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John's 2017 thread - A year of Tea & Books Part Eight.

75 Books Challenge for 2017

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1johnsimpson
Oct 1, 2017, 8:04am Top

Please come along and join me on this new thread and have a look at what is going on and let's create a bit a fun.

2johnsimpson
Edited: Nov 22, 2017, 3:48pm Top

Hi I am John and this will be my fourth time with the 75ers and I must say I have made some great friends along the way.

I am 54 years old and have been married to Karen for 33 years, I have two children, Robert who is 30 and lives with his partner Louise and has a daughter Hannah who will be seven at the end of February and a step-daughter Shannon who is 14, and Amy who is 28 and married Andy in October 2015. We also have a cat called Leo who is 15.

I love books and currently have just over 2,300 books on my shelves and this doesn't include my Cricket collection which stands at about 350 books. While reading I do enjoy the odd pot or two of tea and so thought I would combine these in my thread title for this year. In 2017 I will be mixing my reading up and getting some chunksters read as I have missed them in 2016 but wanted to try and reduce my TBR pile and it hasn't worked, lol.

Feel free to pop along and drop a comment or two and join the fun.

3johnsimpson
Edited: Oct 1, 2017, 8:07am Top












4johnsimpson
Edited: Oct 1, 2017, 8:08am Top

BOOKS READ IN JANUARY

1. Sheer Folly by Carola Dunn, PB - 346 pgs, Daisy Dalrymple series, No18 of 22.
2. Sheer Abandon by Penny Vincenzi, PB - 720 pgs.
3. Shakespeare's Christmas by Charlaine Harris, PB - 216 pgs, Lily Bard series, No 3 of 5.
4. How to Find Love in a Bookshop by Veronica Henry, PB - 367 pgs.
5. The Tangled Thread by Cynthia Harrod-Eagles, PB - 474 pgs, Morland Saga series, No 10 of 35.
6. NYPD Red 3 by James Patterson, PB - 418 pgs, NYPD Red series No3 of 5.
7. Anthem for Doomed Youth by Carola Dunn, PB - 327 pgs, Daisy Dalrymple series, No19 of 22.

5johnsimpson
Edited: Oct 1, 2017, 8:08am Top

BOOKS READ IN FEBRUARY

8. The Santa Klaus Mystery by Mavis Doriel Hay, PB - 282 pgs.
9. God is an Englishman by R.F.Delderfield, PB -672 pgs, Swann Saga series, No 1 of 3.
10. Shakespeare's Trollop by Charlaine Harris, PB - 212 pgs, Lily Bard Series No 4 of 5.
11. Gone West by Carola Dunn, PB - 324 pgs, Daisy Dalrymple Series No 20 of 22.
12. Not That Kind of Girl by Catherine Alliott, PB - 565 pgs.
13. Clear and Present Danger by Tom Clancy, PB - 816 pgs, Jack Ryan Series 4 of 16.
14. Theodore Boone - The Fugitive by John Grisham, PB - 250 pgs, Theodore Boone Series No 5 of 6.

6johnsimpson
Edited: Oct 1, 2017, 8:09am Top

BOOKS READ IN MARCH

15. Heirs to the Body by Carola Dunn, PB - 292 pgs, Daisy Dalrymple Series No 21 of 22.
16. Faith by Peter James, PB - 465 pgs.
17. Shakespeare's Counselor by Charlaine Harris, PB - 231 pgs, Lily Bard Series No 5 of 5.
18. Superfluous Women by Carola Dunn, PB - 305 pgs, Daisy Dalrymple Series No 22 of 22.
19. The Ring by Danielle Steel, PB - 344 pgs.
20. Theirs Was the Kingdom by R.F.Delderfield, PB - 896 pgs, Swann saga No 2 of 3.
21. Private Berlin by James Patterson, PB - 466 pgs, Private Series No 5 of 16.

7johnsimpson
Edited: Oct 1, 2017, 8:10am Top

BOOKS READ IN APRIL

22. An Incomplete Revenge by Jacqueline Winspear, PB - 340pgs, Maisie Dobbs Series, No 5 of 13.
23. The Emperor by Cynthia Harrod-Eagles, PB - 512 pgs, Morland Series, No 11 of 35.
24. Maximum Ride Forever by James Patterson, PB - 383 pgs, Maximum Ride Series No 9 of 9.
25. Excursion to Tindari by Andrea Camilleri, PB - 305 pgs, Inspector Montalbano Series No 5 of 24.
26. The Warriors by John Jakes, PB - 695 pgs, Kent Family Chronicles Series No 6 of 8.
27. Saturday's Child by Ruth Hamilton, PB - 381 pgs.
28. Trunk Music by Michael Connelly, PB - 437 pgs, Harry Bosch Series No 5 of 26.

8johnsimpson
Edited: Oct 1, 2017, 8:11am Top

BOOKS READ IN MAY

29. Among the Mad by Jacqueline Winspear, PB - 338 pgs, Maisie Dobbs series No 6 of 13.
30. The Charm School by Nelson De Mille, PB - 671 pgs.
31. A Lesson in Love by Gervase Phinn, HB - 401 pgs, Little Village School Series No 4 of 5.
32. Angels Flight by Michael Connelly, PB - 400 pgs, Harry Bosch series No 6 of 26.
33. Glory Boys by Harry Bingham, PB - 613 pgs.
34. Paradise House by Erica James, PB - 439 pgs.
35. Truth or Die by James Patterson, PB - 491 pgs.

9johnsimpson
Edited: Oct 1, 2017, 8:12am Top

BOOKS READ IN JUNE

36. Get Even by Martina Cole, PB - 541 pgs.
37. The Beachside Guest House by Vanessa Greene, PB - 370 pgs.
38. Lazybones by Mark Billingham, PB - 436 pgs. No 3 of 14 in Tom Thorne series.
39. Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell, PB - 1,024 pgs.

BOOKS READ IN JULY

40. The Uncommon Appeal of Clouds by Alexander McCall Smith, HB - 246 pgs. No 9 of 14 in Isabel Dalhousie series.
41. Ultimatum by Simon Kernick, PB - 436 pgs. No 6 of 7 in Tina Boyd series.
42. The Unexpected Inheritance of Inspector Chopra by Vaseem Khan, HB - 294 pgs. No 1 of 3 in Baby Ganesh series.
43. Palomino by Danielle Steel, PB - 323 pgs.
44. The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy by Rachel Joyce, PB - 373 pgs
45. The Lawless by John Jakes, PB - 794 pgs. No7 of 8 in the Kent Family Chronicles.
46. A Pinch of Snuff by Reginald Hill, PB - 287 pgs. Dalziel and Pascoe series No 5 of 19.
47. Flesh House by Stuart Macbride, PB - 595 pgs. Logan McRae series No 3 of 13.

10johnsimpson
Edited: Oct 1, 2017, 8:45am Top

BOOKS READ IN AUGUST

48. Fire in Babylon by Simon Lister, PB - 346 pgs.
49. Cross Justice by James Patterson, PB - 420 pgs. Alex Cross series No 23 of 27.
50. Pushing up Daisies by M.C. Beaton, HB - 232 pgs. Agatha Raisin series No 28 of 30.
51. The Novel Habits of Happiness by Alexander McCall Smith, PB - 247 pgs. Isabel Dalhousie series No 10 of 14.
52. Sister by Rosamund Lupton, PB - 358 pgs.
53. O'Hara's Choice by Leon Uris, PB - 472 pgs.
54. Streets of Laredo by Larry McMurtry, PB - 589 pgs.
55. Alert by James Patterson, PB - 465 pgs. Michael Bennett series No 8 of 11.
56. Debt of Bones by Terry Goodkind, PB - 112 pgs, The Sword of Truth series No 1 of 16.

BOOKS READ IN SEPTEMBER

57. The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin, PB - 306 pgs.
58. Date With Death by Julia Chapman, PB - 371 pgs.
59. The Testament by John Grisham, PB - 472 pgs.
60. Dolly's War by Peter Tinniswood, PB - 347 pgs.
61. Zoo by James Patterson, PB - 475 pgs.
62. Secrets at the Little Village School by Gervase Phinn, PB - 391 pgs. Little Village School series No 5 of 5.

11johnsimpson
Edited: Nov 30, 2017, 4:29pm Top

BOOKS READ IN OCTOBER

63. A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler, PB - 465 pgs.
64. This Was a Man by Jeffrey Archer, PB - 507 pgs. Clifton Chronicles series No 7 of 7.
65. The Cat Who Saw Red by Lilian Jackson Braun, PB - 183 pgs. Jim Qwilleran Series No 4 of 30.
66. Always by Trevor Meldal-Johnsen, PB - 313 pgs.
67. Cross Kill by James Patterson, PB - 113 pgs. Alex Cross Series No 23.5 of 27.
68. Slaughter in the Cotswolds by Rebecca Tope, PB - 405 pgs. Thea Osborne series No 6 of 15.
69. The Rosie Effect by Graeme Simsion, PB - 416 pgs. Don Tillman Series No 2 of 2.
70. Derailed by James Siegel, PB - 386 pgs.
71. In The Summertime by Judy Astley, PB - 344 pgs.

BOOKS READ IN NOVEMBER

72. Mr Gandy's Grand Tour by Alan Titchmarsh, PB - 313 pgs.
73. The Keeper of Lost Things by Ruth Hogan, PB - 302 pgs.
74. Hour Game by David Baldacci, PB - 721 pgs. King and Maxwell Series No 2 of 6.
75. 15th Affair by James Patterson, PB - 434 pgs. Women's Murder Club No 15 of 18.
76. House of Cards by Michael Dobbs, PB - 373 pgs. Francis Urquhart Series No 1 of 3.
77. Topaz by Leon Uris, PB - 405 pgs.
78. The Visitor by Lee Child, PB - 502 pgs. Jack Reacher Series No 4 of 22.
79. Private Down Under by James Patterson, PB - 437 pgs. Private Series No 6 of 13.
80. Little Black Dress by James Patterson, PB - 114 pgs. Bookshots Series No 1 of 85.

12johnsimpson
Edited: Nov 30, 2017, 5:11pm Top

CURRENTLY READING

The Victory by Cynthia Harrod-Eagles
Out of the Woods but not Over the Hill by Gervase Phinn


13johnsimpson
Edited: Nov 1, 2017, 5:21pm Top

Latest reading stats:

Books on shelves at 1-9-17 - 2326
Books added in September - 35
Books read in September - 6

Revised book total - 2355

Pages to read at 1-9-17 - 995,670
Pages added in September - 14,455
Pages read in September - 2,362

Revised total pages to read - 1,007,763

14johnsimpson
Edited: Nov 1, 2017, 5:21pm Top

SEPTEMBER'S READING STATS

Books Read...................... 6

No of Authors.................... 6

New Authors...................... 3

Male Authors..................... 4

Female Authors.................. 2

Pages Read....................... 2,362

Daily Avg........................... 78.73

Book Length avg................. 393.67

Pots of Tea Drunk................ 298

15johnsimpson
Edited: Nov 27, 2017, 3:33pm Top

BOOKS PURCHASED IN 2017

JANUARY

1. Crisis by Frank Gardner, PB
2. Woman of God by James Patterson, PB
3. Death on the Cherwell by Mavis Doriel Hay, PB
4. 8 Sandpiper Way by Debbie Macomber, PB
5. The Janus Stone by Elly Griffiths, PB
6. Welcome to Rosie Hopkins' Sweetshop of Dreams by Jenny Colgan, PB
7. The Battle of Evernight by Cecelia Dart-Thornton, PB
8. Stone of Farewell by Tad Williams, PB
9. Hidden by James Patterson, PB
10. Exquisite by Elizabeth Hayley, PB
11. The House Husband by James Patterson, PB

FEBRUARY

12. Malicious by James Patterson, PB
13. Debt of Honour by Tom Clancy, PB
14. Death of an Airman by Christopher St John Sprigg, PB
15. Blood Shot by Sara Paretsky, PB
16. Guardian Angel by Sara Paretsky, PB
17. Bitter Medicine by Sara Paretsky, PB
18. Buried in the Country by Carola Dunn, PB
19. A Very Distant Shore by Jenny Colgan. PB
20. Looking for Captain Poldark by Rowan Coleman, PB
21. A Shed of One's Own, Midlife without the Crisis by Marcus Berkmann, PB
22. French Twist by James Patterson, PB
23. A Wedding in Maine by Jen McLaughlin, PB
24. Mount by Jilly Cooper, PB
25. Nice Work (If You Can Get It) by Celia Imrie, PB
26. Secrets at the Little Village School by Gervase Phinn, PB
27. Drive to the East by Harry Turtledove, PB
28. D-Day The Battle for Normandy by Antony Beevor, PB
29. The Fifth Witness by Michael Connelly, PB
30. In The Cold Dark Ground by Stuart Macbride, PB

MARCH

31. A Summer at Sea by Katie Fforde, PB
32. The Summer Seaside Kitchen by Jenny Colgan, PB
33. Never Never by James Patterson, PB
34. If Not For You by Debbie Macomber, PB
35. Rococo by Adriana Trigani, PB
36. Full Speed by Janet Evanovich, PB
37. Tricky Twenty-Two by Janet Evanovich, PB
38. Death of a Maid by M.C.Beaton, PB
39. Heist by James Patterson, PB
40. The Hostage by James Patterson, PB
41. Hunted by James Patterson, PB
42. Private Royals by James Patterson, PB
43. Learning to Ride by Erin Knightley, PB
44. Dead Heat by James Patterson, PB
45. S.S. General by Sven Hassel, PB
46. Blitzfreeze by Sven Hassel, PB
47. Black and Blue by James Patterson, PB
48. Goodbye Piccadilly by Cynthia Harrod-Eagles, PB
49. Sidney Chambers and the Dangers of Temptation by James Runcie, PB
50. Date with Death by Julia Chapman, PB
51. Closed Casket by Sophie Hannah, PB
52. The Father by Anton Svensson, PB
53. The Exile by James Patterson, PB
54. The Shut-in by James Patterson, PB

APRIL

55. The Cornish Coast Murder by John Bude, PB
56. Lazybones by Mark Billingham, PB
57. A King's Ransom by Sharon Penman, PB
58. Death of a Liar by M.C.Beaton, PB
59. Rules, Things are Changing at the Little School by the Sea by Jenny Colgan, PB
60. Murder at Honeychurch Hall by Hannah Dennison, PB
61. Deadly Desires at Honeychurch Hall by Hannah Dennison, PB
62. Killer Ball at Honeychurch Hall by Hannah Dennison, PB
63. The Novel Habits of Happiness by Alexander McCall Smith, PB
64. Following On by Emma John, PB
65. The Little Shop of Happy Ever After by Jenny Colgan, PB
66. A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler, PB
67. 2017 Wisden Cricketers' Almanack by Lawrence Booth, HB
68. Fragile Lives by Professor Stephen Westaby, HB
69. 2017 Playfair Cricket Annual by Ian Marshall, PB

MAY

70. Romola by George Eliot, HB
71. Dolly's War by Peter Tinniswood, PB
72. The Memoirs of Cleopatra by Margaret George, PB
73. Private Delhi by James Patterson, PB
74. Mr Gandy's Grand Tour by Alan Titchmarsh, PB
75. One Day at a Time by Danielle Steel, PB
76. Southern Lights by Danielle Steel, PB
77. This Was a Man by Jeffrey Archer, PB
78. The Wrong Side of Goodbye by Michael Connelly, PB
79. Private Gold by James Patterson, PB
80. The Au Pair by Janey Fraser, PB
81. Captains and the Kings by Taylor Caldwell, PB
82. Tunnel Vision by Sara Paretsky, PB
83. The Methods of Sergeant Cluff by Gil North, PB
84. Oscar Wilde and the Vatican Murders by Gyles Brandreth, PB
85. All Wickets Great and Small by John Fuller, PB

JUNE

JULY

86. Henry Esmond by W.M.Thackeray, HB
87. Sorceress of Darshiva by David Eddings, PB
88. King of the Murgos by David Eddings, PB
89. Sayonara by James A.Michener, PB
90. Game of Mirrors by Andrea Camilleri, PB
91. Foxglove Summer by Ben Aaronovitch, PB
92. All Hell Let Loose by Max Hastings, PB
93. Betrayal by Martina Cole, PB
94. The Women's war by James Patterson, PB
95. Deadly Cargo by James Patterson, PB
96. A Darkness at Sethanon by Raymond E.Feist, PB
97. Bungalow 2 by Danielle Steel, PB
98. The Crossing by Michael Connelly, PB
99. Red Mist by Patricia Cornwell, PB

AUGUST

100. Protect and Defend by Richard North Patterson, PB
101. The Storied Life of A.J.Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin, PB
102. Debt of Bones by Terry Goodkind, PB
103. Burn Marks by Sara Paretsky, PB
104. Happiest Days by Jack Sheffield, PB
105. Corsa Rosa by Brendan Gallagher, PB
106. The Medical Examiner by James Patterson, PB

SEPTEMBER

107. 16th Seduction by James Patterson, PB
108. The Little Teashop of Lost and Found by Trisha Ashley, PB
109. QB VII By Leon Uris
110. Topaz by Leon Uris
111. W.G. Grace by Simon Rae
112. Red Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson
113. A Fortress of Grey Ice by J.V Jones
114. Taboo by Elizabeth Gage
115. Artemis Fowl and the Last Guardian by Eoin Colfer, HB
116. The Pathfinder by Fenimore Cooper
117. Murder in Piccadilly by John Bude
118. The Lady of Sorrows by Cecelia Dart-Thornton
119. Hour Game by David Baldacci
120. Wisconsin by Dana Fuller Ross
121. The Sussex Downs Murder by John Bude
122. The Spring Madness of Mr Sermon by R.F. Delderfield
123. Derailed by James Siegel
124. August 1914 by Alexander Solzhenitsyn
125. The Incredible Adventures of Professor Branestawm by Norman Hunter
126. Thirteen Guests by J. Jefferson Farjeon
127. The Keeper of Lost Things by Ruth Hogan
128. In This Grave Hour by Jacqueline Winspear
129. Tommo and Hawk by Bryce Courtenay
130. Theodore Boone, The Scandal by John Grisham
131. Antidote to Venom by Freeman Wills Crofts
132. Murder of a Lady by Anthony Wynne
133. Quick Curtain by Alan Melville
134. Guilt in the Cotswolds by Rebecca Tope
135. Honeycote by Veronica Henry
136. White Night by Jim Butcher
137. Wisden Cricketers Almanack 1950 by Hubert Preston
138. Wisden Cricketers Almanack 1968 by Norman Preston
139. A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara
140. The Dolls by James Patterson
141. City of Friends by Joanna Trollope
142. The Whistler by John Grisham

OCTOBER

143. Absolute Zero by James Patterson
144. The Olive Tree by Lucinda Riley
145. The End by James Patterson
146. Out of the Woods but not Over the Hill by Gervase Phinn
147. Date With Malice by Julia Chapman

NOVEMBER

148. The Summer Before The War by Helen Simonson
149. The Hanging Tree by Ben Aaronovitch
150. Broken Homes by Ben Aaronovitch
151. Agatha Raisin and the Witches' Tree by M.C. Beaton
152. The House of Unexpected Sisters by Alexander McCall Smith
153. Sir Matt Busby - The Definitive Biography by Patrick Barclay
154. Manhunt by James Patterson
155. The Visitor by Lee Child
156. Echo Burning by Lee Child
157. Meet Me at the Cupcake Café by Jenny Colgan
158. The Hogs Back Mystery by Freeman Willis Crofts
159. Holding by Graham Norton
160. After The End by James Patterson
161. A Yorkshire Diary by David Bairstow

16johnsimpson
Edited: Oct 1, 2017, 8:30am Top

Looking forward to the last quarter of the year, all the Autumnal colours to enjoy and then Halloween comes along and then this year it is Rob's 30th birthday, where have the years gone and then all the excitement of Christmas. I love Christmas for all the build-up which does not bother me and then seeing the faces of family as we open our gifts to each other. I always seem to cause a problem as I never know what I would like and am not much help to them with potential ideas and it is not as if I am a millionaire with everything.

At the beginning of December we have the Rowntree Players annual Pantomime to go to, once again Andy had co-written it with his really good friend Howard Ella and Amy's part is gradually getting bigger, they keep adding bits to the chorus and building up what they do, lol.

I feel blessed with a lovely family even though there have been major issues to deal with since March, hopefully things on that front are getting better.

Once again I have to say that my LT family are a big part of my life and so glad that I found this site and Paul introduced me to the 75ers, you have all been good to us over the last six years with the highs (Amy's wedding) and the lows (Karen's Father) and by this you have helped us through these. I continue to be amazed how much interest my thread generates as I think all my friends have better and more interesting threads, long may this continue and thank you for being a part of our lives, we love you all.

17johnsimpson
Oct 1, 2017, 8:06am Top

Next one is yours.

18FAMeulstee
Oct 1, 2017, 8:15am Top

Happy new thread, John!
It seems to be a good day to start a new thread :-)

19PaulCranswick
Oct 1, 2017, 8:29am Top

>18 FAMeulstee: Happy new thread, mate.

20johnsimpson
Oct 1, 2017, 8:30am Top

>18 FAMeulstee:, Thanks Anita, you are the first my dear.

21johnsimpson
Edited: Oct 1, 2017, 8:32am Top

>19 PaulCranswick: , Thanks Paul, if it wasn't for you I wouldn't be doing all this and I would be missing a great family on here.

22PaulCranswick
Oct 1, 2017, 8:33am Top

>21 johnsimpson: And if it wasn't for great friends like you, John, I may still not be here!

23johnsimpson
Oct 1, 2017, 8:35am Top

>22 PaulCranswick:, Long may we be great friends mate, you have introduced me to so many lovely people and although I have only been able to meet Barbara besides your good self mate I hope to rectify that over the coming years.

24johnsimpson
Oct 1, 2017, 8:56am Top



Finished book Sixty-Two late on Friday night, Secrets at the Little Village School by Gervase Phinn. This is the fifth in the series and so am now waiting for the next to be published.

The little village of Barton-in-the-Dale has hidden secrets bubbling to the surface. Ashley Underwood and Emmet O'Malley are set to tie the knot when a revelation from his past threatens this. The villages' resident nosey parker discovers some juicy gossip about the new teacher and Head teacher Elizabeth Stirling has her own very special secret.

But along with all the skeletons tumbling out of the closet comes plenty of laughter, drama, friendship and love. One thing is for sure: life in Barton-in-the-Dale will never be the same again.

This is a wonderful series from a lovely author and is in the vein of the Jack Sheffield series of books, I would highly recommend both series for a nice read with lots of laughs although both have a lot of Yorkshire speak in them but Google is good for finding out what it all means.

25karenmarie
Oct 1, 2017, 9:04am Top

Hi John, and happy new thread to you!

I hope you and Karen are having a lovely day. It's nice to hear that she's getting better every day, taking it slowly but steadily.

You're coming along nicely with your 75 book challenge, too!

Sending love and hugs to you both.

26johnsimpson
Oct 1, 2017, 9:27am Top

>25 karenmarie:, Hi Karen my dear, we are having a nice relaxing day making sure Karen is ok, she enjoyed the little walk out yesterday with Hannah and myself but when Hannah went home she went up to bed for a lie down just to make sure she didn't overdo things.

I hope to reach 75 books by mid November although I have one or two books I want to read this month that end a series so I may get there by the end of October if I am lucky.

Have a good Sunday dear friend and look forward to more comments on here and on your thread.

27johnsimpson
Oct 1, 2017, 9:29am Top

TO END OF SECOND THIRD OF 2017 READING STATS

Books Read...................... 56

No of Authors.................... 38

New Authors...................... 9

Male Authors..................... 21

Female Authors.................. 17

Pages Read....................... 24,354

Daily Avg........................... 100.22

Book Length avg................. 434.89

Pots of Tea Drunk................ 2,403

28johnsimpson
Oct 1, 2017, 9:43am Top

That's the end of the reading stats for the moment, I don't want to overload you all with too many.

We had a nice steady day yesterday and Hannah arrived just after 10.30am, she got a big box of dolls and clothes etc out and played quite happily. We all had some lunch and then decided to go to the old colliery site which is now a nature park for a gentle stroll and to pick some nice leaves and flowers and acorns to make a picture.

We had a lovely walk and we all enjoyed ourselves, I made sure that Karen was ok and didn't overdo things. We got back and Rob and Louise were waiting for us, we had a quick chat and then they left just as the heavens opened so we got back just in time. Once they had gone I made us a pot of tea and then Karen went up to bed for a lie down. I read and watched the Final Score programme to get the Football results, in between I made us another pot of tea and then Karen came down to sort some tea out for us.

Once we had eaten it was time to watch Strictly Come Dancing and when that finished Karen went upstairs and I watched a programme about W.H Auden which I thoroughly enjoyed. By the end of it I went for a shower and then made a bedtime pot of tea and went up to bed. Karen changed my patches and then we got into bed and read until just after midnight.

29Berly
Oct 1, 2017, 9:47am Top

Happy newest thread!! Glad to hear that Karen is feeling better and better. And I see that you are very happy figuring out all your reading stats. ; )

30johnsimpson
Oct 1, 2017, 9:48am Top

We awoke with the alarm and I went and made us a pot of tea to have in bed and after we had finished our drinks we got up, washed and dressed. Once downstairs I went off to the Aldi to get a Gilet that they had on offer, I wanted to make sure I was there when the doors opened as the offers they have seem to go quickly. Luckily I checked the size tag inside as the sticker on the packaging of some of them was wrong, I found a large and so purchased it, it is to replace one that has gone all streaky for some reason. Once back I made us a drink and we had some large crumpets for breakfast.

After breakfast I fired up the laptop to complete an online training course as part of being a School governor and then decided it was time to set up a new thread. We have had a couple more pots of tea and just started cooking Sunday lunch.

31johnsimpson
Oct 1, 2017, 9:50am Top

>29 Berly:, Hi Kim, thank you my dear. I just love my stats as you know but that is all for now, lol. Karen is fine and we are having a relaxing day, she is on the phone at the moment talking to Amy.

32johnsimpson
Edited: Oct 1, 2017, 10:33am Top

As I have just completed a series although I think there will be more to come, I thought I would pop along to FictFact to check where I am on my series'.

It appears that I have logged on books from 237 series but I think I have more to add, not that many but a few more I fear.

To be started..................................................​ 120

Currently Reading..................................................​ 92

Completed or awaiting the next to be published............ 25

33ChelleBearss
Oct 1, 2017, 11:28am Top

Happy new thread! Your day with Hannah yesterday sounds lovely! Enjoy your day

34johnsimpson
Oct 1, 2017, 3:24pm Top

>33 ChelleBearss:, Thanks Chelle my dear. We had a lovely day and enjoyed our nature walk.

35drneutron
Oct 2, 2017, 12:16am Top

Happy new thread!

36Familyhistorian
Oct 2, 2017, 3:10am Top

Happy new thread, John. Actually there is 8 hours in the time difference between where I am and where you are. LT always puts date stamps on the posts for somewhere in central US, I think.

37bohemima
Oct 2, 2017, 8:08am Top

John, happy new thread! I'm glad to that Karen is well on her way to recovery but remembering to take it slowly so as not to have a setback.

You have had a lot of drama with Rob and Louise! It's never fun to be on the sidelines and still get even slightly involved. I hope they figure thing out soon and settle down one way or the other.

You're doing well on the reading! So many more to go, though.

Have a restful week, and love to both Karen and yourself.

38johnsimpson
Oct 2, 2017, 3:32pm Top

>35 drneutron:, Thanks Jim.

39johnsimpson
Oct 2, 2017, 3:34pm Top

>36 Familyhistorian:, Hi Meg, thanks for letting me know the time difference between us as it gives me a good idea when I am posting of when people are up and about and what part of the day it is. The date stamp on posts shows the time to be five hours behind us.

40johnsimpson
Oct 2, 2017, 3:41pm Top

>37 bohemima:, Hi Gail, Karen is feeling better by the day although she is careful what she does. Unfortunately the drama continues and after yesterday afternoon Karen is getting heartily sick of it, as Karen has been the one to keep things steady whereas I have been ready to say my piece it says something that Karen is getting to an end point with Louise. Nothing was said nastily but it was the way Louise said some things, unfortunately I was indisposed at the time and did not hear, that really got to Karen and when they left she was furious.

My reading is going well although I have had a couple of so so months but will get to 75 by the end of November at the latest so hope to get to the high eighties by year end.

Today has been nice and steady and Karen has rested as well as making some lovely scones, sending love and hugs to you dear friend.

41johnsimpson
Oct 2, 2017, 4:04pm Top

We have had a nice relaxing day today. After a pot of tea in bed we got up, washed and dressed and came downstairs to have breakfast and a pot of tea. Karen set a load of dark washing going and although it was dry outside it was very windy and so she put it on the airer. While Karen was doing this I decided to go into the front garden and tidy up the plants and shrubs ready for winter, I took my time and it only took me just over an hour and the new pruners did the job. I managed to get a nice two piece pruning set from Aldi for £4.99 last week and was a bit sceptical of them put they were good.

Once I had finished in the garden we had a pot of tea and some crumpets before I popped into town to pick up a couple of bits for Karen and put a cheque in and pay a bill. Unfortunately I only managed to pick up some Rhubarb for Karen and sorted the banking out. I also went into Waterstones bookshop for a quick browse and then went into the Antique centre in the Ridings Shopping Centre. The Antiques browse was fortuitous as I spotted four Yorkshire County Cricket Club yearbooks, 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007, they were priced at £1.50 but I wasn't sure whether I already had any of them but once home I checked and I need all four so will pop back into town first thing tomorrow morning to pick them up. Usually they are priced between £5 and £10 as they retailed at £14.99 when they came out.

When I got back from town, Karen had gone for a lie down on the bed so I made us a pot of tea and read for a while and a short time later Karen came downstairs to sort the Rhubarb out. Karen wanted to Rhubarb to make Rhubarb Gin, she cut and washed the Rhubarb up and then put it all into a kilner jar along with some Caster sugar and then a bottle of Gin. Once the Gin was done and left now to ferment, Karen decided to make some Cherry Scones. The Scones are lovely by the way.

After another pot of tea we had something to eat before watching a bit of TV.

42johnsimpson
Oct 3, 2017, 3:50pm Top

We have had a really nice day today. Once up and dressed we had breakfast and a pot of tea and then we got our things together and set off to Northallerton. We had to call and get some fuel and then I had a really quick stop in Wakefield to pick up the Yorkshire yearbooks I mentioned in my previous post and then we got back on the road to Northallerton.

We managed to get parked on the high street in Northallerton and first stop was Barker's Department store coffee shop for a drink and some Flapjack. Once we had finished our drinks we had a gentle stroll up the high street and popped into one or two shops. The weather was nice, the sun was out and the skies blue but there was a slight chill in the air. Karen picked up a couple of small bits and then we found a shop with some nice Jigsaws, after a good look we picked up three as it was three for the price of two and so a couple are for presents.

We continued strolling up and down the high street and Karen picked up some small baking items. Unfortunately like a lot of high streets some businesses have closed since we were last here and one we were surprised with until Karen found out that they had moved to a new site just off the high street. As we had covered the high street we went back to the car and made our way to the new Marks and Spencer store as Karen wanted some things that I couldn't get yesterday in Wakefield plus something for our tea. As soon as Karen had done in M&S we set off towards Thirsk but just before we got there Karen felt a little unwell so I just skirted Thirsk and headed for home.

Once home I made us a nice pot of tea before Karen went for a lie down for an hour, once she was back downstairs we put our tea in the oven to cook and had a pot of tea while we waited for our food to be ready.

43johnsimpson
Oct 4, 2017, 3:51pm Top



Finished book Sixty-Three a couple of hours ago, A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler. This is the first book I have read by this author and I must say that I really did enjoy it. It goes along at a nice gentle pace but that suits the book and tells a really good story.

This is the way Abby Whitshank always begins the story of how she and Red fell in love that summer's day in 1959. The whole family on the porch, half-listening as their mother tells the same tale they have heard so many times before.

From that very same porch we spool back through the generations and witness the events, secrets and unguarded moments that have come to define the family. We go back to the 1920's when Red's father and mother first arrived in Baltimore right through to Red and Abby's grandchildren carrying the family tradition on into the 21st century.

We are taken through the years with four generations of Whitshanks, how their lives unfold and that it revolves around the sprawling, lovingly worn Baltimore house that Red's father built for someone else but became the family home.

I will have to pick up another Anne Tyler now as I loved this one, thank goodness Karen read the blurb on the back of the book when we were in a charity shop in Lancaster and passed it to me and said I would like this, she wasn't wrong.

44PaulCranswick
Oct 4, 2017, 8:10pm Top

>43 johnsimpson: I quite like the gentle meanderings of Anne Tyler too, John. Read Breathing Lessons as I think that is her best that I have read.

45johnsimpson
Oct 5, 2017, 3:46pm Top

>44 PaulCranswick:, Cheers Paul, thanks for the recommendation mate. Will look around for a copy.

46johnsimpson
Oct 6, 2017, 4:10pm Top

I awoke with the alarm at 8am and went and made a pot of tea for both of us, I let Leo out and although it was a bright sunny morning it was quite chilly. Once we had our tea we got up, washed and dressed and came down to make some breakfast.

After we had breakfast and a pot of tea we decided to have a drive to Cannon Hall to have a stroll around the grounds. Karen made up a small flask of coffee and took some biscuits and a couple of mini pork pies. We made our way towards Barnsley to get to Cannon Hall and got parked up. Once out of the car we headed for the lake and the cascades.

We had a lovely walk through parkland and came across hundreds of acorns scattered on the ground, Karen picked a few more up and then we came across a tree with pine cones on and we found quite a lot on the ground, both Karen and I collected a few for Christmas decorations. We continued our walk and then made our way back along the other side of the lake until we came across a bench to sit upon and have a coffee and a bite to eat.

Once we had eaten and finished our coffee we headed through the car park to the road and went across to the Cannon Hall Garden Centre for a look around. We picked up a basket and then picked up a couple of nice trowels, we looked at some plants and one of the staff could see us trying to make a decision on what to get and offered to get us a trolley which Karen turned down. After moving along the plants we decided to get some Pansies and Violas and therefore needed a trolley, a workman building a new plant stand offered to get Karen a trolley and the chap who first offered just laughed. The plants were good value as they were £3 for a tray of six plants or 4 trays for £10 and then to add to this Karen picked up a Christmas Cherry plant. After perusing the inside areas we went to the till to pay for our goods before going back to the car.

We left Cannon Hall and headed to nearby Cawthorne village which just looks like a Cotswold village, very nice houses and lots of history. We made our way through the village until we got to Cawthorne Antiques Centre, we went in and had a good look around. Karen spotted a couple of nice brooches and I saw a few Fountain pens but all of them were a little overpriced and we know we can get something similar a few pounds cheaper. After perusing the antiques and collectables we went back to the car and made our way home.

Once home I made us a pot of tea and we just relaxed and chatted about our day, tomorrow ironing awaits Karen and I will have to clean the downstairs and Kitchen.

47FAMeulstee
Oct 6, 2017, 5:21pm Top

Lovely to read Karen can do small walks again, John, I am sury you both are happy with that!

48clue
Oct 6, 2017, 7:48pm Top

>46 johnsimpson: We have a lot of oak trees in our neighborhood. I have a very nice but very particular neighbor across the street...his yard MUST always be perfect. All day yesterday he was under his oak trees using his shop vacuum to vacuum up acorns. Although I laughed, it was pretty clever! Heavens, I can't keep my house vacuumed much less the yard.

49johnsimpson
Oct 7, 2017, 4:03pm Top

>47 FAMeulstee:, Thanks Anita my dear, it was a lovely day and it cheered us both up.

50johnsimpson
Oct 7, 2017, 4:06pm Top

>48 clue:, Hi Luanne, the Oak trees seem to have produced a lot of acorns this year and in the short area where we walked there must have been thousands of acorns scattered about. I must admit it sounds an ingenious idea to vacuum up the acorns, lol. Due to my arthritis we have swapped roles so I am the house husband and do all the vacuuming around the house but I wouldn't have thought of that idea.

51johnsimpson
Oct 7, 2017, 4:26pm Top



Finished book Sixty-Four this afternoon, This Was a Man by Jeffrey Archer. This is the Seventh and final book in the Clifton Chronicles series. In my opinion this is a fantastic series of books by an author who is back to his very best. Initially it was meant to be a five book series but by the time he had finished the third book he realised that to do the story justice it would have to be increased to seven books.

I must admit to being saddened that this was the last in this series and I have waited a while since purchasing it to finally reading it. I do not wish to spoil this for anyone so I will refrain form adding anything as I cannot put into words anything that would give things away. The only thing I can say is that have some tissues to hand as there are some emotional moments or is just me being Mr Emotional still, nearly two years since Amy's wedding and I am soon brought to tears.

52scaifea
Oct 8, 2017, 8:54am Top

Hi, John! I've only read one Archer (False Impression), but I did enjoy it quite a bit. I need to get back round to more of his stuff.

53karenmarie
Oct 8, 2017, 9:54am Top

Hi John!

Eek, haven't checked in here recently although I greatly appreciate your visits to my thread. It sounds like lots of good books are getting read and Karen's steadily improving.

Sending love and hugs to you both!

54johnsimpson
Oct 8, 2017, 3:41pm Top

>52 scaifea:, Hi Amber, until this series I had not read an Archer novel for some years but I was grabbed straight away and have loved the series and am saddened that I have come to the end.

55johnsimpson
Oct 8, 2017, 3:43pm Top

>53 karenmarie:, Hi Karen, I seem to have added a few new authors over the last couple of months and the reading is going well. Day by day Karen is feeling better and is being careful not to overdo things.

56johnsimpson
Oct 8, 2017, 3:57pm Top

We have had a very relaxing day, after a pot of tea in bed we got up and made our way downstairs for breakfast and a pot of tea. Once I had finished breakfast I set off to the Wetherby Antique fair at the racecourse, Karen didn't feel up to it and so she was going to go through the two large boxes of Barbie accessories that we picked up from one of her work colleagues.

I got to the antique fair at around 11.30am and had a good couple of hours or so looking around, I was looking for a nice brooch for Karen and anything Cricket related and of course Fountain pens. Unfortunately there were few silver bar brooches and what there was were expensive for what they were, the gold bar brooches were also on the expensive side with any stones on the small side. I had a chat with Nick the Fountain pen dealer, I have purchased two pens and an Edwardian stationery box from him in the past. After a good chat I looked at his wares but sadly he had nothing that I hadn't got in my price range, he did say that he has had problems getting some pens but he now has a website and gave me his card so I can keep a lookout for anything that might take my eye.

I left the fair and made my way home and once home made us a pot of tea before Karen told me about what she had done while I was out. Karen had sorted out the Barbie furniture and accessories and re-boxed them to make two good sets, one of them is for Hannah's Christmas present and the other we will keep here for her. The two boxes are Barbie boxes and we only paid £30 for the lot. We had another pot of tea before we had a bite to eat and then caught up with a programme we had recorded before watching Countryfile then Strictly Come Dancing the results show and we are now watching Antiques Roadshow.

57ChelleBearss
Oct 9, 2017, 10:19am Top

Sounds like you have had a good weekend!
Chloe is just getting into Barbie as well. They can be quite expensive!

58johnsimpson
Oct 9, 2017, 3:52pm Top

>57 ChelleBearss:, Hi Chelle, you are right that Barbie can be expensive, luckily we still had all of Amy's in the loft and Karen has picked up a few bits here and there. Karen was checking her phone when she saw that Lisa was going to be getting shut of her daughter's Barbie things and so she contacted her and agreed to purchase it all for £25 but when we got to see what was on offer Karen gave her £30 and Lisa wanted to give her the change which Karen refused because of how much stuff there was.

59karenmarie
Oct 9, 2017, 4:39pm Top

Hi John!

Sigh. I still have my 1963 Barbie and clothes for her, Ken and a few clothes for him, too. Daughter never played with dolls, even (or, especially) Barbie, but I remember her with fondness.

Sending love and hugs to you and Karen!

60johnsimpson
Oct 9, 2017, 4:54pm Top

Another very steady day for us. We awoke with the alarm but still felt very tired, Karen was not feeling well at all and although she didn't think it was a migraine she couldn't face any light. I left her in bed and had a shower and then once dressed I went downstairs to make a pot of tea and let Leo out.

I took Karen a pot of tea and closed the bedroom door to keep her in the dark. Once back downstairs I got all our meds and vitamins ot and then had some cereal and then took my tablets and waited for Rob to arrive. Rob arrived a little later than normal and asked where mum was, I told him she wasn't feeling too well and he went and had a quick word before I took him to the station. Once back from dropping Rob off I checked on Karen and then put the washing I had set off once downstairs onto the line outside before making a drink for both of us.

Karen came down briefly and then went back to bed and I watched the Daily Politics programme before the lunchtime news and local news. After a quick pot of tea I went outside to tidy up a few shrubs in the back border and clear the hanging baskets. By the time I had finished Karen had had a shower and washed her hair and felt a bit better and was watching Escape to the Country. I cleaned up and made a pot of tea and then we watched a bit of TV before I read for a short while.

After watching a bit of Television Karen made something to eat for us and we then watched Strictly takes Two, just as it finished Amy rang and I had a quick chat with her to sort some financial stuff out with her and then passed the phone to Karen as I needed to go and pick Rob up from the station. Once back with Rob he went to chat with Karen and then asked if I could repair the heel on his shoe which I duly did, just another skill to add to Dad's armoury. After I had sorted his shoe heel out I moved my car off the drive to let him out and once I had re-parked the car I made us a drink and read for a bit before firing up the laptop to come on here.

61johnsimpson
Oct 9, 2017, 4:58pm Top

>59 karenmarie:, Hi Karen, your 1963 Barbie and Ken must be collectors items my dear especially with some clothes and as your daughter never played with them they will be well kept with minimal wear and tear. Hannah loves her dolls and then plays with Polly Pockets and then Sylvanian families so she moves around the toy boxes, she will love the new Barbie accessories.

Hope you are having a really good day dear friend and send love and hugs.

62johnsimpson
Oct 10, 2017, 4:03pm Top

Very tired today due to having a really bad nights sleep or lack of, it was my patch change last night and everything was ok, I read for a while and then lights out and off to sleep. I awoke at around 1.30am with pains in the base of my back and behind both knees, it felt as though someone was trying to thread red hot needles there and from that time I was constantly turning over 90 degrees, this continued until 6.35am and then the next I knew was 8am when the alarm went off. The pains had gone but I was tired and stiff.

We both got up, washed and dressed and came downstairs to make a pot of tea and let Leo out, after the first drink Karen made porridge for both of us and I had another pot of tea. While the porridge was being made I moved my car off the drive for Rob. Rob arrived and had a pot of tea and then we took him to the station, once we had dropped him off we made our way to Karen's workmate to pick up a large box of Polly Pockets plus a Scooby Doo van and figures and two Animal Rescue pieces, all for £30. Hannah is going to be a very lucky girl with all these toys to play with.

After getting the toys we headed to Go Outdoors to have a look at walking boots and Fleeces as they have a really good choice of brands. We have decided that to try and keep our joints as supple as possible despite both suffering from Arthritis we need to go for gentle walks. In the Yorkshire Post on a Saturday there are four supplements besides the main News section and one of them is the Countryside section and in it is a detailed walk in the countryside. Each walk is mapped out and so you know the distance and estimated walking time and so we thought we like to visit the Dales and North York Moors plus there are walks near to us we should admire the views and get some exercise. We saw some nice walking boots and fleeces so a present to each other at Christmas will be a pair of walking boots, Karen has already ordered me a new fleece as my current one has seen better days but it is quite old. By ordering online she has got a good deal and it is not the usual boring black or gray or dark navy, it is red. I am fed up of seeing clothing for men with at most four colours but ladies versions are in at least eight colours.

After we had perused what Go Outdoors had to offer we headed back towards the city centre and called into Morrisons supermarket to try and pick up some Digestive to go biscuits for Karen to take to work but they only had chocolate covered ones so as we needed to go into the city centre we parked up at Sainsbury's at Trinity Walk and had a look in there. Sadly they also didn't have said biscuits but I managed to get my art magazines and a couple of small bits and so qualified for free parking. After this we made our way home and a nice pot of tea.

I made the tea and we enjoyed our brew with a vanilla slice that Karen had picked up in Morrisons. We watched the news and then Karen went to sort some of her clothes out and put them on the new hangers she had got which will give her more space and I read. After a short while I popped outside for a mini cigar and Leo tried to come into the house, he gave me a real scare as he seemed to struggle up the step and his right rear leg seemed to have collapsed. I thought he had perhaps had a stroke or something and I was quite upset but as I walked up the path he followed me and after a quick check he seemed ok, he had no pain and didn't wince or miaow and he has been fine since then.

When Karen came back downstairs we watched Escape to the Country, Money for Nothing before peeling some vegetables and putting them on to cook along with some Lamb steaks in the oven. By the time we had watched Antiques Road Trip our meal was ready to be served, it was delicious. After our meal I had a pot of tea and read while Pointless was on and then the news and then Strictly Takes Two. After strictly had finished I finished a chapter of my book and then went to pick Rob up from the station. After Rob had picked up a few bits and then left I made a pot of tea for both of us and then fired the laptop up to come on here with The Great British Bake off on in the background. I hope that by the time we go up to bed and have a quick read with a pot of tea I will be really tired and get a good nights sleep.

63johnsimpson
Oct 10, 2017, 4:10pm Top

I think my reading figures will be quite good this month and then hope to carry this through the last two months of the year, my aim is to get back below a million pages to be read by the end of March 2018.

64FAMeulstee
Oct 11, 2017, 7:46am Top

>62 johnsimpson: Sorry you had a bad night, John, I hope you have slept better now.

65johnsimpson
Oct 11, 2017, 4:03pm Top

>64 FAMeulstee:, Thanks Anita, I had a good nights sleep last night and the aches and pains have gone thankfully.

66johnsimpson
Oct 11, 2017, 4:30pm Top

Apart from the horrible weather today it has been a good one. Once we were up and about we had breakfast and then Rob arrived, after he had a quick pot of tea I took him to the station. After I had dropped Rob off I headed to the garden centre to pick up bird seed supplies as I only had a small amount to put in the front garden feeder and the birds were giving me the evil eye.

Once back home with the bird seed I topped all my feeders up and then had a pot of tea with Karen. After we had finished our tea we did a shopping list for the main supermarket shop and a small one for Aldi and then a list for when we go to Costco on Friday. Once these lists were done I totted up the quantities required for all the Christmas cakes we are going to make and that's a separate shop on its own. This is a large bill so will go on the credit card and once the cakes are collected and paid for that will be paid off the credit card bill.

After all the lists were made I went upstairs to do the upstairs housework while Karen pottered about. After the housework was done Karen made both of us a sandwich and I e-mailed the head teacher's PA to print me up some reports for the AGM/ Full Governors meeting tomorrow evening. Louise got back to me and asked if I was picking them up or waiting until the meeting and I said I would pick them up. I went to the school to pick my documents up and then went to collect Hannah from school.

Going back to the governors meeting, I resigned in July but was persuaded to rescind it until after the AGM as there was going to be a rogue contender for Chair of Governors. The meeting could be quite tasty and whether I am still there until the end of the meeting remains to be seen, although my resignation letter will be delivered on Friday morning.

Once I had got Hannah we made our way home and Hannah's eyes lit up when she saw the Scooby Doo van and the Animal Rescue pieces and she played with them and added a few other bits until Rob took her home.

We have both had a good nights sleep after Monday nights debacle sleepwise and are both back on track and fighting fit.

67benitastrnad
Oct 11, 2017, 6:44pm Top

#66
We are still having hot, humid, and muggy weather here in Alabama. We got rain on Sunday from Hurricane Nate, but that did nothing to cool things off. It is still summer and I am tired - tired, I say, of summer. I would like to have some fall, but don't think it is going to happen anytime soon.

68karenmarie
Oct 12, 2017, 9:28am Top

Hi John! I'm glad you had a good night's sleep after such an awful one.

Sending love and hugs to you both!

69johnsimpson
Oct 13, 2017, 3:11pm Top

>67 benitastrnad:, Hi Benita, we are having slightly mixed weather, yesterday was dry and a bit cool and today it has been dry and quite warm for the time of year yet rain and high winds are forecast for the next few days. The one consolation we have here is that we are having a nice autumn with gorgeous colours on view.

70johnsimpson
Oct 13, 2017, 3:11pm Top

>68 karenmarie:, Hi Karen, sleep has been good since Monday night and long may it last my dear, sending love and hugs.

71johnsimpson
Oct 13, 2017, 3:25pm Top



Finished book Sixty-Five late on Wednesday evening, The Cat Who Saw Red by Lilian Jackson Braun. This is the fifth in the Jim Qwilleran Feline Whodunnit series and finds Jim moving living quarters to the "Maus Haus". This is a building owned by Robert Maus who by day is a lawyer and by night a gastronomic restaurateur. To help with finances the building he owns was an old art building and he rents out some of the studios and a cook provides all meals if the inhabitants require them.

When Jim has his first meal he meets all the fellow guests and finds that one is an old flame Joy Graham,who is now a very talented potter. Shortly after strange things occur as a startling scream pierces the night air and after Jim gives his old flame a cheque she disappears without a trace. It seems that someone is nurturing deadly secrets and someone is killingly envious of Joy's fascinating ceramics. Koko and Yum Yum and their all-providing mentor, Qwilleran, are determined to discover who that someone is.

Another interesting cat mystery and I am looking forward to the next one.

72johnsimpson
Oct 13, 2017, 4:18pm Top

We had a pretty good day yesterday and then last night I went to the Crofton Academy AGM/Full Governors meeting. As I have previously said the first item on the agenda was the election of Chair of Governors and Roy (the rogue candidate) and Carole (the incumbent) both gave a three minute presentation to the rest of the governors excluding the staff governors as they cannot vote. Once the presentations had been made they left the room and discussion took place on the merits of both candidates. The discussion took quite a while with one or two governors being devil's advocate for Roy but the consensus was that Roy was having a personal dig at Carole and that if he was successful it would be Roy dictating to the rest of the body. A secret ballot was taken and Carole won, although the local authority clerk did not disclose the numbers I thought at worst it was 10-5 to Carole and at best was 12-3 to Carole.

I stuck with the meeting expecting to be upbraided for my faux pas in commenting on social media about the beginning of term debacle about school uniform but nothing was said. After the Head teacher's report I absented myself by saying I felt unwell and left.

Today we have had a good day, once up and about we had breakfast and waited for Rob to arrive and once he was here we took him to the station and then travelled over to Thorpe Willoughby to visit Andy's mum. We arrived just before 11am and had a pot of tea and introduced ourselves to Dinky their new dog. Sadly Dinky's previous owner passed away earlier in the year due to cancer and she was known to Pat and Mike as she was their youngest daughter's husbands step grandma and she wanted Dinky to go to a good home. Pat and Mike previous dog, Mollie, passed away last year after suffering from arthritis and then Alzheimers.

Dinky took to both Karen and I from the start and took to me especially and wouldn't leave my side. We had another pot of tea and caught up with things before having some lunch. We continued chatting about the families and what they were all up to and before we knew it it was just after 3pm. We took our leave as we wanted to go to Costco for some supplies and our Christmas Pork, we also picked up a large tub of glace cherries for the Christmas cake making along with a couple of other things and some vitamins in large packs.

Once we had paid for our goods we made our way back to the car and headed home and once the car was unloaded we had a welcome pot of tea. We put our purchases away and then had another pot of tea before making something to eat. After watching Strictly Takes Two and then listening to Hillary Clinton on the One Show I had to go and pick Rob up from the station. I must say that listening to Hillary was quite informative and I may purchase her book as she sounded quite interesting and I would like to learn more. After I had picked Rob up he collected a couple of things and then left and after making both of us a pot of tea I fired up the laptop and came on here to check all the threads especially as I did not log on yesterday.

73johnsimpson
Oct 14, 2017, 3:25pm Top

It has been quite a nice day here in Walton with a top temperature of 72F, I cannot remember an October day as warm as this before. Once we were up and about we had breakfast and a pot of tea before I put the first load of washing on the line. After the washing was sorted I popped into town to do some banking and pick up a couple of magazines. The banking was a bit of a shock as Karen's wage was not what was expected, it looks like they have missed either the weeks holiday pay and the two shifts she worked before surgery off or the sick pay hours off. When I got home I told Karen and she contacted work but it will be Monday before they get back to her and Karen can't check her pay slip as that has been put in the post for her so we won't get that until Monday at the earliest.

After trying to sort Karen's wage out I made us a pot of tea and put the second load of washing on the line and then had a quick look through my magazines. We had a relaxing afternoon and Karen made a bite to eat before another pot of tea and then I watched Final Score on the red button channel. When the final results from the football were done I went and gave the lawn what I hope is the final cut of the year as rain is expected later tomorrow or Monday morning.

We had another pot of tea and then had something to eat before Strictly Come Dancing started.

74Berly
Oct 14, 2017, 3:57pm Top

Hi John!

75johnsimpson
Oct 14, 2017, 4:00pm Top

>74 Berly:, Hi Kim my dear.

76PaulCranswick
Oct 14, 2017, 10:21pm Top

>73 johnsimpson: Hani is bringing you the good weather, John.

Have a lovely weekend and give my love to Karen.

77benitastrnad
Oct 15, 2017, 1:20pm Top

The weather here in the Southern part of the Southern US is still hot. Today will probably be a record breaker for high temperature at this time of year. However, it is supposed to start raining tonight and then start our Fall weather.

I am personally sick, sick, sick of this endless summer.

78johnsimpson
Oct 16, 2017, 3:52pm Top

>76 PaulCranswick:, Hani certainly has brought some good weather with her mate.

79johnsimpson
Oct 16, 2017, 3:55pm Top

>77 benitastrnad:, Hi Benita, I don't mind an Indian Summer and the last couple of days have been lovely but I do prefer the seasons to appear as they should even if it is supposed to be a bit cooler. I think we could do with a bit of a bad winter to shake things up a bit and then we should get a nice summer.

80johnsimpson
Oct 16, 2017, 4:21pm Top

After two lovely and sunny days with decent temperatures today has been a bit of a shock although it has been as should be at this time of year. We awoke to a dull, cool morning and after a pot of tea in bed we got up, washed and dressed and came downstairs. We set a load of washing going and then had breakfast and a pot of tea.

Once we had eaten I went and loaded the car with the bags of conifer clippings from yesterday when Rob came over to cut my hedge and then put the old plastic coat hangers in the back seat of the car. After we had put the washing on the airers we set off in the car to take Karen into Wakefield to meet up with a friend for coffee and a chat via a quick call to the doctors for Karen to book an appointment. The receptionist seemed to be on her own and there was quite a big queue so Karen left and said she would come back later. I then continued into Wakefield and dropped Karen off and then made my way to the re-cycle centre to drop off my conifer cuttings and the hangers. Once I had done my recycling I made my way to the garden centre to pick up some compost, I got the compost I wanted and then made my way back home.

Once home I made a pot of tea and then got on with my book notes that had built up and got all my book stats up to date before Karen rang to say that she was ready to be picked up. I set off to collect Karen and once I had got her we made our way home via the doctors to sort her appointment out. This time she had no problem seeing the receptionist and was soon back in the car. We arrived home and I made us a pot of tea and we had some parkin with it. After our tea Karen opened her post and her wage slip had arrived and after a quick check the missing wage showed up, they paid her for the shifts she worked and her holiday pay but not the 50 hours of sick pay. Karen rang Gail at Asda and after a chat Gail said it would be sorted out, Karen could have had a loan immediately but we would have been worse off so it should be here in a week or so or on her next wage. We will be ok as Rob owes us £200 which he is paying on Thursday and he offered us some money to help us out, bless him, we refused the offer as we have worked things out and all the bills are covered and we have enough to be going on with.

After Karen sorted her wage out Tom arrived with her Forever Living products and told Karen to wait until the end of the week to pay as he is quite happy with this, he just wanted Karen to have her products. Once Tom left we had another pot of tea and watched Antiques Road Trip before watching Pointless, I put a pie in the oven with some Southern Fried Wedges for my tea as Karen didn't know what she wanted.

We have had a relaxing evening catching up on programmes we have recorded and I fired up the laptop to come on here.

81johnsimpson
Oct 17, 2017, 3:55pm Top



Book Sixty-Six finished late last night, Always by Trevor Meldal-Johnsen. A love story where there is only one love and it is for always.

Gregory Thomas, a top Hollywood screenwriter. A beautiful Forties film star. Why was he so moved by the film?
The only thing he knew was that he must find her again. Through the parties and the swimming pools, on the beach and on the film set, through dangers and death, he searches for her in every woman he meets, knowing he must follow his heart.

What is the connection between Gregory and the actress and will it be worth it to find her or will it cost him his life, or reputation or his sanity OR all three.

82johnsimpson
Oct 17, 2017, 4:27pm Top

After the dull and breezy day yesterday, today was quite warm with a light breeze. After a pot of tea in bed we got up, washed and dressed and came downstairs and while Karen got breakfast ready I set a load of dark washing off. After we had finished breakfast Karen put the washing on the line while I popped into town to transfer some money over to Amy to pay off her car and she will start paying us back straight away. Amy wanted to do it by direct debit but to avoid a paper trail of a debit going out of her account for when they try to get a mortgage I told her to transfer it back monthly when she gets paid. By doing it this way she will have one less debit showing coming out of her account, even though paying this would not leave them short for a mortgage seeing as they are paying rent, the banks are getting really picky about giving mortgages out.

Once the banking was done I had to pick up a small item for Karen and to get a can of gold spray paint so she could spray the pine cones we got last week. After all this I made my way home and made us a pot of tea and then we had some lunch. While I was out Karen dusted upstairs so I only had to vacuum all round and then clean the bathroom. Once I had done this we watched Escape to the Country and then we went outside to pot up the Pansy's and Viola's and then tidy up the patio ready for winter.

Once we had done the bit of gardening I made us a pot of tea and we watched a bit of television before having a bite to eat. The rest of the evening has been spent watching the Great British Bake Off and then I fired up the laptop to come on here.

83johnsimpson
Oct 17, 2017, 4:45pm Top

I have still to write my resignation letter to formally end my term as a school governor and as such I am still officially a governor and therefore getting updates and e-mails from school. Sadly the last two e-mails from the head teacher have not been good, last Thursday night a 6th form (yr 12 or 13) pupil committed suicide and then today another e-mail arrived to say a yr11 pupil had died but the circumstances were not known as yet. The last few days have not been good for the school and our thoughts are with the parents and siblings of the deceased.

The suicide was of a young lady who had been suffering from depression apparently which is very sad and no doubts we will learn about the second pupil in the coming days.

84LovingLit
Oct 17, 2017, 10:58pm Top

>83 johnsimpson: oh dear. What a nightmare. You just wish that young people could see past the immediate future, and at least imagine a time when things will be OK, if not good!

85drneutron
Oct 17, 2017, 11:38pm Top

Oh, that's awful. Will keep you, the school and the families in our prayers.

86scaifea
Oct 18, 2017, 7:54am Top

Oh, John, two student deaths so suddenly? I'm so sorry.

87karenmarie
Oct 18, 2017, 9:28am Top

Hi John!

Tragic. I'm so sorry for the families and schoolmates of these poor children.

Sending love and hugs to you and Karen.

88Familyhistorian
Oct 18, 2017, 3:05pm Top

Sad to hear about the students, John. It sounds like things are going well for you and Karen and that you are having pleasant weather. I made it back to Vancouver last night and the weather here is full on rain. Ugh!

89johnsimpson
Oct 18, 2017, 3:35pm Top

>84 LovingLit:, Hi Megan, your comment is so right my dear, the young lady in question got together with friends both at Crofton Academy and nearby Kettlethorpe High School to set up a girls rugby team, they succeeded and got a really good coach and are doing well. Unfortunately everything got out on social media and rumours were abounding that she was being bullied, that she had eating problems and other things, from what I have learned none of this is true but what caused her to take the ultimate decision to end her life has not been disclosed.

On the surface it seemed that everything was ok and she was enjoying things and her life but underneath there were obviously issues that had not surfaced.

It is so sad that with all the technological advances around, more opportunities available compared to when I was her age in 1979, there are so many pressures on the young. I must admit that I am so glad that I had my youth in the 1970 and 1980's even though I wouldn't mind getting a few years back although I am not sure I would change much but maybe make some better decisions.

90johnsimpson
Oct 18, 2017, 3:36pm Top

>85 drneutron:, Thanks Jim.

>86 scaifea:, Thanks Amber.

>87 karenmarie:, Thanks Karen.

>88 Familyhistorian:, Thanks Meg.

91johnsimpson
Oct 18, 2017, 4:03pm Top

The weather is returning more Autumnal and it is quite good. Once we were up and about we had breakfast and a pot of tea and then we popped out to Pontefract to get a bit of fresh air and for Karen to pick up a couple of bits. Once we were done in Pontefract we made our way home just stopping outside Featherstone to call in the big Aldi to pick up our usual bits.

After the bit of shopping we headed home and had a pot of tea before having a bite to eat. After a bit of lunch we both read until it was time to take Karen to her meeting at work, I dropped Karen off and went to pick Hannah up from school. Once I had got Hannah we made our way back to Asda to pick Karen up and then went home. After Hannah had a drink and I made a pot of tea for us Karen made Hannah some tea and then she watched my Trumpton DVD. I read for a bit and then Karen made me something to eat before taking Hannah for a bath.

While Hannah was in the bath Rob rang to say they were at Asda and would come and pick Hannah up to save me a journey. Rob and Louise arrived not long after Hannah came out of the bath and had a quick chat with us before they left.

Once they had left we watched a bit of Television before I fired up the laptop and came on here.

92FAMeulstee
Oct 19, 2017, 4:49am Top

>83 johnsimpson: & >89 johnsimpson: Sorry to read about the kids, John, it is very sad.

Like you I am glad not to be a youngster in these days. I had a lot of issues and I think I wouldn't have been able to live up to the pressure that is around in the present time.

93johnsimpson
Oct 19, 2017, 2:59pm Top

>92 FAMeulstee:, Hi Anita, I have the same sentiments my dear. It does seem that since we first got a computer in 1996 (at a cost of nearly £1,000 yet it had less memory and RAM than my present mobile phone ) the technological advancements have raced ahead and it seems everything has to be had, now and immediately and life is meant to be easier that the young have more pressures on them than we did.

94johnsimpson
Oct 19, 2017, 3:05pm Top

Today has been very miserable with the day being dull and rainy. Once we were up and about I had breakfast and we both had a pot of tea and then waited for Bridget the hairdresser to arrive. By the time she arrived just after 10am the washer had finished and the towels were put on the airer.

After we had our hair done we had a pot of tea and then went to do the supermarket shopping. I dropped Karen at Aldi while I went to Asda and once I was done I picked Karen back up and we headed home. We unpacked and put the shopping away and then I got on with the downstairs housework while Karen put the flowers in a vase. Karen cleaned the Kitchen cupboards while I finished the room and dining room and then I finished the kitchen off. Karen then mopped the kitchen floor and then did the bathroom floor while I made us a pot of tea.

We had a relaxing afternoon reading before watching a bit of television. We had something to eat before it was time for Strictly Come Dancing takes two and then we both read with the TV on as background.

95johnsimpson
Oct 19, 2017, 3:35pm Top



Finished book Sixty-Seven, Cross Kill by James Patterson. This is an in between book in the Alex Cross series and is part of the James Patterson Bookshots series.

Along Came a Spider killer Gary Soneji has been dead for over ten years, Alex Cross watched him die. But today, Cross saw him gun down his partner. Is Soneji alive? A ghost? Or something even more sinister?

96johnsimpson
Oct 20, 2017, 4:51pm Top



Finished book Sixty-Eight late last night, Slaughter in the Cotswolds by Rebecca Tope. This is the sixth in the Thea Osborne series and finds Thea house sitting once again, this time she is sitting for Cedric and Babs Angell in Lower Slaughter. Thea didn't want to go ahead as she had to be at the house on the day of her Father's funeral, she was talked into it as she didn't need to be there until later in the day and it would help her after the recent death of her Father.

Although it is lonely, she has her spaniel Hepzie for company, and keeping the house in order and looking after the Angells' menagerie of animals does the trick for a short period of time.

But when Thea's prickly older sister turns up, after witnessing a horrific killing, the timeless tranquillity of Lower Slaughter vanishes, replaced by the sinister connotations of the town's name.

Another interesting read and as we have visited the Cotswolds a number of times it is nice to try and envisage the places mentioned.

97johnsimpson
Oct 20, 2017, 5:08pm Top

We have had a nice day today, after we got up, washed and dressed we had some breakfast and a pot of tea before setting off to go to Halifax. We haven't been to Halifax for a while and wanted to have a look at the recently re-opened Peace Hall. The Peace Hall has undergone a three year, £19 million pound re-development and I must say it look really good. A number of shops have opened on the first level and new businesses are due in soon and work is progressing to sort the units out.

We spoke to a couple of shop owners and they are saying that they are looking forward to Christmas as there will be lots going on and by the start of next summer all the units should be open.

After we had finished in the Peace Hall we wandered towards the Town centre and stopped for a coffee. After our pit stop we made our way towards the market hall and had a good wander around picking up some cards and a photo frame. From the market hall we had a look in a few shops and then went looking for Emma's Apothecary, this is a wonderful gift shop with lots of goodies in. We eventually found it and Karen got a couple of bits but they haven't got the Christmas stock out yet but the lady did say that the Skipton branch would have their display up by the end of the weekend. We have visited the Skipton shop many times and Karen always gets a new bauble for the tree each year and they have a wonderful selection.

We left the shop and continued to wander around until the weather took a turn for the worse and Karen was feeling a little tired by this time so we made our way back to the car and made our way home.

Once home I made us a pot of tea and we had a relaxing late afternoon watching a couple of programmes before we made ourselves something to eat. After Strictly Takes Two finished I went to the Aldi and then Asda to get the ingredients for the Christmas cakes we are making. Unfortunately I could not get any currants so will have to pop out in the morning to get the 3.5kg that we need.

98karenmarie
Oct 22, 2017, 10:16am Top

Hi John!

Sounds like a nice jaunt to Halifax.

I have exactly one Christmas present. It's not wrapped yet. It will be mailed to California early-mid December when I get the rest of the family's gifts. Yipes. I haven't even wrapped my mind around US Thanksgiving yet.

Sending love and hugs to you and Karen.

99johnsimpson
Oct 22, 2017, 3:05pm Top

>98 karenmarie:, Thank You Karen my dear. We had a lovely time in Halifax and will go back again soon to see the Peace Hall and the Market Hall. Karen is in charge of making lists for Christmas presents and I listen to hints she drops so I can surprise her. Amy is like her mum in this respect and more so because of Panto rehearsals taking up so much time and then the week long performances so she has to be organised.

I am always awkward to buy for, Amy has already asked for ideas and Karen's best friend Tina messaged her to ask what I would like. This all makes it seem as if I am a millionaire and have everything but they all know that I love my books but they are aware I have a lot, I have enough art materials so that is another option gone so I will have to put my mind to what I might like.

If you message me with your address my dear I will post a Christmas Card to you and your husband my dear. Sending love and hugs.

100johnsimpson
Oct 22, 2017, 3:31pm Top

As I mentioned in post 97 I had to go out in search of currants yesterday. Once we were up and about we had breakfast and a pot of tea before I set off in search of currants while Karen started the first preparation for the first set of Christmas cakes to be baked. I had just set off when Karen rang me to say I had got the wrong sugar on Friday night, luckily I had not left the village and made my way home. Karen was waiting with the wrong sugar in a bag and the receipt and I set off again.

I changed the sugar at Aldi and then popped next door to get currants, Aldi do not stock them and Asda didn't have any so I set off further afield and went to Morrisons, they didn't have any so I made my way back towards Wakefield. As I was heading towards Sainsbury's I saw a smaller Asda store so popped in just to see if they had any and was in luck. I got the 4kg we needed and made my way home.

Once home I made us a pot of tea and then Karen gave me the oranges and lemons to grate and once this was done I did some mixing before Karen finished the mix off. Once the loaf tins had been lined Karen filled them and we had enough mix left to do a small loaf tin so four cakes were ready for the oven. Karen had had the oven on warming and set them off to bake.

Once the cakes were in the oven we cleaned up the work surfaces after putting all the bowls, mixing spoons etc in the dishwasher. Once all this was done we had a relaxing pot of tea before Rob and Louise arrived with Hannah. They had been out and taken Hannah to a new play centre and then called at a McDonalds to treat themselves to lunch which they had with us. After finishing their food we had a chat before they left to get ready for the Cricket dinner that evening and Hannah was sleeping over. Hannah had her Kindle and phone to play games on and she took herself upstairs for some quiet which made us laugh. The first batch of cakes were done by 5pm so Karen got them out onto a wire tray and left them to cool.

Hannah came back downstairs and we had something to eat before Karen took her for a bath before Strictly started. Karen thought Hannah would enjoy Strictly with us with all the ladies in lovely costumes but she said no and went upstairs with her Kindle and Karen took the Trumpton DVD up so she could watch it on the TV in the bedroom. We watched Strictly and Karen went up to check on Hannah and read her a story after Hannah had read her school reading book. Karen came back downstairs and wrapped the cakes in foil and labelled them and then we watched a bit more television and then Karen went to check on Hannah again, Hannah was just about dropping off to sleep so she left her and we watched QI before retiring to bed. By this time Hannah was asleep and we got ready for bed and had a pot of tea and read until midnight.

101johnsimpson
Oct 22, 2017, 3:47pm Top

The alarm went off and I went and made us a pot of tea to have in bed and Hannah was awake and watching the Trumpton DVD again. After we finished our tea, Hannah came in to see us and Karen got her washed and dressed before she got washed and dressed and took Hannah downstairs to get some breakfast. As they went downstairs I got washed and dressed and joined them downstairs and we all had breakfast and we had another pot of tea. Once we were fed and watered I took Hannah home before calling into the supermarket to pick up some more foil and greaseproof paper before popping to Aldi to get Leo another cat bed so we could wash the bed he already has.

By the time I got back the next batch of Christmas cakes was being started, the fruit was all prepped and I had done the grating of the oranges and lemons yesterday. Karen had already mixed the sugar and butter and had put the fruit in and was mixing that when I arrived. I took over the mixing while the black treacle was put in and then continued while the flour was put in. Karen took over to finish it off and then we both did another stir whilst making a wish. Karen put the mix into the two loaf tins and a round tin and their was enough mix left to do another loaf tin. Once the cake mix was in the tins they went into the oven and we cleaned up again. After two days half of the cakes to be made had been done but now we are awaiting the arrival of two small loaf tins so we can do the smaller cakes that are left plus one more large loaf tin. Hopefully the next cake baking will be done on Tuesday.

Once the cleaning up had been done we had a pot of tea and I began to read while Karen did some searching on her phone. We had another pot of tea and I continued reading and Karen did some knitting before we had another pot of tea and then prepared the vegetables for our late lunch. We watched Escape to the Country before setting the vegetables cooking and put our Beef and ale in a dish to cook. While our late lunch was cooking I read and Karen continued knitting. Our meal was lovely and we really enjoyed it and once finished cleared up and put the dishes in the dishwasher and then watched the news before Countryfile. I made us a pot of tea and we watched Strictly: The Results show before Antiques Roadshow started. I finished off a chapter and Karen did some more knitting and once I had made us another pot of tea before Antiques Roadshow I fired up the laptop to come on here.

102johnsimpson
Oct 22, 2017, 3:51pm Top

I must say that all in all we have had a lovely weekend even though we have been quite busy but we both enjoy making the Christmas Cakes and between us we have been quite organised, helping each other out. Tomorrow we will have a relaxing day with Karen going to a friends in the morning and later in the day I will grate the next batch of Oranges and Lemons ready for Tuesday or possibly Wednesday.

The weather has been awful since about 3pm yesterday with wind and rain and there is to be no let up tomorrow.

103benitastrnad
Oct 22, 2017, 8:05pm Top

I just got home from he annual Arts and Crafts fair that is held each year here in Tuscaloosa. I purchased most of my Christmas presents there so spent a pile of money. I got some very unique things and think that my sisters and nieces will be happy with what I got for them. I did not get anything for my nephew as I couldn’t find the write priced art that I thought he would like.

I also got some pottery for myself. A few years ago on the last day of this show and as I was on my way out of the gate I saw a large platter that I liked. It was glazed in the style of Miro and is quite colorful. Itwas more than I thought I should spend but the potter gave me a good price. I used that thing over and over for many different kinds of food and wanted to purchase a large round bowl that he had to Mach. Unfortunately, he never came back to this craft show. Until this weekend. I ended purchasing three bowls from him. Now if he never comes this way again I won’t have a lone platter. It was a little more than I wanted to spend but I hope to use them more often now that I have a “set.”

104benitastrnad
Oct 22, 2017, 8:06pm Top

I have not done any fall baking yet so applaud Karen for getting started.

105PaulCranswick
Oct 22, 2017, 8:11pm Top

I can a very clear picture of domestic bliss, John. Cakes and Karen!

106scaifea
Oct 23, 2017, 7:22am Top

Hi, John! I love the thought of all of those Christmas cakes and wish I could pop by for a sampling!

107johnsimpson
Oct 23, 2017, 3:42pm Top

>103 benitastrnad:, Hi Benita, glad you had a good time at the arts and craft fair my dear and picked up some really nice gifts for Christmas presents. We like to have a wander around various art and craft fairs throughout the year looking for anything unusual that would be ideal for a gift.

It must have been lovely to find the potter again and to be able to complete a set that you will treasure.

>104 benitastrnad:, Karen likes to get her Christmas Cakes done at this time of year so that she has plenty of time to feed them right up to Christmas. The ones that are being purchased got Brandy in the mix and then a feed once cool and she gives instructions about feeding them, our cake is lovely and alcoholic by the time I come to start eating it, hic.

108johnsimpson
Oct 23, 2017, 3:43pm Top

>105 PaulCranswick:, Hi Paul, we work well together mate and I do like to get involved with the Christmas Cakes and make a wish with my last stir.

109johnsimpson
Oct 23, 2017, 3:44pm Top

>106 scaifea:, Hi Amber, it would be lovely if you could pop by for a pot of tea and some cake sampling my dear.

110karenmarie
Edited: Oct 24, 2017, 8:41am Top

Hi John!

Christmas cake baking sounds lovely. Not that I'll necessarily make them, but is Karen willing to share the recipe or is it a Family Secret? Mom used to make fruit cakes for Christmas and then brandy them up..... yummy. I have the recipe but am strangely disinclined to make it, coming up on the first anniversary of her passing.

I just PM'd my address and will look forward to a Christmas card from you and Karen.

Sending love and hugs to you and Karen!

111johnsimpson
Oct 24, 2017, 4:47pm Top

>110 karenmarie:, Hi Karen, Christmas Cake baking is coming along fine. Karen is just weighing out for the next batch which will be done tomorrow now that the small loaf tin has arrived. Karen will willingly share her recipe as it is a combination of recipes which she has made to suit our requirements.

I have PM'd my address to you my dear.

Just had a little scare as the cooker hood has slipped, I have supported it until tomorrow morning when I can get a better look at what needs doing.

112johnsimpson
Oct 24, 2017, 5:03pm Top

I hope to finish another book tonight, this will keep me on track to get to 75 books by mid November. It has been a busy-ish day and Amy came from work and as it is late for me to be on here I will fill in more details tomorrow.

Night night dear friends.

113karenmarie
Oct 24, 2017, 6:28pm Top

Yikes! A slipped cooker hood. It doesn't sound like either you or Karen got hurt, but It's Always Something, isn't it?

Night night....

114Berly
Oct 24, 2017, 6:52pm Top

John--Sleep well! Hope you finished another book. Hugs.

115johnsimpson
Oct 25, 2017, 3:16pm Top

>113 karenmarie:, I know, there is always something which is what Karen said. I couldn't do much last night but managed to sort it out this afternoon..

116johnsimpson
Oct 25, 2017, 3:17pm Top

>114 Berly:, I slept well Kim and finished another book.

117johnsimpson
Edited: Oct 25, 2017, 3:39pm Top

Yesterday we got up slightly earlier than we have been doing as Karen had an appointment at the doctors. I had breakfast and we both had a pot of tea before we set off, when we got there Karen checked in and was surprised to find that she was down to see the nurse practitioner instead of Dr Hiyat. Karen went to the desk and queried it, she was not angry with the receptionist and another receptionist came to the window and said she had booked Karen's appointment so she checked the system. It turned out that Dr Hiyat was in the building but was doing something else and the practice manager had moved all his appointments without informing the patients or finding out if they actually needed to see the Dr, Karen did need to see a Dr.

Karen saw the Nurse practitioner who was able to do her a sick note but not until Friday as Karen thought she had been given one for four weeks from the 27th of September whereas it was a month note form 27th Sept to 27th Oct as I had said. After chatting with her he said she needed to see the Dr and she then had to book another appointment and I have to pick her note up on Friday afternoon. I booked an appointment for Thursday as my foot problem is getting worse and I booked a Flu Vaccination apt for Friday.

Once we had done at the Doctors we made our way home and Karen had some breakfast and I took Rob to the Station. When I got back, Debbie the nail technician had arrived and I made us all a pot of tea. When Debbie left we had a pot of tea and I read for a short while until it was time to take Karen into town to meet her friend Tina for a chat, a coffee and a mooch around. I dropped Karen off and then made my way home, once home I made a pot of tea and set the DVD recorder up and after I had finished my tea I went upstairs to do the housework and clean the bathroom.

I had finished my housework and was just putting the milk in my pot of tea when the phone rang, I knew immediately that it was Karen saying she was ready to be picked up. I left my tea and went to collect Karen and drop Tina at the hospital so she could see her dad. After dropping Tina off we made our way home. We had a pot of tea and then Amy arrived just before Bridget the hairdresser arrived. Amy washed her hair and then Bridget did her stuff and then left. Not long after Amy got a text message to say her parcel had arrived at our supermarket and was ready to collect. Amy asked if I was going there and I said I would go as I needed some diesel for the car and would then collect Rob from the station. I got back with Rob who had a very quick chat and then left and we had something to eat. Amy left just after The Great British Bake Off had finished, meanwhile Karen had offered my services to Natasha to finish off her emulsioning. Natasha had started to do her staircase but her roller wasn't long enough and she couldn't reach the top of the walls on the staircase, so we are going over on Sunday and I will finish it off, not a problem to me and Natasha is making lunch and baking one of my favourites but I don't know which one.

After Amy had left Karen decided to weigh out fruit and other things for the next baking batch, she went into the cupboard at the side of the cooker top and put her hand lightly on the cooker hood and it dropped, she screamed and I dashed into the kitchen. I went to the garage and found two lengths of timber to prop it up until the following morning. Karen finished off weighing up and then we made a pot of tea and took it up to bed and I finished off my book.

118johnsimpson
Oct 25, 2017, 3:56pm Top

Today we got up after having a pot of tea in bed and then had breakfast and a pot of tea. Karen then got started on the next batch of Christmas Cakes and gave me the Oranges and Lemons to grate. I had a look at the cooker hood and realised that I needed to get some self tapping screws but then checked again and couldn't see what they would go into. Karen put a message on Facebook for anyone who could recommend a Kitchen fitter and then rang Tina to ask who did her Kitchen, Tina gave Karen a number and she rang him, he said he was very busy and when trying to explain what it was she passed the phone to me. I had a chat with the bloke and apart from him being very busy I got the impression that he wasn't interested.

I finished off the grating and then went to pay a bill before going for some screws as the chap had said that as the hood was between the cupboards he was surprised they hadn't screwed the hood into the side of the cupboards. I got back with the self tapping screws and managed to just about get one slightly in and it would hold but it is an awkward spot so I though of another idea that is temporary and so cut two small lengths of thin wood and tacking them into the sides of the cupboard and the hood would rest safely on the wood, job done for the moment.

By the time I had done this I just had time to have a last stir of the cake mixture and make a wish as our cake was coming out of this batch mixture. Karen filled all the cake tins and put them in the oven and then we cleaned up and had a pot of tea. I had time for another pot of tea before going to pick Hannah up as she is staying overnight so that Rob and Louise can go out. I got back with Hannah and then realised that I hadn't taken the clothes that Rob rang about early in the morning. I messaged him to find out what train he was getting and would meet him at the station with his clothes which I did. Once back we had a pot of tea and Hannah had just finished her food and was watching a bit of TV. Once her programmes had finished I put the news on and Karen cooked my Kippers. While I had my Kippers Karen bathed Hannah and she had some milk and biscuits. Shortly after Karen went for a shower and then read to Hannah before coming downstairs and having something to eat. We are now watching a bit of TV and relaxing and I fired up the laptop to come on here.

119johnsimpson
Oct 25, 2017, 4:16pm Top



Finished book Sixty-Nine late last night, The Rosie Effect by Graeme Simsion. This is the sequel to The Rosie Project and finds Don and Rosie enjoying life in New York. They have survived for ten months and ten days of marriage, even if Don has had to sacrifice standardized meals and embrace unscheduled sex.

But then Rosie drops the mother of all bombshells and Don must prepare for the biggest challenge of his previously ordered life while at the same time as dodging deportation, prosecution and professional disgrace.

Is Don Tillman ready to become the man he always dreamed of being? Or will he revert to his old ways and risk losing Rosie for ever?

A great read and very informative, wholly absorbing and you don't really want to put it down.

120johnsimpson
Oct 25, 2017, 4:54pm Top

The Simpson bakery will re-open tomorrow morning for the next batch of cake baking to be done, currently we have 9 full size loaf tin cakes, 3 small loaf tin cakes and 1 round cake done so far. Tomorrows baking run should be the last although we do have enough materials left should we be asked for a couple more cakes to be made. Thank goodness this only happens once a year but they all look wonderful and after tasting a very very small cake from leftover mix I am looking forward to our cake(s).

121karenmarie
Oct 26, 2017, 8:44am Top

Hi John!

Hood back in place - check. More cakes baked - check. Another book read - check.

Sending love and hugs to you and Karen.

122johnsimpson
Oct 26, 2017, 3:46pm Top

>121 karenmarie:, Hi Karen, last of the baking done today and maybe another book will be finished tonight. Sending love and hugs my dear.

123johnsimpson
Oct 26, 2017, 3:55pm Top

We awoke with the alarm and I went to check on Hannah and she was awake and on her Kindle. Karen sorted Hannah out and then herself and then took Hannah downstairs to give her some breakfast. Once they were done I got washed and dressed and then joined them downstairs, I moved my car for when Rob arrived and then had some porridge and a pot of tea.

Rob arrived a little late and we had made sure Hannah was ready to go so we left Karen while I dropped Rob at the station and then took Hannah home. On my way back home I had to call and get another roll of greaseproof paper, once I had got the paper I made my way home and Karen had already started the mixing. By noon the first two cakes were in the oven and by 6pm all the cakes were done.

Once all the cake tins had been filled I got on with the downstairs housework and once the living room and dining room were done we had a pot of tea before I went for my Doctors appointment. The doctor was quite nice and he is sending me to see the podiatrist to have a good look at my foot and see what they recommend. Once back I had a pot of tea and watched a programme before being able to get to clean the kitchen.

124Berly
Oct 27, 2017, 3:13am Top

I bet your house smells great with all that cooking! Hope the foot feels better soon. Hugs.

125johnsimpson
Oct 27, 2017, 3:23pm Top

>124 Berly:, Hi Kim, the smells are lovely here my dear at the moment and the Rhubarb Gin has been decanted into bottles so all is going well.

I had my foot operated on in 2011, I had what appeared to be a bunion but on the wrong side, my left little toe is crossing to the right and pushing out the foot just below. I had the bone scraped and the toe was supposed to have been pinned but he wired it instead and when I went back for a check up the toe was crossing again and his understudy said insoles would do the trick. I left annoyed and left it at that but over the last year it has got more pronounced and painful so I had to go back to the doctors and hopefully things will be sorted properly this time.

Sending love and hugs.

126johnsimpson
Oct 27, 2017, 3:31pm Top



Finished book Seventy late last night, Derailed by James Siegel. This was an interesting read, the tension was kept high and then motored to a conclusion. The initial start of two stories never gave the game away to me and it wasn't until the last 60 or so pages that the link was made which I enjoyed. This is worth a read in my humble opinion.

127johnsimpson
Oct 27, 2017, 4:18pm Top

I must say that the last 24 hours have been a bit like a roller coaster, Leo decided to go walkabout again last night and no matter what we tried he wouldn't come home. Eventually Karen woke up around 2am and went downstairs and opened the door to see if he was waiting to come in as it was quite cold last night and in he walked as if nothing had happened.

I had had to go into the spare bed as I was in a bit of pain and needed to sleep on my back and I didn't want to disturb Karen.

We awoke with the alarm and got washed and dressed and came down to have breakfast and a pot of tea as I had an appointment with the nurse for my flu injection. Rob had been told to be here by 9.30am if he wanted a lift to the station and he failed to arrive, I set off out of the estate and spotted Rob just coming in so followed him to our house and he parked, messed about for a couple of minutes or so before getting in the car. We arrived at the Medical practice and I logged into the system 9 minutes before my appointment and was told there were two patients before me. The first went in and was back out a couple of minutes later, the next went in and was with the nurse for 15 minutes. By this time I was getting worried that I wouldn't get Rob to the station, I presumed I was next but no, someone else was called in then two who had arrived after me. I would have gone to the reception desk but two people were in front of me so I left angrily and got in the car. I gave Rob a quick explanation and set off for the station, Rob told me to slow down as he would make his train. Luckily I knew that if I was running a couple of minutes late that the normal train Rob gets would be missed but he has the comfort of a later train and by this time I was worried he would miss this one.

Once I had dropped Rob off I went back to the practice to a) apologise for walking out and missing mu appointment and b) complaining about what had happened. The receptionist accepted my apology but told me that I hadn't been called and apologised for that and then messaged the nurse to let her know that she had missed me and to call me in next. I had barely sat down before being called in and although I got my flu injection the nurse didn't apologise.

I left the doctors and made my way home instead of going to do the supermarket shopping as I had forgotten a Christmas Cake for one of Karen's work colleagues. I told Karen what had gone on and she suggested that she come with me and to drop her at Aldi to do the bits there while I did the main part in Asda. Within an hour we had done the shopping and made our way home to unpack and put it all away. Once this was done we had a pot of tea before I put some washing on the line.

A short while later we had some lunch before Karen decanted the Rhubarb Gin from the Kilner jars where they had been brewing into a couple of bottles. After Karen had done this we watched a bit of TV before I had to go back to the Doctors to pick up Karen's sick note and our prescriptions. I got he the sick note and prescriptions and made my way home and then had a pot of tea. With one or two things that had seemed to go wrong I said to Karen that I thought I ought to go back to bed and start again.

We have had a relaxing time since around 6pm and are enjoying our evening, tomorrow we are going to have a wander down to Meadowhall Shopping centre on the outskirts of Sheffield just for a mooch around.

128witchyrichy
Oct 28, 2017, 9:34am Top

Quite a day! But it sounds like it ended well. I have been offline for a bit so mostly stopping by to say hello and wish you a wonderful weekend!

129karenmarie
Oct 28, 2017, 10:12am Top

Hi John!

Stressful time with the flu shot, and very bad of them to skip you and then never apologize for it.

I'm sorry to hear that your foot is causing problems. Is another surgery indicated or don't you know yet?

Sending love and hugs to you and Karen!

130johnsimpson
Oct 28, 2017, 3:47pm Top

>128 witchyrichy:, Thanks Karen for stopping by my dear. I will pop along to your thread soon.

131johnsimpson
Oct 28, 2017, 3:49pm Top

>129 karenmarie:, Hi Karen, I am hoping that surgery isn't required but I think an operation is on the cards in the long run. The op isn't too bad but it's the fact I won't be able to drive for about six weeks that is the main pain of the matter especially as Karen doesn't drive.

132johnsimpson
Oct 28, 2017, 4:32pm Top

We have had a nice day today, once we were up and about we had a pot of tea before setting off to Meadowhall Shopping centre. We parked up and had a quick browse around Debenhams and then went to Costa Coffee to have a drink and some breakfast.

Once we were filled we went into Waterstones and had a browse and Karen picked up a couple of small gifts at 75% off as stocking fillers. Once the purchases had been paid for we continued mooching around the centre popping in and out of various stores. At one point I left Karen to go into a store while I went outside for a smoke and on my way back to Karen bumped into an old work colleague I haven't seen for twenty years. We had a good chat and Karen spotted me and joined us and we chatted a bit more before we went our separate ways.

We continued mooching around and Karen popped into a couple of stores and picked up a couple of tops and jumper. I didn't see anything that I needed but I did get a couple of ideas for potential Christmas presents and added a few book titles to our list for future purchase I hope. Time seemed to pass and we made our way back to Debenhams and stopped for a drink before setting off towards home. Before we made our way home we took a short detour to Go Outdoors at Thornhill to pick up some walking boots. We tried a few pairs on before we both settled on a pair that fit well and were comfortable, we are buying then for each other for Christmas.

2018 will be a new start for us as we aim to try and maintain our fitness without overdoing things and we will spend more time exploring our beloved Yorkshire Dales on our day trips out. Both of us suffer with arthritis and we want to keep it at a low level for as long as possible and we will have different types of days out. We are both excited about this and really looking forward to many happy days taking gentle strolls in the countryside. Once we had made our purchases we made for home and a nice pot of tea.

As soon as we were home the tea was made and then we put the washing that we had set off on the airers and then enjoyed our tea. We had another pot before Karen made something to eat just before Strictly Come Dancing started. Once that had finished we changed channels and got ready for Harry Potter: A History of Magic came on. This is a documentary with J.K.Rowling looking at Magic form the past just before the exhibition of the same name opens at the British Library.

133johnsimpson
Oct 28, 2017, 4:50pm Top

I am on track to finish another book before the end of the month and this will get me closer to reaching my 75 for the year.

134Berly
Oct 28, 2017, 4:54pm Top

Hi John.. I don't think you will have a problem reaching the ol' 75. Sorry about the toe and the Dr visit. Good luck getting it fixed. The HP documentary sounds good. Hope I can find it!

135johnsimpson
Oct 28, 2017, 5:07pm Top

>134 Berly:, Hi Kim, I think you are right about me reaching the ol' 75. The toe is not too bad it is more what it is causing that is the real problem and causing the discomfort. If I get to see the podiatrist before Christmas I will be doing well so it is just a matter of putting up with it for the time being.

The HP documentary was very good and we are both considering a visit down to the capital to go and see the exhibition as there are artifacts from history as well as original drawings and the typed precis for the first book that was sent around to prospective publishes by J.K. Rowling. Hope you are able to find it and view my dear, sending love and hugs from both of us.

136bohemima
Oct 29, 2017, 10:44am Top

Wow, John, what an unfortunate start to your day. At least it was peaceful after tea.

>99 johnsimpson: I have the very same problem, John. I’m overwhelmed with books and have plenty of art supplies; other than that my wants are few, so it’s very hard to tell the kids what I’d like as a present. I know that’s a problem most would envy, but it’s a little inconvenient.

You’ve been having some great reading here, and I’ve no doubt you’ll make it to 75.

I’m sorry about your foot problem. Will you have to go back to the original doctor?

Have a wonderful week, John, and love and hugs to both of you.

137johnsimpson
Oct 29, 2017, 5:35pm Top

>136 bohemima:, Hi Gail, I don't think I will see the original doctor as they do tend to move around and it is six years since I had the original surgery.

We have had a good weekend and we are looking forward to the week ahead my dear, sending love and hugs.

138karenmarie
Oct 30, 2017, 9:26am Top

Hi John!

Glad to hear your weekend went well.

As re Christmas presents - any way Amy and Rob might consider going in together and getting you a special fountain pen or something else that might normally be out of budget range? We've occasionally done that - most recently when Cousin Rebecca and I went in together to get her Mil/my aunt Ann a set of expensive much-wished-for plaid percale sheets. Just a thought. *smile*

Happy Monday to you and Karen and sending love and hugs.

139johnsimpson
Oct 30, 2017, 4:55pm Top

>138 karenmarie:, Hi Karen, Karen made me make a list of potential items I might like and then she will speak to the kids. Apparently she says things are just about sorted out now so I can rest easy, Karen has got my presents bought with a nice small surprise so all I need to do is get my act together and get Karen a couple of surprises. Amy and Andy have been bought for and Rob is in the process but first it is his 30th birthday at the end of November so that is priority at the moment and she is baking him a lovely cake to celebrate.

On the theme of Fountain pens I may go to the Yorkshire pen fair just after Rob's birthday to see what is on offer and hopefully bag a bargain.

Hope you are having a good start to the week my dear.

140johnsimpson
Oct 30, 2017, 5:33pm Top

Yesterday we went over to Easingwold in North Yorkshire where I finished off the little bit of decorating on the staircase that she could not reach and re-hung a door for her. We were surprised how long it took us to get there following satnav as we haven't been there before, on the way home I took a different direction and set the satnav for home hoping it would get me to the A1 and that would be quicker to get home which it did.

This morning we got up slightly earlier than normal so that we had time for a pot of tea and for me to have some cereal before taking Karen to the hospital for her dietitian appointment. The appointment was helpful to Karen and once she was done we headed to Asda so she could hand her sick note in and leave some chocolate covered flapjack for her colleagues. Once this was done we headed into town so Karen could take a couple of purchases made on Saturday back as they didn't fit or suit her and then from there we popped to a couple more places nearby before heading for home.

Once home we had a pot of tea before Karen made some lunch for us both before we watched Escape to the Country. Once the programme ended Karen went into the kitchen to prepare the ingredients for a Christmas pudding and once it was done it has been left to stand overnight before she steams it tomorrow.

Once the Christmas Cake ingredients were left to stand overnight we had something to eat before having a relaxing evening.

141karenmarie
Oct 31, 2017, 8:27am Top

Hi John!

I'm glad that you have Christmas under control. I am in the unique position of having my list created with all the appropriate names on it and TWO presents, count 'em, two big one ones, already purchased and in the house. Of course they're not wrapped yet, but baby steps are critical.

Speaking of the Christmas cake ingredients, John, any chance of Karen's fruit cake recipe?

Sending love and hugs to you both.

142johnsimpson
Oct 31, 2017, 4:13pm Top

>141 karenmarie:, Hi Karen, I will put up a list of ingredients and the steps once Karen has written it down for me to type up as she has merged a couple of recipe's to make it her own. A couple of the ingredients are optional but if left out the weight of those ingredients have to be made up and when initially starting with the fruit it has to be left overnight steeping in Brandy. I want to make sure you have everything to make your own so it will probably be tomorrow when I put it on as we are currently watching the Great British Bake Off Final.

Sending love and hugs from both of us my dear.

143johnsimpson
Oct 31, 2017, 4:49pm Top



Finished book Seventy-One last night, In The Summertime by Judy Astley. This was a Good Housekeeping reader recommended book and an ideal summer read and I enjoyed it.

Should you ever go back - and discover your first love?

It is Twenty years since Miranda, then Sixteen, holidayed in Cornwall and her life changed forever. Now she's back again - with her mother Clare and the ashes of her stepfather Jack, whose wish was to be scattered on the sea overlooked by their one-time holiday home.

The picturesque cove seems just the same as ever, but the people are different - more smart incomers, fewer locals, more luxury yachts in the harbour. But Miranda and Clare both find some strangely familiar faces, and revisit the emotions they both thought had disappeared.

144Berly
Nov 1, 2017, 12:56am Top

71! Almost to 75...I can feel it. : )

145ChelleBearss
Nov 1, 2017, 1:19pm Top

Happy November 1st, John!

146johnsimpson
Edited: Nov 1, 2017, 5:23pm Top

Latest reading stats:

Books on shelves at 1-10-17 - 2355
Books added in October - 5
Books read in October - 9

Revised book total - 2351

Pages to read at 1-10-17 - 1,007,763
Pages added in October - 1,556
Pages read in October - 3,132

Revised total pages to read - 1,006,187

147johnsimpson
Edited: Nov 1, 2017, 5:24pm Top

OCTOBER'S READING STATS

Books Read...................... 9

No of Authors.................... 9

New Authors...................... 3

Male Authors..................... 5

Female Authors.................. 4

Pages Read....................... 3,132

Daily Avg........................... 101.32

Book Length avg................. 348

Pots of Tea Drunk................ 308

148johnsimpson
Nov 1, 2017, 5:26pm Top

>144 Berly:, Getting closer Kim.

149johnsimpson
Nov 1, 2017, 5:27pm Top

>145 ChelleBearss:, Thanks Chelle. We don't have kids getting candy now to eat but we dispensed a large amount of candy last night, in fact we were cleaned out as we had lots of visitors.

150johnsimpson
Nov 1, 2017, 5:39pm Top

We have had a nice steady day, once we were up and about we had breakfast and then our neighbour from across the street came to see us and let us know about her husband who tried to saw a finger or two off last night. He had to stay in overnight as the wound was bad and down to the bone but he is home now and Margaret is making sure he does as he is told, lol.

Before Margaret left I popped out to drop my resignation letter as a school governor into school and also dropped off my badge and door pass. I got back home and had just made a pot of tea for both of us when Karen's friend from the bariatric group arrived to see her and have a chat. I made myself scarce and went into the garage to start tidying it up. I took my time and sorted a few things out for the recycle centre and by the time I had finished just after 1.15pm the garage was tidy again and a nice pile to take to the recycle centre.

Just as I finished Karen's visitor left and so we had some lunch before I set off for the recycle centre via the supermarket to get some cigars and some fuel for the car. I got back from my jaunt out just in time to watch Escape to the Country, I made us a pot of tea and we watched the programme. After the programme had finished I had time to do a couple of small things before going to pick Hannah up from school, I was later than normal as they were having a Halloween party. By the time I got to the school they were starting to let the children out and I thought I was early at 4.20pm as Rob told me 4.30pm.

I got Hannah in the car and we made our way home, after a drink and some cheese, Karen made Hannah some tea and then she watched her programmes while we had a pot of tea. Rob came from the station as he is on early's this week and he had a chat for 20 minutes or so before he and Hannah left. We watched the news and then had a pot of tea while watching Strictly Takes Two and then I had something to eat.

151johnsimpson
Nov 1, 2017, 5:54pm Top

I forgot to mention that on Monday it was Amy and Andy's second wedding anniversary, I can't believe two years have passed since I gave my darling daughter away. Yesterday morning both of us got reminders on our phones about the wedding day and the videos taken on phones that were forwarded to us so we watched them again and we still had lumps in our throats and I shed a tear (again). They are off work this week and are coming to see us and spend the day with us on Friday, it will be nice to see them.

152johnsimpson
Nov 1, 2017, 6:02pm Top

We put a book order in with The Book People last night, it was only a small order and we had enough points so that one book is free and one of the books is for Amy although I will eventually get around to reading it but will not add it to my books bought total or pages to read at the moment, lol.

153Berly
Nov 1, 2017, 6:56pm Top

Wow, I can't believe it has been two years already! And now you are a retired school governor, eh? More time to read books!

154karenmarie
Nov 1, 2017, 7:11pm Top

Hi John!

>142 johnsimpson: Thank you for Karen's Recipe. I have a question for you on my thread about Mixed Spice, so won't clutter it up here.

Sounds like things are going pretty well, and happy second Anniversary to Amy and Andy!!

Sending love and hugs to you and Karen.

155johnsimpson
Nov 2, 2017, 5:14pm Top

>153 Berly:, Hi Kim, the Two years do seem to have flown by and they are coming over tomorrow and staying overnight which will be nice. I have enjoyed my 15 years as a governor at the High School but things are changing in the way schools are run over here and I am not in favour as there have been some failures due to monies being taken out for personal gain. In recent years it seems that schools are being run as a business and the role of a governor is becoming more specialized with lots more courses to attend and yet we are volunteers and don't even get expenses.

I can always find more time to read books my dear and when Karen goes back to work I will pick up my reading lol, while she has been off work we have spent time doing things that sometimes get left or have to be done on her days off so we have been busy since she started to pick up after the op.

156johnsimpson
Nov 2, 2017, 5:14pm Top

>154 karenmarie:, I have posted on your thread my dear about the Mixed Spice, hope it is useful to you.

157johnsimpson
Nov 2, 2017, 5:29pm Top

We have had a good day today, after a pot of tea in bed we got up, washed and dressed before having some breakfast and a pot of tea. Once we were fed and watered we set off to do a couple of things, we called into Aldi where Karen quickly got the few bits we needed and then we went to the farm shop to pick up some lovely bread and Karen also picked up a nice Cauliflower and some Yorkshire Parkin. Once we had done at the farm shop we headed to the White Rose Shopping Centre near Leeds, Karen had some clothing to take back and we needed to pick up a couple of items.

We had a good wander around and did what we had to do before making our way home. On the way home we called into Asda so Karen could book her eye test and her Flu injection, once this was done we went home.

Once we were home we unpacked all the shopping and put it away and I then made us a pot of tea and we watched Escape to the Country and then Money for Nothing. While watching the programmes Karen peeled a Swede and a Sweet Potato and then cubed it so she could have a bit mashed with the Beef in Ale for tea and then she cooked the rest and then blitzed it to make some soup which tasted lovely.

After we had eaten Karen quickly changed and I took her to the bariatric meeting and I made my way home for 75 minutes before going back to pick Karen up. We are now relaxing with a pot of tea and some sweet treats.

158vancouverdeb
Edited: Nov 3, 2017, 6:37pm Top

Stopping by just to say hi and I am so glad to see things are taking a positive turn for Rob and Louise, and congratulations to Amy and Andy on their second wedding anniversary. I hope things continue to be steady for Rob and Louise, especially because that helps you and Karen in your continued happiness. What is that saying? " You are only as happy as your least happy child." Having my own two adult children, I know that to be very true. Our eldest son had a bit of unneeded kerfuffle from the provincial drivers licensing department as to his proving that he is permanent citizen in our province. He is very private and I was so upset on his behalf that he was supposedly going to have to take in his bank records, mobile phone records, place of employment etc to prove that he lived here , I got myself quite upset on his behalf. He was born here and has lived not more than 2 - 3 miles away from us, here in the Vancouver area. Anyway, I got myself so worked up about it , that my husband said to me - " I think you'd murder anyone who stood in the way of the happiness of our children" I had a great laugh at that . Anyway, between my own polite "intervention" with the licensing people and my son giving them a phone call, all is sorted.

159johnsimpson
Nov 3, 2017, 5:38pm Top

>158 vancouverdeb:, Hi Deb, I cannot believe the trouble your eldest son had from the provincial drivers licensing department my dear, I can quite understand you being upset as Karen would be the same. I do believe that Karen could do murder if someone stood in the way of the kids happiness.

Sadly the things with Rob and Louise have gone sour and this last week has been bad with Louise saying Rob had to go three times this week and then each time getting upset and not wanting him to go. Each time she has told him she doesn't love him, cannot bear him to touch her and she doesn't want to talk to him. He has come to the end of his rope and so in the early hours of this morning he packed all his belongings he still had there and put them in the car and before he went to work he told her what he had done and she turned around and said I haven't told you to go to which he replied that if she didn't love him, and didn't want him to touch her or talk to her then he would give her space and he was going home.

When he rang to tell us this afternoon we had to say to him that could he sleep on the sofa as his sister and Andy were here and staying overnight as we did not expect him, he said that was ok so now we have him with us just under three weeks away from his 30th birthday.

160johnsimpson
Nov 3, 2017, 6:13pm Top

We have had a really good day today. After a pot of tea in bed we got up, washed and dressed and came downstairs and I had some cereal and we both had a pot of tea. Once this was done I got my shopping bags and list and I went to do the weekly shop while Karen cleaned the kitchen. By the time I got back the kitchen was clean and Karen was preparing the ingredients for a nice curry for a late lunch when Amy and Andy arrive. I put the shopping away and made us a pot of tea, we were just sat down relaxing with our tea when Amy and Andy arrived. Amy and Andy brought in their baggage and I then made them a drink and we had a chat.

Amy had brought he ironing as her board is lower than ours and so Karen was going to swap our higher board for hers but when Karen tried to put the board up it collapsed where the spot welds had been done so we needed another board. Karen ordered one online and was told it was available to be picked up so I went off for it only to find that she had been told wrong and it would not be available until Monday. I rang Karen to let her know and to put the curry on to warm up and by the time I got back the curry was ready.

The curry was fantastic and we all enjoyed it, sadly before this Rob rang to say that he had packed all his belongings he had at his home and was coming to our home. Things have been bad this pat week or so and three times Louise had to told him to go, she has told him she doesn't love him, cannot bear his touch and will not speak to him. He packed his things in the early hours and put them in the car and when he was ready to set off to go to work he told Louise and she turned around and said she had not told him he could go. He replied that with the way things were he wanted to give her space and he could not hack this situation any longer and he would be there for Hannah and this was for the best. We were sad in one sense but proud that after all she has put him through this last few weeks, he has done what she has wanted but we are aware that she may start texting and phoning him even though she doesn't really want him.

We had another couple of drinks before Rob arrived after finishing work, he put his things away and had a quick chat before going to the cricket club to do a stint behind the bar and we went up to the social club to watch the bonfire and fireworks display. The fireworks display and bonfire was really good with a large number of villagers attending. Once it was all over we made our way home and had some cheese and crackers and some pate and we have had a alcoholic drink or two and have been having a really good evening.

161johnsimpson
Nov 3, 2017, 6:22pm Top

Forgot to mention that our Book People order arrived today, had to hide the book for Amy before they arrived. I AM trying to be good, honestly.

162johnsimpson
Nov 3, 2017, 6:36pm Top

I know it is a tad early but I am thinking about my reading plans for next year and a suitable thread title, some things will continue but I will try and think of a new challenge or two.

163karenmarie
Nov 4, 2017, 6:06am Top

Hi John!

Well, sorry to hear that Rob has left Louise. I'd say it's for the best except that they keep getting back together so have to hedge my bets and simply say I hope Rob's situation resolves, one way or the other. I am most sincerely sorry that he's back to living with you and Karen, though, because I know what a disruption that is to you. I hope he gets on his feet again and can perhaps find a place of his own.

>162 johnsimpson: It's fun to start thinking about things for 2018. I've already decided to put a family photo on the top of each thread I create next year, which makes me happy to think about. Have fun mulling things over.

164bohemima
Nov 4, 2017, 9:19am Top

I second Karen’s thoughts above, John. It’s difficult to keep a level head when the kid(s) are so off-again-on-again in their relationships. I know it upsets you, and it must be driving Karen absolutely round the bend. I hope Rob has a chance to think it all through and come to a decision he can live with, that will enable him to be happy.

Wow, I can’t believe it’s two years since Amy and Andy got married! May they continue to be happy together.

I’ve been doing a bit of thinking about next year as well. I’m not sure exactly how I want to handle my thread—or my reading! I’ve had such an outstanding reading year in 2017; I don’t want 2018 to be anything less.

Have a good weekend and a peaceful week, John. Love to you and Karen.

165johnsimpson
Nov 5, 2017, 5:00pm Top

Finished book Seventy-Two this morning, Mr Gandy's Grand Tour by Alan Titchmarsh. This is a really enjoyable book by Britain's favourite gardener come fiction author. Tim Gandy has taken early retirement after 35 years as a graphic designer after the firm he worked for was taken over and his job changed, he wonders what he will do with his time. Tim has been married to Isobel for 35 years and has three children, Oliver, Alice and Rosie but for whatever reason he only feels close to Rosie. Oliver has married and thinks life owes him more than he has got, Alice seemed reserved and has ended up in Oxford as a librarian and seems insular and Rosie is outgoing and live with Ace and is expecting a baby and thinks her mother thinks she has taken leave of her senses.

Timothy Gandy has kept his lifetime's ambition a secret for forty years, now, suddenly (if tragically) released from the hen-pecked tedium of his ordinary existence, he is unexpectedly free to realise his dreams.

He will embark on a Grand Tour of Europe, following in the footsteps of the aristocrats of the eighteenth century. He anticipates high art, culture and pleasant weather. He never expected to encounter new friendships - and possibly even love - along the way.

It seems that MR GANDY has embarked on the journey of a lifetime....

Well worth a read folks.

166johnsimpson
Nov 5, 2017, 5:19pm Top

>163 karenmarie:, >164 bohemima:, Thanks Karen and Gail for your lovely comments ladies, you are both right about the on/off relationship they seem to have had but I think this time that is it ALTHOUGH as Karen has said, she won't hold her breath just yet.

I think Rob has come to the conclusion that it is for the best as she no longer wants him near her although he had a job to do yesterday and spent most of the day over there before coming home with Hannah and she stayed over night. Today Rob took Hannah home and he spent all day there although he had planned to take Hannah, Shannon and her boyfriend along with Louise to the cricket club bonfire and fireworks display.

We had a lovely day as Amy and Andy stayed over on Friday night so we chatted for most of the day and Amy looked through the books we have both read and took a selection. They both stayed for tea and we had a real mix before they left for home. We watched Strictly Come Dancing and then Rob appeared with Hannah, he got her ready for bed and then we watched Dad's Army before she went to bed with Karen going to read a bedtime story.

Once Hannah was in bed Rob had something to eat and we chatted and watched a bit of TV. As the evening wore on I began to get a headache and before long the headache got worse, it was like a heavy ring put on my head and then all my body and joints began to ache. Both Karen and Rob said I didn't look too well and so I made a pot of tea and took myself to bed. As I was getting undressed I felt outwardly warm but was shivering inwardly and started to shake, I got myself in bed and tried to get comfortable. I must have dropped off to sleep as Karen came up about 75 minutes later and removed my cold pot of tea and book and took the extra pillows off me so I could lay properly. I slept really well but was still under the weather this morning.

Karen made me a pot of tea in bed and then I dropped back off to sleep and then mid morning she made me some crumpets and a pot of tea. Once I had eaten I sat up a bit in bed and read while Karen went to the craft fair at the library. I had nearly finished my book by the time Karen got back and she made another pot of tea for me. Eventually I got up around 1.20pm and had another pot of tea before feeling better and so got up, washed and dressed. We have had a lovely afternoon and evening and I feel so much better and cannot believe how bad I felt last night.

167johnsimpson
Nov 6, 2017, 3:58pm Top

We awoke to the first hard frost of the season, only 25 days to the Meterorological Winter season and 46 days to the Winter equinox. Although it has to be a bit warmer tonight frosts are forecast for the rest of the week and I feel it is going to get colder as we near December. We are due a cold winter and that would suit me as I prefer the seasons to follow what they should and how they were when I was young, I do miss them and like to have stroll in crisp weather then get back and have a nice warm drink.

168johnsimpson
Nov 6, 2017, 4:19pm Top

Apart from waking to a nice frosty morning we have had a nice day overall. Once we were up and about we had a pot of tea and I had some breakfast before I took Rob to the station. After dropping Rob off I called into the Argos store to see if the ironing board we had ordered had arrived, they were having IT problems so they gave me a number to ring just after lunch. From there I went and picked up some shopping so Rob can eat and then made my way home.

When home I made us a drink while Karen put the shopping away and after our drink Karen started to wrap some Christmas presents. While Karen was wrapping I tried to make an appointment with the podiatrist but the line was engaged. I finished my pot of tea whilst reading before we had some lunch. After lunch I tried ringing the podiatrist again and managed to get an appointment for next Tuesday and then I went out to get some money from the cash machine to pay this months Council Tax. After paying the Council Tax I made my way back towards Walton to go and collect the raffle prize that Karen had won after buying tickets at the craft fair yesterday. As I was nearing Walton a car pulled out of the nature park without bothering waiting for me to pass, they could see me but just ignored the fact that I was there and It was my right of way. After slamming the brakes on and sounding my horn they just ignored me and continued to drive through Walton.

I collected Karen's raffle prize and then made my way home and made us a pot of tea. Karen rang the store to see if the ironing board was available and the chap told her their systems were still down but he went to check and rang her back, Karen told them I would collect it at around 7pm before picking Rob up from the station.

We had another pot of tea or two before making something to eat and then we watched the news and Strictly Takes Two before i set off to collect the ironing board and Rob. I got the ironing board and then went to get Rob, his train was delayed by nearly 20 minutes and once his train arrived he made his way to me and we headed for home. I brought the ironing board in to show Karen and on taking a closer look found that the edge where the Iron sits had been dented and a large flake of paint had been scraped off, I will have to take it back in the morning as I am not paying £55 for an ironing board that is damaged before we even use it.

169johnsimpson
Nov 6, 2017, 4:37pm Top

Karen is just sorting out a present for Rob's 30th birthday on the 22nd of this month and she has decided what sort of cake to make him, my wife is a lovely woman.

170karenmarie
Nov 7, 2017, 6:56pm Top

Hi John!

I'm sorry you were under the weather the other day but glad it seems to have been gotten over quickly.

>169 johnsimpson: She is a lovely woman - I'd love to meet her in person, but I feel I know her nicely through your posts.

Presents and cakes are something that I adored/adore planning for my daughter. Except that my daughter absolutely prefers pumpkin pie to any kind of cake for her birthday - and this is a summer birthday we're talking about. My husband has also taken to boycotting cakes for his birthday as he prefers cheesecake with graham cracker crust. So the only birthday cake I get to make is one for myself, German Chocolate Cake.

I am looking forward to making Karen's Christmas cake in the next several days!

171johnsimpson
Nov 8, 2017, 3:55pm Top

>170 karenmarie:, Thank you for your lovely comments my dear.

172johnsimpson
Nov 8, 2017, 4:13pm Top

I took the damaged ironing board back yesterday and the young manager I spoke to was disgusted by it and so he put in an order for a replacement to be delivered today and it arrived just after lunch.

Today has been good, once we were up and about I had some breakfast and we both had a pot of tea before Rob arrived ( do not ask - just think ping pong as Karen puts it). I took Rob to the station and then made my way home.

Once home I had a quick pot of tea before getting on with the vacuuming of the living and dining room and then cleaning the kitchen, Karen had already dusted in the living and dining room while I was out. By the time I had finished the kitchen the ironing board had arrived which was good.

We had a pot of tea and then I had another before Karen made me some lunch before I dropped Karen off at Asda so she could have her Flu jab and then have her eyes tested while I went to collect Hannah from school. I collected Hannah and then we made our way back to Asda to wit for Karen to get finished, we weren't waiting long and then we popped next door to Aldi so Karen could pick up a copy of Good Housekeeping and Hannah asked if she could have a magazine. Ten minutes later Karen appeared with her magazine and a Frozen magazine for Hannah.

We made our way home and Hannah went into the comfy armchair with he magazine while I made us all a drink. Hannah wanted the Trumpton DVD on and Karen tried to get her to watch one of the others but she was adamant that it should be Trumpton. A short while later Karen made Hannah some tea and I had another drink before I put some food in the oven for us. After watching Trumpton we watched Strictly takes two before I went to collect Rob from the station and once home he had a quick chat before taking Hannah home.

173johnsimpson
Nov 8, 2017, 4:41pm Top

Tomorrow we are going to Skipton in North Yorkshire after dropping Rob at the station, Skipton is a lovely market town that we love and visit a number of times each year. Hopefully Emma's Apothecary will have its Christmas display up and we can then pick up a new bauble for the tree, this has become a ritual for us and they always have a really good selection to choose from.

Whilst we are there I will have time to peruse various outlets that have new and secondhand books so may come back with one or two. The main thing is that we will have a really nice day mooching around in each others company and a bit of lunch out, a win win situation for us.

174karenmarie
Nov 8, 2017, 6:55pm Top

Sounds lovely, John! Have a great time, find a good Christmas bauble, many books, and a fun time with Karen.

175vancouverdeb
Nov 9, 2017, 6:42am Top

Sorry about the trouble with Rob and Louise ( yes , ping pong might the best way to think about it ) . Sounds like you are have had a lovely day in Skipton. Enjoy your mooch about and I hope you both find some good books. Love and hugs to you and Karen.

176johnsimpson
Nov 9, 2017, 3:53pm Top

>174 karenmarie:, Hi Karen, we had a lovely time in Skipton and Karen picked up three nice Mushroom baubles and a Fairy and two small carved Hedgehogs, one of which is for Amy. Between us we picked up five books but I will read them all and the best bargain was three Christmas themed cushion covers and we have spare cushion pads in the loft and they were 99 pence each from a charity shop and they are brand new.

177johnsimpson
Nov 9, 2017, 3:59pm Top

>175 vancouverdeb:, Hi Deb, it is totally ping pong but they have to sort things out and from what Rob has said it seems this will be the last chance to see if the relationship can be salvaged and he is just taking things day by day and see what happens.

We have had a lovely day in Skipton and Karen got a Fairy, three Mushroom baubles and two small carved Hedgehogs, one of which is for Amy. We had a good mooch around and the best buy was the three Christmas themed Cushion covers that were brand new, in a charity shop and cost 99 pence each. Between us we picked up five books and I will read them all.

We love to visit Skipton and it is the gateway to the Yorkshire Dales so a great part of Yorkshire. We enjoy our days out, mooching around just like two young lovers, arm in arm without a care in the world for a few hours regardless of what is going on around us, or at least most of the time its without a care in the world.

178johnsimpson
Nov 9, 2017, 4:37pm Top

I forgot to mention that Karen picked up a Nigel Slater cookbook that had been reduced by 75% and is a nice addition to her collection.

179johnsimpson
Nov 9, 2017, 5:30pm Top

Tomorrow is Karen's last day off work before she returns on Saturday, for the first two weeks back she is going to do reduced hours so she gets back into the swing of things without doing any damage and so she will be back in full swing just in time for the Christmas beano, when folks buy too many useless presents and stock up on more food than is necessary as if the world is going to end and yet they will be back instore on the 26th or 27th of December stocking up again for New Year, again as if the world is going to end.

180vancouverdeb
Nov 9, 2017, 8:53pm Top

Your day sounds wonderful, John! You and Karen , just shopping and browsing about , and leaving behind of all the cares of the world and focusing on each other. The very best way to a happy marriage. I have been blessed with that too. Because the weather has been poor lately and I'd like to keep up my fitness, my husband purchased a treadmill for me and he is in the process of putting it together. It will take some time , as he is back to work the next 4 days. Glad you found yourselves some good books!

181Berly
Nov 10, 2017, 1:12am Top

Just wanted to pop in, catch up and say Hi! Hope Karen does well heading back to work. Hugs to you and Karen.

182karenmarie
Nov 10, 2017, 8:58am Top

I hope you and Karen are having a wonderful day.

Wow. Back to work already? I hope that the reduced hours schedule is just enough to get Karen back into the swing of things before the "Christmas beano" as you put it. People do seem to go into a frenzy, don't they?

We deliberately do not go out for US Black Friday (day after Thanksgiving) and don't go out for several days after Christmas, just to avoid the craziness. Of course, we don't do much socializing in general, and what we do is usually meeting friends for lunch or dinner on a weekend. Thanksgiving will be at our house with 5, possibly 6 of us, and Christmas will just be the three of us.

183johnsimpson
Nov 10, 2017, 3:46pm Top

>180 vancouverdeb:, Hi Deb, it is the best way to a happy marriage my dear, we like to have a bit of time to ourselves but we do enjoy each others company and having a day like yesterday when we could just mooch around and do as we pleased is good for us.

What a lovely husband you have my dear and I hope he gets the treadmill up and running for you but work has to come first. Like you we want to keep fit and well so 2018 will see us taking some nice walks around our beautiful county. As you know I can always find some good books about, the problem is will I get to read them all and that is why I need to keep fit, could be a catch 22 situation, lol.

Hope you are having a good day dear friend and send love and hugs from both of us.

184johnsimpson
Nov 10, 2017, 3:49pm Top

>181 Berly:, Hi Kim, thanks for popping by my dear, always nice to see you here. Karen will start on reduced hours for the first couple of weeks although after they cocked up her wage again she will have to sort out how she is going to do this as she wants to use a little bit of holiday time to make the hours up but this may confuse the new person who is supposedly doing the wages but two months running her wage is wrong, Grrrr.

Hope you are having a lovely day dear friend and send love and hugs from both of us.

185johnsimpson
Nov 10, 2017, 4:07pm Top

>182 karenmarie:, Hi Karen we have had a reasonable day, a little stressful with Karens wage being wrong again but apart from that it has been good.

Karen is back at work from tomorrow on reduced hours but as she wants to use a little bit of her holiday hours this could be a problem as she is now unsure that her wage will not be affected as the person doing the wages seems to be having a problem and it is not only Karen that has been affected. She is not a happy bunny about this, Grrrr.

We try to avoid the busy days when doing our Christmas shopping especially the big Malls but because Karen has Thursday off we go then when the kids are at school and parents are at work or at least most of them and it is not chaotic. Karen will be working on Black Friday over here although some have stopped doing it or extend it over a few days to avoid all the carnage that occurred a few years ago. It is rare for us to go to the sales the day after Christmas as we don't like all the hassle pushing and shoving that goes on. I think we have gone on three occasions, the first was when the kids were really young and we abandoned it, the second wasn't too bad and the last occasion was a couple of years ago and it was fine as a lot of people thought it would be bad and that public transport would be poor and so the malls were busy but we got around ok and there was no pushing or shoving and it was quite pleasant.

Over the Christmas period we sometimes see friends but Karen will be in work for a couple of days and others are at work but on the day itself we will have Amy and Andy, they will come on Christmas Eve and stay until late on the 26th depending on where Rob is (Sheesh) and we may also have Rob, Louise and the girls for lunch but that is debatable.

I will log on to Facebook on the laptop as my mobile has not picked up your friend request my dear and Karen has not received your e-mail but I got the message on my e-mail and told Karen and so she got in touch with you, we are not ignoring you.

Hope you are having a good day dear friend and we send love and hugs.

186johnsimpson
Nov 10, 2017, 4:54pm Top

We have had a good day even though we had a hiccup when Karen got her wage slip, once again they have not paid her correctly. It would appear that she is 32 hours missing and the person that is now doing the wages has not just made a mistake with Karen but a number of other colleagues. Karen will get it back but it will probably be another month and now that Karen is going back to work and on reduced hours she was going to use holiday hours to make up the difference but if this payroll clerk is still making mistakes, Karen is worried that this will just cock things up even more and is not sure what to do now.

I dropped Karen at the doctors as she had to see the doctor to get a return to work note, I came back home to get Rob and then picked Karen up on the way to taking Rob to the station. After dropping Rob off we went to do the weekly shopping at Asda and Aldi and then made our way home. We unpacked and put the shopping away and then I made us a pot of tea. We had another pot of tea before I went to Normanton to do the banking as the branch in Wakefield is closed for three weeks while it is refurbished. Once back from Normanton I made us a pot of tea and Karen had made me some sandwiches so I had some lunch.

We had a relaxing afternoon and early evening and Karen wrapped a few presents up, my present from Rob and Amy arrived and Karen was very pleased with this. We had a bite to eat around 6pm and a while later I picked Rob up from the station. After he left I fired up the laptop and came on here.

187Berly
Nov 11, 2017, 3:33am Top

John--My oldest does some of the timekeeping at her company and she has told me stories about how careful she has to be to get it right and how others are not quite as particular. Hope this new person figures it out quickly or it will continue to be a right mess!

188johnsimpson
Nov 11, 2017, 4:22pm Top

>187 Berly:, Your oldest is doing things right my dear and good on her, at the end of the day it is other peoples incomes that are at stake and it seems as if Asda are not checking the staff they take on. Karen has found out that more staff have had problems and that it is taking a while to sort out. Karens should have been straightforward as she was 49 hours missing from last month and add that to the 120 hours she works each month and it should have been rectified and not now 32 hours out.

Karen is fired up and she will get it sorted be rest assured.

Hope you are having a good start to the weekend my dear.

189johnsimpson
Nov 11, 2017, 4:43pm Top

Today was Karens first back at work since her operation and it went well and she felt fine, luckily todays shift was only a five hour one and she spent most of the time serving at the desk.

We woke up and had a pot of tea in bed before getting up, washed and dressed. Once downstairs we had a pot of tea and had some breakfast while Watching James Martin's cook show. After another pot of tea it was time to take Karen to work and after dropping her off I picked up my usual Copy of the Yorkshire Post newspaper and then headed home.

After a pot of tea and a read of the sports section and the magazine I got on with all my book stats and notes and had a pot of tea along the way. After completing all the book stats and notes I made myself some lunch before watching a bit of Rugby Union on the television and read a little bit before going to collect Karen. I had to pop in store to collect a shirt for Rob as he has an interview for a better paid job on Friday. After collecting the shirt I went back to the car and read until Karen joined me and then we made our way home.

Once home I made us a pot of tea and we chatted before I made us another pot of tea and put some food in the oven for our tea. Rob called in and tried the shirt on but it was a bit snug so he will have to look himself. Rob left and we had just started watching Strictly Come Dancing when our tea was ready, we were naughty and had it on our lap while still watching the dancing.

The rest of the evening has been spent relaxing.

190johnsimpson
Nov 11, 2017, 5:04pm Top

We are going to the cinema tomorrow afternoon to see Murder on the Orient Express and hopefully later in the week we will go to see Paddington 2, really looking forward to seeing both these movies.

191Ameise1
Nov 12, 2017, 4:56am Top

Hello John, It's more then a month ago when I last stopped by at your thread. I hope that Karen will have a good start back to work. The wet and cold autumnal season has arrived here. The golden days are definitely over. Wishing you and Karen a wonderful weekend.

192PaulCranswick
Nov 12, 2017, 8:44am Top

>190 johnsimpson: Hope you enjoy it, John. We were at the cinema too watching Victoria & Abdul. Great movie.

Love to Karen. xx

193johnsimpson
Nov 12, 2017, 2:33pm Top

>191 Ameise1:, Hi Barbara, so lovely to see you here again my dear. Karen had a good first shift back at work and then today off, tomorrow she is in at 4pm and the same on Tuesday, the hours she is missing will be taken from her holiday entitlement so she will get full pay.

It is getting very cool here my dear and apparently the first bit of snow has appeared in the northern Dales. Hope you and Thomas and Marina are all well dear friend and are having a really good weekend. Sending love and hugs from both of us.

194johnsimpson
Nov 12, 2017, 2:35pm Top

>192 PaulCranswick:, Hi Paul glad you enjoyed Victoria and Abdul. We just loved Murder on the Orient Express, Kenneth Branagh plays Poirot well and did a really good job all round and the cast was good, looking forward to Paddington 2 later in the week now.

Sending love and hugs to you all.

195johnsimpson
Nov 12, 2017, 3:28pm Top



Finished book Seventy-Three late last night, The Keeper of Lost Things by Ruth Hogan. This is a fabulous debut novel and barring something special hitting my shelves, this will be my book of the year.

Anthony Peardew has spent half of his life collecting lost objects on his travels, trying to atone for a promise broken many years before. Anthony is an author and lives in a gorgeous house called Padua, his garden is home to a range of Roses and is kept meticulous.

Realising he is running out of time, he leaves his house and all its lost treasures to his assistant Laura, the one person he can trust to reunite the thousands of objects with their rightful owners.

Laura has been with Anthony for six years and has her own story which comes out throughout the book along with some of the tales of the people who lost some of the objects and to add to this another story runs alongside and all is revealed towards the end.

The final wishes of the "Keeper of Lost Things" have unforeseen repercussions which trigger a most serendipitous series of encounters.

The characters of this story are in the main lovely although as in life there are one or two rogues/nasty people but this is a book that once started is hard to put down. Love is at the core but it is not slushy and is easily relatable to the reader. I don't give any type of rating to books I read but this is five star, ten out of ten or whatever scales are used but don't just take my word for it, Karen loved it and she can be picky so if you are intrigued by this narrative, give it a go and if you don't like it then you can blame me.

196johnsimpson
Nov 12, 2017, 3:47pm Top

We have had a lovely day today, after a pot of tea in bed we got up, washed and dressed and came downstairs. Before we had chance to make breakfast, Debbie, a colleague Karen has worked with in the early days of the Photo section came to collect a little cardigan that Karen had knitted for her newest Grandson. Debbie brought along the recipient and one of her Granddaughters, I made us all a pot of tea while Karen had a cuddle and Ellie (the Granddaughter), some Orange juice. I also had a cuddle and listened along with Karen and Debbie to the story Ellie had started to write while she was with us. Debbie paid Karen for the Cardigan and part paid for the Christmas cakes that she also took with her.

Once Debbie left we had some porridge and watched the Remembrance service from the Cenotaph in London on TV. Once it had finished we had another pot of tea and I read for a while and Karen did a bit of knitting. After a while we peeled the vegetables and Karen put the Gammon joint in the oven. A short while later after she had done a bit of ironing she put the vegetables on and when it was all cooked she plated up todays lunch and lunch for tomorrow. After another pot of tea we relaxed before going to the cinema to watch Murder on the Orient Express. We really enjoyed the film and had a good time, once home we had a pot of tea before warming up our dinner and had a lovely meal. We followed this with a mince pie and a yoghurt before watching the news, Countryfile, Strictly Come Dancing: The Results and now we are watching Blue Planet 2.

All in all a lovely relaxing and enjoyable day.

197Dianekeenoy
Nov 12, 2017, 7:34pm Top

195 Hi John, I loved this book, too! Hope you and Karen had a good weekend! I am getting the house and pups back to normal after being gone for two weeks taking my dad to Florida. Now, I need to get ready for our annual vacation to Cape May, NJ. We might be looking at some condos there.

198Berly
Nov 12, 2017, 7:51pm Top

>195 johnsimpson: Nice review, John. Sounds like one I would enjoy, especially if Karen did too! ; )

199LovingLit
Nov 12, 2017, 9:54pm Top

The stories of your daily life always contain a pot of tea! Would you make it through the day without one? ;)
(I love the ritual of a whole pot, it is that much more social than a single cup)

200scaifea
Nov 13, 2017, 6:24am Top

Hi, John! I hope you had a lovely weekend!

201johnsimpson
Nov 13, 2017, 3:43pm Top

>197 Dianekeenoy:, Hi Diane, thanks for popping by my dear, we had a lovely weekend. I thought you must be busy with RL my dear and hope you have a lovely vacation and good luck Condo hunting. Sending love and hugs.

202johnsimpson
Nov 13, 2017, 3:45pm Top

>198 Berly:, Hi Kim, I really think you would enjoy it my dear, Karen just devoured it, she really never wanted to put it down. If Karen is reading a book that she absolutely loves I have to be firm with her about turning her bedside light off or she would be reading until two in a morning.

Sending love and hugs.

203johnsimpson
Edited: Nov 13, 2017, 3:49pm Top

>199 LovingLit:, Hi Megan, I don't think I could get through a day without a pot of tea (my use of pot refers to a nice large mug) and that is why it crops up in my posts on a regular basis. I must admit that when have been abroad I do have at least four pots of tea as we take a travel kettle and teabags with us, nothing like a nice pot of tea first thing in a morning and last thing at night.

Sending love and hugs.

204johnsimpson
Nov 13, 2017, 3:50pm Top

>200 scaifea:, Hi Amber, we had a lovely weekend topped off with seeing Murder on the Orient Express at the cinema. Sending love and hugs my dear.

205johnsimpson
Nov 13, 2017, 3:57pm Top

We have had a steady day, once up and about Karen went for a walk whilst I had a pot of tea and once she was back she had a shower and then I made her a pot of tea and I had another along with some cereal. I put a load of washing on while she was out and after it had finished and Karen had her shower I put another load on. When the washing was done all the washing was put on the airers and then we had a pot of tea.

Karen wrapped some more presents up and I read and then we watched the lunchtime news and then some Tennis from the ATP World Tour Finals at the O2 in London. Just before 3pm Karen warmed up the plated dinners from yesterday and we had these while watching Escape to the Country and once we had finished we had a short time before it was time to take Karen to work.

I dropped Karen at work and then went in store to take a shirt back, once I had done this I made my way home and had a pot of tea and read until the evening news came on at 6pm. I watched the news and then Strictly Takes Two before making myself a sandwich and another pot of tea. After i had eaten i fired up the laptop to come on here.

206karenmarie
Edited: Nov 14, 2017, 5:55am Top

Hi John!

Things seem to be perking right along for you and Karen at the moment.

I'm nibbling on the rest of my taster cake - yum - and can hardly wait until Christmas!

Sending love and hugs to both of you.

207vancouverdeb
Nov 14, 2017, 8:53am Top

I'm glad that things are going along quite nicely right now, John. My husband drinks a lot of tea, but he drinks either ginger tea, made of raw ginger that he cuts up (yuck) and pours boiling water, or else lately he is drinking some sort of Japanese tea that my son and DIL brought back from Japan. He adds a bit of honey to the Japanese tea. He is quite an exotic tea drinker. Not like me. Wow! You and Karen and doing very well with getting ready for Christmas. I think I have purchased just two gifts so far. Love and hugs to you and Karen.

208johnsimpson
Nov 14, 2017, 3:30pm Top

>206 karenmarie:, Hi Karen, things are good at the moment for the both of us and long may it continue. I see you are making the taster cake last my dear and it won't be long before you can tackle the main cake.

Sending love and hugs to you and your husband.

209johnsimpson
Nov 14, 2017, 3:37pm Top

>207 vancouverdeb:, Hi Deb, things are going fine at the moment and long may they continue. I love my pots of tea and I am really impressed with Dave and his exotic teas. The most exotic I go is a nice cup of Earl Grey or a nice cup of Rooibos, which we got after reading the The No 1 Ladies' Detective Agency.

Karen is always on the ball with Christmas presents, she has always been known as the girl of a hundred lists after the Go-Go's song, neither she nor I can sometimes read these lists but I am normally better at deciphering them.

Hope all is well with you and the family my dear and send love and hugs to you all.

210johnsimpson
Nov 14, 2017, 4:07pm Top



Finished book Seventy-Four a few hours ago, Hour Game by David Baldacci. This is the second in the King and Maxwell series, Sean King and Michelle Maxwell are ex-Secret Service agents and following their collaboration in Split Second they have now formed a partnership and their first job is to investigate the theft of some secret documents from the residence of the incredibly wealthy Battle family. At first it looks like a straightforward case of burglary but they soon begin to suspect links to larger more terrifying events that are shaking the prosperous town of Wrightsburg.

An unidentified corpse of an attractive young woman turns up in the woods, then two high school kids, one shot in the back, the other the face are found dead in their car. Following this a successful lawyer is discovered stabbed to death in her own home. It would appear that a serial killer is on the loose and he is leaving clues, the clues relate to different serial killers of the past and he leaves a stopped watch at the scene. Why?

As the killing spree escalates, it seems that the fractured Battle Family are somehow involved and King and Maxwell are racing to solve the puzzle. By now the FBI are also involved but the body count continues to rise.

How can this serial killer be stopped? Will King and Maxwell solve the case(s)? Read and find out.

211johnsimpson
Nov 14, 2017, 4:34pm Top

Not a bad day really. I got up a bit earlier than usual as had an early appointment with the Podiatrist, I got up, washed and dressed and left Karen to have a bit longer as she was a bit tired after her late Monday shift. I had a pot of tea and some cereal and got all our tablets and vitamins out before making a pot of tea for Karen before I left the house.

I only had a short wait to see the Podiatrist and after she did a quick check she sorted a corn out that was in the area where my problem is and then referred me to another clinic to see if surgery would be an option. On my way back home I called into Tesco Convenience store to pick up the shirts Karen ordered for Rob from their click and collect section. Once I had the shirts I made my way home and told Karen what had gone on and I made us a pot of tea.

We watched what I had recorded for Karen last night before she did a bit of ironing and I did the upstairs housework and cleaned the bathroom. Once the housework was done we watched a bit more of what we have recorded before Karen put some food in the oven so we could eat before I took Karen to work. We had our food and watched todays Escape to the Country before it was time to take Karen to work. Once I had dropped Karen off I made my way home and made a pot of tea before settling down to read. I finished my 74th book of the year and then selected another to read. I read a bit more of the Patterson I am reading and then Rob arrived, he tried on one of the shirts for size and it fit nicely so he is sorted for his job interview on Friday. After he had tried the shirt on he went to get changed and then I got him to write a label for his Christmas present to me that Karen had ordered and wrapped, lol.

I continued reading after he had gone and put the news on, after the news I watched Strictly Takes Two before reading a bit more. I made myself something to eat before firing up the laptop with the football on the TV in the background. I will be shortly going to pick Karen up from work.

212johnsimpson
Edited: Nov 15, 2017, 3:29pm Top

Another nice day for us, we were up early again so that I could have a pot of tea and some breakfast before taking Karen to her dentist appointment. After Karen had her check up we made our way to Featherstone to visit the large Aldi store. Karen went into the store to get the bits and pieces we normally get and I stayed in the car reading. Once Karen had got the shopping we made our way home and unpacked and put the shopping away.

While Karen sorted the flowers out that she had bought I made us a pot of tea and then got the washing out of the washer and put it all on the airers. We sat and enjoyed our pot of tea while watching the Daily Politics show before Karen toasted some crumpets for lunch. After another couple of pots of tea it was time for me to go and pick up Andy's mum and bring her here. While I was picking Pat up, Karen was making a nice Chicken Casserole and not long after we had got home Amy arrived. We all had a pot of tea before enjoying a gorgeous Casserole and then I had another pot of tea and Amy had a coffee before it was time to take Karen, Pat and Amy to the Leeds Grand Theatre to see Fat Friends. We all remember watching the Television series in the late nineties/early noughties. Once I had dropped them off I made my way home, once home I made a pot of tea and read a few chapters before firing up the laptop and coming on here.

I am on here while listening to Five Live Sport on the radio and finding out what the all time Ashes XI is as voted by listeners to Five Live and Test Match Special. At the moment we have eight names and only Three are English at the moment.

213johnsimpson
Nov 15, 2017, 4:05pm Top

Closing in on my 75th book and should be able to announce it by Friday Evening, also I am nearing my 2,000th post on my threads for the year. I think I am having a really good year on all fronts, just a shame I will not reach my 40,000 pages for the year, a couple of bad months have scuppered me again.

214vancouverdeb
Edited: Nov 16, 2017, 1:27am Top

Congratulations closing in on your 75th book. It was raining yet again today , but I got out by myself and had a bit of a mooch about town and it cheered me quite a bit. I got some coffee and blueberry jam for Dave and wee bit of chocolate fudge for myself. A couple of second hand books and book came in from the library. I should go mooching more often. A good activity.

215Berly
Nov 16, 2017, 2:06am Top

>213 johnsimpson: Looking good here!!

216johnsimpson
Nov 16, 2017, 3:29pm Top

>214 vancouverdeb:, Thanks Deb. Nice that you managed to get out on your own my dear and you picked up some nice things and then the bonus of some books. Mooching about on your own is a good activity. Sorry to read that it was raining again, here it is just cold and getting colder but not in the realms that parts of Canada get. I am pleased that the 75th book is nearly under my belt.

217johnsimpson
Nov 16, 2017, 3:30pm Top

>215 Berly:, Thanks Kim, I could really do with those two mugs, they tell the story and suit me.

218johnsimpson
Nov 16, 2017, 3:57pm Top

A nice steady day for us today, we had a pot of tea in bed before getting up, washed and dressed. Once downstairs I made us a pot of tea and Karen made me some porridge, by the time I had finished Bridget the hairdresser arrived.

I had my luscious long locks cut first so that I could pop into town while Karen had her hair done. As soon as I was done I left to go and pick up some trainers that Karen had ordered for Rob's birthday and once I had collected them I went to get my art magazine before heading back to the car Via Marks and Spencer's to pick up a couple of packs of Parsley Sauce.

I arrived home and Bridget had just about finished doing Karen's hair, a short time later Bridget left and while Karen swept the hair up I made us a pot of tea and then Leo decided he wanted to sit on my lap. While drinking my tea I perused the art magazine I had picked up.

I made us another pot of tea and we watched the Daily Politics show and then the lunchtime news, just before the news started Karen toasted some crumpets for us and we had them. Once the news and local news had finished I read my magazine a bit more thoroughly and Karen started a new knitting project. An hour later I set off to pick Hannah up from school and brought her back here. Once home I made us a pot of tea and Hannah had some juice and then she went upstairs to get the Maisy books down so that she could read to Karen and put the stickers in them.

We fed Hannah before making something for ourselves and not long after we had eaten Rob arrived. Rob played with Hannah and then Karen took her for a bath. Hannah had some milk and a biscuit and Rob gave her a hug before I took her home as Rob had a meeting to go to.

Karen, Amy and Pat really enjoyed Fat Friends at the theatre last night, I managed to get a parking spot not far from the theatre when I went to pick them up and I wasn't waiting long for them.

219karenmarie
Nov 16, 2017, 7:29pm Top

Hi John!

Almost done with 75, eh? Early congratulations.

Sending love and hugs to you and Karen.

220johnsimpson
Nov 17, 2017, 4:09pm Top



Finished book Seventy - Five this morning, 15th Affair by James Patterson. This is the 15th in the Women's Murder Club series and finds Detective Sergeant Lindsay Boxer at the heart of an investigation to find and elusive and dangerous suspect.

Four bodies are found in a luxury hotel, the first is a man who checked in under a false name, two are in the room next door which is full of surveillance equipment and the fourth is a house maid. Boxer and Conklin are the lead detectives and have a lot of work to do on this especially as in the vital period of time the Wi-Fi in the hotel is down and so nothing is picked up on the cameras. Two days later flight WW 888 is downed on its approach to San Francisco airport, Boxer and Conklin are seconded to this investigation and something crops up that could link to their murder investigation. Things take another twist when Lindsay's husband Joe is found to be in a car passing the first victims home and then turns up on security cameras at the hotel. Is Joe involved in the murders?

A short while later Boxer is getting harassed by four Asian men with the last attempt being of murderous intentions, after this Boxer is warned off the case as the CIA get involved. Joe is missing and Lindsay gets no messages as to why or where he is. Has he gone back to the CIA or is he in hiding? Lindsay doesn't want to believe her husband is involved in any way least of all as the suspect she is searching for.

Another good read from the Women's Murder Club.

221johnsimpson
Nov 17, 2017, 4:18pm Top

Finished my SEVENTY - FIFTH book this morning, 15th Affair by James Patterson. Nice to get to the target well before the month end and now I can try and add to this and get to at least 85 by year end.

I think I will struggle to reach 75 next year with what I have planned but I am not revealing those plans until the beginning of December.

222johnsimpson
Nov 17, 2017, 4:48pm Top

Not too bad a day for us, after a pot of tea in bed we got up and about and Karen set a load of washing going before making me a bowl of porridge while I made us a pot of tea. After I had eaten the washer had finished and we put the washing on the airers before I made us another pot of tea. I read for a while and finished my Seventy-fifth book before selecting another one.

Karen had something to eat and because it is Children in Need day she was going to work in her PJ's, Rob rang at 11.15am to say he was just leaving the hotel where his interview was being held and was coming here to get changed. Rob arrived just after 11.30am and quickly changed and then I took Karen to work and then took Rob into Leeds so he wasn't too late back at work.

After I dropped Rob off I made my way back to Asda to do the weekly shopping, I quickly did the shopping as we didn't require much and then made my way home and unpacked and put the shopping away. Once the shopping was put away I made a pot of tea and read my paper before picking my books up. I read a few chapters of one before starting the next one and did this for the next 90 minutes interspersed with a couple of pots of tea. At 4pm I did the dusting and vacuuming of the living and dining room before reading again for about 30 minutes.

I set off to pick Karen up from work and read in the car until Karen arrived and then we called in to the filling station so I could put some diesel in the car. After filling up we made our way home and I made us a pot of tea and we chatted until it was time for me to go and pick Rob up from the station. Once home I had something to eat before Rob left and then I fired up the laptop to come on here.

223Berly
Nov 17, 2017, 5:37pm Top



Congratulations!!!

224jessibud2
Nov 17, 2017, 8:19pm Top

Congrats, John! I actually thought you had reached 75 ages ago!

225vancouverdeb
Nov 18, 2017, 3:24am Top

Congragulations on reaching 75 books, John! I'm curious as to what you are planning for next year, but I'll guess I'll have to wait to find out.

226johnsimpson
Nov 18, 2017, 7:33am Top

>223 Berly:, Thanks Kim my dear.

227johnsimpson
Nov 18, 2017, 7:33am Top

>224 jessibud2:, Thanks Shelley my dear, I think the celebration you are thinking about was me reaching 1,000 books read.

228johnsimpson
Nov 18, 2017, 7:35am Top

>225 vancouverdeb:, Thanks Deb, my dear. I am keeping my cards (books) close to my chest for another 12 days, but all will be revealed at the beginning of December.

229karenmarie
Edited: Nov 18, 2017, 1:33pm Top

Hi John!

How much of the next year's reading do you plan out? I will have to wait until December to see the details, but generally speaking, how do you organize your reading?

Sending love and hugs to you and Karen.

Oh, one more question. When should I feed the cakes again? I made them last Sunday.

230scaifea
Nov 18, 2017, 8:56am Top

75 - WOOT!! Congrats!!

231drneutron
Nov 18, 2017, 11:22am Top

Congrats!

232FAMeulstee
Nov 18, 2017, 2:00pm Top

Congratulations on reaching 75, John!

233Familyhistorian
Nov 19, 2017, 2:47am Top

Congrats on reaching 75, John. I hope that you and Karen are having a wonderful weekend. Sounds like you are almost ready for Christmas!

234johnsimpson
Edited: Nov 19, 2017, 2:36pm Top

>229 karenmarie:, Hi Karen, Karen says you can feed the cakes today and then in a weeks time. Karen uses the cap of the bottle to measure the amount and two or three capfuls drizzled over the top and bottom of each cake but be careful not to put too much on and soak the cake making it soggy.

As for my reading plans, I select a book or an author that I fancy and take it from there, sometimes I want to read books in the series I am following but sadly you will have to wait until the beginning of December before I reveal my 2018 reading plan.

I must say that books come out that I have to read more or less straightaway but if I set myself a plan I like to follow it. In 2015 my theme was a cycle of books by pages e.g 1-199pgs, 200 to 299pgs, 300 to 399 pgs etc and I managed 54 books that year, so wait and see what I have challenged myself for 2018 my dear.

235johnsimpson
Nov 19, 2017, 2:37pm Top

>230 scaifea:, Thanks Amber my dear.

>231 drneutron:, Thanks Jim.

>232 FAMeulstee:, Thanks Anita my dear.

236johnsimpson
Nov 19, 2017, 2:37pm Top

>233 Familyhistorian:, Thanks Meg my dear, we have had a good weekend and we are not far off being ready for Christmas.

237johnsimpson
Nov 19, 2017, 2:48pm Top

Yesterday was good, after we had breakfast I had to pop to the next village to post a parcel back and I picked up my copy of the Yorkshire Post paper. Once I got back home we had a pot of tea before it was time to take Karen to work. I dropped Karen off and then nipped into store before making my way home. Once home I made a pot of tea and read some of the paper before picking my book up. A couple of hours and two pots of tea later I decided it was time to clean the Kitchen before watching the Final Score programme on the Red Button channel.

I had a couple more pots of tea before it was time to go and pick Karen up from work, I collected Karen and then she went into store to try her new glasses on for size. Once Karen was done we made our way home and I made us a pot of tea before we made something to eat. We had our food and watched a bit of TV before I went for the Bus to go into town as I was going to a reunion of pit workmates.

I had a good night catching up with mates I worked with for ten years from 1979 to 1989 and had few pints before getting the last Bus home.

238johnsimpson
Nov 19, 2017, 2:57pm Top

Today has been nice and steady, once we were up and about we had a pot of tea before going into town so Karen could take some shoes back that she had ordered but once here she wasn't keen on them. We went into a couple of other stores before making our way back home.

Once home we had a pot of tea before Karen decided to do some baking, she made some Sticky Gingerbread and Christmas morning muffins, I read while Karen was baking. Once the baking was done we had a pot of tea before peeling some vegetables and then putting them on to cook and the Beef shin in Ale was put in the oven.
We had a lovely meal and after it we put all the plates etc in the dishwasher and then watched a bit of TV although I read for a bit.

239johnsimpson
Nov 19, 2017, 3:52pm Top

I have just calculated that I have now reached 2,000 posts on my threads this year, another target I wanted to reach and can now be ticked off.

240FAMeulstee
Nov 19, 2017, 6:38pm Top

>239 johnsimpson: And congratulations on 2,000 posts, John!
Any more targets this year?

241Familyhistorian
Nov 19, 2017, 7:50pm Top

You and Paul never cease to amaze me with how you tie everything to stats, John. I will be waiting to see what your 2018 reading plans are.

242Whisper1
Nov 19, 2017, 10:05pm Top

Hello Friend John.

I'm energy limited, but my spirit feels mighty blessed at seeing my way through the 8th surgery and waking up with the surgeon at my bedside smiling telling me it all well. There were some rough patches in the recovery room which resulted in the need to stay a few more days than planned. But, I am walking, talking and hoping that soon, very soon, I will be able to find a wonderful book to read and the attention span to read it.

Thank you for your dedication in stopping by my thread so often. It matters! All good wishes to you!

243johnsimpson
Edited: Nov 20, 2017, 3:37pm Top

>240 FAMeulstee:, Thanks Anita my dear, I believe you have hit 3,000 posts on your threads, congratulations. No more targets for this year, thinking about next year now.

244johnsimpson
Nov 20, 2017, 3:40pm Top

>241 Familyhistorian:, Hi Meg my dear, I think it is the way we are wired plus we both share a love of Books and Cricket and that leads to the mutuality of stats and we love our stats. Not long before I reveal my plans.

245johnsimpson
Nov 20, 2017, 3:46pm Top

>242 Whisper1:, Hi Linda my dear, thank you for taking time to visit my thread when you are recovering from the 8th major surgery and you should be resting. We will always be around your thread to leave you some nice messages and aid your recovery and we know that when you are fully fit you will reply to them and visit us.

The recovery sounds as though it is going on fine and I hope you find a special book to read when you are fully up to it, make sure that you have the attention span and it is a book that deserves to be first.

I love your thread my dear and so glad that you came across me via one or two others who like my quirky posts, I am a bit shy and lazy at times and so don't always read lots more threads and in so doing I am probably missing out on more friends so thank you for taking the time to stop by, I wouldn't be without all my LT friends now.

246johnsimpson
Nov 20, 2017, 4:04pm Top



Book Seventy-Six finished early this afternoon, House of Cards by Michael Dobbs. I can remember watching this series and the following two to complete the trilogy in the early 1990's and was enthralled with the antics of Francis Urquhart played by the fantastic Ian Richardson.

Francis Urquhart is the Chief Whip in the Conservative Government, he knows all the Tory MP's dirty little secrets and has it all noted down in a black book that only he knows where it is. As Chief Whip he can make sure that the party line is followed or things will come to light, also when an MP has done something that he or she shouldn't they go to him, the fools, and impart their follies with the hope that he will help. And he does, but a price always has to be paid eventually.

The Election is ongoing but after three terms the country are getting fed up, the incumbent PM, Henry Collingridge just doesn't seem to be firing up the electorate and murmurings are afoot within the party mechanism. The PM has got back in to Number 10 but with a reduced majority and now the murmurings are getting louder and it is coming to the attention of Francis.

After the election a re-shuffle is normally done and Francis expects but is disappointed and now he is willing to betray his colleagues to become Prime Minister.

Mattie Storin is a tenacious young political correspondent and she faces the biggest challenge of her life when she stumbles upon a scandalous web of intrigue and financial corruption at the highest levels. She is determined to reveal the truth, but she must risk everything to do so.

25 years since I watched this and by the time I had finished the first of the three it brought it all back, as I was reading I could picture what I was watching at the time it hit the screens.

Well worth a read, this man is a real piece of work.

247vancouverdeb
Nov 20, 2017, 10:34pm Top

Congratulations on 75 books, John! I look forward to December 1, your big reveal day.

248FAMeulstee
Edited: Nov 21, 2017, 8:35am Top

>246 johnsimpson: Nice review, John. I also remember watching House of cards in the early 1990s. Two years ago we watched it again, it still stood strong.

249johnsimpson
Nov 21, 2017, 3:50pm Top

>247 vancouverdeb:, Thanks Deb my dear. I think I have built my reveal day up too much and fear you will all be disappointed, lol.

250johnsimpson
Nov 21, 2017, 3:51pm Top

>248 FAMeulstee:, Hi Anita my dear, think I will have to get the box set and watch it again, we loved it first time around and I enjoyed reading the first book.

251johnsimpson
Nov 21, 2017, 4:23pm Top

It has been a nice steady day today, we had a pot of tea in bed as Karen felt a bit tired when the alarm went off. After we had our pot of tea we got up, washed and dressed and came downstairs to make some breakfast and another pot of tea. I moved the car off the drive for when Rob arrived and then had my cereal and tea and then had my tablets and vitamins.

Rob arrived and after a very quick chat I took him to the station and then made my way home. As I entered the house, Karen was doing her dance exercise in the kitchen to a seventies CD so I made a pot of tea. After Karen had finished I made her a pot of tea and then we watched the end of the Victoria Derbyshire magazine programme and then watched the news programme until the Daily Politics show came on. Whilst listening to the TV I read for a bit and then we had another pot of tea before Karen had something to eat before she went to work.

I took Karen to work and then popped into store to take some trousers back for her and so that went back on the savings card and then I had to pick up a book for Rob's birthday and look for a card. Amy sent his birthday card last Friday by first class post and it still had not arrived so I had to look for another one and write it for her. I couldn't find a suitable card so I paid for the book and the new Paloma Faith CD and we still have something left on the savings card as it is double discount for the staff this week.

After paying for the book and CD I went to the click and collect terminal and entered the code Karen had given me and waited for the parcel to be brought to me, once I had the parcel I went back to the car and headed into town to look for a birthday card and have a quick look around. I found a nice card and then had a quick look in a couple of shops before making my way home.

Once home I made a pot of tea and read for about 40 minutes before going upstairs to do the upstairs housework. After dusting and vacuuming the bedrooms I had a shave and a shower and then cleaned the bathroom. After the housework was done I made a pot of tea and read until 6pm and then decided that I was hungry and so made myself something to eat. After satisfying my hunger I made a pot of tea and did the book notes and stats for the last four books I have read. I had done two before it was time to go and pick Rob up from the station, once Rob had arrived he got in the car and we headed home. Rob picked up a couple of bits and I gave him his presents and some cards before he left. Once he had gone I finished off my book work and filled in my files before making a pot of tea and firing up the laptop to come on here.

252johnsimpson
Nov 21, 2017, 4:37pm Top

The weather here has been very up and down the last few days, over the weekend and yesterday had been cold and chilly although it warmed up a bit last night when we had a bit of light rain and today it has been quite mild with a little light rain. The next two days have to be mild before we are back to a cold spell with temperatures dropping below 0c and apparently it has to get colder into next week. I wish it would make its mind up so I know where I am with it, one morning I wake up and am stiff and sore and the next I am fine.

253karenmarie
Nov 22, 2017, 8:43am Top

Hi John!

I couldn't get round to feeding the cakes 'til yesterday, but they look and smell heavenly and I was hard pressed to not sample one!

Sending love and hugs to you and Karen.

254johnsimpson
Nov 22, 2017, 3:22pm Top

>253 karenmarie:, Hi Karen I admire your willpower my dear. Karen did our cakes at the weekend and I just had a good sniff and am looking forward to having a nice slice on Christmas Day night.

Sending love and hugs to you and your husband.

255johnsimpson
Nov 22, 2017, 4:00pm Top

Another steady day at Chez Simpson after an inauspicious start. We awoke with the alarm and I went and made us a pot of tea, I had just put Karen's tea on the bedside cabinet when Karen decided that she wanted another pillow behind her and had just said her eyes kept closing, she tried to flick it up and only succeeded in knocking over her tea and I am afraid I was a bit choice in my language. I left Karen cleaning up and went off to re-make her pot of tea, this was probably for the best as we would have had more words.

After finishing our tea we got up washed and dressed and then messaged Rob to wish him a very happy 30th birthday. We had a pot of tea and I had a bowl of porridge before we set off to the supermarket to get a few bits for us and some flavoured cider for Amy and Andy. We got done and then I put some more Diesel in the car in case the Chancellor put fuel duty up in todays budget. Once I had fueled up we popped next door to the Aldi and Karen went in while I stayed in the car and read.

Once Karen had done in Aldi we made our way home and unpacked the shopping and put it away before having a pot of tea. After we had our tea Karen put the washing on the airers and then we had a bite to eat. After eating I made a pot of tea for us and Karen did some present wrapping while I read. Before long it was time for me to go and pick Hannah up from school.

I brought Hannah home and she started playing with the Dolls house and accessories while Karen finished watching her programme and then Karen put Peppa Pig on for Hannah. Karen made Hannah some tea and then took her for a bath and I put a pizza in the oven for myself and Karen had sorted herself out. After Watching Strictly Takes Two I took Hannah home.

256Berly
Nov 22, 2017, 4:10pm Top

john--I am glad Chez Simpson has righted itself and all is well.

Congrats on all your accomplishements this year! 75 books this year, 2000 posts, 1000 books read. Wow!

I look forward to your 2018 reading plans...I am shooting for foot loose and and fancy free.

257johnsimpson
Nov 22, 2017, 4:16pm Top

>256 Berly:, Hi Kim my dear, thank you for the congrats, it hasn't been a bad year so far. Not long before I reveal my plans and I like your guess but I cannot say anymore just yet. I just hope folks are not too disappointed when I do my reveal as I think I have bigged this up a tad, lol.

258benitastrnad
Nov 22, 2017, 8:57pm Top

Happy Thanksgiving at Chez Simpson. I will be spending the day in airports all across the country as I head for my sisters in Bozeman, Montana. We will be spending most of the weekend baking and doing a little winter sight-seeing at Yellowstone National Park. My mother isn't going to make the trip, otherwise it looks to be a nearly perfect 5 days with family.

259vancouverdeb
Nov 23, 2017, 7:43am Top

Oh dear, knocking over a cup of tea in bed. I can hear Dave and me having a few words over such an incident, should it happen! Marriage! :-)

260PaulCranswick
Nov 23, 2017, 12:25pm Top

This is a time of year when I as a non-American ponder over what I am thankful for.

I am thankful for this group and its ability to keep me sane during topsy-turvy times.

I am thankful that you are part of this group.

I am thankful for this opportunity to say thank you.

261Berly
Nov 23, 2017, 1:48pm Top

On this day of American Thanksgiving, I am grateful for many things, one of them being my



Thank you for being so wonderful! : )

262johnsimpson
Nov 23, 2017, 4:13pm Top

>258 benitastrnad:, Hi Benita hope everything goes ok in and around the airports but when you get to Montana have a great few days baking and sightseeing my dear. It is a shame your mum can't be with you but enjoy yourself, sending love and hugs dear friend.

263johnsimpson
Nov 23, 2017, 4:15pm Top

>259 vancouverdeb:, Hi Deb, we chuckled about it later on in the day and when I took our pots of tea up this morning I asked Karen if she wanted me to throw the tea over the bedside cabinet to cut the middle man out and we had a good laugh about it.

264johnsimpson
Nov 23, 2017, 4:16pm Top

>260 PaulCranswick:, Hi Paul I agree with all your sentiments mate and mine are exactly the same.

265johnsimpson
Nov 23, 2017, 4:17pm Top

>261 Berly:, Hi Kim, thank you for those kind words and I am glad that we are friends my dear and you are also wonderful dear friend.

266karenmarie
Nov 24, 2017, 7:09am Top

Hi John!

I survived Thanksgiving. We a massive cleanup after dessert and the gridiron football game (Dallas lost, much to my husband and Geoff's disgust), so have just a few clean dishes to put up today.

Sending love and hugs to you and Karen.

267johnsimpson
Nov 24, 2017, 4:20pm Top

>266 karenmarie:, Hi Karen so glad you had a really nice day and with most of the cleanup done it made sure you didn't have too much to do today my dear.

268johnsimpson
Nov 24, 2017, 4:34pm Top

We had a very relaxing day yesterday which suited both of us. Today has been pretty good.

We had a pot of tea in bed first thing and then got up and came down and set a load of washing going before we had a pot of tea and I had some cereal. I moved the car for when Rob arrived and finished off my pot of tea. I took Rob to the station and then on the way back I dropped the prescriptions off at the doctors and then made my way home. Once home I put the washing on the airers and then made us a pot of tea. A short time later an old school friend of Rob's called in with a couple of homemade Christmas decorations that her mum has made and which Karen had ordered. Luckily for us Sian brought Daughter Lily with her and so Karen had a cuddle and we had a quick chat.

After Sian left with Lily, Karen made her self an omelette for her breakfast and I had a pot of tea before it was time to take Karen to work. I dropped Karen off and then went into the store to do the weekly shopping. I had a reasonable list to take advantage of staff double discount week and once I had done the shopping and got through the checkout I made my way home. Once home I unpacked and put the shopping away and then had a pot of tea and read before getting on with the downstairs housework. After the housework had been done I had a pot of tea and read before making myself a sandwich before reading again.

After a chat with Amy on the phone and another pot of tea and a bit of reading it was time to go and pick Karen up from work. I picked Karen up and we made our way home and I made us a pot of tea and then we chatted before it was time to go and pick Rob up from the station. After getting Rob he had a quick chat before leaving and then we both had something to eat.

269johnsimpson
Nov 24, 2017, 5:05pm Top



Finished book Seventy-Seven late last night, Topaz by Leon Uris. This is an author I first came across 40 years ago when a friend of my dads gave me a copy of Mila 18 along with a bagful of books.

In this one, on the eve of the Cuban Missile Crisis, American and French intelligence agents are plunged into a maze of cold war intrigue. In Paris, 1962, French intelligence chief, Andre Devereaux and NATO intelligence chief Michael Nordstrom have uncovered Soviet plans to ship nuclear arms to Cuba. But when Devereaux reports his findings and nobody acts - and he is targeted in an assassination attempt - he soon realizes he's tangled in a plot far greater then he first understood. The two agents, along with a small band of Cuban exiles and Soviet defectors, chase leads around the globe in a quest to save NATO, themselves, and perhaps the world itself.

270johnsimpson
Nov 25, 2017, 4:25pm Top

It has been another steady day for me today. We were up early as Karen had to be in work for 9am so we had a pot of tea and Karen had a quick bite before we set off. After dropping Karen at work I made my way into Wakefield to post a couple of overseas letters and cards and then picked up my usual copy of the Yorkshire Post and my cricket magazine. After a quick mooch around I made my way home and had a pot of tea and my cereal.

After finishing my breakfast I read for a while and had another pot of tea or two before doing the recent bank statements. After sorting the bank statements out I had a bite to eat and then read while listening to the Final Score programme before going to pick Karen up from work.

Once home with Karen I made us a pot of tea before she mixed all the dry ingredients up for a Chocolate cake for Rob's birthday and once this was done we had a some tea and a pot of tea before Karen finished off the cake mix and put it in the oven. While the cake was baking we watched Strictly Come Dancing and when the timer pinged Karen got the cake out of the oven and left it to cool. Once Strictly had finished the cake was cool enough to decorate.

Rob, Louise and Hannah are coming over tomorrow for a birthday lunch and the cake is a surprise for him.

271Whisper1
Nov 25, 2017, 5:08pm Top

Hi John

I went out of the house for the first time since surgery. It was wonderful to feel the breeze on my face. Even if the outing was to receive eight trigger point injections at the pain management office, it was wonderful to get out.

Will also took me to see my library friends at the local library. We didn't stay long, but it was wonderful to chat a bit and learn of Christmas presents purchased for grandchildren, and recommended books.

I miss being outside, but it also is good to rest and read and sleep.

Diane Keony is right. It is wonderful to visit here to read your words about everyday life with you and Karen.

All good wishes.

272vancouverdeb
Nov 25, 2017, 7:48pm Top

Enjoy Rob's birthday! Next Saturday we are celebrating both my husband and our eldest son's birthday -both in December. It makes for such a crowed month with December birthdays, but what can one do? I got an international package off at the post office today, as well as a bunch of forms for $500 dollar rebate on the new furnace we installed this past summer. Here's hoping the gas company doesn't misplace all of the forms I got together. I never quite trust them with a zillion forms.

273PaulCranswick
Nov 26, 2017, 9:20am Top

>271 Whisper1: Lovely post. Linda really is such a wonderful woman.

Looks like the traditional loss at the Gabba is imminent John.

Cook has played badly. Ball was a strange call instead of Overton who had played well in the run up. Woakes won't get wickets over there and I don't understand the keeping Stokes in Blighty when he has been convicted of nothing.

Have a great Sunday, mate.

274johnsimpson
Nov 27, 2017, 3:50pm Top



Finished book Seventy-Eight about 90 minutes ago, The Visitor by Lee Child. This is the fourth in the Jack Reacher series.

Jack Reacher is in New York, he is at a new Italian Restaurant with only a couple in their mid-thirties for company. At the counter a couple of men seem to be threatening the young owner and when they leave Reacher goes up to the counter to have a chat. He finds out that money is being demanded and so asks where the nearest office supplies store is and then leaves. He goes to the store and picks up what he requires and then makes his way back to the restaurant as he knows they are coming back for the money in an hour.

Reacher intercepts the young thugs and says he has the money and will discuss it in the alleyway, as they all walk down the alleyway he knocks one out of action before the other can react and then disables the other. He says he is working for someone and it is their turf and takes the money they have on them and dismantles their guns and then superglues a taped message to each of their foreheads and superglues the drivers hands together.

A short time later he is visited by the FBI, three from Quantico and two from the New York Office involved in organised crime, they want to know what he is up to. He tells them what went on but they don't believe him but the Quantico team take precedence with the New York crime hanging over his head. The Quantico team want his help as he matches the description fully of a suspect they are looking for. Reacher asks for details and is told that Sergeant Amy Callan and Lieutenant Caroline Cooke have a lot in common. Both were army high-flyers. Both were acquainted with Jack Reacher. Both were forced to resign from the service. Now they are both dead.
Both were found in their own home, naked, in a bath full of paint. Both apparent victims of an army man. A loner, a smart guy with a score to settle, a ruthless vigilante. A man just like Reacher.

Reacher has to try and find out why they have been killed and by who with the threat of jail hanging over him, he knows he can do it if he can do it his way but he believes the FBI people are idiots sticking like glue to their profiling they have got, but that is all they have got.

Another really good read from Lee Child and really looking forward to the next one.

275johnsimpson
Nov 27, 2017, 4:30pm Top

>271 Whisper1:, Hi Linda, so nice that you have been outside my dear even if it was only for a short time and that was to get some trigger point injections. Will sounds like a really lovely man and bless him for taking you to the library to see friends and get some Christmas news.

Take things steady my dear and you will have more little trips outside but enjoy the rest, sleep and reading dear lady.

Thank you for the kind words about my thread my dear, I do sometimes feel that it appears a little bit mundane but this is how life goes around here with us and some nice little tidbits come along and more so a this time of year.

Sending healing love and hugs from both of us to you and special love and hugs to dear Will.

276johnsimpson
Nov 27, 2017, 4:34pm Top

>272 vancouverdeb:, Hi Deb, Rob had a nice birthday my dear and got some nice presents, hope you have a good day celebrating Dave and your eldest son's birthday, we have a few good friends birthdays in December and then a couple more right at the beginning of January. Karen is going out to the works Christmas do on Saturday and then out with her best friend for her birthday and then we are the pantomime on the 10th to watch both Amy and Andy in Aladdin which Andy has co-written, this is the fourth he has been co-writer of.

Hope you had a really good weekend my dear and send love and hugs from both of us dear friend.

277johnsimpson
Nov 27, 2017, 4:42pm Top

>273 PaulCranswick:, Hi Paul, the expected loss happened but we gave the game away with some poor batting and poor bowling. I would have selected Overton as I believe he is a better bowler than Ball and can bat a bit, Cook played poor shots in both innings to get out and he really should know better by now. I wonder why they haven't made a decision on Stokes by now especially with the two lads backing Stokes and saying he saved them from a bad beating.

We had a nice Sunday mate with Rob, Louise and Hannah coming over for a birthday lunch for Rob, we had a nice bit of roast Pork and the trimmings and then some of the birthday cake and a nice chat, sadly Hannah was under the weather and Rob was starting a cold but apart from that everything went well.

Hope things are good with you mate even though your Girls are all over here mate, have a good week mate and hope to see you soon.

278jnwelch
Nov 27, 2017, 5:50pm Top

>274 johnsimpson: I love the Reacher series, John, and you make me want to go back and read The Visitor. I'm glad you had a good time with it.

279karenmarie
Edited: Nov 28, 2017, 3:08pm Top

Hi John!

Sounds like things are perking right along. Yum to chocolate cake, and Happy Belated Birthday to Rob.

Jack Reacher is one of my favorites. I just finished The Midnight Line, the newest one, and it's pretty good.

Sending love and hugs to you and Karen.

280johnsimpson
Nov 28, 2017, 3:07pm Top

>278 jnwelch:, Hi Joe, I really enjoy the Jack Reacher books, I can visualise him as I am reading each book and if he was a real character I would love to meet him, just to be in his presence. Thanks for stopping by here.

281johnsimpson
Nov 28, 2017, 3:11pm Top

>279 karenmarie:, Hi Karen, things are fine at the moment, the weekend was good and the Chocolate Cake was yummy. I do enjoy reading Jack Reacher and am looking forward to the next one.

Karen is working her last shift for a week, she managed to put a few days holiday in before her op and so she will be making the best of them. We are going over to Manchester on Thursday to have a look around the Christmas market and this time we will head to the Town Hall area where the biggest part is, previously we have missed that but their are Christmas stalls all over the city centre.

Sending love and hugs my dear.

282johnsimpson
Nov 28, 2017, 3:27pm Top

It seems I need to update the last couple of days, we had a good time on Sunday with Rob, Louise and Hannah coming over for a Birthday Sunday lunch. The lunch and the birthday cake was delicious. After they left we had a relaxing evening.

Yesterday we had a pot of tea in bed before getting up and having breakfast and another pot of tea. We pottered about and Karen wasn't feeling too great so she decided that she would go into work for 1pm rather than noon and then get back to her normal shift times after her few days off. I took Karen to work and then had to pop into town to visit the phone shop as my phone had frozen again, luckily the chap managed to get it working but said since it has now happened twice in a month that it could do it again and then he would have to send it away to be looked at, it is covered as I am on a contract so no extra charge to me. I left the phone shop and had a quick mooch around and picked up a Cricket related book before making my way home.

After a pot of tea and a bit of reading I got on with some shredding before going upstairs to go through the documents box and see what else needed shredding. I had a good clear out and it took me just over an hour to sort things out. The next couple of hours were spent shredding and reading so that the shredder didn't overheat. I took time out to warm up a dinner that was left for me and then put a few things in the loft and tidied a few bits up before finishing the shredding before having a pot of tea and then firing the laptop up to come on here before going to pick Karen up from work. I did manage to finish a book so that was good.

This morning was very much similar to yesterday but after finishing breakfast I went to the pharmacy to pick up our prescriptions. Once back I made a pot of tea for us and put the washing on the airers. We had a steady morning until it was time to take Karen to work. While I was out she had contacted the DPD courier firm about a parcel she was waiting for and she was told it would arrive between 1 and 2 pm. After dropping Karen off I got back home for 12.50pm so I knew I would be in for the parcel delivery, I had time to make a pot of tea before he arrived at 1.08pm. I finished my pot of tea and went to the neighboring village to pay a bill at the post office and once back had another pot of tea and read before getting on with the upstairs housework.

I did the housework and then had a pot of tea and read for a while before watching a bit of TV and then I made myself something to eat. After eating I read a few pages before firing the laptop to come on here and check the threads.

283Berly
Nov 28, 2017, 3:59pm Top

>274 johnsimpson: I only read half of your review because I don't want to know any more! I am just going to have to read more Jack Reacher. That's all there is too it. : )

284johnsimpson
Nov 28, 2017, 4:03pm Top

>283 Berly:, I do try to avoid giving too much away my dear but sometimes it is hard not to when trying to give a fair summation.

285Berly
Nov 28, 2017, 4:05pm Top

I have no idea if you gave away too much. You explained enough in the first half of your review that I was already sold!! LOL

286johnsimpson
Nov 28, 2017, 4:09pm Top

>285 Berly:, That is some compliment my dear, I try to give a good review without giving too much of the story away and I must say this was the easiest I have done. Reacher is just the Guy and hopefully Lee Child will just continue to put out good Reacher books. I must say I like Lee Child's regime for each book which is always started on the 1st of September.

287scaifea
Nov 29, 2017, 6:27am Top

Hi, John! Hugs to you and Karen!

288johnsimpson
Nov 29, 2017, 4:23pm Top



Finished book Seventy-Nine late last night, Private Down Under by James Patterson. This is the sixth in the Private series and finds PI Craig Gisto the head of the latest branch of Private enjoying the grand opening launch party with his new team when their celebrations are interrupted by the bloodied arrival of a boy with his eyes gouged out.

The boy sadly dies and so Private are engaged to find out who kidnapped him, this is not their only pressing case as rock star Micky Stevens si convinced someone is trying to kill him and believes only Private can find out who.

As if this wasn't enough, someone is murdering the wealthy wives of the Eastern Suburbs in the most brutal way imaginable. The race is on as the death count mounts and the next victim could be someone close to Private.

A fast paced thriller with twists and turns at every corner, another fire cracker from Mr P.

289johnsimpson
Nov 29, 2017, 4:36pm Top

>287 scaifea:, Thanks Amber my dear.

290johnsimpson
Nov 29, 2017, 4:40pm Top

Looking forward to our trip to the Manchester Christmas Markets tomorrow, early start to get the train from our nearby station to Leeds and then change for Manchester Piccadilly station. It is going to be cool so we will be wrapped up against it and will sample a few nice drinks and treat ourselves to a nice lunch.

Hopefully I will see a few nice little surprises for Karen and I will have to slope off to get them. Not sure whether I will get on here tomorrow evening depending on what time train we get back from Manchester but if not I will be on here on Friday to update and start a new thread and reveal my 2018 plans. I do think I have built this up too much and there will be disappointment abounding, lol.

291Familyhistorian
Nov 29, 2017, 11:01pm Top

Have fun at the Manchester Christmas Markets!

292scaifea
Nov 30, 2017, 6:31am Top

Saw your Manchester-bound photo on FB this morning - you both look fabulous (I love your jaunty scarf!)! I hope you have a wonderful time!

293johnsimpson
Nov 30, 2017, 3:53pm Top

>291 Familyhistorian:, Hi Meg, we did have fun today my dear, more to report.

294johnsimpson
Nov 30, 2017, 3:54pm Top

>292 scaifea:, Hi Amber, we both felt fabulous and thank you for the jaunty scarf comment, loved it. We had a really nice time, more to report.

295johnsimpson
Nov 30, 2017, 4:39pm Top



Finished book Eighty late last night, Little Black Dress by James Patterson. This is one of the James Patterson Bookshots series.

Jane Avery is a magazine editor but she spends her nights alone with Netflix and Oreos until the Dress turns her loose. Jane is thirty-five years old and has been divorced for the last eighteen months, she thought her marriage to James was the icing on the cake until she caught James with his ex, in flagrante in the marital bed.

She finds the Dress on the Bergdorf sale rack and even with 40% off, it was still a minor fortune. The Dress seems to change Jane and over the summer she has sex in hotel rooms with men she meets and gets on with, the first is at the Four Seasons and the room costs her $700. She is surrendering to dark desires and New York City has become her erotic playground.

Since the divorce she ahs being seeing a therapist but never mentions what she is up to but tries to find out about her therapists other clients and if they have similar experiences. But what began as a fantasy will go too far...... and her next conquest could be her last. What happens to Jane and is she finally liberated from what happened with her ex-husband. Read on and find out and see if a Little Black Dress can change a life, for good or bad.

296johnsimpson
Nov 30, 2017, 5:06pm Top

We have had a lovely day in Manchester at the Christmas Markets. Once we were up and about, we got washed, dressed and had some cereal and a pot of tea before getting in the car and driving to Sandal & Agbrigg station, our local one. By the time we got on the platform it was bitterly cold but we hadn't long to wait for our train. After a short journey we arrived in Leeds and found the platform for our train to Manchester Piccadilly station. Ten minutes after arriving in Leeds we were on the train to Manchester, by this time we hadn't paid our rail fare but when the conductor appeared we paid for our fare.

Karen doesn't like travelling backwards and it wasn't until we reached Huddersfield that we could move seats so that Karen could travel in the right direction. We were now in a table seat and were joined by an elderly lady and a man in his late forties, we all got a drink when the drink trolley came by and then we got chatting. The gent was going to Manchester to get his camera exchanged before a trip to New York next week and the elderly lady was heading to Manchester Airport to make her way home to Limoges in France where she now lives after spending time with her sisters and nieces and nephews to celebrate her birthday and leave Christmas presents. We arrived in Manchester and wished each other well and we made our way out of the station and head to the Town Hall area to see the markets there.

We had a nice stroll around the Town Hall markets and picked up a couple of gifts before entering the Town Hall and finding a café where we stopped for a nice warm drink. The Town Hall is magnificent but sadly closes to the public on the 15th of January until early 2024 for a complete refurbishment. We left the Town Hall after a lovely drink and headed for Spinningfields where we were told there was a lovely Christmas tree and more market stalls. The tree was lovely and we took a couple of photo's before wandering round the stalls, Karen picked up a nice scarf for Louise before finding a nice young chocolatier and picking up some of his wares. We bumped into two ladies who recognised our accent and said that she had been in Yorkshire the week before, in fact she had been in Wakefield and was flabbergasted when I told her that was where we were from. After a quick chat we wished each other well and continued on our way. After another photo op we were asked by a stall holder promoting two new flavours of Pringles crisps if we would try them and vote for the best and then she asked if we would have our photo taken, we were given props of a Christmas theme and the photo's taken and then her manager asked if we would pose with the young lady which we did happily, they thanked us profusely.

We wandered on looking in a few shops, one of which sold Fountain pens, I came away with only a bottle of Green ink, from here we decided that it was time to eat and so we had a quick look around before settling on Bella Italia. We had a nice meal and Karen had a Gin and Tonic while I had a nice Swiss Lager. We left after having a coffee and proceeded around the markets in St Ann's Square before entering the Royal Exchange Arcade where I knew there was a nice Tobacconist so I could treat myself to some nice cigars. The tobacconist also sold Whiskey's and Gins and we both had a sample of a new Whiskey, It was nice but we weren't sure whether to purchase as there was a whiskey shop nearby. We went to the Whiskey shop where Karen tried two more Whiskey's before we left, by this time Karen was feeling a bit light headed.

We moved towards the Arndale shopping centre and the markets that wrapped around the centre and picked a couple more small gifts before we headed inside. After a good look around, Karen picked up a couple more things before we left and headed to a coffee shop for a well earned drink. Once we left the coffee shop we had a look in one or two more stores before heading back to Piccadilly Station to get a train home. Once again we were lucky and didn't have to wait long for a train to Leeds and although we were delayed getting to Leeds, our train back to Sandal was also delayed so we managed to catch it and were back home by 7.30pm. We enjoyed our day, we met some lovely people, had a good laugh, had our photo taken and took a couple of selfies and got a few nice gifts, a nice way to start the run up to Christmas.

297karenmarie
Nov 30, 2017, 6:09pm Top

What a lovely day, John!

I can see it all clearly and got a good chuckle of Karen feeling the G&T and 3 samples of whiskey.

Sending love and hugs to you both!

298benitastrnad
Nov 30, 2017, 6:48pm Top

I am back at work today after 5 wonderful days in Bozeman, Montana. My sister and I spent one afternoon at Mammoth Hot Springs, which is inside of Yellowstone National Park, where we basked in the warm (relatively speaking) water of the Gardner River. This part of the river is called the Boiling River because some of the hot springs in the Mammoth area spill water directly into the Gardner. The water in this section of the river is warm enough that it never freezes in the winter and some spots are very warm. The area was quite crowded for it being 55 degrees F - air temperature. We had a picnic lunch and then drove back to Bozeman.

We spent two days baking and we had a great time on Thanksgiving spent with friends who also live in Bozeman. I am glad I took the opportunity and went out for a few days. It was a great trip.

299Whisper1
Nov 30, 2017, 7:00pm Top

>275 johnsimpson: Mundane is good! I hope to have a mundane life when I retire. And, yes, Will really is a great person. His wife left when their children were two, five and seven. Will raised them by himself. This was quite an unusual thing to do in the 1970's. When I met him, I was awe struck to know that their truly was a person with this depth of commitment and dedication. It wasn't easy for him. The middle son in particular gave him quite a lot of trouble. They are all in their 40's now. Alas, after years of abandonment, mommy came back into their lives, tugged at their heart strings and somehow managed to convince them that their dad was indeed a wicked, nasty man. This is quite perplexing given that he dedicated his life to them. But, things don't always work out the way we planned them. He had to let them go because to make a long story short, they simply broke his heart over and over and over again.

300johnsimpson
Dec 1, 2017, 4:11pm Top

>297 karenmarie:, Thanks Karen.

301johnsimpson
Dec 1, 2017, 4:13pm Top

>298 benitastrnad:, Hi Benita, so glad you had a nice trip my dear and had a great time with your sister and friends.

302johnsimpson
Dec 1, 2017, 4:17pm Top

>299 Whisper1:, Hi Linda, I held Will in high regard from our past post conversations but what you have just said elevates him even higher with me but how could his ex-wife do that to him and the kids as well. I read it to Karen and her jaw bounced off the floor in disbelief as did mine when I first read it my dear. I am glad Will has you my dear and you have Will, a solid partnership dear friend and I love that you and Will and Diane and Kevin get on so well on your book jaunts. You both deserve the extra special love and hugs I am sending from the both of us.

303johnsimpson
Dec 1, 2017, 4:26pm Top

It is high time that I started a new thread so if you give me about 15 minutes it should be up and running, thank you all.

Group: 75 Books Challenge for 2017

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