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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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

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

Revolution Review. 

 

Disclaimer: this book was sent to me, at my own request, for me to review. What follows constitutes my own opinion. Thank you to Chloe Moss at Carlton Books for sending me this! (I think it also worthwhile to note that I am not a Communist, and do not plan on any revolutionary activities.)

Revolutions are a controversial subject, aren’t they?

There was Mcarthyism, as well as the red scare, meaning that the subject almost could not be publicly addressed. As a form of semi-scaremongering, it was used as an accuse, seemingly. But this book is great for exactly that reason. It ignores the issue of the impact, and analyses whatever Revolution it’s talking about, thus relating it objectively. (For a point of reference, I have yet to finish this book, but I do plan to-eventually.) As somebody who is currently studying history, I find the disdain given to these ideas a little bit illogical, and the fact that they are often taught-as in, passing it down generation to generation-odd, because there is still some contempt. (Rant over, I promise.) But this is why I really admire this book!

Plus, it is beautiful when you pull it out of the casing-almost akin to a newspaper. Just have a look at this:


All the clippings seemingly relate to the contents of the book.

For anyone studying politics, even history, this is such a useful reference guide; virtually any revolution of the last century is covered-some I didn’t even know that existed. (Famous ones are also referred to-Castro and Cuba, for instance.) There’s even photos to illustrate, plus pull out documents-always useful for hands on learning.

My only real feedback is that this book is quite cumbersome; not only for its shape-larger than most books-the depth of details inside means that it is also heavy. (Imagine this at the end of the day: you have all of your textbooks, exercise books, pens, etc. But you have to additionally carry something else; it will get heavy, won’t it?) 

Rate: 10/15

Click here to buy a copy of the book.

The 30 Questions Disney Tag (Guest post by Faz Dadabhoy.)

This is a guest post by Faz Dadabhoy, over at Living Like A Parisienne. Be sure to check out her blog by clicking here-and check back soon for my version of this tag.


I like to think that we all have a soft spot in our hearts for Disney. It’s such an important part our lives, whether it played a role in our childhood, or it’s something those younger than us are beginning to fall in love with. The magic, the stories, the imagination… Thank you, to Cody for nominating me! I thoroughly enjoyed taking a trip down Disney memory lane and I hope you all will re-discover some of your favourite Disney moments with me.In turn, I would love to tag Lydia, the proud owner of this lovely blog I am guest posting on. It’s only fair you share your Disney moments too!

1. Favourite character? 

I do love Minnie Mouse! I even have a hairband with her ears and little spotted bow. I love her that much!

2. Favourite princess?


Princess Jasmine. This is a princess who refused to marry for anything other than love and her best friend is a tiger. Life. Goals. 

3. Favourite heroine?


Merida. This film resonated with me, and I admire her strength and tomboyish nature.

4. Favourite prince? 

Prince Charming, although perhaps I say this because Chris Pine made one mighty handsome Prince Charming in Into The Woods.

5. Favourite hero?


Simba. He’s essentially Hamlet (my favourite Shakespeare tragedy) and one of the first characters I ever fell in love with.

6. Favourite animal?


Toulouse from The Aristocats is one cute little kitty! I love his name and cheeky nature! Of course, the French setting certainly helps…

7. Favourite sidekick?


Timon & Pumba. Oh, come on, now! You can’t separate these two, can you?

8. Favourite villain?


Maleficent is deliciously evil! And very open about it too! There’s no sneaking around with her, I love how she is blunt about being the bad girl!

9. Favourite original character?


It has to be Mickey Mouse, doesn’t it? He’s just so symbolic of Disney and generally quite a cheeky chap!

10. Favourite love song?

‘Can you Feel the Love Tonight’ is not only one of my favourite Disney songs, but one of the greatest love songs of all time. Snapping up Elton John to write this soundtrack was a stroke of genius.


11. Favourite song?


‘Beauty and the Beast’, as sung by Angela Lansbury. This is the most beautiful song in the world.

12. Favourite villain song?

‘We are Siamese (if you please)’. This song bores me and therefore I consider it villainous. And let’s be real, those Siamese twins certainly aren’t exactly the good guys!

13. Least favourite song?


I honestly had to Google for a list of Disney songs, because I struggled to find one I disliked! Perhaps, ‘Feed the Birds’ from Mary Poppins. It’s just a little too dull for an otherwise glorious musical.

14. Favourite kiss?

Oh, this is a good one! But, it has to be Ellie jumping on Carl on their wedding day in Up. These two are relationship goals.

15. First film you saw?

I believe it was The Lion King. Or at least, that’s what my parents tell me.

16. Favourite classic?

The Parent Trap is one of the best films to ever grace our screens, and Lindsay Lohan was rather fantastic in this, don’t you think? It’s my go-to on a rainy day when I need perking up.

17. Song that always gets stuck in your head?

Everybody wants to be a cat… because the cat’s the only cat, that knows where it’s at…

18. Favourite Pixar film?

The Incredibles. I never get bored no matter how many times I watch it. I love a good superhero film!

19. Least favourite Pixar film?


A Bug’s Life just never impressed me. Maybe it’s my aversion to creepy crawlies…

20. Favourite sequel?


There aren’t many Disney sequels that wowed me, but I have to say that The Lion King II: Simba’s Pride was very true in nature to the original, and the opening sequence was pretty powerful too!


21. Overrated film?


Frozen. I have no shame in saying that. It’s not an awful film, but it’s certainly hyped up far too much.

22. Underrated film?

Hercules! I think there is so much wit that goes unnoticed as a child, but it makes for hilarious viewing when you understand the references.

23. Film that makes you laugh?

I’m going to go out on a limb here and say Pirates of the Caribbean. It’s dark, but that Jack Sparrow has got some good lines hasn’t he?

24. Film that makes you cry?
 

I bawl like a baby at Dumbo. And yes, you know exactly what scene I’m talking about. You know, when Dumbo visits his locked-up Mamma, and she cradles him in her trunk. I’m tearing up just thinking about it!

25. The saddest scene from your favourite film?

Please see below and weep with me.

26.  Saddest death?


If anyone were to answer anything other than Mufasa, I would call them a liar. That death affects us all.

27. Favourite quote?


“I’m a damsel, I’m in distress. I can handle this. Have a nice day.”
Megara proving that even when we’re in trouble, we don’t need a man to save the day!

28. Favourite theme park?


I have only ever been to Disneyland Paris, so I suppose that sways my decision a bit. Having said that, their Fantasy Land is marvellous.

29. Favourite theme park attraction?

Big Thunder Mountain is so underrated! It’s fast, it’s dark, it’s all over the place!

30. Favourite theme park show?


I think it’s only fitting to end this tag on that parade I watched when I was eighteen, and Prince Charming blew a kiss at me…