Winning at School Shoe Shopping is Winning at Parenting

School shoes

‘Shopping for School Shoes’ is a topic to instil fear into most parents – and with the 4th child starting school in September this meant buying new shoes for all 4.  School shoe shopping expeditions in the past have resulted in tears from children, me and, I suspect, the shop assistants – so I decided to divide and conquer, and take the children in pairs to reduce the stress (or prolong the agony – depending how optimistic we were feeling!!)

I’d taken the eldest 2 shoe shopping in Worcester – as a practice run on the train for their new schools in September (this also provided a new haunt for Pokémon go hunting – which is a good motivational tool this summer!)  After texting a friend who is proficient in shopping in Worcester (amongst other places!) we found the shoe shop she recommended and with frightening efficiency (and a bit of Googling of uniform requirements) pairs were bought for the 13 and 11 year olds with absolutely no tears or shouting #miracle.

I was concerned that this had lulled me in to a false sense of security, and hence buying shoes for the younger 2 was going to be horrific, so we headed off to our school shoe shopping regular haunt of Humphries in the Kingfisher Centre in Redditch.  Youngest child chose some with absolutely no stress at all (helped by the fact that the shop assistant had the same name as her) so the only one left was the 6 year old – who does have a reputation for being ‘feisty’…..   This had all of the hallmarks of being the nightmare.

The lovely assistant brought out 3 pairs in her size – and there was one Startrite pair I particularly liked, so I used all of my ‘mother of 4 kids’ wiles and went for the whole reverse psychology technique.  I told her the ones I liked were far too grown up, and her big sister hadn’t had a pair like that until she was at least 9 years old, so at 6, she had to chose one of the other 2 pairs.  Of course, that meant the Startrite ones I liked were clearly the most desirable shoes ever.  After some umming and ahhing I ‘gave in’ and let her have the ‘grown up’ ones!!

Winning at school shoe shopping is winning at parenting.  #boom!



Book Review: The Mysterious Miss Mayhew by Hazel Osmond

The Mysterious Miss Mayhew


“Tom doesn’t need any more women in his life. He already has a five-year-old daughter, an estranged wife who keeps blocking his efforts to get divorced and a mother who might be having an affair with the vicar. So when Fran Mayhew turns up – years younger and with all the tact of a dinosaur with its backside on fire – she’s just another tricky person to deal with . . . And what’s she doing in his remote part of Northumberland crawling around in graveyards anyway?
But soon Tom discovers that there’s more to the mysterious Miss Mayhew than meets the eye – and that it’s not just his heart he’s in danger of losing.”

I read my first Hazel Osmond book a few weeks ago and really enjoyed it (and very excitedly got a tweet from the author – I am easily excited!!) and so I started my second of her books with high hopes and was not disappointed!!

It was completely different to the Mr Wolfe book – but that’s definitely not a bad thing.  There are an eclectic mix of characters – but they all fit together really well.  I loved Hattie – Tom’s 5 year old daughter – and with a 4 and a 6 year old myself empathised quite a lot with some of her escapades!

The intertwining of stories also works really well – with a mixture of intrigue, romance, suspense etc.  A couple of times it felt like the story had concluded – and then there was a further development!

As well as the traditional romances – between numerous pairs of characters, it also looks at extended family relationships – and the one between Tom and his brother is particularly lovely.

It’s not quite as rammed full of sex as Mr Wolfe is – but there’s still enough, and again, it’s very realistically written – we’re not talking 50 Shades here at all!

I particularly liked the fast forwarded ending, so you could see how things had panned on a year down the line – I often finish a book wanting to know what’s happened – so I LOVED that we found out about everyone.

I will definitely be downloading more of Hazel Osmond’s back catalogue soon!




Dubai – 2 days in!

We are in Dubai for a few days – and whilst we are regulars here, we’ve never been in August before – and it is proper hot!!  Thankfully not as humid as Florida this time last year – but still in the 40s.  Even with flip flops on it’s too hot to walk on the sand, and going in to the sea feels like someone has been weeing in there for days #gross

** disclaimer – I don’t think they actually have, it’s just super warm **

Dubai afternoon

Anyway – couple of totally random things to brain dump so I’ve got them saved somewhere.

We were at Wild Wadi, the water park attached to our hotel, yesterday afternoon, and I was chatting to a fellow Mum in the kids’ pool – I was in a swimsuit, she was in a burkhini, and we chatted about the kids / weather etc – turns out she’s from Small Heath – about 3 miles from where I grew up in Birmingham!  #smallworld

Then, as I’m trying to get out of the wave pool at the same water park the husband announces (ever so slightly taking the p*ss) ‘Ooh, you look like Halle Berry’ to which the 11 year old responds ‘Why does Mum look like Mary Berry?’  I was not eating cake at the time I promise!!  (And clearly the husband totally resembles Daniel Craig at all times!!)

I am sure there were more things I wanted to record, but I’m struggling to remember – probably the heat!!  Therefore expect further updates in the coming days.  I’m off to finish reading Red magazine in the sunshine with a complimentary glass of champagne!




Book Review: Moranifesto by Caitlin Moran


I should confess to being a big Caitlin Moran fan.  I loved her previous books, and went to see her live when she was touring ‘How To Build A Girl. It was brilliant – and resulted in me having a t-shirt made for a friend that said ‘Never Regret Cheese’ on it – which a) maybe you had to be there to understand and b) is a useful motto to live by!  I laughed a lot at the TV series Caitlin wrote with her sister Caroline – and am properly cross that Channel 4 haven’t commissioned a 3rd series.  I am definitely more conservative (with a big and little c) than Ms Moran – so was slightly concerned that this book might be a bit too right on, left wing and trendy for a 42 year old accountant mother of 4, but I didn’t let that stop me.

Here’s the Amazon blurb:

” ‘I’ve lived through ten iOS upgrades on my Mac – and that’s just something I use to muck about on Twitter. Surely capitalism is due an upgrade or two?’

When Caitlin Moran sat down to choose her favourite pieces for her new book she realised that they all seemed to join up. Turns out, it’s the same old problems and the same old ass-hats.

Then she thought of the word ‘Moranifesto’, and she knew what she had to do…

This is Caitlin’s engaging and amusing rallying call for our times. Combining the best of her recent columns with lots of new writing unique to this book, Caitlin deals with topics as pressing and diverse as 1980s swearing, benefits, boarding schools, and why the internet is like a drunken toddler.

And whilst never afraid to address the big issues of the day – such as Benedict Cumberbatch and duffel coats – Caitlin also makes a passionate effort to understand our 21st century society and presents us with her ‘Moranifesto’ for making the world a better place.

The polite revolution starts here! Please.”

The book started with some columns that had already been published – and some of which I’d read – but they were all great.  I particularly enjoyed the ones based around the Olympics of 2012 – as I was reading the book with Rio 2016 as a backdrop.  The book was written pre Brexit – but remembering the summer of 2012 and how everyone was in love with London was even more emotive when contrasted with the problems that the EU referendum has caused with shocking racism and intolerance in the summer of 2016.  It was also published pre the death of David Bowie – but Caitlin’s love for Mr Bowie shines through in many different chapters!

As I mentioned above – I was nervous that the political bits wouldn’t be my bag at all – but this could not have been further from the truth. I would consider myself fairly middling politically (there’s a whole chapter on people thinking this about themselves actually – and analogies with swimming speeds and middle lane drivers!) and I agree with a lot that Caitlin writes about helping others out – and how this is often the way with ‘normal’ people (not smug politicians who grew up at boarding school!).  I am lucky enough to live in a great village outside Birmingham (this is not code for Wolverhampton, it is a North Worcestershire village) and the sense of community there is excellent – with people helping each other out frequently with matters large and small.

I’m all for capitalism and people making money (as long as they pay the appropriate tax on it!) but there also needs to be a place for a welfare system that supports people who need it.  Just because I can pay for (some of, at the moment) my kids to go to private school, doesn’t mean I don’t also believe in the state system – and the same goes for the NHS v private healthcare which we as a family use both of.  I know I’m lucky and have choices – but the husband and I also work damn hard for this ‘luck’ too, and the ‘luck’ means we can be in a position to help others out as well. People who’ve done well for themselves shouldn’t sit in their ivory tower counting their pennies far away from the real world (she says, looking out of the window on holiday at the view of a 7 star hotel………) but should want to ‘put back’ a bit too.  And I think in this, Ms Moran and I have similar views.

Wow – a book review that’s gone a bit political (don’t worry, I’ll be back to chick lit next I promise!!)

So let’s all read the ‘Moranifesto’ and start a polite revolution, if we all do, who knows what benefits we could reap!



Book Review: The Invitation by Lucy Foley

I really enjoyed Lucy Foley’s debut novel – The Book of Lost and Found – and so was delighted when a friend let me borrow a copy of her second book ‘The Invitation’ to bring on holiday.

The Invitation

Here’s the Amazon blurb:

“Rome, 1950s. One fateful night, Hal Jacobs meets Stella, a beautiful society darling from New York. To Hal, flailing in the post-war darkness, she’s a point of light. They’re from different worlds, but both trying and failing to carve out a new life.

Stella vanishes all too quickly, until a curious invitation from an Italian Contessa reels her back into Hal’s world. They join the Contessa’s collection of luminaries on a yacht headed for Cannes film festival.

The scene on board is a fiction – scars from the war can be hidden yet not healed. Everyone is hiding a dark history, but Stella’s secrets run the deepest. Compelled by her fragile beauty, Hal is determined to bring back the girl she once was, the girl who’s been confined to history.

The Invitation is an epic love story that will transport you from the glamour of the Italian Riviera, to the darkness of war-torn Spain, and to a golden – if rather haunted – time.”

Now I’m not normally a fan of historical novels – and would not pick one by choice – but was willing to give this the benefit of the doubt – and was very pleased I did.  I really enjoyed it from chapter 1.

It is set in different parts of Italy (and occasionally surrounding countries) and describes them beautifully and very vividly – particularly the chapters that move along the Italian Riveria – it’s definitely inspired me to want to visit that area of Italy.

As with Ms Foley’s previous book – it moves between different time periods, and different characters holding the narrative, seamlessly and adds to the epic nature of the book.  I really felt involved in the book and in the fate of everyone – particularly Hal.

There are some great twists and turns – particularly towards the end – which I couldn’t possibly give away, but are very enjoyable.  I also liked that there was a proper ending with loose ends suitably tied up.

It feels well written and structured – which might sound a bit geeky, but I like that in a book.  I felt like real care was taken with the descriptions and the flow of the story – it feels like a grown up’s book – but in a good way, not a fuddy duddy way!

So all in all, yet another great book from Lucy Foley – and I look forward to her next one already.



Isle of Cumbrae

As a child I used to visit the Isle of Cumbrae – a small island a 10 minute ferry ride off the West Coast of Scotland from Largs – due west of Glasgow.  The holidays were to visit ‘Aunties’ of my Dad’s – one of whom was billeted on my Grandparents during World War 2 to make small arms in Birmingham, and she ended up staying until my Dad – the youngest of his siblings – got married to Mum, and then Auntie Una headed back to live with her family in Millport – the town on the aforementioned island.

I remember holidays consisting of cycling (it’s 10.5 miles around the island, and is what most people do when they visit!), walking, horse riding, putting 2ps in the amusements, going on the fair rides at the Garrison,

and rain

and midges.

It was an annual event to go to Millport in the 1980s, we were there when Live Aid was on the TV and I was there for my only visit in the 1990s when Princess Diana was killed in Paris.  Subsequently we went as a family with my parents, sisters and our families back in 2003 when I was 8 months pregnant, and we ended up cutting the holiday short as my blood pressure was really high and I didn’t fancy being helicoptered off the island to give birth.

So now it was time to show the Pricelets where Mummy had spent many a holiday.  Given they’re more used to Dubai or Florida it was going to be very different – but I hoped memorable.  Fingers were firmly crossed for good weather – I wasn’t talking Dubai or Florida – just dry…….

We have a 7 seater car at home – but with us, 4 kids and  loads of luggage (you have to pack for 4 seasons in one day going to Scotland!) we would have been overloaded – so we hired a mini bus from our local Enterprise car rental (who, on an aside, were great – and I would highly recommend them!).  We headed off up the M6 on Bank Holiday Saturday – and as far as Manchester we did fine – it was all a bit busy around the lakes, but a stop at the fabulous Tebay services saw us revived and we headed on up through Glasgow and out to the coast.

Millport 1

When we got to Largs I was *slightly* excited as we waited in the ferry queue.  The 10 minute Caledonian MacBrayne ferry ride across from the mainland to the Isle of Cumbrae was stunning – we could have been on a Med cruise!  I kept saying to the rest of the family ‘it’s not normally this sunny’ – which could have been the mantra of the entire stay!

Millport 2

We’d looked at self catering properties to stay in – but there were only a couple of options for a family of 6 and 1 was fully booked and the other my sister and her family had stayed in a couple of years before and they’d had issues with it smelling of dog and having no WIFI!  Given the husband and I had to work – and our kids are used to free flowing internet access – this was definitely a no no – so we booked a couple of rooms at Westbourne House.  I’d chatted via email with the owners – Jane and Stuart – before we arrived and they sounded lovely (and had kids a similar age to our eldest two) – and I wasn’t disappointed, they were great!  The rooms were well appointed, the breakfasts were beautiful – and I’m not sure we’ve ever stayed anywhere with a better view.

Millport 27

The first evening we wandered into Millport town centre, grabbed fish and chips from the chip shop, and ate them at the park.  Classic British seaside town action – and probably a first for the kids!

Millport 6

Millport 8

The next day we first went to the town graveyard to try and find the graves of the ‘Aunties’ I’d grown up with.  This was like some kind of Anneka Rice Treasure Hunt task – and we weren’t doing very well.  Thankfully the phone signal was briefly good enough for me to call my parents and they pointed us in the right direction and we found all of the graves.

Millport 7

We then headed up to the highest point of the island.  There was obviously some family pride at stake trying to get on top of the marker point – the Glaidstone (I didn’t – the stone needed to remain standing for many more years!)  The view was amazing (and remarkably there was 4G reception #winner)

Millport 9

We’d also booked to go on the Waverley – the last sea going paddle steamer in the world (although I must confess to telling the children ‘you know that boat that takes you from the car park to Magic Kingdom at Disney in Florida – well, it’s kind of like that’).  I’d gone on many trips on this fantastic vessel as a kid, and my sister and her family and my parents had done it the summer before.  In all cases cagoules were the order of the day and it was freezing!  But not on our trip!  It was practically tropical!  We sailed over to Arran – drank prosecco and pop, ate crisps and chocolate and admired the view – perfect!

On the Monday we decided to do what everyone does on Millport – cycle around the island.  Back when I was a kid the local bike shop (there are others, but Mapes is the original and the best – and having just searched for their website, I’ve found out it’s for sale – the end of an era as it’s been owned by the same family for 70 years) had a tridem – so basically a tandem but for 3.  The Homer family cycled on that loads! However now it’s in retirement – so we managed to rent a bike that seated all 6 of the Prices.  We’d been warned it would be a tough ride, and was really for pootling along the front – but we were optimistic.  We were also wrong!  We got as far as the Lion Rock (one of the 3 rocks the island is famous for) and gave up and turned back. It was exhausting.  To be fair we’d geocached that far (this was before Pokemon Go, when geocaching was still a thing!) but that was quite far enough for one day.

Millport 3

Lunch in the pub and playing on the traditional fairground rides (the same ones from when I was a child – albeit in a different location) were the order of the day – and some clambering over the AMAZING crocodile rock!

We ate in the lovely Harbour Restaurant that evening – a definite recommendation – but be careful – it appears to open on random evenings, so be careful to plan for a night it will be serving you!

The next day we did cycle around the island properly – bikes / trailers / tag-a-longs for all family members and we did all of the geocaches as we went around the perimeter of the island #boom.


When my sister and her family had been there 2 years before they’d managed every single geocache on the island apart from one – which was out on one of the Eileans (little islands) a boat ride from the main town beach.  It was a journey we’d done lots as kids (in fact there is an infamous family story of the aforementioned sister doing a poo in the dingy when she was about 2 whilst Mum rowed out to the first Eilean!  Thankfully, as the eldest child, there was no space for me in the boat so I’d had to swim alongside them – so avoided poo-gate!  Oh how we reminisced about Auntie Charlotte’s poo!!!!)  Anyway, the husband and the eldest 2 hired canoes to row out there – and they found the missing geocache!  The 4G signal might have been rubbish – but my son was still able to send a photo of it to his cousin! To be honest, once we’d got this geocache, we couldn’t really be bothered with all of those on the internal area of the island – this was the golden one!!!

The little 2 and I stayed on the beach – and it was beautiful.  The sun was shining, the sea was glistening – and we’ll ignore the fact I loathe sand!!!

We’d had a great time – totally made by the weather (it would have been a completely different trip if it had rained!) – but we were all getting on top of each other.  The bedrooms were fab – but that was all we had.  There was no bar / snug to chill out in – and so we were either ‘out’ or all 6 of us were squashed into bedrooms.  The kids were niggling with each other, we played musical beds every night – and all in all it was a bit tiring.  We’d had a fab time – but we decided to call it quits 24 hours early so we could remember a fabulous holiday – and not the time the children killed each other in the middle of the night because they’d nicked the duvet!!

The next morning Jane served us another one of Stuart’s fabulous breakfasts, and we headed back across on the ferry.  We then stopped off at Nardini’s (the local Italian ice cream place – and family business of Daniella Nardini who was one of the stars of ‘This Life’ back in the 90s – for all people of a certain age) and all had far too much sugar for the time of day!

Millport 28

It was then a  trek back down the M6 home – we had a pitstop at Gretna – to show the kids the history of weddings there, and the great new maze – and to stock up on supplies for the rest of the journey.

All in all, it was a fabulous few days away – and one I’m sure the children will remember far more than their 5 star trips to other significantly further flung places.  I will freely admit we were super lucky with the weather – even the locals admit 5 consecutive days of pure sunshine and 20+ degrees in May / June is unheard of – but all in all it was amazing.  I’m so pleased that revisiting a childhood haunt wasn’t a huge disappointment.

I would thoroughly recommend staying with Stuart and Jane – and they’re currently extending their caravan park – so you can have your own space, still with that amazing view.

Millport will always be a very special place to me (although if my parent’s plan to go and live there when I was a small girl had actually come to fruition – who knows where I’d be now!!)








Book Review: Who’s Afraid of Mr Wolfe by Hazel Osmond

Mr Wolfe

This book was recommended to me by the same friend who recommended Please Don’t Stop The Music – so I guessed I was on to a good thing. She also said it was FULL of sex – but clearly that had no influence on me downloading, no, not at all.

Here’s the Amazon blurb:

“Ellie Somerset’s high-flying job as an advertising copywriter is hard work, but she’s got it under control. Her sexy, devil-may-care new boss, on the other hand? She’ll try her best…A perfect romantic comedy for fans of Holly Martin and Cathy Bramley.

Ellie Somerset loves her career-obsessed boyfriend Sam and she loves her job as an advertising copywriter. But Sam is always at work and her fresh ideas keep being overlooked. Her life gets more complicated when new boss Jack Wolfe – Heathcliff in jeans – arrives at the agency. With his brooding good looks, trademark scowl and plans for change, he challenges Ellie to smarten up and prove herself. To Ellie’s horror, she finds herself both repelled and attracted to the sexy and dangerous Jack. But this particular wolf has an awful lot to hide . . .”

I really enjoyed it.  There are twists and turns that I can’t reveal without giving too much away – but one in particular was very close to my heart – I’ll leave you to work out which!

Ellie is a great heroine and someone you’d want to be mates with – which always helps me get in to a book.  I also loved her Great Aunt Edith who was a real character – and reminded me a lot of my best friend’s Grandma – who also doesn’t take herself too seriously in her late 80s (she recently tried Jagerbombs, and listed to the Fifty Shades of Grey audio book to help her go to sleep as it was so boring!!)

Now this isn’t Fifty Shades – but there is a lot of sex in it – however it’s written really well and not in a squirmy way, and fits into the story – rather than a dodgy scene, shoe horned in for the sake of it which is how I sometimes feel about raunchy bits in romance books.

I also really liked the end.  Whilst I still want to know what happens to all of the characters in the future – it felt like you were given proper closure at the end of the book, which is always a winner for me.  I feel short changed if lots of loose ends aren’t tied up!

I will definitely be checking out other books by Hazel Osmond.


Book Review: Please Don’t Stop The Music by Jane Lovering

Please don't stop the music


“How much can you hide?
Jemima Hutton is determined to build a successful new life and keep her past a dark secret. Trouble is, her jewellery business looks set to fail – until enigmatic Ben Davies offers to stock her handmade belt buckles in his guitar shop and things start looking up, on all fronts.
But Ben has secrets too. When Jemima finds out he used to be the front man of hugely successful Indie rock band Willow Down, she wants to know more. Why did he desert the band on their US tour? Why is he now a semi-recluse?
And the curiosity is mutual – which means that her own secret is no longer safe …”

I was discussing the need for well written, with a bit of content, rom com esque books with a friend, and she recommended Jane Lovering – and this particular book to start with, so I dutifully downloaded it, and read it cover to cover whilst taking my daughter and 3 friends to Alton Towers. (My Kindle was far preferable to roller coasters!!)

I LOVED it! There is a huge twist in the middle which I can’t say too much about without giving it away – but it’s one of those things that has you looking back to see if you missed any major hints.

It’s well written, funny, excellent reference points, sex scenes that are realistic without being cringy – and enough twists and turns to keep you intrigued.

I will definitely be downloading more by Ms Lovering!

Book Reviews: ‘Billy and Me’ and ‘Always with Love’ by Giovanna Fletcher

Giovanna Fletcher properly hit my radar when she was body shamed a few days after her 2nd child for not having snapped back into celeb shape immediately.  (I remember a similar incident after my baby number 3 when my son’s friend asked how I could still have a bump when the baby was out and had I saved another one in there?  It was 24 hours post partum, but he was only 6 years old so it was forgivable!)  After that I started stalking following her on various social media, and liked the fact that despite her and her husband (Tom from McFly) having celebrity status, she shared the good, bad and the ugly of parenthood.

Giovanna’s book ‘Always With Love’ came out – but I realised it was the second instalment in a series, so I needed to read the first one first – hence I downloaded ‘Billy and Me’.

Billy and Me


Here is the Amazon blurb:

“A gorgeously romantic novel about fame, friendship and falling in love
Sophie May has a secret.

One that she’s successfully kept for years. It’s meant that she’s had to give up her dreams of going to university and travelling the world to stay in her little village, living with her mum and working in the local teashop.
But then Sophie unexpectedly meets the gorgeous Billy Buskin – a famous actor with ambitions to make it to the top. As they begin to grow closer, Sophie finds herself whisked away from the comfort of her life into Billy’s glamorous – but ruthless – world.
After years of shying away from attention, can Sophie handle the constant scrutiny that comes with being with Billy? How much is she prepared to give up along the way? And is their love strong enough to keep them together against the odds?
Charming, heart-warming and utterly romantic, Billy and Me is an unforgettable story that will completely capture your heart.”

Now I suspect I am slightly older than the reader this is aimed at (Zoella chose it for her book club which kind of backs up the fact that 40 something mothers of 4 kids aren’t target market!) but I still really enjoyed it.  It was a fun escapist read – but still well structured and well written.  Sometimes I wanted to give the main character Sophie a bit of a shake and tell her to get a grip – but I’m guessing that could be the old cynic in me?! Overall a relaxing, easy to dip in and out of, charming read.

I enjoyed it so much, I immediately downloaded the sequel (it’s like reading books the ‘box set’ viewing stylee!!) I should say there is a Christmas special that fits between the 2 books, but my stupid Kindle wouldn’t download it – but I don’t think it mattered that I hadn’t read it, as you were soon brought up to speed on what had happened in the intervening period.

Always With Love

Here’s the Amazon Blurb for ‘Always With Love’:

” The next much-anticipated romantic chapter in Billy and Sophie’s love story from bestselling author Giovanna Fletcher.
Sophie’s got used to being the girlfriend of Billy Buskin, the biggest movie star in the world. Sort of.
But when she and Billy take a trip to visit his family in Los Angeles, she quickly discovers she’s totally unprepared for the chaos of Hollywood, the paparazzi and Billy’s controlling mother.
And when Billy extends his stay in LA, leaving Sophie to fly home to Rosefont Hill alone, it seems there’s more than just miles between them.
Now Sophie must decide if they can overcome their differences for good. Because not every love story lasts the distance . . .”

Again I really enjoyed it – and again I found Sophie a bit annoying at times – but overall I enjoyed the twists and turns.  Right up until the end I wasn’t sure which way things were going to end – but it was fun.

I’m not sure my teenage daughter is a million miles away from reading this (maybe a couple of sexy bits mean she’s not quite there yet!) – but it would appeal to younger readers too.  But enjoyable for an older reader like myself who fancies a ‘comfort’ read – and perfect to read with a stinking hangover after a raucous 40th birthday party for a friend last night………

Roll on the next book!!