Monthly Archives: October 2014

Halloween small world play

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It’s half term. I love the school holidays – a time to have whole days with my little ones šŸ™‚ I hope to do a few different activities this week. I started with Halloween small world play.

I googled it first but didn’t come up with much, and so in the end I made it up! I used what we had – lentils for a floor,a few Halloween trinkets from last year, small pasta for a path and happy land figures.

Amelia loved it. She knew straight away that it was ‘Halloween world’ and I told her she could play however she wanted with it. She informed that that she is going to play with it all day.

I made a separate bowl of sensory materials for Rosie – tinsel, pasta, a couple of happyland figures and different tubs. However, she had enough quickly, so we moved to the floor. She enjoyed it then. And Amelia wanted to move to the floor with us, so they shared the small world tray (Rosie loved throwing everything everywhere!)

Overall, it was a lovely hour to spend playing with something different – both girls really enjoyed it. I’ve added some more photos below of my girls playing.

Xxx

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Remember Me by Lesley Pearse

The Blurb

In 1786 a fisherman’s daughter from Cornwall called Mary Broad was sentenced to be hung for theft. But her sentence was commuted, and she was transported to Australia, one of the first convicts to arrive there.

How Mary escaped the harsh existence of the colony and found true love, and how she was captured and taken back to London in chains, only to be released after a trial where she was defended by no less than James Boswell, is one of the most gripping and moving stories of human endeavour (based on an amazing true story) you will ever read.

My Thoughts

I really enjoyed this book. It is based on a true story, and parts of it disturbed me so much that I have spent a lot of time thinking about them since. For me, a good book is one which will stay with me, and parts of this will. I can’t talk too much about which bits without giving too much away, but I’ll just say that thereĀ isĀ Ā heartbreak and tragedy within the story.

I liked the main character – the author has written her cleverly, and made her likeable, strong and resourceful. I thought some of the other characters were sometimes a bit vague, and faded out of the story a bit fast without much further thought. I suppose part of that is because there are a large number of ‘extra’ characters in the book – too many in a way as it means they all get a bit confusing.

Best Bits…

I liked the main character – the author has written her cleverly, and made her likeable, strong and resourceful. I had a lot of empathy with / sympathy for, andĀ I wish I knew more about her life after the story was finished. Mary made this story into something special.

I liked the way that the realities of the colonies in Australia was written. Now, it’s easy to see those who were transported as lucky to have landed somewhere so beautiful, but this book shows how awful it was in the beginning, and how difficult things were in great detail. It also all came across as very ‘real’ – although the details of the reality will never be known, I felt that this story is probably something close to the reality.

The Bad Bits…

I thought some of the other characters were sometimes a bit vague, and faded out of the story a bit fast without much further thought. I suppose part of that is because there are a large number of ‘extra’ characters in the book – too many in a way as it means they all get a bit confusing.

Other than this, overall I really did enjoy this book and will look for others by this author – it is not what I expected when I picked it, and some parts of it will remain in my mind for a long time to come.

4/5 stars.

The ordinary moments – aunties.

My girls have three aunties – they are hv lucky as all three love the girls unconditionally, and all of them love spending time with them, and all three love to treat them when they can.

My sister Lydia bought Amelia the Elsa and Ana dresses – Lydia is almost 18, and spent her hard earned money on these gifts for Amelia, just because she wanted to make her happy. It means the world to me that she did that, and Amelia loves her dress up dressed šŸ™‚

Yesterday, my sister Sarah came to visit us all and bought Amelia a cake for after her tea – she put Amelia in bed, and she is brilliant with the girls – she always has time for them and will always go out of her way to help out where she can.

Last weekend my girls Auntie (and my almost sister in law – she would be if we were married!) Abi came home from London. She has lived in London since Amelia was a baby, and it is her home now. We still see plenty of her though – she comes home, and when she does the girls absolutely love to see her. She bought them beautiful matching dresses, and Amelia a dress up dress. My girls are very lucky (and a bit spoilt!)

The girls has a really good relationship with all of her aunties. I love that Amelia and Rosie will always have someone to turn to for anything they might need. I love that they will always have their family that love them unconditionally for who they are.

Seeing their aunties is both an ordinary moment, but is always a special moment too.

Abi, Sarah and Lydia, if you read this, we love you and you are all amazing. My girls are very lucky, and so am I. Xxx

Xxx

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The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield

The blurb…

Angelfield House stands abandoned and forgotten. It was once home to the March family – fascinating, manipulative Isabelle, brutal, dangerous Charlie, and the wild, untamed twins, Emmeline and Adeline. But Angelfield House hides a chilling secret which strikes at the very heart of each of them, tearing their lives apart…

Now Margaret Lea is investigating Angelfield’s past – and the mystery of the March family starts to unravel. What has Angelfield been hiding? What is its connection with the enigmatic writer Vida Winter? And what is the secret that strikes at the heart of Margaret’s own, troubled life?

As Margaret digs deeper, two parallel stories unfold, and the tale she uncovers sheds a disturbing light on her own life…

My Thoughts…

This book is the kind of book I love. A lot o my favourite books are books set in different timeframes, and this has become one of my favourites. It did remind me of Kate Morton’sĀ ‘The Forgotten Garden’ so if you liked that you will like this.

It was like a fairy-tale in places, and it hadĀ all of the things I look for – suspense, interesting characters, some amazing writing and a story that you remember after putting down the book. It showed human nature at it’s best and worst. I just loved it, and would recommend it to anyone looking for a good read.

The best bits…

Some of the phrases used in this book really stuck with me. For example:

“People disappear when they die. Their voice their laughter, the warmth of their breath….Yet for some there is a exception to this annihilation. For in the books they write they continue to exist.”

“There is something about words. In expert hands, manipulated deftly, they take you prisoner. Wind themselves around your limbs like spider silk.”

Beautiful phrases, metaphors which I think describes the joy I get from reading.

I loved the story. Everything was so well described, from the old decaying mansion to the children and the families. The story was built up gradually.Ā  It is hard to explain without giving anything away but the ending is a surprising one, and one which had me checking back through the book to make sure I had it all right.

The bad bits

For me, there were none.Ā I enjoyed the whole story from beginning to end, and when I closed the book I felt thatĀ I had read something really good.

5 stars.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Thirteenth-Tale-Diane-Setterfield/dp/0752881671/ref=dp_return_2?ie=UTF8&n=266239&s=books

I was not asked to review this book, or compensated in any way. I have reviewed it because I wanted to šŸ™‚

Not knowing what to write..

I can write. In fact, I can write well. I spend a lot of time writing at work – care plans, assessments, e-mails, minutes and lots more. A lot of time is spent at a computer, just writing. And I can do that. I like to use words to capture the person – their skills, hobbies, past and present. I do it everyday.

Writing my blog though is different. My words never seem enough – I feel as though I never quite ‘say’ what I am trying to say, or get across the complete joy in sharing a special moment with one of my girls. Moments like last night, when Rosie fell asleep on me for the first time in months, and I got cuddles before putting her in her bed. Or Amelia drawing me a picture and writing ‘mum’ on it. These things mean so much to me – these are the things I want to remember.

I think that reading blogs makes writing a blog harder. I love all of the blogs I read. I think there are some amazing writers, and people who give so much time to their little space on the Internet. I have laughed, cried, thought about things in new ways or just learnt about how others live.

I think I need to think about why I blog. I’ve thought about giving it up – time is precious when work gobbles up so much of it, and I have my girls, my house to sort out and also when I have things to do for me – watching Netflix, reading, watching british bake off. These are things for me. Blogging has become a chore in some ways, and something tap hat I haven’t wanted to do because it seems like hard work.

But I love to blog too. I like to share different things. So I will carry on. I just need to think about how.

Xxx