I Was Designed For Life

cools.pngI have mentioned a handful of times the lovely young woman that I met out in Australia last year. We have kept in touch since. Last August at her recommendation, I travelled to the other side of London to attend a conference attended by around 10,000. It was called “LOVE NEVER FAILS!”…and it was very special.

In fact it was very shortly after that event that I received a phone call from Jack, after which, he and I made peace. I often think I needed to hear the program at that conference which discussed what love really means, in order to prepare my heart for Jack’s contact.

Well…this year, my Australian friend told me that to ensure the safety of the many millions who want to be educated to live under a much better way of this earth being governed, the conferences they normally hold will not be at arenas or stadiums. They are online. When she told me the theme I was surprised at first. The theme is about happiness. Millions will be learning what brings true happiness, and how to cope when stress and challenges threaten our happiness.

jdafhadjThat’s something I am enthusiastic about. I know some who view life on earth as a trial. I view life on earth as a gift. I see some (not all) of what man has made as a threat to that gift. I was not designed to be trapped in an office or stuck behind a counter. I was designed for so much more.

But to me, despite challenges (often human-made), life on earth offers a wide range of satisfying work, meaningful relationships, beauty and inspiration from nature, pleasure from all the good food, music and colour that enhance life and make it vibrant. (I know that some people live in areas where man’s government has been so utterly disastrous that squalour exists.)


On Tuesday, Jack and I listened to part of the conference, including a beautiful section about the joy of creation around us…it was very special. But it made me realize, this is real education. It’s so wonderfully constructive. It is so uniting, so encouraging, so inspiring. These conferences are exceptional, whether at a physical arena or within a virtual arena.

Christmas, Xmas, Table, Setting, LoveOften at dinner parties (before the you know…do you remember dinner parties?) my friends would start debating all the issues in this world (as in the political-economic system) and they would go round and round in circles. Layers upon layers of problems humans have caused themselves. The short term remedies that did not work…you know, like putting a band-aid over the puncture in a tyre.

When I used to talk with Goldfinch (who is keenly aware of some of the injustices in the world and industrial practices which pollute our beautiful home) about some of the big issues that mankind face, it was clear we felt the same way about those issues, but we were not always on exactly the same page when it came to the solutions.

Grandmother, Kids, Laptop, MyanmarI have felt for years that the earth needed a change on an enormous scale. However, for centuries (probably longer) the cycle of revolt against oppression and the establishment of a new form of human rulership has been a temporary short-term solution. I see the need for more major long-term solutions. But to pre-empt that turning point, I realized that preparation, training, education would be needed. You would need a significant number of people spread throughout the earth, who would be ready for that change, as a firm foundation. Others would learn from their example. Regardless of their natural tongue, they would have to be united in a language of love and peace. They would have to have been tested to ensure they would not crumble at the first challenges they faced, but would be enduring.

African, Women, Africa, Girls, SistersI suspect that has been occuring. I can see something quite remarkable. The online resources my friend has pointed me to give readers the option of learning how to be a better person, have a happier family life, a balanced attitude to money, possessions and recreation, and a satisfying life…in hundreds of languages. I can see an enormous international education has been in progress. For a long time, people have been learning to love, and now this year, they are learning what true happiness means (in all probability they already know a lot about happiness, but effective education includes reminders and repetition so that values are not just theoretical, but become woven into somebody’s nature, the inclination of the heart).

Jack said he would happily listen to some more of the conference with me. I am glad he liked it. It means a lot to be able to talk positively about the wonderful future ahead for the earth and for all who want to see a clean earth and to live a way of love, a way of joy and a way of peace.

Another Cover Story

Apricots, Apricot Tree, Fruit, YellowLast year, when Gary, Jeanne and I were working on the 2019 BAKE-OFF, I was recovering from a sad loss. It cheered me up immensely to have lovely occupation for my mind. I had also been writing “ditties”…some WordPress viewers were kind enough to call them “poems”, but they were more me putting down words from my heart without following any rules. It was good for me to have that avenue to grieve.

Earlier this year, a friend of mine helped me combine my ditties and journal entries into a little book. I have mentioned it before, but it’s such a personal “project” of mine…I like to keep it in my special untouchable place.

dittisMy friend helped me to publish a collection of ditties I wrote when I lost my little apricot. I was very pleased to have a paperback copy of the finished result. But I was not really sure about the cover.

I have learnt that after you have written a story or poetry cover, finding a cover that expresses something of what is within can be a real challenge.

That was especially so with something I wanted to be a permanent record, a keepsake of something very special and sad that I experienced. The one thing I could not bear is if my little apricot was forgotten as if she (if she was a she) was of no value.

I lost her, and naturally I was saddened. But it would make me more sad if it was as if she was never a part of me. She is a part of me, always! She sleeps soundly in a safe place near to my family in Snowdonia. She sleeps soundly in my heart.

Anyway…this is another cover story…another! I found a much better cover that captures the spirit of the contents of my book of journal entries and ditties about someone I never had chance to hold in my arms, but whom I don’t want to be forgotten.

Woman, Beach, Sea, Ocean, Freedom, Water

So…I asked my friend to talk me through the whole cover process (so patient he is) including making sure there are cover credits on the inside page and then I pressed publish. The only thing I am worried about is the white text. There was no colour that was right, so I went with white. I hope it will look ok. I am going to order an author copy to see how it looks.

Matt Evuns Has Nailed It

Depression, Loneliness, Man, Mood I have been working and working and working, hardly spending any waking time at home through the past six months, but my friends who were working from home or who had lost their jobs, all say they have been very stressed and are so glad now that they can start to socialize again and be with people.

For months, their whole social life was online. Some of my friends said their use of social media increased a lot. I have never been interested in Facebook. I don’t tweet…I don’t have Twitter. I get the feeling I am not missing out on much. But every now and then a friend shows me something that is doing the rounds, and it does seem very funny.

My friend showed me an article someone had written about the effect of the pandemic, the social distancing…and everything else that has occured in 2020. I came home and I have been looking for that article, but it seems that several publishers, magazines, media outlets have all written similar articles. Here are two of them:



…so although the content of this post is just based on what my friend showed me is already on line, I guess the most important person to credit with making a lot of us chuckle is Matt Evuns. If you were asked to describe 2020 in eleven seconds, could you do it? Well, Matt Evuns has nailed it!…with the help of Olivia Colman.

Matt @MattEvuns who has a Twitter account, has produced a “mash-up” of Olivia Colman’s Oscars Speech. If you are not sure who Olivia Colman is, let me tell you she is a great actress! Matt Evuns uses Olivia’s speech to describe each month of 2020 so far…you can see at the bottom of the screen the months passing. My friend thought it was hilarious, and it did make me laugh.

Although, seriously, I don’t think snogging everyone you know has the approval of the government nor their science advisors.

I then I realized I have not watched the Oscars ever, although I have seen occasional clips. I decided I would find the whole of her speech on YouTube (because I love watching her work).

This is the YouTube video showing her full acceptance speech. Bless her – she looks traumatised at the start. I could not make out what she says after she mentions her job as a cleaner, but is sounded great. I love a speech that is that natural and unpretentious. Maybe I just like people who are natural and unpretentious.

Sharing My Fridge And The Rest Of My World



Where Do You Not Mind Waiting?

waitingWHERE? If I have to wait, it’s not the timing that matters to me, it’s the comfort factor and having something to distract me. I can wait in the warm, sat in a comfy chair, and preferably with a book…for as long as you need me to.

Once I was stood up. Where had he told me to meet him? He said he would pick me up outside the train station. I had passed through the ticket barriers, so when he wasn’t there, I could not go back in and wait in the warmth of the waiting room. No, I was out in the cold. It was the end of October. It was cold. It was dark. When I used the payphone to call his number, there was no answer and his voicemail was not functional.

sdfgergI was wearing stilettos, a pretty dress and a thin coat. Guys were leering at me and asking me if wanted to go home with them. I did not know that area at all. I was shivering. I bought a hot tea from a kiosk outside the station. I drank it to warm myself up. Then I needed to go to the bathroom. But they would not let me back into the station to use the ladies unless I swiped my ticket. That meant going home and giving up on him coming to take me to the restaurant where he claimed he had a table booked.

Eventually I gave up on him. Over three hours after he said he would pick me up from the train station! I passed back through the ticket barriers used the bathroom, then boarded the next train homeward bound.

When I reached home, there was an email from him explaining why he had decided to cancel the date. He sent that email around an hour before we were supposed to meet. He knew I did not have a mobile phone. Anyway…I cried. Then I sent him a very gracious message. I think he was very surprised I was so nice about it.

One, Adult, Woman, Lovely, GorgeousI also think that being sure that the person or event you are waiting for is DEFINITELY ON THE WAY makes a difference. But if you start to doubt, or lose hope then you start to feel like giving up. That’s what happened with Jack. I was battling to keep my belief in him. Others were telling me to give up on him. The passing of time for me was torture. I wanted to believe that eventually we would be at peace. In hindsight, we needed that time to heal and grow before we could move forward.

All I can say is…I am so glad I waited for over four years (which truly felt like a lifetime!) for Jack to make contact and make peace!!! Once the person or event you have been waiting for finally arrives, you forget how long you had to wait. The sense of relief and reward is immense.

What Is In Your Fridge Right Now?  (you’re not required to give a comprehensive list)

Oh…ok…let’s have a look then!


  • Basil, Pesto, Green, Organic, Mata bottle of sugar free lemonade
  • a box of 6 eggs
  • two blocks of Feta cheese
  • half a block of Parmigiano Reggiano
  • a tub of my homemade pesto
  • a tub of soya cream
  • a tub of single cream (for Jack)
  • a box of with all of my nail varnishes
  • a tub with a tropical face mask inside it


  • IMG_0255two packets of vegan cheese
  • a bowl of red fruits salad (Jack made it for us – isn’t he a gem!)
  • a bowl of home-made hummus
  • a jar of mayonnaise
  • two cartons of lacto-free milk
  • a packet of coffee granules
  • leftovers from the meals I prepared for Jack and I over the last two days – a tub of veggie soup I made and a spanish tortilla


  • a cantaloupe melon
  • Vegetables, Veggies, Pepperstwo red onions
  • a white onion
  • two carrots
  • rocket
  • parsley
  • mint
  • kos lettuce
  • bell peppers
  • half a cucumber
  • some celery
  • chillies
  • spring onions
  • a few charlotte potatoes


  • four eggs
  • half a tube of tomato puree
  • goat’s butterPink Wine, Champagne, Celebration, Pink
  • a jar of tahini
  • a jar of harissa
  • a jar of fruit chutney
  • a jar of lemon marmalade
  • a jar of black olives
  • open bottle of sugar free lemonade
  • a bottle of white wine
  • a bottle of rose
  • a carton of lacto-free milk
  • a bottle of elderflower cordial

I have to say…I am pleased you asked me today about my fridge…it is looking pretty healthy at the moment! I just re-read your question Melanie – you said we are NOT required to give a comprehensive list! I didn’t notice the word NOT!!!

If You Could Only Speak One Word Today, What Would It Be?


(Which technically is two words – I know! But THANKS makes less impact.)

Would You Rather Be Trapped In An Elevator Full Of Men With BO Or Three Soaked Dogs?  (this is with the codicil that C-19 doesn’t exist)

Are we talking about smells here?

Dog, Swim, Paddle, Water, SplashIf I am going to be trapped in an elevator…which could potentially be for hours, I would choose the dogs. Wet dog is a horrendous smell. I love the way a wet dog does not realize the stench it is emitting, and they bound up to you all like, “Come on, don’t you want to play with me?” But as they dry off, the smell lessens. As a housekeeper, the worst of smells was wet football boots, which we always described as intense eau d’wet dog.

When it comes to BO…it’s not nice, but because I have worked in healthcare for many years, my nose has adjusted to all manner of human generated smells. However if we were trapped for a long time, and the elevator was full, I suspect the body smells would get worse.

An Attitude of Gratitude

Please feel free to share something good about last week.  

The highlight of last week was undoubtedly….


I am so grateful to all the wonderful WordPress bloggers who made it a very special blogging party. It was colourful, energetic, musical, and delicious international family fun! It was an absolute joy to be a part of!


Lost And Found

Image by Andrés Felipe Crespo García from Pixabay

I had lost heart and lost hope. I had lost my way in this world. I had lost trust in people. I had lost my thirst for life, my hunger for love.

Then you came along and found me. No longer lost.


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





Did I ever mention that I wrote the three part LEARNERS AT LOVE series, which is available both on Kindle Unlimited and in paperback forms on Amazon? If you would like to take a closer look, click the box below and it will take you over to Amazon:

Books Block


Cooks, Confectioner, Children'S, Sweets

The suspense has been hard to endure! After the amazing display of BAKING and PICNIC creations we saw from THE GREAT BLOGGERS of WordPress, we have awaited with breathless anticipation for the announcement of the 2020 STAR BAKER!

Cook, Confectioner, Food, Desserts

At last our wonderful judge Jeanne, the creator of A Jeanne in the Kitchen, has had chance to peruse all of the gorgeous photos she received and has made her decision!

Scroll down to discover who THE GREAT BLOGGERS BAKE-OFF 2020 STAR BAKER is…

Please give a huge cheer to this year’s STAR BAKER…


…and to find out who it is…click the link below to read Jeanne’s post where she makes the announcement!!!


Thank You For A Perfect Weekend!

gvfaddvdIt has been a hard year for so many of us. In one way or another, we have all been anxious, stressed, confused and afraid by the events of this year.

That’s why this weekend has been an absolute joy for us! Thank you all for a perfect perfect weekend! WordPress bloggers and writers and all those who joined us for the weekend have made us forget so many of our worries and look forward to great times ahead.

For our final post, we are featuring the PICNIC creations of our 2019 STAR BAKER, Sheree, the creator of View from the Back. Sheree certainly knows how to picnic!!! This is the post she published sharing with us the contents of her PICNIC basket:


shesAnd you really do need to visit Sheree’s post…there are so many amazing PICNIC snacks…I did not know which to show in this post! I hope you had chance to see Sheree’s STAR BAKER (2019) interview. If not, head on over, it is great!

Catching Up With Sheree – Our Star Baker From 2019

What a great day! What amazing BAKES and PICNIC creations. We have seen some outstanding talent and we have drooled throughout the parade of photos sent in by our superb bloggers.

I want to say a few THANK YOUS to some very special bloggers who behind the scenes have been supporting THE GREAT BLOGGERS’ BAKE-OFF 2020 SUMMER PICNIC to make it something very special. The first person I would like to thank is:


…to all of the GREAT BLOGGERS who were busy in their kitchens BAKING and making PICNIC treats! We are absolutely thrilled with the array of photos we received, and totally stoked that so many of you took part! You are all THE BEST!!! I know some of you have had huge health challenges of your own recently. I also know from your own blogging posts that many of you have lost loved ones during this year’s pandemic and may have been anxious and stressed about finances and the safety of your family during recent months. We are so glad you took some time out to get involved in THE BAKE-OFF…it is overwhelming to see the PICNIC FEAST you all helped put together.

Thank you for making THE GREAT BLOGGERS’ BAKE-OFF 2020 SUMMER PICNIC such a spectacular weekend!!!!!!! We are so proud of you! Remember this important rule essential in blogging and in life in general:


Sorry about all the teasing Gary!! You are awesome!!!

A Sweet Note From Sa

We are almost reaching the end of the BAKING submissions from our truly wonderful WordPress bloggers. It’s time to return to a sweet note.

We have two delicious sweets from  theresaly520 theresaly520, the creator of the beautiful website Culture Shocks, who has been very busy in her kitchen, making a stunning Glazed Fruit Tart (this is something I really want to make, so thank you for supllying the recipes you followed Sa!) and some delicious Melt-In-Your-Mouth Butter Cookies – yummy!

This is Sa’s gorgeous post where she shares with us her fabulous baking and the great recipes she followed:




I mentioned yesterday that Sa produces very beautiful posts, so I wanted beautiful music videos to go with her bakes. I also wanted to say THANK YOU! Thank you to Sa for her gorgeous baking and to all of other brilliant bloggers who have made THE GREAT BLOGGERS’ BAKE-OFF 2020 SUMMER PICNIC such a fantastic party!

Thank you to everyone for putting up with the musical choices of the weekend – that was a big responsibility and I know it may have been testing to some of you. On that note…here is another famous ABBA song!!! Yayyyyyy!

What Is A Picnic Without Coleslaw?

For most of my life, I was not particularly keen on coleslaw. That was only because as a kiddo, I ate a lot of shop-bought coleslaw, and I began to loathe the site of it. But when you taste homemade coleslaw, it’s a different experience. I started making coleslaw a couple of years ago when I realized my food processor could make easy work of the vegetable preparation.

When I saw Margot’s pulled pork sandwiches post, it reminded me that I had these photographs in my drafts folder and it seemed like a fitting addition for our 2020 SUMMER PICNIC.


There are two elements to a good coleslaw, the vegetables and the dressing. These are the main ingredients that go into my home made coleslaw:


  • One white cabbage
  • One onion – finely chopped
  • Two carrots
  • Three sticks of celery (Jack says it looks like there are only two in the picture but I promise you there are three)
  • 60 g Sultanas
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 90ml Mayonnaise

The first step is tackling that cabbage. I cut it into quarters lengthwise and then removed the core.

Then I set up my food processor with the slicer. I love that in seconds the cabbage is slashed to fine ribbons. I finely chopped the onion, but to be honest, I probably should have added that to the food processor as well!

I put the shredded cabbage and chopped onion in a bowl with plenty of salt and pepper.

The second important part of a coleslaw is the dressing, and here are the ingredients I use:


  • 6 tbsp of olive oil
  • 2 tbsp of white wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp of lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp honey
  • Salt and Pepper

After mixing the ingredients for the vinaigrette dressing I pour it over the cabbage and onion and mix thoroughly. Then I put it into the fridge and allow it to marinate overnight (at least eight hours).


The following day, I slice the celery finely and grate the carrots before adding them to the marinated cabbage, along with the sultanas and the mayonnaise. After another good mix I put the coleslaw back into the fridge for a good hour before serving.


Coleslaw never seemed very special to me, but now I have requests to take a bowl of my homemade coleslaw along to barbeques and garden parties. It’s a winner! It goes together with all sorts of al fresco dishes.

I have had to reshuffle the scheduling for posts to be published so many times this weekend But I wanted this post to follow Margot’s so much, so that we could continue the Grease theme…with “We Go Together“!