Saturday, 16 November 2019

Review: The Christmas Party

The Christmas Party The Christmas Party by Karen Swan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When Declan Lorne, the last remaining knight in Ireland, dies suddenly, an ancient title passes with him. But his estate on Ireland’s rugged south-west coast is left to his three daughters. The two eldest, Ottie and Pip, inherit in line with expectations, but to everyone’s surprise – and dismay – it is the errant baby of the family, Willow, who gets the castle.

Why her? Something unknown – something terrible - made her turn her back on her family three years earlier, escaping to Dublin and vowing never to return. So when Willow quickly announces she is selling up, her revenge seems sweet and the once-close sisters are pushed to breaking point: in desperation, Pip risks everything to secure her own future, and Ottie makes a decision that will ruin lives. It’s each woman for herself.

Before moving in, Connor Shaye, the prospective new owner, negotiates throwing a lavish party at the castle just days before Christmas – his hello, their goodbye. But as their secrets begin to catch up with them, Ottie, Willow and Pip are forced to ask themselves which is harder: stepping into the future, or letting go of the past?

A lovely feel good festive read. Just what you need when the nights have drawn in and Christmas is coming.

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Friday, 15 November 2019

Friday's Fave Five - 15/11/19

It's Friday so it's time to share 5 things I'm grateful for this week. This meme is hosted by Susanne over at Living to Tell the Story. Pop over there for more details and to see who else is taking part.
I'm still using the autumn picture as our trees haven't completely shed their leaves yet but it has definitely been colder this week.  It's been a quiet week but here are my 5:

Fresh flowers in the house.  I do like to have flowers even if I buy them for myself.  

2)  2 good days with Rory.  He is generally easy to look after but it certainly helps if the weather is dry enough to get out which is was.  On Monday we took him to one of my sister-in-laws for a bit and he was on really good form.

3)  Noah is taking steps.  It's hard not to compare Noah and Rory as there is only 2 weeks between them and I know it's been hard waiting for these first steps when Rory has been walking for what seems like ages now but of course they all develop at different rates.

4)  A colour and hair cut.  Always sure to make me feel better.

5)  Time to sit and read.  A guilty pleasure which I indulged in today.

And a bonus one - I'm grateful for our national health service.  All my blood tests came back fine which was a relief but my blood pressure is still too high so my GP has added in another medication.  I'm glad I don't have to jump through insurance hoops to get this sorted and one bonus of turning 60 is that I don't have to pay for prescriptions any more.  

We have a fairly quiet weekend which I'm also thankful for.  Hope yours is a good one!

Thursday, 14 November 2019

Waffle on Thursday - 14/11/19

Life can be strange at times.  

My daughter bought me this book a while ago.  I probably should look at it more considering I'm often a glass half empty kind of person.

I decided to look at it Tuesday night and this was the page I opened.  (I tend to open it at random pages rather than read it from start to finish.)

It has some odd things in it although some of them would make me happy but one of those would have had me confused (Sadie Hawkins dances) if it wasn't for one of the questions in this week's Wednesday Medley which I'd just done and scheduled to post the next day!

"Sadie Hawkins' Day. Also known as Turn-About Day. On this date in Dogpatch, Judge Hawkins declared a race between the town's eligible bachelors and the spinsters (including his daughter, Sadie) with the prize being matrimony. Nowadays celebrated as a day on which the girl asks the boy to the big sock hop."

Being in the UK I had never heard of such a thing.  The only "Turn-About Day" I was aware of was leap day - 29th February.  You live and learn!

Here's something that makes me happy:

Not sure how impressed he is with his new hat!  He managed to lose his other one while his Mummy had him out at the shops at the weekend.

And how cute is this?

Wedding guest Noah

And this:

Pirate Nathan

I'm blessed.

Wednesday, 13 November 2019

Wednesday Medley - 13/11/19
If you would like to join in with the Medley click on the picture above.

1. Sadie Hawkins' Day. Also known as Turn-About Day. On this date in Dogpatch, Judge Hawkins declared a race between the town's eligible bachelors and the spinsters (including his daughter, Sadie) with the prize being matrimony. Nowadays celebrated as a day on which the girl asks the boy to the big sock hop.
For those of us who are single: Any special plans? Is a restraining order and a monitoring anklet hampering you from finding true love? N/A - been happily married for 35 years.
For those of us who are in a relationship: Do you have any words of encouragement for the single ladies? Advice on removing a monitoring anklet?

I think love comes when you least expect it so maybe don't try to hard to find it. 
2. Today is Indian Pudding Day. Colonists to America substituted cornmeal which they called "Indian flour" in their recipes for hasty pudding. Indian pudding fell out of favor in the late nineteenth century with its long cooking time.
Are you a crock pot, electric / gas range, microwave cook? Or do you go to restaurants or order take-out / delivery? 
All of the above (except electric cooker - ours is all gas) - we both cook but we do like to eat out occasionally and we like take out/delivery if we're feeling lazy.  Not keen on fast food though although an occasional burger has been known to be consumed! 
Bonus question: Vanilla ice cream is listed as an optional topping. Is it really optional?
Depends on the dessert and if custard or cream are also available. 
3. National Education Support Professionals Day recognizes the unsung school heroines: Bus drivers, cafeteria ladies, secretaries, crossing guards, custodial workers...
Anyone special to whom you want to give a shout out?
I think they all need to be acknowledged.

4. Dear Santa Letter Week. Remember writing to Santa Claus for a doll or a book or credits to Google Play to download MP3 songs and apps to your smartphone?
Now we are adults and understand the true meaning of Christmas. What did you wish for when you were little? Did you sit on Santa's lap at the department store for a photograph? What do the little ones in your life ask Santa to bring?

I don't remember too much about when I was little but mine usually wanted whatever was the latest craze at the time. 
5. Happy 20th Birthday, Lando Norris! Lando is a Formula 1 race car driver.

Who took you out on the road when you were learning to drive? Did your road test with the examiner go smoothly? What was your first destination driving solo?

I had lessons from a driving school although my Dad did take me out a couple of times.  He also accompanied me on my first drive of my new car - a Ford Anglia that required double declutching as there was no synchromesh on 1st gear.  How many of you know what that means? lol  
I've been driving since I was 17 (passed 1st time) and have no idea where my first solo destination was. 
Bonus question: Ever dream of driving a race car? Or a Ford Mustang Shelby GT500® with the Predator 5.2L 32 valve V-8 DOHC engine capable of producing 760 hp and 625 ft / lb of torque?
Nope, never been a fan of flash cars.  It just needs to be able to get me from A to B and carry all the stuff I need to get there. 
6. Please share with us something interesting about your week.

We had to pay a return visit to hubby's sister on Monday as he had left his phone there last Friday.  On the way out I nearly left without mine!  I don't think I shall hear the last of that for a while after criticising him for being so careless lol.