BOOK REVIEW: The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater

Life is busy right now. Its that time of year where my job is on my mind 24-7, and I'm dashing about from landlord to landlord, frantically slotting tenants into accommodation like the worlds worst jigsaw puzzle, haunted by the ever-ticking countdown to ARRIVAL DAY. (This the day where all the planning and paperwork, time and energy, finally culminates in an explosion of Opera singers arriving into the country, expecting to be shepherded into their new homes for the next three months.) Its the ordered chaos that signifies the beginning of this years Opera Festival, and is a welcome sight after all the months of watching it draw ever closer; an ominous blinking warning light on the dashboard

This is not really a blog post...

I mean, it is, but it's not about books or homesteading or writing. I've had a bit of a whirlwind week and not had time to think about any of those things. Why? Because this happened. Yup, that's right - I'm now officially of the Engaged Elite. Which is weird. I have spent my entire adult life entirely uninterested in the idea of marriage and babies, and all that grown-up 2.4 picket fence life, but now? WEDDING FEVER I've dropped everything I used to do. I'm not reading, writing, socialising, or thinking about anything else... it's just How about this table setting or, those flowers would be pretty and even I wonder if I could talk Andy into a horse and cart... I kid you not. I know it will

BOOK REVIEW: The Sun is also a Star by Nicola Yoon

Remember I said I was a fast reader? I picked up The sun is also a star - and didn't put it down until I finished it, only two hours later. I have no idea where I picked it up from. I have a vague memory of seeing it and recognising the cover - probably from Instagram or something - and buying it as part of a deal (maybe a 3 for £5 in The Works, or even at a boot sale?) before promptly forgetting all about it. It has probably sat for months on my bookshelf just waiting for me to find it - and would have stayed there for years if it hadn't been my next pick from the TBR (To Be Read) lucky dip that I set up this year. (Side note: I set this up after giving myself a New Years resolution to re

BOOK REVIEW: The Witch's Kiss by Katherine & Elizabeth Corr

I'm a fast reader. I mean, a really fast reader. When I was younger, probably seven or eight years old, the school had me tested for dyslexia because I had so much trouble reading out loud in class. I would miss out words and whole lines of text - and have no idea I'd done it. (It always made perfect sense to me!) They used to accuse me of lying when I said I'd finished a book during quiet reading time, convinced I'd just skimmed through - because no one could possibly read that quickly. But then the tests came back, and it turned out that I could, in fact, read that fast - and the problem I had with reading out loud, was to do with my mouth not being able to keep up with my brain. (at least

The Pottering Shed

My mum is a bit of a gardener. She's always out in the greenhouse, 'pottering about' with seedlings and plants, or helping my grandad with his vegetable patch, my sister-in-law, sophie, with her wild-garlic infestation - or at mine, instructing me on how to do it all 'properly'. She even volunteers at an allotment every fortnight,helping out where she can. So, for Christmas this year, my dad built her a potting shed, up-cycling the old garden shed. He added a dormer-type window and insulated it to give her a cosy little space to work in - often out in the cold and wet, trying to get it finished. (aww! True love!) Once all the hard graft was done, mum called in the 'designer' (me, apparently!