Update 30/07/21

This will be a short post today. I have been struggling with my health all week and haven’t been strong enough to get dressed properly. So, no “Outfits of the Week” post, sadly.

Instead, I have been watching a lot of TV on Netflix and am currently addicted to old episodes of Call the Midwife, amongst other programmes. Anything to take my mind away from present concerns. I also had a telephone appointment with my Consultant on Tuesday and managed to talk to him myself, rather than asking Lovely Husband to handle it all.

Elder Son often amuses himself with silly animal videos on YouTube and rushes into my bedroom when he finds something that really makes him laugh. This was the latest…

It is now raining heavily outside, so I will try to do something useful before my usual afternoon tea with a slice of jammy bread!

Happy Weekend to you all!

Love and best wishes,

Anne

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Reading roundup 28/07/21

I really struggled to concentrate on reading ebooks during the recent heatwave. I simply couldn’t think properly! Despite this, I do have two books to write about this week.

Geiger by Gustaf Skördemam

So, my first read of the week was Geiger by Gustaf Skördemam, #01 Sara Novak series. This is the blurb:

The landline rings as Agneta is waving off her grandchildren. Just one word comes out of the receiver: ‘Geiger’. For decades, Agneta has always known that this moment would come, but she is shaken. She knows what it means.

Retrieving her weapon from its hiding place, she attaches the silencer and creeps up behind her husband before pressing the barrel to his temple.

Then she squeezes the trigger and disappears – leaving behind her wallet and keys.

The extraordinary murder is not Sara Nowak’s case. But she was once close to those affected and, defying regulations, she joins the investigation. What Sara doesn’t know is that the mysterious codeword is just the first piece in the puzzle of an intricate and devastating plot fifty years in the making.”

I chose this book from the library ebook collection completely at random. This is the short review that I uploaded to the Goodreads website:

Geiger: The most gripping thriller debut since I AM PILGRIMGeiger: The most gripping thriller debut since I AM PILGRIM by Gustaf Skördeman
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book had one of the most unexpected beginnings I have ever read. I was so pleased that I had chosen to read it! Scattered through the rest of the book were similar sections of really exciting thriller writing with plenty of twists and turns. Unfortunately, much of this was marred by the extensive pieces of very tedious historical exposition. These made the book far too long.

View all my reviews
The Pact by Amy Heydenrych

My second read was The Pact by Amy Heydenrych.

This is the blurb:

”What if a prank leads to murder?

When Freya arrives at her dream job with the city’s hottest start-up, she can’t wait to begin a new and exciting life, including dating her new colleague Jay. However, Nicole, Jay’s ex and fellow employee, seems intent on making her life a misery.

After a big deadline, where Nicole continually picks on her, Freya snaps and tells Jay about the bullying and together they concoct a revenge prank. The next morning, Nicole is found dead in her apartment . . .

Is this just a prank gone wrong? Or does Freya know someone who is capable of murder – and could she be next?”

And here is my review for this book – only worth two stars, in my opinion!

The PactThe Pact by Amy Heydenrych
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Oh dear! This book started off quite well and it was easy to read at first, but it quickly fell down the slope of unlikeable characters, confusing timelines and didacticism. The feminist message was fine at first, but soon became too much. Just about everyone was either extremely horrible or extremely wet. So much could have been easily sorted out by skilled techie people and what were loads of the characters… skilled techie people!

View all my reviews

Well, I don’t seem to be choosing the right kind of books at the moment! Let’s hope I have more luck with the next batch – you will find out next week.

Happy Reading to you all!

Love and best wishes,

Anne

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Update 26/06/21 with some new arrivals

Well, that was a hot and sticky week! With my large collection of health issues, steamy weather conditions are really difficult. I really struggled to breathe properly and had to fight to stay comfortable. Thankfully, everything has now cooled down and I feel a lot better.

During the week, two parcels from “Toast” were delivered, containing some really gorgeous nightwear. You have already seen the first one, the nightdress, in cobalt cotton with a pattern in a golden beige. The other parcel held a pair of pyjamas in the same colours. I had a bit of a hassle with the delivery of these items as it took almost two months from the date of ordering, but I have decided to keep them both as I really love them!

Here they are:

You may remember that I originally ordered the large size of the nightdress, but decided to swap it for the smaller medium so that I can wear it as a dress. The medium is perfect for me and will look lovely. My current shape is pretty awful these days, but this “dress” makes me feel good!

The pyjamas are in the large size, but, as I do intend to use them as lounge-wear and in bed, they will do nicely. Both items were very pricey indeed and I usually don’t spend a lot of money on clothes (accessories are a different matter!!). In this case, however, Lovely Husband insisted on buying them for me as a special treat!

Anyway, the Toast website is worth exploring if you can afford a splurge.

Love and best wishes,

Anne

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Update 19/07/21

Hi! I do hope that you all had a great weekend! We are having a heatwave here in the UK. I know that many people love hot weather and I am happy for them that they can enjoy the sunshine.

Unfortunately, for me the heat is unbearable and I can barely cope. For that reason, I have decided to have a week’s break from the blog as I can’t think well enough to write. Also, I don’t think I will be able to read any ebooks this week as I can’t concentrate. So, Amazon Prime and Netflix will be my entertainment!

I will be back soon!

Love and best wishes,

Anne

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Scarf of the moment: Lazy Leopardesses

As I write this post, the new Hermès Autumn/Winter 20/21 designs are emerging and we are now able to purchase from the lovely range of scarves, twillies and shawls. At first (this usually happens to me), I had my eye on some designs, but, as the images began to appear online, I completely changed my mind!

My (first?) delivery of the season was Lazy Leopardesses by Arlette Ess. This is a 90×90 cm silk twill scarf in colourway #03, Rose Vif, Anthracite, Miel:

Lazy Leopardesses by Arlette Ess for Hermès

Description

This scarf is really a study in pattern and colour and, if you care to follow some of the links below to Ess’s work, you will discover she has designed other scarves like this before. Here, a group of five leopardesses lie in a languid, tangled heap, showing their glossy spotted coats. In colourway #03, some of the cats are depicted in lovely honey/beiges, tans and brown. Others are shown in shades of grey and black. Mysterious blue/green eyes look at us and one leopardess shows part of pink tongue!

Ribbons in a greyish white unfurl across the top and bottom of the scarf, showing the title “Lazy Leopardesses” and “Hermès, Paris”. The artist’s name and copyright sign can be found at the sides of the scarf in small letters.

What drew me to this particular colourway? Well, it was the luscious pink background and paler pink rolled hem. This scarf is going to work beautifully with my grey cashmere v-neck jumper, grey tops and winter coat! Shall I break my wardrobe planning colours altogether and invest in a camel cashmere jumper this Autumn?

Colourways

These are the colourways for the Autumn/Winter 2021 silk twill 90cm scarves. I have added in the codes to help those of you who wish to purchase this scarf.

Design Story

“Often known as a panther in popular culture, the leopard has always embodied poise and royalty. This endangered species is now subject to a hunting ban in most countries where it is known to occur. Swiss designer Arlette Ess, who won third place in the Grand Prix du Carré Hermès launched internationally in 2019, chose to depict the felines resting and enjoying a well-deserved nap.”

Details

Here are some closeups of my scarf in a slideshow format:

How I wear the scarf

I haven’t worn the scarf properly yet, but have tried it on and attempted various ties with it. Some of you may remember my post about a couple of scarves by Fetolia from earlier in the year. One of these had colours very similar to this. Below, you can see the collage that I put together to show a suitable outfit for the Fetolia scarf and next to it is the same collage with Lazy Leopardesses. I think that the pink will give the whole outfit a different look!

I wonder what the two scarves would look like worn together? I will have to try! Anyway, when I have worn the scarf properly, I will upload the collages here.

Scarf ties

These are a few quick ties that I made to show the details and colours of the scarf. As it was brand new, the silk was crisp and rather stiff, so I haven’t yet tried more flowing ties such as the waterfall knot. I must apologise for the poor quality of the photos, but the sun was shining directly through my bedroom window and, I must admit, I’m a pretty awful photographer!

Lazy Leopardesses – scarf ties

Clockwise from the top left: asymmetric wrap, triangular drape knot, half bow knot, asymmetric wrap, basic bias fold, necklace knot with a gold scarf ring, basic bias fold, and a criss-cross knot using my mother-of-pearl scarf ring. Both scarf rings are by MaiTai.

Background information 

I have been able to find some information about Arlette Ess:

Arlette Ess
Arlette-Ess.com
The artists own website. This is really worth exploring to see her lovely scarf design, including some very similar to this one. A must for dog lovers, I think!

Eudon Choi
Eudon Choi uncovers/ Arlette Ess
An interview with the artist with photos of her and her work.

Facebook
Arlette Ess
The artist’s Facebook page. You can see some of her comments about this scarf design, beginning 6th July 2021.

Greige
Meet… Arlette Ess
An interesting interview with the artist, showing some of her work.

Vogue India
Art meets fashion in Hermès FW’21 collection of silk scarves
A short article including this scarf.

Wolf & Badger
Arlette Ess
Some of her work is available to purchase on the Wolf & Badger site.

And for all of you Big Cat lovers, here are a few Leopard links:

Wikipedia
Leopard
Extensive article.

Panthera.org
Leopard
Comprehensive information about these magnificent creature with photos.


I hope readers have found this exploration of Lazy Leopardesses both interesting and useful. Once again, if you find any errors or have any additional information that I could add, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Love and best wishes,

Anne

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Reading roundup 14/07/21

Apologies for the lack of a Reading Roundup post last week. I am really struggling with my health these days and this is affecting my reading as well as my writing of posts! At least I have two books to tell you about today.

The Betrayals by Bridget Collins

My first read was The Betrayals by Bridget Collins. You may remember that I wrote about another of her books, The Binding, a few weeks ago. I found that book very strange, but intriguing, and this one was very similar, in its own way. First of all, this is the blurb…

If everything in your life was based on a lie…
Would you risk it all to tell the truth?


At Montverre, an exclusive academy tucked away in the mountains, the best and brightest are trained for excellence in the grand jeu: an arcane and mysterious contest. Léo Martin was once a student there, but lost his passion for the grand jeu following a violent tragedy. Now he returns in disgrace, exiled to his old place of learning with his political career in tatters.

Montverre has changed since he studied there, even allowing a woman, Claire Dryden, to serve in the grand jeu’s highest office of Magister Ludi. When Léo first sees Claire he senses an odd connection with her, though he’s sure they have never met before.

Both Léo and Claire have built their lives on lies. And as the legendary Midsummer Game, the climax of the year, draws closer, secrets are whispering in the walls…”

And here is the review that I wrote on Goodreads:

The BetrayalsThe Betrayals by Bridget Collins
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I don’t really know what to make of this book or how to classify it or rate it. The story is so strange and mysterious, so annoying at times but also well written. Annoying because it is difficult to get a firm grip on what is actually happening, who all these characters are and what the grand jeu is!

Occasionally, as I read through the book, I felt like giving up and turning to something less challenging: a straight forward adventure or a swords and sorcery fantasy tale. But, for some reason, I continued to read. Perhaps I remembered reading Collins’ previous book, The Binding, and how I found the first half quite difficult to understand but then my confusion cleared?

Anyway, I am glad that I read this and exercised my rather worn higher reading faculties!

But now I will definitely relax with something much easier…

View all my reviews

After that, I turned to something very different…

The Vow by Debbie Howells

My second choice of the week was The Vow by Debbie Howells. I simply picked this one at random from the Library’s ebook catalogue. Here is the blurb:

“Two weeks before her wedding, a stranger stops Amy in the street and warns her she’s in danger. Then that night, Matt, her fiancé, doesn’t come home. Desperate, Amy calls the police – but when Matt fails to emerge, she’s forced to call off her wedding day.

Then another man is reported missing, by a woman called Fiona – a man meeting Matt’s description, who was about to leave his fiancée for her.  He was supposed to be moving in with her – but instead, he’s vanished.

Amy refuses to believe Fiona’s lover can be her Matt – but photos prove otherwise, and it soon becomes clear that Matt has been leading a double life. As the police dig deeper, two conflicting, yet equally plausible stories emerge from two women who allegedly have never met.

The wedding day never happened. But the funeral might.”

And this is my short review:

The VowThe Vow by Debbie Howells
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I have read through quite a few of the reviews of this book on here and have found several which agree with my response. Basically, the first half is quite good and gripping with interesting twists and turns in the story. Unfortunately, however, as the tale moves on in the second half, it becomes repetitive and totally unlikely, with coincidences that are almost preposterous!

In addition, the author wrote the story from various points of view, but, in my opinion, didn’t do enough to actually use different “voices”. For example, the mother’s and daughter’s styles were almost indistinguishable from each other. It felt like a step too far for the daughter to be as interested in plants as her mother, for example.

I do hope that the author continues to write and work on her craft, as I believe that she is capable of something much better!

View all my reviews

I am now part of the way through my next book, but I am not going to tell you the details, just in case I have chosen another dud as I did a few weeks ago!

Happy Reading to you all!

Love and best wishes,

Anne

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Update 12/07/21

Today’s post will be short because we have had a lovely visit from Younger Son over the weekend. It has been so nice to see him again and I am feeling quite overwhelmed now he has returned to Wales. In addition, Elder Son has gone away for a short holiday today, so Lovely Husband and I will be on our own for a few days.

Now, what kind of mischief can we get up to!

I do hope that you enjoyed the reveal of my new Hermès scarf, Lazy Leopardesses, in last Friday’s post. I am going to try to take some modelling photos during the week, in preparation for the full Scarf of the Moment post. Perhaps I will have that ready for this Friday, perhaps not!

In the meantime, here is another photo of the scarf…

Lazy Leopardesses by Hermès

Love and best wishes,

Anne

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Update 09/07/21: A feline reveal!

Well, this might be a surprise! A parcel of gorgeousness arrived a few days ago and this is what it contained…

Ooh! That face… those eyes… that pink tongue!!!

OK, here is Hermès’ Lazy Leopardesses 90x90cm silk scarf, designed by Arlette Ess. The season is Autumn/Winter 2021, the purchase code is H003779S 03 and the colourway is Rose Vif, Anthracite, Miel.

Here is the image from the Hermès website, followed by a photo that I took in my bedroom…

Now that I have whetted your appetite, I will tell you that I intend to compile a full Scarf of the Moment post with more photos, all of the colourways and codes, the scarf story and scarf ties as soon as I possibly can.

I really surprised myself by falling for this scarf, but I am so glad that I did!

Love and best wishes,

Anne

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P.S. If you wish to see more scarves and shawl from the Hermès Autumn/Winter 2021 season, it is worth following the thread on The Purse Forum – here.

 

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Update 07/07/21: Sorry!

Apologies! There will not be a Reading Roundup post today as I am too ill to write one.

Back on Friday, I hope.

Love and best wishes,

Anne

💕💗💖💗💕

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Update 05/07/21 with a real disappointment!

Oh, I am feeling so sad and disappointed today!

OK, it’s only an online purchase and not the end of the world, but I had built myself up and when the package arrived I was so excited. Then, when I opened the box and saw the gorgeous colour of the contents, I was thrilled!

Then I was bumped back down to Earth when I tried to put on these stunning boots…

My feet fitted perfectly, but they wouldn’t zip up – my ankles are too thick 😭😢😭😢! So, they are being returned. I didn’t realise that the wider fit version of the boots would have such a tight fit on the ankles.

Well, never mind. I really don’t need any more boots. I just fell in love with the colour of these, plus the stitching you can see on the images above. At least I will get my money back.

Wednesday’s post will be the usual Reading Roundup and I have actually managed to finish my book! I am planning a gorgeous reveal post for Friday (🥰😍🥰😍🥰).

Love and best wishes,

Anne

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