Sunday 18 December 2016

SNAPSHOT: Hay-on-Wye and Tretower

SNAPSHOT: Hay-on-Wye

Writing travel posts is something I love doing, but is also something I've been wanting to switch up for a while now. I've always felt like travel posts should be comprehensive pieces, with a lot of writing and recommendations, however lately I've been wanting to make travel posts a little lighter and more fun to create (and read!). Enter SNAPSHOT, a new series I'm starting in order to share my travel photos from the last year, with a little writing and recommendations, but with more focus on the images (an image is, after all, worth a thousand words).

SNAPSHOT: Hay-on-Wye

SNAPSHOT: Hay-on-Wye

SNAPSHOT: Hay-on-Wye

SNAPSHOT: Hay-on-Wye

SNAPSHOT: Hay-on-Wye

SNAPSHOT: Hay-on-Wye

SNAPSHOT: Hay-on-Wye

SNAPSHOT: Hay-on-Wye

Hay-on-Wye, situated on the perimeter of the Anglo-Welsh border, is the National Book Town of Wales. As such it features numerous charming little book shops, some general, some specific, but all housed in sweet old country shops and decorated in a very individualistic manner. Having lived and grown up on the English side of the border, Hay-on-Wye certainly had a familiarity to it which I always feel upon visiting border-towns, but had a charming higgledy-piggledy nature of its own.


Richard Booth's Bookshop: One of the most famous (and oldest) bookshops in Hay-on-Wye, selling a selection of the latest titles and well chosen second-hand books, with a good balance between fiction and non-fiction. There's a lovely cafe downstairs, and a cinema too, all housed in a gorgeous tile-fronted building, with plenty of windows for natural lighting, and the cosiest armchairs for a spot of reading before you buy.

Addyman Books: A maze of bookish delights, with rooms dedicated to genres all decorated in a befitting way. This shop was truly awe-inspiring, and wandering from room to room made me excited about what was to be found around the corner.

Murder & Mayhem: One of Hay's specialist booksellers, dedicated to (you guessed it!) murder mysteries. Owned by Addyman Books, this is decorated in the same manner and as you step through the door you feel instantly transported to the eerie passages of Poe or perhaps the study of Sherlock Holmes. If you love a good whodunnit, this is a must visit.

Bartrums: If you love stationery, than Bartrums is right up your street - a well stocked stationery shop with big brands, and some independent brands too, making it the perfect place to buy a gift, or maybe something for yourself...

The Old Electric Shop: An eclectic and changing mix of vintage clothes and furniture, paired with independent companies and brands makes The Old Electric Shop a truly quirky shop that you won't forget. There's also a cafe, so it would naturally be rude not to visit.

SNAPSHOT: Tretower

SNAPSHOT: Tretower

SNAPSHOT: Tretower

The small village of Tretower is a short drive away, nestled in the stunning scenery of the Brecon Beacons. It's a jumble of slate and large stones which feels like it hasn't changed for at least 50 years, with a few small houses and a farm or two all watched over by the remains of a castle. It's a rather small, rather rugged place, that won me over as an idyllic, isolated Welsh gem. Being in the heart of the Brecon Beacons makes it a great place to go on a walk from, but during a fleeting visit I personally just enjoyed walking along a few of the village lanes seeing where they led to. It's quite a jumbled little place, but I think rather charmingly so!

-Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed this post. I'm excited about working on this series, as I have got so many unpublished photographs on my camera that I want to look over, some from almost a year ago!- 

Thursday 20 October 2016

What is it Like to Study With the Open University?

What is it like studying with the Open University

This is one of those posts that I've been sat on for a while, trying to post it at a seasonal time. However, I'm so out of touch with UCAS deadlines and school leaving times that I haven't been sure when to post it! Seeing as I've just completed my first week of my third year of study though, there seems no time better than the present. Read on to find out the basics of studying with the Open University, how it compares to a bricks-and-mortar university, and my general thoughts on the whole process...

Friday 9 September 2016

A 5 Book Review

Book Review: Poirot // Harry Potter // The Muse // Girl on The Train // Ghostwritten

After finishing exams for the academic year a couple of months ago, I told myself I was going to get back into reading. It took a while, but hey, that's alright, I was practically living with my head in a book of some sort for months beforehand anyway. Allowing myself a bit of time off gave me the space to enjoy reading for reading's sake again, rather than reading for a strict purpose. I thought I'd group the past 5 books I read together and write kind of mini-reviews for them, just as a way to document what I liked and didn't like about them (I'm awful at updating Goodreads!). So, here they are. I'm going to try to avoid spoiling anything major about the plots, but there may be some slight spoilers ahead, so tread carefully if you haven't read any of these yet.

Monday 4 July 2016

Penrhyn Castle and the Problem with Material Culture

Penrhyn Castle

Since the beginning of the year, I've been making an effort to travel to places that aren't that far away yet I've never actually visited. Therefore, I've accumulated quite a collection of snaps that I'm intending to share here at some point, and I was going to do so in date order because I'm a bit of a stickler for chronological order. However today I'm going to talk about a more recent trip to Penrhyn Castle in Bangor, North Wales. This one is playing heavy on my mind at the moment, particularly because I went the day after 'b-day' and I was naturally feeling devastated by the result, and also troubled about the future of the UK.

Monday 13 June 2016


awake and make lifestyle blogging studying catch up

It's something of a stereotypical cliche that when us Brits don't know what to talk about, or have run out of conversation, we always bring up the weather. And so here I am, talking about the weather. It's officially been summer for a while now, but the heat and sunshine arrived a couple of weeks ago, casting everything in that hazy golden light that makes the world appear so still it might as well be a painting. At first it was nice to feel the sun on my skin, but after a few days even self-professed 'summer-people' began to tire of the uphill battle against the lazy heat. Life felt that much slower, like everything was coated in honey and wading through it was so much effort that it was easier to give in to the desire to do nothing. This being Britain, the sunshine eventually broke and we had heavy thundershowers arrive without notice. I don't consider myself to be much of a pluviophile, but I have to admit that the sound of the rain against the windows was a much needed reprise from the still silence of the heat. The world suddenly seemed awake again.

Wednesday 13 April 2016

It's All In The Process

In The Process - Mindful Thinking

So, here's the story. Recently I was knitting a hat following a pattern which was a little more complex than those I usually reach for, and this naturally took a lot more concentration (and patience!) than I'm used to. I actually surprised myself with how much I enjoyed stretching my skills, and how instead of dreading working a tangled mess, I actually came to enjoy the level of concentration that this project required. The reason? Concentrating on this knitting project kept me in the moment, because I was so absorbed in the process.  I really slowed down towards the end of that project, because I didn't want the absorption to end, and I liked that after a busy day I could sit so consumed by my knitting that nothing else other than wrapping wool around needles entered my train of thought.

Saturday 26 March 2016

Why I Love Voluntary Work

Why I Love Voluntary Work

It's no secret that voluntary work does wonders for your career and job prospects, whether you're a recent graduate or someone looking to change career path. However, as a long time volunteer I believe the benefits of a little volunteering lie far beyond that of furthering your career, so I thought I'd talk today about the few of the reasons why I love my voluntary positions.

Friday 11 March 2016

THE KNIT FILES: Repeated Cables

DIY Pink Knitted Cable Hat

One thing I don't do very often is knit the same thing more than once. I'm not sure why, perhaps a little boredom (although most knitting projects have some aspect that keep them interesting, like cabling or colour-work), but I think the real issue is that I'm always too eager to start something new. When I'm halfway through knitting one thing, I'm always thinking about what I'm going to cast on next, and possible ideas for other things I want to knit. However, recently I knit up the same hat a few times, and learnt quite a lot from the process.

Saturday 20 February 2016

Goals for 2016

2016 Goals

So, we're now a few weeks into February and here I am writing about what it is I'm hoping to achieve in 2016 (a little late to the party I know!). The truth is, I'm not a big believer in New Year's Resolutions, instead thinking that a healthier way to make a change is to do so organically and when you feel like you need to. So this is more like a general list of things I'm hoping to do, rather than a must-stick-to-it-resolution, mostly because it feels like a good place to start after a little blogging break.