Just chatting

I’m not much of a shopper unless I’m looking for something specific, and I definitely don’t like huge shopping centers with the same multiples in every one. I don’t like busy cities either. Time was when I would happily spend a day in one of our nearest ones with a friend just looking around, but for a long time now it just doesn’t interest me – a good job really under the current circumstances! I do love to be out and about though – garden centres, a quirky place for lunch, a pretty market town with independent shops for an hour’s mooching in a second hand bookshop, a trail around the charity shops searching out old glassware or, as I so often mention, a good coffee shop with a friend. So, although I’m missing the freedom to go where I want, I don’t miss shopping. Thank goodness for reading!


I’ve bought lots more Kindle books in the past year than all other years of having Kindle added together (2013-2019) and recognising that lockdown or some similar version of restrictions is going to last sometime yet, I thought it about time that I investigated Kindle Unlimited. Since there is a two month free trial I made full use of it and downloaded three box sets (details below). This is a borrowing service rather than purchase and the reader can download as many books as wanted, but only hold up to ten books on the Kindle ‘library’ at any time (a box set counts as one item). If I choose another over and above my initial ten, then I will be asked select one for deletion. That sounds fair enough. All of which sounds great for an avid reader but I can’t imagine that the idea is much loved by authors who, in any case, receive only a percentage of what each book sells for. If I decide to continue with KU after the free trial it will cost £7.99 a month. Not all books are available via KU so I’ll see how it goes. Thank goodness for free trials. As a bonus, a number of magazines are also available. I do like a paper version of a magazine but decided make use of it so I downloaded BBC Good Food, Delicious (I used to get this on subscription) and Good Housekeeping. However, I’ve already found that this aspect of it is not for me – I prefer to flip over actual pages.

The box sets I chose are:

The Loch Lannick series by Hannah Ellis: books 4 to 6. I’ve read the first three in the series and had planned to buy these but noticing that the current cost is £9.99 had put it off. The costs go up and down all the time so it’s always worth watching.

The Bramblewick Collection by Sharon Booth. Six stories about life and loves of a group of friends and colleagues in a fictional Yorkshire village. I’ve read them all now and enjoyed them more with each one.

The Vintage Tea Room Collection (3 books) by Lily Wells. I’d not heard of this writer and haven’t yet delved into the books but if we don’t give them a try we never discover new authors, do we?

Up until I received my Kindle at Christmas I had always read the books on my ipad using the Kindle app. I wonder why it is that whilst they are instantly visible on the ipad, this is not the case with the Kindle itself and I have to wait a while. It’s not really a problem though because if I start reading on one, the other will sync and I can carry on from where I left off. Clever eh? In case you are wondering why I have both, the ipad is old and temperamental. I don’t think it’s long for this world.

Of late I’ve bought almost nothing apart from food but I did order a folding, vented umbrella. I love my see-thru birdcage one but as it doesn’t fold it’s a bit impractical to carry around on the off chance that I might need it. I’m not surprised to read that clothing sales have dried up. With nowhere to go I just rotate the same few items and I NEVER do PJ days. Perish the thought!

With so many shops pulling down the shutters permanently the high street could look significantly different when we eventually get back out there. In my local town we lost M&S a couple of years ago (though there is an unconfirmed rumour that Next could be moving in an expanding its currently small homeware department. The large empty unit hasn’t been filled and now with Debenhams closing the town will look worse than ever. I confess that it was not a store that I was ever drawn to apart from buying make up. For me, it never quite seemed to hit the mark and was far too often it filled with racks of jumble-sale look ‘Blue Cross Event’ sales of rejects. They happened so often – why would anyone pay full price knowing that an item would soon be reduced? If I can see that, why couldn’t management? Debenhams has been criticised as not embracing change. I agree. If a business wants to survive it’s got to attract customers. It didn’t. They have let down not only customers but their staff too.

I’m now going to work on my book (its taken me as long to write the latest 5,000 words as it did the first 50,000) for a few hours before deciding what to do with the chicken that was part of yesterday’s shopping delivery. I’d planned chicken peperonata but the peppers were out of stock. I’ll report back tomorrow!


  1. I had a kindle for years but eventually it wouldn’t charge. Bought a kindle paperwhite a couple of years ago and have trouble downloading/finding books. I also read on my phone and ipad for convenience. I now just download everything to my ipad and sync them when I use the kindle. I am currently wading my way through a biography of Victoria Wood but should have had some serious editing to make it more readable. I have read eight books in January mainly because the TV is so uninteresting. Happy weekend.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I do find the Kindle less user friendly than using the app on the ipad, but I prefer the Kindle for reading in bed at night because the screen colour is more restful.


  2. I’m not a fan of shopping either. I love to wander round independent gift shops in towns and villages but couldn’t personally cope with hours spent wandering round city chain stores. Delighted to have introduced you to Sharon’s fabulous books. As for the book struggle, if you haven’t already done so, this is a good point to go back to the beginning and read through what you’ve done so far, perhaps with some small edits along the way, as this is a great boost as to how far you’ve gone, how well the story flows, and it really helps me get back into the flow of it. When I find that I’m really struggling, if a short break doesn’t work, it’s going back to the beginning that does. Good luck

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for your ongoing encouragement, Jessica. Yes, I’ve gone back to the beginning and am editing along the way. I have a couple of scenes which I need to make a start on but can’t quite work them out in my head, so I’m just going to write. At least there will be some rubbish to edit!


  3. Reading your introduction you could have been describing me! I remember going to the Trafford Centre with a friend who wanted to go and it was my idea of Hell. Good to see you making the most of your Kindle Unlimited trial and that you’ve discovered Sharon Booth. I took out a Prime trial for 99p for a week at Christmas as I wanted to see the film Military Wives. It was the film I was planning on going to see at the cinema when lockdown down hit. We enjoyed the film and watched several others. As a result, we decided to keep it for another month to see whether we’d use it. We decided to have a ‘film night’ once a week and have been watching films we either missed at the cinema or that were probably not commercial enough to even make it. We’ve now signed up for a year. So we have access to films, music and a smaller selection of books. Between the two of us it’s good value – especially if we keep up with our film nights. Good luck with your book.


  4. Like you I’m missing being able to meet friends in a coffee shop and going out for the odd meal but I’m not a big shopper either. With clothes I am just wearing what I’ve got and even with my girls, in the last year, I’ve only bought essentials like nightwear and underwear as we are just not going anywhere worthy of showing off new clothes. Its surprising how little you really need – even when lockdown ends I think I shall be a lot more cautious about how much clothing I buy for us all. Good luck with your writing.

    Liked by 1 person

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