Bridget Jones: Mad About The Boy – by Helen Fielding

29 07 2014

I was quite nervous about this book. The first two were excellent, but there are some major changes in Bridget’s life between books 2 and 3. We know that at the end of book 2 she and Mark Darcy were happy, settled, and engaged. Book 3 fast forwards several years…


Ok, technically it’s not a spoiler as it’s how the book opens, but some people would still be upset to find out, so I’ve put that there in case.

The book opens with Bridget, in her early 50s, with two children, Billy in year 3, and Mabel in year R. Mark Darcy died 4 years ago.

So instead of singleton, hopelessly-alone-forever Bridget, we have widowed single mum Bridget. I was worried how this would ever work, how she could still be the Bridget we know and love.

But fear not, she totally is 🙂

We travel with Bridget as she discovers twitter, works to get a screenplay she’s written made into a film, and deals with her friends telling her it’s time to move on and sleep with someone else, and see where that takes things.

I won’t say any more as there’s so much that’s just better enjoyed as you read, but Bridget is still the Bridget we know and love, still rather socially awkward if she’s not drunk with her friends, but totally wonderful.

There are obviously a few more sad moments in this book than the last two as she still deals with the loss of her husband, and there’s a beautiful bedtime story that he wrote for Billy and Mabel, but the book is full of humour too. Do try it!

bridget jones - mad about the boy

Notes from a Small Island – by Bill Bryson

22 07 2014

From the outset this book had me cracking up audibly.

Bryson is an American writer and journalist, but lived over here for several years. This is written just before he and his wife take his family back to America so that his children can experience life there too, and so he takes one final lap of the UK using public transport. He visits both places he’s been to before and loved, and places he’s heard of and wanted to see before he leaves.

He started in the south, so I loved reading about places I know, and then gradually works northwards. He often goes off on tangents, either old anecdotes, or just thinks he loves, or finds peculiar (or both) about the British. These were probably the bits that made me laugh the most!

I really enjoyed the book, although the last few chapters did get a bit repetitive. He’d arrive in a new city by train, book into a hotel/guesthouse, try and find somewhere for dinner, and comment that all British high streets have the same shops, and some are ruining the original buildings with modern exteriors. But for the most of the book there was so much interest and humour I really did like it!

the complete notes

I’m going to take a break and read something else before reading the Big Country half of the book – but I’ll come back with that soon enough!

Internet highlights w/c 13th July 2014

19 07 2014

Armed police on Clapham Common?

School writes to children, it goes viral

Cafe offers mums a place to breastfeed and free tea!

Workers in Seoul to be allowed afternoon naps

36 things you probably didn’t know about The Simpsons

Peer pressure

18 07 2014

I never thought of myself as someone who succumbed to peer pressure.

When you hear the phrase peer pressure I don’t know what comes to mind, but I think of things like under-age drinking, smoking, and all that jazz, none of which I even got close to trying at school, or after! These day’s I’m virtually tee-total other than the occasional champagne toast at a wedding, or 1 or 2 Pimms in a summer tops (in fact last year I found a yummy non-alcoholic equivalent to that!)

So anyway, I was never someone who went with the crowd at school, or let what other people thought affect what I did. And I though that was it.

Today I realised I was totally falling for it though, just not in the typical genre. A few of us have been doing a “boot camp” thing after work on Fridays, and I was adamant that at 29C it was too hot and I wouldn’t go today, but because every week I’ve been the person not wanting to go and being pretty negative about it, I got teased and told I should go along anyway. Even though I thoroughly believed it was a stupid thing to do to do strenuous exercise when I could barely handle the heat sat under a tree at lunchtime, I went along with them and went to get changed into appropriate attire.

I then realised what was happening, and started to beat myself up mentally for being so useless at standing up for myself, and so it was only when I came back out to my friends, obviously upset and moody, that they of course said I could just go home if I wanted, which is what I did, but until they said that, I was just going along with what they said to make sure they didn’t think I was useless or pathetic. That’s peer pressure right there.

Even though I’m sure none of them intended it to be peer pressure, they were only doing it with my best interests at heart, I really didn’t handle it well at all.

I guess there’s all different kinds of peer pressure, and lots more we keep learning about ourselves every day!

Internet highlights f/c 29th June 2014

12 07 2014

f/c as opposed to w/c so “fortnight commencing” as I was away last weekend 🙂

Funny warning signs

Less-obvious signs that you’re doing work you love

Top Doctor says UK needs 4 day working week – this is what I’ve been saying!!

One woman asked 25 different countries to make a photo of her “beautiful”

What some of the biggest websites looked like when they first launched

Loom Band dress on ebay

Redeeming Love is being made into a film

The BEST ways to eat chocolate chip cookies that you’d never even thought of!

Fantastic advert from Always looking at when did “like a girl” become a bad thing? And how it affects girls self confidence

A royal priesthood, and living stones

7 07 2014

Last week I had a little holiday down in sunny(ish) Devon. My friend Julia and her husband James were being inducted as joint pastors of a church there on the Saturday, and on Sunday Julia spoke at the morning service. I really valued what she shared, so, after quite a long break since I last did this, my notes are below:

OT reading: Exodus 19 vv 1-8, NT reading: 1 Peter 2 vv 4-9.

God chose the Israelites to make His love known to the rest of the world through them, they were to be a showcase of how a relationship with God changes people for the better. They had a choice to keep the commands and covenant, and agreed to. They failed quite quickly.

In the OT a priest was someone who mediates between God and the people, who distributes the word and the blessings. We are called in 1 Peter 2 to be a royal priesthood, to share the word and blessings of God with those who haven’t yet heard. (I’d never understood that phrase until yesterday, I get it now!)

In the 1 Peter passage we are being built together. Stones can’t build themselves, God, the Builder, builds us. As living stones we have the ability to resist the Builder’s plans for us. The Builder may need to rub some rough edges off to fit us into a certain place. All sizes and shapes are needed. We are being built together.

Our thanksgiving, intercession and repentance needs, as a royal priesthood, to be on behalf of humanity, for those who don’t yet know the Lord, to cry out on their behalf, and to make sure we are living Godly lives.

Billy and Me – by Giovanna Fletcher

7 07 2014

I should admit the main reason I bought this book was because it was written by the wife of Tom from McFly, but I’d also had a friend read and like it, and it’s chick lit, so thought it was definitely worth a try.

The book focuses around a girl who lives in a small village, working in a tea shop, and falls for a young man who happens to be a massive teen movie star (which she doesn’t realise) who is filming locally, and what happens when she’s thrown massively into the limelight.

I enjoyed the read, it was an easy holiday book, though it got a little sickly sweet in places and though it has it’s ups and downs, it’s all a bit too easy!

billy and me

The Vow – by Kim & Krickett Carpenter

1 07 2014

This book was not at all what I expected.

I watched the film when it came out at the cinema. A story of a couple who have an accident and the woman loses all memory of her husband and he has to win her over again.

The key word in that trailer is “inspired by”, not “based on” true events. Technically that outline also covers the story in the book, except the details are very different, and for one key point: The book is a testimony. The book is the story of how God was central to their relationship, their marriage, and how they both had to lean on Him to get through it all. It is an autobiography and the focus is God. He doesn’t even get a look in on the film!

The book is also very different in the way they meet, how the relationship develops, the wedding, the relationship between the husband and her parents – it may as well be a different story but for the very basic outline.

I love this book because it shows how through the most truly awful circumstances, God worked through it, and brought them to a much better place than they could have imagined.

At the time apparently their story got a lot of press coverage, I don’t remember this, but they were so passionate to share what God had done each time they shared their story. It’s inspirational!

the vow