Back after a Much-Needed Rest

My two-week staycation zipped right by. It was a quiet but pleasing blend of books, resting, and puttering around the house. What a treat to read in the morning and not have work tapping on my shoulder.

And what was I reading?

About a month ago, I fell in love with the Slow Horses series on Apple TV+.Β  The series, based on the book by Mick Herron, is about a group of misfit and disgraced spies—dubbed “slow horses”—led by the acerbic Jackson Lamb, played by the great and good Gary Oldman. Their headquarters are the decrepit and depressing Slough House, a far cry from MI5’s Regent’s Park.Β  Naturally, trouble finds the band of misfits, and it doesn’t take the viewer long to wonder who the real misfits are. Only six episodes long, Slow Horses ended all too soon, and I decided to check out the book, the first in the Slough House series.

It was love at first read. Slow Horses is quirky but so well written with a cracking plot and a gripping cast of characters. There are eight books in the Slough House series, and courtesy of my library, I whipped through them with the speed I usually reserve for a box of See’s chocolates. I read like a woman possessed, with the contradictory feelings of both wanting and not wanting to finish the series. Hats off to Mick Herron, who writes impeccable prose at a clip that any hack writer would envy.


I also spent a lot of time on the patio, where the garden is at its best.

Here is a longer view.

And a little abstraction of evening primroses and lilies, taken through the back of one of the lawn chairs.

The front yard is abloom, too. July is definitely the month for the gardens at our home at the edge of the woods.


The cover for my book Of Time and Magic is underway at the fabulous Bookfly Design. Soon I will have a cover to share with you. I’m very excited about this. It’s also a little bittersweet as Of Time and Magic concludes Maya’s journey and the battle for the Great Library.




76 thoughts on “Back after a Much-Needed Rest”

  1. Everything thing is looking beautiful at your house! I don’t have Apple TV or I’d be watching that series for sure. Each streaming service has a couple of shows you’d really like to watch, and the rest is all the same rerun movies. We just finished up the series on Joe Pickett on Paramount, Bosch Legacy on Prime, and Lincoln Lawyer on Netflix. πŸ™‚ Glad you’re back, you were missed.

    1. “Slow Horse” might soon be available on DVD, and perhaps you could borrow it from your library. “Lincoln Lawyer” is on my TBW list. Never heard of “Joe Picket.” Will definitely check it out. And I’m a huge “Bosch” fan.

  2. It sounds like you had a wonderful break Laurie and your garden looks gorgeous with the lush greens and summer flowers! I especially love the way you captured them through the chair πŸ’œ

  3. Welcome back Laurie and good to read all about your book and movie recommendations. Paul is onto the third of the Slow Horses series and really enjoying them. We don’t have Apple TV so won’t get to see the movie. We are enjoying Lincoln Lawyer series on Netflix (Judy mentioned) and we are probably the only people in the world to catch up with the Danish series Borgen … Netflix brought out a more recent series which we watched first.. all very interesting and a great way to pass some wet and cold winters days.
    Very bittersweet to have Maya finish her journey and Of time and Magic is now finished! Wow! Congratulations a great achievement!

  4. I’m very glad things are progressing well enough for you to be back. I don’t have Apple TV, but would be more likely to watch a spy or detective series than to read it, for some reason, so the Slow Horse series would not seem like my kind of thing, but as you are so enthusiastic, I’ll make a note to give the first one a try. Your primrose and lilies shot reminded me of a fabric design.

    1. For the most part, I, too, would rather watch a spy or detective show than read the book, but Mick Herron is definitely the exception for me. His writing is so good, and his books are both character driven and plot driven. A winning combination.

  5. It’s good to see you (virtually) again. Your garden is lovely. It’s so dry here we’re lucky to have crape myrtle, esperanza, lantana and Pride of Barbados, but they are all beautiful. It rained a bit today, a blessing.

  6. Laurie, your garden looks lush and inviting. I love the bright yellows. A big smirk crossed my face with your Sees chocolate comment. I hav zero self control when it comes to Sees. I can also relate to the joy of plowing through books, only to be a bit let down when I realize the writer is done. I’m looking forward to seeing your book cover

  7. Welcome back! Your staycation sounds perfect. Who needs to spend money going away and being frustrated by travel problems when home is so great? Your garden is looking lovely. Thanks for the book recommendation – I will see if the library has them.

    1. Many thanks! For someone like me who love to read, it was a perfect staycation. Even though I am a homebody, my days are busy with writing and chores. Reading in the morning is something I hardly ever do.

  8. That book sounds like my kind of thing. Starting a series now (*Windsor Knot*) in which the Queen of England solves mysteries without letting on she’s the one behind the solutions.

  9. Seems like your break has been peaceful and productive (reading without guilt in the morning is divinely decadent πŸ™‚). It’s good to have you back, though!

  10. Welcome back, Laurie. Your gardens are stunning – I’m so glad you’ve been able to bask in them lately!

  11. What a fabulous staycation, Laurie! The garden is looking wonderful. And I loved the tv version of Slow Horses too. Now you have me wondering if I should try the books!

    1. Thanks, Quercus. Funny how different readers react. I was so attached to the characters that when it seemed as though one had died, I had to read ahead to see if it was true. Something I hardly ever do. I have not read the Bryant and May series, but I will check it out.

      1. I am more attached to some of your characters than I am to the Slow Horses, which just goes to show that YA fiction can be as good as all those other “grown up” genre

  12. Laurie, I’m so glad you had a restful, yet productive, blog break! Having a good book to read every morning would feel like a true luxury for me. And your gardens are spectacular — I love the cheery yellows and reds! Welcome back, my friend.

  13. It sounds like you had a great break, Laurie. Thanks for the watching and reading recommendations. The series sounds wonderful – I love the ones that you just don’t want to end. Your garden looks beautiful and congrats on finishing your series. It is a touch sad, isn’t it? Welcome back.

  14. It’s so good to see you, and your beautiful gardens. It seems like only yesterday Clif was dispensing with the last of the snow and you were putting the lawn furniture out again. Time does fly, but it sounds as though you did exactly the right thing: taking some time to enjoy the fruits of all your labors!

  15. Welcome back, Laurie. It sounds and looks as though you had a wonderful break. This is definitely the time of year to spend as much time in your lush garden as possible. It looks very inviting.

  16. Welcome back and what a wonderful staycation!!!πŸ™‚ Your yard and patio look beautiful and love the photo through the lawn chair. Loved the Slow Horses series and thanks for the great reminder about the books as I have a trip to the bookstore planned for tomorrow and need to pick up more books in the series. Looking forward to seeing the cover and reading your book!πŸ™‚

  17. Good to see you again, Laurie! It all looks beautiful there in summer.

    Looking forward to the latest book. I am a little afraid of what the bittersweet ending will be, not wanting the story to end. I had a feeling there would be one.

  18. So happy to hear that you’ve had a (nother) good break – we all need lots of those! Your garden is looking extremely pretty!

  19. Dear Laurie — Welcome back. I’m delighted to see your beautiful garden. And I’m eager to both read and watch Slow Horses. Thank you for the tip. And I just love this line: “I whipped through them with the speed I usually reserve for a box of See’s chocolates.” I get it!

    Congratulations on another step toward completing your book and series. I’m looking forward to starting from the beginning!

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