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Wednesday, 27 August 2014

I'm back! - A tag, London haul & photos

Hello! I am back - for good now. I got back from London on Monday, but I was so tired then and on Tuesday that I just read and watched Torchwood (I cried at the season 2 finale. So emotional :( )
But I'm posting now! First I'll be doing a tag created by MorningTime4. My friend Megan tagged me so... I'm doing it. (congrats Bethan, stating the obvious there. Well done)
It's the Summer Rewind tag!

1. Thank the person(s) who tagged you.
2. Post five to eight things that you did over the summer or upcoming in your summer schedule. Pictures are optional.
3. Answer the ten summer/autumn (fall) questions given to you.
4. Tag 5 or more bloggers and tell them by commenting on their blog.
5. Ask ten new summer/autumn (fall) related questions.
7. The banner above must be in the post and you must credit the photo and the tag origin.

1. The first thing I did in the summer was go on holiday to Devon with my family. It was so relaxing and I really enjoyed going swimming twice a day, every day. Half way through our stay, my brother's friend, Jack came to stay with us and we had a little table tennis tournament. I didn't win any games until the last day where I beat Jack 11-9. I was so happy haha! 

2. I went to see Guardians of the Galaxy in the cinema and it was absolutely amazing! I love Chris Pratt. >.<
I also went into town early on Thursday morning with my brother and we got some autographs from the Dr Who cast as we were waiting around by the Dr Who premiere place. That was super fun.

3. I had a sleepover with this lovely girl. We went into town for a little bit of a shop and I bought an amazing Gryffindor t-shirt. We had a really nice picnic-y lunch in the grounds of Cardiff Castle - we bought a meal deal in Tesco (British equivalent of Walmart) and then used our visitor passes to get into the grounds for free. The sleepover was also really fun. Lauren melted some galaxy chocolate in the microwave and we dipped marshmallows into it while watching a film called Starter for Ten with James McAvoy (X-Men First Class) and Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock) in it, as well as James Corden, Catherine Tate and Mark Gatiss. It was a really good film! We're definitely not being biased because of Benedict Cumberbatch.... Seriously, how does he still manage to look good when his character looks like this?

It is beyond me.

4. I met up with Charlotte for a little chat and she gave me some lovely presents that she got from Cyprus, where she went on holiday. I then went ice skating with her and my friend Olivia on Tuesday, which was really fun. I hadn't been ice skating for around 5 years, but I found it came relatively easily once I got into it. It was so much fun.

5. I stayed over my godmother's house with her two children, Daniel (7) and Oliver (4) I was actually staying there for Oliver's 4th birthday which was really nice. We went to loads of lovely places, including National Trust parks, the swimming pool and a little park area for Oliver's birthday where some of his family and friends came and we sat under a little gazebo with a picnic - it was really fun. :)

6. Once back, my cousin Alice came over and we watched Lilo & Stitch and Catching Fire as she hadn't seen either of those films. I then met up with my friend Ellie who had moved to Ireland in a few years ago and has since moved to England. I was there with Lauren, Megan and their friend Lucy. It was really nice to catch up with Ellie and to see the others. I had loads of fun. :)

7. And then I went to London! Oh my goodness, I did a lot! But more on London later on.


1. When did you get out of school?
I got out of school Friday 18th July.

2. When are you heading back to school?
Tuesday 2nd September - I don't want to go back!

3. Name three songs on your summer playlist.
Riptide - Vance Joy
Rude - Magic!
Don't - Ed Sheeran

4. Do you prefer beaches or swimming pools?
Swimming pools. I don't go to beaches often enough to say I love them. I mean, I do enjoy going to the beach. But I just don't go enough to love it. So, pools.

5. What's your favourite summer treat?
Ice lollies! Or popsicles for you Americans. They're so yummy and refreshing. :)

6. Does your skin tan or burn?
Burn! I have really pale skin so I need to coat it in SPF 50 before leaving the house...

7. Name a summer activity you love and one you despise.
I love love love swimming. That is my favourite summer activity. Hmm... I despise feeling hot and sticky. Not that we get that much in Britain... -_-

8. Something you discovered this summer?
Umm... how much I love my friends. I knew I loved them before but I never knew how much I loved and needed them.

9. If you can, post a picture of of your summer outfit.
I've used this photo so many times but I can't be bothered to take another one because I'm lazy...

10. Something you will miss from this summer?
Freedom. I'm going into year 10 - GCSE year - and I just know as soon as term starts I will be stressing and worrying about everything and will be working constantly so that I'm not the failure of the family. Year 10 is the beginning of endless exams and worry and work. And I'm not looking forward to that. I'll miss being free and not having to worry about anything too stressful.

Okay questions:

1. Does your skin tan or burn?
2. Dresses or shorts?
3. Swimming in the sea or sunbathing?
4. What is your favourite summer activity?
5. What is your favourite memory from this summer?
6. If you can, show a picture of your summer outfit.
7. When do you start back at school?
8. What are you most looking forward to about school and what are you dreading the most?
9. Name three songs on your summer playlist.
10. Something you will miss from this summer?

I tag:
Madeline // In the Wind
Elly // A Girl

Now, about London. :)
I went on the Friday and arrived at London Paddington at around 12:30. Had a little cup of Peppermint tea before heading off.
I did so much in London. Seriously, I cannot believe how much I did!

Day 1
Went to Oxford Circus and Picadilly Circus.
Went into giant Hamleys - bought a cola lolly (yum).
Saw Trafalgar Square, Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey.
Went on the London Eye.

So I basically walked all. day.

Day 2
Climbed the O2 dome, which was absolutely amazing! The view was beautiful.
Went to Cafe Rouge for a nice brunch-y thing.
Travelled on the cable car.
Went back to Piccadilly Circus to go to Waterstones - Europe's largest bookshop!
Went to King's Cross Station to the Harry Potter shop at Platform 9 3/4 - it was so busy but I got the things I wanted!

Day 3
Went to this little restaurant place, The Haberdashery, for breakfast. So sweet.
Went to the Natural History Museum
Wondered around Stoke Newington, and their various independent bookshops

I was super busy! I bought quite a few things, so here's a little London Haul for you. :)

The first thing I bought was this cute little teddy at the O2 gift shop. I just couldn't leave him! I needed a souvenir from there, so I chose him!

I called him Otis. Because O2... Otis. Haha. Haha. I'm funny. >.<

I also bought a paintbrush pen from the Tate Modern. I love it - it's so cool!

As I said, we went to the Waterstones in Piccadilly Circus and it was buy one get one half price so....

My godmother Niki asked me to choose a book for her to buy me for my birthday. So I chose Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas as I have been wanting to read the series for ages. So when the second book, Crown of Midnight and the book of novellas, The Assassin's Blade, were buy on get one half price, naturally I had to buy them. The third book, Heir of Fire, comes out the day after my birthday, 11th September. Guess what I'll be spending my birthday money on...
I also bought a nice bookmark there. It's plain black faux leather (but it's really soft) with Waterstones stamped into it at the bottom.

At King's Cross Station, I bought a ticket from Platform 9 3/4 to Hogwarts.

I also bought a Ravenclaw keyring, as that is my Hogwarts house.

As you can she it's on my locker keys.... which have a lot of other keyrings on it. Maybe I'll show you guys one day. :)

After we went to the National History Museum, I saw a small independent bookshop and decided to have a look inside. They had quite a good YA section for an independent shop and I ended up buying Pandemonium and Requiem by Lauren Oliver.

I have Delirium and it has always annoyed me that I don't have the second and third book, despite having read the whole trilogy. So when I saw them for £3.99 each, I grabbed them!

My last buy is also a book. While wondering around Stoke Newington, I found a little secondhand bookshop and had a little look. I ended up finding Hexed by Michelle Krys, which is a book I have wanted to read for ages. And it was £2.50!

I love independent bookshops...

I did buy a few other things but they are presents so I can't show you in case the gift-receivers are reading.

So that's the end of my London haul. :) Now for a photo dump. Yay! Enjoy. :)

Paddington Station

 Trafalgar Square

 Trafalgar Square

 Trafalgar Square fountain

 Trafalgar Square lion

 I don't know what this is called, but it's beautiful

 The Mall

 Buckingham Palace

 Buckingham Palace: the Victoria Memorial

 Buckingham Palace: the Victoria Memorial

View of the lake in St. James' Park 

 Houses of Parliament

 Big Ben

 The London Eye

 View from the London Eye

 View from the London Eye

 London Eye and Big Ben

 Peppermint tea in Cafe Rouge

 The cable car

 The Shard

 The Shard and Southwark Cathedral

 Brownie and Coke in Southwark Cathedral (dedicated to my bro ;) )

 Awesome 'book bench' depicting Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

 Another angle of the book bench

 The back of the book bench

 Bridge (I don't know what it's called...)

 Shakespeare's Globe Theatre

 View of St Paul's Cathedral from the Tate Modern

 I love these so much! They are love locks. Couple will put a lock on a bridge, lock it and throw the key into the river. I love this one especially that says Forever and Always which I found on the Millennium Bridge :)

 St Paul's Cathedral

 St Paul's Cathedral

 Platform 9 3/4. There was a lady there with the four house scarves around her neck and you could choose which house scarf you wanted, wear the Harry Potter glasses and hold a wand while hanging on to the handle of the trolley and have your picture taken. Unfortunately, there was a massive queue, so I skipped it.

 The front of the Platform 9 3/4 Harry Potter shop

 King's Cross Station

 Peppermint tea at the Haberdashery (as you can probably tell, I love Peppermint tea...)

 My breakfast at the Haberdashery

 The Haberdashery. How. Cute. They had a stack of Penguin classics on the shelves which you could borrow in the restaurant, toy cars with the prices on and mismatched cutlery and crockery. Everything had a home-made feel to it.

 A gravestone in Abney Park

 A sleeping lion in Abney Park

 Another gravestone. When someone died young, the top of their mast gravestone was cut off to symbolise a life cut short.

 Part of a (very scary-looking) gravestone

 Part of a grave that a tree has grown around

 The front of the Natural History Museum

 The entrance hall in the museum

 Stained glass window in the museum

 Stairway in the entrance hall

 Monkeys carved onto the pillars in the museum

 Another monkey :)

 The mammals section

 The Baker Street stop on the Underground: Bakerloo line

My hot chocolate at Paddington Station before I boarded. I made a heart out of the white frothy milk on the top. :)

But wait, there's more! The rest of these photos are pictures my dad took - most are of me with some of the tourist attractions I saw. Enjoy. :)

 This is me outside Buckingham Palace

 The O2 arena

 The climbing trail on the O2 dome

 This is moi on the top of the O2

 Pointing to a You Are Here sign on the top of the O2

 Me, having a little sleep on a book bench outside St Paul's Cathedral

 These are the cars with the prices in the Haberdashery

This is me with ma buddy Charles Darwin, We're besties, as you can tell. ;)

So yeah, there we go! The London photo dump is done. :)

As a lot of you may know, there's this thing going around called the Ice Bucket Challenge. It was created to raise awareness for ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) a disease that affects the nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. Loads of people have donated to the ALS Association thanks to the ice bucket challenge.

I am now one of them.

^ This is me having ice water dumped on me. My mum enjoyed it far too much...
And yes, that is my dog in the background. She was loving it...

It was far from enjoyable, but I feel good having done it and donated to the ALS Association. Any of you that haven't done it, I really encourage you to. You don't even have to pour cold water over your head - you can just donate.

Thanks for reading guys
UPDATE: You now have 3 days to enter my 50 followers writing competition. 3 DAYS. So if you are planning on entering, get your entries in. Either post it on your blog and leave me a link in the comments or email it to me at bethan{dot}thinkreadwritedream{at}gmail{dot}com
Also, I will not be posting a Creative Thursday tomorrow as I will be busy! So sorry about that, but I just won't have time. There will also be no Words post, as I will also be busy then - nothing exciting Thursday or Sunday, I just won't have the time. But I will be posting Monday. Love you guys

UPDATE 2: You have all of today and all of tomorrow to enter my writing contest. It ends Sunday 31st August, midnight, YOUR TIME. If you are wanting to enter, do so quickly and within that time period.