Update 23/10/20 with my new scarf rings

A while ago I wrote here that I would show you my new MaiTai scarf rings in action!

First of all, here is a reminder of the rings – Anno Infinity in gold and a large size Classic in teal and navy with a gold trim:

Scarf rings by MaiTai Collection

I am going to show them with two different Hermès scarves (they also look lovely with my other scarves too): Cosmographia Universalis and A L’Ombre des Pivoines. The Cosmographia has a strong navy blue base and the Pivoines has a teal background with some navy in the pattern. The gold Anneau ring looks great with both scarves.

So, here we have each scarf in turn – A L’Ombre des Pivoines:

Hermès scarf A L’Ombre des Pivoines

And Cosmographia Universalis:

Hermès scarf Cosmographia Universalis

The some modelling photos:

I am so glad that I bought these two scarf rings as they will add more versatility to my scarf ties.

Happy Weekend to you all!

Love and best wishes,



P.S. I have realised that on some screens the scarf ties in the collages may appear a little small. Please let me know if you would like to see any of the knots as individual photos.

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Reading roundup 21/10/20

I am pleased to be able to write that I did manage to finish a couple of books since I last uploaded one of these Reading Roundup posts. Despite having issues with concentration, together with an addiction to another series on Amazon Prime, I read two books and am about halfway through a third.

The Trouble with Peace by Joe Abercrombie

My first read was The Trouble with Peace (The Age of Madness #02) by Joe Abercrombie. Now, this brilliant author of dark fantasy ranks in the very top few of my favourites. Here is the blurb for this book:

Conspiracy. Betrayal. Rebellion.
Peace is just another kind of battlefield…

Savine dan Glokta, once Adua’s most powerful investor, finds her judgement, fortune and reputation in tatters. But she still has all her ambitions, and no scruple will be permitted to stand in her way.

For heroes like Leo dan Brock and Stour Nightfall, only happy with swords drawn, peace is an ordeal to end as soon as possible. But grievances must be nursed, power seized and allies gathered first, while Rikke must master the power of the Long Eye . . . before it kills her.

The Breakers still lurk in the shadows, plotting to free the common man from his shackles, while noblemen bicker for their own advantage. Orso struggles to find a safe path through the maze of knives that is politics, only for his enemies, and his debts, to multiply.

The old ways are swept aside, and the old leaders with them, but those who would seize the reins of power will find no alliance, no friendship, and no peace, lasts forever.

And this is the review that I posted on the Goodreads website:

The Trouble With Peace (The Age of Madness, #2)The Trouble With Peace by Joe Abercrombie
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Oh, how I love Abercrombie’s writing! I have probably said this many times before, but don’t mind saying it again. The dry, black humour is brilliantly done and it’s probably the reason I keep on reading his books. That, together with the superbly written characters, wonderful scene-setting and incredible plot twists, is why I can’t wait until his next book.

The great battle scene was so well written that I felt drawn in to the blood and pain of each character. As I read to the end of the book, I thought that this second book was going to be the finale, but then realised that there is more to come……. yes!!!

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Once again, I must apologise for the brevity of my reviews these days, but I really struggle to write them at all! Anyway, this book has been added to my “favourites” and I cannot wait for the next book to be published.

Blue Moon by Lee Child

The second choice was sadly disappointing: Lee Child’s Blue Moon (Jack Reacher #24). Here is the blurb:

It’s a random universe, but once in a blue moon things turn out just right.

In a nameless city, two rival criminal gangs are competing for control. But they hadn’t counted on Jack Reacher arriving on their patch.

Reacher is trained to notice things.

He’s on a Greyhound bus, watching an elderly man sleeping in his seat, with a fat envelope of cash hanging out of his pocket. Another passenger is watching too … hoping to get rich quick.

As the mugger makes his move, Reacher steps in.

The old man is grateful, yet he turns down Reacher’s offer to help him home. He’s vulnerable, scared, and clearly in big, big trouble.

What hold could the gangs have on the old guy? Will Reacher be in time to stop bad things happening?

The odds are better with Reacher involved. That’s for damn sure.

And this is my review:

Blue Moon (Jack Reacher, #24)Blue Moon by Lee Child
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I was really saddened by this book. When did our hero, Jack Reacher, change into a cold and bloodthirsty vigilante? I nearly put the book into my “rubbish bin” category.

Although the plot has Reacher working to save an old couple, he appears instead to enjoy killing as many men as possible in this book. He kills gratuitously and with a kind of cold relish. This isn’t the Jack Reacher we know from previous books – and I have read all of them.

Please can we have the real Jack Reacher back?

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I suppose that I will probably read the next one in the series, assuming that there will be another book, but, unless Child returns to the “real” Jack Reacher, I will stop there.

The Secrets We Kept by Lara Prescott

After this debacle, I chose a book at random from the Library’s ebook catalogue: The Secrets We Kept by Lara Prescott. I will write about it in next week’s Reading Roundup, all being well.

Until then: Happy Reading to you all!

Love and best wishes,



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Return 19/10/20

Well, I’m back today after two weeks of trying to chill in my pyjamas! I actually managed to get dressed too in an old turquoise v-neck from John Lewis, navy joggers and a rather ancient silk scarf in teal, blue and gold.

Outfit of the day 19/10/20

I have spent part of the day setting up a new laptop for Elder son. We have had a bit of a saga with it, involving being driven mad trying to set up another one, which we had to return. After spending hours trying to get it to work, I felt like throwing it out of the window! Anyway, this one seems to be a lot better – so far. I must say that I am feeling quite pleased that I managed to deal with all of this!

On Friday, I hope to be able to post photos of the MaiTai scarf rings that I bought recently to show how they look with some of my scarves. Wednesday’s post will be the usual Reading Roundup as I have read a couple of books despite feeling so ill over the last fortnight.

By the way, if this post looks a bit strange it’s because WordPress have changed their editor and I am struggling to find the functions that I normally use!

Love and best wishes,



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Taking a break – update 11/10/20

I think that I need a short break from writing this blog.

For the last few weeks my physical and mental health have been deteriorating, to the point that I am hardly able to get out of bed. Writing the blog over almost four years has been really good for me and I love the interactions with people that this brings. I have enjoyed creating more complex posts about individual scarves and my reading – the reactions to these have been so gratifying. But, unfortunately, the idea that I am obligated to post, even if only three days each week, has become overwhelming. I know that this is only in my mind and that the feeling is quite ridiculous, but it’s just too much for me at the moment.

So, I am planning to take a week off and, hopefully, resume on Monday 19th October. I will, perhaps, do some blog admin if I feel well enough.

Thank you all for your kind responses over the years,

Love and best wishes,



P.S. So sorry, but my week away from the blog has not really been enough, so I am extending my “holiday” until Monday 19th October. See you all then!

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Update 02/10/20

I had planned to write a post about my new scarf rings with modelling pictures, but I have spent the day in bed with exhaustion. We had some family difficulties last night and I have felt unable to cope today, so it will all have to wait until Monday’s post.

Happy Weekend to you all!

Love and best wishes,



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Reading roundup 30/09/20

Well, here is my final Reading Roundup for this month. I have two books to tell you about this week.

The Return by Harry Sidebottom

My first read was The Return by Harry Sidebottom. Let’s look at the blurb before my review:

He came home a hero.
But death isn’t finished with him yet . . .

145BC – CALABRIA, ANCIENT ROME. After years of spilling blood for Rome, Gaius Furius Paullus has returned home to spend his remaining days working quietly on the family farm.

But it seems death has stalked Paullus from the battlefield. Just days after his arrival, bodies start appearing – murdered and mutilated. And as the deaths stack up, and panic spreads, the war hero becomes the prime suspect. After all, Paullus has killed countless enemies on the battlefield – could he have brought his habit home with him?

With the psychological effects of combat clouding every thought, Paullus must use all his soldier’s instincts to hunt the real killer. Because if they are not brought to justice soon, he may become the next victim.

And this is my verdict:

The ReturnThe Return by Harry Sidebottom
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I have tried to read a book by this author before, but gave up because I found it flat. As a former student of all things Ancient Rome, I had thought that I would give his books another try and I did finish this one, but wonder why!

In The Return, Sidebottom tries to combine his love of the Ancient Roman military with a mystery story. Whereas he obviously revels in the scenes of army life and deeds, the “whodunnit” side is badly written. His hero is a poor investigator and there is very little actual mystery as it is so obvious who the perpetrators are. They might as well wear signs saying “Wedunnit!”. The tale wanders about, trying to build some tension, but instead goes down various side roads full of plot holes.

And, finally, what can I say about the female characters?!? At least there are some, but they are either stereotyped harridans or younger sketchily written ornaments. There were strong women around in the Roman Republic!

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Fire and Ice by Dana Stabenow

My second read was written by an author who I wrote about a few weeks ago: Dana Stabenow. This time, I turned to her other series set in Alaska to read the first book: Fire and Ice (Liam Campbell #01). This is the blurb:

Newenham, Alaska, is a long way from the big-city comforts of Anchorage, where Sergeant Liam Campbell was an up-and-coming state trooper with everything going his way. But that was before his life unraveled. Transferred in disgrace to this rough-and-tumble fishing town on the shores of Bristol Bay, Liam knows Newenham is the end of the line. It’s also his last shot at getting his life back.. He’s about to come in for a very rough landing. Stepping onto the airstrip at Newenham, Liam walks into a crime scene: a body torn apart by the propeller of a Piper Super Cub. As if that isn’t enough of a welcome, the woman bending over the corpse is Wyanet Chouinard, the only woman Liam ever truly loved – and soon to be his prime suspect. Next, a man is held hostage in the town’s only decent burger joint–held for shooting out a jukebox that was playing Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville. And Liam still doesn’t have his uniform on.

I wrote this quick review on Goodreads:

Fire And Ice (Liam Campbell, #1)Fire And Ice by Dana Stabenow
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I enjoyed this book, as the first part of a series. Whereas I found the first Kate Shugak book rather confusing, in this one the various characters were much more clearly written and the back story was easier to follow. There is a terrific scene in the book which had me enthralled: the crowd of boats jostling around shoals of fish with their spotter planes manoeuvring above – this was excellent writing. I am sure that I will continue to read the series.

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As this series is available on our library’s ebook service, I may read the second book next, or I might choose something different. I haven’t decided yet!

Happy Reading to you all.

Love and best wishes,



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Update 28/09/20 with some new scarf rings

I am really looking forward to “playing” with my scarves now that the weather is cooler. So, to that end, I pounced on an offer from MaiTai Collection and ordered two new scarf rings.

First of all, here is the lovely packaging for the rings:

Beautiful packaging by MaiTai Collection

Here you can see the ones that I bought – the large size reversible ring in navy and teal with a gold trim and a gold Anneau Infinity. These will both work really well with many of my scarves.

Scarf rings by MaiTai Collection

I am feeling too tired to try them out today, but I hope to practise with them later in the week and show you the results on Friday. By the way, MaiTai Collection sells a range of beautiful items as well as scarf rings: jewellery, handbag liners, lavender sachets, travel pouches etc. The site is well-worth a visit as MaiTai also has clear videos on scarf tying too.

Love and best wishes,



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Outfit of the day 25/09/20 with a haircut!

Yes, you did read that correctly! I actually managed to get dressed in a nice outfit, leave the house, and go to the hairdresser’s. As you can see in the collage below, my hair had grown very long – in fact, I don’t think I have had my hair this long since I was in my late teens. After consulting with my lovely hairdresser, it was decided to leave some of the length and have a general tidying up. Unfortunately, I was caught in a strong gust of wind on the way to the car, which messed up the hairdo somewhat, but you can get the idea…

Before and after visit to hairdresser 25/09/20

I also decided to make the most of leaving the shelter of my bedroom by dressing up a bit. Here is my outfit…

Outfit of the Day 25/09/20 with Hermès’ Bibliothèque gavroche

Today’s outfit:

  • White cotton short sleeved t-shirt – Sainsburys Tu.
  • Cobalt cotton mix crew neck cardigan – Lands’ End.
  • Dark Navy jeans – Cotton Traders.
  • Cobalt crystal and silver earrings – Sonrisa Boutique.
  • Cobalt enamel and gold Agama bangle – Halcyon Days.
  • Coral enamel and gold Agama bangle – Halcyon Days.
  • Silk scarf, gavroche size, in bright pink, blue, green, yellow and orange – Bibliothèque – Hermès. Tied in a simple cowboy knot.

I finished off the outfit with my navy Hotter shoes, bluette pompei leather midi-Muse handbag by Massacecesi and the lovely rose coloured denim jacket by Joules.

We had thought about going out for lunch afterwards, but I was far too tired and so we came home instead. Perhaps we will manage this next week? Anyway, it would be nice to be able to dress up again in an outfit with one of my lovely scarves.

I do hope that you all have a very Happy Weekend!

Love and best wishes,



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Reading roundup 23/09/20

Well, I have managed to read two books this week and I am part-way through a third. This is despite being glued to a TV programme on Amazon Prime: the fourth season of the superb This is Us!

Are You Sleeping by Kathleen Barber

The first book of the week was Are You Sleeping by Kathleen Barber. This is the blurb:

The only thing more dangerous than a lie… is the truth.

When a family man is killed at point blank range in his home, it shakes a sleepy town to its core. The murder is a strange, horrifying crime but for the authorities it’s an open-and-shut case.

Ten years on, the victim’s daughter, Josie, has started afresh in New York – far from the tragic events that blew her family apart. No-one knows the truth about her previous life, not even her fiancé.

Investigative journalist Poppy is convinced the wrong man is in jail for the murder and she’s determined to prove it. What starts off as a true-crime podcast snowballs into a national phenomenon and everyone has an opinion on the case. Poppy’s relentless pursuit of the truth threatens to expose old secrets. Josie realizes that her father’s murder could have consequences more devastating than she had ever imagined.

I rather went against the grain by giving the book a mere three stars on Goodreads (apparently it is being adapted for television!), but you can see my reasons for this in my review:

Are You SleepingAre You Sleeping by Kathleen Barber
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

There are a lot of four and five star reviews of this book on Goodreads, but I feel that I can only give it three. The plot was certainly good and very twisty. The “who done it” aspects were well written and turned the spotlight on a range of protagonists. The addition of the very unpleasant character of the podcast writer was well done too – I certainly wanted her to get some kind of backlash for her behaviour. My main issue was that I simply didn’t like any of the main characters. I found it hard to empathise with them.

That’s probably my own failing so don’t let this put you off reading this book. I will definitely look out for anything else written by the author.

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Perhaps I wasn’t in a very good mood when I read the book! Anyway, I then turned to something utterly different…

The Beekeeper of Aleppo by Christy Lefteri

I have been meaning to read Christy Lefteri’s The Beekeeper of Aleppo for quite a while, but put it off in favour of fantasy and science fiction. Maybe I was feeling too cowardly to face gritty, dark, realism. Anyway, I put it in my ebook queue and decided to tackle it. Let’s see the blurb first:

Nuri is a beekeeper; his wife, Afra, an artist. They live a simple life, rich in family and friends, in the beautiful Syrian city of Aleppo – until the unthinkable happens. When all they care for is destroyed by war, they are forced to escape. But what Afra has seen is so terrible she has gone blind, and so they must embark on a perilous journey through Turkey and Greece towards an uncertain future in Britain. On the way, Nuri is sustained by the knowledge that waiting for them is Mustafa, his cousin and business partner, who has started an apiary and is teaching fellow refugees in Yorkshire to keep bees.

As Nuri and Afra travel through a broken world, they must confront not only the pain of their own unspeakable loss, but dangers that would overwhelm the bravest of souls. Above all – and perhaps this is the hardest thing they face – they must journey to find each other again.

I am so glad that I read this book! As you can read below, I did have the occasional difficulty with it, but those issues were caused by the stroke, not the book. This is my review from Goodreads:

The Beekeeper of AleppoThe Beekeeper of Aleppo by Christy Lefteri
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is one of those books that quietly gets hold of your mind and thoughts and doesn’t let go, even hours after you finished reading it. I usually choose books full of excitement, energy and adventure which are sheer fantasy, this book has many of those qualities but is about reality. Events like these have taken place and will continue to do so. Yet, even amongst a tumble of different scenes, there are moments of quiet stillness and contemplation.

You can see that I am struggling to write about this book without giving any of the plot away!

The shifting of timelines did give me some issues. It is now over a year since my stroke, but I still struggle with my memory and this can bring problems when reading. The book was so beautifully written, however, that I shall not grumble – the issues are mine after all!

I have added the book to my favourites and recommend it to any reader.

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I am now reading a very different book, but I will not tell you which one yet. This is because I am not sure whether I will persevere with it! Yes, you might say that I am having “issues” with this book. You will find out why next week, if you visit the blog.

Until then: Happy Reading to you all!

Love and best wishes,



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Update 21/09/20

I had thought about not posting at all today. Once again, the sun is shining but I am feeling too afraid to leave my bedroom, so I don’t really have much to write about. The days are becoming very monotonous and, if I write about that, I am sure you will be totally switched off!

So, I’m going to drop some hints that there will definitely be some finished books to tell you about in Wednesday’s Reading Roundup and maybe some purchases to show you and another event to write about in Friday’s post!

Until then, I will try to be as positive as I can and I hope you have some great weather to enjoy wherever you may be.

Love and best wishes,



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