Sunday, 30 December 2012

Sex and Stravinsky

Sex and Stravinsky
By: Barbara Trapido

Outer back cover: The time is 1995, but everybody has a past. Brilliant Australian Caroline can command everyone except her own ghoulish mother, which means that things aren't easy for Josh and Zoe, her husband with Stravinsky glasses and twelve-year-old daughter. Zoe reads girls' ballet books and longs for lessons; a thing denied her until a chance encounter on a school French exchange. Meanwhile, on the east coast of Africa, Hattie, Josh's first love, now writes girls' ballet books - that's when she can carve out the space between her husband and her crosspatch daughter. From far and wide they are all drawn together: a masquerade in which things are not always what the seem.

I quite liked this book.

The book is about two families and all the ways they are intertwined and has been for over 20 years.

Each chapter is about a different person in one of the families. It can get a bit confusing at tims because of all the names and that they jump back and forth in time a lot. Each chapter is also very long. But at least all the questions that might pop into your head as you read gets answered by the end. In some ways the book is very predictable, but then suddenly something happens that you hadn't even thought of.

The book is set mainly in Britain and Africa, but as the places weren't described in much detail or anything, it didn't really make me want to go to any of the places in the book, except for Milan, but I already want to go there.

I liked most of the characters in the book, although I wish I was like Caroline, the aussie girl that could do absolutely everything, domestic goddess and super at DIY. the teenagers in the book was a bit over the top, but so are real teenagers.

I did read the book quite quickly, and although it was quite gripping in some places, my main reason for reading it so fast was because I have now reached my goal of reading 50 books this year.



I was supposed to post this before Christmas but never got around to it. Most Norwegians, and other Scandinavians, has grown up with this folklore.

The Norwegian Fjosnisse lives on farms and looks after the animals as well as the farmer, the farmer's family and the house, he usually does this at night so that nobody sees him. He is very small, no bigger than a horse's head and by turning his red hat inside out so the grey insides is facing out, he can make himself invisible.

The Fjosnisse is easy to offend and if you do offend him, maybe by not leaving porridge out for him at Christmas, he might retaliate by doing little pranks like tying the cows tails together or something worse like kill them! So it's important to make sure you don't do anything to offend him.

Some ways of offending the Fjosnisse can be; swearing, treating the animals bad and changing the way things are done on the farm (the Fjosnisse is a traditionalist).

The Fjosnisse is not the one that brings gifts at Christmas, that's the Julenisse (Santa). Although there might be a present or two from the Fjosnisse as well, probably the years when he feels particularly happy and appreciated.

We have some years, even though we don't live on a farm any more, left porridge out for the Fjosnisse. You know, there are so many farms that has been shut down that a lot of the Fjosnisser doesn't have a place to live now but they still deserve a Christmas treat.

This is what I've grown up with to know as the Fjosnisse, apparently there are a few different versions of him out there as well. But the main thing in all of them is that he lives on farms and you'd better not piss him off.

Thursday, 27 December 2012

My Christmas

I hope you've all had a wonderful Christmas! I know I did!

It was really nice to go back home and see my family as well as my best friend, I will have to try and get up there and see them more often while I'm still in Norway.

In Norway, as I might have written before, we celebrate Christmas on Christmas Eve. When we get up in the morning Santa's been to fill up the stockings with sweets and put one present for each under the tree (My family usually puts the rest of the presents under later in the day).

After we've had a nice Christmas breakfast, and as long as we're not working (downside of not celebrating on the 25th I guess), we read Christmas comics and watch some TV. The Norwegian Brodcasting Corporation (NRK) every year show some Disney favourites as well as two films that I have been watching pretty much my whole life. I think I will have to get them on DVD as I missed watching them when I lived in England and Australia. I also want to get them on DVD so that when I have kids they can grow up watching it as well, no matter which country I live in.

One of the films is a Czech version of Cinderella. Cinderella gets 3 hazelnuts and in each of the hazelnuts there is an outfit; a hunting outfit, a ball gown and a wedding dress. Even though it's a rubbish film by today's standards and it's dubbed with only one man doing all the voices I just love it! I guess it's because I've been watching it probably since the year I was born. The film itself is from 1973.

The second film that's traditional to watch is "Reisen til julestjernen" (Journey to the Christmas Star). This is a Norwegian film from 1976. It's about a little princess who wants the real Christmas star on the top of the Christmas tree (we have stars not angels on our trees). Her evil uncle tells her to go out and look for it in the middle of the night and so she disappears, so does the queen, and so the king curses the Christmas star so that it disappears too! Years later some travellers come to the city and with them is a young girl, Sonja, she tells the king she will find the Christmas star again and when it appears the princess and queen will come back as well. Sonja gets some help from Santa, The evil uncle finds out that Sonja is the missing princess and tries to stop her. But all ends well in the end.

They have also made a new version of this film earlier this year, I'm not sure I want to see it, they've removed the song everyone loves in the original apparently, but then again I guess it's hard to be impartial... I at least hope that if they decide to start showing that one on TV Christmas Eve that they also keep showing the original.

Anyway, I'm getting sidetracked.

At 5pm the church bells rings Christmas in and a lot of people goes to church, we on the other hand have our dinner at 5pm. At Christmas we dress for dinner. I almost got a bit stressed this year as I was making my own dinner. In Norway Christmas dinner is often lamb or pork ribs, or both as my family has, I've never really liked either so even before I became vegetarian I usually had rice porridge for dinner. This year I made potato and leek soup, very simple but quite filling because of the potatoes. The reason I got a little stressed is because I was getting ready while cooking dinner, so I had to run into the kitchen a few times as I was getting ready to make sure I got everything I needed into the soup. I wasn't just getting dressed, I was also doing my hair, which I didn't decide to until one hour before dinner was supposed to be done.

My grandparents on my mum's side both had dinner with us this year. They get along really well with each other even though they're divorced. My sister was also celebrating at our mum's instead of our dad's this year. It was really nice to be able to spend time with everyone.

After dinner we stayed at the dinner table for a while, everyone was too full to move! That's the problem with Christmas, to much tasty food, it's hard to stop eating! When we were able to move we just moved over to the sofa while some put the dished in the dishwasher. We had a really simple dessert, after all that food I don't think it's possible to have a heavy dessert as well! It's difficult to say what we had because it's all very Norwegian, although one of the things was home-made rice pudding with strawberry sauce.

After dessert we often play boardgames, like Trivial Pursuit,  but this year because there was so many of us (in my family 6 is many) we would have had to move to do that, which nobody wanted, so instead we had a little quiz (my mum, sister and I played a board game Christmas Day instead). I read the questions and whoever answered first got a point. It was really fun, even though I was the one reading the questions I didn't know who was winning because my sister was the one writing the score down. My mum's partner won with 17 points.

We stopped the quiz at 8pm to start opening presents. It kind of varies when we open the presents depending on how old the kids are and how many presents there are but as far as I can remember it's usually always after 8pm.

I have found out that every family opens their presents differently. In some families everyone opens their present at the same time, while others might make the brother open all his presents before the sister opens all hers and the the mother and so on. I my family one person gets the presents from under the tree, usually my sister as she's the youngest, she reads the label; who it's to and from, and then gives it to that person to open while everybody watches. My sister of course gets the most as she's still fairly young, and it's really nice to see her open her present as she's so excited!

The way we open our presents of course means that it takes a while to finish all of them, which means I was really tired by the time we finished. I usually go to bed at 9pm! It was nice though, I love watching people's faces as they open their presents, not just the ones from me but other ones as well. Some people stop giving presents to their siblings or parents as they get older, they focus on the kids, nieces, nephews, grand-kids, etc instead, which is understandable, it can get quite expensive if you have a big family, but I hope I will always give to my parents and my sister, even if it's just something small, it doesn't have to be expensive, just to see the look on someone's face when they get a present they like. You can't put a price on that.

When we did finally finish with all the presents we all just sat and chatted for a bit, or played/looked at our presents before my grandparents left and the rest of us one by one went to bed.

How did you celebrate your Christmas? Do you have any special Christmas traditions?

Friday, 21 December 2012

Happy holidays!

I am travelling home to Vestnes in the morning, it will be really nice to see everyone again, I've not been up there since June, I'm looking forward to celebrating Christmas with my mum again, and to not celebrate it in the summer, that just felt wrong last year... At least I feel a tiny bit more Christmassy this year with all the snow and cold. 

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday! Spend it with the people you love and don't forget to eat so much tasty food you won't be able to get up from the table!


Thursday, 13 December 2012

I want to leave now!

I had a meeting with the store manager last week. One of the questions he asked me was one of the worst questions I know: What are your plans for the future? Anyway, I told him that I'm planning to move back to the UK eventually.

The manager was really supportive about it. He said he didn't want me to leave but that if I decided to leave earlier than planned then I shouldn't worry about my contract or anything. I mean I still have one month's notice but I don't have to stay until I've worked for them 1 year. So of course since he was so supportive I want to go right now!

There are things to think about though. I have friends that I can stay with but I wouldn't feel comfortable staying with them without paying rent, which I of course would do, but if I don't get a job straight away I'd be spending a big chunk of my America money on rent, and I don't want to do that.

I am considering going over as an au pair again.. Just to get started. Find a family that only need someone for a few months and spend those months finding my own place and a job to start when I finish au pairing.

I might know where I want to move in England. It's a place I've never been, but it depends how things go with a certain someone, and I won't find that out until at least March, maybe later...

I don't know, I'll have to do some more planning. But at least I'm closer to my goal and I don't have to feel bad if I decide to go in a month or so.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

The aliens are coming!!

What's that green light outside my window?
Oh right, it's just my Christmas lights!

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

By the time you read this

By the time you read this
By: Lola Jaye

Outer back cover: This is a manual for my daughter Lois. Here are the rules:
1. You must only read each new entry on your birthday, there is one for every year until you are thirty.
2. This is a private manual between you and me.
3. No peeping at the next entry unless it's your birthday!
When Lois Bates is handed the manual, she can barely bring herself to read it as the pain of losing her dad is still so raw. Yet soon his advice is guiding her through every stage of her life - from first love and relationships to her career.
The manual can never be a substitute for having her dad back, but through his words Lois learns to start living again, and discovers that happiness is waiting round the corner...

I found this on sale in a library for 50p and I liked the title and cover. I quite enjoyed it, I wasn't sure what to expect from the title except a dead person, but as soon as I started reading I liked it.

A 12 year old girl, Lois, gets a book her dad wrote to her on his death bed 7 years earlier. The book has letters from him that she is supposed to read until she's 30. I really like the letters and advice her dad gave Lois in the book, it was the kind of advice all girls should get as they're growing up.

I liked Lois most of the time, when she she wasn't too stubborn and reminded me of myself, but my favourite character was Corey, I liked how he always knew what he wanted, right from the start.

I'm not sure whether I will keep this book or if will eventually be a bookCrossing one.

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Tell it to the Bees

Tell it to the Bees
By: Fiona Shaw

Outer back cover: Lydia Weekes is distraught at the break-up of her marriage. When her young son Charlie makes friends with the town's doctor, Jean Markham, her life is turned upside down.
Charlie tells his secrets to no one but the bees, but even he can't keep his mother's friendship to himself. The locals don't like things done differently. As Lydia and the doctor become closer, the rumours start to fly and threaten to shatter Charlie's world.

I actually only picked this book up because it had "Bees" in the title so that I could use it for the What's in a name challenge.

The book was very slow in the start, and through the whole book I kept mixing up Jean and Lydia so I often had to re-read things once I realized it was the other person than what I thought.

The book was okay. Once I got about halfway it started to get interesting, I wanted to find out what happened to Jean, Lydia and Charlie and how they dealt with the outside world. I found it quite realistic they way they had to "hide".

The most exciting parts of the book was the ones with Charlie's dad, Robert, especially towards the end of the book, he was a little bit scary and I never really knew what was going to happen when I read about him.

My favourite character in the book was Annie, I felt really sorry for her and would have loved to know what happened to her.

What the !!?

I was going to post some pictures for you, but apparently I have used up my storage and now have to pay if I want to post any more pictures! I tried deleting some but it still says that I'm using 100% of my storage... Anyone else having this problem? Anyone paying to post pictures on their blog?

It's only $2.49 a month and that way I get 25GB, but still, it just seems a bit silly...

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Sense of humour?

Even before I worked for them I have always enjoyed XXL's ads on TV.

Not this Thursday but last Thursday, the store that I work for came out with a new ad. It was only shown after 9pm and not near any family films or programmes on TV. One week later it has been taken completely off TV just because some people complained about it and found it offensive.

I can understand how people don't think it's suitable for children, even though it's all set in daylight the zombies does look quite frightening. That's why it was only on in the late evening, but I don't understand why it had to be taken off TV completely!

I love the comment one of my friends came with: "Chris is very offended. Zombies are people too."

What do you think? Do you think it was right to take it completely off TV, or was it okay to show it after 9pm?

Here are the older ads if you're interested.

Some old teacher (as in now retired) actually wrote a letter to us about the following ad , saying he wanted it off TV because it encouraged bad behaviour and hooliganism in young people. Where are people's sense of humour?

Monday, 26 November 2012

What makes me smile:

A message from a friend. 
- Be it letter, a post on Facebook, an e-mail or sms. A cheerful message from a friend will always make me smile.

The few songs I have on my phone.
- I don't have much music on my phone, and it hasn't been changed in ages, but most of the music there makes me smile. Everyone else think my taste in music is weird, but they usually smile, dance and sing along to the music. It's what I like to call good mood music.
- I hate the question: what bands are you into? Or: what kind of music do you like? I like anything that puts a smile on my face. It might change from time to time, but as long as it makes me smile I like it.

A picture. 
- It can be a picture of anything almost. A picture of a friend will make me think of happy memories or just how much I like my friend. Funny pictures might make me laugh. Pretty pictures make me smile.

Funny quotes.
- The first time I read the following quote was before work one day and it cheered me up for the whole day:

Laughing babies.
- It's one of the best sounds in the world, how can anyone not smile at that. And their smiles as well of course.

Seeing a friend.
- They are friends for a reason...

Seeing a good-looking person.
- Don't necessarily mean a man that I fancy, but anyone that looks good. It can of course be a man that I fancy, or just a man that I think looks good. Or it can be a woman that looks good and I'm just happy for them because they've obviously found some clothes that enhances their beauty.

The sound of the wind through the trees.
 - I just love sitting inside when it's really windy outside and I can hear the wind through the threes and around the corner of the house. It's one of the things I miss now that I live in Oslo; people here hardly know what wind is.

A pretty sunset or sunrise.
- I just love the beautiful colours. My favourite sunrise so far was at Yulara, looking over at Uluru on ANZAC day. (here)

The kindness of strangers.
- Just a smile from one, or a compliment. Seeing someone help someone thy don't know. Seeing someone pick up something someone's lost and give it back...

The seasons.
- The colours at autumn.
- Thick white snow at winter. The thicker the blanket the better.
- The new leaves and flowers in spring.
- The flowers and sunshine in the summer.
- Really heavy rain.

Someone giving me a compliment when I have a bad day.

A good film, or even the laughable rubbishness of a bad one.

Seeing a friend or family member happy.

A good book.

Nice decorations.

The kindness of friends and family.

A nice blog post.

The smell of clean clothes that's hung outside to dry on a warm summer day.

Seeing wild animals in the wild.

Going somewhere new, meeting new people and learning about other cultures.

The English language.

Old buildings and ruins
- York! And most other places in England
- Rome!

Thinking about and seeing the reaction of a friend when I hope I've found a suitable gift for them.

Tasty food.

A kind and good-looking man.


A man in uniform or suit.

There are many more things that makes me smile, and sometimes new things can be added every day which makes the list endless!

What are some of the things that make you smile? Leave a comment or make your own post and leave a link below.

Share the happiness!

Sunday, 25 November 2012

One person is all it takes...

Yesterday I wrote about how one person can make you feel negative (here). But it works the other way as well.

It only takes one person to make you smile. To get you in a good mood. Luckily there are more people that can make me in a good mood than in a bad mood. Unfortunately the bad mood often lasts longer.

Sometimes one person at work can make me smile as soon as I see them, it might last for a few minutes, or it might last for a whole day. It helps when I have someone at work that I really don't like to have someone that makes me smile as well. Evens it out a bit. There are some people at work I try to stay close to. They have a positive effect on me. I only need one of them at a time, but when it comes to positivity the more is merrier.

It's not just at work though. Have you noticed that sometimes when you're in a bad mood a smile from a stranger, or maybe even a compliment from someone you don't know, can brighten up your day? This is why I always try to smile when I catch a stranger's eye on the street; maybe it will brighten their day. I also try to compliment random people I see sometimes, without it seeming creepy of course, and only if I really mean what I say. If someone has a really nice handbag then I will tell them, If their hair look really nice I will tell them.

A message from one person that I haven't seen in a while makes me smile for ages. A picture of a friend makes me think of the happy memories.

When you don't like one person it's usually very specific  it's THAT person, and possibly anyone that reminds you of him/her. But when it comes to someone making you happy it can be anyone! All they need to do is smile at you, or say something nice. There is a lot more positivity in the world than negativity if you think about it, but with most people the negativity sticks with you a lot longer.

A lot of people or things can get you in a good mood and make you smile, but you only need one at a time. One person is all it takes to get you in a good mood, sometimes that person only make you happy occasionally, sometimes they make you happy no matter what.

If you find the person that can make you happy no matter what, make sure you don't lose that person!

Spread the happiness, you never know who you might cheer up with it.

Saturday, 24 November 2012

One person.

That's all it takes.

One person that I really don't like at work that makes me dislike work so much I really don't want to go anymore. And he's on my team so I can't "escape" from him. He's making me want to hand in my resignation. Only reason I don't is because I feel bad about doing that so short after getting a full-time position. I try to avoid him if possible though, but without being to obvious about it. He doesn't like me either, any time I try to tell him how to do something, because he didn't listen the first 10 times, he gets mad at me and tells me I'm singling him out! Only because you're not able to do your job properly dude.

I don't want to say I hate him. It's a strong word, but I really cannot stand him!

I used to kind of look forward to go to work before. Now I want to leave. Just because of one person. I'm glad he only works until 11am. At least I don't have to deal with him ALL day.

This is one of the reasons I've never really wanted a leader position. I just thought it would be good experience and a good thing to put on my CV.  But I take things too personally. I get in a bad mood if things aren't done exactly the way I want it to (possibly minor OCD). I'm one of those leaders that I hate.

I try to improve.

I want to go to the manager and see if something can be done, but I'm worried that the only reason I don't think he's doing a good job is because I just don't like him, and I would feel bad about getting someone sacked or anything just because of personal feelings.

So I try to "suck it up".

It's strange though... That ONE person has so much power over my negative feelings. Of course it goes the other way as well, but that's a post for another day.

Is there one person that you really can't stand but can't avoid  That make you in a bad mood as soon as you see them?

Saturday, 17 November 2012

The Bell Inn

While I was in Thetford I stayed at the Bell Inn.

It's a really old building, but the bathrooms are modern and the rooms are a good mix of modern and old. Although the staircase, doors and hallways are really narrow and crooked, which was annoying with my suitcase, it was also kind of charming.

There was a perfect size TV in my room as well as hot chocolate instead of just tea or coffee. And both the room and bathroom was quite big.

The pressure and heat in the shower was great.

Its location is really good.

The staff was really friendly.

There was free WiFi but it was really bad.

The food was really nice in the pub downstairs. In the restaurant downstairs where I got my complimentary breakfast the food was really nice as well. As well as the continental breakfast with fresh fruit and croissants (even chocolate ones!) I got warm breakfast included, and there was a big selection, from full English to just an omelette, which is what I had both mornings. I would have been disappointed if I didn't get any breakfast included though as it's not the cheapest hotel in the world.

The hotel is apparently haunted, which is kind of exciting, but also a bit scary; I used to watch a lot of horror movies when I was younger... I wish I had had someone to snuggle up with in bed while I was there just to feel a bit "safer".

Thetford 08.11.12

I have been lucky with the weather while I've been in Thetford so it's been nice to just stroll around.

I headed to the Priory of the Canons of the Holy Sepulchre, another ruin, much smaller than Thetford Priory and not quite as peaceful as it was closer to houses and one of the main roads.

After a little walk I found an old town sign which had a picture of a Viking king on one side and Thomas Paine on the other.

I also headed back to Thetford Priory, this time there wasn't a single person there at the same time as me.

There is a Gatehouse belonging to the Priory, but it stands on private property. You used to be able to walk to it, but the path was closed while I was there. I did however find a place where I could see it over a fence. It looked like there was some work going on on the Gatehouse, maybe that's why the path to it was closed?

Friday, 16 November 2012

Thetford 07.11.12

Before I went on holiday I printed out a couple of maps of things to see in Thetford. One of the maps was a map of haunted places, which was slightly scary, and exciting, as one of the places on the map was my hotel!

One of the first places I checked out today was Thetford Priory. Thetford apparently used to be the religious centre of England back in the day, and Thetford was the 6th largest city in England, which is funny considering how small it is today. The ruins of the Priory were really beautiful! It would have been amazing to see it while it was still standing. I could just walk around there for ages. It was really peaceful. There was hardly any people there, just a few people walking their dogs.

After the ruins I went to Ancient house, it's a really old house serving as a small museum. It was free and really interesting. 

Thetford is such a cute little village. There are so many old buildings here and so much history. It's a relaxing place and so many pretty things to take pictures of.

There is a man made mound that I thought would make a great lookout. I got about halfway up before I gave up. It was really steep and muddy and I did not want to risk falling down with my dad's DSLR. It was even worse trying to get back down, I'm glad I didn't go up to the top.

Another thing I found out as I was checking out the Thetford website is that it was used as the exterior scenes in the TV-series Dad's Army. Not that I have ever watched it. I had heard of it but I didn't really care. But for those of you that do: there is a Dad's Army museum in Thetford as well as a statue.

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Just in Case

Just in Case
By: Meg Rosoff

Outer back cover: The day David Chase saves his brother's life, his whole world changes. Suddenly every moment is fizzing with what ifs, and it's up to David to outwit fate. Or try to.
He changes his name and the way he looks. He leaves home and finds himself caught up in a series of strange and extraordinary misadventures. He even falls in love. 
But is David really in control of his life? And if he isn't - who is?

Interesting book, it's quite well written and points out the dangers of focusing on the what ifs, even if it is pushed to extremes.

It's a kind of depressing book because of the mood of the main character. I didn't really like David but he was interesting.... I did like his brother Charlie though. The insight Rosoff gave the toddler was quite cool and funny.

Chesterfield Hotel

I could have stayed with friends in Chesterfield, but since I figured I would be staying out late some night I didn't want to have to wake up anyone or anything to come and go.

While I was in Chesterfield in stayed at the Chesterfield Hotel.

The hotel was nice and central, a big reason for booking it.

The hotel is quite old, which can be charming but not really in this case. The lift was really small and there were two doors to it, one which didn't open automatically, annoying when you have a big suitcase to try and squeeze in.

The room was okay, the bathroom was quite big, there was even a bathtub.

The staff was friendly. They locked the front doors at night, which of course is good security wise. I came back at around 3am one night and the doors were locked. I could ring a doorbell or a phone number to get them to let me in. I'm glad there was a doorbell as my phone was flat.

For breakfast they had the usual cereals and toast as well as fresh fruit and croissants. I could get eggs and stuff as well, but I had to pay extra for that so I didn't bother.

The sound really carried in the hotel. There was a concert or something, maybe just loud music being played one night, and even though my room was on the second floor it sounded like the music was coming from the room next door! It's a bit annoying, I realize they have events and stuff at the hotel but they should really soundproof the rooms better as people do still want to sleep when they are in a hotel.

Chesterfield 02-05.11.12


I took the train from Holyhead to Chesterfield, well, trains. The scenery from the trains were amazing. I didn't realize how many ruins there were on top of hilltops, especially while we were still in Wales... I wonder what they were used for? Maybe like the Great Wall of China they used them to alert each other of danger? On the last train, from Stockport to Chesterfield the train was PACKED! Standing room only. I was standing to a nice girl who had also been to Australia though so we passed the time chatting together about what we'd seen and where we'd been. It's really cumbersome to have a giant suitcase when you travel by train by the way, it's just in the way most of the time.

After I dropped my things at the hotel I went to the pub I used to work in, Yates's and said hi to some of my old co-workers.

I met up with my friend Nicky at the Abacus for dinner. It was lovely to see Nicky again, it was like I had never even left, we just picked up right where we had left off. We talked about her plans to move to Turkey; just like I feel more at home in the UK than Norway she feels more at home in Turkey than in the UK. At least she feels at home in a warm sunny country, unlike me who wants to go to a country that's just a couple of degrees warmer than Norway. I hope she gets to move to Turkey asap without having to work herself to death. At least I've got an excuse to go on nice sunny holidays when she moves there, and she'll be able to show me all the non-touristy things!

It was good that seeing Nicky again was great because the food was terrible! Seriously, neither of us finished even though we didn't have much on our plates. We left the Abacus and went back to Yates's where we shared a bowl of chips and cheese while having a few drinks with my old co-workers.


It's kind of nice to  be in a place that I used to live: I've seen everything and I can actually relax instead of run around and see as much as possible. Hence the lack of pictures. I had a relaxing morning before Nicky and I went to Meadowhall (aka Meadowhell) today for some shopping and dinner before I met some friends for drinks back in Chesterfield.


A nice relaxing day again before heading to Nicky's for some Chinese take-away. Followed by drinks with some of the people that couldn't come out last night. I think my liver will be happy when I leave... But it's nice to feel like I actually have a life again!


I had a great dinner with the family I used to au pair for here tonight. It was great seeing the girls again, they've grown so much!  Although the girls have grown, it still feels like I never even left! Their new au pair seems really nice, she's also studying child psychology, so I guess the job is helping her with her studies as well.

November 5th is Bonfire night in the UK so we heard fireworks being sent up everywhere we set off a Chinese lantern. I've never done it before, it looks really beautiful, they even gave me one to take home, maybe I'll sett it off on New Years Eve if it's not too windy.

I had a great time catching up with friends in Chesterfield. I wish I was still living there, I actually manage to have a life there, I have friends to go out with, to talk to. I need to get back to the UK!

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

One Hundred Names

One Hundred Names
By: Cecelia Ahern

Outer back cover: One hundred names... one hundred people. Kitty Logan inherits just a single list with the promise that it's a story she has to tell...

Magical, just like all off Ahern's books. She has an ability to make you see the best in other people as well as yourself, which is one of the reasons I love her books.

One hundred names was really exciting, it was difficult to put it down. There was no way of ending how it was going to end. The book is a lot less "fantasy" than some of Ahern's other books, it's more realistic.

Kitty has to make a story, she inherits a list with 100 names but with no explanation as to what the link between the people on the list is or a theme or anything at all. And she only has 2 weeks! In addition to that her job is hanging by a thread and her door is being smeared with excrement and her best friend has turned against her...

Uttered by the dying Constance (who Kitty inherits the list from) on page 10: "Seeking the truth - is not necessarily to go on a mission all guns blazing in order to reveal a lie. Neither is it to be particularly groundbreaking. It is simply to get to the heart of what is real."

Witchingham B&B

My one night in Holyhead I stayed at Witchingham B&B.

The B&B was close to everything, although Holyhead is so small it would be hard not to be.

I was positively surprised when I stepped into the room, which was even on the ground floor so I didn't have to carry my suitcase. The room was beautiful, just the kind of room I want to stay in when I'm travelling, actually just the kind of room I would love to have at home!

The en suite bathroom was really small though, and the door got stuck so I couldn't open it properly, good thing I'm not big. The shower pressure was really low so it took a while to rinse my hair properly, but at least the water was hot.

The bed was really comfortable, there was 2 beds, but I guess that's better for them than having a room only one person can sleep in at all times.

The TV was very small for the room, and tucked away behind the wardrobe, but I wasn't there to watch TV anyway. There was free WiFi which was nice.

the breakfast was self service, they had cereals and toast and there was a small fridge in the breakfast room where they had juice and milk and some yoghurts.

I didn't see the people running the B&B at all. They were out when I arrived and I didn't see anyone when I left either so I left the key in an envelope on the hall table.

Holyhead 01.11.12

The Dublin taxi driver that took me to Dublin Port was a proper Dublin taxi driver. The th's became d's and I only understood about half of what he was saying. But he seemed nice.

Now... The "ferry".... Ireland, UK, the ferry going between you is NOT a ferry, it's a ship! It's the size of a small cruise ship! It was nice though. Nice comfy seats, areas for kids to play, even a cinema! It's a nice ship, I'll give you that.
Last look at Dublin
First look at Holyhead
When I got to Holyhead I wandered around for a bit, it's a very small place so I'm glad I'm only spending a day here, not really much to see.

At around 2pm I went and bought some postcards as I always send postcards to some people when I go somewhere. At the store I asked if it was possible to walk to South Stack lighthouse and how long it would take. The guy in the store said it was easy to walk there and that it would take about an hour one way. He said I shouldn't go there alone since it's autumn and it get dark early and he didn't want me to walk along the country roads alone.

I wasn't going to, I went back to the B&B and was about to sit down and write the postcards, when I realized that it was only 2.15 pm! Even though it gets dark early I would be able to be back by around 4 if it only takes an hour to get there, and I'm  a fast walker. So I set out towards South Stack. I also figured that if  I noticed that it took me to long to get there to be able to get back before it got dark then I could just get someone to call a taxi for me, I knew there was a small village not far from the lighthouse.

It was a really nice walk, I think Holyhead is a good place to stay if you want a nice relaxing holiday just walking around the Welsh countryside. I am glad it wasn't dark yet though as there were no street lights, there weren't many cars passing either, but it would be very easy to get run over in the dark since there wasn't a side walk.

I walked quite fast and I managed to get to the lighthouse in an hour like the guy had said, it would have been nice if I had walked to the lighthouse earlier when I got to Holyhead as it would have been good to walk a bit slower and kind of explore a little, but it was good enough for me.

I had walked so fast though that I was exhausted and tempted to go to the visitor centre at South Stack and get the number for a taxi company to drive me back. But I ended up walking back as well as I knew I could make it before it got dark.

Close to the lighthouse there are the remains of some old mountain huts, so I had to take a picture of that as well.

I got back about ten past 4, so I had managed to walk there and back in just under two hours, including stopping to take a few pictures. So if you ever find yourself in Holyhead one day, you now know that you can see the lighthouse and everything else there is to see in Holyhead (that I know of) in just one day. 


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