Update 30/11/20

Sorry, there will not be a proper post today as I am feeling very ill. I hope to be able to write later in the week.

Love and best wishes,



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Update 27/11/20 – hassles all round!

I had planned to wear a colourful outfit with a lovely Hermès scarf today – I had been building myself up! But, events have got in the way. Things tend to come in threes, don’t they?

First event: lasted all day yesterday. Elder Son (with Autism) spent the whole day kicking off about the new COVID rules for England which have put our area into Tier 3. This stops him travelling around and visiting his friend in the way he prefers. Instead of berating Boris, ES decided to punish his parents! We ended up exhausted and distraught. I hope he calms down before this evening.

Second event: the back door broke! So, we have spent the day trying to find a good and reliable firm to repair or replace it. Hassle all round.

Third event: ES noticed that a length of guttering had become partially detached above the bathroom window. So….. we have spent the day trying to find a good and reliable firm to repair or replace it. Hassle all round again.

Events 2 and 3 are not Earth-shattering in themselves, but, added to the exhausting nature of the first event plus the poor state of our physical and mental health, they do feel difficult to sort out. Let’s hope that we can regain some equilibrium in time and not end up like this famous song from my childhood…

Wishing you all a hassle-free weekend!

Love and best wishes,



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Reading roundup 25/11/20

I have been rushing to finish a book so that I could write about in this week’s Reading Roundup, but realised that I was spoiling the ending for myself. So, this post will be about one book this week and I will add that book to the next Reading Roundup post.

Close to Home by Cara Hunter

The book I am writing about today is Close to Home by Cara Hunter (DI Adam Fawley #01). Here is the blurb:



Last night, eight-year-old Daisy Mason disappeared from a family party. No one in the quiet suburban street saw anything – or at least that’s what they’re saying.

DI Adam Fawley is trying to keep an open mind. But he knows the nine times out of ten, it’s someone the victim knew.

That means someone is lying…
And that Daisy’s time is running out.

And this is the quick review which uploaded to Goodreads:

Close to Home (DI Adam Fawley, #1)Close to Home by Cara Hunter
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A fairly complex police investigation of a missing child. Many of the characters were well-drawn, others were just an interchangeable set of names. The main character, DI Adam Fawley, was interesting with a tragic back-story. I found the interjections of past events rather jarring and they interrupted the flow of the plot.

The book was easy and quick to read, despite the bleak themes, and held my interest all the way through to the surprising end. I certainly enjoyed the book enough to immediately search our Library Service’s ebook catalogue for more books in the series and was very pleased to find that there are several available. The next book has been reserved!

View all my reviews

As you see, my experience with such a dark and serious book last week made me turn to crime! The book which I haven’t quite finished is Absolute Proof by Peter James – here is the cover:

Absolute Proof by Peter James

As soon as I have finished reading the book, I will write it up ready for next week.

Until then:

Happy Reading to you all!

Love and best wishes,



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Update 23/11/20 with some grammatical humour

A friend posted this on Facebook this morning and I just had to share it on here:

David Needle

• An Oxford comma walks into a bar where it spends the evening watching the television, getting drunk, and smoking cigars.

• A dangling participle walks into a bar. Enjoying a cocktail and chatting with the bartender, the evening passes pleasantly.

• A bar was walked into by the passive voice.

• An oxymoron walked into a bar, and the silence was deafening.

• Two quotation marks walk into a “bar.”

• A malapropism walks into a bar, looking for all intensive purposes like a wolf in cheap clothing, muttering epitaphs and casting dispersions on his magnificent other, who takes him for granite.

• Hyperbole totally rips into this insane bar and absolutely destroys everything.

• A question mark walks into a bar?

• A non sequitur walks into a bar. In a strong wind, even turkeys can fly.

• Papyrus and Comic Sans walk into a bar. The bartender says, “Get out — we don’t serve your type.”

• A mixed metaphor walks into a bar, seeing the handwriting on the wall but hoping to nip it in the bud.

• A comma splice walks into a bar, it has a drink and then leaves.

• Three intransitive verbs walk into a bar. They sit. They converse. They depart.

• A synonym strolls into a tavern.

• At the end of the day, a cliché walks into a bar — fresh as a daisy, cute as a button, and sharp as a tack.

• A run-on sentence walks into a bar it starts flirting. With a cute little sentence fragment.

• Falling slowly, softly falling, the chiasmus collapses to the bar floor.

• A figure of speech literally walks into a bar and ends up getting figuratively hammered.

• An allusion walks into a bar, despite the fact that alcohol is its Achilles heel.

• The subjunctive would have walked into a bar, had it only known.

• A misplaced modifier walks into a bar owned a man with a glass eye named Ralph.

• The past, present, and future walked into a bar. It was tense.

• A dyslexic walks into a bra.

• A verb walks into a bar, sees a beautiful noun, and suggests they conjugate. The noun declines.

• A simile walks into a bar, as parched as a desert.

• A gerund and an infinitive walk into a bar, drinking to forget.

• A hyphenated word and a non-hyphenated word walk into a bar and the bartender nearly chokes on the irony.

Isn’t it clever? Well, I think so…

Love and best wishes,



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Outfit of the day 20/11/20

Regular readers of this blog will be aware that I have been struggling with ill-health for many years. My situation has not improved this year as I am spending even more time in bed and have only been able to leave the house a handful of times. To be honest, I live in fear and dread every day.

I am trying to cheer myself up by wearing some of my lovely accessories, even if I sometimes still keep my pyjamas on underneath! After all, I am very lucky to have a small collection of expensive Hermès scarves and a larger collection of cheap and cheerful jewellery and, yes, even more scarves!

Outfit of the day 20/11/20 with Seasalt scarf

Today’s outfit:

  • Navy cashmere v-neck jumper – John Lewis.
  • Grey cord trousers – Lands’ End.
  • Red and clear Swarovski Crystal necklace and earrings – Warren James (gift from Younger Son).
  • Red and multi-colour velour rectangular scarf  – Seasalt (recent present from my Sister). Worn in a simple drape in order to show the necklace.

I have been looking at my scarf collection and am determined to work my way through, trying them all on over the next few weeks. Some of my older, cheaper ones may still be left to lurk in their drawer, but I will try to brighten my mood by wearing my favourites again. You will see the results on here.

Happy Weekend to you all!

Love and best wishes,



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Reading roundup 18/11/20

First of all, I must apologise for the lateness of this post. I had almost finished the book, but not quite, so I decided to read to the end so that I could write a post this week. Yes, I only managed to read one book this week!

An Unkindness of Ghosts by Rivers Solomon

The book was An Unkindness of Ghosts by Rivers Solomon. I chose this at random from our Library’s ebook service. This is the blurb:

Odd-mannered, obsessive, withdrawn, Aster has little to offer folks in the way of rebuttal when they call her ogre and freak. She’s used to the names; she only wishes there was more truth to them. If she were truly a monster, as they accuse, she’d be powerful enough to tear down the walls around her until nothing remained of her world, save for stories told around the cookfire.

Aster lives in the low-deck slums of the HSS Matilda, a space vessel organized much like the antebellum South. For generations, the Matilda has ferried the last of humanity to a mythical Promised Land. On its way, the ship’s leaders have imposed harsh moral restrictions and deep indignities on dark-skinned sharecroppers like Aster, who they consider to be less than human.

When the autopsy of Matilda‘s sovereign reveals a surprising link between his death and her mother’s suicide some quarter-century before, Aster retraces her mother’s footsteps. Embroiled in a grudge with a brutal overseer and sowing the seeds of civil war, Aster learns there may be a way off the ship if she’s willing to fight for it.

And here is my one star review on the Goodreads website:

An Unkindness of GhostsAn Unkindness of Ghosts by Rivers Solomon
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

I have just read some of the reviews and thoughts written here by other readers. Loads of full five and four stars given. Lots of top-notch reviews.

And here are my thoughts.

First of all: why on earth did I force myself to read the whole book? Recently, I decided that I would not make myself read something that made me struggle or that I wasn’t enjoying. So, I am puzzled with my motivation. I suppose that I felt I had to finish. The unrelenting misery made me feel that I somehow owed (who?) someone the full read. Such total misery.

So, other readers may like or even love the book and that is completely fine for them. I, however, wish that I hadn’t spent some of my limited reading time left on the book!

Well, I am being honest.

View all my reviews

Yet again, I must add that many other readers highly rate this book. It simply didn’t work for me. I think that the unrelenting bleakness of the story, plus the lack of likeable characters, wasn’t right for my present state of mind. I need some positivity at the moment.

It might just be the right book for you, on the other hand. After all, that is the wonder and beauty of books. I firmly believe that there is something out there for everyone!

Happy Reading to you all!

Love and best wishes,



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Outfit of the day 16/11/20 with Hermès’ Sweet Dreams scarf

I really love this scarf with its blue, grey and white scaley monsters roaming across the soft wool and silk fabric! It is both warm and fun to wear. Today, I wore it with my new cobalt cashmere v-neck, blue crystal earrings and a Halcyon Days bangle. OK, I should, perhaps, have dug out my jeans from the wardrobe, but I did try!

Outfit of the day 16/11/20 with Hermès’ Sweet Dreams scarf

Today’s outfit:

  • Cobalt blue cashmere v-neck jumper – John Lewis.
  • Navy and blue patterned pyjama trousers – Sainsbury’s Tu.
  • Cobalt crystal and silver earrings – Sonrisa Boutique.
  • Cobalt and gold Curb Chain bangle – Halcyon Days.
  • Wool and silk scarf, 100cm, in blue, grey and white – Sweet Dreams – Hermès.

This is such a cheerful outfit on a typical grey Winter’s day in our part of the UK!

Love and best wishes,



P.S. If you would like to know more about this scarf, there is a Scarf of the Moment post that you could check out!

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Update 13/11/20 with birthday gifts

As I wrote in Monday’s post, I had a lovely birthday last Sunday. I really enjoyed the day and was fortunate to receive some gorgeous birthday presents. You can see them in the collage below…

Birthday presents 2020

Top row, L to R: teapot with cup plus a lovely selection of Whittard teas from Elder Son, pretty feather earrings from Younger Son.

Bottom row, L to R: silky velour Seasalt scarf in rich colours from my sister, Hermès Plumes en Fête shawl from Lovely Husband, and a John Lewis cobalt cashmere jumper from my brother and myself!

And, yes, the Hermès shawl will be a Christmas present as well!

I couldn’t resist getting another v-neck cashmere jumper to add to my collection. In addition to this cobalt one, I also have them in navy (John Lewis) and in grey and lilac (both Marks and Spencer). There is also a rather moth-eaten one at the back of my wardrobe in turquoise from JL. I tend to buy them slightly large as I like to wear them in a kind of slouchy style with jeans, jewellery and a silk scarf. In fact, I wore the new cobalt one today with a Bill Skinner lapis lazuli pendant and pyjama trousers!

Outfit of the day 13/11/20

I feel very fortunate to have received such lovely gifts, plus the kind messages and cards from family and friends. Thank you all 🥰.

Love and best wishes for the weekend,



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Reading roundup 11/11/20

I read two very different books this week. The first was a non-fiction account of the complex investigations into a series of rapes and assaults in the USA; the second was the third book in a crime series that I have been enjoying over the last few weeks.

Unbelievable by T Christian Miller and Ken Armstrong

Unbelievable by T Christian Miller and Ken Armstrong was quite a compelling read. Here is the blurb:

Two Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists tell the riveting true crime story of a teenager charged with lying about having been raped—and the detectives who followed a winding path to arrive at the truth.

On August 11, 2008, eighteen-year-old Marie reported that a masked man broke into her apartment near Seattle, Washington, and raped her. Within days police and even those closest to Marie became suspicious of her story. The police swiftly pivoted and began investigating Marie. Confronted with inconsistencies in her story and the doubts of others, Marie broke down and said her story was a lie—a bid for attention. Police charged Marie with false reporting, and she was branded a liar.

More than two years later, Colorado detective Stacy Galbraith was assigned to investigate a case of sexual assault. Describing the crime to her husband that night, Galbraith learned that the case bore an eerie resemblance to a rape that had taken place months earlier in a nearby town. She joined forces with the detective on that case, Edna Hendershot, and the two soon discovered they were dealing with a serial rapist: a man who photographed his victims, threatening to release the images online, and whose calculated steps to erase all physical evidence suggested he might be a soldier or a cop. Through meticulous police work the detectives would eventually connect the rapist to other attacks in Colorado—and beyond.

Based on investigative files and extensive interviews with the principals, Unbelievable is a serpentine tale of doubt, lies, and a hunt for justice, unveiling the disturbing truth of how sexual assault is investigated today—and the long history of skepticism toward rape victims.

Apparently, the book has been made into a Netflix series, which is a shame for me as we don’t subscribe to that service. It would have been interesting to compare the book with the TV version. Anyway, this is my four star review as posted on Goodreads:

UnbelievableUnbelievable by T. Christian Miller
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book was incredibly difficult to read, but was well-worth the effort. It was difficult because it is the true story of the victims of a serial rapist in the USA and the complex investigations involved in reaching justice. Alongside this narrative, the authors also delved into some of the history of American rape cases and methods of investigation, which, to some extent, seem to parallel our own situation in the UK. So many women are not believed when they have been through awful levels of trauma and injury and the police and court system quite often do not seem to step up and achieve what these women deserve.

In places, the book was confusing as it was written with an interweaving of timelines and places. I am not sure whether this technique was helpful or appropriate in a factual account of crimes. The writing is incredibly detailed and shows how much investigation and research has taken place in order to write the book. Not forgetting, of course, the men and women who worked for the large range of agencies who eventually achieved justice!

View all my reviews

Nothing Gold Can Stay by Dana Stabenow

My second book of the week was Nothing Gold Can Stay by Dana Stabenow (Liam Campbell #03). This is the blurb:

Alaska State Trooper Liam Campbell, newly promoted to corporal, is slowly making a home for himself in the remote town of Newenham. Between DUIs and domestic disputes, life is relatively tranquil, until Campbell’s girlfriend, bush pilot Wyanet Chouinard, delivers a shipment of mail to a remote post office, where she finds the postmistress murdered. The hunt is on for a killer who seems to have vanished into the Bush… Until another victim is found. Chilling connections from the past make the search a matter of life and death.

At first they couldn’t tell she was a woman, she was so covered in snow and frost and mud. Leaves and twigs were caught in hair so lank and matted they couldn’t tell what color it was. Her blue jeans were soaked through. She was wearing tennis shoes, one of which was missing, and the white anklet on that foot was torn and the flesh beneath bleeding.

They were caught motionless in shock. The woman looked up at them and opened her mouth. Her voice was the merest croak of sound. “Help.”

She tried to say more, but couldn’t. “Help,” she said again, and lay her head down on the floor and closed her eyes.

I enjoyed the book as, despite some of the very grim subject matter, I find the series helps me to escape my current worries. The descriptions of the landscape and people of Alaska are really excellent. This is my four star review:

Nothing Gold Can Stay (Liam Campbell, #3)Nothing Gold Can Stay by Dana Stabenow
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I think that this book is the best in the series so far. Once again, the Alaskan scenery, people and wildlife are essential and so very well depicted. The back stories of the main characters are fleshed out a little more, and interesting stories they are. The actual act of flying relatively small planes also seems to play an important part in the tale. And as for the plot itself, this one had me on the edge of my seat (well, perhaps it was more like on the edge of the mattress as I read in bed!).

I can’t wait to read the next book in the series and I do hope that the author intends to write more. There is her other Kate Shugak books, but, so far, I prefer these ones.

View all my reviews

An Unkindness of Ghosts by Rivers Solomon

This afternoon, before I started writing this post, I began to read my next book: An Unkindness of Ghosts by Rivers Solomon. To be honest, I am really unsure about the book and may only read a few more pages before putting it aside. You will find out what I decide in next week’s Reading Roundup!

Happy Reading to you all!

Love and best wishes,



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Update 09/11/20

Well, I had a lovely birthday yesterday. My husband cooked bacon sandwiches for lunch (my favourite treat that I only allow myself once a week!) and then delicious steak and chips for dinner. He is a very good cook and has taken over this job completely since we married. As usual, I spent most of the day in bed, but kept myself entertained with reading my latest book and watching TV. I also had a great chat on the telephone with Younger Son, which really raised my spirits.

Special thanks are owed to all my lovely family friends who sent kind birthday messages via Facebook, post and other media – I love you all 🥰😘🥰😘🥰.

I had intended to show you my birthday presents in today’s post, but will have to leave it until Friday’s as a couple haven’t arrived yet.

A friend posted this short video on Facebook, which had me and Elder Son in hysterics. I think it has been around for a while, but we found it very funny and I hope it amuses you…

Love and best wishes,



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