Thursday, 30 July 2015

Book Review: The Bones Of You by Debbie Howells

Rosie is dead. She knows she is dead.  What we don't know is who killed and her and why.

Kate is the Mother of one of Rosie's "acquaintances". Rosie doesn't have friends.  Rosie would spend time quietly at Kate's yard helping with her horses. She had a natural affinity to the animals who can read your innermost thoughts and feelings.

The investigation into Rosie's murder is slow.  Kate becomes friendly with Jo, Rosie's bereaved Mum and needs to know for herself what happened to the quiet, shy girl.  Who caused the change in their idyllic village.

Dinners were burnt and my children went to bed late when I was reading this book. I just couldn't put it down.  Whilst firmly away from the traditional  crime thriller; you are lead through what happened.
At first I was reminded of "The Lovely Bones" by Alice Sebold with the way Rosie tells her story. She starts with flashbacks to her childhood and builds the picture of her life but chapters are also included by Kate and Rosie's younger sister Delphine.  The story is heart wrenching. You can physically feel the pain in their lives and that's a testament to how well written it is.

I thoroughly recommend this book and would encourage you all to get out there and support this budding author.

You can find out more about Debbie Howells on her website

Thursday, 23 July 2015

What's In Your Search History?

Yesterday whilst using the internet to search for something random; I commented to MrM if anyone could see my search history what would it say about me? 

I thought I'd do a little experiment and look up the last 5 things on my search history and see what it's all about.

So this is my search history: - We are off on holiday soon and in my quest to keep my sanity and hand luggage weight down, I want to know if I can download stuff to 10 year old's iPad & 5year old's Galaxy Tab as we have SkyGo.

countries with double taxation agreements with the UK - This is a work thing. I work in finance and lots of countries withold a percentage of the payment but it can be reduced with certain forms. Sometimes filled out 5 times, double sided paper that must not have been looked at on a day that has a T in it.... 

The Tudor Room + Egham - A restaurant I want to take MrM to for his birthday. 

The Fat Duck -Heston Blumenthal's restaurant that we can't afford at £225 per head. 

Itchy Anus - This was for the 5yo.  Complaining of itching. Told her to go and wipe it with a wet wipe and I'll put vaseline on it. She apparently knows better and said vaseline doesn't work. I ended up giving her antihistamine! 

So that's mine. It could and has been weirder.

What's in your search history? Let's compare who's got the most strange! 

Friday, 17 July 2015

Where Does Time Go?

Where does time go?
Really; I'd like to know.
This time last year the youngest one
Had finished nursery,
It was over with. Done

Now the first year of school has come to an end,
She's been a duckling, a mini-beast and a best friend.
She's learnt to read 
With alarming speed
And writes her name on everything.

She sings and dances and makes up games,
Mastering a skipping rope is her next aim.
She stood up in assembly, tall and proud
and spoke a sentence clear and loud.

From that little girl; all quiet and shy,
she runs into class without even a goodbye.
And now her first year at school is over.
And time has flown by in a blur.
Her teacher is leaving for pastures new
What we would like to say is:

Thank You.

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Let Battle Commence

We live in an average 3 bedroom house.  Our third bedroom is a box room without enough room to really fit a full size single bed.  The 5yo is still in a toddler bed but it wont last much longer. 

Earlier this year we looked at moving but we wouldn't be able to get anything better than we already have within our budget. Add on conveyancing costs, solicitors and estate agent fees and it's a small fortune.  So we thought we'd look at having a loft conversion. 

We had a couple of builders round to quote. We were recommended another builder who came to see us. I'll call him G. We both immediately got a "good feeling" from him. He was pleasant, sociable and professional. He chatted with us for a long time about what we actually wanted; ie more space. After a while it was decided that rather than losing our loft, we could possibly extend both downstairs and upstairs leaving us with our loft and the ability to store amazing amounts of stuff I swear I will "car boot" one day.  Surprisingly there wasn't much difference in the cost of a loft extension and a two storey extension and both were cheaper options than moving.

So we had plans drawn up and have to apply for planning permission.  G recommended we speak with our neighbours as a courtesy to let them know what we are planning.  We are on nodding terms with one side, the other; not so much.  I'll have a chat in the front garden but she doesn't get on with Mr.M.  He's not as happy as I am to "keep the peace" and not moan about things. They have clashed over the past ten years we've been there. 

Our conversation went like this:

"Oh I'm glad I caught you.  I just wanted to let you know we are planning on having an extension at the back of the house"
"oh yes"
"It's a two storey extension"
"There wont be any side windows so we wont be overlooking you or anything. I thought I'd let you know as you'll be getting a letter from the council"
"Well, obviously I'll object. I'll lose light"
"Ah, OK. Well you'll be able to see the plans"
"I'll get my son in law to look at them, he's a surveyor"
"Well I just wanted to let you know"

And I shuffle off with the kids into the house.

Last week the local council sent out the letters to the neighbours. They received them on Saturday and by Sunday she'd filed her objection on line. It's obvious her surveyor son in law has written the letter, it's far too professional. However they are objecting on 9 points! 

The council has until 26th August to decided yes or no.  I'm on tenterhooks already and will probably keep checking the planning portal at least 100 times a day.

Monday, 6 July 2015

Book Review: Born In A Burial Gown by Mike Craven.

DI Avison Fluke runs a team of "oddballs" in the FMIT department. His team are the best and follow his lead. But he's lied to them and implicated someone in a crime they don't even know about. When a body is found dumped with a bullet in the back of their head, it's up to Avison and his team to find out who she was and what happened. But will his crime catch up with him first?

For a first novel this was gripping. I originally found out about Mike Craven through twitter. I downloaded "Assume Nothing, Believe Nobody, Challenge Everything" which introduced us to DI Avison Fluke and his team with a series of short independent stories. A perfect taster of what was to come in his full novel. He was shortlisted for the 2013 Crime Writer's Association Dagger Award.

The story was engrossing. It made me invest in the characters without boring me with minutiae. The plot turns were timed perfectly urging me to stay up late and turn the page for "just one more" before bed. It was an exhilarating read and I can't wait for book two.

The highest honour I can bestow on this book was that I told my husband to read it. He only reads books on holiday and only reads crime stories. He's hard to please. This is perfect for him.

Born In A Burial Gown is available on Amazon on both Kindle and paperback here

It's also available from Waterstones and probably many other book shops!

Friday, 3 July 2015

The Recycling Rant...

I have surprised myself. I'm a bit of an Eco Warrior!  I never knew I'd be concerned about recycling my old tat. But I am.

At home I split my paper from my plastics and cardboard and my glass and tins into something else, another container for food waste. We're overflowing with different boxes for recycling. I try to give the 5yo as much as she can take to school. Boxes, plastic containers, yogurt pots, all with instructions not to bring it all back as a spaceship/house/bus.. insert whatever rubbish creation your child makes here.

At work we have LOTS of recycling bins all over the building and only a couple of general rubbish bins in the kitchens. The idea being people will actually put their cardboard, paper, plastic, sandwich wrappers and plastic cups into the recycling waste.  Oh how wrong!  Apparently it's too difficult when two bins are side by side to decide what to do so it's easier to chuck it all in the general rubbish.

This is annoying.

Now I'm not sure if I'm getting annoyed because it's not being recycled or just because I'm a bit of a stickler for the rules and want things to be put where they should be. (I do not have any type of needing to keep everything tidy issues) The problem is; I keep ranting about it at work. So now I think people are putting the recycling in the general waste because it winds me up and in some perverted way it gives them some sort of enjoyment to watch me pulling rubbish out of the bin moaning.

I'm stuck in a never ending loop.

Life with Baby Kicks

Thursday, 2 July 2015

The Mis-Adventures of A Silly Dog. 2

Silly dog has hip dysplasia. He's almost two and this was found when he was around 18months old.  He was in excruciating pain.  You can read about it here.

Since then we've been aware of his condition, if he's had a particularly long run one day, it'll be a little less intense the next as he can be quite stiff. We're also mindful of keeping the weight off as he's a greedy little bugger and a typical spaniel; hoovering up whatever might come his way. Edible or not! See the Mis-Adventures of A Silly Dog.1

He' also incredibly spoilt, he is my baby and sleeps on our bed.  I "NEVER" let the children sleep in my bed but the dog.. well that's different. He's fluffy. I'd like to say he doesn't kick, but he does, he takes up all the foot space and snores like a congested walrus.

Last night he sat up, started to have a bit of a scratch and promptly fell off the bed.  He seemed to very confused how one moment he was sitting on the bed and the next he was on a heap in the floor. He looked at me like I'd pushed him off and gave me that disdainful spaniel look before leaping back on the bed, huffing and puffing before taking the warm comfy spot I vacated to check he was alright.

No doubt he'll now use this as an excuse to take up even more space and worm his way up the bed between me and Mr.M.