A Killer Experience

Hi guys! I’m super excited about this post. It’s about when I went to see The Killers at Hyde Park. Yeah, sorry for the title pun.

The day was just incredible. Probably the best day of my life. My dad and I took the train to London, which in itself was exciting. We dropped bags off at a hotel we’d booked a room at and started making our way to the festival area, via the underground. And the whole time I was thinking: this is really it. I’m going to see them live. The band I have loved for years, the music I know so well, every lyric- I’M REALLY GONNA SEE THE KILLERS LIVE!

We reached entered the festival area at about half 12, and The Killers weren’t performing until quarter past eight, so we had a long time to enjoy the festival. One of the first things we did was hit the merch stall, where I bought a British Summer Time Killers t shirt. Then, as we were very hungry, we started looking for something suitable for lunch. I bought some mac ‘n’ cheese with added bacon- it was delicious and I’m not ashamed to say I ate the entire, huge, cheesy serving by myself. My dad had a chicken burger. It was sunny, so we sat in dappled shade on a picnic bench. It was so lovely.

There were music performances throughout the day, 15 in total, some by fairly unknown bands on the smaller stages around the park. We were lucky enough to get a wristband which allowed us access to the area closest to the stage. From this vantage point we enjoyed watching The Strypes and The Mystery Jets, neither of whom I knew before, but the music was good and the atmosphere was awesome.

We wanted to get as close as we could to the stage for the last three performances, the ones by the biggest bands. We first bought dinner. I wanted something more light than my lunch of mac ‘n’ cheese, so we went to this vegan sushi van. It was selling sushi wraps- imagine seaweed-wrapped sushi, but longer and wider. It was so cool! I had avocado as the main filling- it hit the spot. By then I was seriously excited- The Killers were only a few hours away.

We got to a really good spot close to the stage and watched Tears for Fears, then Elbow, perform. Elbow were particularly good at getting the crowd going; there was a reverse Mexican wave where the people at the front ducked down and it continued all the way to the back. We didn’t want to leave between the acts in case we couldn’t find each other again or we lost our place close to the stage, so we stuck it out. My feet were killing me from standing up for multiple hours, and it was agonizing watching the stage crew set up for The Killers once Elbow had finished. I could hardly wait, I was so so so so so so so EXCITED!

Then…they came on stage! The crowd went wild, me included, whooping and cheering as loud as I could. A long note played, and then the bass and drums kicked in at the same time- BAM! And confetti flew out of cannons right on the beat. (The confetti was pink, to match Brandon Flowers’ pink leather jacket, of course.)

They played all of their biggest hits, plus lots of other songs. It was a rollercoaster of rock songs, where everyone was jumping up and down, to parts with just piano and Brandon singing. There was red and white confetti later on, as well as the pink at the start. It was everything I could have possibly ever hoped for. Their final song (Mr. Brightside) ended with fireworks.

Seeing The Killers perform was pretty much the only thing on my bucket list. There isn’t anything else I want to do as much. And now, it has happened- and it was so perfect. I can’t believe how close to the stage we were, the weather was lovely, it was so great to go to London with my dad, and all in all it was just amazing. I’m going to treasure the memories I have of that day forever. Whenever I listen to one of the songs they played, I’m like “Yes. I’ve seen this LIVE.”

20170708_215821

I’m so grateful that I got to go. I know how lucky I am!

Sunset

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Mystery Blogger Award

It’s been quite a while since I’ve done a tag- the last one was 3 months ago. So, I decided to do the Mystery Blogger Award again. I was nominated by the wonderful Elm , whose blog is incredible, and worth checking out if you don’t know it! Thanks so much for the nomination, Elm.

I actually started writing this post over a week ago, but so much stuff has happened that I had to shove my blog to the side for a while. (More posts about what I’ve done coming soon.)

The Mystery Blogger Award was created by Okoto Enigma  with the idea to help the discovery of unknown blogs- which, I think we can all agree, is a really nice idea!

The Rules

1. Put the award image or logo on your blog.
2. Thank the person that nominated you and link their blog in your post.
3. Name the creator of this award and link their blog in your post.
4. List the rules.
5. Answer your nominator’s questions.
6. Tell your readers 3 things about yourself.
7. Nominate 10-20 people.
8. Ask your nominees 5 original questions of your choice.
9. Share links to your best blog posts.
10. Notify your nominees by commenting on their blogs.

 

As per Rule 5, here are Elm’s questions and my responses.

1. Have you ever been in love?

No, I haven’t. I mean, there are many things I love, but I’ve never actually been in love with anyone. Hopefully one day I will be though.

 

2. What’s your favourite instrument and why?

Piano. It’s the only instrument I can play (not very well but it’s something) and I love the variation it can produce. It can go from beautiful, soft, flowing classic pieces to jumpy pop tunes in a second. And, they’re just SO FUN to play. Being able to reproduce some of my favourite music with my own hands is really fulfilling!
3. What do you admire about yourself?

A difficult question, because I hate any kind of self-appraisal- I struggle to mark my own work at school. However, I do like the way I’ve stuck to what I feel is most me by not wearing makeup. I have no problem with makeup, and it looks really nice on people, but it’s just not me. I guess I admire the way that I’ve not fallen to ‘peer pressure’ (if you can call it that) and worn makeup like most of my friends.

 

4. If you could take one lesson you’ve learned from blogging away with you, what would that be?

I’ve learned a lot from my time on WordPress, but the main thing is that people generally wish to support you, and that expressing your opinion will most likely be celebrated. Yay for bloggers!

 

5. At the moment, what’s the thing you most want to do?

Well, I did my Duke of Edinburgh practice expedition yesterday, and I’m aching all over. I really just want to sleep.

 

Three facts about me

  1. I cry loads at films. If there’s a sad scene, it’s very likely I’ll be weeping.
  2. I used to be really into drawing, but I’ve pretty much given it up now because my talent was negligible.
  3. I only just watched High School Musical recently (I know right? Shocking!) I have to say, I LOVE IT!

 

My best posts

I’m not sure if they’re the best, but I enjoyed writing them the most.

Eating Healthily Is So Fricking Hard

We’re all superheroes!

We are not the stupid generation

 

My nominations

Smilingdreamer

Book Emma

Wolfish Delight

Kate (All The Trinkets)

Allthestarsalign

Inspired Teen

ItsSimplyMeJasmine

Ashhby

Regina5000

Celestialkate

All of these bloggers are awesome and unique, so go ahead and look at their pages!

Here are my questions, if you should choose to do the award:

  1. What’s your favourite film of all time?
  2. Have you ever had a near-death experience?
  3. Do you have any pet peeves?
  4. What’s your favourite aspect of your personality?
  5. Where in the world would you most like to visit?

 

Phew! That’s it! Making these tag/award posts takes a lot of effort, but I really enjoy them. Hope you’re all having a good week, I’ll be back soon with more posts.

Sunset x

Apparently, it’s better to try it and fail than not try at all…

I made a big decision today- I’m going for my black belt in karate. This means a grading, and before that, months of tough training to prepare.

Karate is something I consider to be a large part of me as a person. It’s my main hobby and a lot of achievement has come from it. To be at the belt I am now (brown with two white stripes) has taken 8 years of training and about 15 gradings. So I’m kinda proud of what I’ve done. I am definitely not amazing at the martial art, I’m just good enough to have passed the gradings. With training anyone can do that, but hey, I’ve stuck at it for a long time!

Getting to black belt is different to getting to any other belt. Though the other gradings are scary and difficult, black belt is a whole new level of terror. The sensei who judges is pretty much the leader of the type of karate I practice. And he’s petrifying.

Two girls in the same year as me have already passed their black belt, which should make me feel better about attempting it. However, having seen them in lower-belt gradings, they always got the highest pass and are obviously exceptional. Not to mention they did a junior black belt grading due to their age, but because I’ve turned 16 this year, I’d have to do the adult grading! I’m NOT AN ADULT!

A good friend of mine might be doing it with me. That would be good- for moral support- but there’s extra pressure because I’d hate to fail and for her to pass. Yeah, jealousy, pride, all that. It would sting a lot.

Apparently training for black belt is draining. (hey, that rhymes!) Constant criticism and self-doubt. A few mental breakdowns have also been promised.

But, if I got black belt, that would be the BEST ACHIEVEMENT EVER! Literally the biggest thing I would have succeeded in. I think that would be worth the graft.

Nerves hit me in waves when I think about the fact I’ve accepted this challenge, but, as the title says, it’s better to try.

At least I think so. Right? Have I made a good decision?

Sunset

 

We’re all superheroes!

Hello! I’ve had a silly, fun idea.

It’s about superhero origin stories-you know, the incident that starts it all- like Peter Parker being bitten by a spider and becoming Spiderman. Well, I have experienced it. On a very small scale.

I was alone, in the kitchen, doing something like preparing food (I really can’t remember what, exactly), when I needed to get a dish out of the cupboard. I was rummaging around when I knocked a glass jug off it’s shelf.

It was one of those heart attack moments. Like when you suddenly think your phone isn’t in your pocket. I was holding the dish, my hands half-way into the cupboard, so I couldn’t catch the jug. It was inevitably going to smash into thousands of tiny shards in a few short seconds. I squeezed my eyes shut, and, bracing for the sound of glass shattering, stuck out my foot in wild hope.

YEEEEEEESSSS! The jug actually landed on my foot- as in, my foot was inside the jug, with the jug hanging upside down.

I was frozen in disbelief for a few seconds, stood in a weird flamingo-karate-crane position with a jug balanced on my foot. Then I grabbed the jug, still stunned and incredibly relieved.

I now view this event as the day I became a superhero. Supreme reflexes, saving a jug…C’mon. Superhero traits if I ever did see them.

And then I came up with the idea for this post. If I’ve become a superhero/heroine (which I totally have), then others must have experienced this too…

This is where YOU, readers, come in! I would love it if you all could comment your own superhero origin stories below. It can be ridiculous, like mine, or serious, if you really have done something that deserves you to be recognised as a hero (saved a life, anyone?)

You could even come up with a superhero name for yourself. I could be CROCKERY CRUSADER, because I valiantly rescued a jug from a tragic death.

I would love to see your ideas at what makes you a superhero- I know we all have something. Don’t worry about it being stupid- it can’t be worse than Crockery Crusader. (Or maybe it can. There’s a challenge.)

If there are enough comments, I’ll put together a post of my favourites.

Lots of love,

Sunset (Hero to all kitchenware)

 

Exams are OVER, life can resume

YES!!!!!

I’ve completed all of my exams. I had 23 in total, and it was a long, painful road. But here I am, with 4.5 weeks of undisturbed holiday ahead of me, before the actual school holidays starts. I’M SO PROUD I SURVIVED.

As I said, I have a long holiday, and my family are all at work/school so I’m on my own. So far I’ve had one day. It was GREAT.

Although amazing, these days off could go two ways:

  1. I could make the most out of them
  2. I could become idle and spend all my time lazing around on my phone.

I obviously want to avoid 2, so I’ve got some snazzy holiday ideas to fulfill:

  • Going out with friends as much as possible
  • Baking/cooking
  • Craft projects- maybe a cross stitch
  • blogging (of course)
  • Lots of reading
  • Going to the gym
  • Possibly getting a job.

Today I handed in three letters of application to workplaces. It was super scary. But if I get a job that would be good for experience, and for money.

Tomorrow, I’m going (to try) to make a tea loaf and a lasagna. Shouldn’t be too hard, right? I’m not a cooking-baking person, so no,  it’s unlikely to go completely smoothly. But I’ll give it a go…kitchen disasters here I come!

Depending on how they go, I could report back with picturesque images of two beautiful culinary achievements. Or horror stories.

Who else is on holiday now, or soon?

Sunset x

PUMPING IRON: My Experiences as a Hardcore Gym Lass

I have been transformed- from ordinary Sunset, to Muscle Sunset. Yes, that’s right. I’m basically a bodybuilder now.

Okay, in all seriousness I’m as flimsy as ever. But I do feel healthy and refreshed. I went for around an hour’s workout at the gym today, and it was tough, but rewarding. I didn’t actually want to go in the first place, however. Going to the gym makes me nervous- I don’t know why- but I never want to go. So despite my mum’s well-reasoned argument (exercise is proven to help revision) I was adamant that I did not want to go. Pathetic, but true.

In the end I was forced out the house and ended up at the gym. The walk there cheered me up a bit, but I was still nervous about getting through my workout programme. I had it written for me at an earlier session, but boy, it doesn’t get any easier. It involves the treadmill, crosstrainer, bike, and worst of all, floor exercises with 3kg weights. That’s what I was dreading. 6 different exercises, 30 of each- that’s 180 individual actions!

By the time I got to them I was already worn out from the machines. My speedy sister, who came to the gym with me, zipped through the floor exercises easily. Meanwhile, I was floundering. At some points, almost literally-there’s one exercise where you’re resting on your lower back and your feet are straight up in the air, and whilst holding a weight you have to reach up and touch your toes. It is SO PAINFUL on your abs. My stomach muscles are obviously EXTREMELY WEAK, because I kept getting to about 4 reaches and then collapsing, dropping my legs and clutching my stomach. Not to mention I can barely actually reach my toes. But, after a lot of sweat, I got to 30 in total.

I’d done it. All 180 exercises, including the dreaded toe reach. I was very proud of myself. I went over to my sister and told her I’d done all the exercises, even the ones I hate.

“Oh, yeah, I saw you struggling there!”

Thanks, sis.

She didn’t mean anything by it. It’s true, after all, I was struggling. Nothing could dampen my pride, I can’t compare myself to my super-gym-child-sister. I laughed and we went to leave.

As we exited the gym I was in high spirits- but with jelly legs. The walk home was painful and I said “ow” approximately 300 times. Then, after lunch, and a shower, I did some solid revision! Today has been a productive day.

I’ve written this post so that I can read it next time I don’t want to go to the gym, and remind myself what it’s actually like. It’s hard work, but it’s worth the satisfaction. I forget the good points and get scared every time. But never again! I’m pleased with what I’ve achieved today, although it’s small, and I don’t want to forget it.

See you soon guys- I’m trying to post regularly but I’ll properly pick it up next week, when exams are over.

Sunset x

 

Top Ten Reads of 2016

Yes, it’s late. Extremely late. But… I went to the effort of taking pictures. Plus, I love books! So here it is: a countdown of the best novels I read last year, and a tiny little review for each one. Read over half a year ago… But still! Enjoy!

10. Carry On by Rainbow Rowell


This was such a great read. Having loved Fangirl, I knew I’d enjoy the story of Simon and Baz. Some could argue it’s a little too Harry Potter but I think this is a great novel in its own right.

9. Demon Road by Derek Landy


So I’ll admit I only bought this as part of a 3 for 2. And that I wasn’t expecting to like it that much. But I was hooked. Following on from reading it I bought the next two in the trilogy- even the expensive hardback. It’s an easy but very thrilling read, and although to start with the characters were unconvincing I grew to love them. My only problem is that it became slightly over-the-top with the graphic gory scenes as the books progressed.

8. The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S Lewis

Of course they were good. I’m shocked that I only bothered to read them last year!

7. The Call by Peadar O’Guilin

This, my mum bought for me after it being highly recommended to her. It was a nice YA dystopian novel that I read by staying up late (that’s how you know a book is good.)

6. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowlingwp-1485616457349.jpg

So, there’s a lot of controversy surrounding this book. Some hate it, others think it’s great- it’s a bit of a marmite situation. I, personally, LOVED IT! I thought it was a really refreshing new HP story. It’s like a fanfiction, but better, ’cause its REAL. (As real as fictional stories can be, anyway.)

5. The Novice by Taran Matharuwp-1485616474029.jpg

A seriously good book. The story- magic school, little dragon friend- sounds a bit cliché at first, but the book actually has important messages about racial prejudice within it. And, it contains a very well-constructed world within its pages. All round thumbs up.

4. Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maaswp-1485616479566.jpg

This series is AMAZING, this book is AMAZING, can’t wait for more! If you haven’t read Throne of Glass, I would definitely recommend you give it a go.

3. Between a Rock and a Hard Place by Aron Ralstonwp-1485616492593.jpg If you don’t recognise this, it’s the story of ‘127 Hours’- about a man who gets trapped in a canyon, being pinned in place by a rock, and resorts to cutting his arm off to escape. This is one of the books I read last year that has really stuck with me. It’s not just about Ralston’s time in the canyon, it’s also about his mountaineering and other outdoor pursuits- including a story about a bear which is terrifying. The film is great too, but the book (as always) is so much better!

2. Radio Silence by Alice Osemanwp-1485616487201.jpg

I don’t know how well known this book is. I didn’t know about it until I received it as a birthday present, and I don’t know anyone who’s read it. This is surprising, as it’s an incredible story! It revolves around a friendship between two teenagers. The main character is so relatable and it’s the second-best book I read last year. So… READ IT!

1. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseiniwp-1485616461855.jpg

Probably one of the most well known books on this list, and for good reason. The Kite Runner is…amazing. Powerful. You have to read it to know, but it is 100% worth the read.

 

Whirlwind tour of my 2016 books over! Whew! Have you read any of these books? Do you want to? Let me know in the comments.

Sunset x