You’ve got to love the family

It was actually in one of my classes today when I was telling an anecdote that I thought I should talk about my family on here. I’m one of those lucky buggers who actually has a pretty great family. It’s also a pretty big one seeing as half of them are Dutch and, yes, that is my excuse for not knowing the names of all the cousins I have that just keep popping up out of nowhere. The family I live with and the ones that live in England are the ones I’m going to mention today, but I’m sure the Dutchies will have their spotlight soon.

(This picture appeared when I typed ‘half dutch half english’ into Google, so enjoy.)

I live with my parents and a pretty fantastically trained golden retriever, if I may say so myself (the countless weeks of puppy and dog training do pay off), and there is also an older brother that occasionally comes home for some free food and the washing machine (sometimes known as ‘Mum’). Now I probably can’t say much about my parents as they are avid supporters of my writing (HI MUM AND DAD!) but what I can say is that my Mum is Superwoman in the cooking department as well as the Queen of ‘sarcastic, witty conversation’ and my Dad is a whiz with anything and everything DIY, even when he shouldn’t really attempt to fix some things himself (an incident when he almost cut through a live wire comes to mind) and he also is still working on the ‘th’ sound. As most of my friends come from ‘broken homes’ – which is a pretty silly term in my mind because in most cases they really don’t need fixing – I am really lucky to have my family. I’m also lucky in the fact that I’ve grown up seeing my English grandparents almost every week.

Image

(My dog, Pete, looking pretty classy)

Ah, my grandparents – now christened as ‘Grams and Grumps’. I could honestly write a whole book about them, and I’m still tempted to, but I think they wouldn’t appreciate it as much. Memories of being terrified of my Grandma when I was little because she claimed to be the Wicked Witch of the West and her walking stick was actually her broomstick ensured that I was always on my best behaviour. Compared to most, my Grams is pretty ‘hip’ with technology and currently owns a mobile, a Kindle, a Laptop, and an iPad mini. She occasionally remembers how to text and has just mastered the art of taking photos with her phone, but her answer machine message is still, ‘how do I turn this off?’. Her Laptop is to play Solitaire, possibly to check some emails, and her iPad mini is to play Solitaire also. She has a Facebook and is on it most days, though she is still working on her comprehension of private messaging. Overall, I’m pretty impressed by her technology understanding and it is far superior to my Grandpa, who usually forgets (how to) turn on his phone. My Grams is also a pretty fantastic cook and when I was younger she would always bake me an apple crumble when I was ill, which was the perfect tradition. There was one time when she decided to experiment, substituting the crumble topping with cornflakes and oats, but since then we’ve just had the original masterpiece. My Grandpa – aka Grumps – deserves his own book. I couldn’t imagine a character like him and even though we tease him mercilessly (actually, everyone in the family gets teased/taunted/bullied – with love, of course), I do love him to bits. He comes up with the most ridiculous things I’ve ever heard and is, by far, the most stubborn man I’ve ever met. To give you an idea, when I told him that I was going to see the film ‘Warm Bodies’ (the Romeo&Juliet film, but with zombies) with my Aunt and Uncle, he asked, ‘Ahh, is that an erotic film?’.

Completely typical. He is completely harmless and means no offence to anyone, but he can also be incredibly – unintentionally – rude. At one point, by brother was friends with a perfectly nice girl called Dershni (please excuse my spelling) and my Grandpa would always say, ‘Gershwin?’ whenever he brought her up in conversation. Honestly, I have thousands of anecdotes that I could tell you right now, but I don’t think I could write them all out without getting a phone call from good ol’ Gramps with a disgruntled tone. The same tone I think he adopted when my brother announced that he was an Atheist, running an Atheist society at his University.

Anyway, that’s just a small insight to my family – so keep an eye out in the future for the book I will publish about them all but will find some way so that they never find out or read it.

~Eleanor

When it Rains by Lisa De Jong

I can safely say that there are four main ways that make me cry.

1. When I see someone else cry, so do I.

2. When someone I love hurts me or gets hurt.

3. When I laugh a lot, I can’t help crying.

4. Watching a film where a dog dies – such as Hachi, Marley and Me and I am Legend.

Never, and I mean never, have I ever cried whilst reading a book. I thought that I never would, but now that it has happened I felt that it deserved it’s own blog post.

These days when I want to buy a book, I scroll through lists on amazon: recommended for you, bestsellers etc and, as I have a Kindle and some amazon gift cards from Christmas, it’s a great way to pass time – that is, until I run out of money.

Once I have about five books which I think look good based on their blurb, I then read the reviews and if they are pretty good overall, I’ll read the sample. As I was looking, ‘When it Rains’ popped up with 70 reviews – all who gave it 5 stars. With £25 to spend, I thought ‘what the hell’ and bought it, ready for an easy-going, holiday read which would probably be like hundreds of others.

For about half of the book, that was all it was.

Then it got serious.

When It Rains

Blurb

One night changed my life forever.

Beau Bennett has been my best friend since I can remember. He was my first crush before everything came crashing down, and now he wants more, but it’s more than I can give him. Things are different now. I wish I could tell him why, but I can’t.

I haven’t told anyone.

I never knew how much I really needed him until the day he left for college, and I was completely alone.

Then one day, Asher Hunt rides into town with his dark, captivating eyes and cocky grin. He doesn’t care who I used to be, he’s simply breathing life into what’s left. People warn me to stay away from him, but he helps me forget the pain that has held me hostage for so long; something I thought was impossible before he walked into my life.

I’ve been hurt.

I’ve been saved.

And I’ve found hope.

I thought my story was written that night, but now I know it was only a new beginning. Until one secret turns my world upside down…

Again.

It sounds pretty rude, but I feel that I can now predict everything that will happen in your usual, teenage, lovey-dovey book. Either one of the characters in the love couple has been abused by parents, lost a parent, lost both parents, lost a different family member, been raped, been bullied etc etc. They then find someone who they fall in love with – the girl is either painfully shy and sweet and inexperienced or has walls up she thinks no one will break down and the guy is either fun loving guy-next-door, a brother’s best friend, a best friend’s brother or a mysterious guy who’s ‘dangerous’, unfairly handsome and who loves her fiercely. The couple get together, but then something happens like the girl gets pregnant, an ex comes back threatening everyone, one of them has a way too early mid-life crisis, one of them gets cold feet, they find out a family drama etc etc.

When I started ‘When it Rains’, this is exactly what I was expecting and hats off to Lisa De Jong for completely ruining my ‘no crying whilst reading a book’ streak. I won’t say what it is that ‘changed Kate’s life forever’ in the book, though you find out early on, but I can reveal that that isn’t what made me cry. No, it was about halfway through the book when Lisa De Jong went BAM TAKE THAT and I was practically sobbing until the end.

Not cool, Lisa, so not cool. HOW COULD YOU DO THAT TO ME?

What was entertaining was the look on my Mum’s face as she sat on the sofa next to me, oblivious to the fact that the world in my book-fantasy was ending. ‘What the hell is wrong with you?’ she asked and, when I told her that the book was sad, she rolled her eyes and muttered, ‘Hormones’.

Well, who knows? But I can assure you that myself and 70 other people were crying, rating this book an easy 5 stars.

So, if you fancy reading it, I can’t recommend it enough.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to curl up into a ball on the floor next to my dog whilst I contemplate my life.

~Eleanor