Come Join Me Over Here!

Hi there!

I'm glad you've come to read my blog, but unfortunately I don't live here any more!

Feel free to trawl through my archives or look up my posts on Scoliosis which will always be at home here, but when you're ready please come and join me at my new home:


See you there!

Catherine Ann x

Sunday, 30 March 2014

Bad Cop...

...and why my mum is the best.

I argue with my mum. Like, a lot. I usually blame her (of course) but it’s definitely more of a 50:50 type situation. Just occasionally will we both really upset each other—most of the time, one of us laughs or makes a cup of tea and it’s all forgotten. In a way, I’m grateful for these fights… because they come out of the fact that we communicate all the time. I tell her almost everything about my life and we spend a huge amount of time together. It saddens me that some people don’t have this with their mum or dad.  

I think one of my earliest memories is this huge feeling of love toward Mum. It sounds strange, but I can just remember feeling totally overwhelmed by how hugely important this person was in my life. I couldn’t quite understand how so much love could fit inside my tiny little being. And what was I supposed to do with it? It was almost too much to handle. How did I express it, did I have to let it out? Eventually I realised that you don’t really have to do anything with love. You just feel it. You just live your life in it. That’s enough.              
As we get older, we realise something that feels both good and bad: our parents are not our friends.

They are not there to get along with us, though it’s nice when then do. Sometimes, we might not even like them. This is not important to a parent. A parent doesn’t need to be liked. They are not afraid to make us angry or upset for a little while, even to make us say “I hate you!” (we never really mean it) if it means the rest of our life will work out better. That’s all parents want, for things to work out for us. For their children to be the best they can be and have a happy life. This does not always mean being liked.

My mum has never been afraid to play “bad cop”, and actually I think that takes a lot of guts. I’ve never really been able to do that—I often bite my tongue for fear of upsetting someone, only to realise later that telling them my real opinion would have saved a lot of trouble.
I grew up in Suffolk, close to the border with Essex. Mum was worried I’d pick up an accent and start saying “free” instead of “three”, or the dreaded “ain’t” instead of “isn’t” or “aren’t”. Any time I said “wa’er” she would mimic and mock, telling me to “speak properly!” I used to get so frustrated… what did it matter, anyway?

It matters because the way I speak now makes people think I know what I’m talking about, even when I don’t. It makes me sound more mature and sophisticated than I really am, so people in job interviews tend to think I’m an ideal candidate before I actually say anything of substance.

From the age of around five, I was FORCED into swimming lessons. I hated, hated, hated them! I didn’t like the teacher, I hated the rigmarole of getting dressed and undressed, and I just couldn’t see the point. “Swimming is a life skill,” she’d say. Whatever. She’d sit in the balcony overlooking the pool every day, flapping her arms in the most irritating encouragement. It was the worst. (Of course, at the time, it never occurred to me that she too had a million better things to be doing).

We did swimming in school the other year and I was pretty good, actually. I am useless in almost every other sport, but the swimming was really fun… because I could do it! While other people struggled, I enjoyed ploughing through the lanes. Then after I had my operation, I went swimming just to take the weight off my spine… and loved it.

When we moved, I was homesick. I disliked my school and as I’ve mentioned I didn’t have the best time making friends. For this reason, I sort of associated our old home with another life where everything was perfect.  I would cry for hours and say over and over: “I just want to go home.

She reminded me that this was home now. That our old home belonged to someone else. That home was where your family was, and ours were scattered around the place anyway. It was not what I wanted to hear… but it was what I needed to hear. I learned to make a home.

Until recently, I have never been allowed to go out of an evening. I was banned from all the social activities that seem so important at the time: teenage discos and so on. It made me feel so left out because everyone would be going out on a Friday night, having a lovely time, and I’d be sitting at home grumbling about how old-fashioned my parents were. Didn’t they want me to have a life? How was I going to make friends, or eventually meet a boy?

I got interested in other, much nicer things. I joined clubs and societies. I made a heap of new friends with the same interests as me—really nice people. And eventually, I did meet a boy. Someone I highly doubt I would have met at a disco.

Recently, I was under a lot of pressure. People were expecting the world of me, and I was being a bit hurt by them in return. It felt awful, but what could I do? I still had to see these people and be nice to them, or, God forbid, others might think less of me. They might think I was weak or mean.

Mum took the decision out of my hands. She told me I was to stop involving myself so much if I was just going to end up on the receiving and of all this stress all the time. She said in no uncertain terms that she would not allow it. Mum was not afraid to be the boss, to be the bad cop, and to take the blame for everything. It didn’t take me long to realise she was right and it was all for my happiness—something she, of course, had known all along.

The most recent thing that epitomises my mother happened on Friday evening. I hadn’t had time to even comb my hair all week, let alone remember Mother’s Day. I felt awful: it’s clear how wonderful my mum is, and I hadn’t bought anything to say thank you. She came home from the shops with a potted plant and said to me: “I thought you might like to have bought me this for Mother’s Day.”

She didn’t ask for a present. She understands that I’m under pressure and scared about my exams. She knows that I love her and she will always love me. Even though the dessert I’ve made her today has turned out crap, she won’t mind that either. That’s just who she is.

So I’d be lying if I said I always liked my mum—I bet the feeling’s mutual there. But I can say with complete honesty that I love her more than anything. I might, like every other teenage girl, complain constantly and not see the point of anything she says, often until it’s too late…


But, painful as it is to admit, I have finally learned that mother really does know best.  

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

My Busy Little Life

My Busy Little Life

As life grows more and more hectic, in good ways and stressful ones, it becomes ever more difficult to stick to the themes and plans I have for my blog. It can be quite tiring at the end of a day to try and write a deep post, and I’ve been in such a good mood lately that I don’t feel the need for such a release, either.

It’s probably a bit inconvenient that I need to write more when I’m stressed out or upset, but I’m sure many of my fellow writers will identify with this… perhaps that’s why much of the poetry I’m studying right now is so depressing.

By way of an update, apology, and nice filler of the void that my blog has become recently, here’s what I’ve been up to.

In ten weeks I will sit an exam that determines what I will do and where I will live for the next three to four years of my life. Not unreasonably, this is taking up rather a lot of my time. I placed either where I wanted to be or better in all the results of my mock exams, apart from the maths papers which haven’t been marked yet… even though they were the most expensive to sit! Anyway, so far that makes me pretty happy.

I sat two other mock exams this week, too: Irish and French orals. Both went really well, which has taken a lot of pressure off. It’s terrifying having to speak a different language to somone for fifteen minutes, knowing it will make up between twenty and forty per cent of your grade!

Much of my study for Irish has been consumed by the Sraith Pictiuiri. If you’re a Leaving Cert student, you’ll know what these are and will understand my suffering. If you’re not, then in the words of Shakespeare, “be innocent of the knowledge, dearest chuck.” Trust me. This has meant my practise for conversation has suffered, so I was glad to find how much I could recall. Unlike my fellow students, I’ve only studied the language for six years, but I’ve managed to keep up higher level. It hasn’t been easy, but I’ve benefitted so much from a third language that would otherwise have been left untouched.

In other news, there’s been an engagement in my family! Tiger has got a ring on Duchess’ finger at last, and I’m so happy for them. It’s so comforting to know that my brothers are being looked after and are happy…

…that is, all my brothers! I’m looking forward to a visit from Ferret on the day I finish my exams, with a special person in tow.

That makes all of us in the family happy and attached… for now, at least! I don’t see it as essential to be in a relationship, but isn’t it nice?!

This all happened on the same day that Phoenix turned eighteen! She is the first of my closest group of friends, and it’s getting rather scary now… I just can’t believe how old we’re all getting. I guess “old” is relative depending on the age of you, the reader, but understand how unsettling all this approaching adulthood can be!

We threw her a surprise party and it was so lovely to have everyone together… it reminded me how many lovely people I’m privileged to know.

In other news, I’ve given up cheese for lent and have never resented a decision more.

Getting out of bed has been difficult lately… I think I’ll write a blog post on that, once I’ve cracked the whole “actually getting up when the alarm goes” thing. It won’t be easy…

My whole outlook has become more positive lately and my overall mood has improved tenfold. Partly due to the wonderful things happening to those around me, and partly because I’ve stopped panicking about things I can’t control. This is something I always have to remind myself to do… I should probably take my own advice more. This ties in well with “strength” and I’ll probably write about it a bit more soon.

There was no real purpose or design to this post, I’m afraid. I just fancied writing after a busy day, and I thought a snapshot of my life might interest you… whether you’re a complete stranger or a friend or family member I haven’t had the chance to catch up with.

I’ll try to stick to my theme and structure in future, and of course leave some updates on all the excitement above!
Well done if you’ve got to the end of this nonsense.


Catherine Ann x 

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

One From The Archives! Bullying Long-Term...

Here's something I found in my archives, written shortly after my article about bullying on www.foroige.ie.


 I’ve been thinking a lot lately about people who have been bullied in the past but have recovered from the experience. These people tend to be sensitive souls. They were probably bullied out of jealousy, because the ones I know personally are all amazingly talented individuals.

From my own experience, bullying isn’t something that just switches off and everything’s OK. Don’t get me wrong: life improves drastically when you face your demons and stand up for yourself, or when you get the help you need to keep bullies at bay. However I think we’re all aware that the effects of bullying aren’t just immediate and don’t go away overnight.

A huge thing I’ve noticed, even from people who aren’t being bullied any more, is that they still feel they themselves are to blame somehow. On three separate occasions, girls—beautiful girls, you’d be jealous if you saw them—have told me something along the lines of “I was bullied because I was fat.” I’ve seen the pictures: they weren’t. The fact is that if you are told a certain thing enough times, you begin to believe it. If you’re coming to school every day and being told you’re stupid, or ugly, or useless... eventually there will be a part of you that begins to believe this, no matter how ridiculous it may be.

Not just when I was being bullied, but also after it had stopped, I found it really difficult to make friends. I didn’t approach people and talk to them—why on earth would they be interested in what I had to say? I didn’t like going out in big groups—that was for cool people. I really thought that there was no reason why anyone would want to be around me, and that I’d be doing everyone a favour if I just left them alone.

Even worse than my opinion of myself was my opinion of other people. I want to tell you guys that just because a handful of people are nasty to you, this does not mean the whole world is like that. Bullies are the exception, not the rule, and I’d bet you any money that for every nasty person there are a thousand willing to be nice if you give them the chance. I didn’t make friends easily because I thought they’d just end up picking on me. I’d crawl into my shell if someone approached me because I thought they were about to do something mean.

Right now, I have the loveliest group of friends a girl could ask for. They’d do absolutely anything to make me smile. Sometimes when they say something nice, I wonder if there’s an ulterior motive. Sometimes when we’re all hanging out together, I wonder if they want me there at all. Then I remember that they’re not bullies: they’re friends. They want to spend time with me. They like who I am. These are genuine, nice people, ladies and gentlemen, and if I can meet them, so can you. Just make sure you look around. Don’t be afraid to strike up a conversation with someone new—they could be your new partner in crime!

(Neither Catherine Ann Minnock nor Foróige endorse crime in any way. Thank you.)

Monday, 17 March 2014

Wow, A Whole YEAR!

Today is very important for everyone here in Ireland, as it's St.Patrick's day! There are parades all over the country, and it's a bank holiday which means for a lot of people a day off work or school for drinking  enjoying the company of friends.

I spent a quiet day in with the lovely Crow, but it brought me back to this day a year ago when I was doing something quite different, that really would change my life for the better! No exaggeration here, just a cliche, I promise, but today is important to me for another reason: It's the day all of this began.

I've written for as long as I can remember. I've always loved making up stories and since I was small, enjoying JK Rowling and Jacqueline Wilson, I knew I wanted to write my own book one day.

In 2009 I had just moved to a new place and started a new school. I was struggling with homesickness and bullying, and while I had a lovely home life, sometimes I just wanted to get away from it all. That's when I really began to write. It was as if all these characters were popping into my head, telling me all about their lives and asking me to take them on an adventure.

So I did.

For the next couple of years, writing (especially fiction) became a bit of an addiction for me. Every day, my characters would fill my mind. I'd see them in the corridors at school, I'd think about how they'd react in different situations and songs on the radio would remind me of a certain scene or setting in my stories. It really was a huge passion of mine...

...except I didn't tell anyone.

I didn't dare. It wasn't exactly a cool passtime, was it? It wasn't like I was a secret musical prodigy--far from it--or could actually play soccer really well--even farther from it! But I remember mentioning it nervously to my friends Wolf and Phoenix, and they didn't laugh at me or ask why on earth I would waste my time. They said, "Cool." I'll never forget that.

So I continued to write, and I learned things from my writing. Personal things from my characters, but not least... how to actually write! I became rather good at it, though I didn't like to say it at the time. Teachers would compliment my work and I'd shrug it off but inside I would glow with pleasure. I knew I wasn't the best in the world, or probably even the best in the school, but I realised that I loved the feeling when someone enjoyed reading what I wrote.

In 2012 I met Bambi at a writing class, and we began swapping bits of our work back and forth. One day, I wrote something special as a gift to her. It was really the first time I'd written with an audience in mind, and I really enjoyed it. So did she! She helped my confidence grow even more.

That was when the idea of blogging came into my mind, but it would be another six months or so before I plucked up the courage to do it! Eventually, however, I came up with the idea of "Unlucky for Some". Everyone had said 2013 would be a really unlucky year, but I started the year having just starred in my school show, I had a wonderful group of friends, and the bullying had all but gone away. It didn't seem very unlucky. So I documented my year, and so many wonderful things happened that I had to conclude 2013 was decidedly one of the luckiest years of my life (as I mentioned here).

I became part of this whole online community and it was an overwhelmingly positive experience. I'd been terrified at the start of nasty internet trolls leaving negative comments, but all I've ever had has been friends and family, and even strangers on the internet, contacting me to tell me how much they enjoy my posts. That makes me happier than I can say.

I then ended up doing radio interviews, taking part in research for a TV show and writing for more websites, like www.spunout.ie and www.foroige.ie. It's still all very new to me, this concept that what I have to say, and the way I have to say it, actually matters to people. It's crazy, really.

In April, when I'd just begun the blog, I met someone at a drama workshop (having a wide range of interests does pay off). It was actually quite funny, because the reason I noticed him was that he bore a resemblance to one of the characters I'd made up! Spooky situation aside, I got to know him and found he was interested in writing, too. He also had a blog which I read avidly, while he followed mine. We got to know each other through our writing and soon we were talking every day. Gradually, we became even more important parts of each other's lives.

That's all I'll say on that.

I guess what I'm trying to say, in a very long-winded and messy fashion, is... thanks. Thank you to every single person who's read my blog, commented on it, followed it, chatted to me about it, perhaps sent something in for a competition. Because this blog has opened up so many doors in my life. I've met new people, tried new things, grown in confidence and become a happy, if not quite well adjusted young woman. If you people hadn't taken the time to read my ramblings, then that never would have happened.

Yours, if you'll have me,

Catherine Ann Minnock x


Saturday, 15 March 2014

Writing About Writing... What to do when it all goes wrong.

In February, Crow decided that his blog, www.dearsaul.wordpress.com, had run its course. This was both saddening and exciting for me, because while I really enjoyed his letters to the fictional muse and will miss them a ton, it also means he's got something even more interesting up his sleeve and I can't wait to find out what it is! Thankfully, the blog still exists for you to catch up on if you've not already seen it.

Here's a post I wrote about writing for Dear Saul a while ago: What to do when it all goes wrong. 



Dear Saul,

Are you a writer? I know that Fiachra is, but perhaps you dabble a little yourself. In your spare time. When you’re not dealing with everybody’s problems. Maybe that’s God I’m thinking of… but I digress.

If you are a writer, particularly a writer of fiction: short stories, plays, novels… anything with a plot, really… you will inevitably hit a wall. It might be near the start, halfway through, just when you thought you were finished… but there always comes a point when you will stop, sigh, read over the whole thing and find that it just isn’t working.

This can be for so many reasons. For me, it’ll often be bad planning. I tend to get over-excited and jump into a story with just a vague idea of where I want it to go, so that I don’t exactly know how to get there. 

Sometimes, you’ll have almost lost your character’s voice: would he/she/it really do this or that? Maybe you don’t like your idea, maybe you’ve gotten bored of it…

Maybe, and this is common with us silly writers, it can be something as vague as “Oh, I don’t know, it just doesn’t feel right…”

So what can we do when we hit that wall? Cry? Give up? Just apologise to our characters and say that it’s been fun, but this just isn’t working out? It’s not us, it’s them?

We could. But then we wouldn’t be writers. Writers never knowingly put a good story down.

Or maybe that’s Dog’s Trust. But the point stands.

So, some techniques I’ve used in the past include:

·        Change the tense. If you’re trying to achieve high drama but your writing seems to waffle or drag slowly, maybe you should try writing a piece in the present tense. At the moment, a story I’m working on has a lot of action scenes, which aren’t my strong point. I’ve decided on the present tense and it makes everything a lot more direct and exciting… um, I hope.

·         Change the person! I don’t mean dump your character in favour for someone prettier, skinnier, better in bed… but if you’re writing in the third person and it feels too detached, try first person. Or maybe switch to somebody else’s point of view! Who has the most interesting part in the story, and whose life do you want to remain a little bit of a mystery? My rule is that whoever doesn’t have the point of view gets the most power. If you want to explore many different characters, you could either use third person, or switch between POVs. I’m currently using this method, and it can be very tricky to get right, but it’s so much fun when you do!

·         Forget about it. Scene just won’t go right? Move on to something else. Do a bit of character development. Edit the beginning. Read over. Skip the scene and come back to it when you know where you want it to go. Just keep writing. Remember that with every single word you write, every image that flickers into that head of yours, you are getting to know your characters. You’re building up the scenery. You’re adding a splash of colour to a personality, shading in the plot here and there… you’re learning.

·         Leave it altogether. The project I’m working on right now has been in existence since I was twelve—that’s five years! Some of you might say: “Only five?” Most will probably say: “And you’re not done yet? Get a wriggle on!” Truth is, after working on it for about two years, I decided I just couldn’t do it justice. Not that the plot was going to win a Pulitzer prize (hah), but I was just so in love with the characters that I knew their story deserved to be told, and well… but I just wasn’t the person to do it, not then. I was writing what I wanted to write, not what the characters’ lives would have been like. So a few months ago I started really thinking about it again, and wrote a few pieces. So far, so good. I feel like I’ve grown up enough to try again. Who knows? Second time round might be the charm… So don’t be afraid to leave your crummy, half-arsed story and come back with fresh eyes in a few weeks. Months. Years. When you’ve reincarnated. Whatever.

·         Scrap it and start again. This may sound so painful: weeks, months, years of work… all gone? I’m not saying throw it all in the trash, but don’t be afraid to start something from scratch. Take all the work you’ve already done, and put it down to experience. Remember that nothing will be wasted, because writing isn’t something you can accomplish. You can learn all the chords on a guitar. You can get to the highest levels on your computer game. You can get seven A1s in the Leaving Cert… but nobody will ever “complete” writing. Every word you write is an improvement on the last. Start again, better than ever. Recently, my hard-drive popped its clogs and I lost almost all my writing. I was surprised to find that I wasn’t gutted. Because no matter how much you’ve got down on paper, you’ll always be a writer. My characters live on, their dwelling-places exist, they still have loves and lives, adventures… I’ve just got to write them down again, now I know exactly what they are.

·         Believe in yourself. I know I sound like a guidance counsellor, but seriously. If you think it’s all turned to rubbish… maybe it hasn’t. Maybe it’s good. Just keep going. You owe it to yourself, your characters, and of course, your adoring public. So keep writing no matter what.

I hope this will help you, Saul (and everyone else), to pick yourself up and dust yourself off when things go wrong.

Happy writing!

Lots of love,

Catherine Ann x


Friday, 14 March 2014

Strength... Keep Calm and Carry On


For the next while, I’m going to work on the brand-new theme of strength: what it means to be strong and why it is important. I think it’s a fascinating concept as there are so many different kinds of physical, mental and emotional strength and it can come in all shapes and sizes. So this is the first post! I hope you enjoy it. x


So, after a particularly horrid week in a few months that have been trying to say the least, I thought we could all do with a little British Stiff Upper lip… don’t you think?

You’re going to feel awful sometimes in life, often in fact. You won’t always be happy, you will have to deal with the ugly as well as the beautiful. I think that accepting that is actually a good step on the way to being content: knowing that, yes, I’m so upset today, but in a month or maybe a year, it won’t be like this, and it hasn’t always been like this either. Understand that there is nothing wrong with feeling angry, frustrated or upset.

It does, however, mean some bad days and bouts of the blues, where all you want is to wallow in your pain and feel sorry for yourself. Unfortunately, it is then time to take advice from some of those fictional characters we were supposed to dislike, but deep down we always loved:



Or, my personal favourite:




It could be the fact that I’ve been studying women from World War II for my history coursework, the kind who casually remark “Oh, of course we knew half the parachutes didn’t open. In those days you just got on with it”, but lately I’ve become sick of my own inner monologue complaining about this and that.

Basically, it’s high time we all gave ourselves a good kick up the backside. It’s about time we—and by we, this could mean the royal we, Catherine Ann—stopped moping about, hiding under rocks, getting upset and waiting for everything to go away, and did just that…got on with it.

Next time you find yourself in a horrible mood, here are a few things you might like to do to get out of the funk and move things along…

·         Get dressed. I’m not accusing anyone of sitting around naked when they’re upset. I mean get dressed properly. It can be all too easy to live out the role you have put yourself in—to get out those sweatpants, leave your hair uncombed, and sulk. I always feel like putting on proper clothes and shoes, brushing my hair, applying some makeup, even if I’m not going anywhere, can make me feel a bit more put-together. A bit more ready to take on the world, even if it is from my living room.

·         Take a shower. Again, not suggesting anything. I’ve found that when I’m in a really sad or agitated mood, I can jump in the shower and it feels like I’m just washing my troubles away. It leaves me feeling a bit more refreshed and good that I’ve dedicated a bit of time to myself.

·         Go for a walk. Walk around on your own for a bit, either somewhere quiet or so busy nobody will notice you. Just take some time out to think things over, or not think about them at all. Enjoy being with yourself—you’re all you’ve got in the end. Whatever’s making you upset will go away, and you’ll still be there at the end of it. So enjoy you.

·         Talk to someone. Have a chat with someone who has nothing to do with your bad mood. Rant to them, cry to them, explain to them… or just talk to them about something completely different. It will either feel good to get it all out, or be nice to forget it for a while.

·         Don’t talk to anyone. Alternatively, bask in your own awesomeness for a while. As above, you should be able to function on your own, and enjoy your own company. Think of something you might like to do on your own.

·         Get on with some work. Take this opportunity to do that essay that was due a week ago, or whatever it is you’ve been putting off. It will force your mind to concentrate on something else, if you’re working hard enough.

·         Re-arrange ALL the things! Have your own little movie-montage moment, very Bridget Jones-esque. You know the kind of thing. The protagonist gets a haircut, re-paints the house, chucks out all their magazines and self-help books… For you, this might be as simple as tidying your room or organising your desk. It will somehow symbolise that change is on the horizon—and when you’re in a funk, change can only be a good thing. It might also give you back a little bit of control when it feels like things are escaping your grasp too quick.

·         Step away from the internet. AWAY! NOW! You may be tempted to rant on social media—a huge no-no, which always results in even more trouble, or look up your friends to see how much fun they’re having without you. Yuck. Or you might even find yourself looking through memes made up of black and white photos of swirly writing with “can’t trust anyone xo” or “when life is just so unfair…” and actually identifying with that rubbish. Just turn it off and walk away. Again, go back to you. Avoid this whole information overload we’re becoming used to.

·         Cook. Even if you’re not in the mood to eat. If you don’t like cooking, probably best to avoid this one, but I find baking a cake or cooking a hearty meal for my family very soothing. There’s something about the familiar ingredients and going through those motions that makes everything seem OK.

·         Escape into a book. This is a favourite of mine. My weapon of choice is usually old and torn, and I jump back in among all my old friends and go and live with them for a while. It reminds me of the past, which reminds me there’s a future, and just lets me solve other, more interesting problems for a while. Ones with time travel and dragons.

Best of luck getting on with it, guys.





Saturday, 1 March 2014

Surviving 'Til Summer... watch and read list!

Surviving Till Summer…


I’ve just been informed that there are only about fourteen weeks left till the summer holidays! Unfortunately, that means twelve till the State exams… but I’m not gonna go there. I learned my lesson one heart attack ago!

Instead, I’m going to concentrate on my plans for summer and therefore remember, as millions of people have told me, that there is indeed life after the Leaving Cert.

In studying for the orals and then the written exams, I’m sacrificing a lot of time that should be spent doing useful stuff like reading and watching TV. So I’ve decided to write a list of things I want to hole up and watch/read during the summer. I’m sure I will go out and do things at some point between finishing exams and (fingers crossed) starting Uni. After all, I have an eighteenth birthday to celebrate (about which I am feeling nothing but terrified) and lots of friends to spend precious time with before I go…

But for now, the most crucial things. Books and TV. Every time I finish a book/ watch a bunch of TV shows this summer, I’ll be blogging about them. The list so far is…

THINGS TO WATCH…


(Re-watch) every series of Downton Abbey.

My Mad Fat Diary (I have seen like five minutes of this, and really want to watch it all!)

Re-watch all of One Tree Hill (this used to be like my favourite thing ever, I was gutted when it ended)

Game of Thrones series (should I watch or read these first?)

The Walking Dead

All episodes of Pretty Little Liars. I loved this when it began but only got the chance to watch a few episodes!

THINGS TO READ…


Tethers, by Jack Croxall. He sent me this in ebook form LAST SUMMER and I got too busy to read it once sixth year started. This summer I’ll have time to concentrate and review it properly. Sorry, Jack!

The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald… to find out if anything actually happens in the book.

The Hobbit, by JRR Tolkein. I tried to read “The Lord of the Rings” when I was eight or nine as I loved the idea of it, but I found it a very challenging rea, probably due to my age! I’ve decided to read The Hobbit first as I’ve heard it’s easier to read, and then go on to the full LOTR series if I like it.

A Game of Thrones by George R R Martin. Crow gave this to me for Christmas and I can’t wait to read it, but again I feel like it’s something you’ve got to really concentrate on. At the moment I’m just re-reading my old Maeve Binchys etc because it just seems lazier and more restful reading old books!

The Book Thief

Divergent Series… a lot of my friends are obsessed with these so I can’t wait!

Books by John Green. I was sceptical when I started reading “The Fault in our Stars” but by the end I understood the hype! Now I shall hunt down his other works!

More by Nick Hornby. I’ve read “About A Boy” and he’s just a genius.

Russian Roulette, by Anthony Horowitz. IT’S A NEW ALEX RIDER BOOK, AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!

(Re-read) all the “Roman Mysteries” books. They’re the reason I want to study History and English at university, and I’ve loved them for years.

Lots and lots of Shakespeare and classics… If I’m going to study Literature, I’d better get reading!



I’ll leave this list up here, and it will probably expand a million-fold before summer begins! Let me know if you have anything to recommend! x