Book Review – Hugh Laurie

Hugh Laurie: The BiographyHugh Laurie: The Biography by Anthony Bunko

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I was quite disappointed with this read. This was not a good biography at all, with pages and pages dedicated to talking about actors and a few select friends who Hugh Laurie has worked with, and been educated with. His father was mentioned, and I think I learnt more about the senior Mr Laurie than I did his famous son.

This of course raises the question regarding what should be in a bio’s content? Well no need down to minute detail, or sock size, but some kind of background and or reference to inspirational people etc would be a start.

Such a shame as Hugh Laurie is a favourite of mine.Hugh Laurie: The Biography

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Book Review – Hiss and Hers

Hiss and Hers (Agatha Raisin, #23)Hiss and Hers by M.C. Beaton

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Hiss and Hers was my first Agatha Raisin, chosen randomly from the library.

I classify this book as comedy/crime and was a quick and easy read. The story evolves around PI Agatha Raisin falling madly in love with a hunk of a gardener, only for advances to be avoided, and then said gardener is murdered. To say more would be adding spoilers.

There are loads of colourful characters, and I found myself confused at times around who was who and why they were there. That said, the crime was easily followed, not quite easy to believe, but very entertaining.

There are a number of Agatha Raisin books, and I’d read more. Hiss and Hers

(Original review on Goodreads)

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Pied Piper review

Pied PiperPied Piper by Nevil Shute

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Nice little read was this one. The story is about an elderly man embarking on a fishing trip to France. Once there, the inevitable happens, WWII erupts, and feeling the need to be home to do his bit, decides to return to the UK as soon as possible.

Heading home on his own would be easy, but having befriended an English couple living in Switzerland, he is requested to take their 2 young children with him. Believing this would hamper him only slightly, and with little knowledge of how quickly the Germans are moving, he agrees. Within hours things start to go wrong, and quickly the number of children in his charge grows from 2 to 3, and eventually to 7.

As war intensifies, so the routes and transport they need become non-existent. Food too. And of course safety. Left to little more than a broken pram and determination to keep the children safe, John Howard sets out to achieve what many will see as unachievable.

Pied Piper

#amreading

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ONE THING TO BE GRATEFUL FOR ON #WOMENS DAY

A tribute to Women’s day by the very, very clever and witty Niki Malherbe

Niki Malherbe

Cautionary: KINDLY IGNORE THIS POST IF YOU HAVE ANY SPECIFIC OR PRIOR SPECIALIST MEDICAL KNOWLEDGE. I gave up biology in Standard 7.

Happy-Womens-Day-Wishes1

At the risk of revealing anything too private about my life (though it must be said that the concept of menopause, at this stage, is entirely mysterious and reserved for a select few whom I seldom meet or have heard much about) or my husband’s penis, I thought it necessary to impart the discussion I had with my gynecologist last week. It reinforced my belief that unless we talk to people and are excited to explore ideas about life, there doesn’t seem much point in it– though even more urgent for me is clearly the need to write about it.

Before I assumed the indescribably humiliating and mortifying position of undergoing a routine check- up with my Dr. when he nonchalantly says, ‘OK let’s take a look’ and…

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returning to pen and paper

george

When earlier this year we returned to the UK, after living in South Africa for a million years, I was more heart sore than I let on about leaving my girls behind. And despite them being young women, one married, one about to be, both happy, that wasn’t enough to allow me an easy “leave”.  Even before boarding the plane I was wondering how on earth we would be able to stay in touch. How would we be able to deal with not having our treasured meet up for shopping and dinner nights, or go to a movie, or visit a winery in the glorious Cape?  Even an opportunity to sit outside a changing room as they tried on clothes was going to be missed. Even harder would be the “are you home, popping round” calls.

Of course we have Skype and email and Whatsapp, which have been fantastic, and are the three things I wish had been available to me when leaving the UK for SA in the 1980s. Back then it was about pen to paper, email quality to keep the weight and cost down. Red and blue edged envelopes. Licking small, blue, airmail stickers, whose glue would leave you pulling a face, and wishing there was an easier way to communicate!

air mail envelope

And then it struck me. Why not write to them? I like writing. I can throw a few words together. Let’s give this a go. It could be good, just what I need.  And it is.

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Once a week, often Monday morning, I take hold of my pen, sit in a quiet spot, and write. Not pages and pages. Instead I fill a blank card, the sort you buy in a bookshop with beautiful photo images, often purchased from places we’ve visited, or a card that caught the eye at the supermarket. It’s enough space to have a nice chat, without rambling. If there is a little more to say, and space allows, the back is also used. I tell them about what we’ve been doing, what we are planning, and even things I’ve seen which had me chuckling – a lady outside her house, covered in what looked like ash, shaking herself off while yelling at her children to go to their room was one such chuckle moment.

thames-post-box

Writing to them somehow makes me feel as if I’m chatting directly to them, more so than taping at a keyboard. And while we continue to electronically communicate regularly, the writing to them is treasured. As is the moment I hand over the colourful envelope at my local post office. For it’s at that point I know what I’ve said is on it’s way. And as I walk away, I’m already planning my next card purchase, but never the content. That only happens on Monday morning when there is time to reflect on the last seven days.

I’ve lost count of how many cards have been written, but I’m guessing 8 to each of them so far. The aim being for them to receive a letter/card a week. Sometimes it works, and sometimes they get 2 at once. But so far so good. The SA postal system has not let me down.

And then there is a magical moment when I receive a card back. I held one in my hands today and beamed.

And as I did, I hoped they both do the same when they receive mine.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Feeling cheated

We took a trip to visit a UK winery this week, and I have to say I came away feeling mighty cheated. Take a look at the thimble size cup, and even smaller sip of sparkling wine I was given! AND the cup was plastic.

How was I supposed to taste that? Dab it behind my ear with a tissue?! Stick my finger in and lick it?

 

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Caps and being crafty, and Brad Pitt

Something I’m going to do when I get to the UK is a millinery course. There’s quite a nice one at the London College of Fashion, which will give me some basics, and then it will be about exploring and thinking about how I can go forward with this.

Millinery! you may be thinking. Why millinery? Well I like being crafty, and I don’t mind putting hand and foot to the old sewing machine every now and again. Clothes I don’t do, that’s akin to sticking pins in my eyeballs. But accessories I can do.

This will also give me some time away from the writing, and provides the chance to complete something within a few days, as opposed to months and weeks, and even years. Gosh, writing is a long process.

My first hat, probably before I start the course will be a Flat Cap. Odd choice? Not really, I love them, on men and women. And while the usual Tweed is the classic, other fabric could be fun for summer. Floral, check, you name it, you could wear it.

So tell me, what hat or cap would you wear, and what fabric, fun or classic?

#sewing