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March 2014:

In the Shadow of Papillion – Frank Kane

Animal Farm – George Orwell

April 2014:

Hullabaloo in the Guava Orchard – Kiran Desai

Out of Shadow – Jason Wallace

May 2014:

Beloved – Toni Morrison

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The world and his wife won’t see me dead.
For this little girl smashed up her own head. 
And if this time ticks softly away
She’ll only speak when the wine’s gone dry. 

And God won’t cry when the wine has gone:
Just snigger and judge till He’s sure He’s done. 
Casting aspersions till the sun heads west;
Breaking my face, my smile, my head. 

I want to swallow it whole; the universe and it’s goal. 
Fractions of glass tiny and inviting my soul. 
Fragments of disjuncture and holy peace;
Captivated solely on my whole-hearted disbelief. 

Tears grounded in my guarded scars;
Your happiness written in the stars. 
And as the nails dig deep into the flesh
A calmess unknown becomes my true best.  

Take me to a place where I know I won’t feel. 
To a place I can scream and no one can steal. 
Because when I walk with you I walk tall
And I won’t scratch, or steal, or fall. 

I’ll keep reaching and hissing and squealing
Till all I hear is your imperious silence;
Until all I feel is the shadow of your dust
And the realization of my ingrained distrust.  

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Today Southmead Hospital in Bristol have launched their campaign ‘Mum’s the word’ to help raise funds to transform their maternity unit.

From their website: “The maternity teams do a magnificent job in making sure that today’s Mums are as comfortable as possible. We want to ensure our facilities do the same.”

Seems fair enough!

They plan to extend the birthing suite (some mums-to-be will be looking forward to this!), build more consultation rooms, and create more en suite facilities for birthing and new mums.

Fitting to Bristol, they’ve decided to place a paper hot air balloon on their donor wall within the unit bearing your child’s name! But only if you donate, so make your donation here: http://www.justgiving.com/mumsthewordappeal

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As requested by the lovely people at Bristol Zoo Gardens, here is a quick snap of me, Manny and Bill Bailey whose Black Books character is Manny’s namesake. Cheers Bill!

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