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A Year of Normality and Tea No 4

This is a continuation of the topic A Year of Normality and Tea No 3.

75 Books Challenge for 2019

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Jul 1, 2:16pm Top

Please join me on the next instalment of my reading year.

Edited: Jul 11, 5:03pm Top

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

I am 56 years old and have been married to Karen for 34 years, I have two children, Robert who is 31 and lives with his partner Louise and has a daughter Hannah who will be Eight at the end of February and a step-daughter Shannon who is 16, and Amy who is 29 and married Andy in October 2015.

I love books and currently have just over 2,500 books on my shelves and this doesn't include my Cricket collection which stands at about 400 books. While reading I do enjoy the odd pot or two of tea.

Jul 1, 2:17pm Top

Edited: Aug 18, 4:13pm Top


Jul 1, 2:20pm Top


1. A Gull on the Roof by Derek Tangye, PB - 216 pages. No1 of ? in The Minack Chronicles Series.
2. Mrs Palfrey at the Claremont by Elizabeth Taylor, PB - 206 pages.
3. Fragile Lives, A Heart Surgeon's stories of life and death on the Operating Table by Professor Stephen Westaby, HB - 340 pages.
4. The Trial by James Patterson, PB - 114 pages.
5. 16th Seduction by James Patterson, PB - 350 pages. No 17 of 20 in The Women's Murder Club Series.
6. The Maze Runner by James Dashner, PB - 371 pages. No 1 of 3 in The Maze Runner Series.
7. Lacey's of Liverpool by Maureen Lee, PB - 481 pages.


8. To Play the King by Michael Dobbs, PB - 309 pages. No 2 of 3 in the House of Cards Series.
9. A Darkness More Than Night by Michael Connelly, PB - 403 pages. No 7 of 22 in The Harry Bosch Series.
10. Manna from Hades by Carola Dunn, PB - 305 pages. No 1 of 4 in the Cornish Mystery Series.
11. Where have all the boys gone? by Jenny Colgan, PB - 340 pages.
12. Manhunt by Janet Evanovich, PB - 219 pages.
13. A Painted House by John Grisham, PB - 466 pages.
14. Dying in the Wool by Frances Brody, PB - 356 pages. No 1 of 10 in the Kate Shackleton Mysteries.
15. The Cleverness of Ladies by Alexander McCall Smith, PB - 101 pages. No 13.5 of 20 in the No.1 Ladies Detective Agency Series.

Jul 1, 2:20pm Top


16. The Medical Examiner by James Patterson, PB - 125 pages. No 18 of 20 in the Women's Murder Club Series.
17. 17th Suspect by James Patterson, PB - 348 pages. No 19 of 20 in the Women's Murder Club Series.
18. Remembrance by Danielle Steel, PB - 477 pages.
19. The Payback by Simon Kernick, PB - 457 pages. No 3 of 3 in the Dennis Milne Trilogy.
20. The Burning Girl by Mark Billingham, PB - 449 pages. No 4 of 15 in the DI Tom Thorne Series.
21. Fatty O'Leary's Dinner Party by Alexander McCall Smith, HB - 174 pages.
22. The Broker by John Grisham, PB - 465 pages.
23. The Final Cut by Michael Dobbs, PB - 452 pages. No 3 of 3 in the House of Cards Trilogy.


24. The Moon of Gomrath by Alan Garner, PB - 153 pages. No2 of 3 in the Alderley Series.
25. Boneland by Alan Garner, PB - 149 pages. No 3 of 3 in the Alderley Series.
26. Plum Island by Nelson De Mille, PB - 574 pages. No 1 of 8 in John Corey Series.
27. Home Truths by Freya North, PB - 449 pages.
28. the Five People you meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom, PB - 208 pages.
29. Starting Over by Jack Sheffield, PB - 333 pages. No 11 of 12 in the Ragley School Series.
30. The Little Grey Men go Down The Bright Stream by 'BB', PB - 256 pages.
31. Dream Angus by Alexander McCall Smith, PB - 173 pages.

Edited: Jul 4, 4:28pm Top


32. Without Fail by Lee Child, PB - 556 pages. No 6 of 23 in the Jack Reacher series.
33. Full Speed by Janet Evanovich, PB - 344 pages. No 3 of 4 in the Full Series.
34. The Diary of a Bookseller by Shaun Bythell, PB - 310 pages.
35. Dead Man's walk by Larry McMurtry, PB - 477 pages. No 3 of 4 in the Lonesome Dove Series.
36. Private L.A. by James Patterson, PB - 487 pages. No 7 of 14 in the Private Series.
37. A Colourful Death by Carola Dunn, PB - 337 pages. No 2 of 4 in the Cornish Mystery Series.
38. tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom, PB - 192 pages.


39. A Killing Kindness by Reginald Hill, PB - 303 pages. No 6 of 22 in the Dalziel and Pascoe Series.
40. The Reader on the 6.27 by Jean-Paul Didierlaurent, PB - 194 pages.
41. Deadly Decisions by Kathy Reichs, PB - 382 pages. No 3 of 22 in the Temperance Brennan Series.
42. Emily goes to Exeter by M.C. Beaton, PB - 186 pages. No 1 of 6 in the Travelling Matchmaker Series.
43. Bullseye by James Patterson, PB - 339 pages. No 9 of 13 in the Detective Michael Bennett Series.
44. Chase by James Patterson, PB - 115 pages. No 10 of 13 in the Detective Michael Bennett Series.
45. Sin Killer by Larry McMurtry, PB - 343 pages. No 1 of 4 in The Berrybender Narratives Series.
46. Peach by Elizabeth Adler, PB - 480 pages.
47. Precious and Grace by Alexander McCall Smith, HB - 247 pages. No 18 of 21 in the No 1 Ladies' Detective Agency Series.
48. The House of Unexpected Sisters by Alexander McCall Smith, HB - 226 pages. No 19 of 21 in the No 1 Ladies' Detective Agency Series.

Edited: Aug 18, 3:53pm Top


49. Belinda Goes to Bath by M. C. Beaton, PB - 185 pages. No 2 of 6 in the Travelling Matchmaker Series.
50. The Body Farm by Patricia Cornwell, PB - 387 pages. No 5 of 25 in the Dr Kay Scarpetta Series.
51. A Distant View of Everything by Alexander McCall Smith, PB - 232 pages. No 14 of 15 in the Isobel Dalhousie Series.
52 Valley of the Shadow by Carola Dunn, PB - 309 pages. No 3 of 4 in the Cornish Mystery Series.
53. The Riviera Express by TP Fielden, PB - 364 pages. No 1 of 3 in the Miss Dimont Mystery Series.
54. Penelope Goes to Portsmouth by M. C. Beaton, PB - 185 pages. No 3 of 6 in the Travelling Matchmaker Series.


55. The President is Missing by James Patterson, PB - 513 pages.
56. Date with Mystery by Julia Chapman, PB - 432 pages. No 3 of 4 in the Dales Detective Series.
57. Virgins by Diana Gabaldon, HB - 130 pages counted. 0.5 of 10 in the Outlander Series.

Jul 1, 2:22pm Top



1. Quality Street Girls by Penny Thorpe
2. Fragile Lives by Professor Stephen Westaby
3. Essence of Malice by Ashley Weaver
4. The Mobile Library Case of the Missing Books by Ian Samsom
5. Sing Your Name by Jodi Picoult
6. The Cheltenham Square Murder by John Bude
7. Uncommon Type by Tom Hanks
8. A Drake at the Door by Derek Tangye


9. How to be Happy by Eva Woods
10. Over the Gate by Miss Read
11. Farther Afield by Miss Read
12. Starting Over by Jack Sheffield
13. The Case of the Poisoned Chocolates by Anthony Berckley
14. The Magic Touch by Kelly Florentia
15. Mrs Sinclair's Suitcase by Louise Walters


16. Five Go Parenting by Bruno Vincent
17. Diary of a Bookseller by Shaun Bythell
18. Donkey in the Meadow by Derek Tangye
19. Death in August by Marco Vichi
20. The Curious Heart of Ailsa Rae by Stephanie Butland
21. Manhunt by Janet Evanovich
22. Where Have All The Boys Gone ? by Jenny Colgan

Edited: Jul 11, 4:50pm Top



23. Death in Norfolk by Ian Sansom.
24. Rosie Hopkins' Sweetshop by Jenny Colgan.
25. Kicking the Bucket List by Cathy Hopkins.
26. Circle of Friends by Joanna Trollope.
27. London Crimes - Collection of Short Stories by Various Authors.


28. The Little Teashop of Lost and Found by Trisha Ashley.
29. Fatal Winter by G. M. Malliet.
30. Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom.
31. A Thousand Pardons by Johnathan Dee.


32. Bats in the Belfry by E.C.R.Lorac.
33. The Lido by Libby Purves.
34. A Hopeless Romantic by Harriet Evans.
35. The Little Black Dress by James Patterson Bookshots Series
36. Christmas at the Sweet Shop of Dreams by Jenny Colgan.

Jul 1, 2:23pm Top

Happy new thread!

Edited: Jul 11, 4:52pm Top


37. The Distant View of Everything by Alexander McCall Smith.
38. When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit by Judith Kerr.
39. The Husband - Ladybird Book.
40. The First Phone Call From Heaven by Mitch Albom.

Jul 1, 2:24pm Top


1. Haunted by James Patterson, PB.
2. To Die But Once by Jacqueline Winspear, PB.
3. The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley, PB.
4. Starting Over by Jack Sheffield, PB.
5. One Day in December by Josie Silver, PB.
6. Mexico by James A. Michener, PB.


7. Ventoux by Jeremy Whittle, PB.
8. Death in the Tunnel by Miles Burton, PB.
9. Scarweather by Anthony Rolls, PB.
10. The Long arm of the Law by Martin Edwards, PB.
11. The Female Detective by Andrew Forrester, PB.
12. A Rising Thunder by David Weber, PB.
13. Sail Away by Celia Imrie, PB.
14. West End Girls by Jenny Colgan, PB.
15. The Man in the Middle by Gordon Greenidge, HB.
16. The Magic Touch by Kelly Florentia, PB. Karen won this on her book club, signed by the author.

Jul 1, 2:25pm Top


17. No Middle Name by Lee Child, PB.
18. The Dead Shall be Raised / The Murder of a Quack by George Bellairs, PB.
19. Absolutely Foxed by Graeme Fowler, HB.
20. The Burning Chambers by Kate Mosse, PB.
21. Death in Sardinia by Marco Vichi, PB.
22. H.R.H. by Danielle Steel, PB.
23. Winners by Danielle Steel, PB.
24. Without Fail by Lee Child, PB.
25. Persuader by Lee Child, PB.
26. Misspent Youth by Peter F. Hamilton, PB.
27. The Quiet Side of Passion by Alexander McCall Smith, PB.
28. Date with Mystery by Julia Chapman, PB.
29. The Roses Matches 1919-1939 by Neville Cardus, HB.
30. The Good Pilot Peter Woodhouse by Alexander McCall Smith, PB.
31. A Quarter Past Dead by T P Fielden, PB.


32. The Mystery of Three Quarters by Sophie Hannah, PB.
33. Playfair Cricket Annual 2019 by Ian Marshall, PB.
34. Anna by Amanda Prowse, PB. Freebie from a colleague
35. Theo by Amanda Prowse, PB. Freebie from a colleague
36. The Wandering Wombles by Elisabeth Beresford, PB.
37. The Coniston Case by Rebecca Tope, PB.
38. The Windermere Witness by Rebecca Tope, PB.
39. Emperor of the Eight Islands by Lian Hearn, PB.
40. 2019 Wisden Cricketers Almanack by Laurence Booth, HB.
41. the Magic Strings of Frankie Presto by Mitch Albom, PB.
42. Bill Mitchell's Yorkshire by David Mitchell, HB.
43. Changing Places by David Lodge, PB.
44. The Silver Sword by Ian Serraillier, PB.
45. Lethal White by Robert Galbraith, PB.
46. From The Pavilion End by Dickie Bird, HB. Signed Copy

Edited: Jul 1, 2:26pm Top


47. Inside Out by Gideon Haigh, PB.
48. The Lido by Libby Page, PB.
49. The Librarian by Salley Vickers, PB.
50. The Temptation of Gracie by Santa Montefiore, PB.
51. Winter by Ali Smith, PB.
52. Sharpe's Regiment by Bernard Cornwell, PB.
53. Sharpe's Gold by Bernard Cornwell, PB.
53. Sharpe's Christmas by Bernard Cornwell, PB.
54. What I Love About Cricket by Sandy Balfour, PB.
55. Lord's by Geoffrey Moorhouse, HB.
56. The Battle of the Bulge by Charles B. MacDonald, HB.
57. Miraculous Mysteries by Martin Edwards, PB.
58. Jamaica Inn by Daphne Du Maurier, PB.
59. The House on the Strand by Daphne Du Maurier, PB.
60. Juror No 3 by James Patterson, PB.
61. Bullseye by James Patterson, PB.
62. Miracle at Augusta by James Patterson, PB.
63. Cross the Line by James Patterson, PB.
64. Private Princess by James Patterson, HB.
65. The People Vs Alex Cross by James Patterson, HB.


Edited: Jul 20, 3:58pm Top


66. When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit by Judith Kerr, PB.
67. A Small Person Far Away by Judith Kerr, PB.
68. The Labyrinth of the Spirits by Carlos Ruiz Zafon, PB.
69. The President is Missing by James Patterson and Bill Clinton, PB.
70. Heads You Win by Jeffrey Archer, PB.
71. Arlott, Swanton and the Soul of English Cricket by Stephen Fay and David Kynaston, PB.
72. Queenie Malone's Paradise Hotel by Ruth Hogan, PB.
73. The Note by Zoe Folbigg, PB.
74. Bombs on Aunt Dainty by Judith Kerr, PB.
75. The Colours of the Cattle by Alexander McCall Smith, HB.
76. Criss, Cross by James Patterson, PB. Uncorrected Proof Copy, Competition Prize.
77. The Bookshop of the Broken Hearted by Robert Hillman, PB.
78. Date with Poison by Julia Chapman, PB.
79. Murder at the Grand Raj Palace by Vaseem Khan, PB.

Jul 1, 2:27pm Top

I just love Big Books, these are my 1000+page reads so far with more to add.

1.Shogun by James Clavell, 1243 pgs
2.Gai-Jin by James Clavell, 1578 pgs
3.Noble House by James Clavell, 1435 pgs
4.War & Remembrance by Herman Wouk, 1171 pgs
5.Whirlwind by James Clavell, 1343 pgs
6.Centennial by James A. Michener 1100 pgs
7.The Covenant by James A. Michener, 1080 pgs
8.Sarum by Edward Rutherfurd, 1344 pgs
9.Homeland by John Jakes, 1138 pgs
10.Russka by Edward Rutherfurd, 1007 pgs
11.A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth, 1474 pgs
12.Love and War by John Jakes, 1019 pgs
13.Texas by James A. Michener, 1508 pgs
14.My Life by Bill Clinton, 1000 pgs
15.Child of the Phoenix by Barbara Erskine, 1086 pgs
16.Voyager by Diana Gabaldon, 1059 pgs
17.The Journeyer by Gary Jennings, 1219 pgs
18.Pandora's Star by Peter F. Hamilton, 1144 pgs
19.Judas Unchained by Peter F. Hamilton, 1235 pgs
20.Drums of Autumn by Diana Gabaldon, 1185 pgs
21.Wicked by Jilly Cooper, 1007 pgs
22.The Fiery Cross by Diana Gabaldon, 1412 pgs
23.London by Edward Rutherfurd, 1299 pgs
24.The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett, 1076 pgs
25.A Breath of Snow and Ashes by Diana Gabaldon, 1391 pgs
26.World Without End by Ken Follett, 1111 pgs
27.Kushiel's Dart by Jacqueline Carey, 1,015 pgs
28.The Executioner's Song by Norman Mailer, 1,056 pgs
29.An Echo in the Bone by Diana Gabaldon, 1,065 pgs
30.New York by Edward Rutherfurd, 1017 pgs
31.Hawaii by James A.Michener, 1130 pgs
32.The Company by Robert Littell, 1281 pgs
33.The Reality Dysfunction by Peter F.Hamilton, 1225 pgs
34.Spangle by Gary Jennings, 1276 pgs
35.Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell, 1024 pgs
36.Alaska by James A. Michener, 1073 pgs.
37.Memories of Ice by Steven Erikson, 1180 pgs.

Edited: Aug 12, 3:30pm Top

Latest reading stats:

Books on shelves at 1-6-2019 - 2536
Books added in June - 0
Books read in June - 10

Revised book total - 2526

Pages to read at 1-6-2019 - 1,063,918
Pages added in June - 0
Pages read in June - 2,815

Revised total pages to read - 1,061,103

Edited: Aug 12, 3:31pm Top


Books Read...................... 10

No of Authors.................... 8

New Authors...................... 1

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

Female Authors.................. 3

Pages Read....................... 2,815

Daily Avg........................... 93.83

Book Length avg................. 281.50

Edited: Jul 1, 2:33pm Top

1-7-95 TO 30-6-19 READING STATS

Books Read...................... 1145

No of Authors.................... 360

Male Authors..................... 209

Female Authors.................. 151

Pages Read....................... 531,678

Daily Avg........................... 60.65

Book Length avg................. 464.35

Jul 1, 2:34pm Top

>11 quondame: Hi Susan, you were quick off the mark my dear.

Jul 1, 2:35pm Top

The thread is now open for business, everyone welcome, come along and join the party.

Jul 1, 3:02pm Top

We had a lie-in this morning and didn't get up until 9.45am. I picked Karen up from work at 1.05am this morning and by the time we got home, made a drink and took it up to bed and read until we had finished it, it was just about 2am before we got off to sleep.

Karen woke me with the alarm at 9am and I went and made us a pot of tea and after we had finished it we got up, washed and dressed and came downstairs to get breakfast ready along with another pot of tea and our meds and vitamins. Once we finished our breakfast I went out to the pharmacy to collect a prescription for Karen. When I got back Karen made us both a coffee and we watched the Kylie performance at Glastonbury that I recorded yesterday. I must say that I enjoyed Kylie's performance, she is a pocket rocket bless her. Her outfits were gorgeous, she had four changes and please do not berate me but I must say she has a lovely bottom still, even Karen laughed and later after the Kylie bit finished we watched Miley Cyrus and Karen said she wanted a stomach like hers.

When this had finished we made another drink and Karen did a bit of ironing before we watched another programme that I had recorded for Karen. We had another drink when this programme had finished and then I was sent to get a couple of cases out of the loft. Karen has sorted a pile of books to take on holiday although I did say are we taking all these, she has fourteen books selected that we will both read.

We had a pot of tea when we got back downstairs and then Karen made us both something to eat before she went to get changed for work. With Karen going in last night she was going in at 5pm until 10pm today rather than 2pm until 10pm. I dropped Karen off at work and then made my way home, once home I did five barrow loads of soil and mixed in some manure in each one and then tipped it back into the back border. I cleaned myself up after this and made a pot of tea before watching the main and local news before firing up the laptop to come on here.

Jul 1, 3:15pm Top

Happy new thread!

Jul 1, 3:36pm Top

>24 drneutron:, Thanks Jim.

Jul 1, 4:03pm Top

Happy new thread, John. I was way too far behind to catch up on the last one!

Jul 1, 4:16pm Top

>26 jessibud2:, Hi Shelley my dear, thanks for stopping by. I am a little behind the threads and must pay a visit to yours dear friend.

Jul 1, 6:44pm Top

>23 johnsimpson: Hope you all enjoy your vacation.

Jul 1, 11:32pm Top

Have a great holiday in Madeira with Karen, John.

Happy new thread.

Jul 2, 12:57am Top

Congrat on the new thread and best wishes for a great vacation. You are a busy man, tracking both your reads and Karen's. ; )

Jul 2, 5:51am Top

Happy new thread, John!

Jul 2, 3:29pm Top

>28 thornton37814:, Hi Lori, we are looking forward to it and I have booked our Anniversary meal at the Restaurant Do Forte for the 28th, Karen is counting down the days.

>29 PaulCranswick:, Hi Paul, we are looking forward to it mate and Karen is counting down the days and has a countdown clock on her phone. She has sorted some books out to take b ut not sure if she thinks she is taking all of them, 14 at the last count.

Jul 2, 3:31pm Top

>30 Berly:, Hi Kim, thanks my dear and we are really looking forward to our holiday, Karen is getting a bit giddy, bless her. It is quite easy for me to list both our reading, Karen has noted it down in her notebook and I just input it at the end of each month.

>31 scaifea:, Hi Amber, thanks my dear.

Jul 2, 3:49pm Top

It has been quite a good day so far, the weather has been good again, sunny and warm but not the heat of the weekend.

Karen awoke me when the alarm went off and asked if I would make a pot of tea which I did, after we had finished our tea we got up, washed and dressed before coming downstairs. I got our meds and vitamins out while Karen put the kettle on and then I made the tea while Karen got our breakfast sorted out.

We had our tea and meds and vitamins and then I had some cereal before Karen set up the iplayer to catch up on a programme she missed yesterday. I did a bt of pottering about while she watched her programme and loaded the car up with the half bags of soil and rubble and put some concrete blocks in to take to the recycle centre. We had time for a pot of tea before it was time to take Karen to work.

I dropped Karen off and then went into store to take a couple of clothing items back, when this was done I made my way to the recycle centre. I was unloading the rubble and blocks when a young man asked if he could have a couple of the decent blocks, I said yes and he put them in his car. The young chap asked if I had any more and I said I had about 10 more at home plus a couple of 3/4 ones and some half ones, he took my number and I said I would be home by 1.30pm.

I left the recycle centre and made my way to the DIY store to pick up a bag of cement and a bag of sharp sand so I could finish off the concreting. Once I had my DIY supplies I made my way into Wakefield and parked up. First stop was the bank to take some change in and put in our account, I did this and got £20 out and then went into Waterstones to look for a book for Karen, I could not find it so made my way back to the car. Once in the car I headed for Sainsbury's supermarket and picked up a couple of books for me and a copy of the Dalesman magazine.

After paying for my goods in the supermarket I got back to the car and made my way home. Once home I made myself a pot of tea and then put all the concrete blocks together and waited for the chap to ring me. The young man rang at 1.40pm and I gave him my address and he said he would be with me in about 20 minutes. While waiting for him to arrive I mixed up some sharp sand and cement but did not add water as I thought the chap would be here soon. The young man arrived and I showed him the blocks and he said he would take them all, between us we got all the blocks to his car. He thanked me just before he left and I thanked him as he had saved me a couple of trips to the recycle centre. Once he had gone I added water to the dry mix and started concreting.

I took my time but managed to get all the concreting done and so I cleaned my tools before cleaning myself and then made myself some sandwiches and a pot of tea. Once I had eaten and finished my drink I went back into the garden and sifted some soil, I did three barrow loads, each with added manure and tipped it back into the border. I used up all the manure I had and so I could do no more so cleaned myself up and made a pot of tea before putting a pizza in the oven.

I had my pizza and then put my plates and pot in the dishwasher and set it off, I made another pot of tea and then fired up the laptop to come on here.

Jul 2, 7:13pm Top

>35 kac522: Thanks for reminding me, John--we are going away for a few days next week, and I've got to take our collected change to the bank...should at least provide for a few meals on the road!

Have a lovely trip! If you get a chance, stop by my thread, as I left you a message there a few weeks back.

Jul 2, 7:38pm Top

Happy new thread!

Jul 2, 8:14pm Top

Happy new thread, John. Sounds like you had great timing at the recycle centre with that fellow that wanted what you were getting rid of. Just in time recycling.

Jul 3, 7:10am Top

Happy new thread, John!

With listing Karens reads you remind me I am also supposed to keep track of Franks reads here on LT. I often forget, so I might make a spot for him on my thread.

Jul 3, 8:21am Top

Happy new thread, John!

I noticed that you've acquired The House on the Strand by Daphne du Maurier - I love that book. I think it was the first book of time travel I ever read.

Edited: Jul 3, 6:24pm Top

Happy new thread, John!

You’ve done a powerful lot of reading this year. I see you’ve bought a double issue by George Bellairs. I discovered him last year and like his books very much. It’s hard to find mysteries that are just perfect for me.

Jul 4, 4:16pm Top

>35 kac522:, Hi Kathy, thanks for stopping by my dear. It's always good to get the change cashed in, it soon mounts up and provides a little treat. I hope you have a good trip my dear and I will try to keep everyone updated as best I can when we are away but I am not taking the laptop and the tablet I find difficult to type on at times.

Sending love and hugs dear friend.

Jul 4, 4:19pm Top

>36 figsfromthistle:, Thanks Anita my dear.

>37 Familyhistorian:, Hi Meg, thanks for stopping by my dear, the timing was good at the recycle centre and saved the blocks just being smashed up and saved him a few pounds.

>38 FAMeulstee:, Hi Anita my dear, I will only be tracking Karen's reading for this year and I have got a good number before we go on holiday and then she will motor on with her reading. You will have to create a post for Frank's books my dear.

Jul 4, 4:22pm Top

>39 karenmarie:, Hi Karen, I spotted the two Du Maurier books and realised I had not read any of hers and Karen agreed that they will be a good read.

>40 bohemima:, Hi Gail, I have done well so far with my reading this year and just need to keep it going, We now have about 44 of the British Crime Library Classics with the George Bellairs and we keep our eyes open for more on our travels.

Jul 4, 4:34pm Top

Finished book 49 last night, Belinda Goes to Bath by M. C. Beaton, this is the second in the Travelling Matchmaker Series.

No sooner does Miss Hannah Pym board her next stagecoach than she finds herself embroiled in the plight of Miss Belinda Earle, a spirited heiress banished to Bath after swearing off the marriage market.

When the coach founders near Baddell Castle, and the dashing Marquis of Frenton comes to the rescue, Miss Pym decides to give fate a hand. Although the austere bachelor disdains romance, his furtive glances towards Belinda prove to Miss Pym that her expert matchmaking will soon turn this star-crossed couple into a heavenly match!

A nice gentle read.

Jul 5, 10:08am Top

Enjoy your holiday!

Jul 5, 4:04pm Top

>45 sibyx:, Thanks my dear.

Jul 5, 4:24pm Top

The morning started out a little cool but the sun was out and as the day wore on it got gradually warmer, a lot better than the forecast said.

We awoke with the alarm and got up, washed and dressed and then came downstairs to get breakfast ready, our meds and vitamins out and make a pot of tea. Once breakfast was done with it was time to take Karen to work, I dropped Karen off and then went into store to do the bit of shopping we needed.

Once the shopping was done I made my way home and unpacked and out it all away before going to the post office to return a parcel for Karen and I priced up the postage on three packages of books. The postage costs were reasonable so I sent the three packages off. The books are young adult books and are going to a school in Scotland, Karen saw a message on the book group she belongs to where a teacher was asking for books suitable for 11 to 16 year olds as the school budget does not allow much for book. We both thought this a little bit disgusting and the teacher said she has bought books herself but she can no longer do this. I thought Scotland with their independence on spending were looking after schools but this would say that it is not.

Once I had done the posting I made my way home and made a pot of tea, put the radio on to listen to the cricket and picked up my rail magazine and then my book. After a few pots of tea and reading I got on with the downstairs housework and kitchen. Once the housework was done I made myself some lunch and then continued listening to the cricket and read until it was time to go and pick Karen up from work.

We are having a relaxing evening and getting ready for tomorrow when we are going up into the Yorkshire Dales as it is my 56th birthday. The weather seems to be the same as today so we should have a good day out and a nice lunch out to celebrate.

Jul 6, 10:51am Top

Happy birthday!

I have been thinking about counting my own change...at least enough for a latte or maybe a meal floating around the house, I think.

How fortunate you ran into that young man. Our recycling center has a giveaway area where you can put things that others might want rather than heaving them over the edge into the trailer. We have found a couple nice pieces of furniture that way.

Hope you are having a lovely birthday trip!

Jul 6, 5:14pm Top

Happy birthday, John, now we are the same age again :-)

Jul 6, 6:42pm Top

Happy birthday, John! Enjoy your b'day excursion!

Jul 7, 6:56am Top

Happy birthday John. Hope you and Karen are having a nice day.

Loved your recycling story. Very well done by the both of you.

Jul 8, 11:52am Top

Belated Happy Birthday, John! I hope your birthday trip was fun.

Jul 8, 3:39pm Top

>48 witchyrichy:, Hi Karen, thank you for the birthday wishes. It was very fortunate to meet to young chap and to be able to help him out with something that I no longer needed and had to be recycled and it was an even better recycling when we met.

We had a lovely day out and I will post all about our day and the weekend, sending love and hugs dear friend.

Jul 8, 3:45pm Top

>49 FAMeulstee:, Hi Anita, thank you for the birthday message my dear and yes we are the same age again for quite a while, sending love and hugs dear friend.

>50 jessibud2:, Hi Shelley, thanks for the birthday message, we had a lovely day out and I will be posting all about it and the weekend. Sending love and hugs dear friend.

>51 EllaTim:, Hi Ella, thanks for the birthday message, we had a lovely day out and I will be posting all about it and the weekend. It was great to be able to do a good turn at the recycling centre and he was a smashing young man and I was pleased to be able to help him out and save him a few pounds. Sending love and hugs dear friend.

>52 karenmarie:, Hi Karen, thank you for the birthday message, we had a really lovely day out and a good weekend overall, I will be posting more about it shortly.

Jul 8, 4:35pm Top

It's time to post all about my birthday weekend.

We awoke with the alarm on Saturday morning and got up, washed and dressed and came downstairs to get breakfast things ready and make a flask of hot water and add teabags and coffee to our little travel bag. I made us a pot of tea and got our meds and vitamins out while Karen got the cereal ready.

While I had my pot of tea I opened the cards I had received and the gifts I had got, Karen had got me a modern Ladybird book: How it works, The Husband along with a hand painted pebble with a Robin on, as I mentioned on Karen's birthday, we bought a new decent music system in the January sales and classed this as a shared birthday present as it was quite expensive even in the sale. Rob, Louise and Hannah got me a Fatface gift voucher and our best friend Tina enclosed £20 along with her card. Amy and Andy sent a card but would be bringing my present on Sunday when they came over.

As soon as we had finished with breakfast we loaded all the pots and dishes in the dishwasher and set off on our travels. I decided that I didn't want to go to the usual market towns that we normally visit as I didn't want to wander around the usual shops and stores. I decided that I wanted to go to the very edge of North Yorkshire and border with Cumbria and visit Kirkby Lonsdale. We had a lovely drive as the weather improved quickly once we had left home and although we had to negotiate roadworks and traffic lights, we got to Kirkby Lonsdale just after 11 am and the weather was glorious.

We parked up and headed to the café we visited last time we were here, The Crossing Point Café is run by a young Irishman from Belfast with his girlfriend and has been done out very nicely. While Karen sorted the coffee's out I was inundated on my phone with birthday messages now that I had a signal. We spent about 40 minutes in the café before we began to wander around this small market town.

Most of the shops are independent which was nice to see and a few pubs and restaurants, it is a good base for walkers. We had a nice walk around and then spotted the Church and Churchyard and decided to go and have a look. Once we went through the Church gates we spotted a sign saying Ruskin's View and we followed the arrows. It was quite a sizable Churchyard dating back to the 17th Century, we found the view point and it was spectacular and we could understand why John Ruskin liked it so much and a noticeboard also stated that Turner had painted the scene in 1811. The view looked over the River Lune towards the hills and we spent a bit of time looking at the view. We left the viewing point and made our way back to the Church and went in, it is a lovely Church and we lit a candle and left a donation and picked up a book mark.

We left the church and wandered back through the town, Karen said we ought to eat before moving on and we spotted a sign for an Italian restaurant in a courtyard. We went in and ordered our food and a drink and once we had our drinks Karen wished me a happy birthday as we clinked glasses. The owner of the restaurant wished me a happy birthday and a while later brought us another drink of what we were having on the house, she said it was her birthday gift which I thanked her for, it was a lovely surprise.

We had a lovely meal and drinks and after paying made our way back to the car. We left Kirkby Lonsdale and I asked Karen if she minded if we went to Grasmere as I thought it wasn't too far away as we were in the South Lakes area. The sun was shining bright and the temperature was creeping up by now, at first the drive was quite good and we made good time until we got near to Windermere when we hit traffic. By this time it was approaching 2.45pm on a glorious Saturday afternoon in high summer in an extremely popular area. We skirted Windermere and then came to Ambelside, this was even busier but luckily they have a one way loop around the centre and although we were in traffic it was moving quite well. We left Ambleside and before long came across the sign for Grasmere, home of Wordsworth. We managed to park up ok and then went wandering into the small town of Grasmere, we passed cafe's and a pub and some outdoor stores but I was heading for Sam Read Bookseller's as I follow them on Twitter. We had a good look around the bookshop and I picked up a Cricket book with some of my birthday money. We continued wandering round and looking in one or two shops but decided not to go into Barney's Newsbox, although it is a newsagents it's main claim to fame is for its fantastic range of Puzzles which range from a 50 piece puzzle for toddler's right up to a 24,000 piece puzzle and everything in between.

When we had done we headed back to the car and had a coffee sat in the car before heading for home. On our way to Kirkby Lonsdale and Grasmere we had used the 'A' roads but I decided to go back using the motorways so we made for the M6 first and then joined the M61 and then M62 before finally the M1 before we exited the motorway at Durkar and used the local roads to get home. We were tired when we got home and first thing was a pot of tea. We had a relaxing evening from 8pm listening to the new Lighthouse Family CD that had come in the post while we were out along with some books.

I had had a fabulous birthday and thanked Karen for a great day out.

Jul 8, 4:51pm Top

Yesterday began with a pot of tea in bed, while I came down and made the tea, Karen put the joint of Pork for Sunday lunch in the oven. When we had finished our tea we got up, washed and dressed before coming downstairs to make a pot of tea, get our meds and vitamins out and Karen toasted some Pikelets for me. After I had eaten I checked my phone for more messages while I had my pot of tea.

When we had finished, Karen asked me to go to the supermarket as she had forgotten the Cheese Sauce for the Cauliflower Cheese she was making for Sunday lunch with Rob, Louise and Hannah joining us. Sadly Andy had to work so they were coming over once he had finished at 4pm and would be with us by 5pm, Karen plated up a Sunday lunch for Andy, Amy wasn't bothered about Sunday lunch and she had a Fish Finger salad.

I went and got the Cheese Sauce and then pottered about as Karen finished off preparing the vegetables, I put the washing on the line as the weather was glorious again. Rob, Louise and Hannah arrived just after 1.30pm and a short time later we sat down for Lunch. After we had eaten I showed Rob how the garden was looking after the work I had been doing and then we had some Chocolate cake. We had a lovely afternoon chatting and catching up and before long Amy and Andy had arrived. Amy gave me my present which was Status Quo's Francis Rossi's book I Talk Too Much and the CD of him and Hannah Rickard called We Talk Too Much.

Not long after, Rob, Louise and Hannah left as they were tired, they had done a Car Boot sale that morning and were up at 4.30am to get ready and load the car up.

When they had left Karen warmed up Andy's lunch and I got the Fish Fingers out of the freezer for Amy's salad. They both enjoyed their lunch and then we chatted and caught up with what's been going on. Before Rob left we sorted out what time I would be picking him up on Tuesday ready to go down to Birmingham to see KISS.

We had a lovely time with Amy and Andy and I got Amy to look through the books I had got ready to go off to the Nostell Priory book shop. Amy had a good look through, I knew there were a few she would take but it took her two trips downstairs with the books she had selected.

Amy and Andy left us at about 9.30pm and it was a lovely day for us with both Rob and Amy coming over, we were tired by the time they had gone but it had been a fantastic weekend for me.

Jul 8, 10:31pm Top

Sounds like you all had a lovely weekend!

Jul 8, 10:38pm Top

>56 johnsimpson: KISS?
You old rocker you.

Jul 9, 2:09am Top

John--Happy belated birthday!!! Glad to hear and the kids Karen treated you well. : )

Jul 9, 8:11am Top

Great description of your birthday weekend, John! I'm glad that you enjoyed it.

Jul 9, 11:29am Top

Happy Birthday to you! I am glad that you had glorious weather. It has been hot, steamy, and sticky here in Alabama.

I had some bad luck with my miniature pear tomatoes this last week. I am not sure if my plant, which had been healthy and vigorous, has a bad case of Tomato Wilt or if the lawn care people got to enthusiastic with the application of Roundup that was applied to my carport and driveway to keep the weeds in check. In any case, the healthy plant has been reduced to a wilted limp bunch of sticks that was loaded with green tomatoes. I still have two cherry tomato plants, one yellow and one red, so I hope that even with the loss of one, I will have salad tomatoes for the rest of the summer.

Jul 10, 3:29pm Top

>57 thornton37814:, Hi Lori my dear, it was a really lovely weekend.

>58 PaulCranswick:, Hi Paul, I have been a fan since 1978 and this is the sixth time I have seen them in the UK.

>59 Berly:, Hi Kim my dear, thank you for the birthday wishes, I had a really lovely time and it was nice to have the kids over on Sunday.

>60 kidzdoc:, Hi Darryl, it was a really lovely weekend and I was spoilt and the weather was good while we were out.

Jul 10, 3:32pm Top

>61 benitastrnad:, Hi Benita my dear, Thank you for the birthday wishes. I need to put some weedkiller down on the drive but until the drive is re-done it will be a job like the old Forth Railway bridge when it was constantly being painted. My work in the garden is going well and I should have done what I wanted to get done by the time we go on holiday.

Jul 10, 3:39pm Top

Monday was a nice steady day for both of us, Karen had put two days holiday in.

I was up at 7am as I needed to have my meds and vitamins and a pot of tea before setting off to Dewsbury hospital for my MRI scan. As I left the house Karen was up and dressed as she was going to go into Wakefield for a look around and to pick up a few bits. I was a little early as the traffic was unexpectedly light but I had my book with me. I had just about finished it when I was called to have my scan.

The scan went ok although it was noisy and it was a good job I had some headphones on, I just have to wait for the results now. Once done I made my way back to the car and read the last two pages of my book before setting off for home. Once home I had my cereal before beginning a new book and had a pot of tea. For the next two or three hours I spent my time reading and having a few pots of tea before Karen rang to say she was ready to come home. I went and collected Karen and we made our way home. We had a relaxing afternoon and evening ready for Tuesday when we went to see KISS.

Jul 10, 4:07pm Top

On Tuesday we awoke with the alarm and I went and made us a pot of tea to have in bed, once we had finished our tea we got up, washed and dressed and came downstairs to sort breakfast out and our meds and vitamins. We had breakfast and a pot of tea before I popped out briefly and then it was just a matter of waiting for Amy and Andy to arrive and then we could set off to pick Rob up and then make our way to Birmingham.

Amy and Andy arrived at noon and we fed and watered them and got some things ready for the car before we set off to get Rob. Once Rob was in the car we set off for Birmingham, we had a fairly good journey and following satnav we arrived at the Barclaycard Arena car park and got parked up. I paid for the parking and we headed into the centre of Birmingham to get something to eat. Unfortunately just as we were leaving the car park Amy bent down to tie her shoelace and as she was putting her phone down it slipped and dropped about an inch, it cracked her screen at the bottom and would not let her tap the zero key and as she had a pin number lock including zeroes, she could not access her phone.

First stop now was to find the O2 shop to see if they could help, sadly they could not do anything apart from suggesting it be sent away. As we were only visitors she decided to wait and so we then sought out somewhere to eat. We decided to go to Bella Italia as it suited us all and we had a nice meal and a drink. While we were in the restaurant Amy had a play about with her phone and managed to get the pin to unlock her phone but she could only use the phone in Landscape format to avoid the crack and she was limited what she could access.

Once we had eaten we had a steady stroll back to the Arena and the car so that we could drop some things off and Rob could change his T-Shirt, once this was done we made our way to the Arena doors. We were directed to the queue for the standing entrance and a short time later we were admitted and in a queue to buy our tour T-Shirts. Karen was wearing one of my old ones, it was from the 1996/97 tour and Andy was wearing one of Amy's old ones that she got in 2010. Once the T-Shirts had been purchased we went and got a drink and began to soak up the atmosphere. Karen was really enjoying herself as this was her first Rock concert and it was to see KISS.

After a while we headed into the Arena and got our spot near the Mixing desk area and the platform where Paul Stanley would come out to on the zip wire, we have had this spot on the last two occasions in 2010 and 2017. Eventually at around 7.45pm the support act came on, this time something completely different as it was the artist David Garibaldi who has supported KISS since the End of the World Tour began in January. I must admit he is a fantastic artist all set to rock music. the first portrait was of Mick Jagger and then he did Freddie Mercury but this time the painting was done upside down. Each portrait was accompanied with rock music and we were singing along. Once he was done the stage area had to be cleaned and we had a short interval before KISS appeared.

KISS entered at 8.50pm and for the next two and a quarter hours it was awesome, Karen absolutely loved it and was shaking her head and arms and singing along like a good one, she has listened to KISS ever since we met and has picked up quite a number of songs. The pyrotechnics were something to behold, the screens showed old concert footage when songs were being played and it was special. When Paul Stanley came out on the zip wire we could nearly touch him and Karen was loving it, Rob took her phone and videoed this section and you can hear him singing along (badly) while he is doing this. The show had a spectacular ending and that was it, the last time we will see them live, Karen was so glad she decided to come along. We slowly made our way back to the car and once in we all had a drink and something to eat and then set off on our journey home.

We dropped Rob at home at 1.30 am this morning and we got home just before 2am, Amy and Andy got into their car and set off for home , they should have got home around 2.45am this morning. Sadly both Rob and Amy had to go to work and so both did not have a long sleep to look forward to, we made a pot of tea and went up to bed and turned our light off after finishing our drink at 2.30am, we set the alarm for 10am.

Jul 10, 4:27pm Top

>65 johnsimpson: How great to see favorite performers live! It sounds like everyone had a great time. I can't say I'm a KISS fan as I'm not really a music fan at all, however, my daughter went to school with two of Gene Simmons kids and I did see him emcee and perform at a school benefit.

Jul 10, 4:35pm Top

Finished book 50 on Monday morning, The Body Farm by Patricia Cornwell, this is the fifth in the Dr Kay Scarpetta Series.

The Body Farm - a research institute that tests the decomposition of corpses.

Black Mountain, North Carolina: a sleepy little town where the local police deal with one homicide a year, is they're unlucky, and where people are still getting used to the idea of locking their doors at night.

But violent death is no respecter of venue, and the discovery of the corpse of an eleven-year-old girl sends shock waves through the community. Dr. Kay Scarpetta, Chief Medical Examiner on a similar case in Virginia, is called in to apply her forensic skills to this latest atrocity, but the apparent simplicity of the case proves something of a poisoned chalice - until Scarpetta finds enlightenment through the curious pathologists' playground known as the Body Farm...

A very enjoyable book.

Jul 10, 4:36pm Top

It makes me sad to see so many of my old favorite performers, both bands and individuals, end their careers. I retired a few years ago and of course, they should be able to do the same, but somehow it doesn't seem right. I still play their music at home all the time because it still makes me happy and actually makes me feel young. Well, younger than I am. LOL

Jul 10, 4:39pm Top

>65 johnsimpson:, Hi Susan, we have always been on the lookout for information on any KISS tours to the UK and as soon as it was announced that they were going to call it a day we were looking on the net for tour date information. Once I had the dates I contacted both Amy and Rob and then asked Karen if she wanted to go and Amy asked Andy, Rob asked Louise but knew she wouldn't want to come, not because she doesn't like them but doesn't like too many people around and in an indoor Arena. Amy booked the tickets and I paid for ours and Rob's was his Christmas present.

Karen absolutely loved it and it was her first rock concert so it was doubly special to her.

Jul 10, 4:44pm Top

>68 clue:, Hi Luanne, I know what you mean my dear, Paul and Gene are about 14 years older than me but both Eric and Tommy are only three or four years older, it was sad at the end knowing that was the last time we will see them on tour but at least both Rob and Amy have seen them a couple of times and Karen got to finally see them whereas this was my sixth time since 1980. I love most music but am an old rocker at heart, I have seem quite a few bands and some I would have liked to have seen but no longer can. I missed RUSH and didn't realise that REM were calling it a day and the one I would have liked to have seen but couldn't get any tickets to was Led Zeppelin at Knebworth in 1979, I was gutted at missing out and a year later John Bonham had died and that was that as far as they were concerned.

Jul 11, 4:12pm Top

It has been a nice steady day for us, the weather has been good and we have got a few things done and spent some nice time together.

The alarm went off this morning but Karen wanted a pot of tea so I went and made us both one, after we had finished our tea we got up, washed and dressed and came downstairs. Karen set a load of washing going while I got our meds and vitamins out and make a pot of tea. We had our tea and meds and I had some cereal before putting the washing on the line outside.

Once the washing was put out we got in the car and set off to Featherstone to go to the Aldi store, I sat in the car listening to the Cricket World Cup semi-final , England V Australia and England got off to the best of starts by getting Australia 14 for 3 after 7 overs. Karen was in store getting the bits we required and as soon as she was done and had put the shopping in the car, we made our way home. I left Karen unpacking and putting the shopping away while I popped out for some cigars and to drop Karen's repeat prescription in at the Doctor's.

By the time I got back, Karen had not only put the shopping away but had cut up some Chicken breasts and had them cooking in a nice curry sauce and had portioned out the rice in the containers. I made us a pot of tea and by the time we had finished them the Chicken was ready and so all the containers were filled and I have three curry meals available to me.

After the curries were done Karen did the bit of ironing while I continued to listen to the Cricket, when she had done the ironing I made us a pot of tea and we relaxed for a while. After the Australia innings was over I went and did the upstairs housework with a little bit of help from Karen, she did a bit of dusting. Once the housework was done we had some lunch and a pot of tea and then I made us both a drink before going upstairs to watch the Tour De France stage while Karen watched A House in the Sun.

When both programmes were over I checked the Cricket and England had won the semi-final very convincingly by eight wickets with 103 balls to spare to set up the final on Sunday against New Zealand. What a Sunday it is going to be, the Wimbledon Men's Tennis Final, it is also the British F1 Motor Racing Grand Prix and the Cricket World Cup Final and to add to this Channel Four have done a deal with Sky to show the Final Free-to-Air as Sky had promised that if England got to the final they would do this.

I then brought the washing in and picked some Raspberries and some Gooseberries before it began to rain, there had been a couple of rumbles of thunder and a flash of lightning but it looked as if it was drifting away but then some heavy spots of rain dropped and then the heavens opened, this lasted about thirty minutes before the sun came back out and it quickly warmed back up.

I forgot to mention that on Monday I got a message to say that I was one of the thirty winners of the James Patterson competition, the prize was an uncorrected proof copy of the next Alex Cross book, Criss Cross in paperback format along with a Jute bag designed as the book is, Black with a silver Cross. The book is due out on the 14th of November in Hardback and all I need to do is give a review, I have three Alex Cross books to read before I can read this one so it will not get reviewed until September at the earliest. I was so chuffed that I was one of the winners and I was informed on Tuesday that the prize would be with me by the end of the week so they have been true to their word.

All in all it has not been a bad week for us and now only 14 days before we go on holiday, I must get an anniversary card otherwise I will be in big trouble, lol.

Jul 11, 6:34pm Top

A fabulous birthday, KISS live and an ARC of Alex Cross! it has been a good week. Couldn't happen to better people!

Jul 11, 7:05pm Top

>71 johnsimpson: Congrats on the James Patterson win!

Jul 11, 9:43pm Top

Thanks for the well-explained descriptions, John. It sounds like a great birthday weekend and a wonderful time you all had at the KISS concert.

Jul 12, 3:49pm Top

>72 witchyrichy:, Hi Karen my dear, it has been a good week for us and thank you for the lovely end comment, sending love and hugs dear friend.

>73 thornton37814:, Hi Lori my dear, Thank you.

>74 jnwelch:, Hi Joe, the birthday weekend was great and then the KISS concert was the icing on the cake really especially as Karen had a wonderful time at her first concert, she was giving it large.

Jul 12, 5:35pm Top

Looks like you all had a great time at the KISS concert, John. I am amazed that it was Karen's first rock concert but then, I had a bit of a misspent youth! Things definitely sound to be going your way since your birthday weekend. You better get cracking on those Alex Cross reads!

Jul 13, 5:03pm Top

>70 johnsimpson: I haven't seen KISS live but did see Led Zeppelin at Knebworth. Sounds like a great concert you went to.

Jul 14, 4:38am Top

We have a few friends here from New Zealand, John, but I am unashamedly rooting for Eoin Morgan and his boys today. I am rooting for Lewis Hamilton and for Roger Federer. What a Sunday indeed!

Jul 15, 3:47pm Top

>76 Familyhistorian:, Hi Meg, we all had a fabulous time seeing KISS, Karen has never been much of a concert goer and this was the fifth time since we met that I had seen KISS and with it being the last time she just had to come along and she absolutely loved it and was rocking with the best of them.

I may get one Alex Cross in before we go on holiday and then we are taking books that we can both read, Karen has a few books on her phone and there is a library in the hotel if she is really stuck for something to read, lol.

Jul 15, 3:50pm Top

>77 avatiakh:, Hi Kerry, this was my sixth KISS concert and third with Amy, twice with Rob and first for Karen, I couldn't get a ticket for the first Knebworth concert but listened to it on the radio and was away for the following concert and then sadly John Bonham died and that was that until the reunion gig at the O2 and I did try to get a ticket but millions wanted one and so the odds were always going to be high to be successful in the ballot.

Jul 15, 3:56pm Top

>78 PaulCranswick:, Hi Paul, I was supporting the England boys but they were very, very lucky. New Zealand bowled extremely well and our two England captains froze in my opinion, there combined 16 from 53 balls is the modern day equivalent of Gavaskar's infamous innings in the 1975 World Cup. We had no plan B until Buttler joined Stokes and they started looking for the ones and twos, I like Morgan but he can be a bit intransigent, it's his plan of nothing and the likes of Aggers and co commented on this earlier in the competition. New Zealand can be mighty proud of their team, it was a cracking final and they were desperately unlucky.

As for the motor racing, I have no time for it, for the last 25 years it has been so predictable and I really wanted Federer to win although I do like Djokovic.

Jul 15, 4:16pm Top

Finished book 51 on Saturday afternoon, A Distant View of Everything by Alexander McCall Smith. This is the Fourteenth in the Isabel Dalhousie Series of books.

Isabel Dalhousie is feeling unsettled. She is adjusting to life as a new mother, alongside her work as a philanthropist and as editor of the Review of Applied Ethics. With a desire to create some space in her busy life, Isabel returns to lending a hand at her niece's delicatessen, where surely the most taxing duty is the preparation of sandwiches.

It is not long before Isabel's helpful nature draws her into her customers' problems, specifically that of self-proclaimed matchmaker, Bea Shannon. Bea has staged a potentially dangerous liaison involving enigmatic plastic surgeon, Tony MacUspaig, who may not be quite who he claims to be - and Isabel's help is required in getting to the truth of the matter. But even she is not immune to misunderstandings, or the neurotic fantasies that arise from keeping secrets...

Another enjoyable read in this series.

Jul 16, 3:26pm Top

>82 johnsimpson: Thanks for the review. I started this series but never got far along. Guess I have some catching up to do. I could use an enjoyable read. Hope you had a lovely weekend!

Jul 16, 3:33pm Top

>83 witchyrichy: Hi Karen my dear, we love these books and I had to read this one as Karen has selected the next one to take on holiday amongst all the others, lol. We had a pretty good weekend, resting on Sunday and now on the countdown to our holiday, Karen is starting to get a bit giddy now and wants to pack and after today she has four shifts left to do.

Jul 16, 3:46pm Top

The last few days have been very good weather wise and I have made the most of them although on a couple I may have overdone it a bit.

Friday I took Karen to work and then did the little bit of shopping required, once this was done I made my way into Wakefield via the garden centre as I needed a couple of bags of manure. I left the garden centre and continued into Wakefield, I took our passports with me along with the bank book, the passports were so that the travel agent could check us in and the bank was so that I could get the money out to get some Euro's.

The travel agent checked us both in and I noticed that they were doing a deal on the Euro, they were offering 1.1 Euro to the pound as long as you spent £1,000, as the Euro has been dropping over the last few days and I had seen it at 1.0695 I took them up on the deal and went to the bank to get some money out. A short time later I was back at the travel agents getting our holiday Euro's.

Once this was done I made my way back to the car and made my way home. Once home I unloaded the manure and then brought the shopping into the house and put it all away. The rest of the day was spent reading, drinking tea and I did the housework.

Saturday was a lovely day and Karen set a load of washing going which I put out just before I took her to work, once back I made a pot of tea and then watched the cycling. After an hour or so and finishing my book I decided to go into the garden and do a bit more work on the border. I was getting a nice tan and just got on with what I was doing. I ploughed on and then realised that I was in a bit of pain, I had overdone it so I stopped and put everything away and had a shower before having some lunch. I took a painkiller to try and help and thought the shower would also help but as the day wore on and into the evening I was in severe pain, all my own fault. Luckily it did not spoil the evening as we both relaxed as Karen was also tired.

Jul 16, 4:07pm Top

I got up on Sunday morning with the alarm and went and made us a pot of tea and I was still aching, once we were up and about we had breakfast and proceeded to have a fairly lazy day. I watched the Cricket World Cup Final on free to air TV, this is the first time I have been able to watch cricket like this since 2005 when Channel four lost its Cricket coverage to Sky. Karen did some baking and some ironing before watching a bit of Cricket with me. After we had had our lunch I went upstairs to watch the Cricket so that Karen could watch what she wanted.

We had a nice evening but went up to bed to read around 9pm as I was still aching and Karen was fed up with the TV.

Monday was nice and bright, we had breakfast and then I put some washing on the line before popping down to the doctors to sort out my prescription. I had run out of my Asthma inhaler, not the main one but the one for morning and night and I wanted to see if I could have my other meds early as opposed to late next week which would have been problematical if they had not got my patches in stock. Thee receptionist was brilliant, she put my inhaler through for collection in the late afternoon and the rest of my script would be available to pick up on Friday. Once home I made us a pot of tea and pottered about in the garage trying to tidy it up so I can get the car in while we are away. I had some rubbish to take to the recycle centre as well.

We had lunch and a drink before it was time to take Karen to work, I dropped Karen off and then got some money out of the cash machine. I left the supermarket and made my way to the recycle centre and got rid of my rubbish before heading to Cineworld to go and watch Toy Story 4. Amy had already warned me that I might need tissues and she was not wrong, about 15 minutes from the end I had tears streaming down my cheeks right to the end of the film. I really, really enjoyed this film and was glad that I had gone to see it.

I left the cinema and made my way to the pharmacy to pick up my inhaler and then made my way home. Once home I had a pot of tea and checked the Cricket scores on my phone before going out and mowing the lawn and did a bit of weeding. By the time had done this I was wet through and sticky and so put everything away and went and had a shower and changed my clothes before coming downstairs and making myself something to eat.

Today has been steady away, we had a pleasant morning, after breakfast we stripped the spare bed and set the washing machine going, it finished before Karen had to go to work and I put the bedding on the line. We had already put fresh bedding on the spare bed so that was good. I took Karen to work and then made my way back home, once home I had a pot of tea and had a quick skim through the Radio Times listings magazine.

After finishing my tea I went outside and decided to make a dry mix of cement and sand to fill in between the concrete blocks for my shed base. I was surprised how long it took me to do this task and when finished I decided to do some more soil sorting for the back border. I stopped after a while as I realised that my back was starting to ache and I was wet through with sweat. I put everything away and went and had a shower and once clean I had the shower directed to the base of my back and gradually turned the heat up to try and get some relief. I think I stopped in time although I am a little sore.

After a pot of tea I made another drink and put a pizza in the oven for my tea, I had my pizza and then had a yoghurt and some fruit before going outside to water the plants.

Jul 17, 2:58pm Top

The first thing I saw when checking my phone this morning was the report on the death of author Andrea Camilleri aged 93. It is only a few weeks after an article appeared in the Radio Times listings magazine about him and the Inspector Montalbano books as a set of four new Montalbano dramas were to be shown on BBC 4, in the article it disclosed that he had written the final Montalbano book in 2006 and it was placed in the safe of his publishers and only to be published either on his death or if he could no longer write. I love the Montalbano books and must get back to them, I am up to book seven so lots more to read.

Jul 17, 3:05pm Top

On Friday morning I have to take Karen to work and then go to the dentist, after my dental appointment I am going to Harrogate to visit the Theakston's Old Peculiar Crime Writing Festival and pop along to Susie's restaurant, a Women's Murder Club pop-up serving free tropical cocktails and snacks all day and hope to meet James Patterson. I also hope I will bump into some of the other authors attending this three day event.

Jul 17, 3:15pm Top

I have recovered from yesterday's gardening work but it has left me in a good position prior to our holidays and so I am pleased with this. We have had a steady day with only the Aldi shopping being done and then it was Karen that did it as I stayed in the car and read.

I picked up Hannah this afternoon from school and we had her for a few hours and I have just seen her school report that Louise posted on Facebook, she has had a good year and they are very pleased with her progress, that's my clever Granddaughter. Next week she has her Autism appointment and so Rob and Louise will hopefully have a better idea of her condition and how to help her deal with this and it will also help us so that we know when she wants quiet time etc.

I took Hannah home an hour ago and dropped Karen at her ex sister-in-laws, I have nearly two hours peace on my own with the laptop before going to pick her up.

Jul 17, 4:35pm Top

Karen has sorted out the reading matter for our holiday, at the moment it is 14 books but she is thinking of cutting it down by two. I think it will stay at 14 and I may have another if I haven't finished whatever I am reading next week and of course I will have a notebook with me to record my reading whilst away and will have some notes to record when we get back, lol.

Jul 17, 9:52pm Top

>88 johnsimpson: Sad about Montalbano's creator's death.

Jul 18, 8:14pm Top

>86 johnsimpson: Toy Story 4, I saw it announced in the cinema's here as well. Seems like you loved it, I think we might as well.

>90 johnsimpson: Holiday preparations. Enjoy!

Jul 20, 3:28pm Top

>92 EllaTim:, Hi Ella, you will love Toy Story 4 my dear but take some tissues. The holiday prep is going well and it is just a matter of counting the days.

Jul 20, 3:41pm Top

I had a lovely day yesterday, I took Karen to work and then popped into store to get the few bits we needed. Once the bit of shopping was done, I had time to get home and unpack and put it away before heading to Normanton for my dental appointment.

I wasn't waiting long before I was called in for my check up and after he had done this my teeth were cleaned and polished and I then made my next appointment and paid for my treatment. After leaving the dentist I got back to the car and then set off to Harrogate to visit the Theakston's Crime Writing Festival.

By the time I got to Harrogate it was raining, I parked up and then made my way into the centre of town, I did some banking and paid a couple of bills before making my way to Imagined Things bookshop. I had a query about the Festival but they could not answer but I did pick up a signed paperback copy of the latest Dales Detective series. I left the bookshop and made my way to The Swan Hotel where the Festival is held.

I got to the Swan Hotel and then made my way to the book marquee, I picked up a paperback copy of the fourth Inspector Chopra book. I left the marquee and wandered about, a chap passed me and I wandered on a few yards before realising that it was Ian Rankin that had passed me, I turned around to find him but he had gone. I wandered back and bumped into Ann Cleeves and asked her for her autograph, I apologised as I only had my cigar pack with me , she duly signed the inside and I did give her a fountain pen to sign it with.

I really needed a day rover pass so that I could go into various parts of the hotel where authors were giving talks etc but at £78 and just before we go on holiday it was a no go. I hung around in case I could see any other authors but sadly I didn't spot anyone else and by this time it looked as if it was going to start raining again.

I walked back into town and picked up a couple of bits that Karen had told me to get and then I made my way back tot he car just as it began to rain.

Jul 20, 3:52pm Top

Finished book 52 late last night, Valley of the Shadow by Carola Dunn, this is the third of four in the Cornish Mystery Series.

While walking her dog with friends, Eleanor helps to rescue a young half-drowned Indian man from the sea along with her niece, Detective Sergeant Megan Pencarrow and her neighbour, Nick Gresham. Delirious and concussed, he talks about his family being trapped in a cave. While the young man, unconscious by this time, is whisked away to a hospital, a desperate effort is mounted to find the family of which he spoke.

The local police inspector presumes they are refugees from East Africa, abandoned by the traffickers who brought them in, so while the countryside is being scoured for the family, Eleanor herself descends into a dangerous den of smugglers in a desperate search to find the man responsible while there is still time.

Jul 21, 7:00am Top

>94 johnsimpson: Theakston's Crime Writing Festival

Is the sponsor the maker of Theakston's Old Peculier? That's probably my favorite English ale.

£78 just to attend a book festival?! Do you get anything with that? Talk about a crime!

I hope that you and Karen are having a lovely Sunday, John.

Jul 21, 7:18am Top

>67 johnsimpson: I enjoyed that one too. Happy Sunday, John.

Jul 21, 10:33am Top

Very cool to bump into Ian Rankin and Ann Cleeves, John. Good for you for popping into the Crime Writing festival. I'm not familiar with Inspector Chopra; I'll have to take a look. I'm reading the latest Inspector Shan mystery right now; they're set in Tibet, and he's Tibetan, caught between other Tibetans and the Chinese.

Jul 21, 3:15pm Top

>96 kidzdoc:, Hi Darryl, the sponsor is the maker of Old Peculiar mate. The day rover passes enable you full access to all the events on the day and I believe you get a goody bag. I had a look at the website on Wednesday and most of the events were sold out and they all had waiting lists in case people booked were unable to attend. The events started at 9am and went right through to 11pm, if you booked to stay from Thursday to Sunday you got access to everything and I believe you also were able to go to the opening dinner on Thursday evening but the cost is around £500 to 600 I think, I would have to check the website, they are already taking bookings for nest year's event.

Jul 21, 3:15pm Top

>97 Ameise1:, Hi Barbara, I am really enjoying this series my dear.

Jul 21, 3:19pm Top

>98 jnwelch:, Hi Joe, I was really surprised to bump into a couple of authors and wasn't prepared at all as I did have a notebook in the bottom of my bag but my brain wasn't working at that moment. Apparently last year Lee Child wandered around the centre of Harrogate without being bothered or pestered, authors are not really well known to most people, it is only the likes of me and you that would know them.

The Inspector Chopra books are quite amusing and worth a read, I will look up the Inspector Shan books as well.

Jul 21, 3:22pm Top

I had never heard of Theakston's Old Peculiar Crime Writing Festival before, John. It looks interesting and I would imagine it does have ties to Theakston's Old Peculiar ale since the prize looks like a beer cask! I'll have to have a look for Steve Cavanagh's, books as he was the winner and Cavanagh is one of my family names (and he even spells it the right way.)

Jul 21, 3:45pm Top

>102 Familyhistorian:, Hi Meg my dear, the Crime Writing Festival is in its 16th year and seems to be getting bigger and better each year, as people were already booking for next year as I was stood at the entrance to The Old Swan Hotel I would expect it to be busy again next year although I don't think they have announced who will be here next year.

One of the really good things is that quite a lot of the authors visited Imagined Things bookshop and had their photo taken with the owners as they had put on quite a display in honour of the Festival and had a good number of books by each author, last year the owner, who is a young lady posted on Twitter that on that particular day she had taken the grand sum of £12.34. She said it was just coincidence about the total but that with business rates, power and wages she would not be able to carry on if this type of day continued. Since then things have got better and better and it is a lovely little gem of a book store and well worth a visit if in Harrogate and I am very pleased for them. The independent bookshops in Yorkshire have seen a resurgence in visits and purchases and they all talk about each other on twitter and with others a bit further afield, it is so nice that they are trying to help each other and also follow them all and chat with them and have had chats with some good authors recently.

Jul 21, 4:29pm Top

We have had a really nice day today and Amy joined us as well. Once we were up and about we had breakfast before Amy arrived, we had a pot of tea together before we had a walk up to the Sports and Social Club playing field to have a wander around the Walton Classic Car Show.

The Classic Car Show has been organised once again by the Working for Walton team and it was a really good event. The event started at 10am and lasted until 4pm, there were a number of stalls and a barbecue stand, this was spectacular as the barbecue was a converted VW Beetle and there was a local band playing. It looked as though there were around 120 vehicles on display with a number of American cars on display, quite a number of Mustangs, three lovely Packards, a Pontiac Trans am, a Chevrolet Impala and one vehicle that was very 1930's, streamlined but I couldn't find a maker's mark.

We had a lovely time looking and admiring the vehicles, we were admiring a gorgeous Rolls-Royce when the owner, an old gent asked Karen if she would like to get in the back. Karen got in the car and then he told her to push a few buttons and the seat reclined and lifted up a bit, he then told her to lift up the phone as if she was making a call while I took a photo. I especially liked a couple of Porsche's and Morgan's, I would have either one if I had the funds.

After a good wander around we went to the cake stall and made a purchase, Karen had done a couple of Flapjack trays for them to sell off and all funds go to good causes in the village.

The Working for Walton team started about four or five years ago from an idea by the landlady of the village pub, Ria has made the pub/ restaurant really transform the village and is always busy. We have known Ria from a little girl as she lived across from us in our first house and she regularly sees and speaks to Karen when she visits the Asda. From small acorns things have grown and we now have a year long set of events which have been well supported by the village. Years ago we always had a lovely Gala day with the two schools and local groups taking part but it folded about 15 years or so ago. The next event is the Scarecrow weekend in September with around 80 houses taking part and it provides a good walk around the village to see what households have come up with. I believe there is something in October and then Bonfire night is good before we have a Christmas event with the grand lighting up event with the tree at the Parish Hall. All this has transformed the village and brought villagers together again and all thanks to the Working for Walton team of ladies.

Edited: Jul 21, 7:56pm Top

That's exciting, John! Bumping into Ian Rankin and Ann Cleeves. Even though I read both authors book, I'm not sure I'd recognize them. I did recognize a Canadian author , David Chariandy while back in a bookstore, but he was just shopping , so I just left the fellow to his shopping. In Canada he is fairly well known, and has won awards, but I don't think he is well known outside of Canada.

It sounds like you had a lovely day. Dave and I are planning a nice evening walk after it cools down. It's not that hot here, not too bad. We do have our portable air conditioning running today though.

Jul 24, 4:01pm Top

Finished book 53 last night, The Riviera Express by TP Fielden. This is the first in the Miss Dimont Mystery Series.

Film star found dead on the 4.30 from Paddington.

The murder of Gerald Hennessey throws the quaint Devonshire seaside town of Temple Regis into complete disarray. Not least Miss Judy Dimont - corkscrew haired reporter for the local rag, The Riviera Express.

When a second body turns up, an apparent suicide on the clifftops above the town beach, Miss Dimont throws herself into the investigation. Why was a man like Gerald coming to sleepy Temple Regis anyway? What is the connection between the two deaths? And just how will she be able to investigate under the watchful eye of her infamously cantankerous editor, Rudyard Rhys?

A very satisfying vintage crime read set in the late 1950's.

Jul 24, 4:33pm Top

The last two days have been pretty good in all ways. The weather has been hot and sunny, gradually getting warmer by the day.

Yesterday morning I had a 9am appointment at the pain management clinic at Dewsbury hospital, things went very well and I came away quite positive about things. I chatted with a chap called Martin and the upshot is that hopefully I will be gradually weaned off the morphine patches, my MRI results were not available at that moment so we just have to wait. Once back from the hospital we had a good day together as Karen had rung in on Monday to put a days holiday in as she had not slept well on Sunday night and had a couple of things on her mind.

Today has been good all round and then this afternoon I had to go to the Doctor's for my Asthma appointment with the nurse and then to see a GP for my annual tablet review. I had my Asthma review and things are ok and then I waited to be called into see my GP. I went in and told him about my Pain Management appointment and he was pleased with this and I mentioned my MRI scan, the results had come through and he quickly went through it as he was running very late and the appointment was not about this. My spine is ok but what leads off my spine has areas of compression that is probably causing the problems I am suffering from. The Pain specialist I saw said he would be writing to Dr Javali who referred me in the first instance and I would get the same letter and then once I am back from our holiday I will make an appointment to see her and discuss the MRI findings and his recommendation and we will take it form there. Overrall I am quite pleased with what has gone on over the last two days.

When we got home I went upstairs to the toilet and to open all the windows as the heat was too much, as I went into the toilet I heard a bird cheep but thought nothing of it. I opened the spare bedroom windows and then went into our bedroom only to stop dead as I was confronted with a baby bird. I can only assume that it came out of the loft as I had opened the loft hatch to let some air in. We tried to get hold of it and it managed to evade both of us and ended up down the stairs, we followed and opened the front door for it to go out. It duly went out but didn't really fly, it is probably too young yet to fly so I followed it and after it gave me the runaround I managed to get hold of it. We decided to put it into one of the nest boxes with some food and water near to the back door. A short time later I noticed that it was chirruping well and an adult Chaffinch had come to see what the commotion was all about.

I went into the loft to check for any other baby birds and to see where it had come from, I found that the felt at the far end of the loft had been chewed and below was evidence of nest material. It would appear that the adults have got under the roof tiles and into the gap between the tile and the roof felt and then made a nest until they chewed the felt and entered the loft. I found no other birds so got some specialised tape and sealed the felt and then nailed a thin board to close the gap. Just what we needed with a day and a half before we go away is to have to become saviours of our feathered friends. Hopefully the baby bird will gain some strength and be able to fly off successfully.

Jul 24, 4:36pm Top

I am hoping to finish off a short book before tomorrow night and then I may not be on here until the 9th of August as I am not taking the tablet computer with us after the last time with poor internet and I didn't really have mush time anyway. We are taking enough books with us so we should both complete a fair few before we get home. I hope to post something tomorrow but we will be going to bed early as we are being picked up by Dave the Taxi at 2.30am on Friday morning to get to Manchester Airport to be checked in before 4.45am.

Jul 25, 1:47am Top

Safe travels, John! and have a fantastic holiday!

Jul 25, 2:01am Top

Have a great vacation!

Jul 25, 11:48am Top

Hi John!

Your birthday weekend sounds wonderful, and I'm so glad you all had such a great time at the KISS concert.

Safe travels and best wishes for a super vacation!

Jul 26, 2:05am Top

Have a great vacation with Karen, John! I look forward to seeing photos and descriptions from Madeira.

Jul 26, 1:46pm Top

Have a great time, John!

Jul 27, 10:57am Top

Hope you are having a wonderful holiday!

Jul 27, 6:09pm Top

>106 johnsimpson: That one does sound good to me. I'll have to look for it.

Jul 29, 12:52am Top

I hope that you and Karen are having a great time on your holiday, John.

Jul 30, 12:41pm Top

Have a great holiday, John and Karen. xxx

Aug 4, 10:12pm Top

I am sure that the sun and the beer and the food and the clean Madeiran air are taking their toll, John!

Best wishes to you and Karen.

Aug 5, 7:50am Top

Hope you are having a great holiday!

Aug 11, 3:26pm Top

>109 kac522:, Hi Kathy, we have had a fabulous holiday my dear, details to follow shortly.

>110 quondame:, Hi Susan we had a great holiday, details to follow.

>111 karenmarie:, Hi Karen, I had a lovely birthday and then three days later seeing KISS was awesome and Karen absolutely loved it, this was her first gig and she was giving it large. We all had a great day travelling down to Birmingham and then having a meal in the city centre before going along to the Arena. Myself, Karen, Rob, Amy and Andy had a wonderful time with David Garibaldi as the support act, his artwork is superb and the way he does it was to be seen and then KISS came on stage and we were in heaven for two hours before the drive home. It is so sad that this is the End of the Road for the band once they have finished off the remaining American dates and then hit the Far East and Australasia but time catches up with us all. I have the memories of seeing them six times in the UK and have five tour t-shirts to remind me of the gigs I have seen.

Aug 11, 3:31pm Top

>112 kidzdoc:, Hi Darryl, I will have to get them off Karen and hopefully get them onto my thread, details of our holiday yo come shortly.

>113 jnwelch:, Hi Joe, we had a great time mate.

>114 witchyrichy:, Hi Karen, we had a great time, details to come.

>115 thornton37814:, Hi Lori, the TP Fielden was very enjoyable my dear.

>116 Familyhistorian:, Hi Meg, we had a lovely time, details to follow.

>117 DianaNL:, Hi Diana, we had a great time my dear and so lovely to see you here dear friend.

>118 PaulCranswick:, Hi Paul, it all took its toll mate and we just wish that we were still there to suffer more, lol.

>119 ChelleBearss:, Hi Chelle, we had a great time my dear, details to follow.

Aug 11, 3:55pm Top

Finished book 54 on the 25th of July late in the evening before we went on holiday. Penelope Goes to Portsmouth by M. C. Beaton and is the third in the Travelling Matchmaker Series.

Kind hearted Miss Hannah Pym is off to Portsmouth in the company of the beautiful but practical Miss Penelope Wilkins. Miss Pym quickly realises that Penelope needs someone to enliven her sheltered life, someone perhaps like their handsome travelling companion, Lord Augustus Railton. Penelope, however, thinks Lord Augustus is a ne'er-do -well...

Miss Pym's hopes for adventure, on the other hand, are fulfilled when the coach happens upon a footman who faces hanging for a crime he didn't commit.

Another light hearted read.

Aug 11, 4:01pm Top

Finished book 55 whilst on holiday in Madeira, The President is Missing by James Patterson and Bill Clinton.


The world is in shock.

Terrorists are planning a devastating attack. And they have help from traitors inside the White House. The only thing standing in their way is a President determined to save his people.


A fast paced, exciting thriller, a great holiday read.

Aug 11, 4:24pm Top

Thank you all for the kind messages on my thread whilst we were on holiday in Madeira, we got back late afternoon on Friday but this is the first chance that I have had to get on here. As can be seen above, I did manage to finish a book the night before we set off.

On the Thursday we had a steady-ish day finishing off the packing and sorting a few bits out, the weather here in the UK that week was exceptional for us and the Thursday was no exception, the temperature in Yorkshire peaked at 35C. It was a very warm and sticky day and did not bode well for us getting some sleep that night.

We had everything sorted and brought the cases downstairs by 8pm, I had watered the pots outside and fed the hedgehogs and left the hosepipe out for our neighbours Catherine and David to water while we were away and to feed the Hedgehogs. We both had a shower and a bite to eat and went up to bed by 9.30pm, we laid on top of the bed with the windows open but it didn't get any cooler. I read for so long but Karen wanted to try and go to sleep so I came downstairs and had a pot of tea and finished my book. I went back up to bed and laid on top and basically cat-napped until Karen awoke at 1.15am, the alarm was set for 1.30am. I turned my alarm fully off and we got a quick wash and dressed and came downstairs to have a pot of tea.

Karen noticed that Dave the Taxi was just parked a bit higher up the street so as not to disturb us or the neighbours, Dave is a lovely chap and although he said 2.30am was the time he would pick us up, he is always a good 15 minutes early, bless him. We awoke expecting thunderstorms and lightning as that was what had been predicted, at 7pm on Thursday evening there had been 5,000 lightning strikes around Manchester and rain was falling.

We locked up and got in the taxi and set off for Manchester Airport so that we could get checked in by 4.45am, it was still very warm, around 22C at 2.30am and we had the windows wound down to get some air. As we crossed between Yorkshire and Lancashire on the M62 motorway we noticed a few spots of rain and a bit further on it started to rain. As we got near Stockport we could see that it had been raining quite heavily and was just easing a bit. Dave got us to the Airport by around 4pm and the rain had stopped, we got out and Dave got our luggage out and directed us to the JET2 area where staff were waiting for us. We quickly got checked in, only one case was slightly heavier than the 22kg we were allowed, 22,3kg and we proceeded to passport control. Passport control was a lot easier than four years ago, I was not required to take my shoes off and although we both pinged the body scanner and had to be searched, we sailed through.

We made our way to the main eating and waiting area after a look through duty free, Karen picked up some perfume for herself and spotted some aftershave for me. I picked up a couple of magazines and some Pepsi Max Ginger before settling down to wait to be called to our gate to board our flight.

I am not going to bore you with a daily view of what we did but will continue to give you all a flavour of our holiday.

Edited: Aug 11, 4:45pm Top

>122 johnsimpson: I've read some of her Hamish books, but I like them best in audio. I don't know if I've ever seen a book in that series. I'll have to look.

ETA: The first is in Overdrive in both ebook and audio formats. Added to the list.

Edited: Aug 12, 3:33pm Top

Latest reading stats:

Books on shelves at 1-7-2019 - 2526
Books added in July - 14
Books read in July - 6

Revised book total - 2534

Pages to read at 1-7-2019 - 1,061,103
Pages added in July - 5,528
Pages read in July - 1,662

Revised total pages to read - 1,064,969

Edited: Aug 12, 3:35pm Top


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

No of Authors.................... 5

New Authors...................... 1

Male Authors..................... 2

Female Authors.................. 3

Pages Read....................... 1,662

Daily Avg........................... 53.61

Book Length avg................. 277

Aug 12, 4:12pm Top

Good to see that you and Karen made it there and back in fine fettle, John. I look forward to reading more about your holiday.

Aug 12, 4:14pm Top

We had a pleasant flight but were surprised to find as we were landing that it was raining, we have never seen any rain on our previous two visits. By the time we exited the terminal with our luggage and making our way to the minibus to take us to our hotel it had stopped and although the clouds looked threatening at the airport, it was sunny over Funchal.

After a short drive we checked into the hotel and once the formalities were done we made our way to our Garden room, no 007. Previously we have stayed in 005 and 015, so we knew where we were going. Once in the room we found that one of the wheels on my case had come off and that the tea and coffee and kettle were not in the room. I left Karen to start unpacking while I sorted this out, the wheel must have come off just outside the hotel and I was given it and told the kettle and tea/coffee would be delivered to our room.

Once we had unpacked everything we got changed and decided to have a wander towards the centre of Funchal, on the way I spotted the little tobacconist/ newsagent shop I have frequented before and I picked up some cigars. I should say that they are classed as Cigarillos here rather than mini cigars at home, I was slightly disappointed that they only had Blond (Vanilla), Red (Cherry) and Original. The last time we were here I also had Green (Apple), Light Brown (Coffee) and Dark Brown (Chocolate) to choose from and I had seen in England, Peach (Peach). I picked up a pack of Red and Blond and we continued our stroll to the end of the street and the Almirence bar where we had a coffee and a Pasteis De Nata.

After refreshing ourselves we continued wandering, looking at the shops and ending up at the Ritz Madeira where I had a beer and Karen had a coffee, whilst sat looking around we spotted some stalls in the park opposite but they were starting to close up. We finished our drinks and went into the Sao Lorenzo mall so that I could look at some pens, I only had a quick look but was offered a 20% discount on certain pens.

We strolled back to the hotel and had a nice surprise when we entered our room, not only had the kettle etc been delivered but also a basket of fruit, a honey cake and a bottle of Madeira wine was placed on our little table with a note to say thank you for visiting again.

After a pot of tea and a little rest, we showered and changed before going down to the Xarambinha Italian restaurant for our first night meal, we have done this on every visit and it was lovely to see Katya, one of the waitresses still there and she welcomed us like old friends.

The following day was spent sunbathing around the pool until I had to go and have a shower and get changed to go to a nearby hotel for a meeting with the Jet2 Rep. I arrived to find I was the only person who had bothered to turn up, this could have been because it was set for 2.30pm but I was disappointed for the young lady from Jet2. Although I told her we had been here before I told here that things change and that she would be giving me some good information. After a 20 minute chat between us I left to go and pick up some water and milk from the small supermarket and some Cigarillos.

As I made my way for the supplies I came across the craft stalls that we had seen near the cable car the last time we came here. I had a quick look and as I approached the supermarket I came across the secondhand/antique stalls, I had a look around them and came across a stall with some intriguing boxes. I opened a box and found five fountain pens, I picked out two and the chap came to me and said they were five Euros each and I could have them all and the box for 30 euros. The two I had in my hand were both Parker's and I knew I had two bargains in my hand, after giving the others a cursory look I settled on the two Parker's and paid him the 10 euros. I went and got the supplies and fair bounded back with my bargains.

I knew one was a Parker 65 Cisele in Sterling Silver, it was quite dirty and I have cleaned it up today and the other was also a Parker 65 in Rolled Gold, after some research it turns out to be from the Cloud series and is a Parker 65 Cumulus, apparently one of the rarer ones. My ten euro bargain could be worth around 400 euros although I will not part with them, Karen was stunned that I had dropped on a bargain so early in the holiday. We had a pleasant meal that night and retired to bed late.

The following day was our 35th wedding anniversary and once up and with a pot of tea we opened the cards we had taken with us. We put the cards on the dressing table, in front of the television. We finished our tea and got washed and dressed and went down for breakfast, after breakfast we went back to our room for our towels etc and went down to the pool. When we went back to our room around 4pm we found that we had been left a cake with a candle on top and a note wishing us a happy birthday, I don't think they got that it was our wedding anniversary but it was a lovely surprise. We had some cake and a pot of tea and relaxed before getting ready to go to the Restaurant D'o Forte for our anniversary meal. It was a lovely meal but the atmosphere had changed and later in the holiday we both said that although the food was nice it had gone up quite a bit, there wasn't the choice and there wasn't as much interaction with the staff as before. If we go back to Madeira we may not go to the Forte and had decided not to have another meal with then during the holiday. On our two previous visits we have eaten with then twice each holiday but things had definitely changed. We left the Forte and headed back to the hotel, stopping off at the Barrheina bar for a drink. This bar is at the bottom of the steep hill at the side of the hotel and the atmosphere here is always good and we spent a bit of time here on the remaining evenings of our stay.

Aug 13, 3:20pm Top

Finished book 56 late this morning, Date with Mystery by Julia Chapman. This is the third in the Dales Detective Series.

The Dales Detective Agency's latest assignment appears to be an open-and-shut case. Hired by a local solicitor to find a death certificate for a young woman who died over twenty years ago. Samson O'Brien is about to discover that things in Bruncliffe are rarely that straightforward. Particularly when the solicitor insists that Delilah Metcalfe, with her wealth of local knowledge, works alongside Samson on this sensitive investigation.

Delilah is eager to help. At the very least, the case will take her mind off the looming custody battle for her precious dog, Tolpuddle, and the threat of the bank foreclosing on her struggling Dales Dating Agency.

As Samson and Delilah begin their inquiries, they soon become embroiled in a mystery that has lain at the heart of the town for decades. But in uncovering the truth have they exposed secrets that some would prefer remained buried?

A really lovely read and I just devoured it and am looking forward to book four which is on the shelf and book five comes out next spring.

Aug 13, 4:15pm Top

The remainder of the first week of our holiday was spent sunbathing and doing a bit of shopping in Funchal and we took the bus to Ribeira Brava on the Wednesday. All this was interspersed with coffee and Madeiran pastries. The evenings were spent at a number of restaurants and bars, so much so that although we took ten books with us, not much reading was done.

At the end of the first week was the start of the Wine Rally, this was the 60th edition and started on Friday night with the first leg around a course of central Funchal. We managed to get a good spot to watch and Karen managed to get a few short videos of the cars going through the chicane near where we were watching, she managed to get both of the Porsche 997 cars for me. After about 40 minutes Karen got bored and we made our way to the Xarambinha Italian restaurant for some food before going across to Bananas bar for a couple of drinks.

The weather improved during the second week and the temperatures rose and we topped up our tan. With all the presents bought during the first week along with one or two things for us, we spent time on ourselves and I ended up with three fountain pens and a couple more t-shirts and Karen added more Cork items to go along with her bag. Some of the things made with cork amazed me, I never expected shoes let alone an Umberella and then I spotted a Golf bag but didn't look at the price tag.

As you are aware I do like a nice mini cigar (cigarillos) as mentioned before, as I was picking up a packet of cigarillos I noticed that Handlesgold, the brand that do Blond, Red etc had a White packet. This packet was of four cigarillos as opposed to five in the others, I bought a packet and was intrigued with the fragrance. It turned out that these were Coconut and I know smoking is bad for us but these were gorgeous.

On the second Saturday it was a bit overcast by 1pm so we headed into Funchal, after getting to the centre we walked through the park opposite the Ritz Madeira before a lady accosted us. She was doing a survey for the Pestana group of hotels, we fitted her age category and after answering the few questions we had to draw an envelope out of a bag, I won. This meant that we got a voucher worth 40 euros for the Regional Flavours restaurant, a bottle of Madeira wine as long as we had a tour of the Pestana court hotel. We decided to go along but were not going to buying anything and we were assured we could walk away at anytime. After a short taxi ride provided for us, we arrived at the hotel.

We had always assumed that these big hotels would be a bit blousy and not for us, our guide was a lovely chap called Helder and he explained about the Pestana group and its history. The Pestana group is a Madeiran entity but now have hotels in mainland Portugal, we had a nice tour, the rooms were lovely and then came the sell. The sell was not intrusive or invasive, the deal was good both for the hotel group and the visitor but we don't have the upfront fee or the funds for the remaining part when you take a holiday or the spend. We told Helder this and he was fine as he understood our situation and the event was over, he got us a taxi back to the Ritz Madeira and that was that although we had our gifts.

We used our voucher on the Monday night and had a lovely meal, the owner and his staff couldn't do enough for us and we said we would go back before the end of our holiday. During our meal a gentleman and his young son took the table next to us, Karen nudged me and said he looked like her nephew Dean, he could have been his double and Karen took a sneaky photo, as she commented later on Facebook, he was a bit of eye candy.

We went back to Regional Flavours on the Wednesday night, we had another lovely meal, again the table next to us was filled with a young man and his mother. I had to step away from the table as I was a little bit stiff and took the opportunity to have a cigar. While I was away from the table Karen asked the young man what was the drink he was having, it turned out to be white Sangria, we have only heard of and drunk Red Sangria. The conversation continued when I re-joined Karen, the lady explained that she was Swiss, from the French speaking area of Switzerland. We had a really good chat and found out that she was an author, writing crime novels but only in French, she has not been translated. I asked her name so that I could mention her to Barbara, her name is Marie-Christine Horn. Both Marie-Christine and Karen shared similar tastes in authors, both adoring Jane Austen and the Bronte sisters, we explained where we lived and that the Bronte parsonage is not that far from us. We ended the evening wishing each other well and air kissing each other.

Once back at the hotel I tried to google her as I had forgotten her last name as I didn't quite hear what she said, I couldn't find anything at all. The following day I remembered that she said she had met British author Linda Green so I googled Linda Green and got her work Facebook page. I scrolled down the page looking for details of their meeting, I spotted it and it gave details of the three people in the photo, Linda Green, Marie-Christine and another lady. I then googled Marie-Christine and messaged her to thank her and her son for the lovely evening and within a few minutes both myself and Karen were Facebook friends with her and we have had the occasional message between us, we invited her to see us next time she is in the UK and she asked us to contact her if we get over to Switzerland. As Karen said as we headed away from the restaurant, it was so nice to meet someone so like minded, the conversation was so easy and relaxed as it has been with my LT meet-ups.

On our last full day I picked up my Cigarillo allowance and Karen picked up a couple more cork items before we spent the rest of the day sunbathing. Our last meal was again at the Xaranbinha Italian, over our three visits we have had many meals here more so the last two visits as they make sure Karen is catered for without any fuss or bother. It turns out that Katya has worked here for Eleven years and it is ten years since our first visit. We had a nice last meal here as on the two previous holidays and then before we left Katya gave us both a big hug and a kiss and hoped that we would return soon. Katya helped Karen in 2015 and always made sure she was looked after even if she was serving other customers and did the same again this time, she has become a friend and we hope we get back to Madeira within the next three or four years and hope she is still there.

We felt sad on the Friday morning as we had breakfast before waiting for the minibus to take us to the airport, once again we had a lovely holiday here, we felt relaxed and at home and met some old friends and made some new ones, now to start saving up again.

Aug 13, 4:28pm Top

I knew we had taken far too many books with us, as it turned out I managed to read one and made a start on a second and Karen read two and had got a good start on one that she left and will finish now we are home. Most of the time we were sunbathing rather than reading and most nights when we got back to our room we were tired and so did not pick a book up. This is the third time in Madeira and each time we have taken too many books, if we had taken less and read everything, the hotel has a good library with at least 400 books, most in English so we would have had something to read. We will learn our lesson now I think, lol.

Aug 14, 4:09pm Top

Back to everyday life now, yesterday it was back to normal with the housework to do, we had a steady morning before I took Karen to work. I dropped Karen off but before she had got a few yards from the car she was back to tell me she had left her lunch at home. I told her I would bring it for her and she said to wait until 1pm as we had a delivery expected.

I got back home and noticed the back gate was closed, I knew someone had been so checked in the play house and there was the parcel we were expecting. I put the parcel in the house and picked up Karen's lunch and made my way back to Asda. I delivered Karen her lunch and then went to get some milk as requested, once I had paid for the milk I made my way home.

I had a pot of tea and did some book notes before getting on with the upstairs housework. I had expected to find more dust etc as it was last done two days before we went on holiday but I was pleasantly surprised. I gave the upstairs and the bathroom a good clan but decided that it must be us that creates the dust etc, wandering about the bedroom and obviously sleeping and using the toilet and shower.

Once finished I had a pot of tea before writing up the blurbs from the back of the last four books I have read and then sorted the book/page count files out. When all this was done I selected my next book and flicked through the latest Radio Times listings magazine that had come in the post. I watched the main early evening news before making myself something to eat. After eating my meal and then some fruit and a yoghurt I fired up the laptop to peruse the threads on here.

Aug 14, 4:25pm Top

Welcome back! It looks like you had a wonderful vacation. How neat, that your hotel has a library. Like being at home :)

Aug 14, 4:42pm Top

Having recently had an MRI scan and I saw a chap at Dewsbury Hospital in relation to my back complaint I have a bit of news. On the Wednesday before we went away I had to see my GP for my annual medication check, I mentioned the MRI and he had a look, the results had come through but as he was running behind and my appointment was for something else he could only give me a quick overview. The main spine is slightly compressed in places but the branches coming off are showing damage consistent with the pains I am having. He also wanted me to have a full blood test which I managed to get done the following morning.

When we came back from holiday last Friday I looked through the post and had received a letter for my next appointment with Martin Hey at Dewsbury for the 3rd of September. The following day I got a letter from Martin, a duplicate of the one sent to my GP. The letter stated everything I had told him and his thoughts for going forward, he put forward three meds and had selected the one he thought I should be put on. The selected medication is to try and reduce the volume of my Morphine patches, this is due to the fact that my current dosage of 150 mcgs of Fentanyl is equivalent to 540 mls of liquid Morphine, the recommended dosage of liquid Morphine is 120 mls, Martin had said that my current dosage would fell a horse. The letter said I had to make an appointment with my GP.

I went on Monday morning to get an appointment and was lucky to get one for later in the day, I went to see Dr Bora and I showed him the letter and he agreed with Martin and the next step was to prescribe the stated tablets and to issue me with a script for 25mcg Fentanyl patches. Starting from tonight I will reduce my patches to 125 mcgs and take one 30 mg tablet, I have an appointment to see Dr Bora in two weeks time to see how things are, we are taking things step by step and the tablets may have to be upped to 60mg if nothing has changed. Both Dr Bora and Martin want to reduce my Fentanyl patches before looking at getting me off the Naproxen tablets.

I am pleased that something is being done to try and give me decent pain relief without putting other parts of my body at risk due to the Fentanyl and Naproxen. This is obviously going to take some time to try and get a suitable dosage to replace the patches but I am willing to give it a go to help with my pain.

Aug 14, 4:45pm Top

>134 figsfromthistle:, Hi Anita, it was lovely when I first spotted the library when we visited in 2009, it did not really surprise me as the original part of the hotel was an old Manor house in the old part of Funchal. The house has been sympathetically extended and refurbished and we were glad that our original choice was booked and this was put forward as an alternative. The hotel is only 64 rooms and has a sizable pool with plenty of sun loungers and a lovely terrace for breakfast along with a breakfast room.

Aug 14, 5:32pm Top

John, have you ever tried something like gabapentin? I've found it extremely effective in dealing with horrendous sciatica due to spine damage after pelvis and lower spine fractures. Hopefully they can find something that works well for you.

Aug 15, 8:09am Top

Hi John!

Your trip sounds absolutely lovely, even if you and Karen didn't get much reading done - fountain pen bargains and sunbathing are great alternatives.

I'm glad to hear that you've got a plan for changing up your pain meds and hope that the transition goes smoothly and successfully.

Sending love and hugs to you and Karen.

Aug 15, 9:07am Top

Sounds like a lovely trip to Madeira, John. Can you find any of those Coconut mini-cigars near you? What a treat to meet and befriend that Swiss author. She sounds like an LTer.

Aug 15, 4:00pm Top

>137 lunacat:, Hi Jenny, Gabapentin was one of three drugs that Martin suggested although he thought Duloxetin would be the ideal choice for me. After nearly thirty years of pain gradually getting worse and then the added complications of it spreading I am just pleased that some things are being sorted out to try and get my pain levels stabilised. The one good thing from the blood tests is that it would appear that there has been no damage done due to the Naproxen.

Thanks for your lovely message my dear.

Aug 15, 4:10pm Top

>138 karenmarie:, Hi Karen, the holiday was lovely as we expected it to be, we just love Madeira as it is so relaxing and has just what we want. The number of books taken was more for Karen than me as she reads quite quickly and so she was expecting to get more reading done. Some of the days were just right for sunbathing but then the clouds appeared, so although it was still nice and warm and the humidity was high, it wasn't sunbathing weather.

I could not believe the price for the two Parker's but sadly I left one as it had a slightly damaged nib, I should have taken it as I could have fixed it. A week later the pen was till on his table and I sent Karen to do the deal, this time he wanted 50 euros for it and explained that it was gold, rubbish, it was a gold nib only. I think he realised he had undersold the two pens I bought the week before and was trying to get some money back.

I am hoping that the recent developments regarding my back problem will have positive results and ease my pain levels, I am willing to give things a go as the furore over Fentanyl is causing some worry and then to find how much over the recommended liquid Morphine dose I was on was quite shocking. I feel that I am in good hands and they have my health as the main priority and that is good enough for me.

Hope you and Bill have had a good week so far my dear and send love and hugs to both of you from both of us dear friend.

Aug 15, 4:28pm Top

>139 jnwelch:, Hi Joe, Madeira was everything we expected and we just love the Island, it has everything we require and we can have a nice relaxing holiday. We found a nice range of eateries, nice bars to drink in especially ones that Madeirans mainly frequent and the weather is good and the shopping is good. We visited a couple of parks that we had somehow missed on our two previous visits along with streets we had not investigated, sometimes you have to go off the main drag and explore and at no time did we feel as if we were venturing away from safety.

I may be able to find some of the coconut cigars but it will be at a price, about 18 months ago when we visited Manchester Christmas market, we went into the Royal Exchange Mall and found a nice tobacconist. The tobacconist had the flavours I mentioned along with Apple and they had Peach which I did not know about, these packs hold five cigars and were retailing at £8.50. I Madeira they are 1.20 euros as they were in 2015, the coconut are four cigars to a pack and are 1 euro, the 1.20 euro cigars equated to 90p in 2015 and this time they equated to £1.09, this is due to the differing euro to the pound rate I got but £1.09 is a lot better than £8.50 and it could be more than this as we have had a budget that put tobacco prices up since then. I have brought enough back to last me until after Christmas as I am cutting my consumption down.

Because quite a lot is imported, some things a dearer than at home and then others are a lot cheaper. We were surprised to find a textile shop that had a massive range of fabrics and colours and also sold towels by the Kilo, Chocolate is quite expensive but fruit is very cheap and we once again dropped on the period of the sales although some had started their sale at the end of June and wouldn't end until the 26th of August.

Marie-Christine was lovely and her younger son was a good lad and he told us about what he would be doing now he has left school, Karen got on with Marie-Christine like a house on fire as they both had the same favourite author, Jane Austen and the conversation just flowed as it did between myself and you and Debbi. I definitely think she would be an ideal LT member, I must message her about this. A very attractive woman but didn't flaunt the fact, in fact she appeared quite shy in that respect.

Hope you and Debbi have had a good week so far mate and I send love and hugs to both of you from both of us dear friend.

Aug 18, 4:02pm Top

Finished book 57 late on Thursday evening, Virgins by Diana Gabaldon. This is the prequel to the Outlander series, I enjoyed the novella as it turned out to be although I thought it ended slightly abruptly. This was a 250 page book and I was surprised that it had ended so quickly and then I found that the remaining 120 pages was the first four chapters of the first book Outlander to wet the readers appetite. I left it at 130 pages as I have read this and the next six in the series and need to get onto book eight.

1740: Young Jamie Fraser has left Scotland and, with his best friend Ian Murray, is running with a band of mercenaries in France.

Both men have good reason not to go back to their homeland: both are nursing wounds, and despite their best efforts to remedy the situation, both are still virgins.

So when a Jewish doctor hires them to escort his granddaughter to Paris, they readily agree. Both men are instantly drawn to the beautiful young lady.

What neither know is that their lives and their friendship are about to become infinitely more complicated - and a lot more dangerous.

Aug 18, 4:42pm Top

The last few days have been busy but good. On Thursday we went over to see Amy and Andy in Selby, while we were having breakfast I checked my phone and found that I had a message from Andy's dad. Mike had messaged me to see if I could pop into the Wickes DIY store in Wakefield to pick up some timber for him seeing as we were coming over to see Amy and Andy. It turned out that what Mike was wanting was unavailable in Selby and nearby Pontefract and this was holding him up in sorting out the summerhouse he had bought for his wife Pat.

We had breakfast and then we went into Wakefield, I dropped Karen at the back of the Ridings Shopping Centre so that she could go into Marks and Spencer's while I went and got the timber. I managed to get the timber and then collected Karen and we made our way to Selby via Thorpe Willoughby. I dropped the timber off for Mike and he paid me for it and then we travelled the short distance to Selby.

We had a nice few hours with Amy and Andy, we gave then their holiday presents and we chatted and caught up with things. We had lunch and continued chatting before we all headed back to Mike and Pat's, Andy was going to help his Dad with the summerhouse and we, along with Amy had a coffee and a chat with Pat. After and hour we left and made our way home.

Friday was a work day for Karen and so after breakfast I took Karen to work and then I went into store to do the little bit of shopping that we needed. Once the shopping was done I went into Wakefield to do some banking before making my way home. Once home I unpacked and put away the shopping before having a pot of tea and reading. I had a couple more pots of tea and read before doing the downstairs housework, and then having a late lunch.

On Saturday we were up very early as Karen was doing a 7am to 5pm shift, we were up at 5.45am and had a pot of tea and our meds after getting washed and dressed. I dropped Karen off at work and then came home and had a pot of tea and read. After having breakfast I did some book work before Rob arrived with Hannah.

I had Hannah for a couple of hours, Hannah was playing in her bedroom with the dolls etc and then we had lunch together before it was time to go and pick Louise up from work. After collecting Louise I dropped both of them at her mum and dad's, I had a quick chat with her mum and dad and them made my way home. By the time I got home I had got a message from Karen to say that she was feeling unwell and would be finishing at 4pm instead of 5pm.

I collected Karen at 4pm and we had a nice steady relaxing evening before an early night as we were both tired and Karen was still not feeling quite well.

Today has been a nice and steady day, Karen felt a lot better this morning. After a lie-in and a pot of tea in bed, we got up, washed and dressed before having breakfast. After breakfast the washer had stopped and I put the washing out before doing some dead heading of the plants and then it was time for a pot of tea. While I was pottering about Karen had decided to do some baking but that had to be put on hold as she needed some flour and some medium eggs. After the pot of tea I went to the Aldi to get the baking essentials and was soon home.

I left Karen to the baking and did some weeding before doing some pruning in the front garden. I had a rest and listened to the cricket on the radio with a pot of tea, I made Karen one as well before continuing pottering about in the garden. Once the cakes had been baked we prepared the vegetables for our late lunch and after a drink Karen put the vegetables on to cook. After a short time the late lunch was ready and we had a nice meal, after a short break we had some Strawberries and Raspberries and cream and then I listened to some more of the cricket. We are having a nice relaxing evening now and I fired up the laptop to come on here.

Aug 18, 6:36pm Top

>143 johnsimpson: - John, is this a new book? I have read (and loved) the first 5 in the Outlander series but never heard of this one. I need to check it out!!

Today, 4:03pm Top

>145 jessibud2:, Hi Shelley, the book was first published over here in 2016 and I was really looking forward to it but was disappointed that it was a book in two halves, the first 130 pages telling an early story before Claire stumbled through the stones and then the last 120 pages was the first four chapters of the first book.

Today, 4:35pm Top

July and August seem to be sluggish on the reading front, I didn't do too bad up to going on holiday although one or two other things took reading time away and then I only read one book on holiday and was about 100 pages into a second by the time we got home. I finished that book and the next turned out to be a novella in disguise and now I seem to be slowly getting my way through a Gerald Seymour. This is not to do with the book, it's more with me it seems and I am getting used to a new meds regime and knew I would I would struggle with it in the early stages.

Hopefully September onwards will see me back to a normal pattern of reading.

Today, 4:47pm Top

>146 johnsimpson: - That just seems such an odd way to structure a book, especially since the series is already so far along. Have you read the 2 volumes called The Outlandish Companion? I like those; they give a lot of history and context to the stories already told and all with her inimitable humour.

Today, 4:52pm Top

>148 jessibud2:, Hi Shelley, I haven't seen them yet over here although over the last three months I haven't really been in many books shops so I will have to have a look next time I go into Wakefield.

Today, 5:12pm Top

I'm a bit slow on the reading front at the moment also. I'm at a conference. I did read an article on flight up. I may get a bit more read on the way back since I have a connecting flight. Not getting much done at the conference itself because I'm visiting with people in the evenings.

Today, 5:29pm Top

>149 johnsimpson: - The first Outlandish Companion came out after book 3 or 4, if I am not mistaken. The second one covers the more recent books. I haven't read the second one yet but I did browse through it as I bought it for my friend for Christmas a couple of years ago.

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