Thursday, 27 March 2014

March book club review

The book for this month was Island Wife by Judy Fairbairns, a true story told by the author about her life living on a remote Scottish island.

The story tells how Judy moved with her new husband to this wild island & how she raised their five children whilst learning to be a hotelier, looking after livestock, running a recording studio & dealing with her husband's whale-watching business.

I loved the romantic vision of the island & how the kids had an old-fashioned childhood with no tv or computer games, just themselves & the surrounding nature to amuse them - all very Famous Five in fact!  But I quickly became very frustrated at how she seemed to not be appreciated by her husband of family & was always being put-upon.  But equally, I was annoyed at how much of a push-over she seemed to be - I wanted to scream at her "just tell him to sod off & do it himself!"

Eventually she does breakdown & she runs away from the island & her husband but after he realises how unhappy she's been & they begin to talk again, she moves back but this time the kids are grown up & she has her own life to start living.

It certainly wasn't the best book I've ever read but I really enjoyed it nonetheless , well worth a read.  Next month we have King Lear lined up, which I have no inclination to read whatsoever but I will persevere!!

Amazing Marrakech ~ part 2!

I've spoken before on a blog post about my need  for visiting Marrakech (that'll be like my need for new shoes more often than is necessary, ahem ahem!!) & it looks like it may be finally happening, arrrgghhh!!

You may know from my previous blog posts that myself & 2 friends have spent months designing a new library for my son's primary school & we mentioned that we should treat ourselves now it's all finished - you know, a well-deserved pat on the back sort of thing!  It started out as having a lunch out, then a posh night out & then after getting an email from Travelzoo the other day with some amazing deals on it, we all thought sod it, we should have a girlie weekend away instead!

So that's what we're doing.  Come September, the 3 of us & another friend are going to escape the constant laundry, cooking, housework & cries of "muuuuuuuum" etc & just enjoy a weekend of sun, shopping & souks!  And maybe a camel ride thrown in for good measure!  Watch this space - I feel there will be Marrakech planning posts aplenty coming up.......

Library overhaul ~ the reveal!!

You might recall my blog post back in November about myself & two other mums from my son's primary school doing up our school library.  Well after months of hard work, completely redecorating & designing the two rooms we were given to use & sifting through & cataloging over 3000 books, we finally had our grand opening a week ago!!

We were really nervous as we wanted the kids to love it but we had nothing to worry about as they all think it's amazing!!  We're really proud of what we achieved with very little money - and a lot of imagination! - so I thought I'd share some before & after photos (taken from roughly the same viewpoint) with you all!

I'm soooo happy with how my Gruffalo wall display turned out.  I said from the start that I wanted to do one as I just adore The Gruffalo book but I then worried that I wouldn't be able to do it as I'm really not an artistic person!  But I don't think I did too badly - and I even managed to get my real branch hanging into the room too although the photo doesn't show the twinkly fairy lights we hung from it!!

Hopefully we've given the kids a really inspiring & comfortable library & music room to use rather than 2 bookshelves in a corridor like they had before!  We now just have to train up the P6 & P7s to be Junior Librarians so they can run the library themselves (with the occasional supervision from us!)

So that's what's been taking up my time for the last 3 months as we've been in the school working pretty much every day since January!!  I feel a bit lost now though & need a new project to do as I've got the decorating & design bug again now.  Actually, there's a blank corridor in the school that's crying out for a huge mural........!

Saturday, 8 March 2014

February book club review

A member of our book club mentioned at January's meeting that during the month of February, there was going to be a literary festival at Pitlochry Festival Theatre.  After looking at the dates & finding out which would be a suitable day for everyone to attend, we chose Saturday 22nd February & one of the guest speakers was to be the tv broadcaster & writer,  Sally Magnusson.  She was going to be talking about her new book Where Memories Go, her story of her beloved mother's demise due to dementia.

Unfortunately, I never got to read the book before we went as the library didn't get it in time but the talk she gave was thoroughly moving, heartbreaking at some times, uplifting & humourous at others & we all really enjoyed it.  She's understandably really passionate about the research into dementia & the care given to sufferers, mentioning how important music can be to them, how it can ground them.  She went on to set up her own charity Playlist for Life which encourages families & caregivers of a person with dementia to create a playlist of meaningful music on an iPod which can be listened to any time, day or night whether in the first or later stages of the disease.

I will read the book at some point even though I'll find it an extremely difficult read due to the fact my own grandmother passed away with dementia but I do want to have a better understanding of this horrid disease that robs loved ones of their memories.

Urban Decay ~ Basics palette

Seeing as everybody & their dog seem to have the Urban Decay Basics palette, I thought it was about time I joined the party.  Actually, this was one of my Christmas gifts but I only got around to trying it for the first time a month ago... whoops!!

This is the smallest of the Urban Decay palettes & costs £22 in Debenhams.  The casing itself has a slightly rubberised finish to it which I love as it doesn't feel like it's going to slip out of your hands any time soon & the mirror is a great addition for travelling because let's be honest here, this is THE most perfect size for taking on holidays.

Unlike the other UD palettes, this contains mostly matte colours, & only one shimmer (Venus), again which suits me & my old(ish!), crêpey eyelids down to the ground!  My daughter told me to try her Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion with it too & I can't believe the difference it made to the (already great) application & longevity of the shadows.

Using my brushes from ELF (which are fantastic, btw!), they applied like a dream & felt like velvet on my eyelids.  They were really blendable & I'm not joking, my makeup did not budge a millimetre in the 7 hours I was wearing it!  However, I'm not doing any swatches on here because, quite frankly, you can go onto any beauty blog or Youtube beauty video & see them reviewed & they will look a million times better than on my eyelids - trust me!! 

So to summerise the Urban Decay Basics palette, no creasing, no smudging, no fading, what's not to love about it?

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