Romance Books

An offer you can’t refuse * Jill Mansell

I picked this book up as part of a three book print-out for Reader’s Digest (you know when you want to read a book from a collection and you end up buying the dregs too)?

I wasn’t sure if this was a terrible book or not, but the synopsis was predicting a B- experience.

Book Reviews

Neil Gaiman – Neverwhere Book Review

Under the streets of London there’s a place most people could never even dream of.

A city of monsters and saints, murderers and angels, knights in armour and pale girls in black velvet.

This is the city of the people who have fallen between the cracks. Richard Mayhew, a young businessman, is going to find out more than enough about this other London.

A single act of kindness catapults him out of his workday existence and into a world that is at once eerily familiar and utterly bizarre.

And a strange destiny awaits him down here, beneath his native city… Neverwhere.


Contrary to the popular opinion, I did not think this book was great. Urban fantasy novels are quite interesting when done right but this story was really formulaic and the characters were either pushed to extremes or underdeveloped.  BBC also decided to create a mini-series to go with this book and man, was it bad. It was so bad it made the book feel better by comparison.

I think it would have been a really good story if Richard wasn’t in it. Is he an adult or a child? The main character never does anything of his own volition, just follows along being kept safe by others. (he throws in literally one or two actions to defend against this, but that’s all and even those are weak and flat). If Gaiman was trying to make him sound naive, he only succeeded in making him seem juvenile, childish and stupid. It really grated on my nerves. I loved the adventures but they were a bit slow going and a little bit obvious and I quite enjoyed the ending but predicted it, so was fulfilled like I would be with a true Romance happy ending.

I do like Gaiman’s writing, just his hugely innovative story ideas fail to reach any satisfying end for me. It picks up and it just crumbles away.


Book Reviews

As the crow flies – by Jeffrey Archer – Book Review

I wanted to see if I can continue reading Jeffrey Archer after the fiasco with Jeffrey Archer – Mightier than the sword and I have mixed thoughts about the latest book I picked up. It was boring in parts but quite interesting in others. All in all, it was a solid 2.34/5.

This is a fairly good 200 page novel, hiding inside 600 pages. It was easy to read, but not very fulfilling. I like novels with a rich background so that you can lose yourself in the time and place. This fat novel was thin in substance. I was ready to quit on it at the halfway point, as I became tired of reading of each shop being purchased with great detail about how much it cost, and what a good deal Charlie got on each one. I continued on, and the story improved somewhat. I never felt anything for any of the characters. They all seemed one dimensional.

Art Fanfiction

Marvel at one of the world’s most dynamic modern art spaces, Tate Modern, and its new extension

Tate Modern is an amazing story of redemption and reinvention. It resides Picasso to Anish Kapoor and Tacita Dean – you name ’em, they’ve got ’em. You could happily spend a day exploring them all, and also find time for the latest barnstorming exhibition.

The biggest, most audacious, installations are in the vast Turbine Hall . One of its most famous installations was Ai Weiwei’s Sunflower Seeds , where he covered the entire floor with millions of life-size handmade porcelain seeds – apparently identical yet unique.

Ai Wei-Wei Sunflower Seeds

Current Exhibitions


Until 8 Jan 2017


Until 2 Apr 2017


Until 7 May 2017


Until 2 Apr 2017

The Material Gestures galleries on Level 3 feature an impressive offering of post-World War II painting and sculpture. Room 7 contains a breathtaking collection of Rothkos and Monets.

There are regular free 45-minute guided tours on each gallery.

A favourite among Londoners is the restaurant on Level 7, especially on Friday and Saturday late opening, with stunning views of the Thames and St Paul’s, opposite. But that’s now matched with the roof terrace on the Tate’s new extension, which opened in June 2015. This ten-storey twisted, pyramid-shaped building is the same height as the existing Tate’s chimneys, and has an extra 60 percent space for galleries, with live performance in the Tanks, in the basement.

Tate Modern, Bankside; tel: 020 7887 8888; ;

Sun–Thur 10am–6pm, Fri–Sat 10am–10pm; free;


Visiting London * Explore the Coca-Cola London Eye

The London Eye has become a much-loved part of the landscape in a relatively short amount of time.

The Eye (whose named sponsor changes every couple of years and currently is Coca Cola) also does the same trick as the Eiffel Tower does for Paris, to let people climb above the city and look back down on it.


Justin Norcott – Hiden City / Atmospheric Art Gallery

Between the 14th and 24th of November, take some time to visit a lovely art gallery located in the middle of London. The exposition is about drawings and paintings from life portraits, cities and imagination through print making.

The Judith Blacklock Gallery
83 Kinnerton Street
View Map

Opening Times: Mo-Fri 11am -9pm, Sunday 12pm-7pm

About the artist

Justing Norcott
Contemporary South African painter Justin Norcott has emerged as one of the most intriguing young artists working today. His compositional style refers to the classical ideals of figurative painting, but merges introspection and visual spectacle with unmistakable modernity. His highly passionate investigations of the human form are characterised by open brushwork, sweeping colour, bold use of texture and great technical precision; qualities that have earned him an impressive range of international accolades.
Born in South Africa in a troubled area of the capital, Justin achieved international success at an early age, culminating in him exhibiting at the Royal Academy of London at the tender age of 18. Moving to the UK, he then attended the prestigious University of Wales Institute in Cardiff where he honed his figurative skills further and developed his unique, easily recognisable style.
Following his training, he continued to exhibit his work independently and achieved further success by being accepted for exhibitions at both the Royal College of Art and Christies, resulting in him being offered a sought-after contract with a leading UK publisher and distributor of Fine Art.
Silly Blog Questions
Q: Are you a cat or a dog person?
A: Definitely a dog person. I used to have a big dog and I loved it.
Q: Who is your intended market for the prints?
A: [laughs] Women. They love art. They come to the gallery and purchase one or two prints for their husband’s office.
Observations on the personal encounter
Justin struck me as a very charming person. Loving, warm and compassionate, he is also a helpless romantic who loves the idea of being in love. He’s rarely alone and will often choose a bad relationship rather than none at all. He is upbeat, with a positive outlook on life. He loves beauty in any form, seeking balance and harmony, and has a deep sense of fairness and justice. He left South Africa for England due to the serious racism issues in Cape Town.
True to his trademark fairness, he weighs all sides carefully first, and even after he finally does make a decision, he’s likely to change it after giving it more thought.
These same qualities, however, can sometimes make him fickle in matters of the heart. He loves people, and they love him, so he’s viewed as somewhat of a flirt.
He loves beauty and creativity so look for him at art galleries, arts and crafts fairs, theatre plays and museums. He also loves luxury, so you might find him dining in a restaurants and hotels, gourmet food shops and fashionable clothing stores.
How to find him:
Mobile: 077875 19386