Outfits of the week 27/05/22

Welcome to my final post of the week. Unfortunately, I have been too ill to get dressed properly and have stayed in my nightwear through the day. On good days, I have only been able to get up for about two hours over lunchtime, before going back to bed again. Actually planning an outfit and dressing myself in it has been far beyond me.

I recently bought some nice nighties from Lands’ End to wear during warmer weather. They are a bit “old lady” but the cotton fabric is substantial and very silky-smooth, so they are comfortable to wear. Here are the ones I bought…


From my pile of orange boxes, I have retrieved the scarf that I am planning to wear next. Looking through my photos, I can see that I have only worn it with the same couple of jumpers/twinsets over the years and I am wondering whether it would look good with other items in my wardrobe.

This is Parures de Samouraïs:

Parures de Samouraïs – Hermès

Anyway, I will have a think and, hopefully, I can show you the final choice of outfit next week.

Until then, Happy Weekend to you all!

Love and best wishes,

Anne

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P.S. If you are interested in this wonderful scarf, please have a look at my Scarf of the Moment post about Parures de Samouraïs.

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Reading roundup 25/05/22

Welcome to this week’s Reading Roundup post. I finished two books and am part way through a very enjoyable third! This is the first one:

Eyes of the Void by Adrian Tchaikovsky

My first book was Eyes of the Void by Adrian Tchaikovsky, #02 The Final Architecture. Here is the blurb:

“The Arthur C. Clarke award-winning author of Children of Time brings us the second novel in an extraordinary space opera trilogy about humanity on the brink of extinction, and how one man’s discovery will save or destroy us all.

After earth was destroyed, mankind created a fighting elite to save their species, a group of enhanced human soldiers. In the silence of space they could communicate, mind-to-mind, with the enemy. Then their alien aggressors, the Architects, simply disappeared. But after discovering an ancient alien artifact the Architects may be back. And they’re still angry.”

It took me quite a while to read this complex book. This is the review that I wrote on Goodreads:

Eyes of the Void (The Final Architecture #2)Eyes of the Void by Adrian Tchaikovsky
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

First, let me say that I enjoyed this book. The plot was interesting and inventive; the cast of characters also. I did have some issues with it all. Some of the “sciency” stuff left me cold. Now, that is probably my fault as my science knowledge is pretty thin. So I have no idea which bits were pure imagination and which were real or possible. Well, maybe I can work out that some parts were amazingly imaginative!

I am glad that there were some descriptions of the characters, because I could only vaguely remember them from book #01. There was a huge cast of very colourful aliens, but their attributes were quite sketchy for me.

Anyway, I will look out for the next (final?) book in the series as I am sure it will be well worth reading. I can’t resist the women warriors of the Parthenon!

View all my reviews

Apparently, Adrian Tchaikovsky has also written some Fantasy series, so I may investigate those while I wait for book three!

One for Sorrow by Helen Fields

I was really looking forward to reading this next book, One for Sorrow by Helen Fields, as I have worked my way through the DI Callanach series and this is #07! First, the blurb:

“One for sorrow, two for joy
Edinburgh is gripped by the greatest terror it has ever known. A lone bomber is targeting victims across the city and no one is safe.

Three for a girl, four for a boy
DCI Ava Turner and DI Luc Callanach face death every day – and not just the deaths of the people being taken hostage by the killer.

Five for silver, six for gold
When it becomes clear that with every tip-off they are walking into a trap designed to kill them too, Ava and Luc know that finding the truth could mean paying the ultimate price.

Seven for a secret never to be told…
But with the threat – and body count – rising daily, and no clue as to who’s behind it, neither Ava nor Luc know whether they will live long enough to tell the tale…“

And this is my response:

One for Sorrow (D.I. Callanach #7)One for Sorrow by Helen Sarah Fields
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Normally, I have given the books in this series a high number of stars. The plots and writing have been excellent and have kept me enthralled. There is no doubt that Helen Fields is an excellent crime novelist. But this book was a huge let down!

It is difficult to explain why I am so disappointed and, yes, annoyed with the book without giving too much away. Everyone who reads it will come to their own conclusions and many “Goodreaders” have awarded One for Sorrow the full five stars. I just can’t do that for three reasons. First of all, the body count was so huge that it felt gratuitous and over the top. Secondly, the eventual reveal of the killer did not work for me. Last of all, the finale and cliffhanger were simply horrible.

Why do this? I simply don’t know.

View all my reviews

I am left wondering whether I will read the next book in the series!

To compensate, I am now reading a book from a tried and trusted author. Well, I hope he doesn’t decide to have an unexpected mass slaughter! I will let you know next week.

Happy Reading to you all!

Love and best wishes,

Anne

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Update 23/05/22

Hello, everyone, and welcome to a new week on the blog. My life is rather dull at the moment, which may be a good thing in some ways. At least I can keep myself amused with my iPad, although I don’t know what I would do if it stopped working. Probably rush to the laptop and order a new one!

There have been some funny posts on my Facebook with old adverts from the 50s, 60s and 70s. They make me cringe when I remember the times! Here is one that I saved…

Funny advert!

What were the designers/manufacturers/models/photographers thinking!?!?

To counter that image, here is something amazingly beautiful that I saw on Twitter…

Roman blue glass cup

Isn’t that gorgeous? The colour is wonderful and I would love to see it in real life.

During my daily wandering around the web, I come across all kinds of marvels. This really set me thinking…

Ancient shark

I wonder what that incredible creature thinks about as they wander the oceans?

Well, I thought that the shark was going to be my final image, but I have just been on Twitter, found this and rushed to edit the post…

Roman silver kantharos

Beautiful and wonderful!

Love and best wishes,

Anne

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Post 1001! Outfits of the week 20/05/22

I can’t really believe that I have posted this many times on the blog! It was started as a way to occupy myself during my early retirement due to illness and I never expected any kind of response, traffic or engagement. So, a big thank-you to all of you who visit and respond, either directly on here or in other places.

Today, I can show you one outfit from the week. Yet again, I had to go to a doctor’s appointment for a new issue with my health. This has resulted in another referral to a larger hospital and I will have to wait to see what comes of further investigations.

Anyway, here is the outfit:

Outfit of the day 17/05/22 with Hermès’ Au Pays des Oiseaux Fleurs scarf

I was very pleased with this outfit as I adore shades of turquoise and the yellows and blues of the scarf are so uplifting. The cotton top is part of a twinset from Lands’ End and I also wore my pewter lace-up shoes from Hotter. Yes, I do really need a haircut but I am so unwell at the moment and don’t want to make an appointment, but then have to cancel at the last minute. It’s not fair to my lovely and patient hairdresser!

OK, I think that is all I can manage to write today so I wish you all a very Happy Weekend!

Love and best wishes,

Anne

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Reading roundup 18/05/22

Welcome back to my Reading Roundup. I have two books to tell you about today as I have been too ill to read on many of the days whilst I had a break from the blog! Although I have almost finished a third book, I am not going to rush the ending so that I can fit it into this week’s post. It can wait until next week!

Anyway, here is the first book…

The Kaiju Preservation Society by John Scalzi

I was so pleased to see that our Library Service’s ebook catalogue had added another book by John Scalzi: The Kaiju Preservation Society. Here is the blurb:

They’re big, they’re bad and they’re about to become extinct . . .

Jamie’s dream was to hit the big time at a New York tech start-up. Jamie’s reality was a humiliating lay-off, then a lowwage job as a takeaway delivery driver. During a pandemic too. Things look beyond grim, until a chance delivery to an old acquaintance. Tom has an urgent vacancy on his team: the pay is great and Jamie has debts – it’s a no-brainer choice. Yet, once again, reality fails to match expectations. Only this time it could be fatal.

It seems Tom’s ‘animal rights organization’ is way more than it appears. The animals aren’t even on Earth – or not our Earth, anyway. In an alternate dimension, massive dinosaur-like creatures roam a tropical, human-free world. And although Kaiju are their universe’s largest and most dangerous animal, they need support to survive.

Tom’s ‘Kaiju Preservation Society’ wants to help. However, others want to profit. Unless they’re stopped, the walls between our worlds could fall – and the consequences would be devastating.”

Oh, I absolutely loved this book – hence the full five stars on Goodreads! This is my review:

The Kaiju Preservation SocietyThe Kaiju Preservation Society by John Scalzi
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I tagged this book as humour as well as science fiction, because this was a brilliant uplifting read that raised my spirits during a really difficult time. I love Scalzi’s work and this was a great showcase for his talents of interesting and ingenious storytelling, clever plotting and sheer imagination. My hope is that I can read more of his work in the future.

View all my reviews
The Hunger of the Gods by John Gwynne

My second book was also fantastic. This time I chose a very long read and really immersed myself to take my mind away from my illness. The book was John Gwynne’s The Hunger of the Gods (#02 Bloodsworn Saga). This is the blurb:

The Hunger of the Gods continues John Gwynne’s acclaimed Norse-inspired epic fantasy series, packed with myth, magic and bloody vengeance.

Lik-Rifa, the dragon god of legend, has been freed from her eternal prison. Now she plots a new age of blood and conquest.

As Orka continues the hunt for her missing son, the Bloodsworn sweep south in a desperate race to save one of their own – and Varg takes the first steps on the path of vengeance.

Elvar has sworn to fulfil her blood oath and rescue a prisoner from the clutches of Lik-Rifa and her dragonborn followers, but first she must persuade the Battle-Grim to follow her.

Yet even the might of the Bloodsworn and Battle-Grim cannot stand alone against a dragon god.

Their hope lies within the mad writings of a chained god. A book of forbidden magic with the power to raise the wolf god Ulfrir from the dead . . . and bring about a battle that will shake the foundations of the earth.”

My memory issues caused a few small problems at the beginning of the book as I struggled to remember some of the characters and the plot of the previous episode, but I soon got into the swing!

This is my review on Goodreads:

The Hunger of the Gods (The Bloodsworn Saga, #2)The Hunger of the Gods by John Gwynne
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Another great book from the amazing imagination of John Gwynne. I am really enjoying this fantasy series set in a Viking-like world with strong male and female characters, the revival of dead gods and interesting creatures. The story is told from different points of view, which can get rather confusing, and I had to stop several times to work out where we were and refer to the map.

Gwynne’s writing gives the reader a very fast-paced and exciting rollercoaster ride through his world. I can’t wait for the next instalment! Just one issue. Perhaps this book was a little rushed or the editor didn’t get enough time with it. I found several errors, mainly homonyms, which should not have been there! Hence four stars.

All-in-all, a fantastic fantasy read!

View all my reviews

Two great books!

I will now return to my latest book and enjoy the final few chapters…

Happy Reading to you all!

Love and best wishes,

Anne

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Update 16/05/22 with some hints of Hermès’ Autumn/Winter 2022 scarf season!

Hi everyone! It’s lovely to be back here again. I am so sorry that there was such a long break from the blog, but I was very ill and unable to write, or even read much, for that matter. The “bug” was not COVID, but was pretty nasty on top of all the other unpleasant conditions that I already have. Anyway, I am now back to my “normal” and hope to be able to resume writing here as before.

During the time away, the new scarves for Hermès’ Autumn/Winter 2022 season have begun to appear on various sites. Luckily for fans, the brilliant scarf detectives on The Purse Forum have started a new thread for the season: …… Hermès Fall/Winter 2022 Scarves …….. This will be worth following, if you are interested.

Some images of the new designs have already been posted on the thread:

To be honest, I haven’t seen anything so far that really grabs me. But, I seem to say that every season, don’t I? Then, as the weeks and months go by, something comes to the fore and I find myself falling for a pattern, or a combination of colours. We shall see…

Planning to be back on Wednesday for the Reading Roundup. 

Love and best wishes,

Anne

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Update 02/05/22

Apologies, but there will not be a proper post today because I am still very ill. I hope that I am well enough on Wednesday to write the usual Reading Roundup.

Love and best wishes,

Anne

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Update 29/04/22

Apologies, but I have been very ill today and unable to write the planned post. I was also supposed to go to the hairdresser and had to cancel.

Planning to try again on Monday.

Love and best wishes,

Anne

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Reading roundup 27/04/22

So, it’s a fortnight since I last wrote a Reading Roundup post and I have read and enjoyed three books whilst I have been away from the blog.

This was the first one:

The Human Division
by John Scalzi

Some of you may remember that I really rated the first few books in Scalzi’s Old Man’s War series. This one, The Human Division is #05. Here is the blurb:

“Lieutenant Harry Wilson has an impossible mission. He must help preserve the union of humanity’s colonies, in the wake of a terrible revelation.

For years the Colonial Union has protected its citizens from the dangerous universe around them. But the people of Earth now know the ugly truth. The Union deliberately kept Earth as an ignorant backwater – and as a source of recruits for its war against hostile aliens. Now, other alien races have formed a new alliance against the Union. And they’ve invited the incensed people of Earth to join them.

Managing the Colonial Union’s survival will take all the political cunning and finesse its diplomats can muster. And Harry and his team will be deployed to deal with the unexpected – for failure is unthinkable.”

And this is my review, as written on the Goodreads website:

The Human Division (Old Man's War Book 5)The Human Division by John Scalzi
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I really love this series. Scalzi’s writing is brilliant with its humour, wit and blazing imagination. Quite often I think that I know where the plot is going, how the “dilemma” will be sorted out, but I am always wrong because Scalzi has something ingenious up his sleeve.

The format of the book, with its interlocking short stories, was interesting and helpful to my current issues with reading.

View all my reviews

Of course, having read book 5, I simply had to finish off the series with #06!

The End Of All Things
by John Scalzi

I always feel a little sad when I get to the end of a great series – The End of All Things is a fitting title. Here is the blurb:

“The Colonial Union’s Defence Force was formed to save humanity when aggressive alien species targeted our worlds. Now Lieutenant Harry Wilson has an urgent new mission, as a hostile universe becomes ever more dangerous. He must investigate a sinister group, which lurks in the darkness of space playing different factions against one another. They’ll target both humans and aliens, and their motives are unfathomable.

The Defence Force itself is weakening as its soldiers fall – without recruits to replace them. Relations with Earth have broken down and it will send no more troops, even as human colonies become increasingly vulnerable to alien attack.

Lieutenant Wilson and Colonial Union diplomats must race to keep the peace, seek reconciliation with an enraged Earth, and maintain humanity’s unity at all costs. If they don’t, it will mean oblivion, extinction and the end of all things.”

This is my short review on Goodreads. I am definitely planning to read more books by John Scalzi!

The End of All Things (Old Man's War #6)The End of All Things by John Scalzi
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I must admit that I am sad that I have now come to the end of the series. The first book, Old Man’s War, was simply a random choice, probably chosen because I am now an old woman! I really loved that book and have continued to enjoy the rest of the series.

Scalzi has a fantastic writing style, full of wit and humour, and also an amazing imagination. He is able to think up complex scenarios, a huge range of alien species, and exciting and unexpected plot twists. I will certainly look out for his other work and I hope that he writes another series of such high quality.

View all my reviews

When I had finished these two books, I decided to have a complete change of genre…

The Woman in the Photograph by Stephanie Butland

The Woman in the Photograph by Stephanie Butland was a fairly random choice from the ebook catalogue. As an ageing feminist, I thought that it would be interesting to read about a period that I remember from my own young days. Anyway, this is the blurb:

“1968. Veronica Moon, a junior photographer for a local newspaper, is frustrated by her (male) colleagues’ failure to take her seriously. And then she meets Leonie on the picket line of the Ford factory at Dagenham. So begins a tumultuous, passionate and intoxicating friendship. Leonie is ahead of her time and fighting for women’s equality with everything she has. She offers Veronica an exciting, free life at the dawn of a great change.

Fifty years later, Leonie is gone, and Veronica leads a reclusive life. Her groundbreaking career was cut short by one of the most famous photographs of the twentieth century.

Now, that controversial picture hangs as the centrepiece of a new feminist exhibition curated by Leonie’s niece. Long-repressed memories of Veronica’s extraordinary life begin to stir. It’s time to break her silence, and step back into the light.”

This was another five star book for me and this is what I wrote on Goodreads:

The Woman in the PhotographThe Woman in the Photograph by Stephanie Butland
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What a fantastic book! I really enjoyed revisiting so many of the iconic feminist and historical moments of my youth and young adulthood, seeing them through Vee’s, the photographer, eyes. The structure of the book was complex, moving forward and back in time, but I was able to work my way through it as everything came together.

As someone who has had a stroke and still suffers from holes in my own memories, I feel that those parts of the book were written really well. The searching in your mind for what is lost. The occasional triggering of distant events which suddenly surge forward in bright colour, only to fade in an instant.

This book has affected me very much and I think I will remember it and its impact for a long time.

View all my reviews

So, this time away from the blog  roughy me some very fulfilling and enjoyable reading. Three books, each worth five stars! And I am presently deeply immersed in another fantastic book, which I will return to when I have finished writing this post. Such is the joy of reading!

Happy Reading to you all!

Love and best wishes,

Anne

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Update 25/04/22 with a feathery reveal

Hello to you all and welcome to the blog. I really needed last week’s rest and I hope that I can continue to post without having to take another break for quite a while.

A couple of weeks ago, I spotted something really lovely on eBay – first we have the auction photos:

Yes, one of my favourite Liberty of London designs: Hera. This time the scarf is a gorgeous silk chiffon, known as mousseline in French. The beautiful peacock feather design in the centre is coloured in orange, purple and pale blue on a black background. The design shades outwards into a lovely teal border. One of my favourite colours!

The size of the scarf is 110 x 130cm.

At the time of writing, a similar version of this scarf is still available on the Liberty of London website. The images can be seen below:

In my opinion the colours are more attractive in the eBay version. The colourway on the Liberty website makes the scarf look rather muted and washed out. In fact, I have seen this many times before, but the rather dull shades didn’t attract me. In my opinion, the scarf I have acquired is a richly coloured and very beautiful addition to my collection.

These are two quick modelling photos:

I am really looking forward to wearing the scarf. The fabric makes it more suitable for warmer weather, but the clothing that it would enhance is mainly stuff that I wear in the colder months! The teal twinset above is an almost exact match (unfortunately my iPad camera makes the teal look more blue than in real life).

I hope you have enjoyed today’s post. Wednesday’s will be a Reading Roundup, as usual.

Love and best wishes,

Anne

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