All the Extras
This page is where I'll discuss a mix of other topics which either are important or I just want to discuss and let you know about.
Today I want to try something different. For a while now, I've had the idea to talk about some of my favourite books, and some characters from them who have inspired me in many ways, but mainly whom I've been able to relate to when growing up or dealing with my mental health. To start with, I have three characters I want to discuss whom have had a big impact.
Part 1 will focus on...Hermione Granger.
To anyone who knows me every a little bit, will know I of course love Harry Potter fan and that Hermione has always been one of my favourite characters from the start. (If you didn't know any of this, you do now. You're welcome!)
It all started when I was 11 years old and in Year 6, helping out after school with my two closest friends in the school library. (I was also a proper student librarian in Year 11, but that's another story.) I can't exactly remember how I came across the library's copy of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, only that I did and I'm very glad I did.
As I'm writing this 13 years later, you might think that certain feelings would go away. I guess that's the beauty of nostalgia. Last year, I finally began my own HP collection with the 20th anniversary edition. It took me right back to Year 6 and I was thrilled when I got to Hermione's first appearance.
See, I put that above promo pic from the film there for a reason. Yes, I was 11 as well when I first found HP. But what is Hermione holding in her hands there? A book.
And where did Harry and Ron often find Hermione? In the library.
At both primary and secondary school, the libraries were my happy places and often safe spaces. And I've always read. Growing up, I was always the kid who did all her homework on time, never got into trouble and was then bullied for all of that simply because I wanted to do well. The 11 year old me meeting Hermione Granger for the first time was almost like looking at a reflection of myself.
For the first time, I had found someone who could understand me, regardless of not being a real person. More importantly, I now had a sense of "It's ok to be who I am." I realised I didn't have to change for anyone- if they didn't like me, that wasn't my fault.
Hermione could work hard at school and stay true to herself, with friends who understood her. Then so could I.
There have been times when I tried to 'fit in' more, but it just backfired. It took at least two years of college and until I was about 18 to realise who I was. Hermione has always been, and always will be, the first person/character I met who didn't make me feel alone in any way. She's the kind of character who, when you read a book, you know you would be instant and strong friends with.
And Hermione's a Gryffindor, and we know she's loyal to her friends, well able to stand up for them and herself.
Ok, but I had to!
Though it's not always easy, with my social anxiety, to not panic about what people think when I first meet them, ect, I've long since accepted it's a part of me and just who I am myself. For one, I'm always going to love books, no question of that! :)
But I know having characters I can relate to has always been important and helpful to me, at any age. I have Hermione Granger to put down for an early but important time in my life and getting all nostalgic about that in reading the first book (or watching the film) again is a rather nice feeling. And it turns out that, in the end, education was pretty important after all.
After I left school, I went on to do four years of college at three different colleges (I didn't really know what I wanted to do after I left school) and then went to university for three years, graduating in July 2017.
We all know that Hermione went back to Hogwarts after the war to finish her education. Things turned out pretty well for her.
While I might not know yet what I'm doing next, or where I'll end up this time next year, I don't think I've done too bad so far.
And in the long run, the only opinion which matters on that is my own.
Up next week in Part 2 of this series, I'm staying in the Harry Potter universe and I'll be talking about Luna Lovegood.
Today I'll be reviewing another item from The Body Shop- their Coconut shower cream, 60ml version.
Early on in my blog's life, I wrote a long post on their Mango shower gel, which I love and is one of my favourite products (I think I made that clear!) If you missed it and you're interested, you can read that review here.
For once, alongside using the mango shower gel, I also wanted to try something different than it and the strawberry. I'd been thinking about the coconut one for a little while and chose to go for the smallest size in the range, the 60ml (see picture below). One of my favourite things about The Body Shop is that they have not only a huge range in scents and products, but that there is more than one size and they're reasonable prices to reflect that. I paid £2 for this size.
For me, I suppose I bought the coconut as something of a tester product. I'm not someone who deviates from what I know often, especially when it comes to health/skin care.
As with previous products, it doesn't take much to be of good use. Despite only being 60ml, a tiny amount with enough water gives enough lather to be used when washing.
Another useful thing about this is that it lasts a long time- obviously not as long as the bigger amounts, but I got a good couple of months worth out of mine.
This product does have a strong scent and, at first, was a little over-powering, which was disappointing. However, as I used it more, I got used to the smell. Coconut in general seems to be strong and I don't hate the smell- after a week or two, I was enjoying it.
Though I would return to this product every once in a while, I don't think I'll be upgrading the bottle past the 60ml mark. I did enjoy using this as a whole, and it does the job well, but it's not one of my favourites. Just a personal preference, at the end of it.
Overall rating- 4 out of 5 stars.
Hi, I'm an animal lover and have a degree. You can usually find me either reading or writing. Failing that, I might have actually ventured into the outside world...