The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared

I finished this book a while ago and it is brilliant!

This book follows the story of Allan Karlsson, beginning with his hundredth birthday and flicking between past and present story-lines. Allan did quite a bit of travelling before ending up in an old-people’s home- to say the least. He meets leaders of countries, escapes from prison a couple of times and climbs the Himalayas. Meanwhile he’s on the run from a gang for “stealing” a suitcase full of cash from one of their members who desperately had to use the toilet.

The title pretty much sums up what it’s about- and gives you an idea to how funny it is. What I really liked about this book was how it played around with real historic events and adds the protagonist, Allan Karlsson, to the picture.

I thoroughly enjoyed travelling with Allan. I think you might too.

Do you believe in luck?

Luck: Chance considered as a force that causes good or bad things to happen.

Whether you’ve turned the radio on just as your favourite song has begun to play, opened a book at the page you were looking for or only just missed being hit by a piano falling out a window. I think at some point everyone has believed in luck.

pianoThere are some people who don’t believe in luck- so they say- and believe that “A happens and then B happens. Therefore A influenced B”. These are the same party-poopers who explain everything using maths and probability. Yes, you could predict a series of ways a situation could go, like gambling or rolling a dice, and say how likely each outcome is; but you can’t definitely say which outcome will be right. In this interpretation I think luck could still be real. Luck could be the force that drives the dice to land on the 6 that will help you win monopoly or the force that causes you to choose the winning lottery numbers. It might be unlikely, but it could still happen.

Optimists believe that luck is something to believe in, wish for and rely on so that circumstances will unfold the way they want them to. They rely on a black cat or a shooting star to make what they want happen, so it will happen. Because they are so reliant on this, they don’t consider failure in what they want as an outcome. You could say luck is self motivation. Lucky charms (not the cereal) are commonly used by people who believe in this type of luck. It might be something that someone special gave to you, something with fond, nostalgic memories, or a “charm”  that you had when something incredible happened. It might be a hedgehog. 

In various faiths luck is viewed differently. Generally religions that believe in God don’t really recognise luck, they believe God controls everything that happens. However, some faiths that do believe in superstitions go to extreme measures of sacrificing people to gain favour with the Gods. Then there is Karma, which is a self-created type of luck which is believed in by various faiths.

Then there is the idea of fate- which I will probably do another post about. Fate is basically the acceptance that life is planned out already and that people are much like DSCF0042puppets- they have no say in anything that happens. Have you ever imagined what your life would be like, and whether or not it would be better, if you had been born somewhere else? You might be lucky, and you probably are relatively lucky if you’re reading this and own a computer with internet, to be born where you were. Imagine if you had been born in one of the most destitute places in the world- you wouldn’t be able to read this even if you did have access to a computer with internet! You might be luckier than you know even when you’re bed-bound feeling grim with illness. It might be a blessing in disguise but you won’t see the silver lining until later on when you look back on your life.

I can’t honestly say that I have never believed in luck. I have worn lucky charms expecting good luck and have been sorely disappointed. I have tried using non-mathematical probability to predict how events will unfold and have been left exhausted trying to  second guess everyone. In the end all that is left it fate, God, or nothing. I like to believe in something, anything. If I believe that everything is going to turn out fine or that everything happens for a reason then life is easier to go along with in the darkest of moods. So I believe.

Do you believe?

Beautiful Bavaria: Neuschwanstein Castle

What is it that you love about Disney movies? The catchy lyrics, smooth plot lines and happy endings you might say- that is if you like Disney movies at all. What about the buildings? Hopefully you didn’t just have a flashback of the monkey’s palace in Jungle Book…

Neuschwanstein_Castle_LOC_print_rotatedI’m talking Disney Princess Castles like this one!

Neuschwanstein Castle looks like it’s come straight out of a Disney movie, in fact it’s the other way around. This castle was actually built before Walt Disney had been born- construction was finished roughly 10 years before Walt was born. The castle has had cameo roles in several movies and was the influence for the Sleeping Beauty Castle in Disneyland- which might be why it looks familiar.

I really just wanted to share how beautiful this castle is, although I’m not too fond of the interior, and how happily situated is. I think I’ll let pictures do most of the talking…








Can I live there please?

Seriously though, if I was a billionaire I would definitely build Hogwarts!

Happy Halloween









Halloween. Pumpkins, costumes, horror movies, candy and pranks. Like a lot of festivals Halloween has become very comercial and a lot of people don’t really know why we celebrate it or where it comes from. I include myself in this category of people and honestly I don’t find the Wikipedia page at all enlightening… so I think I’m just going to try and scare you with a horror story.

Albert was an ordinary man. Right from his hair down to his shoes he was so ordinary and boring that had you ever walked past him in the street, you wouldn’t have batted an eyelid. Albert was also a very lonely man. He had no family, had never married and worked alone on the night shift as a security guard at a big department store in the city. One night his life took an interesting turn when he was waiting for his 11pm train to arrive. Albert didn’t usually get the train to work but that day his car wouldn’t start and it was much too far and cold to walk to work. From the look of the train station it seemed like no one else ever took the train either. The paint was peeling off the walls, there was a large patch of damp growing on the ceiling and hardly any of the lights still worked.

“They really need to sort this place out.” Albert observed. When you’re so alone all the time, like Albert, you can sometimes forget that people find it odd when you talk to yourself out loud. A slim, tall shadow standing stiffly upright turned it’s head as though it was staring directly at Albert. It took Albert about a minute to realise there was someone else there and when he did the figure was still looking directly at him. Albert smiled politely at the stranger and the shadow’s head cocked to one side thoughtfully. An eerie silence fell upon the train station. Albert shivered.

“Yes.” The figure’s growl echoed in the absence of sound.

The figure walked into the light. What Albert saw unnerved him. The man was fairly old with a pale, thin face, a mocking smile and empty eyes. He was looking directly at Albert who had a sudden urgency for the train to arrive so he could excuse himself from this situation.

The man began to grin. His yellow teeth gleamed under the flickering light. Albert suddenly felt a searing pain shoot down his legs and his knees buckled. He fell to the floor and the light disappeared. He blacked out.

Albert woke up in his living room totally disorientated the next day. He must have fallen asleep watching TV again… but the TV wasn’t on. Suddenly Albert became aware of something sticky and sharp in his right hand. He looked down at his hand. He screamed and dropped the bloody knife on the floor. It was then that he saw it. Right by his feet. The mocking smile. The empty eyes. The body, even paler in death. Decapitated.

Happy Halloween

Travel. Where to? Spain

¡Hola! Me llamo Sarah, Rachel’s most fabulous friend, and today I’ll be blogging for her.  So, if you haven’t guessed already from the title and the glaring red and yellow flag, today’s post will be about Spain!

Currently, we both are both studying Spanish and I don’t know about Rachel, but I love it! I think wanting to visit this place again and possibly even living there one day really motivates me.

A couple of years ago, the two of us went on a school trip to Spain and ever since then, I’ve wanted to go back! The atmosphere was great and everyone was so lovely. We visited so many awesome places, ate some Churros and just had an all-round amazing time.

I’m not quite sure which part of Spain I would like to travel to but I definitely want to visit the capital, Madrid. Who knows: maybe one day I’ll take a month or two off and travel all around it? Experiencing new things and going on little adventures all around that country would be such a dream.


On our 5 day long trip, we stayed in Santillana del Mar (Santillana on the sea) in a cute little hotel called Hotel Los Angeles. We were near to town and on our first day there, we took a trip down to the local shops and spent loads of money, unsurprisingly.

So, without further ado, I leave you with some pictures of our short adventure from a couple of years ago when we were oh so naïve…

^On the coach at the start of our journey. Spot us at the back!

^On the motorway in Bilbao. Mumford is enjoying himself

^Tasty tasty Churros con chocolate

^The notorious tattoos we were all obsessed with that we got from packets of Cheetos

^Little adventure on a mini train down to the coolest caves ever

^Rachel and I up in the mountains scrambling over some rocks like the rebels that we were

^A band that set up outside out hotel and that we saw perform… it was a bit random, but seriously so good!

^Being cute on the beach

^The sand crab we made

^Probably my favourite picture out of the whole trip. Burger King and Burger King hats on the last day… enjoying the rich, cultural experience

I’ve really enjoyed doing this, and I hope you’ve enjoyed reading. Thanks for having me Rach!

Sarah (your most fabulous friend)


*You can visit Sarah‘s by clicking on her name anywhere in this post! Have a nice day…

Captain Corelli’s Mandolin

This isn’t exactly a review, it’s more of a warning for anyone who is thinking of reading Captain Corelli…

Read with tissues at hand!

In the happy bits, you can’t help but smile. In the sad bits, you can’t help but cry. I found that it made me cry when I least expected it… I don’t want to reveal any spoilers!

Just be aware that it is really sad at times and a bit uphill at the start.


Travel. Where to? Antarctica

Antarctica: the coldest, driest and windiest continent at the bottom of the world. How could you not be curious to see what it’s like?


This is another example of a place that probably won’t be around forever or could be exploited and fought over in the future because of melting ice caps, arguements over drilling for oil when our fuel runs out and the treaty governing Antarctica expires in 2041.

Antarctica has no native or permanent residents; however, there is quite a large population of scientists from all over the world who live there temporarily carrying out experiments and studying Antarctica.

Antarctica was first discovered (the first confirmed sighting- not including myths) by a Russian expedition in 1820. The Russians did not explore this desert because of its inhospitable environment and the fact that it is so isolated and lacking in resources needed to survive. Then was the whole Terra Nova debacle, almost a century later between 1910 and 1912, when Roald Amundson beat Robert Scott to the South Pole. ot only did Scott’s team not reach the South pole first… they all died on the way back too. At least they reached the south pole though-there’s a story to tell in the afterlife!

The main reasons for wanting to visit Antarctica for me are the incredible sights such as: Paradise Bay, Lemaire Channel, Petermann Island, Neko Harbour, Port Lockroy, the Ross Ice Shelf and Mount Erebus. I also really want to walk among penguins in their natural habitat.

While “googling” for information about Antarctica I came across this trip: It looks absolutely incredible! But incredibly expensive too, as it would be. It really would be a once in a life time opportunity to visit Antarctica.

(Mt Erebus)

(Paradise Bay)

(Lemaire Channel)

^ This could be me someday… maybe…

Do you believe in Karma?

Karma is the belief that people’s actions affect what will happen to them in the future.

Although Karma is supposedly one belief, it has a lot of different interpretations:

  • Many, although not all, Hindus believe that God is in control of Karma and that God will give you what you deserve. This doesn’t necessarily mean you will be punished for doing anything wrong or bad, but rather that all your actions will have consequences whether they are considered good or bad. Karma is not the same as fate because we are thought to be in control of our actions but not their effect.
  • In Sikhism Karma is the law that makes sure everyone is responsible and gets the results of their actions.
  • Buddhists believe that there are different types of Karma and that most types of Karma, which may be good or bad, keep us in the  wheel of samsāra. (The wheel of samsāra is the cycle of life and death- this cycle is known as suffering as a main principle in Buddhism is that “all life is suffering”. A Buddhist’s aim is to break this cycle by achieving enlightenment then being freed in Nirvāna.)
  • In Jainism it is believed that Karma is a more physical entity described as Karmic dirt. It is believed that your soul is free once you have removed all your Karmic dirt. This can be achieved in two ways: being good and being mentally stable/ happy and calm. Some Karma can also go away on it’s own once it has caused suffering. Emotions such as anger, pride and greed attract Karma and if you strive to erase those characteristics from yourself then you are less likely to attract any Karmic dirt. They also believe there are 8 types of Karma including 4 destructive types of Karma and 4 non-destructive Karmas. The destructive types are: delusory, knowledge obscuring, perception obscuring and obstructing. The non-destructive Karmas are: feeling-producing (bad or good experiences), physique determining, life-span determining and status determining (within a species).


So that’s Karma in religion; however, often people believe or consider the concept of Karma whether they belong to one of these religions or not. For instance it is unsurprising if you have ever heard the proverb:

“What comes around goes around”

This basically means that peoples actions will inevitably have consequences.

I believe in Karma, but not exactly like it’s told in any of the mentioned religions. I don’t believe that Karma is a physical matter that sticks to your soul or that all life is suffering, but I do believe the “cause and effect” belief is valid. Not only is it convenient to believe that the obnoxious detestable school bully who terrorised all the kids in high school will end up fat, bald and unemployed with a poor life style (awkwardly thinking that would probably give you bad Karma…), but it makes sense that people who commit evil acts get what they deserve. It is also appealing that nature takes care of the evil or the good rather than other people having to do the job as it feels like there is something out there watching us and being fair to everyone.

“Once you’ve lived a little you will find that whatever you send out into the world comes back to you in one way or another. It may be today, tomorrow, or years from now, but it happens; usually when you least expect it, usually in a form that’s pretty different from the original. Those coincidental moments that change your life seem random at the time but I don’t think they are. At least that’s how it’s worked out in my life. And I know I’m not the only one.”-Slash

So do you believe in Karma? Let me know…

Travel. Where To? Amazon Rainforest

I was looking through a book with the most incredible pictures of rainforests in Art today… now I want to go to the rainforest. I’m choosing to write this post about the Amazon Rainforest because I’d say that it’s probably the most well known… but how much do you really know about the Amazon Rainforest?

ImageThe Amazon Rainforest covers 1.4 billion acres in a 1.7 billion acre basin and has a high biodiversity. The Amazon Rainforest is home to the Spider Monkey, the Golden Lion Tamarin, the Sloth, the Giant Anteater, the Giant River Otter, the Capybara, the Amazonian Manatee, the Toucan, the Macaw, the Amazon Pink River Dolphin, the Electric Eel, the Pirahna, the Black Caiman, the Anaconda, the Jaguar, the Poison Arrow Frog and more! Pink dolphins- who knew!?

A sad fact about the Amazon Rainforest is that deforestation for farming is a big problem. Once farmers clear land for their own use, it is only usable for a short amount of time so after a while they have to move their farm and clear more forest area over and over again. It’s scary to think that one day there might not be an Amazon Rainforest. Furthermore if global warming gets worse then this could stop rainfall in the rainforest which would be disastrous. The rainforest is dependent on the rainfall, hence the name, and if rainfall ceased completely then this would stop part of the cycle of transpiration. Part of transpiration is basically when trees soak up rainfall, emit it through evaporation, then soak up water again. If this process stopped then the trees would wilt and die. What is a forest with no trees? Think of all those animals made homeless…





Definitely going to the Amazon Rainforest someday!

The Ultimate Cheer Up Guide

Are you sad that the summer’s over? Just broken up with your soul mate? Or are you just generally down?

I’m here to help!

Sometimes when you’re sad the tiniest thing that makes you smile can brighten up what seems like a hopeless situation. Here’s some ideas to try and find the remedy to a sad day…

Are you sitting comfortably? Good. Let’s begin:

  • Watch a film

Whenever I’m sad or a bit fed up with people, I watch Singin’ in the Rain. [] Even if you’re not a huge fan of musicals I’d recommend this movie because some of the songs are so random that you can’t help but laugh! (In particular ‘Make ’em laugh’ and ‘Moses supposes’.) Cosmo Brown is indescribably awesome and for me is the star of the movie with the best lines and best musical numbers. How could anyone dislike Cosmo?

If you do try this method then watch Singin’ in the Rain with an open mind- after all, what have you got to lose?

  • The Blue Day Book

The Blue Day Book [] is all about looking on the bright-side. It’s full of  the most amusing pictures of animals and captions to explain that even though you might feel lonely, lousy or grumpy, there are things in life that make everything worth it. It is definitely worth the £6.99!

  • Think of happy things

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens, bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens. Brown paper packages tied up with string, these are a few of my favourite things!
When the dog bites, when the bee stings, when I’m feeling sad. I simply remember my favorite things, and then I don’t feel so bad!


  • Listen to happy songs…

What do you do when you’re sad?

Let me know in the comments!


Cosmo Brown (top left) The Blue Day Book (top right) Maria from The Sound Of Music ( bottom right)

Travel. Where To? Paris

I originally posted this on my account. This was the only post that I wanted to keep.

Some time in my life I want to travel around the world so that I get the chance to see animals close to extinction; try foreign food, such as snails, and meet interesting people. Not to mention all of the photo ops!

I want to start planning my world adventure, starting with getting a world map.

The world is so huge that I probably won’t get the chance or have the money to go everywhere. So here are just some places I’d like to visit and a bit about them… maybe once you’ve read about these places you’ll want to go to?

Paris, France

Why I still  haven’t visited Paris by now is beyond me… here’s a bit of history and information about Paris:

Paris is the capital of France and is also known as La Ville-Lumière, The City of Light. There is a lot of French culture to be explored in Paris, as in any capital city, the main aspects that interest me are the art, architecture and cuisine.

The Louvre museum and art gallery ( is one of the main tourist attractions in Paris, although when the majority of people talk about Paris they immediately think of the Eiffel Tower. The museum looks and sounds like a haven for any art fan or even tourists with such a long history- it first opened in 1793! According to Wikipedia it started out as some 537 paintings and increased under Napoleon then increased during the reigns of Louis XVIII and Charles X, increased even further through the Second French Empire… you can read for yourself: Basically it’s lived through a lot and carries a lot of history. It sounds pretty incredible!

It’s not only the Eiffel Tower that fits the architecture category- it’s not just architecture really. It’s landmarks. Of course there’s the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre, but there’s also Place de la Bastille- the square where the Bastille Prison used to stand. There’s Place de la Concorde- where the dreaded Guillotine stood during the revolution; The Arc de Triomphe, Avenue Montaigne. I want to go everywhere!

Finally, the food. It’s one to tell the grand-kids- your first experience of eating snails- and why would you do it anywhere other than France? Not forgetting baguettes, éclairs, crème brûlée and crêpes!

Have I sold France? I want to go even more now!

Hello World… again

So I used to have this blog on called but two things changed…

  1. I discovered that was crap when on about my 5th post I tried to add an image and told me that I had used up my 2GB of space and would have to pay if I wanted more.
  2. To be honest I didn’t want it to be a wishlist anymore, I just wanted a blog where I could write about anything.

You know what, a fresh start is in order. Here we go