I’ve just realised I never posted my Goodreads review of the second Giordano Bruno book, short as my review is, so here it is, for sake of completeness.
ProphecyProphecy by S.J. Parris

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In the second Giordano Bruno book, events take place in London. Bruno, who is living as a guest in the French Embassy becomes embroiled in a French – Spanish plot to overthrow Queen Elizabeth. There’s a series of occult murders at court and Bruno, once again, gets into plenty of scrapes.

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SacrilegeSacrilege by S.J. Parris

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I think this is my favourite of the Giordano Bruno series so far; the supporting characters are even more well drawn this time, from the gossipy apothecary, to the flirtatious landlady and the old ex monk, they all bought the story even more to life. In this one, Bruno gets tempted to Canterbury, to help an old acquaintance from book 1, clear their name. The mystery revolves around the cathedral and the bones of Thomas Becket; there’s murder, intrigue and plenty more Catholic versus Protestant plotting and of course, Bruno is still after that book of ancient Egyptian magic.

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5 things I liked this week – 23.9.16

View from Canbury Gardens
I’ve had the chance to go for lots of walks this week and after a blip, the weather has thankfully turned nice(ish) again. I’ve always liked walking anyway but walking has played such a big part in my preparation for the surgery I had this summer and in my recovery. The photo above was taken on a local walk in Kingston.

2. On another walk (after having to be in central London for an appointment, I thought I’d switch my walking scenery up a bit), I walked from Covent Garden to Millbank, to go and see The Smile, which is part of London Design Week and was it was rather cool. It’s a giant wooden curved box, that is completely made out of wood (apparently this is technically very difficult).

The Smile

(You can’t see it from the photos in my mosaic but the box curves at both ends, hence the name)

3. On another trip into central London for an appointment, this time I got to hang out around the London Bridge area, as this was much more preferable than hanging out in a waiting room (I got there early because often when relying on London trains, you’re either early or you’re late, there is no in between). So I got to soak up Borough Market, the river, the area around The Clink (old warehouses) and some street art.

London Bridge

(I love the ‘toilet’ in the third photo, top row)

4. After my London Bridge appointment, I finally got to tick off a London attraction I’ve been wanting to see for years, from my to-see list, The Old Operating Theatre Museum.

Old operating theatre museum
Old operating theatre museum

The Old Operating Theatre Museum is this tiny little place, in the literal roof of a church, on a street about 5 minutes walk from Guy’s Hospital and it’s where they used to store herbs and medicines and do operations on women. Being in the roof of a church, it is not the most accessible of places but if you’re okay with steep spiral staircases and slightly squeamish stuff, it’s definitely worth a visit. It’s quite quaint (in a nice way), with all the hand written labels and stuff, after spending most of my museum time hanging around glossy museums like the V&A, it was a nice change.

My creation

And it was especially eerie and a little chilling to be able to stand in the galleries of the actual operating theatre, exactly where people used to come and watch the surgeries.

Old operating theatre museum

5. And finally, the trip to Borough Market I mentioned? The bakery stalls there are always so tempting and there’s one stall there (unfortunately I can’t remember the name), that sells doughnuts, which are obviously so hip or something because there’s often people standing around the stall instagraming them. Anyway, whenever I pass this stall, I either don’t fancy a doughnut (strange person, I know) or they’ve sold out but they had doughnuts and I wanted one! The London Bridge appointment was to see a dentist, so I was not exactly going to eat this doughnut before I saw him and I was a good girl, I even carried it all the way round The Old Operating Theatre afterwards but by the time I was on the tube platform, heading home, I could not resist. I got the doughnut out the bag, they had had three choices, vanilla, caramel and honeycomb or blackberry jam and I had gone for the classic (well more classic) blackberry and oh my word, when I bit into that doughnut, it was more jam than doughnut. The hipster part of me, I admit, really want to photograph my doughnut at this point but if I had the jam would have ended up all over the platform floor and not in my tummy and this would have been wrong, so you’ll just have to take my word for it, how good this doughnut was. Sigh, the doughnut was lightness and sugaryness personified and the jam, oh the jam, it was more like thick blackberry puree really with a heavy hint of lemon and it was so, so good. Sadly (or perhaps good, for my teeth and my waistline), I don’t have to go back to see this particular dentist until next April, darn it, I need another excuse to go to London Bridge!

(After years and years and years of blogging on Lacer’s Life, I recently ran out of photo storage space, so I’m linking all my blog photos from Flickr now – oh it like going back to the noughties – anyway, there was a lot of photos this week, so if you’d like to see bigger versions, just click on the photos and it should take you to my Flickr account).

5 things I liked this week – 16.9.16


S's islamic geometry in progress

Girl Lacer’s work in progress

My finished islamic geometry piece

My finished piece

Girl Lacer and I went to an Islamic Geometry workshop on Saturday run by Samira Mian, I’ve been to one of her classes before but this was Girl Lacer’s first time. The workshop is principally for adults but a few kids go along, it can be quite challenging but Girl Lacer is a bit of a whizz at maths and it turned out that she absolutely loved it. She’s been doing more Islamic Geometry at home too and has been telling her maths teachers at school all about it.


V&A lion

Getting out to the V&A on Monday, I hadn’t planned on going but I was in the area and the two things I had thought about doing were closed, so I popped in and as usual had a great time.


Home Park

Home Park

River Thames in Kingston

River Thames in Kingston

Thanks to the recent lovely weather, I got lots of walks in this week, which was brilliant.


First completed spread in Jennifer Orkin Lewis' Draw Everyday Draw Everyway

Jennifer Orkin Lewis’ new book, Draw Every Day Draw Every Way is fantastic, it has a year’s worth of prompts to draw, each in 30 day sections of different techniques. So far I’ve been doing a drawing a day, the first section is ‘colourful markers and a black pen’ and has nature prompts and I’m loving it.

5. Sew Over It has a new ebook out, a five pattern capsule wardrobe for a city break and all the patterns are absolutely lovely, I can so see me making all of them, multiple times, that’s if I ever can ever finish sorting out our living room, which is the only space I can sew now and unfortunately right now I can’t sew because it’s still full of boxes. But I can drool over those patterns.

On the menu: bolognese​

Well that resolution lasted a long time, I have failed to bake anything this week, although ironically I’ve been craving homemade cake all week (specifically chocolate orange marble cake for some reason, I have now found a recipe and will be making it next week) but it’s just been too hot to bake. Anyway I did make –


Bolognaise from Ruby Tandoh's Flavour
I made the bolognese from Ruby Tandoh’s Flavour, it was a bit of an adaption because as usual I came to the recipe and discovered that I needed way longer than I actually had to cook it. Of course the secret to a good bolognese is a really long slow cook, so I should have realised. Anyway, it probably worked out for the best, as Tandoh’s recipe was for 8 and I was halving the ingredients for 4 and I think a two hour cook would have rendered that much sauce into a burnt lump.

So, anyway, I am perfectly capable of making a bolognese without a recipe (everyone is) but it’s always good to learn new tricks, so I thought I’d give an actual bolognese recipe a try for a change. Ruby’s recipe involves milk, which I have tried before in a bolognese and didn’t like but actually this time it worked quite well (I still don’t think I’ll be adding milk to my own personal recipe though). She also didn’t use stock (whereas I always do), I guess the milk and the white wine (another ingredient I rarely use in my bolognese), was enough liquid as it was. If I were to line up a bolognese made with stock but without milk and wine versus a bolognese made without stock but with milk and wine, I think I could tell the difference but I wouldn’t be able to tell you what exactly the difference was. I guess it’s all down to personal taste and I’ll be sticking to my stock version, as I rarely have wine in the house (one of the reasons I went for this recipe, was that in a kitchen tidy I did find a small bottle of white wine).

Random visit to the V&A

I had an errand to do in London today, that took all of 10 minutes to actually do but I didn’t want to go all the way into London then out again just for 10 minutes, so I popped into the V&A too (excuse me whilst I practice my Photoshop).

v and a


5 things I liked this week -9.9.16

1. Wandering around the vegetable garden at Hampton Court.
hampton court vegetable garden

2. Going for a walk in Richmond Park and enjoying the wildlife and the view.
Deer - Richmond Park View from the ridge - Richmond Park

3. The kids going back to school, *blush*. I love, love, love having the kids home during the holidays and I am always acutely aware how short this time is but I also like my routine, so right now I’m enjoying getting back actually into one and also enjoying how much, Girl Lacer at least, loves school.

4. More wildlife, this time on a walk by the Thames.
Heron - River Thames

5. And finally, I know it’s a bit shallow but that Apple keynote, sigh, those new iWatches and definitely big dreamy sigh over the camera on the iPhone 7+. I do 99.9% of my photography using my iPhone these days, my iPhone 6 is as good as a point and shoot and I always have it with me, looking at the camera on the iPhone 7+, wow, that’s almost (I say almost) getting DSLR like! The photos above were all taken on my iPhone, the ones of the deer and the heron taken with the digital zoom, so not brilliant, it looks like I wouldn’t have that problem with the 7+!