Book 29: 61 Hours by Lee Child

I’m rushing around like a bit of a mad woman at the moment getting things ready for a visit by some lovely friends next week 🙂 Very happy though but lots to do 🙂 I still managed to read this but really must get back to the humungous ironing pile and the scanner as I have lots of work to do as well!!

61 Hours by Lee Child

61 Hours is the first Jack Reacher novel I’ve read – there are 13 more before this one. The story starts with a lawyer wrestling with a decision after a visit with a client in prison and a bus crashing in snowy Nebraska. Jack happens to have caught a lift on a tour bus with some seniors heading for Rapid City and his army training kicks in and he takes charge of the situation on the stricken bus which has had a crash. Police officers are called in from the nearby town of Bolton but there are things afoot that the town seems barely able to cope with. The prison is a new entity which brought jobs and prosperity to the town but at a price and there also seems to be a motorcycle gang which is causing trouble in what seems to be a disused army installation that no one seems to understand but police suspect is a crystal meths lab.

When Jack and the others arrive in town, there seems to be quite a few problems that the chief and his deputy are up against. There is a dead biker, an old lady who is being protected because she is testifying against one of the bikers and something quite sinister in the atmosphere. Jack is taken into police confidence and is asked to help them work out the situation – all in a very tense 61 hours.

In other news, this is why I can’t move from my desk, precisely, my chair…

Chicken Linkity


Might as well face it, you’re allergic to cats! (Robert Palmer parody)

I found Metronomy via Meet me at Mikes – what a great find! I’ve been listening them to on Spotify since 🙂

Isn’t Spotify dangerous – I’ve been listening to Call Me by Go West! That takes me back to my school days..

… I was totally in love with Peter Cox (that’d be the blond one for the unintiated) in those days.. and I wore legwarmers… Lucky those photos are pretty much lost, eh? I shudder with amusement over those fashions..

Knitty and crochety

Hmmm, I never knew knitting could be so dangerous!



Spring Treasures

Another busy day – where does all the time go? I caught up with my lovely friend H and A and H’s brand new baby son J. I’m in love with J – I confess it – all I had to do was look at him and he smiled at me and held my finger all the way home from the Farm.

Anyway, I’m dashing in to show you my Country Living treasures now I’ve been around in daylight 🙂 I’m very excited about what I’m going to make with them.

These vintage buttons were amazing..

I was totally struck by these beautiful green ones

and these gorgeous gold ones..

The lady who sold me these bits scooped up loads of extra loose ones from the bottom of the bowl for me – she was really kind. I can see a beautiful tiara emerging from these crystally bits.

I love these funny little salvaged pendant bits. There is a lovely violin which I was struck with.

I think I only bought these because I saw a big O in the pearly ones 🙂

These freshwater pearls were a fabulous bargain.

More charmy bits which I’ve got thoughts about 🙂

My assistant doesn’t like it when I’m busy – here she is sitting on the guillotine to give me a hint that she wants my undivided attention. How can I say no?

Book 28: Mister Pip by Lloyd Jones

Sadly my day didn’t quite go to plan and I ended up at the garage having the car looked at so I didn’t get home in time for taking any decent photos 🙁 I also missed the library van 🙁 But the car has had a shiny service which it wasn’t expecting! I got to see the Foorah’s cute baby and meet pao for lunch. The rattling noise was explained (someone had bumped the grill and caused it to make the noise) and the man at the garage was lovely and very pleased for me and my driving test pass.

Mister Pip by Lloyd Jones

The title intrigued me which is why I picked this book up. Great Expectations was the first book I remember reading in high school and really gave me a love of literature.

The novel is set on a remote island in the South Pacific. There is an uprising on the island and Matilda is a young girl who lives in one of the island’s small villages, Bougainville, where life is fairly simple – they have some conveniences but these are getting less as the fighting rages in other parts of the country. The whole village are waiting for the appearance of the violent-sounding redskins and the rebels who are fighting for freedom from the redskins. Whilst this is all going on, the only white man in the village, Mr Watts (also known as Pop Eye to the villagers) starts a school on which they are read a chapter of Great Expectations each day. Reading about Victorian London helps keep the children focussed on another interior world rather than the horrors of the war that is going on around them and soon the whole village is talking about Mr Pip and Mr Dickens.

From the moment this book began, I was waiting for the sadness and loss to come and it did in spades. It was such a profoundly moving read, I understand why it was shortlisted for the Booker Prize. I think I’m going to have to find something fluffier to read as it was such a sad book.

Phoebe is slightly less fluffy now spring has sprung!

I Heart Country Living

Yesterday, my friend R and I went on the high speed train to London-town and went to the Country Living Fair.

What I love about it is the variety of different things to be seen whilst there but the best part of the Spring fair is the flowers.

Aren’t these fritalleria, gorgeous?

Sadly I didn’t take many photos of the wonders this year as I was too busy looking but I did manage to photograph this gorgeous bicycle. Some of the stalls we liked last year weren’t there like the wonderful ribbon purveyor and the French linen company but there were some new and different stalls. Our friend Marti was there again which was lovely to see.

I was going to take some photos of the treasures that found their way home with me but it is too dark and when I got home yesterday I flopped in the most Tamyra-esque manner as I had a sore back and was very very tired. Today we had an amazing family lunch and then had to have a long rest in the conservatory in the afternoon as pao’s still sore and I’m not over my cough yet but I figure I should manage to catch the good light tomorrow especially now the clocks have gone forward for daylight saving.

Book 27: Death of an Outsider by M.C. Beaton

I had a lovely day in London today but more about that tomorrow when I’ve got my photos sorted out and had a chance to put my feet up…

Death of an Outsider by M.C. Beaton

This is one of the earliest Hamish Macbeth novels I’ve read thus far. I’m interested enough in him as a character to read more but not interested enough to seek out the first and read the series from the beginning though. I fancied something a bit fluffier after the two very serious crime novels I read and Hamish Macbeth seemed to fit the bill.

Hamish has been seconded to another police station at Cnothan whilst his colleague goes on a three month holiday with his wife in Florida. He arrives at Cnothan a bit miserable with his dog Towser (I love the names of the animals in these novels) and collared immediately by Mr Mainwaring, an overbearing and difficult ‘outsider’ who comes to report an attack on his wife. Cnothan is quite a close-knit Scottish community who doesn’t like ‘outsiders’, of which, Hamish is one as he comes from Lochdubh but I guess he is lesser an evil than Englishman Mainwaring.

Local fish merchant, Jamie , leaves his storage room and tanks full of lobsters in the charge of reformed drunk Sandy overnight. Sandy drunkenly discovers the gruesome remains of a body in the lobster tank and disappears in a haze with the skeleton and clothes worried about what the discovery would do for Jamie’s reputation and profits. It isn’t long before Hamish’s incompetent superior, Blair, is called in and points the finger at Sandy for the murder of the corpse who turns out to be Mainwaring but Hamish isn’t happy to let Sandy be a scapegoat as there are too many other people who hate the person who was murdered….

No idea what the kittens were doing but they are both determined to try and get under the sofa…

Book 26: Blackwork by Monica Ferris

I have been hard at work this afternoon trying to tidy up the back garden a bit and get it ready for the new crop of seedlings I’ve yet to sow. A bit slow this year but I blame it on the very long winter we had – we still have a bit of frost and I don’t want to kill off any tender young things just yet.

I’m still coughing a lot so have decided to try and boost my immune system with some echinacea drops to see if that makes any difference. pao and I are now on a very healthy diet which should help some too. Anyhow, it is almost the weekend and the sun is shining brightly – hurrah!

Blackwork by Monica Ferris

Blackwork is one of the Betsy Devonshire novels set in Excelsior, MN. I was first introduced to Monica Ferris by Chris and Jeanne in one of their fab packages and have been reading the odd ones here and there. I have really enjoyed them as I do like cross stitch – Betsy’s shop Crewel World is a craft shop with a focus on cross stitch and each book has a cross stitch pattern in the back to try. As well as owning the shop, Betsy is an amateur sleuth.

Betsy has been convinced to be part of a committee organising the Halloween activities in the town. One of the meetings was held at a local microbrewery whose co-owner and brewer was thought to be a witch by the town but really had held to a simple naturalistic religion. The witch label stuck and people were afraid of having spells cast on them by Leona Cunningham. One person in particular was really afraid was Ryan McMurphy who had restored an antique fire truck for the parade. Ryan had been thrown out by his wife for his alcoholism and the night of the meeting, he gets drunk and starts accusing Leona of putting a spell on him (even though he has been banned from drinking in the microbrewery). It is only a day or two that he is found dead and although the coroner pronounces his death to be off natural causes, people are still suspicious of Leona. It is up to Betsy to put the pieces together and work out what really happened.

Tamyra reckons it is time for some sofa-time. Have a lovely weekend!

View from the Frog Pond

Remember this beautiful yarn I had chosen for me from my personal sock club?

Well it looked lovely when I started knitting up some Jaywalkers but I started to feel doubtful about fit as I’d been reading on Ravelry that they came up a bit tight. Dutifully I tried them on and found that, yes, they were a bit tight, too tight to get round my fat ankle. I’d reduced the size even more as I was using 2.5mm needles but realised that they weren’t really going to fit.

So off to the frog pond they went…

I’ve started re-knitting them – with skinnier cuff and larger leg and they seem to fit ok and actually look really really good. I’ve been carrying them round with me for moments when I’m stuck in the car in car parks. So far so good at the moment. I spent this morning driving around different places so I’d get a bit of practice with different car parks etc and with building up my confidence. The car seems awfully big still so I’m still driving into spaces forwards and hunting for areas of car park with no other cars around. It was lovely today though – the sun was shining and I worked my way round some different shops and ran errands I wouldn’t have been able to do without pao before. I even went to TK Maxx which is somewhere pao would have objected to going to and bought a really pretty grey linen blouse. I’m getting there! Huzzah!

Book 25: Presumed Guilty by Tess Gerritsen

Well, my cough doesn’t seem to be improving any and I have kind of figured that there really isn’t a lot of point going to the doctor about it after reading their information sheet. I don’t have an infection any more so presumably am not contagious and there is a lot of it going around as I heard a guy in the supermarket hacking away in the same breath stealing manner I’ve been. The most part of it is that it makes me feel incredibly light-headed after hacking away 🙁 Not fun 🙁

It has been unseasonably sunny and warm here over the past two days and I headed off out in the car this morning after dropping pao off at work (hurrah!) to investigate getting some spare parts for our skylight blinds as they broke quite spectacularly and I haven’t gotten round to finding anything yet but we are having visitors soon so I guess they would like to be able to shut out the light at night! Thankfully I did find a nice company who came out this evening and informed me that it wasn’t me that broke the fitting, the design of the blind meant that the plastic thingy sat in the sun all day and degraded hence the snapping. I might be able to have some shade for full summer – at the moment I’m avoiding working in the morning as it is too hot in the room so working afternoon and part of the evening instead. I have got other places I could go but I have to pick pao up from work so that kind of dictates how the day is going at the moment.

Presumed Guilty by Tess Gerritsen

I am certainly glad that I didn’t give up on Tess Gerritsen after reading a few pages of the Mephisto Club as I wouldn’t have read Presumed Guilty!

Miranda Wood has just ended an affair she has been having with her boss Richard Tremain, a wealthy newspaper boss and he is not prepared to let her go so easily. He keeps calling and calling in to see her, not at all prepared to accept that their relationship is over and she has seen his true colours and doesn’t believe anything he says to her any more. One evening, he calls and says he is coming over and Miranda leaves the house to get some air and try and avoid seeing him. When she gets back though, he is lying in her bed, stabbed to death.

Miranda is the number one suspect in the case and no one seems prepared to believe that she didn’t murder him out of malice as they all thought that Richard had ended the affair and not the other way round. Miranda has no witnesses to corroborate her story and the police believe that the case is open and shut. It is up to Miranda to prove her innocence and seems to have been thrown a lifeline to do this when an anonymous donor pays for her bail but this seeming kindness has put her into mortal danger. Miranda uncovers more about Richard and his family and discovers some terrible secrets which someone is willing to kill for to keep secret.

I really enjoyed this novel. I was really relieved that it wasn’t as scary as the Mephisto Club – it isn’t often that I give up on a book after a couple of pages. I liked the story and it was well-told. I’d definitely pick up another Tess Gerritsen.

Sirius is quite relieved as scary books keep me awake and then I go and wake him up for a cuddle.

Feeling the linkity love


Beware of flights for 50p! 🙂 (Slightly rude!)

Berlin in a minute. Looks a lot different from the Berlin I visited pre-1989.




  • Guinness ice cream with whisky sounds intriguing. I’m not sure if I like Guinness or not so don’t know if making it into ice cream would make it nice or not?