2014 reading list


The Interestings by Meg Worlitzer
This is such an interesting book. Seriously, it’s a big, juicy, sprawling novel spanning lifelong friendships and exploring issues of envy and success. It follows the life of Jules, a funny girl from the suburbs who meets a wealthy, artistic group of New Yorkers at a creative arts summer camp. The story follows the group over the years – their relationships, careers, wealth and families. It’s a hugely engrossing read.

More Tales of the City by Armistead Maupin – I’m rereading the series before embarking on the finale. I loved them so much when I first read them as a student at Sussex university and living in Brighton. Revisiting them has brought home how influential they are and how hilariously funny, raunchy and original the characters are. I feel like I’m back in bed with old friends again! (I tend to read in bed or on the tube!) They’re classics.

Further Tales of the City by Armistead Maupin – only this book could lead to striking up a conversation with a total stranger on the tube. I never talk to anyone on the tube being an ultra moody Londoner. A sweet man checked out the cover and then we chatted for 4 stops about Anna, Michael and our love for the series. I nearly missed my stop!

Baby cakes by Armistead Maupin


The Coffee Shop of Kabul by Deborah Rodriguez

Babycakes by Armistead Maupin

The Clergyman’s Daughter by George Orwell

Dot by Araminta Hall

The Days of Anna Madrigal by Armistead Maupin



Posted in Books | Tagged | Leave a comment

What I read in 2013


2013 was a bumper year of reading . Here’s what I read.


The Innocents by Francesca Segal

The Poison Tree by  Erin Kelly

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce

Travels with my Aunt by Graham Greene

We had it so good by Linda Grant


Tiny Sunbirds Far Away by Christie Watson

Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen


Londoners: The Days and Nights by Craig Taylor

The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls

Eleven by Mark Watson


Why Be Happy Wen you can be Normal by Jeanette Winterson


State of Wonder by Ann Prachett

Cannery Row by John Steinbeck

The Woman who Went to Bed for a Year by Sue Townsend

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn


All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy


The Man who Forgot his Wife by John O’Farrell

May We Be Forgiven by AM Holmes


Capital by John Lanchester

The Yellow Bird by Kevin Powers


Instructions for a Heatwave by Maggie O’ Farrell

Mercy Close by Marion Keyes


A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki

Swimming Home by Deborah Levy


Dear Life by Alice Munro

The Red Tent by Anita Diamant


The Last Runaway by Tracy Chevalier

The Apple Tree Yard by Louise Doughty

Where did you go Bernadette by Maria Semple

On my bedside table at the moment:

Reading as a writer

Remarkable Creatures by Tracy Chevalier

The House of Rumour by Jake Arnott

My pick of the year?

It’s a tough call… but think it’s got to be A Tale for the Time Being. It’s a beautiful coming of age story that is saturated with issues – bullying, parenting, ageing, love, loss, grief, the natural world, quantum physics and Zen. Ruth Ozeki has a totally original voice and I found this novel very compelling and thought provoking with unforgettable characters, particularly Nao the teenage girl.  I had a huge hangover after reading this and didn’t read another novel for about a month. It’s a must-read.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment


We had a fantastic trip to Norway in the summer. I was lucky to review a hotel for the brilliant BAHighLife.com. Here it is:
Oslo: Thon Hotel Slottsparken
– Travel tips and inspiration – British Airways High Life Hotel Thon Slottsparken

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Garden makeover


Three years ago we bought our nest and refurbished the house. The garden was forgotten or unaccounted for. It’s a pretty bleak sight. Builder’s rubble abandoned in the corner, an old fireplace, gate, manky lawn ruined by the trampoline (now removed as boys’ used it as a wrestling rink). There’s no patio, the fence is half- dead and it’s just not very nice.

However it has potential! It’s south facing and has a quirky charm but definitely the potential for good times. The builders are coming next week to lay a new patio. The first phase of the transformation. I’ll document each stage – the planting will be the most exciting. As my husband and I are clearly not green fingered low maintenance is the goal!

Right I’m off to do some more clearing. We’ve three years of junk to move!

Image | Posted on by | Leave a comment

Django Django – if you don’t know get to know…

There’s nothing more satisfying than a surprising night out. I would have been happy to stay in watching Christmas tv and eating tangerines last night but found myself with other half at shepherd’s bush, in the mosh pit for Django Django. What a crazy, brilliant gig. Massive beats – think acid house meets rock meets sci fi. They’re totally out there!
So I urge you all to don your headphones, turn up the volume and take a break from festive planning to acquaint yourself with the musical force that is
django django

Posted in Festivals | Tagged | Leave a comment

Halloween cakes


Better late than never… Here’s the hilarious spider cakes we made for Halloween.


Posted in cooking | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

My encounter with an Olympic torch


What a beauty! I had the good fortune to meet a young torch bearer in Wiltshire this week and had a chance to touch the iconic golden torch. It’s more beautiful than I imagined. Go team GB!

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment