A 70s look at the Sixties

There’s an interesting interview with Mary Quant in the middle of this film

and some great Sixties shots to start with

but the last part of the film can only be described as bizarre.

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Crazy furniture from the 1960s

Crazy Hats from the 1950s

How to wear your bowler 1960s style

Book of the Day




#ThrowbackThursday #BookReview Accursed Women by Luciana Cavallaro @ClucianaLuciana

For several years I wrote a book blog and accumulated reviews of some really good reads. I saw on Twitter that Renee at It’s Book Talk started using the #ThrowbackThursday meme as a way to share books that are old favourites or have been waiting to be read for a long time. I decided to visit my old book reviews and re-post my favourites here on 3sixtyfiveblog for #ThrowbackThursday.

So far I’ve included:

An Englishwoman’s Guide to the Cowboy by June Kearns

Kings and Queens by TerryTyler

Blood-Tied by Wendy Percival

Make a Joyful Noise by Jenny Worstall

Everybody Lies by Julia Hughes

Boot Camp Bride by Lizzie Lamb

and The Heartfelt Series by Adrienne Vaughan.

This week it’s Accursed Women by Luciana Cavallaro.

Accursed Women is a fascinating collection of classical short stories told with originality and imagination.

From the Amazon book description

Five stories, five women, five legends.

Phaedra, a Minoan princess, marries out of duty and to safeguard her precious home. She falls in love with Hippolytos, her husband’s son and asks the Goddess Aphrodite for help. He spurns her affections.

The Trojan War, one of history’s greatest stories ever told. What if the legend as told is wrong? History is told by the victors, and facts changed to twist the truth. Is it possible Helen of Sparta never went to Troy?

Hera, Queen of the Gods, is the most powerful goddess on Mount Olympos. For the first time ever in a candid interview, Hera shares what it’s like to be a goddess and wife to Zeus, the King of the Gods.

Created by the gods as a gift to humanity, Pandora is the first woman on Earth. Did she know what Zeus intended when he presented an urn as a wedding dowry to her husband? Neither she nor Epimetheus knew what it contained, but they were told never to open it.

All Medousa wanted was a life of love and acceptance but one fateful night it changed. While she’s alone in the Temple of Athene tending to the sacred fire, Poseidon pays a visit. No human can stop an immortal from taking what they want.

My Review from Indie Bookworm

Luciana Cavallaro is the author of a series of short stories about the lives of five amazing women from Ancient Greek History. I read the first one, Aphrodite’s Curse, several weeks ago and enjoyed it so much I downloaded the complete series, Accursed Women.

I’ve just finished reading the collection and re-read Aphrodite’s Curse, which is the death-bed memoir of princess Phaedra in which she reflects on her own life and describes the events of the day. I think I enjoyed it even more than on the first reading especially for its detailed background.

The second story is the life of Helen as told to a self-styled professional historian who visits Helen towards the end of her life and records a whole new version of events leading up to the wooden horse of Troy saga. Helen comes over as a really strong character who is determined to tell her story to posterity and set the record straight about what she regards as a distorted reality. Whether the author is making this up or not I don’t know but it makes for a very readable and engaging story.

The style for the third story, A Goddess’ Curse, is a complete contrast and a big surprise. It combines the ancient and the modern, the mythical with reality and works really well. I think this is my favourite story in the collection: it’s informative and insightful but entertaining and amusing. The goddess Hera gives a candid interview to daytime chat show host, Drake Drabbler. She shares what it’s like to be a goddess and wife to Zeus, the King of the Gods. Drabbler thinks that his exclusive interview with Queen Hera is a cert for a daytime TV award but he gets a lot more than he bargains for!

Boxed in a Curse is a fresh take on the well-known story of Pandora’s Box. When two precocious children ask their grandfather for a story he’s got a good one up his sleeve which seems to have more than a little relevance to their own lives.

Everyone must have heard of Medousa, the hideous Gorgon with the human face and snakes instead of hair who will turn you into stone if you look into her eyes. In the final story, Cursed by Treachery, Luciana Cavallaro explains how Medousa becomes this terrifying monster and by the end of the story, amazingly, the reader is full of sympathy for Medousa’s plight.

All the stories are well written and packed with information. They are highly readable and entertaining. I’m sure if school Classics lessons had been this interesting I would have paid more attention. Well done author Luciana Cavallaro for bringing such originality to some very ancient tales.

Click the Free Preview button below to start reading Accursed Women straightaway!

Teen idol rock-and-roller at 81

I wrote a blogpost about Britain’s first teen idol rock-and-roll star last year:

#OnThisDay in 1936 Thomas William Hicks was born #TommySteele

and meandering around Youtube the other day found these two sweet clips.

And, although I don’t read The Daily Mail very often,

this amazing story.

Two-mile runs every day, hours on the tennis court and bouncing around in a West End show that keeps him up until 3am: How Tommy Steele is still rocking at 81 in The Glenn Miller Story.

Thanks for visiting my blog today.

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Top of the Pops January 1964

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Book of the Day

5 minutes of music education


I don’t know enough about music theory to say if this really is the greatest five minutes in music education but it was hugely impressive and informative.

Thanks for visiting my blog today.

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Lovely out-of-print piano music collection #JeromeKern

My new favourite piano music!

Brilliant performance of Ravel’s Bolero

Book of the Day

Sunday Serial #15

I’m following a nineteenth century tradition and publishing some of “Leefdale” by Michael Murray in weekly instalments.
You can find the links to previous instalments on this page.
So, if you like the Dickensian idea of reading your novels in weekly instalments,
read on …..

Sharon’s first instinct was to drag Louise downstairs and force her to pick up the biscuits. But she knew from experience that giving the girl ultimatums only made her more stubborn. She decided she’d leave the tin and the biscuits on the floor and see how long Louise left them there.

Sharon winced as she moved her right arm to see if it hurt. She pulled down her top to expose her shoulder. It wasn’t bruised but if the tin had caught her on the face it could have given her a nasty injury. She wouldn’t allow Louise to forget that in a hurry.

Sharon poured herself a glass of Australian red, went into the living room and sank into an armchair. She would wait and see if Louise came down and apologised. How hateful the girl was when she was in one of her moods. Although this was the first time she’d actually been violent at home. That was worrying. Such an ungrateful little cow. Always thinking of herself. Yes, her situation was horrible but why did she have to keep going on and on about it? She was no fool though. She’d seen through the lie. And lying to her had only made things worse. Why couldn’t she just have accepted there hadn’t been time to tell him, and left it at that? Yes, it was difficult for her: it was difficult for all of them. But it wasn’t as though she’d just been told. It never seemed to bother her before. Must be the part she was playing. Playing Nancy had turned her into a drama queen.

The more Sharon considered Louise’s reaction the more resentful she became. At least Louise had a mum she saw every day, and a dad who popped in a couple of times a week. How many kids could say that? Or adults, for that matter? Sharon would have given anything to see her parents again: hug them, kiss them, ask their advice; which was why she considered Louise a very selfish, ungrateful little girl. If they moved away she’d hardly ever see her father at all. Was that what she wanted? And where would they find a house as nice as Honeysuckle Cottage? The state of the market was such that even if she got her price she’d need another hundred grand to find anything comparable. And the last thing she wanted was to live on some horrid little estate in Luffield or Sandleton.
Sharon knocked back the remaining wine in her glass and went for a refill. Forty minutes later, when Louise had still not made an appearance, Sharon decided she could wait no longer. She went upstairs to Louise’s room. Unusually the door was closed. Evidence that Louise was still in a strop.

Sharon knocked and when she received no answer, opened the door and entered. Louise was playing with a game on her computer. She didn’t look up.

Sharon said, ‘Don’t you want to know if that tin hurt me?’

Louise said nothing. Her eyes remained riveted on the computer screen.

‘No, of course you don’t. Well, I was lucky. It could have taken my eye out. Don’t ever do that to me again.’

Sharon waited for a reaction. None came. All of Louise’s attention was directed at the game.

‘I’ve left the tin and the biscuits where they are. They can stay there until you pick them up.’

Again, there was no reply from Louise.

‘I suppose it’s a waste of time expecting an apology.’

Sharon continued in this vein for several minutes but failed to elicit the slightest response. Eventually she admitted defeat. ‘For God’s sake!’ She turned and moved to the door.

‘Wait, mum!’ cried Louise.

Sharon stopped and turned back. Louise had lifted her face from the computer. The puffiness around the girl’s eyes and the streaks on her cheeks showed she’d been crying.

She got up and came towards her mother. ‘Your arm. Does it hurt?’

‘Quite a bit,’ lied Sharon.

Louise launched into a profuse and tearful apology.

‘Oh, Louise!’ Sharon placed her arms on Louise’s shoulders and pulled her into a hug.

‘I was sure you’d tell him you see,’ Louise let out, between sobs. ‘I was so sure we’d be getting away from here.’

‘I know you were.’ Sharon was stroking the girl’s heaving shoulders: solacing away her sorrow.

‘I can’t stand it anymore.’

‘I know. I know how hard it is for you.’

‘It was horrible being in that car with them. It’s always like that when I’m with Jade.

Knowing and not being able to tell them.’

‘I know.’

‘But it didn’t matter because I thought we were leaving. And then you said we weren’t.’

She sobbed again.

‘I’m sorry.’

‘That’s why I threw the tin. I didn’t want to hurt you.’

‘It’s all right, Lou. But you must try to control your temper. It’ll get you into trouble.’

Louise stopped crying and looked her mother full in the eyes. ‘I never thought you’d break your promise. You always say never make a promise you can’t keep. That’s why I believed you.’

‘That’s right, you shouldn’t. And now you can see why. Because when you break a promise it makes people very unhappy. I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have done it.’

‘So tomorrow you’ll tell him we’re leaving?’

Sharon realized she could evade the truth no longer. ‘No. I can’t do that. I can’t leave Leefdale.’

Louise stared at her, dumbly.

‘I’m too frightened.’


‘Yes. I’m frightened to leave here and start again somewhere else in a strange place with people I don’t know. I’ve lived here all my life. I don’t want to leave.’

‘So we’re going to have to stay here forever?’

‘Not forever. But at least for the time being.’

‘I knew it!’ Louise cried, bitterly. She shrank from her mother’s embrace and took several steps back.

‘You’re asking too much of me, Louise! I don’t want to leave here. I love your dad and I love living here and I don’t want to leave. I know it’s hard for you and it’s not what you want to hear, but that’s the way it is.’

‘But I thought you did want to leave?’

‘Well, in a way I do. But not yet. It’s very complicated. You’re too young to understand. I can’t give up my whole life. Think what it would mean. We’d lose our lovely cottage and we wouldn’t see dad.’

‘At least I wouldn’t have to see Jade anymore.’

‘Don’t be ridiculous. Think how hurt dad would be. He loves us. It would kill him if he couldn’t see us.’

Louise’s expression became suspicious. ‘I bet you did tell dad we were going and he talked you out of it.’

‘No, honestly, I didn’t. I never said a word to him about it. I couldn’t.’

Louise looked confused. ‘You said you didn’t tell him because there wasn’t time.’

Sharon cursed herself for the slip. ‘That’s right. I lied.’ Gently, she added, ‘Only because I didn’t want to disappoint you. If I’d realised how important it was to you, I’d never have made the promise. It was wrong of me to raise your hopes like that. I’m sorry.’

Louise lowered her eyes and said nothing. Her face was completely impassive. She was obviously very affected by what her mother had said but it was impossible to guess what she was thinking. She was so sensitive; felt everything so deeply. Suddenly she said, ‘You’re lying about the car too, aren’t you? There’s nothing wrong with it, is there? You didn’t drive because you were drunk.’

‘I wasn’t drunk. I had a couple of glasses of wine. It would have been irresponsible to drive.’

‘If you hadn’t drunk the wine you could have collected me and we wouldn’t have had to come back in Pam’s car.’

‘Yes. I’m sorry about that.’

‘It’s awful when we’re with them. It always feels wrong.’

Sharon didn’t quite know what to say. The situation had never been foregrounded in this way before. Their bizarre existence as an adjunct to Greg’s legitimate family was something that was never articulated, never alluded to overtly, even though it had been an accepted fact of their lives for years. It was a secret so shocking it could only be normalised by never being mentioned. For years, Sharon and Greg had managed to prevent Louise from ever openly talking about it, until tonight.

Louise said, ‘So we’re never, ever going? We’re staying here forever?’

‘Well, I don’t know about forever. Who knows? Certainly for the foreseeable future.’ Sharon suddenly saw a way of reconciling Louise to the situation. ‘Look, I know Jade’s being horrible, but all that will change soon. You only have to put up with it for a couple of months and then it’ll be the summer holidays, and after that you’ll go to secondary school. Things will be a lot better then.’

‘No, they won’t. Jade’s going to Luffield too. We’ll be in the same classes.’

‘There are other schools, you know. I thought we might try and get you into one in Sandleton.’


Encouraged, Sharon went on, ‘There’s the Girls’ High School. Or the comprehensive. You could drive in with me to Luffield, take the train, and come home on the bus.’

Louise’s face fell. ‘I’d still have to come back here.’

‘But you wouldn’t see so much of Jade.’

‘You don’t get it do you? I hate it here. I don’t understand how you can put up with it.’

‘What do you mean?’

‘Seeing dad only now and then.’

‘It’s better than nothing. At least we see him. I’d love to see my dad again. And my mum. But they’re dead, so I can’t. You don’t know how lucky you are. I’m sure your friend Roger would love to see his dad.’

It occurred to Sharon that she’d drunk rather too much wine. Normally, she would never have used the death of Roger’s father as some sort of emotional blackmail. Or spoken so frankly about her own feelings of bereavement. But the extraordinary thing that Louise said next, put all thoughts of this out of Sharon’s mind.

‘Roger’s the lucky one. His dad’s dead. It might be better if my dad was dead.’

‘Louise! How can you say such a thing? How could you?’

‘I don’t care if I never see him again.’

‘You know you don’t mean that.’

‘I do, I do! Why can’t we be like normal people? Wouldn’t you like to see him every day? Have him living with us all the time?’

‘You know that’s not possible.’

‘Why not? Why can’t he leave them and come and live with us?’

‘Don’t be silly. Think what people would say.’

‘If we moved away he could come and live with us. It wouldn’t matter then.’

Sharon was alarmed by Louise’s attitude. She obviously thought that was what her mother wanted. One day she’d make it clear to her that it had never been her intention to set up home with Greg. But not yet. Louise was too young, and she didn’t know how to put it to her. Her feelings were so conflicted about the situation: pitching and tossing all the time.

Sharon said, ‘I know you want dad all to yourself but you’ve always known we have to share him.’

Louise shook her head vigorously. ‘I don’t care about sharing him. I just want people to know he’s my dad too. I’m sick of hiding it all the time.’

Sharon placed her hand on Louise’s shoulder. ‘That’s never going to happen, Louise. You’d better get used to it, otherwise you’ll only give yourself grief.’

Louise nodded gravely. ‘It was horrible in Pam’s car. I can’t stop thinking about it.’


‘Don’t you feel funny when you’re talking to Pam? I do. There’s this great, big terrible secret there all the time. That’s how it is when I talk to Jade and Gwen and Ian. It makes me feel horrible. Doesn’t it make you feel horrible? That’s why I want to move away.’
Sharon couldn’t bear to look into her daughter’s eyes: they were so full of unhappiness and reproach. But she said nothing. The conversation was leading her further and further on to that disturbing terrain she’d always managed to avoid. ‘I’m going to get your supper,’ she said. ‘Hot milk and chocolate biscuits OK?’

‘All right.’

Sharon left the room and went downstairs feeling a lot happier. Her mood was completely altered and she was sure it wasn’t just the effect of the wine. She felt that on the whole she’d handled it rather well. Telling the truth had been the right thing to do. It had enabled her to say what she really felt, and put all thoughts of leaving out of Louise’s head. She was sure that once Louise started going to school in Sandleton she’d feel much more positive about things.

Want to read more? Click the buttons below ….

The beautiful English village of Leefdale seems reassuringly tranquil. But appearances can be deceptive.

Special Flower for September

The special flower for September according to the British Florist Association is

the aster.

The aster, says Interflora, represents both love and daintiness. The flowers are also associated with wisdom, valour and faith, making them a great choice for dear friends and family members.

Reminiscent of a daisy, the aster is named after the Greek word for ‘star’ and, if you look at the shape of the flower, it’s clear to see why.

These delightful flowers bloom all year round and are one of the most vibrant in the autumn months.

image credit https://pixabay.com/en/herbstastern-asters-autumn-flowers-2773261/

Robert Frost:

“I end not far from my going forth

By picking the faded blue

Of the last remaining aster flower

To carry again to you.”

Thanks for reading my blog today.

You might also like:

Special flower for August

Special flower for July

Special flower for June

Book of the Day

August Roundup

In case you missed them, here are links to some of my August blogposts.


image credit Vincent van Gogh [Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Special flower for August

Family History

1976 wedding 7

London Poverty Maps for #FamilyHistory

Summer of 1976 wedding


image credit https://pixabay.com/en/clef-music-love-heart-treble-clef-1439136/

Everybody Lies by Julia Hughes

Make a Joyful Noise by Jenny Worstall

Everybody Lies by Julia Hughes

Boot Camp Bride by Lizzie Lamb

The Heartfelt Series by Adrienne Vaughan


piano music
image credit https://pixabay.com/en/piano-piano-keys-notes-music-317026/

Brilliant performance of Ravel’s Bolero

Lovely out-of-print piano music collection #JeromeKern

Swinging Sixties

image credit https://pixabay.com/en/banner-header-swirl-sixties-1571873/

Crazy furniture from the 1960s

Brilliant 1968 film of the English Riviera

Links to all my August blogposts are here:


Thanks for reading my blog today.

You might also like:

July Roundup

June Round-Up

Book of the Day



#ThrowbackThursday #BookReview The Heartfelt Series by Adrienne Vaughan @adrienneauthor

For several years I wrote a book blog and accumulated reviews of some really good reads. I saw on Twitter that Renee at It’s Book Talk started using the #ThrowbackThursday meme as a way to share books that are old favourites or have been waiting to be read for a long time. I decided to visit my old book reviews and re-post my favourites here on 3sixtyfiveblog for #ThrowbackThursday.

So far I’ve included:

An Englishwoman’s Guide to the Cowboy by June Kearns

Kings and Queens by TerryTyler

Blood-Tied by Wendy Percival

Make a Joyful Noise by Jenny Worstall

Everybody Lies by Julia Hughes

and Boot Camp Bride by Lizzie Lamb.

This week it’s the Heartfelt Series by Adrienne Vaughan.

The Heartfelt Series is a trilogy of romantic novels each one of which is difficult to put down!

From the Amazon book page of Book 1, The Hollow Heart

This heartrending mystery thriller is the story of Marianne Coltrane a feisty, award-winning journalist who uncovers a devastating travesty of justice involving the sale of babies by the church in Ireland.

Fighting her corner in the male-dominated world of newspapers she witnesses a terrorist attack that changes how she thinks about her future and what she really wants.

Taking herself off to the wilds of the west of Ireland to re-evaluate her life, she encounters the soon to be world-famous actor Ryan O’Gorman, to her mind the most conceited, infuriating man in the world. He in turn loathes journalists, especially female ones. One thing they do have in common is they both think their chance of true love has passed them by.

As they both begin to fall in love with Innishmahon, their spiritual home, they discover the very fabric of the island is threatened and as the islanders find themselves in grave danger, Marianne and Ryan join forces to save that which they hold most dear.

But the road is rocky for this fiery, opinionated pair … and when Ryan discovers his ex-fiance is carrying his child, things take a turn for the worst. Can he talk his way out of this one? And will Marianne even care, when she unwittingly reveals the most devastating secret of all, the truth behind her past and her own parentage.

Sexy, moving and funny, this heart-warming duo and cast of colourful characters will stay with you, long after the last page leaves you smiling.

My review from Indie Bookworm

The Heartfelt Series by Adrienne Vaughan comprises three novels which together tell the romantic story of Marianne and Ryan who have more ups and downs in their relationship than you can even begin to imagine.

Set on the beautiful west coast of Ireland the three books are a charming and delightful escape into a world of intrigue and mystery as well as romance.

Book One – The Hollow Heart

I really enjoyed reading The Hollow Heart and especially liked the main character, Marianne. The story line is great and the ups and downs of her relationship with Ryan makes it a really engaging read.

I read Book One almost without stopping and was straight onto Book Two, A Change of Heart.

The main character, Marianne, continues to develop and there are ever more ups and downs in her relationship with Ryan. It’s a really entertaining and exciting read filled with glamour, mystery and intrigue from start to finish. The characters develop well and the plot is nicely complex ensuring a high level of reader engagement. Naturally, I was straight on to Book Three to find out what was going to happen next.

The final part of the Heartfelt Series is Secrets of the Heart.

Finally free to be together on the remote Irish isle of Innishmahon, Marianne Coltrane and Ryan are looking forward to life away from the bright lights of Hollywood and the constant pursuit of the paparazzi.

However, when nature conspires to keep them apart and Ryan puts both his own and his son’s life at risk, Marianne finally realises how determined he is they should be a family. She now needs to put aside her own, deep rooted fear of commitment and come to terms with the sinister secrets buried within her family history.

Yet when Ryan’s own devastating secret is revealed, and their world is turned upside down, Marianne has to call upon more than determination to see them through. She has to believe in love with every fibre of her being, because if she cannot, it could mean not only the end of their relationship, but even life itself.

Doesn’t Secrets of the Heart sound compelling?

And it really is a can’t-put-it-down book.

I enjoyed all three books in the series and this final installment brought the trilogy to a great ending.

I liked the way the author recapped some of the characters who reappeared as the story evolved.

The main characters are well developed and there’s a large cast of fascinating minor characters too.

The island setting is lovely and beautifully described.

The plot is a mix of romance, adventure, mystery and glamour and keeps you in suspense for the final outcome right to the very end. Very enjoyable!

Click the Free Preview button below to start reading the Heartfelt Series straightaway!