31 Oct 2017

book: rebecca by daphne du maurier and kids of appetite by david arnold

Two books this month!

Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier

I've had this on my shelf for quite some time and earlier in the year, when I was commuting for my elective, I used those long journeys as an opportunity to pick this book up. It didn't disappoint.

It is written in first person (the name of this character is never revealed) and follows her story where her husband's ex-wife, Rebecca, is a constant feature in her daily life. Her husband is Max de Winter, a gentleman with a vast fortune and estate and used to a life completely different to her own.

I really, really enjoyed reading this book. It is the definition of a real page-turner and my marker for that is if it keeps my attention during my morning commute (one where I'm prone to drifting off the sleep if my current read isn't up to standard!). It is creepy and enthralling in equal measure and the twist at the end was a little unexpected though I did guess half of it correctly. Most of the characters creeped me out a little (even Max!) but the creepiest of all was Mrs Danvers!

An excellent read if you're a fan of Gone Girl, Room, etc. 9/10! My next mission is to watch the film adaptation.

Kids of Appetite by David Arnold

Kids of Appetite was a book that was fairly slow paced to begin with. It took a lot of perseverance before I got into it and I remember reading the first quarter or so and then abandoning it for a good few months before continuing.

The plot, as from Amazon.co.uk:

"In the Hackensack Police Department, Vic Benucci and his friend Mad are explaining how they found themselves wrapped up in a grisly murder. But in order to tell that story, they have to go way back... 

It all started when Vic's dad died. Vic's dad was his best friend, and even now, two years later, he can't bring himself to touch the Untouchable Urn of Oblivion that sits in his front hall. But one cold December day, Vic falls in with an alluring band of kids that wander his New Jersey neighbourhood, including Mad, the girl who changes everything. Along with his newfound friendships comes the courage to open his father's urn, the discovery of the message inside, and the epic journey it sparks."

This book just wasn't for me. It was hard to get into, a bit lacklustre in terms of plot and though intended to be a book that stirred up emotions, it didn't until towards the end. The blurb mentions a grisly murder but this murder took so long to appear in the book, I did feel a bit mis-sold! It was such a promising book but ultimately, I just ended up feeling disappointed with it. 4/10 unfortunately.

25 Oct 2017

studying as a post-graduate and as a doctor

Although I'm officially no longer a student, the learning never ceases in medicine. This is something that can be hard to fit in and with my rota averaging 46.25 hours a week (seven of which are unsocial), it is hard to keep up the energy and enthusiasm for some extra learning once the hospital is out of sight.

And as surgery and anaesthetics are at the forefront of potential career paths, I'm trying to stay on top of anatomy revision.

What's changed from my revision at university is that notes are now on loose leaf sheets of paper and in an A4 lever arch folder instead of in a notebook. This is because I'm continuously adding to the notes in the form of post-it notes, extra sheets of paper and various other print outs.

Something that hasn't changed is that fountain pen is still my pen of choice and that there is still an abundance of colour (though less so when you look at some of my other notes such as here, here and here).

18 Oct 2017

introducing my 2018 planner: Leuchtturm 1917 week to view with a notes page

The time has come to get a new planner as events and plans for 2018 have now started rolling in. This time, I've opted to stay with a bound, notebook style planner. I'm not a fan of bullet journaling so I've chosen one that is already dated. Leuchtturm 1917 is a brand I absolutely love and there was a lot of uhm-ing and ahh-ing over which colour to get. Eventually, I settled on the emerald green colour. You may recall that I already have a notebook in this colour from posts such as this one about my revision notebook.

I liked that it came with an removable address book (though this might end up being a general notebook that will accompany me whilst at work), a squared paper insert which has a wide rule on the other side (too wide for my liking if I'm honest - who even has handwriting that big?!) and some sticky labels. 

There are many different times of month/year views inside: from the year view laid out in full to a vertical month view and also a 'project view' too. The one view I miss, however, is a grid view of each month as it allows me to see when I'm working weird shifts at a glance.

The weekly views aren't too different to my Moleskine from this year - a week to view on the left and a ruled page to the right. This planner is wider than the Moleskine though so I definitely get more pen real estate with this one.

The two page markers are also perfect - I put one at the week I'm on and one at the back, at a blank note page.

There is plenty of plain note paper at the back. My Moleskine only had 7 sides (for an 18 month planner) whereas this Leuchtturm 1917 offering has 23 even though it's only a twelve month planner!

With orange my second choice for this planner, I opted for an orange pen-loop instead and it contrasts quite nicely with the emerald green hard cover. 

I'm already excited for 2018 to arrive so that I can put this planner to good use though I will be sad to retire my Le Petit Prince Moleskine from 2016-17.

11 Oct 2017

book: pretty honest by sali hughes

Last year, I got into make-up and wanted to read a bit more about it all. Two of Kevyn Aucoin's offerings sit on my bookshelf and get a peruse every so often but there was a want for something more substantial. Enter Pretty Honest by Sali Hughes.

Amazon.co.uk describe the book as follows:

"Beauty books. Exquisite coffee-table affairs featuring improbably beautiful models with wholly-unachievable-to-most women looks, product review-heavy volumes which become almost instantly outdated, or tracts of holistic mumbo jumbo, like how to make an unproven face pack from organic molasses and rough-hewn porridge oats. 

Not anymore. 

In Pretty Honest, Sali Hughes draws on over 20 years of wisdom, advice and expertise to show real women how to make the most of makeup’s physically and emotionally transformative powers. Covering everything from teenage skin to mature beauty, botox to bridal make-up, sickness to good health, it's a work that is part instruction manual, part love letter to makeup – in a writing style that combines beauty editor, feminist and painfully funny best friend."

Though the book is quite thick, the chapters are short and are broken up by photos. It's a very thorough book for those getting into skincare and make-up, amongst other things related to beauty. Sali tries to give her own product recommendations where appropriate and she'll mostly give a selection of drugstore brands, mid-range and also higher-end products.

Before my skincare routine became the way it was, I had done a load of research myself on ingredients and how I wanted my skin to look like at its best. This meant parts of the book were a little basic for me. This is a good introduction for those in their late teens or early twenties or for those who want a beauty book that covers most things related to being a woman.

Pretty Honest is a book that will look pretty on your bookshelf but at the same time, give you a good number of handy tips and tricks on things that can take months or years to figure out. 7/10!

8 Oct 2017

my week #286

On Friday, I came down with flu and have been feeling pretty rotten this weekend. Though before that, I did have a very productive week at work. October is already shaping up to be a busy month and my to-do list is extending at a faster rate than I can currently tick things off. No matter though - some of the things have a deadline months into the future :)

How has your week been?

4 Oct 2017

2018 planner: do I go back to a six-ring organiser or a bound one?

My main dilemma for next year's planner was whether to go for six-ring organiser or a bound one. The last time I used a six-ring organiser was back in 2014 and if I'm honest, there was a burning desire to go back to my Smythson. To decide, it was a fight between the head and the heart...

Six-Ring Organiser

- Flexible layout: I can choose which extras to include aside from the diary pages. You can also take out half of the year's pages once July comes around, thus making it a lot lighter to tote.

- I absolutely love my Smythson planner (and do miss it a lot!). The gold rings, the bright pink colour on the outside and the pale pink colour on the inside...

- Can get quite heavy! Therefore, not too practical to carry around daily.

- Limited capacity with the rings... Conversely, it can be tempting to stuff them, thus ruining them.

- Not a great number of diary inserts to choose from and the quality of many is still lacking. Some are also quite expensive!


- Light to carry around.

- Priced the same as some diary inserts.

- Many brands to choose from! Leuchtturm 1917, Moleskine, Quo Vadis, etc.

- Also many layouts to choose from! Day per page, week to view, week to view with a note page, vertical week to view...

- Most have better quality paper than some diary inserts for organisers.


- Not so flexible when it comes to the extra sections. You can't really rip out the ones you don't use either due to how unsightly it'd look.

- Any essential information that doesn't change year on year has to be copied in every time a new planner is started - this can be time consuming.

With all this in mind, I've since bought next year's planner and it'll be revealed in due course :)

1 Oct 2017

my week #285

Four tough night shifts on ward cover survived! And to add to this good news, I heard that Rollercoaster Tycoon was being released on Steam for Mac... So no prizes for guessing what I've been doing this weekend while trying to re-jig my sleep pattern for tomorrow.

My free time has been kept busy with a secret, but exciting, project which will undoubtedly be blogged about in due course :)

How has your week been?