Bunkers & swimming pools

Yes, im back on the Minecraft again. A new world where the design of the biome just made me want to dig, dig, dig DOWN! So we have another bunker

There’s just something so inviting about a doorway that leads down dont you think?

Then i doscovered a natural source of water so i turned it into my private swimming pool

Added some brick edging to match the bunker

I like the way it looks lit up at night. I’m working on another bunker at the back of the pool that you have to cross to enter!

By the way, dont worry I have it set to Peaceful so i can be creative all day and all night long.

Love the sunset here with the bunker all lit up. And yes I am in the swimming pool when i took this. Must be a waterproof camera eh?

August Book haul

Yes its that time again when i share the books ive recently bought or been sent by publishers.

All Dem books!

As I sadly dont get sent much by publishers anymore (sobs all the tears) I’ll begin with that.

A novel in verse!

Redwood & Ponytail is a novel in verse form which is becoming a ‘thing’ right now and if written well can be a nice refreshing change from the same old prose format. This sounds wonderful and i cant wait to get round to it.

Its published on 1st October by Chronicle Books, so a HUGE thanks to them for sending me a link to their catalogue and asking me to choose a book.

gotta love a supermarket impulse buy!

These two were on sale in Sainsburys which was a lovely surprise as they never have any YA books normally (all the smiles and cheers) Both have such gorgeous covers and will be great reads too.

a nice mix of genres with some scrummy cover work

YA rom com, YA mystery, Thriller, Dystopian thriller and Japanese translated thriller make for a nice mix dont you think?

Classics rock (sometimes)

I’m not the biggest fan of Classic works but the premise of this, the gorgeous painting on the cover and Jennifer Helinek aka @Insertliterarypunhere enthusiastic review of all things Trollope convinced me to pick it up.

Ooh so good!

And last but never least, Peter May is a new author to me and was one of those recommended for fans of Jane Harper (which I am) so i gave him a go and so far (im halfway through) its damn brilliant. So readable, twisty, misleading and told with such beautiful prose and description of the Outer Hebrides I swear I could look out my window and see the characters.

Have you read any of these? What did you think of them? Lets chat.

Bridges and bunkers

I’ve begun a new level now, the other one was too crowded. This one is a nice mix of all the biomes and im having fun building bridges across the expanses of water.

This is my litle shelter, made with bricks and glass so i have plenty of light

I love the blocky clouds

I have an underground bunker with many rooms which im still working on

This is the first room which will be decorated soon and has a lovely cyan carpet.

Room two just off of room one has purple carpet and an enchantment table. I dont know what to do with the table yet but im sure it’ll be fun.

and Room 3 has yellow carpet and its where i sleep the night away. Im also working on a room above as you can see by the ladder on the wall.

The view back up the stairs from Room 1. I dont know what it is about Minecraft but I am always drawn to digging below ground more then building above.

Sorry the screenshots are rather dark but hopefully you get the idea.

First build a shelter

After clearing rough grass and flattening the land a little I got to building me a home.

another subterranean shack

Plenty of torches and a nice comfy bed

brighten the place up

cosy, cosy

I finished the roof and fenced it off so i have somewhere to sit and admire the view, and what a view it is

And after a busy day there was a lovely sunset

I’m having so much fun and next im planning a modern build house for a change. Why does ‘real life’ always have to get in the way?

A New land is found

After many tries I have found a biome I like and have begun terraforming it.

nice mix of grass, sand and water here

Every time i turn round im faced with these crazy chickens who follow me around all the time. If i click on them they jump up, lay an egg then run away squawking! I love those little touches.

my chicken best buds

Once i begin shaping and digging and creating i’m totally absorbed.

Having fun with Minecraft


I’m back playing Minecraft after almost two years due to slow PC. Im going to be building a whole city or at least a small Borough!

Opening shot with horses in the distance and the sun shining

I build the first road!

30 blocks long road

I also built a monolith so that wherever i roam i can always find my way home. A handy tip i got from my son who is a whizz at this game.

Have to think of a name for my City soon.

Best Books of 2019 – So Far

Its been a good reading year so far, I’ve managed 11 books.

3 Manga

1 novella

7 novels

Worst Book

The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet. I just dont understand the hype for Becky Chambers books and writing. They are slow, dull, lacking in plot or excitement with characters ive forgotten by the time i next pick the book up.

Book that most surprised me

The Dry by Jane Harper. I had seen it around for a few months but thought its not for me. Then something made me try a chapter online and wow! I was blown away by how gripping it was.

Biggest disappointment

My Brothers husband, a manga/graphic novel. It was okay but the artwork was not a patch on others ive read, one character in the book was so annoying I could barely read to the end and the plot was bitty and unconclusive.

Favourite new author to me

This has to be Jane Harper. I’ve read two of her three books this year and her writing has been a revelation to me. I have her third novel but have yet to read it.

UPDATE: I’ve now read all of Jane Harpers books and im itching for her to get writing her fourth.

Favourite character

Oh definitely Morgan from Birthday by Meredith Russo. I felt for him/her all throughout the book and just wanted to give them a big motherly hug. The character was well written and so interesting.

Favourite book of 2019 so far is…

Birthday by Meredith Russo. So moving and thought provoking. I admit it opened my eyes. Eric & Morgan were such well written and rounded out characters I couldnt help but love them and enjoyed every minute of their story.

Books i’m anticipating in the second half of 2019

  • David Mogo Godhunter by Suyi Davies Okungbowa (i’m kindly being sent a review copy of this)
  • This is how you lose the time war by Amal-el-Mohtar
  • The Last Astronaut by David Wellington
  • The Wanderers by Chuck Wendig
  • An Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank Green

I think 2019 is going to be an epic year for books

Whats your favourite of 2019 so far?

William Frederick Johncock

A recent purchase, this postcard of All Saints Church in Writtle was bought because of my large association to Writtle via the Bonnington and Brazier families on my Maternal side.

I was pleased however to find that the card had been sent too so i could have a nosy at the message.

message on back

It was sent to a Mrs Johncock of 103 Chapel Lane, Walton, Nr. Ipswich in Suffolk.

The message reads:

Dear, I am working 10 miles from town for a few days write so i have a letter weekend as I shall be back in town by Saturday. Sorry to hear the children are no better Bill

By the personal tone of the message I had a guess that Bill could be her husband and I think I was right.

William Frederick Johncock was born on 22nd February 1881 in Ipswich, Suffolk to Robert and Jane Johncock. He married Agnes Chennery in 1902 in Woodbridge, Suffolk.

He was a plasterer by trade rising to the rank of Master by the 1911 census. I guess in those days you went where the work was and if you didnt have any transport you’d have to stay locally to the job and away from home thus the wish for a letter. The children in question were two sons, William Frederick aged 2 and Arthur Stanley who would have been a baby. It must have been very tough for Agnes with two small poorly children and her husband absent so much with work.

Two more children were born after that; Sidney Robert in 1908 and a daughter, Ethel Agnes in 1910.

I went in search of him in the WW1 records and found him straight away. The address on the paperwork being the same as the postcard was a thrill to find. Its a bit faint but readable.

WF Johncock address

On one of his WW1 service papers Agnes and the children are listed as his next of kin which I think is great to see

W.F. Johncock WW1 service papers

He joined up on 26th January 1915 and was posted to the Royal Engineers as a sapper. He was ticked off a couple of times for returning late to his barracks after a day pass was granted him. Once in 1916 and then again in 1917. On the first occasion he was almost a day late! He received 3 days ‘confined to barracks for that’ and forfeited a days pay. I wonder what had kept him or if it had all got too much and he was thinking of going AWOL?

On 23rd April 1918 he was badly wounded by shrapnel to the head and face and after a period of almost a month was shipped back to the UK and spent 5 months in the Merryflats Hospital, Govan, Glasgow.

I cant find out exactly what it was for but he was awarded the Military Medal on 16th July 1918.

His injuries left him with constant headaches and dizzness and after being discharged from hospital he was posted to a Reserve battalion and then finally invalided out and demobbed in January 1919.

I find him 20 years later in the 1939 Register living in Felixstowe with Agnes and he’s still a plasterer.

He died in 1966 in Woodbridge, Suffolk aged 81. Its great to see that his injuries didnt stop him from having a long and hopefully happy life. Agnes died in 1973 aged almost 90, so they were a long living family.

If you have any connection to these people i’d love to hear from you so that the postcard can be returned to its righful owner.