His N Her Manga Collection and Q&A

As regular readers will know, me and Dane are both massive fans of manga and our love of it is only growing more as we start and end another manga series.

I was writing and aiming for this post to be up on my blog around World Book Day but sadly due to life and how busy it can be, I never got around to finishing and publishing it on my blog.

BUT no time like the present and I’ve accumulated more manga since World Book Day which is amazing of course! I of course have included Dane into my manga collection as with both of our books combined we have a great collection so far. I also did some questions for both me and Dane to answer in relation to manga. So it’s kind of like a his and her manga post today! I hope you enjoy it.

Manga We Own

Dane:

Attack on Titan – Vol. 1-20

Attack on Titan: Before the Fall – Vol. 1-5

Attack on Titan: No Regrets – Vol. 1 and 2

Berserk – Vol. 1-6

Death Note – Vol. 1-6

One Punch Man – Vol. 1-10

Natalee:

Azumanga Daioh

Nana – Vol. 1-21

Nichijou – Vol. 1 and 2

Paradise Kiss – Vol. 1-3

A Silent Voice – Vol. 1-7

Sword Art Online: Progressive – Vol. 1-4

Wolf Children

Your Lie in April – Vol. 1-11

Manga We Want:

Attack on Titan: Before the Fall – Vol. 6

Attack on Titan: Lost Girls – Vol. 1 and 2

Berserk – Vol. 7-38

Masamune-kun’s Revenge – Vol. 1-3

Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid – Vol. 1 and 2

Nichijou – Vol. 3-6

One Punch Man – Vol. 11

Sherlock: A Study in Pink

Sword Art Online: Progressive – Vol. 5

Dane Questions & Answers:

  • What was the first manga you read?

Admittedly I have gotten into manga much later than I could or should have. My first manga was (is) actually Attack on Titan. After watching countless anime I watched the first season of Attack on Titan and couldn’t wait for the next season so I began reading the manga.

  • What is your favourite manga to date and why?

Easily Berserk. I have seen and heard about it in the past but always thought it was a manga that was “edgy” for the sake of being edgy. Granted the first arc of the manga does show Guts to be an edgelord (someone, especially posting on the internet who uses shocking annalistic speech and opinions that they themselves may or may not believe to gain attention and come across as a more dangerous and unique person) but he is kept likeable and grows over the course of the manga.

The world of Berserk is a dark one, the manga is very explicit in this and does not shy away from some truly WTF moments. It is not for everyone. It begins with Guts getting freaky with a crazy demon only to kill it mid coitus which is a great way to show what is in store for you. This is one of its greatest assets the fact it is not afraid of going balls to the wall with its story, there are some truly great characters and events that will make you smile and sometimes you will be cutting onions outside in the rain whilst miraculously keeping the book and everywhere but your face dry.

One of the other assets that make this manga worth people’s time is the superior artwork that goes into it. Kentaro Miura is a master when it comes to bringing his panels to life, the character design and the detail (particular the full spreads) are just sublime and you have to see them to believe. Every artist has their moments where some things don’t look quite right but Miura can be excused when he does things like this:

Seriously, anyone should give this article (http://www.exprofundis.com/the-art-of-berserk/) a read because it helps break down the inspiration behind some of the art and showcase some of the best images.

The manga was not my first experience of Berserk. I had tried to watch the anime on a few occasions but never got into it. I have always found it difficult to watch most 90s anime because it doesn’t always gel with me. After giving the 90s season another go I surprised myself when I had a thirst for more, so, like I did with Attack on Titan I began reading the manga. I also heard about the three films which cover the golden age arc, which is the same arc as the 90s series. To me the CGI in those films works really well and I enjoyed those adaptations the most and really makes you wish they carried on making more. The problem is neither really follow the manga chronologically, the 90s anime has a few minutes of the black swordsman arc to go into the golden age arc and obviously the films skip the whole first chapter. So what you are left with is no true adaptation of a brilliant manga.

This then leads me on to why you should stick with the manga for the time being: The 2016 Berserk anime series. Since the first season has finished airing it has been greenlit for a second season. It was amazing to hear that we would finally get to see the full story of Guts in animated form. Only to be disappointed with a horribly directed and crudely animated shit show. The story was mostly there, even some moments which fans expected to be censored or cut (If you dare Google rape horse). I won’t go into too much of a critique but it had some good moments but was overshadowed by some really bad moments. It showed promise and I hope that the studio receive more time and money to give Berserk what it deserves.

  • Any online websites or phone apps you suggest for reading manga on?

If you really can’t get the physical books to read I would recommend the manga rock app. It’s free, has decent scans and is what I used to read Berserk and some works by Junji Ito.

  • What is a manga you regret reading and why?

I don’t really regret reading any not in that regards. I have looked at some and thought “nah I can’t be arsed with that” but never have I spent the time to read one and thought why did I bother.

To answer the question in a different manner I would say I regret reading some of the short stories Junji Ito has created. They leave you with a sense of uneasiness I haven’t felt from a book before. He is the master of the full spread shock and horror. The stories are some of the most unique I have experienced too, the creativity astounds me and leave you eerily excited to know the outcome but you are always left with a gaping hole because horror stories hardly ever end well.

  • What is a manga you can read over and over again and why?

All the manga I am currently or have read is still in production so the stories are incomplete. I have Death Note but that is on my to-do list. So the only manga I can legitimately say is Berserk as I am currently on my second run after finally purchasing the physical copies.

  • What is a manga you would suggest people read when first getting into it?

Attack on Titan was a very easy manga for me to get into, it has a decent story and is mature enough to keep me entertained. It is also one that lacks the typical tropes I have found with Japanese media; the fan service, unnecessary cute characters, sweat drop and so on. I don’t mind those things generally but sometimes I feel they remove you from the immersion in a story and western viewers may not appreciate too much of it.

  • Is there a manga you think is overrated?

I cannot allow myself to say a manga is overrated because I have not experienced enough to judge. Although I will bash something in my own time I would feel unfair to claim something I have little exposure to. Especially as I can understand liking something that the general public would see as weird or too nerdy just because it’s different.

  • Is there a manga you think is underrated?

Anyone who has read Berserk I hope will understand why people like it, even if they don’t themselves. I don’t think there are any that I have seen which don’t have a cult following or a new anime adaptation due out.

  • Would you read any of the manga Natalee owns? If so which one(s)?

I would definitely give Your Lie in April and Nichijou a read as I have already taken a quick look and they have peaked my interest. Nana and Paradise Kiss aren’t really my thing, both are most likely brilliant in their own right (the anime for Paradise Kiss kept me interested enough) but it’s just not my thing.

  • What’s a manga you love but hate the anime of?

Berserk, as mentioned above. Hate is a strong word for it though.

  • What is the next manga you wish to buy and read?

I am currently purchasing as many Berserk manga as possible but it doesn’t really count as one I am due to read as I already have caught up to the latest chapter.

I haven’t really thought that far ahead to be honest so I genuinely don’t know.

Natalee Questions & Answers:

  • What was the first manga you read?

The first manga I read was Elfen Lied. I had wanted to read manga for years but I never knew which one TO read. After watching the anime over a handful of times I knew it was time to find the manga to read. Physical copies are hard to come by in Japanese and I don’t think they’re available in English so I resorted to reading it online.

  • What is your favourite manga to date and why?

This is a hard one because I love all the manga I have completely finished so far. I honestly can’t answer this question with one manga to be honest. I would like to say A Silent Voice as the story is so realistic and one that has really pulled on my heartstrings. It left me thinking too which I loved. This being said I also loved Elfen Lied and Nana, although Nana isn’t officially finished yet.

  • Any online websites or phone apps you suggest for reading manga on?

I have used a phone app in the past but I can’t remember what it was called. I hated it. It wasn’t the app itself but just the way I felt about it. I can’t remember the website I used when I read Elfen Lied. I just Google’d it to be honest when I wanted to read it.

  • What is a manga you regret reading and why?

I don’t think there’s a manga I regret reading to be honest with you. I usually check out the anime before reading the manga so I’ll always know if I’ll like the storyline or not. I don’t regret reading it because I haven’t bought it, but I do want to get Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid but the artwork doesn’t look as nice as the anime does… I could see myself regretting buying that one for example.

  • What is a manga you can read over and over again and why?

Definitely Elfen Lied as I love the story. I especially love how different it was to the anime.

  • What is a manga you would suggest people read when first getting into it?

Something light and quirky is always a good choice. Azumanga Daioh is one of the first I read and it’s an easy one to read and very funny! I suppose any anime you have watched and fallen in love with you should read the manga because the chances are you’ll love that more!

  • Is there a manga you think is overrated?

From what I’ve seen it’s definitely got to be One Piece. I haven’t read it and I don’t even know what it’s about but fuck it takes up most of the manga books in shops such as Nostalgia Comics in Birmingham and Forbidden Planet’s all over the country. I’m sure it’s amazing and all but there’s just so many volumes! Same goes to Naruto as well.

  • Is there a manga you think is underrated?

I want to say anything by Ai Yazawa but this being said I don’t think she’s underrated. Paradise Kiss is a classic alongside Nana, which isn’t even finished yet and very much sought after these days by Ai Yazawa fans alike. I’m saying it’s underrated because of how long the hiatus of Nana has been now. People have probably given up now on ever knowing what happens in the end. I however have a little bit of faith left in me. I hope we find out sooner rather than later what happens.

  • Would you read any of the manga Dane owns? If so which one(s)?

I don’t know to be honest… I’d love to read Attack on Titan and One Punch Man but I would worry they’d involve too much action for my liking. Surprisingly I love this in Sword Art Online: Progressive but I don’t think I would like it in Attack on Titan and One Punch Man. This being said I love the anime of both of these, especially the action behind them!

  • What’s a manga you love but hate the anime of?

I recently started watching the anime of Paradise Kiss to coincide with me reading the manga and so far I’m preferring the manga a hell of a lot more! I just find that there are huge chunks missing from the anime which sucks! The same can definitely be said for Elfen Lied too, which leaves the ending in the anime in a really poor manner. There is so much more to the story than the anime lets on which is extremely frustrating. I definitely recommend reading the manga if you love the show. It’s shit loads better!

  • What is the next manga you wish to buy and read?

I don’t want to buy it because I wouldn’t be able to read it BUT I really want to print off all the Elfen Lied manga and pop them into a folder so I can physically read them. I would want to do the same for other manga that isn’t available in English.

Besides that I want to try and have a look at Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid before reading to see if I’ll like it and Masamune-kun’s Revenge as I recently started watching the anime which I’m really enjoying. I can see the manga being just as good to be honest.

So that is our lonnnng manga post! Do you like reading manga, or have you just started reading manga? Make sure to let us know which series you’re reading or have read! We’d love to hear from you all.

Until next time take care all and I hope you had a lovely weekend.

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Currently #9

I know it hasn’t been that long since my last currently list but I thought it would be nice to write another considering how much stuff I have been currently doing! I’m pretty damn excited to write about a lot of them… I would have waited for my day off tomorrow to write this but the ideas and thoughts of it just came to me, so I have to get it typed and published tonight! I’m sure it’ll make some good bedtime reading for some, as well as some equally as good morning reading for others. 😛

Watching – Lately me and Dane have been watching a lot of anime if not just anime. Why? Well because we can and we want to! Before Christmas Dane bought a membership to Funimation which enables anime lovers to watch loads of anime with English dub instead of English sub. We don’t mind either way how we watch anime but sometimes if we’re multi-tasking we much prefer dubbed. We also have a membership to Crunchyroll which we use to watch subbed anime. ANYWAY! So lately we’ve been watching Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid and Masamune-Kun’s Revenge on Funimation and Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid has fast become one of my favourite anime shows! I want to read the manga for it next, the same goes with Masamune-Kun’s Revenge too. They’re both completely different to one another which is what I like. Dane got me into both of them which is really cool.

Masamune-Kun’s Revenge is a slice of life style anime where you get to see Masamune try to get a girl to fall in love with him only to break her heart. Why does he want to do this? To gain revenge for years of being bullied by her! It’s very funny and one you should check out if you like comedy romance style anime.

Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid is completely different and not slice of life or realistic at all and I think you can gather that from the title alone! As it states Kobayashi has a dragon maid. She befriends Tohru after a drunken night out and tells her she can come and stay with her and become her maid. From there we see them live their lives together with Tohru mostly in her human form and occasionally in her dragon form. We also see Tohru’s dragon friends becoming human too and joining her and Kobayashi’s friends. My favourite dragon so far is Kanna, the youngest of the dragons and therefore the cutest! 😀

Reading – I have been reading so much manga lately that I feel like I can’t keep on top of the addiction it has fast become! Since the start of the year I have either finished or started four series of different manga. WOW! I’ve not read this much since 2009 when I discovered the Shopaholic series by Sophie Kinsella. I remember binge reading them late into the night. I have read and finished both Your Lie in April and Paradise Kiss, which I loved and will hopefully be reviewing in the future! Your Lie in April was an amazing manga to read and everyday during my break at work I found myself getting through a book a day and soon enough the series had finished and I had no more to read. It ended sadly but not as sad as I imagined to be honest, but I put this down to already knowing what was going to happen. Paradise Kiss was bought for me by Dane for my birthday this year and I bought the third and final volume myself. This is a manga by the same person as Nana and I didn’t know what to expect when reading it. I loved it and it was realistic and romantic at the same time but without too much romance. I did really love reading it and it was different to what I normally read. I especially love how Ai Yazawa breaks the fourth wall with her manga, it’s not something I’ve seen anyone else do… Yet. I started reading Nichijou, which I love but I’m in no hurry to continue with just yet.

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Image take from weheartit.com

I’m currently reading A Silent Voice which alongside Elfen Lied, Nana and Your Lie in April has fast become one of my favourites… If not my number one favourite right now. The story is so realistic and amazing. It talks about bullying and how it can affect everyone so well and is definitely the sort of thing I love to write myself. It has inspired me even more to create my own manga series in the future. Me and Dane went to watch the anime movie of A Silent Voice yesterday and it was amazing. I’ll be reviewing it VERY soon.

Listening – In February me and Dane booked for us to go and see cKy in May! AHHH I’M SO EXCITED! I’ve been a fan of the band since I was fifteen and have always wanted to see them live, but just never got the chance… Until now! I’ve been listening to most of their albums since then as I just forgot how much I love listening to their stuff. My favourite album of theirs definitely has to be Infiltrate Destroy Rebuild. I don’t know why, just all of the tracks make me so happy and I can sing them loudly, one after the other. I love all of their other albums of course, but this one just stands out the most. My favourite song from it is Plastic Plan, which I’ve put the music video for above. Let me warn you, it’s really fucking old. 😛

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Image taken from weheartit.com

Eating – There’s not really much I’ve been eating lately that’s any different to lately. If anything me and Dane haven’t been following out diet like we were at the start of the year. We have cut out a lot of junk mind and still have, but at the same time we’ve been binging on things. We recently discovered that at one of our local Asian supermarkets you can buy birthday cake Oreo’s, as well as matcha flavoured Oreo’s and they weren’t as expensive as you’d think either. Just over £1 a packet! I wish we had bought more but meh got to be good. 😛

Wearing – To be honest I haven’t really been wearing anything too special lately… If anything I’ve worn a dress I bought in the Christmas sales in 2016 for a day out with Dane and an evening out with my dad and brother. I also recently bought a dress for a family wedding I’m attending this weekend. That will be exciting to go to! I would show pictures but I’m not too keen on showing them on my blog. Not because they’re horrible or anything, but they’re just not the sort of pictures I feel will work on a post. I’m waffling. 😛

Wanting – I really want a holiday to be honest. Even if it isn’t abroad, just for me and Dane to get away for a week max and have a relaxing time would be lovely. We did look to go to a spa weekend for his birthday in April but sadly due to everywhere being pretty much booked for Easter we aren’t really able to do that. We’re going to try and see if we can do something in June instead for our anniversary, but we shall see!

So that was my currently list number nine! Wow before we know it it’ll be my tenth one which is kind of weird to be honest. They’ve all flown by so quickly. To be honest this whole year is already flying by quickly. 😛

What’s on your currently lists right now? Make sure to let me know in the comments!

Until next time take care all and I hope you had a lovely weekend.

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Post Christmas Natter (Plus What I received…)

It’s almost a week since Christmas Day was here and I can’t quite believe how quickly it’s flown by! I had a lovely Christmas even though I was working both Christmas Eve and Boxing Day (WAH FML!) but it’s come and gone now. Plus I have New Years Eve and Day off, woohoo!

So I decided to do a little catch up post about my Christmas and share what lovely gifts I received from Dane, my parents and everyone else. 🙂

Christmas Eve I didn’t finish work until late (6pm to be exact) and due to being tired and lazy we decided to get a takeaway and spend the evening watching movies. One movie we watching in particular was Sausage Party, which came out this year. Not exactly a Christmas movie, but one we both enjoyed watching, although at the end it got very weird and we sat in shock with hands over mouths, awkwardly laughing.

We got an early night as we were both shattered! This being said I had an awful nights sleep. I kept waking up throughout the night as the wind was waking me up. So we both woke up early Christmas Day and popped on a Christmas movie whilst we opened our presents. I spoilt Dane rotten this year and he loved all of his gifts. He spoilt me just as much too and every gift he gave me I loved. We both asked each other what our favourite gifts were out of the bunch. Dane’s was Vol. 1-9 of One Punch Man and mine was a tough one. I’ll show off what gifts he gave me before I tell you which were my favourites… I can’t pick one!

We decided to do stockings this year, as a new tradition and we filled them both full of yummy treats, well Dane filled mine full of Japanese sweets, mostly Kit Kats! My friend Sophi (heyyy!) picked up some of these stockings for us which was lovely of her! She of course got an N for me and a D for Dane.

As you can see Dane bought me LOADS of Kit Kats, Japanese ones to be exact! As well as a few other Japanese treats, which are mostly matcha flavoured… My favourite. 😛 He bought me a little geisha pouch full of different flavoured Kit Kats, which I loved as it looked adorable! It came with a piece of paper inside telling you about all the flavours which I was pleased about, as you never know what you could be trying. For example there is a wasabi flavoured Kit Kat in there!

Onto the main gifts from Dane and I was well and truly spoilt this year… But so was he. 😛 All of my gifts from him were thoughtful and I can’t really say I prefer one to the other, but I will of course say my favourite 3 or something. 😛

One of my favourite gifts from what Dane bought me were these two sleeping Pokemon plushies from the Pokemon Centre in Japan. As you can see he gave me a Pikachu and Jolteon which I love, especially Jolteon’s cute little bum and feet. 😛 I knew I was going to get one of these but I didn’t have a clue which and these were both a lovely surprise to get. They’re now in my Pokemon cabinet in the living room.

Another one of my favourite presents from Dane was these South Park figures from the new game coming out in 2017, The Fracture But Whole. I already have a couple of the figures from the first game (Princess Kenny and Cartman as a wizard) and I love them so much, but not as much as these. I have Butters, Kenny and Cartman all as their super villain and hero alter egos. They’re now in my cupboard and look amazing. It’s a shame they didn’t bring anymore of the characters out, but I guess these three are the main ones.

I keep saying this is my favourite present from Dane even though I knew I was having it, but it’s my new jacket… A Pokemon jacket! This is by a brand I have grown to love since August when I bought my first pieces by her, the brand being Ohayou! Clothing. She’s a designer in Bristol and most of her designs are Pokemon related and anything Japanese and kawaii. As you can see from the pictures it’s a varsity style jacket with an adorable picture of Eevee on the back! I love it and since Christmas Day I’ve pretty much lived in it! I can’t wait to write a post about Ohayou! Clothing in the new year!

Everyone who knows me knows that I LOVE foxes and I think every Christmas we have shared since being together, Dane has always bought me a fox related present. This year he of course had to keep up the tradition and bought me this beautiful tote bag with a fox and wolf on it. I’ve viewed this seller on Etsy before and if you love foxes then you will love her work! He also bought one of her illustrated books about foxes, which I really enjoyed reading in bed on Christmas Day morning.

Yay for manga! I’m in need of some new books to read after finally finishing Nana (and my heart broke!) and of course Dane knew I wanted some new material to read including Nichijou. As of yet I haven’t started to read it but I intend to start very soon. It’s like Azumanga Daioh so it is based around a school and the lives of the students there. I can’t wait to read it!

MORE KIT KATS! I told you he bought me loads! These are sake flavoured and we tried one on Christmas Day. I LOVE them! They’re very strong smelling and tasting of sake, which I thought I would hate but really enjoyed. I would definitely buy these again… But I have a feeling they aren’t cheap.

Finally we have a few little stocking fillers Dane gifted me, one not being in this picture as I forgot to take it! That item is the Bee & Puppycat cooking book. I thought it would be all jokey cooking recipes but they’re actually legit and ones that both the workers of the comic have submitted, as well as fans of the comic book too. Both me and Dane had a flick through it on Christmas Day and have already decided on some recipes that we want to bake and cook very soon.

Speaking of food he also got me a Pikachu sushi mold which I am SO EXCITED to use! I love making Japanese food and the next thing I want to learn how to make is sushi. I’ve already discussed with Dane that we make onigiri (rice ball with fish, chicken, veg inside… Basically like a sandwich to us but with rice instead of bread) with the mold. I can’t wait!

I knew I was getting these for Christmas (even though when it came to opening them I FORGOT ALL ABOUT THEM!) but Dane bought me some Victoria’s Secret body sprays. One is a minty scent and the other more vanilla and sugary. I love things like this and the VS body sprays are the best I’ve ever tried.

The final thing Dane bought me was a new calendar which as you can see is Pusheen.

This was meant to be one of my Christmas presents but Dane gave it to me about a week before Christmas and I love it so much! It’s a little glass bottle with a little soot sprite inside from the film Spirited Away. That’s one of my favourite films so I love anything to do with it. He’s now in my cabinet in the living room.

We spent Christmas at my parents house and then Boxing Day at Dane’s parents. We both had a lovely time at both houses and I wouldn’t change anything! Sadly my mom was working but me and Dane played games and watched movies with my dad and my brother, which was really fun! We practically did the same with Dane’s family too and we had a right laugh. We played Joking Hazard with my family and The Game of Life with Dane’s. We had lots of laughs and giggles!

I’m not showing off all my presents in  this post, mostly just Dane’s to be honest but I thought I would show off my favourite gifts from my family and Dane’s.

This was one of my favourite presents this year and it’s from my parents. It’s a Thomas Sabo charm bracelet with a martini glass charm. She kind of hinting to me getting something like this but I wasn’t 100% sure what it would be. I love it though, so much more than my Pandora bracelet and I’ve already eyed up what other additions I can add to it. I’ve found so far that it’s just so much lighter than Pandora to wear and therefore easier to wear.

My mom bought me and Dane a couple of other things too, some of which are on the way apparently in the post. But one of my other favourite items from her is this giraffe dressing gown (which I have on at the moment!). The hood on it is huge and had a giraffe face on which I think is cute. It’s also a great length too which is ideal as one of my old ones would drag on the ground as I walk up the stairs and trip me up. I’ve pretty much lived in this since Christmas Day!

Like the presents my parents bought me I won’t talk about everything, but more so my favourites. Dane’s parents bought me these lovely pajamas which I knew I was going to get due to asking for them, but they were still a lovely surprise and as soon as we got home Boxing Day I put them on. They’re burgundy with woodland animal print on. Right up my street! They also bought me a Lush gift set (Snow Fairy one!) and some stuff for the house.

Finally we have one of the gifts that Dane’s brother and girlfriend bought for us. They bought us a huge box full of Japanese candy but sadly I never managed to get a picture of it. However I did manage to get a picture of the candle they bought us. It’s a WoodWick candle, a brand we both love just as much as Yankee Candle. This one is in the scent Black Cherry and it’s HUGE! When you burn these it makes a crackling sound like a fire and when we lit this for the first time it was nice to see the flame move over from the right to the left side of the wick. It’s a lovely present, especially for the house.

So those were my presents from Christmas this year. As well as these presents I did of course get more from work friends, my friends, family and more. I just wanted to show some that I had managed to snap pictures of.

I had a lovely Christmas this year even though it did come and go in the blink of an eye! I don’t have a clue when to take my Christmas tree down. Probably tomorrow after work as it’ll soon be 2017 and our tree wont need to be up anymore, sadly. I’ll miss our cute little tree. 😦

What lovely presents did you get for Christmas and did you have a lovely time over the Christmas period? Make sure to let me know in the comments down below.

Until next time, take care all and I hope you’re having a great week so far!

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