#Lockdown Neighbourhood WhatsApp group

One of the good features of this horrific time is local camaraderie and help for each other.  We moved to our cul-de-sac 23 years ago and, as many of the original residents are still here, the majority are over 60. But there are also four young families.  Three weeks ago one of the young mothers put a note through each door suggesting we join in a WhatsApp group to help each other. It was a popular idea and soon there were offers to fetch shopping or requests to collect prescriptions. We shared information about ordering vegetable plants and compost to be delivered by a local garden centre and of a nearby pub/restaurant providing fruit and salad boxes with optional dairy or meat products.

But this group has turned into social media. All day long there are chats about donations of enormous cardboard boxes and photos of the castles and cars the toddlers (and their parents) have made with the boxes. The photos of empty shelves in the local supermarket have thankfully stopped. My first good deed had been to share a few toilet rolls!

We have had no victims of the virus, as yet, in our 17 houses but there has been sadness when a lovely lady in her 70s who has the most beautiful garden has had to move into a care home due to advancing dementia. At this point her husband found it difficult to cope on his own so reluctantly their sons decided he too should move into a home, but unfortunately a different one.  We also had great joy two days ago when one of our community gave birth to healthy twin boys! We were happy to see a photo.  Today has included messages about hidden Easter eggs for the children on their doorsteps and a violin concert in the middle of the road by our resident Music teacher.

Last night there was great amusement when my nearest neighbour asked if anyone had a tin of condensed milk. After a search I found a tin but had to admit that it had expired in 2015. Luckily another neighbour found one from 2019 which was thought safer! Now we are having a competition to see who can find the most out of date food item. If my mother was still alive, she would definitely have won.

The Strictly Business Proposal (Freshwater Bay Novel Series Book 1) by Nell Grey #BookReview #Romance

Business Proposal

Is Beth Barnes a beautiful con artist or the genuine friend of Evan Morgan, an elderly Welsh chef?

When Evan dies, he hands talented London chef Beth her big break. She has the chance to realise her dream and run her very own restaurant in a village on the wild Welsh Celtic coast. But there are strings attached. Can she comply and gain her inheritance, her dream? Accused of being a gold digger by the family, Beth’s welcome to Wales is not quite as warm as she’d hoped for.

Burned from a recent divorce, the last thing on architect Gareth Morgan’s mind is another wedding. If he wants to realise his development dreams, he must marry.

It’s a strictly business proposal. But can Beth and Gareth really stick to the terms

My Review

My first impression of this novel was not good. Reading the first paragraph of a book by a British author I didn’t expect to read,” busting her ass,” and “snuck out,” but perhaps this was to appeal to readers across the pond. Certainly, the vocabulary soon settled into recognisable English and I began to enjoy following the story of chef Beth Barnes and the handsome Welsh architect Gareth Morgan with whom she agreed a business contract.

Both Beth and Gareth are passionate about their careers and neither intend to become entangled in a relationship but in order to achieve their dreams of a successful restaurant on the Welsh coast and an eco-holiday village they must agree to a partnership which involves marriage. Of course, there is misunderstanding, anger and disappointment but this is more than just chick-lit. Gareth’s family are well-rounded interesting people with their own back stories and Beth’s friendship with local girl, Ariana promises more about this artistic jewellery maker.

In addition to some torrid love scenes, we are treated to two complex but likeable characters and a fascinating location in Freshwater Bay. This is the first of four books in the Freshwater Bay series so I shall certainly be following it to learn more about the Morgan bothers. An easy, enjoyable read.

The Strictly Business Proposal on Amazon UK

ANYTHING BUT BOOKS TAG

Anything

I’m pleased to take part in one of those random questions things, after being tagged by writer pal Terry Tyler ~ you can read her post HERE. She in turn was tagged by  Shelley Wilson 

Q1. Name a cartoon that you love.

I don’t really love cartoons.  I adored Popeye when I was a child but occasionally I will now watch Futurama.

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Q2. What is your favourite song right now?

I usually only listen to music in the car.  I have always liked Fields of Gold especially the version by Sting, but at the moment I really like Katie Melua’s version for Children in Need.

Gold

Q3. What could you do for hours that isn’t reading?

I have always enjoyed walking by water; along a beach, a promenade or a clifftop path.

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Q4. What is something that you love to do that your followers would be surprised by?

A few months ago I started Tai Chi lessons.  I enjoy the stretches, the breathing and the mindfulness.  I hope it will improve my terrible balance.

Tai chi chuan.

Q5. What is your favourite, unnecessarily specific thing to learn about?

I like finding out about my ancestors who built Thames barges or worked as lightermen on the Thames. I also have researched the lives of my ancestors who were born in Gibraltar, Nova Scotia and Barbados as army brats because their father was a 19th century soldier.

Q6. What is something unusual you know how to do?

Not so much know how to do, but always remember.  I can tell you most of the main Dewey decimal numbers for topics in a Library, such as 821 for poetry or 595.7 for Insects.  I can also remember book authors, especially of children’s books even though I can’t remember the names of people I know.  It’s a symptom of a lifetime of working in school libraries.

Q7. Name something that you’ve made in the last year.

I made a blanket out of crocheted squares with a crochet along challenge on Facebook.

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Q8. What is your most recent personal project?

I am researching and writing about what happened to children from the Workhouse who were sent to a sail training ship or into service as a maid.

Q9. Tell us something that you think of often.

I think about my grandchildren even though I see a lot of them and when I’m not there I think about our little house in Portugal.

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Q10. Tell us something that’s your favourite, but make it oddly specific.

My favourite activity is discovering new cousins through genealogy, and either meeting them or corresponding with them.  I have met several lovely people this way, from all over the world.

Mark

Meeting my American cousins in London

I’m not going to Tag anyone else as I’m not sure who would like to do it but if you are reading this and would like to accept the challenge. I would love to read your answers.

How I Motivated Myself to Succeed by @ShelleyWilson72 #GuestPost

I am a great admirer of the energy and creativity of Shelley Wilson, so I’m thrilled to be part of the Blog Tour for her new book How I Motivated Myself to Succeed.  In her Guest Post below, Shelley explains how to set goals for yourself.

Blog Tour Banner for Shelley Wilson HIMMTS

How to Write a Successful Bucket List

It still feels strange when I’m asked to speak at networking events, or run workshops about goal setting and list writing. It’s only in the last ten years that I’ve actively taken steps to write a bucket list and pushed myself to achieve the goals I decided upon. To suddenly be called upon to help others embrace the goal setting phenomenon is both humbling and exciting.

When I ran my holistic health spa, I felt honoured to be included in my clients’ journey of self-care and personal development. We all face those times in our life when enough is enough, and things need to change. There are numerous reasons for this of course, from health related issues to loss and grief or redundancy.

For many years I drifted through life without any clear path. In my thirties, I became a single mum to three very small children, and so goal setting was the furthest thing from my mind. It was only as my children reached their teenage years, and grew in confidence, that I began to think about myself.

Looking after my own needs was an alien concept at first. Surely it’s a selfish act to think about oneself when you have three children to look after, friends to care about, parents to worry about? When I did eventually begin to write my bucket list, I realised how important it was to look after myself. I’m a great believer in the concept of ‘you can’t fix others if you are broken.’ And so my goal setting journey began.

Whether you decide to call this your bucket list, goal setting, resolutions, or a to-do list makes no difference to the outcome. It’s all about the action you take to make things happen.

I started small. My first goal was the relatively simple task of attracting ten new Facebook followers to my author page by the end of the month.

Eventually, my ambitions grew until my bucket list included more variety. These included:

Write two books a year.

Travel to one new holiday destination a year with my children.

Enjoy family fun days once a month (minimum).

It was thanks to my goal setting techniques that I began blogging back in 2013.

How successful you are at achieving your goals is dependent on several factors. The first is whether or not you are one-hundred per-cent committed to your goal, and the second is factoring in time to work on what you’ve written down.

For my ‘write two books a year’ goal I need to be dedicated and organised with my time. Only then will I achieve success. Enjoying a family fun day once a month means I need to coordinate my children so we all know what day we are heading off and where we are going.

There’s one question I get asked more often about setting goals, and that’s ‘when is the best time to start?’ My answer is always the same ‘Now! Don’t wait for a Monday, a New Year, or the right time because it’ll never arrive. Write your bucket list today and take those action steps to achieve your dreams.’

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank my wonderful host, Liz, for being a part of my blog tour. Thank you for reading and be sure to check out the other host spots for more inspiration, motivation, and a sprinkle of fun.

 

If you would like to read more about Shelley’s goal setting techniques then take a look at her new release, How I Motivated Myself to Succeed, out now in paperback and eBook, and packed full of information on self-care, freeing yourself from fear, organising your life, and much more.  You can order it on Amazon UK or Amazon US

 

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Shelley is a multi-genre author of non-fiction self-help and young adult fantasy fiction. Her latest release, How I Motivated Myself to Succeed is being dubbed as the sequel-that’s-not-a-sequel to her bestselling book, How I Changed My Life in a Year. She writes a personal development blog (www.motivatemenow.co.uk) as well as an author blog (www.shelleywilsonauthor.com) where she shares book reviews, author interviews, and random musings about writing. Shelley was thrilled to win the Most Inspirational Blogger.  She is also on Twitter www.twitter.com/ShelleyWilson72 and Facebook www.facebook.com/MotivateMeBlog and Instagram www.instagram.com/authorslwilson

Blog Tour Schedule - HIMMTS

 

 

Vision Boards for Beginners by Shelley Wilson #TuesdayBookBlog

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I don’t normally choose self-help books but I know Shelley is an excellent writer and motivational coach, so I decided to download Vision Boards for Beginners because the idea appealed to me. I have always had pin boards displaying pictures I like (usually old birthday cards) from my days in student residence to my present kitchen boards. I also love collecting images and quotes on Pinterest, but I had never thought of using them for motivation.

This short, clearly explained book is exactly what I was looking for. There are ideas for themed boards for specific targets or for general boards expressing your aims in life. Shelley encourages sharing your board with family and friends since it expresses your resolution to improve your life. So now I have a purpose for the next week which I am really looking forward to.

In addition, I enjoyed Vision Boards so much that I immediately downloaded Meditation for Beginners also in Shelley’s Wellbeing Workshop series.

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Shelley’s author page on Amazon

And her inspiring Motivational page