Saturday, 16 April 2011

Orange Prize 2011. Grace Williams Says it Out Loud.

The Orange Prize for Fiction Longlist was recently released, so I am hunkering down again in a bid to read my way through it.

I am finding this quite the challenge....the carbamazapine has really messed with my concentration and I find it really hard to actually absorb that which I have read. But...onwards and upwards.

Grace a hard story to read. Or I found it so. I thought it was well-written and believable. Believable is why I found it so hard. Set in the middle part of the 20th Century, it recounts the story of Grace, sent to an asylum when she was 11 - a doctor having decided it was best, damaged as she was at birth and subsequently by polio. But Grace and her companions are not the dumb animals that the staff assume them to be and what follows is a rich, and frequently brutal, account of her life 'inside', in particular with a young man called Daniel. In many ways this reminds me of what I can recall of Skallagrig, which I read many years ago.

I am sure that some people may think that the brutalities and abuse handed out in the book were over-stating the case.I don't think so, not for one minute.

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Reducing meds.

On absolutely no advice from my doctor I have reduced my carbamazapine by 100mg daily. Last week the crazy itch that I have been having returned with enough ferocity to drive me tothe walk-in clinic at the station. Itching like that can be an indicator of liver problems, always a possibility with this drug. One of my results wasn't great but bilirubin levels were normal, and it is apparently bilirubin that causes the itch. That meant it was the drug itself driving me up the wall, not a side-effect. Anyway, a rash decided to join the itch. I am waiting to hear frommy doctor and hoping that this decrease does not leave me open to another seizure.

in the meantime I havebeen gently enjoying Salzburg. And by that I mean I have pottered about, eaten Sacher Torte, drunk coffee, had brunch and generally was not much of a tourist. The first couple of days were gorgeous and I pottered around the old town. The last two have been very, erm, Scottish in terms of wind and rain. I thought about doing a tour, visitng the 'must-see' places but other health issues were intruding so I just pulled back.

here are a few links to the Mirabell Gardens, which I spoke about above. They are from previous years.