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The Dyslexia Gang Part 3

These are the symptoms and signs of Dyslexia as described by The British Dyslexia Association

Frequently late - occasionally missing important events altogether - and misjudging how long it takes to drive somewhere - yep that's me, unless I set an alarm on my phone to leave really, really early I will be late. I genuinely do not understand where the time goes, you start putting your shoes on, and the next minute you have lost twenty...

Problems with time management - a poor sense of time - find it difficult to plan time - frequently run out of time doing a task or fail to plan enough time for all the things that need to be done for the task to be completed - see above, also note when I thought I could write eighteen courses, edit the same, polish, record the audio for, design the companion sheet for sixteen of the courses, and get them to the website technology type genius lady to get online and pretty in six weeks. And was late delivering, twice.  

Can’t remember numbers - phone numbers, pin numbers, timetables etc - need to write a phone number down immediately to remember it. Again

Poor memory for anything number related like dates and facts - everyone who knows me knows that I say if you don;t see me write it down assume it won't happen.

Trouble understanding graphs or charts - can’t recognise the meaning of symbols - I bought a lovely craft kit, but turns out it has the mother of all charts, and so I open it, look at it, and put it away again. My cross stitch charts I expand to 10x and do them in little sessions marking off stitches as I go.

Difficulty remembering what symbols mean or linking numbers and symbols to directions - see above

Hard to understand even very simple spoken maths equations - I stopped my maths education at long division, Mrs Roper, fourth year juniors.

Get different answers to same Math problem and need to check work over and over again to be confident of getting the right answer. see above.

Gets lost easily and misplaces objects around the house - ask my husband about this one (if you have an hour to spare).

Difficulty working out change or a tip, use fingers to count - cannot see the problem with counting on my fingers

Trouble recognising patterns and sequencing - I think I'm alright at this, others may disagree

Motor functions - trouble learning dance steps or athletic movements or anything that requires you to move your body in a certain sequence - tried to learn ballroom dancing, jive, did GCSE Dance, and  despite practising the two dances I made them both up on the day, I did not pass well.

Struggles to keep scores in games and loses track of whose turn it is - yep

Difficulty remembering names and facial recognition (Prosopagnosia) - if you appear out of context that can hardly be my fault, I have, for some time, campaigned for name badges for all without success. 

If the majority of these fit you - congratulations, you are officially part of the most creative section of the population whoop whoop

I did the very involved test on The British Dyslexia Association website, which has given me a headache, and says that I don't fit the that's interesting, and Dyslexia experts care to comment? 

The Dyslexia Gang Part 2

For Dyslexia awareness week I wanted to share this piece about Dyslexia and Dyscalculia, to encourage people who have either condition, for their parents, partners and friends who need to know more. Differently-abled can be a fantastic thing!

I am a Dyslexic blogger, author and creativity coach, but this blog is all about Pascal, a retired university lecturer.

“Although I knew about Dyslexia I hadn’t heard of Dyscalculia until I was teaching at a university. Each term students’ work had to be double marked by two tutors, and this was followed by meetings where we discussed the marks we had allocated.  Not only could I could never remember how to work out the percentages of the marks, but then later I couldn't remember if it was agreed that the marks were to go up or down, so I was always having to double check with my colleagues.

The tutor that I double marked with also assessed students for Dyscalculia as part of his work, and eventually he took me to one side, to say that in his opinion he was quite sure I had Dyscalculia. Naturally as soon as I got home I jumped on the computer and did some research, and was astonished to find out that I experienced most of the symptoms! How had I managed to get to sixty five without

Unfortunately, although I wanted to be tested to make sure that I had the condition,  which the University were prepared to pay for, but if the diagnosis was confirmed I would no longer be allowed to teach, as it would hinder my ability to mark work. Although I would be offered an alternative post that did not involve teaching. I decided it was probably better not to have the test and be formally diagnosed.

The being late part of my Dyscalculia has affected my relationships with friends, family and colleagues - it has been hard for people to accept how difficult I found being on time. It has also made it hard in later life to have the confidence to make choices which involve commitments and deadlines as they are a nightmare when you have no idea how long it’s going to take you to do something.

It has been discovered that Dyscalculia is due to the malfunction of one gene, and from an educational point of view is now legally classed as a disability and listed as a learning disorder. But I was brought up in an era where you just had to get on with it regardless of how difficult you found things, and I would never have recognised that I have a learning disorder nor would I have classed myself as disabled and having special educational needs!  So, it has been quite a shock to discover just how much Dyscalculia has affected my life when I’ve stopped to think about it.  I always recognised my difficulties with understanding Maths and remembering numbers but hadn’t realised that is affected things like always being late and not being able to learn tap dancing!

The Dyslexic Gang Part 1

Welcome to the Dyslexic Gang Part 1! for Dyslexia awareness week I really wanted to share some stories of the achievements and wonderfulness of my fellow Dyslexics and those with Dyscalculia.

So if you, or your child, partner or friend has recently received a diagnosis take heart! they have just joined an exclusive tribe of wonderfulness. We are amazing people! and I hope that we can encourage people who have either condition. Differently-abled can be a fantastic thing!

As you know I am a Dyslexic blogger and author, speaker and creativity coach - which is why all my books are formatted to be accessible to those with Dyslexia and literacy issues with a larger than average more regular shaped font, wider spacing between lines,  shorter paragraphs, and bold titles to show where new stories start.

But this blog is all about Ashley and her son Adam, told by Ashley their story starts in the 1970's...

“When my son first started school nearly fifty years ago he struggled to learn to read. Each year he got further behind his peers. I can’t remember when I first heard the term Dyslexia but by the time my son reached age eight or nine it was clear to me that he definitely had a problem with reading and I decided to find out more.

The British Dyslexia Association sent me some leaflets that convinced that he had Dyslexia. But when I spoke to the head teacher at his school he was completely dismissive saying that ‘I don’t have disabled children in my school’. His father was also dismissive thinking that our son just needed to work harder.

By ten he struggled to read a book even though he had intellectual curiosity and had problems with his short-term memory. His father insisted that he went to the grammar school where he had to learn French and German, unfortunately this led to his becoming clinically depressed as it was impossible for him to learn either.

Finally, at age twelve with his reading age at around eight, his father was persuaded to let him be tested, and it was clear that he had Dyslexia. His father who had also always had issues with spelling - despite being a successful company director - then also decided to be tested, and found that he also had Dyslexia!

There wasn't really any help and support available in mainstream education, but my friend who was a primary teacher helped him with some extra tutoring. I was delighted when my son went on to study building and fulfilled his dream to become a stone mason, it's an unusual, technical, and demanding job, that he adores! he has had the honour of  working on some of the most famous churches and cathedrals in the UK.

I went on a trip to a Cathedral with my friends, and looking up and admiring the stone work at a particular point I was able to say "Adam carved that piece!" seeing things that my son has created that will last for hundreds of years makes me a very proud Mum indeed".





Poetry Day with Hoops a Dayzee

For Poetry Day my friend the poet, hula hooper, and secret mermaid Hoops a Dayzee has written this exclusively for us – enjoy! 

I don't think there really ever was a particular point,

That I realised I was a poet, 

I have always loved to play with words, 

And never been afraid to show it. 

Maybe I learned from my teachers at school, 

Or my Uncle Dave who is really cool. 

He writes a lot and I love his work, 

Never fails to make me giggle with all his quirk. 

But as long as I can remember i have loved to rhyme, 

Sorry I cannot pinpoint a particular time. 


I hate to say it but I don't read that much, 

I like my poems to have a personal touch. 

My inspiration comes from within myself, 

And rarely from a book on a dusty shelf.


I think I must be rather self-centred

As some humour and darkness comes when my soul I have entered. 

I love to make people smile and laugh, 

But sometimes my mood gets a little bit dark. 

Current events also inspire us, 

And it doesn't get much darker than this killer virus. 

So the mood of my poetry really depends, 

On the mood I am in and on current events. 


I know when a poem is complete, my friend, 

By a feeling I get when it comes to the end. 

Its like putting together pieces of a jigsaw, 

There is an empty space where I know it needs more. 

But when all the words are in the right place, 

I get a warm feeling and a smile on my face. 


Sometimes I get words going round in my head, 

Or I'll think about a subject that needs to be read. 

Funny events will occur that can't go unheard,

Things happen to me that are rather absurd, 

So I write down my thoughts and take it from there, 

And some of them I cannot help but share. 


Just do it. Put a pen to paper and write with your mind, 

The results will surprise you, I think you will find. 

Think of a subject and take it from there, 

Anything from a spider to what happened at the fair.

You will no doubt write and then scribble bits out, 

But that's what the process is all about. 

The best advice I can give is 'just play around' , 

The words you are looking for are there to be found. 

Throw in a rhyme, a palindrome or a pun. 

Enjoy the process and have some fun. 

It’s here!

Hello gorgeous friends, today's the day, you can buy your paperback copy of Laughing at Myself direct from my publisher! It's released on Amazon and all good retailers worldwide from August 2020. So this link is super special!

Laughing at Myself released today!

Laughing at Myself is a collection of stories based on events in Eden's own life, and given her humorous, candid, witty twist. With stories such as Wheel of (Mis)fortune, Cataracts Toilet, Death by Frisbee and How to Take Your Driving Test, this book will make you laugh, and give a sigh of relief that you aren't the clumsiest and scattiest person in the world after all.


Cover Reveal

So much tantalising, and teasing, and finally I can reveal that the act going through tonight is...... oh hold on know that's not right. Ahem, here is the all new and improved Laughing at Myself, a collection of stories about the times life makes you look like an idiot, and how to survive the embarrassment cover reveal.


Naturally I want to know exactly what you think! what do you like, what don't you like?

TTFN, Eden :-)

Receiving Reviews

Getting the first reviews of your new book, product or service is always a slightly nerve-wracking moment, was all that work worth it? Will they like it? And don’t get me wrong there are always people who don’t like something; but as long as the reviews are generally positive, I’m a happy bunny.   By the way I don't pay for reviews, and you shouldn't consider doing it either, it's unethical.

Laughing at Myself isn’t available on general release as yet, but here’s what the reviewers have to say so far; 

“I just read Eden's book 'Laughing At Myself', which is a delightfully cringeworthy, humorous book of short stories that is written so well that I couldn’t help but picture myself as the character in most stories, particularly the one about the elderly cat’s bladder issues, as I had to literally question the author whether the story was based on the time it happened to me. It wasn’t and I was evilly relieved that I wasn’t the only person that cats had decided to use as a litter tray. 

The whole book made me feel grateful that I am not the only person in the world that gets myself in an array of embarrassing situations, and I happily laughed at the characters’ misfortune. 

I read the book over three mornings and found the writing style easy to read due to the ease of flow and the large type intended for dyslexic readers. I am not dyslexic myself but did find the format easier to read than a regular font. 

I also particularly enjoyed the story about the size 6 shoes on size 4 feet, and the one about the driving test. I won’t give any more away as you need to read it yourself. 

I very much look forward to reading future work from Eden. Well done!” written by Wendy Harding

“Just finished reading this, great book! I have loved reading LAUGHING AT MYSELF … so many of the stories I could relate to in way one or another … feeling like an awkward teenager at times and especially the perm ? didn’t we all have a disaster hair-do during some stage in our lives? ?? 

The book is easy to read, episodic, the type of book you want to read on a rainy day, with a cuppa and a biscuit (or three). It’s important we can find humour in some of the hiccups life throws at us, and Eden’s book reminds us of that. 

I was sorry that I’d finished it, it was like I was getting to know Eden more and more and then it was the end ☹ I hope there’s another in the future.” Written by Clare Drew 

This delightfully hilarious, sensitive, witty, brave, forgiving and loving read is not to be missed. The author’s magical simplicity is a clever invitation, not only to be thoroughly entertained, but Gruger reintroduces ourselves in a whole new light. 

Laughing at Myself is a beautifully easy read that you won’t want to put down. Gruger skilfully guides you effortlessly through her narrative, while giving you all the details the reader needs to put themselves in the scenes of the story. Each short story flows into the next. Equally if time to yourself is limited, (and hiding from my 3 children at home during lockdown is only successful for so long), it is a book you can delve into for a quick visit, be entertained and come back to it again later... again and again. It will never fail to put a smile on your face. 

As Gruger continues to introduce herself as she skips through her life’s encounters, you are left laughing out loud as you get to know her ‘Bridget Jones meets Calamity Jane’ character. The amusing references are endless, but... “Yet another time in my life when something I found funny, everyone else thought was idiotic”... resounds throughout. 

I was left feeling not only amused, but quite elated. Encouraged to look at the humour within ourselves, our own vulnerabilities, to recognise them, greet them, open heartedly, and laugh away. Perhaps we can admit a little piece of this author is within all of us, and Gruger does a superb job of introducing us. 

Gruger will leave you awakened, with a renewed awareness, as she teaches us those good solid life lessons... laugh at yourself, laugh with others, find the humour in life, forgive ourselves and ultimately love ourselves and the life we live. 

The only criticism you will have is being left wanting more. Not just more tales of Gruger’s adventures, that goes without saying. But intrigued to find out more about each scenario, to share the further depths of Gruger’s thinking and humour. Where will each experience take her next. You want more than that peek, you’ll want to be experiencing it with her, get to know her better. She’s your potential best friend you haven’t met yet. And there’s a hell of a lot of catching up to do!” Written by Vida Warby . 

It's worth remembering that not everyone can like everything, and that's ok, if someone doesn't enjoy one of my books, as long as they are constructively critical it's all useful. For these reviews I am very thankful, Laughing at Myself will be on pre-order to subscribers only for the next two weeks, and in six weeks it will be available worldwide! there will be more books to come after this (and with a much shorter waiting time), I promise, you can always check into my blog for your Eden fix. 

TTFN, Eden :-) 

I’m inspired by

I read a lot, but there are two writers that I have to pay homage to, for teaching me one of the most valuable lessons in being a writer. Find  your own voice.

This is exactly what David Sedaris and Barbara Comys did for me, and this is all about how they inspired me with their style, wit, and candour; and you never know, they might do the same for you.

Regarding Style, both of my inspirations write in the way that someone might really speak. Not in tangles or high falutin language; which has it’s place of course, they both write in the every-day accessible language that anyone might use.

But, they use those familiar words in such a way that they sing, and carry you along. Yes, I’m that enthusiastic.

You only have to listen to David Sedaris read a story once to forever hear him reading his stories to you, and that’s serious skill. You know you are getting the authentic David. It’s him through and through, he makes it easy to imagine what it would be like hang out with him, to listen to him discussing a television programme, or what we need on our shopping list, or whose turn it is to do the housework.

And that’s something I aspired to from the first moment I read his work, that my voice will become my signature style.

The first Barbara Comys book I read was ‘Sisters by a river’, how I love that book.  It wasn’t written in a classic style, instead being more of a collection of anecdotes, which is exactly how my own brain tends to think. I totally bought into book, and it was only much, much later I found out it it wasn't a memoir, that it was in fact a novel with autobiographical undertones.

So, if you have ever seen me say it was a autobiography there you go, I was sort of wrong, but that’s the power of the book. Barbara writes the extremely dark parts of the story with such a light touch that you can chose not to even see the horrors if you don't want to.  If you have never read her work, get yourself a copy of any of her works, believe me you won’t regret it.     

Regarding Wit, you only have to see David Sedaris book titles ‘Dress your family in corduroy and denim’, ‘Let’s explore diabetes with owls’, ‘me talk pretty one day’, ‘Squirrel seeks chipmunk’.  To name just a few, to know that you are in for a comedic treat. 

What I particularly like is that the title doesn’t necessarily tell you everything, or in some cases anything at all, about what the book is actually about, I love that.  And yes, that did inspire me when naming my first book Down With Frogs.

Once you get into David's books you have such comments as “I hate you' she said to me one afternoon. 'I really, really hate you.' Call me sensitive, but I couldn't help but take it personally.” David Sedaris, Me Talk Pretty One Day.  And “Boys who spent their weekends making banana nut muffins did not, as a rule, excel in the art of hand-to-hand combat.” David Sedaris, Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim

See simple but highly intelligent and effective.

Barbara can be a bit more edgy with her humour, but it’s female, and it works ‘I had a kind of idea if you controlled your mind and said “I won’t have any babies” very hard, they most likely wouldn’t come. I thought that was what was meant by birth-control’ Barbara Comys, Our Spoons Came From Woolworths.

With regard to candour, now this can be a tricky quality to write with. You may want to hold something of yourself back, and that’s fine. But not only do people respond to someone putting it all out there, if you write without putting your heart into it, it shows; and it just doesn’t work. 

That kind of bouncing along the surface might appeal to some readers, but something about it won’t ‘feel’ right, especially if you write about a subject you haven’t lived without really researching it.

This isn’t about adding detail for the sake of it. When I say candour, I am talking about truthfulness, sincerity and integrity.  And both David and Barbara have this is bucket loads, both write about their own families to a degree. David's family really cannot have any secrets left, having been written about in all their wonderful, monstrous and endearing beauty. And if you want to know what it’s like going for a colonoscopy read Calypso.

Barbara on the other hand used her family and husband's as inspiration, using the difficult and traumatic from her life to give her characters life, and an emotional connection to the reader.

The message I hope you to takeaway from this, is that other authors are not your competition, your measuring stick, or a reason not to write. They can be your inspiration, and your teachers.  All good writers read, without exception, so renew your library ticket, visit your local bookshop, or get online and fill up your ereader. Get yourself something to read, and read widely from your genre. 

Let me know what you have been reading and if you have been inspired.

TTFN Eden :-)

Inspired by…Natalie

natalie king

Today I am inspired by Natalie King, of Natalie King Coaching, why you may ask? Because when meeting Natalie my life changed forever (and no that’s not an Eden exaggeration!). We happened to sit next to each other at a lunch, during which Natalie told me about the public speaking course she was about to run. I knew it was time for me to do the course, although I wouldn’t have gone looking for it, the universe made sure the information came to me. Natalie’s support and humour have helped me, and the other five women on the course to find and enjoy our own voices. I loved the course so much that now I sponsor it!

Public Speaking with Confidence

So Natalie, how did you get to where you are now? Once upon a time, there was a business woman who struggled to get the right words out, when she had to go to networking events or give presentations about her business; feeling that she lacked the right words made her feel anxious and powerless. One day she decided she was ready to make some changes, and to step out of her lonely and negative comfort zone, so she booked herself onto a public speaking with confidence course.

During the course she became more confident, because the course her voice grew stronger, and her comfort zone expanded. Until finally she was able to talk to fellow business people at networking events and was super confident when she had to give presentations which enabled her to grow her business.

It was a slow process that took years, taking one speech, and one day at a time. But it couldn’t happen until I made the decision to change.

Piece of Wisdom to share: Don’t look at the big picture, or your end goal as that can be very scary. Know what your big goal is, then file it away in your mind, and take small steps in that. Never give up even if you feel like you are going backwards, that is all part of the process. Get comfortable being uncomfortable! your comfort zone is only a suggestion - it can expand!

Resolution for 2020: I am going to build on the foundation that I created in 2019, to keep growing as a person and building my business. To keep learning, and trying new things.

Find out more abut Natalie King

TTFN Eden :-)

Inspired by…Melanie

Mel, I have been inspired by you because... you have such a quirky fun sense of style, that has definitely inspired two of my last hat purchases.. but also because of your desire to help and support women, including organising the very incredible Rise and Shine Summit, with everything needed to change your life and your business

"How did you get to where you are now: Long story! I’ll try and keep it brief… after graduating with a degree in Environmental Sciences, I still had no idea what I wanted to do with my life! My father ran a company selling microscopes and offered me a job as an Area Sales Manager, selling microscopes across the East of England. I figured, ‘what the hell’, I might as well say yes and do that for a year until I have a better idea of what I really want to do. Fourteen years later, I’m still there having completed eight years in sales, four years as Company Director managing the day-to-day running of the business and more recently as Marketing Director.

However, with my father’s genes, there’s an ambitious streak in me, that started nudging me around four years ago, a year later I started my an eBay shop MelBelle’s. Whilst doing this, and looking at Instagram I was drawn to stories of successful women, behind-the-scenes videos of running a business, and empowering posts. There were a couple of companies in particular that I absolutely loved; they were so unique in their style, branding and culture, making business fun whilst created a really supportive community, that I just had to be a part of! But they were in the USA and Australia. After some research that showed there was nothing like this in the UK, I made it my mission to create my own version of these companies for ambitious women in the UK. No more boring conferences or intimidating networking events. I wanted to shake up the UK networking and business conference scene and make business fun! Hence the birth of Pioneer Chicks.

Piece of wisdom to share: If you have a dream, don’t let complacency prevent you from going for it. To grow, you have to get uncomfortable and purposefully put yourself into situations that scare you. This is what separates the dreamers from the achievers. Get intentional, be brave and go for it!

You can check out Melanie's online store here

Melbelle - Western x Boho Online Fashion Store

Read a book, leave a review, share with your friends

love it review it

It's that sort of world now, people want to know what something is like, whether you enjoyed it, and what your opinion is for everything. And books are no different, this is especially true when people are considering trying out a new author.

What if you didn't like a book? well that's fine, you cannot like everything. Leave a review anyway, and just make sure that any criticisms you make are constructive; after all this is someone's livelihood. Who knows if you are making a good point it could be really helpful for them in their future books. 

When you buy a book online you'll often get that email prompt saying hey what did you think of that book you bought? how many stars will you give it? what about books that you buy elsewhere? I have made a lovely list for you below, of all the places readers hangout online, so you'll be able to leave your opinion all over the show! 

So, how important is it that you review books after you read or listen to them? it's no exaggeration to say it's vital. 

Not only does it help fellow readers find new work, and new authors that they might enjoy; but it also helps writers reach new readers who may want to borrow their books from libraries or to buy them.

That in turn encourages people to use libraries and independent book shops.

See? the five minutes it takes you to compose and post your review could help an author, a small business, and your community - wow that's a powerful few minutes - so get reviewing!




Barnes and Noble







TTFN Eden :-)

Antedote to loneliness

Blue Zones article that inspired me

I know a lady who has an agreement with three other child free couples, that when they reach sixty they will sell their house and buy one large house,  where they can all live and take care of each other as they age.  What a great idea, from age thirty five this is something I started to think about, the desire to age in a community of like minded people, who have similar cultural references and won't look at me strangely when I mention my Blue Peter badge, or when a Cornetto was 50p.

Women always have that one friend who knows how to make them really laugh

The study also showed the 1 in 3 over 45's are lonely.  That's a horrible statistic, and with everyone being 'so busy' we are forgetting to make real contact.  Go through your phone book and get yourself visiting.

TTFN Eden :-)

Three close friends

Keeping up a healthy social life is critical to our well-being, as a society we’ve all turned inward to our devices rather than noticing each other.  People in Blue Zones turn outward and remain plugged into one another.

“One of the most dependable ways to get happier is spend more time socializing,” says Dan Buettner of The National Geographic . “The happiest people are socializing six to seven hours a day.  According to the article you need at least three friends you can call on in times of need - not to can shave as much as eight years off your life!

That's horrific, and really got me thinking, in this transitory world, we need to make our friendship last.

Wes Moss Blue Zone Articles

TTFN Eden :-)

You are worthy

This popped into my inbox today, and proved tome how far I have come on my personal journey, I was definitely a yes but-er, but not no more!

You need to stop rejecting compliments, and learn to graciously receive and accept them. These words of wisdom are shared with permission from their writer, the ever lovely Natalie King, qualified Life, Confidence Happiness Coach, Goal Setting and Public Speaking Mentor, a Distinguished Toastmaster (DTM), and slave to 3 dogs.

"Yes, But!" Is this something you say? Or like me is this something you hear a lot when you give a compliment, the person responds with Yes, But!

Lately, I have come across this both in my coaching with clients as well as within my toastmaster's club. When a compliment is passed on and the person says Yes, But! with an excuse or their own reason why they cannot accept the compliment, it makes me so mad, as they are belittling themselves as well as the person giving the compliment. Sometimes I just want to boink them on the head!!!

Arguing the compliment does not prove a point. All it does is take away the joy of the compliment. I know that accepting a compliment is hard and that it can feel embarrassing to receive. Especially if we are low in confidence or self-esteem.

Have you thought that when you get a compliment to just say thank you? Maybe you feel shy, or undeserving of the compliment and the urge to say Yes, But! is there, just stop, pause and say thank you. It will mean so much to the person giving the compliment. Plus by you just saying thank you, and thinking about what was said, you can start to believe the compliment.

Now if you are the person giving the compliment and you get a Yes, But! Interrupt the person and remind them that you are genuine and you meant what you said, and ask them to accept the compliment in the spirit it was given. Maybe they are low in confidence and they just need a little reminder that they are a great person.

Enjoy all the compliments that you are given, as they are well deserved.


Speak to Natalie King