Thursday, November 27, 2014

Day Trip to The Deep 15th November

The Deep Aquarium in Hull has been there for 11 years but I've never managed to go even though I live only just over an hour from it. Then last week I got a ticket for Lee to go to a gaming expo in Hull, so while he was doing that my mum and stepdad and I went to The Deep.

We arrived at 10.45 and had some breakfast as we'd had an early start and needed food. Then we started the tour, starting with evolutionary history and a beautiful tank of jellyfish. At the centre of the museum is a huge tank with really big fish in, some sharks, some stingrays, and two sawfish. You can see this tank at varying different levels from both top and bottom. At the top of it there's a part where a member of the crew was showing starfish and crabs to children.

Then there were gentoo penguins! We could watch a crew member feed them! There's about 10 and they queued up very patiently for their fish. The penguins are new I think.

We saw lots of fish (3,500 apparently) both tropical and non-tropical, and saw the penguins swimming from further down. We had lunch, finally, having spent 4 hours there! I don't think we were particularly slow, either.

They also have a great deal on where, if you fill in a form when you arrive, you can return for free within a year! So it's like buy one get one free on your tickets! Bear in mind that tickets are only around £10 each anyway, I think that's a bargain. We will definitely go back, maybe next summer. Tickets are cheaper if you buy them online, too.

All the following photos were taken by my stepdad. Flash photography is not allowed but otherwise you can take as many photos as you'd like.

There's quite a lot of photos because I just liked them all!

Me and my Mum - I was wearing that Joe Brown's dress I wrote about a little bit ago, and the Beth Ditto heart cardigan from a few years ago.

Pretty jellyfish

One of the stingrays

Nemo! There were three clown fish and they did keep hiding in the anemone

This is a redbellied catfish

More jellyfish

The sawfish

Tropical fish hiding in the coral

Beautiful sweet penguin

Both of the stunning sawfish

Underneath of the stingray


I loved the colour of this tropical fish

And this one! 

We had such a great day, I'd definitely recommend it for a trip.

Monday, November 24, 2014

What I Wore November 12th

I went to an important meeting for one of my jobs on November 12th, one where I prefer to wear sleeves that go at least to my elbows. I bought this top about three years ago as I liked the pattern. I don't wear it often and usually just for work. It's quite a thick material so I tend to save it for colder months.

It came from Evans and I wore it here with a black skirt. Sorry for the bathroom picture but there was no one in to take a photo for me!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Book Review - Every Day by David Levithan

So you may know that I'm a writer with a passion for Young Adult novels; I'm currently writing my own for my MA. I read a lot of YA stuff, so I have of course heard of David Levithan. This was my first time reading anything by him, though. This book was recommended to me as part of my collection of LGBTQ YA fiction and I finished it last night.

Okay so the basic premise of the book is that A, our protagonist, who has no specific gender and no specific sexuality, wakes up every day in the body of a different teenager. Sometimes they're a boy, sometimes a girl. Sometimes something extraordinary happens, but usually it's just an ordinary day where A goes to school, talks to the teenager's friends and parents, and tries to not disrupt things too much. A is very moral, which is obvious at the end of the book. I actually really like the ending, even though much of the internet doesn't agree with me. 

One day, A wakes up at Justin and meets Justin's girlfriend Rhiannon. A falls for her pretty badly, so over the next few days they go back to see her, in different bodies of course. Then they tell her the truth about who they are and the two of them sort of start up a relationship. 

The LGBTQ stuff in this book is great. A wakes up as a boy who goes to Pride with his boyfriend, and later as a girl in her girlfriend's arms. One time they wake up as a trans boy. While Rhiannon is straight, she doesn't mind when A turns up to see her as a girl and even kisses them as a girl sometimes. 


I'm really appalled that I have to write a 'but' for this novel. I expect better from my Young Adult authors, especially those who are trying be representative of teens' real experiences. 

There's a horribly fatphobic part to this novel which, frankly, ruins it for me. 

On Day 6025, A wakes up as Finn, who "must weight at least three hundred pounds". A "has been heavy before", but never this heavy. Finn's size comes from "negligence and laziness", he sweats when he gets out of the shower, he is "a sphere of darkness submarining through the halls", he has to take another shower after school because fat people sweat all the time amirite. His best clothes are an XXXL shirt and size 46 jeans and chairs wobble under him. He wheezes in the movie theater. 

Usually when Rhiannon sees A, she can see them under whatever the outer looks like. Not today, though. She says "Usually I can. Some glimmer of you in the eyes. But not tonight" and also "When I see you like this, I don't [feel anything]." A thinks this is flattering, in some eyes. Their real soul clearly isn't a fat person, because ewww. They don't kiss each other on this day, and they don't hold hands in the cinema. There's no way, obviously, that Rhiannon could be attracted to this fat boy. No one 'normal' could be. 

I'm disgusted at the author, frankly. I think this is so clumsy and so terrible to fat teenagers who might be reading this book. I actually put it down in shock and wasn't sure whether to continue, and I'm 30 years old. A more fragile psyche may be permanently damaged and I think YA authors have more of a duty to teenagers than that.

Finn, the 300lb sixteen year old, is as worthy of love and affection as anyone else. 

Friday, November 21, 2014

What I Wore November 4th

On November the 4th I went to work wearing a very different outfit to this and about halfway through my day I realised I had a stain on my top half! This happens sometimes and is not one bit glamorous. I got changed before I headed back out.

I went to an event in Sheffield about LGBT+ bullying towards young people. It was really amazing, there were researchers and practitioners and young people and it felt like a really safe space to talk about issues and to listen to young people. I went as I thought it would inform my writing, and I really think it did.

Anyhow, this is what I wore.

This jumper was from Simply Be in the sale last New Year. It's really soft to touch and I like the 3/4 sleeve length and the colour.

This top was from New Look just a couple of weeks ago. I liked the mesh detail on the top.

A better close up of the mesh. I felt a bit like my boobs were too much on show, but in the photos I think I was worrying over nothing!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Pookledo Giveaway!

My friend Sarah has a jewellery business called Pookledo. She's self-employed now and running the business full time, so I try to support her as I believe in supporting women and small businesses! I've recently bought three pairs of Christmas themed earrings, for the bargain price of £5!

Sarah offered me the chance of a giveaway item to run on my blog, so we decided we'd give you the opportunity to win a £10 voucher. That way, the lucky winner can choose what they'd like! £10 will get you 6 pairs of earrings or three friendship bracelets!

This is a Rafflecopter giveaway which is really easy if you've never used it before. It is open now and will remain open until the end of November. I will need your email address if you win so Sarah can send you the voucher!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, November 16, 2014

What I Wore October 27th

Many of my friends are teachers or otherwise work in schools, so in half term I made plans to see four of them! On the Monday I went to Meadowhall to meet up with Sarah at Yo Sushi.

I first went with her a few years ago and we often still go. I love to be able to choose 'bits' of food (one reason why I also love tapas type meals) - I don't like to be tied down to one decision! I think my favourite dish on this day was the chicken katsu, Oh, Mondays is Blue Monday at Yo Sushi, where every dish is £2.50 or less.

This dress was from Excite Clothing last year and I have only worn it once before - almost a year ago, in fact. I love the pattern - but the dress just doesn't suit me. The underbust seam actually cuts across my boobs and it feels very uncomfortable, even though in the photo it doesn't look too bad.

I will sell this dress I think, probably on a Facebook group. Ah well, you live and learn!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

What I Wore October 25th

Lee and I went out in the evening of October 25th for my friend Laura's 30th birthday party. We went to an Indian restaurant in Huddersfield where we met Laura and her friends and our mutual friend Leanne (who got married in September - unfortunately Adi couldn't come). The food was nice and reasonably priced so I do recommend Mumbai Spice if you're in the area!

I wore this dress from Yours. Lolly gave me it a few weeks ago; it's a size 24 but comes up big. It is past knee length on me so I think if you were a 24 it would be a midi length. I wore a netted skirt under the dress to make it stick out a bit more than it would ordinarily. I also wore tights and my boots had their first outing this autumn!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Weekend Trip to London

A few weekends ago I went to London with my mum and stepdad to see Miss Saigon. Lee was supposed to come with us but it was when his uncle died so he went to Durham to see his family. Instead, I met up with my friend Lucinda after the theatre and we all had food together and she stayed in the hotel with me, so it was lovely to see her.

My parents took me to see Miss Saigon when I was around 9 years old and I loved it so I was keen to see it again. We had tickets in the dress circle right at the top, and we went to the afternoon show, and tickets for around £30. I bought myself a programme and a souvenir brochure which only came to £10 which was a nice surprise. I've still got my programme from last time too! I also got a souvenir mug which is living on my desk.

I wore the Scarlett & Jo prom dress as you can see in the photos below. It's so comfortable but looks really fabulous.

We had food at Wahaca which I recommend, I've been twice now and it's delicious and not too expensive.

Me and my mum

My gorgeous Lucinda

The fab Miss Saigon signs!

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Funeral Chic

As I mentioned, Lee's uncle died recently and we went up to Durham (where Lee's from) for the funeral. Now black clothing isn't something I wear often; I like colour and pattern too much. I could have gone for a black top with my long black skirt, but I decided on this black dress from Asos instead. 

I've had it a couple of years and I do like it although I don't wear it often. It's useful for looking professional in. 

I wore tights from the Big Bloomers Company which I heartily recommend as they're great even though these particular ones are thin. I have a tendency to put my fingers through tights and I haven't with these yet. They also stretch ridiculously much, I feel like I could get another person in them with me.

My shoes were from New Look in the Christmas sales this year, they're really comfortable and I thought they were much smarter than my Dr Marten shoes. 

Thursday, November 6, 2014

What I Wore October 19th

I went to Meadowhall in the middle of October to go shopping with Lolly and Claire, I haven't met Claire before but she was up visiting from London so I went along. We started off in Starbucks and then I braved Primark which I usually hate, but it was early on the Sunday so I dared. I came out with several Christmas presents and a jumper for myself so it was a good trip. I bought Christmas presents for my mother-in-law and my aunt, too. I also bought two tops in New Look with a voucher I had left over from LAST Christmas!

We ate in Ed's Diner which I heartily recommend, especially their milkshakes! I left shortly after lunch, but it was a lovely date with friends.

Here's what I wore. I got this Joe Browns dress in the Simply Be sale and although it was still more than I'd usually like to pay, I do like the quality of it. It's not stretchy but it is lovely cotton and the length is fantastic. It's nice on my boobs without showing off my bra, and I think I will get a lot of wear out of it. It's strappy, so I'm wearing it with my H&M cardigan.

I actually love this picture of myself :) 

Bonus picture of my lovely companions!

Monday, November 3, 2014

What I Wore October 2nd

On the Thursday evening of our holiday (I'm really taking a while to post these, eh?) we went out for something to eat. I had a hankering for steak so we found a pub in a place called Crackington Haven where we shared a starter platter and then I had a yummy STEAK.

I wore this dress from Yours Clothing that I got for modelling it at Style XL. I haven't worn it out yet but it's really nice - the skirt is lined and is chiffon on the top so is nice and soft, and the top part is free of the skirt bit. This is a nice casual holiday look I think.

Please excuse my expression and the fact that I'm so lopsided!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Book Review Peter Robinson

I've just finished this book and thought I'd write a small review. I always have a book on the go; I own lots of books and I love them. I am a writer, and although my passion is in realistic Young Adult literature, my tastes in reading vary wildly. I do read a lot of Young Adult stuff (it's all "research", honest) but I also like literary fiction and crime especially. Crime is great because it always all works out in the end!

I first picked up one of Peter Robinson's DCI Banks books about ten years ago, in a charity shop. I got both of my parents into them, and my mum still swaps Banks books with me. This one is headed her way now!

Banks is an utterly likeable policeman, even though he is flawed, and I'm very fond of his sidekick Annie Cabbot. I don't mind the TV version, even though Stephen Tomkinson is NOT the "lean, wiry, 5'8" Banks described in the books! (Something which everyone involved admits!)

This book is set in 2012 which makes it really contemporary. It has contemporary themes too, touching as it does on people trafficking and slavery. I liked the setting of Estonia, too.