Thursday, 4 February 2016

Why did this Happen to Me?

(Re-posted from

 I am normally optimistic about the new year approaching.

But not this time…

I already knew how it would start, and I wouldn't be making any resolutions because of it. The operation to remove the cancer from my right breast was scheduled, and right now, I wish it were over and done with. The prognosis is good, they say, but until they operate, they won’t know for sure.

So this could just be a small inconvenience, or the start of something so much more serious. My instincts are normally good enough to rely on, but this time they have let me down and I have no clue what will happen.

The thought of the possible battle, not to mention the loss of my hair, does not scare me at all. I have always been a fighter, so no change there.

But because my instincts and emotions seem to have been hit by a truck, I don’t know what to feel. It all seems a bit surreal, almost like a practical joke, or something happening to someone else. I have always been almost painfully independent, but now I realise I cannot do this alone. I am becoming what I feared the most, needy.

My life seems to have been one fight (struggle) after another, and my first book, The Ninth Life is more than a little biographical. I have almost bought the farm so many times and was fantasising about not being able to die at all. That wonderful, indescribable feeling has just been snatched away, leaving me feeling less than mortal. I feel like a child with a broken promise to deal with.  I was hoping that getting to my seventies might mean a gentle slide into peace and tranquillity. Obviously not happening any time soon.

For some reason, Jesse is conspicuous by his absence, which is a shame, for I miss feeling his dark doggy presence. Depression can be a strange comfort at times, for it can blanket your fears and stop you thinking. Something I would really welcome round about now.

Usually on New Year’s Eve, I am the life and soul of the celebrations, always optimistic about the possibilities of the incoming year. I love to listen to the chimes of Big Ben, preferably right there on the embankment in London, but failing that, seeing and hearing it on the TV. Turned up loud, so the vibrations can reach my soul as the huge bell strikes the hour.

This year was so very different.

There was no party mood, no drink in hand. I sat and listened to Big Ben, but this time there were tears running down my face. I didn’t really know how I felt, and this in itself was upsetting. My life seems to be on hold. Nothing is as it seems and I already hate what I am becoming. Where has my hope, all my optimism gone?

This had better all be temporary, or there will be hell to pay, of that much I am certain. I always felt as though I would go on forever, and now I don’t feel that anymore, I am all at once lost. I am turning into a doubting Thomas…and it will not do at all…

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Battle Stations…

As most of you know, a few weeks ago, I went to my doctor because I thought I had found a lump in my breast. It was scary enough, at the time.

I was reassured that it was almost certainly nothing to worry about, but I would have to have it checked out, just in case. Somewhere along the way, I managed to convince myself that it would turn out to be a false alarm, something simple, like a cyst, or even my imagination.

Only it was none of these things.

They discovered that not only did I have a lump; it was the worst kind of lump. Suddenly everything changed and became very serious. What was originally planned as a simple outpatient procedure had turned into major surgery, including radiotherapy, or worse, if they found anything else.

I would also have to have medication to control the oestrogen in my body, and although I joked about growing a beard, inside, I wasn’t laughing.

Even though it was the worst possible news, the surgical registrar insisted that I would be eventually be fine. The cancer had been caught early and would be removed efficiently.

They seemed so sure of the outcome, but deep down inside I was having trouble believing them. My medical history suggested otherwise, for the words complications and trouble must be written on my birth certificate somewhere.

I came home from the hospital, stunned into silence. No humour or smart remarks that day. My family tried hard not to get upset, but I witnessed first- hand how much I was loved by every single one of them and that was the saddest part of all.

My lump (I refuse to call it by its proper name) was removed just after Christmas. I tried to keep a brave face, but inside I was angry, not scared and glad to get it out of my body. My instincts tell me that I probably will be all right eventually.

However, it was a hell of a way to start the New Year!

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Witch Ever Way you look at it...

           Our Review of the week...

Do you have the perfect life? Annie does. The perfect friend. The perfect business. And the perfect grandmother. She doesn't need anything else, and certainly not Mace Anderson, the too-clever-for-his-own-good new neighbour who has moved into Honeysuckle Cottage. Unfortunately, Annie’s grandmother isn't of the same opinion and has decided to use her ‘craft’ to spell the enigmatic Mace to fall in love with her granddaughter.

About the Author
Jennie Orbell writes contemporary fiction and to date has four published novels, a short story compilation, and a nonfiction book, compiled from her blog entries - "Two Chucks and a Tabby Cat". Jennie lives in Leicestershire, where she shares her life with a very laid-back man, two chickens, and a tabby cat - this last fact may not have been written in strict order of importance!


A witch’s life should be perfect, right?

But Annie has no intentions of becoming a witch like her grandmother. She is young, attractive, headstrong and single, and sometimes her life has a habit of turning itself upside down at a moment’s notice and she could use a magic wand.

jennie Orbell
In the beginning, this story was deliciously funny and I anticipated a fun read. However, mysterious forces were soon at work, and a serious thread became apparent.

Her best friend Lizzie, a widow, is struggling to bring up her young son, trying desperately to forget how her husband died and continue living her life without him.

Annie has dark memories too, a nasty accident that she refuses to think about.
Then an attractive man moves into the cottage just across the street, triggering her grandmother to conjure up wedding bells. But maybe he likes Lizzie instead?

A brilliantly intricate story. So much going on and at times I laughed aloud. The serious bits were incredibly sad, but it works out well in the end, after a well thought out twist that I didn’t see coming.

I would definitely recommend this well written book, for it has something for everyone and I defy you to read it with a straight face!