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June 2011

Book Review: A Tiny Bit Marvellous by Dawn French

By Amazon, Books & Authors, ReviewsNo Comments
A-Tiny-Bit-Marvellous-Dawn-French A Tiny Bit Marvellous by Dawn French is Dawn’s first attempt at fiction after her hugely successful autobiographical book Dear Fatty.

Written in the form of a dairy we are introduced to the Battle family: Mo about to turn 50 years old, a child psychologist who doesn’t understand her own children; Dora about to turn 18 years old, who is very strong willed – yet lacks confidence in herself; Peter the baby of the family who has a strange obsession with Oscar Wilde; Dad…who’s just dad and Poo their dog.

In the first few chapters we learn more about the family. Mo, it seems is noticing her age. She feels that she has a dull, grey, boring life and has a poor relationship with her children. The trouble is that she doesn’t understand them. Speaking to Dora seems to always lead to an argument and Peter is simply obsessed with Oscar Wilde. To make matters worse she barely speaks to her husband these days, let alone have any quality time together. She begins to wonder if in need she still loves him.

Dora on the other hand uses the term “like” an awful lot, so much so that she does seem fictional. Dora hates Mo with a passion, as she doesn’t get her. Dora has big dreams but is not sure how to achieve them.

Peter aka Oscar Wilde actually thinks he is Oscar at times and this makes for hilarious reading. He is the stereo typical geek, having his own private club with his friends at school. The password for entry to the club meetings is usually sometime academic. Despite his eccentricity you do come to love Peter and find that he is young, exploring his sexuality – being attracted to men rather than women.

Then Noel comes into Mo’s life. A mature student studying to become a child psychologist Mo is shocked to discovered that he is attracted to her. Mo, attracted to the excitement and attention of a younger man begins to explore this potential relationship. However at the same time, Peter also likes him. Peter persuades Mo to allow him to have therapy with Neol around his Oscar Wilde fixation. However when Peter attempts to kiss Noel, therapy is abruptly ended by a jealous Mo.

Meanwhile Dora has met someone online who “gets her.” The book continues to reveal the story and from this point your hooked. As the book comes towards the end it is revealed that Noel never liked Mo at all. He used her to try and get close to Dora. Dad steps in and plays hero, fights Noel and banishes him back from where he came.

The story is well written and the twist at the end is unpredictable. The characters write their diaries in their own voice and feel real. However for me there was too much emphasis on Mo and Dora’s relationship, poor Dad the hero of the story isn’t even given a name. This is not surprising as Dawn often talks in interviews about her relationship with her daughter and you know what they say – write what you know.

On a personal level though, it was nice to see Peter aka Oscar get together with one of his friends who’d always liked him towards the end.

Over all it has some laughs in it and is a good first novel. Dawn engages you well and you become fascinated by the different characters perception of events.

You can buy A Tiny Bit Marvellous by Dawn French on Amazon.

Blog soon,



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Book Review: Room by Emma Donoghue

By Amazon, ReviewsNo Comments


Room by Emma Donoghue is an absolutely fascinating read. Split in to three distinct parts, in the first we are introduced to five year old Jack and his Ma. Jack and his Ma live in a twelve foot square room, hidden away from the world. Indeed Jack thinks that what he sees on the TV is made up and that only him, Ma and Old Nick (the bringer of things) are the only people that really exist. We learn how they spend their days, Ma devoting much of her time to Jack’s up bringing during the day. At nights sometimes Old Nick visits, getting in to Ma’s bed. Jack knows to sleep in the wardrobe on these nights. Written in the voice of Jack, the first few chapters are a difficult read as he speaks of inanimate objects as if they are people and as a five year old child at times is grammatically incorrect.

In part two Jack and Ma discovers that Old Nick lost his job some months ago and that there is a risk that the bank may repossess his house. This means that they’d discover Old Nicks secret – that he is keeping Jack and Ma against their will in a purpose built Room in the garden. Ma knows that Old Nick won’t allow them to find him, so that means that Jack and Ma need to escape. Ma comes up with a cunning plan and what follows are several chapters of heart-racing action as Jack plays dead and we discover if Jack will escape to be able to save Ma.

Part three follows Jack and Ma, after they’ve been saved. Both Ma and Jack struggle to cope and adjust to the wide world around them. Particularly Jack, as a mere few months ago he didn’t know that this world existed. The ending is a feel good one, which shows the power of the human spirit and a mothers love for a child. It is a best seller for good reason, it is well worth a read.

You can buy Room by Emma Donoghue on Amazon.

Write soon,


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My Blackpool Birthday

By Friends & Family, Happiness & JoyOne Comment

On Saturday 14th May 2011 I was twenty five (see Twenty Five). After coming up with some birthday celebration ideas, I decided a night out in Blackpool. I took some photos early on in the evening to ensure I had some suitable to show. So here they are:

(Me showing off my new outfit bought specially for the occasion.)

(Me and the long lost brother.)

(Jane and Steve.)

(Sarah, Neil -brother, Ian house mate, and Mum.)

A good night was had by all, with me doing my usual mother hen-ing making sure everyone was ok. It made me feel very lucky to have such wonderful family and friends.

Take Care,


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Visiting: Ancient Anglesey

By Adventures, Friends & Family, HistoryOne Comment

About a month ago Chrys, Simon and I had planned to stay over at Anglesey at Chrys’ caravan for the weekend. Unfortunately Chrys was ill and unable to make it, but she kindly let Simon and I borrow her caravan. Simon had often spoke about his love of Anglesey before and it’s ancient pagan roots. So I let Simon be my guide.

First we visited an ancient burial chamber:

It was amazing to see what the ancient pagan’s had built, especially with the tools they had at the time. It had a odd feeling of death, but in a positive way.

Next we visited an ancient village with a stone circle:

Despite thousands of years of disuse, the stone circle vibrated energy and had a feeling that it wanted to be used. It made me consider the power pagans use today – more than likely we practice a much weaker version of paganism than in ancient days. This could possibly be attributed to Druids passing information down verbally, prior to the Romans invading. This possibly leading to a lot of knowledge being lost. Simon and I had a good time speculating here: what the rooms may have been used for, how the people lived and what it would have been like when the Romans arrived. We visited a little Christian Chapel before heading on to Beaumaris Castle.

Beaumaris Castle was really interesting. An in-built dock, several turrents and both an outer and an inner wall. Although it was never finished by Edward I you could see how people lived. I was amazed by the amount of toilets ha ha, they must have had weaker bladders in them days. It was great to see, but if they’d put some of the wooden floors back in it would have enhanced the experience and made it feel even more real. There was a small exhibition giving the history of the castle which was fascinating and a gift shop too. Photos:

If you’ve never been, like history and beautiful countryside then go and visit. It’s lovely. The weather was changeable while we were there going from sunny to raining. However we had good enough weather to visit what we wanted. Simon tells me there is a lot more to see on Anglesey, so I guess I’ll be going back at some point.

Write soon,


I aim for posts on this blog to be informative, educational and entertaining. If you have found this post useful or enjoyable, please consider making a contribution by Paypal:

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