I’m really pleased to have an absolute star in the world of book blogging – Jill Doyle from Jill’s Book Cafe
❄️ Hello Jill and thanks for visiting my blog for a special Christmas edition of Afternoon Tea With Mrs Bloggs
❄️Tea or coffee?
🎄Tea or coffee? Definitely tea.
❄️ What is your favourite Christmas tipple? If you do drink any alcohol of course?
🎄 Sherry (I’m actually partial to sherry all year round, but it seems to be more acceptable at Christmas). I’m a Harvey’s Bristol Cream kinda girl, or if I’ve got some put by from a trip to Spain a bottle of Canasta.
❄️ Do you ever add anything alcoholic to tea or coffee to warm up on cold winter days?
🎄 No, I’m very boring and traditional – the reality is I’m not a great lover of the taste of alcohol, so I don’t ‘do’ spirits. If I’m looking for something a bit more warming – it’s hot chocolate.
❄️ Christmas pudding or something else for dessert?
🎄 The reality is we’ve usually eaten too much beforehand and dessert goes by the board. I am partial to Christmas pudding though, with either brandy sauce or cream.
❄️Which are your favourite Christmas cakes?
🎄 Any – it’s cake! If pushed I’d go for Stollen.
❄️ Any family traditions you follow at Christmas?
🎄No not really. I suspect it might have been different if we’d had children, but we just go with the flow. In more recent years my OH has taken it upon himself to do a cooked breakfast and take charge of Christmas dinner, so I’m happy for that to become a tradition.
❄️ What’s the best Christmas present you’ve ever had?
🎄 I think it would have to be the bike I got when I was 11/12. I’d wanted one for ages and I knew that my parents couldn’t really afford one (especially with 3 kids to buy for). However from somewhere they managed to get me a second hand one and I loved it.
❄️ Favourite Christmas song or Carol
🎄 O Holy Night, which bizarrely I only discovered a few years ago. before that it was O come o come Emmanuel – I think I’m probably well in the minority on that one. I love the tune, it reminds me of a Gregorian chant.
❄️ It’s my favourite too Jill
❄️ Is there a Christmas book that you can recommend?
🎄I’m not a big reader of Christmas themed books, though I love the idea of them. But last Christmas (which wasn’t the best) I hadn’t been able to concentrate on reading and decided to pick up something that I thought would be light and easy. I read Christmas at Lilac Cottage by Holly Martin and loved it. Plus because I finished it, it gave me hope that the reading would sort itself out in good time.
❄️ Which books are you planning to read at Christmas time?
🎄Despite still having review commitments I’m still playing catch up with, I’d like to read something that comes without any pressure and that I can just enjoy. So if possible I’d like attempt
to catch up with something off my shelves (rather than my Kindle) so I’ve picked the following:-
1. The Hearts’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne – I’ve read so many good things about this and I’m also drawn to it because of the opening lines,
“Long before we discovered that he had fathered two children by two different women, one in Drimoleague and one in Clonakilty, Father James Munroe stood on the altar of the Church of our Lady, Star of the Sea, in the parish of Goleen, West Cork, and denounced my mother as a whore.”
My husband’s family are Irish and we visit Ireland most years. Over the years we have gravitated to SW Cork for our holidays, so I recognise all of these places.
2. The Winter’s Child by Cassandra Parkin. It has a wintery/Christmas theme, but quite a dark one. It also opens with a visit to a fortune teller at Hull Fair. I’m a Hull lass, so it resonates with me.
3. My final choice is Staying On by CM Taylor. It’s a book I won earlier this year and I love the premise of it. It has a Spanish setting among the expat’s beyond Spain’s Costa Brava. It’s a very topical story dealing with retirement and recession both overshadowed by Brexit (maybe I should leave this one until last – it might just l puncture my feelings of goodwill to all men).
❄️ Where are you eating Christmas dinner and who will be present?
🎄We are at home this year and playing host to my Mum who is coming to stay for a week. Normally she alternates Christmas between myself and my sister. She should have come last year, but Christmas was cancelled due to my treatment so we’ll make up for it this year. We are also being joined by one of my closest friends. Sadly she lost her husband earlier this year, so this will be her first Christmas on her own.
🎄Thanks so much for inviting me to Afternoon tea Caryl, I really enjoyed it. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas and all best wishes for the coming year.
Thanks Jill. It was good to have you as a guest. I know you’ve had a rough, challenging year to put it mildly! Hope you have a much better year in 2019. You’re an absolute inspiration. Will look forward to reading your Five On Friday spot on your blog where you have some illustrious authors as guests. Send some my way for a spot of afternoon tea! 😬 ☕️
In her own words…
I’m a Yorkshire lass (ok lass might be pushing it) and I currently live in Cheshire. I’ve always loved books and reading which may help to explain my work choices. I’ve worked in a bookshop, University library and spent 14 years in public libraries as a librarian.
I came to reviewing quite late in life, given my love of books. I started in 2014 when I joined NetGalley and I posted my reviews via Goodreads and Amazon. Having decided I’d like somewhere to keep my reviews together, my blog was eventually born in November 2015. I already had a Facebook page sharing Kindle recommendations which I’d called Jill’s Book Café so I decided to keep the same name. The name grew out of the idea of having a place to drop in and enjoy bookish items while having a cuppa.
I read a variety of genres but I’m particularly partial to UK based police procedurals, well researched historical fiction, quirky and interesting fiction and what would generally be described as women’s fiction. My tbr mountain currently sits at approx. 4000 titles, which I acknowledge I will not live long enough to read – unless someone rapidly discovers the elixir of life.
Outside of blogging, I work from home with my OH and despite working together now for 14 years, we are still happily married. I like to travel when I get the opportunity and I’ve been lucky enough to have seen a fair bit of the world already. I enjoy listening to music and have recently joined a ‘singing for pleasure’ group so my singing is no longer restricted to the kitchen when I’m cooking. I love learning new things though my attempts to learn Spanish is taking a lot longer than anticipated, but I’m not a quitter, so one day quizas!
Thanks for inviting me for afternoon tea Caryl, it was fun, tea and cake are two of my favourite things.