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      February Supporter Giveaway   02/07/2019

      February already! And with February comes the next supporter giveaway. This month, with great thanks once again to www.thestorygift.co.uk , we have a brilliantly bookish set of 'storyteller' pencils (featuring famous first lines) and a retro library card notebook!      As always, you'll be automatically entered into the giveaway if you support the forum on patreon, or if your pre-patreon membership is still active. If you want to be involved in the giveaway but don't currently support, you can join the patreon at any point in February here:  www.patreon.com/bookclubforum . 


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About Talisman

  • Rank
    Ugly bag of mostly water
  • Birthday 06/21/1965

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  • Reading now?
    Before Night Falls: Reinaldo Arenas
  • Gender
  • Location:
    leafy Surrey
  • Interests
    Reading, writing, walking, photography and eating Icelandic chocolate.

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  1. What's Up in February? - 2019

    Well, I am not going to La Palma after all and upset is not the word. Corans depression is worse than either of us could have known, and on Tuesday I had to leave work early to take her to hospital. They referred her to the Community Psychiatric team who rang this afternoon with an appointment for Thursday next week. I had hoped following what happened on Tuesday that I may still be able to go, and went to work as usual on Wednesday, but when I got home Coran was if anything even worse. We agreed to sleep on it, although I don't think any of us got much and after a night of tossing and turning with many tears for both of us, I felt I had no option but to cancel the trip this morning and not go to work. I am lucky in some ways that my apartment host has refunded most of my stay, but the flight of course is not refundable. All I will get back there is the tax. What I am left with now then is an overwhelming sense of loss and sadness that is very difficult to out into words. I know logically it was the right and the only thing to do in putting Coran first, but the fact that I have had to do this reinforces the view that my needs are less important than other peoples and that I am therefore by definition, not important as a person. I have been feeling like this for a while at work as well, as the new CEO is bringing in a lot of changes that will make it much more difficult for me and my staff to do our jobs, seemingly without thinking about the consequences and needless to say without consulting me either. This makes me feel extremely disrespected and under valued. This cancellation is then merely another symptom of those feelings that were already there and have been truth be told for most of my life. It seems like I am always having to put others first but when I need them no one is there for me. Most of my childhood was like this, and it continued more or less in every job I have ever had. Coran is about the only person in fact who hasn't done this, and I feel terrible about the fact that she is now having to deal with my stuff as well as her own. I have tried talking to my own Manager about how I feel but all he said was that people do respect and value the work that I do, and that he is sorry I feel that way. This isn't really an answer, or a solution. All of this makes me feel incredibly selfish that I am still trying to put myself first instead of thinking about Coran and what she is going through, which is the most intense anger and self hatred. I can't ignore my own reaction to this though or pretend I don't feel this way. It is so very difficult to see the person you love going through this and knowing there is little you can do to help them. Corans sister did offer to let her stay with her and her husband for a week while their son is away, so I could still have my holiday, but I knew I would be worrying about her but it didn't seem right as Angela has her own health and family issues to deal with. She has just been told that her husband only has a few more years to live (he doesn't know this yet) because of emphysema. I couldn't then put more pressure on her. I just keep thinking about that lovely week that I should have had, in my little apartment by the sea, watching the carnival and enjoying the sunshine and lovely Spanish food and atmosphere. I don't know how I will eel on Saturday knowing that I should have been getting on that plane to have a week of warmth and relaxation instead of trooping around Sainsburys and cleaning the cats litter box. Life can be really crap at times.
  2. What's Up in February? - 2019

    I am not sure what the word would be for this in English Gaia - support worker maybe, as it sounds like the type of service we provide for the clients where I work - helping to manage finances, take them shopping, manage their properties and different aspects of their lives - it's really helping them to be more independent. February is flying by though and I can't believe we are halfway through the month already. It's been a busy one on the work front as we are nearing the end of the holiday year and everyone is busy using up their annual leave - including me. I am off to La Palma in the Canary Islands this Saturday for a week. It should be a good week as it coincides with the annual carnival - it might also be a bit noisy then. Talking of noise, I spent another day with the protestors outside Parliament on Valentines Day for an event called Cake Not Hate. It was a brilliant day with like minded people (several hundred of us - you may have seen us on the Channel 4 news!) sharing stories and making friendships. I got to meet and have my picture taken with Mr Stop Brexit and saw the EU Super girl perform, which was great. Another March has been announced for the end of March which I have already signed up for and which I am busy making preparations - gold stars have been ordered to adorn my clothing, along with several colourful badges. Coran has not been too well of late - she has had a lot of personal stuff to deal with and has been missing her best friend Sarah who has been in training these past few weeks getting to know her new assistance dog. She is feeling better than she was, but is still quite low.
  3. The Last Film You Saw - 2019

    We saw Mary Queen of Scots last weekend - the 2 leads are vey powerful actresses who both play the role very well.
  4. Electric Dreams - Phil Oakey/Giorgio Moroder
  5. What's the weather like?

    I was sound asleep in my bed and so missed it - it was still full a few hours later when I went out for work, although not red. It has been quite cold here though the past few days with temperatures not far above freezing and we may or may not have some snow overnight - thank goodness for down jackets!
  6. What's Up in January? - 2019

    I have had an interesting day. As I had three days holiday left to take I decided to take one of them and go up to London for a vigil outside Westminster on the day of the Brexit vote. I was in good company as there were thousands there - from both sides but it was all very good natured - and noisy! There were lots of great people there whom I got talking to and many of whom were taking pictures of the sign that I carried with me. I had been planning to go to the rally afterwards to watch the vote live but decided to leave so I could get home ahead of the rush hour, which proved to be a good one. The vote though has now been cast, and the results are in, so what happens now is anyone's guess!
  7. How many books have you read this year?

    3 so far for me - 21 percent through no. 4.
  8. I sometimes look at reviews as well, mostly on Amazon as that is where my books inevitably come from. I must admit that I tend to use the look inside feature as more of a guide though, as reviews can be so subjective - you either like authors writing style or not. and the best form of review is always your own judgment.
  9. What's Up in January? - 2019

    There are a lot of different ones - some more traditional and some modern. I like a bit of both if I am honest. For me opera is one of the most impressive art forms that encompasses everything - the performers are not only singing but also acting. Then of course there is the orchestra and the scenery - and the wonderful costumes, not to mention if you are lucky enough to be attending a live one in person, the whole theatre experience. I have only ever been to two that way (both abroad) as it's so expensive and also because of the hours I work (starting at 7.30am) I can't really stay up late. Most of them tend to be in London anyway which for me is almost a 2 hour journey away so that's really not going to work on any day other than a Friday (when I am too knackered after being at work all week anyway) or a Saturday when I don't have to get up for work the following day!
  10. Self Help Books

    Like other things as well, hey will only work if you are prepared to put in the work. There are no quick fixes unfortunately.
  11. What's Up in January? - 2019

    I definitely need to start walking more and exploring the local area - there are so many walks around here that there really isn't an excuse. The New Year is shaping up well for me though, with our new cleaner all trained up and ready to start the new rota next week, which I hope will work. The other one has been working on a Tuesday night for over a year now to get the kitchen areas cleaned but this is the first time we have tried it for other areas, so I hope it will work and the fact hat the Supported Living team are soon moving into the Main Building will not put a spanner in the works - as they work until 9.30pm. I have booked out all the rooms and notified everyone of what my intent is, and they are usually quite cooperative in working around us, so there is no reason to think this won't continue. I booked my first opera ticket of the year a few days ago - The Queen of Spades, which is on 22nd January, so am looking forward to that. There are some good ones this season and it would be nice to see a live one in Convent Garden (or anywhere) this year, but they are expensive and the journey back from London at night is a pain. You do occasionally get Saturday matinees though, so I shall be keeping an eye on the RCG website.
  12. Travel Plans

    You're welcome Brian.
  13. Travel Plans

    If you haven't heard of Jacks Flight Club it would be worth your while to look them up Brian. Jack and his wonderful team of researchers scour the Internet looking for deals literally all over the world and there have been some great ones recently to that part of the world that might help you decide.
  14. Travel Plans

    Anyone who knows me will know that I love to travel - I am one of those people who has to plan another holiday as soon as I get back from the last one. Last year I managed four overseas trips and a few short breaks in the UK. I had 10 days in Andalucía, Spain in February exploring he cities of Granada, Cordoba and Seville, a week in Kotor, Montenegro in May, 2 weeks exploring the Baltic States of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia (with a day trip to Finland thrown in for good measure) in July and 5 nights in Budapest (Hungary) in October. We also had a night in London to see the Game of Thrones Musical Experience and 2 nights in Glastonbury just after Christmas. Plans for 2019 include La Palma in the Canaries in February, Bosnia and Herzegovina in May and a cottage in Somerset in August to celebrate our 5th wedding anniversary (I normally travel alone as Coran doesn't have a passport, but she will come with me for that one). I am really excited at the idea of Bosnia, as it's still undiscovered and there is just so much to see and experience, not just war stuff, although there is a lot of that. The countryside and the food look and sound amazing. It's not the easiest place to get to unfortunately as there are no direct flights from the UK (yet) so I am having to go via Vienna and Dubrovnik. Herzegovina borders Croatia so I will get the bus from there to Mostar the following day where I will then spend 6 nights. I have a lovely apartment in Mostar which I found on booking.com - I love that site! I will then catch a bus to Sarajevo - and another apartment - and spend a week there before flying back again via Vienna. So what are everyone else's plans - is anyone else planning anything different or unusual or are you all armchair travellers?
  15. What's Up in January? - 2019

    That must be a real bummer not being able to taste any of that lovely food - I suppose it might be one way to lose weight though, albeit rather a drastic one! The fireworks here weren't too bad and didn't keep us awake for long. Thankfully the cats weren't bothered by them either. It was back to work properly today, with lots of carpets to shampoo as a few clients had over indulged and been poorly. I spent the day working with our new cleaner as the other one isn't back until tomorrow - he is flying home from Poland today after visiting his ex wife and kids (teenagers now). I even managed to work out a rota for the new cleaner that might fingers crossed please everyone - I blooming well hope so anyway!