Staying In, Looking Forwards

So much for, ‘Oh, I’m never ill!’ I studied enough Greek Lit at school to know all about hubris, the sin of pride, but lately all that boasting to myself about my robust health has come back to bite me. The latest attempt to evict the bug squatting inside my sinuses has seen me leaving the GP with seven varieties of medication and less five phials of blood.

‘This may leave a slight bruise,’ says the kindly nurse, removing the syringe. 
 ‘Oh no, I never bruise,’ I assure her, opening my big mouth again. Sure enough, I wake up the next morning with an arm like an old banana; all black, purple and yellow. 

Tom and I go for a walk to the beach to blow the cobwebs away. On the way home, we attract lots of evil-looking flies, but it’s all right, because, as Dad and I always used to say to each other, confident that our rhesus negative blood repelled all blood-sucking insects, I never get bitten. Naturally, by the time I get in, my right thigh is sprouting a mini Mauna Loa with a gigantic crater in the middle…

The plus side of being Properly Poorly is that I’ve been forced to slow down and catch up with some reading. Briefly:

Two Cows and a Vanful of Smoke, Peter Benson (Kindle edition 2012). What an utter delight this book was. You might think you’d know what to expect from a tale about a young man whose best mate turns up at his door with a van full of stolen weed, but you’d be wrong! It’s beautiful, funny and poignant – great stuff.

Eden’s Garden, Juliet Greenwood (Honno Press 2012). This book really cheered me up when I was feeling particularly grim.  Beautiful setting, strong female characters and so much more than a ‘country house’ novel - move over Kate Morton!

Run Rabbit Run Kate Johnson (Choc Lit 2012), I’ve just started reading this, but I love Kate’s punchy delivery and the combo of a feisty heroine and sexy men.

Next up, I’ve got two more Choc Lit novels to look forwards to; The Penny Bangle, the third in Margaret James' Dorset trilogy, and Linda Mitchelmore’s To Turn Full Circle.

As well as books to look forwards to (ahem, do you notice the Choc Lit catalogue for the London Book Fair nonchalantly left open in the photo?) I’ve got some exciting events coming up, including an invitation from those lovely people at Honno Press to their 25th Anniversary Party at the Hay Festival in June. Hurray!

But before then, I’m in Cardiff this weekend to spend some important time doing weddingy things with my daughter which will be very exciting. Next week I’m off to town for the Romantic Novelists’ Association Summer Party. With fellow Choc Lit authors in the running for the Romantic Novel of the Year Award and the Joan Hessayon New Writers’ Scheme Award, we’ve decided to prolong the party and meet up for lunch the next day… probably not the best time to be winding up a long course of antibiotics, but hopefully I’ll be fighting fit to cheer everyone on!


Pondside said…
A sinus infection is like a horrid house guest - going on and on and on. I hope that one of the many antibiotics will kick in and kick out the nasty bug. Congrats on all the book business! I feel like jumping up and shouting 'I knew her when...!'
Are you all enjoying the 'weddingy' stuff? We're deep into it with just over two weeks to go.
Fennie said…
Good luck, Chris. There's a lot of it (or rather them - the bugs, the little devils) about. But they will go.

I didn't know about rhesus negative and not getting bitten. I will have to tell that to the mosquitoes that bite in September. Here we are busy hatching (Butterbean) and despatching (Ann) but no matching at all, even on the horizon. But you sound to be enjoying life despite the sinuses and going from one success to another. Big congrats!
Anonymous said…
Thank you for the lovely mention of Eden's Garden- I'm pleased it helped a bit with the lurgified state.

Take care and get well soon.

You've got one gorgeous cover there to look forward to!

:) x
Cara Cooper said…
Hope you're feeling better soon - looking forward to the RNA party myself. See you there!
Frances said…
Chris, one of your traits that definitely is not suffering is you fine sense of humor and wit!

As your future days seem to be rather full, I so hope that the GP's care and prescriptions will soon have you back to full speed.

(I recently seem more attractive to mosquitoes than I ever remember.)

Frances said…
Oops, meant your fine sense!
Cottage Garden said…
Hope you feel a whole lot better on all counts Chris, you have a packed itinery coming up! Congrats on the invite to the Hay Festival and good luck for the awards next week. Have fun!

sheepish said…
Sorry to hear about your sinuses, I sympathise completely as I was struck low after Xmas and it took ages to clear them. Hopefully your abs will be kicking in by now and you will be fit and raring to go for all your exciting events. Enjoy.
Shirley Wells said…
Having more time to read is the only plus point of feeling ill. Hope you're soon fit and raring to go for the busy time you have coming up. Oh, and enjoy all the weddingy stuff!
Preseli Mags said…
I hope the (slightly) better weather helps chase away those nasty bugs Chris. Sinus pain isn't at all fun.

How exciting to see MOD in the nonchalant catalogue (I'd be too excited to sleep!)

Enjoy your weddingy stuff and the romantic parties and if the bugs don't depart, go and see Rhona in Newport for a health boosting herbal tonic (tastes foul but doesn't half work!). xxxx
Flowerpot said…
Sinus problems are horrible Chris so do hope you feel better v soon and able to do justice to the parties! Great news on the literary front xx
Kitty said…
Chris I do identify with the sinus thing - they're the pits, hope yours gets sorted soon, miserable to feel so glum.
I'll look out a couple of those books, always in the market for a recommendation!
Interesting rhesus negative = no bites thing (A- neg here and a bitey-fly magnet!).
All the 'coming soon' stuff sounds fun and lovely, enjoy it! x
Chris Stovell said…
Pondside, I'll be thinking of this week - here's wishing you all a very happy wedding day.

Fennie, I'm not sure there's any justification for our claim, but it was the obvious thing we had in common!

Pleasure, Juliet, it's a lovely book and cheered me up immensely. And thank you!

Cara, I'm so sorry we managed to miss each other on Thursday evening - the trouble is there just isn't enough time to speak to everyone... although I felt as if I had by the end of the night!

Frances, I hope I'm finally coming out the other side, it's been a long haul so it's nice to have had a few distractions to take my mind off it!

Jeanne, thank you, I'm now really looking forwards to Hay!

Sheepish, this is my first bout so it's helped enormously that folks have been kind enough to tell me I can expect it to hang around - I'm learning to be patient now that I know it can take weeks not days to clear up. Not much fun, so thank you for your good wishes.

Shirley, thank you for all your kind thoughts and comment.

Mags, thanks, I was getting to the stage when I was beginning to despair - I think the antibiotics drag you down too. I'm hoping I won't need the nasty-tasting medicine, but thank you for the tip!

Flowerpot, thank you, as I'm sure you can imagine, I still have to pinch myself at what's happening!

Kitty, you obviously come in a nicer-tasting variety of rhesus neg than me and Dad! I haven't (famous last words) been bitten again yet, so perhaps it was a particularly hungry fly that dared to bite me! (I bet it's sorry now!). Loved your blog this week - can see you in that lovely dress.
Thanks for telling us about those books, I'm going to order a couple now.

Hope you're feeling much better. It's horrible when a lurgy doesn't shift.

I've always wanted to attend the Hay Festival, and am determined to do so at some point. Hope you have a great time.
Thanks for telling us about those books, I'm going to order a couple now.

Hope you're feeling much better. It's horrible when a lurgy doesn't shift.

I've always wanted to attend the Hay Festival, and am determined to do so at some point. Hope you have a great time.

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