Inspector Stephen Villani works for the Australian Police Department, he is head of the Homicide division. A woman is found dead in the bath, her neck broken at the top of a skyscraper that can only be accessed with security cards. The timing is not perfect, it coincides with the opening of the casino at the bottom of the building and a flaw in the security system as it was down at the time the murder occurred. The murder needs to be solved.
Investigating the murder leads on a trail to other murders and political issues. As a sub plot we are drawn into Villani’s troubled family life. He has been married for years, but the marriage has problems. His youngest daughter has disappeared and is involved with drug addicts. We see the turmoil he faces trying to reconcile the demand of the job and the demands of the family.
This is not a book that can be read quickly. It is hard to keep track of the subplots and I found I had to read back a few times to be clear what was going on. The book paints a dark picture of life in the police force and the politics. The easiest parts of the book are the parts about his relationship with his family and the problems that he is facing meeting the demands of his job and the family.
November and I was finally persuaded to enter some postal competitions, thanks to my lovely friend. I have wondered about these mysterious things for some time but carefully avoided them as I was not sure what to do and thought I would not have the time. I finally made the effort and ventured into the postal thread. This is a strange and bizarre place, with weird acronyms like AIOE. I soon found out this meant all in one envelope, a great saving on stamps.
I was delighted to come home one day and find an actual LWE (large white envelope) which told me that my effort had paid off and I had won an OXY goody bag. Apparently this will contain the following, Daily Face Wash, Anti-spot Balm, Maximum Face Scrub, Daily Face Wipes, Spot Defence Shave Gel and Post Shave Repair balm. So my first postal win and heres hoping more are on the way.
Secondly this month I learnt the comping fairy has a strange sense of humour. I was entering competitions on a lads mag, the sort where they put a naked lady on the page to entice the men in but have fab competitions. I was desperately trying to hide the naked lady from my sons prying eyes so was comping with one hand strategically placed over the monitor and trying to type one handed and enter as quickly as possible before he saw! Hes just turned 10 so you can understand why I was doing this. In the process of trying to hide curious eyes I accidentally entered a competition for Star command lazer tag at the Trocadero in London. I was not worried, I thought no way will I win this, how many people will have entered. Lo and behold a few days later I get an email to say I had won! I enter loads of competitions and I win the one I entered accidentally. Comping fairy, I like your sense of humour!
One of the nice things about comping is that you often get nice surprises in the post. Often they are expected wins but every so often you get a totally unexpected win which just turns up out of the blue. One of the side effects of comping is that you end up stalking the postman, hovering by the door until the post comes and looking down the road hoping he is on the way. Presumably there are a lot of very puzzled postmen out there.
Today I got a rather unexpected surprise in the post! A while ago I won a Lush gift set with National Office Week. I was very pleased with this win as I love Lush, gorgeous bath bombs, fabulous soap, lovely bubble bars. I was looking forward to it arriving. Today a parcel came with a sticker that said National Office Week. Fab I thought, opening it to be greeted with a view of twigs. Hmmm I thought to myself and on opening it further found this.
This is apparently a beautiful handmade candle. It most definitely is not Lush! I am not going to relaxing in any baths in the forseeable future. Beautiful is not the word that springs instantly to mind. Something from the film the Wicker Man was one comparison, a film that I found particularly horrible when I was younger. The question I now have is what am I going to do with this “beautiful candle!”
Receiving this made me wonder what is the strangest win you have ever received?
Recently I was lucky enough to win a two week diet plan from BodyChef. They provide diet plans and deliver all your meals in a box to your door twice a week. All you need to do is to follow the eating plan, heat the food and eat it! Sounds fab, well it is.
They have a number of different plans you can choose from. These are:
- Premier Plan (for meateaters)
- Vegetarian Plan
- Low GI Plan
- Detox Plan
- Superfood plan
- Lower Carb plan
- Flat Belly plan
- Mediteranean Diet
I found it difficult to choose but in the end went with the Premier plan as on balance it seemed to be more the food I eat normally. Meals are delivered on a Tuesday and a Friday. The Tuesday box takes you from Tuesday evening till Friday lunch and the Friday box from Friday evening until Tuesday lunch. You get a page with the menu on plus all the food in little boxes. It is packed in an insulated box with ice packs so everything keeps fresh.
I was impressed with the menu, the meals are lovely you just warm them up and you do not feel full. Not so good is the fact I still have to prepare the rest of the families meals but you can’t have everything! This is a sample of a few days menus, the full list for each plan is on their website.
- Breakfast: Fresh fruit salad and yoghurt
- Lunch: Salad, pitta bread and chicken strips
- Dinner: Thai red chicken curry and rice, Fruit fool
- Snack: An Apple
- Breakfast: Branflakes and yoghurt
- Lunch: Ham sandwich and cherry tomatoes
- Savoury beef crumble, Broccoli and cabbage, Sticky toffee pudding
- Snack: An orange
Another plus is that the lunches are easy to take with you to work. After a week on the plan I have lost 3lbs.
I am very impressed with this diet and I think if I lived alone I would take it up on a regular basis. It has taught me a lot about the size of the portions I eat so hopefully I will continue the weight loss after the two weeks are over.