Outfit of the day 13/03/20

I did manage to dress up a little bit on one day this week! OK, a cotton jumper plus jogging bottoms doesn’t shout “classy!”, but an Hermès scarf does. This week has been another struggle, with worries about Coronavirus and other matters, but I am trying to distract myself with reading and also by doing as much as I am able to support my “chaps”.

This is the outfit:

Outfit of the day with Hermès’ Musique des Dieux scarf

Today’s outfit:

  • Navy cotton cable jumper – Lands’ End.
  • Navy cotton joggers – Cotton Traders.
  • Silver earrings – RR Designs on Etsy.
  • Silk scarf, 90cm, in lilac, purple, green, blue, black and white – Musique des Dieux – Hermès. Tied in an asymmetric wrap.

I hope that all my readers are safe and well.

Love and best wishes,

Anne

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Reading roundup 11/03/20

I said at the end of last week’s post that I was going to return to reading the fantastic Dark Age (Red Rising Saga #5) by Pierce Brown, which had been interrupted by my stroke in the Autumn. Somehow, that didn’t happen and that was because I was distracted by the book I am going to write about today…

The Familiars by Stacey Hall

…The Familiars by Stacey Hall! I was only going to check that I liked it before either renewing or returning it. Instead, I was completely gripped from the beginning and couldn’t stop reading. Anyway, this is the blurb:

Fleetwood Shuttleworth is 17 years old, married, and pregnant for the fourth time. But as the mistress at Gawthorpe Hall, she still has no living child, and her husband Richard is anxious for an heir. When Fleetwood finds a letter she isn¹t supposed to read from the doctor who delivered her third stillbirth, she is dealt the crushing blow that she will not survive another pregnancy.

When she crosses paths by chance with Alice Gray, a young midwife, Alice promises to help her give birth to a healthy baby, and to prove the physician wrong.

When Alice is drawn into the witchcraft accusations that are sweeping the North-West, Fleetwood risks everything by trying to help her. But is there more to Alice than meets the eye?

As the two women’s lives become inextricably bound together, the legendary trial at Lancaster approaches, and Fleetwood¹s stomach continues to grow. Time is running out, and both their lives are at stake.

Only they know the truth. Only they can save each other.

I commend this book to you and here is my Goodreads’ review:

The FamiliarsThe Familiars by Stacey Halls
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is such a beautifully written book. I loved the way that the main character, Fleetwood, developed throughout the book, becoming more courageous as the tale unfolded and also becoming more aware of how less fortunate people lived in the surrounding area. I was quite surprised when I realised her age, I must admit. The combination of blossoming understanding, new friendship and impending motherhood enabled her to achieve so much in pursuit of the truth and the evidence for that truth. Her ability to ride so well was quite astonishing too!

There was also a real feeling of impending doom, which was also very well-written, with menace from one important male character and disappointment in another. I also enjoyed how we were told more information about the mother towards the end. The historical background and scene setting was superbly done.

This was a real departure from my usual genres and I am really glad that I found the book. It fully deserves many accolades.

View all my reviews

I actually award the book 4.999999999 stars!

Having finished this, I am not sure what I am going to read next. Unfortunately, I have been really ill over the last few days, both physically and mentally, and I am finding concentration very difficult. Proper reading is almost impossible. I hope that I can find some equilibrium very soon.

Happy Reading to you all!

Love and best wishes,

Anne

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Update 09/03/20

I am sorry, but I just cannot write a full post today. We are really struggling in our household with a number of issues and my body has reacted very badly. To put it truthfully and bluntly: I am a nervous wreck! I can’t sleep properly, I can’t stop shaking, my stomach feels as if it is full of butterflies and I can’t stop coughing. We are all in turmoil.

So, instead I will post a link to this lovely set of images. Thinking about it, I would love to have this done with a picture of my younger self as a Librarian (just not wielding a date stamp!).

Elderly People Look At Their Younger Reflections In This Beautiful Photo Series By Tom Hussey


Aren’t these photos lovely?

Let’s hope everything improves during the week. I will now try to concentrate on a book to take my mind away from worries. Reading Roundup on Wednesday as usual…

Love and best wishes,

Anne

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Outfit of the day 06/03/20

It has been a lovely sunny day here, but we haven’t gone out. My health has been very poor this week and it has taken a lot of mental, as well as physical, strength to even get out of bed for a few hours. I did manage to put on a reasonable outfit today, which is something. More about that later in the post.

Lovely Husband and I have also been struggling with the aftermath of Elder Son’s trip away last week. He is always difficult to manage when he comes back home and he has made family life very hard on several occasions this week. He can be so loving and kind (and he is most of the time), but his behaviour can also be overwhelming to us, as his parents.

Well, he is now back at work and I hope that he comes home in a good mood!

I have been trying to help LH with more household tasks this week. Early to mid-afternoon is usually when I feel strongest, so I have managed to do a few things then. Just little things, but they do add up. This week, we have been looking upwards at our rather battered lamp shades, of all things! Some of them had got rather old and tatty, others simply needed new bulbs. I wish we could have filmed the two of us struggling to balance – me on a ladder, LH trying to hold me steady. It must have looked so funny!

Oh, for the days of our youth! At least we still both have our sense of humour.

Here is today’s outfit:

Outfit of the day with Hermès’ Cosmographia Universalis scarf

Today’s outfit:

  • Navy cotton cable jumper – Lands’ End.
  • Navy joggers – Cotton Traders.
  • Blue resin earrings.
  • Silk scarf, 90 cm, in bright pink, sky blue, white and navy – Cosmographia Universalis – Hermès. Tied in a half-bow knot using a MaiTai mother-of-pearl scarf ring.

Wishing you all a lovely weekend!

Love and best wishes,

Anne

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Reading roundup 04/03/20

I have really enjoyed my reading this week. It does feel rather strange to write that I “only” read one book, because who is counting? Only me! I shouldn’t be policing myself like this.

The Long Call by Ann Cleeves

Anyway, I was lucky that the latest book by Ann Cleeves came up on our library’s ebook system. I reserved it some months ago and it became available to me last week: The Long Call. This is the first book in an entirely new series – Two Rivers – set in North Devon. I thoroughly enjoyed Cleeves’ Vera series and also her wonderful books set in Shetland. Such great TV has been made from her ideas. I wonder if we will see a new TV series set in North Devon in the future?

Here is the blurb:

In North Devon, where two rivers converge and run into the sea, Detective Matthew Venn stands outside the church as his father’s funeral takes place. Once loved and cherished, the day Matthew left the strict evangelical community he grew up in, he lost his family too.

Now, as he turns and walks away again, he receives a call from one of his team. A body has been found on the beach nearby: a man with a tattoo of an albatross on his neck, stabbed to death.

The case calls Matthew back into the community he thought he had left behind, as deadly secrets hidden at its heart are revealed, and his past and present collide.

This is my review on Goodreads:

The Long Call (Two Rivers, #1)The Long Call by Ann Cleeves
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really love Ann Cleeves’ writing. Her scene-setting is so clear that I have full-colour images in my mind as I read. Her characters are fully-rounded with all of their human quirks. Her stories are complex and satisfying. It’s no wonder that TV has picked up two of her series.

I have really enjoyed both the Vera and the Shetland books so I was very excited to begin this first book of a new series. As you would expect, there was quite a lot of time spent on the main characters, setting them up for several books. We need to understand their background and motivations. There are also some excellent descriptions of the landscape, the beaches, the sea and the small towns and villages of the area. Perhaps the future books will not have quite so much of that.

The actual plot was intriguing and I particularly liked the inclusion and description of women with Downs as an important part, rather than an add-on.

I am already looking forward to the next book in the series!

View all my reviews

If you are interested in this book, there are well-written reviews on Goodreads which go into far more detail than mine!

Dark Age by Pierce Brown

Now for some other news. Those of you who may follow me on Goodreads may have noticed that I have had a book sitting in my “Currently Reading” section for months. Since before my stroke, in fact. This is the book that I was reading at the time that the stroke hit in September 2019. I had been waiting until I could read print books again so that I could re-borrow it from the Library. Well, it has now been six months and I still cannot manage print books, so very sensibly I have actually bought it as an ebook! Whoo – yes, I have spent money on a book!

So, next week’s Reading Roundup post should include Pierce Brown’s Dark Age (Red Rising Saga #5). I think I will have to go back to the beginning as I can’t remember much of the plot, so I may need more than a week to finish it as it is a very long book!

Until next week: Happy Reading to you all!

Love and best wishes,

Anne

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Update 02/03/20

Oh, it’s a special day for Lovely Husband and me: it’s 33 years since I plucked up the courage to ring him up and ask him out on our first date!! What if he hadn’t picked up the phone? What if he had refused to go out with me?

I’m so glad that he agreed. We had a lovely evening at a couple of pubs and haven’t stopped talking to each other since!


I don’t have a lot to write about today, so I though that I would show you this amazing website. As you may know, my degrees are in Ancient History and Archaeology (as well as Librarianship) and the wonderful art and architecture of the ancient world still fascinates me. When I was studying the subject, all those years ago, I heard or read about the idea that Ancient Greek statues were originally painted in bright, vibrant colours. This incredible website shows you more about this with beautiful animated illustrations in rich colour. One of my favourite statues is there, the Peplos Kore – do you like her gorgeous clothes?

I have spent quite a lot of time reading and looking at this linked site and will, I am sure, return regularly…

Gods in Colour: Polychromy in Antiquity

Gods in Colour – screenshot

Just to give you an idea of the site: here is the statue of an archer from the pediment of an Ancient Greek temple of the 5th century BC:

Archer from the west pediment of the Temple of Aphaia, ca. 480 BC

And this is what it might have looked like in its original colours!

Archer from the west pediment of the Temple of Aphaia, ca. 480 BC

Breathtaking!

Love and best wishes,

Anne

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Outfit of the day 28/02/20

I had intended to write a nice long post about my week with Elder Son away. Lovely Husband and I have really enjoyed the time on our own in the peace and quiet! Unfortunately, we are having issues with our internet connection, so I had better make this short and sweet. I will also post it as soon as I have finished instead of waiting until 19.00 as I usually do.

LH and I managed to go out for lunch on Wednesday and this is the outfit that I wore (please excuse the awful hairdo – I was caught in the wind and rain!!!):

Outfit of the day 28/02/20 with Hermès’ Jaguar Quetzal scarf

Today’s outfit:

  • Lilac cashmere v-neck jumper – Marks and Spencer.
  • Imlay grey mid-rise jeans – Lands’ End.
  • Amethyst earrings – Blue Nile.
  • Cream enamel and gold Byzantine bangle – Halcyon Days.
  • Amethyst pebbled leather Victoria handbag – Massaccesi.
  • Silk scarf, 90cm, in mauve, violet, denim blue and yellow – Jaguar Quetzal – Hermès. Tied in a cowboy knot with my mother-of-Pearl scarf ring by MaiTai.

I also wore my dark navy suede ankle boots by Duo Boots and my new grey leopard print coat.

We are now gearing up for our son’s return tomorrow!

Love and best wishes,

Anne

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