My top 10 Academic Reads

“So, you’re at uni. What are you studying?”

“I study English Literature and Creative Writing”

        […]

Awkward pause (If I had named a Science/Engineering/Business degree, the pause would have been replaced with exclamations of ‘wow’, ‘that’s cool’ or ‘you’re so smart’ etc.)

Instead I continue with: “It’s great, lots of reading though! But I love it….”

The conversation of course doesn’t always go like that – just most of the time. But the funny thing is, I’m not lying when I say English Literature is lots of reading and I love it. I have thoroughly enjoyed it. So much so, that when I finished my last academic set-text two weeks ago, I didn’t throw a party and swear to never pick up another book again. Instead I turned to the long list of books I’ve accumulated on my wish list over the years and hit the library and book shops.

Studying English Literature hasn’t made me hate reading, instead, it’s only served to invigorate my love for books and I will continue to be the girl who has more books than anything in her room, who spends hours browsing in Waterstones, or Foyles. Of course, I won’t miss the heavy, rambling theory, essay deadlines and exams as much. Or the books I was assigned that I didn’t enjoy (trying to get through Lolita and Heart of Darkness to name a few were excruciating) thankfully the nature of my degree meant that I could skip most of those ones…

Instead here’s a list of my favourite set-text books over the past four years:

 

  1. The Dispossessed, Ursula K. Le Guin 

An ambitious novel of anarchist utopia, The Dispossessed is my favourite assigned text I’ve read for my degree. It was on the list of one of my favourite modules – Alternative Lifeworlds Fiction (Science Fiction and the Weird). Sci-fi and dystopian narratives are my favourite genre to read as well as write in, and Ursula K. Le Guin being the Queen of sci-fi, I’m surprised it took me this long to discover this novel!

  1. The Picture of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde

I had already read this novel for my Extended Essay when doing the International Baccalaureate. Returning to it in my second year at uni, for my 19th century literature module only confirmed the text as one of my favourites. Oscar Wilde is famous for his personality and witticisms as well as his writing. With many interesting theories about art and life, I think the final line of the preface to A Picture of Dorian Gray, ‘All art is quite useless’ – is a challenge to the reader. For studies or just for a good read, I don’t think I’ll ever tire of reading The Picture of Dorian Gray.

  1. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, Junot Diaz

This novel is the heart-breaking story of Oscar, who lives with his Dominican family in New Jersey. The novel is humorous, sad, moving and deeply poignant for our time, raising important questions about the tenuous historical relationship between the Dominican Republic and North America and the life of the Dominican diaspora in America. I quickly read Diaz’ other published works, his short story collections, Drown, and This is how you lose her – both of which I’d highly recommend.

  1. A Fine Balance, Rohinton Mistry

Similar to the previous title, I recently read A Fine Balance for a new module about Global cities. Mistry’s novel is set in an ‘unidentified city’ with many hints that it’s Mumbai. The long epic novel, is about how various characters from very different backgrounds come together in a turbulent time in history. A Fine Balance takes you on an emotional rollercoaster engaging you so deeply in the characters’ struggles its hard to put down, even through their most devastating moments.

  1. Accelerando, Charles Stross 

Accelerando is unlike any other science fiction novel I have ever read. It’s title refers to the speeding up of time and development of humanity as the novel charts three generations of a family into the future. Despite the complex themes and concepts the novel handles, I found it a mind-blowing enlightening read and will definitely have to revisit it at some point as there’s so much to get out of Stross’ complex, world.

  1. The Female Man, Joanna Russ

The Female Man is a  radical feminist, science fiction. It cleverly  deconstructs many myths concerning gender. The novel follows four different women living in parallel worlds. The contrasts between the worlds and the way the women’s lives intersect not only made it a dream to analyse but also a great read.

  1. Midnight Robber, Nalo Hopkinson

One of the great things about the Science-Fiction module I studied, is that it interested me to Afro-Futurism. In the future, seven-year-old Tan-Tan Habib finds herself travelling through time to an alternate universe version of her city called New Half-Way Tree. Recently I read this great article that says: “In order to find purpose and affirmation, a Black artist must undermine time and space as we know it to find a place for his or herself.” It’s novels like Hopkinson’s Midnight Robber, that achieves this and more.

8. Persepolis, Marjane Satrapi

I don’t normally read comics and yet I thoroughly enjoyed Satrapi’s graphic autobiography. Persepolis is the story of Satrapi’s early adult and years in Iran during and after the Islamic revolution. The comic is not only educational but it’s very clever in how it draws the reader in through the images to engage with the author’s emotional journey growing up in a world of revolution.

  1. Ilustrado, Miguel Syjuco

I tend to get frustrated with unreliable narrators, however the narrator in Ilustrado leads the reader deep into the lives of the two protagonists, Miguel Syjuco and his dead mentor. On the surface Ilustrado is a mystery, focused on Miguel’s search for his dead mentor’s missing manuscript, however this search becomes about so much more.  

  1. Bleak House, Charles Dickens

With over 800 pages, Bleak House is a trek of a novel, and yet it’s completely worth the read. It’s often described as the first murder-mystery novel. But what really sells the novel for me is Dicken’s unforgettable, hilarious and well-developed characters.

 

Some honourable mentions that almost most the list, and I would definitely recommend to others are – My Brilliant Friend by Ella Ferrante and Ursula K. le Guin’s short story, “Those Who Walk Away from Omeleas”.

My favourite discovery on my course was the incredible poet and activist Audre Lorde. While her collection “The Black Unicorn” wasn’t assigned to me, I thoroughly enjoyed writing about her and soon went on to read her alternative ‘biomythography’ – Zami: A New Spelling of My Name.

Being assigned books has meant that I’ve of course had to study books I didn’t enjoy but it has also forced me to read outside my comfort zone and there’s nothing like enjoying a book you wouldn’t have come across of your own volition.

What books have you studied or that were recommended to you and you ended up liking?

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5 Useful tools to begin the journey of querying

In January I finally finished a novel length project I had been working on since 2013. Soon after I managed to muster up enough courage to take the tentative steps into the world of querying agents and hopefully start the long journey towards publication. Writing is my passion and after finishing the novel project I felt many things; relief, happiness, dread (for the long editing process ahead), and excitement at being at a stage I had never been before – mildly happy and satisfied with the finished project.

I’m only at the beginning of a long process, just dipping my toes into a very vast, wide pool of which I still have much to learn. I still hesitate to call my finished piece a novel. I still have so much editing to do. And I still find myself thinking, what on earth were you thinking April!? – when I read through it.

And yet I’ve already learnt so much and couldn’t help but formulate a list of helpful tools I wish could have been at my fingertips when starting.

 

  1. Blogs and sites by authors and literary agents.

One of the best ways in which I’ve been educated about the world of publishing is from the horse’s mouth, namely blogs where literary agents reveal what they like to see in a query, their pet peeves and a place where they answer all big and little questions from; how long should I wait before nudging an agent about my requested manuscript, to what is the best etiquette when communicating with agents.

The blog I cannot recommend enough is by US agent, Janet Reid. She regularly updates her blog with a wealth of invaluable information about writing, querying and publication.

 

  1. Useful sites to help with querying

Kind of similar to my first point, here I just really wanted to promote another one of Janet Reid’s sites: Query Shark. This site is an absolute must for consultation when attempting to formulate your own query.

 

  1. The best and (least expensive) agent databases

How to find your own agent? – is a frequently asked question from debut writers. And here I’m attempting to answer; How to find your own agent through the most least expensive route? There are few sites out there that require quite substantial descriptions. And there are some that require none, such as Query Tracker.

Agent hunter falls somewhere in between the two extremes. It requires a subscription fee depending on how many months you want to use the database. However, I’d recommend it because the fee is quite minimal. Agent Hunter allows you to search for agents via genre, so that you can find an agent who is looking for novels like yours quicker than it would take to look by making individual searches of random agents.

In addition, it focuses on UK agents which is very useful if like me, this is what you’re looking for. And often the agent’s page on the site might have more information about what they’re looking for and what kind of clients they represent, than the agent will have on their own agency page.

 

  1. Twitter and other social media sites

Search, #MSWL in twitter and you’ll find a stream of tweets by agents tweeting their Manuscript Wish List of what kind of manuscripts they’re currently looking for. There’s also an accompanying website, with further information about the agents who are posting topics for their wish list. The only slight problem with this method of looking for agents, is that they tend to be American, which again is a positive or negative depending on what kind of agent you’re looking for.

 

  1. Your own book!

I conclude my basic list of advice with probably quite an obvious factor that helped me in looking for agents and querying, and that is of course my novel. The first slightly more positive rejection I received, in which the agent expressed the fact that she liked my query and sample but it wasn’t right for her current list, was an agent I found because she represented an author whose books were very similar to mine.

I think it helped to begin with quite a straight forward approach of thinking of books that were similar to mine, in genre or writing style, I then looked to see who represented them through google and finally, I checked if the agent might also be right for my novel and was open to queries. I imagined if my published novel was on a shelf in a bookshop, what books would be standing next to it?

 

Do you have any recommended useful tools for querying? Any particular sites or methods that have worked well for you?

Hometown Holland

Firstly, I’m aware that I have chosen alliteration over geographical truth in my title – I live in the Netherlands not Holland which is a small region in the country and not the official name for the country. And while my ‘hometown’ may not qualify as a new place I’ve travelled too, I’ve been feeling a lot of love for the Netherlands recently. So I thought I’d blog about the top five reasons why I’m glad that my family still live in the Netherlands and I can visit them in the Summer.

  1. cycling

This is what I miss the most when I’m living in England and studying at University. The Dutch are crazy about their bikes, something my family and I quickly learnt when we moved to the Netherlands in 2002 and our neighbours expressed their astonishment that at age 8 and 7, my older sister and I did not know how to ride a bike. This was soon remedied as my neighbours had my sister out on their bike, somewhat roughly, somewhat kindly, insistently teaching her the way to do it. I learnt the following year and then in secondary school, no matter the weather, (and I really mean no matter the weather, come rain, snow or hail) we were out cycling the fifty-minute route to school. It gave us the kind of freedom we would never have had growing up in South-East London. We could get ourselves to and from ice-skating and swimming lessons, meet up with our friends in town and even cycle home safely and easily after a night out without having to disturb our parents.

Years on and one of the best things about coming home is still being able to get out and cycle in Waalre and Eindhoven.

bikes-pixabay

  1. The People

Dutch people are very chill. And not because weed is legal, but because I believe it is part of their culture. They’re often described as being quite ‘blunt’, meaning that they’re very open and direct which can sometimes be perceived as a bad thing. Mostly it’s nice to be around people who say hi to you on the street, strike up a chat while you’re shopping. I remember trying on a coat in a shop and a lady coming up to me and abruptly helping me into the coat, sorting out the collar and declaring I had to buy it because it really suited me. When I got into a minor accident with my bike and a car, a couple cars were quick to stop, pull up on the side of the road and make sure I was okay. I’m aware that I’m generalising here, but based on my experiences, Dutch people are more often, incredibly nice and welcoming. Which brings me to my next point…

Waalre

Waalre

  1. Safety, NL is childhood heaven

The Netherlands regularly tops the list of the safest country to raise your children and I can easily see why. It was great growing up there. I had much more freedom to go out cycling and rollerblading in our neighbourhood without any parental supervision, something we would never have been able to do in London.

High-Tech Campus in Eindhoven

 

 

  1. The countryMy street leading from Waalre into Eindhoven

My family lives in Waalre which is a tiny, suburb like village, which means we get all the peace and qui

et that comes when you live in a small town, but we also reap the benefits of living twenty minutes away from Eindhoven, a much bigger town that has lots to do without having all of the intensity of a bigger city like London. In addition the small nature of NL means that Amsterdam is just over an hour train ride away, a city that is so picturesque it almost feels like no matter where or when you take a snap over a canal it always ends up looking like this the picture below; unfiltered, natural, city beauty.

 

Canal in Amsterdam

  1. Dutch pancakes

I have a confession to make; I prefer Dutch ‘pannekoeken’ to french crepes and American pancakes. Crepes can be too thin and small. Give me a thick, pizza sized dutch pancake with apple, bacon and cinnamon and I’m happy. Proffertjes – tiny pancakes are delicious as well.

Bacon and apple cinnamon Dutch pancake

So there you have it, five reasons why I’m going to miss the Netherlands in October when I head back to England for my final year at University.

Do you miss your hometown when you’re away? What makes it special for you?

Goodbye Paris, Goodbye EU

Two weeks ago my parents drove to Paris to take me home. We had chosen the worst day and worst hour to move out as France were playing against the Republic of Ireland and the fan zone in the Eiffel Tower Park was crowded with hundreds of football fans. Nevertheless, we eventually finished carrying all of my boxes and bags down the seven flights of stairs, I said goodbye to my lovely landlords and to the small chambre de bonne in which I had been staying in for the past nine months and finally, goodbye to Paris.

I’ve had an amazing year. Paris is expensive and working part time as an au pair and having the Erasmus grant gave me some breathing space. It’s also meant that I’ve had privilege to travel to Ireland, Bordeaux, Valencia, Brussels, Germany and Italy from Paris.

IWP_20160207_21_00_22_Rich‘m going to miss a lot of things; seeing Parisians carrying and already eating their baguettes on the streets (back home they call them French sticks…?), the fresh bread, pain au chocolat, art museums, sitting by the Seine, the French brasseries, the crêperies, the tiny, but very chic Parisian bars where my and friends and I often ended up drinking over-expensive glasses of wine on the terrasse, being in the fan zone for the free David Guetta and Zara Larsson concert, the two girls I looked after, the Versailles gardens… even just having to constantly try to speak French. I think my brain will miss the extra challenge! But most of all I’m going to miss, walking down Avenue de Suffren in the evening, after a long day and seeing the Eiffel Tower light up and sparkle on the hour.

It was strange seeing many of my friends who chose not to do a year abroad post on Facebook results of their degrees and how they are relieved their dissertations are over. I still have to go back to Warwick for my final year and yet I know choosing to do a year abroad was the right decision for me. It wasn’t always easy, being in Paris when the attacks happened and my friends and I have had our fair share of disagreements with how some of the ways things are done at Paris-Sorbonne. But it has always been a learning experience, through the highs and lows.

For anyone considering doing an Erasmus year; if you’re looking for a bit of an adventure, a time when for once your studies do not have to be your priority, the chance to travel, to experience a new culture and meet people all over the world then I cannot recommend this experience enough.

We live in an increasingly globalised world where unlike hundreds of years ago, it is much easier for some people to jump on a plane and cross continents in a matter of hours instead of months. Growing up in an international school at Eindhoven has definitely shaped my perspective on how I view the world, but I think it was the first time that I travelled without my parents to Spain, for a volunteering camp where I helped Spanish students with English, that I first really caught the travelling bug.

I was devastated to find out on the morning of 24th June that the UK had voted to leave the EU. Two days before officially ending my Erasmus year it was very sad to know that in the future, other UK students may not have the chance to be part of the Erasmus programme anymore. In such an increasingly globalised world it seemed shocking that the UK were taking steps away from unifying with other European countries in terms of valuable trade and services, instead it feels like we are taking fatal steps back into our past stances of isolationism.

I don’t want to go on a political rant, however I felt that I could not write my goodbye post to Paris without mentioning the referendum. I of course voted Remain, and it seemed that most people in my social circle, young people, students and English expats voted the same.

Because I am:

  • An ex-English expat,
  • A student at Warwick University where a large portion of the students and staff are EU and international students,
  • An Erasmus student
  • And the grandchild of grandparents who moved from Jamaica to London in the ’60s in the hopes of a better life,

I voted Remain. I stand by that vote after Boris and Farage suddenly left their posts as head leaders of the leave campaign and several of their promises have revealed to be lies. I stand by that vote after hate crimes against immigrants have been seen to be on the rise in the UK.

I don’t think the EU is perfect and I’m aware that serious changes need to be made in the EU and in the UK; with the NHS and poorer areas of our country where unemployment is leading people to desperation.

I don’t think that leaving the EU was the right change we needed to make. And so I will head back to the UK in October, slightly scared and worried about the divided country I will return to. Hopefully we are only going through the worst of it now, and things will pick up politically and economically for the UK. Now that the deciding vote has been cast we can only wait and see. I am just thankful that I will have my many, warm memories of ‘Pah-ree’ to look back on when I return.

WP_20160507_06_03_20_Pro 1

My Top Ten Dystopian, Post-Apocalypse Novels you may not have heard of

Everyone is buzzing about the new trend of terrifying post-apocalyptic, dystopian, science fiction novels. In particular, Young Adult dystopian novels. Suzanne Collin’s The Hunger Games Trilogy and Veronica Roth’s novel Divergent are examples of some of the most popular of this genre on the rise. As a long-time fan of dystopian and science fiction novels I viewed this trend with initial excitement and then later, with disappointment at the amount of unoriginal novels that are churning out at a rather rapid rate under this enthralling genre.

I’ve decided to draw up my own list of my top ten dystopian, post-apocalypse, Young Adult and Adult novels that were published before this rising trend. I decided to leave out big titles such as George Orwell’s 1984, Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaiden’s Tale or Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World and instead focused on the more recent and slightly lesser known titles.

 1. Mortal Engines by Philip Reeve

Mortamortal enginesl Engines is the first book of four novels in the ‘Instrumental Devices’ series and is number one on my list because it checks all the essential criteria of a good sci-fi novel. It has great characters that develop and grow throughout the series, an original concept and setting and finally, an action-packed plot. Mortal Engines is set in a post-apocalyptic world that was destroyed by the nuclear ‘Sixty Minute War’. All cities have broken off from their former countries to become ‘Traction Cities’, individual states that can move and must ‘consume’ smaller cities for their parts and engines in order to keep moving.

Mortal Engines has now been labelled under the new genre of ‘Steampunk’ novels, nevertheless it is still very much a thrilling post-apocalyptic sci-fi novel that deserves to be read!

2. The Road by Cormac McCarthy

The Road is one of the the roadmost haunting post-apocalypse novels I have ever read. It offers its readers no
comfort or hope, or explanation for why a man and his son are wandering the road. Their only aim seems to be survival and it is this idea – that in the end nothing will matter but survival is what is the most terrifying.

I’ve sneaked The Road on this list even though it is definitely more well-known than some of the other titles on this list due to the fact that Cormac McCarthy has published many other great novels. In addition the novel was made into a film in 2009

 3. Exoduexoduss by Julie Bertagna

At a time when climate change is becoming an increasingly pertinent issue, Julie Bertagna’s trilogy demonstrates the possible consequences our energy consuming habits could have. The first title of the series, Exodus is set in the year 2100. The melting ice caps have caused the shoreline to rise and Mara’s home, island of Wing will soon disappear under the waves.

4. The Carbon Diaries: 2015, by Saci Lloyd

I recently read aThe Carbon Diariesn article that suggested the reason why dystopian novels have recently become so popular is because we anticipate that our future will be similar to the dark, twisted novels that we are reading. Current political crises and the increasing threat of climate change might be what is causing us to turn to novels filled with dark post-apocalyptic imagery. If so, then the Carbon Diaries: 2015 is a very relevant novel for those interested in issues surrounding climate change and anyone who is interested in how our mistakes might catch up with us next year, rather than a hundred years into the future.

In the series, the UK has imposed carbon rationing due to recent natural disasters. The book is written in diary format, chronicling a year in the life of Laura, a sixteen year-old student in London whose life is nearly taken over by the stress of rationing, extreme weather and her family issues.

5. Never Let Never let me goMe Go, Kazuo Ishiguro

Like The Road, Never Let Me Go is not full of intense action scenes, instead Kazuo Ishiguro engages his readers through a much more subtle horror. The novel follows the story of Kathy and her friends who are raised in Hailsham, a very special boarding school in England. Never Let Me Go has also been adapted into a film, which is worth watching, but sOryxAndCraketill read the book first!

6. Oryx and Crake, Margaret Atwood

I loved Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaiden’s Tale and think that this novel is also recommendable. Oryx and Crake has a very imaginative and original plot. It begins after the collapse of civilization by an event which is later explained by the protagonist, Snowman.

Uglies7. Uglies, Scott Westerfield

Scott Westerfield’s series of books; Uglies, Pretties, Specials and Extras is really well known however I wanted to include Uglies on my list because I think his books are so relevant today, in a world where people are becomingly increasingly concerned with looking like the models and celebrities we see in the media.

8. Children of the Dust by Louise Lawrence

Children of the Dust is one of the more weird and scary post-children of the dustapocalyptic novels on my list. The book jumps from three generations of a family during the
aftermath of a nuclear war. As you can imagine a lot changes in the family, as they struggle first against radiation, then a nuclear winter and finally feuds between rival groups to eventually become radiation-induced mutations and evolve into a new species.

The Giver9. The Giver by Lois Lowry

The Giver presents a classic seemingly utopian society in which people have eliminated pain by converting to “Sameness” a plan that has also eradicated emotions and empathy from their lives. The novel follows the story of Jonas who has been selected to inherit the position of ‘Receiver of Memory’ or the ‘Giver’. The Giver has the role of storing all the past memories of the time before Sameness in case they are ever needed to aid in decisions that others lack the experience to make. I didn’t enjoy some of the other novels in the series like Gathering Blue, but would recommend The Giver as an enjoyable read.

Hybrids10. Hybrids by David Thorpe

I love the concept behind David Thorpe’s Hybrids, where teenagers are affected by a virus that causes them to merge with frequently used technology to become Hybrids. The virus has caused Britain to go under quarantine and the Hybrids are being rounded up by the Gene Police and sent to a mysterious Centre for Genetic Rehabilitation.

Now this is a dystopian future I can imagine coming true! I’m not proud to confess that I would probably end up merging with my mobile phone.

So that’s my top ten, a mix of young adult and adult dystopian, science fiction novels. As mentioned before I’m sure there are a lot more I could add, such as Lauren Oliver’s Delirium which also has a very intriguing concept.

What books would you add to the list? Or more importantly if you were a hybrid, which frequently-used technology would you most likely end up being merged with?

‘How I met… Robin Scherbatsky!’ Himym Series Finale Review

So what b4220035518_f3b53305d1_metter time to begin my blog, than on the first day of April, the month which I am named after (but is not the month of my birthday, just in case you were wondering) and just so happens to be the day that I watched the last episode of ‘How I met your Mother’ (HIMYM). How I met your mother, those five words that began a long story that has kept thousands of viewers guessing for nine long series, and surprisingly, kept me guessing too. Its rare that a twist in a series or film can catch me so off guard, yet the ending of HIMYM for me, was a pleasant surprise and here’s why.

*Spoilers ahead*

I have been a fan of HIMYM from the very beginning. I liked the fact that the episodes were only twenty minutes, which meant that I could convince myself I was only taking a twenty minute break, when the reality was, as we all know that one episode quickly follows another… I liked the characters and felt that they all had their equally hilarious moments. Above all I liked how the creators played around with how they told Ted’s stories, with episodes like ‘The Burning Beekeeper’ which is about a housewarming party Marshall and Lilly have. Future Ted explains to his kids how the party fell about in five minutes by describing the events of the night room by room.

Then there were the small stories that ran throughout the series, such as the Play book, ‘Blitz’, and the ‘slap bet’. I was surprised that a lot of HIYM fans I know were put off by the last series of HIMYM because of the fact that unlike the rest of the series you needed to be familiar with the story line to enjoy it. Which I suppose to an extent is true, but not necessarily a criticism of the last series. When a show has been running for 200+ episodes I expect that its fans are expecting to find out how all these stories come to an end. And to my relief, the last series did exactly that. We get to find out what happens to Blitz, we see the last slap, and we even get to find out what happens to characters like Patrice and Ranjit.

I do think that because there were so many loose ends that needed to be tied up, and the fact that the gang’s friendship had sort of reached its peak, a lot of the episodes in season nine weren’t as funny as the earlier episodes.

Finally, I was getting worried that after having watched 200+ episodes with Marshall, Lily, Barney and Ted, when we finally met Ted’s wife, she would just be some stranger. But again, this problem was solved by the inclusion of little snippets of Ted’s future with his wife, who I thought was perfect for Ted, nice, likable, a little geeky.

I was surprised at how far the final episode went with tying up ends, that we even end up seeing how Ted and the mother’s relationship ends, when she passes away. I couldn’t believe it. Most series or films leave us with the promise of a happy ever after, but here we were seeing it all; how the gang grew apart, Barney and Robin splitting up. After watching a whole season set completely in the couple days of their wedding, we end up seeing how they split up after three years!

Thankfully, all this was remedied, with the promise of another happy ending, it turns out the story wasn’t only about how Ted met his kid’s mother, but how he ends up with Robin Scherbatsky. The final scene when he turns up at her apartment building holding up the blue horn, remedied the massive jumps into the gangs’ troubled future. Don’t get me wrong, cheesy happy endings are not always the best, but after 200+ episodes and countless of bad relationships, I wanted, no needed a happy ending for Ted Mosby! By referring to the very first episode it suddenly made sense that Ted ended up with Robin, but that’s just my opinion. What do you think?