LOVE AND POETRY..

I was recently asked by my eldest sister to write a piece of poetry to read at her approaching wedding.  Of course, I was incredibly honoured and humbled by this touching request.  However – slight terror couldn’t help but creep up to the surface!  As much as I adore writing, how was I going to put into words the overwhelming love I felt not only for my sister, but also the beautiful relationship between her and her fiancé?

And yes – that terror remains.  So I have been increasing my poetry reading with the hope that inspiration will take control and allow the words to spill onto the page.

So why not share here?  I have been fairly lacklustre recently with my blog posts – a mixture of a dry spell of shows (that I was able to attend!) and an increasingly busy work schedule while the company tours has meant I haven’t had quite as much to write about.  The two combined is a dreadful mix; there are so many excellent shows out there right now (including the fabulous work WOW Film Festival has to offer) but work commitments have barricaded me from attending many.

Alas, that is no excuse!  So I solemnly do swear that from now on, whether I am attending productions or not, I will continue my loving commitment to this little blog.  Starting off with one of the most inspiring – and most appropriate – sonnets, it is of course Shakespeare’s Sonnet 116.  And as an aside, enjoy this rather geeky picture taken of me recently at the home of this absolute legend…

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Stratford-Upon-Avon Selfie!

Sonnet 116

Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no; it is an ever-fixed mark,
That looks on tempests, and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken.
Love’s not Time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle’s compass come;
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.

READ ALL ABOUT IT..

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“The books transported her into new worlds and introduced her to amazing people who lived exciting lives. She went on olden-day sailing ships with Joseph Conrad. She went to Africa with Ernest Hemingway and to India with Rudyard Kipling. She traveled all over the world while sitting in her little room in an English village.”

– Roald Dahl on Matilda.

BLIND DATE WITH A BOOK..

How do you choose a new book?  Do you normally stick with recommendations?  Are you a fan of a certain genre?  Or do you find yourself pulled in by an exciting cover?

I’m probably a bit of all three.  I’ll often find myself wandering book shops aimlessly looking from book to book, never quite sure what I’m after.

That’s why I’m absolutely in love with this adorable book shop idea.

Blind Date with a Book.

Blind Date with a Book essentially hides a book cover, listing only a few key words to pull you in.  Picture your typical dating profile; “Sexy, exciting and a little bit cheeky” “Loves sci-fi, the mysteries of the world and alien adventures”… a few words to either grab your attention or leave you running for the hills.

It’s not exactly a new concept, but it’s one I think should be introduced to all book shops.  Sure, you might not like the book.  Sure, you might have been there before.  But that’s the risk you have to take with a blind date!  And if it’s not your cup of tea… well I’m sure there’s someone you can palm him… sorry, it off to.

I think it’s also a really neat way to pass on books you love to friends and family.  It adds a bit of intrigue to a gift and that personal touch.  In fact, as someone who finds Valentine’s day soppy and money-grabbing, it’s a quaint way to avoid the standard heart-shaped chocolates and naff teddy gifts.

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Blind Date with a Book 2 - February

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Take yourself on a blind date with a book… you never know, you might like what you find!

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THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF BOOKS..

After recently seeing a delightful article on Buzzfeed about book inspired accessories, I felt compelled to do a bit of my own online hunting for literary trinkets to add to the wishlist.

I’ve had an imaginary wishlist for a while now; I’m constantly spotting little items of jewelry, notebooks, phone covers and clothes inspired by the classics close to my heart.  However, they’re those items that you can’t really justify buying for yourself… well, a 22 year old graduate can’t justify it anyway!

So I think it’s about time I created a solid list of these sweet gifts.  Perhaps I’ll make my way through them like my ever expanding book list.  Or perhaps it will simply introduce these literary stores to you, passing on a touch of the excitement that they provide me with.

The Literary Gift Company

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West and East egg pendants – The Great Gatsby

£35.00

This one does what it says on the tin.  A gorgeous selection of literary gifts ranging from pendants, to book ends, to quotable chocolate bars and wrapping paper!  I could spend hours on this website… there really is something for book lovers everywhere.  I’ve particularly got my eye on this “best friends” necklace.  Gold plated, one side of the pendant reads “West” and “East” whilst the other sides read “Jay” and “Daisy”.  If you’re a fan of the Gatz this can’t fail to melt your heart.  Simple, quaint and a bit tongue in cheek; I love it.

The Literary Emporium (snappy name!) 

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Romeo and Juliet – Shakespeare

SALE:  £8.40

I love this site because of its exquisite references to the most mesmerising quotes of our literary past.  Each item is presented on a hand-crafted postcard with a quote that promises to inspire, touch and delight the buyer.  Albeit one of the most quoted and discussed Shakespeare plays, I can’t help but favour Romeo and Juliet above all other romantic plays.  The quotes will never get old, and they will always find a way to lift me to a magical place.

Bookish England

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The Great Gatsby tote

£10.00

Similar to The Literary Gift Shop, Bookish England is a buffet for bookworms.  They have a dedicated focus to Alice in Wonderland, Pride and Prejudice and The Great Gatsby.  Easily one of my favourite books of all time, I am instantly drawn to anything Great Gatsby, and this tote would be an adorable accompaniment to… well, anything!

Scribbelicious

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Shakespeare bard in a bottle 

£15.00

Scribbelicious hand-makes bespoke literary jewelry from real pages of vintage books.  Everything they make is unique as they personalise all items made to order.  If you have a favourite quote, poem or song lyric, they can turn it into the perfect gift.  Based in Wales (hooray!), they recycle old books and make them into something beautiful.  I could spend so much on this website!  I love these Shakespeare ‘Bard in a bottle’ necklaces; the Midsummer Night’s Dream pendant has a firm place on my wishlist.

Truffle Shuffle

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The Great Gatsby Unisex Jumper

£54.99

Truffle Shuffle is the place to go for all things retro.  They have a brilliant selection of fairy tale / book based tops and jumpers.  For a ridiculously long time (hint hint family!) I have longed for this jumper.  But let’s face it, if I can’t justify buying anything other than “value” food, I can’t spend £55 on a jumper for myself.  But as the days pass and I see my sad little wardrobe crying out for this jumper, I’m becoming more and more inclined to just throw caution to the wind and get it.

Etsy

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Hermione Granger Time Turner necklace

$1.88 plus postage

Etsy is well known for their stunning literary items.  And my wishlist wouldn’t be complete without some Harry Potter items.  I would do anything for my own Time Turner necklace; and this one is authentic looking and a perfect size.  It was hard to choose only one thing from Etsy to put on the list; their website is full of incredible and magical items from all the novels you could imagine.  I. Need. This. In. My. Life.

If you have any other hints and tips on where to find the best literary items, please drop me a comment; it’s always great to hear of other secret little discoveries!