Showing posts from May, 2009

'Paths of Glory'. Audio Book

'Paths of Glory' by Jeffrey Archer. Audio edition, read by Roger Allam (not Martin Jarvis as in the photo) abridged by Laura Wilson.

George Mallory.
photo courtesy of this site.

A novel focussing on the life of mountaineer George Mallory.A man whose passion was climbing, in fact as a teenager his ability to climb helped to gain him a place at Cambridge University. He was late for his admissions interview and the door locked in his face so using his ingenuity and his climbing ability he entered Magdalene College by it's high wall. His perspective tutors were so intrigued by this form of admission that he was allowed to meet his interviewers a little later than anticipated and so gained his undergraduate place.
George's passion for climbing led him to the University climbing club and eventually to the Royal Geographical Society. Ascending Mont Blanc and various other mountains his ability was brought to the attention of the Everest Commitee who were keen to reach the summit …

The Sunday Salon

Hello Saloners, I hope your weekend is going well. It is a beautiful day here in the U.K.could this be the beginning of a long, hot summer? Yes!!!!she says enthusiastically.
This last week has seen me turn to a new form of reading(I did try this a couple of months ago, with little success). I have been listening to an audio book. One of my birthday presents was a portable audio player and headphones(not the small earpieces I tried before) , plus an audio book. The book is Jeffrey Archer's
Paths of Glory. I had read good reviews about it, so thought I'd give it a try.
This followed 'Mrs. McGinty's Dead', an Agatha Christie which was new to me, but as all Agatha's do, it never failed to amaze me. Her mysteries unfold in the most intriguing ways, I love them.
Anyhow getting back to the audio, it is really working well and the book is living up to my expectations. It is a novel based on the story of George Mallory's Everest expedition. Watch this page for a review…

Oak Apple Day .

Today is 'Oak Apple Day', on this day in 1660 the people of England and Ireland celebrated the restoration of the monarchy. After Oliver Cromwell's rule , Charles II ascended the throne.
The name of the day is significant in the fact that during the Battle of Worchester in 1651, Charles had hidden in an oak tree to escape the Roundheads. That particular tree is long gone , as I'm sure many souvenirs were plucked from it's bark over the years. However the area and in particular the house where it was situated is Boschebel House which can be seen in the photo.

May 29th was also the King's birthday and to commemorate these two events the people wore sprigs of oak leaves.

In 1660, Parliament declared 29 May a public holiday:

"Parliament had ordered the 29 of May, the King's birthday, to be for ever kept as a day of thanksgiving for our redemption from tyranny and the King's return to his Government, he entering London that day." Samuel Pepys.

More inf…

'Happy Birthday' to me!

One year older today, I'm spending it at home with my husband and oldest daughter. It will be a nice quiet day with little work and lots of chocs!!! The photo shows my birthday presents, I am so grateful for them. You may remember I tried audio books a couple of months ago but I couldn't keep the ear pieces in place(I must have odd shaped ears, lol!) well my two younger daughters bought me these with an audio book of Jeffrey Archer's 'Paths of Glory' . Can't wait to try it all out.
The watch was from my husband and oldest girl and it is so pretty. I am a very lucky woman today!
Hope you all have a good day too.

Mrs. McGinty's Dead.

'Mrs. McGinty's Dead' by Agatha Christie.

Take a quiet village, a shifty lodger, a newspaper cutting and a Belgian detective and you have the makings of a brilliant novel; a murder, mystery .
The village of Broadhinny appears like any other, sedate occupants going about their everyday lives. This peaceful existence is broken when Mrs. McGinty is found dead.
Hercule Poirot is keen to delve into the investigation of her death as a rather simple, young man is heading for the gallows. Short, sharp questions need to be answered quickly to halt this execution in which (in Poirot's opinion)an innocent man is going to die.
Press cutting and photographs from previous years are studied with great enthusiasm.

'He was just about to wrap then up neatly again when his eye caught by the heading on the piece of newspaper. It was the 'Sunday Comet' and the date was November 19th. Mrs McGinty had been killed on November 22nd.'

As the story unfolds more villagers are drawn into…

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:

'A secret de Polichinelle is a secret that everyone can know. For this reason the people who do not know it never hear about it- for if everyone thinks you know a thing, nobody tells you.'

from page 211, 'Mrs. Mc Ginty's Dead', by Agatha Christie.

More teasers can be found here.

An Award.

An Award for Bloggers who show
Attitude and Gratitude!
I have just been awarded this lovely award from
Kim of 'Page After Page' fame.Thankyou so Kim.
I'm passing this award onto
Linda. Have a lovely day Ladies!

Musing Mondays.

Today's discussion is the following ---

Do you give gift certificates to book stores as presents? If so, do you give for actual stores or online stores? Do you like to receive them yourself?

I often give book certificates/tokens as presents . I have a few friends who are avid readers and one of my daughters is a fanatical reader. So I know my choice of present will always be appreciated. I have only given actual bookstore tokens as not all my friends are keen on online stores.
Oh yes I love to receive them myself and with my birthday in 2 days time I hope my presents will be book related in some way. (hint, hint , lol)

More book talk can be found

Bank Holiday weather -- I hope not!

It is a Bank holiday weekend here in the U.K.I hope the sun shines on your plans, have a great weekend!

'Wolf Hall'

'Wolf Hall' by Hilary Mantel.

England in 1500, Walter Cromwell a blacksmith and brewer was a cruel and impatient man. His son Thomas; a boy who felt the violence of his father's temper.
'Wolf Hall' is a novel of Thomas'life, how he clawed his way from the gutters of the capital to become King Henry VIII's 'Master Secretary'. Leaving his home in Putney, I use the word 'home' in a very loose way as there were no comforts and no love. His mother was dead and the task of his survival was left to his married sister, Kat. She and her husband , Morgan Williams encouraged the young Thomas to leave home and set sail to France.
The years pass and eventually , with much adventures he is back on English soil and in a prominant position in the court of the King.
His rise to the role of Secretary begins as an assistant to Cardinal Wolsey. This man of the cloth plays a prominent role in the court, but cannot agree to the King's divorce with Queen Katherine…

Booking through Thursday

This week's Booking through thursday is the following -----
What book would you love to be able to read again for the first time?

(Interestingly, I thought that I had thought this one up myself, but when I started scrolling through the Suggestions, found that Rebecca had suggested almost exactly this question a couple months ago. So, we both get credit!)

The Enchanted April by Elizabeth Von Armin
Jane Eyre. byt Charlotte Bronte.
Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel.

'The Enchanted April', I read a couple of months ago and it transported me to a medieval castle in Italy.Reading it was similar to viewing a Renaissance painting , the beauty of the countryside penetrated the words in such a way that I felt as though I really sat among the beautiful flowers on the terrace. A real delight, and although read once I will read again.

'Jane Eyre', this was read a few years ago, I love this story. In rereading it I know some of the narrative will be familiar, and some of the surprise will be …

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 are this week's lines, --------

'Nevertheless, I was , I am, a wife - you see, do you, that it is impossible for me to believe that for twenty years I was a harlot? Now the truth is , I have brought England little good, but I would be loath to bring her any harm.'
Spoken by Katherine of Aragon.
Taken from 'Wolf Hall' by Hilary Mantel, page 453.
More teasers can be found

Musing Mondays.

Here is this week's question,

Do you remember how you developed a love for reading? Was it from a particular person, or person(s)? Do you remember any books that you read, or were read to you, as a young child? (question courtesy of Diane)

My love of reading did not develop till I was in my teens. Early teenage years were filled with
Cherry Ames books. I loved these partly because my Mum was a nurse and I could visualise her in all these adventures.
In my late teens Cherry Ames had really had a significant effect on me (lol!) as I started my own nurse training. Once on the wards, I was introduced to historical fiction by one of the other nurses and this love has grown.My reading of an odd Jean Plaidy book now encompasses many more authors including Alison Weir and Hilary Mantel.
More Musings can be found

The Sunday Salon.

I have enjoyed a good week's reading.
I finished Indiscretions of the Queen by Jean Plaidy. This was the May book for the Jean Plaidy reading group. I wanted to finish it early as my next book is such a monster. Definitley one for the Chunkster challenge;
Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel. I am wallowing in 600+pages of Tudor atmosphere here. It is exceptional, the attention to detail; quite remarkable. The title is the name of Jane Seymour's family home. Although she has only appeared briefly in the novel (I have many pages to read yet)it is living up to all the reviews seen in the press.All the usual suspects, I mean characters are present; Thomas Cromwell, Cardinal Wolsey, the Boleyn family and of course(no show without punch!) Henry himself.
Will next Sunday see me still in the Tudor heartlands? Check out next Sunday's post.
Hope your reading is going well and you all have a good week.

To cheer me up... hope you all enjoy it too!!!

It's a miserable day, rain, rain and more rain, but these two never fail to make me smile!

'Turning out day'

My husband's family have farmed in this area since 1920's. When his grandfather was farming, 15th May was an important date in his farming calender. After months of caring for cattle indoors today was the day they returned to the fields. Some years there would be decent weather before this, but he always erred on the side of caution and refused to 'turn out' earlier, no matter how good the weather. His concern was that frosty nights could return.

The cattle in the photo belong to a neighbouring farmer. They are Belted Galloway cattle (Belties). The beef from these cattle is sold to the oldest restaurant in London.
The Belties originate from the Galloway region of South West Scotland, more information and photos of these unusual creatures can be found
Click on photo to enlarge.

Touch Base Thursday.

I know this is a little late this week, but it's a new forum , here are some details ----

Hi there Reading Group Buddies! We'd like to start something new here at Plaidy's Royal Intrigue : Touch Base Thursday
Every Thursday, one of us (or both) will post a maximum of two sentences from the page we're currently reading in our Reading Group Book; no page number, no spoilers...just one or two sentences.We would like for you, our Reading Group participants (this is open to anyone else who's interested as well), to also share here on our page, a sentence from where you're presently at in the book. Comments, ideas and little hints are welcomed on this page

Check out the site and join in if you can. 'The more the merrier!'

More details can be found


'Indiscretions of the Queen'.

'Indiscretions of the Queen' by Jean Plaidy.
This novel describes the life of Caroline of Brunswick. Her childhood was spent in her native country of Germany and the book begins at the wedding of her sister Charlotte. Charlotte was marrying Frederick William, Prince of Wurtemburg. Caroline was distraught after her sister's absence. Although sixteen years old she still succumbed to temper tantrums if her life was not going well.
Her parents were not in the least caring and loving to her and so she looked for
affection outside the royal household.
One of her greatest desires was to marry for love and have children. When she met an army officer the pair fell madly in love,her mind was full of thoughts of marital bliss.
At the age of twenty her parents decided on her husband , firstly the Duke of York but then George,Prince of Wales(the future George IV) was mentioned and the chance of their daughter becoming the Queen of England was too much for her parents to dismiss.Although Geo…

Booking Through Thursday

This week's discussion is courtesy of

Book Gluttony! Are your eyes bigger than your book belly? Do you have a habit of buying up books far quicker than you could possibly read them? Have you had to curb your book buying habits until you can catch up with yourself? Or are you a controlled buyer, only purchasing books when you have run out of things to read?

What is a controlled book buyer? I can't walk past a book shop or a charity shop without browsing and often buying. I live on a farm, so shopping in the nearest town may take place just a couple of times a week. This is well and good as I sometimes have no control when I check out the book shelves in the charity shops(we have no big book retailers in town) . There is the added incentive to buy , as the 'charity' books can be as low as £1.
My pile of books is far greater than is necessary, but this addiction needs feeding and I can think of far worse habits!
More disclosures of 'bad' habits here.

Summer Vacation Reading Challenge.

Over on
Molly's blog the Summer Vacation reading challenge is due to begin next week. There is still time to sign up for it , but the last day is Friday 15th May. All who sign prior to Friday have the chance of winning a prize. The challenge runs from 22nd May till 7th September.

Here are the details,
Beach Bumb: you will read 3 books during this time frame (a leisurely book-a-month); cross-over book selections from other challenges may count; and you do not have to list books in advance -- after all, summer vacation is a time for spontaneity.

Globe Trotter: you will commit to reading 6 pre-selected books during this time frame, but you may substitute up to 3 books due to changes in travel plans. Cross-overs for 5 out of the 6 books are allowed, but ideally one book will be read for this challenge alone.

Literary Genres: I personally enjoy travel memoirs, but you may read any literary genre that you enjoy - provided it allows you to "travel" to a different locale that you wou…

Award x 2.

The ladies at Royal Intrigue and
Alabama Book Worm have given me this award. Thankyou all so much!

I am passing this award onto the following bloggers


These ladies have wonderful blogs, you will find interesting book reviews and fantastic stitching, do pop over and have a look!

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!

This week my lines are taken from 'Indiscretions of the Queen' by Jean Plaidy. page 280.

'And the Prince Regent with that elegance and savoir-faire which Caroline could never hope to understand, let alone emulate, rose turning to face her and gave the house and Caroline the benefit of that elegant bow which was the admiration of all who beheld it.
It was an evening of triumph for Caroline and of exasperating humility for the Prince.'

More teasers can be found here.

This book is May's choice in the Jean Plaidy reading group.

Musing Mondays

Here is today's discussion -------
Have you ever finished a book, then turned around and immediately re-read it? Why? What book(s)? (question courtesy of MizB)

My answer --------
I haven't reread a book immediately on finishing. However, one or two have been reread after a couple of years. The ones that come to mind are my Jean Plaidy and Charlotte Bronte books. I love historical fiction, consequently
Jane Eyre and
Murder Most Royal and
The King's Confidante were all rereads , the latter was read as part of the
Jean Plaidy reading group for April and was known as 'St Thomas' Eve' on the first read.

These books were exceptions though, as my tbr pile is quite high with first time reads I think it will be quite a while before I resort to rereading old favourites, but it is comforting to know they are still there' waiting in the wings.'

To join the discussoin and read more posts check out
Rebecca's blog.

The Sunday Salon.

Hello Salonistas, hope the past week has treated you well. My reading seems to have slowed a little lately with only one book finished this past week. You can read my review here It was a good read and is one of my favourite genres.
The month of May is well and truly underway and so my thoughts drift to Summer;warm weather and summer reading. On reading various blogs I came across
Summer Vacation Reading Challenge on Molly's blog. So although I am not expecting to be boarding any planes, boats ot trains to far away lands my choice of books for this challenge will be a great substitute.
If, like me, vacations are spent closer to home this year let books be your mode of transport.

This challenge will get more blog coverage during the coming week, so watch this space!

Hope you all have a good week.


'Nightshade' by Paul Doherty.
'Ad audiendum et terminandum --- to hear and finish the business.
Letter of Edward I , 19 November 1303.'

Set in the reign of Edward 1 this novel follows the investigations of Hugh Corbett in January 1304. Hugh is a devoted emissary of the King and as such is sent on another dangerous mission.
A precious, jewelled cross, known as The Sanguis Christi, has been stolen from the Knights Templars and an unscrupulous lord is at the center of it's disappearance.

'According to legend , the rubies were embedded in the True Cross found by Empress Helena a thousand years ago.'

Running parallel to this tale is the terrifying bowman , Sagittarius. .

'I am the other meaning of nightshade. Do you know it priest? It is that time of the night when the darkness grows a little deeper and the demons lurk.'
'I am God's judgement priest.'

Running amoke through various communities his terror is heralded by the sound of a hunting horn , at…

Booking through Thursday

Today's discussion is the following --
Suggested by Vega:

Last Saturday (May 2nd) is Free Comic Book Day! In celebration of comics and graphic novels, some suggestions:

- Do you read graphic novels/comics? Why do/don’t you enjoy them?
- How would you describe the difference between “graphic novel” and “comic”? Is there a difference at all?
- Say you have a friend who’s never encountered graphic novels. Recommend some titles you consider landmark/”canonical”

My answer --
I don't read graphic novels, I have not seen much evidence of them over here in the U.K. The odd one I've spotted has been similar to stories in a women's magazines but perhaps a little longer. Although I'm not against the weekly/monthly publications I prefer a longer read with a book.
As a child I loved comics, 'Princess', 'Diana' and 'Bunty' , who can remember the' 4 Mary's' in the Bunty? Great fun!
My answer is very negetive, I'm afraid so therefore I wouldn't h…

An Award

Jenny has given me this lovely blog award.Thankyou so much Jenny.
So I am passing it on to the following people ----
Elaine .

These blogs are always good to read, music, books and even Border Collies are all covered here. Drop by and see for yourself .

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 my answer for this week,

'Although Ranulf was close to him, Corbett felt a prickly unease: the shifting shadows, the pallid light, the sense of ominous brooding and lurking menace. A mood not helped by the odd scrap of wall painting depicting the horrors of hell or the battered, snarling faces of babewyns, gargoyles and exotic beasts carved on corbels and plinths.'

from page 122, 'Nightshade' by Paul Doherty.

more teasers can be found

Musing Mondays

Today’s MUSING MONDAYS post is about your tbr pile…
How many books (roughly) are in your tbr pile? Is this in increasing number or does it stay stable? Do you ever experience tbr anxiety in the face of this pile? (question courtesy of Wendy)
This is todays discussion.
Well I have counted my NEAREST tbr pile and there are six books(see above). This pile is kept in the lounge but I know there are more upstairs.
It is always an increasing number, everytime I visit the library I come away with an armful, so the numbers are always fluctuating.
This doesn't cause me any anxiety, as I love books.
More book 'talk' can be found

An Award

I have received this award from BookfanMary.
Thankyou so much Mary.
Listed below are the requirements for sharing.

'The only requirement for this award is that you shared it with whomever you like, sharing the love is always a good thing. The blog has to show only one characteristic, caring. So, start sharing this enchanted award with five other bloggers. Let your bloggers know they have received this enchanted award. (Remember, fairies are fickle wee things, don't incur their displeasure by ignoring their gift). '

The blogs I am giving this award to are --
Carol, from Charli and me.
Margot from Joyfully Retired.
Susan from You can never have too many books.
Barbara from Ramblings from an English Garden.
Tara from Books and Cooks.

The Sunday Salon

My reading this week has been mostly from Elizabethan England. The latest Jean Plaidy (that is the latest I've read) is set in the time of Elizabeth 1 . It centres around her friendship/fascination with
Robert Dudley.
That finished I thought I SHOULD do some housework , but wait , look what was being shown on t.v. yesterday, 'Shadowlands'. Having seen this many times I still was drawn to watch it , so the duster and hoover remained idle whilst I became engrossed in the life of C.S.Lewis. Anthony Hopkins and Debra Winger star and I really recommend it. I'm not going to review it as I don't want to spoil the plot for others but try and get hold of a copy.
From then my thoughts turned to C.S.Lewis' 'Narnia' books, and in particular 'The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe', my girls loved these books many years ago, and after much searching I found a very bedraggled copy. Well at least it's condition proved it had been loved , and I sat down to read.…

Gay Lord Robert.

Gay Lord Robert by Jean Plaidy.

This Tudor novel concentrates on the life of Robert Dudley. His rise to power in Elizabeth 1's England reads like a fairytale. Both his father and grandfather were executed on Tower Hill. His father, now an orphan was raised by Sir Richard Guildford.In time Robert became attracted to Jane, Sir Richard's daughter, eventually they marry and have many children; including the ill-fated Guilford Dudley who married Lady Jane Grey and
Robert who was the youngest of the family and as such was indulged. His father, known in courtly circles was keen to introduce his son to royalty. Consequently Robert met Princess Elizabeth. The attraction they held for each other continued through life in good times and bad. Both imprisoned in the Tower they found a way to communicate, and their friendship blossomed. But Elizabeth's aim was to rule , all other aspects of her life were secondary.

'She was cleverer than Robert; he was merely a man, with a man's ap…

On the farm in May.

May on the farm is a quiet time now that lambing is nearly finished, there are still one or two stragglers left but most of the ewes and their growing lambs are out in the fields.My daughter is still feeding her pet lambs , but they are gradually being weaned onto sheep feed. The grass has started to grow and so we breath a sigh of relief as Winter is over again.
During this month the sheep are relieved of any dirty wool (this is called dodding or dagging)this helps enormously by keeping the fleeces clean for next month's work of shearing. As the ewes are spruced up the lambs are marked with the farmer's indelible mark , in the hope that non go astray. Once this work is completed they hopefully enjoy some May sunshine.
It is a good time to tackle any maintenance work and so I often see my husband carrying fencing posts and tools to repair damages in fences and stone walls that have occurred.