Caramel’s Second Anniversary!

I came home from work and had a little peek at my WordPress notifications. My plan for this evening is to do next to nothing! I am tired. Am I allowed to admit that? These long days at work are catching up on me. Five deaths in as many days…it is tiring physically, mentally and emotionally.

However, there was a little message which cheered me up. Two years ago a very patient friend helped me set up my WordPress site. We called it CRUSHED CARAMEL (LEARNER AT LOVE)…but at the start of 2020, I dropped the “CRUSHED” and now, it’s just CARAMEL (LEARNER AT LOVE).

I am glad I have this avenue to process my thoughts and feelings in a sometimes creative way. I am also so glad for all the posts from other bloggers which make me smile, laugh and think. There is such a lovely blogging community out there, and I am very pleased to be a little part of it.

Now I am going to celebrate my second anniversary with an enormous cup of tea!

2 Year Anniversary Achievement


Happy Anniversary with!

You registered on 2 years ago.

Thanks for flying with us. Keep up the good blogging.

Losses And Gains

Years ago, I read Jane Austen’s “Persuasion” for the first time. I loved it. The story of Anne Elliot struck a chord with me. There are so many things I could say about my love for the main character and for the story. But I was thinking just now of how overwhelmed I feel at the loss of love.

When I first ended the seven year courtship I had enjoyed with a very good looking young man, I was devastated (even though I knew it was the right decision). After what happened with Jack five years ago, I was crushed. Seeing Goldfinch return to Australia was a huge blow to me.

Rose, Close Up, Pink, Flower, Floral


Like the dew on the mountain,

like the foam on the river,

like the bubble on the fountain,

thou art gone, and for ever!

 – Walter Scott



But it has worked out. I am still friends with my teenage sweetheart. Goldfinch is still beloved friend. And as for Jack…well, a miracle occured. I am very cross with him for going abroad at a silly time though. I have experienced losses and gains…but all that matters is that love won the day. Love finds ways to reach out, even over chasms. Love is rather magnificent – don’t you think!

Breathing Life Into Characters

rsughbg Since the first part of my LEARNERS AT LOVE series was published, I have been slowly scrutinising every word. I have painstakingly corrected grammar and punctuation. I have also got to know my characters much better and learnt more about the expressions they would use and their habits of thought and action.

It’s a very enjoyable process, but one that it seems you have to be devoted to (for a time period that is). Perhaps I went about it all the wrong way. I have post-edited. It would have driven me crazy to have to edit like this before ever publishing. I don’t think Annabelle Riley’s story would ever have been published if I had to keep postponing it because of a paranoid perfectionism.

You have a character in your mind, and you have to make them seem real in your story. You have to get to know who they are are what made them that way. It’s really fascinating, especially from a psychological point of view.

rusdjdbjafI’ve started to develop another character recently, Leah Carter. I have already decided she is not going to have her full story published. She is more personal to me and the men I have loved. While there are thousands of miles between Jack and me, Leah is in some ways helping us share what we cannot. After I send a part of Leah’s story to Jack, he reads it and sends something back. Maybe, it’s a bit like cybersex but more personal and way more erotic. We are talking about scenarios we have already shared, reminding each other of intimate moments together.

I have ideas for other characters though. I would like to develop the story of Anna and Natalia, two sisters from the LEARNERS AT LOVE series. I also have a character in my head who is inspired by an amazing colleague of mine. I would love to weave a fictional tale of how she finds love.

Because I Never Wanted Him To Leave

I think I used to stare at Goldfinch. There was a reason. From the very start I knew that he was going to leave me. He told me the night we met that he was only in England for a short time and that he would be returning to Australia. So I developed the habit of staring at him (gazing at him sounds nicer though). Aaaaah sigh…

…I never wanted him to leave.

You Blew It!

Man, Portrait, Black And WhiteOh but you had your chance!

I did everything you asked of me. I gave my all. You made the decisions, you took the lead. I complied. You controlled every aspect of our relationship. You told me what to wear and how to style my hair. Everything had to revolve around your schedule. I was the one who had to cancel my plans to fit in with what you wanted.

I tried so hard. I bent over backwards. There was nothing more I could have done. There came a point when I realized you were playing games with me. You wanted a toy. You wanted an ornament. You thought you could use gifts to make me comply with your desires.

Ending my relationship with you was a brave decision on my part, one that you could not understand. You have never really accepted it. You tried to interfere with my relationship with Goldfinch. It was as if you resented me wanting to be with anyone else accept you. Now you have the nerve to mock Jack. DON’T!

I am not yours. I was never yours. You wanted me…but on your terms. They were terms I could not agree to. I made the decision to end our relationship because I am not an object.

Beautiful, Girl, Woman, Makeup, FemaleI am a woman who works hard and has a busy schedule of her own. I choose to put a limit on my earnings and live my life with few possessions. It is my choice to work unpaid for charities. I don’t do it because I have failed at anything. I do it because I realized long ago that the economic system was crumbly and never ever to put my trust in it. I have lived. I have lived richly by giving my time to helping other people. You might laugh at that but I laugh at you. I laugh at you in your swimming pool and driving your convertible Bentley. I laugh at your £12,000 suits and your manicures and pedicures. I laugh at the ridiculous amount you pay for your fine dining experience and your luxury hotels. I cry that you waste all that money when I know the good it could do to help others in need.

I was not content with only being there at your convenience. Your expensive gifts made it seem you thought I could be bought. I rejected it all.

Handsome, Man, Suit, Male, BusinessYou and I are entirely mismatched. I fell for your kindness and gentlemanly manners. That’s what I was was drawn to. I felt safe with you, protected. But then you changed. You criticised my career choice, my lifestyle. You tried to shape me into something I was not, something I never want to be.

I will not tolerate your messages. They leave a sour taste in my mouth. You do not respect me. You do not respect the men I love. I do not want to hear from you any longer. You had your chance – and you blew it!

And if you ever turn up at my house again, I will report you for breaking social distancing rules! Do not think that just because you cannot travel, you cannot go out to restaurants or to the theatre, you cannot go to the races or to your clubs – do not think that you can use your stay-at-home time to try to draw me in again. It is not going to happen. I left you because I was unhappy. I found love with a man who made me very happy. Even though he returned home, he left me a very happy woman.

How dare you make fun of Jack! Jack is the best man alive and I will not tolerate your words. One more message from you and I will simply block you. DO NOT big yourself up and try to belittle the man I love. You had your chance – it’s too late now. I am in a very happy relationship with a man I truly admire because he gave up what you have to give his life to working with charities that make a difference to people’s lives.

I am his.

The Night I Knew I Had Fallen In Love

Meal, Food, Dinner, Lunch, Restaurant Do your remember that evening? It was bitterly cold outside. I was shivery cold even though you had your arms around me most of the afternoon. You icy fingers had been finding gaps in my clothing, creating gaps in my clothing. You watched my eyes as I reacted to the freezing touch against my skin.

By the time we found that restaurant, I was turning blue, not sad blue, not highly inappropriate blue, but blue from the cold. I was sniffling and sneezeling. You walked into that restaurant and saw a table empty. Without speaking to the maitre d’, you grabbed that table and dragged it in front of the fireplace. You sat me down and kissed my temple.

ahsdfI am not sure when exactly I fell in love with you…but I often think back to that evening. I think I knew that night, I didn’t want to ever be apart from you. I’ve never understood since, why I should be apart from you.

You have left me with a million memories. Memories which I treasure and carry with me everywhere I go. I do sometimes question why I felt I should stay here, when you went away. You know how things have turned out for me. Love from another found me unexpectedly. He brought a longed for sense of peace. He is perfect for me in so many ways. But you, to me, are as precious as it is possible for another human to be.



I Keep Dancing On My Own

tearTechnically it is Monday. But I did a late shift today and I have a late shift tomorrow and right now I am wide awake. So I wondered if i would be forgiven for adding a late second entry for SONG-LYRIC-SUNDAY. Afterall, it is still Sunday where Jim is!

The thing is…I have been singing this in my head all day. I love this song. I love it even more as a dance track. I don’t know why they let some English popstar get his hands on it and slay it. But anyway…this is the amazing original track in it;s glory. I has to be on the track list of any self-isolation compilation album surely!

Jim Adams, aka Newepicauthor, the creator of A Unique Title For Me, is hosting SONG-LYRIC-SUNDAY and this week he has chosen the theme: ALONE/CONFINED/DEPRESSED/ISOLATED/RESTLESS/SOLO

Somebody said you got a new friend
Does she love you better than I can?
There’s a big black sky over my town
I know where you’re at, I bet she’s around

Yeah, I know it’s stupid
I just gotta see it for myself

I’m in the corner, watching you kiss her, oh
I’m right over here, why can’t you see me, oh
I’m giving it my all, but I’m not the girl you’re taking home, oh
I keep dancing on my own
I keep dancing on my own

I’m just gonna dance all night
I’m all messed up, I’m so out of line
Stilettos and broken bottles
I’m spinning around in circles

I’m in the corner, watching you kiss her, oh
I’m right over here, why can’t you see me, oh
I’m giving it my all, but I’m not the girl you’re taking home, oh
I keep dancing on my own
I keep dancing on my own

So far away but still so near
The lights go on, the music dies
But you don’t see me standing here
I just came to say goodbye

I’m in the corner, watching you kiss her, oh
I’m giving it my all, but I’m not the girl you’re taking home, oh
I keep dancing on my own
I keep dancing on my own

I’m in the corner, watching you kiss her, oh
I’m right over here, why can’t you see me, oh
I’m giving it my all, but I’m not the girl you’re taking home, oh
I keep dancing on my own
I keep dancing on my own

I keep dancing on my own

Written By: Carlsson Robin Miriam and Berger Patrik Jens

Till Now I Always Got By On My Own

Jim Adams, aka Newepicauthor, the creator of A Unique Title For Me, is hosting SONG-LYRIC-SUNDAY and this week he has chosen the theme: ALONE/CONFINED/DEPRESSED/ISOLATED/RESTLESS/SOLO

City, Man, Person, Solo, Window, AloneHow topical! A lot of us have had a taste of this over the past few weeks. Perhaps not so much for me, as I have been working hard for long hours seeing lots of patients and my colleagues everyday.

I can’t wait to be with Jack again. Although I have no clue when that will be. As I expected, there is no information available about when flights back to the UK will resume. I am half cross with him, and half thrilled that he managed to get out there and is working hard in very special communities. He would hate to be trapped in that flat with his other flatmates.

Couple, Beach, Love, Holiday, SummerBut I had so many hopes and plans and dreams for spending this summer with him that are now all on ice! I won’t let him forget when he eventually gets back here that he owes me a summer!

We have all had plans, hopes, dreams put on hold for a little while. For those of us who are in love but live apart from our beloved at the moment, this time of isolation may have been hard to endure. I am sure I am not the only one who is missing my favourite.

The song I have chosen today is from Heart. I have chosen their cover of a song called “Alone” and it is what I am wishing I had with Jack…to be alone with him again would be a very fine thing!

I hear the ticking of the clock
I’m lying here the room’s pitch dark
I wonder where you are tonight
No answer on the telephone
And the night goes by so very slow
Oh I hope that it won’t end though

Till now I always got by on my own
I never really cared until I met you
And now it chills me to the bone
How do I get you alone
How do I get you alone

You don’t know how long I have wanted
To touch your lips and hold you tight, oh
You don’t know how long I have waited
and I was going to tell you tonight
But the secret is still my own
and my love for you is still unknown
Till now I always got by on my own
I never really cared until I met you
And now it chills me to the bone
How do I get you alone
How do I get you alone

How do I get you alone
How do I get you alone
Alone, alone

Written by:  Billy Steinberg and Tom Kelly




You have a close friend who you are very fond of who seems to be neglecting their own personal care. When you are with them you notice their dress and grooming is becoming increasingly unkempt and the odour they emit indicates that either they have a medical issue that needs attention or that they are not regular with cleansing their body.


(Another question that may not be relevant at the moment as many are staying at home. But imagine the days when we were out mixing.)


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



The Problem Is My Feet


Runner, Training, Fit, Athlete, Fitness, Woman, Healthy

I have mentioned in a couple of posts this week that I have been envious of all the joggers I see on my way to and from work.

I also declared my plans to try some gentle jogging. In recent years I go for long walks and hikes (safer for me at the moment) but at the moment, it does not seem in keeping with the restrictions to hike like I normally would (an average walk for me is six hours, but I would often do more in the summer).

I am grateful for the advice and tips from others when I asked what I should do about the new running shoes I was gifted by a very sweet member of my family.

I had decided to return the shoes to Adidas (because they seemed to be just a little too tight). It seemed obvious that if they are tight when I am wearing them around the house, they are not going to be suitable for running in.

iadufahBut yesterday morning I put the shoes on and they seemed to be just right. They were comfortable, with plenty of wiggle room, They did not seem tight at all.

So I became hesitant about returning them. Anyway…I went to work and was running around on my feet all day. We are on our feet all day, except for our lunch break (I only had a fifteen minute break each day I worked this week). When I arrived home from work, I looked at the running shoes again. Should I cut the labels off? (Which would mean I can’t return them.) Should I try running with them?

Well, I slipped my feet into them again only to find they were really tight again. That’s when I realized, it’s my feet that are the problem. After a whole day on my feet my poor feet are obviously more swollen than they are in the morning.

iofadfsaWhen I woke up this morning, I tried them on again – perfect fit. Very comfy, lots of wiggle room, not at all tight. It’s my blinkin’ feet that are the problem!

So….the conclusion I have come to:


I wonder what on earth is going to motivate me to get out of my snuggly bed and go jogging before work? Yikes! Let’s see how I get on hey!