Monday, 13 October 2014

Book Review: The Secret Countess by Eva Ibbotson

The secret countess if quite possibly my favourite book of all time. Set in the 1940s it tells the story of Anna, a young Russian Countess who is forced to flee Russia and moves to England. There she has to work as a maid at a manor house where no one can know her identity.

I love this book because it is so different from all the dystopian, typical teen fiction books that condense our bookshelves today. The Secret Countess is sweet and romantic but also helps teach about history. The books helped me understand more about what it was like in those times as well as causing a few tugs on my heart strings.

I love all of Eva Ibbotson's books and whilst this is my favourite I definitely recommend checking out The Morning Gift - which used to be my favourite - and A Company of Swans. All have similar premises, with romance stories being set in similar eras.


Saturday, 11 October 2014

Music Review: 5 Seconds Of Summer - 5 Seconds of Summer

When 5SOS released their new single last night at 9PM and I watched it several times even though my internet was supposed to be off (good girls are bad girls that haven't been caught) I realised that I should probably reveal my love of them to you. And what better way than through a review of their debut album.

If you didn't know 5SOS is short for 5 Seconds of Summer a group of four Australian boys who claim to be punk rock. Their self-titled debut album reached number two in the UK album charts and I love it if for no other reason than the packaging I mean... look!

With the gorgeous packaging aside I have to admit that the songs - although brilliant - are perhaps more mainstream pop than the majority of the fandom had been hoping for. That's not to say that I don't love them all - I've had 18 stuck in my head for days - it just means that fans are worried about the band being labelled as a boy band. Yes, they're boys. Yes, they're in a band. But they play their own instruments, fail miserably when they try to dance and their latest music video should dispel any 12 year old fans.

I love 5SOS and I'm not ashamed to admit it. Even if you're not a giant fan I suggest you buy the album (I have the deluxe but it's not that different from the original) if for no other reason than the design and the fact that it contains a song for every occasion. Want to have a good cry, listen to BEside You. Want to dance like a maniac, try English Love Affair or Heartbreak Girl. The point is I love this album for a reason, and I want you to listen and see why.


Ps. Sorry for the yellow tint to the photos, it must have been the lighting!

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

The Great Escape: Part 2

You may remember that on Saturday I told you about the escape of my family's three horses. Well it seems that everyone it at it as at 4pm today my mum called me to tell me to get dressed into my riding gear because her friend's two horses were loose.

I was dreading it. We had heard terrible things about the younger of the two - who was sold as 5 but my mum and I are not so sure - and so we approached the two apprehensively.

Luckily for us the two got onto their lead reins a lot easier than ours did - although they had integrated themselves with someone else's herd - and so we managed to get them no problem. Walking them back was a different matter altogether though, the younger horse was skittish and seemed to skit at every little thing.

Here's to hoping that no one else decides it's time for a strange of scenery.


Tuesday, 7 October 2014

TV Review: Our Zoo

My dad and I are both Chester Zoo fanatics. We go several times a year and we like to think that we are both somewhat of an expert on the animals and how Chester Zoo started.

That was why I was delighted to find out that the BBC had commissioned a 6 part drama about the Zoo's history surrounding its founder George Mottershead. Of course with all things you look forward to there is a possibility of disappointment but I was thrilled to find that it exceeded my expectations.

'Our Zoo' is a light-hearted drama that tugs on the heart strings on occasion but also provides several laughs. The acting in this is superb and perhaps one of the greatest performers is Honor Kneafsey who plays young June Mottershead. She - along with the rest of the female actresses - I feel really adds a certain feel to the show, and stops it from just being about some mad man obsessed with animals.

'Our Zoo' is available on BBC IPlayer and the final episode of the six part series (episodes are an hour long) is airing tomorrow night! I can barely contain my excitement.


Sunday, 5 October 2014

The Great Escape

I am afraid that there is no pictures to accompany today's post, but I just have to tell you about the 'fun' time I had this morning.

I was woken by my Mum shouting my name and was quickly informed that our three horses had decided to escape during the middle of the night. Luckily for us we live in a relatively quiet area and so although we were worried about where they were, we were also pretty sure that they would ne unharmed.

We managed to track them down - luckily they were only about a five minute walk away - however once we found them we then had the problem of trying to get them back. The ring leader (who happens to be a rather large Gypsy Vanner) was having none of it and my mum and I soon realised that they weren't going to be very complaint.

Luckily the eldest - a quiet cob - decided she had had enough of an adventure and so we managed to get her on the lead rein and as we walked her back the other two decided to follow behind us, although it took a bit of food to convince them!

Forty-five minutes later we finally made it back and I was thoroughly exhausted. I've only just worked up enough energy to write about it!


Friday, 3 October 2014

Who I Think Will Win Strictly

It's very simple really. I love strictly. A lot. And so I have recently been thinking about who my prediction is to win - my dad, mum and I have a sort of mini competition going, I have won the past two years and I am not planning on giving up now.

And this year my pick for the win in Frankie Sandford and her partner Kevin (from Grimsby). Now if you don't watch Strictly then you obviously won't care - and won't have got my reference before - but I felt like I had to share my prediction with the world - or at least the people who read my blog.


I think these two are going to win for many reasons.
 1) they're cute together, just look at the selfie below, I know they're both in relationships but they still look good together.
2) Frankie Sandford is going to be a good dancer, she dances at her concerts and she is in shape, also her first dance was great.
3) Kevin is likeable, and popular.

Basically the two of them are going to win, and if they don't I'm going to be slightly disappointed.



Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Quote Of The Week (#1)

My school planner contains a weekly quote - some of which are great and some of which are downright weird - and so I decided to share some of them with you. 

The one above is this weeks quote from Samuel Butler (who my internet search revealed to be Victorian Era author) and I think it might just inspire me to relax a little bit more. It seems especially topical at this time in my life - when everyone around me seems to be worrying about school and exams - and so reading this quote reminded me that I have to enjoy what I'm doing.

I think it is also important to remember throughout your life. You should enjoy your job, you should enjoy your hobbies, you should enjoy lounging in bed on a Sunday Morning and you should spend more time making sure that you fit in things you enjoy into your life.

And it is true, you don't see squirrels worrying about these kind of things after all!


Tuesday, 30 September 2014


I absolutely hate being ill, especially when it is just a cold. People assume it is nothing and so have no sympathy for you when you just want to lie in bed and yet would much rather do that than anything else.

As you can probably guess I have been ill for the past couple of days - weekends are a horrible time to be ill - but I have been thinking about how to get over the cold/how to make the most of the time you spend doing nothing.

This seems like a really weird thing to recommend but I am recommending Lemsip cold and flu tablets, especially the ones that come with both day and night capsules. I took these for a couple of days and almost instantly felt better and I love the fact that they acknowledge the fact that you don't particularly want to be taking capsules that contain caffeine at night.

I also tend to read a lot, I have been getting a bit behind with my too be read pile but I enjoy reading when I'm ill, although it does tend to be books I've already read so that I don't have to concentrate too hard.

I also have been listening to this delightful cover of Hozier's 'Take Me To Church' by Ed Sheeran on repeat today and it definitely makes me feel better. I stick by the motto that good music is the secret to a good soul!