Experience: My Visit to the Brontë Parsonage.

Recently, me and my parents spent a day visiting the village of Haworth in order to experience the Brontë Parsonage. The day was both extremely educational and enjoyable as I am currently studying the text of Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë for my English Literature coursework. Upon arrival at the Brontë parsonage, I had a limited and vague understanding of the Brontë sisters and by the end of the day, I had a clear understanding and contextual knowledge of their lives.

When driving towards and within the town of Haworth, I was amazed by the extremely steep, narrow streets and the beautiful scenery. I have decided that on my next visit to Haworth, I would love to walk the dogs across the vast moors. It is so easy to imagine the characters of Jane Eyre and Heathcliff striding amongst the moor and it would be great fun to do the same, especially with Belle and Tinca.

When in Haworth, we first spent our time observing the little town shops and bakeries. We bought a few cakes at the bakery and ate them with our picnic before going to the parsonage. I would recommend the millionaire shortbread to anyone who visits the bakery shown on the right of the image below!☺️

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When walking around the Brontë parsonage, I was fascinated at the restoration and preservation that has been maintained to a high quality in each room. We were able to walk through the house with a vivid imagination of the happy memories that each Brontë family member must have experienced whilst living there. In the nursery room, you can still faintly observe the pictures which was naughtily drawn by the Brontë children in their youth. The parsonage provided me with a strange and almost eerie feeling knowing that the words that I’ve read and studied were carefully written in those very rooms almost two centuries ago. This feeling was especially prominent when viewing the couch that Emily Brontë is thought to have passed away on. The whole experience left me feeling a sense of awe and amazement as it brought the Brontë literature to life in my mind. Although, I felt a great depth of sadness over their early deaths and the thought that neither Emily, Charlotte or Anne would have seen the great extent of their success. Especially since the Brontë Sister’s talent and enthusiasm enabled women to begin to be respected as authors and poets within society. I think that we have a lot to be grateful to them for.

Before heading home, we stopped at a cafe on the village high street. I had a very yummy dark hot chocolate, as I was quite cold, and shared a slice of hummingbird cake with my parents. We had never tried hummingbird cake before and so were very intrigued!

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I hope to soon return to Haworth when I have read more novels and poetry which is written by the Brontë Sisters. This would enable me to appreciate each sister much better as an individual and develop a stronger connection with their work. I will look forward to my next visit very soon…

Thanks for reading!☺️

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MY MYSTERY BLOGGER AWARD

First of all, I’d like to say a massive THANK YOU to Of All the Books in All the Libraries for nominating me. I was so overwhelming happy when the notification came through so thank you very much. This award has given me even more enjoyment and confidence when writing my blog!☺️

About the award:

“Mystery Blogger Award” is an award for amazing bloggers with ingenious posts. Their blog not only captivates; it inspires and motivates. They are one of the best out there, and they deserve every recognition they get. This award is also for bloggers who find fun and inspiration in blogging; and they do it with so much love and passion.

– Okoto Enigma

 The rules assigned to this award:
• Put the award/logo image on your blog
• List the rules
• Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog
• Mention the creator of the award and provide a link as well
• Tell your readers 3 things about yourself and answer the questions provided by your nominator
• Nominate 10-20 people for the award
• Notify your nominees by commenting on their blog
• Ask your nominees any 5 questions of your choice, with 1 weird or funny question (specify)
• Share a link to your best post(s)
The Mystery Blogger award was created by Okoto Enigma.

 So let’s begin with the fun bit…

 For those who don’t already know, my name is Bethany and I am a Year 12 College student with a passion for English Literature. You can find out more about me on my about page. Instead of writing about the little details of my life, I am going to write three relatively fun facts about myself.

1.) My snow globe collection.

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If you read my blog, you may know that I love to travel. Each time I visit a new country, I collect a snow globe with a meaningful decoration which reflects my memories of the place. I have exactly twenty snow globes and have been collecting them since I was seven years old. When on holiday, I take great time and care in choosing the perfect snowglobe as there are many features that I have grown to prefer. First of all, it must be clearly representative of the place I bought it from and should contain many tiny pieces of delicate white snow (a little glitter is always an extra perk). I prefer the material to be glass and the base to portray the name of the place. Despite all of these little picky aspects, the size of the snow globe does not matter. After all, as long as it’s pretty and is special to me, it earns a place on my specially assigned snow globe shelf! Every single snow globe on this shelf has its own story and precious memories which are preserved within a glass globe.

2.) I have a serious phobia of needles.C8C461AD-980F-41D5-B7CB-83C99621BC32

Whenever I tell someone that I have a phobia of needles, I can almost guarantee that they will reply with an agonising comment of ‘me too’ or ‘everyone’s scared of needles’. No. I mean I am completely and utterly petrified of needles! Hysterical crying, hyperventilating, gagging and fainting are all the some of the joys that I face at each injection and blood test. Trypanophobia is medically defined fear of needles during blood tests or injections. However, I can never accurately remember or even pronounce this term well enough to use it without sounding like I’m seeking unnecessary attention. My worst experience with needles of on my thirteenth, unlucky for some, birthday. It was in history class and I was unfortunate enough to be sat next to a girl discussing her most recent injection. Of course, she must have exaggerating the details, but it still made me feel queasy and lightheaded. It was when she pulled her blood stained plaster off that I had to leave the room and I did so without a word to my teacher. Once outside of the door I fainted causing a bang loud enough to alert all four classes which had the view of my body on the floor. I was wheeled away in a wheelchair and came back the next day with a dent in my head, three lovely bruises and lots of imaginative rumours of how different people had interpreted the reasons of my fall.

Although, I am proud to say that my needle phobia is getting better with time. I have to have frequent blood tests and so have started to adjust and adapt to the routine of rolling my sleeve up and having that horrid pain in my arm. After each needle that I experience, I have less of a reaction. Now I can pretty much have an injection or a blood test without crying. This is a massive achievement for me and I’m looking forward to a needle fear free future ☺️

3.) I LOVE elephants. 

Despite giraffes being my favourite animal, I also absolutely love elephants.  In my house I have 32 elephant items on display which I have gained mainly as souvenirs from travelling to India and Thailand. The area where I live is located close by to two popular zoos, Chester Zoo and Blackpool Zoo. Often, in the summer, we have family days out so that we can visit and learn about a variety of extraordinary  animals. However, this experience is greatly restricted by the distance of the animals and their metal cages.  There have been two amazing occasions during which I have been lucky enough to have the opportunity of seeing an elephant up close.

My first elephant experience was in Thailand at an elephant sanctuary and was so emotionally overwhelming that I had tears in my eyes. We spent a whole day feeding, bathing and washing the most beautiful and brave elephants which had been rescued from painful labour.  One elephant we met had an injured leg from standing on a land mine and another was partially blind as she had been whipped in the eye by an elephant rider. My favourite part of the day was standing with the elephants in a river and washing them with buckets. We were so close to them that you can see the beautiful detail in their eyes and their long lashes. This is something that is impossible to observe in a zoo environment, probably for both animal welfare and health and safety.

In India, I also had a close and personal experience with an elephant named Lakshmi which means ‘goddess of love and prosperity’. We fed her sugar canes and bathed her. Special experiences like these are memories that I will cherish for a lifetime. Below are some of my favourite pictures of the elephants that hold a place in my heart.

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Elephant sanctuary in Thailand.

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Bathing an elephant in Thailand.

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Kate the elephant at Blackpool Zoo

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Lakshmi the elephant in India.


NOMINATED QUESTIONS 

1) Is there one movie (or TV) adaptation that you liked better than the book it was based on?

Yes, the film adaptation of Brooklyn by Colm Tóibín. When reading the book I found it to be very slow paced and quite placid, whereas the film seemed to speed up the events  and make it much more interesting. Plus, the main actress named Saoirse Ronan really brought the character of Eilis to life with a strong, independent attitude. The film was very gripping, yet I struggled to remain interested for the entirety of the book.

2) When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up? Did it change? What is your dream job now?

I’ve never had my heart set on one particular job as I’ve always seemed to know what I don’t want to do rather than what I do want to do. The idea of a solicitor has crossed my mind, but I’m just not sure. I still have no major job aspirations and college are starting to put pressure on me to decide. First, I need to decide which university I want to go to and hopefully everything will start to fall into place… or is that too wishful thinking?

If you have any ideas of a job which encompasses English Literature, except from teaching, please let me know!

3) What are you most proud of? It can be anything, no matter how big or small. (Ex. Maybe you’re proud of winning a spelling bee in 2nd grade).

Recently, I have faced quite a few challenges which I am proud of achieving. I am incredibly proud of receiving six A*’s and three A’s in my GCSE’s as well as travelling on my own to France and managing to control and handle my needle phobia whilst in hospital for two weeks.

4) What book world you would love to live in (besides the wizarding world of Harry Potter lol) ?

This is a difficult question as many of the books that I have thouroughly enjoyed contain an intense and eerie setting. For example, Property by Valerie Martin and Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys are based upon a world of slavery; The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold and The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox by Maggie O-Farrell contain murder; and I would never want to live in a world of Dracula by Bram Stoker or The Little Stranger by Sarah Walters as a world of vampires and ghosts would not suit me well at all.

I suppose that it would be interesting to be part of The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald and attend many of Gatsby’s glamorous 1920 parties.

5) (Weird/Funny Question) What would you want your rapper name to be?

Hmm, I suppose it would have to be DJ Dixon as Dixon is my last name.


MY TEN NOMINEES

twobrownfeet

When Women Inspire

Bookidote

Anikka Perry’s Writing Blog

Keeper of Pages

Globetrotter Momma

Midnight Wanderer

Adventures of a Bibliophile

Words and Herbs

Thrifty Bibliophile

MY QUESTIONS FOR MY NOMINEES

1.) Which book has had the biggest emotional impact on your life?

2.) Who are your top three favourite authors and a short summary of why?

3.) Is there any genre of book that would refuse to read?

4.) Are there any characters within a novel that have greatly inspired you?

5.)My spirit animal would have to be a giraffe. Which animal would yours be?

I hope you all enjoy making a post in response to this reward, but remember there is no pressure to participate!

Once again thank you to Of All the Books in All the Libraries for my nomination.

Congratulations to all the nominated bloggers!

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Don’t worry, be happy!

During my travels in France, I have gained many experiences which help in greatly in day to day life. I am lucky enough to have contact, and a strong relationship, with a lovely family in France named the Batisse family. In the three times that I have travelled to France to see them, they have taught me very much and I am very grateful for this!

On the 9th September 2015, I first started talking to a girl, a similar age to me, in the hope of going on a French exchange. My dad helped to make the connection and ever since we started talking, we haven’t stopped! She visited us for two weeks in the October and quickly became part of the family. Her caring and humorous personality allowed her to fit in well with my parents, sisters, niece and nephew, grandparents and even cousins! She has visited me twice and I have visited her three times!

When I visited France, I loved the calm and relaxed atmosphere which is created by their easygoing and carefree attitude to life. As a family they would always make me smile as they had the catchphrase ‘don’t worry, be happy’ and would say/sing this many times throughout the day. Whilst in France, I also made many new friends who I am still able to keep in touch with.

Now, whenever I find myself in a difficult situation, I think back to my memories of France and think ‘don’t worry, be happy!’.

This simplistic, yet catchy saying is just one way that I try to ease my worries and feel genuinely happy. So what else makes me happy?

Below is a list of things that make me happy in no particular order:

  • Cuddles with my two dogs, Belle and Tinca.
  • Spending time with my family.
  • Chatting with my friends.
  • Looking through old pictures and memories.
  • Shopping, whether in Sainsbury’s or in town, I just enjoy browsing.
  • Singing and dancing at a party with friends.
  • A good quality sticky toffee pudding with two scoops of vanilla ice cream.
  • My fluffy blanket and feeling warm.
  • Helping and being kind to others.
  • Reading a good book.
  • Smiling at someone and them smiling back.
  • Animals- in particular giraffes, elephants and lambs.
  • The colour yellow.
  • Putting my highlighter on my cheekbones and seeing it glisten in the sunlight.
  • Swimming.
  • Hot chocolate- especially from Hotel Chocolat.
  • Walking on the beach.
  • Extra long hugs.
  • Finishing a task that I have worked hard at.
  • Inside jokes.
  • Ice cream, cookie dough, pretty much the majority of sweet desserts.
  • Days out/ adventures. E.g. the zoo, town…
  • Listening to music.
  • That fresh and relaxed feeling after exercise.
  • Collecting snow globes.
  • Having a picnic during a dog walk.
  • Feeling loved and accepted.

So, as Julie Andrews would say, these are a few of my favourite things.

Let me know what makes you happy in the comments below 😁❤️

Thanks for reading my post!!

-Bethany

Day Seven: My Travels in India- Going Home.

So today is the day that I leave India and return back to Manchester, England. I am sad to be going home as I have loved all the experiences that I have gained in India. However, I am also very much looking forward to seeing my two dogs again, Tinca and Belle.

I spent the day relaxing and making the most of the time I had left in the pool. Today was the first day that I could wake up at whatever time I wanted as we had no plans for the day. Despite intending to have a lie in until around 8am, I woke up at 6:30am and did not manage to fall back asleep. Instead, I watched an awful American prank show whilst admiring the view from my window. The picture below shows the view from my bedroom when I woke up this morning. 352C9F93-F733-4207-91AD-A1C59D08E500

The trees that surround the swimming pool and are also plotted around the hotel are gorgeous as they are Frangipani Trees. I saw these flowers in Thailand too and often sketched them when Thai nature was my personal GCSE art topic. I love the way the white and yellow blend together and the way that the flower seems so fragile. I also found a Frangipani flower in Agra at the Taj Mahal and couldn’t resist taking a picture of it with my henna hand. ☺️

The swimming pool was empty pretty much all morning which meant that I had it all to myself. I enjoyed sitting on the edge of the pool and reading my book whilst dangling my legs in the water. However, I could not do this for long as the sun was incredibly strong today and the temperature reached up to thirty-eight degrees Celsius. I did not want to get sunburned on my last day and so spent a lot of my time reading on a subbed in the shade. My dad took this picture of me reading on the edge of the swimming pool. This is how I spent the majority of my day.06129472-FF7B-47FE-9CA5-8C35C05ED5A9.jpeg

Sadly, at 2pm we had to check out of the hotel and so I had to say goodbye to the pool. We left our bags in the hotel and decided to venture out to a shopping mall nearby. We thought it would be interesting the see the product prices of well-known brands in India and compare them to the prices in the UK. However, we found that in shops like Marks and Spencer’s, Zara and H&M, there is not much difference. The mall was similar to the Trafford Centre yet was, despite being smaller, much louder. We had our lunch in a Mediterranean restaurant and soon left to return to the hotel.

We waited at the hotel until 8pm when we had our last Indian dinner and were driven to the airport to return home. Our hotel gave us gifts of chocolate and cookies in separate nicely wrapped boxes as a thank you for staying with them. I thought this was a lovely touch to end the holiday with .

Our flight was at 1:30am in the morning and was very successful. However, we had to stop at London Heathrow Airport to transfer to our Manchester flight and this is where we experienced problems. On passport control there were only two members of staff and so the line was not moving at all. This meant that we missed our flight and were told that the next available flight would only be at 1:55pm.a6c76589-ec79-4d37-a0b5-3b7ecab832d9.jpeg

Currently I am sat in a restaurant called Giraffe eating my breakfast as we have to wait seven hours to go home!! I’m very tired, but am trying to not let this long wait ruin the holiday.

To end my holiday blog, I would like to say a thank you to everybody who has read my posts. I have enjoyed writing them and hope that you have enjoyed reading them too.

Hopefully see you in my next blog!

Thank you ☺️

Day Six: My Travels in India- Jaipur to Delhi.

Today, was quite a quiet day as the majority of the day was spent driving five hours from Jaipur to Delhi. The time in our minibus goes quickly as there is so much life on the streets that is entertaining to watch.

I woke up at 6:30am in the morning so that I could have an early swimming session. The water was absolutely freezing, but it was worth it as I felt so refreshed and relaxed afterwards.

On our way to Delhi, we had one stop so that we could have our lunch. It was the first time that we ordered something from a menu rather than picking lots of little bits from a buffet. We chose well though as nothing we had was too spicy. We ordered a vegetable korma, a butter paneer and a vegetable pakora with a plain naan bread and rice. It was delicious.

When we got to our next hotel, which is named the Trident Hotel, we settled in our rooms and then went straight to the pool. I had another hour swimming in a new pool which was lovely and empty so that I had it all to myself.

After my second swimming session of the day, we had some drinks in the hotel bar before having our dinner. I had a Bongo mocktail which consisted of mango juice, pineapple juice and coconut cream. It was lovely.

This hotel is our last hotel as our holiday is unfortunately coming to an end. So tomorrow, our day will be another one by the pool where we can relax.

Thanks for reading!

Day Five: My Travels in India- Jaipur.

Once again I am a day late with my blog hehe. Yesterday, we spent the day in Jaipur which is known as ‘the pink city’. Despite, in my opinion, having stone buildings which are more a faded orange colour rather than pink- it’s a pretty name nevertheless.

We started by visiting the Amber Fort where we saw another step-well which was beautiful, but not as impressive as the step-well we saw the day before at Baswa. We chose to drive up to the Amber Fort, however you could also pay for an elephant ride. There was no walking as it was far too hot and too far!E6526E56-596E-40B9-B550-90D13BB824EC.jpeg

The Amber Fort has many amazing gardens and buildings intertwined within it’s structure. My favourite feature was the ladies building which was covered with mirrors in a mosaic pattern, as shown below. Our guide told us that this was so that the women could watch the night sky from in the mirrors, but personally I think it was so that they could perfect their makeup 😜

After the Amber Fort, we had a short stop at Jaipur’s summer palace named Jal Mahal which four stories deep under water! The palace was built in the 18th Century and belonged to the king who would enjoy recreational activities, such as swimming and duck shooting.613A0ACA-EBA0-4F28-BD92-F01D5839F672.jpeg

Whilst we were admiring this view, a little boy started to give us a magic show in which he made various coins and balls disappear and then reappear in humorous places. Of course, we tipped him and not before long we were surrounded by many children all claiming to be his friends, yet he denied this.

Our next stop was a textile factory in Jaipur where traditional carpets and pattern printed sheets were being made. Here, we met an elderly man who helped me to print a peacock onto a piece of fabric. I felt a lot of sympathy for him as he was awfully thin and his hands were permanently stained from his life of painting fabrics. We gave him a tip for his help and were guided through the rest of the factory.

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We were shown a step by step demonstration of how each carpet was made from the women making the wool from either camel or goat hair to the man trimming and strengthening the edges of the carpet. After this, we were given a sales pitch which attempted to convince us to buy a carpet, but we did not.

Once we had refuelled ourselves with another buffet, we visited the City Palace where the royal family of Jaipur lived. My favourite part of the palace was the peacock doorway as shown below.

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Our next stop was the Jaipur Observatory which was conveniently only across the road. My dad found this very interesting as he has the mind of a physicist, but I struggled to understand. Despite this, I still found it interesting how they were able to tell the time using the sun and a precise piece of stone apparatus. At first, the area just looked like a strange playground, but after the many explanations of our guide, it all started to make sense.

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The final part of our day was my favourite. Our guide, Veloo, took us to the Elephant Village in Jaipur where we fed and bathed an elephant named Lakhsni. Her name means ‘goddess of health’ and she is thirty years old. Previously, I have visited an elephant sanctuary in Thailand and so to be able to experience another close encounter with the elephants was absolutely amazing. The man who introduced us to the village was impressed by my knowledge of elephants and I felt rather proud as I hardly get chance to make use of this knowledge in daily life. We fed her sugar canes and tried some of the juice ourselves which was deliciously sweet. She then drank a few bucketfuls of water which I really enjoyed. If I placed my hand on her trunk I could feel it tensing up as she took in the water and squirted it out into her mouth. I was even taught some of the elephant language which consists of thirty words by her carer who has lived with her for twenty years. She was so gentle and friendly that I quickly grew an attachment and didn’t want to leave.

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I could have stayed with her forever, however as we were leaving, a type of sandstorm called a loo started. We had to quickly get into a tuk tuk and drive to our minibus with our eyes and mouths closed as the sand was getting everywhere.

Once we had escaped the storm and arrived back at our hotel, I fancied a short swim before dinner to relax after a busy day. I loved my swim as the sky was dark and there were traditional Indian dancers and drummers providing entertainment by the side of the pool. As it was about 7pm, I had the pool to myself and absolutely loved it.

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At 8pm we went for our last evening meal in the ITC hotel. The pudding was amazing as I had a mango cheesecake followed by chocolate and walnut cake with cinnamon and toffee ice cream. It was gorgeous!

After such a busy day, I felt incredibly tired and so slept very well.

Thanks for reading!

Day Four: My Travels in India- Agra to Jaipur.

My fourth day in India was very busy and as I am still quite tired from my early visit to the Taj Mahal, I fell asleep before I could update my blog.

The day started and I felt uneasy about leaving our hotel, which I named as ‘the yellow hotel’, as I had loved it so much. Within only two days I had grown an attachment to the staff, facilities and the food and did not want to leave. Yet, I was still excited to see what surprises the next hotel had for us.

Before leaving I had one last relax on the hammock and left my favourite waiter, Aniket, a little tip to say thank you for his hospitality.

After another journey in our minibus we visited the Red Fort. It is a beautiful sandstone building which is over four hundred years old. My favourite memory from this place has to be when I found bats on the walls and ceilings of the darkest rooms.

As I dared to take the picture above my camera flashed and all the bats flew off the wall towards my mum and me. This made me scream and run away alerting the security guard who was sat on the opposite side of the wall. Luckily, he forgave me and we were able to continue walking around the fort which was incredibly beautiful.

After the fort, we had dinner in a beautiful heritage hotel. It was absolutely breathtaking both inside and out and had a very yummy buffet. The building is an old palace and has the most impressive gardens with many butterflies.

Our next stop was the Baswa stepwell which is an impressive 100 metres deep. It was breathtaking seeing this well for the first time as, at first, it looks like an illusion. It is the world’s deepest and oldest stepwell, yet the stone steps are all still perfectly shaped and maintained.

On our way for our dinner we saw a group of beautiful ladies singing and dancing on the back of a van. Their smiles and saffron colours radiated the roadway and showed that money does not equal happiness.2F2BE9DE-961F-4399-8C31-59012C2C60F8.jpeg

One of my favourite parts of the day was watching and learning how bangles are made. We stopped at a small roadside shop where a man was making bangles from silicon. He made one especially for me by melting the silicon and rolling it out before shaping it into the form of a bangle as shown below.

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Finally, the last part of my day was a cooking demonstration in the home of a local Indian family. We learned how to make a few traditional Indian dishes and then got to eat them with the family.  The son of the family was twenty five and did the majority of the talking and entertainment. His English was excellent and he had many amusing stories like how he managed to fit eighteen people in one tuk tuk. After this meal, we headed to our new hotel where we slept very well after another very busy day.

Thank you for reading!