Monday Magic – Inspiring Blogs for You!

Monday Magic Inspiring Blogs for You!

This post should just about make it to you for Monday – depending upon which time zone you live in!  My brain fog has continued, several painsomnia nights later and an eye/sinus infection have left the blog low on the to do list.  Actually using the computer screen has been a chore with head and eye pain…..then add in my almighty cock up with my drugs and a few hours of pregabalin withdrawal – you get the picture!!

turned on laptop on bed

Photo by Daria Shevtsova on Pexels.com

This week my nephew turned 8 and celebrated with a Laser Quest party for 15 little live wires.  This crumbly Auntie didn’t manage the trip (for the second year running)….but I did manage to make his birthday cake and sent it with hubby, the best Uncle in the world on that day.  For a simple, yet really effective cake that appeals to any kid, young or old, who likes sweets….make a “box of chocolates/jellies/sweets”!  If you would like a post with instructions leave me a message in the comments. One of the worst parts of chronic illness is having to cancel plans for special occasions when symptoms take over.  However watching Strictly Come Dancing with my Mum was probably slightly more relaxing than the aftermath of the party and the subsequent present frenzy!!  I have to just say here – I loved Stacey Dooley’s tango…you won’t know what I’m talking about unless you are a UK Strictly fan!

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I am currently writing another post for you following a special Accessibility day at Gatwick airport last week and probably the biggest excitement to come out of this has been our purchase of an electric wheelchair.  More of this to come.  Meanwhile I have caught up with some blogs today as my vision has improved (have you used that chloramphenicol ointment – eughhh, gunky eyes and stings like hell!) and I hope that you enjoy these posts as much as I have.  I plan a Christmas blogs post, but have included the advent calendar one here as you might want one sooner rather than later!  I have been a very lucky girl and was bought a beauty calendar by my gorgeous friend Holly – lovely surprise gift….I will fill you in on the gifts as I open them!

Sit back, grab a drink and enjoy!

https://www.brainlesionandme.com/the-benefits-of-a-spa-day-for-those-with-chronic-illness/

https://wheelescapades.com/2018/11/17/booking-accessible-tickets-mission-almost-impossible/

https://countingmyspoons.com/2018/11/tips-for-pacing-when-you-have-chronic-illness/

https://ellenbest24.wordpress.com/2018/11/21/there-is-power-in-a-name/

https://www.lifeat139a.com/139a/11/20/my-garden-in-november

https://www.crestingthehill.com.au/2018/11/can-being-sad-be-good-for-you.html

http://www.denysewhelan.com.au/denyse-blogs/my-bookmarks-the-big-hug-box-2018-121/

https://www.eclecticevelyn.com/health-mistakes-to-avoid-for-women-over-50/

https://kippiathome.com/2018/11/14/hot-cocoa-bar/

Cupr of cocoa

From Kippi At Home website

 

http://arosieworld.com/beauty-advent-calendars-christmas-2018

Please comment, like and share!

Have a great week,

Claire x

 

 

Book Review: The Trial by John Mayer

I was fortunate to be given a copy of this book in return for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

I have always been drawn towards law dramas from books to TV to radio plays. This book which focuses on Scottish law sounded exactly my cup of tea, although I do not pretend to have any inside knowledge of the UK legal system! I did sit in the viewing gallery of the Old Bailey as a student, but I don’t think it counts!!

When an eminent Scottish judge is found dead in suspicious circumstances, the inner circles of the law lords actively look for a suspect ahead of any police investigation. A likely candidate is found in the shape of Brogan McLane, a working-class boy from Glasgow who has succeeded in entering the elite world of the law and been called to the Bar. He will never truly fit in with the Edinburgh elite law families, nor would he want to, but this sets him apart and singles him out. He is set up for the murder and calls upon all his strength and resources from his Glaswegian upbringing as his old friends help him to uncover enemies and evidence…..no spoilers!!

I thoroughly enjoyed the fast pace of this novel and was able to hear the different voices and accents of the characters – surely an indication of just how well the book is written. It is action packed and follows many twists and turns, uncovering a seedy world that infiltrates so many walks of life. The main character Brogan is tough yet believable, and the author gives us some glimpses of his tender side in scenes with his wife and a back story about their family. Yet he is never intimidated by the powers who consider themselves to be above the law and I think that his sense of justice is what sends him some unlikely sources of help as he tries to uncover the true identity of the murderer.

The information about the law courts are supplemented part way through the book with photographs of these Scottish buildings which I found to be a nice touch, along with a glossary of legal terms to help the reader out. This is my first book by John Mayer and I will definitely be looking out for his other titles. A great intriguing crime thriller that I give 5 stars. 

Thanks to The Book Club on Facebook.

Publisher: John Mayer

Available on Amazon here:

Author Biography

John Mayer (b. 1952) was born in Glasgow, Scotland at a time of post-WW2 austerity. But in 1963 when he heard The Beatles on Radio Caroline, his life path was set. Aged 14 he walked out of school because, in his opinion, he wasn’t being well taught. Every day for the next year, in all weathers, he cycled 9 miles to and 9 miles from the Mitchell Library in central Glasgow where he devoured books of all kinds. John Mayer
While still an apprentice engineer he was soon teaching men two and three times his age.
But in the 1970s he ‘dived off a cliff’ and set out to become a Record Producer. He built his own record company trading in 14 countries. After a court battle with global giants, he went to the University of Edinburgh and became an Advocate in the Supreme Courts of Scotland. He acted for the downtrodden and desperate as well as Greenpeace International. His specialism was in fighting international child abduction.
As an author, John has written non-fiction, legal texts and articles; broadcasting to tens of millions of people on US and UK radio, TV and print media.
The Trial is the first novel in his Parliament House Books series. Set in Edinburgh, it’s an homage to Franz Kafka’s book of the same title. The Trial sees crusading Scottish Advocate, Brogan McLane, fight injustice casually delivered by Low Life in High Places in the Old Town.

Find John Mayer:

Goodreads

http://www.parliamenthousebooks.weebly.com/

Twitter

Blog tour and 4 Star Book Review “The Story after Us” by Fiona Perrin #LoveBooksGroupTours

story-after-us

Sometimes the end is really the beginning….

Living in flats in the same building, Amelia and Lars are a couple starting out on life together with big dreams for their careers, marriage, a home and family.  They are in love and excited by all that life has in store for them.  Lars is improving his English, Ami is making headway in her career and they spend evenings in cheap eateries with friends Liv and Thor drinking house wine and laughing away the time.

Real life can have a habit of getting in the way of life dreams.  The children, Tess and Finn are born, business opportunities and commitments take Lars away more and more often, Ami is given the backing to set up her own advertising company.  But at home the laughter is being replaced with raised angry voices, the love is being replaced by resentment and mistrust and the perfect family is actually a normal family with all the stresses and joys that come with it.

Young Tess has become preoccupied with death and Ami finds herself called in to school to discuss her daughter’s playtime funeral processions.  The realisation that their lives have reached crisis point hits Ami when she returns home to find her son “buried” under a pile of cushions as her daughter conducts a funeral with the au pair nowhere in sight.  On pulling out her young son from near suffocation, Ami knows that something must change but she is still blindsided by her husband’s actions.

Thanks to Kelly at Love Book Group Tours for the opportunity to be part of this blog tour!

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Story after us pin

This is a contemporary novel that tackles the difficulties of modern-day life – with particular focus on the breakdown of a marriage.  The chapters alternate between the current day (2017) and the start of Ami and Lars relationship in 2007, painting a picture of the development of a relationship running alongside its future breakdown.  Eventually the historical chapters have caught up with present day, and as such the author forces her characters to accept what is happening to them.

Ami is a strong central character, even when she is at her lowest ebb.  Her emotions are always just beneath her surface veneer and at times are so palpable.  I think that the author writes with sensitivity and clarity when showing us Ami’s hurt – hurt caused by those closest to her which can feel like betrayal – her husband, her parents, her boss.  Yet her own self-belief and love for her children keeps her swimming against the currents threatening to overwhelm her.

The cast of characters is colourful and very human.  I love Ami’s best friend Liv and the humour that she brings to every situation.  She is responsible for a potential big new client for Ami’s struggling agency, although her intent during a drunken conversation was to actually set her pal up on a blind date!  This introduces Ben – another interesting character with his own baggage, a broken marriage and children in a foreign country.  Young Tess and Finn are delightful, and the author puts words into these little mouths that any parent will smile at.  The grandparents also pay such an important role – I love Lars’ mother Ulrika and her “cold” house – and demonstrate that extended family, whether fully present or not, influence family life.  As a mum I couldn’t help byt laugh at the descriptions of the school gate, the relationships between the mothers and I love the descriptions of the Smugums!!  I definitely came into contact with them and saw the looks of disbelief and pity when I failed to wake up from a night shift to collect my kids from school!

There is a lot of sadness in witnessing this relationship breakdown and whilst I was routing for Ami and Lars, it became hard to see a way back from their difficulties.  The author asks how often a marriage continues after the love has gone – not that initial heady, lustful love but the deep love that grows and develops over time for a partner.  How may relationships are based on loving a partner for being the parent of your child, but no longer loving them for being themselves?  I found myself feeling a whole range of emotions as I followed Ami on her journey – but will give no spoilers as to how things work out for her and Lars.

A very modern tale reflecting current life so well – the good times alongside the difficult and never shying away from the emotive, aspects of modern relationships. Funny, engaging and poignant, I thoroughly enjoyed this book, found it easy to read and definitely recommend it.

4 stars!

Available from

Amazon:

Barnes and Noble

WHSmith

About the Author

Fiona was a journalist and copywriter before building a career as a sales and
marketing director in industry. Having always written, she completed the Curtis
Brown Creative Writing course before writing The Story After Us.FionaPerrin author pic 2meg
As a mother and stepmother to four teenagers while holding down a fairly full-on job,
she wanted to write grown-up commercial fiction about messy, modern love and
families – with all their heartbreak, humour and hope.
She grew up in Cornwall, hung out for a long time in London and then Hertfordshire,
and now she writes as often as possible from her study overlooking the sea at the
end of the Lizard Peninsula, back in Cornwall. She’s currently there, writing her
second novel for Aria.

Find Fiona here:

Website – www.fionaperrin.com

Twitter

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Monday Magic – Inspiring Blogs for You!

Welcome back, friends – I have been on an unintentional blog break for two weeks.  Unintentional as life, fatigue and brainfog took over – I just was unable to put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard.  Then there are the constant demands of a family – hubby, dogs and “big” kids.

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Monday Magic Inspiring Blogs for You! 12.11.18

The biggest kid, the young tech engineer, continues to spend half his week working from home, the other half in London as he and a tech pal continue to grow their new IT start up.  He just spent the weekend in the Peak District walking with 9 nine others through the mud and rain – a good time was had by all.  The smallest kid, the lovely girl, is currently working her way through German TV dramas on Netflix for her A level German “wider experience” – this weekend it has been Deutschland 83.  I saw it on TV but have been happy to watch again as the soundtrack takes me back to my teens in the 80s – the plot is great too!

Hubby managed a visit to the politics student last week.  It was supposed to be an overnight stay to break a long journey there and back to the north of England – and could well have included a pub crawl of Nottingham.  Hubby took the middle kid out for dinner and in true student style he ate everything put in front of him, but when they arrived back at the “digs” the number of young people staying in the house had grown to the point where hubby didn’t fancy his chances of 1. sleeping and 2. getting anywhere near the bathroom.  He was very relieved to be climbing into bed next to his wife at 1 am rather than in with his 19 year old son!

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What about the dogs?  Well our old dog has been on his holidays to grandparents the last two weekends, whilst we have been vizsla sitting….firstly for Chester and then for Jensen.  Sam is now back and in his favourite spot in the window asleep on his bed – at 16, he is probably well over 100 in human years so can be forgiven for turning up his nose when the back door is opened to a rain swept garden!

I haven’t been very active with blog reading or commenting, but I have found some lovely posts that I hope you will enjoy them!  Commemorations have taken place globally this weekend for both Remembrance Day and the 100 years since the end of the first World War,  so it seems fitting to share some posts to mark this.  So sit back, grab a cuppa and have a good read….

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https://willowdot21.wordpress.com/2018/11/06/the-red-the-white-and-the-purple/

https://thepurplealmond.com/2018/11/12/a-tribute-to-our-veterans-1918-2018/

https://walkamyelinmyshoes.com/2018/11/11/i-remember/

https://gardner1015.wordpress.com/2018/11/12/daily-ramblings-motivation-monday-20/

https://inkanyiso.org/2018/11/06/2018-nov-6-loss/

https://jenanita01.com/2018/11/06/38821/

https://whatapain.co.uk/dear-diary-my-domestic-abuse-story/

https://chronicallyglutenfree.com/2018/11/gluten-free-thanksgiving-stuffing-dairy-soy-free/

https://zebrapit.com/2018/11/12/roasted-turkey-with-herb-butter-and-gravy/

https://writeintolife.com/2018/11/12/1000-days-1000-humans/

Have a great week,

Claire x

 

 

 

 

Saving Yourself

Great post from Rie – all applicable to me at the moment!

Rising Inside the Embers

portrait-3757153_1920Dear Friends,

Patient advocacy relies heavily on being able to create a narrative, and by extension, sell yourself.  The more gripping or devastating the story, the more advantageous it is to use, at least from a marketing perspective.  Getting people to empathize with our struggles, allows for the creation of new ideas, treatments, and solutions.  What is often not acknowledged is the tremendous emotional effort it takes for someone to share some of their most painful moments.  We do this in the hopes that it will change something in the hearts and minds of our audience.  Yet, do we ever actually examine the toll it takes on us?

Once, I had someone ask me if I liked writing so much, why I didn’t I do it more.  The quick answer is because it is exhausting.  The longer answer is that it is like a small death each time I put…

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