Showing posts from April, 2008

New Reading Challenges

How's this for a challenge.Becky's challenges

I'm in for the Brontes.

Word filled Wednesday.


ABC Wednesday

O is the letter of the day . This is one of my favourite musicals, the songs, dancing and music are wonderful. One of my closest relatives took the role of Nancy in an amateur production a few years ago and every time I watch this movie I can see her on the stage. Fantastic!

'Miss Austen Regrets'.

'Miss Austen Regrets' was a drama I watched on BBC1 last night. It followed the life of Jane Austen in her trials of getting books published and her personal life.Her family's lack of money and the advice she gave to her neice Fanny. At the beginning of the programme you saw accepting a proposal of marriage only to withdraw it the following morning. I don't know if it was true to life as I haven't studied her,, but I did enjoy the programme. Anyone else see it, I'd appreciate your comments.

If you missed it, it can be bought

The Sunday Salon. 'My Heart is my Own'.

Today my reading has incorporated a new book. 'My Heart is my Own', by John Guy. It is a biography of the life of Mary, Queen of Scots.In some ways this follows on from last weeks post about 'Revelation' ,which was set in the time of Henry V111.
Review here.
Having just started reading this book, I have covered her birth in a turbulant Scotland in 1542. Her father was James V of Scotland and her mother Mary of Guise. Wars within in British Isles were prevelant during Henry V111'S reign.His aim was to conquer French territory(a quest dating back to The Hundred Years War). As James V had married into the French Guise family Henry had to conquer Scotland first.

Mary was born on 8th December, a prominent day in the Catholic year, being the feast day of the Immaculate Conception , that was the reason for her being given her name.

Her father died when she was 6 days old . Consequently her mother was responsible for her formation. Mary of Guise was politically astute and grew…


Always Marry An April Girl

Praise the spells and bless the charms,
I found April in my arms.
April golden, April cloudy,
Gracious, cruel, tender, rowdy;
April soft in flowered languor,
April cold with sudden anger,
Ever changing, ever true --
I love April, I love you.

Ogden Nash


Book Review -'Revelation' by C.J.Sansom. Spring reading challenge.

This murder, mystery is set in 1543 during the reign of Henry V111. Whilst solving murders this novel gives a good insight into the everyday life of the population. Apothecaries, doctors and lawyers all illustrate their professions and consequently the social aspect of life is revealed.
A series of murders and the plight of the inmates of Bedlam are the core of the book, with the somewhat charming and at times vulnerable lawyer Matthew Shardlake acting as detective. As throughout most of Henry's reign religion plays a prominent part.

Although nearing the end of his life Henry was still in pursuit of ladies , therefore Katherine Parr's main thought was to decide on her future.Not only was Henry interested in this widowed Lady but Thomas Seymour was keen to protect her from the lawbreaking side of London life.

This was an excellent book. Not only were the mysteries good but the medical and social details were fascinating. A book that I was keen to finish but not end!

Online reading group.

Becky has started an online reading group. Check it out here,

Booking through Thursday.

Over on this blog, we are asked to state if our reading habits change now Spring is here(although here in U.K. it is not very Springlike). In general I do tend to read a few gardening books at this time of year.I usually borrow the same one from the library every year, it's one of my favourites which concentrates on flowering pots. This aspect of gardening suits my garden.
Regarding fiction, I don't normally move away from my usual genres whatever the time of year. I must try and 'branch' out sometime.

Afternoon Tea anyone.

Ove on 'Gracious Hospitality' , we are invited to post our teatime recipes. Over the years I've tried my hand at many different things, bread, cakes, scones, desserts. One recipe that never fails(both in and out of the oven is fruit scones). I can have them mixed up in a jiff, and 10 minutes cooking and Voila! So here is my recipe. It's from a battered old cookery book, which when the cover was intact was titled, 'Mary Berry's Fast Cakes'. It's so battered I couldn't possibly photo it.

Special Scones.

8ozs. (225g.)self raising flour.
1 level teaspoon baking powder
2oz.(50g)soft margarine
1oz(25g) caster sugar
2oz.(50g) currants
1 egg
Heat oven to 425 degrees F., 220 degrees C., Gas mark 7.

Put flour and b.powder in bowl add margarine and rub in with fingertips till like breadcrumbs. Stir in sugar and currants.
Lightly beat egg, and make up to 1 quarter of pint with milk.
Stir …

I hope this is the start of Spring.

The weather is very good today, quite warm. So I have made a start in the garden, so many weeds. I'm ashamed of it. Hopefully I 'll be able to grow some blooms as this picture portrays. I wish you all a good day.

The 'ownership' of cats.


I'm only a cat,and I stay in my place...

Up there on your chair,on your bed or your face!
I'm only a cat,and I don't finick much...

I'm happy with cream and anchovies and such!
I'm only a cat,and we'll get along fine...

As long as you know I'm not yours...

you're all mine!

Author Unknown

I'm very happy to be 'owned' by mine!
The reason for my happiness is at the bottom of this page.

The Sunday Salon. 'Revelation'.

This is my first week in The Sunday Salon. The book that I have been reading today is 'Revelation' by C.J.Sansom. This author has penned a few books about Tudor England in particular the time of Henry V111 's reign.
This novel's main character is Matthew Shardlake, a lawyer.He is asked to help release a young boy from a mental institution, Bedlam. On his way around the capital he sees the body of a close friend brutally murdered, in trying to solve this crime another is discovered . Politics and royalty play a part in the narrative. Courtiers, lawyers and the poor working man are all drawn into the plot.
I'm only 100 pages into the book (there are 500+) and I'm completely hooked, it's wonderful. You can just about smell Tudor London(not very pleasant at times).

I know I'm going to enjoy the rest of this book.

Patience -------- what's that?

I've been waiting for my library to obtain the new C.J. Sansom's book 'Revelation' . It's been on order for a few weeks, even though the publish date was only 2 weeks ago. Now I say 'only' but I have no patience when waiting for books . So,I'm waiting no longer and I've bought it. Margaret on 'Books Please' (see Places I like to visit) gave it a great review and that cinched it for me. Thankyou Margaret!

The other book on the photo is 'Jane Boleyn, The Infamous Lady Rochford,' by Julia Fox. This looks very interesting . It follows the life of Anne Boleyn's sister-in-law.It is added to my 'to be read' list.

Gracious Hospitality

Ove on Gracious Hospitality it's time to dress for afternoon tea. Here's the link, This sounds such a 'civilised' theme, but unfortunately not one that I participate often. As I work in the counrtyside and the house I'm usually seen wearing jeans and a shirt. However, I'm going to dream a little and this is what I would wear if the dream came true!

Booking through Thursday

This week on the 'Booking through Thursday' blog(

we are asked to describe what action we take on finding a word in text that we don't understand.

Well if I literally can't put the book down then I'll leave the dictionary work till I'm finished. That is as long as I can follow the rest of the book. I'd probably jot it down and keep it in the front of the book.

The Apothecary Rose.

I have finished reading this book today.Written by Candace Robb. It is set in Medieval York. A murder, mystery. It is a good read. The story is centred around the ability of an archer(acting as a sleuth ) finding the murder of an anonymous pilgrim and then a nobleman. Reviews on the book state it is following on from Ellis Peters. This is true to a certain extent, as the apothecary deals in herbs and plants. The story also incorporates the life of the monks in the Minster.

I hope to visit York in a few weeks and will take a copy of the map in the book to see if I can trace any steps.

It is the first in the 'Owen Archer' series and I would like to track down the next book.

This is part of the Another Bloomin Challenge on Esther's blog, check it out here

April ---- Poetry month.

I found a very old poetry book, one that I had as a child. It's title is 'The Silver Torch Series', 'The Jingle Book', compiled by Lavinia Derwent and it was first published in January 1939.

This was one of my favourites,

The Fairy Dressmaker. A little fairy dressmaker Lives in a woodland dell; A bramble thorn her needle is, Her thimble --- a bluebell. She gathers up the petals shed By every flower that grows ---- The daisy,and the columbine, The pansy, and the rose. She stitches them with spider's thread To fairy gowns and things; For buttons she puts tiny seeds, And grasses green for strings. And fast her magic needle flies, As long as it is light, For every fairy lady needs A new gown every night. Charlotte Druitt Cole. I have no children to share this with , please feel free to share with your children or grandchildren.


In my web wanderings I came across this site

It's full of book reviews . My eye was drawn to 'The Redemption of Sarah Cain', by Beverley Lewis. I do like the sound of this, the review was positive . Anyone reading this tried any of her books, I think she's written a few with Amish themes.Your comments appreciated.

Fun Monday

Messing about on the river.

The beauty of Lake Windemere.

A wild and windy day.

'I need my beauty sleep!''Is this close up ok?'

On this site I found Fun Monday. I need fun today, it's been a boring old Monday, shopping , cleaning etc. So here goes, you pick 5 photos and describe them in 5 words.



April shower
It is thundering today
The shower
Makes everything green again
April shower
Washes the snow away
April showers
I reward it
It is refreshing after a hot day
April shower
It won’t last long
And when the rain stops
The thunder will stop also
The sky eventually will clear
And the sun will come out
Everything will be beautiful again

Aldo Kraas

These last few days the skies have been very generous. We have been showered with snow, hail and rain.My hope for good weather will continue!

Booking through Thursday(or Friday)

I've decided to take part in this writing challenge from Here are the rules -----
Pick up the nearest book. (I’m sure you must have one nearby.)
Turn to page 123.
What is the first sentence on the page?
The last sentence on the page?
Now . . . connect them together….(And no, you may not transcribe the entire page of the book–that’s cheating!)

My book is 'The Apothecary Rose' by Candace Robb.A medieval mystery set in York.

1st sentence, 'His voice kept rising.'
Last sentence, 'She gently prised loose his hand, smoothed the hair from his forehead.'

'His voice kept rising.'this is the voice of Digby, a Summoner(Archbishop's legal adviser)who is accused of committing murder.

There is a change of scene in the middle of the page, returning to the Apothecary's house.

In the last line,
'She 'in question is Lucie ,the Apothecary's wife whose husband has fallen asleep whilst writing his recipes in order to pass on to his w…

Look what I found

Among all my recipe books I found this wonderful little book that I had forgotten about.
The author of the book lived in a village in Wiltshire, U.K. which was taken as Meryton in the book and in the 1995 adaptation on B.B.C.

Some of the recipes have great names,

'Mr. Whickham's Indelicate Pudding','Lady Catherine de Bourgh's Brittle Bites or Snaps'.

Thought it may be of interest and although a little late for books on the subject of afternoon tea I'll post it on the Tea-a Thon on Gracious Hospitality(see places I like to visit).

The books author is Margaret Vaughan, published in 1996, ISBN 86123 065 6.

Now I must start some baking.

Gracious Hospitality

This week we are displaying any stitched items relating to Afternoon Tea. I have a couple of embroidered tablecloths.

The squared tablecloth was a gift to my grandmother in the 1930's . It is embroidered in squares and then the squares are stitched together. The stitching between the squares looks a little like a railway line. Which is curious because the lady that worked it was a Stationmaster's wife. I must admit I don't use it it's too precious!

The tray cloth was embroidered by myself in 1961 (I was 9). It's not perfect by any means, but not bad for a 9yr. oldp.s. Excuse the layout I don't seem to have got the hang of this yet.!

Book Tagged

I've been tagged by 'Charli and me'. My chosen book is a medieval mystery, 'The Apothecary Rose' by Candace Robb. There's an image on my book shelf opposite.

'Digby shook his head as if amazed by what he heard. 'A daft way to start out as a Summoner, murdering the Archbishop's ward.'

'Put that way, it was a laughable suspicion.'

I tag the following people with this, only take part if you have the time. No pressure. If you want to take part pick a book with more than 123 pages. Turn to page 123, copy the 6th, 7th and 8th sentences from the top of the page and send them in a tag to 5 people.

Book Review

'The Thirteenth Tale' I'm writing this as part of my 'Spring Reading Challenge.'This is a debut novel from Dianne Setterfield. A gothic novel which concentrates on the relationship of twins. In this book the lives of 2 sets of twins are entwined. It is a sad book at times with mental illness being portrayed throughout the storyline.I felt drawn into the storyand although there were 2 characters telling their own tales, it was easy to follow.Once into the book I couldn't put it down. The conclusion was good, and all loose endings finished off. The message I took from this novel is that all human life is precious and deserves to be nurtured. I will be on the outlook for the author's works again as she certainly can tell a good story. Give it a try.

During the week beginning 3rd May weekly geeks put up a scheme for subsequent reviews so here is another review fo 'The Thirteenth Tale',

Eva's review.
Thankyou Eva.

Here's another one --
Marg'e review…

First Day of the Week

Sunday is a day of rest,
A day to wear your very 'best',
The Lord's day is a special time,
The church bells echo as they chime.

To call us all to worship Him,
And turn away from sorrowful sin.
A good time to reflect and pray,
And prepare for another Monday.

A Hollywood Great

News this morning of the death of Charlton Heston was really sad news. Who can forget 'Ben-Hur' and 'The Ten Commandments', he was wonderful in these roles. Hollywood has lost an actor that will be hard to replace,imho. May he rest in peace.

A week's posting

Well it's been one week since I started blogging. I want to thankyou all for stopping by and posting, it's good to know that my words have been seen. As you can see this blogging is a little tiring for some, but I will be back after my nap!Should that be cat-nap!

Tea Bags.

We are like teabags, Whose strength comes out when we're put in hot water. So, when problems upset you ... just think, you must be God's favourite cup of tea ! source unknown.
On the following site we are all invited to tea. Well to display our teapots, this sounds like fun. The top photo, from left to right, Shows a Tudor theme(Henry V111 and his wives), A Stuart theme (Charles 1)and Elizabethan theme(Elizabeth 1, Walter Raleigh and Francis Drake).I bought them a few years ago, I think there were others at the time but they don't appear to be on sale now.

So here's a teatime poem,

I wish we could sit down together,
And have a cup of tea.
But since we can't
When you have this one
I hope you'll think of me.

source unknown.http//

Pattern reviews

Here is a link to my sewing projects over the last year,">

It is courtesy of This is a brilliant site for sewing and offers friendly advice for most sewing tasks. Take a look!