The Toymakers (book review)…

The Toymakers by Robert Dinsdale
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

When this book came up on Bookbub as a 99p deal i was immediately attracted to it. Yes, i do judge books by their covers, and also by their titles. So i went to Amazon to check it out and it stated that it would suit those who enjoyed reading ‘The Night Circus’.

So as i’d very much enjoyed ‘The Night Circus’ and it being only 99p i went ahead and bought it.

But to be quite honest, it’s nothing like ‘The Night Circus’. They’re 2 very different books, IMHO.

‘The Toymakers’ is, at the end of the day, a story very much about unrequited love, and sibling envy, whereas ‘The Night Circus’ is neither of those things.

While both are set in magical worlds, there are no other real similarities whatsoever.

But having said all that, i did very much enjoy reading this book. It is a fantastic journey through decades of 20th century London, including WW1 and WW2. It also delves well into PTSD and it’s affects on those who come back from the horrors of war and have to fit back into the lives they left behind.

And the ending…

…well, i never expected that. What a wonderful twist in the tale.

If you’re looking for a really decent read, then look no further than ‘The Toymakers’. I doubt many will be left disappointed.


View all my reviews

Rouvy – Uschl…

My current best attempt at Rouvy’s ‘Uschl’ route…

Totally different to my normal favourites in this route being a totally flat TT kind of thing. But it was fun just to see how quick i could go over 10 miles.

I really do have a massive disadvantage over larger riders as my watts/kilo don’t count for anything on flat routes it’s all about top end power and being so light my watts/kilo don’t add up to much. But still fun to see where i stack up and i look forward to coming back here when my watts go up a fair bit.


Spring Classics #2 Challenge…

28th out of 757…

This was a hard challenge to complete and only 61 people managed to reach the target of riding at least 815.86 miles from 18.03.2018 to 22.04.2018.

In doing so i climbed 45,992 feet, which isn’t too shabby for a distance only challenge.


Rouvy ‘National Champion’ Level…

Just completed ‘National Champion’ level on Rouvy…

So i’m now at ‘World Class’ level and Rouvy have been given me even more hard riding to complete – exactly what one needs to grow young.

Now i’ve got to complete 6 challenges and amass 10,000 career points. This is going to take a while as there’s only 4 challenges currently listed and the 4th is in July so i’m looking at August to finish this level at the very earliest.

But all good stuff. Rouvy is certainly far more challenging than Zwift.


Red Queen (book review)…

Red Queen by Christina Henry
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed reading ‘Alice’ and was expecting a bit more of the same, but this book feels quite different.

Whereas Alice had me feeling like i was reading the adventure of an escaped patient from a max security mental hospital who hasn’t had her meds and has gone into full blown psychosis, ‘Red Queen’ read far more like normal fantasy, probably due to Alice finding her magical abilities in this book.

Both books have been great in their own way and i’ve thoroughly enjoyed reading this wonderful new take on ‘Alice in Wonderland’ and ‘Red Queen’ is a good ending to Alice and Hatcher’s tale.

I look forward to reading more from Christina in the future.

View all my reviews

Alice (book review)…

Alice by Christina Henry
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wow. This was awesome.

This can pretty much be read as the story of a paranoid schizophrenic who has escaped from a max security mental hospital and is rapidly withdrawing after being heavily medicated for years on anti-psychotics. It truly has the hall marks of full blown psychosis.

Of course, you can read it as a fantasy novel that bears no relevance to the real world if you don’t want to think about why people in full blown psychosis due to rapid withdrawal of anti-psychotic meds go around killing people.

Whichever way you want to read this, it’s a fantastic re-telling of the Alice in Wonderland story.

Straight onto Red Queen now. So looking forward to more of Alice and Hatcher.

View all my reviews

Rouvy – Superbagneres…

My first attempt at Rouvy’s ‘Superbagneres’ route…

You gotta love these scenic Pyrenees climbs. It’s so worth the effort to ride this, even if only virtually, as it’s such a beautiful bike ride.

It’s quite a shame that so few have ridden it – even on Rouvy only 155 people have bothered, of which i’m 107, and of those only 19 have posted their times on Strava. But then i’s 12 miles of non stop uphill, so no breaks in the peddling if you want to keep moving.

Anyways, along with Austria, the Pyrenees are definitely been added to my bucket list since joining Rouvy. Enjoy!


Rouvy – Schmelz Part 2 of 2…

My first attempt at Rouvy’s ‘Schmelz Part 2 of 2’ route…

What goes up, must come down. This one is a lovely downhill to enjoy after all the climbing – go on, you deserve it. 😀

Rouvy is beginning quite a big crush for Austria within me. The parts of Austria i’ve so far experienced on Rouvy have all been really lovely. Me thinks a visit sometime is needed – definitely a country that is now on my bucket list that wasn’t before i started riding on Rouvy.


Rouvy – CostaAmalfi…

My first attempt at Rouvy’s ‘CostaAmalfi’ route…

This place is beautiful. If i could afford it i’d love to just jump on a plane and go and ride it. Great ride.


One Year, No Beer…

I was listening to the No Meat Athlete Podcast episode, ‘One Year, No Beer?’

Worth a listen to, and check out the ‘One Year No Beer’ website also.

Disclaimer… the ‘One Year No Beer’ had nothing whatsoever to do with my quitting alcohol. But i’m now at 308 days 13 hours sober and thought i qualify well to give the idea a shout out. Like the guy says in the Podcast, you can quit for a month but you don’t have to change your lifestyle and socialising habits (you just avoid things for a month). To quit for 90 days is something altogether different because you do have to start changing your lifestyle habits and socialising habits.

To take it to a year is something else entirely. To go through all the seasons, the festivals, the celebrations, the birthdays, the ups and downs and never ending trials and tests of life, etc., and to experience it all in sobriety – now that can be challenging, and to a lot of people, frightening. But seriously, it’s worth it. If you truly can’t face an event, a person, a place, etc., without alcohol, then maybe you should think about deleting that thing out of your life. Clear away the shit that you need to be boozed up to face and create the space in your life that you fill with ideas, events, people, places that you can enjoy sober. There’s a whole world out there to explore and enjoy in sobriety, all you need to do is get sober.

Good luck!