The Grievers, Cheltenham And Epilepsy Awareness


On the way home from Cheltenham on Sunday, I finished my Kindle copy of The Grievers by Marc Schuster. Intelligently, sensitively written, the book is dark, thought-provoking, edgy, stark, bitter-sweet, melancholy and screamingly funny by turns. Others have already written far better reviews than I could come up with right at this moment, but I can definitely say that anybody who enjoys good fiction should add it to their “must read” pile. I may have “accidentally” persuaded the owner of the guest house we stay at in my home town to download it to her Kindle too!

My husband and son, enjoying the sunshine

Our trip to Cheltenham was – as usual – full to the brim with visits and things we needed to do. We spent some time at my mother’s on Friday evening, before returning to our en-suite at the guest house (Hope Orchard) to relax and watch a David Bowie marathon, which was excellent (I love David Bowie).

By the way, Hope Orchard is the place to stay if you ever have any business in Gloucestershire, England. The couple who run the place are extremely welcoming, the rooms spotless and pets are positively encouraged (as are sci-fi fans, as it happens). Also, the breakfasts are amazing – not too greasy and not too salty, and vegetarians, vegans and people with specific dietary needs (such as myself) are catered to with no problem whatsoever.

Saturday was incredibly busy. After a rushed breakfast and shower we were collected by my autistic son’s foster father and driven to Pittville Park so that R could have a wander and his foster father and I could have a good chat about R’s progress.

I almost lost my hat forever:

Perhaps I ought to buy him one?

A good time was had, and after a couple of hours’ break we headed off to the garden party which was being held in honour of D’s best friend’s wife’s 40th birthday.

Initially the autistic part of me caused me to be very tense and feeling a little sick with nerves, but I managed to hold it together with D’s help (and the help of his best friend, who was a very gracious and attentive host) and soon relaxed. There was a live band and lots of lovely people to meet.

And this is where I managed to teach a couple some more about epilepsy!

The couple I speak of were people we hadn’t met before, but the husband was very much the person who always asks what you do for a living and what car do you drive. D explained that he is my carer and that I have epilepsy.

I expected the couple to make their excuses and withdraw from our company in case I’m contagious (I’m used to it and no longer feel offended by such a gesture) but this particular couple wanted to ask me questions and learn more! They asked me what it’s like to have a seizure, and had even heard of some of the lesser-known seizure types and were curious about those too. It always surprises me when people care enough to want to know more about it and so I was happy to oblige.

I also got to sit in a TARDIS blue TVR. How on earth can you drive one of those things when they’re smaller on the inside? I’m not particularly tall but even I would have got cramped if I had to drive it! Beautiful car though.

Other News:

I’m in no grand rush, but I am seriously considering writing a book in order to put a positive spin on both autism and epilepsy. After all, it’s not all doom and gloom – and being on the spectrum can even be fun!

I need to compile some more blog entries and the like, and also try to find out if you can use the name “Spock” in something not related to the Vulcan – or do you need to buy the rights?

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About Missus Tribble

Media volunteer for Epilepsy Action (UK) and advocate for both epilepsy and autism awareness. Seamstress, cross-stitcher, sci-fi lover, ukulele player and Chelmsford's own Pickling Pagan who wants to inherit a TARDIS when she grows up. In the process of writing an as yet unnamed book, with anecdotes and information about being epileptic and autistic - and seeing the funny side! Also an entertainment journalist for What Culture, where I write about Doctor Who.
This entry was posted in 2012, Accomplishments, Adapting, Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life, Autism, Blogging, Born This Way, Disability, Epilepsy, Family, Marriage, Neurological, Proud Parent Of An Autistic Child, Proud To Be Autistic, Proud To Be Me, Reading, Travel. Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to The Grievers, Cheltenham And Epilepsy Awareness

  1. Baby doctor and author Dr.. Benjamin Spock used the name to great advantage! But seriously, Missus T, I think you should write that book. You are intelligent and well-spoken, have intimate knowledge of the subject and a passion and purpose. Go for it!

    • Thank you Naomi! I don’t want to go in to the project at full throttle since I want to put it together very carefully, but I’ve already got some of it together – and there’s always room for editing :)

  2. Marc Schuster says:

    I’m glad you enjoyed the book — and flattered to be mentioned in the same post as a David Bowie marathon, a TARDIS-blue TVR, and an enlightening chat about epilepsy.

    • Where did/do you live in ‘Nam then? I was born there and left about 7 years ago!

      • Was born in Upper Park Street and now live in Charlton Kings! Where were you from? Do you know the joke “I’m from ‘Nam” – “Vietnam?” – No Cheltnam!”

      • Haha, I’ve known that joke for years!

        I was brought up in Leckhampton, but my parents split and I ended up living in Sochi Court from the age of 14 – and landed my own maisonette across from Mum when my son was two. My Nan was in Charlton Kings for some years before she died in 2010. I was living in a flat in Lansdown until my marriage ended and I decided to go travelling (there were a couple of years in Hatherly after Sochi got demolished too, but ex partner was a con artist and stole the place off me).

        My parents, sister and autistic son all still live there, so we go back there when we can, to visit and catch up with friends.

        The irony is that D’s best friend moved from Chelmsford to Cheltenham, and I did the opposite – and they both married Cheltenham girls! :)

      • My sister and brother live in Leckhampton and another sister lives in Arle, near St Benedict’s.Nice to meet a fellow Nammer!

      • My sister lives in the “Red City” area of Springbank, Mum’s in St Marks and Dad’s still in Leckhampton!

        Next you’ll be telling me we went to the same schools or something :P

      • Naunton Park Primary followed by Bournside. I’m sure one of those schools thrashed the St G’s hockey team on occasion – although I remember at Naunton Park that our most hated foe was Crypt!

  3. Oh. Sure. you should buy him one! :) hmmmmm

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