Friday, 28 April 2017

A Weekend in Bristol - St Anne's Wood

Paul Gulati gateway 
We made a beautiful discovery in Bristol last weekend and, best of all, it was free! St Anne's Wood in Brislington is relatively new in natural history terms having grown up since the Second World War when the majority of this area was farmland. It languished for a while, but was subject to an ongoing regeneration effort in 2013 which is resulting in a serene natural space. Himalayan Balsam plants have been ripped out and coppicing undertaken, and regular cleanups now help keep litter to a minimum although we two two instances where, in a practice we commonly see in Spain, people must have deliberately walked a distance into the wood, past a number of bins, simply to dump an armful of their rubbish. Sometimes I really do despair! The trail, workshops and new paths and entrances were joint funded by Bristol City Council’s Local Sustainable Transport Fund, the Neighbourhood Partnership’s Wellbeing fund and the Heritage Lottery. Ideal for getting away from the city bustle for a while! The Wood follows Brislington Brook and there are maps and further information from 2013 and 2014 on the Brook Trail blog.

St Anne's Well 
I loved the whimsical entrance gates. These were created by local blacksmith Paul Gulati and are great fun. Fairly steep steps lead down from the pictured gateway to the brook. I was amazed how traffic noise seemed to just vanish as we descended! I would have been easy to imagine ourselves way back in history, especially as a small re-enactment group appeared between the trees dressed in Medieval garb! This area was once part of one of the most important pilgrimage routes in Britain with the now neglected St Anne's Well being a focal point for locals and travellers alike.

For a much shorter 'pilgrimage', you can spot each of the nine plaques set up within the Wood. They each give brief information about historical sites such as the well, or about flora and fauna that can be seen nearby. If you are visiting with children, take paper and pencils with you because these plaques are apparently also intended to be used for the ancient practice of brass rubbing. I remember doing that on a school trip many years ago!

Brislington Brook 

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

A weekend in Bristol - Blackbeard to Banksy Walking Tour

Pixel Pancho street art, Bristol 
We were back in Bristol this weekend just gone visiting with Dave's family. Bristol is still my favourite of the UK cities I have visited because I love its creative vibe and enthusiasm for independent businesses. There's a strong motivation towards sustainable living too which could well get a real boost on May 5th. If you live in Bristol, South Gloucestershire or Bath and North East Somerset, vote for The Green Party's Darren Hall to be your Metro Mayor! Far from an insignificant or decorative role, the Metro Mayor will command a £1billion budget over the next 30 years and will shape the West of England’s landscape by deciding where new homes, amenities and transport routes will be built.

El Mac street art, Bristol 
Dave's daughter, Gemma, always finds us something great to do when we visit her city and this trip was certainly no exception as she booked us onto a fascinating walking tour. The Blackbeard To Banksy tour incorporates history and street art, two of our favourite topics, so its two hour duration absolutely flew by. It is led by local artist Duncan McKellar who both knows his subject well and imparts this knowledge in an engaging and entertaining style. He took us through Saxon alleyways and to pubs famed for their pirate or literary connections. We also saw the largest, the tiniest and the most famous street art in Bristol. The first two photos on this post are of huge works created for the See No Evil street art festival on and around Nelson Street. The second two are of phenomenally detailed images painted by Ben Wilson onto pavement chewing gum blobs. Really!! We also admired the iconic Banksy on Frogmore Street, Well Hung Lover. Excellent value at just £7 per person, I would highly recommend the Blackbeard To Banksy walking tour to both tourists and Bristol natives!

Chewing gum art by
Ben Wilson, Bristol 
Coincidentally, part-way around the tour, Duncan recommended a Lebanese restaurant, Mezze Palace, as a great place to dine. We had eaten there on the Friday evening and I am more than happy to second his opinion. It doesn't look much from the outside, but I loved the stone wall decor inside and the low curved ceiling. The food is good too with generous portions we struggled to do justice to! If you're down by the harbourside and getting peckish, I'd suggest a visit to The Pi Shop too. It's an upmarket pizzeria. We shared two pizzas between four for our lunch after the walking tour. The one with Wye Valley asparagus and sheep's cheese was absolutely delicious!

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Are you ready for the new AudioSYNC season?

This summer will be my fourth season of free audiobook downloads via the AudioSYNC program and I am eagerly looking forward to its start on Thursday!

If you haven't heard of AudioSYNC before, it is an American organisation that promotes audiobooks to young adult listeners. You don't need to be a young adult to sign up though - thank goodness as I stopped qualifying for that quite some time ago! Two books are offered weekly for sixteen weeks from April to August and titles include a good and varied selection of contemporary fiction, classic fiction, history, biography, plays and, sometimes, poetry. The only snag for me at least is that, for copyright reasons, not every title can be downloaded here in the UK, but usually at least half can. Over the years I have discovered great books that might otherwise have passed me by including Words In The Dust by Trent Reedy, The Perfect Storm by Sebastian Junger and Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe. You can see all my AudioSYNC book reviews on Literary Flits to give you a better idea of the sort of works that are offered.

This year's programme begins on Thursday, the 27th April, with the pairing of The Picture Of Dorian Grey by Oscar Wilde and The Dead House by Dawn Kurtagich. The next few weeks' pairs are shown on the poster below. You will need Overdrive software in order to open the audio files. This is also free and available to download via AudioSYNC.

Enjoy!

Monday, 24 April 2017

Upcoming gigs and theatre trips

In a complete change of plan, we are now not going to see Ocotillo in Glastonbury on Wednesday although the gig is still happening so if you find yourself nearby, step into the Hawthorns in the evening! Having driven to Bristol and back this weekend, we just couldn't face another four hours in the car! Instead we will be staying very local and strolling to T.O.A.D.S. production of Death In High Heels at The Little Theatre on St Mark's Road in Torquay. We were last there for the excellent comedy One Man Two Guvnors last summer. Now we will see a thriller set in 1930s London. Behind the glamour and gossip of a small Regent Street couture fashion house, secrets and lies are rife, and when a murder happens this fuels more gossip and lies! The play begins tonight, the 24th April and runs all week. Tickets are available online or via the theatre Box Office and we're going on Thursday!

Rebecca Loebe 
Saturday night will find us at Starcross near Exeter to see Austin, Texas, musician Rebecca Loebe alongside young singer-songwriter Luke Jackson who is from Canterbury in Kent. We saw Luke play once before, back in 2012 supporting Paul Brady at Lewes Town Hall (of all places!). Rebecca's music is pretty new to us although we know Austin friends of hers well so we are looking forward to discovering her songs. The Devon gig is at St Paul's Church in Starcross from 7.30pm on Saturday the 29th of April. Tickets are available for £11 online or will be £12 on the door.

You already know from last month's roundup that we're going to see the Hot House Four at Wellies Wine Bar in Torquay on the 4th of May and Charlie Dore at Kingskerswell Parish Church on the 20th of May (more details of these two here). I was also excited to see a Rachel Ries gig briefly advertised for the Crown And Sceptre in Torquay, however sadly due to illness all gigs at this venue are cancelled for the foreseeable future. Rachel Ries, performing as Her Crooked Heart, does have another Devon gig though so we will be venturing to Kingsbridge on the 27th of May to see her. The venue is essentially a house concert and will be held at a barn called The Hatch. Contact wheelwrightmark@gmail.com for more details and to reserve your seat!

So that's our live entertainment for April and May so far. Let me know if you're coming to any of these too and in the meantime, have a scroll through these South West gig listings from WeGotTickets and see if anything else catches your eye!



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Saturday, 22 April 2017

#TreatYourself - special offers that caught my eye

Art Of Metal is a new-to-me company that I discovered recently while browsing for unusual handmade art. As their name suggests, all their products are made of metal and I particularly liked their abstract designs and the combinations of metal colours within single pieces. Very eyecatching! Until July 31st Art Of Metal have a coupon code giving a generous 30% discount on all products in their Wall Art section. Simply use the phrase metal wall art when completing checkout.

Did you know that hummingbirds are usually between 3-5 inches long and can beat their wings up to 50 times a second? These amazing little creatures have inspired the Weird Fish print designer this season and hummingbirds feature strongly throughout the new Spring range for women appearing on dresses, tunics, skirts, scarves and accessories. There's an earlybird (geddit!) discount on Spring styles so set the trend for less by using checkout code HAGY732 to get yourself a 15% price reduction. I'm not sure how long this code will remain valid for.

The Body Shop are having another of their big discount promotions, this time offering 40% off most of their products (although some specialty lines and items such as gift certificates are not included). The code you need to use at checkout is 19806, but don't dash over there just yet. The promotion begins at 9am on the 25th of April and runs through until just after the Bank Holiday, 9am on the 2nd of May.

There's a treat in store for fans of actors Damian Lewis and Sophie Okonedo - as long as you can get to London before the 24th of June that is! The pair are starring in Edward Albee's The Goat or Who Is Sylvia at The Haymarket and London Theatre Direct are currently offering tickets for sale with no booking fees.
Martin is at the pinnacle of life: he has a loving wife and son, a hugely successful career as an architect, and the commission of a lifetime, but when he embarks upon an improbable and impossible love affair from which there is no return, he must face the dizzying, explosive consequences. Former Royal Court Artistic Director Ian Rickson directs this provocative and fiercely funny Albee classic and is joined by an Olivier and Tony Award-winning creative team in Rae Smith (Set and Costume Design), Neil Austin (Lighting Design) and Gregory Clarke (Sound Design), with original music by ground-breaking musician PJ Harvey.

And finally you'll need to be quick to take advantage of a current Twinings offer. Yesterday was National Tea Day and the Queen's 91st birthday so they are celebrating with 3 for the price of 2 on all Teas for Everyday. The coupon code to use at checkout is TEADAY but it expires on the 24th of April so don't hang about!


All links in this post are affiliate links. Should you click through and make a purchase I would receive a small commission at no extra cost to yourself. That would be nice!

Thursday, 20 April 2017

#ThrowbackThursday - where we were on this day in Aprils past

After a whole year of Throwback Thursday posts (already!), I have brought this monthly blog feature forward a week so I won't be repeating myself. Throwback Thursday will now be the second-to-last Thursday of the month. This month's post just manages to cover five years of blogging because my first memory goes right back to April 2012.

I first attended Eastbourne's Underground Theatre Sunday Film Club on the 22nd of April 2012. For one Sunday afternoon a month the theatre becomes a cinema showing, usually, a vintage film followed by tea and cake in the cafe. It's all very civilised! On that afternoon we saw The Clouded Yellow, a 1950 thriller starring Trevor Howard and Jean Simmons. I don't actually remember much about the film now, but my commented review says I thought it a 'fairly thrilling thriller' and I know I enjoyed the event as a whole because I went on to attend lots more of the films while we lived nearby.

On the 20th of April 2013 I was in Sutton in the middle of a wonderful week of theatre trips and other cultural events that included a one man show about Oliver Reed, intense drama The Wife, The Mistress, The Chair and a screening of the Cloud Atlas film. The Sutton show was Sutton Theatre Company's production of Return To The Forbidden Planet which I remember was very funny and had an amazing futuristic set. If you live anywhere near Sutton, STC's newest show, the musical Curtains, is on from the 11th to the 14th of May and Tickets Are Available Here!

April 2014 was the first Easter since my Mum had died in the previous May and I was still finding it difficult without her, especially at a family-centred time like that. I delved into childhood memories and spent the day baking the Farmhouse Fruit Cake that had been my 'signature recipe' when I was growing up. The secret to a good moist fruit cake is to use cold black tea instead of milk for the liquid!



It was all change by April 2015. We had sold our Polegate home and were starting the UK leg of our 20 month caravan tour. Our Caravan Club CL campsite, Wideham Farm, was on the edge of Thetford Forest and within very easy walking distance of a fascinating replica Anglo-Saxon village at West Stow. The site includes several reconstructed houses and buildings incorporating experimental archaeology to test out theories. There is also a good visitor's centre with lots of interesting artefacts from the local area. Most pieces are genuine and include lots of flint axes, arrowheads and the like, plus pottery, glass and jewellery. A few things are replicas such as gold bangles, silver dishes and 'the Sutton Hoo helmet'.

And this time last year we were still in our caravan, pitched up just outside Torquay to begin exploring Torbay and the flat hunt which resulted in our present lovely home. I was much less impressed with Widend campsite, but it fulfilled the requirements of peace and a convenient location! We had just been wooed by a visit to Totnes, still my favourite town around here I think, where we bought the Wild DVD I currently have for sale on eBay. It's a good film for walkers! Click the photo to buy!

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Kiva loans to Tibet and Lesotho

Lala in China 
I've been so busy since we got back from Spain that, for the first time in ages, Kiva Repayments Day completely slipped my mind! Usually I eagerly anticipate it for several days beforehand, but it wasn't until the first 'You have money in your account' email arrived that I realised the 17th of the month had rushed around again already! Despite being unprepared, I did get lucky with my loans for April. I have lent to two new-to-me countries, China and Lesotho, which brings my total for countries lent to up to 70.

Chinese loans are quite rare and loans to Chinese women practically fabled, so I was delighted to spot A Loan To Lala before it was filled. Lala makes traditional warm Tibetan clothing for children. She wanted funds to expand her workshop by employing five more staff.

In Lesotho, innovative business African Clean Energy provide alternative cookstoves to low-income communities. Traditional cookstoves generate severe health and environmental damage like respiratory diseases and black carbon (a severe contributor to climate change). ACE cookstoves are smokeless and ensure near complete combustion of fuel, eliminating black carbon. I lent to the Molungoa Group to buy their cookstoves.

I still have a few more repayments due by the end of this month so hope I will get to make a third loan before May. Would you like to join me on Kiva too?

Molungoa Group in Lesotho 

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Crocheted motifs sold on Etsy

Crafter's Embellishments
Gift Pack - SOLD! 
This time last week I was celebrating my first handmade goods sale since I reopened my Etsy shop. Now I am happy to let you know that I had a fantastic sale this week too - 78 little crocheted motifs and they went to a repeat buyer. Don't get me wrong, new customers are great too! but there's something especially rewarding about knowing someone likes my work so much they want more of it! I sold ten sparkly red hearts, eight moss green leaves (now sold out), ten tiny orange stars and a Crafter's Embellishments Gift Pack. The Packs are great as a treat for yourself or to actually give to a craft-minded friend. For £10 I choose an assortment of fifty crocheted motifs from my stock, making sure there are no more than five of any particular one so the recipient gets at least ten different styles to spark their creativity. The motifs can be sewn or glued so would be suitable for older children as well as adults. If you can't choose between all the embellishments in my shop, buy yourself a Gift Pack!

This week I restocked the 1.25 inch crocheted flowers so all four colours are again available. I also relisted a trio of beanie-style hats and four wristlet water bottle bags that are perfect accessories for fitness walks. I created new cardmaking embellishments from vintage book pages too. You can now buy handcut circles in two sizes: 9cm diameter ones suitable for backgrounds which are £1 for 20, and 4.3cm diameter ones suitable for layering which are £1 for 25. You can buy 'by the book' or I think a mix of differently yellowed papers looks good together.

4.3cm vintage paper circles 
Now I am crocheting more hearts from various cottons. If you squint at the Gift Pack example photo above (or click through to enlarge it!) you'll see white, black and tiny red hearts amongst the flowers. I plan to get at least twenty of each listed within the next few days. Keep an eye on my Facebook page to be notified when!

Monday, 17 April 2017

Early bluebells in Torquay

Bluebells at Meadfoot Green 
Did you have a good Easter? We treated ourselves to slices of homemade Simnel cake from a stall at Torquay Indoor Market and managed to resist the allure of chocolate eggs. I might look to see how much the unsold ones have been reduced by when I pop to the Co-Op later though! I learned that Torquay's branch of Thornton's is closing down in a couple of weeks so there might be good bargains there too. There's a 60% off sale at Thornton's online!

I have enjoyed rediscovering my way around Torquay over the past couple of weeks. Those of you who know my appalling sense of direction will understand how much of an achievement it will be for me to actually learn the whole town! Just before the Bank Holiday weekend Dave and I walked down to Meadfoot Beach where there were actually people - mostly children admittedly - swimming in the sea. In April! Madness!

Looking over towards Thatcher's Rock 

We paused to look out to sea and wondered at what appears to be wall remnants on Thatcher's Rock. Does anyone know if it was ever inhabited or is this just how the rock has eroded? And why is it called Thatcher's Rock? Travelling always brings up more questions than answers, even when I travel at home.

Cutting inland from the far end of Meadfoot Beach, we turned into Meadfoot Green parts of which are anything but green at the moment. Apparently the water board have been digging trenches. The ground is now refilled, but awaiting grass seed. We crossed one of the wooden plank bridges into the woodland and I was delighted to find bluebell carpets. I always think of them as a May flower because I generally see them around my birthday, but here in the English Riviera at least, they are already putting on quite a show. Coincidentally, in my brilliant Rebecca audiobook that I am currently listening to, the second Mrs de Winter had been discussing Maxim's opinion of bluebells the day before we saw ours! Even more profuse here are a white variant that I think are probably Spanish bluebells, not the rare albino British ones. They are eyecatching too, but in a different way and didn't have the same ethereal quality as the blue ones.

White bluebells 


Friday, 14 April 2017

Read the book or watch the film?

I've done a spot of eBay listing this week, mostly DVDs, and it got me thinking about the number of books that get adapted to film or televised versions. I wondered whether people who love the movie ever go on to read its book and, vice-versa, if someone loves a particular book, are they more or less likely to see its film version. What do you think?

Personally I choose to avoid films of books I adored because I tend to be disappointed by their adaptations. If I do see and read, I prefer the film first because I know there will be lots more detail in the book and sometimes a completely different ending! This does mean I don't get to imagine characters and locations though because I envisage what I have seen - even when, with films such as Still Alice for example, the main character's appearance bears no relation to the written description. I also tend to use BBC television adaptations as an excuse not to get stuck into some classics, especially the ones with small print and hundreds of pages!

These are the literary adaptations I'm selling on eBay right now: (Click on each photo to visit its sale page!)





Thursday, 13 April 2017

Top Five Etsy Finds - Bookish Dresses

Sew Novel dress
by SewAngelicUK
 
I blogged my top five bookish jewellery Etsy finds back in January and thought I might continue the theme of literary wearables by searching for book-themed handmade clothing. When I realised the variety of dresses Etsy seamstresses create I knew these would be my post and the glorious weather we are experiencing at the moment (in Devon at least) means any of these five would be an ideal sunshine outfit.


My first choice is entitled Sew Novel and is a gorgeously flirty library fabric Ruffle Fronted Halter Neck Lolita Dress. Sew Novel is made to order by Angela Jane at SewAngelicUK in Manchester. I especially love details such as the black bow at the top of the ruffle. Richly colourful with gold accents, the limited edition designer cotton fabric features stacks of classic literature, including titles such as Little Women, Gone With the Wind and volumes of poetry. The dress is available in standard or custom sizes

The Sew Novel dress is for sale from £145 plus shipping.


Slytherin House dress
by VampireBunnies 
Ellie at VampireBunnies in Congleton makes sweetheart dresses from fantastic printed fabrics, many of which have a scifi or fantasy theme such as Doctor Who, comic book characters or The Nightmare Before Christmas. My eye was caught by her Hogwarts collection which are just perfect for Harry Potter fans. Pictured is the Slytherin House dress. A Gryffindor House design is also available and Ellie can get fabrics for Ravenclaw or Hufflepuff Houses on request. If a strapless dress isn't appropriate, Ellie can add straps for just £5 and the dress is offered in sizes 8-12 or 14-18. It has an elasticated back so is very forgiving of size fluctuations.

The Slytherin House Sweetheart dress is for sale at £55 plus shipping.


Once Upon A Time dress
by RoobyLane
 
RoobyLane, based in Portsmouth, specialise in creating 'beautiful nerdy Special Occasion Dresses'. Their literary themes include several Alice In Wonderland designs as well as Shakespeare, Edgar Allen Poe and Jane Austen fabrics. I love this Once Upon A Time dress with its selection of classic books, several of which I have actually read, and 1950s vibe which would be perfect for vintage festivals this summer (RoobyLane also sell appropriately voluminous petticoats!). The book and quote selections can be customised on request to completely reflect its wearer's literary tastes and make each such dress unique. The dress is available in standard or custom sizes and fabrics are printed to order.

The Once Upon A Time dress is for sale from £125 plus shipping.


Disney Book dress
by PixxieRose
With Beauty And The Beast in cinemas everywhere at the moment, I wanted to include this Disney Book dress by PixxieRose who make their dresses and skirts in Swadlincote. I love that the fabric features a selection of the old Disney books' cover art and see several I remember reading years ago - Dumbo, Bambi, Sleeping Beauty and One Hundred And One Dalmations. Shop owner Sharon offers this dress in standard sizes from 8 to 18 and can add useful pockets on request which is a nice touch. I noticed that she also offers a seamstress service so you could send your own fabric (and measurements) for a totally custom-made dress.

The Disney Book dress is for sale at £36 plus shipping.


Library Skater dress
by Interrobangirl
My fifth and final suggestion is from the wonderfully named shop Interrobangirl and is made to order by Christina in Bristol. I love that Christina's very first handmade clothing was also bookish - A Very Hungry Caterpillar skirt for herself - and she now offers a fab geeky range of fabric designs, a number of which began as her own paintings. The Library Skater dress is available in sizes from 6 to 36 and is created with digitally printed cotton jersey.

The Library Skater dress is for sale at £85 plus shipping.


I hope you loved discovering these dresses as much as I did!
All links in this post are affiliate links so, should you click through and buy a dress, I would receive a small commission. I'd love for you to send a pic of yourself wearing your new dress too!

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Restocking my Etsy shop and my first sale of April

Crocheted flowers and leaves - SOLD!
My Etsy shop was just getting up to speed before we went away for the winter, but, disappointingly, views and sales ceased abruptly as soon I was shipping from France and, later, Spain. One aspect of our UK return I have been looking forward to is revamping and relisting the items I have for sale and getting back to my crafting again. I was absolutely delighted to be notified of my first sale this morning! Ten crocheted flowers and eight leaves are on their way to Merseyside. (I have more of both appliques available if you like them!)

Yesterday I listed three varieties of tiny star motifs and three varieties of crocheted hearts. All these shapes are ideal for card making and scrapbooking, or they can be appliqued to fabric - the flowers especially look fab sewn onto summer jeans! Click through via the photographs or the Etsy Mini widget to buy!

Crocheted stars 
Crocheted hearts 


Monday, 10 April 2017

Walking the Tamar Trails

Tamar Trails map 
Now that we are back in the UK, we expect to be in our Devon home right through the summer and probably most of 2017's winter too so we will have lots of time to explore the county! On Thursday we drove over the top of Dartmoor to Tavistock, primarily to meet up with our friends Chris and Marta, and also to go for a walk in the Tamar Trails.

Located in the Tamar Valley, just across the river from Cornwall, the Tamar Trails is a 25km network of family trails and outdoor activities in this unique and stunning area of Devon. It is a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and part of the Cornwall and West Devon Mining Landscape World Heritage Site. I already knew about the walking / running / cycling trails, but had no idea I would find so much history too.

Arsenic mine ruins 
We parked at the Scrubtor car park (which is free) and walked along the green and then red routes as far as the Beech Cafe. The trails are all natural, passing through woodland. We paused to examine remnants of the arsenic mines here. Slightly worrying signs warn of the danger of arsenic poisoning and what looked like a large slag heap is still devoid of plant life decades after mining ceased. There is an interesting little information centre in a derelict building which is worth a look in. William Morris, the textile and wallpaper designer, profited significantly from the mine as a shareholder whereas the men, women and children actually working there were paid just pennies despite the risks to their lives.

Chris, Dave and Marta learn about mining 
Midway through our 10.5km walk, we reached the Beech Cafe which is located at Tamar Trails' hub. It was a gorgeous afternoon so we were lucky to get one of the tables outside in the sunshine. The Easter Egg Trail was popular and we saw a happy group returning from the TreeSurfing area. I browsed the running shop - there's also a weekly Parkrun here - before being diverted by excellent tea and cake next door! We can recommend the beetroot and chocolate cake as well as the avocado and courgette cake. Both are gluten free, but if I hadn't been told, I wouldn't have known from tasting them!

Beech Cafe staff and cakes! 
I was glad to have refuelled before tackling the return leg. None of the walking here is technically difficult, but the ups and downs are pretty steep in places! I did find myself inspired to undertake my first short run in months when we got home - two miles in twenty-one minutes with only two very short walks en route. My calves were sore for the next two days though!

Friday, 7 April 2017

Competitions and Giveaways roundup

One aspect of our homecoming I eagerly anticipated was the resumption of my competition and giveaway entering. I love giveaways! Of course, I can enter ebook giveaways while travelling and was delighted to win a copy of The Extraordinary Journey Of Vivienne Marshall by Shannon Kirk from iRead Book Tours, but it's not the same as actually getting parcels delivered to the door! I've decided to share some giveaway links here so you can see what my finJujUgers are crossed for and have your own chance at winning too!

There's always free book links on Literary Flits, some for a limited time and others forever and a day! Clicking Giveaway will list them all! A K Downing's Into The Air is an exciting YA dystopian thriller and its giveaway has just a couple more days to run. There are five signed copies of the book up for grabs.
This giveaway is open worldwide and closes on the 9th April.

In association with Food Lover Magazine, you could win six months of Midi Gourmet Food Boxes from Green And Brown's of Exeter. Each box contains a minimum of 15 items, from staples and treats to store cupboard favourites to unknowns, all produced in the West Country. Every month the selection will vary, introducing you to plenty of exciting new gourmet surprises.
This giveaway is UK only and closes on the 24th April.

Published by Nourish Books, Packed by Becky Alexander and Michelle Lake is full of inspiration for healthy, grown-up packed lunches, from salads and snacks to soups and sandwiches and more. As well as the recipes, you’ll find some great shopping strategies and other tips too. Food Lover Magazine has three copies to give away.
This giveaway is UK only and closes on the 28th April.

£50 of theatre tokens could be yours if you are the lucky winner of the Shakespeare Day Competition at Theatre Tokens in association with Nick Hern Books. The prize includes three books and six Guy Venables greeting cards too. Shakespeare Day Is celebrated on the 23rd April, the anniversary of the playwright's death and possibly his birth.
This giveaway is UK only and closes on the 30th April.

Another giveaway with Food Lover Magazine, is for three 500ml bottles of Fussels Rapeseed Oil. Fussels Fine Foods are known for their single cold pressed rapeseed oils, which are a healthier alternative to other cooking oils. They’re perfect for replacing other fats in your baking!
This giveaway is UK only and closes on the 1st of May.

May Day is also the closing date for Andy Carrington's Goodreads giveaway. I read and reviewed his political poetry collection, Apathy Will Kill Us All, towards the end of March and you could win a signed copy.
This giveaway is open to various European countries and closes on the 1st of May.

Author Katherine (Lee) Hayton emailed a couple of days ago to let me know about two of her books, the thriller Breathe And Release and her fairytale fantasy, The Hare's Not-So-Spiky Hedgehog, which are now free forever via The Prolific Reader. There are over 400 free books on The Prolific Reader from 330+ authors and spanning 24 genres so chances are you'll find at least few that appeal.
This giveaway is open worldwide with no closing date.

Good luck!