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!

Chai And A Chat #70 #ChaiAndAChat

Happy Monday to you all! I’m quite tempted to swap my chai for something stronger today… in a good way, but let’s not let my BOOK RELEASE totally take over this post, just yet!

  • If we were sipping chai together I’d tell you that this week that tiredness has not got any better. I have been wanting to leave school earlier and earlier every evening, and falling asleep much sooner than usual… oh, and the knee pains seem to have started up again, mildly, but nevertheless, there, since Saturday… 😢Roll on April and that appointment.
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d mention my dear class. Well, my little screamer has been a bit calmer this week, or the three days that she was in, anyway. It seems to have helped, having her mum in for a short while, but that is not a long term solution… so lets see what happens this week. I have to get prepared for a new child as well now, as I had one more space, so the Monday after half term, we should be welcoming a new boy. Here’s hoping he fits in with my beauts, beautifully!
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d have to say that birthdays galore have been celebrated in the family this past week. We started with my Bro-in-law on Monday, then it was Hubby Dearest and Mum-in-law’s on Saturday. We had a big family meal out on Saturday evening, which was really lovely. It’s been a while since we all went out together. And there was cake too. There has to be cake, doesn’t there? I am not complaining at all!
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d now have to go into that thing that was happening… but first, I’d have to update you on the Cover Wars result. I canvassed for votes, and tried very hard, and we came second! To be honest, it was strange, but every 3-4 votes I got, there would be 10 more for the first place winner… The kids were convinced there was a bot at work! See, they are truly Team Mum! In fact, Lil Man even offered to get a friend of his to hack the site! Er, thanks, but no thanks, son! I would never want to win by cheating! Still, second the best, isn’t that what then say? 😉 The final vote scores for mine was over a thousand votes, so I’m not complaining! Thank you for voting, if you did!
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d now take a deep breath and say I’M A PUBLISHED AUTHOR!!!!!! Yes, finally, after all these years, my book came out yesterday! The blog tour has been amazing. I have been blown away by the posts, reviews and comments that have been being left so far. I am touched by all your support…. Can’t wait to get my first proper copy in my hand!
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d jump up and down and tell you that there has even been reviews on Amazon… well, as I type this, one 5-star review there, and at least 4 on Goodreads! I have been contacted by people who had the book delivered onto their kindle, from pre-orders, and they have been sending positive messages about what they have read so far. It is just so overwhelming! I can’t believe that finally, after all this time, you guys are able to read my book!!
  • If we were sipping that chai together, and possibly reaching for cake or cookies I’d tell you that there are a few more days of the blog tour to go, and I just need to keep the book in the eyes of the prospective readers there. The feedback I have had so far is that there NEEDS to be a book two… so I really need to get myself organised to write again!
  • If we were sipping that chai together, and possibly reaching for cake or cookies I’d say that I am definitely going to be crawling to Friday when it is not only Valentine’s day, but also the end of this term, and a week off. Boy, do I need it!!!!

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

Chai And A Chat #69 #ChaiAndAChat

Happy Monday to you all! And, how has that happened? The first Monday of February? It felt like January was seventeen weeks long, seriously!

  • If we were sipping chai together I’d tell you that the week in the classroom has been rather interesting, to say the least. Generally, things have been fine, but my new Growler… well, things have really escalated there. She’s like a Jekyll and Hyde character, flipping from extreme happiness to the polar end of the scale with blood curdling screams and violence. I was so happy when she was interacting with others, playing with children at playtime, and actually trying to communicate with them and us adults. She even came up to me with some pieces of paper she had been playing with, and said “Money” as the children had been playing shop. We were reading The Gingerbread Man and she drew some great pictures, and was even able to say what she had drawn, in one word statements. I was so proud. Then Friday came, and she went from down to up, to down in the space of half an hour, in which she had a melt down, bit a member of staff, bruising her, and after seeming like she was okay, locked herself in the toilet again, screaming. We had to call mum to get her. I feel for her mother. We called her in for a meeting to discuss next steps, and she is at the end of her tether. I thought the behaviour may be as a result of frustrations as she doesn’t understand what we are saying, but apparently she did the same for three to six months in the nursery she attended back home, where they all spoke her home language. Baby steps, but we have come to an arrangement, with some strategies for mum to try at home, as well as more support at school, to see what we can do to settle her quicker. It’s barely six months to the end of the school year and I’d hate for her to get settled, just before she has to change to a new class. Sooner the better. Oh, and the day we come back after half term, I have another new child starting…Wish us luck!
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d tell you that I don’t know if it my mystery condition, or the situation at school, but the tiredness is back in full effect. I have been falling asleep before 9, or stretching it to 10 pm some days. A few pains in the knees, but the heels are hurting now, too. I have an appointment with the Rheumatology consultant, but it’s not until April!
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d say that come Friday, even though I was tired, I needed a little break, so I met up with some of my Tootie Frootie girls for a couple of drinks. There were birthdays to celebrate, and life to discuss, and all on the eve of BREXIT! Where we were sitting, there were a couple of older English gentlemen, who were obvious Leave voters (not in any offensive way) but they were happy to ‘get our country back’. One of them apologised as soon as he said it. My friend asked why he was apologising, we were all born and bred in the UK too! He wasn’t sure how to respond, but still wished us a good evening, and they made their way out.
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d mention that I have seen a first review of the book… on Goodreads. And I cried. My first five star review! And one of my advanced readers came back to me with words that I will be saving in my scrapbook too.
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d say that I needed a little more pampering, so I had a lovely pedicure and manicure, complete with a cuppa and my book. The best way to relax, even though it tickles when she treats my feet!
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d ask for your assistance. My cover has been entered into this week’s Author Shout Cover Wars, and it would be the most awesome thing to have my cover be the winner, for the week of publication! Please, if you feel you can, click the link below to vote for Marriage Unarranged. Thanking you and appreciating you, in advance!

Author Shout Cover Wars

  • If we were sipping chai together I’d remind you that as next week is official Publication day, there will be plenty of posts coming, via the Book Blog Tour, and I shall make sure I share them on both blogs, so you don’t miss them!
  • If we were sipping that chai together, and possibly reaching for cake or cookies I’d say that we have three family birthdays to celebrate this week, Bro In Law, Mum in Law and Hubby Dearest. I think there may be a lot of cake involved!
  • If we were sipping that chai together, and possibly reaching for cake or cookies I’d say that OBVIOUSLY, the big thing next week, after the family birthdays, will be the blog book tour, and the release of my book!!!!!!

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

Chai And A Chat #68 #ChaiAndAChat

Happy Monday to you all! I hope you’ve had a great week!

  • If we were sipping chai together I’d tell you that my patience has definitely been tried this week! Firstly we had the staffing ins and outs… never easy for any of us, adults and kids, but hey, we coped. Then there was the planning and prepping. My colleague and I managed to get the planning done before our official day, so it left me to create and locate the resources needed for the following week, alone. It’s easily done, but just time consuming. Oh, and we had a visit from a specialist teacher to observe my autistic Beaut. They are wo well meaning, but sometimes they forget that we are not a special school, and aside from that one child, I have 28 others to think about… Did I tell you I have another space in my class? One of my lovelies has left, as her family moved too far from the school for it to be viable for them to bring her here daily. So that leaves me with a spot… And seeing what I got when the last spot was filled, fills me with a new dread…
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d go on to news about my Growler… She seemed to have such a good week. Yes, there were a rew growls, but it was also her birthday, and with plenty of cuddles, smiles and cadjoling. Then Friday came. Oh my, what a Friday! We started off wonderfully, then breaktime was great. She’s starting to play with a couple of others, which is wonderful. But trouble started when she had to go to do her phonic learning with another group. Shoes flung off, and curled into a corner, her group leader had to bring her in separately, once the rest of the children were back from the lesson. Then I started our Numeracy learning. She appeared happy, and was especially pleased when I set up a special game for her to access on my class SMART TV. Better than her sitting and not understanding what our work was about. A couple of visitors into the classroom threw her, and the next thing I knew, growl central started up… She was curled up in the tiniest of spaces under the TV. I tried to move her gently, and got her one of the soft toys she likes to hold for reassurance. She managed to slip back into the gap. Then when we were finally out, she growled as I led her to where I was sitting, hoping to engage her in an activity near me. She started to grab herself, so I thought maybe it was a toilet visit she needed. The one other adult in the classroom, my support, was asked to take her. I kept the rest of the class busy with their tasks, until a few moments later, she reappeared, saying she was going to get help; the girl had locked herself in the toilet. Basically, in the last 15 minutes of her time at school, we had the headteacher, and office manager, trying to open the door, then attemtps to extricate a 5 year old who had attatched herself to the toilet bowl, accompanied by high pitched screams. Her mum’s arrival didn’t immediately help. It took mum a few minutes to get her out of the cubicle too. Heaven knows what she will be feeling like on Monday! And I wonder why I was so exhausted in Saturday, that after a visit to the temple, I literally ended up in bed the whole day!
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d have to mention that I have found a new hobby. I want to learn calligraphy! I have created a little kit for myself, and I must share this beautiful quill pen that I aquired…! That’s just me and stationery!
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Practice makes perfect #calligraphy #quillpen

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  • If we were sipping chai together I’d say that I am nervously excited now. It is two weeks to the release of the book, and the last time I looked, preorders were at over 40! You guys, I am overwhelmed by your support! I have to share something funny though. I have been experimenting with Facebook Ads. I set up a small one to run, long term up to the release date, and targerted the UK, USA, Australia, India, Pakistan and the UAE… And since then, the ad has been inundated by likes… by random Asian men! 😂Surprisingly, no sales from there…
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d mention that Lil Man wanted to return a basket ball that wasn’t up to scratch, so the kids and I ventured to Bluewater to return it, and had a lovely meal out as well.
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d have to share this too. Friday was Chinese New Year and we had an afternoon of celebration at school. The kids had noodles to try, games with chopsticks, dragon masks to make, and at the end, I bought them all Fortune Cookies to share. They loved it all! There were a few fortune cookies left, so I bought them home. And this was what one said…
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d admit to falling for another of those challenges on Social Mendia. I swore I wouldn’t, but I ended up having to. Have you heard of the #DollyPartonMemeChallenge? She posted a meme of her alleged profile pics on various Social Media sites, spoof ones, obviously, to show how different a single person can be perceived by their profiles… so, here’s mine!
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I swore I wouldn't, but I did… #dollypartonmemechallenge

A post shared by Ritu B (@ritubhathalwrites) on

  • If we were sipping that chai together, and possibly reaching for cake or cookies I’d say that this week, will be the calm before the storm, so to speak. The last week of January, then Feb hits with a BAM! We have ALL the birthdays in my in-laws family, my bro-in-law first, Hubby Dearest and my Mum-in-law on the same day, and then my Dad-in-law and Lil Princess on the same day too! Coupled with Valentines day, and a couple of weeks in, my Publishing Day, I think I should try and get my thinking cap on for gifts, and also get a little more rest in!
  • If we were sipping that chai together, and possibly reaching for cake or cookies I’d tell you that it’ll be assessment time before I know it at school too! Dear God, help me!

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

Chai And A Chat #66 #ChaiAndAChat

Happy Monday to you all! I hope your week was as good as mine!

  • If we were sipping chai together I’d sit back, relax, and tell you that the first week back to school was actually pretty good! The new girl is still growling, but peppering the growls with smiles, though she did kick out at a member of staff, which wasn’t so good… Still, baby steps. She’s going to be doing half days for a short while, and hopefully, once a bit more confident, she’ll be with us for the full day. Honestly, she’s like a frightened animal.
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d say that book-wise, things are going well too, I have finally got all the niggly changes made, and everything is all set for Pub Day on the 9th February. Still working on the actual blog tour posts, though! One highlight was taking delivery of my new book marks.
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d have to mention another awesome thing that happened. someone I don’t even know, someone who looked at my cover and blurb, shared it in a Romance group on Facebook! And I didn’t even have to ask! I was speechless. That means there are people out there who will read my book, even though they don’t know me!
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d tell you that we took a lovely stroll along the prom on the weekend. It was beautifully sunny, but chilly, with a bit of a wind whipping up around us, but still… fresh air! Got Lil Princess out of the house willingly. That was worth it, itself!
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d mention that two evenings a week are now keeping me busy, with the taxiing to tutoring on a Tuesday, and now a Thursday for Lil Man and his Winter Indoor Cricket nets, along with getting them both to Badminton on a Saturday morning. I’m glad though, that is a good few hours that they aren’t glued to screens!
  • If we were sipping that chai together, and possibly reaching for cake or cookies I’d say that we have Lil Princess’s first ever parents evening for secondary school on Wednesday. Somehow, her one doesn’t fill me with the dread of Lil Man’s! (wonder why?)
  • If we were sipping that chai together, and possibly reaching for cake or cookies I’d tell you that I really need to finish writing the blog tour posts!!!

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

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