Tuesday, 24 May 2022

Book Review - Thrown by Sara Cox

Thrown: The laugh-out-loud novel of friendship, heartbreak and pottery for beginnersThrown: The laugh-out-loud novel of friendship, heartbreak and pottery for beginners by Sara Cox
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

"Becky: a single mum who prides herself on her independence. She knows from painful experience that men are trouble.
Louise: a loving husband, gorgeous kids. She ought to feel more grateful.
Jameela: all she's ever done is work hard, and try her best. Why won't life give her the one thing she really wants?
Sheila: the nest is empty, she dreams of escaping to the sun, but her husband seems so distracted.

The inhabitants of the Inventor's Housing Estate keep themselves to themselves. There are the friendly 'Hellos' when commutes coincide and the odd cheeky eye roll when the wine bottles clank in number 7's wheelie bin, but it's not exactly Ramsay Street.

The dilapidated community centre is no longer the beating heart of the estate that Becky remembers from her childhood. So the new pottery class she's helped set up feels like a fresh start. And not just for her.

The assorted neighbours come together to try out a new skill, under the watchful eye of their charismatic teacher, Sasha. And as the soft unremarkable lumps of clay are hesitantly, lovingly moulded into delicate vases and majestic pots, so too are the lives of four women. Concealed passions and heartaches are uncovered, relationships shattered and formed, and the possibility for transformation is revealed."

This book is about 4 women living on the same housing estate being drawn together through a pottery class. They all have their own issues but by coming together and making new friends they all manage to move forward in their lives.

It's a bit twee in places and I'm not sure the time line is always accurate. The idea isn't exactly original and I'm always wary of books by well known people (Sara is a radio and TV presenter) who suddenly turn their hand to writing.

Having said all that it's a nice easy, feel good read and it's not too long. I enjoyed it.

View all my reviews

Sunday, 22 May 2022

Is it Sunday? 22/5/22

Yep it's Sunday so over a week since I last posted here.  You could be forgiven for thinking I'd fallen down a rabbit hole with Alice.

I seem to have lost my enthusiasm for blogging this last week or so but it has been a busy time.  Getting the bedrooms straight after the decorating took time and then last weekend we had all the grandkids and their parents here on Saturday for an early birthday celebration for Noah and Rory.  Noah turned four on Tuesday and Rory will turn 4 on 1st June so last weekend was the nearest we could get to both birthdays for a family get together.

It coincided with the Eurovision song competition which 2 of my DILs are very keen to watch and enjoy.  To the extent of having European flavoured drinks and snacks.  This meant we ended up with 2 of the 3 families staying overnight.  The grandchildren were actually quite good at going to bed and sleeping, although they were up early the next morning.

Of course it was lovely to see them all together but it does get a bit hectic and then there are beds to change, extra towels etc to wash after they've all gone home.

It's a bit tricky getting a decent photo of all 6 grandchildren together.  This was probably one of the best ones:

Another thing we managed to do this week was deliver the blanket I'd worked on with my daughter and 2 of my DILs for Maya.  Maya is the daughter of one of Nick's nieces.  Another cutie.

So what with straightening up the house, visiting family, babysitting grandkids and so on, blogging has definitely been taking a back seat.  I haven't even been doing as much reading as I usually do.

Another time stealer has been games on my phone.  I'm sure most of you can guess the main culprit there.  Well tonight I've deleted them.  I'll probably relapse and add it back at some point but for now that's one less thing to take away blogging time.

Today has been a nice relaxed day.  We walked down to the lake and then into the park as it was the Highams Park festival today.  There were fairground rides there, a display of classic cars, live music and lots of stalls either promoting local organisations or selling food.

The weather was lovely today so lots of people were in the park and the queues for food were long everywhere so we decided to walk into town and had a nice lunch at a place called The Melting Point Bistro.  Nick has been there quite a lot but it was the first time for me.  Won't be the last either.  We had some lovely tapas dishes and some wine.

That's two good meals I've had this weekend as on Friday our Ladies Lunch group became a supper occasion and our host cooked a lovely salmon dish accompanied by an aubergine dish both of which were delicious.  Finished off with a fruit flan and of course washed down with wine, although not too much for me as I had to drive home.  The company was also good so a very enjoyable evening.

So lots to be thankful for this week although I didn't get around to doing my usual Friday Fave Five post.

Now I'm off to bed with a new book on my Kindle.  Have a good week all.  Hopefully I'll get around to visiting your blogs and leaving some comments!

Friday, 13 May 2022

Friday’s Fave Five - 13/5/22

Composing this on my phone and racing against the click for it to get posted before midnight! Currently babysitting Nathan and Ella - see #2 below.

Anyway it's Friday so time to link up with Susanne and other grateful bloggers here.  These are my 5 for this week:

1) the weather was nice for our yard sale- warm and sunny. We didn't get rid of lots of stuff but it has focussed us on things we need to deal with. Hopefully we'll be able to donate some things to charity.

2) my daughter. It's her birthday today. She is definitely a blessing to me.

3) following on from last week the door in the freezer is fixed but it seems that iron manufacturers don't want you to replace the flex at least not the brand we had. Getting in to the iron proved very difficult. So one problem solved but thankfully the iron has now been replaced 

4) a lovely albeit brief visit from hubby's sister and husband last weekend. This is the couple that live in France so visits had been limited during the pandemic and we hadn't seen them since last November 

5) a successful trip to a new to me retail park. I was able to get presents for grandsons Noah and Rory who will both turn 4 in the next couple of weeks, some glue for a jigsaw puzzle I want to frame and a new handbag.  I love it when things go to plan.

Have a good weekend all.

Friday, 6 May 2022

Friday's Fave Five - 6/5/22

Is it Friday again already?  And May as well.  Time seems to be flying by.  But Friday is the day when we take a breath and look back on the week to find 5 things to be grateful for.  Then it's over to Susanne's site here to share with other like minded bloggers.

Here are mine for this week.

1)  A family party.  One of hubby's nieces had organised a surprise party for her partner who turned 50 last Saturday.  We were dithering about going but so glad we did.  The guest of honour was very surprised to find so many people waiting for him when he arrived home.  The weather was lovely and although we were the only ones there from our generation it was good to catch up with some of the younger generation.  

2)  Decorating finished (for now!) and rooms are back to normal.

I still need to get curtains for the second room but they're now on order.  We had a good outing to IKEA this week and picked up the bedside tables you can see in the picture above plus the lamps in the other room and of course a few more bits and pieces we weren't even looking for!  We also managed to move one of the units out of the bigger bedroom and have put it out in the garden room.  This meant that the storage unit we had out there that was very similar to this one:

 is now redundant.  It was taking up a lot of floor space so that will be going out in the yard sale we're doing on Sunday.  It was very satisfying getting everything straight and doing some organising and decluttering at the same time.

3)  Cygnets on the lake.

Hard to see the cygnets in these photos as they were in quite a sheltered area of the lake and I couldn't get very close but there are 4 cygnets.

4)  Lots of things sorted out with internet shopping:  for example our iron needed a new flex - it's got very twisted in places and Hubby was concerned that the coating on the wires might wear away and cause a hazard.  Of course he left it to me to actually resolve the problem.  Likewise with a shelf front in our freezer.  Hubby managed to break it a few weeks ago but I managed to order a replacement this week.  I love him dearly but he's not good at practical things like that.  (It will probably be me that fixes both of these when the parts arrive lol.)

5)  Another productive shopping trip today - I didn't get the curtains for the bedroom as the store didn't have the right size but I picked up a few other bits and pieces plus plants and compost for the garden.  I then spent time this afternoon potting everything up.  There are no flower beds in the garden but we do now have some pots on the patio with plants that will hopefully add some colour when things bloom.

As mentioned above we're doing a yard sale on Sunday so we'll be busy tomorrow getting everything sorted and ready to put out and we also have overnight visitors tomorrow - Hubby's sister and her husband are over from France.   It's been an age since we've seen them so looking forward to that.

Have a good weekend all.