Monday, 29 September 2014


A chorus of chrysanthemums perch along the top of the alter and platform at the top of the church. A plaque on top of the coffin reads "granddad" and another "Oliver", and Angie squeezes her eyes shut in justified (well, maybe not justified) anger. He wouldn't have liked it. His name is Pops; sometimes Popsicle.

Angie's Popsicle had milky breath on a Sunday morning after they had their weekly hot chocolate (with whipped cream, mini marshmallows and shavings of milk chocolate that only Angie's Pops could do exactly right). Pops was intelligent and funny, and never mean. He was never sad either. Not even when he spoke of the love of his life, her nana. Angie's Popsicle was a lot of lovely things; most importantly, her Pops.

Another thing he was, was a husband who loved and cherished his wife, for ever beyond her days. He couldn't find it in him to be sad anymore, he'd tell Angie, when he spoke of the death of his wife. At frist his heart had felt like it had been ripped out of his chest several times. Angie had said that it sounded very painful. But, her Popsicle would say, he had memories. The sight of chrysanthemums, his wife's favourite flower, for a while made him feel sick. But soon, he told Angie, he realised they gave him joy more than they did sadness. They would always be enough for their love to be painted as a smile on his lips. He also had Samantha, Angie's mummy, to look after. At first Pops's mummy looked after Samantha, for the first couple of weeks. Those weeks were torture for him, but soon enough, if not straight away, he needed Angie's mummy back.

He spoke of sunsets and chrysanthemums, and a bird that tapped and tapped. There was no other thing that could soothe Angie like Pops's voice.

A more than familiar melody lingers for a mere moment before Angie grins at the realisation of the song, and it danced through the air around her. it was the song Angie's Pops and nana had shared their first dance to. This version, though, was his. Pops's favourite hobby.

Everyone who knew Angie's Pops also knew his talent. Even friends of friends of Pops's knew. He was a modest man. "Modest, but bloomin' crazy talented", Pops's best friend, Marvin often said at family events when Pops had left the room and Marvin knew he was safe to sing his praises without Pops looking down in embarrassment and shaking the comment off with a change of conversation.

Angie's Pops had sat down one quiet Saturday afternoon, set up an old but healthy recorder and let his fingers glide over the ivory keys. Only once did he have to record it to get the perfect version. He stopped the recorder but carried on playing it on the keys all afternoon. Only a few knew of the recording: Angie, Angie's mummy and Marvin, and they all agreed to keep quiet about it being Angie's Pops playing the keys. If people would ask after (as they did), they would nod discreetly. Pops wouldn't be offended if people knew, and they knew he'd be delighted at it being played at the funeral, but they would play tribute to his modesty. Even if Angie wanted to shout if from the rooftops.

People cried through the whole service, and afterwards too. Angie didn't cry. She couldn.t She wouldn't. She had memories, after all.


The first part of this story: The Chrysanthemum

Chrysanthemums & Birds,

The Girl in the Moonlight.

Friday, 26 September 2014

Second Hand Heartbreak

Experiencing the great times with friends and those around me is naturally a joyous feeling, but whenever someone close to me experiences something that is devastating or shakes their world in the wrong way, I will always experience second hand heartbreak; feeling sadness at their loss of happiness.

Recently a friend of mine had a string of unfortunate events happen at once. In turn, I felt the gutting sadness and helplessness at my friend's confusion and want to be guided in the right direction by being in the "I've moved on from this situation" stage. Second hand heartbreak is a by-product of friendships in my life, and despite being young, I've learnt a lot from watching people close to me go through, without sounding unnecessarily dramatic (because really, it's not), the unimaginable.

I've found the thing about friendship and feeling the want to make the darkness go away is that the simplest - whether it's heart-felt or just watching a film and eating chocolate - things can comfort whatever pain a friend is feeling. It's also about listening. If I'm rung by a friend or go to see a friend because of an upsetting reason, the whole a problem shared is a problem halved theory is very fitting. No, it might not half the sadness they're feeling, but it diminishes some thoughts and worries. They've never been looking for an answer (but if I have one, I'll give it a shot), they want to let their feelings out.

Unfortunately, it's not always a situation where there is a "I am 100% moved on from this situation." Naturally, that is okay. Completely upsetting, but completely okay. A wonderfully amazing friend of mine did experience the unimaginable and she's the strongest person I know, and of course still experiences heartbreak over what has happened. The heartbreak I feel is a horrible feeling, but also a sign of a good friendship, and I know the feeling would be returned.

Another thing I've learnt is that I wouldn't ever want to go without this second hand heartbreak when it comes to those I love and those who deserve comfort. Although I'd much prefer the situation never happened, I am glad that my friend will call me and offload.

A Movie & A Tea,

The Girl in the Moonlight.

P.S. I will, despite all the different things I've been saying on my blog about my schedule, be posting at least twice a week!

Monday, 15 September 2014

Grey Clouds

I remember when I first learnt about pathetic fallacy; a mood or feeling or event resembling the weather. I thought sometimes, it really does exist. Today is one of those days.

Outside the sky is grey; if you ignored the surroundings and took yourself out of them for just a moment, you could be in a black and white movie. It's a little cold, and any hope of a little burst of warmth before we're into autumn is probably a little farfetched. At least it seems that way. All the while, the most perfect summer I just had is playing in my head; like watching loads of photographs flash past my eyes really quickly; I can't help but feel a little solemn about leaving my home; my friends; my family; those closest to me. It's almost university time.

Outside the sky is grey; inside my bedroom walls, I'm feeling a little sad.

I'm going to miss home; miss my friends, and family; those who mean a lot to me. I'm going to miss so much. I'm going to miss pizza nights with my friends; evening trips out; laughing a ridiculous amount with those closest to me; being silly with my brother; dinners with my family.

It's not that I'm not excited for university. I really am. Independence, new thigs and people, learning and furthering myself. It's going to be awesome. Yet, the people I'm surrounded by every day have been a routine for the last eighteen years. As have my suroundings. A few things have changed; new people, new places, but it's been fundamentally the same.

I've had the best summer I could possibly imagine, surrounded by smiles and laughter, love and friendship. *Prepares to break out into song.* Right now I'm just feeling a bit solemn and reflective. When something has been so good, it's hard to say goodbye; even if it's not a goodbye. Because it's not.

I will enjoy this change. It may be hard to adjust, but I'm excited too.

So right now, I'm sat on my bed, listening to Ed Sheeran, anticipation causing a slight lump in my throat, a little dampness in my eyes. Of course I'm excited, but right now I'm sad. While Thinking Out Loud is playing, everything is all a bit emotional. Cheesy line needed? I can see a little sun peeking through the clouds right now. I'm nervously excited.

Biscuits & Juice,

The Girl in the Moonlight.

Monday, 8 September 2014

The Unpredictable Consequences of Love - Jill Mansell

Since reading An Offer You Can't Refuse by Jill Mansell (which you can read my review of HERE), I couldn't wait to read another one of her sunshiny novels. I was excited by the run up to the release of The Unpredictable Consequences of Love and so knew this should be my next read.

The Unpredictable Consequences of Love follows the lives of Sophie and Josh; Sophie's struggle to move on from a secret that darkened her life, and Josh who wants to find a way to convince Sophie that she can trust him. Yet, it also follows the lives of Riley, Tula, Marguerite, Dot and Lawrence. It is like the Love Actually of books and I love it.

I would have adored this book no matter what time of year I read it, but it felt wonderfully fitting to read in the summer, what with the beautiful beach and the warm days. I love this book because it's every favourite sweet of mine enveloped in Jill Mansell's words. It's funny, honest and heart-warming.

Sophie is one of those characters you have to admire, and in turn yearn for her to forgive herself and lead a happy life. With her ambition to thrive in the world of her photography business while pleasing her customers, Sophie is a heroine in her own right (not because her selflessness could be seen to be down to her sad secret, but because of the happiness she gets from succeeding in her job).

Like I imagined, The Unpredictable Consequences of Love is packed with punches of comedy and lighthearted smiles. Amongst the secrets and betrayal of St. Carys, fond chatter and jokes make the novel gorgesouly delightful.

I adore books that follow loads of different characters' stories, and this novel taught me a lot through all of the different characters' stories. It taught me about trust, protecting others, selflessness, forgiveness, acceptance of wrongdoing, consequenly leading to moving on.

Now I'm ready to read another Jill Mansell novel!

The Girl in the Moonlight.

P.S. Recently I said I was only going to be posting twice a week as I couldn't keep up with three times, but sadly, until I work on my scheduling properly, I'm going to be posting on a Monday only. I can't wait to sort this out.

Monday, 1 September 2014


The feeling of "home", feeling content and warm and fuzzy is one I enjoy.

Home is a Friday night with my family. Home is a book and my quilt. It's being around people who bring out the best parts of me. It's seeing McFly live and spending a day with my brother. It's happy and content nerves, and unexpected smiles after sadness. It's the feeling of resting after working hard. Home is a sunny run and a calm stroll. It's making people smile and others making me smile. It's sharing a joke with a friend. It's an unexpected plan and the anticipation towards an event that has been planned for a while. Home is easily talking to someone. It's a clear blue sky in April, a rainy summer day and the sun peaking at snow through fluffy white clouds of winter. Home is tea, biscuits and a film. It's evenings with my best friends and enjoying something I didn't expect to. It's the feeling of fuzziness and conversations with special people. Happiness is barbeques, silly conversations, trips to the seaside and walks. It's sharing good news with those I love and helping them or those helping me when things aren't the brightest. It's hope and happiness and knowing that beyond the rain there are rainbows.

"Home isn't a place, it's a feeling," - Cecelia Ahern.

I wrote this a few months ago, and now, with university approaching, feeling homely is wonderful, but I hope, not in jeopardy. Days and evenings with friends and family; a book in my bedroom; a few hours on my blog; a walk in the recently chilly evenings; everything counts. I'm naturally going to feel a bit out of place when I get to university, but so will many. With things and memories to keep me feeling at home, while I share my days with new people that will hopefully soon make me feel homely, I'm nervously excited for my new adventure. I believe "home" isn't a place, and so I can't wait to find another "home" at university.

Coming back to my home at certain points in breaks is going to be a wonderful, homely feeling, I just know. Right now I'm soaking up the last couple of weeks of my home; everyone close to me. It's such a lovely feeling.

What's "home" to you?

Family & Friends,

The Girl in the Moonlight.
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