Of Musings and Wonderings











the girl with no naeThe Girl With No Name tells the story of a young sorceress who, as the title suggests, lacks a name. She is brought up by an old man after the death of her mother, and learns quickly to hide her magical abilities from those around her. The girl embarks on a quest to find her father, taking her to different lands where she meets a variety of different people.

I feel lucky to have read part of this on Fictionpress before it was published on Kindle. As soon as it was taken down, and I found out where I could read the rest, I couldn’t help but buy it. It’s one of those books where you just really, really have to know what happens.

It’s also the second book in a row which can be described as a sort of modern-day fairytale (though lacking the modern setting of Puppet Parade). The ‘modern’ feel comes from the writing itself, while the rest of the book feels rooted in the tales we’ve all grown up with. And it works wonderfully for it.

The story doesn’t linger unnecessarily, and the pacing works well. We follow this character through her journey – if she doesn’t want to stay in one place, if she isn’t interested in a specific building or group of people, it’s bypassed. Some stories are weighed down with lengthy descriptions and too much focus on the surroundings. The Girl With No Name simply shows us the same things the nameless main character would be interested in, and then moves on. We don’t get pages of what people were wearing, we get, simply, exactly what the girl is seeing.

Similarly, the characters that jump out are the ones who have an effect on her. There’s Elder, for starters, the man who brought her up, whose scenes at the beginning when he talks to the town mayor made me laugh out loud, both times I read it. There’s the bookseller who helps the girl find out where to go. There’s Leif, who when we meet him is annoying, rude and bordering on cruel. Yet the longer the girl is with him, the more we get to know of him and the more I, anyway, grew to like him.

There’s a sense of rhythm throughout the piece, and the words themselves have this kind fairytale like feel. It’s a book I imagine would be a delight to read out loud, and if there were any kids around, I’d probably end up reading it to them as a bedtime story. Not to say it’s a kid’s book. It’s more an all ages book, something everyone can get a lot of delight from.

On top of all that, we get to see this girl grow up. We see her coming of age, see as she discovers not just the world around her but herself, too. We witness as the girl grows into her own skin, as her motivations and desires are formed and shaped by what she experiences on her quest.

The Girl With No Name was a pure pleasure to read, a great story with wonderful characters and a great sense of what really makes a fairytale readable again and again and again.

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IMAG0075I had been looking forward to this gig for ages. I got the tickets back in February, one for me and one for my brother as a birthday present. I defiantly inherited my music tastes from him. Without him, I don’t think I would have appreciated the music in Supernatural quite as much, and without me he never would have seen the show. I grew up with classic rock in the house, thanks to both him and my mum, and as one of his mates commented to me a few weeks ago, if my brother was not at this gig, there was something very wrong with the world.

Oh, and it was Bank Holiday weekend, which meant we could happily drink through the day and I didn’t have to worry about heading to work on the Monday. Good times.

Plus, the sun was shining. It was a nice, bright day, and my brother and I made our way around a couple of the nearby pubs, drinking in the beer gardens and meeting up with some of his mates before heading to Cardiff for the gig. Thanks to my brother’s dilly-dallying and insistence on getting a burger from McDonald’s, we actually missed the first half of Thunder. (boo!) But we did make it to Thunder in time for one of my favourite songs (we missed Castles In The Sand, unfortunately.)

What we did see of Thunder was brilliant. Energetic, with great songs (check out Ballads by Thunder, if you like the above), and it really made me not quite care that a beer for my brother was £4 and a double vodka and coke for myself was £5.50. (Gig prices always feel like a punch in the gut.)

Short break – we headed outside for a smoke, met up with a few more people and went back in – and then it was time for Whitesnake. Although I love both Journey and Thunder, it was Whitesnake I was most looking forward to. Whitesnake are simply amazing. Great music, and the gig proved they can still rock out even if they are now all eligible for bus passes.

IMAG0068For the first couple of songs, I did have my brother drunkenly screaming in my ear, “I love you! You’re the best sister ever!”

Anyway. Whitesnake were, as expected, amazing. The whole crowd was singing along, and you could tell the guys on stage were having fun. Each song was better than the last, and of course the main song was Here I Go Again. There is nothing quite like hearing a whole arena sing a song like that. Essentially, it was a strong set, and really left the crowd pumped up for the last band of the evening.

IMAG0074Which was, of course, Journey. I wonder how many people there were actually aware that the lead singer changed in 2007? I knew! And not just because my brother mentioned it before hand. Also, they’ve all had hair cuts. God damn it, guys! Look at Whitesnake. Look at them! They’re still rocking the big hair look and it’s amazing. You guys…

Okay, well, it doesn’t matter. You can still rock with short hair. And sometimes short hair is better. Especially if you’re at a gig and going to stand near the back of the crowd throwing your hair back every few seconds. I’m talking to you, dude who stood right in front of me. (I really hate getting other people’s hair in my face.)

*Ahem*

IMAG0084Journey were great, of course. Like the others, they had a good set, and they played up to everything. They moved around the stage, lead singer going from one end to the other and drawing the crowd in. And you could tell the crowd loved it. They lapped up everything thrown out by the band, and the surge of energy right at the end was brilliant.

Of course, the last song was Don’t Stop Believing, and like Whitesnake’s Here I Go Again, the whole crowd joined in. Gigs have great atmospheres, when everyone is there to enjoy the same thing and united in a love for certain bands and music, and that night was no exception.

IMAG0100Overall, it was an excellent and fun night. The bands were great, the crowd was good and I walked out with an awesome Whitesnake t-shirt. Three great bands, still going strong after many years together. And, fingers crossed, there’ll be many more years to come and many more gigs like this.

 



{May 2, 2013}   A Very Busy May

Ah. May. The start of Summer. For the first time in three years, I haven’t spent April dreading May. I haven’t been kept up at night working hard on researching essays or stories for University. I haven’t been stressed. It’s a nice relief. Although I think I would trade in this non-stressed feeling for the chance to go back to Uni. Anyway! There’s also two bank holidays this month, one this coming Monday and one on 27th May. I booked a day off today – meant to go to the doctor’s but I ended up going last week so had a nice lie in and now working on my writing and catching up with other blogs.

As well as all this time off this month, I’ve got a busy few weeks at the end of the month. And I’m very excited for them.

Firstly, I’m going to see Blues Brothers in the theatre! I had a rough time back in February, and Mum asked me if I wanted to go see Blood Brothers. Of course I did! On my lunch break the next day, I eagerly headed to the theatre to get some tickets. Only problem was it was on the week after, and they had sold out. Before I went, I mentioned to the guys I work with I was going to get tickets for Blues Brothers. “That’s awesome!” one said, and I quickly corrected myself, adding, “Aw. Now I sort of wish it was Blues Brothers.”

When I got home that night, I mentioned that conversation to my mum and told her about the lack of tickets for Blood Brothers.

“I think Blues Brothers is on, too.”

Quick look on the internet proved she was right, and the next day I picked up two tickets for the show. Now, this was back in early March, so it felt like a long way away. But now, it’s three weeks from tomorrow and I cannot wait!

And if you do not love Blues Brothers, you simply have no soul.

I know what you’re thinking. That’s great. Really. But…well, that’s only one night, right?

Yeah, it is. And that Sunday, I get to spend the day with my brother (if I don’t end up killing him at some point) and going to see (drum roll, please)…

Thunder.

Journey.

And Whitesnake.

All in one amazing, classic rock filled gig. Tickets were bloody expensive, but I brought one for me and one for my brother as a birthday present. As one of his mates commented this morning, “If he’s not there, there is something wrong with the world.” And it’s a Bank Holiday the day after, so I’ll have a full day to recover from the epic-ness. And it is going to be epic. I love my classic rock, and this gig has two of the biggest classic rock bands still going. So, yeah, should be good.

Only problem is…a few weeks ago, I spotted a picture online. For some reason, I got it in my head that the band referenced in this picture (along with my favourite TV show) were playing at the gig. I don’t know where this idea came from, but it rooted itself in my head and stuck there for ages, until I actually thought about it and realised, nope, they will not be playing. I was kind of disappointed. Then I put on my Journey/Whitesnake/Thunder playlist, rocked out for a bit and cheered up.

Still going to try to get this on a t-shirt.

Still going to try to get this on a t-shirt.

So yeah, not going to see Kansas. (Are they still around? Do they still gig? I really have no idea. My brain just really likes messing with me sometimes.)

That Monday, I expect I’m going to be knackered. Like, absolutely shattered. Having pernicious anaemia – which I am planning to blog about, eventually, and which I just spelled correctly! with no spell check or anything! go me! – most likely will not help with that. But I am due for my jab the week before so fingers crossed that will keep my energy levels high enough for all this awesomeness.

And then, ladies and gentlemen, I am heading back to Thorpe Park. This time, I’m going with a very good friend of mine. Heading to London on the Friday, staying at my brother’s flat before going to the theme park on the Saturday. We’re staying there overnight in their new Crash Pad, and have two days in the park. Not bad for about £100, including transport costs. I am very excited about this. I love roller coasters and they’ve added in a backwards row to Swarm, so I’ll get to experience that. Plus, well, a lot of the rides were closed when I went in October, so maybe they’ll be open this time.

Technically, Thorpe Park is in June, but we’re heading there on the last day of May so I’m including it in my busy month thing.

If you like roller coasters, and you ever get the chance, go to Thorpe Park. I went on my own and I had a brilliant time. I’m super excited to go again, and share the experience with my good friend. Plus, brand new Crash Pad! So look out for that blog.

So yeah, an exciting month ahead of me! What about you, dear reader? Any big plans for the summer?



et cetera