El Hacho By Luis Carrasco (Review)

As I use my hand to shield my eyes from the blistering heat I gaze out at the dust filled wasteland before me. The skeletons of trees threaten to disintegrate at the mere mention of a breeze. The ground crumbles beneath my feet, laughing at my attempts to straighten my walk. She, the devil’s mistress is already branding her mark deep into my neck. Reddened and swollen from just a few minutes in her gaze. This is but a taste of where my mind has been exploring the past few days. Intrigued? Read on.

Today on the blog dear readers I have a delightful review for you. A big thank you to the wonderful people at époque press for sending a copy and giving me this opportunity to review the debut novel of Luis Carrasco, El Hacho. 

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Époque Press is a new independent publisher based in Brighton and Cheltenham who aim to bring inspirational and thought-provoking work to a wider audience. If you are a regular reader here on my blog you will know how I fully support independent publishers seeking out new voices and authors. To read more about the fantastic work époque press is producing, check out their website here and links at the end of this post.

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Synopsis

El Hacho is a timeless evocation of inheritance, duty and our relationship to the landscape that defines us. Set in the stark beauty of the Andalucían mountains it tells the story of Curro, an olive farmer determined to honour his family tradition in the face of drought, deluge and the lucrative temptations of a rapidly modernising Spain.

Wonderfully crafted, El Hacho is a poignant and compelling story of struggle and hope.

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Upon opening El Hacho I was instantly transported to the tranquil Andalusian mountains. A sight I long to see in the flesh one day. But for now, I can pretend I have planted my feet firmly on Spanish soil. El Hacho has more than satisfied my craving. Filled with breathtaking scenery and all the detail to drink in, I was never in short supply of discovering how drastically the sun can wreak havoc with the landscape.

‘He still had time to water the herbs and flowers that glistened with a filmy dew before the angel of life and death reared implacably above the valley wall and scorched the thin leaves dry.’

It opened my eyes to how the simplest thing such as the heat can have devastating effects to those that rely on rain to quench their crop’s thirst. Something I think we are all guilty of taking for granted.  I learnt a lot from El Hacho and one thing for definite is to be grateful for what I have and to not obsess over what I don’t. It really is the little things in life that make it all worth while. Cliche as it sounds but honestly dear reader. It’s the truth.

Curro is a kind, thoughtful and wise character. He’s not even mad when he goes to release his traps and he sees some animal has stripped a few of the carcasses first. He knows their need is just as important as his own. His way of thinking is part of an old world that has all but ceased to exist and it is a welcome sight. Again, something we can all learn from and adapt to our modern society.

‘The man is richest whose pleasures are the cheapest. Let’s try to find the balance.’

The endless amounts of love Curro has for his family, his wife Carmen and the land echoes calmly throughout El Hacho. The love for his parents and his father’s approval is touching to read. A small tear escaped me as I followed Curro on his journey to remain true and honest to his family’s traditions. The land is a part of them all, it’s in their veins and grows deep like the roots of the trees. They are connected from generation to generation and will one day all be reunited underground, giving back to the land. A disturbing beautiful imagine that captures the reality of life itself.

I admired the striking imagery of the bull and Curro, it was perfectly done and had the desired effect. Curro and the bull are one and the same. Both incredibly stubborn and determined to finish what they started. This image painted a strong symbol of struggle and hope in my mind. A message to the reader to not give up and never give in. Powerful stuff.

‘Why doesn’t he escape the heat, he thought, and knew he was the bull himself.’

As I read page after page of Curro working himself till he bled I felt exhausted. My bones ached at the weight this man was carrying upon his shoulders. There were times where I wished it to end, for the rain to come and his sentence to be done. But it didn’t. I had to read through his torment, day after day, praying it would all be worth it in the end. That Curro would finally be rewarded. A well used technique by Carrasco, as the reader is completely immersed in the character’s experiences. They too have to continue to watch this play out with no quick escape route in site. The reader is solely relying on only the hope and strength of this one character holding it all together. Genius writing.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading how the relationship between Curro and his brother Jose-Marie played out as they are complete polar opposites. While Curro is all about tradition and hard work. Jose-Marie dreams of a life of luxury and money. So when an offer was laid out on the table to Curro, I was extremely curious how this was going to pan out.

‘The way you look at others.
How do I look at others?
Like there’s nothing in them but a way to make some money. We’re all spokes on the same wheel Marie. We turn together.’

You can’t help but understand why Marie wants a different and better life as he is young and never wanted to work on the land. Yet you want him to stay working with Curro, to carry on their family’s tradition. I was desperately biting my lip hoping that Curro would do what most of us normal folk would do. Choose the money. The fact that I cared about this character to choose an easy way out spoke volumes to me. I am not one to quit and will fight to the bitter end. But I couldn’t bear the thought of Curro continuing to struggle, losing flesh, sweat and blood in the process. It made me tense up which admittedly made me read more.

‘To tear down that mountain would be to rip the heart from this village.’

However, I gained more respect for Curro. Not only did he let his brother go but he also gave him a small lump sum of money. That, right there dear readers is a gentlemen. A man among men. Someone who sacrifices their own personal gain in the name of family. The greed in humans is what destroys and pollutes the world we live in. The place we call home. It’s in all of us waiting to manifest and corrupt our lives. But if we could all learn and take something away from Curro, it would be to live a life of worth by enjoying the simplest of pleasures. To be rich in love, family, life and not allow money to dictate to us whether we can be happy without it.

Towards the end of El Hacho I was cheering Curro on to succeed. I felt helpless but I persisted for I owed it to him, to not abandon him like his own brother. And boy was I glad I did. Only at the end did I realise how much I had learned and felt stronger in myself. A powerful journey, one I would willingly take again and again. It’s books like El Hacho that truly show you the beauty in it all. They leave an imprint on your heart that stays with you for a lifetime. El Hacho strips back to the basics in life. What and who really matters when it all falls down before your eyes. To not give up and to always be true to yourself.

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I give El Hacho By Luis Carrasco a Four out of Five paw rating.

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A story with a lot of heart. I can not recommend this book enough. If you are looking for a journey of self discovery and a glimpse of an old world long forgotten. El Hacho is for you. It speaks to so many people on different levels that you will be surprised with what you discover each time you escape to the Andalusian mountains.

If you would like to buy your own copy of El Hacho By Luis Carrasco check out the links below. Enjoy!

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Links

époque press website
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https://www.epoquepress.com


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https://www.facebook.com/epoquepress/

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Places to Buy El Hacho By Luis Carrasco

thumb_5167_logo_retailer_1x-300x132 https://www.waterstones.com/book/el-hacho/luis-carrasco/9781999896003

Amazon :

Books IE
 http://www.books.ie/el-hacho

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Turn On, Tune Out By Cynthia Adina Kirkwood Review

Technology. It is forever entwining with our every day lives. A screen plays havoc with the mind and strains the eyes. We as humans have come to heavily rely on technology. We feel naked without it. If you were to sit in a cafe right now with no phone or laptop, would you be able to say honestly that you felt ok? Would your hands feel dangerously empty and be twitching to scroll, type and text? Honestly dear reader, would you be able to cope in this situation without technology in your grasp?

Today on the blog I am reviewing Turn On, Tune Out By Cynthia Adina Kirkwood. A futuristic read that plunges the reader head first into a world ruled by computers. The scary truth of it all is that we are closer to this reality that we like to admit. Very, very close dare I say. If you wish to read more about Cynthia Adina Kirkwood, check out the links to her website at the end of this post. She has had an extremely interesting life.

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Synopsis

A British composer turns outlaw in Los Angeles in the award-winning Turn On, Tune Out. Angelica Morgan flouts a computer law that cripples creativity. In L.A., Angelica finds an audience, love, and a passion to stop the insidious law from taking hold in Britain. In the near future of California, artists, who steal time off-line, are considered suspect, criminal, and dangerous.

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The Year is 2033. Our story opens with a wave of noise. The reader has entered a world where buildings have climate control. The price of petrol has skyrocketed and computers are catering to our every need and requirement. Computers dominate their human prey. The state has enforced a law that requires citizens to watch 4 hours of TV a day. The mind and the art of creativity is slowly dying as it’s overseer is finding quicker and more efficient ways to get the job done. People are throwing their hands up in surrender to an easier life. A life of convenience. Being an artist is like being an outlaw.

‘Computers had become people’s lives, rather than only enhancing them, thus beginning the descent into an Orwellian hell with all the modern conveniences.’

I was really intrigued by the story as it fascinates me how scarily relatable this world is. It’s far too close to home to how we are evolving. Modern day tech is all rush rush; no time for imagination. Just information and onto the next job. Repeat. Kirkwood has laid out her plot and characters perfectly with a lot of consideration. She has thought about everything and how this new world effects artists. She makes the reader ask a lot of questions about themselves. What our beliefs, our vales and sense of purpose in this world are. And the answer is… to create of course! Whether that’s music, art or even life itself! We are masters of our craft and can’t help but create. So the thought of allowing a computer to take our imagination away makes me shiver with remorse. And that is what makes this story such a satisfying read. We NEED to be asking ourselves these questions before we lose sight of what’s really worth fighting for.

‘Why would anyone regard their own heart, their own soul, their own life and imagination when they could use a software package?’

Kirkwood portrays a strong message to the world. To limit ourselves to screen time and not become so engrossed in a world online that we miss out on our very real, raw, painful, yet beautiful reality. The only thing we should be switching off is technology. To go radio silent and spend those precious 4 hours with our imagination, crafting our talents into breath-taking works of art. We are all artists in our unique mesmerizing ways.

‘A computer is a tool, a machine for storing and accessing information. It is only as smart as the person who programmed it and as fast as its chip laid out by an engineer. Today most people have lost sight of that. They invest these tools with power, respect and, even, awe.’

This book is a work of art by Kirkwood. An enchanting painting created with words, voices and freedom for all to see. She captures the mind, heart and soul in one brush stroke. A computer fails to do this. It does what it’s programmed to and repeats. Kirkwood shows this perfectly throughout the story as the reader is reminded often to not fall victim to the deadly disease; square eyes.

‘The will is the only friend of the Self, and the will is the only enemy of the Self.’

I can definitely relate to Angelica and her creative values. It is extremely refreshing in today’s world to still read characters in fiction just as passionate and dedicated to their art as myself. I sensed a lot of similarities between Angelica and Kirkwood. Both strong women with good hearts and a determination to have their voices heard. I envisioned myself drinking a delicious wine with these ladies overlooking the sea while speaking of our passions in art and creativity. Deep, meaningful, long conversations and friendly debates. When I finished the book I did indeed feel like I had made two new friends. Kirkwood can without a doubt create warm, charming characters that dance off of the page and into your heart. Just fabulous.

‘They understood that she could not stop herself from composing music. They knew that her sweet compulsion swept her away on emotional, spiritual and intellectual waves, cleansing her afresh each day. It drew on all her being, yet lifted her out of herself.’

The pace of the story is pleasant and flows much like a conversation with friends over drinks as the sun sets. It is only towards the end that it’s pace quickens and the reader has a lot of information to digest and understand. It leaves you a little frustrated but that is the beauty of this technique. You feel a sudden shock to the system that Angelica feels. Kirkwood never fails to immerse the reader in the character’s shoes. To know their thoughts and how they feel. It’s hypnotising and well done. You know just enough to know what’s happening and are curious how things will develop further into the story.

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A remarkable story of a woman who fights for what she believes in and refuses to surrender. This book screams freedom and I love it. The freedom to create, to paint, capture art. To speak our minds and resist modern conveniences. And to never, ever stop making our voices heard. Never!

I give Turn On, Tune Out By Cynthia Adina Kirkwood a Four out Of Five paw rating.

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Creative, passionate and a revolution to us all to have our voices heard and stand for what we believe in. I am desperate for a sequel. I have come to call these characters my friends and am curious what happens after the events of Turn On, Tune Out.

Grab yourselves a copy here dear reader and do not miss out on this story of modern society’s struggle to remain creative. Don’t forget to also check out the links below for more information on the lovely writer herself, Cynthia Adina Kirkwood.

Links

Cynthia Adina Kirkwood Website

 https://www.cynthiaadinakirkwood.com

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Buy Turn On, Tune Out By Cynthia Adina Kirkwood

https://www.amazon.com/CYNTHIA-ADINA-KIRKWOOD/e/B0728HVKJX/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1521743339&sr=1-1

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Facebook Page

 https://www.facebook.com/cynthiaadinakirkwood/

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Posted in art, arts, be who you are, be yourself, being a writer, Bibliophile, blog, blogger, book, Book Blog, Book Blogger, Book Club, Book Haul, Book Review, Book Reviewer, Booklover, books, Books are my thing, Bookworm, Bookworms, Bunny's Book Club, chat, creative writing, discovery, dreaming, dreams, everyday life, facebook, fear, Fiction, follow me, Honest Blog Post, Honest Book Review, how I live, just being myself, learning, Let's Talk About Books!, life, Lifestyle, loss, Love, my life, my world, natter, opinion, people, positive, public, reading, Review, reviewer, Romance, Self-Published Authors, shareing, social media, story time, talking, Turn On, Tune Out By Cynthia Adina Kirkwood Review, Uncategorized, Unpublished Authors, wordpress, world, worry, writer, writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Happy Mother’s Day 2018

Good afternoon readers and

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!

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I hope those of you that are mothers are all cosied up in bed with a nice warm cuppa having a delicious pastry brunch while your children jump like maniacs on the bed demanding to watch more Paw Patrol. I am if nothing realistic. Ha! Oh motherhood, you.

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Being a mother is tough. Really, really tough. You don’t actually realise how life changing and challenging it is until you become one. It’s that instant fear for the rest of your life that you will be worrying if your offspring is alive and well. Are they eating their five fruit and veg every day? Do they need another jumper? Are they looking both ways when crossing the road? Questions, worries, constantly whirling around inside your head like some kind of…crazy whirly thing.

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I never for a moment realised how much worrying I would do when I became a mother. I am a natural-born worrier so mix that into motherhood and you’ve got a daily thunderstorm capsizing your tiny sailboat. It’s maddening yet it’s something you slowly learn to live with and accept.

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As a mother of two boys I have learned a lot. I have learned that in the early days I really should have just listened to my own instincts. That I shouldn’t worry about being judged on my parenting style because my child is happy. Children don’t follow rule books and really, really don’t hit all those important milestones when they are supposed to (as dictated by some daft blueprint that’s completely irrelevant to ACTUAL people). Children are all beautifully different, unique and do things at their own pace. Not when the health visitor or any other ‘professional’ deems it so. They will do it, in their own time. I have become a lot more chilled about certain things. I may not appear that different to outsiders, but believe me, I have loosened up A LOT!

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I have also learned to stop feeling so guilty and to not only be seen as a mum. I am me, mum is just one of my many titles. I am a BUNNY, a mother, wife, daughter, sister, friend, writer, reader, and so much more. It doesn’t mean I love my boys any less. Of course not. They are my world and I would kill for them. But it doesn’t mean that it is all I am. I am still me, the mad passionate about books/writing, lover of Dr Martens and hums swan lake when I see swans Bunny. So please, please don’t ever feel guilty about being you if you are a mother. You can still be you and a mother. I owe it to my boys to show them who I am and be true to myself. I am their mother through and through. It’s a big, big part of me but it’s not the ONLY part of who I am.

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I am off to have a long hot Lush bubble bath with a glass of Bucks Fizz and then we are off to see the Shaggy Moos and play on the beach. I hope you all have a fabulous Mother’s day.

Cheers Mums! You do a bloody good job!

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Posted in advice, Baby, be who you are, be yourself, being a mother, Being A Mother Full-Time, being a writer, blog, blogger, chat, childhood, children, creative writing, discovery, everyday life, facebook, Family, Family blogger, Family Life, Family Life Blogger, fun, Gifs, Happy Mother's Day, Honest Blog Post, how I live, just being myself, lazy day, lazy sunday, learning, life, Life As A Mother, Life With Two Boy's, Lifestyle, Love, married life, mother, Mother's Day, Motherhood, mummy, mummy blogger, my life, natter, not like other mothers, opinion, parenting, people, play, shareing, social media, son, talk, talking, The Real Face Of Motherhood, This Is Me, toddler life, Uncategorized, wordpress, worry, writer, writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Happy World Book Day 2018

It’s World Book Day! Hurrah! What a fantastic day for us all to celebrate the magical world of literature, the creativity and wonder that is the written word. Oh don’t you just love it so? The feel and smell of a book. So many possibilities, adventures, and new friends all sitting comfortably within your hands. Don’t you just LOVE books! YESSSSSSSSSSSSS! You will always be my first love and forever have a place in my little bunny heart.

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Today beautiful readers I thought I would share with you our top 10 favourite children’s books. Some are happy memories from when I was growing up while others are more recent discoveries with our little Sharkodiles, our boys. We hold these books close to our hearts and can’t wait for our favourite part of the day. Story time! Enjoy!

1.) The Tale of Jemima Puddle-Duck By Beatrix Potter

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This was my absolute favourite book growing up. I loved that silly duck. Beatrix Potter IS my childhood. Bunnies in petticoats and hedgehogs washing clothes. But out of all of them I love Jemima the most because I saw a lot of myself in her. Determined and down right stubborn. Refuses to listen to anyone and will do it her way every-time. Silly duck.

2.) The Tiger Who Came to Tea By Judith Kerr

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I always dreamed about a tiger knocking at my front door and scoffing the last of the cake when I was younger. This story always makes me smile at how enchanting it is. Just the thought of a Tiger coming into your house and drinking all your tea sets me off into giggles. My boys adore this story along with my tiger impression. More tea anyone?

3.) Mog the Forgetful Cat By Judith Kerr

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Another classic by Kerr. One of my favourite cats along with the Tiger is Mog. Much like Jemima I saw myself in her. Silly and very, very clumsy. I dreamed of having a Mog cat of my very own growing up. Now we have a tuxedo kitty who is just as loving and silly as the original. Bother that cat.

4.) The Enormous Crocodile By Roald Dahl

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I used to carry this book around with me I loved it that much. And now my boys have fallen in love with it too. Got to have a bit of Roald Dahl in your life. The man was a genius and I wish I could have had a chat with him in his garden shed with tea and cake about all things books.

5.) The Gruffalo By Julia Donaldson

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I never read this one until my son picked it up off the bookshelf for his bedtime story. A relative had gotten it for him for his birthday and it was the first I had ever heard of it. Safe to say that after one reading, the boy was obsessed. He wanted Gruffalo everything! And what’s even more awesome is he has started reading along with us.

6.) Five Minutes’ Peace By Jill Murphy

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Now I am a mother of two boys I can totally relate to Mrs Large. Finding five minutes’ peace with children is a nightmare. As a child I really liked the detail of the drawings and just found something very charming about this book.

7.) Aaaarrgghh! Spider! By Lydia Monks

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A find by our eldest. We have read this book a million times. So much so we know it word for word. If you haven’t you should definitely check this one out. It makes you look at spiders in a different light. A cute and awww kinda light.

8.) Dogger By Shirley Hughes

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I always wanted a cuddly dog like Dogger as a child. I have no idea why (I’m more of a cat person) but I just wanted one so badly. The thought of losing your favorite toy is every childs worst nightmare. But the relief you feel when you find it again, really makes you realise how lost you feel without it. That’s the beauty and innocence of being young. Today we have a heart attack if we lose our phones. Oh how things have changed.

9.) The Jolly Postman By Allan Ahlberg

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This book was an awesome read as a kid. It was so interactive. You got to open the letters and read them! It could be a postcard, a magazine subscription or even a birthday card with some money inside. Not real money unfortunately but as a child it was a pretty cool thing to have.

10.) Letterland Abc By Lyn Wendon

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My first early memories of learning the alphabet are from this book. In school they would have big posters of each letter around the classroom. Kicking King and Robber Red were how I learned my A B C. It’s so strange to think that this book is now teaching my sons. Crazy!

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I hope you all have a booktastic World Book Day (bad pun I know but I couldn’t help myself) Whether you’re dressing up, snuggling with your old favourites under a blanket or going on an exciting adventure with a new read. Enjoy and have fun. BOOKS!!!! READ!!! BOOOOOOOKS! I LOVE BOOKS!!!

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We will be having tea with a tiger before venturing off into the woods to look for a Gruffalo and then waddling home like ducks past our friend Jemima in time for dinner with our crocodile friends. Bliss.

Let me know your favourite books in the comments! I would love to hear about them.

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Posted in Aaaarrgghh! Spider! By Lydia Monks, art, arts, be who you are, be yourself, being a writer, Bibliophile, blog, blogger, book, Book Blog, Book Blogger, Book Club, Book Haul, Book Review, Book Reviewer, Booklover, books, Books are my thing, Books For Children, Bookworm, Bookworms, chat, childhood, Children's Book Review, creative writing, discovery, Dogger By Shirley Hughes, dreams, everyday life, Family, Family blogger, Family Life, Family Life Blogger, Five Minutes' Peace By Jill Murphy, follow me, Fun Children's Books, Gifs, happy, Honest Blog Post, Honest Book Review, how I live, just being myself, learning, Let's Talk About Books!, Letterland Abc By Lyn Wendon, life, Life As A Mother, Life With Two Boy's, Lifestyle, Love, Mog, Mog the Forgetful Cat By Judith Kerr, mummy blogger, my life, my world, not like other mothers, opinion, parenting, people, positive, reading, Review, reviewer, Roald Dahl, story time, talk, talking, The Enormous Crocodile By Roald Dahl, The Gruffalo By Julia Donaldson, The Jolly Postman By Allan Ahlberg, The Real Face Of Motherhood, The Tale of Jemima Puddle-Duck By Beatrix Potter, The Tiger Who Came to Tea By Judith Kerr, This Is Me, tiger, Toddler, toddler life, Uncategorized, wordpress, World Book Day, writer, writing, Young Children's Books | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

And Further And Further Down The Rabbit Hole I Fell Until…

Good morning dear Readers. I hope you have a lovely, relaxing weekend and I raise my coffee cup to you in salute for the madness that Mondays bring.

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Over the weekend I had a revelation. A strange yet obvious one dare I say. I really, really need to kick myself up the butt. Why? Well I am going to be completely honest with you. I have for the past month or so been falling, further and further down the rabbit hole. And not in a good way. It’s been a never-ending journey which has left me with cuts and bruises that sting like a bitch when TCP is applied.

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With a previous history of depression (although I strongly believe we all have depression at some point in our life times) I know when it’s beginning to dig it’s jagged claws firmly back into my flesh. My brain is constantly receiving notifications that my mind is slipping further and further into the shadows. I know the signs, the warnings, yet I found myself still falling. Stuck in a loop of desperately wanting to do something, to change but failing to make any progress. To go for a walk, get some fresh air but refusing to get dressed as, what’s the point? Then arguing with myself that there’s every point. AGHHHH It’s an ongoing battle that drives me mad.

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I floated outside of my body and looked shamefully upon myself. “What are you doing? Stop it!” I found myself screaming while slapping myself to get a grip and take control. I was the only one that was going to get myself out of this rut. I struggled to discover why I had fallen so far so quickly, why I was continuing to fall with no end in sight. Not that my sight is any good, I am short-sighted and blind as a bat some days…that’s not the point.

My depression had swiftly befriended my mind before I got to savour any appetizers. It was embarrassing. I was stronger than that. I knew I was. No, I know I AM. I couldn’t let it get away with this mockery and without any warning, stuck out my arms and legs and proceeded to crawl back UP the rabbit hole. No tea with the mad hatter today I told myself. I had had enough and wanted my life back. I am taking my tea to go!

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The first thing to do was to make a list. A helpful and therapeutic hobby that I fully enjoy. I told myself to take it slow and not be too hard on myself but also not too easy. Finding a balance is hard but I know if I stick with it, I will make it work.

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Below is a list of things I know will help pull me up out of the rabbit hole. Wish me luck!

1.) Work Out! Do some form of exercise, even if it’s walking. Just move your body woman, do something. get off your lazy butt and dance!

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2.) Eat Healthy. Don’t force it at first but just try replacing things with a healthy option. No out of bound foods and don’t over indulge. You like fruit and fish! So eat them more than doughnuts and cake.

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3.) Continue to read and write. This you are doing well with and your brain is proud to say, well done so keep it up!

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4.) Don’t overthink everything. Just chill, in fact stop with the stressing altogether if possible. Life is far too short.

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5.) Remember you are loved. Your family love you. Never think otherwise. Remember that between a Cabbit, a Mogwai, a Panda, a Kitten and TWO Bunnies, there is a LOT of love and more than enough bodies to dog-pile you into a giggle-fit!

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I shall update you on this journey in a month’s time, 26th March and let you know how I am getting on. Routine is absolutely key when you have depression. It gives you focus and drive. Something to adhere to. Something I had lost but am now determined to find again.

If you are in a dark place please, please talk to someone. I know it’s hard, I am extremely stubborn but once I actually started talking, you can’t shut me up. It does help and someone will always listen. You are important and never, EVER think otherwise. Please talk to someone. You are not alone.

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Hop hop wiggle wiggle.

 

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Interview With The Vampire By Anne Rice (Review)

Happy Valentine’s Day! May this joyful, overpriced, ridiculously high expectations day bring you lovey-dovey statuses and photos of cheap tat that will be in the bin before the Easter bunny comes hopping by. A day dedicated to showering that special someone with gifts because you know; words aren’t enough. We need chocolates in heart-shaped boxes and dozen of flowers to do this. BTW If you enjoy it, I am not judging you, by all means go for it!

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And no I am not bitter dear readers. I just honestly think Valentine’s Day is pointless and has become too commercial like all holidays. I have never really seen the point in it all. When you’re in a comfortable, loving, committed relationship, you tell each other every day how you feel. Not save it all up for this one day to show affection. It’s the little things, kisses goodnight, snuggling while watching a movie and just caring and loving each other. Me and my husband don’t give each other Valentine’s cards and it really doesn’t bother us. It doesn’t mean we love each other any less. We tell each other every single day. We don’t need a lavish in-your-face card to tell us that. I’m not going to get angry or upset if he hasn’t covered the bed in roses or got me a teddy bear that says “I wuv you”. We do romance in our relationship every single day. It’s personal and us. Anyway, I digress.

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On the blog today I am reviewing Interview With The Vampire By Anne Rice. The first volume of the vampire chronicles (There’s about 17 more books!) I thought it was perfect for Valentine’s day. A romance like no other between inner demons and secret desires. Blood and passion. What more could you need on this romantic day? Flowers that smell like chocolate? That would be pretty impressive. and tasty…

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This book is hauntingly beautiful. Rice writes with such passion and eeriness that I could feel the shivers tip toeing along my spin. I was sucked in from the first letter. I yearned to hear more from the vampire. To hear his story of how he became a bewitching and beautiful creature of the night. I envied the boy so much for being told first hand Louis’ story. It felt like an honour to witness his tale of woe and suffering. To never see the sun rise and forever be a servant to the dark. Being surrounded by death and decay while you cease to age a single day.

“I remember that the movement of his lips raised the hair all over the body, sent a shock of sensation through my body that was not unlike the pleasure of passion…”

The imagery and emotions that enchanted my mind was disturbingly poetic. You know you should turn away, that the very idea of a vampire should send you running and yet you don’t. Louis has a certain charm and calmness to him. His manner and very presence made me feel at ease that I can say for certain if I were to encounter him in a dark alleyway. I would not be afraid. I would be curious of his knowledge, his experience and intrigued to learn more. The thought of everlasting life is appealing to us all I should imagine. Yet, as with most things. It comes with a price and the drinking of human blood, no matter how elegantly out of glass goblets, is the harsh reality of the damned.

“The vampire was utterly, white and smooth, as if he were sculpted from bleached bone, and his face was as seemingly inanimate as a statue, except for two brilliant green eyes that looked down at the boy intently like flames in a skull.”

This story has haunted me for days now, the characters, the love, the death. Everything. Rice has managed to turn me, seduce me, making me have a thirst for her writing. I have acquired an appetite for more literature such as this. I need more! More!

I give Interview With The Vampire By Anne Rice a Five out of Five paw rating.

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Seriously, if you have not read this book, why not? And do it now! It’s an experience that you truly won’t forget. Horrific and heart-wrenching at times while at others breathtakingly stunning.

I am beyond excited to start the next volume, The Vampire Lestat. Eeeep! That’s my happy noise!giphy.gif

I hope you all have a lovely day filled with cake, I mean love. Love is cake. Whether you’re in a relationship or not, don’t beat yourself up about this ridiculous day. I swear it’s just to make money now and for everyone to become super competitive with each other. I love you more, no I love you more, nooooo I love you more…

For your entertainment, check out my Valentine’s video I did a few years ago. There are aliens!!!! It’s not Valentine’s day without a few aliens.

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Emotional Cutting

Fear not dear reader, I am talking about a metaphorical type of cutting, trimming or pruning even. I have been struggling with how to discuss this topic as it’s a sensitive one, so I will just come out with it. Today in my blog I am going to talk about cutting ties with friends.

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It’s thanks to my therapist that I feel ready to actually discuss this in my blog. I have finally accepted that I haven’t done anything wrong. That it is what it is and I don’t need to keep feeling bad about myself for it. I can finally talk honestly and openly about it and just let go. Damn! Now I have that annoying song stuck in my head, why did I use that turn of phrase! “Let it go! Let it Go!!!!!!” Arghhh!

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A wise man once said that if you can count the number of true friends you have on one hand when you’re older, you’re a lucky person. And it’s true; in time friendships do sail different courses, new adventures for some, while others just unfortunately sink down to watery depths of the dark unknown. Disappearing off the radar without a single trace. No-one knows how or why, they just vanish out of thin air. As if some sea monster has gobbled them up and refused to spit out the remains in fear of being discovered itself.

Short of a very, very long story. I had a group of friends as a teenager that carried through till the end of our university days. Once those days were over most of them moved back to our home town while a few of us didn’t. I’m one of those that didn’t and decided to go back into retail work and stay in the flat I was living in with my finance (now husband). Scary and daunting but it was what I wanted and needed to do. No one held grudges and there was no big bust ups or drama thankfully.

Over the past few years there has been less and less contact, only saying Happy Birthday on Facebook and the odd like on a status. My life took a different turn to those back home. I got married, had two boys and moved to Scotland. I was admittedly becoming an adult. Meanwhile my friends back home where still all hanging out, going away together and just continuing with life. And I didn’t begrudge them for that. Of course not, that would be really silly. I think what hurt was simply just seeing photos of them all together on Facebook. Like nothing had changed. I wasn’t there, I felt like I had never existed and felt excluded. It hurt, no…more than that. It cut deep. Drove me into a dark depression of feeling alone. I had no friends around me to just ring up and go for coffee, no one but my husband. As much as he is my best friend I did need something else. Mothers to talk to, women to talk to about woman problems or stuff like that. Don’t get me wrong I share everything with my husband and he does his best. I do love that crazy Panda.

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Every time I logged onto Facebook I was presented with photos and photos of my friends smiling and having fun. I learned to just accept and deal with it. I was happy for them and tried to not think too much about it, to just get on with my own life. Then two of my friends who were engaged announced they were getting married soon. I waited hopefully for an invite, a message, something, but received nothing. I saw photos of the hen do and then a joint hen/stag do go up and still waited. It was stupid as I kinda knew deep down I wasn’t going to be invited. That realisation slapped me hard in the face when I was told they were getting married on the same day as my wedding anniversary. That, I was ok with, people don’t remember dates and it happens. I still waited and nothing appeared. It was at that point that I felt cut out of the group and no longer a part of their lives. No invitation. Nothing.

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I did the thing I had been avoiding for years. I unfriended them on Facebook and called it a day. I just couldn’t handle it anymore. It was too much. I had been forgotten and I wasn’t going to just sit back and watch from a distance anymore. I kept asking myself what I had done wrong, why hadn’t I been invited, did I even exist anymore? I went crazy with these questions and it was a horrible dark time. I couldn’t talk to them about it, I just couldn’t. It had been too long and I didn’t have the fight in me anymore. I felt weak and just wanted to hide.

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Since then none of them have texted, or emailed to ask what happened and I think it’s better that way. It’s silly when I think about it. Almost childish like in a playground but it’s what I needed to do. I couldn’t keep torturing myself with my old life. I had to let go and move on. Make new friends, have new experiences and just live.

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And that’s what I did. It wasn’t easy at first in a new place but I got there. I now have a few friends, go to a mum group and have even had a girls night out. It’s been such a breath of fresh air. I feel revived and back to my old self. I am slowly building up my confidence and social skills after so many years of hiding. Slow small steps each day. Looking back now I think of the good times I had with my old friends and leave them in the past. I will be there for them if they ever need me but we are all going our separate ways. Theirs led them back home and mine led me here, to Scotland! Where I review books and live out my passion with my family. It’s been a long exhausting journey but I finally feel like I am home and I belong. Sometimes in life you have just got to cut those ties that are holding you back so you can fly free.

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If anyone is feeling alone, please, please speak out. Tell someone and don’t suffer in silence.

https://www.samaritans.org

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Hop hop wiggle wiggle.

 

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