Tuesday 28 February 2017

Review: The Hand That First Held Mine

The Hand That First Held Mine The Hand That First Held Mine by Maggie O'Farrell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received this book as a gift so I really wanted to like it.

It was an author new to me and started as a slow read. Following the lives of Lexie, a disgraced graduate as she makes a new life for herself in London at the heart of the 1950s Soho art scene and, in the present, Elina and Ted who are struggling to cope with becoming parents after the difficult delivery of their son, it felt at first as if it was two different stories with chapters from each alternating in the same book.

Then the suggestion of a link between them is made and gradually we are led to a satisfying explanation of how they are all linked together.

I'm definitely glad I persevered. It's well written and imaginitive and the quote on the sleeve from Barbara Trapido is very apt: "A spellbinding story of love, loss and redemption that draws you into a web of interconnected lives."

View all my reviews

Saturday 25 February 2017

#SoCS - 25/2/17 - How?

If you'd like to take part in SoCS here's the link to all the details.  It's hosted by Linda at Life in Progress.

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: “how.” Start your post with the word “How.” Bonus points if you end with it too. Enjoy!

How did chocolate manufacturers come up with the idea that a bag of chocolate treats needs to be resealable?  Really?  You mean I'm not supposed to eat them all in one go?  But chocolate isn't meant to be resisted.  Well not for me anyway.  If I start on chocolate I have to finish it.  A bar, a box, a packet.  Once opened I can't reseal it and put it aside to be enjoyed later.  I want to enjoy it now.  All of it.  Even if it does seem indulgent.  Okay, greedy.  Self satisfying.  You could come up with lots of expressions designed to induce guilt.  But a resealable packet?  Sorry but that didn't work either!  

Going shopping when hungry is never a good idea but when the chocolate is right there as you wait in line for the checkout, it always seems to find its way into my basket somehow.

Friday 24 February 2017

Friday's Fave five 24/2/17

It's Friday so it must be time to join Suzanne for Friday's Fave Five. Click here for full details.

Here are my blessings and thoughts on this week:
1)  So grateful for the supportive network this blogging world is.  I posted on my Hodgepodge post this week about my brother's health issues and the response from all those who visited my blog was wonderful.   Thank you to all those who will be offering up prayers.

2)  Thankful that storm Doris swept through pretty quickly and for us didn't cause any major problems.  Unfortunately at least one person died and several were badly injured due to the high winds bringing down trees and roof tiles etc.

3)  A surprise visit from our eldest son.  He was trying to return home to Nottingham from Swansea on the day of Doris and could only get as far as London.  We were more than happy to provide him with dinner and a bed for the night.  He's now safely back in Nottingham.

4)  Glad that I managed to get my grass cut the day before Doris dumped a whole load of rain on it.  It's the first cut of the year so it was already quite long and hard to cut but if I'd missed that opportunity it would have been even harder.  Especially as today we have some nice sunshine!

5)  Social networking.  I know there is a lot of negative stuff out there at the moment, which I try to just ignore, but it enables me to keep track of my future grandson's progress and my son and DIL's new babies - Joe and Ness, retired greyhounds.  Apparently the baby is about the size of a Barbie doll right now although I did suggest to my daughter that he ought to be compared to Ken or as she responded GI Joe!  Just glad to know he's ok.

So a good week for me.  I also got more walking done and we've started to decorate the next room on the to do list.  My knitting project also made progress.  I might have to have a relaxing weekend!  Hope you do too.

Wednesday 22 February 2017

Wednesday Hodgepodge - 22/2/17

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.

1. Have you ever been fishing? Did you catch a fish? If so did you keep it or throw it back? If you haven't been fishing is that something you'd like to try?

Not proper fishing no and it’s not something I want to try.  I’d definitely be throwing them back but I’d prefer to just enjoy the peace and quiet with a book. Fish out of water, big fish in a small pond, living in a fishbowl, packed in like sardines, this is a fine kettle of fish, plenty of fish in the sea, fish or cut bait...which fishy phrase most recently applies to some area of your life?

I definitely think I’m a small fish in a big pond!
2. What's something you're always fishing for in your purse, wallet, desk, or kitchen junk drawer?
Keys in my purse – they always seem to disappear into a corner.  I don’t have a kitchen junk drawer – when we redid the kitchen we opted for no drawers.  It was a challenge at first but it works for us.

3. Your favourite fish tale or movie?
As a child my parents would often take me to the fair when it came on holidays.  I can remember winning a goldfish on one of the stalls.  It came in a clear plastic bag.  We travelled home on the bus and at some point the fish was jolted out of the bag.  Somehow we managed to retrieve it and it actually survived.

4. Are you sunrise, daylight, twilight or night? Explain why you chose your answer.
Twilight and night I guess.  I’m not an early riser and I’m often doing things late in the evening and then reading into the night.

5. What's the oldest piece of clothing you own and still wear?
Well I am counting shoes in with clothing and I have a pair of trainers I feel like I’ve had forever.  But they are still in fairly good shape and so comfortable.  I wear them when I’m walking if it’s a bit on the wet/muddy side.
6. We've got one more month of (officially) winter here in the Northern hemisphere. Are you feeling the need for a getaway? What's been the best and worst part of your winter so far?
Have a getaway planned for the beginning of April and definitely looking forward to that.  I miss being able to get out walking when the weather’s bad, but I love getting out when it's bright and sunny even if it's cold.
7.  The Wednesday Hodgepodge lands on National Margarita Day...will you be celebrating? Frozen or on the rocks? Are you a Jimmy Buffet fan? If so, what's your favourite JB tune?
Not a margarita person but I guess it’s an excuse for a glass of red!  I had to look Jimmy up so don’t have a favourite tune of his.
8.  Insert your own random thought here.

My eldest brother and I have never been particularly close – age and distance divide us but we do keep in touch.  It was still a bit of shock to hear yesterday that the problems he’s had with his spine (a cracked vertebrae that had to be fused) were probably caused by the tumour they have discovered.  Hopefully a course of radiotherapy will put him into remission.  I know I can count on those of you who pray to think of him.