Chai And A Chat #58 #ChaiAndAChat

Happy Monday to you all! It’s the start of week three back at school, and plenty is going on around us!

  • If we were sipping chai together I’d start by telling you that I am still standing! Yes, the aches and pains are drifting from here to there, but they are not bad. My knees still hurt, but not as extreme as the week before. My shoulder aches. But, over all, it’s not too bad at the moment. I ran to the hospital on Tuesday in my lunch break to have the next set of bloods taken. So now it’s waiting until this Friday for the next Drs appointment.
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d let you know that my dear Beauts in my class are such a lovely bunch! They are still enjoying our Superhero topic, and they love dressing up in capes and masks, and rescuing everyone! And the idea that if they are Super helpful and Super friendly, they have more of a chance of getting on the class rainbow, has worked a treat! They aren’t allowed to tell me themselves, but if another classmate comes and says someone has been Super in any way, to me, they get to be my Superkids for the day!
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d say that on Wednesday, we were all dreading our twilight evening. It would mean 2 hours after school, not actually training, but meeting with other teachers in our age group from our academy, and comparing classes and attainment. Thankfully, our Reception meeting didn’t take as long as we hd anticipated, so that was a result!
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d tell you that the weekend arrived, quick as a flash, and it was a busier one than the last few weeks. We spent Saturday evening with the in-laws, and the night, I was up most of the night with Lil Man, who was sporting a raging temperature and a really sore throat. As he is prone to tonsillitis, I took him to our local walk in doctors surgery and after a two hour wait, we were told that yes, his tonsils were mildly inflamed, but not infected (thank goodness). So, no antibiotics, but lots of salt water gargles and keeping his neck warm.
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d say that Lil Princess had a great afternoon as she had arranged a visit to one of her new secondary school friends’ house. We both had a lovely time, as I got to have a cuppa and chat with her new friend’s parents and the girls spent the afternoon esperiementing with makeup and hairstyles. Makes me feel happier, that I know some of her new friends.
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d not forget to mention that I have mad a plan to do a cover reveal for THE BOOK soon, possibly this week, so if you haven’t already, make sure you follow my author blog, http://www.ritubhathal.com, so you don’t miss out! I have been very busy, editing crutch words out of the manuscript this week, and from a list of arounbd 10 words, there are 2 left to check. That means I have been through the manuscript 8 times in the last 3 weeks, adjusting and deleting! Once I finish this time consuming task, I need to spell check and read myself to make sure it all makes sense, then I can send to my editor for the final read through! OMG, so nervewracking….! I still have to write a proper blurb yet!
  • If we were sipping that chai together, and possibly reaching for cake or cookies I’d tell you that today and tomorrow I will be at school until late as it is that time of year again… parents evenings! I actually quite enjoy them, speaking to the parents about how their darlings are coming along! But it’ll be tiring.
  • If we were sipping that chai together, and possibly reaching for cake or cookies I’d mention that obviously, Friday I will have my Dr’s appointment, so fingers crossed there will be something to discuss, after all the blood tests.
  • If we were sipping that chai together, and possibly reaching for cake or cookies I’d let you know that I already can’t wait for the weekend!

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

Chai And A Chat #57 #ChaiAndAChat

Happy Monday to you all! I hope your week treated you well. Back to school is nothing short of exciting, every time!

  • If we were sipping chai together I’d tell you that the start of school went really well. The kids seemed to have a relaxing break, and enjoyed relaying details of their week off, and celebrating Diwali too! We had a Diwali day at school, where the children learned some Bhangra dancing too! And we had a Halloween disco, which was a baptism of fire for some. The first time they have been left alone somewhere when it is dark outside and loud music. But we all had great fun! The topic this next few weeks will be superheroes, and they love acting like real life superheroes. I have told them they are all super kids and when they do super kind things, they get on the class rainbow. One way to get some great behaviour!
View this post on Instagram

Happy Halloween 🎃 😈 #halloween #snapchat #filter

A post shared by Ritu B (@ritubhathalwrites) on

  • If we were sipping chai together I’d have to mention my health. Things haven’t been great over here. From Tuesday evening, I started to get strange pains in my knees. On Thursday morning, when I woke up, they were so sore that I could barely walk down the stairs at home. I got ready, and went to school, promptly bursting into tears with my phase leader. She ws so worried, massaging my knees, telling me to go home, but I don’t think I would have been any better at home either. The pains didn’t go away all day, despite taking anti-inflammatories and painkillers. I was even given a hot water bottle to help me. I got through the day, and the only thing that really relieved the pain was a hot bath. I woke on Friday with lessened knee pain (though it hadn’t gone away totally) but more pain in my shoulder. Now, when I went to the doctor last week, he asked me about pains, but at that time I had none. When I was chatting to Pops during my few days back home, he mentioned that he had been diagnosed with fibryomalgia around twenty years ago. I was totally unaware of this. The recent pains made me realise that over the last few months, I have actually been having a lot of strange pains, including in my wrists, elbows and knees, but they were never as severe as the ones on Thursday. They are pains in the bones and joints. As I sit here typing on a Sunday night, my shoulder still hurts, and knees are still painful as I bend them. I have had shooting pains in my legs, ankles and toes too.
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d say that I went to the Doctor for my initial blood test results. The results have ruled out Vitamin B12 and D deficiencies, iron levels are normal, as are all my blood counts in general, including blood sugars and hormones. We discussed the pains I had this week, and over the last few months too, as well as the migraines I have had over the last few years, bad skin which has started recently (never suffered with spots), weight gain and the tiredness. So, guess who is back for more blood tests next week? This time to rule out inflammation and rheumatoid artheritic pains. The next step would be either treatment for the above, or looking at other auto immune issues, such as Fibryomalgia. Wonderful!
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d mention the other elephant in the room… NaNoWriMo. I had actually signed up this year, knowing full well that I probably wouldn’t be able to keep up, but the intention to start writing book two properly was there. Now, with this stuff going on with my health, I don’t think it is likely. Never mind, I shall spend time erasing crutch words from my existing manuscript. Who knew I used the word ‘that’ so much??
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d tell you that we did get a chance to go out on Friday evening. The local fireworks display was on at the Prom. Last year it was cancelled as there was a stray beluga whale who had swum into the Thames Estuary, and taken up residence in the Gravesend waters. Our fireworks are usually set off on the river, so they were cancelled, so as not to disturb poor Benny. He was with us for quite a while, actually, then managed to find his way out. This year, we thought the same would happen, as a humpback whale strayed into the Estuary a few weeks ago. Sadly, he died, of malnourishment, and being hit by a ship. Then another dead whale was found, this time a Sei whale. Apparently a mixture of Global Warming and the threats of polluted water in certain seas might be responsible for these poor creatures straying so badly. But the waters were finally whale-free, so we trotted off to watch the fireworks. I had the class teddy with me too, so he watched with us!
View this post on Instagram

Finale fireworks #gravesendprom

A post shared by Ritu B (@ritubhathalwrites) on

  • If we were sipping chai together I’d tell you that the rest of the weekend just melted away into a mixture of bed and books… or sofa and books. Perfect recuperation time for me!
  • If we were sipping that chai together, and possibly reaching for cake or cookies I’d tell you that we have our first moderation evening on Tuesday. This is when we get together with the other schools in our academy, and compare our judgements on the children in our classes. It is always interesting to see how their children are doing, as well as how they are approaching any difficulties.
  • If we were sipping that chai together, and possibly reaching for cake or cookies I’d mention that I will have to squeeze the blood tests in to one day too, as the Phlebotomy dept is only open from 9-2pm Monday to Friday… Need to get that booked in with my Head teacher asap!
  • If we were sipping that chai together, and possibly reaching for cake or cookies I’d say that Monday might be ‘interesting’ as one of my teaching assistants is not around as she has to take her daughter to a hosiptal appointment, my one to one teaching assistant for my special Beaut, has to go on a school trip with another one to one child she used to work with, and my other Teaching assistant will be late as she has an appointment… So, I might be all alone!!!
  • If we were sipping that chai together, and possibly reaching for cake or cookies I’d tell you that I am hoping for another quiet weekend… please!

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

Spidey’s Serene Sunday – Part 244

img_00411

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”

Dr. Seuss

I just love this quote, Spidey! Thank you for popping it up on here today!

If I can’t do a lot of creating, which I am finding to be the case at the moment, with health issues etc., then reading is my next go-to!

And I honestly find that the more books I read, the more my world expands.

I am able to visit places I may never get to in reality, experience lives that I may not cross my path otherwise, escape in to fantasies that would otherwise always remain just that.

And the big one – I can dream that one day, my own book will end up taking readers on a similar magical ride one day too!

So, tell me, which book really helps you escape from reality?

Have a peaceful Sunday Peeps  And enjoy your week! ❤ 

October’s Books #BookReview

Well well well well! October is done and that means it’s nearly the end of the year! I’m still suffering tiredness, but reading is always my go-to for relaxation, so I’ll always make sure I have something on the go! Possibly not as many books as usual on the list, but there are some good uns!

The Hate U Give

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Ever since I saw a trailer for the movie, I wanted to read this book. What with all the #BlackLivesMatter stuff going on and apparent race-fuelled hate crimes, I was interested to read this story, written by a young Black American woman, about a girl caught up in the tragedy of a senseless killing by a police officer.
Starr Carter is sixteen, and is already very aware of gang culture, and the dangers that living in the ghetto put you in.
Her family make the decision to send her to a school away from the horror of shootings and gangs, but it doesn’t mean she is protected.
In The Hate U Give, we see a girl who witnesses not one but two horrific shootings, in her life, where she loses her best friends. Both are truly senseless losses of life, with one being a drive-by shooting, where the victim was only ten, and in the wrong place at the wrong time. The second is marred by the fact that a cop opens fire on a young black youth because he ‘thinks’ he was a danger.
The story shows Starr’s journey to fight for justice for her friend, who may have made bad decisions in his life, but who was a true innocent, and a victim of Police brutality.
I’ve read many reviews of this book, and most applaud how this sensitive topic has been approached. There are a few that mention disappointment, because yes, racism is a thing, and something that causes hell, but racism isn’t exclusively white on black.
Racism is unfortunately global.
White on black. Black on white. White on brown. Brown on white. Black on black. Brown on brown… you know where I’m going.
This book is an account of the feelings of a young black woman who loses her best friend because of a senseless shooting by a white cop. Of course, it’s going to be filled with hate for the police, and the white officers. But isn’t that a form of racism in itself?
It took me a little while to get totally into the book, but I was engrossed after the first 50 pages or so. You get a view of the thoughts of someone who is right in the middle of the situation, and their thoughts on many issues, from #BlackLivesMatter, to gang culture and drugs too.
What you take from the book is up to you.
What I took was that it’s all about education, or lack of.
A white officer only knew the stereotypes and was fearful of a couple of black teens. Instead of reading the situation, he reacted with a gunshot because isn’t that what this black kid would do to him?
But then again, all white people aren’t the same. Starr has a white boyfriend in this story, and the reverse stereotypes that the black community have of white people are also shown, in how Starr’s family and friends react to Chris initially too.
A thought-provoking read, that’s for sure!

Dishonoured

Dishonoured by Sofia Hayat
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

I picked up this book, thinking it would be a harrowing recount of a terrible life…
Sad to say, I, unfortunately, didn’t feel that at all.
Sofia Hayat is apparently a household name.
Not in my household.
And I live in Gravesend, the place she was born and brought up in. I started this book, and a sense of connection formed when I read that she was born in Gravesend.
I felt a little sorry for her as she recounted the events of her childhood, but I’m afraid she lost me as soon as she left her family.
A bit of a self-indulgent book, where it was all about hearing of her encounters with famous people, and others telling her how wonderful she was.
This could have been such a powerful book, if it had been written with more sympathy and details of the emotions she went through during her childhood. A couple of chapters at the end of the book to show her success would have sufficed.
Definitely not a recommended read by me, I’m afraid to say… And she made Gravesend out to be much worse than it actually is.. and no, it’s not named because people who died from the plague were buried here…

Another Love (No Greater Strength, #3)

Another Love by Amanda Prowse
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Oh my goodness, Amanda Prowse!
Every time I think you can’t find another situation to write about, you go and surprise me and do it again!
I’ve slowly been working my way through Amanda’s back catalogue and Another Love was a seriously touching story.
Alcoholism is indeed an awful illness that affects each and every member of the family of that person suffering.
I wanted to cry with Romilly the repentant mother and wife. I wanted to slap Romilly the drunken idiot who couldn’t say no. But most of all, I wanted her to conquer her addiction.
Some people don’t realise just how much alcohol can play havoc with a family, and this book hit the nail on the head.
Thank you Amanda, for a really powerful story.

So Lucky

So Lucky by Dawn O’Porter
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Well, what can I say?

Absolutely fantastic book!
I urge all women to read this and know that none of us is perfect. No one has a perfect life. No matter what is portrayed on the outside, there is always some inner struggle beneath.
We follow three women, each with their own secret, struggling to make life work, and trying to make sure no one on the outside is aware of their issues.
From body image to mental health to marital issues, so much is covered in this brilliantly written story.
Honestly, I have already recommended it to a couple of friends with whom the whole concept will resonate.

Many thanks to NetGalley and Harper Collins UK for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Olive Kitteridge (Olive Kitteridge, #1)

Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Okay, so I read this book as I had the sequel, Olive, Again, to read as an ARC.
I’m not sure I quite understood everything that went on.
A lot of head-hopping within the stories, all a bit more depressing than the last.
Sorry… I just didn’t get it…
Having said that, I don’t have much luck with Pulitzer prize winners. I struggled with American Pastoral too!

Olive, Again (Olive Kitteridge, #2)

Olive, Again by Elizabeth Strout
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I made sure I read the first book about Olive, before reading this, and I found it interesting, but disjointed.
This brought me to Olive, Again with a little trepidation.
It was another mish-mash of different character stories, with Olive as a connection, and also a real eye-opener into Olive’s journey through her twilight years.
I’d say this was a lighter book, than the first, which I found quite dark in places. I felt that Olive had softened with age, and it was interesting to read her thoughts as she grew older,
It definitely gave me an insight into how someone who is at the tail end of life might be feeling.

Many thanks to NetGalley and Penguin Books UK for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

True to Me

True to Me by Kay Bratt
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I have followed Kay Bratt for a while now, and have read one or two of her books, which I enjoyed immensely. AI jumped at a chance to read True to Me, as it sounded like another fantastic story.
And I wasn’t disappointed.
Quinn Macguire is a woman suffering loss. The loss of her mother, and the loss of the idea of a father who she never knew. The loss of herself.
On her deathbed, Quinn’s mother tells her a secret that has been eating away at her.
This leads to Quinn going on a journey of self-discovery with the aid of DNA testing, and boy, what a journey!
The majority of this book is set in Maui, and I want to go now, so vivid were the descriptions of the settings.
Quinn definitely finds the answers she was after, but not before undertaking a tumultuous, emotional journey towards them.
I loved the characters she met on the way, some who will stay with me for a long while, and I do hope to read more about Quinn and her new life after finding herself!
Many thanks to NetGalley and Lake Union Publishing for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Published 10th December

A Wedding in December

A Wedding in December by Sarah Morgan

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Sarah Morgan always has the ability to move me in a way not many other authors do.

In a Wedding In December, we meet Rosie White, who has been swept away in a whirlwind romance with Dan, culminating in an extremely fast proposal of marriage, followed by a date set mere weeks in advance. but who wouldn’t love it? A magical December wedding in Aspen, with the snow falling and all your family around?

Well, for a start, quite possibly her parents. Struggling with a secret of separation which they have hidden from their daughters for the last few months, Maggie and Nick wonder how are they going to get through a whole wedding, playing the charade of the happily married mother and father of the bride?

And what about the sister? Katie is a doctor in the A & E department of a busy London hospital. Being ten years older than her romantic sister, Rosie, she has worries and doubts of her own about whether this wedding should even take place, based upon her sister’s past and her own present.

So, will this wedding happen? Well, I shan’t spoil it for you, suffice to say the journey towards the end of this story is far from smooth, but I felt a true sense of satisfaction by the time I reached the end page!

Many thanks to NetGalley and HQ Publishing for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

The Lost Ones

The Lost Ones by Anita Frank
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

OMG! WOW!

I don’t think I can do this book justice, honestly!
Mysteries, thrillers, not usually my thing. I do love stories set in the past though.
And from the first few pages, I was totally hooked!

It is 1917 and England is in the midst of the war, Stella Marcham is grieving for the loss of her fiance, Gerald. Her family is concerned about her mental stability and rather than send her to some asylum that many grieving women were incarcerated in, she is shipped off to visit her sister, Madeleine, who is expecting her first baby, and living at her husband’s large mansion in the countryside,
From the moment Stella arrives, with her maid, Annie, at Greyswick, there is a strange feeling about the house.
Inexplainable happenings spark a chain of investigations and events that uncover some deep, dark secrets that were once buried within the house, and the memories of its inhabitants.

A truly gripping read. I cannot recommend it enough!

Many thanks to NetGalley and HQ publishing for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Christmas at Rachel’s Pudding Pantry

Christmas at Rachel’s Pudding Pantry by Caroline Roberts
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

You’ve got to love a good Christmas based festive story, and I enjoyed the light read that Christmas at Rachel’s Pudding Pantry provided.
I haven’t read the first book, but this wasn’t an issue, as the story works as a stand-alone as well.
Rachel and her mother Jill are rallying around, keeping the family farm going, as well as setting up a new business, the Pudding Pantry, in an old barn, trying to plug the hole of the loss of Rachel’s father a couple of years before.
The lead up to Christmas is quite quiet, and Rachel isn’t sure they will even survive as a business.
But with the gentle encouragement of beau, Tom, a neighbouring farmer, the creative charm of Eve, Rachel’s best friend, and the effervescence of her five-year-old daughter Maisie, Rachel comes up with an idea that may just swing the farm’s fortunes.
But it’s not all smooth sailing. Wayward sheep, unwanted exes, inclement weather and illness all find their way to hamper Rachel’s plans.
Will she be able to keep her farm, and romance afloat?
You’ll have to read the book to find out!
Many thanks to NetGalley and Harper Impulse for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

A Fire Sparkling

A Fire Sparkling by Julianne MacLean
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Oh, what a beautiful book!
I have always loved stories that have connections with the war, and family sagas that reveal secrets, long-buried, so as not to hurt or harm anyone.
In this beautifully crafted story, Gillian comes away from her fiance’s house, after learning of his deceit, to her father and grandmother.
Eager to forget her troubles, she is quickly sucked into learning a whole new past that her grandmother experienced, but had hidden from the world, and all but a handful of people.
I can’t tell you more, because I would hate to spoil the story, but a definite recommended read!
There is romance, tragedy, and it will ignite a yearning for the ‘right; ending to be the one you read!

So, Peeps, tell me which one appeals to you!


Chai And A Chat #56 #ChaiAndAChat

Happy Monday to you all! I hope your week treated you well. Here’s my half term update!

  • If we were sipping chai together I’d tell you that, though it was half term, that doesn’t meal total rest for me… I must be really wicked! It was a fun, jam-packed one though!
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d start off by saying that after 118 redials over half an hour, first thing on Monday morning, I managed to get through to the doctor and got a doctor’s appointment for 3.40pm that day. The doctor was baffled, and asked all the questions I’d expect, regarding sleep patterns, diet, stress at work or home, sudden weight loss (I wish!) etc, and ended up sending me for a whole host of blood tests to check pretty much everything he could… So off I went on Tuesday morning, all prepared for the wait, as I had a fasting blood test within all the others. It didn’t take as long as I expected, thankfully, so I was home within half an hour. I called up on Friday to see whether the results were back, and they all appear to have come back clear… so the reason for my tiredness is still a mystery. It’s a good thing I still kept that Friday appointment on the 1st November. I’ll be back to find out if the Dr has any more bright ideas.
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d tell you that the rest of Tuesday was spent finishing off bits and bobs in my classroom, ready for next week, and then packing for our trip to Birmingham, to see Pops and Mum. I couldn’t wait!
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d say that the journey was pretty smooth, on our way to Brum, for a change, and we got there within the 3 hours. The kids always want to go swimming there, so that was the first thing we ticked off our list of things to do! Then it was a chilled dinner at home. Thursday morning was a great time, where we ended up going through some of Mum’s old outfits. Lil Princess loved trying things on! And Lil Man did not want to be left behind. Mum found her brother’s old things too, old pullovers, pens and instruments from the 60’s when he was over here studying for a PhD! It is wonderful to look at these things, marvelling at how perfectly things have been kept, for so many years, so they still look like new!
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d tell you that we then went shopping in Solihull which is where I went to school. I was also hoping to meet my dear blog pal, Shelley Wilson, and we did indeed manage to catch up for chai (me) and coffee (the rest!) My parents loved meeting her, and I’m sure Shelley can vouch for where my chatterbox nature comes from!
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d say that on Friday, we had lunch out, at a local Nando’s and it was a funny trip as there was a server, an English guy, who was obviously taken by my Pops and his turban, so he took it upon himself to pop over to us and let Pops know he had been to a village near Ludhiana (a district in Punjab, India), before disappearing to his job. Then, as we started to eat, he came back and felt the need to sing a snippet of a Bollywood song, telling us he loved it! We got a good giggle from that! After our serenading server, we went to the cinema to watch The Addams Family. It was okay… not the best, but not the worst. (and Pops fell asleep before the film even began – don’t blame him – the adverts were over half and hour long!) The evening was spent with some family visiting, which is always fun!
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d tell you that the journey back was far from stressless on Saturday. We woke to heavy rain in Birmingham and so left at 10-30am to give us plenty of time to get back. I still had laundry, shopping and cleaning to do when I got home, what with it being diwali the next day. It was nearing 4pm when we actually arrived back at our house. Nope. not a smooth 3 hours. There was rain, traffic, rain, traffic, accidents, traffic… you get my drift? And I still had to unpack and do the rest upon arriving back home! (Another week off please? Anyone?)
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d tell you that other tham being with Pops and Mum, I also was back to my editing. I have decided to go Indie now, so I need to do those last changes to the MS so I can get ready to launch… ! Eeeeeek!!! And I found plenty of places to sit and write, in Brum, as well as back home. Oh, and somehow I managed to buy anpother notebook, and pen, but they match my MacBook bag, soI think that’s allowed!
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d say that after taking Lil Princess to a birthday party, we did our preparations for Diwali on Sunday. A trip to the Gurdwara to pay our respects, plenty of food at the in-laws and then back to the temple to watch fireworks! It was a good day, all
  • If we were sipping that chai together, and possibly reaching for cake or cookies I’d tell you that I would love another week off… but alas, that won’t happen! Back to school, my lovelies!
  • d possibly reaching for cake or cookies I’d tell you that there is a Halloween school disco to look forward too… I think.
  • If we were sipping that chai together, and possibly reaching for cake or cookies I’d mention that we may go to the fireworks at the local prom on Friday too, for Bonfire Night, or Guy Fawkes night!
  • If we were sipping that chai together, and possibly reaching for cake or cookies I’d tell you that I hope the following weekend will be calm and quiet… I think I’dd need it!

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

Previous Older Entries

My interactive peeps!

Peeps are reading in…

Flag Counter
%d bloggers like this: