Chai And A Chat #19 #ChaiAndAChat

Well hello again Peeps! Have you got that drink ready? My chai is waiting!

  • If we were sipping chai together I’d tell you that the illnesses seem to have subsided, but there are still coughs and sniffles abounding. We’ve had other staff off sick, and on Friday, there were only 10 children at my afternoon nursery session!
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d tell you that work has been mega busy nevertheless, as, with staff shortages, it means a whole lot of juggling the human resource we have to fit the craziness of the timetable! But we coped. I’m writing this, aren’t I?
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d mention that I had an interesting conversation with my Headteacher… about my future… and hopefully soon enough, I can tell you what might be on the cards for teacher Mrs Bhathal, aka me!
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d excitedly tell you about a fantastic opportunity our school had, to have a Pantomime Dame, Mama-G, come and read a story to the children. Now, who wouldn’t want child-friendly drag queen to come and read to the kids? (S)he was brilliant too, reading a story, How To Be a Lion first, then reciting one of his/her own ones to the children, all about a boy who liked to twerk! It was hilarious!
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d tell you that we had even more birthdays to celebrate. This time it was my mother-in-law and Hubby Dearest. He was her 21st birthday present, and 42 years later, they are still celebrating together!
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More birthdays, more cake! #birthdays

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  • If we were sipping chai together I’d moan about orthodontic visits. We’ve had to hare over to the surgery twice over the last two weeks, for appointments for Lil Man. He was fitted with a removable device in October, but it was so uncomfortable, he was unable to keep it in, and refused to wear it. It took him a couple of months but he decided he’d rather have the fixed ones instead. The appointments were a flop. They were still trying to convince him to stick with these ones, but they would need to make new ones at a cost of £70 to me… We have 6 weeks to help him make a decision as to which one he’s going to go for…
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d excitedly tell you that my brother and his little family are coming over in May and I am stoked as I finally get to see my baby Finndian nephew #2. He’ll be nearly 10 months by then, but finally! I can’t wait to give him the huge aunty cuddles that have been accumulating! And my #1 Finndian nephew too! Such a cutie, growing fast and chatting away in his Finnish/English hybrid mix! May can’t come fast enough!
  • If we were sipping that chai together, and possibly reaching for cake or cookies I’d tell you that we have a crazy trip due this weekend, arriving in Leicester for 9,30am, which means waking at the crack of dawn, and leaving by 6.30am from here, but the saving grace is that we will stop off and spend the night with Pops and Mum!
  • If we were sipping that chai togetherand possibly reaching for cake or cookies I’d tell you that I am soooo looking forward to Friday. The kids finish school on Thursday and we have a staff training day which is being held by Andy Cope, of The Art Of Being Brilliant fame. We had a workshop by him in September, and it was, honestly, life-changing for me. If you want to read a little more about it, I posted here.
  • If we were sipping that chai together, and possibly reaching for cake or cookies I’d add that half term break also starts for us on that Friday -Yippeee!! Can’t come soon enough!!

Have a wonderful week Peeps! Let me know how your week went!

Chai And A Chat #18 #ChaiAndAChat

Welcome to February and a whole new month!

Have you got that drink ready? My chai is waiting!

  • If we were sipping chai together I’d tell you that I was ill… oh so ill… this week. I ended up being off work for three days, Monday to Wednesday, and quite possibly could have been off the whole week, but the guilt factor of not being at school drove me back… It started with the vomiting and upset stomach bug, causing me to have really bad lower back pain. I swear, I had a hot water bottle attached to my person for almost 72 hours! Then a cough developed, which is still with me… It was definitely not nice being off…
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d whisper that the only plus side to being off sick was that I had many, many hours to read! I actually read 5 books over those few days, and was able to write a big long book review post about them, and the others I had read in January! Did you read it? If not, click HERE!
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d mention that the children were excitedly hoping for a falling of the white stuff. And well, we got a little bit. On Tuesday there was a sprinkling that turned to ice by the morning. On Friday, all waited with bated breath… would we get that snow day? But no. It seemed a large part of the UK was snowed under/in but not us here. The kids were most disappointed, and even more so when the white stuff did fall… at night on Friday, so there would be no snow day chances as it was the weekend, then, when we woke, it had all but melted! Gutted!
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d tell you that I still haven’t received my feedback from my friend regarding the manuscript, but he’s been busy with a family wedding and his son’s 16th… I think I can forgive him. I have also sent a copy to a really wonderful comedienne friend of mine to get her opinion too. Fingers crossed!
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d also mention that, whilst on my sick bed, I experimented a lot with Calibre and managed to make my manuscript into a mobi file, so it can be read easily on an e-reader. It’s not ready to be published, but being able to go through it on my Kindle added a different perspective to my editing… and it was a special moment to open my ‘book’ on my Kindle for the first time!
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d excitedly tell you that my lovely lady friends, the Tootie Frooties, have arranged another outing. Unfortunately, not all can come, but the ones of us who can, are going to a comedy night! It’s not for a month or so. but I’ll be sure to keep you all informed!
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d also mention that as February is here, we are also full on into birthday month in my in-laws family. Sunday we celebrated my Brother-in-law’s birthday, and we have my Hubby Dearest and Mother-in-law’s to come on Friday, then Lil Princess and my Father-in-law’s a couple of weeks after! It’s gonna be an expensive month… and don’t forget Valentine’s Day!
  • If we were sipping that chai together, and possibly reaching for cake or cookies I’d moan that despite getting a sickness bug, I didn’t lose any weight… so I am still hoping to sort that particular mess out!
  • If we were sipping that chai togetherand possibly reaching for cake or cookies I’d tell you that Lil Man’s braces saga is starting up again. He has decided he wants fixed braces now, so I have a few crazy rushes from school to get him to appointments over the next couple of weeks. Mummy’s Taxi? Yup, that’s me!
  • If we were sipping that chai together, and possibly reaching for cake or cookies I’d say that I can’t wait for half term… two weeks to go!

Have a wonderful week Peeps! Let me know how your week went!

Chai And A Chat #17 #ChaiAndAChat

Well hello, there Peeps! Time to sit down and kick back with a drink and little sweet treat for the last time in January! (Can you believe it?)

  • If we were sipping chai together  I’d ask you if you managed to see the Full Blood Wolf Moon on Monday? I still don’t know why it was a wolf moon, though I did try to catch it. But who’s gonna stay up until 2am and wait until 5.30am on a work night? Not this teacher… Still managed to get a lovely shot of the moon at 7.30am the next morning, as it was still bright… followed by an amazing sunrise shot the day after. Makes me wish I really had a better camera, but my phone doesn’t do too bad, does it? Thank you Huawei P20 Pro!
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d let you know that the week went relatively smoothly, as far as it can in the life of a teacher/wife/mother/daughter… You’ve read about my average weeks. You know the score. Still, things are never just simple. On Thursday I awoke to find out that my manager was off sick. She is never ill so that always worries me. But I have learned that if your body is telling you to rest, you have to, and I was glad she listened to hers. Knowing a supply would be in to cover our Reception class (my manager and I share this class, but on Thursday, I teach in Nursery so couldn’t cover), I arrived a little earlier to help set the class up and prep the supply teacher. On arrival at school, it became apparent that she wasn’t the only one off sick or out for the day. The Head was at a meeting, the deputy head was sick (another one who is NEVER ill!), and of course one of our class Teaching Assistants was sick too, along with others. The bugs had hit the adults hard! So, it was a slightly fraught day, with other events that helped to keep us all on our toes… But we survived!
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d then go on to say that crazy evening of mine which I mentioned last week was to happen on the same day! So, armed with one child, we rushed home, and she got herself preened for her party, then I deposited her at Bluewater for her party. I rushed back (as much as you can rush in rush hour traffic) to my in-law’s house to pick up Lil Man who had his cricket training, and dropped him off. Then joined the traffic again so I could pick Lil Princess up. I should have taken the time I had free to browse the shops while I waited, but there were only 20 minutes so I leisurely walked through a small section of Waterstone’s book shop, without buying (so hard!) and headed over to pick her up. It was fascinating to see the group of 10-11-year-olds all sat with phones, or running off to different parts of the restaurant to take selfies… what has this world come to? Last year they were just excited to go to a trampoline park for a party… Then we jumped in the car, and raced back to pick up Lil Man from his training! Hubby Dearest was stuck as he travels back from work during these times so would have found it hard to actually assist with any of the taxi services… I needed a drink that night, but settled for an early night!
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d mention that I haven’t heard anything back feedback wise from my friend yet, other than he thinks my villainous character is rather naughty! I finished his book and emailed off my feedback. I do find it hard to read and be critical of a person’s work, but after having feedback from trusted friends already on my own manuscript, I can see how important it is to get that honest feedback. I hope he was happy with what I had to say… Now I just wait with bated breath for his opinion of mine…
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d let you know that though I may not have been as creative this past week, Lil Princess has been really busy! She is loving her watercolour paints and aside from her daily Mickey Mouse drawing, she is stretching herself with painting… check out these fantastic pieces!
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d tell you she also decided that my face would be a great canvas for her creativity! Three years ago I allowed her to be let loose on my makeup drawer and face. And now, thanks to watching umpteen more makeup videos on YouTube, she felt the need to try again… here is the result. The first pic is three years ago, the second from this weekend. What do you think?
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d tell you that I didn’t opt for a cheeky Costa this week, as I didn’t have the chance, but an impromptu trip to the local swimming baths meant I enjoyed the delights of a wishy-washy cuppa and bickie, alongside my Kindle, as we watched them swim! Why swim in this awful cold? I can hear you ask. Well… On Saturday we awoke to no proper internet. It was a tragedy – for the kids anyway. No internet meant the on-demand function wasn’t working on the Sky box or Netflix. It meant that the Xbox couldn’t connect so Fortnite couldn’t be accessed. It meant the PC was unable to allow a weekly fix of Roblox or YouTube… See? Tragedy! What would we do? I suggested reading, painting, playing outside but none of those suggestions were agreeable, then suddenly swimming came into the equation. At least we ended up with happy kids. And the internet? Well, it came back on once we were back. It seems Vodafone were having issues, and we get some sort of recompense for this disaster that struck our household! In fact Hubby is on the phone as I type, hammering out a deal with them… He does love this sort of thing
My Leisure Centre cuppa
  • If we were sipping that chai together, and possibly reaching for cake or cookies I’d tell you I still need to sort out this eating problem of mine! Where is the stop switch on my mouth – eating function?
  • If we were sipping that chai together, and possibly reaching for cake or cookies I’d mention that I may start up with some of the creative writing challenges soon too. I am feeling rusty…
  • If we were sipping that chai together, and possibly reaching for cake or cookies I’d say that I hope to really get stuck in with the ‘KonMarie’ tidying too over the next week. I’m trying little sections at a time, but it is a big job on the whole!

Let me know how your week has been Peeps!

Right, so, see you in February then!

Chai And A Chat #16 #ChaiAndAChat

Another week gone by. Grab your drink, it’s time to catch up!

  • If we were sipping chai together  I’d tell you in amazement that this happened! How in the world has my following climbed to over 7000 when I’m posting less??? But thank you all!!!!!
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d mention that the manuscript sat quietly as I pondered what to do. I am tempted to try and submit to a few agents to see the reaction, before heading down the Indie route. But I have sent a copy to another writerly friend of mine, whose opinion I am very interested in, as he is of the same cultural background as me, so to hear what a fellow British Asian thinks, is rather daunting but necessary. I don’t want my characters portrayals to be too typecast or offensive, so it is important. In return, I am reading his manuscript that he has completed too. It’s a memoir piece and sounds really interesting!
  • If we were sipping chai together  I’d let you know that the observation went well. And now it’s finally out of the way! I can breathe until they tell us the next one is due!
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d moan about tweenage girls and the bitchiness that seems to start even earlier. Lil Princess had an issue with some of her friends, instigated by another girl, who the others seemed to be scared of, so they were just agreeing with all the unpleasant things the child said, instead of sticking up for their friend. It took a lot of guts for her to tell me what was going on, and it is awful to see your child upset and in tears. The hard thing for me is that I work there, at the school. I could go up to the child in question and go all loco on her. In fact, while trying to cheer her up I said I would go to her and say ” Did you forget whose daughter she was? You’d better check yourself before you wreck yourself!” complete with all the attitudy finger and head shaking. She was insistent that I do it, but obviously, I couldn’t! A couple of parents were spoken to instead, and her teacher and things seem to have been resolved now…
  • If we were sipping chai together  I’d mention that I was featured on Shelley Wilson’s Motivate Me Academy site, as an inspiring woman. I feel honoured to have been asked. Did you get a chance to read? Click here if you didn’t.
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d tell you that Lil Man had a birthday gathering to attend, at the local shopping centre to watch a film. I dropped him, and waited until I knew what they were watching, so I could be back to pick him up. It was a strange one for me as this is the first time he has been to a ‘party’ like this, in the outside world, with kids who I don’t know and no parents to supervise. Oh my, another little bit of independence for him! Still, I got some shopping time, and me time, which saw me lunching and reading in Costa again!
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d tell you my ‘self’ intention is also going to plan, with my weekly bubble bath and book still taking place, and I managed to squeeze in a mani and pedi too this weekend! And I have continued with my handlettering, trying different looks!
  • If we were sipping that chai together, and possibly reaching for cake or cookies I’d tell you that the coming week is relatively quiet, aside from one fraught evening where I need to get home asap. drive one child to a party, get back and deliver another to training, then get back to pick the first one up. I hope Hubby Dearest remembers he has to pick the other one op from training…
  • If we were sipping that chai together, and possibly reaching for cake or cookies I’d tell you that I really shouldn’t be eating anything sweet with this drink… The weight has crept on terribly! But I can’t help myself!

Did anything interesting happen in your life last week?

Have a wonderful week ahead Peeps!

Chai And A Chat #14 #ChaiAndAChat

Welcome all to the first Chai and a Chat of the year! I trust you all had a good one! Now, go get your drink, snuggle in and we can catch up!

  • If we were sipping chai together  I’d tell you that I am actually quite proud of myself! I said I would not post, and aside from a new years message, and a Blogger’s Bash reminder, I stayed true to my word! It’s been hard though. As I get notifications of the weekly challenge, I am having to force myself to not save them all, and resign myself to the fact that I am going to miss a few weeks worth! But it’s all for a good cause…
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d tell you that I have been really good! I have been doing my reread and tweak-style of editing every day, bar one where I was physically too tired and I have done over a third of the book so far! I created a little page in my journal too, to keep me motivated and on track, where I colour in boxes representing chapters each time I get another one done!
That’s me at the start of my Saturday morning!
  • If we were sipping chai together  I’d confide in you that I have even contacted a couple of editors for quotes and advice on what next, because if I go Indie, I need to fund all the professional stuff myself, whereas a traditional publisher would pay for all the editing, polishing and tweaking stuff required. There is a lot to take in, developmental editing, copy/line editing, critiquing, alpha/beta readers, then formatting, blurb and cover… It won’t be easy, but I am on a mission! I am still toying with the idea of reaching out to agents, to see if there is a chance of traditional publication…
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d also mention that I started a new group on Facebook – Kick Ass Kreators – a kind of online accountability group, where we can post our achievements on whatever we are trying to create at the moment, and ask for help or a virtual kick up the backside to keep us on track for reaching goals… if you want to join, you are most welcome! Just click here!
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d tell you that I have started a new hobby too, to keep me calm – hand lettering! It’s not the same as calligraphy as there is more of an element of individuality to what you write, but I love experimenting with new pens and paper! And Lil Princess has also caught the art bug again, after getting a lovely art set for Christmas! She has been experimenting with watercolour wash pieces, and we even collaborated on a piece of art!
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d say that I didn’t make a resolution this New Year, but rather an intention, or rather, a few… the first was that I intend to do something with this book this year! Another is to look after myself. Because if you don’t look after yourself, you can’t be there for others properly… Obviously, there is the eating well and lose weight stuff, but I just have to try hard on that… I am finding it hard for some reason, this time round to stick to any decent eating plan… chocolate and cookies are to blame!
My lettering again!
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d tell you that I was fully intending on having a relaxed last day before school started again on the Thursday, but that didn’t happen! Instead, I got an idea in my head that buzzed around like an annoying fly and until I had fulfilled it, the window in my brain wouldn’t open, to let that fly out! It was to totally restructure the furniture in my kids’ bedrooms! So there I was, alone, as it was an impromptu idea, lugging bookshelves, beds and desks around, to create a different, more productive environment for both of them. It worked, but not before unearthing all sorts of mouldy rubbish from under my teenage son’s bed, and finding all manner of awful ink and paint stains on my daughter’s cream (😣) carpet! Oh and the dust! I was sneezing for England! Still, I managed to finish it all and ended up an aching mess on the floor by the end, groaning because I knew I still had to be fresh and ready for school the next day! A bubble bath soothed the muscles, but nothing could get me to sleep that night… and it was the same for the kids. A fortnight of messed up sleeping patterns meant no one was ready for an early bedtime!
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d tell you school was actually pretty great! The kids came back happy, and for the most part, healthy! My own two woke without a fuss on the first day too ( a true surprise, as I have been used to battles every morning to get them ready in time!) but the tiredness was there… and on Friday, I was honestly ready to be a bad teacher… If I could, I would have put Youtube on a loop, sat my afternoon kids in front of the screen (which they would have loved!) and curled up in the corner to catch a few zzzzz! But I couldn’t do that, could I?
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d whisper quietly, that the weekend planned was a very quiet one… lots of rest, once the grocery shopping and house cleaning was done, reading, eating (healthily) and editing…
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d have to mention that I have been increasingly worried and frustrated about my parents! I guess this comes as they get older. We couldn’t see them this holiday for various reasons, but on Christmas day they told me they were without heating as the boiler had sprung a leak that caused some damage which could not be repaired in a straightforward manner. Now, I knew of the leak before and was under the impression things had been sorted out, but no… they left it to Christmas morning to slip in the fact that they were sitting, wrapped up, in their living room, with plug-in heaters and no hot water either! Of course, they wouldn’t entertain the idea of coming to us, because “what if the pipes freeze and burst while we weren’t there?”  (it has barely been below freezing, so no chance of freezing pipes, but too cold to be in a house with no heating!) and the saga continued as they discovered there was some issue that involved specialist equipment to clean some pipes or something like that… Then, the icing on the cake, when mum called me to mention, in a slightly panicked voice, but with a layer of “don’t worry, we’re okay” smoothed over the top, that ” We don’t have electricity, and I am alone, as your Pops has gone to class, and no, he doesn’t know because he forgot his phone at home, though it’s not just us, the neighbours just came round and they are in the same boat – they have small children too, so it’s terrible for them – and I’m okay, I have candles.” I wanted to teleport then right here, but no, there was no movement! The electricity company came round and it was something big that needed repairing so they ended up with a generator so at least they had power overnight, and the roads were dug up the next morning to restore normality! And the hope is that the heating issue will be fixed by Sunday… I’m still waiting to see if it is all sorted! Hate being so far away from them, not able to do much more than get myself worked up, and offer comforting words…
  • If we were sipping that chai together, and possibly reaching for cake or cookies I’d tell you that I had a great chat with my brother and sister-in-law in Finland one day and there is a possibility of they coming over to the UK in the Spring, so I may finally be able to give my Finndian nephew #2 a real cuddle! That is something that will totally keep me going once they set a date!
  • If we were sipping that chai together, and possibly reaching for cake or cookies I’d tell you that the next week should be a relatively quiet one, so hopefully a straightforward school week, with no surprises, and lots of editing opportunities!

So… tell me about the start to your New Year!

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