101 things in 1001 days: Travel somewhere new in Europe

101 things in 1001 days

On Thursday the 19th of May, six wonderful friends travelled to Manchester in preparation for an early, yawn-inducing, flight to Copenhagen, Denmark. Denmark may not be the first country that comes to mind when envisioning a ‘friends holiday’ but the image of six, recently employed graduates, struggling round one ageing laptop and eating Sainsbury’s basic salt and vinegar spirals may help. The headline would read “Stony broke recently graduated human beings try to escape Stoke-on-Trent.” Three hours, a headache and one rebooked flight later we had secured a three night stop over give or take one flight, one of the nights in a hotel and any idea of getting to the airport.

Friday morning full of the obligatory cooked breakfast and a vodka and orange (with at least one shot incorporated) we boarded the flight and two hours or so later we arrived in the bustling capital. As I nearly caused a queue meltdown, mistaking out ticket numbered 006 for 900 and nearly queue jumping over one hundred people we boarded the train to the hostel. Checked into our darling, quirky hostel our minds turned to food and our second drink of the day.

We ambled down the stunning cobbled streets of this wonderful city. The streets were incredibly beautiful and I was shocked at how many cyclists were on the road. A number of times cyclists rang their bells to get us to move out of the way and make room. We ended up finding ice-cream, going to an Irish bar and the hostel and drinking a lot more than we thought we would. A day well done in my eyes

On the Saturday it was the birthday of the wonderful Ollie Birch. Deciding to explore the city and make our way to a number of Botanical gardens we set off into the city. Accidentally veering off course we spotted three swan pedalo’s and with the sun streaming down on us we took to the water. At one hundred Krone for the hour (five pounds each) we spent the next sixty minutes pedalling up and down the water, chasing each other, naming the swans, and generally causing a great deal of trouble. The park was beautiful and we could see the runners sprinting round the water, gearing up for the Copenhagen Marathon scheduled for the very next day.

Leaving the swans, with not too many scratches, we made our way to the Botanical gardens. Filled with every flower you can imagine, poisoned, flowered, blossoms, we entered the greenhouses that were hot and humid and spent the time spotting tiny little orange frogs. Tom and Harry continued their want to re-create statues and artwork from around the city and many giggles were had as they attempted the regal poses. That evening we hunted out a bar to watch the Eurovision Song Contest. Drinking cider, diet coke and red square vodka and singing along to the acts we finished the night in a local McDonalds. Bang on.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY OLLLLLLLLIE

The next day, we finally sought out the Little Mermaid statue. Although we decided not to really plan every day to the minute it was the one attraction that kept being mentioned when people learnt of our trip to Copenhagen. Not before our first Danish pastry and coffee for breakfast. Walking down towards the coast line we spotted a little café; orders ranged from chocolate and custard to croissants to covered in coloured sprinkles. I chose a terribly sweet pastry covered in little seeds and a black coffee and it tasted oh so wonderful.

We passed the harbour, a replica statue of David, a number of fountains, boats and the weather really picked up. Beautiful sunshine splayed out across the harbour. The little Mermaid although beautiful was squandered by the sheer number of people desperately trying to climb upon the statue but we had a good view and she is a wonderful statue to say the least. We spent the rest of the day exploring; we found a windmill, an old abandoned army barracks, a memorial, saw the Marbled Church and ate loaded open sandwiches.

We spent a lot of the trip exploring and walking around the vast and beautiful city and it felt so wonderful just to see it without any preconceptions.

Later than evening the city was incredibly busy but seeking out a restaurant we were lead to the back of the establishment and taken down a number of steps. Realising a little later that we were in a completely different restaurant we ordered and were quickly dismayed. The food was cold, wrong and damn right horrible and the female pirate model in the bathroom who had lost both of her arms was the last straw (although cause a lot of giggles.) We quickly left, with a little money off the bill and went to find some drinks. Finding a bar we asked if we could have the menu the reply ‘We do whiskey, gin, vodka, what more do you want?’ went down a storm and we spent the rest of the night in the hostel bar, drinking Piña coladas (renamed Penis Colliders,) doing tequila shots, and playing pool and air hockey.

One of the more surreal adventures along our trip was a boat excursion to an abandoned fortress set upon an island. We stumbled upon the chance to go thinking that it would be an informative trip and we would learn a little more about Denmark and Copenhagen. As we neared the fortress it soon became clear that this maybe wasn’t the place you would like to be left for two hours waiting for the boat: it honestly looked like a still from Shutter Island. We entered the fortress and read a few of the informative signs. However as we wandered through it felt as though they had just run out of money. The ceilings were covered in both stalactites dripping down onto the grubby floors. Harry decided around this time to pretend to be a terrifying zombie and scare the living crap out of me. His zombie impression is perfect to say the least saying that

On the suggestion of the boat guide we went down a staircase into the cellar. There, there were no lights, and odd noises echoed through the rooms. Inside were odd pieces of materials, rusty pipes, old machinery and linen. It was terrifying to say the least. Deciding to film our endeavour, Sarah’s camera decided to corrupt the video adding more fear and after I stepped on something and shrieked loudly we ran back up to the safety of the light. Deciding the café was better for us, we spent the next hour drinking frothy hot-chocolates, fluffy chocolate cake and cooing over a six week old Labrador puppy named Melly.

Deciding to venture back into the fortress, we found a bike, albeit with a flat tire and decided to teach our friend Harry to ride a bike. With Tom and Ollie grabbing the back and Sarah, Dani and I screaming “pedallllll” we all fell into fits of giggles as Harry *cycled* through the musty fortress.

We spent the rest of the afternoon talking in a tiny little bar, drinking cider and coffee with baileys and set out to find somewhere for dinner. We ended back at the first restaurant we found on the first day, and truly loved reminiscing about our trip.

It’s a little difficult to get it all in but I honestly had the most wonderful, wonderful time away. Not only did I have an incredible time seeing a stunning, exciting, interesting city but I did it with the most wonderful people possible. I haven’t managed to get everything in (we did so goddamn much over four days) but hopefully you’ve had a little insight into our trip to Denmark.

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30 thoughts that run through your mind during reading whilst waiting for the bus

Happy Friday readers, hope you are wonderfully well this lovely Friday. I wrote the post 45 Thoughts Whilst Writing a Book Review and thought it would be fun to write you another thought-style post. I unfortunately still cannot drive, so my mode of transport is a twice-daily bus to and from work. I cannot tell you the number the times I’ve almost or have missed the bus due to having my nose stuck in a book so here are my 30 thoughts that run through your mind during reading whilst waiting for the bus
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1) Work is over, time to get home and binge watch ‘House of Cards’/’Breaking Bad,’/’Friends’
2) But first, have to get this bloody bus ride home done gah
3) There should have been one already,
4) Hmm..trusty book, this will kill some time
5) I’ve lost the book mark, oh worries me
6) *flips forward several pages*
7) *flips back several pages*
8) Ah, here we go.
9) Gah it is blowy today, my dress is going awol
10) Shucks, it’s cute though
Photo By Edgaras Maselskis
11) Is it odd to read whilst at the bus stop? No, course not
12) Oh gah the wind keeps blowing my pages about and I can’t concentrate
13) *beep* oh hello fellow colleague making your way home whilst I stand in the wind waiting for this goddamn bus *waves*
14) I must have been here half an hour. At least.
15) Oh it’s been five minutes.
16) What was I doing again? Oh reading,
17) Wouldn’t it look cute if I instagrammed this?
18) YES
19) *snaps picture* okaaaay, Instagram, apply filter
20) Bookworm at the bus stop 2K15 #bookworm #booklyfe
Photo By Barby Dalbosco
21) Gah, I am a social media legend
22) Back to le book, oh this bit is good, so glad this bus is a little late
23) *Reads Intently*
24) Shit is that the bus?
25) Where the hell is my ticket… oh that was the book mark
26) F****
27) No money on me! But wait, I see you Mr Bus Ticket
28) Although, the bus is now 1000000 metres away
29) At least I’ve got a book right
30) Now where was I? *reads*
 Photo By Stefan Kunze
I really enjoy writing these posts; something a little more creative from yours truly. Now where is that bloody bus?

Two Year Anniversary of mylittlebookblog!

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Afternoon readers, a little news from my little book blog. On the 29th of April 2015 I will be celebrating the two year official anniversary of mylittlebookblog.com. I can not believe how much this blog has given me in terms of confidence in my writing and reviewing, the sheer number of authors, readers, publishers and book bloggers I have met who have been such a joy to get to know and the number of books I’ve read and been introduced to. I will be celebrating the two years blogging between the dates of the 29th of April and the 3rd of May and would love as many of you to get involved as possible. Whether that’s a guest post, helping me with a give-away in terms of prizes or just sharing my blog posts on the day. If you would like to get in touch please comment or email me at mylittlebookblog2014@gmail.com

Thank you

x

Piano from a 4th storey window: Jenny Morton Potts

Good evening readers, hope you’re all well unlike me, a little sick bunny. It seems I have caught a tummy bug which left me rendered completely useless yesterday. After being rudely awakened by my housemate, I heaved myself out of bed to go and purchase whatever it was she was complaining about. Hauling a sick ridden body out of bed dressing it in patterned black, red and white leggings, an orange t-shirt and a pair of blue fabric pumps and a massive coat with a fur hood I must have looked comical. I cannot wait to move away from the drama of where I live. Before I get too off topic there are a number of reviews that were supposed to be posted days ago but I’ve been so sick I haven’t had any time to sort them and amongst packing for the move last week. I’m hoping to get them written up ASAP so if you’re waiting for a review it’s on its way I promise. So, without further delay onto today’s review.

Lawrence Fyre and Marin Strang aren’t like other people. He is the eccentric owner of failing Sargasso Books in the Brighton Lanes. She is an ex-Jehovah’s Witness and isolated Spanish teacher. If they live together in his illegal, beautiful, rope laddered lock-up; can their love overcome their losses?  Original, sexy, very funny and deeply moving. An author in complete control of a number of unforgettable characters and emotional highs and lows, Jenny Morton Potts leaves the reader breathless, and wanting more.

So as the blurb suggests Marin Strang is a Spanish teacher whose life hasn’t quite gone the way she wanted it to; having to live on a wage from numerous temporary teaching contracts and coming out of a rather painful breakup she’s in a bit of a sticking point; in limbo as to what she should do next. An ex-Jehovah’s witness but with ties to her father who remains a loyal member, Marin finds her days wandering The Lanes in Brighton a shopping spot and ends up in the a café named Number 8. Here she meets Lawrence Fyre, the owner of the (failing) store Sargasso Books. The two, after a number of chance meetings enter into an intense relationship but a number of hiccups including his sister and the intriguing Nina could force their relationship to fail. Will their relationship rise or flounder? You’ll have to get hold of a copy to find out!

So, there’s the book in a nutshell; now you could be forgiven for thinking that this is a rather stereotypical boy meets girl style plot-line but it’s more than that. Firstly I have to commend the author for getting the feel of Brighton down so very well. I could feel the blustery wind and see the cobbled lanes full of brightly painted houses, it’s incredibly evocative of the little seaside town. The writing style is wonderful although a little difficult to get into to start with. It reads almost like a stream of consciousness, which we don’t experience all too often as a reader and when mixed with dialogue and narrative it was a little different at the start. However as you get more stuck in the words rise and fall in a very smooth almost lyrical prose which I thoroughly enjoyed.

In terms of plot line it is the perfect mix of both tragedy and love story and the whirlwind mix throughout is both tender and comedic. The two main characters are wonderfully written both quirky in their own rights but written with a real feel of human warmth and understanding. They come alive with each other and the conviction of their relationship is maddeningly exciting and euphoric. The pace is fast and forward thinking, it ricochets off with such breath taking speed that I found myself reading chapter after chapter without noticing.

I think what makes this book is the style; it is a unique and unforgettable writing quality that is both quirky and gripping. It also allows for the highs and the lows of the novel to really come alive and punch the reader in the jaw which is exactly what I wanted from this novel. It is a love story but it also intertwines personal growth, the pressure to conform to society or religion and trust in the relationships we have. It really made me sit up and listen and made me think about my own place in the world that I find myself in.  Overall a stylish and quirky read that was a wonderful mix; thoroughly enjoyable.

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101 things in 1001 days: Travel somewhere you have never been before in GB

101 things in 1001 days
Good evening my lovely, lovely readers. This post come from a very content little blogger. I’ve had a wonderful weekend and now I’m all snuggled up on the sofa finishing another of 101 challenges but I’ll come to that soon. There will be new reviews up tomorrow so if that’s what you’re looking for then I’m sorry but tonight it is a post about a road trip to Glasgow.
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On Saturday morning, way to early for my liking, I stumbled into a taxi to Stoke Station, grabbed myself a skinny caramel latte and took the train up to Crewe. After a quick train hop I was on the train to Glasgow with my delightful mother. Three hours later, a little tired and with aching legs and heads ringing (small children on trains can be a little tiring) we reached Glasgow. A day spent looking walking through the lovely trailing of streets of Glasgow we a number of stunning art galleries and traipsed the streets shopping.
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A number of magaritas in the early evening and a wander back to hotel we were in for an utter treat. The hotel was stunning; with modern rooms filled with little beautiful lines and treasures on every surface we were shocked at how beautiful it all was.
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Perfectly thought out and stunningly beautiful; after announcing that I was to move in, we took a walk down into the town and preceded to devour a monster burrito and also a bowl of mussels and fries. Oh and two bottles of wine. The place was stunning and with the drink flowing we enjoyed the truly beautiful atmosphere of the little diner.
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After the best night sleep in weeks, we woke to the stunning sights of Glasgow. A hearty breakfast later we were walking the streets looking at the stunning graffiti, the dazzling views and the bustling streets.
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A few trips to a number of galleries including the light house and a trip to the river we took in the truly beautiful sights of Glasgow. The place was a bustling joy and although on arriving there I wasn’t sure I know I need to go back and discover more about this wonderful place!
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I am a little whimsical at the best of times so as it is scotland I had to find myself a deep fried mars bar! I must admit it was Mumma B who finally tracked one down in a little chippy on the high street. The verdict; a lot like a nuttella crepe with caramel! I couldn’t finish it but the thought was there.
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After a very long day we finally trekked back to the highstreet to find more cocktails; shock! We tried an excellent number including a very spicy but detectable martini (and a number of other cocktails!)
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Two very tired travellers took the train back home and although a few wobbles getting back I had a very lovely sleep and a very tired but wholesome day at work!
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I had a truly lovely weekend away; you watch out Glasgow, this little traveller will be back!
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Marco Polo: Thailand

A different review today! I absolutely love travelling, and in the past years, I have travelled extensively over Europe; Paris, Orleans, Rome, Pompei, Florence, Venice, Koln, Belgium, Switzerland, and many others and further a field to places like Borneo in Malaysia. However one place that has so far eluded me is the bright lights of the beautiful Thailand. So, when the lovely Hayley of ‘bitterballenbruid.wordpress.com,’ (PLEASE go check it out, it’s an absolutely beautiful blog!) sent me an email to review this travel guide by Marco Polo, I was very happy to give it an honest review. Now I must admit I have never done one of these before, however I’m going to give it a very good go! So with no further a due, on to the review! Let’s go travelling to the delightfully beautiful and magical Thailand!

Travel guides are the travellers, go-to. We hold them like sacred books that tell us the dos and don’ts of where we are going; where is the best place to eat a real Spanish paella? When is the best time to visit the London Eye? When is the best time of day to go shopping in Venice to avoid the siestas of the locals? How to get away from the tourist track in Berlin or where to buy the best peaches in Brussels? They are extremely important to travellers far and wide, whether travelling far or not-so-far, whether it is a short or long trip, with family, friends or even alone. Travel books are hallowed and we all know the dangers of using a bad one. But this one is a real gem and I’m going to tell you why! If you want to experience Thailand take this lovely little guide, packed with up-to-date attractions and go to places. No matter what you want to experience, food, attractions, sports, activities or just a little shopping this is a ‘go-to’ book. Marco Polo describes it’s book most impressively with the line; ‘most holiday makers want to have fun and feel relaxed from the moment they arrive at their holiday destination- that’s what Marco Polo Guides are all about.’ It’s a big claim but as I continued to look through the book I did feel very much in safe hands. Not only will you find out where the best place to stay is, in the exact location you would like to stay, but additionally the best night-life hotspots, tips on where to shop and what you will find most often on each of the different floors, but also tips for the budget. Whether you are a penniless student, or a high-flying tourist looking to spend all of their pennies you will find exactly what you need to plan your perfect voyage. Whether this is meditation or a search for exotic cuisines similar to the eating challenges on ‘I’m a Celebrity,’ or trekking and diving; Marco Polo reduces this to a size in which it is perfectly pocket-ready. This coupled with beautifully taken photographs and colour-coded locations help to make this book even easier to read and this makes the book even quicker to get to grips with!

One of the things I liked most about this book was its extremely simple but helpful layout. Colour co-ordinated for different locations including North, South and Central locations, whether you were looking for folklore dancing in Chiang Mai, or Pattaya’s floating market it is easy to search and read. Overall this is a simply laid-out book with many tips and secrets. We all know that Thailand is a world of alluring surprises distant and exotic, but this book condenses it perfectly into a hand guide that would fit into the pocket of any rucksack of any traveller. With the additional road atlas and pullout map you cannot help but think that the publishers of this book have not missed a single detail. The aspect I thought was the most special was the addition of a ‘blogs, and apps, section.’ Sometimes the most important part of a holiday guide are the real comments made by real travellers and by having a selection that relate especially to the location you are travelling to, is extremely helpful when planning a trip. Additionally I couldn’t get over how extensive this book is as it really covers everything a traveller would want from a trip! I could not believe the detail and the depth that this book goes into. This is further seen in the ‘insider tip’ notes on some of the descriptions, these are extra special details that allow you to get the most out of your trip; these include secret, less known spots, and more extraordinary or unusual activities; so look out for them!

Overall this is a simply lovely book that really gets to the heart of what travellers want; tips and tricks fused with perfectly co-ordinated and organised travel destinations. If you want something that covers an extensive guide of a certain holiday destination I would not miss a beat in taking this trusty book with me, right away!

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A Time to Reap (The Legend of Carter Gabel Book one) by Jonas Lee

I was sent this book by the lovely Jonas Lee, and in his words loved your blog. I figured I would throw my hat in the ring. You can’t go anywhere if you don’t move, right?’ I am so happy you chose to ‘move’ and send this onto me and let me have a read. I was submersed in a new world and so carried away with this that I decided to review this rather than work on my philosophy dissertation (which I’m so worried about!) So that’s pretty impressive! Jonas states on his lovely blog at ‘http://jonasleeblog.com’ (Go check it out!) ‘If you want more, encourage me to get this sucker in front of an agent or publisher.’ So here it is Jonas, my plea to you, to get this to a publisher and get this out there for everyone to read! YES, I mean it! So, with no more distractions, or me warbling on relentlessly, onto the review.

 The story follows the delightful Carter, a young adult that suffers from Chrono-Displacement Syndrome, a condition that causes him to be able to leap through time, visiting different places in his past. Although this may seem unusual it isn’t where Carter is from. As like his mother and grandfather before him Carter can voyage back in time to see the past. In the present, where Chrono-Displacement Syndrome is a very regular occurrence and is officially a hereditary illness, Carter studies at Pemberton Academy for individuals who are also diagnosed with the same genetic illness. However Carter finds out through meeting the sweet and seemingly innocent Mo that there is much more to his power and that through their connection their individual powers are heightened to an extreme. However, this has meant that certain members at the academy have taken notice of the pair and will do anything to bring them down and take control of their abilities and use them for their own means. Carter and Mo must work together along with Carter’s amusing but enigmatic mother, to stop their powers from being harnessed and being used for wrong. Can they work it out before it’s too late? Can Jonas finally find out why his father left so long ago? And can he and Mo channel their strengthened powers and use them for good? Read the book to find out! Wow eh? What a spectacular plotline. As soon as we start the book we are placed straight in the action; Carter has travelled back in time, and is at his Grandmothers, after finding some clothes (when he travels he always finds himself stark naked at his destination) We are pulled as a reader, with so many questions, and yet Lee keeps his cards close to his chest, only giving us just enough information and forcing us to read on!

 What I really loved about the book was the authors understanding of characterisation; Carter is a plucky teen with a real sense of humour and wit. He is mischievous but also bold and shows a lot of courage throughout the book. It is a real skill to be able to give a character so much spirit but also give them so much depth. The same with Mo, at first she comes across as a vulnerable wraith like spirit, who lacks courage and is very vulnerable, but she grows significantly throughout the book and we see that at the core of her character is strength and determination. As she grows throughout the book, so does their relationship, and we see that the two are very much drawn to one another into a very special relationship. The way that Lee does this is exceptional and feels real and honest and you cannot help but want them to explore their relationship quicker, but Lee makes the reader wait, not quite knowing whether there is a stronger connection until a lot further in the book which makes it even more unique. This is also seen in the relationship described between Carter and his mother; there is teasing feel to their relationship at points but you always get the understanding that both are very protective of the other and it is through this that we gain an strong understanding of their relationship and it definitely captured my attention with it’s brilliance! Another strength to the book is the use of description; Lee has really understood the importance of unfolding the plotline instead of merely telling the story. Take for example when Carter travels, it is described as ‘the sensation rushed through me from the inside/out and I could feel myself going back to my place in time. It was like little carbonated bubbles fizzing up inside of me until they raced through my veins and up through the pores in my skin. There is a split second where I see and hear nothing. It’s actually cosy as it brings utter peace and tranquillity.’ How beautiful is that; you can really imagine how Carter is feeling. This happens throughout the book and it really gives the book a sense of style and real understanding of how to involve and sustain the attention of the reader. Finally, and this is probably my favourite bit to write about books. The skill of the author is really seen in the attention to detail, I don’t want to give anything away because it’ll ruin it but; the notes that Carter finds, the use of the Gemini, the code word ‘curio cabinet,’ and crap sandwiches. The use of these tiny details really brings the book to life and shows the real skill of the author! Brilliant!

 So Jonas, here is me singing the praises of you book, it is definitely worth and read, and I hope that all my lovely readers will start reading the book so we can encourage Jonas to go see a publisher and get this out there! (I’m counting on you, littlebookbloggers!)

PS: check the book out here http://jonasleeblog.com! Ciao 

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