Tuesday, 28 May 2019

Concerto - by Hannah Fielding

The blurb: 
When Catriona Drouot, a young music therapist, honours an opera diva's dying request to help her son, Umberto Monteverdi, recover his musical gift, she knows it will be a difficult assignment. She had shared a night of passion with the once-celebrated composer ten years before, with unexpected consequences.

The extent of her challenge becomes apparent when she arrives at her client's estate on the glittering shores of Lake Como, Italy. Robbed of his sight by a nearfatal car accident, the man is arrogant, embittered and resistant to her every effort to help him. Still, Catriona sings a siren's call within him that he cannot ignore.

Caught up in the tempestuous intrigues at Umberto's Palladian mansion, Catriona discovers that her attraction to the blind musician is as powerful as ever. How can she share what she has hidden from him for the past decade? Soon she realises that hers is not the only secret that is rippling uneasily below the surface. Dark forces haunt the sightless composer, threatening his life - for the second time.

Concerto is a sensual and romantic story of lost love and forgiveness, destiny and difficult choices, and of a heroine determined to put things right at last.

My Opinion:

*Book provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review*

This book still has me in awe and I mean that in a positive way. I was blown away by this story, it’s incrediable. 

We follow Catriona Drouot, who is a music therapist and gets a request to help a famous composer. The interesting thing about that?! They shared a passionate night together when she was just eighteen and now ten years later a lot of things have changed. 

Ten years ago Catriona wanted to become an opera singer, she is very talented. Umberto Rolando Monteverdi was their neighbour and judged a competition she won. One thing lead to another, but they had instant chemistry for sure. Hannah Fielding captured the atmosphere beautifully and included all the emotions. Well, Umberto left for a world tour and that was it. 

Catriona’s life changed a lot and she doesn’t want to take the offer to help him at first. Also Umberto’s life changed, he had an accident and is blind now. 

She decides to go to Italy to help him. Umberto’s estate is mysterious and so are the people there, especially his cousin Giacomo, but also Silvana, a friend since childhood, or is she more?!

Well, Catriona instantly feels attracted to him again, but they don’t have an easy start. When he discovered who she is, their passion for each other ignited again. Their chemistry is electric, but it’s not all paradise. Catriona is still hiding a secret and is scared of his reaction. Other secrets are also flying around and adding a lot of drama, which made this story very exciting. I couldn’t put the book down. 

Catriona and Umberto shared a lot of sensual and passionate moments, the author’s writing is adoring, flirty, romantic, intense, hooking, descriptive, touching and so much more. I didn’t want the story to finish and I like all the different aspects it had. 

The musical aspect is to die for, beautifully captured and just magical. Hannah Fielding really created her own voice and her writing is just on point. 

There were two things that bothered me a little bit. I understand that Italian words somehow have to be translated. I didn’t like the way it was done. The Italian words were always translated in the same sentence word by word. That disturbed me a bit. At times I also felt like the storyline dragged a little bit. 

Whether it was Italy or Nice, I liked the way the author described these unique and special places, I felt like being there with the characters. 

I really fell in love with this story, the characters and the writing immediately. 



Hannah Fielding On Twitter: @fieldinghannah

Saturday, 25 May 2019

The Man The Music The Show - Hugh Jackman in Concert

Ever since watching the Les Misérables movie I have been a huge Hugh Jackman fan. I knew him before as well, but after that movie, in which he was absolutely phenomenal and brilliant, I watched a lot of YouTube videos of him singing and performing. I guess you could say, I fell in love with him. 

Well, I watched that movie I don’t know how many times now... And then came The Greatest Showman. A fab movie, with great music and an amazing Hugh Jackman. He really is the born showman. When I found out he is going on a world tour, I freaked out. I immediately booked tickets form y mum and me, because she is even the bigger fan. She always tells me that he is too old for me ;). 

Sunday, May 19 2019 was the day! We headed to the Hallenstation in Zurich, one of the biggest concert halls we have in Switzerland, omg I was so excited. The concert started on time with the opening song from The Greatest Showman. And there he was, performing live on stage, in front of us. Omg, that man has a fabulous stage presence and charisma!!!

He continued with more songs from The Greatest Showman and moved on to other musicals, my highlight was obviously Les Misérables, next to The Greatest Showman. He also talked o lot, got very personal and was just funny. He talked about his childhood, his life as an actor/singer, his wife and much more. He had the perfect song for these moments and memories and the feelings really came across. He really has a gift and talent, Hugh Jackman was definitely born to be on stage. His voice is amazing, his acting is brilliant and omg, can he dance. The emotions in every song really come alive, he acts with his whole body. 
There were dancing numbers in between as well, a choir, who joined him sometimes and he had lots of dancers and singers as well. They got to do a lot, even sang songs with him, like One Day More from Les Miséerables. In the first act he called Keala Settle on stage, who played the bearded lady in The Greatest Showman and she sang This Is Me, just incredible!!!! I had tears in my eyes and couldn't deal when they moved on to Les Misérables. He sang songs from Peter Allan and played him on stage as well, that was so funny. Two people from the audience even got to go on stage, jealous!!!!

He sang more songs from musicals like Guys and Dolls, Cabaret or Singing in the Rain. It was over way too soon, I wish I could go again. It’s one of the best concerts, I have ever been to. I really need to watch both movies again soon and I can’t stop listening to The Greatest Showman soundtrack. 

Hugh Jackman seemed so down to earth, honest and relatable. He has a lot of charisma and let’s just be clear here: He is absolutely phenomenal, incredible and magnificent!

THE MAN THE MUSIC THE SHOW, the perfect name for this show!!!

Thursday, 23 May 2019

Just One Night - by Lauren Layne

The blurb: 

Riley McKenna knows sex—good sex, bad sex, kinky sex…Her articles in Stiletto magazine are consistently the publication’s most scandalous—and the most read. But Riley has a secret…all that sexy talk? Not an ounce of it comes from personal experience. Her own bedroom escapades are more limited than even her best friends know. When her editor requests that all columnists write something more personal for Stiletto’s anniversary issue, Riley turns to the one man she’s always been able to count on and calls in the favor of a lifetime.

Sam Compton would do anything for Riley McKenna. Anything except be her experimental sex toy. He refuses her request. At least until she tells him that it’ll either be him or she’ll go to someone else. And that, Sam can’t accept. Reluctantly he agrees to her terms—one night of completely meaningless sex in the name of research. Riley thinks she’s prepared for what awaits her in Sam’s bed. After ten years of writing about sex, actually doing it shouldn’t be that different, right? So wrong. What starts as “one time only” becomes “just one more time.” And then one more. And before they know it, Riley and Sam learn first-hand that when it comes to love, there’s no such thing as just one night.

My Opinion:

On to book number three of Lauren Layne’s Stiletto series. The main character in this one is Riley McKenna, who is the “sex expert” at Stiletto magazine. 

For the anniversary issue, the magazine has planned something special, it has to be personal. Well, Riley doesn’t really know what to do with her article. She has a little secret, which makes the actual plan a bit difficult. Riley then turns to the only possible person: Sam Compton. He has been in her life for over 10 years, is her brother’s best friend and practically part of the family. He doesn’t want to be her sex toy though, but after a while agrees to just one night. One thing leads to another and they can’t keep their hands off each other. The way to love and an actual relationship is rocky though, full of ups and downs, misunderstandings and more. It’s also full of passion, heart, emotions and desire. The author captured the relationship between Sam and Riley beautifully, the way they understand each other and treat each other is wonderful. 

Her writing is fun, flirty, steamy, fresh, passionate, exciting and just sweet. Both main characters are great, even though I wanted to hit them at times, especially Sam at one point. 

I love how the friendship group is growing and the previous couple from the series get their part in the story. Especially the friendship the girls have is a key part of it and very special. Also Mitchell and Jake are in several scenes, which I loved. They are all just so fabulous. I definitely found a new favourite series. 


Lauren Layne on Twitter: @_LaurenLayne

Tuesday, 21 May 2019

Guest Post by Sara Alexander

For most of my twenties and thirties I looked on my changeable interests and talents as a disadvantage, revealing, as my dad would remind with glee, a personality incapable of finishing anything. He was, in part, correct. I dohave a pathological resistance to finishing – I even leave cupboard doors open in case I need to go back in them later. This infuriates all of the folks I live with (and there are many, my parents, my husband, our two children) and it is something I am working on. Come to find out, procrastination of this sort is related closer to a perfectionist’s disposition; you don’t start or finish for fear that it won’t be the best thing you can possibly produce.
I finished my debut novel, after its decade percolation in my imagination, once I shelved the fear and did the work at a writing class in NYC instead. Completion was a huge turning point, in more ways than one. I finally allowed myself to receive a new message that I was, indeed, a finisher and also, that my varied interests and skills were a strength rather than a weakness that leeched my focus. 
At the moment I am about to begin a run of the most bold, beautiful and bonkers play I’ve been in to date and am looking forward to the release of my third novel. My ‘weakness’ for flitting from one project to another has fed a deep drive and spurred a gorgeous cross-pollination. The play, Rejoicing at her Wondrous Vulva the Young Woman Applauded Herselfhas been developed over the past few years, with intimate conversations and staggered weeks of research and development supported by the Arts Council. The writer/actor Bella Heesom, Olivier award winning director and dramaturg Donnacadh O’Briain and legendary choreographer Liz Rankin and I explored the theme of female sexuality and shame-free sensuality. This work ran concurrent to writing my latest novel and fed my imagination in beautiful ways. 

My third novel’s protagonist is a headstrong Sardinian pianist training in 1970s Rome. In one room (of real life and my imagination) my colleagues and I were exploring the roots of female shame, and in another I was delving into what the sexual and feminist awakening in 1970s Rome looked like. 
Exploring the freedom and subconscious-led play of rehearsal rooms liberates my writing brain too. The discoveries uncovered in the privacy and safety of an experimental rehearsal feeds my creativity and courage to push the boundaries of my novels’ characters. In turn, the long stretches of solitude whilst writing is a great antidote to the intense physical and emotional transformations that are required as an actor. 
It is a tender balance, and one that feeds my deep belief that we can operate at our best when we draw and cross reference all aspects of ourselves and our real experience to share the most authentic version of our imaginations as we can muster. For a woman creating, freedom, the sense of play, the desire to probe aspects of characters and myself that are not always comfortable, beautiful or pristine is where the richest material, performance and stories are seeded.
I intend to keep feeding that compost of my imagination and weaving the differing strands of my work life into as colourful a plait as I can create.

Sara Alexander will be performing in Rejoicing at Her Wondrous Vulva the Woman Applauded Herself at the Ovalhouse Theatre 9th-25thMay and her next novel The Last Concerto, is published by HQ in August. Find out more about Sara and her work at saraalexander.net

Saturday, 18 May 2019

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child at The Palace Theatre London

About the show: 

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is a British two-part stage play written by Jack Thorne based on an original story by Thorne, J. K. Rowling and John Tiffany. Previews of the play began at the Palace Theatre, London on 7 June 2016, and it premiered on 30 July 2016.
The play opened on Broadway on 22 April 2018 at the Lyric Theatre, with previews starting on 16 March 2018. Its cast is similar to that of the first year on West End, with returning actors Anthony Boyle, Sam Clemmett, Noma Dumezweni, Poppy Miller, Jamie Parker, Alex Price, and Paul Thornley.
The story begins nineteen years after the events of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and follows Harry Potter, now a Ministry of Magic employee, and his younger son Albus Severus Potter, who is about to attend Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
At the 2017 Laurence Olivier Awards, the London production received a record-breaking eleven nominations and won an again record-breaking nine awards, including Best New Play, Best Actor, Best Actor in a Supporting Role, Best Actress in a Supporting Role and Best Director. At the 2018 Tony Awards, the Broadway production won six awards, including Best Play. The play also set the record for highest all-time weekly ticket sales of any play after grossing over $2.5 million at the Lyric Theater for the week ending on December 30, 2018. 

My opinion: 

I've wanted to see this play ever since it came out! In the beginning it was hard to get tickets and you really had to plan ahead. After going to London in February and passing the Palace Theatre several times, I just looked at tickets for April (my next holidays). When I saw there were tickets available, I started planning a whole Harry Potter inspired trip and booked tickets. 

FINALLY!!!!! I was so excited! 

Wednesday, April 17 was the day. Before going into the theatre, I took a few pictures outside and then headed for the line to get in, you have to wait a bit, but the line is constantly moving. When you get in the first thing you see is the "gift shop". They have lots of merchandise and souvenirs, which is great. I took some time to look at them, but didn't buy anything yet. They have house related things, Cursed Child related, Hogwarts things and much more (no spoilers). I bought a program, looked at in the bar area and then took my seat. I almost started crying then already. The curtain was lifted already and there was the stage, ready for scene 1. 

When it actually started with the scene we all know (19 years later), I had some tears in my eyes. It was such a special moment and I think I just couldn't believe actually being in the theatre and seeing the play. I have read the play twice, so I was very familiar with the story. The great thing though, is that I always discover new details and now I also had live pictures with actual actors. It made it so much more real, lively and exciting. I really liked what they did with all the scene changes (there were so many). The actors moved things around, but they always swinged their cloaks first and some were just moving. When they lifed something they kind of did it slow motion and things appeared to be flying in the air. They used stairs and moved them around and omg the time turing! The time turner was flying, the clocks turned backwards and then they had this special effect of everything getting blurry and wavey (like being underwater) and with the sound, it was awesome!!! There were also scenes, which were added by music and choreography, that added a more magical touch to it and now let me talk about all these special effects and the magic on stage. It's incredible!!! I don't know how they did all these things, but it was really impressive. There were sparks, floating objects, flames, sometimes people vanished or transformed, it's amazing!!!!

The acting was spot in as well. I think the roles were reall well cast, especially Ron, Harry and Albus Potter, but also Snape, McGonagall, Draco Malfoy, Hermione, Ginny, Delphi Diggory and Moaning Myrtle. You might realise that I haven't mentioned one important character yet: Scorpius Malfoy. It may be that his role is supposed to be that way (then he did a great job), but for me it was a bit too much and overacted. I kind of had a different picture of his character, so that was a bit confusing to me. There were so many funny scenes and LOL moments, as well as emotional and touching scenes. The feelings came across really well. Some actors played several roles, which is very impressive too.
The first part ended with a big wow and just made me more excited for part two. It never felt boring or long, because the storyline just moved along wonderfully. 

Before the second part started I bought some souvenir and merchandise, I had time to think in the break, what to actually get. A must for me was the music, it's beautiful, a great mixture and the individual tracks fitted the scenes perfectly. I can't wait to listen to them again. 

I feel like there is so much more to say about the play, but I'm still overwhelmed. I can't pick a favourite part or scenes, there were so many memorable ones. I had tears in my eyes several times, but the scene, where Harry and all the other characters have to watch his parents die, is heart-breaking. 

The announcements before each part and after the intervalls were very creative and magical. Each time a character was talking, including the way they speak and their personality, especially Umbridge was great, they also included words like muggles, just fab! 

A must see for all  Harry Potter fans, I really want this to become a movie as well and maybe hear about Albus' and Scorpius' future. 

Thursday, 16 May 2019

Love the One You’re With - by Lauren Layne

The blurb: 

As a leading columnist for Stiletto, Grace Brighton has built a career warning women about rotten, cheating liars. She just never suspected her fiancé would be one of them. After Grace takes a heart-mending hiatus, her first assignment is to go on a couple of dates with a counterpart from the men’s magazine Oxford and report her impressions. Grace 1.0 may have been instantly smitten with the gorgeous correspondent, but Grace 2.0 has sworn off relationships for six months, and she’s not falling for his outstanding bod and trophy-winning kisses . . . or is she?
Jake Malone wants to get back to the fly-by-night, who-knows-what’s-next guy he used to be, and he knows exactly how to do it. Oxford is adding a travel section, and Jake—with no wife and no kids and a willingness to live anywhere, eat anything, do everything—is perfect for the job . . . except that his playboy reputation makes his new editor nervous. To get the gig, he must agree to a fluffy joint article with Stiletto. But after just one date with snooty, sumptuous, sensational Grace Brighton, Jake starts taking this assignment a whole lot more seriously.

My Opinion:

Love the One You’re With is book two in Lauren Layne’s Stiletto series and features Grace, who we of course already now. 

Grace Brighton is done with men! After nine years with the perfect guy, she is single and heartbroken. Grace 2.0 wants to do things differently, no man, no relationship for six months. Well, after a month off at work, she takes on a assignment to  go on a few dates with a counterpart (Jake Malone) from the men’s magazine Oxford. It’s part of a series and these two play some tricks on each other, after a while though they can’t deny their chemistry. They start spending a lot of time together, not even thinking about their articles. 

Jake from the start didn’t want to do the assignment, he wants to be a travel writer and when this opportunity comes along, everything changes. 

I loved reading about Grace and Jake together, their scenes are adorable and cute, their banter is fab. I think they are perfect together, but of course some drama is included and makes the story more exciting. I really loved the ending.

I think I liked this book even more than the first one of the series. It’s full of heart, passion, fun, friendship and more. I love how the Stiletto girls are there for each other, their friendship is deep. We also get to know some of the other Oxford guys. We get to catch up with Julie and Mitchell as well, which was fab!

The dialogues are in this book are great, the characters are very well lined out and the plot is full of surprises. A flirty, fresh and fun style of writing. I can’t wait to read book three of the series. 


Lauren Layne on Twitter: @_LaurenLayne

Saturday, 11 May 2019

Musical Review - Fiddler on the Roof

About the show: 

Fiddler on the Roof is a musical with music by Jerry Bock, lyrics by Sheldon Harnick, and book by Joseph Stein, set in the Pale of Settlement of Imperial Russia in 1905. It is based on Tevye and his Daughters (or Tevye the Dairyman) and other tales by Sholem Aleichem. The story centers on Tevye, the father of five daughters, and his attempts to maintain his Jewish religious and cultural traditions as outside influences encroach upon the family's lives. He must cope both with the strong-willed actions of his three older daughters, who wish to marry for love – each one's choice of a husband moves further away from the customs of their Jewish faith and heritage – and with the edict of the Tsar that evicts the Jews from their village.
The original Broadway production of the show, which opened in 1964, had the first musical theatre run in history to surpass 3,000 performances. Fiddler held the record for the longest-running Broadway musical for almost 10 years until Grease surpassed its run. It remains the seventeenth longest-running show in Broadway history. The production was extraordinarily profitable and highly acclaimed. It won nine Tony Awards, including best musical, score, book, direction and choreography. It spawned five Broadway revivals and a highly successful 1971 film adaptation and has enjoyed enduring international popularity. It has also been a popular choice for school and community productions.

My opinion: 

When we were in London in February, we didn't have time to go see this show. It was playing at The Menier Chocolate Factory and because it was so popular they extended the running and moved it to the Playhouse Theatre. I grabbed the chance and booked my ticket. 

I absolutely loved this show!!! I don't even know, where to start with this review. It's the story of a Jewish family and their whole village. Tevye And Golde have five daughters and it's time for them to get married. Of course, they get matched with someone, that's tradition. However, the daughters are about to break the tradition. Tzeitel is in love with Motel, her childhood friend. They have never told her parents, so her dad promises her to someone else, someone much older. The shock is big when they finally reveal the truth, but Tevye agrees and comes up with a funny dream to explain everything to his wife. Well, the second daughter Hodel falls in love with their teacher Perchik, a poor student from Kiev. They managed to convince the dad about their love. Hodel then goes after Perchik. And they live away from the family. Chava is the third daughter and she, unfortunately, falls in love with Fyedka, a Christian. She then runs away and eventually the whole village is expelled by the Russians. And they have to leave. 

The acting was on point from the whole cast, they really transmitted the feelings and got into their roles. It was real and authentic. I really liked the three daughters played by Molly Osborne, Harriet Bunton and Nicola Brown), their voices were beautiful and their acting was brilliant. Andy Nyman, who played the dad was absolutely phenomenal, great voice, fab actor! I didn't really like Tania Newton, who played his wife, it was the understudy and her voice seemed shaky and not secure. Then we have the men, mainly Stewart Clarke and Matthew Hawksley (Perchkin and Fyedka), they were great! I might have fallen in love with them a little bit myself ;). I actually saw both Andy Nyman and Stewart Clarke in Assassins four years ago, so that was fab.
The company scenes were fantastic, very well staged and the choreography was very effective. I also liked what they did with the stage and the scenery, it's the perfect theatre for this show. 

A very special thing was also the cast being on stage and interacting before the show even started. 
I wouldn't recommend sitting in the first row, maybe start with the forth, and the seats were really tight and not a lot of space for the legs. 

Of course, this is still a must-see show in the West End, I would definitely go and see it again. 

Thursday, 9 May 2019

If You Could Go Anywhere - by Paige Toon

The blurb: 

The brand new novel from the Sunday Times bestselling author Paige Toon. The perfect summer read for 2019! 

Angie has always wanted to travel. But at 29, she has still never left her small mining town in the Australian outback. When her grandmother passes away, Angie finally feels free to see the world – until she discovers a letter addressed to the father she never knew and is forced to question everything.

As Angie sets off on her journey to find the truth – about her family, her past and who she really is – will enigmatic stranger Alessandro help guide the way?

My Opinion:

*Book provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review*

The best book I have read so far in this year!!! Paige Toon just manages it every time, her writing is magical!

In this book we follow Angie, who lives in Coober Pedy, a mining town, she has never left Australia and is now 29 years old already. She lost her mum as a baby and then her grandfather and now her grandmother, who she looked after for years. The community in her little town is amazing, but Angie has always dreamed of following her mother’s footsteps of seeing the world. Angie has a long of list of counties, but when she finds a letter addressed her father, things change and she finds herself in Italy, Rome to be specific. Her father Giulio runs a restaurant in the city. Alessandro works at the restaurant and it gurns out he is connected to the family as well. He kind of takes care of her, shows her around and they instantly have a connection. Angie also gets to know the other people at the restaurant and she slowly gets to know her new family as well. Part of it is in Tivoli and part of is in Venice. Paige Toon takes us on a journey through Rome and the rest of Italy and I loved it, all the Italian aspects actually. I’m have Italian, so it was a really special read for me. 

We saw it all through Angie’s eyes, which made it unique and different. No touristy stuff, just her point of view, but also Angie getting to know her knew family and making friends. All the characters added a lot of spark to the story and yes, I wanted her and Alessandro to spend as much time as possible together. Their chemistry grew through out the book and I just loved them together. 

Alessandro is connected to the family, as I said and a lot happened in his past. It has made him the person he is now, but there are still a lot of unresolved issues and that stops him of following his feelings. That meant a lot of secrets were eventually discovered and the feelings and emotions were high. 

This book is great on so many levels!!!! A fab cast of characters (especially Angie, so relatable), wonderful locations, a exciting storyline, deep emotions, real feelings, romance, friendship, family and passion. It’s really intense and I was hooked immediately, I couldn’t put the book down and in the end I just cried. 

Paige Toon has areal talent to capture a reader and create a fascinating, unforgettable and irreplaceable story. 
I have read and seen documentaries about people living in dugouts (caves) and I really liked that Coober Pedy was part of the setting in this book. It’s fascinating and very interesting. 
The community of people, who live there in the books is great, they care for Angie and they send her lovely postcards to Italy. She is really connected to them, but also starting anew life, that’s not easy. 

This book is touching, passionate, beautiful, inspiring, bright, authentic, addicting, sweet, romantic and so much more. Paige Toon’s writing is on point, I need more of these characters, pronto!!!!



Paige Toon on Twitter: @PaigeToonAuthor
Website: https://www.paigetoon.com
Goodreads - Amazon  UK - Amazon US

Monday, 6 May 2019

The Effortless Mind - by Will Williams

The blurb: 
Whether teaching meditation to 5000 people at Glastonbury, launching World Meditation Day from London’s Fabric nightclub or bringing people together in Berlin, San Francisco and LA to meditate; Will Williams is bringing meditation to the masses in a jargon-free, accessible way. Will has taught everyone from Kate Winslet and Basement Jaxx to the staff at Google, Spotify and Universal how to meditate with astounding results.  

An incredibly successful technique, long term sufferers of debilitating conditions including stress, insomnia, depression and anxiety have used Will’s unique Beeja meditation technique to transform their lives. Jargon-free and straight to the point, The Effortless Mind offers an accessible guide for those needing a breakthrough on challenges from anxiety to diet and addiction to trauma.  Will’s 20 minute Beeja meditation technique is hugely successful because it’s simple enough for beginners but quick enough for busy lives as it can be done literally anywhere, at your desk in the office, on the tube, even while flying.

My Opinion:

*Book provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review*

I usually don’t read a lot of non-fiction books, but when I got contacted about this one, I said yes. I have started yoga and meditation at the beginning of the year, so I thought it would be a good read for me. 

Will Williams talks about meditation in the modern world. He explains how the meditation helps and what it can help for. Things like increased creativity, cured insomnia, reduced anxiety, depression and many more things are a topic in this book. It’s also showing how people got out of their difficult situations with the help of Williams and meditation.

The author covers a lot of topics and has examples of how he and the method helped different people in different situations. He explains, how he met these people, what they went through, how he helped and how it got better afterwards. 

The book is an introduction to Beeja meditation (vedic meditation). However, it barely talks about the actual technique. From time to time there are mentions of things you can do and sometimes there are explanation parts. It doesn’t have a fluent thread throughout the book. It covers little steps and it always says that he can help you directly. It kind of felt like an advert. 

The stories from other people were interesting at times, but some topics, I didn’t feel related too and I think the book was too focused on these experiences. 

I expected something else and that’s why I had some difficulties with this book. The blurb mentions a guide for meditators, which is a bit misleading. The focus of this book is not ideal for me. 

I believe that working with Will and his way of meditation can really help people. It really sounds interesting, but just talking about it in a book is not enough. 

It’s very motivating to read about the positive outcome for people and reading about their feelings. 


About the author

Daily life can feel like a fast-paced treadmill, leaving little time to unwind, recharge and do what brings us joy. Meditation is a powerful way to hit the pause button, increase your energy and start to enjoy life more.

The Effortless Mind is renowned meditation teacher Will Williams’s must-have guide for modern-day meditators. Suffering from chronic stress and insomnia, Will undertook years of research and training with leading experts from around the world, which led him to find the cure he was looking for in Vedic meditation.

In The Effortless Mind, Will explains how his Vedic-inspired method of meditation has transformed the lives of his students – all of whom are busy people of all ages and all backgrounds. Their inspiring stories and the scientific research into meditation show the profound physical, mental and emotional benefits you can gain from such a simple daily practice, including more energy, better sleep, greater clarity, less anxiety and a happier outlook on life. 
Will Williams on Social Media:

Saturday, 4 May 2019

From one Harry Potter city to another. London calling...

On Monday, April 15 I took the train from Edinburgh to London Kings Cross. The whole journey took 4 hours and 40 minutes. On the way I looked at the lovely scenery, listened to music, wrote some blog posts and read Lindsey Kelk's newest book. At Kings Cross I took the underground to Covent Garden and checked in at my hotel.
After that I immediately left the hotel again and walked around the Covent Garden area (one of my faves). My first stop was The Noble Collection store, they have all the official Harry Potter merchandise, as well as other movies like Fantastic Beasts, Lord of the Rings, The hobbit etc. I was in there last time we were in London as well, but i wasn't feeling well and didn't have the energy to properly look around. So this time I really took my time looking at every single detail. They have all the wands, plushies, replica of the Philosopher Stone, the Rawenclaw Diadem, the Grindlewald pendant, the Triwizard cup etc. they also have brooms, arteft boxes, house related things etc. you can definitely spend hours in there. The way they display things is brilliant, so pretty!!! I didn't bux anything yet, but definitely kept some things in mind. Then I just went into some stores: French Connection, Karen Millen, Ted Baker, Kurt Geiger, & other stories etc. I also walked around covent garden looked at the beautiful flowers and enjyod the su shine, before having dinner at the hotel restaurant Monmouth Kitchen. The have a tapas style menu, which is fab. They have changed it a little bit, so I tried some new things and had my beloved Chardonnay from Chile. The rest of the evening was spent in the room and I went to bed early, because...

...Tuesday meant an early start. I gave myself enough time to get to the Harry Potterr studio tour in Leavsden. I got a coffee and ate breakfast on the train from Euston. Then of course I took the bus and collected my ticket. My time was at 10.00 am, but I took some tiemto look at the new entrance first. The huge dragon is very impressive, die hen there are all the oictures from the characters ariznd the dragon, plus the castle and some ither details. There are also costumes and windows with some nice details. Completely new is also the chocolate frog café, the marauders map around it and part of the enchanted ceiling. The whole entrance to the cinema room is different, covering all eight movies. From the cinema room, you go to The Great Hall and then the room with all the props and sets. Then comes the Forbidden Forest and Platform 9 ¾, both have a shop. After that comes the Backlot Café and then the whole exterior area with The Knight Bus, Privet Drive, the bridge and more. From the creatures area, we see all the goblins, which afterwards leads to Gringotts (the new part). What they did there is fabulous, the main hall of the bank is great and I really liked the Lestrange vault. When you come out of Gringotts you walk through Diagon Alley, the the model section and the the Hogwarts model, before stepping into the wand shop and then the actual shop of the tour. I spent a really long time in the shop and walked home with quite a few things (details in my studio tour post). I had lunch at the studios as well and enjoyed a coffee from the Chocolate Frog Café, before taking back the train to central London. From Euston station, I went to Kings Cross and headed to the 9 ¾store, I had to stand inline to get in. I couldnt resist buying some little things. Then I took the time to relax at the hotel, get changed and have ddinndinner there 
Dinner there again. They have a fab menu, so I had to try other things. Before going to the theatre I went to Trafalgar Square ad took some phtos there and looked at the London Eye. Fiddler on the Roof was playing at The Playhouse theatre and I really enjoyed the show. Great story, fab acting, wonderful voices (read my musical review to know more). 

Wednesday was another Harry Potter day, but I started with a yummy coffee from Monmouth Coffee and some shopping on Regent Street. I bought some summer shorts at Abercrombie and Fitch and just browsed through my fave stores. At 12 I headed tob e beloved restaurant in Carnaby Street called Dehesa, another Tapas place. I had to rush a bit and eat fast, because I had to go back tot he hotel ,leave my tjings there,pick up my ticket and go to the theatre. Luckily, the theatre was on the way back, so I got my tickets before going tot he hotel. I quickly freshened up and walkedto the thatre, it was just a three minute walk. I took some time to take photos in front of the theatre, with the ticket, without, me standing in front etc. Then I had to stand in the queue to get in. They tell you tob e there an hour early, because they take their time checking bags and tickets, the line actually goes around the theatre. The momentI got in, I checked out the store first to see what they have, bought a program, got a coffee and chilled at the bar. Then part one started and I actually had tears in my eyes, a very special moment (more details in my review, soon). After part one I went to the Mina Lima store and actually ordered two very special prints. I then had dinner and enjoyed a little drink at the hotel, before going back tot he theatre for part two. It was amazing, just incredible!

On Thursday I took my time in the moring and I had to pack, which wasn’t easy, because I bought some things ;). After checking out I got my coffee first and walked to Piccadilly Circus, where I went to Tesco first ad then to Waterstones, a must of course. Then I did the res of Regent Street, especially Ted Baker, where I bought some culottes. I had to go back to Dehesa for lunch, because it was justso delicious and I wanted to take my time. The afternoon was spent in Liberty, Starbucks (outside in the sunshine), Mina Lima again and Foyles. Sadly, it was time to say goodbye to London after that, I took the underground to heathrow airport.

London really is a home away from home, I miss it already and want to go back.