Childhood Reading Tag

Hello! I was stood in the kitchen the other day waiting for my pasta to boil, scrolling through my reader on WordPress and I was seeing so many cool, interesting posts people had written about books they’ve read or are reading. It got me thinking about everything I’ve read over the years and I thought of an idea for a tag! I’m not under any illusions that this is going to become a thing. I basically just wanted to do it for myself, but if anyone does want to do it then go ahead I’d love to see what other people read throughout their childhoods!

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First Love – Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling

I’m sure this is one that pretty much everyone can relate too. Harry Potter was one of the first things I read (or had read to me when I was really young) and it’s remained my ultimate favourite ever since. I absolutely love high fantasy in which you can just become completely immersed and forget about any troubles you may have had at school that day or that deadline that’s fast looming over you that you should really be working on instead of reading Harry Potter… Not that I’ve ever done that haha.

I don’t even know what else there is to say about one of the best selling book series’ of all time. I’m sure you all have but if you haven’t read them DO IT! I firmly believe everyone should read these books before they die. Recently my gran told me she hadn’t seen the movies and I could not contain my horror.

Blyton's Famous Five.

Oldest Reading Memory – The Famous Five by Enid Blyton

These books take me right back to my oldest memories of reading as a child. I don’t think they’re books I would particularly enjoy reading now I’m 20, but back in the day I loved a bit of Julian, Dick, George, Anne and Timmy. The one I remember the most is the “On Kirrin Island Again” book. I think I must’ve read that one over and over again. As much as looking back the characters’ speech is quite comical, I used to get pretty swept up in the drama of these guys’ summer holidays.

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School Reading Memory – The Magic Key by Roderick Hunt

I’m not sure what everyone else read in the early years of school but I know that everyone at my school read a lot of books from The Magic Key series. I didn’t properly decide that English was my favourite subject until the end of secondary school but I definitely remember looking forward to reading what happened next with Biff, Chip and Kipper. This was so long ago I can hardly remember the individual storylines but I guess this series was pretty instrumental in me learning how to read, so deserves a mention in my opinion!

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YA Favourite – Inkheart by Cornelia Funke

This is another super high fantasy series. I was really invested in the first book, then went on to read Inkspell and the start of Inkdeath. Unfortunately I think Inkdeath was either too advanced or too slow paced for my young mind but I remember absolutely loving Inkheart. A film adaptation was made of the book but unfortunately it wasn’t received very well and the sequel was never made. I’m not sure if it was the budget or just the wrong time, but I think that some amazing films could be made out of these books. Especially given the rise of the internet, fandoms and the popoularity of fantasy series’ like The Hunger Games.

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Guilty Pleasure – My Diary by Liz Rettig

Well I can’t exactly claim that this was academically challenging or anything but I’ll be honest with you, I loved these books. At the end of the day reading is reading and sometimes it’s just fun to read something a bit silly. These books contained the over dramatic internal monologue of Kelly Ann and I lapped up every page until, full disclosure, I was probably too old for it to still be acceptable. Oh well, that’s why it’s a guilty pleasure, not ashamed!

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Honourable Mention – The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis

I can’t finish up this post without mentioning The Chronicles of Narnia. I can’t quite place in my mind what age I was when I started reading these books but I think I was quite young. I remember watching the 1988 BBC TV series with my best friend Megan when we were children and later seeing the movies. As I’ve said previously I love fantasy series’, it seems criminal that I still haven’t read the Lord of the Rings series (I know) but I will get around to it! Obviously when I was younger I never understood the heavy religious themes of the books (Aslan is literally a thinly veiled lion Jesus), but to me Edmund was the original bad ass and he just couldn’t deny himself that turkish delight! A classic.

Well that’s everything from me just now but please do this tag if you enjoyed it! I felt really nostalgic writing it but probably forgot so many things that I read when I was younger.

Until next time,

J x

Update: thought I would tag a few people who’s blogs I’ve been enjoying recently.

The Glasgow Series: Hanoi Bike Shop

I think I’m going to start a little series on my blog called, as the title would suggest, The Glasgow Series. I am somebody who, I’m sure you’ll come to realise, LOVES food. I love cooking, eating, restaurants and all kinds of different cuisines. I also live in Glasgow which has so many amazing cafes, restaurants and bars. So it seems only right that I talk about some of the cool places I’ve gone to eat and perhaps some other places of significance!

The first place I’m going to talk about is the Hanoi Bike Shop on Ruthven Lane. Ruthven Lane is a pretty alleyway just off of the main street Byres Road. With fairy lights, restaurants and even a music shop hidden round corners it’s a super interesting place to have a stroll around! The first place you see when you turn on to the lane is the Hanoi Bike Shop, and it’s also the first thing you’ll smell too!

Contrary to what the name suggests this cute little nook is not somewhere you bring your bike to get fixed, but a vibrant Vietnamese eating extravaganza! I’ve lived in Glasgow for almost two years now and it’s taken me waaay too long to eat here. Seriously, if you’re ever in Glasgow and like Asian food GO EAT HERE!

The atmosphere is buzzing and the restaurant in general is bustling with waiters as it is designed to feel like an authentic Vietnamese street food experience. I personally really enjoyed the atmosphere even though it bordered on a little loud sometimes, I think that’s the way it’s meant to be!

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Onto the food. Me and two friends ordered a noodle soup (or Pho) dish each and a couple of sides to share. This worked out to be plenty for us and, surprisingly for a first try, we enjoyed everything we ordered! The noodle soups worked out at around the £9 mark, which for a main is relatively standard I’d say. Not cheap but not ridiculous!

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(Photo credit goes to Gaby Lemin (Alt-G), she’s awesome go have a wee gander at her blog! https://shutupgab.wordpress.com/ )

As you can see the soups were pretty impressive! They tasted absolutely amazing and honestly I haven’t been able to stop thinking about this place since we went!

Along with the soups we ordered a side of cauliflower and chilli fritters for £5.65 which were honestly TO DIE FOR! If I wasn’t sold on this place already (which i was) those fritters were enough to have me back for more.

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They came with a sweet chilli dip and a bed of salad and honestly, they look good but they tasted out of this world!

We also ordered Kimchi for £2.65 which we all tried and enjoyed but I’d imagine is quite an acquired taste? The great thing about this place is you can try loads of different sides though so I say just go for it!

Potentially the only drawback of the Hanoi Bike Shop that I can think of is the fact that there’s no cutlery on the tables other than chop sticks and a small spoon. Luckily for me I have been taught how to use chopsticks before and managed to work with them but I’d imagine for some there would be the awkward “can I have a fork please?” scenario. No judgement, certainly not from me anyway!

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Well that’s me for this blog post. As you can see I’m VERY enthusiastic about this restaurant. I think partly because most places selling Asian cuisine aren’t very authentic, so this was a really special find to me 🙂 please comment below and let me know if you have any similar places where you live. I’d love to know in case I visit one day!

Until next time,

J x

Click to access HBSmenus-NOV-2016.pdf

The Pretty Reckless

Here we go, my first proper blog post. I thought I’d kick things off with a concert that I went to recently – The Pretty Reckless at O2 ABC Glasgow on the 23rd of January.

Firstly I’d like to apologise for the awful picture quality. In future I’ll make sure to take better pictures, but at the time I didn’t know I was going to need pictures for a blog post so all of these are actually just screenshots from videos I took, sorry!

These days I feel quite comfortable calling myself a relatively avid concert goer but this was, without a doubt, one of the best concerts I have ever been to (and I’ve been to a fair few)!

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For anyone who’s a fan of The Pretty Reckless and is interested, the set list was as follows:

  • Follow Me Down
  • Since You’re Gone
  • Oh My God
  • Hangman
  • Make Me Wanna Die
  • My Medicine
  • Prisoner
  • Sweet Things
  • Light Me Up
  • Who You Selling For
  • Just Tonight
  • Living In The Storm
  • Heaven Knows
  • Going To Hell
  • Take Me Down
  • Fucked Up World

Personally I thought this was an amazing set-list. They’re currently touring their album Who You Selling For so there were plenty of exciting new songs but all perfectly interwoven with their old, nostalgic hits. The crowd went wild at the first note of every song and all the lyrics were chanted back in unison with the band. It’s safe to say the atmosphere was amazing!

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The bass was loud and reverberated throughout the venue, there were frequent dramatic guitar solos and catchy riffs and Taylor Momsen’s voice was raspy, crackling perfection! It was so good in fact that the two or so hours passed in what felt like half an hour, and I was left thinking about the concert for days afterwards. If The Pretty Reckless ever returns to Scotland, or even the UK, I’ll be one of the first to snatch up a ticket!

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I think one of my favourite things about the concert was its unchoreographed, free spirited nature. You could feel the band’s passion for their music and performing. It’s always far more enjoyable as an audience member when you can tell the band are also enjoying what they’re doing!

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To round off this post I think I’ll mention my favourite performances of the night which were: My Medicine, Light Me Up, Who You Selling For, Just Tonight, Going To Hell and Take Me Down (so about half of the concert by the looks of it). I think Light Me Up will always be one of my favourite albums, but The Pretty Reckless have always exceeded my expectations and I can’t wait for their return.

Until next time,

J x

P.s If you haven’t heard of The Pretty Reckless or any of the songs mentioned above, go listen to them! You won’t be disappointed!

I’m online!

Well it’s official I have my own blog. I now have the ability to type a load of words and send them out into the internet void at the click of a button! It was surprisingly easy as well, that is if you don’t count the hours I spent wrestling with the customisation settings (and even having done that it’s far from professional looking).

Anyway, I suppose some kind of introduction is in order. My name’s Jen, I’m 20 and I’m currently in second year of university in Glasgow. Over the course of my two years at uni I’ve become particularly talented at one specific thing, no not my subject, finding things to distract me from studying! I currently write for the Glasgow Guardian, our student newspaper, and write fiction in my spare time… I suppose starting a blog also fits this category. Instead of chain watching Breaking Bad or going out and, I dunno, meeting people, my chosen method of avoiding work is creating more work for myself. Nice one Jen.

I’m super interested in music, films, food and makeup (when I can afford it), so my blog will most likely be an amalgamation of all of those things. I hope you enjoy reading whatever’s to come!

Until next time,

Jen x