A week away

I and my family went away for a week to the North West of Scotland, it wasn't anything particularly extravagant but we had a lovely week, visiting places we had been before and exploring new ones. It was jam packed with walking (an attempt up Ben Nevis-we gave up half way up), cycling, visiting beaches, dodging rain showers, reading and playing scrabble.
I thought I would just show you all a selection of the photos I took when we were away because the photo opportunities were incredible, especially from the house we stayed in.
There are far too many photos, sorry!

is this too weird? I can't decide if its creepy or cool

Katie x
Currently: Listening: Of Monsters and Men-human--crystals//Reading: The Storied Life Of A.J Fikry//Loving: Coffee//Lusting: maybe a little sunshine??

Go Set A Watchman by Harper Lee

I finished this book a little while back but wanted to give myself time to create a review because I wanted to include exactly what I thought of the book.
When reading reviews for this much-hyped book, I saw many that said it wasn't worth publishing or ruined the story; I however disagree.
I loved it.
I was a massive fan of To Kill A Mockingbird but completely distanced the two books, they are so different, something which I deem to be essential when producing a sequel to a classic. It delves deeper into the lives of the family, telling anecdotal stories of their childhood (as it is written when Jean Louise (scout) is in her early 20's as is visiting Atticus from New York) and expanding more on the life we learn about in TKAM. I adore this; if I fall in love with a character (which I did with all the finches) I want to learn more about them, I want to experience their lives and could be told countless countless stories of their everyday.
Little actually happened in the book which some people slated it for but I feel it contributes to the character development and just makes a gentle but thought provoking read- imo-not much has to happen.

Ahh I am rambling already-to my concise points we go:
 There is a favourite section of mine in the book where we meet 11 year old Scout who has just been kissed for the first time and thinks she therefore must be pregnant. The fear this causes her in heart warming, you feel so much love for the young girl who really has no idea

Jean Louise did also portray an immaturity that I found rather annoying but I believe was intentional of Harper Lee to show how isolated her childhood had been and how (an important point that is brought up in the book) she valued Atticus as a Godly being and therefore had not made any of her own evaluations on life, hence her immaturity. Lee did present this immaturity very successfully however, showing Scout as misreading situations and not evaluating everything that either a person or a situation show. It made me change my opinion on Scout a little as I began to find her a bit annoying-I did not mind this though as I thought the portrayal of her character was very accurate.

It did lack the character naivety of TKAM that I believe made it such a sensation however this for me did not matter as I read it as a completely different story so it did not affect it for me.

Somewhat controversially, I still like Atticus despite the things we learn; it presents a human side that we do not see in TKAM and I still love his arguments and reasoning although I do not fully agree with what he was doing.

I adore Harpee Lee's way of writing; its humorous and wise, with brilliant character development that just makes them so real- she cross references so many things that, if understood (admitedly I didnt always understand them), really add to it.
Maybe I have missed things out in this review but it is already over 600 words long and, I am slightly wary that I am treading on thin ice, composing a review on such a large book that goes against most other reviews I have read.

I would have thoroughly enjoyed this book whether it had been a sequel to a best selling novel or not and, to address the 'waste of time' title this book upholds, she never intended on it being published and, an attempt to create a sequel to perhaps the best known novel of the 20th century will 9/10 times be considered a 'flop', so, read it and forget about TKAM and everything Harpee Lee stands for, and it becomes a wonderfully gentle novel that covers some serious issues (in my opinion).

Katie x 
*TKAM=To Kill A Mockingbird (obvs)

The end of my eyeliner hunt...

I have been struggling for years to find the perfect felt tip eyeliner, I have tried several different ones (being reluctant to try more because I just knew they wouldn't last on my watery, smudgy eyes), tried priming my eyelid, powdering over and under the eyeliner until I finally gave up on the search; I would never be able to wear eyeliner.

And then this came along, it was a present from a friend who knew my eyeliner struggles-I almost cried when I recieved this-"tattoo liner", what more could I need?

And boy does it live up to its name, it stays put all day, even on my eyes but when, in the evening I want to remove it, it glides away without the need to scrub.
The nib of the pen is maybe a little more bendy than ones I have used previously but. after getting used to it, I have managed to draw perfect flicks and line my lids with ease.
The colour is the blackest of blacks and I find just really frames your eyes, whether you choose to draw a flick or keep it simple and has survived through sweaty parties (ew), crying, wind, rain and everything else.
The only downside is the availability, this is, as far as I can tell, only purchasable at Sephora, meaning when this runs out, I will have to find an alternative (or make a speedy trip to Paris/America to pick many emergency ones) but until then, I will continue to use it daily with a smug air of happiness.

Katie x

Birthday Books

It was recently my birthday and, because I didn't really know what to ask for, I simply said clothes and books, two of my favourite things. Here's the loot...

Blogger has made the quality of this photo horrendous and I don't know why...
A Century In Photographs
I asked for a book very similar to this ("Photos that changed the world") which was more international history however this one is just British history but is equally as interesting. I love modern history and combining it with photos, many of which I have never seen (unlike the other book where I had studied many of the photos at school) makes it a wonderful read. I can't wait to have the time to delve deeper into this.

Banksy In New York
I have a new found love for street art (which partly inspired our adventure to Shoreditch) and my friends knew I had seen this book and fallen in love so they bought it for me for my birthday. I have not had that much time to look through it as I have been away but it looks really interesting and visual which is what I love about street art.

Deliciously Ella
This is another book I asked for for my birthday as I had seen many people raving about it and was desperate to try out some new alternative, healthy recipes. As you can see, I have already marked the recipes I want to try-one of the things that pleases me most about this is that all the recipes are dairy free which is absolutely perfect for me.

Go Set A Watchman-Harper Lee
The most pre-ordered book since the final Harry Potter and probably the one I am most anxious/excited to read. To Kill a Mockingbird is one of my favourite books and, after recieving this pre-ordered copy for my birthday, I am toying with myself about whether to start it or not-it has pretty poor reviews and I accidently read a few spoilers but it also sounds incredibly intriguing and I love the characters so much-I shall report back.

The Picture of Dorian Gray-Oscar Wilde
This is one of our Literature texts for next year and I wanted to do a little pre-reading before we begin the course so I found this in Waterstones for only £1.99 and thought I would give it a go. I have no idea what to expect however I figured any background knowledge is better than none and will broaden my reading horizons.

The Storied Life of A.J Fikry-Gabrielle Zevin
A friend gave this to me for my birthday after claiming that she found it almost impossible to choose as I am such a picky reader. I wouldn't say I am picky, just very critical however I had never heard of this before (I have read some other pieces by Gabrielle Zevin though) and after reading some reviews decided it sounded amazing, I can't wait to get into it when I have some free time!

One Line A day
Documenting events is one of my favourite things to do; I have a memory jar, a calendar, a summer scrapbook and a 'timetable' to document everything I have done but I never enjoy writing diaries. However this book requires simply a couple of lines which is perfect as it allows me keep record but not cringe at the pointlessness of my writing. I am also looking forward to being able to see what I did on that very day for the previous 5 years.

I am so excited to find some time to look through all of these books. Since my birthday, my life has been rather chaotic however I am now away on holiday with my family so I am hoping I can spend many a day sitting and reading as I certainly will not run out of books!

Katie x

London Adventure #2

Around about this time last year, I and two friends went to London for a couple of nights and, as a way to fill out extensive holidays, we carried out the same adventure this year.
It was a bloody full few days and, as I write this it is 20:15 on the day I returned and I am already bathed and in my pyjamas, which, even for me, is early.
I hope to write as little as possible and just show you a little selection of the photos I took and the places we visited.

Day 1:  

- Train from Newcastle to Kings Cross
- Hit up Oxford street and Carnaby Street (majorly bad idea because a) we all had super heavy rucksacks and b) I was introduced to Brandy Melville)
- ate noodles and winced and the extortionate prices (very different to Newcastle)
- Went to Greenwich park in the evening, to see my favourite view over London 

Day 2:

- Tube up to Camden market (but more specifically, Camden Lock which is way cooler and less touristy than the rest of Camden-its one of our favourites-I'd recommend checking out the stalls for lunch)
- Covent Garden
- Walked up through Soho (via Brandy Meville because c'mon, priorities)
- Went to Hyde Park and walked past Buckingham palace down to Westminster 
- Stopped for a desperate chocolate break at "Look mum no hands" and ate the most expensive but amazing raspberry brownie
- dressed in our 'jazzy trousers' to chill out when we got back

Day 3:

- Travelled to Shoreditch
- admired street art
- Found the infamous bagel shop
- explored Brick lane (the coolest place ever)
- checked out Spitalfields (cool but very full of bankers in swish suits eating street food-an awkward scenario to negotiate with 3 bags on your back)
- nearly cried with pain
-lay on the floor of Kings Cross for 2 hours because we were so exhausted
- got a very amusing train home

Too many photos? I think so, I'm sorry but I needed somewhere to share them.
I love love love London, its madness and chaos and quirks, I could have spent the rest of my holiday there.
Hey ho, on to the next adventure.,.
Katie x