Category Archives: Films

Knipescar Common and River Lowther Walk ~ Bampton, Cumbria.

If your thinking of doing a gentle walk in Cumbrias Eden Valley, then this one’s for you.

The adjoining villages of Bampton and Bampton Grange are lovely and quiet with a real community feel. We parked near the bridge in a small roadside parking spot by the river. From here we crossed the bridge passing St Patrick’s Church on the right and took a footpath to the side of the former Crown and Mitre pub. Then we headed across Knipescar Common and walked back along the River Lowther.

Bridge across the River Lowther.
St Patrick’s Church, Bampton Grange.
Heading towards Knipescar Common.
A quiet road crosses Knipescar Common.
Knipescar.
Knipescar covered in gorse.
Love this road sign topped with a πŸ‘‘ crown.
It did get a bit squelchy making our way down to the river.
River Lowther
Hugo investigates the bridge.
We cross. It’s a swingy suspension bridge.
River reflection.
The bridge reflected.
We head back to the villages via the Riverside path.

Bampton has a community shop and cafe.
And some old fashioned diesel pumps at the garage.
We settle for a pint outside the Mardale Inn. The pub was bought by the villagers as a community venture in 2022.
Here’s a famous phonebox! It appeared in the cult film Withnail and I.
There’s a visitor book inside. Most people have written quotes from the movie in the book. It’s a totally nuts film.
Being watched.

This was a pleasant 2.5 mile walk in a little known area of the Lake District. πŸ‘

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November ~ Round Up. πŸ’œ

I haven’t been blogging much recently, though life has been good in November, my Birthday Month!

Reading ~ it’s always fab when someone gives you books for your birthday. I am currently reading I Belong Here by Anita Sethi ,which was a present and on my wishlist of books to read. Having experienced a racial hate crime on a train, Anita bravely decides to reclaim the countryside of Northern England, on an inspirational solo hiking journey across the Pennines. I am looking forward to how things go. Will the natural world be more welcoming than the people she meets along the way ? I hope she finds goodness in both.

Bowling ~ For my Birthday some friends and I tried out the Duck Pin Bowling at Holmes Mill in Clitheroe. This is a bowling alley in miniature and was certainly alot of fun. Happy Days!

Fabulous Fungi ~ It’s been a great month for finding Fungi , especially colourful waxcaps it seems. These above were spotted on local walks here in Lancs and up at the caravan in Cumbria. My faves as always are the pale pink ones which look like opened flowers, I think they are called Ballerina Waxcaps.

Listening to ~ Records! Birthday money went towards a cute portable record player from Argos. I’ve wanted one for ages, despite having no vinyl to my name. I charity shopped them all years ago! Not that I had an impressive collection. Think Wham, Bucks Fizz and Aha. πŸ˜€ Back to the charity shops again for me..

Weekending ~ in the Southern Lakes Peninsula, or should I say Grange Over Sands. I am hoping to write a post about my time there. Until then here’s a photo of myself and Wil on the promenade ,which looks out over Salt Marsh and Sea.

The English.

Watching ~ I really watch too too much telly. Having a spare few hours in the daytime , because I work split shifts , does mean I binge watch new seasons and find a fair few films. Some good, some not so good. My faves from November are…

The Wonder ~ Film. An English nurse is sent to observe an apparent miracle in 19th century Ireland, a girl who hasn’t eaten in months, surviving on the Virgin Mary’s love. Beautifully filmed and told. Netflix. ⭐⭐⭐⭐

The Last Kingdom ~ Series. A Saxon boy is raised by Marauding Danes who killed his Earl father. Later when his Viking family are slaughtered , Uhtred pursues the kingdom that is rightfully his to inherit, taking him on a dangerous journey. Netflix. ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Mrs Harris Goes To Paris ~ Film. Off to the pictures for this charming 1950s set movie about a cleaning lady who falls in love with a Dior dress and pursues her dream of owning one , to Paris. ⭐⭐⭐⭐

The English ~ Series. Gorgeously filmed Western that brings together a Native American looking for home and a refined English Woman looking for revenge. BBC I Player. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Wednesday ~ Series. Wednesday Adams gets her own show that follows her student years at Nevermore Academy, where she navigates solving spooky mysteries and school life, in her own dead pan way. ⭐⭐⭐⭐

That’s all folks!

October ~ Round Up. 🍁

Time for an October Round-Up of my life lately. I have been enjoying Autumn colours, reading about a psychopath serial killer, eating left overs and finding funky fungi !

Reading.

Presently still reading books at a crawl, though I am enjoying ‘ How to kill your family’ by Bella Mackie. Frustratingly thrown into jail, for a murder she didn’t commit, Grace Bernard is busy writing her memoirs ( whenever her nosy cell-mate isn’t watching), for though she might be innocent of that particular murder, Grace has actually done away with…her entire family. Yes Grace might be a cold hearted killer, but she does have her reasons. A dark but amusing read, so far.

Emma Mackey is brilliant as Emily Bronte in ‘ Emily’.

Watching.

The Empress is a glorious romp through Austrian Royalty history, specifically the beginnings of the reign of Empress Elisabeth. A reluctant Royal , her new hubby The Emperor Franz Joseph had previously been engaged to Elisabeth’s sister. The usually independent Elisabeth or ‘ Sisi ‘ finds life at court full of frosty traditions, plots and intrigue. On Netflix. Subtitles.

I also enjoyed watching medieval coming of age comedy Catherine Called Birdy, which can be found on Amazon Prime. 14 year Lady Catherine ( Birdy to her friends ) is of marriageable age, and with a charming gambler for a father, her families only hope of remaining solvent, is for young Birdy to marry. Determined to thwart all her suitors, the mischievous heiress has other ideas.

My favourite watch this month was on the Big Screen. A friend and I went to see Emily, the new biopic of the life of reclusive writer Emily Bronte. Notoriously private, little is known about Emily in comparison to her siblings, much of what we do know about Emily’s thoughts and feelings are through Charlotte, some of which is probably sensored. This film is a reimagining of Emily’s life, as if she herself experienced some of the darker, some of the more passionate moments , that she wrote about in Wuthering Heights. And whose to say, really, that she didn’t……. A heart wrenching , clever, passionate and sometimes humorous picture about an unconventional and inspirational writer.

Eating.

A friend told us about the Too Good To Go Ap, which lets you know about food that shops and cafes are selling off cheap. For a fixed price you get a carrier bag full of goodies that are nearing their sell by date, known as a Magic Bag. The surprise is you don’t really know what the bag will contain, I was certainly surprised by the amount of stuff in this one from our local garage shop, Londis. For Β£5 we got 2 Sandwiches ,a loaf of bread, broccoli, bag of salad, Mr Kipling cakes, Manchester tarts, cooked chicken pieces, 2 chicken fillets and some butter. Participating places near me include Spa, Morrisons, Subway and Starbucks. Some independent businesses are signing up too. Have you used the ap before? I suspect I’m a bit late to the party. πŸ˜€

Too Good To Go?

Creating. A pumpkin flower arrangement! My friend Fi and I made these at a class in Whalley. Mines the more messy one on the left. Basically you need to hollow out a pumpkin ( happily already done for us), put in some cellophane and a wet piece of water absorbing oasis. Stick flowers, cones etc into the oasis to create an arrangement. And Voila!

Pumpkins.
Robin Hood’s Bay. A place to explore tumbling narrow streets and look for fossilized Monkey Puzzle Tree bark ( Jet) on the beach.

Holidaying. As it is Half Term Holidays we managed to get away to the Yorkshire Coast for a couple of days. Fortunately we have another caravan in the family, Wils brother and his wife own a static on a site half way between Whitby and Robin Hoods Bay. Both are such atmospheric places to visit, especially at this time of year. Anyway we made the most of our location, walking along the cliffs to Robin Hood’s Bay oneday and catching the bus into Whitby on the other.

Whitby. October sees Whitby come alive with spooky goings on and a Goth festival. The Abbey walls are illuminated and you might just see a few corpse brides amongst the gravestones.

Finding Fungi. πŸ„

A day trip to Bolton Abbey and a woodland walk showcased a few fungi finds. Not quite sure if my IDs are correct, but here goes….

Funnel Fungi.
Fly Agaric.
Trembling Crust.
Bonnets.
Shaggy Mane Ink Caps.

Thanks for dropping by and enjoy the rest of October. Let me know if you are watching any spooky films or dressing up for Halloween πŸŽƒ in the comments. X

July Round-Up. πŸ’›

Well July has bound by! So hopefully now I can relax a bit , I’m one of those lucky people that get a whole month off work in the Summer. Here is my July in a nutshell.

Reading ~ an actual book! It happened, I picked up a book and persevered. Maybe my reading mojo has returned. ‘The Tsarina’s Daughter’ gripped me from the beginning. Its a tale of indulgence, trechory, lavish luxury, dastardly plots and deadly revenge. Who is friend and who is foe in the Russian Royal Family? The young Tsarevna Elizabeth Romanov has to keep her wits ( and her head! ) in order to survive and gain what is rightfully hers. A sweeping piece of historical fiction that I thoroughly enjoyed.

The Tsarina’s Daughter.

Watching ~ another Channing Tatum film. Yep , he seems to be everywhere at the moment. Not that I’m complaining! Also Sandra Bullock ( who looks amazing) and Brad Pitt ( still got it) star in The Lost City . Definitely taking inspiration from ‘ Romancing The Stone’ and ‘Indiana Jones’, except with Sandy B in a figure hugging purple sequinned number, this is an amusing and rip roaring watch. Buy in the popcorn!

Sandra in a sequin catsuit ~ The Lost City.

Sipping ~ a Candyfloss Cocktail πŸ’“. Yep this was definitely my favourite tipple of the month, and you can read all about my experience at Cloud 23 Here! The Cocktail is called a Metropolis if you fancy trying it yourself.

Metropolis in the Metropolis.

Touristing ~ and generally wandering in the general direction of Hadrian’s Wall which is about 45 minutes drive from our caravan in Melmerby. The most iconic site on the wall is probably Sycamore Gap , where a lonely Sycamore Tree sits majestically in a dramatic dip. Not sure if there is a more photographed tree in the country! We spotted The Sill Visitor Centre and walked up from there. I recommend The Sill for a mooch around the lovely gift shop and a walk up and around their wildflower meadow roof.

We also discovered Talkin Tarn near Carlisle. I wondered if this body of water was man-made, but actually it is a natural glacial lake. It was a bit damp and drizzley on our visit, but still very popular with sailing boats, paddle boards and other watersports. There’s a footpath around the tarn and a small cafe, gift shop and gallery in the boat house. β›΅

Sycamore Gap.
Talkin Tarn.

Celebrating ~ lots in July! Of course there is the fact that England won the Euros ..at last! I am not a sporty person ,but it is brilliant that such an amazing win will inspire all the young girls out there who love to play football. That includes both my god daughters who are eleven and twelve, they play for their local teams in Clitheroe. My niece too had a wonderful moment in July, she played Matilda in her drama group play. And smashed it! Proud family moment. ❀️

Lionesses Bring It Home!
10 Years !

And I can’t go on without mentioning this little blogs 10th Birthday! Can’t quite believe that in July I had been blogging on WordPress for ten whole years. I have loved documenting the good things in my life, sharing places I’ve enjoyed visiting and of course reading all your lovely blogs. The blogging community are such a supportive and interesting bunch!

To celebrate my 10 Year Blogversary, I am hosting a little giveaway. To be in with a chance of winning the above box of Extra Long Matches ( they are certainly super size! )in a beautiful box adorned with swallows, just leave me a comment below. I will put all names in a hat/teacup and pick one out at random , when I write my next post.

Thanks for reading. πŸ™

June ~ Round Up. πŸ’—

Another month has sped by and half a year has passed already. Crazy or what!

Reading. The only reading I’m doing at the moment is reading about books I might want to read. Haha. Oh and reading blogs of course. 😊 I really need an incredibly short novel to get me started, if anyone has any recommendations…

Watching. Now that I’ve finished 7 seasons of Grace & Frankie ( sob! ) ,I am in need of something else to fill that time in the day between my early morning shift and my late afternoon shift. Of course I do get on with housework and take Hugo out as well, I am not a complete couch potato. Honest! I quickly sped through Russian Doll starring the brilliant Natasha Lyonne , in the first season she gets stuck in a timewarp where she has to celebrate her 36th Birthday everyday. But she also has to die everyday, so not all good. Wil and I watched a film, Dog starring Channing Tatum as a War Veteran assigned to take a War Hero dog to her handlers funeral. Not all runs smoothly on this Road/Buddy movie, it’s an enjoyable ( occasionally hard) watch.

Eating. A Heat-Up to Eat-Up Take-Away has sprung up nearby ,so one Friday night we ordered a yummy platter. Grounded in Clitheroe is hoping to open as a deli shortly too. Can’t wait to buy some more globally inspired nibbly bits soon.

Walking. I have blogged about a walk from Shap in Cumbria and a walk that features wildflower meadows at Slaidburn in Lancashire , this month. Just incase you missed them. 😁 I find myself regularly doing 25 thousand + steps a day at the moment ,due to walking up and down corridors at work and walking the dog.

Animal Encounters. June was the month I held a snake called April. April is a Milk 🐍 Snake. Milk Snakes aren’t venomous happily , their bright colours fool potential predetors into thinking they are dangerous. I did the Animal Encounters Experience again in Melmerby, this time with friends , who were stopping with me at the van. If you don’t fancy getting up close and personal with snakes and hissing cockroaches, there are also alpacas, llamas, ponies, rabbits and goats to cuddle.

Enjoying. Flowers that resemble insects. A couple of beautiful bee orchids are in flower in the quarry area at Cross Hill Nature Reserve , saw them on a dog walk. So bee 🐝 autiful. ❀️

Friends Becoming 50. No not me! Not quite yet. The first of a group of good friends hit the big 50 last weekend. She had a 70s/80s/90s themed party at her home , with a cheesy disco, We had a really fun time. Happy Birthday Jo!

See you in July. πŸ’—

May ~ Round-Up. 🧑

My goodness these months are whizzing by are they not. May seems to have come and gone in a flash! I am currently off work as it’s the Spring Bank Half Term Holiday ( advantage of being a school cleaner) so it’s a good time for me to do my May Round-Up Post.

Reading ~ not that much to be honest. After recently extending my hours at school with five earlies a week, I find myself frankly too knackered to pick up a book. Wrong I know! I have bought The Lake District In 101 Maps & Infographics to take to the caravan. And I shall learn all about Haunted Cumbria, Cumbrian Film locations and quirky Cumbrian place names, amongst other things. Should keep me going for a while!

Everyman Cinema trip to See Top Gun Maverick. As soon as I heard the original soundtrack music I was hooked!

Watching ~ it’s all about good old nostalgia for me at the moment. I’ve been to the movies! We Clitheronians are very fortunate in that we have a fabulous Everyman Cinema in town and May has not disappointed on the film front. I have enjoyed both Downton Abbey A New Era and Top Gun Maverick , they are both appearing on the big screen right now.

On the box my go to show is Grace & Frankie. I am as usual a bit late to the party with this one. Not sure how a witty comedy series starring Jane Fonda & Lily Tomlin escaped my attention until now but I am loving the pairing of uptight Grace and Kooky Frankie. πŸ™‚ Other shows I have returned to in May include Ozark , Bosch Legacy and of course Stranger Things.

A lovely meal at Roundthorn Country House near Penrith.

Eating ~ It is rare that Wil and I spend time up at the caravan without our Black Labrador Mr Hugo, but we did have one weekend in May when we were there without him. It seemed a good time to book a meal out somewhere where you wouldn’t usually take a dog. Roundthorn Country House on the outskirts of Penrith is one such place, there wasn’t a four legged friend in sight. Which was strange for us, though also kind of liberating not eating in front of a drooling hound, eyes transfixed on our dinner. The food was yummy but I couldn’t help missing my boy.

Lowther Castle.
A walk through Cow Parsley.

Exercise ~ Our pet free weekend was all because we actually won a prize! We won half a days E-Biking at Lowther Castle In the Lakes , it was great fun. However I still felt like I had done some proper exercise even if it was power assisted cycling. πŸ™‚ There haven’t really been many notable walks this month, just my normal dog walking routes. I have loved seeing the wild flower displays, the lacey blooms of Cow Parsley have been beautiful lately.

Relaxing at the van.
Lilac Time. πŸ™‚

Enjoying ~ Relaxing at the caravan ~ My favourite area at the van is probably the front bit of decking, which is a real sun trap and perfect for lounging about on a deck chair with a brew. I especially like to look up and watch all the Swift’s whizzing about the sky, now they have returned from Africa. The scent of a lovely lilac bush in the garden there was a real treat too.

~ Friends Reunited ~ On the last day of May it was great to meet up with some friends I haven’t seen for two years. I love how normality has returned at last, I’m not taking it for granted.

Catching up in Holmes Mill.

Thanks for dropping by. Hope your May has been a good one. 🧑

Looking Back ~ Cannes Film Festival & The Monaco Grand Prix.

So the 75th Cannes Film Festival will soon be under way. All the glitz, the glamour, the Red Carpet, the film stars dressed in their finery…

This year Tom Cruise will take the centre stage with his eagerly anticipated new Top Gun Film. I am definitely up for watching it. πŸ™‚

62nd Festival De Cannes.

Well quite a few years ago I was actually in Canne on a festival day. So I thought I would try and reblog my post again. I already have once in 2014! Not sure that reblogging is a thing now though but WordPress has let me share it below.

Please excuse my original post for spelling mistakes and lay-out ~ WordPress is not for letting me Edit it! I will hide my embarrassment behind a film poster of Inglourious Basterds, a film contender for the year I attended, 2009. 😚

During the same holiday we were also in Monte Carlo whilst the Grand Prix was on. My claim to fame ( according to Wil and our friend Andy, I never even noticed ! ) was almost being run over by Lewis Hamilton on a scooter, whilst trying to take a photo!

Click on the link to see my post of the 62nd Canne Film Festival.

https://sunshineandcelandines.wordpress.com/2013/04/10/looking-back-cannes-film-festival-and-monaco-grand-prix/

April ~ Round-Up. πŸ’š

It’s a wrap! April is over and here’s what I’ve got up to….

Chasing Lions.

READING. Again I have turned into a real slow coach on the reading front. I downloaded Amanda Marks memoir of her time driving around Africa in a truck for an adventure holiday company. Tiny Amanda worked in finance and after a mugging by a gang of school kids, she decides things have got to change! I am dipping in and out of this book and enjoying finding out about Amanda’s travels and whether she does indeed, find her inner lion 🦁.

Hacks.

WATCHING. Lots! Here are some shows I’ve enjoyed watching in April.

Derry Girls ~ Ongoing on Channel 4 and All 4. Hilarious comedy about five teens attending a Catholic school for girls during the troubles in nineties Northern Ireland. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Hacks ~ Amazon Prime. An old pro Comedienne and a disgraced young comedy writer team up in this clever slow burner comedy drama. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

The Thief, His Wife And The Canoe. ITV Hub. The bizarre true story of a man who faked his own death to claim the insurance money, whilst continuing to live in the house next door. ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Killing Eve ~ BBC I Player. It’s officially finished! The serial killing shenanigans of Villianelle take a backseat as the characters get their emotive…. and explosive endings. ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Anatomy Of A Scandal ~ Netflix. Timely courtroom drama about a seemingly happily married politician put on trial for scandalous behaviour. ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Life After Life ~ BBC I Player. Be prepared with your hankies if you watch this incredibly emotional war time drama. Ursula, a girl with an incredible sense of deja vu navigates the pitfalls of her life, again and again and again. Don’t think I will ever be able to look at silently falling snowflakes in the same way. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Life After Life After Life After Life …….

What have you been watching recently? Any recommendations?

Toms Table.

EATING. Finally went out for a meal to a popular little bistro in Clitheroe, and my, the food was delicious! See above.

Greatest Days Movie ~ being filmed down that road!

FILMING. Ok I have not actually been filming anything, but Clitheroe was taken over by a film crew for two weeks in April. Along with London and Athens, Clitheroe is one of the locations for new Rom Com Greatest Days ! The movie is about a group of Take That Fans navigating their lives, through the nineties until now. To a Take That Soundtrack. The town was rife with rumours that Gary, Mark and co would actually make an appearance. They will no doubt show up on location in Athens πŸ˜‰ instead.

It was raining and blowing a hoolie when this scene was filmed. And it took 28 takes. Photo from The Sun Online.

So what’s it like when your home town becomes a film set? At first I sought out the action, accidentally on purpose walking Hugo where I thought the filming might be taking place. But soon I couldn’t avoid it. Bursts of Never Forget and Could it Be Magic greeted us wherever we went. Oneday I popped to the market, only to find that nothing was for sale, the stalls had been paid to open as film props. Wil was surprised when a new hardware shop appeared , then disappeared a couple of days later. I bet all the Nineties shop signage did confuse a few people. πŸ˜€

Greatest Days will be out in 2023 !

Dodd Fell.

WALKS & Wainwrights. A favourite walk of mine that I did in April was a circuit of Derwent Water near Keswick with my sister & family. I also huffed up a couple of hills. Dodd Fell above ( see exciting exploring collage) and my favourately named fell Binsey, which really should become the moniker of my next pet. What a cute name. 😘

Pink Cherry Blossom.
Lilac.
Laburnum.

ENJOYING. Spring Blossom ~ My local town is adundant with beautiful blossom at the moment. Gorgeous! Which is your favourite ?

Around Alston.

Discovering New To Us Places ~ Alston is only 20 minutes drive from the caravan ,but we haven’t spent as much time there as another nearby town, Penrith. We’ve been trying to remedy that recently! Surrounded by wild moorland, Alston is known as the highest Market town in England.With cobbles and a market cross, I love this description I found online via Sally’s Cottages Guide To Alston ~ Alston is Steep, Unique and chock-full of charm ! Here’s my mini guide to my own personal favourite bits of Alston so far…….

Alston Wholefoods ~ Ethical Grocers and Delicatessen, famous for their large stock of cheeses.

Mellow Yellow ~ Aladdins Cave of clothes, accessories and gifts.

Hi Pennine Outdoor Shop ~ Outdoor clothing, equipment, maps and giftware.

Once Upon A Time ~ Eclectic Second hand book shop situated in The Alston Emporium.

Saddlers Bakery Bistro ~ Contemporary cafe and craft bakery.

Turks Head Pub ~ Cosy traditional drinkers pub with open fires, Real Ales and dog friendly.

The High Plaice ~ Popular Fish & Chips.

South Tynedale Railway ~ Charming Narrow Gauge Railway to nearby Slaggyford. Run by friendly volunteers. Lovely newly renovated cafe on the platform too.

Thanks for dropping by. 😘

Book Shops And Book Clubs In Films. πŸ“–

If your missing meeting up and discussing all things bookish ( and sharing a few bottles of wine! ) with your book group right now or browsing in your local book shop, maybe you can live vicariously through these films.

You’ve Got Mail ( 1998). In this romantic comedy the owner of a chain bookstore falls in love by email with the owner of a small independent bookshop around the corner. Neither realises that their online pen pals are actually their real life business rivals. Starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan. Watch on Netflix.

The Book Shop ( 2017). In a village in the 1950s a young widow ( Emily Mortimer) dares to open a book shop and faces opposition from disapproving locals. This slow burner is a study of how hard it can be for an outsider to conquer suspicion. Available on Netflix.

The Jane Austin Book Club ( 2007). The novels of Jane Austen are discussed each month by six Californians in their book club. Life imitates art as their situations mirror those of the characters in Emma, Pride and Prejudice etc. An ensemble cast includes Emily Blunt, Maria Bello and Hugh Dancy. Rent on Amazon.

The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society ( 2018). The second world war has ended and writer ( Lily James) strikes up a pen pal friendship with a Guernsey islander who writes about the German occupation and the ingenious ways the islanders hoodwink the invaders, including the introduction of a literary and potato peel pie society. Intrigued she visits Guernsey to put their story to paper and falls in love. Available with Amazon Prime and on BBC I Player.

Notting Hill ( 1999). In real life could a movie star walk into a bookshop unnoticed, buy a book and then fall for the foppish owner. Well probably not, but this romantic comedy put the real Notting Hill on the map and Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant make a charming couple. Rent on Amazon.

Funny Face ( 1957). Funny Face begins in a bookshop, the shy owner is played by the beguiling Audrey Hepburn. Fred Astaire is a photographer who needing a bookstore as a backdrop in a shoot, ends up whisking a reluctant Audrey to Paris instead for a modeling assignment. A romantic musical comedy. Rent on Amazon.

Dan In Real Life ( 2007). Romantic comedy drama starring Steve Carrol as a lonely widow and single father who makes a connection in a bookshop ( Juliette Binoche), only to later discover she is his brothers girlfriend. Rent on Amazon.

Book Club ( 2018 ). In this fun film four life long friends tackle The Fifty Shades trilogy at their book club meet ups. The racy novel soon inspires them to not only spice up their sex lives, but give love another chance too. Nice to see Diane Keaton, Jane Fonda, Candice Bergen and Mary Steenburgen together in one film. Watch on Netflix.

What are your favourite movie Bookshops?

Are you in a Book Club?

Books Read In April 2020.

It is the last day of April and I have read seven books in one month, a record for me! Four are from my library pile, two I downloaded onto my Kindle and one I borrowed from my other half. Have you read any of these?

A still from the film.

Brooklyn – Colm Toibin ( 2009). Young twenty something Eilis Lacey lives in 1950s Ireland, where employment opportunities are few. When her older sister persuades an Irish/American priest to sponsor her in Brooklyn, Eilis embarks for a new life across the Ocean. As an immigrant on her own in a strange country, Eilis eventually settles and encounters love, but a tragedy at home threatens to overturn her new life. A quietly told yet very human tale that stayed with me after reading. ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Mr Scarletti’s Ghost – Linda Stratmann ( 2015). The protagonist in this Victorian seaside mystery is quite unconventional. Mina Scarletti has scoliosis. Her twisted frame provokes pity and even distaste in some, yet also gives her freedom from the expectation of marriage and the restrictions that could bring. Brighton has become a fashionable resort for unscrupulous mediums and Mina is concerned when a certain Miss Eustace becomes aquainted with her recently widowed mother. Quite a slow paced book, but with a satisfying conclusion. I will look out for more Mina Scarletti mysteries. ⭐⭐⭐

Nights At The Circus ~ Angela Carter (1984). Fevvers is a six foot two cockney trapeze artist rumored to be half swan, those giant wings of hers have always helped make her fortune. And here she is performing dates in London, St Petersburg & Siberia with Colonel Kearney’s traveling circus. When handsome reporter Jack Walser decides to pursue Fevvers to write her story, he finds himself joining the eccentric troupe. A bawdy magical delight. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Through His Eyes – Emma Dibdin ( 2018). Billed as a thriller set in Hollywood, I kept waiting for something sinister or exciting to happen, but nothing did. The characters are shallow and unlikeable. My imagination had me convinced that something was going on in the background that wasn’t. All in all quite a disappointing read ,the story follows a young reporters quest for her big break in LA and her obsession with a movie star. ⭐⭐

Prudence ~ Jilly Cooper( 1978). If ever there was a guilty pleasure author, it would be Jilly Cooper. After suddenly remembering how much I loved Jilly Cooper books in the nineties, I quickly uploaded one of her oldies onto my Kindle. And now I remember what a witty writer she is. Her heroine here is very much a seventies Bridget Jones type called Pru. She meets a handsome young lawyer called Pendle ( apparently named after a mountain near his childhood home, Pendle is not a mountain and is in fact a hill very near me in Lancashire, I forgive you Jilly) and he takes her away for the wknd to his ancestral pile, a crumbling old mansion in the Lake District. Prudence soon realises that Pendle’s family are a dotty cast of characters ,who are all completely in love with the wrong people. Jolly and witty. Made me smile. ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Face It ~ Debbie Harry ( 2019). The iconic lead singer of Blondie has at last written her memoir. Interlaced with various fan art and photographs that she has kept through the years, this autobiography though fascinating, is curiously detached when it comes to personal and even traumatic events in the stars life. What does translate is a vivid picture of a seedy sixties & seventies New York, I think readers would have preferred more emotion and personal detail. I liked the photographs and fan art, the fact that Debbie has kept fans drawings and paintings, conveys a warmth she doesn’t share that much in her writing. ⭐⭐⭐

The Secret Garden ~ Frances Hodgson Burnett ( 1911). I am not sure how I missed reading this as a youngster, the enchanting tale set in Yorkshire. Little Mary Lennox ( a disagreeable child) is sent to live in her Uncles sprawling mansion on the Moors after her parents die in India. Used to a lethargic life( and always getting her own way) Mary’s attitude changes for the better after discovering a secret garden in the grounds. Lonely at first ( her Uncle is never at home) , she finds friendship in an old crotchety gardener, a boy who charms animals and a sweet musical robin. And there’s mystery too, whose is the voice that Mary hears sobbing in the night? I love how the story heartily recommends fresh air , growing things and being in nature, very relevent right now. ⭐⭐⭐⭐

I suspect the lockdown has given me more time and inclination to read. Though I know for some people , it has been the other way. Are you reading more or less at the moment?

xx