Friday, 6 December 2019

The Matchmaker - A Book Review

I absolutely love the idea of matchmaking. I also love Fred from ‘First Dates,’ I mean who can resist a smart man with a gorgeous French accent? Honestly, I could quite happily listen to him chat away in French or English, all day long. Anyway, as usual I have digressed, but  there is a point to my slight aside, since I have been very fortunate to be gifted a copy of The Matchmaker to read in exchange for an honest and unbiased review; and given that it is inspired by the aforementioned show, I was suitably excited and extremely happy to have the opportunity to do so.

Since Innes works for Cosmopolitan as their Features Director, I had very high hopes for the standard of writing and story construction (back in the day, I was a huge Cosmo fan) and I can say hand on heart, I was not disappointed. From the very first paragraph, she draws you into the story, endearing you to the central character, Caitlin Carter, who disillusioned with her career in PR, sets up her own business as a Matchmaker. She is inspired to follow this path having met and married the love of her love Harry, and having a natural ability to know, just who will click with whom. These two things make Catlin very successful and her business, goes from strength to strength, with people eager to sign up and an Instagram account aspiring bloggers would give their right arm for! However, as we read on, it becomes clear, all is not as it seems to be.

I really enjoyed this book. Actually, I enjoyed it so much, I really didn't want to finish it and found myself missing Caitlin, her friends and her story; which makes writing a review horrendously difficult. What I want to do is blurt out the entire story to you, but obviously I can’t do that because that would completely ruin it for you. What I can do, is tell you that this is a well written book; the story flows effortlessly, the characters are well thought out and are easy to relate to (worryingly, I found I related most to Caitlin during a visit to the zoo - you'll need to read the book to find out what I mean). I particularly loved the way Innes cleverly drops breadcrumbs, letting the reader know that something is off, giving clues the further into the story we go, but without ruining the twist once it is finally revealed in full.

This isn’t the rom com I thought it was going to be, this is a journey of self discovery, friendship, support, family and change. There are highs and lows, laughter and tears, and holding it all together is love in all it's forms. If you are looking for a story to inspire you and remind you that even in the darkest times, hope's light still shines, then this is for you. I really hope you enjoy it as much as I have.

The Matchmaker is now available in paperback RRP £8.99.

Monday, 4 November 2019

Alternative Christmas Gift Guide - Part 2

We made an early start on the Christmas gift guide this year, with some ideas which will help benefit our climate. If you missed it you can catch up here. That post was inspired by my sixteen year old daughter, Miss. D, who was concerned about the destruction of the rainforest and now wants to gift everyone a tree planted in the rainforest. Her idea made me wonder what else could be gifted to people, which ultimately would benefit our planet. However, there are other gifts you can give to the folk who have it all, which benefit communities.

Gifts which benefit communities are a great idea for those hard to buy for people. As you can often match them up to interests or professions. As a family, we have used these in the past and I would highly recommend them.

Christmas gift wrapped in brown paper & tied with string

Wednesday, 30 October 2019

Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend

Everyone needs a best friend. It doesn't really matter who that friend is, just so long as they're kind, loyal, listen, make you laugh and you have each others backs, because that's what friends do. I am really lucky to have some amazing friends. People who have got me through the toughest of times, people who are always there for me and who I hope, I am always there for too. They are everything friends should be, even though I've never met many of them. They are my Tweeps. A community of friends on Twitter. Some are other bloggers, others are authors, others are just fabulous people who like to socialise with like-minded folk!

As 'real-life' friends go, I have few and that suits me just fine. Quality rather than quantity; and those I do have are the best of the best. Which given the way things are going at the moment is a flipping good thing. Yes, a true friend is worth their weight in gold and one or two of mine really have been absolute diamonds this past week.

Monday, 21 October 2019

Beauty Sleep - A Review

It’s no secret, my favourite animal is a sloth. I adore them. They are so cute and friendly looking; they don’t rush to do anything, and they do like to sleep. Perhaps that is why I like them so much, because I do like my sleep. My bed is one of my favourite places to be. It’s warm, it’s cosy and it’s comfy. The perfect recipe for a good night’s sleep; which is good, because much as I love sloths, sleeping hanging from a tree is not an option for me and even if it were, let’s face it, I wouldn’t last five seconds before falling to the ground in a big heap. I’d need a very big crash mat beneath my tree, or at the very list a nice soft, comfy bunch of pillows.

Speaking of pillows, it is so important to have a good one on which to rest your weary head at the end of a busy day. There is nothing worse than tossing and turning all night because your pillow isn’t right and then waking up with a pain in the neck (and no, I am not referring to your other half). Yes, the right pillow really can make all the difference.

Tuesday, 15 October 2019

Alternative Christmas Gifts

Yep, I know, we're all desperately trying to forget that it's just around the corner, but it's now reached a point where trying to hide from Christmas in the supermarkets, High Streets and online stores is well and truly, absobloominglutely impossible (trust me, I've tried). Only yesterday in Morrisons (other supermarkets are available), was I bombarded by Christmas gifts shouting at me from one side of the aisle, whilst the other side was full of Halloween themed items; which might I add, did not look too impressed at having their thunder stolen by a holiday two months away!

Anyway, that aside, there really is no escaping it, so we may just as well embrace it and start preparing, or not, because if I'm honest, the last thing I actually want to do is start buying presents only to have to pack them for the impending house move, to then lose the bloody things and find them again in six summer's time! Miss. D, though has come up with a solution, so Christmas preparations can indeed begin soon.

Christmas gifts wrapped in brown paper and tied with string

Wednesday, 9 October 2019

Climate Change - What Can I Do?

No one can say they are unaware of the issues our planet is facing, unless they've been living under a rock for the past 30 years or so! We've been discussing the hole in the ozone layer for decades, indeed as our dear, sweet, diplomatic PM Boris Johnson has reminded us, Maggie Thatcher was on to fighting those nasty greenhouse gases when she was in power, decades before Greta Thunberg was a twinkle in her father's eye (yeah right Boris, in that case why is the planet boiling itself to death then).

We've been encouraged to recycle for decades and yet, here we are now, at crisis point and time really is running out. For too long we have expected others to sort it out and taken no personal responsibility. I'm not guilt free at all, I realise I'm to blame as much as the next person. Doing my bit has extended to doing a bit of recycling each week and turning things off instead of leaving them on standby etc., but that simply is not enough. I need to up my game!

Friday, 4 October 2019

Hever Castle

Last week was a tough old week, to be fair, this week hasn't been without it's stresses either. Everywhere I look, I am surrounded by boxes and there are still more that need to be packed. I've given myself a week off from packing; it's not such a big deal, the chain is still not complete as the people at the top are having difficulty finding a property (I hope they find one soon though, I have children who need to get into new schools/colleges). I did get a number of new boxes packed last week though and after a busy time, I decided very last minute that yes, I would accompany the OH on his camping trip to Hever. This went down well with him, apart from the fact I'd left it so late in the day, that he'd already packed the car and then had to squeeze the big tent, and my mattress, in to an already full car.

Hever Castle, as most of you will know, I'm sure, is the childhood home of poor Anne Boleyn, who quite literally lost her head, poor girl (Henry VIII may have been a king, but a good husband, he was not). Nowadays, Hever is a tourist attraction, with various events going on throughout the year. Last weekend it was the Hever Castle Triathlon, and the OH was there to look after the participants during the open water swim in his kayak (or if I want to wind him up, his canoe - kayakers hate if you call their boat a canoe).

Hever Castle, Kent, United Kingdom
Hever Castle, Kent, United Kingdom