Monday Madness

I had a different thought for this morning’s post initially.

Something light and fluffy, you know, the typical Ritu-style…

But I woke to news that really affected me.

Another incident.

Another attack.

Another, possibly-terrorist, attack in London.

And no, Isis won’t be claiming this one.

This time it was a white van ploughing into worshippers leaving the Finnsbury Mosque in East London, as they had finished their prayers to signal the end of their fast that day.

One dead and eight injured.

Senseless.

Revenge.

More innocents killed or injured, for what?

Most of those affected were probably law-abiding Muslim citizens, who don’t condone all the previous attacks. True Muslims, who follow their religion with respect.

Yet Islamophobia and misinformation has led to someone thinking tit for tat, an eye for an eye, is the answer.

The driver of the van was detained by the public until the Police arrived.

When will it all end? Really?

Revenge is not sweet
No. It leaves a bitter taste
Of poison spreading…
Humanity, where are you?
Compassion, this world needs you.

Ritu 2017

What a WINNER Of A Day! #BloggersBash2017 #ThrowbackThursday

Well, as you all know, it was the Annual Bloggers Bash Awards today.

What an amazing day!!!!!!

The start for me was trying to carry two bulging bags of cakes to the venue, via train and tube! You’d think that would be a conversation starter, wouldn’t you?

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I got a comment from one of the employees at the tube station when he clocked them, and then as I was sat on the Tube, the man opposite looked at the contents of the bag, and gave me a smile… no mate, you ain’t getting none! These are for my Blogily!

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I arrived, in typical Ritu fashion, an hour early, and settled in the lobby of the venue, ready to catch up on blog posts and comments, when I heard a squeal as the committee arrlved…  Sacha  , His Geoffleship , Ali  and Huggable Hugh! 

And so the day began!

The function room, and cake station!

 

Over the day there were incredibly informative presentations from Suzie about how to monetize your blog and from Elena about how to harness and use Pinterest to drive traffic to your blog… I feel educated now!!! (Scrambles to find pinnable images for use on Canva!)

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Suzie

And there was a great panel discussion with  SuzieElena and Christoph, where questions were fired at them (worry not, no one got hurt!) and plenty of informative answers were thrown back at us! It provided an opportunity for those of us in the audience to participate in discussions too, including “Lucy Mitchell – BlondeWriteMore“!

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Then there was ample time in between the official slots, for mingling and chatting, which inevitably ran over the allotted time, because, did you know, bloggers talk as much as they write!!!

 

And then there was the all important presenting of awards! Four were announced earlier in the proceedings, and then five at the end…

 

Much hilarity ensued as His Geoffleship attempted to be a mic stand for Huggable Hugh! 

 

Presentations were made by all the committee and previous winners, Suzie, Lucy and Shelley, and last minute guest committee member Allie Potts!

And my category came up.

Best Overall Blog.

Runner up –Sue Vincent -Someone I look up to in awe!

2nd Place – Chris Graham – Again one of my blogging idols!

My heart was pounding. If a microphone had been held up close to my chest there would have been no need for a drum roll! I was shaking with nerves…

And then the unbelievable happened….

Sacha only went and said But I Smile Anyway!!!!

Seriously?! I had won!!??!!

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I was almost speechless… almost. I said a few short words before I was convinced to sing a quick line from We Are Blogily! (Doesn’t take much to get me singing… who said bloggers were introverts!)

But seriously, WOW!!!!

I am gobsmacked…

Congratulations to all the bloggers who were either Runner Up, 2nd Place or Winners in their respective categories. See a full list of the Winners by clicking here!

 

We ended the day with a couple of hours of mingling in the hotel bar – where, interestingly enough, the Bar Manager was unaware what a wine spritzer was?! Here was me, the minimal alcohol drinker, educating a Bar Manager on how to make a drink?

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I did take my selfie stick, but never got to use it…I look forward to Sacha’s posting of the big group shot!!

I didn’t get photos with everyone, was so happy to meet so many names I was familiar with via the Blogosphere!!! Shout out to Willow, Graeme, Marje, Sheila, Noelle, Sherrie, Helen, Mary, Eloise, Jools, Steve, Ellen, Lance, Sally, Icy, Matt, Susie, Adam, Ruth and Jo. If I missed anyone who I spoke to, I apologise, but it was great to meet you too!!!!!

Thank you all so much for voting.

I wouldn’t have received this accolade if it wasn’t for you all pressing that Vote button!

I had the most amazing day meeting old friends, consolidating friendships, and meeting new friends. The award was just the icing on the cake!

I hope you enjoyed my recount of a most amazing day!

Put the date in your diary for next year too Peeps!

9th June 2018 is going to be the Annual Bloggers Bash 2018!

And another important bit of news from the committee… they are looking to grow… so if you want to help arrange the event next year… you are prepared to not be nominated or to vote… you can deal with a monthly Google Hangouts call with your fellow committee members… you can offer support in organisation, admin, fund-raising, budgeting, promotion, marketing, fresh ideas etc. Contact Sacha!!!!!!

 

 

#London #Together #Strong

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A nonet inspired by the awful happenings of last night…

When will all this fear and hatred end?
Lives taken for no true reason?
Evil, you will not break us
We are tougher than that
We will not run scared
We stand as one
Together
London
Strong
Ritu 2017

Last night I went out for the first time in a long time. And the end of my evening I was made aware of these happenings at London Bridge and then Borough Market.

It saddens, and sickens me, and pretty much all of those around me too. My kids question why?

Lil Man, this morning, said, “When I grow up, I’m going to put posters up everywhere saying ‘Where is the love?’ That’ll help.”

If only it were that simple.

It’s the repercussions that worry me.

Take today. There is a BIG cricket match. India Vs Pakistan.

For those with not much sense, what a great target for a revenge attack!

Pakistan – Muslims!

India – Brown faces!

But most of these terrorists haven’t been of Pakistani descent, and aren’t from India either.

Yet that is not the point either.

I am already having flutterings of panic about going to London next week for the ABBA’s. Still, I won’t let it beat me, and we can’t let these idiots ruin life for us. As long as we, the majority, stand together, wherever we are, humanity will win.

“An eye for an eye will only make the world blind.” Mahatma Gandhi

Peace out there Peeps, to you all.

Stay Safe London, and everywhere.

 

Thursday Thought

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Image from Pixabay

“An eye for an eye makes the world blind.” – Mahatma Gandhi

Waking up to read more and more about the latest atrocities in London yesterday, fills me with a sense of fear.

What kind of world are we bringing our children up into?

And what lessons are we teaching them by retaliating?

Terror attacks around the world cause dread, whether large or small, and there are those who take the matters of ‘revenge’ into their own hands.

Without any facts.

That need to retaliate blinds them, and in the end they are no better than those terrorists.

What we need is peace and understanding in the world.

It’s a wish I know many people have, but even with the volume of us who want it, it never happens…because we aren’t the ones in power.

“A minority cause the anguish.
A minority seeks to exterminate the cause.
A majority wants to soothe the world…” – Ritu 2017

One day, will this dream of a safe future and world for our children actually come true?

Landan Tahn! A Snapshot of Our Little Break

Though you may not have guessed it, or missed me (since I still managed to keep my presence on here!) I have just arrived back from a lovely two-day break in London.

We’ve had a tough few weeks with work and life stuff, and all needed a break from these four walls, so as it was the children’s (and my) half term break, we rented an apartment in Canary Wharf for two nights.

An apartment is perfect when you have a family. Yes, room service is wonderful, but at least you have space to yourselves, access to a kitchen to cater for those fussy eaters, and more than one bathroom! Canary Wharf is a good location as we could drive in and not worry about the Congestion charge, then park up in the apartment for a minimal fee, and use the Tube to go in and out of Central London itself.

The apartment was pretty cool!

We were right on the riverside too, so the view was good. If you looked out, you could see the O2 (Millenium Dome) too!

We did a little Tesco shop, and grabbed lunch, then after an afternoon siesta, we jumped on the tube to Picadilly Circus. I love the West End! Had it been purely my choice, we would have caught a theatre show too, but not everyone is as into the arts as me!

The view at dusk near our apartment was so pretty! We saw the famous Eros statue, and the great scaffolded corner is where usually you’d see the bright lights of Picadilly, but they are shut (for the first time in, like, a bajillion years!) for refurbishment.

20170216_182552We were thinking of popping into Ripley’s Believe It Or Not Exhibition, where they had a Peculiar Happenings special exhibition, but at £80 for us all, it felt a little steep!

The Square, Leicester Square, brings back memories of our university life, and all the nights out we had here! Obviously, we couldn’t drag the kids to a club, but the general feel of the place is something all can enjoy!

The street artists were there, and the buskers too!

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Then we had to stop off at M & M World… naturally!

We had dinner in TGI Fridays (even though it was Thursday!) and then headed home, but not before I could check on the horses!

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We got back and chilled together to watch a film on TV before heading to bed rather late.

 

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A little drink to accompany the film!

 

The idea was to get up early and maybe go swimming or take in a museum or two…

Firstly, the late night meant no one wanted to get up, and secondly, as some of you already know, I had some sad news regarding the passing of my cousin. My mood wasn’t in it initially.

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We just relaxed at the apartment, until the rest of the family woke, and after lunch, we popped back into the West End, but not before a visit to the iconic toy store Hamleys!

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And a stroll down Carnaby Street!

There we found this little store which Lil Man described as a ‘Kitchen equivalent of Smiggle! Have you been to Smiggle? It’s an overpriced stationary store, very kitsch and all that, but secretly I love it… because stationary is my downfall!

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The kids were starting to flag, as was Hubby Dearest, so we headed to China Town for dinner.

We ate at Wong Kei’s.

Have you heard of Wong Kei’s? It’s kind of an infamous Chinese restaurant. No frills, fantastic food, 4 floors which are usually always packed, and the customer service is to die for!

Who am I kidding? It is actually famous for its great food, and rude staff! They are hilarious! I have been several times in my life, and when I was at University, the first time we went, a waiter served us, never cracking a smile (and considering there were 10 attractive young ladies there, that was hard work!) until the end when we paid our bill! He piped up, as he handed the receipt to us, ” And I hope I never see you again!” and beamed at us!

Since then we have been served by staff who didn’t speak the whole time we were there, just using hand gestures, and we’ve been told off for requesting a spoon or fork to eat with…D’oh, that’s why the chopsticks are there, dummy!

The kids have been twice with us, and it was their request to go again, and we are but their humble servants, so off we went to Wong Kei’s!

After a very filling and tasty dinner, we went back to our apartment, and took in another family film before a slightly earlier night!

It was a 10.30am check out so by 11 am we were back home. The washing machine has been on, shopping done, homework sorted… now just one more day until school starts again…

I need another week off!

( I had so many more photos, but as you know, if the kids are in them, I don’t use them! But suffice to say, all enjoyed themselves !)

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