Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Guy Fawkes Night: November 5th

Heyyyy Everyone,

Leaving my life in Australia, I knew, was going to be a tough few weeks for me. I needed to have something to look forward to (besides seeing my family of course!). I was moping around on my last few days at work until one of the locals (who was a fellow brit) mentioned I would be back just in time for Guy Fawkes night, or as most people refer to it, Bonfire Night. It immediately lifted my spirits because I have loved Bonfire Night ever since I was a little girl. Some of the Australians I work with were asking me 'What is this 'Bonfire Night'?' And it hadn't even accured to me that it's just an English tradition. So, as most of my readers are from outside the UK, I thought I would explain to you a bit about what 'Guy Fawkes Night' is, and how I celebrated this year!

Back in 1605 Guy Fawkes and a group of his friends plotted to blow up the Houses of Parliment. They filled the basement with tons and tons of gunpowder that they intended to set on fire, causing the building the explode and kill all the leaders of the country including the kind!! Luckily, on November 5th, Guy Fawkes was caught before he had a chance to hurt anyone. It turns out he wasn't even the ringleader of the plot but he has become the one we remember the most. Guy Fawkes was imprisoned and later executed in January of 1606.

Since then, every year, throughout Britain, we commemorate the capture of Guy Fawkes with bonfires and fireworks, and sometimes by burning an effigy of Guy.
This year we had our own bonfire at home, which we haven't done since I was about 5 years old so, as you can imagine, I was overly excited! We didn't need to bother with fireworks because we could see about 5 other displays from our garden! Although we did invest in some sparklers for a little extra entertainemnt. And had fun trying to take some interesting photos with them!

I'm not sure whether the next tradition I am going to mention is country wide or just a northen thing, but I bloody love it... Minty mushy peas! I can imagine right now you're thinking what the hell are you on about ha ha They are honestly the tastiest things. A cup full of mushy peas with a big dollop of mint sause to stir in. I have to admit our peas this year did come out of a tin, but it has inspired me to practise my pea mushing skills so that next year I can make a big batch of homemade mint mushy peas for everyone.

A tradition we have as a family ourselves is to crack open the first bottle of mulled wine of the year. Again we were a bit lazy this year and just had a bottle of mulled wine with some chopped orange in, however I do love to make my own. Maybe I'll do a blog post on homemade mulled wine during December!

Of course we captured the whole thing on camera. So here's a few of my favourite images from the night.. thanks to my wonderful personal photographer, my stepdad Andy!

Do you celebrate Bonfire Night? Do you have any other traditions?

Ciao EmmaJessica >3

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Oct 2016: Unrivaled

Heyyyy Everyone,

Book reviews are back!! Sorry it's been a while but not only have I been struggling to find time to blog recently I have also struggled to find time to read. However, I am back on the blogging wagon and I have also dedicated time in my diary to get my head stuck in a good book, and by golly I have got a lot of books piled high ready to be read.

I realise the last book review I did back in March said I was reading a Kathy Reichs murder mystery, but I honestly have no idea what happened to that book, oops! But anyway, my best buddy Charlotte picked up Unrivaled by Alyson Noel for me at the airport when we were on our way back from Bali. We had some currency left and it wasn't really enough to get changed when we were back so we decided to spend it all and choose each other a book. She picked this particular book for me because it said on the back 'if you love Pretty Little Liars, you'll love this', and she knows how obsessed I am with PLL!

It was a fantastic read and most certainly had me hooked from the first page. I wouldn't of said it was very PLL though, probably more Gossip Girl (which is equally a favourite of mine so no problems there). It had a bit of a 'teen' feel to it, I'm not sure if it was targeted at teens but anyway was still good for me.

The storyline is about a group of late teens in Hollywood, LA that sign up to a contest of the best club promoter for a huge club owner. They are very different people and they are all in the contest for very different reasons, but the question is who wants it the most? And how far are they willing to go to win?

The whole way through the book I was rooting for Layla to win, probably because she was the most down to earth, relatable character. But the character I was really most interested in was Madison Brooks, she obviously has a hidden past and when I got stuck into the book I was dying to dig deeper and find out her darkest secrets!

My only criticism of this book was the ending. Like most books, the excitement was ramped up in the last 100 pages and I couldn't take my eyes off it, I just HAD to know what was going to happen!! But then it ended, and well ... I thought 'hmmm, is that really the end?' The very first thing I did when I had put it down was head straight over to google to research book number two. Which, by the way, good news, there is one (thank the lord!), bad news it isn't released until next year (I can't wait that long). The book would make a fantastic TV series and I feel like I've just watched the whole first series on Netflix and they have left me on the biggest cliff hanger and told me I've got to wait 6 months for the next series, it's fantastic and heart breaking all at the same time.

If I were you I would wait until book #2 comes out, buy them both together and then clear your diary for 2 days so you can just read none stop!! Next I'm going to get stuck into is The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins, a book I am desperate to read before I see the movie!! What are you reading at the moment?

Ciao EmmaJessica <3