Monday, 27 October 2014

Things That Make Me Happy | H is for Happy

Hello fellow planet dwellers! How are we all? I'm settling in at university pretty well. As expected, I'm finding it incredibly exhausting but I'm trying to organise and cheer myself up as best I can. I've got my first set of deadlines within the next few weeks though and I'm a bit anxious about them so, with that in mind, I thought I'd share another H is for Happy post with you all to help pep me up a bit.  Let me know what things you're feeling particularly good about in the comments below. Here's a selection of things that have been making me happy recently:                                           
             
vivatramp lifestyle blog book blogger uk h is for happy things that make me happy list listography
                                                  
                                                    • HANGING OUT WITH THE NEW PUPPY •
A couple of weekends ago, I went back home to meet Woody's new little sister! She's a six week old cockapoo called Jessie. She's super sweet and teeny tiny with a playful mischievous side. I absolutely adore her already and can't wait to go on adventures with her in the future. 

things that make me happy vivatramp uk lifestyle book blog
                                                                       
                                                                • my new house       
I'm ridiculously settled into my new home and my beautiful new room. I live in a Victorian terrace with big windows and high ceilings and for the first time in my life I have my own little reading nook! It's great. 

lifestyle blogs uk book blogger vivatramp h is for happy things that make me happy list listography
                                                          
    browsing old books 
I recently visited the old bookshop I mentioned in my 20 Things To Do Before I Leave University post and it was glorious! They had floor after floor and shelf after shelf filled with beautiful old books. I'm definitely going to have to pop back there one afternoon in order to treat myself to a few things.


vivatramp lifestyle book blog uk things that make me happy uk list listography

  opportunities to head home to my family - we are a happy bunch 
I'm a homebody...there is no doubt about it! I crave home comforts and I rely on familiar spaces and faces to cheer me up so I've been taking advantage of my railcard and the short time that it takes to get home. I'm very lucky to have such a strong connection with my loved ones and the concept of home and that's something I try to remind myself of whenever I feel homesick.


lifestyle book blog uk vivatramp things that make me happy list listography vivatramp
 • the fact that i get to study a subject i love 
Even though it frustrates me sometimes, I am very lucky that I study a subject that I love and I'm grateful for that. I'm constantly learning new things and building upon the skills I already had. Even though it's something that I kind of want over now, because it has taken up the past 5 years or so, I know I will miss my university days when they're gone.

h is for happy things that make me happy listography list vivatramp uk book lifestyle blog
                                      
                                     wondering around my room in my flatforms* to pass the time •
When I'm not studying, I'm usually being absolutely ridiculous in one way or another. My current favourite activities are 3am dance parties in my room, usually to Talking Heads, and sauntering around my room in the ridiculously cheap yet beautiful flatforms* that I got sent. After seeing me saunter around in mine, my sister actually bought a pair. God, I'm so influential! I highly recommend scheduling ridiculous activities into your daily life. It makes it a whole lot better. 
  
vivatramp lifestyle book blog h is for happy things that make me happy uk listography list
                                                            
  • lyzi the cat   
Despite being quite a big part of my life, I have yet to mention Lyzi the cat on this here blog. She was made by one of my best friends and one of the best people on this entire planet, Lyzi, who I'm sure you all know because she's all beautiful and fashionable and practically perfect in every way. Lyzi, the human, made the kitty to keep me company whilst I was in hospital and it was a godsend. I would grab hold of Lyzi, the cat, whilst they were pulling tubes from my chest and sticking things down through my nose and such and she became a little beacon of safety, security and friendship. 

Since then, I take her with me to hospital tests and examinations and, recently, my new home to help ground me and make me feel a little bit better. I've been doing this blogging thing for a relatively lengthy period of time now and, besides every single one of you that reads these posts and all the subsequent opportunities I've had, Lyzi's friendship is one of the best things I have got from it. She's an incredible support and I wouldn't be able to get through life without her, even if she does make me feel like a giant. I love you, little bean! You can all go and vom now... 

I should share these posts more frequently - they make me feel infinitely happier. What has made you happy lately? Write your very own list below, if you fancy it! 

*I got sent the flatforms for consideration but all opinions are my own, etc.  

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Thursday, 23 October 2014

Tips For Buying Books In Charity Shops | Books

vivatramp uk book blogger lifestyle blog how to buy books in charity shops tips advice thrifty book buying
Interestingly, a large percentage of the books that I own come from charity shops. This is probably largely down to the fact that it makes book buying affordable and accessible to me and there are 11 charity shops in my hometown and not a lot else...I also really like that I can support local charities in a pressure-free environment, donating a few pounds as and when I can. With regards to the books themselves, it's nice to be able to browse a plethora of different editions from different eras and it's nice to stumble across a variety of genres and titles. People often ask me how I find so many books at such good prices and, honestly, I  don't know whether it's just pure dumb luck on my behalf or what. Regardless, here are a few tips that I've strung together with regards to how to buy books in charity shops: 

CONSIDER your LOCATION - contrary to popular belief, more affluent areas often have poor selections
plan your route - note which shops are best for each particular genre - do any do deals?
visit regularly -  charity shops rotate their stock and get regular deliveries so visit often
COMMUNICATE - get to know the staff as they may be able to keep a look out for certain titles
do your research - know what titles you want and are looking out for and consider keeping a list
read lots of reviews - know what titles are worth picking up before you go
don't lose your head over the price - is it in good enough nick? Is it a decent edition? do you really want to read it?
take advantage of post-holiday unwanted gifts - new year is a great time to buy new books in charity shops!
donate books yourself give a little bit back to the shops. re-donate the books you probably won't re-read.
be patient - be prepared to sift and visit other places!
Do you buy books in charity shops? If so, what are your top tips? Also, what's your favourite charity shop book purchase? 

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Monday, 20 October 2014

Sea Fever by John Masefield | Poetry

my favourite poem uk book blogger lifestyle vivatramp john masefield sea fever maggi hambling

I love to read poetry. However, despite doing this whole blogging thing for four years, I've not shared any of my favourites until now! In honour of National Poetry Day, which took place a couple of weeks ago, I thought I'd share one of my favourite poems: Sea Fever by John Masefield. Sit back, relax and put your poetry heads on. 

sea fever john masefield poetry vivatramp book blogger lifestyle blog uk

I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by; 
And the wheel's kick and the wind's song and the white sail's shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea's face, and a grey dawn breaking.

I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying, 
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.

I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull's way and the whale's way where the wind's like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,
And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick's over. 

maggi hambling art lifestyle blog uk poetry sea fever john masefield vivatramp                                                                                                                                    Credit: Maggi Hambling
I take enormous amounts of strength and comfort from this poem, with its seascape imagery and rhyming couplets. There is something incredibly comforting in being afforded peace once we have weathered the most horrifying of storms and something ridiculously beautiful in the idea of sending stars to steer loved ones by in their time of need. I think it's quite an accessible poem, due to its form, so even if you aren't much of a poetry reader, I hope you can find something to like about it.

vivatramp lifestyle book blog uk sea fever john masefield

What's your favourite poem and why? I'm always looking for new poems to enjoy so leave me some recommendations. What do you think of Sea Fever? Feel free to be honest!  

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Thursday, 16 October 2014

On My Shelf #6 | Books

vivatramp on my shelf tag lifestyle book blogger uk book blog

Hai! Before I get started, I just want to say a big thank you to everyone that read, shared and interacted with my last post. It was so nice to see people engaging with a topic that means a lot to me and I really hope it helped people on both sides. You guys are the best! Anyway, onto today's post...Here's the latest installment in my On My Shelf series - the feature that gives you the opportunity to snoop around my bookshelves. Each month you guys give me some numbers that correspond with where my books sit on my shelves and I then tell you a bit about that particular book, the story behind its purchase and, if I've read it, what I thought about it. This tag was created by Iain BroomeLet me know in the comments if you've read any of these books as I'd love to know what you thought of them...