Thursday, 29 May 2014

A case of use it or lose it…


pretty nostalgic
Reading through my (rather large) blog list the other day, I came across
There are sooo many magazines out there for all sorts of interests and hobbies, when I found Pretty Nostalgic I was more than excited. Yes its more expensive at 8.00 but what people seem to forget is that its a bi-monthly magazine,  is thicker, better quality (more of a book than a magazine) and it has to be said, has a lot more to read than some monthly magazines.
Reading the post made me sad, that someone’s dream may be shattered.
Have you ever bought it?
SmileX

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

The 100yr old man who climbed out the window and disappeared. Book review No.10


the 100 year old man that climbed out the window and dissapeared
It all starts on the one-hundredth birthday of Allan Karlsson. Sitting quietly in his room in an old people’s home, he is waiting for the party he-never-wanted-anyway to begin. The Mayor is going to be there. The press is going to be there. But, as it turns out, Allan is not… Slowly but surely Allan climbs out of his bedroom window, into the flowerbed (in his slippers) and makes his getaway. And so begins his picaresque and unlikely journey involving criminals, several murders, a suitcase full of cash, and incompetent police. As his escapades unfold, we learn something of Allan’s earlier life in which – remarkably – he helped to make the atom bomb, became friends with American presidents, Russian tyrants, and Chinese leaders, and was a participant behind the scenes in many key events of the twentieth century.
I bought this book with a voucher I had at Christmas, I had seen it on the shelves and thought it seemed a bit different to my usual read.
Different is the right word. This novel is set in Sweden. I’ve never read a novel set in Sweden. It’s got the longest title I’ve ever known a book to have, and it describes the book perfectly.
The 100yr old man who climbs out the window goes off on a funny adventure that involves money murder and pet elephants.
It’s funny, if not a little silly, and very Forest Gump like.  As well as Allan’s adventures on the run after climbing out the window there are chapters about his life before he reached his 100th birthday, and that’s no less exciting.
Definitely a book to read if you’re after something that little bit different.
SmileX

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Bank Holidays are made for..


daisy scarf
Spending the day with the Mr and wearing the daisy scarf bought for me by my sis, just because.
houseboat
Eating brunch by the river, wondering who lives in these beautiful house boats
the travelling tea shop
Buying new books because books are always judged by their cover in my world and this one? Well do I really need to explain?
The weekend itself was dry and sunny in parts, we were lucky. The rain caught up with us today. Lucky I had an extra day at home.
Hope your weekend was full of great things
SmileX

Monday, 26 May 2014

The Chain Bridge Honey Farm


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During our stay in Northumberland, we came across a leaflet about a Honey Farm. Apparently it was next to a Chain Bridge.
The promise of the Union Chain Bridge, which happens to be the oldest suspension bridge carrying traffic (albeit traffic weighing less than 2 ton and only one car at a time allowed to cross) with The Honey Farm right next door to it was just too much. We all agreed it looked like a great day out.
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The Union Chain Bridge crosses over the River Tweed between Horncliffe, Northumberland, England and Fishwick, Borders, Scotland,
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just before you reach it, on the English side, you will come across The Honey Farm.
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We spent a good couple of hours here, the boys were thrilled to find a vast collection of old vehicles at various stages of renovation scattered around
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I was of course thrilled to find one of the vehicles converted into a cafe
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It’s always a good time for tea and cake..
tea and cake
Right next to a very cute Vintage store
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Sadly there was no honey being produced that day (Wed) or we would have been able to view from the platform in the production shed, but the shop had rooms of information about the farm and the honey.
This place is worth a trip, a fantastic day out was had, I’ve been consuming the honey ever since.
SmileX

Sunday, 25 May 2014

Sunday Thoughts…


boos 10
Last weekend I bought 8 books from a boot sale.
Because I couldn’t leave them behind.
SmileX

Friday, 23 May 2014

Lindesfarne Priory Holy Island


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Our visit to Northumberland wouldn’t have been complete without a visit to Holy Island, so everyone told us, so off we went over the causeway at low tide. There is of course, a castle to visit, (pics due of that in another post) but my favourite place was The Priory.
This was the home of St Cuthbert, so the literature tells me, and one of the most famous visitor attractions in North East England.
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I admit to not knowing much about this part of England before our visit, which is a bit of a boob on my part as my family are from the North of England and Scotland. But I totally blame my history teachers for this as they seem to have seen fit to teach me about how cave men made fires and beds out of animal fur and next to nothing about the History of my own Country.
FYI This is the site of many grisly Viking attacks and played an important part in early Christianity.
Whist my fellow holiday makers quickly went around it I stayed and enjoyed the view, and took many photos.
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I found them again of course, and managed to find the shop selling the famous Mead I was told to buy. mmmmm.
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Of course I had to take a look around St Mary’s Church too.
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If you’re ever up that way, I would definitely tell you to check out the tides and get over the causeway to this island, there are more photos to share but I’ll save them for another post.
SmileX

Thursday, 22 May 2014

When did she grow taller than me?


beach
Today is the Birthday of this girl, who has suddenly grown taller than me. But that may have something to do with the big healed boots that were on her feet. Still I feel short.
That’s not the reason I have my eyes shut though, that’s because my sister took the photo on my phone and we couldn’t see it properly on the screen to ‘quality control’ it. Don’t pretend you don’t do it too) If we had I would have definitely been one of those irritating people that would make her take it again. Gone are the days of spontaneous photos and just waiting to see how they print out.
We had breakfast at a local sea side cafe.
Then we had tea and this cake at her house.
flake cake
Yes, it was as nice as it looks, and no, I didn’t make it.
SmileX

Sunday, 18 May 2014

Sunday Thoughts..

 

good morning friends

Hands up if one of  the first things you do in the morning is say hello to your virtual friends?

I have a morning routine, it goes like this:

Wake up. Visit bathroom.

Go downstairs & switch computer on.

Boil kettle.

Whist kettle is on & computer is warming up, wash dishes from night before.

Sit with laptop & cuppa, & visit virtual friends.

This can last anything from 10 minutes to a couple of hours (sometimes a second cuppa is made) depending on what my plans for the day are.

Even if I took note of the video doing the rounds about us all being too plugged in, I would never miss out the morning cuppa with you lot.

SmileX

Friday, 16 May 2014

The School for Good & Evil Book review no.9


the school for good and evil
The first kidnappings happened two hundred years before. Some years it was two boys taken, some years two girls, sometimes one of each. But if at first the choices seemed random, soon the pattern became clear. One was always beautiful and good, the child every parent wanted as their own. The other was homely and odd, an outcast from birth. An opposing pair, plucked from youth and spirited away.
This year, best friends Sophie and Agatha are about to discover where all the lost children go: the fabled School for Good & Evil, where ordinary boys and girls are trained to be fairy tale heroes and villains. As the most beautiful girl in Gavaldon, Sophie has dreamed of being kidnapped into an enchanted world her whole life. With her pink dresses, glass slippers, and devotion to good deeds, she knows she’ll earn top marks at the School for Good and graduate a storybook princess. Meanwhile Agatha, with her shapeless black frocks, wicked pet cat, and dislike of nearly everyone, seems a natural fit for the School for Evil.
But when the two girls are swept into the Endless Woods, they find their fortunes reversed—Sophie’s dumped in the School for Evil to take Uglification, Death Curses, and Henchmen Training, while Agatha finds herself in the School For Good, thrust amongst handsome princes and fair maidens for classes in Princess Etiquette and Animal Communication.. But what if the mistake is actually the first clue to discovering who Sophie and Agatha really are…?
The School for Good & Evil is an epic journey into a dazzling new world, where the only way out of a fairy tale is to live through one
I just happened to find this on the shelf of the charity shop I volunteer in, (when I say ‘just happened’ what I actually mean is that during my morning of tidying, displaying, dusting smelling  the books this one jumped into my hands)
If you are a fan of Gregory McGuire (of Wicked fame) you will love this I’m sure, it’s an alternative fairy tale with more than one twist and I loved it. Two very different girls (who reminded me of Elphaba & Glinda from Wicked) are whisked off to The School for good and Evil which is like a Hogwarts for all things fairy tale. And heaven forbid if you fail.
I new nothing of this book before I read it, and have since found this trailer on you tube which if I had seen it would have made me read it sooner.
I hear there is a second book which I will definitely read.
I’m thinking a movie?
SmileX

Thursday, 15 May 2014

And the Season begins…


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By now you know the season consists of Mr D and I going off in our home on wheels to exhibit at various shows around the country, the first one for us this year was a couple of months ago just up the road, and was really a hot rod and American car show, but we get to wangle our big bedroom in because we have supported the show from the start and the organisers are very friendly.
The oval is a highlight of this show, where you can watch the cars go round. and round. and round.
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You just have to be careful of flying wheel trims when watching. All in the name of fun.
Surprising what you see at a show like this, even an old Hearse.
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Looks pretty plush in there hey?
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Our home for the season.
We also get a ring side view of the arena.
Below is the view from my bedroom window.
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One down, many more to come.
SmileX

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Sand (&) Castles


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Dunstanburgh Castle.
I’ve been to The North of England many times, but have never ventured to the corner that is Northumberland. Last week instead of our regular trip to The Lake District, we decided to have a change of scenery.
If you’ve never been, Northumberland is the Castle capital of England, being the scene of many battles between England and Scotland. It is the most sparsely populated county in England which we noticed as soon as we drove north of Newcastle by the volume of traffic on the A1 disappearing.
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Lindesfarne castle
The week was spent exploring long sandy beaches, castles and the odd tea room, the weather was mostly kind and the people very friendly (even if they did talk funny)
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Bamburgh Castle
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I have lots of photos of course which I will drip feed so as not to bore you all on one day.
For now its back to the j.o.b.
Looking forward to the next adventure!
SmileX

Saturday, 10 May 2014

4 miles of books….


Isn’t it great to stumble on a new favourite place whilst on holiday? Last week in Northumberland I did I admit stamp my feet a teeny bit as we drove past the brown tourist sign which read ‘Barter Books’. I mean, if it’s on a tourist sign, there has to be something worth going to right?
Oh how right I was.
And then I found this video on you tube and fell in love just that little bit more.
If you love books, tea, trains or the Keep Calm and Carry On posters, you’ll want to watch this.
 
SmileX

Sunday, 4 May 2014

Sunday Thoughts…


tea drinking tree
I guess it would be worth growing up for. Don’t you think?
SmileX

Thursday, 1 May 2014

Sleeping Arrangements by Sophie Kinsella Book review No.8


sleeping arrangements
Chloe needs a holiday. She's sick of making wedding dresses, her partner Philip has troubles at work, the whole family wants a break. Her wealthy friend Gerard has offered the loan of his luxury villa in Spain – perfect. Hugh is not a happy man. His immaculate wife Amanda seems more interested in her new kitchen than in him, and he works so hard to pay for it, he barely has time for his children. Maybe he'll have a chance to bond with them on holiday. His old friend Gerard has lent them a luxury villa in Spain - perfect. Both families arrive at the villa and realise the awful truth - Gerard has double-booked. What no-one else realises is that Chloe and Hugh have a history, and as tensions rise within the two families, old passions resurface. It seems that Gerard's 'accidental' double booking may not be an accident after all...
Sophie Kinsella’s real name is Madeline Wickham, did you know that? (Madeline Sophie Wickham actually) I’m not sure why Authors publish books by a name other than their own,(apparently this is called a pen name) especially as once they are published it seems quite the thing to make it known who the book is really written by. The thing that gets me is this. If you were none the wiser, looking at the text on this cover would you think Sophie Kinsella or Madeline Wickham is her real name?
Interestingly I’ve never seen a Sophie Kinsella novel telling us that this is actually written by Madeline Wickham. But on all the recently published Madeline Wickham novels, it’s blatantly put on the cover that this is written by Sophie Kinsella. But Sophie is the pen name. Are you getting it?
Anyhoo.. This was a book I picked up as ever from the charity shop, it was a small book so I read it really quickly in about a day.
As I would expect from Sophie, sorry Madeline this was a quick, easy, fun read. I enjoyed it. I wouldn’t say I loved it.
Don’t expect anything great from this, if you read the reviews on Goodreads you would probably be put off reading it at all, but it depends on what you are after for your reading time. Most of the time I want something I can dip in and out of without too much thought. It’s not as good as a Sophie Kinsella novel. Not as funny, the characters aren’t as wacky, the plot isn’t very deep at all and it’s pretty predictable.
So it appears that Madeline is better off writing when she has her Sophie hat on.
SmileX