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.