Chai And A Chat #60 #ChaiAndAChat

Happy Monday to you all! Can you believe it? we’ve been sharing a cuppa every Monday for 60 weeks now? That’s mad! Now, if you’re ready with yours, let’s go!

  • If we were sipping chai together I’d start by telling you the lurgy hit the household this week! Hubby Dearest and Lil Man were struck down by Man Flu, then Lil Princess did something to her neck, and was full of sniffles too. The bins have been overflowing with tissues… perfect! And me? Well, I think I have saved myself mostly from the lurgy, but the pains, well they are still around. Anopther Dr’s appointment has been booked but it’s not for another two weeks… And at school we haven’t been safe either. On Monday I had 21 students in, instead of 29, many off with a Norovirus style bug. Then we ended the week with one confirmed Chicken Pox case… let’s see what this week brings…! I’m due to have my flu jab on Friday. Hope I can last until then!
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d tell you that we had our anniversary last Monday. Being a school/work night, we didn’t really do too much, and with Hubby’s Man Flu, we’ve kept our celebration on ice for now. But I was gifted beautiful flowers and a gorgeous figurine by my wonderful man, as well as a T-Shirt I was joking about… what do you think?
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d have to mention that despite my aches and pains, I had a date with Lil Princess and our friends, to go and watch the real Little Mix in concert on the Thursday night! It was a rush to get there, after school on Thursday, but we did it, and had a great meal together, before watching the band. The girls loved it, and I think is mums might just have enjoyed it a little more!
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#LM5 #littlemix5 #reggaetonlento #live

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Slightly Older Mix going to watch @littlemix at their #lm5 tour!

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  • If we were sipping chai together I’d tell you that I was shattered by Friday. This out on a school night really is too much for me now! I got through the school day, and rushed home to get cleaning done, and then whizzed to the shops for the grocery, then once I got home, I was ready for bed. I had a fantastic sleep! And we did nothing this weekend, bar rest, eat, read and watch TV. A much needed set of downtime!
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d have to tell you about something really fun that we did at school this week. We have been learning about seasons and decided to make season bottles with the children. I have to say, I was pretty proud of the ones we made with the kids in our class… Check them out below! And nativity song practice is in full flow too. We have been singing our play songs each day, and the children have really impressed me with how well they have picked up the words! And I have mentioned this before, but they really do sound so angelic. I can’t wait for the performance!
  • If we were sipping that chai together, and possibly reaching for cake or cookies I’d mention that the week may involve less children, due to sickness, but it also affects adults, and I already know one of our team is going to be off for one day, due to her own kids… Tis the season to be sicky, fa la la la la, la la la la!
  • If we were sipping that chai together, and possibly reaching for cake or cookies I’d tell you that I am a little nervous as I am being observed on Thursday too. Being observed is never fun. I hate that we have to be judged on a 20-30 minute lesson, when I KNOW I am a good teacher… but hey, at least I know my observer well!
  • If we were sipping that chai together, and possibly reaching for cake or cookies I’d let you know that it will be my Finndian nephew #1’s fifth birthday too this week… where did that time go? And that means that I’ll be celebrating my five year Blogiversary too this week!

Right, that’s me done Peeps! Let me how your week has been.

Spidey’s Serene Sunday – Part 247


“It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.”

Mahatma Gandhi

Thanks for the reminder, Spidey.

This quote comes at a timely fashion, as the household is battling the coughs and sniffles that the onset of the cold weather tends to bring.

It’s not easy when your Lil Man grows up. Because that means that there are now TWO individuals liable to get MAN FLU!

Yes, yes, I’ve read the articles claiming that MAN FLU is real, but I am so not convinced.

You have a cold, plain and simple. It’s not nice, I get that, but still – MAN UP!

I’ve spent time finding Vicks Vaporub, locating cold medications to ease symptoms, and found a set of tablets, that my 14-year-old can take now as he feels he is too grown up for syrups now. And then furnished the Hubby Dearest with his tablets too.

He’s had it bad, I have to admit, needed a couple of days off work, and that in itself is unlike him.

But, as I said before… it’s a COLD!

I’ve been battling my own health issues as you all know, and still am none the wiser as to the reasons for my aches and pains. I think another trip to the doctor to get some more investigations, is in order.

And to top it off, I found a rash, small and pink ringed, on my leg. The consensus was ring worm, but it is one isolated case and I have been given cream, and was told that, yes, it is contagious, but as long as I keep my leg covered, use the cream twice daily, wash my hands a lot and make sure I don’t share towels, things should be okay. But it is now a little blister, sans ring… was it ever ringworm? I don’t know.

Then poor Lil Princess. She’s sniffling too, but has strained a muscle in her neck so she isn’t a happy bunny right now, either.

And at school it isn’t much better. On Monday, I had eight of my class off with a Norovirus style bug. And by the end of the week, one confirmed case of chicken pox… the lurgies are spreading!

I am booked for my Flu jab at school on Friday too. Here’s hoping I don’t succumb before then!

But it is true though, if you have your health, you are better off than a lot of the population out there. Wealth is great, yes, but what is it, without health?

I might not be working at 100% myself right now, but I am still capable of moving around, going to work, caring for my family. What more can I ask for?

So… tell me, are you grateful for your health?

Have a peaceful Sunday Peeps  And enjoy your week! ❤ 

Tallis Steelyard, Bringing The Joys Of Civilisation #BlogTour

Guess who’s come to visit my blog again, with another blog tour?

Dear Jim Webster is back with three delightful books from his Tallis Steelyard collection, and a special story just for the lucky readers of my blog too!

Justice Of A Sort

It was perhaps a month after I’d arrived back from Slipshade and the whole
episode should have faded from mind. As it was, it seemed determined to
haunt me, like some over-spiced meal eaten too late in the evening. So, for
example, one evening I was at the Misanthropes. I hadn’t actually dined. In
fact I wasn’t entirely sure I would. The money I had earned from my
Partannese adventure had gone, frittered away paying creditors and suchlike.
Thus it was a little disturbing when I had noted a small group of men,
obviously displaced Partannese brigands, in the street. One of them I
recognised from Slipshade, he was the gentleman who won the pie eating
contest. Given I had been the person to hand him his prize and congratulate
him, I was sure he’d remember me. Thus I faded down a side street and hoped that they hadn’t seen me. As I pondered their presence, it struck me that Port Naain has the power to draw people to it. After all, had I not already met Darstep Balstep, previously lord of Slipshade Keep, and now a jobbing poet? It struck me that Balstep had merely arrived early than these others. He was doubtless more focused on his future and had probably stolen a horse as well. I could imagine the small collection of ruffians I had just seen would be initially indecisive with nobody to issue them with orders. It could well take time for them to make their minds up as to what they ought to do.
So I put aside my irritation that the ill-starred ramifications of the
Slipshade episode were still occurring, long after any financial recompense
for my sufferings had been spent. I feel that there is a lesson there for
the young. Given that the unfortunate consequences of your actions will
always be with you, wisdom demands that you think long and hard about your plans. Ensure always you are more than adequately compensated, ideally in advance.
But in all candour I was at peace with the world and was sipping a glass of
moderate wine. I was willing to let the evening pass as it would. I had no
patron to flatter that evening, no recitals that needed arranging, and any
impromptu verses that I might need over the next few days had already been written well in advance. I was there purely to relax, and was hoping to hear some tale or some drollery that I might tweak and work into my own
Then even as I sipped, I heard a voice cry, “Steelyard, you currish,
crook-pated, codpiece.”
I was somewhat taken aback, had the Partannese ruffians I’d seen in the
street tracked me down already? I looked up, and saw Flobbard Wangil
striding across the room towards me. He looked furious and even as he
approached he snatched a plate from in front of one of the diners and hurled it at me. Fortunately I dodged and it hit Lancet who was sitting in the armchair next to me. He ended up covered in a hot pepper sauce. He leapt to his feet and hurled a pie plate at Flobbard. This latter individual, whilst angry, was not one of those rendered unobservant by his emotion so ducked and the pie plate struck Julatine Sypent full in the chest.
It must be said that Julatine and Lancet do not get on. Part of it is
professional jealousy. Julatine is a good painter, but his bread and butter
comes from painting twee cottages and similar. Lancet is not a bad painter,
(he’s a better painter than he is a poet) and occasionally he too will paint
some quaint rustic scene. His pictures always sell more quickly than do
Julatine’s and will command a higher price.
Even more galling for Julatine is that he is a perfectionist. He will take
days over a piece of work. Lancet will knock the same thing off in an
afternoon. What makes things worse is that Lancet has been known to dwell on this topic in conversation, at length, to Julatine’s obvious irritation.
Between ourselves a lot of the rancour is Lancet’s doing. Whether he
considers provoking his rival to be a piece of performance art I’ve never
thought to ask him, but he brings to it a dedication and a level of
preparation worthy of such an endeavour. As an example, he was walking south of the river and came upon Julatine who had just started to paint a
particularly pretty cottage. Lancet hid to avoid being seen, came back to
the city and demanded my assistance. That evening, armed with paint, we
approached the cottage. It was painted a primrose yellow. The paint Lancet
had acquired as a rather paler yellow shade. So that night, when the
occupier was asleep, Lancet and I painted the front of the house in this
shade. I would paint the plaster, and Lancet would then come along with some white paint which he cleverly used to ‘fade’ and ‘distress’ the yellow.
It was obvious that Julatine must have noticed because in the Misanthropes
early the next evening he was complaining about how the light had changed and given a whole new perspective on colour. Apparently he’d had to redo a considerable piece of his work.
So later that night Lancet and I returned to the cottage. The woodwork was
picked out in black and had obviously been repainted no more than a couple of years previously. We repainted the woodwork so that it was a more faded and washed-out grey. Early the next evening Lancet and I dropped into the Misanthropes but Julatine merely sat at a table glowering at the world and said nothing. After some supper we went back to the cottage with a saw.
There was a young tree standing in front of the cottage. As quietly as we
could, we cut it down. But we felled in very close to the ground, the idea
being that we would camouflage the stump by putting some stone or turf over it. Then it would be as if the tree had never been there.
Unfortunately just as we’d finished, the owner came out. He had obviously
grown suspicious over the past couple of days. We had just hidden the tree
in some scrub and had come back for the saw. He spotted us, shouted, and we fled. He didn’t try to pursue us but I suspect he’d mentioned the incident
to Julatine. My suspicions were aroused mainly because somebody poured a bucket of whitewash over us as Lancet and I stood chatting outside the door of the Misanthropes the following evening.
Still I digress. Flobbard Wangil was inadvertently prevented from
approaching me by the hail of projectiles and insults Lancet and Julatine
were hurling at each other. Others were dragged into the exchange as they
became caught up in things, but finally Flobbard got close enough to be to
attempt to belabour me with a chair. I managed to snatch up a stool from by
the bar and was successfully fending him off with that.
Finally Lancet inadvertently summoned the Watch. It seems that he had
managed to irritate a number of those present in the Misanthropes, and they ganged up on him and threw him out of the window, and he landed on two watchmen passing below. They burst in upon us. To be fair they were too wise to ask a silly question like, “What’s going on?” Instead they got down to the root of the matter by asking, “So who started it all.” Somewhat to my surprise everybody pointed at Flobbard and me.
Thus, protesting our innocence, we were arrested and given the day had been hectic, from a judicial point of view, we were led straight before
Malanthon. The clerk read out the charges, which were largely affray in
several of its forms. Then the clerk asked Flobbard what had happened.
Flobbard brought up the story of the Slipshade expedition and how I’d
abandoned him there. The clerk then asked me for my version. I recounted the story as well, but stressed that I had abandoned him because I had assumed he had stolen the stones and secreted them within his person. The clerk glanced at Malanthon and attempted to sum up. “So you, Flobbard Wangil, are angry because thanks to Steelyard here you spend three weeks in a cell with only a commode and a selection of laxatives for company?” Flobbard nodded.
“And you, Tallis Steelyard, handed Flobbard Wangil over to the authorities
because you believed he had the stolen gems?” I too nodded.
At this point, Flobbard burst out, “But I didn’t have the gems, I never had
the gems, I never touched the gems.”
This rather shook me. Flobbard’s tones were not the whining of a petty
criminal caught playing a game too rich for him. He spoke with the voice of
an honest man (in this matter at least) who was exasperated beyond measure at being accused of a crime he had not committed. To be fair to him, if a three week diet of laxatives had not produced the stones, then I had to face up to the fact that he had probably never had them.
Malanthon made some notes and then looked at us. Flobbard just shook his
head. I could see his point, he didn’t feel particularly guilty.
Malanthon looked at me. I cleared by throat. “I think I owe Flobbard an
That got a smile from Malathon so I turned to Flobbard. “I’m sorry Flobbard. I was obviously wrong.”
He was obviously in a state of shock, I don’t suppose anybody had ever
apologised to him before. He shook my hand, and we both turned back to
Malathon. The clerk read out from the piece of paper that he had been given.

“Tallis Steelyard is to apologise to Flobbard, and is to also organise a pie
eating contest in which Flobbard can participate.”

And now we’d better hear from Jim Webster.

So here I am again with another blog tour. Not one book but three.
The first is another of the Port Naain Intelligencer collection. These
stories are a bit like the Sherlock Holmes stories. You can read them in any

On the Mud. The Port Naain Intelligencer
When mages and their suppliers fall out, people tend to die. This becomes a
problem when somebody dies before they manage to pass on the important
artefact they had stolen. Now a lot of dangerous, violent or merely amoral
people are searching, and Benor has got caught up in it all. There are times
when you discover that being forced to rely upon a poet for back-up isn’t as
reassuring as you might hope.

Then we have a Tallis Steelyard novella.

Tallis Steelyard and the Rustic Idyll
When he is asked to oversee the performance of the celebrated ‘Ten
Speeches’, Tallis Steelyard realises that his unique gifts as a poet have
finally been recognised. He may now truly call himself the leading poet of
his generation.
Then the past comes back to haunt him, and his immediate future involves too
much time in the saddle, being asked to die in a blue silk dress, blackmail
and the abuse of unregulated intoxicants. All this is set in delightful
countryside as he is invited to be poet in residence at a lichen festival.

And finally, for the first time in print we proudly present:

Maljie, the episodic memoirs of a lady.

In his own well-chosen words, Tallis Steelyard reveals to us the life of
Maljie, a lady of his acquaintance. In no particular order we hear about her
bathing with clog dancers, her time as a usurer, pirate, and the
difficulties encountered when one tries to sell on a kidnapped orchestra. We
enter a world of fish, pet pigs, steam launches, theological disputation,
and the use of water under pressure to dispose of foul smelling birds. Oh
yes, and we learn how the donkey ended up on the roof.

All a mere 99p each!

Get to know a bit about Jim over on his blog here.

And you should check out all the blogs where Jim and his blog tour are visiting!

Sue Vincent 8th NovCartographically challenged
Willow Willers 9th NovSilent justice
Robbie Cheadle 10th NovKnowing your profiteroles
Writers Co-op 11th NovComing clean
Stevie Turner 12th NovBringing the joys of civilisation
Colleen Chesebro 13th NovTrite tales for little people
Annette Rochelle Aben 14th NovA licence to perform
Chris Graham 15th NovWorking the Crowd
Ashlynn  Waterstone 16th NovAnd home again
Ken Gierke 17th NovNot particularly well liked
Writers Co-op 18th NovMore trite tales for little people
MT McGuire 19thA poet is always a gentleman
Ritu Bhathal 20th Justice of a sort
Jaye 21stGetting to the bottom of it all

Chai And A Chat #59 #ChaiAndAChat

Happy Monday to you all! Another week has passed. Where does the time go? And yes, another busy one for me too! Settled with that cuppa? Right then…

  • If we were sipping chai together I’d start by giving you the next update on the health situation. I spent most of the week with just dull aches in my knees and one shoulder, but nothing debilitating. I hoped that maybe it was just something viral. The Drs appointmet didn’t give me much more, other than another clear set of bloods, checking off inflammation and rheumatoid arthritis. I told the Dr that I wasn’t in awful pain, at the moment, but the tiredness, and headaches were still around. He said things like fibryomalgia are hard to diagnose, and often a process of elimination. There are meds he could give me, but do I want to start existing on tablets that could end up giving me other side effects? No. I think at the moment I can manage the pains tht creep up. He sent me off with some exercises and told me to take Pops’ advice with some yoga breathing and massages. All was fine… until Saturday. The knees were really painful, but not as bad as that awful day 3 weeks ago. I lay in bed with a hot water bottle on them. The heat soothed the pain away for a while. Then we went to Bluewater on Sunday and all was fine, until I had a sudden pain on my ankle as I was walking around. It came along so suddenly, I just don’t know what is going on. Another visit back to the GP? Who knows when I’ll get an appointment now… Long soak in a warm bath for me and more hot water bottles, along with ibuprofen if needed, I think…
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d tell you that school has been good too. We started the week with Armistice Day on Monday. It’s not easy to explain to children aged 4-5, what Poppy Day is, but we tried our best, and they made some lovely pictures of poppy fields. Then Monday and Tuesday evening were late ones for us as it was parents evening time. For the most part, things went well. It just left us all very tired. The next fun thing we did was sensory spaghetti play! I spent a good hour and a half one night, cooking and colouring spaghetti so they could hide letters and numbers in it and try and fish them out using gian tweezers! They loved it! And Friday was Children in Need, as I posted about earlier. The children love it when they get a chance to be involved in anything and dressing up is of their favourite things. What better, than to be able to dress up, and raise money for charity too?
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d just have to slip this one in… One of my beauts always brings in pictures and ‘gifts’ for us and this week, I was given a cut out picture from an LOL Surprise magazine. “This is you, Mrs Bhathal!” What do you think? I am starting to feel delusions of grandeur… may just ask you to call me Queen Ritu soon… 😜
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d leave the best news to last… I finally revealed my cover! I have been toying with the idea of revealing it a lot recently, but wasn’t sure, especially as I haven’t got a solid publish date yet. But, to be honest, it shouldn’t be long now. I’ll get my final draft back from the editor in a couple of weeks. I just need to write a blurb I am happy with, and add the ‘weird’ pages, like acknowlegements, dedications, about me, and that published on page to the manuscript. I have started formatting, and hopefully any changes to the script will be minor, which I can do in my formatting programme. Then I can let my dear cover designer how many actual pages the paperback will be, so she can send me the relevant cover, complete with blurb and spine. A wrestle with KDP, and hopefully I can get myself set, and announce a pre-order and publication date for you all! But if you did happen to miss it… here is my book baby!
  • If we were sipping that chai together, and possibly reaching for cake or cookies I’d mention that I must be really wicked, because, honestly, there is no rest to be had for me here! We will be upping the ante with beginning Nativity rehearsals, to start off with this week.
  • If we were sipping that chai together, and possibly reaching for cake or cookies I’d tell you that Lil Man and Lil Princess have another day off school on the Wednesday, so Lil Princess will be coming in to help me for the day, and then I have to take her to the dentist.
  • If we were sipping that chai together, and possibly reaching for cake or cookies I’d let you know that I will also be hosting my first ever parent meeting to discuss our Phonics scheme to the reception parents, as this is my subject responsibility this year. And on the same day, I will have to hare out early as Lil Princess and I are off to see Little Mix in concert too! I am already tired, and it’s only the beginning of the week. Hope my aches and pains hold out!
  • If we were sipping that chai together, and possibly reaching for cake or cookies I’d also slip in that today, Monday, is our wedding anniversary. It falls on a Monday so there won’t be much celebrating, but plenty of time together. ❤ 18 years… where did they go?

Right, that’s me done Peeps! Let me how your week has been.

Spidey’s Serene Sunday – Part 246 – Dreams


“The best way to make your dreams come true is to wake up.”

Paul Valery

Thank you Spidey for that fantastic quote!

Firstly, I must apologise for the late Spidey entry today. I did indeed need waking from my dreams this morning, to the realisiation that I had not scheduled this post last night!

Too busy making dreams come true, to be honest, and tiring myself out (which, given my current state of health, is not that hard for me to do!) to stay awake long enough to write a post up, last night!

You see, yesterday saw the beginnings of one of my life dreams coming true.

You may have noticed, (and if you hadn’t, where on earth were you?) on my author blog, this blog, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, that my cover reveal went live yesterday.

Not only is this the beginning of my dream turning to a reality, but it is a poke up my backside too, and a reason for me to not procrastinate any longer.

No more dillydallying, and wishing that one day my book might just get out there, but now I have to do this!

I was overwhelmed by the reaction that the cover got, from both familiar names, and others who have been following me, or who happened to come across the image while checking out their social media.

So many of you, eager to read this precious baby of mine!

So, my next steps are to wait for my final editor check, hopefully with nothing more than a few silly spelling or punctuation issues, (fingers crossed, then format the book, finish writing the blurb, get the paperback dimensions to my fantastic cover designer, upload everything to KDP and set a publication date.

Still a bit of technical work to do, but you guys, my book will be out there soon!!!

And if you missed it, here is the cover for Marriage Unarranged. 😄

Designed by Kirsty McManus – She is awesome!

I’m going to be cheeky, and late to this one too, but since Linda’s prompt for this week’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday was Dreams, this post fits the bill perfectly (even though it’s been posted on a Sunday!)

So… tell me, what is your biggest dream right now?

Have a peaceful Sunday Peeps  And enjoy your week! ❤ 

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