Tag Archives: WordPress

That Makes Me A Blogging Rock Star!

I had one of those little notifications from WordPress last week – wishing me a Happy Anniversary with WordPress.

I began blogging right at the end of April in 2018…which makes this site a whopping 5 years old!

Did I ever ever ever imagine back in April 2018 that the following would happen after I started writing:

  • I would write over 2700 articles, short stories and poems
  • I would discover hundreds of talented writers, poets, foodies and others who love publishing on WordPress
  • would become pregnant and experience a miscarriage
  • I would go all the way to Australia to spend time with a man (Goldfinch) I was in love with
  • I would develop one of my short stories and go on to publish a three part novel series
  • I would make peace with a man (Jack) who had caused me great grief and been estranged from for years
  • the world would experience a Pandemic and we would go through National Lock-downs and extensive restrictions to international travel
  • after keeping my writing secret for over two years, I would share my site with friends and help them to start their own WordPress sites
  • I would agree to marry Jack
  • I would co-host four annual Great Bloggers’ Bake Offs along with Jeanne and Gary
  • I would start working on a prequel/sequel to my original three part novel series

I would never have imagined the dramas and developments of the past five years. I am so glad that while life moves along like a river – sometimes gentle and blissful meandering, sometimes crashing onto rocks and plummeting catastrophic depths – I am writing. Writing is a wonderful medium through which your heart can become articulate.

Whether you are a new writer or a long-time writer – enjoy finding your own language, your way of expressing what is inside you. If you are someone who knows there are many great emotions trapped, buried deep inside you, yearning to escape – start writing – let it flow out gradually. The process is hugely satisfying and though at times it may hurt, in time the results will be so beneficial.

Writing is an epic journey – a voyage that promises adventures and treasures galore. Enjoy your writing, enjoy the writing of others – and soon you will look back and say “where did the time go?” and “look at all that has happened in that time!”

This is of course where it all began:


Photo by eberhard grossgasteiger on Pexels.com

Sooooooo Organized!

I have a little time to myself on Thursday mornings. For some time, that has been my time to write new posts and schedule a post to be published each morning for the following week. I usually choose 4:00am, unless I forget and then a post will end up being published at some random time.

During the past week…I have had some technical challenges when it came to my WordPress activity. These include the landlords turning off the wi-fi randomly (very frustrating when I am trying to work) and the implosion of the laptop I was using for WordPress. Yet, I did not worry. I had a post scheduled to be published for each day, so I just hoped we could resolve matters by today.

Things do seem to be resolved for the moment. I am now using a new faster laptop (the other laptop sometimes took about half an hour to get up and running) and the landlords are overseas for a couple of weeks.

So…I can write in peace. I am super impressed by how my routine, scheduling in advance saved me from any concerns. Today…I won’t be scheduling for the next seven days – I have to work for the NHS – overtime to cover annual leave colleagues are taking. Hopefully tomorrow when I have the day off, I will steal back an hour to work on my posts.

Photo by Luana Freitas on Pexels.com

We Have Come So Far!!!

I think I am around four months or so away from this site being five years old. Now I know there are some WordPress users who have been at this malarkey for much longer, and I know there are others who have only recently started out.

I just wanted to say this…when I started out, I was a complete beginner. I knew nothing!! A friend had to set my site up for me and show me the basics. But somehow, somehow…I find myself five years later considering myself as more than a beginner…perhaps a novice, or even a little bit more.

Photo by Burst on Pexels.com

I know this might sound a little odd that I am celebrating my slow and painful progress, but I am pleased I have learnt so much about how to use WordPress. When the Pandemic began, friends (who had discovered I was writing) asked for help to set up their own site. I have now helped to set up over forty sites….getting my friends started by adding pages (About Me and Contact pages for example and Pixabay images and helping them to figure out all the basics for themselves.

Five years ago, I never imagined that i would be on my way to being a WordPress guru!! lol – what a turn out!

Bridget Jones To The Rescue!

I have had so many messages from friends who seem to be stranded on their own this year – due to work commitments or due to travel disruption. So between us, Jack and I are responding to those we know are a not very happy to be on their own (some seem undeniably happy to be able to rest).

Photo by Teresa Howes on Pexels.com

Without doubt, the one person who totally captures how loopy it can make you to be on your own at a time of year you are confronted with images of perfect family scenes is BRIDGET JONES!!! I never ever tire of seeing this clip.

Enough With The Creepy Questions Already

I have been a little freaked out over the past couple of days by the creepy questions that appeared when I tried to open up a blank post and prepare something to be published.

Perhaps I am overly suspicious – but why does WordPress need to ask me about my clothing choices…or tech preferences? Creepy!!!

This chick is going to be maintaining her exclusivity and anonymity and sharing only what she is needs to. In my real life – I have to deter, deflect and dampen the curiosity of nosey-parkers, especially those asking me twenty questions about my wedding. Being asked random creepy questions on a blank post…it does not sit well with me.

OK…there is my grouchy gripe out there…sunglasses back on…let’s disappear back into the shadows.

Photo by Gabriela Moraes on Pexels.com


Did you notice??? I wonder if you did? My WordPress site is called Caramel, but my name is showing up as CARAMELODY. I have been called this by several other WordPress users over the years who know me by my writing name Melody Finch.

Well….it sort of grew on me. So much so that finally I added “ODY” onto the end of my WordPress user name. It feels good – you know like that feelng of just having a haircut?

I use my writing name because I feel safer and less inhibited when I write. I am grateful to all of my friends who know me in person have honoured my request to only use my nom de plume online.

I admire writers who are comfortable with using their real name and sharing photographs of themselves…but I have so many reasons to be anxious for our security (Jack and myself).

Caramelody is making me smile. I hope you like it too!

Taking It Easy

I have to admit, there is rejoicing in my heart when I leave the office on Friday night. Last night, that meant coming home to watch an Episode of Professor T and washing my hair. I have felt just a little on the shattered side all week. So after the wonderful BAKE OFF, I was content with just reading the posts of other WordPressers this week, not writing anything of my own.

Now that I have survived the working week, I am looking forward to a weekend with my Jack (he was out being important last night, but he will be joining me later this morning) working together and relaxing together. Life is good.

I intend to catch up on all the lovely comments left on BAKE OFF posts last weekend. It was impossible to keep up with the BAKE OFF whirlwind before I had to be back at work. So during my coffee breaks this weekend…I will take my time to enjoy them. 🙂

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

What A Joy It Has Been!!!

What a weekend!!! I am going to finish editing this post before my laptop melts…it is making very odd noises and it is radiating an unusual heat which makes me think the little parts inside are over-baked after the demands placed upon recently. I need to say a huge THANK YOU to Robert and Annette who allowed me to camp at their home this weekend and use their office computer. My laptop just would not have been able to cope with all the pace of the BAKE OFF.

We have lots of THANK YOUs to share in this post. Our bakers of course are the key feature of the BAKE OFF. This year we asked you to think about BUDGET BAKING and SUSTAINABLE BAKING and we were a little nervous about the response to those themes….but wow – you embraced them and exceeded all our expectations! THANK YOU for your amazing baking photographs and also your enthusiasm on those areas we have been shining a light on.

THANK YOU to our Special Guest Poets! We are so grateful that you accepted our invitation to compose a BAKE OFF poem. Your poetry celebrated the JOY OF BAKING and echoed our feelings about rising costs and the desire to take better care of our beautiful earth.


Christine – MADE WITH LOVE

Kristian – LET THEM BAKE

Gentleman Dave – THE WISHING WELL


THANK YOU to the participants in some of our Special BAKE OFF Features:




All three of you have helped us to think about how we can enjoy our food, especially our baking, but to do so in a way that does not put us under further financial strain and also in a thoughtful way reflecting appreciation that our daily choices have an impact.

We also want to say THANK YOU to everyone who took part in our special BAKE OFF writing prompt. It was wonderful to read your work. There was such a variety that touched on all of the questions we raised in our writing prompt so it was fantastic to see your personality in your writing.

We are also thrilled with all of the WordPress users who took part in the BAKE OFF by advertising and promoting it on your own sites. THANK YOU to all of you who supported our bakers and poets, writers and interviewees by reading their posts, commenting and forging new blogging connections. That has brought us so much joy to see!

On a personal note, I want to say a huge THANK YOU to Gary and Jeanne. It is always such a joy to work along with you both!

There is no denying it – these are anxious times. Many of us, most of us, are effected by the rising costs of necessities. We are deeply concerned about the man-made damage to our natural habitats and to our climates. We want to see this earth treasured and cared for. Keep on thinking about the kind of earth you want to live on, reflect your hopes and dreams in your writing, in your poetry, in your baking!!!

We hope that this weekend has filled you with confidence that there are many people who share your concerns and feeling. Many are thinking about the choices they make – little and large – and making changes that reflect how they about our planet. But this can and should be joyful. Sharing our joy with others can have a profound impact. Hope and joy are intrinsically linked.

There is just one more event that we are now looking forward to….

Our Special BAKE OFF Judge Jeanne has been perusing all of the baking photographs we have shared this weekend. Soon, Jeanne will be sharing with us who she has chosen for the 2002 STAR BAKER accolade!!!!

Photo by Elias Tigiser on Pexels.com

The Joy Keeps Rolling!

After a very joyful weekend THE 2022 JOY OF BAKING GREAT BLOGGERS’ BAKE OFF is drawing to a conclusion. But I woke up this morning to see a beautiful baking photograph in my inbox. I am back in my own little nest and my laptop is slower than ever. So it has taken almost two hours before it finally agreed to let me produce a post to feature our next bake.

You may remember the gorgeous Pecan Nut Cake near to the start of this weekend’s BAKE OFF. Well, the same baker Tandy, the creator of LAVENDER AND LIME, has shared with is these excellent Seeded Soda Bread Rolls:


Don’t they look scrummy!! I was intrigued that Tandy said these are quick to make, and when I read through her recipe I noticed that you don’t seem to have to wait for hours for the dough to prove – which is great.

Time saving bread rolls mean of course you can keep on rolling!!!

Something Is Missing Jack

What a weekend it has been!!! Truly we have been so impressed and delighted with your bakes!!! You have kept us very busy – and I am sorry I have been quiet and slow to respond to your comments…there were photographs coming in all weekend and we were trying to complete a post for each one and keep the scheduling varied.

I am so glad Jack volunteered to take on the role of “Musical Director” – well, that is what he is calling himself. But said to Jack late last night, “something is missing Jack”. He asked me what I meant, and although I was not sure about it at the time, I woke up not long after midnight knowing what was missing – “ABBA!”

Jack asked why I thought the BAKE OFF needed ABBA. I made a cake the weekend he came back from his tour of South East Asia and the South West Pacific and I had intended to use the photograph in the BAKE OFF. Somehow I had forgotten about it all together!

Well…that just won’t do! Sweden would never forgive me if I omitted a dessert that you can find in nearly every cafe in Sweden. This indulgent sticky chocolate treat is called Kladdkaka:


When I made this treat, I remember pondering which ABBA song would be ideal for my BAKE OFF post. That is how I knew ABBA was missing from the BAKE OFF. Well…we need to put that right!!