Showing posts from April, 2009

Poem in my pocket.

This is a favourite of mine, primarily because I married a shepherd but also it highlights my love of the countryside.

The Passionate Shepherd to his Love

Come live with me and be my love,
And we will all the pleasures prove,
That valleys, groves, hills, and fields,
Woods, or steepy mountain yields.

And we will sit upon the rocks,
Seeing the shepherds feed their flocks,
By shallow rivers, to whose falls
Melodious birds sing madrigals.

And I will make thee beds of roses,
And a thousand fragrant posies,
A cap of flowers and a kirtle
Embroider'd all with leaves of myrtle:

A gown made of the finest wool,
Which from our pretty lambs we pull;
Fair lined slippers for the cold,
With buckles of the purest gold:

A belt of straw and ivy buds,
With coral clasps and amber studs;
And if these pleasures may thee move,
Come live with me and be my love.

The shepherd swains shall dance and sing
For thy delight each May morning;
If these delights thy mind may move,
Then live with me and be my love.

Christopher Marlowe

Do join…

Booking through Thursday

Today's discussion is ----

Which is worse?

Finding a book you love and then hating everything else you try by that author, or

Reading a completely disappointing book by an author that you love?

This is not easy.I can only comment on one of the questions --- The only book I can remember to fall into this category(ie, an author that you love) is 'Instances of the Number 3' by Salley Vickers. I had read her two previous novels; 'Miss Garnet's Angel' and 'Mr Golightly's Holiday' and thoroughly enjoyed them.

'Instances of the Number 3' was one of those books I couldn't get into to, I perservered for half the book but then recognised defeat.
More book 'talk ' can be found

Teaser Tuesdays

Grab your current read
Open to a random page
Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Here is mine for today ,
'Traders had left their shops or stalls in Candlewick Street, East Chepe and the Poultry; horse-dealers were coming from Smithfield Square; the goldsmiths from Lombard Street, the mercers of Chepe-side had deserted their houses, realizing that there could be little business at such a time . Apprentices, risking a whipping, crept out after their masters, determined to see what could be seen on Tower Hill that day.'

from 'Gay Lord Robert' by Jean Plaidy page 9.

More teasers here.

Musing Mondays.

This is the discussion over on,Rebecca's blog,

Do you read non-fiction regularly? Do you read it in a different way or place than you read fiction? (question courtesy of Diane)

My answer is simply ,' no', I don't read non-fiction on a regular basis. I own quite a few cookery books and they get the most airing from the non-fiction shelf. There are a couple of gardening books in the house, but by looking at the garden you'll realise their pages are not turned on a regular basis.
Being employed as a nurse many years ago I've kept all my nursing/medical books and these prove tempting when an illness is discussed , too tempting at times , you know the old saying 'A little knowledge is a dangerous thing'!!!

Fiction is definitely my favourite.

More non-fiction 'talk' can be found here.

The Sunday Salon

Another week gone by, we are nearly into May, can you believe it?

During the last few days I have read
The King's Confidante, an excellent Jean Plaidy book. I find all her books a brilliant read and am now tempted to choose another from my shelf.
Years ago I started collecting J.P.'s books; so I have narrowed it down to
The Sixth Wife or
Lord Robert. .
The latter being centred on the life of Robert Dudley , in the court of Elizabeth 1. My fascination of Tudor England has been rekindled lately due to the fact that much information is published to mark the 500th anniversary of Henry 8th's accession to the throne. I can't say I'm a fan of the man himself but tales of his court are compelling.
One book that I am eagerly waiting for is Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel. Published this week, it's pages describe the life of Thomas Cromwell, in both his early years and life in Henry's court. I've read many reviews and am keen to see the postman in the next few days.

Well that…

Not your average shopper!!!

The King's Confidante

'The King's Confidante' by Jean Plaidy.

This novel is the story of Margaret, the daughter of Sir Thomas More.

'And who is this man who dares oppose us?' demanded the King. 'Who is this Thomas More? Eh? Answer me that.' These dramatic sentences begin a novel set in the reign of Henry V111.
Thomas More was a lawyer and adviser to the King. This book follows his life from his residency in a monastrey , through his married life and finally his brutal death. His demise could have been prophesied by many in his attitude to Henry's forthcoming marriage . Thomas did not support the King in his attempt to denounce his marriage to Katherine of Aragon and to wed Anne Boleyn. This became Henry's quest and as such anyone found to disagree was regarded badly.

'This King of ours is a mighty lion who does not know his strength. ...
'...what matters it if we serve our country well?- it is the duty of such men to suppress their personal desires. And if we do not , …

Friday Funny.

This feline comfort NOT recommended!!!

Courtesy of
this site.

Saint George's Day

St. George's Day

The Flag of England is the St George's Cross. The red cross appeared as an emblem of England during the Middle Ages and the Crusades and is one of the earliest known emblems representing England. In the 13th century St. George became the patron saint of England .

To mark this day the Latin Mass Society held a sung Mass at Ushaw College,near Durham, as well as celebrating this Saint's day , today was the culmination of a training course for priests studying the Traditional Latin Mass at the college. My husband and I attended this Mass and it was a wonderful service, in an awe-inspiring chapel.

Today is also a special day for my youngest daughter's boyfriend ------- HIS BIRTHDAY!!! So many happy returns to G. (and no his name isn't George!!)

A Cute Panda...

... an award.
Rebecca of 'One More Page' has kindly given me this award.Thankyou Rebecca.
The award is for comments and commenters. Over the last year I have tried to be more confident with posting my thoughts , however I feel there is still room for improvement in both the frequency and content of my comments. That being so I am thrilled to receive this award and am passing it on to the following bloggers who never pass this way without a quick word. These visits are much appreciated, thankyou all.
Bookfan Mary

Teaser Tuesdays

Grab your current read
Open to a random page
Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
My Teasers:

'Margaret realized that the change came from an unexpected quarter, as such changes usually do. A German monk named Martin Luther had during that eventful year denounced the practices of the monks and the Catholic Church, as Erasmus had denounced them before him; but whereas Erasmus mildly disapproved, this man was bold and passionate in his denunciation;and whereas Erasmus had taken refuge behind his scholarship and attacked with an almost lighthearted cynicism, the German monk did so with passionate indignation; whereas Erasmus had written for the initiated, Luther was fulminating for the multitude.'


Musing Mondays.

This week's question --
Coming towards the end of April, we’re a third of the way through the way through the year. What’s the favourite book you’ve read so far in 2009? What about your least favourite? (question courtesy of MizB)

Can you believe that we are nearly a third through the year, it's scary, the shops will have the Christmas cards in soon, (I hope not!)

My favourite books, read during the last few weeks , there are many but I've narrowed it down to two;

The Enchanted April by Elizabeth Von Armin. This book transported me to Italy. The descriptions and witty dialogue lifted my spirits on cold April days, a real treat for the senses.
My second choice is Black Diamonds by Catherine Bailey. A non fiction book, I don't normally choose these, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. As the book progressed the reader followed the fortunes and misfortunes of the Fitzwilliam family in Derbyshire. The Earl Fitzwilliam was a colliery owner and the book desribed the social conditions of…

The Sunday Salon

It's two weeks since my last visit to the salon.Since then a few pages have been turned and good stories digested, namely,
84, Charing Cross Road, a book in two parts, the first part a catalogue of letters and the latter; diary entries. Well worth a read.

My thoughts then turned to Spring and I wallowed in the delights of Italy in
The Enchanted April. This was a book to savour , the witty dialogue and the wonderful scenery really fired my imagination. I loved it, if you haven't read this book, READ IT, you won't be disappointed.

My final read of the fortnight was, Death in the Stocks a murder, mystery by Georgette Heyer, turned out to be a good story with just the slightest hint of 'Bertie Wooster', great fun!

What will this next week bring? Well I've already started my reading group noveland this will take up most of my reading till the next Salon visit.

Hope you all have a good week.

Friday Funny.

Courtesy of
this site.

A voice to brighten your day...

Death in the Stocks.

'Death in the Stocks' by Georgette Heyer.

A murder, mystery novel. The story is set around a quiet English village, and the death of one of its residents. A man that owned a weekend cottage and appeared to lead a very affluent lifestyle is found murdered.
The victims family are obviously drawn into the investigations , these in their own way appear to hamper the inquiries.

'I'll try ,' said Giles gravely,' but I'm afraid she hasn't much of an opinion of the police. You see, she breeds bull-terriers, and they fight rather.'

The book itself seemed to mirror a' Bertie Wooster' plot as there were many eccentric people involved. As the story developed family feuds were uncovered and long lost relations made an unwelcome return to the family circle.This complicated the police investigation even more , consequently the police need the help of someone closer to home.

This is the first Georgette Heyer mystery I have read and I really enjoyed it and theref…

Teaser Tuesdays

Grab your current read
Open to a random page
Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
My Teasers:

'I'll thankyou not to make personal remarks about me, Mr. Roger! What have you come home for, that's what I'd like to know?'

page 163, 'Death in the stocks' by Georgette Heyer.

More teasers can be found

Musing Mondays.

This week's discussion is the following ----

How do you respond to the comments on your blog? Do you try to email individually or comment on post yourself answering the comments above? What do you think is the best way to respond to comments and do you respond to all of them? Do you feel slighted if you don't receive a response back from the blog owner? (question courtesy of Jenn)

Well. firstly I have to say I LOVE comments, the more the merrier! All comments are very welcome and I usually try to answer on my own blog , if an answer is needed. I haven't tried to email my replies although I know it's an option in some cases, perhaps this is something I should consider.
I usually only address the comments needing a reply. I realise many people have busier lives than myself , consequently if I don't receive a reply I am not peeved.
More thoughts can be found here.

Who needs Easter eggs...

when you receive such a lovely award.

This was waiting for me in my comment box this morning.Thankyou so much
Here are the words that accompanied the award, words that I don't feel my blog is worthy of.

“This blog invests and believes in the Proximity - nearness in space, time and relationships. These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in prizes or self-aggrandizement! Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers!”

This is a very kind gesture and I pass this on to the following bloggers who spread friendship in the blog world.
There are many who I could pass this onto, but there are not enough hours in the day to lost them all so here are just a few,


Gracious Hospitality.

Loopy Lou.


Keep up the good work ladies, your blogs are always so cheerful and friendly;a pleasure to read.

The Enchanted April.

‘The Enchanted April’ by Elizabeth Von Arnim.

After answering an advertisement in ‘The Times’ four women spend a month in San Salvador. These four, are very different in temperament and lead very different lives. As strangers they are embarking on an exciting journey. To reap the benefits of their stay in a medieval, Italian castle they must leave their usual lives, including spouses and be willing to embrace a new climate.
A place where romance and beauty seem the norm…

‘They passed along another flat bit of path, with a black shape like a high wall towering above them on their right, and then the path went up again under trellises, and trailing sprays of scented things caught at them and shook raindrops on them, and the light of the lantern flickered over lilies…’

Amidst this backdrop of beauty their personalities clash and when even more visitors arrive at the castle the conversation becomes strained, but eventually therapeutic.

‘That first week the wisteria began to fade, and the flowe…

Easter Sunday.

He Is Risen. Wishing you all the joys and blessings of Easter.

Good Friday

My God, I love Thee; not because
I hope for heaven thereby,
Nor yet because who love Thee not
May eternally die.

Thou, O my Jesus, Thou didst me
Upon the cross embrace;
For me didst bear the nails and spear,
And manifold disgrace.

And griefs and torments numberless,
And sweat of agony;
E’en death itself; and all for man
Who was Thine enemy.

Then why, O blessèd Jesus Christ
Should I not love Thee well?
Not for the hope of winning heaven,
Nor of escaping hell.

Not with the hope of gaining aught,
Nor seeking a reward,
But as Thyself hast lovèd me,
O everlasting Lord!

E’en so I love Thee, and will love,
And in Thy praise will sing,
Solely because Thou art my God,
And my eternal King.

Courtesy of this site.

Maundy Thursday

'The Lord Jesus, after He had supped with His disciples, washed their feet, and said to them: Know you what I , your Lord and Master, have done to you? I have given you an example, that you also may do likewise.' John 13. 12,13,15.

Calling all historical fiction lovers...

Over on Royal Intrigue there is the start a monthly reading group, which will discuss the novels of Jean Plaidy. She has written many books and after reading quite a few I can honestly say that she weaves a great story around well researched facts.
The book for April is 'The King's Confidante', a re- release , it was initially penned under the title of 'St. Thomas' Eve'. Pop on over to Royal Intrigue and check it all out. Good books are just waiting to be read.

84, Charing Cross Road.

'84, Charing Cross Road' by Helene Hanff.

This book follows the true story of a friendship between a scriptwriter from New York and a bookseller in Charing Cross Road, London WC2, which spanned 20 years.
The book is written in two parts; the first , being a collection of letters and the second entries from Helene Hanff's diary.
When Helene Hanff contacted 'Marks and Co.' 84, Charing Cross Road in October 1949, I'm sure she had not envisaged her correspondance to last so long. In writing the first letter , wishing to purchase secondhand books she began a friendship with the bookshop's chief buyer, Frank Doel. As the years progressed and more and more books were bought , her correspondance encompassed Frank's family and other members of the bookshop's staff.
The friendship between them all blossomed and Helene was encouraged to visit London and the shop. Many times she declined the invitation, mostly due to lack of funds . However, in June 1971, some 20 +…

Teaser Tuesdays.

This is what is involved -------
Grab your current read, share 2 sentences from anywhere on a random page. Add the title and author, but no spoilers please!

So here are my sentences,
'The cherry trees and peach trees were in blossom,- lovely showers of white and deep rose-colour among the trembling delicacy of the olives; the fig-leaves were just big enough to smell of figs, the vinebuds were only beginning to show.'
page 81, 'The Enchanted April' by Elizabeth Von Armin.

More teasers can be found

The Sunday Salon

So another week flies by, I 'm so pleased it's Easter Sunday soon. I am dying for chocolate. Every year I try and think of something different to give up for Lent and each year I resort to the same thing. I know that the idea is to sacrifice something that is special to you ,and believe me I am a chocoholic!! However, sometimes I do think I must expand my repertoire of sacrifices! So next Sunday I'll probably miss the 'Salon' as my hands will be too full of chocs!
Anyhow that's next week . this past week saw me polish off an
Anita Shreve novel and I am nearly finished '84, Charing Cross Road' . I'll probably finish this today and hopefully get the review written. Anita Shreve's' A Wedding on December' was a good read. I have a few of her books , but would rank this one up there with 'The Pilot's Wife' , which was my first Shreve read . An excellent book.
The movie '84, Charing Cross Road' , sprung to mind when I saw this…

A Wedding in December.

'A Wedding in December' by Anita Shreve.

This novel centres around an inn in Massachusetts,a wedding invitation and a class reunion. The guests, a group of ex students(all now in their 40's) are attending a classmates' wedding and enjoying the inn's facilities for a weekend. The inn is owned by one of the friends, Nora and she is happy to host the wedding weekend for her friends, Bill and Bridget.
During the weekend as well as preparing to meet long lost friends and attend meals and the wedding service they all muse on the absent one; a friend missing from their lives for many years. Each one has their own input as to this situation and as their discussions unfold more revelations are discovered. All these people live very different lives, and all have their own personal problems to confront; Nora, is a lonely, childless widow, Bridget is unwell and Harrison although appears to be happily married is drawn to one of the group.
Agnes, a single teacher is longing for fulf…

Booking through Thursday

This is the discussion for today,
Suggested by Barbara:
I saw that National Library week is coming up in April, and that led to some questions. How often do you use your public library and how do you use it? Has the coffeehouse/bookstore replaced the library? Did you go to the library as a child? Do you have any particular memories of the library? Do you like sleek, modern, active libraries or the older, darker, quiet, cozy libraries?

My answer is here,
I usually visit the library every week, after my shopping trip a good look round the library is a treat. The largest nearby town has a coffeehouse/bookstore , and I do frequent that too , but as the library is the nearer I prefer it.
I used the school library as a child , there wasn't a council one where I lived.The building is not foremost in my mind when visiting as the books are the thing but after saying that I prefer older buildings in general I feel they have more character.
More library talk can be found here.

On the farm in April.

April 1st. finds us right in the middle of lambing. Most of the mule ewes are delivered and the Swaledales are due to start 'popping' in a couple of days. It has been a very busy few weeks with over 200 sheep lambing but the spring sunshine has helped greatly. Today is another beautiful sunny day and if this lasts for a few more weeks our lambing will be the warmest for many a year. I remember April ,I think it was 1992 , and I wore t-shirt and jeans to feed my pet lambs, no t-shirts have been worn for that purpose since!
As you can see from my photo the task of feeding pets has now been passed on to my daughter. She is very capable when dealing with any aspect of lambing , a real asset to the farm.
So that's how the farm stands at the beginning of the month. During April hopefully all the ewes will have lambed and most of the pet lambs will be weaned off the bottle and be onto solid food. So the shepherd's work continues dealing with pregnant ewes and those already lamb…