5 Songs To Learn On Cello & Keyboard

I play the cello and keyboard but I’ve only ever learnt out of a book that my teacher has given to me. Though I don’t mind the pieces assigned to me, it would be nice to learn songs that I recognise. So today’s post is going to be a list of those songs I would like to learn. On cello I’m only Grade 1 so I may not be able to play these pieces until I’ve progressed with my skills. But still, we can dream! I’m much more likely to practise when it’s a piece I know. So this might encourage me!

Hedwig’s Theme – John Williams

I’ve already learnt a little bit of this on keyboard and cello but I’d like to learn the full thing – with chords. Hedwig’s Theme is a Grade 2 piece for cello so that will definitely help me to learn more! My music teacher has already written a simplified piece for keyboard so I can practise that first and then move on to the bigger picture.

Money, Money, Money – ABBA

Due to my mum’s obsession I do already have a music book full of ABBA songs but I hardly pick it up unless I have loads of time in the summer. Though I’ve already set my new year’s goals maybe I could be ambitious and set myself another one?

Here Comes The Sun – The Beatles

One of my absolute favourites! I do know the notes to this one on cello and keyboard but I’m not very fluent with them.

Pink Panther

It sounds so great on cello; it’s the perfect timbre. I’m not so great at pizzicato but with a piece I know the rhythm to it will be easier to learn.

Let It Be – The Beatles

This is quite a popular piece to learn on cello so hopefully there’ll be either free sheet music or a YouTube video to watch!

Do you play any musical instruments? Are there any songs you’d like to learn?

erin x

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February Goals | Novel Writing & My Etsy Shop

A New Year can be very daunting for all of us. All of this goal-setting can be very overwhelming; I don’t think any of you are failures for already giving up! That’s why I don’t do it. I introduce new habits whenever I think that I need them! For example, I am now working on the plank position. I started by doing it for 30 seconds every morning and night but now I’m bumping it up to a minute. I keep fit because it makes me feel better – the physical results are just a side-effect!

However, setting resolutions can be an attractive idea. That’s why I thought it could be interesting to do a ‘February Goals’ post! Just because the New Year hype is over doesn’t mean that we can’t still be challenging ourselves day-to-day.

Write 5000 words on my novel 

To all of the authors out there, I know 5000 doesn’t seem a lot. But we’ve got to start somewhere and small goals are really the only way for me! Don’t expect this novel to published anywhere soon. No doubt it will be another draft I am too insecure to share with anyone.

Read 100 pages a day

Towards the end of last year I was focusing a lot on other hobbies, so reading wasn’t in the forefront of my mind. Now that school has started again it feels more necessary to be reading a lot! Fiction also helps me develop ideas for my own books.

Sell my first scrunchies!

I’ve been working on an Etsy shop for a little while. Though everything I have the products and the website, I don’t have the packaging. This month I’d like to work on that and hopefully post my first order. Etsy isn’t something I want to do in the long run – I just thought it would be a good way to fundraise for GirlGuides! And if I somehow found the time then I’d make stickers too. I’ll link the shop here. All purchases are much appreciated! 

Do you set monthly goals? Have you kept up with the New Year’s resolutions you set?

erin x

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Orphan Monster Spy | Book Review

Okay, so we’ve encountered a five star read. It’s the first one in a while, which is what really excites me! Historical fiction has got to be my favourite genre and this book has everything in it that I love about the genre. There were elements in it that were  unique, such as including the dreams/nightmares of Sarah. They weaved into the plot slightly and gave it a lot more depth.

Synopsis

After her mother is shot at a checkpoint, fifteen-year-old Sarah–blonde, blue-eyed, and Jewish–finds herself on the run from a government that wants to see every person like her dead. Then Sarah meets a mysterious man with an ambiguous accent, a suspiciously bare apartment, and a lockbox full of weapons. He’s a spy, and he needs Sarah to become one, too, to pull off a mission he can’t attempt on his own: infiltrate a boarding school attended by the daughters of top Nazi brass, befriend the daughter of a key scientist, and steal the blueprints to a bomb that could destroy the cities of Western Europe. With years of training from her actress mother in the art of impersonation, Sarah thinks she’s ready. But nothing prepares her for her cutthroat schoolmates, and soon she finds herself in a battle for survival unlike any she’d ever imagined.

The style of writing wasn’t too ‘heavy’ yet it did have a good few metaphors! I wish I had written them down to how you examples but I’m not a literal critic and this is just meant to be a casual post. Sometimes I really get carried away with myself and start thinking it’s a language exam 😂

It doesn’t have much hype as it was only released in 2018, but I think it deserves more. There isn’t anything romantic or overly ‘YA’ about it other than a bit of bloody description. Similar to The Book Thief it is a book for all ages. I would press my mum to read this if she could before it was due back in the library! I don’t know if it’s for everyone, but as it isn’t spoken about much on bookstagram I don’t know many other opinions. If you have read this then I would really appreciate a chat in the comments!

Have you read any five-star reads this year? Do you like historical fiction?

erin x

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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?

erin x

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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)?

erin x

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