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The Birthday Blog

Hey all! I know it's been ages since I posted but so many things were happening, I figured to wait until August was over and say it all in one go.

First of it was my bday. Holla! I turned 26 and went to Amsterdam with my friend, Melissa. We decided to try a cruise ship. I was a bit concerned if we would like it, so we took the deal that wasn't as long but we had so much fun! The food was great, the cinema - watched Maleficent, Rise of the Planet of The Apes and The Fault In Our Stars, we drank in the sky bar. The sleeping arrangements were interesting lool. When I went to look at prices, the best rooms were still available but when I actually booked, we had the basic. It was pretty hilarious walking in and seeing it for the first time! But we made it work and when you sleep you can feel the waves underneath. The first night, Mel and I were like 'what the hell?' It took us a good while to get used to it.
On my actual birthday, Melissa had put balloons and streamers around the room so when I got out of the shower, I was surrounded by pink balloons, which was cute and then the staff at breakfast said they had a surprise for me at dinner.

Amsterdam was nice. I didn't realise there would be so much water! The weather was warmish but I was just happy that I was having my bday in Amsterdam. We kept seeing everyone on bikes, so we thought let's go get one. We finally found this shop and the sales guy literally spent the whole time talking to Melissa's boobs! It was too funny. We told him we were going to go to the Anne Frank museum and he laughed and said 'good luck.' I thought that was weird but then we saw the line. We literally waited almost 3 hours to go in. We made friends with some honeymooners, brought lunch, I went into a rasta shop to use the toilet all before we got inside. It was worth the wait. You get to be in there for about 1 hour and just soaking in all that they went through, was really a once in a lifetime opportunity. We went to the red light district. It's so weird because you have all these serious sex shops next door to classy looking restaurants. I really wanted a selfie with a prostitute but they weren't coming out till later. We went in some stores and it's just so interesting how people just walk in and look at porn with no care in the world. We got back to our transfer just before it poured heavily with rain.

At dinner, the staff all sang me happy birthday. I didn't really know what to do with myself so I just bopped my head as Melissa filmed me lool. After the ape movie (loved how one ape did the nay nay) we went to get a drink. These older guys had been hovering around us for days, they even came in the cinema at the end of movie to find us! I just assumed they were going to buy us a drink...they didn't. I brought myself one and finished mine sharpish. We were going back into see 'The Fault In Our Stars' so I'm hinting at Melissa to hurry up cause I want to get away from these guys and in true Melissa fashion, she doesn't get my hint and says, 'I need to finish my drink!' loool. Anyway, we finally get away and then we're told by bar staff that we can take drinks in with us. This whole time! So we brought more and we could really feel the ship rocking. We were both teary eyed at the movie but I blame the alcohol.

Naomi and Chelsea did a pre-birthday celebration and took me to Thorpe Park! It was a great day. Naomi, bless her, even made us food. Travel and tickets all paid for, I literally just had to show up. There was a ride called Swarf, I think that's the name; it looks insane but I loved it but I drew the line at Saw. It was so embarrassing. See, I like roller coasters but I don't like drops that go straight down with no twists. I blame Oblivion in Alton Towers for scarring me. So I'm looking at this ride thinking 'hell no' but I didn't mind them two going on it. So in the cue, I think maybe it's not so bad. These little boys behind us are talking about the ride like they've been on it. So I ask them about Saw and oh my gosh, they scared the crap out of me! Telling me about some drop in the dark!!! I was like no way, I weren't born for this. We're now really close to the ride and I ask one of the workers about this drop in the dark and he says no but laughs. Is he laughing because it's a silly question? Or because he's a liar? We get to the ride and when I give in my bag, I ask another worker about this drop in the dark and he says, looking dead in my face, 'no.' I think cool and take a seat in the ride and I promise you, fear grips my heart and I just know that I'm going to hate this ride, by this time the safety bars have already come down. I ask to get off just before the ride starts and the guy announces it LOUDLY ''She's changed her mind, she needs to get off" and I literally do the walk of shame. I tried to limp to make it seem like I wasn't scared lool. In conclusion, there was a drop in the dark. Bloody liars.

The day I got back from holiday, my other friend Aleta had organised a dinner at a Brazilian barbecue. It was fab! I have always wanted to go to one. I was a bit worried because we had to get a train to Putney and when I tell you I had no money from after the holiday. So when I see the prices of the meal, I'm sweating a bit, unknown to me, they were paying my bill. The food was amazing. The meat was heaven. There were even samba dancers, the girls got down with them making a great video for me. I think the combination of tiredness and alcohol made me very giddy. I drank so much in that week, so it didn't take much to get me drunk. It truly was one of my best birthdays.

And as a present to myself, I got a new car! Raise the roof!

The only thing that dampened my Summer was I got tonsillitis. Listen, no-one told me what tonsillitis was like. I thought it was just a sore throat and then you get your tonsils taken out if it was too sore, then you get to eat loads of ice cream, no big deal. No. It is horrible. I couldn't talk, swallow, I had the shivers, a fever, excessive amount of saliva. It started off with a headache, then a sore throat then that night I was freezing. I wore 3 jumpers. The next day I felt terrible but silly me I thought it was a 24 hour bug. I guzzled ginger, lemon, paracetamol. That night I slept maybe 2 hours. The next day, I'm thinking what is going on with my body? I check my throat and it is white. Disgusting. I go to a&e to see an out of hours doctor, to be told I have the worst form of tonsillitis! I get a prescription for antibiotics and the next morning, I feel a million times better. It took about 4 days to clear. 5 days to actually speak clearly but I was on the antibiotics for 7 days taking the medicine 8 times a day. I couldn't even work until I completed the antibiotics because I was contagious. This article really does sum it up  - Charlie Brooker on the horrors of tonsillitis
The fact kids have to deal with that amount of pain is beyond me. I remember so many kids in primary school being out for tonsillitis. I used to think it was a bit dramatic for a sore throat.

Rose launched this August! My first ever pop up book on the Emily Knight Warriors blog. It went so good. It got a great amount of views and I swear my twitter followers just went crazy! I doubled the amount of followers and got interviews out of it - Fashion Abecedaire (you get to see early sketches of the Emily Knight cover from Giles Greenfield) and WES Blog. It felt so good to talk about a new book!! I will do another pop up book for sure.

Something very cool happened to me. On my laptop, I get Twitter feeds on the side and I saw this competition that had been tweeted by Nivea called Bring it 30. Without thinking I entered it, not really expecting anything out of it and they contacted me because I am through to the next round. So fingers crossed!

And next friday I am doing a reading at For Books Sake Birthday Party. This is going to be so fun! For Books Sake celebrate women in literature and it's right up my street. I'm all for a female take over. If you want to come down and support email paul@forbooksake.net to RSVP. Cake, drinks and me! What more could you ask for?

Before I sign off, a big congratulations to Helen Lewis for winning the Facebook Giveaway that I did in August to celebrate my bday and the launch of Rose.













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