Number plates!

The husband and I recently had new cars.  The first 2 letters and numbers are the same – but I needed to find a way to remember the last 3 letters on each car.

Mine is LCM – I’m Libby, the husband is Mark – Libby Cuddles Mark – perfect. (Even if the kids made vomming noises at this suggestion!)

His is KHG.  My immediate thought was Kana Hates Graham – using another 2 family members as reference points.  This prompted the 7 year old to ask, incredulously, ‘why does Auntie Kana hate Grandad?’   I had to explain I’d made it up purely to remember the reg – and sure enough, I won’t forget it now!!

 

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Book Review: Daisy Jones and The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Daisy Jones

I am lucky enough to be sent loads of books to read – and my TBR pile physically, and electronically, is always large – so it’s quite unusual for me to pay hard earned cash for a book.  However, I kept seeing this book EVERYWHERE in the summer of 2019 as one of THE books to read.  So total FOMO made me purchase it!

Here’s the blurb:

“They were the new icons of rock and roll, fated to burn bright and not fade away.
But on 12 July 1979, it all came crashing down.
There was Daisy, rock and roll force of nature, brilliant songwriter and unapologetic drug addict, the half-feral child who rose to superstardom.
There was Camila, the frontman’s wife, too strong-willed to let the band implode – and all too aware of the electric connection between her husband and Daisy.
There was Karen, ice-cool keyboardist, a ferociously independent woman in a world that wasn’t ready for her.
And there were the men surrounding them: the feuding, egotistical Dunne brothers, the angry guitarist chafing on the sidelines, the drummer binge-drinking on his boat, the bassist trying to start a family amid a hedonistic world tour. They were creative minds striking sparks from each other, ready to go up in flames.
It’s never just about the music…”

I started this on holiday – and it felt really ‘different’ straight away.  (I said this about The Goldfinch many years ago, and certain friends still haven’t forgiven me!!)

It’s written in the style of interviews with all of the characters – but interwoven so it’s as if the various accounts are being talked through by the protagonists as they happened.  This means it feels really fast paced and keeps you wanting to read on.

It totally evokes the 70s vibe – and you do feel immersed in the rock and roll world of the time.

About 90% (yes, I read it on my Kindle) of the way through you get a bit of a shock – which I loved – but I don’t want to tell you what that is, as it would ruin the surprise for you – but it’s great, and emotional.

Throughout the book lyrics of songs are mentioned in part – but at the end of the book, the lyrics to all of the tracks – which are almost characters in the book themselves – are written out in full.  I found myself weeping reading them as they had so much meaning (and I’m quite pathetic and cry a lot!!)

I really enjoyed it – so EVERYONE was right!

 

 

Number facts!

 

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Tomorrow our eldest gets here GCSE results – and for the first time ALL of the subjects are graded by numbers not letters – so here are some related number facts for you!

  • 1-9 is how the exams are now graded.  We’re optimistic for not too many lower ones, but so you have a comparison, an old school B is a 6, A is a 7, A* is an 8, and they’ve introduced a 9 which is nominally an A**
  • 10 is the number of subjects the daughter has sat.
  • 9 is the number of subjects she would like to have sat.  She really wanted to drop Spanish, but did too well in her mock. We bumped into some old friends on holiday whose eldest son also didn’t particularly enjoy his Spanish GCSE – although his tactic of just adding ‘O’ to the end of an English word to get the Spanish equivalent sounds like a top tip.
  • 1 is the number of Bs I got at GCSE.  And it was in Chemistry.  No one ever asked what the 8As were in – just what that annoying B was!
  • 0 is the number of GCSEs her Dad got.  This has not held him back – and he’s done brilliantly with his entrepreneurial spirit and hard work – but it’s been tricky, not for the daughter, but for other family members who argue ‘well, if Daddy / Uncle Mark hasn’t got any GCSEs, why do I need to bother?’
  • 12 is the number of years she’s worked really hard at school.  Whilst there was loads of revision and working studiously over the GCSE years at school, she’s always been really dedicated.  You can guess who she takes after!?
  • 25 is the kilograms of revision she took with us to Australia last Christmas as her mocks were just after we got back.
  • 29 is the number of years since I got my results – and as a parent, the slightly nauseous feeling on the build up to results day is incredibly reminiscent of nearly 3 decades ago when I was waiting for mine.

 

Good luck to everyone waiting for their results tomorrow – and the associated parents.

GCSE results do not define you, they are a stepping stone to the next stage in life, and only really pathetic people are still bitter about their results when they’re in their mid 40s……..

Book Review: Ask Again, Yes by Mary Beth Keane

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I was approached by the publisher to read this new book by bestseller Mary Bethe Keane as I’d apparently reviewed similar books in the past.  It already had decent reviews on Netgalley – so I downloaded a copy.  It then sat on my Netgalley bookshelf for ages whilst I read other things!  I was motivated to start it on holiday as the Netgalley publication date was quoted as 8 August 2019 – today – but that doesn’t actually appear correct, as it’s got loads of Amazon reviews now too!

Here’s the blurb:

“A gripping and compassionate drama of two families linked by chance, love and tragedy
Gillam, upstate New York: a town of ordinary, big-lawned suburban houses. The Gleesons have recently moved there and soon welcome the Stanhopes as their new neighbours.
Lonely Lena Gleeson wants a friend but Anne Stanhope – cold, elegant, unstable – wants to be left alone.
It’s left to their children – Lena’s youngest, Kate, and Anne’s only child, Peter – to find their way to one another. To form a friendship whose resilience and love will be almost broken by the fault line dividing both families, and by the terrible tragedy that will engulf them all.
A tragedy whose true origins only become clear many years later . . .
A story of love and redemption, faith and forgiveness, Ask Again, Yes reveals the way childhood memories change when viewed from the distance of adulthood – villains lose their menace, and those who appeared innocent seem less so.
A story of how, if we’re lucky, the violence lurking beneath everyday life can be vanquished by the power of love.”

This is an epic story covering 40+ years of two families and their intertwined lives.  Big stuff happens (I won’t give a spoiler, don’t worry!) that impacts everyone massively.

You get to know the various family members – but it really centres around Kate and Peter, with everyone else ensemble members.

Whilst I wanted to read on and find out what happened – it was all a bit dull and slow moving.  I kept waiting for something exciting to occur – but I kept waiting!

I guessed what the title of the book referenced  – but expected it to be a direct quote – but it wasn’t quite – which just seemed odd (or badly edited?)

Maybe I’m just not a literary fiction kind of girl – and I am sure some people will really enjoy it – but it just didn’t really float my boat.

But thank you to Netgalley and the publishers for my advance review copy!

 

 

 

Book Review: Rewrite The Stars by Emma Heatherington

Rewrite The Stars

I enjoyed ‘A Miracle On Hope Street’ by Emma Heatherington last year – and this is another offering by her with Christmas themes (although only loosely).  I was lucky enough to be offered a free copy from Netgalley in return for an honest review (and it wasn’t until the end and the mention of Bradley Cooper gifs (I was surprised it wasn’t David Beckham to be honest) that I remembered my friend was the author’s editor!

Here’s the blurb:

“It’s never too late to say I love you…
A stunning Christmas romance for fans of Josie Silver and Jojo Moyes
From the moment they meet one December day there’s something between Charlotte Taylor and her brother’s best friend, Tom Farley. But Tom’s already taken and Charlie has to let him go…
It’s another five years before their paths cross again only a secret from the past forces Charlie to make a choice. She promises herself she’ll never look back…
The years pass and Charlie moves on with her life but she can never forget Tom. He’s always there whispering ‘What if?’.
Can Charlie leave the life she has built for one last chance with Tom? Or is the one that got away not really the one at all…?”

I really enjoyed this!

Charlotte / Charlie and Tom’s paths cross over the period of the book – starting at a one off meeting and then progressing.  Some of this happens at Christmas – but that’s not a massive feature of the book (so don’t think you need to save it until the festive period to properly appreciate it or anything, I was fine reading it by the pool in the sunshine!)

Whilst the Charlie / Tom relationship is the main thread running through the book – and who doesn’t love a ‘the one who got away’ story – their relationships with other people are also really well developed.

It’s set it Ireland in a number of different rural and city locations – and they are described really well and evoke the differing vibes of the geographical areas.

It weaves historic information in with present day so that the whole back story is eventually unravelled.  I did guess some of it – but that didn’t detract from the book and wanting to finish reading it.

Occasionally I did want to punch Charlotte and tell her just to be honest – but I guess that might not have been such a twisty and turny book!! Overall it was a lovely easy read and I’d recommend it.