Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Driftwood by Cathy Cassidy

Driftwood is a story about Hannah and Joey who have been best friends for ever. Joey  is quirky and preaches individuality while her parents love rescuing things other people would class as rubbish and making them into unique creations. This means their house is full of things made from driftwood, old glass and shells from the beach. They are the type of family who love to find beauty in everything. This is probably why when the girls find abandoned, flea bitten kittens in the bin at school, they end up living in their home. When Joey's parents foster an unlikely boy called Paul, everybody thinks he needs rescuing too. But nobody looks deep enough to see quite how badly. Hannah's brother and Paul quickly become friends and the four of them are inseparable. This is where things start to go wrong. Paul is beginning to get bullied and things quickly become dangerous. People aren't like driftwood or beach shells, a life is something much more precious and hard to rescue on your own.

I first read this book in my last year of Primary school and instantly fell in love with Cathy Cassidy's writing style. Being about 11, my knowledge on depression and suicide was mainly learnt from reality TV like Casualty and misinterpreted rumors about psychiatric wards. Cathy Cassidy always finds a way to make her characters relate-able (even if sometimes in very obscure ways) and make such a beautiful book out of harsh reality and somewhat scary subjects. Another reason I love this book is because of the point of view it is written in.  Rather than being from an adults point of view such as Joey's parents or perhaps Paul's social worker or teacher it's written in Hannah's perspective. What I mean by this is that her opinions are slightly more naive and child like which I found easy to relate to. I also found my self lost in the story. When I started reading it I couldn't stop which is something I really value in a story. Overall I really loved this book and it'll probably be one I find myself re-reading over and over again.

Saturday, 19 December 2015

The big taboo about periods

Seems a weird thing for someone to say in public right? Wrong. I find it fascinating how so much embarrassment, awkwardness, and shame is associated with this one subject when it's something half of the population will learn to live with for the majority of their lives. Even among women, it's something we've been taught since primary school to talk about in a hushed voice and not tell the boys about. I find this absolutely disgraceful. I hate that if a girl asked me if she could borrow a pad in a public place like in school, I would be expected to somehow sneakily pass the pad from my hand to hers without anyone seeing. To any girls reading this, next time this happens to you don't even bother trying to hide the fact that woman have periods. Hand the pad directly to the other woman and see how many people even bat an eyelid. The truth is that everybody is too busy going about their own lives to take any notice about what's happening in yours. 
In LEDC countries like India and rural Africa, periods are  often a subject never spoken of. Sometimes girls know nothing because their mothers, grandmothers and sisters have told them nothing. Some girls started their periods and thought they were dying of cancer.  For many young girls in Africa, menstruation hinders education. They are often taunted by male classmates or don't have the right protection. If woman can’t afford pads or cloths, they use straw, sand, or newspaper, often resulting in infections. (Only 12% of Indian women use pads). Some cultures still believe that when a woman is on her period she should be isolated and treated as an untouchable. This means she's banned from praying, cooking and even fasting.

This isn't a tag, but I think it's something we need to write about more. To anyone brave reading this, male or female, write up a post about periods and share it with as many people as possible. Let's #BreakThatTaboo

Sunday, 6 December 2015

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

Jingle bell, jingle bell, jingle bell rock.

Jingle bells swing and jingle bells ring.

Snowing and blowing up bushels of fun..

(can't help but remind me of Mean Girls...)

Christmas is so close now and there are so many things I love to do in December like buying and wrapping presents, listening to Christmas music (totally haven't already started) and decorating the house. JessBeauty01 and I have decided to collaborate on a favourite things about Christmas post and if you do get a chance, make sure you check out her blogmas which she will be posting everyday until Christmas. Let's get cracking!

1. What is your favourite Christmas Movie/s?
If you're anything like me, Christmas films are one of my favourite things about the run up to Christmas. Snuggled up on the sofa binging on Celebrations with the family. Although there are so many films I love at Christmas, Elf is my all time favourite. I also love watching Food Network at Christmas, particularly Barefoot Contessa and Nigela. 

2.Do you have a favourite Christmas memory?
For me, all Christmas days are my favourite. It's always been the same routine, being woken up by my brothers at about 5am, then going to my sisters and opening our stockings (not like we haven't looked already haha) and staying in their room until we think it's fair to wake our parents up (still usually only about 6am haha). For Christmas dinner my whole family goes round to my Gran's house where we have a massive Christmas dinner.

3. Favourite festive food?

Well, this is a tough one. As much as I love the gargantuan amounts of chocolate we eat as a substitute to breakfast, nothing can beat mashed potato or Yorkshire pudding.