Friday, 1 August 2014

Boxer Handsome - Book Review

I was recently sent a copy of Boxer Handsome by Anna Whitwham to read and review.


"Set against the backdrop of contemporary East-End London, Boxer Handsome is a hymn to tribal boxing history and to an angry and austere Britain, a community up against itself, 'all fighting a corner; all fighting for space. All up for a fight.'
For Bobby, the ring is everywhere and he can't afford to lose."

Bobby and Connor have grown up together in a boxing club. Their friendship is tested when they are pitted together in a local competition and a local girl Theresa comes between them. The fight then spills outside of the ring and involves their wider families and community.

Beautifully interwoven into this macho, aggressive theme is Bobby's blossoming relationship with Chloe and the disintegration of his alcoholic father, a former boxer himself.

Initially I thought that this book was far removed from the types of books that I usually read - psychological thrillers or romantic novels but it actually becomes a modern day love story, not entirely romantic, but powerfully lyrical.

This quickly became a book that I didn't want to put down. I loved how the initial setting of a boxing match became almost unimportant as the story developed and it became more a story of love, pride and regret. The writing reminded me of a Martina Cole novel - sometimes shocking in it's language and aggression but uplifting in the darkest of circumstance.

I've already passed this book onto someone else to read and I'm sure they will enjoy it as much as I did.

Boxer Handsome is the debut novel of Anna Whitwham and published by Chatto & Windus, priced at £12.99

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Alphabet Photo - L

LONDON


An icon of the capital city - the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben...the London Eye just caught in the corner...3 of the four cars in shot, London Cabs.

It's been a while London, but in two weeks I'll be visiting you again. Borough Market and Camden Market are already on the list, where else we'll go nobody knows (except for Sion, he's booked the hotel as a birthday surprise!)


Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Let's Go HME Wall Wrap review

Recently I came across a new online homeware retailer, Let's Go HME, founded by Lu Ocheston-Finlay. Let's Go HME specialises in homeware for people who don't own their properties, but still want to put a personal stamp on their space - perfect for us!

All the items that Lu has on the website are easy to install or easily removable and use fun, bright prints. The very first collection was launched in July, showcasing handmade printed cushions and the quite simply amazing removable Wall Wraps, a sample of which I was lucky enough to receive hot of the printing presses!



Sadly Tank the French Bulldog wasn't sent to me, but I did get enough Pegasus wall wrap to jazz up my frankly outdated kitchen cupboards

BEFORE



AFTER



The Wall Wrap is basically a giant sticker, but rolled like wallpaper. All you need is a smooth surface and scissors. Measure the space you want to cover, mark it on the back of the Wall Wrap and cut to size, leaving some spare in case of measuring mistakes (talking from experience!)



Peel the first 5cm of backing away and stick the Wall Wrap to your covering area.



Gradually peel the backing paper away, smoothing any air bubbles as you go. If you notice that you haven't quite stuck it on straight, you can peel it back off. I can vouch for the fact that while being easy to peel back, because the material is a wipeable matt vinyl, rather than paper it does not distort or tear - even when you re-position one piece 4 times (crafts appear to not be a strong point!)



Once you've unpeeled it completely, use a craft knife to carefully cut away any extra Wall Wrap. Then stand back and admire your funky new cupboards...or wall, or drawers, or folders, or anything else that takes your fancy...



There are currently 3 designs of Wall Wrap for sale at £45.00 for a 46cm x 10m roll on the Let's Go HME website. Having used this to cover our kitchen cupboards I would highly recommend this for kitchen & bathroom walls as well as any number of other uses throughout your home. I used a small piece of leftover Wall Wrap on a plain painted wall and after 5 days, it lifted clean away without taking any paint off, or leaving any stickiness behind.

If you think the designs are a little too bold for your space, Lu is also selling fine bone china mugs for £12.00, featuring pretty floral designs.



I was not compensated for this review, however I was sent a sample of the Wall Wrap to enable me to use and test it. All words and opinions remain my own.
Family Fever
Love Chic Living and Love Your Home

Monday, 28 July 2014

Water fights and Horses...

Well, what another jam packed weekend that was!

We invited Sion's family over to ours for a BBQ on Friday evening...there may have been mention of a water fight so I very sensibly went to the toy store at lunchtime to build up our armory. 

Sion's niece & nephew sensibly arrived with their water pistols ready loaded and a change of clothes, but it was actually Sion's older sister who bore the brunt of the hose pipe that Sion unfairly sprayed everyone with - so much so that BIL was phoned to bring a fresh set of clothes down!

Of course we got Sion back later in the evening, although he soon ripped the hosepipe from my hands and got me absolutely soaked...it was only when we took a breather that we realised everyone else had retreated into the conservatory to watch from afar!

Saturday was a beautiful blue sky day. We met up with Sion's work colleagues and headed to Salisbury racecourse for an evening of races. Luckily most people at least broke even by the end of the seven races so we were all in high spirits for the 2 hour open air nightclub that was put on once the racing finished at 9pm. There were some *interesting* dance moves being thrown about, but all that exercise meant that by thew time we wound our way back to the coach at 11.30 we were on our way to being sober...not so sober to stop us picking up a kebab each on the way home mind you!





Sunday brought us back to earth with throbbing feet and a slightly fuzzy head! We shook off the cobwebs by taking Sion's mum & step-dad out for a walk through Riverside Park to The White Swan, where we sat outside and had a few drinks and a lovely light lunch. If anyone is in the Southampton area I'd highly recommend heading down for something to eat, the scallops in bacon & mushroom sauce were the firm favourite at our table!

All that was left to do when we got home was a little DIY crafting that I'll be posting about tomorrow and homemade pizzas for a lazy Sunday evening supper. It was a pretty special, ordinary weekend!

Joining in this week with Magic Moments and What's the Story?




Wednesday, 23 July 2014

BRITA Competition Update

Regular readers will remember me holding a BRITA water jug competition back in May to promote their Better with BRITA competition in partnership with Delicious Magazine and The Big Feastival. While my Lemon Meringue Pie didn't quite make the cut, 10 lucky finalists have now been chosen.

Now all they have to do is cook their products in front of a judging panel - makes me glad I didn't get chosen actually!

Seeing as it's boring Wednesday hump day I thought I would share with you pictures of all the final entries - maybe it'll make you hungry, maybe it'll give you an excuse to get something yummy in for your tea, or like me, maybe it'll make you want to get the cookbooks out and have a go at making something yourself!


Better with BRITA Shortlist (in no particular order)

Lana's Little Pumpkin Pies



Alex's Gluten Free Brownies



Zalena's Chicken Cavabs



Sarah's Southsea Pies



Linda's Gluten Free Cocoa Swirls



Narine's Trilionaire's Slice



Jakes' Summer Fish Wellington



Rekha's Samosas



Emily's Cupcakes



Christine's Oatcakes


Good luck to all 10 finalists! The three winning entries will be selling their products at The Big Feastival on 29th-31st August.