20 Oct 2016

Another personal update and a literary festival event report

Hello everyone! I hope your week has been going well. Once more I've been taking a break from writing blog posts as I've been doing other things such as reading my library books, crocheting and even daytime sleeping because my energy has been low.  The third week of treatment came to an end last Friday and it was good not to have to travel to and fro and attend hospital appointments every weekday.  Now I can relax and I'm free to plan ahead for the rest of the year and look forward to a holiday as I don't have to go back to see the consultant radiographer until the end of January. 

The bell above is in the radiotherapy department.  At the end of a course of treatment the patient can ring the bell on the way out and everyone applauds.  It's a good feeling to receive the encouragement of the medical staff and fellow patients in this way and although I'm quite introverted I did ring the bell, thanked those present and wished the other patients well.

On the last two Saturdays since I last wrote I've managed to get into the city as the literary festival, 'Off the Shelf' has been taking place.

  


I met my friend and we went to the Readers' Day.  It's always held in the upper reception halls
of the Town Hall and it's a pleasant venue for the event. The attendees are mostly members of reading groups in the area and the day has become a popular part of the literary festival. This year the meeting was for the afternoon only rather than the whole day, which suited me.





During her Diamond Jubilee Year Queen Victoria visited Sheffield and several celebratory events took place including a ceremony to open the newly-built Town Hall. From her carriage she pressed a remote controlled device which was attached to an electric wire and the golden key that turned the lock of the gates of the main entrance.  The gates were then opened by officials concealed behind them.  A beautiful white marble bust of  Queen Victoria set on a plinth greets the visitors as they ascend the main staircase.



During the afternoon five authors spoke about their latest novel, what influenced the writing of it, how they went about creating the cast of characters, the plot and about their writing in general. A local journalist led the informal discussion with the authors and the audience. Each author also read extracts from their novels and were available for book signing and a chat with readers after each session. Above are two of the authors (from left to right) Cath Staincliffe, Linda Green and the interviewer.  The other writers were Jenn Ashworth, Conor O'Callaghan and Eleanor Wasserberg. Janet Ellis was not able to come because of an unexpected personal situation. My friend and I hadn't read any of the novels, but the afternoon was enlightening and enjoyable all the same and as we left we were given a bag with a newly-published hard back novel, which was a bonus. Everyone had a different novel so I shall do a book swap with my friend.  


Since then I've reserved several of the books from the library and have just read While My Eyes Were Closed.  I read it very quickly, not because I wanted to know how the plot unfolded, but because it was rather predictable. I thought that despite some twists and disclosures the ending could have been extended whilst other parts of the book cut out. I also found the excessive bad language used in the dialogue of one character, which seems to be included in most contemporary novels these days, a turn off.  I think it was supposed to highlight the contrast between the attitude and speech of the other main woman character. Nevertheless hearing what the author had to say at the meeting was interesting, especially as she talked about an incident in her own life that had triggered off the inspiration for the book. She showed us her story board that she had used when planning the novel and also the green and white striped dress with the pink flower on the front that she had bought from a designer clothes company which is described in the book as the one that the little girl was wearing when she went missing. When she held it up to show us it was obvious that this tangible object had helped her to connect emotionally to the character she had been writing about. Meeting an author and hearing about the craft of writing and details of his/her life is a fascinating experience even if one has reservations about a book.

Wishing you a good day and looking forward to catching up with you soon,
Linda.
  

30 comments:

  1. So very pleased for you that you are done and moving on! I hope that all will continue to be well for you. Continuing very best wishes! xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Amy. It's good to be able to have the days free to recuperate and think about plans for the end of the year and Christmas.

      Delete
  2. I am thrilled to hear you have finished your treatment until January anyway, thinking of you and hoping all is well. Must of been really interesting to meet the author and discover how she created the characters and wrote. A great literary experience.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've finished all my treatment now, but have to take medication for at least the next five years and have yearly check-ups. The consultancy in January is to make sure I've healed up properly. Thank you MM and to friends in Blogland who have been supporting me through the last few months.

      Delete
  3. That bell is a really lovely idea and I'm glad that you have finished the treatment. All is well, I hope. It must be a real drain having to have trudged there daily.

    The town hall is exquisite! Wow!!! What a gem.
    The literary festival sounds great!
    Xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm doing fine, Kezzie. Thank you. The specialist hospital that I attended has a good bus service right outside that took me near to where I live so travelling wasn't too bad. Many people have to travel long distances every day to these city hospitals so I'm very thankful that was not my experience because the treatment makes you very tired afterwards.
      I'm glad that I was able to get to at one of the daytime lit fest events, at least. There have been some good speakers, writers, poets etc. attending and lots of workshop activities for all ages.

      Delete
  4. I think the bell is a lovely idea. Glad to hear that your treatment has come to an end, now's the time to sit back and take it easy, no rushing off to hospital appointments until the new year. I read the Linda Green book earlier this year and thought that more could have been made of the story, it wasn't really what I was expecting and like you, I thought the ending was predictable.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The bell idea is a good one. We were pleased for one another when we knew the treatment had come to an end. I don't think I would have chosen to read any of the books that were featured at the Readers' Day, but being able to get them from the library means that I'll give them a go now that I've heard the authors speak about their work.

      Delete
  5. that would be exciting to meet the authors and even more exciting to walk around in that gorgeous town hall. what a beautiful building. it is so HUGE... the people at the tables look so tiny because room is so big.. I have read books that I found parts that could have been removed like you said and I wonder if they add those to put more pages in the book, the get the story told but it is not enough to warrant people buying. sometimes I feel some of it is filler. just my opinion not a fact for sure. glad you got to ring that bell and had a day out with your friend. I love the idea of the bell

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The architectural features such as the marble and the plasterwork in the Town Hall are beautiful. The upstairs reception rooms are huge and the two halls that can be closed off in the middle with a folding wooden panelled wall run the length of one wing of the building complex. The novels that I enjoy are well paced and plotted. Some authors can make that look easy. I'm glad that I can reserve books from the library. If I don't get engrossed in a book I don't continue reading and others I skim read. It's a good way of trying new authors.

      Delete
  6. Glad you got to ring the bell. I like that idea. Congratulations on having these treatments behind you now. That Town Hall is quite amazing. Hope you have a lovely weekend.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Ellen for your kind thoughts and prayers over the last few months.
      Wishing you a good weekend also.

      Delete
  7. It must have felt good to ring that bell Linda and to know that you don't have daily visits anymore. The town hall looks wonderful inside and I love the story about how Queen Victoria opened it. The literary festival sounds interesting too and some of the books you've mentioned look intriguing. Have a lovely, peaceful weekend:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was a relief to get to the end of the course of treatment with few side effects, Rosie. I've been thinking of you a lot. It's time for some rest now, but I'll come visit your blog post tomorrow.

      Delete
  8. Hello Linda. That is good news, about the end of your treatment - it must be a huge relief and I hope you will enjoy a well deserved holiday. Any idea where you will go?

    I love books, but only rarely find an exceptional book, one that is a treasure and I know I will read again one day. A lot of my books come from second hand bookshops and are just passing through. Have a good weekend x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. the time away is booked. I expect you can guess where we will go. I'm looking forward to November and the change of scene which usually happens this month. I get books from second hand bookshops too. Recently our granddaughter has come with me. I'm pleased that she enjoys reading and I'm making the most of our time together on these occasions until she goes to university. There are books that I would not want to be without and will re-read from time-to-time.

      Delete
  9. Good Evening Linda, I am so pleased to hear that you have reached the end of your treatment and what a lovely idea to acknowledge the end, by the ringing of the bell.
    How fascinating to get an insight into an authors method of writing. To hear how they work out their plot lines.
    I'm afraid to say, I have read many books over the years which have an obvious plot line.... such a shame. I tend to use the library as well.... also charity shops often sell books 3 for a £1, which once read I then donate back for re-sale. At the moment I am trying to sort out my books.... not doing a very good job of it I'm afraid, as I love books.
    Put your feet up, relax, and have a lovely weekend.
    Best Wishes to you.
    Daphne

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for your good wishes, Daphne. I'm very glad to have come to the end of the treatment. There are things that have had to be put on hold, but I'm looking forward to what has been planned for November.

      Delete
  10. What a wonderful idea to ring the bell at the end of your radiotherapy course. It must be so encouraging for those who are just beginning. I'm sure you will begin to feel less tired in the weeks to come.
    What a beautiful Town Hall you have. Sounds like a great day.
    Enjoy your weekend :)x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, it is an encouragement. Going every day I often saw the patients who had started at the same time. Then new patients arrived at the beginning of a new week. I also saw the same radiographers. The aftercare support service is reassuring. I'm feeling positive and I'm looking forward to getting back into a more normal routine:)

      Delete
  11. So very happy you could ring the bell and have a reprieve for awhile. Maybe it would be wonderful if you are totally healed, I will pray for that.

    The readers day sounds fascinating. Each of the books looks intriguing too. I would have enjoyed this event tremendously.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Marilyn. The Readers' Afternoon was enjoyable. There are some interesting speakers taking part in the literary festival this year.

      Delete
  12. Heal well. Take care Linda.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Jessica. I'm looking forward to having more energy so that I can get back into our particular routine and lifestyle, all being well. Speak to you soon, Linda :)

      Delete
  13. Good news. Rest well and enjoy the time, I know you will. Love that bell what a lovely idea. Take care.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Jan. It's always good to hear from you. All the best to you and your
      family.

      Delete
  14. I wish I could have applauded when you rang the bell! How wonderful to hear all is sorted until January. I hope you are booking flights as I type!
    What an interesting post!I would enjoy a Reader's afternoon!xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You weren't there in person, but I felt the love and support of you and all my blog friends. I know you were cheering me on through the last few months and you'll continue to be an encouragement in the days ahead. Hoping to be blogging as and when during November. Love Linda :)

      Delete
  15. First and more importantly, congratulations on being done with treatments! I'm amazed you had the energy through that to still get out and about as much as you did. What a beautiful building your town hall is!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Lisa. When you have a health scare you make the most of life once you get over the surgery and treatment. I've done lots of resting in between the activities I've shared on the blog. There's plenty of interest going on in town and we're able to make use of some beautiful buildings in it.

      Delete