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18th Blogiversary

I can’t believe that my humble blog is now old enough to take up an apprenticeship, go to to uni or legally drink alcohol in the UK. 😀

Of course when I began writing here about my knitting and other interests, all those years ago, I had no idea that it would still be active, or even a thing, all these years later.

I embraced social media but, like others, I’ve found its algorithms frustrating and restrictive. With a blog you can always the latest post and there’s no worry that you’ve missed one just because enough of your mates didn’t click “like”.

Over the last eighteen years, I’ve moved house twice, fallen in love with my American, Eric, and got married. I’ve loved and lost, many cats – I miss them so much, especially Clyde who used to begrudgingly model some of my knits here. Sabre, Jake, Pushkin, Emma and Billie are never far from my thoughts.

I do still knit, and build computers, and sometimes sew and make jewellery but not as much as I used to. I’m still in a big reading phase. My blog helped my old American penfriend Kirsten track me down several years ago and now we always try and meet whenever I’m in Boston.

I was remembering the days of the Knitting Web Ring and how you could read all of the knitting blogs in an evening. Those were fun times. I see that my old web ring neighbour, The Keyboard Biologist Knits, hasn’t blogged for a while but I expect that’s for similar reasons as to why I haven’t blogged for a while. You get busy. But while I can’t always promise that I’ll be blogging every week, I think I’ll always have a blog 🙂

Books! All The Rage by Cara Hunter

I’m so proud to be part of the blog tour for Cara Hunter’s All The Rage. This is the first book of hers that I’ve read but it won’t be the last.

Here’s the description “A girl is taken from the streets of Oxford. But it’s unlike any abduction DI Fawley’s seen before . . .

Faith Appleford was attacked, a plastic bag tied over her head, taken to an isolated location . . . and then, by some miracle, she escaped.

What’s more, when DC Erica Somer interviews Faith, she quickly becomes convinced that Faith knows who her abductor is.

Yet Faith refuses to press charges.

Without more evidence, it’s looking like the police may have to drop the case.

But what happens if Faith’s attacker strikes again?”

I think I read this over a few days. I do love a good crime novel and this was excellent. I’ve read so many of them over the years, though that they have to be exceptional for me to really enjoy them. Honestly, there’s nothing worse for me than knowing whodunnit early on. Part of the enjoyment of reading crime novels is trying to do the detective work yourself and work it out, but I love it when books can really surprise me and “All The Rage” did. There are certainly twists and turns and they are all very impressive. There’s also a witness called Gerald Butler! But I should add that this is a dark book, it’s certainly not a cozy mystery.

Documents like case notes and news reports are displayed as graphics in the book. This isn’t unusual for books these days but on the whole, I thought that the graphics were well done and immersive.

It’s also worth mentioning that this is part of series but at no point did I feel that I would have enjoyed it more if I’d read the previous books.

I’ll certainly be picking up Cara’s other books, and reading more about DI Adam Fawley, Somer, Everett, even the annoying Quinn, and the rest of the team.

If, like me, you’d like to keep up with Cara Hunter, maybe find out when the next Adam Fawley book “The Whole Truth” is out, you can sign up to her newsletter.

Viking Books supplied me with a copy of the book in return for an honest review.

Contains Amazon affiliate links which help support this site.

Suicide Club by Rachel Heng

In the future you can be one hundred years ago and yet look barely fifty. It’s all thanks to innovations like Smart Blood and Diamond Skin. Alcohol is restricted, coffee is banned and meals consist of nutripacks or perhaps a “trad food” like a salad. The most popular mode of transport is walking. You might even live forever under the Third Wave of Maintenance but in a world where arts and music are forbidden, will you want to?

When Lea is accidentally hit by a car she finds that her life is suddenly under observation by the Ministry. She manages to infiltrate the Suicide Club, a group of people who have had enough of this endless life with little pleasure who revel in pleasures like eating meat and listening to jazz. Some ultimately choosing to end their life.

Suicide Club is a very dark novel but I was fascinated with the world Heng has conjured. It’s like a nightmare stereotype of LA, people who all look a little similar, have perfect skin and hair, drink green healthy drinks and exercise all the time – because they’re not really allowed to do much else. None of the characters are desperately likeable but that doesn’t matter because the story really pulls you in and holds you there. Disturbing and compelling. Another one of those books that I’ll be thinking about for years.
Suicide Club by Rachel Heng is out now.




Disclaimer – I received a digital galley of Suicide Club by Rachel Heng in return for an honest review.

Very Quick Blog…

…because I’ve not done a great deal of crafting this week. But I have begun a reorganisation of my craft room.

I’ve started to go through my fabric collection and have filled a bin bag so far with fabrics that I no longer care for. I suspect that I won’t downsize my yarn because over the years I’ve sold or swapped the outcasts.

It’s going to take a little while so in the meantime, here’s some flowers from the local Farmers’ Market


Second Sock


New Blog: Long Overdue Update!

The problem with taking a break from weekly postings is that well, as you can see, you can end up just not posting at all.


Lots of stuff has happened since February, firstly some very sad news.

My cat Emma died just after midnight on September 19th. She was about a month shy of her fifth birthday and always been very fit and healthy. Unfortunately she suddenly developed an untreatable thrombosis and had to be put to sleep. I miss her so much, she was a lovely puss cat.

I’m not the kind of person who can live in a house without any cats so I took on a kitten. Her original owners weren’t able to keep her because their little boy was allergic to her. I’ve called her Billie, after Billie Holiday, and she’s currently trying to destroy my house. But she is very, very cute.

She enjoys watching the washing machine..

My knitting stalled a bit this year but I’ve finished two lots of “second socks” and I’m almost done with a hat from a pattern called Seedling. Billie loves it when I knit.

I’m not quite so fond of her reaction to my knitting…

Last month I had to build a new PC because my old one, which had kindly been given to me by a friend a couple of years ago, decided it wasn’t very happy. So I ordered some parts and a really ugly tower case and built a new one. At the moment I’m hoping to slowly add new things to it. This month I doubled the memory to 8 gig. I’m hoping to give it a graphics upgrade next month.

This is a warning quilt from The Festival of Quilts. It warns people not to touch quilts but I thought it was lovely.

And here’s some Japanese fat quarters that I bought in Bath in May.

In July the bf and I went to London for a day. We went to a Lebanese restaurant for lunch and I had a fantastic pot of mint tea to accompany it. That led to many mint tea experiments over the summer.


Think I’ll try posting every Monday again for a little while…

New blog – The Perils of Christmas Knitting

There’s only one word to describe this past weekend. Frantic.

I’ve been knitting Christmas presents and cursing my slow knitting pace. Sadly, I’m not a knitting speedster. Things that take other people three hours seem to take me three times as long.

So next weekend may see me taking a little break from knitting for a few days. 🙂

Copyright and this Blog

There seems to be a lot of confusion regarding the internet and the question of whether if something is online if that means it’s automatically in the public domain. There are also some horrific tales of people’s work being used without their consent, and to make matters even worse, sometimes being used inappropriately.

So although, I’ve always had a copyright statement on my blog I’m just going to reiterate it in this post. Anything on this blog, unless clearly marked otherwise, is copyright Marie Irshad. That means that no one has the right to copy or reproduce any of the content on here without first seeking permission from me. Just because something is on the internet doesn’t automatically mean that it’s in the public domain.

PHOTO: Cake!


Another charity bake sale at work 🙂

Happy Batman Day to Me


In the past I’ve been lucky enough to have Batman films open on my birthday. Today, sadly, that’s not the case. Instead Green Lantern is out from tomorrow. Whether it will be an appropriate substitute remains to be seen!