Sunday, 6 September 2015

#HappyDaysLinky ~ End of Summer 2015

I can't believe the summer holidays have ended. :-( 

I'm a supply teacher so one of the lucky ones whose summer holidays are actually all holiday - no sorting a classroom out, no popping in to school to discuss the new term, no planning in advance. I just had 6 and a half weeks of me time. 

Great! - You may think - but I've been trying to coordinate a house sale and purchase to be completed by the end of my holidays so we'd be in our gorgeous new house, be unpacked and ready to live properly again in September rather than out of boxes - but it didn't go to plan. But here's the good bits of our summer:

Meeting up with my fab friends

I had some fun meet ups with friends in the holiday - lots of laugh and chat. 

Celebrating 3 years with Adam:

This was right at the beginning of the holidays. I came home from a day out to find a lovely bunch of flowers waiting for me.

 Celebrating my Birthday:

This was my scrummy birthday cake. I went for a picnic and walk in the park with some friends, then out for dinner with Adam and my family. 

Going Owl Hunting in Birmingham:

We managed to spot about 27 owls - there's still over 30 to find though! I made a few trips out to different locations to spot some. 

Practising my Photography Skills:

I had a day out by myself to Woburn Abbey where I was able to practise my photography in peace and quiet in their garden and then I've also been practising on Freddie too!

Seeing Family:

There were lots of opportunities to see my family, which was great.

How was your summer?

What Katy Said

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Some pretty fantastic books from August

Alas, it is the last day of the summer holidays for me, a teacher. I have had a mixed holiday. It's been relaxing in places but above all it's been stressful. House moving is definitely not a walk in the park and we're still not in our new house 14 weeks since we put our offer in and had someone put an offer on ours!

In amongst all the stress I managed to download some pretty amazing books onto my Kindle this August. I usually go for 99p or less books but as it was my birthday at the end of July and I had some birthday money to use, I thought I'd splash out and buy what I actually wanted to read, rather than just base my purchases on price.

Dear Daughter - Elizabeth Little

I'd read about this book somewhere on the internet - sorry, can't remember where and thought it sounded like my kind of read.

I loved this book. It's based in America and follows a Hollywood IT girl, Janie, as she leaves prison having served 10 years for her mother's murder and who is now being released. Janie can't remember what exactly happened the night of her mother's murder and wants to find the truth. Did she do it? Who was the man her mother had been talking to and why did her mother write 'Janie' in her own blood as she was dying if Janie didn't do it?

It's such a well-written murder mystery that I couldn't put it down. I just had to know who did it.

Currently on Kindle for £3.79. 

How I Lost You - Jenny Blackhurst

I picked this one as it was 99p and a murder mystery. It had a similar premise to the last book - a woman in prison for a crime she doesn't think she committed but isn't quite sure.

This one is based in England and follows Susan, who has just been released from prison having served 3 years for the suffocation of her 12-week-old son, Dylan. She doesn't think she did it, but she can't remember. 

Starting a new life in a new area with a new name, Susan receives a photo of a boy that could be her son, now aged 4. She does everything she can to find out whether her son is really alive or if someone is just playing a sick joke on her. 

Another book I couldn't put down. 

Currently £1.49 on Kindle.

The Storyteller - Jodi Piccoult

My last book for August was this one. I can't remember how I came across it. Probably just browsing through the bestsellers list for a reasonably priced one that I'd be interested in.

This story is basically three stories in one:

Sage is a baker by night, hiding herself away from the world. She makes an unlikely friendship with an elderly man called Josef Weber and he asks her to help him die. He says he did terrible things in World War Two and now wants to be forgiven and die.
This story is interwoven with Sage's grandma's story of her experiences as a Jew in Germany and then in Auschwitz.
And then it's also interwoven with a story that Sage's grandma wrote herself about a young baker's daughter falling in love.

It was brilliantly written. I did partly work out the twist before the end but not 100%.
The experiences of Sage's grandma were awful and it really opens your eyes to how horrific it was, this theme plays alongside the themes of guilt and forgiveness - should Josef be forgiven for what he did and what exactly did he do?

Currently £1.49 on Kindle.

Have you read any books lately that you'd like to recommend?