Racheal Has Nominated Me For The Mystery Blogger Award

I have been nominated for THE MYSTERY BLOGGER AWARD by Racheal, the creator of Racheal’s Novels, as you can see from her wonderful post below:




  1. Put the award logo/image on your blog/post
  2. List the rules
  3. Thank the person that nominated you – THANK YOU RACHAEL!
  4. Tell your readers 3 things about yourself
  5. Nominate 10-20 people and notify your nominees
  6. Ask your nominees any 5 questions of your choice

Three Things About Me

central heating.jpg

I love fresh air! In the winter months, everyone turns the heating up at work and I really struggle with the heat. I wear thin fabrics in an effort not to overheat. But if I had my way…there would always be a window open somewhere letting a nice cool breeze in and clearing out all the germs from winter colds!

harassing.gifI find it hard when supervisors or managers in my paid jobs think they can harass me by making multiple phone calls and leaving several messages on my phone, asking me to come into work to cover somebody else’s shift at short notice. On my days away from paid work, I am doing unpaid work as a volunteer for charities (or else I am away visiting my family (over 200 miles away) or perhaps with Jack). I sometimes come back to my nest after a few days away to find my answering machine is full of messages. What is the matter with them? I have agreed to work certain hours, and I will do them. I can’t spare any other time for the mundane task of making money. I only do the paid work I need to cover my rent and buy groceries. I am too busy with more important things. But it is really hard to get that across to the supervisors at my paid jobs.

eevenstsI am trying to be really careful about what I eat at the moment and also I am out walking a lot. I want to slim a little, not a lot, just a little. It’s not because I am unhappy about my body. It’s because next year I am going to start attending events with Jack publicly. The first will be in January. There will be cameras. Cameras do me no favours at all! I don’t mind posing for photographers, but I really hate seeing photographs of myself. It’s something I am dreading. I love Jack though, and I want to be with him. So I am going to try to give myself that boost of confidence so that I look pretty for the pictures of him with me tagging along. I will be getting all dressed up so that Jack is proud to have me by his side.

Questions From Rachael

What is your favourite underrated movie?

I have some favourite movies…but I am not so sure they are underrated. Top of the list is “The Sound of Music”!!!


In case you are not sure of all the movies I put images of in the grid above…here they are:

  • Finding Nemo
  • Waking Ned
  • Life Is Beautiful
  • Singing In The Rain
  • Bride And Prejudice
  • My Fair Lady
  • Dead Poet’s Society
  • Working Girl
  • The Goonies

…and oh, add to that almost anything with Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan.

What is your personal favourite MCU/DC movie/comic book/character(s)?

comsisI am not sure what some of this question means? MCU/DC movie? Perhaps I am a bit out of touch.

But when it comes to comics, well I remember reading Dennis The Menace when I was a kiddo. I could not get enough of him. I have no idea why, but when I think of comics, Dennis The Menace is first place, followed by Garfield in second place.

What do you most enjoy about history?

I enjoy thinking of all the people who would have lived in very different circumstances.

When I was a little girl, I remember we went on a school trip to a local historical property. First of all, we toured the areas of the house where the wealthy family would have lived. We saw fine furniture and decor and imagined the well-dressed family passing their time there.


Then we toured the areas of the property where servants would have worked and slept. I was a only around six years old, so I cannot remember much in detail, but I do remember the tour-guide pointing to a sack bed and telling us that several would have slept in that bed. That made a big impression on me.

of great interestSo ever since then, whatever I learn of history, I am curious to know the living and working conditions of people. I especially compare those with wealth compared to those without. There is a lot of “showing off” in history. A lot of self-glory and boasting about accomplishments and greatness. But when you look at the abuse, the degradation and dire poverty of so many people, I find myself seeing those boasting elite, powerful rulers or upper classes as despicable.

Humans have dominated other humans for thousands of years and have caused great injury to their fellow human family members. So although I find history fascinating, I also find it grievous.

It just to confirms to me that humans should not be ruling over themselves. Our Creator should. Not only because He was the one who originally gave us life and a beautiful home and exciting assignment…but because history has made very clear what human rulership looks like.

Have you ever had something happen to you or someone else in life that made you step back and re-look at everything?

Well…I think that when I was around five years old, I first dealt with my first big ordeal. Some very close friends of ours were in a tragic accident. Icy roads, a lorry pulverised their car. It was a shock to everyone. I was only five, but I decided it was about time I started to read the scriptures. I was so moved by what I read about our Creator’s power to undo death and raise people back to life on earth.

Since then, very little has genuinely phased me. The wonderful training and stable background my parents provided, the precious knowledge I gained from reading the scriptures and keeping my mind fixed on what really matters, they have all helped me to deal with challenges in my own life.

distraughtI have had some challenges to deal with, I had eighteen months of illness around eleven years twelve years ago. I had four surgical operations and had a very unpleasant time with postoperative infections. My immune system seemed to be completely thrashed for some time and I had so little energy. What I found tough was that it seemed as if I would never be able to achieve my long-term goal of qualifying to be an international volunteer. But amazingly, I did!

Being the victim of slander and trolling for two years was hard. I found myself facing despair after the accumulative effect of all that nastiness. My self-esteem had crumbled. I was anxious whenever I left my home. But I was not comfortable within my home either.

AmbulanceOf course that led me to make a foolish decision. I was on my own late at night in a park in London (because I felt I couldn’t face going home) when I was the victim of a serious crime. A security guard found me unconscious the next morning. I was hidden in bushes and badly beaten up. When I woke up I was in an ambulance speeding to a nearby hospital. I was told that it is possible my attacker left me thinking I was dead. So…yes, that was a challenge.

songaBut the good news is…I have enjoyed a rich and wonderful life, which has helped the challenges fade to the back of my mind. Recently, the man who made me the interest of all those people who were unkind about me online…well, he has made contact with me, made peace with me, and turns out to have been in love with me for years. Which is pretty awesome. What is equally as awesome, is that I have always admired him and wanted to be on friendly terms with him. I am currently in the beautiful and intoxicating process of falling more deeply in love with him everyday.

cold outsideLife is extraordinary at times! I feel that I am going through one of the most remarkable phases of my life right now. But I am a realist. Challenges can come at anytime. Not everyday is sunny and bright. Cold cruel winds can start to blow, leaving us struggling to keep our embers burning within. Sickness, accidents, the turbulence among mankind in general – any of these can arise. If you are not prepared for challenges, you may suffer more.

I prepare by keeping my focus on what my Creator wants. He wants good! He wants his creatures to enjoy life and to enjoy the satisfaction of work and good food and the wonders of creation. Yet while He is allowing the issues Adam’s rebellion raised to be settled, there will be challenges, some of them may seem insurmountable. Yet soon…all that spoils what our Creator had in mind will be gone…forever! The best, better than anything we can imagine, is yet ahead!


Who’s your favourite fictional author?

I am not very good with these favourite questions. But I can’t not mention three whose books I could happily read again and again.

Jane Austen

Victor Hugo

Alexandre Dumas

Questions For My Nominees

  1. Do you take any vitamins or supplements, or do you depend on a varied diet to take in all your nutrition?
  2. When you see all these sparkly perfume adverts on television, featuring glamorous scenes with famous actors and models – what do you think of them?
  3. Do remember any school trips that you loved or made a big impression on you?
  4. If a crime was committed in your neighbourhood which literary or screen fictional detective would you like to be sent to solve it?
  5. What would your perfect romantic date be like?

My Nominees

Caught In A Web

Stuck. Every time I try to wriggle out, I become more entangled. Escape seems impossible. Waiting for the Webmaster to come and devour me. Will somebody rescue me please? For I do not see how I am going to get myself out of this sticky tangle.

Cobwebs, Water Drops, Refraction, Green, Bokeh, Texture

I find policies and rules interesting. I don’t mean the big ones that everyone agrees on. I mean the mediocre policies and rules that seem strange when you are new to them…but then you discover the reason and find them easier to respect and cooperate with them.

checkinsFor example, I had to work at a location where your belongings are searched. Now, I have been at some high security premises where that made sense. But for a smaller shop which is open to members of the public wandering in and out all day long – I thought it was strange that staff are asked to submit to such vigorous security checks.

But then I was told of the history with staff stealing stock, and it made more sense. It’s sad, but there is a reason. The behaviour of others has made it necessary to search all staff.

Work Desk, Smart Phone, Laptop, PhoneWell…someone has called me out for being a bit extreme in some of the policies I have set for my life. It is my choice to abstain from having a smartphone. I have my reasons. But the biggest reason is my negative experience from the past, when I saw a very unkind side to social media. I am perfectly happy without a smartphone. But this friend is pressuring me and ceaselessly trying to persuade me to get one. She has stated she is going to buy one for Christmas. I have said I do not want one I will not use one. She keeps saying I shouldn’t make myself suffer because of one bad experience. She says I am missing out. I am so tired of the conversations we have about this issue.

no.pngThen something else came up. She asked me if I wanted to do something. I replied, “no, because….” That was my mistake. I should have just said “no”. As soon as I gave my reason, my friend started to argue and told me I was extreme.

The thing is…the decisions I have made based on past experiences – they have worked wonderfully well. Maybe there is a little “once bitten, twice shy”. But in rejecting things because I have had a very bad experience with them, I don’t feel I am missing out. There is so much other wonderful out there. I have no shortage of things to do.

I am not sure why my friend keeps telling me what I should or shouldn’t be doing. None of my other friends or family do that. I am a grown woman. So far, I have a pretty good run. I am proud of my decisions, and the reasons behind them.

too much1I am finding my friend is taking issue with me over so many decisions, trying to make me do things her way. I feel as if I am become entangled with sticky discussions. She keeps analysing what I say and labelling my reactions as extreme. It is tiring. I just want to be allowed to make my decisions and be happy with them.

I have a habit of agreeing with what she is saying (I am not argumentative), with the result that my friend thinks I am agreeing to change my decision. I was nodding to all the wonderful things my friend said about smartphones. But that does not mean I will change my mind. Same with the other issue. It’s something I feel is the right decision to me. I am airing on the side of caution. But I prefer it that way.

no moreAnyway…I am only writing this because my friend kind of “cornered” me last week when I was really sick and wanted me to agree to something I did not want to do. (It’s a particular type of entertainment that I do not find remotely entertaining.) And I was so tired, I started crying.

But she rang me yesterday..she still has not dropped the issue. She said she has bought me a ticket because she donesn’t want me to miss out. I said I do not want to go and I hope someone else will buy the ticket from them because I have not changed my mind. My friend called me ungrateful. Shrug! I am finding myself becoming increasingly overwhelmed by this. I think at some stage, when I have more energy, I am going to have to kindly tell my friend that I need to be allowed to make my own decisions and that they are respected. This pressure is becoming unbearable.

web.pngMy friend…she is a lovely person. But she is strong willed, and she likes to tell people what to do. I am mild tempered, and in general very easy going. She has lots of particulars. She will decide where we eat, what temperature it is, what music we listen to. I concur, because I don’t mind. But when I have made a decision for a reason, I usually stick to it. I am not easily swayed. That’s where my friend is getting annoyed with me. Oh well!


The Flame Still Burns

I was telling Jack the other day how often I think of Goldfinch. I needed to tell him, I don’t want to hide it. I would feel too guilty, and I can’t cope with guilt.

bye loveThe thing is…I doubt Goldfinch thinks of me anywhere near as often as I think of him. I am sure he is busy, and it is my hope that he is also doing all the things that make him happy. He told me that the situation would resolve naturally, that I would feel more love for Jack and less love for him. I am sure gradually his thoughts of me will fade away.

I am definitely feeling more and more love for Jack all of the time. But I don’t yet feel any less love for Goldfinch. Just pain when I don’t hear as much from him as I would like. So silly I am! We are complicated creatures – us humans. But if Goldfinch is deliberately trying to make this easier for me, I guess he is doing the right thing.

Still…I find myself remembering him, thinking of him. I just don’t make plans or decisions based on him any more. All my planning and decision making is wrapped up in Jack. I know me. Goldfinch will be in my heart for a long time to come.

you in me

Does Anybody Know?

Do you know what “cdn.ampproject.org” means? Is it something I should be worried about?

emailsNow…I rarely check the statistics page that WordPress provide. I find it unhelpful when it comes to me just enjoying what I am doing. But I was working on one of these nomination posts just now, and one of the questions the blogger had asked of me, required me to look at my statistics page to find things out about my blog.

Anyway…I became distracted seeing that two of the referrers to my site were crushedcaramel-wordpress-com.cdn.ampproject….(I could not see the rest because it wouldn’t fit on the page).

Anyway, I clicked it to see where it went. It took me to a white page that is not my WordPress Reader, neither is it my blog (which happens to be a kind of royal blue background. It says Crushed Caramel. It certainly is one of my posts. But it seems to be in a format I have never seen before.

statsI know nothing about technology and the internet…but I wondered if anyone else knows what or why or how this “cdn.ampproject.org” is linked to my WordPress post? Have you seen this before? Are any of your referrers similar? Maybe this means nothing to you, or maybe you are one of those techno-genius types and could explain this mysterious anomaly to me.

This is the link / page I clicked on. It has a very different address to the rest of my WordPress posts. And I don’t know…it makes me a little nervous. I am going to bed now…but if anyone does have any helpful explanations, I would be so grateful to you for advising me.



Scheduled Naps


Of late, I have re-discovered the joys of afternoon napping.

I don’t like being ill, but afternoon naps are sweet! So are early bedtimes and lazy mornings. I am so glad that I only have to work for five hours today. By the time I am home, it will time for Masterchef and then another early bed time for me.

At some point this insane coughing has to stop. Jack said I should drink whisky to burn it off. I can’t stand whisky, but I feel as if there has to be a substance that will dissolve whatever it is that is stuck in my chest – (I have already had a bottle and a half of guaifenesin, it’s not shifting it).

I love sleep.

Help Me Hold Onto You

It feels as if all the pieces of my life have suddenly fallen into their perfect places. And one man held the key. He is looking at me, as if he is never going to let me go, never going to let me down.

first kiss

Scary – to be this happy. After everything that happened in the past between us. You have to fight all negative thoughts, all painful memories and believe that this time it is going to be so much better. Keeping my eyes fixed on him. My earnest eyes pleading: help me hold onto you.


Getting Better At Getting Better

drinksI have been through two whole jars of honey in a week, besides a lot of lemons. Being poorly sick has totally changed my tastes. I have been breathing in eucalyptus on tissues,  my scarf, and my pillow cases. I have had Olbas Oil baths and been rubbing Vicks Vaporub all over me. Which Jack should be here for.

I just feel as if the inside of my chest is coated in so much yuck…and no matter how much coughing I have done, it is still there, and still making me feel exhausted.

The strange emotional tiredness is lingering too. I walked past a tube station where I remember meeting Goldfinch on one of his visits to London. As I was walking past the entrance, the memory was so vivid that I could see him walking towards me. I wanted him so much! I had to bury my face into my scarf while my tears took over.


drinsk.pngI was looking for something slightly different to drink, but still with a cleansing flavour – if you know what I mean. I picked up some ginger and lemongrass cordial and have been sipping it mixed with steaming hot water.

It’s a welcome change. And to be honest, I feel I need to cut down on my honey intake.

At least there were no builders playing music into my bedroom window at seven o’clock this morning. Realizing I was not going to be very good company I cancelled going to the cinema with a friend tonight.

But I am going to have another Olbas Oil bath, smother myself with Vicks Vaporub, put on my snuggly pyjamas, watch Masterchef…and then snuggle up in bed. I am doing everything I can…hopefully this lurgy will clear up before my weekend with Jack.

Plenty of fluids and sleep – lots of sleep – I need to get better at getting better.

I Picked The One Who Looked Least like A Clown

feebleI my have mentioned once or twice that my eyebrows are a bit feeble, and that I don’t know what to do with them. I was a bit overzealous with plucking them at one stage, so for the past few months I have been letting them grow and do their own thing. But even though they are fairly feeble, I need to do something to keep them tidy.

Friends have recommended eyebrow products and treatments, and they have also told me to go and see a makeup artist/consultant. I have had a fear of going to see a makeup consultant because I have seen what they have sometimes done to themselves and my friends. and it frightens me. I don’t want to look like a clown, or a pantomime dame. Hmm.

scary types.jpgAnyway, on a spur of the moment impulse, I went into a department store recently. I had an hour or so free and thought to myself, “just go in and see if there is anyone who looks normal”. Well, I had a glance around and I saw lots of scary eyebrows and heavy eyeliner everywhere I looked.

There were so many weird looking makeup consultants there. One looked like Cleopatra. There was one whose expression looked as if she had received a huge surprise – her eyebrows were so high and arched. There was a consultant with a very particular shade of hair, unlike any colour I have seen hair before, and matching lipstick and very scary eyebrows. There was a tall slim woman with great slashes of eye-liner almost reaching her ears. The rest looked like the women in that Robert Palmer song…I was frightened! I almost walked out!

But then I saw her! There was a makeup advisor who looked…well, she looked “normal”. She had the natural look. She was wearing makeup, bronzer, some eye-shadow and mascara and lip-gloss. But it looked so good and not at all intimidating. She looked healthy and appealing. So I made a beeline for her.

I explained my predicament. Incidentally, she never wears eyeliner, which was of great comfort to me. She listened and laughed, and she sat me down and gave me a training lesson on how to look after my eyebrows, followed by a full make-over. I really liked what she did. She gave me a natural look. The products she used were great, they lasted all day. But I made it clear from the start, I was only interested in one. (Friends give me make-up all the time and it sits in a drawer neglected.) I wanted the Hourglass Arch Eyebrow Micro Sculpture Pencil in Platinum Blonde.


That is the first time I have spent any money of my own in three years on makeup! Around nine months ago, I used a SpakeNK gift card someone gave me last Christmas to buy a tinted moisturizer which I am still using. The consultant was right, a little goes a long way! Chantecaille Just Skin Anti-Smog Tinted Moisturizer in Bliss.


And that my dears…is pretty much all I am bothering with most of the time. A bit of sparkly eye-shadow and some mascara for nights out along with a smear of lip-gloss, or occasionally red lipstick. Mostly, the au naturale look.

Well…Jack likes it!

I do love this video. Here’s to looking real, and not like a pantomime character. With just a little bit of help from a product or two…I am going to be myself!