Hello World

Talking is hard, so instead I write.

Welcome to my blog. I am Erin (short for Catherine, call me either) and my life is a confusion of books, tea, school and travel. Here is where I review the books, spill the tea and document the travel.

When my head is not stuck in a book, you will find me bullet journalling, practising my cello or travelling. I am heavily influenced by the adventures of my life and am always seeking new ones!

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The Little Book Of Lykke (book review linked here)

I started this blog because I am an introvert and a creative. Blogging is a good way to channel my thoughts without speaking to people. Speaking can cause a lot of misunderstanding. For me in particular, I tend to get words wrong or be silent in the wrong places. I’m not even going to try and cure my awkwardness because I love to be quiet. Through various social media platforms, I promote positive messages that mean a lot to me, and share my love for literature.

Thank you for stopping by. I will always be writing for those of you that stay!

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First Line Friday

First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines?

Rules (just in case you want to try this out for yourself)

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first.
  • Finally… reveal the book!

While I was still in Amsterdam, I dreamed about my mother for the first time in years. I’d been shut up in my hotel for more than a week, afraid to telephone anybody or go out; and my heart scrambled and floundered at even the most innocent noises: elevator bell, rattle of the minibar cart, even church clocks tolling the hour, de Westertoren, Krijtberg, a dark edge to the clanger, and wrought fairy-tale sense of doom.

And the book is…

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt!

Synopsis

“It begins with a boy. Theo Decker, a thirteen-year-old New Yorker, miraculously survives an accident that kills his mother. Abandoned by his father, Theo is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. Bewildered by his strange new home on Park Avenue, disturbed by schoolmates who don’t know how to talk to him, and tormented above all by his unbearable longing for his mother, he clings to one thing that reminds him of her: a small, mysteriously captivating painting that ultimately draws Theo into the underworld of art.

“As an adult, Theo moves silkily between the drawing rooms of the rich and the dusty labyrinth of an antiques store where he works. He is alienated and in love-and at the center of a narrowing, ever more dangerous circle.

The Goldfinch combines vivid characters, mesmerizing language, and suspense, while plumbing with a philosopher’s calm the deepest mysteries of love, identity, and art. It is an old-fashioned story of loss and obsession, survival and self-invention, and the ruthless machinations of fate.”

This book has been on my TBR ever since one of my friends was reading it. As you can see from the first lines, it really does ramble on. All the same I would love to read this book at some point! Fortunately there is a film and I may do the devil’s act of watching the film before reading the book, just so I can get a good idea of the storyline. I found my copy in a charity shop when I went out the other day! So far this year I haven’t bought any new books… I’m kind of proud.

Have you ever read The Goldfinch? Has it been on your TBR for a long time?

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7 Places & Countries I’d Love To Visit

Inspired by my good blogging friend Arabella (Sparks Of Ara) I’ve decided to share with 7 places I’d love to visit! As much as I love travelling, I’ve hardly been outside of Europe. Today’s post is going to be a little insight into my life goals. I’m very fortunate to be able to dream about where I want to go in life. I have friends that don’t have the money to go on holiday so I do feel really privileged to have experienced the things I have. Sometimes I can get carried away by ‘dreams’ and ‘wants’. Like any ambitious teenager, once I’ve finished university I’d love to go around the world! It’s been on my bucket-list since I can remember. If you have been/live in anywhere I mention in the post then I would love to chat about it!

ALL OF THE PHOTOS IN THIS POST ARE NOT MY OWN

Norway

Arabella chose this one too, but I think that Norway is such a wonderful country. It would be great to see the Northern Lights and have a little biking trip around all of the cute villages. However it would be a pricey ordeal so I don’t know how long it will be until I get to this one!

Provence, France

I’ve visited France twice, but always in the North. I’d love to venture South into the lavender fields of Provence! It is a very picturesque landscape and everything looks so stripped back and tranquil. 

New Zealand

Imagine if I could visit every continent before I die (possibly excluding Antarctica)? If I was to visit Oceania it would be to see the sights of New Zealand. My dad has a friend over there so it would be possible to have accommodation free 😅 I’m not as intrigued by Australia but seeing a performance in the Opera house would be stunning!

Japan

Full of huge stationery shops, wonderful nature and the birth place of Pokèmon – I wonder why I don’t live there already? Recently there has been a surge of people on social media visiting Japan and I’d just like to hop on the bandwagon. It is also home to the world’s biggest stationary store. I could spend by days flicking through art paper and trying out pens!

Morocco

I can’t handle heat but I would love to visit Africa all the same. A few people I know have visited Morocco for a holiday. I wouldn’t go for the culture but more of a ‘kick back and relax’ sort of destination. 

Canada

Learning French does me a favour because a lot of the world speaks it, even in Canada. If I could only visit one city out of the whole country I would go to Quebec. Or Toronto. I suppose I’d have to look into it more! 

Rio De Janeiro 

The only continent I’ve missed off this list is South America! Rio is a really lively and interesting place. It’s a hotspot for tourists and full of culture. I’ll have to improve my Portuguese before I even think about going though! I don’t know a word in Portuguese (other than the ones in the Twilight novels 😂)

Do you have a travel bucket list? What is the favourite place you’ve visited (even if it’s in the same country that you live in)?

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Nowhere On Earth | Nick Lake | Unexpected Twists, Easy-To-Follow Plot But Still 4/5 Stars!

Though it hasn’t been long since I last published a book review, it feels like ages since I have sat down to write one. I picked up ‘Nowhere On Earth’ from the library because I really wanted to read light contemporary. We shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but my first impressions of this book was that it would be a standard YA. It did start off like that but in the middle there was an important, and unexpected announcement (or at least near the middle as I remember it) but I can’t give spoilers! I can only recommend that you should read it.

Title: Nowhere On Earth

Author: Nick Lake

Publisher: Hodder

Number Of Pages: 340

My Rating: 4/5 stars

Throughout the book I was enjoying Nick Lake’s style of writing. There was description present but it was cleverly masked by the intriguing plot. When I book has heavy description it tends to take me a very long time to read it. Whereas I flicked through the novel in a couple of days! The plot wasn’t hard to follow, and you don’t need to read this book my any means. However it is a good book to get you out of a slump, and it’s different to anything I’ve read before in the YA section!

The main message in this book is shown through the brother-sister relationship. Other than the obvious To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before series, it is rare to find such prominent sibling affection in a young adult book. For those of you that do like a bit of romance, I’m sorry but this book doesn’t have it. I quite liked that element of it though! 

Synopsis

It starts with a plane crash.

There are survivors: a teenage girl and her little brother. They are running from something. But what?

Then the men arrive. They are hunting the girl and boy. And-

And that’s all we can tell you…

Overall, Nowhere On Earth is an easy read. It has interesting themes and is very unlike anything I’ve read before! 

Have you heard of this book before? What book will always get you out of a reading slump?

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Six Word Story

Her knowledge is not knowing everything.

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30 Useful Things To Do If You Have A Spare Minute

However busy we may be, it is quite often that we may come across a spare minute in our day. Instead of scrolling on Instagram or indulging in an unhealthy snack – you can do these things and remain productive! 

  1. Practise an instrument (that’s if you play one) or pick up that old ukelele in the corner that you’ve always wanted to learn!
  2. Write a letter to someone you ought to speak to more.
  3. Sort out your wardrobe/a messy drawer/cupboard that you have been putting off for a while.
  4. Make greetings cards so that they are ready for when an occasion comes along. 
  5. If you are in school, do some quick revision or questions.
  6. Don’t pretend to be bored when you actually have work to do. Get on with the things on your to-do list!
  7. Call someone and have a catch up.
  8. Rearrange the apps on your phone and delete distracting ones, or those you don’t use.
  9. Make a drink for everyone you live with.
  10. Make a playlist of some sort.
  11. Set up a bullet journal spread that will help you stay on track with a goal or keep you organised.
  12. Plan an inexpensive, fun day trip!
  13. Read a book.
  14. Listen to music, put on your headphones and dance around like a maniac. You’ll feel stupid and happy at the same time!
  15. To all of my blogging friends, write a post or Instagram caption!
  16. Talk to an elderly relative or neighbour via phone or in person, depends how much spare time you have!
  17. Paint or doodle (it doesn’t have to be brilliant)
  18. Get thoughts off your mind by journaling or publishing them in a blog.
  19. Practise mindfulness and meditate for a few minutes.
  20. Go for a walk or do some exercise outdoors.
  21. Read through an old diary for a good cheering up.
  22. Do an indoor workout if the weather isn’t too good!
  23. Take photos around your local area. 
  24. Finish a craft kit that you’ve been putting off for years. You could even invite your friends or family to join you!
  25. Plan gift ideas on paper (and don’t lose it) so that Christmas next year won’t be as hectic as the one just gone!
  26. Organise stationery
  27. Organise makeup
  28. Knit while watching telly (I may be the only teenager who does that)
  29. Wash art or makeup brushes!
  30. Check the time and make sure you’re not late for the next thing in your busy day.

They are all of my ideas of things to do when you have a spare minute! Of course there are more, but I know you wouldn’t read through them all haha. I hope you all having a great month so far! Let me know how you’re doing in the comments.

What do you do when you have a spare minute? Or is it rare you have any time to yourself?

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