Saturday, 16 March 2013

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry

So........I haven't posted for quite a while now as there has been nothing of interest to share. After finally submitting an assignment which I hated more than marmite, I felt I deserved some fiction. I cuddled into bed with my newest kindle book. 'The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry'. A few pages in I began to feel some kind of connection between Harold's wife and myself. I felt the sadness in the poor man's heart towards the wife who now appeared to......dislike him I suppose. It made me think........................................... Am I just like Harold's wife??? I spend my time whining and complaining at my poor husband and my face always has a look of complete dissatisfaction on it. Do I spend too much time being angry?? I think I do! Self reflection can be a horrible thing, it makes you feel down and can take over your life. I have had a similar chat with my poor husband about it this week. His explanation for it was 'You spend so much time being angry that you have filled up your rage box, before you have time to deplete your rage fill them up again. This means that your rage never ever goes away and your tolerance goes through the floor'. Of course at the time I wanted to smack him right in the face, however, now......I really think that he was right. So what does a rage filled, mother of 4, studying a literature degree do to empty her rage box??? Suggestions on a post card please :) This proves the power of fiction. A few chapters of a book have allowed me to take a step back and look at myself in a new light. Something's got to change. I need to re-evaluate my life and decide what's most important to me. A clean, tidy house............or my mental health and my wonderful family.

I vote for my family and I can't wait to finish the book! =)

The Mentalist =) x

Friday, 16 November 2012

My Top 5 Natural Remedies For Cough's and Colds

As the season of coughs and sneezes descends upon us what can we do to keep the dreaded colds at bay? Here is a list of my top 5 natural remedies to help prevent colds and flu's, and shorten their duration.

Vitamin C and Zinc

An all round good multivitamin is great at this time of year. They contain vitamins to boost your immune system, as well as lovely B vitamins. These can help to combat stress and boost your energy levels for those long days of shopping. However, if you don't want to take a multivitamin you should certainly consider a Vitamin C and Zinc supplement. They both help to boost the immune system and fight off those nasty colds. Zinc has proven to have healing benefits, so if you suffer from cold sores it can help to reduce the symptoms and heal it quickly. These are available in many different forms for adults and children and are a must for your winter medicine cabinet.


 Again it's a natural immune booster and is available for kids and adults alike. It's available in capsule, effervescent, lozenges and tincture. Echinacea has been show to cut the chances of catching a cold by half and cut the duration by up to 1.4 days. 


Ginger is yet another remedy that can help boost the immune system. It also contains natural a anti-inflammatory which can help with the symptoms of sore throats. It has also shown benefits for people suffering from many types of gastric complaints, which could come in handy for those of us who tend to overindulge on rich foods over the xmas period. Ginger is available in a multitude of forms but by far may personal favorite has to be ginger wine. Mmmmmmmmm. It has a lovely warming effect with the added benefits of ginger. Here is a link to The Huffington Post which published a recipe recently for a cold fighting tea. It contains ginger as well as a few other natural ingredients which help to fight off the cold.

Manuka Honey

 It can be fairly expensive but by far my favorite. It's available in different strengths and sizes of pots and is the ultimately cold cure. As it's honey it soothes your throat and calms your cough while boosting your immune system. Honey is so versatile and can combined as an ingredient in many home made cold remedies. I have used Manuka Honey many times with my kids and I can't big it up enough. As it's sweet the kids think they are getting a treat while I'm secretly helping to fight of the sniffles.


We have been using Lemons for centuries to help fight off colds. It's full of natural vitamin C and aids in boosting the immune system. It has anti-bacterial properties which could be especially helpful if you are suffering from a sore throat. Using natural lemon helps to eradicate the side effects, such as drowsiness, that can occur when taking taking pharmaceutical cold remedies like Lemsip. 

These are just a few of the natural remedies that are available on the market and in my opinion are by far the best. They can help to prevent catching colds, reduce the symptoms and help clear them quickly. As they are all widely known they are available from many local supermarkets and I suggest you pick some up with your weekly shop. Here's to a happy cold free winter! 

The Mentalist x

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

50 Shades of ...............How Popular???

Does 50 Shades Of Grey really deserve the negative reviews that it has received? 

Some months after reading the trilogy myself I find it surprising to see that negative reviews still seem to be popping up all over the net. I read it at the time that the hype seemed to be at it's highest. With 5.3 million copies sold, does it really deserve the criticism?
So what is it that people love to hate about the best selling novel of all time?
Lets look at some of the common complaints.

The Grammar Is Shocking!
Yes it is! However in order to understand why this is, we must first look at the humble beginnings of the 50 Shades trilogy. The book first appeared in an online forum designed for aspiring writers to share their ideas and to gain practice. EL James wrote the book chapter by chapter uploading each chapter as it was written. After each installment her readers demanded more and when the book was finished it became so popular that James had no other alternative but to publish. All writers come from humble beginnings and unfortunately don't all start with massive amounts of  cash to spare. Therefore having  her book proof read and edited accordingly by a professional just wouldn't be an option. I have read many famous authors first books that contain the same types of grammatical errors. This is a factor that must be considered.

The BDSM Portrayal is Inaccurate!
Of course it is. Unless Bdsm is something that you have in your life, there is no way that you would know all the facts. A good writer would spend endless  amounts of time researching the subject in order to give an accurate  portrayal. Again, James probably never intended the book for publication so perhaps she did a little research to give her an overall  idea of what she was looking for? Or perhaps she did know the whole truth but found it too hardcore for her story ? After all, bdsm is not a subject that everyone would be comfortable reading about. I, for one found it very hard to take in the beginning. The thought of a man controlling everything about a woman's life, eurghhhhhh. I was enraged by this and almost never finished reading the first book.

It's repetitive!
Again, I agree! It is repetitive. At one point I thought that if I read another line where her 'reverie' was interrupted that I was gonna cry. However, we must go back to the beginnings of 50 Shades in order to consider this. As it was uploaded chapter by chapter, James would never have had a full manuscript in front of her to proofread it and pick out her own errors. Re-draft and re-draft again is an authors motto. Again, James never intended it for publication but if she did I'm pretty sure she would be no different to any other writer and scrutinised her own work for perfection.

A good book is not determined by the writing, the grammar, or how it portrays a specific area. It's about whether or not the overall story is good and whether the author manages to keep the readers enthralled. With 5.3 million books sold (and in my personal opinion) EL James has done what she set out to do.  Created something she could be very proud of, and kept her readers entertained! I fear that if you depend on book reviews to determine what you read next, you could be missing out on reading something fantastic. After all...............5.3 MILLION people can't all be wrong.

The Mentalist x

Monday, 12 November 2012

How you can help to prevent thousands being injured every year!

Thousands of people are injured every year in unprovoked attacks through alcohol induced incidents. 

On April 4th of this year, a family was thrown into devastation by such an attack. Unfortunately the victim was not so lucky as to survive. Phillip Sherriff left behind a loving wife and a beautiful young family. The murder weapon............ A glass bottle! His wife Jane now works tireless in a bid to save someone else suffering the same fate as her husband. Her campaign is called Bottle Stop and calls on the public for support to ban glass bottles and glasses from pubs and night clubs.

Many times there have been pleas to switch glass vessels in late night establishments to an alternative material. In September of this year MP Ian Lucas entered a bid to the House of Commons for a similar plea, but after a first reading they do not expect it to go any further. His bid came after he heard of a local student whom had been left scarred for life after a similar attack.

Sadly there are many stories where a minor disagreement in a pub or club has lead to such devastating results. For the families left behind or the victims themselves, the effects of these attacks are everlasting and life destroying.

So why then has the pleas been ignored? Our country is in the midst of a triple dip recession. Alcohol related incidents claim millions of pounds from the NHS every year. Surely if we can help to prevent some of these tragedies happening in the first place we could perhaps see a better future for our country as well as save lives? 

It's time that the government listened to the people and put these changes into effect. 

How can you help? You can sign Jane's petition which she intends to send to Downing Street. You can share this information with friends and ensure they sign it too. Here is a link to Jane's Facebook Page where you can read the full story, show your support and follow her progress

Here is where you can sign the petition 

Please show your support and help save someone from the horrors of a glass attack!

I wish Jane all the best for the future and I hope she is successful in her plight.

The Mentalist x

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Hi All, and welcome to my blog! I'm glad you have found yourself here and congratulations on being one of the first people to view it EVER!! Yes I am a brand new blogger. Everything about blogging is new to me therefore I must warn you to have patience and understanding. I am an Open University Student currently studying a degree in English Literature. Although my passion is to read (which I do ALOT), reading won't pay the bills. Ultimately my goal is to use my degree to put my talents to good use, and to the test. Where does an aspiring writer begin................. you guessed it, right here! From this day forth (at the risk of sounding like I just stepped out of a movie) I shall use this blog to voice opinions on anything that may take my fancy. May it be a book I have read, a movie I have watched or some current news. It's all in the name of practicing my skills and hopefully maturing as a writer. There is nobody more critical of me than myself, this blog will allow me to look back and see where I have gone wrong, or see what I have done right. I hope you enjoy reading what I write but please remember not to take me too seriously............. I don't. Keep your eyes peeled for my first proper blog. Enjoy!

The Mentalist x