Weekend in London 19th May 2018 – 21st May 2018

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A couple of months ago Kyary Pamyu Pamyu announced she was coming back to the UK and I just knew that I had to go. I last saw her when I was at university so that was back in 2015, three years ago now! I went with Jess when she played at the Roundhouse in Camden and I’d loved every second so I decided to go again but by myself this time. Although my friends like K-Pop they’re not really Kyary fans so I figured it’d be best to go it alone.

Since I love spending time in London I decided to extend the trip by an extra day. The concert was on a Sunday so I figured I could go from Saturday to Monday and make a full weekend of it considering I needed to book the Monday off work anyway. I decided to see a couple of theatre shows on Saturday, do a little sight-seeing on Sunday, go to the concert then come home on Monday. I booked things a little bit at a time over the past couple of months (I had the train tickets booked before I even had my ticket for Kyary) until it was all sorted.

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I got the train to London early on Saturday morning and got there for about 12:30PM. Check-in at my hotel wasn’t until 2PM and my first show was at 3:30PM so I had plenty of time and wasn’t too stressed. Over the weekend I decided to tick an item off my bucket list which was ‘Leave books around London for strangers to find’. Unfortunately I was too nervous to stop and take any photos so I have no proof but I did leave some books! My first one was in London Euston – I left a copy of my favourite book ‘Only Ever Yours’ by Louise O’Neill on a staircase for someone to find.

I walked down to Camden Market which is known for having lots of amazing different types of foods but of course I ended up in McDonalds and had lunch in there. Look, it’s cheap, quick and I can sit inside while reading my book which was all that I cared about. Over the weekend I was reading ‘Your Turn to Die’ by Sue Wallman which I finished before I got home and I will probably write a review about at some point because I really enjoyed it.

Once I was done in Camden it was almost 2PM so I decided to head to the hotel. Back in September I stayed in hub by Premier Inn at West Minster and it was probably the best hotel I’ve ever stayed in so this time I went for the same chain but stayed in the King’s Cross hotel. It was more than I’d usually spend on a hotel but after having a bad experience in my regular London hotel I now prefer to spend the extra and stay in a trusted chain hotel.

On my way there I hid another book on a bench outside King’s Cross Station, this time I left a copy of ‘The Lost and the Found’ by Cat Clarke – and when I went back about an hour later the book was gone so I guess someone took it! I hope they’re enjoying it.

Check into my hotel was easy and I was in room 1047 which for some reason was a disability friendly room. I’m not complaining but what I’d liked about the hotel room at the West Minster hotel was the high bed which I didn’t get this time but the bed was two singles pushed together to make a double and it was massive so I decided not to complain.

After chilling in the room for a bit I headed to my first show of the day which was ‘Ruthless! The Musical’. I didn’t know an awful lot about it but I’d watched a scene on YouTube and had decided to give it a go. I found the theatre quite easily because it was where I’d seen ‘Mischief Movie Night’. I picked up my ticket, headed to my seat and was immediately disappointed to discover my seat was literally right behind a massive pillar that covered half of the stage. For ‘Mischief Movie Night’ I’d sat in the circle which had given me a brilliant view but this time I’d opted for stalls because it was cheaper. I could see why.

I sat there feeling really salty until the lights went down and luckily the theatre was quite empty so I moved along a seat and I suddenly had a perfect view of the stage. The first half of the show was good and I really enjoyed it. The show is about a talented girl named Tina who will do anything for the star part in her school play. As it’s a musical there were obviously a lot of songs and I thought these were really good. The show was funny and a little bit shocking sometimes and I was enjoying it. Unfortunately the second half kind of lets down the show because it’s not as interesting and doesn’t really seem to have much point to it. The cast still did amazingly and I’m glad I went to see it.

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I came out the theatre at about 5:30PM and set off on a mission to find somewhere to eat before my next show at 7:30PM. I am someone who can’t stand getting to the theatre late, I would rather lose my money than go into the auditorium after curtains up so I like to arrive at the theatre half-an-hour beforehand so I can grab my ticket, head to the loo, get a drink if I’m feeling ambitious and still have plenty of time to find my seat. So I needed to find somewhere quickly.

Of course finding a space in a restaurant at dinner time on a Saturday night in Central London is never easy so I walked around in circles, glanced through every window trying to scan for an empty table and kept coming up blank. Eventually I headed into a place called Bill’s Restaurant where the food looked quite expensive but hey, I’m in Central London so what did I expect? I’m really glad I found it because I ordered a chicken burger and it’s like 6:10PM by this point so I’m very stressed about being late for the show – within two minutes the food had arrived. It was literally the fastest food I’d ever received.

Because it arrived so quickly I took the risk and ordered dessert. I ordered a chocolate bomb which also arrived quickly but was a bit awkward because the waiter stood in front of me and slowly poured the caramel over the bomb whilst I just sat there and didn’t really know what to do. Worth it though, it was really tasty. I paid the bill and managed to get to the theatre with plenty of time.

My 7:30PM show was ‘The Play That Goes Wrong’ and it was my fifth time seeing the show. I’m a big fan of Mischief Theatre and this show is really good. I enjoyed it but unfortunately I think I’ve seen it maybe too many times because although I still found it funny I knew what was gonna happen each time which takes away the shine a little bit. But it’s definitely a show I’d recommend.

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I got back to my hotel at about 10PM, had a quick shower, wrote in my journal then got into bed to watch Family Guy before eventually switching off and going to sleep.

I didn’t pay for hotel breakfast this time so I had a lie-in and when I eventually did wake up I had a chill morning in the hotel. I’d bought some biscuits the day before so I had them for breakfast and discovered the hotel TV had a YouTube app so I watched some ‘Buzzfeed Unsolved’ before deciding to get dressed and do some sight-seeing.

My issue with sight-seeing in London is that I’ve been an awful lot of times and there isn’t much I haven’t seen. I decided to go back to the Natural History Museum in the hopes I could finally see the T-Rex exhibit this time but when I got there I ended up going through a different entrance and I was really disorientated. I had a look at some of the exhibits but suddenly those biscuits just hadn’t been enough for breakfast so I went off in search of food. Nothing in the Museum café really made me happy and I ended up walking here, there and everywhere in search of something to eat but I really couldn’t find anything nearby.

In the end I went to Kings Cross station and went to Giraffe for a burger. It wasn’t anything special but there were plenty of free tables and their milkshake was tasty. Plus it filled a hole and that was all I cared about.

Now I’d eaten I decided to go to the Foundling Museum. It’s a museum I’ve been thinking of visiting for a while but never got round to it. I wanted to go because even though I’m 21 I’m still a big Jacqueline Wilson fan and I’d loved the ‘Hetty Feather’ books so I wanted to see more of the real-life foundlings. It was £11 for entrance and although the first room was really interesting I didn’t really enjoy the rest of it because it seemed to have little relevance to the foundlings. I’m glad I went though since I’ve been thinking about it for so long. My favourite was the tokens that the Mother’s left with their babies so they could identify them if they wanted them back when they were older, pictured below.

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Once I’d left I wasn’t really sure what to do so I sat in the park outside the museum and read my book for a little bit before making the decision to go to hmv in Oxford Street. I wanted to have a look at the K-Pop albums but unfortunately they’ve either gotten rid of them or moved them to a place where I couldn’t find them. I had a browse through the rest of the shop before I decided to go back to the hotel and chill before the concert.

I bought some snacks from Waitrose which I had in the hotel room whilst watching some more YouTube videos. Unfortunately as a size 20 girl who’d been walking around boiling hot London I had been starting to chaff quite badly so I needed some time to chill in my pyjamas so that it wouldn’t hurt too bad by the time I got to the concert.

It felt like two minutes had passed and it was time to go. I got to the venue after the doors had opened but the queue was still all the way down the street so I joined the back. I don’t mind doing anything alone but I do find it quite sad queuing by myself especially when I’m surrounded by friends who are all chatting to each other. The guy in front of me was alone and the girl behind me was alone but none of us talked to each other, maybe we were all too shy.

I could’ve died, we were getting closer to the venue and this taxi driver stopped his taxi in the middle of the road and I made the stupid mistake of making eye contact with him so he yelled “Who’s playing tonight?” so in front of everyone else in the queue I had to yell back “Kyary Pamyu Pamyu!” which is a pretty cringe name to have to yell in front of everyone and honestly if the ground could’ve swallowed me whole in that moment I’d have been happy.

Kyary was playing at the KOKO in Camden and to be truthful I’ve always wanted to go to a concert there because as a teenager pretty much every emo band I loved had played a show at KOKO and I really wanted to go. I don’t know if there are people who love that venue but I did not. It’s very grimy with a strange layout and the loos were a bit grim. Maybe I’m just not grunge enough anymore. It’s probably an ideal location for a rock concert, not so much a cutesy J-Pop concert.

I had assumed the Kyary concert would be full of girls but nope, it was 75% men and a lot of them were extremely tall with absolutely no mercy. When Kyary came out I wasn’t even sure if she was on stage yet because I honestly couldn’t see her and I remember looking at the woman next to me and we both just shook our heads because we couldn’t see a thing. Maybe I wouldn’t have minded but these men blocking my view weren’t even getting lit, I was screaming the lyrics to ‘Candy Candy’ and they were stood there barely bobbing their heads. A few people moved back and my position got shifted and in the end I could just about see her if everyone in front of me aligned perfectly and my head was at precise tilt and ultimately I did really enjoy the show.

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The theme of the concert was ‘haunted house’ so a clip was played before the start of the concert and although it looked cool it wasn’t planned very well because it was in Japanese with no subtitles – which is fine considering Kyary’s Japanese and we were all there to listen to J-Pop but 98% of us couldn’t understand what was going on so it was a bit lost.

The set-list was as follows:

– Fashion Monster
– Invader Invader
– Candy Candy
– Kura Kura
– Saigo No Ice Cream
– Serious Hitomi
– Koi Koi Koi
– Slow-Mo
– No No No
– Furisodeshon
– Mondai Girl
– Ninja Re Bang Bang
– Mottai Night Land
– Cherry Bonbon
– Kira Kira Killer
– Tsukematsukeru
– Sai & Co
– Crazy Party Night

– Easta
– Kimino Mikata

She played pretty much all of my favourites and it was a really good night. Also her speaking English is one of the cutest things ever, she’s so sweet. I’m really glad I went, it was such a good night and she’s amazing to see live.

I was planning on getting an after concert Maccies but unfortunately I didn’t feel hungry until I was back in the hotel room having a shower by which point I could not go back out, my thighs would’ve killed me. I had another chill evening watching TV before finally going to sleep, feeling a little bittersweet this time since I knew it was my last night here.

I forgot to mention I’d also left a copy of Louise Rennison’s ‘Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging’ on the underground for someone to find so here’s hoping someone found and enjoyed that one.

Got up the next morning at about 9:30AM and packed my stuff up before heading out at about 10AM. I don’t really like doing much on the last day since I hate having to lug around my backpack full of stuff so I headed to Wetherspoons in Camden – I’ve found I can’t really get in there for dinner but it’s usually nice and empty to get breakfast. I had a full English, finished the book I’d been reading and then wrote in my journal because I’d been way too tired the night before.

I left a copy of Holly Bourne’s ‘Am I Normal Yet’ on a windowsill in Camden, popped into Waterstones to buy myself a replacement book and then headed to the train station. I get stressed about missing my train too so I like to be there nice and early so I can chill before going home. Before I knew it I was back on the train and heading home!

It was a good weekend and I’d love to go back to London ASAP but unfortunately I am doing my best to save for Japan and South Korea in September so it might be a while before I go back to London but I had a really good time. Definitely a weekend I’d like to repeat.

Story Time – The Motown Prank

Motown Prank

Most of my favourite posts to read back are those which relate to my personal life. So after getting permission from my friends I’ve decided to start writing a segment called ‘story time’ where I write about stupid or funny things that have happened to me and my friends. I wrote one back for Halloween where I told the story of Becca’s Dad pranking us all [x] so here is another prank story titled ‘The Motown Prank’.

In September 2015 me and my friend Jess J went to university. Neither of us liked university very much so we were looking forward to coming back to Telford for the weekend, which we’d planned a while back so we could go to Birmingham to see Dan & Phil. We agreed with our other two friends Becca and Hirst that we’d hang out at some point over the weekend so we could catch up.

Jess’ birthday was coming up and I found out the same weekend we were all meeting up that ‘Disney on Ice’ was going to be in Birmingham. I had quite a lot of money from my student loan so after making sure everyone would be free that evening I booked us each a ticket as Jess’ birthday present. I didn’t tell any of them what I’d booked but my plan was to tell Jess then message Becca and Hirst to let them know as well.

So Jess’ birthday came around and I told her we had tickets for ‘Disney on Ice’ and she was pleased. We were sat in her uni room and I said “Wouldn’t it be cool if we pranked the squad somehow?” Jess agreed it would be pretty funny but neither of us could think of anything so I agreed to go home and google what else was happening in Birmingham that weekend to give us some inspiration.

When I got back to my room I messaged Jess and informed her that on the same day we saw Disney on Ice there was going to be a Motown Evening, something I knew none of us would particularly want to go to. So me and Jess came up with an idea. I’d tell the squad we were going to a Motown Evening and we’d pretend Jess was secretly a massive Motown fan who was over the moon to be going.

This was the plan until Jess said “Wouldn’t it be awkward if you genuinely did buy me Motown tickets because you thought I loved it but it turned out I didn’t?” And thus a new plan was formed.

On the day me and Jess practiced the prank all the way from London to Telford until we were pretty sure we could do it without laughing and giving it away. Things did not get off to a good start since we met up with Hirst and Becca, went out for dinner and then realised we’d spent so long eating and catching up that we’d actually missed our train. We had to rush to catch the slow train which would get us into Birmingham after the show had begun.

We got onto the train and managed to get a table with me and Jess sitting opposite each other like we’d planned. I had promised them I would tell them where we were going the moment we were on the train so I did “I’ve booked us tickets for a Motown Evening.” I told them.

Now Hirst actually looked pretty happy about it but Becca has never looked more miserable in her entire life. Jess smiled and said “That’s cool” to which I replied “Well aren’t you excited?”

“I mean yeah it sounds okay.”

“But you love Motown!”

“… I don’t really know much about it but-”

“But you listened to tons of Motown! I went into your YouTube history to see which episode of Dan & Phil Sims we’d last watched and I found tons of Motown videos? I didn’t pull this out of nowhere Jess?”

“… Hollie I think I might’ve been skipping through a playlist? I really don’t know much about Motown. We’ll still have a good time though!”

At this point my voice was extremely high and I was blushing bright red because I’m no actress but luckily Hirst and Becca were looking slightly awkward and trying to reassure me we’d still have a good evening. Hirst was a lot more convincing than Becca.

Then came my favourite bit of the prank. We reached Wolverhampton so I opened my phone and went “Oh My God guys, I’ve just had an email from the company. They’ve cancelled the Motown Evening and aren’t offering refunds.”

I started to lose it a little at this point, Becca and Hirst were both outraged and I was trying my best to look distraught. I handed the phone to Hirst thinking she’d automatically see who it was from and would realise it was a prank and the whole thing would be over. She did not.

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She read the email but didn’t check who it was from and just sat there going “Well what are we going to do? What are we supposed to do now?”

Jess and I were both starting to laugh at this point but I managed to push it aside for one second and asked “Who’s the email from?”

To which Hirst and Becca exploded “Who cares!? I can’t believe it’s cancelled.”

Now at this point me and Jess can’t hold it back, we’re like peeing ourselves with laughter and Hirst and Becca are still outraged by this fake email so in the end I managed to say “Just read out the whole email. Everything. Absolutely everything it says.”

Becca took the phone and read out the entire email before realising what was happening. She tossed my phone on the table without reading where we were going so Hirst had a look and the two of them figured out we were actually going to see Disney on Ice and not a Motown Evening. I asked how they felt to which Becca said “Mad that you lied but so happy we’re not going to a Motown Evening.” We had a good laugh about the fact we’d pulled it off and me and Jess hi-fived.

It probably doesn’t sound as funny in story form but I was honestly weeing and I still can’t believe they fell for it. We did try to a pull another prank a year later but unfortunately we didn’t pull it off because the train was too full. I would like to prank them like that again one day though!

Interactive Introverts: Review by Hozzie Bareham

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It’s safe to say that my review of TATINOF [x] is one of the most popular things I’ve ever written so I would be absolutely crazy if I didn’t write a review about Interactive Introverts too. Me and Jess went to their show in Birmingham last night, 22nd May 2018, and it was awesome.

I got an email about a week ago saying that all VIP ticket holders had to be in the VIP queue for 4PM with their tickets already collected so me and Jess organised to catch the 1:55PM train to Birmingham. It was the fast train so we get there at about 2:30PM giving us enough time to get a pre-show Maccies and head to the venue which was Symphony Hall. Unfortunately there was a ton of work going on so our usual path was blocked and we got a bit lost. I was really stressed we wouldn’t collect our tickets in time and be in the VIP queue so I went into a café and asked how to get to the venue. Eventually we found our way around these massive works and were at Symphony Hall. Bare in mind it was a massively hot day so I looked and felt like a moist tomato by the time we eventually found the venue, not really how you wanna look before you meet two of your favourite YouTubers.

Luckily there was literally no queue whatsoever when grabbing tickets so we got them relatively quickly and joined the back of the VIP queue with a miraculous ten minutes to spare. I didn’t really feel too nervous at that point, I was just tired from all the stressing we’d done to get into that queue and I was fussing about my hair (which I’d dyed the night before and ended up with little smudges of dye still on my face). Eventually the queue moved forward and we were given a red wristband and told to wait before they took us up to the VIP room.

You had to work to get to that VIP room, it was right at the top of the venue and I’d just chilled out from speed-walking up hills in the sun to make it to Symphony Hall in time so I quickly became a sweaty mess all over again. The VIP room was a bit bigger than it was for TATINOF and was quite full already so me and Jess sat on the floor towards the screen that Dan and Phil were going to stand behind.

We chilled for a few minutes listening to the playlist when I suddenly jumped out my skin because Dan popped through a door and yelled “HI!” The door was right by where me and Jess were sat and I’d jumped enough at that but the screams of all the fans in the room made me jump again. I was mid drinking water as well, not cool Dan!

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They briefly said hello and then headed behind the screen so fans could meet them in private. A lady who was helping organise everything beckoned people to queue up and we could’ve been one of the first to meet them but neither of us wanted that so we decided to chill for a bit. We wrote a message in the book that was left out for us, pinched some Starburst and just sat and talked for a bit. Once the queue had gone down a bit we decided to go up.

In the email it had said we could get one thing signed but we didn’t really know what to get signed. I’d met Dan and Phil twice already and the first time I’d got my ‘The Amazing Book is Not on Fire’ signed and the second time Jess had given me some art work to get signed. We also attended ‘DAPGOOSE’ so our copies of ‘Dan and Phil Go Outside’ were already signed and I didn’t really own anything else. Very charitably I’d offered to get something signed for my cousin who was attending the event but didn’t have a VIP ticket and Jess wasn’t really sure what to do. I suggested getting our ticket signed but we were worried they’d become void if they did that, I suggested her shoes at one point and she nearly went for that but luckily the goodie bag you’re given after meeting them is white so Jess asked if she could have that in advance to get signed and they agreed.

The queue was weird because it went too slow and too fast at the same time. We put our bags to one side, I kicked off my shoes ‘cos they were ugly (I was really worried I’d get told off for just wearing socks) and before we knew it we were at the front of the queue. The woman took my cousin’s copy of ‘Dan and Phil Go Outside’ off me to hand to them and said “This is the worst bit isn’t it, being at the front of the queue and being all nervous” which massively reminded me of when I saw them in London for TATINOF three years ago and they had the most stress-inducing security guard ever. He literally went “Okay go- OH NO WAIT. Okay now you can- NO WAIT COME BACK!” and I was just like ‘Sir, this is really not helping my anxiety.’ Luckily this lady was a lot calmer and didn’t send me into a panic.

Then suddenly it was my turn! I feel like it went a lot faster this time, not sure why. I went around and hugged Phil and then hugged Dan who were both like “Hi!” so I was like “Hi!” and then Phil took my book off the lady and was like “Do you want us to sign your book?” and I was like “Yeah but it’s actually for my cousin” so they were like “Aww that’s nice.” Then Phil was like “Do you want to take a photo?” so I was like “Yes please!” and I hadn’t already unlocked my phone so I swiped up but it didn’t do anything so I handed it to Dan and went “It didn’t unlock!” like a moron. He unlocked it and we took a quick selfie so I was like “Thank you!”, took my phone off Dan and my book off Phil and Dan was like “Thank you! Thank you for coming to our show! And thank you for watching our videos! Have a good time.” And I was like “Thank you!” again and headed off in a daze to get my goodie bag.

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The goodie bag was a white tote bag with ‘Interactive Introverts’ written on it and inside was a lanyard, a wrist band and a photo of Dan and Phil. We chilled in the VIP room until Dan and Phil left. Dan jumped out from round the screen and tried to jump scare us again but it didn’t work as well as it did the first time and then they were off.

It was about 5:30 at this point and the show didn’t start until 7:30 but luckily Symphony Hall is quite big with a lot of different stages and halls so they had cafes and stuff like that so we went and sat in Starbucks for an hour. I attempted to locate my cousin briefly but she doesn’t use Facebook and I didn’t know where to begin so I gave up before I’d even really began.

Something spooky happened in Starbucks which was that Jess predicted the end of the show accurately without realising. Obviously I can’t go into the details because I don’t want to spoil it for anyone but she didn’t say anything like “Oh the show will end like this”, she was just messing around and accidentally kept predicting the end but neither of us knew. Maybe after the tour’s finished I’ll update this and say how she predicted it but until then I will keep quiet.

We headed through the security bit and I was super worried they’d confiscate our bottle of water we’d just bought but luckily they didn’t. We went to look at the merch and although it was nice there wasn’t anything I desperately wanted (which is just as well ‘cos I’m broke af) so we sat and chilled. Just as well there was nothing we desperately wanted because the merch queue was literally a mile long, I thought they were queuing to get into the hall, no they were queuing for merch. Jess quite liked the denim jacket Dan and Phil had both been wearing but it was £60 which to be fair is standard for a jacket if you’re at a concert or something but was a bit out of our price range.

We found our seats and we were in the sixth row but because we were in the middle it was technically the fifth row and it had a really good view of the stage. The stage looked amazing and everyone was queuing to take photos in front of it at the side but we went for middle photos.

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I’m gonna be honest with you, I dunno if I’m a bit old now but waiting for the show to start did make me cringe a bit and I know it’s probably just me being a grumpy old person but yeah it was a bit cringe. For example they played BTS’ ‘Mic Drop’ and although I love BTS and K-Pop in general it does make me cringe being around other K-Pop fans in public so yeah. But everyone else seemed to be having a good time and that’s all that matters.

Then the show started and as per usual I don’t want to ruin any aspect of the show for anyone going to see it. I was unfortunate enough to accidentally read a spoiler before I went and while it didn’t ruin anything it did take the shine off it a little bit because I was anticipating it for most of the show. It was still amazing though and if you have a ticket then you should really look forward to it because it’s brilliant.

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The show started at 7:30PM and finished at around 10PM with a 20 minute interval – I don’t usually include that fact but I noticed a lot of people googled that for TATINOF and ended up on my blog so if this is the information you were looking for, you’re welcome.

So yeah, if you haven’t got a ticket already and there are some available near you then definitely buy one because if you’re a Dan and Phil fan this is not to be missed! If you’ve been then let me know what you thought of it, if you’re waiting to go then let me know what you’re looking forward to and if you have any questions feel free to ask them and I will do my best to answer.

Thanks for reading, I know it was very long and rambling but it was a great day! I’d love to go and see it again but unfortunately I don’t think I have enough money for that.

Top 10 Mamamoo Songs

I’ll be honest with you, I’ve kind of gone off Mamamoo lately. Not to be rude but their latest comebacks have been a bit boring and they’ve kind of lost what made them so special. ‘Starry Night’ isn’t the worst song ever but it’s just so boring. And ‘Paint Me’ was even worse. I wrote this list a while ago and I’m still a big fan of these songs, I’m just not a fan of the direction Mamamoo are headed at the moment. Anyway, here are my ten favourite songs!

10. Mr Ambiguous

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What an iconic debut Mamamoo had. This used to be one of my favourite songs but it’s one that I’ve listened to one too many times and I think they have better songs but I do like it. I love the choreography and pretty much everything about this song.

9. Decalcomanie

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I didn’t really like this song when I first heard it, I thought it was a bit boring and although Mamamoo’s vocals were impressive this song just wasn’t much fun. It took a few listens but it did grow on me. I did love the iconic ‘Mamamoo is coming back for you’ line though. I wasn’t a fan of how Solar and Wheein were styled but Hwasa and Moonbyul looked absolutely stunning.

8. No More Recipe

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This song’s a little strange but I still love it. It’s from their ‘Melting’ album and there’s just something about it that I really love. The songs not particularly amazing or ground-breaking or anything but I still think it’s brilliant. It’s just a fun song!

7. 1cm Taller than You

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This is another one that used to be my favourite but then I listened to it one too many times. I still love this though, I love watching live versions of it and I’d love to see it live myself one day ASSUMING MAMAMOO EVER COME TO EUROPE. This song is great and I’m glad Moonbyul got more lines than she normally does because I love her.

6. Girl Crush

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This song is amazing, I can’t even remember hearing it for the first time or anything but I just remember always loving it. I love Moonbyul’s parts in this as well (‘I’m freakin’ naughty girl’) and pretty much everything about it. What a great song.

5. Um Oh Ah Yeh

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I’m pretty sure this is the first Mamamoo song I ever heard and I hated it! I didn’t think it was my kind of song at all. Even when I finally became a fan of Mamamoo I didn’t particularly like this song very much. I can’t remember what made me change my mind but now I love it! I love the adlib part after the middle eight. I can’t believe I didn’t like it when I first listened to it.

4. Piano Man

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Even though it’s relatively simple I really like the choreography for this song. I’m pretty sure this was another song that I didn’t like at first listen because I’m more of a fan of fast, upbeat songs and even though Mamamoo sound amazing in this song I just thought it was a bit boring. But soon the song grew on me and it quickly became one of my favourites!

3. Aze Gag (Dad Jokes)

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I was convinced I wouldn’t like this song, I remember looking at the promos for it and thinking ‘this isn’t going to be good’. I can’t remember why I thought that but I did. When the song was dropped I absolutely loved it at first listen. The music video is brilliant too and all the girls looked amazing. This was one of their best comebacks and I loved it!

2. You’re the Best

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This was the song that turned me into a Mamamoo fan but I didn’t like the song at first. Although I preferred it to ‘Um Oh Ah Yeh’ I just wasn’t particularly feeling it on the first listen. But I did want to become a Mamamoo fan because I liked their personalities so I wanted to like their music too. So I kept returning to this song and now I truly can’t imagine disliking it. Everything about it is great from the music video, the styling, the choreography to the song itself. It’s honestly such a good song, I can’t believe there was ever a time I disliked it.

1. Delilah

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This song is 100% a cheat because it’s not actually their song, it’s a cover of Tom Jones’ song but I absolutely loved it. They sang it on Immortal Songs and it really gave Mamamoo a chance to show off their impressive vocals. I loved when they sang ‘Wait a Minute’ and ‘Stay With Me’ but ‘Delilah’ just has to take it. It starts off slow but quickly picks up and the girls vocals honestly just blow my mind every single time. Imagine being so talented.

So there you go, those are my ten favourite Mamamoo songs! Let me know yours in the comments below.

My Favourite Things about My Best Friends


On Becca’s blog she told the story of how she met each of us which you can read here [x] to commemorate the fact that 10 years ago this September the four of us met! Yep, 10 years ago we all started Secondary School, met each other and now suddenly we’ve been out of school for 5 years and we’re still going strong! I wanted to write something to celebrate even though we’re not quite at the September mark yet and I have no doubt I’ll come up with another idea by that point. I didn’t want to steal yet another one of Becca’s blog ideas so I decided to write a gushy post where I talk about my favourite things about them.

Generally we spend 99% of the year roasting each other and the 1% is on our birthdays where we all write lovely Facebook posts to each other. Then we meet up in person and go back to the roasting. So here is my opportunity to be super nice about the three of them even if what I write does end up becoming lame and cheesy. Here goes nothing!

Jess J

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I’m gonna go in age order so I’ll start with Jess. I’m the oldest and a week later Jess came along. When I first left school there wasn’t a lot that I did without Jess to be honest. We went to a ton of concerts together, she was the first person I went to London with alone without parental supervision, we went to the same uni together (and both dropped out of the same uni together), I even moved in with her for three months when her Dad went to Thailand. If one of us was planning to do something then nine times out of ten the other one would tag along. Because we were friends and that’s what we did.

I think my favourite thing about Jess is that she has your back 100%. One night my brother came home from a party and started kicking off so I messaged Jess to say I was scared and she straightaway offered to come and pick me up even though it was 1AM. I said yes, went back to hers and we had an impromptu sleepover. It was a good night, far removed from all the shit that was going on at home.

Another thing I love about Jess is her lack of judgement. She’s the kind of friend where if I showed up in my pyjamas with greasy hair she’d just shrug her shoulders and ask if I wanted to order Chinese. She’s also listened to about 9999 of my rants and kind of knows to just accept when I’m in a bad mood. I really appreciate that one night I ended up snapping at all of them and getting all pissed off and when I popped up the next morning to apologise there was no anger or saltiness just a ‘it’s fine dude, are you okay?’

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I wanna briefly talk about how we met – I sat behind Jess in Maths class and I was sat next to a boy who was a complete dickhead and I don’t remember who Jess was sat next to but she ended up turning around and talking to me a lot until eventually one of the spaces next to us freed up so either I moved by her or she moved by me. Our friendship was solidified when she taught me how to draw anime eyes. We were really close for maybe a month before becoming ‘casual friends’ then by the time we both turned sixteen we were back to being best friends.

Jess is one of those people that wouldn’t hesitate to stand up for one of her friends, she’s the first to call out bullshit when she sees it and is generally just an awesome person to be friends with. I’m super glad I met her and am still her friend; I don’t know what I’d do without her.


Me + Becca

Becca was born just two days after Jess and as she explained in her post, I met her in food tech at school. We hadn’t really chatted much but our food tech teacher told her she’d accidentally made some toffee while making flapjacks and she offered us some. We quickly became good friends but our interactions were mostly in tech classes with Lucy and Olivia. We met up a few times outside of school with other friends but as with Jess we were about sixteen when we became best friends properly.

We always make jokes that Becca’s self-centred and a ‘demon’ because Becca’s pretty and she knows it, and she’s always telling us that in any kind of life-threatening situation she would definitely look out for herself before caring about any of us. Which was proved when a thunder storm hit while we were filming in the middle of a forest. I was panicking but stood waiting for Jess and Hirst to finish packing the equipment away as quickly as they could whilst Becca had already legged it and was almost out of the forest until I called her back.

However the truth about Becca though is that actually she has a big heart – she cares a lot about animal rights which is why she’s a vegetarian (and sometimes a vegan), cares about human rights, is a massive feminist and is just generally a great person who also isn’t afraid to call out bullshit. I wasn’t there but I saw her tweet that she’d stood up for a woman who was breastfeeding on the bus and honestly I can see Becca doing just that.

Becca’s sense of humour also manages to get me every single time, it doesn’t matter what we’re talking about Becca is guaranteed to make me laugh every time we hang out. Sometimes it can even just be the facial expressions she makes she’s just one of those people who can make me laugh without much effort.

Also out of the three of us Becca is definitely the one who pretty much always looks absolutely flawless. One time the three of us went to visit her in hospital and I’d spent the morning travelling home from Somerset which was three hours away and I felt and looked like crap after spending all night at a wedding but Becca told us she looked like crap so I didn’t feel too self-conscious. The girl had spent the night in hospital yet still managed to look amazing? I suspect witch craft personally.

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Even though she looks amazing all the time though Becca will still do her best to uplift everyone else. Feel like crap about your appearance? Not on Becca’s watch. I remember one day telling her my expectations in boys were a little high because I’m not actually that pretty and she shook her head and said “Nah, keep them high.” This can be flipped on its head two seconds later though, like the time we both got drunk and she said it was her turn to find a boyfriend next because she deserved it more than me. But the way she delivers lines like that is so funny that you can’t get mad.

However I think my absolute favourite thing about Becca is that she is both the coolest person I’ve ever met and the biggest dork ever all at the same time. She will leave the house looking flawless, crush any boy who tries to make her feel less than perfect and just generally be a boss ass bitch yet then she’ll spend a morning in London with me looking for Harry Potter related things to do. Or freak out all night and refuse to go to sleep because of a member of a K-Pop group waved at us.

If you don’t have a friend like Becca then I feel sorry for you because Becca’s awesome and I’m so glad she ended up being my friend.


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Hirst is the youngest in our group and it sucks a little for her because mine, Jess and Becca’s birthdays are all very close together whereas she didn’t come along until six months after us. To be truthful I don’t remember how I met Hirst, she was just one of those people who was a friend of a friend and we just instantly got along from day one. We weren’t best friends or anything and I wouldn’t have hung out with her by herself but we were on friendly terms.

Like the others we became best friends around the time we turned sixteen, we were all leaving secondary school and somehow me, Hirst, Jess and Becca floated together and became best friends. It’s weird really because there was a big group of us that used to hang out together but somehow we still ended up as a little group of besties.

We always say Hirst is the baby of the group but although she’s the youngest she’s certainly not a baby as she’s currently the only one not living with her parents and was the first one of us to get a serious boyfriend. It didn’t really shock any of us though because while me, Jess and Becca groan about the idea of kids and getting married Hirst was always the one planning her ideal future. How many kids she wanted, the colour scheme for her wedding, what her house would look like. Hirst had it figured out right from the start.

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I don’t know where to start with Hirst. She’s honest I suppose. I can go to her and whine about needing life advice and if she thinks I’m being stupid she will cut me off and tell me so without hesitation. Which I don’t always appreciate when I’m in a bad mood but when I’m feeling more co-operative I realise maybe she was right. Maybe.

For a long time Hirst was the pushover of our group who would go along with whatever we suggested and didn’t really argue much and honestly I’ve loved watching her go from that shy girl at sixteen who didn’t want to annoy any of us to someone who won’t hesitate to call us out. She is still low-key a pushover in some situations because whenever we go on holiday and there’s a double bed meaning two of us need to share, Hirst is always in that bed sharing with someone else. Every single time.

Another thing I love about Hirst is that she’s very family-oriented. She will run errands for family at the last minute, looked after her Nan for ages and will always do her best to help anyone that she feels needs it. There have been times we were worried she was a bit too generous and we tried to tell her but she will simply shrug her shoulders and smile because that’s just Hirst. Always there for her family, always.

Hirst is another person who’s just super hilarious, I remember she came over to mine one night before we headed out and she told me some stories of her day at work and I was honestly crying with laughter because she was so funny. She comes out with some great one liners in our group chat. One night we were talking about ‘Dolly the Sheep’ for whatever reason and Hirst sent us “DOLLY DOTTY DING DONG WAS HER NAME AND BANTER WAS HER GAME” and we still quote that now because it was just so funny.

She’s also endlessly patient. When the four of us first started catching flights together and I was terrified of flying Hirst was always the one who held my hand and tried her best to keep me calm. Even on the way back from Amsterdam when I was the biggest pain in the ass the world has ever seen. I can see why she’s a care worker because she’s just endlessly patient and kind.

So yeah, Hirst is one of my best friends and I’m very happy to keep it that way until the day I die to be honest.

There we go, there’s a super sappy post about why I love my best friends so much. Now I can go back to roasting them for the rest of the year. Until we celebrate our ten year anniversary and I will no doubt get soppy all over again.

Why I Don’t Wear Make-up

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I wanna make it clear I’m not here to shame anyone who does enjoy wearing make-up. When I was a teenager I had a sort of inferiority complex and was under an illusion that not wearing make-up made me better than other women but trust me when I say that I’m massively over that and I have massive amounts of respect for women who choose to and enjoy wearing make-up. I’m just writing this for fun.

My main reason for not wearing make-up is because honestly I just don’t know how. In Secondary I made some bad attempts to wear it but not in the conventional sort of way. I didn’t bother with foundation or lip-gloss but I was all about my eyes so I would heavily apply eye-liner. For a while a group of Year 8’s referred to me as ‘the bitch who wears too much eye-liner’ which still baffles me because yes I was wearing too much eye-liner but I literally never spoke to them so why was I a bitch? So anyway, I swapped form and attempted to do some ‘Gerard Way’ eyes which was red eye-shadow all around my eyes. It looked so bad that the next day at school my friend Becca asked if someone had punched me in the face.

I went back to my too heavy eye-liner, which I thought looked perfectly fine, until I was pulled out of my class by my form tutor and was told it was too much. Again, I’m still a bit baffled because I literally only wore eye-liner it’s not like I was caking on tons of make-up like others in my class but apparently it was me wearing too much. I had those chunky eye-liner pencils so I didn’t know how else to apply it so in the end I gave up.

I experimented a bit more with eye-liner in Year 8 and used to walk around with what my then best friend Jasmine called ‘Watermelon eyes’ which was where I’d wear blue eye-liner on my top eyelid on my right eye, green eye-liner underneath my right eye and then I’d do the opposite for the left eye. Look, I don’t know why and I can’t even begin to explain my weird make-up habits. No one really mocked me for wearing it like that but I think eventually the pencils ran out and I couldn’t be bothered to get anymore.

That was another factor. 90% of my make-up was my Mom’s hand-me-downs and the rest were free from the girly magazines I used to buy. I only got a limited amount of pocket money a week and 12 year old me would much rather have spent it on a new DVD, a new book or some chocolate. Or all three! But not make-up.

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Because I didn’t really bother with it in Secondary School time went on and I realised I just didn’t know how to apply a full face of make-up. Even now if I’m in the mood to wear some liquid eye-liner I have to locate my Mom so she can apply it for me. I just physically can’t get it on in a straight line without it smudging anywhere. I don’t know how to do foundation, how to blend, contour, or whatever the hell else you’re meant to do.

My three best friends Becca, Hirst and Jess wear make-up and I think they always look fabulous – especially Becca who always manages to look flawless much to everyone else’s irritation. So one day after another fit of jealousy I popped up in the squad chat and announced that I wanted to wear make-up like them but I’d need their help.

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We went up town and I didn’t buy anything except some liquid eye-liner. Becca talked me through what I’d need and it would’ve cost an absolute bomb! I don’t know how they afford it every month? I thought we’d need a bit of foundation, eye-liner, maybe some cheeky mascara and we’d be done? Not quite. I can’t even remember half of what she told me I’d need.

Another issue I had was that if I started I’d have to keep it up. I can leave the house feeling pretty without make-up on yet I know some of my friends struggle to have that confidence and would rather wear make-up. And I’m not saying that’s an issue, each to their own, but I’m not sure I’m ready to have a commitment of getting up and doing my make-up every single time I want to go out. Especially on greasy haired days where I chuck on yesterday’s clothes to pop to Aldi. We’ve all been there, let’s be real.

Leading me onto my next point which is that I just enjoy sleep too much. Whenever I go on holiday with my friends we’ll agree a time that we should leave the hotel so let’s say we’re leaving at 8AM, you can guarantee that Becca and Jess have got alarms set for 6AM at the latest to have enough time to do their make-up whereas I can roll out of bed at 7:45, chuck on my clothes and I’m ready to go. Lazy? Yes, of course. But sleep is important!

To be fair on the rare occasions I do think to make an effort and apply make-up (I usually ask my Mom or Hirst to do it for me) I just get fed up with it. There’s nothing worse than giving your eye a good itch and then remembering that you have eye-liner on. Because I don’t wear it that often it always ends up smudged all over my face. Also, I can never be bothered to take it off when I get home. It’s just a hassle.

I guess this can be summarised into the fact that I don’t wear make-up because I’m too lazy, too broke and generally don’t know what I’m doing. That’s not to say I don’t want to wear make-up because if I knew what I was doing I think I’d quite enjoy it. So honestly, if you do wear make-up, I have an awful lot of respect for you. And if like me you don’t bother with make-up that’s fine too! Everyone should wear and do what they feel comfortable with.

10 Favourite Marvel Movies

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I went to the midnight screening of Infinity War and honestly, I’m still not over it. I’ve seen it two more times since then and I’m still not over it. I’m massively spoiler free but honestly I’m glad I saw it at midnight so I didn’t have to dodge spoilers for the next few days. I’m definitely seeing the next one at midnight next year so that again I don’t have to deal with any spoilers.

Anyway, because I’m still not over Infinity War I decided to write a list of my favourite Marvel movies. So here goes nothing!

10. Guardians of the Galaxy 2

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I wasn’t too fussed when the first ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ came out but my friend Cheyenne invited me to see it and it was the first film I ever saw at the new Cineworld that was built in our town (until then we only had Odeon). I didn’t really know what to expect but I actually ended up really enjoying it so I was keen to go and see the sequel when it came out.

I actually liked the sequel a lot more. The plot was generally more interesting and I loved the humour. Also I loved the introduction of Mantis who has quickly become one of my favourite characters in the Marvel universe. So yeah, it’s definitely a Marvel film that I love.

9. The Amazing Spider-Man 2

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I loved Andrew Garfield as Spider-Man so I was a little salty when Tom Holland got cast in the part for Civil War (although I quickly began to love Tom). Weirdly I hadn’t really cared about Spider-Man, I only went to see this movie because me and Jess hung out one afternoon, got bored and then randomly decided to go to an evening showing of the film. The next day we were too tired to go to college which sounds about right.

Anyway, I hadn’t seen the first film because at this point I was more of a casual Marvel fan so I hadn’t bothered but I ended up really enjoying the sequel. So I decided to go back and watch the original but I didn’t think it was as good. I do kind of miss Andrew’s version of Spider-Man but I do love Tom Holland so it’s all good.

8. Iron Man 3

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I’d argue that this film turned me into a Marvel fan. The first Marvel film I saw was ‘Avengers Assemble’ and that was only because, again, Cheyenne invited me to go and see it. I ended up enjoying it a lot more than I thought I would so when ‘Iron Man 3’ came out I decided that actually I wanted to see it despite not having seen the first two Iron Man movies. I was reassured by friends that as long as you’d seen Avengers Assemble it didn’t really matter too much so off I went with Jess and Hirst to watch it.

It was awesome! After that I started watching more Marvel movies until I became the person I am today.

7. Black Panther

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Who didn’t love Black Panther, let’s be real? I remember hearing pretty much straight after Civil War dropped that there was going to be a solo Black Panther movie and I was hyped right from the beginning. It felt like a long wait but honestly it was worth it. My favourite character had to be Shuri, like honestly the girl was a total badass and had the best jokes throughout.

I’ve just googled it and apparently there is going to be a Black Panther 2 and honestly I really hope there is, it’d be so good. Listen, if we can have an Ant-Man 2 then we definitely deserve a Black Panther 2.

6. Deadpool


Before this film I didn’t really like Ryan Reynolds, don’t even ask me why because I don’t have a reason. I just didn’t like him. But this movie completely changed my mind. I was pretty sure I’d like the movie because it was Marvel and I’d heard Deadpool is funny and they were right. I ended up really liking it and I can’t wait to go and see the sequel which isn’t far away now!

5. Thor: Ragnarok


I was set and ready to dislike this film. When I was a teenager I was really hyped about Thor even though I’d found the first movie boring. I’d enjoyed the second movie while watching it but after Thor Ragnarok I asked my friends Emma, Sorcha, Rhiannon and Patrick whether they could recall the plot of the second film. None of them could do it. We had to Google it.

So when trailers were playing for Ragnarok I wasn’t too hyped and insisted I didn’t really care but obviously I still went to see it because hey it’s a Marvel film. And then suddenly, I was Thor trash again. I liked the movie a hell of a lot more than I thought I would and redeveloped my crush on Tom Hiddleston. Whoops!

4. Spider-Man: Homecoming

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I mentioned being salty that Tom Holland would be replacing Andrew Garfield as Spider-Man. I was only salty when I saw photos and stuff, the moment I saw Tom in ‘Civil War’ I was really glad they’d chosen to cast him. Let’s face it, Spider-Man’s a teenager and Andrew Garfield most definitely is not a teenager so I’m glad they casted someone closer to Peter’s actual age in the end.

I ended up really liking this movie, I can’t remember who I went to the cinema to see it with or anything like that but I really liked it! They played it on the plane on the way to New York and I was really feeling it until they suddenly stopped it and were like “We understand the audio’s not working” and I was sat there like ‘um what the hell, yes it does!’ and then they switched it off so like that was the end of that. But after watching ‘Infinity War’ I’m really in the mood to watch this movie again so I might have to buy it on DVD.

3. Captain America 3: Civil War

Civil War

I hadn’t seen the Captain America films until Civil War came out and I saw them all because I went to a triple bill with Hirst, Becca and Jess where we watched the first two films and then Civil War started at midnight. Before that I didn’t really like Captain America but watching the films changed my mind. In my defence I had wanted to watch the first Captain America but was told not to because it was ‘boring’ but I quite liked it.

It was cool seeing the introduction of more super heroes, especially Black Panther and seeing more of Wanda (even if they did have to have the whole Wanda and Vision thing which is creepy) and honestly it was just such a good movie. I think it’ll forever be one of my favourites because it was just so good.

2. Avengers Assemble

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My first Marvel movie! That first time I saw it I didn’t know what was going on or who anyone was but I still ended up loving it. Obviously as time has gone on I understand what’s happening and who everyone is, and funnily enough it does make the film more enjoyable.

I remember getting super hyped in college because ‘Age of Ultron’ was almost out. Me and Becca went to see it together at midnight and absolutely loved it. Until the next day when I sat back and thought ‘wtf was that?’ I absolutely hated the romance between Nat and the Hulk and I generally just disliked quite a lot of the film. But you know, Avengers Assemble is still good!

1. Avengers: Infinity War

Infinity War

Let’s be real, we all knew this was gonna be at number one. As time goes on my favourite will change but for now this is my favourite. I won’t go on about it because as I said, I’m a spoiler free zone, but I loved it so much!

So there we go, those are my ten favourite Marvel movies! Feel free to comment your favourites.

April Book Haul


I really like watching book hauls on YouTube and since I don’t have a decent camera or the confidence to sit down in front of one I decided write a blog post instead. This haul isn’t technically for the whole of April because I was super broke for the majority of April but I did head straight to Waterstones on pay day and spent way too much money on books so that I could write a haul post. Here’s hoping I actually read these books instead of hoarding them for months and never opening them.

I Let Him Go by Denise Fergus

I Let Him Go

This book caught my eye a couple of months ago because I spotted a hardback copy in ASDA. I nearly bought it there and then but decided not to because of the price. I finally got it on pay day and started reading it that same night.

‘I Let Him Go’ is written by James Bulger’s Mother and is honestly heartbreaking. For those who don’t know who James Bulger is, he was a two year-old child who was led away from his Mother by two children who tortured and killed him. The book is about his life before his murder, what it was like afterwards and honestly it’s a difficult read. I started reading it as I was babysitting two children for a friend and I just… It’s really difficult, honestly. I’m not gonna go on about it because it doesn’t feel entirely appropriate but yeah, I’m most of the way through it and although it is difficult it’s definitely a book I recommend.

Your Turn to Die by Sue Wallman

Your Turn to Die

After reading ‘Lying about Last Summer’ and ‘See How They Lie’ by Sue Wallman I’ve decided that I’m officially a fan of her work. So when I found this book in the store I decided to give it a read.

The blurb says that this book is about Leah who goes to stay with her cousins Ivy and Poppy, and their family friend Jakob once a year and she looks forward to going back. However this year they meet new girl Tatum and discover a body of a teenage girl was discovered in the garden, a secret kept for 60 years.

I’ll be honest, I’m looking forward to reading it because I trust that Sue will have thought of an amazing reveal and probably a plot twist but the thought of family friend Jakob did make me feel a bit apprehensive. I’m a bit worried it’s going to be a romance thing and Leah and Jakob are going to get together. I know I sound like a sad old lady when I go on about the romance thing but like… I just wanna read a book about girls kicking ass without having to read about them boasting about their relatively average boyfriends. Romance in YA novels is just everywhere I look and honestly I’m a bit sick of it.

But like I said, I trust Sue Wallman so even if there is some dreaded romance I’m sure it won’t put me off too much!

The Girlfriend by Michelle Frances

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I actually bought this book towards the start of April from ASDA because ASDA do generally stock cheap paperbacks and it caught my eye. After reading the blurb I decided to give it a go. I started reading it a few weeks ago and it drew me in but unfortunately I haven’t picked it back up since then.

To summarise the blurb, ‘The Girlfriend’ is about Laura who has a son named Daniel who meets a girl named Cherry and Laura suspects she’s not all she seems. Basically.

I am enjoying it but the characters are so bloody posh that it’s a little off-putting. To be fair I’m pretty sure the fact they’re so rich is important to the plot but it’s still a bit annoying. Also Laura seems a bit obsessed with Daniel but like, I think that’s probably part of the plot too. Anyway, I’m looking forward to reading it!

Trouble Makers by Catherine Barter

Trouble Makers

I feel like I did get to a point where I was snatching up books because Waterstones have a ‘Buy One Get One Half Price’ offer and I figured if I was getting one I might as well get two. To be honest I can’t really seem to tell much about what the book is about from the blurb but it sounded interesting so I went for it. I read a few pages and it didn’t put me off so I decided to buy it. It’s got a sticker on it saying it won a ‘Children’s Book Prize 2018’ for ‘Older Fiction Shortlist’ so must be good! I’ll check it out.

The Unpredictability of Being Human by Linni Ingemundsen

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I feel like I’ve heard of this book but I can’t think where from… (Edit: I’ve just figured out why. I already owned a copy and it’s sat on my shelf. Story of my life.) Either way the cover caught my eye so I decided to give the blurb a read. This is another one where I’m not really 100% sure what it’s about but I’m going to read it and find out! I think I read a few pages from this one too and it’s been described as a ‘beautiful, funny and honest coming-of-age story that never pretends life is perfect’. I’m just hoping it doesn’t get tarnished with some boring, hetero romance to be honest. But I’ll definitely give it a go!

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

The Hate U Give

I’ve just Googled this and seen they’re turning it into a movie! I haven’t even read the book yet and I’m excited.

This is the one I’m most looking forward to reading. It’s about a girl named Starr who is drawn to activism after watching her unarmed friend get shot down by a police officer. I’m really looking forward to reading it, it has a ‘Winner’ sticker on it for the ‘Children’s Book Prize 2018’ so I bet it’s good. I’ll definitely be posting a review of it once I’m finished.

So there we go, that’s my book haul for April! I might upload reviews of some of these books, we’ll wait and see! If I buy as many or more books in May (and it’s possible) I’ll do another book haul!

Three Favourite Memories from Greece

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Not long ago me, Becca and Jess decided to take our friend Hirst on holiday as a 21st birthday present as it was only fair considering we’d taken Jess to Luxembourg for her 21st and Hirst and Jess had taken me and Becca to Lithuania for our birthdays. It took a lot of planning because we knew we needed to take her abroad but we just needed to narrow it down. We almost ended up going to a lot of different places including Italy and Prague but in the end we settled on Crete in Greece.

The original plan was that each of us would give Hirst a clue in her birthday cards and inside each card there would be fifty euros because Hirst sometimes struggles with money so we figured if we sorted out her spending money she wouldn’t have to stress. So in my card I put what time she needed to be at the train station, Becca put the date we were getting the flight and Jess put the date we were coming home. As with everyone else’s birthdays we were going to reveal where we were going at the airport but unfortunately, like a dickhead, I managed to ruin the surprise within 10 minutes of Hirst finding out she was going on holiday. Regardless though, it was a good holiday and I’d like to share my three favourite memories from the holiday!

The First Night

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Our flight was a little delayed so we didn’t leave the UK until about 3PM and because of the flight time and time difference we got to Greece quite late. Our plan had originally been to arrive in Crete, walk to our first apartment (because we were staying somewhere different each night) then walk back to the airport in the morning and collect the car we’d rented. However once we enquired they told us we were allowed to take the car that night and it wouldn’t cost extra. We decided to take it which was just as well because we would never have found our first apartment by foot.

We got into the car, spent a long time in the car park figuring out how to start the car’s engine (it needed to be in gear apparently) and eventually we set off. It was quite dark and because we’re British we were trying to figure out driving on the other side of the road and other side of the car. Jess was driving with Hirst in the front, who also has a licence, trying to help her out. Me and Becca were in the back, Becca was pretty handy because she’s taking lessons so she tried to help and I just generally tried to provide moral support because I don’t know much about driving.

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Things were already confusing because the address for our first apartment wasn’t the actual address of the apartment; it was an address for a random area that appeared to be the bloody Greek ghetto. After driving up and down confusing streets Jess eventually pulled the car over and I rang a guy who didn’t seem to know much about what we were talking about but he asked us to send him our GPS location via email and he’d give us directions so we did and he hung up the phone. We sat in the car, in the middle of nowhere in the darkness waiting for a response when Jess said “Maybe he did that because he’s planning to send some people out to murder us.” We all got so creeped out that we decided to head back to the airport.

In the meantime Becca emailed the woman who owned the apartment and she sent us a Google Maps link so we could find the correct place. However, the drive was still proving to be stressful because Jess was doing her best to navigate a foreign country in the dark on the other side of the road. Things only went from bad to worse when she watched a cat get squashed by a bus and cried “Should we stop to see if it’s okay?” to which we all yelled back “NO, KEEP BLOODY DRIVING!”

After my car accident last year I get very nervous in the car now so I was on heightened anxiety but to be fair to Jess she did well and we eventually pulled up outside the woman’s apartment.

Bare in mind it’s extremely late at this point, we’ve all been travelling and just had a really stressful car journey but we were greeted by one of the most enthusiastic women I have ever met in my entire life. She gave us a tour of her apartment, which was beautiful to be fair, but the tour went on for a very long time and all of us were extremely tired and were hoping she’d leave soon. Ha.

We came back inside after the tour and she directed us to the living room because she had a ‘surprise’ for us. We sat down politely on her sofa, all exchanging looks and stifling giggles because honestly the whole thing was bizarre whilst she whipped out a bottle of wine from the fridge and five wine glasses. I’m not a big fan of alcohol, especially wine, so I just pretended to take sips like Becca did. Hirst and Jess downed theirs to get it out the way only to have the woman top it back up. She also whipped out some snacks she’d prepared for us and said we were celebrating because we were the first people she’d had stay in her apartment before. She was truly lovely but it was so late and the four of us are British and awkward, we weren’t used to this kind of service. In Britain someone gives you a super quick tour, hands over the key and goes. This was bizarre.

She showed us how to work the shutters on the windows and eventually left. For a moment we all stood there in disbelief when we suddenly heard “Rebecca! Rebecca!” She was coming back. Apparently we hadn’t fixed one of the shutters correctly and although we practically pleaded that we’d be okay to sort it out ourselves she insisted on coming in to help. Like I said, she was truly a lovely woman but it was late. I wanted to go to bed.

Eventually, after what felt like a lifetime, she was truly gone. We sat in her living room eating our sandwiches we’d bought from Birmingham Airport in disbelief before finally heading into bed. I feel like my little story is just the surface of how bizarre that entire evening was but honestly it was weird.

Driving around Crete

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I had originally thought driving around Crete would be my worst nightmare because I’m already a nervous passenger and not to be rude but European drivers just don’t give a fuck. It’s honestly like all of them have a death wish. After the first night of us attempting to drive around I was a bit worried about how we’d manage for the next three days but Jess quickly picked it up and soon we were driving through Crete without a care in the world. For some reason even though everyone else was driving like a crazy person I felt a lot more chill than I did in the UK. For the most part anyway.

It was fun driving through the beautiful Crete scenery listening to the bangers Becca was playing and thinking about how I could be at work right now but instead I was driving through Greece with my best friends. It was also super convenient having a car because we could leave our shit in it and just drive off whenever we wanted to instead of faffing around with public transport like we normally do on our holidays.

It was scary at one point though. It was on our itinerary to visit a monastery, I can’t even remember what it was called, but this monastery was up the top of a fucking mountain. We hadn’t realised that when we popped it into Google Maps though so off we went. The worst part was when we drove up the steepest hill I have ever seen in my life, it was basically a vertical line and at the top there was a ‘Stop’ sign that leaves you on the hill. Jess put on the hand brake and took her foot off the brakes and we started rolling backwards so she slammed her foot back on it. Jess started to panic; me and Becca were both looking at each other whilst holding onto the seats in front of us as if that would do anything and Hirst stepped into action and told Jess what to do. Luckily we managed to get the car up the hill and onto a proper road again in one piece. There was a strong burning smell but after a moment it passed and we were soon on our way again.

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Even though some of the roads were scary it was still a lot of fun to drive through Crete and even the scary parts were hilarious afterwards.

Also, don’t Google what the little houses are in Greece along the roads! Just enjoy them.

Swimming in Kournas Lake

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Arguably my favourite thing about Greece was how clear the water was everywhere. I love going to the beach in the UK but the water is quite murky and you can never see through it which scares me because I could touch anything and I wouldn’t see what was there. But in Greece the water was perfect.

Even so, I was a little apprehensive when Jess first suggested we go for a swim in Kournas Lake. I imagined something similar to a British lake – murky, something you definitely would not go for a swim in. I didn’t mind the idea of renting a peddle boat because sure, why not? Jess suggested we put our swimming costumes on but we batted away the idea. However, after seeing the lake we immediately turned back around to put them on. It was stunning and we knew we had to at least paddle in it if nothing else.

We weren’t sure if there were any bathrooms nearby (there were) so we decided to put our costumes on in the back seat of the car. Becca went in and came out so quickly, making it look super easy so I went in. I’m quite a bit bigger than Becca, and Hirst laughed at me saying it sounded like I was giving birth in the back of the car. It was bloody hot in there and there was nowhere near enough space. Hirst had the same amount of trouble as me and then Jess went in. Eventually we all had our costumes on and we headed back to the lake to rent a boat.

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The man was very nice and told us that since the lake was so quiet he wouldn’t mind if we took a bit longer than an hour which was just as well because once we were out and we’d taken our clothes off so we were sat in our swimming costumes we were having so much fun that we didn’t want to go back within an hour.

We were told there were turtles towards the edge of the lake so we went off in search of them (we never found them) and when we got closer to the edge we all decided to get into the lake. Jess and Hirst slipped in first and both of them squealed about how cold it was and they were both afraid of something touching their legs so I eventually inched my way in. It was freezing! But a lot of fun. Becca slipped in just after me and for a second she seemed quite calm before suddenly freaking out and climbing back into the boat.

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We decided to peddle the boat to the middle of the lake, get back in and take some photos so that’s exactly what we did. The lake was lovely for a hot day and we took some lovely photos. We went looking for the turtles again but unfortunately never found them so I’d love to go back one day and hopefully find the turtles this time.

We eventually returned the boat after being out for about an hour and forty minutes but the man didn’t mind and didn’t charge us extra which was very kind. We timed our visit just right because as we were eating dinner overlooking the lake a whole tour bus full of people arrived and suddenly the lake was full of boats whereas it had been empty when we went. I imagine in peak season it’s quite busy and I’m so glad we went when we did.

Greece was amazing and if you ever get the opportunity to visit then I definitely recommend it, it was amazing and we were very lucky with the amazing weather!