Say Hello to...

April 29, 2016

Hello everybody and welcome to the first in my new Blog series "Say Hello to...". In this series I will be interviewing various bloggers from around the globe.
First up we have Hannie, a student who lives in Dresden.

Hi Hannie!

1. So, tell us all about your blog. When did you start blogging and why? And how did you come up with your blog title?
I've always been writing a journal of some sort, first it was on paper, in a diary with a lock, then I was introduced to the Internet, blogs and such. I started writing one myself at age 12 or 13, it was an on and off thing back then, kept changing my url and content -- but I started taking blogging seriously two years ago. This blog however has been with me only a year so far. 

As for my blog title, I thought of the things my friends would say about me which would most likely be something in the lines of "She loves travelling / travels a lot" but "She also likes to get lost in nature and camp out in the local forest, she's always on the run or on some trip". Then I thought of Missing Wanderer because if I had the possibilities and the money, you'd never see me again or at least everywhere in this world. :-) 

2. You write a lot about your adventures and travels. What is the most exciting or memorable trip that you have been on?
My most exciting and memorable trip at the same time was when I was in Nga Trang, Vietnam. I was with my mum, my sister and uncle, auntie and their children. We took a van and drove from Da Nang all the way over fields and mountains to Nha Trang for a whole day it seemed. We always took breaks, not just to take a breather but to stand and enjoy the breathtaking view of tropical forest. When we eventually got to Nha Trang, we explored the beach and the water amusement park right out on an island called Vinpearl which you could only reach on a cable railway. It was a crazy experience for the whole family, the trip itself was the first mayor road journey for me. We sat on the beach as we ate delicious lobster and fish. We swam for hours. I got lost after looking for a restroom and spent a night in the exciting colourful town looking for our hotel on my own. I sat by a fountain and realized that even the sky looked different out there. And those kind of moments are the wildest in my memories when it comes to travels. 

3. Is there somewhere you have never been to but have always dreamed of going?
Hmm, there are still many places where I haven't been to so it's hard to pick one. Probably Thailand, though. I've just always wanted to go there. Oh, and South Korea. Just can't hide that Korean pop and drama fangirl side of mine. 

4. You clearly have a love of literature. When choosing a book do you tend to go for classics? Or moderns? Or a mixture of both?
I am in love with classics, they just remind me that human problems and values are timeless. But I'm always open for modern books, I usually don't care where the book came from or what genre it is. It just needs a plot that strikes me and great writing that I can swallow. 

5. People always talk about genres that they love. Well, is there a particular genre that gets you really angry? Or perhaps a particular author or character?
There's no genre that gets me angry, if something gets me angry then that's the characters or situations in a story. I get angry at ignorant, intolerant characters who just can't leave innocent people out of their crazy mess. But hey, me hating a character just proves that the character was portrayed perfectly.

6. If a novel was written that was loosely based on your life, what would it be called?
Oh I love this question, though it did take me a while to come up with something. Either "Nerve-wracking late night conversations with a sarcastic piece of poop" or "The Girl Who Belongs To Nobody And Nothing".

Thankyou so much for taking part Hannie, this has been really fun!

Hannie Arden Blaise blogs at Missing Wanderer. She regular blogs about travel, literature and the student lifestyle. Go over and show her some love!
I hope you all enjoyed reading the first in this series, look out for more!

My 10 favourite hashtags to use on Instagram

April 27, 2016

Hello Blogging Friends,
Today I am going to share with you my ten most commonly used hashtags on instagram.

I really really really love Instagram. I think it's a fantastic social media platform. The emphasis is put solely on the photos and you can connect with so many different people with the same interests as you. I have followed people who post a lot of dog photos or wildlife photos or farming photos etc and there's no end to it!

So here are the ten hashtags that I use all the time.

1. #northumberland
I live in Northumberland and the Northumbrian scenery features heavily on my insta-feed. I like seeing other people's pictures from around Northumberland because it's giving me an ever expanding list of places that I really need to visit.
2. #labrador
This one is pretty self explanatory. I love labradors. Specifically I love my Labrador. Bosun. He is scrummy and I love him. I tell him every day.

3. #puppy
Again, self explanatory. Although I have been meaning to ask, when does it stop being appropriate to use this hashtag? He's nine months old now. Is there a cut off point? He'll always be a puppy to me.
4. #chillingham
It's where I live, where I work, where I got engaged, where I'm getting married. I love this place.

5. #myunicornlife
Generally used to tag cute things, pink things, pretty things, things that make you go awwwwwwww etc. I can't for the life of me remember where I first saw this hashtag. I think (don't quote me on this) that it was started by Helene in Between...feel free to correct me if I'm wrong!
6. #whatimreading
Does basically what it says on the tin. I like to take a picture of the book that I'm currently reading and then hashtag it. It's a fun way of seeing what other people are reading too.

7. #fiancee
Obviously quite a recent one. Teehee! Yes whenever I instagram a picture of Rick and me, it's usually accompanied by the fiancee hashtag. I'll only be able to use it for just over another year though.
8. #chillinghamwildcattle
Again this is quite a self explanatory one. I am the Warden for the Chillingham Wild Cattle so I often post pictures of them.

9. #countrylife
You know, because living in the country is my thaaang. Makes sense.
10. #photosinbetween
This is a hashtag started by Helene in Between that can basically be used for any photo you like. It's genius! I love it! And I also love seeing what other people use it for.

Well I hope you've enjoyed reading what hashtags I use on a regular basis. Am I addicted to social media? No, but I do enjoy it. I hope that some of you will use some of these hashtags so that I can spot some of your pictures on Instagram!!

Oh deer...

April 26, 2016
Hello Blogging Friends,
Do you remember a few weeks ago I posted about the Fallow Deer that disappear and then re-appear in spring? And it was accompanied by some really grainy picture that you can very almost nearly tell that it's a herd of Fallow Deer. 

Well today, Rick allowed me to go out into the park with his camera! This is a massive deal for Rick because his camera is like his baby. He is super protective over it. But ultimately. it does take amazing pictures. Much better than I can take with my Iphone. 

So I went out there with the intention of becoming a wildlife photographer extraordinaire...but because it's super windy the deer were even more spooky than usual. I could not get anywhere with them, even on foot. Usually I can get pretty close if I park the ATV about 100m away and then sneak up. Not today. Stupid deer.

So here are some photos taken from a long way away through some trees. Also, today it snowed, in April!! Yeah!! What's up with that??

What's Growing On?

April 25, 2016
Hello there folks! Who had a pleasant weekend? Did you get lots done? Did you go and do something fun? Or did you just loll around and relax in your pyjamas? All perfectly acceptable answers. Weekends are for "me" time, do whatever you want to do says I. Unless your other half is asking for some help with the which case definitely do that. You get the chores done faster and you score brownie points! Woohoo!

So now that we've had roughly about a week of sunshine, my garden is starting to wake up. I am so excited. We spent Sunday afternoon lounging in the garden, doing a bit of weeding and drinking tea. I love tea! And being able to drink it in the garden with a slice of cake, listening to the birds and watching Bosun try to chase bumble bees just makes it taste twenty times better than normal.

I thought I would take some photos and describe what is going on in my garden at the moment. Mainly because I wanted to practise my photoshop editing skills, but also because my future mother in law helped us a lot with the garden when we moved in and with subsequent holidays and I love showing her the progress.

 The primroses everywhere are in full bloom. Primroses are my second favourite flower so I absolutely love spotting them roundabout in the woodland. They tend to come out a bit later up here than I was used to in Dorset, but then, so does everything. These primroses are actually growing in pots so that they can be easily dug out again, as are the bluebells. And as you can see...the first bluebell is just starting to show it's flower!! So excited, Bluebells are my number one favourite flower. I love the way they carpet woodland floors, the colour is stunning and as a child, they were always a sure indicator that my birthday was on the way. Love love love them.

Here is my onion bed. This year I am growing red AND white onions. (or do you call them brown onions? I'm not really sure). Last year I only grew red onions as I much prefer them. I would like to make a lot more chutneys this year so I have chosen to grow a mixture of different onions. And a lot of them! My FMIL rigged up this contraption with the string to stop birds taking the onion sets when they were small...and it worked! I'll take it down once the onions are a bit more established, but I quite like it. It makes my garden looks like a professional lives there who knows what she's doing.

 And this is my one clove of garlic that has sprouted properly. I planted about thirty, but so far only this one is showing signs of life.

These are the daffs lining our front garden path. There were a few there already when we moved in last year but we have since added a few and FMIL planted a few different varieties which has made it look a lot prettier!

 I love my Forsythia. One of the first things to bloom in the spring, it just cheers the place up!

 This is my little herb corner where I am currently growing Oregano, Rosemary, Thyme, Sage and Parsley. I love this cute little corner. This year I have included these cute little wooden labels that you write on. I don't use them everywhere in the garden because they are quite expensive, but for something a bit permanent they look amazing. They are from Burgon and Ball. FYI I don't label them for my benefit, I know what they are. I label them so that when I'm cooking and I send Rick out for a bunch of parsley, he comes back with the right stuff.

 Also, I'm kind of obsessed with Lavender. I love the look, the smell, just everything about it. So I bought a lot earlier in the year! I dry it out and use it to make delicious smelling pockets to keep the wardrobes smelling fresh and the moths away. You can also see some lilies here that are shooting up.

And here is my first fruit tree to come into blossom, this is a plum. I also have pear and three varieties of apples. This plum blossom just smelled absolutely gorgeous. When I was getting under it to take these arty shots of the sky, I was sniffing away like....ooooh!

And I'll leave you with these photos of my beautiful labrador Bosun. I think as dogs go, he is rather photogenic.

So, what's going on your gardens at the moment? Is anyone else further along in their gardening calendar than me? Here in Northumberland we are definitely taking it slow!

Have a great week!

Link Round-up

April 24, 2016

So Rick has been teaching me how to use photoshop (oooh-err!) and I've been playing around with it, so you might see a few fancy images pop up such as the one above. I did not take the photo, it is not my laptop and I have no idea where that park is. I have recently discovered these websites that contain thousands and thousands of images that you are allowed to take and use for your own purposes for free. I got this image from Pixabay, but there are many more. So if you ever need an image but don't have one of your own photos, then grab one of these.

Anyways so here are a few things from around the web that I've been reading on the odd occasion that I have some spare time.

  • This cheesey baked bean dip from A Beautiful Mess looks DELISH!! 
  • Lucy has put together her colour palette for a blanket inspired by cupcakes at Attic 24 <3
  • I fell in love with these gorgeous frosty/snowy pictures of the sunset in The Alps from Joy Felicity Jane
  • Twinkie Chan's second book is out! Yaay! I've always loved her crochet patterns and I will definitely be buying this book!
  • So...I am a massive Royalist. I absolutely love reading about the Queen and the Royal Family. Happy Birthday by the way! So I've been absolutely loving all the pictures that are being released for the Queen's birthday. Prince George is just so scrummy!
  • Totally agree with this article re vigilantes on social media potentially ruining innocent people's lives! Think before you post people!

So that's it for now. Have a good week and let's hope the sun starts to shine!

25 Get to Know me Questions

April 23, 2016
Happy Weekend Everybody!! I hope you have lots of funsies planned. You may have noticed things look a bit different around here, I've been doing a bit of re-vamping. I get bored of things quite quickly and change things up as often as I can. Not just online but also my life in general.

I thought I would do a "Get to Know" me post to go along with the new look. I stumbled across this on a blog called Megan has OCD. If you are a blogger, I challenge you to answer these questions in a post too and link back, so in theory we should get a chain of links going all over the blogosphere.

Let's Begin...

1. What is your middle name?: Ruth
2. What was favorite subject at school?: I really loved English Literature. Reading and analysing books is my thaang!
3. What is your favorite drink?: Tea. Tea Tea and more Tea. Bordering on an addiction.
4. What is your favorite song at the moment?: My favourite song doesn't really change. My favourite song ever is Landslide by Fleetwood Mac
5. What is your favorite food?: Roast Pork. I am a sucker for some crackling!
6. What is the last thing you bought?: Some more Agatha Christie books to add to my collection.
7. Favorite book of all time?: Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier. Scandal, mystery, drama, intrigue. My four favourite things. 
8. Favorite Colour?: At the moment I am loving green. I went through a phase of loving pink...but I'm over that.
9. Do you have any pets?: I have a yellow labrador, my beautiful Bobo!! He is gorgeous!! I've always had pets, I'm a firm believer that a house feels empty without animals.
10. Favorite Perfume?: I'm not really a perfume wearer to be honest.
11. Favorite Holiday?: I love going on long rambling holidays in Scotland. Beautiful scenery.
12. Are you married?: No, but at the time of writing this I am engaged!
13. Have you ever been out of the country, if so how many times?: Erm...yes I've been to Germany, Poland, Cyprus, France, Tenerife...I think that's it. I've never left Europe.
14. Do you speak any other language?: I speak a small bit of french that I did at GCSE level, but I'm really not fluent. I can possibly speak a few sentences. And ask where the library is.
15. How many siblings do you have?: I have three sisters, Hayley, Gemma and Denene. Hayley's the eldest, then Gemma, then me, then Denene is the youngest.
16. What is your favorite shop?: There's a few different outdoor shops I like, Go Outdoors etc. I don't really go into "clothes shops" as such.
17. Favorite restaurant?: oooooooh...Chiquitoes. I love Mexican!
18. When was the last time you cried?: Last week when Doug died on Neighbours. Actually that's a lie, I was watching a documentary about the Queen's birthday the other day and I cried at the bit where Windsor Castle burned down.
19. Favorite Blog?: I have lots of favourites! See here!
20. Favorite Movie?: Oh gosh...I have a few. The Goonies. The Burbs. Stand by Me. Practical Magic. Pitch Perfect to name a few!
21. Favorite TV shows?: Death in Paradise, Midsommer Murders, Criminal Minds...see a theme?
22. PC or Mac?: PC
23. What phone do you have?: Iphone! I love the camera quality!
24. How tall are you?: I'm not sure, maybe like 5ft 7 or something?
25. Can you cook? Yes I most definitely can, and I enjoy it!
Well there it is. A few points about me. I sincerely hope a few of you answer some of these questions too!

Under Construction

April 22, 2016
Hello Friends!
Please bear with me for a few days while I change over the template of my blog. If there are some bits that are not quite working properly, I am working to fix them, but I'm not very good with technology!! Ahhh!

The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie

April 22, 2016

My Review

“Instinct is a marvelous thing. It can neither be explained nor ignored.”

I decided it would make sense to go back and start reading the Poirot series from the very beginning, being the logical being that I am (ahem).
Presumably this is the book whereby Agatha Christie wants to introduce Poirot and really wants the reader to get to know him. Thus in this book are lots of descriptions on his character and all his little quirks.
"Poirot was an extraordinary looking little man"

The story begins with Mr Hastings (our narrator) who gets sent home from the war front to recover from an injury. He gets invited to spend his leave with his friend John Cavendish at his old family estate of Styles st Mary. As per usual there is a variety of people staying at this place, including friends, family and staff.

When John's step-mother is found dead in her bed after having been evidently poisoned with strychnine, the blame is automatically put to her new husband, Alfred Inglethorp. They were overheard having an argument earlier on in the day and everyone had always assumed he only married her for her wealth. But of course that would be far too simple, and a very boring book. Investigation proves that all of the evidence against Alfred Inglethorp was planted in an attempt to frame him. So...whodunnit?!

This book/mystery/tale is extremely clever. Almost too clever. I feel like in real life, nobody would actually be enough of a genius to plan this sort of murder. But it does have fantastic entertainment value. Really Agatha Christie was a very clever woman.

Click below to purchase on amazon

Weird Stuff My Dog Does

April 21, 2016
So Bosun is just over nine months old now (I know, where did that time go?) It seems like only yesterday we drove for three hours to Doncaster to pick him up. Rick drove home while I snuggled Bobo on the back seat. He pretty much slept all the way home which was pretty good. He is still very much a puppy in his behaviour. He throws a tantrum if he doesn't get his own way and needs to be involved in every single thing we do.

But have you ever looked at the really weird stuff that your dog does and just blurted out "why are you doing that?" I have those moments all the time, I'll give you a few examples.

Chewing Rocks

Our little stone cottage in Northumberland is surrounded by pebbly/gravelly type stuff. You can't get away from it. And one of Bo's favourite things to do is to pick up pebbles in his mouth and chew them! It's horrible! The sound of the pebbles on his teeth makes me want to claw my own eyeballs out! I tend to just hoike them out of his mouth and tell him to stop but really there is very little I can do due to us being surrounded by an ocean of stones. I do often wonder, for every pebble that I have removed from his gob, how many has he swallowed?! Surely he's not that stupid...And before you say anything, it's not through lack of stimulation. The boy has hundreds of toys and gets two walks a day!

Eating Poo!!

Yes, you read that correctly. He enjoys eating poo. Not his own poo mind you, mainly just herbivores. Cow poo, sheep poo, deer poo. Thankfully he doesn't touch fox poo or badger poo, they really smell! Is there a reason behind this? I know that bitches will often eat poo out of the whelping box to keep the nest clean (an ancient instinct to make sure predators aren't attracted to the smell). Could he have picked this behaviour up from his mother? He's such a weirdo. Pfffft!

Dropping Stuff Behind the Sofa

And I mean like...all his toys. And he doesn't do it by accident either! He will actually go and fetch a toy (squeaky or otherwise), stand on the sofa, wag his tail and then drop said toy between the sofa and the wall. He will then repeat the process. So I'll come into the living room and think...ok where are all his toys? Take a look behind the sofa mummy! And there they all are! He'll usually be there pawing at the back of the sofa as if trying to dig the toys back up. Weirdo.

Dropping Stuff in my Boots

Yes, this is also a thing. One day I went to put my boots on and I was like...oh...why can I not put my foot in my boot? Upon further investigation I discovered there was a tennis ball in my boot. Ah Bosun...Bosun Bosun Bosun. I did laugh. But this wasn't a one off, it then began to happen on a regular basis. Things I have found in my boots include a tennis ball, a glove, a deer antler, a cherry tomato and a coaster. Bless him. At least he doesn't try to chew the boots anymore.

So I hope you had a good giggle at some of Bosun's antics in this post. Can anyone shed some light on any of these behaviours? Does anyone have any weird dog tales of their own?

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