Hello, is there anybody there….

Books are my favourite things, family and pets aside of course I read lots of books and Ive wanted to do some reviews on the blog for ages.
Ive found writing reviews quite difficult, I’m not exactly sure why but aside from a few early on in the blog I mostly wrote them then hit delete.
Well, because I love books so much and I love talking about books I’m giving it another go, the trouble is, although I can see people are reading my reviews (thank you, if you are reading) nobody is commenting.
Now, this is not a post begging for views or comments (I feel I must point out the books I review are bought by myself, or given by friends, im doing it purely because Books are the best thing ever )

I have no idea if I’m writing drivel, if I’m getting it right, if I’m writing what people want to know from a review, so id like to ask you a favour please, if you do happen to read any of my review posts drop me a few words in the comments box, (help a fairy get her wings) and let me know what I’m getting right or wrong.

Thank you in advance.
G x

Mother mother : book review

This book is the story of a completely dysfunctional family, Josephine, the mother-a narcissistic liar, has manipulated and moulded everyone in her family into who she wants them to be.
Douglas the father is an alcoholic, oblivious (until now) to what has been going on in his family, Rose , the eldest child was going to be an actress, but she disappeared a year ago.
Then we have William, William has autism and epilepsy, or does he? He is homeschooled and completely devout to his mother and Then Violet, the bad one in the family.
When Violet finds herself in a mental hospital after allegedly hurting William the family secrets begin to unravel.
The story is told from two points of view, Violets and Williams, which I enjoyed because their points so view are so completely different.

I found this book quite slow and predictable, but their was a real darkness to the story and I actually found the relationship between Will and his mother quite disturbing. I was intrigued enough to read to the end.

Im glad I read Mother, mother, it was better than I expected after some of the reviews I had read but It certainly didn’t blow me away.
I give Mother, mother 3 and a half out of 5 on the planet T great book scale.
๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘1/2 .
Read it, but don’t buy it. (borrow it from a friend or the library, dont steal it obvs ๐Ÿ˜Š)

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A wing and a prayer

Today I ironed the school uniforms, I hung them on hangers, organised and ready. Routines are being practised and are falling into place.
We’ve bought the school shoes, the bags, the stationary (is it just mine that have a case full of pens, pencils, erasers…at the beginning of september, them by october they own just a solitary chewed biro?)
Everything is ready…prepared…and yet I don’t feel we are ready at all.
I try to talk about school every day but when I ask
Ollie how he is feeling about school he only answers with “I feel ok”
I can tell from Ollies bad moods and quick temper this week that his anxiety is creeping up, he’s having more and more “quiet time” as school gets nearer.
There were tears because his new school jumper is “miles too big” it isn’t!
The haircut thats he has been asking for “before school starts” didn’t happen today.
There is a time bomb, and its ticking.
I cant do any more than I have done to prepare us for next week, but I don’t think its enough.
I cant prepare for the moment on wednesday morning when the realisation hits him that he is going to school .
I cant precision plan the bus journey because…well, London buses.
I know that I need to be very calm about the whole thing, but knowing what Ollie went through as his old school and knowing how anxious he must be makes it very difficult to be calm.
There was a time when I was so devastated for him that I wanted to never send him to school again, and now I am 10 months later, and I want my boy to be safe, I’m scared for him.
However much I plan and prepare there are things that hang in the balance, things that can tip the whole thing over the edge.
I know that when Ollie has been in an anxious or stressful situation he often explodes afterwards, I know from experience that it often happens on the way home from places.
Assuming we get to school , I have to bring him home, we have to wait for a bus, near a road, where there will be other people, looking, judging if he explodes, we have to ride on the bus, when he was younger he used to lay on the bus floor screaming and thrashing around before and after school, I have to get him from the bus stop to the house, all the while near roads, people, I have to keep him safe, he’s fast, strong, stubborn…just playing the scenario out in my head is pushing my anxiety through the roof.
Not to mention the worry over his first morning, the first playtime, the first lunchtime, the first time someone annoys him….
I know that this school is right for him, But I also know that the next few weeks ( months??) are going to be rocky, I know that however much I prepare everything will be riding on a wing and a prayer and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t scared.

The one where I’m going to try Spatone

I suffer constantly with anaemia, (because of my IBS and psoriatic arthritis) so I have to take iron to keep my levels up, unfortunately I suffer the side effects from the iron tablets *whispers..constipation, cramps and headaches*

I went to brit mums this year and in the goody bag was a sample of Spatone, I went online and checked out reviews of spatone, the reviews were very positive with people talking about there energy levels being increased after just a few days, I decided that I would really like to give this a try , Spatone were kind enough to send me a box, in the apple flavour so I could give it a go.

“Spa tone is a naturally occurring iron rich mineral water , (collected at source from snowdonia) the iron is easily absorbed and gentle on the stomach, and does not result in side effects such at tummy cramps, constipation and headaches.
Its really easy to take as it comes in premeasured sachets”
You can read more about Spatone here

I recently had a blood test and my levels were high (I’ve been taking tablets prescribed by my gp) and luckily ( ha! I say luckily but im petrified of blood tests, i have cold sweats, shaky hands and often pass out, before the needle has even touched me) I’m due another test in a month so i will be able to compare my iron levels.

I have the apple flavour which as well as providing me with my daily amount of iron will provide my daily vitamin C also.

The flavour Is something I have to address ( sorry spatone) i had my first one today and it does taste a lot like licking iron bars , i then poured it into a cup of water thinking it would be easier diluted but It had a taste about it that kind of tasted like drinking blood, from a blue plastic beaker, a lรก a very bad vampire movie, I did may have gagged a few times.
So clearly drinking it straight from the packet will be the way to go, I havent been put off , Im sure hoping that I will become accustomed to the taste .
So I’m going to drink the whole box of 28, not all at once obvs , and I shall keep you posted on my iron levels ( from the blood test) my energy levels, my looking less like a permanently tired pale corpse ( I’m not really rocking that look, can anybody?) and I shall let you know if I get accustomed to the taste.

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i dont usually review products but as someone who needs regular iron supplements i was really keen to try and the lovely folk at Spatone made that possible for me.
My actual review after I’ve consumed all 28 sachets will be honest and all in my own words because its my policy to be honest here on planetT

The one where OCD is not trivial

Last nights great british bake off annoyed a great deal of people judging by my twitter timeline, It annoyed me too but not because of the ice cream drama.
What really annoyed me was when one of the contestants, while faffing about making his pudding said his OCD was conveniently kicking in. Now I have absolutely no clue whether he has OCD or not but I’m going to go out on a limb and say that faffing over your pudding because you want Mary Berry to like it is not really what OCD is.

This is taken from the NHS website….
Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is a mental health condition where a person has obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviour.
An obsession is an unwanted, unpleasant thought, image or urge that repeatedly enters a person’s mind, causing them anxiety.
The word “obsession” usually describes something enjoyable, but in OCD the obsession is unpleasant and frightening.
A compulsion is a repetitive behaviour or mental act that someone feels they need to carry out to try to prevent an obsession coming true. For example, someone who is obsessively scared they will catch a disease may feel the need to have a shower every time they use a toilet.

I find it tiresome as well as ignorant when OCD as well as many other mental health conditions is trivialised.

Every time someone says “I’m a bit OCD” When actually they just enjoy housework it makes me want to punch them scream, in much the same way that I want to slap people scream terrible things at people when they claim to be “a bit depressed” because their team didn’t win the match or because they are a bit skint and cant go down the pub.

It all just highlights how little people know/care about mental health conditions.

Its time that people stopped trivialising mental health conditions

Aristotle and Dante discover the secrets of the universe

This book is set in El Paso, texas in 1987, the main characters are two fifteen year old boys, Aristotle and Dante, its a coming of age story, a story about secrets within families, a story of friendship and of love, but also a story of two boys each coming to terms with their sexuality in their own ways.

Aristotle is an angry loner, with a brother in prison and a father who is very distant, whilst Dante is a happy teenager who loves drawing and reading and is very close to his patents.
The boys meet at the swimming pool when Dante offers to teach Aristotle how to swim, from there a beautiful, awkward, and sometimes painful to read relationship develops.

The book is written very simplistically (I felt) and is often very dialogue heavy, but its warm, touching and as I mentioned often painful and sad.

The end of the book held no great surprise for me but I was rooting for the ending that I got anyway.

Over the course of the story the boys turn from boys to men and I felt that was reflected so well in the naration – the story is told by Aristotle.

I enjoyed this book so much, my only criticism would be with the way that both sets of parents in the book were so absolutely unquestionably accepting of their sons sexuality. Perhaps it would have been good explore what might have happened if one set of parents hadn’t been so immediately accepting .
As this was my only real gripe about the book I give it 4 out of 5 on the Planet T great book scale ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘

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Zingy lemon cookies

We’ve made a few biscuits this week and unfortunately they all turned out to be….well, horrible frankly. The recipes had all come from the same book so we decided that perhaps It was the book and maybe we weren’t terrible bakers.
Today the 15 year old made biscuits from another of our books and they were absolutely brilliant, put it this way, she made 56 and we’ve eaten them all. I think we shall put the other recipe book away, far far away.

They were super easy to make
The ingredients were just 110g butter (softened)
1 lemon
50g caster sugar
150g self raising flour
Icing sugar ( we didn’t use this, we sprinkled a little caster sugar on top while they were warm)

To make the biscuits
Preheat oven to gas mark 5 and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.

Using the smallest holes on the grater, grate the peel off the lemon.

Put the butter and caster sugar into a mixing bowl and mix till its a light, creamy mixture, then add the lemon peel and flour.
Mix everything together.

Then roll the mixture into small balls, ( we got approx 28 balls in one batch) place on the baking tray and flatten down.

Bake for approx 10 minutes until the biscuits are beginning to go golden brown.

Sprinkle with a little caster sugar while they are still warm.

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Because they were so easy and so tasty the 15 year old made another batch but using a bag of chocolate chips rather than the lemon, they were equally as tasty as the lemon ones.

We will definitely make these again, we are going to make them using butterscotch pieces, white chocolate chips, and orange peel too. Not all at once obviously.

we found the recipe for zingy lemon cookies in a book called Norahs Dinners.