What a beautiful bank holiday weekend it’s been. Have gone on a walk somewhere new, briefly went to the beach and hung out in the garden with books and beer! I also got round to some garden tasks, including finally planting that laurel I bought back before Easter… In my defence, the back garden was completely paved and membraned over by the last owner, so planting anything new is a nightmare.

I also planted up my miracle hosta (it never gets eaten by slugs) in a new container with some friends. Fingers crossed the slugs don’t find it in its new home. Because of the aforementioned paving, we have a lot of things in pots and containers. The raised beds are pretty much reserved for vegetables except for the patch of accidental poppies we have going on.

Metal tub planted up with hosta and purple flowers

On the blog I posted a whole two reviews; The Road Trip by Beth O’Leary and Blackheart Knights by Laure Eve. Since tomorrow is June I will be starting on my 20 Books of Summer pledge to review all 20 books I read for that.

This past week I was mostly reading Stu Turton’s The Devil and the Dark Water. I don’t think it knew what it wanted to be, and maybe that was the point, but it didn’t really work for me. The attempt to create a golden age of crime vibe made it all a bit glib which didn’t work with the seriousness of what was going on. Some of it was too modern and this would have all been OK if it were about half the length, but I grew tired of it and just wanted to find out who was behind it all. If you like the idea of historical crime fiction with a demonic aspect, I highly recommend Lloyd Shepherd’s Charles Horton series.

I also read Everyone Dies Famous in a Small Town by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock which is a novel made up of interconnecting stories. Each one features a character who was mentioned or appeared in the previous story, building up to create a picture of small town life for teenagers with a backdrop of wildfires and abuse (but also some really sweet bits). This was a lovely surprise as it was a bit of a random purchase.

We continued our tour of the New Forest’s underwhelming tourist attractions with the Rufus Stone. I joke, we really have lovely walks but I can totally imagine people setting off to see these things and wondering where the visitor centre is. The Rufus Stone marks the spot that King William II was accidentally shot and killed (if we are to believe Sir Walter Tyrrell).

Scully the Labrador sat in front of sign stating this was the location that King William II was shot by accident.

Scully obviously had a great time getting there.

There are a lot of roan New Forest Ponies about at the moment, they are so pretty. The stallions got let out a few weeks ago so I’m looking forward to seeing the foals in the future.

Blue roan New Forest Pony

New books acquired:

[GIFTED] A Master of Djinn by P. Djèlí Clark (Orbit)
When the Tiger Came Down the Mountain by Nghi Vo (ebook)
The Baby is Mine by Oyinkan Braithwaite (ebook)
The Survivors by Jane Harper (ebook)