Chai And A Chat #23 #ChaiAndAChat

Hey there Peeps! I hope you’re ready with a large one… I’ve had one heck of a week!

  • If we were sipping chai together I’d probably whimper (through tiredness) that we made it to week two with no in-laws!
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d tell you that when the kids are ill, appreciation for my in-laws peaks. Lil Princess started with a headache on the Sunday evening, which didn’t disappear overnight. She battled through school on the Monday, and was in tears by the end of the day. Obviously, I had Parents Evening too, so was reassured by the fact she could go home to my brother-in -law and rest up. By the end of the day she was full of cold, and a cough was coming too. Total head cold, poor thing. My dilemma was the next day. There was no way she could go to school, but I knew her uncle, and aunt, were working from home so they were more than willing to have her. I still had another parents evening to go though. I toyed with the idea of missing it, as my co teacher would be there, but bless her, she was also suffering with a lack of voice. We were in a dilemma. Do we cancel and reschedule or tough it out, as no matter what, this evening would have to happen some time? In the end after consulting my daughter and sis in law, it was decided that I finish up my work resonsibilities. She was in good hands. But it didn’t stop that motherly guilt that I should be with my kid, not worrying about 30 other children. She needed the next day off too, and thankfully, her uncle was home again too. Finally, Thursday came and she began to perk up… the ups and downs of being a working mum…
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d say that, on the flip side, both Parents Evenings went pretty smoothly, all things considered, but they were LOOOOOONG days! No more this academic year now!
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d tell you that World Book Day was on Thursday, and we love to celebrate it at school We encourage the children to dress up as their favourite book characters, though most end up wearing the latest costumes on sale in Asda… And as a staff, we usually have a theme for the year. This year was Witches and Wizards. And I, not one to follow the crowd, decided to be the witch’s cat, Wilbur, from Winnie the Witch books!
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d tell you that after the positive rejection last week, there was more news! I logged into Twitter on Thursday, and learned about a hashtag called #PitMad. It happens quarterly, and basically writers can pitch their written novel in 280 characters to agents. Only agents are to like the pitches but you can support one another as a writers community by retweeting and commenting on the pitches. Many people will spend months tweaking their pitch… I wrote one in a few moments, and didn’t expect a thing.
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d let you know that I got a genuine agent like!!! And over the last 24 hours we have been emailing. She loves the idea of the book, the story, and said it needs to be heard, and gave me some amazing feedback on what she had read, with really workable critique suggestions. She also suggested that I get a critique partner and, once polished, she would love to read it again!
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d say that I acted upon her advice and I have ordered another craft book to help me wean out the show vs tell issues, and I have approached an editor to help with with critiquing and advising me where to go next. I have the problem that I am too close to the book, and I can’t change anything as I can’t look at it objectively!
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d tell you that I went a bit Easter Egg mad too… We will be holding a Nursery Easter Egg hunt on the last day of term for the nursery students and their parents, and I decided that instead of trying to hide millions of eggs, I would find lots of Easter themed items, such as chicks, rabbits, and little eggs, to hide around the allotment, for them to look for, and use a tick sheet to say they found them. Then at the end, they could get a prize. And then I saw Tesco had a deal on 75p medium sized eggs…. and I ended up ordering 55! Enough for the children, and for my team too! Lil Man’s face was priceless as he saw the guy unloading my home delivery. I did have to explain to the guy I was a teacher and that these were student gifts, and not that I was some sort of Easter Egg trader, or chocaholic! So now they are hidden away from anyone with a sweet tooth, in the hope that they will last until the end of term!
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d tell you that I celebrated my favourite inspirational woman on International Woman’s Day on Friday… my mum ❤
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d tell you that we kept the weekend very down low. Everyone needed a rest and, aside from the kids playing badminton and cricket, we did nothing! And I scheduled posts and read. Perfect!
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d have to admit that the end of Sunday was not as smooth as I hoped, as teenage hormones coursed around the house and Lil Man showed his attitude BIG TIME. Actually just trying to take deep breaths right now so I don’t go and strangle him… Seriously, parenting teens and tweens is no fun a lot of the time (though there are ups too!)
  • If we were sipping that chai together, and possibly reaching for cake or cookies I’d tell you aside from one late evening at moderation, so we can see if our kids are progressing as others are, there should be no more late ones, phew!
  • If we were sipping that chai togetherand possibly reaching for cake or cookies I’d mention that I am so excited for the weekend as Pops and Mum are coming to spend it with us!

Have a wonderful week, Peeps! Let me know how your week went!

Chai And A Chat #18 #ChaiAndAChat

Welcome to February and a whole new month!

Have you got that drink ready? My chai is waiting!

  • If we were sipping chai together I’d tell you that I was ill… oh so ill… this week. I ended up being off work for three days, Monday to Wednesday, and quite possibly could have been off the whole week, but the guilt factor of not being at school drove me back… It started with the vomiting and upset stomach bug, causing me to have really bad lower back pain. I swear, I had a hot water bottle attached to my person for almost 72 hours! Then a cough developed, which is still with me… It was definitely not nice being off…
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d whisper that the only plus side to being off sick was that I had many, many hours to read! I actually read 5 books over those few days, and was able to write a big long book review post about them, and the others I had read in January! Did you read it? If not, click HERE!
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d mention that the children were excitedly hoping for a falling of the white stuff. And well, we got a little bit. On Tuesday there was a sprinkling that turned to ice by the morning. On Friday, all waited with bated breath… would we get that snow day? But no. It seemed a large part of the UK was snowed under/in but not us here. The kids were most disappointed, and even more so when the white stuff did fall… at night on Friday, so there would be no snow day chances as it was the weekend, then, when we woke, it had all but melted! Gutted!
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d tell you that I still haven’t received my feedback from my friend regarding the manuscript, but he’s been busy with a family wedding and his son’s 16th… I think I can forgive him. I have also sent a copy to a really wonderful comedienne friend of mine to get her opinion too. Fingers crossed!
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d also mention that, whilst on my sick bed, I experimented a lot with Calibre and managed to make my manuscript into a mobi file, so it can be read easily on an e-reader. It’s not ready to be published, but being able to go through it on my Kindle added a different perspective to my editing… and it was a special moment to open my ‘book’ on my Kindle for the first time!
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d excitedly tell you that my lovely lady friends, the Tootie Frooties, have arranged another outing. Unfortunately, not all can come, but the ones of us who can, are going to a comedy night! It’s not for a month or so. but I’ll be sure to keep you all informed!
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d also mention that as February is here, we are also full on into birthday month in my in-laws family. Sunday we celebrated my Brother-in-law’s birthday, and we have my Hubby Dearest and Mother-in-law’s to come on Friday, then Lil Princess and my Father-in-law’s a couple of weeks after! It’s gonna be an expensive month… and don’t forget Valentine’s Day!
  • If we were sipping that chai together, and possibly reaching for cake or cookies I’d moan that despite getting a sickness bug, I didn’t lose any weight… so I am still hoping to sort that particular mess out!
  • If we were sipping that chai togetherand possibly reaching for cake or cookies I’d tell you that Lil Man’s braces saga is starting up again. He has decided he wants fixed braces now, so I have a few crazy rushes from school to get him to appointments over the next couple of weeks. Mummy’s Taxi? Yup, that’s me!
  • If we were sipping that chai together, and possibly reaching for cake or cookies I’d say that I can’t wait for half term… two weeks to go!

Have a wonderful week Peeps! Let me know how your week went!

Chai And A Chat #17 #ChaiAndAChat

Well hello, there Peeps! Time to sit down and kick back with a drink and little sweet treat for the last time in January! (Can you believe it?)

  • If we were sipping chai together  I’d ask you if you managed to see the Full Blood Wolf Moon on Monday? I still don’t know why it was a wolf moon, though I did try to catch it. But who’s gonna stay up until 2am and wait until 5.30am on a work night? Not this teacher… Still managed to get a lovely shot of the moon at 7.30am the next morning, as it was still bright… followed by an amazing sunrise shot the day after. Makes me wish I really had a better camera, but my phone doesn’t do too bad, does it? Thank you Huawei P20 Pro!
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d let you know that the week went relatively smoothly, as far as it can in the life of a teacher/wife/mother/daughter… You’ve read about my average weeks. You know the score. Still, things are never just simple. On Thursday I awoke to find out that my manager was off sick. She is never ill so that always worries me. But I have learned that if your body is telling you to rest, you have to, and I was glad she listened to hers. Knowing a supply would be in to cover our Reception class (my manager and I share this class, but on Thursday, I teach in Nursery so couldn’t cover), I arrived a little earlier to help set the class up and prep the supply teacher. On arrival at school, it became apparent that she wasn’t the only one off sick or out for the day. The Head was at a meeting, the deputy head was sick (another one who is NEVER ill!), and of course one of our class Teaching Assistants was sick too, along with others. The bugs had hit the adults hard! So, it was a slightly fraught day, with other events that helped to keep us all on our toes… But we survived!
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d then go on to say that crazy evening of mine which I mentioned last week was to happen on the same day! So, armed with one child, we rushed home, and she got herself preened for her party, then I deposited her at Bluewater for her party. I rushed back (as much as you can rush in rush hour traffic) to my in-law’s house to pick up Lil Man who had his cricket training, and dropped him off. Then joined the traffic again so I could pick Lil Princess up. I should have taken the time I had free to browse the shops while I waited, but there were only 20 minutes so I leisurely walked through a small section of Waterstone’s book shop, without buying (so hard!) and headed over to pick her up. It was fascinating to see the group of 10-11-year-olds all sat with phones, or running off to different parts of the restaurant to take selfies… what has this world come to? Last year they were just excited to go to a trampoline park for a party… Then we jumped in the car, and raced back to pick up Lil Man from his training! Hubby Dearest was stuck as he travels back from work during these times so would have found it hard to actually assist with any of the taxi services… I needed a drink that night, but settled for an early night!
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d mention that I haven’t heard anything back feedback wise from my friend yet, other than he thinks my villainous character is rather naughty! I finished his book and emailed off my feedback. I do find it hard to read and be critical of a person’s work, but after having feedback from trusted friends already on my own manuscript, I can see how important it is to get that honest feedback. I hope he was happy with what I had to say… Now I just wait with bated breath for his opinion of mine…
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d let you know that though I may not have been as creative this past week, Lil Princess has been really busy! She is loving her watercolour paints and aside from her daily Mickey Mouse drawing, she is stretching herself with painting… check out these fantastic pieces!
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d tell you she also decided that my face would be a great canvas for her creativity! Three years ago I allowed her to be let loose on my makeup drawer and face. And now, thanks to watching umpteen more makeup videos on YouTube, she felt the need to try again… here is the result. The first pic is three years ago, the second from this weekend. What do you think?
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d tell you that I didn’t opt for a cheeky Costa this week, as I didn’t have the chance, but an impromptu trip to the local swimming baths meant I enjoyed the delights of a wishy-washy cuppa and bickie, alongside my Kindle, as we watched them swim! Why swim in this awful cold? I can hear you ask. Well… On Saturday we awoke to no proper internet. It was a tragedy – for the kids anyway. No internet meant the on-demand function wasn’t working on the Sky box or Netflix. It meant that the Xbox couldn’t connect so Fortnite couldn’t be accessed. It meant the PC was unable to allow a weekly fix of Roblox or YouTube… See? Tragedy! What would we do? I suggested reading, painting, playing outside but none of those suggestions were agreeable, then suddenly swimming came into the equation. At least we ended up with happy kids. And the internet? Well, it came back on once we were back. It seems Vodafone were having issues, and we get some sort of recompense for this disaster that struck our household! In fact Hubby is on the phone as I type, hammering out a deal with them… He does love this sort of thing
My Leisure Centre cuppa
  • If we were sipping that chai together, and possibly reaching for cake or cookies I’d tell you I still need to sort out this eating problem of mine! Where is the stop switch on my mouth – eating function?
  • If we were sipping that chai together, and possibly reaching for cake or cookies I’d mention that I may start up with some of the creative writing challenges soon too. I am feeling rusty…
  • If we were sipping that chai together, and possibly reaching for cake or cookies I’d say that I hope to really get stuck in with the ‘KonMarie’ tidying too over the next week. I’m trying little sections at a time, but it is a big job on the whole!

Let me know how your week has been Peeps!

Right, so, see you in February then!

Chai And A Chat #14 #ChaiAndAChat

Welcome all to the first Chai and a Chat of the year! I trust you all had a good one! Now, go get your drink, snuggle in and we can catch up!

  • If we were sipping chai together  I’d tell you that I am actually quite proud of myself! I said I would not post, and aside from a new years message, and a Blogger’s Bash reminder, I stayed true to my word! It’s been hard though. As I get notifications of the weekly challenge, I am having to force myself to not save them all, and resign myself to the fact that I am going to miss a few weeks worth! But it’s all for a good cause…
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d tell you that I have been really good! I have been doing my reread and tweak-style of editing every day, bar one where I was physically too tired and I have done over a third of the book so far! I created a little page in my journal too, to keep me motivated and on track, where I colour in boxes representing chapters each time I get another one done!
That’s me at the start of my Saturday morning!
  • If we were sipping chai together  I’d confide in you that I have even contacted a couple of editors for quotes and advice on what next, because if I go Indie, I need to fund all the professional stuff myself, whereas a traditional publisher would pay for all the editing, polishing and tweaking stuff required. There is a lot to take in, developmental editing, copy/line editing, critiquing, alpha/beta readers, then formatting, blurb and cover… It won’t be easy, but I am on a mission! I am still toying with the idea of reaching out to agents, to see if there is a chance of traditional publication…
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d also mention that I started a new group on Facebook – Kick Ass Kreators – a kind of online accountability group, where we can post our achievements on whatever we are trying to create at the moment, and ask for help or a virtual kick up the backside to keep us on track for reaching goals… if you want to join, you are most welcome! Just click here!
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d tell you that I have started a new hobby too, to keep me calm – hand lettering! It’s not the same as calligraphy as there is more of an element of individuality to what you write, but I love experimenting with new pens and paper! And Lil Princess has also caught the art bug again, after getting a lovely art set for Christmas! She has been experimenting with watercolour wash pieces, and we even collaborated on a piece of art!
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d say that I didn’t make a resolution this New Year, but rather an intention, or rather, a few… the first was that I intend to do something with this book this year! Another is to look after myself. Because if you don’t look after yourself, you can’t be there for others properly… Obviously, there is the eating well and lose weight stuff, but I just have to try hard on that… I am finding it hard for some reason, this time round to stick to any decent eating plan… chocolate and cookies are to blame!
My lettering again!
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d tell you that I was fully intending on having a relaxed last day before school started again on the Thursday, but that didn’t happen! Instead, I got an idea in my head that buzzed around like an annoying fly and until I had fulfilled it, the window in my brain wouldn’t open, to let that fly out! It was to totally restructure the furniture in my kids’ bedrooms! So there I was, alone, as it was an impromptu idea, lugging bookshelves, beds and desks around, to create a different, more productive environment for both of them. It worked, but not before unearthing all sorts of mouldy rubbish from under my teenage son’s bed, and finding all manner of awful ink and paint stains on my daughter’s cream (😣) carpet! Oh and the dust! I was sneezing for England! Still, I managed to finish it all and ended up an aching mess on the floor by the end, groaning because I knew I still had to be fresh and ready for school the next day! A bubble bath soothed the muscles, but nothing could get me to sleep that night… and it was the same for the kids. A fortnight of messed up sleeping patterns meant no one was ready for an early bedtime!
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d tell you school was actually pretty great! The kids came back happy, and for the most part, healthy! My own two woke without a fuss on the first day too ( a true surprise, as I have been used to battles every morning to get them ready in time!) but the tiredness was there… and on Friday, I was honestly ready to be a bad teacher… If I could, I would have put Youtube on a loop, sat my afternoon kids in front of the screen (which they would have loved!) and curled up in the corner to catch a few zzzzz! But I couldn’t do that, could I?
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d whisper quietly, that the weekend planned was a very quiet one… lots of rest, once the grocery shopping and house cleaning was done, reading, eating (healthily) and editing…
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d have to mention that I have been increasingly worried and frustrated about my parents! I guess this comes as they get older. We couldn’t see them this holiday for various reasons, but on Christmas day they told me they were without heating as the boiler had sprung a leak that caused some damage which could not be repaired in a straightforward manner. Now, I knew of the leak before and was under the impression things had been sorted out, but no… they left it to Christmas morning to slip in the fact that they were sitting, wrapped up, in their living room, with plug-in heaters and no hot water either! Of course, they wouldn’t entertain the idea of coming to us, because “what if the pipes freeze and burst while we weren’t there?”  (it has barely been below freezing, so no chance of freezing pipes, but too cold to be in a house with no heating!) and the saga continued as they discovered there was some issue that involved specialist equipment to clean some pipes or something like that… Then, the icing on the cake, when mum called me to mention, in a slightly panicked voice, but with a layer of “don’t worry, we’re okay” smoothed over the top, that ” We don’t have electricity, and I am alone, as your Pops has gone to class, and no, he doesn’t know because he forgot his phone at home, though it’s not just us, the neighbours just came round and they are in the same boat – they have small children too, so it’s terrible for them – and I’m okay, I have candles.” I wanted to teleport then right here, but no, there was no movement! The electricity company came round and it was something big that needed repairing so they ended up with a generator so at least they had power overnight, and the roads were dug up the next morning to restore normality! And the hope is that the heating issue will be fixed by Sunday… I’m still waiting to see if it is all sorted! Hate being so far away from them, not able to do much more than get myself worked up, and offer comforting words…
  • If we were sipping that chai together, and possibly reaching for cake or cookies I’d tell you that I had a great chat with my brother and sister-in-law in Finland one day and there is a possibility of they coming over to the UK in the Spring, so I may finally be able to give my Finndian nephew #2 a real cuddle! That is something that will totally keep me going once they set a date!
  • If we were sipping that chai together, and possibly reaching for cake or cookies I’d tell you that the next week should be a relatively quiet one, so hopefully a straightforward school week, with no surprises, and lots of editing opportunities!

So… tell me about the start to your New Year!

Chai And A Chat #12 #ChaiAndAChat

Got your drink ready? Or at least got your kettle on? Settle down then!

  • If we were sipping chai together  I’d firstly say, PHEW! We are finally on holiday! The last term has been really long, and coupled with the staffing issues and illness, it has not been an easy ride, but we have got there!
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d tell you that Christmas can really make a teacher feel appreciated! My pupils ad colleagues excelled themselves, I was loaded down with gift bags to take home, filled with choccies, bickies and all sorts of lovely goodies!
  • If we were sipping chai together  I’d tell you about another drama involving Lil Man, his friends, an X-Box controller, security cameras, black magic, Autism and friendship… but it would be far too long, and we’d need IV drips for our drinks! Suffice to say, Tuesday was an eventful evening!
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d say the staff Christmas party was a fun evening, even though the younger members of staff didn’t quite appreciate the entertainment, asking what a UB40 was, rather than who… as we had a tribute band, UB42, providing the music for part of the evening! Still, I enjoyed it and by swaying along to the reggae, I smashed my step count and active minutes according to the FitBit app!
  • If we were sipping chai together  I’d tell you that I have been secreting little presents away for the kids, and now I really need to get them wrapped!
    If we were sipping chai together I’d tell you Saturday and Sunday were pretty calm, all Christmas-panic-related things, considered!
  • If we were sipping that chai together, and possibly reaching for cake or cookies I’d whisper that I still haven’t wrapped anything! Eeeek! Guess what I’ll be doing this evening!
  • If we were sipping that chai together, and possibly reaching for cake or cookies I’d rant that I have to take Lil Princess to a party today – on Christmas Eve – at the local Shopping centre! Seriously? Who chooses one of the busiest times of the year and one of the busiest venues, to have a party?! Still, I am hoping to have a couple of hours of either shopping, or sitting with a book and a Chai Latte at Costa, to while the party hours away!
  • If we were sipping that chai together, and possibly reaching for cake or cookies I’d wish you a very Merry Christmas, and say, I look forward to all the Christmas stories next week!

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