January Wrap Up

New year, new decade, first month, lots of rain. Ah back to winter.

At the beginning of January I’d just come back from a three week holiday to Australia where I was visiting my older brother and mums family. Although it was an incredible trip it did ensure a frosty return to the UK, stepping off the plane in just shorts and a t shirt into a single digit degree of cold.

January saw me polish off four books, one of which I’d carted all the way to Australia only to ignore for three weeks.

  • Nocturna
  • City of Brass
  • One of Us is Next
  • I am the Messenger

I also managed to buy two new ones, dragging my friend to Waterstones when we went shopping one Saturday because One of Us is Next was released earlier that week. Both new books, I’m pleased to report, had lovely stained pages and an annoying half price sticker tacked to the front which I had to scrape off before a little Bookstagram photoshoot. Props if you can spot the debris on One of Us is Next in my latest Insta post.

The blog felt busy. Putting up my first proper personal post of the year, one of possibly three ever published, I was pleased with the reception it received. I’m trying to be more brave with my writing on my blog this year, hence the non bullet pointed wrap up. I started a new interview feature and I’m pleased how much people are enjoying it. There’s been a lot of enthusiasm and the answers have been really interesting to read. I planned to be a bit better at posting reviews but only managed one all month. I’ve written up drafts for the other three but am still failing to post them regularly. New year, not quite new me.

Jumping back into the new year I discovered I’d massively overly committed myself at work. As I type this, bleary eyed at 5am on a Monday morning, crammed on a full coach I’ve just downloaded my boarding pass for a crazy one day trip to Paris I admit I’m dead tired for. One week into January started with a trip up to Manchester for work, followed by a trip to Bristol the following week for volunteering and finally this. It’s been a month of early mornings, stressful packing and never having the right things, the epitome of which is leaving my suitcase on the train to Bristol and it being sent back to London. And then it five pounds to get it back.

I welcomed in the new year half falling asleep on my dad’s sofa after beating them all at Scrabble. All that reading really does pay off. A few days later I was travelling up to my friends flat for a little going away party. A friend from school has ventured to South Africa so we all ate honey glazed gammon and watched rubbish films for a weekend, which may not be the wild party one would expect for early twenty year olds but it’s definitely up our street.

Then my boyfriend and I had a well deserved date after all the separation from Australia. Being us this meant a blustery trip to a castle, standing on the hill of old Sarum while the wind knotted my hair watching the spire of Salisbury cathedral rise above the wispy clouds. It would have been poetic if I hadn’t been freezing from the aforementioned climate change I was undertaking as I left the forty degree heat of Australia.

From one destroyed old castle to the glamorous halls of Hogwarts. A couple of uni friends visited so we dragged them to a Harry Potter filming location. And also some old priory and Tudor mansion that probably has more claims to fame than just holding the mirror of Everest in The Philosopher’s Stone. You can see an excellent picture of me in the halls of Hogwarts attached to this post.

Final excitement of the month was a mid week dinner with a couple of friends I hadn’t seen since their wedding back in November where I was an usher. This meant a tour of their new house together, some tofu dish that I actually liked, homemade doughnuts, and a very late running game of Ticket to Ride. You can see why I’m so tired now. Also I was totally robbed, I was winning and then someone did that massive tunnel track up in Russia for 20 odd points. Grrr.

So yeah, there you have it. My tiring month of January. What have you all been up to this January? What are your February plans? How is 2020 going for you? Let me know in the comments!

Also, if you’re looking for a location update I made it through an empty ish airport security, barely kept my eyes open reading Children of Virtue and Vengeance in departures and now I’m failing to understand the French safety instructions squashed into my window seat on the plane. BonnΓ©e Voyage mes amis!

January Wrap Up

How is the first month of 2019 over so quickly? Wasn’t it news years just yesterday?! Maybe that’s just me though… Anyway, on with the wrap up!

Books I Read

πŸ“š A Gathering of Shadows – what a cracking start to the year with a VE Schwab.

πŸ“š Legendary – because when I unwrapped it at Christmas we all knew it wasn’t going to stay unread very long.

πŸ“š Northanger Abbey – just finished this a few days before the month ended and it was brilliant 😍

The Best Posts I Wrote

✍️ 2019 Releases I’m Excited For – the list has probably grown considerably since I wrote it but I still really enjoyed looking at the great year of books ahead!

✍️ Best Books I Read in 2018 – then I had a little look back at the great books just read.

✍️ Legendary Review – all my opinions jotted down for this excellent novel that I was dying to read!

✍️ An Interview with Author Rick Lenz – my first author interview on my blog! Was very exciting to try interviewing someone!

Best Blog Posts I Read

🧦 A Review of the Wicked King – was great to see what this blogger thought of this novel, and so close to its release!

🧦 Saturday Spotlight: Enchantee – I am so excited for this novel and very pleased this blogger chose to feature it, although it has made my need to read it even more pressing!!

🧦 Sunshine Bloggers Award – not only was I very honoured to be tagged but this bloggers answers are great!

🧦 On The Come Up Review – I wish I could have the finesse this blogger shows in this review, and when can I read the book 😍

Things I Did

πŸ• New Year’s – pizza, board games and old friends? Oh yes the perfect way to welcome in 2019.

πŸ• A 6 mile walk and Pub Lunch – we all walked down the river to the next village over and had a pub lunch, which was amazing. My friend’s from London have taken to calling my house their country residence!

πŸ• Top Golf – I went to Top Golf with some mates, where you wack golf balls into rings and get points based on if you hit them. It’s sort of like a Wii game in real life!

πŸ• Watched jam lava spill over my boyfriend’s father – my boyfriend’s uncle bakes these amazing cakes and it was his four year old son’s birthday. He asked for a dinosaur volcano cake which meant jam lava sprayed out the top of the chocolate volcano and sadly covered a few party guests.

Let’s Compare Notes

How was January for you? Did you do anything exciting? Did you write a wrap up? Feel free to drop a link or opinion in the comments section!