Catching Up With A Cup Of Tea…

Now I feel a bit rusty at this blogging malarkey so please bear with me. I thought, after my absence from the blogosphere, that it might be nice to have a bit of a catch up with you all. I suggest you quickly pop and make yourself a nice cup of tea, coffee or pour yourself some fruit juice if you are one of those lovely but crazy people who somehow survive without caffeine. I don’t think I could have survived without caffeine in the last few weeks, it may not be how I make it or how I personally like it, but the NHS tea has been keeping me going – possibly as it bears a slight resemblance to rocket fuel.


As you may have gathered from my last post I had dashed to Derbyshire as Granny Savidge Reads was really, really poorly. I won’t lie, we all thought the inevitable had come. However, with the wonders of modern medicine two and a bit weeks later Gran is still really, really, really poorly and they can’t cure her but she has stopped constantly throwing up (this tended to be brought on by my arrival into the room, no lie – I have chosen not to take offense at it and instead think it was just excitement gone rife). Whilst her paralyzed side has now become pretty much paralyzed again we have in the last few days had her out and about in the sunshine in a wheelchair which seems to have boosted her spirits rather a lot. She did also, due to the drugs, go quite delightfully doolally for a week. Some of the stuff she was coming out with I have noted for future use one day.

I did come home for a break last weekend – and also because after two weeks I needed to show my ugly mug in the office really – yet this ended up an ironic break as guess who caught a stomach infection and wound up in A & E themselves over the weekend? Yes, me. Silly boy. Clearly can’t keep away from hospitals… maybe the tea has something in it, that addictive thing, MSG? I randomly got put on some drugs not dissimilar to Gran’s, though probably weaker as she is hardcore now, and was seeing giant spiders on the ceiling and my cats at the end of the ward – so no wonder Gran went a bit bonkers last week.

Do you want a biscuit to go with that tea/coffee/juice by the way? How rude of me not to offer. Let me just riffle through Gran’s treat cupboard which is normally brimming. Oh, someone seems to have been here before, there only seems to be some cappuccino flavoured wafer twirls, about four of them. Awkward. Let’s move on and not make a scene about it though…

Book-wise, and I know you come here for the books not my endless ranting waffle, I am slightly ashamed to admit that… I haven’t read a single book in THREE WEEKS. I read some of Gran’s new favourite author, Tarquin Hall, ‘The Man Who Died Laughing’ the second Vish Puri mystery. Though I was slightly grumpy about it as she was 3/4 of the way through and I hadn’t even read the first in the series (though I have started it now as spookily Gav chose it for June’s selection of The Readers Book Club). This grumpiness may have fed into me not reading it ‘with the voices’, though I also withheld for fear of being accidentally arrested for a mistaken hate crime rather than acting, whatever the reason Gran stopped asking me to do it after about four chapters. Thankfully the very kind publishers have sent me the audiobooks so we are going to give those a whirl imminently when I am here and the weather isn’t so stunning. Other than that (and starting Kate Atkinson’s ‘Life After Life’ which I thought was amazing, but at the time didn’t have the head space for) nada, nothing, diddly-squat!

So as you can see I have been a bit book barren. But sometimes that is a good thing isn’t it? We probably need a complete book break now and again to appreciate books and reading all the more I reckon, in fact I have been doing some reading re-evaluating on and off, more on that in due course. It has been the same with blogging and ‘social reading’ (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, GoodReads, etc) to be honest. In fact when I have gone back I have found social media really alienating after a break, everyone’s moved on, Savidge Reads is behind the times, maybe even past it? Speaking of Savidge Reads; I haven’t really had the time to blog in the main, or the inclination when I have been free as I  have been rather emotionally and physically drained, but the desire will come back gradually I am sure. Nor have I read anyone else’s blogs. But I will. At some point. Honest. I don’t want to be a blogger than never reads other blogs, I just need a bit of a break from that too.

Anyway enough about me, you’ve finished your drinks (and the wafer twirls, I have noticed) whilst mine has gone cold. Let me pour myself another brew and you tell me all about what you have been up to? What have you been reading? What books are you desperate to get your mitts on? You might all inspire more of a reading urge in me. What else has been going on with you outside of books?



Filed under Granny Savidge Reads, Random Savidgeness

35 responses to “Catching Up With A Cup Of Tea…

  1. AstroSkyeTaz

    Thanks for the cuppa and biccies, Simon!
    I am awaiting my copy of Damian Barr’s Maggie and Me in the post – I listened to your You Wrote the Book with Damian, and I’ve been wanting to get my hands on it ever since – sounds an amazing read. Funnily enough, I felt the urge to buy the hardback and not to get it on the K***** as I usually would – not sure why really; maybe it justs feels like a special book that needs to be on my shelves??
    Lots of good wishes to you and your Gran xx

    • Thank you so much for popping by and sharing them with me. Sorry it has taken me so long to reply, they have probably gone a little bit off by now. Anyway…

      Did Maggie and Me turn up in the end? I totally get what you mean about this needing to be a book book and not one for an e-reader, and when you read it you will feel it even more. Plus as you say its a book that should be seen and homed on shelves.

  2. Glad to see you’re back online even from Doolally Land. All my best to you and your family.

  3. Laura Caldwell

    Missed you and hope you are now feeling much better. I understand your little break because I had a little one too, although much shorter. Our internet was down for three days and it was lovely! Inconvenient, but lovely. I read more than I have in at least a year. (I don’t watch television much.) However, as soon as it was back on, there I was catching up. Why can I just not stay away?! The major book that I read over those days was “Life After Life” which was wonderful. Don’t read it if your attention is not fully on it though-it requires you to remember what you’ve read. I had few distractions and yet I still had to return to some parts to recheck what I had read earlier. Best read of this year for me, so far. Sending love to, and prayers for, Granny Savidge.

    • Isn’t it strange how nice it is to have a break from the internet every so often? I think I could do with more. That and the telly too. I still haven’t gotten around to Life After Life but I must as I think the buzz might get high around it again in the next few weeks with man Booker season approaching.

  4. Kateg

    Simon, Thanks for the catch-up. I read it while drinking myorning coffee in my special large mug (when I woke yesterday the mug was dirty having been used by my. 16 year old for tea, a mistake he won’t make again). I just finished a sad book for one of my book clubs and am glad it is over. I picked up Tarquin Hall’s The Case of the Missing Servant which I am loving as it is not too taxing and I am starting A Conspiracy of Faith by Jussi Adler-Olsen which just came from the library. I am glad that Gran is hanging in there. When I was in the same situation with my mother and then my sister I couldn’t read a book either. Magazines became my friends. The had short enough pieces to distract me briefly, but I didn’t have to remember anything to enjoy them. One more thing. Thanks for the gift o Agatha Raisin. I picked up 2 based on your recommendation and read one last weekend when I was stressed and it was perfect. I intend to pick up some more and read them when I need when I need a quick distraction. Thinking of you and have missed your blogging. Kate 🙂

    • Oooh some mugs should only be used by you and you alone. I know that feeling. Isnt it weird how reading goes in certain times, it has sort of come back though which is a good sign, though who knows what the next few days and weeks will bring we will see.

      How did you get on with Tarquin Hall? What was the sad book? I am overjoyed that you love Agatha Raisin, in fact I think it will be time for me to spend some time with her soon. Thank you for your lovely comment and thoughts Kate!

  5. Amy C

    Glad to read your update after a bit of a break. So sorry to hear about your Gran but glad she has family like you by her side during all this. I work as a hospice social worker here in the U.S. so unfortunately very familiar with that awful period of families sitting by the bedside of a loved one and not knowing exactly what to expect or how long they will be with you. As for books I am 3/4 of the way through Life After Life and it is fascinating but also messing with my mind as I try to keep all the threads separated and figure out what in the world is happening!

    • I don’t feel like I have quite got back in the swing of life yet, I am trying though and thoughts like these have been lovely. You have just explained why I started to struggle with Life After Life. It is clearly a masterpiece but for me it is all about timing.

  6. Much love to you and nanny savidge. While she is lucky to have an attentive and caring grandchild in you, she also sounds like a real treasure so much love to both of you. Big hugs xx

    • Awww thank you Belinda, I will pass these on when I see her again tomorrow. Not that I havent seen her for a month, I have just been a bit rubbish at keeping up with comments.

  7. Awwww, bless! Thinking of you and your Gran. One book I recently read (which I had been meaning to read for ages) and which has become one of my new favourites is ‘Behind the Beautiful Forevers’ by Katherine Boo. Non-fiction, yet it reads like a novel, about the people of the slums in Mumbai. Although, given how heartbreaking it is, maybe save it for reading later…

    • Aha! It was you that recommended this and left it lodged in my brain. I have managed to get it from the library, so will be reading it soon. Sometimes sad books are good for getting your feelings out!

  8. I’ve been to Ipswich and to Geneva and I’ve just finished an absolutely wonderful book “Black Milk: On Writing, Motherhood, and the Harem Within” by Elif Safak which I very strongly commend to you.

    Glad to have you back again.

    • I wouldn’t say i was fully back DP, not even now!

      I will have to look that recommendation up, so thank you! Sorry havent responded sooner, and have seen your email but not read it yet, I don’t seem to have enough hours in the day at the moment for readig, let alone blogging or commenting or… what was that other thing? Oh yes, me!

  9. Glad to see you back. As always, I remain in awe of your strength and humor (or, rather, humour) dealing with Granny Savidge’s illness. She is very lucky to have you in her life.

    I too haven’t been reading that much of late, but I did finally finish Wolf Hall and am about to move on to Bring Up the Bodies. I’m still only #75 of 370 library holds on Life After Life so that one will have to wait.

    • I honestly think it is the only way to deal with it sometimes, or you would just spend all your time having an emotional breakdown continously. Mind you the other day I cried in front of her for the first time and she said ‘oh finally!’ So the warped sense of humour is clearly from her.

  10. Hi Simon,
    for a few reasons I too have had no concentration lately, and started Life after Life but have had to leave it until my concentration returns fully. I read nothing for a couple of weeks and found it very frustrating. At the moment, until my concentration improves, I’m reading crime novels – lots of Sue Grafton and Sara Peretsky. I’ve pre-ordered the new Neil Gaiman so hope I’ll be able to focus on that!
    Nice to see any entry again, love to you and Granny Savidge. x

    • Alice I wonder if it might be a change in seasons of weather or air pressure or something, seems lots of people have had mini reading breaks in the last month or so.

  11. It’s good to see you back – thanks for the tea and wafers, just what I needed! I have not been able to read anything much for ages, I think there are too many (lovely) distractions in the form of blogs, pinterest and the like. I have been relying on magazines recently as I can’t really imagine not reading full stop. I’m just starting up a business and moving counties which I’m sure isn’t helping with picking up a new book either… It’s at times like these that I fall back on old favourites to reread too. Thinking of you and Granny Savidge a lot. Hugs and positive thoughts for you and your family.

    • If you could explain pinterest to me I would be most thrilled, I am meant to know what it is for work but I haven’t a clue. All tips would be most welcoe indeed. Thank you for the kind thoughts too. Where are you moving too?

  12. queenofthepark

    It is good that you are back Simon and even able to joke about food. Poor you!!

    Aren’t books marvellous, something there for your Gran to be entertained by even under such difficult circumstances. Easy to see where your love of reading comes from

    Sending warmest thoughts and blessings to you and all the family

    • I am sort of back, not quite 100% but I am trying my best hahaha. Thankfully food and I are now friends again as that was an awful time. Gran and my shared love of reading has definitely pulled us through some weird times in the last year, I think its the fact that soon we won’t be able to talk about them that blows my mind a bit, will be hard. Thanks for your thoughts.

  13. Carol

    So glad to read your post Simon. I don’t often comment, but do enjoy reading your blog. I’m sorry your Granny is doing so poorly. I imagine it means so much to her to have you there.

  14. Sharkell

    Glad to see you back again but nice that you were able to be there for your Gran.

  15. Hope your Gran is comfortable and feeling ok, so good for you to be able to spend time with her, but take care of yourself too.

    Books will always be there for you when you need them, sounds like family needs you more for now. All the best.

  16. Good to hear from you and to hear that your Gran is still teasing you and talking books! I completely understand the problem of head space for reading. It’ll come back.

    I just bought tickets to see Margaret Atwood talk about her new book in August (exciting!), then realised I haven’t read the two books it’s a sequel to (Oryx and Crake, and Year of the Flood) so rushed out to buy them! What with all my reading challenges and book club, that should keep me pretty busy.

    I think I might need an actual cup of tea after all that virtual caffeine. Take care Simon.

  17. sarah

    Hello –
    Good to see a post, though as others have said, it is more important to take care of yourself and family so I was actually glad to notice you left posting for a bit. Having been through a similar situation with my mother a couple years ago, I can say finding the energy to read was hard. I read a lot of short stories then. The satisfied my need for an escape, but I didn’t have to commit to a long novel.

    For Nose in a Book: I saw Margaret Atwood speak in Portsmouth, NH a couple of years ago. Brilliant. She’s smart, funny, and well-spoken. Enjoy!

  18. Louise Trolle

    Good to see you back online – many wishes on getting better for Granny Savidge!

    I’m at the moment feeling lazy and very full after stuffing myself with sushi, at my father in-laws 74th birthday dinner.

    I’m reading Travels with Charley by John Steinbeck, and have recently finished – and really like – Phoenix Rising by P. Ballantine.
    I’m looking forward to reading Every Eve, by Isobel English, that just arrived in the mail from Persephone Books today :-)’

  19. You poor darling. There seem to be quite a number of us whose blogging funks are lining up with yours. Odd. I am still reading but just don’t have the energy to write these days. But like you, I am sure (slash I am hoping) that it will come back.
    My current read is Swallows and Amazons which I’m reading for the first time. I’m having a bit of trouble getting past such wonderful character names as little sister Titty and baby Fat Vicky. Still, they’ve just set off in the boat so hopefully there is some action to balance the sailing terminology and titter-inducing names.

  20. nice to see you back Simon ,all the best stu

  21. It has to be family first sometimes. Glad you can be there for your Gran, but it’s nice to see you back here too.

  22. Em

    Today I bought lemon meringue ice cream based on your recommendation :o) no book news but please pass on our love to Auntie Dot x

  23. Great to see you back Simon. As it’s the evening I’m having a glass of wine rather than tea – hope that’s OK? I’ve moved on from reading Mantel’s Bring up the Bodies to the Women’s Prize winner May We Be Forgiven – it’s a bit of a stylistic leap, but a real page turner! Best wishes to you and your Gran

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