Posted in Assorted Beverages With Alys

Ribena With Alys

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These last couple of weeks I have been working on confrontation. I don’t find confrontation easy, I don’t think many people do, but I seem to have a bit of an issue with it. I have to work really hard at confronting problems and not running away from them. Small things will upset me and my first instinct is to shut down and avoid them completely. So I’ve been working on not bottling things up, it only ever causes trouble. Sometimes that means that arguments happen, or difficult discussion, but I’d rather that these days. It’s better in the long run. And so I’m saying this because I’m proud of myself. It’s hard work to re-train how I think and react to everything. So although I’m still not very good at it, I’m proud of my little self.

I read Frogkisser! by Garth Nix this week and really enjoyed it. It’s important to remember that it is aimed at children though. I’ve read a lot of bad reviews comparing it to his other books that are aimed at an older audience, and frankly, I don’t think they were fair. It’s a children’s book and the main criticism was that it was too simplistic in both plot and character development. Whilst it IS simplistic in these areas, I don’t think it’s outrageous to have a simplistic plot for a seven year old reader. It wasn’t a patronising read, it didn’t assume that children were stupid and could ‘only understand so much’, it seemed to introduce them to ideas and words that they may not have come across, whilst giving them a fun story to read at the same time. A story that was at their level of understanding without treating them like children- many children’s books have a nasty habit of patronising children and not challenging them at all in the name of ‘they’re children, they won’t understand’. That’s one of my biggest bug bears. (I also, incidentally, don’t like the phrase ‘bug bears’)

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Posted in Musings

Manchester Bees.

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It doesn’t feel right. It doesn’t feel right that the world is still turning. That companies are advertising frivolous items whilst children lie dead and their families still search for them. It doesn’t feel right that in Manchester today there will be people going to work; sitting at desks and answering phone calls, whilst emergency services fight to save those that were injured. It doesn’t feel right.

But it is.

This is Manchester. We are strong. We are worker bees and we work together to support our city and each other. To keep each other safe. Last night a hateful thing happened. And it was responded to with SUCH an outpouring of love. I am PROUD to say that’s my city. So many people took in those children, gathered them up and kept them safe. So many people offered up their homes, their cars, their money. Businesses opened back up so that survivors has somewhere warm to sit with a cup of tea, so that emergency workers could wake themselves with coffee and continue to do their best. That outpouring of love shows me that there is hope and strength in us. One person did an evil thing, but we rose up stronger and harder and with love in our hearts. One act of hatred cannot break us. We won’t allow it.

Today is the day that we think about the children. The dead, the injured, the orphaned. And we think about the children going to school today that are terrified that they will be hurt because of the colour of their skin. Today, as we go about out days, not letting hate stop us, we wear our bees alongside safety pins to show that love is the majority, not hate.



Posted in Assorted Beverages With Alys

Dandelion and Burdock With Alys.

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I’m a couple of days late this week, I guess I was too busy reading! This week I had my last counselling session and it went really well. It’s good to talk out stuff with someone that isn’t going to judge. It’s definitely worth finding a counsellor that you gel well with too, my first counsellor was awful and judgemental and we just didn’t gel. But I stuck at it and found one that is lovely. And she really helped me get some things straight in my head. Good stuff.

For pretty much the rest of this week I’ve just been reading. I’ve let my room get messy, and just sat and read. It’s actually been really nice. I’ve tidied today, and got everything all nice again, but tit was nice to just read for once. It had been a long time since I had been able to sit and get so absorbed in a book.

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Posted in Assorted Beverages With Alys

7up With Alys.

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I’ve been organising this week. I’ve re-potted a few of my plants, and then I completely moved my room around so that my plants can get more of that sunshine that has finally made an appearance in the North of England. I’m liking it, there’s a lot more light coming through my window now because I’ve moved my TV. It’s rather nice. I still need to do a lot of organising and tidying through everything. I’m moving out of this house in one month. ONE MONTH. That’s going to start stressing me out very soon. But on the plus side I have applied for my extenuating circumstances now, so I can stop stressing about that. I mean, I still won’t know if they will let me come back next year, but I’ve done all the things now, it’s out of my hands, so there’s no point in me worrying about it. In the meantime, I will stress out about moving house. I have so much crap!! I need to pack it all up sometime very soon, and I have no idea how I’m going to be able to fit it all in my bedroom at my parents house. It’s a serious problem! I need to go through all of my books again aswell. I don’y like getting rid of them, but actually, when I get started, it feels quite cathartic to just get rid of all of the things that I don’t need or use. I suppose that there’s something to be said for the principles behind minimalism. I think that if you have too much stuff that you keep for no real reason, then what’s the point. Half the time someone else will get pleasure from owning that thing that you just shoved to the back of your wardrobe. So that’s what I’m doing. Getting rid of all my rubbish.

And now we shall talk about books.

This week I read ‘The Fall of Icarus’ by Ovid (obviously) and translated by Mary M.Innes.

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Posted in Assorted Beverages With Alys

Beer with Alys (May the Fourth be with you)

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I went home last weekend, it was okay, I got some stuff done. It’s May. The sun is shining, at least some of the time, and there are leaves on the trees again. I have started a photo challenge on Instagram that is about taking photos of books that are just good. There are a lot of these kinds of challenges on Instagram, but this one is kind of cool. It’s celebrating books that show diversity and awareness of mental health issues. It’s quite interesting because I can get book recommendations from the other people that are participating and I just find it interesting. There have been some good books that people have written about and it’s something I’d recommend you have a gander at if you’re looking for something to read. It was started by @bookmarks_for_kindness so if you want to find it, it’s over there.

I finished reading ‘Goldenhand’ by Garth Nix on Sunday. I really liked it. I don’t know if it’s the last book that will ever be in the Old Kingdom series, but it was good. I think if it were to be the last one, then it wouldn’t be such a bad thing. I want more as I love that world, but if it ended here then it would be a good ending.  There was a nice conclusion to the original trilogy and the prequel of ‘Clariel’. I liked the way that it ended and although I would love to see more of those characters and the world, I don’t think I would ever not want more, so maybe it is a good place to end. I don’t want to talk about it too much because I’m not sure that I can without ruining it. If you’ve read it please let me know!

I read a review of Clariel the other day that said that she was an inconsistent and boring character, and that she ruined the plot because she was so inconsistent and unlikeable. I think that they completely missed the point of the whole book. They called the book a ‘failed tragedy’ because although most of the characters ended the book in a negative way, Nix set Clariel up as a

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Lemonade With Alys.


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I tidied the shit heap that is my bedroom!! Yay! (Sort of) I tidied, but then made it messy again. Wah! It’s a constant struggle! Ah well, isn’t that part of life? The constant cycle of mess/tidying/mess. We have a viewing tomorrow, so I need to tidy again, which is okay. At least it gives me some incentive to get that done. In other news, I’m going home this weekend. I’ve been trying to get home for about four months, but I have no bedroom there anymore, so I’ve had to wait until my parents are away. My brother is still there, obviously, but now I at least have a bed to sleep in while I’m there. So that might be fun. I’m going to be sorting out my mum’s wardrobe because she’s not had one for ages. They had to refurbish one of the walls in their bedroom, so they’ve been staying in the spare room and now they finally have a wall so they can start moving back in to their own bedroom. Anyway, that’s what I’ll be doing this weekend.

I’ve been reading Clariel by Garth Nix this week. I think I’ve managed to kick the reading slump a little as I’ve almost finished it in the last couple of days, it’s nice to be able to read again.

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Posted in Assorted Beverages With Alys

Apple and Mango Juice With Alys

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I spent a lot of time watching TV this week. Watching TV and knitting. Which was actually incredibly boring. But I suppose that’s a good thing because it’s made me bored of just sitting and watching TV for a while! It sounds a little pathetic that Alex went away for a week and all that I did was watch TV. But really, it’s all that I was doing before he left too! It’s the Easter break, so I’ve had nothing to do for quite a while and it’s only just now starting to drive me a little stir crazy. On the plus side, I’ve watched some pretty good TV. I made my way through all the episodes of Once Upon a Time, and started on catching up on Pretty Little Liars. I know, they’re guilty pleasures, but I try not to feel guilty about things that I enjoy, even if I know they’re a little questionable, or downright badly written…

I also watched the rest of the episodes of 3% that I hadn’t seen yet. It’s a Brazilian show on Netflix and it’s amazing. It’s a sci-fi set in a society where there is a divide between the have’s and the have not’s, no big deal right? But this time the distinction between them is so extreme that the two are separated by an ocean. On the Inland people are starving, wearing rags and trying to scrounge together enough to live off. Crime is everywhere as people try to survive. On the Offshore they live in the lap of luxury, wanting for nothing and living without crime in a society that has much more advanced medical facilities that are denied to those on the Inland. It’s your basic dystopian world vs utopian world story, with only 3% of the Inland population being able to eventually move to the Offshore. However, before they can get there they must pass the Process, a series of tests, like the Hunger Games, designed to ascertain whether they are worthy to live in the Utopia that has no crime. They only want the best people to live there, and not many make it. If they don’t pass the Process they must return to the Inland and try to live out the rest of their days there. They don’t get a second chance. They can enter the Process when they turn twenty, and only then. That sounds a little unfair, but there’s nothing wrong with it, right? Well, that’s because that’s just the theory of how it works. In practice the Process is rife with corruption, spies, unstable moderators and investigations from the Offshore. They have to try to run this Process whilst contending with pressure from their side, and also opposition from the Cause on the Inland.

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Posted in Assorted Beverages With Alys

Tea and Biscuits With Alys

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I’m moving soon! This week I signed away my soul and paid a deposit on my new place. Seeing as I’m still going to be at university next year I needed somewhere to live and now I have one. The most exciting thing about this, is that I have my own kitchen. I’m living alone, in a little studio room, so any mess that’s in my kitchen will be because of me. Which probably means that it will be quite messy, but it also means that I won’t get as angry about it. It’s a good thing, I promise. And considering that my kitchen is also my bedroom, I’m hoping that means that I won’t let it get too messy…

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Posted in Musings

Forest Findings UK

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This is going to be a bit of a different post from my usual ones. I want to write a review of an Etsy shop. To be completely honest, my friend runs it, but that has nothing to do with this review really. I have bought things from her shop before and I wanted to write a little something just to tell you about the beautiful things that she makes.

First off I want to talk about the service that she offers. It’s wonderful. There are open lines of communication between the owner and the customer, both through Etsy and her Instagram account, which means that each time that you need to speak to her about your order, or if you want to order something special, then you can always find somewhere to contact her. She’s always polite and friendly when interacting with customers, whilst at the same time still being professional enough that you feel comfortable parting with your money. (see below)

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