Blog Tour Book Review – Thalidomide Kid

Thalidomide Kid


The Blurb

Daryl Wainwright is the quirky youngest child of a large family of petty thieves and criminals who calls himself ‘Thalidomide Kid’.

Celia Burkett is the new girl at the local primary school, and the daughter of the deputy head at the local comprehensive where she is bound the following September. With few friends, Celia soon becomes fascinated by ‘the boy with no arms’.

The story of a blossoming romance and sexual awakening between a lonely girl and a disabled boy, and their struggle against adversity and prejudice as they pass from primary to secondary school in 1970s Cirencester. The story deals with themes and issues that are timeless.

What I Thought

I was torn when I was first offered a copy of this book – the blurb looked good but I was a little put off by the title.  I am glad I decided to go with the blurb though as I did enjoy it.

This is a great tale about kids growing up and maturing.  I especially enjoyed the viewpoint of Daryl who is disabled.  He was a fantastic main character – humorous, sarcastic and self-deprecating.  Very much how I have always tried to be about my disability – I never liked taking myself too seriously and still don’t really!  He has given himself the name ‘Thalidomide Kid’, much as I (although my year four teacher Mr Mottram also had a part in it) named my arthritis Arthur when I was younger.  Arthur was, and still is a pain and has now been joined by Stanley the stoma who can also be a pain when he wants to be!

Celia was also a great character and I liked the fact that the book covered this whole period of time in their lives – the changes, challenges and feelings that come with growing into adulthood for both everyone, and the extra ones people with disabilities may face.  I enjoyed seeing how these two handled those situations!

This was a pretty quick read and I would recommend to others to give it a try.  It is nice to see a book containing a disabled character without the ‘woe is me’ attitude than many assume we have.

Where To Buy


Amazon (paperback)

Author – Kate Rigby


Kate Rigby was born near Liverpool and now lives in the south west of England. She’s been writing for nearly forty years. She has been traditionally published, small press published and indie published.

She realized her unhip credentials were mounting so she decided to write about it. Little Guide to Unhip was first published in 2010 and has since been updated.

However she’s not completely unhip. Her punk novel, Fall Of The Flamingo Circus was published by Allison & Busby (1990) and by Villard (American hardback 1990). Skrev Press published her novels Seaview Terrace (2003) Sucka!(2004) and Break Point (2006) and other shorter work has appeared in Skrev’s magazines.

Thalidomide Kid was published by Bewrite Books (2007).

Her novel Savage To Savvy was an Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award (ABNA) Quarter-Finalist in 2012.

She has had other short stories published and shortlisted including Hard Workers and Headboards, first published in The Diva Book of Short Stories, in an erotic anthology published by Pfoxmoor Publishing and more recently in an anthology of Awkward Sexcapades by Beating Windward Press.

She also received a Southern Arts bursary for her novel Where A Shadow Played (now re-Kindled as Did You Whisper Back?).

She has re-Kindled her backlist and is gradually getting her titles (back) into paperback

More information can be found at her website or her blog

Social Media Links




Giveaway – Win 1 x signed copy of Thalidomide Kid


Click here to enter

*Terms and Conditions –Please enter using the Rafflecopter link. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data. I am not responsible for dispatch or delivery of the prize.

I hope you enjoyed my review and good luck with the competition if you enter.  Would love to hear what you are reading at the moment, let me know in the comments below.

NatalieThe Spoonie Mummy

I received a copy of this book in return for my honest review.  Check out other people’s reviews on the following blogs.


Handy Hacks For People With Arthritis

Good morning all, happy hump day!  I have been planning this post for a little while as wanted to share a few of the products I have found which make life a little easier when you have arthritis.  I really hope you enjoy a read and the things I use help some of you too.

This post has been kindly sponsored by Millercare, who provide living and disability aids to help those with disabilities, chronic illness and mental health achieve the best quality of life they can.

Kitchen Chopper

I have mentioned my chopper before but I couldn’t be without this little gadget.  I struggle with arthritis in my hands – wrists, thumbs and fingers.  When trying to use a knife my hand often seizes, meaning it stiffens up and is very painful until it ‘clicks’ back out.  Trying to finely chop things like onions and garlic when cooking can be really difficult due to this.  With this however, I only have to slice my onion and then let this do the fine work.  I bought mine many years ago but have seen them recently on sale in Asda and I am sure places like Amazon will have them too.

Weeding Tool



I was sent this to try from the lovely people at Roundup and it has been a blessing to use while trying to sort my garden out.  Bending down is a real struggle but with this I am able to stay standing while de-weeding my garden following the months of winter neglect.  The Roundup Gel simply attaches to the extendable tool and dispenses with a click.   The handle is extendable to suit everyone and to help reach near and far.  The wand has a RPP of £22.99 including the Total Gel.

Pen Grips


I have purchased two different types of these from Amazon.  Both arrived really quickly and were inexpensive.  I often like to use chunky pens as find them easier to grip but also struggle with calluses on my ring finger because of the dodgy way I hold my pen.  These have helped turn my ordinary BIC pens into chunkier versions which are easier to hold and they are super soft meaning no more calluses and blisters!  Win win!  There are different shapes and materials available so it might be a bit of trial and error to find out what works for you and which you find comfiest, but they are well worth it!  I used to use these in school and they really helpful when writing in any capacity.


Stick on Heat Pads/Hot Water Bottle/Warming Bags

Ste often grabs the stick on heat pads from Poundland.  They are really handy, cheap and most of the time work well on tired and aching joints.  I find my hot water bottle and heated microwave pad really helpful too, and when at home are just as easy to use.

wheat bag

Millercare have the Lavender Scented Wheat Bag on their site, which is similar to mine (without the Unicorn cover mine has).  It is a great shape and can be used on all different areas of the body.  Click here to find out more

One Cup Kettle

A purchase that wasn’t intended to be handy but it really is.  I no longer have to pick up a heavy kettle when I make myself a drink, and I save on electricity!  These types of kettle are great for those that struggle with grip and lifting heavy objects like me.  Just a click of the button and it dispenses the perfect amount of water for my cuppa with no hassle.  Rather than picking it up to fill it, I use a jug with a smaller amount of water in and do two or three trips to fill it up.

Perching Stool

My perching stool is used in so many different ways!  Currently it is upstairs, as I use it in the bathroom and when getting ready in the morning to sit on.  I have also previously used it downstairs in the kitchen when cooking/preparing food and while doing the ironing.  If, like me, you will be using it in multiple areas of the house I suggest getting two, so you don’t have to keep moving one around.  I have the one with arms as it makes it easier for me to stand up from.

Check out Perching Stools at Millercare

Iron With Separate Steam Chamber

I bought my iron in the sale and it also wasn’t purchased with this handy intention but it has been extremely useful.  Rather than filling the iron with water which makes it heavier and more difficult to use with my wrists, hands and elbows being bad, I fill the base unit.  This means the iron still produces steam and does everything it needs to do but is easier and lighter to use.  These irons often aren’t cheap but as I said, I got mine in the sale so if you keep your eye out it is possible to grab a bargain!

Bath Boards

I have had these for years, since being a child at home in fact.  They are an invaluable help for getting in and out the bath.  I often shower now as it is easier, and use my bath board to sit on if needed.

Millercare have a wide range of different options from seats for in the bath as well as those which go over the bath.  Have a look here

Stair Basket

This is a trick I learnt a couple of years ago and can’t for the life of me remember where from!  I keep a small basket/bucket at the bottom of my stairs and if I have anything I need to go upstairs, I place it in there.  Once it is full, or I am heading upstairs anyway, I take it with me.  Saves multiple trips up and down the stairs every day!

Electric Tin Opener

Another handy kitchen gadget.  I really struggle with tin openers, they just don;t like to work for me (I swear it’s them, not me).  My electric tin opener was a cheap purchase which has saved me many tears over the years!

Long Handled Toe Nail Scissors

When I looked through the Millercare website I found a product I didn’t know existed but has made me extremely happy!  One job I struggle with immensely is cutting my toe nails.  I often go and get a pedicure just to have my nails sorted out and nail polish neatly applied.  Trying to cut them with clippers myself ends up with a messy hack job at best and a blood bath and sore toes for days at worst.  I am going to give these long handled scissors a go and give my poor feet the pampering they deserve!

long handle

Long Handled Nail Scissors

DenTek Teeth Flossers

I got sent these to try out and what a brilliant invention they are!  My dentist is always telling me I need to floss but I just can’t get my hands to work properly to hold the string, get it in my mouth and do the job intended.  These are super easy to hold and make the job a million times easier for me!  They also do kids ones which are bright and colourful and really good to encourage healthy habits early on.

So that is my round up of a few things I use to make my life with arthritis a little easier.  I hope you enjoyed reading and that some of you have found something that may help you.  Please let me know your handy hacks in the comments beliow, I am always on the look out for things to make life that little bit easier!  Ciao for now!

NatalieThe Spoonie Mummy