State of the Blog

I didn’t have time to write my weekly reading down my TBR pile post on Monday last week. I was going to write a two week catch up post this week. But I’ve barely read anything – I didn’t finish a single book last week. So I wasn’t too bothered about writing it. I’ve yet to finish anything this week.

I’d say I’ve got lots going on and I have but it’s not the full reason. I’ve got no motivation for books and audiobooks and ebooks. I’m reading loads of fanfic and stuff on message boards but not the actual books and that. I have a couple of review books I’m excited by but I don’t have the impetus to get off the computer and read the damn things at the moment.

I do plan to restart these posts soon but it may not be next week.

And in general I plan to have a little bit of a relaunch of this blog in August.

It’s Okay

For me blogging is an outlet. And it’s a pretty good one.  I’m generally very open in what I share about myself although I try and protect other people’s privacy.

I’ve been blogging for fifteen years and in that time how and what I share has changed.  I’ve been quiet on my blog lately because that seems to be going through another change. Not really a welcome change. I welcome comments and questions and responses to my blog – the majority of which come through twitter nowadays. That’s brilliant. But there are some people who seem to read a completely different story to what I’m writing – One time someone took a mention of a medication to mean I was really ill and sent an email they were coming round to look after me. Luckily I was able to stop them. I don’t want to stop people reading my blog but it’s stressful if stuff like that happens.

So I haven’t felt as comfortable blogging. Almost as though I’m losing my blog because it can no longer be my outlet. I hate that and I don’t want it to happen. And now I have a piece of news that previously I’d always have shared. I want to share it but before this happened I told a friend I thought it would happen. It’s not upsetting news but as we were sat having our drink in a crowded cafe they cried.

I was diagnosed with lymphoedema this week (NHS choices link). I’ve been describing it as a complication of my having CP but it’s more accurate to say it’s a complication of my being a wheelchair user. I just have the swelling.

I’ve had obvious oedema in my legs for years – even in the winter although it gets worse in the summer. And this year it seems to be a lot worse and several people have raised concerns to me and suggested I needed to see a doctor/get meds (it was my saying I thought I might need meds that upset my friend). I wasn’t that concerned because I pretty much knew that it was a wheelchair thing. But it was bad and it was getting stressful with all the reactions so I did go to the doctors.

She diagnosed it as lymphoedema and said that as it’s not life threatening and it doesn’t usually bother me there was no need to treat it if I didn’t want to. We talked about my options and at the moment I’m declining the referral to a specialist for various reasons. I am however having a month’s course of diuretics (40mg of furosemide daily). The dr isn’t sure it’ll work for it but said it’s worth a try. If it does work I’m going to have a second month of them. So far I think they are making a difference but it’s too soon to know for sure.

Having lymphoedema isn’t a good thing. But it’s also not a bad thing. I need people to understand that. I’ll probably have it to some extent for the rest of my life. That’s the luck of the draw when you’re in a wheelchair all the time. And that’s fine. I have meds, I have choices and I’m happy with how things are. It’s okay.

I’m going to tell you this. Dealing with it is probably easier for me than writing a blog about it.

Reading Down My TBR Pile – Week 16

My TBR pile has increased this week. I bought three books (two kindle, which I’ve read since buying them and one paperback), received one ebook for review (and requested another but have yet to hear back) and I downloaded a free classic from Project Gutenberg.

In addition to the two books listed here I’ve listened to two thirds of an audiobook. It doesn’t feel like I’ve read much at all this week.

Star Trek: New Frontier The Returned part 1 by Peter David ebook, 164 pages bought and read on the same day

I love Peter David books. He’s one of my favourite authors and was the author of the first ever Star Trek book I read (which for the record was Star Trek: The Next Generation A Rock and A Hard Place, a present for my 12th birthday and I loved. Would love to reread it). So to get a new Star Trek books by him is a real treat. The fact that there are two more parts to come this year is even better. Loved it.

The Great Village Show by Alexandra Brown ebook, 400 pages, on TBR pile for one day, read in two days.

I have to admit to being a bit disappointed by this book. Oh it was a fun read and a good story. But it’s the second in Alexandra Brown’s Tindledale series. And I absolutely adored the first, The Great Christmas Knit Off so was really excited to read this. But everything I loved about The Great Christmas Knit Off isn’t in The Great Village Show – the main characters in the first are mentioned in passing only in the second and there’s very little of the crafts that were so pivotal and gave it it’s wonderful crafty vibe. I liked this and had it been a standalone book I’d have been much more enthusiastic. But in a series with The Great Christmas Knit Off it’s a let down. It was worth the read and there’s nothing wrong with it as a book but if like me you loved the first and that’s why you want this book I suggest buyer beware.

Reading Down My TBR Pile – Week 15

A combination of a couple of train journeys – including to Birmingham and back – and several late nights sat enjoying the cool of the evening in the garden mean I think I’ve read the most this week that I have since I started writing these weekly “what I’ve been reading” posts.

In addition to the books listed here, I also read part of another book but found the start of it boring so gave up after a few pages. I’m undecided as to whether I’ll go back to it or not.

And for the second week running I didn’t buy or otherwise get any books so I really have made a big dent into the TBR mountain this week.

Mary Barton by Elizabeth Gaskellebook, 437 pages, on TBR for several years, read in 3 days.

This was a little tricky to get into and I was glad that I started it on the train so had a long period of uninterrupted reading with nothing else to do to get into it. It fulfilled my hankering for more classics nicely and kept me interested. Mary Barton is an intriguing character but I couldn’t decide if I liked her. Elizabeth Gaskell however is not one of my favourite classics writers. Had I had anything unread by any of the Bronte’s on my TBR I’d probably have read that and enjoyed it more.

My Best Everything by Sarah Tomp – ebook, 400 pages, on TBR for a several months, read in 2 days

Every so often NetGalley make a book available to the first however many people without having to go through the request process. I’m never one of the first however many people but I was for My Best Everything. And then I didn’t read this for ages. It sounded good but I didn’t have any enthusiasm to read it.  But then late on evening this week I picked it up and started reading. I planned to read for a few minutes and then go in to watch Masterchef. I missed Masterchef, caught up with that on iPlayer this afternoon, and I read over half the book in one sitting sat outside until there wasn’t enough light to see any longer.  It was so good, with characters that I loved, a style that was different and kept me reading. Plus I was convinced I knew how it was going to end but when it actually ended was completely surprised by both how wrong I’d been and the exact ending. I would love to read a sequel and I’ll definitely look out for more by Sarah Tomp.

From This Moment On by Colette Caddlepaperback, 400 pages, on TBR for a few weeks, read in 3 days

I think this is the second Colette Caddle book I’ve read. I have another of hers on my shelf and I’ll definitely be reading that soon because she’s becoming one of my favourite authors. I really don’t know what it is about Irish women’s fiction but it’s a genre I really enjoy and should read more of. But with how many books I have unread and how few of those are the genre it’ll probably take me a while to get to it.  This was a fun read on a tricky subject (bullying/mental health) that handled it well and impressed me.

A Spring Affair by Milly Johnson paperback, 484 pages, on TBR for several weeks, read in 1 day.

Saturday early evening I sat outside and started reading this with the vague idea that I’d read half of it that day. I was pretty much outside until I finished it several hours later and got nothing else done with my evening. As much as there were things I really should have been doing it was really enjoyable way to spend an evening. There isn’t much to say, it’s a Milly Johnson book and she writes good books that I enjoy and pretty much when I pick one up I know there’s little chance of being disappointed.

The Heavenly Italian Ice Cream Shop by Abby Clementsebook, 400 pages, on TBR for a week or two, read in 1 day.

I won’t say too much about this because I’m going to post a full review separately in a few days. I will note that it’s the sequel to an earlier Abby Clements book and whilst I don’t think you need to have read the first one before reading this – I haven’t and it didn’t seem to matter – you probably should because this was a good book and I’m now really keen to read the one before and know how it all started.