Sunday Smiles

sunday smiles

My Sunday Smiles

As we find ourselves coming into autumn, with the rain hammering against my window, I find myself remembering why I started this post up. When I was in Uni, I found myself getting quite depressed. Actually, that’s wrong. It wasn’t quite depressed. I was depressed. I found a good way of helping myself get back into a positive frame of mind was to write down 3 good things that happened that day. Some days it was really easy and I would exceed that 3, other days I wrote down things like ‘I got dressed’ or ‘I left the house’. A few years on and I find myself not needing to do it every day but this weekly Sunday Smiles is a gentle reminder to myself to look for the positives in each day.

BuyLumie Bodyclock Starter 30 Wake Up to Daylight Light Online at johnlewis.comAdditionally, I find my Lumie Bodyclock light lamp very helpful this time of year. Instead of the alarm going off and waking up to a dark room, this lamp gradually lights up before the alarm goes off, meaning your boy wakes up gradually and to a light room. It’s helpful for people who suffer with SAD but also for those who find it hard getting up in the morning. 🙂

On to this week… It’s been an incredibly uneventful week with me not leaving work until at least 5 most day (considering I arrive at 7:20am, that is late). On the bright side, due to network changes, I can’t access the server at home meaning I can’t do any more work even if I wanted to. Silver linings.

There have been lots of birthdays meaning there’s been SO MUCH CAKE in the staff room. I’m super proud of myself for actually showing some self control and only having one piece all week! (Let’s just ignore the fact that I ate Nutella straight out of the jar today.) I was also really proud that I was able to do a move in yoga that I couldn’t do without use the wall to help me balance a few weeks ago! Hurrah! Baby steps.

I hope you all have a wonderful week and remember to look after yourselves ❤

What’s made you smile this week?


Sunday Smiles is a weekly meme created by me at Tumbling into Wonderland Books. It runs every Sunday. Want to find out more or join in the fun? Check out the details here.

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Season of Storms (The Witcher #0) by Andrezj Sapkowski

Title: Season of Storms
Author: Andrezj Sapkowski
Series: The Witcher #0
Publication: 22nd May 2018 by Orion Publishing Group
Genre: Fantasy

My Thoughts (2)

(Goodreads)

Geralt. The witcher whose mission is to protect ordinary people from the monsters created with magic. A mutant who has the task of killing unnatural beings. He uses a magical sign, potions and the pride of every witcher – two swords, steel and silver. But what would happen if Geralt lost his weapons?

Andrzej Sapkowski returns to his most popular hero in a stand-alone novel where Geralt fights, travels and loves again, Dandelion sings and flies from trouble to trouble, sorcerers are scheming … and across the whole world clouds are gathering – the season of storms is coming…

My Thoughts

The story is a prequel to the renowned series of novels by Sapkowski. As always Geralt is caught up in a huge mess involving sorceress’ and the politics of yet another empire. However, he isn’t alone, his trusty sidekick Dandelion appears just in the nick of time and you begin to learn more about Geralt’s friendship with the dwarven kind.

Sapkowski has a particular method for describing the more sexual nature of his novels including describing a scene by applying the metaphor of a ship in a rocky bay for the sexuality between Geralt and the sorceress, Lytta Neyd. To quote the weirdness of the sea metaphors “He utterly devoted his hands and attention to a pair of galleons under full sail.” This appears in the midst of his raunchy relationship and I’m sure that I don’t need to explain what these “galleons” are. The strangest thing about this relationship is that it revolves around Lytta, the sorceress to a crazy King who specialises in creating infertile brides (usually around 18 years old) for the King (who is around 80 years old).

Sadly, if you have read the short manga styled adventures of Geralt then you would have already read the majority of this story. Also, the story took on a very interesting twist when Geralt is sent on a cat and mouse hunt for a disgustingly violent serial killer – a much more interesting story line. However, despite this being built up for the majority of the story, it is incredibly quickly resolved when Geralt comes face to face with the enemy.

Sadly the story does not live up to the rest of the Witcher series and should be avoided – just don’t avoid the actual series of novels (these are much better!).

My Thoughts (1)

2-stars

Sunday Smiles

sunday smiles

My Sunday Smiles

It was my first full week back at school. I fell asleep before 9pm on Friday and slept for a solid 10 hours.

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We’ve decided that it’s time to sort ourselves out. We’ve cut down on takeaways, joined up to the gym and are going out for walks on the days we don’t go to the gym. Last weekend we walked along the river to London and managed 8 miles. This weekend we went to Richmond park and walk around the perimeter. We did 11 miles in total! I’m so proud of us for smashing last weeks total! Plus it’s a person best on number of steps for the day (25,907 steps). My feet are less proud and are screaming out in protest. Hopefully next weekend we’ll get even further!

What’s made you smile this week?


Sunday Smiles is a weekly meme created by me at Tumbling into Wonderland Books. It runs every Sunday. Want to find out more or join in the fun? Check out the details here.

This is Going to Hurt: Secrets of a Junior Doctor by Adam Kay

 

This is Going to Hurt: Secret Diaries of a Junior Doctor

Title: This is Going to Hurt: Secrets of a Junior Doctor
Author: Adam Kay
Series: N/A
Publication:  7th September 2017 by Picador
Genre: Non-fiction, medical, biography

Around the Year in 52 Books – A book about or inspired by real events

My Thoughts (2)

(Goodreads)

Welcome to the life of a junior doctor: 97-hour weeks, life and death decisions, a constant tsunami of bodily fluids, and the hospital parking meter earns more than you.

Scribbled in secret after endless days, sleepless nights and missed weekends, Adam Kay’s This is Going to Hurt provides a no-holds-barred account of his time on the NHS front line. Hilarious, horrifying and heartbreaking, this diary is everything you wanted to know – and more than a few things you didn’t – about life on and off the hospital ward.

My Thoughts

I was first introduced to this book when the author was in dictionary corner on 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown. He read snippets from his book and I couldn’t help but snort laugh. I had to buy it and definitely don’t regret doing so.

This book consists of extracts from a diary Adam Kay kept whist he was a Junior Doctor working for the NHS. The book is funny, heart warming, heartbreaking and, as he was an obs & gynae doctor, sometime disgusting.  It was eye opening to see just how many hours doctors are expected to do, on little sleep, food or toileting, to see the effect the job had on their families, their social lives and their mental health.

As it is a collection of diary entries, I will share my favourites.

“Three a.m. attendance at labour ward triage. Patient RO is twenty-five years old and thirty weeks into her first pregnancy. She complains of a large number of painless spots on her tongue. Diagnosis: taste buds.”

“I missed what the argument was about, but a woman storms out of gynae outpatients screaming at the clinic sister, ‘I pay your salary! I pay your salary!’ The sister yells back, ‘Can I have a raise then?'”

“‘In order to encourage use of public transport’ there is no staff car park at the hospital – an admirable sentiment that would land me with a two-hour-twenty-minute commute each way.”

“Prescribing a morning-after pill in A&E. The patient says, ‘I slept with three guys last night. Will one pill be enough?'”

“Sending a patient home from the day surgery unit following laparoscopic sterilization. I tell her she can have sex again as soon as she feels ready, but to use alternative contraception until her next period. I nod at her husband and say, ‘That means he has to wear a condom.’ I can’t quite work out why their faces are a picture of horror, melting like the Nazis at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark. What have I said? It’s perfectly good advice, right? I look at them both again, and realize the man is actually her father.”

A book which will have you going through a roller coaster of emotions and leaving me with the feeling that maybe my work hours aren’t so bad as I thought. I already respected those who work in medicine but even more so after reading this.

My Thoughts (1)

4-stars

Top Ten Hidden Gems

TTT

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Artsty Reader. Every week they post a new top ten list and invite everyone to share their answers. It’s a great way to learn more about the bloggers you follow and to find lots of new books. This week’s topic is “Top Ten Hidden Gems.”

These are among some of my favourite books which cover a range of issues including friendship, rape, alcoholism and abuse. I feel all of these books are very powerful and done very well. Click on the book title to link to my reviews.

Books I don’t think are talked about enough are…

Solitude of a Birdcage by Brielle Skye – Maxie is sleeping with her best friend’s boyfriend. They are going to tell him in the morning, when he is hospitalised due to a bullet wound and wakes up unable to remember either of the girls.

Trouble by Non Pratt – The book flicks between pregnant teenager Hannah and Aaron, the boy who is pretending to be the baby’s father.

One by Sarah Crossan – Grace and Tippi are conjoined twins. No longer able to afford homeschooling, they are venturing out into the world. The book is written in free verse.

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion – Don Tillman decides he needs a wife. So in order to sage himself time he approaches it systematically, through the use of a 16 page questionnaire to find himself the ‘perfect’ wife.

Solitude of a Birdcage (Forget Me Not #1)TroubleOneThe Rosie Project (Don Tillman #1)

Nina is Not OK by Shappi Khorsandi – 17 year old Nina likes to drink. Sometimes she wakes up with little memory of the night before, but her friends will fill in the blanks. Until one Sunday, even her friends can’t help her piece together the Saturday and Nina has a deep sense of shame, that something very bag has happened to her…

Into the Darkest Corner by Elizabeth Haynes – Flicking between Catherine Baily’s life “then” and “now”. The personalities are complete different within the 4 year gap. Something life changing has clearly happens in order to cause this. Could gorgeous, spontaneous, protective Lee have something to do with this?

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman – Eleanor Oliphant leads a simple life. She wears the same clothes to work every day, eats the same meal deal for lunch every day and buys the same two bottles of vodka to drink every weekend. Eleanor Oliphant is happy. Nothing is missing from her carefully timetabled life. Except, sometimes, everything.

This is Going to Hurt by Adam Kay (review soon) – Welcome to the life of a junior doctor: 97-hour weeks, life and death decisions, a constant tsunami of bodily fluids, and the hospital parking meter earns more than you. The diary of a Junior Doctor working for the NHS.

Nina is Not OKInto the Darkest CornerEleanor Oliphant Is Completely FineThis is Going to Hurt: Secret Diaries of a Junior Doctor

What books do you think we need to talk about more?

Sunday Smiles

sunday smiles

My Sunday Smiles

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<– Literally me on Thursday night. The children were back to school on Wednesday and it’s been an interesting week. I’m in Year 3 so it’s a big jump up from infants for them, which I don’t think they were expecting. The lack of playtime in the afternoon definitely shocked them.

I bought a Triwizards Tournament cup as my reward for the table of the week. Their little faces when they saw how big it is was very sweet. Even more so when I turned on the blue light.

Image result for tim minchin backI LOVE seeing comedians, everyone needs a good laugh every now and again. I am thrilled that this week I managed to get tickets for Tim Minchin who has been on my list of comedians to see for years. I also went and treated myself to Hamilton tickets too!

What’s made you smile this week?


Sunday Smiles is a weekly meme created by me at Tumbling into Wonderland Books. It runs every Sunday. Want to find out more or join in the fun? Check out the details here.

Bangkok, Thailand

We went to Thailand for our honeymoon. We went in August which is during their wet season; the temperature was still mid 30’s. We spent 3 days in Bangkok followed by days in Phuket. The two places were contrastingly different. As they were so different, I’m going to break the holiday up into two posts, this one is all about Bangkok!


Bangkok

I didn’t particularly enjoy this city.  Bangkok is an attack on your senses. It is hot and humid. There is traffic everywhere, the city is one giant traffic jam. Mopeds go the wrong way down the street and often on paths. They have some zebra crossings but motorists just ignore them. There are market stalls on most of the pavements, people offering tuk tuks at every corner. The metro is amazing but doesn’t go into the old part of the city so it’s either a 40 min walk or you get scammed by a taxi to get to the main attractions (They refuse to put the meter on for you and will make you pay 200-300 baht for a 70 baht journey). Add on to this that I was tired, hot and annoyed, the city and I didn’t particularly get along.

Grand Palace

This was stunning but incredibly busy, I would definitely recommend getting here early to beat the tourist groups. With all temples in Thailand, you must have your shoulders and knees covered to enter, so ensure you’re dressed appropriately. There are loads of stalls around selling cheap clothing before you enter if you require any.

The Grand Palace is made up of different buildings, temples and lawns. It’s 500 baht to enter which is quite pricey. There are lots of stunning buildings, mosaics and sculptures. I was pleased to see, and hear, monks praying in the temples which was wonderful to see that it is still used for it’s intended purpose. One of the main attractions within the Grand Palace is the Emerald Buddha which was in a stunning temple but I was surprised at how small it was.

Wat Pho – Reclining Buddha

This was my favourite site in Bangkok. It is where you will find the reclining  Buddha (2nd longest in the country). It was a lot less crowded than the Grand Palace and held some stunning sculptures and holds over one thousand Buddha images. I particularly liked the chedi’s which were tall and beautiful.

Wat Traimit – Golden Buddha

This was the first temple we found as it is in China Town, close to the Metro. It was interesting to find out that at one point the statue was covered in plaster to cover its true value until it was dropped whilst being transported and the gold was uncovered. It costs about 40 baht to go in. There’s a few steps to climb but the statue is very impressive.

Wikipedia image

Boat Cruise

On the way back from Ayutthaya we had a boat cruise. This was a really good way to see the main sites as a lot of them are situated near the river. We didn’t go into Wat Arun as it’s the other side of the river but it was gorgeous to see from the river. The boat cruise we went on also served thai food, which was delicious.

Things we missed but sounded interesting:

Taling Chan Floating Market – this has to be a day trip as it is about an hour or more out of the main city. It is also only open on weekends.

Jim Thompson’s House – home of the founder of the Thai silk industry.


Ayutthaya

From Bangkok we took a day trip tour to Ayutthaya, the second capital of Siam. This UNESCO World Heritage Site contains remains of monasteries and palaces. We visited Wat Phra Mahathat which was ransacked by the Burmese, several headless Buddha statues remain. This is where you’ll also find the tree which has grown around a Buddha head. We also visited Wat Thammikarat which is the forth largest reclining Buddha in the country, this one is stone and has burn marks on it. We also visited another temple, within which there was a monk who was blessing people and giving Sai Sins – string that has been blessed by monks to provide protection and good health.


Have you been to Thailand?

What would you love to see/do?

See my other travels, including Paris, Barcelona and Rome, here.

You Only Live Once (Gracie Dart #1) by Jess Vallance 

You Only Live Once (Gracie Dart #1)

Title: You Only Live Once
Author: Jess Vallance
Series: Gracie Dart #1
Publication:  23rd August 2018 by Hot Key Books
Genre: Contemporary, YA, Fiction

Around the Year in 52 Books – A book with a warm atmosphere (centered on family, friendship, love or summer)

My Thoughts (2)

(Goodreads)

Gracie Dart has always worked hard and she’s got a wall covered with revision timetables and French verbs to prove it. But now GCSEs are behind her and she suddenly starts to think: what was the POINT of it all?

When Gracie thinks she’s dying of a disgusting tropical illness, she starts to worry she’s been wasting her best years being sensible. It’s like people say: you only live once – so isn’t it about time she started LIVING?
(OK, so the tropical illness turned out to be a fake-tan miscalculation. Anyone could make the same mistake.)

When Gracie decides to do something, she does it properly. Gracie Dart is about to live out her dreams. However embarrassing.

My Thoughts

This book is marketed at being good for fans of Geek Girl, which was completely spot on. It also reminded me a lot of Louise Rennison’s Georgia Nicolson books. It was funny and enjoyable with some strong themes of friendship.

The book starts with Gracie coming back from holiday after her stressful GCSEs and taking herself off to hospital as, she has Googled it, she clearly has a tropical illness and is dying. Being prepared, she wees into a tub, pops it into her handbag and gets a single bus ticket to the hospital. On the way the bottle breaks in her bag, soaking her in urine. After a few hours wait she sees the Dr, who she off loads onto like a therapist. It turns out she’s not going to die after all! After her near-death(ish) experiece she decides she’s going to live life to the full and stats pushing herself out of her comfort zone by riding a horse along a beach (kind of), bungy jumping (what could possibly go wrong?) and taking her Gran on an impromptu trip to Paris.

It’s told entirely from Grace’s point of view and the author gets the teenage girl’s voice and thoughts spot on; from the humour, to the insecurities, to the dating. It captures family life, both the ups and downs. It even covers cutting friends out of your life because a “better offer” comes along.

A wonderful, funny and enjoyable read.

My Thoughts (1)

4-stars

Top Ten (of my most recent) Bingeworthy TV Shows

TTT

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Artsty Reader. Every week they post a new top ten list and invite everyone to share their answers. It’s a great way to learn more about the bloggers you follow and to find lots of new books. This week’s topic is “Top Ten Bingeworthy TV Shows/Movies.”

I’ve done a few posts on this through the years saying what my all time favourite TV shows are; 2014, 2016 and 2017. (Spoilers: Sherlock, Merlin, OUaT, Grey’s Anatomy, The Mentalist and GoT appear more than once!)

The Last 10 TV Shows I Binged Watch…

Grey’s Anatomy.

Grey's Anatomy Logo.svg

This appears again because season 15 is coming out on 27th September and I am super excited. The show is set in a hospital and centers around the life of Merideth Grey and other surgical interns, residents and attending physicians, both in their careers and personal lives. It’s a bit like a soap drama but I’m completely obsesessed with it. Oh, and they’re not afraid to get rid of characters.

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Orange is the New Black

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OMG why did I wait so long to watch this?!? I’ve watched the first 5 seasons this summer and am savouring season 6 so I don’t have a long wait until the next one. I am SO obsessed.

Piper Chapman is sentenced to 15 months in Linchfield Prison a crime she committed 10 years ago; transporting a suitcase full of drug money for her girlfriend, Alex. In prison, Piper is reunited with Alex, who named her in her trial. The show looks at the relationships between the inmates and their struggles with the prison system. There are flashback to show how other inmates came to be in prison. (Nicky is my fave btw.)

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13 Reasons Why

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I loved the book and was intregued how they were going to do a second season. I didn’t go in with high expectations but really enjoyed it.

17 year old Hannah Baker has committed suicide. Before she did, she recorded a side on a cassette tape for 13 people the 13 reasons why she committed suicide.

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Queer Eye

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The Fab Five; Antoni (food and wine), Tan (fashion), Karamo (Culture), Bobby (Design) and Jonothan (Grooming) help different people be the best they can be. In some episodes they help re-design their house, in others they help people come out, and in many they help to raise people’s confidence. This is truely an uplifting and tear jerking (happy tears, mostly!) show!

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RuPaul’s Drag Race

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Start your engines and watch this show. Drag Queens do various competitions including making drag on a dime, out of binbags or like royalty, then the bottom two have to lip sync for their life or be asked to sashay away. It’s incredible.

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Episodes

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A show about making a show, in which Matt LeBlanc plays Matt LeBlanc.

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Safe

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Another Netflix drama. Dexter Tom’s daughter goes missing and her boyfriend is discovered dead. Tom goes searching for her and ends up uncovering a web of secrets.

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Girls Incarcerated: Young and Locked Up

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Another Netflix TV series which follows inmates of Madison Juvenile Correctional Facility in Indiana. They discover how the girls got to be there and how they’ve changed since being there. For some girls that are released it does a follow up.

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Taskmaster

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5 celebrities are given tasks to complete. These include things like making an exotic sandwich, getting a boulder as far away from the place as possible or to surprise Alex . The Taskmaster (Greg Davies) ranks them, assigning points. Whoever has the most points at the end of the episode wins!

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What shows do you like to binge-watch?

Sunday Smiles

sunday smiles

My Sunday Smiles

Today is the last day of the summer holidays. Considering I haven’t gotten out of bed before 9 o’clock for the past week, tomorrow is going to be a challenge.

This week has been a surprisingly busy week for me. On Monday, we saw two of our friends get married, which was beautiful.

We drove back on Tuesday and spend the next few days setting up our classrooms. Both of us are in new classrooms this year, with me moving year groups, so there was a lot of work to be done! Of course, it always takes longer than you expect as you have to catch up with everyone (and I’m a sucker for being distracted).

Image may contain: Emily Cheatham, sitting, eating, food and indoorAfter saying in my August wrap up, that I haven’t got any plans for September and that’ll we’ll probably do an impromptu trip to London, guess what we did yesterday? We went to Greenwich, had pie and mash, took the boat back into central, got some doughnuts and then went to see Mouse Trap, which was brilliant (but I did manage to guess who did it!)

What’s made you smile this week?


Sunday Smiles is a weekly meme created by me at Tumbling into Wonderland Books. It runs every Sunday. Want to find out more or join in the fun? Check out the details here.