Reviews · Theatre

Les Miserables UK tour review;

Hello everyone!

Today I wanted to share with you my review* of the Les Mis UK tour that’s currently showing in Plymouth. (*Read: ramblings, incoherent thoughts, and excited screaming.)

Admittedly, this review may be somewhat biased – I adore everything about Les Mis. This show brought me together with some of my closest friends whom I now can’t imagine living my life without. It introduced me to characters that I saw myself in and deeply empathised with. Les Mis, and its fans, helped me to accept and understand difficult parts of me when I was still discovering who I was as a young teen. I owe this show, the movies (& especially the 2012 one), the fanfiction, the fans, the art, the music, and Victor Hugo so much of my life.

When I heard that Les Mis was coming to Plymouth, and that it’s opening night was on my 23rd birthday, I emotionally combusted. I came rushing to my Dad’s side as he was cooking, a Cheshire cat smile plastered across my face and told him the good news. His response? “That’s the one about miserable lesbians with those barricade boys, right?” Yes, Dad. Yes, it is.

I secured my ticket and then came the six months of waiting until, finally, June 11th came. I practically skipped to the doors of the theatre, over their red carpet, my Les Mis necklace beating against my chest as I went. I got to my seat in the upper circle early and waited. I waited with more anticipation than I had ever had before.

The lights went down, and time seemed to stand still for the next three hours. The curtain rose and I was instantly struck by the simple staging. Touring a show as huge as Les Mis must have its difficulties, and the challenges were brilliantly solved using a giant screen taking up the entire backdrop of the set. Most of the show’s details were shown using this screen, leaving little except the props and a handful of set pieces on the stage itself.

My favourite piece of staging was during Empty Chairs at Empty Tables. The ghosts of Marius’ friends all stand behind him, holding candles, and one by one, they blow out their candles and disappear. It’s a phenomenal and thought-provoking few minutes that I completely fell in love with.

Okay, I could wax lyrical about every actor in this show, but that would take up way too much of mine and everyone else’s time. Just believe me when I say that every actor was noteworthy and deserves high praises. To save everyone some time I’m going to focus (briefly) on my top three actors in this performance.

First up we have Killian Donnelly in the lead role of Jean Valjean. I felt that his portrayal of Valjean was dynamic and subtle. It was subtle in the way that’s real. As the show got older, and with it, Valjean, Donnelly’s presence on stage became naturally older too.

tumblr_ptm0rfHyeh1rsjug1_1280
Killian Donnelly as Jean Valjean

It felt as though we were growing old with Valjean, that we had truly been on this long journey with him; you can easily forget that Donnelly is only in his mid-thirties in this show. Not only are we treated by a physical journey, we are also given a tangible emotional journey. Donnelly’s performance was raw and vibrant and so alive. Even from my seat in the upper circle I could see his small facial expressions and movements, the tiny details that add depth to his character. Getting minute emotions from the stage to the upper circle without looking like an over-actor is no small feat. It’s the sign of a prodigious performer who loves his work.

Secondly, Katie Hall as Fantine. I swear that whilst watching Hall perform, my goosebumps had goosebumps, especially through I Dreamed a Dream. She portrays Fantine’s downfall beautifully, able to communicate both her ingénueity and steely determination through all the character’s hardships.

tumblr_ptm10k6Apo1rsjug1_540
Katie Hall as Fantine

Whilst Fantine’s fate is devastating enough as it is, Hall makes it more heartbreaking by highlighting the strength of Fantine’s character; her anger at society, her want to keep her dignity despite everything that’s been thrown her way, the fierce, lioness love she has for her child. It’s truly a magical piece of characterisation and theatre, and all I wanted to do was scoop up Fantine and take her away from her terrible place in the story. Hall squares up to Donnelly’s Valjean during her confrontation of him and manages to easily dwarf Donnelly with her fury, regret, and sorrow. Katie Hall is an absolute powerhouse and I don’t think I’ll ever not be in awe of her.

Lastly, I wanted to talk about Ruben Van Keer in the somewhat minor role of Grantaire. Sometimes I wondered if anyone had told Van Keer that he wasn’t a main character since he played the role with as much energy and emotional depth as Killian Donnelly did with Valjean. Van Keer’s drunken bitterness, bravado, anger and despair was breath-taking to witness. He really came into his own during scenes on the barricade where the emotional payoff was huge. The way he seemed to kick and scream at the barricade itself as Grantaire’s friends fell around him was astonishingly real and pitiful. Dylan Thomas’ ‘Do not go gentle into that good night’ often came to mind as I watched Van Keer make Grantaire face his fate.

tumblr_ptm0rgmQjh1rsjug1_540
Ruben Van Keer as Grantaire

I also adored the way he interacted with Jude Muir as Gavroche. Their background scenes often melted my heart. One notable instance was when Gavroche held Grantaire around the waist to calm him down after he took his emotions out on the barricade. They then fell, exhausted, to the floor, and Gavroche slept in a now calm and measured Grantaire’s lap. A second instance was the aftermath of Gavroche’s death. Van Keer’s Grantaire seemed to ignore the entire world as he carried Gavroche’s body and laid him down as though he were made of the most delicate bone china. As the action continued behind them, I could not take my eyes away from Muir or Van Keer. The show was theirs completely for that time; I mourned and shed a few private tears with Grantaire.

The Les Mis UK tour is honestly one of the most spectacular things I have ever had the pleasure to witness. It may not be everyone’s cup of tea, especially for those who are original staging purists, but this tour staging works just as well as the original. It’s the actors, the performances, the music that truly makes the show as stunning and emotional as the original.

The show is in Plymouth until July 6th. You can find out if the show is coming to a venue near you by clicking here.

Have you seen the show? What did you think of it and which performers blew you away?

Bethany xo

Books · Updates

Update & 2018 bookshelf July-December;

Hello, everyone!

It’s been a LONG time and I’m very sorry for the radio silence on this blog.

This past summer my mental health took a bit of a nose dive and I didn’t feel like myself for quite a while.

After taking a break over July and August and enjoying the autumn & festive season with my family and friends, and starting on a course of antidepressants and counselling, I’m feeling much better! I’m finally ready to throw myself back into writing and blogging.

So, without further delay, here is the final part of my 2018 bookshelf! (If you haven’t read part one then you can find that right here)

  1. How To Be Champion – Sarah Millican (3/5)
    My verdict: Funny and insightful. This is a fab feel good read with just the right amount of personal emotion thrown in for good measure. I’m also pleased to know that I’m not the only one who’s sort of in love with Philip Schofield.
  2. Together – Julie Cohen (2/5)
    My verdict: I was super intrigued by this book when I first came across it. Unfortunately, it became predictable and tropey in terms of plot, had characters that were bordering on uninteresting, and it reminded me too much of similar books that came before it. The thing that makes this book a two star rather than a one was the unique way in which the story was told: from the end to the beginning.
  3. The Greek Escape – Karen Swan (4/5)
    My verdict: Whilst this is probably my least favourite of Swan’s summer novels, it was still a bloody good read! It’s as stylish and heart-warming as The Rome Affair and The Paris Secret and as indulgent. I am still incredibly envious of Swan’s way with weaving plots and I’m already hungry for her Summer 2019 book.

    37734911_2110141222579023_6767993466283622400_n

  4. Breakfast at Tiffany’s – Truman Capote (3/5)
    My verdict: It’s pleasantly different from the 1961 movie and does away with the fairy-tale ending. It’s certainly a story of its time and that made the racism and sexism quite off-putting. I can see why it is often on “must read novel” lists but it isn’t going to be a favourite.
  5. The Psychology of Time Travel – Kate Mascarenhas (5/5)
    My verdict: This book had it all for me. There was mystery, murder, time travel, lesbian representation, discussions of mental health, betrayal, sleuthing, the importance of friendship, great romance, and barely a male character in sight! I loved it.
  6. Stardust – Neil Gaiman (2/5)
    My verdict: I really didn’t like this book at all. It was so description heavy that reading it felt like wading through treacle. For a fantasy novel, it had so little magic about it that I almost abandoned it. The movie did a great job of injecting life, joy, and charisma into it. I hate to admit it but the movie was 1000% better.
  7. Vox – Christina Dalcher (4/5)
    My verdict: This novel swept up my imagination as soon as I heard about it. It went down a more scientific route than I was expecting but I enjoyed it nevertheless. There was a touching and emotional end and is a perfect criticism of modern politics. Apparently it is incredibly similar to The Handmaid’s Tale but I haven’t read that so I could not say one way or the other whether that’s true.
  8. One Enchanted Evening – Anton Du Beke (4/5)
    My verdict: Perhaps I’m biased because of my inordinate love for Saturday night show Strictly Come Dancing (there’s a reason this blog is called StrictlyBethany!) but I loved this novel. For a debut from someone who is so far removed from a writer by trade, this book is incredibly well thought out, plotted, and beautifully erudite. There are elements to this book that do fall short and there are unnecessary writing choices (like constant repetition of full names), so it doesn’t get full marks. Whilst this novel contains a romance plot, I would not call this a romantic novel. It’s more of a social, political, and economical tale and I preferred this approach much more than I perhaps would have done if the romance had taken centre stage.

    46595220_387441685360191_3903490697604897245_n

  9. The Vintage Tea Cup Club – Vanessa Greene (2/5)
    My verdict: This began as a promising story about newfound friendships but I found the pacing too quick to form any sort of lasting attachment to the characters. In the end, finishing the book felt like gulping down a mouthful of stone cold, forgotten tea.

And that concludes my 2018 bookshelf! If you want to keep up to date with my reading adventures then feel free to add me on Goodreads and recommend anything you’ve loved!

Thank you for reading and for being patient with me. I love you!

Bethany xo

Books

2018 Bookshelf: January-June;

Hello!

Today I would like to share with you the books I’ve read so far this year, what star rating I’ve given them and my brief verdict. Each entry on this list contains a link to that book on Goodreads if you would like to check any of them out!

tumblr_inline_p7nfixku2J1s7ng86_250

Current reading stats for this year:

Avg book length: 371 pages.
Highest rated on Goodreads: Thirteen – Steve Cavanagh
Most read on Goodreads: The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald
Least read on Goodreads: The Foster Husband – Phillipa Wright
My favourite book: If We Were Villains – M.L Rio
My avg star rating: 3.5

tumblr_inline_p7nfixku2J1s7ng86_250

1. Black Water Lilies – Michel Bussi (3/5)
My verdict:
This is a promising novel with a clever plot that sadly gets lost amongst the often-clumsy French to English translation. I felt that the translation left some moments feeling hollow, but it was surprisingly enjoyable nonetheless.

2. My Sweet Revenge – Jane Fallon (3/5)
My verdict:
This novel might be more suited to somebody in their 30s or 40s since I found myself unable to relate to Paula. Even so, it’s an easy read that plays out like soap opera which means it’s comfortable reading on lazy days when you don’t want to do too much thinking.

3. The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald (4/5)
My verdict: I’ve loved this novel since the first time I read it many years ago. I keep coming back to it because I find the characters fascinating and there’s always something new to discover about them. But mostly because I love Nick Carraway with all my heart.

4. It Only Happens in the Movies – Holly Bourne (3/5)
My verdict: I think I’ve officially grown out of YA novels. The last handful I’ve read I haven’t been entirely gripped by, and this is no different. I did however enjoy that this is a little different to usual romance novels because it actively highlights the messy parts of relationships that can be ignored in mainstream media.

5. How to Stop Time – Matt Haig (5/5)
My verdict: I completely and utterly ADORED this book! Romance, tragedy, history, fantasy, adventure, sci-fi, mystery…it’s everything a book can be and is perfectly balanced between each genre. I couldn’t put it down. The only criticisms I have are that I wish it had been longer, so I could’ve learned more about Tom’s life, and that Tom’s romance subplot with Camille seemed arbitrary.

6. The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper – Phaedra Patrick (4/5)
My verdict: This is a lovely little book that is uplifting, hopeful, and touching. It’s a sweet novel about embracing life regardless of circumstances and ages, and explores the complexities of the people around us.

7. The Uncommon Appeal of Clouds – Alexander McCall Smith (2/5)
My verdict:I was drawn to this book when I saw that it centred around an art theft. However, this was not the exciting, fast-paced, heist-and-ransom style novel I was expecting. Admittedly, this was the ninth Isabel Dalhousie novel and I hadn’t read the others, so I wasn’t familiar with the style. Fans of McCall Smith and Isabel Dalhousie may have a totally different view to me since they knew what to expect. The ending was disappointing and limp.

8. The Paris Wife – Paula McLain (4/5)
My verdict: I thoroughly enjoyed this novel about the marriage of Ernest Hemingway and Hadley Richardson. It was an interesting look at the intricacies of marriage and how fame can change a person without them even realising it. I’m looking forward to reading McLain’s second novel about Ernest Hemingway ‘Love and Ruin’.

9. Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine – Gail Honeyman (4/5)
My verdict: Eleanor is a fantastic character and it’s incredibly easy to fall for her and her awkward charm, and for the story itself. I wasn’t as taken with it as many others were and I thought it was predictable in places. It was a pleasant and heart-warming read.

10. The Rome Affair – Karen Swan (4/5)
My verdict: After reading Swan’s ‘The Paris Secret’ last year, I was excited to sit down with The Rome Affair. I wasn’t disappointed! There’s plenty to get your teeth stuck into with Swan’s plots since they’re so impressively layered. The Rome Affair is the perfect summer read.

Bethany West Photoshoot-4
Photo by Paul Hopkins Photography

11. The Comet Seekers – Helen Sedgwick (2/5)
My verdict:
This was an interesting premise for a novel with an equally interesting layout. The lack of speech marks could often cause confusing and awkward prose. The book had a constant air of telling rather than showing.

12. Love from Paris – Alexandra Potter (3/5)
My verdict: Another charming and light summer read that’s set in Paris. Generally, a little forgettable but does have loveable characters – one of whom I wanted more from. The lack of Xavier’s presence in the novel made me wonder why he was introduced as a character in the first place.

13. The Muse – Jessie Burton (3/5)
My verdict: I must admit that I was a little disappointed with this novel. Throughout I was waiting for a big reveal or a novel defining moment that never actually came. It forever seemed to be working towards a crescendo that ended up falling flat by the end.

14. The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle – Stuart Turton (5/5)
My verdict: If you read my review of this novel then you’ll know that I enjoyed this book immensely. It was unique, addictive, and beautifully written. You can read my full review here.

15. Little Fires Everywhere – Celeste Ng (2/5)
My verdict: I felt as though I was being told this story by a friend more than I was experiencing it. This book told too many details, but the themes of culture and ethnicity provided an important message.

16. The Foster Husband – Pippa Wright (3/5)
My verdict: An often-humorous look at relationships of all kinds that doesn’t shy away from the trials of love. An easy read for if you’re stuck on what to read next.

17. Circe – Madeline Miller (3/5)
My verdict: Circe had some stunning imagery and evocative language, however I felt it was missing some of the charm that Miller’s first novel ‘The Song of Achilles’ had. Even so, it was a rich and powerful story focused on womanhood.

18. Less – Andrew Sean Greer (4/5)
My verdict: I can certainly see why this novel won a Pulitzer prize. Many books with gay protagonists now are about teenagers or young adults, so it was nice to read about a middle aged gay man for a change! It didn’t shy away from the impact of the AIDS crisis and provided an optimistic look at love later in life.

19. If We Were Villains – M.L Rio (5/5)
My verdict: This book absolutely ruined me. I couldn’t read anything else for a while after because I couldn’t stop thinking about this! It has intriguing characters, brutally elegant prose that Shakespeare himself could be proud of, and it pulls at every emotion. As soon as I finished reading it, I wanted to read it again. This book was all I talked about for at least a week.

20. The Fourteenth Letter – Claire Evans (4/5)
My verdict: Honestly, this didn’t end up being the book I thought it was going to be when I read the blurb. I was pleasantly surprised by the twists and turns it took! For a few chapters I wasn’t sure what was going on or how the characters related to any of the others, but once it all clicked into place, it was brilliantly exciting.

21. Thirteen – Steve Cavanagh (4/5)
My verdict: I love a good courtroom drama, and this was no exception. It was thrilling, exciting, and twisty. It’s also a murder mystery plot that I haven’t seen before which made it feel fresh and original.

Have you read any books on this list or do you have a favourite book you’ve read this year? Comment with your thoughts and if you have any recommendations!

I hope you guys will come back in December for the second instalment of my 2018 bookshelf.

Bethany xo

 

 

Lifestyle · Things to make you smile

twenty-two at twenty-two;

Hello everyone!

If you don’t follow me on Twitter or Instagram then you might have missed the fact that it was my 22nd birthday on Monday! (Insert party poppers here.)

For many of my teenage years and going into my early-twenties, I’ve completely hated my birthday. No one ever came to parties I hosted, and when they did, it was boring and awkward because I’m TERRIBLE at throwing parties. I always felt pressured to do certain things like spending an evening drinking or hanging out with a huge group of people when that’s not the kind of thing I like to do. So often I let other people plan my birthday for me and it was never stuff I actually wanted to do. Last year I decided enough was enough and I had my first genuinely enjoyable birthday since my 18th because I planned it the way I wanted to.

Today I thought I’d share with you 22 of the things I did to celebrate:

  1. Bought myself an expensive cake. I popped to a bakery just under two weeks before my birthday and ordered myself a five-layer rose and raspberry cake complete with white chocolate, tons of buttercream, edible glitter and macaroons.
  2. Bought myself balloons. My parents aren’t particularly keen on balloons but I always wanted those huge number balloons. Mum and Dad always said no because they thought they were a waste of money, but this year I just bought myself them anyway because I’m an adult with my own money and I can. (It’s crazy how often I forget I can do what I like with my money…)
  3. Took a rose bath. For the past few years, on the evening before my birthday, I like to have the most extravagant bath I can possibly make. This year I had a huge amount of bubbles, rose petals, glitter, cocoa butter, rose oil, and rose-scented soap! It was totally heavenly and I could’ve stayed in that bath forever…
  4. Tried on every perfume I possibly could. I forgot to put on perfume on my birthday before I went out so I went to local Boots and tried on everything. I don’t think I’ve ever smelled more expensive in my life! At least I have ideas for my next bottle of perfume now.
  5. Went out for breakfast with my Mum and Lorna. Going out for breakfast is, without a doubt, my favourite thing to do. I’m very much an early-bird and breakfast is my favourite meal of the day. The earlier I go, the better! Breakfast is even better with friends, family, and cocktails.
  6. Went out for cocktails. After breakfast, Lorna and I migrated to the Slug and Lettuce for an afternoon of gin and prosecco. Plus one of our cocktails came with a candy necklace and it just filled us with so much joy.

IMG_3916[1]

7. Booked time off work. It was really important to me that I didn’t have to go to work near or on my birthday. I work somewhere with only six staff members, including myself and my manager, and because I work part-time, I’m often called in to cover shifts. To avoid an early end to the celebrations, I booked time off so no one from work could call me in!
8. Went bowling with my parents and brother. I used to have bowling parties as a kid all the time so I decided that we should all go bowling for the evening in a moment of nostalgia. I came third and last because I’m terrible at bowling but who cares because we all had fun and we spent some rare time as a family doing something together!
9. Stayed in for a chinese takeaway. I love being home and in bed by 10 because I’m actually very old at heart. Instead of going out for the night, I stayed in with a chinese takeaway and watched friends in my pyjamas. Absolutely heaven.
10. Bought new clothes. I have a personal tradition of buying myself a new dress to wear on my actual birthday day. I did that again this year but then also went out and bought two other dresses as well! (And obviously as soon as I bought summer clothes the weather turned and it’s now grey, rainy, and windy…)
11. Took myself out for breakfast. Again. Yes, I really do love going out for breakfast that much. Two days after my birthday, I continued celebrating by getting up early and finding a restaurant by the sea. This time I went alone with my new camera and spent some quiet time with just me and the fresh air. Plus, this was a personal achievement for me since I have anxiety and I usually hate eating alone in public. Eating alone in public at a restaurant in outside seating is practically a miracle for me but I did it!
12. Took time out to catch up with friends individually. I hate being in large groups of people so I decided to see people individually or text people for a little catch up. It’s much more intimate and it doesn’t leave me as emotionally exhausted.
13. Went to Build-A-Bear. For the first time since I was a child, I went to Build-A-Bear and I got myself a Charmander toy complete with official noises that the Pokemon makes in the show and a lavender-scented disk for an optimum cuddling experience. I loved that I got to indulge in my inner child and that the staff didn’t seem put off by my over-excited enthusiasm.
14. Ate cake for breakfast. Is it even your birthday week if you don’t eat cake for breakfast at least once?
15. Added birthday-related items to my scrapbook. Samples of the wrapping paper from my presents, photographs from the day, gift notes and gift tags…it’s all there in my scrapbook ready for a future me to reminisce.
16. Went for a walk. I love walking and I especially love walking around some of the most beautiful spots in the city. With all the time in the world I took my camera out in the rain and took a gentle stroll.

IMG_3954[1]

17. Bought myself new craft supplies. Thank you Hobbycraft for the free £5 gift you give me every year! You’re keeping me in bullet journal and scrapbooking materials.
18. Got myself some new books. My TBR pile is already huge but I just made it bigger by buying another armful of books. Oh well, at least I don’t have to buy any more for a while!
19. Bought myself a theatre ticket. A few months ago I booked a ticket to see Titanic the Musical as both an early and a belated present to myself. I am clearly the gift that keeps on giving.
20. Went for breakfast with my Dad. This is the last time I’ll mention breakfast, I promise! My Dad’s birthday is two days after mine and since he was working both days, we didn’t get much of a chance to celebrate our days with just the two of us! So this weekend we went for breakfast to do just that.
21. Watched my favourite movie multiple times with no regrets. No, I won’t stop singing Come What May and crying over Ewan McGregor and Nicole Kidman, please leave me alone.
22. I let myself be me. Most importantly, I didn’t pretend that I wasn’t enthusiastic about the little things, I didn’t let myself be embarrassed by my interests and the things that I wanted to do, and I certainly didn’t force myself to do things that I didn’t want to.

It’s been a pretty good year and a pretty good birthday week so I’m looking forward to the next one!

What are your favourite things to do on your birthday?

Bethany xo

 

 

Things to make you smile

Sunshine Blogger Award;

sunshine-blogger-award

A huge thank you to the lovely Lorna from Lorna Illustrates for the nomination! My little blog isn’t the prettiest, the most active, or the most interesting…but it’s something I love putting my spare time into and that I have great fun working on. I can’t wait to slowly curate my blog into the vision I have for it. This is the first time I’ve been nominated for any kind of community award/post and I can’t wait to get to know some of you a little better and to meet new people through this great community!

Now, here are the rules:

  • Thank the person that nominated you for the Sunshine Award.
  • Answer the questions set by the person who nominated you.
  • Nominate other blogs and give them your own questions to answer.
  • Notify your nominees through social media or commenting on their blog.

Questions from Lorna: 

What inspired you to start the blog you have today?

A couple of years ago, Ellie from LittleEllieMae contacted me through instagram to invite me to a blogger event she had organised after seeing me mentioned by the Lush Plymouth instagram account. I didn’t have a blog at the time but I decided to make one and to along to her event. Admittedly, it took me a while to get into blogging. After taking various breaks (reasons include being too busy to blog, forgetting my login details, and not having any ideas), I began Strictly Bethany in September 2017 after finishing University and I’m determined to stick with it this time!

What are your future aims for your blog and how will you get there?

For short-term future aims, I would really like to find my specific writing style and topic expertise to make my blogging more centred and focused. I’d also like to learn more about coding and other technical skills so I can build my blog’s signature look. As for long-term aims, who’s to say? I’m looking forward to seeing what happens.

If you could have any three things in the world, what would they be?

I’d like to have perfect health, a cottage by the sea, and the original first draft of the script for Moulin Rouge, preferably signed by Baz Luhrmann.

What inspires you most?

Early mornings by the sea. I love it when it’s still slightly dark outside and a bit misty with the waves cracking against rocks and frothing on impact. There’s something peaceful and awe-inspiring about the water.

Who inspires you the most?

I’ve always admired Audrey Hepburn. Not only was she a great actress but she overcame a troubled childhood and used her platform as a dancer to raise money for the Dutch resistance against the nazis during the Second World War. In later life, she did humanitarian work around the world and supported various charities including UNICEF. I’m also incredibly inspired by the dancer and actress Joanne Clifton, and the singer and actress Anna O’Byrne.

IMG_3602
Me and Anna O’Byrne after a performance of Guys and Dolls in 2016

If you could only listen to 5 songs for the rest of your life, what would they be?

1. Dust and Ashes from Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812
2. Come What May from Moulin Rouge
3. Runaway Daydreamer by Sophie Ellis-Bextor
4. Love Never Dies by Anna O’Byrne
5. Literally any one song by Marina and the Diamonds. It’s so hard to pick just one song from her when every song is a certified Bop.

What are you doing when you’re not blogging?

Mostly I’m working but between that, I’m scrapbooking, working in my journal, reading, or trying to work on my novel! I’m also often seen wondering around town, the Hoe, and the Barbican on early mornings playing Pokemon Go with my dad.

Imagine your perfect sweet-treat cook book. If you could be any recipe, what would you be and why?

I’d like to think I’d probably be a rose cupcake! Sweet, floral, a little different but still has a classic edge, and definitely not to everyone’s taste.

What advice would you give anyone starting their own blog?

Write about what interests you, what captivates you, and what you’re passionate about. Try not to compare yourself to other bloggers because we all develop at our own pace. That kind of comparison to other people can sometimes kill drive and creativity rather than inspire it. Someone will always love or be interested in what you write so keep going!

What would you do with £10 million?

I would buy myself a house and put away some cash for bills and food etc, save some money back as disposable income for a couple of years, pay my parents’ mortgage, and give the rest away to charities and people who need the money more than I do. I’m not really one for travelling, going on adventures, or doing anything overly exciting so I don’t have much cause for owning that much money!

What makes you happy?

I’m fairly simple when it comes to happiness. The people I love make my happy, time alone, walks by the sea, a rose or lavender bath, plants and flowers, clean bed sheets, a mug of tea, a good book, good food, and trips to the theatre.

My nominees are:

Emily at Electric Emily
Jill at A Book Nerd Reads
Megan at That Musical Theatre Nerd
Ashley at Thrifty Bibliophile
Corinna at Coco’s Makeup Bag
Marianna at Marianna Reads

My questions for you:

  1. What’s your favourite thing about blogging?
  2. Have you learnt anything in the time you’ve been blogging, if so, what is it?
  3. What do you do when you have writer’s block or are feeling lacklustre creatively?
  4. Aside from blogging, what are you passionate about?
  5. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
  6. Would you rather have hands that never stopped growing or feet that never stopped growing?
  7. If you could smell like three things for the rest of your life, what would they be?
  8. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
  9. If you could master any skill, which would it be?
  10. Of all the posts you’ve written, which is your favourite?

Thank you once more to Lorna for the nomination!

Bethany xo