In search for a new book that would open my mind and bring with it a new perspective on life, I stumbled across The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris. I read the blurb and upon discovering that it was a love story, I knew that this would be one incredible romance. A romance that could spark within the worse death camp in history, would sure be interesting to read. Would they both survive? What if only one survived? I had to read it.
When I began to read this novel I had some basic understanding of what went on at Auschwitz, who the prisoners were etc. However, no documentary or history book could have prepared me for reading a true account of a prisoners experience. Automatically assuming that the tattooist of Auschwitz would be a German guard, I suddenly realised what the prisoners had to do to survive in this hell.
Documentaries about the holocaust and text books cover the facts alone. In my opinion, the victims of Auschwitz become a statistic and we never really get to slightly comprehend what it must have been like for them. Heather Morris sophisticatedly writes Lale Sokolov’s story in a way which brings light to the emotional and psychological struggle these innocent people experienced. Morris conveys the moral struggle that Lale faced having to ‘defile’ other prisoners bodies in order to stand a better chance of survival. He would tattoo hundreds (maybe even thousands) of new prisoners with their numbers, which would become their identity to the guards during their stay at Auschwitz. Being given an insight into Lale’s state of mind, it is hard to even comprehend the horrific acts against humanity which took place here.
Any true story written about the holocaust needs to be read and then read again. It is extremely important that we, as humanity, do not forget about what happened so that it will never happen again. There is one moment that stood out to me in this book, which I think I will always remember. (If you have not read this book then this is a spoiler alert). At the end of the novel, Lale and Gita’s son writes a tribute to his parents. In this, he writes about a time after his parents had just found out their business was going bankrupt. That evening, he saw his mum dancing and singing around with happiness. Surprised by this, Gary asked his mother how she could be so happy, given the circumstances. She replied that after experiencing what she did at Auschwitz, every day was a gift, the business failing didn’t require her to be unhappy.
I think this is an important life lesson to learn. When times are tough, you should remember there is always someone out there that’s had it worse. We should smile every day because every day is one to be grateful for. For this reason alone, I think The Tattooist of Auschwitz should be read by everyone.
Valentines Day brings romance and joy to people all over the world. For some reason, there is a whole day out of the year dedicated to couples which part of me thinks it’s cute. However, the more rational side of me believes that Valentines day is a big marketing strategy for restaurants and bars to get more money out of people (but that’s a post for another day). That being said, I can speak from experience that when it comes to this time of year, my mind begins to become blank of Valentine date ideas. This will be my second Valentines day with my partner and as we live in central Manchester, there are endless things to do. Sometimes it’s when there are too many options that my mind begins to not function. Do you live in the Manchester area and are lost for ideas of how to spend Valentines day? No worries, dating in Manchester does not need to be difficult – as there are so many things to do. I have compiled a few Valentine Date Ideas in Manchester, U.K.
An Activity of Sorts
If you and your partner consider yourself to be adventurous and love fun activities then there is plenty of things to do on Valentines day in Manchester. Fortunate enough to have the whole day to celebrate Valentines day? The perfect start to the day would be to get stuck in with something fun.
With two perfect locations in Manchester, Go Karting is really accessible to get to. There is a track in both Trafford Park and in Deansgate. Just recently, me and my partner visited the Team Sport Go Kartingin Trafford and we had the most amazing time!
If you’re a student and you’re looking for Valentines Day Date Ideas on a budget then look no further. You can Go Kart from just £15 and if you’re not a student, then don’t worry as they also have other offers available.
When you arrive you are given a suit to wear over your clothes and you will have to purchase either a 50p disposable balaclava (to wear under your helmet) or a £3.50 cotton balaclava. Once changed and your bags are packed away in lockers you wait to be called into the briefing room. This is where you will watch a fifteen minute safety video which tells you what all the flags mean. For example, if there is a yellow flag, you need to slow down to a walking pace.
The whole aim of Go Karting is to try and get the fastest lap time and so if you and your partner are the competitive type, then Go Karting would be the perfect place to spend Valentines Day in Manchester.
Roxy Ball Room
Roxy Ball Room in Deansgate, Manchester will always have a special place in my heart. This was where me and my partner went on one of our first dates and so I just think it’s perfect for Valentines Day.
Inside this bar you can play ping pong and/or pool and I just think it’s the perfect place to go on a date to get to know someone. The music isn’t too loud and if you wanted an activity that wasn’t too expensive then this would be perfect!
Dating in Manchester does not have to be boring when Manchester is home to one of the biggest indoor bouncy castles in the country. That’s right I did say bouncy castle! Call me a big kid but there’s nothing more fun then jousting someone on top of a giant inflatable pillar.
In terms of whether or not this place is suitable for a Valentine’s day date then it will all depend on what you do next. If you plan on heading for a nice meal (that requires you to dress up) afterwards then I wouldn’t recommend going to this place first. You only get an hour on the inflatable park but I promise you after half an hour running around and rock climbing, you will be red in the face and sweating. Take plenty of water!
Places to Drink in Manchester
Peaky Blinders Bar
If you’re a Peaky Blinder’s fan then Manchester is the place to be on Valentine’s day! It has a bar themed around the whole t.v. show. I mean, how cool is that! Although I have never watched Peaky Blinders, I have however visited the bar out of curiosity.
My initial impressions was that it wasn’t that different to an ordinary bar. Yes, it’s beautiful outside and it does have themed drinks and characters from the show plastered on the walls, but a bar is a bar. My impression of the place changed when about fifteen lads came in dressed in waistcoats and tweed caps. This made the place feel really authentic.
So, if you are a Peaky Blinders fan then I would definitely recommend visiting. Having watched the show, you may be able to see more from the experience.
If you only had one day to spend in Manchester, then I would completely recommend visiting Cloud 23 for a cocktail. With a stunning view over the whole of Manchester, It is a perfect place to sit with your loved one for Valentines day. Or, if you’re looking for date ideas in Manchester in general then I would still recommend this.
If you fancy climbing 23 floors for the view, make sure you dress up smart as there is a dress code. Also, remember that because this is a unique bar to drink in in Manchester, the drinks come with a heavy price tag. I think I paid around £12 for a cocktail that fit inside a champagne glass. Oh well, seeing sunset over the city makes it all worth it.
Revolucion De Cuba
With regular entertainment and 2 for 1 cocktails, Revolution De Cuba is one of my favourite bars in Manchester. Having only drank in here, I can only tell you how amazing the cocktails are. However, I have heard from many people that there is a brilliant Vegan menu. So, if you eat a plant based diet I would recommend this restaurant/bar for Valentine’s Day.
Places to Eat in Manchester
Just like in every city, there will be plenty of chain restaurants to choose from and most of these will tend to be fair in price. These will include, but are not limited to: Bella Italia, Ask Italian, Bem Brazil, Nando’s, Chiquitos and many many more. Excluding Bem Brazil these meals tend to not be that expensive, especially if you have a discount code that you found online. However, if you are planning to use a discount code then make sure to check the terms and conditions of the voucher. Many promotions will not be valid on Valentine’s Day.
My favourite Italian restaurant in Manchester has to be Gusto. It feels more classy than say Ask Italia and I wouldn’t say it is much more expensive. If you sign up to be a member of their dining club then you can often get up to 50% off your meal on certain days. Again check the terms and conditions as any promotions aren’t likely to be valid on Valentine’s Day.
Surrounded by fairy lights and candles, Gusto is one of the most romantic restaurant to dine at on Valentine’s Day.
Are you fully prepared for Valentine’s Day?
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading plenty of date ideas in the Manchester area. I hope you all have an amazing Valentine’s Day. However, before you go, there is something you should know. This post was a collaboration with 13 other amazing bloggers who have been preparing advice for Valentine’s day. I strongly recommend that follow their blogs so that you can read more valentine’s day advice over the next fortnight. Below is the schedule of posts for the next two weeks, with links to the blogs so you know where to find them!
Day 2 – Deanna is writing about, Valentine’s Day Makeup & Outfit inspiration Day 3 – Lavrax is writing about, Edible and personalised gift ideas/valentines day baking Day 4 – Megan is writing about, Valentine’s Day Ideas for Singles Day 5 – Macey is writing about, The Origin story of Valentine’s Day Day 6 – Rach is writing about, Valentine’s Day ideas for the family Day 7 – Molly has some Valentines cupcake recipes to share with you Day 8 – Shealea is writing about, Sapphic romances that’ll make your heart soft on Valentine’s Day Day 9 – Kerry is recommending some Valentines gifts for travellers Day 10 – Vicky is writing all about Mindful Date Ideas Day 11 – Divine is writing all about, The Perks of Dating a Mood Reader Day 12 – Soph is giving advice on, Valentines Day gifts on a budget / for students Day 13 – Koral is writing all about, Valentines Day and Mental Health Day 14 – Lastly, Taiwo is writing a piece on, How to enjoy Valentine’s Day alone
When I first heard that PsychoTraveller, my favourite YouTuber, was releasing her own book I knew that I was to read it straight away. I have followed Aly’s adventures for years and she even inspired me to create my own travel blog. 15 year old me would catch up on her videos after school and would always watch on with excitement for my own travels I knew I’d embark on. Where is she?: Travel to Trauma: One Woman’s Journey To Completely Losing Herself left me speechless with both sadness and frustration. However, because of the incredible woman Alyshia Ford is, the book takes you on a journey of incredible strength and courage.
In the initial few chapters of this book I found myself reading with excitement. She was headed off to embark on her one year working holiday visa in Australia. Living the dream, she soon began to experience the typical life of a backpacker. Meeting new friends, budgeting and exploring this amazing country. I read in envy at her experiences; from raising a baby lamb, to meeting real aboriginal people. On top of this, her writing style is very comical at parts – she described brilliants moments such as when a tour guide told her he ‘didn’t think’ there’d be crocodiles in a lake she was advised to wash in.
The title of Psychotraveller’s book reads, ‘One Woman’s Journey To completely Losing Herself’. Initially I had assumed that by ‘losing herself’ she meant she was physically losing herself in the big world wide. I found I was wrong and by ‘losing herself’ she meant how she had to find who she was again after she experienced a horrific event. This book takes you on her road to recovery. I thought I knew her just from watching her on YouTube, and this book has taught me that you can never truly know someone in front of the camera. Aly is incredibly brave for sharing her story and I honestly believe this book is a service to society and can help so many people.
I first began reading Eleanor Oliphant is completely fine by Gail Honeyman a few months ago. I used it to past the time on my commute to work, but alas, university was stressful, and I felt guilty for reading anything other than boring journal articles. Once I began to read it again this week, it was completed in two days. I just could not put it down. Dealing with themes of loneliness, the importance of friendship, abuse (both physical and mental) and alcoholism, this book has you both running for the tissues one page and then smiling the next.
DISCLOSURE: This article will contain spoilers, read on at your own risk!