Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Books, Books, Lovely Books

Every year I make sure I receive some books for Christmas, and if I don't get any, I buy them for myself in the Twixmas time.

This year I received three - I gave the boys a list so I knew I would get want I wanted, and so far I have already read two of them.

The first book was Elizabeth Is Missing by Emma Healey

I heard about this on the Richard and Judy book club and put it straight on my To Be Read list.

The story is told from the point of view of Maud, who is an elderly lady suffering from memory loss.  Throughout the book we see what's its like to be unable to remember where you put things, what you are doing half way through doing it, and sometimes even recognising family.  A consistent thread in the book is that Maud is troubled that her friend Elizabeth is missing, despite the fact that everyone around her tells her she is not.  Whilst Maud is trying to find her friend, the narrative dips back into Maud's past when her own sister disappeared as a young wife.  

The two mysteries, interspersed with Maud's problems, are cleverly told and leads to a satisfying and surprising ending.  I wouldn't say this was an easy read, as inside Maud's mind was often a terrifying place to be, especially when you relate it to your own parents or indeed the prospect of your own future. It also gives a great insight into  the frustrations experienced by the carers of those suffering from dementia. 

Like I say, not an easy read, but a worthwhile one.

The second book I read over the Christmas period was The Cake Shop in the Garden by Carole Matthews.

As ever, Carole provides a delightful read with characters you instantly fall in love with.

The main character is Fay who has given up her job to look after her mother who a while ago took to her bed and now refuses to get out of it.  Although there was nothing much wrong with her mother when she first "became ill", years of being in bed have taken their toll on her health and she depends on Fay to provide her with her every need.

The house they live in is by a canal and Fay's dad, who died, loved his narrow boat.  Fay would like to be able to restore it to its former glory but having given up her job to look after her mother, she can't afford to.  Instead she sells cakes from her garden to make ends meet.  In addition, she supports her sister who lives in New York and is involved in a disastrous relationship with a married man, and quite often ends up giving her money that she can barely afford.

As ever in Carole's books there is a love interest in the form of Danny.  Of course the path to true love never runs smooth and this is particularly so for Fay and Danny.  There are many believable twists and turns through the course of the book and certain heartbreak for Fay.  But will Fay and Danny ever get together? You'll have to read it to find out.

Another beautiful read from Carole with the bonus feature of lots of cake!

What good books have you read recently?

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Happy Birthday!

Today is my youngest son's birthday.

A horrible time to have a birthday, when everyone is fed up with the Christmas celebrations and just wants to get back to normal.

Usually his birthday falls on the first day back at school and the weather is horrible.

Poor thing. 

He was due on Christmas Eve but hung on all the way through Christmas and New Year, so in many ways he's only got himself to blame.

So, twelve years ago this little angel popped into my life.

And this is him now

Yes, he does look like butter wouldn't melt in his mouth, but I can assure you that looks can be deceptive and he can be a real challenge at times.

But I love him to bits and hope he enjoys his birthday despite the rotten time of year.

Love you Georgie!

Monday, 4 January 2016

A Belated Happy New Year!

A very happy belated New Year to you all, lets hope that 2016 is a good year for all of us.

At the very least I'm aiming for 2016 to be a productive year as you can't control success, but you do have to be in it to win it!

Sometimes though when I sit down to write, I have so may projects on the go that I don't know where to start.

So in the gentle period between Christmas and New Year, I started to go through both the hard copies of my previous stories, and all those I have on the hard drive.  Now they are all in places where I know what the next stage is and I have a list of things to do to work through.

Now its just a case of finding the time to actually do anything with them.

This weekend we had our usual pre-youngest son's birthday trip to watch Leeds play. To be honest it was a bit a of disappointing game, ending in a draw but only because the opposition scored an own goal.

Today, I planned to have the day to myself, but eldest son didn't go back to school as he was up all night with a stomach bug and I had to try and fit in buying birthday presents for the big day tomorrow, with nursing said sick child.

I'm at work for the rest of the week and then we are going back to Leeds again this weekend for the cup game.  Here's hoping Leeds are on better form next weekend.

So, somewhere in between all this, and meal out tomorrow, I'm aiming to fit some writing in somewhere.

Wish my luck!

Hope you are all settling into you New Year's writing habits.