Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Tuesday - books day. The Satanic Mechanic by Sally Andrew

I absolutely loved Sally Andrew's first Tannie Maria book "Recipes for Love and Murder". It was an absolute joy to read and apart from the great plot it was the people, food and places that really sparked the joy in me. I have a huge love for the Karoo, it's people and it's food. I immediately had the urge to read another Tannie Maria book - which I only managed in December but was it a worth the wait? Totally!

In the second Tannie Maria mystery Sally Andrews brings us back all our favorites from the previous book. Some just get a mention but others are once again the main or supporting characters. Oh the joy of finding the familiar in another page turner! The stunning recipes also return and once again I constantly felt hungry while reading the book. I am planning to bake her Venus cake this weekend.

This book however delves a bit deeper into Tannie Maria's past and the reasons why she handled some issues as she did in the first book - and once again in this book. The theme of the abuse of woman on many levels are highlighted even stronger and a lot of the story line touch base on abuse in all forms and how it affects the abused and those around them. However the tone stays in the light hearted off handed manner in which Andrews writes and Tannie Maria speaks and thinks.

To add to it all the plot in this book is interwoven with many stories and characters and the guilty party was a total surprise for me. Sally Andrew was my new English writer discovery of 2016 and I literally am keeping an eye on her website every day to find out when the next Tannie Maria book will be available.

By now most of you know I do have a bit of a thing about covers - I do feel it adds so much to a book if a cover is well designed and I have been know to buy books simply because the design appeals. I also for instance put off reading "I am Pilgrim" because I found the cover so uninspiring. I adore the Tannie Maria covers though - well designed, strong graphics and with a bit of a retro feel which is totally how I picture Tannie Maria in my mind.

A truly unique voice in South African English fiction this is one of my best reads for 2016. 10/10 and a must read. (Have a look here on her website for an extract from the first book and yo may get an idea of the way she tells a story)

Friday, 20 January 2017

Five for Friday edition 26

1. Well we are all back to school and back to work and it's been busy - athletics colours sport done (so proud that all 3 our kids tried at least two items). The Princess has one athletic meet done - presenting the school in discus. Who would think that tall and skinny one does discus. However she seems to enjoy it a lot. Today is colours gala and C is swimming for the first time. I am so proud that he made this decision and is pushing through (I hope)

2. I am trying new recipes this year - 3 down so far of which one was really not great and the other two (both past based) winners. I have promised some Instagram peeps the recipes and will do so soon.

3. I am enjoying our veggie patch a lot - we have monster radishes lurking there but the carrots and cocktail tomatoes are doing extremely well too. I have just planted new salad plants.

4. The kids all seem to be coping of sorts with the new school year. C is very tired of that huge new backpack and L of the new homework load but I am sure it will all sort out in the next week or two. We seem to have found a wonderful new au pair - but I am planning to write a whole post about au pairs. this year it took a lot of interviews and I think some of you may be able to learn something from my experience.

5.Do you know that Monoply, everybody's favorite board game is thinking of booting our favorite tokens? That includes Scottie the dog - my personal favorite! Just as with the Mzansi version we as the public are getting a chance to vote for this.

You have until the 31st of January, to visit www.VoteMonopoly.com and choose the eight tokens that you’d like to see in the next generation of the MONOPOLY game.  You can pick eight tokens, once per day, from the list of more than 50 contenders including the current tokens and new options such as a penguin, rubber ducky and bunny slipper.  

So please vote for Scottie and save him! I did!

With that I hope you have a great weekend! What's your 5 for Friday?

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Just like that we have a 12 year old!

Guys, time flies! Honestly just the other day we had our little baby girl. Such a beautiful content baby that slept through almost from day one. That loved food and playing. The little baby became a quite sassy little girl that kept us on our toes in the toddler years, just to become a stunning level headed girl. The tween that followed showed a lot of guts and determination - brave and always willing to do her part. Now she is on the brink of being a teen when she turned 12 a week ago and I simply can not believe we are this blessed. Blessed to have a girl that always have time for the underdog, for nature and above all for animals.

May your 12th year be blessed with happiness my girl child - may your heart always stay as pure as it is.

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Dinsdag - en tyd vir boeke

Inspekteur Derek Briel vermy Luderitz al lank - sy grootword dorp waar sy pa steeds bly. Totdat hy geen keuse gelaat word nie en soontoe gestuur word om die moord op die Jurgen troost te ondersoek - 'n moord waarvan baie van die feite net nie sin maak nie. Sy vrou is vies oor hy soontoe moet gaan en praat nie eers met hom nie en boonop is hy hond siek en voel hy kan nie reguit dink nie. Die teenwoordigheid van sy skool verliefdheid, sy juffrou Lena wat boonop sy pa se buurvrou is, help nou nie eintlik om sy kop helder te hou nie.

Konrad skryf 'n effe anders spanningsverhaal met twee storielyne - een wat 'n groot deel grootword verhaal insluit in die terugflitse na Derek se skooldae en dinge wat toe gebeur het en hoe dit sy lewe vandag beinvloed. Die ander is natuurlik die hedendaagse en word parallel vertel.

Die skrywer skep weereens 'n wonderlike omgewing en atmosfeer vir die verhaal - die mistigheid en reuke wat in Luderitz rondhang word so deel van die verhaal dat dit amper 'n karakter op sy eie is. Dit is een van Isa Konrad se skryfelemente wat ek regtig baie geniet. So ook die ou huis waarin Lena bly - mens kan hom duidelik in jou kop teken. Met dit saam moet ek melding maak van die besondere mooi taal wat sy gebruik in die boek - beskrywend sonder langdradigheid. 

Die spanningslyn het 'n goeie pas en die ontknoping is meesterlik en was vir my onverwags. Ek lees vreeslik baie spanningsverhale en as 'n skrywer my onverwags vang is dit werklik goed gedoen. Daar is heelwat karakters wat elkeen volledig ingekleur is. Wat egter vir my uitstaan van hiedie boek is die motiewe wat herhaal en die lyn in die twee verhale deurtrek - motiewe soos metastase, skande en kanker. Auschwitz word ook as 'n motief en die gebeure daar rondom in ons kollektiewe geheue word opgeroep en trek deur die boek. 

Die Ondenkbare is 'n meesterlike boek en 'n uitstekende lees. 'n Wonderlike grootword verhaal in die tradisie van Stephen King se "The body" (jy sal dalk die fliek "Stand by me" beter onthou) en soveel ander verhale oor hoe een gebeurtenis 'n kind tot grootword kan dwing in 'n oogwink. Lees gerus - jy gaan beslis nie spyt wees nie - 9/10.

Monday, 16 January 2017

Well hallo! And happy new year!

Two weeks into 2017 and I only greet you today! All that I can say is that it has been a wonderful holiday. One filled with rest, relaxation and family (and obviously not blogging) - and it was great. Port Elizabeth spoiled us with stunning weather! Just some highlights in photos:

We had hours of relaxed family time at home and lots of time active outdoors.
We slept over on our favorite Karoo farm on the way down - it was so dry - glad to know it has rained substantially since then. It was a day of magic and nature.

The kids fished - and totally loved it. The girl child turned out to love it most for the moment. That may of course change again. She caught and released 3 fish that morning - and the boys one each.
We spent a lovely day at the Sundays river with friends - boating and eating and having so much fun.

Our Ocean girl loved the rock pools - she is not a huge lover of waves but those pools!

Our favorite beach at New Years morning was quiet and stunning - it did get busier but it is big enough to handle it. What a blessing!
All the best for 2017 - we are already knee deep in school things. So how was your holiday?