Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Day out with Friends.

I have made some really good friends through book forums.  I regularly meet with two of my friends - Dani and Julie.  When we meet up we have a good discussion about books over lunch and often recommend new books to each other.  Then after lunch we hit the book stores!  I've had a bountiful day today not just on books alone.  I managed to get some lovely stationery, two teddy toys for Hades and Dani kindly gave me some presents.

Above is a picture of the books I got today:
Cuckoo by Julia Crouch
A Long, Long Sleep by Anna Sheehan
Wither by Lauren Destefano
Nocturne by Christine Johnson
Gypsy Boy by Mikey Walsh
The School At Thrush Green/Friends At Thrush Green by Miss Read
Blood Magic by Tessa Gratton
Time's Legacy by Barbara Erskine
Dead Beautiful by Yvonne Woon



A picture of Hades teddies.


Some presents from Dani.  I collect the little voodoo string dolls.


The stationery is above and below.

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Delivery #3

UNTYING THE KNOT By LINDA GILLARD

Just bought this one for my Kindle.  I'm quite excited as I have read House Of Silence and Star Gazing by this author and really loved them.

Synopsis:

A wife is meant to stand by her man. Especially an army wife. But Fay didn't. She walked away - from Magnus, her traumatised war hero husband and from the home he was restoring: Tullibardine Tower, a ruined 16th century tower house on a Perthshire hillside. Now their daughter, Emily is marrying someone she shouldn't. And so is Magnus...

"Everyone makes mistakes, but I sometimes think I’ve made more than most. Marrying Magnus was one of them. But the biggest mistake I ever made was divorcing him."

UNTYING THE KNOT


** Will read and review at a later date.**

Sunday, 28 August 2011

A photo from the past #2


Hades here is 8 weeks old.  I took this photo on the first day we had him.  He was so sweet and dinky.  Two years later and he can now fill a whole sofa all to himself when he want to!

I was really lucky to have him on my birthday.  It wasn't planned this way when we were thinking of having a puppy.  Because we wanted a chunky chocolate Lab we had to research breeders, we were fortunate to find a local breeder who was only a 15 minute car ride away.  All future owners had to be vetted, which I thought was a good thing because it showed they cared about their puppies.  We were put down on a waiting list and asked whether we preferred a male or female dog.  We had an email to say that the puppies had been born.  We saw them at 4 weeks old and then when it was 8 weeks - which happened to be my birthday - we were asked to come at certain times and choose a pup.  We had the choice of 5 puppies  He snuggled up to our necks and was a real sweetie.  Hades was so adorable that he came home with us.  I can honestly say 2 years later every minute spent with him is a joy.  He is a huge part of our family.

***REVIEW***

THE WHITE MOUNTAINS- TRIPODS #1
BY JOHN CHRISTOPHER

Blurb:

Young Will Parker and his companions make a perilous journey toward an outpost of freedom where they hope to escape from the ruling Tripods, who capture mature human beings and make them docile, obedient servants.


Review:

I’ve wanted to read this trilogy for a long time now.  When I was young I remembered my parents watching a TV adaption of this book and it has always stuck in my mind.
I can say I have not been disappointed.  I loved the idea of a rebellion of a minority few trying to regain control over an alien life force.  The whole drama and thrill of whether these three young boys will escape the clutches of the Tripods.  It makes for an exciting read.  The story centres around the main character Will who is coming of age.  Once young people get to a certain age they are sent off in the tripods – which are the aliens in a three legged machine – to be capped.  Capping involves a metal plate being put onto the head so that the tripods can control you.  The newly capped people are returned to their homes and they are then under the control of the Tripods.  Will meets a mysterious stranger who tells him of a life free from capping, where men can think for themselves.  But the journey to salvation is dangerous.
I’ve loved this first book in the series so much I have no moved straight onto the second book.
Cover: 2/5
Story: 4.5/5

Friday, 26 August 2011

Delivery! #2

This book was sent from a member at Bookmooch




Synopsis:
A page-turning triumph from the internationally bestselling thriller author Mo Hayder—Gone is a riveting tale that pits detective Jack Caffery and police diver Flea Marley against a carjacker who is making every parent's worst nightmare come true.


Praised as a "maestro of the sinister" by the New York Daily News—Mo Hayder delivers her most suspenseful novel to date. By turns thrilling and horrifying, Gone follows the investigation of a brilliant and twisted carjacker with a disturbing game to play.

Jack Caffery's newest case seems like a routine carjacking, a crime he's seen plenty of times before. But as the hours tick by and his investigation morphs into a nightmare, he realizes the sickening truth: the thief wasn't after the car, but the eleven-year-old girl in the backseat. Meanwhile, police diver Sergeant Flea Marley is pursuing her own theory of the case, and what she finds in an abandoned, halfsubmerged tunnel could put her in grave danger. The carjacker is always a step ahead of the Major Crime Investigation Unit, toying with their minds in taunting letters, and ready to strike again. As the chances for his victims grow slimmer, Jack and Flea race to fit the pieces together in time.

Gone is Mo Hayder at her terrifying best. Each dark and captivating twist reveals a new dimension to this tight-knit plot, burrowing deeper into the chilling and clever world Mo Hayder creates.

Will read and review this at a later date.

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

One Tired Puppy Dawg.

Hades went on a long walk in the meadows today, it's one of his favourite walks.  Here is a picture I took earlier.  He is one tired dog!!

** REVIEW** How To Be A Woman by Caitlin Moran

HOW TO BE A WOMAN BY CAITLIN MORAN.

The Blurb:

1913 – Suffragette throws herself under the King’s horse.
1969 – Feminists storm Miss World.
NOW – Caitlin Moran rewrites The Female Eunuch from a bar stool and demands to know why pants are getting smaller.

There’s never been a better time to be a woman: we have the vote and the Pill, and we haven’t been burnt as witches since 1727. However, a few nagging questions do remain…

Why are we supposed to get Brazilians? Should you get Botox? Do men secretly hate us? What should you call your vagina? Why does your bra hurt? And why does everyone ask you when you’re going to have a baby?

Part memoir, part rant, Caitlin Moran answers these questions and more in How To Be A Woman – following her from her terrible 13th birthday (‘I am 13 stone, have no friends, and boys throw gravel at me when they see me’) through adolescence, the workplace, strip-clubs, love, fat, abortion, TopShop, motherhood and beyond.

Review:

I have to admit it was the cover that drew me to this book – it’s fabulous!
This book was more like an autobiography of the author Caitlin Moran, rather than a general take on how to be a woman.  There were some really funny moments, but equally there were some flat moments.  Overall I would recommend this book as a fun light hearted read.  I’ve never heard of the author before and did enjoy reading about her life story.  But at times I really thought she came across whiny.  Maybe it was the writing style that grated on my nerves.
The first half of the book was in my opinion the best part.  It did start to lose me a little at the halfway mark and because of this the book seemed to drag on for me; I was a little relieved to finally finish it.
Cover rating: 5/5
Overall  rating: 3/5


Saturday, 20 August 2011

A photo from the past.

I wanted to show you this picture, it was taken when Hades was a few months old.  It always makes me chuckle looking at it.  I think it's a great way to choose a book from my bookshelves - well as long as I don't mind the teeth marks!!!



I've been really lucky that this was the only time that Hades has taken an interest in my books.  I've only had one casualty and that was a P D James novel.  It is still readable thankfully!!

The Time will come (#1)

Every Thursday, Jodie at Books for Company hosts The Time Will Come, a meme in which we list a book that we really want to read or keep meaning to get to. These are mostly books that have been on the TBR shelf for awhile now but don't have to be. 

If you'd like to join in?
  • Pick a book you have been meaning to read
  • Do a post telling us about the book
  • Link the post up in the linky
  • Visit the other blogs!


Blurb:

Emma and Dexter meet for the first time on the night of their graduation. Tomorrow they must go their separate ways. So where will they be on this one day next year? And the year after that? And every year that follows? Twenty years, two people, ONE DAY.


This one has been sat on the book shelf for a bit now.  I would like to read it before I watch the film.  There have been some really good reviews so far. 

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Delivery!

Through the post today I had a swap from ReadItSwapIt


Circle of Fire by Keri Arthur.

Blurb:

Sixteen teenagers taken from their homes. Eleven bodies recovered, each completely drained of blood. Some believe vampires are responsible. Jon Barnett knows its something far worse, and while in Taurin Bay to stop the killers, he quickly becomes enmeshed in a web of black magic. He needs help but fate gives him only one choice. Madeline Smith has retreated to an isolated farmhouse, afraid of the abilities she cannot control - abilities that have killed. But when a 'ghost' brings a warning of danger and her nephew goes missing, Maddie has to leave her haven and learn to control the abilities she fears. As Maddie and Jon's search for the teenagers becomes a race against time, the greatest danger to them both could be the feelings they refuse to acknowledge.

Will read and review this at a later date.

A Walk In The Woods

Me and Hades are making the most of the good weather.  Today I decided to take him for a walk in Haugh Woods  .  There are two trails a North Side and a South Side.  Due to Hades still recovering from his cruciate ligament operation I decided to take him on the shorter 1.5 mile walk.  The North trail is really interesting as there are so many butterflies flitting around.  On previous trips I have seen the odd deer in the woods too.  It certainly makes you feel closer to nature.

Hades loves to have a wander and  he must sniff every single leaf and branch along the way.  He'd certainly make a good sniffer dog. 

Along the way today we met a man walking with his two grandchildren and his dog.  We stopped to chat and Hades made the most of it by playing with Molly a Staffordshire Bull Terrier.  I literally had to drag him away he was having too much fun.


I have taken some pictures of our little adventure today.


Hades loves to lead the way!


There are boards along the way giving information as to what butterflies you might see.


I think this one is called a Peacock Butterfly.

Again I'm not sure but I think this is a Red Admiral Butterfly.

I'm not too sure what this one is called - sorry..... I'm not a butterfly enthusiast.

Saw this unusual flowerpot.

I went to visit my friend Bridget tonight and she had one of the lovliest and unusual flowerpots I had ever seen.  It is a huge tea cup and saucer.  She had it filled with some really lovely flowers.  Bridget said she would see if the shop had any left.  I would really love one, it would look lovely in my patio area.

Hades spent the evening sampling some of Bridget's herbs, he seemed to love the dill and basil the best.  I'm sure he has some really sweet smelling breath now!!

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Slowcooked Gammon.

I've had a slow cooker now for about two weeks.  I love it!!! I've cooked chicken casserole, beef casserole, and this will be my third gammon joint.  It is so easy to use :)  I've also made a pudding in there - bananas in a rum sauce - that was yummy.  I'm well happy that you can use not just for casseroles but other delicious recipes.  I ordered some slow cooker recipe books from http://www.thebookpeople.co.uk/ .  I've had a good browse through these and found some great recipes.  I will keep my blog updated with the recipes.

At the moment I have a lovely gammon ham joint cooking.  Some lovely smells coming from the kitchen.  All I do is get a gammon joint from the supermarket and bring it to the boil in a large saucepan.  This means that most of the salt is removed.  Then I pop it in the slow cooker, cover it completely in boiling water, add a bay leaf and then put it on high setting for 5 hours.  Once it's cooked I let it cool down and then put it in the fridge.  I love it with boiled new potatoes and parsley sauce - YUM!!

Monday, 15 August 2011

What a day - full of play.

Well I spent most of the day at my parents house.  I have been working in their garden most of the day, pulling out the weeds.  It always amazes me how well the weeds thrive in these drought like conditions.  I did take a walk round the orchard with the dogs, it was to see if the damsons are ripe on the trees.  They are purple but rock hard, so Mum thinks it will be either next week or the week after they will be ready.  I'm going to pick loads of them with my good friend Bridget.  Mum and Dad make the most tastiest damson wine and Bridget wants to make some Jam with her share.

Hades has had a busy day playing.  He is now fast asleep!



Here are a few pictures of Hades friends.

This is Edie the Sprocker Spaniel.  Hades loves to play chase with Edie, she is quick as lightening.


This is Harry the Pug.  He loves nothing better than playing a game of rolling Hades on the floor and jumping all over him.


This is Bella the Chihuahua.  Bella might be small but she loves playing chase with Hades.

What I have planned for today.

I'm up nice and early today.  I'm planning on visiting my parents.  I take Hades along too, as he loves to play with my Parents two dogs.  Edie is a black Sprocker Spaniel, she is adorable and full of energy.  Harry is a fawn pug and he especially loves playing with Hades.  It is so funny to watch as it is such a contrast between big Hades and small Harry.  They all get on so well.  I only have to utter the words " Does Hades want to see Edie and Harry", and he is off ready and waiting by the door.  I'm really lucky that my parent only live a twenty minute drive away.  Hades loves nothing more than having a ride in the car.  He puts his head out the window and you can see his ears flapping away in the breeze.

Fishy Feet.

A few weeks ago me and a friend decided to have a Fish pedicure.  We were handed a flyer in the street advertising this treatment.  After a few giggles, we decided we'd go and investigate.  After having a chat with the person giving these treatments.  We decided to have 20 minutes each.  The good things was there were two tanks of fish and we could sit side by side and have the treatment at the same time.  Well what an experience!!  It was a really strange sensation, almost as if my feet were vibrating.  The fish soon got to work as soon as I put my feet in the tank.  I was fascinated by them, I love watching fish.  After 20 minutes it was time to take my feet out.  After they had been washed and moisturised I can honestly say they were really soft and smooth.   Apart from the novelty factor it is a really good treatment and I was thrilled with the results.  I'm pleased we had the opportunity to try this.  Sadly this is not a local business as I was on a day trip to see a friend who lives two hours away.  Had it been closer I would definetly go again.

Here is a picture of myself and my friend having the fishy feet pedicure:


Pets

I was brought up as a child in a houseful of pets.  At one stage my parents had two dogs and six cats.  Mum always seemed to end up with strays or peoples unwanted cats.  They were always very much loved.

I love my animals and have a gorgeous but greedy Chocolate Labrador - Hades - who is two years old and a sweet little tabby cat called Mitzy who is 11 years old.  They get on really well together.  Mitzy will often bring Hades a present like a mouse or a rabbit.  I usually have to get there first otherwise he eats them!

Here is a picture of the two of them nice and cosy on the sofa.

Books,books and more books.

When I moved house about two years ago I used to have around 200 books.  Since using different books forums like http://www.readitswapit.co.uk/ and http://www.goodreads.com/ I am now up to roughly 1500 books.  Most of these have been swapped or given to me by friends.  The trouble is you see a good book review and you add to the pile. 

I have always been a big reader.  In my teens I loved nothing more than reading Stephen King, Terry Pratchett and my biggest love of all Dragonlance books.  These books opened a whole new world to me.

People often ask me what my favourite book is.  This is a really hard question because I have so many books I love.  If pushed I woud have to say it is The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan.



Synopisis:

In Mary's world there are simple truths. The Sisterhood always knows best. The Guardians will protect and serve. The Unconsecrated will never relent. And you must always mind the fence that surrounds the village; the fence that protects the village from the Forest of Hands and Teeth. But, slowly, Mary's truths are failing her. She's learning things she never wanted to know about the Sisterhood and its secrets, and the Guardians and their power, and about the Unconsecrated and their relentlessness. When the fence is breached and her world is thrown into chaos, she must choose between her village and her future - between the one she loves and the one who loves her. And she must face the truth about the Forest of Hands and Teeth. Could there be life outside a world surrounded in so much death?

Rogue Sunflowers

I love nothing more than feeding the birds in my garden, thankfully my cat Mitzy leaves them well alone and Hades - Chunky Munkie just watches them in fascination.  Well on the patio area that I feed the birds a few loose sunflowers seeds have wedged themselves between the slabs and have grown.  So having never grown a sunflower in my entire life, I now have 4 lovely sunflowers.  I did have 5 but something bit the head off one and chomped it up.  Well I suppose it did have a nice meal.

Friday, 12 August 2011

Been a while.

Sometimes life gets in the way and you forget to do things.  One thing pushed to the wayside is this blog.  I'm going to try really hard to post.

 
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