Lucy’s Diary (Newstead Abbey)

It really was a horrible rainy and windy day today but I got me winter coat with hood, gloves and wellies and braved Newstead Abbey anyway. Mollie had her little coat on, which was fine until she fell arse first into a pond and then she was shivering like a very miniature road drill. This was roughly where we realized that we had forgotten to bring a towel.

I have decided that these gates lead to Manderley.

The place was deserted as there was a fair on inside the Abbey, of which we knew nothing about until the woman at the entrance told us and almost didn’t let us into the grounds! In the end she said stuff it and let us in.

They usually charge you to get in but I think they only charged you if you wanted to go into the fair, as we didn’t, it was free (small plus).

We have a new, smoother car with four doors instead of two since our previous car got crushed by one of the three trees in the whole of Netherfield where we live. Unfortunately Mollie was still sick BUT it is so much easier to get her in and out the car and clean up while the car is moving.

If you are wondering how I got these colors on such a dreadful weather day then the answer is a setting I hand’t tried yet. When I looked at the screen when taking the first photo today everything looked so flat so I fiddled around and this happened.

I need to practice more with this setting to get the full effect of it as it uses the flash which I hadn’t allowed for but I do quite like it for days such as today.

This effect really brought out the remaining Autumn colors but I realize it is probably not to everyone’s taste.

We did warm little Mollie up with the heater in the car so she was not shivering by the time we got going but is ridiculously muddy, anyone who had never met her would think she was a black dog.

A Boy Called Christmas By Matt Haig (A Review)

About the author (and illustrator)

As well as being a bestselling writer for adults (Reason’s to stay alive), Matt Haig has won the Blue Peter Book Award, the Smarties Book Prize and been shortlisted three times for the Carnegie Medal for his stories for children and young adults. Matt is married and has two children and lives in Brighton.

Chris Mould went to art school at the age of sixteen. He has won the Nottingham Childrens Book Award and been commended by the Sheffield Children’s Book Award. He loves his work and likes to writer and draw the kind of books that he would have liked to have had on his shelf as a boy. He is married with two children and lives in Yorkshire.

About the book

What was Father Christmas like as a child? that is the question asked by Matt Haig’s son, Lucas and answered in this book. How does Santa fit up and down chimney’s? How come reindeer can fly? How does Santa get all the way around the world in just one night?  If these are questions often asked by your children at about this time of year then give them this to read!

Good bits about the book

This may essentially be a children’s book (for ages 7+) but it has that magical quality that the Harry Potter books have that appeals to adults to.

As soon as I opened the book and read…….


-An old elf swear word

I knew I would love this book and I did. Apart from Aunt Carlotta (who you are not supposed to like) I fell for every character. the very best being the Truth Pixie, Miika the mouse and Little Noosh.

Chris Mould’s illustrations are AMAZING!!! they really add to the magic, they make the book truly beautiful.

Bad bits about the book

A lot of authors now just put praise on the back for their book. Yea, yea but I want to know what the book is actually about. The Queen could love your book but if I don’t know what the damn thing is about I won’t be reading it gggrrrrr


This is a really special book and not just for little kids but big kids to. I think I will be reading it every Christmas from now on. I give it five out of five stars. The best book he has written so far.

Lucy’s Diary (20/11/15)

Last night me and the husband went to our first ever book signing, I was disproportionately excited about it!

Before making our way to the signing we had food at Barburrito on King’s street in the city center as husband had only just finished work. We had never been there before but it was yummy. You could have nachos or a burrito. I had the latter vegetarian style, there were so many bits to choose from. We both would go again.

Then we made our way to the signing. It cost £3.00 each for tickets. In the end we got them put to one side for us via Twitter as it was practically impossible to see how you could get them as the Nottingham Waterstones website had no details about purchasing tickets.

The signing was for A Boy called Christmas by Matt Haig at Nottingham Waterstones. This is a kids book but adults can defiantly appreciate it to.

I was a bit worried as we don’t have kids but after briefly contemplating borrowing a friends kid, we braved it. As it happens we weren’t the only people there without kids. I also forgot it was my husband I was going with who really is just a 6ft, 33 year old kid anyway! Every time it came to the asking questions bit, husbands hand shoots up in the air.

Anyway I brought the book (obviously) and got it signed. ‘Oh yes, I know you from Twitter don’t I?’  I have already started reading it and I already know it is a book I am going to love.

There were other books of his for sale there to, naturally I already have them all!

Last night was also the Nottingham Christmas light switch on (serious rammage on bus) and the Christmas market so after leaving we decided to take some photo’s, or rather I decided and husband did his best sheep impersonation following me around.

It was hard taking pictures because it was so busy, there was no where to stand without being rammed into and it was freezing! also because it was Nottingham there was an “incident” so you couldn’t go down the middle of the Christmas market.

I do like a good Christmas market although I didn’t look in any of the stalls (bit to full) so I will probably come back on a week day to browse.