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" Dementia is quite unlike cancer or heart disease or any of those other conditions where you bargain with God for a cure or even just a bit more time. "
" I have a magpie mind, by which I mean I see and hear little things - photos, fragments of conversation - and store them away for future use. "
" People invade your space and offend your sensibilities because, to be plain, they couldn't care less about you. "
" My preferred style is to write in first person, so I always have to play around with possible narrator voices until I find something that works. "
" As one ages, eventually, no matter what regime you've followed, no matter how fiercely you've fought the fight, good health becomes harder to maintain. It may disappear overnight or simply dwindle, but with every year that passes, the odds shorten. "
" The word 'carer' makes me think of someone with a nylon overall and a long list of 'clients' to wash before she finishes her shift. A companion was something unique. A kind of live-in friend. "
" My mother was a fastidious and orderly homemaker. I was the messy but creative type. I picture her following behind me through life with a damp rag and an air of exasperation. "
" Sundown is often the worst time of day for people with dementia. They can become restless and difficult. "
" My husband is leaving me. No dramas, no slammed doors - well, OK, a few slammed doors - and no suitcase in the hall, but there is another woman involved. Her name is Dementia. "
" Even professional, paid carers aren't always models of saintly behaviour - and they know they can knock off at the end of their shift to go home, take an uninterrupted shower, and have a normal conversation with someone. "
" When my children were young, one of the treats promised by their grandparents was a ride in Grandad's car. "
" Being eye candy always was a short-term career, and here's the reason. The world finds young women more attractive than old women because youthfulness signals fertility. "
" I speak pretty fluent American, though I do so with a strong British accent, and I love America: The scale and the variety of it are astonishing to someone not born there, and I'm convinced that its energy and generosity have somehow rubbed off on me and affected my writing. For the better. "
" I know my parents loved me - they certainly did everything they could for me - but displays of affection were kept on a distinctly low flame. "
" My early novels were very understated and English. Fourteen years ago, I met and married my American husband, and as I learned more about his background and culture, I became interested in using American voices. "
" The thing about praising beauty is that good looks are an unforgiving task- master, a Forth Bridge of a maintenance job. The passing years present their accounts. Younger models become available. "
" My go-to author for knowing it all is Evelyn Waugh. 'A Handful of Dust' is as perfect as a book can get. "
" I hate to think I ever make my husband frightened or unhappy, but I suspect I do. "
" With Alzheimer's, recent memory is affected first. At the start, you count the memory loss in days, then hours - then in minutes. But there's also an insidious backward creep of deterioration. "
" The wheels of publishing never slow down. "
" I have an idea for a story, and if the idea is going to work, then one of the characters steps forward, and I hear her voice telling the story. This is what has happened with all the books I've written in the first person. "
" In grief, after even the happiest of relationships, we go over things again and again. "
" I've never minded solitude. For a writer, it's a natural condition. But caring for a dementia sufferer leads to a peculiar kind of loneliness. "
" I'd like to see my grandchildren climb trees, not stand under them. I'd like to see them learn to make bread and brown it over a fire using my toasting fork. "
" I love working fictional characters into a piece of history. It plays to my strengths, which are characterization and dialogue, and assists me in my admitted weakness, plot. "
" I have but one rule at my table. You may leave your cabbage, but you'll sit still and behave until I've eaten mine. "
" Personally, my interest in social history ends around 1959, by which time I was an adolescent. I've always attributed this to my particular sensibilities. I like formality and elegance, and I'm fundamentally conservative. "
" I think my mother was baffled by me. We were polar opposites. She was shy and retiring. I was over-fond of the limelight. Many times in my life, I was conscious of embarrassing her with my carrying on. "
" Characters develop as the book progresses, but any that start to bore me end up in the wastepaper basket. In real life, we may have to put up with tedious people, but not in novels. "
" I was fascinated by the culture clash between England and America in the 1950s. My first memories are of being a girl in those post-war years when things were really pretty grim. It wasn't like that in America, which was real boom time. "
" Caring burns a lot of fuel - psychological and physical, too, if any lifting is involved. The energy tank is soon emptied, and the toll caring takes is well documented. It's called carer burn-out. "