Currently, I Am… | #10

Hi, friends! Ah, I’ve missed you. It’s been almost a whole month since I’ve shown my face on my lovely little blog, but it’s definitely been well deserved. The first few weeks of 2017 were filled with coursework and university deadlines, so The Rose Quartz had to take a bit of a backseat. Don’t worry though, I thought about you every day!

After that, I had a few days of beautiful nothingness and relaxation with Matthew, before me, him, his brother and his girlfriend went off for a 4-day bender to Butlins for the Giants of Rock festival. That, I tell you, was flipping fantastic and I’ll be talking a lot more about that the next time I’m around! We saw some incredible bands and some really impressive musicians – it was mind blowing, really. As well as enjoying lots of music, the nearby beach was just beautiful. We spent a lot of time walking around and taking pictures – you know what I’m like.

Butlins Minehead

My “Currently, I Am” series is always a great post for when I return from a pretty long break. I haven’t posted one of these since November, just after Trump managed to find his way into an incredible, ridiculous position of power. Coincidentally, this one comes just after his inauguration and the reinforcement that his new found power is taking America down a horribly familiar, slippery slope.

Anyway, let’s not talk politics. Let’s have a bit of a catch up!

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Currently, I am feeling

…oh, well, a lot of different feelings actually. I’m gunna quickly take you through them, otherwise this could go on for a very long time. I’m feeling excited and nervous about my wedding day – I get married in November and there’s a lot of exciting plans to be made! I’m feeling anxious, unprepared and lost with regards to my future career prospects – I’m graduating in the summer, with no passion for my degree or field of work in any way. I’m feeling tired, because sleep is alluding me – that’s probably because of all these FEELS.

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Currently, I am watching

…Daredevil S2. We recently finished Jessica Jones too, which was unbelievable. Kilgrave is one of my all time favourite villains! He’s easily Marvel’s best on-screen baddie. His ability to manipulate people, simply by talking to them, is a really clever way of avoiding “not-another-fight-scene”. Daredevil is also picking up. The first season started off incredibly dull, picking up towards the end. The second season started a little slow too actually, but it quickly sorted itself out and now me and Matthew are both really enjoying it.

Since my last catch up post, Westworld finished too. That was one of the best bits of television I’ve ever seen. Highly, highly recommend.

Currently, I am reading

…The Great Gatsby. Can you believe I’ve never read it? I also recently read Tim Burton’s The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy and Other Stories which was a super interesting and super quick read. It’s worth it though. The title story was one of the longer short stories/poems in the collection and it actually made me feel pretty sad. Poor, Oyster Boy.

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How have you been? What have you been up to recently?

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You can read my previous post here.

Photographs are my own. © Morgan Mills

Currently, I Am… | #9

Being back at university is weird! I feel like I have both no free time and lots of free time, you know? As illogical as that sounds, it’s pretty accurate. Yes, I could technically stay in my pyjamas all day and play games, but as a final year student that’s not going to lead to good grades or any sort of rise in self-confidence. I’ve been staying late at university a lot recently, hence the lack of attention I’ve been giving my beloved blog. Once I’m home, sitting in front of another computer screen has been one of the last things on my mind. As you can imagine, a computer science degree involves a lot of screen time.

Anyway, hi friends! Let’s have a bit of a catch up.

Currently, I Am Catch-Up

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Currently, I am feeling

…lots of things, which is generally a good thing! I’m feeling busy and a bit stressed but that’s nothing I can’t handle. I had a wonderful birthday weekend, I’ve had some great marks in my university work from this semester and me and Matt are in full-on wedding planning mode! So, despite the stress, I have lots of good stuff going on.

On the other hand, there’s this giant black cloud hovering above me. The recent news, the terrible news, that Donald Trump will be the next President of the United States rattled me to the core. It’s terrifying that this joke of a human being – this monster, racist, homophobic, sexist, rapist – could possibly be granted any sort of power. Yet, here he is. Stay safe.

Currently, I am watching

…well, I’m in the middle of watching quite a few things at the moment, but they all got left behind! Me and Matt started Stranger Things, which we were loving, but after maybe three episodes we got distracted and busy. When Westworld aired, we super excitedly started watching that too. Then, we got busy again… We’ll catch up eventually, I promise.

Currently, I am playing

…Skyrim! I recently bought Skyrim remastered for the Xbox One. It’s my favourite PC game of all time, so having the chance to play it on an updated console with achievements is just a no-brainer. It’s fantastic, obviously.

Currently, I am excited for

…the first thing that comes to mind, our wedding. I’ll be covering this in a post of its own some time soon, but me and Matt recently set our date, booked the venue and put down a deposit. It’s our dream venue. I’m also pretty excited for Christmas, obviously. I’ll be putting the Christmas tree up soon!

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So, what are you most excited for? Do you have any good news?

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You can read my previous post here.

101 Things in 1001 Days Update

It’s been just over a year since I first took on the 101 Things in 1001 Days challenge. I was inspired to do this after having a bit of a ‘bucket list’ nosey on the Day Zero Project’s website. After trawling through wonderful things I’d love to accomplish, I craved a way to document it all. Because I’d just started a wee blog, I thought that would be the perfect way to do so. I was so pleased. A year later, I still am.

The 101 Things in 1001 Days challenge motivates me to step out of my comfort zone and try new things. If I’m at a loss on a weekend, unsure of what to do, I’ll have a look through my list and aim to tick one of the items off. I do this a lot! I may have spent the entire Sunday afternoon watching rubbish TV and re-runs of friends but, instead, I’d end up working on a new Pinterest craft project or baking a cake.

101 Things in 1001 Days Update

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It’s been a while since I posted any progress on the challenge. My last update was in February and it’s been slow and steady since then.

So, let’s break down what I’ve managed to tick off in the past 6 months!

Read a Comic Book or Graphic Novel:

After eagerly awaiting the release of the new Torchwood comic book, I quickly snapped one up. I was really, really looking forward to reading my first comic book and because it’s the start of a new series I knew I wouldn’t be jumping into an already established story. I’m a massive Torchwood nerd too (give us season 5, please!) so you can only imagine how excited I was.

Simply put, I didn’t like it. It took me about 2 minutes to read. I got to the end and was just like “is that it?” Sure, the story was intriguing and I’d be inclined to see where it goes but each issue is £4! I can’t see any value for money there. At least I managed to tick something off my list.

I think I’d probably enjoy graphic novels more than comic books. I’ll try one of those next.

Film:

Me and Matt have watched a few films since my last update, but nowhere near the amount I would of liked. We saw “Love, Rosie”, “Inglourious Basterds” and “The Great Gatsby” – all three of them earned themselves a solid 7/10 stars (as an average of mine and Matthew’s score, anyway). We also watched the final part of The Hunger Games trilogy, Mockingjay Part Two, and rated that an 8.5/10. It was a great adaptation.

Katniss Everdeen

Professionally Cut and Coloured Hair:

My red hair is long gone and I’m now a very happy brunette. I absolutely love my brown hair. It was the first time I’d ever had my hair professionally coloured and it was a disaster! I had to fix it myself with a £2 home box dye. It looked so much better with a home colour than it did at the hairdressers. I know, I was shocked too. So was my bank balance.

Finish My Mandala Wall Art:

This project is one of my favourite accomplishments from the 101 Things in 1001 Days so far. I spent a lot of time working on this and I’m absolutely over the moon with the results. Once me and Matt decided to decorate our bedroom, I thought it would be a nice touch to hang something of my own on the walls. To highlight the theme of our newly decorated room, I chose mandalas.

I think they’re beautiful. I don’t think I’ll ever stop being proud of them! The effort, time and detail I put into these will be a lasting memory, for sure.

Finished Mandala Wall Art DIY

Go on a Hike:

This was another wonderful thing to tick off my challenge. Although it fell on a pretty sad day, me and Matt had such a lovely time in Keswick. We hiked 9 miles around one of the lakes and, as you can imagine, the views were stunning. I’ll never forget them.

Books:

In the last 6 months, I read 3 books. Ouch. That’s terrible. I also started another 2 books but I didn’t manage to finish them. It would coincidentally fall across a hard time or a terrible day at work and I’d just lose all love for it. Luckily, I’m on the right side of that dark patch in my life and I hope to see the back of it completely in the future!

I read “The Sense of an Ending“, “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” and “The Girl With All The Gifts“. I also reviewed all three, so I’ve linked their reviews just in case you’d like a read! If I had to choose, I think The Girl With All The Gifts was my favourite.

Exciting news! I started reading Harry Potter and the Cursed Child last night too. I’m a little bit in love, so I’ll let you know how it goes. I’m sure I’ll adore it.

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I hope you liked this post, because I did! Writing “catch-up” posts like this is such a great way to recognise all of the amazing stuff you’ve been up to.

What amazing things have you done in the last 6 months or so?

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You can read my previous post here.

-Morgan

Photographs are my own. © Morgan Mills

Currently, I Am… | #8

Hi, friends!

I absolutely love writing posts for my “Currently, I Am” feature. It’s such a personal thing to do – to let someone into your real life – but I really enjoy putting together and summarising what I’ve been up to. Not only does it help me appreciate my life more, it also lets you know what hobbies, interests and memorable moments have happened in my life. I guess you like to know this, right? You follow me for a reason! I’ve always been pretty personal on my blog, anyway. It’s like a giant diary to share with friends I met along my blogging journey.

My last catch-up post was, coincidentally, a month ago today. This is a fairly irregular feature but a happy coincidence nonetheless! A lot seems to have changed since then. But, it’s one of those months that’s only kind of changed inside of me… you know? It’s hard to explain! Even though I’ve felt like a lot has changed, maybe to an outsider I’m just doing the same old.

Graduation Currently I Am

Let’s get cracking then! What have I been up to lately?

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Currently, I am feeling

…a lot of things, actually. I’m happy with my home, my life and how perfect Matthew really is. I fear that all of that could change in the next couple of years though. I’m nervous and frightened about what my future holds after yesterday’s terrible news that Britain will be leaving the EU. It was a horrendously rushed and violent period of our history that brought out the worst in so many people. A lot of ‘vote Leave’ supporters are already starting to regret their decision.

Currently, I am watching

Orange is the New Black, season 4! We’re only on episode 6, so no spoilers please. We’re both enjoying it so far though. To be honest, it’s just really refreshing to see so much diversity in one show again. I have a feeling that’s actually going to be problematic though, considering the recent ‘woopsie’ that Piper just made… we’ll see. Game of Thrones finale tomorrow too! I can’t even talk about it… I’m so excited and nervous and ahhhhh it’s so good.

Currently, I am reading

The Girl with All the Gifts by M.R Carey. I started this last year but only read a couple of chapters. I was going through a terrible patch and I couldn’t find the concentration to do much more than crawl out of bed in the morning. However, I’m feeling good recently and I’m so glad I went back to this book! It’s absolutely incredible! I’m just over half way, and I think this may be one of my favourite books of all time… I hope that’s not a premature statement. I guess if it has a terrible ending that could all change. The writing is just amazing though. I don’t see it letting me down!

It’s been kind of a running joke in these posts about how little I’ve read recently… that’s changed. I can’t wait to smash through my fantastic list of books!

Currently, I am playing

…not a lot really and not very often. I’m enjoying work a lot, which is obviously fantastic, but it means I’m mentally exhausting myself every day. When I get home, I don’t really want to do anything other than snuggle up on the couch with Matt or read my book. I’m still technically in the middle of Elder Scrolls: Online (which I think I may jump on after I finish writing!) and if I have a spare half hour in the evening, me and Matt are still loving Call of Duty: Black Ops 3.

Currently, I am excited for

…omg, a lot. July is going to be an incredibly busy and exciting month! At the beginning of the month, me and my mum are going to stay in a beautiful country house for the night which we’re both really looking forward to. Matt also graduates soon! In the same week, he graduates from university and turns 22. Busy week. I’ve took a couple of weeks off work to celebrate everything plus to have a little ‘summer holiday’. We’re planning on bus hopping around Yorkshire for a week like we did last summer. I can’t wait!

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What have you been up to lately? Are you watching Orange is the New Black?

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You can read my previous post here.

-Morgan

Photographs are my own. © Morgan Mills.

20 Famous Books I Haven’t Read

There are only so many books you can read in a lifetime! I’m a huge bookworm so I’ve understandably read quite a lot. However, for some reason, a lot of the best-selling, much loved favourites just haven’t made it yet! Considering how many best-selling novels there are in the world, I don’t think I’m doing too bad but there’s definitely some whoppers that I’m missing out on.

There’s always so much pressure reading well-loved books too! If I don’t like it, am I weird, uncultured, uneducated, naive? Obviously, people have different opinions but when it’s something as famous as Pride and Prejudice, I do start to worry if it’ll live up to it’s expectations.

20 Famous Books I Haven't Read

All of these books are waiting for me on my “to be read” list so I’ll definitely get around to them eventually. Because I haven’t read much throughout 2016, I’m finally just starting to catch-up on all of the novels I’d planned to read last year.

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20 Famous Books I Haven’t Read:

Atonement by Ian McEwan

The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien

A Song of Ice and Fire (series) by George R. R. Martin

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown

Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis

War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells

Mort by Terry Pratchett

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

The Martian by Andy Weir

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

Emma by Jane Austen

How To Be a Woman by Caitlin Moran

Looking for Alaska by John Green

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

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I can’t wait to read them all! That is a really fantastic list of books, I think. I should probably start reading through them :).

How many of these famous novels have you read? Do you have a favourite?

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You can read my previous post here.

-Morgan

Photographs are my own. © Morgan Mills.

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Currently, I Am… | #7

Hi, friends! Happy “hump day” – I hope you’ve had a great week so far.

This is going to be the most positive “Currently, I Am” post that I’ve shared for a few months (yay) so that’s good news. In April, I managed to muster up a pretty positive catch-up but before that they haven’t exactly projected happiness for a while and I apologise! That’s all changed now, though.

Honestly, I’ve had a really good couple of weeks. After being off work sick for a while, I finally returned with absolutely no problems. It was like I never left but in a good way. I’m noticeably happier and I feel as if I even look healthier – clear eyes, clear skin etc. Currently, everything is just way more positive. Granted, I’m tired. Getting back to work was tough, but I’m happy to be there!

Anyway, let’s get back to the real topic. What have I been up to recently!?

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Currently, I am watching

…right this second, SacconeJoly vlogs on YouTube. We had a pretty busy week and we couldn’t keep on top of them. So, whilst eating our tea, we had a bit of a catch up!

In general,  I’m still re-watching Supernatural with Matt (we’re on series 9) as well as eagerly awaiting the new episodes of series 11. That’s about it! We’re thinking of starting Modern Family for a bit of fun when we have 20 minutes to burn, so that should be good.

I’ve been in such a film mood recently too but I haven’t found the time to  watch any in the last few weeks. I’m super excited for so many films – I think I’ll be finally seeing X-Men: Apocalypse soon (can’t wait!) and, huge news, the first trailer for Beauty and the Beast was finally released. My heart melted and it was only the tiniest of snippets so I can’t even imagine how excited I’ll be when the film comes out next year!

Currently, I am listening to…

…a lot of Absolute Classic Rock and Absolute 80’s – my two favourite radio stations, and they’re both fantastic to listen to when I’m sat at my desk working!

Currently, I am reading

…nothing, right this second. I finished A Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes this afternoon which was absolutely incredible. Wow. I’ll be reviewing it on my blog very soon because I’d love to share my opinions on it. Before that, I read Alice in Wonderland and you can read my review here.

I’m finally out of my reading slump!

Currently, I am feeling

…pretty fantastic, really! I’m quite tired today because I had a terrible night’s sleep last night. In comparison to the last few months though, I’m feeling great. Right now, I’m also feeling lovely and warm and cosy, which is always good. It seems like everything is looking up! Let’s hope the second half of 2016 is far, far, far better than the first.

Currently, I am playing

…so much Call of Duty: Black Ops 3. So much. I need an intervention. I need help. Seriously though, I’m loving this game. It’s not my cup of tea at all (well, I didn’t think it was) but since buying it last month or so, me and Matt can’t drag ourselves away from it when we’re free from normal, grown-up commitments.

I also started Ori and the Blind Forest on the Xbox One recently which is a super beautiful platform adventure game. I’m sure I’ll be reviewing this on my blog once I’ve completed the story because it has been fascinating, heart-breaking and fun in equal measures.

Currently, I am excited for…

…a little country break away with my mum in June. We’re going to stay at a hotel on the outskirts of Scarborough for a night, just the two of us, and we’re both so bloody excited!

I’m also very excited for Matthew at the moment as he finished the final essay of his degree this afternoon and is only one more exam away from completely his 3 years at university! Then, he graduates in July and starts a year of teacher training in September… I’m such a proud fiancé!

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How have you been? Have you done, watched or read anything good recently?

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You can read my previous post here.

-Morgan

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

Rating: 3.5 / 5 stars
Published: November 26th 1865

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland Lewis Carroll Review

I’m having a hard time deciding how I felt about this beautiful little book. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland – the story, the Disney adaptation, the Tim Burton adaptation, the whimsy – has a very special place in my heart. I’ve mentioned my love for all of the above in countless posts in the past and I’ll never bore of telling you how much I adore everything about it.

However, until this afternoon, it had been years and years since I last read Lewis Carroll’s classic and I’d actually forgot a lot of the major plot points. I watch the Disney adaptation (one of my all-time favourite films ever!) several times a year, meaning that is a lot more prominent in my memory. With Tim Burton’s ‘Through the Looking Glass’ being released later this month, I thought it was about time I reread the books – starting with Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland!

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Alice's Adventures in Wonderland Lewis Carroll Review

Naturally, I have to draw attention to how beautiful my version of the book is! Matthew bought me this edition for my birthday a few years ago. I just absolutely love it. Even the pages have golden edges… It really is something special. The story itself, on the other hand, left me feeling a little underwhelmed. That’s completely my fault, though, as I’ve placed the story of Alice in Wonderland on a pedestal for so many years that it would have been practically impossible to meet my expectations all over again.

That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy the book because I certainly did! Lewis Carroll’s writing is just wonderful and I couldn’t help but smile at his intelligently and logically constructed nonsense. I thought it was super that the narrator repeatedly referred to the illustrations for further description – such as the Gryphon’s appearance and the King’s crown – as it made them an important part of the story, rather than a little added extra.

It’s a very short story. It took me around an hour to finish which was probably another reason why I was left feeling very underwhelmed. I wanted to engross myself into a story and it just so happened that Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is a lot shorter than I remember! Again, that’s absolutely no fault of the book. I just could immerse myself in the weird and wonderful Wonderland for so much longer.

Alice, being the centre of the entire story, is such a highlight for me. Her internal conflicts, opinions and ramblings are so enjoyable to read. Despite the absolute madness surrounding her, she stays perfectly calm and composed. It definitely reflects the dream-like aspect of the entire story. You never realise how completely irrational your dreams are until you wake up…

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is full of absolute nonsense but that’s what sets it apart from so many others. It’s a classic for a reason and it’s definitely worth a couple of hours of your time!

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Have you ever read Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland?

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You can read my previous post here.

-Morgan

Photographs are my own. © Morgan Mills.