SCITT update – week 3

It’s Monday again! As this post goes live, I am back in school, after 2.5 weeks of training at university and the training centre who are running my SCITT. If I’m being honest I COULDN’T WAIT TO GET BACK TO SCHOOL. My block training weeks were incredible and intense and overwhelming – I learned a lot and reflected a lot – but being in school is totally where my happy place lies! 

So what did last week have in store?

Monday
On Monday we were at a local 3-19 school for an EAL (English as an Additional Language) conference all day. There were some intense parts of the day, in particular when we were learning about the safeguarding of some minority groups, but overall it was informative. A few of the students from Year 10 came and performed a powerful drama piece titled ‘Colourblind’, which was thought-provoking. 

Tuesday
Tuesday took us back to one of the local primary schools for Day 2 of Teaching and Learning. Having had all of my experience in the same school, I love being able to observe how life runs in other schools. We had the chance to observe a phonics session and then a reading session within the year group we are having our first placement in. Those observations were both really interesting and I definitely magpie’d a few ideas from them! We also got to plan a science activity based on our year groups and then 2 of the group got to deliver it while the rest of us watched on! 

Wednesday
Seeing new schools totally different to my school is always an interesting part of this and on Wednesday we visited a school in the middle of the countryside. Our focus of the day was SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities) and I took a lot away from the day to think about and consider in my own practice. 

Thursday
Thursday was another university day (I am officially a student at Newcastle University, I know, how fancy am I!?). We were set up in a very posh, technologically forward room (there were boards EVERYWHERE, I loved it) and spent the day looking at pedagogy and the importance of subject knowledge. Thursday’s session definitely calmed my nerves about our first PGCE assignment, which is brilliant. 

Friday
On Friday, we were back in our training centre and the focus of the day was training standards and looking at evidence collection and what we can use as evidence. It was very useful to do BEFORE we started collecting evidence. The gentleman delivering our session was very funny too!

How am I feeling in 3 words?
Calmer. Eager. Tired. 

I look forward to the challenges this week holds!

Remember, if you have any questions I am more than happy to answer them! 

S xx

Advertisements

Operation Clean Up – blog tour

Hello! 

Today I have the absolute joy of being part of the ‘Operation Clean Up‘ blog tour! I think I am even kicking it off! How exciting! I am hosting the gorgeous author, Jason Tucker, and he is sharing his thoughts on something very close to my own heart – the importance of bed time stories. Being a teacher, I know the massive impact reading to your kids and with your kids can have! But without further ado…

Operation Clean Up Day Cover

—————————————————————–

I did not realize how important a simple bed time story actually is until I started to see the impact for myself… I mean this for both the parent and the child. Believe me it really is fascinating.  I generally worked long hours and didn’t / don’t get home until late in the evening, I have 3 small boys (6, 4 and 1 years old each) and it’s my superstar wife who did the majority of the reading to our children, however seeing the impact early on pushed me to not only change my routine and read to them on a regular basis, but to also do it with a real passion and get them loving it too – here are my main reasons why it’s so important:

Nurturing the imagination: I like to read cool / picturesque stories that basically contribute to developing / widening my boy’s imagination, this for me is unbelievably important. This is what inspired me to write my book and explore the wild imagination of a young child. When reading a bed time story together we like to explore all types of books and the pictures within, and sometimes they develop almost a story within a story, its limitless how far this can go and a real positive to watch.  To widen the imagination means that you are developing an open mind from an early young age, and with an open mind you can achieve anything! Which I tell them at every opportunity.

Development of reading skills: Part of the whole bed time experience is getting my boys read to me as well, they may be a bit tired on occasion and take longer, but when a short story is read its basically an item achieved and I am full of praise for them, letting them know that they have read an ‘entire’ book… Giving it a Big WOW factor! Following up with ‘well done’ and ‘didn’t you do well’. The other piece is when they sometimes struggle with a certain word, I normally get that look which says ‘help’, then help is given… and when that word has come up again at a later point, and has been remembered and read out again correctly, I then get given that look of ‘I did it’… A small passing moment maybe, but priceless in the big scheme of things.

More Learning:  Apart from cool and imaginative stories, we also use bed time story reading time now and again to read some of the more educational books out there – I love being able to teach my kids things, and bedtime reading is another opportunity where I can do this. A big one for us is the Planets and the Universe, and Nature orientated books (animal kingdom etc.)… We read together, we name the planets, we identify the Rhino from the Elephant and they have then learnt something fun and real outside of their school environment.  Then they ask me ‘Daddy – you should write a book about that too J’

Confidence boosting: I’m fairly sure reading contributes to increasing confidence, my eldest was a very shy boy for a long while but at bedtime I think he absorbed reading in a different way as he was in a more relaxed environment without any real pressure – he now reads and asks questions and on a daily basis almost knows all sorts of new things and can explain things in detail to others in his age group. A number of things contribute to this I know but as knowledge grows, so does there confidence.

Removing Tech: Anything that keeps an IPad or tablet out of their hands is a plus point for me – Now don’t get me wrong the tablets and games on these have their place and can be life savers at times, but the traditional page turning of parent and child nighttime read has its own special moment and positive warm feel that cannot be outdone which leads me onto my final point. 

Quality time – Finally the most important and most essential item for me.  I have been extremely lousy in the past with not carrying out my fair share of reading to my kids at bed time (due to working late and other supposedly important things) . However the time spent with my boys reading is where some of those real memories are created (at least for me). These are the things I want to remember, and also want them to remember in later life, those fun bedtime stories with Daddy – not that Power point presentation Daddy had to work late on for his Client!! We’ve all got to remember that life goes by rapidly and that everything is just a buildup of moments and experiences, the great thing is we can choose what those are!

Thanks and I hope that you all enjoy my book.

——————————————————–

Operation Clean Up Day

This is the story of two very imaginative little boys and their resistance to cleaning up their toys…

Two little boys are about to go out for the day to the swimming pool as a treat. But before they can go, they must tidy up all their toys – which are all over the house – as requested by their Mummy. The boys consider this a mission! The boys attempt to clean up their toys in various parts of the house while making all sorts of excuses to Mummy to leave the toys where they are. The boys are easily side-tracked when attempting to clean up each room, as they find themselves playing with their toys again, their imaginations taking over. They find themselves driving trains, defending castles from ogres, climbing high mountains, flying spaceships, catching sea serpents and meeting prehistoric dinosaurs. All while trying to clean up their toys!

Written by Jason Tucker and stunningly illustrated by Nick Roberts, Operation Clean Up Day is a fantastic journey through the imagination of two children, who can turn a simple set of toys into an entire fantasy world, whilst teaching children the valuable lesson of tidying up their toys after playtime!

Amazon UK – click to buy
Barnes & Noble – click to buy

About the author: Born and raised in London, Jason Tucker is married and is a father of three young boys. He is enjoying an international working life basing himself between London and Dubai. This is his first published work with a number of other titles in the pipeline as well as working on a number of other ventures including TV, Film & graphic novels.

Check out the rest of the blog tour below! I can’t wait to see what else is in store!

OperationCleanUpDay_Banner

BOOKBLOG: Lauren James

The Loneliest Girl in the Universe: a gripping, unique heart-racer

DJIlFUmWsAAn6V2

“Can you fall in love with someone you’ve never met, never even spoken to – someone who is light years away? 
Romy Silvers is the only surviving crew-member of a spaceship travelling to a new planet, on a mission to establish a second home for humanity amongst the stars. Alone in space, she is the loneliest girl in the universe until she hears about a new ship which has launched from Earth – with a single passenger on board. A boy called J. Their only communication with each other is via email – and due to the distance between them, their messages take months to transmit across space. And yet Romy finds herself falling in love. But what does Romy really know about J? And what do the mysterious messages which have started arriving from Earth really mean? Sometimes, there’s something worse than being alone . . .”

The Loneliest Girl in the Universe (I’m going to call it Loneliest Girl in this blog, because well it’s a LONG title!) tells the story of Romy, who is the captain of a ship on its way to a new planet, with hopes to make it hospitable. She’s all alone on this rocket, with only audio/email messages coming from her therapist Molly. Something changes and suddenly there’s a mysterious stranger on the scene. This stranger is J, the captain of another ship, and Romy quickly finds herself falling for this mysterious stranger. When things start becoming a bit suspect, Romy discovers that J isn’t quite who he says he is…

I had seen SO MUCH about this book on twitter! Everyone was talking about it. I was SO ENVIOUS of all of the people who had advance copies. I needed to get my hands on it. I was elated when I heard they would be selling them at YALC. When it came to YALC, Kelly and I rushed to buy a copy (because we were afraid they’d run out of copies!) just to be sure we would get one. It has sat on my shelf since YALC but I was determined to read it before we did a SundayYA chat about it. AND READ IT BEFORE SUNDAYYA I DID. It took me all of about 4 hours to read. It is THAT GOOD. It’s so readable. Gripping. The kind of book that takes you by surprise (it certainly took me by surprise!) 

This book is very character centric and luckily for me, I loved the characters. Romy (the main character) and her story were very well written. The flashbacks of her memories growing up, her memories of the rocket were gorgeous to see. Her parents are very important to herboth in very different ways – I loved her relationship with her dad. Her relationship with her mam kept me very curious. The other character in the space world in Loneliest Girl is J: mysterious, handsome, seemingly perfect. Romy definitely falls for him fast. Her trust of him pulled the wool over my eyes. I didn’t like him from the start… there was something about him I didn’t trust. He was too convenient. He was the perfect, most sinister, creepy baddie though. He adds a brilliantly sinister dynamic to this book. Definitely kept me on my toes. 

I would recommend this book to EVERYONE. It is one of those that would appeal to SO MANY PEOPLE. It’s so clever and devious and delicious. I’m curious about the rest of the author’s work now… if they’re all this good I need to get them NOW (well, when September is over cause y’know book buying ban and all that!)

Have you read Loneliest Girl?
What did you make of J?
Do you think you’d cope with Romy’s life?

Let me know in the comments or on twitter! I’d love to talk about this book! 

S xx

SCITT: 2 weeks down!

Last week was week 2 of my SCITT training (teacher training) and since my SCITT: how did week 1 go?! post went down so well, I figured I would keep blogging tell you all tell me you either don’t care or don’t want to read about it! Ha!

Monday
Monday was spent looking over the teacher’s standards and thinking about what motivates us to want to be teachers. For me it’s easy: I want to be a teacher because I want to make a difference. It’s a cliche but it’s true. I want to make a difference. We spent time looking at the ethos and mission statements of schools. It was an interesting day – but a lot to take in, especially when it came to the standards. That’s going to be an ongoing theme of my year, I can sense.

Tuesday
On Tuesday, we weren’t in our usual setting! We were based in a lovely little first school out in the countryside. It was about half an hour’s drive away and I got a lift from one of my lovely SCITT friends. I have to say, one of my favourite things about this process so far is getting to see all of the different schools around! I’d spend my year visiting all the schools I could get to! We spent the day looking at different learning styles and how these impact on the way we plan and deliver lessons. Another lovely thing was talking about a little activity called ‘I Wish My Teacher Knew’, which I have actually done before! (If you’re interested in what my kids told me: I Wish My Teacher Knew…). I really enjoyed Tuesday as we got to plan a short activity and do it with a group of children. I’ve really missed being in the classroom so it was great for me to finally be doing again. We had to use a painting as our stimulus and plan an activity around that: our activity was a bit of drama in the jungle using the picture below as stimulus. 

Related image

Wednesday
On Wednesday, we were in a different primary school looking at literacy: reading in particular. We looked at what it means to be literate, what the curriculum specifies around reading and how to foster a rich curriculum centred around books. We spent some time choosing a book and then planning a focus for what we would want the children to learn using that book. (I naturally pilfered ‘The Building Boy’ by Ross Montgomery and David Litchfield, BECAUSE IT IS WONDERFUL and I will most definitely be using it when I have my own class). We got to go around the KS2 classes and do very quick observations too! There were shout outs for Literacy Shed, Once upon a Picture (which I am a MASSIVE fan of and use on the regular) and amazing kids lit authors too! (This made my heart so happy)

Thursday
Thursday was induction day at Newcastle University – who will be supporting us on our PGCE side of the qualification. Thursday was intense and a LOT to take in. There was a lot of information thrown at us – assignments etc. We had a very interesting workshop with people from Dove about their self esteem resources (happy to share links if you’re interested) which I will be looking at and using! 

Friday
On Friday we were based in the 3rd different school of the week! The focus of our day was Maths. We spent some time looking at the curriculum objectives and how to plot out a sequence of lessons. There was the chance to observe a whole maths lesson on the Friday too, so I spent the lesson in Year 6 – it was really interesting seeing how other people do it! There were definitely ideas to magpie from that teacher. We spent the afternoon looking at calculation policies and seeing the progression through the school.

So how am I feeling?
Last week I was worried and overwhelmed… this week I’m exhausted and still overwhelmed but I am just ready to get back into the classroom. I miss school a lot. It’s lovely doing more learning myself and I look forward to the week ahead! Next week brings block training week 2. We’re at an EAL conference in the coming week, which should be informative and interesting!  

Let me know if you have any questions! I am happy to answer them!

S x

SCITT: how did week 1 go?!

So last week I completed week 1 of my SCITT. How mad is that?! I’ll try and remember to do a weekly reflection (this will help me to remember to fill in my reflection log in my handbook too! If I have notes then I’m BOUND to remember)

So how did week 1 go? 

Monday
Monday was a training day at school. We went to Hexham as a whole staff and partook in some reflection time. We spent time in mass at a gorgeous little church and then, with our priest, we spent time looking at the story of the prodigal son and looked at the Rembrandt painting. Within the day, we also spent time talking about our hopes, struggles and wishes for the year ahead! It was a lovely way to spend the first day back.

Tuesday/Wednesday
I spent Tuesday and Wednesday in school: observing, reminding the kids that I would be in their class, seeing how that year group works, laminating and cutting out! General teacher-y things! I wasn’t really sure how/what to observe but luckily we will be looking at that at uni next week – so I will be a more efficient observer after that session.

Thursday/Friday
I spent Thursday and Friday at uni! It was weird getting up a little later and getting on the bus in the opposite direction to school. Sitting here now, I genuinely MISSED going in to school. I’m going to be raring to get back in to school in 2 weeks (once my block weeks at uni are done!). We had our welcome meeting and introduction to SCITT life. The initial few days were a mixture of Secondary SCITT students and those who are doing Primary, like me! There’s only about 10 Primary SCITT folk! Handbooks were given out and overwhelming emotions were felt for sure! Friday was spent doing those necessary bits of training that all school staff go through: safeguarding, esafety, British Values etc. Over the two days of uni there was a lot to take in, but it has certainly got me ready for the year to come!

So how am I feeling right now?
I certainly left uni both days feeling overwhelmed and a bit worried, but I think it’s fair to say that I am ready to get on with it. I definitely feel like I made the best choice for me going this route. Next week we’re at uni again – there’s all sorts going on! I’m looking forward to doing more learning and getting to know my fellow students better! 

If you have any questions about my teacher training or anything I am happy to take them and answer them! 

S x

BOOKBLOG: Leigh Bardugo

Wonder Woman: Warbringer –  adventure filled, witty and fast paced

img_9505

“She will become a legend but first she is Diana, Princess of the Amazons. And her fight is just beginning… Diana is desperate to prove herself to her warrior sisters. But when the opportunity comes, she throws away her chance at glory and breaks Amazon law to save a mere mortal, Alia Keralis. With this single heroic act, Diana may have just doomed the world. Alia is a Warbringer – a descendant of the infamous Helen of Troy, fated to bring about an age of bloodshed and misery. Diana and Alia will face an army of enemies, mortal and divine, determined to destroy or possess the Warbringer. To save the world, they must stand side by side against the tide of war.”

Wonder Woman: Warbringer tells the story of Diana (Wonder Woman) and her struggle with her life as an Amazon, doing the right thing and jeapordising her life as she knows it. It is one not to be missed! The girls of SundayYA were raving about it in the chat and I knew from the chat that I needed to get onto it and I do not regret it!

One of the things that stood out to me about this book was that I really loved the characters. Diana is brilliant: she’s witty, funny (generally unintentionally, brave, honest and badass. Like, she saves someone’s life. I know, I know, she’s Wonder Woman, it’s what she does. But like, how many other characters do you know that save lives in such an epic way? I liked her instantly. She goes from the underdog to hero, all in secret. She’s not the only interesting character in this book though, don’t be fooled. There’s the warbringer herself, Alia. She’s a bit more tough, a bit more intense, taken by surprise by this new life that she is now being made to live. Things are coming to light in her life that make so much more sense to her now. She is the warbringer (I think she copes with this information much better than I would!) and wants to do the right thing. That’s always noble. She was another hit with me straight away.

OH JASON! JASON. JASON. JASON.

Those of you who have read Warbringer will know what my despair is all about. Oh Jason. I won’t spoil anything. But Jason. I have complex feelings about him. There was an audible gasp when it comes to Jason and his behaviour. (Go on, read it, you know you want to! You want to know why Jason made me gasp. Then we can talk about it!).

The other thing that I loved about this book was that I learned a lot without being overloaded with information. There were little threads of information throughout the whole book – THIS is a much better way to educate readers on superhero information than a total information dump, so I am grateful for that! 

I completely and utterly loved this book. It took me a while to get through (blame a stupid reading slump) but I would recommend it to everyone. it is just wonderful. Leigh Bardugo is magnificent and this has definitely spurred me on to read the rest of her books! 

My goodreads review:

I do not have enough words to praise this book. I loved it so much. Diana is incredible. The way the story is woven is just exceptional. I was really rooting for Jason, I trusted him and then BOOM. I audibly gasped. What a VILLAIN. I love how Diana stood for what she knew she believed in. She believed in Alia. I cried at the end. Just magnificent.

Have you read Warbringer?
Which superhero would you like to be?
Would you like to rewrite anyone’s story? If so, whose?

Thank you so much to my gorgeous book fairy Sarah at Penguin for sending this over to me! 

S x

BLOG TOUR: The Snake Who Baked A Cake

Second post today! How lucky are you all!

This time round, I’m sharing a Q&A with the lovely authors of ‘The Snake Who Baked A Cake’! How exciting!

——————————————————

1. What’s your favourite thing about writing for children?
We love seeing children’s reaction to our story, as this really brings the written words to life. We also value the discussions that story-writing provokes and allows us to understand how children relate to their environment.  
 
2. Where did the idea for Snake Who Baked a Cake come from?
We wanted the story to present an interactive activity, applicable to everyday life.  An adult-led activity, such as baking, does this with an educational aspect attached to it.  It exposes the child to literacy and numeracy.
Picturing and visualising how a limbless reptile, such as a snake, could handle objects/ingredients and make a scrumptious cake was not only amusing but also a fun challenge when thinking about how we wanted the book to be illustrated. 
 
3. What’s the most fun part of being an author?
Being able to create and be creative with no limits, then seeing the story come to life.
 
4. What has surprised you most about becoming a published author?
The whole experience has been surreal, we still look at the finished product and can’t quite believe it!
 
5. Who would be your dream cake party guests?
A dream guest would be Road Dahl, a writer who influenced our very on childhood imagination.  A party themed in a way to bring his world back to life for a day.
 
6. Finally, what is your favourite cake? If you were the snake who baked, what would you bake?
Carrot cake has always been our favourite.
——————————————-

Thank you so much to Authoright for inviting me onto this blog tour! I can’t wait to share The Snake Who Baked A Cake with the kids at school!

S x

BLOG TOUR: Claire McFall

Today, I am very lucky that I get to host a brilliant author and she is going to share some creative writing tips with us! Thank you so much to Claire McFall and Kelpies Edge for inviting me on this blog tour! I can’t wait to see the rest of the posts… some of them sound incredible! Check out the banner below to see who else is involved!

————————————————–

Top tips for Creative Writing

I’m a teacher. Actually, I’m an English teacher, so you’d think this would be easy. Wrong! You see, as far as I’m concerned there’s no right way to go about writing – so what works for me might not work for you and vice versa. Caveat firmly in place, these are my tips for creative writing. Feel free to take them with a pinch of salt and do your own thing.

That way, masterpieces are made.

The dreaded blank page

This is your worst enemy. You can sit and stare at it for hours. It’s intimidating – how I imagine an artist might feel beginning a new canvas. What if the first brush stroke is all wrong? You’ve ruined it!

Well, no. 99.9% of you will be typing, and there’s this awesome button called backspace. If you don’t like it, delete it! But I wouldn’t. Write the first sentence, then the second and the third and the fourth, until you’re no longer dragging them out, but they’re coming more freely. Flowing. When you’ve finished – the paragraph, the page, the chapter, the story – go back and read over your opening lines. Firstly, I bet they won’t be as bad as you thought, but also, if you really do hate it, it’ll be so much easier to tweak.

A story is not just a story

Novels vary in length, but Ferryman and Trespassers are both about 75,000 words. If you broke both novels down, I’d be willing to bet that telling the actual story only takes up about 30% of that. The rest? World building and people building.

It’s not enough to have a great storyline and tell the reader what happens. You need to show them by creating a world they can step into. To do that, you’ve got to make sure you concentrate enough on describing settings. And when you do, make sure you’re not just thinking about what places look like! Sight is just one of our five senses. If you simply describe what I’d see, I’ll feel like I’m looking at a picture. I want to be in the picture.  What will I hear? Smell? What will things feel like if I could reach out and touch them?

If you want to hook the reader in, you also need to spend time giving depth to characters – and not just your main character either! The best stories are where you can make the reader hold their breath and wonder what’s going to happen next – and they do that because they care about the person that it’s happening to!

Read stuff!

Every good writer is also a reader. Reading develops your vocabulary, shows you different ways to play with language and gives you ideas about how a narrative can be organised.

What’s important, though, is that you try to read a wide range of things. Don’t decide I want to write Science Fiction so I’m only going to read Science Fiction novels. Do that, and you’ll end up writing the same thing as everybody else! If you want your writing to be new and different and fresh – the thing that everybody wants to read! – you need to expand your horizons. Try a Western. Or a historical novel. Read some non-fiction! At worst, you’ll learn something. And the best? You’ll discover a whole new world of awesome stories to devour!

Dust off your thick skin

Reading books will help you get better. It will. But it’s not as helpful as getting feedback from readers about your own writing. Warning: this is scary! What if they don’t like it? What if they laugh? What if they say it’s rubbish?

Well, they might. I’ve had reviewers online saying they hated my stories. Not many, thankfully… When it happens, oh it stings. I can eat a whole chocolate cake before I feel better sometimes (that’s my excuse and I’m sticking with it). But if no one tells you what’s wrong with your writing, how can you get better? As writers, we often can’t see the wood for the trees – we wrote it. To us, it’s perfect! We need outside perspectives to help us mould first drafts into finished stories.

Find someone you trust. Someone who will be honest. Someone who’ll be nice – but who won’t just tell you they love it because they’re your friend or your mum. My mum, unfortunately, is brutally upfront about what she thinks…

And get a slice of cake in, just in case. If they love it – well, it can be a victory slice.

——————————————

Thank you so much to Claire for giving us some brilliant tips!

Displaying ClaireMcFall.jpg

Claire McFall is a writer and a teacher who lives and works in the Scottish Borders. She is the author of paranormal thriller Black Cairn Point, winner of the inaugural Scottish Teenage Book Prize 2017. Her debut novel Ferryman won a Scottish Children’s Book Award, and was nominated for the Carnegie Medal and shortlisted for the Branford Boase award. Her other books include dystopian thriller BombmakerTrespassers, the much-anticipated sequel to Ferryman, will be published on 14th September 2017. 

CMF

YA giveaway!

HELLO THERE.

How are you this fine Friday morning? In the mood for another bloggerversary giveaway? 

Well you’ve come to the right place! 

Last week (as you may have seen!) I was giving away 2 of my favourite MG books of the last year and a bit, and this week I am giving away 4 of my favourite YA books of the past year. You will have seen me talk about ALL OF THEM on my social media and now it’s your turn to get to read them because well EVERYONE SHOULD READ THEM OK?

What you win:

Copies of the 4 books below, plus some other goodies.

These 4 have been 4 of my favourite reads so far of 2017 and I can’t wait to share them with one of you! See my reviews below if you want to know more!

BOOKBLOG: Karen Gregory
BOOKBLOG: Emily Barr
BOOKBLOG: Maggie Harcourt
BOOKBLOG: Sara Barnard

How to enter:

  • Follow me (@eenalol) on twitter
  • RT the tweet about this giveaway
  • For an extra entry, comment on this blog post and tell me your favourite YA friendship!
  • Giveaway closes midnight Thursday 24th August, winner will be contacted Fridat 25th August!

Happy entering! Any questions, let me know! Just get RTing!

S x

Happy days…

Happy things

My brother being home. Conversations. Laughter. Cats. Sleeping in. Getting up early. Summer holidays. Train tickets. Books that make you cry. Books that make you laugh. Friends that keep you sane. Memories that make you smile. Memories that make you cry. Friends who say lovely things. Friends who are honest. More books. Exploring new places. Sunshine. Baristas knowing your order. Bullet journaling. Twitter DM groups. Conversations with my mam. My cousins. Steak and chips. Cocktails with friends. Looking forward to the future. The excitement and nervousness. Team GB. Even more books. New clothes. Fangirling. Pockets. Always pockets.