Monday, 30 December 2013

The Great Book Draught that was 2013


books
2013 was not a great book reading year for me. Not that I didn’t read any, I did, although it has to be said not as many as I would normally read. I just didn’t seem to find any really great books. A lot of good ones. A lot of entertaining ones. But none that were great.
I think this year I’m going to be more adventurous with my book selection, I chose a lot of YA books in 2013, and while these are always a good enjoyable way to pass the time, they don’t exactly stand out from the crowd.
If anyone has any recommendations of what you would call a great book, let me know!
xmas books
The above is my Christmas books. Some were gifted and some I bought with book tokens. (If anyone says I’m hard to buy for they really don’t now me very well).  Book token every time.
I’m reading the top one at the moment, and it’s turning out to be more than good.
SmileX

Sunday, 29 December 2013

Sunday Thoughts…


new year
We will open the book. It’s pages are blank. We are going to put words in it ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and the first chapter is New Years Day. Edith Lovejoy Pierce.
The art of living the life of your dreams, is to start living the life of your dreams today, in every little way you possibly can. Mike Dooley.
And now, we welcome the New Year. Full of things that have never been.
SmileX

Thursday, 26 December 2013

The gift that comes every year


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I hope you are all enjoying the holiday with your loved ones and that Santa found you.
The day before Christmas Eve I received this lovely basket of flowers. Every year for the past 15 or so years I have received flowers in some form or other from a family whose mother I helped to look after before she died.
The family only live about 10 miles away, and although I’ve never gotten around to going to see them I do write them letters and send little cards which I know they appreciate. I really think people underestimate the power of a hand written note on the door mat.
So every year my flowers come, and I’m always surprised, as I do think surely they will stop one year, but this was not that year.
These certainly made me smile.
So today being boxing day, is it a case of here we go again?
We have some friends arriving soon and we will be joining the masses for a boxing day walk, probably to a pub, and tonight I’m on night shift.
SmileX

Monday, 23 December 2013

Today will be all about..


wrapping
Wrapping presents. I’ve only wrapped a handful & proceedings came to an abrupt halt with me feeling rubbish. I have much to wrap, and hopefully make as pretty as these ones.
I need to tidy my house ready for Santa’s visit. Wouldn’t want the big man to think we live in a hovel.
I also have to be brave and venture outside. Into town. Oh yikes. I might leave it till much later in the day when hopefully everyone has been and gone home for mulled wine & mince pies.
elizabeth taylor
Hope you’re all surviving.
SmileX

Thursday, 19 December 2013

Christmas Cheer?


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In an effort to get some Christmas cheer in my life, i thought I’d join the band of dec posts.
This time next week we’ll all be over fed and playing with all our gifts from Santa (or is that just me?)
My house is looking a bit festive,  my happy little wooden teddy is keeping an eye on proceedings.
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These lights are actually up all year round. Is that wrong?
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And if you listen closely you may hear some music…..
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Memories of New York with my special holiday bauble..
I’m supposed to be going out tonight to a Christmas party but I’m just not sure I’m going to make it, do I go out tonight and potentially miss all the other fun things between now and Christmas? Or do I miss tonight in the hope that I will be up and partying the next few days..?
I do hope everyone is enjoying their holiday and if you are going to some party’s have fun and stay safe!
SmileX

Monday, 16 December 2013

I think I might write this week off


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This week was not a good one. I felt ill, iller (that probably isn’t a word judging by the red squiggle that appeared underneath, but it should be) than I have felt for a very long time.
Much time was spent either in bed or sitting by the fire trying not to do that terribly stupid thing of looking up symptoms on the web.
By Friday I decided that I should drag the Christmas cheer into the house in the form of the tree and pretty things from the shed, which did make me smile a bit, and then on Saturday the Mr took me for a walk along the prom with the promise of a coke float at the ice cream parlour.
It’s back to work this week whether I feel like it or not, armed with fruit & healthy treats, and a whole lot of hope that this was just a seasonal blip.
Anyone else suffering the winter bugs?
SmileX

Sunday, 15 December 2013

Sunday Thoughts….


sunday tea
If you are cold, tea will warm you; if you are too heated, it will cool you; if you are depressed, it will cheer you; if you are excited it will calm you. ~William Ewart Gladstone
"Would you like an adventure now.... or would you like to have your tea first?" Wendy said "tea first" quickly, and Michael pressed her hand in gratitude.... ~J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan
Drink your tea slowly and reverently, as if it is the axis on which the world earth revolves — slowly, evenly, without rushing toward the future. ~Thich Nat Hahn
Never trust a man who, when left alone in a room with a tea cozy, doesn't try it on. ~Billy Connolly
SmileX

Friday, 13 December 2013

Coming Home by Patricia Scanlan. Book review no. 20

I LOVE reading Christmassy themed novels! I always like to get some in my stocking, and this one is from last Christmas. I actually read this months ago but have only just gotten around to posting this..
coming home patricia scanlan
Two sisters…two very different lives. Alison. As Christmas approaches, her American dream is in tatters. Her highflying career is on the skids, as she is made jobless in the financial meltdown. Her wealthy boyfriend is playing away. But pride prevents her from telling her family just how bad things are. Olivia, back home, is fraught trying to juggle family, career, preparations for Christmas and a surprise party for their mother’s seventieth birthday. How she envies, and sometimes resents, her sister Alison and her life of excitement and affluence in New York. Coming home is the last thing Alison wants to do, especially now that she’s met a rather attractive, sexy, down to earth neighbour. But family ties are strong. Alison and Olivia sort their differences, the party throws up a few surprises and Christmas brings changes for Alison that she could never have imagined before...
This was a very easy read, being only287 pages thick helped too..
I’ve never read the author before (that I remember) so had nothing to compare it too, but had I read the reviews on Amazon before hand I probably wouldn’t have bought it as they are mostly ‘disappointed compared to her usual novels’.
I would say it’s an ok easy read at Christmas time, it’s a heart warming tale of two sisters separated by the paths their lives have taken and who live in completely different worlds.
It’s believable and I liked the family values running through, but would I buy another novel by the same author? Maybe second hand….
SmileX

Monday, 9 December 2013

Out with the old


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I love my Filofax, I’ve had it for many many years, since the days before cute coloured or patterned ones existed, and use it all the time. I own a Blackberry, but have never ever used it to it’s full potential, I much prefer to write stuff down on paper.
I do get some odd looks when I pull it out of my hand bag sometimes.
Lately, however, my trusted Filofax has looked a bit tired and worn, & I confess I have been looking longingly at the lovely new ones on the shelves, but they are pretty expensive so I resisted for quite some months.
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That is, until I found that WHS have a sale on, and I just couldn’t say no.
So many pretty colours, I settled for purple.
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I have to say I was annoyed when it arrived with the 2013 diary pages in it, so I had to go and buy the 2014 ones, luckily they too were on offer & I didn’t buy the genuine Filofax pages, but settled for the WHS branded ones which were half the price anyway, otherwise I would have been spitting nails.
I am a bit sad to say goodbye to my old black one, but having served me well for many years, it is now being retired to the office drawer.
Do you use an organiser? Or is everything you need to know programmed into your phone?
SmileX

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Sunday Thoughts….


hoarding
Housework is something you do that nobody notices until you don't do it
Love is the thing that enables a woman to sing while she mops up the floor after her husband has walked across it in his barn boots
Our house is clean enough to be healthy, and dirty enough to be happy
Don't cook.  Don't clean.  No man will ever make love to a woman because she waxed the linoleum - "My God, the floor's immaculate.  Lie down, you hot bitch."  ~Joan Rivers
SmileX

Saturday, 7 December 2013

Gloss Book review No. 19


gloss
New York, 1963.
Fashion, music and attitudes are changing, and there's nowhere in in the world more exciting. Sherry, Donna, Allison and Pamela have each landed a dream internship at Gloss; America's number-one fashion magazine.
Each girl is trying to make her mark on New York and each finds herself thrown head-first into the buzzing world of celebrity, high-end fashion and gossip. But everything isn't as glamorous as it seems - secrets from the past threaten to shatter their dreams.
They're finding out that romance in New York is as unpredictable and thrilling as the city itself
I bought this book because of my obsession with all things NYC, I thought it sounded a bit Mad-Men meets Gossip Girl meets The City and picked it up in a ‘buy 1 get 1 half price’ deal.
I actually read this in the summer, and to me it is a summer kind of book, not really sure why that is! I enjoyed reading about 1960’s NY, I love that now I’ve been there a couple of times I can really play out the scenes in my head as I read them, having said that this is probably a lot to do with why I enjoyed the book so much, it’s a YA book and very much so. Nothing too taxing on the brain so to speak, but enjoyable as you hear of the four girls coming of age adventures.
SmileX

Friday, 6 December 2013

Sneaking in the back door


Just to let you know we are fine, our town escaped relatively unscathed, just having spent most of the afternoon and evening trying to make the house look somewhat inhabited again, I am now trying to get my computer to play ball and connect to the internet.
Having tried everything else plan z is to try and publish this post..
Here goes nothing….
SmileX

Thursday, 5 December 2013

It’s going to be a long night…

felixstowe
It would be true to say I wasn’t happy at being woken up at 6am today by the telephone, then when Mr D came in to tell me it was the flood warning, I admit I mumbled something about it being ‘too early’ and turned over. I awoke again at 9am having dreamt that my house had been flooded and to see Mr D moving things around.
To get an idea, my house is in the red zone of Felixstowe in the photo above. Which you can also see in the photos below, showing the flooding of 1953 where the water came up to the bedroom window of the house & many people died in the area.
house
house 2
This is the worst flood warning we have had in the area since then..
All day has been spent moving precious items upstairs. Believe me 23 years in one house means there are lots of precious items to move.
This afternoon a nice young policeman knocked on the door and handed me an evacuation notice.
I will be on night shift tonight (up the hill so nice and dry) But I am taking my radio tuned into the local station for updates, my trusty girly mag lite torch, chocolate and sweeties. What more can a girl need?
Mr D will be staying on flood watch.
Hopefully there WON’T be any photos of flooding to show you next time..
SmileX

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Treasure in the most unexpected places


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I think I may be the only person in Blog land, and actually the planet that doesn't  yet have a tree (or actually several trees…when did it become normal to have a tree in every room?)
I have how ever been spending time cleaning in preparation.
I’ve hoovered,  properly, as in, moved furniture & piles of books rather than hoover round them.
I found this little deer in the bottom of a basket of wool, all wrapped up neatly in tissue paper, obviously bought in the sales after last Christmas & put away ‘somewhere safe’ to give to my sister this year.
I wonder what treasure I’ll find today? Maybe it will be my passport which is obviously ‘somewhere safe’ and we are thinking of having a little holiday at the beginning of next year. We’ve never done the ‘hot’ holiday abroad, anyone have any recommendations?
SmileX

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Sunday Thoughts…


stag
“Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is the time for home.”
Edith Sitwell

Every mile is two in winter….George Herbert

One kind word can warm three winter months
Winter is the season in which people try to keep the house as warm as it was in the summer, when they complained about the heat.
In the winter she curls up around a good book and dreams away the cold. ~Ben Aaronovitch,
SmileX

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Catching Fire



Have you seen it yet?
We went last night, to our little local cinema, which has been modernised slightly or rather you can now hear the sound track over the rustling of sweetie packets, which will cost you 7.50 compared to the 5.00 at our last visit (that's the cinema ticket not the sweetie's...although it would be easily possible to spend that much on sweeties..)
Anyway, the film was great. Look out for the Monkeys. I may have jumped off my seat just a wee bit.
SmileX

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Sunday Thoughts…


technology
"The production of too many useful things results in too many useless people. "
"Computers make it easier to do a lot of things, but most of the things they make it easier to do don't need to be done.
It is named the "Web" for good reason.”
“Just move to the Internet, its great here. We get to live inside where the weather is always awesome.”
“The internet is just a world passing notes around a classroom.”
SmileX

Saturday, 23 November 2013

Weekends


weekends
Working shifts and/or being a relief worker means weekends aren’t always on the traditional Sat & Sun, so as I will be working from 2.30pm tomorrow (Sun) right through till 8.30am  Mon that did mean that Fri & Sat has been my ‘weekend’.
Yesterday (Friday) I did actually spend most of the day in bed as I had worked an awake night Thurs. My day spent in bed consists of getting up occasionally to pick up the post, go to the loo, answer the phone, throw  (sometimes I turn it off, depending how tired I am) and throw a log on the wood burner. I did actually get dressed and Mr D & I went to the local British Legion club to meet some friends and listen to a band. Going to the Legion isn’t something we do regularly, in fact we’ve only ever gone there for private functions, but we had a good time.
By the time we had cadged a lift home and invited said chauffeurs in for tea and a warm by the burner, it was late and so this morning I didn’t peek out of the curtains until 10.30am. !
Today has been spent taking some things to the charity shop and listing treasure on E bay. I’m being very good lately at not hoarding everything, and it’s amazing what I’ve found whilst tidying. So now I don’t need to buy a new pair of slippers as I discovered a brand new pair with the tags on that I think I received last Christmas!
Tonight we are going to some friends house for a drink & out for a meal. This will be the first journey on my bike since Mr put a basket on the back luggage rack for me to carry my shopping in. Nervous?
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When I said I wanted a basket on the back I didn’t quite envision one this big.
I will let you know how it goes and if I have to avoid any narrow spaces.
SmileX

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Whatever It Takes Adele Parks. Book Review No. 18


whatever it takes adele parks
Eloise Hamilton is a Londoner born and bred, so it is a momentous day when she reluctantly agrees to uproot to Dartmouth, leaving behind her perfect world so her husband can finally live in his. There are compensations, however. Her mother-in-law Margaret will welcome her with open arms, and besides, she can still rely on best friend Sara to be her lifeline to London.
Yet, both Margaret and Sara are facing their own difficulties, and thrust into unexpected turmoil, Eloise finds she is the one holding everything together for her loved ones - and by an ever-weakening thread. As her world implodes with the strain of being responsible for all around her, someone is bound to be overlooked. And the damage might be irreparable
I  love Adele’s books, I’ve read most of them, then she did that annoying thing (ok prob not her fault) of republishing her books with a new cover and when this one came out I had to check the inside to see when it was first published to see if I’d read it! So many many books, they just blur into each other…
Anyway, this one was as good as the rest, grittier than the usual chic lit I read a lot of.
I really disliked Sara, I couldn’t believe Eloise put up with her and was her friend for so long, as a non-breeder myself I just find it annoying when women think all they are out on the earth to do is have babies, to the point of not caring how they treat anyone else in their lives.
As with all Adele’s books, there's a lot happening  in this one, all the characters have a lot going on in their lives, & it kept me wanting to read ‘just one more page’!
Definitely one for your Christmas stocking
SmileX

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

The year of the Babycham


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I’ve never ever tasted Babycham, maybe that’s because I’ve never owned the correct drinking vessel. Well now I do, so there’s really no excuse now is there?
I found a big big bottle at Iceland the other day, but I didn’t buy it as I couldn’t drink all that fizz in one go, and I really don’t see Mr D as a Babycham kinda guy.
Is it true if you put a spoon in the top of a bottle of fizz it keeps it’s fizz – ness longer?
I’m on the look out for the 4 packs of smaller bottles, if anyone could help a girl out here in her quest..
It’s been bitterly cold here today, hope you’ve all got your thermals on. According to the radio yesterday, you need to keep moving so that your inner core body temp doesn't plummet & you get hypothermia. Does regular trips to the wood basket and/or kettle count?
SmileX

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Sunday Thoughts..


life
“Good things come to those who wait… greater things come to those who get off their ass and do anything to make it happen.”
“Build your own dreams, or someone else will hire you to build theirs.”
“Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.”
“Forget all the reasons it won’t work and believe the one reason that it will.”
SmileX