A Place to Read, Reading

Platform Seven by Louise Doughty, a review

I was browsing Audible, waiting for my next credit, when I saw this book available for just £1.99 as a daily offer. I bought it on a whim, it sounded intriguing, and listening to the clip I was happy it was something I could get in to. Platform Seven is the first book I’ve read by Louise Doughty although I know she’s more famous for her novel, Apple Tree Yard, which was made into a television series.

front cover of Platform seven by Louise Doughty, a dark background with a metal bench under a lighted cover.
By: Louise Doughty
Narrated by: Olivia Dowd
Length: 12 hrs and 15 mins
Unabridged Audiobook
Release date: 22-08-19
Language: English
Publisher: Faber & Faber

The Blurb

Platform Seven at 4am: Peterborough Railway Station is deserted. The man crossing the covered walkway on this freezing November morning is confident he’s alone.

As he sits on the metal bench at the far end of the platform it is clear his choice is strategic – he’s as far away from the night staff as he can get. What the man doesn’t realise is that he has company. Lisa Evans knows what he has decided. She knows what he is about to do as she tries and fails to stop him walking to the platform edge. 

Two deaths on Platform Seven. Two fatalities in 18 months – surely they’re connected?

No one is more desperate to understand what connects them than Lisa Evans herself. After all, she was the first of the two to die. 

My Thoughts on Platform Seven

I’m a bit divided by this book. Louise Doughty is no doubt an excellent writer. She has amazing attention to detail and you are taken in by all of her characters. But maybe that’s the problem. Do we really need to know so much about ALL of the characters? It makes for a very long read (listen) but it all comes together in the end with poignant messages.

The book is also divided into several parts. We start with Lisa as a dead person, then she’s alive and we get her back story leading up to her death. It’s a harrowing tale and a subject that Louise Doughty handles very sensitively and with style. It’s a different look at domestic violence, and it certainly gives you food for thought.

Lisa finds out too late that she is indeed a victim, but Louise goes into detail of all the little things that make up the abuse which people do not normally think about.

When we get back to Lisa’s afterlife she is trying to find out what happened to her, but she is also trying to find out what has happened to everyone else, which is what makes the book a little more tedious. The main part of the story could have cut the book in half and still been a good story. Maybe the other little stories where not needed, but Louise Doughty was determined to get her messages across. In the end we are all responsible for our fate, but we should also look out for each other.

Some may find Louise Doughty’s attention to detail also a little tedious. There is also a fair bit of repetition. Is it to make sure you don’t forget the little things, is she trying to incorporate a more deeper meaning to her story?

So just like the book is divided into it’s many parts, I’m also divided on my opinion of it. Yes, I enjoyed it, the story, its sadness and even the messages. But would I have enjoyed it just as much if she’d just stuck to the main story and made it into a gripping thriller without the frills? I just can’t decide which I would have liked better. However, I believe it has the potential to become as big as Apple Tree Yard.

Today’s prompt for Blogtober is ‘Never Ever.’ I really hope that none of my readers never ever have to endure the stories written about in this book. Sadly, that’s not the case for me, which may be another reason I found this a difficult read.

20 books for christmas reading challenge
book worms monthly badge, a pile of books.
#Blogtober20

This post contains affiliate links which may earn me some money if you click through and buy something but will not cost you anything extra. Thank you for your support

A Place to Eat

Weekly Meal Plan – Back on Track

Oops I did it again!…no this is not another musical themed menu..I just forgot to plan last week. I think I was in a bit of a slump at the weekend and the shopping was done in a daze. I’m back on track this week though. And we have our Mindful Chef delivery which always adds to my inspiration.

If you fancy trying Mindful Chef you can get 24% off your first four deliveries just by clicking my referral link. I will get a discount too, so it’s win win. Just click here to see.

Weekly Meal Plan – Back on Track

The girls are having lunch at home for the time being so I’m back on lunch time duties. We seem to be stuck on sandwiches at the moment though, so I’m going to try some different bread to change it up a little. The only thing they will eat on their sandwiches is cheese or ham!

Katykicker

My other foodie posts can be found here.

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links.

A Place to Enjoy, Shopping

Christmas At Avon

I know some people think it’s too early to be thinking about Christmas but it’s just over 9 weeks away. That’s not long and it will creep up on us quickly. I am an Avon Representative and I do all of my selling online as I can’t go door to door. I’ve picked out some of the Avon Christmas treats that have just arrived for you to look at. You can shop at my online shop www.avon.uk.com/store/annesweet from anywhere in the UK and look out for free delivery offers too.

Pyjamas for Christmas from Avon.

I love Avon pyjamas and their Christmas selection is always so sweet. But if you don’t want Christmas themed pyjamas you can always choose some of their other pyjamas as gifts or for yourself.

collage of four pairs of pyjamas which are described in the blog.
  1. Good Morning Tassel Pjs adult £14.50
  2. Dachshund Through the Snow pjs Adult £14.50
  3. Make Your Own Magic Pjs Adult £15.00, kids £10
  4. lavender scented pjs adults £22

Advent Calendar

I love the Avon new 12 Days of Christmas Calendar. Wouldn’t it be nice to receive a gift that lasted 12 days…or you could open the gifts in the 12 days countdown before Christmas…you now, just in case you forget the actual day 😉

Image shows a large red box with 12 numbers on and 12 make up products in front.
Avon Christmas Calendar £25

A Scent For Christmas

Buying a lovely scent is a popular choice for Christmas and Avon has plenty. Here is a small collage of some of my favourites, including some beautiful boxed gift sets.

a collage of scents from avon listed below.
  1. Far Away for Her gift set £12
  2. Elite Gentleman Gift Set £12
  3. Attraction for Him Gift Set £18
  4. Attraction for Her Gift Set £18

Christmas Decorations

Here are a few decorations from Avon for Christmas.

christmas decorations from Avon as described below. A christmas tree, lantern and string of lights
  • LED Christmas Countdown tree £10
  • tea candle lantern £7
  • String of lights £8

Make Your House Smell Like Christmas

I love the smells of Christmas and Avon Capture them perfectly with their home fragrances. Here are some of my favourites.

Image shows products listed below, a diffuser, a room spray and a candle
  • Winter Spice Home Fragrance Diffuser £5
  • Winter Spice Home Fragrance Room Spray £5
  • Winter Spice Home Fragrance Candle £6

Thank you for reading. Remember, you can order from my Avon Store anywhere in the UK. it’s real easy to order and you can find many special offers if you sign up for the Avon Newsletter. I really appreciate all the support I get from my Avon customers.

If you are a new Avon representative and want to learn more about selling online I wrote a couple of posts you may find interesting.

Setting Up Your Avon Store Online

Five Tips for Working Avon Online

Image shows a blue map of the UK
A Place to Reflect

Mind Cards For Kids

I’m a big fan of LSW Mind Cards and use mine regularly. This morning I shared them amongst my family so we could all pick a card. I thought how great it would be if they were designed more for kids. Then, this afternoon I get an e-mail to say they’ve introduced a new kids range. I’m first in line for a packet!

LSW Mind Cards Kids Edition
Lsw Mind Cards, Kids Edition £8.99

How to use:

Each day select a card at random and take the action stated on the card. LSW Mind Cards will help them to become more mindful of their thoughts and feelings, giving them the tools needed to become more grounded, patient and resilient. The actions on the cards will encourage them to practise compassion, empathy and self-love.

What you get:

30 individually designed cards presented in a beautiful lidded box. The cards are split across the following 5 categories:

Mindfulness – Mindfulness is learning to be fully present in the moment. This can be difficult for children, but by using these simple techniques they can learn to focus their minds on the current task and block out distractions. Calming and clearing the mind can encourage better concentration, divert tantrums, ease tensions and improve sleep.

Gratitude – Gratitude exercises can transform our negative thoughts to positive awareness of what we are thankful for in our lives. Benefits of practising gratitude can include improved self-esteem and mental health, better sleep, and improved supportive relationships with others, as well as a stronger development of empathy, optimism and good manners.

Kindness – We can all appreciate how important kindness is. Kindness triggers the same physiological responses that are associated with happiness. Teaching your child the importance of kindness at an early age can lead to improved self-esteem, a greater sense of calm and reduced anxiety.

Repeat after me – Teaching children to practise positive thinking helps to shape their beliefs from a young age. Saying a statement out loud will encourage your child to create a more positive mindset and healthy belief system. Teaching your child to be kind to themselves builds a healthy foundation as they grow through life.

Today I am – Experiencing emotions can often be difficult for children when they don’t have the appropriate words to express what they are feeling. This can lead to difficult behaviour. Encourage your child to talk about what they are feeling and let them choose the appropriate emotion card to attach to that feeling. Discuss what actions they can take to resolve it in a positive way and what they might be able to do next time this occurs.

Children’s Mental Health

It’s been a difficult year, especially for kids. I wrote all about Children’s Mental Health on my other blog for Mental Health Awareness Day. We need to look out for Children and something simple like these cards can help them become more aware of their own needs.

Mind Cards are a simple and fun way of becoming more aware of the things on our mind, whether they are bothering us or making us happy.

I love that these ones have been created for children and I think they are a great way for kids to explore their emotions and aspirations.

A Place to Read

Orwellian Millenium – A (kind of) Review of 1984

Today’s prompt for October is Millenium and I’ve just finished reading 1984 (yes for the first time) so I thought I’d combine the two somehow.

1984 by George Orwell, was written in 1948 (published 1949.) The only other work of his I’ve read is Animal Farm. I confess, I enjoyed neither books. But, he did have some points to make and they’ve been taken and used for many years. With words and concepts of his added to everyday dialect. Everyone knows of Big Brother and Room 101.

I don’t think he believed the dystopian future he thought of would have been possible by 1984 but as it’s based on continuous war I guess it could have been.

1984 to the Millenium (in brief!)

In the actual 1984 I was a happy teenager and my boyfriend proposed to me that year. We got married in 1986. I didn’t follow politics but of course I was aware that we had a female Prime Minister.

Fast forward to the New Millenium and my marriage was over and I was a single Mum of two children. The year 2000 was one of the worst of my life, so many things went terribly wrong, things that I can’t even talk about now. But it did get better, things settled down and by the end of 2001 my personal life was happier.

I’ve had three more children in the new millenium and lost a few family members. It’s how it goes, life and death, the world turns.

Twenty Twenty

It’s been such an awful year hasn’t it. Mine didn’t start too bad. I had a lovely meal out for my Son’s birthday in January. We saw some fabulous decorations from the Chinese New Year. We were tempted to join in the celebrations but the crowds were too big. It’s seems strange now, just 9 months later, even thinking about being a huge crowd.

Photo shows my daughter Boo, standing in front of neon angel wings
out for my son’s birthday

In February I went to see a ballet with my best friend. Since then the only time I’ve been out is to the hospital, a farm, where we had the place to ourselves, and a trip to Cosford Air Force museum which was brilliantly socially distanced. And the back garden has been our holiday saviour, especially on hot days and when we could get the pool out.

Orwellian Future?

The reason I put 1984 on my reading list is because I kept on seeing people on Twitter claiming that we were heading for an Orwellian Future, that we were entering a bit of a late 1984 life. Well, I doubt it very much. I can’t see how people think that the governments of the world are going to join together in a way to control the people beyond their own self will, and especially not with a virus. I think the people have already shown that they are not going to be controlled. Orwell talks about the Proles being the only ones to retain human free will. The Proles are the working class and he makes them out to be brainless, but he couldn’t be more wrong. I truly believe that the working class would never allow such control.

Orwell was writing a story, it is a story, and in my opinion, not a very good one or even the slightest prediction of how our future will ever become. But, it does give some very stark warnings that we need to take on board.

I could write an entire essay on my opinions on 1984, but I don’t want to bore you with them.

I’m a positive thinking person and even though 2020 has been a bit of a rubbish year, I don’t think life will ever get as bad as it did in Orwell’s 1984.

As for Room 101. I stayed there in 1996 in Sussex university while studying psychology. I’ve certainly faced some of my biggest fears and I’m still here and still free.

#Blogtober20

My list of books for the 20 Books for Christmas reading challenge

A Place to Enjoy, Shopping

Black History Month Celebrating on Etsy

I’m a huge fan of Etsy, I’m still working on stuff for my own shop, but it’s such hard work. That’s why I totally appreciate all the work that any Etsy Seller has put into their shops and I spend many happy hours browsing and buying when I can. October is Black History Month so I’m going to feature a few Black sellers to celebrate.

I’m also an Etsy Affiliate so my links may earn me some money but will cost you no more. Thanks for your support x

Black History Month Best Picks

I was going to put things into categories, but I’ve decided to just go for the things that have caught my eye and made me wish for them. Some are cultural, some are made by black sellers but all are a celebration of their amazing talents.

Bespoke Binny makes African Print inspired lampshades, pillows, aprons and more. And they are stunning!! If you are looking for something colourful and amazing for your home then look no further.

African print lampshade from Etsy.
Wax Print Lampshade £41.99
printed table placemats
Printed placemats £19.99 for 2
printed kitchen oven gloves
Kitchen gloves £25.99

Klndra is a shop for Jesmonite Resin homewares. You can find some very interesting and unique things in this shop.

pretty marbled trinket tray
Trinket tray £15
pretty marbled coasters
Coasters/trinket trays £14

BoutiqueDeBandeaux makes hair accessories which are bright and beautiful. Whether your hair is thick and curly or just straight, these will look amazing on any type of hair. I want some neon scrunchies! The headbands would look amazing for special occasions.

bright and colourful scrunchies
Neon Scrunchies £12.99
jewel headband
iridescent jewel headband £25.99
silk hairband
Satin Headband £12.99

I feel like I’ve only just touched on the amazing things you can find on Etsy from Black Sellers. Will you show your appreciation for their hard work?

You can find even more with Etsy’s Editor Picks Celebrating Black History Month in the UK

#Blogtober20
A Place to Eat

Weekly Meal Plan – Get Into the Groove

Okay with this weeks meal plan I’m taking a spin on the Blogtober prompt of Get into the Groove. I’m not cheating, honestly. I struggle so much with making a weekly meal plan and last week I didn’t make one at all. Next week I need to be more organised and get my groove back!

There are ways of getting back into meal planning and being online can give you a plethora of meal ideas. It can sometimes be overwhelming though. I look at my sorry shelf of cookery books and remember the times I’d spend hours flicking through for inspiration, but now it can be done with a click and search for ingredients you have to hand. But how to stop being overwhelmed by it all is a whole new problem.

Here is what I do when I’m looking for inspiration:

Take a look at meal planning menu link up like Katy Kicker’s. I always find something on someone else’s menu that I want to add to mine..

Use a food box service. There are many available but I currently choose Mindful Chef because they healthier meals and I’m trying to improve my health. There are many other’s to choose from like Gousto and Simply Cook. You need to choose what suits your lifestyle and budget but they can be a great help for creating inspiration for meals

My final tip is to check the recipes section on online shopping sites. Often you can find something and add the ingredients to your basket with a click. I find this so convenient and use it often. I do make sure that I don’t add stuff I already have in my cupboard though.

So this week, I’m off the music track and using get into the groove as a foodie prompt.

Weekly Meal Plan – Get Into the Groove

my weekly meal plan image

I’m hoping I can stick to the plan as I’m in hospital again next week. I have treatment for four hours every day and it leaves me with massive headaches and fatigue. Having a plan will help a lot. (Graham does most of the cooking but I have to shop and plan and help if I can.)

If you are here from Blogtober, I’m Anne from Raisiebay and this is my other blog….I don’t want to confuse anyone 🙂

So today I have two link ups to join.

Katykicker
#Blogtober20

My other foodie posts can be found here.

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links.

A Place to Read

20 Books for Christmas Reading Challenge

This year I’ve decided to join Jo over on Tea and Cake for the Soul in her 20 Books for Christmas Challenge.

20 books for Christmas Reading Challenge

My Reading List

I doubt very much I’ll make it to 20 books, I generally get through 3 or 4 a month depending on how big they are. So I’ve picked some long ones I want to get through, along with some nice quick easy reads.

First up is a book I’m already reading. I’ve not read it before despite it being a classic, so I was interested to see what it was like. ]

1984 by George Orwell.

Then I’m going to dig into another Dystopian Future book

A Brave New World by Aldous Huxely

I think by this time I’ll be feeling totally depressed so I’m going to uplift my spirits and belief in human nature with my next book on the list.

Humankind, a Hopeful History by Rutger Bregman

Black History Month

I’m also trying to incorporate some Black History books into my reading and October is Black History month so no better time. I’m already working my way through Maya Angelou’s biography and I’ve read the first book I know Why the Caged Bird Sings and I will work my way through the others too complete them all.

I did want to touch on some British Black History too though so I’ve added to my list;

Why I’m no Longer Talking to White People About Race, Renni Eddo Lodge

Black and British by David Olusoga

The Rest of my TBR Pile

There are a couple of books on my shelf which I’ve been eager to read but desperately distracted so I’m putting them on my list to be read by Christmas.

The Book of Dust and The Secret Commonwealth by Philip Pullman

I’m thinking that by this time I’ll be heading into Late November so it will be time to bring out the Christmas books.

We Met in December by Rosie Curtis

Christmas at the Lilac Cottage by Holly Martin

Twas the Nightshift Before Christmas by Adam Kay

The Hogfather by Terry Pratchett

A Christmas Mystery by Jostein Gaarder

Both The Hogfather and A Christmas Mystery were once Christmas traditions for me but I’ve not read either for years (Although I’ve watched the Hogfather on TV.)

That’s 10 books. I may be able to add a few more as I go along, but these are my challenge for now.

Are you going to be joining in with the 20 Books for Christmas challenge?

You can read some of my previous book reviews here: A Place To Read

A Place to Read

Book Worms Monthly October Link up

Welcome to Book worms Monthly October link up

Hello, Welcome to Book worms Monthly, October. I managed to read four books last month. This month I’m beginning my 20 Books for Christmas 2020 Challenge by Jo from Tea and Cake for the Soul. I’m pretty sure I won’t make it to 20, but I’ll post up my list of what I’d like to read very soon.

Reading is my passion and I love to write about what I’ve read. I’m a real book worm and I have been since the day I could read. I decided to start this linky so that other book worms could Share. I’m starting monthly for now, so you have a whole month to link up your posts. You can link up to four posts, so that’s one a week. Or if you like you can link up some of your older posts.

Let’s share what we read and give other’s ideas what to read next. Tell me your reviews, you book reading lists, your author interviews, kids book favourites, Young Adult books, and even posts about your favourite authors. Anything book related is allowed and I can’t wait to read them all. I want to find all the book worms out there.Here is last months linky to give you some idea of what book worms monthly is about. I’m trying to reach out to all the book worms out there to com and join me with their posts monthly.

Join Us for Book Worms Monthly

Book worms Monthly will be posted every month, and you can join in at any time. I will share anyone who links over on my Social Media sites, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Mix (formerly Stumbleupon.) I’ll also come along and read and comment on your post. Please do share this link up with your friends.

Link up your BookWorms Monthly September book posts below.

Here’s a badge to share. No code, just copy and paste it on your blog and link the photo back to mine if you wish. Or please mention my blog 
https://athomealot.com/ with a link instead. That we we can encourage more to join in and share.

book workms monthly link up photo

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter