Update 03/10/22

Welcome to a new month and a new week on my blog!

For the last few weeks, I have been feeling even more weak and ill than usual. I don’t know whether I caught some kind of bug, or if my feelings were caused by something psychological but, whatever the cause, I felt really dreadful. Yesterday I started to experience something more positive and I hope that my physical and mental health improve over the next few days…

I want to feel strong enough to wear some of my lovely outfits!

Anyway, I won’t dwell on the negative stuff. Instead, I will show you some gorgeous and colourful images:

I adore these lamps and also just about anything Art Nouveau – aren’t these absolutely wonderful?

This is another amazing photo that I found on Twitter recently. Once again, the colours are incredible. OK, there are probably all kinds of filters and manipulations involved in the final image, but it is still lovely:

Kingfisher perched on a lotus leaf by Johnson Chua – Beautiful World on Twitter

Today, I am going to get all of my Massaccesi handbags out of the wardrobe and reorganise them so that the Autumn/Winter ones are at the front. OK, it is just an excuse so that I can enjoy their colours and that lovely leather smell!

Then, I will probably have to go back to bed.

Love and best wishes,

Anne

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Update 30/09/22 with gorgeous Massaccesi offer!

I am changing the usual Friday “Outfits of the Week” post today to let you know about the superb Massaccesi offer that arrived in my inbox. You may know that I am a huge fan of Marco Massaccesi’s wonderful bespoke handbags and I have written about them before. I had decided to stop buying any more, but could not resist this offer. Anyway, if you are interested, you will have to get your order in quickly as today is the last day – the reason why I am posting in the morning!

The sale offers 30% off the normal prices with these gorgeous Croco leathers. They are stamped calf skin, by the way!

The Massaccesi website with links to his shop with all of the handbag designs can be found below. This offer is not mentioned on the site as it was sent out by email. If you are interested in the offer, then you can email Marco directly for the discount price plus shipping. He is very friendly and responsive by email.

  • The Marco Massaccesi website.
  • The Purse Forum Massaccesi thread.
  • Marco himself can be contacted on this email: orders@marcomassaccesi.it
  • The Facebook Massaccesi group is also available, but is set to private at the moment.

You may be interested to see my own Massaccesi handbag collection… so far:

Finally, I would like to add that I am not being paid or rewarded for this post in any way! I just like to support a lovely artisan business during these hard times.

Love and best wishes,

Anne

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Reading roundup 28/09/22

Welcome to this week’s Reading Roundup post! I have two books to share with you…

Autopsy by Patricia Cornwell

I haven’t read a book from the famous Scarpetta series for a long time, but Patricia Cornwell’s Autopsy (Kay Scarpetta #25) was on offer so I decided to try one again. This is the blurb:

“Forensic pathologist Kay Scarpetta has returned to Virginia as the chief medical examiner. Finding herself the new girl in town once again after being away for many years, she’s inherited an overbearing secretary and a legacy of neglect and possible corruption.

She and her husband Benton Wesley, now a forensic psychologist with the U.S. Secret Service, have relocated to Old Town Alexandria where she’s headquartered five miles from the Pentagon in a post-pandemic world that’s been torn by civil and political unrest. Just weeks on the job, she’s called to a scene by railroad tracks where a woman’s body has been shockingly displayed, her throat cut down to the spine, and as Scarpetta begins to follow the trail, it leads unnervingly close to her own historic neighborhood.

At the same time, a catastrophe occurs in a top secret private laboratory in outer space, and at least two scientists aboard are found dead. Appointed to the highly classified Doomsday Commission that specializes in sensitive national security cases, Scarpetta is summoned to the White House Situation Room and tasked with finding out what happened. But even as she works the first crime scene in space remotely, an apparent serial killer strikes again. And this time, Scarpetta could be in greater danger than ever before.”

It took me a little while to catch up with Scarpetta’s personal life and relationships, but I soon sorted all of that out in my mind. Unfortunately, there were several issues with this book. Here is my review on Goodreads:

Autopsy (Kay Scarpetta #25)Autopsy by Patricia Cornwell
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

What a shame. The early books in the series were amongst my favourites, but everything has gone downhill in the more recent books. There was far too much waffling about family and friendship issues and not enough to drive the main plot. The ending was terribly rushed too. I was kind in awarding three stars. Perhaps it was for old times sake! The verdict: disappointing.

View all my reviews

Oh, final point: I noticed an error in the text. There is no office of “the prime minister of England” – oops!

My second book of the week was this:

Season of Storms by Susanna Kearsley

Yes, this is the third book that I have read by Susanna Kearsley in recent weeks: Season of Storms. Let’s go straight to the blurb, unfortunately it is very short and rather uninformative:

“When Celia Sands arrives at a remote Italian villa to star in the first performance of a deceased playwright’s masterpiece, she is instantly drawn to the mysteries surrounding the play — and to her compelling, compassionate employer.”

I think I am going to have to search for all of Kearsley’s books now! Although this one was not quite as good as the other two I have already read, I still enjoyed it. Great escapism during hard times. This is my review:

Season of StormsSeason of Storms by Susanna Kearsley
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This the third book that I have read by Susanna Kearsley. I really loved the first two and rated them highly. This one was not quite as good, but was enjoyable. Having been to the Italian lakes a long time ago, the descriptions of the scenery, the towns and villages sent me right back. The area is so beautiful. Also, the villa itself and its surroundings were so nicely depicted. The plot was interesting, although I felt that some of the characters were not as well drawn as in previous books.

I will definitely look out for more by the author as they are great escapist reads.

View all my reviews

I hope you have enjoyed this week’s post. Now I will choose my next book. Elder Son is working today, so I will have plenty of time to start reading it.

Happy Reading to you all!

Love and best wishes,

Anne

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Update 26/09/22 with a new hairdo!

Welcome to the start of a new week with Monday’s post. Those of you who visited on Friday may have noticed that I have finally been to the hairdresser’s. About time too! I really liked my previous haircut, but had left it a long time.

Anyway, here are the before and after photos:

Before and after haircut 16/09/22

My hair is now very short indeed! I really like how it shows off my earrings and is so easy to manage. By the way, the cobalt blue twinset is from Lands’ End and the small scarf is Bibliothèque by Hermès. I love all of these bright colours together: blue, yellow, green, orange and pink. They are so cheerful!

Here is a larger image of the scarf, Hermès Bibliothèque, 45cm gavroche:

Bibliothéque by Hugo Grygkar for Hermès
Bibliothèque by Hugo Grygkar for Hermès

Unfortunately, I am in a lot of pain since struggling with several necessary household tasks, including fitting our new bedroom curtains. This has made me think a lot about my lack of muscle tone and poor fitness levels. So, I am going to rest until the pain has gone and then try to get outside for short walks and also start using my exercise chair again. I have a telephone appointment with my consultant tomorrow and I am positive that he will support these decisions. This severe deterioration has really frightened me, to be honest.

OK, I think that is enough for today’s post!

Love and best wishes,

Anne

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Outfits of the week 23/09/22 with a birthday and a funeral

Hello and welcome to Friday’s post. Well, a lot happened while I had a break from the blog, didn’t it? To begin with, Younger Son visited, Lovely Husband had his 70th birthday and then we had all of the sadness, upset, pomp and circumstance of Queen Elizabeth ll’s passing and funeral. More about the latter later on.

It was so lovely to see YS for a few days. He really helped to give his Dad a great birthday and also supported my efforts to sort out a few issues with the house (the curtain rail in our bedroom came down the other week and I was unable to screw it back on the wall by myself). YS cooked a fabulous celebration dinner for the four of us which was great for his dad as he (LH) usually does all of the food purchasing, preparation and cooking.

We all gave LH some great presents for his birthday: the lovely crystal glasses that I showed you on here back in August and some framed cricket memorabilia. LH was really thrilled, which was so lovely to see.

These were his gifts: two wine glasses from Royal Scot Crystal, then two cricket items bought on eBay. The top one is a print of Scarborough Cricket Ground and at the bottom is a signature and photo of LH’s hero: Dickie Bird. The framing was done locally.

Westminster large wine glass – Royal Scot Crystal
Cricket memorabilia

Now for something more sombre…

Queen Elizabeth II, photograph by Ranald Mackechnie

I am not going to write much about the extraordinary events of the past few days. To be quite honest, I am not a monarchist at all, but somehow I felt caught up in these historic times. As I was born in the 1950s, Queen Elizabeth was on the throne for my whole life and it felt as if she would be there forever! She outlived my own parents, who were a little younger than her and it seems so unsettling now that she has gone.

I really surprised and shocked my family by dressing up in my pearl earrings and necklace and wearing my Hermès Regina scarf, which dates back to the Silver Jubilee in 1977. Here is a quick photo:

Outfit of the day 19/09/22 with Hermès Regina scarf

I wore the scarf with a deep purple twin set and navy trousers from Lands’ End. My pearl earrings and necklace were from John Lewis and the gold tone scarf ring from MaiTai. Here is a larger image of the scarf:

Regina by Hermès

I must admit that I have found the last week or so really exhausting and today I have been climbing the ladder to fit the new bedroom curtains! Perhaps a good rest is now in order!

Hoping for a calm and peaceful weekend.

Love and best wishes,

Anne

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Posted in Family, Outfit of the day, Scarves, Special days, Wardrobe | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Reading roundup 21/09/22

Hello! So, I’m back again after my extended break. I had hoped to be able to write an extended post with loads of great books to whet your reading appetite, but the events of the last few days made it impossible for me to concentrate on reading. There is only one book that I can write about. Here it is:

The Rose Garden by Susanna Kearsley

I enjoyed The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley so much that I decided to read another of her books: The Rose Garden. This is the blurb:

“When Eva’s film star sister Katrina dies, she leaves California and returns to Cornwall, where they spent their childhood summers, to scatter Katrina’s ashes and in doing so return her to the place where she belongs. But Eva must also confront the ghosts from her own past, as well as those from a time long before her own. For the house where she so often stayed as a child is home not only to her old friends the Halletts, but also to the people who had lived there in the eighteenth century. When Eva finally accepts that she is able to slip between centuries and see and talk to the inhabitants from hundreds of years ago, she soon finds herself falling for Daniel Butler, a man who lived – and died – long before she herself was born. Eva begins to question her place in the present, and in laying her sister to rest, comes to realise that she too must decide where she really belongs, choosing between the life she knows and the past she feels so drawn towards.”

I really needed a bit of escapism and this book certainly provided it! Here is my five star review on Goodreads:

The Rose GardenThe Rose Garden by Susanna Kearsley
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is the second terrific escapist novel by Susanna Kearsley that I have enjoyed. Just the thing when you are beset by worries and troubles. I loved the intertwining of modern day life with the adventure set in the early Georgian era. The characters were interesting and well drawn and the setting beautifully described, leaving me wishing that I could travel to Cornwall once again. Lovely book.

View all my reviews

As I am still struggling to concentrate, I wonder what I can read for next week’s post?

All will be revealed…

Happy Reading to you all!

Love and best wishes,

Anne

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Mourning 09/09/22 – updated 12/09/22

Mourning by Kat on Flickr

Updated Monday 12/09/22: I have decided to take a few days away from the blog for various reasons (LH’s 70th birthday, YS visiting, ES returning from his holiday) and also because I am feeling totally overwhelmed at the moment. So, I hope to return on Wednesday 21/09/22 with a Reading Roundup post.

Love and best wishes,

Anne

💔

Image details

Mourning (The weeping angel on Franz Bendel’s tombstone), by Kat on Flickr

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Reading roundup 07/09/22

Hello, fellow reading fans! Welcome to this week’s Reading Roundup. I have enjoyed two books this week and have started a third. Here’s the first one…

The Girl She Was by Alafair Burke

I have read a couple of books by Alafair Burke before, so I thought that I would try another. This one was called “The Girl She Was”. First we have the blurb:

“HOPE CAN BE A DANGEROUS THING…

She calls herself Hope Miller, but she has no idea who she really is.

Fourteen years ago, she was found thrown from an overturned vehicle, with no clue to her identity. Hope started a new life, but never recovered her memory.

Now she’s missing. With nowhere else to turn, Hope’s best friend, Lindsay Kelly, calls NYPD detective Ellie Hatcher.

In pursuit of answers, three women search for the truth beneath long-buried secrets. And when their searches converge, what they find will upend everything they’ve ever known.”

The book was entertaining enough and I gave it three stars on Goodreads. This is my response on the site:

The Girl She WasThe Girl She Was by Alafair Burke
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was an interesting mystery/thriller with many positive points. There were plenty of twists and turns, but ultimately I found the plot confusing and muddled in places. For me, the characters weren’t fleshed out enough and one blurred into another. The book did entertain me until the end, however, so deserves three stars. There were some clever surprises which made the book worth reading.

View all my reviews

I had seen this book title, “Where the Crawdads Sing”, in several places, but had not thought of reading it until I realised that a film is being made of it. That intrigued me, so I decided to see what all of the hype was about…

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

Here is the blurb:

“For years, rumors of the “Marsh Girl” have haunted Barkley Cove, a quiet town on the North Carolina coast. So in late 1969, when handsome Chase Andrews is found dead, the locals immediately suspect Kya Clark, the so-called Marsh Girl. But Kya is not what they say. Sensitive and intelligent, she has survived for years alone in the marsh that she calls home, finding friends in the gulls and lessons in the sand. Then the time comes when she yearns to be touched and loved. When two young men from town become intrigued by her wild beauty, Kya opens herself to a new life – until the unthinkable happens.”

The book was really worth reading and this is my Goodreads’ review:

Where the Crawdads SingWhere the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I find it really interesting to read the negative reviews of books that I have enjoyed. They give such different perspectives. I can understand those readers who know about the geographical setting and don’t like how this was depicted. Or who know about the local dialect or history of the area and feel that the book didn’t hit the mark. This happens often to me when I read something set in my country or in historical periods that I have studied closely.

However, I live in the UK so I really loved the book, particularly the first half about an abandoned child having to make her way in a hostile place. Hostile in terms of the attitudes of the local people, in terms of poverty and deprivation. It was interesting to read about Kya’s development into adolescence and adulthood and how she related to other people, particularly men. The second half was a more difficult read and the structure of the book at this point became quite an issue for me.

Anyway, it will be interesting to see the film of the book. I hope they can make a good job of it!

View all my reviews

Re-reading some of my reviews sometimes reminds me that my writing, since the stroke three years ago, is not always at its best. Anyway, I hope that you find my responses to the books that I read helpful at the very least!

And now I am going to return to my latest book. What is it? Well, you will find out next week 😁😁😁.

Happy Reading to you all!

Love and best wishes,

Anne

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Update 05/09/22 with a very quick post

Apologies everyone! I was so preoccupied that I almost forgot to post. Elder Son has gone away on a week’s holiday and the fuss and bother involved in getting him ready meant that I just buried myself in a book after he set off.

So, I will simply give you this image…

Serena Williams via Twitter

What a woman!

Love and best wishes,

Anne

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Outfits of the week 02/09/22

Here we are at Friday once again and also the first post of a new month. I was pleased and surprised that the statistics for August were the second best ever! It is so lovely that this little blog is reaching so many people around the world. Thank you all for visiting 💕💗💖💗💕.

You might remember that we took some items to be framed into town last week. Well, we went to pick them up yesterday and so I had to actually get dressed properly. The two items are birthday presents for Lovely Husband’s 70th birthday in a fortnight and I will show them to you after he has seen them. I was really pleased with the final result – the framer did a wonderful job.

This is my full outfit:

Outfit of the day 01/09/22

Outfit details:

  • Cobalt blue sleeveless dress – Toast. Well, this is actually their Marigold Block Print Cotton Nightie that I bought last year and decided to wear as a dress!
  • Silver butterfly earrings – Sainsburys. This is a similar image. Gift from Elder Son.
  • Silver bell and bow pendant necklace. Bought for me by LH on our honeymoon.
  • Blue and white beaded bracelet. Gift from my sister.
  • Navy leather sandals – Suave.
  • Navy metallic Africa leather midi-Selene handbag – Massaccesi.

This is a larger image of the dress/nightie:

Marigold Block Print Cotton Nightie by Toast

The pattern on the dress is in a golden beige, darker than in the photos above. There are pockets and side slits that make it very comfortable to wear.

OK, I think that is all for now…

Happy Weekend to you all!

Love and best wishes,

Anne

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