Walking in a winter wonderland

Dear reader,

Here in Holland we have the first day of Christmas on December 25th and the second day of Christmas on the 26th. Yes, we celebrate Christmas twice and we love it! No work, no shops, just relaxing, visiting family and food.
As we don’t visit family with Christmas, me and my mum spent Christmas in our pj’s on the couch watching Christmas movies.

But, we didn’t have a white Christmas. As soon as the second day of Christmas was over, it started snowing. So yesterday and today were the third and fourth day of Christmas, this way we still had a white Christmas this year! I love cheating like this.

I love snow. I walked to my work instead of taking the bike. And I loved every second of it. A coworker drove past me and stopped to ask if I wanted a ride, but I declined. It was still snowing and everything was so beautiful. I thought to myself; even if it’s gone in an hour because of the shovel trucks and the salt, I’ve still had my Snow-walk. I even wanted to take pictures, but my phone stopped working because of the cold.

Yesterday afternoon, most of the snow was melting and it started freezing at night, so now everything has turned to ice. The weather today was lovely, so I took out my camera and went for a stroll. It was like walking in a winter wonderland.

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Much love,

Sam

Luna

Dear reader,

This book is about Regan and Liam. Or Regan and Luna. That kind of depends on what part of the day it is. Liam is transgender, a girl born in the body of a boy. But she only let’s Luna out at night when the parents are asleep. Regan, Luna’s sister is the only one who knows about this secret.

I think it is amazing that there’s a book written about a subject like this. I know some things about it so it’s not all new information, but I’ve never actually met anyone who’s transgender. And so I think it’s good that you can now have a little look inside their lives.

I do kind of dislike Regan, though. She keeps saying she loves Luna and that she will support Liam in everything she does. But on the other hand, she keeps saying that it is ruining her life. She thinks it’s weird that Liam wants to transit. And it makes her a bit two-faced. I really don’t like it. It’s like she’s fine with it, but she doesn’t want anyone else to know about it, because it gives her a bad reputation. Regan is so self-centered that it makes me want to cry. But maybe there’s a logic to it, as her hole life revolves around Luna and Liam…

I wonder what Maxx thought off it.

Smaxxpoints:
Hele SmaxxHele SmaxxHele SmaxxHalve Smaxx

Can we skip Autumn, please?

Dear reader,

Some of you may love Autumn. The leaves getting brown, orange and yellow, it’s getting colder so you can wear your jumpers again and what not. But I absolutely despise it. And not because it’s getting colder, I don’t mind cold. In fact, I’d rather be cold than hot, cause I love wearing jumpers.

I hate Autumn because of the spiders. Now, I don’t know where this phobia came from, but it only seems to be getting worse. When I moved to the other side of the country to study Journalism, my mom told me it would be fine and that it would help to lessen my phobia. Oh boy, was she wrong.

No matter how small or big, no matter where they are, no matter if they move or sit still, I will find them. Even without my glasses I see them. It’s like they find me and they know I’m terrified of them, cause they will haunt me down.

And no, saying I’m terrified isn’t me overreacting. I really am scared of them. No matter how big or small, I will call (or shout) for someone to get them away from me. I hate getting my bike out of the shed, because there are so many spiders in there. I always drag my bike out so I don’t have to go inside.

On every corner off the street, they’re there. In every bush there’s a spider and watch out where you’re going, cause you might step into a spider’s web! As if they own the bloody place.

And now everything itches and tickles and that’s what I get when I think of spiders. Ugh! Please tell me I’m not the only one? And don’t start telling me that I don’t have to be afraid because “they can’t hurt you”. I know that, Okay? And I don’t even know why I’m afraid, I just am. But isn’t that always the case with phobias? So if we could just skip Autumn and its creepy insects like spiders and slugs and what now, that would be great, thank you. Let’s just go straight to Winter where they all freeze to death.

Much love,

Sam

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Book Tag #1

Dear reader,

I saw this on Tumblr when a friend of mine did this tag and I wanted to do it as well. So I decided to post mine on here. Here we go.

Rules: In a text post, list ten books that have stayed with you in some way. Don’t take but a few minutes, and don’t think too hard — they don’t have to be the “right” or “great” works, just the ones that have touched you. Tag [ten] friends, including me, so I’ll see your list. Make sure you let your friends know you’ve tagged them.

These books are listed at random

1. Erin Morgenstern – The Night Circus
I think about this book a lot. Ever since I read it, I want to read it again. This story is so good, and so magical. If you haven’t read it yet, please do.
This story is about a circus that arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night.

2. Jojo Moyes – Me before you
I like this book because it’s about an ordinary girl with an ordinary life. But she will do anything for someone she’s only just met. And I think that’s beautiful. It’s also very well written.
Will had a motoraccident and is in a wheelchair. He doesn’t know how to go on living and he wants to die. Will Lou be able to make Will’s life better. Can she show him that Will can still have a good life?

3. Catherine Ryan Hyde – Pay it forward
To be fair, I saw the movie first. And I cried. A lot. When I went shopping with my grandma in Dartford I came across this book in a secondhand bookshop. I bought it, I read it and I cried. Again. A lot. This story is so heartwarming, and the end of it is so tear-jerking. It’s almost impossible not to cry. I dare you to read it and not cry.
The story of how a boy who believed in the goodness of human nature set out to change the world.

4. Jordan Weisman, Sean Stewart, Cathy Brigg – Cathy’s book
I got this book for my birthday if I remember correctly. I thought it was amazing. It’s like someones diary. And there’s an envelope in the front with ‘evidence’ and everything. There’s a whole website, and a phone number. When I was fifteen I thought this was amazing!
Things weren’t so peachy in Cathy’s life before Victor broke up with her. Her father died unexpectedly, she’s failing school, and her best friend is mad at her. But when Cathy decides to investigate Victor’s reasons for ending their relationship, things suddenly go from bad to very, very, very bad as her findings produce more questions than answers.

5. Hans Mijnders – Verdacht (it’s not on goodreads)
To be honest, I don’t really remember what this story is about ( I believe it was about teenagers dealing drugs). But the story is not why this book is in this list. It’s in this list because this is the first writer I’ve ever met and it’s the first book ever to be signed for me. Like, with my name in it. I thought it was amazing. I met him at the library when I still was in primary school.

6. J.K. Rowling – The tales of Beedle the Bard
Maybe not the Harry Potter book you would imagine, but still. As much as I love all the other books, this one is the one I’ve read the most. And I still do every now and then. It used to lay on my bedside table, so I could read it when I couldn’t sleep.
The Tales of Beedle the Bard, a Wizarding classic, first came to Muggle readers’ attention in the book known as Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Now, thanks to Hermione Granger’s new translation from the ancient runes, we present this stunning edition with an introduction, notes, and illustrations by J. K. Rowling, and extensive commentary by Albus Dumbledore.

7. John Green – Paper Towns
Yes, I chose this book over The Fault in our Stars. And you can’t really compare these stories and say which one is better, because they’re both really very good. I chose this book, because it made me think. It made me nervous and I couldn’t stop reading until I knew what was going on. It was a real page-turner for me and I’m really excited about the movie!
After their all-nighter ends and a new day breaks, Q arrives at school to discover that Margo, always an enigma, has now become a mystery. But Q soon learns that there are clues — and they’re for him. Urged down a disconnected path, the closer he gets, the less Q sees of the girl he thought he knew.

8. Gayle Forman – If I stay
I only read this book a few weeks ago. It’s really good and sad and beautifully written. And I really hope that the movie is just as good. Possibly even better.
One February morning Mia goes for a drive with her family, and in an instant, everything changes. Suddenly, all the choices are gone, except one. And it’s the only one that matters.

9. E. Lockhart – We were liars
So good.
Read it.
And if anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE.

10. Jay Asher – Thirteen reasons why
Weird, but good. Maybe a little scary at some points. But read it.
Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a mysterious box with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers thirteen cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker, his classmate and crush who committed suicide two weeks earlier.

*****

I want to do more tags on here, so I am going to try and stick to it. I’ve got two more weeks of internship left and then I’ll have to start looking for a proper job. So bare with me. I promise to try.

I tag all of my followers to do this tag. Especially Maxx. It doesn’t have to be this detailed, just book titles are fine too. Please tag me back, cause I want to see your results! Or leave a comment when you’ve already done this.

Much love,

Sam

Love letters to the dead

Dear reader,

I picked this book for June (and July as it seems) because I saw so much about it on Tumblr. I didn’t really know what to think about it so I wanted to give it a go.

Now, I really don’t know what Maxx thought of this one, cause last time we talked about Smaxx she hadn’t finished it, and unlike last time, I really don’t know.
But I do know that I didn’t think it was going to head this way.

This story is about a girl who gets an English assignment, the entire class has to write a letter to a dead person. She writes the letters, but they aren’t really letters. They’re more like diary entrees, but with a different name at the top every time.

The way it was written, with the letters and stuff, it made me think of Perks of being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky.

Anyways.. I actually really liked this book. I think it shows that even though people don’t act like it, there might be more behind their smile.

See you next month with a new book.

Much love,

Sam

Ballooning in Beesd

Dear reader,

My birthday is on August 14th but I’ve already gotten my first present. My mom gave me a ticket to go on a balloon flight. So that’s what I did.

On Friday May 14th I went to Beesd with my mom, at this point only Maxx knew about my flight and I only told her about two minutes before we left. So when I posted a picture of the field and the sign, people only found out about it right that moment.

It turned out, the balloon I was in, is the almost largest of Europe, there’s only one balloon that’s bigger than this one. This may be why we were the highest up in the air of all the balloons that went up. We were with four balloons. Two small ones, one with 22 people and us, with 32 people on board.

Our balloon was spread out on the field, vans blowing air into it and our basket was on its side. And as it got blown up, it was really surreal how big these balloons actually were and I wondered how we were going to fit in the basket with 32 people. It all seemed so small from the outside. It really wasn’t though. There were nine compartments. Four on the right, four on the left and one big one in the middle for our pilot. I was in one of the compartments on the right with two other people as some compartment were made for three people and some for four people.

The balloon was full of air and our basket was swinging from one side to the other as the hot air was making its way through the balloon. It wasn’t scary, it was just weird. I thought something might have been wrong, but there were people telling us that it sometimes happened and that it was because the balloon was so big.

And then we went up. I saw the people on the ground get smaller and it was amazing. At that moment you feel as light as a feather. Your flowing through the air and everything looks so beautiful. Not to be soppy, but as the emotional wreckage that I am, I got all teary eyed.

For almost 90 minutes I saw everything, it felt like I could see my entire country beneath my while the sun was setting in the distance. I saw sheep and mills and cars and trains and small villages. At one moment we all went completely silent, the pilot stopped pulling the gas, we were at 1300 meter height. You could still hear the cars, I heard a dog bark, there was a girl screaming all the way down. For a while it was just us, up there in a basket strapped to a balloon, watching the sun set with its beautiful colours. For my likings we started landing way to soon. It was already 9.30 pm, but still.

Someone told me that landing would be awful, but to be honest, it wasn’t that bad. For about a minute I thought we we’re going to hit the ground any second, but we were probably still a few meters above the ground. There were some small ditches in the meadow we were landing in and our first hit was only two meters away from the water. We bumped on the ground about three or four times and then we stayed still. Almost perfectly still. But we were balancing between laying down and standing up. Finally our balloon made a choice and pulled the basket down on the ground, so we all had to crawl out.

Everyone took their picture with the basket and then it was time to ‘clean up’. We had to work together to get all the air out of the balloon and to fold it. There was a cart to put it in and after about an hour of getting rid of the balloon it was time for champagne. Everyone was handed a glass, bubbles were given and our pilot told us the story about the first balloon ride ever. We toasted on our safe landing and amazing trip. We got a certificate and then we headed back to the spot we took off from. My mom and I got home at one am and I slept like a baby.

Sorting through the photo’s was a real pain in the bum, but it was all worth it. You can find them on my Facebookpage.

If you ever get the chance to go ballooning. Do it! I mean it, do it. It’s so beautiful up there and so quite. And it’s probably a once in a lifetime chance. So do it!

Much love,

Sam

Ballonvaart Ballonvaart

Billy and Me

Dear reader,

This book has been on my ‘to read’-list for quite some time. I was so happy when Maxx handed me this book, and may I add, without confetti! I think she learned her lesson.

Billy and Me is about Sophie May, an ordinary girl from an ordinary town who finds herself a not so ordinary boyfriend. And that boyfriend has an even less ordinary lifestyle.

Now, some may say that this book is just a well written fan-fiction that’s been made into a book. But as Giovanna herself is maried to McFly’s Tom Fletcher, I wondered if some of this is based on her own life. At the end of the book she tells us in a Q&A that the idea of it all is indeed based om her own life. But she also says that the celebrity girlfriends are seen in a certain way by the media. She wanted people to read about the different sides of heaving a famous boyfriend.

I think Giovanna did a good job. Yes, it looks just like fan-fiction, but I did like it. An easy read with a lovely plot. But I wonder what Maxx thought about it. I have a feeling that this book was not really her cup of tea, but I could be completely wrong. Although, I don’t think I am.

So Maxx, finish this book and let me (and everybody else) know!

Much love,

Sam