Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman.

I’d heard that this book was a must-read for a while before I treated myself to it, and I’m very glad I did.

However, I didn’t have much of a sense of what the book would be like and it was definitely not what I was expecting.

Gail Honeyman portrays a very different outlook on everyday life through the unique mind of the main character Eleanor Oliphant. She lives a simple life with the same routine of work and home, with very little human connection.

Eleanor thinks her lonely life is completely normal until she forms an unlikely friendship with a work colleague, Raymond. Her new friend shows her just what she’s been missing out on, whilst Eleanor is discovering this new world she also discovers secrets from her repressed childhood, which she has kept hidden for years.

A very touching read, with unsuspected moments of humour and sadness, this book can definitely make its way onto your favourites list.

Jason Fox ‘Battle Scars’

Who else loves reading biographies? I find it so interesting to dive into the depths of someone else’s life and take inspiration from what they have gone through.

Everyone has a story to tell, and I particularly love reading about people whose lives are distinctively different from my own. One specific example of this is Battle Scars by Jason Fox, ex-special forces serviceman and one of the leading men on the hit Channel 4 series ‘SAS: Who Dares Wins.’

In the book, Jason explains the hardships of the life-changing battles he has faced whilst serving time in the marines and special forces, which lead to him being diagnosed with PTSD.

He discloses how PTSD affected him in life after the army. The honest and raw account of how Jason worked through his mental health will help anyone, not only ex-military but anyone dealing with mental health problems and show them that things can get better.

So, please if you are looking for an inspiring story to read this Autumn, this is the one to read.

The Bali Diaries:Don’t eat sushi before climbing up a volcano!

Last year, I got the chance to go traveling for a month around Bali and Indonesia with one of my best and oldest friends Kate. It was one of the most amazing experiences I’ve ever had,cliche′ I know. Kate had already been traveling around Asia when I got a message from her asking if I wanted to go to Bali for my 21st! The next thing I know I was flying by myself for the first time and staying in my first ever hostel. I kept a Diary for the whole month I was there and scribbled down what we got up to every couple of days. So, I thought I would re-visit my Diary and polish up a few of the most memorable experiences I had whilst I was there.

Starting with our Two O’clock in the morning trek up the volcano Mount Batur…

We looked out to see a fiery orange dot growing in the middle of the dirty sky. Kate and I had climbed 1,717 meters up to the top of Mount Batur (located  just an hour outside of Ubud.) Despite my holding us up at the side of the volcano to occasionally throw up whilst hundreds of travelers climbed past me trying not to look. (This is why you don’t eat sushi before climbing up a volcano and a pizza the night before, oops. It could have also been due to my level of fitness at the time, but I’m blaming it on the overload of food, haha! )

The sky was clearing to unveil a giant red football floating through the horizon, the clouds parted below us, lighting up the still vast lake and the miniature houses beneath it. Dawn brought the top of the volcano to life, monkeys inhabited the grounds making tourists aware that their food was for sharing.

We explored the top to find our shadows waving back at us in the middle of a rainbow surrounded by other rocky grey volcanoes. One of the leaders guided us to where hot steam poured out from between the cracks of the rocks. We held our cold hands in front of them heating them up as though it was a crackling fire.

Kate and I found a small shack on top of a little hill, we had a hot cup of tea overlooking the ever-approaching day and the mounting greenery. I still don’t really like the way they drink tea in Asia they leave the tea bag in with no milk, but who could turn down the chance to say they’ve had a brew as I call it, on top of a volcano in Bali, not me.

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