A Book a Fortnight for a Year


A few years back I started writing a bucket list. I was trying to get to 100 things, although I feel I could write a few lists and still want to do more. There are so many things I want to do, but I wanted to try and make my bucket list reachable, things I could achieve. Once I have done it I want to create a scrapbook as memories of each activity, but I’m still making the finishing touches to the list (some years in the making!) So one of the things I wanted to do was to read a book a fortnight for a year, and I achieved it a few years ago. I loved it! I wanted to read as many different genres of books as possible, so the list is a bit random! It was a really enjoyable thing to do, and once my little man is bigger, it is definitely something I want to redo! Maybe I could go for a book a week for a year when he is much bigger!!

Here is the list of what I read:

  1. ‘The White Queen’ by Phillipa Gregory
  2. ‘The Daughter of Time’ by Josephine Tey
  3. ‘The Return Journey’ by Maeve Binchy
  4. ‘Her Fearful Symmetry’ by Audrey Niffenegger
  5. ‘Dizzy’ by Cathy Cassady
  6. ‘The Shell Seekers’ by Rosamunde Pilcher
  7. ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ by Elizabeth Gilbert
  8. ‘You’re the One That I Don’t Want’ by Alexandra Potter
  9. ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’ by Stieg Larsson
  10. ‘Knots and Crosses’ by Ian Rankin
  11. ‘Twelve Days of Christmas’ by Trisha Ashley
  12. ‘Artemis Fowl’ by Eoin Colfer
  13. ‘Sapper Martin’ by Richard Van Emden
  14. ‘The Bridges of Madison County’ by Robert James Waller
  15. ‘Tears of the Giraffe’ by Alexander McCall Smith
  16. ‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime’ by Mark Haddon
  17. ‘The Hand that First Held Mine’ by Maggie O’Farrell
  18. ‘Danny the Champion of the World’ by Roald Dahl
  19. ‘If You Could See Me Now’ by Cecelia Ahern
  20. ‘Wives ‘v’ Girlfriends’ by Katie Agnew
  21. ‘Chocolat’ by Joanne Harris
  22. ‘The Single Girls To Do List’ by Lindsey Kelk
  23. ‘The Island’ by Victoria Hislop
  24. ‘One Day’ by David Nicholls
  25. ‘The Italian Girl’ by Iris Murdoch
  26. ‘Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone’ by J.K. Rowling

Next time I definitely want to get more classic books in! You know, the ones on those lists of ‘books you should read’, maybe I can work some into the book club!!

What books have you read recently? What are your favourite books? Have you read any on my list?


Fear and loathing in Gloucestershire

Fear is a terrible thing. I have always been a worrier, and worried about worrying. There has often been so much worrying in my head that my husband despairs and I just want it to stop. My experiences this year of becoming a new mum and having to face a battle against blood clots have not exactly helped my worrying. Instead, these worries have often made that oh so concerning step from worry, to anxiety and fear. This is an area I do not want to become too familiar with and would like to make the step back and if I can even further back to not even worrying!

I found the anxiety building until I was having sleepless nights, becoming overly anxious about ‘sorting the house’, I couldn’t even think about weekly meals to feed my family and it was putting a strain on my relationship with my husband. I was feeling like if I could only sort the house out I would feel less fear. This is not the case, and in a house with an infant things are rarely tidy! Fear, anxiety and worry make you focus on the little things as if they are the big things. It’s a nasty sneaky thing! Anxiety and being a new mum definitely go hand in hand, you second guess everything. You question every decision you make and think endlessly about all the awful things that could happen. As your confidence grows though, these anxieties will begin to fade – if you’re lucky enough to have a strong support network around you then the worries should go a bit quicker!!

I still need to work on my worrying, and unfortunately I can see some more worries around the corner. Although I am looking forward to stopping blood thinners in the next few months, I’m already starting to get frightened of reliving my DVT experience. For others I know this issue is already sounding old, but for me it is there every day. Every time I pull the compression stocking on, every time I take my warfarin, every twinge in my leg, every twinge in my chest, every time my leg aches, every time I have to march in the shower to try and prevent any swelling. It may look normal from the outside, but my day to day life has changed forever. The fear that it could come back and be even worse, or a different outcome this time, for me, is very real.

I’ve started trying to share all my fears with my husband. It is hard to do, and sometimes I know I sound crazy! A problem shared is a problem halved though! It’s hard because I don’t open up well, I tend to try and hide any problems from others. Finding like minded mum’s is another way of sharing any worries or fears you may be having! They will certainly help when you are having a bad day or need some parenting advice. My mummy friends are so valuable to me and I know that a kind word is only a message away!

Fear, worry and anxiety can sneak up on any one and new mum’s are pretty vulnerable to it. Building a support network is so important, being honest with them and yourself and if it is all getting to much having a discussion with your GP for some help are all things you can do to protect yourself. Mental health is as important as physical health and often the two can go hand in hand. It is nothing to be ashamed of and with the right support those big things can become small again!

Who do you turn to when you are anxious? Do you have any tips for overcoming your worries?