Books Read In March 2020.

Where I was averaging about five books read in two months , I have now managed five in one month! So here’s an update of my reads in March. 🙂

Dark Sky Island ~ Lara Dearman ( 2018). Theres a killer on the loose….and someone knows who it is. Journalist Jennifer Dorey is a Channel Islands native living on Guernsey and working for the local paper. Not exactly a hotbed for exciting news stories, things change when a body is discovered on the nearby island of Sark. With no cars allowed and no street lamps lighting the island, Jennifer discovers the inhabitants secrets are as dark as Sark’s pitch black night sky. ⭐⭐⭐

The Deathless Girls ~ Kiran Millwood Hargrave ( 2019). Here’s a book I actually won in a Facebook competition. It’s a Young Adult novel and an imagined account of how the Bride’s of Dracula came into being. A gothic Romany tale that explores prejudices, friendships and the supernatural, it did feel a

bit rushed at the end. ⭐⭐⭐

Max The Miracle Dog ~ Kerry Irving ( 2020). After Kerry is injured in a life changing car accident he finds himself unemployed, house bound, and depressed. A chance encounter with a friendly yard dog called Max on a painful shuffle to the shop, gives Kerry a reason to get up in the mornings, when Max’s owner agrees to let him take the affectionate Springer out for a short walk each day. This is a heart warming true story of a man who found it hard to talk about his feelings until a waggy spaniel came into his life. You can also follow Max’s adventures on Facebook at Max Out In The Lake District. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Someone Is Lying ~ Jenny Blackhurst ( 2019). They all swore it was an accident but…….Someone is LYING. A year to the day of Erica Spencer’s tragic accident an anonymous podcast puts her death back in the spotlight again , pointing the finger of blame on her friends and neighbors, the residents of the close knit gated community in which she lived. With plenty of secrets and lies and twists and turns, this page turner thriller reminded me a little of an English Desperate Housewives. ⭐⭐⭐⭐

You, Me And The Movies ~ Fiona Collins ( 2019). Back in her youth Arden had an intense affair with Mac, a handsome film lecturer. Years and a few bad relationships later, visiting a friend in hospital, Arden recognises a very ill Mac is a patient too. Through ten classic movies they had watched together, Arden goes on an emotional journey that may just inspire her to give love another chance. ⭐⭐⭐⭐

What are you reading at the moment?

Life Lately.

How are you doing? How are you coping with this new kind of lifestyle? At the moment everything feels all kinds of surreal, though I suspect at some point it is going to feel like the norm…

Currently I am not working ,though my other half is as he is classed as a Key worker. So we are not getting under each others feet and still getting on fine. 🙂 I have signed up as a community volunteer to buy essentials for the elderly, vulnerable and those in self isolation. Should keep me busy!

Sunshine on Celandines. 🙂

I am so glad we are still able go on local walks. Luckily I live a walkable distance from fields and flowers. Spring is certainly just getting on with it. New blooms appear almost every day.

Wood Anemones.
Hugo cooling off.

Having a pet means exercise is still very much on the agenda. I am so glad that touchwood, I am in good health. I don’t want to think about self isolation when we have an energetic pooch to walk.

One of the nice things about our walks is that everyone always says hello these days,though from a distance of course… 🙂

Books! Books! Books!

Last weekend before the libraries shut, I was able to take out this big pile of reading material. Overdue fees do not apply, as who knows how long it will be before they reopen. I was actually allowed to pick out up to thirty books, but I couldn’t carry that many. 😁

Here are a few things I’ve watched recently.

Le Man’s 66 ~ Rented off BT TV. True story about how Ford pitted itself against Ferrari in the Le Man’s 24 Hour Car Race. Set in 1966 , Christian Bale stars as unpredictable racing driver Ken Miles. ⭐⭐⭐

The Favourite ~ Dvd from Charity shop. Lavish debauchery in Queen Anne’s court as Rachel Wiez and Emma Stones coniving cousins battle it out to be the Queens favourite. ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Malory Towers ~ Free on BBC I Player. Enid Blyton’s Mallory Towers novels have been turned into a delightful BBC adaptation. Get lost in lacrosse matches, midnight feasts, sea bathing and ghostly apparitions. Pure nostalgia. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Extra Ordinary ~ Free on Netflix. Zainy Irish horror comedy about a driving instructor with supernatural abilities. ⭐⭐⭐

ZombieLand Double Tap ~ Rented off BT TV. Not quite as good (but still fun!)Sequel to Zombieland. Thankfully we don’t have to shoot zombies when we go outside, just avoid humans. 😅 ⭐⭐⭐⭐

So there you have it. Let me know how your getting on and how your keeping occupied/cheerful.

Stay well. x

Spring !

Spring Lambs.

Getting out and about in the fresh air is one of my greatest pleasures. I’m just thankful it’s something I’m still able to do in these strangest of times. Happily the sun has decided to shine this weekend so I took my camera on some local walks.

Coltsfoot flowers and leaves can be dried and used to make a tea that gives relief from coughs and congestion apparently.

Grey Squirrel

Female Blackbird.

The primrose is the ‘ first rose’ of Spring.

Feral Pigeon.

Cherry Blossom.

Goldfinch.

Pussy Willows.

Dogs Mercury.

Blackthorn. The blossom arrives before the leaves.

Daffodils with Pendle Hill in the very distance.

Thanks for stopping by. Stay safe and well. ❤️

March break at the caravan.

Just returned from a few days at our caravan in Cumbria. It’s the first time we’ve managed to visit this year. Happily we were able to stay toasty in the van and get out and about and explore too. Life is carrying on as normal..for now! Here are a few images from our 4 day break.

Hugo in front of the electric fire. Our van is definitely in the Granny style of interiors , but it is cosy. :),

The local pubs unique way of displaying daffodils.

Before shot of horse in the village. So pretty!

And an After photo. Tee-hee. 😜

NT Acorn Bank.

We used our NT membership and explored the grounds of Acorn Bank in Temple Sowerby.

Though I didn’t go paddling in the pond. Hugo did.

Daffodils everywhere.

And an ever so beautiful flowering Quince…

Appleby & Rutter Falls. ( 8 mile muddy walk).

The River Eden flowing through Appleby.

Man in a bath. 😁

Rutter Falls and Hoff Beck.

Cherry blossom at Rutter Falls.

Hugo outside Rachel’s Wood.

Northern Viaducts Round ~ Kirkby Stephen. ( 4 mile, not as Muddy walk).

Frank’s Bridge over the Eden, Kirkby Stephen.

Crossing Merrigill Viaduct.

Podgill Viaduct.

Scarlet Elf Caps. Also saw a wispy red squirrel gathering moss on this walk. ❤️

One of several poetry stones on the route.

Definitely loving all the places we’ve discovered in the beautiful Eden Valley so far.

NT Acorn Bank.

Rutter Force & Hoff Beck Walk.

Northern Viaducts Round Walk.

Home via Ambleside. We were sad to head home today, took a little detour to Ambleside , so Hugo could have a swim in Windermere.

The Bridge House.

Seriously satisfying soup , served with cheese! Brill idea. Rattle Ghyll Cafe.

Windermere.

Hungry swans.

Hope everyone is well. Stay safe. ❤️

Three Things ~ February.

Here’s a short blog post idea I found over on Bev’s blog. Hopefully now we are in March, I will try and post a little more!

Three Things I Liked In February.

1. Snowdrops. A welcome sign of Spring in the wettest February ever.

2. Watching Kiefer Sutherland’s band play at King George’s Halls with some friends. He comes across as a really nice guy, just like his character in Designated Survivor on Netflix, which I’m also watching.

3. Visiting my local Everyman Cinema. I’ve sneeked away for a couple of week day matinees at the new picture house in town. Watched both Emma and Like A Boss recently.

Kiefer Sutherland at King George’s Hall. Like a movie star actually came to Blackburn!

Three Things I’m Looking forward to in March.

1. Some dry weather. Need to get out of my wellies!

2. Spending some time at the caravan. We are up there in eleven days, and I really cannot wait!

3. Spring!!

Three Vegetables I eat the most.

1. Potatoes. 2. Cherry tomatoes. 3. Carrots.

Three items that are always on my groceries list.

1. Petfood. 2. Peanut butter ( my guilty pleasure on toast…. sometimes with marmite…eeeek) 3. Tin tomatoes.

Three Things we go through like crazy in my house. 1. Washing powder ( mostly for washing Hugo’s bedding and towels, especially in this weather). 2. Scented Candles. 3. Wild bird food.

Three things I always make time for.

1. Cuddles with my fur babies.

2. Recording wildlife I see in my Nature Diary.

3. I hope I make enough time to see friends & family, but I feel I need to be better at this.

Three Things I never make time for.

1. Pampering myself. I should really.

2. Going to the gym. Erm nope!

3. Meditation. My mind would wander. 🙂

Blackthorn blossom, a harbinger of Spring. 🙂

Thanks for dropping by. ❤️

Books Read In January & February 2020.

Books, Books, Books, I have been on quite a roll ( for me) with my reading these past couple of months.

The Secret Life Of Evie Hamilton ~ Catherine Alliot ( 2009). Evie seems to have the perfect life. Happily married with a beautiful daughter and gorgeous home , she has no need to work. Her existence compared to most other characters in the book seems way too charmed. That is until she discovers her husband has another daughter from a fling he had before they were married. This bolt from the blue forces Evie to re-evaluate her life decisions. Chick lit with humour and dollops of emotion. ⭐⭐⭐

Foraging With kids ~ Adele Nozedar ( 2019). Thanks to a lovely friend who bought me this wonderful book for my birthday back in November. Ok so I’m not a child or a parent to one, but I think this handy foraging guide is a useful addition to any nature lovers bookshelf. It is surprising just how many wild plants can be made into delicious dishes. Dandelion, Onion and Red Pepper Frittata, Fraughan Pie, Tagliatelle with Jack-by-the-hedge sauce, anyone? Plenty of recipes & hints and tips of where to find and how to recognise edible plants. It’s just a shame that the lovely illustrations are in black & white. ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Home Fire ~ Kamila Shamise (2017). A troubling fictional ( but I suspect ever so relevent for many) account of family life torn apart by jihadism and western attitudes towards loved ones left behind. Slow at first but by the end I was gripped. A powerful read. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Psycho ~ Robert Bloch (1959 ). I’ve never actually seen the famous Hitchcock movie , but I can understand how this story attracted the director, it’s short and not exactly sweet, perfect fodder for a horror film. I enjoyed the suspense and the clever way Norman’s relationship with his mother is played out . A shocker. ⭐⭐⭐⭐

The Secret Life Of Bees ~ Sue Monk Kidd ( 2001 ). Another book that has been made into a film, I would love to see it. Set in South Carolina in the sixties , this is the tale of Lily ,a young white girl who lives with her abusive father on a peach farm. Her only friend in the world seems to be their black housekeeper Rosaleen. On her way to vote one day Rosaleen is attacked by three racists and daring to fight back, is thrown into jail. Lily somehow manages to spring Rosaleen out and after fleeing they are taken in by three eccentric bee keeping siblings. Sounds a bit far fetched , but the novel is beautifully written and well worth a read. ⭐⭐⭐⭐

A Place To Lie ~ Rebecca Griffith’s (2018). When Joanna’s estranged sister Caroline dies in violent circumstances, Joanna finds herself revisiting their childhood summer at Witchwood, a seemingly idyllic place until their stay was cut short after a young girl is murdered. Caroline’s troubled life had been shaped by the sinister events that happened back then, and Joanna needs to make sense of the past to gain closure following her sisters death. The best parts of this eerie thriller are those set in Witchwood itself, where every character appears to have something to hide. ⭐⭐⭐⭐

The Bird In The Tree ( The Elliot Chronicles) ~ Elizabeth Goudge ( 1940). I’m not sure how I found this book ( now downloaded onto my kindle) but the writing is such that I have fallen in love with Damerosehay, the beloved house at the centre of the story. The storyline itself follows Grandmother Lucilla Elliots mission to keep Damerosehay as a sanctuary for her family. Problems arise when her heir embarks on a romance that could destroy Damerosehays future. I enjoyed Goudge’s vivid descriptions of nature, the sea, the children and the families pets. There’s whimsy, nostalgia and a touch of the supernatural. I am sure I will be revisiting the chronicles soon. ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Read any good books lately?

These are a few of my favourite things.

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