Sunday 28 April 2019

What's in my wardrobe?

Courgette and Tomato Chutney 
I'm linking up with The Sunday Post at Caffeinated Reviewer and The Sunday Salon at Readerbuzz.

I'm celebrating a cookery triumph this weekend. My first attempt at making chutney - including the whole sterilising the jars palaver - is deemed a success! I used this Courgette And Tomato Chutney recipe on AllRecipes and, surprisingly for me, didn't tweak any ingredient other than halving all the quantities. The chutney is delicious served alongside toasted pita bread with homemade hummous!

I read a great Treading My Own Path post back at the beginning of March where Lindsay was going to try to establish her absolute minimum wardrobe by wearing 3 outfits for 30 days. At the time, we were travelling so I only had about half my clothes in the motorhome, but I promised myself when we got back home (and I'd done the laundry!), I'd count up my clothing and see what exactly I have to wear. Then I'd keep track of what I actually Do wear!

So, excluding undies and swimwear, I have: 2 dresses, 6 long shirts, 12 tops and t-shirts, 4 vest tops, 4 cardigans, 1 fleece jacket, 6 skirts, 3 pairs of trousers, 2 ponchos, 2 coats and 5 pairs of shoes.

It doesn't look like much when listed like this and would probably all fit in a good sized suitcase - if I wore my hiking boots anyway. I am happy with most of what I've got and don't feel the need to rush out and buy more - even second-hand. I might be able to condense this wardrobe even further by using a trick Lindsay explained in one of her earlier posts. Basically, she tied a scarf around her clothes rail at the left end. Anything she wore was then moved to the left of the scarf when it was put away. At the end of three months, every unworn item still on the right-hand side of the scarf could be considered for discarding. I wonder what this exercise might leave for me?

Giveaways closing soon
28th Apr: Win an ebook copy of An Empty Nest by Sandy Day.
29th Apr: Win a signed copy of The Stars In The Night by Clare Rhoden plus a metal poppy brooch made by a Melbourne craftswoman, and a cross-stitch poppy card.

(All current giveaways here)

On my blogs this week were:

Stephanie Jane
5 Books, 1 Theme - The Great War
Books From The Backlog - Once Upon A Time In The West ... Country by Tony Hawks

Literary Flits
April In Paris by Michael Wallner review
The Seventh Train by Jackie Carreira review
The High Court by Chris Ledbetter Spotlight + #Giveaway + Guest Post
Caught In A Web by Joseph Lewis Spotlight + Excerpt
Demian by Hermann Hesse review
Once Upon A Time In The West ... Country by Tony Hawks review
The Garden Of Evening Mists by Tan Twan Eng review

Have a great week!

the biggest lizard we've yet seen living round our static caravan
about 8 inches long I think 
we loved the river views of Saumur, but were underwhelmed with the town itself 
this creepily beautiful sculpture is in the out-of-the-way village of Chateau Larcher. There wasn't any sign to identify the artist 

Sunday 21 April 2019

Back in France! Visiting Vannes in Brittany

I'm linking up with The Sunday Post at Caffeinated Reviewer and The Sunday Salon at Readerbuzz.

Thank you so much for all your kind wishes last week. We've just about recovered now and have had a nice week pottering around discovering a few new places in France. It was frustrating not to be able to explore with our usual energy, but I think we both appreciated getting out of the motorhome for a few hours each day which is more than we'd managed the week before!

Vannes in Brittany is our great new-to-us discovery and most of the photos on this post were taken there. It has a kind of a La Rochelle vibe, but less touristy and with more open spaces. We loved the half-timbered houses, the historic (and huge) old town walls and the beautiful municipal flowers in the parks. There is a town-wide outdoor photography festival on at the moment with free-to-view galleries in seven locations. The theme is Music of all types so there are images of rock stars, classical musicians, rappers and breakdancers. I was a little disappointed that women musicians are almost completely absent other than in the classical gallery. The classical had the most inventive and entertaining images too. If you're anywhere nearby, the Vannes Photos Festival is on until the 12th May.

We parked up in a paid-for motorhome aire at Conleau on the coast which was perfectly situated for the bus into Vannes town. It wasn't the prettiest aire, but is in a lovely spot for coastal walking - and we could have walked into Vannes and back had we been healthier! The aire is one of 160 in the same group, Camping-Car Park, which we didn't know until we got there, and we now have a membership card so we can easily stay at any of the other locations too.

In bookish news, congratulations to Rebecca W who won the signed PBs of The Melt Trilogy to celebrate the publication of Listen To The Birds by K E Lanning!
If that's not you, there's more Literary Flits giveaways to enter ...

Giveaways closing soon
26th Apr: Win a $15 Amazon gift card to celebrate the Writer Get Noticed! by Colleen M Story blog tour
28th Apr: Win an ebook copy of An Empty Nest by Sandy Day
(All current giveaways here)

On my blogs this week were:

Stephanie Jane
Book Blogger Hop - Do you check how many views your posts have received?

Literary Flits
When the Pipirite Sings: Selected Poems by Jean M├ętellus review
A Change Of Time by Ida Jessen review
Fatboy Fall Down by Rabindranath Maharaj review
One Hundred Years Of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez review
Wolf Winter by Cecilia Ekback review
We, The Survivors by Tash Aw review
The Stars in the Night by Clare Rhoden review + #Giveaway

Have a great week!

Sunday 7 April 2019

Bristol #StreetArt and getting #GasIt for our Hymer Motorhome

I'm linking up with The Sunday Post at Caffeinated Reviewer.

It's been much longer than I thought since my last weekly roundup post. Sorry about that! I'm still way behind on returning blog comments although 'making progress' as they say, and I seem to have managed to suddenly be several ARCs overdue as well. It's amazing how time rushes by when I'm not paying attention!

We're in the UK at the moment and spent last weekend in Bristol. I took the two street art photographs while we were in Stokes Croft which is a fab bohemian part of the city these days. We wandered through and then headed for Gloucester Road which I was told is the longest street of independent shops in the country. I bought a gorgeous new-to-me vintage skirt for just £8!

Just prior to Bristol itself, we had an appointment to get a GasIt system fitted in our motorhome. What this means is that instead of having to lug heavy gas bottles around to exchange them every time they're empty, we can now just refill two permanently plumbed-in bottles at any petrol station LPG pump. Hopefully this will work out to be much easier, more convenient and even cheaper in the long run. It does away with that problem of every European country having non-interchangeable gas bottles too. Now we just have a small bag on pump adapters which we've put into a Safe Place (never to be seen again ;-) We got the work done at GetGas and were very pleased with the service and the price so I am happy to recommend this company!

Hare Art Print by
Jen Buckley Art 
In blogging news, I was surprised this week by a unexpected burst of enthusiasm for a Top Ten Etsy Finds post I first published about this time last year. It seems as though everyone is suddenly mad for handmade March Hares. They are all beautiful creations! This reminded me how much I used to enjoy curating these arty posts so I'm hoping to get back to doing more of them.

Giveaways closing soon
11th Apr: Win a paperback copy of Lanterns In The Sky by P S Malcolm
11th Apr: Win a £15/$15 Amazon gift card to celebrate the Culmfield Cuckoo by Celia Moore blog tour
11th Apr: Win a $25 Amazon gift card to celebrate the Bulwark by Brit Lunden blog tour (post on 8th Apr)
12th Apr: Win a copy of From An-Other Land by Tanushree Ghosh plus 1 winner will also get a $20 Amazon gift card

(All current giveaways here)

On my blogs this week were:

Stephanie Jane
A Month In Books - March 2019
March Reading Challenges and Bookish Bingo
#WorldReads - Five Books From Colombia
Book Blogger Hop - Which fictional character would you like to be?

Literary Flits
Still Alice by Lisa Genova review
Lanterns In The Sky by P S Malcolm spotlight + #Giveaway + Excerpt
From An-Other Land by Tanushree Ghosh review + #Giveaway
Listen To The Birds by K E Lanning spotlight + #Giveaway + Excerpt
The Other Americans by Laila Lalami review
Love + Life + Death by Hezron Henry review + #FreeBook
Culmfield Cuckoo by Celia Moore spotlight + #Giveaway

Have a great week!