This Is Going To Hurt: The Secret Diaries of a Junior Doctor by Adam Kay Book Review…

January 18, 2019

I’ve had Adam Kay’s book ‘This Is Going To Hurt*’, on my bullet journal reading list for months now.  The title ‘This is Going to Hurt’, appeals to my sense of humour and frankness when I think about doctors!  Ordered before I left for Australia I tucked the volume into my suitcase and forgot about it in the first week.

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That week is a bit of a blur as jetlag does funny things to my mind.  I came through the fog and unpacked my suitcase properly, hiding Christmas presents from my mum, handing over motorbike parts to my dad!  I sat down to start This is Going to Hurt: The Secret Diaries of a Junior Doctor.

Kay had me on the first page with his anecdote about the wrong name being used for his email address.  Seemingly a great icebreaker, he then is floored when one colleague explains her ‘hypen’ in her last name was included as a word in her email address!  Kay is now a TV comedy writer and his wit shines through with as you hope he gets to at least one friend’s wedding or home for dinner with the long suffering H.

Told in a diary format we go through five years of Kay being a junior doctor primarily in obstetrics and gynaecology.  A mix of patient issues and commentary on the inefficient running of the NHS, his story counters the message from the UK government that doctors are lazy and asking for too much money.

My hourly rate as a first year SHO worked out as £6.60.  It’s slightly more than McDonald’s till staff get though significantly less than a shift supervisor.

I thought I had it bad in the advertising industry but as least I didn’t have anyone’s life in my hands.  Some shifts would go for 36 hours and Kay was expected to be as alert at the end as the beginning.  Doing surgery! 

Tuesday, 9th November 2004. Bleeped awake at 3pm from my first half-hour’s shut eye in three shifts to prescribe a sleeping pill for a patient, whose sleep is evidently much more important than mine.  My powers are greater than I realised – arrive on the ward to find the patient is asleep.

Cracks in the NHS shine through.  My biggest take out is don’t go to hospital after hours or on the weekend.  The doctor to patient ratio is terrible; often only one per specialism and the testing facilities are shut!  Plus the types of ridiculous scenarios that patients bring to the doctors in the middle of the night is shocking.

Wednsday 22 March 2006. Three a.m. attendance at labour ward triage.  Patient is twenty-five years old and thirty weeks into her first pregnancy.  She complains of a large number of painless spots on her tongue.  Diagnosis: taste buds.

Full of human tales ‘This is Going to Hurt: The Secret Diaries of a Junior Doctor’ by Adam Kay* is a must read and I can see why Books are my Bag readers voted it the top book of 2017.  For those of you reading this and work for the NHS I thank you again and again and again! Adam has a new column in The Guardian on a range of topics related to the medical field.

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Making at Home with Paper Christmas by Emily Dawe…

November 28, 2018

Every year, my sister and I purchase a themed set of decorations to wrap our Christmas presents.  We are known in our family for really stepping up the wrapping game!  Last year we had glitter star stickers, with a beautiful pink ribbon, set against gleaming metallic silver paper.  This year we have more time to create our decorations and Emily Dawe’s Paper Christmas book is the perfect inspiration.  Full of step by step instructions, there are templates at the back which means easy making.  Emily has put together 16 projects to make your own labels, bunting, Christmas trees and advent calendars.  The best bit is that you can use these ideas all year round.

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When I was growing up we always had a craft area in the house.  Sometimes it was just a section of a bookshelf and later an entire room!  Having craft bits and pieces on hand is so normal for me that I have a three tier Ikea trolley full in my current flat.  It contains wood spoon blanks for carving, acrylic and water colour paints and my entire candle making collection.  So.many.essential.oils!  It is not unusual for me to spend hours on a craft activity, lost in the mindfulness and happiness of creating.

I used this black and white stock card, self adhesive glitter papers, fancy Christmas twine and my favourite purchase, eco glitter!  Emily has suggested colour ways in the book but feel free to go with your creation.  It is straight forward following the instructions provided, as every step has a picture showing you what to do.  This is my kind of crafting.  It takes the work out of understanding someone’s instructions when there are pictures!  The crafting then becomes family friendly as children can make alongside you.

Watch my timelapse video on instagram where I make the beautiful feathers.

I’ve often seen templates that require a size increase but I hadn’t done that before.  Turns out it is quite easy to find the enlarge function on a photo copier!  I recommend copying each page twice.  Just in case you make a mistake cutting, or if you have a big group working on your decorating project no fighting over templates!

I loved making the feather labels and they were so easy to cut out.  They would make a great family project with little ones.  Feathers don’t have to have perfect sides!  I arranged the five feather templates on the A5 black card and was able to put them in a way that minimised any waste.  The bunting is really cute and instead of hanging it up I used it to wrap the presents.  If you had a few helpers, creating strings and strings of bunting would look stunning around your tree.  A lovely alternative to tinsel, adding a handmade element to your festive décor.

Emily is such a lovely human being and you all know I enjoy supporting small business entrepreneurs.  We recently caught up and I asked her three questions about Paper Christmas…


Jessica – What did you enjoy the most about the book making process? 

Emily – I know that sounds like a cop out, but I loved the whole process!  From the very beginning, I loved researching different projects, trends, and styles.  Then the making process, which always takes much longer than you think, as there’s a lot of trial and error, but getting to the finished result is always so rewarding!  Then I was in my element photographing the book, as a stylist who absolutely loves Christmas, I really enjoyed creating little festive scenarios and flat lays, using my own hands where possible and using my friend Emmeline as my model!

Jessica – That’s sounds so fun, I’d love to be a hand model!  Did you approach the publisher or vice versa? 

Emily – It was a case of being in the right place at the right time!  I was working at Woman’s Weekly at the time, as the Home & Craft Editor, we were working with Roz and Judy from The Woolly Felters on a feature for the magazine about how to needlefelt.  Amazing and magical process if you haven’t tried it!  During our lunch, we got onto chatting about my hopes and goals for the future, one of which was to have a craftbook published.  Roz then announced she was one of the Commissioning Editors at Search Press books, and asked me to chat through my ideas!  She then pitched my idea with a few prototypes, and it was given a big thumbs up!  That was June 2016, so it’s not been a speedy process!

Jessica – Wow I didn’t realise it would take so long.  Patience testing!  What do you hope people get from the book and crafting? 

Emily – I knew I wanted a diverse combination of projects in the book, which would appeal to an array of people, the styles they have in their home, and their skill level.  So if your thing is Scandi minimalism then my folded book angels or white feather garland would suit you.  Likewise, if you want something to make with the kids, my mini bunting, gift tags, party hats or even marbled wrapping paper would be ideal, made using shaving foam!  I chose to make the paper wreath from traditional colours, but I hope people just see this as a starting point and adapt the design to suit their decor – white and gold, or neon pink for example.

In a nutshell, I just wanted to create a fun, contemporary, on-trendcrafting book that would appeal to lots of people, no matter their style, skill level or how much time they have.  Crafting is such a simple pleasure, a time to be mindful, get back to basics with glue and glitter – it’s so nostalgic!  Technology has changed the way we communicate, some people rarely pick up a pen these days, which is so sad.  So it’s really special to actually do something creative withyour hands, forcing you to put your phones away and enjoy some well earned’you time’….saying that, I will forgive you if you want to take a picture of the end result or a crafty flat lay though…oh, and if you want to post it on social media, please tag me @editbyemily and use the hashtag #paperchristmas….it’s good to share, and I’d love more people to hear about my first book!

Jessica – Thank you so much!  I know I enjoyed making everything with some Smooth FM on in the background and a hot chocolate.  I was so relaxed afterwards!


Happy Crafting lovelies!  For more information about Emily’s book, her creative workshops and sign up to her mailing list head to her website.  You can find her on instagram here.  Emily is also going to be on Kristie’s Handmade Christmas, lucky duck!  Remember whilst the book is Christmas themed, lots of the templates can be used throughout the year!  PF xo

Emily and Search Press kindly gifted me Paper Christmas but I was under no obligation to post and all words are my own.

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Making at Home with Paper Christmas by Emily Dawe


The Rosie Effect by Graeme Simsion Book Review…

November 27, 2018

I borrowed The Rosie Project from the library on a short loan and requested The Rosie Effect* before I had even finished!  Captured by the story of Don Tillman, his love interest Rosie and their close knit friends, I was keen to see what happened next.  There were mixed reviews on my social media about this second book.  I wasn’t really sure why people were telling me bad things but I guess people need to share!

The story kicks straight in following on from The Rosie Project with Don and Rosie in New York.  They are studying and working at the same university, spending a few nights a week working a bar job for fun, whilst trying to settle in a new city.  It all takes a bit of a turn, Rosie takes it upon herself to get pregnant under a false assumption that it might take years.  The life plan that Don has in his head, previously agreed with Rosie, is thrown into chaos.  The result is a series of events that jeopardise their relationship and cause the reader much frustration.

There is little interaction between Don and Rosie, my favourite of the previous narratives, as they close off communication with each other to deal with the pregnancy.  Instead new characters are introduced for Don to bounce ideas with who rarely advise him correctly.  The subsequent comedy of errors became a sticking point for me.  I kept shouting at Don and Rosie to have a proper conversation, the same conversations they were having with their friends.

If you are going to read this book I recommended reading it back to back with The Rosie Project*.  The second book will feel less jarring and the lack of Rosiness will be overcome!

Enjoy PF xo

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