Monday, 18 September 2023

Me on Monday

This Monday finds me a bit bleary eyed after a disturbed nights sleep.  We had a humdinger of a storm which felt directly above our house in the early hours of the morning, which disturbed Coco who could not settle anywhere between the flashes of lightening and cracks of thunder.  The only place I could convince her to lay was on the bed in the bedroom which used to be our son's.  Even then she was not staying anywhere on her own and I realised that the only way both of us would be able to get back to sleep would be for me to be in the bed while she slept on it.  Then she wanted to lay full width across the bottom so I had to sleep diagonally across the bit she had left for me.  

I think the storm is a sure sign that our season has tipped from summer to autumn.  We have a few plans for changes in our garden; we have a tree which has died and needs removing and we have been clearing space and thinking about how we will redesign that area.  There's still colour in the borders though and this little fellow spent ages flitting from one head of sedum flower to another as I was weeding beneath the plants.


The lake looked lovely on the early morning dog walk and we made the most of the dry weather as the forecast is far more unsettled for the week to come.


At the moment I don't have too many plans for the coming week apart from our childminding routine and that feels nice.  We are out for dinner with friends at the end of the week to a restaurant in town we haven't tried before so that will be interesting.  

I have actually done some crochet this weekend and finished all the individual squares  - so it was time to join them all together.  It now looks like this


And so begins the border - not to mention finishing off all the ends on the reverse side.  I had good intentions to do that as I went along but you know how easy it is to forget good intentions πŸ˜‰ 


Tuesday, 12 September 2023

Me on Tuesday

 I'm a day late this week, due to our long weekend in Norfolk!  

We enjoyed sunset walks on the beach

Sunshiny days 

Trips to Cromer Pier

Seeing goats grazing on the hillside going down to the pier


And trips out to National Trust property, Blickling Hall


All in all it was a lovely weekend, weather was perfect, our Air BnB was in a good location as a base to explore that area of the Norfolk coast and everywhere was 'dog friendly' - what more could you want?

Back to 'normal' today, catching up on washing and drying and a return to school day childcare.  But first, I have a lot of blogposts that I need to read (the lengths I go to to avoid ironing all that washing that is now ready to be de-crumpled!)

Monday, 4 September 2023

Me on Monday

 I realise as I get older that the more I think I know what my plans are, the more likely they are to change.

I thought we had a quiet weekend ahead.  We were having Daisy here for a few hours while Leo had his birthday party at their house.  As soon as I received a message from Rachel just saying 'Nightmare' I held my breath waiting to hear what had happened.  It turned out that the bouncy castle they had carefully chosen had been delivered, only to be told that you shouldn't have them on top of artificial grass.  (Just for the record, Paul and I are VERY against fake grass and tried hard to dissuade them from having it laid when they had the work done on their garden!) Of course we have a natural lawn and so with Leo worried about having to change all their plans, we offered for them to host the party here.  




So much for an quiet afternoon! To be fair he only chose six friends to come and they were all well behaved but my neighbours must have wondered what we were up to.

This Monday finds me thankful that the sun has returned and looking forward to a few days away at the end of the week. It also finds us looking around do-it-yourself shops looking for a small basin and unit to put in our downstairs toilet as our existing one has developed a crack. Paul is confident that this is a job he can tackle himself 😬 Time will tell!

Back to school this week for the children - I think grandparents all over the country are breathing a sigh of relief just as much as parents.  I'm still not going to tempt fate through by pretending I know what I'll be doing with my extra free time!

Have a good week!

Friday, 1 September 2023

Let's have a cup of coffee - 1st September

 Come in, sit down, I'll just put the kettle on.


You will notice that Olive has set the table for us with her toy tea set! We may need more than one cup to quench our thirst πŸ˜‰

It's been a busy month since I last saw you, with lots of childcare going on - not to mention a bit of 'hamster care' as well!  

I honestly don't know how working parents manage to get through the long holiday if they don't have family nearby to help out with childcare.  I know we aren't alone in looking after the grandchildren, all the grandparents I know are in the same boat!  It would be SO expensive to have to pay for childcare for six weeks.  Added to all that both our children have wedding anniversaries within 6 weeks of each other plus Rachel has a birthday so our offers of babysitting while they go out to celebrate are quickly snapped up before we can change our minds!  Schools are back next week so some kind of normality will return.

The weather has been horrible this 'summer' and it's hard to believe that other places in the world are sweltering in heat waves.  A lot of my summer clothes haven't seen the light of day since we went to Sicily.  There's a definite chill to the air now in the mornings and the nights are definitely drawing in.  How are things where you live?

I'm looking forward to some continuity in my Zumba classes as a new term approaches.  Our instructor took a holiday and the hall was then closed for redecoration for two weeks so there have been more classes that didn't happen than those which did!  I need to get back on the straight and narrow.  The results of the Dexa scan I had earlier this year showed the start of osteoporosis so I need to be mindful of trying to strengthen my bones.  I'm taking alendronic acid tablets and calcium/vit D tablets to help slow the process down, but weight bearing exercise helps as well.  Plus an hour of Zumba has no nasty side effects!

Even though I don't have children of school age any more, September always has me feeling like a new start is happening.  Not so much new pencil cases and lunch boxes but clearing out the garden and planting bulbs!  Do you still get that feeling of a new chapter starting?

Thank you so much for stopping by; I hope to see you again, same time, same place, the first Friday in October!




Thursday, 31 August 2023

#WBOYC in August

 

This month could be a little more challenging, with more letters to use, but let's have a go

A

Another pet comes to stay, smaller and less sociable than the last visitor, but noisier at night - my niece's children's hamster.


Advance booking for tickets to see Average White Band in their farewell tour in April next year! I've liked them since I was at school in the 70s and this will be the last chance to see them in concert again.

U

Untidy hair be gone!  Time for a hair cut

G

Getting together with myself sister and brother in law and cousin and partner is such a lovely thing to do.  My mum and my cousin's mum were very close.  Out of a family of six siblings they had a special relationship so it is so nice to know that our generation are keeping in close contact.  

Grandparent duties have increased since the start of the six week school holidays!

U

Unusual amount of celebrations this month (yes I am struggling to find two things to start with U) Jon & Sophie's wedding anniversary, Rachel and Leo's birthdays too.

Upgraded my phone.  The battery on my old one was not lasting long at all so I decided it was time to upgrade. This new one has face recognition rather than fingerprint to open which I feel sure is going to take a while to get used to! 

S

Smoked slow cooked pork ribs and salad - we were invited to my cousin's for a barbecue with my sister and brother in law and it was my turn to choose part of the menu.  They have a fab outdoor cooking area complete with smoker so instead of the actual BBQ grill I asked if we could try something smoked instead.  Oh my goodness, I have never tasted spare ribs so delicious πŸ˜‹

T

Trying to find a date to go to our nearest seaside resort for the day was tricky due to the changeable and very wet weather that the beginning of August brought with it.  We trusted the weather app which assured us that while it was raining at home, the weather on the coast just an hour and a half away was dry and sunny - fortunately they were correct!

I wondered if my 1 Second Everyday app would transfer nicely to my new phone and it did, so here is my video for the month



Linking up with Deb's World in Australia!

Tuesday, 29 August 2023

What I've been reading in August

 The first book that I've been reading is Unholy Murder by Lynda La Plante.



I saw this book on a display in our local library and decided to borrow it as I've always enjoyed dramatisations of Lynda La Plante's books.  It's hard to read a book where the main character is DI Tennison without thinking of Helen Mirren playing that part in the TV drama 'Prime Suspect'!  This book is set in the late 70s and it makes you realise how life has changed in the intervening years.  A woman's place in the police force was very different then!

Builders working on a development in the grounds of an old convent dig up a coffin which contains the body of a young nun.  When the coffin is opened they find scratch marks on the inside of the lid indicating that she was still alive when put in the coffin and so begins a murder investigation.

DI Tennison's superiors seem reluctant to take on a cold case where the identity of the victim is unknown and the church seem keen to conceal any information which may help her solve the mystery.

I had high hopes for this book but I'm not sure it lived up to my expectations.  It's not that I didn't enjoy it, but it seemed to drag in some places. Just my opinion but don't think I can offer a 5* review.

Our book club's choice this month was The Last Lifeboat by Hazel Gaynor

This story is based on a true story.  Set in Liverpool in 1940, Alice King is boarding the SS Carlisle to chaperone a group of children being evacuated from London to safety in Canada.  Two of these children belong to Lily Nicholls who has reluctantly decided that they will be safer there than staying at home.  She anxiously waits for news of their arrival overseas, only to learn that the ship has been hit by enemy u-boats and has sunk.  The siblings on board the ship are separated in the panic to board lifeboats, and Lily receives news that one child has been rescued but there is no news of the other and after a few days, is missing, presumed dead.  But those in the last lifeboat to leave the ship are alive and surviving against all odds in treacherous seas.  For eight days they are at sea, losing hope of being rescued.

But Alice's sister is adamant that her sister is still alive and through her influence at work, ensures that the search is not called off and search aircraft return just one more time.

Such an emotional read when you realise that this story did actually happen.  How brave and desperate you must have to be to sign your child up to be a 'seavacuee'.  My mother in law was evacuated from the East End of London during the blitz and spent a couple of years on a farm in Devon.  I can remember talking to her mother about it and the anxiety she must have had to put her children on a train, not knowing where they would end up living.  No telephones to keep in contact, she had to wait days for a letter to give her the new address.  She was quite matter of fact, it was something they just had to do to keep them safe.

Would I recommend this book?  Yes I would!

I then read Three Sisters by O J Mullen.

A cold icy night in London.  Three sisters out on the town, one falls into the path of a car and is killed.  The surviving sisters cope with their grief in their own way.  One is dealing with the breakdown of her marriage and one is determined to have her revenge on the man driving the car despite the fact that it was an accident that he could not have avoided.  

Lewis Stone is distraught to have caused such grief, which impacts on his situation at work where the company that he co-owns with his friend Damien is about to embark on an exciting new chapter.  But Lewis cannot concentrate and steps back from the business for three months and returns to the remote Scottish family home, dropping his phone in the lake to ensure he has no distractions while he comes to terms with what has happened.

You may think that you know what is likely to happen and you may think that you understand the background behind that night but trust me, you don't!

So that's quite a wide variety of reading material to share this month - I would most definitely recommend the last two!

  




Monday, 28 August 2023

Me on Monday

 We had overnight visitors on Saturday.


Their luggage ticked off another photo hunt challenge - something that rolls! Our daughter and husband went out to celebrate her birthday and so we had the grandchildren here for a sleepover.  Not that much sleeping went on! It always makes me smile to see the things that they pack to bring here for one night.  My daughter puts in a change of clothes and a pair of pjs and leave them to do the rest.

Today is a bank holiday and we have been invited to theirs for lunch today which will be nice. I am taking a salad to go with the meal and also the easiest, yet tastiest dip to have with tortilla chips. You just mix together cream cheese with natural yogurt until it is soft and creamy then layer that in a bowl.  Then add a layer of sweet chilli dipping sauce, then a layer of chopped coriander.  So tasty!

Our son will be waking up with his family under canvas - they have gone on their first camping trip, it will be interesting to hear how it went.  They have gone to Holkham in Norfolk which has a fabulous beach but the weather forecast was for a little rain last night but dry from now on.  I think they have rented a beach hut in Wells-Next-The-Sea today so I hope they have a fun beach day.  Kids don't care about how warm it is do they?  Then home tomorrow, they thought two days might be long enough for their first tenting adventure.

So last week held a lovely meet up with someone I first met when we worked together back in the late 70s/early 80s, making a birthday cake for my daughter with Leo and Rosie, picking up my new phone with Olive on Wednesday, Zumba on Thursday then a nice pub lunch in a dog friendly pub on Friday.  A busy week which flew by!

It's Leo's 7th birthday tomorrow; they are taking him and some friends bowling as a special treat so no childcare for me, but it will be a normal week after that. Last week of the summer holidays so not quite so much childcare from here on.  Hard to believe that both Rosie and Max will be starting 'proper' school next week.  Even though Max is eight months younger than Rosie, they will be in the same school year. The start of a new chapter!

I guess I had better go and make that salad and dip - have a good week!



Monday, 21 August 2023

Me on Monday - Photo Hunt update 2

 I've made sure that this time I am joining in on the right day for the second in the Summer Photo Hunt posts!  So Me on Monday finds me sharing these finds:

Number 2 A wordless directional sign


Number 3 Something netted or webbed

The floating reed bed is netted and the ducks feet are webbed!  I was ridiculously happy with this find!

But then in Sicily we walked past this shop selling fishing nets with the fisherman making them outside the doorway and I could not decide which to use.  


Number 4 Something berry, berry delicious


Sweet and succulent, strawberries, freshly picked from the garden

Number 7 Something that dangles


Such pretty earrings in a shop in Cefalu

Number 8 Some shadows


The cloisters in the cathedral in Cefalu made such pretty shadow patterns

Number 11 Extraordinary water


The Mediterranean Sea - warm, clear and so very relaxing

Only three to go!  Are you joining in with the search?  Pop along to Patio Postcards for more information.

I'm looking forward to a little more 'me time' this week - we did a lot of childcare last week and we have fewer hours booked in this week.  I'm exhausted!  I'm starting the week with meeting up with someone I worked with back in the late 70s/early 80s.  We had a few years where our lives went in different directions and we lost touch but we have met up a couple of times in the last year and it's been nice to reconnect.  So that is a good start to the week!

We had a good Monday last week too with a trip to the beach with Coco.  We awoke to rain but the weather app assured us that it was dry and warmer at the coast so we packed up our picnic and trusted the information - luckily they were right and the more we headed east, the bluer the skies became.




Then there were three full days of childcare, a day to recharge our batteries, get a hair cut and go out for dinner at a friends house before another 8 hours looking after Max and Olive while their mum and dad went into London to celebrate their wedding anniversary.  I was very relieved that Sunday involved no cooking but lots of relaxing at my cousin's house!

How many weeks of the summer holidays are left?  πŸ˜‰

Monday, 14 August 2023

Photo hunt check in 1

 Oh dear, I missed the official date to share the first findings for our Summer Scavenger Hunt - are you joining in too?  It certainly makes you keep your eyes open when you go out! 

Number one, a plant with thorns


Apparently this is a Black Lotus Tree - look at the size of those thorns!

Number five - a bridge


This was taken on the day we visited Capel Manor, nothing fancy but an interesting view through to a bench behind that archway

Number six - A school 

Not just any old school, This is the school that I went to between the ages of five and eleven.  Now a private house but when I see it I always remember it as a school.

Number nine, A pothole in the road


This was not difficult to find, our town has a major issue with potholes this year and this is one on the exit road from our local supermarket car park that I frequently have to avoid.

Number ten - A white flower


I was spoiled for choice on this prompt when we went to Capel Manor but I liked the way this was growing up, over and through the old wall.

So that is the beginning of the hunt for me.  I think I have ticked off a few more on my recent holiday but need to have a proper look through before I share them.

Me on Monday

 Last week was a week of lost teeth for Leo and new lunch places for me. Leo lost both of his front top teeth so he looks very different nowadays! They were so wobbly they made me feel a bit squeamish as he showed me how close they were to falling out. So he is keeping the tooth fairy busy.

A couple of weeks ago the food critic for The Guardian, Grace Dent, reviewed a new cafe which opened in Saffron Walden which she said ‘promises little and completely over delivers’. Two things I enjoy are Saffron Walden, and unpretentious rustic styled lunch places so of course we had to go! I had one of their ‘small plates’ of mortadella with cornichons and focaccia bread with burnt butter. So simple but so delicious and the coffee was lovely too.


We have a different house guest for the next couple of weeks, meet Pumpkin


Which is confusing Coco as I refer to her as my 'little pumpkin'.  I'm hoping that this visitor will be a little less demanding than the little black dachshund we had recently!

Not much time to talk this morning, we are off to the coast very soon.  Yes I know it rained overnight and yes it is still a bit damp underfoot but the weather report assures me that it is better on the east coast and things will brighten up as we get closer.  I have the picnic made, the coffee in a flask, and a bewildered dog sensing something is different this morning and not sure if she is involved in the plans.  She can relax, she is definitely coming too!

Have a good week x

Monday, 7 August 2023

Me on Monday

 It’s just me and Coco here this Monday.


Paul’s gone into London to the National Gallery to see an art exhibition and do some sketching in the city so we are having a girls day.  Although in reality that probably means that she will spend the day moping about because her favourite has dared to go out on his own!

It will be nice to have a quiet day, we had quite a busy one yesterday with all the family coming for lunch.  There's ten of us around the table now so food prep takes a little longer than it used to!  Lovely to have them all here though and the cousins have fun playing together.

There's something weird happening here today though.  We woke up this morning and ... it isn't raining!  Not only that but the sun is shining! How long will it last?

The weather has been so miserable here and the only thing to do is crack on with my crochet or read but that's not so bad really.  I think we are all just hoping that summer is about to begin again. How are things in your part of the world?

Friday, 4 August 2023

Let’s sit and have a cup of coffee

 I apologise in advance if the coffee isn’t to your liking, we bought a new machine and I’m still getting to grips with it!

I have definitely mastered the milk frother now so my cappuccinos are much nicer!  I would offer you cake, but before you decide I should show you the shenanigans we had making them yesterday.  I cannot guarantee that a spoon wasn't licked or a finger dipped in the mixture πŸ˜‰. (Actually, I know both things happened so I'm not sure you should risk it!)

                                    

If all else fails, let's dip into the results of my trip to Majestic Wines this morning.

We have been invited to three social events with friends in the next few weeks where we need to bring a bottle of wine so it was nice to have an excuse to go and buy something different to the wine from our local supermarkets!

Without wishing to sound too British and dwelling on the weather - when is summer going to start here?  I would never want to be experiencing the extreme weather that some of America and Europe is suffering at the moment, but honestly we have not had one day in the last few weeks where we haven't had rain.  It doesn't look much better for the next week either!  I would like to be able to wear my summer clothes again sometime soon, they haven't seen the light of day since we came back from Sicily.  How are things in your part of the world?

We have a busy Sunday ahead with all the family coming for lunch (Coco is apprehensive about her little dachshund friend returning) which will be lovely but frantic in the kitchen as I try to cook for ten with four children and two dogs running around.  

In fact the rest of the month is busy, J&S have a wedding anniversary, Rachel has her 37th birthday and Leo will turn seven.  So excuse me if I look frazzled when we get together next month!

Thanks for popping by!

Monday, 31 July 2023

Me on Monday

 That title should read 'me on a very wet miserable Monday!  The good old British summer seems to have deserted us in our corner of the country and the forecast for the next few days is more of the same.

So we are back to being a one dog family and Coco was much relieved to see Daisy's belongings being packed up and handed over!  She wasn't too much trouble but it was obvious that Coco was a bit stressed by her being here.  However, we all survived the week (that became ten days).  As we were loathe to leave the two of them here on their own we tended to go out individually last week so I don't have much to report!

I did escape to go to Zumba and then meet up for lunch with my author friend so it wasn't a complete stay at home week!

I bumped into my daughter's friend who had been evacuated from Rhodes due to the forest fires and it sounded dreadful.  They had to leave their hotel at short notice with no belongings, walk five miles to get a small boat to transfer them to a ferry to take them further along the coast.  Then two nights sleeping in a school before being accommodated in a hotel.  Bad enough for adults, but they had two children aged 4 and 7 with them, the eldest of which is autistic who panics when routines aren't followed.  What a nightmare.  It's just so sad to see the news footage, I'm not sure that the affected areas of Rhodes will get back to welcoming tourists for a year or more.

Once Daisy had been handed over we attended Max's 4th birthday party - it was lovely to see him and his friends having lots of fun.  Bouncy castle, sandwiches in the garden, games and cake - what more could you need?  Hard to believe he is off to school in a few weeks time, he must surely be the youngest in his year group.

We don't have too many plans this week due to the weather forecast. So I am hopeful for a bit of time working on this 


I didn't get any done last week as Daisy decided that a ball of wool looked like a good plaything so I just hid it all from sight so that little paws and claws didn't do any damage to my hard work!  

Have a good week!


Friday, 28 July 2023

#WBOYC in July

 


OK, we have another short (in letters) month this month, but a few more things on the calendar

J

Just one night of dog-sitting Daisy was on the calendar and then she suddenly came into season which meant her dog-sitter could not have her to stay while our daughter and family went on holiday.  She loves Coco but the feeling isn't reciprocated, so its not been a relaxing time!

U

Unfit - back to Zumba I go after a long break.  I wasn't allowed to exercise for 4 weeks after my operation and then I went on holiday.  By then I'd run out of excuses so back I went!  But having such a long break meant I really enjoyed being able to get back.  You would think all the walking I did in Sicily would have kept me fit - but no!

L

Looking forward to lots of cake (and children) at Max's birthday party tomorrow - those four years has flown by!

Lunch with ex-work colleagues makes me realise how lucky I was to work with such lovely ladies and how good it is to keep in touch. Two get togethers this month - we all had much news to share!

Y

Yes to all the gelato in Sicily, not to mention the fish, the cappuccino, Prosecco by the pool and the caprese salads!  We thoroughly enjoyed our week there and returned just before the heatwave hit that area.  Cefalu was a really interesting town.  The cathedral there is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.



So let’s see how the month has looked so far, 1 Second Everyday!


Enough of me - click on the link and let's head over to the other side of the world and see how things are in the other Deb's World!








Wednesday, 26 July 2023

What I’ve been reading in July

 I had lots of reading time this month while I was on holiday and have enjoyed a variety of styles.

Firstly the book which was chosen by our online book club - The Night She Disappeared by Lisa Jewell.

Tallulah is a young, single mum who lives with her baby son with her mum, Kim.  One evening she goes out for the evening with the father of her baby, Zach, who is keen to get back together with Tallulah.  Late in the evening she texts her mum but when Kim wakes in the early hours she discovers that Tallulah has not returned home.  Friends of Tallulah tell Kim that Tallulah and Zach left the pub to go to a pool party at a house in the woods.  No one has seen them since.  

A year later the nearby school employs a new headteacher who moves into a cottage on the edge of the same woods with his girlfriend.  While wandering around her new home, Sophie finds a sign in the woods saying 'Dig here'. So begins the unravelling of the mystery behind Tallulah and Zach's disappearance.

This book has many twists and turns and several likely conclusions - I have to admit that I did not manage to guess the ending!

A very different book next, The Keeper of Stories by Sally Page.


Janice finds that being 'just a cleaner' means the people sometimes forget she is in their house and unwittingly reveal their life stories.  She starts to collect these random stories.  When she is asked to help Mrs B, the 90 year old mother of one of her clients, she discovers that you really cannot judge a book by its cover.  Mrs B encourages Janice to tell her own story, and it is one which reveals much that Janice has kept hidden over the years.

This was a nice easy read and I really enjoyed meeting the characters, especially Decius the dog!

So onto another One of the Girls by Lucy Clarke



Six women staying at a remote Greek villa, on a hen weekend celebrating the forthcoming wedding of Lexi and Ed.  Each chapter telling the story through the perspective of a different girl.  Some people know each other, some don't, some have known Lexi since school, and one is her future sister in law who knows none of the others.  One is loud and brash and would, I think, be a bit of a nightmare! Secrets are revealed, relationships start and end, and one person in the story will not be returning home.  

This was a great holiday read, I always enjoy reading a book set overseas in a holiday destination when I am away myself so if you are off on your travels (and even if you aren't!) this is a good book to take with you.

Finally One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid (who also wrote Daisy Jones and the Six)



Emma is enjoying a family dinner one evening with her fiancΓ© Sam when she receives a phone call from her husband who she believed had died in a helicopter crash several years earlier.

Jesse had been her high school boyfriend and they had lived a life of adventure travelling the world before they married.  Just one day before their first wedding anniversary Jesse is on a helicopter that goes missing.  The bodies of the others on board are found along with the wreckage but as time goes on, it can only be assumed that Jesse had died too despite no body being found.  

It takes a long time for Emma to accept that he isn't coming back and she returns to her home town where she reunites with her friend Sam.  As she finally feels able to put her grief to one side their friendship turns into love and they get engaged.  Unbeknown to them, Jesse had survived and has been desperately trying to get back to civilisation.

Now Emma is in a dreadful dilemma.  Should she return to her husband or make a future with her fiance?  I really could not tell which way Emma would go - what an unenviable choice she has to make.  Ultimately I think she makes the right choice but it's a bit of a rollercoaster while she is making her decision!

One last book, Single by K L Slater 


Now, this book certainly kept my attention!
 
Following the death of Joel, Darcy finds herself as a single mum of two boys. On a trip out one afternoon, one of the boys has an asthma attack and whilst waiting for an ambulance, his life is saved by an off duty surgeon.  George is also a single parent whose wife has died after the birth of twins, one of whom died very shortly after her birth. After delivering him a thank you note, Darcy soon starts a relationship with him and after a whirlwind romance Darcy and her two sons move in with George and his daughter.

The grandparents of her sons are shocked by her actions and try to make her reconsider, threatening to obtain custody of their grandchildren. On a holiday break over Christmas a stranger lurking in the woods tries to abduct George’s daughter Romy. George has no alternative but to tell Darcy that someone has been stalking him and she now wonders if she has led her sons into a dangerous situation.

Boy are there some surprises in this book! So many secrets being kept by all and many truths turn out to be lies.  A good read, be prepared to reconsider your view on all the characters!

Monday, 24 July 2023

Me on Monday

 This Monday's post comes with help from a small black miniature dachshund.  She is so used to her 'mummy' working from home on her computer, the minute she saw me at the keyboard she demanded to settle in on my lap.  She is now resting her head on my wrist as I type so this could be slow progress!



So we are half way through our unexpected house guest's stay and I suspect that Coco has a calendar hidden somewhere, ticking off the days until she goes home!  She isn't really any trouble except she is desperate to be friends with Coco and Coco just wants to be an 'only child'.  Weirdly, she doesn't like going for walks whereas Coco loves two long walks a day so she does get some space away from her!

Last week there was a fun meet up with some lovely ladies that I used to work with, a day with Olive and a return to Zumba so it was a nice sociable return from our holidays. It was so good to get back to dancing again, it's such a happy way to spend an hour.

We have been watching the BBC drama The Sixth Commandment which kept us both enthralled.  The fact that it is based on a true story makes it even more chilling.  Timothy Spall is absolutely brilliant and Anne Reid is, as you would expect, excellent in her role.  I haven't seen Eanna Hardwick in anything else but he was totally believable as the awful Ben, taking advantage of lonely, susceptible elderly people.  

This week sees us taking turns to go out as I'm not confident about leaving the two dogs on their own.  It's Max's 4th birthday on Tuesday and although we won't be seeing him then, we will be at his party on Saturday.  He caught Olive's sick bug yesterday so I really hope he's feeling better by tomorrow.  I'm meeting up for lunch with my author friend on Thursday after my Zumba class.  She is in the process of the final editing on her current book so no doubt we will be discussing likely storylines for the next one!

The weather has been awful since our return from Sicily, I can't believe that just over a week ago I was sweltering in the heat and desperate to find a bit of shade.  Thank goodness we are not there this week when the temperatures are predicted to be over 40c.  I'm hoping that our wet weather is just a blip and that the dry, warm weather will return after this week.  Note that I said 'warm' not blisteringly hot - there are some crazy weather conditions going on over in Europe.

Have a good week!



Monday, 17 July 2023

Me on Monday

 I'm back!  What a lovely week we had in Sicily - we really had a lovely relaxing time. So this was me last Monday, let me share some photos


This is the Cathedral (Duomo) Don't be fooled by the apparently cloudy sky, it was still a very hot day as time went on!


So many pretty arches along the pathways in the centre of town


It's quite hilly there and lots of the steps in town had these beautiful coloured planters along the edge of them


One day we climbed the tower of the Duomo; this was a view of the cloisters from half way down - it was so much cooler down there in the shade!


We felt that we had earned a tasty treat after all that exercise, that lemon cake garnished with pistachios and redcurrant was absolutely delicious


A typical street in the centre of town


We soon discovered a favourite place for mid morning cappuccino and cannoli.  Before we went, I didn't think I liked cannoli, I always got in such a mess eating them.  Freshly cooked cannoli in Sicily is so delicious and has changed my opinion, this was my favourite, one end filled with pistachio paste and the other with creamed ricotta.


Sunset came quite early in Cefalu, about 8.30.  This was a view from a restaurant table near the harbour.

Have I whet your appetite for a trip to Sicily?  It was lovely there and we certainly increased our step counts wandering around the streets which almost justified the sweet treats we enjoyed mid mornings! It was very hot and according to the newspapers it will apparently be getting hotter in the next few weeks.  The temperatures were about 32 every day but according to my weather app, the 'feels like' temperature was around 39.  Fortunately our hotel had lots of shady areas to escape the heat around the pool and there was a lovely breeze if you went to the beach so it was not unbearable.

So this Monday finds me in post holiday mood and post holiday washing and ironing!  This week I will also be returning to Zumba - that's going to be a shock to the system but I have missed it and I also need to get back to a little more healthy eating.  I must also try to avoid visiting the Sicilian Deli that has opened in town ;-)

I will probably put off starting those post holiday jobs by checking in on the blog posts I have missed over the last week.  I am very good at procrastinating, especially where ironing is concerned.  

I also need to break the news to Coco that we have unexpectedly got to have a certain little black dachshund come and stay with us for a week while our daughter and her family go on holiday.  The little rascal has unexpectedly come into season and the dog minder who was going to have her won't take any dog in season. I can understand she doesn't want the responsibility.  Needless to say she is booked in for a little op as soon as they are back from holiday!