What I've read lately: The Wideacre Trilogy, Philippa Gregory

Well that's not entirely true. I've just started the second book, and I'm hoping it will have me hooked as much as part one. That was simply titled, Wideacre, and was one of those books that kept my interest throughout; I was so keen to make progress that I'd dip into it even if I had five minutes to spare. That gave me comfort, which was odd really as after a short reading burst like this I'd often find myself re-reading a section. I was keen to make progress, but wanted to savour the story and not miss anything that would give me a clue to the ending. 

Photo credit: Photo by Tom Hermans on Unsplash

Photo credit: Photo by Tom Hermans on Unsplash

I anticipated a bit of a reading fest while we were away, but it didn't quite work out that way. I did finish a book - The Pie Life - I'd been reading on my phone, and then Wideacre took over.  I thought the book that had me hooked was a long one at 646 pages, but I've just checked and it was only half the length of The Pie Life, so maybe that's why that one took me a while to get through. 

But back to Wideacre...

I like books with strong female characters, and Wideacre certainly has that with Miss Beatrice; she loves the Wideacre Estate and is devastated by her inability to inherit it, with it instead going to her younger brother. She knows the land and is heralded as the greatest farmer around. Set in Georgian England she fights and plots to ensure her bloodline inherits.  It's a gripping tale with plenty of well thought out characters, as you'd expect from one of Philippa Gregory's books. I've read her Tudor novels - and they get the same treatment from me - so I was pleased this also had me gripped.

There's dark secrets at Wideacre and as the first of the trilogy as you'd expect there are at least a couple of loose ends.  Beatrice does marry, and that adds further intrigue to the story, and my one criticism of the book is shortly after her marriage she celebrates her nineteenth birthday. I'd assumed by the time she married she was much older, and so I found myself skipping backwards to double-check it wasn't a mistake. It wasn't - of course - but I'd have liked a bit more of a clue to her age before that.

The second book starts, as you'd expect, with a piece that sets the scene and already I can't help but think there'll be similarities in the plot. I found myself reading this chapter hungrily, wanting to know whose voice it was.  I've learnt who, and I'm not going to share that, but I am going to recommend this series.

And to give you an idea of how much I wanted to continue the story, I've broken my own rule and paid £3.99 for the second book so I can continue the momentum!  I make no apology for getting my head stuck in a book, e-book or what, there's nothing like a good story, is there?

Reflecting on my week #7

I always knew last week was going to be a busy one at work with the launch of a new organisation-wide strategy. I also knew that after a great week away I'd most likely be operating closer to holiday speed than mad Londoner speed, so the start of the week might leave me standing. As it turned out I warmed up to my usual speed pretty quickly during the day but to sustain that I needed to be quieter here and more so on social media. 

But it's only a week so that was ok.  And quite a week as it turned out.

Perhaps I should have had an inkling as to how the week might go when I made my first cup of tea of the week at work.  Returning to my desk with my tea in hand and without spilling it (result!) at almost exactly the same time I placed it on my desk, the fire alarm went off...

There was nothing for it but to leave the tea on my desk and head out. By the time I got back I knew it'd be cold, and as my building also houses the cafe there wasn't even a chance of an immediate replacement.  I considered heating it up in the microwave when we were left back in, but I was delayed further by those impromptu but useful meetings that happen when a whole building decants into a sunny autumnal day.

Eventually though I got my cup of tea. A fresh one at that too.  Monday was looking up again.

Emails were going down, and so was the pile of holiday washing, but still the blog tasks were going up (and still are) The strategy launch took place - phew - and there was a night out in the City too catching up with friends. A late night too, and just about making it home before the clock struck twelve. Just.

Friday, unusually I drove to work. It made it easier to be where I needed to be, and taking advantage of that convenience I stopped off at the shops on the way home that evening. But something was odd, as my headlights weren't turning off.

I'd forgotten it shouldn't be possible to do that any more. 

I thought maybe I'd knocked a switch. So out came the manual, and everything was checked.

I hadn't knocked anything, but still the lights were on.

Phone calls were made, and advice sought, and the switches checked again. Confident it wasn't me then I called the RAC. 

Less than an hour later he arrived and the problem was quickly identified - the headlight relay was stuck on. And under the bonnet, on the fuseboard it was smoking a bit. The relay was removed and the lights went off. 

THE FUSE BOX WITH THE HEADLIGHT RELAY REMOVED, AND IN ITS PLACE A SORT OF MELTED HOLE...

THE FUSE BOX WITH THE HEADLIGHT RELAY REMOVED, AND IN ITS PLACE A SORT OF MELTED HOLE...

But of course it was dark, and I wasn't home yet. So it was put back in, and I headed home with the RAC man close behind me. Once home the temporary fix was applied again, and I was left with a car with no headlights and so, a car that can only be driven during the day when conditions permit.

With Storm Brian on his way and a visit to Buckinghamshire planned for the weekend, plans were revised to make use of public transport instead. And now that it's done, it wasn't so bad. It wasn't as convenient as travelling by car, of course, but the tube journey gave me the opportunity to stick my nose in my book.  Again (more on that soon).

So this week my car is going to the dealership, and I'll be seriously looking for my next car.  I've a feeling the week ahead is going to be expensive one way or another, I hope I'm wrong, but somehow I suspect not...

I am lucky though. I'm grateful that my car just developed a fear of the dark, instead of going for a full on smoking habit!

Post Comment Love and Blogger Showcase 20 - 22 October 2017

Hello there and welcome to another Friday and another #PoCoLo - you'll know I was away last week and I had a great week away in Porto and the Douro Valley.  If you linked up last week, thank you, I am so behind I can't even begin to tell you. If you're new here this week, it's great to see you.

During our Portugal trip we experienced a mini-heatwave, especially in Pinhao, with temperatures reaching as high as thirty four degrees. And boy was it hot, by the time we returned to Porto and the fog, I thought I was close to melting.

This week has been a bit crazy at work with plenty of long days and that's not helped with either my blog reading, or my pile of holiday washing. There was a clue at the start of the week of how my week might go, when I made my first cup of tea and got back to my desk, the fire alarm went off.  Eventually I remembered to make another cup of tea, but I'm sure it was a sign! 

It's not been a bad week, just busy.

My photo this week is from our trip and from a wander around Pinhao, one of the prettiest small towns I think I've been to for a while. Plenty of the properties were full of this kind of character and I couldn't help but wonder how they would have been in their heyday.

Full of character in Pinhao

Blogger Showcase: Elisha from Mom On The Blog

1. Who are you?

Hi Im Elisha Suarez and I am a mother wife preschool teacher and blog at Mom On The Blog.

2. How did you discover blogging?

I have been reading blogs for about three years now it started with Its Judys Life.

3. Why did you start blogging?

The same reason I think a lot of people or a least mothers do - for a creative outlet. 

4. What do you find most challenging?

Figuring out the website, ugh...!

5. What is your favorite topic to write about?

Children , activities and child development.

6. Are you blogging for fun or do you have goals?

I have goals I want to reach with my blog, but I also just love the content that I am putting out.

7. Have you ever attended a blogging conference?

No.

8. What are your three best posts?

Well granted I have only been blogging for a short while, my three favorites are Circle Time Tips, Top Eight Books for picky readers not Eaters and Regio Inspired Preschool.

9. Describe yourself in three words?

Energetic, Loving, Humble.

10. Are you a tea and biscuit or coffee and cake?

I am coffee and pie but cake works!

11. What's your idea of a perfect night out?

Laying on the beach at night :)

12. And your perfect night in?

Relaxing watching a movie with my husband.

13. What would your mom say your best quality is?

Big heart and honest too honest sometimes. 

Thanks Elisha, I am loving your perfect night out - that sounds fab. Please do grab your "I was featured" badge.

Before you link up don't forget to connect with Elisha on Twitter and Instagram.  If you'd like to be featured in a future Bloggers Showcase then please do get in touch with Morgan or I, we have a waiting list at the moment but we're more than happy to add you to that.