Saturday, 25 March 2017

Looking forward

After my last post I felt it was only fair if I told you a few things I've been doing lately to keep positive. Mostly I've been making plans, giving myself things to count down to instead of counting how long since.... 
1. Dying my hair// this is something I've wanted to do again for ages. Hopefully by the time this post goes live I'll have had it done 🙌
2. Races// I've signed up to two over the summer. It's not easy but the training has been keeping me busy and actually making me feel pretty good about myself(bonus). 
3. Blog events// these seem to be like buses, I have had none for a while then two come along at once! I had such fun at the #Carlival event before Christmas that it's giving me all the giddy feels for the next few weeks! 
4. Blogging// not just the events, I've been really enjoying writing at the moment. It's cathartic to have somewhere you can just spew out words and feelings.
5.Driving// the lessons continue and I'm inching my way closer to being a fully qualified driver!

There we have it, a few things on my radar at the moment. Between these lot and work and friends, my plate is pretty darn full. In fact it's great, and I'm loving the positive changes I've been making.

What's going on with you guys? 

Abi x

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Surviving the end of a long term relationship

Well, that's a loaded title and a half. If you hadn't guessed from that title, I recently left a long term relationship. I won't give you all the juicy details, but we were together 4 and a half years, lived together and he initiated the ending. Yeah....

As you can imagine, it's thrown me for a loop. The setup of my life has suddenly changed. The plans and future I was aiming for suddenly stopped existing.
I never really realised how intertwined our lives were until they weren't. 

Self identity:
To me, being with someone was a crucial part of my self identity. It gave me confidence and security that I've never had on my own. I haven't been single in nearly 5 years, thats a long fecking time.

Location:
I loved where we were living. It was a wee part of the country in drivable distance of cities.  The key word being drivable. Public transport did exist but poorly. So for work, instead I cycled. I would often have a lift from the ex or family for social things but I'd also avoid doing things after work because it was such a faff. It made me incredibly isolated and lonely at times.We were living there based on requirements for his uni course. 
But now? Now I'm back with my parents, 5 years after first moving out and it's a heck of an adjustment.

Friends: 
Leading on from that, you would expect a division in friends. For me, this didn't happen. We didn't have many(well none) mutual friends any more. I probably should have taken that as a sign.

Hobbies:
This is something Im really struggling with at the moment. Quite a few of the things I enjoyed were introduced to me by my ex. Part of me wants to avoid them at all costs but the truth is that would make me more miserable not less. It's a choice you have to make on an individual basis.

Intimacy:
This is a big one. I'm sorry if it grosses you out but it's just as important as everything else I've talked about. Essentially I have been with the same person so so so long. It's hard for me to sit here and imagine kissing any one else. It feels weird. 
Even stranger is my sexuality. It's not something that comes up a lot but I identify as bisexual. I always have. Yet it's often over looked because I was in cisgender long term monogamous Herero relationship. It's strange for me to recognise those feelings again after so long. At the end of the day, when I do start dating again it's not going to be simple. 

I debated writing this post, because of how personal I knew it would get. In the end, writing it helped me think things through and I hope it helps others. 

Monday, 13 March 2017

20 thoughts on your first driving lesson

I recently posted about how I've finally, after lots of deliberation and stress, finally started driving lessons. It's not something I take lightly and I'm still scared shitless every time I'm behind the wheel. So in an attempt to bring a bit of humour to the situation I came up with the post about what went through my head before my first lesson. Enjoy... 

1. Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god
2. Is it too late to cancel? 
3. Shut the instructors here...
4. Thank the Lord, I'm in the passenger seat, can't harm anyone from here
5. Cool were going to a quiet road.
6. Da fuck are we?
7. Okay, it's time
8. I'm getting the cockpit drill( must not giggle)
9. It's time to set off
10. Mental screaming
11.*at 10mph* this isn't so bad
12. Woah were up to 20 mph, I'm not ready for this
13. Turn left?? Can't we keep going straight...
14. Successfully navigated the corner
15. And another...
16. We literally going circle here lol
17. Time to pull over
18. MUST not hit that tree
19. Annnnnd we stall to a stop
20. Same again next week?

In truth I'm up to my fourth lesson now and while I'm still very nervous in also kinda loving it.

Can you drive? 
Abi x

Monday, 6 March 2017

Blog tour: Dead Embers by Matt Brolly

Hey everybody! So in todays post were talking about the latest installment about DCI Lambert. I was lucky enough to be included in the blog tour for the newest novel, Dead Embers.

A little bit about the book:


Title: Dead Embers (DCI Michael Lambert #3)
Author: Matt Brolly
Release Date: 6th March 2017
Genre: Crime Thriller
Publisher: Canelo
Format: ebook

Review:

 We pick up with DCI Lambert following what appears to be a house fire but inside the bodies of a senior police officer and her husband is found. Their child, traumatized but alive. It starts this way, drawing you in with the cruel deaths and becomes a twisting tale of terror and deception. I thoroughly enjoyed the plot and the ending in particular was stellar. Theres nothing worse than a crime thriller that doesnt have a satisfying ending for me!
Now, I haven't read the first two books in the series but I can assure Dead Embers is readable as a stand alone novel. At times the back up of information from the previous books is a little tedious but that settles down past the first few chapters. Its hardly a complaint as it allows Dead Embers to be taken as a whole, and not judged compared to the other books.

Overall, I throughly recommend the book. I'm giving it a 8.5/10 rating, and hopefully I'll get chance to read the first two in the series soon!



About the author:

Following his law degree where he developed an interest in criminal law, Matt completed his Masters in Creative Writing at Glasgow University. He reads widely across all genres, and is currently working on the third in his Michael Lambert thriller series. Matt lives in London with his wife and their two young children.

Would you read this book?
Abi x

Saturday, 4 March 2017

Blog tour: Never Forget by Richard Davis

Hi folks! Todays post is a wee little book review of the latest Saul Marshall thriller, recently released by Canelo. I was lucky enough to be sent ebook copies of both the first book "False Prophet" and the new book "Never Forget" to review. First things first, I really like the cover art for Never Forget, its really catch and makes me sad it isn't in paperback format for the pics.

False prophet: 
This achieved a solid 8/10 for me. The story was interesting and fit well as a classic crime thriller. I got exactly what I wanted, including great descriptive work and great plot. The story is extremely persnal as we see Marshall's son held captive in a psychological war with terrorists. I was genuinely thrilled by the book.

Information about the Book
Title: False Prophet (Saul Marshall #1)
Author: Richard Davis
Release Date: 25th January 2016
Genre: Crime
Publisher: Canelo
Format: ebook




Never Forget:
This achieved a decent 6.5/10. It was an enjoyable read but I felt it could've been stronger as a sequel.The book tries to build on the original and succeeds in some ways. The plot is again of a high standard, featuring a more widespread threat from rogue former Chinese agents. The escalation of the setup happens quickly and how Marshall reacts is brilliant... nope not telling you more!
Information about the Book
Title: Never Again (Saul Marshall #2)
Author: Richard Davis
Release Date: 20th February 2017
Genre: Crime
Publisher: Canelo
Format: ebook


About the author:

Richard Davis graduated from University College London in 2011 and Cambridge University in 2012. The Saul Marshall series was born from Davis’s extensive travels around the United States and his long-standing
obsession with thriller fiction. He lives in North London, UK, with his girlfriend.
Facebook
I enjoyed both books and look forward to Davis's next work. Hopefully he's leaning towards another sequel!

Abi x
ps: I received both books freely as part of the blog tour to review.

Monday, 20 February 2017

It's time...

It's finally time. At the grand old age of 22, I am finally doing something I've been putting off for years now. In truth it's been more of an intensified avoidance the past 2 years. In today's post I'm talking about learning to drive. 
For me it's not a thing to take lightly, and actually causes me a lot of anxiety.
In fact I nearly started lessons 3 years ago but ended up instead doing my motorbike CBT. Through bittersweet circumstances I  owned a motorbike at 19, that was not in the best condition. However I really couldn't afford it, and  although I loved the actual riding, I hated how vulnerable I felt on the road. It was these two things that caused to sell my bike last summer after not riding it for over a year.
You might think that being a rider might give me more confidence as a driver. Nope! I was so nervous that I avoided booking lessons for another 6 months. Shock horror, my anxiety never improved  because I had no outlet for it. Avoiding learning simply fed into it. To the point where I've begun to feel anxious when I'm a front seat passenger. Yep...
I finally pushed myself into booking lessons a couple of weeks back and I'm due to start then soon. 
I don't have high hopes of it being an easy thing for me to learn, but I'm proud of myself  for taking plunge.

So watch this space, learner drive coming through.

Abi X
P.s. How nervous where/are you about learning to drive? 

Friday, 17 February 2017

Trainspotting 2: review

You may remember about this time last year I was reviewing Trainspotting(the book) as part of the Infinite Variety challenge( RIP). In a brief summary, I found if totally naff. It's funny how things come around again, don't you think? 
Well I eventually watched the first film a few weeks back and really enjoyed it. I'll admit this surprised me, but it just such a unique film it's hard not to enjoy it. 

As you can imagine, it don't take much persuading from Lewis to pop down the local cinema to watch the new sequel. 
In truth we made a nice date night of it, albeit a cheap one. 
We stopped at the neighbouring Nandos before the show ( 20% Nhs discount, thank me later). Then we killed time at the Asda nearby( also bought these amazing pug sheets!). 
Onto the film! Now Lewis is a student member of The Times so we made use of their 2-4-1 offer on cinema tickets and treated ourselves to "VIP" seats. Which were soooo comfy and reclined(hell yeah) and I would defo recommend. 

We were feeling pretty chill heading into the ads. This feeling lasted throughout the whole film to be honest. It not only lives up to expectations but personally I enjoyed it more than the first one. It has te same realistic yet outlandish feel to it. There's a few trippy moments as previous which are included as effectively as the original. A great music soundtrack was a must, and didn't fail to deliver with artists such as Blondie and The Clash featuring. 
We even get updated monologue on "choose life" which is both modernised and cutting.

The only part I didn't enjoy was a scene early on which made me gag for about ten minutes. Managed to avoid saying a second hello to my Nandos... 
Still I would 10/10 recommend the film to anyone who enjoyed the first film.

 Would you go watch Trainspotying 2? What should I go see next in the cinema? 

Abi X