Category Archives: reading

Bronte Connections ~ Cowan Bridge.

In recent days I have written about a village with a movie connection and two villages visited by vampires. This next one has an association with members of perhaps England’s most famous literary family ‘ the Brontes’ .

I have passed through Cowan Bridge numerous times as it sits on the busy A65 in between Ingleton and Kirkby Lonsdale, our usual route up to the Lake District. In days gone by it would have been much quieter, the continuous traffic noise definitely distances the imagination away from the 1820s , when siblings Maria, Elizabeth, Charlotte and Emily attended The Clergy Daughter’s School in the village.

We had decided to stop off for lunch on the way home from Cumbria on a busy bank holiday Monday. I must admit I suggested Cowan Bridge because I thought it may be easier to get lunch there than its more touristy neighbors. I have also always been curious about where on earth the Bronte school is……

It turned out the Tea Room was busy inside, but there was space outside next to the noisy road with the traffic whooshing by. 😅 We just decided on coffee and prepackaged sandwiches and ate them in the pretty seating area.

Afterwards we pottered about the village in totally the wrong direction. Eventually a kind local pointed us toward the original bridge that Cowan Bridge takes its name from. After crossing it we came to a row of old stone cottages. These are what remain of The Clergy Daughter’s School.

An inscription on the end cottage wall reads :

Maria, Elizabeth, Charlotte & Emily Bronte

Lived here as pupils of the Clergy Daughter’s School 18-24 – 25.

The school was moved to Casterton 1833.

Patrick Bronte was a clergyman living in Haworth with six young children. His wife Maria had sadly died a couple of years earlier. Sending four of their offspring to a respected boarding school for clergy children would no doubt have seemed the right thing for this busy man of the cloth to do.

Unfortunately the harsh environment at the school would contribute to the untimely deaths of the two eldest girls. Poor quality food, cold damp conditions and cruel unjust punishments were the norm. Maria, then Elizabeth were sent home suffering from consumption , both would die within weeks of one another. Patrick sent for Charlotte and Emily and they never returned to Cowan Bridge.

A still from the 1944 film version of Jane Eyre.

For Charlotte , her experiences at the Clergy Daughter’s School were to be drawn upon for her novel Jane Eyre. In the book young Jane is sent to Lowood School where she makes a new friend, Helen Burns. Helens and Jane’s life there mirrors that of her and her sisters harrowing time at Cowan Bridge.

Today one of the remaining cottages is available as an attractive Holiday Let , so fans of the Brontes’ can experience a little part of Bronte history. A short walk and you are away from the road noise and out into beautiful rolling countryside.

I am glad the buildings stand as a reminder of how harsh life could be back then, and also as a celebration of what the Bronte family would eventually achieve.

Have you visited any places where the Brontes’ lived, worked or played? 📖

Back On The Tolkien Trail. 🧙‍♂️🥾

Although I’ve posted about The Tolkien Trail on my blog before, I walked it again recently with my sister and family, and thought it worth another look. Undoubtedly this tranquil area of Lancashire inspired J. R. R. Tolkien , he often stayed here whilst visiting his son John who attended Stonyhurst College. The Lord Of The Rings author enjoyed walking in the lovely leafy Hurst Green countryside and local place names and landmarks made it into his writings.

On this occasion we followed the route starting at The Shireburn Arms , the 17th century Inn was named after the rich land owning Shireburn family. A river Shirebourn features in The Lord Of The Rings.

Hurst Green village centre.
A Tolkien quote near The Shireburn Arms.
A glorious clump of Purple Loosestrife. ❤️
Aqueduct.

Our walk very nearly got abandoned. At this point we were meant to be following the riverside but a herd of frisky cows showed too much interest in Hugo the Labrador. We made a hasty retreat up a hill and managed to rejoin the river later.

A house called ‘ Jumbles’ named after Jumbles’ rocks, pertruding stones in the river Ribble.
River depth gage.
Hugo.
Hacking Hall in the background.

The heavens kept opening ( and the sun shone too! ) as we followed the trail. To be honest the walk could really benefit from a few Lord of the Rings inspired sculptures or scribbles along the route, I reckon. Anyway above is Hacking Hall from where the Hacking Ferry boat still operated in Tolkien’s time at Stonyhurst. The ferry was possibly the inspiration for his ‘ Bucklebury Ferry’ .

This old oak is mentioned in The Woodland Trusts Ancient Tree Inventory.
Winckley Hall Farm.
Tree climbers.
Cromwell’s Bridge from Lower Hodder.

Cromwell’s Bridge over the river Hodder may have been the inspiration for Tolkien’s ‘ Brandywine’ bridge. It is named after Oliver Cromwell ,who along with his troops rode over the skinny stone structure, on their way from Gisburn to The Battle of Preston. We followed the riverside up through shady woodland past Hodder court.

Corn crops a long the Holder.
Cuckoo Pint Berry Stalks.
Windey path through the woods.
Up above.
Stepping out.

Eventually we ended up in the grounds of Stonyhurst college, though I didn’t manage to get many photos. And then back to the car parked in Hurst Green. The trail covered 6 or 7 miles in total.

Stonyhurst college grounds from behind.
Alm houses in Hurst Green.

I must confess I have never read any Tolkien, though I enjoyed watching The Lord Of The Rings films. When walking the trail you probably need to research the areas connections beforehand, as there is no signage or information on the route. Nevertheless this was an enjoyable hike around a lovely area. 🥾

Here is a recent post from The Bowland Climber who was in the area too.

The Tolkien Trail can be downloaded online and can be found in numerous local walk books. I used…

Walks Around Clitheroe ~ Terry Marsh.

Books read in May and June.

My reading has slowed right down since those first heady days of lockdown, when I was grabbing anything and everything I could get my hands on. Not a huge amount read in the last couple of months though…

The Spy Who Came in from the cold – John Le Carre ( 1963). Classic British spy novel that I didn’t warm to at all. Set in the cold war ,the plot revolves around agent Alec Lemas as he is sent on one final assignment. He will have to seemingly betray his country in order to turn a high powered German intelligence officer. I just didn’t like any of the characters enough to care much about what happened to them. ⭐⭐

The Bookseller ~ Cynthia Swanson ( 2015). Kitty Miller lives a happy but unconventional life running a book shop with her friend Frieda in 1962. She’s unmarried, has her own flat and a gorgeous cat , she’s quite content with her lot in life. Then one night she has a dream and finds herself happily married, a mother of three children and living in a huge house in the suburbs. Soon the dreams become a regular thing and Kitty starts to enjoy this alternative reality , where her name is Katharyn and it’s 1963. I really enjoyed this story which is reminiscent of the film Sliding Doors. ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Italian Shoes ~ Henning Mankell ( 2009). Initially I thought this was going to be a Scandinavian crime novel, as it is written by the author of the Wallander series. However there is no crime, just a cranky old man who lives a solitary existence on a remote island. One day he receives a surprise ( and a little unwelcome ) visitor from his past, who forces him to face up to things he would rather forget. A physical and emotional journey is undertaken. A slow thought provoking read. ⭐⭐⭐

Last Breath ~ Karin Slaughter ( 2017). This novella is actually a prequel and introduction to a main character in Slaughters detective novel ‘ The Good Daughter’ which I haven’t read. Charlie Quin is a lawyer who finds herself drawn to a young teenager, who like herself lost her mother at a young age. But are things all they seem with her young client, and how far will Charlie go to protect her. ⭐⭐⭐

I’ll Keep You Safe – Peter May ( 2018). Peter May weaves his love of the Islands of Harris and Lewis into another Hebridean detective yarn. This time there is a murder in Paris and a back story set in a close knit but wary Scottish community. There are two female protagonists and not everyone gets their happy ending. A slow burner of a read. ⭐⭐⭐

Although I didn’t read much throughout May and June, I did have a second hand book stall outside the house to raise money for the NHS. We managed to raise £80. Hugo looks like he’s helping in the above photo, in reality he just barked at any passing pooch, which was a bit off putting. Haha, oh well!

Read anything good recently?

Book Shops And Book Clubs In Films. 📖

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

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

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?

Books Read In November & December.

So here’s a brief update of what I’ve read lately. Happily I have rediscovered my local library…..and am determined not to forget it exists, like I have before. We are lucky to still have one! Plus one book was passed on by a friend and one I couldn’t resist buying, because of its lovely cover. 🙂

I ended 2020 having read 31 books of the 40 I had challenged myself to , so not bad going. 🙂


A Story Lately Told ~ Angelica Huston ( 2013).  Apart from seeing Ms Huston in The Adams Family films, I didn’t know much about her, I didn’t know she grew up as part of Hollywood Royalty, abeit in Ireland. Her Dad was the film director John Huston and her Mother a former prima ballerina and model, many years his junior. Anjelica’s childhood was privileged but complicated, with her mother,nanny and brother living in the ‘Little House’ and her father living in the ‘ Big House’ nearby. Anjelica writes in a chaotic but amusing way, this is definitely a fascinating account of her coming of age in an eccentric family.  ⭐⭐⭐



The Guernsey Literary And Potato Peel Pie Society ~ Mary Ann Shaffer And Annie Burrows ( 2008). For some reason it took me a while to get started on this book, I ended up really enjoying it!  Written in letters form, this is a lovely homage to enjoying books and reading and how books can bring you together. It centres round the German occupation of Guernsey during the second world war and is both funny and heartbreaking. ⭐⭐⭐⭐


Losing It ~ Emma Rathbone ( 2016). I thought this would be a short light hearted read when I glanced at the book cover. Well it is short but it’s basically about having your life completely taken over by something , to the point of being so absorbed in yourself , that you make a mess of most things in your life. Hmm. Not very light hearted! Plus the main character Julia isn’t very likeable and quite uncharismatic, she says “Oh Okay” and “Yeh Okay” an awful lot. Nevertheless I found myself wanting to read until the end, so maybe it does have something! ⭐⭐⭐


The Hidden World Of The Fox ~ Adele Brand ( 2019). 🦊 Whatever you think of foxes ( I personally have a healthy respect for them) it looks as though they are here to stay. And hurrah to that! Fox afficianado ‘ Adele Brand’ has studied foxes for over twenty years, and this compact guide( with some nice photographs too) explains alot about fox behaviour, fox facts and myths and how foxes have adapted to live almost any place on earth. A great little read. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐


The Twelve Birds Of Christmas ~ Stephen Moss ( 2019). So this is the book with the gorgeous cover. I love birds and have of course heard the popular carol ‘ The Twelve Days Of Christmas ‘ numerous times. With so many of the lines in the song mentioning actual birds , swans, geese, turtle doves, a partridge in a pear tree etc, it’s maybe natural to assume that the drummers drumming are woodpeckers and the pipers piping are sandpipers. Wildlife writer Stephen Moss takes an in-depth look at all the birds who may have inspired the carol. ⭐⭐⭐⭐
The Corset ~ Laura Purcell ( 2018). If you love your  gothic chillers set in the Victorian age, I can certainly recommend ‘ The Corset’ . Prison visitor and would be reformer , the young, rich and beautiful Dorothea Truelove spends her days playing lady at home. Her only excitement is visiting  female inmates and one in particular, Ruth Butterham, who is young, poor and awaiting trial for murder. Dorothea finds herself drawn in by Ruth’s case. But all is not as it seems. A real page turner! ⭐⭐⭐⭐

The Collector ~ John Fowles (  1963). Lastly a vintage read from the sixties, a creepy tale about a socially inept young man who comes into money and decides to kidnap the object of his fascination, a beautiful student called Miranda. He also happens to collect butterflies and whilst Miranda spends her captivity trying everything in her power to persuade him to set her free, she finds he probably just wants to ‘ collect’ her too….⭐⭐⭐