Why I love to read 

My earliest memories of reading began long before I could read myself. I’d stay over at my grandparent’s house and my nan would sit on my bed and read me a story. It wasn’t too long until I took my share of the reading responsibility and the rest, as they say, is history.

I generally read women’s fiction. I like that no matter how upsidown my life gets there’s someone out there who can identify. Although I never dreamed of the white wedding, I did think that in my early 30’s I’d own my own house, be married and have an amazing job, where I run around in heels with the wind in my hair.

Well I do have a killer job but nothing else in my life runs to societies schedule. Like the heroines in my stories I am well and truly scuppered, but that’s ok, because I know it always works out in the end. 

Books and Buses

I passed my driving test at 24 so I have many years of public transport under my belt. 

Don’t get me wrong I love my car, whizzing round from a-z in no time at all. But I did miss looking out of the window, ear wigging on other people’s conversations, reading books and people watching.

My cars in the garage for it’s mot so I’m back in the bus, I’ve taken off my rose tinted glasses  and remembered that there’s a balance to everything for every positive, there’s often a not so positive.

On my first journey back on public transport, I was welcomed to :

  1. A late bus  
  2. A snotty girl  blatantly que jumped me 
  3. A sweet that kept rolling up and down the aisle

However, I did get to read my book whilst travelling and listen to the radio, people watch and really look out of the window. I hardly noticed how those houses have been thrown up where the old empty and desolate pub used to be or the nice shop display in the window when I’m concentrating on driving.  

Until tomorrow afternoon, I wont know if I’m back on the bus permanently, back driving with a huge hole in my bank account or back driving as through nothing has ever happened but what I do know is that if i’m back on the bus for the foreseeable I’ll definitely be using the time to whizz through my 2017 reading challenge!

wish me luck!

A Street Cat Called Bob… a tick on my 2017 reading challenge, suspended coffees and knitting challenge is born

As part of my 2017 reading challenge I wanted to read a book that had been made in to a film – I chose A Street Cat Called Bob by James Bowden and put it on my Christmas secret Santa wish list.

My wish was granted and into the story of a man and his ginger tom cat I dived.

I loved this story. It’s so easy to read and flows so well. As I’m sure you can imagine it’s a bit of a rollercoaster read with its ups and downs and sudden stops.

Knowing that the story is based on real life experience evokes more emotion than I’m used to, it’s harder to put up a barrier when you know that someone has lived through this experience and there are people out there who continue to live this life.

I regularly pass buskers in Chester especially when walking under fountains roundabout or past Debenhams. I don’t often stop but I do usually slow down, and pop a pound, that I keep in my coat pocket for the occasion, in their guitar case or cup, especially if it’s a song that I really like.

I never buy the big issue. I’m not really a people person unless I have to perform so I usually just keep myself to myself when walking around town. I do now after reading a personal account of a big issue seller, feel very selfish that I’ve never in my life bought a copy. I suppose the excuse that   I didn’t know that they had to pay for them themselves and lost money and couldn’t afford to buy more if they didn’t sell them, doesn’t really cut it.

I have a very supportive family so if I lost my job and I couldn’t afford my flat, Harry and I would move in with my parents and although it’s not ideal I’d have a warm bed, roof over my head, running water heating, sky TV, my tea made every evening and cups of tea coming out of my ears. I’m very lucky and I think I should start doing more to help other people in my local community who aren’t as fortunate as I am.

I always have aspirations to do more for charity especially animal and homeless charities. Sometimes I accomplish it and sometimes it stays on the to-do list until it eventually falls off. This year I’ve challenged myself to buy a least one suspended coffee every time I pop in to Town (which is usually once every couple of weeks) and knit a scarf a month so that when the winter arrives I can give them to the Share Shop which if you’ve never noticed it is between the Town Hall and the new Storyhouse building. At the moment I’m just working on nice scarves but who knows where I could take it, there could be blankets, mittens and hats on the horizon!

It’s only a small start but I’m going with the theory that a small start is better than no start at all – if you’d like to join me in my suspended Chester coffee challenge you can find more information here

If you’d like to learn to knit, here are a few of the you tubers that have helped me on my knitting journey… click here and here 

Dark nights, Dark mornings and White Lies and Wishes by Cathy Bramley

White Lies and Wishes reminded me of the hope of spring. In the depths of winter when it’s dark in the morning, the cars always iced over and it’s dark when I get home I, like many others desperately need a little sunshine in my life.

The three women all come together at a wake, Carrie Radley our endearing comforter, Jo Gold the stereotypical business woman and our new mother and accountant Sarah Hudson. They’ve never met before but this doesn’t stop Sarah Hudson flashing her boobs at them!

All three have amazing lives but are missing a piece of the puzzle that they believe will make them complete. And with this the wish list is born.

Carrie Radley was my favourite character. With all three of the main heroines being so different there’s a little of me in each but Carrie was the one closest to my heart, especially the, the no Carrie no parts as she had many horror story moments when she ran up the stairs when she should have run out of the door.

“Finding new ways to cut her calories and stick to her daily allowance was Carrie’s new obsession. She took great delight in pulling a fast one on the plan. Why have two Revitas and a satsuma when you could tuck in to a bag of low- fat crisps. And who would choose a boiled egg over a two-finger KitKat”

Cathy Bramley, White Lies and Wishes

As easy to read as it is chucked inducing I thoroughly enjoyed this story. I wished for their wishes to come true (though not necessarily the ones that they openly made!).

 

My writing room: The place where little words create big worlds

Engulfed in a very large artificial tree and framed by a large window is my dining room table. Made of marble and heavier than a house it’s my favourite place to sit and write (when I’m at home).

In the summer I bask in the rays of the sun and in the winter my fairy lights sparkle. There’s always a little bunny circling my ankles and a hot cup of tea / coffee or large glass of red is never far away.

When I’m not at home I scour coffee shops for tucked away cubby holes which are close to a plug. Order a large Mocha and people watch until my fingers begin to form stories on the screen.

Where Koalas and frogs come together – Blame it on the Onesie by CJ Morrow

Every weekday as I sit in the office tapping away on my keyboard, someone will ask me “what are you doing this evening?” My favourite response to this question is “putting on my koala onesie and curling up on the sofa” usually with a glass of wine or a cup of tea sweetened with honey.

Imagine my glee when I realised I was sitting curled up in my blanket with a cup of tea reading “Blame it on the onesie” ☺️

I loved this book and devoured it within a couple of days. When we meet Ella is having a rubbish time, her mother has very recently passed away and her boss is a gorgon. There’s a very attractive neighbour, a stuck up guitarist and a best friend who has the perfect stereotypical life. A little way in you’ll meet Walt he is the nicest, kindest character I’ve ever met!

When ever Ella is visited in her bedsit by her georgeous neighbour she’s in her favourite Kermit the frog onesie.

“Ella changed out of her clothes, put on the bright green Kermit the Frog onesie her mum had given her for Christmas, their last Christmas together. She was cold so she pulled the hood up, Kermit’s eyes sat atop her head .

What the hell must he think of her? Kermit the Frog outfit, chocolate breast and the biggest, brownest, chocolate clown moustache smeared across her face. ‘Oh God.’

Blame it on the Onesie: A romantic comedy about work, water and wine by CJ Morrow

If you wish to be tucked away in a possibly magical cottage this Christmas, pick up a copy of Blame it on the Onsie ( whilst bing cosy in your own onesie is recommended but not mandatory ☺️)

 

 

 

My writing routine: The time where little words which create big worlds

My so old, its retro laptop sits on my marble table whizzing and whirling and wheezing as it boots up. Cloaked in Primarks finest koala onsie with a cup of coffee warming my hands and lop eared bunny, called Harry running around my ankles. I’m ready to begin to scribe. Or so I think, the word is on the tip of my tongue and refuses to travel down my arms and in to my fingertips. The little black line flashes in anticipation…. Just write anything I think, it’ll come… silence and a black flashing line endures. I did once read that staring in to space was all part of the job of being a writer, it’s ok, I’m definitely working. “don’t move, don’t move.. wait it out” I say to myself.” Time for another cup of coffee, maybe an episode of elementary… I can come back to it” I think . “I’ll just tweet that I’m drinking coffee, one more tick and I’ll sit back down” I tell myself.

Two hours later I’ve remembered my word, am two episodes in to elementary and the battery on my laptop is flat.

“I’ll have a shower and get dressed, Harry” I say to the ball of fluff on the floor “that will give me motivation”

Around 8 hours after originally sitting down, I’m off in my fictional universe, typing away as tics, rooms and conversations are created. I’ve no idea of the time or noticed that my coffee has long gone cold. There’s someone on the page having too much fun, it’s time for the drama is about to unfold!

It’s around 9 when I finally give up the ghost and close down my laptop, tomorrow I’m aiming to be up at the crack of dawn, to walk in to town, sit with a coffee and finish my chapter. Before, I’m back in the office on Monday.

 

 

 

November rain and Charity book shopping.. come anlong and Meet me Under the Mistletoe by Abby Clements

I picked up Meet me Under the Mistletoe in a charity shop. As soon as I’d flicked through the first couple of pages, I knew that the characters in this story were coming home with me.

Now, I firmly believe Christmas is a state of mine, rather than a time of year.Just like mince pies, Christmas jumpers and snowballs. I like to save my Christmas stories until December. But with the first few pages read, this one didn’t even make it on to the bookcase, in fact it was barely put down at all.

Laurie is a business woman… her job in London is the most important thing in the world  until a costly mistake lands her in big trouble and results in suspension. Around the same time little further up the country in Yorkshire, Laurie’s childhood friend, Rachel’s life is being turned upsidown when her beloved mother in law falls ill.

I love visiting London and I lived in Yorkshire for 7 years so I found that whether we are (in a twist of fate) running around London with Rachel and her family or wandering around  Skipley in Yorkshire with Laurie I was in my element.

“She looked out of the window as she got her bags. There was nobody – nobody- on the platform. She glanced around at the vast, empty fields and hills. Welcome to Skipley, she thought. Was it too late to swap back ?”

Meet me Under the Mistletoe by Abby Clements

Does it all work out, who is that woman, is Patrick the man of our dreams & will the fashion show be a success? You’ll have to pick up a copy to find out!

2017 Reading Challenge!

It’s a very cold November night, it’s icy the heating’s on, the bunnies binkying and i’m curled up with a glass of red and a chocolate brownie. There’s no book in my hand and it makes for a very sad situation.  It’s true to say that reading has taken a back seat of late and of course that’s no way to live… so i’m setting myself a reading challenge and getting my head back in to some of the stories that I love so dearly.

  • A book based on a fairytale
  • The first book I see when I walk in to a bookshop
  • A book that became a film
  • The book that’s been sitting in my bookcase unread for more than a year
  • A book with ‘food’ in the title
  • Published in 2017
  • A book outside my comfort zone
  • A book that I was supposed to read in Uni and didn’t
  • A book with a number in the title
  • One that I started but never finished

Wish me luck!

Autumn, tears and Twelve Days of Christmas by Trisha Ashley

I have seen so many tweets and so many reviews for Christmas reads. (In August?)

I’m a Autumn / Winter person, I love big jumpers, thick socks, blankets, roaring fires, red wine / copious cups of tea and stories that convey the comfy messages of Autumn / Winter. So inspired by Christmas story tweets and reviews, I’m shutting my blinds, pouring myself a glass of red wine and delving in to my favourite Christmas read.

From the title you can guess which book I picked out from my bookcase. I’ve had a Twelve Days of Christmas for a what feels like the longest time and I re-read it every Christmas.

If you are a prologue skipper and like to divert directly to Chapter 1 – Don’t. Not this time.

As heartbreaking as it is beautifully written we follow Holly Brown on her journey through her grief. with many uplifting moments along the way. Meeting the person that you want to spend your life with in today’s over crowded society is difficult enough. Fate can keep from you until the right time and when they walk in to your life the thought of them walking out of it is inconceivable.

Alan doesn’t leave Holly though choice, but he does leave.

‘I’ve no idea what Alan’s last words were, if any, because I was still asleep before he want for his early morning jog round the local park before work.’

Twelve Days of Christmas by Trisha Ashley

Jude Martland is dark and mysterious  and has his own reasons to want to avoid the Christmas period, you know with his brother running away with his Fiancee and all! – no spoiler here, it’s written on the cover.

If Twelve Days of Christmas doesn’t yet have a spot on your bookcase or kindle, don’t delay – click here and throw yourself in to it, I’m sure you’ll enjoy it as much as I do.