30 Days Grace: April.

Right so. Ha. April 2017. Let's see. Ermm. Well I can't lie guys, I never sugar coat or bullshit on this blog and I am proud of that fact...I've had a shit month.

It started...kinda well? I finished my amazing internship with Walker, and had already earmarked April as a Recovery Month – but only in terms of recuperating from a month spent in the big smoke working full time in a busy office environment, not from, y'know, major surgery...we'll get to that in a bit.

Back to the positives. At the beginning of the month I was honoured to help the phenomenal Heads Together #okaytosay campaign by having the babes at The Mix record a conversation between me and mama about our experience with mental health – mine and hers – in the recent past. 

I am now officially a Young Ambassador for The Brain Tumour Charity! I was gutted to miss the official induction days due to being in hospital, but my goodness I am so excited to get to work with my fellow Ambassadors as soon as I am able. The charity has done so much for me and continues to be generally awesome for others like me, and being an official part of it now is a real honour and privilege.

My new favourite things this month were... 

  • We daughters got our Dad a tattoo for his 51st birthday back in February, and he finally got it done the Saturday after my operation. Which meant he had to come into hospital and flash it at me afterwards – I felt so damn proud of papa, and happy to see his little blue Sussex seagull.

  • Not that she's a 'thing', but I gotta mention my excellent friend Louise Jones and her whole slaying at the London Marathon deal. Please can everyone read her blog post about it, and weep as I did because honestly, so much awesome.

  • The NHS. Yeah it took them forever, but when they found the problem, they worked hard and they came through for me yet again. Thanks to them I am now without an infected abscess-bearing appendix that had caused me intense unyielding pain for weeks - plus they took a little bit of disintegrated bowel away as well, which was also nice. (Recovery is a bitch, I hate everything)

  • The cat. He's a permanent favourite in my life, yes, but after being in hospital for a week and feeling quite vulnerable getting home, seeing his little sleepy face and then having him by my side endlessly for the first few days I was back was a bit magical. Also the utter babe, author and fellow cat lover David Owen wrote me my own short story about Harv, and his bravery in the face of infected adversity. I will treasure that tale always. (Hey, pre-order Dave's next book, perhaps?)

I bought 0 books. Surprise, surprise! However, as usual our lovely cheery postie came to the door several times making his jokes about how my post 'keeps him warm' and that he has 'no idea' how I manage to read and/or store the many book-shaped parcels he brings week by week. 
Some book mail highlights this month were: Cat Clarke's sexy new edition of 'The Lost and The Found' (special feature post to come on that one!) and her newest novel 'Girlhood', out May 4th! I also received 'The State of Grace' by Rachael Lucas (I perhaps unfairly already love it, because Grace) and a very exciting manuscript or two that I cannot possibly discuss on here...yet!
I said it many times this month – thank goodness for books. Thank goodness I am a big reader. Because I tell you what, I dealt with some real bloody horror this month – I'm still dealing with the aftermath of it now – and books are just about the only thing that never fail to transport me away from the horrible things happening in real life. They're there for me when I need them. Ta, books, and all you folks who make them.

I drank 12 cups of coffee. Yeah. That is how ill I got. I stopped drinking coffee.

I did manage to go to my favourite cafe Beanzz a couple of times in the weekend that began April, when I was still able to y'know, walk and generally function as a human.
I went once with my sis, when we delivered the last of the furniture we sold the cafe and I managed a staggeringly excellent parallel park right outside the shop for the first time ever – and then again a couple of days later with an ever exceptional old friend, Ms Helen Rambaut. She and I first met in French class at college, and somehow after years of brief meetings and long absences (she had an exchange year in France for her degree...I have no excuses tbh) we are still able to meet up and chatter for hours – and she still fills me up with sunny happy energy, just by listening to me, sharing her stories and imparting her infinite bubbly wisdom.

I attended 0 bookish events this month. Oh, but I had 6 booked in at the beginning of the month! And as each day went by, I was crossing every one out in my diary and at times howling with rage and sadness as I did so. I was super excited for every single event – in particular Hannah Witton's 'Doing It' book launch, and the Orion Bloggers Fest evening (put together and hosted by the supremely awesome Stevie Finegan), and all of the incredible events Angie Thomas was scheduled to attend as part of her THUG UK tour... *sighs forever*

This monthly wrap-up has been somewhat sad, no? I'm sorry about that. I am often praised for my immense positivity and silver-lining-seeing in horrible situations – specifically major surgery situations, actually – so I can only hope I managed to do some of that while writing this. 

I have to include a shout-out to my stars of the month – my fam. Notice they are in the April photo at the beginning of this post? That was an evening we went for a lovely dinner out near the seafront – pizza and salads and wine – just because. Just because we didn't want to stay in and veg out in front of the TV, as we tend to do most of the time (but I wouldn't change that, tbh).

In this past month my little team have had to take me to various health centres for tests, to the GP surgery for appointments, and eventually into the local hospital for an operation. They also have had to see me in hospital, which can't be fun – and goddamn, poor mama was doing it 9am – 7pm every day! Dad would come and see me in the evenings when he'd had a full day at work in the city, and little sis had to make time between mock exams and studying at home. Oh, and when I wasn't in hospital I was – am – listless and miserable on the sofa at home, crying out in pain and demanding drugs constantly. So yeah, big up my family. I've said I'll treat them to a dinner out or coffee and cake date or a round at the pub when I'm finally better (and actually have some money to spend on them, lol), because honestly it's the least I can do. Love ya, Team Latter.

Right so, that was April. Let's call it a messy month, and be done with it. I am apparently recovering pretty well (doesn't feel it, docs) and should be up and about by the end of May, nearly good as new (well, I bloody hope so, I'm going to Australia in June!?), so hopefully next month's wrap up will be more exciting for you readers. 

I must now sadly confess that I had a genius plan for May, after what would have been a chilled 'writing month' in April – I wanted to blog every day in May! That is looking seriously unlikely now guys, but I thought maybe I could try...every other day in May!?
Watch this space, I'll do my very best. I'm thinking Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and randomly over weekends? Wish me luck!


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