A Short post on 2016


Many people are saying that 2016 was a terrible year and true, sad things happened. There were terrorist attacks right in my country as well as others, there was the huge deal about Brexit, and then all the conundrum with the American elections. Also, Harper Lee and Alan Rickman died, as well as many famous people I never knew before. Also, Downton Abbey is finished. Let us all cry together.

But for me, it's been such a good year and I am so, so thankful for it. 

I am thankful for 2016. It was a year of exploration, new experiences, many firsts, and many memories. I flew in a plane for the first time in my recollection; travelled on my own; walked on American ground; met Emma face to face and hung out with her and her folks for three whole weeks. I had a paid job for the first time; I saw the Alps for the first time and swam in the Mediterranean Sea for the first time. I had singing lessons and I saw Amish people. I tried makeup and discovered how not to be too awkward by embracing it with confidence. I watched Downton Abbey Season Two twice and watched all of Call the Midwife with Mama and my sister. I cut my hair in a bob and sang O Holy Night at the Christmas Carol Service. I read the Bible more and made new friends and listened to more country music than I ever imagined I could listen to. Best of all, I got to know God better and it's been wonderful.

It's been a very good year for me, personally, and I am so thankful for it. Here's to 2017; the new chapter; the newest year under the sun. I plan to fill it well!


In which I wish you all a Merry Christmas. (Duh.)

Merry Christmas, human-skeleton-possessors.

May your day be merry and bright. 
By bright I mean cosy and dark but also with Christmas lights and candles and by cosy I mean Christmas songs and familiar faces and maybe a Christmas jumper hug or two.
May you smell the scent of pine cones and crackers just being cracked. 
May you tell people silly Christmas jokes like: "What's the difference between a Christmas alphabet an a normal alphabet? The Christmas one has No L." (looooooool. Wow. Hilaaaarious.)
May you consider gifts a detail of the day rather than the highest moment of the day and may you avoid singing typos on Church service sheets like I did last year; singing 'did the wide men enter there' rather than 'did the wise men.'
May you have a great day and may you reread the Christmas Story.
And by reread I mean rethink.
May you eat chocolate, say 'Merry Christmas' and never 'Happy Holidays', may you light fires and may you end the day with a smile on your face.

Merry Christmas, girls and boys, Merry Christmas.


Twenty random reasons why I love The Blue Castle

The Blue Castle will be one of those books I will love forever. The kind of book I will want to introduce to my potential daughter (AND SON) (AND PET GOLDFISH) (AND GREAT-GRANDMA IN LAW OR WHATEVER)  as soon as possible and it's the kind of book I will always recommend to those poor friends of mine who have not yet dipped their young imagination into this jewel of a book. It's fantastic - filled with whimsy, Montgomery-ness, wit, sparkle and quirkiness. I've reviewed this book many times in my head, but here is a quickly-thrown-together, random list of things I love about this little, unknown-to-many, genius book called The Blue Castle. 

(Which, by the way, I know practically word to word because I've reread it so frequently. One must brag about these things. :-P)

Lovely collage I found

1. BARNEY. Let's be real here; first thing on the list. Barney Snaith.
2. Her green dress and hat. I love how she learns how to wear it and how nice she looks in it. It sounds like something lady Edith in Downton Abbey would rock, too.
3. When Barney puts his 'tobaccoey' leather jacket on Valancy in the car. AHHH. #Barlancy
4. "Ever thought of ballooning?" Never gets old. 
5. Valancy's reaction when Barney takes her to his little house on the island. (Can we all take a moment to appreciate where Barney lives? Actual house goals.)
6. "Piffle," said Barney.
7. Also, basically any time Barney pretends to hate John Foster's books. Also, basically any time Barney is in the book. Also, basically Barney. His eyebrows, his tawny hair, his grin, his laugh, his mysteriousness, his HOUSE, his wonderful Barney-ness... I love Barney.
8. The name Valancy is gorgeous. I don't care what anyone says; I love it.
9. Uncle Benjamin's stupid jokes. "What's the difference between a stamp and a donkey?" "One you lick with a stick and one you stick with a lick!"
10. When Barney says he's not a pup, but a middle-aged dog, actually.
11. Valancy's moonlight dress. And her Christmas pearls. And her little moments of adorable sass and cute happiness.
12. Obviously also when Valancy proposes and she tells him she loves him.
13. However, all that is cast underneath the beautiful scene where Barney professes his love to Valancy, and he says sentimental stuff like, 'Girl, you're the core of my heart!' and HE SO PULLS IT OFF. The scene is a mighty tearjerker. Gah, I love these two.
14. When they go to the movies together and eat at a Chinese restaurant.
15. Lady Jane. I love Lady Jane. (For those of you who haven't read it: Lady Jane is, in fact, a car. And I do generally not admire or speak of these iron objects, but Lady Jane is an exception.)
16. The poetic beauty of Montgomery's seasonal descriptions. I used to find them boring, but now I relish in their richness.
17. "True happiness is to sneeze when you want to." - Valancy
18. While yes, some of Valancy (NOT DOSS)'s comments were very much out there, I love love her bite-back commentary scenes to her stupid and insipid clan. I love their shocked expressions and their lack of understanding life. I love it when they insist she has gone 'batty' and when Mrs Stirling wishes she 'knew how to go into hysterics.' This book is hilarious.
19. Valancy's married happiness. Oh and their first kiss. Cuuute.
20. ALL OF IT OKAY. There is something magical about this book - it is a little gem of happiness, sparkle, and utter, gleeful whimsy. Don't blame for using an excess of metaphors. I just read The Blue Castle and I am intoxicated yet again. (PS. Barney Snaith belongs to me. Goodbye.)

Other Really beautiful collage I found of this book.

Have you read this book? If you have not I'm afraid we must postpone our friendship to a latter date when you can tell me that you have. And that you enjoyed it. Just kidding, but really, go and read it. It's charm personified.

Now go yonder and fulfil your daily - or, in my case, nightly - duties. (Which includes suddenly realising it's late and thinking wow, wow, let's get some sleep, shall we.) Read books in one sitting and get as much of the boring stuff done before Christmas and check out The Bible Project on Youtube, because it's my favourite Youtube Channel at present. Make ugly selfies. Roll your eyes now and then. Write two blog posts in one day. Wow. I give the best life advice since Don't Worry Be Happy; (you know, that song with the catchy whistle-y tune.)

Christmassy Thoughts

Two days ago it was Sunday and there was a beautiful Carol Service at our Church in the evening. The big, beautiful building was dark, and endless golden flames bobbed on the rows of little candles at the bottom of the stained glass windows. The organ, the orchestra and the choir filled the front of the Church while the rest of the building was so packed that people had to sit in the aisle and stand at the sides, the back, the hallway and on the stairs. People squashed together on the pews and had to share service sheets. There is nothing I love better than a full Church with Christmas Carols. 

My solo, O Holy Night, went well despite slight nerves and Hark the Herald blew the roof off with it's splendour. By the end, my throat hurt from singing; as well as my ears from all the cymbals. It was lovely, to say in the least. It must have converted many non-Christians. Man, it was beautiful.

Yesterday I heard the news that a girl I used to know several years ago died in a car crash in America. We used to go to Sunday school together. I remember her well; she was the bubbliest, cheerfullest girl of the group; she wore bright bracelets and cool trousers. Probably around the time I was innocently singing O Holy Night, she was laughing her last laugh, saying her last words before being tossed into a coma state by a car slipping into a van, bought to hospital where she died hours; minutes later. I didn't know this girl, Anna, well at all. I remember her; how the kids adored her and how good she was at sports. I remember her infectious smile. I remember her last time at Sunday school, before she left to America, and how we prayed for her. Despite those few memories, I don't know Anna at all, but my heart and prayers are with her friends (she probably had loads) and family. She was only eighteen.

Then I heard about the lorry attack in Berlin, at a Christmas market. People drinking Glüwine one second; dead the next. Twelve dead; fifty wounded. Not again.

Part of me sarcastically mumbles Merry Christmas. 

A Happy Christmas is obviously not attainable for all, to say in the least. I am everlastingly thankful that I will have a happy one, but I am keenly aware that I am one of the lucky ones. Part of me; no, in fact, everything in me is reminded of the fact that Jesus is the hope. Those Berlin attack victims, Anna - they are dead; gone. Their loved ones mourn and they will be reminded of their deaths, and re-mourn, every single Christmas. But oddly and ironically, this gives us all the more reason to celebrate Christmas. They and we are reminded that Christmas is not persé ladida and Christmas crackers and family love. God willing, it is, but the world is corrupt and it has been bruised and it will continue to be bruised till He comes.

But Jesus came and He will come again. He came to the world, died for our sins. We are set free. We have a hope and Christmas makes the hope ever keener and even stronger. We need, God knows, we need keen and strong hope in a world like ours. The world doesn't stop spinning around the 25th of December - in fact, 25th of December should ring the hope even louder. :-D

I know I shouldn't feel guilty, being excited for Christmas. I am excited! Grandma and Granddad are coming over from England, my Mum's side of the family will all be barging into our house on Christmas Eve, we'll sing carols and eat turkey and listen to the Royal Christmas speeches. We'll crack Christmas crackers and open gifts and play games and go to Church. A few days ago I got Emma's package in the mail and I got really excited - it's so square. I love square packages; they're so much more exciting than flat ones. It's going to be a wonderful day and I'm definitely looking forward to it. 

However, you know, I realise I'm lucky. I echo my earlier sentiments. :-)

What are you guys doing for Christmas? (I will refrain from saying Merry Christmas to you because it's still a week and I must waaaait. :-P) I shall finish this post with a cute little Christmassy emoji. Because one must do new things now and then, right-ho, deal ol' fellow human? Here ya go: 🎄)


Pentatonix is Ridiculously Amazing

I am obsessed with Pentatonix. I've been listening to their Christmas songs every single blessed day and I'm still so NOT sick of them. Of course I'm listening to them right now as I write. Probably also while you're reading this. I love them dearly. I quite rarely attach myself to bands and singers; in fact I will never say, 'I HAVE SOOO MANY' when someone asks me who my favourite singers are. I like a lot of singers, but I only have a few favourites. (Unlike books. Hahaha. I have so many favourite books it makes me kind of freaky sometimes.)

I love Pentatonix so much that... I AM DEVOTING A POST ON THEM. To proof my undying love and to seal it with official-ness, and all that.

(If you have never heard of Pentatonix PLEASE GO AND LISTEN TO THEIR CHRISTMAS SONGS. Leave right now and go to Youtube.They're basically a five-group acapella group which likes to blow me away with their talent and creativity and amazing-ness. The twists they put on songs is wow-factor-one-hundred-procent-wow.)

Moving on.

I think one of my favourite things about them is their pop/old-timey/classic/modern feel. It's modern music, but it's classic songs. But it's not modern music as in, every-single-song-sounds-exactly-the-same. Each song sounds so unique and different and beautiful.

As said earlier, all five members of the band are insanely talented. In case you were not aware of this, you know, I'm here to tell you the facts. You're welcome. 

First we have Avi's bass. OH MY WORD. It's like, Josh-Turner-level-ripe-bass-voice. (Just listen to the five first seconds of I'll be home for Christmas and you'll be swooning.) Then there's Kirstie's voice, which is amaze-worthy. I wish I had it. Also, she's so cute. Scott is the handsome blonde and his voice is soooo gorgeous. (His voice in 'Hallelujah' gave me shivers. As did the whole song, but that's beside the point.) And then there's Mitch's man-alto which sounds freakishly like a lady and which is seriously wow. Kevin is the beat-boxer and he's ridiculously talented; it's amazing. (I also love his smile.)

Their Christmas & Winter songs are what makes me love them. They are famous mainly because of it, basically, and no wonder. (I say Christmas and Winter because they're not all Christmas songs. Songs about Sleigh Bells and Santa Claus is Coming and even Have yourself a Merry Little Christmas aren't technically Christmas songs because there's nothing about Christ in them. (Peet Peeve of mine.) (#rantover.))

Here are my top five (CURRENTLY) favourite Pentatonix songs. (Because I need to showw you and FORCE them down your throats.)

Winter Wonderland / Don't worry Be Happy

THIS SONG IS SO SO MUCH FUN. Last year, I must have listened to it 10 thousand times and I still love it. Tori Kelly as a guest star is excellent and the creativity of putting two well-known songs together is just insaaaane. (I dare you not to smile while listening to this.) (I suppose it's humanly possible, but admit it... you wanted to smile. ;-P)

Mary Did You Know

Ahhhhhh THIS VERSION OF THIS SONG. *clutches heart and dies* I can't. Oh my word, it's so gorgeous and powerful and beautiful and it makes me want to cry. (When it goes, 'When you kiss His face, you kiss the face of God' I have so many chills. AND THE END.)

Go Tell it on the Mountain

This one fills me with HAPPINESS. It's so beat-worthy and it's so joyful and so clever. I love it when the bass goes 'go tell it on the mountain' on his little solo and I love the gospel-style beginning. One of my favourites.

Little Drummer Boy

This one is like a gust of fresh air. I mean. Ugh it's so stinkin beautiful I love it so much. Their 'ramramrapam's are so in sinc and the 'ohh's at the back give me that illness called The Goosebumps. Gorgeousness Alore.


Last but not least, their rendition of Hallelujah absolutely gave me chills. Wow. They are amazing.

I also love their new song 'Coldest Winter', whiiich I've been listening to a lot these past days. This song gets pretty intense (like, creepy level) but woooow. It is GORGEOUS. I must mention it. :-P

There are some things I don't like about them - some of their songs aren't my favourite (I haven't listened to much non-Christmassy songs of theirs, and I didn't enjoy some as much as others) and I dislike some of the band's hairstyles. And fashion choices. (Cough Mitch Cough.) :-P Buuuuuut that's irrelevant. I WUVS THEM A GREAT DEAL.

You too?


Christmas is not an easy time for everyone.

Meet Septimus, our Christmas tree.

He was chopped off by its roots, bore the suffering like a real man, and thrown into the market like a slave. He was then bought by creepy strangers and landed in a noisy house of twelve humans, million books and a grand piano. Septimus is greatly to be pitied. For weeks he is forced to carry odd-looking ornaments he does not care about, and for weeks he has to wear a star-shaped hat which probably itches a great deal. Strangled with electricity wires and shiny gleaming lights, he has to endure the feeling of presents at his feet, while knowing none of them belong to him.

His reward for all this unpleasantness will be needle-loss and a good toss into either a fire or either a public waste heap.

Let us all take a moment of silence for the grief that Septimus is going through. Christmas is not an easy time for everyone.


10 types of Internet Bios

I'm starting to get sick of the word 'Internet Bios' buuuuut they're so much fun, so here's another post on them. Here are Ten Types of Internet (mainly Instagram) Bios that you will have seen at least one in your life. (Now I sound like Blimey Cow.)

1. The Organised Bio
Example:丨INTJ 丨Lover of books丨24 丨British 丨John 1:1 丨Happily Married丨
That person that loves how uncluttered and organised her/his (let's be real, it's a girl) bio looks in comparison to the unorganised ones.

2. The Emoji Bio
Example: →👗👫💗😻🍁👸🌺🍦🍓🎹←
That person that thinks everyone will take the time to unclue what kind of personality s/he has by staring at the individual emoji's for ten minutes.

3. The Link Bio
Example: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Sweetest-Thing-Elizabeth-Musser-ebook/dp/B004XM3WA6/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1481093686&sr=8-1&keywords=the+sweetest+thing+elizabeth+musser
That person who uses their bio to get traffic elsewhere. These are usually short-term, because in the caption of one of the pictures someone will say 'link in the bio.' Why, by the way, not just put the link in the caption? (Or maybe that's not possible?)

4. The Short Bio
Example: Born with peculiarity.
That person that thinks s/he just nailed it on the Bio-writing department.

5. The Funny Bio
Example: I have no clue what to write here, so I guess I'll just take a time to be real with you guys and tell you that.
That person that attempts to make their page looks really attractive by making his/her bio really funny. 90% of the time the joke is very lame, but the fact that s/he devoted the oh-so-important-bio for wit must mean it's a very witty person.

6. The Confusing Bio
Example: 25/mdays!! ANNABELLE💘ง♡↑阝↟🌲థΔ∢ youtubedotcomeslashsomething /🌘०be happy↠ i love @cooldude💜
That person that's trying so, so, so hard to be really cool. Their bio ends up looking like a wreched mess.

7. The follow 4 follow Bio
Example: My name is Janice follow 4 follow no haters plz
That person that wants to be famous so bad s/he does it the desperate way and begs for followers. This is the kind of bio that makes me lose hope in humanity.

8. The Christian Bio
Example: *insert a Bible verse*
That person that gets their priorities straight.

9. The trying-to-fit-as-much-as-possible-into-one-bio Bio
Example: BLOGGER heresmyblogblogspot.com/Lover of rain💦/homeschooled/Downton Abbey/my fam♡/I sell things on Etsy heresmyetsy.com/In Christ Alone/I love doing the laundy/one of these was a joke😀
That person who has so much to say and grabs the oppotunity in the bio. S/he makes sure to attempt to add a little bit of everything; a bit of humour, a bit of linky-love, a bit of emoji-love, a bit of personal info. (I would probably be this person.)

10. The Artistic Bio
Example: 🌒 S T A R T 🌓 L I V I N G 🌔 F O R 🌖 L O V E 🌘
That person that takes hipster to a whole new level, putting spaces (or full-stops) between letters, and using very mythical-looking emojis to make their deep living advice look deeper.

Which one are you? :-)


A Very Merry Tag

Abby (swell girl) at 'Lavender Spring' (swell blog) has this lovely, long Christmas-themed Advent-calender-days celebrations going on at her blog, and it includes a list of Christmassy questions! So yay, let's go and do this. (IT'S DECEMBRRRR!) (For the questions for yourself, go yonder.) (It's called 'A Very Merry Tag.' Does't that sound ridiculously adorable and cheery? GO AND FILL IT OUT yourself.)

1. Does it snow where you live around Christmas? (If it doesn't, you have my sincere sympathy.) How much? Any special snowy Christmas stories?
I accept your sincere sympathy, my girl. 
YEAH I KNOW. POOR SOUL ME. I knoww. *Weeps on shoulder* I can't remember the last time we had a white Christmas, unfortunately. (Well, I remember that Christmas when I was like, five, and we went to Switzerland and had tons of sledding and snow.) It generally cold here in December, but Mr Snow isn't a regular visitor during this month. January and February see more of Mr Snow, and December does too, but not as often. However, so far this December has been very frosty, so I have a chance. *goes away singing I'm dreaming of a white Christmas

2. Do you get a real tree or a fake tree?
Real. Cuz it smells better. And it looks better. And because the world needs more trees cut down, right?

3. What is your favourite Christmas movie?
I don't really know. I've often watched The Sound of Music around Christmas, but I don't classify that as a Christmas movie. Little Woman is very Christmassy, and I loved that.

4. Where in the world would you like to spend Christmas the most?
Home sweet home. Or in England, with Grandma and Granddad. Family.

5. What fictional/literary character would you most like to spend Christmas with?
Married couple Emma and Knightley would be lovely. They're Christmassy people. ;-)

What is your favourite Christmas song?
I have two. Well, I have millions, but my two favourites are O Holy Night and In the Bleak Midwinter. Both are deliciously beautiful and seem to give me a little sneak-peak of how beautiful heaven is going to be. And they both have gorgeous words as well as gorgeous tunes.

What is your favourite Christmas book/story (besides, ya know, the story)?
Besides, ya know, THE story. Hahah yes.
Well, I like The Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens - JUST KIDDING. I actually dislike that story. I don't get why it's a Christmas classic. 
When I was younger, every year, my mother read a short dutch story to us about these three rich boys who expected great Christmas presents. They got great Christmas presents but they weren't satisfied and just squabbled the whole Christmas morning. And then their father forced them to go and give it to this poor boy and it's just a really cute and lovely story. I love it.

Which do you prefer: multi-coloured lights or white lights? 
White. They're fancier.

What time period/decade would you most like to spend Christmas in?
This one is okay, I'm happy where I am. However, after watching Call the Midwife Christmas specials, a Christmas in the late 50's sounds divine too.

Which period drama has the best Christmas scene/episode?
Downton Abbey Season Two Christmas Special end of story bye.