Happy New Year 2020!

I just want to wish you all a very Happy New Year! May you have a really great 2020!

Today is this blog’s third birthday too. I am glad that I revived the blog in 2017 and used it to improve my writing skills and to give me something useful to occupy myself after I retired. Although I have now reduced the frequency of posting, since the stroke in September, I will try to keep to three posts per week.

On Friday, I will show you my Christmas presents, all being well, and then continue with a Monday, Wednesday and Friday pattern, with Wednesdays being used for Reading Roundups.

Anyway, here is a quick photo of today’s slightly more festive outfit…

Outfit of the day 01/01/20

Today’s outfit!

  • Teal velour top – Lands’ End.
  • Navy stretch cord trousers – Lands’ End.
  • Crystal and silver drop earrings – Swarovski Crystal.
  • Crystal and silver bracelet – present from Younger Son – sorry, I don’t have an image. And, yes, I know I need a haircut!!!

Well, that’s all for now. I hope to be able to post again on Friday.

Love and best wishes,



Image credits

Happy New Year by Lynne Hand on Flickr

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Update 20/12/19 with a Christmas outfit

I think this post will be the last before Christmas. We won’t be very busy next week, but we will have a visitor (Younger Son – hooray!!!) and lots of lovely food, presents and as good a Christmas as we can. So, I will take short break and then return with a post about gifts (assuming that Father Christmas manages to negotiate our log burner at the bottom of the chimney).

I have put together an outfit or two for the festive period. A couple of velour tops caught my eye on the Lands’ End site (nicely reduced 👍) and I also bought some glittery shoes! I am trying to make an effort 😀!

Velour tops in purple and teal – Lands’ End

Here are the shoes: Jilian Low Wedge Flats Shoes by Dream Pairs in silver glitter.

Jilian Low Wedge Flats Shoes – Dream Pairs

I thought that I would make an outfit with either navy or black velour trousers, which I already own, and jazz it all up with my crystal and silver sparkly bracelet, brooch and earrings. I also own some quite “blingy” (is that a word?) rings. I don’t care about restraint and being tasteful at Christmas time! Anyway, I will try to get a photo, if it is possible.

Jewellery options

So… I do hope that you all have a wonderful Christmas and New Year and I will be back when I have had a break.

Love and best wishes to you,



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Reading roundup 18/12/19

I have really enjoyed my reading since writing the last Reading Roundup post for the blog. I am still not managing print books as yet, but I am finding plenty of ebooks to interest me. By the way, I must apologise for the very short and rather basic reviews. I have been struggling to prepare for Christmas as I cannot leave everything to Lovely Husband and must do what I able. This afternoon I finished writing all of the cards, which was quite difficult with my poor eyesight and shaking hands.

Anyway, this was the first book…

The Snakes by Sadie Jones

The Snakes by Sadie Jones was a very strange book and totally outside my comfort zone, which must be a good thing for a retired librarian! In fact, any kind of librarian. Here is the blurb:

Bea and Dan, recently married, let out their tiny flat to escape London for a few precious months. Driving down through France they visit Bea’s dropout brother Alex at the hotel he runs in Burgundy. Disturbingly, they find him all alone and the ramshackle hotel deserted, apart from the nest of snakes in the attic.

When Alex and Bea’s parents make a surprise visit Dan can’t understand why Bea is so appalled, or why she’s never wanted him to know them; Liv and Griff Adamson are charming, and rich. They are the richest people he has ever met. Maybe Bea’s ashamed of him, or maybe she regrets the secrets she’s been keeping.

Tragedy strikes suddenly, brutally, and in its aftermath the family is stripped back to its heart, and then its rotten core, and even Bea with all her strength and goodness can’t escape.

This is my brief review (there are far better ones on the Goodreads site if you want to find out more):

The SnakesThe Snakes by Sadie Jones
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book left me baffled and confused. I am not sure how to write about it or rate it. The first part was difficult to read and I struggled with it and nearly stopped. Then came quite a long chunk where the plot began to take off and I became absorbed – I definitely didn’t want to put the book down at this point. But the last section! I can’t really say more without spoiling the book for others.

Once again, I suggest that potential readers look through the range of reviews on here and make up their owns minds!

View all my reviews

Perfect Crime by Helen Sarah Fields

The second book was the next part of a long series which I have really enjoyed: Helen Sarah Fields’ Perfect Crime ( D.I. Callanach #05). I was really pleased when I saw it on the library’s ebook site. This is the blurb:

Your darkest moment is your most vulnerable…

Stephen Berry is about to jump off a bridge until a suicide prevention counsellor stops him. A week later, Stephen is dead. Found at the bottom of a cliff, DI Luc Callanach and DCI Ava Turner are drafted in to investigate whether he jumped or whether he was pushed…

As they dig deeper, more would-be suicides roll in: a woman found dead in a bath; a man violently electrocuted. But these are carefully curated deaths – nothing like the impulsive suicide attempts they’ve been made out to be.

Little do Callanach and Turner know how close their perpetrator is as, across Edinburgh, a violent and psychopathic killer gains more confidence with every life he takes…

This book certinaly didn’t disappoint!

Perfect Crime (D.I. Callanach, #5)Perfect Crime by Helen Sarah Fields
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I have enjoyed this series enormously so far and this book is also excellent. There is a great balance between a fast moving plot and the cast of characters, which are very well-drawn. The main ones continue to develop, moving forward with each book to make the series coherent as a whole. The plot is exciting with plenty of unexpected twists and nail-biting moments – some parts need nerves of steel!

I can’t wait to get the next one from the Library!

View all my reviews

I hope that I can write better and longer reviews as my health improves after the stroke.

Happy Reading to you all!

Love and best wishes,



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Update 16/12/19: Hermès scarves Spring/Summer 2020

I must apologise for the lack of posts at the end of last week. The General Election took a lot of my emotional energy and I am left feeling very deflated. As I don’t want this blog to become involved with politics, I won’t say any more!

Plumes en Fete 90cm – Hermès Spring/Summer 2020

Plumes en Fete 90cm – Hermès Spring/Summer 2020

Instead, I will point you in the direction of the wonderful Hermès scarves for next season: Spring/Summer 2020. Yes, they are already being discussed on the Purse Forum and are beginning to appear online and in some boutiques, although not in the UK at the time of writing. I have my eye on a couple of colourways of one design and perhaps one more, but I have not seen a lot to attract my money! I expect that, as usual, the designs will grow on me with time. Perhaps I should think about no longer buying expensive scarves? That’s a difficult question to answer!

Anyway, if you are interested, the Purse Forum link is here: …The Hermès Spring/Summer 2020 Scarves… – comprehensive listing with images from the website starts at page 41 onwards. The thread will continue over the next weeks and months with images and modelling photos, giving all of us scarfies invaluable information to help us choose wisely. As the official Hermès websites don’t show the true colours of the scarves, to help with the battle against counterfeiting, the Purse Forum allows us to see them much more “true to life”.

The Hermès UK scarf site (which I will visit daily) is here: Hermès UK Scarves and Silk Accessories – there are still loads of lovely scarves from previous seasons still available as well as shawls and other formats.

I hope the new scarves become available to UK buyers before the inevitable price increase in January!

Love and best wishes,



P.S. since I wrote the post this afternoon, I might just have succumbed and bought from the French site…

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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,



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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,



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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,



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