Book Review: The Harpy by Megan Hunter

Harpy: half-bird, half-human.

This book wouldn’t ordinarily appear on my radar; I normally gravitate towards a crime thriller or historical novel. When given a chance to read a proof copy of The Harpy, I looked up Megan Hunter’s debut novel: The End We Start From. It was described as “a gripping novel”, “strange and haunting”, “beautifully spare”. Good vibes so far!

Intrigued, I began reading…

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Book Review: Who Did You Tell? by Lesley Kara

I’m going to begin with a confession: before October 2019, I hadn’t heard of Lesley Kara! Then I was invited to a soft launch of her second novel, Who Did You Tell? Not wanting to meet Lesley in a state of ignorance, I bought a copy of her first novel, The Rumour.

Now, I love books but I don’t have anywhere near the time I’d like to sit and read. Fast-paced, gripping books are, therefore, perfect for me. And, The Rumour was just that.

Anticipating another can’t-put-it-down book by Lesley, I started reading my proof copy the day after the book event. Did it live up to expectations..?

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Day 53: Family Rave

Raves became big news when I was at school – legal and illegal raves swept up the nation’s youth  throughout the 90s. They were frowned upon by many grown-ups but to a youngster, they sounded pretty exciting! I loved the energy of the music and still do – The Prodigy will always be one of my favourite bands.

But, despite loving the music, I never made it to one of these dance nights. I was a bit too young and far too timid. Now as a grown-up myself, I had the chance to go to my first rave and this was one that no parent could complain about.

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Skylark Maize Maze and Funyard

In a sleepy corner of the Fens, on the outskirts of the small village of Wimblington, is a destination for a whole day of family fun: Skylark Maize Maze & Funyard. Living just under half an hour away in Ely, it was on our list of activities for a family day out and we got our chance to go this August, thanks to a VIP ticket from the Skylark events team.

The funyard is open all year round with events to coincide with Easter, Hallowe’en, Bonfire Night and Christmas. During the summer there is a very special addition — the maize maze. The 12-acre maze is themed and every year is different. In previous years the maize has featured the BFG and Star Wars, both of which we’d have loved, and this year is no different as the theme is dinosaurs!

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Day 43: Go Ape

At 47,000 acres, Thetford Forest is Britain’s largest lowland pine forest that spreads across the border between neighbouring counties, Norfolk and Suffolk – slap bang in the middle of East Anglia. High Lodge is an activity-packed recreation site within Thetford Forest and is owned by Forestry Commission England.

Being a 50-minute drive from our house, it’s a place where we go for a whole day. There is plenty to do whether you want to be active, take it easy or a bit of both. Adrenaline seekers should head to Go Ape! Founded by Tris and Becs Mayhew back in 2002, High Lodge was its first location. On Day 43 of #100DaysNoTV, I took our family for a Go Ape adventure.

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Day 40: Campervan Road Trip

Time is our most precious commodity – being with people you love is what this life is all about. Modern life challenges our ability to obtain that longed for work–life balance. In what seems like the longest ever ascent from winter to spring, quality family time has been in short supply: Rob started the year with pneumonia 😦 and has been travelling to and from the US with work (thank goodness he has a break from all that for now).

It has made it even more important that we maximise our time at weekends. One thing we love is to get out to the coast: fresh air and space do us all the world of good. When we were chosen by Bumble Campers to have a complimentary campervan for a weekend, there was only one thing we were going to do: find a free weekend and drive to the seaside. 😉

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Food: The Ivy Cambridge Brasserie

The Ivy. Those two words conjure up images of the rich & famous, of opulence, glamour, a place to see and be seen. In 2017, The Ivy in Covent Garden celebrated its centenary; having begun life in 1917 as a modest café, it quickly gained in popularity becoming an iconic London destination, known the world over.

My home city of Cambridge is now home to The Ivy Brasserie; it’s one of the newest restaurants to join The Ivy Collection. Opening day was Wednesday 14th March 2018, and I was invited to join a Bloggers’ Breakfast that morning. Would The Ivy live up to its reputation?

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Food: Pint Shop

Pint Shop, in the very heart of Cambridge, will soon be celebrating its 4th birthday. Feeling that it would benefit from some sprucing up, the owners not only refreshed the paintwork, but also altered the layout to create two new dining rooms. To celebrate their revamp and new seasonal menu, they held a press & bloggers tasting lunch.

Unable to attend on the day, we were invited to dine on another occasion, and having never experienced their food (but hearing wonderful things about it), we were delighted to accept.

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Sea Life Great Yarmouth

As a family, we’ve been to Sea Life once before. It was the one in Birmingham – just about as far from the sea as you can get in the UK! 🙂 Being so young then (two & four), the boys don’t remember much about that visit. They are four & six now, and we were so pleased to be invited to visit and review Sea Life Great Yarmouth during the May half-term holiday.

Great Yarmouth is a bustling seaside resort in Norfolk, about 20 miles east of Norwich. A traditional English seaside destination, the seafront is home to numerous amusement arcades, two piers, many restaurants and a pleasure beach with fairground rides, go-karts, etc.

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