Thursday, 15 February 2018

Winter Photographic Scavenger Hunt

I'm a bit behind with this month's linky, I spent the first week of the month in Essex with my mum (that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it!).

I'm also a bit behind with the actual hunt, having still to find 13 of the subjects, but here are the few that I've found so far this year.

3. Domestic Trivia

Cleaning the hob

Dismantling an internal wall

8. Silver (festive tree decoration)

9. In the making

The annual family festive 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle

19. A pair of . . .

. . . glasses

. . . baby shoes

. . . scissors

I would love to see how you are getting on but I can't seem to get the linky to work, so please head on over to Eileen's blog (a bracelet of days) to add your own.

Monday, 12 February 2018

Giggles, Days 30-36

Day 30

Giggles inspects the demolition of the internal wall

Day 31

A Wetherspoons lunch, ham panini and chips

Day 32

Surveying the green at Theydon Bois

Day 33

We met up with our friend Janice for lunch and a catch-up natter at the Nag's Head in Moreton village

Day 34

We went to visit DO and GD3, who have moved house. He didn't want us to show too much of his new house, but we thought he wouldn't mind a sneeky peak at his stair carpet!

Day 35

Ooooh look, a unicorn shop

Day 36

A walk, and then lunch in the car, at one of our favourite spots, High Beech in Epping Forest.

Friday, 2 February 2018

Giggles, Days 24-29

Day 24

I'm aiming to walk 1000 miles in 2018, and Giggles will be with me every step of the way (almost!)

Day 25

We walked into town, and sat down by the river for a while

Day 26

Giggles with the birthday boy

Day 27

Giggles with a bird's eye view from the top of EG's head

Day 28

Helping with the crossword puzzle

Day 29

On our way to collect GD5

Thursday, 25 January 2018

Giggles, Days 17-23

Day 17

Blue skies from the back garden

Day 18

The annual Christmas jigsaw puzzle is finished

Day 19

Too wet to venture outside today

Day 20

Out for a walk in the buggy with GD5

Day 21

We've had a lot of rain recently, the ground is waterlogged.

Day 22

Checking out the new Co-op store, which is due to open any day now

Day 23

A trip to the White Horse Country Park, to check out the Westbury white horse.

Friday, 19 January 2018

Giggles, Days 10-16

Day 10

An early morning visit to the local Tesco store

Day 11

Green shoots aplenty in the raised bed

Day 12

We love our friend Clare's latest book

Day 13

We paid a visit to GO and EG's house. See if you can guess how many days it is until their wedding.

Day 14

GD5 is asleep in the back of the car. If we take her home now she will wake up, and she really needs to sleep for a bit longer, so we are sitting in the National Trust car park in Lacock, listening to Mozart.

Day 15

We pass through Upavon on our commute, where we cross the Hampshire Avon just a few miles south of its source.

Day 16

Another spot on our commute, just to the west of Everleigh, where we can pretend we are the only people who know this delightful (even on a wet and windy January day) place.

Thursday, 18 January 2018

You Take Yourself With You

I feel as if I have known Clare forever, I can't remember when I first came across her - I think it must have been fairly soon after I moved to Wiltshire in 2008 - but I've been an avid fan of hers for over 9 years now. I signed up to receive her then daily emails, which were entitled something like "Your Daily Dose of Sunshine", which were subsequently published in book form. Those of us on her mailing list were asked if we could write a little something for her, and I was lucky enough to have mine published.

Since those early days Clare has written several books, I don't have them all, but the next one I have is her "28 Day Meditation Challenge". I was fortunate enough to be able to participate in the experimental challenge which was run online during February 2012 and which then formed the basis of the book. I was honoured that Clare accepted my offer to proof-read the book for her before publication, so my copy of the book was a gift from her.

As mentioned, I don't have copies of all Clare's books, but the next one for me was her "Gratitude Journal" which subsequently morphed into "A year full of Gratitude", and I have copies of both. This book is in the form of a diary with spaces to write down all the things you feel gratitude for over the course of a year, but it is more than just a diary, with helpful hints and tips all the way through.

During the early part of 2016 Clare ran an on-line series of inspirational speakers, while at the same time formulating her next book "Dare to Dream Bigger" which was published in December of that year. Being, by that time, Clare's biggest fan, I simply had to have a copy even though I had long since given up any idea of becoming an entrepreneur, the advice in it is so sensible yet groundbreaking that it is easy to transfer the ideas and lessons to every day life.

(I should perhaps mention here that Clare has also been one of the prime movers in a change of EU policy regarding VAT charges for small businesses)

So, thus far, as you can see, Clare's books have all been non-fiction self help books, but during the summer of last year (2017) that changed, and Clare wrote her first fiction book (the first in a series of seven) called "You Take Yourself With You" (what a great title!). And when it was released for pre-sales I'm fairly certain that I was the first person to place an order for a hard copy (I'm a good old-fashioned soul and will only read my books in solid form). My copy arrived in December but I didn't have a chance to read it until a couple of weeks ago. Not knowing what to expect, but being a great fan of Clare's anyway, I was delighted to find that the book was as good as, if not better than, I could have hoped. It has been described by another reviewer as "unputdownable" and I would concur with that. I have fallen in love with the main characters, Sophie and Christof, and can't wait to find out what happens to them next. As this book is the first in a series of seven, I'm fairly sure they will have a few adventures together. Clare has used her vast life experience to enhance all aspects of this lovely story. Well done Clare, I am proud to be able to call you my friend.
(p.s. the message on the bookmark is accidental, but prophetic!)

All of Clare's books are available from Amazon in Kindle or proper book form.

Thursday, 11 January 2018

Giggles, days 4-9

I haven't been very well, with a rotten cold and a horrible cough, so Giggles and I haven't been out and about as much as I would have liked. However we did travel to Essex by train for the weekend to look after my mum.

Day 4

Here she is sitting in my bag in my studio, waiting patiently to be taken out - sorry, it but it just didn't happen.

Day 5

We arrived at our rendezvous (The Queen Victoria, Theydon Bois) and are now waiting for my sister to turn up for the obligatory drink, catch-up and handover.

Day 6

The day was dry, we took a walk around the green and stopped to look at the ducks.

Day 7

Giggles has a new friend, my mum's Deer in Glasses plant pot holder

Day 8

We are now on the train at Waterloo Station on our way home

Day 9

Sorry Giggles, I really don't feel well enough to take you out anywhere today.