Life · University

Moving Out of University

Today I packed up my belongings and moved out of my university accommodation. It feels surreal and I can’t quite believe it but I am no longer a student and am no longer living in my university city.

It feels odd to be back living my parents and it feels like I’ve been stripped of the independence I gained whilst living in my university city. I can’t do what I want and have to abide by the rules of my family. Taking down my photographs from my bedroom wall and putting them into a box to bring home is the thing that made it feel even more real. Living with friends at university was a great experience and although it obviously had pros and cons, I will never forget it.

My next step is to try and find a job and save up so that I can move out. As somebody that finds comfort in having a plan, it feels very odd that I have not planned what my next step will be in terms of employment. I’m just keeping an eye out for jobs that appeal to me and hope that I will be successful. If you’ve also just finished university and are feeling lost and trying to look for jobs then know you aren’t alone and I hope that everything works out!

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Life · University

I’ve finished University!

Hi, long time no see!

I’m so sorry that I’ve neglected this blog, and my booktube channel, for quite a while. I don’t have any excuse other than I’ve been in my final year of university and had so much work to do. However, I have now finished my exams and have finished university!

My time at university has gone so quickly and I can’t quite believe that I have actually finished my time here. It’s been a great experience and I’ve loved every second of it, even the stressful ones! I had my last exam on Monday afternoon and since then I’ve just been relaxing and have also booked my first driving lesson for next week.

This is just a little post to say that I’m back and that I look forward to getting back into the swing of things! Stay tuned!

Books · University

Books I’m Taking to Uni

It is halfway through September and that means that it is time for me to go back to uni for my final year! Due to this I had to decide what books I want to take with me and these are the books that I’m taking!

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Wilde About the Girl by Louise Pentland

This is Louise’s second book, with her first being Wilde Like Me. You’ve probably heard of Louise as she is a Youtuber at Sprinkle of Glitter. I read her first book a few weeks ago and really enjoyed it and so wanted to pick up this book to see how her writing has improved and how she has continued the story.

 

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

This is set in the future when conceiving children has become increasingly rare and women that can birth children are made into handmaids who essentially are maids put into rich households and help with the chores as well as being used to conceive children with the husbands. It is a popular tv show, which I have seen and loved, and wanted to see how they compare.

 

Rubyfruit Jungle by Rita Mae Brown

I don’t know much about this other than it is supposed to be a humour novel about a girl discovering her sexuality.

 

Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson

Do I even need to explain this book?!

 

Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell

This is a thriller and I much prefer going into thrillers not knowing much about them so I don’t actually know anything about this. However, I read Lisa’s book The Girls in the Garden last year and loved it so much that it was one of my favourite books of last year!

 

The Gloaming by Kirsty Logan

I don’t really know much about this book either other than the fact that it is about mermaids and has and f and f romance.

 

Room by Emma Donoghue

I don’t know much about this apart from it is about a mother and her 5 year old son who are held captive in a room.

 

Queer City by Peter Ackroyd

This looks at the lgbt history of London from the Roman times to the present, and as a history student this books seems of interest to me.

 

Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? by Jeanette Winterson

You’ve probably heard of Jeanette’s book Oranges are Not the Only Fruit and this is the real version of this book. I read Oranges a few months ago so I’m interested to know how the fiction compares with the non-fiction version.

 

That’s all the books I’m taking to uni with me! If you’re going to uni this year, what books are you taking with you?

Wrap Ups

July Wrap Up

I read 3 books in July!

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Pantomime by Laura Lam

Gene is born as both a girl and a boy but her family want her to be a girl in all aspects of her life. Her family is wealthy and her and brother have good life because of this but something happens, causing Gene to run away and join the circus.

I love books about circuses and this did not let me down. I really enjoyed this and loved the character of Gene and her brother and how they knew what they wanted and how they wanted to be. I also appreciated how it looked at attitudes towards money and class and gender and sexual orientation.

All That She Can See by Carrie Hope Fletcher

This follows Cherry who can see people’s negative emotions. She hates this and wants to help people so opens a bakery where she puts good feelings into her baked goods in attempt to help the people of the various towns that she visits. She thinks that she is the only person that can do this, but it turns out that there are others like her and they don’t agree with what she is doing. I wasn’t a massive fan of this book and I’m realising that as much as I love Carrie as a person, her books just aren’t for me. I didn’t get on with the writing style and I didn’t really like the characters.

The Party

This is about a 16th birthday party that goes wrong but that’s all I’m going to say as I think it’s better to go into it not knowing much. I enjoyed it but it wasn’t amazing and was quite predictable.

So overall I didn’t read that much but I (mostly) enjoyed what I read!

Wrap Ups

Booktubeathon Wrap Up

This is a bit late but I haven’t had much motivation recently to do youtube or my blog but I feel like I’m finally getting it back! As a result, I thought I would share with you the books that I read during the Booktubeathon!

If you don’t know what booktubeathon is, it is a week long readathon and you can find out more information here.

I was unexpectedly busy during booktubeathon but I still managed to read 2 and a half works which is good for me as I’m such a slow reader!

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The first book I started was Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess, however I didn’t end up finishing it. This is a strangely written book about a rebellious and troublesome 15 year old boy. Although it’s a short book, it is taking me a long time to read it as it is written in Nadsat and so is quite confusing at times.

The second book I started was Wilde Like Me by Louise Pentland. If you don’t already know, Louise is a youtube and this was her debut fiction book. It was fun and easy to read but not mind-blowing or anything amazing. It is about a single mum and her daughter and looks at being a single parent, parenting, friendship, family and relationships. Overall I enjoyed it and thought it was a cute read so gave it 3 stars.

The last book I read was a book of poems by Andrew McMillan called Playtime. This anthology explored his youth and growing up gay in a time and place where it wasn’t always accepted. I really enjoyed it and liked quite a few of the poems however, as I don’t read much poetry I couldn’t really rate it.

I hope that if you took part in Booktubeathon that you had a fantastic time!

 

LGBTQ+ · Life

My Bisexuality Journey

I haven’t said it on my blog but I am bisexual (I’ve mentioned it on twitter and on my youtube channel so if you follow either of those then hopefully this isn’t much of a surprise). I thought that even though pride month was last month that I would share my journey with you guys.

When I was about 14/15 years old, a lot of my friends came out as bisexual or pansexual and they all had boyfriends/girlfriends. I’d never been involved with anyone (and didn’t have my first kiss until I was 17). At break and lunch my friends would always talk about girls that they were attracted to and it kind of opened up my world to realising that there were sexualities other than heterosexuality. This sounds kind of stupid but I grew up in a conservative area, in a Christian conservative family and so was quite sheltered and kind of ignorant. However, I was friends with mainly girls and I always thought that they were so pretty and beautiful and I just really liked them. It’s only now that I look back that I realise that my feelings weren’t just that they were pretty but that I actually had crushes on them. When I turned 16 I started realising that actually although I had crushes on boys, I also had crushes on girls too. I didn’t tell anyone though as I felt as though my crushes on girls wouldn’t be taken seriously and was kind of like well I obviously can’t be lesbian as I have crushes on boys too so am I actually having crushes on girls, and just questioned my sexuality a lot and was so confused by how I felt.

It wasn’t until I was 17 that I knew for sure that I was bisexual. No, I hadn’t had experiences with anyone of any gender but I knew how I felt, how I still feel. When I was 17 I was 50% attracted to boys, and 50% attracted to girls. Even though I knew how I felt I still didn’t come out to anyone. However I got with my first boyfriend (who is still my boyfriend) and we discussed our feelings and he is the first person I came out to as bisexual and he was extremely accepting and just made me feel normal for the first time in ages. I eventually came out to my friends and then when I started university I told my uni friends I was bisexual in my first term, and again they were also accepting. It does help that quite a few of them are also on the LGBTQ+ spectrum haha! As I’ve gotten older my preferences have slightly changed so now I’m more 65% attracted to girls, 35% attracted to boys but it doesn’t matter as I’m attracted to who I’m attracted to. I still have yet to come out to my family but one day, when I feel comfortable enough to, I will.

If you’re struggling with your sexuality I hope this helps you and that you know it’s okay to not be 100% sure, just do you and love who you love! ❤

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Announcements · Life

I’m Back!

I’m back! I’m so sorry I’ve been inactive on my blog for so long, and on and off for the last year or so!

Life has just been so hectic! I’ve finished my second year of uni and been preparing for my dissertation! I’m doing a History degree and so have to find a lot of primary sources and read a lot of sources in preparation for next year. I’ve been summer job hunting (and so far have been unsuccessful :/), I’ve been spending time with family and catching up with friends I haven’t seen in months. I’ve also had to deal with family members having various health conditions and treatments but I’m not going to get into that. I’ve also been spending a lot of time with my boyfriend (Simon) and just enjoying myself and relaxing. There has also been a month long heat wave which has just made it too hot to really do anything. I’m really sorry I’ve been gone for so long but I’m back now! 🙂

Announcements · Life

I’ve changed my blog name!

So if you’re eagle-eyed you might have noticed that I’ve changed my blog name! It was Hollythebooklover as it matched my youtube channel. However, I decided to change it to Holly’s rambles (hollyysrambles.wordpress.com) as I thought it suited my blog more. I used to only talk about books, but since I’ve been incorporating lifestyle and university posts into my blog I didn’t think the old name fit it very well and decided to change it. As I kind of ramble about random things I decided to change it to that! Also I’m so sorry I’ve been so inactive for a while, a post will be up soon explaining why!

Love Holly! x

Life

Visiting Marwell Zoo!

I finished my second year of university on Monday 21st May 2018, and my boyfriend finished his second year on Tuesday 22nd, so we decided to visit Marwell Zoo to celebrate! If you don’t know then Marwell Zoo is a medium sized zoo near Winchester. It’s mainly targeted towards children and families but it’s such a lovely zoo that anyone of any age could visit and have a lovely time! However, I would recommend getting there before 11am as we arrived at around 10:45am and the carpark was getting close to full already, although it was a lovely sunny day the week before half term started. Also if you are a student then they do student tickets, yay!

The first animals we saw were the penguins and they were sooo cute! Penguins are Simon’s favourite animals so he really enjoyed getting to see them swim and play! There were quite a few school trips when we visited and most of them had congregated around the penguins when we got there so we didn’t stay too long at the penguin enclosure. The zoo doesn’t really have a set path so it can be a bit tricky deciding where to go next and what to see and which way to go but next we went to the african animals area where we saw rhinos, zebras, and giraffes! Luckily we arrived at the giraffes exhibit just as a talk was going on and then afterwards people cleared out pretty quickly meaning we got the exhibit almost to ourselves. I would recommend trying to see the animals when the talks are on as you can learn some really interesting information! There is also a bridge that overlooks the giraffe enclosure and as we went on it the giraffes came right up to us and were so close we could almost touch them! It was amazing to see them so unclose!

For lunch we took a picnic as we are students so it’s a good way to save money. We found a bench next to the zebras and had a lovely lunch overlooking the zebras, where again they came right up close to us!

We spent the afternoon wandering around the park and overall managed to see almost all of the animals. It’s worth noting that a few of the enclosures were closed for refurbishment and some of the animals were not in their enclosures so make sure you check before you go if there is specific animal you really want to see as it may not be there. Some of my favourite animals to see were the otters and the wallabies. The otter enclosure was really quiet when we got to it and so the otters were really playful and such fun to watch! The wallabies are kept in a walkthrough enclosure meaning you can walk through their exhibit and stroke them. Unfortunately they were all sleeping when we walked through it but they were so cute!

The zoo also has a few adventure playgrounds and has a land train but we didn’t need to use either of those aha! Overall we had a really lovely day. If you are going without children then there isn’t as much to do but it is still a wonderful place to visit. Overall I’d give it 4 out of 5 stars. If you been to a big zoo like Longleat or London Zoo then you might find it a bit underwhelming as it is much smaller and doesn’t have as many animals but it is still worth a visit!

Life

Visiting Mottisfont

So a few weekends ago, me and my boyfriend Simon visited Mottisfont, which is a National Trust property. We are both members of the national trust (it’s around £35 a year for 18-25 year olds) so were able to visit it for free. Mottisfont is a large house with beautiful gardens so there was quite a bit to see, although unfortunately for us it was raining on and off all day when we visited so I didn’t get many pictures!

The first thing we did was go on a walk in the cellar of the house which told the story of the house was originally an Augustinian priory. As I’m doing an undergrad History degree I’ve done a few medieval modules so it was really interesting to learn a bit more about the medieval past of the National Trust site! Plus it was indoors and away from the rain which was great!

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Mottisfont House

 

We then went into the house itself and had a wander around it. Luckily you don’t need to book in advance in order to go inside the house and although it isn’t as big as other properties, there was still lots to see inside. The inside of the house was focused on much more modern history, looking at the twentieth century, with more of a focus on the World Wars and the families that lived there. I’m more of a modern historian so I loved looking around at all of the old-fashioned decor and learning about the house during the wars. The inside of the house was so beautiful and elegant, and everything was in such good condition that you could really picture the lives of the people that lived there!

At the time we went there was actually an art exhibition on in the top floor of the house so we had a quick look around that as well. The exhibit showcased the work of Heath Robinson and was called Dreams and Machines. It was a beautiful exhibit showing humours sketches to dreamlike drawings of fairytales. Robinson had a quirky but wonderful drawing style which I really appreciated. Unfortunately I don’t think the exhibition is still on.

Finally, we went for a walk around the grounds while the rain held off for a bit. We went in-between the two snowstorms so there weren’t many plants in bloom but the gardens were still pretty to look at. My favourite walk was by the little stream which had a miniature waterfall in it, it was so gorgeous! We also walked to the children’s play area which looked like it would be so fun for children and it was made completely out of logs which I just love the idea of!

Overall I would rate Mottisfont 4.5 out of 5 stars! We had a lovely day and there was definitely something for everything! However I imagined it would be bigger than it was and in winter the gardens looked very bare – but then that isn’t the fault of the house or national trust, just the time of year that we went!