Purge...

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Diagnosed with epilepsy at the age of eleven T L Spencer turned to writing as a way to cope with her condition. Her vivid imagination and love of all things paranormal influenced her writing. T L Spencer enjoys all forms of literature and is currently studying at university, hoping to become a teacher.

Sunday, 22 December 2013

Amazon Author page!

Hey guys, my new link for amazon has just become live; this is the link to follow to gain access to my author information:


:)

Saturday, 21 December 2013

Witch Dark is Live!!!

It is up and running!!!!! This link should take you right to it... Remember, I lover reviews!

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00HG4NZBO?ie=UTF8&force-full-site=1&ref_=aw_bottom_links




Friday, 20 December 2013

Witch Dark is Published on Amazon!

Available soon from Amazon Kindle is my new Paranormal Romance, 'Witch Dark'! I've finally finished it!!!

I've added a new page (see right) and added the book cover and sneak peek for your viewing pleasure. Watch this space and I'll send you a post when it's been released... Fingers crossed my book is out within the next twelve to twenty-four hours!

Have a merry Christmas!

Saturday, 7 December 2013

Saving Mr Banks

This film is one to watch. Starring Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson, this film follows the creation of the Mary Poppins movie, based upon the books by author PL Travers.

I loved this film; it had humour, emotion and sentimentality in abundance plus the acting was first class. The combination of past and present scenes was fabulous and it was so much fun to see the Mary Poppins film music on the big screen.

Five stars! Get to the cinema people!!!


Keep Calm and Think Disney

One more day to go and then I'm off to Disneyland with the besties!!! I'm really looking forward to it- I haven't been to Disney since I was eight. I can still remember quite a few of the rides...


Disney Tales All in One...

I found this pic on Pinterest an just had to show you; it is amazing and really clever. Well, I think it is anyway.


Friday, 6 December 2013

Fox and the Hound!

Dogs and foxes xxx And falling in love...
Isn't it lovely? Aside from all the sad stuff that happens...
Look at these bushy tails!!! :)


There all mad!!!

On with the Disney!!!
He's late, he's late, he's late :)

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Disney Cool

Disney is always cool. It doesn't matter how old you are, Disney is always cool.

End of.
 :)


Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Hades!

I love a bit of Greek mythology, and though Disney's Hercules isn't exactly what I'd call sticking to the myth, it is a great film. I just love Pegasus. And Pain and Panic! But I just adore Hercules! He's like the gay best friend from hell. Brilliant.

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Name the Villain!

Another Disney post! Don't you just love it? 

Every film needs an antagonist, that dark cloud to oppose the hero and make things difficult on the journey for love and glory. So, here is the pic to celebrate Disney's villains...

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

My Fellow Writer and Friend

Hey guys!

My fellow writer -and friend- has just started a blog and I would love it if you'd show your support! 

I love her to bits, and I'm sure you will too ! Follow this link to read her stuff:

Jadeashleighonline
.blogspot.co.uk

Thanks x

Monday, 25 November 2013

My Disneyland Countdown!!!

Im off to Disney soon: I can't wait!
In honour if the trip, I am posting daily pics and various bits and bobs of Disney madness!

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

ReadWave... A Proper Conversation

Hi guys! Long time, no see...

I've just published a story with ReadWave so feel free to check it out!
Remember, I love feedback, so I'd love for you to leave a comment or contact me via email.

Here is the link:
http://www.readwave.com/a-proper-conversation-five-quick-tips-to-chit-chat-heaven_s16846

I hope you enjoy it. xxx

Monday, 23 September 2013

Awesome

From the TL Spencer school of inspiration...

Remember: you aren't just awesome... you are MADE of awesome.

Friday, 20 September 2013

Demeter Giovanni...

From my novel, Blood Prophecy the Fated Three, Demeter Giovanni is the mother of Selene, the first enchantress. She has suffered heartache  and loneliness throughout her life, and though she holds great power, it has been masked by the pain she feels...

Below is an extract from a short story I am working on (amidst all my other projects!) that involves the powerful angel Raphel and the troubled Deme Giovanni. So read on for an extra insight into the Blood Prophecy verse, not available anywhere else!

"I want you to judge a soul for me. The woman is still alive; this will not be too difficult for you I assume?” Raphael looked at Elijjah with a questioning gaze, but said no more, waiting for the angel’s reply.

“Of course I could do that. Who…?”

Raphael interrupted, “Demeter Giovanni, Selene’s mother.” Elijjah did not respond, merely closed his eyes and searched.

 It did not take him long to find her soul, faded though it was. It burned brightly, a mass of colour and goodness radiated from it. Unfortunately, it was choked by negativity. With regret, he knew instantly that unless something was done immediately to assist this poor soul, she would not be permitted into heaven’s gates. Opening his eyes he slowly met into Raphael’s gaze. Power pulsated from him in waves and though an archangel himself, Elijjah shivered at the very thought of displeasing him, which made his next sentence very difficult to utter.

Fortunately, he didn’t have to. “There is no need to fear me, Elijjah. I asked the question and I was prepared for the answer, however disappointing it may be.”
“Thank you, Raphael.” He breathed a sigh of relief, “I will let you continue your quest.”

Raphael said nothing, merely dipped his head in silent respect and walked through the gates, opening his blue gold wings and flew gently and majestically down to Earth.

+++
Deme was miserable. Over the last eight months, she had completely ruined her life. She had done so before, getting removed from her position as lecturer at the local university and abusing her daughter before throwing her out of the house. The abominable actions were unforgivable and she hated herself for them. She had been this way for six years, ever since her beloved husband had disappeared, passed into the realms of the unknown. She sighed as a tear fell down her cheek and looked longingly at the empty bottle on the ground. Why did she do this to herself? She knew it was not healthy, but for some reason she couldn’t stop. The truth was that when her husband left, part of her went with him, destroyed beyond all repair.

Closing her eyes, Demeter placed an impenetrable wall around her heart and listened to the silence. Nothing stirred; trees were frozen in time as the wind died down around her. The bayou’s creatures beyond the walls of the back garden seemed to join her in her mourning, as they always did. The birds fluttered silently to the ground and filled her mind with temporary peace. Until she removed herself from the recliner, she felt no inclination to hunt for yet another bottle of debilitating liquid.

A bell rang in the distance, disturbing the quiet that the silence offered. She ignored it, wanting to wallow in her own self-pity for a few more hours. Again, the bell rang. What is it with people? Demeter thought miserably as she slowly sat up and stood from the chair. Why did people have to interrupt her? Sighing in defeat as she heard the front door bell toll for the third time in just as many minutes, she walked into the house towards the front door. The frosted glass panel gave her only a limited view of the person behind it.

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Jack the Giant Slayer

Okay, I've found a new film that everyone should become addicted to!

 
 
When this film was first released in the cinema, I was gutted when I didn't have time to go and see it. Let me tell you, it was worth the wait!
 
A retelling of the folk-tale Jack and the Bean Stalk, this movie starts off with a very dramatic opening sequence; a five minute bed time story on the ominous and gory history of how a great king of Albion and the magic meddling monks defeated the evil giants that climbed down from a magic stalk: 'Fee, Fi, Fo, Fum, ask not whence the thunder comes,. Ask not where the herds have gone or why the birds have ceased their song... for monsters roam in Albion.'
 
Talk about an exciting and refreshing way to revamp an old folk-tale. This film really had everything for a family get together: action, adventure, danger, comedy, romance, magic, suspense, good vs evil... I could go on all day!
 
Obviously, to all those who know the tale, the story is a bit predictable; we all know - regardless of twists - that Jack will get the beans, a princess will be involved and giant madness shall ensue. We also know that there's a happy ending; folk-tales always have a happy ending (the child friendly ones do anyway!).
 
And to those who have complained about it... well it's Jack! It's a folk-tale; it isn't going to have the depth and meaning of the Count of Monte Cristo, is it?
 
Personally, I love this film. From start to finish it delivered everything and more that you could possibly ask for in a family film. And the cat was awesome!

The Austen Post

I return as promised!

Back in July when I challenged myself to conquer the novels (well, the six of them that I owned) of Jane Austen, I decided that writing a review of each would be a great idea. And when I discovered that Jane herself would be placed on one of our lovely British bank notes, I thought it would be deemed a sort of celebration.

So, to get the book pages turning, I thought I'd start - obviously - with one of today's most popular romances. This novel, it can be argued is the forerunner of all contemporary romances and has produced some awesome films, an epic televison sereis (Colin Firth - yay!) and so many laughs and one-liners that it simply had to go first. I'm speaking, of course, about Pride and Prejudice.


Pride and Prejudice

"It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a large fortune must be in want of a wife." The story of the five Bennet sisters and the unfolding love stories between Mr Darcy and Elizabeth, Mr Bingley and Jane, and the disaster of Wickham and Lydia has captured many a reader over the years. The romantic and witty contents has often provoked many controversial theories (some may say outrageous) about the text's contents - I urge you to take a peek at any of the literary guides... I won't spoil the surprise!

I love this book, outrageous theories or not; P&P was one of the first classical novels I picked up as a youngster. The story is charming and flows magnificently from one scene to the next, while the characters are well defined and humourous.

Elizabeth is a strong protagonist, her agency quite unique in a period where most young women were to be seen and not heard, always asking permission before doing anything new. She is a modern woman for her time and not afraid to speak her mind. This contrasts greatly with her elder sister, Jane, who is quiet and unassumingly gentle.The male characters, Mr Darcy and Mr Bingley are also interesting (let's not forget Collins and Wickham!).

Overall, with its sweet romantic story and witty dialogue, P&P is a quintessential romance told within the genteel rural society of the period. It is a fun and happy tale, and one that even the most grumpy being couldn't fail to enjoy!
4.5 Stars

Sense and Sensibility

Jane Austen's first published novel, S&S, tells the story of the elder Dashwood sisters, reliable and reasonable Elinor and her impulsive and somewhat emotional sister Marianne. After their father's death, they, along with their mother and and younger sister, must leave their family estate (Norwood); the property has been left to their half brother John due to a tricky entail. However, before the girls leave, John and his wife arrive with the Edward Ferrars, with whom Elinor develops a close relationship.

With only a small income left to them, the Dashwood girls move to Devonshire and into a small cottage, owned by a distant cousin. There, they are acquainted with the brave and gentlemanly Colonel Brandon and utterly charming Willoughby - among others. The sisters must navigate themselves through the social world, their hearts baring many woes before they can find true love.

The title really does sum up the novel, and though it took me a little longer to read due to the language difference, I enjoyed it immensely. Jane Austen really did like her strong and fiery characters didn't she? And not just that, she loved her scandal. This novel introduced some elements that would have been viewed as shocking to 19th century society. Women having children out of wedlock? Wow. That would have raised some eyebrows, I imagine.

And I simply adore C.Brandon. Not just because of who played him in my favourite adaptation (Alan Rickman) but because he is a man of honour and remains so throughout the novel - and let's face it, when you discover who Willoughby really is, remaining honourable would be quite a difficult task.

Though the book was a bit long winded at times, I think it was light hearted and a wonderful sort of comedy of errors.
4.5 Stars

Mansfield Park

Fanny Price, one of many children, is offered a place to live by her rich relatives; sent to their home, Lord and Lady Bertram wish to see that she is properly raised. But Fanny's childhood is a miserable and lonely one, estranged from her siblings and treated cruelly by her female cousins. Only Edmund is kind to her, and they bond over the years. But when her cousins befriend two glamourous new people who have just arrived in the area, Henry and Mary Crawford, things begin to change. While Fanny used to be treated as though she were a lower being by everyone but Edmund, Edmund's fondness for Mary begins to alter their friendship and Fanny finds herself dealing with emotions she has never experienced before.

This is officially my favourite Jane Austen novel. It had me glued to my Kindle Fire - and even occasionally shouting at it - willing the characters on in their exploits.

While the characters are well defined and the story is superb; the reason it is my favourite is because you really feel for Fanny. When Edmund leaves her, breaks his promises, when he says things that are hurtful - as a reader you feel her pain and therefore absolutely loathe Mary (who is a moo anyway). Plus, with this novel, we get to see into the male mind, which I find quite interesting and more like the novels of today.

This is a 5 star xxxxx

Emma

Emma is a wealthy unmarried young lady who has nothing better to do than make matches for those around her, much to the displeasure of her nervous father and handsome Mr Knightley. But when the young Frank Churchill arrives in town, and her latest attempt at match-making goes awry, things begin to go wrong.

A satire on the upper classes, Emma is a quite a peculiar romance, as not many people - myself included - particularly like the protagonist. Nevertheless the novel is amusing and the writing itself is bouncy - by that I mean I like the pacing...

Knightley is my favourite male protagonist of the Austen men, I have to say. I have no idea why. He is not as handsome as Darcy, or as honourable as Brandon - but there is a shine to his character that I love. His seeming lack of words I find utterly charming; the line, 'If I loved you less, I could talk about it more,' really pulling at the heartstrings.

Fun and entertaining!
4 Stars

Persuasion

Anne Elliot accepted the proposal of Captain Wentworth then was persuaded by her family - who scorned the match, as it was deemed unsuitable - to end the engagement. Years later, Wentworth returns to the neighbourhood quite determined to marry anyone but Anne, and Anne is left to wonder whether she is at all suitable for marriage.

Unlike Austen's usual novels, the protagonist of this book is not a fiery and spirited, well-educated young woman, but a quiet and sensible lady who considers herself well past the prospect of marriage; the gentleman is not a man in ownership of a great estate and even shows frailty and spite on several occasions. It is an interesting novel, to be sure, though not my favourite.

I enjoyed the story and the character development, but the lack of tension within the novel was something of a frustration. And while I found the lack of verbal duels an intriguing aspect to this novel as it differed from the others, it seemed to slow the pace down considerably. Overall, I believe that this story is a must read for an Austen fan, but not for a reader who is a novice in the romance department.
3.5 Stars

Northanger Abbey

Where do I start with this one?

Catherine Morland, a young and imaginative young girl who is bored of country life - and rather enjoys a gothic - is given the opportunity to try the society life of Bath. There she meets many dashing young men, including Henry, who she pictures as her Byronic hero or prince in disguise. This is further enhanced when she is invited by his father General Tilney, to the family home Northanger Abbey.

And then the problems begin. As love begins to bloom, problems begin to sprout. The General believes Catherine to be an heiress, which she is not... Catherine's wealth, or lack of, is a problem, a point of shame for the General and she is cast from the Abbey, sent back to her quiet life in the country. Does she wait for Henry? Or does Henry only love her as a sister?

This was my least favourite of the Austen novels... because hardly anything happened. The character developed was a little lacking in vavavoom and though the story itself was rather charming, I found the Gothic satire thing a bit pointless. It didn't have even a remote sense of Gothic to me.

On saying that, I liked the idea of the female protagonist being naive and unaffected. It's something you don't see everyday - certainly not now - and probably wouldn't have been seen often during the period it was wriiten either, certainly not in high society, where a woman's goal was to find a rich or suitable husband.

Overall, I was quite disappointed but glad I made the effort to read it.
3 Stars.

So, there they are! I hoped you enjoyed them!



Ahoy!

Apologies blog spotters! I have been neglecting my writing duties of late...

Here is a little pic to keep you going and I promise you there are reviews aplenty on the way!

Monday, 22 July 2013

The Austen Novels

Wow!
I have done it! I've taken the time (two days) and read six Jane Austen masterpieces. And I have to say that they were thoroughly enjoyable- perhaps some of the best novels I have ever read!
I'll be posting a few reviews later on, so stay tuned, watch this space, keep reading and wait and see!
Pride and Prejudice x
Sense and Sensibility x
Emma x
Mansfield Park x
Persuasion x
Northanger Abbey x

;) 

And remember what Jane Austen said about gentlemen and ladies who don't take delight in good novels!

Who wants to be intolerably stupid? 
Not me xxx

Sees y'll later!

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

The Blair Witch Files

It's not over... The Blair Witch lives!
I am off to read the books! Have faith everyone, and a pillow to hide behind!

Saturday, 6 July 2013

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Criminal Minds: Suspect Behaviour

Now, I'm not usually one for sitting and watching tons of TV, but this one had me interested.

Aired originally in 2010 and cancelled after its first season, CMSB was made as a sort of spin-off from the very popular crime drama Criminal Minds - which, by the way, I have never seen. Anyway, bored and a little wired from typing, I decided to sit back and find something to watch and came across (on Love Film) the above psychological/thriller/suspense crime show.

And once I started watching it, I couldn't seem to stop.

If any of you are familiar with these police procedural dramas, they all have the same kind of M.O. There's a murder, a team is called in, the investigation starts and eventually - after one or two bumps in the road - the culprit is caught. CMSB is much the same, but with a few interesting additions.

The entire team is what the FBI call a RED CELL - a special response unit within the behavioural analysis unit that answers only to the Director of the FBI, using varied psychological approaches to get into the minds of the killers (or kidnappers, depending on the episode). It's all rather intriguing, if disturbing.

A particularly strong element to this series, I believe, are the characters and how they are introduced. First off, we have Samuel Cooper, the leader of the team and the man who does the main profiling; he's the one who really gets inside the culprits' heads (creepy). Then we have Beth, the feisty and determined woman who has been 'removed' from several units because of her 'forceful' opinions. Next is Prophet; this agent has a seriously dark past, some of it spent behind bars... Gina is an attractive blonde with a keen intelligence and family issues while Mick is the ex-sniper.

Unlike some shows, this programme has a sense of mystery regarding the character backgrounds and personalities; we don't know everything and all about them straight away. Their identities, much like that in real life, are shown to us over a period of time. The great thing about this is that it allows you, the audience to get attached to the characters in question, especially when they're put into life threatening or emotionally challenging situations. It's much more realistic: no one would dish out all their secrets to a relative stranger.

But it isn't just the characters, it's the stories - the episodes themselves - that I found interesting. Each one was unique, having different motives and requiring alternatives methods of attack. Furthermore, each episode seemed to require every team member to use a skill set, further enhancing relationship dynamics and character development. My particular favourite was 'One Shot Kill'. Action packed and full of psychological stuff, with a lot of character comparisons; plus, it was also kind of creepy.

My only real complaint about this series was how it ended. It ended on a cliff hanger. Now, I don't mind episodes starting with cliff hangers and then having those 'three days earlier' flashbacks... They are fine. But when a show is about to end, a cliff hanger never sits well; the entire point of a story is to have some sort of closure.

So aside from the one ickle nag about the last episode, I say, if you like peering inside people's brains (though not literally, I hope), take a gander at this. It's fast paced, well written and the line delivery is superb; the 'villains' in particular are fabulous.

Enjoy xxx

Monday, 24 June 2013

Paranormal...

On Facebook, I raised this question:

Which paranormal being would you rather be?

1: Werewolf
2: Necromancer
3: Witch
4: Fairy
5: Vampire

So... Which is it? Come on! Live dangerously.

Monday, 10 June 2013

Curious Animals

Don't you just love curious animals at zoos? This awesome lemur came right up to the fence to stare into the camera! 

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Wake Up and Smell the Herbal Teas!

We’ve all done it. It’s the morning, we’re on auto-pilot, still groggy from sleep, we trudge through our early morning ritual of waking, dressing and when we get to the kitchen the first thing we do is switch the kettle on. The very smell of fresh, hot coffee seems to rejuvenate and many people swear by the rush of energy that caffeine brings. But is it the only solution? Can there be another way?
 
Caffeine, a naturally occurring chemical stimulant, is a drug and increases concentration and reaction speed. It does this by blocking something called adenosine, a chemical which makes you naturally sluggish and drowsy. When you feel like your mind is racing after one too many espressos, you’re a lot closer to the truth than you might think. It isn’t a new drug either. Though extremely popular in the twenty-first century, the discovery of caffeine’s energy boosting powers had been recorded as early as twelve hundred years ago. Though it didn’t become a British staple until the eighteenth century, coffee has always been a part of mankind’s medical and luxury arsenal.

Like everything, caffeine has its ups and downs. Caffeine, as with other drugs, certainly has its benefits when taken in small doses. Research has suggested that 200mg of caffeine per day (two cups of coffee or tea) can do wonders. It has been found to slow the dementia process in women, preventing cognitive decline. Caffeine also increases the happy hormone (dopamine) in your brain, protecting against Parkinson’s and depression. The same amount of caffeine has also been found to cut the risk of skin cancer by up to twelve percent by working as an anti-oxidant.

But with the sweets comes the sours. Caffeine is a drug and with taking it you run the risk of addiction. Long term side effects of caffeine, if you drink over four cups of coffee or tea a day, can become serious over time.

Caffeine is only a temporary stimulation. The more you take, the more the brain cells need. This is because the adenosine in your system adapts to the caffeine, so once the stimulation wears off you’ll feel more sluggish than ever. If you love a cup of tea or coffee before bed and wonder why you toss and turn, look no further than that cup! Caffeine is notorious for causing sleep disturbances. And remember it is an alkaloid (a poisonous chemical) and therefore takes twelve hours to be completely eliminated from your body.

 High caffeine consumption can increase the loss of bone mineral density. As caffeine is a diuretic, it speeds the urination cycle but overtime it ‘steals’ calcium from the bones, flushing it out through the urine. In the long term, caffeine can cause osteoporosis.

Anxiety disorders can also be made worse by caffeine because of the over stimulation of the central nervous system. Too much caffeine can also aggravate bipolar disorder, overriding sedative medications. Experts are also concerned about men and women with bleeding disorders, urging people to be cautious with their caffeine intake.

Diabetes can also be affected by caffeine consumption. Research suggests that it can alter the way the body uses sugar in dangerous ways and can potentially worsen the effects of the illness. Caffeine should be used with caution or avoided altogether in these cases.

Though safe in small amounts, women either pregnant or breast feeding should be careful of drinking more than one or two cups of tea or coffee. Higher doses of caffeine can increase the chances of miscarriage. As caffeine passes into breast milk, nursing mothers can cause insomnia, irritability and stomach problems in infants.

If you have an upset stomach, caffeine is one of the worst things possible to have as it can make it worse. Caffeine is also known to enhance dehydration, which is not recommended when suffering from diarrhoea.

In daily users, large caffeine intake can also cause nervousness and restlessness. As a stimulant, caffeine could potentially raise the heart rate, increasing blood pressure and respiration.

Caffeine can be an effective way to wake up, but as you can see, overuse can cause problems. Kicking the caffeine habit altogether, if your intake is greater than three to four cups of coffee a day, might be a long and arduous process, so cutting down slowly is the best way to go about it. Instead of just quitting ‘cold turkey’ why not substitute the caffeine for a healthier and more natural alternative. Whether made fresh from the garden, or bought in a bag from the shop, herbs can have many health benefits. Herbal teas are widely available and specialist teas easily obtained off the web.  There are herbs for every occasion; here are five of them that can help to dispel the drowsiness without the artificial high.

Licorice
Most people love a bag of All-Sorts. Why not try some tea? Licorice is extremely beneficial.  A great stimulant, Licorice improves the function of the adrenal gland and gives you a much needed energy boost in the mornings. Unlike other teas, this is safe to take every single day and is even known to enhance memory and fight viral infections!
 
Mint
Mint is a powerful restorative, stimulating and revitalising the body and the best thing about it? It tastes really good! Peppermint tea is highly effective. One cup in the morning kick-starts the system, refreshing the mind, blowing away the cobwebs.  It is also a useful anti-sickness herb reducing stomach cramps, nausea and even headaches – an ideal hangover cure!  Though a tasty treat in teas, mint is also yummy when heated with milk. If peppermint is too strong, try spearmint for a lighter flavour.

Korean Ginseng
Often described as sharp and earthy, Korean Ginseng can be an acquired taste but it’s an essential pick-me-up for the early risers among us. Containing chemicals called ginsenocides Ginseng assists the body by stimulating the Central Nervous System. By kick starting the adrenal glands and promoting immune function, it also fights stress and when taken in small amounts, is an effective anti-aging tea!

Eucalyptus
There is nothing worse than having to get up and go to work with a cold. Teeming with flavonoids (immunity boosters) and lots of antioxidants such as rutin and limonene, eucalyptus tea is great for these early morning dilemmas. Known as eucalyptus globulus to the scientific community, it controls blood sugar levels and reduces viral infections. It also eases breathing difficulty, allowing more oxygen into the brain, making it brilliant for concentration. You’ll be wide awake and breathing easy with no sniffles in sight!

Raspberry Leaf
Containing many vitamins and minerals including vitamin C and calcium, Raspberry tea is the most perfect and healthy stimulant. Furthermore, Raspberry tea is one of the safest and commonly used tonics for women wishing to get or who are already pregnant. Raspberries are rich in vitamins A, B, C and E as well as important minerals such as iron and potassium. These nutrients increase blood flow, preventing anaemia and reduce fatigue dramatically.
           
While everything is good in moderation, natural alternatives are always good to try. Be sure to check with your doctor before taking any complementary medicine, especially when pregnant or while taking prescription medications.

Harry Potter - A Top Ten Character List

Well, it wouldn't be a Harry Potter month without one, would it?

The characters of our beloved HP have captured so many hearts and minds over the years (both in book and movie form) that I simply could not resist this Top 10...

Regular readers should not be surprised by my number one... at all!

A small note: I am not putting in pictures because most of the movie versions do my head in.

Ten:
Harry Potter
Yes, at number ten is the central character, our determined yet utterly lovable hero, Harry.  He's had a pretty hard life, you'll have to admit; a stupid prophecy here, evil masterminds trying to kill him over there... And he copes with all this without his parents. It's very sad, but that's what makes him all the more endearing. He keeps calm in the face of danger and he carries on. He saves the day again and again despite the secrets and lies and he kicks some Voldemort ass!
 
Nine:
Bellatrix
Perhaps my favourite villain of the piece because she is completely psychotic, Bellatrix is a pure blood witch and a sadistic wacko. Despite having a husband - who seems a bit browbeaten, if you ask me - she seems infatuated by Mr Voldy and, as one of his best wands (so to speak) she gets to know pretty much anything that goes on.
Also, if you've read the books, you'll know that she's the evil cowbag responsible for torturing Neville's parents until they were completely insane. In my mind, this makes her worse than Voldemort, who at least has the decency - if you can call it that - to kill his victims and not play with them first.
Despite this, she's an awesome character. her unhealthy obsession with power makes a fascinating, if slightly disturbing read.
 
Eight:
Professor Minerva McGonagall
Back onto the good guys! Our lion heart prof takes no nonsense from anyone, is wicked smart and can turn into a cat with spectacle markings!
That pretty much sums up why she's in my top ten. Anyone who can turn into a cat, is ace at transfiguration, tells Pansy to hightail it to the dungeons and fights Voldy is a winner for me.
 
Seven:
Luna Lovegood
This is the girl who tells us that it is okay to stand out in a crowd. She tells girls that, yes, you can be smart and a little strange... you can be yourself. People should love you for who you are and if they don't they really aren't worth your time.
Thank you, J.K for bringing us a girl like Luna.
 
Six:
Ginny Weasley
The definition of a red head is: fiery temper with a heart of gold. Ginny has this in spades. She is yet another character that I adore - and not just because she's ginger. Ginny has so much to live up to but doesn't let fear get in the way: she confronts her demons and fights for what she wants. Ginny is strong, loving and independent.
Take one for the team!
 
Five:
Fred and George Weasley
The practical jokers who made the dark times seem just that little bit lighter. they gave light to those shadows... And really, on reflection, there has always been someone in life exactly like that. A person who deals with stress by making light of it, making jokes, chasing people's fears away... They also remind me of family. The closeness the two brothers seem to share really comes across.
That's what these characters mean to me.
 
Four:
The Mums
Lily, Molly, Tonks, and even Narcissa... Each of these characters deserve so much more.  Liliy gave up her life protecting Harry, Molly protects, fights and cares not only for her children but for everybody else's, Tonks dies fighting to save her child's future and Narcissa's love for Draco was so strong she fooled Voldemort.
Mums really are the best.
 
Bronze:
Ron Weasley
'Sunshine, daisies, butter, mellow...' From Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, these words I shall always remember. The typical 'Ronness' that did then ensue, from troll remarks, spiders, ghosts in bathroom, to Hermione and a certain Quidditch player... all of these things (and of course, he's ginger) earn him a place in my top 3.
But, more important than all of that, is his character; despite him having difficulties with potions, having wand issues, and on the whole not being as talented or as poewrful as his friends, Ron has heart.
Ron binds the group together; his all too human view of things, his normal reactions to the dire situations allow everyone to see the humour in all the bad stuff. He's probably the funniest character in the books.
 
Silver:
Hagrid
Hagrid lives in a hut, likes a drink, is extremely brave and has an awesome beard... he's also half giant.
But he has a dog, a three headed dog, had a dragon, keeps thestrals...
You get the idea.
Basically, he's epic!
 
Gold:
 Professor Severus Snape
My all time favourite character and probably the most complex of them all. I have raved about Snape soooo many times...
I just love him.
And who couldn't, really?
Harry thinks he's surly, moody, judgmental... But tell me, if you had to watch the love of your life fall in love, marry and start a family another man ( a man you hate) and  then discover that the evil monstrosity you're working for wants to kill them...  mmmm.
And then the love of your life dies but the boy survives and you have to live with the knowledge that it was all your fault. And you have to protect the boy - who looks exactly like the father - with all your might because you want to honour the woman you loved.
But then your evil boss comes back and you have to be a spy. And you have to kill the one man you looked up to as a father and then you have to let the boyget himself  killed because it's meant to be and then sacrifice yourself in the process... all because you're still in love with this one woman. Because it's an ALWAYS kind of love.
You know, I think Snape is entitled to be a bit bitter.
And I apologize for the rant, but he's my favourite.
Always x
 

Saw this and Smiled...

This is sooo cute. I found it on Pinterest and it really made me smile - my thanks and madness goes out to whoever originally posted this!

The Family...


Saturday, 25 May 2013

Friday, 17 May 2013

Harry Potter and the Invasion of the UCG students...

Okay, so that title totally sucks, but what other wacky title would be catchy enough to describe our day out at the totally epic WB Studios?

So, before I cram this post full of pictures... actually Ill just cram this post full of pictures.

With the proviso of:

 EVERYTHING IS SOOOO MUCH COOLER IF YOU SEE IT IN PERSON!

 
So, above is the sight you are greeted with on arrival. I have to say it is extremely impressive; there are two large stages - aptly named J and K - and both are gi-huge. As soon as you get near the entrance, you are bombarded with the sound (awesome sound of course) of Harry Potter. And believe me, even after four hourse, you don't tire of it.

 
Remember these? All of the chess pieces from HP1 are still around folks, just guarding the stages and ticket sales folk. I wanted one to move - I was sort of half expecting one to actually - but they didn't... or did they?
 

 
Can you believe the car found its way out of the forest? It now hangs happily in the entrance hall - which is huge by the way - for everyone to see. Along with Hedwig, in her cage, and several massive canvas pictures of the cast, the car decorates the entrance hall; there is the standard info deak (cloakroom) blah blah and the employees are awesome! They all know just a little too much about HP...
Which was fine with me.
Plus, we all got these Harry Potter passports for the tour. They were cool. And they'd come in ahndy later on too; stamps you know. Stamps. And flying lessons... and duelling club.
 
 
 
Into the Great Hall, and it is Great. They called it a 'hot' set. Meaning, of course, that it was ready to be filmed on at any moment. The hall is massive and so incredibly detailed. You have to take care not to gawk! The goblets and pitchers were cool, as were the costumes (see above).

 
What is the HP tour without Dumbledore's office? Need I say more?

 
I had to stick this in, because I just loved this from the film. I always did wonder how they made all the props look so realistic... I asked one of the tourguides. Did you know every label you see, every book, every picture frame; they were all hand-made? People took the time to write every single label in Snape's potion room, Ollivander's wand shop... Think of all the books the characters have read over the years... That is just mind blowing.

 
And speaking of potions. Here is a little snippet of the Potions classroom. That set was seriously awesome. And kind of creepy.

 
And creepy does not do this set justice. Umbridge's office was so pink it was almost sinister. Voldemort's cave and Malfoy's dark manor had nothing on this. The pink was seriously revolting; it looked so happy it was evil. Shivers...

 
Favourite bit!
Outside was where we tasted Butterbeer!!!! Only two places in the world sell the stuff. And it is yummy. You must try some. Anyway, Privet drive, Godric's Hollow, the Hogwarts Bridge, the Riddle tombstone and the Knight Bus can all be found outside. So much fun.

 
Past the monsters and into Diagon Alley! So much to look at, so little time. That is all I'm saying. ;)

 
And can you believe this is a model? Just wow. It's the last part of the tour and certainly the grandest.
 
It was an ace day and something suitable for anyone with the slightest HP tendency. Add that to the huge shop at the end of the tour an dyou have a winner. I hope you all like the pictures. I ended up snapping over 400! Most of them were rubbish but a good proportion of them were damn good, if I do say so myself. The whole tour was superb; I'd definitely go again.
Even if I'd have to force my dad to take us.

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