The Bell Jar: Sylvia Plath

Happy weekend readers, I’m currently snuggled up in bed watching Hell’s Kitchen and penning you this review which is an odd but quite productive mix, if I suddenly start writing in capitals you’ll know that Gordan Ramsey is throwing people out of the kitchen. Saying that I’m sure it won’t  come to that. Today’s book review is another classic, although ultimately a modern classic and one I’ve been getting around to reading for a little while now. I haven’t really spoken about my TBR list but I don’t actually keep one because it terrifies me how long it would be, however I have one that sits snugly in the back of my mind of books I think I should read and this one has been on it for years. Finally I have got round to it. It’s taken a little while to decide my final thoughts but today I bring you my review of the beautiful and haunting ‘The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath.’

I was supposed to be having the time of my life.

When Esther Greenwood wins an internship on a New York fashion magazine in 1953, she is elated, believing she will finally realise her dream to become a writer. But in between the cocktail parties and piles of manuscripts, Esther’s life begins to slide out of control. She finds herself spiralling into serious depression as she grapples with difficult relationships and a society which refuses to take her aspirations seriously. The Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath’s only novel, was originally published in 1963 under the pseudonym Victoria Lucas. The novel is partially based on Plath’s own life and descent into mental illness, and has become a modern classic.

I’m not sure how many of my readers will have read this rather wonderful book but I’ll script out a little bit of the plot. The story follows a year in the life of Esther Greenwood a plucky young lady who wins an internship to at a New York Fashion magazine. Despite the wild parties, exciting lifestyle and a bounty of friends Esther’s life starts to spiral out of control, first slowly and then suddenly almost all at once. A mixture of difficult relationships, the worry of losing her virginity and society refusing to taking her aspirations wholly seriously she spirals into a deep and serious depression. After failing to get onto a writing course with an author she ends up back at home with her parents who take her to psychiatrist, worried about her mental state. We follow as she battles with her depression, suicidal thoughts, and the inhumane shock therapy she is subjected to. A truly compelling tale.

So that’s a very crude description of the book and there is so much more to it but I’m hoping to pull you in with the review more than the description of the plot. Additionally before we dive into my thoughts I’ve done a little researching on the book and this was originally published under the pseudonym Victoria Lucas back in 1963. Some say the book is mainly autobiographical some state it was partially based. I’m reviewing this as much as I can on the book and the book alone.

I guess what stands out the most about Plath’s novel is how committed it is to telling a truly honest tale about experiencing a mental illness and Esther’s truly difficult battle with depression. It doesn’t feel over emphasised or skewed to make it more dramatic. Instead, we are told a truly upsetting but wholesome tale of ‘The Bell Jar.’ See, as Esther considers her life she describes her illness as to be trapped inside a bell jar. Alienated from the world Esther battles with the feeling of isolation, which leaves her unable to function on a human level (at one point she refuses even to shower.) The novel doesn’t give any easy quick fixes and throughout Esther discusses her belief that she may never be cured but will be something that needs controlling by her for the rest of her life.

One of the things I really enjoyed, were the contrasts between both the different parts of the story, the first during her internship and the second where she struggles between different psychiatric units; both are beautifully written. The imagery of the girls she meets and befriends and their glitzy nights out and interesting daily lives are brought to life before the reader’s eyes but there is always that feeling of isolation and an inability to fit in. The writing is stylish, honest, raw and sometimes confusing. It moves at times randomly and without warning. Esther is such an interesting character as well, both honest, naïve, blunt and edgy her personality warps throughout making the events even more intriguing.

It’s very difficult to get everything into this review because there is so much to pack in. If you haven’t read it I would really recommend it because it is a stunning piece of writing. It’s a raw and honest portrayal of Plath’s decision to face her own demons and attempt to pull through. Devastatingly we know the heartbreaking truth of Plath’s battle but her novel and tale live on, there to be read by generations and generations to come.

sylvia

 

 

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Girl 20: Kingsley Amis

Good afternoon readers, I have another 101 things in 1001 days review for you. I have been really enjoying the classic books I’ve been reading and after discussing the challenge with a number of friends and family I have added a couple of recommendations to said list. Despite Girl 20 being a book I really thought I would enjoy (the blurb read right up my street,) it’s taken me far longer than expected to finish this book. I can’t say I didn’t enjoy it but it missed the mark in terms of my expectations; I wonder if you agree?

Life in London means glamour, fashion, finance and art. Consider then an ageing conductor, husband in an unsatisfactory marriage, father to an unhappy brood. When a young woman responds to his overtures, he breaks the marriage and bursts the family…alas, everyone loses in this drama, for nothing puts people together again.

Kingsley Amis has again written a story of infidelity, destructive selfishness, and blatant stupidity and managed to make it hilarious. The basic story centres on a symphony conductor who, in an attempt to reawaken his lust for life, is having an ill-advised affair with a girl one-third his age. As you might expect, the disasters this creates in his life are quite entertaining. The narrator, an upper-crust music critic, speaks of the rapid disintegration of the conductor’s family and his own love life with such detached snobbery, that even mundane events come alive with vivid humour. Especially funny is his description of a date that includes attending a wrestling event. One warning: Amis offers no clean-cut solutions, but turns expectations upside-down. The last page of Girl,20 comes as a surprise that will leave you wishing for more.

So the book follows in the rather forlorn footsteps of our narrator Douglas Yarnell, a music critic, as he follows and tries to put right the rather absurd main character Sir Roy Vandervane. See Sir Roy is currently embarking in a rather questionable relationship with the truly horrid character Sylvia Meers a seventeen year old, despite Roy’s much older age of 54. See, the title of the book relates most to Roy’s preference to date a girl less than a third of his age. We follow the unlikely pair as they muddle through, Douglas trying desperately to please every single member of the Vandervane family including as above Sir Roy, Kitty his long suffering wife  and Penny his daughter from another marriage and sort out their ‘messes,’ with very little success.

So a rather crude description of the blurb by myself in this review but I found it a little tough to really pull together because this book is less about the plot and more about the characters. Amis’s talent is his ability to really convey the world around him with a piercingly cold and accurate eye. Each of the characters, although noticeably dislikeable is told in the cold pure light of truth and each is perfectly described. Roy is an absurd man, constantly muttering hypocritical and absurdly pompous and self-indulged lies. Douglas is a soft and malleable character easily plied to the demands of the other characters. Slyvia is a truly disturbed attention seeking female who is truly horrid and so absurd that her ‘charm’ mirrors Sir Roy’s need to reawaken his youth. These characters are the foundations of the plotline and through each of them being captured honestly, it means that when placed in the situations that Amis dreams up it becomes a little comedic despite the constant sadness of the storyline. Douglas throughout is constantly pulled between what he believes to be the moral standpoint to make and also how he can support each of the divided family members due his compassionate character profile. Underneath the awfulness of each of the character is a sense of deep and impenetrable compassion.

The book does discuss a number of political messages especially in terms of Roy’s hypocritical sense of ‘socialism,’ but I took more of a message from the book. Throughout we get the constant mix of the two main characters. Roy is a trend chasing conductor constantly trying to prove his youth in both the burgeoning pop music he tries to re-create which fails abysmally and in his dating of Sylvia. Douglas is a critic of music, but as we continue through the book we see his constant attempts to prove his use to everyone. Through this we see that he is unwilling to criticise on anything other than music; he lacks an opinion. Both are empty ways to live a life, and for Amis the two men are easy targets; both are dishonest in their own evaluations of what is important in life and it leaves them open to sadness and regret and along the way many of the other innocent characters Kitty and Penny are hurt also. Towards the end this is resolved but it takes till the final page turn to really sum everything up.

Saying all this I felt the book fell a little flat and it’s most probably because despite being quite a compassionate tale I didn’t feel for any of the characters. I understand that this was ultimately what Amis was trying to convey (I think) but for me it meant on finishing I thought right, what next? See that’s not really what you want to feel when finishing a book but that’s how it left me. I’m glad I read it, but not quite what I was expecting.

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101 things in 1001 days: Leave a message in a book (and leave the book somewhere)

 

101 things in 1001 days

Good evening readers, a very sweet 101 things post today on mylittlebookblog.

Just under a month ago on Friday the 6th of February I came home after an incredibly long week at work and immediately turned the boiler on and poured a large glass of rose. Washing and plaiting my hair, popping on my pyjamas and grabbing hold of the book I was reading I got into bed before realising I had three missed calls and a number of texts. Calling back the first missed call which was an unknown number a very excited Miss Anna Simpson answered the phone telling me that her wonderful boyfriend Adam had proposed at the top of the Shard.

After a couple of excited screams and laughter she told me that they would be in Soho for the rest of the evening and that if it would be so special to get the girls together and come down and celebrate. Immediately phone was put down, playsuit on and my hair dried whilst constantly phoning my friends to discuss plans I threw my purse, makeup, book, phone and phone charger into a bag and called a couple of taxi firms. Within forty minutes I was on a train desperately trying to call Hope and Leanne. See after a full day of work all of our phones were almost drained of battery and attempting to meet up in the same spot in Euston was proving difficult but on planning I settled down to read.

Upon finishing the book I thought to myself wouldn’t it be perfect to complete one of the 101 things in 1001 days challenge and write a message in said book and leave it on the train to commemorate such a special jounrney. So borrowing a pen off the girl sat next to me (who I happened to know,) I quickly penned a message into the book. It read.

To the person that finds this book my name is Lizzy and I run a lovely little book blog called mylittlebookblog.com. I’m completing a list of tasks and one is to write a message in a book and leave it somewhere. It just so happens that right now I am on a last minute train to celebrate the surprise engagement of two friends. I’m leaving this book here to commemorate this incredibly special journey and what today means to my two dear friends. Marriage is a crazy adventure of love, hope and faith in one another and as this lovely book is based on faith in religion it was rather fitting. Maybe you’ll get in touch and let me know where this book ends up or maybe not. Thank you for picking me up, having a read and being part of this special journey. Lizzy xxx

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Leaving the book once I hit London we had an incredibly special evening celebrating the engagement of two incredibly dear friends. The wine was flowing and the stories of the engagement told with excited giggles from us girls trying to get a good look at the ring. It was a perfect night and upon travelling back to Milton Keynes later that evening, nearing midnight there was many a talk about who would be the next. We’ll have to see whether that comes true.

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I’ve left this post a month to see whether anyone did get in touch and nothing so far. It could be lounging around somewhere waiting to be picked up but I’m not too hopeful.  Either way, it was an incredibly lovely way to commemorate a special evening with two people that really are perfect for each other.

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Down and Out in Paris and London: George Orwell

101 things in 1001 days

Afternoon readers, another 101 things in 1001 days post but also a book review. Since becoming more of an avid reader I have continued to manage avoiding reading many of the ‘classic’ pieces of literature. I’ve always been one to pick more contemporary writers and books and this has become more so because of my review requests page. However, when writing my list of things to do I thought it might be beneficial to me as a reader to sit down and read a number of classics. I did a little research and listed down a number to try so there will be a number of these reviews in the coming month. Today’s came to both ease me in and so I could read more from George Orwell. Although I enjoyed 1984 it hasn’t stuck with me as a book I need to read again I was intrigued to read more from the famous author. Thank goodness I did because this has just lodged itself in my top ten list of books. Let me transport you to the slums of Paris and London.

George Orwell’s vivid memoir of his time living among the desperately poor and destitute, Down and Out in Paris and London is a moving tour of the underworld of society from the author of 1984, published with an introduction by Dervla Murphy in Penguin Modern Classics. ‘You have talked so often of going to the dogs – and well, here are the dogs, and you have reached them.’ Written when Orwell was a struggling writer in his twenties, it documents his ‘first contact with poverty’. Here, he painstakingly documents a world of unrelenting drudgery and squalor – sleeping in bug-infested hostels and doss houses of last resort, working as a dishwasher in Paris’s vile ‘Hôtel X’, surviving on scraps and cigarette butts, living alongside tramps, a star-gazing pavement artist and a starving Russian ex-army captain. Exposing a shocking, previously-hidden world to his readers, Orwell gave a human face to the statistics of poverty for the first time – and in doing so, found his voice as a writer.

One word to describe this book is grubby although that wouldn’t come close to convey the lyrical writing style of this wonderful book. The book follows Orwell as he struggles to find his feet in the back streets of firstly Paris and in the second part of the book also London. Largely autobiographic the book documents Orwell living in the bowels of a number of different hotels in Paris. Sweating over the hot stoves and desperately washing pots and pans for his superiors we get to visit poverty from a real life perspective. We learn about the lack of hygiene in the smartest of Paris hotels and the everyday poverty that Orwell faced, often both starving and exhausted. The writing is beautifully written, both romantic and utterly gritty I was immediately transported to the dirty soiled hotels of Paris.

The characters are incredibly well built, Boris is the star of the first part of the book that focuses on Paris. He leaps from the page both in his speech and the way in which Orwell describes him, but no matter who we come into contact with along the way Orwell gives us so much detail you cannot help but be transported to the poverty stricken streets. The second part of the book takes us to the dreary roads of London where Orwell intermingles with the tramps of the city and tells a similar story. However the book is lively and Orwell describes the camaraderie of the two cities with a bohemian style of love and freedom. The writing style is dark but humorous, from the descriptions of the grimy sharing of rooms with a vivid number of characters to the boarding houses and homeless hostels named spikes in London. Although gloomier in London the tales are none the less both interesting and informative. I have never read a book quite so good at describing the atmosphere of poverty, hunger , dirt and dismay with so much hope and understanding.

We also often get a philosophical side to the writing, often razor sharp and riddled with humour which is rather surprising seeing the desperate situation of the author and the people he finds himself in the company of. The book is written as though Orwell was alive and well now, telling us these stories of characters such as Bozo the street screever or pavement artist in the most destitute of situations and yet so hopeful for the future. Or Paddy the tramp who even when suffering with the most stomach turning of hunger refuses to steal a bottle of milk from a doorstep. It is quite a wonderful way of telling a tale and on the train to Milton Keynes I became utterly submerged in the story from the very beginning.

Overall this is a tale of poverty, hunger, destitution and pain but it is a wonderfully honest and uplifting tale. Orwell brings these people and stories to life with such beautifully honest prose that I almost felt the stony floors of the London spikes and the drunken tales from the Parisian bars. A stunner of a book and one I cannot wait to read again.

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101 things in 1001 days: Keep a Swear Jar for a month

101 things in 1001 days

Good morning lovely readers, it’s been an odd couple of weeks for me, and I think it’s because I finally realised how incredibly unhappy living in Stoke is making me. I know this will come of no surprise to a number of my closer friends, but recently the trains home every weekend, and the 4 am starts come Monday morning are becoming a time killer for both me and my wonderfully compromising parents. This last week or so I’ve been putting into motion, the steps to help me move back to the south of the country and be closer to the people that mean the most to me and to put my lifelong plans for working and living in London into place. It might be a dream and potentially an unrealistic goal but after this realisation of how much I need to get out of the cold, dank and frankly dire house I currently reside in, I need to start making my ambitions a reality.

Today’s 101 things post at first probably won’t make a lot of sense to begin with in terms of this change but this month’s swear jar really enlightened me a little. First things first I added this to the list because before I went to university I thought swearing was incredibly impolite and made it my mission to never let an offensive word slip. However, over the last couple of years and especially in the past seven months since working for an engineering firm I’ve found the number of times I’m using offensive language reaching an uncouth level. I thought it’d be nice to include it and get an idea of how often I’m swearing and put the money towards something (if you have any ideas please pop them in the comments below.) The swear jar was 50p a swear no matter how offensive and I noted how many  I was saying down in my diary during the days of the month of January.

For the first couple of days, it wasn’t too bad, I was trying to keep an eye on it and make sure that my language was polite however this swiftly came to a stop. A number of days in I came home from work to see a friend, I popped over to Sainsbury’s to buy ingredients for the pizza I was making for another 101 days challenge and upon entering I found the power and heating to be completely out. Running down to cellar, I pushed the button for emergency electricity before finding out even that had run completely dry. I cannot fathom how the two other lodgers living in my house had spent the day with no electricity or heating as the house was incredibly chilly. Let’s just say a number of words may have left my mouth in quick succession. The week after, eyes lazy with sleep and with the house utterly icy I stumbled into the bathroom, turned on the shower and left it to warm up whilst I grabbed my pink fluffy towel. Jumping in without checking, it seemed that the meter was once again out, and the water was so icy that even washing it under the stream of water gave me unbearable brain freeze. Yet again another number of expletives. This happened on another number of other occasions. With the swear jar piling up a couple of tough days at work, a troublesome EBlast, a couple of nights out, and my generally clumsy nature that leaves me rather bruised on a daily basis, I guess the jar was spilling over.

Saying all this there were a number of days where I didn’t swear at all, and I’m including bad words not just your regular swear words that I will not list here. The last week there were very little and so, in terms of money the final jar was £31.50 which is just over a swear a day. I actually really enjoyed doing this challenge although I won’t be doing it again any time soon because even though I am no longer keeping a swear jar I do think to myself, oh that’s another fifty pence, or how many times have you sworn today. It’s created an internal check on the words I’m saying. It has also reinforced my knowledge that even if I don’t leave Stoke I need to find somewhere else to live, in the not too distant future because so many of the swears came from not having heating or freezing water in the shower. It’s helped make that move seem more important and I’ll let you know how I’m getting on in making those steps as they happen!

101 Things in 1001 days: Make pizza from scratch

Good afternoon readers; since I’m a little off book reviews after the book review challenge I’ve decided to bring you a tasty 101 things in 1001 days challenge. Although my culinary skills are not poor, since I started my job I seem to have got into the habit of making the same things over and over again. Although this is no bad thing (I make a mean spag bol) I’ve decided to try and up my tried and tested recipes and add pizza to the mix. There is a reason behind it being pizza specifically but I’ll get back to that. A little side note, I was tempted to pretend that this went perfectly first time however I decided to be completely honest. This took in honesty three attempts before the pizza resembled anything edible; the first time I was so excited I forgot to add the olive oil. A more experienced cook could probably guess how important this is for making pizza but I had no idea and chucked it into my kneaded dough. Then to try and repair this I added flour; don’t do that, it won’t work. Second Bridget Jones moment came the second time when I managed to tip most of the flour out of the bowl onto the floor, over-compensated added too much flour and then couldn’t roll it out. Nightmare. However yesterday I started again and somehow managed to get it done perfectly.

The reason why I decided to specifically include pizza on the list takes me back to Silverstone Juniors aged just eight. For some reason, which I cannot for the life of me recall, one sunny afternoon the entirety of the school made pizza. There must have been an educational link somewhere but I can’t quite put my finger on it. The twenty of us in year four rolled up our sleeves, mixed the dough and kneaded it before adding our toppings and had the teacher pop them carefully in the oven. What came out was an inedible mass that when thrown out to the birds, was also refused by them. It was doughy, chewy and undercooked. When I came to write my list it suddenly pinged back into my memory and so I found a recipe and on Monday night set myself the task of making pizza.

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I took the recipe from the GoodFood website but seeing as the scales I was using weren’t working too well and I hadn’t realised we didn’t have a measuring jug there was a lot of guess work. Firstly measure out 300g of strong bread flour. I used the white variety however I assume wholemeal would work equally well. Then add a tsp of yeast, a tsp of salt and a tbsp of olive oil. Then measure out 200ml of warm water, make a well in the mound of dry ingredients and ‘bring together’ with a wooden spoon. It says at this point it should be a wet dough however mine was ridiculously sticky so I added a little more flour until it looked how I thought it should. Then you have to seriously knead the dough; I went all bake off style and started properly working it, until it looked pretty smooth. Then you have the choice of either letting it rise a little or just steaming right ahead. I left mine for a little bit, but it didn’t rise a huge amount so I’d be tempted to skip this step.

At this stage I decided to roast some yellow pepper in the oven; I couldn’t decide whether they would cook if I just put them on the top so I decided instead to roast them off in a little olive oil and salt but it depends on your toppings of choice and how well done you like your ingredients. The next tricky step is rolling it out, this dough is seriously stretchy. Not only did it keep pulling back when I stretched it out but it also wouldn’t roll into a circle. It ended up resembling a rather wonky oval however I managed to stretch it out a little and make it look a bit more circular. I also didn’t have a rolling pin which obviously made this a little more difficult. I then floured the baking tin, and popped the dough on before stretching it out a little more whilst on the tin. I squeezed on a little tomato puree and a couple of spoons of tomato passata and added salt and pepper before pushing it around the entire base of the pizza.  I took the roasted pepper from the oven, and cut up some pre-cooked bits of chicken which tasted pretty delicious. I then popped on a sprinkling of sweetcorn, some circles of mozzarella and some torn up basil leaves before placing it in the oven on a temperature of 160. I think the recipe said higher but I have a terrible habit of leaving pizza too long and it going a little burnt and I wanted to avoid this as much as possible.

Despite me being delirious that the pizza looked like it might work, it actually smelt incredibly delicious and it cooked rather evenly despite my oven being pretty time-worn and ancient. Although a little thicker on the outside and having a few holes in the bottom due to my panic that it would be too thick and wouldn’t cook well the pizza was honestly delicious. I don’t eat a huge amount of pizza; it’s not my go to choice of takeaway however it tasted so much better than the doughy deep pan pizzas that your regular takeaway has to offer and I will one hundred percent be doing this again soon.

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101 things in 1001 days: Photograph a day in your life

Happy Thursday morning readers; there will be another review up later today hopefully. I am currently still attempting to stick to my ten days, ten reviews challenge, but for now a 101 things in 1001 days post. I actually completed this a number of weeks ago now but decided shortly before posting to capture another day; notably a blogging day. Every couple of weeks I commit myself to a day of blogging errands so to speak. This includes reading, writing notes, typing up reviews, going through my email inbox and I thought it would be rather lovely to document one of these days. I meant to complete this last weekend however I always seem to give in and end up travelling home to sleepy Silverstone. However this weekend in a rather freezing but dry and clear Stoke-on-Trent I finally got round to it. I’m not sure whether I am completely happy with posting my make-up free face all over the Internet how I hope you enjoy this lovely little post.

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Although the photographs are very basic and taken in a snapshot way, I think they are rather lovely as a set. At the beginning of the day I kept forgetting to get a photograph and then trying to think of ways of how to get those moments back. It looks like I did very little on that lazy Saturday but in all honesty I had a wonderful day and got so much good blogging work done. This 101 things post has helped me revaluate my little life in Stoke-On-Trent and I can’t wait to try this again. I’ve tried to make the images a candid look into my lovely Saturdays and my life now that I’m apparently an independent adult. The end of the photographs is a little rushed because I had friends round and we were off for a night out to the union so that day actually ends at us in the taxi so on a normal day it would be a lot more relaxed however drinking and playing games the photographs got a little forgotten. I’d love to know your thoughts 🙂

101 things in 1001 days: Taste five cocktails I’ve never tried before

Recently I’ve been really struggling to complete any of the tasks on the 101 things in 1001 days list and I’m slipping behind a little in terms of my schedule. Browsing through the list yesterday I spotted one that I had missed, that being ‘taste five cocktails you haven’t tried before.’ In the past few months or so I know I’ve tried a number of new cocktails that definitely add up to over five however I’ve picked a few of my favourites.

Last year, sometime during July me and my then housemate Laura discovered the Coconut margarita cocktail; the usual recipe with a dash of Malibu. This has started a little bit of an obsession with this new type of margaritas. Tequila is a favourite of mine; however recently our bar of choice for cocktails changed hands and was re-named (The Kiln) quite suitable seeing the provenance of the potteries to Stoke-On-Trent. Although the menu is now missing the delectable coconut margaritas they have introduced two new flavours; the first passion fruit the second raspberry. Despite trying the two a number of times me and my cocktail buddy Ollie have yet to decide which is the better of the two.

The next new cocktail of choice, came about when me and my darling mother travelled to Glasgow for a weekend away; if the margaritas is unavailable I will normally go for a Cosmopolitan made rather famous due to being the favourite of the Sex and the City gals. This ‘cosmo’ was laced with strawberry and burnt orange and was rather wonderful however my mother decided to go for a orange based cocktail with a chilli kick. Blended with a dash of Tabasco this cocktail was delicious to say the least and although I don’t remember the name of it so well it was incredibly lovely. The next new cocktail choice came on a night out in Milton Keynes only a month or so ago; my dear friend Leanne is a big fan of the creamy cocktails either with a hit of coffee or chocolate liquor. We went to Las Iguanas a favourite of ours and tried the utterly delicious Crema Chido. A blend of Mexican liqueurs, Xta, with honey & aniseed
flavours, shaken with Kahlua, cream & almond syrup. It’s not something I would particularly pick however it was really good.

The final cocktail is one that I had whilst once again frequenting the bar The Kiln with one of my philosophy student friends. When the chain swapped hands they definitely increased their range of interesting cocktails and this one was named Wine gums from their Candy Shop menu. Sporting St-Germain elderflower liqueur, Chambord, Bombay Sapphire, apple juice and lemon and at the bottom of the glass was a selection of actual wine gums that became sticky in the alcoholic liquid. It not only tasted delicious but the wine gums were devoured and were pretty great. There are a number that I haven’t mentioned that didn’t make it onto the list however these were my favourites of the bunch!

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101 things in 1001 days: Watch a Marilyn Monroe film

Good evening readers, hope you enjoyed the review yesterday. Today’s post is another 101 things in 1001 days. I’ve actually been keeping really up to date with the list which is wonderful. Some of the things on the list are taking a lot of time to get off the ground, I’ve been trying to grow a plant from seed to flower for some time now, but there is a good range of different things to-do. So, the ones that are quick and easy to get started I am trying to get through to free up some months in the future. Today is another film related post so hope you enjoy.

This one came up mostly due to the same reason as my post wanting to watch an Audrey Hepburn film. I love Marilyn Monroe, she is a style icon even now, she was a real woman and she was utterly gorgeous. But once again my love for her is built on fickle and shallow foundations. So, when I was last pottering around Hanley shopping centre looking for Christmas presents for my girls back at home I picked up the film ‘Some Like It Hot.’

So Monday, whilst sick from work, bundled up in a woolly jumper, fleecy pyjama bottoms and cosy knitted socks I sat down to wrap presents with this delightfully funny film on in the background. I actually really enjoyed it, I forget how much I enjoy old comedy films and I need to see more of them because they have some much content and it focuses on the actors rather than the special effects that we see in most of the films released today. Monroe was delightfully lovely and although Mumma B had warned me from watching it because she is a little ditsy I thought it was all rather wonderful. I liked the story and the way it was told and I almost forgot about the job I was supposed to be doing! Additionally Tony Curtis is a very handsome man and I felt a little for his old-school charm. Overall a truly loveable film that I can’t wait to watch again.

marilyn

101 things in 1001 days: See a band you haven’t seen before in concert

101 things in 1001 days

It’s quite fitting that this is my 600th post because I had such a wonderful evening being able to document this is lovely. I have been keeping up to date with my 101 tasks and here is another to check off the list. The original point I wrote on the list was to see a new band in concert but I meant a band I haven’t seen before, and this isn’t exactly a new band so I’ve re-worded it a little better. Embrace is a band that Anna introduced me too years back and my love for them has continued to be a constant in my life and I’ve even shown Mumma B their wonderful music. If you haven’t heard of them I definitely recommend Gravity, Ashes, or Nature’s Law to get a real feel of their music.

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So on Wednesday my lovely friend Anna travelled up to Stoke-On-Trent and after numerous glasses of wine and plates of pizza, potato wedges and ketchup, we travelled to the Victoria Hall and purchased more wine, and then made our way into watch the show. Although the venue was a little empty we watched the warm up acts, NGOD and POLO and whilst sipping our wine we waited for the main event. Were, they good? They were absolutely wonderful! Although they released a new album earlier this year their old albums went down the best and we sang along at the top of our voices and swayed along with the rest of the audience. The place was pretty packed by this point and we had a wonderful time dancing along and jumping up and down. Four hours later we sauntered out and caught a cab home to my lovely snuggly warm terraced house and snuggled down for the night. Does it get any better?

anna