First Line Friday: 18/09/2020

First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines?

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!

 

Happy Friday!

It is time to guess that book. As per usual the answer is below the cats.

“Anna peered through the window of the gatehouse, watching the chariot trundling through below, enjoying the rich sensuousness of the new silk gown she was wearing, and conscious of her parents’ expectations of her.”

 

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ANSWER

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Newly widowed and the father of an infant son, Henry VIII realizes he must marry again to insure the royal succession. Now forty-six, overweight and unwell, Henry is soundly rejected by some of Europe’s most eligible princesses, but Anna of Kleve—a small German duchy—is twenty-four and eager to wed. Henry requests Anna’s portrait from his court painter, who enhances her looks, painting her straight-on in order not to emphasize her rather long nose. Henry is entranced by the lovely image, only to be bitterly surprised when Anna arrives in England and he sees her in the flesh. She is pleasant looking, just not the lady that Henry had expected.

What follows is a fascinating story of this awkward royal union that had to somehow be terminated tactfully. Alison Weir takes a fresh and surprising look at this remarkable royal marriage by describing it from the point of view of Queen Anna, a young woman with hopes and dreams of her own, alone in a royal court that rejected her from the day she arrived.

Please drop me a comment with your First Line Friday and I will head over for a visit.

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First Line Friday: 4/09/2020

First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines?

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!

 

It is time to guess that book. As usual the answer is below the cats!

 

The parties at the Tunons’ house always ended unquestionably late, and since the hosts enjoyed costume parties in particular, it was not unusual to see Chinas Poblanas with their folkloric skirts and ribbons in their hair arrive in the company of a harlequin or a cowboy.

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When glamorous socialite Noemi Taboada receives a frantic letter from her newlywed cousin begging to be rescued from a mysterious doom, it’s clear something is desperately amiss. Catalina has always had a flair for the dramatic, but her claims that her husband is poisoning her and her visions of restless ghosts seem remarkable, even for her.

Noemi’s chic gowns and perfect lipstick are more suited to cocktail parties than amateur sleuthing, but she immediately heads to High Place, a remote mansion in the Mexican countryside, determined to discover what is so affecting her cousin.

Tough and smart, she possesses an indomitable will, and she is not afraid: not of her cousin’s new husband, who is both menacing and alluring; not of his father, the ancient patriarch who seems to be fascinated by Noemi; and not of the house itself, which begins to invade Noemi’s dreams with visions of blood and doom.

Her only ally in this inhospitable abode is the family’s youngest son. Shy and gentle, he seems to want to help, but might also be hiding dark knowledge of his family’s past. For there are many secrets behind the walls of High Place. The family’s once colossal wealth and faded mining empire kept them from prying eyes, but as Noemi digs deeper she unearths stories of violence and madness.

Book DepositoryWaterstonesWordery

 

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This and That Thursday

Happy Thursday!

So this week has been a bit more adventurous for me which has been nice.

Organ Playing

This week I went to one of the churches I am an organist for and practiced the organ for a good hour. It was so nice to be back and the fact that I was in the church with no interruptions was wonderful as I could just play until my heart’s content. Thankfully the organ is still working because it is needed for a wedding in September and it hadn’t been played since March. By the way the organ’s name is Bob.

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Walking

This week we have been on two lovely walks which have been really nice as it was somewhere different.

 

Exercise

I have been really getting into my exercise and have been trying out different workouts. This has meant the recent acquisition of a step box, hopefully this will mean some more fun workouts or with my coordination I end up falling off it.

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Cat photos

This week has also involved a lot of cat photos for some reason. Think the cats are getting a little sick of it but they are so cute. Here is my favourite of Lyra.

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TV Series

We are still working our way through our TV series. We have finished all the Absolutely Fabulous episodes and are still working our way through Buffy the Vampire Slayer, sadly the annoying sister Dawn has turned up now and she does drive me insane.

There is my week. Still quiet but I’m still teaching and studying most days so not too quiet. Right now I’m currently frantically watching out for the enormous spider that is running around our living room.

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This and That Thursday

Hello!

Welcome to my week!

Cats’ Instagram

The cats’ instagram is going really well. They have nearly 100 followers and I must admit my husband and myself are enjoying posting pictures and videos of the cats possibly a little too much. The cats are not bothered in the slightest.

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Online Cocktail Parties

On Friday it was my best friend’s birthday and we had planned a cocktail party but because of the current situation we had an online one. My bestie’s husband sent us cocktail making kits and we all made the same cocktails during a Facetime call and had some lovely drinks and a good laugh.

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Piano Playing

I have two weddings coming up in September to play for so I have been learning some new pieces that have been requested. I have also been looking at other piano pieces for fun and really enjoying playing the piano.

Fish and Chip Picnic

On Saturday we met my family for a fish and chip picnic which was brilliant. It was so good to see my brother and sister and my parents all together after so long. Also we haven’t had fish and chips for ages and my brother had brought ice cream for pudding. It was a brilliant picnic even if it did rain on us.

Baking

I also tried a new recipe this week, chocolate banana loaf. I don’t really like bananas but this loaf is rather yummy as it is so full of chocolate.

The usual bits and pieces that happen during the week have happened but it has been wonderful to catch up with friends and family. All socially distanced of course.

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Friday Poetry: T. S. Eliot

Happy Friday!

I hope everyone has some good weekend plans ahead. This week’s poem is an old favourite. As some of you know I love the cat poems by Eliot so I thought I would share another of my favourites.

The Rum Tug Tugger

The Rum Tum Tugger is a Curious Cat:
If you offer him pheasant he would rather have grouse.
If you put him in a house he would much prefer a flat,
If you put him in a flat then he’d rather have a house.
If you set him on a mouse then he only wants a rat,
If you set him on a rat then he’d rather chase a mouse.
Yes the Rum Tum Tugger is a Curious Cat–
And there isn’t any call for me to shout it:
For he will do
As he do do
And there’s no doing anything about it!

 

The Rum Tum Tugger is a terrible bore:
When you let him in, then he wants to be out;
He’s always on the wrong side of every door,
And as soon as he’s at home, then he’d like to get about.
He likes to lie in the bureau drawer,
But he makes such a fuss if he can’t get out.
Yes the Rum Tum Tugger is a Curious Cat–
And there isn’t any use for you to doubt it:
For he will do
As he do do
And there’s no doing anything about it!

 

The Rum Tum Tugger is a curious beast:
His disobliging ways are a matter of habit.
If you offer him fish then he always wants a feast;
When there isn’t any fish then he won’t eat rabbit.
If you offer him cream then he sniffs and sneers,
For he only likes what he finds for himself;
So you’ll catch him in it right up to the ears,
If you put it away on the larder shelf.

 

The Rum Tum Tugger is artful and knowing,
The Rum Tum Tugger doesn’t care for a cuddle;
But he’ll leap on your lap in the middle of your sewing,
For there’s nothing he enjoys like a horrible muddle.
Yes the Rum Tum Tugger is a Curious Cat–
And there isn’t any need for me to spout it:
For he will do
As he do do
And there’s no doing anything about it!

T. S. Eliot

 

The Rum Tug Tugger really is the epitome of cats.

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This and That Thursday

Happy Thursday!

I hope everyone is well. I will be honest the heat and humidity has rather done me in this week so I haven’t moved much due to no energy and asthma. This has meant a lot of reading though which has been good.

Cat Instagram

Too much time on my hands ended up with me setting an instagram account up for our cats. Yes I have lost the plot but now even the husband has started posting pictures of the cats. If anybody would like to follow Lyra and Pan their instagram is lyraandpancatz.

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Sunday Service

On Sundays I am now going over to my parents’ house and watching our church service online which has been really nice to do. The church that I play the organ for has not had a service yet but when it does I will be back and hopefully so will my mom.

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Teaching

Teaching has still been going strong and everyone seems to be enjoying their lessons online so hopefully it continues.

So that is my week, as I warned very quiet but actually I’ve quite enjoyed all the reading I have managed and the cats’ instagram is proving rather fun although I think the cats officially think we have lost the plot.

Happy reading

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First Line Friday: 31/07/2020

First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines?

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!

 

It is time for another guessing game! Here we go…

“Tell me about a complicated man.”

 

As usual the answer is below the cats.

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The answer is…

The Odyssey by Homer (translated by Emily Wilson)

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Composed at the rosy-fingered dawn of world literature almost three millennia ago, The Odyssey is a poem about violence and the aftermath of war; about wealth, poverty and power; about marriage and family; about travelers, hospitality, and the yearning for home.

This fresh, authoritative translation captures the beauty of this ancient poem as well as the drama of its narrative. Its characters are unforgettable, none more so than the “complicated” hero himself, a man of many disguises, many tricks, and many moods, who emerges in this version as a more fully rounded human being than ever before.

Written in iambic pentameter verse and a vivid, contemporary idiom, Emily Wilson’s Odyssey sings with a voice that echoes Homer’s music; matching the number of lines in the Greek original, the poem sails along at Homer’s swift, smooth pace.

A fascinating, informative introduction explores the Bronze Age milieu that produced the epic, the poem’s major themes, the controversies about its origins, and the unparalleled scope of its impact and influence. Maps drawn especially for this volume, a pronunciation glossary, and extensive notes and summaries of each book make this is an Odyssey that will be treasured by a new generation of readers.

 

Did you guess it? Please drop me a link with your First Lines Friday and I will go over for a visit and see if I can guess the answer.

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First Lines Friday: 26/06/2020

First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines?

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!

 

Hello!

It is time for another guessing game? Remember the answer is below the cats!

Here we go…

10th July 2007

She has been walking for a long time. It’s funny but she hadn’t thought that there was so much space in England. The map, which she printed out in the library at school, seemed to show the youth hostel here, somewhere in this sea of green, but now that she’s walking, in her special shoes with her backpack on, there’s no sign of any buildings anywhere.

 

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and the answer is…

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Everything has changed for Dr Ruth Galloway.

She has a new job, home and partner, and is no longer North Norfolk police’s resident forensic archaeologist. That is, until convicted murderer Amyas March offers to make DCI Nelson a deal. Nelson was always sure that March killed more women than he was charged with. Now March confirms this, and offers to show Nelson where the other bodies are buried – but only if Ruth will do the digging.

Curious, but wary, Ruth agrees. March tells Ruth that he killed four more women and that their bodies are buried near a village bordering the fens, said to be haunted by the Lantern Men, mysterious figures holding lights that lure travellers to their deaths.

Is Amyas March himself a lantern man, luring Ruth back to Norfolk? What is his plan, and why is she so crucial to it? And are the killings really over?

 

How did you do? Please drop a comment with a link to your First Lines Friday and I will head over to see if I can guess the book.

Happy Friday!

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This and That Thursday

Hello!

It is time for another weekly update!

Cats

Yesterday was Lyra and Pan’s 12th birthday. We tried to celebrate but the cats weren’t really that bothered. We had a BBQ to celebrate, Lyra was about but Pan was obviously hiding somewhere cool. Anyway they had some special cat milk as a birthday treat.

 

Paint by Numbers

The paint by numbers continues. I’m hoping to get it finished one day but I’m now on the really small fiddly bits which are a bit off putting. Although you can see more of what the picture is meant to be now.

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Walks and Exercise

This week we have gone on some different local walks which has been a nice change of scene. I particularly liked the yellow flowers we saw at our local nature reserve. Exercise continues but I have been doing more exercise using my Nintendo Switch and the Ring Fit Adventure Game.

 

Cupboard sorting

I attacked my clothes cupboard this week and learnt a few things. Firstly, I have way too many tights. Secondly, 45 pairs of socks plus odd socks is probably not healthy. Thirdly, I won’t have to buy black leggings for a good ten years. In the end I realised that I really don’t need any new clothes for a very long time but that doesn’t include Tikiboo leggings or shorts because I can never have enough of those. I should probably sort out all my sheet music next but that usually takes several days but it needs to be done as I usually try to do it twice a year and it is very overdue.

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Buffy the Vampire Slayer

We have been binge watching Buffy in the evenings this week as well. I had forgotten just how much fun it was to watch although Faith has appeared now and she never was my favourite character.

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The rest of the week has contained teaching online and studying so the usual antics. When I asked my husband what else we had been up to this week he said we had had a Cornetto which is very exciting as it’s probably the first ice cream we have had for nearly a year.

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That is my week! Please let me know how your week has been going in the comments. I love to chat and hear what everyone has been up to.

 

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Friday Poetry: Spike Milligan

Happy Friday!

I hope everyone has some good book plans for the weekend.

My chosen poem this week is by Spike Milligan and I love it because it is nonsense and sometimes we all need a little nonsense in our lives. Oh and it mentions cats!

 

The Land of the Bumbley Boo

In the Land of the Bumbley Boo

The People are red white and blue,

They never blow noses,

Or ever wear closes,

What a sensible thing to do!

 

In the Land of the Bumbley Boo

You can buy Lemon Pie at the Zoo;

They give away Foxes

In little Pink Boxes

And Bottles of Dandylion Stew.

 

In the Land of the Bumbley Boo

You never see a Gnu,

But thousands of cats

Wearing trousers and hats

Made of Pumpkins and Pelican Clue!

 

Oh, the Bumbley Boo! the Bumbley Boo!

That’s the place for me and you!

So hurry! Let’s run!

The train leaves at one!

For the Land of the Bumbley Boo!

The wonderful Bumbley Boo-Boo-Boo!

The Wonderful Bumbley BOO!!!

 

Spike Milligan.

 

Happy reading!

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