Chai And A Chat #72 #ChaiAndAChat – Half Term Fun

Happy Monday to you all! But, where did that week go? I wish I could tell you I spent the whole time relaxing, but that would be a lie, and a very not ‘Ritu’ thing to do. I did manage a Chai though! Where’s yours?

  • If we were sipping chai together I’d say that aside from picking up a few bits I needed for my classroom, and meeting up with my dear team teach for a coffee (or chai, in my case), I thought of nothing school related whatsoever! I had thought I might pop in to school at some point, then decided against it. Best idea ever!
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d tell you that there was still a lot going on, all week. We started with dentist appointments on Monday morning, where Lil Princess was over the moon to be told she needs to be referred for braces (strange child!), Lil Man was told off for not brushing his gums properly, and I exited with a huge smile as I got a clean bill, and a ‘well done’ for amazing brushing from the dentist. I know it’s silly, but it makes me happy, being a dentist’s daughter, and all that!
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d mention that on Monday evening, Lil Princess and I took at trip to Maidstone with my Father-in-law for him to attend his official citizenship ceremony! He’s been in this country for over 45 years, and has residency, but never took up the citizenship as it was easier to travel to and from India on his Indian passport. Still, now he decided to go for it, and we were invited to a very official ceremony, where he had to utter an oath, and got a certificate and photo from some Vice chairman of something, and Brigadeer something or other… and he got jam. I kid you not. That was the gift all new citizens were given. A special pot of Kentish jam! Still, A lovely experience!
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d tell you that on Tuesday, I embraced my inner writer, and knuckled down to write. I have been pretty good this week, actually. Apart from yesterday, Sunday, where I was too tired, I have written something every day, from 200 to 1500 words. That means book two is coming along very nicely, thank you very much! And I hope to keep the daily writing up too, so you don’t have to wait twenty years for the sequel!
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d also mention that I was a little tense as I had to get my car serviced and MOT’d before Thursday. I knew the car is fine, but it is always a stress, until you have that little piece of paper in your hand saying the car is safe for another year!
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d admit that I decided to try another healthy eating kick. I signed up to the two week trial of Noom, which is a system to help change your mindset with regards to lifestyle, exercise and eating. I love getting creative with food, and it was interesting to try and manage my eating on our weekend away! (Oh, and I even managed cake on Lil Princess’s birthday!)
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d tell you that I won a book as well, from a Twitter giveaway! Always a bonus!
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d tell you that I am now the mother of a twelve year old girl… Yes, Lil Princess had her birthday. We spent it shopping at Bluewater and having lunch, as well as having CAKE in the evening!
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d be excited to share that we managed our weekend away too! Hubby Dearest booked a beautiful three bedroom apartment at a bargain price in Canary Wharf, so off we trotted! We had dinner at The Big Easy, spent a whole day walking the length and breadth of Oxford Street then dinner in Leicester Square at TGI Friday’s topped off by generally fantastic quality time with the family!
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d tell you that I took the opportunity to take my book baby on a tour of certaim parts of London too! I got some funny looks from my kids and Hubby Dearest, but why not! But what a great way to celebrate the fact that I have sold at least 100 copies of the book in two weeks!
  • If we were sipping that chai together, and possibly reaching for cake or cookies I’d tell you that this week it’s back to school. I’ll try not to get too tired, but also want to squeeze writing time in daily too, as well as a little exercise. I am going to try, anyway!
  • If we were sipping that chai together, and possibly reaching for cake or cookies I’d say that though the immediate family birthdays are now done until May, I am taking Lil Princess to London again on Saturday to attend a surprise lunch for one of my dear cousin sister-in-laws. Her daughters have arranged a special meal… should be fun!
  • If we were sipping that chai together, and possibly reaching for cake or cookies I’d mention that I also have an eye appointment on Sunday… think it might be time for specs for screen at least now. The lazer surgery has lasted well, over 10 years actually, and it may just be time to embrace age…

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

Spidey’s Serene Sunday – Part 260 – Peace


“Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without.”


Thank you for this thought provoking quote, Spidey.

I’ve spent a few months now, running myself ragged with all sorts going on, from family commitments, to work responsibilities, to that writing and publication journey of mine.

Somewhere along the line, something had to give, and if I wasn’t careful, it was going to be me.

This week off has been a blessing for me. It’s given me time to centre my thoughts, focus on the things I really want to achieve, and I have had quality time with my family too.

I know that I need to achieve a balance in my life so that I manage to stay centered, and achieve all I am trying to.

It means I need to first accept that I am only human, and that I have a lot on my plate.

I need to remember that I can only do everything if I stay as calm, and organised as I can.

I know I am busy. I know I am not SuperWoman. I know I can achieve all I want and more, as long as I believe in myself.

I feel happy being the me I am.

I think that is truly feeling at peace with myself.

Now to build those habits to make sure I stay at peace with myself, and can hit all the goals I have set myself.

So… tell me, do you feel at peace with yourself?

Have a peaceful Sunday Peeps  And enjoy your week! ❤ 

Mr Sagittarius Blog Tour

I am very pleased to welcome a long standing friend and fantastic author to my blog today – Marjorie Mallon!

Marje has a brand new release out now: Mr Sagittarius; a collection of poetry and prose.

Let me hand over to Marje, to tell you a little about the book, and you are lucky enough to even get an excerpt at the end of this post, too!

Mr. Sagittarius is a collection of poetry, prose and photographic images inspired by the botanical gardens in Cambridge. It features a variety of my photos including: trees, a robin and a dragonfly! As well as this there are several stories, and even some Halloween poems!

I doubt I would have created Mr. Sagittarius if it wasn’t for these two amazing ladies: Colleen Chesebro (for her weekly poetry challenges and Charli Mills – Carrot Ranch (flash fiction challenges.) Both ladies have been a huge source of inspiration and encouragement.

Mr. Sagittarius is a magical celebration of the natural world, a story about the circle of life, with an emphasis on the changing seasons of the year and sibling relationships.

Huge thanks to my amazing cover designer and formatter: Rachael Ritchey who has done an amazing job creating the ebook, paperback cover and graphics.

And here is an excerpt, from on eof the character, Annette’s point of view.

My heart is a cave.
Hidden dark and mysterious,
Stalactites and icy caverns,
Rock pools and hiding places.

No one visits anymore. I’m alone.
The ice is melting, and the stars seem so far away.
I long for light, life and laughter to discover me again.

I wait.

While I wait ice drips in darling drops,

Drip, dripping.
The moon is high,
An orb of brilliant light, it grins at me.

I remember my past, days ago,
Children, a husband, lovers – even.
So, I wait for someone to come,
For a torch to shine.

It comforts me that the moon is full.


Soon I will be reunited with you.
I imagine you smiling down on the cave.

Annette opens the attic door searching for a keepsake box. It is in the furthest corner behind many old ornaments, suitcases and forgotten things. Her hands tremble as she picks it up. She takes it down into the living room and opens the lid a smidgen but closes it abruptly. Her hands tremble with anticipation. She stops, realising that this is not the right place to open the box. Instead, she finds a carrier bag and pops the box into the bottom of the roomy bag. Her destination isn’t far away. She is glad it is a weekday morning; it will be quiet in the botanical garden’s glasshouses. The lady in the entry booth is busy with other visitors and barely looks up as she
enters; Annette is glad not to stop to talk. Driven by a need to open the letter she rushes ahead, only slowing her pace when she arrives at the glasshouse entrance.
Now, she takes her time pausing with intention, taking in the many flowers that Harold would have loved. In the furthest tropical glasshouse, she searches for a seat but there are none, only the warm radiators to lean against. Her eyes search to see if anyone is coming and when she is sure it is quiet, she reaches in her bag and pulls
out the box and then the letter. The correspondence is pale blue, folded by her guilt, its size diminished until it’s only a tiny rectangle of heartfelt wishes. Its once crisp, frayed edges make her gasp.

Buy it here!

Amazon UK:

Amazon USA:

Author Bio

I write YA Fantasy/Paranormal novels, Horror/Ghost short stories and multi-genre flash fiction as well as micro poetry – haiku and Tanka. I share book reviews, poetry, flash fiction, photography and inspirational details of my writing journey at my lovely blog home:

I’m a member of two professional writing groups: The Society of Children’s Writers and Book Illustrators  and Cambridge Writers

As well as this I run a supportive group with fellow Administrator D G Kaye on Facebook: Authors/Bloggers Rainbow Support Club

I work as a Receptionist/Event organiser for an international sixth form and live in Cambridge, England.

Colleen's 2020 Weekly #Tanka Tuesday #Poetry Challenge No. 165 #PhotoPrompt – Moon

Well, guess who had the honour of choosing this month’s prompt photo?

Me, that’s who! And I took it myself, as well!

Remember, it’s syllabic poetry that Colleen wants from us!

So, here’s the photo.

Two senryu for you you, 5/7/5, 3/5/3 and 2/3/2

I smile at the moon
Peering through the eerie clouds
Light, in my darkness

Ritu 2020

Moon appears
Through the eerie clouds
My night light

Ritu 2020

through the clouds
my light

Ritu 2020

And you can check out the challenge here.

Chai And A Chat #71 #ChaiAndAChat

Happy Monday to you all! Boy, am I glad it’s this particular Monday… Finally, half term break is here! Right, where’s that Chai?

  • If we were sipping chai together I’d repeat the comment above. Boy, am I glad that it is half term! The exhaustion has fully kicked in. I have been falling asleep far too early every night, dragging myself out of bed in the mornings, and the knees… yup, the pains are back. Actually, typing this, I can feel a twinge in my little finger too… Here’s hoping a break from school will help me out a bit.
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d sigh and say, it won’t be much of a break, but I’ll go into that later!
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d tell you that the week at school has been the usual craziness, but muted. Why? Because there has been some crazy virus that hit our Reception classes, and instead of 29 children, I have had a varying number, the most being 23, the least 18, all week! There was tonsillitus, sickness bugs, extreme high temperatures, headaches, coughs… what to do? As long as they didn’t give it to us, and use the break to get properly better! But as I said, it has been very quiet. We have had a lot of quality time with the children that were in, so that was lovely, but I do miss seeing their smiling faces! I had a great time this week, roleplaying through storytelling. We were looking at international traditional tales, and were doing Aboriginal dot art. This sparked a bit of atmosphere, where we had a camp fire on the TV, the lights off, and aboriginal music playing in the back ground. We decided to read an Anansi tale, because the artwork in the book was quite apt. And as I went to read the story I decided to change my persona. I was no longer Mrs Bhathal, but Sheila the Storyteller! It was so funny – I was reading in an Aussie accent, then it clicked that Anansi is a Caribbean tale, so whilst reading the narration, I was Aussie, but I had to switch to something more Caribbean for the speaking parts. The other adults in the room were in stitches! And the icing on the cake was one of the children totally soaking in my silliness, and referring to me as Sheila as I asked questions! Because it was enjoyed so much, we decided that Sheila needed to come back on Friday, and this time, thanks to a dear colleague, I even had one of the cork hats! We read There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed A Fly first, then Mrs Bhathal disappeared and Sheila turned up with her own book, There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed A Mozzie! And this time the story was told to both Reception classes! It was such a giggle!
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d say that the Blog Tour came to an end on Wednesday, with some wonderful posts by all the hosts, and I have shifted 88 copies of my book in total. Wow! And I have amassed a few reviews on Amazon and Goodreads too! I am humbled by the words people have used to describe my words and story. They really like it! And my dear brother is on call for if anyone approaches me regarding movie rights! (He’s thinking ahead, I think. It’s good to have someone with that much faith in you!) I recieved
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d excitedly tell you that I have even designed my own media kit to go with the book, and I had them printed out… Check these beauties out!
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d mention that a while after I had my poetry anthology published, I discovered that you could get book cover lockets made with whichever cover you wanted. This was my little memento for that special day. So it stood to reason that I needed the same for this book of mine… what do you think?
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d say that a couple of other pretty lovely things happened as well this week. Firstly, I was featured on Instagram with a little quote from me.
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d try and contain myself before telling you the BIGGIE. I was approached by London radio station, TalkRADIO, to be interviewed by them next month! And, even better, the other person on the show will be Amanda Prowse, one of my favourite authors, and inspirations! I am totally gobsmacked, and I’ll be sure to tell you all when and where you can listen, when I get all the details!
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d have to mention that other day../ Valentine’s Day too. We had plan. A dinner out on the Friday, or Saturday, but health took that decision out of our hands. Hubby Dearest had the worst cold so we spent the evening on the sofa with our Sonu Singh snuggled up between us! Still, it was a lovely evening, sniffles and all!
  • If we were sipping chai together I couldn’t forget to mention the storms. Hot on the heels of Storm Ciara from last week, we had Storm Dennis come to visit. He was full of wind and hard rain. And he caused my car service to get delayed too… It meant that the whole weekend was spent inside, which I loved, as I read plenty, and I got back into writing for book two! Hubby Dearest used the time to recuperate, barely leaving the bed, and Lil Princess loved lazing about. Of course Lil Man was bouncing off the walls. He hates being stuck inside! Still, we survived!
  • If we were sipping that chai together, and possibly reaching for cake or cookies I’d tell you that this week will be filled with car services and MOT tests, dentist appointments, Lil Princess’s birthday, and a possible trip away for the weekend! I will try to get a bit of writing in there too!
  • If we were sipping that chai together, and possibly reaching for cake or cookies I’d say that I promise to make time for me as well. I need to get some relaxation in, somehow!

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

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