Smiling Clare

Living Life Within the Limits of Chronic Illness

Book Review: Me Before You

I’ve recently read Me Before You by Jojo Moyes for the second time, having bought the film on dvd to watch and see how it compares.

The first time I read this book I borrowed it from my Aunt, and in all honesty I didn’t want to give it back to her as I knew I’d want to read it again. And so I eventually bought myself a copy.

It’s about how the paths of two people cross, Lou and Will, and how that changes both of them. Lou is a bright, bubbly character, who knows a lot of things but not what she wants to do with her life. Will’s life as he knew it was destroyed by a motorcycle accident and he now has no desire to keep living. It is a heartrendering, magical story about love, which occurs no matter what.

I absolutely loved reading this book the first time, and again the second time. For me there is so much I can relate to in the book; in Lou, not knowing what she wants to do with her life, and in Will, having to rely on people to do the simplest of tasks.

The book reminds me how grateful I should be for the small bits of independence I am able to grasp on to, and possibly regain in the future. It shows the importance of friendship, love, learning and letting go. It is a beautiful book and I can’t wait to read the second Lou Clark novel ‘After You’, as well as see if, and how they managed to convert this wonderful book into a film. In my experience the film versions don’t tend to do the books justice, but maybe they might manage it one day!

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2019 is flying by already!

I can’t believe it is now the later end of January, in some ways it still feels like Christmas was just yesterday! (Admittedly this is probably partly due to me not having the energy to find spaces for the wonderful Christmas gifts I received and thus there is still a Christmas stocking full of them in my room…)

I haven’t been feeling the greatest in recent weeks, despite the relatively mild temperatures until last week, my joints have become increasingly painful, and this has made sleeping that bit more difficult. This latest cold snap has just increased that a bit further.

Whereas I had built up to managing a shower every other day, I am now back to managing it twice a week. I’m grateful I’m still managing that as I remember times when showering once a week was an achievement. But I do hate having greasy hair, and unfortunately I am not blessed with hair which doesn’t become very greasy after a few days. I’ve reacted to all the dry shampoos I’ve tried, either that or they’ve just made my hair even more greasy. So I’m looking into other options to try and make me feel a bit better about things in between shower days.

I have however been managing to get back to my card making, something I always used to enjoy and am back to enjoying. Recycling old Christmas cards into gift tags, and new Christmas cards, as well as creating birthday and thank you cards. It’s slow going but it’s something which takes my mind off things and gives me something to do which I can pick up and put down as and when my health allows.

I am also looking for a new bookcase for my room, so I can hopefully (eventually) create some order out of the chaos that currently reigns in there. The trouble is the size of the room means I have to be very fussy about the size and as yet I have failed to find one which will fit. I’m willing to compromise but every compromise we’ve come up with so far creates another problem! Fingers crossed I’ll find something soon though.

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You can now subscribe!

Well it’s taken me a little while to get everything working properly but you can now subscribe to receive email updates about my blog!

So if you want to be notified when there is a new post on here, just enter your name and email address in the form on the right, or on the subscribe page.

Emails will only arrive once a week no matter how many new blog posts they are, but all new blog posts since the last email will be linked to. And if there are no new posts that week you won’t receive an email. Currently I am my only subscriber – I wanted to make sure I had it all working properly and had made sure it was as least annoying as it could be while still keeping everyone up to date before launching it!

So if you want to keep up to date on my blog posts, just enter your details and you’ll receive regular updates when I’ve added new posts. And feel free to contact me if you have any suggestions about the emails received, and their frequency.

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Book Review: The Little Cafe in Copenhagen

I recently bought ‘The Little Cafe in Copenhagen’ by Julie Caplin as a little treat to myself, and let’s be honest, to make up an online order to qualify for free delivery, because who doesn’t do that occasionally right?!

I was drawn to it by the front cover:

Front Cover of The Little Cafe in Copenhagen

And then by the blurb on the back of the cover (Am I the only person who always tries to view the back cover/blurb of a book even online?). The book itself is about a publicist named Kate who’s life is everything she thought she wanted, until her boyfriend goes behind her back and snatches a promotion from her. Heartbroken, Kate escapes to Denmark, where she discovers a little cafe in Copenhagen and how to live life ‘the Danish way’.

I don’t think I could have chosen a better book, sure it sat on my bookshelf for a good few weeks waiting for me to be well enough to finish reading a book I’d had on the go for several months, but when the time came to choose a new book to read from the pile I have collected during months where reading has been too difficult, I couldn’t have picked a better one.

I got through this book in a little over a week; virtually unknown to me these days as I often struggle with holding the book, concentrating enough to follow the sentences, all the things that come with a chronic illness like M.E.

It is a brilliant story, which I hated putting down when I needed to rest; I couldn’t wait to pick it up and find out what happened next. It is such a happy story too. This book had me smiling and even laughing during a week where my physical pain was the worst it had ever been.

The story of Kate’s escape to Copenhagen, and discovery of the Danish way of living, including hygge is beautifully written and I absolutely loved it. I hadn’t previously heard of hygge but the book explains it well, within the story of Kate’s life.

‘The Little Cafe in Copenhagen’ got me through one of the roughest weeks of pain I’ve had and even though I only finished it a few weeks ago I am already looking forward to reading it again. It is going to be one of those books which sits on my bookshelf and is picked up to read again and again.

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