Thursday, 27 September 2012

Book Review - V is for Vengeance by Sue Grafton

Another Wonderful Read - Beware Spoilers

It is always a very enjoyable time for me when the new Sue Grafton comes out but these days it is becoming a bittersweet pleasure.  V is for Vengeance was published in hardback in 2011 but I’m running a little bit behind with most of my favourite authors at the moment so I’ve only just got around to reading this book and in print too as I have all the other novels in her alphabet series. 

This story has all of the usual bits (character, plot, style) that I hope to find in a Kinsey Millhone mystery – the plot which relies in Kinsey’s knowledge and wits and not on technology and fast paced communication; Kinsey as narrator and all of the fantastic characters she comes into contact with during the story – Henry, William, Rosie, and Cheney Phillips.  There are some interesting characters integral to the story Lorenzo Dante, his brother Cappi, Pinky and Dodie, Nora and Len Priddy. 

The story starts with Kinsey spotting a shoplifter whilst she is on a rare clothes shopping trip and bringing this to attention of the shop keeper, subsequently she ends up investigating why misfortune hits the shoplifter after she is arrested.  The story also weaves the love affair between Dante and Nora in between Kinsey’s investigations.

This book doesn’t have any startling changes to the most recent novels and we get part of the story from the viewpoint of Dante and Nora but I don’t want that with a Sue Grafton novel – I want pretty much what all of the other books have been – these books are my comfy cardigan or bootee slippers of my reading world – familiar, comfortable but utterly nurturing and steady – I know what I am getting.  This is why a new Sue Grafton whilst always a pleasure is so bittersweet as I now only have 4 more of these novels to go (and the J is for Judgement which I am keeping back just in case).  A great read – perfect in every way!

Reading challenge 4/20 - currently reading on Kindle TBC and in print Duxford

Friday, 7 September 2012

Coventry Transport Museum

We are always looking for somewhere interesting to head for an afternoon doing something a little different and this time (late June 2012) we headed to Coventry Transport Museum which is as you might expect slap bang in the middle of Coventry, just near the main bus station and a very short walk to the shops and Cathedrals.  The coffee shop also did the most amazing milk shakes which Mike and Jamie enjoyed - I tasted the chocolate one which was superb!

It is good value as there is not a set entrance fee but you make a donation and they make a little extra by tickets to a simulator of Thrust II which is on display in the museum as you can see below.  Jamie and I went on the simulator and it really does give you the impression you are travelling very very fast - wish I could travel to work that quickly!

 Jamie playing in the deconstructed Peugeot - he was really enjoying having a go at driving!

 The museum takes you through the history of car making in the Midlands from bicycles, buses, tractors to cars of every shape and size.  There were a few iconic models along the way - this one appealed to me because I used to have one just like this - same colour, stripes the lot!  This Mini Metro was famous because of its owner - a certain Lady Diana Spencer.
 Jamie was thrilled to see a DeLorean in the flesh - without its doors open here.
 We also had a wander to the Cathedrals new and old where we got a close up of the iconic sculpture of St Michael's Victory over the Devil by Sir Jacob Epstein.
 Jamie planning on getting wet in one of the fountains between the Cathedral and the University.
 The old Cathedral which was bombed so badly during World War II, the museum also had a special exhibition about the Midlands and how it suffered so badly during the bombing raids.

Reading challenge 5/20 - currently reading on Kindle TBC and in print V is for Vengeance by Sue Grafton

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Scrapbooking - A Layout and Other Bits

Here is another layout made from the Bo Bunny ETC collection which relates to a previous post with some other layouts from the same collection  which you can find here.This layout is called 'fun fair 09' and is a picture of Jamie on a carousel taken at the Birmingham Christmas Fair in 2009.  We were having fun looking around the stalls and soaking up the atmosphere even though we were very cold and damp.  I believe not long before going on the ride we had all happily tucked into some rather large sausage baps!

Fun Fair 09

The card below is an index card for my photograph storage box and to jazz them up a little from the plain plastic, I've given it a pretty flowery look to reflect the photographs which are kept behind it - simple and plain.

 These are a current favourite product of mine at the moment and likely to be for a very long time, they are the chalk inks from Prima and besides their fantastic colours (this is my collection of 12 out of about 35 - 40 in the range) they are so perfectly designed that they just sit in the hand and make any sort of inking so easy.  They are shaped, like an iron, which also means they get into so many of the nooks and crannies when you need to colour distressed paper or chipboard.  Fantastic product and they are only £1.90 each so really good value to.  I have used them on every layout and project I've done recently - I love them so much I find something to use them on whether I need to or not!!
Reading challenge 5/20 - currently reading on Kindle TBC and in print V is for Vengeance by Sue Grafton

Book Review - Jackie Collins - Drop Dead Beautiful

A guilty pleasure!

I have largely given up reading this style of book anymore, I wasn't enjoying them, but actually this one I did enjoy.  Yes, it was all of the usual stuff predictable, fairly basic characters whose ending you could spot a mile off but it was fun too.  It does bring the Lucky Santangelo story to an end I think and I've enjoyed dipping into that over the years.  All the Lucky characters are here still - Lennie, Gino, Venus, Alex and her children are growing up bringing some new stories into the mix.  Lucky is building a mega hotel in Vegas and the story covers the problems she has with that, her headstrong (wonder where she gets that from) daughter and her search for love and the still bitter rivalry between Lucky and the latest in the line of Bonatti's who try to stop her.

It does all come to an impressive conclusion, in Vegas, of course - a fun summer read and an enjoyable guilty pleasure.

Reading challenge 5/20 - currently reading on Kindle TBC and in print V is for Vengeance by Sue Grafton

Here Comes Summer (Holidays)

The summer holidays have begun - and of course they will be a little different this summer as I will be working for part of them, which will of course present its own mini challenges.

The break started as it always does with a bite to eat out and about, this time at Dobbies where we all enjoyed Pannini's of differing flavours, later in the day Jamie and I headed of to the gym where we are slowly building ourselves up to a full hour's workout and then lots of Lost.

Jamie's first week started in Holiday Club which he seems to enjoy and the staff really seem to enjoy having him about - he is the oldest, or just about the oldest in the group he is currently in - he has a good rivalry with one member of staff as she supports Luton and so he has to have his Watford shirt clean and ready to  wear. 

The next couple of days were catching up with chores and holiday preparations.  We also headed off to the relatively new Pirate golf at the nearby golf club - we were lucky as it was one of the few lovely days over the summer and we had a really enjoyable time after which we headed off for a bite of dinner too.
Not man overboard but ball overboard!

Sadly the locking mechanism wasn't working!

In the bunker

The weekend was spent in holiday preparations for Jamie and I as Mike was busy at work, lots of washing and ironing, packing and picking up the last little bits and of course lots of time spoiling Binnie before we headed off.

Reading challenge 5/20 - currently reading on Kindle TBC and in print V is for Vengeance by Sue Grafton
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