Summer is coming

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Latimer: Ah blissful summer is here at last! The sun is shining, people are smiling and we’ve even got some really nice weather lately! The Irish curse of talking about weather – ah well you see we don’t get a proper summer very often, or at least it can’t be relied on, so we always have to mention it when it happens! So, for now at least we have really nice weather – people are getting sunburned… yeah, that’s a big deal!

Summer always ends up being a busy time of year; Ridley and I have been writing away working on the next book! Come on the editing stage 🙂

But, aside from that, the big thing about summer is holidays! Oh holidays! Thinking of the next adventure puts me in mind of the first real one!

This is the one where Ridley, Latimer and friends went to New Zealand and Japan!

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Oh magnificent New Zealand… as I sit here in the heat of the Irish summer, thinking back on the glorious holiday that was New Zealand cools me down at bit, because summer in the Northern Hemisphere is of course winter below!

This holiday was a big deal for us at the time because none of us had ever gone this far on our own (like real proper adults) – four of us, Orbie (who we’ve mentioned now and then), Latimer, Ridley and Bubbles (another friend of ours).

We got ready – this was a big deal.

We rented the glorious campervan, the Kea (and Bubbles was the only one who could drive)….we were going to drive around New Zealand and camp!

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We were given snow-chains in case of notoriously bad snow… we were so scared, we were so excited, we were…  grown up! This was such a great time, but initially we were very worried.

Day one in Christchurch – with the van and the maps… we were thinking it was a mistake. But then we got the GPS up and going, Bubbles got comfortable with the camper-van and were off, on this amazing adventure  –  this first taste of a now life-long love of travel, the dream of the faraway…

We had all these wonderful experiences…

we saw such amazing landscapes…

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we drove for miles on empty roads that wove past waterfalls and cut through snow-capped mountains…

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we climbed glaciers…

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we swung down canyons…

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we visited the beautiful Milford Sound…

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we dove out of the sky… like a boss 🙂

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I’ve always thought we look like we’re out of Top Gun here!

we met Maoris and went to a hangi (a sort of party, where food cooked in a pit)

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We skied and snowboarded… life was good!

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Then we left the snow behind and headed for the mind-melting Asian summer – the melting temperature of an Irish person isn’t high!

We visited Kyoto and got caught in a Matsuri festival we didn’t understand. The Japanese festival goers gave us beer and when the young Geisha arrived, a helpful man dragged Orbie off and helped her get cool pictures of the Geisha…

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We went to a tropical island – that was a random adventure. We were going to sleep on the beach, but decided against it and had a very strange time in a surfers hostel, where Ridley had to fight off ants as she slept and I screamed at a massive spider that then scuttled off to hide in Ridley bathroom…

Looks like paradise though, ne?

We went to Koya-san and stayed in a Buddhist temple and got up for prayers at 6 o’clock..

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So many random things happened.

All these memories that as I type I become lost in again; summer time is a time for making plans for adventures! The sun is out, the days are long; it makes me feel like there are adventures out there, beyond the walls of where we are.

I’m excited! I want to pull out my bags, hitch them up and go off into the world again!

Now all we really need to do is figure out where to go!   

One Lovely Versatile Blogger Award

We’d like to thank Livvy @ Nerdy Book ReviewsChristina and Steven Leo Campbell for nominating us for the ‘Versatile Blogger Award’ and the ‘One Lovely Blog Award’. We’ve had so much fun blogging over the last year. It’s fantastic and humbling to have been nominated for these awards! It also gives us a chance to share, ‘random facts about MLR’. 

These are the rules:

Nominees must: Tell seven things about themselves, pass the award on to 15 other blogs and thank the person who nominated them for the award. Also no one is obligated to take the award, so don’t feel you have to accept it.

And so it begins……….

Caesar Flickerman stepped up to the stage, the lights blinding him. He straightened his tie. A stage-hand appeared at his shoulder, talking into a headset; “1mins to go!” he warned, ducking away in a hurry. Flickerman shuffled the papers in his hand, he took a deep breath. The intro music started to play.

5…4… 3… 2…1…

He ran a hand through his blue hair.

“Show time!”

He stepped out to greet the crowd, “Are you all ready?” They cheered.

“Let’s introduce our guests! Latimer and Ridley!”

Two girls dressed in red, fiery dresses appeared on the stage. The crowd rose to it’s feet screaming…

Caesar guided the girls to their seats. “Ladies, congratulations on not one, but three nominations! How do you feel?”

“Thank you Caesar.” Ridley slipped into her seat and fanned her tears away. “We’re so happy. We’d like to give a shout-out to Livvy, Christina and Steven! Without them none of this could have happened.”

“Shout out!” Latimer screamed randomly. Ridley shushed her. “Shout out…” she whispered out of the corner of her mouth.

Caesar waved towards them with a flourish. “So, Latimer, Ridley, how about you tell us all some interesting facts about yourselves!”

Ridley scratched her head with a confused frown. “Oh, well I love ketchup! I put it on everything!” She gave a rapid nod and swung her arm. “Mash potato, curries, I’ve even had ketchup flavoured Pringles, they were lovely-“

“They were disgusting,” Latimer interrupted, punching the air.

“To you!” Ridley crossed her arms with a pout, then pressed on, “I wear fluffy socks in bed.”  She wiggled her feet, her sparkly high-heels caught the light and flashed out at the audience. The people in the front row covered their eyes with a grimace. Ridley shot them an apologetic shrug. “I recently found out this is actually weird as supposedly very few other people do this.”

“Sweaty feet! Stinky,” Latimer tittered.

“Quiet you!” Ridley coughed, “Don’t mind her. Another, semi-interesting thing about me is I have an obsession with stationary, I love pens, colouring pencils, highlighters, A4 pads, notebooks…” Her list petered off as a dreamy expression crossed her face. She shook herself from her stupor and frowned. “I hate to see pages torn out of a properly bound notebook (where the pages aren’t meant to be torn out, not like in a spiral one) Latimer knows of this particular OCD!”

“Don’t dog-ear my books; number one rule of borrowing from Ridley. I am always afraid when reading her paperbacks- must not break the spine, she’ll kill me,” Latimer added. Ridley nodded in agreement and slashed a finger across her neck with a wide grin.

Ridley pointed at Caesar. “I’m scared of clowns.”

He frowned at her. “I’m not a clown.”

“Hmmm…you’re very colourful.” Her pointing finger hovered in front of his face.

Latimer slapped her hand down. “Don’t mind her Caesar. She loves you really, she’s just a suspicious sort.”

“Of course! Of course…” Caesar gave a forgiving smile and smoothed back his blue hair.

Ridley rubbed her hand. “I find clowns quite creepy, with their wide smiles and abilities to squeeze into small spaces like mini cars. I also hate heights, which rules out all extreme sports to do with being up high and generally falling. Spiders make my skin crawl, this hatred of them started as a child. I read that in a year we all swallow six spiders in our sleep.” Everyone cringed. “As to mice, I have no problem with them, I think they’re cute and I often save them from my sadistic cat!”

“Imagine swallowing six mice a year…” Latimer added. Ridley shuddered.

Ridley scratched her head and then brightened. “My last interesting point or not…I’ve tried in the past to become a morning person, force the dawn cheeriness into me. I can really appreciate the beauty of a rising sun, however not matter how many times I’ve tried, I wander around like a bleary-eyed bear for the first few hours after getting up. I prefer night time! I think I’ll just have to stick to sunsets!”

“When we used to live together during college years, I was afraid of Ridley in the morning. I would be up eating my breakfast watching kids cartoons, and she would walk out of her room, like she was furious with the world,” Latimer nodded.

“And Latimer, tell us some interesting facts about yourself,” Caeser smiled.

“Righty-oh. Ahem; I love red things; given the chance at any option I will always pick the red thing- food, item etc. I love red me.”

She held out her hand counting off the various points. “Ridley says I look like a rabbit when I cross the road- darting and scuttling. She yanks me back from cars when they are about to run me over! Also, if other people around me start running I will automatically also start running (I don’t need to know the reason, I’ll just do it!).

I get obsessed very quickly with random things (face cream and body lotion, namely Burt’s Bees), countries (Japan..) and stories (eg. comic book characters backstories). I will find out everything about said obsession- I will often tell people, I am a fountain of useless information.A sponge for the unimportant.

“It’s true. A giant sponge.” Ridley held her hands out wide.

Latimer tapped her chin with a long pale finger.“My obsessions often have no rhyme or reason; currently I love Sons of Anarchy and contrasting that, I’m crazy about girly anime (shoujo) and asian dramas. 🙂 Most recently; I’m obsessed with San Diego Comic Con. We both really want to go!”

“If you win the games,” Caesar said with a grin. The crowd errupted with laughter and applause.

“Games?” Latimer glanced at Ridley. She shrugged.

“Err, okay… anyway, another random fact- I have a bamboo plant in my room… his name is Herbert.

If I lock a door, I will leave the door walk away then run back to check it’s locked, up to, but not limited to 3 times. No.. I don’t have OCD. No.. I don’t have OCD. No.. I don’t have OCD….

Once I did a tandem sky-dive and a canyon swing- I didn’t ever realise it, but I could be an adrenaline junkie if I lived in a place that had these things on the doorstep! Ridley will watch me fall from the sky with an expression on her face that says she’s going to be sick. I’ll scream ‘look at me!!!!!!’ as I plummet with a smile on my face.”

“Death wish…” Ridley muttered with a shiver.

“I often make up words; when I go to bed, I don’t say goodnight to people, I say good-noooot… and sometimes I say ‘good-noooot lemon spoot’ I don’t know why.”

“Cause you’re nuuuuts….” Ridley giggled with a hand over her mouth and then gasped as she got a sharp elbow in the stomach from Latimer. “Ooh, me intestines…”

“That’s pretty much all I can think of,” Latimer said with a thoughtful look. There was a small pause, Caesar smiled at them both. Ridley had started playing with her dress, spinning the cloth and making small fires dance up her leg.

“Pretty…”  she sighed. When she looked up and the crowd was staring, she patted the fires down with a dreamy smile, “Haha, yep, nothing more to add.”

Caesar clapped and the crowd joined in, bringing the interview to an end. Flickerman leaned forward in his chair, the leather creaked.

“One final question ladies… are you ready to play the Hunger Games?”

Ridley smiled, “Of course…” She looked confused for a moment, her expression unsure. Her eyes widened and she turned sharply. “Wait… what?”

Latimer jumped to her feet, a manic look on her face. Diving off the stage, she shoved all the strangely dressed people out of the way, screaming,  “I’m out of here! You’ll never take me alive!!”

Ridley scrambled away from Caesar. Her heels snagged on her dress and she fell face first off the stage. Leaping up, she stared round with wide eyes at the vibrant colours and weird outfits of the audience and shrieked. “Aah, clowns!”

She hitched up her dress and raced after Latimer.

“Wait for me rabbit girl!!”