My friend Lucy and recently founded a new book club. It is pretty much a family affair with the members being Lucy’s sister Rachel, my sister Vickie and my niece Amber. Lucy picked our first book: Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier. Last night was our first meet.
I quite enjoyed the book. I had never heard of it or the author and my copy of the book had a very vague synopsis so I didn’t really know what to expect.
A really brief description of what the book is about: a young girl who is employed as a companion to a well off lady currently on vacation in Monte Carlo, meets a Maxim, a well known upper class figure from England and within a few days the two are married. They move back to his mansion, Manderley, where the housekeeper is a little sinister and the house is still set up with all the belongings of his previous dead wife Rebecca, who it appears that Maxim is still deeply in love with. I won’t spoil the ending for anyone who hasn’t read the book.
The first chapter describes the famous Manderley in a very detailed way almost down to every leaf in the foliage- I silently cursed Lucy for picking such a snooze fest for our first book! It took quite a few chapters to get going. The book is written from the view point of the main character who is young, naive, a massive over thinker, a bit dramatic and is someone who manages to think up the worst case scenarios out of nothing. Her relationship with her husband Maxim is, as Lucy said a bit of an old fashioned Bella from Twilight but it’s very one sided as her husband is definitely no Edward and barely seems to like her at some points. The book only really starts to pick up about two thirds of the way through the book and does get quite good, however the first two thirds of the book are the inner musings of a naive girl adjusting to her new way of life- as a modern woman, I just wanted to shake her and tell her to stop being so pathetic!
The book was made into a film by Alfred Hitchcock. The film does follow the book fairly closely with a few deviations.
Both Rachel and Amber didn’t finish the book as they both struggled to get into it. We all rated the book, and our results are: Lucy 7/10, Vickie, Amber and myself gave 6/10 and Rachel gave 5/10.
Our next book is my pick and is The Handmaids Tale. It has just been made into a series so I want to read the book before I watch the series xx
To celebrate Mark being an awesome dad, we gave him a little lie in and woke him up with breakfast in bed and some presents and home made cards. We then had a day out planned.
As I found out from TimeHop, we did the exact same thing as Father’s Day last year- we went to Arundel Castle for the Medieval Tournament! This year we took Marks dad along as well so he could celebrate Father’s Day with us.
I love visiting Arundel Castle, it’s such a beautiful castle and you can visit the grounds, the gardens and the castle itself including The Keep. The Keep is pretty cool, there are lots of steps to get there which I don’t mind normally but doing it with a toddler and holding a baby was a little treacherous. Mark and I had to take it in turns to go to the very top as we wouldn’t have been able to safely make the climb and descent whilst holding Coen.
The castle grounds were holding a medieval tournament on the day. There were lots of stalls with the sellers in costume, there was a falconry show and knights in full armour and weaponry represented by 4 countries: England, France, Poland and Denmark. I felt a bit bad that the weather was scorching and the men had to fight in full on armour, they were exhausted after each battle!
Spence was a little concerned when each person went down but was soon fine when he found out that they came alive at the end. The overall winners were Denmark, much to the English audiences dismay!
We took a picnic with us and ate our lunch on the grounds and Mark and his dad enjoyed their Father’s Day xx
On Tuesday, I was very very excited to go to see the Nashville UK Tour as I’m a huge fan of the show. I was a bit gutted that Hayden Panetierre wasn’t going to be there but the line up was awesome. I was excited to see Jonathan Jackson as I love him in the show and also really excited to see Chris Carmack as he was also in my all time favourite show ever- The O.C! What I found quite surprising was how talented they all were, I didn’t realise that they all played instruments as well as wrote their own songs, as well as being actors! Jonathan Jackson was such an amazing singer, he got a standing ovation every time he sang. Clare Bowen was even cuter in real life and Charles Esten was even hotter!
This weekend, the local marina held a Comic Con. It wasn’t as big as the London event but it was still good fun going along. The event was free and I wondered how many people would turn up but the place was completely rammed! The weather was boiling and so many people turned up dressed in costume and looked amazing.
We met a friend of Spencer’s and his mum for lunch and the two boys loved walking round seeing people dressed as their favourite superheroes and characters. We saw lots of film props and cars such as the Bat Tumbler and Bumblebee.
We found an amazing Spider-Man which turned out to be a girl under the costume which Spencer loved and gave her hi-fives!
On Sunday, my sister and niece and nephew came to visit us. We went to the Alice Holt Forest for some Gruffalo hunting as Spence LOVES the book and they recently introduced a new Gruffalo hunt. We had to download an app in advance, you just need to point your phone at certain points along the trail and the characters pop up on your screen- Spence loved it, although he did think the Gruffalo was a little scary.
I love going for walks and it was nice to do it with my family. Spence would sometimes walk with his cousins who are a lot older than him, 17 and 19, or with my sister which he loved. My sister lives about an hour and half away so although we text most days, I don’t get to see her as much as I would like.
This week, after mastering the ability to roll around like a maniac, Coen can now crawl / bum shuffle backwards. It is literally the most adorable thing I have ever seen!! Whilst on his front he kind of shuffles backwards and he seems so pleased with himself!
This week, Spence has managed to give himself two black eyes! The kid is so accident prone it’s unreal- he literally falls over everything, he has no special awareness! I can’t complain though as I was the same when I was a kid. He managed to get one black eye at nursery when another kid accidentally threw a toy right at his face and then he got the other one running around at home and hitting it on a bench. So my cute little toddler now looks like he has joined fight club!
We organised a play date this week with Spencer’s best friend Max. We went to a nearby soft play where they could run around and play with each other. Spence loves seeing Max so it’s cute watching them play xx
In an attempt to sort my squishy mum body, I decided that this month I would do the 30 day Abs Challenge AND the 30 day Squats Challenge. In hindsight, I should have probably just done one of them!
It’s started off easy, day 1 consisted of 15 crunches, 6 leg raises, a 10 second plank and 10 squats- easy peasy, the whole thing took literally 2 minutes. Fast forward to today, day 14, and it no longer takes 2 minutes. I had to do 95 squats! 80 crunches! 32 leg raises! and a 75 second plank! I’m finding it harder to get the time to actually fit this into my day!
I took a sneaky peek at Day 30 and I’m expected to do 160 crunches, 64 leg raises, a plank for 155 seconds and 230 squats! How on earth am I going to be able to do that!! Not just physically but how will I get time to finish those in one session…. I might have to get a babysitter! xx
This week, with the weather still nice, we spent a lot of time in the garden playing and having fun!!
This week, Coen turned 7 months! He is still the most happiest baby, he is constantly smiling and giggling! His sleep has been pretty steady for a while now but this week he seems to be waking earlier and earlier with a 4:30am wake up yesterday- lovely! He has been a bit ill this week with a cold so hopefully once it has gone he will start to sleep a bit longer.
I took him to the weigh in clinic this week and his weight is also steady at 17lbs 3oz, on the 25th percentile. I was a little concerned that he might not have put on much weight as with the early stages of weaning, babies tend not to actually eat anything and spend more time playing with food instead. I had moved him onto the follow on milk where the guidance only recommends giving 6ozs per feed rather than the 8ozs he was having on the infant formula, so he was completely finishing his feeds and would even seem still hungry by the end. The health visitor said I can just go back to giving him the infant formula as there is actually no additional benefits with the follow on milk, which I have done and he is now back to 8oz feeds. His weight was fine but at least I feel a bit better now.
On Friday, the weather was warm but not too hot so once Mark finished work, he went to Hayling Island for fish and chips on the beach with Marks dad. Once dinner was over, Spence fed the seagulls with his grandpa, we then threw stones into the sea and Spence and I went hunting for shells and large rocks! It’s so nice living near the beach and at the time of day, it wasn’t busy and was so peaceful hanging out and having fun with the family xx