Instead of the typical book haul I’ve started posting at the end of the month, I wanted instead to take a moment to appreciate four people who have become very special to me in a very short space time.
Every Sunday, I take part in a Twitter chat called #SundayYA, headed by the lovely Rachel. Some days it’s a full blown discussion of our favourite books, others is a chat with an author, or it could be a book club meeting. (You get to be in full attendance of a book club while also sat in your PJs on the couch. What’s not to like.)
At the beginning of February, I lost my job. It was pretty unexpected, and it turned into a very dark hour for me. For a couple of days I didn’t want to leave the house, or shower, or eat – I didn’t even want to read. Luckily, around Christmas I met some really wonderful people, and I’m now very lucky to call each of them my friends. They (probably plotted, let’s be honest) each sent me a book to get me back on the horse, a little card with each message inside, and something to coax my sweet tooth back in action.
OK, I met them online. So what.
The package from Rachel, the head honcho of #SUNDAYYA, arrived first. She had been running a competition to give away five copies of The One Memory of Flora Banks and I was one of the Chosen Few. We have both already had pretty intense discussions about this book, and I knew from the chat hosted by the book’s author, Emily Barr, that this was one I just had to get my hands on. As well as a card, she also popped in a bar of Milka chocolate that lasted roughly 30 seconds.
Cora and I had already exchanged gifts – she sent me a copy of Dawn O’Porter’s second book, Goose, so to put it bluntly I wasn’t expecting to have another parcel from her drop into my postbox. It did, and in it contained a copy of Margot and Me by Juno Dawson. I’d been planning on asking my dad to get me a copy of this book when he went to Newcastle, so this was a very lovely surprise. There was also a card, a gorgeous bookmark and a packet of Haribo. I don’t want to say she knows me well. . .
Kelly and I lived in Cardiff at the same time last year and never managed to actually meet up. If we’d started the chats sooner you can bet this wouldn’t be the case. (Our birthdays are also five days apart.)
Kelly (who has incredible handwriting by the way) sent over a pack of Mini Eggs which barely saw the sun before I attacked them, a mindfulness journal, and a copy of Wing Jones. I have heard so many good things about this one – including that it’s inspired some people I know to start running again. This seems like quite a powerful book.
Steph and Kelly’s packages arrived on the same day, and I swear it was like all my Christmases come at once. The postman did joke that he thought he’d need to come back the next day with a bigger van. (The fact that the following day, my order of the entire series of The Princess Diaries arrived did not help the matter at all.)
Steph sent me a copy of A Quiet Kind of Thunder, Rainbow Rowell’s short story Kindred Spirits, some Mint Matchmakers and raspberry chocolate. Heavenly.
If anyone ever tells you online friends don’t count, show them this post. I am so very lucky to have these four ladies in my life, and I cannot wait until we are all in the same room together.
*Special mention to my friend Lizzie, who does not have quite blog, but who also sent me two care packages. Including three packets of Sour Patch Kids, the true way to my heart.