Juggling life through a bi-polar lens. Sometimes up, sometimes down. Mostly trying to tread water in the middle. Creating a likeness to a normal life. Whatever "normal" is...

Wednesday, 18 April 2012


Wednesday again already!!!!! And a very rainy one, here, too.

Notes From An Exhibition
by Patrick Gale
There was the ladylike gold watch she never wore for long because she claimed the ticking got on her nerves and, all around it, in such absurd quantities they were almost spilling over the drawer's edges, were hundreds of pills, almost all the same size and innocent shade of white.
This is an amazing book, which I can't believe I hadn't spotted before. I found it last week in a charity shop. The image of the painter on the cover drew the eye. On my version there is also a review from Stephen Fry on the cover, "This book is complete perfection". Hmm. Well that was enough for me to investigate....

Rachel is a painter who lives with bipolar and this book shows the effects this has on her creativity, the ups and downs, the bursts of inspiration interspersed with periods of dryness.

It also shows how the condition affects her husband and children, and how the people around her adapt, adopt, and sometimes suffer or run away.

I've only got as far as page 80. So far there have been flashbacks which I can find annoying in books but in this case it's fascinating to see how Rachel's story began and what certain people around her  were like when they were younger. You see her as a young woman, and then jump forward to see her children as middle aged.

I'm constantly obsessed with age. I'm constantly looking back, counting, and then looking forward and trying to estimate how quickly the time between now and the age of 60 will pass. Only 15 1/2 years to go, and see how fast the last 15 1/2 went?? It frightens me. Every day.

I get so angry when older people aren't treated with respect. By doctors, nurses, or just members of the public, people in shops.... they forget that this elderly person was once young, clear faced, beautiful, full of ideas and ambitions. All they see is a shell. More and more I'm learning that even though you get older, you stay young on the inside. This is why I find the flashbacks in the book so poignant.

I can't wait to see how the rest of Rachel's story unfolds.

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Thanks to everyone who joins in with this, btw!

If you want to join in too, pick up any book, go to page 52, then go to the 4th line. Give us whatever sentences cross the 4th line. i.e. you may have to go back a bit or forward bit, but the 4th line is your guide!

Either put your finding on your blog and tell us in the comments to this post, or just write the entry itself in the comments. Simples!

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Blue said...

Your choice is another one to add to my 'must find to read book list'.
As one who is sadly only 2 years & 22 days off the dreaded 60, I too wonder where my time / youth went!!!
There'll be no pension for me then as the qualifying ages creeps ever further away.

I've done another long winded post in the name of your meme - it's here ...

Eileen said...

I'm going to look for 'Notes From An Exhibition', too.

I'm nearer to 60 than you, Blue. I have 1 year & 10 days to go. I am 10 days from 59, and I agree with you Helena, that I feel much younger inside my head.

My 52/4 this week is from 'The Eyre Affair', the first book in Jasper Fforde's Thursday Next series. I discovered this first book at Waterstone's when we lived in Bletchley. I fell in love with Thursday Next and all the amazing characters Jasper Fforde writes into his fantastic stories! If you haven't given Thursday Next a try yet, you won't regret it, especially if you are a lover of books!

From 'The Eyre Affair' : "All my shots hit their mark. Two in the windscreen and one in the radiator grille."

Hugs to anyone who needs one.

Helena said...

Well Blue, I've never tried to guess your age, but your words, your personality coming through here, is very youg, much farther away from 60 than that!

Helena said...

Eileen....aha....I can work out your birthdays from these comments can't I? tehehehe......

I haven't heard of your author but I shall make a note. I think I'll have to designate a little notebook just for book/author recommendations!

Angel and Kirby said...

Hollywood Secrets by Gemma Halliday Hollywood Headlines Mysteries set

a collective groan went up from the crowd assembled outside. Myself included. A shot of Trace's elbow was hardly the kind of stuff Felix put on the front page.

Lynda (Granny K) said...

I've read this book, cover to cover. Gripping stuff!
Since our local library closed I buy books from our local charity shop for 50p and then take them back.
I'm 62 and my husband is 70. I remember a marvellous line from 'On Golden Pond' (Katherine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy, I think) 'Don't you die on me! You're the only person I can stand!'