Posted in Uncategorized

Top Ten Tuesday: Books That Surprised Me (in a good or bad way)

I discovered this fun blog via Death By Tsundoku Top Ten Tuesday is a meme originated by The Broke and the Bookish now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week the theme is:

This week the theme is: Books That Surprised Me (in a good or bad way)

For this I am going to scroll through my Goodreads Read List and see which ones were surprises for me 🙂

1: Bad way 😦         

Tess of the D’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy

Tess of the D'Urbervilles

Hardy tells the story of Tess Durbeyfield, a beautiful young woman living with her impoverished family in Wessex, the southwestern English county immortalized by Hardy. After the family learns of their connection to the wealthy d’Urbervilles, they send Tess to claim a portion of their fortune.

I didn’t like it at all and I actually had expected to as I usually love classics.  I found Tess to be an idiot and the boys weren’t much better.  I struggled to the end only because I am stubborn and don’t like to leave anything half-finished.

2:  Good Way 🙂         

The Stranger in the Woods: The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit by Michael Finkel

The Stranger in the Woods: The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit
In 1986, a shy and intelligent twenty-year-old named Christopher Knight left his home in Massachusetts, drove to Maine, and disappeared into the forest. He would not have a conversation with another human being until nearly three decades later, when he was arrested for stealing food. Living in a tent even through brutal winters, he had survived by his wits and courage, developing ingenious ways to store edibles and water, and to avoid freezing to death. He broke into nearby cottages for food, clothing, reading material, and other provisions, taking only what he needed but terrifying a community never able to solve the mysterious burglaries. Based on extensive interviews with Knight himself, this is a vividly detailed account of his secluded life–why did he leave? what did he learn?–as well as the challenges he has faced since returning to the world. It is a gripping story of survival that asks fundamental questions about solitude, community, and what makes a good life, and a deeply moving portrait of a man who was determined to live his own way, and succeeded.
I was rather shocked to find I loved this book.  Normally biographies about people and events I’m not supper familiar with don’t hold me to the end and I tag out about midway but this was fascinating.  How he survived and the aftermath was gripping to the end.

3:  Bad Way 😦          

Go Set a Watchman (To Kill a Mockingbird #2) by Harper Lee

Go Set a Watchman
Maycomb, Alabama. Twenty-six-year-old Jean Louise Finch – ‘Scout’ – returns home from New York City to visit her aging father, Atticus. Set against the backdrop of the civil rights tensions and political turmoil that were transforming the South, Jean Louise’s homecoming turns bittersweet when she learns disturbing truths about her close-knit family, the town and the people dearest to her. Memories from her childhood flood back, and her values and assumptions are thrown into doubt. Featuring many of the iconic characters from To Kill a Mockingbird, Go Set a Watchman perfectly captures a young woman, and a world, in a painful yet necessary transition out of the illusions of the past – a journey that can be guided only by one’s conscience.
I was so excited to read this as Mockingbird is one of my all time favourite books and then so disappointed.  Key characters killed off and Atticus behaving in a very un-Atticus way left me sad and disappointed.  I wasn’t expecting everyone to grow up and it all be roses but this side-stepped way too far from where the original story was for me to enjoy it.

4: Good Way 🙂          

Mrs Queen Takes the Train by William Kuhn

Mrs Queen Takes the Train

An absolute delight of a debut novel by William Kuhn—author of Reading Jackie:  Her Autobiography in Books—Mrs Queen Takes the Train wittily imagines the kerfuffle that transpires when a bored Queen Elizabeth strolls out of the palace in search of a little fun, leaving behind a desperate team of courtiers who must find the missing Windsor before a national scandal erupts. Reminiscent of Alan Bennett’s The Uncommon Reader, this lively, wonderfully inventive romp takes readers into the mind of the grand matriarch of Britain’s Royal Family, bringing us an endearing runaway Queen Elizabeth on the town—and leading us behind the Buckingham Palace walls and into the upstairs/downstairs spaces of England’s monarchy.

This came up on a kindle special so I bought it on a whim and then ignored it for ages.  When I finally started reading it I fell in love.  It was a beautiful, light-hearted whimsical read that I would not hesitate to recommend.

5: Bad Way 😦          

The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett

The Uncommon Reader

When her corgis stray into a mobile library parked near Buckingham Palace, the Queen feels duty-bound to borrow a book. Discovering the joy of reading widely (from J. R. Ackerley, Jean Genet, and Ivy Compton-Burnett to the classics) and intelligently, she finds that her view of the world changes dramatically. Abetted in her newfound obsession by Norman, a young man from the royal kitchens, the Queen comes to question the prescribed order of the world and loses patience with the routines of her role as monarch. Her new passion for reading initially alarms the palace staff and soon leads to surprising and very funny consequences for the country at large. 

After reading Mrs Queen Takes the Train I was excited to read another version of the same story.  I was not that 😦 Apparently the Queen, who tends to read things that the average mortal would struggle with, doesn’t know what a lending library is.  If they had given her a couple of trashy romances or the latest top 100 thriller then I probably could have gotten on board with the story but this was not the case and I found myself rather disappointed.

6:  Good Way 🙂          

The Left Hand of God (The Left Hand of God #1) by Paul Hoffman

The Left Hand of God
The Sanctuary of the Redeemers is a place where children endure brutal cruelty and violence in the name of the One True Faith. Lost in the Sanctuary’s huge maze of corridors is a boy. He is strange witty and charming, and violent. But when he opens the wrong door at the wrong time he witnesses an act so horrible he must flee, or die.
This was bought for me by one of my children as a gift and I wasn’t 100% sold that I was going to like it.  The first few pages nearly lost me but the love for my child caused me to continue and I am well pleased I did.  I loved this book and keep meaning to track down the rest of the series.  I would have gotten them the next day but neither had been written when I got this one.

7:  Good Way 🙂

Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

Gone with the Wind
Gone with the Wind is a novel written by Margaret Mitchell, first published in 1936. The story is set in Clayton County, Georgia, and Atlanta during the American Civil War and Reconstruction era. It depicts the struggles of young Scarlett O’Hara, the spoiled daughter of a well-to-do plantation owner, who must use every means at her disposal to claw her way out of the poverty she finds herself in after Sherman’s March to the Sea. A historical novel, the story is a Bildungsroman or coming-of-age story, with the title taken from a poem written by Ernest Dowson.
This sat on my shelf for about 15 years before I convinced myself to pick it up.  I bought it because I love the movie but the size of this novel is rather daunting and I feared that might equal boring . . . but it wasn’t.  I couldn’t put it down once I started and not only was it a great read but I learnt heaps.  I live in a different country so my entire knowledge regarding the civil war in America has been gained via movies and television so finding out a bit more about what happened before, during and after even if it was just one woman’s version.

8: Good Way 🙂

Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult

Nineteen Minutes
Sterling is an ordinary New Hampshire town where nothing ever happens–until the day its complacency is shattered by a school shooting. Josie Cormier, the daughter of the judge sitting on the case, should be the state’s best witness, but she can’t remember what happened before her very own eyes–or can she? As the trial progresses, fault lines between the high school and the adult community begin to show–destroying the closest of friendships and families. Nineteen Minutes asks what it means to be different in our society, who has the right to judge someone else, and whether anyone is ever really who they seem to be.
I think this is my favourite Jodi book.  I fully expected not to like it as I had just read We Need To Talk About Kevin and Sandy Hook had just happened but I was completely engrossed.  As all of Jodi’s books are, it was poignant and thought-provoking and a little confrontational at times.  Very pleased I picked this up.


9: Good Way 🙂

Angels and Demons (Robert Langdon #1) by Dan Brown 

Angels and Demons (Robert Langdon, #1)
 When a world renowned scientist is found brutally murdered in a Swiss research facility, a Harvard professor, Robert Langdon, is summoned to identify the mysterious symbol seared onto the dead man’s chest. His baffling conclusion: it is the work of the Illuminati, a secret brotherhood presumed extinct for nearly four hundred years – reborn to continue their bitter vendetta against their sworn enemy, the Catholic church.

In Rome, the college of cardinals assembles to elect a new pope. Yet somewhere within the walls of the Vatican, an unstoppable bomb of terrifying power relentlessly counts down to oblivion. While the minutes tick away, Langdon joins forces with Vittoria Vetra, a beautiful and mysterious Italian scientist, to decipher the labyrinthine trail of ancient symbols that snakes across Rome to the long-forgotten Illuminati lair – a secret refuge wherein lies the only hope for the Vatican.

But with each revelation comes another twist, another turn in the plot, which leaves Langdon and Vetra reeling and at the mercy of a seemingly invisible enemy…

I only read this because everyone else was reading it.  Yes,sometimes I can be a bit of a sheep.  To my surprise I loved it.  The beginning was a bit slow but wow the second half of that book moved fast!

10: Bad Way 😦

The Da Vinci Code (Robert Langdon #2) by Dan Brown 

The Da Vinci Code (Robert Langdon, #2)
Harvard professor Robert Langdon receives an urgent late-night phone call while on business in Paris: the elderly curator of the Louvre has been brutally murdered inside the museum. Alongside the body, police have found a series of baffling codes. As Langdon and a gifted French cryptologist, Sophie Neveu, begin to sort through the bizarre riddles, they are stunned to find a trail that leads to the works of Leonardo Da Vinci – and suggests the answer to a mystery that stretches deep into the vaults of history.
Sorry but I didn’t like it.  Too much maths and stuff and I got bored.  Much prefered the rest of the series.  If I hadn’t already read the first one I would not have read this.

A week late but there you are 🙂

Ka Kete Ano xxx

Posted in Uncategorized

Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Book Quotes

I discovered this fun blog via Death By Tsundoku Top Ten Tuesday is a meme originated by The Broke and the Bookish now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week the theme is:

This week the theme is: Favourite Book Quotes


I confess I am very late with this one.  Last week was mad with kids to concerts, husbands attempting to severe toes and nana’s turning 90. Should have been posted last week but you know what they say, ‘better late than never’ 😀

1. To Kill a Mockingbird (To Kill a Mockingbird #1)

To Kill a Mockingbird

“As you grow older, you’ll see white men cheat black men every day of your life, but let me tell you something and don’t you forget it—whenever a white man does that to a black man, no matter who he is, how rich he is, or how fine a family he comes from, that white man is trash”
I love this quote although I don’t believe that this just is just biased towards skin toning.  I genuinely belive that this is true no matter who you are cheating.  Anyone who deliberately cheats anyone at all is just trash regardless of their financial circumstances.
Rivals (Rutshire Chronicles #2)
“To bring the balloon of the mind that bellies and drags in the wind, as Yeats had so perfectly put it, into its narrow shed.”
Not even nearly close to a quote from the book that I liked but I am struggling for time so it will do.  Read it yourself if you haven’t already and if you have, read it again.  Loads of belly laughs lie within 😉

3. Carrie

“She did not know if her gift came from the lord of light or of darkness, and now, finally finding that she didn’t care which, she wad overcome with almost indescribable relief, as if a huge weight, long carried, had slipped from her shoulders.”
Ahhh learning to accept oneself.  Such a wonderful feeling before mentally locking down a gym and setting fire to ones peers.

4. Daughter of the Blood (The Black Jewels #1)

Daughter of the Blood (The Black Jewels #1)
“A woman with an education may be able to spend more time sitting in a chair instead of lying on her back. A sound advantage, I should think.”
There is some real truth in that statement.

5. Written in Red (The Others #1)

Written in Red (The Others, #1)
“Whether you’re beaten or pampered, fed the best foods or starved, kept in filth or kept clean, a cage is still a cage.”
Again, there is some real truth in this statement.  Coming from a relationship where I could have anything I wanted as long as it was deemed acceptable by him indoors and I did as I was told this really does ring very true.  A gilded cage is still a cage.

6. Wizard’s First Rule (Sword of Truth #1)

Wizard's First Rule (Sword of Truth, #1)
“There is no such thing as pure good or pure evil, least of all in people. In the best of us there are thoughts or deeds that are wicked, and in the worst of us, at least some virtue. An adversary is not one who does loathsome acts for their own sake. He always has a reason that to him is justification. My cat eats mice. Does that make him bad? I don’t think so, and the cat doesn’t think so, but I would bet the mice have a different opinion.”
Gotta love Zed. Nuttiest wise old guy ever written.
“He was pushing fifty, with a face life had chewed on, and long wisps of graying hair parted low on one side and combed over his balding pate.”
No wonder he lived alone.

8. The Wee Free Men (Discworld #30)

The Wee Free Men (Discworld, #30; Tiffany Aching, #1)
“They can tak’ oour lives but they canna tak’ oour troousers!”

9. Cross Stitch (Outlander #1)

Cross Stitch (Outlander, #1)

“Does it bother you that I’m not a virgin?” He hesitated a moment before answering.
“Well, no,” he said slowly, “so long as it doesna bother you that I am.” He grinned at my drop-jawed expression, and backed toward the door.
“Reckon one of us should know what they’re doing,” he said.

Always a bonus if someones got some idea what they’re doing on a wedding night 😉

Guilty Pleasures (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, #1)
“I sounded like Horton the Elephant. “A person is a person no matter how small.” What the hell was I doing standing in the middle of a cave, in the dark, surrounded by wererats, quoting Dr. Seuss, and trying to kill a one-thousand-year-old vampire?”
It’s line’s like that and you laugh out loud that get you addicted to books 😀
Phew that one was hard work.
Ka Kete Ano xx


Posted in Book, Reading

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Could Re-read Forever

I discovered this fun blog via Death By Tsundoku Top Ten Tuesday is a meme originated by The Broke and the Bookish now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week the theme is: This week the theme is: Books I Could Re-read Forever

I re-read a lot of books. They’re like old friends 🙂 Narrowing it down to my ten favourites is going to be a challenge.

1. To Kill a Mockingbird (To Kill a Mockingbird #1)

To Kill a Mockingbird

I LOVE this book.  I think I’ve read it about 10 times. I was introduced to it when I was at high school and read it under duress because a teacher had picked it and said we had to BUT I loved it 🙂 Randomly I only watched the movie with Gregory Peck for the first time last year. Still love the book better 😉
Rivals (Rutshire Chronicles #2)
I love Jilly Cooper books and have re-read them many times.  If I had to pick a favourite it would be Rivals. Sadly I was disappointed in the latest installment, Mount, but that won’t stop me from reading the next one if there is one.  they’ve been getting a little ‘same old same old’ over the past few books but they are still a good light-hearted read.

3. Carrie

Most definitely my favourite Stephen King.  I re-read this every time I’m sick, which thankfully isn’t a lot but it does mean I have read quite a few times.

4. Daughter of the Blood (The Black Jewels #1)

Daughter of the Blood (The Black Jewels #1)
Anne Bishop would probably be my most favourite author.  I can never wait till the next one comes out and keep an eye on both Amazon and Book Depository for release dates.  I have re-read the first 3 books in the Black Jewels Trilogy, which it was released as originally, at least 6 times.  My daughter also loves this series and I often have to hunt her down if I want to re-read them.

5. Written in Red (The Others #1)

Written in Red (The Others, #1)
I know it’s the same author but I have just finished re-reading this series up to the one being released this year.  I love this series as much as the Black Jewels.

6. Wizard’s First Rule (Sword of Truth #1)

Wizard's First Rule (Sword of Truth, #1)
I’ve read this one 3 times now and still love it.  It grabbed me from the first line way back in the mid 90’s and I still enjoy the series.  Have them all stacked up in the spare bedroom waiting for me to re-start the whole series again 🙂 Might have to wait till the end of the year though, what with the Popsugar challenge and all 😉
Love this series and have re-read several of them over the years 🙂 Have even convinced my husband to read them and he’s only read about 10 books in his entire life.

8. The Wee Free Men (Discworld #30)

The Wee Free Men (Discworld, #30; Tiffany Aching, #1)
Good lord this book makes me laugh.  The rest in the series are also good for hilarity but you just can’t beat the original for belly hurts and eye leakage.  Don’t read in a public place though.  Sometimes the sentences don’t make any sense until you say them out loud and talking to yourself in public is both frowned upon and also a sign of madness.  A great book to re-read whenever life gets sucky.

9. Cross Stitch (Outlander #1)

Cross Stitch (Outlander, #1)

Once again the first book is definitely the best.  Whenever I need a little love I reach for Jamie and Claires story 🙂

10. Guilty Pleasures (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, #1)
by Laurell K. Hamilton

Guilty Pleasures (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, #1)
I have re-read the first few of this series loads of times 🙂 You just can’t beat a story about an ass-kicking zombie raiser that has too many monsters in her life.  Sadly, after about book 7, it all starts to get a little boring but the first few remain some of my favourite books 🙂
Well that’s my list for today.  At least it is while I think about it right now.  What would be on yours?
Ka Kete Ano xx
Posted in Adventure, Life

Swamped is a mild word for this year

Round up of the first 6 weeks of 2018

This year has started with a bang. I ended the year with a hike up to the top of Wairere Falls.  This is the tallest waterfall in New Zealand at 150m high.  It’s a 5km round trip and the stairs are bloody horrible but the view is spectacular 🙂


We ran straight into the New Years Day with a fantastic breakfast with some fabulous friends.26055911_10155478208429234_3577573412872213921_nA couple of days later my darling husband and  I decided to go for a wee hike out the back of Waihi.


The weekend bought about the first event of the season with a 5km round the mount run at 2pm on a day that was around 30 degrees.  Way too hot for running.  My friend D did it in just over 25 minutes and then had enough time to make 2 coffees while waiting for me to finish 😉 I’m not fast but I’m doing it 😀


Then it cycloned.  The sea was rather scary.


We bought ourselves some new push bikes and as soon as the weather cleared up we took our inaugural ride. 20km around 😀


Sadly this was the end of our summer holiday and it was back to work as well as back into the gym.  Nearly died in the heat.



D immediately dragged us back up the falls after work.  Made for rather a long day but I just love that view 🙂


Two weeks in we had a mini break for a Roger Waters concert.  It was on a Wednesday night in Auckland so I took the rest of the week off. Our hotel had the scariest stairwell.  We were on the top at floor 38.  We visited the Banksy exhibition the next day before heading home.


This was followed on the Saturday with the Taupo Summer Tour Concert featuring Colin Hay (Men at Work), Alanis Morissette and The Orchestra (ELO).  What a fantastic, although extremely hot, day.  Gates opened at 9 and the concert ended at 6.  Seriously going to the one next year if the line ups good 😀


While I was away the world went mental and we discovered that it’s the hottest summer on record.  This meant that when I returned to work on Monday I had 30 inquires requiring my visit.  This was quickly followed by another 10 that morning and it hasn’t slowed down yet.  12 hour days are normal and now I’m doing all my paper work on the weekend.  Still mustn’t complain.  It’s what keeps me employed 🙂

AND just because I wasn’t busy enough I committed to a 6 week challenge at the gym which is taking up an hour and a half of my time each day BUT ITS WORKING! We are 3.5 weeks in and for the first time in 3 years my boobs are bigger than my belly! I will get into all that in another post at the end of the challenge 🙂 Wish me luck because wow todays workout was tough 😉

Ka Kete Ano xx


Posted in Book, Reading

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I’ve Decided I’m No Longer Interested in Reading

Because I obviously don’t have enough to do everyday I got all excited and decided to add to my weekly list 😉

I discovered this fun blog via Death By Tsundoku Top Ten Tuesday is a meme originated by The Broke and the Bookish now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week the theme is: This week the theme is: Books I’ve Decided I’m No Longer Reading.

Could I have picked a harder topic for my first one? I think not haha 😉 But here we go

All titles below are links to the book series Goodreads page.

1. The Lord of the Rings (The Lord of the Rings #1-3)

The Lord of the Rings (The Lord of the Rings, #1-3)

I’m sorry.  I know this is a classic but I just can’t do it.  I have tried several times and have never gotten past the Green Man.  I fall asleep less than a page in every time and, as I have the trilogy in one large thick volume, the book near knocks me out when it hits me in the face.  I don’t know why I am apparently the only person in the world that can’t read and love this book but I am.

2. Cerulean Sins (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter #11)

Cerulean Sins (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, #11)
I’ve read all of the Anita Blake series up to this one.  The first few were amazing, fun and thrilling but then it all go complicated and, like all good relationships, has been ruined by too much sex with too many other people.  Anita has gone from being a kick ass zombie raising monster killer to being someone who can’t think past their belt buckle and I just can’t bring myself to pick up the rest of this series at this time.

3. Tricky Twenty-Two (Stephanie Plum #22)

Tricky Twenty-Two (Stephanie Plum, #22)
Again, I have read this series up until this one but I’m bored.  I’ve reached a point where I feel Stephanie needs to get her shit together and doing dumb stuff without thought of consequence is becoming annoying.

4. Gerald’s Game

Gerald's Game
I don’t know why I couldn’t do this one because I love Stephen King and have read most of his.  The guess the premise just doesn’t interest me.  I did watch the movie on Netflix the other night as I was home alone and thought I would give it a go.  It confirmed for me that I really don’t need to read this one.

5. The Picture of Dorian Gray

The Picture of Dorian Gray
I have to admit that this one is on the list because of feed back from a friend.  Over the past few years I have been trying to read a lot of the classic’s.  I was bought up in a house where both my parents read extensively but only of modern literature.  For some reason this gave me a thirst for the classics but its only over the past few years that I have been dipping my toe in and reading them.  This one was on the list till a friend told me she hated it. Has totally put me off of picking it up.

6. My Sister’s Keeper

My Sister's Keeper
The premise behind this book just makes me too angry and I can’t bring myself to read it although I have loved several of Jodi’s books in the past.

7. Solomon’s Song (The Potato Factory #3)

Solomon's Song
Loved the Potato Factory.  Tolerated Tommo & Hawk.  Solomon’s Song is a book too far with a story that should have ended before now.  Started it but couldn’t finish.

8. Go Ask Alice

byBeatrice Sparks(as “Anonymous”), Anonymous
Go Ask Alice
I feel a bit funny putting this one on the list because I have read it many times.  I loved this book as a teenager when it was recommended by my 4th form English teacher.  It was said to be a true story published with the consent of Alice’s father.  I found out recently that it was not.  It’s a total work of Fiction.  Portraying it as a true story is in fact a lie.  This has destroyed the book for me and now I think about all the bits that seemed a little far-fetched and realise that it’s because they are.  I feel betrayed by this book now and probably will never read it again.

9. The Fiery Cross (Outlander #5)

The Fiery Cross (Outlander, #5)
I am currently a bit bored with Jamie & Claire.  I will probably pick this series up and try again at some time in the future but for now I have put this series down halfway through this book.

10. The Pillars of Creation (Sword of Truth #7)

The Pillars of Creation (Sword of Truth, #7)
For this I feel the same as number 9 on this list.  I will probably pick this series up again some time in the future but for now its in the one day pile.
So what do you think of my list? What would be on yours?
Ka Kete Ano xx
Posted in Uncategorized

The Ocean Hates Me


I appear to have taken on way too much this year.  Turns out I haven’t read hardly any blogs since mid January (took me all day today to catch up on a months worth!) and, worst yet, I have only written 4 myself (and they were mostly in the same week). The next few will be catch-ups so I apologise in advance if I bore you.

January was the hottest it has ever been in little ole NZ.  We have spent a lot of time swimming in the ocean and outdoors.  Turns out the sea hates me and keeps throwing its creatures at me.

First proof: I had a 20 cm Kahawai swim past me in a wave.  I ~excuse my language~ shat and left the ocean.


Second proof: Day after fishy surprise we are swimming away and a Shag popped up right beside me, looked at me, opened it’s mouth and went BEGARK very loudly. I shat and left the ocean.


Third proof: Day after feathered surprise we are swimming away and my hand starts to sting.  Lift it out of the water and find Blue Bottle (Portuguese man o’ war) jellyfish tendrils attached.  Thank god it was missing the rest of the jellyfish.  I shat and left the ocean to go home and hop about in itchy screechy pain for several hours.  FYI if are ever in this position just go stand in a hot shower.  Its the only thing that helps.


Fourth proof: Back in the water swimming away and nothing bad happens YAY then we get home to find I am COVERED in bites and have been attached by the Mount Mauler FYI: NOTHING helps for these.  You just scratch, put non working lotions and potions on hoping that layering may have an effect and await the end of the itch, approximately 3 days.  Doesn’t sound too bad does it, 3 days? I had over 50 of the bites and turns out sweat from incredibly humid nights does not diminish itch.  I was rather a Crabby Pattie by day 2.  You don’t want to know about day 3.

Fifth proof: Turns out Jellyfish stings are the gift that keeps on giving.  2 weeks after initial sting it flared up an itch lumpy weird mess.  Who knew that was a thing

When an itchy rash occurs several days to weeks after a sting, the rash may mean a delayed skin reaction has occurred. A delayed reaction can occur many times over the course of 1 to 2 months following a sting. You may have a fever, weakness, or joint stiffness or swelling. Medical treatment may ease the discomfort and prevent complications from a delayed reaction.

Sixth proof: Swimming away and I look down into the beautiful clear water to see a large crab with his nippers raised staring back at me.


I shat and left the ocean.

Ka Kete Ano xx

Posted in Uncategorized

Crafty Bitches January 2018

After a wee seasonal break we are back.  Unfortunately we live in a country that puts all of its public holidays together in one spot so only some of us have made it back thus far but we are working on this 😉 In attendance were Toni & Ralph, Melodie, Amy & Brett and their 6 month old snuggle butt Ben.

The food theme for the evening was Australia as my husband wanted to use the BBQ.  Great in theory but bloody hard to execute when they eat pretty much what we do.  We did our best however with fairly good results.

The tummies were full, the pav was divine and the host family ate leftovers for 3 days.

The highlight of the meeting was the cuddles from our wee Ben.  I’m pretty sure he’s the most popular member of our group.


Mel kicked of the show and tell with her latest WIP.  She is crocheting a pashmina and has just started so not much to show but a good start has been made and we look forward to seeing it grow.


Annnnnnddddd that’s where show and tell stopped.  Toni got sidetracked playing with the baby and Amy left hers at home so the following photo’s have been taken from the general updates on our page.


Doctor Who scarf complete with reluctant male model.  Tiki which was a gift for a friend.


Toy for Ben

26166797_10155692449745081_6610720819119778144_n - Copy

There was also supposed to be an update on the cross stitch but as it was left at home we will await its return in February.

Updates via the FB page are as follows:



And that rounds up our month 🙂

Ka Kete Ano xx

Posted in Uncategorized

Our house changed colour!

Our house was dark beige when we bought it and has remained that way for the past 7 years of our ownership.

Anyone that has met us knows that we are the complete opposite of beige people but as it was fairly recently painted there was no reason to change it.

Until now that is 🙂 I’ve gone for something a little dramatic but not over the top 🙂 Tell me what you think 🙂

This is the befores

And here we have the afters 😀

Not only that but my darling husband finally finished the fence he started November 2016 🙂

Now I get to do the gardens 😀

Ka Kete Ano xx

Posted in Book, Reading

Popsugar 2018 Reading Challenge – January Update

I’m off to a good start 🙂 I only got one book for Christmas this year so I saved it till January 1 and read it that morning 😉


Since reading this I have made several of the recipes and its a winner 🙂 Definitely recommend the purchase 🙂

Also started on the 1st was this little beauty 🙂

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Millennium, #1)

COULD NOT PUT IT DOWN! I actually finished this on the 7th and have begged the rest of the series off my neighbour.
As my neighbour was on holiday I had to wait till he got back before getting the continuation of the series so I read this one in the interim.

The Uncommon Reader

Its a short story which was good as I found it rather difficult to find believable.  To believe that the Queen has never really read a book or understood what a library was for is asinine. To believe that she would put aside her duties and public for the sake of a book is even stupider let alone that the writer wanted you to believe that the royal staff would get away with hiding books to make her deal with her public and duties. Mind you, it didn’t help that Norman picked obscure books that you would not hand to a novice reader.

Once you got past that it wasn’t a bad read but it will not be appearing on the highlights list at the end of the year.

There have been a couple of edits to the expected read list and a few more possibly pending as I get excited about different books 🙂 I will do a comparison list at the end of the year to see how much changed 🙂

All in all I think that is a pretty good start to year for this challenge.  I’m still not 100% confident that we will get through the whole thing but am going to give it a good try 🙂

2018 Popsugar Reading Challenge

1. A book made into a movie you’ve already seen The Woman in Black
2. True Crime Dirty Work
3. The next book in a series you started The Girl Who Played with Fire
4. A book involving a heist The Hot Rock
5. Nordic noir The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Completed 7 Jan 2018
6. A novel based on a real person Florence Foster Jenkins
7. A book set in a country that fascinates you River God
8. A book with a time of day in the title I Shall Wear Midnight
9. A book about a villain or antihero A Clockwork Orange
10. A book about death or grief The Fault in Our Stars
11. A book with a female author who uses a male pseudonym The Cuckoo’s Calling
12. A book with an LGBTQ+ protagonist This is How It Always Is
13. A book that is also a stage play or musical Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West
14. A book by an author of a different ethnicity than you Chinese Cinderella: The True Story of an Unwanted Daughter
15. A book about feminism Jane Eyre
16. A book about mental health Sybil: The Classic True Story of a Woman Possessed by Sixteen Personalities
17. A book you borrowed or that was given to you as a gift Eat Completed 1 Jan 2018
18. A book by two authors Sleeping Beauties
19. A book about or involving a sport Riders
20. A book by a local author The Halfmen of O
21. A book with your favorite color in the title Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe
22. A book with alliteration in the title Déjà Dead
23. A book about time travel The Time Traveler’s Wife
24. A book with a weather element in the title Night of the Twisters
25. A book set at sea And the Band Played On: The Titanic Violinist & the Glovemaker: A True Story of Love, Loss & Betrayal
26. A book with an animal in the title Chicken Soup for the Soul: What I Learned from the Cat: 101 Stories about Life, Love, and Lessons
27. A book set on a different planet The Gunslinger
28. A book with song lyrics in the titleYou Belong To Me
29. A book about or set on Halloween Dark Harvest
30. A book with characters who are twins The Thirteenth Tale
31. A book mentioned in another book I will pick the first book that is mentioned in any of my books 🙂
32. A book from a celebrity book club The Rules of Magic
33. A childhood classic you’ve never read Charlotte’s Web
34. A book that’s published in 2018 Anne Bishop
35. A past Goodreads Choice Awards winner Gone Girl
36. A book set in the decade you were born Go Ask Alice
37. A book you meant to read in 2017 but didn’t get to Bridget Jones’s Diary
38. A book with an ugly cover Need to look at some covers
39. A book that involves a bookstore or library The Uncommon Reader Completed 12 Jan 2018
40. Your favorite prompt from the 2015, 2016, or 2017 POPSUGAR Reading Challenges 2015-A book that has become a movie The Princess Bride
2018 Popsugar Advanced Reading Challenge
1. A bestseller from the year you graduated high school The Silence of the Lambs
2. A cyberpunk book Cinder
3. A book that was being read by a stranger in a public place Need to see someone reading 🙂
4. A book tied to your ancestry The Irish Princess
5. A book with a fruit or vegetable in the title What’s Eating Gilbert Grape
6. An allegory Jonathan Livingston Seagull
7. A book by an author with the same first or last name as you Beloved
8. A microhistory Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory
9. A book about a problem facing society today The Hate U Give
10. A book recommended by someone else taking the POPSUGAR Reading Challenge Water for Elephants
Ka Kete Ano
Posted in craft, cross stitch


My writing in the later part of last year pretty much went to hell.  I had so much going on.  I barely made it to the gym even which is weird for me. This was me and my friend Robert leaving work on Christmas Eve as I went on well needed leave until January 8.



Randomly the only thing I was on top of was Christmas.  I eased into the season this year with a relaxed mind and a happy heart.  I can’t remember the last time that happened.

Christmas Eve looked like this in our house.



Under that tree is, of course, the handmade gifts are under there also.  I was pretty proud of them this year 🙂

Oldest daughter is going through her hippy phase and wanted something pretty, feminine and also maybe something to do with nature.  I found the bit of drift wood when out walking along the beach way back in July or August and had it tucked away.


She was super excited when she opened it and we had to hang it that day 🙂

Our youngest daughter is extremely into 21 Pilots so I made her this:


Middle daughter is going through a painful stage and I have absolutely no idea what to make for her this year so she got this:


Boys are always hard to make stuff for so after and entire year of having no idea what to do this time our son got these to go with his new home.

Then there was my lovely daughter in law and awesome trainer.

I made them fairy jars only they went COMPLETELY wrong and you couldn’t see through them in the slightest.  I was so disappointed! Rather than sit down and cry I added some pretties to them, stuck a couple of candles in them an voila, we have hanging candle lanterns.


I will be trying that fairy lantern idea again at some stage in 2018.

So that is my crafting round-up for Christmas.  Hope everyone had a fantastic break.

Ka Kete Ano xxx