Category Archives: Books

What’s on my mind?

Audio books for my posturing phase. Head down I will find it difficult enough to try to do things that I need to do, never mind hold a book.

I am hoping that audio books might distract me from the discomfort and keep frustration at bay. Not quite War and Peace – I am not expecting to be hanging down for that long, and Uselesses (Ulysses) 😉 might just put me to sleep!

I need a story that will draw me into it and the voice of the narrator is quite important to my ear. There have been a few recently that were spoiled by the drone of the reader’s voice.

I do have a few ideas so far:

Daft Wee Stories
Written & Narrated by: Limmy

The Tent, The Bucket and Me
Written & Narrated by: Emma Kennedy

The End of the Affair
Written by: Graham Greene Narrated by: Colin Firth

One Small Act of Kindness
Written by: Lucy Dillon Narrated by: Lucy Price-Lewis

Do you have any suggestions that I might try?

Anyone from John Grisham, Maggie Makepiece to Joanna Trollope and more….

I got it!

I have been in the waiting room for the past few days. Yes. I was waiting for my copy of Letters for my Little Sister to pop through my door.

Letters for my Little Sister

Letters for my Little Sister

I knew it was on the way. Each day there was news from The Fellowship’ of the Farmy, that readers and contributors had received their books. They were actually holding a copy in their hot little hands.

I write as I speak. My contribution is my story, in my words. Simple words.

Mine was an instant response, I wanted to write it before I changed my mind. Once begun, my fingers would not stop. I wanted to share. To let other women know they were not alone, what was happening to them, had happened to other women. Just as there are no text book bodies, there are no text book/alarm clock menopauses. Each is unique, but there are similarities in the symptoms.

As I waited, I worried: Did I ramble rubbishingly with unnecessary detail? Then I consoled myself…

IF IT HELPS JUST ONE WOMAN, THEN IT WILL HAVE BEEN WORTHWHILE!

There are 68 contributions, no, strike that, there are SIXTY NINE contributions altogether. Number sixty nine comes in two parts – the opening and closing of this wonderful book. No better way to begin and end than with the words of Cecilia B W Gunther, the inspiration behind the project. A project to share personal stories about a hidden and sometimes forbidden topic: The Menopause.

Tales long and short in poetry and prose, from all corners of the globe, with just one aim: To help our sisters, cousins, aunts, nieces and granddaughters. This book will have you laughing one minute and close to tears in the next, so tissues at the ready….

Letters for my Little Sister is available on Amazon.com go check out the reviews, you know you want to.

Cecilia Buyswheeler Gunther, originally from New Zealand, is now married to an American living on the prairies of Illinois, USA. She spends her life writing and managing her own sustainable farm, She is the founder and writer/photographer for the blog The Kitchen’s Garden. We the contributors, are part of a band of regular readers who comment on the blog.

Now all I need to do is deliver the other copies to my little sister and to Elly, my daughter.

Isabella

From Mrs Beeton’s Cookery and Household Management 1981 edition….

We are told on the flyleaf that it is ‘A totally revised, metricated and updated to bring it into line with the very latest developments in the cookery and Household management world’. How things have changed in the kitchen during the last thirty three years, never mind the one hundred and fifty three years since Isabella put her quill to parchment!

While searching for something else this morning I came across this entry in the household management section:

Menopause

This means the cessation of the monthly periods, which normally happens any time between forty and fifty-five. Many women are frightened of the ‘change of life’, but there is no necessary reason why trouble should arise. If you are worried, go and talk to your doctor. You can be sure that the disturbances, which include hot flushes, insomnia, joint pains, increase in weight, and the general irritability, will pass: but in a number of cases the emotional upset is made worse by domestic strain or by loneliness. By the time of the menopause, children are likely to be leaving home and husbands are often absorbed to an increasing degree by the responsibilities of their occupation. In such circumstances it is sensible to try to find a new interest in life, or to resurrect an old one. Although hot flushes are unpleasant they go unnoticed by other people, and there is no reason to worry about how you look in company. As for sexual activity, the menopause need make no difference, except, obviously, that there is no longer the possibility of pregnancy.

 

There you go… ONE paragraph and it is all done and dusted! I actually wonder, how much of the above appeared when the good lady first published her Book of Household Management in 1861? I know it proved incorrect in relation to the ‘change of life’ in my case, but then I always claimed that I did not have a text book body.

The Book of Household Management (1861), comprising information for the Mistress, Housekeeper, Cook, Kitchen-Maid, Butler, Footman, Coachman, Valet, Upper and Under House-Maids, Lady’s-Maid, Maid-of-all-Work, Laundry-Maid, Nurse and Nurse-Maid, Monthly Wet and Sick Nurses, etc. etc.—also Sanitary, Medical, & Legal Memoranda: with a History of the Origin, Properties, and Uses of all Things Connected with Home Life and Comfort. – Wikipedia

I think we should leave dear Isabella to her rest these days and discover more practical and up to date information and advice from a new book about to be published in September.

Letters for my Little Sister – A Fellowship Book b— Cecilia Gunther

If the group name for zebras is a dazzle, let me see what I can do to dazzle you with the group names of the animals who are regularly roaming the 5***** farmy hotel at THEKITCHENSGARDEN.

The grist of our swarm, flock to peep over the five bar gate each day, braceing ourselves for the news of brooding hens, silent sheep, droving pigs (believe me, they go for a walk twice a day!), pouncing dogs, strutting peacocks and pea hens or visiting children clutching eggs laid by plump hens.

Drooling for a knob of fresh butter, cheese or yoghurt while waiting for the bread to rise to accompany the glories of the vegetable patch for supper each day all washed down by the home-made wine. We clutter and clowder for big servings of chowder, trying not to be a nuisance as we watch with Ton-ton and Boo, the dogs, as Daisy or Queenie provide milk for the tea, the churn and the animals.

Good Queen Celi rules over her clutch of chickens, kine of cows, kennel of dogs, muster of peacocks and peahens, flock of sheep, and pigs led by Shiela, always watchful for the odd snake in the grass.

When most of us are ready to collapse at the thought of all that work, Celi finds time to bottle and freeze food for the winter, make candles and soap, before sitting to document her day with photographs from the previous twenty four hours, on her blog for the fellowship of the farmy.

A few months ago she threw us a line. An idea. A suggestion for a book.

Letters for my Little Sister began as a real letter, that Cecilia Gunther was writing to her little sister. Their mother died when they were young, so they grew up with no one to lead them through the hurdles of life or to give them any very personal advice.

Celi was trying to help her sister navigate the journey of aging and menopause. She felt there were others out there in the farmy fellowship who daily offered support or advice, and since they came from all ages & corners of the globe, they would have a wide perspective from dealing with mothers, aunts, sisters and daughters, never mind their own experiences of the dreaded word ‘menopause’.

So a book was born sixty eight brave men and true women stepped up to the plate to share their experiences. The book includes essays, letters and poems all written to share this common experience that effects no two women the same way.

Drum Roll…..

Coming soon, from Sable Books, and Pre-orders are available.