Sunday, 27 February 2011

Ducks, Books and Summer Time

You see the ducks on the little pond in the photo on the right bar? All gone. They vanished mysteriously. They were very tame, very trusting. Some would eat out of your hand and there was a particularly pretty little grey duck that always came over to see the kids even if she didn’t want any food.

A local Estate Agent has donated seven white ducks to restock the pond. I just hope no one steals them. I think most of the people in this town have visited that pond at some time or another in their lifetimes to feed the ducks. My mum or my grandad would take me at least once a week when I was little.

Out of all the books I read in February, I liked the following best:

A Spring Affair by Milly Johnson. I love Milly Johnson’s books. Her characters are warm and likeable – except those who are horrid and worthy of being hated!

This book contains bullies and we all like to see bullies getting their come uppance don't we? Well do they? You'll have to read it and see.

The relationship between Lou and her sister and mother is just a small part of the story, but it is brilliantly done all the same. Lou is being bullied from all sides, but things start to change when she reads an article in a magazine about clearing the clutter from your life. They change even more with the arrival of the skip lorry...

The Dog with Nine Lives by Della Galton. I bought this ages ago when it first came out, but coward that I am I put off reading it because I knew it would make me cry and I was right, it did.

It really is a lovely book. The true story of the little dog Della rescued from a beach in Rhodes. I’m going to be buying more copies as gifts for friends because I’m not lending my copy to anyone! It is a lovely book, warmly and lovingly written and I recommend highly.

The Amazing Story of Adolphus Tips by Michael Morpurgo. Brilliant story. Made me cry at the end.

He is so skilful at taking a real event (in this case the tragedy at Slapton Sands during WWII) and weaving it into a story. It is written as a diary by Lily Tregenza who is one of 3000 people evacuated from their homes so that the forces could practice for the D Day landings.

Finally, The Stone Monkey by Jeffery Deaver. It is the fourth in the Lincoln Rhyme series.

It starts with the sinking of a ship carrying illegal immigrants from China to America and as with all his books the plot twists and turns until you’re tied up in knots. I didn’t guess the main twist at all, but then I never do with his books.

There is an animal sanctuary, Hillside, which is struggling at the moment with the huge rise in costs. Hillside was founded by Wendy Valentine, founder of Redwings Horse Sanctuary. They do a fantastic job as you'll see if you follow the link and it is so easy to donate - and if you do follow the link, do watch the film about Sugar, it really is worth watching and just illustrates the fantastic work they do. If everyone that reads this post donated a pound or bought something from their gift shop it would be brilliant and it's very easy with Paypal. If I could only donate to one charity in a year, it would be this one.

And the Double Summer Time debate. As far as I’m concerned I would love to have double summer time in summer and summer time in winter. It worked well during the war didn't it? Actually what I would prefer is that they didn’t bugger about with the clocks at all and we had consistent time all through the year. What do you think?


  1. Hi Teresa, I am new to your blog.

    I clicked through to the Hillside site and I will be buying a Donkey pen later today ;)

    All the best,

    Loona :D

  2. Wow - you seem to have covered a lot for so (fairly) early on a Sunday morning, Teresa! Fingers crossed for the ducks, but I don't know much about double summer time, except that any change plays havoc with animsals and babies! So I think I agree with you. Let's just have Time. oit summer, not wintr. Just plain old time. Much simpler

  3. PS Please excuse misprints(above) - practising with new birthday laptop which has tiny tiny print!

  4. Thank you Loona! Those donkey pens are really great - I use those a lot! Thank you so much for visiting the site :-)

    Yes Frances! Time. Who needs Greenwich Mean or British Summer or Double this and that. Just Time would do nicely. I really don't understand why it has to change at all. Less is more as they say.

  5. The ducks that lived for so many years by the wells in our village disappeared too. We all think a fox was to blame, but they have been replaced now. It didn't feel right without them. When the girls were small, they loved looking out for them when we went for a walk.

    I would love to see Time remaining the same all year. It takes ages changing all our clocks!

    Thank you so much for the book reviews. I really like the look of A Spring Affair in particular.

  6. Thank you for sharing your reads with us. I've quite a few books laying by my bed at the moment all started and stopped at different places as I try to make up my mind which to finish first. My husband finds it strange I can do that without getting in a right mess with the plotline of which book I'm reading.

    Just me, I think, odd :-)

    Hope your ducks are okay.

  7. You certainly miss them when they go don't you, Joanna.
    Glad you're with us on the Time thing :-)
    I think you'd enjoy a Spring Affair. It's the third one of Milly Johnson's books I've read and they've all been great.

    Jarmara I can only read more than one book at a time if they're different, say a novel, a children's book and a non fiction book. I couldn't read three novels at the same time - I would get confused, but then it doesn't take much to confuse me these days :-)
    Wish they were my ducks! One day I'll have a pond with ducks of my own... one day ;-)

  8. What a shame about the ducks. It's quite likely a fox was to blame. If they take one, they usually keep coming back and take the rest.

    I'd like to never have to be anywhere at a set time, then I wouldn't have to worry about changing the clocks - or even having a clock. I suppose it might make meeting up with friends difficult though.

  9. Changing the clocks is such a pain, Patsy. I wonder what they did about Time before clocks were invented! I bet they didn't mess about with the hour then!

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  11. Hi Teresa - oh anything that gives us long lovely light evenings so I don't have to drive in the dark! Hate it!! I've loved ducks since my Aunty took me as a little girl to feed them when I visited my Granny, and my Dad used to take me to the Canal Gardens to feed them. Happy memories. Thanks for lovely selection of books - always good to have recommendations.

  12. Thank you for the award Novelist in the Making - I'm dead chuffed :-)

    Me too, Sue - I can't see properly in the dark and just get dazzled by all the lights. Ducks are lovely aren't they.

  13. In winter we leave home for the school run in the dark in the mornings and arrive back in the dark at night - so it wouldn't make much difference either way. I think I need to move somewhere with more daylight.


  14. That is true, Suzanne - no matter how much they mess about with the clocks it won't magically produce more daylight xx