I have never read anything by Darcy Coates before, so when I chose Dead Lake, it was a bit of an unknown entity. Billed as a supernatural thriller, I can honestly say I was not disappointed.
When Sam heads to her uncle's remote cabin by the lake, her intention being to paint some new material for her forthcoming show, she gets more inspiration than she could ever have imagined.
Isolated, exhausted and tired, Sam tries to find motivation to paint, but somehow the images she produces don't quite seem to be her own....
This is a spooky tale 100%. I was reading this on a windy dark night, and I made sure more than once to check the doors were locked. It was that tense, and that is a rare find!
Sam sets out to find out just what is happening, having been completely spooked when she sees a man on the dock. She wasn't expecting anyone to be around. What makes matters worse is when she hears on the radio of all the missing persons cases in the vicinity.
With no phone signal, when she then finds her car has also been tampered with, Sam decides to call for help - the nearby ranger station. Cue a desperate race between Sam and her pursuer, as she uncovers grisly discoveries and finally unravels the mystery.
This is quite a short read, but the pace is breathtaking and it doesn't let up on the tension and suspense. A good read, and I shall definitely be heading for more of Darcy's output in the near future.
I would rate this a good 7 out of 10. The tension and suspense were great, but I would have liked a little bit more background on the main character Sam, as it was hard to attach with her. I also would have liked to know more about the perpetrator. Granted that would have made it a longer read, but a little more would have just filled it out that bit more. Great short read, recommended.
I read this and thought hell yeah!! I have been so worried lately over what people think. Worried about letting people down, letting myself down, procrastinating everything and anything.
Then I read this and I thought - why am I worrying what other people think? I know who I am, and I am good at what I do. I don't need to keep doubting myself. I am a lion.
Lions roar. Lions rule their pride, and defend their own. They stand their ground. They don't have sleepless nights worrying what sheep think of them, or what sheep think, or even whether sheep even exist!!
So, from this point forward I am a lion. I just need to roar!! :)
So who do I pick next? At this point, I am considering Adele, Katy Perry or maybe U2. Possibly The Spice Girls or Girls Aloud. Or I might go rock and think ACDC or Guns and Roses. I might go indie and choose Green Day or go classic old school with a bit of The Who or The Beatles.
So many choices, I shall mull it over a little longer. :)
I did not want to go to the gym today. My legs were still sore and achy from Thursday's personal training session, I was tired, and I had a little bit of a sore head from having a couple of the old vino's yesterday evening.
So I forced myself to go, partner in tow, also a reluctant today. We ran, we rowed. He went off to do his weights, and I opted for the cross trainer. Directly in front of me, a couple were walking on the treadmills. Both wearing sweats and looking a bit too warm. She decided to take off her sweatshirt whilst still walking.
The next thing I knew, she was on the floor behind the treadmill, flat on her back with the sweatshirt still over her head. I can only assume that trying to take it off had unbalanced her and she had been flung unceremoniously from the treadmill. I started to laugh, but tried to pull myself together as she was still fighting with the sweatshirt which was stuck on her head, and I wasn't sure if she was laughing or crying.
Once she got the sweat off her head, I could see she was fine, but very embarrassed. By this point, it was me who was crying. I was absolutely helpless. I had to stop the cross trainer and go over to the other half, as it was totally inappropriate for me to be so close to her howling like a banshee with raucous hysterics.
The other half had no clue what was up with me. I couldn't compose myself for a minute or two to explain, but once I did, I set him off too!!
I finally managed to regain control of myself, and pulled myself together, continuing my workout. The problem was she had gamely continued her own workout, and I kept seeing her which kept setting me off again!!
I have to say, as a result, I totally enjoyed my workout today!! ;)
I'm miserable when I gain weight. There, I said it. I'm a real grump when I feel sluggish and bloated and unhealthy. You might therefore, and quite rightly, ask why I have done this to myself. A very good question.
Lets consider that for a moment shall we? I have done this to myself because food tastes great. Well, fattening food does, fast food does, snack food does. Lettuce does not. That's the truth of it. So my first considered response is I have done this because I love food.
I could leave it there, simples. Alas, its not so simple. Nothing ever is it? No, not simple at all, far from it.
The truth of the matter, for me, is this. I do love food, yes, first answer is true enough. Its the self control over how much, how often and what that is the problem. You can still love food and be slim. Plenty of people are.
My problem is that I am either in control or I am not. I am either on a diet or I am not. I never, repeat never, consider healthy eating to by my lifestyle. I'm on a calorie controlled diet, going to a diet club (insert practically everyone at some point in my life), pointing, food optimising, portion controlling, cutting out carbs - whatever diet, its a diet.
When I stop noticing what I eat, I eat what and when I want. I always go mad, no discipline in sight. The result? Massive weight gain. Which is horrendous for my appearance, my confidence, my ability to fit in my clothes and now I am bloody miserable.
I need to get a grip. I keep saying "diet starts tomorrow", but to quote the cliche - tomorrow never comes. I need to replace tomorrow with now, today.
I wonder to myself how I can even consider stuffing food down my chops when it makes me feel this way, its like something takes over me. All I can do at this point is diet. Nothing else for it.
The issue is finding a way when this weight is off again, of not doing this to myself again!! Solve that puzzle and I've cracked it. Right now, I'm (not so little) Miss Grumpy!! :(
Every now and then I become aware of a National day for "this" or for "that" or the "other". Usually I discover too late to actually be able to indulge in the appropriate celebration, whatever it may be. So an idea struck me, and that was to compile a list of the days coming up each month, so we can all be aware of them in advance!!
So, coming up, although granted January is already whizzing by, will the National Days for January.
This week I have chosen the wonderful classic 'Angels' by Robbie Williams as my Retro Single of the Week.
Angels was released in December 1997. I had no idea it was that long ago. This was one of the many great collaborations between Robbie and Guy Chambers. Make no mistake, this song made Robbie huge!
It was the fourth single from his debut album, Life Thru a Lens, which was also released in 1997. Amazingly, it only reached number 4 in the UK chart. How can that be when its the song everyone associates with this guy? Unbelievable really, especially when you consider that this song is played at most of his live shows, not to mention at every wedding, anniversary or other such functions I have been since!!
The video is a subdued affair shot in black and white. Its moody feel features Robbie looking cool walking on a long beach, a helicopter flying above him, breaking waves. There are close ups of a girl, and Robbie playing keepy ups with a football. Then he walking with her in his arms, wearing shades looking hot. They ride down the white beach on a motorbike whilst the helicopter flies overhead. It's a stunning video.
Angels is an anthem. Robbie sounds amazing, and if you have ever tried to sing it, you will appreciate his vocal talent and range - it is nigh on impossible to do the key changes and hit the notes he does so effortlessly.
The lyrics are truly beautiful. It begins "I sit and wait, does an angel contemplate my fate. And do they know, the places where we go, when we're grey and old". I could easily quote the whole song here, but jumping ahead to the chorus who hasn't belted this out at the end of a night out "and through it all, she offers me protection, a lot of love and affection, whether I'm right or wrong, and down the waterfall, wherever it may take me, I know that life won't break me, when I come to call, she won't forsake me" dum dum dum dum dum de "I'm loving angels instead". Oh my goodness even writing those words makes me feel emotional, and apologies for the dum dums, it just didn't feel right to exclude them!!
Such a stunning, beautiful, emotional and powerful song this. If you have somehow not ever heard this go and listen to it immediately!! You are missing out. If, like me, you already love it, then still go and listen immediately. I hadn't heard it for a little while - having not been to a wedding so far this year of course!! Playing it tonight made me feel good. 100% love this song. It just cannot be faulted in any way.
If you want more of Robbie, or more other music choices to inspire you, go check out My Music page here. Happy listening. :)
And so it begins. Again. For what feels that its like the hundredth time. I want to get slim. I want to be toned. I want to be strong. Not for holiday, though its always a strong incentive, but no, this time its for me.
So its January almost gone, but still some sunshine to be had. Sadly not the summer days we imagine at the seaside though.
Which got me to thinking - if we do happen to get another chance at sunny days, how can I recreate the seaside given that we live nowhere near it?
Here is my plan to make our garden and home like being on a seaside break.
1 - make a sand pit
2 - get a paddling pool
3 - get a cocktail kit
4 - get some white fluffy towels
5 - get some beach towels
6 - pack a picnic
7 - get some soft ice cream and cones
8 - get the bbq out
9 - get some sea shells
10 - get a bucket and spade
11 - get a vintage swimsuit
12 - get some blackpool rock (doesn't have to be blackpool)
13 - get some games - giant jenga, giant kerplunk, bat and ball
14 - eat fish and chips in paper
15 - get some deck chairs
16 - make a "face in the hole" cardboard cut out of your choice!
Now there are the ingredients so I just need to lay them out to make it like being away at the seaside.
Obviously, once you have a sand pit, you can feel the sand between your bare toes and make sand castles! The paddling pool is clearly like dipping your toes in the sea - possibly a bit warmer though!
Cocktails for the adults, alcohol free virgin cocktails for the kids. White fluffy towels for after you get showered - wherever you stay, the towels are always white and fluffy!
Beach towels - of course. Plonk yourself down. Pack a picnic and eat Al Fresco. Ice cream in a cone - plus red sauce and sprinkles obvs. If in doubt, get the BBQ out - great if there are a load of you - bang on the burgers and the sausages, fry some onions - job done.
Get some sea shells and listen to the sea. Bucket and spade are obligatory. Vintage swimsuit - the British seaside is not for bikinis. Get you chops around some sticky sweet seaside rock.
Get silly with giant games, and make your own arcade games. For supper, fish and chips in paper is a must, with loads of vinegar, salt and pepper. Eat them sitting in a deck chair.
Finally - get your face in the hole, get a picture snapped and you are almost certainly at the seaside!
Monday is D-day - Diet day. I need to weigh in, which I am absolutely dreading, and I also need to do my measurements so that I can track my progress in inches as well as stones and pounds. I need to recommence the exercise, which is going to be hard work. In a few weeks from now, things will be much better, but now, at the starting blocks it seems all uphill.
So how am I going to get fit again, and lose this weight that I have gained? And then once I have removed the gain, how am I going to reach goal weight and goal fitness? With a wedding looming in the future - my wedding - this needs to be the success story this time. I have no time for failure this time around.
With this in mind, here is my list of what I am going to include and try to accomplish my goals - not for the wedding, not for holidays, not for anyone other than for myself. This time its for me.
Abs - crunches, sit ups, planks
Dog leg leg lifts
Kettle bell swings
Resistance work in groups - chest, shoulders and back, biceps and triceps