Monday, 30 January 2017

What I Read in 2016


2015/2016 I hit a block in my reading road. No matter how many books I started I just couldn't get past half way through. During phases like this, my go to pull cord to kickstart my page mowing is the Harry Potter series, hence having read it right through around 5/6 times... but I had to stop myself.
Therefore I simply gave up for a while.

That is until Dad and I were on our charity walk in Kielder and before going to bed, after our first day of walking, I decided to borrow a random book from the hotel bookshelves to unwind before bed. I am one of those people that judges a book by the cover (don't even tell me you haven't) and so chose this particular book due to the colour of it and the crow on the spine.
When I got it to the room and read the blurb thats when it got a little weird. It was about a man who was walking the length of the UK. The first chapter was even weirder - he was walking to Berwick Upon Tweed, my hometown. It's not a big, popular or even well known town so I was enthralled.
Of course, I didn't read much of it as I had to go to sleep but I knew I was super interested and so bought it from a second-hand book charity as soon as I got home. That book is the first one I managed to complete in well over a year.


The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry
Rachel Joyce          ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
And this is said book! Not only did it rescue me from my book drought, but it was also a fantastic story so will now forever have a place in my heart.
The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry was Joyce's first novel, released in 2012, and won a few awards - so it's not just me who thinks that it's really well written and interesting. It centers around, you guessed it, Harold Fry a pensioner who receives a random letter from an old friend which spurs him on to deliver his reply by hand...in order to save her life. It was no short walk though as he lived in Devon and Berwick is at the opposite end of England, 627 miles of walking away! He meets some super interesting people along the way and it ends in no way that I could have expected. So thought provoking, heartfelt and adventurous. Even better that I could properly picture many of the Northern places as I've been myself!


The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy
Rachel Joyce          ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Yes, this is another Joyce novel, the opposing point of view during the same timeline as the above book in fact. In my opinion, it is a must to read The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry first to fully appreciate this story...however, I can't say if it makes sense as a stand alone piece due to having already read it's predecessor.
As I said this is written from the opposite point of view, that being of the lady Harold is walking to - Queenie Hennessy. It explains a lot more of their relationship, her earlier life as well as what she faces, day to day, in the hospice. If you read and enjoy the first, you are bound to appreciate this too.


The Coming of the Fairies
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle          ⭐️⭐️⭐️
This is something I have wanted to read for many, many years. I am a huge fan of fairies and do indeed believe in their existence so this was a must-read for me. If you have heard of, or seen Fairytale The Movie you will understand this book a little more, as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle discusses his experience with the girls and what may or not be their meetings with the Cottingley Faries.
I found it a little difficult read due to its time of writing and style, though extremely interesting and loved following the events in which unfolded down to two young girls 'imagination'.
Unlike ACD's more popular titles, this definitely more suited to those interested more in the subject than the author.


A Whole New World: A Twisted Tale 
Liz Braswell          ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Did any Disney fan not read at least one Liz Braswell Twisted Tale last year? I own all the TTs available yet because I don't make a conscious effort to read enough, I only managed to get through this one. It was fantastic, though. I wasn't sure what to expect, but it still felt Disney while being darker and more adventurous - completely answering its tag line of 'What if Aladdin had never found the lamp?' in a detailed and crazy way. Another real page turner, I'm looking forward to getting around to my other Braswell books.


Yep, that's it! Some people read this amount or more in a week but oh well, it took me 6 months to complete these 4, but I never seemed to have the time to read minus bedtime...and then I would fall asleep. I also know that I have no talent whatsoever for describing books haha but at least I know what I'm on about.
I have set myself the goal of 10 books this year and have made a Goodreads account to spur me on. It seems to have helped as at the time of this post going up I have completed two and am well on my way with another two :)
Feel free to leave links to your similar blog posts or tell me any recommendations you have for me!





Sunday, 29 January 2017

Weekly Wondering // Week 4


Happy Sunday again all! For the explanation of what is going on here, please do click here and have a quick read.
Other than that, in short, I am answering 7 of these 365 thought provoking questions each week until I complete the year. I already did this in 2013 and am revisiting them to compare my answers.




What would you regret not fully doing, being or having in your life?
Being a doggy mama and having dogs in general. I also would regret not helping where I can. Over the last couple of years, I have had the opportunity to help out a baby pigeon, a fledgling blackbird and two young sparrows and if I hadn't stepped in to help, I would very much regret that.

Are you holding onto something that you need to let go of?
Not that I know of?

When you are 80-years-old, what will matter to you the most?
How cold I am? I hate being cold. haha. I dunno. Probably where I live and with who. I'm sick of having bad neighbours everywhere I go, so hopefully, at that age, I will be in a nice, quiet, detached house with no neighbours and perhaps some sort of friend or family who can pop in occasionally to make sure I haven't fallen over or have been eating properly.

When is it time to stop calculating risk and rewards and just do what you know is right?
I have no idea how to answer this, because, to be honest, I'm not 100% sure I understand what it means? This week's post is going swimmingly eh? haha 
I'm not a big one for taking risks in general if that's what it means. I prefer to just stay in my house and am rather a hypochondriac. 

How old would you be if you didn't know how old you are?
A mix between a 60+-year-old and a younger child. I like peace and quiet, bird watching and being at home on my sofa...however, I also have an obvious love for Disney which is usually considered to be something for younger people (despite Walt himself saying it isn't just for kids). If you don't know my age, how old do you think I am?

Would you break the law to save a loved one?
It depends on what the situation was of course. If it was something more 'minor', that didn't affect another life then most probably. 

What makes you smile?
A lot. Nice sunrises, a good book, birds singing, other animals that cross my path. Most things Baker does, many movies, DLP, snuggly blankets...the list would actually be rather long! I've been thinking of attempting one of those A-Z type posts all about things that make me happy - look of for it!


Make sure to look back on this same post from 2013 here, and see the differences in my answers! (I completed writing this before checking back to my old answers by the way). You can also see the series in whole from last time here and of course last week's Weekly Wondering here.


Friday, 27 January 2017

7 DCOMS You Need to See


Shall I start by addressing the awesome acronym in the title? Before I do so I must admit that I had no idea what it meant myself until early last year! Of course, I knew what a  'Disney Channel Original Movie' (that's what it stands for) was, but am I heck down with the all this shorthand lingo lol! You have no idea how many tweets I have to Google...like how am I meant to know what OITNB, NGL or SMH mean?!

Anyways, this isn't about text typing but some amazing Disney Channel Original Movies that I think everyone needs to check out for one reason or another. For this list I'm sticking to post 90's, however. I may well do another with some lesser known ones from the pre-90s if it requested.
Be warned, I am including a synopsis of the movies below so if you would rather not know anything at all about a certain one, skip past! I have kept it as spoiler free as possible, describing the plot without ruining the endings. 



1999     Horse Sense 
This movie stars brothers Joey and Andrew Lawrence together acting as cousins from pretty different lifestyles. The older a lazy 20-year-old college goer, sponging off his parents and neglecting to spend time with his younger cousin when he comes to visit, whom he was once very close with. After the young cousin returns home to his ranch and the elder's parents find out that he acted so badly, he is sent to the ranch too to learn a lesson.

While at the ranch and being tormented as punishment from his cousin, he learns of the family's financial difficulties and works harder to help them. He goes back to city life but no longer fits in with the spoiled way of doing things and so wants to get back to help his aunt and cousin using the knowledge he has learned at college.


2000     Miracle in Lane 2
Frankie Muniz plays the lead role, Justin, in this true story adaptation of a boy with spina bifida and hydrocephalus, who is looking for a hobby or something special he can do just for himself. His parents are overprotective and his brother a good sportsman in the spotlight, so when he finds a soapbox racer in his neighbour's shed he makes a friend as well finds a new passion. Together his father and neighbour build a custom soapbox that Justin can control with his hands.

There are crashes, competition and some appearances from 'God', ended with some footage of the real Justin in action. 


2000     Ready to Run
Ready to Run basically centers around and girl and her horse! 14-year-old Corrie wants to follow in her father's footsteps and become a horse racing jockey, while her mother is against this as her father passed away due to a racing accident. Thankfully she has a great gift for dealing with horses and the support of others to go against the odds and make dreams a reality. There are ups and downs, accidents and a magical method of calming Thunder Jam (her horse) that helps them compete in the derby they aimed for. 


2002     A Ring of Endless Light
In the main role of A Ring of Endless Light you will find a teenage Mischa Barton, who plays 16-year-old Vicky. It revolves around her and her siblings trip to visit their ill Grandfather who lives on a beautiful Australian island. While there she makes a few friends, including one who works with Dolphins at a research project and through that ends up finding out she can communicate telepathically with the Dolphins. She uses her new found 'powers' for good and learns a lot about herself during her time with her Grandfather. It is a wonderful tale based on the book with the same title by Madeleine L'Engle. (Fun fact - Jared Padalecki is also in it!)


2003     Right on Track
You might not know, but I love movies that are 'based on true stories' and this is another of those. It focuses on two girls who get into a male dominated sport - junior drag racing. They race against the best in their leagues, to all of the boy racer's dismay and despite the bumps in the road, continue to fight the girl's side together. 


2003     Full-Court Miracle
Another movie inspired by true events, that of Chad Korpeck and Alex Barbag specifically. A basketball team at Philadelphia Hebrew Academy aren't doing too well, due to not having the best coach, but one day while the team is out practicing at the local park they bump into Lamont Carr - an ex-college basketball star who's NBA career was unfortunately halted due to a knee injury. The team and Carr end up working together as an unlikely pairing helping each other with their issues through the movie.


2005     Buffalo Dreams
Probably my favorite movie on this list, Buffalo Dreams is set in New Mexico with Josh Townsend who has to move there due to his father's job. Originally hesitant and used to a very different lifestyle, he ends up making friends with some locals who teach him how they are trying to preserve the buffalo and Navajo traditions. They have a couple run-ins with some rival teens who refuse to help when their town is in danger and it's all left up to Josh and his friends to save the day.



There we have a small handful of what I deem to be some of the best Disney Channel Original movies and definitely all worth a watch. Have you seen them? Which is your favorite? If you haven't seen any, which do you think you'd like to see? I'm sorry that the descriptions may not be the best but I tried really hard to give the main gist of them without ruining the endings haha.
Oh and if your favorite DCOM isn't on this list make sure to leave it in the comments with a tiny plot sum up so others can find more prospective movies to watch!






Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Inked and Awesome // Grit Tokley

Welcome back Inked and Awesome! It's now 2017 and we've returned with a slightly revamped set of questions for our awesome, inked friends. I hope to be able to continue bringing stories from tattooed individuals each month, however, the interest has been lacking lately so there may be bigger gaps between them this time. Please do get in touch if you are moderately/heavily/visibly tattooed and feel you would like to answer the questions below!  

[Edit- since writing this I have decided to discontinue the series and so this will be the last ever Inked and Awesome. Thank you all who have taken part since 2012 up until present day - it's been a lot of fun!]


Name: Grit Tokley
Age: 26
Website: http://the101daysproject.tumblr.com/
Occupation: MSc candidate, Political Science - International Relations at Universteit van Amsterdam (basically, I'm a Master's student)

How and when did you first decided you wanted a tattoo? Was your first tattoo what you had planned or completely different?
When I was 14 or 15, my then girlfriend drew a design around her left hand in some kind of marker pen; I think it was something like traditional henna patterns. I was fascinated by the floral designs on her skin following the shape of her hand and wrapping around it entirely. Five years later, another girlfriend designed my wrist piece and I got it tattooed while I was visiting her; it's not perfect, and if I could go back I'd tweak it slightly, but it's still special to me.

Have you ever experience any type of negative attitudes towards your tattoos, either in a working or social setting? 
I've been pleasantly surprised by the lack of negative reaction in work settings; I'm usually reluctant to expose anything in a new job for a few weeks but they're difficult to conceal, and never had anyone make me feel uncomfortable when they did come out.
An ex-girlfriend suggested that my back piece looked like "a Nazi eagle" which was pretty upsetting. Considering the sheer variety of eagle designs out there, I'd have to disagree with her completely on that one!


Do you have family and/or friends who are also tattooed? If not what do they think of yours?
My middle brother has a series of three kanji - a reference to Sun Tzu - on his back. He's a full decade older than me, and got it tattooed while he was at university. I learned about it at around eleven years old because we used to go swimming together; I never knew it was a secret from anybody, but my parents didn't find out for nearly ten years, when we all went to the beach following our eldest brother's wedding. I was taken aback that my mother was at all shocked.
My wife started getting tattoos shortly after we started dating; she rarely tells me when she's getting a new piece, and I usually find out second hand, or when she comes home with new ink!

Which is your favorite piece and why?
Probably my back piece, the eagle. I don't think it's my best piece - the sleeve is definitely that - but it's the piece that most perfectly represents whatever crazy idea I had in my head, brought out into the real world. Because of where it is, I almost never see it, but it's exactly where I want it to be. It's also the one least revealed to the world in my day clothes, so it feels more personal and intimate.

Are all your tattoos planned or have you ever got any on the spur of the moment? If so, what is their story?
Most of my tattoos are fairly well planned out. The closest that I've come to spur of the moment is the latest piece on my right arm - I knew I wanted something comic book themed, but I didn't know what. Chüey, who has worked on most of my tattoos, was leaving the UK, and I didn't think I would be able to fit in any sessions before she left; I also had my wedding coming up shortly that I wanted to be fully healed for. Things started moving very quickly - Darwyn Cooke, one of my favourite comic book writers and artists, passed away, and I suddenly knew that I wanted something inspired by his designs. I contacted Chüey, who said she could fit me in before she left the country, and she managed to put together some amazing work based on sketches that Cooke had released but never finished in colour; effectively, the tattoo is the art he never managed to complete. She inked the pieces over some marathon length tattoo sessions leaving me just enough time to finish healing up before the wedding. It's definitely the shortest turnaround I've had from deciding that I wanted something to having the entire piece finished.


Do you like to return to the same artist for all your work or do you like to collect pieces from different artists?
Chüey of Art Studio Jericho in Oxford - https://www.facebook.com/ArtStudioJericho/ - has designed or adapted and then inked everything on my body besides that first wrist tattoo. I've known her for six years and it's nice to have made a friend in such an accomplished artist.

What is your most sentimental tattoo or which has most meaning? Should all tattoos have 'meaning'?
The Chinese character in the centre of the back piece; in a literal sense, the character doesn't mean anything, it's just a single syllable. In Cantonese, it's pronounced the same as the name my parents gave me - "Guy". They bought the calligraphy for me in Hong Kong, which is where much of my family is from. It's a city of constant change and continuity. Every time I've been it's felt equal parts strange and welcoming, and though I've never lived there, it seems like a spiritual home for me.

Leave us with some words of wisdom regarding body modification.
Chüey had a great slogan framed in one of her studios - "Nothing is impossible, the impossible just takes longer". I think that completely goes for every aspect of body modification. Don't settle for less
than what you really want, and make your budget work for your body art, not the other way around.


Thanks so much Grit for sharing your stories!! Everyone pop over to Grit's tumblr and say Hi! If you would like to take part in Inked and Awesome too, makes sure to pop me an email to underlandtowonderland@gmail.com with 'INKED & AWESOME' in the subject line :) I look forward to hearing from you!

Monday, 23 January 2017

Project 365 // Summary 2016

I love putting these posts together! This is my 3rd photo project post and the 2nd that makes me choose only 2 photos to represent a whole month of daily photos. If you had somehow missed my monthly Project 365 updates here I have been taking daily photos since January 1st 2013 (except 2014 where I did weekly photos) and at the start of the next year I like to summarize my year of photos. Oh, I post my daily photos every week, by the way, over on 2nd blog dedicated to my Project 365's. Check it out ;)


January
I was pretty happy with my very first photo of 2016, just look at that sunrise! We kicked the year off doing plenty, including a cinema trip to see The Good Dinosaur, lots of bird watching, some nice dog walks and to mimic last year, a trip to the panto with Mam. We also had a lot of ice and a little snow. The very last day of the month was RSPB Big Garden Bird Watch 2016 which we love to take part in. 

February
...was just as cold but with some very bright days, meaning I got my washing on the line for the first time in a couple months! (Always a day for celebration!) February is also Jake's birthday month so we had a day away to York. It was not long after the terrible floods and rained badly so most of our plans were scarpered but we had an awesome time at the Railway Museum. 
I have a couple blog posts of photos from the museum that you can see here -



March
So much sun and beautiful skies this month getting us properly ready for spring! We love to celebrate the first day of Spring and so decorate for the occasion as well as Easter. That includes lots of Spring themed (non-chocolatey, because I took part in the De-Chox for British Heart Foundation) treats :P Talking of treats, Baker was very lucky to be sent a package from Pooch and Mutt to review. We already used and loved their treats but he enjoyed getting to try out their food too.

April
...was a big month for me as I traveled completely alone up to Edinburgh and went to the cinema by myself. Not a big deal for many but it is for me, who rarely leaves the house alone. It was scary and stressful but I really like to see certain Disney releases on opening weekend and my usual cinema buddy (Mam) was on holiday so I'm glad I decided to go myself to see The Jungle Book. [Read my review here!] Luckily my boys came to meet me from the train station so we could walk home together.
At the end of the month Mam and I were back up in Edinburgh to see the Mary Poppins Musical at the Festival Theatre. Yes, there is a review of that too :P


May
The month of friendship! haha I had so many birdy friends this month including a gorgeous Black Swan and a wonderful Muscovy Duck. Not only that but my long time online buddy, Kerri, visited Berwick so that we could meet in person before our Disney adventure at the end of the year. We had a lovely couple days exploring and taking photos, we even visited the Barracks

June
More birds and more explorations! At the very beginning of the month I left for work in the morning and saw a tiny fledgling sitting scared in the middle of my gravel. I slowly approached to see if it could fly and it couldn't :( Thankfully he ran into the flower bed and awaited my arrival home a couple hours later. Usually I wouldn't intervene (and urge people not to unless it is the last option) but there are many cats that come into my garden and already chase the birds on my feeder, there was no sign of a parent and he could not fly at all. I managed to bring him in, fed, 'raise' and successfully re-release a week later.
June was also the month of Dad and I's 30+ mile charity walk around Kielder water in aid of Parkinson's UK and Alzheimer's Society, in which we raised around £360. Not only was it a great moment to raise money for causes close to our family, but it was a wonderful thing to experience with my Dad.


July
I was lucky enough to be able to take part in my 6th annual Race for Life with Mam this month! Other than that it was a month of wildlife watching and animal friends. I got up close with a seal who was showing off his breakfast, saved a drowning butterfly from Baker's swimming pool (but then it sadly got eaten by a Sparrow and I was gutted, despite being petrified of butterflies) and spent time with many of the gorgeous water birds we've had visit this year.
Laura came to visit too and we went to see The BFG!

August 
...was a rather quiet month apart from it being the month Baker turned 4 years old! We had a little BBQ/tea party type thing, he got some lovely gifts and we made him doggy banana cake but he hated it haha.
Mam and I took a trip up to Edinburgh to see Pete's Dragon, which I have a review for here and I won Fiona's Finding Dory giveaway!! 


September
Jake and I had our 5th anniversary and took a trip to Alnwick Castle for the occasion. He also surprised me with a beautiful Simba Disney Couture necklace which I didn't expect as we rarely do gifts. I got to spend plenty time with my girls, Tilly and Brook, who I go to let out/play with while their Mammy is at work, as well as with my boy Baker in our little fort!

October
My favorite month of the year was full of fun. Laura visited again and we took a trip to Dynamic Earth in Edinburgh as an early birthday celebration for me. After that weekend we got our Halloween decor all up and I like everything way better that way haha. Not that I'm a big birthday person, but I turned 26 (blurgh) on the 12th. Other cool things were Baker, Mam and I's day in Newcastle to see the Snowdogs, which was wonderful and Baker was SO amazing, I did a photoshoot for the handsome Chase and I got sent a copy of the amazing The Nightmare Before Christmas book.



November
November? Well November was home to the big event I'd counted down to for over 450 days - Disneyland! Due to that, the rest of the month building up to our trip was reasonably quiet. We had some beautiful skies, lots of rain and many wildlife experiences including a couple Sparrows falling down my chimney! (I helped them back outside, don't worry).
I missed a lot of days photos this month unfortunately, but as I said I was preoccupied and focused on my upcoming trip. We left for Disneyland Paris on the 28th, had not the best outward journey, arrived on the 29th and spent the next few days leading into December with 2 fabulous people having lots of fun.

December
Of course the last month of the year started off amazingly seeing as we were in DLP, but on the evening of the 3rd we traveled back to the UK and rolled into London with a crash back to reality. Coming home on the Sunday was the best part as we hate London so much and it was great to see my boy again.
Christmas is quiet for us, I'm not a fan of the season so was glad to see it pass quickly and the rest of the month passed fast and without much fuss. As you will see in the photo above we were treated to a show by our local wild otters to end the year which was a definite highlight of the whole year!


Yay! Another year of (almost) daily photos done. I was pretty bad and missed a heck load of days over all 18 :O That means it was a project 348 technically haha. It's better than nothing though and I love having so many photos to look back on and see my previous years and what I was doing on certain days. I'll for sure be carrying on next year because after 4 years, how could I stop now?!
If you did a project 365 last year I'd love to hear how it turned out. Feel free to share links to where I can have a nose at it in the comments too.

Oooh! Check out 2015's Project 365 Summary post here!!


Sunday, 22 January 2017

Weekly Wondering // Week 3


Welcome to Weekly Wondering. This is a series where I am answering 7 of these 365 thought provoking questions each week until I complete the year. I already did this in 2013 and am revisiting them to compare my answers! 

If not now, then when? 
Someone's been listening to Jimmy Eat World ;) In all seriousness, when? When I can afford to. Something that majorly bugs me is people who say you need to just go out and do it! Traveling? Just go! No. It isn't that easy and if you think it is, you have never been truly poor. I have the responsibilities of paying for a house, caring for an animal and thinking about my other half...I can't just do stuff 'now'...I have to plan, save and stuff. So when? When I have properly thought about it and prepared for it :)

Have you done anything lately worth remembering? 
A lot of things are worth remembering! I adopted a Hyena family at the start of January, we saw our local wild Otters at the end of December. At the end of November/start of December Mam and I had a lovely holiday to Disneyland with friends Kris and Kerri and before that, in November I helped 2 young Sparrows that had fallen down my chimney.

What does your joy look like today? 
Today, in particular, Baker's excitment and happiness when I got him out of bed this morning was wonderful. I was able to get some washing outside on the line instead of having to rely on radiators! Yay! And I also got to have hugs and play time with my lovely girls Tilly and Brook who both seem to always be chuffed to see me too.

Is it possible to lie without saying a word? 
I guess so. Well definitely if you count via written word eg. email, text or social media, but I suppose facial expressions could also allude a lie.

If you had a friend who spoke to you in the same way that you sometimes speak to yourself, how long would you allow this person to be your friend?
How do you know I speak to myself at all? Though in the way you are talking about, I can't think that I treat myself particularly harsh nor overly loving. That being said maybe I'd be an acquaintance? I don't have many friends as it is let alone being friends with myself haha.

Which activities make you lose track of time?
Blogging!! Watching movies and YouTube of course, though I have tried to cut down on the latter. I also watch most videos at 2x speed now to get through my subscription list quicker haha! I would say reading too once I get down to it but I need to make time in the first place before I'm able to lose track of it...

If you had to teach something, what would you teach?
Oooh, how to look after a dog? haha For one, I wouldn't like to teach at all because I don't like being around people much, even less so if I was the focus of attention! And secondly, I haven't the intelligence, education or whatever else is needed to teach others.


If you'd like to see how I answered these same questions 3 years ago click here! See the full 2013/14 series here and the previous posts from this year's series here! Tell me in the comments, If you had to teach something, what would you teach?? See you next Sunday :)





Friday, 20 January 2017

Disneyland Paris 2016 // Day 1, Part 1


Well, I suppose it's about time I get started on our days at Disneyland. It took me long enough to even look through the album, let alone edit and then write this post. As you can see from the image above our first day was Tuesday the 29th of November and we arrived about midday, however...our trip started a while before!! Being from the border of England and Scotland, we had a 4 and a bit hour train journey all the way down to London on the Monday night - arriving into Kings Cross about midnight. As our Eurostar was just before 7am and check in obviously an hour or two before, we decided it wouldn't be worth getting a hotel only for 4/5 hours. How wrong we were.
We headed to St Pancras and set up camp on a bench beside the Eurostar check-in keeping everything close because London is not nice and there were many 'not nice' people going around. It was freezing and scary so I thought popping over to McDonalds just across the square would kill an hour or so and warm us up but that was another bad idea. They have security on the door you know?! If that isn't a bad sign, all the drug addicts and strange scary people eyeing up our bags definitely were. Of course, that meant leaving with haste and pretty much running back to our bench in St Pancras with my freezing caramel sundae in hand. The hours dragged on but finally check in opened and we herded through like everyone else around 5.45am where I collapsed on a slightly softer seat, in a warmish hall to have 40 winks.

No our bad fortune did not stop after boarding the train! Did you think we were in the safe zone? ha! Not with our luck. Before even getting near the Eurotunnel the train stopped and we were informed of an issue on the line. Now I know delays are gonna happen and I was fine with waiting 20mins or so but we had a connection to get at Lille where we were meeting Kerri and Kris. We should have had 1hr 45mins to wait at Lille until our next train but by the time we got there we had to jump off the train, literally not even get to say hello to Kerri and Kris and sprint towards our other train, bags in tow. We made it. Just. But man was all that stressful and I was all levels of sweaty - blurgh.

Thankfully when we arrived at Marne la Vallee, stepped out into the fresh air and saw all the security (it was very welcome due to the fact that there had supposedly been a planned terror attack for December 1st) it was all over and almost straight forward from there on out. We walked to our hotel, checked in and got into the room early which was fab as I got to have a freshen up and change my sweated-through jumper then headed back to sit by the lake and wait on Kerri and Kris. Due to bad luck coming in threes, of course I'd decided I didn't need the luggage service thing that we'd paid for and so after checking in, the receptionist told us our park passes etc were back at the Disney kiosk at Marne la Vallee station haha and so that was our next port of call once Kerri and Kris arrived.

And then it was into the park we go....

(I know that was a long winded intro and a lot to read but for my own future reference and stuff, ya know?)



This was the most weird, surreal walk into the park ever for me. I couldn't quite put my finger on it. Maybe it was because we were with other people or something, but I just didn't feel like I was actually there. First port of call was City Hall to make our dinner reservations and then across the road to Town Square Photography to buy our PhotoPass! Yay! The guy in there was awesome. I adore the cast members at Disneyland as they always (as they're meant to be) absolutely brilliant, but you know, some are more memorable and go the extra mile to make you smile.
Then we headed down Main Street, whipped out the PhotoPass for it's first use in front of the Castle and proceeded to my traditional first ride - Phantom Manor!! I have to admit to being a tiny bit gutted that the Boot Hill Cemetary was closed off as it's always a nice wander round and great for photo taking, especially when there isn't renovations going on on the Rivers of the Far West. I enjoyed getting a peek at what was going on behind those boards and am even more over the moon to hear that the legendary geysers have indeed been brought back to life!!! I haven't seen them in action since my 1996 Birthday visit as a child and can't wait to see them again (ROTFW & Big Thunder didn't re-open until the week after we visited), which will probably be for my 30th Birthday now.  Let's hope they don't break down again by then ;)

So I'm going to leave it there for today so as not to overload the blog with too much to read and too many photos to look at. The 2nd part of our day will be in my next DLP16 post on the 3rd of February so make sure to follow and not miss out ;)



Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Chase's Beach Photo Set


Last October, a colleague of Tilly and Brook's Mammy (the dogs I go to let out occasionally and who often feature in my daily photo project) had seen a photo that I'd taken of the pups and asked if I'd take some of her boy! Wow that was a mouth full. But I type how I speak and that's how I'd verbally explain what I was trying to explain. Anyway, she wanted some photos of her little guy, Chase, to give as a Christmas gift to her other half. As Chase is a fan of the beach, we scheduled a meet up before the weather turned colder to get some playful poses in his natural habitat.

I don't really do work for people anymore, like unless I know them, but this was lovely. We had a nice relaxed walk and I think I got some okay photos. As long as the customer is happy - that's the main thing! Anyway, not that the lady's husband would be likely to see this blog at all, but now that Christmas has passed I thought I'd share a few from Chases's beach photo set! I hope you enjoy looking at another gorgeous doggy!


That's it for today! Just a quick photo post. I also have quite a few photos I've taken of Tilly and Brook over the past couple months if you'd like to see those in a similar type of post? Let me know! Oh and share any posts of photos you have of your fur babies in the comments!

Monday, 16 January 2017

My Life in Photos // December


Dec 29th, my very last day in photos of 2016! It was just another regular, working day for me with one or two special highlights you'll see below ;) Make sure to click here and see what the rest of my year in photos has looked like and I hope you enjoy this one.


1 // It's been a long time since there has been a peek of sunrise while walking home from work. Does that mean the mornings are going to start getting lighter? Or did I just go into work later? Maybe a bit of both.
2 // More than ready to get the decs down now. I wasn't even bothered about putting them up but you know, keeping up appearances and all that.
3 // Has Jake ever been in a 'day in my life' post?! I rarely post photos of him at all after a scary identity theft situation a couple years back. But there's the side of his face as we walked back over to Berwick.
4 // Check us out going for a 'coffee date' haha. I don't think we have ever, in our 5+ years, went and had a hot drink together.
5 // I still can't believe we got lucky enough to see this guy. Jake has never seen the wild otter family in our town and I haven't seen them for months. They are his fave animals so I was dead excited that he was with me, and that I had my camera, when he quickly popped up to say hello!
6 // Plenty birds have been coming for their Christmas week snacks so I had to top up! This tub was my best purchase of the past few months.


7 // Back home in the warm and a quick snack while watching some YouTube before cracking on with the housework.
8 // Hoovering, laundry and all that jazz!
9 // With my anemia and stuff I'm extra tired after all that housework, so a nap with a hot water bottle and my boyo happened :P
10 // Back to the grind and emptying the dishwasher as I cooked and ate tea simultaneously. #EpicMultiTasker
11 // I ended my evening by doing some blog work and catching up on more YouTube. No movies today surprisingly. 
12 // Late into bed tonight but setting the alarm early for work. Cuddled with my fox friends <3


That's it for another year. Shall I keep doing this series in 2017?? Leave links to your similar posts in the comments!! Thanks for being here :)