Can’t win with the weather

As many will know, England has been hit with one huge heat wave, one probably hotter than I have ever experienced in my lifetime. With temperatures of up to 30oC, a lot of people, especially young people are out enjoying the sun. Be that sitting in beer gardens, having BBQs, and laying out trying to catch a bit of colour. But for me, this heat just means a flare up of symptoms; although this is also the same for the cold. Two different conditions, flare up in two different weather conditions.

Ive talked a few times on this blog about my struggle with both Fibromyalgia and Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME); both of which are conditions that vary in level of severity because of a range triggers. One of my biggest triggers for both is the weather.DSC_0010

In the winter when it is cold, this sets my Fibro off, so that both my legs feel like dead weights, and all of my joints go stiff and painful. I have had so many tests for this to see if there was something else going on, but it appears to the doctors that it really is just Fibro, Im just unlucky that it is so effected by the weather. What also doesn’t help is that I cant get out as much in the cold, partly because of those symptoms, which in turn weakens my muscles and makes me stiff and achy.

Oppositely when the weather gets warmer in the summer, my Fibro settles down a touch, and my ME flares up. The hot weather has me exhausted, wobbly, weak and generally very unstable on my feet. This can lead to me falling, dropping things and can also lead to me passing out while doing normal tasks. Its basically like the normal fatigue that people suffer from the heat, but extreme version. Plus like before, the then inability to move around much, can cause the Fibro to make me stiff and achy. Not to mention that if I sit on a too solid seat, then my hip and back just get ridiculouDSC_0012s on the pain scale.

So yes, it is basically a very vicious circle, especially when you think that any sudden temperature changes also cause the Fibro to flare. I think only the Spring is a season that doesn’t cause me to flare too badly one way or another. As the title says; I just cant win with the weather.

Any other chronic illness sufferers find the weather can make things harder?


Pick’n’Melt – the pick and mix for wax melts..

I have been a big fanatic of candles for many years now, mostly in the form of Yankee candles. Recently though, I have started to prefer wax melts to actual candles, they just give so much of a better smell and I just think they look so pretty. Before finding Pick’n’Melt, I had only ever used the Yankee Wax Melt Tarts, but I find them frustrating as I have to break off an amount and then try not to let the rest crumble all of the place. Not to mention the price.

From twitter, I had seen Pick’n’Melt offered a wide range of different scents so this sparked my interest in having a look at their range. I was pleased to find that not only do they have 350, yes three hundred and fifty, didn’t scents to choose from, but that you can make your own selection to get the perfect mix of scents.

Personally, each of the melts were about one usage for me, as I had them alight for the entire day (about 8 hours) at a time. This is perfect for me as I like to mix it up, something different each day so that I constantly appreciate it. They were super easy to just pop out and put in the melting device, and then after the smell had finished, I could scope up the solidified wax just using a spoon.

I ordered, Sandalwood, Raspberry, Cola Cubes, Tobacco and Black Coffee. I loved each and every one. Sandalwood was by far my favourite, it honestly smelt just like my Granddad who I miss dearly, the smell was so comforting. It had me so content to just snuggle up with a blanket and my book. The raspberry and colour cubes, I found were perfect scents for me to work on the blog. Sweet fresh smells just have me very focused for some reason, definitely think I need to test out some more.

The Tobacco and black coffee I had alight while I was not very well, and it again was such a comforting smell, like being in a coffee shop and the cigars my partner smokes. But I do have to admit this is the only one that didn’t smell like it was meant to before burning, however as soon as I had a tealight under it, it was exactly like you’d imagine.

This is not a sponsored post, I have written this just off of my own love of their products. I have had to hold off of a new order because of moving, but I will be doing an order as soon as Ive moved (probably before this goes out), and will then give you a review of what thought on those scents.

Why not go and check out their range for yourself, I’m pretty certain there’s something there for everyone.


A Baby’s Bones by Rebecca Alexander

For some reason lately, I have just been adoring thriller novels, which is odd for me in this time of year. That’s why I thought I’d pick up A Baby’s Bones, that combined historical fiction with a thriller plot. This book in short, was a gripping quick read that was really enjoyable. The two plots were equal, without one being favoured and generally was a well rounded book- which I find unusual for two different time periods. However the ending let it down for me a little.

I would just like to thank Titan Books and Rebecca Alexander herself, for sending me a copy to review, I always appreciate getting the opportunity to read and review books and help promote.

Archaeologist Sage Westfield has been called in to excavate a sixteenth-century well, and expects to find little more than soil and the odd piece of pottery. But the disturbing discovery of the bones of a woman and newborn baby make it clear that she has stumbled onto an historical crime scene, one that is interwoven with an unsettling local legend of witchcraft and unrequited love. Yet there is more to the case than a four-hundred-year-old mystery. The owners of a nearby cottage are convinced that it is haunted, and the local vicar is being plagued with abusive phone calls. Then a tragic death makes it all too clear that a modern murderer is at work.. (from Goodreads)

I adored Sage’s character in this novel, I found her to be so down to earth and slightly flawed that it made her appear realistic and relatable. Personally, I found myself having a sympathy for her and her situation, between the knowing what was right and the longing of the heart. When I was younger I wanted to be an archaeologist for a while, so her work in that field was really interesting to me; and of course I love my history. 

Normally in a joint split plot like this one, with the two stories running together, I find myself skimming one in order to prioritise the other; but this one I found equal enjoyable. Neither of them stood out more than the other to me, and was constantly engaged and wanting to keep reading. I read this book in just two sitting, and if life hadn’t got in the way, it was one of those books I could of read in just one sitting, it was really that good.

The only one downside for me was that I had guessed the culprit to the modern day murder. I pretty much could tell after only a quarter of the book, and although it was still interesting to see how it came about, it was a bit disappointing that I had guessed it. But to be fair that isn’t too big a deal, as the book as a whole is still very enjoyable.

I would personally say, as a psychosis sufferer myself, that it may not be the best book to read if you are a chronic sufferer, as there was a scene that could possibly trigger.

Overall this book was a good solid four star read, and definitely one for any thriller or historical fiction fans out there.


Why I’m back on full time anxiety meds

Normally in the mental health blogging world we focus on getting off of medication and learning to deal with your conditions. There is nothing wrong with this, and I completely agree that that is the long term aim for almost anyone with a mental illness. However for me, learning to cope with multiple health issues both mental and physical, sometimes is just managing damage control. For me right now, that’s the phase we are in, damage control, and that means taking a little step back and going back on medication. img_0341-3
Lately Ive had a lot going on, with my psych reassessment coming up, an ME flare up, as well as having to prepare to move again. This all is a lot for anyone to handle, especially while Ive been trying to continue with both the blog and my Creative Writing course, and for someone with depression and anxiety it just all became a bit too much. It took a little while, but I did decide that I needed to go back and get professional help for my mental wellbeing.DSC_0018

I had got to a point where I was having panic attacks again. Not just the odd one, but several each and every day, and mostly over ridiculous things, if there was a trigger at all. Sometimes, I would just be sitting there watching TV or reading my book and all of a sudden my vision would shrink and I wouldn’t be able to catch my breath. From there its a downward spiral.

Going back to the psych doctors was a bit nerve racking as I am currently waiting on a reassessment as they think they may have my diagnosis wrong, but I needed to as the anxiety was just taking control of my life. Ultimately I’m glad that I did, as I have now DSC_0049been put back on my anxiety meds that I came off of a few years ago.

This may seem like a step backwards but ultimately its got me in control of my life again- well as much as I can be. I’m only having about one panic attack a day, and they are always for an obvious purpose. I’m lucky that I don’t get side effects from my medication, so its really only a benefit for me. Over time, Ive learnt that I don’t need to be ashamed of taking this little step backwards, as ultimately its going to help me to work forwards and continue to improve.

Should never be afraid to ask for help when you realise you need it, as it can help you from falling backwards.


The Mermaid by Christina Henry

Over the last few years, Christina Henry has found her way to becoming one of my favourite authors; I wait each year in anticipation for her novels and their spooky fairytale vibes. The Mermaid, which I believed was a Little Mermaid retelling was no different. Although this was very different to my expectations, it was never the less, another amazing novel.

I just want to thank Titan Books and Christina Henry for sending me a copy to review, it is always very much appreciated, especially when its a book I am so excited for.

Once there was a mermaid who longed to know of more than her ocean home and her people. One day a fisherman trapped her in his net but couldn’t bear to keep her. But his eyes were lonely and caught her more surely than the net, and so she evoked a magic that allowed her to walk upon the shore. The mermaid, Amelia, became his wife, and they lived on a cliff above the ocean for ever so many years, until one day the fisherman rowed out to sea and did not return.

P. T. Barnum was looking for marvelous attractions for his American Museum, and he’d heard a rumor of a mermaid who lived on a cliff by the sea. He wanted to make his fortune, and an attraction like Amelia was just the ticket.

Amelia agreed to play the mermaid for Barnum, and she believes she can leave any time she likes. But Barnum has never given up a money-making scheme in his life, and he’s determined to hold on to his mermaid. (from Goodreads)

The thing I love about Christina Henry’s novels are the fact that the take some of my absolute favourite fairytales as a child, and twists them to show the spooky scary side of what could of happened. I always find I have to read her books in the day time with all the lights on and my dog snuggled at my feet; but I absolutely love it. This one was not quite like that.

I started this in the afternoon, prepared that I would probably struggle to sleep that night, but instead of scary this one had more of a morality vibe to it. Do not get me wrong, I still absolutely loved it, and finished this book in less than 24 hours, which is a record for me. It had me thinking about the classification of what we count as human, the treatment of animals and also of those that are unique. Admittedly this was more a thing in the past, but I definitely feel like there was something to be taken from this

Amelia was a character that you just found your heart reaching out too. She’d gone through such heartache, and knew that it was bound to happen again, I can appreciate this feeling. Having to decide what was worse, denying herself what her heart wanted, or knowing that it would all come apart in the end; I felt so sorry her, and wanted everything to be okay.

Im not too sure whether I would say it was closely linked to the Little Mermaid if Im honest, but you can definitely see the influence. Though then again I am only going from the Disney movie as I have not actually ever read the book- yes that is something I need to fix.

In the end, I gave this novel a four star rating. There was nothing wrong with it, I just didn’t love it as much as I have her previous novels, but this will be because I was expecting something different. I think I may need to reread it at some point. This novel is now available in the UK.


June Wrap UP

You have got to love the month after you have defeated your reading slump; to be able to pick up a book that you are look forward to reading and know confidently that you will be able to stick with it. That has been my month. Admittedly, this month has been a busy one with a trip and what not, but I have also not been too well therefore giving me plenty of resting reading time. I have tried to make the most of it without pushing it too much- last thing I want is to knock myself back into the slump. So this is what I read this month.img_0773.jpg
The first book I finished was The Hazel Wood, and was an amazing start to the month. I loved this book giving it a full four and a half stars, with a fantastical creepy vibe, and a rather unique story in my opinion. This was a great book to read coming out of a reading slump as wasn’t too much information to take in while still very interesting and fast paced.

Only Human was my next read, which was one of my most anticipated books of the year, and it did not disappoint, being a five star read. This series was just amazing and Im not normally a Science fiction fan! I am actually a little sad that this is now over, but I have not given up hope that there may be more books in the universe at some point.

One of my most anticipated books of the year is always Christina Henry’s latest fairytale novel, and The Mermaid was just the same. Although this one was not as spooky as the rest of her beloved novels, I definitely felt like this one had more of a moral understanding to it. This was a four star read for me, there wasn’t anything wrong with it, it just lacked the hide under the blanket spookiness that I have grown to love from her books.

I have been doing so good this month, I then finished a book that has been on my shelves ever since the day it came out, and I have always been too daunted to pick up; and that is The True Queen by Alison Weir. This is the first in her Six Queens series, and I have been meaning to jump into it for the longest time. I love everything that Alison Weir writes, and this was no exception.img_0771.jpg

Following on from my thriller kick of last month, I picked up A Baby’s Bones by Rebecca Alexander. This book, following two different parallel stories, in two different time periods, for once didn’t have me split. I found that I enjoyed both the stories and was excited for both equally, well until the end where I found the modern day story to be very predictable and unsatisfying. Though it was still a really good read and a solid four stars.

My final book of the month was Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo. I now own both Six of Crows and Crooked kingdom, so I’m trying to get through the Grisha series first. Last year I read Shadow and Bone and absolutely loved it, Siege and Storm wasn’t quite as good to begin with, but did then really pick up and I feel it has prepared me for the final book. I gave this 3.5 stars.img_0772.jpg

So that’s what I read in June, a much better reading month than what I have had lately. What did you read this month?


And I’m on the move.

So finally I can talk about the big thing that has been looming over me the past couple of months- I am moving again. Its really a bit of a long story as to why we are having to move, which I’ll explain in a moment, but to be fair I am actually reasonably excited about this one. We are moving yet again further north and closer to both my own and my fathers partners; and again moving to a village which has me very happy. img_0341-3
Back in January, me and my Dad signed a five year tenancy agreement to stay in the house that we are currently renting, though this time without the estate agent and just direct with the landlord. We had settled here, and my new dog has finally come out of his shell in this house, so we saw no reason to move. But at the beginning of May we started getting phone calls about rent arrears from the estate agent. We thought this very odd as we were in the belief that our agreement with them had then ended.

After several phone calls, we worked out that our landlord had actually not stopped the agreement with the estate agents, and therefore we now had TWO live contracts. This was very scary as of course we were now being expected to pay the rent twice for just the one house. We went on to talk to lawyers and citizens advice, sending them copies of the contracts etc, and they all came to the conclusion (eventually after lots of toing and froing) that neither of the contracts were actually valid. They were both null and void for various reasons, but I wont get into the legal side of it. All I will say is, none of it was actually our fault, people just hadn’t done what they should of.

But lets get into the interesting bit, we are moving to Cambridgeshire, Little Paxton to be exact. I am so happy to be moving back into a village, as I grew up in one, and having really been enjoying living so close to a busy town centre. We’ve downsized as we just have too much space here at the moment, but it is a three storey townhouse, with plenty of space for me and my Dad to live independently. This is something we find works really well for us with my disability, on good days I can be perfectly independent as an adult, but with my Dad there to help on the days that I am bed bound.

So I am moving the 6th of July, just after this will go live, and I am currently trying to get everything ready and packed up. Well to be honest at the moment Im still going through boxes I never unpacked from last year to see if I actually want any of the stuff in them- I can tell you, most of it is going straight in the donation bag. With my partner over on the weekend and then Nan again next week, I should be ready to move without too much stress.

I will do an update once I am all moved in, and have Wifi again, as that could take a couple of days.