Tea Blog · Uncategorized

Tea blog: the travel bug

I have been working my butt off for the last few months in prep for June, a month which was supposed to be purely full of birthday fun and travel. Although I realise that you have seen very little of it as life, as it tends to do, has decided to throw a few curve balls in my path. So far I have just had to learn to work within my limits and focus on one project at a time- otherwise I may end up putting myself round the twist.

My plan for June was all about about friends and family- and while I have managed to do all these it has not all been as relaxed as I had hoped it would be. I am currently typing this post from a shady sun bed by the pool in Portugal so to say that there has been no relaxing would be an exaggeration. However events at home have made it more difficult to turn off and appreciate where we (as a family) are at.

My birthday was on the 23rd of June and part of my celebration was a visit to friends living in London. Just a few days of hanging out and sight seeing with my girls who I haven’t seen in person since last October. However the highlight of the trip was going to see the two shows of Harry  Potter and the Cursed Child which is currently showing in London on Saturday the 18th of June. Now respecting JK’s wishes and not wanting to ruin it for anyone waiting/wishing to go see it I won’t write a review/spoilers. However I really enjoyed the experience, re-entering the HP universe and the characters we all love. The special affects in particular were amazing. However the plot in my opinion wasn’t what I was expecting – but in agreement with my friends – it is best to view the play as a Christmas special. Something out of the norm, which allows you a special glimpse into the world however the events have no effect on the story or really progress the plot in anyway. Overall, truly worth a visit and really funny.

While in London we also managed to squeeze in a couple of visits to West End live which was happening the same weekend in Trafalgar Square. We saw Wicked, Matilda, Guys and Dolls, Stump, Triller and The Lion King. They each performed a couple of songs from their performance (although it felt like we saw the entire Thriller play) and they were all great. However the stand out by far for me was The Lion King. They performed three song and the music, the performance, the choir were just amazing. I have seen glimpses of the play from tv etc but I would truly love to see the whole thing if they ever tour again or when I manage to get back to London.

After this it was almost time to go, however we squeezed in a cinema date to see the new X-Men Apocalypse which was great, really taking the plot back to the days of the cartoon which is where I developed my love of the series. And quick pop into the udderbelly comedy festival before flying back into Belfast.

After a very quick repack we (as a family this time) flew out to Portugal we landed on the 22nd and the EU referendum for the UK was on the 23rd and waking to hear that the UK had left the EU has been a source of much stress and fear over the last few days, not only for myself but friends and family. This turn of events compounded changes with work which had conspired the week before my holidays began.
I have been forced to relocate or ‘transfer’ with work to a branch were I have had some negative working experiences which is also further/more awkward to reach. And this relocation is almost immediate, as I am to start work there upon my return from annual leave, which is stressing me out quite a bit. I am also returning to work after being out of the loop quite a bit, as the company I work for is an EU based company was branches in the UK and so far, I have not heard what the consequences for Northern Irish companies has or will be, which is just adding to my stress levels. I am only 24 but with job offers, rejections, relocation’s and political upheaval I feel this might be what a quarter life crisis feels like. However I am staying positive, continuing to work on my c.v., applying to jobs where I can use my skills more and working on myself mentally and physically.

Thank you for taking the time to share in my mental debrief.



Book Hauls · Reviews · Tea Blog

My Audio book Experience

So it has been ridiculously long since i have been blogging regularly and i am struggling to pick up one of the now numerous books in my to be read pile while which is growing dangerously tall. However it is not for any loss of love for reading, as i continue to read about new releases and purchase the odd book which i am fascinated enough about to purchase – which has been a much stricter process in recent months as i am on a very limited budget as i have only  started back to p/t work and i am currently on the job hunt. A miserably place for any book lover and graduate to be as i am once again in limbo regarding what to do with my life and i am developing a severe case of ‘itchy feet’ – “the need for travel”, which has only been made worse by all the people around me who are going adventuring at the moment.

I feel that this amalgamation of factors has led to some of my reading melancholy – as books are adventures in themselves (or they are supposed to be) and i think i might be jealous of their fictional lives…. George R. R. Martin says it best;

“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies, said Jojen. The man who never reads lives only one.”

George R.R. Martin, A Dance with Dragons

I’ve put this one down to ‘Problems associated with Readers Addiction’, gave myself a good boot in the backside and a reality check! So my solution has been to delve into the world of audio books and it has been to much success. As i mentioned in a previous the Masters dissertation referenced to the Harry Potter series and this re-fueled the desire for a re-read and resulted in my listening to my first ever audio book (excluding a read-a-long copy of Bambi from when i was very little) – and i loved it!

So much has been released recently regarding J. K. Rowling on social media for example the ‘Harry should have ended up with Hermione’ scandal to the resurgence of ‘Pottermore’ and the Quidditch World Cup coverage which allowed a fresh insight into the on going lives of our much loved characters that i began to realise that much of my Potter knowledge was starting to be replaced by the film edition of how this developed rather than the books – as i have gone back to the films many times in recent years to fix any potter cravings rather than dive into the time warp that the books can be, and this had caused me to forget some of the best bits of the books.

Starting with the first Harry Potter book in audio this was highlighted by the extended run from Harry’s acceptance letters through to how much of the book was changed for Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. I new personal favourite has to be Harry’s singing valentine from Ginny in The Chamber of Secrets which – when read by Stephen fry has had me in stitches.

His eyes are as green as a fresh pickled toad,

His hair is as dark as a blackboard.

I wish he was mine, he’s really divine,

The hero who conquered the Dark Lord

While i haven’t finished the series (again) yet. Its renewed my love for the series and J. K. Rowling writing but has also shined new light on the Harry & Hermione vs. Ron & Hermione debate which i discussed in a Tumblr post HERE.

Overall i feel that the audio book and the animation and effort which has clearly been put into the reading has alleviated my fears that i would be listening to someone drag on and ruin some of the experience (Like experiencing Professor Bins History of Magic first hand –  The Potter references are coming back 😀 ) and created a true fan of the medium.

This has encouraged me to go on and try other audio books, resulting in the discovery of H. G, Wells’ The Time Machine which is currently downloadable on Random House Audio Books Facebook page in celebration of H. G, Wells’ birthday.

“It sounds plausible enough tonight, but wait until tomorrow. Wait for the common sense of the morning.”
H.G. Wells, The Time Machine

I am honestly not that far into the recording but it is wonderful and i am very excited to see how much it differs from the film. As it is a move which i watched numerous times growing up and its different editions. Already it is quite different from one my favourite film versions which has a strong romantic element to why the ‘Time Traveller’ developed the time machine however this hasnt stopped my from enjoying it. And as an admitted sci-fi fan I feel i need to add this book to my read list (listened list??) – as Wells is acknowledged as one of the fathers of the genre.

I would love to know if anyone you are audio book fans and how they compare to paperback/kindle etc?

Be back soon!



Book Resolutions 2014

So I was on my goodreads – nosie-ing around looking for new books and avoiding my essay- when I was I was disappointed to discover that I had just…just missed my 2013 Goodreads target of 50 books but just ONE book! This was frustrating because I had made my target, but a lot of my reads for 2013 were Re-reads and I didn’t count them but the main problem was simply that I had too much university work and too little funds :s Universities just don not understand that I have reading expectations!! 😀 Dissertations REALLY don’t care and I then moving and all the drama I have complained about before have got in the way.

However rather then shy away from this target as a failure I have reset my goal & decided to aim higher! So for this year I am aiming to read 75 (new?) books. This is a little ambitious but I am looking forward to the challenge and the opportunity to discover a couple of new authors/books that I’ve seen recently.

I’ve decided to set up a 2014 to-read list on my goodreads page in the hope of finding some interesting reads because I’ve been stuck in a little bit of a book rut this year & ended up doing more re-reads than new reads. The Bookriot blog has been great at generating new book recommendations as well as TheReadables on Youtube. But

I would love your recommendations for this as well and to hear what your aims or book recommendations for this year are.

Plus I’ve been going on a little bit of a book binge recently – there are so many books I want but trying to survive on hand luggage and squeezing in as many books as possible is not a good combination! While I would happily let my suitcase look like this however my family insisted I bring clothing and Christmas presents.

book suitcase

Bookriot is also where I saw this amazing Louis Vuitton library suitcase for the fabulously stylish booknerd. However much I lack style I totally want one of these for myself!!
LV book library

Heres hoping I can reach my target as well as keep up with my bloggie aspirations this year too! I will be travelling back to Edinburgh tomorrow and leaving my dear home again but not for too long! Have to enjoy the travelling while it lasts (and all of Edinburghs amazing book shops!!)

Maebhe x