Two new pieces of ZIA

As I said over at Fat Dormouse, I’m thinking of having a stall at the St Just Christmas Market selling ZIA…It’s fun and relaxing to do, but I end up with lots of pieces of artwork that I don’t know what to do with! So I thought I’d try to sell some…

To which end I’ll be trying to do some more “commercial” pieces, that might sell. This weekend I needed to chill, so have been zentangling happily…


Fairy on toadstool



Sorry my photographic skills are not up to much, but I hope you can get some idea of what they’re like. I’m really chuffed with the fairy, and will probably do another similar one – possibly in a circle.


June in Books

I have become very lackadaisical about writing my notes, so I am absolutely sure that I have read another book, but have no idea what it was! But these are the ones I remember…

THE TAMING OF THE QUEEN by Philippa Gregory

I am a fan of Philippa Gregory, and feel her novels are always well researched, and give a good indication of the intrigues of the Tudor court. She has written about all Henry VIII’s wives now, with this last one completing the six with Kateryn Parr. I have certainly enjoyed them all,; this one isn’t my favourite but it was still very good.

I wrote: Almost as good as the others – I found KP a likeable character, and Henry VIII shocking. An insight into the politics of the time, and the place of religion & women. Interesting, but I did skip bits, as parts became a little repetitive.


I always like Libby Purves’s books, finding them a little like Joanna Trolloppe, in that they are generally about ordinary families put into slightly extraordinary situations. I picked this one up while choosing some books to lend to a friend, and found myself thinking “I haven’t read this for a while…” and reading it!

Amazon’s blurb sums up the plot…

Sometimes it takes a fresh pair of eyes to see yourselves clearly . . . Henry is a young, hip, radio DJ; Philip is an ex-MP ruined by scandal and disowned by his party; Diana, his long-suffering wife; Marianne’s replaced her husband with chocolate eclairs and gin; and Lizzie is battling with illness. When Eva, a naïve and happy Polish backpacker comes into their lives, the values of their comfortable world clash with those of Eastern Europe. And the five English characters find comedy, tragedy and romance unfolding with bewildering speed.

…yet at the same time it doesn’t. I found little comedy, but it was an easy (if slightly incredible) read.

Ah, yes!! I remember now…

A PERFECT HERITAGE by Penny Vincenzi

I’d never read any Penny Vincenzi before, but this had been lent to me, so I thought I’d give it a whirl.

From GoodReads, the blurb reads: The House of Farrell – home of The Cream, an iconic face product that has seen women flocking to its bijoux flagship store in the Berkeley Arcade since 1953.

At Farrell, you can rely on the personal touch. The legendary Athina Farrell remains the company’s figurehead and in her kingdom at the Berkeley Arcade, Florence Hamilton plies their cosmetics with the utmost discretion. She is sales advisor – and holder of secrets – extraordinaire.

But of course the world of cosmetics is changing and the once glorious House of Farrell is now in decline, its customers tempted away by more fashionable brands.

Enter Bianca Bailey, formidable business woman, mother of three, and someone who always gets her way. Athina and Bianca lock horns over the future of the House of Farrell but it is the past that tells its devastating tale of ambition and ego, passion and wonder.

Here is a tale of survival … and a perfect heritage.

It was an easy-read romp, which I couldn’t put down! I thoroughly enjoyed it.

I have started on my Kindle. I’m enjoying it, and I think it is cleverly written. Although the language is not Shakespearean, written so it sits easily with a modern reader, the author has managed to give a feel for the cadences of medieval English. I can also imagine his father (Giles Brandreth)’s voice reading this aloud.

It has been a bit slow to get going, but now the story has started I’m finding it a pleasure to read.

From Amazon:  CJ Samson meets Shakespeare in Love – a historical thriller with a swashbuckling twist and a hero like you’ve never seen him before When he’s caught out by one ill-advised seduction too many, young William Shakespeare flees Stratford to seek his fortune. Cast adrift in London, Will falls in with a band of players – but greater men have their eye on this talented young wordsmith. England’s very survival hangs in the balance, and Will finds himself dispatched to Venice on a crucial embassy. Dazzled by the city’s masques – and its beauties – Will little realises the peril in which he finds himself. Catholic assassins would stop at nothing to end his mission on the point of their sharpened knives, and lurking in the shadows is a killer as clever as he is cruel. Suspenseful, seductive and as sharp as an assassin’s blade, The Spy of Venice introduces a major new literary talent.

As I’ve almost finished this I’ll count it as a June book!