Outfit of the day 10/12/19

Well, as I promised a post today – here it is! I am very tired, so it won’t be very long and there is a simple photo instead of a collage, but at least I have written something.

I am tired but pleased that we managed to go out for a few hours today. It was only errands and suchlike, but I feel a real sense of achievement. The wet and very windy weather seems to add to my confusion, as do the Christmas lights everywhere. I love illuminations at this time of year, so I am trying to work through the muddled thoughts in my brain! Home is my safe space. Well, to be more accurate, my bedroom is really. When I go anywhere else I feel nervous and quite unsafe. I do hope that this wears off as soon as possible.

We picked up a couple of parcels from the Post Office in town and then went into Sainsbury’s to collect another parcel, visit the café and wander around for a while.

Outfit of the day 10/12/19 with Liberty’s Ianthe shawl

So here is today’s outfit with my lovely navy cotton cable jumper from Lands’ End and an Ianthe Varuna wool shawl from Liberty of London. I also wore navy cord trousers (Lands’ End), navy leather shoes from Hotter and a fun pair of earrings which look like slices of Christmas cake! To finish this navy blue outfit, I carried my beautiful blue Africa Massaccesi midi zip Selene handbag and wore a warm jacket in the same colour.

Tomorrow, if everything goes to plan, I will write the usual Reading Roundup post.

Love and best wishes,

Anne

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Update 09/12/19

As I have had a pretty bad migraine this afternoon, with an aura, I cannot write a proper post today. I will try to write an update tomorrow.

Love and best wishes,

Anne

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Update 06/12/19

We have had such a difficult time recently and I am trying really hard to develop some Christmas cheer! Now that so many family members have passed on, our present buying is  reduced to just the four of us. I am looking forward to a time when our lads start families of their own and we can all enjoy larger celebrations again.

These last few days have been spent recovering from the difficulties that Eldest Son’s situation put us all through. (Sorry for not explaining in more detail and for posting so cryptically, but I really cannot write more.) To take my mind to a happier place, I have concentrated instead on gift buying and very simple planning for the festive period. We are unable to do very much, but will have a lovely Christmas dinner at the very least!

The lads tend to prefer cash gifts these days, but I usually add in a few items for them to open, plus I have managed to collect a few things for Lovely Husband. My own main present is sorted (I am eagerly anticipating its arrival from Italy – hint 😉).

Decorative touches from Dunelm

So, we now need to clean and tidy up the house before putting up the tree and some decorations. LH and I decided to buy some new additions to our lounge this week – mainly cushions and a throw – so those will help to add to the festive feel. I will take a photo when it is all finished.

I hope that you all have a lovely time over the weekend and don’t do to much! Christmas can add so much stress.

Love and best wishes,

Anne

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Reading roundup 04/12/19

I am very tired after over a week of difficult days for the family, so will have to make this post short but, I hope, sweet-ish!

This week’s Reading Roundup is again about one book, but it was a long one and I feel rather pleased that I managed to read it. Reading is difficult when you have memory problems. Trying to remember the beginning chapters of a book when you have got halfway through… well, I hope you can see what I mean! I am having to read as quickly as I can so that the outline of the plot doesn’t fade away. It’s very frustrating indeed!

Darkdawn by Jay Kristoff

I had been waiting for Darkdawn by Jay Kristoff (#03 of The Nevernight Chronicle) for what felt like ages. Finally it became available from the library’s ebook service and I have just finished it this morning. Here is the blurb:

A ruthless young assassin’s journey for revenge comes to a stunning end in the conclusion of this acclaimed epic fantasy trilogy.

The Republic of Itreya is in chaos. Mia Corvere has assassinated Cardinal Duomo and rumors of Consul Scaeva’s death ripple through the street of Godsgrave like wildfire. But buried beneath those same streets, deep in the ancient city’s bones, lies a secret that will change the Republic forever.

Mia and her brother Jonnen must journey through the depths of the ancient metropolis. Their quest will take them through the Godsgrave underdark, across the Sea of Swords, back to the library of the Quiet Mountain and the poisoned blades of Mia’s old mentors, and at last the fabled Crown of the Moon. There, Mia will at last discover the origins of the darkin, and learn the destiny that lies in store for her and her world. But with the three suns now in descent, and Truedark on the horizon, will she survive?

I really loved the first two books in the series, giving them four and five stars respectively. This is what I wrote about Darkdawn:

Darkdawn (The Nevernight Chronicle, #3)Darkdawn by Jay Kristoff
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I read the first two books in the trilogy almost exactly two years ago and absolutely adored them so, when I saw that the third was available, I couldn’t wait to read it. Yes, it was exciting, adventurous, violent, gory, etc., etc., just like the others. Sadly, it was also badly flawed and disappointing.

The other books received very mixed reviews and I ignored the negative ones, but this book deserves fewer accolades. The violence and sheer amount of killing and blood is vastly overdone. Mia loses her heroic status for me and simply becomes a crazed murderous figure. Scene after scene involves so much gratuitous violence that it is very near to boring in the repetitive gore-fest. In fact, monsters are repeated, as are ideas. Worst of all – the library!!!!! Ok, that last comment is an attempt at humour.

A small niggle is the poor editing in places where there were several homophones. As for the sex scenes! One went on for more than three pages and it was just boring and unnecessary.

If this book had been shorter it would have, perhaps, been much better. A tighter and less repetitive (yes, I know I am repeating repetitively) plot might have raised this book up to the level of the others. I love so much of this author’s writing and will look out for his next book as I am sure that he has something much better to give us all.

View all my reviews

I am not sure what I am going to read next, but will enjoy browsing through the ebook site.

Until next week: Happy Reading to you all!

Love and best wishes,

Anne

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Update 02/12/19

I hope that all my visitors and friends had really good weekends. Everything seems to be speeding up towards Christmas now, so I expect loads of you are very busy. In our household, we are planning a very quiet (and peaceful, I hope!) holiday period. Both of our sons work in retail, so they won’t get many days off. We will try to make the best of things.

Elder Son’s issues have not been sorted yet and, although he is coping reasonably well, we feel on a knife edge waiting for some kind of resolution. I really hope that we have an answer this week!

I did try to get up today for a while and I put on a lovely mauve cashmere v-neck from Marks and Spencer, with navy cords from Lands’ End. The earrings are old ones that I made nearly forty years ago but the small scarf is an Hermès’ gavroche called Baobab Cat – an interesting juxtaposition! Sorry about the hair – I don’t have the energy to get it properly cut and styled.

Outfit of the day 02/12/19 with Hermès’ Baobab Cat gavroche

All of the stress is making me very tired. I have managed to sort out some Christmas things – thank goodness for online shopping!

Love and best wishes to you all,

Anne

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Update 29/11/19

Apologies to anyone visiting who expected a proper post today. Our household is still very tense and difficult so I do not have the head-space to blog. I hope the major issue of the moment is resolved early next week then things can return to our “normal”.

Best wishes to you all,

Anne

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Reading roundup 27/11/19

This will be a short post today. Firstly, because I have only managed to finish one book this week. And secondly,  because we are living with a huge amount of stress on top of the usual level so I don’t have the strength to write very much!

The Water Cure by Sophie Mackintosh

I finished this book: Sophie Mackintosh’s The Water Cure. Here is the blurb…

The Handmaid’s Tale meets The Virgin Suicides in this dystopic feminist revenge fantasy about three sisters on an isolated island, raised to fear men

King has tenderly staked out a territory for his wife and three daughters, Grace, Lia, and Sky. He has laid the barbed wire; he has anchored the buoys in the water; he has marked out a clear message: Do not enter. Or viewed from another angle: Not safe to leave. Here women are protected from the chaos and violence of men on the mainland. The cult-like rituals and therapies they endure fortify them from the spreading toxicity of a degrading world.

But when their father, the only man they’ve ever seen, disappears, they retreat further inward until the day three strange men wash ashore. Over the span of one blistering hot week, a psychological cat-and-mouse game plays out. Sexual tensions and sibling rivalries flare as the sisters confront the amorphous threat the strangers represent. Can they survive the men?

A haunting, riveting debut about the capacity for violence and the potency of female desire, The Water Cure both devastates and astonishes as it reflects our own world back at us.

And this was my response to the book on the Goodreads website…

The Water CureThe Water Cure by Sophie Mackintosh
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

It irritates me that this book is described as a “feminist dystopia” and compared with excellent books like The Handmaid’s Tale. It simply doesn’t compare at all! I don’t think that it ranks as a feminist book either, as there is nothing feminist about it, as far as I can see.

I struggled with the first half of the book, but persevered and managed to finish with the story becoming more compelling in the second half. It is certainly an odd book and difficult to write about without spoilers. I am not sure why it was long-listed for a prize as it just does not seem to be of such a standard, but again there are very mixed views here so what do I know?

View all my reviews

I don’t seem to have had much luck with my recent choices from the Library’s ebook catalogue and this one was no exception. I am very pleased, however, that I am currently reading a far better book and will be able to write a much more positive review next week. Well, that’s assuming that this book carries on developing from a great beginning! I hope so.

Until next week: Happy Reading to you all!

Love and best wishes,

Anne

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