There's no way around it, really - February has been pretty bleak. If months were weather, this one would be fog - a constant mist rolling in over my brain. I'm still signed off work (and will be for another two weeks, at the very least) and my life has found itself largely reduced to my bedroom, leaving the house an average of twice a week. Things are tough and heavy and more than a little bit dark.

Thank goodness, then, for the glimmers of light that occasionally shine through - for ice-cream deliveries from the Salvation Army and parcels left on the doorstep by friends; for handmade cards by beautiful kids who I dearly miss; for my ever-supportive family; for a miraculous essay pass; for medical professionals who are generous with their time and their words; for the reassurance of the Psalms; and for a four day reprieve in London that got me out of this weird reality I'm currently in. 

 He will cover you with his feathers. He will shelter you with his wings.
His faithful promises are your armor and protection
- Psalm 91:4

This month I read another 5 books, bringing my total to 11/42 for the year:
  •  'Call the Midwife: A True Story of the East End in the 1950s' by Jennifer Worth
    I've been a fan of the TV show for a while now and thought it was about time I got round to reading the book. It's hard to read without picturing the characters as Pam Ferris or Miranda Hart, but it's an enjoyable read and an incredible story when you think of all they achieved with such limited resources!
  • 'Blow by Blow: The Story of Isabella Blow' by Detmar Blow
    My sister gave me this book to read in advance of seeing the 'Isabella Blow: Fashion Galore!' exhibition at Somerset House in London. Not being at all knowledgeable about the world of fashion, I must confess I hadn't even heard of Isabella before reading this book, but found her to be a hugely intriguing character with an unfortunately sad tale. Her husband's writing isn't the best, but it was an interesting and easy read. 
  • 'Only Strange People Go to Church' by Laura Marney
    A novel about a group of adults with learning disabilities, their carers and the community around them, I'm not really sure what I thought of this book. On the one hand, it's a brave subject, it addresses all kinds of challenging questions and themes, and I enjoyed the familiarity of it's setting in Glasgow and Ayr. On the other hand, I felt like it was far too long-winded and I found myself desperately wishing for it to hurry up and make its point..
  • 'Walking' by Henry David Thoreau
    More of an essay than a book, I wasn't sure whether to include this on the list but, well, I have. It's a beautiful read. "All good things are wild and free," indeed.
  • 'January First' by Michael Schofield
    A father's account of his young daughter's descent into childhood schizophrenia, this is an incredibly touching story that overflows with pain, yes, but also with determination and love.

Beyond books, my eyes were also feasting on:
'Once', for the millionth time, in advance of seeing the stage version; more 'Outnumbered'; 'My Mad Fat Diary', which I'm delighted to have back on TV; the start of 'The Smoke' on Sky 1; 'Sunshine on Leith', which was pure cheese; and 'Side Effects', which was not at all the story I expected but enjoyable nonetheless.

Annnndddd that's mostly been it for this month. Here's hoping brighter days are about to come.

Post a Comment


  1. Laura, I'm so sorry to hear how unwell you've been. Much, much sympathy coming to you from our house! (And thanks for your lovely comment about my daughter's own health.) Things will get better. Is there anything at all I can do to help? If so, please don't hesitate to email me (address on the sidebar of my blog). I'll keep you in my prayers. I recently read a book I found helpful by Max Lucado, called "You'll Get Through This". It's based around the story of Joseph. Take care, X