Monday 9 August 2010

"Blood, Sweat and Tea" by Tom Reynolds

Yes, I am going to actually talk about a specific book today! Tom Reynolds (or rather Brian Kellet as he is actually called) is a blogger and a paramedic for the London Ambulance Service. He blogs about his days (and nights) working and usually manages to do so with a touch of humour. Which I think is amazing considering the job he does. The book "Blood, Sweat and Tea" was released in 2006 and is a compilation of some of his best entries up to that point.

A few things stand out in this book. As I already mentioned the humour is the first one. He manages to find some humour in the most frustrating of circumstances. In his place I would have been sent off on a rant with a rather large number of choice words. He on the other hand manages to see the funny side and it comes across in his writing. I still felt the need to rant but I couldn't help but laugh along with him. He also manages to find a silver lining most days. He could be having a very bad day but usually manages to find something that reassures himself and the reader that the world isn't all bad.

I imagine it would be tempting to write about being a super hero but he doesn't do that at all. He admits he's human and can make mistakes. In fact he admits on many occasions through out the blog is that his biggest fear is that he will make a mistake and it will cost someone their life. The main thing I saw though is just how much he loves his job. Despite the alcoholics, being treated like a taxi and the fakers (seriously you people who fake being unconscious to get out of an argument what is wrong with you?) and the potentially dangerous situations he loves what he does. Making the slightest bit of difference can make a horrible day a good one. Reading this you can't help but feel inspired.

There are the occasional rants but lets face it we all love to have a rant. Plus reading the reasons behind them you can see it's more than justifiable and you want to rant along with him. I certainly felt my blood boil at the ignorance of some of the general public. I think complete disbelief is the best way to describe how I felt reading what some people think is perfectly acceptable behaviour towards one of our emergency services. I actually had my sister reading this book yesterday and every so often you would hear "What is wrong with people?"

In case you can't tell I loved this book. I was riveted from page one and I thank my very good friend for suggesting I read this. I had three other books on the go at this point and they all got left until I finished this one. I highly recommend it. I would actually say that anyone who abuses the ambulance service in any way shape or form should be forced to read it. Wishful thinking but maybe a few of them would see the error of their ways.

Oh, and you can read his blog here; Random Acts of Reality.

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