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Happy Holidays! Wishing everyone a peaceful solstice, a joyful yuletide and a new year full of love luck & laughter. Thanks for your continued support. Lxx

Reviews written

since 28/03/2003


Golden Parasol - Wendy Law-Yone 21/12/2014

The Newspaper Man

What Are The Best And Worst Gifts For Xmas? 20/12/2014

Glad tidings - somewhere in there

What Are The Best And Worst Gifts For Xmas? I am a very lucky human being. Christmas in our house was very much full of lights and sparkle. Ok we griped a bit sometimes too, and there were the bad news years – but mostly I remember good food, and the tree, and the Blue Peter advent crown (no candles), and laughter, and toys and books and games and stories and the occasional party and sometimes snow, and going home from Uni on freezing cold trains, and counting Xmas trees in windows as we drove over to my Uncle's on the pre-xmas visit. I remember buying decorations in the local market, and making our own from last year's cards. Plaster of Paris and glitter. I remember waking up to the smell of turkey roasting. We did Christmas in a bit of an OTT way, that elicited scorn from our higher-minded friends and deep joy for those who genuinely "got it". It was fun and frivolous and if for no other reason, that's why I will always drape my home with tinsel and raise the tree and have fairy lights and send cards (rather than ~ or maybe as well as ~ sending a donation to my favourite charity). I love Christmas… and yes, I love the presents as well. I have had my share of truly naff presents over the years. Things I would never wear, things I would love to wear, but let's face it, look at the shape of me! Things I would never use – a truly expensive make-up palette for such a sloven? Books I've already got ~ or really wouldn’t want to read. I've had Secret Santa presents that look as though they were rescued from the maiden ...

Bitter Wash Road - Garry Disher 20/12/2014

Bitterness Out Back

Bitter Wash Road - Garry Disher Shots fired on Bitter Wash Road, is the call that comes in, three weeks after he arrived. Hirsch is the only cop in town, so obviously it's up to him to try to figure out exactly where ''the tin hut'' might be and discover whether this is just a local looking for rabbit stew or something more sinister. Hirsch, as he likes to be called, Paul Hirschhausen to his mother, but more likely to be called ''cuntstable'' by those officers at the nearest back-up post in Redruth, has absolutely no idea what he's getting into. He's now the humble possessor of a one-man (sorry, single-officer – though to be fair that officer will never be a woman) station in Tiverton, a no-horse-one-street town, in South Australia. Wheat and wool country, three hours north of Adelaide. Neither wheat nor wool are doing too well at the moment, what with the drought and everything. Hirsch is there on what might be thought of as punishment duty. It's the kind of posting no-one volunteers for. Hirsch has narrowly escaped being sent down with the rest of his metropolitan crew, a corrupt bunch who are not yet finished trying to incriminate him as they try to beat their own raps. So that's one section of the force that hates him. The rest just hate him for disloyalty. Dog, and maggot, are the least of the names he gets called. And his reputation has followed him to the back of the beyond. So when he's called out to Bitter Wash Road, finds the road blocked by a fallen tree and is nearly taken out by a ricochet ...

A Most Wanted Man - John le Carré 18/12/2014

Maybe Not Wanted Enough

Windmill Village Hotel, Coventry 01/12/2014

No Windmill, No Village - an ok hotel

Unemployed After 50 22/11/2014

You always have a choice...

Premier Travel Inn London - Tower Bridge, London 26/10/2014

Room at the Inn

Premier Inn Birmingham City Centre, Birmingham 26/10/2014

Another Night, Another Premier

Long Reviews vs Short Reviews 13/10/2014

Let You Entertain Me

The Long Good-bye - Raymond Chandler 12/10/2014

Not So Fond Farewells

Landfall - Helen Gordon 11/10/2014

There's a darkness...

Mercure Brandon Hall Coventry, Brandon 05/10/2014

More Warwickshire than Coventry

Mercure Brandon Hall Coventry, Brandon Commuting between Norwich & Coventry is not a realistic option and given that I'm not about to give up the former for the latter as a full-time home, the only solution is to work from home some of the time and accept frequent business trips to the office. Too frequent, but, hey, I love my job. The upshot of all of this is that I feel as though I live in the Premier Inn on the outskirts of town. I'm not saying that I'm a frequent visitor, but they do apologise if "my" room is not available. ( They decided it was my room, I never actually asked for it ... but I am getting to the point where I feel I should be moving in my own furniture and cuddly toys.) But just occasionally, there are reasons why it turns out not to be the Premier. On the latest occasion it was simply that I was late booking and they were full. So next up, was Brandon Hall. We (the company) use Brandon Hall a lot - it's only a short drive from the office (not so helpful for those of us who don't drive) and does have a spa, gym and pool (essentials for those who are more important than me and just conceivably spend even more time away from home - though I'm not convinced about that last bit). To be fair - once our company rates are taken into account, it isn't always more expensive than the Premier. Sometimes it is, vastly so - you're not going to get a £29 room here - but Premier rates are notoriously variable, so it's worth checking. It's also close enough for us to use for meeting space when the office ...

The Madonnas of Leningrad - Debra Dean 28/09/2014

Beauty Under Siege

Glan Y Mor, Rhosneigr 27/09/2014

Glan Y Mor - Sea Shore retreat

Glan Y Mor, Rhosneigr Where to start? Well, technically I should probably start with why I wanted to come to Anglesey, or maybe with the booking process... but that's all just technicalities. I could start with getting off the train at Rhosneigr station, glad that the sun was shining, and that there was actually a footpath all the way to the village. I could start with the difficulty of finding the cottage... the directions only actually make sense after you've found the place. I did ask a woman walking her dog – but she wasn't local. Then there was a couple – "we only arrived today". Then there was the gent who said he was 'sort of local'. What he meant was that he owned the cottage, but didn't live here full time. All the same he came out barefoot and started walking up the road with me. Didn't really have any more idea than I did, but he pointed me in the right direction. And I got here eventually. But really the place to start isn't with any of that. So ignore it. The place to start is walking into the white walled, white floored, kitchen and thinking: YES! The place to start is wandering around the ground floor, and finding the deck that overlooks the dunes. The place to start is knowing that you're going to come back, even though you've only been here for an hour or two. And of course, I shouldn't post this review until I've booked for next year. THE LIVING ROOM The house fronts directly onto the dunes – whatever road once existed seems to have vanished in the meantime – and the living ...

Daughters of Fire - Barbara Erskine 21/09/2014

Dangers of History

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