Sylvia Plath And The Haunted Reader By Gail Crowther; Review. 

Disclaimer: this book was sent to me from Fronthill Media, the publishers, in exchange for an honest review. I wanted to read this book, and asked to review it. What follows constitutes my truest thoughts.

As readers will know, I am an avid fan of Sylvia Plath ; I have been that way since about the age of thirteen, having been introduced to her via (the now defunct) Company Magazine. (Because wonders will never cease!)
There is a rather stereotyped image of Plath, which I think is now partially down to her committing suicide. But she was not just this image of a Depressed wife, seemingly stuck in  shadow of her husband, Ted Hughes. Rather, she was vibrant, seemingly dancing to the beat of her own drum; she wrote almost as with this electric energy. And if anyone sees me reading one of her books, they always raise their eyebrows, making ‘oh’ noises as the perceived content.

At the time of writing this post, I have yet to finish the book; I’m sort of muddling through, due to other commitments such as revision. I’m not sure I necessarily understand it as much as I should, in spite of the fact that it has been coached from an easy writing style. I’ll let you know how I get on with it.

I also think this book is quite radical in its thinking-in the sense of being a new way of thinking about Plath. Rather than being a mere academic subject, she is personal to every reader, meaning different, vibrant, and almost as if alive in our own heads. And I’m grateful to Crowther for doing this, as it’s a brilliant concept.

Score: 11/15

Click here to buy the book.

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This time next year tag

This is a post that I’ve seen floating around for a while-you can see the exact post here. So, here’s my version:


Firstly, you have to thank the person who tagged you-so, maybe over social media. Next, write and set yourself  goals for next year, as well as how you intend to achieve them. Tag five or more people. Then, once a year has passed, write about how you achieved these goals. Simple, right? Here goes…

Goals for the next year:

  • Pass the NTCJ diploma course, with a decent standard of grades achieved. (This is something I have been wanting to undertake for a while-and I would love to achieve something good from it.
  • Keep blogging, and start to earn from it!
  • Have at least one story-well, copy-published in a magazine. Because this is something that I have tried to achieve for a while.
  • Get paid for articles!
  • Have at least one great interview, with somebody who is really current-I’m thinking Ed Sheeran, Emeli Sande, Amy MacDonald, Stormzy, Bones, and people in that vein. Because ambition isn’t a crime, right?
  • Start to write my book!

I tag Lauren at This Stuff Is Golden, Katie at CountryKatieUk, Kimberly Jessica at Kimberly Jessica, Faz from Like A Parisienne, and Freya from Freya’s Nook. Be sure to comment when you write your own!

Lydia

XO

 

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Let’s Have An Honest Chat About Aspergers Sydrome. (A note to fellow Aspergians like me…)

Let’s just have an honest chat, shall we? From the ‘aspergic’ blogger whose blog you’ve been reading, to you, the presumably neurotypical reader. (Or maybe you’re a fellow ‘Aspergian’-in that case, welcome! You are among friends here 😃)

Having Aspergers Sydrome is hard; over on Twitter, I saw one parent saying that her son refers to it as “my trouble”. The problem is that we are often in our own worlds-the comforting place inside our heads, where we can escape, almost. It’s the outside world that intrudes in, I feel-those sudden load noises, horrible sensations, and not understanding what your classmates are trying to convey. (Believe me, it is so difficult. And although I could probably count my friends on both hands, it is those that be deciphered that are scary.)

Questions are hard to interpret.

Conversation is hard to maintain.

Noise is hard to bare.

Sticking to the social code is hard.

And that’s just the beginning.

Aspergers is something complex, complicated, but at its core it’s caring; all the ‘aspergic’ people I have met are some of the most brilliant minds there are. They care in different ways for you. And they are so incredibly loyal. These are the people that I take strength from, and who this post is on tribute to. They are the best in human nature.

And if you’re reading this, as a fellow ‘Aspergian’, I want you to know that you aren’t as ‘bad’ as sometimes made out to be; you have so much potential, and the ability to move to a higher plane. Forget these so called popularity contests at schools-they don’t reflect the real world. Keep your friends close. And you’ll be fine 😁

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Having It All….At What Price? Guest Post By Lisa Kallas, Sugar Loaf Dreamer.

This is a guest post by Lisa Kallas, over at Sugar Loaf Dreamer. (Click here to visit her blog.)

When my mum was leaving school you were encouraged to stay at home and be a housewife and mother. If they did work it was in retail, nursing and light duties work. When I was leaving school you were encouraged to attend university and get agood job. Some of us never saw the inside of a university or college and went straight into work. At that point if you were lucky you found yourself a good provider and worked part time, able to have the choice to either work or stay at home when you became a mother. When my daughter was going through school university became more of a necessity to get a good job, a lot of women delayed getting married and having children as they were forging their careers and by the time they do decide to settle down it takes two incomes to just get by…….sound familiar???

In this the 21st century women can be anything they want no longer just holding down retail or admin jobs, they are becoming CEOs and entrepreneurs pushing the limits of those glass ceilings. We have cracked a lot of them, however we are still struggling for equal pay with men but that’s a whole other blog!!
So here you are mid career, maybe married trying to fit everything in. Your work, gym, socialising with the girls, shopping, cooking, cleaning all the incidental jobs traditionally held by women……you almost have to schedule a date with your partner in your diary just to fit it in. Then along comes baby……now what? How many times have you heard a newly pregnant lady say “I haven’t got time for a baby”? Well that’s when you have to take a step back and prioritise.

Believe it or not men, now more than ever want to be hands on with the child raising process. As far as jobs around the home go, men don’t always notice what we women do, so it seems they are lazy or unhelpful. This is not necessarily the case, most times if you ask they will help. So learn to delegate around the house. Put a time limit on the amount of work you bring home, I know you do….most of us will spend some personal time checking and answering emails, trust me, just because you may have your pjs on and a glass of wine in your hand it’s still work, so maximum 1 hour and then its family time, even if that family consists of only a partner or a dog. Cut it back.

At work, especially if you are the manager or CEO delegate, delegate, delegate. No one can do it all alone. One of the easiest ways of running a successful business with a happy team is inclusion. Teach them what you know, that way you won’t have to worry if you are absent from work….others now know how to run the joint without you. Trust me, that delegation bit, I struggled with that for years and then I became ill. Learning to share the load at work made such a difference to not only my happiness but the satisfaction of my team. It will also allow you to spend less work time when bub comes along.

It is a very personal choice whether to be a working parent or not, again I stress, some of us don’t have that choice and need to continue working while parenting. If that’sthe case make time, try to do a little housework each night and free up your weekends as much as possible for your family. Be there 100%, time with your children passes so quickly, they grow so fast, don’t miss it.

We can have it all if we wish, we can do anything a man does if we want to, we study and work for it. As someone that continued to work while parenting it is with experience I say make time, the years go so fast and unfortunately you can never get that time again.

Through all of this you also need to find some ME time. Burnout is a killer of many things, careers, marriages, friendships and people. Never be afraid to to ask for help, there is no sign of weakness in admitting you need it. Breathe in life and exhale love, that is what we need to do daily.

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Hippeas Puffs Review.


Disclaimer: This post is a review of a PR sample. What follows is my honest opinion.

Now, I will confess; I do not really enjoy trying new things. I know what I like, what I dislike, and I’m quite happy that way, thank you very much. But when I saw Hippeas Puffs, I was intrigued, and wanted to try them. Needless to say, I was pleasantly surprised.

These are essentially crisps-more a ‘puff’-made from what I understand to be chickpeas. (But I’m not sure about that!)

Branding:

We need to talk about the yellow. On a supermarket shelf, yellow stands out, particularly something that is not too gaudy, and not too like a canary. I love the branding of these Puffs-simply because they are cool, and more than just a little bit edgy. Plus, look at this box. What’s not to love?!


There also is not a lot made about the fact that these are chickpeas; for a lot of other vegetable-based brands, there is a big deal made about that some ingredients are ‘veggie’. Now, I don’t particularly like vegetables, but I eat them as part of a healthy lifestyle. Why would I want to have this continually put in front of me? This is why I like Hippeas; they make vegetables cooler than most other brands.

The product:


Talk about Voluminous!

There are several different flavours to try:

  • In herbs we trust.
  • Sweet and smokin’
  • Far out fajita
  • Pepper power

There’s something for everyone here! (Even me, the fussy vegetable eater…) My first piece of feedback would have to be that the actual bag can sometimes be a little bit empty; additionally, several people who I shared these with commented on the same issue. For a snack that is so light, there could be more put into each bag-because believe me, that’s not necessarily going to abait hunger! (No one would judge you if you took a second bag, right?)

My favorite flavours would have to be Sweet and smokin’-just like me, ha ha!-and Far out fajita. These are by far the best flavours, I feel, simply because they have enough flavour to satisfy you; they are not too overpowering, neither are they too strong. In Herbs We Trust by contrast-what a great name!-was a little bit too smelly for me, which put me off a little bit. I also initially liked Pepper Power but it was too strong for me a day later, having had a large glass of water. (The smell and the semi burning feel!)

So, I guess the Jury is out.

But I’ve found one of my new favourite snacks; and these have got to be better than something sugar based, right? (I’m not sure, so be sure to check this-the question was rhetorical.) I’m going to put one of these in my handbag whenever I know that I’ll be out and about, without a lot of time for food. They are convenient, yummy, good for you. I’m on board!

Rating: 13/15

Click here to buy some delecious snacks.

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Pink: LYDIAPINK
Purple: LYDIAPURPLE
Black: LYDIABLACK

A Trip To Waterstones, And On Making A List Of Books I Would Love To Read…

Books. Books! Lovely books.

Whenever I go to Waterstones, I always compile a list of books I wish to read; after all, of there is any purpose I can have, it could be to cram by brain with what a book gives, and pass the information on. Anyway, here are a few photos I took to share with you all..

Inside Vogue by Alexandra Shulman.


I am fascinated by magazines, how they are formed, layout, etc. Vogue, according to this book by a Now ex-editor in chief, has been around for a century, a full one hundred years. Surely I could pick up some culture, clothing tips, etc, along the way? Style is what remains, and what I hope to one day possess.

Karl Marx by Gareth Stedman Jones.


Despite the fact that I study politics, I still find Marx quite hard to understand, and to get to grips with. And yes, I know that he wrote The Communist Manifesto, but I can’t interpret this very easily. And biography has a lot to do with the actions an individual has intent to do, I feel. Anyway, I want to express about the antithesis of the Democratic ideals I love.

Imagine Me Gone By Adam Haslett.


It was largely the title of this one that caught my eye.

Dear Amy by Helen Callaghan.


This is a book that I have wanted to read for a while. A summary of the blurb essentially is that somebody is missing, possibly kidnapped, and is writing to an agony aunt, sending a signal to find her. And there’s a twist! I love a drama, as well as a detective book, and would love to read this.

Insane Clown President By Matt Taibbi.


For all his controversy, I want to read about Donald Trump, in order to understand him, his impact, etc. That way, I think I’d be better equipped to understand this new form of politics.

What books do you hope to read?

Lydia

XO

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Pink: LYDIAPINK

Purple: LYDIAPURPLE

Black: LYDIABLACK

Making Bagels With Bagleman In Brighton


Disclaimer: Due to Bagelman following me on Instagram-I still have no idea as to why-I pitched to see if I could review their shop. On the day, I was lucky enough to be able to go behind the counter, and see how they make their Bagels. This is what constitutes a PR related post, yet I enjoyed it.

Hello! Good morning-I hope your day is going well so far.

During the first Saturday of March, I was lucky enough to be able to stop by Bagleman, and was taught how to make Bagels with staff members. (Because bloggers just love food!) It was a little bit tricky to navigate my way to the shop in the Lanes, yet I was happy to have done so in the end.

Needless to say, I was very impressed with the sheer size of the menu! Additionally, it was nailed to a wall outside the shop, meaning that anyone passing could have a quick peek. (Albeit I wasn’t surprised at the variety; having visited Downtown Cozies in the US, I just could not wait to see what was in store for me.)

The shop is far bigger inside than I thought it would be, judging from the outside. (Reflecting on this now, I was reminded a little bit of the Tardis, from Doctor Who.) 

Needless to say, it took me a little while to choose what sort of a Bagel I would have liked at the time; in the end though, I chose a plain-ish bagel, with a little bit of a glaze on top, complete with bacon, and ketchup. (It was nine AM-and it was seemingly the most ‘Breakfast-y’ option I could conjure up at a given moment, plus the most imaginative*.)

*As you can see, I do lack imagination early in the mornings-it was early, I needed my fuel!!

I was fascinated to see the preparation.


Simply cut in half, add the toppings, and squeeze together. There are so many options, I really cannot emphasise this enough.

To cook, it took maybe forty seconds-the actual figure alludes me. But behind the counter, there are This ovens-quite small by size-that cook them on the go. There are various different settings, all designed dependent on the combination of Bagels. (And I think that every hungry student should be given one of these things-they are magic!)

 Silver magic! As you can see on the screen, the twenty five seconds has passed, but not for the full summary of the time required. It also looked quite heavy, and something that I would not necessarily be able to handle.


Looks good for a windy day, right? Have you ever been to Bagleman? Leave your comments below-

Lydia

XO