Monday, 31 October 2016

Halloween

We are not "doing" Halloween this year.  Not because we have anything against it, we just didn't get round to it because we are/have been busy with other things.  Actually we aren't exactly for it either, it is just easier to hand out sweets to the incessant door knockers somehow.

Anyway, that sounds gloomy and isn't meant to be, it is just an explanation of the lack of Halloween activities here on my blog.

So I leave you with a toothy pumpkin photo from a previous year and the knowledge that today, on Halloween, I am having a tooth out!  Great timing hey.  Or not!  I guess that if I showed the door knockers the gap - shame it is going to be right at the back on the top so they will not be able to see my lack of what the dentist thinks is a wisdom tooth, which is odd because I was supposed to have had them out, so what tooth did they take instead all those years ago I wonder, sorry for the toothy sidebar - that would be quite a Halloween surprise wouldn't it.

Did you follow that last bit?  No, I am not sure I did either.  Anyway, here is the pumpkin, cross your fingers that the tooth comes out in one piece for me!  Bet you haven't been asked to do that on a blog before, but it is Halloween.

Voila!  Pumpkin!!!  I am going to go and leave you in peace now.


Oh, and yes, I am slightly hysterical at the thought of the tooth.  Can you tell...........

Amy

p.s. I hope I don't look like this later today!

Sunday, 30 October 2016

Irked....... or offended actually

As you might know from the endless book reviews that I have been writing and from the fact that I have mentioned that I have loads of books in my pile of books to be read - and it is increasing all the time! - I have a LOT of books to read.

That is good and I most certainly not irked about that.  Reading was my first love as far as hobbies go for many years, I have been a reader since I was a very very small child, I read to myself well before I went to school and carried on reading until crochet took over my life and then I slacked off a bit.

One of the biggest problems I have with reading - and with many other things in life it has to be said - is that I just keep going.  Even if I don't like a book, even if I don't enjoy it I keep on reading it all the way until the end.  I never know when to say no or to stop.  I don't like quitting, and will never quit unless I really really have to.  This makes for difficult times sometimes when reading a book as reading something you don't like or don't enjoy is tough going and really slows you down.

Case in point is this book.  I am not going to write the author or title so that it doesn't come up in an internet search as I don't wish to offend.  However, this book really irked me so I want to tell you about it.  In fact it didn't just irk me it downright offended me.


Because I cannot give up on anything I kept going and then it finally reached breaking point and I stopped.  The reason?  The language.  I was fed up with the swearing, the rudeness and the downright profanity at some points.  Yes, it is just a story, yes, I am sure that people say these things all the time, but that doesn't mean I have to read it!

I kept hoping that it would get better, that things would move on.  No.  The bad language just continued and I didn't like the story or the characters either and it wasn't showing any signs of improving.

So I made the - for me - momentous decision to stop reading it and yes, this one is going to the charity shop - although I feel rather wary about sending it there, but I don't know what else to do with it.  I certainly don't want to pass it on to anyone I know.

That seemed all well and good - in a way - until I noticed another book by the same author on the shelves.  I opened this one randomly and on the first page I came to, yes, you guessed it, another rude word.


Then I noticed another by this author in my Christmas books.  I didn't open this one at all.


I have a question for you about these second two books.  Have you read either of them?  Are they worth me ploughing through.  Will they have lots of profanity or other things I might not like in them?  I don't mind the odd bit of cursing, but I could not take what was in the first book.

I would like to hear your thoughts, otherwise all three of these are off to the charity shop.  It reduces the numbers of books to be read, but gosh it bugs me!

Amy

Friday, 28 October 2016

Five On Friday

Hello everyone!  It is wonderful to be here again with you this week.  As you might have read on my last post, earlier this week Man moved to his new home, several hundred miles away from us, but still with family and to a place that we hope will be safe and secure and allow him to be cared for and live in as good a way as possible for the rest of his days.  I know that makes him sound like a horse being put out to grass, and he isn't a horse of course, but we still hope he will have a good rest of his life.

With that behind us I can move on a little, we still have lots to deal with of course, his house and so on, but not charging around all the time to the hospital driving 100 miles a day will give us so much more time again to get on with life in a more measured fashion.

That has all meant that I can once again join in this week with Five On Friday, and, stop press!!, I hope to actually get round and comment on your posts this weekend!  Thank you SO much for having borne with me over the last few weeks and for still joining in even if I haven't been.  I really do appreciate it.  Hopefully we will now wend our way each Friday to the end of the year without any interruptions or difficulties and I will be able to join in every week.

Today I have five lots of sunshine to share and something that has been bought on by a lack of sunshine, but has had a really good result.

One

My crochet mojo has returned and I finished this project which I started the day after Man had his stroke.  I finished the day before he left hospital.   So it was a long slog for one thing, but I did it.  More details to come in due course.  Of course!  The sunshine is the colour, the return of the mojo and the finish!


Two

Sort of sunshine in the colour of the book - Eat by Nigel Slater.  The sunny moment is really in the fact that I had time and took time whilst waiting for my car to be fixed at the garage on Thursday to actually plan the meals for the month ahead.  I am not finished yet, but getting there and yes, the page numbers relate to the page numbers in the book.


Three

A sunny moment bought on by a lack of sunshine.  As the days shorten and the sunshine gets less it prompts my "Seasonal" cactus to flower again.  Long time readers might remember this was sold at Christmas as a Seasonal  and not Christmas Cactus which infuriated me at the time.  It seems though that the name was right, it will flower at all different kinds of seasons as and when it fancies it!  Looks as though there going to be lots of blooms to bring some sunshine to my life!


Four

A sad and yet sunny moment with this one.  I snapped this beautiful sunset on my phone while we were on the motorway driving home from dropping Man off to his new home - I wasn't driving, I was the passenger.  So it was a beautiful sunset and lovely to see and good to have good weather for driving, but a bittersweet day.  At least with some sun in it!


Five

Sort of sunny in terms of the golden colours of the leaves that are changing colour in the garden, but also sunny in the fact that a mosaic means that I will be joining in Mosaic Monday on Monday and trying to get back to normal blogging again.  So that is pretty sunny isn't it!

In fact I have joined with the lovely Normandy Life for Mosaic Monday!  You can find the other posts here.


Those are my five sunny things for this week!

Thank you once again for bearing with me over the last couple of months and for joining in and carrying on.  Thank you too for joining in this week and for going and visiting the other participants and commenting on their posts, I know that we all really appreciate it and enjoy it a great deal.  You have bought me lots of sunshine and you bring it to others too!

Hope that you have a great weekend and get to do lots of fun things with your loved ones.  Remember to tell them you love them!

Happy Friday!

Amy

p.s. talking about sunshine.....  just to let you know our clocks change this weekend in the UK - we go back an hour - as British Summertime will be ending overnight on Saturday.  So next week the time when the link up appears may be different for you as and when your clocks change too.  I will leave it at 6am our time, I hope that doesn't cause too much confusion!

********************




Instructions: Select all code above, copy it and paste it inside your blog post as HTML

********************

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Very fast good news update

Hi everyone

I just wanted to give you a really quick update with some good news.

We delivered Man to his new care home today and he is all settled in, safe and sound and with loads of his things around him - yet to be unpacked of course!

He seemed really happy to be there and we were so happy to see him out of the hospital and in a comfy caring home from home.

Until we actually got him in the car and drove away from the hospital I still wasn't convinced that it would actually happen, but it did.  It will take some time to sink in and get used to it all, not least because Man is now living a couple of hundred miles away from us so we will see him far less than we used to.

There is still lots to deal with, but we will get there.  I will share more as and when, but as you have been there for the down times, I thought you might like to share in an up time too and to know the good news!

Thank you again so much for your support, I think that your prayers were certainly with us today as the weather cleared as we drove and so did the traffic!

Thank you and love to you all!  Love really does make a home and it makes this blog a lovely home too, thank you for that!

Amy  xx

Friday, 21 October 2016

Five On Friday

Thank you all for your kind comments on my last post.  I so appreciate them as I always do.  Some of you said that my words bought a tear or so to your eye, well your comments bought one to mine too, more than one if I am honest.  I think it was good for me and I finally let a few things out so although  I have no way to express what that means, it was a good thing!, all I can say is thank you times a million.  Sorry I cannot say more, but I am rather wrung out right now.

Thank you for participating in Five On Friday and for continuing to do so even though I have been absent and will be for a little longer yet.  I will see you when I return.

Have a great weekend, tell your loved ones you love them and go and share some bloggy love with the other participants.

Thank you again

Amy

********************



Instructions: Select all code above, copy it and paste it inside your blog post as HTML
********************

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Well........

It is quite common in our house these days to start a sentence with the word "Well" followed by a pause before jumping into a great long ramble.  This usually comes in response to a question along the lines of "What happened today".

So in case you are wondering what has been happening here let me tell you.

Well..........

Things have moved on apace with Man.  I will not bore or regale you with everything because you really won't want to know and I don't really want to share it all.  Some of the high points (low ones really) and some of the things which might be of use/interest to anyone else in similar circumstances are as follows.

All being well with a last couple of medical tests Man is moving to a nursing home that is many many miles away from us and we will no longer be looking after him.  He is moving to be nearer to his other son, which makes sense, but is sad too as we will not see him much.  Of course he will still be his family, but it is odd to have a family member moving so far away from you, especially at this stage of their life.  How things will work out we don't know yet, but if you don't give it a go you never know and this was the only way he would agree to move out of his house into a nursing home so we have to go with it to ensure that he is safe and cared for.

Things have been really tough since Man had the stroke, he still has pretty much the same left side weakness that he had after the stroke, so he cannot walk on his own, or without a frame.  He stopped eating and has been very ill because of that, after about 10 days of me going in every day to accompany him and encourage him to eat for 1 meal a day that has improved a little and he is no longer on a drip.  We really thought we were going to lose him at one stage, but he has picked up a little.

Sadly it seems as though he has vascular dementia.  This has left him very confused at times, we have dealt with several episodes of him thinking he has had things stolen and other events.  This will probably get worse, although apparently it is a kind of dementia that causes people to become more ill in stages.  They go along at a level for some time and will then suddenly drop quite a bit and then go on again and so on.  We have certainly seen Man dropping a lot in the last few weeks and it has been horrible.  He is also having hallucinations which are causing him to have more falls.

So the move to the home cannot come soon enough to ensure that he is cared for and most importantly as safe as he can be from the harm that he could do to himself.  Of course Man doesn't understand this at all which is very hard.

If you want to know or chat to me any more about this let me know, but I won't write any more here for now.

Family have been so so.....  Frustrating at times and then alright at others - mainly when I just jumped in and told them what they had to do!!  We have been clearing out Mans house which has been a horrible task, firstly because it is so sad, second because it is my husbands family home which is even sadder for him, and thirdly because of the amount of stuff and the filthy state everything is in.  Not fun at all.  We will get there though and it is cathartic clearing out rubbish which helps with the other stuff, although so far we have mainly cleared rubbish and not things so I expect that it will get harder before it gets easier and then of course we have the actual house to deal with.

The things I have learned in all of this, which may be wildly obvious to some of you, but were apparently not obvious to me as I had to figure them out are this:-

Really pin the hospital down and find out what treatment someone will get, what the routines are, how you can find out what the menu is, when doctors rounds are and who the matron is.  They hospital will not just tell you this stuff and unless you are there when the doctors do their rounds, talk to the staff like physios yourself you will not find out anything.

This will then enable you to turn up, find out what is going on and keep a track on progress/action/treatment.

Ask for a specific diagnosis, even if this is still fluctuating.  They will not tell you unless you ask specifically, but ask and they will tell you.

Turn up for meals if your loved one is not eating, you can help and encourage them far more than anyone else can or will, also you will then know what they are eating.

If you have a complaint or concern, raise it and it will be far more likely to get sorted, don't be fobbed off ask to speak to the most senior person - most likely the matron - and insist on discussing it and getting an answer.  Sit in the corridor outside their office if you have to until you get an answer - yes, you can tell, that is what I did one day, well, it was the nurses station but same thing.

Find out what is happening with your loved ones laundry, it might be obviously left out for you to take home, but it might not be and you might not find it or realise you have to do the laundry until the person has no clean things left.  You will need to ask about this.

If you need other family members to do things - unless you have some super wonderful family, which I hope you do! - don't assume they will do things, and don't assume they will do what you ask them to.  If you need to tell them - in a nice way of course - then tell them and that really is OK.  It isn't OK to be nasty in any way, but if something needs doing and they need to do it tell them, don't just assume they will do it.

Although it takes ages to write out long emails it can be a good way to keep in touch because you can send it to several people at once to update them.  Also, you can look back and know what was said, or what you asked different people to do if you forget.  Plus you can always write a great long litany out and get it out of your system and then go back and edit it to say the things you really need to say, not just the things you want to get out of your system.  If need be, write it, save it in drafts and then go back and edit the next day before sending it.  Don't send an angry email when you are angry or emotional as you might say something you didn't really mean or want to.

If you are clearing out, don't haul things to the local refuse site.  Just hire a skip or dumpster.  Yes, it is upsetting to fill one up, and yes, it is expensive, but it saves so much time and in the thick of these difficult situations you need as much time as you can get for yourself and to be with your loved one, not queuing up to unload your car.

Share what is going on.  You will be surprised at the people who are going through or have gone through very similar things and will totally understand and offer support and suggestions, or just listen and you know they "get it".  We really should talk about this stuff more often!  A trouble shared is far more than a trouble halved.

That is it really.  Things are moving along, Man really is not good and will not get better, but we cannot do anything about it other than make sure he is cared for and love him.

I don't know when I will be "back" although as promised Five On Friday will continue.  Right now I am thinking of aiming for two or three weeks time when Man has moved and I have had a tooth extracted - ouch! - and I will feel in better form again.

I hope that some of this might be of help to someone, to know that you are not alone if nothing else.

Thank you for listening!  See you soon.

Amy

Friday, 14 October 2016

Five On Friday

Well folks, it has reached that stage!  The one where I have run out of posts that I wrote in August - which isn't bad seeing as how it is now the middle of October - and I don't have any more of those to share with you.  I also don't have anything to share with you today.

Life has been hectic as you know, and it has caught up with me.  Too much to do and not enough time to do it in, but now there really isn't enough time.  I cannot write to you about what is happening because I just can't bear say it all, and I don't think that anyone would want to have to read it in any case.  Suffice to say that it is all Man related and that is taking all of my time and then some.

Hubby and I are as OK as we can be, just very busy and tired and I need to clear my head of things that are not absolutely necessary.  I really am alright, even if I don't sound it and I am making sure that I go to Basildon Park each week so that I have at least one day for me.  So you don't need to worry about me!

So I leave you with the link up for you all to join in and go and visit each other.  I will continue to put this up each Friday no matter what, and if I can I will come and read your posts, and I know you will understand that I will probably not comment.  If you would rather not take part as I am not joining in, I totally understand, but it is here if you want to.  I hope that you will all not leave me and that you will be here when I can return.

For now I will just be posting the link on Fridays and possibly the occasional book post - sorry that is all I have right now and all that I have been sharing with you!

Thank you as always for your kindness and support and caring.  I do so appreciate it.  Thank you for your forbearance with me too.  Again, I really am thankful and appreciative.

Comments are off on this post because there isn't anything to say right now really.

I hope that you are all well and happy and enjoying life, have some fun for me please!!!

Amy xx

********************




Instructions: Select all code above, copy it and paste it inside your blog post as HTML
********************

Thursday, 13 October 2016

Reading My Books - Whitethorn Woods

I read my very first Maeve Binchy book nearly 30 years ago I think.  It was Echoes which, having looked back, was the second book she published.  I was entranced by the story and kept the book for many years, moving it from house to house and even across continents.  Somewhere along the way though we parted company and I don't have that battered paperback anymore.

I have read several more of her novels since then, the Scarlet Feather books which I enjoyed a lot and several others.

When Whitethorn Woods by Maeve Binchy worked its way to the top of my to read pile I was glad to see it and looked forward to starting to read it.  I had no expectations of what the story would be about and it seemed to start in much the same way as many of her other books.


At the end of the first chapter I realised that it wasn't the same as the other books I had read by her.  It was in fact a series of interrelated short stories.  Featuring characters that were all related in some way to Whitethorn Woods and Rossmore where the woods were located and in particular the shrine to Saint Ann.  Sometimes characters popped up in others stories, sometimes not.

Each story was interesting in its own right and as I was reading the book at a time when I didn't have much time for reading it worked well for me as I could read one persons tale and then put the book down even for a few days and then pick it up to read another story.

There isn't a tie up at the end where they are all bought together in any specific way, and yet somehow it all comes together and is held together overall by Father Brian Flynn who is dealing with his own feelings about the shrine to Saint Ann and what might be about to happen to it and changes that might come to Rossmore.

Father Flynn doesn't really believe in shrines and all that is going on at the shrine, Neddy Nolan could save the well, but will he, or will money get the better of the situation?  We don't know, but in the end we find out and there is a twist in the tale which shows that the old adage is true.  Don't judge a book by its cover, or a person by theirs!

I enjoyed the book a lot and this has reminded me that I must look out again for more books by Maeve Binchy that I haven't already read as they are good reads.

My copy is off to the charity shop, due to my lack of space issue, but I hope that someone else finds it and buys and reads it and if you come across a copy I hope you will read it too because it is a very nice book, calm, comforting and interesting too.  I think you would enjoy it!

Reading this, and remembering my own love of the first Binchy book that I read got me wondering if there are books that you have carted around with you for years that you didn't want to part with?  If so, what are they.  I would love to know.  Perhaps we have some in common.

You can find my other book reviews by looking at the Reading My Books page, there is a link at the top of the sidebar, or you can click here.

Amy

This is a post that I actually wrote in September, but it is only just being published now!

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Cacti and succulent mini hoop art

I imagine you are thinking "now what does that title mean?".

It takes a moment to get your head round doesn't it.  When you see what I am talking about it is obvious, but just reading the words sounds a little mystifying.  I shall demystify immediately!

Voila!


Now you understand what the title means.  These are the cacti and succulent hoop art pictures that I made, although I think mine are more cacti than succulents!



Again, another Mollie Makes kit - I really had let these build up hadn't I!  Also no link between me and anyone else regarding this, but these were designed by dandelyne.com.  I mention this because I looked on their website and these hoops sell for over £5.00 each.  Now if you are anything like me you might be suspicious that the things included with these kits are just "tat" but in fact it seems that they are not that at all.

I was really pleased with these.  I think the pictures are very cute, I like the designs.  There were about 8 suggestions of different pictures in the magazine and if you had more hoops you could have made more pictures as there was plenty of embroidery floss.

To make mine I drew on the fabric with one of those disappearing ink fabric pens and then just followed the lines.  Mine are slightly different from the ones on the packet for the kit, but are still just as cute I think.  A little rustic perhaps, but I like them all the more for that.

They are so tiny that I have just propped them up on the top of the frame of another picture, but you could easily turn them into necklaces or I thought they might make nice brooches too.

So don't turn your noses up at those kits, they might well be much better than you think they are!

I have made up all of the ones that I had "in stash" now.  I decided not to make most of the yarny ones as they were really not my style and have instead added the yarn to the basket of scraps for my Happy Scrappy Squares Blanket - which hasn't had much attention lately!

I am all caught up now, until the next time I buy a magazine and it comes with a freebie of course!

What have your favourite free kits been?  Do you make up these kits?  If not, what do you do with them?  So many questions!!

Amy

This is one of the posts that I wrote in August to be published in September but publishing it got delayed by my need to take a blog break.

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Reading My Books - The Mitford Girls

I have long been fascinated by the Mitford Sisters because I knew that these were a very interesting group of women, but I didn't really know a lot of detail about their story.

When we visited Chatsworth, the home of the late Deborah Mitford, who became the Duchess of Devonshire, I bought several books.  An autobiography of Deborah Devonshire, which I have yet to read, another by the housekeeper of Chatsworth and this biography of the whole Mitford family.



For some time I have been struggling with reading books, in that I have had trouble making time to read.  All the time I have been reading other books I have been dipping into The Mitford Girls.  It was fascinating and when I finished my last book I finally set to and just read this book.  Quite some time later I finished it.

I definitely enjoyed this book, which by the way I should tell you the name of! - The Mitford Girls, The Biography of an Extraordinary Family by Mary S Lovell - and this one is a keeper.  It gets to stay on the shelves.

The book of course tells the story of the Mitford family, from the meeting and marriage of the parents David and Sydney, through the births of their six daughters, Nancy, Diana, Deborah, Jessica, Pamela and Unity and their son Tom.  The main focus is on the six sisters because - and I don't think this is a spoiler - their brother Tom died during the second world war and although he was perhaps a more controversial character than I realised he had been he wasn't as well known, lived as long, neither did he get up to as much as his more famous sisters.

The sisters were all very different, and all, apart from Deborah and possibly Pamela, very political in very different ways.  Communists - tick - Fascists - tick.  It wasn't just their politics which caused scandals.   They had multiple marriages, divorces and oh so many other things.  Life in this family would certainly have been interesting, even if not always enjoyable or easy.

After reading the book I don't particularly like any of the sisters!  The portraits painted of them in the book were not unpleasant, but they were not endearing either.  I suppose they were quite factual and not much else.  In fact I found the whole book to be rather confusing.  In parts there was great detail and the author gave some opinion and her own thoughts, then in other areas it seemed more as though she were just regurgitating lists of things, this happened and then this and then this and then this...  She also skipped over great periods of time.  For example the years 1980 to 2000 are covered in one chapter, while 1940 to 1941 gets a chapter all of its own.  Granted that more happened to the family in 1940 to 1941 - according to the book - but it seems odd to just then lump a whole two decades together.

The author was assisted by Jessica's daughter and by Deborah and the book focussed a great deal on Jessica and Deborah and in particular I felt that it gave an overly favourable portrait of Deborah and I suspect that the access and information given to the author about and by her was very closely controlled.  Of course Deborah was also the youngest of the sisters and was far less controversial a character than any of the others, she wasn't particularly political and didn't divorce or have other personal scandals, but her life just seemed to be glossed over which was rather a shame.

I think you can tell if you have read any of my other book reviews that I found this book far more interesting, it held my attention and interest and really made me think far more than anything I have read for a long time.  So that is all really good.

Overall, I would give it 8 out of 10 for the good bits and perhaps a 7 for the things I felt were lacking, but that may be unfair as the author can only write about the things they are allowed to and as I said, I suspect this book was very controlled by the family.

I definitely recommend it though if you are interested in women, 20th Century Life, biographies or just like having a nose around in other peoples lives!

On to the next one!

Amy

Oh, and just a note about the condition of this volume...

When I bought it the book was pristine.  However, as I started to read it, it started to look more and more tatty.  Then a sort of plastic sheet that was over the cover started to peel off.  I had to peel it off as it was hanging off in places, and then the books condition went downhill very fast.  So that is why it looks as though it has been kicking around for a few decades.  Not sure why it went like that or why the plasticky layer peeled off.  Very odd!

The book stays on my shelves though.

This is one of the posts that I wrote in August to be published in September but publishing it got delayed by my need to take a blog break.

Monday, 10 October 2016

Just something random

People amaze me all the time.  They always have, and I suspect they always will do.  Sometimes for the good and sometimes for the not so good.  Of course the good is always better, and sadly, the not so good is more and more common these days.

I am not going to mention "that man" by name, but I am sure you can imagine who I mean.  The one who is in the news every day these days.  I am astounded by some of the things I hear from him.  Many of us find this distasteful, but don't think he is he the only one saying these things because sadly there are lots of others that act in a similar way.  People who are rude, don't listen, don't care, say stupid things either deliberately or just because they can't  be bothered.  Perhaps not so publically, or on the same scale, and goodness knows I am not defending anyone, but this behaviour isn't as unusual as we might like to think.

To be honest with you, I come across this sort of behaviour quite often.  The worst part is that now I just ignore it because it is so commonplace.  How sad is that.

There are though lovely, wonderful, kind, caring, thoughtful, giving and considerate people out there.

Lots of them.

I have been blessed to come across some of them recently.  A lady doing her best to reclaim an overgrown garden and being so kind about it and chatty and interesting and interested.  A receptionist willing to mind a mobile phone in case it rings with emergency news while the owner was unable to answer it.  Encouragement and kindness in another person.  Another concerned about someone who took the time to write a letter (yes, an actual in the post snail mail letter!) and enquire in the kindest and most caring way and was very caring and considerate when they received the answer.

People who take time to listen, understand and care and share.  Sometimes the most unexpected ones too, who are usually the loud, shouty and complaining types.  Suddenly when difficulties present themselves their softer, kinder and nicer side comes out.  Which can really throw you for a loop let me tell you!

Some people are well worth judging by their cover.  They make the contents so clear that it cannot be mistaken.  Ignore them.

Others though, not so much and we need to remember that.  Look a little deeper and don't necessarily dismiss them immediately, because there might be a reason they are the way they are and given the chance they will show themselves to be totally different inside than the cover makes them appear.  They just need some time to blossom and open up and share what is in there.  Encourage and support them.

There are, wonderfully, those whose covers are delightful and so are the pages inside, don't take them for granted, love them back and enjoy them.

That is all!  I am sad about some people, but oh so glad about the other wonderful ones!

Life is rubbish, but, life is good with all of these people in it, because if it were not for the not  so good, we wouldn't appreciate the good ones so much would we, nor would be grateful for the ones who take time to come out of their shell!  So we can be thankful for everyone.

I better shut up and go now because I have chores to do.

Thank you for listening!

Amy

Sunday, 9 October 2016

Reading My Books - Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Well this review is quite something for me.  I bought the book just days after it came out, read it straight away and here I am way back on 18th August writing this review just 18 days after it was published!!!  These days most of my books sit on the shelf for years before being read so this really is a miracle for me.

Anyway, on with the review!  There are NO SPOILERS other than to say that Harry Potter does appear in the story and I don't think that is a spoiler, is it?

The book is actually a play, written as a script but without all of the stage direction that you would normally find in a play script so you read it more as a story than a play.  I didn't find it difficult to read at all.

As the cover of the book tells you, this is the eighth story, nineteen years later.  You have to have read the previous seven books to really "get" all of the story and the references in it, but I imagine that if you were seeing it as the play you could follow it as a one off.


What did I think of the story?  Well, meh!  Sadly I wasn't so impressed.  I thought the books were better.  This is I think rather diluted by the fact that it was written by someone other than J K Rowling, it was written by Jack Thorne with J K Rowling and John Tiffany.  It features all of the familiar characters and stories but it just lacks some of the detail.  The "Harry Potterness" if you can imagine such a thing.

Of course a certain amount of that is because this is a PLAY not a book so the detail, the description, is all on stage, you are looking at it rather than reading or hearing it so you expect that don't you.  You need to do more with your own imagination rather than having it handed to you.

I am a Gryffindor so perhaps it is just the Gryffindor in me that is so loyal to the original I don't like to see something new!

Overall a good and very easy read.  A must for all Potter fans and I am glad that I read it.  The book will stay on the shelf because I have to keep all of my HP books!!  This will go with the others.

What do you think of Harry Potter?  Have you read the books, seen the films?  Read this book?

Amy

This is one of the posts that I wrote in August to be published in September but publishing it got delayed by my need to take a blog break.

Friday, 7 October 2016

Five On Friday

Hello everyone once again and welcome to Five On Friday and October!  Can you believe that it is October.  I still feel as though I am just gearing up for Summer and it is autumn already and only a couple of weeks until Halloween.  Where did all of that time go?

It has been a tough week and hasn't really got any better I am sad to say.  The brightest spot has been, and continues to be all of you though.  Thank you so very very much for your wonderful comments on my post on Tuesday.  You are all so very kind and I am so thankful for you.  Your kindness knows no bounds and neither does my gratitude for you all.  Thank you for thinking of us and keeping us in your prayers.  It means so very much.

I did another stint at Basildon Park this week after a long break and having been back for two weeks now I certainly appreciate being back there and with my friends and doing something normal and just for me.  Crochet has gone by the wayside.  For the first time since I learned to crochet I have lost my interest in it.  It will come back and in the meantime I continue to do a little bit here and there, better than nothing, but with no real enthusiasm.

Anyway, this blog is fast turning into a place of doomdom and gloomdom and I cannot have that, so on with cheerier things.  We had visitors at the weekend to collect Man's car so I did a little random pumpkin and autumn decorating because, well, you know, I used to be known for my seasonal decorating.  Not that I have done any since Easter!  So it was time.

Today I have five - or so!! - photos of my autumn decorations for you to enjoy along with a few other things too...

One - pretty pieces of china with an autumn or pumpkin feel....





Two - many sorts of pumpkins in many shapes and materials....









Three - some other sorts of decorations too....



Four - candles....



Five- other autumn pretties....






Six - just some randoms.....

Yes, I know.  It is against the rules!




The lady and the little dog have been rescued from Man's house.  The way things are going they might be the only things we rescue.  I love them and they make me sad at the same time.  They are tiny as you will see from the addition of the tea light in the next photo.


Just to make things even worse, a sneaky seventh mosaic in the hope that I might get to join Mosaic Monday on Monday!


I have a few more scheduled posts to share and once those are done I  am thinking about taking a little break and just do my Five On Friday posts for a little bit as we have other things to attend to.  So if you don't see me around, please don't worry, and please don't be offended if I am not commenting on your posts or blogs.  It isn't you, I just don't have the time, or to be honest, the heart right now.  As with my crochet mojo returning I am sure that this will return, but now my mind is elsewhere.  Thank you for bearing with me.

Thank you for joining in.  For your kind thoughts, prayers and all round goodness.  You are very special.  Each and every one of you.  Please go and visit other participants, leave them comments and link your own posts.  I am sorry that I am not always able to leave a comment at the moment, but I love reading your posts and they bring me great joy, so please do take part if you can.

Have a happy weekend, whatever you are doing, and take a little time for yourself.  You deserve it!

Happy Autumn!

Amy

Linking with Maggie from My Normandy Life for Mosaic Monday, thank you for hosting Maggie!  Please do go and visit the other posts.

********************




Instructions: Select all code above, copy it and paste it inside your blog post as HTML

********************

Thursday, 6 October 2016

Listening to my books - Casting Off

I listened to Casting Off by Libby Purves one afternoon while doing some sewing.  The book was good company for an afternoons sewing.  I like listening to something rather than watching something when I sew because I cannot look at both and I prefer to concentrate my gaze on the sewing!

Libby Purves work was new book.  I haven't listened to or read any books by her before so didn't know what to expect, but if I came across another book by her I would be happy to read it - or listen to it.



Casting Off tells the story of Joanna and her family.  Joanna runs The Bun in the Oven with a friend, but one day after it all becomes too much she runs away to sea.  The story tells what happens after Joanna has left, how her family cope and what will happen next.

There is a lot of sailing terminology in the story and I got the feeling that this was a euphemism for other things which I have to say that I didn't totally understand because I don't know anything about sailing!  Of course I got the casting off bit!  That I do know.

Some of the plot was rather unrealistic and fanciful, but helped to take the story along.  As Joanna travels along in the boat so does the story, and the story of her life.

As I said, it was a good listen and certainly good sewing company!

I don't know if Casting Off is a good introduction to Libby Purves work or not, but it was a good one for me!

Happy reading and listening!

Amy

This is one of the posts that I wrote in August to be published in September but publishing it got delayed by my need to take a blog break.