Book Review: April Fool by Joy Wood

April FoolApril Fool by Joy Wood
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

April Masters is a tough, devious detective. She needs to be. Her brief is to trap an art dealer who is suspected of being behind the theft and eventual sale of a very valuable painting. To build her cover, she spends three months in prison for fraud. She successfully fools everyone around her. Only those closest to the case have any idea of what she is up to.

Her motivation is to fund clinical healthcare for her sister’s child, who is the greatest love of her life.

As April builds trust from her target, Dylan Rider, she also builds unexpected deep sexual feelings for him. She assures her masters that she will not sleep with him, but she can’t help herself. However, being the devious woman that she is, she maintains total control over how and, more importantly, when. Dylan is a man who is used to being in charge of every situation. Even when April has him dangling on a string, he still thinks that he is the one who is calling the shots.

The sex scenes are very well described and highly arousing. They are certainly not candidates for the annual bad sex awards.

Dylan’s autistic son adds further complications. He has no relationship with his father, but April somehow manages to gain his trust. Well, almost.

I love the way that the characters are developed through the book. And, just when you think you know what is going to happen next, something completely different happens.

There is a Grisham-esque ending, so watch out for that.

This is a super story with lots of twists and turns. I highly recommend it.

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Book Review – PorterGirl:First Lady of the Keys

PorterGirl: First Lady Of The KeysPorterGirl: First Lady Of The Keys by Lucy Brazier

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Open this book and step into a different world. And so it was for PorterGirl as she stepped, an alien, into the strange new world of Old College as the new Deputy Porter. She is the first ever female to step into the shoes and bowler hat of the prestigious role.

Confronted by centuries of tradition, characters who might have been there for most of that time if it were physically possible, she attempts to unravel the mysteries of secret passageways, doors, gates, bones and suspicious deaths. There is so much fun along the way, spiced with a little danger and conspiracy. The pace of the story is great.

This is light reading at its best and I enjoyed reading it very much.

There was only one thing that spoiled it for me: the over-use of the phrase, “But anyway.” But anyway, that was only a minor irritation and the book fully deserves my five-star rating. Read it. You will enjoy it.

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A Distressing Work Anniversary

Exactly one year ago, on the 13th December 2017, I was made redundant by the company for whom I had worked for almost ten years. Throughout that period, my loyalty was rock-solid and unquestionable. The company had been through some very difficult and disruptive times. As a leader, I made a significant contribution to the re-building and re-structuring of the company, taking an active part in strategy meetings, coming up with creative ideas and implementing them with my global and EMEA teams. I was ready, and excited, to be in a strong position to lead my part of the company into its next stage of evolution.

Station PosterHaving always believed that loyalty is a two-way street, I was shocked and upset to be treated so badly by a company to whom I had given so much. Only two weeks before I was notified of my impending redundancy, I received a personal message from one of the top executives, congratulating me on my “exceptional action and results.”

However, that is sometimes the cold nature of business.

What has made my departure worse is that, when I expressed my concern to my boss that I felt that this could be the end of me long and distinguished working career, he assured me that companies would be clambering over each other to snap up a person with my experience. It looks like I was more right than he.

You should not be surprised that I am somewhat dejected on this very distressing work anniversary.

I have worked very hard at finding new employment, applying for over 150 positions in Professional Services and Presales in technology companies.

I think that many potential employers find it hard to understand that my passion is for addressing the technology challenges that my customers by working with them to come up with the optimal solutions to best fit their future business successes. I have always loved innovative technologies and problem-solving using those technologies with a little creativity of my own.

I will not give up on my quest to find a new role which will allow me to use my passion for technology to make a big contribution to the business of my new employer.

An article which has helped me to remain positive in the face of perceived ageism, is this one by Alan Chapman:

People in their 50-60s/older greatly underestimate and misunderstand their value to employers/the market/society/etc.


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Thumbs up for LinkedIn Local

Thumbs Up

This evening, I attended the inaugural meeting of the #LinkedInLocal Andover group at Basepoint on East Portway.

Thanks go to Andrew Middleton for setting up the group and getting the first event off the ground and to Lucy Middleton of Basepoint for sponsoring and hosting the event. Thanks also to  Jane Berntsen of Andover Buffets for providing the refreshments and nibbles.

The ticketing of the event raised £120 for the chosen charity, Andover Foodbank, represented at the event by Jenny LeLean.

The event was a success. Many connections were made with great use of the Find Nearby utility of LinkedIn. The diversity of backgrounds and business experiences was very interesting. I have spent the past two hours completing connections on LinkedIn and other social media to as many of the people whom I met as possible. I think that I have just about covered them all now.

There was great interest in my writing, particularly in my two published novels, Eleven Miles and Knitting Can Walk!

My hope is that ensuing conversations will lead to rewarding employment for me in the near future and to more sales for my books. If this meeting were to lead to a movie deal on one of my books, that would be a bonus and I would be delighted.

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Sack our MPs!



We British are fed up to the teeth with all of the Brexit discussions!

We hardly need reminding that, in 2016, David Cameron fulfilled his popular promise to hold a referendum on UK’s future, or not, in the European Union. He expected the electorate to vote in favour of continued membership. He had no plan for the contrary vote and was shocked when it went against his expectation. He was so shocked, and clueless about what to do next, that he disappeared off the scene, leaving Theresa May to pick up the pieces.

Our MPs are paid to represent us. They are incapable of doing so.

Two-and-a-half years on from the referendum, they have done nothing but argue about the terms of our so-called divorce deal. They act like a sixth form debating society, scoring points off each other and clearly more interested in their own personal career ambitions than in the future of the country.

This is a very significant point in the history of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. If our Members of Parliament were truly committed to securing the best possible future for our nation, they would forego all political differences and divisions to work together for the common good.

Although my opinion is that staying in the EU club and playing a part in steering it into the future would be preferable to leaving and having no say in the creation of regulations that we will still be subject to if we want to trade with EU countries, I accept that Brexit WILL happen on 29th March 2019.

As I previously said, our MPs are incapable of reaching agreement. We, the taxpayers, are paying them to behave like children and drive us towards the cliff-edge like a legislature of lemmings.
(NOTE: That’s a most appropriate collective noun, don’t you think?)


My solution?

We should hold a general election as soon as possible, with one additional rule.

The new rule would be that
no incumbent MP would be allowed to stand for re-election.

None of the current team are representing our interests. Let’s replace them all.

What do you think?

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My Shadow



Henry Carlisle De Sousa (01/06/15 – 24/11/18)

It was my very great and joyous privilege to introduce Eloise to Henry, who was absolutely gorgeous as anyone can see. Everybody loved him. He will be sorely missed.

Thoughts by Mello-Elo

Tripping down the stairs,

Knowing you’re there

Little footsteps in my shadow

No matter where I go

You’re there.

I love you.

I miss you Henry, my shadow.

Henry Carlisle De Sousa

01/06/15 – 24/11/18

The greatest love of my life

My shadow.

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101 Mathematical Trivia

Learn Fun Facts

1. In 1988, Nicolas Slonimsky (1894-1995) invented a method of beating a different rhythm with each arm–created a new composition by identifying each note in Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony with a number, and then playing the square root of each note.

2. The symbol for infinity (∞) was used by the Romans to represent 1000.

cropped-infinite1.jpg3. All palindromes with even number of digits are divisible by 11.

4. The earliest evidence of a numerical recording device is a section of a fibula of a baboon, with 29 visible notches, dated to about 35000 BC, from a cave in the Lebombo mountains on the borders of Swaziland in Southern Africa.

5. The number 365 is equal to the sum of three consecutive squares and two consecutive squares in which the five squares are also consecutive.

365 = 102 + 112 + 122 = 132 + 142


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