The Casual Vacancy

On 27th September 2012 at 8AM, The Casual Vacancy was released. It’s the first adult novel that Harry Potter author J.K.Rowling has written, and it’s the first novel that she has penned and published since the last Harry Potter, not including the spin off book The Tales Of Beedle The Bard.

The Casual Vacancy was a hyped up book release, which caused other books that were due to be published this month to be pushed back to next month, after fear of being crushed or ignored by Rowling’s new book.

Small snippets of information was released bit by bit, just as it was done with the Harry Potter books. For those people who follow J.K.Rowling on Twitter, she made it no secret that she was writing a new book, as she often said that “pen and paper is my priority right now”.

Later on, her publisher, Little,Brown and Co announced that she was indeed publishing a new title, entitled The Casual Vacancy. For those people who don’t know what a casual vacancy is, it’s the name given to a space on a parish council when a person dies and needs to be filled, hence the plot of the book.

Described to be a “big novel about a small town” , the book is ultimately about how different people’s live are led in the small village of Pagford and the estate next door, nicknamed the Fields, and how people’s live are affected by Barry Fairbrother, the character who dies within the first three pages bringing on the events of the novel, which is at a large page number of 512.

The blurb on the inside cover reads “When Barry Fairbrother dies in his early forties, the town of Pagford is left in shock. Pagford is, seemingly, an English idyll, with a cobbled market square, and an ancient abbey , but what lies behind the pretty facades is a town at war. Rich at war with poor, teenagers at war with their parents, wives at war with their husbands, teachers at war with their pupils… Pagford is not what it at first seems. And the empty seat left by Barry on the Parish Council becomes the catalyst for the biggest war the town has yet seen. Who will triumph in an election fraught with passion, duplicity and unexpected revelations?”

However, some people have said that it has parts in that aren’t appropriate for the nine and ten years old who have read the Harry Potter, but after all, what’s the shock? It clearly says an adult book, so not a book for ten year olds. Plus, its not a fantasy book with wizards, wands and spells, complete with potions and a giant castle, but instead is a book that is set in the real world, and with a wider use of language, showing off just how sophisticated J.K.Rowling can write, and she probably enjoyed it too, after years of being glued to writing children’s book.

And she enjoyed it, surely her readers will enjoy it. Have you bought it? Have you read it yet? What did you think? Leave a comment and let us know!

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“Bloodbath”- A Guest Post

​I wake up gasping for air.
It is pitch black. I cannot see.
​I get to my feet with great difficulty. My body feels heavy like it’s covered in sweat and my hair is plastered to my cheeks. I hear the sloshing sound of water as I move and freeze, puzzled. Where am I?
​I realise at once that I am knee deep in water. The chill seeps through my clothing and skin causing me to shiver.
​As my eyes scan the darkness I begin to make out shapes. Trees? I wonder hesitant to move. I wish I had better vision in the dark.
​For a long while I am still, afraid to move. I try to think back; try to recall what happened and where I might be. No memories come.
Staying in one place will not help me recognise where I am, I decide finally. My surroundings are a touch lighter than before, as if a small light has been turned on somewhere nearby, though I don’t know where from.
I push one hand into the glimmering water and feel something tangle around my fingers. Quickly, I jerk my hand away. My eyes dart to the water and I’m surprised to see a body-shaped object lying near me.
My heart races in my chest and I shriek, running away and stumbling over something beneath the surface. I end up falling back into the cold water in my panic. I grope around in the water to push myself up and feel something hard touch the tips of my fingers.
A whimper escapes my throat but I wrap my hand around what feels like a hilt and pull it above the surface. It glints in the dim light and I see it is a dagger. I struggle to my feet again, careful to hold the blade away from me.
Once I am upright and steady I stop and turn around to see that whatever it was has not moved. I creep back over to the mound lying in a shallower portion of the water. My heart continues thrumming quickly in my ribs. My brain screams at me to turn around—leave while I have the chance.
I stop a few feet from the lump and kick it over carefully with the toe of my shoe.
Two eyes shine up at me and my breath catches inside my lungs. It is a girl, a young one by the looks of it. Her hair is a tangled mess round her head. It reaches out in the black water as if it is trying to grab me and drag me to her.
She is dead.
I do not know who she is, or was. If she was good she deserves a cremation and her ashes scattered back to the earth. If she was a criminal she deserves nothing more than a fast burial. There would be no chance for the skull to crack in the cremating flames—no chance for her spirit to be freed of her body.
Either way I cannot bury or burn her. The water prevents a fire from being started, and the ground is much too moist to dig a grave.
I dig through the water with my free hand, feeling for stones which I know are there. I find two roughly the same size and close her eyelids, placing the stones upon them gently.
Once I am finished I step back and turn away, walking through the water aimlessly.
A soft glow is beginning to find its way through the trees and I see that I am in a clearing in a forest. It isn’t a large clearing, but it is probably noticeable from higher elevation.
I look up and push my drying hair from my eyes. Everything has a dawn-grey tint to it and it makes everything seem eerie as I walk forward. I spend some time searching through the murky water, hoping to find a hint of something that will make me remember why I am here.
Other than the dead girl and a slaughtered dog no one but me is in the glade.

I am certain I have not been walking for as long as it feels like. The sun is just raised enough in the sky that I can see the top of it over the gaps in some trees. The grey tint that had covered the world shortly before is gone now, replaced by a soft pink and orange blush.
The water is not as deep as it was. It only reaches to my calves now, though in some places there are deep gaps in the earth where it reaches up to my knees again. The first time I’d fallen into one I screamed then felt foolish. It’s only a hole, I told myself, nerves causing me to laugh in relief.
I notice that the ground is sloping upward now. The water is lessening as I go up the hill. There are still puddles here and there, but for the most part it is dry.
I would like to build a fire, I think as I walk on. And to dry my clothes.
When I reach the top I stop, looking at my surroundings. Not far ahead there is what appears to be a reservoir.
I don’t think there is anyone around, but I am careful to be quiet as I make my way to the other side of the structure.
I am not prepared for what I see when I reach the opposite end.
Bodies are lying everywhere. Dead. They are scattered all the way down the hill into a small village that is overflowing with blood-tinted water, much like the clearing I came from. Some of the buildings are crumbled and that, along with the water, confuses me.
I turn around and see a gaping hole in the reservoir. It looks like it was smashed open by something large, which leads me to believe it was not done accidentally.
I walk forward toward a cluster of dead. The scent is enough to make me gag.
I kneel down beside a dead woman. Her hair is dark like the girl in the clearing and she has the same thin frame. I wonder if they could be related. I brush a bit of hair from her face and pull my hand away quickly, gasping and leaping backwards.
Her face is covered in dried blood and her skin is sunken in where her eyes were gouged out.
I swallow and stare at her wide eyed before laying her hair gently over her face again.
As I make my way into the town I wonder what she did to deserve such a cruel death.

Bodies litter the streets. Water is flooding the paths. By the looks of the people they can’t have been gone long—only a few days at most.
My boots splash through the water as I make my way down a small slope. It is strange how this town is set up. If you start from the woods, as I have, you go up a large hill to where the reservoir is placed. If you pass by it the ground begins to slope down again, though more subtly, to the village. There is a path which goes round the knoll in the centre and leads back to the woods. It looks like it would be easier to climb than straight up to the reservoir—the way which I came.
My shoes squish into the reddish hued mud as I step around a dead man. He is elderly looking; his skin is shrivelled with age. His eyes stare up at me and I shudder nervously and hurry on.
I stop in front of a large building with a cross on the front. It reminds me of a church I’ve seen before and leaves me wondering how I got here again.
One of the doors is open slightly and I push it open wider. A squeak sets me on edge and I flinch, holding the dagger I found out in front of me. I nudge the door with the toe of my boot and it creaks again. My heart settles and I walk inside.
The walls are a cream-white colour which would usually be relaxing and charming. Flowers and candles make a futile attempt to fill the place with happiness, though I can tell it is no longer a place of reconciliation. The portraits hanging are safe from the water, but not from the wall which has crumbled. Bits of ceiling have fallen in as well.
The front corner is dark and I cannot see what is in it although light spills in through stained glass windows. The sunbeams cast patterns on the wet floor. A fancy cross hangs at the front of the church, just above where the preacher would speak. A small decorative table sits beneath the cross on the raised stage floor. The ceiling above is a wooden dome which cuts off and blends into the high roof of the rest of the church.
I walk forward, noting that some of the pews are tipped over and smashed. My palms sweat and I tighten my grip on the dagger. My eyes scan the area around the hole in the wall and a small whimper escapes my throat.

By S.Lain

“To The Fro” Sonnet- A Guest Post

Atop the head of fellow classmate Don

Is rooted quite a large anemone.

Though matted black instead of having shone

It still would be the Hilton of the sea.

The strands, a matrix, ever overlap

And every wisp a deftly honèd skill.

To add another feather to his Cap

Would surely be the greatest overkill.

Dimensional expansion of the brain

Undoubtedly is already achieved,

His wisdom interwoven in the grain,

His style only shunned by the naive.

So this, the legend told of Don the Great

Leaves only hipsters perm-inclined irate.

“Now” – A Guest Post

“Now” by Ransom Summers…a guest post.

More works from “A Humble Writer” may be found here:
http://asmallcollectionofwords.blogspot.com/
and here
http://poetswordswithstrangers.blogspot.com/

– Now –

The wooden clock will chime
the time –
once every hour, in fact.
To act,
is life. So take a bow!
Is now
the moment you must plow
right through the temporal door
onto this stage of yours?
The time to act is now!

Now.

“Live in the now.”

“Now is the time to act.”

“We are now approaching our destination.”

“For the Present is the point at which time touches eternity,” – Screwtape

What do we mean when we say ‘now’? When is it? You cannot measure it. As soon as you say the word ‘now’ it is in the past. Your very act of reading now is moving along from past to the future words.

Mirriam Webster online dictionary gives us these definitions:

a: at the present time or moment
b : in the time immediately before the present now>c : in the time immediately to follow : forthwith now>

2—used with the sense of present time weakened or lost to express command, request, or admonition

3—used with the sense of present time weakened or lost to introduce an important point or indicate a transition (as of ideas)

4…. etc.
http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/now

For our purposes, let us look at ‘now’ as ‘the present’ or ‘the moment’ (though Mirriam Webster does not use ‘the present’ as a noun, using ‘present’ as an adjective to form the phrase ‘the present time). “The present” can be seen as synonymous with “now” I think. Without bending grammar too much we could even consider “now” to be the proper noun for “the present.” So, what do we mean when we say “now?”

Well, as part of a command, it means “immediately.” For example, an irate mother calling her son: “Johnny H. Erickson, get your rear over here NOW!” I had many such imperatives shouted to me when I was a boy. That is simple and easy to understand. It’s a case of “at this present time, begin the task which I assigned you.”

But then there is the much more involved use of “now” which is part of the popular phrase “living in the now” (which, personally, I have always disliked to some extent in my prudish, purist, writer’s way, thinking that “living in the present” or “living in the moment” was the proper way to express that idea). It is also commonly used in the phrase “choose now” or its equivalent. In fact, if you look at how the phrase “living in the now” is commonly used, it is very often tied into choices facing a person. Granted, many of the choices justified by the phrase “living in the now” are foolish ones but they are still choices. What these foolish choices represent is a state of mind concerned only with the more immediate situation and not possible consequences down the line. At the time of this writing, there is a popular phrase in American youth “you only live once” or shortened to the acronym “YOLO.” I have heard it described as “carpe diem for idiots.” I tend to agree.

In any event, that is not the whole explanation for the word and idea of “now.” When you get down to it, the “now” in carpe diem refers to a day (literally) or, in common use, a specific chunk of time. But when the choice actually comes to be made, then that quantity of time has shrunk down quite small indeed.

Like I mentioned at the very beginning, the present is a point. In fact, mathematically speaking (dipping a toe very lightly into the world of theoretical physics) “now” is exactly that – a point – a fourth dimensional point. I am going to assume that you know something about geometry, but for the sake of my explanation, I shall do a bit of, well, explaining.

A point, is a thing that does not actually exist. It has no dimension in any of the three that something must have to exist (height, depth, and width). I’ll skip over the line, square, and cube examples. Then comes the fourth dimension, time. For something to exist, it must have a length of duration. If it does not exist for any period of time, it does not exist at all. It must travel from one point in time to another. So, all of space (the three dimensions) has to travel along a fourth linear dimension, and when we measure that line, we call it time.

I know that was a bit involved but I think a video I discovered on youtube (shown to me by a friend, far more intelligent than I) may help with the exposition: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JkxieS-6WuA (watch up to time 5:12)

The moment/present/now (whichever you wish to call it) is one point on the line of time but we, as people existing in these three dimensions and traveling along the fourth, cannot view it objectively. It is (as the video called it) a cross section of time, living moment by moment. You’ll have noticed the narrator also said out choices “could branch off at any moment.” So, what we really live choice to choice.

So, I think the best identifier we have for “now” is choices. Now is when we choose. Of course, this raises some questions about who *we* are as beings existing in these dimensions. I will save that discussion for another time. For now, I will simply refer to us human beings as “people” and we can hash out what we mean by that later. But for us, as people, “now” is when we choose. Now is when we act, speak, and think.

Now is when a person decides to pull the trigger and become a murderer.
Now is when a husband decides to that his passions are more important than his wedding vows.

Now is when a soldier decides that his body will make a suitable shield between his brothers and a grenade.
Now is when you decide that getting drunk out of your mind would be a good idea.

Now is when the man plucks up the courage to ask his girl to marry him.
Now is when I choose to type this next thought.
Now is when I decide I need a shower and take a break from writing this to go cleanse myself and think some more about what I’m trying to say and how to present it.

Now is when I decide to pick up a pretzel and put it in my mouth.

All across the spectrum of importance, we are making choices constantly. Now is when that happens. But each of these choices have immense import whether we realize it or not. Each choice shapes our lives – it has an impact on our outcome and our nature. Going by the ideas in that video, choices shape our fifth dimension.

It is a weighty thought, isn’t it? It ought to make you ponder for a time. What am I choosing? Why am I choosing it? Where will my choice lead? What effects will it have?

So, let me ask. How are you shaping your fifth dimension? As a person, an aware individual, you have some control over what end-state you will arrive at. Where are you going? What are you doing *right now*? That one is actually easy, you are reading a blog. But after you choose to close this browser window, what will you choose to do?

But there is another aspect to “now” that ought to be addressed. You never escape the now. You are always making decisions – there is no way to do nothing. So, while you ought to be aware of the import of your decisions, decide! It is often good to decide to wait – but, decide to wait, do not default to it. It is not just a question of putting the present into context but making sure that the present is not wasted.

So, I encourage you, my dear readers, to “live in the moment” and be aware of the fact that you live from choice to choice – but also to have awareness of the world that you live in and the import your choices have. Each choice you make changes the entire future of your life. It folds that fourth dimension into into the fifth and alters the shape of time. In a way, your “now” is forever.

Wolf Of The Plains- A Review

“The young boy abandoned without a tribe on the harsh Mongolian plains faced almost certain death. Hunted and alone, he dreamed first of revenge against his enemies. In time, he would unite the great tribes, forming one nation under the sky. He would be the father to that nation. He would be Genghis Khan.”

And that’s the blurb of my latest read book, the book that I read on my holiday to Egypt. To be honest, it’s not the sort of book that I would usually go for- more Harry Potter magical fantasy sort of stuff is me!

But when I knocked it off the bookshelf, I read the blurb and at first thought”Pfft!”, but then read the first page and couldn’t put it down!

Wolf Of The Plains by Conn Iggulden- The epic story of the khan dynasty- is based on Genghis Khan, although Genghis Khan isn’t mentioned until the very last moment. At 461 pages it’s quite a chunky read- but it will fly by!

Conn Iggulden travelled to Mongolia for research for his Conqueror series, and says at the front of his book “allowed me to live among them for a time and who taught me their history over salted tea and vodka while the winter eased into spring.”

Conn Iggulden was born in London, where he was originally a teacher for just under a decade. He actually wrote “The Dangerous Book For Boys” which not many know he wrote! He also wrote the Emperor series which was based on Julius Caesar.

It’s about Temujin, is the son Yesugei, the khan of the much feared Wolf tribe.
When Yesugei is killed by the Tartars, then Temujin and his four brothers should be next in line to take over the Wolves. However, when Yesugei’s firstman, Eeluk, turns out to be dis-loyal, he takes over the Wolves and leaves Temujin, his brothers and his mother for death in the middle of the plains with no weapons, food or shelter.

Temujin was born with a clot of blood in his right hand- a sign of death, or more in this book- he being the creator of death! He eventually takes over other tribes, such as the Olkun’ut, the Kerait, including the Wolves, he battles against the Tartars in order for peace.

However, Temujin, or one Genghis Khan, carries on with his life fighting in the next book entitled Lord Of The Bow.

I definitely enjoyed it and would recommend it to others! I’m now reading Mogworld by Yahtzee Croshaw, so a review of that will be popping up as soon as I’ve read it!

Snape’s Dilemma by Joshua J and Nymphagini: A Joint Fan Fiction

None of these characters are created by Joshua J or Nymphagini, are owned by J.K.Rowling. Thank you.

This is a promo story for the Facebook page “Nothing like a nighttime stroll to give you ideas” created by the co-author of this story, Nymphagini.
Please find it and like it, or go to the link : http://www.facebook.com/pages/Nothing-like-a-nighttime-stroll-to-give-you-ideas/467591613286304
Thank you.

Severus Snape slowly closed his office’s door, and walked out of the castle. He was staring at the starry sky, without any expression on his face.
As he walked down the stone steps with the castle being left behind him, he glanced down from the sky above, and focused on the school gates, where a dark figure was waiting for him.
“You’re almost late, Severus”. Snape stopped and stare at the figure, quite worried.
“Sorry.” Snape said. They were a hint of nerves in his slippery voice. “Dumbledore needed me for some matters. Now what can I be of assistance for?” He added, brushing her greasy hair out of the way of his pale face. His large nose cast a shadow across his face from the moonlight.
The dark figure remained silent for a moment. Snape sighed. “Did you hear what I just said ?” he muttered impatiently.
“Yes, of course I did Severus.” The dark figure snapped back. “Then why have you summoned me?” Snape whispered under his breath.
“The Dark Lord needs you, one more time.” Snape sighed once again. “Why didn’t he summon me himself ?”
“He is weak Severus. You but anyone knows that all too well. Besides, do you really think that the Lord would come near Hogwarts School Of Witchcraft and Wizardry. It is, after all, under the charge of Albus Dumbledore, the only man that the Lord fears.” .
“Obviously”. Severus had a look behind him, like if Albus Dumbledore was just standing in front of Hogwarts’ door.
“Afriad are we Severus? Tut, tut, tut. What will the Dark Lord say if he found out that his loyal servant won’t follow his orders?” the Dark Figure sneered. “Not very happy.” he said slowly.
“I think he trusts me more than he trusts you, Lucius” Snape said slowly. “I will obey to his orders.”
“Excellent. His Lordship will be pleased. Now then, I heard Dumbledore doesn’t allow apparating inside of his precious school grounds, so I suppose we better step outside of the gate.” Sneered Lucius, looking up at the castle with an expression of disgust painted across his face.
Severus stared calmly at Lucius. “I hope you didn’t apparate into the school grounds ?”
“Oh, how I would love to say that I did. But I can’t, not since Dumbdledore threw my off the board. Anyway, enough chatting Severus. We can’t afford to be wasting time, I think enough of that has already been burnt. And you know what happens when you keep the Dark Lord waiting.” he saw Snapes expression. “Hmm, I thought so too. Well, come on them. grab my arm.” Snape looked back at him in disgust. “I can apparate on my own, thank you very much Mr Malfoy.” Lucius sniggered.
Snape walked out of the school’s grounds, followed by Lucius. They suddenly apparated at the same time, separately.
They appeared in a dark room. The floor was covered in a thick layer of dust. They could see through the gloom marks of footsteps on the creaky floor, and a long winding ribbon shaped line. “I see the Lord has his slippery friend here.” Snape said. “No need to talk about yourself like that, Severus.” Lucius said, smiling smugly to himself in the darkness. “I was talking about the snake.” Severus said. “Of course. This way anyway.” Lucius said, before walking off and disappearing in the gloom. Snape pursed his lips tightly in annoyance, looking around his dark surroundings, but figured that you couldn’t see very much, and followed in Lucius’ footsteps.
Snape perceived a kind of small and old green armchair, in front of a window, whose light was hidden by a very old velvet curtain, slightly pierced. The room’s atmosphere was quite cold, almost deadly. A very thin and pale man was sitting, even lying, on the armchair, breathing with difficulty. Near his feet, a dark and long snake was apparently waiting for something.
“I bring him my Lord.” Lucius said. Severus watched Lucius as he walked up to Lord Voldemort, and bowed down to him, before standing back up to his full height, and slowly turning round to face him. He stood, frozen for a few moments, just stood staring at Lord Voldemort and Lucius Malfoy. “What is wrong with the man?” Asked Lord Voldemort. “I do not know, my Lord.” “Have you not got a Tongue in your mouth, Severus?”
“My Lord, I just wondered why you summoned me.” Severus said calmly. Lord Voldemort slowly open his lips and murmured with a bit of exasperation : “You are late, Severus. I hope it won’t become a habit.”
Snape opened his mouth to say something, but thought better of it, and closed it again. Lucius glanced at him. “I have already given him a scolding for that my Lord.” Lucius said, not taking his eyes off Severus. “Perfect.” Hissed Voldemort. “I remember when you used to be as loyal to me as Mr Malfoy is to me now, but then you changed Severus. You changed. And I want to know why. But now is not the time. We have an important situation on our hands, and I am weak. I need you to do me a great favour Severus. One that neither I or Lucius can do, nor any other Death Eater, as only you can be in the place where I want the deed to take place. You can be there and not be questioned, Severus.” Voldemort finished, his face breaking in to a slight smile. Severus looked worried. “And where is that place, my Lord.” Severus asked, his voice quivering. “Hogwarts School Of Witchcraft And Wizardry.” Snake gulped. “And what is it that you want me to do, my Lord?”
A stressful silent fell on the room. Lord Voldemort searched his words inside his head. Severus didn’t move, staying as stiff as a tree. He was looking at Voldemort, who was pacing up and down. Then, the Dark Lord finally whispered : “You obviously know this famous headmaster…” Severus was secretly worried now. He exactly knew what Voldemort meant. “Albus Dumbledore, my lord ?” Voldemort’s enthusiasm suddenly disappeared. “You know who I’m talking about Severus, stop pretending being ignorant !”
“I’m not pretending, my Lord. But you can’t be asking me to kill, to murder, Professor Albus Dumbledore?” He looked at Lord Voldemort. Lord Voldemort slowly nodded, and out his bony hands together. “He is the greatest headmaster that Hogwarts School Of Witchcraft And Wizardry has ever seen. He is the most powerful wizard that has ever lived.” He saw Lord Voldemort’s face at this, and altered what he had just said. “One of the greatest wizards to ever live, my Lord, the other being you, my Lord.” Severus stopped for a moment. He looked trapped. He was trapped. “You will kill Albus Dumbledore, Severus Snape. I command you. And if you don’t, you will see the killing curse flash before eyes just like James and Lily Potter did, and countless others, and your fate might not be just as lucky as Harry Potters was- all before you can say Death Eater. Do you understand, Severus?” Voldemort’s eyes were glowing red with anger, and Severus gulped again, sensing it.
It was like if his heart stopped beating, as soon as Voldemort pronounced “Lily”. Snape was shivering inside. He was a little bit afraid of the Lord’s eyes at this moment, but he didn’t show it. He saw Albus Dumbledore a few days ago, telling him that the end was near, and that Severus was certainly meant to kill the old man with the very long beard and his half-moon glasses. It seemed so improbable for the potions teacher. He took a deep and long breath and said with a trembling voice : “I will do it.”
“Excellent.” Lord Voldemort said. “Now then, I forbid both of your gentlemen good night.” And Lord Voldemort slowly lifted himself out of his chair, and walked across the room. “Follow, Nagini.” As he disappeared out of the room, Nagini slithered along behind him, leaving a second winding ribbon shape that cut through the layer of dust that was covering up the floor, muffling the footsteps. Lucius Malfoy and Severus Snape were both left alone in the room. Lucius and Severus met eye to eye, before Lucius nodded and turned to walk out of the room, following Voldemort. Snape was left by himself.

Scuba Diving In The Red Sea

During the last couple of weeks of August I was on holiday in Egypt, and so I thought it would be interesting to a post about something I tried there.

Egypt (which is a very hot place!) is known for it’s snorkelling and scuba diving in the Red Sea.

My grandparents had been scuba diving before and had shown me a DVD of them under the water amongst the “Nemo” fish, or going their proper name to Clown fish, a gigantic Napoleon fish (and I don’t mean a fish made out of strawberry, chocolate and vanilla flavoured ice cream!) as well as clusters of other brightly coloured fish all amongst the beautiful coral that is made up of thousands of different shades of amazing colours.

So when the chance came in Egypt to try out scuba diving and see what this experience was like for myself I jumped at the chance.

At first I may have been a little reluctant- but as I was told: “You can’t go all the way to the Red Sea and not have a go at scuba diving!”

And so I agreed.

The day came, and we were picked up at eight in the morning. Our transport: the back of a small truck. Something that I’m sure would never be allowed to happen in the UK!

The small truck took us to a small bay about twenty minutes away from our resort, and from there we boarded the boat.

We were surrounded by other people who was right in to their scuba diving, and for them of them in was their ninth or tenth dive that week!

I was a rookie, and the youngest there!

After about an hour or so travelling out across the Red Sea the boat finally came to a stop.

I got all kitted out- the oxygen tank, all the tubes and the wet suit and all!

The instructor was in the water waiting for me, and so I slid of the boat on my bum and fell in to the water.

I immediately panicked.

I looked down through the water and saw just how deep the sea was! I could the people far below me scuba diving.

I was pulled back up on to the boat and got the kit off panicking.

I later went snorkelling around the boat and it was amazing to be able to see the fish, even if I wasn’t far down under the surface with them.

However, I’m not giving up. I’m sure it would have been a wonderful experience that would out of this world- and so at some point during my life I want to definitely attempt scuba diving again.

And so for now I can say it was a long journey for a small dip on the sea!