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Life changing magic

Life changing magic
The Life Changing Magic

Recent Reads - the Radiotherapy Edition

Its been a while since I wrote about my book consummation. I found the posts hard to write, trying to write up a synopsis and not give anything away and the review, but the I had a comment chat with Life As Unusuals (who always does the best book reviews) and realised I don't need to do that. Hopefully my thoughts on the books will be enough to make you click through to their listing and read more. 

So I'm starting back with some reviews of honest to goodness printed on paper books I've read recently - mostly whilst having radiotherapy! 

I bought this book souley on the merits of Eowyn Ivey previous book, The Snow Child, which I adored. And I have to say this book didn't disappoint. It's historical, and magical, and adventurous all at once. I learnt about Alaska and the tribes, and their myths, and photography.
It made me wish that there were lands still out there that were open to be discovered - paces that needed discovering, lands where the magical can happen, and people that we know nothing about. 
I read this book during my radiotherapy visits and on one occasion I had to berate my nurses for being too quick, not giving me enough time to read. In the end I sacked off an afternoon of house hold chores to finish reading because whilst I didn't want this book to end, I had to keep reading! 

I bought this book based souley on the beautiful cover. And the fact I was on a hardback book buying spree. There's mystery, there's murder, there's family drama. Despite the books slightly gruesome undertones, is not a dark read and I found that the characters drew me in and I enjoyed the changes in the time frames.
It might not be the best book I've ever read but I really enjoyed it. It's easy to read, maybe a little hint of a YA feel about it, but a good read and it's super cheap for the kindle right now. 

Another stunning cover on a book that was a pre-order. I was looking for another author like Rainbow Rowell (if you haven't read any of her books yet, do so!) and Nina LaCour came highly recommended. And I think it was well up there with the best of Rainbow's books, even as YA fiction it was beautiful. The characters were flawed and realistic, there is sadness and grief, and love and that feeling of growing up. It made me cry (that might be the hormones) and it made me happy, and the ending. Oh. the ending. If my keyboard had the heart eyes emoji I'd be using it now! 

Jim's mum bought me this book for my birthday this year. It took me some time to get into it. Not because it's a tough read but because it needs your concentration and chemo brain didn't allow for me to concentrate when I started it the first time. It's another historical novel, based in Manchester. It deals with the lives of women in the 19th century as the rights they have are changing and evolving. It's not the happiest book ever written, the main characters don't have a very happy existence, but it was a compelling read!  

Now, I bought this book based on the reviews I read of it being amazing, but I have to say, it wasn't the book I thought it would be. It wasn't this great book of the ages I'd heard it was. Maybe I just didn't connect with the characters. Now, don't get me wrong, its not that I hated the book, but I just didn't LOVE it and I found it hard to get in to. But I did like the suspense of not knowing what had happened, I liked the switching between the past and the present and I liked the insights about what goes on it a teenage girls brain.

So, there we have it, some of the books I've read recently. And don't get upset about the state of the book jackets above - books are to be read and thrown in bags and on car seats and in baskets during hospital appointments.

Tell me, what are you reading at the mo? Anything I have to add to the to-read pile? 

The #snowgosh pin. Raising money for CoppaFeel! Have you got yours yet?

If you're following me on Instagram, you might have already seen this cutie that my wonderful friend Zoe created for me, our little #snowgosh pin, which is raising money for an awesome charity, CoppaFeel!

I knew I wanted to do something to raise some money for a breast cancer charity, but I wasn't sure what. I'm not fit enough to run a marathon, or climb mount Everest. I'm too much of a wimp for a skydive. And I'm not cool enough to throw a big event that could raise money (plus I have a lot of flaky friends who can't be trusted to attend things!). So I started thinking of something that could be sold. And so I started talking with Zoe about getting her to design me something a few months ago, when I was just about finished with chemo. But it's taken while after Zoe had drawn it for me to get it made and out for sale. Mostly because I couldn't decide what colours to go with. (Then I thought I had ordered them, and chemo brain fooled me.) Then as soon as I had ordered them I was hit by a fear that no-one would buy them and it was all a bit waste of time..........

But finally they've arrived, and I love them. Not only are they super cute, and glittery, but they are going to raise money for a awesome cause.

Picking a charity was probably the hardest part though. I've purposefully not really sought out any help from any charities. I've not taken any of the funds available to pay bills, or applied to the charities that send you on fun trips. We haven't needed that sort of help. But we did it. And I think it's a good one.  
If you've not heard of CoppaFeel! they are an awesome charity that aims to educate young people about the signs and symptoms of breast cancer so that they are more informed and have the confidence to go to their doctors earlier if they do find something.  

Which resonates with me so much, not because checking my boobs was something I did, but because it was something I didn't do, and clearly should have been. It wasn't even me who found my lump, it was Flash. And then, because I wasn't at all clued up, I believed the GP who told me it would be nothing serious as it was painful. Only when my boss told me to go through our work Bupa did I find out that a painful lump can be cancer! 

Luckily for me Flash found my lump early, but too many people aren't checking their boobs, too many young people aren't finding lumps early enough, too many young people don't go to the drs if they do find a lump. And Coppafeel! aims to change this with their teams of boobettes, their festival stands, their runners dressed as giant boobs, their reminders to check your boobs. 
So here is the #snowgosh pin. We're donating £5 from the sale of every pin to Coppafeel, which will hopefully add up to a pretty nice donation to this worthy cause. (And just for full disclosure, we're not making any money from the pins.)  

You can get yours here at Zoe's Etsy! Please pop over and help us raise some money! Oh and take a look at her awesome paintings and stitchings whilst you're there too! 

{And yes, I've been away from this blog for a little while as we were on holiday and before we left my brain really wasn't in a writing space. Or it was, but I couldn't get the words out. But I am back. Or I hope I am. I have a list of ideas of blog posts but forgive me if there are spaces between posts!}

A love letter to Flash Flashington

Today marks 5 years since this little dude came to live with us. 
5 years of the best cuddles on the planet. 
5 years of being bossed about by this grump. 
5 years of popcorn paws. 
5 years of ears you just want to make into pillows. 
5 years of incessant ball chasing, toy destroying and irrational hatred of things on TV.  
5 years of being my little spoon and hot water bottle. 
5 years of protecting us from people walking past the house and post coming through the door! 
5 years of kisses and slow dances round the kitchen. 
5 years of being waited for when we're out on a walk. 
5 years of unconditional love and dirty looks.  
Today is also, coincidentally, the day I finish my active treatment for cancer. I say coincidentally as it was Flash who first discovered my lump. This guy literally saved my life. He's my hero! I know everyone's dog is perfect but not many of them are as perfect as this little horror! 
I couldn't imagine my life without him. Or his brother. But this here is a love letter to Flash. 
Happy gotcha day little buddy! Love you as much as you love your ball!