Bank Holiday Monday humour: I Should Have Googled how to Play Soccer

This is so funny that I have to share it with you – just as Sick Christine shared it with me.  Hot Mess Memoir you have really cheered my day…..

 

I Should Have Googled How To Play Soccer

I can barely move my legs; they hurt so bad. This is somewhat of a wake up call that I need to A. continue my diet and B. exercise. Tonight was our parents vs. kids soccer game with my 8 year old-C. I decided to go all out so I hit the thrift store yesterday and scored an old-school pair of shorts and an Ohio State Soccer t-shirt for $4.50. I finished off the look with a thick white headband from The Walmart.

The Soccer Game

hot mess soccerAfter arriving at the field, I asked my friend to take this picture. Do you like it?

Find the rest of the post here: I should have googled how to play soccer

Book Review “The Girl at the End of the Road”

Disclaimer: I was fortunate to be given a copy of this book by The Book Club on Facebook in exchange for a fair and honest review.

The Girl at the End of the Road by K A Hitchins

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Vincent has found himself in a situation that any self-respecting “City” boy would balk at.  He has lost his job, his rented home, possibly his high maintenance girlfriend and perhaps most humiliating of all, he is on his way home to his parents’ house in Suffolk.  Rural Suffolk.  At this point in his life, a decade or so after leaving school, he did not expect to find himself becoming reacquainted with his childhood bedroom or learning how to live with his loving, but in his eyes, staid middle aged parents.

But he is clear in his own mind that this is just a temporary glitch.  The downturn in the economy and his huge personal debts will not hold him back.  However adjusting to life in the rural village of Elmsford proves hard for Vincent, who assumes himself to be a city hotshot.  There is no immediate access to internet, the job offers that he expected to flood in are nowhere in sight and his social life is virtually non-existent – unless you count dog walks with his parents’ elderly dog.  A trip to the local library brings him face to face with a memory from the past in the shape of librarian Sarah Penny.  Having run into this old school friend once, he finds himself encountering her on dog walks and then actively seeking her out.

So begins what initially seems to be the most unlikely of friendships.  Sarah is the antithesis of friends who have featured in Vincent’s life as she is serious, quiet, slightly dowdy and happy to be in Suffolk.  She is certainly unlike the city girls who dress and make up to the nines, expecting champagne fuelled dates and expensive accessories.  Sarah, in her almost simplistic view of the world, makes Vincent accept some unpleasant truths about himself and his attitudes to life.

The story could be very clichéd, and at first Vincent is a pretty unlikeable character.  But it was with real interest that I watched his character evolve from spoilt young man to something altogether different.  Maybe there is an element of fairy tale to this, but as Vincent grows so does Sarah and the reader begins to have a glimpse into a simple world of an exceptional young lady.  I don’t want to give any spoilers, but I believe that there is enough already written about Sarah’s autism not to be giving anything away.  I am not autistic so do not pretend to have any inside knowledge about this complex condition.  But I do belong to a community of chronic illness sufferers, some of whom are on the autistic spectrum and I have recently read articles by author Laura James, who has autism and my own condition, Ehlers Danlos Syndrome.  I feel that Sarah’s autism, which included her extraordinary intelligence, has been handled sensitively and with relevance to real life.  For instance, her coping mechanisms at dealing with life following her mother’s death and her growing relationship with Vincent.

This book made me think, made me sad and in parts made me laugh out loud.  Perhaps most importantly it made me examine my own attitudes to those we consider to be different to ourselves and also those closest to us.  In my disability chronic illness community we call ourselves “spoonies”, in the book Sarah and her friends call themselves “The Specials” – a fantastic name.  Of course there is a moral to the story for Vincent regarding what in life really makes you happy…..and sometimes you are unable to see it for trying too hard.

For me a great read, with a long review, but 5 stars all the way!

What we are is up to us….in recognition of the Bard

It can’t have escaped your notice that it is the anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death, 400 years to be precise.  So in a small act of homage to the good bard prepare for a smattering of literature!

“What greater punishment is thereromeo & juliet quote

than life when you’ve lost everything

that made it worth living?”

Romeo & Juliet

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some days it feels like this doesn’t it?  What is the point in getting out of bed when your once ordinary life is now disappearing?  Of course angst ridden teenagers always have the monopoly upon the unfairness of life, just remember Harry Enfield’s “It’s not fair!” Kevin, and particularly on getting out of bed. The student engineer and lovely girl certainly fall into the latter group!  If the uni exams next week have questions about sleep and bed, he will be on his way to a first with no problem.  This might be the time to share that he is actually “revising” really hard on the beach in Barcelona right now – some student life!!

Chronic conditions aren’t going anywhere.  They have a nasty knack of rearing up just in time for that long awaited trip, but rarely taking a holiday when their wearer most needs some respite.  Sometimes pain, physical or mental, does feel like a punishment – to me anyway!  I don’t believe that there are many of us who are so selfless that we have never had that really bad day when we bemoan “why me?”.  But I suppose the greater question is “well why not me?” because in Kevin’s words life is not fair.  So on the good days I must focus on the things that do still make life worth living, so that on the bad days I can catch a glimmer that all is not lost.

“Virtue? A fig! ‘Tis in ourselves that we aShakespearere thus or thus. Our bodies are our gardens, to the which our wills are gardeners. So that if we will plant nettles or sow lettuce, set hyssop and weed up thyme, supply it with one gender of herbs or distract it with many—either to have it sterile with idleness, or manured with industry—why, the power and corrigible authority of this lies in our wills.”

Othello Act 1, Scene 3

 

 

 

Was Iago right?  Am I really in charge? A Twitter quote today said something similar CglAZQwXEAUz1Xj

I quite like the idea of my will power being the gardener and that this gardener can nurture new growth through good and bad weather.  This means that I can choose how I care for myself, that the seeds that I choose to sow and cultivate will shape me.

As someone with several chronic conditions I have lost things that made life worth living.  Independence, mobility, waking up without pain, spontaneity, feeling carefree.  But we all lose precious things throughout our lives, whether suffering an illness or not, as life constantly evolves and changes.  As the gardener, I must learn to appreciate the new blooms as they appear in my garden; to take one day at a time whether thunderclouds gather or the sun shines; to tend and care for this sometimes failing garden in order to appreciate the “rich and productive” things that do still make life worth living. Coffee with friends, a child’s excitement, a partner’s touch, a faithful pet, favourite meal, or the days when the sun shines.

So as we celebrate the Bard, remember fellow spoonies that rather than viewing life as a punishment because of what we have lost, look to the future with Shakespeare for “What we are is up to us”.