Taking Stock – September


The Man Who Died Twice

Even better than the first book, which was The Thursday Murder Club (as if anyone really needs to be told; it was an instant international bestseller.) It would be best if you read the first before this one.

The Beloved Girls

A 5 star read. Twisty turny, with a slow building atmosphere of menace. I had so many thoughts and questions about what might be happening, when I wasn’t reading. Always a good sign of a compelling book. Also It jumps back and forth in time, which I always enjoy. It keeps you on your toes. Plus it is partly set in a large English, country house. Enough said?


This was a surprise; there was a time when I always used to read new Cecilia Ahern books and then I just felt like I’d grown out of them. This is a new, more real and grittier style of writing. I couldn’t put it down.

Enjoying: all the late summer / early autumn colour in the garden.

Noticing: some beautiful bright sunny days, with magic golden light just before dusk.

Making: hexagons! Too many so now I’m on a self-imposed ban for a week, as my hand is so sore. I did enjoy it at the time though.

Instagram stories questions… Be prepared for lots of responses. Don’t ask if you don’t want honesty! I didn’t mind, as the slightly circular nature was bugging me
New and improved. Sharper corners (absolutely nothing to do with the pattern, just me cutting corners. Literally!)

Planning: to use this book. I’ve now bought the tin for *half the price* of the recommended one. It’s still really good quality. I bought a James Martin one from an online retailer who have a bricks and mortar shop in Dorset too. (Ask me if you’re in the UK, I’ll send a link.) Very happy with the look and weight of it.

One Tin Bakes

Cooking: The days were mostly been so warm at the beginning of the month that I haven’t made a single batch of soup yet. (Plus being unwell for the whole of September didn’t feel like chop, chop, chopping … ) Latterly I’ve eaten porridge with maple flavoured golden syrup and chopped apple on top. Always a sign of cooler weather. Soup making isn’t going to be far off.

Baking: Dark choc walnut brownies to eat with raspberries and creme fraiche, after roast chicken, new potatoes and salad

Rosemary & Cornish Seasalt focaccia

A Facebook friend said it looked like spiders. They were very tasty!

Cinnamon buns

Cinnamon buns! YUM!

I typed out my recipe for cinnamon buns and sent it to my 13-year-old niece. She made them the next day and sent me photos. They were perfect.

Watching: tomatoes ripen. I’ve been taking a daily photo, then sending it to my friend who loves tracking the changes while he works in his office in London!

Eating: pink omelettes! I had a phase of these, if a phase can consist of two?! One with the spoonful of rose harissa are mixed in and the other a spoonful of red pesto. They taste good. Try it?

Enjoying: my micro-greens which I left to grow to salad leaf size. Much better value for money than paying £2.99 per packet. I feed them a little so there’s enough nutrients to feed the plants. Still going strong…

Mackerel with lemon & dijon dressing & cannelini beans

Learning: Italian on Duolingo app, it’s free. So many languages to choose from, but I’ve always wanted to learn Italian.

Someone is really not impressed

Listening: to Mickey Flanagan What Chance Change? If you’re a fan this is a must listen. It’s on BBC Sounds week by week. There are two episodes so far, charting his life and aspirations in the 1970s and 1980s. I’m looking forward to the next two decades. He’s SO funny.

Watching: Upload on Prime. It’s unexpectedly good, lots of twists and surprises. Maybe not for the faint-hearted at some points. We’ve watched six episodes so far.

The IT Crowd classic British comedy from the early noughties, laugh out loud funny.

This Way Up it’s currently on C4 Catch up. I hope it’s on other international platforms soon, so you can all watch it too. You just want to hug Aisling Bea’s character so hard. I sat silently feeling all the feels, at the end of the last episode on Thursday. Stunningly written TV.


See, I told you I had a lot to tell you! This is what happens when you’re home-based for a month.

Have a lovely weekend, enjoy a bit of reading, cooking, making, watching… Whatever floats your boat!

8 thoughts on “Taking Stock – September

  1. I agree with you about Richard Osman’s second book being better than his first. The colours in you garden are gorgeous. Good luck with Duolingo. I have been learning Spanish for a couple of years now – the daily sessions have kept me going through thick and thin.

    • Wow! Impressed dot com Jane! I wish I’d started last year like I wondered about during Lockdown; my friend has just had her 300 day streak announcement. We could’ve been messaging or chatting to each other in Italian by now perhaps.

      At the end of the advance reader copy I read, I saw an advert for pre-booking his third book in the series. I think this could run and run…

  2. Love the look of all three books. Hoping for the First as a birthday present… Your garden looks so pretty, and you are such a good cook my mouth is watering.The hexies look good now too.

  3. Ahh, lovely to catch up with you, I do hope you are beginning to feel better after what sounds like a rotten time for you. Your cooking and baking has literally made me drool, I’ve not baked for ages it seems. I’ve also been back into porridge this past week just sweetened with lots of fruit (passionfruit is esp good stirred in, then lots of chopped fruit on top). We’re also re-watching the IT Crowd at the mo, I love the humour it makes me proper laugh out loud. Sending lots of love your way xxxxxxxxxxxxx

    • Thanks lovely.
      Porridge rocks doesn’t it? When I felt really bleugh I ate it for lunch and it was so comforting!

      It’s Moss for me, he’s sooo funny. Someone here says he could see Jen and Moss as a good couple, which made my head spin a little! The one when they go to the theatre with Jen’s maybe date made me laugh so much I hurt the other day.

      Thank you. Right back at you xxx

  4. Hi glad you are feeling better – I love Cecelia Ahern, will put that on the Christmas List. Good job you like cooking there’s a fair few tomatoes you have in those dishes.

    • Thank you!
      They’re going down at a rate now that the majority have ripened. Last night I added some to a tray of roasted onions, peppers and garlic cloves in their skins, the little tomatoes didn’t take very long to cook. We ate them with pasta and chilli pesto and green beans. A good Meatless Monday dinner!

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