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February 2013

Something Uncomfortable

By Life, ThinkingNo Comments

This year I’ve set myself a challenge a month to try something new (see New Experiences for 2013). January’s was to do something that makes you feel uncomfortable. I planned to get semi-naked for a full body massage; although this might not sound like a challenge, is for body conscious me. But in the end, I opted for something that I expected to be a challenge on a much deeper level.

Every year since Alex died, those that knew him come together on his anniversary and set off Chinese Lanterns in his memory. I have always avoided this memorial, the thought of going has always filled me with nausea deep in the pit of my stomach. So I decided that this would be my something uncomfortable and went:

Alex Memorial 1 - Chinese Lanterns

Alex Memorial 2 - Chinese Lanterns

Alex Memorial 3 - Chinese Lanterns

I don’t quite know what I dreaded; but whatever it was the experience wasn’t anything like I had expected. Despite the cold and flakes of snow, I felt warmed with the memories of happier times shared. The experience taught me to be aware of my own preconceptions and reminded me that we are all interconnected to one another.

So next time you are faced with an offer to do something that makes you feel uncomfortable, try saying yes. It might not be as bad as you fear, in fact it could be the complete opposite.

Take care,


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Book Review: One Hundred Names by Cecelia Ahern

By Amazon, Books & Authors, ReviewsNo Comments
One Hundred Names by Cecelia Ahern Book Cover In One Hundred Names by Cecelia Ahern we meet Kitty Logan a Journalist whose recently had what she thought would be her big break into TV journalism. But it went horribly wrong when Kitty wrongly accused Colin McGuire, a PE Teacher of having inappropriate relationships with students.

After this disaster and with its on going ramifications Kitty tries to reconnect with her Journalistic roots. She seeks advice from Constance her mentor, editor and friend who has terminal cancer. As they talk in the hospital room; Kitty is struck by an idea to ask Constance:
What’s the one story you have always wanted to write?
Constance promises to tell Kitty her story idea; once Kitty brings a file entitled ‘Names’ from her office to her.

But before Kitty has chance to bring Constance the file she passes away. Kitty is left with a list of one hundred names – nothing else about what the story is about or how these names are connected and two weeks to write Constance’s story.

Kitty soon meets six of the hundred names starting with Birdie. Birdie is an eighty-four year old who lives in a home and has her eighty-fifth birthday coming up. Her eighty-fifth birthday will be an extra special and she won’t be spending it with her family, instead she’s opting to go on a trip. Kitty finds out why this birthday is extra special by listening to Birdie tell her life story.


Next Kitty meets Eva Wu who is Personal Shopper with a difference. Eva Wu specialises in gift giving; she spends time with her clients and the intended recipients before choosing the right gift. Eva chooses gifts that emotionally touch the recipients: repairing relationships, bringing closure and reuniting people with long forgotten parts of their lives . Yet she is very closed about herself and where these precious skills come from.

Jedrek is the next name on the list that Kitty meets. Jedrek along with his friend Archar want to break the World Record for how fast two people can peddle a distance on a peddle boat – and in practices they’ve beat the record! But they need an official adductor to come to Ireland from London, which both being unemployed they cant afford to pay for. Why have Jedrek and Archar put so much time, effort and energy into this record attempt?

Kitty meets Mary-Rose a young woman who looks after her disabled mother and spends time doing the hair and make-up of patients at the Hospital. Kitty meets Mary-Rose and Sam one of her friends in a restaurant. Sam proposes to Mary-Rose and Kitty sees a glimmer of sadness in Mary-Rose’s eyes. Kitty learns that he proposes all the time to raise the atmosphere and to get a few free drinks.

Kitty struggles to interview Ambrose an eccentric, shy and elusive owner of a Butterfly Sanctuary. A woman with a large discoloured mark on her face initially talks to Kitty through her hair; having not been seen in public for a number of years. Instead she trusts Eugene a butterfly enthusiast and loyal friend as her voice in the world outside of her home.

Kitty constantly chases Archie, but he is more elusive of Ambrose. He’s had bad experiences with the press following a tragedy and is now convinced that he can hear people’s prayers.

Can Kitty discover the link between these six seemingly diverse people that Constance had? With the help of Steve, her friend since college she sets out to do just that.

Ahern brings all of the characters to life with her unique writing style; but although the storyline was well paced, it left a lot to be desired. Despite logically knowing that it would be impossible for Kitty to meet all of the one hundred people listed in two weeks, I felt misled by the title.

In comparison to Ahern’s previous novels One Hundred Names lacked the hint of magic that The Gift, The Book of Tomorrow, If You Could See Me Now and The Time of My Life all shared. It was similar to PS, I Love You in the sense that it close to reality. However PS, I Love You was an extraordinary read filled with emotional depth; whereas One Hundred Names felt mundane read with no emotional depth.

Overall One Hundred Names by Cecelia Ahern was a reasonable concept but was poorly executed.

You can buy One Hundred Names by Cecelia Ahern on Amazon.

Review soon,


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Not Forgotten About You

By LifeNo Comments

Hi all,

Just a quick post to say that I’ve not forgotten about you!

For the past month as I’ve been writing and editing a short story for a competition. Now that it’s done and submitted I can get back to my usual: reading & reviewing books and bloging about other things in my life.

So after next week expect the following blog posts to start appearing:

  • Book Review: One Hundred Names by Cecelia Ahern
    I’ll tell you what I thought of One Hundred Names along with how it compares to Ahern’s previous books.
  • New Experiences: January – Do something that makes you feel uncomfortable
    I’ll write about how I could have been partially naked for this experience; but ended up opting for something that made me feel emotionally vulnerable instead.
  • Technology Review: The iPhone 5
    I’ll write about the good, the bad and where I think Apple has gone wrong with the new iPhone.
  • New Experiences: February – Take a photo every day
    I’ll sharing all of the photos I’ve been collecting this month along with captions.

Take care & I’ll write soon,


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