Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Locked In

Last night we got locked into the living room. Oh yes.  The handle on the door to go out of the living room has been a bit sticky of late but although the other half and I have both been meaning to have a look at it, neither of us have had the chance.

I was ironing when my eldest tried to open the door to go to the loo.  He kept grabbing at the handle but it wouldn't open.  Exasperated I attempted to show him how to do it (again)! Only I couldn't open it either.  So my husband came strutting into the living room from cooking the dinner (I have a husband who cooks how lucky am I?). He then attempted to show us all how to open it but he couldn't do it either.  He tugged and tugged and then..... the handle came off in his hand and he flew backwards.  Fortunately the sofa broke his fall.  Unfortunately my youngest was sittting on said sofa cuddling the cat.  The cat took umbridge at being pounced on by a human adult male and did a cartoon impresssion of a cat in fright - back arched with claws extended.  Unfortunately for youngest child the claws extended into his leg leaving a lovely criss-cross pattern up his legs.

Husband managed to get in from the front door and took the handle off from the outside and hey presto we were released!

There must be eaiser ways to go to the loo!

Take care - and watch those door handles - they have a habit of biting back.


Monday, 18 June 2012

Holiday Reading

My holiday at Easter may seem like it was in the dim and distant past but thankfully, the books I read are not.

So here's some reviews of the books I read.  First of all is:

All That Mullarky by Sue Moorcroft

I've been a big fan of the previous two Sue Moorcroft books I've read - Starting Over and Want To Know A Secret?

All That Mullarky certainly didn't disappoint. I wouldn't go so far as to say the kids could have drowned while I was reading it but it might have been a close call.

Sue creates such wonderfully vivid and likeable characters that you can't but help want to become involved in their lives and travel with them on their journey.

At the beginning of this novel it looks as though Cleo's marriage to the controlling Gav is at an end. When he tells her that she has to choose between him and going to a school reunion, she chooses the school reunion because she doesn't like his ultimatum. Half way there, though, she has a change of heart but when she returns home she finds that Gav has packed his bags and scrawled a nasty message on the bedroom wall. Distraught, Cleo goes in search for her sister for a shoulder to cry on but ends up having a one night stand with the irresistible Justin. It's an event that changes the course of Cleos life, but Im not going to tell you any more, youll just have to read it for yourself.

Next I read:

Sweet Temptation by Lucy Diamond

I love Lucy’s books, her characters are so down to earth that you instantly fall in love with them. Sweet temptation is the perfect holiday read (despite the fact that you are probably overeating). It's the story of three women who, at the beginning of the novel, are overweight and unhappy with their lives. Determined to loose the weight they join a slimming club called Fatbusters. Through hard work and a good support network, they not only become fitter and healthier but together they learn how to make their lives better. If you want to loose some pounds yourself, read this book and you will be inspired. Unfortunately inspiration alone does not loose the pounds
Emily's Innocence by India Grey

A Portuguese Prince and an English aristocratic ballerina - you can't get much more decadent than that, and the hero and heroine of India's novel do not disappoint.

India has created characters who pull at the heart strings with her fragile yet strong heroine and her haughty, bad boy hero with a hidden heart of gold which only Emily can melt.

The pages simply explode with passion as we fight for the two to overcome their insecurities and flaws and end up with their rightful ending, in each other's arms. Thanks India, you've done it for me again.

And finally for today we have:

A Sister's Gift - Giselle Green

Two sisters - Holly, a stay at home, dependable, married woman, who desperately wants a child but is unable to; and Scarlet, much younger and ambitious, working to protect the rainforest.

Scarlet is following in her mother's footsteps, who also worked in the Amazon and was killed when Scarlet was very young. Scarlet was brought up by her mother's friend and later, by Holly herself.

When Holly asks Scarlet to be a surrogate for her, Scarlet initially refuses, but as her personal circumstances change, she agrees.

This is a story of obsession and betrayal, and shows how a personal desire for something can destroy everything.

At times this story is rather bleak but it confronts serious issues and there are plenty of twists and turns along the way. I think this book would make an ideal book club read because it would spark plenty of healthy debate.

Not a light read but enjoyable all the same.


Friday, 15 June 2012

How Time Flies!

I can hardly believe that it’s the middle of June already and this is my first blog of the month.  Can I use the bank holiday extravaganza and half term as my excuse? Probably not, but in between everything else, I’ve been working on the edit of my submission for the RNA’s New Writer’s Scheme.  I’m just over half way through the third draft of my novel and am doing a massive re-write. 

I suppose that I should have sorted out a lot of these problems before now, but I’m consoling myself that it’s all part of the learning curve.  I’m much happier with what I’ve written and am hoping that after this draft, a quick read through will be enough to reach a stage where I’m happy to submit it. In saying that, I may not have an option as I’m rapidly running out of time.

Time, as with most people, is my biggest enemy.   I’ve just downloaded Peter Jones’ book How To Do Everything And Be Happy onto my Kindle.  I came across this book on Della Galton’s blog. (Sorry can't put the link in here but it's http://www.dellagalton.co.uk/?p=695)  Unfortunately I didn’t find it in time to get it free (what does that tell you?) but at £1.99 it’s still a steal.  It will take a miracle to sort out my life but even if the book gets me closer to getting organised, it will be a bonus. Personally I think only not needing to sleep would work at the moment.  Still, here’s hoping. Now I just need to find the time to read it!

It seems like a long time ago now but I thought the Jubilee weekend was fantastic.  Apart from the weather that is, which was a real British disappointment.  It’s such a shame that it couldn’t have been like it had been the previous weekend.  All that hard work dampened by the lack of sunshine. Mind you if it been, no doubt there would have been problems because it was too hot. Never happy are we?

I know a lot of people aren’t overly fond of the monarchy, viewing it as an outdated institution and a drain on society, but the Jubilee celebrations really made me feel proud to be British.  

When we want to, us Brits can really put on a good show, and that was clearly shown.  To me the events of the weekend put the Great back into Great Britain.  

This country has the most amazing history, especially as far as our Kings and Queens are concerned, and that heritage generates revenue through tourism. I’m not an economist and couldn’t possibly comment on whether the money the monarchy generates outweighs what it costs, but there is more to life than money.  And I do feel that our current Queen sets us apart from the rest of the world.

I was exhausted after the couple of parties and events I went to over the weekend but it was nothing compared to the Queen’s schedule. At 86 years of age you can’t fault her stamina and dedication to her duty, not just in the last few weeks but throughout her reign.  When you think about the changes which have happened during that time you have to respect her for still being so popular.

She’s had some horrible years, particularly in the recent past, and she hasn’t always got it right; her response to Diana’s death being an example of where the nation’s favour turned against her.   But she has learnt and adapted and now I feel that the key members of her family are so much more respected because of the way she has guided them.

There were particular highlights of the weekend for me, firstly the flotilla on the Thames.  The river has always been a major character in the history of London and I felt it fitting that it was included in the celebrations.   In times gone by the river was the main transport system through the capital as well as a link to trade with foreign countries. It’s poignant to think that whilst it has been a means for celebration, it is also the method by which traitors (or alleged traitors) were transported to the Tower and their subsequent deaths.

I was particularly moved to see the “Little Ships” included as without these private individuals who responded to Churchill’s plea, so many more lives would have been lost at Dunkirk. It is this spirit which makes me proud to be British and it was important that they were remembered.  

You have to admire too the way that the Queen and Prince Phillip did not sit down once throughout the journey, although I fear that the weather may have brought on Philip’s subsequent illness – he is 90 after all!

I thought the concert on Monday was an amazing success too, particularly the set where Madness played on the roof of the Palace.  The lighting team were outstanding. 

To be honest I’ve been a big fan of Prince Charles but I found his speech at the end of the concert moving.   I felt that he came into his own over the weekend and I’m sure his mum was so proud of him.

Now, I hope that the Queen has a bit of chill out time – she certainly deserves it and we don’t want her getting ill now do we?

And on to the next thing – Euro 2012. As you may know from this blog my menfolk are big football fans, so we will be watching England tonight and on Tuesday with our fingers crossed that they will get through to the next stage of the Championship.  I think it might take a lot more than crossed fingers though!

Have a good weekend.