I was offered The Confirmation by L G Dickson to review. I do love a book to review and love the thrill of receiving them through the post. If you ask me, a Kindle or screen can never compete with the pleasure of a good old-fashioned book.

This is not a complete book review but I wanted to share my initial thoughts as I am now about halfway through the book.

Confirmation Book Review

The characters

Our leading character is Annie who we meet as a single lawyer in Edinburgh in 1990. She has four close friends who make up two settled couples. There is Kirsty who came across as a leader in some ways and her husband Duncan who has drink issues possibly triggered by a challenging relationship with his father. In contrast we have Virginia and Gordon who have a passion for sustainable living. It is at a gathering of the friends that Annie meets James who becomes her lover despite all of the group including Annie finding him rude on that first night.

The story

James has a keen interest in crofting and not long after they get together takes off to help a community project. Little does he know that Annie will soon be facing challenging times with a family bereavement which exposes secrets including the existence of an unknown child.

My initial thoughts

This is not a book that I rush back to keen to know what happens next. Having said that it is a pleasant enough read but I can leave it for hours unlike my favourite books.

I also had a strange feeling that I have never had in a book before in that I was far more interested in the side characters of Kirsty and Duncan than I was in Annie and James. I could not really get a grip on Virginia or Gordon at all or not yet anyway.

The author L G Dickson comments:

“The idea of writing about a woman who finds strength at points in her life when it can be so easy just to crumble really appealed to me,” reflects Dickson. “I think we’ve all been there at some point in our lives.”

As I say I am have not finished reading this book and have some way to go. I like the premise of the author in reflecting on a woman who keeps on keeping on through life’s twists and turns over 15 years and I can see I am quite early in her story. I just wish I could care about her more. I would also like more scene-setting around the issues of crofting in Scotland but that might come later in the book.

Thoughts having finished the book

I was hoping to report back in a more favourable light after finishing this book. Sadly, I was surprised to find even more things I did not like as the novel continued. After quite a gentle pace, suddenly we were flying through years at breakneck speed. I still did not really care about the main characters at all. As my frustration with the book continued, I also lost interest in the side characters to an extent.

Lots happened. Characters who could have been interesting appeared but were not made the most of. I remember reading about good writing and how authors should show rather than tell. I felt that in the latter half of the book in particular there was more telling than showing. There were so many potential good stories in the book – the development of a sibling relationship after years apart, the revival of crofting, the healing of a difficult relationship between father and son and more. All of these were hinted at but not developed enough for me to work up an emotional connection.

If pushed to give a mark out of ten, I would give six.

ISBN: 9781788035736 Price: £7.99

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Family Fever

Undoubtedly, youth is the prime time of one’s age to do wonderful things. You are energetic, you don’t get tired easily, and you consider yourself invincible. But there is a slight downside to this as well. Youngsters often put off several things just because they think they’re not old enough to mull over them. Here, we will discuss some of the things you must take up at an early age for a more secure, prosperous, and better future.

Investments

The adage that young people always want to live in the moment has become a stereotype. This is often not the case, and it’s a good thing. Surely, one should experience the present to cherish the life at the fullest. But don’t forget that money is essential to achieve the peace of present and as well as of future. For that matter, investments are a great instrument. From mutual funds to stocks, there are different avenues where you can put your investment money in young age. By having an additional stream of income at your disposal, life will certainly be more beautiful.

Income Protection

Young people consider themselves indomitable but still can’t foretell future. No one is immune to unforseen illnesses and injuries no matter how vigorous and active they are. Therefore, a wise thing to do at a young age is to get yourself an income protection insurance.

They come in very handy when one is unable to work for an extended period of time due to any ill-fated incident. Income protection can help you in covering your basic recurring expenses in that crunch time. You can secure a good income protection package from Freedom Insurance.

Loan Protection

Mortgage payments are an ongoing thing and one has to keep on with them for a long period of time. If you are a young individual and supporting a family then you should get yourself a loan protection, especially if you are due with outstanding mortgage repayments. In case of a terminal illness or accidental death, loan protection will look after your loved ones by protecting them from foreclosure.

Physical Well-being

With better metabolism and responsive homeostasis, young people can afford to carry on with unhealthy life habits. However, it should be engraved in your mind that soon all this recklessness will catch up to you; and you will not be young, and you will not like it, and may not be able to afford it. If you think you are too young to bother yourself with all such things then you are wrong. Try to maintain your physical fitness in young age, not because it will help you in senior years but also because you will even need these good habits in your 30s and 40s.

Accident Insurance

It’s unfortunate but accidents have become a mundane affair in fast urban life. Statistics of deaths and injuries related to accidents also don’t draw a good picture. So, don’t think you are too young to get covered for accidents. Accident insurance can ease out any possible financial strains and will provide you with a piece of mind.

By acting on all these things, you can make it certain that you are living a responsible adult life even at a young age.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Getting beauty sleep isn’t as simple as going to bed early. Most of the time, there are a number of underlying factors that can prevent you from getting the sound sleep you deserve. Joy Richards, the resident sleep specialist at Happy Beds, shares her tips and tricks below.

Beauty Sleep

Make Sure You Unwind

It’s all very well making an effort to turn the light off earlier than usual, but if you’ve been busy doing a bit of ‘life admin’ until this point, your brain will still be wired.

Before you want to put your head down for the night, make sure you spend some time switching off from the working day. Have a bath and read a book, listen to some tranquil music and drink a cup of herbal tea – whatever works for you. I personally find a cup of chamomile particularly calming, and a drizzle of honey can take the edge off it if you find it bitter.

Beauty Sleep

Block Out Any Light

Light has a profound effect on sleep, so it’s essential that you create a sleep environment that eliminates your exposure to light come bedtime. If you have a street lamp outside your bedroom window, like I do, or your bedroom overlooks a busy main road, the glow of flashing lights is likely to disturb you.

I go to bed with a sleep mask every night and it makes a world of difference to the quality of my sleep – I’d be lost, and exhausted, without it!

Avoid Alcohol Before Bedtime

While it’s rewarding to have a cheeky glass of wine or beer after work, it’s not a good idea to continue drinking right up until bedtime.

You may find that drinking in the evening helps you to fall asleep, but you’ll also find that you won’t sleep the whole night through. So, if you’ve ever wondered why your sleep isn’t as restful after a heavy night out, blame the alcohol!

Swap your nightcap for a cup of cocoa and you’ll be on track to a peaceful night’s sleep.

Beauty Sleep

 

Invest in a New Mattress

A poor mattress can really take its toll on your back, causing pressure points that can result in pain and, in turn, disrupted sleep. If you struggle to attain high quality sleep because you’re in discomfort, don’t suffer; buy a new mattress.

It may seem like an extravagant solution but a decent mattress can last between five to ten years – and in that time you’ll get a lot of shuteye! Memory foam mattresses mould to your body shape, so no matter which position you sleep in, you’re in for a comfortable night’s sleep. If it’s time to update your mattress for a new one, I can’t recommend the memory foam enough.

 

 

These tips can completely transform your quality of sleep, and once you get into a routine of sleeping well, you’ll soon wake up in the mornings looking and feeling fresher!

About the Author

Joy Richards is the sleep specialist at online bed and mattress retailer Happy Beds. Check out more of her sleep-related tips and tricks at The Comfort Zone or, alternatively, browse the wide range of kids mattresses available and get a good night’s sleep every night of the week.

How To Ensure You Get Your Beauty Sleep

 

ethannevelyn.com

I am sharing tips for buying items on Ebay some of them based on bitter experience.

Obviously, I love Ebay because I love anywhere in the online or offline world where I can potentially pick up a bargain. I know that even if I became a millionaire I would still love the thrill of the chase when it comes to getting something lovely for very few pennies or pounds. Whether a jumble sale, charity shop, flea market or car boot sale, don’t be surprised if you bump into me looking for quirky finds.

So here are a few tips on buying items on Ebay.

1. Always start small

If you are new to Ebay, just as with anything in life, it is important to start small until you are familiar and confident with how it all works. There are loads of items where bidding starts at just 99 pence so you can play a little before you move on to more expensive items.

2. Communicate!

Once upon a time, we needed a new car after ours was written off. Picture the scene of us working at desks on our laptop computers with our backs to each other. Both of us decided to bid on cars and within seconds both won our bids on two cars. We only needed one and could only really afford one! Learn from our expensive mistake and communicate properly with family members and put only one person in charge of the bidding on pricier items.

 

3. Consider the implications of collection-only items

Collection items can seem tempting as you can think there are no delivery costs. Of course it does not take a genius to work out that there are delivery costs because you are either going to have to collect the item yourself or arrange for someone to do so.

Picking up in person is a potentially dangerous situation. It is unlikely that you know the seller personally. You could go with a friend or tell someone the address of the place you are going to but it is still fraught with danger depending on who answers the door at the other end.

To be honest, it is far simpler to find a courier to get your item delivered. If you check out Shiply you will see that they can help. I love how you can see examples of items delivered and journeys made too. I wish I had known about this site as it could have saved us a fair amount of money recently when we needed to get several items to our new home.

4. Explore the web

I would also advise everyone to see if they can get items for free via sites like Freegle, Gumtree and parenting forums online. We have benefitted from such sites and I loved giving a much loved cot to a family who were struggling when my first son moved into a bed.

There are just a few quick tips for buying items on Ebay but I am sure you have more so please do leave a comment and share them.

 

 

 

The Pramshed