Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Reading My Books - Rogue

"For Maxine Williams, being married to Blake was an amazing adventure.  Brilliant, charismatic, and wholly unpredictable, as an entrepreneur he had made millions and grabbed headlines.   His only shortcoming was as a husband, and now they have worked out an odd but amicable divorce, and share three children they both adore.  Blake gets to keep his globe trotting lifestyle - dating a succession of beautiful, famous and very young women - while Maxine raises their kinds in Manhattan and pursues her passion, working as a child psychiatrist.  Then, everything changes...

Maxine finds a new love just as tragedy transforms Blake from carefree playboy to compassionate responsible grown up.  He wants Maxine in his life again - as a partner in a humanitarian project that could affect countless lives.  But Maxine is on the cusp of a new life and almost certain that Blake aka the Rogue, is a man capable of doing anything except change... Or is he?"



Or so says the blurb on the back of the book Rogue by Danielle Steel.  Having read it, do I agree.  Well, overall I have to say that I think that the badly written blurb - just look at the grammar and other errors - is the best thing about this book.

It was predictable from the start, which of course I expect, but this one was even more so than usual.  I have tried to read this book before, it has been on my shelf for a long time, I see that it was published in 2009 and although I am behind on my reading, this one has lingered for a long time.  It wasn't the best I am afraid.

To me these books could almost have been written by different people.  The older Steel books are very good I think, with lots of interest, historical detail and fact and seem to really tell real stories, I have written about this before.  However some of the newer ones are not good at all, and them some others are not bad.  They don't seem to be consistent to me which is a shame.

The story took a long time to get going, I think we were nearly at page 400 out of just over 500.  I mostly read it while walking around in an exhibition that I was supposed to be showing to people - who didn't turn up! - and it was fine for that, but otherwise....

I was disappointed.  This story could have told so much more than it did.  It could have talked more about the humanitarian disaster that the blurb references, the author obviously has some knowledge of the subject from some of what they wrote, so surely they could have shared more.  It would have added far more to the story than petty arguments between Maxine and a man called Charles.  Also there is a very silly plot twist involving Maxine's nanny Zelda which was very annoying and which properly told could have been a great story on its own, so why throw it into this one.

The other - very petty I realise! - annoyance was the fact that the cover reminded me of those books about the very large number of one colour "romance" books - I cannot bring myself to say the name of them - which didn't help my mood either!!

So, sorry, but for me this was not a good read.  It will be passed on to someone else I know who likes these books and frankly I am glad to see the end of it!  Gosh what a grump I am!!

My next read is yet another of the Agatha Christy Poirot books that I have and I hope it will be more interesting than this one.

I have decided to start rating my reads and this one gets a 4 out of 10 for being irritating and unnecessary.  It would have been lower if I hadn't been so desperate for something to read on the day that I finished it.

I would love to know what irritates you in a story, do share!  You can find my other book reviews by clicking the Reading My Books link at the top of the sidebar on the right.

Amy

Saturday, 25 March 2017

Random Stuff

Random stuff that I didn't post in my last post.....

1.  What a horrific week it has been for the world.  Once again turmoil.  I am so sad and am sending all of my good thoughts out into the world with hopes for a brighter future.

2.  I have started a giant granny square blanket.  It will be truly hideous because it is a riot of odds and ends of Stylecraft Special DK in the some really bright colours.  Time for another clear out and also I needed to be doing something with my hands and felt the need to make someone a blanket.  I hope they don't hate it....

3. Still not settled with anything yet.  Lots going on and round in my head and I cannot get it right or get a balance.  I am trying to blog less because it is making my eyes less tired and my shoulder less sore, but it I miss it and feel guilt about not visiting posts.  Agghh, why do I do this.

4.  I wonder why some people feel that it is OK to say really stupid things and then try and justify their position by saying things like "well if you ignore this" i.e. the whole main issue of the problem and then try and throw in their own issues as justification for why they are right and you are wrong.  Why do others feel it is OK to just brush you aside and appoint themselves as their own little version of a deity.

5.  Fences being replaced soon, worried about what they will trample and kill in the garden and trying not to worry at the same time because I can always replace things.  But that isn't the point though is it.  Glad that the fence will not be falling into the - thankfully very tolerant and polite but surely very cross by now - neighbours garden any more though.

6.  First too much to occupy my mind, then not enough and now too much again which results in my head being fine then not fine and now - because I am too busy again - being fine again.  Why does that work that way.  Why can I not be alright and not busy at the same time.

7.  Why oh why oh why does the cutlery drawer get full of crumbs.  In a crazy bid to keep my mind from filling up I have embarked on a fingertip deep clean of the kitchen - what a task! - and Thursday was the turn of the cutlery drawer.  Why are there crumbs in a drawer that only holds clean things..........

8.  Walking is going well, but we went on a long one this week and my legs felt it.  Glad that I did it and kept up and was at the front all the way round though.  Not too shabby and the weather was great this week too.

9.  Finished another book, although I am slipping on my schedule, but as long as I keep going I will get there right.

10.  Cannot get into blogging right now - see points 3, 4 and 6 above.....

11.  The clocks go forward this weekend.  Will spring appear I wonder.  Someone should let the weather know.

12.  Mothers Day this Sunday, have a great day all Mothers!

13.  Mini eggs are dangerous.  You can eat too many of them and they can also feel very odd when you eat them so you think that your temporary crown has come off your tooth.  Don't worry though it didn't and I have had the permanent one this week - crown, not egg....

14.  Grey weather again when I am writing this.  Sunshine please!!!

15.  Started another blanket too, a granny stripe in sock yarn.  This will take a long time.  I now have three blankets on the go.......  One sock to finish and a scarf and then it had better be all blankets before the weather does warm up because these things need finishing.  Apparently I have startitis.

16.  Loving stir fry right now.  Not right now though because it is still only 9 am when I am writing this.

17.  I have run out of sensible things to whine witter burble talk about so I will leave you in peace.  Hope that I still have some readers left.

Amy

Friday, 24 March 2017

Funny Ole Things version of Five On Friday

Well, today is Friday, and it should be Five On Friday day, but of course the baton has now been passed over to Carly and Tricky at FAST - click here or the badge in the sidebar to find the link up - so I don't have a link up to host.  It feels very odd let me tell you.  I am very happy with the decision, but it is odd all the same.  I had every intention of coming to my computer this morning to write a post, but at the end of a grotty week for me personally and for the world, this morning has also taken a funny turn of events so now I am not sure what to write about!

I have written three blog posts that I have deleted, just that paragraph above has stayed, with some additions and deletions.  What to write about.

Ok, I have made a decision, I am going to post five pictures and a few words about them, and then stick all of the other stuff into a 10 random things post in the style of our blogging friend Leanne from Todays Stuff.

So here goes.....


Primroses in the garden.  We have got loads of them at the moment and I adore them.  They are so pretty and come back each year all on their own, go away, don't look messy and then return and look beautiful all over again.  What more could you ask for in a plant.  Nothing.  So wonderful to see.


Cake.  These were made by a colleague at Basildon Park in the 1950's kitchen and let me tell you they were delicious!


Little violets growing in our grass.  It is a good job I took their photo because they had their flowers chopped off by the lawnmower not long after I too their picture - accidently, but it was still sad!


Bears crossing.  I saw this great bear sculpture in a town called Alton when I was visiting with a friend recently.  They have a no sitting on the bear notice, but how could you resist!  I did resist because I was with my friend, but I was tempted!


Funny signs.  This road must have led to the local stocks in times gone by.  It was also spotted in Alton.  What a name for a road hey.  Imagine having to give that out as part of your address.

So, that is my five for this week.  I feel much better now having shared those things instead of the other jumble of stuff in my head.  I will go and straighten that out in another post which it is more appropriate!

Thank you Tricky and Carly for being great new Five On Friday hosts, and thank you for the wonderful post you wrote about me last week, you are great guys and I appreciate everything!  Sorry I didn't get to comment last week on any posts - I will explain in the other post a little - but thank you to everyone who took part last week and for all of the support that you gave me and I know will continue to give to Five On Friday.

I hope you have a great weekend, tell you loved ones you love them and be just a little kinder than you need to.

Amy

Friday, 17 March 2017

Five On Friday Linkup Post 15 - the last one!

Welcome to Five On Friday!

This is the post for linking your posts to.  My post is the one before this one and will be linked below later today.

I recently announced that from 24th March the host of Five On Friday will be changing.  You can read more about this here.

Tricky and Carly from FAST blog will be the new Five On Friday hosts.  You can find FAST via this new badge.  You can copy the code for your own use.

Thank you to everyone who wished both myself and Tricky all the best with the future of Five On Friday last week, I know that we both really appreciate it.  I was so pleased to see that so many of you started using the new badge right away and that you went to visit Tricky's blog.  Thank you for that!!  I know that we are both very grateful for you doing that.

                   


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So this is the last time that we will all be linking up here each Friday.  Can you believe it.  I don't know how many posts I have written, but it is far far less than all the posts that you have all written.  Thank you all so much for all that you have done and for your love and your participation.  I have written more on my own post, but I want you to know that I am thankful for you all.

Thank you to everyone who has ever taken part in Five On Friday in any way, you have made it great and I am thankful for that!

I hope you have a great weekend, love someone close to you and be just a little kinder than you need to be!

Amy

p.s. remember, next week go to FAST to link up there!

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Five On Friday

Well folks this is the last week that I am hosting Five On Friday.  Can you believe that we have come to this time when it is time for the hosting to be passed over to someone new.  It seems to be odd that it will be the last time that I am hosting the link, it is probably odder for you than me because I have been thinking about this for a lot longer than you and I have other reasons which are making me make this change which mean that I am busy thinking about those things, the new things rather than the older things.

Anyway, time for things to move on it is and that is all good.

I said last week that I had hoped to do a big goodbye and it just didn't happen and it isn't going to happen and that is all good too.  I am learning to be much better with the that is all good point of view.  Just like you my life is a journey and I am always learning and changing and coming to new things and we will all continue along those journeys. 

So I have decided to slip quietly away from Five On Friday this week.  Despite the fact that you might think I am an extrovert - and in many ways I am if I am speaking to total strangers - really inside I am still that very shy child that was too terrified to speak to anyone.  If I think there is any likelihood of ever seeing you again I can clam up pretty well and I much prefer to just slip off than have a bit ta dah, everything is real, but it is me putting my best foot forward rather than the one that I would prefer to hide!  I am not sure if that makes sense, but make of it what you will.

Well, I am well and truly waffling now so I better get to what I want to say.

Thank you to everyone who has ever taken part in Five On Friday by reading a post, writing a post, visiting one or commenting on one.  YOU are the people who have made Five On Friday what it is and YOU are the people who will make Five On Friday what it is going to be in the future.

Despite the urge to slope off quietly and hide - because that is quite strong in me right now - I will still be blogging though - although all recent evidence is to the contrary I realise.  I am just going through a few things right now that need to be dealt with and then I will be back.  In the interests of total honesty I have found that Five On Friday has got me caught up a little and has meant that I have found other blogging difficult, I kept things for Friday or didn't have things to share on Friday so I didn't feel I could share other things and so my blogging has become harder.  Self imposed I realise, but I am releasing myself from that, so hopefully things will be easier when I just go back to random ramblings and try less to be structured about things.

Right, now I really have gone on, for even longer, so to sum up before I get to my five things....

Thank you ALL SO MUCH and know that you are wonderful and appreciated and it has been a blast!  We will carry on differently and it will be great.

I wish Tricky and Carly all of the very best, I will still be taking part, just on a more occasional than every week basis and I know that everyone else will support them and it will be great!  Have fun guys!!!!

Ok, here are my five.

This week I was very lucky to receive a wonderful gift of five Persephone books from a fellow blogger.  How kind hey!

These are the five.









Persephone books all come with a matching bookmark (shown front and back in the last two pictures above) and it was so lovely that all of these books came with theirs.  They tell you a little bit about each book and show some of the design of the end paper for that particular book.

Unfortunately my camera - and the light - were being temperamental, so these photos are not the best, but you will get the gist I am sure.  As and when I read them I will of course review them, but it will be a long time before I get to these.

So, these are my five, my last for now, but as I said I will return after a little more of a break.  I will try and Instagram - link in the sidebar or search lovemademyhome - but if you don't see me around don't worry, but do feel free to check up on me as that little shy part takes over and finds it hard to start the conversation sometimes.

Thank you all for everything.

I hope you have a great weekend, and as always, tell your loved ones that you love them and be just a little kinder than you need to.

Amy

p.s. of course, I am, for the last time, linking with Five On Friday at Love Made My Home - here - and you can find details there for the new linkup hosted by Tricky and Carly too.


Friday, 10 March 2017

Five On Friday Linkup Post 14

Welcome to Five On Friday!

This is the post for linking your posts to.  My post is the one before this one and will be linked below later today.

I recently announced that from 24th March the host of Five On Friday will be changing.  You can read more about this here.

Tricky and Carly from FAST blog will be the new Five On Friday hosts.  You can find FAST via this new badge.  You can copy the code for your own use.

Thank you to everyone who wished both myself and Tricky all the best with the future of Five On Friday last week, I know that we both really appreciate it.  I was so pleased to see that so many of you started using the new badge right away and that you went to visit Tricky's blog.  Thank you for that!!  I know that we are both very grateful for you doing that.

                   


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Please link your post for this week below though and continue to do next week as well.

Thank you to everyone who has ever taken part in Five On Friday in any way, you have made it great and I am thankful for that!

I hope you have a great weekend, love someone close to you and be just a little kinder than you need to be!

Amy

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

Five On Friday

Hello everyone!

This week I feel as though I have mostly hidden away and I don't know what I have done.  Then I started making a list and realised that I had done more than I though.  I just haven't kept a note of it or taken any photos to illustrate anything.

Some reading, going to my walking group - which isn't proving to be as chatty or welcoming as I hoped it would be, although I have spoken to some lovely people, but I am finding it hard to "get in" if you know what I mean.  I also had a day at Basildon Park and - finally! - got awarded my 5 year service badge which is funny as I am now into my 7th year there.  Better late than never though.  I also reduced the height of a hedge in our garden.  We went to London to the new Hockney exhibition and spent more time looking at the Turner's than the Hockney's.  I will share more of that in some future Paint Monthly posts.  A visit to the dentists which wasn't fun, a quote to replace our garden fence which was horrifyingly expensive but needs to be done before the fence actually collapses into next doors garden.  A few other things too.

So I guess that I did more than I think, but somehow I still have a list of the things that I haven't done.  Paperwork for the tax man, housework, visiting your five on Friday posts - an epic fail for which I am extremely sorry, updating/making my new bullet journaling that I want to do so that I can keep track of and see what I have actually done, knitting as my sock is still a WIP, writing blog posts, and oh, you know 1000 other things.

That all sounds really depressing doesn't it, but it is how my mind is right now.  I am trying to travel hopefully though and hope that someday I will wake up and realise that I feel and am acting and being normal again without thinking about it.  It will come, right?

As for Five On Friday, well, I had grand plans for some sort of summing up as next week will be my last week of hosting and I know that next week I am really busy so instead Five On Friday might just slide of the radar in a quiet kind of way.  That is OK because it is heading off to pastures new so it doesn't need to worry about where it has been, it is off somewhere new!  Oh, and in case you have missed the changes you can find out more here.  Instead I will just remind you that next week is the last time I will be hosting and from the week after Tricky and Carly will be taking over as the new hosts.

For Five On Friday, because I have to have five things and because I have been looking back through my photos thinking that I need to do something with them, here are five random shots that I just like!






Thank you friends for bearing with me, I hope you have a great weekend, that you get to do fun things and that all is good in your life.  Love someone close to you and remember, be just a little kinder than you need to be!

Amy

Friday, 3 March 2017

Five On Friday Linkup Post 13

Welcome to Five On Friday!

This is the post for linking your posts to.  My post is the one before this one and will be linked below later today.

Last week I announced that from 24th March the host of Five On Friday will be changing.  You can read more about this here.

Tricky and Carly from FAST blog will be the new Five On Friday hosts.  You can find FAST via this new badge.  You can copy the code for your own use.

Thank you to everyone who wished both myself and Tricky all the best with the future of Five On Friday last week, I know that we both really appreciate it.  I was so pleased to see that so many of you started using the new badge right away and that you went to visit Tricky's blog.  Thank you for that!!  I know that we are both very grateful for you doing that.

                   


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

Please link your post for this week below though and continue to do so until the 24th of March.

Thank you to everyone who has ever taken part in Five On Friday in any way, you have made it great and I am thankful for that!

I hope you have a great weekend, love someone close to you and be just a little kinder than you need to be!

Amy

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

Five On Friday

Hello everyone

First of all I want to say a great big thank you to everyone for all of the kind things you said last week about Five On Friday and the changes that are afoot.  If you don't know already, from 24th March there will be a new host.  Tricky from FAST blog will be taking over.  You can find out more here.

Thank you for your kindness it really means so much to me.  Thank you for saying lovely things and for understanding that I need to make changes and move on with life.  I have some more to say about that below and will have more to say in the future I am sure, but I can say already that I feel more energised to move on with my life and in particular with my blogging.  I think that I will feel freer to do different things in future which will be great.

I am sorry that I seemed to be late reading your posts last week.  In fact I read them twice as I did a quick read when you first linked up, but I wanted to wait until all of the submissions had happened before I visited and left you all a comment, so if you haven't seen my message it is now there!  This week I am also going to be late visiting and commenting because we have a busy weekend planned with some private things so I will be around on Tuesday I expect.

One of the things I have struggled with his when I have weekends like this and trying to juggle Five On Friday so I have to say that I am glad that I will be freer in the future to blog in a way that will fit more easily around my family life.

All of that to say thank you for your loveliness, understanding and best of all for so many of you going and visiting Tricky's blog.  I saw that he had a lot of comments which really made my heart sing!  FAST is a great blog and I know that you will enjoy it and to see you going over there really makes me happy.  One of the things that I love most and try hardest to promote in life and especially in blogging is sharing and kindness and your visits to Tricky showed that you feel the same and that is just wonderful!

I also wanted to say that I am sorry that I appear to have been missing from commenting on your blogs lately.  I have been reading, but yes, I have been absent from the comments.  Although the aftermath of the funeral and everything has happened and the paperwork is now under control somehow Hubby and I are feeling that we need more time with each other now.  I think it is only as things settle more than you become more aware of the reality.  So I am taking some time in the evenings to be more with Hubby than my computer as we need to do that.  I will be back and gradually blogging and commenting will increase.  I had two posts scheduled for this week some time ago and then added another yesterday on a whim, but I am taking a bit of a general blog break too, but as I get back into the swing of things I will return and writing and sharing will increase once again.  All in good time as many of you have said to me and are well aware yourselves.

Anyway, enough wittering!!  I said in the post I wrote yesterday that I am thinking more about my writing style and one of those thoughts is to try and be more succinct and so far this post is far from succinct!

One

Spring bulbs.  Just look at the array of things coming up in our garden.  Snowdrops and miniature - and some not so miniature - daffodils and crocuses.  The pictures say it all, aren't they beautiful!.










Oh, and yes, in the next picture.  Masses and masses of moss.  We did no gardening for the second half of last year.  This is the result!  Once the snowdrops finish in late May we will be attacking the moss with the scarifer and rake, although it will always be here because of the shady conditions.  So we tolerate it and then clear it and go round and round!


Two

Other spring flowers.  Primulas and hellebores as well as other things growing and sprouting.  The rhubarb is making an appearance too which is always welcome.







Three

Crafty things.  Those of you on Instagram will have already seen my bunny sock blockers more than once, but really, you cannot show anything this cute too often can you.  Oh, and my first ever pair of knitted socks......



I am also participating in the Scheepjes Hygge CAL, it is great fun, although slightly challenging.  I am not finished with this weeks yet, but I will also share that on Instagram and more here as I make progress.  In case you are wondering, yes, the bits that look like cross stitch are cross stitch.  That is what the challenge is!


Four

Weather.  Although the weather has been great at times this week, it is still very cold and it has also been very wet.  Earlier in the week we had a torrential downpour with a lot of hail in it.  You can see just how much hail gathered in the nooks and crannies.




Five

Walking.  I have been for another walk with the group I found.  We went all through the woods this time and the weather was glorious.  I am keeping my blogger credentials under my hat for now, so I haven't taken my camera, but when we stopped for a break halfway round I snapped these photos on my phone.  The blue sky hasn't really come out, but it was beautiful, even if it was freezing cold!




Thank you for your visit today.  I hope that you have a great weekend.  Love your loved ones and be just a little kinder thank you need to be.

Amy

Thursday, 2 March 2017

Reading my books - Memoirs of an Infantry Officer

Today, the second of March, is World Book Day so it seems appropriate to have a book review today.

I don't remember World Book Day when I was a child, I will have to look back and see when it started.  I just went and looked, it started in 1995, so no, it wasn't around when I was a child!!!  I think it is great idea and a great way to get children reading for pleasure.  In fact to get anyone reading for pleasure.  I am a great advocate of just reading, something, anything.  It doesn't have to be the highest greatest literature.  Surely it is better to read something than nothing at all.

My latest finish - which I confess I still have about 10 pages to finish but I will finish it today - is Memoirs of an Infantry Officer by Siegfried Sassoon.  Sassoon is a famous for his World War 1 writings.  He wrote poetry and prose and was an officer in the army during the war.  This book is part of a series called the Sherston Trilogy and this is the middle book.  I haven't read the other two.



This book focuses on the period from spring 1916 to summer 1917 during Sassoon's period at the Somme and then being injured and sent back to England.  It tells small tales of everyday life.  Some of which are truly horrifying and others which are those little amusing anecdotes of life, such as Sassoon purchasing a whole salmon in England and then taking it back to the trenches with him...  Can you imagine.

The book is actually written as a fiction with the main character being a man called George Sherston.  However, the facts are all real, the only things that are not are the names of the characters.  This is borne out by the fact that in later life Sassoon wrote his own account of his life and events mirrored those in the Sherston Trilogy.

In a way I felt that the book was rather akin to a blog.  Sassoon simply writes, this happened today and then this happened and then this, which is the way many of us bloggers write our own records or memoirs of life isn't it. 

The book was written quite simply with just the facts and details of life being shared, no opinion, no embellishment, just a tale of life and death as it was happening.

I found the book hard going I have to say.  This was for two reasons, one the subject matter, two the style of writing.  The subject was of course very hard to read about.  Although Sassoon is almost blasé about what is happening and simply records the facts, the facts are of course horrifying and terribly upsetting to read about so I could only take so much of that at one time.  Additionally, sometimes the writing, although of course very good, seemed to go on rather.  It made me think about my own writing and how I need to work on my style more.

So this brings me round to what did I think and what will be happening to the book next.  Well, I cannot honestly say that I enjoyed this book, but, I don't think it is a book to be enjoyed.  It is a book to learn from to experience what real life was like during that time period and looking at it from that standpoint it was a good read because I certainly learned a lot.  I will not be reading this book again and I will be returning this copy to the person who gave it to me because they said they would like to have it back again if I don't wish to keep it.  So back it goes which is a good thing.

You can find all of my other book reviews here or by clicking Reading My Books at the top right of the sidebar.

I hope that whatever you are reading today on World Book Day that it is a good book, that you enjoy it or learn something from it, or just enjoy sitting with a book.  Don't worry about whether it is great literature or not, just get reading!

Happy World Book Day!

Amy