Blog Tour and Book Review – “Arcam” Debut Novel from Jason Minick #LoveBooksGroupTour

So the eagle eyed amongst you will have noticed that my book review earlier today should have been on the blog tour yesterday – so sorry Effie Kammenou!

But I am also delighted to be on the Blog Tour for Debut Thriller ARCAM by Jason Minick – thanks to Kelly at Love Books Group for the opportunity.

Arcam

The Book Blurb

A FAST-PACED CRIME/CONSPIRACY THRILLER THAT IS FULL OF SUSPENSE:

DCI Jack Robson believes he is hunting a kidnapper…

Away from his posting in London, Robson is asked to lead an investigation in the south west of England. But what begins as a baffling local kidnapping mystery, quickly escalates into something far more sinister.

In pursuit of the perpetrators, DCI Robson joins forces with Inspector Emma Wilson and the rest of the regional CID team. Together, they attempt to make sense of the lack of evidence or motive, eventually getting drawn to the tiny island of Steep
Holm, in the Bristol Channel.

As the investigation progresses, Robson, Wilson and their colleagues find themselves facing something far beyond normal detective work. Unthinkable connections lead them to a conspiracy, so great it could change the course of humanity. The question is, can they intervene before it’s too late to prevent the appalling future that potentially lies ahead …

Arcam pin

What a read!  Initially the book appears to be a fast detective thriller following the spate of kidnappings, but quickly there are darker undercurrents emerging.  I like the fact that Robson is a fully rounded character from the off as a background story about his family is quickly shared with the reader.  This history shapes him and his decisions within his detective work, but also his emotional decisions and his working relationships.

This is explored throughout the book as the relationship and bond between Robson and his Inspector Emma Wilson develops.  The happenings that they stumble upon and situations that they find themselves in require honesty and trust – although Wilson at times does struggle with some of Robson’s decisions that aren’t quite by the books.  I admire both characters – they are strong, determined, bloody minded and physically capable even if they do encounter several visits to the hospital!!

The descriptions of the region are picturesque with landscapes that include the coastline, a nature reserve and the sea.  But the real adrenaline rush comes from the suspense and the sudden realisation of what is going on – the use of suspense and critical language is superb.  I applaud Mr Minick for such a fantastic quality of writing and catching such a successful feel of anticipation, fear, excitement and dread in his debut novel.  I believe that the relationship between the two detectives has a long, long way to run yet – I can’t wait for the next in the series!

I love it! 5 Stars

Available from:

Amazon

About the Author

Jason Minick is an engineer living in the south-west of England. He has a passion for the written word and reading.JM photo.jpg
Jason is a fan of many genres. His debut novel, Arcam, is a crime/conspiracy thriller set in his favourite part of the UK.
He lives with his wife, Emma, and his three children, Lucy, William and Sophie. The family share their home with two very small dogs, Digby and Tizzie.
The author is currently working on the second book in the DCI Robson series, the sequel to Arcam.

Find Jason at:

Goodreads

Twitter

Blog Tour and Book Review – Chasing Petalouthes, The Gift Saga by Effie Kammenou #LoveBooksGroupTours

I am delighted to be part of the Blog Tour for the final book in The Gift Saga trilogy Chasing Petalouthes.

EG & WFA Facebook-Twitter 1

Chasing Petalouthes – butterflies – is the final book in this wonderful family saga following the generations of Greek families as they settle in New York.  In this chapter, the younger generation – third generation – are followed through teens, adolescence and young adulthood.

chasing-petalouthes

Evvie, daughter of Sophia,  has experienced more tragedy than a young girl should ever endure, having lost both her father and a most beloved grandmother at a young age. Her rebellious ways are her only defense to mask the ever-present pain in her heart. Closing herself off emotionally, Evvie enters college life with a determination to follow her chosen path alone.  She might be a talented young dancer, like her mother, but her love for the family vineyard is strong and she discovers just how much she wants this life on a visit to France.  Her determination to work and grow her family business is tested over these tender years as relationships develop and difficult choices must be made.  She also begins to understand her Greek routes, the legacy of the soil and vines that is within her blood, during a visit to her great grandmother, Yiayia Sophia in Athens.

During this time Evvie remains resolute that she will not allow her emotions to sway her – she will not allow her heart to open up to love.  Even when a trip to the Greek island Cephalonia, with Yiayia Sophia, seems to show her where her true happiness and future could lie, she denies herself and a certain young man who she has known since college.

Stella, Demi’s daughter, is two years Evvie’s junior and struggling at high school to “fit in”.  She has a crush on a fellow student, and whilst he is happy to take her to Prom and will stand up for her honour, he makes it clear that Stella is not the girl for him whilst they are growing up.  She is the sort of girl who needs a steady relationship – a happy ever after – he tells her, and he is not ready for this.  Whilst Stella appreciates his honesty, at 16 this is a harsh truth to hear and she experiences betrayal from a friend during this time.  Meanwhile it feels to Stella that her siblings and cousins are all talented and achieving their dreams, whilst she enters college and drifts from one course to another with no real puprose.

She is insecure, a little naive and has no idea just how attractive she is.  Stella is smitten when an older, handsome, worldly young man shows interest in her and she believes that she has found love. But as his behaviour becomes more and more controlling, Stella’s family and friends become concerned that Stella has fallen into an abusive relationship.  Will she accept the situation and the help on offer before something terrible happens? 

“Chasing Petalouthes (Chasing Butterflies) is the coming of age story of two flawed, young women who push their way out from the confines of the cocoons they’d built around themselves and discover how to soar.”

I am going to start by saying what I always do…..please read the first two books in the series and set on a journey with these characters.  You might have read my reviews for Evanthia’s Gift and Waiting for Aegina and will already know how much I have enjoyed this series.  In fact I will go so far as to say that I feel emotionally invested in the characters.

Pin for later

Chasing Petalouths pin

My greatest enjoyment from the trilogy has been the continuing story of the generations of women from two families and friends that become one : Anastacia, her daughter Sophia and granddaughter Evvie;  Soula, her daughter Demi and grandaughter Stella; close friends, the Honeyhill girls, and their children.  The roles of these strong leading women has been quite inspirational and I see the driving force of the family in the strong Greek woman, who loves to feed her family in my own great friend Evi.

This chapter of the story examines the adolescent years of the younger generation and the author shares the highs and the lows with brutal honesty.  Emotions run high as a teen/early twenty something and we have all experienced the intense joy and sadness that come with the smallest of experiences.  The young ladies in this tale are no different to any others and they feel intensely.  As a palliative care nurse in my previous life, I was particularly interested in Evvie and how the author dealt with her grief.  Something I learnt early in my nurse training (whilst losing many young men in our London taching hospital to Aids in the late 80s) is that there is no “right” way for grief, no timeline, no “one fit for all”.  Yes, there is the Kubler Ross stages of grief, but everyone is so different and Ms Kammenou depicts this beautifully with Evvie.

By the time she is a teen, this young lady has experienced major loss and in order to deal with this she has built an emotional wall around herself.  To the outside world her moods and strange wardrobe choices might seem like those of a “difficult, hormonal” teen, but they are so much more than this.  I applaud the author for her handling and eventual breakdown of Evvie’s grief,  the way in which she slowly realises that she cannot protect herself from the possibility of pain and loss – and in fact in the process may be denying herself love and joy.

Difficult topics are once again tackled in this family saga – suicide, depression and mental health, domestic abuse, death, bereavement.  Perhaps this list should also include falling in love, sexuality & sexual relationships, and the complexities of family life.  Both Stella and Evvie are great role models as they experience the highs and some extreme lows of growing up (no spoilers!), and both come out the other side as mature, more confident and happy young women.  I am not going to say that they have grown up – I’m not sure that we ever finish growing up and I believe that Yiayia Sophia shows us this in her observations of her life.

I could write so much more here, but I think the important thing is to say that I loved it just as much as the first tow books, and I really didn’t want it to end…..surely there must be another chapter waiting in the wings about young Cia, Ms Kammenou?  There are delicious recipes peppered throughout the book, including some French treats when Evvie is dancing in Paris – there is even a recipe for the delicious lemon chicken and potatoes that my own dear Evi makes.  But my kids say that I could never compete!

Five stars for this engrossing, beautifully written contemporary family saga.

Available from:

Amazon

About the Author

Effie Kammenou is a believer that it is never too late to chase your dreams, follow your heart or change your career. She is proof of that. At one time, long ago, she’d thought that, by her age, she would have had an Oscar in her hand after a successful career as an actor. Instead, she worked in the optical field for 40 years and is the proud mother of two accomplished young women.cover photo 2

Her debut novel, Evanthia’s Gift, is a women’s fiction multigenerational love story and family saga, influenced by her Greek heritage, and the many real life accounts that have been passed down. She continues to pick her father’s brain for stories of his family’s life in Lesvos, Greece, and their journey to America. Her interview with him was published in a nationally circulated magazine.

Evanthia’s Gift: Book One in The Gift Saga was a 2016 award finalist in the Readers Favorite Awards in the Women’s Fiction category.  Waiting for Aegina is Book Two in The Gift Saga and Chasing Petalouthes is Kammenou’s latest release, completing the series.

Effie Kammenou is a first generation Greek-American who lives on Long Island with her husband and two daughters. When she’s not writing, or posting recipes on her food blog, cheffieskitchen.wordpress.com, you can find her entertaining family and friends or traveling for ‘research.’

As an avid cook and baker, a skill she learned from watching her Athenian mother, she incorporated traditional Greek family recipes throughout the books.

She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theater Arts from Hofstra University.

Find Effie

Twitter

Facebook

Goodreads

Blog

Instagram

Monday Magic – Inspiring Blogs for You!

Hello PainPals – Monday Magic is back!  The last week has flown by in a swirl of one drama after another….but that is the norm in this house!!  Of course any excitement and stress always causes a flare of symptoms for me and this week has been no exception resulting in one long POTSie episode.  Did you see my poem from yesterday?

Pin for later

Monday Magic Inspiring Blogs for You! 1:10:18

Two faints and head cracks in the space of 48 hours left me talking “rubbish” yesterday according to the lovely girl.  Or more rubbish than normal – mind you, she is pretty good at that herself, so a bit of a chip off the old block as they say.

Lucy & Matty.JPG

Chip off the old block with pal…& icecream

 

So apologies if what I described as a poem was just some ramblings, but what is a spot of concussion between friends?  After the first fall, when I was home alone except for the dog, I took a photo from the ground and sent it to the younger two child adults (didn’t post it to SM until I was back on the sofa with a decent amount of analgesia circulating my blood stream…..hmm, that could be the reason that I did post such a flattering pic of myself!) Now that did get me in trouble with hubby as I didn’t call him, but I knew he was only dropping my Mum and one of his doggy charges home so I figured there was no point.  I was already on the floor, wasn’t moving so I couldn’t do myself any more damage – that is sensible, right?!  Anyway, what did impress me was that both kids phoned hubby and both were indignant that he had left me alone….yes, the politics student actually tried to call his father.  When I asked the IT start up exec (new name for the Student engineer – Its U Exec for short) if he would have called dad, the response was “no…..if you could manage a selfie, you could manage to ring him yourself!” Oh well, two out of three isn’t bad.

 

I didn't fall....

 

I’m fine today, if I ignore the egg on the back of my head and a few misplaced joints – you have to look on the bright side, so the best thing to do seemed to be to find you some interesting and inspiring blog posts.  There are two serious posts that I will give you trigger warnings for – one discusses rape, the other suicide – but they really are worth a read if you are able.  Enjoy a wander through the Vancouver Rain,  or some beautiful wedding photographs with an extra special message from the photographer; there are  some book recommendations and a blog birthday celebration.  Finally I have added a treat from a fellow spoonie who has an Instagram account full of beautiful foodie pictures and recipes.

So sit down with a glass of something delicious and enjoy!

https://prettycouchpotato.com/2018/09/27/photographing-a-wedding-a-thank-you-to-my-body/

https://illness-to-wellness.com/2018/09/29/rape-is-a-personal-public-and-political-health-issue-we-need-to-believe-survivors/

https://www.ajourneythroughthefog.co.uk/2018/09/%EF%BB%BFhow-can-you-help-a-friend-who-may-be-contemplating-suicide/

https://zebrapit.com/2018/09/26/what-is-interstitial-cystitis/

https://teaandcakeforthesoul.wordpress.com/2018/09/30/tea-cake-for-the-soul-a-summer-round-up/

http://www.thisspooniespeaks.com/2018/09/reading-to-escape-health-storylines.html

https://byrnewithme.com/embracing-the-vancouver-rain-at-lynn-canyon/

https://wheelescapades.com/2017/10/01/just-a-little-respect/

https://kirstythroughthelookingglass.com/2018/10/01/kttlg-one-year/

https://www.lifeofpippa.co.uk/2018/09/27/books-you-need-in-your-life-july-september-2018/

https://www.instagram.com/anniesplantbasedpicnic/

As ever please, please share some love by commenting, liking and sharing these posts.

Have a lovely week,

Claire x

Just Another Day – with EDS & POTS

 

Just Another Day pin

 

The world feels off kilter

I’m spinning…..round and round

Every time I lift my head

The snow  descends, engulfs me

At times it overwhelms me

And then, bang, down I fall.

 

Lucy EDS 1

 

Falling, falling, twisting down

How long it takes to reach the ground

Slow motion into blackness

Nothingness

Painless

Floating.

 

Pain, pain, pain

Why am I on the ground?

A twist here and a bend there

Limbs entangled, joints at angles

Unnatural, except for me

Stretch and snap is the norm.

 

Lucy EDS 2

Salt, water; water, salt

Compression to limbs.

Like an autumn leaf

I fall and break

My body fragile, unstable

Just another day with EDS and POTS.

POTS & Me

 

 

 

 

Unforeseen – Life’s Curve Balls – coming fast and furious

It has been one of those weeks where nothing has quite turned out as we thought it would – the culmination of some tricky events that have escalated over the summer.  I can’t write about them yet – they aren’t just mine to tell.  But the impact on the family is great and a dash up the motorway has left this body feeling more decrepit than ever.  Chronic pain is flaring and spiralling.  Emotions are flipping between tears of worry and screams of anger; a lack of sleep and a definite lack of concentration is overwhelming.

I am sorry to have missed Monday Magic yesterday.  This poem that I found by Patricia Grantham seems appropriate!

Lifes Curve Balls - Poem by Patricia Grantham

Are Most Spoonies Suffering from MCAD?

If you are a spoonie might you have Mast Cell Activation Disorder? I definitely have symptoms…….original post from The Zebra Pit

The Zebra Pit

Are Mast Cell Activation Disorders (MCAD) being missed and heavily under-diagnosed in a large portion of patients with chronic illness? Could these easily misunderstood conditions be the cause of the rapid fluctuations in your health? Do you start out having a great day, only to have your energy levels plummet within hours or moments of leaving the house or even just eating or bathing? Your wildly fluctuating fatigue levels might be trying to tell you you’re a special kind of spoonie, referred to by some as a Mastie. MCADs are a common comorbid condition to Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS), Hypermobility Syndrome Disorders (HSD), Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS), Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS), Neurally Mediated Hypotension (NMH), Fibromyalgia, Interstitial Cystitis and other spoonie conditions.

Masties are people with Mast Cell Activation Disorders (MCAD) including Mastocytosis and Mast Cell Activation Syndrome (MCAS). This group may also include people with histamine intolerance, who…

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Monday Magic – Inspiring Blogs for You!

Another week, another Monday!  Where does the time go?  Well….hospital visits have figured quite heavily for September and I have already clocked up orthopaedics and gastrointestinal, with urology, rheumatology and my GP all coming up in the next week.  What a thrilling social life I lead!!

Monday Magic Inspiring Blogs for You! 17 sept

There have been a couple of great trips out this week – I wrote about the ball at The Oval cricket ground hosted by my old school in my last post, but hubby and I also went to see the live cinema screening of the RSC production of The Merry Wives of Windsor.  Absolutely hilarious!  It wouldn’t be everyone’s cup of tea, particularly if you are a Shakespeare purist – but it is set in current day Essex styled “Windsor” with lots of leopard skin, gold chains and botox!  The cast are superb and bring an old tale right up to date as the wives of Windsor show their strength as they turn the tables on Falstaff.  I haven’t laughed so much in a long time – and it isn’t often that it would be the Baird who I would say this of.

I want to do something a little different with Monday Magic Blogs this week.  Over the last year I have been nominated for various awards and tags by some lovely blogger pals, and i am very aware that I have failed to get my act together to join in the communal fun that these awards can bring.

Firstly a huge thanks for these nominations go to:

Wendy at Picnic with Ants and Michelle at Jumbled Brain for tagging me for the Three Day Quote

Tasha at Pain Warrior Code for the Mystery Blogger Award

Alyssa at Fight MS Daily and Tasha at Pain Warrior Code for the Liebster Award

Ali at Notebooks and Glasses for Behind the Illness

Terri at Reclaiming Hope for The Sunshine Blogger Award

Gary at Fiction is Food for The Blue Sky Tag

……and I really hope that I haven’t missed anyone out!  I have also added

Caz from Invisibly Me and Sheryl from A Chronic Voice – they may be pals I have forgotten on the nominations list, but they are definitely bloggers who have offered me a huge a amount of personal support, sharing and kindness!

I will try to combine some of the challenges in these posts to write a little about myself (at the risk of boring you all silly), but meanwhile I want to share some blog posts with you from these inspiring bloggers!  So without further ado grab a cuppa, turn your phone off and sit back to enjoy these posts….

https://picnicwithants.com/2018/09/13/i-dont-mean-to-fighting-depression/

https://www.jumbledbrain.com/2018/08/20/simple-bug-vs-brain-injury-disaster/

https://painwarriorcode.wordpress.com/2018/09/11/do-you-know-when-a-flare-is-about-to-happen-painwarriortalks/

https://painwarriorcode.wordpress.com/2018/07/11/hang-on-in-there/

https://fightmsdaily.com/2018/09/11/never-stop-believing-in-hope/

http://notebooksandglasses.com/2018/09/16/september-link-up-party-with-a-chronic-voice/

https://reclaiminghope.blog/2018/09/17/on-a-weather-break-be-back-soon/

https://fictionisfood.com/2018/09/06/are-you-a-writer-then-join-in-this-september-and-spin-us-a-yarn-blogbattle-is-back/

https://invisiblyme.com/2018/09/11/september-pain-awareness-month/

https://www.achronicvoice.com/2018/09/15/singapore-chronic-illnesses/

 

I hope that you enjoy these – Sheryl’s pictures of Singapore are wonderful!  Please like, comment and share these posts!

Have a great week,

Claire x

 

 

A Change in Season, a Change in Symptoms and Foodie Memories!

The weather has turned – my joints and dodgy bits of body are telling me it is colder, even if the sun has been shining.  Last night we went to a posh do at The Oval cricket ground and there was a drinks reception on the roof terrace before the meal.  On arrival it was suggested to guests that they left their coats on the second floor before ascending to the fourth floor.  It was lovely looking over the stunning cricket green (it really was very green) as the sun went down – but it was freezing!!  There was a blustery breeze that left many of the ladies’ bare shoulders blue and goose pimpled in their strappy evening gowns.  I had kept my outer layers on – a cape that looks a bit posh due to a fur collar – but my spinal cord stimulator and chronic nerve pain were doing battle with each other as to which could out do the cold air!

Earlier this week hubby and I were out shopping and again I was caught out by the sunshine!  Something that you don’t realise when you are up, mobile, walking and running is just how cold it can get sitting in a wheelchair.  My legs and feet were freezing and the cape (not the one from last night – one that Dad calls my “old lady blanket”) I usually tuck around me was safely in the car.  It is time to change the clothes, pack the summer shoes away and accept a different set of symptoms as the POTS faints decline as the temperature drops, and the chronic pain flares.

A change in season pin

 

This is the autumn term now and when I saw Lorna’s writing prompt (Autumnal food memories) on Gin & Lemonade it got me thinking to times in the past when I could go out without constant chronic pain.  I’m not moaning, looking for sympathy, just merely reminiscing!  My memories of autumnal food takes me back to the Halloween/Guy Fawkes nights of my primary school days and the bonfire celebration that we would attend as a family held by my brother’s school.  It was in the rugby field and the big treat would be toffee apples – hard, crunchy, golden toffee casing over soft red apples.  Dreadful for our teeth Mum would tell us every year!  But then as the evening temperature dropped and feet started to go numb inside wellie boots, there would be polystyrene cups of hot tomato soup – Heinz in those days of course! – and never has soup tasted so good.

appetizer bowls cream creamy

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Thinking back there were aches and pains in some of my joints even then, but all put down to me being bendy (correct!) or growing pains (wrong!).  But the memories of that tomato soup, sticky toffee apples and not forgetting the fireworks and bonfire, will always makes me smile.

heart shaped fireworks

Photo by Kartik Gupta on Pexels.com

 

Make your own toffee apples with this simple recipe from the BBC Good Food site

The latest in The Lambeth Group series – Book Review “Tears of Fire” by Gordon Bickerstaff

When given the opportunity to read the next book in The Lambeth Group series, I couldn’t refuse as I had loved the others. The opening scenes start with the female lead Zoe Tampsin apparently about to lose her life have finally been brought to “justice” by an elite group of British statesmen. A death sentence hangs over her…
Tears of Fire Pin

However it would not be a Lambeth Group thriller if Ms Tampsin and her partner, scientist Gavin Shawlins were not at the centre of the plot. They are soon embroiled separately in the same case – involving the health clinic of one Dr Traherne and his “employees” nurses Seng and Jung. It becomes apparent that these ladies are not the average caring nurses one would expect to find in a hospital!

This fast moving drama draws in the CIA, the British government and North Korea – just for starters. Zoe and Gavin suddenly find that it is not only their lives that could be in danger as they delve into a web of mass murders, revenge killings and international political relations – their own loved ones have become targets and they must make some difficult decisions to bring down the antagonists, but also to keep their families safe. No spoilers!!

If you have read my previous reviews, you will know that I have become a huge Gordon Bickerstaff fan – and this book does not disappoint! It really is action packed from the start, and whilst it could be read as a stand alone, I can’t recommend enough that you read the previous books to understand the back story for the characters. I might have mentioned once or twice before that I really admire the choice of such a gutsy, strong female character to lead the cast and she is joined again by Joss, the equally ballsy female CIA agent who has featured before.

The antagonists are also extremely strong women from a very different culture. I like the way that the author generates a very different feeling in the reader for these women though – they are repugnant in their ruthless actions, their motivation and their complete lack of compassion for anyone who gets in their way. Yet they are prepared to “hide” in plain sight as carers, people to be trusted, and even in this role they will exploit the vulnerable for monetary gain under the guise of euthanasia.

In each book of this series, Gavin Shawlins has grown in character for me. He is becoming more sure of himself, having faith in his convictions and pushing himself beyond his fears. I enjoyed seeing a new strength of character when he feared for the safety of his niece, but also watching his relationship with Zoe continue to grow in trust and mutual respect. The drama and pace are present from the opening chapter of this book right up until the thrilling finale, and Gavin proves h
is value to Zoe once more – although she might not admit to this!

Think of action packed political and spy investigative thrillers (Bond, Mission Impossible, Jack Ryan, Spooks), put a woman in the driving action hero role and follow the twists and turns – this is the speed and intrigue of the latest Lambeth Group thriller. I was hooked from start to finish and was genuinely taken by surprise as some of the plot twists revealed themselves. Really great read that I thoroughly recommend!

Thanks to The Book Club on Facebook and the author for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for a fair and honest review

Available from

 “Readers’ Favorite” GOLD medal winner in Fiction-Thriller-Conspiracy Thriller

About the Author

GFB picI was born and raised in Glasgow but spent my student years in Edinburgh. On summer vacations, I learned plumbing, garden maintenance, and I cut the grass in the Meadows. If I ran the lawnmower over your toes – sorry.

I learned some biochemistry and taught it for a while before I retired to write fiction. I like DIY and I do some aspects of DIY moderately well and other aspects not so well. I live with my wife in Scotland where corrupt academics, mystery, murder and intrigue exists mostly in my mind.

I write the Gavin Shawlens series of thrillers: Deadly Secrets, Everything To Lose, The Black Fox, Toxic Minds and Tabula Rasa. They feature special investigators Zoe and Gavin. More will come in due course.

I enjoy walking in the hills, 60s & 70s music, reading and travel.

Find Gordon Bickerstaff :

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Website

Goodreads

 

 

Monday Magic – Inspiring Blogs for You!

Good evening!  I haven’t been here for a whole week – well not actually writing on the page anyway.  It has been a busy week with several trips into central London and I am still hopeless at pacing myself – so a very long day for my son’s graduation, a theatre trip and a house full of youngsters has left me devoid of anything resembling a brain to write, comment on posts or do little other than sleep and eat, in that order!

Monday Magic Inspiring Blogs for You! 10 Sept

The graduation day gave my parents, hubby and me the opportunity to be those really embarrassing grandparents and parents.  Personally I don’t believe that we were anywhere near the top ten for winning those awards on the day, although I expect the young engineer would say otherwise.  I actually allowed him to choose which dress I would wear – between a bold floral number and a black and cream block symmetric piece – he chose what he described as the “boring” one, but I’m not sure that was quite the response I was looking for.  When my mum got in the car though, she was greeted with “Oh no,  you’ve worn a lairy dress, Grandma” (thoughts in the comments please!).  We actually looked quite understated compared to some of the other graduates and guests – some actually appeared to be going to weddings or balls – so I really don’t know what his lordship was worried about, but we managed to have some fun on the blustery terrace of the Royal Festival Hall with an impromptu photo shoot, with me on my feet!

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

Having a mum in a wheelchair (and remember this is still a relatively recent addition to our family transport) isn’t always the best way to fly under the radar, but sometimes it does have its advantages – particularly when the queue for the official photographers is snaking around the whole reception area of the RFH and those with disabilities are ushered to a much shorter queue and given every help required.  I am also delighted to report that the RFH staff ensured that I had a suitable spot for my wheelchair, were quick to find me alternative toilet facilities when the disabled loo on our floor was out of order, and brought out extra food when I had missed it due to said toilet issue!  All in all the accessibility in the Royal Festival Hall was great…..even if the strange singing lift was a bit creepy (the haunting “voice” sang up a scale as we ascended and ran back coming down, singing the level as the doors opened).

We were joined by our other young adults, including the young engineer’s better half in possession of a beautiful bouquet, and my brother for a celebratory dinner – although the politics student and lovely girl were only just leaving the house when they should have been arriving in London.  Oh the joy of youth, when the world is your oyster and time keeping so unimportant!!  A great day was had by all.

SONY DSC

 

I have managed some reading, despite a lack of writing, and have put together some more blog posts for your enjoyment.  Once again the posts are all very different and incorporate mental health, beauty, cookery, reading, and some comments on life!  Kicking you off this week is poetry from Inner Voice Actor and the title alone called out to me…”You ain’t giving up”.  Sit back and enjoy!

 

https://innervoiceactor.wordpress.com/2018/09/06/you-aint-giving-up/

https://www.sizzlingtowardssixty.com.au/putting-the-me-into-mental-health/

https://writeofthemiddle.com/beauty-make-up/

http://nextphaseinfitness.com.au/10-tips-to-ensure-you-exercise-consistently/

https://riverandquill.com/2018/09/interstitialcystitisawarenessmonth.html/

https://www.jumbledbrain.com/2018/09/06/guest-post-leanne-whitehouse-on-her-30-year-tbi-anniversary/

https://myyeka.com/what-is-the-right-kind-of-attraction/

https://libertyonthelighterside.com/3-cup-southern-african-cheese-puffs/

https://virtuallyallsorts.com/read-a-book-day-are-you-well-read/

http://angelanoelauthor.com/inspiration-motivation/relationships-when-a-run-is-not-about-running/

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Have a great week,

Claire x