Books: The C-Word by Lisa Lynch

I finished ‘The C Word’ by Lisa Lynch today. I had been eyeing it up in work for weeks. After the recent BBC adaptation starring Sheridan Smith (which I hope to somehow see) there was some interest in the book shop, and I remembered reading Lisa’s spirited blog posts on battling The Bullshit (breast cancer) on her blog, Alright Tit.

I found it fascinating and Lisa was so honest and human about telling it like it is. She is so jokey and pokes fun at her condition constantly, even in her worst moments. Sometimes this was hard to read, but it showed her determination to make everyone comfortable and not let herself be overwhelmed.

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Lisa received a shock breast cancer diagnosis aged 28, and in her short life had achieved everything she could have hoped and had rigidly planned! She put me to shame, to be honest. Happily married, a Masters and an Editor of a magazine aged 25! Her world was shattered but she fought so hard, together with her amazing family and friends and her beloved P.

I was inspired and touched by Lisa and her young husband P’s relationship. With every blow of ‘the bullshit’ they just seemed to get quietly stronger, and all the beautiful Lisa’s worries that he wouldn’t love her anymore after she lost her hair and became bloated with drugs etc were more than unfounded. Relationship goals. As a woman, it’s terrifying to relate to the horror of losing your hair and the trauma of a mastectomy and all the other horrible side effects of chemo therapy that take a toll on your appearance and femininity. I found myself eyeing up my other half and wondering would he still be there if I suddenly looked horrendous.

Another thing: I will never underestimate chemotherapy again. I knew people were sick and lost their hair, but Lisa’s account conveyed an absolute hell, and I definitely have a new found fear for the treatment and respect for those who have battled through. Her suffering and survival will stay with me for a long time.

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I’m glad to have read Lisa’s heart breaking, hilarious and honest story, And I think my life is a little better off from catching some of her light. It breaks my heart that the lovely P had to write the foreword, as Lisa passed away on 11 March 2013. I’m glad that she was on this earth and that she decided to share her experiences through her wonderful writing. I highly recommend you read it, and visit Alright Tit for more of her journey. Thank you, Lisa ! :)

Books: Fried Green Tomatoes

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Inspired by my good friend ‘Shaista’s Books‘ I wanted to document my reading more, I am liable to forget why I loved some of the fiction I happily consume. I have been aware of the film for a few years and was always interested, so I bought Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe from Gutter Books in Dublin on a lovely trip earlier this year.

For some reason it took me many weeks to read it, but I thoroughly enjoyed it, so much so I wanted to press it upon loved ones. On my copy, Harper Lee’s comment is emblazoned: ‘ A richly comic, poignant narrative.’ and this rings oh so true.

Moving between the town of Whistle Stop and Birmingham, Alabama during the Depression and Birmingham, and a nursing home in Birmingham Alabama in the 1980s there are echoes of ‘The Help.’

It’s a novel about love. And friendship. It addresses huge themes subtly such as sexism and racism. The characters are strong and larger than life loveable. The main part of the story centres around the small town of Whistle Stop, and namely the cafe that Idgie Threadgoode and Ruth Jamieson run. There are hilarious ‘newsletters’ from Dot Weems the post mistress of the town. And in the 1980s, Evelyn Couch befriends old Mrs Ninny Threadgoode in Rose Terrace Nursing Home, Alabama while her husband visits his grumpy mother. Evelyn and the reader are riveted by the stories of bravery, the ridiculous, true love and of course the murder trial…

Idgie Threadgoode is a deeply flawed character but one who knows the meaning of love, and who goes above and beyond for those around her, especially Ruth.

There are stories of real pain, taken in the stride of many of the main characters. The brilliant writing includes many tiny stories within stories that fill the reader with wonder and leave you drawing your own conclusions. Naughty Bird and Miss Fancy the elephant, so touching. I was telling my other half, my friend and my Mum all about it.

You can almost taste the barbecue and the lemon icebox pie!

I look forward to watching the film now. Something to look forward to, just as Ninny Threadgoode looked forward to Evelyn’s visits and the sweet treats.

It’s a book that does you good! It will stay with me for a long time.

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Image from here

Send Some Happy: The kind of post I would like…

Send Some Happy is a blog series with myself and the ever inspiring Zoe from Zoeprose We are both long-time snail mail and letter lovers, and we have some exciting post-themed blog posts up our sleeves for the next few months. But really, this isn’t about us, it’s about inspiring you to join us in promoting post. Each post Zoe and I will add a little challenge, if you feel so inclined to join us in sending happy post. It will probably be something fairly simple- we are all busy people- but a way to encourage you and us in our post sending. Share your thoughts/ pictures by using the hashtag #sendsomehappy on twitter or instagram.

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Hoping to read this soon/next. Love letters are my favourite.

A surprise hand written letter full of love to make me blush and cry. Everyone likes to know what they mean to another.

A job offer for the perfect one… as yet undreamed up.

A funny note from a far away friend full of hilarious stories and juicy gossip. Other people’s lives, especially those you love are endlessly interesting.

Birthday cards and even better…letters!

A mysterious package without the Amazon branding. Hand put together. How exciting.

A formal letter from a publishing company with the best news. Imagine. My heart stops to think of it. Really better get writing, then.

Invitation to important and joyful celebrations in friends lives.

Thick parchment paper and ink with secrets and stories.

Mostly I think it’s the love of people and words and my penchant for the old fashioned that drives my passion for post! There’s a chance to be creative and get inspired and reach out to people. I do think that I equally like plotting and putting together something for a friend to enjoy. I really believe that everyone likes a letter. The other day in work a colleague said he might send his girlfriend ‘something from the postman’ for their anniversary. I just started telling him to write a love letter and got really into it and he was just looking at me like…’I dunno about a LOVE letter…’ Ha.

My challenge for you is to have a think about the kind of thing you would love to receive from the dear postie, and then recreate it for someone else. It will brighten their day and have them showing off on Instagram! As long as they use our hashtag #sendsomehappy !

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