Realistic Summer Plans

Annddd we’re back. Phew that was a long time! But guess what, it’s over, exams are done and we’re free. Sort of. Thoughts are now turning towards summer and I’m getting excited and making all sorts of plans that I probably won’t actually do. We all do it – dream of adventures  that never actually happen; it might be money issues, timing, distance, who knows. We know it all too well with our 101 bucket list, it takes a lot of work to actually getting round to doing them! So in the interest of realism, I’ve made a list of 5 realistic plans everyone can make for this summer.

5) Dinner with friends – inside or out

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Something I’ve started recently is having dinner with a group of friends every single week. Every Friday evening we get together at someone’s house, eat together and then just sit and talk for hours. Sometimes there’s games, sometimes there’s just company but every time it’s lush. Spend time with your friends and make a big thing out of it. Light some candles, decorate the table, make something adventurous.

 4) Go for a walk – somewhere surrounded by green

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I would usually describe myself as a city girl but as soon as I’m back in green I realise I’m not at all. There’s something breathtakingly beautiful about countryside to me – the hills, the fields and the grass – it creates a sense of freedom. Go for a walk up a hill and just sit there and admire the view. No music or phones allowed. Just you, your thoughts and nature.

3) Stargaze

1It probably won’t be as spectacular as this and hand-holding is not essential but it’s not something we usually make time for and it’s a waste. I was doing my silver DofE a few years ago and a couple of us snuck out one night and lay on the grass covered in blankets looking at the stars. We were caught pretty quickly, given a good telling off and were sent back to bed, but it was still beautiful. If you’re in a city and stars are hard to come by there’s still so much to see, even if you’re just people watching.

2) Visit a local landmark

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The chances are there’s somewhere near you that’s quite the tourist attraction, but you’ve never been. Go! There’s a reason it’s a tourist attraction so go and get your fill. For me, Stonehenge is on my list.

1) Cycle

3It’s a proven fact that exercise makes people happier. Find somewhere beautiful, take a bike or hire one, use a map, get lost, ask directions. If you see a little trail and wonder where it goes, follow it – you might discover something amazing.

Hannah

For more ideas for realistic summer plans, take a look at our board on Pinterest
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German Bears and Rubber Ducks

Summer holiday photo album time.  Hopefully this won’t depress you as its now all cold and rainy…

Whilst in Germany this summer, I took 864 photos so I won’t be showing you all of them in one go, but over the next few weeks I’ll give you little snippets of my German adventures.

Now if you’re wondering about the title I shall explain a little. In Berlin, where we went for 3 days at the beginning of the holiday, they have loads of bear statues everywhere painted in loads of different designs by different people. So whilst we were there I made my dad take a picture of me in front of each one we saw, here are just a few:
Bears

The rubber duck part you will have to wait until next time to hear about though…ooo the suspense.

Day 1

So pre-getting-on-the-plane-and-actually-going-on-holiday, we took a little trip to Starbucks at the motorway services. Now you would think, in an English-speaking country, when you tell them your name is Katie they wouldn’t put a completely different name on your cup would you? Well in fact Katie sometimes sounds like Tracy apparently and so began a whole week of misspelled Starbucks cups as you will soon see.

Tracy

So once we arrived in Germany and settled into the hotel we went out for an evening meal then got an early night for the busy few days ahead of us.

Day 2 

After a lovely breakfast in an overly extravagant dining room we headed out for a day of sightseeing. We visited the Brandenburg Gate and The Holocaust Memorial which is just around the corner. Although with an important and sombre meaning, the memorial also an amazing sight in itself. It covers 19,000  square metres and contains 2,711 concrete blocks.

Holocaust Memorial

We then headed for our first German Starbucks where they managed to spell my name better than they had in England by only missing out 1 letter.

Kate Cup

We then continued to revisit some of the places we’d been last time we were in Berlin to get our bearings back, and went to the Sony Centre.

It’s not got a lot of things of interest there other than some shops, but it has an amazing roof that you can see for miles out of the city so I thought I’d share it with you:

Sony Centre

After some more visiting we went back to the hotel room to get changed for a meal out and then to a lovely little restaurant 5 minutes walk away.

Day 3 

SCIENCE MUSEUM TIME!

Although this may not sound like the most exciting thing to be doing, it was actually incredibly interesting. There were windmills and all sorts…

Windmill

 

I don’t want to overload you with the excitement, so I’ll be doing another Germany post soon (yay) so check back next Friday.

Also, I just realised how many times I said Germany and Holiday in that. If you were wondering, I counted:

Germany: IIIII

Holiday: IIII

Katie

My Apparent John Green Obsession

As many of you probably also experience, summer is the best time to get lots of books read without pretty much any interruptions. Whether it’s sitting on a plane going on holiday, sunbathing on the beach batting away sand or just at home in the long hours of the days where all of your friends are on holiday – I find that I can read three times as many books in 6 weeks as I can throughout the rest of the year. Although an enthusiastic reader when I get into a good book, I am not a very fast one so reading 4 books over the holidays is a major achievement for me.

Book 1

Uglies Now if you’ve read a post I wrote back in April, you’ll know I’ve been trying to finish this book for a very long time. However, finally, whilst in Devon I triumphantly read the last page and congratulated myself for finishing a 450 page children’s book after over 6 months ( I told you I was slow). Honestly, it’s a good book and the time it took me to read it is no actual reflection on the quality of the book – it just kept getting interrupted by school work. I wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone who enjoys books like The Hunger Games and there are several in the series so you can read more if you enjoy it.

Book 2
The Fault in Our Stars
This another book I wrote about all the way back in April. Even then I thought I was going to cry at this book and wow was I right. It’s an absolutely brilliant book and I don’t see how anyone would not find it emotional to read. It is one of the best books I have ever read, and if that doesn’t tempt you enough there is also a film being made of it currently so if you’re not the reading type then you can always go to see that. However, even being a non reading type of girl, I read this in about 6 hours which, compared to 6 months, I found pretty impressive.

Book 3

An Abundunce of Katherine I began to read this on the way to my second holiday of the summer (which you will be hearing about very soon) and really got into it. I felt almost obligated to read this as a fellow Katherine to know what it was all about. Although if you read a lot of reviews online, many people say this isn’t one of John Green’s best books, I completely disagree. I think since The Fault in Our Stars has become such a cult book (if that’s a thing) quite a few of his early books are being overlooked slightly. As I would with any of his books, I would recommend this to everyone. It’s still very much written like TFIOS, which I feel is one of the main attractions to this authour.

Book 4

Paper Towns Now you may be detecting a pattern here. I may or may not have developed an obsession for John Green books. Since reading these I have also bought every other book he has written. I don’t think that’s obsessive as much as….ah who am I kidding I love him. This book proved to me just how much as it was written absolutely beautifully. Not only is the story intriguing and makes you want to devour it in one sitting, it really makes you think – without trying to be intellectual and being very hard to understand. Overall, I would say this is my favourite of the books I’ve read this summer and if you have not yet jumped on the bandwagon I urge you to leap on immediately because you will not be sorry.

If you know nothing about John Green you can check out his YouTube channel that him and his brother Hank post on because they are honestly brilliant.
Youtube

Katie

Is Life a He?

Isn’t it weird how life likes to laugh in your face? Like he’s a proper comedian. Assuming he’s a he, which I’m assuming he is, mainly because he has an inability to follow directions and take you were you want to go. He’d much prefer to wing it and take the ‘scenic route’ that happens to go the opposite direction to your preferred destination.

What a deep metaphor. Maybe I’m being a little melodramatic. It’s just someone asked me the other day ‘how are you enjoying your summer holidays?’

I’m not on summer holidays. I should be. I should be going into my last year of college with the friends I’ve spent my whole childhood with, and beginning to get really bored of the holidays. That was how I thought this was going to go.

Instead, I’m a college drop out, who has three jobs, one of which is as a pensions administrator. A pensions administrator. My dad’s worked in pensions all his life and when we were kids me and my brothers used to joke that he’d drag at least one of us into a world of RSP’s and WULS. Turns out it was me. Always sacrifice the little one.

Not that I’m going to carry on with that job. I’m getting out as soon as I can, because I’ve already found myself giving out pensions advice and that shit is scary.

I can’t complain too much though. There’s nothing more amusing than watching people’s faces when I tell them I’m 17 and work in pensions.

Also, because I’ve never liked a picture-less post, here’s one of a squirrel, because I had a dream about one the other night and apparently that symbolises pleasant meetings. More importantly, the website then says if you dream of ironing a squirrel that means family pleasures. Firstly ironing?! Secondly, family pleasures?! Even worse, I’ve just realised that this image is from a pest termination website …

Hannah

Bank Holiday Happenings

It’s Mayday today in England, and just so happens to have been the first actually hot day of the year! There were legs and arms out everywhere along with several people walking round looking desperately regretful of wearing woolly tights today.

I spent the day out with my parents, aunties, uncles and cousin. Being the sad people we are we went to a National Trust property. Wow, you guys must think I’m so uncool, stepping foot in Claire’s and visiting old houses! Anyway, I secretly enjoy going round these places – I’m one of the annoying people who like to talk to the people on duty in the rooms …

The place we visited was called Snowshill Manor , which was the home of Charles Wade, who was pretty obsessed with collecting things …

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Here’s one of my aunties showing you the amazingness of the house, though arm gestures

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I’m usually quite a city girl, but when you can see the beauty of the British countryside, I start to think I could maybe cope with a few fields.

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Charles Wade didn’t actually live in his manor. He lived in a little cottage right next to it. (Apologies for the dodgy photography here. The rooms were extremely dark and flash wasn’t allowed, so I had to make do with my night setting)

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That was because he was a collector, and the entire manor is full of everything he collected. Considering he started collecting at 7, you can imagine the amount of stuff in there.

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This is a pretty terrible photo, but I had to include it because it’s so beautiful! It’s a craft called quilling, and it was done by a convent of nuns hundreds of years ago. You can’t see the amount of detail in from this, but the designs are minuscule.

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One of the rooms was entirely filled with bikes. How is it even possible to get on something like that?!

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One of Wade’s favourite things to do was build model villages, and there are at least a hundred little houses around the manor.

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This room was filled with samurai items and was kind of terrifying with the lighting and dramatic lighting. I didn’t stay long – I’m a wimp.

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If you’re just as sad as me, and you love going to National Trusts, I definitely recommend this one – not really a place for pushchairs or wheelchairs though.

Hannah

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Polyvore Prettiness

I think I have a problem. If you’ve read my blog post ‘A Dress, a Bear and a Little White Lie’ you’ll know that I do like a nice dress. However, it’s now got to the point of being a little excessive. My dress section takes up more than half of my wardrobe. Now this might be acceptable, apart from the fact that I live in England, which means that on average, only about two weeks a year is the weather appropriate for a dress.

But a girl can dream right? And usually I do. Of dresses.

So here’s my selection of what dresses I would buy for spring in that imaginary world where I have endless amounts of money and the sun is actually making an appearance. Spring is definitely my favourite season for clothes because of the pale, pastel colours that get me excited for the end of the cold weather. Oh wait, it’s still here.

19th Main Street

If you fancy having a look around some of my other creations on Polyvore, click here.