Outfits of the week 12/03/21

Well, once again, I haven’t managed to wear more than one Hermès scarf this week. The scarf from another designer will be showcased in a special post next Friday, if everything goes to plan.

I really needed cheering up, so I thought that bright blues, green, orange and a touch of purple would do the trick! Here is De la Mer au Ciel in an asymmetric knot (OK, I know that I use this one a lot, but it works well for me!).

Outfit of the day 10/03/21 with Hermès’ De la Mer au Ciel scarf

I realise that I haven’t worn this wonderful scarf for such a long time and never with this John Lewis cashmere jumper, which matches the main colour beautifully. Fortunately, I also have these cobalt crystal earrings and I also wore Halcyon Days bangles in bright blue and cream. Navy pull-on trousers from Lands’ End finished the outfit. Later in the season, I could switch to navy linen trousers and a white t-shirt with this same scarf and accessories.

I do hope that you all have a great weekend.

Love and best wishes,

Anne

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Reading roundup 10/03/21

Well, there are sort of two books to write about this week. Things went a bit wrong with the first one, as you will see. The second book was a lot more satisfying.

All the Rage by Cara Hunter

My first choice for the week was All the Rage by Cara Hunter (#04 DI Adam Fawley). If you are following these weekly posts, you may remember that I have really enjoyed this series so far. I was looking forward to reading this book and, in fact, got about two thirds of the way through. Then, suddenly, the actual ebook didn’t work. The pages went blank and took ages to load. The first page would open and then the whole thing froze. I tried to get it working a few times, but then gave up.

At first, I feared that the whole BorrowBox app was not functioning and tried to reinstall it, but then realised that other ebooks on the app were fine. So, I have deleted the book from my account and will try again at a later date. There is quite a long reservation list for it, so it will be quite some time before I can look at it again. I won’t paste the blurb here until I do manage to finish the book, although, knowing my poor memory, I may have to start reading from the beginning!

The Holiday by T M Logan

I did manage to complete my second choice of the week: The Holiday by T M Logan. This is the blurb:

Seven days. Three families. One killer.

It was supposed to be the perfect holiday – a group of families enjoying a week together in the sun. Four women who have been best friends for as long as they can remember making the most of a luxurious villa in the south of France.

But Kate has a secret: her husband is having an affair. And a week away might just be the perfect opportunity to get the proof she needs – to catch him in the act once and for all. Because she suspects the other woman is one of her two best friends.

One of them is working against her, willing to sacrifice years of friendship to destroy her family. But which one? As Kate closes in on the truth in the stifling Mediterranean heat, she realises too late that the stakes are far higher than she ever imagined . . .

Because someone in the villa may be prepared to kill to keep their secret hidden.

Here is my review from the Goodreads website:

The HolidayThe Holiday by T.M. Logan
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I am not quite sure how to rate this book or what to write about it! But I will try…

What was good – the setting. Oh, how I would love to be able to have a holiday in the sun in such a gorgeous place: a luxurious villa in the South of France. The twists in the plot really kept me reading. Just when I had worked out what had happened, I would realise my mistake. The author is certainly very clever at building tension and suspicion and also at misdirecting the reader.

On the other hand, there was plenty to dislike. One issue for me is that I couldn’t like any of the main characters. The women were pretty awful caricatures. How on earth did they ever become friends in the first place? The men were no better and as for most of the children!!

All in all, I am glad that I read the book and I was satisfied by the ending. I am just so thankful that my friends are not at all like these people and when (if) we do go on holiday together in that lovely villa that we saw online, our vacation will be wonderful…

…or will it!!

View all my reviews

I have very poorly since finishing this book and have not been able to read anything new due to patchy concentration. Hopefully, all will be well in a few days and I will be able to choose my next book.

Until next week: Happy Reading to you all!

Love and best wishes,

Anne

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Update 08/03/21 with something new!

OK, so I have absolutely no self control. None at all! When it comes to my obsessions, I have no way of holding back. I am such a terrible, greedy person 😅😂🤣😂😅

So, when two of my interests met – scarves plus Ancient Greece – my finances were doomed. Doomed, I tell you!

See for yourselves…

First, the box – not the iconic orange one this time!

Next, the view after parting the black paper inside – this is intriguing…

These are the photos from the Wolf and Badger website: Olympian Gods by Fetolia

Here is  slideshow of the full scarf:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I really love this scarf. OK, it is definitely not up to the high-end Hermès standard. The silk is much thinner and lighter and the detailing is not quite so crisp. But then, it was a fraction of the price and ties very nicely. The colours are mainly teal, beige, orange, green and grey. I also think that it would be lovely to frame it and hang it on a wall (and that is a hint towards next Monday’s post!).

Anyway, I will try to wear it during the week and will then post some modelling photos on Friday, all being well.

Love and best wishes,

Anne

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Outfits of the week 05/03/21

I tried two small experiments this week: I wore two scarves by the same artist and used the clever reversible scarf ring by MaiTai with each of them in different ties. The two scarves were Les Secrets de Minos and Persepolis, the artist Sophie Koechlin, and the ties were the criss-cross knot and the asymmetric wrap.

Here are the two scarves:

Les Secrets de Minos by Sophie Koechlin for Hermès

Persepolis by Sophie Koechlin for Hermès

And the largest of these navy/duck egg rings is the one I have:

Scarf rings by MaiTai Collection

So, the first outfit was this, worn on 02/03/21:

Outfit of the day 02/03/21 with Hermès’ Les Secrets de Minos scarf

The scarf ring was used navy side up with a criss-cross knot. When I made the collages, I realised that I didn’t have photos of either of the exact jumpers or the earrings!

Today’s outfit was this one:

Outfit of the day 05/03/21 with Hermès’ Persepolis scarf

This time I used the duck egg side of the scarf ring to tone with the outfit. My turquoise cashmere v-neck never seems to photograph accurately and always appears to be more on the blue side!

I won’t list all of the items as I am sure that visitors don’t really need this information, although don’t hesitate to ask in the comments if you do want any details.

OK, I think that is all for this week. Over the weekend, I am going to look through my Hermès scarves and choose some more for next week that I haven’t worn for a while. I realise that I am so lucky to be able to afford such luxurious beauties and I must make the most of wearing them, even if I am ill.

Are there any requests?

Love and best wishes,

Anne

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Reading roundup 03/03/21

Only one book this week, and it was enjoyable. I have been struggling to concentrate for long enough to sink into a book, so have been watching rather a lot of TV instead.

A Reaper at the Gates by Sabaa Tahir

The book I did finish was the third volume in the exciting An Ember in the Ashes series: A Reaper at the Gates by Sabaa Tahir. Here is the blurb:

Beyond the Empire and within it, the threat of war looms ever larger.

The Blood Shrike, Helene Aquilla, is assailed on all sides. Emperor Marcus, haunted by his past, grows increasingly unstable, while the Commandant capitalizes on his madness to bolster her own power. As Helene searches for a way to hold back the approaching darkness, her sister’s life and the lives of all those in the Empire hang in the balance.

Far to the east, Laia of Serra knows the fate of the world lies not in the machinations of the Martial court, but in stopping the Nightbringer. But while hunting for a way to bring him down, Laia faces unexpected threats from those she hoped would aid her, and is drawn into a battle she never thought she’d have to fight.

And in the land between the living and the dead, Elias Veturius has given up his freedom to serve as Soul Catcher. But in doing so, he has vowed himself to an ancient power that will stop at nothing to ensure Elias’s devotion–even at the cost of his humanity.

And this was the review that I posted on Goodreads:

A Reaper at the Gates (An Ember in the Ashes, #3)A Reaper at the Gates by Sabaa Tahir
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I have really loved this series so far, but I must admit that I was a little disappointed with this episode. Quite a lot of the book was taken up with the main characters’ wanderings from place to place with no real coherence to the whole plot. I also felt the kind of mid-series malaise where everything that could go wrong does go wrong. Mishaps are piled upon mistakes are piled upon disasters, with absolutely no light at the end of the tunnel.

Yes, some parts of the book are very exciting and well-written – especially in the last third. But quite a few sections almost dragged. I didn’t feel uplifted by the book, or any sense of optimism that things might turn out OK in the end.

So, I have to hope that, like most fantasy series, everything (or almost everything, I suppose some well-beloved characters may still be killed off) will turn out right in the end. Well, I hope that happens in book four, or I might just give up on this series, which would be a real shame!

View all my reviews

I am waiting in a queue for the final book, so will have to choose something else for my next read. The Library’s ebook catalogue is getting better and better and I am fortunate to have a lot of really fine books in my “to read” queue. But which one will be next?

Happy Reading to you all!

Love and best wishes,

Anne

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Update 01/03/21 with news from MaiTai

I must admit that I am rather stuck today as I cannot think of anything to write about in this post. My life is so monotonous that I am finding it difficult to come up with anything interesting. I had another huge coughing attack in the middle of the night, so I am spending the day in bed again, trying to keep myself amused by reading random stuff on my iPad, in between watching TV series on Amazon Prime. Most days are like this at the moment and it is becoming difficult to distinguish one day from another!

So, what can I write about today?

Scarf rings by MaiTai Collection

Well, one thing I can tell you is that MaiTai is having a Spring Sale of her lovely Classique scarf rings. These are so useful as well as beautiful and I would rush to get another one or two if I hadn’t just ordered a number of expensive items from a different source! I love her enamelled reversible rings (I already have one, see image above) and would love one of the zero-gravity rings to add to my collection, but I will have to pass on this opportunity.

If I can manage to get dressed on some days this week, I am planning to wear some of my scarves with my MaiTai reversible scarf ring to show you how useful and versatile they are.

Love and best wishes,

Anne

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Update 26/02/21

I am sorry that this is not an Outfits of the Week post. I had already planned a couple of nice outfits with lovely scarves, but have been far too weak and ill to get dressed. In fact, I have spent every day this week in pyjamas!

To cheer myself up, I must admit that I have succumbed, once again, to temptation. I have ordered some expensive and totally gorgeous items that I definitely don’t need! Perhaps their ownership will encourage me to get up, get dressed and go out with Lovely Husband. I do hope so…

And that is all of the information I am going to reveal for now! 😄😄😄😄

Wishing you all a very Happy Weekend!

Love and best wishes,

Anne

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Reading roundup 24/02/21

Despite feeling under the weather all week, I have managed to finish two books. So, I am feeling quite pleased with myself. The only issue is that I am struggling to write coherent reviews. If I write up my response quickly, very soon after I have completed a book, I am usually able to remember enough to write about. But if I leave the review for a few days, then I sometimes find that I have almost forgotten the whole thing! Anyway, I have tried my best with these two.

No Way Out by Cara Hunter

My first book was the third book in Cara Hunter’s DI Adam Fawley series: No Way Out. Here is the blurb:

It’s one of the most disturbing cases DI Fawley has ever worked.

The Christmas holidays, and two children have just been pulled from the wreckage of their burning home in North Oxford. The toddler is dead, and his brother is soon fighting for his life.

Why were they left in the house alone? Where is their mother, and why is their father not answering his phone?

Then new evidence is discovered, and DI Fawley’s worst nightmare comes true.

Because this fire wasn’t an accident.

It was murder.

I apologise in advance for this bare-bones review!

No Way Out (DI Adam Fawley, #3)No Way Out by Cara Hunter
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was another excellent book by Cara Hunter and I am rapidly becoming a huge fan of this gripping series. With her books, I find that I am unable to work out the plot in advance – which is a good thing when it comes to murder mysteries! Just when I believe I have got a handle on things, another twist comes along and upturns all of my previous ideas!

I like how the main characters’ lives are being developed through the series, with some surprises for them along the way. It will be interesting to see how they all work out as the series moves on.

All in all, I can highly recommend this book and I look forward to reading the next one!

View all my reviews

The Order by Daniel Silva

My second completed book of the week was The Order by Daniel Silva, Gabriel Allon #20. This is part of the (extremely long and detailed blurb):

Gabriel Allon has slipped quietly into Venice for a much-needed holiday with his wife and two young children. But when Pope Paul VII dies suddenly, Gabriel is summoned to Rome by the Holy Father’s loyal private secretary, Archbishop Luigi Donati. A billion Catholic faithful have been told that the pope died of a heart attack. Donati, however, has two good reasons to suspect his master was murdered. The Swiss Guard who was standing watch outside the papal apartments the night of the pope’s death is missing. So, too, is the letter the Holy Father was writing during the final hours of his life. A letter that was addressed to Gabriel.

While researching in the Vatican Secret Archives, I came upon a most remarkable book …

The book is a long-suppressed gospel that calls into question the accuracy of the New Testament’s depiction of one of the most portentous events in human history. For that reason alone, the Order of St. Helena will stop at nothing to keep it out of Gabriel’s hands. A shadowy Catholic society with ties to the European far right, the Order is plotting to seize control of the papacy. And it is only the beginning.

As the cardinals gather in Rome for the start of the conclave, Gabriel sets out on a desperate search for proof of the Order’s conspiracy, and for a long-lost gospel with the power to put an end to two thousand years of murderous hatred. His quest will take him from the Ponte Vecchio in Florence, to a monastery in Assisi, to the hidden depths of the Secret Archives, and finally to the Sistine Chapel, where he will witness an event no outsider has ever before seen—the sacred passing of the Keys of St. Peter to a newly elected pope.

In fact, I actually cut some of that! And here is my Goodreads’ review:

The Order (Gabriel Allon #20)The Order by Daniel Silva
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I have read religious thrillers of this type before and this is not among my usual genres. This book was part of our library services ebook offer and I just chose it at random.

So, I enjoyed a lot of the book, although I realised quickly that I had obviously come very late to a very long series. I don’t know if that fact has had a big impact on my response to the book, or not. Many of the characters were interesting and intriguing, despite obvious huge back stories. The actual plot was also engaging. The huge drawback for me was the sheer length of the book and the long list of characters. I found it really difficult to keep them all in mind as I read.

I am unlikely to read more books in the series as I don’t think I am prepared to purchase them, but if I were, I would start at the beginning. There is a clear fan base here on Goodreads, so that gives me the idea that the series could be worth my attention.

View all my reviews

Traces: The Memoir of a Forensic Scientist and Criminal Investigator by Patricia Wiltshir

I have to disclose that there was another book that I attempted to read this week. It is Traces: The Memoir of a Forensic Scientist and Criminal Investigator by Patricia Wiltshire. Unfortunately, I was unable to finish the book, for a variety of reasons, and I don’t feel able to write a fair review. If you are interested, then do have a look at other people’s responses on Goodreads, or other reviewing websites.

Right, so now I will go and make another pot of tea and then return to my latest book. What is it? Well, you will find out in next week’s Reading Roundup post!

Until then, Happy Reading to you all!

Love and best wishes,

Anne

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Update 22/02/21 with boots!

I do hope that you have all had a good weekend. Ours was reasonably OK, although I have been in bed almost all of the time. My health is definitely not improving and I am finding it increasingly difficult to go downstairs and spend time with my chaps. All I can say is that I am so thankful for my iPad, which gives me such a range of entertainment and helps to keeps me in touch with family and friends.

Anyway, I was going through my emails and came across one from my favourite boot company, Duo Boots (link in the sidebar). I really wish that I was regularly going outside, because I fell in love with several pairs of boots, most notably these:

  • Top left: Somerton (Marine Blue Snake); top right: Somerton (Silver Metallic).
  • Bottom left: Berkeley (Grey Leopard Hair Leather);  bottom right: Bexley (Azure Blue Nubuck).

I love all of them, but one pair really reaches out to me! Can you guess which one?

Love and best wishes,

Anne

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Update 19/02/21

I am sorry to say that, once again, I am too ill and frazzled to write the planned post for today. I hope that things improve over the weekend.

Love and best wishes,

Anne

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