Wednesday 30 March 2016

Wednesday Hodgepodge 30/3/16

Wednesday's Hodgepodge is brought to us courtesy of Joyce at 

Pop over there to see other posts and if you want to join in add the link to your Hodgepodge blog post to the Linky List at the end of Joyce's post and don’t forget to visit at least your neighbours on the list.
Have fun!

1. What are two or three expectations you have of yourself?
To be as good a wife and mother as I can be.
To be a good friend
To follow my faith
 2. In what way does your outdoor space need sprucing up this spring?
The patio area needs a good clean up and the front garden needs some work.  I’d like to add some bird feeders this year as we no longer have our own cat.
3. According to this site (Roadtrippers), six of North America's most wondrous waterfalls are-Webster's Falls in Ontario, Upper Whitewater Falls in North Carolina, Havasu Falls in the Grand Canyon, Multnomah Falls in Oregon, The Lower Yellowstone Falls, and Niagara. Have you seen any on the list? Which one on the list would you most like to visit? Prettiest waterfall not on the list that you've seen in person?
Haven’t seen any of these.  We nearly included a visit to Niagara when we in the US but didn’t quite have enough time.  Can’t think of a specific waterfall but we did see some impressive ones when we did a Norwegian Fjord cruise.
4. Looking back, what's something you wish you'd done as a teenager?
Been more adventurous.
5. Ham...yes please or no thank you? If you said yes please which of the following do you like best-baked ham with all the trimmings, a ham and cheese sandwich, prosciutto with melon, a ham biscuit, a bowl of split pea and ham soup, or a slice of pizza topped with ham and pineapple?
I’d say yes please to a toasted ham and cheese sandwich.
6. Are you typical of your generation? How so?
Not so much, especially now I’m out of the rat race.  I don’t aspire to “have it all” and I certainly don’t care if my home looks like a magazine shoot or if I’m keeping up with the latest fashion trends.
7. April rolls in at the end of the week, and in keeping with that theme...'act the fool', 'nobody's fool', 'a fool's errand', 'could have fooled me'...which foolish idiom most recently applies to you? Explain.
Well I hope I’m “nobody’s fool” but I often make “a fool’s errand”  usually by going up in the house for something and then going down again with a totally different thing! lol
8.  Insert your own random thought here.
Our clocks changed last weekend so now we have more daylight and I’m loving that.  Spring keeps coming and going but the longer days suggest it will soon be here to stay and then we can look forward to summer.

Monday 28 March 2016

Book review - I let you go - Clare Mackintosh

I Let You GoI Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

"In a split second, Jenna Gray's world descends into a nightmare. Her only hope of moving on is to walk away from everything she knows to start afresh. Desperate to escape, Jenna moves to a remote cottage on the Welsh coast, but she is haunted by her fears, her grief and her memories of a cruel November night that changed her life forever."

This seems to be a love it or hate it book. I'm ambivalent. It is a bit slow to start and then along came "the" twist. I didn't see it coming and found myself going back to see how I'd missed it. It really is a book of two halves and the back story of the main character Jenna makes for some uncomfortable reading, especially when told through her former partner's viewpoint. 

My main observation is that for a debut novel the author is trying to cover too many things and therefore some of them aren't done very well. There is a lot about police procedure, clearly, as a former policewoman, something the author is comfortable with. But that gets a bit boring and the interaction between the two main police officers is an unnecessary distraction. 

This is no literary masterpiece but doesn't warrant, in my opinion, some of the very negative reviews it's received.

View all my reviews

Saturday 26 March 2016

SoCS 26/3/16 - Real

To see other posts from SoCS or to link  your own post click on the image.


The prompt for this week’s SoCS is “Real” to be used with a prefix and/or a suffix or just as it is.  Really?  Well I’m just letting my mind roam this week so who knows where we’ll end up.


Of course it’s Easter weekend so I could be really deep and ask is God real?  But that would lead to all sorts of debates, none of which I care to get embroiled in, particularly given the current world religious climate and following the atrocities in Brussels this week.  That was real.  Although I’m sure for many of those affected and their families they probably feel like they’re in a different reality at present.  Or certainly wishing they were.


I do have faith but I struggle with it at times.  Reality in religion is not a given.


Oops I’m digressing back to religion and I don’t want any backlashes here, really I don’t.  Live and let live.  The emphasis here being on living.


On a totally different thought I prepared this post on word before putting it on my blog and I know we’re only supposed to correct typos and such but the spell/grammar checker wanted to take out the apostrophe from the “it’s Easter”.  When you see things like that it explains why so much is written incorrectly when authors rely on the spell/grammar check completely.  I’ll run it but don’t rely on it and still resort to a real dictionary at times.  I wonder how many people will be doing that in years to come?  Will future generations even know what a dictionary is?  Now there’s a really depressing thought!


On that note I should get back to the reality of my Saturday chores.

Happy Easter to you, even if you don’t acknowledge the religious side of it I can’t think of a better excuse for eating chocolate and, fortunately, I think chocolate will always be real.

Friday 25 March 2016

Friday Fave Five 25/3/16

This is a place to come on Friday's and think back over your week and just post about 5 favourite things from your week. It can be anything that tickled your fancy over the week. Favourite quotes, posts, happenings, scriptures, recipes, pictures, great internet finds, etc., etc.
If you want to take part or visit other Fave Five posts, click on the picture above to go to host Suzanne's site and check out the linky list.

Here are my five:
1.  We attended a choral concert last Saturday.  Our son's wife was in the choir but she had a couple of solo pieces.  It was the first time we'd heard her sing solo.  We discovered she has a lovely voice. 

2.  A spell of dry weather meant I managed to get my grass cut this week.  We've since had rain followed by sunshine so it will soon need doing again!
  3. Hubby is doing well and returned to work on Thursday so thanks to everyone who sent kind words and prayers.

4.  Food in the freezer.  A couple of times this week I've been glad to pull out something from the freezer to provide a meal that didn't require a lot of thought or effort.

5. A night out with a good friend.  It was supposed to have been more people but it ended up being just one other friend and myself but it was a good chance to catch up and relaxing.  Plus we walked to the pub so I got some exercise too.

Have a great weekend.

Book Review - Broken Promise, Linwood Barclay

Broken Promise (Promise Falls, #1)Broken Promise by Linwood Barclay

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

"When single-parent David Harwood loses his job and moves from Boston back to his childhood home of Promise Falls, he's not expecting anything very exciting to happen.  But when he goes to see his cousin Marla - stll not quite right after losing her baby - he finds something he definitely wasn't counting on.

Marla is caring for a new baby, a baby she says was given to her "by an angel" - but when David tries to find the real mother, he discovers a grisly murder scene.

To save Marla from a jail sentence which could finally destroy her sanity, David realises that he must dig beneath the familiar surface of Promise Falls.  And soon he uncovers a place he never knew, a town of twisted minds and ever darker deeds, with an awful secret at its heart."

I was quickly hooked into this book. A real page turner. Lots of characters that weren't fully explored yet. Will be looking out for the next book in the saga.

View all my reviews

Friday Five News 25/3/16

The INTERNATIONAL news is again dominated by death and destruction caused by “the so called Islamic State group” (I wish there was a consensus on what this group should be called although most suggestions wouldn’t be printable!) The bombings at Brussels’ Zaventem airport and Maelbeek Metro station have, so far, claimed 31 lives and injured hundreds.  The death toll is likely to rise as many of those injured are still in a critical condition.

A British man has been named as one of the victims.  He was killed in the Metro station blast having contacted his family after the airport bombings.  I cannot imagine what his family must be going through.   

I find it incomprehensible that anyone could think that these indiscriminate bombings, killing innocent citizens, will validate their cause.  But it’s clear from the actions of ISIS, including the publicised beheading of their captives, that these are not people who live by the same beliefs of the majority of followers of Islam.

We can all twist quotes from the Bible or the Qur’an to suit our own purposes but I do not believe either books justify killing someone in the name of God.*

LOCAL news continues to be dominated by the fallout following the budget.  The resignation of a prominent Tory minister (Iain Duncan Smith) over cuts to those claiming disability benefits have prompted a U turn by the Government but no apology from the Chancellor for the distress caused. 
The article I’ve flagged talks about Jeremy Corbyn addressing the NUT conference.  (National Union of Teachers.)  He will be the first senior  Labour minister to address the conference since 2002.  This comes at a time when the teaching profession is in a bad way and the budget announced that all schools will have to move to academy status.

“The pressure of work forced more teachers to quit last year than ever - over 50,000 - and the government has now missed its trainee teacher recruitment targets for the last four years in a row," he will say.
"That has resulted in half a million children now in being taught in classes of over 31 in primary schools.
"One in four schools are increasing their use of supply teachers, one in six are using non-specialists to cover vacancies and more than one in ten are resorting to using unqualified staff to teach lessons."

A forced move to academy status will not improve this situation.

In SPORT last week I spoke about Victoria Pendleton’s change of career.  She proved me wrong by finishing a very credible fifth in the amateur equivalent of the Cheltenham Gold Cup.

This week, football supporters will mourn the loss of Johan Cryuff who died yesterday at the age of 68 after losing a battle with lung cancer.  The clip highlights his famous turning move particularly remembered from the 1974 World Cup when he led the Netherlands to their first ever final.

I couldn’t resist sharing another football item, one that I hope will haunt Martin O’Neill for a long time.  I’m not much of a Twitter user but I would imagine his comments on only welcoming attractive wives and girlfriends to Euro 2016 will have provoked a big response.

The ENTERTAINMENT news was actually under a Technology heading on the BBC site which I guess it is but my iPhone keeps me entertained.  Although not this morning.  I was notified of an update that I had downloaded but not installed.  I tried to install it this morning and every time I did I was told it could not be verified as I was not connected to the internet.  Which was blatantly untrue.  My wi-fi was working fine and my phone was connected!

I gave up doing the update but on trawling the BBC site for this post I found the reason for the failure.  There is a glitch with the update which has left some users locked out of their phones.  The article states “we have temporarily pulled back the update and will release an updated version of iOS 9.3 in the next few days”
Hmm so pulling back the update equates to you are no longer connected to the internet STRANGE TRANSLATION. 
Moral of the story – don’t rush to install software updates!

Finally under MISCELLANEOUS  I couldn’t request this clip about the use of “50 shades of grey”.  My opinion of this series has been documented.  I have never read them and have no intention of doing so.  This report from an Oxfam bookshop appears to vindicate my decision although I’m sure there are more than 100 copies in the construction.  Go on, you know you have to check out the link now.

All links are courtesy of the BBC website. Opinions are my own.

* If I'm wrong on this please don't bother trying to draw me in to a theological debate, just agree to differ.
Have a great Easter weekend.