Festive Fun!

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Today I am gonna do something a little bit fun! I’m sure that many of you will have heard of the brilliantly talented Tom Fletcher of McFly/McBusted? If you have, you may also know that he, his sister and his wife all make YouTube videos and have started a Dear Tom/Dear Gi/Dear Carrie series – inspired by the VlogBrothers! Last week, Tom started a Christmas tag…and that is exactly what I am going to take part in! Whoopee – another Christmas post! Enjoy!

♥Fifteen Festive Favourite Questions♥

1. Favourite Festive food
There is so much food at Christmas! The festive food I love the most however, is probably sprouts. Unusual choice, I know – but Christmas is literally the only time of the year that we have them! Not a great aftermath, unfortunately…both of my parents like to be rather free when it comes to flatulence..!

2. Favourite Reindeer
Surprisingly, I haven’t seen anyone answer this question with Rudolph yet! Poor Rudy… For me, Cupid is my favourite – the reasons might be obvious…he is clearly the reindeer of love!

3. Favourite day from 12 days of christmas song
I can never remember the days. For some reason I like the tenth day – “Ten Lords a Leaping”. It sticks with me. I couldn’t tell you why…perhaps it could be to do with the fact that it sounds a little bit like “Time Lords are leaping”…that just leaves me with the image of David Tennant prancing around the TARDIS!

4. Favourite Christmas Song
My favourite ever Christmas song is actually “O Holy Night”. It’s probably something to do with singing solos from it at school each year! It’s so pretty. (Although “Baby It’s Cold Outside” comes in at a close second…)

5. Favourite Christmas Present
This is a hard one. Over the years I’ve had some really amazing presents. Books, CDs, films, art supplies – a macbook! (Although I did pay for half of that…) I don’t think I can choose just one! …buy if you’re gonna make me, I’ll go for my vast collection of books, which is probably made up mainly from Christmas gifts!

6. Favourite Christmas Film
My favourite Christmas film probably isn’t even considered a real Christmas film, but the one that we all used to watch when we were younger at my Grandparents house is E.T.! We used to watch it every Christmas, and for some reason Christmas doesn’t feel quite right without it!

7. Favourite Cracker Toy
The best cracker toys I’ve encountered were the musical whistles! My Gran had, for some reason, been saving this particular packet of crackers for years! We never opened them or anything…and then, I think it was last year, they were finally put out on the table. They come with sheet music and everything! You can play little tunes (and with a family as big as mine, you can actually make up the whole octave!)

8. Favourite Cracker Joke
I don’t know whether this one actually came from a cracker, but I’ll just assume it did!

Q: How do you catch a squirrel?

A: Pretend to be a nut!

I was a…sensitive child. Whenever I told this joke, people of course laughed at it – probably out of kindness more than anything. And then I would cry. I thought that they were laughing at me!

9. Favourite Christmas Decoration
I love tinsel. Silver tinsel to be precise! I don’t care what my mother says (she refuses to let us have it on the tree – thinks it’s tacky!) – it’s so pretty and sparkly and shiny! We don’t have it as much any more, but mum used to wind it up the bannister and hide Christmas lights in it, and it was just so pretty in the dark! I’m considering buying the Christmas tinsel wool to knit her a scarf with…I don’t think she’d appreciate it!

10 .Favourite Candle Scent
I love a bit of a Yankee Candle! I think my favourite one is probably the Winter Wonderland scent…the Mulled Wine one isn’t bad either.

11. Favourite Christmas TV Advert
This is probably a really random choice, but my favourite advert is the Boots 2014 advert. The John Lewis advert was adorable and lived up to expectations, and Tom Odell did a wonderful job with the music, but the Boots advert was really touching. It reminded me of how hard my own mother works (she is also a nurse) and it has kind of encouraged me to really try hard to thank her this year, for everything she’s done. Who knows how many more Christmases I’ll have at home, you know, before I move out and make a home of my own…gotta make the most of it!

12. Favourite Christmas Tradition
My favourite Christmas tradition is the Chocolate Oranges! I love ‘em! Every year, me and my siblings get a Terry’s chocolate orange in the bottom of our stockings. I usually manage to devour the majority of mine before I even get downstairs. The best part is the “core” of the orange, and if I’m not careful mum or dad will come along and scoff it!

13. Favourite Place to Spend Christmas
I’ve only spent Christmas away from home once or twice…One time in Barbados and the other, Scotland I think. But home is where the Christmas cheer is for me!

14. Favourite Christmas Fact
My favourite Christmas fact is that, on Christmas Eve French children put their shoes in front of the fireplace in the hopes that Father Christmas would fill them with presents. He apparently has a partner called ‘Le Pere Fouettard’ or Father Spanker! He would “reward” bad children with a spanking! How creepy!

15. Favourite Snowman Accessory
I love a carrot for a nose! He needs to be able to smell, right?

I hope you all enjoyed the questions – and more importantly, the answers! Should you feel the desire, I think that you should all go and answer them too! Spread the Christmas Cheer!

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A Blog About Blogging!

blog, blogging, nanowrimo

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Today I am going to, at the request of David, write a blog about blogging. (I didn’t know what to write about!) Okay, okay I’ll come clean. This WordPress blog isn’t the first blog that I’ve attempted to write. Over the years I have tried starting a blog on Blogspot, one on Tumblr, and I’ve even tried video blogging (or vlogging) on YouTube! They’ve never really worked out. In this post, I’m going to explore what may have prevented me from sticking with my previous blogs, and perhaps I’ll be able to avoid abandoning this one!

Firstly, I was too afraid to share my blog with my friends. I would type posts up on my laptop, upload them to the blog and then immediately delete any documents that I’d made, for fear that one of my siblings would find them. Sometimes I’d go as far as to delete my internet history! I treated my blogs like some dirty little secret, afraid that people would laugh at my opinions, my poetry, passions… Looking back I realise that it was all a bit silly really…

Secondly, I felt like my blog had to have one particular theme. Even when I started this blog, I did so having chosen one topic, with the intention of writing blogs solely about it. I felt like my blog had to be just about social justice, or just about fashion, or just about food. I felt like having a too varied blog would put people off and they wouldn’t want to read it. In hindsight, I realise how daft that was – I mean, who wants to read about the same thing every day? Who wants to write about the same thing every day? Variety is definitely a good thing; it’s what keeps people interested.

Thirdly, I often lost the ‘will’ to carry on. Like I said before, I never used to share this on my Facebook or Twitter. No one knew about it, and so no one cared. Alongside writing, I also love singing and I have a Youtube channel which I post song covers on. Whenever I upload a video I share it straight to my Facebook profile where my friends can give me feedback. If I don’t post a video for a couple of months, someone asks me why – it keeps me motivated. Although I don’t share this blog directly onto my Facebook page, I link it to my Twitter and other social networks that I use. Knowing that there’s a chance that my blog is being read by my friends and family (even if it is just my Dad!) makes me want to stick to this. I think that some people have a certain opinion of me, the opinion that I don’t see things through to the end, that I quit too early on. This time, it will be different! (Don’t they all say that..?)

Finally, I didn’t think that I was a good enough writer. One of the many reasons that I didn’t like to show my writing to my friends was because I thought that they would think that it was rubbish! It wasn’t just that I thought that they’d disagree with me or that they’d laugh at me for having a blog – how uncool! – I just had so much self-doubt in my writing ability. Regardless of the fact that I have an A-Level in English Literature and that I excelled in the more creative projects in class, I just didn’t have enough faith in my writing. It has only been more recently that I have realised that you don’t need to have a degree in English Literature or whatever to be able to write well, or to write something that other people are interested in.

I have spent too long caring about how other people would judge me, how my friends would react to me writing my daily thoughts and publishing them on the internet. A simple blog. Now that I’m slightly older and, dare-I-say wiser, I know that I just need to do what makes me happy, and writing is among that very long list of things that make me happy! If you enjoy writing but are afraid of what other people will think of you, I really do urge you to go ahead and write any way! Share it with a close friend or someone that you know who enjoys writing too. Ask for advice on how to improve and try to take any criticism that comes your way constructively – really try not to take it to heart. Good luck!