Chai And A Chat #106 #ChaiAndAChat #CoronaDiaries Week 30

So, by my reckoning, it’s been thirty weeks that we have been living with this viral pandemic that has turned our lives on their heads…

Absolute madness!

Right, are you ready with your drinks? I know I am!

  • If we were having chai I’d start with school, as always! It’s been another eventful week, as always. I’ve had official meetings with parents, regarding that child who is extremely disruptive. I’ve also been out of the class a bit, as I completed my course to become a DSL, which stands for Designated Safeguarding Lead, so anyone with concerns regarding a child relating to Child Protection, can come to me for advise, and reporting, etc. It waas quite intense, the training, but it also makes you view, and question, certain behaviours, much more. Then I’ve been assessing my lovelies, and creating new groups for them all (That’ll confuse them this week. Will they remember which group they are in?) And I’ve had great fun preparing my class for this week’s learning. We are exploring Autumn and the story Pumpkin Soup, so I went all out, buying different squashes, etc, for the display, and exploration!
  • If we were having chai I’d tell you that finally, the HOUSE IS DONE! Sure, there are a couple of tweaks left, but we have all the main stuff done. The walls are painted, carpets and flooring done, curtains replaced where needed, the outside is also painted, the bathrooms are lovely, the kitchen has been zhuzhed up, too… all that is left is a couple of blinds that need replacing and two light fixtures that need to be put back! Phew! Now to get to market!
  • If we were having chai I’d excitedly tell you that I was invited as an author to a virtual book club meet all the way in the US. I still can’t believe that total strangers read my book, and wanted to talk to me! But it was such a fun meet up.
  • If we were having chai I’d mention that the rest of the week has been the usual run of the mill craziness, with ferrying kids around to places they need to be at, vaccuuming the house several hundred times because of the new carpet, and suchlike, but something else that was really exciting, was that when I looked at my Instagram, I’d hit 2000 followers! Woohoo!

This week, we wind down for the first of the academic year’s breaks. It is the October Half term week off, and boy do we need it. But we still have this week to get through. The Friday will be manic, once the kids leave the classroom, as I have to heft all of the furniture back onto the carpet, as the wooden floor that is there needs sanding and polishing. It’s all well and good, but it means that when I come back in, a week after, I have to get it all ready for the kids in an hour or so, before school opens. Maybe, just maybe, the house will be finally on the market by next week, too!

And while you’re here, did you sign up for my mailing list? I am in the middle of writing an exclusive Chickpea Curry Lit story for my subscribers, and there will be news, tips and even recipes! You know you want to join… go on! Click the pic below to sign up!

Have a wonderful week, Peeps!

You Really Read My Book? – Ritu Bhathal

I’d love for you to pop over to my other blog, to read about something really fun that happened to me – it’s Ritu meets Book Club! Click below to read and comment.

Source: You Really Read My Book? – Ritu Bhathal

Spidey’s Serene Sunday – Part 293 – Wait

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“Good things come to those who wait. Better things come to those who try.”

Nishaan Panwar

Thanks for that reminder of using patience, and a little effort to get where we want to, Spidey!

So, as you know, we have been waiting, patiently, for the builders and decorators to finish up work around the house, and I can finally say that it is all done!

(Pretty much.)

There have been niggles, but which job doesn’t have those?

Contractors who seem to be great, then they begin to show true colours. Trying to pass off extra costs above the agreed price, turning up late, making excuses…

But, no worries. It’s done, more or less, as I said.

We now have the joy of tidying up after them, getting the aethetics right, getting the agents round to do the valuations, then putting it on the market!

Our plans to start this project began a couple of years ago, and as we were gathering quotes and recommendations, getting geared up to actually start, the pandemic hit.

This scuppered so many of our plans, but we persevered, and got there in the end.

No point waiting for this pandemic to disappear…

Here’s to more positive steps!

So… tell me, are you a wait-er or a do-er?

Have a peaceful Sunday Peeps.  And enjoy your week!  

Secrets In The Snow by Emma Heatherington @emmalou13 @fictionpubteam #BlogTour

I was honoured to be asked to take part in the blog tour for Emma Hetherington’s new release, Secrets In The Snow.

Here’s the blurb:

Perfect for fans of Karen Swan and Lulu Taylor!

As the winter snow falls on the small Irish village of Ballybray, Roisin O’Connor and her young son, Ben, are saying goodbye to their beloved neighbour Mabel Murphy.  Mabel lived a bold and colourful life, but the arrival of her brooding nephew, ‘blow-in’ Aidan Murphy, just makes life more complicated for Roisin.

However, in one final act of love, a message arrives from Mabel that changes everything.  And as winter turns to spring and the cold snow melts, the secrets both Roisin and Aidan are hiding must be revealed at last…

Available to purchase here – http://smarturl.it/SecretsInTheSnowPBO…

My review:

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Roisin has had a rough ride in life, bouncing from foster carer to foster carer, before entering into an abusive marriage.
Through a welcome tragedy, she finds herself widowed and wants to make a fresh start for her and her son, Ben.
A pin in a map lands her in a tiny village called Ballybray in Ireland, and it couldn't be more different from her upbringing in the city of Dublin.
Once there, she finds that she has an interfering neighbour, Mabel Murphy, an elderly widow, with a New York twang, who refuses to believe that this young woman would prefer to be alone.
What develops between them, is a friendship stronger than most, more akin to family.
Life is idyllic, almost, until Mabel gets ill and passes away.
But this meddling neighbour isn't finished with her work to make sure Roisin lives her life to the fullest.
Somehow, from beyond the grave, she's arranged for some messages, specifically for Roisin, and Aidan, Mabel's nephew, who has been in the US for the last fourteen years, and only comes back to Ballybray to attend the funeral and sell off her property.
What follows, in the story, is the impact of the messages that Mabel sends, seasonally, for these two lost souls, over the course of a year, and how the words of a soul long gone, can still have a positive effect on the lives of those left behind.
I truly enjoyed this book. Wonderful characters. Everyone needs a Mabel Murphy in their lives.
Many thanks to NetGalley and Harper Collins for an ARC, in exchange for an honest review.

Written by the amazing Emma Heatherington.

Emma Heatherington is a bestselling author from Donaghmore, County Tyrone.
Her novels include the Amazon UK Top 10 bestseller and Amazon US hit, The Legacy of Lucy Harte, and A Part of Me and You, which reached the USA Kindle Top 100 and the UK Top 40.
Her latest novel, A Miracle on Hope Street is a heartwarming Christmas themed story of love, kindness and friendship.
As well as novels, Emma has written scripts for over 70 educational short films and plays and was ghostwriter for country legend Philomena Begley on her autobiography, My Life My Music My Memories (The O’Brien Press, 2017) and Nathan Carter’s life story, Born For The Road (Penguin Ireland) which was shortlisted for the An Póst Irish Book Awards 2018.
She also regularly contributes to the Belfast Telegraph and Sunday Life newspapers and has appeared on chat shows on RTE, TV3 and UTV.
Emma is a mum of five, aged from 23 to 4 years old and her partner is Irish artist and singer/songwriter Jim McKee.


Because Of You by @Dawn_French #BookReview

I was really excited to be asked to review a secret release last month, and it wasan’t any old book, but a story by world famous comedienne, Dawn French!

How cool was that?

It was all a bit secretive, as it hadn’t been publicised that Dawn was releasing a new book, so I had to hold my review close to my chest… and, here it is, now the book, Because Of You, has been published.

But first, the blurb!

Tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock . . . midnight.

The old millennium turns into the new.

In the same hospital, two very different women give birth to two very similar daughters.

Hope leaves with a beautiful baby girl.

Anna leaves with empty arms.

Seventeen years later, the gods who keep watch over broken-hearted mothers wreak mighty revenge, and the truth starts rolling, terrible and deep, toward them all.

The power of mother-love will be tested to its limits.

Perhaps beyond . . .

Because Of You is Dawn French’s stunning new novel, told with her signature humour, warmth and so much love.

And my review:

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I was extremely excited to be chosen to read an advanced copy of Dawn French’s new book, Because of You, having read all of her previous novels, and enjoyed them immensely.
The story centres around two women, due to give birth on New Year’s Eve/Day, 2000.
Anna, wife of wannabe politician Julian, and Hope, the girlfriend of gentle Isaac.
Tragedy surrounds both women, yet out of the despair, one baby, Minnie, emerges.

It took me a little while to really get into the book, but within a few pages, I was truly immersed in the story.
A story about mothers and daughters, and love that grows. How real relationships are formed. Matters of the heart.
Dawn French has created beautiful, rounded, characters, that cause you to either to care deeply about them, or want to throttle them (Julian, anyone?)
Every step of the way, I wondered when the truth would be exposed. I had an inkling, but I wasn’t sure.
The book is written from the point of view of Hope, Anna and Minnie, in turn, with snippets of Julian and Isaac too, giving you a complete picture of the thoughts of everyone throughout a surreal situation.
I don’t want to give too much away, but suffice to say, I had tears in my eyes by the end of the book. Absolutely wonderfully written.

Available at all good retailers.

Dawn French

Dawn French has been making people laugh for thirty years. On purpose.

As a writer, comedian and actor, she has appeared in some of the
UK’s most long running, cherished and celebrated shows, including
French and Saunders, The Comic Strip Presents …, Murder Most Horrid,
The Vicar of Dibley, Jam and Jerusalem, Lark Rise to Candleford, and more
recently, Roger and Val Have Just Got In.

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