A Series Of Unfortunate Events

Hi all,

Sorry I’ve been a bit MIA lately, but I’ve got a good reason for the lack of posts. I had a bit of an accident which resulted in me breaking my dominant arm, leaving me incapable of doing the most basic tasks (even typing those few sentences took me 10 minutes). On top of all the horror that comes with that dramatic little event, I also have the flu! It’s been a very unlucky week for me, which is ironic because right before this happened I found a tenner on the street and felt like the luckiest person in Ireland. Anyways, I’ll be back with some more posts once I’m all healthy again🙂

Chat soon,

Niamh

x

Review: Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier

What it’s about:

The unnamed narrator of Rebecca is working as a paid companion to a bitter, lonely, elderly lady. While on a trip to Monte Carlo, she meets and falls in love with Maxim de Winter, a handsome widower twice her age, who proposes to her and whisks her away to his isolated Cornish estate, Manderley, after marrying abroad. As she gets settled into her new home, the young bride realises she doesn’t really know her husband at all, and feels that they are haunted by his beautiful first wife, Rebecca. This is a story about a woman consumed by love, struggling to find her identity after being thrust into a world where she is not comfortable and is always compared to her husbands late wife.

*Warning: Spoilers ahead!*

My thoughts:

I came across this novel when I was looking at Good Reads list of books that everyone should read at some point. Upon hearing about it, and up until I actually started reading it, I believed Rebecca to be a simple Gothic romance novel. However, I soon realised that this story is more complicated and compelling than I initially thought.

This is a curl up with a cup of tea and a blanket on a gloomy, rainy day kind of book. The characters and the plot itself just captivates you, making this novel such an easy and enjoyable read. At first, the story is very reminiscent of Jane Eyre – the main characters both being young, innocent girls who fall in love with older men, with something standing in the way of their happiness. However, while the themes are similar, du Maurier has reinvented this classic storyline, and turned it into a hauntingly suspenseful novel in her own way.

While reading it, I felt increasingly sorry for the second Mrs de Winter. She is young, she doesn’t know how to act in her marriage, she is uncomfortable in her husbands home, where his staff adored his late wife, the late wife who lingers in every room of Manderley. It was only after i finished the novel that I realised that the second Mrs de Winter was timid, naive, jealous and insecure. She was afraid of the housekeeper, was always paranoid about what everybody else was saying about her, and didn’t really make thing happen for herself. She tells herelf that she is content in her marriage, when in reality her husband does not love her as she loves him, and they’re stuck in a routine as they move from hotel to hotel once Manderley is gone. It takes a great writer to make the audience feel sympathetic towards that kind of character, in my opinion.

Also, I know we’re supposed to hate Rebecca, the beautiful first wife, the woman the second wife can never seem to be, and who turns out to be extremely cruel and cold-hearted. While I don’t Rebecca as a character, I can’t help but admire her care-free attitude and her ability to make what she wants happen. It’s no mistake that the two wive of Maxim de Winter are complete opposites.

I honestly loved this book, and I can’t wait to read it again in a few months (I’m that person who has to constantly re-read her books because she can’t afford new ones at the rate she reads – *sob*). To anyone who thinks it’s your standard romantic novel, it definitely is not, so you should give it a chance!

Until next time,

Niamh

x

Why Autumn Is My Absolute Favourite Season!

 

Seriously though, how is it the 1st September already? I feel like it’s only the start of 2016, not the last quarter of it. It’s just crazy how fast life goes by, and also a little scary. Anyways, many people despair the dreaded ‘September’ word because it means one thing – autumn is officially here. However, I am not one of those people, because I absolutely love this season!

I just think there’s such a beauty to autumn. There’s nothing more beautiful than watching leaves turn orange and red and slowly falling off the trees. I know it only lasts about two weeks here in Ireland until the rain turns the leaves into mush, but they are two extremely beautiful weeks all the same. It’s still warm but the air also gets crisper and cooler, which is way more refreshing than the stuffy, humid air of the summer in my opinion. New season also equals new clothes. I can’t express the excitement I have at the thought of being able to wear layers again! I just find it so much easier to dress for cooler weather, and the clothes are usually way better anyways. Cosy jumpers, dresses with tights and boots, coats and scarves… Who couldn’t love autumn wardrobes?

The change of season is also an excuse to indulge in comfort food! Soup, casseroles and all different kinds of hot chocolate are my ideal food situation. It’s also perfectly acceptable to drink several cups of tea a day again without being asked how you can have a hot drink when it’s so warm out (just so you know, if you’re a true tea lover then you can drink it no matter what the weather’s like!). The nights get longer, meaning it’s once again acceptable to come home from a long day, get into your cosiest jammies and curl up in front of the fire to binge-watch your favourite tv show with multiple hot drinks – honestly my ideal situation after working all day!

Speaking of, autumn means the return of many tv shows! I’m really looking forward to new seasons of Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, American Horror Story and How To Get Away With Murder. I love having several episodes of different shows to catch up on over the weekend, curled up in a big fluffy blanket without a care in the world.

I also associate September with a new start, because it was always the month that I went back to school or college and moved up a step in the educational world. I was always that person who got excited at the thought of new pens and notebooks, and I’m kind of sad that I won’t be doing all that this year. I see everyone heading back to school or college and it makes me feel so nostalgic, it’s only now that I’m fully realising that I’m finished with all that (for now anyways, who knows what the future holds?). In addition to all that, my birthday is in October and I’m graduating a week later, making autumn more special than usual this year!

Chat soon,

Niamh

x

 

Songs I’m Listening To Right Now #3

So, it’s been a tough week for me. I’ve gotten very little sleep, haven’t been eating enough or as healthily as I should, have seen my workload increase over the space of a couple of days and have had to deal with being several other people’s punching bag. On top of all that, I’m just not in a very good place mentally or emotionally right now. I’ve just been extremely sad, and when I’m sad I like to listen to sad music (in the absence of puppy cuddles), because in a way, it allows me to cope with what is going on in my life a little bit better. For the last week, when I could, I just stuck my earphones in and played the sad playlist I have on my iPod for these situations. So here’s a few of the songs I’m listening to right now, surprise surprise there’s a lot of Coldplay, Adele and Jimmy Eat World. Maybe a few of these songs will help any of you if you’re ever feeling sad too.

Hope you all have a good weekend! Chat soon,

Niamh

x

Lately…

  • I’ve never really been one for face masks, but after a hectic work week last week I decided to try out a Lush one, because I’ve heard such good things about them. I found the shop assistants in the Lush store so friendly and helpful! This time I bought the Ayesha face mask (I wanted a deep cleansing one and was pointed in this direction) and now I’m really excited to go back and try a few more options.
  • Over the last couple of weeks I’ve been settling back into the life of a PR intern. I love being super busy during the day, but honestly, it’s exhausting. I’m out of the house 12 – 14 hours a day, and luckily I’m the type of person who can handle commuting and long hours. It just means I enjoy my weekends more – there’s nothing more I love now than getting into bed on a Friday night knowing my alarm isn’t set for the next morning!
  • I’ve been rewatching Gilmore Girls on Netflix in anticipation of the Netflix revival happening soon. I’m honestly so excited to see the new episodes! I think it’s just one of those shows where you find it so easy to relate to a character, and I can’t wait to see what’s going on in their lives now.
  • I’ve been reading Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier, a book that’s been on my list for a while now. I’m only six chapters in but I really like it so far. I like the mystery of the characters, and the style of writing du Maurier uses. And as I am one of those people who has to look up everything on Wikipedia, I recently discovered that du Maurier was the cousin of the Llewelyn Davies boys, who were the inspiration for the characters in Peter Pan, which I find fascinating. You learn something new everyday!
  • As I said in one of my earlier posts, one of my goals was to learn how to drive. Well, I attempted driving for the first time recently, and I can confirm that both myself and my dad are scarred forever after it! I honestly did not realise how terrifying driving actually is until I was crawling down my street, panicking because I didn’t know how to break. Now I’m not sure if that goal will be achieved or not haha!
  • I finished The People V. O.J. Simpson the other week, one of the best tv shows I’ve ever seen. If you haven’t seen it, you can read my thoughts on it here.

Chat soon!

Niamh

x

Review: The People V. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story

This short series is based on the Jeffery Toobin book, “The Run of His Life: The People V. O.J. Simpson”. It revolves around the infamous O.J. Simpson murder trial and focuses on the lawyers on both sides of the case. Cuba Gooding portrayed Simpson, with Courtney Vance, John Travolta and David Schwimmer acting as his defence team made up of Johnnie Cochran, Robert Shapiro and Robert Kardashian. Sarah Paulson and Sterling K. Brown played prosecutors Marcia Clark and Christopher Darden, with Kenneth Choi as Judge Lance Ito. Throughout the season we experience racism, sexism and the baffling thing that is the American justice system.

I have always had a fascination with law (this is the reason why I read so many Jodi Picoult books) and with this case in particular, so when I heard a tv series was being made based on it I knew right away that I would be watching it. As I was just in nappies when this trial was actually happening, I never got to experience it first hand, but this show made me feel like I was watching this all play out for the first time. I’m just sad about how long it took me to watch it – when it was on Sky I was in the middle of my final few weeks of college, so I waited until it aired on RTE and it just finished on Thursday night.

Paulson and Sterling as Marcia Clark and Chris Darden
Paulson and Sterling as Marcia Clark and Chris Darden

The People V. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story is fascinating from the get-go, and I honestly feel that it is one of the best shows that I have ever watched – which says a lot because I watch a lot of shows! The cast is terrific, Sarah Paulson in particular. One of the best episodes of the series focused on her character of Marcia Clark, and how she was basically shamed for being a woman. We see the media and public focus and make fun of her physical appearance, we see them make a joke out of her when she’s just trying to do her job, we see the defence team take jabs at her for having to leave and take care of her children. The fact that people made her feel bad for being a woman, being a mother and the sole provider for her family is just enraging. I can’t believe that she actually had to put up with being scrutinised like that purely because she was female. That episode was definitely one of the more emotional ones, and it’s no wonder that so many critics have praised Paulson for her performance.

The "dream team"
The “dream team”

Racism is a main issue in the entire series, as is social class. In fact, one of the most stand-out moments of the whole series for me was Chris Darden’s words to Johnnie Cochran after the verdict in the last episode: “This isn’t some civil rights milestone. Police in this country will keep arresting us, keep beating us, keep killing us. You haven’t changed anything for black people here. Unless, of course, you’re a famous, rich one in Brentwood.” Because it’s true. You just have to look at the news to see that racism is still a big issue, especially in law enforcement. As is class. Would the jury’s verdict have been different if O.J. wasn’t a famous football player? Most likely. It just goes to show how ridiculous the law system really is.

Many tv shows often include unrealistic elements in it. But this show… This is a show about a real issue that happened, and an issue that we as a nation still deal with to this day. The People V. O.J. Simpson is mesmerising, though-provoking and emotional, and it’s a show that everyone should watch. Watch it for the superb acting, and watch it for an eye-opening experience. I’ve talked about this show with so many people, and not one person has said they thought it was bad, or they regretted watching it. So if you haven’t see it already, I seriously recommend that you do!

Has anyone else watched it? Let me know what you think!

Chat soon,

Niamh

x

Songs I’m Listening To Right Now #2

Another week, another playlist of songs I’ve been listening to lately (in case you missed it, you can see the first one here). I’ve mostly been listening to oldish songs lately, the only exception really being Not Today and Shots by Imagine Dragons, a band I just started listening to last week. How have I not listened to them way before now?! I’m currently back commuting, which is why Bette Davis Eyes, Fans and Show Me What I’m Looking For are on the playlist – for me, these are great songs to listen to while you’re driving (or being driven in my case). They’re just upbeat and catchy and are songs I never get sick of. Maneater, Work, 25 to Life and Landslide are songs that I’ve always loved, and listen to frequently. They also have memories associated with them, so I’m feeling quite nostalgic and slightly homesick for a different time in my life when I listen to them. Anyways, I hope you enjoy!

Hope you all have a great weekend, chat soon!

Niamh x