Week in Review – 14 May 2017

Lovely week this week, Tuesday my walking group joined up with another for Bristol WalkFest and Mental Health Awareness Week, it was a beautiful blue sky day and it was great to see some of the guys from the other group and catch up with them (our groups occasionally join up so I know most of them already).

Also, as it was Mental Health Awareness Week, I wrote a piece for the charity I volunteer at which is up on their website. If you are interested you can read it here. The piece was also published to the Huff Post, which we were pleased about. I love volunteering with this charity which is also the charity who provide my mental health care, well for the next few weeks at least as I’m being discharged soon (eeek!) They are absolutely amazing, and unlike many of the national campaigning charities, these guys work on the frontline doing work that the NHS isn’t able to provide or has contracted out, which is why I had care from them, and I can tell you that the service they provide is a thousand times better than anything I have ever received from the NHS.

On Tuesday evening I went to see the musical Wonderland with some of my family. This is a musical retelling of Alice in Wonderland. It was a bit different from how I was expecting it to be but still very enjoyable, I was pleased that many of the songs had a more rock feel to them and that it was an original score (I have a particular dislike for musicals made up of “real” songs).

Unfortunately, during the early hours of the next morning we were woken up by someone trying to break into our flat through our bathroom window. The friend they had with them was trying to steal Hubs motorbike just outside. The bike theft is becoming a bit of an ongoing problem, Hubs had a bike stolen just before Christmas, and this is at least the fifth time we know of that the replacement one has almost been taken. Luckily Hubs woke up before the person got inside and scared them off, the police were brilliant and got here within a few minutes, had the helicopter up searching for the little buggers (I guarantee they were teenagers around here), but having heard no more they haven’t found them. We are at the point of phoning them so often that we are pretty sure we have our own personal police guard now which is why they arrived so quickly!

Ironically, we were talking only a few days ago about not feeling comfortable here anymore, partly because it’s so small (it’s the tiniest flat in the world, I swear nobody could find somewhere smaller than this) and partly because of all the crime problems we’ve had in the last six months. Then this happened, it’s like someone is telling us to get lost!

Finally, I mentioned a few weeks ago that I had taken part in the Grimbold Books podcast. It is now up on their website for all to listen to. We talked about book blogging and being a book reviewer. It was great fun, I’ve never taken part in a podcast before but would definitely do it again. I was with a group of seasoned pro’s including their other guest BookTuber Thomas Wagner from SFF180. You can listen to the Podcast here.

So, onto my bookish update this week… (as always click on the covers for more info/to see the posts)

Currently Reading

Roadie - C.M. Stunich Legion - Julie Kagawa

What I’ve Read

The many colours of us Into the Hall of Vice - Anabelle Bryant  Save The Date - Aven Ellis Groupie - C.M. Stunich

New Books

Bought / Freebies

Connectivity - Aven Ellis The Big Little Wedding in Carlton Square - Lilly Bartlett Roadie - C.M. Stunich Real Ugly - C.M. Stunich

Giveaway Wins

  

 

eARCs

Reviews

I’ve got one 5* review this week in Into the Hall of Vice and I took part in a Mental Health Awareness Week blog tour this week with Loving the Life Less Lived, I was honoured to be included on this tour given my connection to the subject.

Cry Wolf - Greta Stone Into the Hall of Vice - Anabelle Bryant Loving The Life Less Lived - Gail Marie Mitchell

Other Posts

Vicki from Cosy Books joined me on The Bookshelf this week, if you missed it do head over and check it out. I also had a really lovely guest post from Pat Abercromby earlier in the week about writing a book from the point of view of a carer.

Just One Life - Pat Abercromby The Bloggers Bookshelf Logo

Giveaways

  • 1 Copy of Loving the Life Less Lived available to UK Readers of my Blogs! Rafflecopter
  • Variety of Cry Wolf Prizes including Necklace & $25 Amazon Gift Voucher (International Tour-Wide Giveaway) Rafflecopter

#BlogTour: Just One Life by Pat Abercromby @Authoright #GuestPost

I’m so pleased to welcome Pat Abercromby to my blog today, she has written a post about writing a book from a carers point of view. Check out more about the book below along with this wonderful guest post.

Description

When you realise you have just one life left to live, how do you make peace with the mistakes of your past?

Fran should be looking back on her life with pride. She’s risen to the top of the job ladder, having left behind a council housing estate in post-war Glasgow, to forge a colourful, fulfilling career and enjoy all the trappings of success.

But instead, Fran is consumed by regret. A shocking revelation has cast her life, and her thirty-year marriage, asunder. She finds herself the full-time carer for her husband, a man she now accepts, she has never loved. The sacrifices she has made, the personal freedoms she has lost, have left Fran crushed. Her free-spirited friend Iona is her one salvation. Their friendship has survived the storms of conflict and loss since childhood, their deep affection for one another the only constant remaining in Fran’s life, a life she no longer recognises as her own.

Her husband’s new brush with death will give Fran the chance to reflect on what she has left, the choices she has made and the two men she has loved and lost.

Can Fran find a way through the ruins of her marriage and find inner peace, to make the most of what remains of her life’s journey?

Just One Life - Tour Banner

Guest Post

Writing a book from a carer’s point of view.

The statistics for unpaid carers looking after a family member are staggering. One in eight adults are carers, and the total number of carers of all ages currently stands at seven million people. Every day, another 6000 people take on a caring responsibility which equals over two million people each year. 58% of carers are women and 42% are men At least 1.5 million carers are looking after someone with long term mental health issues like dementia. 50,000 of carers looking after someone with mental health issues are children or young adults.

Before I became a carer myself, I was vaguely aware of these numbers but like most things in life, until you are affected by the experience yourself, it is easier not to think about it too much. My husband had a serious stroke in 2007 which left him almost blind, unable to walk and needing a wheelchair and a year later suffering from epileptic seizures which have resulted in vascular dementia. His life changed in a heartbeat, but so did mine. Almost overnight I had to give up my career to become his full-time carer. It was a while before I could accept that this was a forever change and that he was never going to get better. Through joining a stroke club and a carer’s support group I met many other carers ( most of them women) and came to realise that many shared the same frustrations, limitations and loss of identity that I was experiencing. Caring for someone, particularly someone with physical and mental health issues is an all-consuming 24/7 task. There is simply no time to be, or even remember the person you once were.

I was luckier than most because my husband was a Mason and they paid for him to go into respite care for four weeks of every year which gave me the opportunity to have a decent break. But I needed those breaks throughout the year just to catch up on sleep and relax a bit. It was only after he had to go into full-time residential nursing care two years ago, that I had the head space to consider writing Just One Life. It bothered me how many carers are unsupported and not acknowledged for the sacrifices they have had to make to look after their partner or family member.

Because I am a carer and have experienced many of the frustrations my main character Fran goes through, trying to meet the needs of someone whose core personality is reduced to that of a needy and tiresome child, I think I was able to bring some honest dialogue between them into the story. Carers often feel guilty because sometimes they completely hate the cared for person for being so utterly dependent and then torture themselves with feelings of pity and helplessness for the shocking quality of life that once healthy person now has. That is just the way it is, we can only do our best. Another thread in the story is about friendship. Carers more than anybody need friends to talk to, someone who understands their frustrations and does not judge. Preferably someone with a sense of humour!

This story, Just One Life, is dedicated to all carers and to friendship.

About Pat Abercromby

Living in Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire, Pat Abercromby has enjoyed a varied career – from recruitment consultant to journalist in Saudi Arabia and massage therapist – eventually setting up a training school for Seated Acupressure Massage. Today she continues to work within the field of corporate wellness with her business partner Davina Thomson with their joint company Wellbeing Direct. She also co-wrote and published Seated Acupressure Massage with Davina Thomson in 2000. In her spare time, Pat enjoys being an active member of her local creative writing group, classical music and the outdoors.

Book & Buy Links

TitleJust One Life
Series: N/A
Author: Pat Abercromby
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Publisher: Clink Street Publishing
Publication Date: 27 April 2017
Review Format: N/A
Other Formats: eBook | Paperback
Pages: 224
BuyAmazon UK | Amazon US | Waterstones | FoylesBook Depository | SpeedyHen