Oh You Pretty Chitty Bang Bang

Last sunday I went to Sheffield to see Chitty Chitty Bang Bang live on stage. It’s a show I’ve wanted to see ever since I went through a hardcore Dick van Dyke phase – hello! He’s the Harrison Ford of children’s movies! He’s not in the show, of course, but he starred in the 1968-movie, and that was reason enough for me to get into it.

The story is about the inventor Caractacus Potts and his two young children, Jeremy and Jemima, whose super-fast car, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (because that’s the sound it makes!), is the object of desire of Vulgaria’s Baron Bomburst. When the Baron kidnaps Granpa Potts the Potts family comes to his rescue, along with the beautiful Truly Srumptious – but arriving in Vulgaria they find out that the Baron and his wife detest children and that Jeremy and Jemima are in great danger of being abducted by the hideous Child Catcher.

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I am really not a cars kind of person, but the story just had me. It’s bit like Grease for children. And I’ll admit the first time they started the car and it made this awful sound, my mind went straight into thinking, THAT’S AIR POLLUTION! SAVE THE ENVIRONMENT! But then how could I resist a car that only runs when you say «PLeeeeaaaase!»

Only how you convince a child after seeing the show that the Child Catcher is not real, I shall never know. He seemed pretty convincing to me, and whenever his track comes up on my iPod i press skip. Eergh, everytime I hear him go «Childreeeeen!» I physically shudder.

'Chitty Chitty Bang Bang' Tour

To say I enjoyed the show is a slight understatement. I absolutely loved it! It’s weird and loud and bright, and oh my, the costumes! Unlike the film, the show is set in a post-World-War-I era, so everything’s a bit more colourful and funky. What I was most impressed with, though, were the child actors. Lucy and Henry, who played the roles of Jemima and Jeremy Potts, were in every way a delight to look at! They played their parts so well and with so much heart. I simply cannot imagine the effort the producers of the show had to put into training these kids – how do you get them to stay concentrated, and how do you prevent them from forgetting their lines in stage fright? They have to act and sing and dance, sometimes everything at once, and yet they didn’t screw up once.

Everytime I watch a live musical I am freshly impressed by the actors. They’re all professionals, so as well I should be of course – but they never cease to amaze me. Lee Mead and Carrie Hope Fletcher make such a wonderful pair with their curly hair and quirkie costumes, and they make it incredibly hard to imagine any other actor taking over the role. Actually, Carrie Fletcher could just change her name to Truly Scrumptious and pull it off. You look at her and think, Hang on – she’s not the candy maker’s daughter?!

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This show makes me consider getting my driver’s licence just so I’d be legally allowed to steer a flying car! If you have the chance to see the show, please go watch it! What a happy time you’ll spend! It’s beautifully done, it’s laugh-out-loud funny, and it’s romantic – it’s everthing I need in a stage production; blast it, it’s everything I need in life!

All the pictures featured in this post I downloaded from the musical’s website!

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Something to do with Kindness

A few days ago I watched a video by Carrie Hope Fletcher in which she describes her experiences at stage door. Given the recent events I felt that it would be wrong not to talk about this.

Carrie is an actress and is currently performing in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. In the video she talks about all the abuse that she has been given when leaving the theatre through stage door – from people physically harming her to enthusiastic fans taking away her things –, and the abuse she has been sent via social media upon not appearing at stage door at all.

The situation we currently live in appears to be one where abuse is not such a horrendous word any more, because it has become an everyday phenomenon. It has not even been two weeks since a man walked into a gay night club in Orlando and shot fifty people dead. It’s been eight months since a hundred and thirty people were killed in Paris. Three months ago more than thirty people died in a terror attack in Brussels. Two weeks ago Christina Grimmie was shot by a madman with a gun. And this is just concentrating on incidents happening in the western hemisphere.

I realise that none of these things are linked in any direct way to what Carrie Fletcher is going through. But somehow I also don’t think that there is no connection at all. I doubt that any oft he people waiting for her outside the theatre were or are members of Islamic terrorist organisations. But what I do believe is that the people who join IS or Boko Haram or who go off hurting and killing others on their own accord, those people once waited outside theatres and concert halls to meet their idols too. Those are the same people who would try and kiss someone against their will, who shout angrily when things don’t go their way – those people once could not bear to be rejected.

I’m saying this because I know that members of terrorist groups are not all African or Turks, they are Swiss, German, French and Dutch. They are people who grew up in the same surroundings we did, but who did not feel accepted, who were hurt and did not belong anywhere. And if that’s how you feel all the time, then why not punish your idol for not turning up (when she did all the other nights for all those other people). If that’s how you feel, then why not pull her hair, just to feel it – what harm will it do to you? If you’re a homosexual moslem and were never allowed to feel what you really feel, why not take that anger out on those who live the life you could have had. Your life is hardly a life, so why not destroy theirs?

There is never a reason not to be civil.

Please let that sink in. Even the stinkiest little twit deserves to be treated as a person. Bullies are usually bullied by somebody else, and the only way to break the circle is by being civil. People who shut out others shut themselves in. People who make others feel weak don’t feel strong enough. We will make the world infinitely better if we open our hearts and allow for life to come in. If we just believe to be good enough. There is never a reason not to be civil.

I went to see Les Misérables in London last August. We had some time after the show, so we went outside to stand in line at stage door. Carrie didn’t come out, and that was fine. All I wanted to do was thank her for being an inspiration. I just wanted to tell her that sometimes it is her that makes me want to finish what I started. I didn’t really care about autographs or photographs, and when she didn’t come, Inga and I went out for a drink.

What I want to say is this: Sometimes things don’t go according to plan and sometimes we are disappointed and angry – but so long as we allow that energy to flow through us we are standing only one step away from where a young man with a gun is standing. So smile. Have a drink. Watch Tangled. Hug your mum. Believe that you are good enough.

There is never a reason not to be civil.

Lots of love from the roots of my heart!
xxx

Last But Not Least: Day Eighteen

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You’d think The Elephant House were holding more magic.
But apparently the magician was finished with her spells and took her wand and wonders with her when she left. Not even the faintest trace of pixie dust stayed on the old wooden floors, and even if there had – it would be gone now. Stamped down by Japanese pilgrims, by hordes of noisy tourists, by trompeting Potterheads, all in search for something, anything to prove that magic has been created here.

We didn’t see any of it there. I think we found it an hour later at a small bookshop called The Edinburgh Bookshop. Magic needs the quiet, I think. It needs the pages of a book to come to life.

(Quote: Lucy Maud Montgomery)

Gold Star for Hannover

Hello dear reader!

[I was going to name this post Hungover in Hannover but I never was hungover in Hannover, so I decided not to lie to you.]

I am writing this while sitting on the train home from Hannover, and there is no time like a long train journey to write or read or sleep (or, in my case, eat!). I spent five glorious days with Inga up in the north. It was so lovely seeing her again after almost six months, and especially after having travelled the UK with her last summer. She is my number one travel buddy and I’m very lucky that she keeps going off to live in exciting places where I can stay with her!

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Hannover is a seriously underrated city. I mean, have you ever heard of it? Have you ever made any plans to visit at all? Admittedly, seeing Inga was my sole purpose of visiting, so no judging! Buuut for starters, Hannover has a mean coffee house culture. We spent so much time in cafés drinking tea and eating cakes. My favourite café was called Glücksmoment which translates to «Happy Moments» and is a very adequate description of what’s expecting you inside. They have a massive variety of cakes and beverages and the mugs and plates and inside décor are super cute and pretty in blue and pink shaded colours. They also have a little shop within the café that sells baking essentials. I couldn’t resist and bought Bavarian themed cupcake molds; I know that’s all the way down in the south, but, hey! They say I mog di! at the bottom, and I like being told «I love you!» in Bavarian!

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Another fun thing we did was visit the zoo. I am very very fond of monkeys, and I was so excited to see the cuddling gorillas and the tantrum throwing orang-utan, and OMFG the chimpanzees! Aren’t they the cutest?! I SO want to adopt one! I also got slightly carried away when I saw the flamingos. But, honestly, they are pink birds standing on one leg, looking elegant as fuck and matching my socks – it was an intense moment, okay?

One night we went to a concert in some dodgy bar called Glocksee. Well, I say dodgy, really I felt quite at home. It’s just your alternative, 21+, smoking-is-allowed-inside kinda bar that allows live music and encourages the dealing of drugs. In short, it was brilliant! The music was fun to dance to and even allowed for my microwave dance to bloom. Hannover supposedly has quite a number of secret locations to go out, but you have to discover them for yourself. And that’s what, to me, makes this city so utterly charming, the fact that the really great places are not as advertised as they are elsewhere.

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We got all of the touristy stuff done as well, as you can see on the badly taken photos above (yeah, sorry for the lack of quality). For me, some of the nicest moments we had were on the couch with a cup of tea and chocolate cookies, watching Doctor Who and talking about all the places we’ve been. Especially with the weather as rainy and windy as it was it was good to be sitting in the warmth. Carrie Hope Fletcher and Dodie Clark recently did a song together called Gold Star For Me – to which Inga introduced me one late night. I think I should probably some day write us our own song, but I still think the lyrics relate to us pretty well, too!Bild 98Today I insisted on visiting the History Museum and I was very excited, too, when we walked there after breakfast in yet another beautiful café, but I ended up feeling more and more tired the further we explored Hannoverian history. There was a lot of talk about kings and horses and houses, but my mind just kept spinning around images of kings’ beds (of which they sadly had none on display). So thus conclude my adventures in Hannover, and I’m going to try and get some sleep. I still have five hours to go, and tonight I have two parties to attend. It’s going to be a late night. Tomorrow is not going to be fun (except that I’m going to the bookshop and then catching the train to go on a skiing holiday with my family, so I believe the hangover will be just a minor distraction.); I told Inga I’m not going to drink tonight, but open bar? Who’m I kidding!

Okay, better stop here before anyone thinks I’m a hopeless alcoholic (if anything, I’m a promisingly hopeful one!). I hope your week has been as great as mine!

Lots of love from the roots of my heart!
xxx

Last But Not Least: Day Four

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Ten years ago someone asked me what my favourite part about Winchester was, and I answered, «the catherdral.»

And I still feel mesmerised by this ancient structure that stands there so proudly. The windows were once destroyed and yet, people gathered the broken pieces and rearranged them, a beautiful chaosof of unfitting colours and shapes. The floor is crooked, and do not trust these walls. All those small imperfections that show just how desperately people want to live. How little effect war and destruction have on our need of beauty and light and divinity.

They say that Winchester is the hometown of Camelot.
I believe it.

(Quote: The Sword in the Stone [Disney])

Role Models

Whoohoo, I am so done for this week! In the best possible way. I have literally JUST handed in a spontaneous essay – in which I stopped believing on sunday, but somehow it still turned out okayish. Yay for that! Tomorrow I am off to Lübeck, also quite sopntaneously and the reason I‘m writing a post tonight and not as ususal tomorrow. And I‘m going out tonight to see a photo exhibition that my friend made, more yays for that! (well, he contributed one small part of the exhibition, but that still counts, right?) Frankly, I‘m just happy to be leaving the house for a reason other than to watch my dog poop. Yay Yay Yay!

Something I have been wanting to write about for a while now are role models. I remember that when I was little I had this massive crush on Emma Watson. I wanted to BE her in every way possible, so I would braid my hair at night to have curls the next morning; it helped that I was a huge geek in primary school, so all I had to do was tell others how stupid they were for not basically living in the library. But I also remember that a few years later I read an interview in a magazine, some hot shot singer or what have you, that I would have snogged at any given moment. He said that he had no role models at all because he wanted to follow his own path, blah blah. And I thought, neat! The truth has been spoken! From now on I will only rely on myself and trust my own instincts and Imma rock this! I don‘t really remember how that decision went down. I probably just locked myself in the library and checked my teachers‘ assignments for spelling mistakes (I did that repeatedly – the search for missing commas always proved to be very successful!) But you know, now that I‘m thinking about it, that was such a crappy thought! The truth is that we all have role models, people we look up to. It shouldn‘t get to the point where we compare ourselves to them in everything that we do, of course – but I firmly believe that we need people to look up to in order to believe that something can be done. So here are my own personal role models:

Hermione Granger

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This much has never changed. I sometimes still find myself wondering what Hermione would do in a particular situation and I find great comfort in the fact that she‘s a huge bookworm, and yet that doesn‘t make her any weaker at all.

Emma Watson

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Obviously. She is basically a real life Hermione and I admire her for being super pretty and standing up for women‘s rights and gender equality. She seems to be staying very true to herself and that‘s a hard thing to do.

Sophie Scholl

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Sophie may well be my greatest hero of all time. She was in a resistance movement during the Second World War and was killed by the Nazis. What I admire about her, however, is not that she died, it‘s that she lived. Even in the midst of a horrible war she wrote about spring and about hiking in the alps. To keep believing in something good and pure when everything around you is falling apart is such a strong and wonderful character trait.

My Mum

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My mum‘s just one super cool lady, and if you tell me «you‘re acting just like your mother», then that is a compliment.

David Mitchell

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The comedian, not the writer. Although he has written books as well. Anyway. I‘m not absolutely sure David is actually a role model to me, it may well be that I just identify with him quite a lot. But then I catch myself thinking, hey, he‘s still alive and happy, so there‘s not a bad chance for me!

Carrie Hope Fletcher

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I never realised that I actually see Carrie as someone I idolise with until I watched one of her recent videos on Youtube where she announces that she‘s moving in with her boyfriend. And it got me thinking, I don‘t necessarily crave a boyfriend, but I like to think that I can one day manage to actually grab hold of my life enough to enter that happy place… Oh my, I sound severely depressed! I‘m not, I am a very happy person and there is nothing wrong with me. But you know, I feel like I haven‘t quite grasped the concept of being a grown-up.

Elizabeth Bennet

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She is such an amazing heroine. Every person, male or female, should learn to think for themselves. Elizabeth doesn‘t get married just to secure her future and just because that‘s how it is done. She does what she thinks is best for herself and what she believes to maje her happy.

Roxana Vasquez

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Roxana is a girl I met on Zacate Grande in Honduras. She is working at a radio station where she fights against landowners trying to take away local farmers‘ lands. She‘s very upbeat and actually risking her life in the struggle of keeping her home. She told me that she might get killed, but if she doesn‘t fight at all she will surely die of hunger – so there isn‘t actually another option. I just can‘t help but think that we need way more people like her!

Princess Leia

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Of course Leia‘s on the list! How could she not be! Leia is very badass, she knows how to handle a gun and she rocks a lot of braids. I don‘t know where we get the picture from that strong women can‘t also be pretty or care about their hair – Leia clearly has her priorities set. Even in war time she must spend hours braiding her hair. And she knows how to fly a space ship, no one can argue with that!

Between writing this post and actually publishing it eight hours have passed (the exhibition was great btw) and I have only just realised that there are almost only women on my list. It‘s not that I‘m the sort of hardcore feminist that refuses to look up to men, but they simply stand for things that I feel I am lacking myself. Getting my own mind, standing up for what I believe in, embracing my own weirdness in its full beauty… I think these are the things everyone of us is struggling with all the time. We all want to be a better version of ourselves, and I think that is the best thing we can want. Because we are good the way we are but we can change if we want to to, and if we do want to we should! And it‘s good to have someone to follow, but sometimes we also forget that we can set examples to and that maybe one small person would like to be more like us. Isn‘t that encouraging?

Lots of love from the roots of my heart!
xxx

Things I’ll always regret

Everytime I hear Edith Piaf sing «Je ne regrette rieeeeen!» I immediately remember all the things that I regret every single day. Not deep stuff, just things like, I can‘t believe I didn‘t get glasses when I was fifteen! I look so much better wearing those! So, to keep myself from doing a mistake again, I created a list in my diary a while ago (my love for lists is deep!), and today I decided to share it with you. So bear with me!

  • Not using the bathroom before leaving the house
    I always have to pee as soon as I‘m out of any building where they had toilets. I think I must run across the town on an almost daily basis to get to a store where they have free bathroom facilities (it‘s the LOEB Warehouse, in case you‘re wondering. And there‘s always a line) – just because I‘m too stubborn to do it at uni or wherever.
  • Taking a mug of tea to bed
    This already sounds like a terrible idea, yet I never learn. Today I‘ve spilled tea three times, because I constantly place it next to my feet. Smart, huh?
  • Not feeding my cat
    Not that Mr Frodo ever has to starve, but he gets really mean when he’s hungry!
  • Eating TimTam the normal way
    So, a friend recently showed me a video of Carrie Hope Fletcher eating TimTams and I will never stop regretting not having done it her way all my life. So much wasted happiness!

  • Leaving my book at home
    Never, under any circumstance, leave the book you‘re reading at home, because you think you‘re not gonna need it. I‘m taking books to parties, lectures and on hiking trips; there is nothing worse than being bored and not having a book.
  • Joining Instagram
    There’s no turning back, I’m loving it way, way too much!
  • Not telling people how I really feel
    Okay, so there is deep stuff in my diary (and it‘s not just descriptions of the taste of deep fried mars bars!). I don‘t even mean that in an exclusively romantic sense. Telling someone you love them is always the way to go, even if you‘re not in love with them. I‘m always happy to hear that I‘m not just the annoying squeaky person I sometimes see myself as. And I‘m sure others feel the same way.

So, there you go! As far as this goes, I haven‘t actually managed to change at all. Except for the TimTam thing (although, it‘s reason number three for spilling my tea today!). It‘s not a very long list, so I suppose I could just look past it and sing along to Madame Piaf!

Btw, for those of you who are not following me on Facebook, my wonderful friend Inga, who travelled the UK with me, made a gorgeous video montage of our time on the island. It‘s so worth the ten minutes, I promise!

Rien, de rien!
xxx

My England Reading Lists

It‘s only a bit over a week to go until I visit the country of Harry Potter and Mr. Darcy and little Princess Charlotte, and I can‘t pressure enough how utterly excited I feel about having crumpets and clotted cream for breakfast every morning for almost a month!

My life mostly consists of lists – To-Do lists for the day, Never-Mind lists for the night, Errands-To-Run lists for the week, To-Write lists, To-Call lists, To-Feel-Happy-About lists, To-Read lists – therefore it won‘t come as a surprise to you that I‘m quite well prepared for my journey around the island. The thing is, though, that while I‘m well organised and hardly ever forget to pack something due to my grand lists, I take with me the most ridiculous things; last week I went hiking, and where others packed a second T-shirt or another pair of pants I stuffed a jar of Nutella and a huge pack of Marshmallows into my backpack. Had I checked the News I would have known that fires were prohibited in the entire canton of Grisons, thus making Marshmallows completely unnecessary because I don‘t even like them raw!

But what I can share with you is my book list. My book lists, really. I‘ve read a number of books before embarking on my journey, there is a selection I‘ll want to take with me and of course I‘ll be buying more once I get to a place where they have Waterstone‘s.

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This is, of course, only a rough and rather random selection of literary pleasure. Any old Sherlock Holmes novel will do, and if anyone has more suggestions I‘m really quite open for that, too! And before you ask – yes, Harry Potter will absolutely be with me at all times!

I‘m wishing you all a wonderful rest of summer!
Lots of love from the roots of my heart!
xxx

My Bucket List

I have recently developed a liking for lists. I‘m listing everything now. From daily routines over groceries to the number of pages I want to read in a day. Of course I also I have a Bucket List. The intention behind this particular list is not essentially getting everything done before I die – although not being dead would be a great advantage! – but rather valuing the little things more. I saw this on Megan‘s blog and really loved the idea; it also went hand in hand with this gorgeous little note that I found on Pinterest:

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Isn‘t this wonderful?! Not very ecological, sure, but it‘s so sweet! Let‘s not care about the big things, let‘s do all the things that don‘t matter because in the end they‘re the ones that matter most!

So here goes:

  • Eat Yeast Dumplings at Brasserie
  • Feed the elephants and giraffes at Hagenbeck‘s zoo in Hamburg
  • Write a book
  • Publish a book
  • Guide tourists around in Bern
  • Go to a Passenger concert
  • Visit Disneyland with Anastasia
  • Kiss someone in the rain
  • Do a cupcake decorating class in London
  • Make vanilla cookies with Samantha
  • Spend a weekend in Lübeck
  • Go diving in Utila
  • Found a bookstore
  • Travel around in Iceland
  • Visit Doctor Who Experience in Cardiff
  • Hear The Bookshop Band live
  • Learn Dutch
  • Visit Disneyworld
  • Make my own teddy bear
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  • Crochet a unicorn
  • Live vegan for a month
  • Learn Polish
  • Move out
  • Donate my hair for charity
  • Spend a day on a bus
  • Learn Czech
  • Watch Three Gifts for Cinderella in Czech
  • Read all Jane Austen novels
  • Eat cake with Kerstin Gier
  • Read Anna Karenina
  • Visit Cologne Cathedral
  • Learn the Roman numbers
  • Eat an entire jar of Nutella
  • Get on a random train and just see where it takes me
  • Visit the Frankfurt Book Fair
  • Learn how to play the O.R.E.O. song on the ukulele
  • Find the Loch-Ness monster
  • Visit Liechtenstein with Samantha
  • Buy a Samovar
  • Have coffee at Sala 33 with Sloany & Kely
  • Visit Pemberly
  • Have my hair cut by someone who doesn‘t speak my language
  • Try Butterbeer
  • Eat scones at Café Martha
  • Watch baby turtles hatch
  • Swim with dolphins
  • Visit Ojojona with Sloany
  • Read The Unlikely Pilgramage of Harald Fry
  • Create a brownie cemetery with Samantha
  • See the Lion King musical
  • Adopt a koala

There will probably be added more lovely points! 🙂 If any of you have a bucket list I’ll be very interested in reading them!

Lots of love!
xxx

My Wedding Board

About a year ago I discovered the true greatness of Pinterest. Since then I‘ve been pinning recipes, crochet patterns, Christmas gifts, hair styling tips, Doctor Who quotes – and yes, I also have a board called Wedding. I didn‘t call it My Wedding because I know how pretentious it is to have even created it in the first place. I don‘t have a boyfriend and when I think about getting married, the guy waiting for me at the altar is still Harry Potter.

One thing that I have always loved are pretty dresses. I think in my life there has never been a time when I owned more pants than skirts or dresses; in fact, I‘m the kind of person who will buy a new dress for a special occasion even if there‘s one in the wardrobe that‘ll fit perfectly! And I‘m happy to admit that the part that intrigues me most about getting married is being able to dress up! I know it should be about being with the person you love, etc. etc. But promises can get broken and what‘s more, love shouldn‘t need a paper to be true. It‘s just nice to celebrate the love two people feel for each other – and any celebration calls for a nice dress!

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As you have probably grasped from my previous posts, I‘m a big fan of fantasy and Disney movies. You don‘t know how many times I tried reaching Narnia by stepping inside my wardrobe or how many of my stuffed animals I kissed, hoping that they would turn into a handsome prince. I used to talk to books and stare at the night sky, using every shooting star to wish for an invisibility cloak or a faery godmother.

I‘m not as much on a run from reality any more, after all, there‘s great adventures a muggle can have that Harry Potter will miss out on (such as Pinterest!) – but I think lots of girls have this idea of a wedding being a faery tale come to life. We all know it‘s just a lot of stress and money and it‘ll be over in a day – but there seems something so magical about it, having flowers in your hair and walking down the isle in a white floating dress and then you get promised to be loved forever… Maybe it‘s an illusion but that‘s okay for one day of feeling like Peter Pan has finally taken you to Neverland.

I used to be a very gullible child when it came to stories and I think I have moved on just a little since then. But even so, I think the world would be a much brighter place if people believed more in Happily Ever Afters. Let me know if you agree!

I‘m sorry for not being very profound in today‘s post, I just cried watching Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets – don‘t judge me please! Also, have you please seen my awesome as beanie? I love it so much I‘m wearing it around the house!

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Lots of love!
xxx