Je suis Charlie

Je suis Charlie

Donnerstag, 29. September 2016

Hay-on-Wye - the famous Book Town in Wales! ~In English~

Our next destination was Hay-on-Wye, 
right at the border between England and Wales:
From here on further "down" into Wales you can find many traces of the (very living) Welsh Language or Cymraeg. You can not only find it on street signs, in shops or on tourist leaflets and but it is also a language that is still used. An elder lady with whom we talked at length, told us that she didn't speak any English till she went to school where she learned it as a foreign laguage. I must admit that I hadn't realized before we went to Wales how much Welsh as a language is still in use. Okay, let's get back to books, even though languages are admittedly as fascinating as books but we are in Hay-on-Wye now, so, books it is!

This sign says it all, doesn't it?
Hay-on-Wye and books - that's an amazing combination as one can easily see when looking around at the numerous second hand book shops. To browse through all of the books that you can find in there, you' need many days. Fortunately there are some that are specialized so perhaps you can cross off some of them from your list. Alright, it's not probable but there is a teeny tiny possibility.  Well, considering that at the moment there are about 24 book shops, there will still bemany shops left to browse.

This is just a small selection of the books shops but I think one can easily see that books are a big part of Hay-on-Wye. You should bring enough time to browse though, not just because there are so many books to see but also because those books seem to draw quite a number of tourists.    It's still not overcrowded but at least in summer you should be prepared for having to share those shops with all those other people.

Rows and rows of books - a booklover's paradise!
  I did mention that books are taken rather seriously in Hay-on-Wye, didn't I?

Just a small number of examples for book shops in Hay-on-Wye. Some shops can also be found in the backyards, some are small and dark, some are chaotic and crammed, whereas others are well organised and neat but no matter what, they are always worth a look!

At the shops we were told that at times there have been were even more book shops but some of them already had to close due to the competition. 
We didn't manage to visit all of the shops that afternoon , so "of course" we had to come back the next morning before driving on to our next destination.

Apart from all those books we really enjoyed the beautiful landscape around and were amazed by the helpfulness and friendliness of the people we met!

The next morning we left for South Wales!

Hay-on-Wye - die walisische Bücherstadt!

Als nächstes führte unser Weg uns nach Hay-on-Wye, 
das direkt an der Grenze zwischen England und Wales liegt:

Ab hier finden sich übrigens auch überall die Spuren der walisischen Sprache, die noch durchaus sehr lebendig ist und genutzt wird, abgesehen davon, dass man sie auch auf den Straßenschildern und in den Läden, Infobroschüren und dergleichen überall findet.
Eine ältere Dame, mit der wir uns länger unterhielten, erzählte, dass sie erst mit sieben in der Schule überhaupt Englisch gelernt hat. Ich muss zugeben, dass mir nicht bewusst war, wie präsent das Walisische noch ist. Okay, aber zurück zu den Büchern, auch wenn Sprachen natürlich fast genauso faszinierend sind:

Dieses Schild spricht doch schon für sich, oder?

Hay-on-Wye und Bücher, das ist eine ganz hervorragende Kombination, die sich in dem Vorhandensein von unzähligen Antiquariaten äußert. Um diese alle zu durchstöbern, bräuchte man mehrere Tage, aber zum Glück gibt es einige, die bestimmen Fachbereichen gewidmet sind, so dass man sich ein oder zwei vielleicht doch sparen kann, vielleicht. Allerdings sind es bei einer Anzahl von 24 Buchläden, immer noch ganz schön viele, in denen man stöbern kann.

Hier nur eine Mini-Auswahl, aber ich glaube, man sieht schon, dass Bücher hier in Hay-on-Wye tatsächlich keine ganz unwichtige Rolle spielen. Allerdings sollte man auch deshalb genug Zeit mitbringen, weil Bücher anscheinend tatsächlich so interessant sind, dass es auch viele viele andere Touristen nach Hay-on-Wye zieht. Noch nicht zu viele, aber zumindest im Sommer, sollte man nicht auf einen einsamen Bummel bauen, dafür ist im Ort insgesamt dann doch zu viel los.

Schier endlose Reihen von Büchern -
der Traum eines jeden Bücherliebhabers!
 Wie gesagt, in dieser Stadt nimmt man seine Bücher durchaus ernst:

Wie gesagt, hier nur drei Beispiele für  die Buchläden, die man hier findet.
Manche Läden tummeln sich in Hinterhöfen, manche sind klein und dunkel, manche sind rummelig und rumpelig, andere wiederum wohlsortiert und übersichtlich, aber das Stöbern lohnt sich fast überall.

Früher gab es noch mehr Buchläden, aber die große Konkurrenz hat leider auch zur Folge gehabt, dass einige davon im Laufe der Jahre schon schließen mussten, wie man uns in den Läden erzählte. Wir haben natürlich auch nicht alle Läden an einem Nachmittag geschafft und mussten dann doch noch schnell morgens vor der Weiterfahrt noch einmal im Ort vorbeigucken, weil es doch sehr sehr viel zu gucken gab.

Übrigens ist es auch drumherum sehr schön, abgesehen davon, dass wir auch hier schon die Freundlichkeit und Hilfsbereitschaft der Waliser schätzen gelernt haben.

Von Hay-on-Wye aus ging es dann am nächsten Vormittag weiter nach South Wales.

Dienstag, 27. September 2016

A Rogue to Avoid (Matchmaking for Wallflowers #2) by Bianca Blythe


The only thing Lady Cordelia and Lord Rockport can agree on is their mutual abhorrence.
Lady Cordelia was supposed to be the perfect debutante. But three broken engagements later, she's the subject of titters rather than laudations. Now relegated to the wallflower section of every ballroom, she does not want anything to plummet her further into scandal. She absolutely does not want to have anything to do with the too handsome, too roguish, too Scottish Marquess of Rockport.
Gerard Highgate, Marquess of Rockport, is not the type to attend balls. But when he is chased into a home in Harrogate, he decides he must blend in--even if that means dancing with Lady Cordelia.

This book is really nice.
I laughed a lot, I sighed and swooned a bit - and I really enjoyed reading the book.

Apart from the fact that it is always nice to have a well written book and follow the hero and the heroine when they find true love where they least expect it, I also loved Christina and Gerard, heroine and hero in question.
Both are well developed, interesting characters and their story is imaginative and a bit different.

Some things were a bit too unrealistic but on the whole the story was well plotted and captivating. Well, on the whole but unfortunately not all of the story. Towards the end some things got a bit too unbelievable  and Duke or not, well, just read for yourself... Oh, and how I loved Christina and her brave and fortright manner at the end of the book, she is truly amazing but Gerard is also a dear - and brave and loyal and...everything.

It won't become one of my favorite books but I enjoyed reading it, will definitely read it again and I do also look forward to reading other books by Bianca Blythe.




A Kiss At Christmastide by Christina McKnight ~Review in Englisch~

Lady Pippa Godfrey has suffered the most ruinous London Season. She escapes to her Somerset estate for a quiet Christmastide holiday with her family, away from society’s prying eyes. But before her parents can join her, a storm crashes down on Somerset to destroy any hope of Pippa’s white Christmas dream. The roads have flooded and travel is impossible, leaving her stranded and alone. But a muddied, angry and devilishly handsome lord appears at her door demanding shelter.

Lucas Hartfeld, the Earl of Maddox, has been summoned by his parents, the Marquis and Marchioness of Bowmont, to attend a holiday party in the wilds of the country, far from his London townhouse. He suspects they command his attendance for far different reasons than a simple country party. When a storm strands his carriage, he’s forced to seek shelter at the only home for miles around, a local manor called Helton House.

When Lady Pippa is reluctant to admit him, he does what he’s been raised to do—demand she provide him and his servants with shelter until the storm passes. But the beautiful woman draws his interest far more than he’s willing to admit. Can Lucas find a way out of the predicament his parents are planning?

As Lady Pippa scrutinizes another arrogant, demanding lord, she is bombarded with memories of betrayals in her past. Can she forget those difficult life lessons to claim a Christmastide kiss from a perfect stranger?

"A Kiss at Christmastide" is a very sweet and romantic story where against all odds bad deeds are punished and the good people win - classical story but nicely done with great characters and a very enjoyable plot.

The one day (and night) that change everything, a storm sent by fate and a potential groom who made me want to kick him a bit and whose actions at the end, when he tries to protect Pippa, led to some eye-rolling and frustrated groaning on my part but as usual - all is well that ends well. And so I found myself smiling happily and closing the book with the wonderful knowledge that love conquers all and good people get their reward no matter how much others try to malign and to hurt them.

Okay, I was sitting outside in the sun and there was no snow storm around but this is a book that just makes you wish for a nice hot cup of tea and a nice and cozy fire in the fireplace next to you while you are reading it. A very "christmassy" atmosphere and a sweet love story - just the right book for the time around christmas.
Despite the lack of a snow storm and a fireplace, I really enjoyed reading this book!


Danielle Walker's Against All Grain Celebrations: A Year of Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, and Paleo Recipes for Every Occasion by Danielle Walker

A Year of Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, and Paleo Recipes for Every Occasion 
by Danielle Walker


From the two-time New York Times best-selling author ofthe Against All Grain series, comes 125 recipes for grain-free, dairy-free, gluten-free comfort food recipes for holidays and special occasions.

When people adopt a new diet for health or personal reasons, it's the parties, holidays, and events with strong food traditions they worry about most. In Celebrations, best-selling author Danielle Walker provides recipes and menus for twelve special occasions, from a child's birthday party and baby shower, to a backyard barbeque, romantic Valentine's Day dinner for two, and even a Halloween party. Of course, Thanksgiving, Christmas dinner, New Year's Eve party, and Easter/Passover brunch are also covered--along with suggestions for beverages and cocktails and the all-important desserts. Nearly every recipe is photographed, and food and party images shot on location provide beautiful and creative entertaining ideas. Delicious and easy-to-prepare dishes encourage the whole family to get into the kitchen and create lasting memories--no matter what the occasion.

Danielle Walker's Against All Grain Celebrations ist ein wunderbares Buch, dessen Rezepte weitgehend auf der Paleo-Ernährung basieren und glutenfrei und milchfrei gehalten sind. Ich kann mich zwar noch nicht ganz mit einer komplett getreidefreien Ernährung anfreunden, da ich schlichtweg eine Schwäche für Brot und Backwaren habe und mich aufgrund vielfältiger anderer Ernährungseinschränkungen etwas schwer damit tun tue, komplett  auf Getreide zu verzichten, aber ich versuche dennoch meine Ernährung insgesamt zu verändern, da ich weiß, dass es aus gesundheitlichen Gründen für mich  tatsächlich besser wäre.

Aus diesem Grund, habe ich mir auch Danielle Walker's Against All Grain Celebrations Kochbuch einmal näher angeguckt, da es genau an dem Punkt ansetzt, den ich auch immer recht schwierig finde: Die Feiertage.

Jede  Ernährungsweise, die von der Norm abweicht, ist im Alltag manchmal lästig, manchmal  schwierig umzusetzen, aber immer irgendwie doch machbar, lediglich an den Feiertagen jedweder Art,  fehlt irgendwie doch  immer etwas, wenn man  auf die traditionellen Gerichte verzichten muss .

Hier setzt Danielle Walkers neuestes Buch an. Dieses Buch bietet nicht nur für Neulinge der etreidefreien Ernährung eine gute Orientierung und eine gute Einleitung, sondern auch sehr schöne, den traditionellen Gerichten nachempfundene Rezepte, die  die gut aufbereitet und leicht nachzukochen sind und den, sagen wir mal  “Zauber” der traditionellen Gerichte  einfangen. Für diejenigen, die nicht nur getreidefrei essen möchten, sondern darüber hinaus auch noch auf weitere Faktoren Rücksicht nehmen müssen oder wollen, wie etwa die Einschränkunge, die durch irgendwelche chronischen Erkrankungen oder Lebensmittelunverträglichkeiten entstehen, gibt es immer wieder Hinweise,  welche Komponenten man durch andere ersetzen kann und wie, ebenso wie es für ungeübte Köche diverse Hilfen gibt, die über das reine Kochen hinaus gehen, um gerade auch Festtagsessen zu einem besonderen Erlebnis werden zu lassen .

Von Tipps zum richtigen Ein- oder Vorratskauf,  bis zum hübschen Decken des Tisches  und der richtigen Musikauswahl , findet man hier alles, was man benötigt, um möglichst stressfrei und  kompetent an die Vorbereitung eines festlichen Essen heranzugehen .
Die übersichtlich gestalteten Rezepte, mit einfachen, leicht nachzuvollziehenden Anweisungen und vielen hilfreichen Tipps, die von sehr schönen,  ausgesprochen appetitanregenden Fotos  begleitet werden, sind, soweit ich sie bis jetzt probiert habe, schmackhaft und gut umzusetzen. Durch die Bank weg, machen alle Gerichte auf mich  einen sehr guten Eindruck und ich freue mich darauf, noch weitere ausprobieren zu können .

Wie man generell zur Paleo-Ernährung oder einer getreidefreien Ernährung steht, muss jeder für sich selbst entscheiden, wie gesagt, auch ich tue mich mit einem radikalen, vollständigen Wechsel zu dieser Ernährungsweise noch schwer, aber aus eigener Erfahrung kann ich sagen, dass man mit Hilfe der richtigen Ernährung bei vielen Erkrankungen, insbesondere auch chronischer Art, deutliche Linderung erzielen kann.

Egal wie, kann ich dieses Buch auf jeden Fall auf  Grund der praxisorientierten, umfassenden Rezepte und Arbeitsanweisung , sowie der  liebevollen Gestaltung voll und ganz empfehlen.


Sonntag, 25. September 2016

Letters For A Spy by Alice Chetwynd Ley


When she set out from crowded London to visit Crowle Manor, the Sussex house bequeathed to her by her uncle, Elizabeth could not be more delighted by the prospect of a quiet spell in the country.

But on her way, she soon discovers that Crowle Manor may not be the quiet destination she had in mind…

Waking to discover a strange letter addressed to the manor house has been slipped into her guide book, she cannot help but wonder who put it there…and why?

As her suspicions deepen, Elizabeth finds herself reacquainted with her former lover, Robert Farnham, a man that she had once refused to marry out of loyalty to her sister.

How is he mixed up in this bizarre affair?

And how is it he now seems to hardly recognise her?

As the mysteries surrounding her and Crowle Manor grow more and more intense, Elizabeth starts to realise her plans for a quiet country summer are unlikely to be fulfilled.

But her hopes of being with the man she still loves may yet still come true…

"Letters for a Spy" is a really nice book that kept me well entertained. It is not one of those books that you can't put down and that are highly addictive but it is one of those books that are like the familiar cup of tea on a winter's eve after a glass of champaign at the party the day before. You know what you want, you get what you want and you enjoy every page of it. Reliable, sweet but nevertheless never dull or boring.

The story is well written and the characters are also well developed which draws the reader in and lets him take part in the happenings. I enjoyed to see Elizabeth find her happiness even though - well, who am I to doubt the magic of true love and how fast it works, so... I am just happy to find Elizabeth well settled at the end of the book with someone I can wholeheartedly approve of.

If you want to read the book because you like a good spy story, well, then I'm not sure if it is really the right story for you because the focus is definitely not on espionage, this is just a part of the story. Oh, actually there's not much romance in it at the beginning either but it is a fast-paced and interesting story that is really nice and I enjoyed reading it.
It is not the first book by Alice Chetwynd Ley that I've read and it won't be the last. Like a cup of tea, this book is something nice to read on a cozy winter's eve - or in the afternoon or  - whenever you like!


Samstag, 24. September 2016

I Love Soup - Beverly Le Blanc


The aroma of home-made soup warming on the hob is one of life's great comforts. Whether you're longing for a winter-warming creamy Ham & Cheese Chicory soup on a cold and rainy day, or want to try the fresh Mediterranean flavors of a Chilled Tomato and Garlic Gazpacho for a sun-soaked summertime lunch outdoors, this book gives you everything you need to create bowls of delicious goodness in your own kitchen. Here you'll find a tureen-full of international flavors with tried-and-tested recipes. Try chowders from America, dals from India, Middle Eastern tagine soups, Scottish broths, Eastern European borschs, Japanese miso soups, Italian bean stews and pasta soups, and French classics such as onion soup and bouillabaisse. Whatever the size of your appetite, whatever the occasion, you'll find just the right soup in this mouth-watering collection of recipes, from simple and traditional to elegant and inventive, as well as countless ideas for the perfect accompaniment. Whether you're a beginner or a more experienced cook, you'll find it easy to master the art of soup-making with this one-stop guide for soup lovers.

I love soup - that's why I fell for this book the moment I saw the title. (Almost) any kind of soup actually and I always make them from scratch. A book that offers not only a wonderful variety of delicious soups (Okay, I haven't tried all of them yet but....) but also lists recipes for basic stocks and helpful hints that are also interesting for me as a rather "seasoned cook" and not just for beginnners, goes a long way to being really awesome!

Those who know some of my reviews know that I also love to bake bread  and - well, I can't think of anything better to go along with a delicous soup than a fresh bread - and in this book you can also find a number of recipes for bread of all kind. Grissini, Soda Bread, Polenta ...and some others equally good sounding.
Apart from that, as my daughters and I have to deal with such things like wheat- or laktose-intolerance, I loved that there are symbols at the top of the recipes indicating whether the recipes are dairy-free, wheat-free, nut-free, vegetarian or vegan.

The recipes themselves are not just well presented and easy-to.follow but there are also so many very very different ones that everybody should find something  - or some more. Well placed and absolutely apetizing photos accompany the recipes and make it difficult to decide which one looks best. At the moment I'm working my way through them but it will take me some time to try them all.
No matter what, this book is really great and I can definitely recommend it!




Freitag, 23. September 2016

"The Bookbarn" in der Nähe von Bath

Als wir dieses Schild sahen, mussten wir natürlich sofort umkehren und ihm folgen....

...und wir fanden diesen riesigen, absolut genialen Second Hand Buchladen in der Nähe von Bath!
Endlose Regalenreiehen gefüllt mit tausenden von Büchern...*hach*
The Bookbarn ist übersichtlich und gut sortiert, überall finden sich "Wegweiser" und man kann nach Herzenslust stöbern und sich stundenlang zwischen den Regalreihen verlieren.Die meisten der Bücher in den Regalen kosten nur je £1 und sollte man hier nicht fündig werden oder ein spezielles Buch suchen, gibt es immer noch den Computer. Die Bücher, die man hierüber findet, kosten zwar nicht mehr nur £1, aber es sind immer noch günstige oder angemessene Preise. Diese Bücher sucht dann jemand vom Team des Bookbarn heraus und man kann es auch gleich mit nach Hause nehmen (oder auch online ordern).

Und wenn man sich zwischendurch etwas von der "Jagd" erholen muss oder in seinen neuen Büchern lesen will oder dergleichen, gibt es noch das Café, wo es unter anderem auch freies Wifi gibt. Und natürlich gibt es auch immer noch ein weiteres Regal zum Durchstöbern....
Okay, es ist wohl überflüssig zu erwähnen, dass wir den Laden nicht ohne ein paar Bücher verließen, aber ich muss sagen, dass ich fast ein wenig stolz auf mich bin, immerhin habe ihc es geschafft, hier nicht mehr als zwei Bücher zu kaufen. Wenn man die Menge an Büchern dort bedenkt, ist das doch geradezu heroisch, oder?
Julie Garwood's Ransom and The Dreamstone by Liane Jones
Hier im Bookbarn gefiel es uns auf jeden Fall sehr!

  Aber - Wales rief!

~Fortsetzung folgt~

"The Bookbarn" near Bath ~In English~

The first glimpse of this sign made us turn around right away...

...and we found an amazing and really, really big second hand bookshop near Bath - and we loved it!
Endless rows of shelves filled with thousands of books.... *sigh*
The Bookbarn is well organized, signposts everywhere and you can browse and lose yourself in there for hours on end. Many, many of the books in the shelves at the warehouse are £1 each and if you can't find the book you're looking for, you can use the computer and search for it. Then it will probably cost more than £1 but the prices are still reasonable and it doesn't take long for someone from the team to go and get the book for you. 

And if you want to sit down and enjoy your new books or want to browse a bit more but need a little time to recuperate from your hunt, there's always the café with the free wi-fi. And of course - there's always another shelf to browse....

Needless to say that we didn't leave without some books but I was actually rather proud because I managed to buy not more than two books. Considering the number of books at the shop, I think that is almost heroic, isn't it? 

Julie Garwood's Ransom and The Dreamstone by Liane Jones

I really enjoyed "hunting" for books at the Bookbarn!

But - Wales was waiting for us!

~To be continued~

Donnerstag, 22. September 2016

A booklover's day in Bath... ~In English~

...or: If you love Jane Austen, you have to visit

Well, before actually arriving at the city centre, we saw won't believe it, but....
a really nice and cozy bookshop!

Topping & Company

looks rather small from the outside but at the inside it is quite big but cozy and inviting. There are several wooden stools and tables where you can sit down and browse and there are ladders that help you find the nicest books. If you want, you can enjoy a cup of coffee or tea (for free) while browsing. Passionate hunters and gatherers might find some interesting books as well, as the shop also has first editions and signed editions of many different modern books on offer.

Let's just enter and look around a bit:

 A bit farther down the aisle, you can see one of the tables and on the right side you can see the corner with the children's books:

Looking back from the end of the shop towards the main part:

 And an impression of the room at the end of the shop:

This is definitely a bookshop that is worth a visit when you are in the area!

But the city centre was calling:

I must admit that the Assembly Rooms with the Fashion Museum were nice but they didn't leave that much of a lasting impression. Then we arrived at the Jane Austen Centre.

At the door of the centre we were met by "Mr. Bennett", then we went in for a tour of the centre. The centre itself was interesting but there aren't many actual things to see in it, most of the exposition consists of the things heard during the tour or seen in the videos there. At the end of the exposition you could see Jane Austen's desk and a wax figure of Jane Austen.

The Beautiful Cassandra and The History of England found their way to me at the Austen Centre, those books were missing in my "collection".

 At the end of the day we went back to the camping site because the next day we wanted to go to .....?

~To be continued~