Monday, 30 April 2012


Today I ache. My arms ache, my legs ache, my chest aches, I could go on. The reason being is that I finally actually managed to get off my bum and get in the gym!

I keep a food diary and also an exercise log, now I know I've been bad lately, but I was shocked at the weekend on reading it. No gym since 11th March and no exercise of any form (I had been replacing my gym visits with my extreme workout DVD) for three weeks! Add to that me generally eating like a pig and you get the picture.

Of late I've been a bit miserable and so tired all the time (the Noah's Ark style weather hasn't helped!) Today though I am a happy bunny.

Even though I've already experienced numerous cases of a lack of common sense in my working day, despite the fact I've worn shoes which are killing my feet, regardless of the fact my bus was super late this morning and avoiding the issue that it's Monday today I am feeling good.

Today is sunny (finally!) Today is payday. Today is my niece's third birthday. Today I am meeting my friend who never fails to make me laugh. Today my boyfriend properly started his first full week of work for over six months. Today I started reading a new, highly recommended book and I'm back on my Kindle. Today the working day (so far) seems to be flying by. Today I lost 1lb in my Monday morning weigh-in. Today I ache like hell but feel great for doing some exercise and knowing it's done me good.

So all in all today is bloody great.

Friday, 27 April 2012

Bookworm: Before I Go To Sleep by S J Watson

I've wanted to read this book for a while now. When I found out my Mum had purchased it I was keen to borrow it asap! As I've worked through the pile of books from my Mum I haven't had many successes lately, but I was optimistic about this one.

I wasn't disappointed. I loved this book, constant twists and turns, I found myself reading and second guessing what was 'really' happening throughout.

This is one of those books that now I've finished it I'm sad, I've enjoyed reading it. In fact that is probably why I've read it in a matter of a few days. I just could not put it down - on the way to work, on my lunchreak, on the way home, before I go to sleep at night.

Before I Go To Sleep is the fictional story of Christine who finds every morning she awakes she has no memory. As she tries to learn more about her past, her life now and what caused her amnesia, things start to take a more sinister turn.

I've just noticed in the back of the book they are looking to make this into a film, which would be great. Well, if they stay true to the book.

Just when you think you have the story sussed something changes. The characters unfold throughout and you don't know who to trust.

At first I was worried it was going to get tedious as Christine wakes each day and can't remember anything, but Watson handles this well. The idea of the journal to tell the tale and splitting the book into three time-framed chunks works well.

The author's descriptions are very strong and you can easily picture Christine's surroundings and the pain she goes through. At points this read made me feel quite tearful. It certainly plays with your emotions.

Good points
Strong characters
Great description
Lots of twists to keep you guessing
Keeps you hooked

Not so great
You never really know all the facts
The end seemed a bit open
Early on I did suspect one of the main 'shocks'

Overall I would definitely recommend this book, it's not all happy and smiley, but it keeps you hooked and once you start you won't want to put it down. Be warned though, be prepared to be disappointed...when you finish it that is and your experience is over!

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

A breakdown in communication

The classic line or tag of blame, we've all been there "It seems to be down to a breakdown in communication."

Ah yes a breakdown in communication. Why is it us humans find it so hard to communicate effectively with one another?

Working in a comms role you constantly come across different means of communication available to us all nowadays and how best to do it digitally in particular.

So why is it that as time has gone on and we've got more ways to communicate with one another, we seem to find it harder. Is anyone really expressing what they want to say?

I'm no exception. The majority of the time I probably don't say what I think, at risk of offending.

In a country where people are obsessed with being politically correct, it's no wonder people don't often say how they feel.

I love to talk, but when it comes to talking frankly about something upsetting me I clam up. Rather than telling my boyfriend I'm upset, for example, quite often I'll scribble a note instead. Or I'd rather get angry and into a tiff with my boyfriend before I'll eventually breakdown and say what's bothering me.

We seem to live our lives tiptoeing around others without communicating properly. In this digital age it is now so easy to hide behind a Facebook status, strongly worded email or text message. The idea of talking face to face seems intimidating to people now and so the opinion or instructions you are trying to relay get lost.

Those who work in an office will know how much communication goes on over email, instant messaging or internal chat systems - most often with those in the same room, or on the same desk as you. Mad but true.

I've worked with technical teams throughout my working career (my whole 8 years' worth) and have found issues however they are set up. In the same office, in another office, in another country - no matter what there is always confusion, arguments and complaints.

Working in office environments for years it is evident how bad various departments are at talking to one another.

The problem is we're all set in our own ways and how we like to handle things. So nobody wants to back down or take influence from anyone else's style or approach - hence nobody learns, they communicate in their own way and the messages get lost.

Brits I think are worse as there is the whole 'stiff upper lip' outlook. On our train we avoid eye contact and people don't smile at one another. Someone annoys us on the train, we say nothing until our anger and frustration at their behaviour builds up and up.

I've had work instances where people seem to fall into a pattern of not talking to other offices/departments about how they feel and how they want to work together. In turn they let their annoyances build up and go to their seniors first before talking to their peers, leading to a bigger issue than was there in the first place and causing a 'situation' for the company.

Someone bothers another in a group of friends, it's easier to bitch about them and post a negative message via social media to get your point across. What happened to good old fashioned talking?

I get so frustrated in work situations when things aren't communicated properly at work internally. When you're all from the same company and are all trying to achieve the same results overall why not work together? Why not keep people informed?

I am probably guilty of over-communicating in some situations at work as I like everyone to know all the facts. If I don't know what's happening with my clients or where I stand in my role or future prospects I can't stand it. Therefore I'll do notes and bullet points galore about anything I've been involved in. Again to me this works, but to others I probably annoy them bothering them with info they likely don't even need to know.

So the next time you want to know what your friend really thinks, you think a colleague has let you down, your loved one has upset you, step back and be a bit old fashioned for a change... Talk and say what you really think. Perhaps we could start a 'new' way of communicating trending?

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

BMI Battles

I just can't seem to get back on track.

A few weeks ago now I fell off the dieting and exercise wagon and I haven't been able to improve things since.

This always happens to me, a holiday or lots of social events and I'm there eating and drinking my way off of my diet!

Yet again though I've found myself baffled by weightloss. As you may remember I weigh myself each Monday and have done since the start of the year. In total I've lost a stone, no more, since I've been putting on weight some weeks and then losing it again on another.

This Monday saw me weigh myself and despite no exercise and a diet consisting of far too much takeaway, chocolate and ice cream, I've lost weight! How does that make sense?

I've also found myself so lethargic. So this week I've decided I need to try and get back on track. However this is going very slowly so far. I'm managing to get my diet leaning more towards fruit, veg and health rather than fat, grease and stodge.

When it comes to exercise I've not been able to get into gear sadly. I planned to do my workout DVD yesterday, not a chance. My excuse being I was on the tail end of a cold.

Then tonight it was time to have a brief workout when I got in. Did I? Nope, I pulled on my PJs and put the dinner on!

I hope I can force myself to do something tomorrow, although realistically I have set my sights on a double gym visit this weekend. We shall see.

On the other hand my boyfriend has now nearly lost 2 and a half stone since the start of 2012. He has had a flu bug and run two marathons so I guess it's understandable, but still I want to get figures like that!

I guess there's only one thing for it, I need to stop pigging out and put those new trainers and gym top I bought at the marathon expo to good use! Now if I can just avoid that bottle of wine in the fridge and KitKat Chunky peanut butter in the cupboard...

Monday, 23 April 2012

Lunchtime thoughts

I'm sitting on my lunchbreak in a coffee shop trying to keep warm and shelter from the rain with my skinny mocha. It's on days like this I miss working in Canary Wharf. There just don't seem to be any good places to sit round here indoors and in the warm, unless you want to pay. The shops are rubbish too.

It's funny, yesterday we obviously went to the marathon, we went to a variety of spots - the ones I usually go to though - to try and catch a view of my man running. Canada Water/Surrey Quays, Rotherhithe, Canary Wharf, Embankment and Westminster.

I found as we got to Canary Wharf I'd missed it. Now I'm no train spotting enthusiast or fan of station architecture, but I felt sad as we arrived there.

Later as we navigated the maze-like system of the shopping centre - in order to simply get to the other side of the road for a better view - I felt sad. I remembered my lunchbreaks of sitting in the warm centre reading my book when it was cold and bitter outside. I remembered numerous lunches spent mooching round the many shops and the successful shopping trips on a lunchbreak where I could buy most things I needed.

My sister in law suggested I can go there any time to see the shops, but it's not the same I argued. It's ideal for lunchbreaks but I wouldn't want to go there on my weekends I admit.

So, yes, the marathon. Well my man completed it, in 5 hours and 19 minutes, a 40 minute improvement on last week's run. He's gutted he didn't get a sub-5 hour time, but after all he's been through I think he did amazingly!

However, the ongoing issue of raising the funds remains, we're still on less than £1,000 so over £600 to go. I'm trying not to dwell on it for now and hope over the next few weeks he secures it. After all he's just managed to complete two marathons and I want him to enjoy being employed again!

As for the marathon and London's transport system and organisational skills, I said I'd let you know.

Hm, well, overall the service itself was good. There weren't any line closures impacting on the journeys we had to make. Granted we had to queue to get into Canada Water, but it did progress relatively quickly. Although one of the station worker's manners left a lot to be desired when my Aunt simply asked him if there was a toilet in the station.

However, the organisation in the meet and greet area was horrendous. Normally we exit Whitehall and join everybody in the meet and greet area on the huge expanse of gravel/sand (whatever it is!) Unfortunately this year for those running over 5 hours the end was somewhat wet as it started to rain (yet again, what is it with all this rain of late, these April showers have featured enough now I feel!)

Meet and greet was a disaster, people leaving and arriving were let in/out the same route and so it was a mass of people barging all over the place in wet coats and carrying massive umbrellas. Not fun. Even those who'd just run the 26.2 miles had trouble getting back, my man waited 20 minutes in the rain just to get to his family.

Trying to leave was the same mess, no systems, no organisation, just people stuck all trying to go in different directions with nobody able to move!

As we finally emerged I noticed a lot of police and talk of crowd control so perhaps later on (when there'd be much less people anyway) they did sort something out.

My 'London is rubbish at organising thing's' rant continued this morning when it seemed yet again Greater Anglia trains couldn't cope with the simple Monday morning rush hour.

That was fun. What was even more entertaining was how our driver kept highlighting this was the Olympic host for 2012 as we neared London. He was telling this to a train packed full of grumpy commuters, on a train that was running over 20 minutes late on a standard working day. Not the best of timings...

Anyways time is getting on and it's time for me to brave the wet, busy streets of the city and get back to work. I've got more to say re my weightloss/exercise/diet plan though so you may well hear more from me later on...

Saturday, 21 April 2012

A marathon achievement

This morning felt a little like Groundhog Day if I'm honest. We woke up, we had a late breakfast and we had a woman on TV cooking in her kitchen in Paris.

We got washed and dressed and then headed out to a marathon expo. Yep pretty much exactly the same as last Saturday. Well, apart from one thing, we weren't walking along a sunny seafront strolling to the exhibition, instead we were tubing it to London.

Now don't get me wrong, grumpy me was still evident to see as we got on the grimey District Line and people cut us up left right and centre throughout our journey. But I was pleasantly surprised by something I noticed. The transport system.

I used to regularly travel through West Ham and get the Jubilee Line - or depending on the journey the DLR. For once I'm going to praise the Olympics! If this is the influence of the Olympics coming to London then perhaps I have witnessed today a positive impact on our transport system - those trains were so regular and seemed to whizz out of the station!

The feel in the expo compared to Brighton last week was absolutely buzzing! It was packed with stalls and charities and had loud music pumping out giving a boost to energy levels.

Maybe it was the charity element but the thought of everybody coming together to support each other like that was a very nice feeling indeed. And dare I say it, it did make me think of the Olympics. If everyone comes together to will everyone on in Britain to do well in the Olympics it will create an amazing feel in London. Something I feel seems to be lacking at the moment (my slightly negative slant on things a good example of this I know!)

I found myself looking at Olympics related goods and feeling proud. I think this could be the influence of the marathon though, so please don't get celebrating (or sulking, depending on your views) just yet that I've suddenly become an Olympics fan!

I really can't wait for the marathon tomorrow in London, last week in Brighton was great and was so much fun standing with hardcore semi-pro cheerers!! It does make a difference if you really get into the supporting.

However I have to admit you can't beat the feel of the London marathon (Brighton of course is on a smaller scale and is still in its infancy to be fair).

I'm well prepared for tomorrow, I've got myself a supporters pack from Whizz Kidz (the disabled children's charity my man is running for, which includes

Balloons and stick holders
Banging sticks
T shirt
Supporters guide so we know where to watch

Then I also nabbed some freebies, so I'm also equipped with banners and trumpets too! I can't wait to cheer my man - and others - on!

This will be my fourth marathon in London now as a spectator. I have to say every one I've attended I've thoroughly enjoyed, the atmosphere is amazing, the crowds are so friendly and London feels a very safe and close capital.

I'll admit I do tend to have a whinge about the trains on marathon day as they always end up temporarily closing stations and there's normally at least one or more lines with issues.

However this year again I feel I should thank the Olympics because there doesn't really seem to be any line closures on the tube this weekend. If the trains run as fast and as regularly as today it'll be amazing. What the stations themselves are like I'll only find out tomorrow.

So as I pack my bag and plan my outfit for tomorrow's events, I am feeling optimistic about the Olympics and excited about the atmosphere awaiting me in the capital tomorrow. Plus I have an overwhelming sense of pride and love for my man right now for all he's achieved and I can't wait to be there at the finish line for him tomorrow. Him breaking through that finish line tomorrow will be symbolic of more than him just finishing an actual run itself and I can't wait to be there to support and congratulate him.

Barmy for books

This week I joined another social networking site and yet again I am becoming a tad hooked.

However rather than appealing for the nosey element of Facebook or the learning-more aspect of Twitter, this one pulls on my love of literature.

This site - if you've not checked it out already - is brilliant for us bookworms. You can review items you've read, rate them, search the site's extensive list of books, make friends with others and see what they like to read and receive recommendations of your own on what to try next.

Whilst on Facebook you check in and update your status (usually of how drunk you are!) on GoodReads you update that you've started a new book, track your progress of reading and announce when you're finished and what you thought. You can even find information on related events and set yourself challenges.

I was only talking to a colleague recently about our love for books and reading. The way a good cover can grab me first before I'll check out the blurb on the back. How I tend to read on my commute into and back from work and often at night before I go to sleep.

It's amazing how a block of paper pages can make you feel - emotional at a sad story, satisfied on completing a chunky paperback, motivated after an inspiring item, excited about starting a book you've wanted to read for ages.

I'm still waiting to get back on my poor Kindle though. The mountain of books I was working through - lent to me by my Mum - had one item remaining. That is until I visited her last week and got given 3 or 4 more!

I'm pleased to be lent books and enjoy sharing but I've noticed the last few I've read I haven't exactly loved and they've not been ones I've picked.

However I'm hoping to break this patten with my newest addition SJ Watson's Before I Go To Sleep. I've been waiting to read this for a while so hopefully it's going to be a good one - I'll let you know.

Before I start it though I'm off to log my new book on the GoodReads App! Who knows whatever things I'll find you can do on there... We're due to go to the marathon expo today ready for marathon number two - London - tomorrow, but how I'm going to fit in going out after updating Facebook, Twitter and now GoodReads I don't know!

Friday, 20 April 2012

Bookworm: A Desirable Residence (Sophie Kinsella as Madeleine Wickham)

Yet another read on loan from my Mum this isn't necessarily the sort of book I would normally go for.

I do like trashy chick lit offerings, however I like their story behind them to have some form of appeal. In addition, I am very drawn in by book covers, this cover isn't the most enthralling.

Although writing under her real name of Madeleine Wickham in this instance, I've read books in the past by this author (better known as Sophie Kinsella). Best known for her 'Shopaholic' series, this writer is known for easy reads.

On finishing this paperback though I've found myself disappointed. A dull and partly negative ending, the easygoing lighthearted storylines I'm used to were not evident by the end of this book unfortunately.

I was interested to see how the various characters developed at first in this book and I can see the themes throughout of the 'grass not always being greener on the other side' and 'money doesn't buy you 'happiness'.

Unfortunately though nothing much else really happened in this 300+ page book and I've found myself trying to race to the end so I can get started on a more appealing read.

Good points
Not a predictable ending
Sticks to strong themes

Bad points
Pretty dull storyline
Nothing that much really happens
Certain storytelling is rushed

Overall then not really a hit. On the plus note though I'm now finished and can get started on a book I've had my eye on for a while...

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

It never rains but pours!

Much like the weather of late, often we find in life it never rains but it pours!

This has been the case recently it seems for me and those closest to me.

I also feel like I have done nothing but moan of late, so I apologise if this post is another whinge-a-thon!

My boyfriend securing a job after 6 months being unemployed was set to be a shining beacon and see the start of all things positive – or so we thought. Thankfully – touch wood – after a couple of days of being on the training course for his job it seems to be so far so good.

However, as you’ll know from previous posts, my Mum recently broke her leg on holiday and has had to have an operation and is looking at a 3 month recovery timeframe. I then had an incident where there was a supposed attempted break in at my block of flats, not long after I caught a tummy bug and so generally felt rough, missed an important work meeting and couldn't visit my Mum.

Not to worry, I thought, they say bad luck comes in threes. Hm...

Next up was our weekend trip to Brighton where my 'marathon man' boyfriend was to run the first of his two-marathons-in-a-week events. At the start of the weekend he felt ill, to the point that by Sunday (marathon day), he had to run with a fever, sore throat, aching joints and a runny nose/difficulty breathing.

As you know he is running these events for charity and is trying to raise funds for Whizz Kidz, he needs to get £1600 and is so far about 46% of the way there. Another stress point to add to our list, he doesn't raise it he has to pay it out himself (I assume with the 'magic beans' he has from being out of work for 6 months).

Since then I have caught said germs and am poorly AGAIN, with a client event tomorrow night which it's now looking like I'll be too unwell to attend. Then today my boyfriend found he's got a flat tyre and the company he bought his car from never gave the correct part to allow a new wheel to be fitted (but of course claim they did!)

As you can tell it's been fun and games of late and I'm getting a tad grumpy as a result. We even had to leave our friend's wedding early yesterday due to our germs!

I'm now feeling fed up - of things going wrong and of feeling like I am constantly ill. Don't even get me started on my diet and exercise plan...

Recently I watched a debate on TV as to whether there was such a thing as 'luck' and if you simply make your own in life. I found I sided with the idea of being in charge of your life and needing to create/control your own destiny BUT there were situations throughout life where it seemed things happened out of your control and were a case of luck. Or take people - others seem to constantly get 'lucky breaks', whilst there are some who always seem to be down on luck.

I now find myself, or in particular my partner, fitting into the second of these groupings and wish life would give him a break.

As I journey home on my train which is dawdling along the track home, with my wet umbrella and sodden shoes, I'm going to try and look on the bright side.

Surely we must have sunny weather soon, my cold isn't going to last forever, and to be frank I need to get off my moody bum and control my luck for a while. Starting with setting aside some proper time after this weekend to book my birthday holiday, we'll then both have something to look forward to. Mind you it is for my impending 30th! God I'm getting old, I haven't done half the things I'd planned by now, I'm never going to be able to keep everyone happy with my plans, will there be any holidays left?...

Oh well, here we go again...

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Our marathon weekend

An unexpected first as I manage to pack just a teeny tiny case
Sure something's been forgotten, panic on my face

A 'traumatic' train journey as we get stuck with hectic hens and their giggling plans
It only gets worse when we're joined by our drunken companion, with his self-filled vodka and red bull cans

We arrive at the station and start the walk to our home for the weekend
Over 45 minutes later we arrive at a lovely modern apartment hot, sweaty but ready to meet new friends

All settled in, everyone takes a wander along the seafront and marina
Then back home to get ready for an evening out and some dinner

A Vietnamese feast awaits, drinks and lots of laughter
Then a seafront walk, more drinks and funny chats after

Home to bed with sore feet and full tummies
Quick to fall asleep, before awaking to another day which is cold but sunny

Saturday involves more walking, sussing out the marathon route and attending an expo
Then time for lunch, shopping and treats, The Lanes of course, we all know where to go!

Quirky shops, individual boutiques, decadent cupcakes and soft creamy fudge
Breathing in the sea air and strolling by the pier, eating all the sweets we love

At night it's dinner and time to load up on all those carbs for our marathon two
Pasta, jacket potatoes and lots of ingredients all good for you

Early to bed for the runners in our crowd
Outfits, race numbers and running supplies packed and laid out. We'll all be so proud

Sunday we wake ready to cheer them on
Runners already left for the start line, they are long gone

Banners are finished, balloons are blown and tied
Loudspeakers are tested and our outfits are checked, all matching, side by side

We set up our position, making other supporters giggle and likely waking the locals
As the runners start to appear we soon become very vocal

A great atmosphere is created despite the wind and cold
Calling out runners' names for encouragement, especially those whose costumes are bold

A long, tiring day but so worthwhile as you see those you support
Some run for charity, fun or just because they love doing this as their sport

The emotions run high as you await their arrival
Happiness all round as they cross the finish and pick up their medal

Some finish super fast, others slower but still do well
Whilst some struggle on, though they're feeling unwell

Medals, freebies, food and drinks
Bags full and heavy, legs ache, backs hurt and heads start to sink

Time to head home and rest or eat
A nice hot bath, lie down or to soak those blistered feet

After a celebratory glass of sparkle it's time for our weekend to end
We're tired out, faces pink from the sun and are sad to say bye to new friends

Brighton was full of fun, great food, laughs and fab company
Sad to be over, but was worthwhile for the fun, marathon achievement and money raised for charity

Friday, 13 April 2012

Brighton Bound

Yay it's Friday. Yay it's the weekend. Yay I'm off work and en route to Brighton for the first of my boyfriend's marathon attempts.

It's been a 'fun' couple of weeks, what with my Mum breaking her leg and having an op/being in hospital, some morons tried to break into my block of flats and I caught some weird tummy bug.

However now we're of to the seaside to spend time with one of my bestest friends and support her, my man and her Dad running the 26.2 miles that is the Brighton Marathon.

Trev's fundraising efforts are going quite well, he's now raised over £600 so just under £1,000 to go!! Sponsor him here if you fancy it

He's running for a very worthwhile charity Whizz Kidz - supporting disabled children (and adults) and we're hoping people who haven't already will sponsor him once they see evidence of him running this first event.

I'm also very pleased with myself as I've managed to pack all my outfits/wash stuff etc for two nights and three days in a teeny tiny case! I am the world's worst packer and always take too much so I have had to be very strict with myself. Also the weather forecast keeps changing so I'm sure I'm going to end up either too hot, too cold or wet!

It should also be interesting supporting our runners (there are a few things planned which I mustn't say anymore about in case it spoils things) and my man's running outfit will make interesting photos (or potentially blind people, it is pretty bright!)

Then there's going to be the fun of checking out what gruesome sores my man ends up with, encouraging my friend who is always so hard on herself even though she is an amazing sportswoman and trying to meet up with the in-laws on a packed Brighton seafront!

I shall keep you posted and am sure there'll be plenty of material to blog about!

For now I am going to sit back and enjoy (!) this District Line journey to Victoria before we get on our train to the (hopefully) sunny seaside!

Sunday, 8 April 2012

An eggstraordinary Easter

So Easter's turned out not quite as planned, seeing as I've spent most of it in hospital.

No nothing is wrong with me, I've been regularly attending Queens Hospital as a visitor to my poor Mum.

You may remember I recently mentioned my parents were off on yet another holiday, well this one didn't turn out quite so well, despite staying in a 5* luxury resort in Mexico.

What happened is so random I admit I thought it was a joke. Give me a break for a second here - I'm not a bad daughter honest - I did receive news of said incident on April Fools Day!!

The parents had gone for a two week holiday and eight days in they decided to go for an early morning walk along the beach/water's edge. Once they were very far away from their hotel they saw some dogs on the beach, this was quite common and they always seemed quite harmless so no big issue.

Well there wasn't an issue, until that is one of the massive dogs decided to go for a run along the beach. My parents parted as he bounded down the beach to let the dog run through them. But, no, this canine chose a different path and ended up running straight at my Mum!

To cut a long story short the dog whacked into my Mum's right leg so hard it broke it and sent her flying over. Her left leg is nicely bruised and had some nice paw scratch marks on it too. Lovely.

How random is that? When we tell people she was on holiday they ask was she skiing or snowboarding. You then say it was in the sun, so they ask things like was she playing volleyball. What are the chances of a stray dog running up and breaking your leg??

After the beach paramedics' help and being quad biked across the sand to an ambulance, Mum's leg was put in plaster. My parents then had days of contacting their insurance company and sorting a flight home, Mum had to get around in a wheelchair and crutches and try and enjoy her time in the sun.

They arrived back in the UK on Wednesday and since then has been mostly spent visiting her in hospital, sitting with her for support and waiting for her to have an op to operate on her broken tibia.

She's now had the operation and the recovery begins, nobody has said how long this could take yet and the hospital won't let her out until she can walk unaided on her crutches, although she'll have to go in each week to have the leg brace they are going to fit loosened so gradually a bit at a time she can start to try and bend her knee.

Instead of family BBQs and spring days out planned, Mum is stuck in hospital, but she's done amazing so far. I'm so proud of her for staying strong and not moping about being there. Of course she's been getting a little fed up along the way, but overall she's being very strong.

Of course for my holiday-addict parents their main concern once Mum is better is will they be able to go on their citybreak booked for June. And for me? Well this has all turned into a good excuse to be lazy and not really go the gym and just tuck into some Easter treats, all this hospital visiting is very tiring you know...

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Bookworm: The Slap

Last night I finished reading The Slap. I apologise for how long it's been since I last reviewed a book on here, but this chunky paperback was nearly 500 pages long. Don't get me wrong though I am a fast reader, this book was just painful.

The whole story centres around the lives of a number of different characters in Australia and how they are affected by one single incident - somebody slapping a young child round the face at a family/friends BBQ. Hence the title.

Apparently this was also a BBC series, admittedly I never saw it and if you did you will have to let me know if it was any good.

I was lent the book by my Mum of all people - something I found uncomfortable the more I read of the book! And the fact my Dad had read it too! Throughout her time reading she complained how hard going it was, she couldn't get into it and there was far too much swearing.

In a lot of situations me and my Mum differ on opinion so I thought I'd still give it a go.

Now I'm no prude but this book is just full of swearing and sex. If this helps shape a character or add to a story I'm all for it. However this was one of those situations where it felt the author was doing it just for the sake of it.

The result was a mass group of characters who to be quite honest all seemed quite similar and I found all unlikeable. Just as I'd start to think I was liking a character and had some slight sense of identifying with them the page would then become flooded with sex and covered in 'c bombs'.

Good bits
Keeps you reading
Not an obvious ending/outcome

Bad bits
Unlikeable characters
No clear message behind it
Constant sexual references, swearing and the 'c-word' used seemingly for the sake of it

Overall as you can tell I didn't enjoy this read, sticking with it for near on 500 pages didn't do much for my mood on finishing it either. Perhaps I'm just not 'getting it', but I really don't understand what the message was meant to be here.

I only have two more books left in my pile to read before I can get back to my beloved Kindle. One looks like a thick paperback telling a sad childhood tale, for now I'm armed with the small, trashy chick lit option, fingers crossed this one is a bit more enjoyable...