Monday Magic – Inspiring Blogs for You!

Here I am, already running a day late this week – but as I had already found some blog posts for Monday Magic I thought I’d go ahead and share them today.  The shoulder and neck are feeling a little easier and the amount of opioid floating around my system is considerably smaller so I can put pen to paper…….well fingers to laptop!

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Monday Magic Inspiring Blogs for You! 15 April

 

So what have we been up to in the PainPals house this week?  I mentioned in my last post that hubby made a trip to his parents and left me in the not so capable hands of the oldest and youngest children/young adults!  We survived to tell the tale although the crumbs in the kitchen drove me to distraction.  On Saturday the three of us joined my parents and various other cousins for a family lunch and I was so pleased to actually make it there.  The most exciting thing was being told that my cousin and her partner have booked to be married next year on a cruise aboard the Queen Mary to New York.  The funniest thing was that her other half made an announcement, whilst she sat there all embarrassed saying that “it really isn’t a big deal”…….well in that case cousin, I will go to New York on the Queen Mary with your fiance, and then on to Washington and Niagara Falls!!  Ha, ha, ha.  She doesn’t want to make a big fuss at their “time of life” – mid 50s and 60.

Rachel and Claire
Having fun with cousin Rachel last year!

 

The young engineer was slightly on edge during said meal as hubby was home, but he was taking advantage of a friend’s season tickets to a London football match (Fulham v Everton for you footie fans!) and had taken the young engineer’s better half with him.  Would dad show him up? Would he say something really outrageous?  No, son – they are both football fans (both support Chelsea actually!) and will have far too much to talk about that will not include you!! Our friend was in Paris supporting his boys in the marathon and was gutted that having lost several matches in a row, Fulham actually won!!

Fulham cake
Fulham Football Club cake that I made a couple of of years ago

The house is back up to full capacity as the politics student arrived home last night for the Easter break – after false start at the weekend when he was struck down with a migraine (he promises migraine and not hangover!) after finishing an essay….early.  I haven’t investigated the bags yet, but there is only so much dirty washing that can be transported on a coach trip…..I think that I might leave a trail of arrows to the washing machine.

I hope that you have had a good week and are ready to sit back with a cuppa and enjoy some fantastic blog posts.  The beef and ham cheese roll looks amazing, “Getting Older” made me laugh out loud and Christie Hawkes’s post really gives food for thought.  Enjoy!

https://italiangoodness.net/2015/02/15/beef-and-ham-cheese-roll/

https://hopehikesandhealing.com/2019/04/11/how-to-be-with-the-suffering-of-loved-ones/

https://www.niamhgabrielle.co.uk/emergency-red-cord-cards-by-euans-guide/

https://meditationsinmotion.wordpress.com/2019/04/14/fixing-the-fixer/

https://www.jtouchofstyle.com/dementia-training-for-caregivers-jill-lorentz/

https://ohmrstucker.com/getting-older/

https://msbrensays.com/2019/04/11/just-when-you-think-you-cant-you-can/

https://sewprettyinpink.com/2019/04/16/a-unicorn-onesie-for-recovery/

https://christiehawkes.com/the-power-of-words-and-mindful-speaking/

https://www.momshomerun.com/2019/04/wherever-i-run-there-i-am.html

 

Please like and share the posts that you love – make a blogger’s day……and if you would vote for me in the Annual Bloggers’ Bash Awards you would make mine!  Please vote here.

Annual Bloggers Bash Awards Nominee Best Lifestyle Blog

Have a great week,

Claire x

 

I’ve been nominated! Best Lifestyle Blog – Voting Open! #AnnualBloggersBashAwards

It has been several weeks since I was here writing – another dodgy dislocation of both shoulder and neck leaving me out of action.  I feel so guilty that I have been unable to visit my lovely in laws once again and hubby had to head of for Hereford without me. He left me in the “capable” hands of the lovely girl and even the young engineer has worked at home for a couple of days – I think a fall last week freaked him out and certainly did the dog who broke my fall!  Fear not, old Sam is fine!

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During my blogging silence I was delighted to receive an email telling me I have been nominated for an Annual Bloggers’ Bash Award (ABBA) – hubby and I attended our first bash last year, met some wonderful bloggy pals and have already bought our tickets for the 5th Annual Bloggers Bash in June.  But I never dreamt that I would make it onto the nominee list – thank you!

I am honoured to be nominated and to be in the company of some fabulous writers!

Annual Bloggers Bash Awards Nominee Best Lifestyle Blog

I have been nominated in the Best Lifestyle Blog category along with some seriously good writers.  Although my blog has a chronic illness focus, I am also keen to appeal to my readers who don’t have health conditions and sometimes getting the balance right is tricky.  So to be recognised as  a lifestyle blog is praise indeed.

It would be wonderful if you would consider voting for me – the voting is now open!  Please take a look at all the blogs and categories and vote here – Annual Bloggers Bash Awards

Voting closes at 9pm (BST) on 24th April, 2019.

Monday Magic normal service will resume next week and I have some great reviews to share (written in my head!!)

Have a great weekend,

Claire x

The ActivePosture Vest – My Trial and 5 Star Review

Disclosure

For some time now I have been looking for a garment that would give my ever dislocating shoulders some support and yet that I would also be able to actually put on without dislocating said shoulders!  More of this below.  The Active Posture products were recommended to me and the company gave me a posture vest to trial in exchange for a fair and honest review.

ActivePosture

 

Background from the ActivePosture website

Posture clothing: all you need to know
It can be difficult to keep an upright posture throughout the day, which is where posture clothing from ActivePosture® can help. Posture clothing activates muscle memory to help you achieve an improved, upright posture.

Posture clothing can be a comfortable and practical solution for problems induced by poor posture, or it can act as a supplement to training, exercise and physical therapy. Your posture has an influence on your physical health and overall well-being, so having aligned posture benefits us during work, training and in everyday life.

How does posture clothing work?
At ActivePosture.co.uk you can purchase clinically tested and medically approved posture clothing from leading manufacturer, AlignMed®. Our products are inspired by the concept of Kinesio-taping, which stimulates muscles, improves blood circulation and can aid in maintaining an aligned posture. Our posture clothing can be worn in everyday situations, whether it is during physical activities or when you are stationary.

Who is posture clothing suitable for?
Pretty much everyone can improve their posture from wearing posture clothing. It is also particularly beneficial to supplement physiotherapy and training, however, if you have a recent injury, we recommend consulting a physiotherapist or doctor before use.

 

 

The Product

ActivePosture offer products for both men and women in several different styles and colours.  There is a classic v necked vest top, in petrol blue, white or black for gents or blue, nude, white, black or burgundy for ladies.  A zipper fronted vest is available in both black and white for gents and ladies.  There is also an AlignMe Interactive bra available in 4 colours.

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The website gives clear instructions to measure for your posture vest and suggests that if between sizes you should opt for the smaller as the top must be snug.  At 5 feet 8 inches and taking a 34 A/B bra, I wear a UK size 12 and ordered a Medium which fits well.  I can’t comment for fit for ladies with a larger bust size, but please be aware that the vest is not fitted with cups.

My vest arrived quickly and was beautifully packaged, creating an excellent first impression for the product inside.  The vest itself is made from a mixture of nylon, spandex and polyester and beautifully constructed with Neuroband support straps throughout the lower neck, shoulder and back area.  These bands are all made from different levels of elasticity and exert different pressures on the body.  I had requested a zipper version for ease when putting the vest on and taking it off – this is because I have recurrent dislocations, arthritis and chronic pain particularly in my right shoulder.

 

My Trial Period

I have had my vest since the beginning of February and was advised by the company to gradually build up the wearing time.  The recommendation is to start wearing for an hour per day, but as I have a specific condition that means my connective tissue and joints work differently to the norm, it was suggested that I use it for 30 minutes per day.

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The vest does feel tight initially and the shoulders need to be fitting correctly – if the vest is the correct size it is possible to feel a gentle pull across the shoulder blades and muscles, and this increases if the wearer begins to round their shoulders.  There is also support around the lower back lumbar region too.

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After building up wearing time over a 2 week period, I then opened a drawer and suffered a severe (even by my standards) dislocation which left my arm hanging low, immobile and in a great deal of pain.  It took approx 2 weeks before the humerus would even pretend to stay in the socket…….and most days it continues to slip out as I cough, sneeze or just move!  During this initial fortnight my pain was too severe to wear anything snug, but I had a long planned theatre trip and made the decision to wear the vest in order to try to support my shoulder – my main reason for wishing to trial the product.

My thoughts

I found the ActivePosture product to be of a high quality and very comfortable to wear.  I have washed it several times, following the manufacturer’s instructions and it has maintained the shape and washed very well.

Please remember that my anatomy is slightly different and I am looking at the product for a different support – but I believe that for pure posture support and to run alongside physio programmes, this product works very well.  I have worn the vest whilst sitting both at a table whilst typing and also relaxing in an easy chair and was definitely able to feel the posture support that it encourages.

I am not unrealistic and did not expect the vest to hold my shoulder in socket or to prevent my dislocations.  If only it were so simple!  My physio has always said that when dealing with my shoulders he must forget all that he has been taught, and instead work with me in the opposite way to how he would treat everyone else!!   But I had been hoping that the vest would offer my joints and lower neck some support and I am delighted to report that it does.  I have not worn the vest whilst my shoulder is completely out of joint – to be honest it is difficult to wear any top – but I have been wearing it when the shoulder/s are in the normal (for me) state of constant subluxing.  My preference is without a bra underneath.  I have found that the top acts rather like a compression garment and offers my stretched muscles and ligaments gentle support, whilst I hope also encouraging the muscles to do a little work themselves. (Please note that I do regular exercises when I am able to prevent too much deconditioning).

IMG_0433
Not quite the models from the website, but you need to see the vest on yours truly!

I have also noticed support across the lower neck where I have several vertebra that have a tendency to “pop” in and out.  This leaves me at times with a “dowager’s hump” and I genuinely believe that the Neuroband support mechanisms in this vest have helped with better positioning and pain control.  Many of you will also be aware that I have had major surgeries on my lumbar spine over the years, and a very pleasant surprise has been that this vest also gives me support and compression around this region – gentle compression (actually sometimes full on pressure!) really helps manage my nerve damage and pain.

So what of that theatre trip?  Whilst still in an immense amount of pain and needing morphine for pain management, the vest helped me to sit through a loud and vibrating musical theatre experience.  Since then I have also worn it to cinema film showings and out to dinner – it sits neatly and snugly beneath clothes and I have increased my wearing time.  It is important to understand that the vest should be used in normal circumstances as an aid to better posture, so shouldn’t be worn all the time.  You must work your own muscles too!

 

 

Have there been any negatives?

The vest is made from synthetic materials so can become quite hot and sticky in warm conditions – however it does look like a “top” so I have stripped off on the odd occasion and still felt dressed!

The ActivePosture products are expensive at a first glance – particularly as many with chronic conditions are unable to work and like myself rely upon benefits for income.  The vest top retails at £99.95.  However I would now say that for a product that has given me both support with my joints and my pain that it is worth the expense……I can see the research and engineering that has gone into creating a quality product and I would rather forego other clothes/meals/coffees in order to own a product that will give me support on those bad days.

In fact my final endorsement has to be the fact that I have been bought some more vests by a relative (taking advantage of the current offer!) as I love it so much!

The ActivePosture vest is a 5 star product for me!

Pin for later

Active Posture Pin

 

The company currently has a special reduced price for the products and are offering a volume discount – visit the shop here. (Note: this is not an affiliate post and I do not benefit from any orders made)

For information about research behind the product visit the site here.

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Posture Vest pin 2

 

 

 

Monday Magic – Inspiring Blogs for You!

Welcome to the last week of March and another Monday Magic on a beautiful spring day.  We have managed two cinema trips this week – yes, two! – to see very different films but both equally striking.

Monday Magic Inspiring Blogs for You! (7)

The first was Bohemian Rhapsody and I know that we are very late to the party.  The portrayal of Queen and particularly Rami Malek’s performance as Freddie Mercury were outstanding (if sanitised!).  It is difficult not to be swept along by the soundtrack of Queen’s greatest hits and then for those of us who remember Live Aid, the depiction of the concert in the old Wembley Stadium was a true trip down memory lane.  What I hadn’t expected was to be so overcome with emotion towards the end of the film and find myself in tears by the end.  The depiction of a hospital waiting room and a young, emaciated man sporting a a very particular lesion on his face took me straight back to the late 80s and my London teaching hospital.

It was an extraordinary time to be working in one of the few hospital’s with a dedicated HIV and AIDS unit (see my previous posts here and here).  As young nurses we were confronted by fear and ignorance of a disease that then carried a death sentence and also by a greater intolerance of same sex relationships.  I can remember being asked if I had to touch the patients, or if they had different bedsheets and what happened to their cutlery after they ate!!  There were question marks about applying for mortgages and if you sustained a needle stick injury the subsequent HIV test would definitely reduce your chance of being granted a mortgage.  Then there was the series of commercials run in the UK by the government – brutal, scare mongering and to the point.  But for me the film brought with it a sea of faces – young men – all robbed of life at such a young age.  It was the first time that most of us had been confronted by the certainty of death in patients who were in our own age group.  We were comforting parents and getting to know groups of friends who might have been our own.  Those names and faces remain with me all these years later and as Freddie Mercury declared that he wouldn’t be a poster boy for HIV on the big screen, the tears flowed as I was transported back to that ward in 1990.

Gideon-Mendel
The Middlesex Hospital from Gideon Mendel

Last night we went to a special cinema screening to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the “Great Escape” – that is the actual escape during World War II that the Steve McQueen and Richard Attenborough film was based on.  Hosted by Dan Snow, historians were joined by family members of some of the actual RAF men who staged the escape in 1944, and also by actors and crew from the film made in 1963 to depict the events.

One of the stuntmen who set up the iconic Steve McQueen motorcycle stunt at the end of the film had been flown in from New Zealand – he had some stories!!  I was really struck by the comment that it was an officer’s duty to attempt to escape and to create as much turmoil for the enemy – the Germans in this case – as possible.  These men almost certainly did not expect to get home if they managed to escape, but they did plan to continue fighting and to be a thorn in Hitler’s side.  Meanwhile the RAF were amongst those also remembering the men in Poland at the site of the POW camp, where the prisoners had dug out 75 years ago.  It was a very long (nearly 5 hours) but worthwhile evening……even if I couldn’t stand up by the end!!  When I popped my ankle out, hubby said we needed the inflatable evacuation aircraft chutes to get me down the cinema stairs….cheek!

So today I have been recuperating from my night out and have found a great variety of blog posts for you.  I hope that you enjoy everything from the fire eating gutsy goddess to some fantastic tips about plastics and the planet…..sit back with a cuppa and enjoy!

 

https://laughingatthesky.blog/gutsy-goddess-tessa

https://relationshiphelpers.net/083-personal-growth-is-self-care-selfish/

https://nolightwithoutdarkness.com/2019/01/09/beat-irrational-fears/

https://ablissfulblue.com/people-pleaser/

https://wellnessmunch.com/2019/03/11/cinnamon-the-super-spice-in-your-kitchen/

https://www.crestingthehill.com.au/2019/03/expectations-to-free-yourself-from.html

https://carolcooks2.com/2019/03/25/plastic-the-latest-news/

https://fightmsdaily.com/2019/03/24/the-rant-about-healthcare-insurance/

https://lightscameracrohns.com/2019/03/25/why-my-husband-is-much-more-than-a-caregiver-dr-phil/

https://itrippedoverastone.com/2019/03/19/fake-it-until-oh-stop/

Please leave some comments, like the posts and make someone’s day!

Have a great week,

Claire x

Monday Magic Inspiring Blogs for You! (8)

 

 

“I Need You to Need Me” by Pamela Jessen

I have just read a post that I could have written myself – it reminds me of a conversation that was had very recently in our house.  When one half of a couple lives with a chronic condition – be it pain, disability, depression – the “normal” expectations of a relationship change, the boundaries move as partner and lover morphs into either carer or “patient”.

Pamela writes with honesty and gives some realistic suggestions for everyone in her post on There Is Always Hope blog.

intimatecouple

I’m tackling a tough topic again today – intimacy when you live with Chronic Pain. If you remember the Cheap Trick song, it’s been on my mind lately:

I want you to want me.
I need you to need me.
I’d love you to love me.
I’m beggin’ you to beg me.
I want you to want me.
I need you to need me.
I’d love you to love me.

How do you enjoy an active and healthy love life when you’re in pain all the time. How do you appease your partner, who may not understand what it’s like to be in pain 24/7. Even when you’ve explained it a million different ways, when it comes to talking about sex, and how painful it can be, it’s not an easy conversation, no matter how long you’ve been a couple.

To read the full post please visit There Is Always Hope Now

Monday Magic – Inspiring Blogs for You!

Welcome back to another Monday Magic!  What a morning it has been with a visit to the local hospital for an”ology” appointment.  Today it was gastroenterology and things didn’t bode well from the moment the nurse said they were running a little late.  There is a huge white board with the various doctors names and details of the clinic.  We sat and watched as nurses came out regularly and increased the waiting time for each different doctor – waiting time 45 mins, 1 hour, 1 hour 15 mins…until the registrar I saw was running about an hour and a half behind.

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Monday Magic Inspiring Blogs for You! ology

Is it me, or is the waiting room always too hot when the clinic runs late? People start to become agitated, staff don’t have the right answers and tempers become frayed.  Staying calm is a must – so send hubby out for some coffees and breaaaaathe!  I was in and out in no time with an increased iron level, no major changes and am happy to report another young doctor seen who knew about Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, POTS and the related gut issues!  Now all I feel fit for is a long siesta…….

A much more exciting event that we went to this week was an Engineering and IT careers event – where the young engineer and his business partner gave a presentation – well the talented business partner spoke and the young engineer clicked the computer slides!  I am now a step nearer to understanding what their business is…..cybersecurity was mentioned more than once!  The robotics Professor from the local university had a little, but incredibly expensive robot with him which was fascinating.  His main interest of study is using the robot for teaching both SEND children, who respond well to the consistency in information given by a robot, but also in mainstream education.  It was quite unnerving when the robot was fired up and ready as his eyes were able to track you across the room and his face really did seem to be expressive.  Another exciting topic was a “plasma” tool that a group of scientific engineers have created for a plastic surgeon friend.  The tool is available for both hot and cold plasma surgery and can potentially be used to aid cell and skin regeneration, tattoo removal and may help reduce the growth of resistant bacteria strains such as MRSA.  My head was simply spinning when we left….and I’m not even one of the students it was aimed at!

action android device electronics
Photo by Matan Segev on Pexels.com

This weekend the celebrations reached fever pitch in Wales as the Six Nations rugby was won, but also in all corners of the earth where there is a touch of the shamrock needing little excuse to celebrate St Patrick’s Day.  With a nod to the emerald isle, I have found you several St Patrick’s posts, along with some travel, health and beauty pieces.  Sit back and enjoy with a cuppa!

St Patrick

https://www.jenniferalambert.com/celebrating-st-patrick/

https://freshvintagebylisas.blogspot.com/2019/03/vintage-printables-for-st-patricks-day.html

https://fancypaperblog.com/2016/03/17/movie-gems-for-st-patricks-day-treats/

https://fightingwithfibro.com/2019/03/15/22-lesser-known-facts-about-fibro/

https://awandafulthing.com/2019/03/11/simple-things-4/

https://borninacar.com/moscow-russia-5-minute-guide/

https://cliveblogs.wordpress.com/2019/03/09/im-still-me/

http://anordinarymom.site/librarians-changing-the-world-one-book-at-a-time/

https://midsummerlifedream.com/life-with-endometriosis/

https://www.beautyobsesseduk.com/2019/03/my-blush-collection.html?m=1

Please share some love for these bloggers and their writing – like, comment and share!

Have a great week,

Claire x

Monday Magic Inspiring Blogs for You! (6)

Monday Magic – Inspiring Blogs for You!

Welcome pain pals and apologies for the lack of interaction this last week.  Just prior to last week’s Monday Magic I managed to remove my humerus from its glenoid cavity…..or rather my shoulder had dislocated, yes I know…..again! Honestly my right shoulder is out more than in these days, but this last week has been particularly bad causing a few sleepless nights, much knocking back of morphine and generally feeling pretty low.  It really is unusual for me to want to do nothing – to not even be able to use my computer…..

Monday Magic Inspiring Blogs for You! (5)

 

Then I woke up Sunday morning with a beautiful eyeliner applied perfectly to one eyelid in a fetching shade of rose red.  You could not draw such a perfect line, although the lovely girl offered to try to match it on the opposite eye.  By the time my GP saw it this morning it had changed shade to a purple edged with yellow which now looks more like eyeshadow over the whole lid.  She says it is an infection in the lid, but I still think hubby had something to do with it after I poked him for snoring!! (Joke!)  However he has banned me from opening certain drawers as that is how the latest “joint parting of the ways” came about, and it is still falling out of socket every time I move.  Good excuse not to cook or clean though!

closeup photography of woman red lipstick
Photo by Julia K on Pexels.com

The week hasn’t been all bad for yours truly, as I had tickets to see the sixties inspired West End show “Rip It Up” with my mum.  I was worried as I was still feeling pretty rough, but with plenty of cushions for the car journey and then in my wheelchair when we got there, I survived.  I feel very fortunate to be able to secure both a wheelchair space and a free seat for my carer – in this case mum had a much more comfortable stand alone arm chair – situated in this theatre in the back row of the dress circle.  The show stars former Strictly Come Dancing stars : Harry Judd of McFly, Jay McGuiness of The Wanted, Aston Merrygold of JLS and Olympic gymnast Louis Smith MBE.  These boys sing, dance, drum and flip their way through the show.  The rest of the cast are such talented singers and dancers – Jill Marie Cooper’s voice blew me away – and there are some surprise turns on screen from sixties icons!

Rip It Up
Google images

Enough…I’m making up for my lack of typing this past week.  I have a selection of very varied posts for you from a cheeky look at middle names to several health posts to concert and book reviews to an interesting smoothie with a twist for my spoonie pals.  So grab a drink, sit back and enjoy!

http://scaleitsimple.com/2019/03/11/the-7-stages-of-a-taking-a-vacation/

https://www.radiantnubeginnings.com/menopause-the-final-stage-in-a-womans-life-does-it-frighten-you-too/

http://catherineinthecity.com/2019/03/10/drink-your-greens/

https://hotmessmemoir.com/2019/03/10/happy-middle-name-pride-day/

https://thecuriousfrugal.com/my-attempt-at-the-complaint-free-challenge-month-1-update/

https://ohmrstucker.com/perfect-oatmeal-cookies-with-dried-apricots/

https://rachaelstray.com/george-ezra/

https://dgkayewriter.com/sunday-book-review-20-learned-patients-olga-nunez-miret/

http://www.bbhwithms.com/ms-cannabis-recipe-for-my-medicated-smoothie/

https://dinosaursdonkeysandms.com/rainy-raspberry-relapses/

Please spread some joy and comment, like and share these posts.

Have a great week,

Claire x

Monday Magic – Inspiring Blogs for You!

March is here and the weather has been so mild that it has felt like near summer some days, and definitely spring.  The spring flowers are in bud, the trees are starting to change colour….and hay fever has raised its sneezy head in our house!  Hubby and the lovely girl both have runny noses and itchy eyes, probably from tree pollen and moulds so out with the nasal sprays and antihistamines again.

monday magic 4 th march

It has been a busy week – well at least for my limited world – with several consecutive nights out.  I saved my spoons by doing very little during the day and had a lovely night at the theatre to see Rock of Ages, followed by a mums’ night out and being taken to dinner by the young engineer and his better half!  The theatre trip was exciting as my favourite from Strictly Come Dancing, the wonderful Kevin Clifton, was appearing – not as a dancer, but as a singer.  Boy can he belt out a song!! The show is very slapstick and certainly made me laugh – and I must shout out for the New Wimbledon theatre making it a very easy and accessible visit for this wheelchair user.  There is a special entrance with a lift to take those with mobility difficulties directly to the stalls and this is where the wheelchair and carer spaces are.  We were able to order our interval ice-cream in advance to be delivered directly to us, and the accessible toilets were huge and well equipped.  How can I go from talking about the lovely Kevin from Grimsby to the loos?!

RockOfAges_Kevin_Clifton
Current Strictly champion Kevin Clifton in Rock of Ages

 

Our mums night out had been arranged and was the height of embarrassment to our 16 and 17 year old daughters who can’t understand why their mothers might possibly want to go out and socialise.  We ate, drank and chatted so well – not all about the girls! – that we were the last ones in the restaurant.  Speaking of restaurants, the young engineer took us to a well respected London steak establishment just off Regent Street at the weekend.  We drove and used the Westminster “Park Right” app to find a blue badge parking space – parking spaces of all types have a sensor to detect if they are occupied and this connects live to the app.  It worked! I’m not sure what I had expected, but finding an empty blue badge spot just off Piccadilly Circus seemed too good to be true!  The staff in the steak house were all helpful with the wheelchair and even said that they would put a ramp at the steps so that I could use the disabled toilet.  Everything was going so well until I got to the top of the ramp and then couldn’t open the heavy door into the toilet corridor…..oh well, they tried!

Of course since yesterday  I have found myself all out of spoons and the weather changed back to cooler conditions.  So a perfect day to find some interesting blog posts for you and I hope you’ll agree that there are some great reads here.  Enjoy!

 

https://migrainemantras.com/2019/03/03/voices-from-the-hill/

https://rachdowsonwilliams.blogspot.com/2019/02/exploring-town-i-love-so-much.html

https://www.beautifulmindlifecoach.com/2019/01/always-3rd-wheel.html

https://lisaorchard.wordpress.com/2019/02/24/are-we-the-indoor-generation/

https://carolcooks2.com/2019/03/04/pancake-day-5th-march-aka-shrove-tuesday-mardi-gras-or-fat-tuesday/

https://beetleypete.com/2019/03/04/the-right-thing/

https://ablondeinthecrowd.wordpress.com/2019/03/04/a-letter-to-me/

https://topladytalks.com/2019/03/04/to-retreat-or-not-retreat-a-review-of-our-accessible-meditation-weekend/

https://noreenlace.com/2019/03/01/special-needs-authors-and-readers-an-interview-with-patty-fletcher/

https://www.sizzlingtowardssixty.com.au/the-importance-of-downtime/

Please like, comment and share the posts you enjoy!

Have a great week,

Claire 

Review and Blog Tour : “It’s Getting Scot in Here” by Suzanne Enoch

Disclaimer: I was sent an ARC of this book by the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.

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It's getting Scot pin

 

Book Blurb (from the publisher)

The first in a wickedly seductive new Scottish historical romance series from New York Times bestselling author Suzanne Enoch!

HAPPILY-EVER-AFTER
London socialite Amelia-Rose Baxter is nobody’s fool. Her parents may want her to catch a title, but she will never change who she is for the promise of marriage. Her husband will be a man who can appreciate her sharp mind as well as her body. A sophisticated man who loves life in London. A man who considers her his equal—and won’t try to tame her wild heart…

IN THE HIGHLANDS
Rough, rugged Highlander Niall MacTaggert and his brothers know the rules: the eldest must marry or lose the ancestral estate, period. But Niall’s eldest brother just isn’t interested in the lady his mother selected. Is it because Amelia-Rose is just too. . . Free-spirited? Yes. Brazen? Aye. Surely Niall can find a way to soften up the whip-smart lass and make her the perfect match for his brother for the sake of the family.

JUST GOT A WHOLE LOT HOTTER.
Instead it’s Niall who tempts Amelia-Rose, despite her reservations about barbarian Highlanders. Niall finds the lass nigh irresistible as well, but he won’t make the mistake his father did in marrying an Englishwoman who doesn’t like the Highlands. Does he have what it takes to win her heart? There is only one way to find out…

It's Getting Scot in Here cover

Do you enjoy a historical romantic romp?  Then this is the book for you!  This is the first novel by Suzanne Enoch that I have read, and I must admit that as I found the cover a little “corny” I did wonder how I was going to find the book!  I needn’t have worried though as once I started reading I was hooked and wanted to follow the story of the MacTaggart brothers in London.

This is an easy to read story with everything that you want in a historic romance novel.  From the handsome, yet rugged hero to the misunderstood, headstrong heroine and the beautifully described period surroundings and clothes, the author has packed this book to bursting.  The action is fast paced and the characters will take you on an emotional rollercoaster.

The MacTaggart clan is dysfunctional at best, yet loving, loyal and supportive and very likeable.  The descriptions of some of the antics of the brothers had me laughing out loud and I loved Rory the deer (stuffed!) that they placed on their mother’s landing to rile her, yet the whole family ended up “dressing” him in finery.  Niall is the perfect romantic hero – tall and handsome, yet rugged, tough yet fiercely loyal and loving with a soft heart.  The older brothers Coll and Aden have started to show their characters in this book – but I have a feeling that their own stories might be in the pipeline.  Their mother is someone to be disliked at the beginning, yet as the story unfolds Lady Aldriss shows herself to be a tiger mother merely fighting for her children – no  matter that they are estranged from her and return as great, hulking young men from the Highlands “gracing” her London residence!

I love the main female character Amelia-Rose – better known as Amy to her friends.  She is a young lady who is underestimated by nearly everyone around her, and she is expected to conform to the social expectations of a young lady of a certain standing.  In other words she must not have own opinions, should definitely not speak out of turn and always do as her parents or husband see fit – a young woman of her time.  But Amy is a young lady with a strong character who struggles to comply with these social niceties and has earned herself a reputation for having a sharp tongue as she will speak out.  Although I know that it happened,  I still found myself a bit baffled by the way in which the aristocracy traded their near adult children in order to make better family alliances through arranged marriage – and parents would pay huge sums, as dowries, for more eligible suitors with titles.  It would be easy to feel sorry for Amy – indeed I felt for her having such a scheming mother – except she shows remarkable spunk throughout the novel.

This will not be seen as a great literary classic, but it is well written and most importantly thoroughly enjoyable.  It is a romance and it does have a couple of sexual scenes (I know that some readers like to be forewarned), but it also is fast paced and action packed so should not be underestimated.  I loved the fact that it was easy to read and provided some escapism – something that will appeal to my many spoonie pals out there.

This might not have been a book that would have jumped off the shelves at me, but I must admit that it became a guilty pleasure and I really look forward to a series with the other MacTaggart brothers tales!  Meanwhile I’m off to find some of Ms Enoch’s other Highland flings!

4 Stars

Publication Date: February 26, 2019
ISBN-13: 978-1-250-29637-5
St. Martin’s Paperbacks

The book is currently available here:

Amazon :

Barnes & Noble

Macmillan books

 

About the Author

A native and current resident of Southern California, Suzanne Enoch loves movies Suzanne Enochalmost as much as she loves books, with a special place in her heart for anything Star Wars. Given her love of food and comfy chairs, she may in fact be a Hobbit. She has written more than forty Regency novels and historical romances, which are regularly found on the New York Times bestseller list.
When she is not busily working on her next book, Suzanne likes to contemplate interesting phenomena, like how the three guppies in her aquarium became 161 guppies in five months. Suzanne is trying to learn to cook, and wishes she had an English accent.

She is the bestselling author of Scandalous Brides series, The Scandalous Highlanders series, and One Hot Scot.

Find Suzanne:

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Website

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Thanks to St Martin’s Press and the author for giving me the opportunity to be on this blog tour.

Supporting People on Rare Disease Day – My Story shared on Despite Pain blog

Today is Rare Diseases Day and I was delighted to be asked by Elizabeth on Despite Pain blog to share my story of having Cauda Equina Syndrome, alongside Tom Seaman who has Dystonia; Jenny Jones who has Familial Adenomatous Polyposis and Short Bowel Syndrome; and Zoe (aged 12) who has Chronic Recurrent Multifocal Osteomyelitis.

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Supporting People on Rare Disease Day – Despite Pain

It can take a lot of courage to discuss health issues with friends and family, but sometimes people put their own health in the public spotlight to help others.

Sharing Matters

When someone has a rare disease, there is often very little information and support, therefore, what these people do really matters so much to so many people. Sharing their stories matters too.

Following on from my post last week, Why We Need to Support Rare Disease Day, I’d like to support a few people who have rare diseases by sharing their stories.

To read the rest of Despite Pain’s post and to read MY story please click here

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The lowdown on Cauda Equina Syndrome
What does cauda equina mean? Well quite literally it is the horse’s tail and the bunch of nerves exiting the base of the spinal cord resemble a tail.
Cauda equina
Cauda equina syndrome occurs when something invades the spinal space and compresses the cauda equina bundle of nerves. Most commonly this is a lumbar disc herniation (as in my case where the disc completely ruptures).
The defining symptoms for CES are
  • Sciatica (neurogenic pain) in the lower back and radiating down one/both legs
  • Bladder dysfunction usually leading to retention but occasionally to frequency, change in flow or incontinence
  • Altered perineal sensation or lack of feeling in the “undercarriage”!
  • Loss of some sexual function/sensation

For more information read:

Science Direct

British Journal of General Practice