The Society of Blood

The Society of Blood (Obsidian Heart #2)The Society of Blood by Mark Morris

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is the second part of the Obsidian Heart trilogy, a fantasy / horror / time travel / multiverse adventure. I remember reading the first book last year, I think I remember liking it but don’t remember that much more, so getting back into the series was a bit confusing at first, but most of it did come back to me, helped by recaps from the author.

In this one, Alex is in Victorian London trying to find the Obsidian Heart in an effort to find his daughter. I particularly liked the descriptions in this part, about how grimy and smelly London was, it was all very atmospheric and the action was quite fast paced but as the book progressed it got a bit bogged down with the characters discussing the nature of time travel and what to do next, so it began to drag a bit. Still, I will be reading the next book.

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The End

The End (The Enemy, #7)The End by Charlie Higson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

So, the final book of Charlie Higson’s epic The Enemy series. This one took a little while for me to warm to but *gulp* the final scenes. In this one, the sickos are massing and the kids have to organise themselves for one last final battle, but there are complications that aren’t making it easy. As usual there is a massive death toll but Higson always writes really good death scenes and he does so here.

Thinking about what another favourite writer, Matt Haig, has said about the importance of books, in that they connect us and teach us what it is to be human, The Enemy series and, in particular, The End, is exactly that sort of book. Just like ancient hero stories, the series teaches us that it’s not how long we’ve got, it’s what we do with our time that counts, it’s about standing up for your mates, standing together, being sh*t scared but doing it anyway. I know Higson didn’t write The Enemy series to be some sort of moral tome, he wrote it because he wanted to scare kids but oh it so works on both fronts. I bet I’m not the only person though who would have loved a ‘year later’ epilogue.

Oh and as a final aside, anyone else wonder if the naming of David, the up himself leader of the Buckingham Palace kids was deliberate? Ahem.

Cameron Daily Echo

(photo from The Southern Daily Echo)

As The End progressed, every time the character David appeared, all I could picture him as was as a young David Cameron …

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I couldn’t resist


I couldn’t resist after making Boy Lacer’s hat, making one of my own. Again using Rowan’s Big Wool and again using the pattern from this month’s Mollie Makes (issue 60). I love this yellow (heck I love anything yellow at the moment), so I’m day dreaming about a jumper in it at the moment.


On the menu: even more Nigella plus some baking



Leek pasta bake from Nigella, it was okay but, to be honest, it was more fun making it than eating it. I had hoped it would have tasted a bit more savoury, but it didn’t really.


I also made (because I was bored and boredom is more often than not remedied by some fun in the kitchen) some roasted garlic bread from James Morton’s Brilliant Bread book. That was fun to make too and even better tasted delicious! I don’t think I’ve gone wrong with a single bread from Morton’s book yet. The crust was lovely and crusty, not bigging myself up or anything because it was purely down to the recipe, but it was the sort of crust you’d expect at a good baker’s, not at home. And the inside, oh the inside, it would have passed Paul Hollywood’s press test (does the bread spring back when you press it?) easily. I know I say this a lot, but I need to make more bread, actual time spent in the kitchen is so low yet with such minimal effort you get this!




I made spiced apple and blueberry compote from Simply Nigella for breakfast, it didn’t take too long, just the amount of time I would have normally spent mooching around on social media and the result was far better than a few tweets. It’s a really simple dish, just apples, blueberries, some spices and some maple syrup, but the whole thing smelt amazingly Christmas-y, which is the closest I’ve got to feeling Christmas-y so far this year, it also tasted pretty good too.




I wanted to bake something and it was feeling like biscuits, so I picked the first doable biscuit recipe I could find; chocolate flapjack biscuits from Miranda Gore Browne’s Biscuit. I know they’re not the neatest bake ever (although I’m sure a half way neater baker than me could make this recipe look a lot more attractive) but they were okay, they were certainly eaten quickly by me and the kids.



May look like granola, but there are some actual bars in there

I made Breakfast Bars 2.0 from Simply Nigella, I’m not a massive seeded bar fan, but they looked nice on TV and I needed something healthier in my life. They’ve got a lot of ingredients in them though, ingredients that are probably okay to find in London (although I couldn’t find any flax seeds, I didn’t look very hard though), they’re probably a bit harder to find in say, rural Wales. Also, a lot of the ingredients are a bit on the expensive side, luckily though for me though I had a lot of the ingredients already in the cupboard. Anyway, due to the lack of flax seeds these are slightly adapted (I added a bit more oats to compensate).

They were soo pretty to make, all the different colours and textures (that’s one of the things I love about Simply Nigella, it’s like Nigella has not only put time and effort into making sure what the recipe produces is brilliant but also she’s put time and effort into making sure the experience of making the recipes is the best possible relaxing, sense pleasing experience too), unfortunately though I burnt the result a bit (not as burnt as it looks in the photo though!). Taste wise, hmmm, well they are a bit worthy, but they’re okay, I’ve certainly eaten worse. They definitely would set me up for the morning if I had one for breakfast. They’re the sort of snack which I would happily eat if I was hungry but could just as easily avoid eating if I just had the munchies.

Rivers of London: Body Work

Rivers of London: Body WorkRivers of London: Body Work by Ben Aaronovitch

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

(Review of the entire five part series)

I keep meaning to get into comics, after all, they often cover genres similar to what I like in books, TV and film and as I love Rivers of London, this comic series seemed to be the perfect place to start. And it was okay, however the story, about a haunted car, could obviously go nowhere in depth as the stories go to in the books and I think that’s what I like about the Rivers of London series, the funny descriptions and the great internal monologues, now there were some funny lines in this but obviously not as many. So I may or may not read the next comic series, that starts in May, but I can absolutely not wait for the next book to come out.

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The Quick

The QuickThe Quick by Lauren Owen

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The Quick, a story about vampires or the undead as they are referred to for most of the book, in Victorian London, started out with such promise as the author atmospherically described two of the main characters childhood. She also wrote a really lovely romantic relationship in the early part of the book. But then it all changed and the book became more of an action story and then it started to drag a bit, I wanted to know how the story ended, I just wanted it to hurry up and get there. There were occasional bits of brilliance again, I particularly liked a chapter where you find out what happens to one of the side characters after the big action scene the whole book had been pretty much solely dedicated to leading up to and again there is a really nice relationship between two of the characters at the end of the book. So basically this book is a yay for the character stuff and a boo for the action which went on too long.

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A hat for Boy Lacer


My Christmas spirit is currently in negative numbers, but I need to get on with my Christmas making. A few years ago I came to a crafty truce with myself that I don’t have to make loads of crafts for Christmas but this year with all the medical leave I’ve had, I am extremely and utterly broke (I have a zero hours contract job, which does have some paid sick leave but I used that up a long time ago, so I’ve been on SSP) and I haven’t been able to start Christmas present shopping yet (except for some weird reason I’ve done my aunts and uncles, who are normally way low down on my list of priorities but a combination of being in the right place at the right time for a train mad uncle in a TFL gift shop and in a craft shop that was selling some lovely, indie made candles in tea cups which suited the rest of the aunts and uncles and at the time having some cash in my bank account, they’re all sorted). So I do need to make some stuff this year.

First up in a hat for Boy Lacer using a pattern from this month’s Mollie Makes (issue 60). The pattern is really easy and even more importantly really quick, I’m not the fastest knitter, but I think this took me probably about 3 hours, maybe even less. It also uses only half a ball of wool, although I substituted the pattern’s recommended wool with Rowan’s Big Wool, which is only 80 metres compared to the recommended wool’s 112 metres, so I don’t think I have quite enough left to make another hat (unless, maybe, I change the colour of the bobble).

I wish there were more people on my Christmas present list that needed a woolly hat, as I could happily make a lot more of these but as it is, although I have another five presents to make, everything is all planned and as much as I love this hat pattern, I like the stuff I’ve planned more, if you know what I mean. I may make myself one of these hats though, when I have the time and more wool funds, as it is very warm and comfy. I quite fancy one in mustard yellow.

I’m modelling the hat by the way as I could hardly give it to Boy Lacer now, it would sort of ruin the point but also because both me and Boy Lacer have large heads and so I know that if the hat fits me it will also fit him and it does fit really comfortably, I did adapt the pattern slightly though by adding an additional two stitches when casting on but I probably didn’t need to do that.