Difficult update

havr to take a break as I have had a stroke. Hope I will be back soon.

best wished Anne


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Update 29/08/19 about my exercise debacle

A week or so ago, I wrote about how I was going to try to take more exercise again, with the incentive of doing more things with my family and visiting Younger Son. I managed to walk each day for five days, starting with a short distance to the end of our street and ending with going right around the block. I was very happy with this small achievement.

Unfortunately, Wednesday 21st August was the last day that I managed to walk. On the Thursday we had one of the hottest days ever in the UK, which knocked me right out. I could hardly breathe at all and definitely couldn’t exercise. When I woke up on the Friday morning I was in real pain. My feet, ankles, hips and leg muscles felt awful and I could hardly get out of bed! I had tried so hard to be careful and not overdo my walks, but I was mainly thinking about my cough and breathing issues as I haven’t had any problems with my legs in years.

Anyway, it has taken me more than a week to even see much of a recovery. I am hoping to be able to get to my counselling appointment tomorrow, but the room is up two steep flights of stairs plus a walk from the car park.

As you can imagine, this has tipped me back into depression. I can’t stop thinking about my stupidity in even trying to exercise. Perhaps I need to forget it and just accept my extreme limitations.

I will stop writing now as I feel too gloomy and don’t want to depress you all! I will try to go out tomorrow and will put together a nice outfit, if I can, then I will be able to write a proper a Outfit of the Day post again.

Best wishes,


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Reading roundup 28/08/19

I am sitting here ready to write this post with my brain absolutely boggled! Two amazing science fiction books by Adrian Tchaikovsky are the cause. In fact my scrambled mind is giving me all kinds of problems. How on earth do I review these two books?

Please forgive my failings this week and, instead, read the excellent reviews of these books on Goodreads or other sites.

Children of Time by Adrian Tchaikovsky

The first book was Adrian Tchaikovsky’s Children of Time. Apparently, this was originally written as a stand-alone book, then a sequel was published this year. Anyway, here is the blurb:

A race for survival among the stars… Humanity’s last survivors escaped earth’s ruins to find a new home. But when they find it, can their desperation overcome its dangers?


The last remnants of the human race left a dying Earth, desperate to find a new home among the stars. Following in the footsteps of their ancestors, they discover the greatest treasure of the past age – a world terraformed and prepared for human life.

But all is not right in this new Eden. In the long years since the planet was abandoned, the work of its architects has borne disastrous fruit. The planet is not waiting for them, pristine and unoccupied. New masters have turned it from a refuge into mankind’s worst nightmare.

Now two civilizations are on a collision course, both testing the boundaries of what they will do to survive. As the fate of humanity hangs in the balance, who are the true heirs of this new Earth?

I simply had to give this book the full five stars. It is an amazing achievement and deserves the accolades and awards. This is my attempt at a review on Goodreads:

Someone told me that this book is definitely not recommended for arachnophobes.

I am an arachnophobe! Terrified of the dratted eight-legged creatures.

Yet, I read the book and am so glad that I did. It must be one of the best science fiction books that I have ever read. The ideas and imagination that have gone into the book are incredible. The writing ability is superb: managing two alternating main plot lines that take place over 1000s of years shows great technical ability. Creating believable characters out of spiders is amazing – unlike another book that I have just read, Tchaikovsky manages to show how the spiders develop, evolve, live and communicate in a very realistic way….. shudder…

The working out of future technology and space travel is also brilliant. The challenges of waking up from “cold sleep” to find out that huge changes have happened since you were last awake is fascinating to think about. In fact the whole book gives the reader so much to contemplate.

My only issues are my own fault. Because I had such poor science teaching at school (none past the age of 14), my knowledge of all of the sciences is very limited. I love reading science fiction and have always been fascinated by the immensely rich ideas generated by so many writers of the genre, but I did struggle with some of the complex science in the book. I have given the book the full five stars because none of the above is due to the author.

I recommend this book highly – it is simply awesome!

Children of Ruin by Adrian Tchaikovsky

I then went on to read the sequel: Children of Ruin. This, again, is an incredible book and I have only just finished it this afternoon (this is why my poor brain is suffering). This is the blurb:

Thousands of years ago, Earth’s terraforming program took to the stars. On the world they called Nod, scientists discovered alien life – but it was their mission to overwrite it with the memory of Earth. Then humanity’s great empire fell, and the program’s decisions were lost to time.

Aeons later, humanity and its new spider allies detected fragmentary radio signals between the stars. They dispatched an exploration vessel, hoping to find cousins from old Earth.

But those ancient terraformers woke something on Nod better left undisturbed.

And it’s been waiting for them.

I am going to have a think for a few minutes before I try to tackle the review, because this one is even harder to write…

…OK, I’m back again! I gave this book four stars this time as I don’t think that it is quite as brilliant as the first, but there is not much between them. Anyway, this is what I wrote:

This book is so hard to review. Like the previous book, Children of Time, it was thoroughly brilliant but, was not quite so exceptional. It was as if the author was writing most of the same story again, with a few tweaks and different characters. Yet again, the world building was amazing and the use of different timelines was cleverly done.

I found the ideas around humans and other “creatures” trying to communicate really fascinating. Tchaikovsky must really have researched into way certain earth “beings” live or might live in a different habitat and out in space. His imagination seems to be boundless!

My main issue again was that I struggled to keep up with the huge amount of scientific information in this book. This is due to my own lack of knowledge and intelligence, but this did have a small impact on my enjoyment of the book.

I will certainly seek out other books by Tchaikovsky as I am really intrigued to find out what happens when he turns his amazing ideas and imagination onto the fantasy genre!

I will look through my book pile later on and decide what I am going to read next. You will find out if you read next week’s Reading Roundup post!

Happy Reading to you all and very best wishes,


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Update 27/08/19 with a failed purchase

I have written quite often about my wardrobe colour choices and how they have changed a little since I grew out my grey hair. My main neutral/base colours are now navy and grey. I have quite a lot of clothes and accessories in navy, collected over many years. I now need to add in some more grey items, particularly as I have gained a lot of weight since I retired. When I was working, I owned grey jackets, skirts, jumpers and trousers, but these no longer fit and I have sent them to local charity shops.

So, over the last year or so, I have added some cashmere, cord trousers, earrings, scarves and a handbag in various shades or touches of grey or silver. I have been looking for some grey jeans for quite a while. As you may know, I am a huge fan of Lands’ End clothing, So was very pleased when I saw a great offer on some mid-grey stretch jeans. Here they are…

Mid-rise jeans in Imlay Grey by Lands’ End

Women’s mid-rise straight leg jeans in “imlay grey”. I thought that they would nicely fill the gap in my wardrobe.

They arrived this morning. I really like the colour, which goes very well with everything in my wardrobe, and the style, and the quality, and the (offer) price. But…

…they don’t fit me!!!! ☹️☹️☹️☹️☹️

So, now I am feeling upset that my usual size at Lands’ End appears to be too small now. I hate this fatter body that I have and I must admit that I have been gloomy all afternoon. Oh well, I will parcel the jeans back up again and try to exchange them for the next size up and hope that does fit!

Best wishes,


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Update 26/08/19

I hope that you have had a lovely weekend and that those of you who, like me, have a Bank Holiday today are enjoying it. The extreme hot weather in my part of the world is causing me a lot of problems. I would really love to be at a beach, or even relaxing with a book in our back garden. Unfortunately, my lungs cannot cope in really hot weather and I have had to stay in my bedroom most of the time, with just a few forays downstairs.

I am trying so hard not to be jealous of the wonderful day trips and holidays that I can see on Facebook and Instagram. Of course, I don’t begrudge anyone having a great Summer, but it does hurt that I cannot do the same. I am really trying not to be a miserable grump!

Anyway, now for some more pleasant news. Last week, after I wrote the blog post about my new Massaccesi Diane handbag, I sent the link to Marco himself as he is trying to create a blog with his customers’ reviews. After I contacted him, I received a lovely reply. Then I began thinking that, perhaps, a copy of my original post, with all my personal stuff, would not be particularly appropriate for the Massaccesi blog. So I decided to edit and, hopefully, improve the post to fit with what Marco is trying to achieve.

The re-write was finished and I sent that, together with copies of my photos of the bag, to Marco by email and he then uploaded the blog post plus images. You can see it here.

My post on the Massaccesi blog

At the time of writing this post, there are three posts on Marco’s blog, each one reviewing a different handbag style. I may write some more for him about my Victoria, midi-Muse and midi-zip Selene, together with the other items I have bought: a key ring, a small pouch and a bracelet. It would be better if other customers wrote, but I have the time to do it!

Now, I had better get up and fetch some more water to drink before I melt away completely!

Best wishes,


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Update 22/08/19

This is only going to be a short post. I hardly slept last night and woke up at about 03.00 with a nasty cough. Today, I have been feeling very tired and my legs and feet have been really aching (probably shocked by actual walking!). I haven’t been at all well so Lovely Husband, acting as my personal trainer, banned me from trying to do my walk today.

I simply haven’t been up to writing either! Let’s hope that tomorrow is better as I want to attend counselling. I will plan a possible outfit tonight in anticipation as I am trying not to give in.

Some good news is that I have managed to get control over the codeine cough mixture problem. I am now taking half of the allowed dose and measuring it out properly with a medicine spoon. The bottle is in the bathroom and I am so pleased that I have got this far – over two weeks.

Best wishes,


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Reading roundup 21/08/19

There will be only one Reading Roundup post this week, as usual. I have read two books, both very different. Here is the first one:

The Secret Chord by Geraldine Brooks

The Secret Chord by Geraldine Brooks was a real departure for me. This is a retelling of King David’s story. Here is the blurb:

Peeling away the myth to bring the Old Testament’s King David to life in Second Iron Age Israel, Brooks traces the arc of his journey from obscurity to fame, from shepherd to soldier, from hero to traitor, from beloved king to murderous despot and into his remorseful and diminished dotage.

The Secret Chord provides new context for some of the best-known episodes of David’s life while also focusing on others, even more remarkable and emotionally intense, that have been neglected.  We see David through the eyes of those who love him or fear him—from the prophet Natan, voice of his conscience, to his wives Mikhal, Avigail, and Batsheva, and finally to Solomon, the late-born son who redeems his Lear-like old age. Brooks has an uncanny ability to hear and transform characters from history, and this beautifully written, unvarnished saga of faith, desire, family, ambition, betrayal, and power will enthrall her many fans.

I gave the book three stars and wrote this review on Goodreads:

I remember quite a lot about King David from my childhood chapel’s Sunday School. The teachers there often told us the biblical stories about him. So, I was quite intrigued when I picked up this book at the Library. The tale was certainly interesting and fleshed out a lot of those old stories, but I had some difficulties with the Hebrew names – personal, place and tribal. The book was quite dull in places, but worth reading. When I had finished, I found myself reading more about David and his children – they were certainly flawed human beings!

Dreamwalker by J D Oswald

My second book of the week was a return to the fantasy genre: Dreamwalker by J D Oswald, #01 of the Ballad of Sir Benfro. This is the blurb:

The dragons of Glwad are dying. Persecuted for over two millennia, they’re a shrunken echo of the proud creatures they once were. And yet in new life springs hope: Benfro, son of Morgwm the Green, the first male kitling in a thousand years. Long ago dragons wrought a terrible wrong to the land, and now is the time for redemption.

Every young boy in the Twin Kingdoms dreams of being chosen for one of the great orders, and Errol Ramsbottom is no different. He longs to be a Warrior Priest of the High Ffrydd, riding to glorious victory in battle. But you should be careful what you wish for; it might just come to pass.

For almost a century there has been an uneasy truce between the Twin Kingdoms and the godless Llanwennogs to the north, but as King Diseverin descends ever further into drunken madness, his ruthless daughter Beulah takes up the reins of power. A time of war looks set to descend upon Gwlad, and it will surely draw everyone, man and dragon both, into its cruel game.

Once again, I felt that this book deserved three rather than four stars. Here is my review:

This book didn’t really read like an adult novel. Perhaps because the main characters were young, it felt more like Young Adult fiction? It was enjoyable enough and I will probably read more books in the series, as I have seen some of them in our local Library. The main ideas and the world building were good and I liked the way that the three principal protagonists all shared the same birthday.

I did have a major issue with how the dragons were written. The author did not really show them as any different from humans. Yes, their size was described and their scales and wings, but they appeared to move in a similar way to humans. Also, they had “hands” and “feet”! Their tails didn’t seem to affect them in any way. They had houses, sat in chairs and ate at tables in the same way as humans too.

So, some quite serious flaws, but still an exciting and interesting read.

Children of Time by Adrian Tchaikovsky

I am now reading a new book that I reserved at the Library, Children of Time by Adrian Tchaikovsky, so will return to that after a walk and a snack!

Happy Reading to you all!

Best wishes,


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