This week my word of the week is ...
My very busy/messy desk full of work 
I’m still recovering from my last late night. We went out supposedly just to go to a wine and cheese event hosted by the French society. It was good fun, especially after a bit of wine and cheese, although I did feel a little out of place as I don’t speak French. At one point I was in a conversation with a couple of Finnish people, and a couple of French people, all of whom where speaking English with thick accents and getting totally confused – I just nodded along to a lot of it!

The night didn’t end there… we went out and didn’t get back home until the very early hours of the morning. I arrived back cold (because of the walk home in Newcastle, in March – smart move) and tired, with ringing in my ears.

So, it’s safe to say that I wasn’t on top form the following morning. I thought I’d have a lie-in, but the fire alarm went off and I jumped out of bed and threw on my jeans because I wasn’t going to leave the building in my pyjamas! Then I made my big mistake – I decided for once to leave my room without my key, and without any make-up on, figuring that it would be fine to just go and get some toast. My electronic door lock faulted, and I got locked out of my room, so I just had to stand out in the hallway eating my toast. I was still in my slippers, so I had to borrow one of my flatmates shoes and run down to reception. Obviously that day had to be day where they were showing people around my accommodation so as I ran down the stairs I bumped into about thirty eager sixth-form students.

Eventually I got let back into my room and I will never be leaving that place without my key every again! The late nights I have had this week reminds me though that I need to get into a better sleep routine (which I know sounds a little crazy) but I need to turn off the screens and get to bed earlier - as I have a friend staying this weekend though I think my new routine will probably not start until next week!

Have a wonderful week,



Everyone at one time or another has been faced with a drab room. When I moved into my University halls of residence I was super excited, then I opened the door and was faced with a weird browny-red carpet, pinky-red curtains and basically I wanted to just turn around and leave.

So... here are a few ways to really easily brighten up a room:

1. Flowers
Having some flowers around can really improve the look of a room, in fact research has consistently connected flowers to wellbeing. Research has also shown cognitive performance is better for flowers (so flowers are definitely good for anywhere you do work). Flowers put me in such a good mood, I especially love orchids as, though they can be a little expensive, they last a really long time - and they are beautiful.

I love having art around me but being a student I cannot afford, much as I would like to, fancy paintings or expensive framed pictures, therefore the artwork in my room is basically just postcards. I have postcards of Audrey Hepburn (who I adore), some arty postcards of old magicians and cinema poster postcards, as well as postcards from friends and family that have travelled. Whilst my postcard 'collection' won't be winning any art awards any time soon, they definitely cheer my room up.

3. Never forget the power of soft furnishings
Now I'm limited with space, and limited by the variety of uses my one room has. I can't really have a rug, I don't have room for a chair (other than the wheely one at my desk), but I have tried to make the best use of my space, and to make an otherwise very drab room more homely. A couple of my favourite items in my bedroom that fall into this category include the small wooden panda my friend bought me as a birthday present, and a cushion knitted for me by my aunt as a going-to-university present.

What would you recommend to brighten up a room? Do you have a lamp that you love, are you crazy about daffodils in the spring or do you have a go-to place to get things for a room to make you smile?

Have a wonderful week,

I thought I would write this post after watching 'Me Before You' on Netflix, I became intrigued at the writer behind the book. What I found out was that Jojo Moyes is not only a brilliant British writer, but also a role model in perseverance.

I think a lot of people start writing and imagine themselves to be the next JK Rowling but usually it doesn't pan out that way. Jojo Moyes' debut novel came after three other manuscripts had been rejected, and it wasn't until her eighth novel Me Before You that she achieved massive success. I think the lesson of Moyes' story is, keep going, because if you're a writer then you have to keep writing.

Me Before You was super successful, but why? Well, for a start Moyes' style of writing is charming - the characters are strong and quirky, and in only a few pages I was already in love, but what makes Me Before You particularly different, is the fact that not only is it a story that will make you cry (probably, well, almost definitely) but also the humour in it, and it's strong emotional core.

I also fell in love with the film (which incidentally Jojo Moyes wrote the screenplay for) - Emilia Clarke did a brilliant job of being the unusual, funny, quirky-shoe wearing Louisa.

The latest Jojo Moyes book is 'Still Me' which came out this year and is the third instalment featuring Lou Clark, which I'm really looking forward to reading! It seems Lou's story has come to an end so what's next for Moyes? Well, maybe another set of short stories like 'Paris for One' or perhaps we can look forward to another witty romantic classic like Me Before You. I honestly don't know, but I know it will be good!

Have a wonderful week,


This week I have been relaxing with 'Together' the BBC 3 comedy series about a young couple starting a relationship.

It is such a sweet programme. Tom, played by Jonny Sweet (who also is the writer and creator of the programme) is awkward, and nervous, and living with his parents. I love his parents, his Dad, Ashley,  played by Alex Macqueen is somewhat of a hoarder, and probably on the spectrum; his Mum, Lesley, played by Vicki Pepperdine is constantly annoyed by him. Ellen on the other hand is trendy (in an unusual, London kind of way), and awkward in her own way. On the outside she seems more 'together' than Tom, but after a couple of episodes you see she's got her own problems. I think what I like most about the characters is that they are likeable, although I doubt you could ever meet people quite like Tom's parents.

As a comedy it is quaint and British and what I particularly like about the programme is that the character's are so real - they're not all cool 'dude' type people, they don't take drugs, every episode is not political or crazy, it's not mean or brutal, and the drama is just low-key sitcom drama - they're just normal people doing normal things and there are not enough programmes like that on TV.

What else can I say? Well, the writing is clever, Jonny Sweet does a really good job especially in episode 3, in episode 5 I really love how he explores intimacy and genuine friendship - I think too often this is forgotten in TV shows.

I would definitely recommend taking a look,
Have a wonderful week,

No. of episodes: 6
My favourite episode: Eek this is hard, either 3 - Cupid, or 6 - Homing
Favourite character: This is such a hard one, but probably Tom
Ending: The series has ended. It ends: happily
Available: On BBC Iplayer

I went to see yet another film in my favourite cinema - the Tyneside cinema, and it was amazing, definitely worthy of winning all those awards. Just for reference it won two BAFTAs and two Academy Awards (plus a bunch of others which you can find on the Darkest Hour Wikipedia page).

I loved this film. There were three main things that I loved about it.

1. As an English literature student it was so interesting to see the power of language when used effectively. Churchill's speeches were so powerful and emotive - no wonder he won a Nobel prize for Literature, definitely deserved.

2. It was so British - my favourite scene was the scene where Churchill got on a London Tube (for the first time ever I might add), and just had a conversation with the public. It was nice to see the power and bravery of the ordinary person. This film made me proud to be British.

3. Darkest Hour was interesting from a history perspective. I, like almost everyone else who has been through the British education system, studied WWII, but I always pictured Churchill as having a lot of political and public support and everything going smoothly for him. I loved the fact that this film showed more of the reality - that initially he was not supported by Parliament or the King, and that the story of WWII that we know, very nearly didn't happen! Though the political element of the plot was more important to the overall storyline, I have to say that I enjoyed the interactions between Churchill and the King more!

What else have I got to say? Well... Lily James (who I am super excited to see in Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again later on in the year) was very relatable. In a film about really important people who I, and probably many others, have put on a pedestal, her part (whilst relatively small) was important because it bridged the gap between us watching the film and them. Kristen Scott Thomas was also amazing and she should have at least been nominated for 'Best Supporting Actress' at the Academy Awards. I loved watching her relationship with Churchill - again her character helped make Churchill more relatable.

I can't go any further without mentioning Gary Oldman who won the Academy Award for 'Best Actor'. He was really great, and he looked very like Churchill thanks to the award winning prosthetics and makeup done by: David Malinowski, Ivana Primorac, Lucy Sibbick and Kazuhiro Tsuji. Oldman definitely deserved to win in my opinion because he managed to show both the strength of Churchill and his vulnerability. 

What did you think? Leave a comment below and let me know!
Have a wonderful week, 



Ok so I might have been a little ambitious with my title - it's more like nearly back on track...
This week my word is...

It may be late, but it's not too late to find something perfect for your mother on Mother's Day.

  1. Start with a card - write something meaningful, tell them how much they help you, and how much you need them, and how much you love them. I think the card is the most important part of Mother's Day - perfect to show them how much they mean to you. Make it sweet, or funny, or a card based on something special to the two of you. 
  2. Bake something - I recommend lemon drizzle cake, which always tastes like Spring to me (and despite the snow we've been having it is nearly Spring), or brownies (gotta love a good, rich brownie). 
  3. DO something - be kind, make them cups of tea (or coffee, or whatever really), help out, or if you're far away from them then give them a ring and just chat to your mum and tell you herhow much you love her.
BUT, if you want to get a gift instead I've got you sorted. All of these will get to your mum in time for Mother's Day

  1. A really great DVD - if you mum is really into film, or is the opposite and watches very few films, always makes out-of-date pop culture references, and really needs to watch some updated stuff, then a film is a great choice. You could even arrange to watch the film together and enjoy a girl's night in (with popcorn - obviously). I would recommend Wonder Woman which has recently come out, La La Land, or Mother's Day.
  2. Flowers - a staple of Mother's Day gift giving. You can get some really beautiful bunches and get next day delivery - perfect if you're running late!
  3. Something she wouldn't buy herself but is just a treat, such as Jo Malone's Lime Basil and Mandarin perfume, or an item you use in your daily routine and love - a gift that is tried, tested, and loved is always a safe bet! 
Have a wonderful week, and have a happy Mother's Day, 

I went to see this film the day it came out.
I tried to get into the first showing at the Tyneside Cinema in Newcastle - a beautiful Art Deco cinema, but it was all sold out. Of course the only solution was to go to Chiquitos for drinks and go to the next showing - we only had to wait three hours - totally worth it.

Laurie Metcalf and Saoirse Ronan were an amazing mother-daughter team and I think it is mothers and daughters that this film would most appeal to. It's filled with honest, realistic moments between the two of them that I think everyone can relate to.

This film is not an action packed thriller, if you're looking for that, then this isn't the film for you. This Greta Gerwig film is about growing up, finding yourself in an honest I-still-don't-know-who-I-am-but-at-least-I'm-kinda-closer sort of way. Saoirse Ronan, or Lady Bird (a name: “given to me by me”), is working out where she stands, she's in the final year of Catholic school in Sacramento and she's what I would term a 'selective adult' - where you like to think of yourself as an adult, but only in areas which you feel like -and it is this that causes most of the arguments between her and Laurie Metcalf's character. I wouldn't say I'm particularly like Lady Bird's character, but the beauty of the writing was that she still felt relatable.

There were funny moments, and there are moments which are painfully real. The argument over Lady Bird's prom dress was so realistic - I think everyone has asked their parent about a fashion choice and not really wanted their honest answer and therefore disappointed when they give it. As I have left home this year and gone to university, the moment that Lady Bird leaves to go to an East Coast university really resonated with me. I really felt for Metcalf's character in that moment - I think everyone in the cinema was desperate for the two of them to make up before Lady Bird's plane left.

The scene that I think about most though, having had two weeks to think about the film, is the final scene. I don't want to give away anything about the plot but I will just say, I thought it was a brilliant last scene. Lady Bird grew up a little bit, and she accepted some things, and she found some comfort and resolution.

Behind everything else, this coming-of-age film is about love, and I think that's why so many people enjoyed it, and so many people saw their own life, their own families in it.

I hope you enjoy it too, let me know what you think,

Have a wonderful week,

A Universal Pictures Film 
OK, so relax might be a big word for a show about crime.

This post marks the start of a new post series I'm doing where every week I talk about a programme to sit down and enjoy, and since this has just come out and I really enjoyed it I thought it would be a good show to start with! I have read all the books so I did know what was going to happen, but the director and the actors were so good I loved it anyway.

Holliday Grainger and Tom Burke are perfect in Strike, they match the image I had in my head for the characters and they balance each other out perfectly. For such a flawed character, it is incredible that Rowling could make Strike likeable, but he is; Robin, on the other hand, is instantly liked - she is kind and honest, and tough - she won't let anyone tell her what to do, and I appreciate that quality in her. In the latest episodes Grainger had to deal with a more emotional storyline and she dealt with it brilliantly, I just wanted to reach into my computer screen and hug her.

The other thing I love about the programme is the style, which is epitomised by the opening credits sequence - very rugged, very artistic, rough and stylised. The shots are cinematic, and they draw your eye to things that would otherwise go unnoticed or ignored.

As an adaptation it is done really well, it sticks close to the story and I think part of that is because as JK Rowling is such a well known writer, if the books were changed too much there would be outrage.  I have reviewed the first two books as well which you can take a look at: Cuckoo's Calling, and Silkworm.

The future of the show is uncertain, especially as the actors, after such a great show as this, are likely to be picked up for other projects, and it may be difficult with their schedules, and with the next episodes reliant on new books - which take a long time to write, but I am hopeful we will at least get one more series (although maybe not until 2019 or 2020)!

Have a wonderful week,

Number of episodes: 7 (so far)
Favourite episode: Cuckoo's Calling episode 1 - made sigh with relief after I watched it and saw how well they'd adapted the books
Favourite character: Robin - she's amazing (but seriously I don't get why she's with Matthew)
Ending: This series has not ultimately finished, but as JK Rowling is yet to release any more Cormoran Strike books it's finished for now. The latest episode concluded the adaptation of Career of Evil (the 3rd book).

Photos: BBC