Sunday, 22 April 2018

#TreatYourself - special offers and discount codes

10% off books at
English Heritage
 
Another month flies by and we're now nearly a third of the way through 2018 already. I can't keep up!
I am on track enough to bring you another quartet of special offers though and am starting this post off with a book sale at English Heritage.

Until the 30th of April, there are two discount codes active for the English Heritage Shop. If you use BOOK4 at the checkout you can get 10% off book purchases over £40 (in a single transaction). And the code POST4 gets you free UK delivery (on spends over £40 again. English Heritage books are, as you'd probably expect, mostly histories. I liked the look of A History Of Britain in 21 Women (£9.99) and Stonehenge: Archaeology For All (£14).

You'll have to be quick to take advantage of the current Ordnance Survey promotions because they end at midnight tomorrow (23rd April). You can get 10% off spends over £25 with the checkout code SAVE10 or there's 15% off spends over £50 with the code SAVE15. Can you guess what the 20% off code is for spends over £75? It's SAVE20 of course! The codes are valid, I believe, across everything in the Ordnance Survey online shop. Now might be a good time to get that new GPS you've been promising yourself?

20% off badges at
Nelly Jane Crafts
 
Nelly Jane Crafts is having a sale on handpainted wooden badges with 20% off across the range. The sale in on until the 18th of May or for as long as stocks last. There are over a dozen different designs. I loved this Panda Pin the best! There's no checkout code to remember - the discount should already be applied.

And a relaxing tea freebie to finish up with. Whittard Of Chelsea are usually good at giving away gifts with purchase and this month is no exception! You can get 2 x 20g black teas and an elegant Pimlico glass teapot with all purchases over £70. Admittedly £70 is quite a lot of tea - so maybe venture into the hot chocolate range while you're there! The checkout code to remember for your tea-and-teapot is TEAPOTLUCK


Friday, 20 April 2018

Devon sunshine in Brixham!

The Dittisham Princess 
Our friends Steve and Frances made a flying 24 hour visit to Torbay this week so we thought we would take advantage of the gorgeous weather and sail across to Brixham for the afternoon. The Western Lady Ferry from Torquay to Brixham is excellent value at just £3 return per person for the 30-40 minute crossing. Yesterday the bay was millpond smooth. It was a little hazy so there weren't the most amazing views out to sea, but we could look all across the bay. The view of Brixham as we approach from the water is one of my favourites anywhere.

Once in Brixham we treated ourselves to a good seafood lunch at the Buller's Arms. The window table gave us a good view of the William of Orange statue apparently waiting at the bus stop for his journey to London!
We shared the delicious Scallops starter between us all and then I had Jacket Potato with Crab. A proper Jacket Potato! The Plaice And Chips and Seafood Tagliatelle were also enjoyed and portions are big so we didn't need dessert.

Brixham 

We had planned to walk up to Berry Head, but lingering too long over lunch meant we only left ourselves time to walk out to the Lido and back. I loved the little Pride In Brixham gardens along the harbour side. The one with the mountain sheep was my favourite. These spaces are a great idea to liven up the walk and showcase the town spirit. The Lido however looked a bit the worse for wear and we wondered if it would be ready in time for its May reopening.

Back in Brixham harbour, we just had time for a local Yarde Farm ice cream before our return ferry. I liked my Cherry Custard one, but Dave was underwhelmed with the non-chunkiness of his Chocolate Chunk flavour!
I got to see that beautiful Brixham view again as we sat facing off the back of the Dittisham Princess as we sailed away.

Brixham 

Thank you to Steve Royston for the photographs in this post. You probably all noticed the higher-than-usual quality!

Monday, 16 April 2018

My Week in Review to the 15th April

Thank you Adrienne! 
I am linking this post up with The Sunday Post at Caffeinated Reviewer.

A day later than usual because yesterday, being the 15th, was time to refresh my Giveaway Linkup. This monthly post showcases all the giveaways I am running alongside ones I've spotted elsewhere. Feel welcome to add your own links too! If you haven't already entered, good prizes at the moment are Two SciFi PBs from K E Lanning which closes on the 19th and my copy of Nervous Conditions by Tsitsi Dangarembga which closes on the 23rd. Don't miss out!

A new blog series started on Tuesday: I'm #ReadingWomen!
And Friday had my Top Ten Etsy Finds which, this month, were all Storage Solutions. You Need this BespOak Interiors bookcase!



I got a lovely book post parcel again this week - two weeks running! - this time courtesy of my sister who sent the three pictured at the top of this post. I realise I am behind the times with not having already embraced The Little Book of Hygge, but now I've read it I love that there's actually a named fashion which suits how I already like to live. My hyggeligt endeavours included reading lots of books while lounging on my vintage chaise longue. I also baked a Banana Cake, made Lentil And Mushroom Veggie Burgers, and made a batch of Chickpea Tofu. And all without emigrating to Copenhagen!

Other super-good news is that our car, whose gearbox has been grumbly and getting worse for months (years!) appears - touch wood - to be fixed at last. Yay and Phew! It was becoming worrying to drive, especially towing the caravan, and we had planned for a worse case of having to buy either a new gearbox or a whole new car. However Nigel at Torquay Transmissions changed all the oil and did his Mechanic Magic and we can now drive up hills without fearing that we might not make it to the top. Important in a town built almost entirely on hills!

Around the blogosphere

Lindsey at Treading My Own Path discusses a plastic-free supermarket aisle where almost everything appears to be packaged in plastic.

Angela at Musings Of A Literary Wanderer asks If It's Hard To Fairly Review A Favourite Author?


Here's what you might have missed across my blogs this week. Click the images to visit the pages ... and don't forget to enter all the Giveaways!

 

Artisan Rainbow

Literary Flits

Stephanie Jane

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Sunday, 15 April 2018

Stephanie Jane's #Giveaway #Linkup

It's time for the third Stephanie Jane's Giveaway Linkup!

A monthly blog feature with a new post and InLinkz widget on the 15th. Add your own blog giveaways and enter everyone else's! The Linkup is 'never-ending' so adding once keeps your Giveaway visible until its closing date and I'll clear out extinct ones each month.

Please start each link with the End Date in British Format (DD/MM).
GC = Gift Card / HB = Hardback Book / INT = International /
PB = Paperback Book / WW = Worldwide

And here's all the Giveaways ... Good luck!


I'd love for you to grab the Linkup Button. Paste the code into your Giveaway page somewhere for everyone to see. The more people we can each bring to these pages, the more will see all our giveaways!




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Friday, 13 April 2018

Top Ten Etsy Finds - Storage Solutions

Elm Tree Bookshelf
by BespOak Interiors
 
A practical Top Ten Etsy Finds this month which was inspired by the gorgeous Elm Tree Bookshelf I am featuring first. It is completely handmade by BespOak Interiors in Cirencester. How I wish I had the space for this 'tree' in my home! It's one of the largest of several BespOak designs and I love the detail of the smaller branches.
Full bodied from the ground up just as you would find with a large old Elm tree. A practical tree with shelf surfaces at all heights makes it ideal for just about any room of the house. This unique oak shelving unit has a segmented trunk and a range of inclined and flat branches meaning it is a great all round practical design.
The Elm Tree Bookshelf is for sale from £776 plus shipping.


Wine Box Bedside Table by Bois Rustique 

For smaller spaces (and budgets!) the Wine Box Bedside Table is created by Bois Rustique in Totnes. They also offer a range of complementary furniture items including a chest of drawers and a TV unit.
Beautiful handmade bedside table using authentic wine crates from a variety of vineyards in France.
The top is solid oak finished with a natural hard wax oil to give durability to the surface. The cabinet sides are made from natural untreated sawn pine.
Bring the vineyards into your home with this stunning one off piece.
The Wine Box Bedside Table is for sale at £139 plus shipping.


Pineapple Hooks by The Foundryman 

I love spotting fun home decor details and these tropical Pineapple Hooks certainly fit the bill. They're made by The Foundryman in Stratford-Upon-Avon.
 You can never have enough pineapple decor in your life. It's here to stay and we now stock 4 different sizes of our best selling pineapple hooks 
Pineapple Hooks are for sale at £5.50 each, plus shipping.


Swing Shelves by luxurygrove

These Swing Shelves made by luxurygrove in Preston are a wonderful idea - especially for those of us who aren't confident about getting traditional shelving put up exactly level!
These are three simple but modern hanging swing style shelves. Perfect for displaying single items or small groups.
The shelves look great hung at different levels to catch your eye. Hand crafted and designed by us.
Swing Shelves are for sale at £22.75 for three, plus shipping


Vintage Traveller Storage Unit by This Quiet Earth 

All kinds of items can be upcycled into stylish storage solutions, but I think my favourite is the Vintage Traveller Storage Unit custom made by This Quiet Earth in Bath.
You are looking at a unique vintage suitcase transformed into a stylish, functional storage unit, perfect for any home.
The idea of the suitcase is to give you extra storage space and create a home for your much loved books, ornaments and possessions. 
The Vintage Traveller is for sale at £50 plus shipping.


Industrial Clothes Rail by V3ry Well Hung 

Also unusual is this Industrial Clothes Rail made to order with reclaimed wood, copper and brass by the wonderfully named V3ry Well Hung in Brighton.
These are hand-made in our workshop and they will take a week to complete ... The customer can select from a dark, natural wood tone or lightly limed effect, but it is the qualities of the reclaimed timber, silvered by the sun that is the key to the finish that can be satin or beeswax.
The Industrial Clothes Rail is for sale at £167 plus shipping.


Rustic Shoe Rack by Applecratescouk 

Applecratescouk in Bournemouth make an array of items from, obviously, apple crates and I particularly like this Rustic Shoe Rack.
Large wooden, apple crate style storage box with long internal shelf which makes them perfect for use as a shoe rack, displays or storage.
Handmade in Dorset from high quality materials. Solid and sturdy construction finished in rustic antique brown.
Truly the best of both worlds with the look and feel of vintage apple crates without the woodworm, rot, dirt and broken bits. Only kiln dried wood is used.
The Shoe Rack is for sale at £19.95 plus shipping.


Ribbon Rack by Oh Sew Twinkle Crafts 

For crafters, this Ribbon Rack handmade by Oh Sew Twinkle Crafts in Leicester is a beautiful idea. I love details like the little feet and the ceramic handle.
I am a home crafter with limited space, so I asked my husband to make me a compact ribbon rack / holder that would fit on the side of my sewing table and have room for lots of ribbon (well ... if you don't ask !)
This beautiful design is what he has produced.
It has two dowel strips with room for up to 30 rolls of crafting ribbon, and two front guide strips so that your ribbon doesn't flap about.
The Ribbon Rack is for sale at £24.50 plus shipping.


Drinks Cabinet by Cambrewood 

Another cleverly upcycled piece is this amazing Drinks Cabinet made to order by Cambrewood in Cambridge.
Handmade from reclaimed boat wood, this solid and robust cabinet has plenty of rustic charm and character.
Looking even better full of drinks and glasses of course! Lots of storage space with drawers, glass holders and solid wood shelving. 
The Drinks Cabinet is for sale at £495 plus shipping.


How To Tell Time by Rustic Retro Furniture 

I'm going to end this selection with a humorous piece - a fun Mug/Glass Rack entitled How To Tell Time! It's made by Rustic Retro Furniture in Chesterfield.
This will make a fun yet practical talking piece and are very popular gifts.
They are handmade using reclaimed wood and come ready to hang in your home.
How To Tell Time is for sale at £25 plus shipping.


I hope you have enjoyed looking through this selection as much as I did curating it. All the links in this post are affiliate links so if you were to click through and make a purchase I would receive a small commission at no extra cost to yourself.

Tuesday, 10 April 2018

#ReadingWomen - April 2018

I caught an interesting Twitter thread on Saturday which got me thinking about how many of the books I choose to read are influenced by the marketing I see for them and, in consequence, how much of my social opinion and beliefs are formed as a result of being effectively force fed those books. As regular Literary Flits visitors will know, I do read a lot of weird and obscure books(!), but I still get everyone-else-is-reading-it-so-I-should-too paranoia. And most of those hyped books fit into a pretty narrow band of social stereotypes. And most of the big budget publicity does go to male-authored books even though more novel readers are women. This MEL Magazine article has an interesting article about male authors now using feminine pen names to try and cash in on that!

I first saw Sara Rees Brennan:
and a reply from Joanne Harris:

So I thought I would start up a post series just focusing on books authored by women. I'm not saying don't read male authors of course, but am trying to do my bit to redress the promotional balance!

I've picked 5 broad categories including books I have read and books other folks recommend. Here are my first five:

Inspirational biography

A biography or autobiography written by a woman and about a woman:

The Book Depository : from £12.18 (HB)
Wordery : from £10.15 (PB)
Waterstones : from £13.99 (PB)
Amazon : from £2.73 (used PB)
Prices and availability may have changed since this post was written

Keeping Hope Alive by Dr Hawa Abdi

For the last twenty years, Dr Hawa Abdi and her daughters have run a refugee camp on their family farm not far from Mogadishu which has grown to shelter 90,000 displaced Somalis: men, women, and children in urgent need of medical attention. As Islamist militia groups have been battling for control of the country creating one of the most dire human rights crises in the world, Dr. Abdi's camp is a beacon of hope for the Somalis, most of whom have no proper access to health care.

Read my Literary Flits review here

5 star favourite

A book to which I awarded 5/5 stars

The Book Depository : from £5.75 (PB)
Wordery : from £6.47 (PB)
Waterstones : from £5.99 (PB)
Amazon : from £1.50 (used PB)
Prices and availability may have changed since this post was written

Uprooted by Naomi Novik

Agnieszka loves her village, set deep in a peaceful valley. But the nearby enchanted forest casts a shadow over her home. Many have been lost to the Wood and none return unchanged. The villagers depend on an ageless wizard, the Dragon, to protect them from the forest's dark magic. However, his help comes at a terrible price. One young village woman must serve him for ten years, leaving all they value behind. Agnieszka fears her dearest friend Kasia will be picked at the next choosing, for she's everything Agnieszka is not - beautiful, graceful and brave. Yet when the Dragon comes, it's not Kasia he takes.


Dave's choice

My OH is almost a voracious a bookworm as me! He's also just as happy to read books written by women as by men which apparently is unusual for a man.

The Book Depository : from £8.46 (PB)
Wordery : from £6.98 (PB)
Waterstones : from £8.99 (PB)
Amazon : from £1.99 (ebook)
Prices and availability may have changed since this post was written

The Words In My Hand by Guinevere Glasfurd

The Words in My Hand is the reimagined true story of Helena Jans, a Dutch maid in 17th century Amsterdam working for an English bookseller. One day a mysterious and reclusive lodger arrives - the Monsieur - who turns out to be René Descartes. At first encounter the maid and the philosopher seem to have little in common, yet Helena yearns for knowledge and literacy - wanting to write so badly that she uses beetroot for ink and her body as paper.
And the philosopher, for all his learning, finds that it is Helena who reveals the surprise in the everyday world that surrounds him, as gradually their relationship deepens in a surprising story of love and learning.

On my bookshelf

A book I've bought, swapped or been gifted and am eagerly awaiting reading

The Book Depository : unavailable
Wordery : unavailable
Waterstones : unavailable
Amazon : from £0.99 (ebook)
Prices and availability may have changed since this post was written

Tipping Point by Terry Tyler

The year is 2024. A new social networking site bursts onto the scene. Private Life promises total privacy, with freebies and financial incentives for all. Across the world, a record number of users sign up.
A deadly virus is discovered in a little known African province, and it's spreading—fast. The UK announces a countrywide vaccination programme. Members of underground group Unicorn believe the disease to be man-made, and that the people are being fed lies driven by a vast conspiracy.

Around the blogosphere

A 5/5 star review from another bookish blog

The Book Depository : from £8.99 (PB)
Wordery : from £7.61 (PB)
Waterstones : from £8.99 (PB)
Amazon : from £4.34 (used PB)
Prices and availability may have changed since this post was written

Wade In The Water: Poems by Tracy K Smith

In Wade in the Water, Tracy K. Smith boldly ties America's contemporary moment both to the nation's fraught founding history and to a sense of the spirit, the everlasting. These are poems of sliding scale: some capture a flicker of song or memory; some collage an array of documents and voices; and some push past the known world into the haunted, the holy. Smith's signature voice-inquisitive, lyrical, and wry-turns over what it means to be a citizen, a mother, and an artist in a culture arbitrated by wealth, men, and violence.


If you've read any of these, pop your thoughts and review links in the Comments. And your suggestions for other #ReadingWomen books are most welcome. Comment them too!

I plan to blog my #Reading Women post on the 10th of each month. Feel welcome to join in on any date! I've even made a badge to wear on your blog :-)




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Sunday, 8 April 2018

My Week in Review to the 8th April

new-to-me handbag 
I am linking this post up with The Sunday Post at Caffeinated Reviewer.

For a week spent mostly intensively eBaying and Freegling from the comfort of my chaise longue(!), I seem to have actually done better getting things than getting rid of things which, on the one hand, is disappointing, but on the hand - I have new stuff to show off!

The lovely handbag pictured right is a £5 new-to-me bargain from a Rowcroft Hospice charity shop. Rowcroft shops are lovely because they have good quality items - I'm not sure if they're just in Torbay though or further afield as well. I'd had my previous handbag 14 years and holes had started wearing through the leather so it's been retired. Fingers crossed this one lasts as long.

Sleep Eye Mask by Poody And Berty 

I received a beautiful soft blue eye mask from Poody And Berty on Friday which ensured me a fabulous night's sleep for what seems like the first time in ages although it isn't really that long. Our caravan has blackout blinds. Our static and our flat do not and I struggle to sleep when there's too much light in the room. If this is something you suffer from too, let me recommend a Poody And Berty Eye Mask! Mine is so comfortable I soon wasn't even really aware of wearing it and it makes the night properly dark!

I was delighted to receive Book Post this week too. It's not practical when we're travelling so my books tend to arrive by email - appreciated of course, but not the same as an actual book in a parcel! I bought Nervous Conditions by Tsitsi Dangarembga which looks like a good read, and I won Silent Victim by Caroline Mitchell from the Dorset Book Detective blog which is well worth a visit if you're not already a regular. You can read DBD's Silent Victim review here.

Book prize from Dorset Book Detective 

On Thursday I stumbled across possibly the best Twitter thread ever which concerned a Northern Ireland library mystery that turns out to be a global grandma conspiracy! It starts here:


Around the blogosphere

Kimberly at Caffeinated Reviewer talks about a great-looking historical novel set in 1918 Philadelphia as the city is decimated by the Spanish Flu epidemic, As Bright As Heaven by Susan Meissner.

Daniela at Nocturnal Devices wrote a thoughtful and sensitive post about books to read during National Child Abuse Prevention Month.

Ronnie at Paradise Found shared a super-intriguing Book Beginning: "I hate First Friday." Recognise it? I didn't but am now intrigued! Find out more here.


Here's what you might have missed on my other blogs this week. Click the images to visit the pages ... and don't forget to enter all the Giveaways!

 

Artisan Rainbow

Literary Flits

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