Update: 100k in the month of May

So, I just thought I’d post a quick update on here as to how I’m doing with my challenge!

Firstly, I’ve beaten my £126 target in donations! To everyone who has donated, thank you so, so much. It honestly means the absolute world to me.

Secondly, I’m currently sitting on 73.76km. Not ideal considering I have six days left, but I’m sure I can manage it. Plus, there is a reason I fell behind.

The last 10k run I did, I must’ve twisted my knee or something of the sort. My knees can play up at the best of times, and I’ve noticed them aching before, usually when walking Gigi downhill (I don’t know, but that seems to be the theme). In my 10k route, there is a steep downhill section. I do slow down here, to relieve the pressure on my joints, but clearly it wasn’t enough.

The following day, I hurt. But I wasn’t surprised. It was my second 10k in years and so naturally I was expecting to feel the consequences, especially after having pushed myself so hard, so quickly. But it was the day after that when I really noticed my knees hurting. Even walking on the flat was sore, let alone up/down stairs. Running was a definite no.

So I took a few days off. I spoke about it on my Instagram account (@natalierunsforbmdr) and a few lovely people reached out to me with advice and suggestions. I now own a knee support, which helps a lot, although I only got one whereas both my knees hurt. A second should be delivered soon. I’m back running now, this time shorter distances and along the local railway (well, was-railway) trail, so it’s flatter. This is definitely helping, and I am determined to complete this challenge.

If there is one thing I can be, it’s persistent. When I set my mind to doing something, it will be done. The reason I’m doing this challenge – to help Barking Mad Dog Rescue – is what motivates me. I will complete it, I can and will push through any pain to continue.

This challenge has made me realise how much I love running too, so that’s another reason I’m determined to get up and carry on.

In a week’s time I’ll be writing a completion post. That is a promise both to you and to myself.

I’ll see you then.



Running 100k in the month of May for charity

I decided I’d do something with my time and raise some money for the charity which rescued Gigi – Barking Mad Dog Rescue. With Covid-19, they’re becoming overwhelmed with the influx of dogs they have and the fact that no dogs can be rehomed at the moment isn’t helping them at all.

Barking Mad Dog Rescue are a charity that rescues dogs in Romania and finds them loving and caring homes in the UK and Germany. Not only that, but they help locals who don’t necessarily have the education on how best to care for their companion. They do amazing work and are incredible people. But as I said, they need help desperately.

Food, vets bills, and other pet supplies don’t come cheap. I promise you even one dog can be expensive!

So this month, I’m challenging myself to run 100 kilometres throughout the month of May. As of today, I’m on 39.11k, actually slightly ahead of schedule!

This challenge is really hard, and it is pushing me to my limits, but knowing I am helping more dogs like Gigi is really motivating.

Gigi is my world. She gets me out of bed in the mornings, offers unconditional love, and never fails to make me smile with her antics.

If you can donate, even the smallest amount, my JustGiving link is this:


If you have instagram, you can follow my progress at @natalierunsforbmdr

If you can’t donate, please share this so that it might reach someone who can. Everything helps at the moment, and myself, BMDR, and the dogs are all so grateful.

Thank you.


Hello… It’s me again

Well, yes, you could say I have my tail between my legs. I’ve not posted anything in the longest time but ANYWAY. I’m back.

There are a few changes around here! You’ll notice the name/domain change, I assume, but the content will be different too. More varied, I suppose.

Since my last post, I’ve graduated uni and moved to the coast. I prefer it here. It’s a fresh start, in my favourite place. I really didn’t want to go back to my hometown after uni – too many faces to avoid and unwanted memories – and my family had been debating moving anyway. So here we are.

I’m now learning about dog behaviour, so I’m sure some of my posts will cover dogs. My Romanian rescue Gianna is my life. I dote on her, so no doubt she’ll make appearances.

I’ll still be talking about books. But other things too: coastal life, countryside living, dogs, writing, mental health, crafts, Lucy Spraggan, and dogs.

I’m excited to get cracking again writing posts. Recently I’ve realised I’ve missed it. I let things hold me back from posting when really I need to block them from my life and carry on with doing this, something that makes me happy.

Speak soon.


October TBR 2018

I’m praying that October is a better reading month than September, or I’ll never complete my Goodreads goal! I have so many magical / creepy / just downright perfect books to read this month, and I’d love to get to as many as possible!

  • The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle – Stuart Turton
  • City of Ghosts – Victoria Schwab
  • The Dark Descent Of Elizabeth Frankenstein – Kiersten White
  • Stalking Jack the Ripper – Kerri Maniscalco
  • Black-eyed Susans – Julia Heaberlin
  • The Wicked Deep – Shea Ernshaw
  • Bruja Born – Zoraida Córdova
  • The Woman in White – Wilkie Collins
  • Wicked Like a Wildfire and Fierce Like a Firestorm (preordered) – Lana Popović



Review: What I Lost – Alexandra Ballard


Genre: Contemporary, YA

Publication Date: June 6th 2017 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Format: Hardcover copy I purchased myself. 

What sixteen-year-old Elizabeth has lost so far: forty pounds, four jean sizes, a boyfriend, and her peace of mind. As a result, she’s finally a size zero. She’s also the newest resident at Wallingfield, a treatment center for girls like her—girls with eating disorders. Elizabeth is determined to endure the program so she can go back home, where she plans to start restricting her food intake again. She’s pretty sure her mom, who has her own size 0 obsession, needs treatment as much as she does. Maybe even more. Then Elizabeth begins receiving mysterious packages. Are they from her ex-boyfriend, a secret admirer, or someone playing a cruel trick?

(From goodreads.com)

Content warnings: eating disorders (very detailed descriptions, weight talk etc), self-harm, anxiety, depression, mental health. 

Holy crap this book. I don’t know if I just picked it up at the right time or what but it just resonated with me and I loved it. It’s raw and unfiltered but honestly just brilliant. That ending. The ending was what I needed to read, put it that way. No spoilers, don’t worry!

I loved the growth of Elizabeth as the story progresses. We hear her thoughts change and develop as time goes on, and what she learns in the process. I loved this. Nothing felt forced, she didn’t magically get better, it was real. It felt real. I have no experience of inpatient ED treatment so cannot comment on that aspect specifically, but her thought processes nonetheless felt genuine.

The friendships she made were so so beautiful and I loved each and every one of her friends. SHE HAD GOOD FRIENDS. I swear there are so many books out there which focus on mental health where the friends are just absent, but I loved her friends here. It was such a wonderful addition to the story that she still had contact with her friends from school. 

The mystery packages added an extra dimension to the story which held my interest but didn’t overshadow the main focus (Elizabeth’s recovery) which I did initially worry would happen. I loved the outcome, but will say no more about it. 

The focus on family was extremely well done too; everyone’s situation was different but shown with empathy and they felt genuine. No perfect families were included, and I couldn’t be more grateful. Everyone has their own struggles and it takes a lot for someone to recognise theirs and this was explored a lot throughout this novel. 

This review is one long gushing mess, and for that, I apologise. As long as it’s safe for you to do so, I strongly encourage you to pick this one up! I hadn’t heard of it before I stumbled upon it on Amazon, but it’s so, so worth a read. The representation (from my experience – though I don’t want to go into that too much) is extremely well done and I cannot recommend this book enough if you want a book about eating disorders. 

Rating: 5 / 5 🌟 

Book Unhaul – Round Three

And here I bring you my third unhaul of the summer. Considering I never really get rid of books, I’m doing exceptionally well I’d say!

They are all for sale on my depop shop, but if you’re interested but don’t have depop, feel free to leave a comment or message me on Instagram (@bookographic) or Twitter (@nats_cotterill).

  • Ketchup Clouds – Annabel Pitcher
  • My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece – Annabel Pitcher
  • Ashes – Ilsa J. Bick
  • One Day – David Nicholls
  • A Long Way Down – Nick Hornby
  • After the Quake – Haruki Murakami
  • Relativity – Antonia Hayes
  • The Five People You Meet in Heaven – Mitch Albom
  • Legend, Prodigy, and Champion – Marie Lu
  • The Girl With All the Gifts – M. R. Carey
  • The Bookshop – Penelope Fitzgerald
  • Orbiting Jupiter – Gary D. Schmidt
  • The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer – Michelle Hodkin
  • Zac & Mia – A. J. Betts
  • The Letter – Katheryn Hughes
  • The Woman Who Went to Bed For a Year – Sue Townsend



A Post of Rambling Thoughts

I just felt like writing this post, though I have no clue where it is going to go. I’m unwell; after about two years of no major flares, my autoimmune condition has decided to rear its head again and I’m feeling all round a bit meh.

I’ve been in a weird mood all day: floating through motions but refreshing every social media site in the hope of someone saying something or something happening. I don’t know what. I don’t think I even care.

Days like this are tough. On the outside I look absolutely fine, but I’m, well, not. It could be nothing; I could be worrying about something that will be completely gone tomorrow morning and I’ll get up, go to the gym and feel great. Or I could need prescription strength painkillers to simply walk out of my room. At this point, I don’t know, and that’s the worst bit.

I guess one way of describing it is like the feeling you get when you’re coming down with a cold. You mentally note to add more tissues to your bag and stock up on flu medicine. Except it’s worse. Because a cold is normal – I can say to someone ‘oh I have a cold’ and they get it. When I say ‘I have a crap immune system’ they go ‘same’. But what I mean is every so often it literally attacks itself, but hey. It’s easier just to nod.

‘You don’t look ill’ is always a classic. I remember someone saying that to me when they came around to my house with my boyfriend at the time to drop off some work, as I was off school for two weeks after an entire summer of being stuck inside, ill. I feel embarrassed explaining, so I don’t. But then I feel embarrassed when I don’t.

With something like this, and I guess it’s similar for many chronic illnesses though I’m only talking about myself here as everyone is different, a mental note to add a packet of tissues or paracetamol to my bag isn’t enough. During one flare I made it around my uni applicant day, I even made it into school (though it was sixth form and I was doing half days and mum bless her came and picked me up / dropped me off). After that applicant day though, I couldn’t move for three days straight. That’s what I need to prepare for.

A week tomorrow, I’m supposed to be heading back to university. I’ll be driving myself, which leads me with my first issue: do I want to drive for three hours pumped full of various medicines? Medicines that make me so sleepy one consultant even asked how I managed to stay awake in the day (energy drinks and caffeine – lots of caffeine. And naps). Then there’s the question of how I will actually cope alone at uni – I’ve never been on my own for a flare before, all the little jobs that I am simply unable to do are done by my mum.

I guess I’m writing this post as it’s a way of getting thoughts out without burdening or ranting at anyone in particular. I don’t seek sympathy, just a place to exercise my thoughts. If this does end up as a full flare, I’ve been through worse ones.

If you’ve made it this far, I can only thank you, and maybe hope you’ve taken something from it.

So I’m going to plan a reading list or something, maybe reread a favourite book to lift my mood. If you have any recommendations of books that talk about chronic illness – maybe have the main character with something, for example – please let me know! I’d prefer YA, but anything is okay really. ☺️




September TBR 2018

I realise, in spite of a good start to the month, I’ve been a bit absent in my posts. I mean, there are several reasons why that I don’t really want to go into too much (just know that struggling with mental health is absolutely exhausting) and also that so far in August, I’ve read 15 books. FIFTEEN. That’s a new record for me, I’m so proud. This summer I’ve got my Goodreads goal from 19 books behind schedule to 4. How, I don’t know.

September is going to be a strange month I think, I’m not too sure what to expect in terms of time I can spend reading. I’ll be going back to uni, and there’s all the generic admin / catching up / initial reading / appointments / packing that come with that, and I’ve got various things planned as well.

And I need to finish the first draft of my dissertation. Crap.

So, in short, I don’t know how many books I’ll get to, and I’ve been so much of a mood reader recently (more than normal I guess) that it’s hard to pinpoint exactly what I’ll get to in September, so I’ve listed a few that I’d like to get to sooner rather than later. The first two books on this list are for uni though, so those are a given.

  • Journals – R. F. Langley
  • Complete Poems – R. F. Langley
  • Girl Made of Stars – Ashley Herring Blake
  • Emergency Contact – Mary H. K. Choi
  • Crown of Midnight – Sarah J. Maas (I’m feeling like trying to pick one up every month from this series)
  • Marlena – Julie Buntin
  • The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender – Leslye Walton (After reading The Price Guide to the Occult in August and adoring it, it’s about time I picked this one up!)
  • Only Love Can Break Your Heart – Katherine Webber
  • All These Beautiful Strangers – Elizabeth Klehfoth (I’m really enjoying thrillers at the moment for some reason)
  • Neverworld Wake – Marisha Pessl


Book Unhaul – Round Two

So I’ve got the bug now and I’m going through all of the books in my house. I haven’t had a clear out in the longest time, hence why there are so many! I thought I’d do a second post with all of the ones that I’ve added to my depop shop since.


  • Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief – Rick Riordan
  • Me and Earl and the Dying Girl – Jesse Andrews
  • The Rest of Us Just Live Here – Patrick Ness
  • The Hostage, The Rescue, Hunted (The Medusa Project) – Sophie McKenzie
  • Blood Ties and Blood Ransom – Sophie McKenzie
  • Dragon Rider – Cornelia Funke
  • Before I Die – Jenny Downham
  • The Electra Brown series – Helen Bailey (5 books)
  • Carbonel the Prince of Cats, and The Kingdom of Carbonel – Barabara Sleigh
  • Kelly Ann trilogy – Liz Rettig
  • Where We Are – One Direction
  • The Saga of Darren Shan – Darren Shan (6 books as some are volumes)
  • Love and Kisses, Star Crazy Me!, Fortune Cookie, Ice Lolly – Jean Ure
  • Underworld – Cathy Macphail
  • Breathing Underwater – Julia Green
  • Secrets at St Jude’s Series – Carmen Reid (4 books)
  • Newes From the Dead – Mary Hooper
  • The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time – Mark Haddon
  • Go Set a Watchman – Harper Lee
  • Girl Online – Zoe Sugg
  • The 5th Wave – Rick Yancey

That’s another 42 spaces created in my house (undoubtedly for more books). A clear out this big and thorough has been a long time coming I think, I mean the fact that I’m selling a load of books I grew out of years ago says it all! 😂

I’m Unhauling Books!

I’ve finally had a sort out of all my old books and I’m getting rid of so many! Admittedly, a load of them are children’s books I should’ve parted with a long time ago, but never mind. Most of them are up for sale on my depop now, but if you don’t have an account on there and see something you’re interested in, just let me know either on twitter (@nats_cotterill) or in the comments on here. I’m just going to get listing as there are a lot!

  • Landline – Rainbow Rowell
  • Lobsters – Tom Ellen and Lucy Ivison
  • The Perks of Being a Wallflower – Stephen Chbosky
  • Maybe One Day – Melissa Kantor
  • Two Boys Kissing – David Levithan
  • Everyday – David Levithan
  • All the Bright Places – Jennifer Niven
  • Matched – Allie Condie
  • Gone – Michael Grant
  • The Vampire Diaries books 1-5 – L. J. Smith (three books in total as two include two books!)
  • The Black Book of Secrets – F. E. Higgins
  • Girl, Missing – Sophie McKenzie
  • The ‘All About Eve’ trilogy – Sophie McKenzie
  • I Was Jane Austen’s Best Friend – Cora Harrison
  • Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between – Jennifer E. Smith
  • The Geography of You and Me – Jennifer E. Smith
  • Uglies – Scott Westerfeld
  • Pretties – Scott Westerfeld
  • Splendour – Anna Godbersen
  • Small Steps – Louis Sachar
  • Kisses for Lula – Samantha Mackintosh
  • 13 Little Blue Envelopes – Maureen Johnson
  • Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – J. K. Rowling
  • The Spiderwick Chronicles – Tony Diterlizzi and Holly Black (five books!)
  • Noughts and Crosses series – Malorie Blackman (four books!)
  • Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock – Matthew Quick
  • Illuminae – Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
  • The Vampire Academy series – Richelle Mead (six books!)
  • Tender – Eve Ainsworth
  • Midnight Sun – Trish Cook
  • If I Stay – Gayle Foreman
  • Stargazing for Beginners – Jenny McLachlan
  • Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist – Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
  • The Return of the Soldier – Rebecca West
  • Sir Thomas More – Multiple authors
  • The Devil Wears Prada – Lauren Weisberger
  • The Husband’s Secret – Liane Moriarty
  • The Vicar of Wakefield – Oliver Goldsmith
  • On Chesil Beach – Ian McEwan
  • Notes on a Scandal – Zoë Heller
  • Lolly Willowes – Sylvia Townsend Warner
  • The Graduate – Charles Webb
  • Books 1-4 of the Gallagher Girls series – All Carter
  • Me Before You – Jojo Moyes
  • Awful Auntie – David Walliams
  • Ingo – Helen Dunmore
  • Remember Me volumes 1&2 – Christopher Pick
  • Chain Letter – Christopher Pike
  • Withering Tights – Louise Rennison
  • Infinite Sky – Rebecca Maizel
  • Carrie’s War – Nina Bawden
  • The Sealed Letter – Emma Donoghue
  • L’Auberge – Julia Stagg
  • Confessions of an English Opium Eater – Thomas De Quincey
  • Revolutionary Road – Richard Yates
  • Some Tame Gazelle – Barbara Pym
  • The Other Boleyn Girl – Philippa Gregory
  • Life of Pi – Yann Martel
  • Salmon Fishing in the Yemen – Paul Torday
  • The Lady Grace Mysteries Assassin – Grace Cavendish
  • The Go-Between – L. P. Hartley
  • Blitzcat – Robert Westall
  • Hitler’s Canary – Sandi Toksvig
  • Hitler’s Daughter – Jackie French
  • When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit – Judith Kerr
  • The Revenger’s Tragedy – Thomas Middleton
  • The Wife of Bath study guide
  • Hamlet study guide
  • The Storyteller – Jodi Picolut
  • Ally’s World series – Karen McCombie (13 books!)
  • Stella etc series books 3-7 – Karen McCombie
  • The Fix – Sophie McKenzie
  • Sadie Rocks! books 1 and 2 – Karen McCombie
  • Truth Dare Kiss Promise series – Cathy Hopkins (8 books!)

There are, I believe, 115 books in total. I may have miscounted. But, needless to say, I now have a lot of free space!!