Self-Care Sunday: I Did

Just a quickie this week because Downton Abbey is on in a few and I’m trying not to watch TV and be on the iPad at the same time.

Having written last week about feeling like a failure I’ve been trying to keep that big picture in mind more. One of the things I’ve been doing is writing a list of what I’ve done/achieved each day. It’s very useful because yesterday I did very little but I’m not beating myself up about it because I know I’ve achieved a lot this week I might otherwise have overlooked.

Plus, knowing I’m going to be writing it down means I’ve eaten a proper dinner each day and taken all my meds. I’ve not achieved that for a few weeks.

I feel better this week.

You Know You’re a Book Blogger When…

…You choose books over alcohol

So. I’ve been invited to the theatre on Friday night by my lovely friend Angela. She’s organising the tickets and I’m in charge of figuring out the train.

And really, the train times kinda suck. The best way I can figure it out gets us there an hour and a half before. There is another train that gets in an hour before but I’m thinking it’ll take probably twenty minutes to get to the theatre walking/powerchairing and if we do end up doing that it’ll be after having an argument with some idiotic taxi driver which’ll you know take a while. Plus I’ll want a wee before we go into the theatre and most of all WHAT IF THE TRAIN IS LATE?! This part of the equation of what time train to get comes from the fact that I usually go to shows with my Mum and she leaves for things really early. Seriously this blog is scheduled to post at 9:30 Thursday morning. The joke in our family is that she’d be chivvying us out the door at that point if she had her way, even though the show isn’t until Friday night

Anyway I was weighing up the times. Deciding between the two trains and then figuring that as much as it feels too early I prefer the earlier train. If we end up with masses of time to kill we can always go for a drink.

Until a better idea for killing time came to me: we could go to the bookshop.

And then I got a little disappointed because we’ll definitely have time to kill coming home and the book shop will be closed.

Five Minutes on… Reading

This is one of a new series of blogs I’m trying where I write for five minutes and then post whatever the result is. I use Write or Die and I’ve the five minutes is up I just finish the thought I’m in the middle of and correct the typos. It’s a form of free writing and I think I like it but this is only the second time I’ve tried it (I didn’t write this explanation in the five minute)

I feel a bit like I’m in a reading slump right now. I don’t know why but I’ve been struggling to get into books lately, let alone finish them. So I, currently something like five books behind on my goodreads challenge. And actually, I’m doing a pretty good job of not letting that stress me out but at the same time I do wish I could get properly stuck into a book again and feel like it’s holding my attention.

I did just read Model Misfit by Holly Smale and that was ace for keeping me interested. But for a couple of weeks before that (pretty much ever since I finished reading Les Miserables) I’ve felt like nothing grabs my attention reading wise. I am enjoying an audiobook right now (Cry, The Beloved Country by Alan Paton) but usually I have a book on the go at the same time and at the moment I don’t. I love audiobooks but they aren’t the same as actually reading.

I also feel like crafts aren’t holding my attention at the moment although it’s books that bugs me the most. I must admit the question that keeps coming to mind is “am I having a bad spell for depression?” There are a couple of other things that made me wonder that but again it’s the books thing that I really don’t like.

So at the moment I’m trying to listen to a bit of my audiobook everyday. And I’m trying to read a few pages of something before going to sleep. And hopefully soon I’ll find something from the vast piles of books I’ve got that I start reading and don’t want to put down. I’ve just downloaded a new Star Trek book and I’m really hoping that’s the one.

Because it sucks being a reader with no motivation to read.

Self-Care Sunday: Failure

I feel like self care has been a failure this week and I’ve not achieved any of the taking care of myself goals I’d set for this week.

I wanted to eat healthier and I haven’t. In fact a lot of my eating this week could be considered binge like. Or at least some of it.

I wanted to spend less time online and I haven’t. I have reduced my online time a little but not every day and not the large amounts I wanted too.

I’ve not got my med compliance back to 100% either

But when I stop and think about it:
I know that whereas its been my habit for years to pick up a sausage and bacon baguette in town and being it home for lunch up to three times a week, I’ve not done that this month. In fact the only times I’ve grabbed food out have been when I’ve needed to have something before going to something else. It’s not hugely healthier but its a baby step. And does it really matter if I ate an entire packet of chocolate digestives in eight hours earlier this week? No it doesn’t. Because its not like I do that everyday.

I realise that I have spent less time online and some of the time I have been online has been doing very constructive things. I’ve also been managing to update my blog more often this month and that’s something which has slipped in the last few months. I’ve not liked that but not felt able to do much about it. This is my 11th blog entry of the month and I’m pretty sure that’s more entries than I’ve managed in a month for a long time.

Meds is getting there. And I’ve a plan to help with that this week.

It’s that damn big picture again. I wish I didn’t lose sight of it so easily.

Model Misfit by Holly Smale (Geek Girl #2)

Back in March I reviewed Geek Girl by Holly Smale. I received a free copy of it from the publisher and earlier this week I received an ARC (advance review copy) of the sequel, Model Misfit, for review. I’d been really looking forward to Model Misfit coming out next week so I was super excited to get it. Once I submitted the request I was somewhat obsessively checking Netgalley to see if it had been auctioned yet. I never do that!

Here’s the details:

How many pages? 400
Release date? 26th September
How long did it take me to read this? Three days
Would I recommend this book? definitely. Don’t read the rest of this review, just go preorder it.
Would I lend this to someone? only if I was 100% sure they’d return it!
Do I want to read more by this author? yup! I think Holly Smale could become a favourite
Will I read it again? oh yes. I’m thinking about rereading Geek Girl next.

“My name is Harriet Manners, and I am still a geek.”

Harriet Manners knows a lot of facts.

She knows that humans have 70,000 thoughts per day.

She knows that Geek + Model = a whole new set of graffiti on your belongings.

And that the average person eats a ton of food a year, though her pregnant stepmother is doing her best to beat this.

But Harriet doesn’t know where she’s going to fit in once the new baby arrives. And with her summer plans ruined, modelling in Japan seems the perfect chance to get away.

Can Harriet cope with the craziness of Tokyo, her competitive model flatmates and her errant grandmother’s ‘chaperoning’. Or seeing gorgeous Nick everywhere she goes?

Will geek girl find her place on the other side of the world?

I loved this. Loved it loved it, loved it. Sometimes sequels feel like a let down. This most definitely wasn’t. Basically if you like good books you need to get a copy and read it.

I heard the other day that netgalley books can expire from certain e readers. Word is they don’t from Kindles. But this is still the first of the books I’ve had via Net Galley that I’m like “I know I’ve got a copy but I want to buy one anyway just in case.” A paper copy so I can make people read it (mostly my sister).

I laughed out loud a lot reading this. And I read huge chunks of it at a time. My “a few pages” before going to sleep at midnight last night turned into over 20% of it. Yeah it was a later night than I planned. This afternoon when I was finishing it I was trying not to look at the % on my Kindle because I didn’t want it to end. That’s not something I’ve thought when reading for ages (then again, pretty much the last thing I read was Les Miserables by Victor Hugo. Brilliant book but my god the man needed an editor.). But actually even discounting Les Mis the same is true.

Harriet is just as brilliant as ever as are her family. I was a little disappointed to not see as much of her parents but the errant Grandmother was pretty cool. And there were a few very interesting hints of her history that makes me think she has more to being. I suspect my initial wondering if she was going to get spotted as a model by Wilbur/Yuka too will prove not to come true in the third book in the trilogy but I could definitely see it. What I didn’t see coming was a couple of the twists. And some of the oh so teenage angst moments. I like it when I don’t even have a hint.

I ended my review of Geek Girl with the following:

This is one of those books I feel like I can’t recommend highly enough. If I was to describe my thoughts as I finished the book in just three words it would be these three: “I Want More.” And luckily for me rumour has it Holly Smale is already at work on the sequel.

I could very easily end my review of Model Misfit by Holly Smale in the same way. But in the interests of trying to avoid repetition (I’m sure Harriet would have an explanation for why repetition should be avoided. I don’t I just think its a good idea) I’ll say that I’m very very glad I’ve been on a YA kick this year and this book if perfect for both YA fans and those (both adults and teens) wanting an introduction to the genre. I don’t think you necessarily have to have read Geek Girl before Model Misfit but you should. You really, really should.

You Know You’ve Got CP When…

…the shoes you call your ridiculously impractical shoes are the same sort as your able-bodied sister and mother frequently wear as sensible everyday ones.

For years I’ve lived in trainers. But only a specific sort. So much so that the pair I have now is at least my third identical pair but come to think of it is probably actually my fourth. And I should probably buy a new (but still identical pair) because no matter how many times I look for something different I can never find it. The idea that Skechers might one day discontinue them secretly fills me with horror.

Because no one else does shoes which
Are supportive
Undo completely and very easily
Have no form of heel
I can wear without socks regardless of the time of year
And are deep enough to accommodate my often very swollen feet.

Its no secret that I’m not a fan of shoe shopping and that shoes hold no real appeal for me. The more often I can go barefoot the more I like it.

But a few weeks I went shopping. I needed new black trousers and I was beginning to think a spare pair of Skechers would be an idea. My current pair probably have a few months wear in them at least but having worn my last ones until they fell apart and then for several uncomfortable days after as I literally had no others, a spare seemed a very good idea.

So I’m in Evans getting trousers (and an unplanned but gorgeous top) and I’m looking at shoes because you never know. And I spot a lovely pair of ankle boots.

Several years ago when I was at uni I did have a pair very similar I wore often. My shoe related issues weren’t quite so extreme then but you know it’s still possible…

So being that I’m unable to try shoes on when shopping I check if I can return them if they don’t fit then buy them. And I don’t want to try putting them on myself first in case they don’t fit (my unusual shoe putting on techniques can batter a bit which isn’t good if I’m returning them). A quick phone call to my sister telling her I’ve bought completely unsuitable shoes follows.

She asks in what way they’re unsuitable and I’m like
“They probably won’t fit but even if they do I probably won’t be able to get them on myself and even if I can I probably won’t be able to transfer in them.”

And she’s all “oh in pretty much every way then.”

I popped up to see her and she informed me they aren’t shoes, they’re boots. And then helped me try them on and surprisingly they fitted. They didn’t quite zip up to the top but its not an issue.

Eventually a long while later I sit on my bed and try them myself.

It’s sort of like
I know they fit.
I know how they should go on
But I can’t work out how to put them on cripple style

And as much as mum told me to take them back I’m keeping them. Because every girl needs a pair of ridiculous shoes. Even if they are meant to be the sensible type shoe.

(I was going to end this with something I’ve heard a lot which is that every girl should have a pair of shoes she loves but can’t really walk in. But you know in my CP world that’s pretty much every single pair of shoes I’ve ever owned so I thought it too obvious).

Spotted on the Internet

A few links to articles and blogs that have caught my eye or otherwise made me think lately:

Kate Granger is a doctor working in elderly medicine in the NHS. She’s also a patient with terminal cancer. So she has a unique dual perspective. Her tweets @grangerkate were what first brought her to my attention, especially when she tweeted repeatedly during a recent hospital stay about the number of hospital staff who failed to introduce themselves. That’s led to a bit of a campaign and her blog about it is well worth reading Hello my name is…. There is also a storify page with all the relevant tweets gathered together with additional comments from Kate Granger.

Something very different is this post from A Thrifty Mrs – are we the now generation? I’ve not commented in the discussion because I’ve been changing my mind a lot but it is something I keep coming back too. I think probably we are the now generation and in someways that could be causing problems (and may even cause many more in the future). But equally in someways it could turn out to be a good thing as long as the feasibility of “now” rather than later is considered. I’m not always good at that!

A couple of weeks ago I came across a new to me blog called Fat Girl, Phd. Several of her posts have struck me as memorable and worth a reread or three. Lets Get Angry and Start Being Kind is one of them. Feminism and empowerment in what strikes me as a sensible and easy way – mostly focusing on ourselves.

Self-Care Sunday: Resting

I thought for this weeks self care Sunday blog I’d combine it with my idea of the five minute blog – getting what thoughts I can down in just five minutes and then leaving it. That’s because I’m not sure I have a lot to say, point one and point two I’d like an early ish for me might (which a lot of people wouldn’t consider early I know) so I’m not short on time but not exactly rolling in it either.

So how have I been taking care of myself this week?

Resting. Mostly getting extra rest.

I’ve been pretty tired all week following my very busy and very fun weekend in London last week (which I still need to blog about). One or two early nights, multiple naps and some lie ins. Even days like today that have or will have seen all of the above! Today is a very definite lazy day and in fact I only got dressed because I’m still in my summer mode of sleeping mostly naked.

I was getting a bit worried earlier about how tired I still am but when I rang mum she asked what I’d been doing today and when I said I’d napped and had a lie in she went “yeah you were busy yesterday and Friday weren’t you?” And I twigged she was right. Kind of busy Thursday too but in a different way. So actually I guess it’s ok, particularly given I may still be somewhat anaemic and my med compliance has been poor this week.

Random Stream of Consciousness

I was going to write a “Random Bullet Points of Life” blog entry. But frankly all I can think to blog right now is that today is very random. In a very good way and I like it. Still it does kind of preclude blogging about all the little things that have caught my eye lately . Especially when what is likely to be the most random thing of the day is about to happen (or at least I hope nothing stranger happens). Some one to one theatre in the ladies loo. Which also has the distinction of being the first time I’ll have been in there even though it’s Cornerstone’s 5th birthday and I’ve been a regular since the day they opened. I mentioned that to a few people and that’s been interesting. Kind of “weird but… Yeah I guess you’re a crip, you wouldn’t have” although they didn’t use the word crip, obviously.