Sweden, Travel

Kayaking in the Stockholm Archipelago

October 13, 2015

Kayaking in the Swedish archipelago

Ready to go kayaking

By far, the highlight of my trip to Stockholm was kayaking in the Stockholm Archipelago. This is the blog post I’ve been most excited to write up, so I can relieve the memories.

It was something that all four of us put to the top of our list when we first booked our adventure. My Mum and I went out to Vaxholm a couple of days before my sister and her friend arrived, and we booked the kayaking for the last day of our trip.

Kayak hire, Erikso, Vaxholm

Kayaking around Erikso, Vaxholm

Around Erikso, Vaxholm

I’d never been kayaking before so I was really nervous, thankfully we ended up in double kayaks so I went with my Mum. There is quite a lot of boat traffic at the west end of Vaxholm, so we weren’t even allowed to go that way. On the east side, there was less traffic (though there were still a few speedboats) and we had four hours to explore the area.

I mean look at that little house in the photo above. Check it out on Google Maps; there is nothing around there but beautiful scenary. 

Four hours absolutely flew by. It’s such a beautiful place, and I felt like I could kayak around there for days on end. The photos just do not do it justice.

Despite some boat traffic, it’s just so serene and peaceful. I’m not sure that I’ve ever been to place that’s just so stunning, and wild-feeling. You can do kayaking holidays around the archipelago – can you imagine how wonderful that would be?

Lunch time!

We tried to find a little beach to stop off at for lunch, but couldn’t see anything. Instead we managed to pull up on the edge of a small island and beach the kayaks while we enjoyed out lunch. It’s definitely the most beautiful place I’ve ever eaten a Mars bar. (Apparently, that’s a scale I now have.)

Kayaking wasn’t as hard as I imagined, and the water was really still. It took a few minutes to figure out how to turn, but after five minutes my Mum and I were pros. My sister and her friend shared a kayak and every time I looked over at them they were going diagonally. For some reason, they just couldn’t kayak in a straight line. My sister was adamant that the kayak was broken…

Kayak hire place at Erikso, Vaxholm

Kayak hire at Erikso, Vaxholm

I would go back in a heartbeat, and if you’ve planning on visiting Stockholm I would put kayaking in Vaxholm right at the top of your list. It’s not that far outside the city (about a 45 minute – hour boat trip) and it’s pretty cheap, especially in comparison to what you’d pay in the UK for the same amount of time.

View from Vaxholm kayak hire

Erikso, Vaxholm

We used Vaxholms Kanotsallskap; it’s the only kayak hire place at in Erikso, so you can’t possibly get lost. Most of the website is in Swedish, but there is an English kayak \ canoe rental page – also, the website says you can hire for two hours, but we were told the site is wrong and the minimum hire is four hours.

The guy working there was really friendly, patient, helpful, and chilled out. We were due to come back around the time they close (about 5pm-ish) and he was like “if I’ve gone home when you get back, just drag your kayaks onto the bank and I’ll sort them in the morning.” In the UK, that would not happen!

There are a handful of places in Stockholm city centre that offer kayaking, but I wouldn’t fancy it. There’s a place in the Djurgarden where you can hire kayaks, and we did consider that until we saw just how much boat traffic there is around there, and how many boats are moored up. I wouldn’t fancy it at all, especially if you’re a beginner; I’m not sure you’d feel like you could properly relax and take it all in. In my opinion, it’s well worth heading out to Vaxholm to kayak and take in the scenary and the get a good little trip around a part of the archipelago on the boat trip there and back.


What did it cost?

It cost 400SEK for a two-person kayak for four hours, which is approximately £32*. If you divide it by two, it gets even more affordable.

If you’re staying in Stockholm, you’ll of course have to pay for your boat trip out to Vaxholm, which isn’t that expensive at all, and you may want to pay for a bus if you don’t want to walk the 45 minutes from Vaxholm port to Erikso. You could also get a bus straight from Stockholm city centre.


Have you ever been kayaking?

*Price correct at time of writing.


The start of something new

October 12, 2015


Today is my first week back at university; I’m both excited and nervous. It’s been about four years since I was last at university, and I’m mostly worried that I’ll have forgotten how to to practicals, and practical related things.

Last week, I had induction where I met a few of my lecturers. They seem more helpful and approachable than the last university I went to. I know that a big part of university is doing it yourself and being an independent learner, but it’s also about learning from experts in the industry.

Something else I’m worried about is meeting new people. This is the second year of the course, so people will already have friends. Making friends as an adult sometimes feels much harder than when you were a kid, and I’m pretty shy, so we’ll see how that goes.

Mostly though, I’m excited for lectures and practicals to start. I’m one of those people who loves to learn, and I didn’t leave the first time around because I was bored by the course.

I don’t regret leaving the first time around, and I wonder if being older will help me in some way. Perhaps I’ll be more motivated now because this is something I want to do, rather than feeling it’s something I should do.


Blog update

You’ve probably noticed that things have been quite quiet around here for the past couple of weeks. I’ve been working my notice at my full-time job, while working a part-time job, and preparing for university, so that hasn’t left much free time at all.

I’m not going to quit blogging, but my blogging frequency may end up decreasing. At the moment, I’m going to try to get back into the swings of posting five times a week. However, I’m just going to have to play it by ear and see what happens when university kicks in properly.

If I do have to decrease my posting schedule, it will probably be to three times a week, and I will let you folks know.

As well as starting university, I’m looking forward to getting back into blogging because I’ve really missed it.

What have you been up to lately?

Book Reviews, Horror, Lou Morgan, Thriller

Sleepless – Lou Morgan

October 7, 2015

Sleepless - Lou Morgan book review

I must admit that I’m not much of a horror \ scary fan, but Sleepless was a gripping and thrilling read.

I met Lou Morgan at the start of the year at the UKYA Extravaganza, and after she told me about Sleepless I had to pick it up.

With the pressure to succeed in their exams, Izzy and her friends are encouraged to take pills one of her friends got off the internet which are supposed to improve your focus. Izzy is unsure, but does it because the rest of her friends are taking them and she can’t fail and get kicked out. Well that was never going to end well was it?

It turns out that the pills are much more than pills that just help your focus, and the side effects are horrifying.

Because I was ridiculously busy when I first started reading Sleepless, it took me a while to really get into it and get to grips with all of the characters. Once I had time to sit down and read a good chunk of it, I couldn’t put it down and finished it off in a couple of hours straight.

Our main character is Izzy, who has recently moved to Clerkenwell. Throughout the book she makes some references to an incident at her previous school and her leaving, but it’s never explained which seemed a bit strange. Come the end of the book, I was still curious to know what had happened.

For me, Sleepless was exactly the right amount of horror. As I said earlier, I’m not a massive horror fan – I’m pretty sure I’d struggle to sleep for weeks (pun!) if I read anything by Stephen King.

It was thrilling, and I had to find out what happened next. It was well-written, there was plenty to keep you interested and trying to figure out what happened next, and it was enjoyable.

The ending was a but abrupt and unclear for my liking. I’m not a fan of uncertain endings, I like to know exactly how it happened with no questions left.

If you’re looking for an enjoyable, and gripping horror (that’s not too terrifying) then Sleepless is well worth a read.

Sleepless Lou Morgan book rating

Do you like horror books?

Sleepless Book Cover Sleepless
Lou Morgan
Horror, young adult,
January 5th, 2015

Young, rich and good-looking, Izzy and her friends lead seemingly perfect lives. But exams are looming, and at a school like Clerkenwell, failure is not an option. Luckily, Tigs has a solution. A small pill that will make revision a breeze and help them get the results they need. Desperate to succeed, the group begin taking the study drug. It doesn’t take long before they realize there are far worse things than failing a few exams.

Share The Love

Share The Love – September

October 2, 2015

Share The Love September

September has been such a busy month. I’ve been working my notice at my day job and started a part-time job in the pub I used to work at four years ago, so free time has been elusive this month. 

I have literally hundreds of blog posts to catch up on, I’ve read barely anything, and done very little NaNoWriMo preparation. Today is my last day at the day job, so I’m looking forward to some actual time to catch up on those things now. 

Blog – As I said, I didn’t have time to read many blog posts in September, and the blog post I’m going to choose only actually launched yesterday. I’m still counting it though, and that’s The Olive Fox. 

It was setup by Beth from Beauty In Beta and Suzy at Eep I’m A Blogger and they basically want a website that brings together all the best content about so many different lifestyle things, from beauty, advice, to books. 

Talking of books, I’m writing for the website and we have an Olive Fox Book Club. You have until 5pm this Sunday to vote for our October read (the theme is thrillers, by the way), so go and vote now. 


Blog posts I enjoyed:

Why I explore rape culture in my new book for teens – Louisa O’Neill – Ok, so it’s a bit more than a blog post, but there was no way I wasn’t sharing this post. Louisa’s latest book, Asking For It, tackles the topic of rape, and in this article she speaks about why she has chosen to write about it. It’s a pretty powerful piece and I just can’t argue with her opinions on this.

Louisa also wrote Only Ever Yours, which deals with similarly big and important issues such as sexism and how women are treated. It’s well worth a read.

The Raven Cycle Cover Redesign Project – Cuddlebuggery – I really like the covers for The Raven Cycle anyway, but these redesigned covers are absolutely stunning. I want to paper my walls in them.

Zero Waste Kitchen – The Midnight Blog – We can all do more to reduce the amount of waste we produce, and Charlotte has some fantastic tips. They’re all fairly simple, and we probably know that we should do most of them already, but I think a lot of it is about getting into the habit of doing it.

Travelling Yellowstone & The Grand Tetons – The Olive Fox – I am so envious of Sandy. I’ve wanted to visit Yellowstone since I first saw the BBC’s Yellowstone documentary. Her photos are stunning and she saw bears and chipmunks with her own eyes! BEARS AND CHIPMUNKS! Enough said. 


Music: This month has been a real mixed bag, with new albums from Bring Me The Horizon and Chvrches being high up the list. I’ve also been listening to Carrie Underwood’s new song, Smoke Break, a lot.


TV: Ha! When did I have time to watch that in September?


Books: Same. I’ve read hardly anything, and it’s actually making me a little cranky. I NEED TO READ. The best book I read, by far, in September was Confess by Colleen Hoover. I loved it SO much.


Most popular blog posts on Eat Read Glam in September: 

What did you enjoy in September? 



Books Posts That Aren't Reviews, Writing

5 cosy books to read this autumn + The Olive Fox book club

October 1, 2015

The air is beginning to turn cool and crisp, and on days and evenings like that I love nothing more than being cosy with a book. 

Today, The Olive Fox has gone live. (I promise there’s a point to this) It’s a collection of brilliant blog posts from some wonderful and talented people about so many topics, from books, to beauty, to food, to games, and more. 

A few weeks ago, Beth and Suzy asked me to contribute to The Olive Fox, so I did what I do best; write about books. 

Head on over to The Olive Fox to read about 5 books that I think are perfect for reading this autumn. I also really want to hear your suggestions too.

But wait, there’s more! 

We’ve also set up The Olive Fox Book Club. Much excite. 

October’s theme is thrillers and you have until 17:00 GMT+1 on Sunday 4th October to vote on the book you think The Olive Fox Book Club should read in October. On Monday 5th October, the choice will be announced.

The plan is to get people talking about the book on social media during the month, and then there’ll be a discussion post at the end of the month where you can have your say in the comments. 

Head on over to the October choices post to take choose your pick



I’m really excited to be a contributor to The Olive Fox. Beth and Suzy did a fantastic job, and Carly’s illustrations of Acorn are so adorable. 

Book Reviews, Fairy Tales, Joanne M. Harris

The Gospel of Loki – Joanne M. Harris

September 30, 2015

The Gospel of Loki - Joanne M. Harris

The Gospel of Loki is a retelling of the stories of the Norse Gods from the point of view of Loki, everyone’s favourite trickster.

Reading it from Loki’s point of view really puts a different perspective on it, and you can’t help but feel sorry for him because he gets screwed over several times.

Before reading this my knowledge of the Norse Gods wasn’t great, and was pretty much limited to the Thor movies, so I actually learned a lot about Norse mythology and some of the things that happened in Thor made a little more sense. 

Talking of Thor, if you’re expecting Marvel Loki, it’s not quite the same. Of course, he’s still a trickster and likes to have fun at the expense of others, but he’s much darker in this book and you soon find out why. It’s not the Marvel universe, so don’t expect a hilarious Thor either.

It’s a bit of a rollercoaster of a book; you follow Loki from his first steps in to Asgard, as he forms tumultuous relationships, to battle scenes right at the end.

At the start of each chapter, there’s a lesson from Loki and the pages that follow explain why he learned that ‘lesson’.

It was a pretty fast read, I got through it quite quickly when I was in Sweden, and it wasn’t the most gripping book I’ve read this year. I think because of the way the chapters are split into lessons, it makes it a book that you’d feel happy reading quite casually, picking it up and putting it down whenever you felt like it.

That said, The Gospel of Loki was a really enjoyable read, and I did learn a lot about Norse mythology, so I’m glad this was recommended to me.

Do you enjoy retellings?

The Gospel of Loki book rating



The Gospel of Loki Book Cover The Gospel of Loki
Joanne M. Harris
Fantasy, mythology, retelling, adventure

The novel is a brilliant first-person narrative of the rise and fall of the Norse gods - retold from the point of view of the world's ultimate trickster, Loki. It tells the story of Loki's recruitment from the underworld of Chaos, his many exploits on behalf of his one-eyed master, Odin, through to his eventual betrayal of the gods and the fall of Asgard itself. Using her life-long passion for the Norse myths, Joanne Harris has created a vibrant and powerful fantasy novel.

Loki, that’s me.

Loki, the Light-Bringer, the misunderstood, the elusive, the handsome and modest hero of this particular tissue of lies. Take it with a pinch of salt, but it’s at least as true as the official version, and, dare I say it, more entertaining.

So far, history, such as it is, has cast me in a rather unflattering role.

Now it’s my turn to take the stage.

With his notorious reputation for trickery and deception, and an ability to cause as many problems as he solves, Loki is a Norse god like no other. Demon-born, he is viewed with deepest suspicion by his fellow gods who will never accept him as one of their own and for this he vows to take his revenge.

From his recruitment by Odin from the realm of Chaos, through his years as the go-to man of Asgard, to his fall from grace in the build-up to Ragnarok, this is the unofficial history of the world’s ultimate trickster.

Cannock Chase, Photography, Scaredy Cat Adventures

Scaredy Cat Adventures: Sunrise Photography

September 29, 2015

Sunrise over Cannock Chase

Heather over Cannock Chase

A couple of weeks ago, I realised that I’d never actually watched the sun come up. Sure, I’ve been up when the sun is rising, but I’ve never actually watched it. 

Realising that I have a photography competition coming up soon, I decided it was time to right that. How do you get to 23-years-old without properly appreciating the sun rising? It’s even more ridiculous when I tell you that I live a 10-minute drive from an Area of Outstanding Beauty. Pretty embarrassing. I have no excuse. 

Sunrise over Cannock Chase

Sunrise over Cannock Chase

A couple of Thursday’s ago, my Mum and I left the house at around 6am (that’s about an hour and a half before I’m normally even awake!) and headed to one of our favourite spots.

I’m fascinated by space. I love thinking about it until my brain is aching from trying to comprehend the universe. How amazing is it, that there’s this ball of burning hot gas 92.96 million miles away that heats our planet. Every. Single. Day. To me, that’s mindblowing. 

Sunrise over Cannock Chase

Sunrise over Cannock Chase

It’s easy to take things that are always there for granted, and I enjoyed taking the time to watch the sun come up. Especially in the week; I find quiet time energises me and makes the rest of the week feel a lot easier. 

My Mum had to go to work earlier than me, so she left after a while. Leaving me alone, in the middle of this beautiful landscape, with nothing but a couple of deer and a sunrise. 

Scaredy Cat Adventures

You may have spotted ‘Scaredy Cat Adventures’ at the beginning of this post and be wondering what on earth that means. 

I’m scared of a lot of things. Things that perhaps a lot of people find easy and don’t even think twice about doing. Scaredy Cat Adventures is my way of documenting, and encouraging myself, to do things that scare me and try to deal with those fears. 

One of my favourite quotes ever is from Divergent: 

Becoming fearless isn’t the point. That’s impossible. It’s learning how to control your fear, and how to be free from it. – Four, Divergent

That’s what I want to do. I don’t know how often I will post Scaredy Cat Adventures, but every time I do something that I consider scary, I will blog about it, and maybe some of you can relate to me about some of my fears. 

What’s scary about sunrise photography? Well, it’s not the sunrise photography itself that scares me, it’s being in a secluded spot that scares me. 

Though I am an introvert and I’m happy to be alone in one part of the house, I don’t really like being completely alone and knowing there’s no one around to help me. 

My Mum was there to start with, but then she went. I didn’t stress and run to the car, like I thought I might. I stayed for another 45-minutes, until I absolutely had to go to work, and I was fine. Perfectly fine. 

Let’s not call this a fear conquered, but I feel a little more comfortable and confident about being there on my own now.