When things don’t quite work out.

I am on annual leave these last two weeks of January 2021. Like a lot of other people during this pandemic, I should have been elsewhere in the world. So we had to re-think. Plan B was a road trip to take in a few of these:

Then a third lockdown has meant staying in our home town. So plan C came into force and we took a walk and did these:

Eastbourne Borough, Eastbourne Town and Eastbourne United.

The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman.

I like Richard Osman and looked forward to reading this. You could definitely hear his voice in the writing. I loved the characters, but got a bit muddled with the plot. Still not really sure who killed who and why. But I definitely want to live in a retirement village with loads of quirky people to drink wine with and socialize. Look forward to the next murder solved by the Thursday Murder club.

Neil Gaiman’s The Sleeper and the Spindle.

BBC Radio Drama

Written by Neil Gaiman

Adapted by Katie Homs

Directed and Produced by Allegra McILroy

A twisted fairy tale part Snow White, part Sleeping Beauty with women at the forefront of the tale. Sleeping Beauty is awoken by a kiss from the Soldier Queen- the prince is redundant and the dwarfs aren’t to be taken seriously. On her awakening we find that Sleeping Beauty put a counter-spell on the old woman, ensuring that she can never sleep.

A brilliant BBC radio dramatization narrated by Dame Penelope Wilton with Neil Gaiman himself as The Home Secretary.

Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart

Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart

Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was a raw, disturbing and harrowing read. I had to keep reminding myself that this was set in my lifetime, Thatcher’s eighties, not the nineteen thirties depression era. A cross between This Is England is (2006 British drama film written and directed by Shane Meadows) and ‘Animals’ by Emma Jane Unsworth. A narrative of excess and poverty; poor parenting; sexual exploitation; resilience and survival. Shuggie went without basic life essentials- love, food and warmth, due to Agnes’s narcissism fuelled by her alcoholism. Not enjoyable, but a hard-hitting eye opener.

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British Football’s Greatest Grounds: One Hundred Must-See Football Venues by Mike Bayly.

British Football’s Greatest Grounds: One Hundred Must-See Football Venues

British Football’s Greatest Grounds: One Hundred Must-See Football Venues by Mike Bayly

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I quite like a bit of football and I like the football grounds even more. Heard a review of this book on Talk Sport radio. Informative, accessible and with fabulous photographs I was entertained for a couple of days reading about these footie grounds and learning the social history behind them and their teams. I knew that lots of factories had teams that made the leagues, but I didn’t know that lots of the division teams originated as church teams. If you love football you will love this. It’s a book to dip in and out of throughout the season. Best of all for me, a local team was number one.

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New Year.

“I hope that in the year to come, you make mistakes. Glorious, amazing mistakes. Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re doing something.

Neil Gamain, Neil Gaiman’s Journal

The Christmas Cafe by Amanda Prowse.

The Christmas Café (No Greater Strength, #2)

The Christmas Café by Amanda Prowse

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

You have to read at least one Christmas novel in December. This year for me it was The Christmas Cafe by Amanda Prowse. It was great to travel from Australia to Edinburgh- hot Christmas/ cold Christmas and get embroiled in Bea’s return to the country she grew up in and met the love of her life in. I also love a cafe and there were two very different ones here. I liked it.

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Grave Stones by Priscilla Masters.

Grave Stones by Priscilla Masters

Grave Stones by Priscilla Masters

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The last few days I have been caught up in the goings on in Leek, Queen of the Moorlands. A farmer was murdered, the wife might, or might not have met a grisly end, a daughter is quite frankly totally unlikeable! In fact few of the characters are very likeable. Farmland versus suburbia. Cleverly plotted and an easy read, a cosy-type crime that kept me amused for a while.

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