Harry Potter’s London // Letters to October (9)

Dear October,

A day before I left home again, I started re-reading Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. It’s a battered copy with my name written in it in sparkly gel pen — three times. As I packed, I snuck it into my bag, leaving new, unread books behind. It’s not a coincidence that this slightly melancholy moment in my life unfolded between the pages of a Harry Potter book. When I first started university, I took Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone with me to deal with homesickness. And the more MA coursework I got stuck into this year, the more re-reads of the series I did.

Over the years, Harry Potter has become a source of comfort. Last January was such an occasion. The New Year’s festivities were behind us, leaving the world slightly deflated of energy, as if everyone were thinking, ‘What now?’. The days seemed comprised of darkness and frost. My friends and I decided to bring a bit of magical cheer into one dismal winter day by planning a Harry Potter tour of London. Here are the locations we risked frostbite to visit:

1. Platform 9 3/4

We started the day at none other than the iconic platform 9 3/4. Here, you can take a picture with the trolley, take a look around the shop and if you’re lucky, go through the barrier and spend the rest of the day in the wizarding world.

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Halloween Creatures Book Tag // Letters to October (3)

Dear October,

I won’t lie, you can be pretty miserable and grey. (I don’t blame you — I’m pretty miserable and grey sometimes, too.) One of the loveliest things about this time of year, though, is the rampant enthusiasm about the upcoming festivities. And I’m being pretty generous about the term ‘upcoming’. Even though Halloween is all the way at the end of this month (and let’s not even talk about Christmas) (83 days to go), it’s like a switch is flipped on the world on October 1st. Everything is suddenly spookier — nights are darker, the wind feels chillier and is that a bird or a bat in the distance?

In that same spirit (pun intended), today I’m coming to you with the Halloween Creatures Book Tag, created by Anthony at Keep Reading Forward and found through Melting Pots and Other Calamities.


1Witches: a book or character that is magical
Inkheart by Cornelia Funke is one that comes to mind. If you’re in the mood for something just slightly spooky, this is perfect

Werewolves: a book best read in the middle of the night
Kiss Kiss by Roald Dahl. It’s a collection of his short stories and some of them will have you chilled. I particularly recommend The Landlady, Mrs Bixby and the Colonel’s Coat, and Genesis and Catastrophe.

Zombies: a book you picked up for the second time/continued after not finishing it
The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins. Mostly because I forgot it at home when I left for university, but also because I had heard too many opinions whilst reading it and needed a break.

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Mummies: a book or character you can’t wrap your mind around
Merricat from We Have Always Lived in a Castle by Shirley Jackson. Her mind was difficult to burrow into, and it’s quite an unsettling place once you’re there.

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Sleepy Sunday: The Writer Tag

I’ve been doing a lot more book-related posts lately, so I thought I would change things up and write about writing for once. My genius self googled ‘writer tag’ and one of the results was (surprise surprise) the Writer Tag from InkBlots and IceBergs.

I’ll be answering 20 questions about writing — try it yourself if you like and let me know so I can read your answers.


1. What type of writing do you do?
I mainly write short stories, although I’m trying to build the endurance to write longer fiction. Up until a few weeks ago I was also doing a lot of academic writing, including my dissertation which, given the amount of energy it took, I think counts for something!

2. What genres and/or topics do you write about?
I read a lot of historical and fantasy, so maybe it makes sense that I tend to gravitate to those in my writing as well. As for topics, I’ll write about whatever strikes me as interesting — families, forests, fairies… etc.

3. How long have you been writing?
Since I was about seven years old, I think.

4. Are you published?
No, and this gives me severe imposter syndrome, despite reassurances that I can call myself a writer simply if I write. But deep down, I know this is what I’m meant to do (regardless of how good/bad I might be at it) so I’m going to take a leap of faith on giving myself that label.

5. What was the first story you ever wrote?
Probably something involving a protagonist named Sohini…

giphyI was subtle. | via Giphy, © Nickelodeon

6. Why do you write?
Because it’s fun!

Continue reading “Sleepy Sunday: The Writer Tag”