The Christmas Tag

I first saw this tag the other day when Nicole Eloise did it for her Blogmas Day Two. I thought it was really fun so, even though I haven’t been tagged by anyone to do it, I decided to gatecrash the tag and do it anyway! So, without further ado, here is my Christmas Tag.

1. Do you prefer giving or receiving gifts?

I’d say that I prefer giving gifts. I always feel awkward and embarrassed opening gifts that people have given to me, especially if they watch me do it because I’m anxious that I don’t look happy or grateful enough (I have a naturally grumpy face!). 

2. Do you make and stick to New Year’s Resolutions?

I do make New Year’s Resolutions, however I have the terrible habit of scrawling them at the back of a notebook and then forgetting about them after the first few months of the year! I generally find it more helpful to set smaller short-term goals each month or week, for example. Although, New Year’s Resolutions are a bit of a tradition in my life now, so I don’t see myself not making some this year.

3. Have you ever made a snowman?

Yes, I remember making them with my brothers when I was younger and I would become overly attached to the little people I created, so much so that I would get emotional over watching them melt away. I can’t say that I have made any snowmen in recent years as the snow usually gives me a headache so I tend to bundle-up inside and watch the snow fall through a window!

4. Is your Christmas tree real or fake, and what theme do you prefer?

We have always had a real Christmas tree ever since I can remember which, with the benefit of hindsight, seems rather wasteful looking back. I actually have nothing to do with putting the Christmas tree-up or decorating it anymore; once my family stopped putting on chocolate decorations wrapped in foil, the tree suddenly became a lot less interesting to me!

5. Most memorable holiday moment?

This is so hard, primarily because my memory is terrible and I don’t remember any of the Christmases I’ve had distinctly, so there are only a few snapshots which have stayed with me. I think my most memorable moment would have to be my grandpa tucking into his Christmas dinner with a colourful paper hat on his head or tearing open his presents like a excited little boy even though he was past 90 years old! Now that he is gone, the memories of his fun-loving nature pop-up from time-to-time and remind me how much he loved a family occasion (especially if there were sweets or chocolate involved!). 

6. What holiday traditions are you looking forward to this year?

Probably seeing my dogs ripping-open the paper around their presents and then running off to their beds to enjoy their new treasure. My dogs’ enthusiasm for Christmas is hilarious! 

7. What is the best Christmas present you have ever received?

When I was younger I got tickets to see my then-favourite band McFly in concert and seeing those tickets felt completely surreal as I was blown-away that I was going to see these people that I had idolised on stage in front of my eyes.

8. What are your favourite holiday foods?

Well, I don’t have Christmas dinner, so I’d probably have to say whatever sweets people gift me (I have a very sweet tooth!).

9. What is your favourite Christmas film?

Sorry to sound Grinch-like but I actually don’t have one, although the Harry Potter films always make me feel Christmassy for some reason!

10. What is your favourite Christmas song?

Again, I actually don’t have one – I just listen to whatever my brother puts on.

11. What is your favourite thing about Christmas?

The way time feels like it stands still on Christmas Day – you feel like it is a day which completely stands alone from any other on the calendar and it seems to pass in a very surreal way.

12. What would be your dream place to visit at Christmas time?

Copenhagen, Denmark. I have been there before and I thought it was the most stunningly beautiful city, so I bet it would be a very special place to be at Christmas.

13. Who do you spend Christmas with?

Usually it would be my parents, my two brothers and my dogs and then either side (paternal or maternal) of my extended family. However, this year will be different, I think, in that my immediate family will be visiting my extended family without me this year. I find Christmas difficult mental health wise and I think it will be good for me to try and handle it in my own way this year in just the company of my dogs for the majority of the day. Although, I believe I will still be opening my presents with my parents and brothers. 

14. When do you start getting excited for Christmas?

I don’t get excited until classes at University end for me because, up until then, I am so immersed in the Uni bubble and removed from what is outside of campus that Christmas does not feel like it arrives until teaching finishes and I leave campus. I sort of get quite nervous for Christmas really, so it is a combination of nerves and excitement which start to peak around the nights of the 23rd probably.

15. You have one Christmas wish – what will it be?

I’m going to take it that the wish has to be Christmas-related rather than encompassing anything bigger than Christmas Day. So, my wish would be that everyone in the world feels loved and cared for this Christmas Day. 

 

I’m not going to tag anyone specific to do this tag. Instead, if you are reading this and want to do this tag, please do! It would be fun to see as many different responses to these questions as possible.

 

If you want to hear my daily ramblings please follow me on Twitter – @RyanBInNature

 

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The Harry Potter Tag

No amount of Harry Potter magic in your life is too much. Recently my mental health has been quite up and down and, as silly as it sounds, the wizarding world of Harry Potter always allows me some escapism, even at the age of 19! I love retreating into the fantastical world of Hogwarts and diverting my mind from the negative thoughts spiralling around my head. So, today I thought I would complete the Harry Potter Tag in a bid to spread some magic and light to other people’s lives.

*I believe that this tag was created by Cassie over at ZombieGoddess Beauty, so all credit to her*

1. What house are you in?

I am a very proud Slytherin! Whilst some people find my house controversial, I firmly believe that not all Slytherins are evil or necessarily drawn to dark things. We are resourceful and cunning but we can chose to use these qualities in any way . Also, being ambitious (which is another house quality) does not have to be a shameful attribute. Striving for the things you want in life is very important for self-fulfilment.

2. What is your patronus?

My patronus is a buzzard according to Pottermore (which is a bird if you were wondering). I’m not sure what to say about this really, except for that I think having a flying creature for your patronus is quite cool, especially in a visual sense.

3. What is your wand?

My wand is alder wood with a unicorn hair core, 10 inches long and quite bendy. 

4. What would your boggart be?

Probably me as a deeply miserable old woman. As someone who suffers from mental health issues, there is always a worry in the back of my mind that my problems will stay with me all my life and that I will never be far from depression and anxiety. The idea that I would spend my whole life in that state is very frightening to me.

5. What position would you play in Quidditch? 

I think I would be a Beater. I would not like to be a Seeker because that entails too much pressure and attention from the crowd. Being a Keeper might make me jealous of my teammates because they would be able to fly around a lot more than me. Also, I don’t think I would have the speed to be a Chaser whereas a Beater would quite suit my fiery nature.

6. Would you be a pure blood, half blood or muggle born?

I could imagine myself as a muggle born because I am usually the odd-one-out in a lot of situations! I am quite an awkward person as well which would correspond with the awkwardness of being the only one in the family with magical ability. I’m not sure what my fellow Slytherins would have to say about it though!

7. What job would you want to have after graduating from Hogwarts?

Running my own magical shop in Diagon Alley sounds like a nice prospect! Perhaps I would run a shop in my retirement after serving as an auror during my employment years. Catching Death Eaters and other dark figures would be very satisfying and give me a chance to prove all those Slytherin stereotypes wrong.

8. Which of the Deathly Hallows would you chose?

The Invisibility Cloak has always greatly appealed to me. As a very anxious person, being able to hide from certain social situations sounds great to me. Also, with the Invisibility Cloak I could investigate all sorts of forbidden places which would make for great adventures.

9. Favourite book?

The Prisoner of Azkaban. As this is the book where Harry, Ron and Hermione are in their Third Year, we see them as having matured (to an extent) for the first time and we get an insight into their emotional complexity, especially with Harry in regards to the death of his parents.

10. Least favourite book?

The Chamber of Secrets. I could not bare the character of Gilderoy Lockhart, so reading through scenes with him made me cringe and squirm furiously! However, it goes without saying that I still love the book.

11. Favourite film?

Again, I would say The Prisoner of Azkaban. It has everything in it that I love about Harry Potter films. Also, this film is the first time we see Sirius Black who is my favourite character and the scene where he flies off on Buckbeak’s back is iconic!

12. Least favourite film?

I would have to say The Chamber of Secrets again. Every time Lockhart’s face appears on screen, I groan!

13. Favourite character?

Sirius Black, I love that he is so complex. His family background is really interesting considering that they rejected him whilst he was still young because he diverted from their Pure Blood fascination. His courage and willingness to fight for what is right, his passion for being a good godfather to Harry and the injustice of him being imprisoned for a crime he did not commit all make a really intriguing character for me.

14. Least favourite/most hated character?

Lucius Malfoy, he is portrayed as spineless and incredibly passive, especially in the films. Whenever he has a task he is unable to do his own work, he never stands-up to people, his snobbery is infuriating and his son is endlessly miserable which is partly due to his dire upbringing.

15. Favourite teacher at Hogwarts?

This changes quite often for me but at the moment it is Remus Lupin who comes to mind. His lessons were imaginative and engaging for his students. His own story about becoming a werewolf at such a young age and facing social stigma because of it is another intriguing strand to his backstory. Also, the fact that he was one of the infamous Marauders helps my liking of him!

16. Least favourite teacher at Hogwarts?

Delores Umbridge, although Gilderoy Lockhart comes a very close second! Umbridge was endlessly evil and her torture of those who opposed her was shocking. She had an answer for everything and constantly found a way to legitimate her actions. Also her bright pink outfits along with her cat saucers, which lined her walls, were horrible.

17. Do you have any unpopular opinions about the series?

I thought that a lot more attention could have been given to Harry and Ginny’s relationship to be honest. Their connection wasn’t developed enough for me and did not sit naturally in my mind. 

18. If you could save one character from the final battle who would you save?

I think it would have to be Fred Weasley; he was so young and the other half of George who could never conjure a patronus again after his twin’s death. Whilst I think that Lupin and Tonks deserved so much better, I couldn’t save one without the other and at least they had been given the chance to live a life before they died.

 

I tag anyone else to do this who needs a little more magic in their life at the moment!

CONTACT ME:

Twitter: @IssieLouH

Instagram: @awalkwithnature00

Unpopular Opinions

I thought I should share a bit more about my personality here on my blog, so I’ve decided to share some opinions of mine which people often find to be weird or unusual. People have called me quite contrary in the past but I would be interested to hear what you think about the items on this list and whether you agree or disagree with me!

So, without further ado, here is a list of some unpopular opinions I hold:

1. I find Kindles annoying, so I will only read from a physical book.

2. I hate the word ‘banter’ and I cringe when people say it.

3. I think the Twilight films are great and I still watch them now.

4. Long nails scare me so I would never have fake ones put on.

5. I don’t think enough emphasis is placed on creativity or individuality at school.

6. I dislike watching TV and I never usually finish a TV series as a result.

7. For the most part, I find short stories boring.

8. I prefer Vans to Converse.

9. I think silver jewellery is much nicer than gold jewellery.

10. I’m not a fan of rose gold or copper ornaments and decorations because they remind me of the colour of dirty pennies.

11. Winter is my favourite season whilst summer is my least favourite.

12. I really do not understand the appeal of fizzy drinks, to me they taste horrible.

13. I think breakfast is the best meal of the day and I would happily eat it for lunch and dinner as well.

14. My favourite Harry Potter characters are Sirius Black and Remus Lupin.

15. The feeling of velvet makes me want to gag because it feels so repulsive to me.

16. If someone hugs me or even just touches my shoulder without my express consent, my head feels like it’s going to explode and I really do not understand why some people feel the need to constantly touch the person they are talking to whilst they are in a conversation.

17. Going to Primark is my idea of a terrible time and even the thought of it gives me anxiety.

THE ULTIMATE HARRY POTTER TAG

Often on my blog I talk about the things that get me down or make me feel anxious. It is a lot less often that I talk about the things that help lift me out of these dark feelings. Harry Potter and JK Rowling’s wizarding world in general is one of those uplifting things which can show me magic and escapism even when I am in my worst muggle state! So, to bring a little magic to my blog I thought I would do the Ultimate Harry Potter Tag…

1)Favourite book?

The Prisoner of Azkaban. Sirius Black is one of my favourite characters in the whole series of Harry Potter books, so I love the amount of focus on him in this book as well as Lupin and the tales of their days at Hogwarts. Plus, the presence of the dementors gives the book a really ominous and gloomy feeling which I really enjoy.

2) Least favourite book?

The Chamber of Secrets. This is not to say that I think this is a bad book at all, it’s just if I had to chose then I would say The Chamber of Secrets, although I do love Dobby’s presence in the book.

3) Favourite movie?

The Prisoner of Azkaban for all the same reasons why I love the book. The film also did such a good job of depicting the dementors, as well as Buckbeak and Lupin in his werewolf state.

4) Least favourite movie?

Again, it is The Chamber of Secrets which leaps out to me unfortunately.

5) Favourite quote?

The answer to this always changes but for now it is “Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

6) Favourite Weasley?

I think Charlie Weasley is too easily overlooked by everyone. I think he is a great character even if he does always feel at a distance (to be fair he was working with dragons in Romania). He has the characteristic kindness of a Weasley (he helps get Norbert out of Hogwarts) whilst also having a rugged and playful edge to him.

7) Favourite female character?

Probably Professor McGonagall, she is fierce, defiant, protective and amazingly skilful. Plus, when I was 15 someone at school told me I looked like her when I had my glasses on, although I don’t think they meant that as a compliment…

8) Favourite villain?

Probably Bellatrix Lestrange, simply because of how infatuated with the dark arts she is and the fact that she has no shame about her blood lust!

9) Favourite male character?

Sirius Black. He is a deeply flawed character for sure but he is also resilient, resourceful and fiercely loyal. Wouldn’t you love to have him as your Godfather, even if he did come from a prejudiced family.

10) Favourite professor?

Professor Lupin! His classes were so fun and imaginative, plus he endorsed the emotional benefits of eating chocolate, so he sounds like just my sort of professor!

11) Would you rather a) wash Snape’s hair or b) spend a day listening to Lockhart rant about himself?

Definitely wash Snape’s hair. If anything, I think this would be satisfying in the end and it doesn’t really bother me, whereas I would probably end-up resorting to violence if I had to spend the day with Lockhart.

12) Would you rather duel a) an elated Bellatrix or b) an angry Molly?

Well an angry Molly killed Bellatrix, so probably Bellatrix.

13) Would you rather travel to Hogwarts via a) Hogwarts Express or b) flying car?

Hogwarts Express FOR SURE! I would love the sweeping landscape going by and stocking up on magical confectionary from the trolley.

14) Would you rather kiss Voldemort or b) give Umbridge a bubble bath?

Kiss Voldemort, am I the only one who is a little intrigued what this would be like *cowers away sheepishly*. The idea of Umbridge in the bath makes me feel physically ill anyway.

15) Would you rather a) ride a Hippogriff or b) a firebolt?

Definitely a Hippogriff, they’re so majestic and proud and it would make Hagrid happy.

16) Is there a character you felt differently about in the movies?

Ignoring the obvious which is Ginny Weasley, I would say Cho Chang. I think she is dealt with a lot more sympathetically in the movies, whereas in the books I share Harry’s pain when she gets on his nerves.

17) Is there a movie you preferred to the book?

No, just no.

18) Richard Harris or Michael Gambon as Dumbledore?

Michael Gambon for me, although this is probably just because I had more time to bond with Gambon’s Dumbledore over the larger number of films he did.

19) Your top thing (person or event) that wasn’t in the movie that you wanted there the most?

Harry, Ron and Hermione’s visit to St Mungo’s in The Order of the Phoenix where they met the Longbottoms as well as a much reduced Lockhart.

20) If you could remake any of the Harry Potter movies which would it be?

I guess I would remake the Philosopher’s Stone with all of the technical advancements which have happened over the years and improve the visual effects.

21) Which house was your first gut feeling you’d be a part of?

Slytherin as I have always been resourceful (basically a kind word for manipulative and sly!).

22) Which house were you actually sorted into on Pottermore?

Slytherin and I am proud of this (says she as she sits here typing wearing her bright green Slytherin hoodie).

23) Which class would be your favourite?

Defence Against the Dark Arts, there’s just something I find fascinating and empowering about it, plus it is practical and you get to use magic (unless Umbridge is teaching you).

24) Which spell do you think would be most useful to learn?

Well, I’d love to produce my own Patronus but I would hope that I’d never be in a situation that I would have to but maybe Expelliarmus which would embarrass anyone annoying me (I’m really showing my Slytherin side!).

25) Which character do you think you’d instantly become friends with?

Lupin maybe? I feel like he can see the best in people (unless they are dark witches and wizards) and he is tolerant, plus we could bond over chocolate frogs!

26) If you could own one of the three hallows, which would it be?

The Invisibility Cloak definitely, it would enable you to do so much and also avoid so many people. I think if you had the Elder Wand you would just become a target for people to try to disarm and kill you.

27) Is there any aspect of the books you’d want to change?

NO WAY! That question deeply offends my soul.

28) Favourite Marauder?

Padfoot aka Sirius Black, I definitely feel that he has got the best animagus as well.

29) If you could bring one character back to life, which would it be?

Sirius (can you see the theme here?). I feel like he got such a raw deal in life that it is only fair to give him a second chance.

30) Hallows or Horcruxes?

Well to make my own Horcruxes I would have to murder someone so that I could split my soul which definitely isn’t desirable so I would have to say Hallows.

Ok, so that was fun. Please don’t judge me for my answers (especially the one when I was said that I was curious to kiss Voldemort). I know that I wasn’t actually tagged to do this but it looked like fun so I did it anyway!