May 2017 round up

We are into June now (how?) and so it is time to recap what we have been up to in May.


I’ve had a lot going on this month so it hasn’t been a great one for books again.

  • Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince – audiobook narrated  by Stephen Fry
  • A Death in the Dales (Kate Shackleton #7) – Frances Brody
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – audiobook narrated  by Stephen Fry
  • The Clothes-Horse and Other Stories – Janet and Allan Ahlberg
  • The Witches – Roald Dahl audiobook narrated by Miranda Richardson
  • Maisie Comes to Morningside (Maisie #1) – Aileen Paterson
  • Maisie Meets her Match (Maisie #4) – Aileen Paterson
  • What Maisie Did Next (Maisie #14) – Aileen Paterson
  • The Dragon in the Cupboard (Usborne Young Puzzle Adventure) – Karen Dolby
  • Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone – audiobook narrated  by Stephen Fry
  • Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets – audiobook narrated  by Stephen Fry

A lot of audiobooks (around 100 hours worth in fact) which gives an insight into how badly I’ve slept this month as most of that has been night-time listening (some is afternoon napping to make up for lack of night-time sleep).

And I still have a few things on the go:

  • The Book of Fours (Buffy TV tie in) – Nancy Holder
  • Hey, Seymour! – Walter Wick
  • The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar and Other Stories – Roald Dahl audiobook narrated by
  • The Saucy Jane Family – which I have been comparing the text in, here and here.
  • Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban – audiobook narrated by Stephen Fry
  • Mindful Birthing: Training the Mind, Body, and Heart for Childbirth and Beyond – Nancy Bardacke

I still have some library books to start:

  • Why Is This Night Different From all Other Nights? (All the Wrong Questions #4) – Lemony Snicket
  • Death at the Seaside – (Kate Shackleton #8) – Frances Brody
  • Blotto, Twinks and the dead Dowager Duchess – (Blotto & Twinks #2) – Simon Brett
  • Cream Buns and Crime (Wells and Wong Detective Agency) – Robin Stevens


  • More One Born Every Minute. I was very annoyed when it wasn’t on one week thanks to The Trial!
  • Hollyoaks, as usual
  • Taskmaster
  • Murder She Wrote. I have every episode (264 to be precise plus four TV movies…) and have started watching them from the start again.
  • The Fifteen Billion Pound Railway – about a new train line being built in central London


  • Spent far too much time in hospital! I had an overnight stay at the start of the month and have had weekly (sometimes twice weekly) visits since then. Thankfully everything seems to be OK after an initial panic but it has caused a lot of stress and taken up a lot of time. And on the plus side it has meant extra scans so we’ve been able to see our little boy more often!

  • Been on holiday (and had to come back mid-week for my hospital check-up) near Aviemore. We had nice weather almost all week and managed some nice day trips.
  • Picked out the pram I want and a blind for the nursery (we will be prepared eventually!)
  • Bought some new books (I can always find a bookshop or two when I’m away!) I picked up two more of the Animals of Farthing Woods books for 50p each in a second-hand bookshop in Kingussie, and I also went up to Leakey’s in Inverness. I spent a good while browsing their big children’s section (full of things like Biggles, Rupert annuals, A.A. Milne, Elsie J Oxenham and of course Blyton. I had most of the Blytons they had but I got The Zoo Book (which I wrote about earlier this week) and also The Princess and the Goblin by George MacDonald. Avid Blytonites may recognise that title as it was one of Blyton’s most favourites when she was a little girl. I also bought The Troublesome Three (an unusual colour picture story book) on eBay.



  • Death in Paradise – I’ve been rewatching the DVDs. Its very clever and I recommend it to anyone.
  • One Born Every Minute – Fiona and I have been watching this when its been on the telly. I swear she just wants to scare herself before she has her baby boy!
  • The Famous Five (1970s) –  As you know I had to go back and review the first episodes, so they go on my watching list for sure.


  • First of all, the most thrilling thing, I’ve been helping my parents sort out the kitchen so that our new one can be installed next month. Sounds amazing doesn’t it? Haha.
  • I started my new job. I’m now an assistant clerk for a local parish council as well as running my library. Its fun and something different, so it’s all good.
  • I’ve had a colleague’s retirement party, two colleagues in fact have left my library this month and I’ll miss both of them! So it was a sad fare well even though the sun was shining.
  • Me and my other half have been busy as well, we enjoyed an old fashioned steam fair which as always seems to defy health and safety regulations but always reminds me of what my favourite adventurers the Five would have experienced. Plus I loved looking at all the old fashioned caravans, even if they aren’t drawn by horses any more.
  • We also went for some lovely sunny walks along the River Thames, and enjoyed ourselves on a home made swing we found.
  • During the bank holiday we enjoyed a trip out to Longleat Safari park, about an hour and a half away. It was necessarily the sunniest of days but it was warm and we had a good time, even though we didn’t get to go into the house, the drive round safari was certainly a brilliant experience.
  • Last but not least we spend the rainy bank holiday (is there any other kind?!) in Winchester’s Science Centre and Planetarium. It was fun, but crowded. Worth a visit if you have children to take, but I warn you, it’ll be busy!

I think that’s all the notable moments from my month. Lets hope I have some more for June, but I can tell you one thing – I’ll probably be writing the June round up from Fiona’s house because I’m having a cheeky visit before her baby comes! I’m so so excited! I haven’t seen her in over a year and that’s really too long!

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2 Responses to May 2017 round up

  1. chrissie777 says:

    Thanks, Fiona and Stef, your monthly round ups are always such a pleasure to read!
    I agree, it’s quite exciting to find a new bookstore when you are on a trip. This year’s trip was spent at the French river Loire in Tours from where we had day trips to 11 castles located at the Loire, Indre and Cher rivers.
    So we spent quite some time in Tours in the afternoons once we’ve returned from checking out the castles and fortresses (like Loches and Angers) in the mornings. We had actually planned to visit some vineyards, but there’s not much going on at this time of the year, the fall is better suited after the grapes have been harvested.
    There is a large bookstore in Tours on Rue Nationale next to the streetcar, post office and bridge. It’s called La boîte à livres and has three floors (but no Blyton books).
    So I checked out the movie books (always a big temptation for me :)) and bought a gorgeous coffee table book on French actor Alain Delon, “L’encyclopédie Delon” by Patrice Leconte (2016) and a book with beautiful aerial views on the Loire/Cher/Indre castles called “Over the Turrets of the Loire Valley Châteaux” containing all eleven castles which we’ve visited plus a few more.


  2. Francis says:

    Dear Stef and Fiona
    I am amazed at how much you have read and done – Feel humble!


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