Saturday, 28 April 2018

2018 Reading

As you all know I love a good book and am happy to give pretty much anything a try. I can't go past the local charity shop without popping in to see what they've got and probably buy something on most occasions! I'm trying however to work my way through what I've got (although I know some will still sneak in!)
This will be a list of what I've read this year. I'll post it in sections - this is beginning of January to the end of April.

I've read quit a few Ken Follett books and have enjoyed them all - this one was no exception. I love the way he weaves actual factual historical events with fictional characters and their interactions with the big players (Churchill pops up frequently in this one).
I'd been wanting to read this and the sequel for ages and having managed to pick up the other one in a charity shop I bit the bullet and bought the eBook of this one so I could read them in the right order. I've liked Rob Lowe for a while and watching The West Wing a few years back made me intrigued again. It was an interesting read as he moved in interesting circles (he used to spend a lot of time as a kid hanging out with Charlie Sheen and Emilio Estevez and therefore their Dad Martin Sheen who he played alongside in The West Wing). The writing itself wasn't brilliant (in my humble opinion) but the subject matter and stories were enough to keep me hooked.

The follow up to the above. It did feel a bit like another bite at the money apple but there were new stories and having picked it up in the charity shop it was an interesting enough read!

Picked up in the charity shop. Never heard of the author but it was nice and cheap and as I said I'm always up for something new (and three books for £2!). Basically whodunnits set in the world of sports representation (a new one on me). Enjoyed the writing and didn't suss out who the killer was until the reveal which is always a bonus - will definitely keep an eye out for any more of his books.

Another charity shop bargain - 50p for a trilogy. The author's name rang a bell but the mention of witches and magic had me all in. I really enjoyed this trilogy and will definitely be on the lookout for more by Anne Bishop. She turns the norm on it's head here by having the women in charge and men drawn to serve. Of course that doesn't necessarily work out (bad apples and all that) but it makes for an interesting backdrop. The characters are great and there is a lot of humour that I find can be missing in some fantasy books. It's also very dark in places and keeps you on the edge of your seat - I really did have trouble putting it down (but had to as it's a big old book!)

This one I got for two reasons - the authors wife was pushing it on her Facebook group (as any good wife would) and it was 99p on Kindle! A fairly quick read it tells the story of the morning of events from the different perspectives of the four main characters involved in the story. The couples day starts as it normally would and then takes a dramatic twist when they answer the door. It's an easy read and did catch me out at the end, a bit dark in places with some dubious content in my opinion. I won't rush out to buy any more from him but if they come up cheap again I probably wouldn't pass it up either.

I was looking for a book to have on my phone for my cruise and the first in this series came up as free option when I was having a browse so I thought why not - got me hook line and sinker and now I've paid for the other 10! This is number 11 and I've just spotted that they are up to 13 so I'll have a couple more to buy when I finish this one!! The main character is a female FBI agent who, with help from colleagues, solves a crime (murder) in each book. They work as standalone stories but also have an ongoing background story that might confuse a little if you haven't read them in order. They are easy to read and a good bit of escapism with short chapters so it's easy to pick up and put down. I'll probably download the newest two for my break in London next week - so much lighter than 'real' books to pack!!
This is Sarah Millican's autobiography and I was looking forward to it - unfortunately I just couldn't get on with the writing style at all. I don't know what it was about it! Made it page 41 of 298 and had to admit defeat - shame!

See - told you I'd have to play catch up - another great, quick, read. The back story continues to pootle along underneath the solving of the current serial killer case. The next book is pre-ordered for July!
Pretty sure this was a cheapie on iBooks and that's a good thing. It was an ok chick lit story but kinda went the way you expected it to and the stopped - no real ending. Wouldn't recommend it!
Another cheapie - Kindle this time - this was quite a sad story, and just proves that you need to communicate with the important people in your life!

Thursday, 18 January 2018

Come on Spring

It's always about this time of year that I start to dream of Spring, lighter evenings, warmer temperatures, just generally less ugh!! I know we're the right side of the Winter Solstice and the days are getting longer but I want them to hurry up already! 

In preparation - or to fake it for now - I've given my few plants some TLC

This is the before shot. The back row is a plant I picked up in Poundland, ages ago for 50p and somehow its still going! My miniature rose. A dead herb (can't even remember which one!) All are in charity shop pots and haven't be re-potted in an age - nor have they had new soil or any food!! The glass bulb at the front contains a succulent of some sort I got in Wilkos and the plant in the square pot was donated to me by N, again no idea what it is!

And here we have them re-potted - larger pots and new soil! The dead herb got binned! Unfortunately in the process of re-potting the little one I knock all it's leaves off so that may be heading in the same direction! All the plants then got new locations...

This little guy needs some friends (or maybe replacements!)

This one gets pride of place in my new planter from Leela on Magdalen Road

One on the photo shelf

Can you see the rose hiding on the bookcase? After doing all that I decided the planter out on the balcony fire escape needed some lovin' too so that got all the dead plants and live weeds pulled out, new soil put in and now it's ready for me to come up with a low level plant/bulb to put in it! No before pic but here it is after...

There is definitely something great about getting your hands dirty!

Sunday, 14 January 2018

Well Hello There...

My last post was 31st December 2014 - how rubbish am I?

A friend mentioned a few months ago that they missed my blog (you know who you are!) I'm not entirely sure why but hey there's no accounting for taste!

Well, I thought I'd try again - no promises, no schedule, just random thoughts as and when. I may try to do the 'Lately' post semi-regularly and possibly start the 'Food Waste Friday' fridge photo's again but we'll see how it goes.

Has anything changed in the intervening 3 years...
I still have three jobs. 
I'm still living in the same place. 
I'm still trying to de-clutter and simplify. 
I still eat too much rubbish and drink way too much cherry coke! 
I gained another great niece. 
I went on an amazing cruise as a 40th birthday present to myself (now that's a post all on it's own!) 
I bought a bicycle from a friend and it's sat in the garage for a year!
I've spent a birthday and a Christmas at someone else house cat sitting.
I've laughed and cried and groaned and celebrated and commiserated and all the other stuff in between.
I've drifted away from old friends and found new ones and cemented those ones I can't get rid of ;-)

Is there more I want to achieve? Yes
Am I going to do it this year? Maybe
Am I going to beat myself up if I don't? Probably but I'll try not to.

So - I'm back, sporadically, any requests?

See you soon.


Wednesday, 31 December 2014

2014 / 2015

A few thoughts on 2014
  • only three employers this year but I did work for all of them at once for a month!
  • FINALLY sold the flat in Kent
  • got all my stuff in one place for the first time in 18 months
  • got a hi-sleeper (and still keep banging my head on it!)
  • made new friends
  • became a Great Auntie
  • was in the same place as Mum and siblings twice in one month!
  • still not missing TV
  • began volunteering at a graveyard
  • walked most of the Exeter Green Circle
And some for 2015
  • eat better
  • do that thing I don't want to do but know I have to
  • be present
  • finish some of the projects that I've been meaning to do
  • carry on with the de-cluttering
  • pay off the last bit of debt (not including the student loan, they can sing for it!!)
  • do something new
  • make the most of connections
  • spend more time outside
Wherever you are and whoever you are I wish you enough in 2015

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

lately - Dec 10th

  • adventuring - off to the Big Smoke tomorrow, lunch with old colleagues followed by being a tourist for a couple of hours
  • eating - Roly's seasalt flavoured fudge, leftovers, Chinese, popcorn
  • drinking - Orange juice, home made vanilla Bailey's hot chocolate, coke, tea, Earl Gray (the tea bags got mixed up at work!)
  • reading - Amy Tan - The Bonesetter's Daughter
  • watching - Babylon 5, Cold Feet, Remember Me
  • listening to - Soma FM's Christmas Lounge
  • thinking about - old age, new opportunities
  • disliking - the stupid time I will have to get up in the morning for my trip to London!
  • appreciating - days off, simple brown paper and wool wrapping, that the fault with the boiler was easy to fix
  • loving - too many goodies at Leela (including Reggie the reindeer who keeps getting up to all sorts of mischief! The pic above is him being an elephant!)

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

lately - Nov 19th

  • adventuring - into the past. The above was taken in Nov 1986, I am the tender age of 9 and taking part in a nationwide fundraising tap dance for Children In Need (the dance starts at about 5:55, no I'm not on the tv but I can still pretty much remember the whole dance!)
  • eating - burgers, bubble and squeak, pasta, cherry bakewells
  • drinking - honey & almond hot chocolate, tea, mocha, squash
  • reading - Sarah Rayner - One Moment, One Morning
  • watching -  Grand Designs, Friends series 10
  • listening to -,
  • thinking about - unexpected opportunities, serendipity
  • disliking - parcelforce (still), the tax man (still), cold feet
  • appreciating - great landlords, friends
  • loving - lie-ins, the power of youtube

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

lately - Nov 12th

  • adventuring - not so much
  • eating - fishcakes, broccoli, sprouts, boursin, tomatoes
  • drinking - gingerbread latte, black forest hot chocolate, toffee nut latte (the coffee shops have got their Christmas flavours in!)
  • reading - David Gemmell - the third book of the trilogy in the right order (makes more sense that way!)
  • watching -  Grand Designs, Dr Who, Friends series 8, Downton Abbey, Lewis
  • listening to -, more random stuff on my iPhone
  • thinking about - more decluttering, my to-do list, craft projects
  • disliking - not doing things on the to-do list, parcelforce, the tax man
  • appreciating - the water proofness of my new coat, those who gave their lives for my freedom
  • loving - that the coffee shops have their Christmas flavours in (shallows I know!)