Author: Fay

Self confessed coffee, book and beauty product addict. Also a bit of a tech geek!

REVIEW: Ghostwritten by Isabel Wolff

ghostwritten-cover

The Back of the Book

She listens to everyone else’s story, but can she find her own? Jenni is ‘ghost’ writing the lives of other people. It’s a job that suits her well – still haunted by a childhood tragedy, she finds it easier to take refuge in the memories of others than to dwell on her own. Klara was a child in the Second World War, interned in a camp on Java during the Japanese occupation. She has never spoken of her experiences there, but as she turns eighty, she knows that the time has come to share her extraordinary story of survival. As Jenni helps Klara to shed light on her childhood, and a neglected part of world history, she is forced to explore her own past, too. Can Jenni and Klara help each other to lay the ghosts of their pasts to rest?

My Thoughts

Originally this book landed on my doorstep from the lovely Hollie at Books on the Underground. After spreading her love on the underground for many lucky readers a copy winged its way to me and after the previous smasher of a book I couldn’t wait to get stuck in. At first look the book and title did not look like my kind of thing, however not being one to completely judge a book by its beautifully wistful cover I read the back. May I just say Isabel Wolff has a very interesting way with words that had me hooked from just the back. A secret fan of history and having travelled around the outskirts of where parts of this book was actually taken back to in the main story lines I wanted more already. Java here I come – fictionally of course!

Day 2 of reading and the pace was slow as work was heavy and time was thin on the ground. On my next day off I decided to push everything else to one side and just read and boy am I glad I did. Through tears of anguish, hurt and just pure joy this book was a roller coaster of emotions that if the reader can embrace will love the book just like I did.

Jenni being the main character has quite a story that I will not give away as you clearly want to read the book yourself (!). Whilst writing under a bushel and in the shadows of those around her (so to speak!) the other main character Klara as she gives up more of herself can see it happening it front of her eyes. When both parties realise that their encounter by a previous chance meeting is one that neither of them have ever forgotten and will never forget in the future a dear, close friendship is formed and the bond is one that seems everlasting.

The research that must have gone into this book seems immense as the facts just keep pouring in and the mind boggles as to how some of the people in those days got through such awful times. This book makes you grateful for the world that we have today and take a step back and take stock instead of taking advantage of all of the luxuries and wonderful opportunities we have in front of us that those fought for and never had.

A beautiful tale of how two very different people can feel very similar things from extremely different experiences but share something wonderful together. There is a lot of good feeling in this book but also a lot of gut wrenching story telling which Wolff really builds and leaves you in suspense just gagging for me.

Top read and highly recommended for the summer ahead even those snuggly evenings with a G&T when you just don’t want to leave the house.

I can see myself digging out A Vintage Affair and cracking on soon!

Rating

rating4* worthy fix

That Time . . .

It gets to that point in time (of the month) where there are certain days that you really need some alone time. By alone time I mean sitting in the coffee shop sipping on your favourite beverage, a spot of people watching and documenting my not so inner most thoughts for you guys to indulge in over coffee and the croissant that I have been dreaming of eating ever since starting Slimming World eight weeks ago.

Watching tortured souls sitting across from me pondering the meaning of life whilst pouring their life’s worth into their computer screens on nearest notebook. The wi-fi thieves (non paying customers), the book readers, the girl groups, the boy groups and the other loners. People, people everyone and such wonderful peace and quiet.

The phone rings and someone I met on one of the dating sites I previously mentioned is on the other end wanting me to pick up the phone. As I am in a fairly anti-social mood I figure it is better for both of us and my reputation as the nice one (don’t laugh!) to ignore the call send a polite I’m sorry message and continue this post. The call cuts off, message sent and the phone resumes its jingle imploring me to ‘ANSWER THE SODDING PHONE‘. One day I will learn my lesson and not give out my number – when I am not sure but I feel it is coming soon. The days that mobile phones were used in emergency only have long been forgotten and now with myself being one such individual like many others out there is usually glued to her tech device that does everything bar take a dump for you.

Now back to me . . .

I can safely say that I don’t think I am the only person in the world that feels fowl when it gets to a certain point in the month. However I can only speak for myself and I much prefer to be left completely alone if possible. That being said when I am at home I rarely get time alone to shit in peace so I seek solace elsewhere (the coffee shop) where my laptop and headphones are my great companions that assist me in shutting out the outside world whilst cracking on with doing just me. As you can tell I am quite an insular person that is more than happy to enjoy my own space without interruption or distraction.

When it is you time of the month how do you shut out everyone else? For guys do you have grumpy periods in the month where you just cannot be bothered with others?

Open up people, don’t just hit like actually say your piece. If it offends someone then they choose to read it and have to deal with it.

say-your-piece

Love, Sex and Other Stuff

At the moment the presence of love in my life is pretty much non-existent but the sex oh no sir! I do not make a habit of skipping merrily between sexual partners as I am not a predator but more a creature of habit so as long as a clean bill of health is there and we know a bit about one another then why not. Many may admonish this behaviour as tactless but when you are single and young (bordering!) why is it so wrong to have fun.

There is the age old debate of when men do it they are legends and woman branded slappers but you know what that is such a ludicrous thought that the majority of people who think that way are either too old to be banging someone else or just attached to someone else.

It is rare that I write like this on this blog but taking my blog back to its ‘roots’ (yes I said it!) I think it is time for me to just write sometimes instead of following form and complying with the masses. If you read it then hurrah and if not then it is a place that I have been able to document my thoughts and feelings and if I feel to in the future share and/or look back and weep with shame or laugh my ass off.

Now on with the show.

Over the past week I have been reading more and more blogs about sex, love and the like and have found myself in stitches as the writers really have had some experiences that I have either shared or just gawped at whilst reading as I could only imagine such things happening to me. Whatever the weather fun seems to be the main word and I am looking to have more of it so hopefully my blog pages will be slightly more colourful. However knowing myself I will most likely fall into a relationship get a bit tubby and just crack on with the boring!

fingers-crossed

#1 Match

No I am not going to start banging on about Germany’s A Game! This post is about internet dating – yes that’s right the one thing that all of us singletons love to hate.

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From Tinder to Match there are plenty of little holes all over the internet that accommodate each style or type of person. There are those who are looking for undying love and those that are look for short bursts of lust that are quick to be forgotten. Somewhere between the two there are also those that are seeking a companion simply for those moments that you just don’t want to be alone. At this point in my life I am not ashamed to say that I am part of the internet dating group/phenomena (what to call us! – socially inept individuals or those with no time?!).

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The world of internet dating is extremely vast when it comes to the point where you fill in ‘what you are looking for?’ so to narrow it down slightly lets just go for what I want!

Age: 28 to 36

Height: 5ft9 or taller – Height seems to be a real issue and for me it is purely because I would like a man to be taller than me so I can feel protected (as well as wearing heels!)

Weight: No preference as I really am not one to talk! I am not fat but I like everyone else am not in any kind of position to lecture people about their weight!

Relationship Status: Single

Children: None – this is my ideal but this seems like it will be unlikely to find nowadays, not that it is terrible but 5 children 5 mothers? Really? Personal preference here!

Living Situ: Alone! After moving back with my parents and feeling like a reborn virgin my ideal other half needs a haven for me to visit!

There are many other questions about what I do and do not want however these seem to be the most important questions and I have left out all of the answers as there really is no need to put a list of everything about what you want. If there is too strict a list then it takes some of the fun out of getting to know someone – well I think so anyway! There would be no unanswered questions which would be slightly pointless.

Moving on to the pros and cons of sites like match and apps like Tinder.POF

Let’s start . . .

Match.com

Pros

- Selected individuals from a personalised search that you can tweak

- Location based finds

- Due to subscription charges there are a limited amount of ass holes!

Cons

- Can be expensive

- Still idiots make it there

- Cannot stop liars, cheats and just general nastiness – it is the internet after all

Tinder

Pros

- Free

- Fun

- No commitment

- Like a game

- Location based

- What you see is what you get!

Cons

- Idiots

- Couples or those in a relationship just looking – after reading an article about this I was slightly annoyed but ah well!

- Bit weird!

Plenty of Fish

Pros

- Free

- Location based as well as world-wide

Cons

- More weirdos than most sites as it is predominantly (or used to be?!) free

- Search far and wide inaccurate locations

- Long questionnaires

- Pop ups and lots of them

Now onto the dates – I will honestly say I have further embraced internet dating in the past 6 months and just had fun with it. I am not a serial dater and never will be but I have been on about 10 dates now and I have to tell you about 7 of them were terrible. When people talk about the law of averages internet dating must be in a black hole when this comes into play. The three that I did enjoy well let us discuss!

The Dates

DATE 1

Met up at the Vintage Car Boot Sale on the London South Bank. The sun was shining and the car boot was packed to the brim, sunglasses on and camera in hand I was taking photos and it was time to meet. We got on quite well at first and had a little walk around whilst getting to know each other. On finding out that he loved photography as much as me my camera was taken over and some amazing shots were taken. After we were saturated with all things vintage we moved on to get something to eat at Giraffe where we delved into each others past, present and future with a variety of questions thrown to and fro. Appetite satiated we headed to Arch Duke for some cocktails and jazz. After this the day came to a close and we said our goodbyes.

We met up again a couple more times however things originally fizzled out and although we are like passing ships in the night and occasionally converse there seems to be nothing there. When I look back on this I think it was too much too soon and feel that a much more laid back approach is needed in future endeavours.

This was a Match date.

DATE 2

Not really a date and more of a hook up, we met up, fancied each other, got tipsy and took it from there. That place has been revisited and I do believe will be again soon – well here is hoping as that was extremely fun.

This was a Tinder date.

DATE 3

After a night shift and sleeping for two hours on my return home I awoke and made my way to Sloane Square. Lunch was had at The Botanist with a delightfully crisp bottle of cold white wine and good conversation. Knowing that the world cup was on we headed back to his place on Kensington High Street and watched the game with the company of a decanter full of Macallan 25 which went down incredibly smoothly as expected and I headed home before things got out of hand!

On speaking to each other the next day despite both expressing our like for each other I was apparently just not his type. In many ways that is a shame but in others it is a bonus as you really have to pass when it comes to the point of little attraction.

This was a Match date.

What Now?

After many bad dates and still remaining single if nothing good comes of it in the next couple of months then I will come offline and just declare myself single until found otherwise! Much like a leper being a singleton in certain crowds is scorned upon as you are the one that is either ‘man hungry’ or ‘looking at Mr . . . who is the husband of Mrs . . .’ this is not however always the case as there are people out there who can have FRIENDS of the opposite sex.

Anyway . . .

Am I the only one looking for someone? No!

Will I find someone? Maybe!

At this current moment in time does it bug me being single? Not really.

Being single can be great at times just like being in a couple can be, neither side of the grass is greener it is just all about perspective.

What is yours?