Friday, August 26, 2016

Book 76: Killashandra by Anne McCaffrey

Funny enough, this was in a stack of books that my mother was sending to the charity shop; having just re-read the previous one in this series, I decided I'd have a go at this. I think I read it many years ago (the book actually had my name on the flyleaf, not hers), but I didn't remember much of it at all. It was entertaining, but I think I've come to the conclusion that I like a lot of the more modern fantasy being written today better than a lot of the older stuff.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Book 75: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Chose this one to take with me on the airplane as it was well received and looked like something to hold my attention. I have to say that, while the writing was good, I really hated this book. I thought the characters were dreadful and unsympathetic, and without spoiling the end for those who might read it, well, I just didn't get many of their motivations. Not a winner for me, I'm afraid.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Book 74: Shadow Scale by Rachel Hartman

This was the sequel to Seraphina, which I re-read a little while ago. I thought it excellent. The writing was super, the idea unique and interesting and the characters creative and well-developed. In all, an excellent pair of fantasy novels.  Will look forward to seeing what Hartman does next!

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Book 73: A God in Ruins by Kate Atkinson


Been waiting a while to read this, have really loved the related book, Life After Life. This one was also excellent, though not quite as good, I thought, as Life After Life. I enjoyed the way it was constructed, with small bits of Teddy's history (and his family's history) filling in over time; the end was unexpected and a bit heart-breaking, but more I shall not say!

Dinner, 17/8/16: Homemade Pizzas!

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Dinner, 16/8/16: Stir Fried Veg and Rice

Something simple and healthy after lots of eating out on holiday...

Monday, August 15, 2016

Book 72: Seraphina by Rachel Hartman (re-read)

In preparation to reading the sequel, which I've had for a while and hadn't yet got to (even though Geoff keeps assuring me of its excellence), I decided to re-read this and remind myself of the story; I'm glad I did as I had forgotten much of the politics, which will be very important in the second book. This is really excellent writing and a good story - looking forward to seeing what the next one brings.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Dinner, 14/8/16: Bratwurst, Rosti, carrots

Still in post-holiday mode, I wanted something easy and fuss-free to cook, so it was German sausages along with some bits and pieces. August is definitely my month of not-cooking-much, between being away and being in holiday mode. I like cooking, but I also like not cooking sometimes...

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Book 71: Crystal Singer by Anne McCaffrey

After a lot of recent re-reading of the Pern books, I also thought I'd revisit this one. Which was enjoyable. I like Anne McCaffrey, but her books are much more a product of her time than a lot of recent fantasy; they do seem ever so slightly old fashioned in some ways. Don't get me wrong, they still hold up damn well, but it's a different feel to a lot of the modern fantasy. 

Friday, August 12, 2016

Dinner, 12/8/16: Summery supper

Last day on holiday, so we're using up (not that we had a lot) - a pot of soup we didn't eat for lunch one day, the carrots and hummous, supplemented by some nice bread, sausages from the local butcher and a cucumber salad. A nice summery supper.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Dinner, 11/8/16: Brill, courgettes, bread

On holiday, so not cooking much. Eating still, but often letting someone else do the cooking. However, we decided tonight to get some fish from the local fishmonger in Burnham Market, and ended up with brill, along with some courgettes. We had lots of bread in the cottage which needed using, so we had that with the fish, instead of potatoes. The girls, who don't like fish all that much, cooked pasta with pesto.

Rainy days bring...stately homes?

Today being somewhat of a grey, wet day, we headed off to do something interesting indoors. In this instance, we found a relatively nearby National Trust property to visit - NT properties being free admission to members (or rather, not so much free as included in the price of your yearly membership, but you know what I mean).  We chose Felbrigg Hall, which was pretty close to where we are staying, and which sounded interesting. And it was! Here is the dining room, set for a dinner in the 1850s (I think). 

A room which was added to make space for all the pictures one of the owners returned from his Grand Tour with.

Sarah ascending the main stairs.

This is handpainted Chinese wallpaper from the 18th century. Very cool. 

This is some lino in the one bathroom, featuring nursery rhymes. Also very cool. 

Dozens of copper pots in the kitchen.

A fire engine in the house, useful for putting out fires when you are a slightly eccentric estate owner who likes to make your own fireworks.

We even had a chance to see the walled garden, which is well known and very large and beautiful, as it did stop raining later in the afternoon.

(This is a chicken coop.)