35 Before 35 ~ Get new glasses

Every year I make a list of things I’d like to achieve before my next birthday, and every year I fail to tick off at least 75% of them. I’m notoriously rubbish at them, but I just like making the lists, and giving it a go. And then it gets to a week before my birthday, and I realise that I have ticked some things off, but completely forgotten to blog about them.

So here we are again; my birthday is on Sunday and I’m blogging frantically! One thing that I put on the list as a way to try and motivate me to actually do, was to get new glasses. I’ve needed to get my eyes tested for ages, but have put it off again and again, before finally heading along to Boots in March.

Once I had a new prescription, I started looking for new glasses. I never buy from opticians anymore, because their glasses are just too darn expensive. So I always take a look at a variety of online glasses retailers, to see if anything takes my fancy.

Glasses

I ended up buying from a company called Glasseslit, because I spotted these particular glasses in a sponsored Instagram post (Instagram, you know what you’re doing). Glasseslit are based in Asia, and offer some really competitive prices. My glasses took a long time to come, but this was due to my prescription, and I have to say, the customer service has been second to none. They answer queries really quickly, and have been really helpful.

I LOVE these glasses. They are big and obnoxious, but I just feel like they suit me, and I think they are most excellent. I recently worked at a big work event, processing people coming through the doors, and I got quite a few comments about my glasses (all positive of course – would anyone be mean enough to say anything nasty?).

I’m already in the market for another pair of glasses, simply because I like to have a lot of choice, but I think I’ll be hard pressed to find another pair that I like as much as these.

In case you’re interested, the frames that I chose are called Ansel, but they appear to no longer be available to purchase. However, the Josie frames are very similar, though slightly different colours, and are a bargainous $9.90.

7. Get new glasses

 

Life Lately

Life Lately

Well here we are again. Every so often I find myself writing a post like this, alternating between apologising for never blogging, and wondering if blogging is still for me. Of course, I know there’s no need to apologise; who’s sitting around and waiting for me to write a blog post? And my ruminations on whether or not to jack the whole thing in always come down on the side of ‘but I will get around to blogging more at some point…’ I guess I’m just reluctant to say a permanent goodbye.

My dilemma (or dilemna) is that I would love to make more of my blog. I’d love to make some extra money, and have some more opportunities as a result of this little space of internet real estate. But to have those opportunities, you have to put the work in. And I’m already putting the work in at the job I get paid real money for. Also, I’m lazy. There’s no two ways about it; given the option between making a plan, sticking to it, writing regularly, taking and editing photos, connecting with other bloggers, making good contacts etc, and sitting on the settee and watching The Apprentice, I’m going to choose the latter nine times out of ten. That’s who I am.

I do have a list of posts I want to write. I want to finally get around to sharing some of my very few 35 Before 35 successes. And as my birthday approaches, I will be sharing my 36 Before 36 list. And then there’s all that’s in between; I’m hoping that as I blog more, the inspiration to write more interesting and entertaining posts will arise. I’ll be seeing you.

Book Blog Tour ~ Death in the Stars by Frances Brody

Eclip9780349414317 (1)se fever has gripped Britain in 1927; in Yorkshire, trusted sleuth Kate Shackleton has been approached by theatre star Selina Fellini to accompany her to a viewing party. Kate, canny and wary as ever, suspects an ulterior motive, and when Selina’s friend and party guest Billy Moffatt dies in mysterious circumstances, Kate can’t help but start investigating.

This is the fourth year in a row that I have been asked to read a Kate Shackleton Mystery for my blog, and I have to say, I do look forward to that email arriving! This is the ninth in the series by Frances Brody, and though I have enjoyed the preceding three mysteries that I have read, there’s no worry here that you have to go back to the start in order to enjoy the newest one.

The mystery itself is self-contained, as always, so the enjoyment comes from simply going along for the ride, and trying to work out who the villain is. And this is a book set in the theatre world of the 1920s, meaning there’s glamour and excitement to be enjoyed, alongside the sense that it won’t be long until these music hall performers find their stars eclipsed by movie stars.

As I’ve noted in previous reviews of Brody’s mysteries, I am always struck by the carefulness with which a woman’s place in society is handled. Kate Shackleton is not a 2017 version of a 1920s woman; she’s a woman of her time – confident and sure in her ability to solve these cases, but conscious of how she is viewed and treated by the men around her.

The mystery itself is a fun one to try and work out; I was none-the-wiser as to the identity of the villain throughout the book until the final reveal. There are plenty of red herrings to contend with, as with all the best mystery novels, and I was well and truly left guessing.

Death in the Stars
First published: 5th October 2017
ISBN: 9780349414317
Piatkus
Review copy provided by publisher

Six reasons to miss summer when it’s gone

Miss-Summer

For a while, I thought I was in the minority in liking autumn more than I like summer. Since being exposed to everyone’s innermost thoughts on social media, I realise that it isn’t a minority. That autumn is better than summer is apparently THE MOST POPULAR OPINION OF ALL TIME. Whether it’s pumpkin flavoured coffees, new boots or that back to school vibe (pretty sure I’m in the minority there, actually), everyone is gaga for the change of season.

So in an attempt to a) get back to blogging about stuff that isn’t catching up on Photo a Day, and b) write something a little more challenging than ’10 reasons I love autumn’, I thought I’d think of a few things that I will miss about summer (even though I am so glad that the weather finally appears to making its way towards autumn).

Being able to go to an outdoor event and not worry (too much) about the weather

Case in point, yesterday I stood in Hyde Park and got ridiculously soaked. Admittedly, it means that I will always remember dancing to Man I Feel Like a Woman in the pouring rain, which is a fabulous memory to have, but still. British summers aren’t perfect, but if you arrange something in July, you might just be able to get away without an umbrella.

Washing your hair and then going for a drive to dry it in super quick time

Maybe I’m stuck in a bit of a hair rut at the moment, but for the past few months all I’ve done with my hair is wash it, spray it with some sea salt spray, and leave it to dry naturally. When I’m able to have the window open in the car and let the summery air at it, it dries quickly, and it just feels nice. (Disclaimer, I still can’t drive, I’m talking about going out at the weekends with my friend Hannah!) As the temperatures drop, if I try air-drying my soaking wet hair, I’m probably going to catch my death of cold.

Sitting in the garden with a book

The back of our house is a little sun trap on summer mornings, and it’s a nice place to sit and read chapter after chapter. Though with autumn on its way, I’ll just transfer into the house, put the fire on and make a cup of tea.

Having a barbecue

I’ve hardly had any barbecues this year, and now I feel as though I’ve missed my chance. Cooking outside is less fun when it’s chilly, or when it’s raining.

Quieter roads

Again, as I don’t drive, maybe it’s not my place to complain about this. But I’m a passenger a lot, and it’s nice to be able to make our way through our tiny village with a fraction of the traffic during the school summer holidays.

Beach paddling

Don’t get me wrong, I will paddle in the sea when it’s freezing cold. But there’s no denying that it’s a little less enjoyable when you are worrying that your toes are going to fall off. Also, people look at you like you’re a bit strange when you have your feet in the North Sea in November.

So there you have it. Six reasons why I might just miss summer. This is all folly of course. None of these things can actually make up for the chillier days, the new boots, coats, jumpers and tights, the amazing television, having the fire on, drinking more tea, my birthday, and the lead up to Christmas. (There, you got a list in the end anyway.)

Photo by Kate Tandy on Unsplash

Book Blog Tour ~ The Whitstable High Tide Swimming Club: Part One: Diving In by Katherine May

510ss61J8hLIn the gorgeous seaside town of Whitstable, brokenhearted Deb begins to swim each day and gathers a new group of friends around her. But can the magic of sea heal the hurt of the past? Or will family ties drag her underwater again?

I follow Katherine May on Instagram, and there’s no question about it, she lives in a beautiful part of the world. The north coast of Kent is not somewhere I’ve ever visited, but in Diving In, the first part of her new novel, May paints such a vivid picture that it’s easy for me to believe that I have!

The people that come together to make up the Whitstable High Tide Swimming Club all have their own reasons for being there, and in this early instalment, we meet Deb and Maisie. Both have left their respective husbands; Deb has lived her whole life in Whitstable, whereas Maisie has left her high-powered legal job in London to seek refuge by the sea. They become firm friends, though both are vulnerable, and we get an insight into they way they are both adjusting to their new lives.

There are other members of the group; Anne is middle aged but lives at home caring for her elderly mother, Chloe is sixteen and studying for her GCSEs, and Julie has three young children. We don’t get to know so much about these characters in the opening chapters, but as the team band together to fight the threat of a new entertainment complex planned for the beach where they swim, it’s clear that we are going to find out more, and discover what each member brings to the group and the fight.

I’m really looking forward to finding out where this story goes; part 1 is now available for download for just 99p, with part 2 due in November, and the full novel due for release in February.

28775 Whitstable blog tour landscape

The Whitstable High Tide Swimming Club: Part One: Diving In by Katherine May
Publication Date: 31st August 2017
Orion
Provided by publisher

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