This title is possibly slightly misleading but I have some exciting news that I simply had to share with you all.
A couple of weeks ago CLIC Sargent held an ebay auction to raise money for the excellent work they do in supporting children and young people who suffer with cancer. Although we didn’t access this particular charity following Owen’s diagnosis, for obvious reasons I have am passionate about the support they provide for those in the 16-24 age group who are in need of information and support of a different flavour.
The auction was full of book-related items and the closing date was on what would have been Owen’s 22 birthday; the day we had decided to scatter his ashes and, cruelly under the circumstances, Mothering Sunday here in the UK (the dates had only coincided once before when Owen was still a young boy, that time he sent me a card which I still have, that said ‘To my darling Mummy – on our special day!’
With all the signs insisting that I participate I perused the long list of items being pledged by a huge range of authors and soon homed in on the prize I would like – I want to be a named character in a book and to my delight one of my favourite authors, Tammy Cohen, was offering just this very opportunity.
Fortunately my bid won! I wasn’t actually watching the auction as I was having dinner, and a gin and tonic for my boy but this was a good end to (another) emotional day.
Tammy has been in touch and I will be named in a forthcoming contemporary novel, despite not having the most suitable of names, I can’t wait to see what I will be! And here is my certificate!
I’d also like to take this opportunity to thank all the authors and bloggers who gave to the Just Giving page in memory of Owen that raised money for Cancer Research – this page was in top 1% of fundraisers in the UK for 2015 with a total of £5,236.18 donated to this worthy charity.
On another note entirely, I have finally managed to listen to, and enjoy an audio book. Later this year I am to be ‘Mother of the Bride’ and have duly been sent a selection of pictures of hats by my DD! Apparently ‘proper mothers’ wear hats – it’s good to know that the years of love, encouragement, nutritious meals, pretty clothes, education and all the other daily tasks I performed are all defunct unless I wear a hat!! Perhaps you can tell, I’m slightly resistant! In fact the whole mother of the bride outfit is an issue – perhaps I’m kidding myself but they seem to be designed for women who are at least a decade older than I am!
Anyway once we got to 2016 I decided that perhaps getting into better shape should start early, after all I need to mitigate the matronly outfit (and hat) and so I started aiming to do my 10,000 steps per day. I already owned a fitbit which was telling me how woefully short of the target I was falling, especially on the weekends. I have managed to make the obvious changes to the working week and without too much effort I can do the steps on these days, particularly if we are good and walk to work – but at the weekends, well that does require an extra special effort! 10,000 steps takes quite a long time, so I decided to try the audio book for company. I’ve had problems in the past due to inattention at critical points in the story, or loud noises that drown out the narrator so I decided to go for a good story where I didn’t feel I’d miss something critical if my mind wandered, and finally decided on Maeve Binchy. I loved her tales of everyday Irish folk when I was in my late teens and early twenties, books that were about people whose lives intertwined which were heart-warming seemed to be an uplifting choice.
The Italian evening class at Mountainview School is like hundreds of others starting up all over the city. But this class has its own special quality – as the focus for the varied hopes and dreams of teacher and pupils alike.
Aidan Dunne needs his new evening class project to succeed almost as much as his pupils do. They too are looking for something more: Bill to find a way to keep spendthrift Lizzie at his side and Fran to make sure that young Kathy finds her way out from behind the kitchen sink.
The key to their success lies with the Signora. Her passion has drawn her from Ireland to Italy and back home again with a burning desire to share her love of all things Italian – and a secret hidden in her heart …. Amazon
I’m not going to write a review as such, but I would like to say this story kept me going through the wind and rain of January and February, entertained me and finally made me realise that I can concentrate on audio if it is the right kind of story – this one was ideal the story uncomplicated enough that it didn’t matter that there was a week between picking it up again and nor I did I particularly need to get to the end of a chapter before switching off. The narrator was Kate Binchy, the cousin of Maeve who carried off the Italian phrases admirably. So I’ve toned up a little and I can tell you within a hundred or so steps the distance from my house to a variety of places on the island!
Does anyone have a suggestion of what I should try to listen to next?