Blog

Posted in Lifestyle, Personal

Why I’m A Feminist.

Why am I a feminist? I get asked that quite often, especially since February/ March time after the whole a shirt that says feminist business. So here’s a simple explanation from me as to why I call myself a feminist.

For decades women, especially women of colour have been oppressed and denied basic human rights. Rights involving their own bodies, futures and educations. And why were women denied these rights? Well, because they were women. I’ve never thought this was fair, and I was so naive for such a long time, thinking that oppression to women only exist very far away. Little did I know, it’s still extremely close to home. I’m a feminist because I believe women deserve just as much as men. If we do the same job, do the same thing, live the same life – why do the people with the boobs and vajayjays get denied privileges, rights and even a free life? It doesn’t make sense to me. I’m a feminist because I want to live in a world where individuals, despite the sex between your legs, despite which gender (if any) you identify with, I want a world where we can all live a free life, with the same rights, human rights.

Thinking back on it, I’ve faced some pretty heavy sexism and it’s only just hit me that the shirt incident wasn’t the first time I experienced someone mocking me for my beliefs or gender. I used to work in a night club and I knew that there would be some obviously sexist experience whilst working at the club but looking back on my time there, I had many sexist experiences. Before I go further, I just want to add that my experience at the club wasn’t an overall bad one, and none of my colleagues or employees were sexist. Just in case anyone got the wrong idea…
One instance, a guy wanted to be served asap despite him only just joining the extremely long queue on an extremely busy night. I didn’t serve him because I didn’t respect his attitude and his name calling to myself and my colleagues. We always were told not to serve anyone we didn’t feel comfortable serving. So that’s the advice we took. However, on my break I went outside for a drink and some fresh air. As soon as I got outside this guy was there and the harassment instantly started. Trying to ‘flirt’ with me to get me to give him free drinks and shots and so on. When I tell him to get lost, he tried to grab me. But as soon as one of the bouncers came out, his attitude completely changed. Why was it not okay to act like a completely crazy arsehole in front of a dude that could have easily squished him into a pulp? The answer: he was a dude. I told my bouncer friend what happened, and I didn’t see that guy ever again.

Another instance whilst working there, I had two female customers come to me behind the bar and tell me that they were scared. I immediately asked why and what was happening. They replied that a man was stalking them and that he followed them from one club to this one. I told them to go to the women’s toilet and lock the door of a cubical and I’d be right back. I had to find someone to let them know what the situation was, but before I could even get from behind the bar, this man walked into the female toilets. Those poor girls screamed as if they were about to be murdered. I got in the middle of him and them and told him to leave, but he just wasn’t having any of it. No respect was shown for me, for the girls, or for the fact that where he was, was specifically for those that identified as women – a place for them to have some private time. He tried to grab them and push them out, but thankfully the bouncers (my heroes) came to the rescue and chucked him the hell out of there. The poor girls left soon after and they were probably shaken up extremely badly.

Why did this guy think it was okay to violate a space that was designed for women to pee, do their makeup, have some relief, be in an environment where women are vulnerable? It seemed as if he didn’t care that it was a space for us. He wanted those girls to go with him. He wanted to be in there, thus he went in after them. Nothing mattered until another man stepped in and stopped him. Even an employee of the club telling him to get out didn’t matter, because I’m a 5’’3 female, who at the time was very blonde, and had a very soft personality. Even after threatening to cal the police, this man didn’t care. He wanted what he wanted and it took another man to get him away from the girls and myself. I don’t understand why you can respect the authority of 50% of humans but not the other 50%. I don’t understand what made me telling him to get lost different to having the bouncers telling him to get lost.

Those were the major incidents that I can think of that happened in the club. Not even going into detail about the minor names, touches and other gross thing people tried to get away with calling me and other girls behind the bar. And granted, I know not everyone will see these as being sexist incidents. I know some people might have answers. But for me, every single incident that happened got resolved by a man in the same position of power as me telling another man to piss off. I don’t want to come off and sound as if I’m saying ‘all men are pigs’ and ‘I was sexually harassed because I’m a girl’ – I’m just recalling some experiences that looking back on, are inexcusable.

Even during my time at university that’s slowly but surely coming to an end, I’ve faced a lecturer telling me that I cannot be a director because I’m a girl! Oh and don’t even think about me becoming an actress, I’m just not pretty enough for TV or film. I have the perfect face for radio. Yet everyone else, everyone else that’s a guy I mean, had high praises, had support and encouragement from this tutor. Now, if I wasn’t talented, if I hadn’t had praise in my production work, if I hadn’t had experience and proof of my talent and passion for directing and creating content – then I’d have been like ‘okay, no worries. Maybe it’s just not something for me to do’. But no. He told me quite openly and in front of a friend that I was unable to be successful in a role due to my gender. I was shocked. I couldn’t believe he could say that to me. But then I listened ever so closely to what he said about women’s work in general. I can honestly say, he did not like women who were better than him in his own field of work.

Those are just some of my experiences with sexism and trying to get the credit I deserve and the respect needed to live and carry on with my life as a woman. But there’s countless other reasons too. Women of colour are far less likely to get paid equally or to even come close to narrowing the wage gap between men and women in the US alone. Now if that’s happening in a leading country like America, then what kind of message is that giving to us in the UK? Or people over in Australia? Europe? It sends a very weak message and a very poor quality of life for many women. So I stand up and fight for equal rights. I stand up and demand that the ‘Tampon Tax’ exists no more. I demand that we get recognition for the work we do. We are all human, and I just don’t understand why in 2017 that women are still fighting a fight that started long, long ago. I am a privileged person due to being white, but I’m going to use that privilege and the platform it gives me to inform others on the hardship other women, my friends, my family, go through every single day.

I’m a feminist because everyone should have a right to an education. Man or woman. It doesn’t matter if you are a male or female, gay, straight, bisexual, pansexual, transexual etc. You deserve an education. I’m a feminist because I not only stand up for women’s rights, I stand up for human rights. I campaign for gay rights. I campaign for a fairer system in the work place, in education, in health care. I campaign for people to live happier, healthier and free lives. I’m a feminist because I stand up for fathers getting custody of their children if the mothers are unfit to care for the child. I’m a feminist because I welcome everyone openly into my life, and I will forever support human beings that deserve to be supported.

I’m a feminist because without other feminists, who knows where I’d be without them? Would I be writing this? Would I even be alive? Would I have had an eduction in Welsh? Would I even have had an education? What would my mother be like without feminists? What would my brother be like? My friends? My world? It’s such a simple movement that started off purely for women’s rights, but now as time has gone on, the movement has developed into campaigning for every person’s right to live as an equal human being. We’ve kept the name ‘feminists’ because it nods to the struggles and hardships the women who wanted equality for all went through. It marks the death, the struggle and the continued fight women face. It marks the taboo that even being labeled as something close to a female or a femme is frowned upon. But we’re not just fighting for ourselves. We’re not just fighting for our sisters, our sisters that are of colour, our sisters that were brought into the world in the wrong body, our sisters who are disabled, our sisters that are smart, poor, adventurous. Our future children and their sisters. We’re fighting for the humans. We’re fighting for love and peace. We just want equality. We just want respect. We just want to live a free life that no man or woman can control. So that’s why I’m a feminist. Because I want equality and respect for everyone despite their gender, their sexuality, their education history, their past, their strengths and weaknesses. Everyone is a human being, it doesn’t make sense to try to control one half of the population with oppression and bizarre rules that allow men to do one thing and women another.

I get ridiculed for not accepting apologies from Carl who took my photo without permission, who tried to tear me down. I had death threats because I voiced my opinion on MY situation. I had rape threats because I didn’t take the shit-storm sitting down. I’m a feminist because I get belittled for being a woman that supports other women, and men, and everyone in between. Does that make sense? No. It doesn’t. But that’s the way life is right now.

I appreciate that not all of you will be feminists, and you’ve got your own reasons and ideas and beliefs to support. And I’m so thankful that we can voice our opinions and express our beliefs in a safe environment without being ridiculed or judged by others. Thank you for letting me express my opinions and my beliefs. If anyone has anything horrid or belittling to say to me or anyone that comments, just know your comment will be deleted and I’ll know you’re a bit of a dick for trying to make others feel bad for sharing their beliefs with others.

I know this isn’t a usual post for me, but I’m really happy I finally had the chance to share this! It’s been playing on my mind for such a long time it’s been driving me crazy. Go forth and have an awfully big adventure and stand up for your rights, for me!

blackbird-3

Posted in Lifestyle, Personal

50 Good Deeds Anyone Can Do.

I know it’s been a while, and I’m very sorry it’s taken me this long to get back into the swing of things. I’ve had a lot to process and deal with, as you can probably tell. And i’m very thankful for your continued support and love throughout it all. So with the love and kindness that you guys have shown me over the past few months, I’ve made a list of 50 Good Deeds anyone can do to make someone else’s day and help them when they’re down.

1. Smile at someone. 

2. Hold the door open for someone. 

3. If someone drops something, pick it up for them.

4. Compliment someone.

5. Make tea or coffee for a friend or a family member. 

6. Donate to a charity/Church/Temple/Mosque etc.

7. Take time to talk to an older person.

8. Do the washing up.

9. Make dinner.

10. Buy your mother or grandmother flowers – just because. 

11. Donate clothes you don’t wear anymore to a homeless charity. 

12. Give someone you love a hug

13. Text a friend or family member randomly to say you love them

14. Recycle.

15. If you see rubbish on the floor, pick it up. 

16. Spend time with a friend or a family member when they’re feeling down and blue. 

17. Support local events. 

18. Make double of something and give it to someone who needs it. 

19. Pay someone you love but haven’t seen in a while a visit – brighten their day! 

20. Validate someone.

21. Stand up for someone if you see they’re getting a rough time from others. 

22. Forgive someone.

23. Write a letter or a thank you letter. 

24. Give someone an unexpected gift (big or small).

25. Do chores without being asked to. 

26. Donate old books to a school or a hospital that needs them. 

27. Volunteer your time in a place that needs you. E.g a local charity, a local event and so on. 

28. Ring your grandparents / family members that can’t get around as much anymore. 

29. Pay for someone’s meal/ drink beforehand. 

30. Give up your time to talk to people you meet at random, you never know who needs a chat.

31. Take shorter showers and save water. 

32. Remember your manners! Say please and thank you to those helping you. It makes a difference, trust me. 

33. Write a lovely message to a stranger. 

34. Let someone with less shopping than you jump in front of you in the queue. 

35. Let a shop or company know how great their employee(s) work and what they did to make your shopping experience top-notch. 

36. Give your pet or an animal you see on the go some extra love and a wonderful belly rub!

37. Turn off all electricity when leaving the house (if you can). 

38. Make someone a handmade gift.

39. Buy some colouring books and come crayons and give them to a young family on your street. 

40. Keep some fresh water outside for animals, especially in warmer weather. 

41. Listen to someone who needs a shoulder to cry on

42. Make someone else laugh if they’re having a bad day. 

43. Be especially kind to someone you don’t normally get along with.

44. If someone’s short of change, make up the difference with some of your loose change. 

45. Buy a homeless person a warm drink and / or a meal. 

46. Donate to an animal shelter.

47. Help the people you live with by doing simple things like emptying the dish washer. 

48. Take canned goods to a Food Bank. 

49. Help a non-profit organisation that helps a cause you’re passionate about, in any way you can. 

50. Remind anyone suffering that they aren’t alone, and that things will get better. Just be kind.

Once again, I just wanted to say thank you to everyone that’s been supporting me recently. I know I suck at updating my blog, but I think I’ll be getting better. At least soon anyway. I hope these ideas for good deeds inspire you to spread some love and positivity around your local community. You never know who might need a little bit of kindness in their day, and a great place to start giving that kindness to them is by you making that small gesture. As always, have an awfully big adventure for me whilst you’re doing your good deeds and spreading the love!

blackbird-3

Posted in Lifestyle, Personal

7 Easy Vegetarian and Pescatarian meal ideas.

Thank you so much for your patience during this crappy time in my life. It’s been a horrible few days and the funeral is next week, so I don’t think I’ll be up to posting too much over the next few weeks. But I’ll do my best. However, the point of this post isn’t to be sad and down about my Grandfather’s passing. It’s to show you guys 7 quick and easy vegetarian / pescatarian meal ideas that will also relieve your bank account of any unnecessary stress. I’m not a cook nor am I chef so I can’t give advice or instructions to you guys on how to make these recipes, I’m just here to give you ideas and rough guidelines on how to make them. It’s so easy being green, and here’s how you can eat healthily on a budget!

1) Scrambled egg with smashed avocado on toast. 

IMG_0658.JPG

So this one is super-duper easy to make and you can literally make it in under 15 minutes. All you need for this delicious meal is: eggs, milk, bread and avocado. You can also add some cheese and chopped onions to the mix to create an even tastier meal! I feel patronising if I tell you how to make scrambled eggs and how to smash an avocado, so I won’t do that. I trust that you guys know how to make scrambled eggs, but if not, fear not, it’s super easy and you can find tutorials on it on YouTube!

2) Tomato and mozzarella tart. 

Tomato-and-mozzarella-puff-pastry-tart.jpg

This is one of the easiest meals I’ve ever made, and it’s beyond delicious! It’s like a healthier, more delicate version of a pizza. To bake this incredible dish you need: 1 puff pastry ready rolled sheet (this can be found in any and all supermarkets), 2-3 tomatoes to slice, mozzarella cheese, basil leaves, beaten eggs (to place the pastry with) and finally tomato puree. You can make it your own by adding other toppings or changing the idea completely! Don’t be afraid to experiment with flavours and textures in this delicious dish.

3) Rotini with pesto, chickpeas and creamy spinach. 

1109p182-rotini-white-beans-escarole-m.jpg

This light pasta dish doesn’t sacrifice flavour. With earthy beans, gorgeous greens, and sharp Parmesan cheese (or any cheese of your choice) you’ll have a 100% yummy meal and your wallet/ purse won’t feel a thing! Again, I don’t want to sound patronising by telling you how to cook pasta or anything that is quite basic. There are so many fun ways to create this dish, and many recipes are out there if you want exact guidelines on how to make this beautiful meal.

4) Salmon fillet with mash containing garden peas, cheese and chopped onions and tartar sauce. 

recipe-image-legacy-id--16894_12.jpg

I recently had this meal and I can’t tell you enough how delicious it was! We fried the salmon and whilst that was cooking, we mixed some garden peas in with our pre-made mash (you can of course make your own mash, we just had some pre-made in the fridge) and cooked that for a few minutes. Once the mash was done, we added the cheese and chopped onions to give it that added flavour. By the time that was all complete, the fish was finished so we plated up, added a nice drop of tartar sauce and we ended up with a beautiful meal that hardly cost us anything!

5) Halloumi mixed grill. 

Halloumi-mixed-grill.jpg

This can mean anything you want it to mean! I personally love adding grilled Halloumi with sliced avocado, toasted sourdough, grilled mushrooms and juicy tomatoes and sometimes even mediterranean vegetables to give it that added flavour. You can copy this simple and delicious idea in any which way you like!

6) Sweet potato burritos. 

sweet potato burrito 1.jpg

Don’t worry! It’s not as boring as it sounds. Instead of adding meat to your burritos, replace that with everyone’s favourite – sweet potato slices! This gives it a brand new twist to the burrito. Add black or white beans, guacamole or just chopped up avocados, and some tomatoes / salsa topped off with some cheese! To add extra spice or flavour feel free to pop some herbs or spices into the mix. You can also make this meal vegan by obviously reducing any ingredients that contain animal produce. How simple and beautiful is that?!

7) Spicy Thai peanut sauce over roasted sweet potatoes with rice. 

roasted-sweet-potatoes-with-spicy-thai-peanut-sauce-recipe1.jpg

Again, this recipe is completely accessible and affordable for everyone! It’s super delicious and gives you a little something different to eat during the week. I adore meals like this, because you don’t need much to make it (ingredient and money), and it takes hardly any time at all to make as well! What more could you want? You are most definitely welcome to experiment and try this idea with other vegetables and sauces. You won’t be disappointed by this spicy treat!

So there we have it! We’ve got 7 beautiful dishes you can indulge yourself in throughout the week without making a huge dent in your wallet or purse! Let me know if you’ve tried any of these before and if you plan on having a crack on any of the ideas above. Also, feel free to share any other meal ideas that you can make quickly and cheaply. I’m forever grateful to you guys for being supportive and beautiful human beings to me, let’s go on an awfully big adventure together and get through crappy times together, because Lost Kids stick together, always.

blackbird-3

Posted in Personal

My Grandpa.

Over the weekend just gone, on Saturday the 25th of March, 2017, just after 1:30pm – my beloved Grandfather passed away. He was a friend, a teacher, a mentor, a guide and most of all, he was my protector. I love him beyond words can describe and my life feels empty and strange without him. I hope this explains why my posts have been scarce over the last few days.

In honour of my Bampa, I rewrote a poem my dad and myself wrote for him when I was about 8/9 years old. This is for him. This will always be for him.

Bampa

Grumpy and old he sits in his chair, 
round in shape without any hair. 

Out in the garage building boats, 
Whilst I’m sat there taking notes. 

With cider in hand disguised as juice, 
he tickles me until I call ‘Truce!’ 
‘Just you wait ‘till I get loose!’ 

As time went by, so did we.
All those years filled with glee. 

Welcome to your teenage years,
I’ll be here to rid you of tears.

Knowledge, wisdom and understanding,
are just a few things that you taught in passing. 

I’ll remember all that you taught, 
but mostly all those memories you bought. 

I wish there was something I could do, 
to let you know one last time, that I love you. 

Grumpy and old he sat in his chair. 
Life without you is beyond unfair. 

I won’t be posting as much as I normally do over the next couple of weeks. It’s so hard just to wake up and know he’s not here anymore. I hope you understand. If you’ve still got your grandparents around, please pick up the phone and call them. Ask them how they are, tell them you love them. Hang out with them. Cherish them. Love them.

img_2662
Bampa 1931-2017.
Posted in Lifestyle, Mental health, Personal

Any Happy Little Thoughts?

Welcome back to my piece of Neverland, Lost Kids. Recently a few friends of mine have told me how incredibly down and off they’re feeling these days. That truly breaks my heart. To see the people you love around you suffering and you can’t really do much to help them absolutely sucks. I wish I could take their pain away and give them the chance to see what a bright future lays ahead of all of us. This month is especially hard for me seeing as I lost five friends over the period of March in 2015. One of them sadly took his own life. So not only does this give me the strength to stand up and help others in a disheartening situation, it gives me the motivation to go out and talk about mental health and encourage more people to talk openly about the problems they face every day. It’s nothing to be ashamed of, not at all. It’s something we should embrace. Be proud of. It’s not a glamorous thing to live with, it’s not a fashion statement that might change in a few months time. It’s a type of illness that will be with you for as long as you live. And you should be a proud and brave warrior to have gotten this far in life without giving up. I’m proud of you for doing that.

I just want you guys to know that no matter what negativity you may be facing right now, life gets better. No one will 100% understand what you’re going through or how you’re feeling, we all experience everything differently. But know the people who are making an effort are there for you. You are loved and you are cared for. Every period of darkness ends when light cracks through. The light in your life could be anything, your friends, family, hamsters, dogs, a book, a TV show, a band and so many other things. It’s up to you to find that source of light, and never let go of that love and passion you have for it.

If you’re feeling worthless or that life isn’t worth living, please know that death is irreversible. You can’t cover up a death with long sleeves or tattoos. When I wanted to end my own life, I heard this incredible quote from Frank Iero (of My Chemical Romance) which was ‘the world won’t be a better place without you’ – no one will be happier or better off. A cure for cancer won’t magically appear. Bullying won’t stop. World peace won’t happen. Famine, poverty and sickness won’t be things of the past. The only way that you can actually make a difference in the world is by sticking around and being you. You never know, you might be someone’s reason to live. Even if that someone is your dog. Because think about it, without you, who would they have to take care of them? It would break them if you left now.

I am completely inspired by everyone that wakes up every day and thinks ‘I can’t do this anymore’ but carries on, braves those demons for another day and lives to see another sunset and another sunrise. It’s incredible that despite those demons attacking your mind and your thoughts, creeping in at every opportunity possible, YOU are STILL HERE! What a great achievement for the day! You didn’t give up, you made it! That in my eyes, is a very successful win against any Mental Health demon trying to destroy you. You’re winning this battle, man! You got this!

Take a moment to think about all the things in life you love. Even if it’s stars, space, Doctor Who, Supernatural, reading, music, tattoos, writing, nature, animals, photography, drag queens, history – it can be anything you love and want to spend your time doing/ watching/ being in or around. Now think about all the times you felt like everything was just too much. Wouldn’t you much rather go watch the stars from your back garden with a warm cup of hot chocolate before you go to bed at night? Wouldn’t it be fantastic to stay in a cosy blanket and binge watch all of those Doctor Who episodes with your pet sat beside you? To listen to music full volume with your bedroom windows wide open singing your heart out along with your favourite band? Imagine doing the things you love the most instead of doing something destructive. When you feel so bad and awfully and that life is a pile of shit, why not go to your favourite spot in the park? Or go watch a film in the cinema. Camp outside and have your own adventure. You’ve got nothing to lose by going to a place that brings you happiness, comfort and more than anything, hope.

There’s so much more I could say, and so much more I want to say. But for now, I think the points made here are enough for today. If you have anything you’d like to talk to me about, or even if you just need a friend / stranger to rant and vent to. Never, ever hesitate to contact me. You can comment on my posts asking for my social media and I’ll gladly give it to you and we can chat there. If you need any advice for yourself or others and aren’t sure where to go, again, please feel free to message me if you feel like I’d be of help. I won’t ever let anyone stand alone in this war we have between our mental health. You’re never alone. Not even when you feel lonely. You’ve got a girl in South Wales that would be heartbroken if you felt like you had no one around to talk to, or to care for you. Even if she is a lost girl, she cares for you. This post is for anyone that needs to hear the validation of their existence in this cruel world. This is for my friends. For Chris. For anyone suffering and needs to remember that they are what makes this world beautiful and interesting and worth living for. The negativity will end, just please don’t end yourself before you see that beautiful sunshine at the end of the darkness. And for me, please, have an awfully big adventure with your life.

blackbird-3

Posted in Books, Lifestyle, Reviews

Red Queen – Book Review.

Red-Queen2-e1424185813151

For all that know me, it’ll come as no surprise that I’m here reviewing a book. Books are magical and are such a brilliant way to escape real life and become a queen, an adventurer, a supernatural expert and so on. I started reading this book towards the end of February, and honestly I enjoyed it so much, I didn’t want it to end. So I tried to prolong reading the rest of it, until it got to the point where I couldn’t hold myself back any more. And DAYUM! It was so good!

I’m not going to beat around the bush here, Red Queen is most definitely the best dystopian book I have ever read. I was hooked immediately and wanted nothing more than to spend every second of every day with Mare, Cal and Maven. If you imagined it how I did, you’d see some elements of Divergent to it, but also with a historic twist. The gowns, the dances, the royal family – it was perfect. Red Queen brought together everything I adore and tied everything in nicely. I mean, who wouldn’t want to see characters you’d find in historic tales have these incredible powers and become even more terrifying and powerful than they would have been without them?! Take me to this place, immediately!

If you’ve not read this beautiful book yet, don’t worry, I won’t be posting spoilers! So for those of you that are just sat at your computer screens wondering what on earth Red Queen is about, let me tell you. Red Queen follows a young girl, Mare Barrow on an epic and terrifying journey no one thought possible. Mare is a Red, a person of red blood, just like you and I. However, in Mare’s world, there’s a dominant blood type, and that’s Silver. If you were Silver, you had everything. You were royal, you were worshiped, but most of all, you had powers. After meeting a mysterious and intriguing young lad, Mare gets whisked off to the Castle to work for the royal family made of Silvers. However, that’s just the beginning of Mare’s world as she knows it disappearing before her eyes. During her first day at the castle, it becomes clear that Mare isn’t like the rest of the Reds. Her blood bleeds red, but she has an extra spark to her. Mare possesses the ability to control and create electricity which is unheard of among Silvers, let alone Reds. In order to keep their eyes on Mare and hide her abilities from others they decide to hide her in plain sight and parade her around as one of them. A Silver. In the middle of all the excitement and terror, there are such strong senses of love, family, betrayal, hurt, anger, freedom and hope throughout the whole book and I couldn’t put it down. Not willingly anyway.

Mare’s story took so many twists and turns and honestly, the entire thing had me shocked. I had a really lovely ending planned out in my head, and then WHAM! The real ending happens and you just sit there thinking ‘WHAT THE HELL JUST HAPPENED?!’ – the last chapter or so  made me so mad. I literally became crazier than ever reading the last few pages of the book. Honestly, if you figure out what’s going to happen, then, you must be really great at finding out ‘who-dun-it’ in murder mysteries! I couldn’t believe it. I felt exactly like Mare felt. I felt sick, cold, doomed. Were these incredible characters that I grew to love just going to be snuffed out?! Would it be horrible?! What was going to happen to them if they escape?! Would they escape?! It drove me insane thinking about everything. I just didn’t see it coming. I felt too engrossed in what Mare was thinking, seeing, hearing, feeling to even piece together anything other than that. That’s all I’m going to say about the ending. You just have to read it to find out what happens, and believe me, you’ll be hooked.

The characters were complex, interesting and somewhat different from others in the dystopian world. Yes of course we have the stereotypical heroin/villain situation going on and the fight for a better and more equal world. However, these characters aim to achieve the same things essentially. However, the way they choose to do so may be a little bit different to one and other’s plans. If you’ve read the book, then you’ll notice I’ve kept the characters’ descriptions fairly vague as to not give anything away. So please don’t burn me alive if you see something that turns out to be wrong either later in the book or the series.

Mare – Mare was annoying and stubborn in the best ways possible! She knew what she wanted, she knew how she felt, she knew how to play the game. And I absolutely loved the fact that she wasn’t motivated by love, or a selfish need. She wanted her people, the Reds to be free of their tedious and practically slave-like lives. She wanted a change. And she was going to die for it if she had to. She joined a rebellion and worked as an ‘insider’ to give them the best possible chance of winning the everlasting war they’ve been fighting. Now Mare has these abilities, she’s capable of anything and everything…

Cal – Cal is one of those characters that you kind of want to fall in love with, kind of want to smack him over the head with a chair, but would totally marry him if he asked you. He’s got his heart in the right place, however he can be easily persuaded. He’s got such a soft spot for Mare and Maven (his younger half-brother) and is extremely loyal to his family and close friends. Cal of course wants a change in the way things are, alas he feels like he cannot be the King (when it’s his time to be king) to do that. He foresees a lot of bloodshed, a lot of tragedy and more heartache. He wants to be tactful and careful when planning a future like that. There’s another thing about him too that pulls at your heart-strings and makes you want to tell him it’s okay, he’ll be okay, he’s scared of letting his family down. Of his father somehow being dishonoured by his decisions. I loved Cal so much and I just wanted to smack him and then cuddle him for the rest of my life. Still do if I’m honest. I just can’t wait to start reading the next book so I can be with Cal again.

Maven – Okay so Maven is literally a babe! He takes Mare in, loves her, cares for her and ultimately protects her from the darkness of the Silver’s world. Especially when it comes to the royals and his mother, Queen Elara. You get the impression that Maven is a lost little boy with no purpose, until he finds his purpose and passion with Mare. He embraces Mare, admires her for trying so hard, for being so strong and wilful. He’s the type of guy that would probably be super shy if you met him in person, but then when someone starts giving you trouble and making you uncomfortable, Maven would swoop in and protect you like the Prince Charming he is. I’ve got to say, I think I’m leaning more towards being a Maven girl than a Cal girl. But who knows?! I loved them both so much I’d be chill with whoever really.

Elara – Queen Elara is the second wife of the King. His first wife committed suicide and thus came along Elara. She has this ability to read people’s minds, to control them. Torture them. She is what’s typically seen as a vindictive and evil Queen. Her entire plan for Mare is never entirely clear. Does she want her dead? Or does she want her to be around for something much, much worse? She is also a mother. Maven’s mother. And the contradiction between mother and son is crazy. She is strong, confident, her heart full of greed and want. Forever wanting more for Maven and herself. Forever leaving Cal to fend for himself. Elara was an interesting character because she was just so spiteful. She was wicked. And I loved her. I’d never, ever want to cross her. But at the same time, I’d want to smack her in the face with a shovel. The fact she’s fairly stereotypical and evil as you’d expect makes it that much better when you get to the ending. Her character has so much potential and so many paths she could do down. But alas, we will have to wait and see what happens next for our queen.

I could list all the character names in here and write a little bit about them all if I had the time and patience. But I guess there are some things you really do have to find out about when you read the book. Those would be the four main characters I’d say are key in this story. There are of course, others involved just as they are, but again, I’m not giving anything away. I honestly can’t describe how I felt reading the book. I fell in love with reading over and over and over again, with every page I felt as though I was there with them. On this journey into an unknown future. It was beautiful, hopeful and most of all, it betrayed everything I thought I knew about the book.

I’ll leave things here for now, because I really could go on and on about this book for such a long time, and I feel like you’ll hate me if I continue to ramble. If you’ve not read Red Queen then please, please, please pick yourself up a copy and enjoy an incredible read with twists, turns and back stabbing. You can take my word for it, but in the words of a very important character ‘anyone can betray anyone.’ Until next time, have an awfully big adventure!

blackbird-3

Posted in Paranormal, Personal

A Reassuring Touch?

Who’s ready to get spooky?! It’s been a while since I discussed anything spooky or ghostly, so I thought it was high time I got back into it. This is a fairly recent experience, and I’m still trying to figure out if it’s real or not. As always, please remember to be respectful to myself and any others that may comment – if you don’t agree with our beliefs or don’t believe in what we believe in then, still feel free to comment, just don’t degrade us or make us feel ashamed of our beliefs in the paranormal. With that said, let’s get those ghosts out!

Earlier this week I noticed my house kept getting significantly colder, I even Tweeted about it when it happened. I kept turning the heating up, only to notice it getting colder despite me double and even triple checking the temperature I’d set it to. I will admit I can sometimes forget or just assume I’ve done something, even if I haven’t.  So that’s probably the first thing that I started to notice. My house is usually this safe haven of warmth and cosiness. Recently I have had to wrap up in heavy pyjamas and a dressing gown to keep that cosy feelings. Some may say it’s just the weather, or me coming down with a cold – which both are true, the weather is getting colder and I am getting sick. But this felt weird.

Anyway, I did forget about it and continued to go about my life, as you do. But on the Sunday night/ early Monday morning, I popped a dressing gown over myself and my duvet to keep me extra cosy and warm during the night. I woke up to go to the toilet during the night and I noticed my dressing gown was further down my bed than where I originally left it before I went to sleep. Obviously. The strange thing is, when I came back not even two minutes later, my dressing gown was further up the bed. As in, it was closer to my pillows, as if someone just plonked it down just where I would be lying in bed. By now, I still hadn’t thought anything of it. It was really late at night/ early in the morning so maybe it was sleepy brain giving me the wrong information about where things were placed. Maybe it wasn’t…

After I settled back down with the dressing gown covering me, I was just seconds away from going to sleep when I felt a pressure on my back in the shape of someone’s hand. I shot up so quickly you’d have thought Brendan Urie was in my room by the way I moved. I looked around, no one. Not my mum, step dad, hamsters or even my beloved teddy Fudgie. No one was in my room other than me. So, I shook it off, even though I was confused and could have sworn that it has just happened? And that’s when it happened again, but it was a gentle, reassuring pressure on my back/ shoulder. As if someone was trying to tuck me in or reassure me and reduce anxiety. I didn’t feel scared or worried. I just was confused.

Maybe it was my sleepy brain playing tricks on me, but maybe it wasn’t. March is a really tough month for me anyway seeing as two years ago, five of my friends passed away within days/ weeks of each other during March. Maybe it was one of them trying to reassure me that they’re still here? Maybe one of them wanted me to remember that they were here. Maybe they want to remind everyone that loved them and will continue to love them for as long as we all live, that they are always here with us, experiencing these things with us, even if we can’t see them. I’d like to believe that’s what it was. It gave me a happiness to think that Chris was around and looking out for me, even if he’s not physically here. It made me smile to think it could have been Conner reminding me not to cry this month. Or it could have been Rhodri, Cory or Alesha reminding us to stick together and give comfort to one another in this hard and trying time.

No matter who, or what it was, it was certainly spooky to think about. What do you guys think it was? Was it a ghost? My angels looking out for me? Or was it just something a tired 20 something’s brain imagined? Let me know what you think! If you’ve ever had any experiences similar to this, then please do let me know in the comments below! Having said that, go have an awfully big adventure for me this week.

blackbird-3