Friday, 28 September 2012

Home Sweet Home

 
Her we are home from our whirlwind trip to NYC. Flying home overnight is a good idea to get the most time in the city, but not good for the bodys need to sleep.
So this was my view for about 17 hrs straight. Well actually I didn't see this view as I was asleep, but you get the drift.
Did we have fun?
What do you think?
Some random pictures of the trip for you...










 
So much to tell you about. Ground Zero, Greenwich Village, Meeting my Blogger friend, ooooo we'll have to have lots of coffee (tea) dates to catch up.
Hope you've all had a fab week!
:)X
 


Monday, 24 September 2012

Book review No.21! Dorothy Koomson

 

the woman he loved before

I’ve read a couple of other Dorothy Koomson novels, (My best friend’s Girl/The Ice Cream Girls) and have attempted to read some…(The Chocolate Run/Goodnight Beautiful) So When I saw this I was torn between giving it a chance & leaving it on the book store shelf.

Usually when I like one novel by an author, I find other novels by the same author & like them automatically, but this hasn’t happened with Dorothy.

This novel though, after humming and harring for a while, starting to read then leaving it sat on the shelf for longer….I did eventually give it a proper chance.

Am I glad I did.

Libby has a good life with a gorgeous husband and a home by the sea. But over time she is becoming more unsure if Jack has ever loved her - and if he is over the death of Eve, his first wife. When fate intervenes in their relationship, Libby decides to find out all she can about the man she hastily married and the seemingly perfect Eve. But in doing so she unearths devastating secrets. Frightened by what she finds and the damage it could cause, Libby starts to worry that she too will end up like the first woman Jack loved . . .

This novel is a mystery, which is different to the chic lit Dorothy has written in the past. The secrets which Libby unearths in Eve’s secret diaries are quite shocking. It’s not often I don’t guess what will happen in a novel, but the twists and turns in this kept me gripped right to the end!

First 5 sentences: Are you her? Are you the one he’s with now? Is that why you’ve come looking for me? If you aren’t reading this letter fifty or sixty years from now, then it’s likely that I’m dead, probably murdered.  Please don’t be upset by that, it probably won’t have been too much of a surprise to me – not with the life I have lived.

The cover: This cover, like all Dorothy’s covers, features a young black woman. On first glance it looks like a chic lit book, but when you have read the story the cover makes more sense.

Where I got it: You’re probably getting to know by now that a lot of my books come from a cheap store in town which have a 3 for 5.00 deal on all the time….!

Who’s the lucky duck that’s getting it next: This will be put aside for a friend when I see her next, which will probably be around Christmas (eeeeek the C word!)

This book really was a pleasant surprise, I hadn’t expected it to grip me as much as it did,  especially near the end!

Have you ever been surprised by a book?

SmileX

Saturday, 22 September 2012

What do you fancy doing today?

new yourk city!

Well, it seems like a nice day to take a trip. Where do you fancy going?

new york

Yep. That’s where I’ll be going today. See you there?

SmileX

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Getting on top of things

 

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I really need to get to grips with the house. Summer for us is always full of fun and exciting adventures away in our home on wheels, and this year has been extra busy with my special birthday.

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I’ve let the books take over. There are piles everywhere, some on the floor and some in baskets.

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It’s not as though I’ve been buying books willy nilly, as my promise this year was to read all the books on my TBR pile (s)

They just seem to breed when my back is turned. I swear.

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So I’m ready. There will be piles made for Charity, Grannie, friends and family.

I’m going to reclaim my house.

(Right after our trip to NYC of course…..)

Who knows, if I’m on a roll, next I may sort all the china out (yikes! did I just type that!!!)

What is taking over your space?

SmileX

Monday, 17 September 2012

Book review no. 20! A Spring Affair

 

a spring affair milly johnson

It’s been a long time coming, but here’s the latest book I read. In fact It’s a while since I even read it, I just have been on a bit of a go slow with books lately.

Partly due to my self imposed book buying drought which means I have to choose from my teetering TBR piles. This is where I realise why most of these books are in the TBR piles, I don’t feel so enthusiastic about reading them. But I’m determined.

I haven't even touched my Amazon e vouchers!

So back to the book.

I bought this in a pack of 3 last year from the cheap on line book store.. The Book People.  I gave two away as Christmas presents, and kept this one to myself.

When Lou Winter picks up a dog-eared magazine in the dentist's waiting room and spots an article about clearing clutter, she little realises how it will change her life. What begins as an earnest spring clean soon spirals out of control. Before long Lou is hiring skips in which to dump the copious amounts of junk she never knew she had. Lou's loved ones grow disgruntled. Why is clearing out cupboards suddenly more important than making his breakfast, her husband Phil wonders? The truth is, the more rubbish Lou lets go of, the more light and air can get to those painful, closed-up places at the centre of her heart: the love waiting for a baby she would never have, the empty space her best friend Deb once occupied, and the gaping wound left by her husband's affair. Even lovely Tom Broom, the man who delivers Lou's skips, starts to grow concerned about his sweetest customer. But Lou is a woman on a mission, and not even she knows where it will end ...

First Five sentences:  Sometimes the cosmos goes to a lot of trouble to help shift a life from it’s rut. On this occasion, for instance, it held up the dental technician on the M1 road works, gave the Practice secretary some tricky double bookings to cope with, and lumbered the dentist, Mr Swiftly, with a particularly  awkward extraction that made his appointments run over by more then an hour. All this so that the ante-room would be extra packed with bored people whiling away the time with the magazines in the rack, leaving just one tatty copy for Mrs Elouise Winter. And not just any mag, Women by Women – the mag for women whose once young and carnal energies were now ploughed into studying variations on hotpot and various crafts which were a bit too fuddy-duddy for Lou, despite the fact that, at thirty five, she was starting to edge dangerously close to the chasm of middle age.  Still, it was better than staring into space or reading posters about plaque.

The cover: Loved the cover of this, although FYI this book was first published in 2009, which means you could be caught out thinking you haven't read it when in a actual fact you bought it a few years ago with a different cover. This has annoyingly happened to me with books in the past where they revamp the cover and I find it beyond annoying.

Who’s the lucky duck that’s getting it next: This will be going in the bag for Granny, whom we will be visiting at the end of October. Better get reading more for her!

I loved this book. It has everything you need in a chic lit easy reading novel. Down trodden wife, horrible selfish husband, and hunky deliverer of skips with cute dog.

I was rooting for Lou to get rid of the junk (AKA husband) and take charge of her life.

This book did make me look around at my own clutter….since reading it I’ve actually cleared and tidied my shed!

I’ll be collecting up the books I gave as gifts by the same author to read soon!

SmileX

 

Thursday, 13 September 2012

13..unlucky for some. But not for us :)

 

old pics 004

13 yrs ago Mr D & I got married in The Lake District.

This picture is of The Bungalow, Martindale. The old hunting lodge which we stayed in with a group of 10 friends in the run up to the wedding.

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This is my transport to the hotel at Glenridding, across Ullswater lake. I still have that outfit and often wonder if I should sell it/give it to charity…then I put it back….

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We got married in the hotel library…which wasn’t intentional by this book lover, it was just the room which held the right amount of people (25)

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With Granny Smile

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The cake!

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Messing about…

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This one looks a bit serious…but I’m sure it wasn't ha-ha!

Oh how time flies …..

SmileX

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

I’ve got the plasterers in

 

fairy light fire

Which is not to be confused with ‘having the painters in’

This is our dining room fire place, which we only ever use a few times a year (unlike the lounge open fire which gets used daily from Oct through to March) due to the fact that it didn’t draw very well so would make the house smell Smokey.

fireplace

We purchased a wood burning stove which has been sat in the dining room and been used as a dumping ground for all miscellaneous items, that is until this week, when Mr D decided to make the hole bigger to house said wood burner.

Notice I didn’t even get to move my china from the shelves before he took action.

empty fire place

I’m more than a teeny bit excited as having a wood burner in that room means we will be able to load it up and leave it, unlike an open fire which we would never leave un attended.

The plasterer will make the hole prettier, and soon we will be sitting in front of our new fire place, probably with a cup of mulled wine.

To be continued……..

Do you have an open fire in your house?  When we moved in to our house these fire places were covered with old gas fires, which we soon ripped out :)

Roll on winter

SmileX

Thursday, 6 September 2012

The rest of The Ritz

 

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When we were stuffed full of itty bitty rectangular sandwiches, cute cakes & swimming in tea, we would be silly not to take a nosy at the other rooms downstairs in The Ritz. Well wouldn't you?

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Looking through into another dining area. We sneaked at peak at the menu where you could bizarrely get a 3 course meal for the price of afternoon tea!

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A room with a large empty table in the middle….. ?

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This is taken from inside the room with the big empty table in it looking out into the main foyer. To the left of Lisa is Palm court…for afternoon tea…and to the right is the other dining area in the above photos. Straight ahead  (or behind Lisa) there was a room with a big sign outside saying ‘private dining’. Hmm that’ll be where the posh people hide form the riff raff then…

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This piano and the harp are outside in the main foyer near the Palm Court. Through the doors behind Lisa to to left is stairs leading down to the lovely powder room and to the right is a cloak room.

All around there were chairs and tables to sit at, there were people sitting having cocktails, people watching..staff walking around with trays of Champagne….(ready to spy two girls just about to get in the lift to nosy upstairs! oops!!

I’m looking forward to 3pm tomorrow, as then I am off work until 10pm Sun night!

Planned:

Sleep. Clean my scummy house. Tidy out more of my shed & list more things on e bay (dollars fund!). Get a load of photos from my comp to disk because I would cry if something happened & I lost them. Party at a friends Sat night! Sleepover at said friends, in our home on wheels!!

I really need to catch up on my mail as I have been very bad. The incoming mail  pile is growing.

What are you up to this weekend?

SmileX

 

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Busy Lately…

I’ve been busy the last week or so. Last week I worked about 70 hours at all of my 3 jobs as they were all short staffed.

pillow fort

The good thing about having 3 zero hour contract jobs is that I get to generally pick and choose where/when I work. I like to mix it up. I’ve had more than one job ever since I became old enough to work, it’s just how I like it. I couldn’t imagine doing a 9-5 same place every day kind of job, I don’t like to be tied down…

The freedom of being able to say no is very important to me. I’ve never been a career girl. I like to think that the reason I didn’t go to university is that I chose not to. Not because I wasn't bright enough. But the reality is that I didn’t really choose at all, as going to university just  never entered my head.

Times were different then, (hark at me old person)  More school leavers went into jobs where they got paid in training, whereas now there is a lot of pressure for people to get the grades and study more.

My parents were never the pushy get the grades type parents, and I’m grateful for that. If they had been my life would be so different. Lets face it, my life is pretty darn good.

So when I say i worked so hard last week, the point is that it was me that chose to say yes, and I know that next week, or the week after, I can choose to say no, if I want.

I know some people will be thinking, ‘lucky her that can have a zero hr contract and not worry about money’ It’s all about choices. I chose to stay in the same house for 20 years and never re mortgage to ‘upsize’ I chose not to have children (i can hear you all sucking in your breath right about now) and I chose not to go down the career path but to pick jobs I like that would be flexible to my lifestyle.

The bottom line is, Work to Live….don’t Live to Work.

So if you’re wondering why I chose to work so much lately….well….we’ll be going here in a few weeks…

new yourk city!

To say I’m excited just doesn't even touch the sides.

SmileX

Have you been busy lately?