All Things Dog Chloë the Basset Hound Daily snippet NEW/Random

Admitting Defeat

Ever tried to wash a basset hound? Yes, well, if you have, you know where this is going. 

If you’ve been here for a while, you’ll remember the last time we washed Chloë the basset. You’ll remember it wasn’t much of a fight. You’ll remember that the problem was keeping her clean.

Codes&Ciphers&Stuff Nerd-out Corner Stuff to Do When You've Got Too Much Time

Random Puzzle (Sept) Part I

Keyword ciphers are fun. Most treasure-hunt riddles are. Running key ciphers are a nightmare to manually crack without the key.

Book of the Week Book reviews NEW/Random

REVIEW: The Penderwicks at Point Mouette


Author: Jeanne Birdsall

Ages: 10-14

As the Penderwick family is shredded (even if it’s only for two weeks), hot-tempered and smart 12-year-old Skye is left in charge of her younger sisters. Seems simple. Except that she has nearly been murdered by the neigbour’s dog, nearly murdered the neighbour and his dog, and forgotten how to stop 5-year-old Batty from blowing up… And dreamy Jane is obsessed with the weird boy from town, Batty with golf balls and Hound with seaweed. Plus an unexpected guest, a literally life-changing realization and a harmonica equals a mess.

All Things Dog Daily snippet


These dogs. Hounds. Regrets? Sometimes.

Two things everyone knows about hounds: independently intelligent, howl.

Book of the Week Book reviews

REVIEW: The Penderwicks on Gardam Street


Author: Jeanne Birsdall

Ages: 10-15

The four Penderwick sisters were living what they considered to be more or less the best life, this time back home. But then Aunt Claire turned up with piles of gifts, loads of hugs and a petrifying blue envelope that threatens to turn the family inside-out. Rosalind is completely thrown by the letter and is not taking their neighbour Tommy Greigor’s attempts to help well. At all. On top of it, Batty and Hound are spying on the new neighbours and a simple bit of laziness leaves Skye to face her worst nightmare and her and Jane swimming in guilt.

Book of the Week Book reviews

REVIEW: The Penderwicks


Author:  Jeanne Birdsall

Ages: 9/10 – 14

The four Penderwick sisters are in trouble. It’s a miracle they got to the holiday paradise of Arundel in the first place, because Hound ate the map. The first week was perfect, but now Batty has lost the gardener’s rabbit, Jane has run through the garden competition yelling about how much she wants to beat up the landlady’s boyfriend, Skye has nearly punched said landlady in the face, Rosalind has no idea why she is always trying to impress Cagney, and Jeffery is being shipped of to military school

Daily snippet


Hands up who’s run out of paper-and-pages books. Everyone, right? I mean, actual bookshops are expensive and, well, lockdown. Ordering online to be delivered is a hopeless idea where I live – I’m not sure about other countries. It’s either expensive, slow or lost-in-post. Possibly the delivery guy was hijacked. Maybe he hijacked someone else and left the stuff just lying there. Who knows. This is now. Digital is perfectly OK, or preferable.

Codes&Ciphers&Stuff Nerd-out Corner

Codes and Ciphers 4

I don’t think that this actually counts as a cipher, but it might be that it doesn’t count as a code. Possibly both. You decide.

I use this as a very quick way to disguise words. Don’t ask why or what sort. It is very easy to write and read on the fly. I just want to see if you need to know how it works to figure it out. I came up with it myself, but it isn’t at all original. Try it.

Stuff to Do When You've Got Too Much Time

Stuff to Do: Draw Every Pratchett and Kate Milford Character You Can Remember and a Bunch of Others

Long enough title?

Okay, please don’t kick me out of the Pratchett club, I do actually remember more than 4 characters. It’s the same with Kate Milford. They are just the only characters important/detailed/interesting/unique enough to draw, or that I have already drawn. I am considering doing the men black-on-black from The Left Handed Fate (Milford), and maybe Clem and Georgie.

Book of the Week Book reviews



Author: Terry Pratchett

Ages: 10+ (adults and not-creeped-out 9-year-olds included)

The previous review on this book isn’t very informative, and it was written when I was 11. Writing another one will be difficult, since I have read this book so many times and first when I was 9. I’m not sure what I would say if I had read it for the first time this year. This is just an addition, to get the full story see the previous review.

Tiffany has been lodged with the oldest witch in the country. She is technically blind, but that doesn’t matter – there are always Tiffany’s eyes… Everything is black. She has to make black cheese, clean the black floor and the windows are so dirty that you can’t see the so-red-they’re-black roses. Which will, soon, be made of ice so thin they melt from the pressure of being looked at.