Tuesday, 14 May 2013

A Visitor Falls

Ma modelling her splint
Time: A little after 3pm. I am slowly digesting the radiology report following my CT scan which has just been read to me over the phone. Normal. I don’t think a word has ever sounded so good to me. I still have the symptoms, but it isn’t caused by a growth lurking in my sinuses. Huge, tearful relief. 

It’s been a productive week at Hotel H, I’ve been balancing work – so tantalisingly close to the end of Book 3 – with trips out with Ma who’s been staying here. We’ve just been for lunch at a garden centre before I crack on with another 1000 words.

Ma, who’s been pottering in the garden, calls out from the back door.

‘Have you got a plaster?’

‘I’ll get you one,’ I say, getting up.

And at the back door I see what looks like the aftermath of a fight in a black pudding factory. I know a little blood goes a long way, but a lot of blood goes even further. Ma has fallen out of the greenhouse, gashing open a varicose vein on the frame and badly twisting her right thumb as she tries to save herself.

I sit her down, elevate the leg, apply pressure… and then shout for Tom.

The patient, of course, is muttering about making a mess and being a nuisance but is told pretty firmly that she is going to casualty whether she likes it or not.

Twenty-five miles later we sit in our nearest A&E while the Discovery Channel blares out over our heads. We unwittingly sit through a documentary about the road to Berlin, graphically illustrating man’s inhumanity to man, which is then followed by a programme about great train disasters. It’s not exactly cheerful stuff.

Ma is called not a minute too soon as her dressing is now saturated. ‘Nasty things, greenhouses,’ observes the doctor as he closes and dresses the wound before sending Ma for an x ray. Ma, to our great relief has no fractures – just as well as this is her ‘good’ arm since she did a proper job of mangling the other one falling in the snow.
Ma modelling her dressing.
Nevertheless her arthritic bones have not enjoyed their encounter with the ground and the bruising is something to behold.  She is given a splint to encourage everything to settle.
Despite her mauling, Ma’s as chipper as ever.  ‘I didn’t think I’d be falling out a greenhouse today,’ she says happily. Typically, she doesn’t complain once about how much pain she must feeling – she really is remarkably resilient.
Once again, my thanks to the staff at Glangwili hospital for their compassion, kindness and care… I am not, however, ‘missing you already’.
Ma trying to hide behind Tom
PS Tom has asked me to point out that the above picture is not our 'nasty' greenhouse but belongs to the National Botanic Garden of Wales... at least she managed not to fall out of that one.

Monday, 6 May 2013

Guest Blogger: Margaret James

At last some cheerful news! I'm delighted to welcome my fellow Choc Lit author, lovely Margaret James to Home Thoughts Weekly It's publication day for her new novel The Wedding Diary and here she is to tell us about it...

Thank you for inviting me to be your guest today, Chris. It’s great to be here!

I’ve always loved fairy tales. Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Snow White, Rapunzel – all those heroines waiting for handsome princes to come along and save them from fates worse than death (or even death itself) fascinated eight-year-old, unreconstructed, pre-The Female Eunuch me.

I’m considerably older and more cynical nowadays, but I still love fairy tales, probably because they have such strong story lines and they’re so life-affirming. You, dear reader, can wish upon a star. You too can have your happy ending.

I wrote my romantic comedy The Wedding Diary at a time when my own life was in meltdown. I was almost too scared to pick up the phone because I knew something else would have gone wrong. I’ve written several historical novels which have casts of thousands and are full of drama, action and – inevitably, since I often set my stories in wartime – death. But in the summer of 2011 I couldn’t face writing about things going wrong for my characters. So I decided to write a rom com instead. 

The Wedding Diary is a present-day reworking of Cinderella in which the heroine starts off in a very bad place – she’s just won a wedding competition but she doesn’t have anyone to marry because her fiancĂ© has vanished off the face of the earth. So what does she need if her story is to have a happy ending? Well, a handsome prince, obviously – and a fairy godmother to make sure this happy ending is delivered. 

My handsome prince is a building projects manager whose own heart needs some urgent repair work, and at first my fairy godmother seems anything but fairy-like. She behaves more like the wicked witch in The Wizard of Oz than a dear old lady with a talent for bibiddi bobiddi boo. But in fairy-tale-land things aren’t always what they seem, and after some fairly hair-raising frights and setbacks my heroine finds her happy-ever-after with her very own handsome prince. 

Nowadays, I’m in a better place, too!

Thank you so much for being my guest, Margaret - it's been great to have you here.  
Buy The Wedding Diary HERE
Margaret's on Facebook Twitter
And you can find her blog here