Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Wednesday Hodgepodge 19/7/17

Wednesday's Hodgepodge is brought to us courtesy of Joyce at

Pop over there to see other posts and if you want to join in add the link to your Hodgepodge blog post to the Linky List at the end of Joyce's post and don’t forget to visit at least your neighbours on the list.

1. Growing up, were you close to your grandparents? Tell us one or two specific things you remember about them.
I only knew my Mum’s parents and they lived close by so I saw a lot of them when I was little.  I remember the dog they had which was quite a handful.  I also remember them having rabbits and being horrified when I discovered they weren’t keeping them as pets! My Grandmother also had quite a stubborn streak and could be quite selfish.  She would always cook her main meal at lunchtime and eat it alone and then my Grandfather had his reheated when he got home from work at the end of the day.
2. What's an item you were attached to as a child? What happened to it?
I had a teddy bear that I was very attached to .  Regrettably it became rather threadbare and I’m not sure where it is now.
3. When you look out your window, do you see the forest or the trees (literally and figuratively)? Explain.
I see trees but not a forest in reality and I think figuratively.  I can usually get to the point of things and be decisive when I have to.
4. Do you like sour candies? Which of the 'sour' foods listed below would you say is your favorite?
grapefruit, Greek yogurt, tart cherries, lemons, limes, sauerkraut, buttermilk, or kumquats 
No, no and nooooo.  I’m a sweet person.
Have you ever eaten a kumquat? What's your favorite dish containing one of the sour foods on the list?
A lemon citron tart or Key Lime pie.  (But I’d much prefer Tiramisu or Banoffee pie!)
5. July 1st marked the mid point of 2017. In fifteen words or less, tell us how it's going so far.
Started poorly but improving every day as our Grandson grows stronger.
6. Insert your own random thought here.
Our year is definitely improving as this little one gets bigger.

 He'll be 16 weeks on Friday so that's 5 weeks corrected.  He's more alert and just starting to get the hang of smiling.  Which is probably a good thing as he's still not giving his Mummies much sleep!

Review: The Bat

The Bat The Bat by Jo Nesbø
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This is the first book featuring Harry Hole, the Norwegian detective. It's an ok read. It kept me turning the pages and I didn't figure out who was behind the killings until late on but having read later books by Jo Nesbo it's easy to see that his later books have improved.

This book didn't feel very polished. I'm not sure why. Maybe it was the setting of Australia or that the characters didn't feel very 3 dimensional at times. It just didn't gel together for me.

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Tuesday, 18 July 2017

An update

So this is my latest fashion accessory!

Pretty isn't it and black goes with everything, right?

The good news is that my tendon is intact and although my knee is not great the immediate reaction to the scan report from my physio was to persevere with exercises and not  to try anything more invasive, yet.

The knee is now taped for support and I have more exercises to do.  The biggest problem I still have is going up and down stairs or kneeling and then getting up from a kneeling position.  Walking, thankfully, is fine.  But most of you will know, my house has a lot of stairs!  I think I will have to set myself up a reward system for completing the exercises.  Although my favoured rewards would probably be chocolate and one of the things I also need to do is lose some weight.  Not easy when your exercising ability is limited.

I'm not looking forward to changing the tape, although one online recommendation was to soak it in baby oil first.  Any other suggestions would be welcome.

Friday, 14 July 2017

Friday's Fave Five 14/7/17

AWOL again last week so trying to get this done early today.  Fridays are a time to look back on the week and share our blessings.
If you want to join in or check out the other participants pop over to our host Suzanne's blog at Living to Tell the Story

Here are mine for the week: 

1) Lovely in-laws!  I've always been made to feel part of Hubby's family and I've spend quite a bit of time with my various sister-in-laws and extended families this week. 

2)  Good weather.  Of course it's summer so hopefully the weather should be good but last Saturday was the annual Garden Party at our social club.  Over 200 people attended and yes we were able to sit in the garden.  The weather wasn't as good as it had been earlier this month but it that was actually a good thing as there is little shade in the garden.  If it had rained it would have been a disaster as it would have been hard to accommodate everyone inside and prepare and serve a 3 course meal.  It was a busy day as some of our family members are the main planners and organisers of the event so lots of us get roped in to help on the day.  Thankfully they had paid help to do the washing up!

3) Catching up with old friends.  One of our friends has just become Mayor of her town and last Sunday we attended a church service and reception in her honour.  We hadn't seen her or her husband for a while so it was good to catch up, especially for a quiet chat back at their house after the celebrations were over.

4)  Time with Nathan.  I managed to see him last Friday and on Tuesday this week.  He is becoming more alert and is now heavy enough to sit in his little bouncy chair.  (Although I'm not sure he's quite big enough lol)

5)  Making time for the things I enjoy - I've done more reading this week than in recent weeks and I'm making progress on the edging for Nathan's blanket.  I've also spent time in the garden - I'm trying to cultivate herbs, and the bees love my lavender.  I'm also hoping to get some home grown tomatoes.

  Have a good weekend all.

Review: The Handmaid's Tale

The Handmaid's Tale The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I must have been asleep when this book was first published and I knew nothing of Margaret Atwood. Ignorantly I presumed this was a historical novel. How wrong can you be?!

The recent hype around the TV adaptation of it spiked my interest. I hate to watch these before I've read the book and there was a copy of it in the house so now I've read it and am glad I did. It wasn't what I was expecting and it's not a genre I usually read but it was chilling.

It's hard to imagine (and much is left to your imagination) how the hierarchy developed to lead to the situation Offred, the Handmaid, finds herself in. But I know we have looked back at many events in history and wondered "How did that happen?" Or more appropriately, "How did we let that happen?"

Hopefully this book won't turn out to be prophetic, although it could be argued that in some cultures it already has.

It wasn't a particularly satisfying ending (and you do need to read to the very end) but it was certainly plausible.

View all my reviews

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Wednesday Hodgepodge - 12/7/17

Wednesday's Hodgepodge is brought to us courtesy of Joyce at
Pop over there to see other posts and if you want to join in add the link to your Hodgepodge blog post to the Linky List at the end of Joyce's post and don’t forget to visit at least your neighbours on the list.

1. When was the last time you chatted with a neighbour? About what? (sharing that last bit is optional)
Last week when we had a sudden, unexpected power cut. I popped outside to check it wasn’t just us that was affected and got chatting with one of the neighbours.
2. River, lake, ocean, or waterfall...which one are you most like and why?
Well I’ve compared myself to a lot of things but never any of those!
3. July 13 is National Delaware Day. Ever been to Delaware? Delaware is called 'the first state' because it was the first to declare independence from the British. What's your state's nickname and does that moniker make sense to you? If you were in charge, what nickname would you give your home state?
Never been to Delaware and don’t have a state.  London does have several nicknames, including the Big Smoke (due to its episodes of smog) and the Swinging City following the cultural revolution in the 1960s. 
4. What dish did you contribute to the last pot luck meal you attended? Do you have a go-to recipe for pot luck suppers?
I honestly can’t remember the last pot luck meal I attended.  It’s not so much of a thing over here.
5. What is your number one tip for a brand new parent?
Forget about housework etc and sleep whenever you can.  And if you have a little boy make sure you keep him covered when changing the nappy so you don’t get peed on! lol
6. Insert your own random thought here.
Grandbabies are just wonderful!

Sunday, 2 July 2017

Review: Us

Us Us by David Nicholls
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed this book. It follows the Petersen family (Douglas, Connie, his wife of almost 25 years and their 17 year old son Albie) as they journey through the art galleries of Europe on a "Grand Tour" of a last family holiday before Albie leaves for college. But the holiday is overshadowed by Connie's admission that she thinks the marriage has run its course and she may want to leave Douglas.

Told from Douglas's viewpoint we have the present story, which is sometimes a bit far fetched, intertwined with flashbacks of how they met, married and have reached this point. Douglas, a scientist, and Connie and artist are like chalk and cheese. Albie is a typical teenager.

It's not a fast moving book, sometime it feels almost to be plodding but it feels real. There isn't a happy ending which felt right and it was interesting to read this type of story from the male perspective. Some reviewers have said they didn't like the characters but I don't think you have to like a book's characters to be able to enjoy it.

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Friday, 30 June 2017

Friday's Fave Five 30/6/17

I can't believe that I haven't posted a Friday Five since the beginning of May and now it's the end of June.  But it's good to be here today and think about the good things of this week.

If you want to join in or check out the other participants pop over to our host Suzanne's blog at Living to Tell the Story
I have so many things to be thankful for this week so here goes:

1) A birthday!  Of course I don't want to be a year older but I had lots of lovely presents as you can see here

Yes my favourite colour is blue.  I also have an Amazon voucher to spend and an afternoon tea to look forward to.

 2) A date day with hubby.  Last Friday we went to the cinema in the afternoon and then out for something to eat.  It was great going to the cinema in the afternoon - we had the pick of the seats as there were only about 10 other people there!  We saw Hampstead.

3)  Spending a pleasant afternoon on Saturday taking part in a garden trail.  Our local community garden had organised this event where a number of local people opened their gardens.  By buying a ticket you were given the details of the gardens taking part and the funds raised will help support the community garden.  We managed to visit 10 gardens.  They were all well managed with some very different layouts and types.  Gave me lots of ideas for things I could do in mine. 

4)  Visiting my grandson on Sunday.  He's 13 weeks today (2 weeks corrected) and doing well although he has reflux so is uncomfortable quite a bit and doesn't sleep for long but he is mega cute.  Yes I'm biased! lol  I've just realised that on my last Friday Five post he was still in the hospital but he's been home for over a month now.

5)  A good shopping trip and a productive day.  Yesterday I went to Ikea, Hobbycraft and then on to Westfield in Stratford for Lakeland and John Lewis.  I had a lovely time picking up some things to help organise things in my kitchen a bit better.  I also got a pattern and some wool for my next baby blanket.  I've almost finished a blanket for Nathan, just the edging to do.  I'd planned to have it ready for when he was born but of course his early arrival messed with that schedule!  No idea if or when there will be more grandchildren but I've decided to get ahead of myself because of course both the other DILs have made it clear they will expect a blanket too when, God willing, they start their families.  I haven't done any knitting today but I have tidied several cupboards in the kitchen making use of the things I bought yesterday and I felt quite satisfied when I'd finished.  

So a good week all round for me.  Have a good weekend all.