Outfits of the week 26/11/21

Once again, it has been a difficult week for us. There has been a lot of stress in the house, brought on by a number of incidents together with my and Lovely Husband’s medical issues. I just hope that everything will calm down, especially with Younger Son visiting next week.

As my health has been so poor this week, I have been snuggling up in my cashmere shawls. As I now have three, I have been using them in rotation. Here is a quick photo with my gorgeous Hermès Plumes en Fête cashmere/silk shawl…

And here are all three shawls: Hermès’ Plumes en Fête cashmere/silk, Johnstons of Elgin’s Pixellated Check cashmere stole and Liberty of London’s Hera cashmere/silk. These images are not to scale, e.g. the Hermès and Liberty shawls are the same size at 140x140cm.

Next week, whilst Younger Son is here, I am going to make a huge effort to get out of bed and dress properly, even if I only manage this on a couple of days. Also, I am taking a break from posting on the blog so that I can spend time with him.

So, I do hope that you have a good weekend and that next week is great!

Love and best wishes,

Anne

💕💗💖💗💕

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Reading roundup 24/11/21

Well, my reading experience last week was rather, what shall I say, muddled! I started a couple of books, read a few chapters, then decided that they were not worth continuing. In the end, it took a while before I settled on two books, which I will write about in today’s post.

Normal People by Sally Rooney

My first book of the week was Normal People by Sally Rooney. This is the blurb:

”Connell Waldron is one of the most popular boys in his small-town high school–he is a star of the football team and an excellent student, and he is never wanting for attention from girls. The one thing he doesn’t have is money. Marianne Sheridan, a classmate of Connell’s, has the opposite problem. Marianne is plain-looking, odd, and stubborn, and while her family is quite well off, she has no friends to speak of. There is, however, a deep and undeniable connection between the two teenagers, one that develops into a secret relationship.

Everything changes when both Connell and Marianne are accepted to Trinity College. Suddenly Marianne is well liked and elegant, holding court with her intellectual friends, while Connell hangs at the sidelines, not quite as fluent in the language of the elite. Throughout their years at university, Marianne and Connell circle each other, falling in and out of romance but never straying far from where they started. And as Marianne experiments with an increasingly dangerous string of boyfriends, Connell must decide how far he is willing to go to save his oldest friend.

Sally Rooney brings her brilliant psychological acuity and perfectly spare prose to a novel that explores the subtleties of class, the electricity of first love, and the inescapable challenges of family and friendships. Normal People is a book that you will read in one sitting, and then immediately jump up to share with your friends.”

It was interesting to read the responses from both friends and strangers on Goodreads. The book has had very mixed reviews. Here is mine:

Normal PeopleNormal People by Sally Rooney
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Well, what can I say about this book? I have read through a lot of the responses on here and they are quite polarised. In the end, I fall onto the negative side. I persevered with the book, although at several points I nearly stopped reading it. But I felt that I simply had to reach the end. Perhaps something amazing was about to happen, I thought. But, nothing amazing ever happened, the storyline just kept trundling along. The characters were rather tedious and unlikeable too.

All in all, I wish I hadn’t bothered.

View all my reviews

After this I simply had to turn to something that would be more reliable!

Sword of Kings
by Bernard Cornwell

I was planning to save this book for another week or two, but I had to read something that I could really enjoy: Bernard Cornwell’s Sword of Kings, #12 in The Last Kingdom series. First we have the blurb:

An oath of loyalty.
Two warring kings.
A destiny he didn’t choose…

England is in turmoil as Vikings and Saxons battle for territory. Rumours build about the fatal sickness of the King, and the country awaits an heir.

A violent clash at sea forces the warrior lord Uhtred to lead his men from his Northumbrian fortress to London and plunge into the eye of the storm. For two kings claim the empty throne, and a new kingdom cannot be born without bloodshed.

Uhtred’s sword will leave one king dead and the other victorious. But sometimes it is hard to know the will of the gods…”

And this is my review on Goodreads:

Sword of Kings (The Saxon Stories, #12)Sword of Kings by Bernard Cornwell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Another absorbing and fast-paced read in this fabulous series! The writing is so good that I lose myself in the story and hardly manage to come up for air or food until I have finished.

I enjoyed the book, despite noticing a few flaws. The storyline was not as good as usual, especially in the first half, with Uhtred and his companions travelling back and forth all over land, sea and river to no positive purpose. It also amazes me how Uhtred manages to fight so well against much younger men, despite being in his sixties and carrying injuries. Surely he would have slowed down considerably by now? (Of course, I am secretly pleased that he hasn’t!) He still makes the same impetuous mistakes that he made as a young man.

But, all in all this is such a great series and I am sad that there is only one more book!

View all my reviews

After this, I am really not sure what I am going to read next. I think I will leave the final Last Kingdom book for a while, so I will probably have a browse on the Library’s ebook site.

So, until next week’s Reading Roundup post: Happy Reading to you all!

Love and best wishes,

Anne

📚📖📚📖📚

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Update 22/11/21

Apologies, but there will not be a post this evening as I am feeling very weak and ill. I have not been able to get out of bed for more than a few minutes for over a week and I cannot think clearly.

I will try to write a Reading Roundup post on Wednesday.

Love and best wishes,

Anne

💕💗💖💗💕

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Outfits of the week 19/11/21

Well, these are not really full outfits. Instead, these two photos show different ways to wear the same scarf with the same knot, using the same scarf ring. Just by turning the scarf around, the knot shows off the scarf in a different way.

The photos above show my Hermès Lazy Leopardesses 90cm silk scarf with a hammered pewter scarf ring. I also wore my Woolovers dark grey v-neck jumper and silver earrings. If I had been going out, I would have worn either my grey cord trousers or grey jeans, both from Lands’ End, with my new pewter leather Hotter shoes.


I have news! We were all thrilled the other day when Younger Son told us that he will be visiting soon. As we haven’t seen him since the summer, I am really looking forward to being with him. So, I will try to write the usual three posts next week and then will take a break the week after, while he is here.

I am so happy!!!!

Have a great weekend!

Love and best wishes,

Anne

💕💗💖💗💕

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Reading roundup 17/11/21

I am really pleased that I have managed to meet my Goodreads’ goal of reading 60 books this year and that there is more reading time left in 2021! There may be a few in the list that I didn’t finish, but I feel that I have done really well, all things considered.

War of the Wolf
by Bernard Cornwell

My first read of the week was Bernard Cornwell’s 11th episode in his The Last Kingdom series: War of the Wolf. Having read the first ten of the books, I was thrilled to find that three more have been published! I quickly bought all three and started reading. Here is the blurb:

”His blood is Saxon
His heart is Viking
His battleground is England

“Perhaps the greatest writer of historical adventure novels today” (Washington Post), Bernard Cornwell has dazzled and entertained readers and critics with his page-turning bestsellers. Of all his protagonists, however, none is as beloved as Uhtred of Bebbanburg.

And while Uhtred might have regained his family’s fortress, it seems that a peaceful life is not to be – as he is under threat from both an old enemy and a new foe. The old enemy comes from Wessex where a dynastic struggle will determine who will be the next king. And the new foe is Sköll, a Norseman, whose ambition is to be King of Northumbria and who leads a frightening army of wolf-warriors, men who fight half-crazed in the belief that they are indeed wolves. Uhtred, believing he is cursed, must fend off one enemy while he tries to destroy the other. In this new chapter of the Saxon Tales series—a rousing adventure of courage, treachery, duty, devotion, majesty, love and battle, as seen through the eyes of a warrior straddling two worlds—Uhtred returns to fight once again for the destiny of England.”

And this is my response as written on Goodreads:

War of the Wolf (The Last Kingdom, #11)War of the Wolf by Bernard Cornwell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was so pleased when I realised that there were more books in this series! Having just finished this one, I am amazed at the continuing high quality writing and story telling. I was gripped from start to finish and found it hard to put the book down at all!

I think that Uhtred is one of my most favourite characters of all, even if his superstitious nature occasionally annoys! The twists in the plot are great again and I am so pleased that I have the rest of the series lined up for me to read next.

View all my reviews
Crown of Midnight
by Sarah J Maas

After all this excitement I could have just picked up the next book in the series, but I decided to make myself wait! Instead, I returned to the Young Adult series by Sarah J Maas: Throne of Glass, and read the second book Crown of Midnight. This is the blurb:

”She is the greatest assassin her world has ever known. But does she have the heart of a killer?

After a year of hard labor in the Salt Mines of Endovier, eighteen-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien has won the king’s contest to become the new royal assassin. But Calaena is far from loyal to the crown. Keeping up the charade – while pretending to do the king’s bidding – will test her skills in an entirely new way. And it certainly isn’t the only point of confusion for the young girl. Because though she’s made her choice between Dorian and Chaol, the ways of the heart are never simple…”

Some of my friends have given this book a very high rating. Maybe they are thinking in terms of the intended readership. Anyway, I’m obviously not a young adult so this is what I thought of the book:

Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass, #2)Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This second episode of the Throne of Glass series was a little better than the first, in my opinion. After a first half that dragged a bit, the latter section improved in pace and story telling. Some totally new ideas were introduced in quite a random way, but as this is a long series perhaps we need new plot lines to sustain the story.

At least the series so far gives the reader plenty of escapism, especially if you are prepared to skim over the glaring inconsistencies in character and plot! Now, the question for me is…

Shall I read the third book?

View all my reviews

I still haven’t worked out the answer to that question! If I run out of books and want some easy to read escapism, I might just read book 3. At the moment, I am about 80 pages into my next book. It has been quite interesting so far, but I am trying to decide whether I am enjoying it enough to carry on reading.

Should I, or shouldn’t I?

We will see…

Happy Reading to you all!

Love and best wishes,

Anne

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Update 15/11/21 with birthday gifts

First of all, my apologies for such a short post on Friday. So, today’s is the content I would have written on Friday, if I had been well enough. I hope that is not too confusing!

Anyway, here are the lovely presents that I received for my birthday. First the gorgeous cashmere shawl from Johnstons of Elgin that I wrote about back in August . This was a gift from Lovely Husband and I have been snuggling in it all week!

And here are other gifts that I was so thankful to receive…

The cute heart-shaped earrings (Etsy) were from Younger Son and will look great with my Hermès Tea Time 70cm scarf. My sister bought me the lovely gold tone necklace from Mint Velvet and Elder Son gave me a wonderful box filled with scrumptious Whittard teas. What a nice selection of birthday gifts!

I will try to take some modelling shots with the scarf and jewellery (not all in the same outfit!) for Friday’s post.

Love and best wishes,

Anne

💕💖💗💖💕

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Update 12/11/21 with an apology

I am sorry but I am unable to write a proper post today as I had a huge migraine with aura and headache this afternoon.

Normal service will be resumed on Monday, I hope!

Love and best wishes,

Anne

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Reading roundup 10/11/21

Welcome to this week’s Reading Roundup post. I have two books to tell you about this week. There might have been a third, but I am actually doing something rather difficult: reading two books at the same time! OK, this might sound like a very foolish thing to do with an impaired brain, but I have my reasons. I am trying to read a more academic book at the moment. The kind of book that takes quite a lot of concentration. Now, a few years ago this would have been a breeze for me, but now it is quite a struggle. So, I am reading a chapter of the more difficult book, then swapping to a Young Adult book to ease off on the brain power. I think this strategy is working reasonably well.

Anyway, this is the first book that I want to tell you about…

The Night Hawks
by Ellie Griffiths

The Night Hawks by Ellie Griffiths is the 13th book in her Ruth Galloway series. This is the blurb:

”Dr Ruth Galloway returns to the moody and beautiful landscape of North Norfolk to confront another killer. A devastating new case for our favourite forensic archaeologist in this acclaimed and bestselling crime series.

The Night Hawks, a group of metal detectorists, are searching for buried treasure when they find a body on the beach in North Norfolk. At first Nelson thinks that the dead man might be an asylum seeker but he turns out to be a local boy, Jem Taylor, recently released from prison. Ruth is more interested in the treasure, a hoard of Bronze Age weapons. Nelson at first thinks that Taylor’s death is accidental drowning, but a second death suggests murder.

Nelson is called to an apparent murder-suicide of a couple at the isolated Black Dog Farm. Local legend talks of the Black Shuck, a spectral hound that appears to people before they die. Nelson ignores this, even when the owner’s suicide note includes the line, ‘He’s buried in the garden.’ Ruth excavates and finds the body of a giant dog.

All roads lead back to this farm in the middle of nowhere, but the place spells serious danger for anyone who goes near. Ruth doesn’t scare easily. Not until she finds herself at Black Dog Farm …”

This is the short review that I wrote on Goodreads:

The Night Hawks (Ruth Galloway #13)The Night Hawks by Elly Griffiths
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I read quite a few of the early books in this series ages ago. Then I saw an offer on this book and decided to return to the world of Ruth Galloway again. I am glad that I did!

I studied Archaeology at university and so Galloway’s profession really interests me and the author uses it very well in her plots. Also enjoyable is the development of the main characters through the series, although, of course, I have missed quite a lot of their stories. In fact, I must go back and read the books that I haven’t tackled yet.

Anyway, the story was very well written with plenty of atmosphere, complicated twists and also a gentle humour. Sometimes I became slightly confused by the number of characters with similar names, but that is my issue.

This series and this particular book is really worth reading.

View all my reviews

As I enjoyed this book so much, I may read more in the Ruth Galloway series, picking up where I left off years ago. Now, to the second book of the week…

Throne of Glass
by Sarah J Maas

So, this was the series that I chose to read alongside more serious books: Sarah J Maas’ Throne of Glass (#01 Throne of Glass). This is the blurb:

Meet Celaena Sardothien.
Beautiful. Deadly. Destined for greatness.

In the dark, filthy salt mines of Endovier, an eighteen-year-old girl is serving a life sentence. She is a trained assassin, the best of her kind, but she made a fatal mistake: she got caught.

Young Captain Westfall offers her a deal: her freedom in return for one huge sacrifice. Celaena must represent the prince in a to-the-death tournament—fighting the most gifted thieves and assassins in the land. Live or die, Celaena will be free. Win or lose, she is about to discover her true destiny. But will her assassin’s heart be melted?”

And here is my response…

Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1)Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I read this because I have enjoyed other books by the author and because I wanted a book to take me far away from my troubles! I didn’t want to read anything too taxing either. Well, this book fulfilled those needs and wants quite nicely.

The book was enjoyable and held my attention enough. Of course, it wasn’t written for someone my age! I have several issues with it and the main one is that I was not able to suspend my disbelief in the main character. She is supposed to be a teenage girl who is such a skilled assassin that she can overpower and kill full-grown adult men. There is very little evidence throughout the book that this is possible! OK, she boasts that she is an amazing killer, but we are not shown any factual background to this. So, for me, the whole story wobbled around on this main storyline.

Still, this was a fantasy book!

View all my reviews

OK, I didn’t enjoy this book as much as I did some in Maas’ A Court of Thorns and Roses series, but then she doesn’t write for my age group! It was still a book that could take me out of myself for a while and that is why I am reading the second book in the series, Crown of Midnight.

I will give you my verdict next week!

Happy Reading to you all.

Love and best wishes,

Anne

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PS. If you want to know more about the “more academic” book I am reading, it is listed in the sidebar. I am not going to write about it on here as it covers a very controversial topic, which I don’t want to discuss on this blog.

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Update 08/11/21 – it’s my birthday!

Oh my goodness – 65 today! Where did the time go? I am now officially a pensioner – eek!!!

I apologise for this very short post. Friday’s will have photos of various presents. I had a terrible night, so don’t have the energy to take any today. To be honest, I have been indulging myself this afternoon and I don’t have to feel guilty today!

Anyway, here is a quick modelling photo with my “big” present, which you may have seen before earlier in the year. Full details on Friday.

Birthday photo with cashmere stole by Johnstons of Elgin

OK, now I am going to pick up my book again and enjoy reading with a lovely pot of tea!

Love and best wishes,

Anne

🥳🎂🎉🎂🥳

PS. Thanks for all of the lovely birthday messages of FB and elsewhere!

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Outfits of the week 05/11/21

A good thing about cooler weather is that I can wear my lovely scarves again! From the heavy silk of the Hermès 90cm beauties, to the smaller gavroches and twillies, to the cashmere/silk shawls – I am so lucky that I have so many to choose between. I also have pretty scarves in my drawers that were very cheap, when compared with the expensive designer treasures, and I love them too. So, I am going to enjoy selecting my scarves and building outfits around them over the next weeks and months.

I have two outfits to show you this week. One was with a scarf, the other was without. Here is the outfit based around a gorgeous amber necklace that I have had for many years:

Outfit of the day 29/10/21 with amber necklace

This was the outfit that I wore on the booster vaccination day! You may recognise some of the grey clothing items – they are all from Lands’ End. The earrings are by Swarovski and I also wore my new pewter shoes from Hotter.

My second outfit was only worn at home. I had washed my hair for the first time since the haircut and wanted to wear something nice:

Outfit of the day 03/11/21 with Liberty’s Hera shawl

I am fortunate to own two cashmere/silk 140cm shawls. One is by Hermès – Plumes en Fête – and the other is by Liberty of London – Hera. The colours in both are spectacular, but when I want to wear a large shawl with some of the blue clothes in my wardrobe, I reach for the Hera. This time I chose my new navy wool/cashmere v-neck from WoolOvers and matching cord trousers from Lands’ End. A blue and gold Halcyon Days bangle and crystal stud earrings completed the outfit. Here is a larger image of the shawl so that you can see more of the detail:

Liberty of London - Hera cashmere/silk shawl
Liberty of London – Hera cashmere/silk shawl

By the way, I last wore the Hermès Plumes en Fête shawl a couple of weeks ago and you can see the post here.

That’s all for this week. I hope you all have a good weekend.

Love and best wishes,

Anne

💕💗💖💗💕

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