While the summer holidays are probably still ongoing for many of you in the northern hemisphere, mine has just ended for about a week (my mid-year holidays last for 2-3 weeks but we have longer breaks at other times of the year). However, the past month has definitely been amazing, although I will admit I’ve been trading a lot of adventure between pages for those in real life and onscreen. (All pictures in this post are taken by me, unless otherwise stated)
Believe or not, the above picture is taken in China. Over the span of 10 days, my sister, grandparents, Mom, her friend, and I travelled through various places in the Ili region of Xinjiang, China (it’s in the northwest area, near the border of China and Kazakhstan). And let me tell you, it was gorgeous; almost like holidaying in Europe without needing to pay as much.
It was an amazing experience filled with sights I’ve never and will never get to see here in a city like Singapore. All the adventures I went on like riding through 22km of mountainous terrain in five hours on horseback, peeking into an enchanted-looking forest for the first time, and navigating through fields of flowers hiding cow dung every few steps definitely make amazing writing material in the future!
The food was also fantastic – though I might’ve eaten just a little too much since the portions there were humongous – and I tried kvas for the first time in my life. At least, the Xinjiang version of it. Had Greek mythology, along with the nectar it claimed the gods and goddesses consumed, been real, I imagined it to taste something like kvas – smooth like honey with a hint of alcohol.
Unfortunately, there were downsides such as gross toilets (lets not take this any further, I get nightmares just thinking about it) but really, who cares with such awesome weather and beautiful views?
I’m also really thankful that God brought us safely out of the few sticky situations we encountered (an irresponsible guide during our horse-riding journey who wanted to leave us stranded in a field with an incoming mountain storm, riding up insanely steep slopes with uneven and crumbly surfaces, and flying right past a lightning storm, to name a few). Though I can’t say I really worried about my safety because if a God who can move mountains is with me, I honestly have nothing to fear. ;)
After the trip to Xinjiang, I stayed on for another week in Wuhan, capital city of the Hubei province, my Mom’s hometown and where my grandparents, dearest and loveliest cousin, aunt, and uncle live. Oh, I was also born there and had lived with my grandparents until my parents decided to take me back to Singapore for schooling when I was three. It was great to be there after not visiting for about two years.
The food was great (especially the crawfish shown above that is currently in season) as expected and so was the time I got to spend with my cousin whom I had just found out, likes anime too. Not to mentioned our mutual favourites Shingeki no Kyojin (Attack on Titan), Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso (Your Lie in April), Fate/Zero, and Fate/Stay Night. What can I say? Fangirling strengthens bonds.
No, you did not read that wrong. I’m actually playing an online game though truth be told, I’ve been playing it since a few years back, but had been on hiatus for the past two. Holidays are the time when I ditch the things I normally do in exchange for things I almost never do during the school semester. In other words, I barely read. At. All. Unfortunate, I know.
Incase you didn’t know, I had been one of those little girls that were completely horse-crazy. Hence why I dug through Google trying to find the best horse game I could when I was 12. Despite being 18 now, I still have to admit Horse Isle is a darn good game, especially the Life Cycle server I’m mostly on, where players can breed their own horses of numerous different breeds. They also have a lifespan. There are also many quests for players to complete and so many goals to aim to accomplish. Very cool.
Incase you, like me, are young at heart – just trying to make myself feel better here for still playing games – and also a player on Horse Isle, my username’s HeirOfFire (Life Cycle server) and SweetCoquette (Eternal server, I’m barely on this one though) so feel free to say hi if you see me galloping around! That is, if I don’t decide to go on another hiatus since the second half of the school semester has begun. Anyway, do enjoy the picture above of one of my current favourite horses.
Yes, I named her after Damaris, the sword Celaena (Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas) found.
Fate/Zero & Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works
I died. I finished Fate/Zero last Friday and Fate/Stay Night in the wee hours of Sunday predawn. Let me just say this anime (originally a PlayStation game) is so mind-blowing I half-intend to start a petition to change the Unlimited Blade Works route to Unlimited Mind Blowing.
If you love fantasy and magic mixed in with a lot of action, death, beautiful characters, state-of-the-art animation, rich world-building and intense storylines, I implore you to try this out. I would advise y’all to start with Fate/Zero then proceed to Fate/Stay Night (there are two routes, the original made in the early 2000s and the Unlimited Blade Works one that had just finished, I’ve actually not watched the original route, heh).
Why are there so many routes? Well, since it was originally a game, there would obviously be various endings to the story depending on the choices of the player. I’m currently so hungover this anime I wore the signature colours of one of my favourite characters to school (the picture’s on Instagram – @adeliscray).
And if you have watched it, may I just express my love for all the characters, especially the Lancers from both series, Saber, Rin, Shirou, Archer (Stay Night), Irisviel, Kiritsugu, Rider (Zero), and Waver? I’m probably still missing out a lot of characters (yes, you’ll love so many of them and love hating the villains) but I think you get the picture that I’m just nuts over this entire fandom.
Books & TV
In other news, I’ve finished the first season of Downton Abbey and added Matthew and Mary to my ever-growing list of OTPs. The show is too good for words. As for books… I’m currently reading The Fill-In Boyfriend by Kasie West and The Falconer by Elizabeth May, the latter I’ve been reading for an entire month and which I’m starting to doubt I would ever finish… Again, I drop my usual habits during holidays hence the pathetic number of – or lack thereof – books I’ve read.
Lastly, I’ve started to bookstagram a little and if you want to check them out plus see more pictures of my trip to China, it’s all on my Instagram: @adeliscray. And also, one of my favourite book bloggers, Elena @ Novel Sounds won’t be blogging any longer. I’ll really miss her amazing content (we were in so many mutual fandoms, namely the Throne of Glass series and TAYLOR SWIFT) but wish her all the best in whatever comes next in her life! And… that’s it for June (and my first ever month wrap-up)!
How has your summer been so far?