7th August 2017 by - No comments

I have never been hugely interested in politics or wars for that matter. Ive always believed that your religious and political views are private and should be kept that way.

However I do love it when a movie comes along which gives you a more personal view of politicians or important historical heads of state. Movies that show us that these strong figureheads who fought wars and won battles also loved and had hearts.

The Movie –

Churchill is one such movie, which shows us the private side of the late great Winston Churchill.

Tensions mount for beleaguered British Prime Minister Winston Churchill as D-Day nears in June 1944.

Fearful of repeating past mistakes, Churchill is reluctant to embark on the large-scale campaign that the entire war effort hinges upon.

Clashing with his political opponents, the troubled leader receives unwavering support from his devoted wife, Clementine.

With strength and shrewdness, she tries to prevent his physical, mental and spiritual collapse while inspiring him to achieve greatness.

Verdict –

I thoroughly enjoyed this movie. I was a little sceptical at first as it is a political movie. But I was plesantly suprised.

Not only did the movie show us how deeply affected Churchill was by his loss at Gallipoli, it showed us what an important role his wife Clementine played in his life.

The movie made me smile at time, extremely sad at times. It made me realise yet again how lucky we are to be living in a free country without war in our close proximity. And how terrible wars are.

A very educational and thoroughly watchable movie. Brian Cox as Churchill and Miranda Richardson as Clementine are both fantastic.

31st July 2017 by - No comments

I am writing to you from sunny Antalya! We just spent a wonderful 3 days in Istanbul, and are now at our final stop for the summer for sone much needed sun, sea and sand.

Whilst in Istanbul I came across this fantastic book I just had to read. I havent quite finished it yet but have read enough to tell you all about it.

The Book –

At midnight, December 31, 1925, citizens of the newly proclaimed Turkish Republic celebrated the New Year. For the first time ever, they had agreed to use a nationally unified calendar and clock.

Yet in Istanbul–an ancient crossroads and Turkey’s largest city–people were looking toward an uncertain future. Never purely Turkish, Istanbul was home to generations of Greeks, Armenians, and Jews, as well as Muslims. It welcomed White Russian nobles ousted by the Russian Revolution, Bolshevik assassins on the trail of the exiled Leon Trotsky, German professors, British diplomats, and American entrepreneurs–a multicultural panoply of performers and poets, do-gooders and ne’er-do-wells.

During the Second World War, thousands of Jews fleeing occupied Europe found passage through Istanbul, some with the help of the future Pope John XXIII. At the Pera Palace, Istanbul’s most luxurious hotel, so many spies mingled in the lobby that the manager posted a sign asking them to relinquish their seats to paying guests.

In beguiling prose and rich character portraits, Charles King brings to life a remarkable era when a storied city stumbled into the modern world and reshaped the meaning of cosmopolitanism.

Verdict –

Pera Palace is one of my favourite hotels ever! Not only is it a beautifully amazing building set in the old part of Istanbul. It also has such a rich history I am not one bit suprised it has a book based around it.

Charles King has obviously researched the history of this amazing city very well. It is like looking back at Turkey’s history from the demise of the Ottoman empire through to the cosmopolitism it has reached today. After World War I Turkey went through immense changes, and became the Turkey it is today under the leadership of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk.

A good book to read to understand the changes Turkey has gone through to get to where it is today.

Next time you are in Istanbul be sure to visit the Pera Palace, it’s like walking back in time.

24th July 2017 by - No comments

I am writing to you from sunny Turkey! It is officially the summer holidays and two days in I am enjoying a fantastic book poolside in the glorious sunshine!

It is a bit of a tradition of mine to save a new book by a favourite author for the holidays. So I actually bought this book a while ago but saved it especially for this vacation.

The Book –

From the Sunday Times number one bestselling author of Summer Secrets comes a novel about finding a home – and family – where you least expect them.

Eight years ago, Emma Montague left behind the strict confines of her upper-crust English life – and rather dull boyfriend – and moved to New York City, where she immediately found success in the world of finance. But her soulless, cut-throat, all-consuming job has only led to another life she didn’t want.

Answering an online ad, Emma finds a tiny beach cottage to rent in the small town of Westport, Connecticut. It needs work – lots of work. But it’s the perfect project to satisfy Emma’s passion for interior design and gardening, if her new landlord, Dominic, is agreeable to the small changes she yearns to make.

To Emma, Dominic is also something of a fixer-upper. A local handyman with a six-year-old son, he’s a world away from the men she should be interested in, but he’s comfortable in his own skin, confident, quiet and kind. Slowly, over a shared garden, time spent with his son and late-night conversations, Emma finds herself falling for Dominic.

From friends to lovers happens as naturally as the changing seasons. But laying down roots doesn’t come easily when two lives as different as theirs merge into one. And Emma will realize that the seeds of happiness must be nurtured and cherished to grow into something strong enough to shelter all their hopes and dreams . . .

Verdict –

Yet again Jane Green does not disappoint! A lovely read, her words flow so easily and by chapter 4 you already feel you know the characters as if they were living in your own neighbourhood.

Not up there with my favourite of Green’s books but entertaining all the same.

Available on Amazon & in all major bookshops now!

Happy Summer reading x