Spidey’s Serene Sunday – Part 293 – Wait


“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.

Chai And A Chat #105 #ChaiAndAChat #CoronaDiaries Week 29

The weeks are just blurring into one another, aren’t they? I feel like I’m living a Groundhog day life, right now, but hopefully it will change soon enough!

I haav my chai, what about you?

  • If we were having chai I’d start with school life, as always. It’s never the same, at school. Each week brings it’s own brand of happiness, craziness and complexity. So this week, I’ve dealt with a biting, classroom destroying, heaad-banging lunatic (and his mother), vomit, prepping for new children, approaching parents about possible needs their children may have, creating an Action Plan for my subject role, meeting with my new mentor regarding leadership… Yes, it’s definitely not been a quiet one… but I’m still standing. We all are!
  • If we were having chai I’d then swiftly move on to house updates. WE HAVE NEW CARPET! (In the bedrooms, at least. The stairs and hallway will be done tomorrow, but that is a simple job.) Friday night was a craazy rush for me, with a trip to Bluewater (more on that, later), then coming back and stripping all the bedrooms of anything, other than the beds, so the old carpet could be lifted, and the new laid. I ached like a good un, but the kids did help, so that was a blessing. Then on Saturday, they were dropped to the grandparents, while Hubby Dearest and I waited for the fitters to arrive. There were meant to be two, but only one man came. He was an older gentleman, with a slight limp. We felt awful that he was doing this alone, to be honest, and offered to help with the moving around of furniture, but, do you know what? He was amazing! Three bedrooms done and dusted in two hours, with no help from us, moving furniture, including a really heavy bed frame! Good old Denver (that was his name), highly recommended! I have hoovered around seventy six billion times, and that carpet fluff keeps giving, but it’s done! We then moved all the furniture back where it needed to go, and I had to construct two new clothes rails as two of the more flimsy ones we were using, collapsed. (Sometimes, I wish we hadn’t demolished the wardrobes, but then, we would have had to, with the carpets, as they were too heavy to move, and not nice enouch to keep). I think the kids are happy. The carpet is so soft and bouncy, with the new underlay, too! I actually typed half this post laying on the ground, with Lil Man looking at me like I was mad. And the paint is pretty much done. Just touch ups. However, the Summerhouse sprung a leak, so there is that to fix if possible.
  • If we were having chai I’d say that we have been online viewing prospective houses, and there are already arguments between the household members, where one is only concerned about the garden, one wants a big bedroom and ensuite, one wants space for a chill room or a gym, and me? Well, as long as I have a study/work/writing room, I’d be happy… Our dream forever home is out there, I’m sure… We’ll find it soon enough.
  • If we were having chai I’d let you know about good old Bluewater. So, Lil Princess and her social life meant that she had another trip to meet friends planned for the Friday, after school. Lil Man decided he wanted to tag along and go wandering around with me, while she socialised. (Damn. That meant less time to sit and chill in Costa with my book!) She met her friend, and we walzed from sports shop to sports shop, as he wanted trainers. It wasn’t as hard as I thought, but rather expensive, but then, he’d saved up, so kudos to him. Then we managed a half an hour sit down in Costa, before I ended up in a stationery shop. But I just looked, promise! I have decided I can’t buy more anything, until we find our dream home, because I don’t have anywhere to put anything! But I did find something that made me giggle. Nowadays, manufacturers make machines for everything, and I was surprised to see this, a Samosa maker! What a way to cheat! You could never make proper Indian samosas in that, but these would create the little cocktail filo pastry ones. Not a real samosa!
  • If we were having chai I’d end with telling you that after carpet-gate, we chilled… I stayed in bed until 9.30am on Sunday, which is unheard of, then after grocery shopping (we need food, too!), I relaxed for the rest of the day. My body is still aching from moving furniture and stuff around over Friday and Saturday – Bubble bath time! Sonu Singh is just wondering around not quite sure what is going on, most of the time. Will he be stuck in one room, today, with myriad strangers wandering in and out? Or does he get to lord it around the whole of the kingdom? Thankfully, after Tuesday, the house will be his again, but until then, here’s a pic of him using me as his pillow!

This week, the carpet WILL BE DONE, fully! I hope to ring up some estate agents to get valuations, before we get this baby on the market. Then it will be mortgage time, to see what our budget really will be, along with beginning to do some viewings of properties. It’s really happening, y’all! I have a course to do this week, which will result in me being a qualified DSL (Designated Safeguarding Lead) for if there are any worries or concerns about a child… serious stuff. I also have a meeting with a parent (that bitey, head banging one…) Wish us luck!

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!

Spidey’s Serene Sunday – Part 292 – Rest


“It’s better to die on your feet than to live on your knees.”

Emiliano Zapata

Thank you, Spidey, for showcasing one of my favourite quotes, ever.

I think that truly defines how I live my life, to be honest.

Though, there are times I may be on my feet a bit too much.

Knees aren’t a bad place to be, once in a while. (Especially if, like mine, they arae beginning to hurt again…)

Life has thrown so much craziness my way, the last few weeks, on top of the Pandemic pandemonium.

Work on the house, going back to school full time, worry about my parents who are in Birmingham where there is increased lockdown…

It’s all stuff that is out of my hands.

I’ve just got to deal with it.

And I have been.

But, my body has been hinting that it’s time to rest on my knees for a while.

Just a little rest, it’s not a bad thing. A few days of not rushing around like a loon won’t mean I am missing out.

Work won’t be going anywhere, but at last, the house is more or less done. Before the joy of valuations starts, I’m putting me first.

If I want a bath every night, a soak for an hour, I’m going to do that. I need to go rid my head of the grey that has taken over. I want to read without falling asleep from exhaustion. I want to get back to writing again… my WIP is waiting for me.

And I will do it.

So… tell me, how do you rest?

Have a peaceful Sunday Peeps.  And enjoy your week!  

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