This and That Thursday

Hello!

I hope everyone is well and having a good week so far. We are still trying to go on plenty of adventures whilst the weather is still decent. Here are our most recent adventures.

Ludlow Castle and Ludlow

We love visiting Ludlow but haven’t been for quite a long time due to covid so it was really nice to go back. We spent most of the day going around the castle but we also found an amazing little music shop where I bought a lot of music books. I did go around a bookshop but i just didn’t find a book that really interested me.

Chirk Castle

We have both been to Chirk Castle before but neither of us could remember much of it so we decided to go for another visit and I am so glad we did because it is such a wonderful place and has the biggest Grandfather clock we have ever seen.

Warner Brother Harry Potter Studio Tour

It was my husbands birthday yesterday and he asked to go to the Harry Potter Studio tour for his birthday, so yesterday we spent a wonderful day going around the tour. It was really good to see the new exhibits in the back lot and have a go at pulling out a Mandrake.

Hughenden Manor

We spent the night away last night so on the way home today we visited a new National Trust property for us, Hughenden Manor. Hughenden Manor was the home of Benjamin Disraeli and it had the most amazing library, although smaller than some of the libraries I have seen in National Trust properties I just loved it, it was so cozy and well organised. I could happily have spent all day in that room.

Hopefully the adventures continue.

Happy Reading

Etsy

If you enjoy reading my blog and would like to make a donation I would be very grateful. Thank you

This and That Thursday

Hello!

I hope everyone is well.

I thought it was time for another This and That Thursday because I have been quite busy going on adventures recently.

Norfolk

Just recently I went to Norfolk where my best friend lives to surprise her for her birthday. The surprise went really well and we had a really great time. We ate some lovely food and visited a lovely National Trust property called Felbrigg Hall. It was a wonderful weekend away and it was so good to spend time with friends.

Afternoon Tea

My husband and myself went to try afternoon tea at our local Golf club. We had never been before but thought as it was the holidays we would treat ourselves. We really enjoyed it and have also been for dinner there as well.

Powis Castle

Powis Castle is a bit of a distance for us but we had a rare Sunday off together so we thought we would set off earlier and go to a National Trust place further afield. We enjoyed the castle so much that we went around twice and this also helped us avoid the rain.

Witley Court

We are also members of the English Heritage but we haven’t used our membership this year so we decided to remedy the situation and visit Witley Court. I love Witley Court but I do find it depressing. The house was clearly a gorgeous house and would have been wonderful to see before it was burned down. However, walking around the ruins you get the sense of the grandeur but also sadness that so little remains.

Wightwick Manor

Wightwick Manor is one of my favourite National Trust places and one that is very local to us. I love the design of Wightwick and the fact that in comparison to most National Trust properties it is relatively new. The house is so eccentric and always fills me full of wonder. It is also has some beautiful artwork in and a very nice library.

So there are some of my adventures. I am going on another adventure tomorrow all being well so I am hoping it doesn’t rain.

What adventures have you been on recently?

Happy Reading

Etsy

If you enjoy reading my blog and would like to make a donation I would be very grateful. Thank you

This and That Thursday

Hello!

I hope everyone is having a good week so far. I started yet another book today. I now have four books on the go which is feeling very odd and I definitely prefer reading one book at a time but I just can’t seem to settle at the moment.

I have been having some adventures outside of books though, so here they are.

Lord of the Rings Conqueror Challenge

We are still walking and trying to complete our Lord of the Rings Challenge. We are still on the first medal (there are 5) but we have now reached the 40% mark of that medal. Who knew it would take so long to get to Bree!

RAF Museum Cosford

I had an unexpected free Monday a couple of weeks ago so we decided to go to and see some antique planes. I always love visiting but I always feel a little sad at seeing all these beautiful planes which will never fly again. This is one of my favourite planes.

Afternoon Tea

It was my Mom’s birthday last week so we took my parents out to an amazing afternoon tea at Stanbrook Abbey. The food and service was absolutely brilliant and the venue itself was incredible. Definitely worth a wander around.

Attingham Park

Today we took advantage of the beautiful weather and went on a National Trust outing. Sadly, we were not able to go around the house but were allowed to go for a wander around the basement. Thankfully, the grounds at Attingham are beautiful so we did lots of walking and investigating. There was also a huge second hand book shop where we found a holiday guide for our next holiday.

So there are my recent adventures, making the most of days off.

Happy Adventuring.

If you enjoy reading my blog and would like to make a donation I would be very grateful. Thank you

This and That Thursday

Hello!

I hope everyone is well and looking forward to Easter with all the yummy goodies that come with Easter. I am particularly enjoying the Marmite and Cheese Hot Cross Buns by Marks and Spencers, my husband is horrified.

Anyway, here is what I have been up to recently.

Adventures

I met up with my best friend last week which was wonderful. This meet up meant lots of yummy pizza and cake and spending far too much money in Waterstones. The weather was terrible but that just meant more time sheltering in the book shop.

Walking

For Lent my husband and myself have been trying to do more walking. Our day off from walking is Sunday but otherwise we put our walking boots on and off we go. Most of the walks have been local which has been lovely because we get to say hello to the local horses and lambs. We have also gone to different locations for a change as well and one of these was a Gruffalo walk which was very exciting.

Yummy Lunch and Pipe Organ Builders

My husband and myself are both church organists and this week we had an opportunity to go around an organ builders which I must admit was a bit worried about but it was very interesting. Before we went though we fortified ourselves by going to lunch at a local french restaurant and i had two of my all time favourite dishes, French onion soup followed by Mussels and fries.

I have more adventures planned for next week as I have the week off from teaching so I plan on making the most of the free time.

Happy Reading

If you enjoy reading my blog and would like to make a donation I would be very grateful. Thank you

This and That Thursday

Hello

Over the last few weeks we have been trying to get some adventures in before Christmas. Christmas is always a busy time for us work wise so it is always nice to have a little break before the madness starts.

Lantern Show

We went to a lantern show near us which was absolutely amazing and great fun.

Carol Train

We went with family on a steam train for a Christmas evening which involved carol singing, mulled wine, Christmas decorations and festive fun. It was really nice to spend time with family and I love going on a steam train.

Bath

We usually go to Bath over the New Year but because of work commitments it wasn’t possible this time so we went this week instead. I love Bath and I really missed not going last year. I was really happy to visit Toppings’ new location and to visit the new Persephone Books that has opened. I also visited Mr B’s Emporium which has really changed since we last saw it. It wasn’t all bookshops though, we also went to the Rossetti exhibition at the Holburne Museum and the Fashion Museum in the Assembly Rooms. I really did not want to leave but I have a big list of places I want to visit next.

The rest of our time has been taken up with Christmas decorations and work. Here are a few snaps of the Christmas decorations.

Happy Reading

If you enjoy reading my blog and would like to make a donation I would be very grateful. Thank you

Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir (Review)

Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir

Blurb

A lone astronaut.

An impossible mission.

An ally he never imagined.

Ryland Grace is the sole survivor on a desperate, last-chance mission – and if he fails, humanity and the earth itself will perish.

Except that right now, he doesn’t know that. He can’t even remember his own name, let alone the nature of his assignment or how to complete it.

All he knows is that he’s been asleep for a very, very long time. And he’s just been awakened to find himself millions of miles from home, with nothing but two corpses for company.

His crew mates dead, his memories fuzzily returning, Ryland realizes that an impossible task now confronts him. Hurtling through space on this tiny ship, it’s up to him to puzzle out an impossible scientific mystery-and conquer an extinction-level threat to our species.

And with the clock ticking down and the nearest human being light-years away, he’s got to do it all alone.

Or does he?

Review

I have finally got around to reading this as I let my husband read it first. I was so excited to read this as I absolutely love The Martian and have read it more than once as I just love the humour in the book.

I love how this story begins because we as the reader know exactly as much as Ryland Grace and we start to get all the facts as Grace finds them out or remembers them himself. You also soon realise that Grace is quite amusing and the humour reminds me a lot of Whatney from The Martian. This book made me laugh a great deal I must admit. I also loved how Grace names everything. I also name everything; my printer at university was called Vinnie. 

Stratt is a scary character but a woman of power and I do find her highly amusing and intimidating. She stands no messing and will do anything and everything to make sure Project Hail Mary is a success. I also really like how Stratt and Grace interact and what other people think of their relationship. 

My favourite character is Grace’s ally Rocky. I won’t say much about Rocky as I don’t want to spoil it for anyone but Rocky is adorable and I think he is wonderful and funny. He really is a fascinating character and I would happily read another book all about Rocky. He is extremely clever and can build or fix anything. 

The book has diagrams of the space ship at the beginning of the book and this is really helpful for understanding certain things that happen in the book. I also really enjoyed the science experiments in this book and that Weir was not afraid to give all the details in the book rather than skipping over the details. This is a really good science fiction novel and I couldn’t put it down. I give this book 5 out of 5 Dragons.

🐲🐲🐲🐲🐲

Purchase Links

Book Depository | Foyles | Waterstones | Wordery

(All purchases made using one of the above affiliate links gives a small percentage of money to myself with no extra cost to yourself. All proceeds go towards the upkeep of this blog. Thank you ever so much, your support is gratefully received.)

About the author

Andy Weir built a career as a software engineer until the success of his first published novel, The Martian, allowed him to live out his dream of writing full time. He is a lifelong space nerd and a devoted hobbyist of subjects such as relativistic physics, orbital mechanics, and the history of manned spaceflight. He also mixes a mean cocktail. He lives in California.

Have you read this book? I would love to hear your thoughts, please drop me a comment.

If you enjoy reading my blog and would like to make a donation I would be very grateful. Thank you

This and That Thursday

Hello!

I haven’t done a This and That Thursday in ages so I thought it was time for an update that doesn’t involve books.

I have had my first vaccine now and have gradually started going out and visiting places which has been a nice change.

Studying

I have now begun work on my dissertation and I am thoroughly enjoying it. It is so nice to be studying a topic that you have chosen for yourself.

Piano

I am averaging an hour a day of piano practice and thoroughly enjoying it. It is so good to be practicing and having a proper structure to my practice again.

Adventures

We went for a lovely day out to Croome which is a National Trust property. I hadn’t been for years so couldn’t remember much about it. It was beautiful day and it was wonderful to go for a nice walk around the grounds and go around the house followed by a nice lunch in the cafe.

We also went for a lovely meal this evening for my mom’s birthday. It was so good to have some normality and have a nice relaxing evening.

Solar Eclipse

This morning we got the telescope out to see the solar eclipse, with a filter of course. It was rather cloudy but we managed to see it which was wonderful to see. I managed to get a rather dodgy picture with my phone through the telescope, it isn’t great but it was really tricky to get the phone lined up with the telescope.

So there are a few of my adventures recently. Work and chores continue as normal but I must admit I have been having lots of fun with the new strimmer. Hopefully I will manage to go to an actual bookshop soon as well.

Happy Reading

If you enjoy reading my blog and would like to make a donation I would be very grateful. Thank you

Abaddon’s Gate by James S. A. Corey (Review)

Abaddon’s Gate by James S. A. Corey

Blurb

For generations, the solar system – Mars, the Moon, the Asteroid Belt – was humanity’s great frontier. Until now. The alien artefact working through its program under the clouds of Venus has emerged to build a massive structure outside the orbit of Uranus: a gate that leads into a starless dark.

Jim Holden and the crew of the Rocinante are part of a vast flotilla of scientific and military ships going out to examine the artefact. But behind the scenes, a complex plot is unfolding, with the destruction of Holden at its core. As the emissaries of the human race try to find whether the gate is an opportunity or a threat, the greatest danger is the one they brought with them.

Review 

Another fantastic book in The Expanse series. I can’t believe how they just keep getting better and better with each book in the series. This one I could not put down.

As usual each chapter is from a certain character’s perspective. The four characters are Anna, Bull, Clarissa and of course Holden. Now my favourite character has always been Amos but Anna was a brilliant character and very different from Amos.

Anna

Anna is a pastor and has been chosen to go on an Earth ship with other religious leaders and important people to look at the alien artefact. Anna lives by the code act first, ask for forgiveness later and I must admit this does get her into some dangerous situations but if she believes something is right and just she fights for it and will do anything to protect her flock and others. 

Bull

Bull is an Earther but works for Fred Johnson. Bull knows how to run a ship and knows how to get a job done. I loved how Bull gained respect from the Belters and got those who didn’t respect him to at least obey him. He might be rough around the edges but he always does the right thing.

Clarissa

I don’t want to say much about Clarissa as I don’t want to spoil anything but I will say she is a very troubled woman who desperately needs help and somebody to love her. 

This book revolves around the alien artefact and shows the human race at its best and its worst. I wish there had been more of Alex and Amos but hopefully there will be more of them in the next book. I give this book 5 out of 5 Dragons.

🐲🐲🐲🐲🐲

Purchase Links

Book Depository | Foyles | Waterstones | Wordery

(All purchases made using one of the above affiliate links gives a small percentage of money to myself with no extra cost to yourself. All proceeds go towards the upkeep of this blog. Thank you ever so much, your support is gratefully received.)

About the author

James S. A. Corey is the pen name of fantasy author Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck, George R. R. Martin’s assistant. They both live Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Reviews in the series so far

Leviathan Wakes

Caliban’s War

Caliban’s War by James S. A. Corey (Review)

Caliban’s War by James S. A. Corey

Blurb

We are not alone.

On Ganymede, breadbasket of the outer planets, a Martian marine watches as her platoon is slaughtered by a monstrous supersoldier. On Earth, a high-level politician struggles to prevent interplanetary war from reigniting. And on Venus, an alien protomolecule has overrun the planet, wreaking massive, mysterious changes and threatening to spread out into the solar system.

In the vast wilderness of space, James Holden and the crew of the Rocinante have been keeping the peace for the Outer Planets Alliance. When they agree to help a scientist search war-torn Ganymede for a missing child, the future of humanity rests on whether a single ship can prevent an alien invasion that may have already begun . . .

Review

Yay, Avasarala has finally arrived and she is even better than she is in the TV series. The woman is amazing!

So as you can tell already this book has really made me very happy and I just loved it and could not put it down. We also get to meet the amazing Bobbie. This book has some amazingly strong female characters and it really is a wonderful read.

Each chapter is told from a different character’s point of view and the characters that are used this time are Holden, Prax, Bobbie and Avasarala. All the characters start in different places, Holden on board the Roci, Bobbie and Prax on Ganymede and Avasarala on Earth. As events unfold the characters’ storylines start to entwine and come together. The battle against the protomolecule has begun!

Holden

We find Holden aboard the Roci with Naomi, Alex and Amos trying to keep the peace for the OPA and working for Fred Johnson. However, it is clear that events from the first book have taken effect on Holden and he is not his usual self and this is affecting his relationship with Naomi and the rest of the crew. When Holden and his crew then meet Prax and start to help Prax find his missing daughter Holden starts to find his true self again.

Bobbie

Bobbie is a Martian marine who watches her platoon get slaughtered on Ganymede by some kind of monster never seen before and she wants revenge and she will do anything to get it. Eventually, Bobbie meets Avasarala and a friendship clearly develops between the Earther and the Martian. I must admit this relationship was my favourite part of the book. Bobbie is a soldier and an intimidating woman who scares most men but Avasarala sees her as an asset and someone she can trust. Avasarala swears at Bobbie and tells her off but Bobbie gives the same back and is not afraid to tell Avasarala what she thinks in return. 

Avasarala

Avasarala is a UN politician and will do anything to protect her beloved Earth but she also believes in peace and trying to stop war happening between Earth and Mars. She can see through the rubbish and knows things are not right and she has to play the ‘game’ as she calls it to work out what is going on and keep the peace and she needs Bobbie’s help and the crew of the Roci to accomplish this. I just love when she walks onto the Roci and immediately tells Holden to have a shave and starts dishing out orders. She is woman who takes no nonsense and believes anybody will follow her orders.

Prax

Prax is a botanist from Ganymede whose daughter has been kidnapped and he manages to enlist Holden and his crew to get her back. I loved Prax’s character. He will do anything for his daughter but he is very lost and is not looking after himself but thankfully Amos comes along and takes him under his wing and looks after Prax. Amos the big scary Earther who is quite happy to beat people up and kill is definitely the defender of the weak in this book and it is wonderful to see and rather amusing. Prax finds himself a family in the crew of the Roci and slowly he comes out of his shell as the story moves on.

I thoroughly loved this book and loved seeing the characters develop through the book. The ending of the book also left me very intrigued and I can’t wait to start reading the next book in the series. I give this book a massive 5 out of 5 Dragons and I personally think it is even better than the first book.

🐲🐲🐲🐲🐲

Purchase Links

Amazon | Book Depository | Foyles | Waterstones | Wordery

(All purchases made using one of the above affiliate links gives a small percentage of money to myself with no extra cost to yourself. All proceeds go towards the upkeep of this blog. Thank you ever so much, your support is gratefully received.)

About the author

James S. A. Corey is the pen name of fantasy author Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck, George R. R. Martin’s assistant. They both live Albuquerque, New Mexico.

This and That Thursday

Hello!

This week has been my birthday week and I decided to take a week off from teaching for the first time since April so it has been a lovely week so far.

A birthday book haul post will be appearing soon.

Adventures

This week we went to some English Heritage places and thankfully the weather was wonderful. I also got some good Pokemon Go playing in as well.

 

Celebrating

Obviously there were some birthday celebrations that involved a little treat which is my all time favourite drink.

B6DF0635-32D3-4D22-8B6D-3AE71A31B1AF.jpeg

Hot Chocolate and Reading

For my birthday I had a Hotel Chocolat Velvetiser and so this has meant some amazing hot chocolates to curl up and read with. So far we have tried salted caramel and hazelnut praline.

E52210E4-86C0-4306-AE5A-D7E1D828A502.jpeg

Crochet

Another present I had was a crochet pattern and the wool and hook to go with it which my sister gave me. I haven’t done any crochet since I was at uni so this has been a shock to the system. The wool is beautifully soft to work with which is an added bonus. The pattern is for a cowl but at the moment it looks like a beret so this might need to be looked at again, it was all going so well!

 

I have still been studying this week as well but it has been nice to have a break from teaching.

lady book dragon signature 250w