What’s Christmas to me?

What's xmas to me

Everyone has their own idea of a “perfect Christmas”. For some, it is the dream of snow falling outside and a fire crackling in the hearth. For others, it is the promise of a delicious turkey roast dinner shared with the whole family. But to me it is something else. I am going to share with you a list of the most important things for me at Christmas.

  1. The Advent Calendar
    I’m not really sure quite what it is about the calendar that means so much. It’s not like I am the hugest chocolate fan in the world, and as I am constantly on a diet, the fact that I am stuffing my face with chocolate every day actually makes me quite sad when I think about it. But maybe it has something to do with tradition. I have always had an advent calendar, so without it, something would just be missing.
  2. Cold Weather
    It would not be Christmas without a little bit of frost or even (fingers crossed) some snow sprinkled onto the ground. I know it’s each to their own – if you want to go to Australia for a beach christmas then fine – but I just couldn’t do it myself. Christmas is a time for snow and wrapping up warm.
  3. Christmas Coffee
    So I’ve written coffee, when really I mean mocha. I’ve never been a coffee fan and I don’t plan on becoming one any time soon. But a mocha – in-between with a bit of coffee and chocolate – is a different thing all together. And when they add exciting things to it like amaretto, hazelnut and toffee nut, it just gets me extremely excited!
  4. Decorations
    That’s a pretty self-explanatory one, but I thought I would share this crime with you all; the other day I spoke to someone who HATES CHRISTMAS TREES. I know! And you know what, I could think of no reply to them so I just kind of nodded and walked away.

There’s plenty of other things but I’m struggling to think of them. I love Christmas, and that is the message of this post. The end.

.: Emily :.
xxx

London Calling

As you can all probably guess by the title of this post, I am off to London in a couple of weeks. Now I know I’m not actually there yet, but I am extremely excited. It’s going to be my 18th birthday on the 11th December so I want to do something memorable, and seeing that I’ve only been sightseeing in London once, it seemed fitting. I also got a little bit philosophical and felt awful that I’d been abroad more times than I had seen the capital city of my home country. Shockingly unpatriotic!

I’ve decided that I want to shop all day and only stop to gorge myself with delicious food and champagne (I can’t go without alcohol on my eighteenth birthday can I?). I’ll be visiting all of the typical destinations; Harrods, Selfridges, Oxford Road, Piccadilly Circus, the list goes on…

My main aim will be to find a really nice bag. It’ll probably be hard work, seeing as I have been searching the internet for months and having absolutely no luck at all. However, I’m set on wandering around until I find one that I like because my mum has promised to buy me the perfect bag. Shame I can’t seem to decide what my perfect bag is!

So, if any of you wonderful people can recommend anywhere nice to shop, any good brands to look at, or any lovely places I can find a Champagne lunch or delicious dinner, let me know in the comments below please! I’ll love you for it.

Oh, and in other news, I haven’t been posting much in the last month because I’ve been super busy with college work. Apparently I’ve actually got a chance of getting into medicine so my teachers have been working really hard to give me mock interviews for university and also tried to help me perfect my applications. After about four weeks of sitting and waiting to hear back, I finally heard from one of the universities and I now have an interview in January! Exciting times. And I also lost 6lb!

.: Emily :.
xxx

A Day of Sunshine

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(FYI, the pool was FREEZING!)
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Dress – Asos   .:.   Sandals – Topshop   .:.   Sunglasses – Asda    .:.    Belt – Topshop

On the third day of my holiday in Greece, the sun finally came out. Up until that point I’d been huddled up in a cardigan and shorts, freezing to death because I hadn’t thought to pack anything warm enough for wintery weather. But then, when the sun finally woke me up by shining through the gap in my curtains, I knew it was finally the day to wear something nice.

And so I quickly roused my sister and got ready. Where we were going, I hadn’t yet decided, but we would definitely be going somewhere. We would also definitely be swimming. I couldn’t last another day on holiday without actually taking a swim outside. After taking a quick look in the Crete guidebook, we decided to visit a freshwater lake about ten minutes down the road from the villa.

There you go, I’ve finally plucked up the courage to post a picture of myself on my blog. Let me know in the comments below what you think of my outfit and be sure to check in soon to see my next post. I love you all for continuing to view my blog each day.

.: Emily :.
xxx

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The Books of Life

Halloween 2014 036I have decided to share with you my absolute books things in the whole wide world. These are the sentimental, special ones, that are definitely not just fads. They helped to shape my character as I was growing up, they each mean something very important to me, and I couldn’t live without them. If I could paint a picture of myself with words from these literary masterpieces, then I guess this is what it would look like;

“The Lord of the Rings”

This book – along with all of Tolkien’s other masterpieces – sums up life. Seriously. I can be sat there reading and suddenly burst into tears, because something he has written, however simple, just means so much. For example;

“It’s like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger they were. And sometimes you didn’t want to know the end… because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end, it’s only a passing thing… this shadow. Even darkness must pass.”

Gah, I’m crying now just writing this post! This quote has got to be my absolute favourite of all time because it can mean just about anything. It could be about any of the wars in the world, the terrorist bombings, global warming, a storm, and maybe even just a really bad day. But the thing is, that it’s so true. Everything about it is so so so perfect.

When I was little, my mum used to talk to me about Middle Earth, whilst my uncle would create his own stories about the people living there. I soon became old enough to read The Hobbit, and I later read Lord of the Rings. Since then, I have probably read the trilogy about ten times… and I could probably tell you exactly when things happen and in which order. Feel free to call me a nerd; I’m proud of it.Halloween 2014 042

“The Sky is Everywhere”

So I read this book third year at high school and for some reason – unknown to me too – I became a little bit obsessed with it. I’m not sure whether it’s because of the format of the writing; pages of normal story split up by handwritten notes and poems thrown away by the main character. It might also be the message that the book holds; that grieving is good, but soon you need to carry on living your life.

Along with those serious messages, there’s a whole lot of humour and romance tangled into the plot. As I say, I’m really not sure why, but I do know that I absolutely love it and you should definitely, definitely read it.

“Harry Potter”

And next is the legend himself. I couldn’t not include my dear friend Harry because it just wouldn’t be right without him. Harry Potter made my childhood. It was the centre of most of the dressing up games I partook in as a child – whether I was playing Hermione Granger or just a princess who attended Hogwarts. JK Rowling has a way with words, you can’t deny that. And the way she has woven such a faultless and perfect story is just (excuse the pun) magical.

I could never single out a favourite character, but it is extremely easy to pick my least favourite. Umbridge. How can you not hate the woman? She reminds me so much of a teacher I used to have at high school and she’s just horrible. If anyone is the Devil’s Spawn, it’s Dolores Umbridge.

JK Rowling has been criticized for copying Tolkien, and I used to believe this. But over the past couple of months I have re-read both and come to conclusions that they are both works of art, and they are different. Yep, I love Harry Potter.

“Where Rainbows End”

This has got to be one of the best heartbreaking, feel-good, beautiful, funny books I have ever read. As I want to move to Dublin when I’m older, having a book set there is just perfect. The jokes are even funnier when you imagine them in the Irish accent.

I know that this book has recently been made into the film, Love, Rosie, and I’m not sorry to say that I will not be watching it. My sister went to see it and she says it’s very different from the book and INEXCUSABLY not set in Ireland!

However, I’m not going to talk about the film. This book is the story of life. It’s about how a pair of people so in love can go all the way through their lives without coming together in harmony. It’s about raising a child at a young age, seeing the beauty of a life, having your heart broken many times over. And yes, it makes you cry. And yes, it makes you laugh. And yes, it times I wanted to punch both of the characters. But I also wanted to kiss them.

Ahern is a wonderful, wonderful writer, and I like all of the books she has written (I would have them all in this list if I could) but Where Rainbows End has got to be the best one of all. Truly, it is brilliant.

“I Capture the Castle”

This probably seems an odd title to have in this modern list. It’s true; I don’t actually read many of the old classics, because the language is outdated. However, from the moment I picked up this book I literally couldn’t put it down. This is another one of those that stays with you for a long time.

It is about a girl growing up in an old castle with a father who has gone slightly crazy. At the beginning, they have very little money, but as the story progresses, they become steadily richer. You start to see what effect money can have on your life, but also how people can be lulled into a false sense of love by money.

It’s a coming of age book, and I honestly wouldn’t just disregard it because it is old. Sometimes the most beautiful pieces can be as old as the hills.

“The Perks of being a Wallflower”

The final book on my list is the book that I feel really changed me as a person. I had hit a low. I’m not going to go into the details, but I was really at the point where my confidence was so low that I just didn’t want to talk to people. I would keep myself to myself and try to avoid eye contact. But then, whilst on holiday with the family, I came across this book in the airport. I’m not really sure why I bought it, but I did, and from that moment on I changed a little.

You see, it’s about a boy who has been through hell and back. He’s quiet and doesn’t have any friends. But then suddenly he’s in high school and he wants to start to ‘participate’. The book is about his journey. He slowly comes out of his shell more and more, until he is really able to speak to people. He sees things in a way that other people are just too ignorant to notice. He has a way with words, and he can sum up situations perfectly. Woven in with this is a story of love, and friendship, and family, and downright disturbingly saddening material. But it is so wonderful, I can’t quite put it into words.

After I had read the book, I just kind of sat there. Tears were streaming down my face and I couldn’t speak to anyone, but I had changed. I had decided that I was no longer going to be the wallflower. I was going to involve myself in life and not just stand on the sidelines anymore.

And so I changed.

.: Emily :.
xxx

Airport Shenanigans

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Waking up to a 3:45 alarm and a freezing cold room wasn’t exactly the most pleasant start to the day. Think banging headache (probably from last nights Baileys), crusty eyes, and shivering. But I can’t very well complain. No, that would just be far too unreasonable – because this is the day that I finally got to go on holiday.

After rolling out of bed the chaos began; checking the list of last-minute items over and over again, trying to shut the cases without them bursting open again, and ensuring that my passport was definitely in my bag (for about the twentieth time). Yes, it was chaos, but in a good kind of way. Going on holiday is supposed to be stressful, right until you pass into the duty-free part of the airport. That’s when you can relax… for a little while.

Duty-free is my favourite part of the flying experience. Not only because you save money, but because everything is together and it’s easy to browse. Today was a good day for purchases as I managed to get; YSL bronzer, YSL foundation, and a Dior lipstick for my friend’s eighteenth – all for reduced prices. I wanted to spend more time there, but it was time to board and (of course) my sister was panicking because the final boarding call had just been announced.

Once on the plane, I called dibs on the window seat and relaxed with an issue of Elle. As I’ve had an ear infection for the last two weeks, I was a little worried about take off and landing, but it was actually alright, thank God. The flight was four hours and was very pretty – see picture of fluffy clouds. We arrived in Heraklion, Crete at about 12pm UK time and then set off for the villa.

Although I would love to tell you that the sun was beating down on us and i sunbathed all day, it is a pretty different story. Rain clouds lingered overhead, threatening to spill at any moment. And of course, this did nothing good to our spirits. My heart sank and, to make things even worse, the dinner we ate on the first night (the most expensive of the week, €60!), was horrible.

So maybe I’m complaining a little too much? You think? Well, did I mention the fact that there was centipedes all over the villa and, to top things off, in my bed?! Lovely…

.: Emily :.
xxx

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Sun, Sea, Sand

Holiday 431That’s right people – I am off to the wonderful island of Crete on my autumn holidays. There’s going to be lots of sun, lots of relaxing, and best of all, LOTS OF EATING GREEK FOOD. Yes, I am a self-admitted foodie who would choose, above anything else, to eat all day. I love all kinds of food and will try absolutely everything. So what I’m really trying to say is – expect many posts about food, the weather, and my personal style. There will be many.

On the topic of holidays, it’s been at least two years since I left the UK – far, far too long. The last time I went away was to Cyprus (don’t worry, I don’t always go to Greece, but I love love love it there). Anyway, my holidays don’t just consist of sitting on the beach all day getting a tan. I like to get out and about to see what secrets the island really holds. Visiting traditional markets, with row upon row of hand-crafted glass beads; travelling to remote mountain villages to feast on the most delicious food in the whole world; wandering around long-forgotten settlements from thousands of years ago. These are the things I love.

I probably won’t get the chance to post again before I touch down in Crete – three controlled assessments at college and packing the suitcase can tie a girl down – but I shall be posting away once I get there. Γειά σας (that’s goodbye in Greek).

.: Emily :.
xxx

Clichés and opinions

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In a matter of months I’m going to have to sit down in front of some extremely scary, important and intimidating people in order to prove myself. I’ll have to show them just how brilliant I am (or pretend to be anyway) and why I would be the most perfect doctor in the whole world (or a pretty good one anyway). They’ll ask about my interests, my opinions on current health matters, and how quick I can be at problem solving. And that might sound easy – just be who you really are – but it’s never that simple.

These people are going to want certain answers – because who wants a murderous doctor? But they will also want me to think for myself, to give original opinions, to be myself. Now you see why it’s going to be hard?

So my dilemma; how on earth am I ever going to prepare for these dreaded medical school interviews?!

So my opinion on assisted suicide. I truly believe that assisted suicide should be allowed. How is it fair to stop those who want to die, who are suffering of a terminal illness (and are going to die anyway), from dying? There will be some people who say that life is not ours to take, but we are the ones having to live it, so why shouldn’t it be up to us? I know that this is a touchy subject, but if we don’t start to talk about it, then things are never going to change.

Convincing enough?

Well, that was just me, being me. Hopefully that’ll be enough, because I don’t think I’ll be able to pull anything else off along with all the nerves on the day. And then again, I wouldn’t want to put on too much of a show like some medical school candidates. The interviewers would find out in the end.

So my plan is to just be myself. Cliche? Definitely. But do I care? No.

.: Emily :.
xxx