALWAYS & THANK YOU!

#StayHome TV Recommendations – Blog Brew Collab

With everything going on and being in isolation/quarantine lockdown during Covid-19, its a good opportunity to catch up on some shows you may be halfway through, wanting too watch or are wanting to join in with the Tiger King memes!

Ive never really taken the time to watch shows until now, its been really refreshing and I’ve watched SO MUCH MORE than I could have ever anticipated. So here are some recommendations from Netflix, Amazon Prime and more!

TOP BOY; Summerhouse Season 1 & 2 and TOP BOY Season 3 – NETFLIX

If you’re into gritty behind the scenes action of the London drug scene then this is definitely one for you. Sully and Dushane are the main characters and I enjoyed these seasons form start to finish. There is certainly never a dull moment and it keeps you on your toes. How all the storylines link is very clever, insanely action packed.

Breaking Bad – NETFLIX

If there is any time to watch a 5 season series it is now. With phenomenal ratings, a prequel series call Better Call Saul and a MOVIE, This show is a hit and not one to be missed! Underground meth labs and an incredible cast and storyline to go with it, no doubt those who have watched it have definitely told you about it.

Hanna – AMAZON PRIME

For this there is the Film and the TV Series. I would definitely recommend watching the film as it is fantastic. AS IS The Amazon Prime TV Series, consisting of 7 episodes the film only covers so much of the storyline. The TV Series however keeps the storyline going and it is just endlessly action packed and gripping. Definitely another one to binge watch.

Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness – NETFLIX

NOW THIS ONE, WOW. A documentary rollercoaster of animal rights, misery, mystery and murder. Focusing mainly on GW Zoo in Oklahoma, Joe Exotic runs on of the largest big cat zoos with over 200+ Tigers and other animal, not forgetting THAT BITCH CAROLE BASKIN. I highly recommend as some of the twists and turns within this docu-series are WILD.

Louis Theroux’s Most Dangerous Pets – BBC iPLAYER

If you enjoyed Tiger King and couldn’t get enough of it, then you’re in luck. in 2011 Joe Exotic did an episode with the AMAZING Louis Theroux. You can enjoy Joe Exotic and Louis Theroux all in the same place!

The US Office – AMAZON PRIME

It’s safe to say the US Office will never ever, ever, let us down. The greatest comedy sitcom with Steve Carrell, John Krasinski, Jenna Fischer and so many more iconic actors and actresses I could binge watch this show for hours and hours. Definitely one to lighten the mood with this series for some light watching!

Hunters – AMAZON PRIME

Now this one I would advise that you look into first, I personally thoroughly enjoyed this dive to the way it was filmed and the actors, although it has a lot of reviews for being distasteful and glorifying the holocaust. The main premise is those who survived the holocaust targeting those nazis able to live in the US after everything that happened. Those who mistreated them the most, would most probably end up dead. Personally, I would recommend a watch, especially with Logan Lerman as one of the main stars.

The Staircase – NETFLIX

Another docuseries based on a woman who died from falling down the stairs. Although, the series highlights how, this definitely isn’t the case. Focusing solely on her husband this is another series which makes you THINK. I am highly excited to watch this as I am hugely into scandals and how the story being portrayed is definitely not what happened.

MTV’s (Celebrity) Ex On The Beach – SKY+ / NOW TV

I can safely say after keeping up with this explosive TV show from the start, the seasons just get better and better. What better concept of sending sexy singles to a villa to then watch them crumble as their Ex’s appear out of the sea. Highly recommend this series if you’re wanting something easy going, explosive, entertaining and sometimes some big celebrities (For example the season out at the moment is Celebrity Ex On the Beach, but sometimes on normal seasons they’ll have the occasional celebrity ex appear).

Hannah Montana, That’s so Raven, Suite life of Zack and Cody, etc. – DISNEY+

The Disney Original shows, what more do you NEED in this time? Binge watch all the OG shows from your childhood, not to mention all the big school music films. AND A HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL TV SERIES? What more do you NEED WOW. This one is definitely a childhood pleasure. Not to mention all the incredible movies and the Star Wars original from Disney available also!

Jack Ryan – AMAZON PRIME

This series staring John Krasinski is apparently incredible. 2 seasons are available on Amazon Prime and it is explosive and I have heard nothing but good things and good ratings for it. Action packed and a great storyline also! Another one to add to your watch list.

White Gold – NETFLIX

An amazing comedy staring Ed Westwick from Gossip Girl and Inbetweeners stars James Buckley and Joe Thomas this is the greatest laugh. Based in Essex, 3 double glazing salesmen trying to make money. I personally found the series absolutely hilarious. The characters, the storyline, the cockiness go of Ed Westwick’s character just seals the deal. A great and comical watch with 2 seasons available.

Noughts + Crosses – BBC iPLAYER

A recent adaptation on Malorie Blackman’s book series Noughts + Crosses on BBC iPlayer, I definitely recommend the books and the TV Series! The first season is 6 episodes long, its gritty and covers so many topics which are usually not discussed, its action packed and the storyline is awesome, its incredible really and also features Stormzy in the last episode! The books are also amazing, I’ve read the 5 book series twice!

There are so many more great shows and films to watch out there but these are just a few of my favourites / ones that have been recommended not to miss!

What have you watched / Been watching during your Isolation? Let me know!

This blog post was part of a wonderful Series by myself and 9 beautiful girlies known as The Blog Brew, Find all the girls websites below and what they have posted about within this series!

Bloggers Participating in this collaboration!

Sri Lanka – Experiencing the Train from Kandy back to Colombo!

When we were ready to leave Kandy and head back to Colombo we were getting the train!

This was something we had all been really looking forward too as for starters it wasn’t the coach! And it was a long old coach ride back, so to get the train was a nice refresher.

The journey was about 3/4 hours long and was one long journey straight into Colombo, although we got off at a station before and got on the coach from there which made sense as that train was BUSY.

It was definitely an awesome experience.

Being 20+ students we did our best to not be seated together, although 12 of us girls decided to sit together in once space. As we were getting on at Kandy we all managed to get a seat, it was bliss, books out, eating our food.

Mel and myself even brought chocolate milk of one of the vendors walking down the isles of the train pushing through the masses of people that eventually got on the train.

Being comfortable and spacious went from being crowded, hot and cramped very, very quickly. I practically had a woman’s child sat on my knees at one point. Although it was a great experience, people hanging out of the doors whilst the train was moving. The seats were comfy and I wasn’t in any discomfort minus the heat the entire trip! Definitely worth it!

Just to get off the train I had to push myself through the masses and masses of people, clinging on to my stuff for dear life. El lost her shoe down the side of the train at the station so we had to wait for the train to leave and someone retrieved her shoe for her!

It was a really fun experience and you can see all the footage here!

Sri Lanka – Saree Fittings & Mahaweli Reach

This day was a free day and we very much enjoyed relaxing and it was also SAREE DAY!

I had been so excited for this day the moment I got my Saree at the start of the trip. My Saree was light and dark blue and made of the most beautiful silk. I had a nice blue crop top to put underneath my top half and a mesh skirt to wear underneath by skirt!

The ladies arrived and it was fitting time!

We were brought into one of the rooms in the hotel and with our saree’s in hand it was hair pin and safety pin time! They used so many safety and hair pins to keep my saree secured and in place and I felt so elegant and beautiful once I was all dressed!

Once everyone was in their saree’s it was time for our final dinner of the trip!

We headed down to Mahaweli Reach for dinner!

This hotel is a beautiful 4 star hotel who hosted us all. A buffet dinner with Sri Lankan cuisine as well as english cuisine on offer for the buffet. There was also a singer for some live music, we are served wine and juice and it was all laughs and bliss.

There was many photo opportunities between us girls and It really made me excited and realise that I had been the whole trip surrounded by some of the most beautiful people I have been so lucky to learn and grow with since starting university. I couldn’t be more grateful for a beautiful bunch of girls.

Enjoy some saree pictures from our last night!

Once the dinner was finished it was TO THE BAR.

Licence to Grill where we had visited beforehand had said the would host us for a party with alcohol even though it wasn’t allowed to stay open past a certain time nor serve alcohol! Every time the police came past the lights were turned off and the music was turned down it was great fun.

As we trekked to the top floor bar and restaurant we were ready to go and enjoyed some drinks and music on the rooftop on our last night. The right way to spend the last night.

Train Journeys Back to Colombo and unfortunate final goodbyes in the next blog post!

Sri Lanka Youtube Series – Part 3

In this video we conquered Sri Pada, or Adams Peak! And then we got a train back to Negombo which was an experience and a half!

Please do enjoy the end of our trip below!

Sri Lanka – ADAM’S PEAK, SRI PADA

YAAAAS WE CLIMBED A FUCK OF HUGE MOUNTAIN!!!!

Climbing Adams Peak was definitely one of the larger achievements in life

check the video below for a real insight into how it was!

VIDEO HERE

With over 5000 steps, it one was hell of a walk up there!

We got on the bus about 10pm at night from Kandy and drove for a good 3 hours towards Adams Peak. It was already late, we knew we weren’t sleeping as some of the mountain roads we were driving down in a massive coach were enough to make you think this it, we are going over the edge!

Once we arrived at the Ratnapura district, Sri Pada it was 1:30am and we were ready to go, almost. It was a 1-2km walk just from the bus station to the start of the hike! So we got there at about 2am and had a little warm up. There were endless shops on the way to the entrance to stock up on snacks and water!

Once we made it to the start it was a beautiful big archway with the Buddha laying down. Sri Pada stands for the ‘Footprint of the Buddha’ as it is believed that the stone at the top of the mountain has what looks like a footprint from the Buddha himself making the site an incredibly popular pilgrimage walk.

You must have your shoulders covered and your legs covered for the walk, I did have to change into my hareem trousers as I started in my walking shorts! Can’t get to the top in those! Plus everyone around me was laughing at me so I think that was a significant sign. We walked in groups to keep the bravado up and it worked a treat, we all made it so much farther up than we thought we would.

After a good 4 hours of climbing we had made it as close to the top as we could possible get. It was absolutely rammed and a traffic jam on a staircase was enough to give anyone vertigo. So we managed to stop on a ledge where we had the most perfect view of the valley and the reserve below with two Buddha statues seated politely behind us.

It really was like nothing I had ever experienced before and I am so over the moon we conquered it. We sat at 6am and watched the sunrise come up over the valley and man, it was emotional (mainly because we had smashed it and we had had like no sleep to get here). I really have never experienced anything like it, it made me ready to go and conquer another mountain.

Walking down wasn’t any easier! Because it was a constant uphill it means it’s a constant downhill. My legs every time we stopped were shaking and like jelly! I did wonder if I was going to collapse and roll down the mountain at one point. The girls were all linking arms and trying to skip down the stairs together at the same time to keep the memento going.

Getting back to the bus once we got to the bottom, taking off my shoes for starters and just sitting down was amazing. I had brought a pillow and managed to sleep the entire way home luckily! After a climb like that, who wouldn’t?

Once we got back and had freshened up we had a SHOW to attend!

We had been invited to the Kandayan Show of Culuture!

At their local theatre we all piled in for an hour long show of traditional dances, outfits and performances! It was amazing to watch and their music and dancing is so extravagant and like nothing I had ever seen before. My favourite parts were the woman’s outfits and the men breathing fire!

We listened to their ceremonial drums, saw peacock dancers, traditional folk dancers, harvest dances and finally,

FIRE WALKING.

Although we didn’t get the option to do it ourselves, thank god!

Afterwards was another home comfort dinner at Sky Lounge after a busy old day and an early night ahead! Tune in for our final night in my next post!