Wednesday 26 June 2019

Wednesday Medley - 26/6/19

The Wednesday Medley is hosted by Terri over at Your Friend from Florida.
The questions usually start with the National Day and follow on from there. No rules and there is no obligation. Link up if you want to over at Terri's site and see who else is joining in the fun.

Today is National Parchment Day!

1. Who knew there was a day to celebrate parchment paper?! Do you ever use parchment when you bake or cook? Tell us about your favorite way to use it, please.

I do use it but not much and usually only when a recipe calls for it.

2. When Terri thinks of parchment paper, she usually thinks about special writing or artist papers. She loves using specialty papers for creating cards or other art projects. Tell us about a creative way you have used parchment paper other than to bake with!

I've used parchment paper in creating cards or signs for things in the past but not recently - I'm not a particularly creative person - I can copy stuff ok and follow instructions but I'm not very original.

3. Terri used to be in the cake business and has piped many borders and roses and leaves and letters, etc., etc. You can make a pastry bag from parchment paper! Have you ever tried decorating a cake with a pastry bag and specialty tips? Do you have a picture to share? Don't be shy, now!

I've never decorated with a pastry bag, I've always used a piping set. I've made quite a few cakes in the past when the children were little but not recently. I got the bug from watching my Dad. He would make and decorate cakes for family events.

4. Tell us about something you baked or cooked in the past week or so that turned out great, parchment or no parchment. Will you share the recipe?

I cooked 2 new recipes last week, a lemon chicken and a mushroom stew that we had one night and then I turned it into a pie the next. The chicken was ok but nothing special. The mushroom stew was good - it had mustard in it and artichokes. No parchment involved.

5. The last Wednesday in June!! How can that be? Has your June flown by or have you been able to enjoy each day and make it slow down for you?

It has flown by, busy with Grandkids, a few days away and now.......

6. Tell us something about your week so far, if you will.

It's my birthday! Celebrating by catching up with my best friend this morning, a meal out with hubby this evening and away with all the kids and grandkids this weekend at the seaside. I'll just gloss over that it's a big 0 birthday lol

Review: The Lido

The Lido The Lido by Libby Page
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

We're never too old to make new friends—or to make a difference.

Rosemary Peterson has lived in Brixton, London, all her life but everything is changing.

The library where she used to work has closed. The family grocery store has become a trendy bar. And now the lido, an outdoor pool where she's swam daily since its opening, is threatened with closure by a local housing developer. It was at the lido that Rosemary escaped the devastation of World War II; here she fell in love with her husband, George; here she found community during her marriage and since George’s death.

Twenty-something Kate Matthews has moved to Brixton and feels desperately alone. A once promising writer, she now covers forgettable stories for her local paper. That is, until she’s assigned to write about the lido’s closing. Soon Kate’s portrait of the pool focuses on a singular woman: Rosemary. And as Rosemary slowly opens up to Kate, both women are nourished and transformed in ways they never thought possible.

In the tradition of Fredrik Backman, The Lido is a charming, feel-good novel that captures the heart and spirit of a community across generations—an irresistible tale of love, loss, aging, and friendship.

A lovely feel good read. Ideal for holiday reading. Didn't convince me to take up swimming in an outdoor pool though.

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Happy Birthday to Me!

Today is my birthday.  I'm officially old!  I've qualified for free travel but I won't be getting my pension any time soon thanks to the way the pension age for women was increased to be the same as men and then increased again.  (I think I get it when I'm 66 but by the time I get there I'll probably have to wait until I'm 70.)

Yes it's a big O birthday but I've been in denial about it.  No party, no fuss.  Hubby and I will celebrate with a meal at a nice restaurant this evening and then I'm spending the weekend with all the family and grandkids.

Of course it's just a number and somebody tried to tell me 60 is the new 40 to which I replied, tell that to my body.  I know that I've always been a glass half empty sort of person and it's hard to change the habits of a lifetime, particularly when I know I've got less years ahead of me than behind.  BUT I am enjoying life, becoming a grandmother has added a whole new dimension and even if I can't always keep up with the little ones I love spending time with them. 

I'm trying to be more positive.  I want to be around to see the Grandchildren grow up.  Our family is our legacy.  Hubby and I actually sat down at the weekend and talked about changes we could make to our lifestyles to ensure we give ourselves the best chance at that.  I think I'm more on board with it than hubby, especially when I mentioned reducing our alcohol intake.  Although I'm not advocating changes that would make us miserable.  Hubby can be enough of a grumpy old man without my help! 

There are a few things I've learned along the way to this point in my life.  Such as what's important, (family) and what's not (having an immaculate house to impress visitors for starters) and also that it's ok to please myself, saying no to things I don't want to do without feeling guilty.  I know that I should also be trying to say yes to more things too.  That's still a work in progress even at this advanced age!

I'm going to view this birthday as just one more than the last one and not worry about how many still to come. 

I've asked for a garden bench from Hubby's family so I can sit back, relax and smell the roses - mine are starting to bloom.

Sunday 23 June 2019

Review: An Act of Silence

An Act of Silence An Act of Silence by Colette McBeth
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

These are the facts I collect.

My son Gabriel met a woman called Mariela in a bar. She went home with him. They next morning she was found in an allotment.

Mariela is dead.

Gabriel has been asked to report to Camden Police station in six hours for questioning

Linda Moscow loves her son; it's her biological instinct to keep him safe. But if she's not sure of his innocence, how can she stand by him? Should she go against everything she believes in to protect him?

She's done it before, and the guilt nearly killed her.

Now, the past is catching up with them. As old secrets resurface, Lind is faced with another impossible choice. Only this time, it's her life on the line...

I really enjoyed this book despite its dark subject matter. I liked the writing style and how apart from the main storyline of trying to bring a group of powerful men to justice, there was also a more personal storyline about the relationship between a mother and her son.

It's tricky to follow at times due to the switching between now and the past and also filling in some back stories but it was still gripping.

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Friday 21 June 2019

Friday's Fave Five - 21/6/19

Wow it's Friday again and time to count my blessings.  This meme is hosted by Susanne over at Living to Tell the Story. Pop over there to find out more and see who's taking part.

1)  A day spent touring local gardens.  Our local community garden organised an open garden day for local gardens last weekend and on Saturday Hubby and I ambled our way around a few of them.  We managed to dodge the rain.  It was a nice way to spend the day and I got a few ideas of things I could add to our garden.

2)  Feeling more organised.  I posted recently about feeling a bit in limbo and not particularly motivated but this week I actually planned the meals for the week and sorted out a shopping delivery for the things we needed.

3)  Cooking!  Part of the planning ahead included picking out a couple of new recipes to cook.  I used to try and cook something new every week but I haven't done that for a while.  This week I've tried 2 new recipes.  One was a lemon chicken dish which I did on Wednesday and tonight I made a mushroom and mascarpone stew.  Of course I forgot photos although I did take this one as I started to prepare the stew. 

It was really good though and there is enough left to use as a pie filling tomorrow.  (As suggested in the recipe book.)

4)  New plants in the garden.  I have 2 new rose bushes and 3 heucheras.  My gardener was here on Wednesday and planted the roses and I put the heucheras in today as well as cutting the grass.  I'm not ready to think about volunteering for the open garden but it is definitely looking better and more colourful.  I'll try and remember to take pictures when the roses bloom.

5) Kids that make me proud.  They all make me proud but especially proud of my daughter this week.  She's training for a 10K run next month in aid of the NeoNatal Unit where Nathan was born.  Without the facilities and wonderful staff  in the unit his outcome, after arriving 11 weeks early, could have been very different.  Will always be thankful for the care he received.

Have a good weekend all.

Review: The Angel

The Angel The Angel by Katerina Diamond
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When a burned body is found in a disused signal box, suspicion falls on lonely teenager Gabriel Webb. There’s no doubt he was at the scene of the crime, but does he really deserve what awaits him in prison?

DS Imogen Grey is certain there’s more to the case than meets the eye. But while she struggles to convince those around her of the truth, her partner DS Adrian Miles is distracted by his own demons.

When a brutal double murder is reported, their investigation is stopped in its tracks. Is the body in the box even who they thought it was? The duo realise Gabriel might have been locked up for a crime he didn’t commit. But with enemies watching Gabriel’s every move, they may be too late.

This is a complicated book to follow at times. There's a lot going on, not only in the crimes carried out but also with the main characters. Some chapters are also told from different POVs. But that's part of the enjoyment for me. Having to follow a plot and trying to work out how it will end. I've read all of Diamond's books to date now and will look forward to future releases.

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Thursday 20 June 2019

Review: The Songs of Us

The Songs of Us The Songs of Us by Emma Cooper
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

If Melody hadn't run out of de-icer that day, she would never have slipped and banged her head. She wouldn't be left with a condition that makes her sing when she's nervous. And she definitely wouldn't have belted out the Arctic Monkeys' 'I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor' in assembly at her son's school
If Dev hadn't taken the kids to the zoo that day, then the accident wouldn't have happened. He wouldn't have left Flynn and Rose without a dad. Or shattered the love of his life's heart.

But if they hadn't seen the missing person report that day, they might never have taken the trip to Cornwall. And, in the last place they expected, discovered what it really means to be 'Us'.

I really enjoyed this book. It made me laugh and it made me cry. It follows Melody and her children (Flynn and Rose) as they try to discover what happened to Dev their husband and father. It's a very moving story.

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Wednesday 19 June 2019

Wednesday Medley - 19/6/19

The Wednesday Medley is hosted by Terri over at Your Friend from Florida.
The questions usually start with the National Day and follow on from there. No rules and there is no obligation. Link up if you want to over at Terri's site and see who else is joining in the fun.


1.  If you have ever followed the Garfield comic strip, you know Garfield loves lasagne.  What is your favorite Italian food?  Do you over-indulge when it comes to pasta?
I love lasagne and I love most pasta dishes.  We have a few favourites we make regularly and I always eat too much.

2.  Tell us about your very first pet.  If you have never had a pet, can you tell us about an animal that touched your life in some way?
My first pet was a family dog.  He was a fairly small crossbreed and because of his colouring he was called Sandy.  I think the first pets I had as my own were guinea pigs.
3.  Garfield sleeps his day away, only waking to eat or sweet talk his girlfriend Arleen.  How many hours sleep do you normally get each night?  How much sleep do you really need?
Well according to my fitbit app I average anywhere between 5.75 to 6.25 hours each week but it's not very accurate.  It sometimes says I'm awake when I'm not and I don't always bother to edit the logs.  However it's still way less than I need but I'm not a great sleeper.

4.  Garfield lets the mice in the house have their way.  When was the last time you had to chase out a little varment?  
We had mice in the house a long time back - it was one of the reasons we got cats.  It's been a long time since I had to chase anything out even though we no longer have any pets in the house.
5.  Garfield also loves his teddy bear Pooky. Did you have a favorite stuffed animal when you were young (or now!)?  If you didn't or don't, what about someone you know?
I had a cream coloured (originally!) teddy bear that I loved.  It wasn't very big but it was definitely loved judging by how worn he got!

6.  Please tell us something about your week, so far!
I ordered 2 new rose bushes for the garden last week and they arrived yesterday in time for my gardener to plant them today.  I was pleasantly surprised to see how big they are and they are both full of buds and will be flowering very soon.  Hopefully when they're in bloom I'll remember to take some photos!

Sunday 16 June 2019

Review: Little Liar

Little Liar Little Liar by Lisa Ballantyne
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The accused
While Nick Dean is enjoying an evening at home with his family, he is blissfully unaware that one of his pupils has just placed an allegation of abuse against him - and that Nick's imminent arrest will see the start of everything he knows and loves disintegrating around him.
Because, mud sticks, right? No matter if you're innocent or guilty?
The accuser
When Angela Furness decides that enough is enough - she hates her parents, hates her friends and, most of all, despises what has recently happened at school - she does the only thing she knows will get her attention: calls the police. But Angela is unaware that the shocking story she is about to tell will see her life begin to topple.

Because, once you've said what you've said, there's no way back, right? No matter if you're innocent or guilty?
In a nail-biting ride of 'he said/she said', Little Liar illustrates the fine line between guilt and innocence, and shows that everyone has their secrets, even those we ought to trust the most...

I think the fact that I read this in one day speaks for itself. It seems wrong to say I enjoyed it considering the subject matter (the effects of an allegation of sexual assault) but the story is well told and the characters have depth. It's a good debut although I did feel the ending could have been better. I'm not saying the ending needed to be different, just that it felt a little bit rushed compared to the rest of the book.

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Father's Day - 16/6/19

It's Father's Day here in the UK and many other places.

Not a great photo in terms of quality, but this was probably one of the last ones taken of me with my parents.  I think this is in 1980.  Sadly Dad passed away in 1981.  He was 64, I was 22.  He survived WW2 but couldn't beat cancer.  Success rates were not as good back then and by the time he was diagnosed the cancer from his lungs had already spread to his brain.

He was a great husband and a great Dad.  There was never anyone else for Mum even though she survived him by another 31 years.

 A hard act to follow but I found this young man.

He's changed a bit since then - getting married and having kids has that effect!  (Although I think he still has less grey hairs than me!)  He's another great Dad.

 And now the boys have become Dads too, and I'm proud of how they are coping with the job!

Happy Father's Day!

Saturday 15 June 2019

Being sociable - it's not always my thing but...

Today I was sociable.

Social was the prompt for #SoCS today but I haven't been sociable over there for a while so I'm just going to keep this to myself and anyone who visits.  That's what I often do in real life too.

Hubby is much more sociable than me.  He's often out somewhere either with or without his guitar, playing or listening to music.  He's also involved in a community project that gets him out to meetings on a regular basis.

I'm more of a home bird.  I can be content at home.  It's a joke between us though that even though we've been married 35 years now there are some acquaintances of his who probably doubt my existence because we've never met.  We met one such woman on our way out today.  Her reaction was "So you do exist!"  Fortunately it's not the first time I've heard that so it doesn't bother me.  I also think that Hubby wouldn't spot a woman making a play for him unless they were blatantly obvious and possibly not even then so I think I'm safe.  

Anyway getting back to being sociable.  Today was an "open garden" day in our community.  A number of gardens had agreed to open to the public this weekend.  It was organised by our local community garden so we signed up, picked up the map and set off.  The weather wasn't great but we didn't have any really heavy rain, just a bit of drizzle from time to time so we made our way to 6 of the gardens on the list.  It's interesting to see what others have done in their gardens and all of them were quite different today.  I came home with a few ideas for mine too.

It was nice to meet people and chat and be sociable for a change.

And yes, I know, I should do it more often!

I didn't take many photos but one front garden had these figures which I was impressed with:

Friday 14 June 2019

Lethargy strikes!

After the buzz from completing the A-Z challenge this year I have definitely struggled with my blogging.  I know that I'm tired - 3 days of Grandsitting a week is exhausting.  Lovely, but exhausting.  I will be glad when the summer holidays start and I'll be back to 2 days a week.  But it's not just that.  I seem to have lost a bit of enthusiasm. That coupled with the fatigue and it's been a struggle just to keep up with reading and commenting on your blogs let alone finding inspiration to come up with my own posts.

Of course having a big O birthday coming up doesn't help.  I think I'm a bit in denial over that.  It's just a number after all.  I keep getting asked what I'll be doing.  Will there be a party? etc etc.

Well no there will not be a party.  We are going away the weekend after with all the kids and Grandkids so I'm looking forward to that but I'm hoping it will be quite low key.  I just love spending time with them all, especially watching the interaction between the little ones.

I'm even struggling to come up with suggestions for a family present.  Nick's family always collect for big O birthdays and I was asked what I'd like and I'm finding it hard.  I have thought of a few things but I really need to sit down and sort out some ideas for the organiser.

I feel a bit in limbo at the moment.  There are things I want to be getting on with in the house but our daughter is trying to move and there is a small possibility that if the timing doesn't work well they could have to stay with us for a little while.  We are more than happy to help out if we need to but the next job we need to get done in our house will mean a lot of disruption in the kitchen so I'm waiting on that for now.

And now I feel like a moaning minny but I guess I just wanted to explain my absence and lack of visits and comments.  Hopefully normal service will be resumed soon and I did manage to count my blessings for a Friday's Fave Five post this week.  I definitely have a lot of blessings to be thankful for, especially this lot:

Friday's Fave Five - 14/6/19

It's Friday again and time to count our blessings for the week. This meme is hosted by Susanne over at Living to Tell the Story. Pop over there to find out more and see who's taking part.

Wow I thought I'd missed a week but looking back it's 3 weeks since I've been here.  Life has been busy and I seem to have lost my blogging mojo a little bit.  But there are definitely blessings!

Here we go:

1)  Firstly I am so thankful that the newest addition to my extended family is doing well.  The little boy had a very rough and scary start to life but is now doing well and home with his family.  His name means survivor and he definitely is a survivor.  He's also a little miracle.  He's Grandchild #9 for my cousin. 

2)  A great hubby.  We celebrated 35 years of marriage last weekend and we're still talking to one another.  I picked a good one!

3)  Family time.  We've just had a few days away with our daughter, her wife and Grandson Nathan.  We were supposed to be in Cannes in France where the weather was lovely but instead we ended up having a staycation in Poole on the south coast and the weather was not lovely.  (Nathan's passport has vanished, probably into the rubbish bin.)
Anyway we still had a good time and the highlight for Nathan was a trip to Peppa Pig World.  (Not sure Grandpa was very impressed but he did go on some of the rides with him.)

It was very tiring.

4)  Eating out.  We ate out a couple of times while we were away.  Not the most relaxing thing with a toddler but the food was good and it was nice to be somewhere different.

5)  A quiet weekend.  Very welcome after a few busy ones.  No plans set in stone but we do have tickets for the local open gardens event.  If the weather's good we'll take a slow amble around the local gardens that are open this weekend.  But not till we've had a lie in tomorrow.

Have a great weekend all.

Tuesday 11 June 2019

Review: The Brighton Mermaid

The Brighton Mermaid The Brighton Mermaid by Dorothy Koomson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Brighton Beach, 1993: Teenagers Nell and Jude find the body of a young woman and when no one comes to claim her, she becomes known as the Brighton Mermaid. Nell is still struggling to move on when, three weeks later, Jude disappears.

Twenty-five years on, Nell quits her job to find out who the Brighton Mermaid really was – and what happened to her best friend that summer.

But as Nell edges closer to the truth, dangerous things start to happen. Someone seems to be watching her every move, and soon she starts to wonder who in her life she can actually trust…

I found this a bit hard to follow as it's told from more than one POV and also switches between past and present but it did keep me interested and everything was tied up neatly at the end.

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Wednesday 5 June 2019

19 in 19 - May update

We're in to June already so it's time for another update on my 19 in 19.  May was such a busy month that I'm not sure this update will show many achievements.  I was tempted not to bother but that rather defeats the object of the whole thing.  So here goes:

1. Be more organised, plan ahead and waste less time
I actually think I'm keeping my head above water here, just! The Hello Fresh meals make a big difference, especially on the days I've been Grandsitting.  Nick and I are still trying to co-ordinate diaries regularly too.

2. Work on the garden
I really should take photos (oh wait that's further on!) as I put together some window boxes and they are looking lovely.  They're actually on the wall that separates the patio from the main garden and they've definitely added a splash of colour.  Lots of things are coming into bloom now so I'm trying to keep the garden watered when it needs it.

3. Plan a lunch date/date night with Nick once a month (theatre/cinema/meal/outing)
We didn't really do anything planned but lots of family things going on.

4. Eat at 6 new-to-me restaurants
Nothing new here.

5. Complete the A – Z blogging challenge

6. Family weekend away for my birthday - in June
Looking forward to this.

7. Look after my health – eat well, sleep well, play well
Well I definitely played well in May with all the Grandsitting so I've slept well too. 

8. Visit my brother
At some point!

9. Visit the beach
We have a trip to France next weekend so this will happen!

10. Complete my reading challenge (52 books for the year)
Still on schedule,  i
n May I read:

The Lost Symbol - Dan Brown

Home - Harlan Coban
They all fall down - Tammy Cohen
Parting Shot - Linwood Barclay
The Swedish Girl - Alex Gray &
The Tuscan Child - Rhys Bowen
As always, details and reviews can be found on my Goodreads site.

11. Keep a journal
This is still not working.

12. Blog at least once per week (plus regular memes)
May was always going to look bad after April with the A-Z challenge.  I just about managed to do some memes and book reviews.  There was almost no original blogging.

13. Organise/Take more photos
I think I'm taking more but the organisation side still needs a lot of work.

14. Update my clothes/accessories/make up etc regularly
I'm beginning to wonder how I ever thought this was a good idea!

15. Do more crafting – move the sewing machine!
I did lots of crafting in May - I was desperately trying to get blankets finished for both Noah and Rory.  Noah's was done in time for his birthday on 17th May and Rory's is almost finished.  

16. Try out a new recipe or do a bake each week

17. Visit/see Grandson Noah every month
Well we were always going to see him in May - for his birthday but he was here the following weekend so at least this one's been achieved.

18. Make progress on the house plan
This is on hold at the moment because the next big job involved sorting out the damp in the kitchen which will involve a lot of disruption and......Nathan's Mummies are trying to buy a house.  They are trying to buy a house before their landlady sells the one they're living in at the moment.  If they don't succeed they will most likely be staying with us until their purchase completes.  I don't think any of us could face the extra challenge of having the kitchen upside down if that happens.

19. Lose 19 pounds 
I really shouldn't have put this on the list! 

Again a mixed month, some good things but some failures too.  I don't think I appreciated when I set this up just how much time being a Grandparent would involve.  I'm currently looking after Rory 1 day a week and still doing 2 days with Nathan.  Yes it's tiring but I absolutely love spending the time with them and watching them grow up.  We also try and keep up with Noah as much as we can.  Then there's the more mundane stuff of running the house and before I know it another week has flown by. And then we're into another month.  

At the end of the year I'm sure I won't have done all of my 19 in 19 but I know I'm being a great Nanny.

Wednesday Medley - 5/6/19

The Wednesday Medley is hosted by Terri over at Your Friend from Florida.
The questions usually start with the National Day and follow on from there. No rules and there is no obligation. Link up if you want to over at Terri's site and see who else is joining in the fun.

1. National Cheese Day is Tuesday, rather than Wednesday, but I think we should celebrate cheese this week!! Let's start by sharing your favorite cheese with us. Which one is always in your fridge? 

Boringly we always have cheddar and parmesan in the fridge.  I do like cheddar though, especially a mature one.  (I do not like any cheese that has blue in it although I do like a soft garlic cheese occasionally.)

2. What is your preference? Mild, Sharp, or Extra Sharp? How do you use cheese most often? 

I guess by sharp we would say strong so extra strong for me.  We use cheese in cooking a lot, especially pasta dishes.  We will also have cheese and crackers as a snack.

3. Cheesecake? New York style or what other flavors would you rather have? 

I love New York style cheesecake but I also love chocolate flavoured or a lighter style with a fruit topping.  Basically I just love cheesecake!

4. When you do grilled cheese sandwiches, which cheese do you prefer to use and what condiments do you use, if any? 

Guess what?  I'm back with the cheddar.  Sometimes I'll add onion to it or brown pickle.

5. Number 5 on June 5th... Say happy birthday to my sister, Tammy!!

Happy birthday Tammy!

6. Share something with us about your week. If it includes using cheese in a recipe, please also share that with us too!!  

This is pretty mucy a routine week for me so although no cheese recipes I did have a cheese (red leicester) and onion sandwich yesterday - I was looking after Nathan and I usually pick up a sandwich on my way over.

Thanks for the questions Terri.  Have a good week!

Review: The Tuscan Child

The Tuscan Child The Tuscan Child by Rhys Bowen
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

In 1944, British bomber pilot Hugo Langley parachuted from his stricken plane into the verdant fields of German-occupied Tuscany. Badly wounded, he found refuge in a ruined monastery and in the arms of Sofia Bartoli. But the love that kindled between them was shaken by an irreversible betrayal.

Nearly thirty years later, Hugo’s estranged daughter, Joanna, has returned home to the English countryside to arrange her father’s funeral. Among his personal effects is an unopened letter addressed to Sofia. In it is a startling revelation.

Still dealing with the emotional wounds of her own personal trauma, Joanna embarks on a healing journey to Tuscany to understand her father’s history—and maybe come to understand herself as well. Joanna soon discovers that some would prefer the past be left undisturbed, but she has come too far to let go of her father’s secrets now…

This was a book club read and it was ok but nothing special.

War time romance, hidden child, bereaved daughter trying to find out the truth of what happened to her Father by visiting where he was shot down. And lots of information about Italian cooking! I get that it might be appropriate to mention what food was being eaten but if I want to know how to cook it I'd find a recipe book.

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Review: The Promise

The Promise The Promise by Katerina Diamond
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

When troubled teen Connor moves to Exeter from the US to escape his past, he finds himself embroiled in a world of popular kids and easy girls. Everyone wants to be his friend, but they don’t know about what he did…and they don’t know about his father.

As Connor’s life in England begins to unravel, DS Adrian Miles and his partner Imogen Grey are working up against the clock to catch a serial killer who dates his victims before he kills them. Determined to uncover the truth, Imogen is forced to act as bait – but will she take it too far and risk her own life?

This was a quick pick from the library and annoyingly I realised this is #4 in a series of which I've read #1 & #2 but not #3. However, although the main characters remain consistent and we can follow their development the book could be read on its own.

I felt the author was trying to be too clever in this book. Essentially it's a crime thriller about a serial killer on the loose in Exeter but parts of the book are told in the present, parts are in flashback for one of the characters and then there is also a storyline from the past told by an unknown character. It did all come together in the end though and it was still a page turner for me.

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Tuesday 4 June 2019

Review: Now You See Her

Now You See Her Now You See Her by Heidi Perks
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Charlotte is looking after her best friend’s daughter the day she disappears. She thought the little girl was playing with her own children. She swears she only took her eyes off them for a second.

Now, Charlotte must do the unthinkable: tell her best friend Harriet that her only child is missing. The child she was meant to be watching.

Devastated, Harriet can no longer bear to see Charlotte. No one could expect her to trust her friend again.
Only now she needs to. Because two weeks later Harriet and Charlotte are both being questioned separately by the police. And secrets are about to surface.
Someone is hiding the truth about what really happened to Alice.

Losing your own child is a dreadful thing to contemplate. Losing someone else's child seems worse. That's what happens to Charlotte. Entrusted with her friend's only child Alice at the school fete, Charlotte is devastated when Alice disappears. Especially as she is made to feel as if she allowed it to happen by not keeping a close enough eye on Alice.

However, as this book unfolds, with twists and turns it's gradually revealed that this is not a straightforward abduction case. But just who is behind Alice's disappearance? No spoilers here but it wasn't who I first suspected and I was so gripped I finished the book in just two sessions.

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Monday 3 June 2019

When did I find time to work?

I have had another busy spell with my Grandsons.  

The weekend of the 25th Noah was here with his parents and on the Sunday we all got together for a photo shoot. It was organised by Nathan's Mummies but they invited the rest of us to tag along. Can't wait to see the pics.  This was one my DIL took.

Monday was a bank holiday so in theory it was a free day but we spent the afternoon at Nathan's helping to tidy the garden. They are buying their own house now so need to leave the rental in good shape to get their deposit  back.   Just hoping the purchase goes through smoothly and quickly before they have to vacate the rental.  If not they will be on my doorstep with their suitcases!

Tuesday & Thursday were with Nathan as usual but my free Wednesday ended up being spent with Rory and his Mummy including a trip to the hospital. Poor thing has a chest infection. 

Friday I had lunch with my friends and then it was another busy weekend celebrating Rory's 1st birthday. Fortunately he was well enough for his party to go ahead.

Unfortunately the busy week meant I didn't quite get Rory's blanket finished. I tried really hard to get it done when I got home on Friday it but at midnight I admitted defeat.  His mummy of course understood and Rory won't know.  Or care.  I was just disappointed as I'd got Noah's finished in time for his birthday and wanted to do the same for Rory.

The day of his birthday was glorious.  Hottest day of the year so far and plenty of sunshine.  We had a fun afternoon at our local social club and of course it was lovely to have all the family together again.  Having said that it was nice when everyone had gone home on Sunday and we were able to sit down and relax.

This week will hopefully be a normal week with Wednesday and Friday free which is just as well as we go away at the weekend for a few days to Cannes with Nathan and his Mummies and I haven't even made a packing list yet, let alone got the suitcase out.  Not doing anything else tonight though after having Rory for the day.  It's going to be an early night for me ready for Nathan tomorrow!