Thursday, 5 November 2020

Lockdown2

Lockdown 2 isn't going to make a lot of difference to me really, except some cancellations of social events in my diary. (Boo!)

As a keyworker, I still have to go to work work. The boys are going to school (phew!) - except my nearly-16 year old who got sent home yesterday as his whole year have to self-isolate for 2 weeks. 

I'm going to take this opportunity to try to save money, and not keep looking online to shop! Although the odd takeaway would help the restaurant industry... wouldn't it?

I'm going to try not to get stressed (again) but the Covidiots that don't understand the term "Essential only" and selfishly do what's essential to them do get to me. 

Christmas is coming, and working in a Post Office is pretty full on from November, once the Christmas stamps are released, under normal circumstances. So if Easter was anything to go by, me not getting stressed is going to be a toughy. But I will try my best. 

I do exercise every morning, and I think I need to get out and walk more by scheduling those in my diary. It's amazing that if I stay home all day writing and working, the lack of steps I do! 

It is only four weeks, and it's really not as tight as before, when you think the kids can still remain in schools etc. So just be sensible, use your common sense, and stick to the rules. 

By all means take a socially distanced walk. But don't end up in a retail shop every day. Limit those to once a week! The keyworkers that have to stay working get put under enormous amounts of stress, just due to the stupidity of some of the general public. 

Think: Is it essential that I pop in that shop? Or is it just essential to me?

***

If you're looking for some reading material, One Fine Day is only £2.49 on Amazon Kindle in the UK.

http://amzn.to/1p1xhdC

Just a boy standing in front of a girl…


Actor Steve Mason has it all … gorgeous looks, the perfect starlet girlfriend hanging on his arm and his name on every Hollywood producer’s lips. That is, until it turns out the ‘perfect girl’ is actually a perfect PR stunt! Dumped and with his name plastered across every tabloid headline, Steve decides to head home to England, questioning if he’ll ever find a woman who genuinely loves him for who he is, and not just his place on the Sexiest Man Alive list.

It’s been fifteen long years since Ruby last saw her big brother – but the new LA version of Steve complete with designer wardrobe, California tan and an American accent is too much to bear – Ruby hardly recognises him and decides it’s time to get her brother back!

With Ruby’s help, Steve goes undercover as he plays the part of a regular guy who leads a regular life. And then one perfectly fine, ordinary day he meets lovely, funny, down-to-earth Lydia. But when Hollywood comes calling, will Steve be able to leave both Lydia and his little sister behind?



Tuesday, 27 October 2020

The Only Thing Standing Between You And Your Goal Is YOU.

I've come to realise, especially with reading lots of self-development lately, that, without sounding lazy, I don't want to go back to full time work. 

I've been lucky that for the past 16 years I've been a stay-at-home mum, only working part-time. Those hours have increased as the boys have got older, and my divorce requiring me to work more for working tax credit purposes etc.

However, I love this part-time life, and I wouldn't be a writer if I didn't have it.

I love that I am here for my children - even though they're getting less dependent on me now. 

So my goal is to remain working part-time. In fact, my goal is to eventually be my own boss in my own business. But one step at a time... 

I've never thought myself ambitious, but it's like I've had some realisation that I actually am.

When I started my new venture I didn't realise this. But now, I want the holidays, the cars... it's not about the money, it's about the life I wish to lead, providing for my kids; the financial independence. Which is so important as a single mother!

Maybe working years for a company I don't really like has helped this realisation, because I've seen it with my own eyes. I'll always be a number, an employee, easily replaceable. The only way I'll earn more is to work more for them (or another company). And it's still capped.

Today, I paid for my oven to be cleaned. I usually do this every 1-2 years. One day I want to able to afford a cleaner for my house! The only way I'll do this if I work for myself and not work for someone else. 

Also today, as well as touching my business, I've had the time to put dinner on in the slow cooker and make a batch of my 7-veg tomato sauce, which I generally use as a homemade pasta sauce. 

This free time is so important to me! 

This journey won't be easy - I certainly can't give up the part-time job yet. I'm not on some get rich quick scheme and I'm well out of my comfort zone. But nothing ever grows in your comfort zone. I've seen that it works for others, so why can't it work for me too?  

I can't recommend self-development books enough! Positive thoughts definitely is key. They've made me realise my potential.

Never quit on a bad day. We're all going to get them. The journey will never be easy. But if you want it bad enough, the Universe will make it happen.

Friday, 16 October 2020

My Birthday Month!

For those of you who don't know, October is my birthday month, so I've been rather busy catching up with friends.

I'm a little late on the blogging about it, as it was a few days ago my actual birthday.

I got to see my mum, which was the best present ever. We don't get to see each other much at the best of times, but Covid-19 has reduced the visits further. 

Our next date scheduled is Christmas, as I actually have about 10 days off this year, the way Christmas and my shifts fall. However, at this rate, we might be all eating outside, if we're not allowed to mix inside. 

Anyway, today has been quite random, because usually I'd be a work work. So, today feels like a Sunday. I even had the boys home as they broke up for half-term yesterday. (They get 2 weeks off).

I sent off my manuscript - Christmas At Kittiwake Cove - to my agent, so I feel I'm in limbo land writing wise. Hence, I thought I'd blog. But now I'm sat at my desk, I'm thinking... what the hell did I want to blog about? I lie in bed, failing to sleep, thinking up topics I should blog about. And now I'm here, I can't think of one. 

Maybe I really should do the dusting... (that I've been ignoring...) 

This blog post is a good opportunity to say my latest newsletter is here if you'd like to read it. And if you don't want to miss any of my newsletters, then you can subscribe here

Oh and if you're looking for belated birthday gift ideas; Tom Hiddleston, Henry Cavill or even, after binge-watching Fleabag with my mum, Andrew Scott would be just lovely. (Andrew Scott is HOT when not playing the psycho Moriarty!)

Thank you for reading! Look after yourself, and stay safe, 

Love, 

Teresa xxx

Tuesday, 29 September 2020

Hello Autumn

 

Here we are, September already drawing to a close, and I've realised, yet again, I haven't blogged in a while.

It doesn't help that I'm sending out a newsletter every month now, in the hope for more subscriptions and more readers. Does this mean blogging is a thing of the past?

To be honest, I think I prefer to blog... 

Since the kids have been back at school, (YAY) I've been juggling a lot of things and so maybe my lack of blogging can be forgiven. 

As well has going to work work (as I call it - which is the Post Office, where I have to turn up or I'll not get paid), I've also got a 3-book contract to adhere to, I'm doing a few hours a week for a local business, and I'm actually trying to start up something new myself, in the hope it will become my much more rewarding job that allows me to stay home and write. The alternative is a full time job, which would mean my writing dream pushed further back. (productivity will be much slower!) On the days I work at the Post Office, my brain can't focus on writing, so I hate to think what a full time job would do to my inspiration.

Add running around after two teenage boys to the list too! I appear to be juggling a lot of balls at the moment, and this Covid-19 era is also a stressful time. 

I will admit I love the summer. I love the long, lighter days, and the warmer weather. I prefer flipflops to boots and shorts to jeans. However, next month is my birthday month, and I have a few dates with friends in the diary to look forward to. So Autumn isn't all bad.

I don't want to think about Christmas (especially as I work in a Post Office) so I'll take one month at a time. What about you? 

If you'd like to read last month's newsletter, click here.  I announced the winner of my competition! The next one should be out early October - if I get my act together. (Did I not mention I'm very busy at the moment?)



Tuesday, 25 August 2020

My Favourite Place

Last week, I took the boys on a mini break/holiday to Cornwall. I booked three nights in a Premier Inn in Bodmin, thinking Bodmin was a rather central location in Cornwall. (And the popular places were all full). 

We usually go away May half-term, but this year we had to defer it to the 4th July. But when the time came, we decided not to go, with everything going on. The holiday campsites would only be opening that week after being closed. It just felt too soon. And wouldn't be the holiday we usually enjoy. 

On the Tuesday, we got up early, and did the same as we would normally, as if heading to Polzeath on May half-term. We stopped at McDonalds breakfast at the services about 45 minutes into our journey and arrived in Polzeath around 9.30am - we'd had to take a country lane detour due to a road being closed. That was fun! Not! (I did my fair share of Cornish country lanes in those four days!)

As we drove closer to our destination, I could feel myself getting emotional. I didn't think I'd get to see my favourite place this year. I was filled with such joy and happiness. (I kept it together though, or the boys would have thought I was weird - well weirder than they already think I am).

The weather was kind to us, and we had a good six hours on the beach before heading off to check in at our hotel in Bodmin. The boys enjoyed the water, even though the surf was flat, and digging dams in the sand, blocking a stream.

The fact that I got to be on Polzeath beach, even if just for a day this year, has made me so much happier. It's one of my favourite places, and a huge inspiration to all of my books. To feel the sand between my toes, the wind on my face, to hear the roar of the ocean and to breathe the briny fresh air... 

The water was warm, so the boys were in there for a long time, and I got to sit on the beach, reading my book, in a bikini! 

Usually, when away, I try not to move the car for a week but these four days we decided to see different parts of Cornwall and have a kind of road trip, Bodmin being the perfect location for this. We managed to also visit another favourite place of mine; Charlestown. 

Those four days were great. And it kept the boys off their PS4's for at least four days, too! Now fingers crossed they're back to school next week, and I can get down to the writing... 

Have you managed to visit your favourite place this year? 

Sunday, 9 August 2020

My Dream...

As most of my friends know, writing is my passion. I discovered it in 2006, which means I've been writing for 14 years now. (Wow!) All I want in life is to keep writing. 

But as we writers know, writing is not that lucrative (for some/most) - especially in fiction department!

At the moment I am financially supported through working part-time, working tax credits, and maintenance I receive from the boys' dad. But as my children grow older (Ben is 16 this year), looking for a full time job is looming - otherwise how else will I pay my bills?

However, without wanting to sound lazy, I don't want to go back to full-time employment.

I very much doubt I'll find a job - due to my lack of experience and not having been in a "proper" job (as I call it) for 15 years - that will fulfill me mentally as writing fiction does. 

And, more importantly, when will I get to write? 

I am in the middle of completing my proofreading/copy editing course, so maybe something will come of that. It's taken longer than planned to complete due to Covid-19. 

However, recently I started in a new business venture, where I am surrounded by a great team for support and it's something I can do from home and work around my writing! This new chapter in my life relies on referrals, so I'm depending at the moment, in the early stages and while we can't physically network, on friends to watch my presentation. 

I'm not flogging beauty products, cards, tupperware, timeshares or anything like that. In fact, I'm not asking anyone to part with their money but I look at saving you money on bills you're already spending on.

I desperately want this to work. I want to be a success story. I just want financial independence - I have given up on finding a man, let alone a bloomin' rich one! I want to be able to afford to take my kids away on family holidays abroad... it's not about the money, it's about living the life I want. 

So, if I message you, please could you give me thirty minutes of your time? It might not suit you, but you may know someone it does, and I just want that to spread far and wide... I need the referrals.

 Right, back off out in the garden to read You Are A Badass! 

(And if you're a bit nosey and want to know what I do, message me and I'll show you!)


Wednesday, 5 August 2020

Schools Out For Summer

I really do keep meaning to drop in a blog post, and I will sit down and do that soon, but for now, here's my latest newsletter to tide you over! 

Remember, I'm running a competition to win a signed paperback of Plus One is a Lucky Number. 

Read to find out how to enter! 



Blurb:

Sophie needs a Wedding Favour...

Sophie’s going to a wedding where the invite is strictly plus one… but with her single girl status not exactly fitting in with the bridesmaid dress code, and the best man being none other than the ex she would rather forget, Sophie needs a favour and she needs it fast!

Luckily for Sophie, her dreamy but distant co-worker Adam Reid owes their mutual friend James big time…and his gorgeousness more than fills the role of the ‘Perfect Boyfriend’!

As they take off to the sunny shores of Cornwall for the wedding weekend, it’s not long before pretence leads to passion and Sophie and Adam must decide; is their relationship real or is it all for show?

Tuesday, 14 July 2020

July's News...


Hey, if you haven't seen it or you haven't subscribed yet, July's newsletter went out last week... or was it the week before? 

Anyway, there's a competition to win a signed paperback of Plus One is a Lucky Number but only to subscribers! 




Wednesday, 17 June 2020

About Time I Blogged

It's been a busy month! I featured in the Weston Mercury and you can read my article here

I also was on BBC Radio Bristol, talking to Claire Cavanagh, and the interview is at about 2.18pm if you want to fast forward through. I will say this link will only work for a few more weeks. (23 days left at point of posting this blog post).

And I announced the winner of my signed paperback One Fine Day in my newsletter which you can read  here! If you haven't subscribed, please do! 

My son went off to school today. The first time back since they closed in March. Actually, exactly 3 months ago! He has only gone in for the morning. He goes in once a week, for a morning, until the end of term. But it's just weird that he's gone... Will I get used to them both going off to school again? 

Wednesday, 3 June 2020

Lockdown Gardener

We're into our eleventh week, lockdown is easing and I thought I'd share what I have taken from these past few months.

As some of you may know, my dad is also my gardener.

When I moved into this house, seven years ago, the garden wasn't really looking up to much. He removed all the membrane that was covering the beds, and it's had some transitional phases - the beds have got bigger in places!

All my Facebook friends have complimented me on my garden, and I've always said I can't take the credit.

In some ways, even this year, I still can't It is what is is due to the past years of gardening.

Entering its eight summer, as we went into lockdown, I had to take over the garden. Dad left me jobs to do, that he would usually have done, maybe more for my sanity than anything, still calling in occasionally on a Friday when I was at work to do the bigger jobs.

Because we didn't have a cold winter, I rescued some bedding plants in case I couldn't get hold of any.

Between me and my son we've been mowing the lawns (front and back). I actually like mowing the lawn!

During Easter we painted the fences, without Grandad to rally us!

Then, we've had these freakishly lovely days of summer sunshine! So I've been watering and keeping on top of the pots.


Anyway, I've come to find time to tend my garden. Before or after dinner I've pottered; to cut back dead heads, plant up any plants, etc. and water them! I especially make time at the weekend, too.

I've purchased new patio furniture I desperately needed and treated myself to a new chimnea - which I built all by myself!

I've always appreciated my garden, (and gardens generally) but I've  never been too involved in the actual gardening. This year I've had to, and I've loved it.

Not only has it probably helped with my fitness, because you're walking about the garden, grabbing lots of vitamin D from the sunshine, it's actually helped with my mental wellbeing too.

So, I'm going to try to take more responsibility for my garden from now on, (with Dad to assist when I need him.)

Wednesday, 20 May 2020

3-Book Contract With Sapere Books

I've had to keep this a secret for a couple of weeks now, and hold in all my excitement by sitting on my hands, and not posting on social media.

But yes, finally I can reveal why I was drinking Champagne at the weekend!

I've signed a 3 book contract with Sapere Books!

Mega EXCITEMENT!

And I'd been saving this bottle for a long time! I have been dying to open it - let me tell you!

It's been three years since I last had a book published and I was starting to doubt myself and my writing. This really couldn't have come at a better time for me.

I can't wait to be working with Sapere's team and starting sharing my Kittiwake Cove series.

I've found that my favourite Italian restaurant in Weston is delivering. So this weekend, I might just have to treat myself to a slap-up Italian meal! I have plenty of prosecco so I think this calls for another bottle of bubbly.

You will need to be a little patient, as the first of the Kittiwake Cove series won't be out until Spring 2021. But all good things come to those who wait, huh?

Right, I'm off, I have a book to write...

Wednesday, 13 May 2020

One Fine Day Too


As you may know, I'm in the middle of reading my own book One Fine Day. You may think this is a bit bonkers. Maybe it is. However, it's been such a long time since I wrote the book, let alone then got it published in 2015, that I wanted to rediscover the characters again.

I've been begged into writing Ruby's story so many times, and I've actually now come up with an idea.

If you haven't read it, Steve Mason is a Hollywood actor trying to find true love. But how will he know if the woman loves him for him, or for his Hollywood hunk status - and money!?

When he returns to Bristol with his love life in tatters, his little sister Ruby, who's not so little anymore, and much bossier than he remembered, helps him don a disguise in the hope to find his Mrs. Right.

I thoroughly enjoyed writing this book as I got to throw in lots of superhero references in, especially when it came to my favourite: Superman. No one guessed Clark Kent was Superman, right? So can Steve Mason hide behind the disguise of Stuart Fisher?

Anyway, Ruby didn't start out in my mind to be a huge character, but she did. And now she's going to get her story. Well, when I get around to writing it. At the moment I'm just gently chipping away at it as I do need to concentrate on my Kittiwake Cove series.

Have you read One Fine Day? Would you like to see Ruby's story? Callum and Alice are definitely going to feature, but I don't want Steve stealing the limelight so he may have brief mentions... besides, he's busy off filming his latest blockbuster!

Friday, 8 May 2020

A Dedication To My Closest Friends

I don't know if it's the time of the month, or what, but I have been feeling a little low these past couple of days. We are into week 7 of lockdown...


I don't think it helps that I work in retail, albeit the Post Office (which actually has been worse in some ways) and therefore a keyworker. I am very grateful that I have a job but I'm now so fed up with seeing people really not taking the lockdown rules seriously, and putting my health at risk, or they are following them very loosely... I mean, it IS essential for them to shop everyday in our shop! And equally essential to send the dress sold for a £1 on ebay...  *insert rolls eyes emoji* If I'm stressed, just imagine the NHS staff!


Lockdown for me hasn't been hard. I am quite happy to sit at home and write, and don't know what the whole big deal is about staying home, because I love it. I even have a lovely garden to lose myself in. Also, I might not be finding it as hard as most because I am leaving the house to go to work (to serve some not-so-bright humans - that bit I do find hard!) and I also get to meet my colleague-friends.  But this writery-introvert is also very sociable, and I do feel I have to connect with my friends regularly.


(In no particular order) I am missing my friends!

I am missing my cocktails at Bistrot Pierre with Sarah. My Friday night catch up with Becky, putting the world to rights. I miss Gwen, who I have so much fun with! We have the same sense of humour and she has the biggest heart of gold. And Fi... OMG, Fi, we cinema together, drink together - there's a reason I call her my wife! She is my oldest friend in Weston (when I say oldest... I've known her the longest! I am actually older than her). We know stuff about each other, before kids! We were once young together! We were each other's bridesmaids. 




And then there is Fay who always encourages me and is a huge inspiration behind my writing now. We met over Twitter... and I am so lucky to have a wonderful writing buddy who lives so close. We brainstorm so much together! 

There are so many more I could mention... Jane, Lisa, Ali, Kerry, Andrea... all my RNA and writing buddies...  all my empowering and lovely Weston Business Women buddies... I miss you all!


But I understand the need to social distance, and because I care about you all so much, I will stay away. 

Stay strong, stay safe and stay home. We will be drinking/partying together soon! Teresa x 

p.s. I may hug you a lot when we are allowed to meet. Just warning you.

p.p.s. I also miss my mum. Not that I see her regularly anyway, as she's in London and I'm in Weston, but I don't like that I'm so far away and can't really help her. 


Thursday, 7 May 2020

May News!


We're entering 7 weeks into lockdown, and it's May already! So that means a new newsletter has hit my subscribers' inbox.

This month, because I think lots of people must need cheering up, and the fact that lockdown has hopefully meant more have been reading, I'm running a competition to win a signed paperback of One Fine Day. 

I'd purchased copies of this book to take to a library talk in Minehead, but sadly that's been postponed. (I don't want to say cancelled. I want to get there one day for a writing gig.)

I'm in the process of thinking up a sequel for this book, which hopefully I'll get around to plotting once I've finished the current series I'm writing, so I thought it would be a good book to give away. 

If you want to read May's news - it's here. It tells you how to enter the competition. You do need to be a subscriber to the newsletter! You can do that here!




How is everyone doing, 7th week in? I get a little stressed at work, so I'm relieved when the days I don't work arrive, and I'm able to stay home and write - and relax! I am getting to the stage where I'd like some normality back, although I don't miss running the kids to all their after school clubs, such as football, athletics and hockey...  

Stay safe,  

Teresa x 

Sunday, 19 April 2020

The Positives Of Lockdown

We're in week 4 of lockdown now. This will start to become testing times for even those who have been okay with the isolation and social distancing.

It must be much harder on those who live alone. At least I have two boys and a budgie to chatter to.





And I am fortunate to be able to go to work, so at the end of a week of staying home, and only leaving my house to exercise, I do see civilisation. (I use that word loosely because some of our customers are far from civilised, and I wish they would treat retail workers with a lot more respect, but that is another blog post!)

As I writer, I'm also far from bored staying home. I can either write or read. In fact, I made a list of things I want to do, but really, I should be writing! So, I'm not sure if lockdown is giving me more time or not really.

The one true positive about this is that I do have time to cook. I enjoy cooking meals from scratch. I'm no longer trying to get one boy to football, or the other to hockey/athletics. Therefore, I can start tea when I'm ready, and if we have it at 5.30pm, 6.00pm or a bit later, it really doesn't matter.

And the boys have been involved in baking - now we have flour!









We're also getting to spend more time in the evenings together, so I've got more quality time with my boys. The only downside is we can't go on a day trip to our favourite places. But I do make us go for a walk, and we get to chat to each other while exercising, and discovering the local footpaths around our house that we wouldn't normally walk.

The Easter holidays were challenging. Finding things to do in the garden and to stretch them out, so I could get them off the PlayStation for a bit each day got trickier.

Next week it's back to the home-schooling schedule, so they'll have academic work to keep them off their screens. And I should be able to get back to the writing.

Do you have any positives to take from the lock down? If so, I'd love to hear them.

Stay safe, stay home. Please remember to minimise your visits to shops - for essentials! Plan what you need to buy. This is not a time to browse.

Also remember, reading romance is wonderful, uplifting escapism.

Teresa x x x



Wednesday, 8 April 2020

How To Travel Without Leaving Home

In my latest newsletter (I hope that link works!) I said I was going to blog about some book recommendations. So here is the blog post!

As we're all stuck indoors for the foreseeable future, with holidays cancelled, I thought I'd recommend some of my favourite books and authors so that you could travel without leaving home.

We've been incredibly lucky for this lockdown so far, with the weather being very fair to us. It's almost as if Mother Nature knew, chucked as much rain at us as possible, and now is giving us a breather because she knows how much we need our gardens (if we're lucky enough to have one).

So grab your kindle or ereader, because downloading ebooks currently is the quickest way to get a book delivered, and there's no fear of any contamination and catching the virus.

Firstly, you could escape to Italy with Sue Moorcroft's One Summer In Italy. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It made me want to drink cold, crisp glasses of white wine while I read it too.

Or you could travel to Greece with Mandy Baggot's My Greek Island Summer.  This is Mandy's latest novel, so I haven't read it yet, but I'm sure it will be just as wonderful as her other books. And I just know Greece is her favourite place to be!

If you don't fancy going so far afield, and Cornwall is your thing, Meet Me At Wisteria Cottage turned three recently! It'll give you sun, sea and surf, and a dashing hero in the name of Harry Tudor.

Then, there's Fay Keenan's latest novel, The Weekender, which is set in rural Somerset. This book will allow you soak up the Mendips whilst sipping your favourite cider!

These should do you for now. And the best thing about all of these books - they are ALL are available in Kindle Unlimited!

I'll think of some more favourites and will post them in another blog post.

Romance offers great, uplifting escapism, which we all need right now on our need to social distance.

Stay home, stay safe, everyone. And keep reading!

Teresa x x x


p.s. I have given links to Amazon UK. However, please *search* the relevant author if you wish to purchase via other means. And if you love their book, please remember to leave them a review. They would love to hear from you.

Thursday, 2 April 2020

Week 2 of Home Schooling

As I come to the end of the second full week of home-schooling, (they go to their dad's tomorrow as I'm a keyworker and have work), it's not as bad as I thought it would be. (Although maybe ask me the question in September!)

We created a schedule, and because I only have the one laptop, Kieran works on his academic work in the mornings and Ben uses the laptop in the afternoons to do his. (I work on a PC). They are both keen to do PE with Joe, so I let them.

To keep themselves fit, because of their lack of after school sporting activities, Kieran has been running with me Tuesday and Thursday mornings and Ben does his runs in the afternoons. However, due to my hamstring, I might need to dig out my bike and cycle while Kieran runs. His little legs are faster than mine, and my hamstring really isn't right. (Which is soooo frustrating!)

Wednesdays, which is a non-run day, I'm trying to make us go out for a family walk after lunch, so that we've all escaped the house once for our daily exercise. I think this is good for our mental health as well as our physical health.

Therefore, and I know this is only week 2, I think we're all coping rather well with our social distancing but we have been lucky with the sunshine, and being able to escape into the garden if desperate, so a different story may appear when the rain returns.

What I am enjoying is the time to make dinner. (I know that sounds daft, right?) But as they're not off to football, hockey or athletics, and needing to leave the house early, I can actually make dinner and take my time about it. Dinner time is more relaxing. I'm not rushing at it and occasionally I'm trying to get them involved, which leads to my next point.


They are taking it in turns to bake each week. Now I have the ingredients, they are baking sweet treats. Kieran helped bake his birthday cake last week, and Ben made flapjacks with Barry Lewis' live streaming on YouTube. (Barry Lewis is like our local Jamie Oliver celebrity. He only lived around the corner from us until recently, but has moved, but we do know where.) Next week, Kieran is going to make Easter chocolate nests, and I may attempt Jenny Kane's Mars Bar Scones!

Because of the lack of clubs, I'm also enjoying our evenings altogether. We've been watching movies! So far we've watched all of the Harry Potter movies - yep all eight! I think the next thing is to revisit Lord Of The Rings.

My writing isn't waning too much either, (as I feared it would) as I work when they work. Yesterday was productive at nearly 1500 words. The thing I'm forgetting to do is my studying.  I am finding it harder to remember that I need to do my proofreading/copy editing course.

In order to encourage more reading, especially from Kieran, I've set up a reading challenge, too. If we each read 2 books by the end of April, we get Pizza Hut delivered. (I enjoyed Pizza Hut so much for Kieran's birthday I wanted an excuse to order it in again!) Ben and I have already agreed that if Kieran doesn't want to participate in this challenge, he can watch us eat the pizza! Ha ha!

What I'm not enjoying is the bickering. Some days they do try my patience.

Anyway, from the Morgans, who are remaining sane for now, please stay safe.

Xxx

Tuesday, 24 March 2020

Officially TWO Teenagers In The House!

Happy 13th Birthday, Kieran! 

This morning at 7.15am!

Today is a little tough. Although he's not at school on his birthday, (hurrah!) he's not with his friends either (boo!) This boy can't have a party!

It's officially the first day of the lock down too, after Boris Johnson's speech last night at 8.30pm. So, apart from his dad, he can't have friends over, and we're not going to the cinema and out for dinner like we would usually. Birthday celebrations are having to be deferred.

He still had me up at 7am - well, his alarm went off at 6.45am, and I told him to get into bed and give me a cuddle! Ha ha!

Waffles for birthday breakfast!
After a breakfast of his choice - waffles (My waffle maker is getting used regularly, and I can see with the kids home more, it'll be out often - if I can get the flour!) - Kieran also helped in the baking of his favourite cake - Cinnamon Nutella Cake. He doesn't really like cake - weirdo - but he does love this cake and asks for it every year.

So although the home schooling schedule is a little relaxed today, he's at least done some DT (in old skool that's Home Economics). He also did PE with Joe.

Happy birthday, my wonderful, funny, bright, cheeky, thoughtful, thrill-seeking, footballing teenager!

Where did my cute little, cuddly boy go?

Still enjoys licking the spoon! 

We have Pizza Hut delivery booked for tea tonight, so not a complete disaster!

2017






Monday, 23 March 2020

Week 1 Day 1 - Home schooling

And so, home schooling begins...

Having two boys, a 15 year-old and a nearly 13-year old (24th he'll turn 13!), who both like (that's an understatement) the PlayStation (PS4) I've had to lay down the rules. In school time, no electronics!

A friend sent me a schedule they saw on social media, which I've adapted to create my own.  I'm hoping this will give the boys enough inspiration to not venture onto the PS4. Both boys are on board with it, as both are school lovers, and will want to complete their work the school provides online.

There is time set aside for exercise and fresh air each day - where we will walk but stay away from people. Amongst the Academic Time, there is Quiet Time which will encourage reading (I hope) and there is Creative Time which will allow them to do puzzles, build with lego, play games etc. I've purchased an adult colouring book. I'm not sure who will need it more! Me or the boys?

My eldest said he was going to use some of his academic time to watch documentaries, which I'm happy with, too. It's all educational.

They need to stay in. That's the whole point of the schools closing. So. by giving them this time table, I'm hoping it will make them focus on their education and keep their mental health sane. School children like routine - well mine do.

They have both said they can't believe they might not be going back to school until September. They will MISS school. I will encourage them to Facetime or whatever their friends, so they have some social interaction with their mates, even if it is virtual. They are going to miss their friends! Today we set up Skype to see Nanny!

Anyhow, hopefully it will work. Only time will tell. I've offered this schedule to other mums to give them inspiration, and there's no point creating rework (I hate rework), so if you would like my table which is in Word format, send me a message. I am more than happy to share.

I'm apprehensive about the coming weeks/months, my anxiety is up and down, but also (at the moment) I'm feeling confident. It's going to be challenging but together we can do this. I have to do this. There is no other choice.

I work in retail so I just hope I don't get sick. (That's another blog post!)

When the school holidays officially start in two weeks, then the time-table will be dropped. It's only to be used during official school periods. I'm not that mean a mum!

At the bottom of the table it reads:

Remember to wash your hands regularly and not to fight. You don't want your mum turning into an alcoholic. 

Ben put: No that would be bad! (lol!)

I will try to stick to my rule of no drinking on a school night!



In September, I'm wondering if I'll be glad to see the back of them, when they return to school, or will I miss my children? Five months is a long time! We are going to form a new routine. Life is having to change for the next few weeks/months... (God, please don't be years!)

I have a feeling my writing time might be depleted. Though if I'm not heading out to work on a Sunday - which I've offered to do - I could write then.

Stay safe, everyone. And stay home!

September I might be a lot greyer!

Thursday, 5 March 2020

World Book Day 2020



Happy World Book Day!

What are you reading? And where do you love reading? Bath, beach, by the pool or on the train to work? Or last thing at night, tucked up in bed? 

Or, what are you writing? 

Without authors there would not be books! We provide escapism, other worlds to explore, other lives to live. We enable adventures, reveal secrets, create suspense, and characters to fall in love with. We can even help shed a tear - of laughter or sadness. We evoke emotions.

Do you remember the first book that made you cry? 

Do you remember the first book that made you laugh out loud - in public? 

If you're fed up with this rain - will it ever stop? Should we build a boat? - and looking for a summery read, both Plus One is a Lucky Number and Meet Me At Wisteria Cottage are available in Kindle Unlimited. Just saying. 

Happy reading and/or writing!