Blog No 167 – 2020 Reading List

My goal for 2020 was to read more than 46 books. If I could beat my previous target of 46 books or more, I was going to be happy. I achieved 66 books in total, therefore I superseded my target and averaged 1 book a week.

Here is my reading list: –

  1. Girls in Tin Hats – Annie Murray
  2. Villa of Secrets – Patricia Wilson
  3. Hold on Hope – Jean Fullerton
  4. Perhaps Tomorrow – Jean Fullerton
  5. Sisters of Gold – Annie Murray
  6. A Glimpse of Happiness – Jean Fullerton
  7. I Owe You One – Sophie Kinsella
  8. The Teashop Girls – Elaine Everest
  9. No Cure for Love – Jean Fullerton
  10. The Secret Midwife – Katy Weitz
  11. The Volunteer – Jack Fairweather
  12. Permanent Records – Edward Snowden
  13. The House Across The Street – Lesley Pearse
  14. Twas The Nightshift Before Christmas – Adam Kaye
  15. The Whitechapel Girl – Gilda O’Neil
  16. Christmas With The Teashop Girls – Elaine Everest
  17. Finding Freedom – Carolyn Durand, Omid Scobie
  18. Royal – Danielle Steel
  19. The Orphan Twins – Lesley Eames
  20. The Rag & Bone Girl – Maggie Ford
  21. Going Hime to Liverpool – Kate Eastham
  22. The Country Bride – Dilly Court
  23. Liverpool Daughter – Katie Flynn
  24. A Springtime Affair – Katie Fforde
  25. The Light in Hidden Places – Sharon Cameron
  26. Goodnight Sweetheart – Pam Weaver
  27. Memories are Made of This – June Francis
  28. Pack Up Your Troubles – Anne Bennet
  29. How to Make it Happen – Maria Hatzistefanis
  30. Official Secrets – Marcia Mitchell & Thomas Mitchell
  31. A Daughter Ruin – Kitty Neale
  32. A Village Scandal – Dilly Court
  33. Many a Tear Has to Fall – June Francis
  34. Mothering Sunday – Rosie Goodwin
  35. It’s Now or Never – June Francis
  36. Walking Back to Happiness – June Francis
  37. The Spitfire Sisters – Margaret Dickinson
  38. Love Letters in the Sand – June Francis
  39. Shadows of the Past – June Francis
  40. Her Father Name – Beezy March
  41. How to be British – Tim Benson
  42. The Jones Family Food Roster – Alison Jones
  43. The Man Who Didn’t Call – Rosie Walsh
  44. An Ophran Christmas – Katie Flynn
  45. Diagnosis – Lisa Sanders
  46. The Orphan Thief – Glynis Peters
  47. Mind Over Clutter – Nicola Lewis
  48. The Prison Doctor – Dr Amanda Brown
  49. An Orphans War – Molly Green
  50. A Strong Hand to Hold – Anne Bennett
  51. Time To Say Goodbye – Rosie Goodwin
  52. The Organised Writer – Anthony Johnston
  53. The Christmas Wedding – Dilly Court
  54. Rag and Bone Christmas – Dilly Court
  55. For Better or Worse – June Francis
  56. The Winters Promise – Rosie Goodwin
  57. The Orphans of Halfpenny St – Cathy Sharp
  58. A Daughter Duty – Maggie Hope
  59. Do The Birds Still Sing in Hell – Horace Greasley
  60. Dilly’s Sacrifice – Rosie Goodwin
  61. Dilly’s Lass – Rosie Goodwin
  62. Dilly’s Hope – Rosie Goodwin
  63. The Mill Girl – Rosie Goodwin
  64. Will You Take Me Home – Julie Tottman
  65. The Convent – Maria Hargreaves
  66. Home Front Girls – Rosie Goodwin

Here’s a reading Q&A

What is your favourite time of the day to read.

I tend to read when I go to bed. I can read everything from 10 pages to 100 in a night.

How many hours do you read a day.

I can read anything from 15mins to 2/3 hrs. It all depends how tired I am.

What is my favourite genre.

Historical fiction is my favourite, however I’m trying other genres.

Which author did you first get obsessed with.

I would say it was Lyn Andrews then Katie Flynn

Who are you currently obsessed with.

I would say Dilly Court and June Francis. To be fair my obsession is growing with many authors.

Can you read multiple books at one time.

Yes I can, nevertheless I think two is enough for me.

Which book/books was your favourite this year.

I did love “Rag n Bone Christmas” by Dilly Court. I also enjoyed “Will You Take Me Home” by Julie Tottman. This was a true story, which involved a Yorkie dog, therefore I brought the book for my goddaughter too as she’s a reader.

Who was your favourite author this year.

I would say June Francis because her characters in her books follow through her books, which I loved.

Which new authors did you try this year

I would say June Francis and Jean Fullerton were the most popular as I had read a few of their books.

Which book touched you this year.

It has to “The Convent” by Maria Hargreaves. The true story was about the horrific cruelty to children by a nun in a care home in Oldham, U.K.

How many books do you intend to read in 2021.

I’m not sure I’ll reach that target again but let’s see what happens.

Blog No 156 – Travel Visualisation Board

I don’t know if anyone has read the book “The Secret” by Rhonda Byrne. The author is huge believer in visualisation boards. Basically having a board with pictures of your dreams, therefore your dreams go out to the universe and they become reality.

When I was looking for artwork for my hall, I decided to do travel visualisation boards with words and not pictures. There is an extended list of places/locations that I want to visit or revisit with Mr Zebrakat. I did 2 visualisation boards of destinations, nevertheless dreams can come true.

Visualisation Board

There is a few destinations that I may have visited with/without Mr Zebrakat. For this reason, I’ve added them to the board for a revisit, for instance New York. We visited December 2005 and we were fortunate enough to see the dropping of the ball on NYE. It was a beautiful place to visit at Christmas time and all the festive decorations were stunning. I remember the weather being freezing cold, which I had never experienced cold like it before. Mr Zebrakat has never been to Dublin, I have done it many times. I really want go with him, to be a tourist and for him to experience my irish culture. Canada, we lived there for god sake but we never got to the west coast. Both of us want to visit Vancouver and I’m sure we will slot back into Canadian life there.

The list was inspired by us both but I want to continue travelling after my cancer treatment/covid-19

Let’s see how well I do within the next 12 months. I will write a blog this time next year and let you all know. X

Blog No 150 – 2019 Reading List

My goal for 2019 was to read more than 24 books. If I achieve 24 books or more, I was going to be happy. The target was to read 2 books a month and in some cases it was more. My reading last year took a real boost with a total of 46 books.

Here is my reading list: –

  1. The Tattooist – Heather Morris
  2. Christmas Rose – Dilly Court
  3. Always Smiling – Georgia Toffolo
  4. The Hiding Place – Trezza Azzopardi
  5. The Choice – Edith Eger
  6. Spitfire Girl – Lily Baxter
  7. Poppy’s War – Lily Baxter
  8. Wartime Girls – Anne Baker
  9. The Shopkeepers Daughter – Lily Baxter
  10. Whistledown Woman – Josephine Cox
  11. A Song for Bridget – Phyllis Whitsell
  12. The Empty Hearth – Kitty Neale
  13. After the war is over – Maureen Lee
  14. A Christmas in Disguise – Katie Fforde
  15. Into the Fire – Edric Kennedy-Macfoy
  16. The Barefoot Girl – Cathy Sharp
  17. The Little Orphan Girl – Sandy Taylor
  18. Liverpool Sisters – Lynn Andrews
  19. The Librarian – Dita Kraus
  20. Nettie Secret – Dilly Court
  21. Kitty and her Sisters – Maureen Lee
  22. I spy – Tom Marcus
  23. Under the Hawthorn Tree – Marita Conlon McKenna
  24. My Not So Perfect Life – Sophie Kinsella
  25. In His Father Footsteps – Danielle Steel
  26. Come Rain or Shine – Pam Weaver
  27. Eminence – Morris West
  28. Brutal Honest – Melanie Brown
  29. Daughters of Courage – Margaret Dickinson
  30. Sing Them Home – Pam Weaver
  31. Christmas to Come – Carol Rivers
  32. This is Going to Hurt – Adam Kaye
  33. The Butlin Girls – Elaine Everest
  34. Becoming – Michelle Obama
  35. The Orphans of Bell Lane – Ruthie Lane
  36. The Winter Orphan – Cathy Sharp
  37. Bicycles & Blackberries – Shelia Newberry
  38. A Family’s Heartbreak – Kitty Neale
  39. Light Out Till Dawn – Dee Williams
  40. The Collaborator – Diane Armstrong
  41. A Precious Gift – Rosie Goodwin
  42. The Secret Orphan – Glynis Peters
  43. Clika’s Journey – Heather Morris
  44. The Titanic Sisters – Patrica Falvey
  45. The Orphan Thief – Glynis Peters
  46. Twas the Nightshift Before – Adam Kay

Last year, I wanted to open up my mind to new authors. I had introduced approximately 23 new authors of various genres

The books I had read were so varied from The Tattooist to I Spy. Reading books expands the mind and triggers imagination.

Books make me happy and give me immense pleasure. My well being is surely improved by reading. My goal this year is to be 46 books.

Weekly Blog No 136 – Annual Reading List

My goal for 2018 was to read more than 24 books. My reading this year has been hit and miss. I know I did a count in September and it was 21 books and I thought this was going to be an easy target to achieve with an average of 2 books a month. I was very much mistaken because it remained at 21 books, therefore I didn’t reach my target.

Here is my reading list: –

  1. Flesh and Blood – Stephen McGann
  2. A Little Leaving – Anne Bennett
  3. The Liverpool Rose – Katie Flynn
  4. Me Life Story – Scarlett Moffat
  5. The River Maid – Dilly Court
  6. Fear of the Collar – Patrick Touher
  7. Mothering Sunday – Rosie Goodwin
  8. A Daughter Courage – Kitty Neale
  9. The Soldiers Daughter – Rosie Goodwin
  10. An Orphans Secret – Maggie Hope
  11. Mill Girls – Tracey Johnson
  12. Dancing in the Dark – Maureen Lee
  13. Pie N Mash & Prefabs – Norman Jacobs
  14. The Report – Jessica Francis Kane
  15. A view Across the Mersey – Anne Baker
  16. The Summer Maiden – Dilly Court
  17. A Promise Between Friends – Carol Rivers
  18. Stories of the Law and How It’s Broken – The Secret Barrister
  19. No Silver Spoon – Katie Flynn
  20. A Christmas Candle – Katie Flynn
  21. First Man in Leading the Front – Ant Middleton

A few new authors this year and the Stories of the Law and How it’s Broken by The Secret Barrister was a very educational book into the legal system in the U.K.

A book that very educational was Flesh and Blood by Stephen McGann. A very informative book on family and medical history through the decades/centuries in Ireland and U.K. I do love to hear about people’s family history and even better if I get educated on the way. Worth a read.

As for the First Man in the Leading the Front by Ant Middleton. I think this man is misjudged by his size and chosen career. I wouldn’t make assumptions and read this book.

The most horrific book I read this year was Fear of the Collar by Patrick Touher. The cruelty to innocent children was unbelievable and was well worth the read. The eye opener.

In 2019, I will aim to read 24 books again. I will have too as my house is full of books and I need to de clutter. Let’s see how this year goes. Happy Reading.


Does anyone have any book recommendations?

 

Weekly Blog No 113 – 2017 Reading List

Last year I attempted to read 24 books again but to my disappointment I have failed. As previously mentioned, my reading was at a slower pace last year. Despite the slower pace I did reach some reading goals by attempting to read some new authors.

Here’s my reading list for 2017.

  1. A Little Leaving – Anne Bennett
  2. Pie n Mash & Prefabs – Norman Jacobs
  3. Solider Spy – Tom Marcus
  4. A Street Car Named Bob – James Bowen
  5. The Mistletoe Seller – Dilly Court
  6. The Christmas Card – Dilly Court
  7. Forget Me Not Child – Anne Bennett
  8. Eve of the Isles – Carol Rivers
  9. The Button Box – Dilly Court
  10. When Breath Becomes Air – Paul Kalanithi
  11. Queen of the Mersey – Maureen Lee
  12. Lizzie of Langley St – Carol Rivers
  13. The Fight for Lizzie Flowers – Carol Rivers
  14. Don’t Ever Tell – Kathy O’Beirne
  15. Christmas to Come – Carol Rivers
  16. Fighting To The End – Jade Goody
  17. The Girl From Seaforth Sands – Katie Flynn
  18. Gypsy Boy – Mikes Walsh

Until I wrote the above list, I hadn’t realised how much I had read last year. You can see who my favourite authors are. I did try some alternative authors last year but I keep going back to my favourites. Let’s see what happens this year.

Weekly Blog No 96 – Life Continues

I thought it’s been a while and I should give you an update and elaborate what I’ve been doing in the mean time. 

I’ve been missing in action for a while now because of the challenges of carcinoid cancer. It’s been an  ongoing obstabcle course and I’ve had to climb over walls, swing on ropes and jump through hoops. Only, my adventure is not the wonderful experience you would imagine. 

My new Family Physician has been excellent and on the ball referring me when there has been concerns and there haven’t been many. I had scans, tests and Specialist appointments. On one appointment my medication intake increased a further 5 different meds due to my symptoms. The medical hamster wheel never stops for me.  

Next week I have an endoscopy and the following week my GA68 cancer scan. My tumour marker blood tests that have always remained normal even though, I’ve had 3 cancer ops. My tumour marker result has done a long jump out of normal range with a personal best and doubled within 6 months. Well done cancer, what are you telling me now.

Here’s comes the honestly part. There has been occasions were I have thought is this my downward spiral. Do I seriously need to get my life in order before I decline anymore. My life was in complete order in Canada but isn’t so complete in the UK. It’s something that I need to address. I have ideas but it needs to be down on paper.  

I’m not the person I was and my life has changed so much. I miss work but I do understand why I can’t work. Furthermore I’m don’t have the freedom I once had but I’m also grateful for the freedom I do have. Going anywhere is a challenge, yet you have to try to get to places if you can and Mr Zebrakat is very supportive and never a whinge is heard.

I’m not a crier as a rule, however I did end up crying to Mr Zebrakat a few weeks ago when nothing would take the pain away. It was a Sunday too, so not everyone was accessible for assistance. On the Monday my butt dart nurse saw I was out of sorts and crossed the procedure line to get me assistance. A box of chocolates is in the waiting for my next visit. Thank you so much to my nurse and her diligence.

You do start to question things, for instance, is this it, or if your deemed to have an extended life, how can you possibly maintain symptoms like this every single day. I now understand why people want to throw in the towel. Trust me it’s very easy to comment on these things, when you haven’t physically experienced it yourself. Therefore please be mindful when discussing people’s health issues. I have personally made comments on people’s health in the past, saying I don’t understand why people don’t try more or I don’t understand why they are doing that blah blah blah. Speak to the person and get their prospective on the situation.   

Yes it’s wonderful having a life but no one wants to be feeling horrible everyday. We have all had a viral infection at some point and you feel so terrible. Imagine that feeling most days, it’s the only way I can explain some of the symptoms/situations. Don’t worry, I’m not giving up and my Specialist is working hard to control my symptoms.Thank you Prof C.  The reality is that I may look ok but truth is my life is tormented by my cancer. 

My priorities have changed in life, what may have been my 1 – 5 year goals have immediately become my current goals. I’ve been fighting this for 4 years on Mothers Days (UK), which is a wonderful achievement. Even longer if you count the years it was growing inside me before being diagnosed. 

I will continue to fight and challenge my body. I will keep reading and thank you to Auntie P for the continous supply of reading material. I will be lost in Victorian times for a while. Thank you to K for keeping me up to date in showbiz gossip.  

The house renovation plans are nearly completed for Local Authority submission, well done Mr Zebrakat. Roll on brick dust. 

The garden is now missing a silver birch tree, conifers and  a vine. Hello, fresly painted bird table and proposed space for veggie boxes.  I have sowed some seeds indoor seeds for bedding plants and veggies. A new skill for me and I’ve been learning from others and a big thank to Lady T for the beginners guide. 

I’ve also being working on Mr Zebrakat family tree and mine at times. His is my priorty, I’ve rechecked the facts that I have gathered to ensure that I’m following the right line. It’s amazing how people attach your family members to thier family tree. Clearly assuming that their family member is married to yours.You can’t make assumptions, you have to get the certificates to double check the info provided is correct. The Scottish certificates tend to give a little more info, like marriage date of parents and addresses making the trial a little easier, although I will be crossing over to Ireland now. I know with my family tree, Ireland is a little harder to trace and I believe a lot of records were destroyed by the British. However on a good note, Mr Zebrakat was able to reconnect with a 1st cousin through my research. #happydays.

Althrough i’m problematic times and I may question things, I’m still proactive in one way or another. I would to thank Mr Zebrakat, my family and friends for keeping me going, you know who you are. #specialpeople. 

Weekly Blog No 92 – Overview of 2016

It’s been a few weeks since I’ve written a blog due to ongoing health issues but here’s an overview for 2016.

UK 

Been back in the UK for over a year now, we’ve got back into the swing of life. I have to admit my heart is still in Canada but I’m glad to be back. I haven’t driven for a year due to my ongoing symptoms, a personal choice but you never lose the skill of driving. Things can be easier in the UK, shops can be reached by foot or local transport. Food shopping can be delivered to your home. Medication can be delivered to your home by pharmaceutical companies. Basically most items can be delivered to your home nowadays by a simple click.

Friends & Family

An enormous thank you to all the lovely people who have been there for me & Mr Zebrakat. Your kindness however small or big, blows my mind and please know that I am truly grateful. I know nowadays I’m not the most proactive friend but if you know me well enough, you know that I care but my illness limits me. Consequently relying on people visiting me if they want too. Thank you for those people who have made that effort, it always brings a smile to my face.

Lottie (dog)

Lottie has settled into her new house, she loves the garden and her local walks. Lottie has clearly adapted to moving and hopefully this will be her last move.

New Home

Well we did it, we bought a home in a lovely town in Northamptonshire. A beautiful town retaining local facilities in walkable distance, which is a rarity these days.  The house needs  some work to meet our standards but we will get there. The construction plans are being drafted to be tweaked. However I was able to have Christmas dinner here for family and it was a lovely day.

Health 

Well what can I say, as time goes by my symptoms seem to progress. Even though I have some symptoms under control, there are more and more creeping upon me. This year, there has definitely been more bad days than good and life without a cocktail of drugs would be unbearable. There has been days were my pain relief has gone out of sequence due to one thing and another, no person wants to live with that pain, it’s insufferable. Let’s hope in 2017 there will be more good days than bad.

Hobbies 

I was trying to concentrate on hobbies last year. Cooking skills are still improving and still learning to try different ingredients. Reading has been non stop, I do love historical fiction. I’ve tried out new authors this year and I will continue that.  A friend bought me an OK Magazine subscription, therefore I’m able to keep up with showbiz gossip. Music, there is not day that goes by without music, love love love music. I also did some online courses when I was well enough to occupy my mind.

Theatre & Movies

I’ve managed a couple of shows and a few films. Attendance is not at peak times and always needs to be planned in one way or another. Going to see a movie is always therapeutic,  it’s  like adding normality to your life.

Overall a successful year and I will look forward to 2017. Freedom is going to be my goal this year. I wish everyone a Happy Healthy New Year.

Weekly Blog No 85 – Cancer Update 

 

AWOL

I seem to have disappeared off radar but I’m very much here dealing with the challenges of health.

I’ve had tests, scans and even seen Specialists. It’s an ongoing cycle, which you learn to adapt too. No one prepares you for a full-time role in the delights of medical facilities. If I had known this was my life plan, I would have done a bit more travelling. I only had one continent to do and it was Australia. Never say never.

During this period of disappearance. I’ve had bed rest and when I am awake I enjoy the pleasure of reading. I’ve read a few books but one in particular got my undivided attention. Mr Zebrakat couldn’t even speak to me when I was reading this book.  Usually i am great at multi tasking, reading, listening to the television or radio and conversing with him. On this occasion bless him, he got nothing. The book was called “Finding Tipperary Mary” by Phyllis Whitsell. You all know I have a passion for Irish stories especially true stories. Thank you Auntie P.

Finding Tipperary Mary

I’ve had some friends over entertaining me. What enjoyment they are, you know who you are. I have to say they are the best medicine, I’m always giggling at something or some memory we had. I am always grateful to the people who put themselves out for me. I know I’m not always the instigator of communication nowadays. As it can be quiet challenging maintaining contact with everyone. I tend to be reactive than proactive. Therefore I do appreciate the people who acknowledge my illness and make the effort to keep up contact. To all those people who put themselves out for me. Thank you.

I know I’m on Facebook but sometimes I am just to tired to respond. I will always respond when I have a spike of energy. Please don’t think I don’t care because I do.

My biggest achievement this month is being able to visit 4 shops. I know that may sound nothing to some people but that is huge for me and without symptoms. The latest tablet increase has made a difference. The only problem is when I experience more freedom I get my back issues.  I recently had an MRI on my spine and even though I’ve had 4 ops, my spine is a complete mess. I am waiting for a Neurologist Appt, there appears to be a waiting list and I may not be seen until Oct. My GP Referral was made in July. I’m back to London for Oncology Ga68 scan at the beginning Oct.

I will continue to do what I can when I can. Whoop whoop to managing another blog.