Sunday, 12 July 2015

June Book Review

I did very well in June, my first book is actually 3 books in one!!

An omnibus edition of Judith Kerr’s internationally acclaimed trilogy, When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit, The Other Way Round and A Small Person Far Away, we see the world through Anna’s eyes as she grows up – from her much loved family to Hitler’s holocaust.
Anna was a German child when she had to flee from the Nazis before the War. By the time the bombs began to fall she was a stateless adolescent in London, and after it was all over she became a happily married Englishwoman who thought she had put the past behind her.
This omnibus edition of the three volumes of Judith Kerr’s Hitler trilogy, tells her story beginning with the rise of Hitler in 1933 through to her return to Berlin years after the war.

I found the first 2 parts gripping & couldn't put them down. Such a brave family packing up their lives to move away from the horror that was going to happen to Jews in Germany. I really warmed to Anna & wondered what it would be like at that age to be moved around to different countries when you couldn't speak the language. At that age you don't understand the reasons why & no wonder she felt she had no home.
However the 3rd part was harder going, it follows Anna as an adult after the war & focuses on her mother. I must confess I didn't like her mum...... I can't put my finger on why but I felt she was a selfish, self centred person who didn't think about the impact of her actions on her children. Maybe I was missing something!
I thought this was a great book & would recommend it to anyone who enjoys reading books about the holocaust.

Touching true stories from the heyday of the Butlin’s holiday camps.
‘When I got to the camp I felt as if I’d suddenly walked into Utopia – it was so colourful, so warm, so friendly. There were lights across the roads, there were banners fluttering in the breeze… There seemed to be laughter coming from every building.’
With grey post-WWII skies hanging low over Britain, factories lining the streets and smoke stacks dotting the horizon, there was one way that ordinary families could escape: the ever-cheerful holiday camps of Butlin’s.
When Billy Butlin founded his holiday camps in 1936, they were bastions of community spirit and havens of luxury. Here, for one week, wives and mothers were freed from the toil and drudgery of housework, children ran free through the grounds, fathers and husbands hung up their work clothes. Ever-helpful redcoats were on hand all hours of the day, dinner halls ready with plentiful food for old and young alike, bars stocked to quench any level of thirst, ballrooms waiting to be flooded with shiny shoes, rustling dresses and peals of laughter. And, as the sun went down on another exhausting, happy day, a chorus line was ready to sing holidaymakers back to their beds.
Rich in period detail and highly evocative, Wish You Were Here! tells the story of seven women who worked as redcoats in Butlin’s Golden Age. It’s all here: Knobbly Knees and Glamourous Grannies, the laughter and tears, hardships and heartbreaks, loves and losses of their lives in and out of the holiday camps, and above all the lifelong friendships they formed with each other and those who also worked or holidayed there.
Funny, moving and heartwarming, these are the timeless tales of a community spirit that burned brightly in a much-loved British institution.

I brought this book on Kindle for a bargain price of 99p, I love social history books & I found the cover helped!
Wouldn't we all love a Butlin's holiday in the 1950's??
It didn't disappoint! I read this within a few days & love it!
It's based around peoples memories of working in Butlin's between the 50's to the 80's. 
There are some very amusing stories plus some sad heartbreaking stories towards the end of their lives. It's lovely to hear there's a reunion group that still meet every year.
If Butlin's would like to run traditional holiday's again then count me in!!

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

June 2015

Half way through 2015!

June was a very busy month for me..... 1st June saw the start of the national RSPCA week which as part of my new role I had to help organise a collection day at Tesco's & a coffee morning in Exeter High Street. Celebrating OH's birthday with a yummy cake & lots of shots! 
Finishing my Landgirl jumper, remembering Zoe, cracking on with my hexagon blanket, spending time with my children, treating myself to some great badges from The Scout Project, a day out to Bristol for the Dig for Victory show.
Then I finished the month off with the Shelter Day which you already know about.

Phew..... I hope July will be a bit slower!

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Remembering the Somme....

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

May Book Review

Only 1 book in May 

Struggling to make ends meet, Mary Anne Randall is offered no help by her drunk and abusive husband. A pawnbroking business run from the wash house at the back of her home is the only way she can hope to keep her three kids fed and clothed. 
But, as storm clouds gather over Europe, can Mary Anne break free from her loveless marriage for what might be a last chance at love...?

I wasn't aware this was the second book in the series when I started but I would say it wasn't necessary to read the first one. I enjoyed this book, I warmed to the characters straight away. I really felt for Mary Anne & wanted a better life for her. A lot of the books set in this era are a bit rose tinted which I don't think is strictly true, lots of women in this era had a very hard life & Mary Anne is just one of them. I look forward to reading the next book at some point in the future.
You can find it on Amazon here 

Friday, 12 June 2015

May 2015

I can't believe May has come & gone.

I started the month getting ready for VE day by making Victory brooches & completing my special window display.
Attended my friends daughter's fundraising event, she swam a mile to raise money for Little Valley Animal Shelter.
Feeling gutted at the election results :-( 
Finding out I have to wear glasses for reading, spending time with my cats, feeling stressed out at work & finishing my land girl jumper (more about that in another post)

When I look back over the month it went by in a flash & I didn't seem to have time to do very much. I'm so focused on our Shelter day at the end of June I think I'm wishing the weeks away. I hope the year slows down after that!

Sunday, 31 May 2015

Victory Jumper

Back in March I took the plunge & started making my very own Victory Jumper!

I've had this pattern for a long time but I'd never got around to making it.

After working out how to re size it rather a lot...... they were so small in the 40's or is it we're so big now!!!..... I was on a roll.

I really enjoyed the pattern & found it knitted up quickly. I decided to knit it in DK to help make it larger. The only problem I had was with the sleeves, after increasing I found it was longer then it needed to be. I wanted the sleeves to be shorter & it was a real disappointment when it was finished but I'm happy with it now.


 I love it!!

I can't believe how often I've worn it & have been asked a few time where I brought it...... they couldn't believe I knitted it!

Here it is with my 1940's flower corsage I knitted

And with my victory brooch I made for VE day

I hadn't knitted myself anything to wear for nearly 20 years but I'm cracking on now. In the last year I've made myself a cardigan

a Christmas jumper

& I'm just finishing off my land girl jumper

100g Stylecraft special double knitting
Midnight 3 balls - Claret 2 balls - Cream 1 ball
Total price = £11.34
Hours = 51 

Sunday, 17 May 2015

April's Book Review

June 2nd, 1953. The residents of Ruby Street in London's East End are celebrating the new Queen's coronation. It's a day of joy and laughter, a new beginning for a nation still in the grip of rationing, still suffering the aftermath of the Blitz. But for Rose Weaver, the day ends in tragedy when her husband Eddie is arrested on suspicion of theft. It's only the first of several shocks as Rose discovers some unpleasant facts about the man she married eight years before, the man she thought she knew so well. Struggling to provide for herself and her two daughters, Rose realises that she'll need the help of family, friends and the good neighbours of Ruby Street if she's to have any chance of pulling through. And when a handsome salesman knocks at her door, it's hard to resist temptation ..

Only 1 book again this month.
Moving away from WW2 I went for the 1950's instead! 
I did really enjoy this book even though it took a long time to read. Rose, the main character, is a great strong East End women just as you would expect for the time.

My eyes get so tired when I read & when I went for my eye test last week I found out why..... 
yep I have to wear glasses for reading!
I'm hoping I will find it easier to read now so fingers crossed I'll read more..... don't hold your breath! 

Hopefully they will arrive soon.