Thursday, 22 October 2020


Today has been a tiring but productive day.  Good to see progress!

I was up fairly early to take delivery of our online shop.  We spent yesterday evening planning our meals etc so hopefully we now have everything we need for the next week.

After that I got some  washing done and then I tackled the garden.

This is the view looking out of the kitchen or dining room window.  You can see I've got the bird feeder set up now and our bench is now where it will enjoy some sunshine .

This is looking back at the house.

And this is looking down the side of the house to the other section of garden.
I spent time tidying the paved area at the end today and cutting back the lavender that is in the raised beds in the corner.

Looking much better!  And one thing I like about this London borough - we have a brown waste bin for garden and food waste.  They only collect fortnightly but so much easier than having to book it as we did in the old house.

These pictures show the chaos that still remains in the studio.  I've now got the exercise bike from my daughter but there are also ordinary bikes in there and gardening equipment.
It's a mess but it will be good when it's sorted and it does look out onto the garden.  We've ordered a shed but it will probably be a few weeks before it's delivered and installed.
Once the shed is up we can move stuff out from here and the garage, then the ordinary bikes will be able to go into the garage and we'll be a little bit more organised.

Another couple of things I've achieved have been sorting out the alarm system and one of our TV sets.  

We had the alarm system checked and it's all working fine.  We can even alarm parts of the house during the night which is reassuring.  I don't feel unsafe in the house but the layout is more vulnerable than our old house so the alarm is definitely a plus.  I even managed to program one of the keyfobs into the system today.  We discovered one of the fobs wasn't working and assumed it was the battery.  I changed the battery but it still didn't work.  It looked fairly new compared to the other fobs so I checked and found the system only had 3 fobs set up but I was able to set the 4th fob up without setting off the alarm!  Progress.

As for the TV, well that was a bit embarrassing.  It was working fine in the old house but seemed dead here.  We changed the fuse in the plug.  We located the remote.  We found the alternative buttons on the side of the TV but nothing seemed to work.  After speaking to a repair shop and planning to get it looked at I decided to do one last check for any other buttons!  Just as well I did.  There was a small on/off switch hidden away that had obviously got into the off position during the move.  I'd have felt really stupid if we'd dragged it all the way to a repair shop for that lol.

Social media and the internet can be a pain at times but it can also be useful.  Thanks to a recommendation from a local group I've also got a repair guy coming to look at our dishwasher which has gone wrong.  I did try and check for any obvious problems with it but according to the instruction manual the light that's flashing indicates a problem that needs to be fixed by an expert.  That I am not!

Wednesday, 21 October 2020

Wednesday Hodgepodge - 21/10/20

Wednesday's Hodgepodge is hosted by Joyce over at "From this side of the Pond".  Pop over there to see who is playing and how to join in.  If you do join in, remember to visit your neighbour on the Linky List.  Have fun.  

1. Just your weekly mid-week reminder that it's fall y'all and it's my favorite. I love nearly all the flavors of fall but let's weigh in with an either or today...pumpkin or cranberry? hot apple cider or pumpkin spice latte? cinammon or maple? apple or pear? ginger or sage? carrot or butternut squash? Yes you have to choose. What's a favorite dish made with one of the flavors listed here? 

Ok, I have to choose?  Well I'm not a fan of pumpkin or cranberry but would go with cranberry.  I really wouldn't choose either the cider or the latte.  No thank you.  But I'm ok with cinnamon, apple, ginger and carrot.  An apple crumble would be good.

2. Do you miss traveling? In this season of almost no travel do you think you've grown anxious or fearful about traveling again? Or has all this staying home not going anywhere made you restless to get out and see the world? What book have you read or what movie have you watched that has inspired you to travel? 

I'm not sure that I really miss travelling but I hate the fact that I don't have a choice in the matter.  I don't particularly like doing the drive to Nottingham but visiting family at the end of the drive makes it worthwhile, except now they are in a higher tier of lockdown than us and we can't visit.  I'm not sure that books or films have inspired me to travel.  Our furthest adventure (Australia) was because we were invited to go with my daughter and her wife and our first Grandson.  I said yes before I started to think about it too deeply.

3. A time you felt like you were 'flying by the seat of your pants'? Explain. 

Don't all new parents go through that at some point?  That time when you're alone and entirely responsible for your baby for the first time and  you have no idea what you're really doing and what "that" particular cry means?

4. Do you struggle with road rage or are you more of a 'Sunday driver'? Do you like to be 'in the driver's seat (literally and/or figuratively speaking) ?

I don't struggle with road rage but I don't think I'm a Sunday driver either.  If I'm driving from A to B for a reason I just like to get there.  I always prefer to drive than be a passenger and yes that probably is literally and figuratively.

5. Something you've recently 'put the brakes on'? 

Drinking wine springs to mind.  We've definitely drunk more since Covid restrictions came in and I'm aware that it's not particularly heathly.

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

We had a parakeet in the garden earlier.  We put our bird feeding station up in the garden earlier this week and today is the first time I've seen it being used.  It will be interesting to see how that goes - there are a lot of parakeets around so we could be seeing competition over the food.

No pictures I'm afraid though - it's raining today, again!

Saturday, 17 October 2020

Friday's Fave Five - 16/10/20

Thanks to our host Susanne for reminding us to be mindful each week and find five things to be thankful for. You can join in here

Well Susanne mentioned in her introduction this week about the definition of habit being when something has been done so often that you don't even really have to think about doing something.  I haven't managed that yet with the Friday Faves - I don't even always get here every week and this post is probably going to tick over after midnight.  But I am here and here are my 5:

1)  Meeting Grandson #5 in person.  We went to Nottingham last Friday (hence no post last week) and stayed over until Saturday.  He is gorgeous!  And yes of course I'm biased.

Glad he likes my blanket!

2) A visit to Nathan & his Mummies in the week.  With another baby on the way they are being very careful about not mixing with others due to Covid so it's quite difficult for them, especially as Nathan is home all day and not at nursery.  Hubby and I both went which meant he could keep Nathan entertained while I did more practical stuff.  This week we tidied and organised the room that will be the new baby's room so that was a big tick on the to do list.

3)  More progress with our unpacking etc.  We're waiting on some IKEA furniture before we can sort all our books out but a lot of the boxes have now been unpacked.

4)  A step closer to getting my date of birth corrected on the Government's records. (I wrote about this here)  My daughter's friend who is a solicitor came by earlier today and certified the copies of my birth certificate and passport which I can now send in and, hopefully, get this mess sorted once and for all.

5)  An easy evening with Grandson Nathan.  Bit of a false alarm with his Mummy tonight (she's fine) but I had to go over and put Nathan to bed.  He was so good for me.  He made no fuss when his TV programme finished.  Let me take him up and clean his teeth.  We read 2 stories and then he settled down with no arguments and went to sleep.

So that's me done and now I'm off to bed!  I'll try and get around to reading your posts tomorrow.  Have a good weekend all.

Wednesday, 14 October 2020

Wednesday Hodgepodge - 14/10/20

Wednesday's Hodgepodge is hosted by Joyce over at "From this side of the Pond".  Pop over there to see who is playing and how to join in.  If you do join in, remember to visit your neighbour on the Linky List.  Have fun.

I've missed a couple of weeks thanks to moving but things are settling down now so here goes: 

1. Let's start things off right...Wednesday is National Dessert Day. What are we having? How often do you  make/serve dessert? Store bought or from scratch? 
Well we don't often have dessert as such but we always have what I would call luxury yoghurts in the fridge and ones named salted caramel or tiramisu definitely count as a dessert to me.  I like to make a dessert if we're entertaining (well back in the pre Covid days) and I have time otherwise I'll buy something.  Dessert is my favourite course.

2. Slow as molasses, icing on the cake, that's the way the cookie crumbles, have your cake and eat it too, half-baked idea, that takes the cake...which phrase might be applied to something in your life in recent days? Explain. 

That takes the cake I think.  I've been trying to sort out changing our address with all the various utilities, banks etc. now we've moved.  Dealing with the Government proved the hardest - somehow they have changed my date of birth on their records.  I now have to get a copy of my birth certificate certified and sent to them!  

3. Something that's 'easy as pie' for you to do?

Following on with the moving theme I'm going to say follow instructions - you know the ones that come with self-assembly furniture or appliances etc.  I never jump straight in.  I read the instructions and follow a plan.  I know that some people find that quite hard lol.

4. Are you someone who likes to 'sugarcoat' news you think might not be well received, or are you more of a tell it like it is and let the chips fall where they may? Do you like to receive your news the same way you give it? 

Well I once tried sugar coating the news that our dog had been euthanised by the vet by telling the kids he'd been put to sleep.  My eldest son went away, thought about this, came back and said, "You said the vet put the dog to sleep?  But the dog's dead right?"  Of course I replied yes and his response?  "So the vet killed him then."  Now I tell it how it is and that's how I like to be told.

5. Something you did recently that made you feel like a 'smart cookie'? 

I got our wifi and cable TV up and running and when we had trouble getting signal in some parts of the house I fixed that too.

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

Obviously there are big things to sort out when you move into a house, like doing all the notifications and getting the wifi sorted but then there are the little things.

We have a vanity unit in the shower room and the handles were quite worn and actually sharp to touch in places.

I managed to source a new set on the internet that are very similar and that could use the same screw holes.  They arrived this morning and voila:

This could have gone under #5 too!


Tuesday, 13 October 2020

Getting to know the area

Well I thought moving house was exhausting but it seems settling in isn't exactly restful either.

I can't believe we've been here 3 weeks already but of course the arrival of two new grandsons rather threw any ideas of routine out of the window.

We still have boxes to unpack and jobs to do but we're making progress all the time.  Just slowly!  We're learning how to work things, where to put things, where to find things etc etc.

And then we realise that actually some things work better when stored elsewhere and we have to learn all over again where they are.  

It's been very wet since we arrived but we did take advantage of a couple of dry spells to get out and explore.  We're on the edge of Epping Forest and a five minute walk or so from woodland and Highams Park and Lake.

The last pic was taken on Sunday, the others were taken last Tuesday.

We're looking forward to exploring more of the forest.

We've also managed to get our wifi working throughout the house - Nick's den as we refer to it is in the top part of the extension to the house and had poor reception due to the 9 inch thick wall but we've sorted that now.  We've also got reception out here:

This studio will be my hideaway when I want some peace and quiet lol.  The former owners used it as a home office.  I've got my bureau out there plus my sewing machine and I will have an exercise bike out there when we pick it up from my daughter.  She has bought herself an all singing and dancing exercise machine so no longer needs her more basic bike.  We also need to get an ordinary shed for our garden stuff - things like the lawnmower, tools, etc which for now are sitting in the studio. 

But of course all these things take time.  Just notifying everyone that we've moved is taking up a lot of my time.  Especially at the moment with many call centre/admin staff working from home.

Yes of course some of these things can be done on line and are easier than others.  It doesn't help when the main Government department (HMRC) have your date of birth incorrect on their records.  I spent ages online trying to set up a "Gateway" account to update our address only to be told repeatedly they did not recognise me.  When I eventually got through to a human being on the phone he spotted the problem but wouldn't actually tell me.  But my telling me I need to send in a certified copy of my birth certificate it became obvious what the problem was.

Just another little chore to add to the to do list.  Fortunately my best friend's daughter is a solicitor so she will be able to do the certifying for me.

We've also managed a trip to Nottingham at the end of last week to meet Grandson Miles and just in time.  Nottingham are now under tighter lock down restrictions due to Covid and we would be breaking the rules now by visiting them.  So glad we went!


Sunday, 4 October 2020

Getting to know the house!

Yep moving into a new house comes with various challenges.  Like the fact that there are 6 external doors and one internal door that lock with keys.  7 different keys!  We're gradually getting familiar with which key works for which door.  Some are easier to spot than others.

Then of course there is the key to the outside post box.  We only have one key for that.  No spares.  We've found a sensible place to keep it.  We just need to remember to check the box regularly.  Or maybe not.  In our old house we were in the middle of a terrace - houses either side and no side entrance.  Here we are semi-detached.

So in this picture you can see our front door, the garage to the left and then the gate into the garden.

This pic is taken from inside the garden and you can see the wet patch left by this parcel.

I have no idea when it was "delivered" (as in thrown over the gate) - no delivery card was left, or that this might even be a thing.  Of course I have heard of various delivery services being creative about what they consider to be a "safe" place to leave a parcel if you're out but in our old house they would usually leave it with a neighbour or in the porch. 

Now I know that I not only need to check the mailbox, I need to stick my head out the side door and check behind the gate! Yes getting to know a new house is a steep learning curve.

Fortunately the package inside the soggy box (a wall bracket for our TV) was fine.


Friday, 2 October 2020

Friday's Fave Five - 2/10/20

Thanks to our host Susanne for reminding us to be mindful each week and find five things to be thankful for, especially at times like these when things are so busy, unsettled and scary.  You can join in here

Well I've missed a couple of weeks, it's been a busy time, so here's a catch up.

1.  We're in our new house.  We've been here just over a week now and we're gradually getting through the 100+ boxes of things to be unpacked.

2.  Two new grandsons!

My youngest son Michael with Grandsons Rory and new arrival Vinny

Daughter-in-law Amy with Grandsons Noah and new arrival Miles.

They were both early arrivals, especially Vinny but are both home now and the big brothers are getting used to having a little one in the house.

We babysat Rory while Mummy & Daddy brought Vinny home so we got to have cuddles with him.  We're making the trip to Nottingham next weekend to meet Miles.  Can't wait!

3.  Flowers!  Two of Nick's sisters came the day after we moved in and brought sunflowers

These were delivered courtesy of my daughter and her wife.


Fortunately I was able to find a vase!

Nick also brought me roses.  I have been spoilt!

I've also got some plants from the garden from friends.

4.  I managed to cut the grass on Tuesday.  The previous owners of our house moved out over a month ago so the grass was very long.  Tuesday looked like it was going to be dry and although it had rained in the morning it brightened up in the afternoon and I got the mower out and cut the grass.  Just as well I did because we were out all day yesterday babysitting Grandson Nathan and today it has rained non-stop!  It will need doing again as soon as we get another dry spell as I didn't cut it very short but it looks better than before.

5.  Better sleep.  In the run up to the move I wasn't sleeping well at all but since we've been here I've been sleeping better.  I still tend to wake at some point during the night but it's been much easier getting back to sleep.  Consequently I don't feel quite as exhausted as I did although all the unpacking is pretty tiring lol!

So that's my catch up.  It's beginning to feel like home here.  We've done a lot of unpacking but still quite a bit to do but no rush. 

Have a good weekend all.


Wednesday, 30 September 2020

Wednesday Hodgepodge - 30/9/20

Wednesday's Hodgepodge is hosted by Joyce over at "From this side of the Pond".  Pop over there to see who is playing and how to join in.  If you do join in, remember to visit your neighbour on the Linky List.  Have fun.  

1. When is the last time you experienced nostalgia? 

Well it's been a few weeks since I've taken part here as we've been busy preparing to move house.  Packing up certainly brought on nostalgia - I still had some things of my Mum's, including lots of old photos.  We've been in our new house just over a week now and it's beginning to feel like home.

 2. September 29th is National Coffee Day. Do we need this? Ha! So are you a coffee drinker? If so how many cups per day, and tell us how you like it. Is there a recipe you enjoy that calls for coffee as one of the ingredients? 

As a non-coffee drinker (yes shock horror it's true!) we definitely do not need it although I'd absolutely vote for a National Tea Day.  But give me coffee flavoured cakes, sweets etc any time.

3. Do you find praise or criticism to be more motivating? Explain.
Definitely praise.  When we feel good about ourselves it's much easier to be positive and motivated.  I do feel that negative things can be pointed out though, just not in a totally negative way - criticism should be constructive - suggestions should be forthcoming on how changes could be made.

 4.  What's a television series you keep coming back to and re-watching? 
Ha, at the moment I don't have much time for watching television, let alone watching something I've already seen!

5. As the month of September draws to a close give us three words to describe your mood. 
Over the moon!   See below

6. Insert your own random thought here. 
In my post yesterday (here) I commented on finally completing the move to our new house and the birth of Grandson #4 who arrived just over 4 weeks early.  Well it seems the babies in this family are impatient to say hello because today we welcomed Grandson #5, Miles Walter, to the family at 13.49 pm weighing in at 7lb 15 oz just over 3 weeks early.  Mum and baby doing well and hoping to be home today but at this late stage of the day it could end up being tomorrow.

 We are so blessed.

Monday, 28 September 2020

We're here!


Not the best photo - I took it quickly in the rain just to give you a view of our new house.

Yes we're here, finally!  We moved in on the 22nd September but the period from when we exchanged contracts, (10th September) until now, feels like one big blur.  

Having refused to pack until we knew we were definitely moving from the date of exchange we packed, and packed.  Cleaned.  And ....repeat!

I ought to have been sleeping like a log but of course the stress of all the things to think about kept me awake during the nights, a lot!

But we're in and gradually getting ourselves straight.  The removal guys were excellent and the actual moving day went really smoothly.  They had us packed up and ready to leave our house by 11.30 am.  The financial transactions were done soon after midday so we were able to pick up our new keys, meet the removal guys here and they had everything unloaded by 4.30 pm ish.

I'd like to say I kicked off my shoes and sat and had a nice glass of wine but ...... look who couldn't wait to be here too!

Say hello to Vincent Thomas (aka Vinny) born at 9.35 pm on the day we moved, weighing in at 5lb 15oz despite being over 4 weeks early.  So while Mummy & Daddy were occupied with the new baby, Nanny was looking after his big brother Rory.

Mummy is home now but, as I write this, Vinny is still in the hospital.  He had to have a course of antibiotics for an infection which meant a canula in place plus he was also quite jaundiced so he had to be under a lamp for several days.  He's spent the time in the NICU but Mummy and Daddy have been able to visit despite COVID restrictions although individually not together.  He's doing well though and hopefully will be home on Wednesday provided the hospital are happy with the amount he is feeding.  We're looking forward to meeting him and having our first cuddles!

So it's been a very hectic few weeks and we are now taking our time unpacking all those boxes and helping out with Rory when needed.  

Hopefully I'll be back in the swing of blogging again soon and will be able to show more of our house.  We're loving being here even if it is taking us a while to work out where everything should go, how everything works etc.  

Now I'm not quite so exhausted and the pressure of the move deadline is gone I might even have time to read your posts although commenting might still lag a little way behind.  I'm sure you'll understand and won't be offended.

Friday, 18 September 2020

Friday's Fave Five - 18/9/20


Well I'm taking 5 (ish) minutes out of my busy schedule to note the things I'm thankful for this week.  Thanks to our host Susanne for reminding us to be mindful each week, especially at times like these when things are so busy, unsettled and scary.  You can join in here

1)  A catch up with some friends.  Our ladies lunches have been on hold with all the Covid restrictions but we met up last Saturday in my friend Mary's garden.  Each of the other 3 provided a course.  Mary insisted I had enough to do without worrying about cooking so I took wine!  It was lovely to have a catch up and we chatted for hours over a lovely lunch.

2)  Time with Nathan & his Mummies on Sunday.  Yes we're in the middle of packing up the house but sometimes you just have to make time for family.

3)  A hubby that cooks.  Yes that crops up here a lot but this week it's been even more of a life saver.  We had our usual 2 days with Rory and in between it's pack, pack, pack or deal with the admin involved with moving and I could not have coped with organising food as well.  Well I did organise the food in that I loosely planned what we'd have taking into account the need to empty the freezer etc but then hubby did the rest so that each night I've sat down to a good meal.  And he's even done most of the clearing up.  Usually whoever cooks gets out of the clear up but not this week.

4)  I found some earrings!  I lost one of a pair of gold earrings quite a while ago.  I knew it was in the house and I was pretty certain it was in my bedroom but it never turned up.  Anyway I kept the other one in the hope one day I'd find the missing half of the pair and yesterday I did!  I was ridiculously pleased at that lol.

5)  A new chapter in our lives.  This time next week (barring any last minute disasters) we will be in our new home.  It's taken a while to get to this point and at the moment I'm exhausted but I know it's all been worthwhile.  It will be sad to say goodbye to this house, after 28 years, but it's time.  We're in the Grandparenting phase of our lives now and our new house is much more child friendly than this one.  (It's also more friendly to us as we get older lol.)   

Well I think my 5 minutes are up.  Apologies if I don't get around to visiting your posts this week or leaving comments.  I know you'll understand.  Hopefully our internet should be up and running the day after we move in.  Fingers crossed!

Have a good weekend all.

Friday, 11 September 2020

Friday’s Fave Five - 11/9/20

Well I'm trying something new tonight because I really want to post Friday's  fave 5 post but I'm really tired and my back is not very comfortable  so I am dictating this as an email to Blogger which I can do lying down then it will become a blog post and I hope I won't have to do too much editing.   I'm really happy though so here are my five for this week:

 1.  We sold our house.   Finally after quite a stressful weekend and the threat of the whole chain collapsing we managed to keep it all together and we exchanged contracts yesterday and we will move on the 22nd of September.

2.   Books on my kindle I haven't slept very well this week for various reasons so it's been good to have books to read when I can't get back to sleep.

3.   A good estate agent and solicitor.  They have both worked really hard this week to keep things on track.

4.   A good two days with Rory this week he was really good for me and even went down for a nap while still awake.  Usually I hold him and sing to him until he falls asleep and then put him down but with my back being sore I knew I wouldn't be able to do that so I laid him down on my spare double bed and then laid next to him and sang to him.  I thought he might play about but he just adopted his usual pose and  went to sleep.
5.   A good start on packing the house it's a bit daunting as we have such a lot of stuff and then a lots of other things to do such as arranging for utilities to be finalised and then started at the new house, insurance to be arranged and so on and so on but I'm sure we'll get it done. We have to lol.

Have a good weekend all.

If you want to join in here's the link

Tuesday, 8 September 2020

Book Reviews - more!

Well I'm still catching up on posting the reviews for all the books I've read recently but here are a few more!

No Place for a Woman

No Place for a Woman by Val Wood
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

When Lucy’s parents are killed in a train crash, her kindly uncle steps in to look after the little girl – to the initial apprehension of his wife and her son. However, Lucy’s sweet, spirited charm slowly wins over her new family, and as she overcomes the trauma of her childhood, she grows up inspired to become a doctor, just like her father.

But studying medicine in London takes Lucy far from her home in Hull and the people she loves, and she has to battle to be accepted in a man’s world.

With the dark clouds of the First World War gathering on the horizon, an even greater challenge approaches. Can a woman find her place on the front line of battle? Will Lucy be able to follow her dreams – and find love – in a world shattered by war?

This isn't a genre of book I'd usually read but a book club challenge was to read a book set during WW1. This starts before that but it does cover the period during the war too.

It's an easy read and although I'm sure some of the facts are correct, the blurb suggests it's about the battle for a woman to become a doctor during those times and I felt the training period was glossed over. There was a great deal written about the interview process but very little about the actual training. And then she was off to France in the thick of things.

If you like historical novels with a medical theme and a bit of romance thrown in you'll probably enjoy this but for me it was a case of ticking a box.


Gone Tomorrow (Jack Reacher, #13)

Gone Tomorrow by Lee Child
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Suicide bombers are easy to spot.
They give out all kinds of tell-tale signs.There are twelve things to look for.No one who has worked in law enforcement will ever forget them.

New York City.The subway, two o'clock in the morning.
Jack Reacher studies his fellow passengers.Four are OK.The fifth isn't.
The train brakes for Grand Central Station.

Will Reacher intervene, and save lives?
Or is he wrong?Will his intervention cost lives - including his own?

And another bit of escapism! Just the thing for lockdown reading. Yes the books are a bit formulaic, yes it's a bit far fetched, yes the fight scenes are unlikely and yes I still can't get the image of Tom Cruise in the Reacher role out of my head. (However did he get that part? Oh yes he has lots of money and influence!) But for a thrilling read that keeps you turning the pages (or swiping left) you can't go far wrong.

I Owe You One

I Owe You One by Sophie Kinsella
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Fixie Farr can’t help herself. Straightening a crooked object, removing a barely-there stain, helping out a friend . . . she just has to put things right. It’s how she got her nickname, after all.

So when a handsome stranger in a coffee shop asks her to watch his laptop for a moment, Fixie not only agrees, she ends up saving it from certain disaster. To thank her, the computer’s owner, Sebastian, scribbles her an IOU – but of course Fixie never intends to call in the favour.

That is, until her teenage crush, Ryan, comes back into her life and needs her help – and Fixie turns to Seb. But things don’t go according to plan, and now Fixie owes Seb: big time.

Soon the pair are caught up in a series of IOUs – from small favours to life-changing debts – and Fixie is torn between the past she’s used to and the future she deserves.

Does she have the courage to fix things for herself and fight for the life, and love, she really wants?

Classic chick lit but a great read. I really enjoyed following Fixie's ups and downs trying to hold everything together, overcoming her insecurities, sorting out her family members, keeping the family business running and finding the man of her dreams. Just the thing when the world is going mad around us.

View all my reviews

Review time again!

Angel (DCI Ryan Mysteries, #4)

Angel by L.J. Ross
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

After a turbulent time, DCI Ryan’s life is finally beginning to return to normal and he’s looking forward to spending an uneventful Easter bank holiday weekend with his fiancĂ©e.

Then, on Good Friday morning he is called out to a crime scene at one of the largest cemeteries in Newcastle. The body of a redheaded woman has been found buried in a shallow grave and the killer has given her wings, like an angel.

Soon, another woman is found at a different cemetery, followed quickly by another. Panic spreads like wildfire as a new serial killer is born, and Ryan’s band of detectives must work around the clock to unmask him before he can strike again.

Murder and mystery are peppered with romance and humour in this fast paced crime whodunnit set amidst the spectacular Northumbrian landscape. 

Still enjoying this series. What's next? 

 Knife & Death (James Hardy #1)Knife & Death by Jay Gill

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Detective James Hardy's life goes into a tail-spin when he learns a body discovered floating in the River Thames is that of a friend. Hardy is now in a race against time.

The victim's flat-mate is a potential witness to the crime. On-the-run for her life, Hardy must track her down before the killer does.

With his family under threat and his personal life under scrutiny, Hardy questions his ability to hold it together long enough to find the killer.

Then, as Hardy thinks the situation cannot get any worse, a new serial killer shows an unhealthy interest in him.

Has Hardy finally met his match? 

This was a book club challenge - read the first in a series new to you. It was a bit of a pot luck pick from the cheap books on Kindle as the library is still not fully open. It was ok but despite various murders taking place there wasn't much police procedure going on. It felt like James Hardy was a bit of a one man superhero taskforce at times. Yes there were supporting characters but he seemed to come and go as he pleased. It hasn't inspired me to carry on with the series but I didn't have much trouble finishing this one. 

On the Goodreads site it came with this:

CAUTIONARY NOTE: This novel is strictly for fans of fast-paced, crime thrillers. Some readers have noted considerable pulse-pounding enjoyment. Curious sensations, which include fear and breathlessness, as well as an acute inability to put this book down.

Well the author needn't have worried, I didn't suffer from any of that!   


Where We Belong

Where We Belong by Anstey Harris
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Cate Morris and her son, Leo, are homeless, adrift. They’ve packed up the boxes from their London home, said goodbye to friends and colleagues, and now they are on their way to ‘Hatters Museum of the Wide Wide World – to stay just for the summer. Cate doesn’t want to be there, in Richard’s family home without Richard to guide her any more. And she knows for sure that Araminta, the retainer of the collection of dusty objects and stuffed animals, has taken against them. But they have nowhere else to go. They have to make the best of it.

But Richard hasn’t told Cate the truth about his family’s history. And something about the house starts to work its way under her skin.

Can she really walk away, once she knows the truth?

This was chosen as a book club read and it took me a while to get into the book but gradually it drew me in. And then I found myself hooked and willing Cate and Leo to succeed in their efforts to make the museum a success. Lots of ups and downs and the secrets of the family relationships are gradually revealed. I'm so glad I persevered with it - it's a lovely story, well told.

View all my reviews

20 in 20 - Weekly Photo #35 - 30/8/20

Oops late again with this post.

Back in the day when we used to wander up to our local shops on a Saturday morning (or at least when hubby did)  we would pick up the Saturday paper and we would challenge ourselves to the pub quiz.  If any of the kids were around they would join in too.  And we'd keep the paper for a while in case they visited later as they would still enjoy seeing who could get the best score.

Of course we haven't been venturing very far in these strange times and you can no longer get papers delivered easily so last weekend was a rare treat.

I managed to beat hubby but then we sent it to the kids and I think many of them walloped us.  It was still fun challenging our brains.  (Or lack of them!)

Friday, 4 September 2020

Friday's Fave Five - 4/9/20

So it's Friday again and time to join in with Susanne at Living to Tell the Story and look back on the week and find its blessings.

Click on the link above to find out more, read posts from other participants or to join in! 

Well this week has been pretty uneventful so I might have to go back to basics but here goes:

1)  No progress on our house sale and move but that does make me aware that we do have a roof over our heads and a comfortable home and if we do end up staying here it could be a lot worse.

2)  The back pain I was experiencing last week has eased.  Not gone completely but much less restricting.  This serves as a reminder that generally hubby and I are both in good health and, so far, have not really been affected by this pandemic.

3)  All my pregnant DILs are well and babies are coming along nicely.

4)  We spent time with Rory and Nathan again this week and that's always a blessing - even when they throw a tantrum or two lol.

Rory does love his puzzles and vehicles.  Must remember to take photos of Nathan next time we're there.

5)  The sun is shining!  (It's probably going to cloud over later but at the time of writing I'm looking out at blue sky.)

Definitely back to basics here.  I need to write more about our move but I'll put that on a separate post.  This forum is not for rants!

Have a good weekend all.