Tag Archives: M J Hyland

Handbags and Gladrags …

fatWow. Blimey.

My blog has been short-listed for an MS Society Award,

Three things go through my mind when I got the magical email:

  • Wow. Blimey.
  • Gah. Double gah. What. On. Earth. To. Wear. To. The. Ceremony?
  • What will The Teenager wear? Now he is very, very tall and has worked out a lot?

I must clarify, I’m not precious: most days, I hang out in baggy builders’ trousers, with seventeen pockets full of screws and a pad and pen in my hand. Just in case. I wear a bobble hat (dust always falls from the ceilings). In short, I am the furthest from glam than you could possibly imagine.

A day off for me is baggy jeans and a baggy top. And flat boots. Air-dried hair, slumped shoulders.

I literally (and, as an aspiring novelist, I don’t use this word lightly), cannot imagine me in a dress. Or a skirt. Or a skort. Or culottes. Which leaves trousers. Capri, full-length, baggy, tight.

Perhaps I should do a Jenny Beavan?

Anyway, that to one side, this is a great opportunity to turn it back to you guys.

Almost four years ago, out of sheer despair, I started my little blog with the encouragement of M. J. Hyland, a wonderful novelist; I had contacted her after reading an article she wrote for The Observer about her MS.

We emailed for a while and she suggested I blogged. The rest, as they say, is history. Almost four years later, my little blog has over 4,000 hits a month and is read in over 100 countries.

For a teeny-tiny MS blog, I’m chuffed. I write the blog I wanted to read – life is more than MS; it’s all about friends, family, work, studying, falling over, picking yourself up and … MS.

So, tonight, me and The Teenager are celebrating. He’s had a Domino’s pizza (treat night, once a week, to make up for having a ‘ripped and toned’ gym routine the other six nights).

As for me. I’m just taking it in.

One last thing – without your support, your comments, your ideas and encouragement, I know that I would not be here today. I would still be having that first Pity Party for One I mentioned way back in 2012. And where would I be then?

How times have changed.

Thank you for travelling this road with me.

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To PhD or not PhD …

etc… that is The Question.

I have had an incredibly exciting day, visiting a Post-Graduate University event, feeling very, very old, collecting my bag, freebie pen and numerous leaflets before being ushered to various stalls.

Where I collected more pens, leaflets and a head full of ideas.

Weirdly, there were bowls of sweets and plates of biscuits at every stand, but I was polite and declined all offers, yet afterwards I wondered – was it a bizarre initiation ceremony? Had I somehow failed by refusing the tempting Jammie Dodger  or Gummi Bears at the Student Union stand?

After whizzing around the stalls (the peeps were beyond helpful and enthusiastic), I had a couple of hours break when I went home to rouse The Teenager from his pit, today being his day off school.

Long story short, I let him sleep (easier), put a wash on, sorted the recycling, had a coffee and headed out to the talk about Creative Writing PhD’s, before heading back to my Uni for a tutorial about the book ‘Omega’, which I read a couple of months back and therefore couldn’t recall a single interesting thing to say.

I waffled.

When I got home, hours after leaving the house, I offloaded the industrial quantity of bananas for The Teenager and told him off for giving the cat a dangerous dose of catnip – she’s currently racing through the house, climbing anything she can find and bouncing off the sofas, wide-eyed and lethal, much to The Teenager’s amusement.

Anyway, my journey to this point has been weird and wonderful – being sacked for having MS, contacting the inspiring author M J Hyland, who encouraged me to start blogging over three years ago, to you guys who nudged me in to publishing a book, to taking a Master’s, to now. And next? PhD?

Am I suited for academia? I don’t know the language, but I have a passion . Is that enough?

Or am I fated to spend my days measuring concrete in square metres and advising customers about the benefits of vinyl over block flooring?

Let me know what you think – and if you offer Gummi Bears as an incentive, I’m all ears …

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