Caramel Cuddles

I like Jack being back.


These months of working long hours and not seeing anyone have made me feel like I am not me anymore. But holiday time is a great chance to recover and win back some of me. It is also wonderful because after months and months without any hugs at all…now I am the recipient of lots of hugs and cuddles! It’s great!

My Cool Cat

Man, Sun Glasses, Jacket, Portrait, MaleOne of the biggest surprises I have had since Jack came back to England is that he has started wearing glasses. He used to be so vain and wore contact lenses almost all of the time. But he abandoned his contact lenses while out in Africa, and seems to be comfy wearing his glasses now.

He looks cool. He seems to doubt the style of frames he is using and he wants some help to choose the right frames for him. I like his glasses – they are quite bold, but kind of funky. He can pull them off. My cool cat has the personality to pull off anything. I told him that once he posts a photo of himself on Instagram so everyone can check out his new look…he is bound to get lots of confidence boosting comments.


A Cleaner Greener World

Boat, Lake, Nature, Water, Mountain

Melanie B Cee, the creator of sparksfromacombustiblemind has asked us some lovely questions this week, that give us the chance to reveal the kind of world we would like to live in. Here is her original SHARE-YOUR-WORLD post, with the questions she has asked this week:


Are you a clean or messy person?

happy cleanWhen it comes to CLEAN…well, what can I say? I was trained to maintain award winning standards by the international charities I worked for. Every aspect of our home, work environments (including the huge kitchens and factory we used) was spotless and literally won awards. Once you learn to live like that you can see the wisdom in cleaning as you go.

For example, after I use either the kitchen sink, or the bathroom, sink, shower or bathtub, I will spray a mild natural homemade cleaning spray and wipe the surfaces down. That helps to avoid any limescale and build up of soap scum etc. Of course one of the obvious benefits of keeping things clean is that it protects your health.

Waterfall, Trees, Nature, LandscapeEverywhere we worked, every land, there were very high standards of cleanliness. We were there to make an area better, more beautiful. We had to live in harmony with what we were working towards – a clean beautiful planet.

When it comes to TIDY…I think what helps enormously is having very few possessions. It is easy to keep things tidy when you don’t have much. By the way – that is a deliberate choice.

After my housekeeper training, I understand the importance of making time for projects, like emptying cupboards, cleaning the shelves and deciding what to keep, and what you are just not using (therefore it can go to the charity shops). Simplifying and decluttering are very helpful to keeping your little nest tidy and making it easier to clean.

If I asked you to describe yourself in five words – what would they be?






Do you enjoy being out in nature?

Oh yes!!! I love it. When I am out and seeing animals, flowers, rivers, skies and rainbows that lift my heart…I feel I want to live forever.

What could you spend all day talking about?

I can chat…I really can. Goldfinch told me that the average man speaks 8,000 words a day. He said that the average woman speaks 30,000 words a day. He he said my word count for most days could easily total 100,000. How wude!!! But he does have a point.

xvbfgbThere is always something that interests me and I love having a conversation, finding out what someone else thinks and then looking at it from different points of view in an effort to come to a conclusion. I think he used to find it funny when we were making love, and suddenly something would come back into my mind, and I would ask him a question about recycling or his job, or his ex-wife. Yeah – I know!!! I know!!! We have not yet found a way to take the batteries out of my conversation mechanisms.

What about? I can talk about most subjects. But the things that interest me the most would be easiest for me to develop I suppose. I guess they include the people I love, my family and friends, Jack and Goldfinch.

They also involve what I want for this beautiful planet and how wonderful it would be if mankind concentrated on our assignment…to spread paradise all over the earth and care for all earth’s creatures. I could talk about all the wonderful places I have been to, the spectacular scenery, the delicious food and the amazing people who have inspired me.

Please feel free to share some gratitude from your life! 

Enjoyment, Fun, Grass, Joy, OutdoorsMy main gratitude this week is that I have a weeklong holiday to enjoy!!! Sometimes it has felt hard working long shifts week after week. (Although to be honest I think it has probably been better than having to stay at home on my own.) But now is a great time for a holiday. Mine is a staycation, but I have a lot planned for it, including daily walks. However, I had to spend the first two days resting with a pounding headache.

Jack is here now. I am feeling better than I was at the start of the week. He and I are enjoying not having to rush. It’s great to exult in being together.

Promises Longed For

Fantasy, Fairy Tales, Girl, Cave, Nature, Mood, Tree

Since I was a child, I have read promises of paradise, humans and animals dwelling in peace. A world without fear, disease or war. A world without pain, death and grief.

I long to see those words become reality. They’re no fantasy.


This was my response to the 42-word writing prompt hosted by Deb Whittam, the creator of Twenty Four:


The Big Split

Jack is coming to see me again!!! I have the whole of this week off work! How great is that!! But right now…my head is in uproar. I have had a seriously splitting headache for two days solid and it is not easing off.

Ever since those head injuries…I have had to accept that headaches will now be a part of my life. Before the head injuries, I had never had a single headache in my life. But after a stranger inflicted repeated blows mainly to the right side of my head and left me unconscious, I frequently have pain on the right side of my head. Most mornings I wake up with that pain hovering. But once I am vertical, have taken an ibuprofen and I am hydrating again…it gradually dissipates.


I am an ickle bit anxious because the last appointment I had for a CT scan was cancelled because of the …you know. Until now, I have not been worried because I have not noticed any difference in my head pain. But to have constant pain round the clock and for it not to ease off despite painkillers and lots of liquid is really not convenient.

Work was a real challenge. I just floated around convinced I was going to black out at any moment. I didn’t. But after work, when I was walking back to my little nest, something must have happened. I don’t remember blacking out. But I found myself lying on the floor in the cobbled alley I took to avoid the crowds (yes there are crowds on the high street now that the restaurants and pubs are open). I must have blacked out. In my bag I had my water bottle, so I took a few sips of water and then stood up and carried on walking. I was useless once indoors.

I crawled into the bedroom and went to sleep with this ache on the right side of my head refusing to relent. But I must have fallen asleep, because I woke up at noon the next day!…with that same pain in my head.

Aaaah – I need to speak to my GP tomorrow. It’s no good trying to function like this. Perhaps by then the pain will have eased. So frustrating!


Did you know that all three parts of THE LEARNERS AT LOVE SERIES are now available on Amazon in both Kindle Connect and Paperback formats. If you click the box below, it will take you to Amazon ❤

Books Block

Mr Portillo, If You Are Reading This…

I forgot to tell you…I was walking to work recently, when I realized that Michael Portillo was walking towards me.

Three things went through my mind. The first thing I noticed is that he was wearing pinky red trousers. The second thing I noticed was that he seemed shorter than I am, although Wikipedia claims he is three inches taller than I am. I guess I was walking down hill and he was walking up hill, so he may have seemed shorter at the time.

Anyway, I have no connection with human politics, but I have watched Mr Portillo present some travel programs including one where he travelled in Australia – heart skips a beat.

For a split second I wondered if I should say “Hello, I have enjoyed your travel programs”. But I didn’t. Partly because I was rushing on my way to work, and partly because there were a number of people walking up the hill. It seemed quite a crowded section of the high street. It doesn’t seem clever during social distancing to go greeting people I don’t even know in the middle of a crowded part of London.

But Mr Portillo, if you are reading this, I just wanted to say, I genuinely have enjoyed some of your travel programs, especially when you were over in Australia. I would have liked to have seen more. Perhaps if you go back, you could explore Adelaide.

Skyline, Night Lights, City, Night

Feeling Totally Stoked!

Person, Young, Woman, Girl, Skirt Today I woke up to the very happy thought that I have a week-long holiday ahead of me. Yayyyy!!!

Jack is with his parents this weekend, but he is coming to stay for for a few days after he has been able to catch up with his own family (who live at the other end of the country). So I am spending the first day of my holiday doing something I wanted to do for a long time – walking for hours. I am going to take a walk through the beautiful London parks near to my little nest.

I wanted to check out some WordPress posts before I headed out (especially SONG-LYRIC-SUNDAY selections) and I came across a post from Iain Kelly Iain Kelly, who has very kindly read and reviewed my first book “We Hide What We Hate About Ourselves“:

dfhygdI am so grateful to Iain, not only for reading Annabelle’s story, when it is not the genre he would usually opt for, but also for publishing a very complimentary review. In my head, my book was kind of chick-lit (I know that’s not very PC) with a sprinkle of grit, so it means so much that Iain has rated it so positively. Iain is also spot-on about the areas I need to give more attention to. I will work on those points – I promise! But I am totally stoked about the very kind comments he made.

Iain Kelly, author of THE STATE TRILOGY, is not only a fabulous fiction writer himself, as I am sure many of you will know, but he also reviews books published by independent and self-published authors. If you have a book that you would like Iain to review, he invites writers to leave him a message so he can take a look at your book.

I’m A Million Different People From One Day To The Next

Triplets, Identical, Women, PosesJim Adams, aka Newepicauthor, the creator of A Unique Title For Me, is hosting SONG-LYRIC-SUNDAY and this week he has chosen the theme: DIFFERENT/SAME

I have a feeling there is going to  be a great variety of music chosen today, and I am really looking forward to seeing the list of songs later today.

This was a very easy choice for me this week! I have chosen a link by a bunch of boys from my home turf, with links to my old high school. Richard Ashcroft went to my high school. Although he is quite a few years older than me, it’s not everyday you can say the musicians you have chosen were in your brother’s class! The band in question – The Verve. The track – Bitter Sweet Symphony.

Surreal, Dream, Face, Woman, DreamsSome of you will know this song instantly – it’s another undisputed Britpop anthem. But if you have not heard it before, I will explain that I think it was the symphony that made it an addictive song to listen to, teamed with the poignant lyrics about…well life, making ends meet, inner pain, wanting to change, feeling down, feeling you cannot change. It’s a tapestry of life in the world the way it is now!

I think it is an apt song for the current climate where many want to do their best to keep it together, but a million different emotions conflict and sometimes sap you as you try to make your way in this world!

Anyway…that is all from me – enjoy the epic…Bitter Sweet Symphony!!!

‘Cause it’s a bittersweet symphony, that’s life
Tryna make ends meet
You’re a slave to money then you die
I’ll take you down the only road I’ve ever been down
You know the one that takes you to the places
Where all the veins meet yeah

No change, I can change
I can change, I can change
But I’m here in my mold
I am here in my mold
But I’m a million different people
From one day to the next
I can’t change my mold
No, no, no, no, no
Have you ever been down?

Well I’ve never prayed
But tonight I’m on my knees yeah
I need to hear some sounds that recognize the pain in me, yeah
I let the melody shine,
Let it cleanse my mind,
I feel free now
But the airwaves are clean and there’s nobody singing to me now

No change, I can change
I can change, I can change
But I’m here in my mold
I am here in my mold
And I’m a million different people
From one day to the next
I can’t change my mold
No, no, no, no, no
Have you ever been down?
I can’t change it you know
I can’t change it

‘Cause it’s a bittersweet symphony, this life
Tryna make ends meet
Tryna find some money then you die
I’ll take you down the only road I’ve ever been down
You know the one that takes you to the places
Where all the veins meet yeah

You know I can change, I can change
I can change, I can change
But I’m here in my mold
I am here in my mold
And I’m a million different people
From one day to the next
I can’t change my mold
No, no, no, no, no

I can’t change my mold
No, no, no, no, no
I can’t change my mold
No, no, no, no, no

You’ve gotta change my mold, no, no, no
It’s just sex and violence, melody and silence
Gotta, can’t change my violence, melody and silence
I’ll take you down the only road I’ve ever been down

Been down
Ever been down
Ever been down
Ever been down
Ever been down
Have you ever been down?
Have you ever been down?

Written By: Keith Richards, Mick Jagger and Richard Paul Ashcroft

Taylor Swift’s Best Break-Up Song Yet!

Girl, Studio, Female, Woman, ProfileYesterday, I was walking to work when I received a call from my friend (who loves Taylor Swift) telling me I had to listen to Taylor’s brand new album “Folklore“, which she released ever so suddenly. Well, after a long day at work, I came home and started listening to some of the songs. I was I am glad I heeded my friend’s enthusiastic advice. I found some songs on her new album I instantly liked.

It was not what I was expecting. To me, this album is full of poetically reflective lyrics set off by completely stripped back music. So far, I am hearing achingly raw confessions and pleadings from a heart that has had time to dwell and ponder over past and present (as many have done during “lock-down” conditions). I am impressed by the poetic flow of some of the tracks I have listened to so far, as well as the emotional punch they pack in. All of that candour woven with chords and haunting harmonies into an emotive and delicately crafted collection. I feel some of the songs will linger with me for a long time to come.

One of the songs that really struck a chord with me was “Exile“, featuring Bon Iver, which is surely Taylor Swift’s best break-up song yet. It captured something really poignant.


Perhaps after a teenage romance goes wrong, we dance round the room with our besties telling them what went wrong. In turn our friends boost our confidence and tell us we need to move on with our life and find someone who deserves us.

Image by Andrés Felipe Crespo García from PixabayBut as an adult, a break-up with someone we love does not normally make us want to dance or listen to upbeat tunes. We normally want to shed many tears and drink wine until we fall into a deep sleep, where sadness cannot hurt us.

I am only up to the fifth track on the album, but as I have a week off work ahead of me, I will try to make time to listen to more. So far, I am really liking this album, it fits the general mood at the moment. Many of us are bruised in one way or another and I think lyrical poetry is in harmony with the current beat rather than dizzying pop-tastic tempos. I am more than relieved, I am actually thrilled, that completely out of the blue one of the top names in the music industry has gone against the pop-grain and given us something that we have the energy for.

Even though I hope I am far far away from a break-up, I can still enjoy curling up on the sofa, with my glass of wine listening to this deeply moving song which sounds to me as if  it came straight from a heart with many layers and many stories to tell.

Have Your Ever Had THAT Dream?

Fly, Girl, Moon, Fairy, Witch, WomanSometimes my friends and I chat about dreams. On occasion, we have had similar dreams. Apparently, I am not the only one who has had that dream where I was walking on the ceiling.

Or the dream where I walk into my boss’ office and find him sitting at his desk naked. Or the one where I am in court, waiting to be sentenced in the dock and the jury find me guilty. Or how about the one where I have forgotten to turn the taps off and the whole house is filled with water, and I have to swim through the house desperately searching for a plug so that I can let the water drain away.

Anyway…have you ever had THAT dream where you are flying? Lots of my friends have said they have had flying dreams. I have had flying dreams too. Well…the guys in this video have captured my dream!