What’s on Your Bucket List?

If you’re not familiar with the term bucket list, it’s a phrase that people use to describe the things that they want to do before they “kick the bucket”. It’s not the most elegant of phrases but it certainly does the job in terms of being descriptive! I’m going to be 38 this summer, which means that the big 4-0 is not as far away as I would like. I’ve been thinking about some of the things I would like to do before I turn 40. Some of them are pretty random. Some of them are probably the same things that were on the list when I did this before I was 30. I thought I would share them with you today for a bit of fun.

Continue reading “What’s on Your Bucket List?”
Christmas · Football · Gift Ideas · Liverpool

Still Nil Nil – A Football Lover’s Perfect Gift

As you’ll know if you’re a long-time reader of Mum’s the Word, we’re fans of Liverpool Football Club. Husband has been a fan his whole life, and when we met I adopted LFC as my team, too. That means that there are many historical games from LFC’s football past that we revisit from time to time, and we’ve been to Anfield as a family for a special day of Liverpool FC hospitality (we also saw Luis Suarez score his first ever Home hat-trick while we were there, which made it extra special).

Perhaps one of the most relevant games to current Liverpool fans is the night of the 2005 Champions League Final, where Liverpool came back from 3-0 against AC Milan to win on penalties and become European Champions. It was an amazing night, and although it happened before I became a Liverpool fan, it was a night that Husband has rewatched with me MANY times, and one in his life that he’ll never forget. A Football Lover's Perfect GiftThat’s why, when I received an email about Still Nil Nil, I knew it would make an incredible gift for Husband. You see, Still Nil Nil have taken these special nights in sporting history and created beautifully illustrated books, containing original poetry, describing the events in detail. There are currently three titles available, costing £12 each; The Treble, based on Manchester United’s historic 1998/99 season, Invincible, revisiting Arsenal’s unbeaten 2003/04 season; and The Miracle of Istanbul, retelling Liverpool’s epic Champions League final comeback in 2004/05.

The Miracle of Istanbul

Josh Clarke, founder and director of Still Nil Nil, said: “It’s incredibly exciting to finally unveil a true passion project, Still Nil Nil. Millions of parents and children bond over their football club – and our books represent the perfect way for parents to pass on their passion, and memories, to their children with an incredible shared experience.

“With Christmas fast approaching, the response to our initial three books has already been overwhelmingly positive. We are delighted to be delivering gifts that football-mad children (and, probably more so, parents) are going to love.”

I can’t wait to give Husband his copy and I think it will be something he’ll cherish. The books are aimed at kids, but I truly think they’re perfect for football fans of any age, and for Liverpool fans young and old, the night in Istanbul will be something they want to remember forever.

There’s still plenty of time to order your copy of a Still Nil Nil book from the website, so head over there and grab one now.


Book Review: Nightingale Woods by Kathryn Brown

I’ll be honest with you; I’ve not reviewed a book since senior school, so this may not be the most polished of efforts, but do bear with me!

Brief synopsis: Rachel Phillips, mid twenties, a little naive, rather gullible, has fallen for a married man. The thing is, he’s also fallen for her. In too deep, Rachel and married man Steve, begin an affair and develop intense feelings for each other, knowing what they’re doing is wrong. But after nine months of lies and deceit, Steve’s wife Olivia finds out and gives him an ultimatum. It was inevitable that someone’s heart would get broken, but Rachel truly believed it wouldn’t be hers and certainly not twice within a matter of days.

Seventeen years later, Rachel has been married, widowed and moved on to a new life in a little Scottish village in Perthshire. But one day her life comes crashing down around her when she spots Steve and Olivia in a nearby town, looking happy and very much together. So sure she’d got over Steve, she soon realises she’s never been able to move on since falling in love with him and when Steve sees her and follows her home, Rachel has to make it clear that she’s no longer the naive twenty-something he once knew.

But is she? Does the flame reignite when they meet again after seventeen years? And is Steve still in love with Rachel, or has he moved on?

Kathryn is a fellow blogger (You can find her blog, Crystal Jigsaw, here) and someone I consider to be a friend these days, so I thought it was only right to honour her hard work and read Nightingale Woods. I bought it from Amazon on my Kindle and got stuck in. Right from the off, it was one of those books that really gets its claws into you. I try to read as often as I can, but on a good day that can be limited to reading on the loo a couple of minutes here and there, but I really didn’t want to put Nightingale Woods down. It’s definitely what you’d call a ‘page turner’. Kathryn artfully gives you enough to keep you intrigued without giving it all to you on a plate, which for me is the mark of a great author.

I must say, the premise of Nightingale Woods was something new for me as, if I’m honest, I didn’t really like either of the main characters. Rachel comes across as naive and a little bit selfish and Steve is a philanderer who wants to have his cake and eat it, but their story is still irresistible in its way. You do get the feeling that there’s a love between them, even if it’s not the most traditional form of love, and that in itself leaves you aching to know how it all turns out. As the first half is written in diary form, you really get an insight into the personal feelings of Rachel and I think that’s part of what makes it so addictive.

Even when we skip forward seventeen years, despite Rachel having had life experience and being a middle-aged woman, the spell that Steve casts over her is clear to see, you get sucked into her excitement and the passion that she feels for him is palpable. If I’m completely honest, I’m not usually a fan of raunch in books – I tend to find that the authors use patronising words like “womanhood” when they really mean vagina or make it a little bit too ‘candles and rosepetals’ so that it’s adequately homogenized for the delicate female reader *rolls eyes* but the sex scenes in the book didn’t make me cringe at all, which may not sound entirely positive, but believe me, that’s a huge compliment!

The real stars of this book, for me, are the supporting cast. Rachel’s friends are great characters and even though they only feature in a small way, they offer a sense of stability and success to the story which is much needed. They’re probably the only thing that stop the book from being a truly tragic lovestory as Rachel is, essentially, a very solitary and lonely person, but her friends even out the balance somewhat.

I don’t want to say too much else as I don’t want to give any of the plot away, but I can highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys the work of Marian Keyes, Sophie Kinsella, Maeve Binchy and the like (it holds it’s own against any of these well-established authors, in my humble opinion), though this has a slightly more grown-up and less sugar-coated feel to it, making it accessible to just about everyone. Kathryn is as brilliant as I hoped she would be and I’ve already downloaded Discovery at Rosehill for my Kindle to read next!

I give ‘Nightingale Woods’ by Kathryn Brown FIVE stars       

(As a footnote, I know we aren’t supposed to judge a book by its cover, but I absolutely love the cover art for the book too, pictured above)

Nightingale Woods and Discovery at Rosehillare both available on Kindle.