What We’ve Got!

2020 is turning out a shocker for so many. There are a lot spinning in a panic that might be worse than the symptoms of the virus itself.

Ache, Adult, Depression, ExpressionHold tight guys! Hold it together. Stress is a tester. My best friend (who is a psychologist) always said to me that everyone has a breaking point and would succumb to prolonged stress in one way or another. But remember that the situation you are facing right now is one that we are facing. All of us are facing it. It will pass. It will. We are very well aware that some are going to fare worse than others. Many people are trying to pull together, to be extra helpful, extra kind, extra encouraging. That is lovely. (Try to put out of your mind the toilet paper hoarders and the panic buying.)

The world is finally stepping up and making some huge sacrifices – why? To save lives. For the first time since I can remember, it seems as if in a huge way it is being made clear that a lot of people do understand how precious human life is. Life is very very precious. Because of that we are all making sacrifices in different ways.

Bear, Teddy Bear, Injury, Game, MoodWe are also all aware that for some the losses will be greater than for others. This is a situation that will leave us bruised. But we will heal. Think of all those who love what is good and kind and hold life as sacred. They are your family. We are your family. We know that many of our family are experiencing pain and loss and stress.

Whether you are Chinese, Italian, Iranian, Spanish, French, American or German….or any other nationality – you are our family and we are feeling for you as much as those on our doorstep. Oh my goodness…I wish I could run round giving everyone huge hugs. But that would not be a good idea right now in view of social distancing. When this is over – I will devote my life to going out and meeting every member of the human family and hugs – lots and lots of hugs. I feel so much empathy at the moment for what others are going through.

Man, Bear, Packages, Made, Hard, MuchFor those of us who are stressed – please don’t let that stress crush you. This situation is one I have never faced before. But I have been through some serious stress before. Being attacked and the injuries I had was a big stressor, but also the “bullying” I had to endure before that chipped away at me internally and left me crumbling inside. I have been through phases of enormous stress. I know the effect it can have. Stress and burnout can have huge consequences, so please speak up if you are feeling completely overwhelmed. Carrying around overwhelming worry within can be very damaging.

But take one day at a time. Right now many of us are worrying about what has not happened yet. We are carrying around an inordinate amount of anxiety and it is robbing us of strength. Appreciate what we have today. Try not to let worry about tomorrow drain your strength. Appreciate that we’ve got life. We are making sacrifices, but we are protecting lives, we might be losing income and we might be anxious about other losses, but we must be appreciative of the nuggets of wonderful that are around. We’ve also got an international family who are hurting, so please please please let this crisis bring out the very best in you as a person. We should not be divided by horrid things like racism, nationalism or any isms. We should be united in love and kindness – more than ever before.




Your best friend (or someone you are dating) has surprised you by buying tickets to a live entertainment show. As the show starts, you become uncomfortable because you find the entertainment offensive. However, the person who paid for your tickets is clearly enjoying the entertainment a great deal. You decide to wait and see if the tone of the entertainment changes, but it only becomes more and more offensive to you. You friend just seems to be smiling and laughing more and more.



What is THE CARAMEL CRUNCH? Well, it’s all about decisions. When it comes to THE CRUNCH what would you do?

One of the definitions of the word CRUNCH is:

a crucial point or situation

 – generally involving a decision with weighty consequences

  • Your response can be a quickie. Please feel free to send a comment to say what you would do, and if you have time or are inclined, please feel free to explain your decision.
  • If you would like to create a post with a longer explanation of your decision, please pingback to THE CARAMEL CRUNCH post. (Or copy and paste a link to your post in the comments section – please feel free.)

If you know anything about CRUSHED CARAMEL, you will probably realize I am a gentle soul, so my questions are not supposed to be terrifying! What I am hoping for really is to see a variety of responses. Afterall, it’s pretty obvious that WordPress bloggers are from a huge variety of backgrounds and cultures. It would be fascinating to learn more about how we as individuals make decisions.

Some of the questions I am going to ask are questions I have discussed with friends when we have been having coffee or dinner. I often find there is no clear right or wrong. It can be so much a matter of our individual experiences and outlook. I find it fascinating how very different some of us are when it comes to decision making.

We all have different outlooks, and may make different decisions. I am really looking forward to learning WHAT WOULD YOU DO?

One Way Street, Decisions, Opportunity



Skelly Has Nominated Me For The Mystery Blogger Award

I figure that if more and more of us are going to be asked to self-isolate (not happened to me yet, but it could at the first sign of a sniffle!) perhaps there will be a surge in blogging activity. So perhaps these long posts (because award posts are a bit long aren’t they!) will be more popular.

I have been nominated for the Mystery Blogger Award by the wonderful Skelly, the creator of fabricthatmademe. This is Skelly’s Mystery Blogger post which I loved reading:



What is the Mystery Blogger Award?

“Mystery Blogger Award” is an award for amazing bloggers with ingenious posts. Their blog not only captivates; it inspires and motivates. They are one of the best out there, and they deserve every recognition they get. This award is also for bloggers who find fun and inspiration in blogging; and they do it with so much love and passion. – Okoto Enigma


  • Put the award logo/image on your blog.
  • List the rules.
  • Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog – THANK YOU SKELLY!
  • Mention the creator of the award and provide a link as well.
  • Tell your readers 3 things about yourself.
  • Answer the questions from the blogger that nominated you
  • Nominate 10-20 other bloggers.
  • Ask your nominees any 5 questions of your choice; with one weird or funny question.
  • Share a link to your best posts.

Three Things About Me

I am always a bit lost at this point. What can I tell you that I have not already told you???

Doctor, Op, Medical, Operation, HospitalI have been back in healthcare since last September…and I must admit, this coronavirus situation is testing me. It is busier than ever, and I feel as if I am out on the frontline. I was already tired, but the last few weeks have been crackers and I have a feeling it is going to get a lot busier! I feel as if I am running on adrenaline at the moment. We all are. A huge amount of work is being done, but there are stacks of other things to do everywhere I look!

kasosaI have a flight to Australia booked for this summer and although I will have to wait and see what happens, I am anxious in case by then we are told it is not permissible to travel. I mean if that is the case, I just have to accept it, but still, I am longing to go back there. None of us know what will happen tomorrow. But I would love to see Adelaide and Goldfinch again.

I have published the first two parts of a three part book series. I published it in shorter posts over around six months last year, but I have extensively edited it so that it was more suitable for novel format. I have found writing the story of my character enormously rewarding. I am so excited about the third part.

Books Block


Questions From Skelly

Two part question: What is your favorite childhood book? What book have you read more then once?

reasI spent most of my childhood reading Enid Blyton books such as The Famous Five, The Secret Seven and Mallory Towers. I read all of them, some of them more than once.

I used to read my children’s encyclopedia over an over. I loved it. I also had a children’s science book. I loved reading that.

Also when I was five years old, I started to read the Bible. I never stopped. I have read it many times, a little each day. It’s a special part of each day to me. I feel like I am breathing in fresh air before I go out into the smog. I feel as if I have a few quiet moments when I can listen to the most true and good person in the universe who wants to fortify me to love what is right. Since I was five years old, I have been energised, inspired and guided by the scriptures.

What advice do you have for other bloggers/writers just getting started?

Expect nothing…appreciate everything

When you are a new blogger, you need to be patient. Do not expect thousands of strangers to find you and decide you are the best thing since sliced bread! Enjoy creating posts. Make sure you read posts published by other bloggers. You can learn a lot from them. In addition you will find that blogging is best when you interact with other bloggers. Always show appreciation for the support you are receiving.

  • Be patient.
  • Enjoy writing and creating posts.
  • Read the posts from other successful bloggers and think about what makes their posts appealing and attractive. Learn from them.
  • Be a positive, encouraging, breath of fresh air.
  • Be persistent. Try to publish a little something on a regular basis.
  • Get involved with commenting on other bloggers sites, and participating in challenges. We all like to know there is friendly human being behind the blog-site. Be safe and security conscious, but do share a bit of your personality.
  • Be patient – your statistics might be rather discouraging for a long time. So enjoy your writing and the interaction with other bloggers while you wait for more readers.

When you are new to blogging, the blogging world can be a bit like turning up at a party where everyone else seems to know each other and you don’t know them. So be polite, be personable, be appealing. There are bound to be other bloggers who will warm to you when you make an effort to interact. Back that up with creating your own great posts, so that when they check out your posts they want to keep coming back.

Enjoy the party!

If you are ever struggling – it’s ok to ask a blogger for help and advice. Other bloggers are human. It’s endearing when a new blogger is a little lost and asks for advice.

Sometimes when you see that other bloggers have big numbers and are prolific in their publishing it can all seem a bit intimidating, and you may feel your blog is a bit inadequate. Do not compare. Never be shy of reaching out to other bloggers who seem like friendly types and asking for tips and support.

And hey…relax. If you are going to a party where there is a venue full of strangers…do you rush around shaking everyone’s hand, introducing yourself, trying to hold everyone’s attention, demanding they start a friendship with you, and generally leaving everyone bewildered? Just chillax…you will find that by being yourself, being natural, leaving balanced appreciative comments (not scary stalker type comments) on posts you genuinely enjoyed, you will build contacts. You will soon find yourself part of a very friendly supportive blogging community.

Does writing give you energy or does it exhaust you?

Woman, Girl, Female, Lying, TypingIt depends on the subject.

When I write about things that bring me joy, I have a lot more energy and I finish a post feeling full of energy. For a long time I wrote about my own real life experiences, but more and more this past year, I have dabbled with fiction and terrible poetry. I find that producing something creative brings me a little lift.

At times I have written about some things I have found challenging and they do take a lot of emotional energy out of me. I have had to learn to draw a line on how much I am capable of dwelling on a difficult subject.

But on the whole, I find that writing is helping me to keep finely tuned who I am as a person. There are lots of things that knock us or suppress our hopes and dreams from day to day. But taking a few minutes out to write from the inner person of the heart, to share our deepest feelings – well, I think it is a wonderful way to express and reaffirm who we are.

Two Part question: Do you need your surroundings, a candle, lighting, music, etc. to be a certain way to get those writing juices flowing? What’s your writing atmosphere like?

pjs.jpgNot really. My little nest here is very pleasant. I sometimes type at my desk, sometimes while sitting on the sofa or even sitting up in bed.

I am scared of candles, so a candle certainly would not help me relax. Lighting does not seem to make any difference. I don’t usually listen to music while I write, but sometimes I do, or I might even have the television on but in silence. There is not much I like to watch on television, but seeing people’s faces or scenery pops little ideas into my head. Weird hey!

How many hours do you spend on your blog/writing?

blaMy schedule used to be great. I had two mornings where I started work at 1pm and I could have a relaxing morning writing lots of posts and scheduling them to be published throughout the week. But since January 2020, my schedule changed dramatically. I have had to work a lot of overtime at work because a colleague left and they still have not recruited anyone to replace her.

So I have had very little time for writing new material. Most of the posts I have published in recent weeks were posts I wrote last year and were lingering in my drafts folder. I have used half an hour before I go to bed to try to finish posts off and get them scheduled to be published. These award posts take a long time, so I just grab fifteen minutes when I can to deal with them one question at a time.

I know things will go back to normal, but at the moment I am really just doing everything little by little. But little by little adds up.

Two part question: Do you have a blogging/writing schedule? How do you decide what work best?

hoamsWell, as I mentioned above, I used to have a schedule. It was working very well. But since January 2020, It’s helpful that when I did have those two mornings a week, I would sit down and write so much. My drafts folder has all that material I wrote when I had the time. I have not been able to write as much new material this year.

Sometimes I come home from work and feel so tired I could cry. But occasionally I come home and write something. It helps me unwind and forget the horrors of the day.

Also…because I have written almost 1500 posts in the past, I sometimes do a bit of recycling. I don’t just mean republishing entire posts. But sometimes using part of another post. For example one of the questions above (the one about advice for new bloggers) is a recycled answer I first published over a year ago. Recycling can save you a lot of time!!!

Does your family support your blog/ writing?

Amazingly, it is still something I have not shared with my family.  I planned to share it with them. Especially as it is often inspired by them. My motivation for some time has been my family – who still don’t know about my blogging. Some of the experiences I have written about I withheld from them in the past. For example, they have no idea of the challenges I faced during my first job in London with my boss.

I want them to have this if anything happens to me, as a result of the head injuries I received. I want most of this site to be of great enjoyment and comfort to them, with a few eye-openers I have not wanted to share before.  Last year I had a few frights, I was in hospital several times after blackouts. My head injuries keep me aware that life is fragile. So I felt I wanted this blog to be something my family could enjoy if ever one of my “not breathing episodes” took me from them.

I love the idea that they could read the posts and enjoy what is going on in the inner me.

What did you want to do as a child and are you doing it?

memsoWhat did I want to do as a child? Climb trees, play football and eat ice-cream. Yes, climbing trees is still something I do in the summertime. Yes, I play football with friends in the park, again in the summer. Ice-cream is not as big a part of my life as I would like it to be. The problem is dairy. I occasionally have sorbet or a dairy free ice-cream, but to be honest ice-cream of any variety has almost dropped off my radar.

If you could go back to your younger self, would you do anything differently? What would you say to your younger self, if anything?

Blond, Bridge, Fun, Girl, Happy, JoyOh I would probably do some things differently. I used to get a bit carried away at times. I was a pretty good kid at school – top grades for everything, on all the school sports teams etc, but sometimes I would get too excited and some teacher would blast me because I was shrieking in the corridors or dancing on the teacher’s desk (no, really, i did dance the can-can on the French teacher’s desk) or…play fighting with the boys and ending up smearing their faces in the mud. I think I was a good kid on the whole, but I had a bit of a wild streak that got me into trouble occasionally. Teachers and other kids liked me a lot though, so I didn’t get into any serious trouble. I “got away” with things like bunking off school.

What would I say to my younger self? Hmm. I did listen to my parent 99% of the time. So I have avoided a lot of trouble. But I do regret the time I wasted working for the record company and fawning over music artists. So I guess I would tell my younger self not to be remotely curious about idiots. I would tell myself that the music world is full of nasties, don’t bother with the music industry.

What is your favorite and less favorite, book to movie?

Book to movie…oooh. The thing about many books is that you get to know the characters so much more intimately. I don’t find I connect with movie or television characters. It’s all too “flash in the pan” for me. When I read a book, my entire attention is on the book. But whenever I sit down to watch a movie or a show, I become distracted by all sorts. If I do watch a show, I often can hardly remember a thing about it afterwards. But I like a movie that captures a little of how I felt on reading the book.

I will give you two examples, The first is “The Count Of Monte Cristo”. I absolutely loved this book. I mean wow! What a story. It packs in an incredible amount of emotion and drama. It is one of the most epic books I have read. It is a long book. It’s not really a book you can make a two hour movie out of, more a twelve part television series. There is a great dramatisation that I think was for TV with Gerard Depardieu. They packed so much from the book into the series, although they did tweak the ending.

I always find it strange when Hollywood changes the ending of a famous book, but I do understand why. (I reckon that if Hollywood got their hands on my LEARNERS AT LOVE series, they would change who Annabelle ends up with.)

However, Hollywood did make a two hour movie out of it…and you know what – surprisingly, I loved it! I even forgave Hollywood for changing a key part of the plot (in connection with Mercedes). I loved it because, they captured the spirit of the book. The fascination other characters have with the mysterious and magnificent Count Of Monte Cristo. I think they did a great job of portraying how some of the other characters go from bad to worse in their selfish ambitious thinking.

Questions For My Nominees


My Nominees