My 2018 booklist (January-May):

bks

bks2

  1. A book that you read in school. (Two of a Kind: Winner Take All)
  2. A book published last year in 2017. (Roar)
  3. A book that became a film. (Harry Potter and The Philosophers Stone)
  4. A book with a name in the title. (The HAZEL Wood)
  5. A book with a number in the title.
  6. A book based on a true story. (The Secret Life of Cows)
  7. A book someone else recommended. (Elric of Melnibone)
  8. A book with 500+ pages. (Outlander)
  9. A book you can finish in one day. (Poor Unfortunate Soul)
  10. An award winning book. (Sisterhood of The Travelling Pants: Indies Choice Book Award for Children’s Literature)
  11. A book with a character with your name.
  12. A book set in the future.
  13. A trilogy or series. (Crown of Midnight)
  14. A book you own but haven’t read. (Crown of Midnight)
  15. A book with an appealing cover. (Sisters Red)
  16. A graphic novel. (W.I.T.C.H)
  17. A book about a villain or an anti-hero. (Poor Unfortunate Soul)
  18. A book about death or grief. (One of Us is Lying)
  19. A book published this year in 2018. (The Hazel Wood)
  20. A book with a woman on the cover. (Roar)
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Mabinogion Dissertation: Analyses of The Dream of Maxen Wledig, Lludd and Llevelys, Kilhwch and Olwen and The Dream of Rhonabwy 👩‍🎓

Life Update: I passed my Masters degree in Medieval Studies so now I can put an MA after my name! So with this update I thought it may interest you to read a chapter of my dissertation that took me 10 months to plan, read and write! If any of you are super interested in the rest of my dissertation then let me know and I’d be happy to send it to you! 

The purpose of analysing these stories and writing them in detail is to clearly see if there is an influence from the Anglo-French in the writings and give the reader an understanding of the overall story. In doing so, one will then be able to distinguish if the background influences of the Normans is apparent in the main body of texts. Following on from the chapter of colonisation the linguistic element, these stories have been chosen to be analysed first as two out of the four stories concentrate on countries and their relationship with Britain, and what is now referred to as Wales in particular. The Dream of Maxen Wledig (Breuddwyd Macsen Wledig) focuses on the Roman Empire’s relationship with Britain through Maxen’s marriage whilst Lludd and Llevelys (Lludd a Llefelys) focuses on a French and British alliance through brotherhood. The last two stories Kilhwch and Olwen (Culhwch ac Olwen) and The Dream of Rhonabwy (Breuddwyd Rhonabwy) only focus geographically on Wales and England but are still an important part of the Mabinogion, and therefore reflect other influences on the portrayal of Wales. The stories as mentioned in the introduction are estimated to have been created orally after the Norman Conquest, which took place in 1066 and it is likely that these stories were written down in manuscript form in the 1300s, but as discussed, the absence of a great deal of Brythonic and Pre-Norman manuscripture leaves the possibility of an earlier writing open. Though a precise date cannot be determined, going from the existing evidence then the periods of the original conception of the stories and their consolidation into manuscripts were periods of great change for England, Wales, France and Scotland, and might indicate they are a response to the Normans whose exploits were explored in the previous chapter. The direct quotes from the passages of the story will be taken from Lady Charlotte Guest’s translation of the Mabinogion, a decision to use the stories found in the older version and not the newer one written by Sioned Davies is purely due to the originality of the Mabinogion. Thus, using the original texts will allow a better study on the stories to see if there was indeed influence from the Anglo-French in these stories.

The first story which will be analysed is The Dream of Maxen Wledig. The story starts with the Emperor of Rome Maxen Wledig (Magnus Maximus) dreaming of himself going on a journey. In the story, according to the version translated in Lady Charlotte Guest’s edition, Maxen Wledig dreams of a specific location filled with rivers, mountains, valleys and a princess who lives in a castle.

“He was journeying along the valley of the river towards its source; and he came to the highest mountain in the world. And he thought that the mountain was as high as the sky; and when he came over the mountain, it seemed to him that he went through the fairest and most level regions that man ever yet beheld, on the other side of the mountain.”

Though at first glance, one thinks of the description as not being wholly applied to the geographical area of what known now as Wales, which was mentioned in the previous chapter. The highest mountain in Britain is that of Ben Nevis located in Scotland, though later in the passage it is mentioned of Maxen’s messengers traveling to Anglesey. Thus, reinforcing the description of the mountain as Snowdonia.

“And they went forward until they saw Anglesey before them, and until they saw Arvon likewise. “Behold” said they, “the land our master saw in his sleep.” And they saw Aber Sain, and a castle at the mouth of the river.”

After his messengers find the princess that Maxen dreams of, he travels to Aber Sain to marry her, as he had made it his mission to find the woman. Her name is Helen Luyddawc and they become married. Maxen then lives with her and her family but due to this he endangers his position of being Emperor of Rome, Helen’s brothers help him defeat the new Emperor and he is then restored to his former glory. This story, similar to that of Lludd and Llevelys, which shows the two men as allies working alongside each other. Shows Maxen restored as Emperor due to the help given to him by Helen’s two brothers Kynan and Adeon. This can be interpreted as the native Britons had an important role to play within the Empire. Maxen Wledig is thought to have not been a fictional character but based off Magnus Maximus who was a Roman commander in 383 AD and was proclaimed Emperor. He was later executed by Theodosius but still became an important figure as he represented the relationship between Britain and Rome. The character of Maxen Wlegid in the story ends with him being restored as Emperor. Though if his was based off the historical Magnus Maximus in reality the outcome for his life was not the same. This shows how the story was changed for Magnus Maximus, perhaps for the audience to think of him having a happier ending in the story. Helen’s two brothers conquered many lands until Adeon decided to return home while Kynan decided to settle on the lands that he and his brother had conquered.

“And they took council and cut out the tongues of the women, lest they should corrupt their speech. And because of the silence of the women from their own speech, the men of Armorica are called Britons. From that time there came frequently, and still comes, that language from the Island of Britain.”

The place is referred to as Llydaw means Brittany and lled-taw which means half silent. Another important factor is Kynan’s name, the meaning of Kynan is chief and the end of the story with all these factors considered it shows Kynan founding Brittany. This is important as it shows a British man founded and conquered Brittany which was part of France. Brittany was a part of the British Isles until John’s reign and therefore though this is important, it does not show how much influence the Normans had in this story perhaps it was to show that the Normans already had links to Brittany. Hence this story clearly states the claim to Brittany as of British conquerors.

The next story that is analysed is Lludd and Llevelys, which focuses on two brothers the same titles as the story. Both men start off by living in Britain until Llevelys falls in love with a French princess, and later, becomes the king of France as they marry while his brother Lludd, being the eldest of four inherits the Kingdom of Britain from his father Beli the Great. Lludd starts having many problems in his court in the form of three plagues and sails to France to ask his brother for help.

“And they began to cleave the seas towards France. And when these tidings came to Llevelys, seeing that he knew not the cause of his brother’s ships, he came on the other side to meet him, and with him was a fleet vast of size. And when Lludd saw this, he left all the ships out upon the sea except one only; and in that one he came to meet his brother, and he likewise with a single ship came to meet him. And when they were come together, each put his arms about the other’s neck, and they welcomed each other with brotherly love.”

The first problem was an arrival of a group of people called the Coraniaid, which could have been also known as the Coraniaid meaning the Romans. However this does not describe the Romans as the enemy but merely as a problem. The second problem was that every evening a scream would be heard which caused disruption to Lludd’s court and the last problem was that the mass of food that was in the court was never consumed. The second plague is interesting in terms of colonisation for the way it is described in the Mabinogion.

“That is in thy dominion, behold it is a dragon. And another dragon of a foreign race is fighting with it, and striving to overcome it. And therefore does your dragon make a fearful outcry.”

This story portrays both countries France and Britain as allies, united together and not enemies, by both men working together to resolve the problems. The fighting dragons can be seen to represent Britain and a foreign country that was not France. Through Llevelys the story shows a once British man embracing the French culture and France as his own country by ruling it and continuing to help his brother when he is needed, showing their combined heritage. The earlier mention of the Coraniaid’s being the Romans, may lead the reader to assume that the other dragon may in fact be a portrayal of the Roman Empire. Though this would conflict with the earlier story of Maxen Wledig, which showed the alliance of the Roman Empire and Britain. As the stories do not fit well together, this again enforces one’s argument that these stories composed in the same time period was merely put together in a manuscript though they were not connected. The story is also linked to another, possibly the same one but written earlier which has changed over time. It is possible that the story is a motif in terms of two dragons fighting showing a foreign invader and that in the Mabinogion the original story was changed with Norman influence. This can be shown in the story written in the ninth century in the History of the Britons which tells of a boy finding two dragons (a red one to resemble the Native Welsh and a white one to resemble the Saxon nations) under the foundations of a pool in Snowdonia, the dragons are both fighting and ultimately the red dragon wins the fight which leads the prophecy that the Saxons would be forced to leave Britain. This story and one’s similar has had an impact on modern-day nationalism and symbolism for Wales, as since the late 1950s the Welsh national flag has been used and on it is the image of a red dragon. Though this symbolism would not have been used in the medieval period, it has an everlasting effect on Welsh culture in the modern day.

The story of Kilhwch and Olwen focuses on the relationship formed between Wales and England, more specifically Cornwall. It also mentions King Arthur and his association with Cornwall whilst also having strong ties with Wales. The story starts with Kilhwch’s mother dying shortly after his birth, as he was born in a pig run which links with the meaning of Kilhwch’s name. Once Kilhwch’s father is remarried years later, his son is cursed by his new stepmother to fall in love with the giant Ysbaddaden Bencawr’s daughter named Olwen because he refused to marry his step sister.86 Asking his father for guidance, he tells his son to seek out his famous cousin Arthur in Cornwall to help him on his quest to marry Olwen.

“Arthur is thy cousin. Go, therefore, unto Arthur, to cut thy hair, and ask this of him as a boon.”

Kilhwch travels to Cornwall to seek Arthur and after he arrives, Arthur agrees to help his cousin and they travel to where Olwen lives to asks her father for her. To win Olwen’s hand Kilhwch is given many tasks to complete after he is done he would then be able to marry Olwen, and after these tasks are completed, ultimately her father is killed which permits Kilhwch to marry Olwen.

“And that night Olwen became Kilhwch’s bride, and she continued to be his wife as long as she lived. And the hosts of Arthur dispersed themselves, each man to his own country. And thus did Kilhwch obtain Olwen, the daughter of Yspaddaden Penkawr.”

Though this story may not seem to have much importance regarding the Anglo-French influence, the fact that Arthur is mentioned to be living in Cornwall, has importance later on. Due to Geoffrey of Monmouth’s writings of Arthur’s birth in Tintagel, the Normans and ultimately that became the rest of Britain once they had settled and became Anglo-Normans, believed that King Arthur was from Cornwall. This is thought to have inspired Henry III’s brother Richard to buy the ‘Island of Tyntagel’ in 1233. Richard had been appointed the county of Cornwall several years earlier and after buying Tyntagel he built upon it his own castle. Raising the question of did the Anglo-Normans influence the stories or did the stories influence the Anglo-Normans? Looking at the story of Kilhwch and Olwen and also the second branch Branwen Daughter of Llŷr, explored in the next chapter, which mentions France as the enemy, one would have thought that this would have been changed by the Anglo-French settlers, the answer would be the latter. Thus, the Anglo-Normans would have either not been interested in the stories, therefore lacking the influence or been influenced by these stories as shown by Henry III.

The last and final story which will be analysed in this chapter is The Dream of Rhonabwy, the story is introduced in the geographical setting of what is known today as modern-day Wales.

“Madawc the son of Maredudd possessed Powys within its boundaries, from Porfed to Gwauan in the uplands of Arwystli.”

Madog was the ruler of Powys in the twelfth century until his death in 1160, therefore the characters in this story were similarly to Magnus Maximus, as in they were based on historical people.92 The story begins with Madawc’s brother who is jealous of his power travelling to Loegria and killing many of the inhabitants. The word “Lloegyr” is the medieval Welsh name for the South of England, that which has the modern-day cities of London, Winchester, Oxford, Bath etc but excludes that of Cornwall and Devon. Madawc who is shocked at his brother’s actions hires many guards to look for him around his land. As Madawc’s brother may have thought that killing many of the people in Loegria would give him power equal to his brother, this shows the disunion between Powys and the South of England. One of the guards is called Rhonabwy and after staying a night in a castle due to a storm, dreams of a messenger who has upset both Arthur and Medrawd leading them into a battle against each other, the Battle of Camlan.

“I was one of the messengers between Arthur and Medrawd his nephew, at the battle of Camlan; and I was then a reckless youth, and through my desire for battle, I kindled strife between them, and stirred up wrath.”

In the story Rhonabwy and the messenger Iddawc follow Arthur’s army towards Cevndigoll where Arthur and Owain are playing a game comparable to chess. Owain is informed by a squire of Arthur’s troops injuring and killing some of his ravens.

“’Lord,” said Owain, “thou hearest what the youth says; if it seem good to thee, forbid them from my Ravens.” “Play thy game,” said he. Then the youth returned to the tent.

After Arthur’s men carried on attacking and killing Owain’s ravens, Owain had no choice but to raise his banner which lead to his ravens, once they regained their strength, to start attacking Arthur’s men. After more death on both parties, both men formed a truce and everything was peaceful. The story ends with Cai announcing that those who wish to follow Arthur should go with him that day back to Cornwall and those who did not, would be against him which leads to the commotion of the troops starting to move towards Cornwall, awaking Rhonabwy from his dream. To be analytical, Arthur and Medrawd could be interpreted in Rhonabwy’s dream as a version of Madawc and his brother, whilst the messenger could be interpreted as jealousy, this is purely because the start of the story does not link to the ending and even the disagreement between Arthur and his nephew is not resolved, which leads to Rhonabwy talking to the messenger.

Though an in depth analyse of these stories have been written, one will clearly outline how these four stories show the impact of the Anglo-French, which have already been briefly mentioned throughout this chapter. The first story Dream of Maxen Wledig shows mention of France through the reference of Brittany at the end of the story. The story ends with the two brothers of Maxen’s wife Helen conquering lands and when one brother decides to go back to Wales, the other Kynan founds and settles in Brittany and therefore this gives Britain the claim to Brittany. Perhaps this was the Normans influence, which directly links that they were not invaders and merely just expanding as Britain and Brittany already had history. The story of Lludd and Llevelys shows a huge influence of French through Llevelys marrying the French princess and moving to the continent, which portrays France as an ally and not seen as the enemy. This again is reinforced later on in the story, as France again is link as allies when Lludd is in trouble with his court. Looking to his brother for advice, he sails to France to get assistance. The fact that this story represents Britain going to France for help, displays them as comrades and a country who would help in a time of need. Though the two men are linked through brotherhood, they were also both Kings of Britain and France thus this brings the countries into the equation. This story is very different from the story of Branwen Daughter of Llŷr which is analysed in the next chapter and implies France as the enemy, who wanted to come and conqueror Britain.

The third story in this chapter, Kilhwch and Olwen, may have influenced Norman descendants in Cornwall due to the mention of where King Arthur lived. The fact that Arthur may have lived in Cornwall due to stories like Kilhwch and Owen amongst other Arthurian stories is thought to have inspired Henry III’s brother Richard. It was due to this Arthurian interest, he bought the ‘Island of Tyntagel’ in 1233 and built upon it his own castle perhaps this shows the Anglo-Normans and those descended from them being influenced by stories rather than them directly influencing them. This notion is interesting as this would mean that the stories would either have been translated into English or Latin either through their wives or orally recited in that language, another reason for the influence would be that the Norman lords would have learnt Welsh or have been able to understand the basics of the language. It is already known that the Normans were descendants from Scandinavians and therefore were fast learnings, therefore there is no reason to doubt that Norman lords settling in Wales or on the border would have learnt some Welsh to be able to understand the natives.

The fourth and final story that is analysed in this chapter The Dream of Rhonabwy which shows the disunion between Wales and England, which could have been due to the new Norman lords, though this is mere conjecture but would show the Anglo-French influence on the story especially the thoughts on those orally reciting or writing the stories. The disunion shown in the story is due to Madawc’s brother who is envious of his power and travels to Loegria and kills many of the inhabitants. Hence by doing this Madawc’s brother thought that this would make him of equal or greater power. Guards are posted around the area as Madawc does not agree with the way his brother is acting and though the story then develops into a guard’s dream, the originally issue is never dealt with and is remains unclear what happened between the two brothers or how Loegria was affected afterwards. The term Loegria is also used in the story of Math the son of Mathonwy which is the fourth branch of the Mabinogi.

 

Sources: C. Guest, The Mabinogion, (London: J.M Dent & Sons Ltd, 1906)

Davies, The Four Branches Of The Mabinogi Pedeir Keinc Y Mabinogi. (Llandysul: Gomer Press, 1993)

“HISTORY OF TINTAGEL CASTLE,” English Heritage, Accessed: 8th December 2017, http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/tintagel-castle/history-and-legend/history/#footnote-1

70 Songs For Late Night Drives 🎶

  1. Thousand Eyes – Of Monsters and Men
  2. Where’s My Love – SYML
  3. Find What You’re Looking For – Flint Eastwood
  4. Sanctuary – Welshly Arms
  5. Wonderwall – Oasis
  6. Cold Coffee – Ed Sheeran
  7. The Past Six Years – Deaf Havana
  8. Linger – The Cranberries
  9. Losing My Religion – REM
  10. Chasing Cars – Snow Patrol
  11. Song Of The Lonely Mountain – Neil Finn
  12. Down – Jason Walker
  13. I See Fire – Ed Sheeran
  14. Off To The Races – Lana Del Rey
  15. Country Song – Seether
  16. Song 2 – Blur
  17. Go – Hanson
  18. Hey There Delilah – Plain White T’s
  19. California Dreamin’ – The Mamas & Papas
  20. Man On The Moon – REM
  21. The House of The Rising Sun – The Animals
  22. Yellow – Mallory Knox
  23. Train – Brothers Moving
  24. Myela – Nick Mulvey
  25. Goodbye Angels – Red Hot Chilli Peppers
  26. 13 Beaches – Lana Del Rey
  27. Sober – Lorde
  28. Rainbow – Kesha
  29.  Runaway – AURORA
  30. Moments Passed – Dermot Kennedy
  31. Home II – Dotan
  32. Wildfire – SYML
  33. Sweat – RY X
  34. Like Real People Do – Hozier
  35. Of The Mountains – Dan Deacon
  36. Winter Wind – Run River North
  37. Start Of Time – Gabrielle Aplin
  38. The Sun – Frida Sundemo
  39. Bury – Unions
  40. You Belong To Me – Cat Pierce
  41. Follow Your Fire – Kodaline
  42. Cologne – Haux
  43. Last Days of Dancing – Maja Francis
  44. Murder Song – AURORA
  45. The Night We Met – Lord Huron
  46. Don’t Let Me Go – RAIGN
  47. Lead Me Home – Jamie N Commons
  48. Outside The Realm – Big Giant Circles
  49. Kids Two – Kyle Dixon & Michael Stein
  50. Green Light – Lorde
  51. Lose It – Oh Wonder
  52. Home – AURORA
  53. Grade 8 – Ed Sheeran
  54. Do You – Carina Round
  55. Candy – Paolo Nutini
  56. Ghost – Halsey
  57. Control – Halsey
  58. Fresh Pair of Eyes – Brooke Waggoner
  59. Brother – Matt Corby
  60. Ring of Fire – Lera Lynn
  61. By My Side – Craves
  62. 1995 – Emmit Fenn
  63. Broken Roots – Michl
  64. Lotus Hill – LOWSELF
  65. Let It Be – Blackmill
  66. Hey Now – London Grammar
  67. Miracle – Blackmill
  68. Lucid Truth – Blackmill
  69. Dance of The Druids – Bear McCreary
  70. The Skye Boat Song – Dominik Hauser

Books Read (So Far) In 2018 & Update On Book Reading Challenges 📚

My 2018 booklist (so far): 

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So I made a list of my book reading challenges I set for 2018. So here are what I’ve completely so far. For the list which shows them not crossed out scroll through to a previous blog post of mine from 2 months ago: 

  1. A book that you read in school. (Two of a Kind: Winner Take All)
  2. A book published last year in 2017. (Roar)
  3. A book that became a film. (Harry Potter and The Philosophers Stone)
  4. A book with a name in the title.
  5. A book with a number in the title.
  6. A book based on a true story. (The Secret Life of Cows)
  7. A book someone else recommended. (Elric of Melnibone)
  8. A book with 500+ pages.
  9. A book you can finish in one day. (Poor Unfortunate Soul)
  10. An award winning book.
  11. A book with a character with your name.
  12. A book set in the future.
  13. A trilogy or series. (Crown of Midnight)
  14. A book you own but haven’t read. (Crown of Midnight)
  15. A book with an appealing cover. (Sisters Red)
  16. A graphic novel. (W.I.T.C.H)
  17. A book about a villain or an anti-hero. (Poor Unfortunate Soul)
  18. A book about death or grief. (One of Us is Lying)
  19. A book published this year in 2018. (The Hazel Wood)
  20. A book with a woman on the cover. (Roar)

February Favourites ❤ (TV Shows & Books)

2017 Past Favourite Blog Posts:

  1. December (TV Edition)
  2. September
  3. June
  4. May
  5. March
  6. January (Vegan Edition)

1. Riverdale

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I am completely obsessed! I have to admit though that it took me a few episodes to actually really start liking it, I didn’t dislike it but I just thought it was okay. I think it was due to Betty and Veronica’s friendship and Bughead that made me fall in love with the show! Also even though she is crazy, she has a good heart and I really want to be as pretty as Cheryl! If you don’t know what Riverdale as about then here is a brief overview:

The story focuses on a small town called Riverdale after a murder is committed. This tragic event spirals a trend of darkness in the town and a teenage friendship group are the ones that are usually involved in finding out all these hidden secrets. Archibald “Archie” Andrews is a high school football player who has a passion for music and also happens to be best friend with the girl next door Elizabeth “Betty” Cooper, a smart girl with a longtime crush on Archie and later best friends of new girl Veronica Lodge. Also refered to as V and B, Veronica is a former socialite from New York who moves to Riverdale after her father is in prison. Forsythe “Jughead” Jones III is a philosophically inclined social outcast who is Archie’s best friend, after a summer of them not being friends, he becomes close again to Archie and then later to Betty.  Kevin Keller is also close friends to Betty and Veronica and is the son of Riverdale’s sheriff and then there is Cheryl Blossom. Cheryl isn’t in the inner circle but she is known to be a wealthy, entitled and manipulative girl who is a classmate of Archie and his friends and also twin sister to Jason who is murdered in the first episode of season one.

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2. Teen Wolf

So I know what you are thinking… Oh what a surprise!! Another TV show!! BUT I am also obsessed with this show too. It has werewolves amongst other supernatural creatures, a love story and also Dylan O’Brien… so what’s not to like? Also there is 6 seasons so yay!

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Here is a brief overview: In season one, Scott is bitten and becomes a werewolf. Then someone starts going on a killing spree. Scott and his human best friend “Stiles” Stilinski begin to encounter other characters with a connection to the supernatural goings-on in Beacon Hills. New girl Allison Argent becomes friends with both boys and has secrets of her own, she comes from a family of werewolf hunters. Her best friend is popular girl and genius Lydia Martin who Stiles has had a crush on since forever and in season one  Scott and Stiles clash with Lydia’s aggressive boyfriend, local jock Jackson. The question of who bit Scott leads them to Derek Hale, a mysterious werewolf with a dark past. As the show progresses, Scott is joined by new friends in season three Malia Tate and Kira Yukimura and then in season five Liam Dunbar, a young werewolf with anger issues.

3. One of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus

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This is definitely the best book I have read in 2018 so far! Here is the blurb according to Goodreads: 

On Monday afternoon, five students at Bayview High walk into detention.
Bronwyn, the brain, is Yale-bound and never breaks a rule.
Addy, the beauty, is the picture-perfect homecoming princess.
Nate, the criminal, is already on probation for dealing.
Cooper, the athlete, is the all-star baseball pitcher.
And Simon, the outcast, is the creator of Bayview High’s notorious gossip app.

Only, Simon never makes it out of that classroom. Before the end of detention, Simon’s dead. And according to investigators, his death wasn’t an accident. On Monday, he died. But on Tuesday, he’d planned to post juicy reveals about all four of his high-profile classmates, which makes all four of them suspects in his murder. Or are they the perfect patsies for a killer who’s still on the loose? Everyone has secrets, right? What really matters is how far you would go to protect them.

4. Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce

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I honestly loved this fairytale retelling and having such strong female characters! It’s a tad bit predictable but then again most fairytales are! The blurb according to goodreads: 

Scarlett March lives to hunt the Fenris — the werewolves that took her eye when she was defending her sister Rosie from a brutal attack. Armed with a razor-sharp hatchet and blood-red cloak, Scarlett is an expert at luring and slaying the wolves. She’s determined to protect other young girls from a grisly death, and her raging heart will not rest until every single wolf is dead. Rosie March once felt her bond with her sister was unbreakable. Owing Scarlett her life, Rosie hunts ferociously alongside her. But even as more girls’ bodies pile up in the city and the Fenris seem to be gaining power, Rosie dreams of a life beyond the wolves. She finds herself drawn to Silas, a young woodsman who is deadly with an ax and Scarlett’s only friend — but does loving him mean betraying her sister and all that they’ve worked for?

5. Gilmore Girls

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So I’ve only just started watching this and I’m only on season one but I really like it so far! The show is about mother Lorelai Gilmore, a thirty two year old who is a manager of a small hotel and her academic teenage daughter Lorelai also known as Rory. Lorelai grew up in Hartford with her old money parents, Richard and Emily, but after getting pregnant at sixteen she decided to escape the life that was being mapped out for her. Lorelai and Rory have a very close relationship, living like best friends. Until Lorelai has to ask her parents for money to send Rory to a very expensive private school called Chilton…

Adventures in Edinburgh✨

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Do you ever just want to go on really big adventures? or even just little weekend ones? If the answer is yes, they what’s stopping you? Buy that train ticket, book that hotel or even book that plane ticket!

At the beginning of February me and my boyfriend decided to take a little trip to Edinburgh and stay overnight! We went during the week as I had recently left one of my jobs and therefore I had a bit more free time (as due to Christmas and Sales I was super busy in December and January.) So we booked our train tickets and a BnB in Leith (which is about a 40 minute walk from the train station and a 20 minute bus trip) and went!

Places we visited:

  • Old Town
  • New Town
  • Carlton Hill
  • The Royal Yacht Britannia (owned by the Royal Family and used for over 44 years, travelling over one million miles. Lasted used in 1997 on a farewell tour around the UK.)
  • Parliament Building
  • Edinburgh Castle
  • Holyrood Palace
  • Greyfriar’s Bobby Statue
  • Pubs: Tolbooth Tavarn and The World’s End.

 

We had such a lovely time even though we were only there for a day and a night! I also got to try some veggie haggis for the first time! 🌟

2017 Scrapbook: A Summary 🌟

With 2017 over, I thought I’d write about my favourite memories of last year as well as what I got up to! So I hope that you enjoy it and reflect on the past year yourself! 😊🎉 I also thank you for taking the time to read this post, especially if you’ve read my blog regularly this past year! So here is a breakdown of my year and what I got up to!

So here is a little summary of what I got up to this year:

January 2017: At the start of the year I read my first Sarah J Maas book which led me down a rabbit hole of her books as well as bringing back my love for reading! It took me 6 days to read which actually was pretty fast because I had just started the second semester of my Masters course! I got offered a permanent contract in my part time job. At the end of the month my parents visited as they were on route to Scotland and Ireland. I also made this blog!

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February 2017: I visited my friend in Plymouth which was long overdue and ate way too much vegan junk food! Celebrated Valentines Day and bought too many books at Waterstones as they had a 20% student discount evening. My boyfriend’s friends from home visited and stayed with us. It was really cool as we got to visit some historical places such as the Yorkshire Moors, Byland Abbey and Rievaulx Abbey. (Photos are below)

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March & April 2017: March and April was a month full of stress with two exams, a dissertation proposal and two essays! I tried to de-stress and booked to see some trainee guide dogs and retired ones at my university! At the end of the month and beginning of April I visited Sicily which was amazing! My friend also booked to come and see me in June and a snap election was announced by the UK government.

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May & June 2017: A Court of Wings and Ruin came out so I spent the first week of May  reading it! I dyed my hair brown after it being blonde for a year and then made the decision to dye it red in June. My friend who I visited in January came down to visit at the end of May which was nice as I hadn’t seen him since then! On the 8th of June I voted in the general election and then I stayed up all night and watched the results! Another friend visited and we spent that time playing games, watching films, going to a vegan BBQ, a 1920s ball, a day trip to Scarborough and visiting the Harry Potter shop on the shambles! A few days after she left, I had two exams.

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July & August 2017: I was quite ill in July as I had an infection which led me to be on antibiotics for two weeks! I also went back to my hometown to celebrate my sister’s baby shower and met up with my friend who had visited me the month before. At the end of July I went to Nottingham to celebrate a friends birthday. My parents visited in August and in between writing my dissertation, I also moved house.

September 2017: My new baby niece was born at the start of September so I went back to my hometown to meet her! My boyfriend handed in his dissertation and I carried on writing mine. I started applying for a new job in between dissertation writing. At the end of the month, I went on a solo adventure to Newcastle for the day which was so lovely!

October 2017: I had an interview for a job and the next day I got offered it! I celebrated turning 23 by going pumpkin picking with my boyfriend. I attended another student lock in at Waterstones, and a few days later a lot of my friends came down to visit. It was that weekend that me and my best friend got matching tattoos! At the end of the month I visited New York with my mam, sister, two nephews and boyfriend, we flew back to the UK on Halloween.

November 2017: I came back to the UK from New York and had my last shift in my old job and then two days later, I started my new job! I then had an interview for another job for a Christmas temporary position. I attended my first ever book event which was Sarah J Maas Tower of Dawn Tour in Manchester! My friend then came to visit and I was still frantically writing dissertation which was due at the start of December.

December 2017: My parents visited at the start of December and while they were visiting, I handed in my dissertation and then celebrated (and my mams birthday) with an afternoon tea! As it was Christmas month, I worked a lot but also went to some Christmassy events such as the panto and a light show. I celebrated my first Christmas without any parents and then worked Boxing Day.

And that was basically my year in a nutshell. How was your 2017? Did you have adventures and goals?