Chai And A Chat #200 #ChaiAndAChat

Hi there, Peeps! It’s the 200th episode of our Chai and A Chat sessions, can you believe it? And look at me, late again! But, I have a good excuse. We were at a family wedding all weekend, and I have only been home for a short while, so I am catching up, now!

I have a cup of soothing Indian chai… hoe you’ve got a drink, too!

  • If we were having chai,Β I’d tell you That this week has flown by, as usual. After finishing my first draft, I spent a while finding some alpha readers for book 2. This time, the issues I write about are more specific, so I wanted sensitive readers to give me their feedback. 1 out of the three has started reading, and can I just say, I am so grateful to him for what he has come back to me with, so far! The last thing I want to do is fall into stereotypes or not deal with the issues at hand with no sensitivity! And I printed the manuscript off so I can have my own first proper readthrough!
  • If we were having chai,Β I’d have to say that I am still getting some lovely feedback from readers for Marriage Unarranged, and I am touched by the words of these fantastic people!
  • If we were having chai,Β I’d say that Lil Princess has been asking to go for walks with me so we have been taking short strolls around the neighbourhood. The lack of rain was evident, with parched fields, but there was one field with a few random sunflowers standing tall. They felt like a beacon of hope.
  • If we were having chai,Β I would share with you that we attended a wedding. Stick with me, here, my brother-in-law’s wife’s sister was getting married. We haven’t attended a wedding for around 4 years, and for my in-laws that was the first proper outing they have had since before lockdown, and Mum’s knee ops. I was excited, but actually worried because I have put on so much weight, and I didn’t have the time to get new outfits. I was more concerned with Lil Princess having some lovely things to wear! So the sucky in pants came out, and I had to have one outfit adjusted, but well, I got there! We had a couple of nights out, too, so we didn’t have to do too many, long-distance drives late at night. It was a beautiful weekend and everyone was able to celebrate, let their hair down, eat, drink and be merry! Pops and Mum even attended the reception, too!
  • If we were having chai, I’d tell you that we had a cricket-less week, apart from training, due to the wedding. Lil Man wasn’t that impressed, but he has rediscovered his love of Bhangra music, and he danced all through the party and reception! When we got home, he even took out his old dhol drum and had a play about on it. The first time in over 2 years! This wedding was good for everyone for so many different reasons!
  • If we were having chai,Β I would end, as always, with Sonu Singh. He was alone for a couple of nights, but not in a row. We have an automatic feeder, with a camera and microphone, so we could speak to him, and left him with lights and plenty of water. As usual, he wasn’t impressed, and he tried to get into our bags, but ended up plumping for the tissue box, in the end. We missed him so much, bless him!
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This week is my last week off before the school year starts again. I have no major plans, other than to mentally prepare myself, and a trip to Bluewater with Lil Princess one day!

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Chai And A Chat #199 #ChaiAndAChat

Hi there, Peeps! I apologise for the tardiness, but actually, I’m not sorry, really! For a change I have had a good chill out, which is huge for me, especially after a pretty crazy, hot week and weekend!

I have my bath of ice, hope you are sufficiently cool!

  • If we were having chai,Β I’d tell you that last week, I had plans. I have been picking random quotes and sayings from a couple of packs of motivational cards that I have, and this one came up. And what truth this particular quote resonates with! No, we all know my time situations. School and life drains me, meaning I can’t write as much or as often as I would like, so I have to fight. to make these words happen, at a time where I Can be productive, AKA the school holidays. And…
  • If we were having chai,Β I’d announce that, on Wednesday, I officially finished that first draft! It’s a monster, at nearly 109K, and no doubt there is a lot. of excess that will need trimming, but my story for book 2 is finally all out of my system!
  • If we were having chai,Β I’d say that I have to now start the read-back, which I am doing out loud with Lil Princess, who has shown interest in something other than her phone for the first time in a long while! (and she seems to be enjoying the story so far, so YAY!) I also need to do my own quick check-over before sending it to some trusted Alpha readers, so I can hear how much of it is actually waffle, and total rubbish, cutting it down to 80K!
  • If we were having chai,Β I would say that rest of the week has been devoted to being rather hot and sticky, and just getting comfortable, most of the time! And it was also Rakhri on Thursday, which is brother and sister day in India. I have written about this before on the blog, but we celebrate our sibling bonds and promises to always be there for one another by the sisters tying a sacred thread on the wrist of our brothers, and the brothers respond with a little gift for their sisters! It’s always a bittersweet day for me since my brother isn’t here locally, so I can’t physically tie my Rakni on him, but we are very close, and we always speak regularly, and my rakhi is sent to him, ready for him to get it tied by someone else, on my behalf.
  • If we were having chai, I’d sigh and say, yes, cricket featured heavily this week, with Lil Man having friends over to train with him three times this week, a training session with his club, as well as three full-day matches! Productive, but long and hot!
  • If we were having chai,Β I would end, as always, with Sonu Singh who this week decided to use an awful lot of energy, and try and do an escape mission out of the Velux window in my office! There I was, innocently reading in my chair, and he hopped up to snuggle next to me. The next thing I know, he had an idea and jumped up, onto the shelf below the window, and clambered up! He tried to work out how to get his paw through the gap in the open window, but then got stuck trying to get down, back onto my armchair! So this means that instead of having a bit of a breeze running through my office regularly, I have to keep the windows closed, unless I am up there, to that any more bright escape ideas he has! Stuffy! What a cheeky kitty!
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This week will pass in preparations for the weekend. We have a wedding to attend. (Stick with me, here, as I try and explain who is getting married…) My brother-in-law’s sister-in-law, or rather, Hubby Dearest’s sister-in-law’s sister is getting married. Got that, so my husband’s brother’s wife’s youngest sister is getting hitched. Phew! Long-winded, I know! But, we haven’t been to a wedding since way before the lockdown and Covid graced us! So, I’ll be squeezing myself into outfits I barely fit. And I hope that it’s not so hot that my makeup just slides off my face! I hope to have lots of colourful pics for you, next week, but beware, it might be another delayed post, as we may not be back home until Monday, itself!

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!

Chai And A Chat #198 #ChaiAndAChat

Hi there, Peeps! it’s Monday, again!

I have been so productive this week but relaxed, too! It’s been good!

  • If we were having chai,Β I’d tell you that the first few days of the week were spent in Birmingham with my parents. It was a bit of a whirlwind visit, but much needed since they had been away in Finland for a few weeks, and I missed being able to talk to them daily! We chilled out together, ate good food and generally relaxed. Apart from on Tuesday, when Mum thought it would be a good time to go up to the attic to empty it out, while we were there. There are some heavy bits they wouldn’t be able to manage alone, so she wanted someone from her family to do the lifting instead of Pops trying. I managed some words while there, which I was most impressed with!
  • If we were having chai,Β I’d say, talking of words, I had, in my head, a target of 10k new words, to get this book closer to The End. And I did it I wrote over 11k, actually, bringing my holiday count to over 21k! I am so chuffed with myself, even though this first draft, and especially the end, feels like word vomit, that will need a lot of cleaning up! But I can’t wait to type The End for the second time ever! (And this story is neverending, it seems… It now sits at over 102k!!!)
  • If we were having chai,Β I’d mention that I popped into school for one day to help one of my co-teachers sort out the classroom. It feels strange that I won’t have my own room next year. Instead, I am split between both Reception classes! But, it will give me time to do more of the managerial things I was splitting myself into two to do last year, and I will also get to know both classes.
  • If we were having chai,Β I would tell you that Lil Man had a good cricket match this week. He scored over 20 runs and bowled well, adding another wicket to his belt. The team had another great win!
  • If we were having chai, I’d have to tell you that I finally, after many moons of trying, got a telephone Drs appointment to ask their advice re: my hand injury from over 2 months ago, where the bones are still hurting, as well as requesting blood tests to see whether I am indeed hitting perimenopause, or if there is something else untoward that I haven’t thought of.
  • If we were having chai,Β I would end, as always, with Sonu Singh. I don’t think he was impressed with us on Sunday as we were visiting and would be gone all day. We had a plan to go to visit some dear friends from university, who we hadn’t seen for a long time. One couple we saw in 2007, last, the other in 2012. We had a blast and enjoyed it so much that we didn’t even take photos! That is in-the-moment enjoyment. But, back to Sonu Singh. He hid under a table when we left and greeted us with loud miaows of indignity when we got back!
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This week is relatively calm, (she says…). I have high hopes for a finished draft 1 of book two, fingers crossed! A couple of appointments, too, as well as a mid-week match for Lil Man and possibly two more on the weekend… All in the job description of a wife/mother/author, eh!

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!

Chai And A Chat #197 #ChaiAndAChat

Hello, again, Monday! And it’s the 1st of August!

The holidays are here, and I am trying to squeeze as much of what I want to do in the next few weeks, but first, let me tell you about last week!

  • If we were having chai,Β I’d maybe cheer just a little and say SCHOOL IS OUT!!!!! It was a strange couple f days, Monday and Tuesday. I had most of my kids in, but some classes were severely depleted as parents decided to keep their younger kids off, not bothered about the last two days. Still, we enjoyed our last days together, allowing the children to lead the activities, do things they were going to miss next year, spend time talking to each other, and we had a film day on the last day (They chose Encanto!) As always, the children and families spoilt us. We had cakes, other food, and so many thoughtful gifts. And you know this. I always say it’s unnecessary, but we all feel the appreciation, so thank you all! This has been a very challenging year, but the children have been little angels (for the most part!) I am going to miss them so much! I will head back into school at some point, but as I don’t have a classroom officially next year, it’s more to clear up my stuff, help the other two teachers set up their rooms, and get exercise books and folders all ready, too.
  • If we were having chai,Β I’d say that the plan was to rest up for a few days and just rest and recuperate. Well, I kind of did it, but then inspiration hit. And from Wednesday, words flowed for book two! I am so close to writing The End, but there is still so much to finish! On Facebook, author, Florence Keeling, started a hashtag #FloSoW Florence’s Summer of Words, encouraging others to write as little or as much as they want. I love a hashtag, as you know, so I joined in, just altering the hashtag slightly to #RiSoW, Ritu’s Summer of Words. and I wrote! I started with little treats to encourage me at every few hundred words, then I made the chart below to keep me on track, and guess what? I added 10K!! I am in a bit of shock! Still got around 8 chapters to close the story, but the end is in sight!
  • If we were having chai,Β I’d mention that I jumped on the Little Miss Meme bandwagon on Instagram. Have you seen it? People make their own character names suited to their likes, dislikes, or personalities. Of course, I had to do mine and ended up with four that I made!
  • If we were having chai,Β I would tell you that cricket featured, as it always does. They won both matches, but Lil Man was still not happy. Are teenagers ever happy with their performances?
  • If we were having chai, I’d have to mention one of the biggest moments in England’s football history, as the Women’s team, the Lionesses, beat never-defeated-in-a-final-before Germany to win the UEFA Women’s European cup! I don’t like football, but I admit to having the match on one screen as I was writing words on Sunday evening! and I did shout and cheer when the nail-biting extra time was finished, with England as the winners! Well done to the girls! What a team filled with inspiration for all the young women out there!
  • If we were having chai,Β I would end, as always, with Sonu Singh. He’s been keeping me company in the mornings, as I write, while the rest of the house is asleep, still. And this week, he even acted as a promoter for me! You know you’d buy a book from that little cutie, wouldn’t you?
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I am visiting Pops and Mum with the kids this week, which I am really excited about! I hope words will continue to flow, as well as a fun visit to some of our old university friends on the weekend. Here’s hoping the weather stays good!

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!

Chai And A Chat #179 #ChaiAndAChat

Hello Peeps, another Monday has come, and we have another week’s worth of catching up to get on with.

Have you got your drinks ready? Mine is here!

  • If we were having chaiΒ I would tell you that, in a strange way, I was so excited about returning to school because even though the week has its fair share of stresses, we also had a fun day to look forward to, with the kids. I’ll start with the stresses… So I had a big meeting on Tuesday, an EYFS Audit, where two members of the Trust our school is a member of, came in and questioned me on various elements of my department, followed by a tour of the Early Years. One was on time, one turned up late… which meant that they didn’t get to see the amazing things my Teaching Assistants had sorted out for the children to be doing outside because it was almost home time before we got to go down there! Still, I think it went okay. Then, Wednesday, we had what is kindly called a Trust Development Day, but that masks the true reason. It is like a Mocksted. Basically, a practice mini Ofsted examination run, where all the heads of the other schools in the Trust, along with the CEO, come to scrutinise our school. Seeing as both my head and I are in recovery from covid, as well as two other key members of the leadership team, and two office staff, it wasn’t best timed, but something that we just had to do, seeing as it had been postponed, due to COVID several times already. And we had the added fun of the CEO of another Trust, and one of her heads coming too! Blimey, is all I will say, along with the fact that I had to conduct the whole of that morning, with meetings and tours, dressed as a Pirate Captain… see below! And it seems that it went well, too!
  • If we were having chai, I’d mention that staff shortages were also a thing, as one of my co-teachers had to take early maternity leave, so we were short for 2 days. However my other co-teacher stepped up and came in for a couple of extra mornings, to help with the staffing, and we also had a day with the new teacher who will be the maternity cover, as well. Then, on Friday, the second co-teacher fell ill, so we were short again. All I can say is thank goodness for volunteers, work experience students, and a fantastic team. We made it through!
  • If we were having chaiΒ I’d have to tell you that Pirate Day was spectacular! The children absolutely loved every moment of celebrating their term’s topic, and really got involved with every moment of the day! We all had a smashing time!
  • If we were having chaiΒ I would have to admit defeat to Covid. It was totally exhausting and O found that I was taking my inhaler several times during the day, and by the end of the day, I was shattered. I think I was asleep by 9pm most days…
  • If we were having chaiΒ I’d say that despite feeling not my best, the weather was again fantastic last week, and we enjoyed Saturday, with Hubby Dearest getting more things ready in the garden, including new flowers, solar lights and a firepit! The Barbeque was meant to arrive, but it didn’t. Never mind, still time for that to come too!
  • If we were having chaiΒ I’d have to mention that Sunday was Mother’s day, and though the clocks went forward, and I was still up at the crack of dawn, I was spoilt rotten! Lil Princess even made me a cake!
  • If we were having chaiΒ I would end with a pic of my furbaby Sonu Singh, enjoying the sunshine in the conservatory! He’s one LOOOONG Kitty!
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This week I will be half praying that Monday goes by without the dreaded Ofsted call. If we get to lunchtime and nothing, then we can all breathe a sigh of relief until after the Easter break. If we do, then we will be under big stress until the end of Wednesday! I don’t know if I just want them to call, so we can get it over with, or not! Other than that, it is the last week of term, filled with Easter fun. The kids finish on Thursday, and we are having a staff social night on Thursday Evening, in school. A Big Quiz and Fish and Chips! We are back in on Friday for an INSET day, then it is the holidays for two weeks! Roll on this week!

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!

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