Rollercoaster Mum: September 2013

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Monday, 30 September 2013

One More Candle by Merry Susiarjo - children's book review

Children's picture book


A little while ago we were sent a lovely book by new children's writer Merry Susiarjo. Little Miss is beginning to grow out of picture books but she loves to read them by herself and being the Little Miss she is very much affected by the topic of sibling jealousy covered in this book. We get our fair share of 'it's not fair' because of Bigger Miss being - well bigger and older.

This book covers the topic in a very sensitive way as it is about two sisters who celebrate their birthdays at the same time but the younger one doesn't like that the older one always gets an extra candle on her birthday cake even if everything else is equal. It is resolved in the end by both the younger sister coming to accept that she is younger and also by the elder sister being very kind and considerate. (I am not sure how true the last message is all the time!)

This is a great book for siblings - especially if they are both very young and struggle to understand and deal with sibling rivalry. The illustrations are also lovely and really suit the book. I look forward to seeing some more in the series about the sisters.

Here is Little Miss's book review - it is a bit short on words I'm afraid as she wasn't feeling like writing that day! I like the fact that her favourite bit is where the older sister resolves the issue and becomes the one person who really understands her and I hope that my girls, however much they fight, will always be best friends too.

children's book review

One More Candle by Merry Susiarjo is available from Amazon and other good retailers.

Disclosure - I was sent a copy of the book to review but all opinions and words are my own.

Sunday, 29 September 2013

Silent Sunday

Garden fungi

Saturday, 28 September 2013

A Year In Pictures - Week 39

Once again I have failed at catching up on the blog front - and next week I start second job in run up to Christmas and we have an inset day so I fear the case is hopeless - here's to January and a new start then (I know I shouldn't be wishing time away but sometimes....)

This week has mainly been about the bloody boiler not working - three plumbers in my kitchen at 5pm on a Friday night is not good news for our bank account and the flipping thing is still not fixed - so we are without hot water for the weekend - grrrrr! We did have a busy weekend last week with two parties for Little Miss and a trip to the Intech Science Centre and Planetarium which was pretty cool - even if most of it went over Little Miss's head. The girls had a very exciting day at school on the European Day of Languages 'visiting' their classes countries and Little Miss was very proud to get the 'Respect' badge for her class this week ut I failed miserably to take pictures of these. I did however get a pic of a pretty purple beetle on the way home from school!

boiler pipes
The bloody boiler! 

Coming First at Intech Science
Little Miss enjoying being 'No 1' at the Intech Science Centre

Carabus violaceus - Violet Ground Beetle
Pretty purply beetle - think it is a Violet Ground Beetle

For some more exciting weeks head on over to the Boy and Me..

TheBoyandMe's 365 Linky

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Silent Sunday

water droplets


Saturday, 21 September 2013

A Year in Pictures - Week 38

Struggling this week - with time, with inspiration, with work, at home and just too tired - hopefully it is just the weather and the time of year. So I give you a photo of water droplets on a spiders's web. I have nothing else (although I actually quite like this photo!)

water droplets on spiders web


For some happier more inspiring posts hop over to the Boy and Me:

TheBoyandMe's 365 Linky

Thursday, 19 September 2013

The Buddha in the Attic by Julie Otsuka - a book review

I have never reviewed a 'grown-up' book before so this post was a little different for me and I should have done it ages ago but you know how it is! I recently joined the Britmums Book Club and this was my first book to review.

jacket image for The Buddha in the Attic by Julie Otsuka - large version

As soon as I saw the title I was intrigued as I find the Japanese culture fascinating, it is so different from our own and yet both are very modern cultures. However I digress. This little book is captivating - talking about a piece of history that I was totally unaware of - that of the Japanese in America between the two World Wars. I had never even realised that there was a Japanese community in America at that time.

It is unusual in that it is not told from the perspective of one or two main characters but is written as if it is a group retelling the story and yet you still learn about individual tragedies and triumphs without ever knowing exactly who is talking. The story is incredibly touching and utterly fascinating so much so that I have done some research now into this area of history to learn a little more about it. It is told by what was known as the 'picture brides' who were Japanese women who came to America in the early 1920's to marry Japanese men that were already there. They knew nothing about them apart from having their pictures, which were often old or innacurate, and it is their often very moving stories that we find out about. Many had a very hard life, some not so but many of their stories are brought together in this novel. We follow them until the Second World War breaks out and they are removed to internment camps in case they are enemy spies. The book ends with the last chapter told by the Americans who lived in the same towns and communities. Some readers may want to know what happens to the Japanese in the end but I liked the fact that we were kept guessing to some extent and I think readers are more likely to go and find out about the real history behind the novel with this ending.

This little book definitely punches above it's weight in terms not only of the number of pages but also in that I think this is only the author's second novel. It is based on historical fact but it is a very unique and captivating story. I thoroughly recommend it as a good read.

the Buddha in the Attic, Aspiga, hammock
Snatching a moment in the hammock in the summer to read the Buddha in the Attic

Disclosure: I was sent the book for free as a member of the Britmums Book Club but all views and opinions are my own. 

Monday, 16 September 2013

A Year in Pictures - Week 37

We should be back in the swing of the routine by now but somehow it's just not happening. I think I am still playing catch up from the holidays. Autumn has arrived with a bang, the summer already a distant memory. We have however made our mark at the Village Fruit and Veg Show and made enough jam and chutney to keep us going for years!

homemade chutney #harvest
It took us a whole weekend to make this lot - we had a glut of green tomatoes we needed to use - 37 jars and 4 bottles of six different types of chutneys, pickles and jams! 

Village Show first prize in handicraft bunting
We had never been to the village fruit and veg show before and we were over the moon to get first prize for handicrafts for Bigger Miss's bunting and second prize for Little Miss's herb arrangement and second prize for our eating apples - chuffed to bits! Now I know why Kirsty Allsop found them addictive!

TheBoyandMe's 365 Linky

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Silent Sunday

Blackberry picking

Sunday, 8 September 2013

Silent Sunday


Sunset at Rosebowl, Southampton IT20 cricket England v Australia

A Year in Pictures - Week 36

Back to School this week after a wonderful, busy summer. What a difference a bit of sun makes - lets hope it comes back next year! We had one last trip down to see relatives and friends in Cornwall last weekend - thank god the weather held out as we were camping (not my favourite mode of accommodation!) We chilled out on the farm, had pony rides, played with dogs and even made it to the beach. On coming home we were very excited to find a real live frog had taken up residence in our mini - pond and I made the most of that glorious last day of summer on Thursday picking mountains of blackberries. True reality hits next week :(

Cornish beach in the sun
Gorgeous Cornish beach

Exmoor ponies
Our trip to Cornwall with our exclusive private campsite! Rides on Exmoor ponies, playing with dogs and splashing on the beach. There was also tree climbing and kite flying and total freedom for the girls to enjoy.


mini-pond home for a frog #homesfornature
A frog has taken up residence in our mini-pond - sooo pleased! #homesfornature


Fantastic view whilst picking blackberries.
More back to school blues over at the Boy and Me:

TheBoyandMe's 365 Linky


Sunday, 1 September 2013

Silent Sunday

Carfest, Helter Skelter and Carousel at night, Children in Need


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