Saturday, 30 January 2016

For Good, For Better

It's been three hours and three minutes since Vicky Hiddleston left her husband, Leo... for good. Well, maybe he hasn't read the letter she left yet, she thought, so maybe the leaving-of-husband process had not been completed yet, but she was feeling pretty confident. At least she was until two hours and fifty-eight minutes ago, when she realised her car was low on petrol. "Damn," she muttered, remembering Tuesday's goal to get to the petrol station after work. It was a minor setback but it did start the butterflies in her stomach.

Now, sat with her passport in her hand, about to board a flight to Switzerland, she recalled her last week in London, the last week of her marriage. Only her very closest friends and her parents knew of her plan and although that made the last week heartbreakingly hard, it was harder to come face to face with colleagues who were sad only because they knew she was leaving her job that week; they didn't know that when they said with completely good intentions that they must meet up soon, that Vicky wasn't planning on being in London any time soon. She saw a few of her friends among travels in the last week and she felt so guilty as she almost whispered goodbye, but she knew it all was for the better.

By the evening Vicky would be in Switzerland. Three years ago she celebrated her thirtieth Birthday and when her and Leo stumbled into bed in the very early hours of the next day after a night of celebrating, he had proposed the idea of moving to Spain in ten years time. Things seemed to be getting better between them. Vaguely, but surely. This dream would be good for them. That was a distant dream now. Vicky almost slapped her wrist. No, not a dream. Whatever it is or was, it is distant. But it was time for Vicky's childhood dreams now. And they were just a flight away. And then a few more flights after that.

She checked the weather forecast on her phone that morning and the evening would bring Switzerland a lovely, warm night. Warmer than Vicky was feeling as she stepped onto the plane. But she nodded to herself, as if for encouragement. She knew she could do this. She was still young and although her dreams of travelling, she thought, had vanished, they were the promise of her future. For a better future.

Geneva Lake. Swiss chocolate. And then the lights of Paris. Croissants in the morning. Wine in the evening. She had a job lined up in German in two months time- after a couple of months of brushing up, she felt confident in her German language she acquired as a toddler after spending months in Berlin with her grandparents. What would come next, she wasn't sure but she knew it would be good. It just had to be.

At twenty-three, after her and Leo had a short engagement followed by a lovely wedding and a couple of months of bliss, Vicky fell pregnant. And then Vicky and Leo couldn't have been happier. The nine months brought them closer and closer together, and the first two months were everything they could have hoped for. And then baby Ella became ill and within only half a year, their lives were pulled apart and Ella was gone. The next few years were a mixture of complete grief and Vicky and Leo trying to move on while keeping their baby girl in their hearts.

Then when date nights were bringing smiles to Vicky and Leo's faces and not cringes, they ate at an Italian they went to when they were eighteen. Over held hands and a candle that smelt of freshly washed towels, Leo, almost desperately, but mostly lovingly, Vicky noticed, said, "Are you ready, Vic?" He hadn't called her that for years. At least, she hadn't noticed it. She focussed on the promise of that, and forgot what happened before he uttered those three letters.

"Ready?" she asked.

"For another baby." Tears sprung in his eyes and her fear of this question was balanced with absolute adoration for her husband. Her heartbroken, lovely husband. She could almost see the eighteen year old she fell in love with in front of her. Maybe she was ready too.

With a nod and a nervous, but true smile, Vicky's heart was partly fixed. Within only just over a year, Vicky had two miscarriages and by the second Vicky knew her heart couldn't take anymore trying. Leo was distraught when he realised. "But, Vic, it's me and you... and a baby." Helplessly he cried and she cried but they didn't hold each other.

In the last year, Vicky became very aware of her husband's affair. After a year and a half of Vicky and Leo trying to find peace in their relationship by taking short trips away and cooking for each other, Vicky noticed Leo's almost anger towards her. She knew he felt guilty for it but he wanted a family more than anything and although Vicky's ache for a family was present, she knew if she focussed on herself and her relationship, she could find some kind of bitter, but genuinely happy haven. She wasn't a perfect wife. She spent too much time at the gym and she couldn't get into the films Leo watched at night like he wanted her to so would always go to bed early and read. But they both knew she didn't deserve Leo's upset and sometimes angry eyes.

And so, only a month before Christmas, Vicky learned of Leo's affair. What was strange was that Vicky wasn't surprised, despite falling in love with Leo way over ten years ago because he was the most loyal and loving guy she had ever come across- and ever would come across. Her heart hurt but she also knew Leo would have had a hard time coming into an affair. Now she knew there were no excuses but she knew Leo would have left her immediately when he became aware of being a lot more interested in someone else, but she assumed he couldn't leave her. He couldn't leave his equally heartbroken wife. And this was confirmed when she heard him say it in a hushed conversation he didn't know she could hear.

Vicky didn't snoop or question Leo's stressed and sad eyes when he lied about where he had been three evenings a week. She stopped asking. He only sometimes told of a lie. She wondered whether he even knew she knew. Instead of dwelling she planned how she could continue saving and where she would go when she had enough money. She couldn't face confronting Leo and she didn't want the mess afterwards. She knew, in time, a divorce would be needed but she would deal with that later. She knew Leo would understand that she would need space before she could return back to London- especially if that was simply for a divorce. These months would also give her closure. By the time she was on the plane to Switzerland most of her goodbye to her husband would have been done months before.

Vicky's adventure above the clouds on a plane to Switzerland left her thinking of her dreams to travel the world as a teenager. She didn't regret her relationship or the time on her marriage- she loved Leo and she expected she always would. She wasn't angry or disappointed. But she was sad. The years seemed stained with heartbreak but her teenage years and early twenties were full of smiles and love and everything she could have dreamed of. Even in the tough years that followed, her love for Leo never wavered and many amazing memories were made. She saw her husband love her, but soon it must have turned into pity. Still love and care, but more of a unconditional kind of love- and not a particularly nice one. She didn't want that. And she didn't want Leo to have to have that either.

Yes, she still loved Leo but in the months that followed after finding out about the affair, she healed her heartbreak at the realisation of there being another woman with the excitement of her travelling plans. She hoped Leo would find happiness because she knew she wanted to find hers. As the plane landed she knew Leo would have read the letter. Her parents would be picking up her car (she couldn't bare the thought of them dropping her off at the airport because she wasn't sure she'd be able to read) and well, Vicky's dream had begun.

Two weeks later, Vicky stepped out into the warm August Swiss air. The sky was blue and she sipped her water before stepping forward into a morning run. She felt happy in her loose, carefree top and short shorts that weren't an option before. She would never have been happy in them. And yet, now, she felt younger than she had in years. Soon, she ran alongside the Geneva lake and adored every sparkle on the water and every cool breeze that helped her along. It had only been a couple of weeks and yet Vicky's heart felt lighter.

She often thought of Ella, her baby girl. Her daughter. She missed her every day, like she always had but she found her so much easier to think about. She'd partially shut off memories of her baby girl but when she wasn't travelling new places and seeing new things (with Ella's smile still brightening her ambition), she would bring out old photographs. Mostly of just Ella or just Ella and herself but sometimes of Leo and Ella too. And that was okay. She mourned her marriage a long time ago and now she just felt fondness.

Whether it was her phone's reception or Leo's lack of words, Vicky received a message from Leo as late as three days into her being in Switzerland. Vicky of course noticed how long it took but she never begrudged him for it. Vicky could see her love's pain in the words he text and she expected a lot of regret too. As soon as she stepped into her new life, she remembered everything she loved about Leo loving her and she knew it would hurt him, but she knew she had every right to her new adventure and she knew, despite having an affair not just on her, but their marriage, he would miss her and he would be loving her while she embraced her first part to her adventure.

A text can't tell you how sorry I am and I admire you for your courage, Vic. There isn't much I can say because the last couple of years of silence said everything we feel, didn't it? I messed up and I didn't even deserve the letter you left me. Thank you for loving me for so long and thank you for telling me you always will. After what I've done, maybe you won't know that I always will too. But I will. We've been through a lot and this guilt from my actions will be strong on my shoulders for the rest of my life. Because my god, I remember everything about our younger years. And I remember the good in between. Thank you for giving me Ella, for as heartbreakingly short our time with her was, it broke us because she was me and you in a little, lovely thing and it was everything we spoke of when our relationship became serious. What I would do to go back. But there's no time for that now.
Vic, you go baby girl, you reach for your stars.

Leo was a writer and what his readers didn't know was that his heart behind his words could only be seen by Vicky. When he was in love with what he was writing, she could read it. When he meant every word of what he was writing, she breathed it in like it was the air she needed to live. His words made her cry and she kept the text for a few days more. And then she deleted it. It captured everything good about her and Leo and it was also marked with everything sad and everything bad she had been through.

She finished her run and sat cross legged on the grass outside her home for the next few weeks. She grinned at the sun on her skin and she closed her eyes feeling incredibly at peace.

For good, for better, here Vicky was. And she felt happy.


Sun & Water,

The Girl in the Moonlight.

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

My Little Experiment | 3rd Blogging Birthday

January 27th. It's a big day for me. Over three years ago it would have been any other January day that was probably reminding me that, yes, Christmas really is over. Now January isn't that miserable a month for me because it is the month I began blogging in- 3 years ago now!

Happy Blogging Birthday to me!

This blog has made for positivity spreading into lots of different parts of my life. Not only am I not miserable in January, partially because I get to look forward to a new year of blogging and the fact January starts this- January is the next chapter of my blogging experience and I get to shape that... this month! It's one of my creative outlets and it means I can approach the rest of my life with positivity because blogging makes me feel so refreshed for all kinds of reasons and allows for the best version of me to pop up anywhere.

And man, what an amazing community we bloggers have! I think my involvement can sadly fluctuate and this must be improved because I've come into contact with some truly awesome and talented people and I adore reading their blogging journey and even watching their friendships over platforms such as Twitter.

Blogging pushes me as a person in the best possible way. I have challenges such as Blogmas to keep me focussed and motivated and in normally means the months that follow are inspired because of such a challenge. Blogmas 2015 has, for example, made me very excited for a challenge I so hope I will be giving myself in March this year! It lets me be humble and also confident in my abilities in writing but also in other ways too. Blogging is a special part of my heart that definitely makes up an awesome part in me.

I am so delighted with this milestone. I woke up with a little grin easily appearing on my face. I must always thank myself for starting this blog and today, I thank the three-year-younger me for making that step! Happy Blogday you! I feel really thankful for this amazing platform and for anyone reading this, thank you for taking the time to have a little look. For this writer at heart, it means the world!

A Blog & A Dream,

The Girl in the Moonlight.

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl - Jesse Andrews

It's been a long January in terms of reading- I haven't read much at all! Due to exams and getting myself organised, reading has taken a bit of a backseat and I've hated every moment of that aspect. I started Me and Earl and the Dying Girl before exams got a bit "hey, I'm iN YOUR FACE NOW" and I picked it up immediately after. Now, here we are!

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is about a girl with cancer and a boy who is encouraged to spend time with her. Rachel always wanted to be friends with Greg as a girl and when his mother tells him he should cheer her up, he is often confused by how easily he can make her laugh, especially when most of the time he was only there because he felt like he had to be. Rachel learns about the films Greg and his friend Earl make. He insists they are terrible and she insists they're not.

Greg is a differently classic young adult narrator. He is very funny, incredibly truthful and sometimes a bit on the irritating side- and he think he's supposed to be. We have to consider that he can be a slightly unreliable narrator. Although he is honest, he is very hard on himself and we like him for this. However it means we are seeing his world through his slightly too modest/slightly over-hard-on-himself eyes. Sometimes, though, as a narrator he is too truthful and we see his flaws- but they are immature flaws and it can be very endearing considering his age.

Once again, through a novel, we are thrown into a representation of an American high school and the struggles that Greg faces with it. It's very clear he despises school and tries to make his experience as easy on himself as possible. We enjoy his simple outlook and his happiness he finds with his one close friend, Earl. Earl is a funny character- a character whose humour might make you question how he and Greg are so close. But it really does make sense. And Earl becomes quite the moral character, guiding us to find the answers we might expect Greg to find.

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is a refreshing novel- a truthful one. As I've said a million times before, I respect honest books more than anything! We're hit in the face with how sucky the world can be and we're allowed to find lessons in a novel that we should always carry with us!

I rate this novel 4/5! I cannot wait to snuggle up with the film in a few days!

Ice-Cream & Homemade Films,

The Girl in the Moonlight.

P.S. Bloggy blog blog, I am so sorry about the terrible quality of photography- one day it will be mastered, one day!

Sunday, 24 January 2016

A Little Running Diary #5

It has been a while since I’ve sat down and written a post for this series which aims to let my blog get to know a bit more about my running. It’s partially because I could easily produce posts that even I don’t find interesting or useful and I don't think that'd be great for the old blog. Although today’s post isn’t going to solely be about running, I’ve decided to write down my exercise/health plan for this week. I’m going to set myself some challenges and if it’s written on the internet, I can imagine that will give me all the more boost to crack on!


My timetable for Monday at uni is pretty packed but in between two lectures I have a two hour break. As I enjoyed my walk last week (so much so that I blogged about it!) I thought, so long as it isn’t raining horrific amounts, I will be taking a little walk through the local park. Not only will it help my brain if the lectures before have been stressful, it may wake me up if I need to be woken up and I can take in nature in a relaxing way! We forget how good walking is for us and some consider it a chore but it so doesn’t have to be! Then I shall be hitting the gym for about six o’clock and I will go through my arm workout!


On Tuesday I shall be going for a quick one mile run after my lectures. I’m trying to work on my pace because I want to be working on personal bests more and more and I always need to remember that different distances and different speed runs are needed because otherwise the body gets used to the same kind of routine. Later on in the evening I will be going to the gym to work on the old legs!


I have a pretty quiet day Wednesday and so it shall be a day for a longer run and I shall set the target of five miles and I’m going to hope for a good time. Late afternoon I will be going to the gym and working on the bits and bobs in between arms and legs!


Thursday is going to be my rest day and so Friday morning, I will be going for a six/seven mile run! I’m going to take it easy and not plan for any time. I like taking in my surroundings and having a break from worrying about times (despite, of course, this being the year for personal bests!).


Saturday brings a cycle ride with a friend and a late afternoon swim with another pal. Swimming is so bloomin’ good for your body and I restarted it last year. Past being a kid I’ve never kept it up as a hobby other than enjoying splashing about on holiday. After starting again it all got a bit addictive!


I'm going to go on another "quick as possible" one mile run and call that a week!

I also want to set myself so healthy eating goals. I adore eating my fruit and vegetables and I'm good at doing it but I'm also good at snacking! I'm going to cut down on the snacking, eat more fruit and make sure I'm drinking enough water every day!

Walks & Water,

The Girl in the Moonlight.

Friday, 22 January 2016

Oh But It's Not Just Banter

I have an aggressive annoyance taking form as a knot in my stomach and a blog post all about it might just let it loosen every so slightly. Because of my gosh, I'm sick of this "just banter" phase that has only strengthened over the last couple of years. The phrase doesn't excuse anything and for goodness' sake isn't is so obviously clear that one who has carried out a whole "just banter" performance (even if the words are not uttered) does not get to decide whether someone's feelings are hurt as a result of it or who it affects?

I have watched people say the most outrageous things and when it has caused sadness or anger, like an out of free jail card, "It's just banter!" is said as if any negative reaction is completely unnecessary. What is even worse, sometimes it even works. It can completely belittle someone's feelings and make them really feel like they've overreacted when that is totally unfair. The "Just Banterer" almost always comes back with the most ignorant response to save face or to further embarrass people and it's just the definition of lame.

Not only this, but we don’t know what’s going on in anyone’s life. We have no idea. If we think a friend is responding ridiculously to a joke and maybe they’re not in their normal, joyful mood, maybe something else is going on- maybe they're just having a down day! And they don’t have to take something well if they can't! If we naively/or not even very nicely say something and someone takes it badly (rightly or even wrongly!), we should not take it upon ourselves to make them feel bad. I’ve made jokes and instantly regretted them at the sight of someone’s face. They’ve not been cruel jokes or ones aimed to hurt but it did hurt and that sucks. But we can make up for it.

I watched one friend make a comment about another friend’s relationship- a perfectly lovely relationship. Friend Just Banter (FJB) said to Completely Understandably Upset Friend (CUUF) that she takes up too much of her boyfriend’s time and never lets him out (complete and utter rubbish). CUUF was upset and bit back and FJB not only continued his argument but acted like she should calm down. *Excuse me while I shout into nothingness.*
There will be plenty of situations where for whatever reason someone took a joke badly and they wish they didn't- we can work together to fix this. Sometimes communication gets a bit confused but we can, either independently or as a team, fix this. Just don't utter, "banter though"/"just banter" pretty, pretty please.
Tea & Breakfast,
The Girl in the Moonlight.

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Fresh Winter Air

A few days ago I was cooped up in my bedroom at university and I felt my mind becoming clouded and stressed and I started to ache from frustration. Revision was becoming a little too much and the end of exams seemed so distant that I was beginning to wonder if the concept was a lie. It turns out that it was not lie and I was just being dramatic. But hey, we get a little dramatic when we're stressed and I'll tell you what I did to make my head a little less full of clouds and rain.

I stepped into the crisp but blue and sunny winter day. And it did me the world of good.

I disconnected myself from my phone and I walked around a beautiful and peaceful park. There weren't many people around but there were a few joggers, some dog walkers and a couple of people minding their own business. I admired the trees that are dotted alongside the pavement and the green that is the most dominant and gorgeous colour. I sat on a bench and listened to the lake's water run and it eased my mind immediately. I was looking inside of a book in Waterstones the other day (one I will definitely purchase soon) about 52 things that make the author happy; one was running water. I realised as I sat and took in the little ducks that floated and the tweeting of the birds, running water is one of my favourite things too.

I didn't sit for too long because I knew I wanted to have a little walk about as I wasn't going to be able to work out that day and I also didn't have long until I did need to face revision again. (Spoiler: I faced revision far more relaxed and ready afterwards.) I walked along the gravelly pavement and noted how prettily blue the sky was. It reminded me how much I adore and can't wait for summer but also that winter is beautiful too. And winter was a really good friend to me that day.

I bought a hot chocolate and sat on a bench where not too long after a dog came up to me. My heart felt happy at his or her approach and I stroked her thick soft ears and giggled and I could see the dog's happiness. We were both out for a walk and we both appreciated it. I walked slowly back to revision but I dreaded it less.

We all need a break sometimes. And I will be finding mine more and more through little walks and nature treats.

Trees & Water,

The Girl in the Moonlight.

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Being Passionate

When I was younger, I’d limit myself with the things I loved. I was good at running, I was known for being good at English and maths and I loved playing the piano. With running I’d sell myself short and give myself a hard time beforehand. I’d make myself so nervous that it caused me to dread particular events. At the only point I wasn’t nervous was once I’d settled into the swing (whether that needed to be two seconds or two minutes) of things and then as soon as it stopped – even when I did super well – I’d dread the next time I’d have to run a race or whatever. With English and maths I’d shrug off people’s comments about me being good at them and I’d hand in a test feeling completely not confident when it probably didn’t go that badly. And with piano I’d get myself in this bubble of negativity and just not enjoy anything because I was so worried about a performance I would have to give.

I loved all of these things and considered them my favourite things to do. Of course there’s a level of nerves that can be good and a level of being self conscious too, but I don’t think I approached these activities passionately because I'd feel so glum. Recently I’ve fallen in love with the idea of passion and having a passion for these things we want to do well in. I think I've always also feared not coming across as modest when modesty is a natural process for most of us. Being excited and confident doesn't mean you can't be modest and "not arrogant."

I know an amazing lady who adores running and fitness and encourages all of her friends (including me) to get involved and do this and do that. And I love it about her. Why shouldn’t you love something and talk about it and encourage others. How awesome is that?! She gets up every morning and among other things I know she loves with all of her heart, she can’t wait to swim and run and reach loads of goals.

And then there’s my brother whose job is very “idea based.” He’s full of ideas, my brother, and when he gets one he is particularly excited about (because, I must admit, it’s likely to be an ace idea) he sits and he works with a smile on his face and he gets it done. And he shows me with complete excitement in his eyes. It’s one reason my brother is so cool.

I’ve already approached 2016 with passion fuelling things I do and it can only get better because January is very exam-based and so once this next week is over, I’ll be ready to get so much done. I want this year to be a year of new things and progressing with "old things", and so far I’ve started one new activity and I’ve experienced a new “thing” and I loved every moment of them both.

I want to approach life excited. Because I do feel damn lucky and I should face the world passionately as often as I can. I should take opportunities, make opportunities and do good. And that’s what this year and beyond is going to be about. I’m going to see new places, feel new feelings, try my very best and help others.

New & Old Hobbies,

The Girl in the Moonlight.

Monday, 18 January 2016

Mourning Those We Don't Know

The world has already lost, most famously, David Bowie and Alan Rickman in 2016. Of course even more undeserved are now gone, but due to feeling a bit glum ignorance will prevail and I will not find out, and of course, so many more I can never comprehend. I was taken aback to hear about David Bowie and I feel devastated for his family. His poor family. And his friends and fans and all those affected. I smiled sadly paying my tribute which was listening to his songs and remembering them. No death can be rated as worse than another and so please don’t think I mean anything like that at all when I say; man, I’m devastated by Alan Rickman’s death.

I was out and about and I heard the man on the radio say heartbreaking news had come in. Alan Rickman has died. I just stopped. He will be important to many members of the public just like me and oh my gosh, it’s on my mind. To me he is the man that translated the character Snape incredibly to the screen. The man who helped make Love Actually one of my favourite films. Harry Potter, like it is for so many is one of my favourite series and Alan Rickman will be in my heart; always.

I heard someone say, “It’s not like you know him.” No, I didn’t know him but my first and most important thoughts go out immediately to his family and friends and to him and his life cut short. They come first and foremost in my grief. Naturally I’ve lost an idol, but not a building block to my life.

And that thought deserves its own paragraph. It deserves all of the words, and partially because not every relative/friend of a passed away celebrity would want (understandably) my sadness. It just doesn’t compare.

I do cry, though. The industry has lost yet another great, and I’ve never been as affected, with all due respect to a public figure’s death as the wonderful Alan Rickman’s passing. I watched the final Harry Potter film at the end of last week and I shed a tear for him. I’ll shout “No Harry!” at Love Actually when that time rolls around again and, after reading such amazing, sincere and grateful things about him, I will take his awesome qualities into my life with me. Because what a wonderful man it seems and I believe he was.
We mourn those we don't know because we are sympathetic, emotional beings and that is a good thing. It means we care and we want to improve the world where we can. A lot of us know people affected by cancer and a lot of us sadly will. Cancer doesn’t discriminate- it isn’t picky. We’ve got to do as much as we can to stop this terrible, terrible thing. Below, for Alan Rickman, for David Bowie and all of the others affected by cancer, I leave these links below… If you can, do something awesome today.
Always & Always,
The Girl in the Moonlight.

Thursday, 14 January 2016

Judging a Book by its Cover | Chapter One

For the sake of this post and the others I will do like it, I'm going to be judging a book by its cover! We're always taught not to and we definitely shouldn't. I definitely don't judge actual books by the cover because if I did that I'd miss out on some ace stories. So, today, I'm going to be talking about the covers of some beautiful books. I want to do more of these posts and to be quite frank, off the top of my head, I can't think of a cover I don't like and so I'm going to be quite picky- otherwise I'll just end up talking about all of my books!

The Naughtiest Girl in the School by Enid Blyton
The Naughtiest Girl in the School set of books were my favourite series when I was about six and it quite frankly still is up there with my other favourites! Enid Blyton novels are timeless and I adore all of the front covers to her novels. I think The Naughtiest Girl in the School's (the first novel) cover is particularly awesome because it's so colourful- like the main character, Elizabeth. It shows her to be causing trouble like she often does and I have to say, as yellow is my favourite colour, the colour plays a big part in this being one of my favourite front covers!
Billy and Me by Giovanna Fletcher
I adore the front cover of Billy and Me because it represents Sophie May's lovely home. It's so warm and inviting and cute like where she lives and it sets up the romantic, sweet tone of the novel. I love that it has a couple standing on the hill which shows the importance of love and home in the novel. It's just a really pretty cover and I remember loving looking at it when it first arrived at my house!
The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion
I love how simple the front cover of The Rosie Project is. I love the white background- I think it makes it very poignant. The lobster and the heart made from it always intrigued me before I went out and bought it. I love the link of this image to the novel. It's a very simple cover but bright and quirky- like, of course, the awesome Don.
Stolen by Lucy Christopher 

I've seen two different front covers for Stolen and I adore both. This one, I love, because it's so gorgeous. A simple statement, but a true one. I like that Stolen is big across the middle of the page- showing us how scary and serious the situation is (the main character is kidnapped by a man in an airport). I love how enchanting the image of the girl looking at the sky and landscape is. It shows the conflict that is in the novel- does Ty, the kidnapper, really love Gemma or is it as awful as we all first thought? The stars and the birds in the sky are so pretty and it's haunting to see that and read, "You took me to a prison of sand and stars."

The Longest Ride by Nicholas Sparks

Nicholas Sparks' front covers always encompass the main relationship in the story and The Longest Ride captures their love perfectly. There are, however, two main relationships in this story and on the top we have the younger couple- who get to know each other throughout the novel - and on the bottom we have the couple who have had a lifetime of love and would love for many more if they could. It's very bright and promising and it just makes me feel all warm inside!


I can't wait to do another one of these posts! What are your favourite covers?

Covers & Stories,

The Girl in the Moonlight.

Saturday, 9 January 2016

A Really Good Week

I am starting this post, unsure as to whether I will be publishing it or not- it may well end up being a lot of gibberish sewed into the most boring post. I guess, if you're reading this, it turned out to be a smidge better than boring, but if not, it's a "nearly made it to the internet" diary entry and that's not so bad. Yesterday someone said it's so worth your time to document your life because one day you'll want to look back at it, not only as a reminder of all of the good things, but to see your life happened. Even if it was/seemed sucky at the time.

This week wasn't suck, though. It's been a really good week.

"A really good week" seems like a dull title, I guess. A really good week. Not fabulous? Not mind-blowingly awesome? Not something so noteworthy that I should write a book all about this last week? But, I love "just good" weeks. Surely that's a noteworthy way to start 2016! Surely it's notable because it shows the average weeks where I don't have a lot going on and I'm actually really focussed on studying can still be good. Of course they can!

So the first full week of 2016 has been categorised as "complete!", and here I am with a smile on my face. I've been revising for a couple of exams and I've felt more confident than usual for them. I still have a little way to go but I'm feeling... good about it. Not only this but I received a good result from university this week, and of course, that has boosted me further. My down time has been surrounded by laughter. Lame, but true. And it's made revision breaks all the more appreciated. I've spent a lot of my designated "not revising" time with my best friend, and it's been so refreshing. Not only this but I am reading (although slowly because of revision) Me and Earl and the Dying Girl and I adore it. Sometimes I have twenty minute periods of go! go! go! revision and then I have five/ten minutes of reading and it means I'm so ready to revise when I have to close the book, and so ready to relax for a little bit after doing so. Something else that has made this "need to get on with stuff" week more fulfilling is running. I've run a six mile run and two two mile'ns! I didn't set any aims for long distances this week because I knew I needed a lot of time focussed on revision and I cycled quite a bit this week so I haven't felt bad about it! Goals are being reached or are on there way to being reached already... Feels good!

Not only this, but I've been making plans with friends- seeing a best friend I haven't seen in about half a year, which is rubbish! I've been getting excited with another best friend about their Birthday plans and I've planned a weekend away! We need to remember to not get bogged down in what's going on right now- of course this can't always be the case and it can often be "easier said than done" but what is happening now doesn't dictate for ever. My January is focussed around revision and I'm dealing better with stress than ever and not only that, but I know, for me, a lot worse things could be happening. This means future plans are really promising, with the knowledge that I can still make little memories in these exam-filled weeks.

If I, in a few hours decide to post this... Happy Saturday! I'm not noting down any schedule and posting on Saturdays will never be a regular thing but I like the idea of clicking on "publish" today, so hopefully 2016 will see the blog a little friendly with Saturdays. We'll see, ay!

A Good Week & A Happy Blogger,

The Girl in the Moonlight.

Friday, 8 January 2016


Never knowing what version of his dad he was to return home to was always on Colin's mind at school. He never dreaded seeing his dad's face when he walked into the living room, throwing his bag down with a sigh. He just wished he could prepare himself for what version of Colin his dad needed. Except it probably wouldn't change anything- whatever Colin's dad wanted, Colin never found it in him to act the right kind of positive. Sometimes he didn't act any kind of positive. It's 15:32 on an average January day and Colin closes his eyes, opens them again and pushes the living room door open.

The Dad-venturer

This was Colin's least favourite. All Colin wanted to do when he returned home was watch TV, eat food and maybe do some homework... If it was due in the next day. The Dad-venturer would intercept before Colin could even sprawl across the sofa. One time Colin's almost luxurious plans were taken away from him because The Dad-venturer wanted to fly and kite. Colin took a deep breath but he knew it could be worse. Because not too long after while the sky was giving Cornwall the rainiest afternoon known to man (an exaggeration but an understable one, Colin would protest, when you found out what The Dad-venturer had in for him this particular afternoon), Colin's father rushed up from the sofa upon hearing his son coming into the living room with a grin plastered all over his aging, tired but somewhat happy face. "We are going for puddle splashing adventures with an ice-cream for dessert."

The "let's bake even though neither of us know how to" dad (TLBETNOUKHTD)

This version of Colin's dad could be considered bearable. If he didn't have poor taste in music and chose to put the stereo up to the highest volume any stereo possible could while they turned the kitchen into a mess. One time they baked cookies. Now, remember this term is being used lightly because, well, they just turned into a crumbly mess that Colin wasn't going to attempt to eat. No way. "But they could be so tasty!" TLBETNOUKHTD insisted with a cheesy smile. He winked and picked up a handful, putting them in his mouth as Colin protested. Neither spoke this thought but both wondered, whether, when Colin's dad was ill the next day, it was because of the "cookies."

The Dad with the Music

Now, Colin was the least musically-inspired kid you could meet. The thought of singing aloud to anyone made him feel nauseia and he had the rhythm of... well, he had his own rhythm, let's say. This would be his least favourite form of his dad to come home to, but it was normally over within twenty mintues and he didn't have to step outside, and so he just counted down the minutes until he could stop mumbling lyrics to an piece of 80s music his father spent the week learning on piano and left before his dad would change his mind and make him start again.

Only, when Colin opened the door he wasn't approached by any of these dads. Dubiously, he entered the almost silent room and followed the soft sobbing. "Dad?" He quickened his pace and found his dad, sat on the armchair, crying into the quiet. "Dad?" His dad didn't even flinch. He just carried on sobbing. Colin looked down to his dad's hands where he was cradling a picture of himself, his wife and Colin. His mum.

Quickly, Colin searches his mind and almost immediately, it clicks: January 7th. January 7th. It's been a year since Colin's mum left while his dad was working on a project in the garage and Colin was at school.

"Oh dad," Colin's heart broke for his dad, and for himself too. Colin didn't want to see his mum again but he so wish he could go back in time and do everything to make her stay.

Not that he should have to convince his own mother to stay.

Not when Colin and his dad were left for another family. Another life.

A Dad & A Son,

The Girl in the Moonlight.

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

A Time I Sucked

Today I revisited a memory created by eleven year old me. It's a memory that makes me cringe and one that caused me to feel incredibly bad as soon as I was, well, a horrible eleven year old child one lunch time at school. Feeling bad doesn't make up for it but I definitely have tried to make it up to the person I was rubbish to, even if he would probably just laugh if I told him the memory- something we briefly spoke about a few years ago but not in depth.

So it was lunch time and about the time England decides to get warm just to fool us. I was with a friend when a boy came up to me and said "Teddy (let's call him Teddy) says will you go out with him?"

Let's now flashback to a few weeks before where I watched a popular but evidently harsh girl be asked out on behalf of someone else. She then said, "Tell him he should ask me himself." So the friend obviously told the boy and soon after we had the popular girl being confronted (nervously) by the boy with the question. He poured his heart out into said question and she brutally but simply said, "No."

And now back to picturing me faced by a good friend asking a question for a lovely, lovely guy. What did I say? Yes, you know it. Something along the lines of, "Tell him he should ask himself." I remember repeating, "I don't believe you" to the friend while he protested it was true, but hey, it doesn't make what I said any less gruelling.

Off Teddy's mate trotted and soon after, we have Teddy and I looking at each other awkwardly as the question lingered. I remember my heart plummeting at the realisation of how horrible I'd been. I frowned and quietly said, "No."

Thankfully, "Teddy" is still my friend- I'll be seeing the guy next week! So luckily me being cruel didn't ruin that but I still feel terrible. Of course the overall message is to treat everyone with kindness- especially when they're taking a jump they are probably a bit nervous about! I feel so guilty about what I did but I'm delighted to say that he's in a lovely relationship and I'm delighted to see his smile so often!

A Friend & A Smile,

The Girl in the Moonlight.

Monday, 4 January 2016

Stolen - Lucy Christopher

If you would all just give me a moment so I can fangirl at how intensely amazing this novel is... asdfghjkl. Okay, done. Almost. ASDFGHJKL. We've got pretty much 12 months until I'll be blogging about the best books I've read this year and this one is first in the queue.

Stolen is about Gemma, a sixteen year old girl from London. When she is getting a drink from a cafĂ© in an airport in Bangkok, she meets Ty. As charming as he seems to her, it's not long before she is kidnapped and in the outback in Australia, far from any civilisation and living very closely with her captor. Love and hatred are initially competing with each other. Ty built his life for a whole six years for Gemma. Gemma is now terrified and disgusted with the guy who swears she'll love living here... for the rest of her life.

This book is amazing for, I guess, unsettling reasons. I've never read a book that's left me so on edge. I don't believe that's the only reason I am in love with this book, though. It's an interesting plot and not one I've read anything close to before. I felt intense for a lot of the first half but I became more relaxed but my disgust for Ty never wavered. The aspect of the wild is quite central to this novel but it made me feel quite uneasy. Firstly it all, of course, was very dangerous. The intense heat, the wild animals, the spiders... Ty. It was, however, so interesting to read about. As the book is formed as a letter from Gemma to Ty, we learn a lot about her character's development throughout the novel and it is awesome to be so closely tied to her thoughts. I think this makes us all the more uneasy though because we see everything first hand. Even though it is written in hindsight, her honesty never seems anything but genuine and it makes for a very gripping novel.

As for Gemma, I adore her. She's a strong female character who never loses sight of how wrong the situation is and although she is careful with what she says to Ty, I loved reading her thoughts about the situation and I loved her ambition to break free. Ty, on the other hand, is not my favourite. I think a reader's thoughts toward Ty are likely to change from person to person and no one's thoughts about him will make the book any less fantastic. I find him nothing but repulsive. Of course I empathise with his back story, but I just was shouting that he needs help and yeah, he needed it six years before and he should have got it then, but dude, admit you're in the wrong, serve your time, and get that help too! I can't find it in me to like him even if we see through Gemma's eyes that he has admirable qualities and even that he really does love Gemma... He's still very rightly the villain.

There is a twist to this novel, one that is known to most readers before but I don't want to cover it all the same. It makes the novel heart-breaking in that I ache for Gemma to be okay. I adore this novel. It made my heart race, it made my stomach turn. It really is a read for all.

I give this amazing novel - a FABULOUS start to 2016 - 5/5!

Sun & Sand,

The Girl in the Moonlight.

Saturday, 2 January 2016

My Blogging Bucket List | 2016

I always feel great about my lovely little blogging hobby but right now, I'm feeling the most positive I ever have. That's got to be a good point to be at when you've got a blogging bucket list to write, hasn't it? I really want to keep going back to this list during the year (so that's kind of an aim in itself), so, here, we go, 2016. Let's make this awesome!

I want to post the most amount of posts I have in one year

This could seem like one without a lot of substance because blogging isn't about numbers but 2015 brought with it the most amount of posts I've ever posts and it felt super good. So, with this in mind I want to exceed 200 posts, whilst also being conscious that if I want to beat a personal best, I also have to do that well. The majority must be good, good posts!
Lots of challenges
I really enjoyed challenging myself with the amount of posts I was posting and I want to make sure I set myself at least four challenges! Hopefully I'll have at least one "different" kind of one, but either way, I want to test myself. After all, if I want to write as an occupation, I need to get me some challenging in!

That age old issue of a schedule
A schedule and I aren't the most reliable, although I am not terrible at schedules and I can even thrive under one- especially when I'm super inspired with blogging. All the same, I'm going to stay clear of writing schedules anywhere. Obviously there are challenges I want to set myself, as seen above, and they are likely to come hand-in-hand with a schedule, but I'm going to aim to have an idea in my mind when I'm posting but not to post it so I don't find myself frustrated!

To have a happy, sunny blog

I'm directing this goal more towards the May-August months, however it must apply to all the months around it as well. In the summery months my blog knows the feeling of loneliness. And I don't want that. My blog makes me feel only feelings of comfort and warmth so why should I neglect it so much when I really don't want to. This could be such a challenge for me when these months roll around but I really mean it this year! *Has stern word with self.*

And there we have it! I'll have lots of aims for it as the year goes on but I'm going to keep this list to these four.

Here marks the end of December/January round up/set up kind of posts. So, 2016, let's have it!

Writing & Posting,

The Girl in the Moonlight.

Friday, 1 January 2016

A Hello to 2016

If you haven't heard, it's 2016! Yippeee! It's a bit grey outside but I can feel refreshed hope all around me and I can't wait to indulge in and act upon the hope I'm feeling. We have a new year in front of us and I'm feeling all of those generic feelings, and I adore it. To celebrate the new year, I'm going talk about the aims I set for last year and whether I completed them and I'm also going to set myself a few goals (with many more to come) for this year.

In last year's resolution post (HERE) I aimed to really get going with my writing, to keep progressing with my running and to read a variety of books. My 2015 was my best blogging year yet and so in that way my writing really did get going. I put myself under pressure and did myself proud. However I said my writing would get going because of my book I want to write and, well, it didn't... At all. My running? Running is one of my favourite things ever and last year I got stronger and stronger (even if I had some terrible runs). And then there's reading. I had a great year of reading and I did vary my reading quite a lot although not as much as I'd like to. I really got into YA last year which I loved but I didn't read a complete variety of books.

This year? I want to carry on with these aims above and...

~ I want to get into some different sports!

~ I want to try out new adventure-y things!

~ I want my organisation to improve!

~ I want to work out this cooking thing!

It feels good to have this post in front of me, rounding up a few of the things I want this year to stand for. Tomorrow I will post my blogging bucket list and then there we are, dancing on into 2016 with a prepared blogger, excited to start my proper 2016 blog!

So, I'm going to have my lunch, plan a blog post, have a read, go on a run and really get into this 2016 thing.

Happy New Year everyone!

Aims & Hope,

The Girl in the Moonlight.
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