Vlog Time #45 – Book Launch Date

First a quick vlog…

Now your formal invitation…

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There is a Facebook page for the event so please feel free to come over and show virtual support even if you cannot physically make it, though of course I would love for you to all be there to share cake with me xxx

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Kicking Myself Up The Backside

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This week I have made a real effort to get back into the swing of things and not allow myself to wallow in self pity, it would be easy to spend my time playing games on Facebook (okay I still do a bit of that) but instead I have worked on blog posts, scheduling Facebook posts and have even done my January Writing Resolutions Round Up which you can find by clicking here or in the tab above.

The fact of the matter is when adversity hits it becomes incredibly easy to get distracted in procrastination, when I realised my dropbox had not been auto updating as it was supposed to I could have cried, in real terms I have not actually lost a lot of work but the emotional reaction makes it feel so much worse.  To be honest in a bout of self doubt I have deleted far more work previously than I lost in this incident (yes I know you should never delete anything and just file it away for a rainy day.) It is hard to force yourself to focus and move forward when in truth you would rather curl up and not bother but Sunday reminded me of part of the reason for Voices, little Charlie and his tragic battle against Cancer.

Sunday saw the second anniversary of Charlie’s passing, a life cut tragically short in fact hardly given a chance to begin, and while I mourn the Grandma I loved so much I know she lived, loved and made the most of her time on this planet.  We do not have a choice in what life throws at us we do however have a choice how we deal with it.  We owe it as much to those who had no choice as to ourselves to make every minute of our lives count.  Of course we cannot all spend all our lives, climbing mountains, fundraising for causes or seeing the sights we long to see, sadly too much of our time is spent in doing the daily toil to pay the bills but the little free time we have is what counts.  It is about looking at the world about you, appreciating the million little miracles in every day life, as the quote says ‘stopping to smell the roses’.  It is saying thank you to someone who makes you smile, be they friend or stranger and causing a smile on the lips of another.  Paying it forward not just in theory but in practise, I regularly write random letters to friends and know from their responses how much they enjoy getting something other than a bill via snail mail, take up the challenge and do something to make others feel good. (If anyone wants to be on my random mailing list feel free to email me at paulaacton@gmail.com)

Life is not always good or easy but it is still a precious gift which has been denied to so many others, we can sit and feel sorry for ourselves or we can make our presence felt, which will you choose?

Birthday Wishes

Today is a very hard day for some friends of mine you see today would have been little Charlie’s 3rd birthday.  I will not pretend to know how you get up each morning and carry on following the loss of a child much less how you handle the extra special days knowing your child will not be there to open presents or blow out candles.  Charlie’s legacy is to hopefully bring about changes which will reduce the number of parents experiencing what Fi and Joey are going through today, I read messages from his big sister Ellie and my heart breaks afresh that she too should have to deal with this pain at such a young age.  So for today they asked that we all wear purple in his honour (his favourite colour) there really is nothing more to be said other than I am…

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Book Review – A Big Hand for the Doctor By Eoin Colfer.

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First apologises for last weeks disappearance, for those of you on my personal Facebook you will know I was very poorly, I actually went down with Tonsillitis.  Let me state I like many others thought that it was just a sore throat, however three days in bed proved to me how wrong I was, I lost my voice totally, could not swallow to eat or drink, had cold sweats and generally wanted someone to put me out of my misery or freeze me until a cure was found.  The I discovered that sometime the cure is just as bad lol the anti-biotics I have been on took their own toll and though I still have a few days to get through am determined to get back on my feet.

The reason being today is little Monster’s birthday, we shall be busy this evening playing with his new Doctor Who toys, stuffing our faces with cake and having lots of cuddles.

Which leads me to a request I get to snuggle my boy on his birthday next month Fi and Joey will face the first of many hard times, Charlie’s birthday, it will be the first one where they cannot watch his face light up as he opens presents and blows out candles.  Too many parents seem to be left to this fate, it now seems everyone knows someone or is related to someone taken by this terrible disease, but today I would ask if you could to take a minute and visit a new blog – she is on Blogspot at the minute but am singing WordPress praises to her – so if you could just pop by and say hello you will recognise her from my first inspirational Angels post you can read here

Her blog can be found by following this link here.  Just stop by say hello and cheer her on. Right back to business which of course here is writing and books..

As this year marks the 50th Anniversary of Doctor Who there are lots of special events going on, one of which is this series of kindle releases.

17225498Normally I would try to avoid spoilers however due to my feelings about this one that may not completely possible.

Each month a new story is launched written by a different author and featuring each of the Doctors in turn up to November and the current incarnation.  The books are aimed at young adult audiences so I am not the target audience but as a huge Doctor Who fan I see no reason I shouldn’t have a little read.

Now these are more Novellas than novels and I don’t want to give away too many spoilers so I shall keep my reviews as brief and spoiler free as possible.  It was well written and as a story thoroughly enjoyable but… and this is a big but it was not the First Doctor.

The author is a writer well-known for writing young adult/teenage fiction and of course he writes that brilliantly well but despite being old enough to have watched Classic Who this reads very much like it is written by someone who has only seen the most recent incarnations of the Doctor.  While he does grasp some of the speech mannerisms of the First his physicality is completely out of character with the older man who played him.

Could the writer have intended that this was a prequel coming before all the televised stories? That is completely possible but for the youngsters who read this then decide to look up the shoes featuring the First Doctor they are in for a shock, they will be looking for a guy who despite being a grandfather jumps into transport vortexes and instead they will find…

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Now, okay in a push I just he could still jump but it jars with my memories of how he would act, he was many things but the action hero was not one of them.

Overall I will give this a 3.5 out of 5 I hope that the series will improve with the other Doctors,

Right off to get ready for a tea party, its good to be back.

R is for Running (And Running Late)

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(Altered due to late finishing and publication)

Turn the clock back a little under thirty years ago and my Sunday morning would have been spent pounding  the pavement.  Don’t get me wrong it was not by choice, I did long jump and did not go happily to to the conditioning session intended to build up stamina I did 15 steps in my run up and could not appreciate the need to run a couple of miles.

The thing is once you have the option taken away from you it becomes more appealing.  Since my spinal problems I no longer take my health for granted and I now know just how precious it is.  I tried finding some picturess from the athletics club I belonged to but like many things it is long gone.

As I write this the world has been rocked by the events at the Boston Marathon and the London one is due to be run tomorrow (was run yesterday) thousands of people line up with one aim, not to win medals or break records but to achieve something while representing those who no longer can represent themselves and raising thousands of pounds/dollars for charities.  I know both causes close to my heart will be represented on not only the London start line but that of other races throughout the year.  Hours spent pounding the pavement in wind and rain to do those precious angels proud, and I know the families of those helped by both charities The Joseph Salmon Trust and Charlie’s charity Cords4lifeUK will continue to contribute to helping these charities help more people.  I wish neither of these charities had to exist, I wish that both boys were playing in a school playground right now not looking down on their families and smiling at the legacies created in their name, but both not only exist but are needed and do great work.  I don’t know if I will be fit enough by next year to join either of the teams on the starting lines but I do know that I want to be and that before I turn fifty I intend to run at least one 10k race for each charity.

Maybe I will even get fit enough that I will experience the thrill of lining up one Sunday morning to begin those 26 miles that are not about the Elite runners they are about the masses saying we just want to give something back and make a difference.

M is for Mementoes

20130210-230657We live in a digital age and the reality is that for many reasons actual momentoes have become fewer and further between until we reach a time in our lives when we start to reflect on years gone by.

For our parents generation there were lots though the value of them was not always recognised, those hand written letters, postcards, precious photographs that could be held in the had or placed in a frame.  We went through the 80’s when interior designers encouraged people to throw away they knick knacks and curios and go minimalist, now photos are stored on computer, on the internet, messages are sent the same way and old fashioned snail mail suffers for its lack of immediacy.

But once the flush of youth has gone and we look back we begin to desire tangible objects that we can hold in our hands and that is where companies like the wonderful Bespoke Affairs come into their own.  Let me state I am not being paid for this I just happened to have met the wonderful lady who runs this small business via fundraising for Charlie I asked if she could donate and she was generous enough to say yes and is donating this lovely box like this one for the auction at Charlie’s ball…

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Compared to some prizes it may not seem much but when you consider this is an amazing woman trying to bring up her kids plus set up a business on her own you realise that this is much more than a box it is symbol of support from one mother to another, the person who wins it at auction not only gets a wonderful box, they become part of a story, a story that links strangers not just around this country but around the world.

907256_10151568377473834_585881876_nBespoke Affairs sells loads of different things most of which are adorned with sayings and reminders of the need for us to reach out to each other and that in our interactions we create memories and the value of those we make,  I could not help but end up buying a book mark for my daughter and Freda generously discounted allowing me to grab one for myself…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMy daughter chose the white one while I was pleased to end up with the black one as the sentiment means a lot to me, please feel free to take a look at Freda’s Facebook store here

After meeting Freda to thank her for her donation in person I went to meet me daughter with the rest of the family to have dinner out, I took a few minutes to sit in the sun and scribble a few notes OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAbefore creating a few more memories of our own, I have seen a few photo frames I rather like so now to decide on which photos I want to pop in them. xx

H is for Hospitals

20130210-230657This post is a day late I am afraid and the reason is – partly – we had yet another hospital trip yesterday.  Admittedly the rest of the day was spent visiting my parents and grandma as I have to take the chance when the schools are closed and I am not working to fit visits in.

I have had both good and bad experiences with hospital, my first memory of a hospital visit was going to see my dad after he had a burst stomach ulcer, all I really remember of that was the huge tube coming out of his belly.

The next was to visit my grandad shortly before he passed away, I remember how tiny he looked in the expanse of white that was the bed.

The next visit was to casualty after slicing part of my thumb off chopping tomatoes, and the doctor telling me I had cut the nerve endings off so I shouldn’t be complaining it hurt.

The next visit was my longest stay with me as a patient, the emergency caesarian that brought my daughter into the world 7 weeks prem.

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A week later and after a few setbacks for both of us we headed home and I did not see the inside of a hospital until…

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Since Jacks birth in 2008 both he and I have been no strangers to hospitals, he has fought meningitis plus had an operation to remove is adanoids, constant visits to ENT, Paediatricians, Orthoptists, Speech Therapists and Physiotherapists.  For me two spinal operations plus on going Physiotherapy.

Then more recently as you know my dad has had a two month stay in hospital, I have seen almost every department going over the years fr one reason or another and while most doctors and nurses do an amazing job, there are some whose bed side manners leave much to be desired.  Doctors and nurses who make the patient feel stupid for bothering them and are clearly in the wrong job.  The NHS is far from perfect but from friends experiences better than systems in some other countries but there do need to be changes.

Why are our Facebook walls full of children needing to raise money to be treated abroad? Why in terms of medical research are we so far behind other countries?  I know that we have increases of population and people are living longer therefore using more resources but we have to start making changes and looking at long term solutions rather than short term savings.  Things like Umbilical Cord Donation (don’t worry am not giving the full lecture here) is ruled out as too expensive, but how much is a child’s life worth? Taking emotion out of it and put in from a financial view point the cost of a child’s life is actually extremely valuable, not only does saving a life negate expensive pallitive care in the final weeks or months but also consider the life time of potential that child has. No one knows what that child could grow up to be, a doctor, a scientist, and Olympian, they could inspire millions or just work in a shop, paying taxes and contributing to keep our country afloat.

Yes we are on the verge of ending up with an aged population with a too-small workforce to support them and the reason is we are letting too many of our children die to save a few pounds now.